How to Prepare Fresh Game Meat For Storage

If you’re hunting for meat, the last thing you can afford is for the meat to spoil before you even get it home (or to a processing facility). It’s tough to understand all of the ins and outs of preserving game meat, especially if you’re hunting in warm temperatures.

Here are a few of the most common questions I hear about game preservation:

  • How long should you wait to skin an animal? Do you need to do it immediately?
  • Does the temperature outside matter?
  • How can I keep my meat safe from bears and other predators?

Some of these questions are easier to answer than other. For example, if your hunting grounds are accessible by vehicle, game preservation is a pretty simple process. In fact, there’s really only one step to it: Collect the dead deer or other game animal and haul it to a cooler to be processed as fast as possible.

In the backcountry, or further away from a vehicle, it’s considerably more difficult. However, if you understand the common causes of spoilage and the ways to prevent it, you shouldn’t have any problems. Let’s get started…

What Factors Cause Meat to Spoil?

The biggest cause of meat spoilage is the body heat emitted by the animal itself.

While an animal’s normal internal temperature usually hovers around 99 degrees, this can actually increase once an animal dies. How is that possible?

Well, the animal’s muscles continue to generate heat; without the assistance of a functioning circulatory system, this heat doesn’t circulate properly through the animal’s body.

That’s why the most important thing to do is to lower the meat’s temperature to the temperature of the air around you–once you accomplish this, you’re nearly “home free”.

Should You Skin Your Deer?

Skinning an animal isn’t always necessary–if the outdoor temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, you can simply gut the deer while leaving its hide intact.

Deer are relatively small, so they cool faster than larger game animals.

In warm weather (above 50 degrees), however, you should take special care to skin animals quickly–especially large animals like elk with heavy hides. Removing the hide is essential to cool the meat so it doesn’t spoil.

How to skin wild game

If you need a little guidance on skinning game, I personally really like this resource provided by Outdoor Hill.

Hunting with Arrows

Many expert hunters recommend using a crossbow when you hunt elk and even deer; one reason for this is that an arrow doesn’t harm the meat nearly as much as different types of ammunition.

Bow hunting

Granted, hunting big game with an arrow is easier said than done, but it’s a lot easier with the right crossbow scope.

Should You Hang the Carcass?

Yes, you should hang the carcass up. Air circulation is essential to quick-cool meat, and hanging is the best way to accomplish an all-around circulation.

Should you hang wild game kills?

This doesn’t mean however that you need to hang the deer very high–remember, the air is cooler lower to the ground.

Should You Gut Your Game?

It’s tough to gut large game animals such as elk–you don’t want to be knee-high in blood and guts, after all.

A better method is to slit the hide from tail to head. Then you can skin the upper half, remove all legs, and debone the ribs, neck, and brisket.

Should You Bone the Carcass?

If you’re carrying the meat for a long distance, boning can make a huge different in the amount of weight you’ll be carrying.

Boning the meat also ensures that it will cool quicker, which will prevent spoilage. At the very least, you should remove the biggest portions of bone, such as the shoulders and hips; these large bones can maintain the heat within the carcass for hours after death.

Although some argue that boning the meat will expose it to more dirt and cause the meat to dry out, it’s an easy problem to solve: you just need to bag the meat and seal it well.

Preventing Excess Moisture

Next to heat, bacteria is one of the most common culprits when it comes to spoilage. The bacteria that spoils meat thrive best in wet environments.

While you should still wash the meat, you should wipe it dry and leave it out to dry in the air for awhile before you bag it.

Keeping the Meat Clean

If you’re hunting in the cold weather, you most likely won’t have to deal with flies. In higher temperatures, though, they’re a formidable opponent.

how to store willd game meat

If you’re hunting in warm weather, you should bag all skinned meat as soon as possible. Invest in high-quality, compact and easy-to-carry bags.

What About Air Temperature?

Once you’re able to extinguish the carcass’s natural body heat, the temperature of the air around you is not much of an issue. If you’re hunting in hot temperatures, however, this article from Field and Stream has handy tips to keep your meat fresh.

As long as you can cool the meat to 40 degrees, time is one your side. Most commercial butchers age their beef or game for a few weeks; they quick-age beef even faster, and at a higher temperature.

Bear Safety

Although it’s understandable to want to keep your meat (and yourself) safe from bears, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to hang an animal carcass at a “bear-proof” height: bears can reach 10 feet or higher.

Your best bet is to skin, bone, then bag the meat as quickly as possible; this will lessen the time that the animal’s scent will dissipate through the air, attracting bears and other predators.

Most Important Takeaways

If you’re hunting for meat, as opposed to sport, these are important rules to follow. Don’t sabotage your efforts and your health by allowing meat to get dirty, infected, or spoiled by the natural body heat reserved in it after death.

