Monday, December 31, 2007

Backpacking Food Tip

Backpacking food tends to be less than ideally healthy. Fresh food weigh too much to carry. Eat a good salad right before you leave, and right after you get back. If you then also eat some berries and herbs along the way, you can concentrate on bringing only light backpacking food, and your health shouldn't suffer.
Do you have joint problems from arthritis? If it gets too bad, catch a bee. Many doctors are now using bees to treat patients with painful joints. Hold a bee or two against your skin at or near the joint, and let it sting you. People swear by the relief provided from this. Of course, if you are allergic to bees, you may die, so ask your doctor about this.
Duct tape is great for a variety of purposes, from covering "hot spots" to prevent blisters, to patching a hole in a tent. Don't carry a roll, though (too heavy). Just wrap some around some other item, like a lip balm container, or below the handles of your trekking poles.More backpacking tips

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Backpacking tip mosquito repellent

Out of mosquito repellent? The leaves of elderberry bushes can be used for an insect repellent. They are crushed and rubbed on your body or placed in your clothing. Carry uncrushed ones for later use too.More backing tips.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Backpackers Water Purification

Backpackers have many water purification options to choose from now. They can be broadly classified in four categories.
1. Water Filters.
2. Chemical treatments.
3. Boiling the water.
4. No treatment at all.
 "safe" natural springs versus contaminated water sources.. I don't really recommend this as a way to obtain good drinking water, but it can't hurt to learn how to find the natural sources that are most likely pure. A filter can clog or your water tablets get lost.Read more on backpacking water purification.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Fishing in the wilderness

Don’t forget the appropriate clothing and don’t compromise with cheap stuff- it can make the difference between an enjoyable fishing trip and a nightmare. You will need to bring along a fishing vest, warm clothes, including socks, a jacket, a winter coat, fleece clothes, rain gear, sunglasses, a fishing hat and gloves, hiking boots, bug repellent, a couple of lighters and matches, sunscreen, a floatation device, a backpack, Tylenol, any personal medications you will need, a cell or satellite phone,pepper spray for bear protection, a fishing license (don’t forget your fishing lisence), a small amount of cash, traveler’s checks, a credit card, anti bacterial hand cleaner, a camera and lots of film, or a digital camera.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

antiseptic dressing survival tip

If you need a quick antiseptic dressing for small cuts, look for a balsam fir tree. The younger trees have "blisters" on their trunks. Pop one of these blisters and you can use the sap inside to cover the cut. It will even smell good, and can be easily re-applied if you are hiking in an area with these trees.
For a small wash basin for doing dishes in camp, use the bottom of a plastic milk jug. Cut it off at about three inches deep and it will weigh about an ounce or two.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Oak bark wilderness tip

Use film canisters for carrying things when backpacking. I usually label them with a piece of masking tape on the side. Put them in a plastic bag for extra security - the tops will sometimes pop off. Of course, these may be hard to find soon, with everyone using digital cameras.
Toothache? Pieces of oak bark can be chewed for relief. Don't take it from the trunk, but scrape softer pieces off branches. Use in moderation, as the tannic acid can be hard on the stomach.
To test a tent site, lay out your groundcloth and lay down on it to see if it is a comfortable place. Remove rocks and sticks. You can even scrape a small depression where your hip will be, for greater comfort.Camping stoves tips.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tea of boiled juniper needles

If you have to cross streams with your shoes on, at least remove your socks. This way you'll soak up a lot less water. You can put the socks back on when you have hiked a few minutes on the other side of the stream, and your feet will dry much faster than if you had worn the socks in the water too.
Need an emergency disinfectant? A strong tea of boiled juniper needles and twigs can be used to sterilize things.
Mashed potato flakes are not only convenient by themselves, but can be used to thicken a soup if you have added too much water.More backpacking tips

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wilderness survival tips

Small resealable plastic bags are great for carrying things like sun block, hand cream, toothpaste and even spices for cooking. The smallest ones can be found in the craft section of department stores. Milkweed down is the seed fluff of the milkweed plant. It is similar to goose down in appearance and insulating value. The seeds are easily stripped off, and when fluffed up you can fill a couple bread bags with the "down" for instant warm mittens. Just insert your hands and tuck the ends of the bags into your sleeves or rubber band them to your wrists.
Never store a tent wet. Tent makers will tell you that mildew eats away at the waterproof polyurethane coating. Set the tent up at home to dry before putting it away.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Backpacking tips wilderness survival

