10 Survival Tips for Camping in the Rain

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WOW! We have had some great posts lately and Shawn Michaels’ is no exception. Check out his article on Survival Tips for Camping in the Rain. 10 Survival Tips for Camping in the Rain Camping Read More …

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Outdoor Optimism: 4 Ways To Minimize Your Impact In Nature This Summer

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As soon as temperatures begin to rise, your family’s carbon footprint might grow as well. Everything from road trips to outdoor hiking adventures can have a major impact on the environment. Unfortunately, even a small family can do quite a bit of damage in a short period of time. Here are four simple ways you and your loved ones can protect the environment while you are out enjoying nature.

Carefully Follow All Posted Rules

Almost every campground and trail will have its own unique rules depending on the nearby wildlife and safety hazards. One campground might allow you to have a fire pit while others will give you expensive tickets for any open flames. If you can’t find the area’s rules online, then you should contact the closest wildlife station to ask them for a list of rules.

Pack Out What You Pack In

One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect nearby flora and fauna while you are out in nature is to always leave the area cleaner than you found it. Very few people realize just how much of an impact they can have on the environment when they leave a few scraps of food or an old bottle of sun lotion in a campground. Those items can end up killing animals and spreading unusual diseases.

Invest In An Eco-Friendly Ride

Purchasing an eco-friendly vehicle from a local auto dealership, like Young Automotive Group, is going to reduce your environmental impact and potentially cut back on your expenses. Older cars that haven’t been maintained often leak dangerous fluids and use an incredible amount of fuel. Taking your next road trip in a certified used vehicle is going to give you peace of mind knowing that you will be impacting the local environment as little as possible.

Protect Water Sources

Most experts agree that campsites should be at least 200 feet from freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds. Those who camp too close to bodies of water run the risk of contaminating them. You should also avoid using local water sources for any hygiene practices such as bathing or brushing your teeth. Even relatively safe hygiene products can kill off species and damage habitats.

As a general rule, you always want to leave the area as untouched as possible whenever you are out enjoying nature. Seemingly innocuous actions such as lighting a cigarette or feeding a wild animal could end up causing a tremendous amount of damage.

About the Author: Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.

7 Lessons Learned from Trekking Across Mexico

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Here is another guest article this time from Chris Browning Founder of GunNewsDaily.com on 7 Life Lessons Learned from Trekking Across Mexico 7 Life Lessons I Learned From Trekking Across Mexico Mexico… For many Americans, Read More …

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Knots In the Backcountry

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Several years ago I had the opportunity to take an abbreviated wilderness survival course conducted by Emergency Response International (visit www.eri-online.com).  One component of their presentation was emergency shelters.  Key to emergency shelter building is the ability to tie a reliable knot.

First, the hunter needs to carry shelter material.  This can range from a poly tarp (with numerous grommets) or one of the many nylon tarps sold through high end retailers such as REI.  A tarp of 8’ by 10’ is adequate.   Secondly, 50 feet good quality parachute cord is needed to tie the shelter to a tree or pole.  Quality parachute cord has a breaking strength of 500 pounds and can be found at a surplus store or on-online.  (There is some junk para cord out there so be careful with your selection.)

An excellent resource for knot tying is an online web site animatedknots.com.  This site offers downloadable apps for the smart phone and categorizes knots by topic (such as scouting, boating and fishing.  The instructions are concise and easy to understand.

There are hundreds of knots that the hunter can choose from.  I recommend learning just a few knots that expand beyond tying your boots or the square knot.

A great knot to start with is the timber hitch.  Wikipedia claims that the timber hitch was first mentioned in a nautical source around 1620. 

“The timber hitch is a used to attach a single length of rope a cylindrical object. Secure while tension is maintained, it is easily untied even after heavy loading.”



The timber hitch is a friction knot.  The many wraps of rope or parachute cord hold firmly under tension.  It’s simple and easy to use and can be the anchor of a tarp.  Best of all, after being placed under tension it won’t become next to impossible to untie; we have all been there.

For complete instructions watch the video at animated knots:


6 Must Haves for your Next Mountain Backpacking Adventure

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Backpacking can be a real high when you are prepared for the trip. However, being halfway up a mountain is not a good time to wish you had packed a certain item. Being in the fresh open air of nature can raise your awareness level ten-fold. This is when you consider all of those items that you wish you had brought along. Here are some great ideas for staying well, comfortable and able to enjoy the trail even more.
Improving the Sights – Green Binoculars

Binoculars are a given on any backpacking adventure, but if you are practicing all the benefits of nature, why not choose a pair that cares about the environment? You can find sturdy binoculars that are free of lead and arsenic in the optical glass. Other items to look for are a non-chloride rubber body that is free of inks and dyes, a compact size, waterproof with fog-free lenses.
Preventing Altitude Sickness

While climbing up a mountain can sound awesome, the change in altitude can cause illness known as altitude sickness. Being in the fresh air does nothing to help when the inspiratory oxygen pressure diminishes. Symptoms can include headache, nausea, fever, dehydration and shortness of breath. Always pack ibuprofen and ask your family physician for recommended medications for high altitude backpacking.
E-Cigs & Vapes

Taking a break while on a trail calls for water, but what about a few of life’s other joys? Some cheap vape mods can satisfy that nicotine craving without causing you to become winded. The different flavors can also make that water taste great. There will also be no cigarette butts polluting Mother Nature and e-cigs and vape tips can easily be stored in a pocket.
Healthy Snacks

It is also hard to know what type of treats should be taken. Never pack sweets as they can make you tired. It is best to select snacks that do not have preservatives, additives or dyes. Homemade jerky, sunflower seeds or hemp hearts are full of protein and will give you that extra burst of energy needed.
How to Avoid Sore Feet

Blisters are a problem for most hikers. Understanding what causes blisters can help you to prevent a flare-up on your journey. The two largest contributors of blisters are heat and moisture. Always take a small bottle of rubbing alcohol and some cotton swabs with you. Before putting on your socks and boots, dab the alcohol between your toes, on heels and the soles of your feet. Rubbing alcohol keeps feet dry and prevents moisture from gathering. Also, give your feet a rest at least once a day, maybe on the lunch break. Remove your boots and socks and shake out any loose pebbles or dirt that has built up inside.
It is Going to Rain

Trying to plan your backpacking adventure around the weather is an impossible feat. If you are out for any length of time you are going to encounter some rain. Packing rain gear can get quite bulky and cumbersome. You always want to travel as light as possible. So is all of that rain gear really worth the bother? Fold up 4 or 5 large leaf trash bags and place inside of your jacket pocket. They will be close enough to access should a downpour occur, and the light weight will make them unnoticeable while hiking.
Mountain backpacking can be great fun, but the little annoyances can pile up in a hurry. Sore feet, a rainy day, and altitude sickness can ruin that great adventure. It only takes a little planning to head off these problems. And of course, making it to the top is only as worthy as your ability to sit, gaze and relax with a great pair of binoculars, a tasty treat and your favorite vape mod.

Is Your GPS Receiver Set-up Correctly?

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Setting up the GPS receiver is key to accurate navigation.  The phrase “match the map” is a big first step. 

Therefore, ensure that the GPS receiver’s default settings correspond with key factors on the map.


A selection of such factors includes:

  • Set the compass page to working in degrees true rather than magnetic.
  • Position format/cordin

    ate Systems (e.g., UTM Grid or Latitude and Longitude.)

  • Use the correct map datum.

     Note that every time the GPS receiver’s batteries are replaced, the electronic compass needs to be calibrated.  It’s a simple process that requires a quick check of the owner’s manual.

    Both the compass and GPS receiver must be set to complement each other.  For example, if the hiker has a basic base plate compass (one that cannot be adjusted for declination) then the GPS receiver’s “north reference” must be set to magnetic.  If the hiker has a compass adjusted for declination then the receiver should be set to true north.  If compass and GPS receiver don’t match then the bearing information may be as much as 10° to 20° off.  That is not good.

    I carry a Sylva Ranger style compass that can be adjusted for declination.  Before leaving home I visit www.magnetic-declination.com to verify the correct declination for my planned hunt location.  With that information I adjust the compass.  Yes, the magnetic needle still points to magnetic north but the rotating dial provides degree/azimuth information in degrees true.  

    Now my GPS and compass settings match my topographic map. 

    Hunting vs Buying Meat: The Traditional Hunter in the Modern World

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    This article was originally published by J. Townsend  on harvestingnature.com

    This whole thought process was derived from a conversation about the sustainability of hunting in modern times. Many people feel that hunting for food has outlived its use in modern America. Well, with the recent changes in our eating habits, as in searching out fast food instead of fresh food, hunting had been surpassed. There is still an emerging group which believe we should kick the fast food and revert to the traditional “Farm to Table” way of eating. I agree with much of this philosophy and wish to take it a step further. I am here to represent those who feel that a family can sustain a portion of their diet with game meat. I know many of you see this and think you would have to spend your every day hunting and fishing in order for that to work. Simply not true.

    In thousands of rural areas (and some non-rural areas) there are people who either are supplementing their diets partially or fully with game meat. I have to admit that when I was younger there were many things that I though you could only shoot or catch to obtain. It wasn’t until I got to college when I realized that you could buy catfish from the store. I had believed, due to my outdoor upbringing, that if you wanted catfish, you went to the river/lake/pond to catch it.

    I have also heard the argument that many people could not live a lifestyle where you sustain yourself on wild game. They say that they prefer to not see where their food originates. They cannot stand to eat food with bones in it or eyes staring at them. My only advice to these people is that they trust too much in the grocery store to get their food. Those same people have not seen the cramped dirty feed lots or the packed chutes of a slaughter-house. They could not handle the sights and many would revert to vegetarianism. Me, I prefer to get my meat from the wild.

    I offer up hunting and fishing as an alternative to the dependency upon store-bought meat to those people who don’t mind processing your own animals or eating a fish that looks up at you from the grill. Simply put, hunting and fishing is a healthier and more economical way of providing the necessary proteins that you need for your diet versus going to the store and buying a package of ground what-ya-ma-call-it.  I don’t wish to deceive anyone, it is certainly a lot more challenging to track and kill and animal then it is to go to the super market. But where is the independence in that?

    In the end, the total cost of hunting and fishing enough meat for a family of three will be substantially lower than the cost of buying a somewhat equal product at the store. You can sustain yourself by simply securing a selected amount of five different game animals (Deer, Elk, Turkey, Rabbit, and Wild Pig) and three different fish (Tuna, Catfish, and Trout). The animals you choose to hunt can be changed to suit your specific region. Let’s break it down.

    The USDA recommends the average person (children, women, and men) consume 5 – 7 ounces of protein a day broken down into 2-3 servings. So we will use is 6 ounces of protein a day for the average person. This gives us 2184 ounces of protein consumption for the entire year. Converting this to pounds will make it easier for our calculations. The average human should consume 136.5 lbs of protein a year.

    Here is an average breakdown of the yield from my selected game animals.



    Live  Weight

    Edible  Yield


    Deer (Buck)









    20lbs each




    3lbs each



    Wild Pig




    Yellow Tail Tuna

    30lbs each




    2lbs each




    5lbs each


    Total = 435lbs of meat

    435lbs of meat is enough to sustain three individuals for a period of about a year. As an alternative, if the choice to hunt an elk is not reasonable then you could exclude this from the equation. You would then have 85% of your total protein consumption for two people from game meat. The other 15% would include the consumption of other sources of protein such as eggs, nuts, and beans or the addition of another fish or game animal.  There is certainly room to play around with the figures. This model serves merely as a base line for the sake of debate.

