“It’s always better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.” We’ve all probably heard some version of this prepper mantra in recent years. Sure, these are wise words, but do we really take the message to heart? Are each of us carrying enough supplies in our backpacks and survival kits?
Although i had planned everything carefully, I ran out of 550 cord on a recent camping trip. I had just enough to do what I needed to do, but there wasn’t a single thread left over. This reminded me that there are some items we just can’t over-pack. Don’t get caught without enough of these five critical items.
An oldie but a goodie, matches are a classic fire starting method. They’re also handy for lighting lanterns, stoves, candles, and the occasional cigar. I’m a big proponent of carrying multiple fire starting methods in the outdoors (at least three methods), and matches can certainly be one of those three. Just make sure you carry enough. The average pack contains 25 to 30 matches. If conditions are damp and windy, it may take several matches to get a fire lit, leaving you with the capability to only light a few fires per pack. Matches are so small and light, there’s no reason to limit your stock on the trail. Carry at least two packs, although three or four (stashed in different pockets) would be better.
You may be an amazing hunter and forager, but you can’t have ever have enough of this resource. Food is the fuel that keeps your engine running. It’s a tricky business, balancing high-calorie value with reasonable weight, but it’s worth the effort. Carrying extra food is a like an insurance policy against going hungry. A couple days of extra food will cover your caloric needs if your outdoor stay becomes extended.
Dry clothes are a lifesaver in cold wet conditions, so carrying a spare set may make all the difference someday. Your clothing choices should be appropriate for the season and terrain, while being lightweight and compact.
4. 550 Cord
I’ve run out of cord, and you probably have too. While there are many things in nature that we can twisted into improvised cordage, these materials are not likely to be as strong as paracord and they take a lot of time to gather and prepare. At least a hundred feet of 550 cord should be included in your gear, though that’s barely enough for a bear bag line and a few lines for your rain fly. A hundred yards would serve you better, especially if you might strip some down to the core strands for snares and fishing line.
Yeah, it’s heavy. But it’s also invaluable for hunting and self-defense, among other uses. Ammunition is a modern marvel that we really don’t appreciate until we get down to the last few rounds. Bring more than you think you need, and you can always bring the leftovers home again.
Going for a walk in the woods? Check out these items first
Before you launch out into the wild, and you want to make sure you’ve prepared yourself. Here are ten things to do before you go.
1. Have A Plan
Don’t just head off blindly into the wilderness. Create a plan for your outdoor excursion.
2. Learn The Lay of the Land
Study a map of the location you will be exploring, and Carrying the map with you when you go (along with a compass). Bring a GPS device or having a navigation app on your phone isn’t a bad idea either.
3. Share Your Plan
Make sure that at least one responsible person knows about your outdoor plans. They need to know where you are going, parking and hiking; your mobile phone number ; which vehicle you are taking; who’s going with you; and most importantly – they need to know when will you come back. This way, if you don’t contact them or return by the appointed time – they know that you’ve run into trouble and they have the information to help.
4. Bring Your Phone
A charged mobile phone should always be part of your outdoor gear. You can call for help, and turn a potential disaster into a mere inconvenience.
5. Carry A Kit
Bring a survival kit on every outing. It should include items for shelter, fire making, signaling , water procurement, navigation, first aid, water procurement, spare outer wear and food.
6. Bring a Friend
It’s more fun to be outside with a friend, and there’s safety in numbers. Even with one hiking companion, you have someone to watch your back, render first aid or go for help.
7. Keep an Eye on the Horizon
Get the most accurate weather forecast before you head out, and keep your own watch on the weather while you are in the wilderness. A sharp change in the weather can turn a pleasant camp-out into a dangerous situation.
8. Get Some First Aid Training
Once you have some knowledge and skills with first aid, you can perform first aid anytime and anywhere – even if you don’t have many supplies to work with.
9. Practice Survival Skills Before You Need Them
Learning facts can be handy, but they are no substitute for actually experience.
10. Dress The Part
Wear appropriate clothing and outerwear: layers, wool, and synthetic are all ideal. Skip the cotton in most conditions, unless you are trying to activate your life insurance policy.