You can make a cheap closed-cell foam sleeping bag pad fold up like one of the more expensive ones. Cut it across, halfway through, every foot or so, alternating sides. It should fold up nicely, accordion-style. I have used mine repeatedly this way without them breaking. Folded up, the pad can also be used to stiffen the back of a frameless pack.
If you run into cold weather unprepared, you can use the seed head fluff from cattail plants to insulate your jacket. Watch for the stalks with their fluffy heads in wet areas. Put a layer of this fluff between your sweater and your jacket, and you'll effectively turn it into a winter coat.
To keep certain items from sliding down to the bottom of your pack , put them in a small nylon pouch and safety pin the pouch to the top inside seam of the pack. Don't let the pin puncture the pack - only do this if there is enough extra material to pin to along the top seam.More backpacking tips.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hiking Boots Tip

Small shoes are painful after a long day's hike. Try boots or shoes on in the afternoon, when your feet are usually swollen a bit. When in doubt, buy hiking boots or shoes a half-size larger than you normally wear.
Zippers that are sticking or difficult can be lubricated with soap. Rub the soap along the length of the zipper, or use your fingers to work it in.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

If lost in the wilderness tips

Be prepared. Any day hike, snowshoe trip or even out-of-bounds ski trip can easily turn into an overnight adventure. Be prepared to spend the night, if not in comfort, at least in safety. An emergency blanket, a light source, extra food and water and warm clothes can help you get through an emergency overnight bivouac safely.
• Once you are sure you are lost or in need of help to get out, stay put. If you are in a group, stay together! Separating just doubles the work the searchers will need to do to get you all safely off the mountain.
Always prepare for the contingency of getting lost or stuck outside overnight (or longer). But with proper planning, you can avoid the need for rescue in the first place. Some things you can do:
• Carry and know how to use a map and compass. Use these during your hike or snowshoe outing so you are familiar with the area you are passing through. That makes it easier to navigate out should you become disoriented later.
• Carry and use a GPS device. Familiarize yourself with the unit's operation before heading out. If you store the location of the trailhead before starting your hike, its easy to use the "track-back" feature that's built into the device to find your way back to your car from any location.
• Familiarize yourself with the area before heading out. If you don't know the specific region you plan to travel, study maps before heading out, and if possible, talk with Forest Service rangers or other users to get specifics about trails and possible navigation hazards/difficulties.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tips on Backpacking book

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BackPacking conditioning tips

Key Points
1. Being physically prepared makes backpacking safer and more enjoyable.
2. If you can't exercise regularly, at least use little "tricks" to stay in shape.
3.Your physical conditioning routine should prepare you specifically for backpacking.
Read more tips on back packing

Sunday, November 11, 2007

lumberjacks toilet paper

Sleeping with your head slightly downhill will keep you a little bit warmer according to some backpackers. It can take some getting used to, however.
Out of toilet paper? Use the soft fuzzy leaves of the mullein plant also known as "lumberjacks toilet paper. Test carefully at first, as any plant can be irritating to some individuals.
You can stop nylon straps and cords from fraying further by melting ends and loose threads with a match. Be careful - molten nylon can burn fingers to the bone.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Emergency containers Birch bark Tip

One way to lighten your load is to carry high-calorie foods. If you need to have about 12,000 calories for a weekend trip, this could be any where from fifteen pounds down to four pounds, depending on the foods you select. Mixed nuts, for example, have almost twice the calories per pound that bread has. You still have to have some variety and you have to balance the weight savings with decent nutritional choices, of course.
Need emergency containers? Birch bark can be folded into many shapes and sizes. You can pin the folds with small sticks punched through the top edges of the containers. I have boiled water in such containers, and they could be used for collecting berries or other foods too.