Here are the most important things to remember to keep your game meat fresh, especially if you’re hunting without a vehicle nearby:

  • Skin the animal as quickly as possible, this will help the meat cool to the outside temperature.
  • You should, at the very least, remove all large bones. They will weigh you down, and they cause the meat to retain more heat for longer.
  • Wash and hang your meat to dry.
  • Bag your meat as soon as possible, especially if you are in a warmer climate, or you are in an area known to be populated with bears and other predatory animals.

I wish you the best of luck properly preserving the game meat that you hunt. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or ideas of your own in the section below. Happy hunting!

Chris Browning is the senior editor of Gun News Daily. The site was originally built by his father who used it as a resource center for people looking to learn more about gun education and safety. This legacy was carried on by Chris, who relaunched the magazine in 2015 and began to rebuild GND.

For the bulk of his career, Chris worked as a private military contractor for a number of NGOs. He is currently living outside Loveland, Colorado where he runs GND and a local coffee shop. Chris is also actively involved in the local community where he runs annual skeet shooting events.

Gun News Daily

 

 

 

 

 

Sticky Stuff: 15 Ways Duct Tape Can Save The Day

Original Article by PartSelect Blog

Written by Alison Hudson

No matter what the seasons is, a trip in the backcountry requires a few essential items: food, shelter, and duct tape. For some people, the list could be whittled down to simply duct tape. Its adhesive capabilities and waterproof exterior make it one of the most dextrous tools you can carry; in a pinch, it can be used to build a shelter and create snares to catch food. Try turning a freeze-dried meal into a tent or vice versa! If you aren’t sold on the wonders of duct tape, here are fifteen reasons to bring a roll on your next wilderness expedition (and a few tips for how to keep your stash of tape organized and safe from the elements).

 

How to Pack It

On a backcountry trip, you won’t be happy carting around an entire roll of duct tape, replete with the inner cardboard roll: it’s heavy, it’s bulky, the cardboard will disintegrate when it gets wet, and the roll takes up an inordinate amount of space. Here are a few techniques for efficiently packing duct tape to bring on your next trip.

 

Flat Wrap

A little time consuming, but with a nice, compact final product. Simply start unrolling a little of the tape. When you have about 4 inches unspooled, fold the tape back on itself so you have two sides that are not sticky. Keep folding the tape on top of itself until you have the amount you need for your trip. Pack the duct tape in a ziplock bag to keep it from sticking to other things in your pack.

 

Spool

This is a common trick used by people who hike with trekking poles. Start by holding the trekking pole sideways so that it’s easier to work with the tape. Then wrap the duct tape around the trekking pole until you have the desired amount. If you don’t like a thick roll of tape, consider wrapping half on one pole and half on the other.

 

Half Spool

For little fixes, it’s nice to have a thin strip of duct tape, rather than the bulky width of the tape on the roll. To create a half spool, find something round, like a tent pole splint or a pencil. Using a sharp blade, slice the duct tape on the roll so that you have either two or three equal widths of tape; if you score all the way around the roll, it’s a lot easier to pull off. Start rolling one strip around the pencil until you have enough.

 

Mix it Up

Duct tape now comes in a variety of colors and patterns, all of which have the same strength and stickiness of the original silver tape. If you’re hunting, pick up some camo-colored tape (or hunter orange for making yourself visible). If you’re wrapping tape around trekking poles, having two different colors of tape can help differentiate the two poles. If you anticipate using the tape to mend clothing, tents, or other wearable items, black, blue, or dark green make more discreet patches than the bright silver. Neon shades work especially well for marking trails because they show up so much better than silver or dark colors.

Fix Things

The original purpose of duct tape was to make repairs. This is one of its best applications in the wilderness, where supplies are limited and multi-purpose items are priceless.

 

Fix Your Gear

Broken Ski

A broken ski can be a huge hindrance, especially if you’re far from your car. Duct tape can be used for an easy fix, whether it’s a nordic or downhill set up. Using a thin tree branch as a splint, tightly wrap duct tape around the stick and both pieces of broken ski.

 

Repair a Tent (pole)

A broken tent pole can be detrimental to an extended camping trip. Even if your tent came with a splint for a broken pole, duct tape is a lot easier to use. Place the broken ends side by side, so they overlap, and wrap them tightly with tape.

 

Inflatable Mattress

Nothing is quite as pernicious as a leaky inflatable mattress. In a pinch, a circular duct tape patch will keep the air from escaping while you sleep through the night. Be sure to clean the area around the patch before placing the tape to make a better seal.

 

Repair Clothes

Rips, tears, shredded cuffs, all of these can easily be fixed with some masterfully placed duct tape. For rips, use a round piece of tape because the lack of corners makes it more likely to stay in place. For cuffs, fold a piece over the edge and press it smooth.