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EVERYTHING WE NEED We make quite a scene at the airport: two adults, two teenagers, four carry-ons, and eight pieces of checked baggage, each of which weighs within ounces of the 50-pound-per-bag maximum. It’s all there: everything a family of four will need for a week-long camping trip in the big American West. We’ve done it enough times now to have it down to a science. A 48-quart cooler is packed with a stove, a lantern, and cookware. Every man, woman, and child has his or her own duffel of clothes and personal gear, fishing rods, and summer reading. There are two backpacks loaded with tents, sleeping bags, and pads, and my beloved canoe barrel packed with breakables. Once on the ground, we rent a van and buy cheap camp chairs and a square of indoor/ outdoor carpet. We hit a grocery store. And just like that we’re off for a week of camping and fishing and hiking. Two adults, two teenagers, and pushing 400 pounds of gear.
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Every year we make the trip, I spend the night before we leave cinching straps and triple-checking gear lists and wondering if it’s worth all the work and hassle. And every year, as we pack up camp the night before we fly home, I know the answer. Yes. A thousand times, yes. There is simply not a more American pastime than camping. And despite the fact that we’ve upgraded from birch bark canoes and Conestoga wagons to jetliners and $ 40,000 pickup trucks, the spirit is still there, still true: pack up a semblance of home, move it to some distant riverbank or mountain ridge, and reassemble. Raise the tent, hang the grub, lay the fire. Set up camp. Pair a camping trip with a rod or gun, and the fun factor rockets. Now there’s fresh trout on the fire, and elk quarters hanging in the dark timber. Of course, having the right gear is a big part of the difference between a string of miserable nights in the woods and an unforgettable week in the wild. And the right stuff doesn’t necessarily mean the newest stuff or the most expensive gear. It can mean knowing how to get the most of some of the most basic tools you own. Consider the tent guyline, the cord that attaches the rain fly to the tent stakes. It’s a piece of cord, really, so what else is there to know? Plenty, which is the point of this book. Learn to tie a taut-line hitch at the end of the guyline and you can cinch the rain fly tight in front of a storm. Replace all your old manufacturer-supplied guyline cord with reflective cord and you’ll never again trip on those dark midnight trips to the groover. Learn how to rig a guyline picket stake and your tent fly will never again loosen when the winds start to howl. Those are three examples of how you can rig and modify one overlooked piece of gear. I’m an unapologetic gear hog, and I admit that I have a hoarder’s tendency to keep just about everything. My basement is crammed with camping gear that spans a half-century, from my dad’s old lensatic compass to a set of GPS-enabled two-way radios. Even in the woods, I’m the guy who brings it all. I was never one to drill holes in my toothbrush to shave a few ounces from my backpack’s weight. I’d rather sweat a bit more up the ridge so I can kick back with real coffee than make do with instant swill. I’d rather have two headlamps because you never know. Most likely, I’ll be the guy with the gun-cleaning kit stashed in the boat bag, and you’ll come looking for me when your canoe turns over. But we can’t forget attitude and aptitude. Good gear and know-how have a hard time trumping a whiny disposition when the trail turns tough. A positive frame of mind invites on-the-fly innovation and makes the most of every situation. A gracious spirit is thankful for every night spent under the stars— no matter how rocky and rooty the ground under your back. Your brain and your heart are your most important tools. Once, during an 8-day paddling and fishing trip down Ontario’s remote Palisade and Allanwater rivers, my buddy Scott Wood and I had to put in a monstrous day. We broke camp early and paddled 22 miles, with a 3-mile lake crossing and mucky overgrown portages. We were still on the go at 11 P.M., with no food for eight hours and daylight fading fast, yet we had our largest rapid to run. At the base of Black Beaver Rapids, we dragged the boat to shore as an orange moon rose through spectral fire-blackened forest, too exhausted to cook supper. We stamped down a rough bivvy 10 feet from the water, running tent guylines to blueberry shrubs, and collapsed in the sleeping bags as northern lights arced overhead, wholly unappreciated. We had a few more days on the river, and I spent the few fitful minutes before sleep triple-checking the map and wondering if it was worth all the hassle. In the morning we limped out of the tents to find the blueberry plains sheathed in frost, a world so glittery and serene, I half-expected unicorns to come prancing through the valley. We caught a breakfast walleye, cleaned it on the bottom of an overturned canoe, fried it hot and fast and washed the fish down with pure, cold water from the river and handfuls of blueberries. And just like that— I was ready to do it all again. Worth it every time.