Monday, November 5, 2007

purify water in the wilds tip

White birch bark can be easily peeled from the trunk and written on with pen, pencil or berry juice. A piece of charcoal or burnt wood can be used to write with.
If you have nothing else available, common household bleach can be used to purify water. Use about two drops per quart or liter of water - that's about 1/2 tablespoon for 5 gallons. Stir or shake and let it sit for thirty minutes or longer. Double the dosage for murky or questionable water.
If any of your damp clothes haven't dried by morning, wear them - unless it is too cold. They will dry quickly once you start hiking. This is generally safer than allowing damp clothes to accumulate in your pack.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tent Pole Tip

Fats produce heat when they digest, which is why eating whale-blubber keeps Eskimos warmer. If you want to stay warmer while you sleep, eat foods that are high in fat, like corn chips, as your last meal of the day. Arctic survival course used to teach you to eat a stick of butter by itself, but there are more palatable choices.
Tent poles broken? You can usually get by with sticks if your tent has straight poles. A trekking pole may work too. Otherwise, try tying the roof up to overhead branches.
Attach a couple alligator clips to the top of your pack, and you'll always have an easy way to hang clothing to dry while you hike.Take along a small cord it can be used for all kinds of things in a emergency.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The most Poisonous Mushrooms

When your in the woods and think eating mushrooms is safe think again.
Cortinarius speciosissimus
This mushroom is equal poisonous as amanita virosa. In the last few years C. specciosissimus has been responsible for many death in Central Europe. Incubation period upto 14 days.
Destroying Angel
This totally white mushroom is one of the most deadly fungus known and despite years of detailed research into the toxins it contains, no antidote excists against their effects on the human body. This mushroom is responsible for 95% of all death after fungus poisoning. Poisoning is characterized by a delay of between 6 to 24 hours.

Entoloma sinuatum
I don't have an English name even for this mushroom. He is fortunately very rare. He looks edible but be aware of the red spore print. Poisoning symptomes are sickness, vomiting and diarrhoea. The latency period is 1-3 hours - more seldon 4-5 hours.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Simple torch

For emergency night travel, you can make a simple torch. Use the pitch from pine trees wrapped around the top of a stick with strips of cloth, or just smeared on it. Wounded pines often have large gooey masses of pitch on their trunks. Hot pitch will drip, so hold the torch away from you. This sap is also a good fire starter.Take along water proof matches a few in your pocket can be life savers.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Emergency fire starting in the wilds

Pocket lint makes a good tinder for fire-starting. By the way, this is why so many fires start in peoples clothes dryers. A spark will usually take hold in lint and can be blown into a flame be sure to have kindling and firewood ready.Try and keep water proof matches in a old film container its small and will fit into your pocket for emergency fires.Keep larger stones around your fire they will hold the heat longer.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stay dry in the wilds

Lost in the woods with no food? The inner bark the soft white part of pine trees is edible. Palatability is another matter, and varies from species to species. I have found white pine to be tolerable. Strip some bark off the tree, scrape the inner bark from the rougher outer layer, and boil it for best digestion.
In cold weather, coat your feet with antiperspirant for several days before a backpacking trip. This will stop them from sweating too much. This means drier, and warmer feet.Spray your boots with water proofing spray to help keep the water out.Silican spray on tents and other gear works great to keep rain out.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

First aid tip in the wilderness

A wilderness first aid kit is useless unless it includes most of the medical treatments you would possibly need. This includes both sterilization tools and various medications.
Sterilization solutions and tapes are very important parts of any wilderness first aid kit. If anyone were to get cut or step on something sharp, these tools would be necessary to prevent any sort of infection .Some basic things you should have in the first aid kit are: 4-inch rolled gauze, 2-inch rolled gauze, 4-inch elastic wrap, 2-inch elastic wrap, 4×4 sterile gauze pads, 2×2 sterile gauze pads, cotton swabs, adhesive tape, elastic and butterfly bandages, soap, acetic acid 5% hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, sterile eyewash,and a tourniquet.If you do get cut try and keep it clean and keep dirt out of the wound.For lower body sprains keep the are elevated and iced if you have it.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fungus for starting fires

A good fungus for starting fires grows on birch trees. Look for black, lumpy growths on the trees and break off a piece. The inside is orange to brown. What makes this particularly useful is that it can be ignited from a spark, to create a coal that can be blown into a fire. You can also use this fungus to carry a coal with you, for quick fire making at the next stop.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Western red cedar hiking tip

