Tag Archive | "Wilderness Survival"

10 MANDATORY Backpacking Skills

Did you ever go on a backpacking trip which turned out to be a complete disaster, despite the fact that you carried along all the things you would need? Perhaps you brought matches, but weren’t able to get a fire to start anyway. To make sure you have an enjoyable and safe experience in the wilderness, you will need much more than just good gear. You have to know how some things are done, and here is a list to help you get started:

1. Learn how to start a fire. If you need to, practice on your own yard, but try to do so with a single match alone. Then, try it again when it’s raining.

2. Learn how to pitch tents. If this is done incorrectly, rain can enter and the wind could tear its seams. Tents need to be pitched very tight. Also, you have to be able to set tents up within just a couple of minutes.

3. Know how you can keep warm. Practice your camping skills in your own yard, to find out how you can block the wind and how eating foods filled with fat and wearing hats before going to bed can help you stay warm.

4. Learn how to cook over fires. This is not as simple as it sounds. The wind needs to be blocked; the pan needs to be covered; the fire needs to be kept concentrated and small. Practice a lot and set a timer. Doing things faster is always better in emergencies, and keep in mind that there is a possibility of your stove breaking.

5. Learn which plants are edible. Learning how cattails are identified, as well as several edible berries in the wild could turn your trip into a more enjoyable one, most of all if you end up losing all of your food when a bear comes along.

6. Know how you should walk. By knowing how you should pace yourself, as well as walk comfortably on rocky terrain, you can end up less tired; in fact, you could even save yourself from a twisted ankle.

7. Learn all about animals. Find out how you can tell if bears are stalking you and what to do in such a situation. If he makes a lot of noise, he probably just wants to scare you away.

8. Watch the sky. It would be helpful to know whether a storm is coming. Know the basics in weather prediction to ensure more safety.

9. Know simple first aid. An important thing you may want to know is how to recognize hypothermia symptoms and how to treat blisters.

10. Know how to navigate. Maps and compasses will not help if they aren’t used properly.

There is no need to turn into a wilderness survival expert in order to enjoy hiking trips, but it does help to learn something. Use these skills to learn something useful and new.

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3 Essential Tips for Backpacking with Children

Backpacking with kids could prove to be a real challenge. However, it would be a great way for children to learn more about the great outdoors, as well as develop responsibility and independence. Also, it is a good way to have some fun. Here are three essential tips that can help:

1. Get Them Interested.
If you force uninterested kids to go backpacking, they will resist, start problems, and simply ruin the entire trip for everyone. Therefore, you need to get them interested first. Several great outdoor movies might help. Search for movies with actors of the same general age. Then, suggest going backpacking to gauge their response.

If your children seem a bit too young for backpacking, though, you might want try camping out in your own backyard first. They can help pitch the tent and you can see how they will survive through that night. Do your best in making the experience as fun as possible for them.

2. Make the Kids Part of the Plans.
It is much better if the children are more involved with the entire process. Let them help you out in picking the hiking trails, but narrow down the options beforehand to more appropriate ones. Give them the chance to suggest which foods to pack, but (again) narrow down their meal options to those that would make sense on backpacking trips. Teach them how maps are used and how they can judge hiking distances by the day. They can also help you pack.

3. Give Them Certain Responsibilities.
Children who are of age can make fires or set up tents. Younger children can collect sticks that will eventually be burned or get their sleeping bags and pads ready for the night ahead. Give each child things they can actually handle and make sure you always tell them what a good job they are doing (provided they are doing so).

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How To Make Improvised Outdoor Survival Clothing

Perhaps you believe you don’t have any need for learning all about clothing for survival. Perhaps you already always go hiking with spare jackets in tow. Maybe you have no plans of ever going to the wilderness for a night because you’re more of a day person. Or maybe you always bring a lot of warm clothing pieces with you whenever you go backpacking.

Either way, thousands of people still die or come extremely close to death annually due to exposure. These people probably thought they went prepared. They probably did not expect that their clothes would get wet because they fell into in a stream; they probably did not think they would have to stay outdoors overnight; they probably did not think they would ever get lost for several days.