1 SLEEP UNDER THE STARS
Growing up we slept under the stars, sans tent or tarp, to prove how tough we were, but now I sleep in the Big Scary Open because I get a huge kick out of nodding off to shooting stars and waking to the first rays of the sun. And it’s super cool to sleep with frost sheathing your sleeping bag. If you’re squeamish about dozing off without the protection of a nylon cocoon, try it my way: Spread out a space blanket first, then a super-comfy sleeping pad. Having a spread of ground cloth between you and the bare ground is a mental comfort, and it also means you can spread your arms and thrash around a bit without actually wallowing in the dirt. I wear a toboggan to hold in extra body heat and keep a flashlight tucked in a boot near my head so I can find it quickly. If it makes you feel better, the other boot can hold a knife, handgun, pepper spray, or ninja death stars.
2 MAKE GUYLINES SHINE
In 30 minutes you can replace all your old tent guylines with reflective cord, and never again trip over them while stumbling around during a middle-of-the-night pee, during which you stub your right big toe so badly that the nail splits and the toe swells and you can’t wear wading boots for two days. Listen to me.
3 STRENGTHEN A TENT WITH PICKET STAKES
This supercharged guyout plan kicks in when the wind cranks up to 25 mph. Picket stakes boost the holding power of tent stakes, so use them on the guylines attached to the side of the tent that faces the wind.
STEP 1 Drive the first stake into the ground at the desired location, and attach it to the tent guyline. To make a picket-stake line, tie an overhand loop in one end of a 16-inch length of parachute cord. Attach the p-cord to the first stake by threading the running end through the overhand loop and cinching it tight against the stake.
STEP 2 Drive a second stake— this will be the picket stake— into the ground 8 to 12 inches from the first stake so that it’s in a straight line with the guyline. Wrap the running end of the p-cord around the picket stake twice, then tie it off with two half hitches.
4 FIX A TIRED TENT POLE
It ranks among the most humiliating of outdoor snafus: When you pull the tent poles from the stuff sack, where they have been lovingly stored since portable CD players were all the rage, the pole sections fall to your feet like pick-up-sticks, the shock cord holding them together slack and limp. It’s always best to replace old shock cord as it starts to lose its elasticity, not when it is gone forever. In most cases, elastic bungee cord is threaded through the pole sections and held in place with a stopper knot that jams against a washer or some other stop inside each terminal pole section. A few tent models require a kit if the shock cord goes south, but most can be handled with nothing more than new bungee. First, remember to keep the pole sections in their original order throughout this process. Access the cord by prying off a pole tip. Remove the old cord. Tie an overhand knot in one end of the new cord. Thread the cord through the poles one section at a time, joining the sections together as you make progress. If the bungee bunches up while being pushed, cut a straight length of coat hanger wire, attach to the end of the bungee, and feed the wire through the poles. When finished, pull the bungee cord fairly tight, but leave some slack. Tie another stopper knot, but don’t cut off the excess yet. You may need to experiment with the cord length to get the tension right. You want enough to hold the poles together, but not so much that the cord is stretched too tightly when you decouple the sections.
5 USE GARBAGE BAGS AS SAND SPIKES
It’s always been a challenge to anchor a tent or tarp on beaches, river sandbars, and other places where tent stakes won’t hold. The solution: bag it. Fill garbage bags or empty stuff sacks with sand, tie a knot in the opening, then tie the tent’s stake loops and rain fly guylines to them. For high winds, burying the bags will provide a rock-solid stake point. And stuffing sand bags along the inside tent edge will help batten down the hatches.