If you have an old backpack frame, you can make a simple, cheap ultralight backpack. Remove the old pack, and tie a plain nylon duffel bag to the frame firmly,with the zipper facing out. You could also attach it using small bungee cords. I used an old aluminum frame that still had straps and a waist belt. The result was an external-frame backpack that held a lot and weighed just two pounds.
Need emergency clothing or blankets? The bark of the western red cedar can be peeled easily from the tree . The softer inner bark is then separated out and used for weaving rough clothing, blankets,ropes and baskets.Remember to stay dry and drink plenty of water when hiking.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Backpacking High Altitude

Keep fires small and you'll spend less time collecting firewood. Just get closer for warmth. If you are also using the fire for possible signaling in an emergency, you can still keep it small, but keep a pile of brushy branches nearby to add if a plane goes by.
Digestion is more difficult at high altitude. This seems to be especially true for fats and proteins. If you are headed above 12,000 feet, you may want to save your crackers and other simple carbohydrates for snacking on top of that mountain.
In hot weather, soak your hat in every stream or water source you pass. A wet hat is like having a little air conditioner on your head. A wet bandanna around your neck helps too.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Steve Fossett

"There's no news of him signaling for help and that's a problem," said David McMullen of Berkeley, Calif., a leader of the hiking group Desert Survivors, whose members frequently venture into some of the country's harshest terrain. "He's either so injured he can't signal or he's perished "At this point, you'd be lucky to find him alive," said Lee Bergthold, director of the Palmdale, California-based Center for Wilderness Studies and a former Marine Corps survival instructor. "No food, that's not a problem. No water, that's a problem. That's a harsh desert out there."

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Backpacking tip

A cheap and easy and light seat cushion can be made from a sleeping bag pad. Just take an old basic blue foam pad and cut a square about 12 inches square out of it. This will weigh about one ounce (3/8" pad) and make a nice waterproof seat when you want to sit on a wet rock, log or on the ground. Put against your back inside your pack and it will also pad you from any sharp or clunky items.
Need something to tie things together? The small roots of spruce trees (genus picea) can often be dug by hand near the surface of the ground. They have been historically used for binding all sorts of things, as well as for sewing together birch bark canoes.
Cold wind may chill the front of your body, even while your back is hot and sweaty. If this happens, try putting your jacket on backwards, and leaving it opened. This keeps your back cooler while protecting you in front.

Hiking in the desert

“The body requires a certain amount of water for a certain level of activity at a certain temperature. For example, a person performing hard work in the sun at 43 degrees C requires 19 liters of water daily. Lack of the required amount of water causes a rapid decline in an individual’s ability to make decisions and to perform tasks efficiently.”
In other words, if you have a limited water supply, you should limit your activities during the hottest time of the day. Get started hiking early, perhaps just before sunrise. That way you can get in some miles before the heat comes. Hiking in the evening may work as well. If there is a full moon, you might even try hiking from four in the morning until the heat starts.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Hinking Boots

Keep your hiking boots dry put them under your sleeping bag by your legs, or even in your sleeping bag if you have a plastic bag to put them in. I sometime keep my shoes warm by using them as a pillow it is more comfortable than you might think. Point one shoe each way, so they cradle your head, and lay a shirt or other piece of clothing over them.You can slip small heat bags in each boot to keep them warm.Check the laces to make sure they are not broken or torn.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

UCSC Students

The Recreation Department offers a wide variety of classes, including surfing, kayaking, wine tasting, holistic health, dance, music, wilderness first aid, survival skills, and rock climbing, as well as backpacking and day trips. View the Recreation, Intramural and Sports Guide online or pick up a catalog on campus for complete listings.

Online recreation registration begins on Tuesday, October 2, at 9 a.m. for UCSC Students. Registration for all others begins on Wednesday, October 3. Register at

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Plants that can poison you in the wilderness

Jack-in-the-Pulpit All parts, especially roots Like Dumb Cane, contains small needle-like crystals of calcium oxalate that cause intense irritation and burning of the mouth and tongue.
Moonseed Berries Blue, purple color, resembling wild grapes. May be fatal.
Mayapple Apple, foliage, roots Contains at least 16 active toxic principles, primarily in the roots. Children often eat the apple with no ill effects, but several apples may cause diarrhea.
Mistletoe Berries Fatal. Both children and adults have died from eating the berries.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wood Nettles survival tip