    Deer and Elk would take the place of beef in your diet. Turkey and Rabbit would replace chicken. Wild Pork will substitute store-bought pork and hand caught fish would replace that fresh/frozen purchased or canned. Average prices for the store purchased meats will be combined with the total yields of wild game and fish.




    Edible  Yield

    Total Game Yield


    Deer (Buck)






    Store Bought Beef (Average price $4.71/pound) x 255lbs = $1201.00




    Edible  Yield

    Total Game Yield








    Store Bought Poultry (Average price $1.37/pound) x 40lbs = $54.80




    Edible  Yield

    Total  Game Yield


    Wild Pig



    Store Bought Pork (Average price $3.15/pound) x 90lbs = $283.50



    Edible  Yield

    Total  Game Yield


    Yellow Tail Tuna









    Store Bought Yellow Tail Tuna (Average price $18.00/pound) x 30lbs =  $540.00

    Store Bought Trout (Average price $6.50/pound) x 5lbs =  $32.50

    Store Bought Catfish (Average price $3.99/pound) x 15lbs =  $59.85

      Total: $ 632.35


    Total Store Bought Meat for one year for a household of three = $2171.65

    I know, you are thinking to yourself, that’s not that too bad for three people. Here is how we will figure the benefit of landing your own meat. This example works for me here in California. For others it may be cheaper or more expensive depending on where you live. There will still be a substantial difference in the totals.

    The total for all the necessary licenses and tags for the state of California equals $164.53. The cost of a deep-sea fishing expedition out of San Diego is $46.00. California hosts a random drawing for the Elk tags so I chose Washington for my Elk meat because the state allows an open purchase. In Washington, a Non-Resident Elk Tag is $497.00 and a Resident Elk Tag is $50.00. So that gives us a Grand Total of $260.00 or $707.00depending on how you play your cards. That is a savings of $1688.00/year on average.

    There are really only two variables present in the equation. If you do not have the necessary equipment then you would have to purchase such equipment prior to hunting or fishing. This would be an upfront cost which would diminish over time as you acquired the equipment. The second would be your success rate. This model is based upon a 100% success rate. Each year you would be hunting for your food for the following year. If you failed to meet the quota for a specific season then you could modify your plan to encompass other game animals or supplement the remainder of your diet with other sources of protein depending on the time of the year.

    The health benefits are certainly present. Game meat has been proven to be leaner and more beneficial to your body than domesticated livestock. The condition from which wild game is harvested is much cleaner, environmentally safer, and healthier than its domesticated counterparts. As an added bonus, the general worry about injected hormones, toxins, steroids, and additives are eliminated. What you harvest is safe for your body. Now your food is as organic and local as it gets. Not to mention, the pursuit of game requires some level of active participation which forces you to live a more involved lifestyle as you pursue your food.

    So, in the end, it is more sustainable, healthier, and more economical to hunt and fish for your meat versus purchasing them from the store. What are you waiting for? Grab you pack and get outside!

    The Lost Ways is a survival book that shows you how to survive using only methods that were tested and proven by our forefathers for centuries. The best way to survive the next major crisis is to look back at how people did things 150 years ago. This book is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread—like people did when there was no food—to building a traditional backyard smokehouse. Watch the video below:


    Source : harvestingnature.com


                          RELATED ARTICLES : 

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    Getting Accurate Compass Readings

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    I found these recommendations a while back when I was researching techniques for using a magnetic compass.  A small error when using a compass can result in a significant error in measurement on the ground.

    To obtain accurate readings when using a compass:

    • Ensure the compass has be adjusted for declination. 
    • Hold the compass level and steady so the needle swings freely.
    • Hold the compass about waist high in front of the body, except when using a compass with a sighting mirror or a sighting type compass.
    • Raise and lower eyes when taking a bearing, do not move your head. Always use the same eye when taking bearings.
    • Directly face object that is being measured.
    • Magnetic fields will give incorrect compass readings. Avoid taking readings near magnetic fields such as steel, iron (ferrous metals), vehicles, rebar, and clipboards. Even belt buckles, glasses, and rings can interfere with the compass reading.
    • Take bearing twice. 
    • Adjust for magnetic declination as appropriate.
    • Follow the direction of travel arrow, not the compass needle, when walking a bearing. Always follow the line indicated by the compass rather than relying on judgment as to the direction.
    • Use back bearings to ensure you are on track when navigating.

    ROM Pack – Review

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    Recently I have been learning more and more about multi-use items. Food Network’s Alton Brown decidedly is against any “unitasker” and I have to agree. This is what differentiates the ROM Pack from other normal backpacks Read More …

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    Keeping Yourself in Shape for Your Next Backpacking Trip

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    A new post by Lee.
    If you have a big backpacking trip planned for the near future, you definitely want to be in the kind of shape where you can enjoy it. You won’t have nearly as much fun if you’re huffing and puffing after the first mile. It doesn’t take training like Rocky to be ready for backpacking, as all you need to do is follow a few simple steps to keep yourself in good condition.
    Go on Walks, Runs, and Hikes

    The best way to train for a physical activity is to mimic that physical activity as closely as possible. For backpacking, your best option is going on hikes while wearing a backpack, since that’s exactly what you’ll be doing on your trip. Do this frequently enough in the weeks and months leading up to your trip, and you shouldn’t have any issues.

    You may not be in a situation where you can hike much, if at all, depending on where you live and the weather. If that’s the case, running and walking are both good alternatives, with running being better since you need to work harder. You can wear a backpack or substitute it with a weight vest so you still get the feeling of carrying weight.

    Stick to Healthy Eating Habits

    What you eat is a huge part of your overall health. The key to eating healthy is to make it part of your lifestyle, instead of looking at it as a diet. If you don’t currently have the best eating habits, start substituting healthier food choices one meal at a time. By changing your eating gradually instead of all at once, it’s easier to commit to the changes.

    As far as what you should eat, you should focus on natural foods, which means anything that comes from an animal or the ground. Healthy food choices include lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You can usually find the natural foods towards the outer edges of a supermarket, while the processed junk food will be concentrated in the center aisles.

    Work on Any Bad Habits

    If you’re smoking a pack a day or drinking heavily, it’s going to be nearly impossible to get in good shape for your backpacking trip. One different alternative to tobacco is vaping. You may find that getting a vape helps you cut back on cigarettes. The nice thing about vaping is you can try all kinds of different flavors. Online sites like the e cig juice page from Halocigs can give you a variety of many flavors you can check out.

    When it comes to drinking, alcohol isn’t an issue if you use it in moderation. If you find that your drinking is getting out of hand, you may want to commit to staying sober for a certain amount of time or at least cutting down on your alcohol intake.

    Get Enough Rest

    Make sure you don’t push yourself too hard to the point where you end up injured or burnt out before it’s time for your trip. Whenever you start a new workout routine, take it slow and gradually build up to higher frequencies and intensities. Get at least six to eight hours of sleep every night, as that’s when your body will dot the bulk of its recovering.

    If you start feeling very tired or sore, that’s a sign that it’s time to slow down. Take a couple days to let your body recover from everything. You may also want to do some lighter intensity work, such as yoga, on occasion. Remember that you want to be at your best for your trip.

    The sooner you start preparing for your backpacking trip, the better. In the leadup to your trip, try to get a workout in at least three or four days per week. Eat healthy, reduce those bad habits, and rest up so you’ll be ready to go when it’s trip time.

    Finding Remains in the Field

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    At a recent Search and Rescue (SAR) conference I sat through an excellent presentation by the state of Oregon’s medical examiner.

    She offered her suggestions regarding the discovery of human remains in the field.

    First, don’t move the remains or other items such as clothing, shoes and other personal effects.  You may have found a crime scene.

    Second, take a picture of the bone that is found.  A cell phone camera is fine.  Put a reference to determine size for the examiner.  For example, a ruler works best but the sole of your boot or a knife would help too. 

    Use your GPS to  record the geographic coordinates of the scene.

    Consider marking the location with flagging tape.

    Contact and forward the image to the local law enforcement authorities.

    The image below says it well.

    Fire and Ice: How To Prepare for Climbing Mount Rainier

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    Lee Flynn has a new post for us:
    Fire and Ice: How To Prepare for Climbing Mount Rainier
    Mount Rainier is one of the most iconic peaks in the United States. Rising 14,410 feet above sea level, this active volcano combines breathtaking beauty with unpredictable and occasionally life-threatening hazards. Summiting this unique mountain is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience, but it does take some special preparation.

    Focus on Fitness  

    To reach Mount Rainier’s summit, expect to climb a minimum of 9,000 feet in elevation while carrying at least 35 pounds of gear. The extensive glaciation means that it’s not a simple hike, either. You may have to use your hands to hoist yourself up or rely on crampons and other tools that may change the way you move. Start training early and focus on a general fitness plan that works all your major muscle groups. Include both short-term, intense cardiovascular exercises and endurance training.

    Learn the Skills

    Mount Rainier’s extensive glaciation means that snow and ice stick around all year, as do the hazards that accompany them. Make sure to practice climbing in those conditions. Avalanches are less common during the climbing season, which lasts from April to September, but they remain a risk all year. Learn to recognize and avoid avalanche-prone areas. Make sure you know ice climbing skills, such as how to self-arrest with an ice ax. Get basic training in first aid and rescue techniques so you can handle any problems that may arise and choose a route appropriate to your skill level.

    Pick Your Partners

    No solo climbers are allowed on Mount Rainier, and the National Parks Service recommends at least three to four people per party. First-time or less experienced climbers typically have the best chance of summiting when they hire a professional guide. If you create your own expedition, try to choose teammates whose skills balance each other out. The most experienced mountaineer should generally be the team leader.

    Know the Risks

    Volcanic activity and glaciation create unusual risks that aren’t found on many fourteeners in the United States. In addition to avalanche risk areas, learn to recognize unstable seracs, or ice cliffs, which can collapse and fall on climbers. Lower on the mountain, volcanic activity sometimes causes lahars, or debris flows, which can clog rivers and cause sudden and unexpected flooding. Mount Rainier also has notoriously unpredictable weather compared to many other mountains. Make sure to check weather reports and carry the right equipment to handle any likely weather conditions.

    Test Your Gear

    Never take unfamiliar gear on a major climb. Giving everything a trial run or two not only lets you identify any defective or ill-fitting equipment, but it also ensures that you know how to operate or assemble things. This can come in handy if you have to set up in the dark or in inclement weather. Make sure to try out any new technological equipment, too, such as testing solar chargers or familiarizing yourself with a vape box mod if you plan to use one on your climb.

    Planning Is Everything

    A detailed plan is the key to a successful summit. Make sure to create a realistic timeline for your climb. Tailor it to the slowest member of your team so no one feels rushed or exhausted. Plan around typical weather conditions as well. Climbing on glaciers during the afternoon can be grueling and unpleasant due to the warmth and the sun reflecting off of the snow. Most experienced climbers leave extremely early in the morning to maximize travel time while minimizing sun exposure. Stick to your plan no matter what to avoid getting stuck on the mountain in dangerous conditions. Remember that reaching the summit is only half of the journey, so don’t spend too much time relaxing or celebrating before turning around to hike back down.