6 TURN BACK EVERY TICK AND CHIGGER
It’s taken me decades of tinkering to perfect this system, but I’ve cut my number of tick and chigger bites by 90 percent or better with a tactical approach to applying bug dope and modifying clothing. The advent of roll-top and sponge-top insect repellents also helps keep the required dosage to a minimum. Here’s the drill. Start with the strategic placement of high-percentage DEET bug dope. I rarely use anything less than 30 percent, and when the chigger infestations are at their worst, I use 100-percent DEET without hesitation. The idea is not to slather your entire body with the strong stuff, but to minimize use by drawing hard chemical lines to turn back the insect hordes. Run a stripe of dope around each leg on the upper thighs, below the bottom edge of your underwear, and another one below the knee. Now lift up your shirt, pull the pants waistband down an inch or two, and apply another stripe of bug dope around your waist an inch above the top of where your pants ride. The idea is to prevent a tick and chigger recon squad from crawling up or down. Now tuck pant hems into socks and run a band of duct tape around the seam. Apply more DEET to boots, socks, and pants legs below the knees. Exposed areas around your neck need bug dope, as do wrists. A double stripe below and above the elbow will keep creepies from crawling up your arms. Designate a hat as your bug-dope-friendly brim. Apply dope to the crown. Last, run a stripe of repellent along the edge of the hat brim. This helps produce a vapor barrier of bug dope in front of your face, but keeps the chemicals out of your eyes.
7 FIX TORN MOSQUITO NETTING
Having a properly sealed mosquito net can spell the difference between a healthy safari and a bout of malaria— or at least, a good night’s sleep and one full of itches and welts.
For straight tears less than 2 inches long, thread a needle and stitch the rip closed. If you have extra netting in a repair kit, reinforce with a netting patch cut ½ inch larger than the tear. In the field, any makeshift thread will work: dental floss, fishing line, or even plant fibers. You can always pretty it up with nylon sewing thread back home. For jagged, Frankenstein rips large enough for bats to fly through, heavier lifting is required. First, pull the edges of the tear together and tape with masking tape (A). (Duct tape is too sticky.) Then tape a strip of paper over the tape to serve as extra backing (B). On the other side, brush on a layer of silicone-based repair adhesive (C). Give it two days to cure, then remove the paper backing. Dust the patch with body powder (D) to knock back the stickiness and prevent it from picking up dirt or sticking to the rest of the tent.
8 MAKE A BUG BLOTTER
Duct tape makes a fine insect blotter. Wrap a few strips around your hand and blot the bugs trapped inside the tent. Better than smashing them into the tent fabric.
9 SURVIVE A LIGHTNING STRIKE
There are lots of snappy sayings to help you remember lightning safety: When the thunder roars, get indoors! If you can see it, flee it! But what do you do when you’re caught outdoors with almost nowhere to hide? The National Outdoor Leadership Schools, or NOLS, and other experts, recommend the following.
IF YOU ARE CLOSE TO YOUR VEHICLE OR AN ENCLOSED STRUCTURE Get inside something— your car, a house, a barn. Open shelters such as picnic shelters provide little to no protection.
IF YOU ARE CAMPING Avoid open fields and ridge tops during seasons when thunderstorms are prevalent. Stay away from fence lines, metal and tall, isolated trees. Tents provide no protection. If you are in dangerous open terrain during a thunderstorm, leave the tent and assume the “lightning crunch” (described in the last paragraph).
IF YOU ARE IN OPEN COUNTRY Avoid the high ground and contact with dissimilar objects, such as water and land, boulders and land, or single trees and land. Head for ditches, gullies, or low ground. Spread out at least 50 feet apart and assume the “lightning crunch.”
IF YOU ARE ON THE WATER Head inside a boat cabin, which offers a safer environment. Stay off the radio unless it is an emergency. Drop anchor and get as low in the boat as possible. If you’re in a canoe on open water, get as low in the canoe as possible and as far as possible from any metal object. If shore only offers rocky crags and tall isolated trees, stay in the boat.