Bottomlands and along streams in shady areas.
Appearance: Perennial herb up to two feet tall with stiff hairs on the stem.
Things to Look For: Stiff hairs on the plant's stem. Each tiny hair on the stems and leaves is hollow with a jagged point at the end. A bump against the stiff hair squeezes an irritating acidic chemical through the hair and onto a passing person's skin, much like a hypodermic needle.
The acid in the hairs, formic acid, is the same substance that many ants secrete to protect themselves from predators. In the Stinging Nettle, it's pressurized so that it bursts out the instant the sharp hairs make contact with skin. The acid quickly spreads into the nearby human skin cells, causing them to swell. A rash appears on the surface of the skin and small white spots develop.
Treatment if Exposed: Apply lotions with an anti-inflammatory and cooling effects (talc, calamine). Home remedies include to rub the irritated area with juice of dock (Rumex spp.) or Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis). Since the source of the irritation is an acid, it can also be neutralized by applying a base. Baking soda mixed with water works particularly well.
Human Reaction: Rash and dermatitis with an intense burning sensation due to allergic reaction.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cooking In The Wilderness

Pizza, biscuits, casseroles and desserts can now be prepared on wilderness trips. In fact, almost anything that can be baked in a conventional oven at home can be made in camp using the unique Outback Oven.Check out this cooking book.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Eat Wild Blueberries survival tip

Think like a bird. Look from ground level up to eye level and at all low trees. Many common berries grow in both bush and creeper forms. Creeper berries are underfoot, often extended above the greenery on long stems. Fruiting trees are low-growers that attract high-flyers like jays along with low-flying ground birds such as warblers that migrate through the underbrush.
Appearance: Red to purple-black, round to oval, seedy aggregate fruits measuring a half inch to an inch; variably sweet to sour, juicy to dried-out, depending on species, rainfall and age. Hundreds of species; all edible. Longish, dark purple blackberries pull off a stem, rounder raspberries slip off a half-round cap. Bush varieties grow on long, thorny canes that sprout from perennial roots and live only one fruiting season. Dead canes persist for years, creating bramble patches that no berry-fancier but a rabbit could love. Low growing blackberries, called dewberries, fruit on low creepers with short thorns that can't resist snagging your jeans or socks.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Bear Attack

With all the hype and "Walt Disney" perception with wildlife today, this is a stark reminder of what the natural world really is. No amount of "cute & fuzzy" animal rights propaganda will change this. Nature is a violent place. Natural systems involve a lot of "cruel" and violent activities. That's reality. Next time you hear, read, or watch some candy-coated oversimplified information about wildlife and ecosystems, remember this. Also remember the guy was armed, which is why he's alive today.
The bear jumped on him while he was sleeping in his tent. He managed to get it off of him and shoot it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Survival Tip Making Shelter

Ideal sites for a shelter differ in winter and summer. During
cold winter months you will want a site that will protect you from the
cold and wind, but will have a source of fuel and water. During summer
months in the same area you will want a source of water, but you will
want the site to be almost insect free. How to make a Lean To

Making a Compass

To make a compass out of a paper clip and a leaf, start by rubbing the paper clip on a dry article of clothing (wool is best) to magnetize it. Then place the leaf in a still pool of water (a tree stump works nicely).
When you place the paper clip on the leaf, it will slowly turn to face magnetic north.
1 clear plastic cup1 magnetneedle or small nailpincork or piece of foam about 1/4-inch thick an the size of a quarterpencil or penpenwaternotebook (optional) webcam or camcorder
1. Rub one end of the magnet along the needle
2. Make sure you rub in the same direction, about 30 times
3. Test the needle's magnetization by picking up the pin
4. Push the needle through the cork or foam piece
5. Fill the cup with water
6. Place the cork and needle so it is in the center of the cup
7. Wait for the needle to come to a rest
8. The thick end of the needle will point to North

Monday, August 27, 2007

Scombroid poisoning eating fish in the wilderness

Scombroid poisoning typically occurs when people eat certain fish that have been inadequately preserved. These include the spiny-finned fish of the family known as Scombridae. Bacteria that grow during improper storage in the dark meat of the fish produce scombroid toxin. Scombroid is a histaminelike chemical. The toxin does not affect everyone who ingests it.
No test is 100% reliable for assessing fish for this toxin. Cooking kills the bacteria, but toxins remain in the tissues and can be eaten.
Susceptible fish include albacore, amberjack, anchovy, Australian salmon, bluefish, bonito, kahawai, herring, mackerel, mahi-mahi, needlefish, saury, sardine, skipjack, wahoo, and yellowfin tuna. Affected fish may have a metallic or peppery taste.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Eat Dandelions and bugs survival tip

