Monday, January 28, 2008

Backpacking Tips

Knowledge saves can leave the rainwear home (except for a 2-ounce emergency poncho) if you are in the eastern Sierra Nevadas in September. You can just about leave the sleeping bag behind on summer trips in some parts.
Socks, especially if they are thicker, make good water bottle insulators when you want to keep your water cold or hot. This is assuming you use regular plastic soda bottles for water, as I do.
You should also avoid setting up camp at obvious animal watering holes.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Campfires Camping Tips

Planning to have campfires? It may be tough to start one if everything is damp. Carry a fire starter or two, to make it easy. Pieces of cardboard soaked in candle wax work well, even when wet.
Dried peat moss can be used for insulation to turn a light jacket into a warm coat. Just stuff the jacket full without removing it. It can also be used as mattress material or toilet paper.
Sleeping bags should not be stored in stuff sacks. This constant compression will eventually crush the insulation, making for less loft and therefore less warmth. Store bags unpacked on a shelf or in a large cloth bag.Camping and Backpacking Tips

Monday, January 21, 2008

tarps and tents camping tips

Old raincoat sleeves can be made into lightweight water-resistant stuff-sacks with a little sewing. Old nylon jacket sleeves will work too, and make lighter stuff sacks, though not water resistant.
Club moss spores were once used as 'flash powder' by magicians. Drop a pinch over a flame and it create an instant and large flash for signaling rescuers. It is also just fun. The flower heads often give off little puffs of the yellow spores as you walk through them. Collected green, they will open and release their spores in a day or two if kept in a warm dry place. I have collected more than a pound this way, for just a few hours work.
Don't fold tarps and tents. Stuff them into their stuff sacks. Folding repeatedly in the same way creates weak spots in the fabric.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Edged weapons from wood camping tip

You can make expedient edged weapons from wood. Use these only to puncture. Bamboo is the only wood that will hold a suitable edge. To make a knife using wood, first select a straight-grained piece of hardwood that is about 30 centimeters long and 2.5 centimeters in diameter. Fashion the blade about 15 centimeters long. Shave it down to a point. Use only the straight-grained portions of the wood. Do not use the core or pith, as it would make a weak point.
Harden the point by a process known as fire hardening. If a fire is possible, dry the blade portion over the fire slowly until lightly charred. The drier the wood, the harder the point. After lightly charring the blade portion, sharpen it on a coarse stone. If using bamboo and after fashioning the blade, remove any other wood to make the blade thinner from the inside portion of the bamboo. Removal is done this way because bamboo's hardest part is its outer layer. Keep as much of this layer as possible to ensure the hardest blade possible. When charring bamboo over a fire, char only the inside wood; do not char the outside.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Peat moss backpacking tip

You can cut the top off an old fleece hat and use it as a neck gaiter. Just be sure it isn't too tight. Keeping your neck covered is a great way to prevent too much heat loss.
Peat moss was used as a surgical dressing during world war two, and had distinct advantages over cotton, including antiseptic and astringent qualities. It is soft, and absorbs a lot of moisture too. Keep this one in mind for emergencies.
Don't hang a wet sleeping bag by one end to dry it out. The insulation can shift and clump up. Lay it out to dry, or hang it horizontally across some bushes or branches.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Backpacking tip antiseptic dusting powder

Raising your body heat. You can get by with less cold weather wear and sleeping gear if you have more body heat. One way to create more is to eat fats before going to sleep. Fats create heat when they are digested Corn chips are oily enough to help if you can't stomach a half cup of olive oil before bedtime.
Clubmoss spores can be used as a antiseptic dusting powder for wounds and skin problems. The spore heads often give off puffs of the yellow spores as you walk through them. Collected green, they will open and release their spores in a day or two if kept in a warm dry place. I have collected more than a pound this way, for just a few hours work.
When using a pack with a hip or waist belt, the weight should be primarily on your hips. Lean forward and you should feel the shoulder straps come off your shoulders. The shoulder straps should be tight enough to stabilize the load, but shouldn't actually carry much weight.More backpacking tips

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Out of insect repellent tip

One of the most important principles of survival in cold weather is to always be thinking ahead. Have enough firewood, stop early enough to properly prepare camp, etc. It is difficult to do much once it is dark and you are cold. Plan ahead.
Out of insect repellent? You can rub yourself with the fresh leaves of the yarrow plant Carry some leaves for later application.
Don't wash your sleeping bag too often. Washing machines - especially those with center agitators - are hard on bags. It is better to keep it as clean as you can to reduce washings. Drying it in the dryer, on the other hand, can fluff it up before a trip.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Air condition your tent

If the day is dry and hot, try wetting any large piece of cloth in the nearest stream and laying it over the roof of your tent. The evaporation can cool the interior of the tent by ten degrees. Just be sure that if you are using a shirt or other clothing that you'll be needing, to allow enough time before dark for it to dry completely.
Hiking and thirsty? Try thistle stems. The varieties with thicker stems can be peeled carefully when younger, and eaten like celery. They are common high in the Rockies, and full of moisture. It is often easier to scrape off the spines with your knife or the sharp edge of a rock before you cut the stem. If you are camping in a group with more than one tent, consider bringing a lightweight tarp. Pitched over the space between two tents, it can provide a dry passage back and forth and a place to cook out of the rain.More Backpacking tips.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Wild onions backpacking tip

Wild onions are one of the safer emergency foods, because their distinctive odor makes identification almost certain. If it smells and tastes like an onion or chive or garlic, it almost certainly is. Cook the bulbs if you eat large quantities, to make digestion easier.Read more on Symptoms Of Frostbite When Outdoors.