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

World class climber Erik Weihenmayer

"The incredible, inspiring story of world class climber Erik Weihenmayer, from the terrible diagnosis that foretold of the loss of his eyesight, to his dream to climb mountains, and finally his quest to reach each of the Seven Summits.
click on eBook
diesel ebook
Weihenmayer, Erik - Touch the Top of the World

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.