Crickets and grasshoppers are loaded
with carbohydrates. What does this nutrient give your body?” (Energy) “Termites,
beetles, and earthworms are very high in protein.
If you're really interested in trying out some insect food, remember that it's not safe to sample bugs from your backyard. Your best bet is to find a restaurant or store that sells correctly-prepared edible insects.
Dandelions rank in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value. Minnich, in "Gardening for Better Nutrition" ranks them, out of all vegetables, including grains, seeds and greens, as tied for 9th best. According to these data, dandelions are nature's richest green vegetable source of beta-carotene, from which Vitamin A is created, and the third richest source of Vitamin A of all foods, after cod-liver oil and beef liver! They also are particularly rich in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and the B vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin, and are a good source of protein.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tent Stakes tip when Camping

If you are a tent camper and camp allot.What I like to do is make wood stakes and use them instead of plastic or metal ones.All you have to do is remove the ropes from the stakes and pound them down into the ground and your good to go.No need to struggle with pulling out or breaking the plastic tent stakes.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Finding water in the wilderness

If you can find the source of water in the mountains or hills, where it actually bubbles out of the ground, you are usually safe in drinking it. If you are downstream from other animals and humans, it is best to boil water for 10-20 minutes or distill it. As a last case option, 2% iodine solution can be used. Add five drops to a quart of clear water or 10 drops to dirty water.
The fact that natives may assert a water source is pure could indicate they have built up a degree of immunity. To their systems, the water is not tainted (polluted). Even the loneliest wild stream can be infected with Tularemia (commonly called rabbit fever) by wild animals such as muskrats and beavers. Tularemia can also be carried by meadow mice, ground hogs (woodchucks), ground squirrels, tree squirrels, beavers, coyotes, opossums, sheep, and various game birds
Polluted water can be sterilized by adding hot stones to the water in the filter. The water will soon boil becoming sterile and safe drink.
In areas where there is the likelihood of water being unsanitary (near cities or villages), it is always safer to boil before drinking or add a pinch of chloride of lime.
Water which is very muddy, dirty or stagnant can be clarified through a good filter made from a pair of drill trousers with one leg turned inside out and put inside the other leg.
The cuff is tied and the upper part held open by 3 stakes driven well into the ground. Fill with the dirty water and then drop in the hot stones.
The water will filter through and MUST be caught by a container and poured pack until the dirt has been filtered. Boil the water at least 10 minutes. Remember, just moistening your lips with polluted water can make you sick for days; it can even kill you.
Rainwater collected in clean containers or in plants is usually safe for drinking. However, purify water from lakes, ponds, swamps, springs, or streams, especially the water near human settlements or in the tropics.
Construct a water still.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Does moss grow north on trees

Moss grows away from the sun in the heat of the day. The heat of the day is generally about late afternoon between 3:00 PM (15:00 HRS) to 4:00 PM (16:00 HRS).So if this is true and you are lost at least you know which way north might be.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

How can you avoid scorpion stings?

Scorpions are nocturnal animals and, therefore, typically only emerge at night. They often hide in dark cracks and vegetation. Ideally, accommodation should have a ledge that is at least 20cm high to prevent entry of scorpions.
To minimize the occurrence of scorpion stings, one should: remove loose boards, woodpiles, rocks, and debris from areas immediately surrounding homes; wear leather gloves and exercise caution when moving objects in yards or at campsites. When camping, invert and shake out sleeping bags, clothes, and other items that have been in contact with the ground, and shake out shoes before putting them on in the morning. Always wear shoes when walking at night. All members of the family should be able to recognize scorpions, and everyone should be aware of the danger they pose; special care should be taken to caution children, and older persons who have recently moved to Arizona from more northern latitudes. An infant's crib can be protected by placing the legs of the crib in clean widemouth jars. Scorpions cannot climb clean glass.
In areas with scorpions, it is also necessary to watch out for dark hiding places indoors: in cupboards, under the duvet and bed, or in shoes (look under the duvet/bed and shake your shoes thoroughly before putting them on).