 

Repair Sunglasses

Broken ear piece, loose lenses, snapped nose bridge: these are just some of the ways in which sunglasses can break at the more inopportune time. Duct tape can be used to fix all of these problems, whether it means wrapping the nose bridge in a thin strip, wrapping the ear piece with a wide piece, or carefully outlining the lens with tape to keep it from falling out.

Fix Yourself

Band Aid

It may not have the same padding, but duct tape will keep a wound dry while keeping dirt and other detritus from causing an infection.

 

Ankle Wrap

Though not as flexible as athletic tape, duct tape will make a useable ankle wrap in a pinch. Wrap the tape with the sticky side out to prevent tearing skin away when the wrap is removed.

 

Prevent Snow Blindness

Forgot your glacier glasses in Base Camp? Duct tape can be used to make improvised sunglasses that will help prevent snow blindness and other eye injuries from bright sun on snow or water. Simply cut a width of duct tape (or two) that will extend across your face and make two very narrow slits where your eyes line up with the tape.

 

Tick-proof

In deep weeds or grasses where ticks are prevalent, it’s vital to seal all entrances to bare skin. Wrap duct tape around the bottom of your pants and tops of your socks to keep ticks from slipping through while you walk.

 

Cover Bug Bites

Some bug bites react well to being covered with tape, especially chigger bites. If you’re getting plagued by bug bites, use duct tape to cover the itchy bites and prevent worse damage.

Prevent Things from Breaking

Duct tape is perfect for preemptive use on gear that could get damaged.

 

Pants Cuff Care

How many pairs of hiking pants or rain pants have you seen with blown out cuffs? It’s easy to ruin a pair of expensive pants by walking on the cuff. To prevent fraying, use a piece of duct tape to reinforce the hem. This is especially useful for rain pants, which are expensive to replace.

 

Waterproof Map Case

Duct tape is an inexpensive way to waterproof papers and other items that need to be protected from the rain. To make a map case, start by cutting two pieces of cardboard to match the size of your map or other papers. Once you’re created the template, cover the cardboard with stripe of duct tape. Be sure to overlap the edges of each piece to make it extra waterproof.

 

Dry Bag For Electronics

Using the same process described above, you can easily create a waterproof case for your electronics (everything from a smart phone to a satellite phone).

 

Hide-a-Key

It’s the last day of your wilderness trip and you’re back at the trail head exploding your back in search of the car key. Next time, use a piece of duct tape to secure your key under the car. That way you don’t have to worry about losing it in the woods or a lake.

 

Mark a Trail

Bright strips of duct tape can be used to flag a trail through the woods so that you or others can follow the path without getting lost.

 

A roll of duct tape and some creativity will go a long way toward relieving a stressful situation in the wilderness. Always pack more tape than you think you’ll need and don’t be afraid to experiment with bold ideas; when duct tape first came out on the market it was used on weapons, military vehicles, and boots. There is no situation too sticky for some duct tape.

 

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OmegaMan Tested: EDC Survival Keychain by Survivalhax

EDC Survival Keychain

Field tested by our guest blogger, OmegaMan quoted: “A great little paracord keychain with a ear piercing whistle attached to a durable aluminum case filled with survival essentials!”

EDC Survival Keychain

“This is a great addition to any preppers’ everyday carry (EDC) or bugout bag. Here’s what you will be shocked to find inside the survival case: Fire striker bar & tinder, fishing swivels, fishing float & weights, fishing line & hook, 2 safety pins, a wire saw, and a knife!”

DETAILS:

It’s a key chain, a survival kit, and a waterproof pill container all in 1.

The 10 in 1 Paracord EDC Keychain is a waterproof aluminum EDC (everyday carry) pill bottle.

A durable carabiner and 550 paracord are used so you can take this mini survival kit anywhere.

If you carry your car keys everywhere, you’ll have a much better chance of surviving the apocalypse.

No need for a bug out bag, this is small enough to fit in your pocket.

What’s Inside?

There are technically 11 separate pieces inside the canister. 

  • Fishing line
  • Hooks
  • Weights
  • Floaters
  • Sinkers
  • Swivels
  • Eye knife
  • Cotton tinder
  • Fire starter rod
  • Safety pins
  • Wire saw

The paracord is over 4 feet long when unraveled and has an emergency whistle attached to it.

Our goal was to make a reusable PSK (Personal Survival Kit) that gives you the ability to catch a fish, gut it, and cook it.  Sure there are easier ways to do this, but none that fit on your keychain.

What Can This Mini Survival Kit Do?

From nothing, you can make a Fishing Pole 

  1. Can you find a branch in the woods?  Great you’ve got a fishing pole.
  2. Open your EDC bottle and pull out the fishing line.
  3. Tie the line to one end of your branch or stick.
  4. Attach your hooks to your fishing line.
  5. Add your sinkers and floaters.
  6. Find a bug or worm for bait.
  7. You are now fishing, bushcraft style.