    Mount Rainier’s unique geology and environment combine to create an exceptional climbing experience, but reaching the summit can be dangerous. Planning, training and preparation are the keys to a fun and successful climb.

    Paracord Carabineer Spool

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    This Paracord Carabineer Spool project that is very useful for outdoors-men of all types. It is just an way of carrying cordage in a way that is easily accessible. If you can get a section of PVC pipe around a carabiner (more on this latter) and zigzag spool 550 or tethering cord around it, you can […]

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    25 Unusual Lessons From Long-Term Camping

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    long term camping

    If you’ve ever gone long term camping, you’ll be nodding your head in agreement, and then will have plenty more observations to add to this list. The more camping and outdoor skills you have, the better. Just a few days ago, I was contacted by a man who is now homeless and plans on living in his car as well as a tent, when the weather is conducive.

    1. Snails can CEMENT themselves to nearly anything, and often they will do it in the least expected places.
    2. You MUST make peace with the giant spiders. They eat mosquitoes.
    3. Raccoons have no respect for personal property. They can taste pretty good, though!
    4. If you fall asleep in in the open, don’t be surprised if you wake up with wildlife curled up with you or on you. Of course the wildlife could range from a squirrel to an ant swarm.
    5. Nothing shiny is ever safe in the open from raccoons.
    6. Armadillos like to lick plastic and exposed toes.
    7. Make peace with skunks or your life will stink (literally).
    8. Always look where you’re taking a squat (answering nature’s call) at least three times before going. You’re pretty vulnerable in that position, so you want to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises.
    9. Make sure you know what bull thistle looks like. Sharp thorns but, surprisingly, quite edible.
    10. Don’t allow people to throw cigarettes in the latrines, if that’s what you’re using.
    11. Cedar smoke may be hard to live with, but mosquitoes are much harder to deal with. Burning cedar bark is a natural insect repellent.
    12. Don’t camp by still waters. If you do, you’ll only do it once. (See #11 above.)
    13. Clear well the area where you put your tent. Rocks, briars, and twigs don’t disappear just because you put a tarp over them. If your camping is truly long term, weeks or longer, every bit of gear you have needs to be treated with care. You may not have the money or opportunity to get it replaced.
    14. Racoons will chew through things they cannot open easily. It’s easier to appease the raccoon than to keep buying new things.
    15. Given time, mice and rats can chew through things you might think were rodent proof. Be on the lookout for telltale signs of their chewing.
    16. Shake your clothes and shoes well before putting them on.
    17. Wet tobacco makes fire ant stings stop hurting.
    18. You may not react to the first, second or 100th fire ant bite, but someday you will and get huge welts from them. Chigger bites are almost as bad.
    19. Don’t camp anywhere near fire ants and know what their mounds look like. You’d be surprised by how many problems can be avoided just be carefully selecting your campsite.
    20. No matter how awesome that spot in a valley looks, and no matter how much your significant other likes it, don’t camp there. Water ALWAYS goes to the valley.
    21. Do not attempt to burn American literature books. It won’t work. However, over time you’ll develop survival hacks that DO work, or you can just buy a book like this one from expert Creek Stewart.
    22. Raccoons can chew through sterilite containers. (Yes, raccoons again.)
    23. You cannot protect your valuables from raccoons unless you half bury a box in the ground and set a small boulder over it.
    24. Dont piss off blue jays. They remember and have no inhibitions in attacking you.
    25. ALWAYS, I repeat, ALWAYS check your shoes before putting them on.

    What do you have to add?

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    Hiking Boots For A Survivalist

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    Another great guest post from Tina Mancini from Delivering Customers. This time about Hiking Boots. Footwear, Are Hiking Boots The Best Choice Of A Survivalist? One of the main things you need to be able Read More …

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    Bushcraft and Primitive Skills With Joshua Kirk

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    Bushcraft and Primitive Skills Discussion With Joshua Kirk Richard McGrath “Finding Freedom” Audio in player below! Join Rich in player below as he talks about Bushcraft, primitive skills, and survival. Special guest is Joshua “Native” Kirk from the 4 Winds Survival School. From the young age of six Joshua was hunting game, setting traps, tanning … Continue reading Bushcraft and Primitive Skills With Joshua Kirk

    The post Bushcraft and Primitive Skills With Joshua Kirk appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

    Can You Make Me a Student Survival Kit?

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    Can You Make Me a Student Survival Kit? We got a reader question asking us if we could make a low-budget student survival kit. If you yourself are a student or know one and would like to give him or her a survival kit that would be excellent for wilderness survival but that doesn’t break …

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    The post Can You Make Me a Student Survival Kit? appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

    SurvivalHax.com Self Inflating Mattress

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    Over many years and after having many friends recommending them, I have thought about getting a self inflating mattress. Thankfully, the folks at SurvivalHax.com were gracious enough to let me review theirs. To begin with, Read More …

    The post SurvivalHax.com Self Inflating Mattress appeared first on Use Your Instincts To Survive.

    Colter Functional Bandana

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    It was a pleasure to receive two new versatile pieces of everyday carry from Colter USA. Their bandana is 100% cotton and the two that I have are Know Your Knots and Stargazer. Regardless if you know Read More …

    The post Colter Functional Bandana appeared first on Use Your Instincts To Survive.

    The Many Benefits of Finding Bodies of Water in Survival Situations

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    The Many Benefits of Finding Bodies of Water in Survival Situations Survival skills in the traditional sense are great to know, whether or not you’re planning on bugging out. If you are bugging out, then they’re necessary to learn, as it’s unlikely you’ll have any success bugging out if you don’t know a thing about …

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    The post The Many Benefits of Finding Bodies of Water in Survival Situations appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

    The Basics of Thermoregulation and Why It’s Important to Your Survival

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    The Basics of Thermoregulation and Why It’s Important to Your Survival You know that after water and food, finding or creating a great shelter is the next step you have to being as safe as you can be in the wilderness. But why? What does it all boil down to? Thermoregulation, or the regulation of …

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    The post The Basics of Thermoregulation and Why It’s Important to Your Survival appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

    Top 10 Ways to Use A Knife For Survival – Guest Post

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    In an effort to get you more and varied information, we have guest posts. This time we bring you Brian Cox from StayHunting.com. — Top 10 Ways to Use a Knife for Survival Situations One Read More …

    The post Top 10 Ways to Use A Knife For Survival – Guest Post appeared first on Use Your Instincts To Survive.

    Trapping in the Wild

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    Trapping in the Wild! Josh “7 P’s of survival” This show in player below! Listen in as we talk about all things trapping! Brian King is with us to explore the entire spectrum of trapping. We cover training, gear, selection of grounds, reading sign, lure and how to make it. Also discussed, setting a line, harvesting … Continue reading Trapping in the Wild

    The post Trapping in the Wild appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

    How To Start a Fire After It Has Rained

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    How To Start a Fire After It Has Rained While it may seem very difficult to get a fire started after it’s rained, if you don’t live in an incredibly humid place, learning the skill of getting a fire running while conditions are still pretty wet is actually not too bad. Being able to light …

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    The post How To Start a Fire After It Has Rained appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

    How to Whittle – Guest Post

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    In an effort to continually bring you great information not just from myself, I am pleased to have Nathan Dobson from Best Wood Carving Tools bring us a guest post. Check him out on Twitter as well @MasterCarving — How To Whittle There are several styles of wood carving; the most popular is whittling. This … Continue reading

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    How You Can Start A Fire From A Portable Cell Phone Power Bank

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    How You Can Start A Fire From A Portable Cell Phone Power Bank

    We have all seen videos around the internet on starting a fire with steel wool and a cell phone battery. That is  a great way to start a fire in an emergency. The issue is that many phones now have sealed batteries. So I wondered Can Start A Fire From A Portable Cell Phone Power Bank? With phones dying so fast many people carry these portable charging devices. 


    How You Can Start A Fire From A Portable Cell Phone Power Bank

    How You Can Start A Fire From A Portable Cell Phone Power Bank

    The Parts

    For this build, I bought the cheapest power bank I could get. It was $4.88 for a 2,000 mah battery bank. Which should, it states, provide you with one charge. For our needs, this will be plenty of juice. The usb battery pack came with a tiny usb cable. also we will need steel and tinder. I used some charcloth and a cotton ball. Note do not get the steel wool with soap in it. It was all I could find and it

    Note do not get the steel wool with soap in it. It was all I could find and it doesn’t work well. I had to wash it off and let it dry all day. 

    We will need to cut the end that plugs into your phone all of the mobile battery pack. Mine only had to wires. Strip off a little of the wire to expose the bare wires. 

    Starting The Fire

    I tried several times with just the cotton ball with no luck. I added a piece of charcloth under the steel wool and got it to work right away. Once the charcloth caught I started slowly blowing it to get it to burst into flames. It took just a few minutes to work. 

    Can Start A Fire From A Portable Cell Phone Power Bank? The answer is yes. Save your phone and just 


    Want to hear yourself on the podcast? Call in with your questions at (615) 657-9104 and leave us a voice mail. 

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    The post How You Can Start A Fire From A Portable Cell Phone Power Bank appeared first on Survival Punk.

    Outdoor living made a little easier

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    The Solo Stove Bonfire makes the perfect centre piece during your outdoors adventures

    The Solo Stove Bonfire makes the perfect centrepiece for your outdoors adventures


    ampfires are unpredictable and some camping stoves arw bulky and let’s face it, impractical. Whether you want to heat some porridge to start your day and or keep warm whilst you star gaze, a reliable fire would be an asset.

    A new Kickstarter company might have the answer.’Engineered for adventure’: Solo Stove is offering a new kind of off-grid fire pit and stove range, which pushes the limits of combustion airflow efficiency.

    The stove only uses the highest-grade 304 stainless steel in the design and it’s engineered to maximize the airflow of the burning process. So basically, it’s pretty powerful for such a compact, easy to carry around essential. Starting from $69.99, the stove comes in a three types. The lite stove good for an intimate setting of 1-2 people and the titan model, one for a bigger get-together of 2-4 and finally the campfire version for 4+.

    A look inside the Lite Solo Stove

    A look inside the Lite Solo Stove

    There’s no heavy battery needed either. Simply pop a few small twigs and logs in the bottom and the stove will burn through them to give you authentic flames, painting a smooth ambiance that will help make the most magical memories with nature and your loved ones. The possibilities are illustrated beautifully in their short video. The clean up is easy too, just wait for the stove to cool down, shake the remaining ash out of it and back into the bag it goes. When you’re ready to move, it slips into a drawstring bag which you can connect to your rucksack or carry yourself.

    The company is also creating a bonfire, using the same technology to build a bigger experience which can be used in your own backyard. Hayley Perry, a spokesperson from the company explained: “As a wood burning fire pit, the Bonfire runs completely on biomass and is the most eco-friendly fire pit on the market.” They’re offering a 10% commission on every $1 that you contribute, so if you’re interested, click here to donate. Pre-orders will be available on their website in October with the official release happening in early December.

    The post Outdoor living made a little easier appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

    Sunjack 14w + 8000mAh Battery Portable Solar Charger

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    SunJack 14w + 8000mAh Battery Portable Solar Charger Product Review Some of the latest trends we are seeing today is solar powered gadgets. While this is an old technology, harvesting the sun as a renewable resource is on a steep incline when it comes to personal use. By using today’s science and technology, this is where … Continue reading

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    Sleeping in the Wilderness

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    Camping or spending time in the wilderness is a lot of fun, but it’s not much fun if you can’t fall asleep. It’s always difficult when you’re dealing with a hard ground and a sleeping bag that’s ill equipped for the weather. That’s why, if you want to sleep well in the wild, you have to be prepared.