Friday, August 10, 2007

Using a pot for melting snow or ice

Do not fill the pot with snow since any water produced will be quickly soaked up by the remaining snow and the pan will burn through before the snow melts.
Heat your cooking pot only gently as you melt very small quantities in the bottom. Be patient. Gradually add more snow, not more than that the snow floats freely in the water.
The same principle also apply when melting ice, always start with a little starter water.
Alternative methods to melt ice and snow
A slower but not so labor demanding method is to improvise a sack from an item of clothing. For example use a t-shirt with sleeves tied. Fill the sack with snow or ice and suspend it to melt over a container placed beside a fire.
A second method is to melt ice slowly on a tilted rock over a fire. Hold the melting ice in place with small stones. As the water runs down the rock, collect it in a container

Lyme Disease At A Glance

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that causes signs and symptoms ranging from rash and flu-like fever and body aches to more serious ones including joint swelling, weakness, fatigue and temporary paralysis. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Deer ticks, which feed on the blood of animals and humans, can harbor and spread the disease when feeding on a host.
Lyme Disease At A Glance
Lyme disease is a bacterial illness that is spread by tick bites.
Lyme disease can affect the skin, joints, heart, and the nervous system.
Lyme disease occurs in phases, the early phase beginning at the site of the tick bite with an expanding ring of redness.
Lyme disease is diagnosed based on the patient's clinical signs of illness and the detection of Lyme antibodies in the blood.
Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. Protective Clothing Treatment uses Permethrin the only substance known to effectively repel ticks as well as the biting insects including chiggers. This product was developed for use and approved by the United States military. Each 6oz kit contains enough solution to treat one set of clothing and a full bed-netting and lasts through six washings. This odorless, non-staing application is great for hunters, campers, hikers and other outdoors enthusiasts! Kit contains: ziplock treatment bag, 6oz. bottle of Premethrin solution, waterproof gloves. Safe for children.

Packaged food for camping

Packaged food portions are healthy and equivalent of an average persons requirement. However, camping food should be chosen according to individual capacity so as to remain well nourished throughout your hiking trip.
Most pre-packaged food portions are healthy and equivalent of an average persons requirement. However, camping food should be chosen according to individual capacity so as to remain well nourished throughout your hiking trip.
As it is difficult to have a gas-flame to heat on camping trips, some pre-packaged camping food can be heated with a heating pouch by adding water to a chemical heating source. However, this may tend to get quite heavy and difficult to dispose. In such a scenario, it is better to carry a small stove while backpacking.
Camping food also offers tradeoffs which may not always be connoisseur, but it is infinitely better than what you would traditionally get on a hiking trip. Its light, convenient, and provides a quick hot meal. Try different varieties and flavours of foods that suit you and select what you would like to carry with you. Breakfast food can be a combination of various cereals, both hot and cold as well as oatmeal.
You could combine two or three packages or even different flavours and store them in ziplock bags for convenient handling and trash disposal. You can also add sugar, salt, raisins, dried apples, nuts, dry fruits and dry milk to make it quick and easy to use at a later time.
Instant soup or noodles make a nice, hot and quick meal while packets of tea and coffee will supplement it on an exceptionally tiring and cold day.

Black Bear

This is a Black Bear on the same rock climb in the Smokey Mountains.The picture is blury because it scared the hell out of my son as he was on a small ledge over 2,000 feet up.
Black bears are generally shy and reclusive animals. They avoid human contact and are not normally agressive towards people. The only exceptions to this are so called "park bears" which are fed and lose their natural fear of humans. Although they are classified as carnivores, black bears are actually omnivorous, eating many types of plant and animal material. Grasses, green leaves, and other plants are eaten by black bears in the spring after they emerge from their winter dens. Summertime provides them with various berries, fruits, and insects. In fall and early winter, acorns and other nuts are especially sought after in order to build up fat reserves for the winter. In our area, black bears don't hibernate but they may be dormant during the coldest part of the winter. Unlike true hibernators, a dormant black bear can become fully alert in minutes if it is disturbed.