No survival kit would be complete without a way to start a fire.  And in order to start a fire, you need wood. The finger chainsaw can slice through branches with enough elbow grease. Slide two sticks in the finger holes for extra torque.

Contents:

  • 1 x Waterproof EDC container
  • 1 x Paracord
  • 1 x Fishing line
  • 2 x Hooks
  • 2 x Weights
  • 2 x Floaters
  • 2 x Sinkers
  • 2 x Swivels
  • 1 x Knife
  • 1 x Tinder cotton
  • 1 x Fire starter
  • 1 x Saftey Pins
  • 1 x Finger saw
  • 1 x Whistle
  • 1 x Carabiner

Specs:

  • Total length: 9.2 inches
  • Bottle length: 3.3 inches
  • Bottle width: .9 inches
  • EDC bottle material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Paracord length: 3 inches
  • Untied Paracord length: 4 feet
  • Weight: 0.14 pounds

ORDER NOW

10 STEPS FOR BEGINNING HUNTERS

(Featured Image – Buy on Bigstock)

10 HUNTING STEPS FOR THE BEGINNERS

Hunting is an interesting and one of the most enjoyable recreational activity for most people worldwide. However, a beginning hunter must follow some steps before he or she becomes a pro in hunting.

Below are 10 most important steps and necessities for you if you are interested in hunting and would want to begin the interesting activity.

1. TAKE A SAFETY COURSE FOR HUNTERS

Hunting can involve many accidents which can be avoided. It is important that a beginner in hunting takes a safety course on hunting. This will help the hunter avoid such accidents as shooting accidents. The safety course will make hunting very enjoyable since it makes the conduct of the hunters acceptable by the public. To start off, look for hunting training centers that can be found around your place by searching them online.

2. GET A HUNTING LICENSE

For a hunter to fully enjoy the practice, he or she should have all the rights to do it. It is no doubt that a beginning hunter has just realized a new hobby. Although some hunters may decide to go the illegal way, out of desperation to enjoy hunting, by avoiding to secure a license for hunting, choose the legal way. Do not mess up your new hobby. It is simple, secure a hunting license.

 

3. GATHER HUNTING EQUIPMENT

Before beginning any activity, it is paramount that you have everything that is required for the activity in place. A hunter, therefore, who is new in the game is expected to have hunting gear before he or she starts to explore his or her new hobby. The crucial requirements for a beginner include an archery, hunting clothes, hunting boots, sling shots, hunting bags and tactical backpacks, guns and a tactical pen. Hunting equipment varies from the simple cheap ones to the sophisticated and expensive ones. It is advisable that a person interested in hunting begins with simple and cheap equipment; then he or she will advance as time goes by. This will make it all an interesting activity where the beginning hunter gets no difficulty in doing it.

 

The choice of the gear is, however, important. A prospective hunter is expected to choose the best tactical backpack among some other equipment. A backpack is designed for comprehensive packing. They, therefore, help the hunter in carrying the requirements for the hunting. Some of the best backpacks include the Tactical Rush 72 Backpack, Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger, Tactical Tailor Operator Removable Pack, Spec Ops T.H.E Ultimate Assault Pack, which is a good all-round pack, among others.

 

The hunter is also required to look for the best tactical pen. A tactical pen, for a hunter, is an important tool for self-defense in case of an attack while hunting. Some of the most popular and the best tactical penS include the Cold Steel Pocket Shark, The ProMag Archangel Defense Pen, The Schrade SCPENG Tactical, The Mid-Range, The Boker Plus Tactical Pen Cid Cal .45 among others. The hunter may look up for more good tactical pens in the market.

 

4. KNOW THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS THAT GOVERN HUNTING

Each country or state has its rules that govern hunting. A beginner should familiarize himself or herself with these laws to avoid the risk of finding himself or herself on the wrong side of the law. A champion always knows all the rules of the game. Avoid making enemies with the warden.

 

5. LOOK FOR A SKILLED HUNTER

Learning hunting involves a lot of observations. Because of this, a beginner should make friends with an experienced hunter and work with them fir the start. Your learning, however, should not be an interruption on the hunter. While with him or her, watch keenly what he does. Your respectful and non-inconveniencing learning may lead him or she let you know some of his or her hunting secrets.

 

6. CHOOSE A GUN

It is quite obvious that you will get several conflicting and confusing views on which gun you should take for the start. The best option is to visit the nearest gun store to discuss the same. If you are planning to be on the big game, then a riffle is the best. However, consider a shot gun.

7. PRACTICE SHOOTING

You should also practice using a gun and learn the safety precautions when using a gun.This will help you familiarize with your gun and ensure you are safe with them. Do this on targets and posts and you will be set to go. An experienced hunter may help you on that.

 

8. KNOW THE HUNTING ENVIRONMENT WELL

It is hard to hunt in a place that you are not used to. It is, therefore, important that you familiarize yourself with that surrounding; that is the landscape and the animal behaviors of the animals before you begin the game. This will help you when you will be drawing your hunting plans and therefore making the hunting game easy and enjoyable.