    Additionally, you’ll want to understand the different stages of sleep. When you’re getting good sleep, you spend the majority of it in REM, which stands for rapid eye movement, an essential part of allowing your brain to recover after being awake all day. The trouble is that it’s difficult to get to this stage of sleep because disturbances like snoring, sounds in the background, and uncomfortable sleeping positions make reaching REM difficult.

    When you’re camping, hunting, or trying to survive in the wild, you’re often faced with treacherous sleeping conditions that make it virtually impossible to achieve REM. Because you want to be on your best game, you need a good night’s rest in the wild.

    Here are some suggestions on sleeping in the wilderness:

    Use a Tent

    Only go without shelter if you absolutely must. A tent is your first line of defense against sleep disruptions such as inclement weather, insects, and wildlife. Purchase a tent that’s just the right size for your needs. Tents are fairly compact and easy to carry, even if they add a little weight to your survival pack. In the end, you’ll be grateful for the protection.

    Get the Right Bedding

    You’ll also be much more comfortable if you have the right bedding. An inflatable pillow is always a good option, since it’s easy to pack and will support your head. However, be sure to get a pillow that dips in the center for optimum head support.

    Furthermore, make sure your sleeping bag is conditioned for the elements. Sleeping bags are rated by degrees. It’s best to purchase a bag that’s guaranteed for sub zero temperatures, but one that’s also light enough to carry in your hiking pack.

    Buy a Comfortable Pad or Mattress

    Thick pads will keep you from feeling every rock and pine cone as you sleep. A thick pad can be difficult to carry, however, since it takes up a lot of room. At the very least, use a thin foam pad that will offer some protection from the ground beneath.

    You might also consider an inflatable mattress. It won’t take up much room before your trip, and it’s easy to blow up once you get there. If you don’t want to bring along an air pump, invest in a self-inflating mattress.

    Control Noise

    Obviously, you can’t make owls stop hooting or keep squirrels from rustling tree branches, but you can mask these noises. Use a battery operated white noise machine to keep things peaceful inside the tent. Soft music can also help.

    If you don’t have a noise machine or music player, then use a natural noise filter like the sound of a creek or a river. When you set up camp near running water, you’ll have a very difficult time hearing anything else, which will promote a great night’s sleep

    The post Sleeping in the Wilderness appeared first on American Preppers Network.

    15 Ways to Make Camping With Kids Easier Than You Think

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    15 Ways to Make Camping With Kids Easier Than You Think via The Survival Mom

    We don’t believe in waiting until our kids are “old enough” to camp.

    My first child was 6 months old when we set up the tent in the back yard and spent the night. My second child was 10 months old when we managed to pick the hottest weekend of the entire year to go to a campground. And my youngest was a co-sleeping, nursing infant when we packed her off to the campground with her siblings.

    Camping with kids is not easy. But it’s also fun and probably not as hard as most people think. Camping is a sure-fire way to find quality family time. It’s a chance to really put your skills to the test, like fire starting and plant identification, and teach those skills to your kids. And it can be a chance for character-building, too, as you solve problems together, engage in campsite diplomacy, and make do with what you have with you.

    Anyway, I’ve learned a few things over the last decade of tent camping with children. Maybe my trial and error method can give you a head start with your learning curve.

        • Use disposable everything!  Even if you use cloth diapers, washcloths, and real plates at home, camping with kids is the time to go disposable. Pack paper towels, disposable diapers, plastic grocery sacks (for trash or wet clothes), and paper plates with plastic utensils. You’ll have enough to do without washing extra camp dishes or trying to haul home extra laundry.
        • Pack extra clothes. Pack even more clothes per child than you think you’ll need. If you do this camping thing right, they’ll need them!
        • Keep a change of shoes and clothes in the car. Reserve at least an extra pair of shoes and a full change of clothes for each member of the family in your vehicle. More than once, we’ve had the unexpected rain storm, or discovered a new leak in our tent. If nothing else happens, at least you’ll have clean clothes for the ride home. And you avoid a major car cleaning chore after your adventure, too!
        • Familiarize your children with your tent ahead of time. Each year before the first camping trip, we set up the tents in the front yard to play in them, or even have at least one nap time in the tents. If you’re planning to use a Pack N Play for an infant or toddler, make sure they’re used to sleeping in it, too.
        • Do a backyard trial run. If it’s the first time camping for your family, or for the newest famiy members, consider “camping” in your own backyard for a night or two before hitting the actual campground. This will give you an even better idea of what to pack and plan for.
        • Plan familiar foods. Camping with kids is probably not the time to try that fancy 17-ingredient recipe. Stick with hot dogs and hamburgers or something equally easy. If you’d like to expand your camping menu, try to add just 1 new recipe each trip.
        • Go with a group. If you can, coordinate your camping experience with another family, or several! We’ve found that having lots of adults around makes it very easy to keep track of all the kids, share meal responsibility, and even give each mom and dad a bit of time together.  For example, each family could take a meal to cook and host for the entire group. Camping with a group also helps to keep the kids occupied—they have friends to go bike riding or exploring together.
        • Pack a battery-powered fan. If you choose to ignore all the rest of the list, at least pack a fan! Not only will it help keep the hot summer air moving, it can also help mask some unfamiliar night noises. A better nights’ sleep will make all your day time experiences much more pleasant.
        • Give them a gift– to use while camping. Depending on your child’s maturity level, consider giving them a tool to use while camping. Even a younger child could probably handle a very small pocket knife. Older children could learn to use fire-starters, tent peg mallets, or even hatchets. And if they own it, they’re much more excited about using it to help out.
        • Establish clear rules around the fire. This is the one area where we are very strict. No running around the fire. No lighting sticks on fire and waving them. And have a containment plan for any mobile infants or toddlers. To date, we’ve never had any serious fire-related injuries, and we plan to keep it that way.
        • Have a wide-ranging first aid kit. We use a plastic tackle box as our camp first aid kit. If you un-package items, you can easily fit everything you need for burns, bug bites, scrapes, upset tummies, and allergies. Placing items in zip top baggies will keep them organized and water proof.
        • Don’t do everything. Don’t send the kids off to play while you set up the tent and start the dinner fire. Give everyone a task, such as holding tent poles, or collecting a certain size stick. They won’t learn unless they’re involved, and in the long run, your job gets easier. Just imagine 5 years from now, sitting in your camp chair while the kids set up and get dinner on the fire.  
        • Let the kids get dirty and give them the freedom to explore.  Camping puts you directly in contact with nature, and nature is messy. If the kids are sweaty and muddy at the end of the day, you’ve probably done things right.
        • Teach respect for others campers. Camping etiquette means going around, not through, someone else’s campsite. It also means being aware when riding bikes or playing catch in the road and observing quiet hours at night. And when you’re by the water, be aware of people fishing.
        • Don’t be afraid to pack up early. Last summer, there was a severe line of thunderstorms moving in on our last night. It was just me and 3 kids, so I made the decision to pack it up early and head home. Good thing, because we had severe weather all night long—one of the worst storm systems of the season. You don’t have to prove anything—there’s always next time.

    Camping teaches kids survival skills in a fun way. It builds their confidence as they realize how much they know and can do. It gets them away from screens and in touch with nature. And it creates family bonds and life-long memories.

    Camping in general gets easier with experience. People give all sorts of excuses why they can’t take kids camping.   “Oh, I’d love to take my kids camping, but not while they’re in diapers!”  But if not now, when? What if you find yourself “camping” someday after an unexpected event? You’ll be glad you practiced now!  Besides, it’s rewarding to hear your kids telling their friends, “We had the BEST time ever camping!”

    15 Ways to Make Camping With Kids Easier Than You Think via The Survival Mom


    Best Altimeter (ABC) Watches For Hiking and Outdoors in 2016

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    If you are an avid outdoorsman, backpacker, hiker or hunter, then you know that there are a few pieces of gear you should have in your arsenal at all times.  There are basics like a knife and an emergency radio, but a compass is one of the most basic items you should always have in your arsenal.

    What if you could combine a compass with both an altimeter (to detect your altitude) and a barometer (to measure the air pressure around you at a given altitude) and have it all on your wrist in one small package?  That’s what’s happened in the last 30 years with the altimeter watch.  There have been lots of technological advances, so picking the best altimeter watch for your needs  might be confusing.

    We’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you and have broken down our favorite picks for the best ABC watch.  These watches have become known as “ABC watches” (altimeter/barometer/compass) and as technology advances in all areas of outdoor gear, they are becoming more popular for everyone that enjoys the outdoor/hiking/hunting/camping lifestyle.  All of our favorites include the ability to measure altitude, barometric pressure and include a compass to help you accurately judge your true direction at all times.  They are also becoming more modern looking, providing a look that will pass for a watch you can wear everyday.

    Below you will also find all the details including a buyer’s guide that you should explore before buying an altimeter/ABC watch.  We include a comparison chart of our top 10 picks, details on each watch, as well as a link to user reviews on Amazon.com where you can see what others have to say about the product.  If you feel like we missed one, please drop a line in the comments section and let us know!

    Comparison Chart and Table:

    Watch Brand: Battery Life (Without GPS): Weight: GPS: Water Resistance:
    Garmin Fenix 3 with HRM 6 Weeks 2.9 oz. Yes 100 Meters
    Suunto Core 12 Months 2.2 oz. No 100 Feet
    Garmin Fenix 2 5 Weeks 3.2 oz. Yes 50 Meters
    Suunto Ambit 3 30 Days 3.2 oz. Yes 50 Meters
    Casio Pro Stainless 5 Months 4 oz. No 200 Meters
    Casio Pathfinder Stainless 5 Months 3.9 oz. No 100 Meters
    Casio Pro Trek Black Sport 7 Months 6.4 oz. No 100 Meters
    Casio Pro Trek Digital Sport 9 Months 2.3 oz. No 100 Meters
    Suunto Traverse GPS 14 Days 2.8 oz. Yes 100 Meters
    Garmin Fenix Hiking Watch 6 Weeks 2.9 oz. Yes 50 Meters

    Table of Contents:

    What Is an ABC Watch?

    As stated earlier, the “ABC” stands for altimeter, barometer and compass.  Watches in this category offer all three of these components included with your timepiece.  Many of these watches are digital and can use either a lithium battery or operate on solar power.

    The first commercially available ABC watches were offered by Casio in 1989.  This early form of the ABC watch was a digital watch that offered an Electric Barometer, Altimeter and Bathometer.  This was an early iteration and is a far cry from some of the more technologically advanced models on the market today.

    Are All Altimeter Watches considered ABC watches?

    The short answer is no.  You can find watches that have an Altimeter & Barometer but no compass.  Whether this is important to you depends on your use.  Something like the Garmin Forerunner 910XT is a great choice if you are just using it for running or biking where there are elevation changes.

    Then there are some people who’d prefer to not rely on a digital compass.  If you are one of those individuals and you know you NEED a compass, we’d still recommend buying a watch with a digital compass anyways.  The battery power required is really no different to have a compass and non-compass model and you can always use the digital version on your watch as a backup.