Copperhead Snake

Picture of a copperhead snake taking while rock climbing last week in Smokey Mountains Tennessee.The copperhead was curled up in a crevice along a steep ridge we were rock climbing.
The copperhead is a venomous snake with a broad triangular head, vertically elliptical pupils and a heat sensitive pit between each eye and nostril. The body is pinkish to grayish brown with brown or reddish-brown crossbands that are narrow on the back and widest on the sides. Small dark spots commonly occur between crossbands on the back. The unpatterned head is dull orange, copper or rusty-red. Body scales are keeled and the belly is pink or light brown with dark blotches along the sides. When young, a copperhead has a yellow-tipped tail.
Copperheads prefer rocky, forested hillsides and wetlands for habitat. Wet areas are particularly sought out in the hot summer months. Small mammals and frogs account for most of the prey items taken, but birds, insects and other snakes are also important parts of their diets. When approached, they will either move away quietly or lay motionless, relying on camouflage to protect them.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wild—whether camping

New Mitigator Sting & Bite Scrub from American Natural Technology Sciences joins Grabber’s growing outdoor skin care category for the sporting goods industry. Manufactured to relieve trauma, pain and itching, Mitigator treats everything from mosquito bites to jellyfish stings by neutralizing toxins.
Skin care in the wild—whether camping, hiking or biking—has always been a primary concern for outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to Mitigator, Grabber has recently expanded their offerings beyond air-activated warmers to include other outdoor skin care products like poison ivy preventatives, insect repellent, and first aid gel.

Stop Bite Products

Man Biten by a Bear

It then clamped her jaws around his right shoulder and started shaking him like a rag. He said he felt teeth pressing against his skin, then a pop as they sliced through.
At some point, the bear let go, then stood over Murphy, panting and drooling onto his head. All he could think about was a bear attack over the summer near the Russian River where a man was bitten on the face and blinded.

“I just lay perfectly still and said, ’God, don’t bite my head,”’ Murphy said.
Finally, the bear moved away. Murphy said he got up, planning to shoot the bear, but it had broken his rifle.
Murphy said he wrapped duct tape around his shoulder and cut up a cloth bag to wrap around his thigh. He hiked out to his four-wheeler, rode about 15 miles back to his pickup truck and drove a half hour to Valley Hospital in Palmer.
The 54-year-old said he has no idea how long the attack lasted, but it felt like “two lifetimes.”

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Pit Viper Snake Bite

Pit Viper
The pit viper has “pits,” on their heads. These organs help the snake locate prey and adjust the amount of venom used according to the size of their prey. The glands, or venom sacks are connected to the fangs, which act like hollow hypodermic needles. These fangs are voluntarily controlled by the snake. They can raise either one or both fangs, or neither. When fangs break off, there is usually another fang below, or there may be one next to it. Therefore, snakebites can present as one puncture wound, two, three or even four (see photo of timber rattlesnake for example of multiple fangs).
The pit viper can strike about 50% of its body length, and has been recorded to strike at about 7 feet per second. The forked tongue is equivalent to our nose. The snake senses chemicals in the air with their tongue, aiding in the location of prey. Their pupils are elliptical, and all pit vipers in the United States have elliptical pupils, as opposed to non-venomous snakes which have round pupils.
The age of a rattlesnake cannot be determined by the number of rattles. Rattles frequently break off, and therefore is an unreliable method to determine age.
DIAMONDBACK RATTLESNAKE This snake is best noted for its distinct alternating black and white rings on its tail, just above the rattle. A light stripe behind the eye reaches the lip in the front corner of the mouth. The diamond shaped pattern is not clear cut and distinct. The snake may appear speckled. The diamondback is responsible for most of the poisonous snake bites. It is a large aggressive pit viper that can exceed 6 feet in length.


The word, "wilderness", derives from the notion of "wildness"; in other words that which is not controllable by humans. The word's etymology is from the Old English wildeornes, which in turn derives from wildeor meaning wild beast (wild + deor = beast, deer) (The Collins English Dictionary, 2000). From this point of view, it is the wildness of a place that makes it a wilderness. The mere presence or activity of people does not disqualify an area from being "wilderness." Many ecosystems that are, or have been, inhabited or influenced by activities of people may still be considered "wild." This way of looking at wilderness includes areas within which natural processes operate without human interference.