 

9. LEARN TO USE OTHER HUNTING EQUIPMENT THAT YOU HAVE

It is very obvious that you cannot use what you are not used to. Learn to use all the equipment that you will begin with, for instance, how to use the tactical pen for defense. Know how to put on your attire and how to put your backpack in place. This will keep you ready for the start.

10. BEGIN WITH A SMALL GAME

You are advised to start the hunting game on the easy targets such as the squirrels and later, deer. This will build your confidence in the hunting and keep you safe. Beginning with bigger targets will put you at the risk of being attacked by the animals and consequently making lose interest in hunting.

 

You are now set to go hunting. Explore the new interesting hobby.

 

Sheldon Martin is the founder of Captain Hunter. CaptainHunter.com is a site dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment, and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously.

Never think that you are alone in the woods again. Our goal is to share what we know with who needs it most.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Campfire Cooking – The Basics

One of the first images that comes to mind when people talk about camping is a campfire. For many people, campfires and camping are practically synonymous. Campfires can serve many functions on a camping trip: as a quick source of heat on a cold night, and an efficient way to dry off layers after a rainy day. Some people even refer to campfires as “caveman television,” because of their addictive nature. One of the best uses for a campfire is to cook food. Although cooking on a campfire takes longer than using a backpacking stove, campfires are incredibly versatile. The smoke imparts a unique flavor to the food and, with the right equipment, you can cook everything from s’mores to fresh bread using a campfire. Campfire cooking is perfect for car camping or canoe trips, where heavier items like a Dutch oven and fresh ingredients are easy to pack.

You can learn more fishing tips here.

Making a Fire

Many official or established campsites have nicely built fire pits or fire rings. In regions without established camping sites, fire rings are usually easy to find in well-traveled areas, but many are built in locations that don’t adhere to land use regulations. Fire regulations vary greatly from state to state and between land agencies, so double-check any requirements before leaving home. If you’re on public lands, don’t build a new fire ring if you can’t find one where you are camped. Instead, build a Leave No Trace fire – one that won’t have a lasting impact on the area. The most important part of having a campfire is to ensure that your fire doesn’t impact the surrounding environment. Every summer, improperly extinguished campfires create massive wildfires. It takes very little time for a smoldering fire to flare into a multi-acre wildfire, so be sure your fire is completely dead when you go to bed or leave the campsite. The most effective way to achieve this is by pouring water on the embers and ashes. Another preventive measure is to keep the size of your pile manageable. A huge bonfire in the woods can get out of hand quickly, so aim for nothing larger than a three-foot diameter and a foot high and don’t use branches that are thicker than your wrist. Never burn trash, especially toilet paper because tiny pieces can catch the wind and blow out of sight, moving embers to areas beyond your vision. If you’re on public lands, check for fire bans in your area before starting any fires.

Source: eReplacementParts.com

Campfires can be used to create several types of cooking conditions, from an open flame to seasoned coals. The stage of fire you want to cook with depends entirely on what you are cooking. For fast-cooking items like hot dogs and marshmallows, full flames are fast and easy. While these items can be cooked on the end of a sharpened stick, it’s simpler to bring a set of roasting sticks. For easy packing, invest in a set of extendable sticks with wooden handles. People who are new to campfire cooking usually stick their marshmallow or hot dog right into the flames, which certainly will work. However, this usually results in a crispy exterior and chilly interior. For a perfectly golden-brown marshmallow or an evenly crispy hot dog, look for a patch of wood that’s glowing, but not shooting flames. The glowing signals coal, which emits a more even heat than flames. It does require more time to cook this way, but the effort pays off for those with patience. Kids will usually opt for the full flame effect, which is half the fun of having a campfire with children. To dress up s’mores, try using peanut butter cups in place of chocolate or bring filled chocolate bars instead of flat ones. If you like the chocolate slightly melted, set your graham cracker and chocolate on a stone by the side of the fire while you cook the marshmallow. The same technique will toast a hot dog bun.

For more delicate items like fish, vegetables, and anything baked in a Dutch oven, you need to wait until the fire has created a nice heap of coals. A Dutch oven is a large, heavy cooking pot with a sturdy lid. When buried in or surrounded by hot coals, the pot acts like an oven, evenly cooking the ingredients inside. Though heavy, they’re incredibly versatile and can be used for everything from stews and roasts to cobbler and fresh bread. They’re easy to clean and incredibly durable; there are countless recipes for home cooking in a traditional oven that utilize a Dutch oven, so it’s not a specialty camping item. If you’re cooking something with coals, pack heavy-duty leather gloves or a small shovel to help you move coals to where you need them. For cooking with a Dutch oven, make a flat space in the coals where you can set the pot without worrying about it tipping. Once it’s in place, scoop coals onto the top of the lid so the oven is completely surrounded by even heat. You can also cook food packets wrapped in heavy-duty tinfoil (be sure to use heavy-duty rather than regular). These can be cooked on a grill grate over the fire, or directly in the coals.