IF YOU CANNOT FIND SHELTER Some experts believe that the “lightning crunch” provides little to no protection for a direct or close strike, but at this point, some action is better than nothing. Stand on an insulated pad or bag of clothes. Do not stand on packs; the metal in frames and zippers could increase chances of a lightning strike.
Put your feet together and balance on the balls of your feet. Squat low, wrap your arms around your legs, tuck your head, close your eyes and cover your ears. Maintain the position until danger passes.
10 MAKE CONTACT WITH YOUR TOUCHSCREEN
Most of us bring along a smartphone on our camping trips. When it’s cold, however, the device is impossible to use with gloves, which block the transfer of electrical energy from your skin to the capacitive touchscreen. You can buy touchscreen-compatible gloves, outfitted with small, conductive fingertip dots. Or you can save 40 bucks and take pride in being a postmodern mountain man by sewing a few stitches of conductive thread to the tips of your own mitts. All you need is a pair of old-school gloves, a sewing needle, and a couple feet of conductive thread.
STEP 1 Thread a sewing needle with 18 inches of conductive thread. Double the thread, and tie an overhand knot in the end.
STEP 2 If possible, turn the glove finger inside out to start the stitching. (If your glove is too thick to turn it inside out, trim the excess thread as close as possible to the knot, and start from the outside.) Make 4 to 5 parallel stitches, keeping the threads as close as possible. You want enough exposed thread to conduct the electricity from your skin, but not so much as to make the active touchscreen dot too large. On the inside of the glove, create a half-inch bird’s nest of thread to help transfer the electric charge.
STEP 3 Tie the thread off by slipping the needle through the last two stitch loops and snugging down with a knot. Trim the thread with a 3-inch tail on the inside of the glove. This will serve as a kind of antenna to help pick up electricity. Turn the glove right-side-out and you are smartphone-app ready. Now you can text your pal about the bruiser buck headed his way. The one you could have shot had you not been playing Fruit Ninja.
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Camping is a great outdoor activity that anyone can enjoy. It gives you ample time to connect with you loved ones and with nature too. It gives those unique experiences that only nature can give. Plus there are no distractions to take away your attention. There are no texts messages or emails, nor internet. It’s just nature and you.
However for many of us who are used to technology which has automated most things, camping can be quite disheartening. Therefore thorough preparation is needed before stepping outdoors for camping. No need to worry much about that. Here are some 28 camping tricks that everyone can benefit from.
1. For better sleep bring in foam tiles. They provide a nice cushion and padding which makes it comfortable for you to sleep on.
2. Have a DIY lantern. Strapping a lamp into an empty jug of water will radiate much light to the rest of the tent. Your light issue at nigh is sorted out.
3. Pack your bread in a tin can. This will help in keeping it safe away from moisture. Plus it remains clean.
4. Learn and know which plants are poisonous. When looking for fresh herbs know which ones are the best for consumption or even touching. Some plants may look good but that doesn’t make them good to eat. Research on plants.
5. Use sand paper to help in lighting a match. Do this by adding sand paper on match box top to make it easy to light any match.
6. Carry your toilet paper holder or simply make one by using an empty coffee container. This will ensure that your tissue paper remains clean and dry.
7. For toothpaste, make your to go toothpaste by dabbing toothpaste on a clean paper plate. Let them dry and put them in a plastic bag and you have your on the toothpaste.
8. Use tic tac boxes to store your spices. This way you carry only the amount that you need. It’s less bulky and won’t consume much space.
9. Snuggle in a two person sleeping bag. This not only helps in using the available space in the tent but also a good way of keeping warm.
10. Hangout in a hammock. To sway in the breeze and lounge under tree shades. For those afraid of insects on the ground this is one way to relax without fear
11. Make single use pouches. These are to carry supplies such as lotions and ointments. They are less bulky and are easy to carry.
12. Make single serve coffee by using a dental floss and coffee filter or bring single serve coffee packs from a coffee store of your choice.
13. Make DIY candle sticks for a romantic evening by drilling hollows on taper candles and stacking them atop a craft dowel then stick them to the ground.