    ABC Watch Construction & Components:

    Man Hiking with Altimeter WatchAltimeter:  One of the top features of hikers and mountain climbers is the integration of an Altimeter in with their watch.  Altimeters are used primarily in airplanes to judge the given altitude of what elevation you are at.  Altimeters use atmospheric pressure as the method to judge your altitude both up or down in elevation.  Altimeters measure the air pressure of any given location to calculate your approximate altitude.  It’s important that you look at the instructions when setting the appropriate starting point on your watch.  It’s recommended that if you are primarily using your watch for elevation changes, that you set your base level at sea level.  From that starting point, the Altimeter will measure changes in altitude depending on how you hike.

    Barometer:  A Barometer measures Barometric Pressure which is otherwise known as Atmoshperic Pressure.  It is also defined as force per unit area exerted against a surface by the air weight above that surface.  This pressure is measured by the Barometer and there is a direct correlation between the altitude of your location as well as the air pressure of that location.  The easiest way to explain this is that the higher you go, the thinner the air gets due to the air pressure getting lower.  This is why you get winded at extremely high elevations, and this is what your watch is measuring.  It’s also been known that Barometric pressure readings can be helpful in determining if there is a storm on the horizon.  If your pressure suddenly drops, you’ll know that mother nature has something brewing and it might be time to consider seeking shelter.

    Compass:  This part is pretty self explanatory.  Your ABC watch will come equipped with a compass making it the ultimate outdoor companion for your next mountain climbing or hiking trip.

    Construction:  Usually ABC watches are geared more towards the outdoor crowd, so they are typically more rugged in construction and can withstand a beating.  They make these watches to withstand the rigors of hiking, mountain climbing, mountain biking and a variety of other outdoor activities.

    How Do Altimeter Watches Work?

    We will try and keep this simple.  Your ABC watch measures current absolute pressure and mean sea level pressure.  There is a relationship between the two which is why it’s important to set a baseline on your ABC watch to ensure proper readings.  This is why you should always calibrate your watch for a set altitude and recalibrate it frequently to ensure the most accurate read.

    Casio breaks it out into pretty simple steps in this article here and we have summarized them for you below:

    1. Your altimeter will use a pressure sensor to measure the current air pressure.
    2. Measured air pressure then provides an estimated value based on the altitude.
    3. The watch is preset to convert preset pressure values into altitude readings.
    4. Air pressure and temperatures become lower as altitude increases.
    5. Altitude is then measured based on the lower air pressure, which in turn properly judges your altitude.

    Suunto (one of our favorite ABC watch manufacturers) does a great job showing in simplistic form, exactly how their altimeter, barometer and compass watches work in the video below.

    A Buyer’s Guide: 9 Things to Consider:

    There are a few things you should consider before making a purchase.  Altimeter watches generally aren’t cheap like your basic Timex Weekender (which we love for a simple, minimalist every day watch), which means that you should explore the details before spending your hard earned cash.

    1. How do you plan to use your Altimeter Watch?

    This is probably in our opinion, the most important question.  We relate this decision to someone trying to decide on a fixed blade knife versus a folding pocket knife.  Both have different uses and needs.  You should treat your considerations for finding the best altimeter watch in the same fashion.  Someone that is going to head out for the occasional hike on the weekends is going to have a different needs than someone who is a competitive rock climber or marathon runner.  Marathon runners are going to be interested in finding an altimeter watch that’s lightweight, weatherproof and has a heart rate monitor.  Rock climbers will be looking for a minimalist design that’s light and extremely durable.

    They will need something that won’t impede their climbing efforts.  This is when things like construction, durability and weight all come into play.  If you plan on using your watch for the occasional hike, these things become far less important and looking at a model with a few less features can save you money in the long run.

    2. How Accurate are the Altitude/Barometer Readings?

    Walking a Trail with an Altimeter WatchThis is an important question and each model is different.  The models in our top 10 comparison guide all have gotten good user reviews when it comes to the varying levels of accuracy.  We would suggest that you stick with one of the larger known manufacturers like Suunto, Garmin, or Casio.

    These manufacturers have the market cornered on these products and have spent a considerable amount of resources to ensure that their products provide some of the most accurate readings on the market.  You will find that accuracy readings also depend on how frequently you calibrate your watch.

    3. Are Digital Compass Readings Accurate and How Do They Work?

    First let’s talk about how they work.  Digital compasses are based on magnetic sensor technology that can electronically sense the difference in the earth’s magnetic field.  There can be some variations based on true north and magnetic north as a result, but they are generally just as accurate as a non-digital compass.

    As technology improves, so do digital compass readings.  Similar to the Altitude and Barometer ratings, most major manufacturers have spent time making sure that they have refined the accuracy readings of the compass inside each watch.

    4. Battery Power and Longevity:

    This is an important question.  An altimeter watch with a GPS can cause you headaches if you leave the GPS on the entire time that you are out hiking.  That’s going to cut your battery life down to 8 hours or less on some models.  This is no big deal for a weekend or day hiker, but for someone running a marathon or marathon relay, this can be a make or break feature so make sure to do your research.

    You want to know how the watch is powered and how long it lasts with all features on full use at all times, especially if your watch has a GPS feature.

    5. Can You Wear an ABC Watch Everyday, and are they Stylish?

    In one word:  Absolutely.  While they may not be practical for those working in a suit and tie environment, many ABC watches are perfectly acceptable in a smart casual or business casual work environment.  The primary thing you will need to look out for is watch size.

    Some ABC watches are a little on the “beefier” side and you might have a slight problem fitting it under the cuff of your dress shirt.  The good news is that many manufacturers like Suunto have gone above and beyond in making sure their watches are stylish enough to use in just about any circumstance.

    If we had to recommend one model that you can wear everyday, the Suunto Core wins this battle hands down as long as GPS and a Heart Rate Monitor aren’t important to you.

    Best ABC Watch Evaluation Tool

    Pro Tip: Use freeware like Google Earth to find your starting elevation and calibrate your ABC Watch.

    6. Calibration Frequency – How Often & How to Do it:

    It’s always good to reset your baselines when you are going someplace new, but like most of the questions we’ve asked, this factor is going to be pretty dependent on each individual.  It really is going to depend on the person and how they plan to use the watch.

    If you are someone that gets outdoors frequently, there’s no harm in adjusting your starting reference altitude each time you plan on going somewhere that the elevation changes.

    You can use free technology like Google Earth to find pretty accurate base readings for just about every elevation and then adjust as needed.  For someone that doesn’t go out daily or weekly, it may not be as important to calibrate your watch regularly.

    We mention Google earth as a good resource because it’s free.  You can check out the link here for a desktop version of Google Earth.  If you are on the go, Wikipedia is also a great resource as it has the elevation readings of most locations and the database administrators do a pretty good job of keeping the information up to date.

    We would still recommend that you do so each time you know that you are going to be heading somewhere where there are elevation changes.

    7. Do you need a GPS with your ABC Watch?

    This question will really depend on what you intend to do when you buy your watch as covered earlier.  This is a critical buying decision.  Finding out after the fact that you wish you’d gotten a watch with a GPS and didn’t is a 250$+ waste of money.

    Figure out what you need before you buy it and make your decision.  This is a feature that not everyone wants, but most hikers appreciate once they’ve experienced.

    8. Do you need a Heart Rate Monitor?

    A HRM as a feature is a no-brainer if you are training for a triathlon or if you are an aggressive mountain biker.  It becomes less important for someone that’s only outdoor activity is kayak fishing,  unless you are someone that just actively likes to monitor their heart rate for fitness reasons.

    This feature is definitely a nice to  have, but not a must have for folks that like to hunt or are outdoors on the weekend as a casual activity.  The one benefit of having a HRM installed is the added versatility you gain with everyday wear.

    9. What Are the Best ABC Watch Makers Today?

    This is a subjective question and will really depend on each individual.  We prefer the bigger manufacturers (in no particular order) like Suunto, Garmin, Casio and Pyle.

    We’d recommend sticking to one of the larger manufacturers that have been in the ABC watch game for a while.  These models are preferred by outdoor enthusiasts, runners and even people in the US Military.  If it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for you.

    Altimeter Watch Reviews – Our 10 Favorites:

    Let’s break down our favorites.  Below you will find our top picks along with the reasons why they made our list.  If you feel like there’s one that we’ve forgotten that is on your list of favorites, please drop us a line in the comments section and let us know!

    Garmin Fenix 3:

    Garmin Fenix 3The Garmin Fenix 3 is our top pick for just about any outdoor activity.  It has everything  you need and is one of the top selling models on the market today.  It comes equipped with the following features in one big package:

    • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
    • Heart Rate Monitor (Optional)
    • GPS
    • Water Rated Up to 100 Meters
    • Wireless Connection making calibration easy

    The battery life on the Fenix 3 is also outstanding.  It’s rated for up to 20 hours with the GPS activated and can last up to six weeks before needing a recharge when it’s in watch mode.   It also is one of the more stylish watches on the list and can be easily pulled off in a business casual work environment.  It’s a favorite for triathletes, hikers, runners and anyone that engages in outdoor activities, including hunters.

    It also has a few fitness features when you purchase the model that has an HRM which makes it even more versatile.  It’s also incredibly light weight at only 2.9 ounces which is lighter than just about every watch in our top 10 list.  If you can afford the price tag, this is our top choice for the money.  It’s the best ABC watch you can buy from a cost to technology perspective.  We like the Garmin Fenix 3 for every outdoor activity possible – from hunters enjoying the latest technological advances in binoculars, to runners training for a marathon.

    Suunto Core:

    Suunto CoreThe Suunto Core is our favorite that you can buy if you are on a budget.  There are several different makes on this watch which make it one of the top watches for everyday wear.  The watch is compatible with a number of different straps which make it a great option stylistically and will give you the flexibility of wearing this watch in business casual environments.  Here are a few of the features:

    • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
    • Water Resistant up to 100 Feet
    • Build in Weather Trend Indicator
    • Build in Storm Alarm that senses rapid pressure drops
    • Digital Thermometer

    The Suunto Core has a battery life of 12 months while in “time mode” so you can expect to have to replace the battery about once per year which is average for most watches.  We like the price tag on the core for what it offers and the fact that it’s one of the most popular ABC watches on the market. It’s also incredibly light weight at 2.26 ounces.  If you don’t need a Heart Rate Monitor or a GPS, this one should be in your top 3 when considering your purchase.

    Garmin Fenix 2:

    Garmin Fenix 2The Garmin Fenix 2 is a still a great option for anyone on a budget.  It’s got more features for the price than the Suunto Core but is less of a daily wear option in our opinion.  It has a few great features which we think are great for the price range:

    • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
    • Heart Rate Monitor (Optional)
    • GPS
    • Water Rated up to 50 Meters
    • Strong housing to withstand abuse

    This is a great watch for people that will use it primarily for fitness training.  The Garmin Fenix 2 has some of the better fitness features of any of the ABC watches out there.  The performance bundle model comes equipped with features that will track your running dyamics, swimming strokes and has a ski mode, making it perfect for outdoor skiing.  It carries a longer battery life of up to 50 hours in GPS mode but it falls short of the Suunto and Fenix 3 with only 5 weeks of “watch mode” when not running the GPS.  The watch can charge via USB making it easy to charge.  For those that have outdoor activity in spurts, the Fenix 2 is a great budget friendly option that you can’t go wrong with.