 

These are just a few recipes and cooking ideas to get you started! Campfires are excellent for cooking any number of dishes, including bacon and eggs, fresh corn, roasted vegetables, fresh bread, macaroni and cheese, and even hot drinks like cocoa and coffee. Experiment with different equipment, like a kettle for water or a tripod for hanging a Dutch oven over coals.


How To Set Up Your Campsite

Camping with the family is supposed to be relaxing, but it can feel stressful if you don’t know how to pack, set up, and organize your campsite efficiently. After all, no one wants to spend all their time unpacking camping gear, looking for things, and hauling stuff around their campsite! Read on to learn how to efficiently pack and set up all your gear!

How to Pack Your Camping Gear for Easy Set Up at the Campground

Start your packing process with stackable rubber storage totes. You’ll need at least three (one for each camping “section” of your campsite, including the kitchen, sleeping, and living areas). Larger families or those with extensive gear will probably need more than one tote for each section. Once you arrive at your campsite, simply set each tote in the designated area you’ll need it in, such as the area around your picnic table for the kitchen tote, your tent area for your sleeping tote, and near your campfire pit for your living area tote. Color code your totes to remember where each one belongs.

Try this kitchen packing hack: Store your kitchen tools and utensils in a toiletry bag or other small bag to keep them organized and clean between uses at a dusty campground. You can hang them from a tree branch for easy access when you’re at your site.

In addition to your three “main section” totes, assign a smaller tote to each family member. This tote will hold that person’s clothing and personal items. Using totes for this purpose, instead of duffel bags or suitcases, saves space in your car or trailer since you can stack them.

Place items you’ll need at the ready in a mesh laundry sack (which can be re-purposed later for dirty clothes). These items may include swimsuits and towels you’ll want as soon as you arrive at the campground or jackets and boots if you’re camping in damp areas or in the off-season.

How to Find a Good Campsite and Set Up Efficiently

If you can reserve your campsite ahead of time, do so online as early as possible. Look at the campground map and note campsites that back up to the wilderness instead of other sites. In addition, look at the bathroom and shower locations (you may want to be close to one or you may want to be farther away from foot traffic). If you are camping at a campground that does not take reservations, arrive at the campground as early in the day as possible. When you arrive, look for a campsite that backs up to the forest or scenery to minimize noise from any neighbors.

Find a campsite with equal parts shade and sun to maximize your exposure and enjoy warmth in the mornings and cooler temperatures in the afternoon. Once you’ve selected a site, set up your sleeping area in the shade (so your tents don’t heat up during the day) on flat ground away from the fire ring and kitchen area.

Set up your kitchen adjacent to the fire ring and picnic table. You may want to consider setting up a screen dome or shade shelter over the table to reduce unwanted quality time with insects and mosquitos. Make sure you place your cooler in the shade.

How to Have a Safe Campfire

First, always make sure the campground permits campfires. Campfire policies can change seasonally, and they may be prohibited during peak forest fire danger periods. If campfires are permitted, make sure to gather sticks and wood from the ground around your site, taking care not to break branches off living trees. Dead wood is drier and better for burning.

If you need to buy firewood, buy it at your campground or at a local store. This practice saves space in your vehicle for your other gear, and it is far better for the environment. When you bring wood from home, you can unknowingly bring unwanted, non-native insects or parasites along with it.

Start your campfire with kindling or small sticks from around the campsite, combined with some newspaper or store-bought fire starter.

Always let your campfire start to die out one hour before bedtime. This is a great time to light a camping lantern and play a few rounds of cards or a board game. Of course, you should always put your fire completely out before leaving your campsite (for the day or at the end of the trip). To extinguish your fire quickly, separate the burned coals with a stick. Once they’re not touching, they will become cool to the touch within 15-20 minutes on average. After spreading the coals, ensure that the fire is fully out by throwing buckets of water or sand or them.

 


Source: eReplacementParts.com


7 Items You Must Have in Your Emergency Survival Kit [infographic]

There are several people who don’t think of bad situations that might happen to them in future. It is good to live in the present but you can’t overlook such times when your life and survival are in trouble. And, that comes with an emergency. Whether you are at home, in office or travelling, emergency situations can strike anytime. But, when you have the required equipment and supplies with you, there are better chances of survival and you can easily deal with the unfavorable situations. There are only 7 essential items that you need to have in your emergency survival kit. And, they are:

  1. Water –  Water is an important and unmissable element of your emergency kit. Survival experts have been emphasizing on carrying at least 3 gallons of water per person for a 3-day supply. Because you will need it for multiple purposes that include- drinking, cooking and sanitation. Keep checking the expiry and accordingly replace your bottled water once in a year. There is a specially packaged water which has a longer shelf life ranging from 5 to 50 years.
  2. Food – Like water, food is also important for the body and should be a part of your survival kit. So, include non-perishable food items in your kit with a minimum of 3-day supply per person. Along with this you can also keep some candies, mints and nutritional bars. Freeze dried food is also a good option since it has a shelf life of 5 to 25 years. In case, you are with kids and pet, carry baby food and formulas and pet food. Keep replacing these items annually.
  3. First-Aid- If someone in your family or you yourself suffer an injury or a health issue, you should be prepared with the basic first-aid supplies in your emergency kit. These include a thermometer, some general medicines, eye wash solution, eye drops, aspirin, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide to wash and disinfect wounds, glucose for diabetes patients, cotton roll, sting relief pads, bandage strips, scissors, tweezers, adhesive-tape, and burn gel.
  4. Lighting and Communication– In times of disaster or an emergency, the problem of power outage maximizes tension. To tackle such a situation, carry with you, a solar powered or hand cranked radio, lantern, battery-operated torch, candles, lighter, waterproof match sticks, whistle for signaling, some spare batteries and cell phone chargers. These will act as the source of lighting and communication in any kind of emergency.
  5. Shelter and Warmth– Weather can have disastrous effects, especially when you are already dealing with an emergency situation. But if you ensure to have these essential supplies in your kit- a tent, vinyl tarps, body and hand warmers, raincoats and ponchos, sleeping bags and thermal blankets, you can make the chances of your survival, better.
  6. Sanitation and Hygiene- Keep a pail to use as toilet, a seat for pail, tissue rolls, toothbrush and toothpaste, garbage bags and plastic ties, baby diapers, wet wipes, sanitizer and soaps to maintain hygiene in and around yourself.
  7. Survival Gear– Other tools that help you in emergency situations include shovel, axe, can opener, duct tape, multi-function knife, dust masks, heavy duty gloves, a sturdy rope for towing, plastic sheeting and a portable stove and fuel. All these are also equally essential.

Other important items that you should not miss to include in your survival kit are fire extinguisher, garden hose for siphoning and firefighting, sturdy shoes, cash and some change, paper, pencil, spare clothes, eye glasses, and baby diapers.

Want to know about emergency survival kit in detail? Look at this infographic designed by More Prepared, an emergency survival expert.

7 Items You Must Have in Your Emergency Survival Kit

Mina Arnao  is the Founder/CEO of More Prepared, the emergency preparedness experts for over 10 years. More Prepared’s mission is to help families, schools and businesses prepare for earthquakes and other emergencies.  Mina is CERT trained (community emergency response team) and Red Cross certified.

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25 Uses for Duct Tape

Read on for more genius ways to tap into duct tape’s potential.

Duct Tape to the Rescue

If it’s good enough for wars and space travel, it’s good enough for all sorts of hacks for your next camping trip. When times are rough, here are some ways duct tape may help get you out of the woods.

Shelter

After a long day outside, there is nothing worse than getting to a campsite and realizing something is wrong with the night’s cover. Here are some ways duct tape may be able to step in to help you get a good night’s sleep.

  • Mend a fabric tear: Tear off a piece of duct tape long enough to cover the rip in the tent. Adhere the tape on both the outside and inside of the tent. This should help keep water, dirt, and bugs out of your shelter.
  • Fix a broken zipper: Rather than let the tent door flap in the wind and let in the chill, apply a strip of duct tape along the break in the zipper.
  • Remedy a broken pole: If a pole snaps in half, put it back together by wrapping duct tape around the two parts. For a sturdier fix, tape a stick alongside the broken pole for reinforcement.
  • Fashion guylines: Guylines protect tents from rough winds by increasing stability. If the air is howling and your tent isn’t equipped with guylines (or they’re too tangled to use), fashion some out of duct tape. Make the cord by twisting several lengths of duct tape together. Tie and/or stick the cord to the sides of the tent, and then tie the other ends to rocks or trees, keeping the guylines taught.
  • Whip up an unplanned bivvy: No tent? No problem! With some duct tape and a couple of trash bags (which can also serve plenty of survival/camping purposes) you’ll be able to build a tent in no time. First, run a cord (a duct tape one, if needed – see guyline instructions) between two trees, allowing enough space for you to fit in between. Tape two trash bags together and drape them over the cord. To hold the shelter in place, place rocks where the trash bag meets the ground to hold it in place.

Duct Tape Guide - Using Duct Tape for Shelter

Footwear

Solid footwear is one of the most important pieces of equipment for a quality camping trip. But if treads fail or your feet are in need when out in the elements, here are several ways duct tape can step in.