When I was coming back down from my hike on Mount Whitney, a couple of young men dressed in t-shirts were on their own ways up, with hopes of getting to the very top. They did not have any gear with them; there was not enough time left; yet they made it up there by the time it was sunset anyway. Naturally, they had no time to make the 11-mile hike back down to their vehicle. That night, the temperature was below freezing, so I bet they were utterly uncomfortable.

What kind of clothing could these men have brought with them for survival in that particular situation? One of the men had a seemingly light jacket with him. He may have taken off his t-shirt to use on his head since that is where most of our heat is lost. He could have filled up his jacket for insulation with the help of cattail seed heads fluff.

The essential principle here would be insulation. Jackets, pants, shirts or sweaters can be stuffed with bracken ferns, milkweed down, dry leaves, or practically anything that can create tons of dead air. It would be better to have two sandwiched layers. This may turn out to be quite itchy, but that is still better than freezing to death.cargo pants

In such a predicament, you may also make use of cattail plant flat leaves to make vests which could block out the rain and the wind. You can fill bread bags with silky plant fibers or milkweed down to create warm mittens that can be tied up at the wrists. Plastic bags filled with the same things can also be tied onto your own head to make a hat.

In general, take a look at what is available to you before you go out and kill animals to make use of their skin, or make grass skirts. Sleeping bags can double up as coats; all you have to do is wrap them around you. Mittens can be made from socks and snow pants can be made from garbage bags.

Garbage bags can even end up as raincoat. Otherwise, grab grass brunches and tie them together with string or cloth strips, then wrap this around your shoulders to repel light rain. Birch bark can be used to make rain hoods, too.

When in a desert situation, sun-hats can be made out of huge palm leaves. Just string them together and wrap them around your shoulders; this can prevent sunburn.

Animal skin will generally never have to be used when it comes to clothing for survival. There are also very low chances of shoes getting lost, so you won’t have to result to gluing tree bark onto your feet for hikes, with the help of pine sap. Still, if you know how improvising works, you can create a couple of simple pieces of clothing for survival that can help give you comfort and even save your life.

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Wilderness Survival: To Kill or Not To Kill?

First and foremost, lost backpackers hardly ever have to worry about food when it comes to survival cases. Avoiding injuries, getting found, shelter and water are all more important than food. However, when you really need to start looking for food, animals happen to be a great source for protein and calories. The best way to get food would be to keep a lookout for easy animals to kill, as well as easy ways in which this can be done.

Porcupine may be prickly, but being slow in movement, they happen to be a great survival food when in the wilderness. Anybody who can walk, as well as hold sticks at the same time, is capable of hunting down a porcupine. Porcupines used to be left in peace by men in the mountains, so that they could serve as an available supply of food in the wilderness for anybody who would get hungry and lost.

Porcupines aren’t easy to kill, though; you will have to repeatedly hit them very hard. To clean porcupines, simply roll them over with the help of your stick. You have to be careful of their quills, so cut them open from the bottom. Porcupines can be skinned from the bottom, as well, and this should be done before cooking them over a small fire. A bonus is that they actually taste very good!

Fish that can be seen within shallow water are usually much easier to catch by spearing them with sharpened sticks rather than making use of baits and hooks. One other way to catch them would be by waiting with ready hands over spots that they tend to swim by, and then capture them quickly when they come closer. Tons of tiny fish can be caught in the span of two hours by doing this.

You can also catch snakes by hand. Though, if they are venomous, using a stick would be advisable. When in streams and lakes, look under rocks for crayfish, which you can boil up like little lobsters. Some birds, like quail, usually place their nesting places on the ground and if you aim well, you can kill them with a rock. Bird eggs can be eaten, too.

Turtles, insects, clams, and grubs are other foods, which you can catch by hand. Finding food shouldn’t be about hunting or showing off your skills. There are easier ways. When it comes to wilderness survival, the primary goal would be simply to gather enough calories to live.

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