    Suunto Amibt 3 with HRM:

    Suunto Ambit3The Suunto Ambit 3 with HRM is another solid choice in Suunto’s lineup.  This watch is geared more towards sports training but can be used in a variety of other functions including hiking and mountain biking.  There are a few distinguishing features:

    • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
    • Water Resistance up to 100 Meters
    • Bluetooth Technology
    • 50 Hour GPS Mode
    • Heart Rate Monitor

    The Suunto Ambit 3 is a favorite for marathon runners and elite trainers.  It comes with free access to movescount.com which is the Suunto online sporting community that many people take advantage of when training for marathons and triathlons.  The watch allows you to download data and use it through the community to track progress through your training.  This watch is definitely geared more towards the fitness crowd with the features that it has, but in the price range it’s hard to beat the bells and whistles that it comes with.  We prefer the Garmin Fenix 3 a little bit more for looks, but this is another solid option from Suunto at a great price.

    Casio Pro Trek Tough Solar Water Resistant:

    Casio Tough SolarFirst and foremost, we have four similar Casio models on this list.  We’ve listed them in order of price/options and what you get for your money.  Any one of these Pro Trek watches are a solid choice and they have similar features.  Looks play a part in any watch choice and each of them look very different.  Here are some of the features of our first “Tough Solar” Pro Trek on our list:

    • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
    • Water Resistance up to 200 Meters
    • Titanium Band and Stainless Steel Case
    • Solar Rechargeable Battery
    • Long 5 Month Battery Charge with No Light Exposure

    The Casio Pro Trek Tough Solar Powered watch is one of two metal watches on our list.  The case is Stainless steel and the band is made of titanium.  This is a great watch for people that prefer to be a little less “tech” looking with their fashion choices.  While it’s classy like a Rolex, it serves its purpose as a great watch for everyday wear.

    The feature we love about the Pro Trek Tough Solar is the fact that even though it’s battery powered, it gets recharged through exposure to the sun.  This is a great watch that doesn’t rely on being plugged in to get recharged.  The titanium band is solid and this watch was built to take a beating.  It’s heavier than the others at 4 ounces, and is less practical for someone that’s training for a marathon.  It is practical however for anyone that plans on doling out some serious abuse that needs a strong watch to stand up to it.  It’s also great for people in a business casual environment that may want a “diver’s style” watch for everyday wear.

    Casio Pathfinder Tough Solar Triple Sensor Stainless Steel:

    Casio PathfinderThe Casio Pathfinder is very similar to the Water Resistant “Pro Trek” solar watch.  It is also solar powered with the recharge, but the primary differences are slightly less functionality and a less polished look.  The band and face are a little more rugged than the “Pro Trek” model and there are slightly less features as it’s a slightly older model.  Here are some of the features:

    • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
    • Water Resistance up to 100 Meters
    • Titanium Band and Stainless Steel Case
    • Solar Rechargable Battery
    • 12/24 Hour Display Time Formats

    The pathfinder is a great budget watch for anyone that likes to hike, rock climb or just wants a tough watch that they aren’t afraid to bang around a little bit.  It’s less polished than the Casio Pro Trek and has a few less features but it’s a solid option for anyone that is looking to spend less than $200.00 on a watch with a metal case and band.  Again, this one is probably less practical for marathon runners, but a good all around watch for people on a budget.

    Casio Pro Trek Black Sport:

    Pro Trek SportThe Casio Pro Trek Sport is the second cheapest watch on our list.  This watch is unique because of the low temperature resistance (can hang in there until 14 degrees) and the longer battery life without exposure to light.  Here are some of the features worth mentioning:

    • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
    • Water Resistant up to 100 Meters
    • Resin band which is incredibly durable
    • Can measure Altitude in 1 meter increments
    • Solar Rechargeable Battery

    The sport delivers what the other Pro Trek models do at a cheaper level but with less features.  It’s heavier than many of the other watches on our list at 6.4 ounces.  It has a stainless steel case tied in with the Resin band.  It’s a good option for people that are on a budget and may be just breaking into the ABC watch game.  It does not have a HRM or come equipped with a GPS.

    This is a good starter ABC watch and is worth considering if you are on a less than $200.00 budget and looking for something that has a little bit of additional durability.  The 7 month battery life on a full charge is a great benefit and one of the longer lasting batteries of any watch we’ve looked at.

    Casio Pro Trek Triple Sensor Digital Sport:

    Casio Pro Trek Digital SportThe digital sport is the cheapest ABC on our list.  It gives you the basics that you need and it’s great for those people that are on a sub $150.00 budget.  All of the Pro Trek watches are pretty solid and this is a great option if you are looking to break into the altimeter watch market and don’t have a lot of money to burn.  Here are some of the features worth looking at:

    • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
    • Water Resistant up to 100 Meters
    • Durable Resin Band
    • Solar Rechargeable Battery
    • 12/24 Hour Display Time Formats

    Overall the digital sport is a good entry level watch that’s durable and will give you the basics.  Like the Pro Trek Black Sport, it’s a good option for those that may not want to spend a ton of money right out of the gates to get the latest technology in a watch.  One specifically great feature on this Casio is the fact that it has a 9 month battery charge without exposure to sunlight for a recharge.  This is a great feature and it will ensure that your watch stays ready to go for long periods of time, even if it sits in your closet for a while during the winter.  The biggest drawback is the weight, which is a beast at 11.20 ounces.  Any one of the Pro Trek Casio watches are going to be some of the best altimeter watch options for someone buying an ABC watch, it just depends on your cost of entry and how much you can afford to spend.

    Suunto Traverse:

    Suunto TraverseSuunto makes our list yet again with the Traverse GPS watch.  Traverse is a great option for fitness buffs.  It estimates daily steps and calories and the GPS has a route navigation that allows for 50 stored routes.  Here are some of the features worth considering:

    • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
    • Calorie/Step Counter (Pedometer)
    • Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery with 100 Hour Battery Life
    • Durable Silicone Strap
    • GLONASS GPS Navigation System

    The Traverse is one of the few models on the list that includes a built in pedometer while looking awesome at the same time.  The face is on the larger side, but it still looks elegant and can be worn in most circumstances short of formal occasions.  It can also help you track calories which is helpful if you don’t have an app installed to a smartphone or other smart device that you use to track your caloric intake.

    It doesn’t track data for biking or running but it makes up with it for those that enjoy walking and want to track their fitness basics.  The GPS is incredibly accurate according to most user reviews.  You get a good overall package in the Traverse that comes up just short of the Garmin Fenix 3 with regards to the options available.  This is a great watch for the money and looks incredibly stylish to match.

    Garmin Fenix Hiking GPS Watch with Trackback:

    Garmin Fenix Hiking WatchAnother sub $150.00 budget choice, the Garmin Fenix gets you all the basics.  It a GPS watch that comes equipped with a 3 axis compass and automatic calibration.  You can mark up to 1,000 waypoints and over 10,000 track points.  Here are a few key features worth mentioning:

    • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
    • GPS Navigation
    • Waterproof up to 50 Feet
    • 24 Hour World Clock
    • Compatible with other Garmin GPS units and Smartphones

    The Fenix Hiking GPS is a good entry level choice.  It’s great as a starter watch and should be considered by anyone that’s looking at one of the entry level Casio watches.  The price tag is great for a model with GPS, as the Casio models do not have a GPS unit installed and are in the same price range.

    It’s not as trendy as some of the other models on our list (especially the Suunto models which we think are outstanding), but for the price point it’s tough not to be excited about the features that it offers.

    So What’s the Best Altimeter Watch For the Money?

    Garmin Fenix 3 Red ModelWhen answering this question we tried to take in several factors, but ultimately the Garmin Fenix 3 wins the battle when we take cost, features, and overall user reviews on amazon.com into account.  For what you get, this is the best option you can buy for under 600.00 at most retailers.

    The Garmin Fenix 3 has everything you need for just about every feature outside of the fact that it has a higher price tag.  But even with that higher price tag, it’s the best ABC watch on the market for the money.

    If you are on a budget and are in the 250.00 range, then the Suunto Core takes the cake.  It has a great blend of cost efficiency and is available in a ton of different looks.  Some of the silicone banded variations are minimalist enough to fit under the cuff of a dress shirt, and some of the more rugged builds are perfect for competitive rock climbing.  Our only complaint about the Suunto Core is that it does not have a heart rate monitor or GPS.

    If you need something with a GPS and a Heart Rate Monitor – spring for the Garmin Fenix 3 and don’t look back.

    Finding the best altimeter watch doesn’t have to be difficult.  If you feel like there’s an model we missed that’s just as good as our top 10, feel free to drop us a line in the comments so we can add take a look at adding it to our altimeter watch reviews section.

    The post Best Altimeter (ABC) Watches For Hiking and Outdoors in 2016 appeared first on Wilderness Today.

    3 Ways to Find Bodies of Water in the Wilderness

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    3 Ways to Find Bodies of Water in the Wilderness Wilderness survival skills are important skills for every prepper to learn. What happens if the SHTF, you need to bug out, and for some reason, the location you’ve scouted or prepped has already been invaded or pillaged by others? You’re going to need to bug …

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    Call of the Wild: Why Living in Nature is Good for Your Health

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    hikingIn the big scheme of things, human civilization is a blip on the map of history. We’ve been around on this planet for between 50,000 and 200,000 years depending on how you define modern humans. And as far as anyone can tell, advanced human civilizations have only been around for about 6,000 years. You may be asking yourself, why is that so important?

    Because, it explains a lot about many of the predicaments that humans find themselves in today, like why so many people living in modern civilization are so unhappy and unhealthy. In fact, it seems like the more advanced our civilization becomes, the more unhappy and unhealthy we are, which is kind of confusing when you think about it. How could we be so messed up, when we’re living in an era that provides us with such an abundance of wealth and resources?

    How are we so sick when medical care has never been so advanced? How are we so depressed when we’ve never had such a wide selection of entertainment? How come we feel so unfulfilled when we have more career choices than anyone else in human history? How are we all so stressed out, when by compared to the lives of our ancestors, we’ve never had it so easy?

    If I were to venture a guess, I’d say that many of these problems can be blamed on civilization itself in one form or another. This provider of so much material good is what’s messing us up, because we don’t know how to handle it. We’re walking around with caveman brains and caveman bodies, but we’re living in a world that is light years ahead of what any hunter gatherer could have imagined. We’re out of our element, living in an alien world. Civilization, our greatest creation, has out-evolved us.

    One of the ways we know that civilization is tripping us up, is how it has separated us from nature. Our species was raised in the dirt and the trees and the sunshine. Now most of us spend our days huddled indoors, staring at electronic screens, and traveling through concrete jungles in temperature controlled vehicles until we reach other indoor locations. It’s not the kind of environment that our minds and bodies have evolved to thrive in, and according to recent research, people who are living in that kind of environment aren’t living as long as people who reside in rural areas.

    The research relied on data from a vast long-term Harvard study funded by the National Institutes of Health called the Nurses’ Health Study, which has collected health information biennially on more than 100,000 female registered nurses in the U.S. since 1976. The new paper analyzed participant data from between 2000 and 2008, taking note of any deaths that occurred and their causes. At the same time, the researchers used satellite data to assess the amount of green vegetation surrounding each participant’s home during the study period.

    The researchers found that people living in the greenest places — that is, people who had the most vegetation within 800 feet of their homes — had a 12 percent lower rate of mortality from any non-accidental cause than people living in the least green places. Specifically, they found that the relationship was strongest for deaths related to respiratory disease, cancer and kidney disease. These results were the same regardless of the participants’ income, weight or smoking status and also did not significantly change between urban and suburban locations.