  • Make a basic repair: You aren’t going to be able to hike very far if the soles of your boots are literally falling off, but keeping them strapped on with duct tape will allow you to regain basic function for at least a few more miles.
  • Waterproof: Soaking wet socks are no fun. When the rain’s coming down, wrap duct tape around shoes to help keep the water out.
  • Construct gaiters: Even if boots do a fine job keeping out moisture, a day of winter tromping can mean wet feet when the snow creeps in around your ankles. Stay dry with makeshift gaiters by wrapping the tops of the boots in duct tape, and continue wrapping the tape about halfway up your calves.
  • Fashion snowshoes: This one is going to take a little longer – something you’ll likely want to do at home, rather than when you’re actually in the snow. You’ll need two rolls of duct tape, hot glue, a sharp knife, several sturdy sticks, string, scissors, and a large bowl. Find more detailed instructions here.

Duct Tape Guide - Using Duct Tape for Shelter

First Aid

Just as the WWII soldiers discovered, duct tape is a great addition to a medical kit.

Note: The following is not a substitute for basic wilderness first aid. Please brush up on your skills with a class before a big trip, and be sure to bring more than just duct tape in your first aid kit.

  • Make or enforce a bandage: Place sterile gauze over a cut and hold it in place with duct tape. This is also a good quick fix for blisters (just be sure the duct tape itself is not touching the wound). Alternatively, wrap an existing bandage with duct tape to hold it in place more securely and protect against dirt.
  • Wrap a sprain: In lieu of an Ace bandage, wrap your ankle or wrist in duct tape to provide support.
  • Stabilize with a splint: Stabilize a possibly broken limb with sticks and duct tape. First, lay sticks on either side of the injured bone. Then hold it all together by wrapping duct tape around the sticks.
  • Create a serviceable sling: Fold a length of duct tape down the middle so there’s no longer a sticky side. Tie the tape around your body as a strap to hold an injured arm in place.
  • Make a tourniquet: In the event of unstoppable blood, tightly wrap the affected area above the wound in order to stop blood flow.
  • Ward off bugs: For walks through grassy fields that may be home to ticks or chiggers, wrap some duct tape around the hem of your pants to keep the bugs from sticking onto you.
  • Protect your eyes: You may not always think to bring sunglasses on a winter camping trip. If the sun is beaming—especially at high altitudes—it can intensely reflect against the snow and cause painful and possibly permanent damage to your eyes, called snow blindness. Prevent eye damage with some super makeshift sunglasses. Tape two pieces of duct tape together, then cut horizontal slights over each eye to let in just enough light to see, but not enough to seriously impair corneas.
  • Prevent frostbite: Alaskan dogsledders swear by this frigid practice: If it is really cold out, stick duct tape directly to your face (especially around the eyes) to keep sensitive skin from freezing over. Just be careful when removing the tape so as not to take some skin with it.

Duct Tape Guide - Using Duct Tape for First Aid

Forgotten Goods

Did you leave an oh-so-important item at home? Duct tape can be molded into all sorts of basic necessities.

  • Craft a cup or bowl: Don’t let a forgotten bowl keep you from enjoying dinner. With several strips of duct tape, you can quickly craft a nifty alternative. Thanks to duct tape’s waterproof attributes, it should be able to hold liquids as well.
  • Use as a fire starter: Duct tape is surprisingly flammable. In a pinch, it could be the secret tool to get a campfire going. For an even more reliable fire starter, wrap duct tape around a bundle of dryer lint, and then cover the outside with char cloth.
  • Build a makeshift torch: Don’t have a flashlight? Light up a wad of duct tape to provide a bit more illumination – even if short-lived.
  • Create a handy hat: When the sun beats down, stick several pieces of duct tape together to form a visor, then use another strip to strap it on. (Be sure to take some selfies showcasing the fashionable new headpiece.)

Duct Tape Guide - Using Duct Tape For Forgotten Goods

The Rest of the Roll

  • Make an all-purpose cord or rope: A duct tape cord can have a lot of uses beyond just guylines, such as a clothesline, a gear sling, or a way to tie food in the trees to keep it safe from hungry critters. You can also make a heavier duty rope by braiding three pieces of duct tape cord together.
  • Repair clothing: If you have a tear or hole in a down jacket or even sleeping bag, place a strip of duct tape over it to help keep the feathers where they are.
  • Mend leaky bottles: If your water vessel – be it a plastic water bottle or a flexible water bladder – has sprung a leak, stop it (or at least slow it down) with a piece of duct tape over the puncture.
  • Soften sharp edges: There is nothing more annoying than the constant jabbing of a pointy object in your pack. Apply a layer of duct tape to buffer sharp edges.

Duct Tape Guide - Using Up the Rest of the Roll
This list should give you plenty of ideas for duct tape survival, but there are many more ways to salvage your outdoor adventure with this wonder tool. Throw a roll or two into your pack, or wrap several layers around a water bottle or trekking poles for later use, and you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to unstick yourself from all sorts of binds.
Source: Fix.com Blog



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