14. Have a DIY hand washing station by using an empty detergent bottle.
15. Use a pill bottle store a first aid kit. It makes it easy to carry. It is small and light and not bulky either.
16. Have premade pancake mix. Helps save on time and reduce the mess.
17. Have a DIY washing machine by using a plunger and a bucket.
18. Use an egg carton to store charcoal. This make it easy to carry and its not messy too.
19. Make pocket sized oil lamps. Use travel shampoo lamps to make the oil lamps.
20. To get flavor, use fresh herbs on charcoal. This helps in avoiding in creating messes when marinating.
21. For fun treats, toast star busts.
22. Make cinnamon rolls
23. Use biodegradable tape to mark your trail. This will help in case you can’t find your way out of the woods. Nobody wants to get lost.
24. Use cotton swabs for fire starters by dapping cotton swabs in wax.
25. Use freezer bottles. This is to keep the food cold. You can also melt the water for a drink.
26. Have an emergency fire kit by using empty Altoids tins, cardboard and wax.
27. Have camp fire crescent rolls and fill them with pizza toppings or Nutella to make them taste yummy.
28. Make a hanging pot rack using a belt and some hooks.
With all these camping tricks, make your next camping time the most memorable. No more excuses for not camping. Use these tricks to bond with nature the very best way.
Do you and your family have an interest in going on a camping adventure in Stone Mountain? If you happen to be, have you already made a decision in the places you would wish to go camping? If you are yet to decide on a Stone Mountain campground to camp at, you may want to think about finishing on it so soon. You will see that the camping activity is very popular particularly during the months of summer, so it would be very wise if you secure a reservation from your campground park as early as possible.
Just one more of the many reasons as to why you may think of making your camping bookings in advance is simply because a lot of Stone Mountain campgrounds allow their customers to handpick which camping areas they desire. However, you will also find a few that do not offer this type of freedom to their customers. In terms of enjoying a good camping location in Stone Mountain, you will learn that the sooner you get your bookings, the more camping locations you’ll be able to choose from.
When it comes to selecting the best camping location which may also be commonly referred to as a campsite, you will be asking yourself what you need to look for in one. The features we may be looking for may vary with every person, because we do have unique needs. It truly relies on your desires and requirements, as well as for your camping group. Although there could be some variances of what you will be in search of, you may want to take some of the aspects pointed out below into account, in picking the right Stone Mountain campground:
Among the first actions that you need to do is to study who you are going to camp with. If you are going to camp with young children, you need to think about ensuring your camping spot is a good range away from any kind of bodies of water or virtually any threatening hikes and trails. You may also note that many camping site parks consist of on location playgrounds and such. Should you be outdoor camping with children, it usually is a good idea to make sure to get a camping location which is based close to a playground or any other locations which are designed for young people.
Along with the basic safety of the people that you’ll be camping along with, preferences can also be something which needs to be thought about when choosing a Stone Mountain campground. If you love water and you regularly enjoy spending your time sailing, reef fishing or floating around, you might want to think about getting a camping location which is near to the water. However, if you would plan to spend some time hiking, you may need to try and get hold of a camping location which is found near the campground’s hiking and trails, and so on.
Size is another component that you might want to consider when finding a campground in Stone Mountain. When examining campgrounds, you will learn that different campsite parks own different sizes of campgrounds. Frequently, the bigger campgrounds are majorly designed for those with numerous tents or along with motor homes. Just before agreeing to hire a certain Stone Mountain campground, you should ensure that the site under consideration is big enough for every one of your camping members. This is significant because without having ample space may put a damper on your future camping journey.
All these elements are few of the countless aspects that you should keep in consideration when finding a campground in Stone Mountain for your future camping adventure. Also, you need to know that not all campground parks in Stone Mountain allow everyone to choose camping sites that you desire, but a big number of them do.
In conclusion, if you haven’t been camping before, you are in for a real treat. The right campground in Stone Mountain can provide you with an amazing vacation experience. In addition to getting in touch with nature, these campgrounds can help to promote family harmony and actually strengthen the marital bond. Camping is a communal experience which is meant to be shared with family and friends. Therefore, it’s the perfect opportunity to solidify the most important relationships in your life.