    There were several reasons for this, most notably was the fact that greener areas produce less pollution, and can actually help clean up any hazardous materials that might present themselves. But more than that, people living near nature are more likely to go outside, interact with other people, and get more exercise, all of which increases our mental well-being. And since stress and depression can affect us physically, it’s no wonder that living near nature can keep you alive longer.

    In fact, just being in nature is enough to lift your spirit. It’s a means to it’s own end. It doesn’t matter who you are or were you come from, even a lifelong urban dweller can be left in awe of nature. There’s something primal and ancient within us, that allows us all to feel better when we’re in the presence of the wilderness. It’s always been with us, and if we don’t make room for it in our lives, then civilized life will always put us in an early grave.

    Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

    Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

    This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

    Trout Lily

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    Trout Lily

    Trout Lily grows in huge colonies that can completely cover a forest floor. The colonies can be hundreds of years old and takes a long time to grow to such a size. Its bulbs are sterile up to about the seventh year and then it produces only one leaf and no flowers. When they mature […]

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    Unplug , Get Outside, Get Dirty, And Garden!

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    Yesterday was one of those days that make Mary and I realize just how lucky we are to get to do what we do. We had the pleasure and honor of presenting the key note speech at the Licking County

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    Knowing Your Priorities In a Primitive Situation.

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    Knowing Your Priorities In a Primitive Situation.

    Whenever you may find yourself in a survival situation or choosing to live off the grid or even primitive you will have 5 basic priorities that you must have in order to survive. Most people know this and some do not. Reality personalities categorize these the way they themselves place these in order of importance […]

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    Jute Twine as a Natural Tinder

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    One of the big debates over jute twine and its properties is whether it is considered a natural tinder or a man-made tinder. After doing some research, the answer to the question is clear. Jute is a natural fiber and the process in which we buy it from the store is man-made. But whether this resource … Continue reading

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    X-Shot Sport Review

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    In the world of modern technology, we are always trying to get a leg up. X-Shot Sport actually helps expand our capabilities allowing us to do just that. While I have seen “selfie sticks” with their trigger or push button mechanisms, I have not seen one that allows me to do exactly what I need … Continue reading

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    Paleo Meals To Go Review

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      With both work and pleasure, I am on the go almost constantly. Between running to catch a flight, hiking a trail, camping in the mountains, or coaching softball the one thing that suffers the most is my diet. Paleo Meals To Go has answered my prayers. I started following the Primal Blueprint in 2013 … Continue reading

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    The Biggest Blunder New Homesteaders Often Make

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    The Biggest Blunder New Homesteaders Often Make

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    Living close to nature in the great outdoors is an appealing lifestyle to many.  Fresh air, sunshine, privacy, simplicity, old-fashioned values, freedom from alarm clocks and business suits, delightful proximity to flora and fauna — it all sounds great.  Where do I sign up?

    As one who has spent much of my life immersed in various aspects of the great outdoors, I can testify that it is indeed truly wonderful.  Mostly, anyway.

    Many lifestyles embrace a closeness with the outdoors.  Homesteaders, farmers, forest workers, preppers, hikers, campers, backpackers and others devote at least part of their lives, either for fun or out of necessity, to rubbing elbows with nature.

    Much of the time the relationship between humans and outdoors works well.  But sometimes it wasn’t meant to be.

    Following are a couple of anecdotal stories to explain what I mean.

    When my son was in high school, he and his friends wanted to try winter camping. Or at least they thought they did. I should clarify that by “winter camping,” I do not mean trekking through winter conditions to spend the night in a heated lodge or a primitive cabin, or even in a camper.

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    The Biggest Blunder New Homesteaders Often Make

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    The boys wanted to spend the night in sleeping bags, in a tent, on the snow, in Maine. It took them a while to talk their parents into giving it a try, and it turned out to be only me and my husband who consented to attempt it. We decided to do it together.

    Not one of the boys enjoyed it. They had been allured by the idea of outdoor winter camping and the way it seemed like life on the edge. But in the end, it was cold, and awkward, and the block of cheese froze solid and we were unable to cut it, and the flashlights tucked into our sleeping bags with us overnight — to keep the batteries working — were every bit as uncomfortable as it sounds.

    Years later, my husband and I were spending the night at a public campground in much warmer weather, and glanced up from our morning coffee to see a man striding down the road past our tent site, anger and purpose in every step. He was carrying an armload of camping gear. We watched, mesmerized by the drama unfolding before us, as the man flung his load into the dumpster and went back for another. By his third trip, my husband quipped that this was probably the guy’s last time camping.

    Outdoor life is not for everyone. Of all the hikers starting out in Georgia intending to hike the Appalachian Trail, only 10 to 15 percent make it to Maine.

    A major key to success at living life outdoors — or to success at any lifestyle for that matter — is to ease into it. If your future plans include bugging out to a cabin in the woods or pulling up city stakes and relocating to a commercial dairy farm, you might want to have a dress rehearsal before the curtains go up on the performance that really counts.

    It is certainly possible to dive into an outdoor-oriented life and succeed without any prior experience. But what if you hate it? The loss of face or of thousands of dollars’ worth of gear by quitting early would be difficult, and failure at an outdoor life when you have sunk your entire life savings or preparedness plan into it could be even worse.

    Please consider trying out the great outdoors on a small scale before you commit to a life there.

    Maybe instead of investing in expensive camping gear up front, you could try renting or borrowing what you need for a few test runs. You may even want to start with something moderate, such as a furnished hut or wilderness bed-and-breakfast, before loading a tent into the back of your car or packing up a backpack for a week in the backcountry. It might be a good idea to do some research before you go, but always bear in mind that things can be different on paper than they are in real life. If you can find an experienced outdoorsperson with whom to tag along on your first few forays into the wilderness, that’s a bonus. Many areas have outing groups, which are also a great option.

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    The Biggest Blunder New Homesteaders Often Make

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    If farming or homesteading is your dream but you haven’t had the opportunity to spend much time off the pavement, consider taking classes or finding a mentor. You might watch for programs offered by local organic or permaculture groups, public adult education departments and cooperative extension programs. Attending expos, demonstrations and trade shows are also good possibilities.

    I recommend immersing yourself in your future community of choice as much as possible, even before actually practicing their activities. To do this, you can get to know the vendors at your farmers’ market; most of the ones I’ve met are friendly and open about their farming background and willing to give free advice. Many of them welcome farm visits and volunteers as well.

    Another way to become involved in a community of homesteaders is through social media. In addition to informational and educational pages such as this one, there are plenty of local groups in most areas which focus on gardening, livestock, homesteading, preparedness or survival.

    Volunteering is a great way to get involved, as well. Consider helping out at the livestock barns or judging tables at an agricultural fair, working with youth groups, or doing odd jobs behind the scenes at an agricultural trade show.

    If you are devoted to preparedness and plan to escape to a wilderness location in case of disaster, spend time there before it is your only option. If you absolutely loathe everything about being outdoors — the bugs, the snakes, the mud, the humidity, the isolation, the boredom, the cold, the heat or the workload – then ask yourself if spending the remainder of your life in those conditions is worth it.  A bug-out to the woods might be the very best option for some people, but not necessarily for everyone.

    Reading is always an excellent way to go. Books, magazines, instruction manuals, how-to brochures — all of them offer something to everyone. Even if you find conflicting information among sources, it’s worth reading all you can.

    Remember the winter camping kids? The ending turned out happy. The boys had the chance to try something new, and had very little invested in it. We adults invested in a little gear, had a good time, and went on to enjoy many more winter excursions thereafter.

    I can only hope that the story of the man seen throwing his camping gear into the dumpster also turned out well.

    For everyone else trying to carve out a life in nature, it’s always a good idea to try life in the great outdoors before committing to a lifetime of it. And when it’s time to make the move into all that fresh air and freedom, it will be with confidence that it will be a great fit.

    What advice would you add for someone looking to “dive” into a life outdoors? Share your tips in the section below:

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    Twins of Prey II: Homecoming

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    I have previously read W.C. Hoffman’s Twins of Prey and was very pleased with the story. I thought the skills the twins were using were believable and put to good use. You can read the review here. However, when it comes to sequels, I do not set my bar very high because I believe that … Continue reading

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    Survival.  The very idea of being placed in a survival situation evokes deep feelings.  The reaction it stirs in you indicates a great deal about how you would react to an unexpected situation where lives may be on the line.  Could you accurately assess your ability to survive in a real survival situation?  Do you […]

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    Persimmons are a sweet and delicious fruit that are an excellent source of vitamin A, C, and B-complex and minerals such as potassium, manganese and copper. They contain an anti-cancer and anti-tumor compound called Betulinic acid which makes them highly beneficial for lung, colon, prostate, breast, and skin cancer. Persimmons contain active enzymes that help […]

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    Gear Needed for Cold Weather Treks

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    Essential gear needed for cold weather treks A cold weather trek is a challenging and potentially daunting concept. Yet those individuals who have experienced the pleasures such an adventure has to offer understand why the effort is more than worthwhile. Such individuals also understand the importance of having the right gear. Not only does this … Continue reading

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    Primitive Life Intro

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    Primitive Life Intro

                                                                                      Primitive life     Hello my name is Jason Wroten. I came up with the concept of primitive life training last year. I felt the need to teach people primitive survival skills in hope of spreading the ancient knowledge that was passed down to me at a young age and knowledge that I […]

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    21 Basic Wilderness Survival Skills

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    Being able to stay safe while involving in outdoor activities is probably the number one priority for every outdoorsmen. The best way to do so is to master some of the Basic Wilderness Survival Skills that you will definitely need them in most situations. Therefore, I would like to share with you an infographic made … Continue reading

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    Tuned In

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    Tuned In

    Learning anything is about being wrong and being taught correctly how to be able to adapt and accomplish a task easier therefore learning a correct way of solving any problems that lay in one’s path. To seek wisdom is wise. So apply that to primitive living, Bushcraft, even camping can open your minds eye to […]

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    That is a Hot Ash Stove – Gear Review

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    I was able to spend some productive time with the folks from Hot Ash Stove. They are currently on Kickstarter which ends December 1, 2015. What I was able to see and discuss at the meeting was very informative. For starters, this is not an ultralight wood stove. This is a portable Rocket Stove. This … Continue reading

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    DIY Firepit for less than $100

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    One of the agreements my wife and I had with us moving into a new neighborhood was the understanding that we would have a firepit. The good news was it did not take much convincing since I had built one at our old house complete with reflector. We searched for something that would fit the … Continue reading

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    What’s in my kit?

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    With everyone showing pictures of their pocket dump, present company included, the other day a question arose; “What’s in your kit?”. While it is modeled after the 10C’s by David Canterbury, I adjust it to fit my needs specifically based on outing and time of year. Tarps (Cover) – 10’x12′ Coyote Tan BCUSA Tarp (Left) … Continue reading

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    Smashed smokey red potatoes

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    Smashed smokey red potatoes

    Wash red potatoes and allow to dry Preheat smoker to 250° Place potatoes on smoker for 2 hours Wrap potatoes in foil and place back in smoker to cook for an additional 2 hours Remove the potatoes for the smoker and allow to cool in the foil for 30 to 40 minutes Remove the potatoes […]

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    Stress Relief: There’s an APP for that…

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    Stress Relief: There’s an APP for that…

    In this fast paced world we live in, it is far too easy to consume every waking hour within the confines of our vehicles, offices, or homes. Sure it’s convenient to sit on the couch in the evenings and on weekends, staring aimlessly at our computer screens, televisions, tablets and smart phones, but how many […]

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    Simple Soldier Cooking Without Utensils

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    Simple Soldier Cooking Without Utensils

    Jon and Josh are on the march today! Jon draws excerpts from Joseph Plumb Martin’s campaign memoirs to put together another simple soldier’s meal straight from the 18th century. Simple Soldier Cooking Without Utensils Joseph Plumb Martin Book – http://www.amazon.com/Memoir-Revoluti… Ash Cakes Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIdsJ… Soldier Ration Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUt1Z… Our Website – http://www.jas-townsend.com/ Request […]

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    Simple Soldier Cooking Without Utensils

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    Simple Soldier Cooking Without Utensils

    Jon and Josh are on the march today! Jon draws excerpts from Joseph Plumb Martin’s campaign memoirs to put together another simple soldier’s meal straight from the 18th century. Simple Soldier Cooking Without Utensils Joseph Plumb Martin Book – http://www.amazon.com/Memoir-Revoluti… Ash Cakes Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIdsJ… Soldier Ration Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUt1Z… Our Website – http://www.jas-townsend.com/ Request […]

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    Smoked Bloomin’ Onion

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    Smoked Bloomin’ Onion

    Peel The Sweet Onions Cut Downward On One Side With Your Knife At A 45° Angle, Cutting From The Outside To The Inside, And Stopping At The Middle, But Not Cutting All The Way Through The Bottom. Turn Your Onion ¼ Turn And Repeat The Above Step Continue Until All 4 Sides Have Been Cut […]

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    Tarragon is a culinary and medicinal herb that is rich in vitamins A, C, and B-complex and minerals such as zinc, copper, iron, and magnesium. It is known to help stimulate the appetite, relieve flatulence and colic, balance the body’s acidity, alleviate the pains of arthritis, rheumatism and gout, regulate menstruation, stop hiccups, prevent dyspepsia, […]

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    Great Advice For Beginners

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    Great Advice For Beginners

    Today’s main comment offers some excellent advice for the first steps into reenacting! Since we get so many great comments from all of you, we are going to start splitting our Q&A videos up. This is to make sure all the information doesn’t become buried in long Q&A videos. Great Advice For Beginners Max Forloine […]

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    Salazon Salted Dark Chocolate Bars – Review

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    Is there anything better than chocolate when on an outdoor adventure?… besides bacon I mean. Well we had the chance to try so samples of some of the best chocolate I’ve tasted in a long time. Delicious dark chocolate with just the right amount of salt that comes in a variety of flavours. We are hooked on the quality and flavour: not too sweet, not too salty, just delicious.

    We were sent the Trail Series of bars – carefully tailored for the outdoor adventurer.

    What is Salazon?

    Salazon is organic, fair trade dark chocolate sourced out of the Dominican Republic that has been salted with solar-evaporated sea salt.

    What is the Trail Series?

    The Trail Series is 3 different 2.75 ounce salted dark chocolate bars. Each supports one of three different scenic trails in the USA: The Continental Divide Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail. They do so by donating 2% of their gross sales to the different trail associations.

    We received two of each:

    • 57% Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Caramel – Certified Organic and made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa beans
    • 57% Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Coffee – Certified Organic and made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa beans
    • 72% Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Almond – made with Certified Organic chocolate and Fair Trade Certified cocoa beans

    Salazon has partnered with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for its Caramel bar, the Pacific Crest Trail Association for its Coffee bar, and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition for its Almond bar. The packaging for each bar depicts actual scenery captured on the trails.

    The bars themselves are pretty awesome to stare at too. They cry world explorer with their eclectic map.

    Testing / Testers


    The bars were shared between our explorers (junior and adult). We tried to be fair to them and to you by trying them at home, before the trip as well as on the trail.


    What did we think?

    Fantastic! These were all incredibly delicious!

    The Salted Caramel had just the right level of Caramel. There are nice sized pockets of soft caramel that weren’t too sweet or overpowering. They complimented the dark chocolate very well, without making it taste artificial.

    The Salted Coffee was the same. There was an excellent balance of flavours here.

    The Salted Almond bar is a much higher cocoa content (72% instead of the 57% of the other two bars) and it was a good choice. It’s more savoury than the other two. The almond pieces, like the caramel are distributed well and add a refreshing crunch to the bar.

    Due to the higher cocoa content, we didn’t have problems with melting. Well, there was one exception to that. One of the bars was carried against someone’s back in their backpack. The result was a bit deformed, but it in no-way took away from the deliciousness of the bar.


    You won’t go wrong with these delicious salted dark chocolate bars. They are delicious and refreshing as a trail snack, or even as a late night snack at home when the kids have gone to bed. On top of being delicious, organic and fair trade (as well as being part of the Rainforest Alliance), 2 percent of the gross sales of these bars is donated to the support of  the Triple Crown of American Scenic Trails. You’re enjoying fantastic quality chocolate and you’re helping to keep these amazing trails open and enjoyable for future generations.

    At $4 MSRP (Less if you buy more), these bars are more expensive than energy bars, but a fair price for the high quality chocolate that you’re purchasing.

    I strongly recommend keeping your eye out for these bars and definitely recommend you give them a try!

    35 Reasons the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is the Ultimate Outdoor Vehicle (Pictures)

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    Jeeps are Rad PictureIf you are an avid fan of the outdoors then you know that very few vehicles are as capable as the Jeep Wrangler when it comes to off-road adventures.  The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited in particular has exploded in popularity since the 4 door model became available in 2007.  The Jeep unlimited matches plenty of space with balance, looks and top level off road capability right off the assembly line.

    While there are plenty of capable trucks and SUV’s, few vehicles can match the following that the Jeep brand has.  Add in the limitless ways you can modify your Jeep and you have an awesome utility vehicle that’s basically like one big Lego set for adults.  Jeeps are the perfect off-road vehicle no matter what adventure you are planning on taking.  They are amazing in the desert, over rocks, in the forest, through dirt, and as you’ll see from some pictures below, they are even rock solid going through water (as long as you aren’t flooding the engine bay).

    One of the primary points of the versatility of the Jeep Unlimited happens to be how many different ways it can come equipped.  Hardcore outdoor enthusiasts will love the 4 door option with half doors and a soft top which is primed to roll through perfect weather outdoors.  Someone who might be more of a weekend warrior could easily choose a hard top with full metal doors and be a little more comfortable with some added creature comforts on the inside of the vehicle like leather seats and an automatic transmission.

    Enough yammering on from us, below you will see 35 reasons why the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is filled with pure awesomeness.

    Photo via Creative Commons by Jim Pennucci

    Above is the what we like to call the “Big Green Monster.” This Jeep is fully customized for offroad adventures.

    Photo via Creative Commons by Jim Pennucci

    Another shot of the Big Green Monster, you can tell it’s been lifted, has larger tires and wheels as well as other mods.

    Photo via Creative Commons by Scubabrett22

    The Silver Jeep above looks like it’s in it’s very own natural element off-road in the snow.  The light bar is a nice touch.

    Photo via Creative Commons by Scubabrett22

    Love the transformers badge.  This jeep looks right at home in the forest.

    Photo via Creative Commons by DavidJoe

    Some Jeeps were born to be desert rats.  This one looks like it’s playing the role nicely.  Jeeps were made to be driven with the doors off.

    14295012324_18abed0e19_kNothing like a great afternoon by the lake to setup your weekend.

    Photo via Creative Commons by Scubabrett22

    This Jeep has been customized with cut fenders in the front to help improve the articulation of the front tires when it’s off-road.

    Photo via Creative Commons by Scubabrett22

    The top light bar is a nice touch for those that life in areas where it’s not very well lit, especially if you are off-roading at night.

    Photo via Creative Commons by Scubabrett22

    The front bumper has been shaved to allow for greater flexibility off-road – it’s a beast.

    Photo via Creative Commons via BigMikeSndTech 

    This 2015 Rubicon looks amazing just as it is.  The sunset orange color goes great with the gunmetal grey stock Rubicon wheels.

    dreamstimelarge_43490809There’s almost no mountain or hill that’s off limits when you are off-road in a JK Unlimited (The 2007 – 2015 models are known as JK’s)

    dreamstimelarge_43606480Nothing like stopping for an afternoon picnic on the water.

    dreamstimelarge_43679908The high desert usually begs for a little adventure, this Jeep looks to answer the calling.

    dreamstimelarge_43680072While most people would be turning around, this JKU is taking on the river in full force!

    dreamstimelarge_43680100Rock climbing is a specialty that most JKU models have no problem attempting.

    dreamstimelarge_43709392This is probably one of our favorite pictures.   Absolutely awesome outdoor landscape and a perfect reason to own a Jeep, no matter what country you live in.

    dreamstimelarge_44476041Jeeps love to go coastal!  This epic view is just another example of where we’d like to spend any afternoon.

    dreamstimelarge_46044234Jeep off-road caravans are extremely popular.  Jeep clubs across the US will often setup places to go together off-road and help each other out.

    dreamstimelarge_46044421More pictures of the caravan – we’d love to be a part of it!

    dreamstimelarge_47502725Dirty Jeeps just flat out look cool.

    dreamstimelarge_47504707While we would never advocate potentially flooding an engine, this is something we’ve always wanted to try!

    dreamstimelarge_47504715Perfect place to setup for a lazy afternoon.

    dreamstimelarge_48003769Again, Jeeps absolutely love to go coastal!  We’d love to be there right now!

    dreamstimelarge_48003772Just a little mud, trip – no big deal!

    dreamstimelarge_48432946Just a big enough of a river to give the Jeep a nice bath!

    dreamstimelarge_48432962Nothing like taking a little hike once you get to your destination.

    dreamstimelarge_51799459Winter water driving can be scary, but it’s just another day at the park for your average Jeep.

    dreamstimelarge_52393898Looks like a perfect place to camp out for the evening!

    dreamstimelarge_52737964Some of the more aggressive trails are pretty easily traversed by the Wrangler Unlimited.

    dreamstimemedium_32933966Playing in the water is always a good idea as long as it’s not too deep!

    dreamstimemedium_40577142Jeeps love to go to the beach, especially in areas of Baja and coastal Mexico.

    jeep wranglerThis Jeep is seeing some serious duty up in Alaska.

    Jeep WranglerThis Jeep looks to be having a blast taking on some high desert mountains.

    Jeep Wrangler in the desertWhy not go out and play in the REAL desert?  Jeeps are perfect companions in off-road areas like Glamis.

    The post 35 Reasons the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is the Ultimate Outdoor Vehicle (Pictures) appeared first on Wilderness Today.

    Kayaking down the Shenandoah River

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    I was recently asked by my coworkers to take a day and go Kayaking down the Shenandoah River then join them for a cookout. While the adventurous side of me was honored and willing to jump at the chance, there was side of me that was shouting, “NO WAY!”. I have done many things in my … Continue reading

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    The Combat Ready 2 Bug Out Bag

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    Packed to the brim full of food, first aid, water, shelter, and tons of other gear, the Combat Ready 2 Bug Out Bag is one killer set up for emergency management and on-the-go survival… Zombie apocalypse or otherwise. This full-fledged survival pack has just about everything you need to cover …

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