How to Teach Your Kids to be Prepared… For Anything! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Family survival planning is a very engaging and beneficial undertaking. Not only is it important that everyone is on the same page, should disaster strike, it can be a great bonding experience to bring you all closer. In the long run, this gives you the necessary tools to become a cohesive unit of togetherness that can combat any situation, should the worst happen.

There’s such a wealth of activities you can engage in that your kids will love as well, so it doesn’t have to be a monotonous task, but rather real life lessons exploring the outdoors for example.  If you have young children, then you can start these valuable lessons from as early as five years old to really bed in some of the key lessons that can then be expanded upon, right up to their teenage years. Broadly speaking, there are a few main considerations to address as a starting point.

Shelter, food and spotting early warning signs are great kick off points for any discussion or activity and can be a recurring theme throughout your lessons. After that point, your judgment and intimate knowledge of your kids will dictate how you move forward.

With that in mind, check out the below infographic provided by MIkesGearReviews to get a better understanding and ideas of how to prepare your kids for anything life throws their way.

Teach kids to survive

Source: https://www.mikesgearreviews.com/teaching-kids-survival-preparedness/

Forget Farm To Fork – Urban Foraging: The Ultimate in Local Eating

Many of us have grown accustomed to making a list of foods we want, then heading to the grocery store to buy them. Others have embraced the trend of community-supported agriculture by signing up for shares or participating in community gardens. And then there are the daring folks who march out into urban environments to scope out their next meal.

People who are unfamiliar with the practice of urban foraging may view it as the work of a few unconventional individuals, but in reality, people have been foraging since the beginning of civilization. Today, the practice is enjoying a worldwide resurgence. Even the restaurant scene has gotten in on the action, as more and more chefs incorporate foraged foods into their menus to produce unique and sustainable fare.1

Foraging may also aid national efforts to reduce hunger. University of California, Berkeley, researchers are experimenting with a program that maps edible plants in low-income neighborhoods to empower local residents to find food near their homes.2 Many foragers also donate some or all of their finds to local food pantries.

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The basic concept behind urban foraging is simple: search for and gather fresh food in urban spaces.3 Practitioners embrace foraging as a way to reconnect with the natural world, obtain free food, reduce their eco-footprint, diversify their diets, and learn to look at urban spaces in new ways. Not to be confused with dumpster diving, foraging focuses on obtaining fresh food straight from the source – whether from trees, bushes, edible weeds, or other plants found in parks, abandoned lots, and local neighborhoods.4

Ever felt curious about seeking out your own food in your local environment but held back because you didn’t know where to start? Consider this your cheat sheet for entering the wild world of urban foraging.

Know What’s Safe to Eat

This point really can’t be stressed enough. Not all plants are safe for human consumption, and eating the wrong plant (or the wrong part of an otherwise-safe plant) can result in illness or even death.5That’s why it’s critical to research safe plants in your area and learn how to effectively identify them and their parts. It’s particularly helpful to shadow an experienced forager the first several times you head out so you can learn from their know-how. Regardless of whether you forage solo or with a friend, never eat a plant unless you can identify it with absolute certainty.

A Guide to Urban Foraging: Plants to Look For

While you research the plants native to your area, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with their Latin names. Common names aren’t consistent across the board, and there are even instances where a plant shares a common name with a poisonous plant. Write down the Latin names of the plants you’re searching for on a particular day, and then bring along a field guide for proper identification.6

Scout Different Locations

A Guide to Urban Foraging: Where to Look

Before picking anything, do some research to figure out where foraging is and is not allowed in your area. In particular, check with local government for any rules regarding foraging on public land.7 If you have your eye on plants that reside on private property, always ask permission before foraging. (If nobody’s home, consider leaving a note with your contact information.8 ) Take note of what grows where and when; foraging is a seasonal enterprise.9 If you encounter a plant that’s past its prime, make a note to return to that same spot earlier next year.

Modern foragers can also use the Internet to identify prime foraging spots. Head to fallingfruit.org, which allows foragers from across the globe to share the locations of found fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts, to the tune of more than 800,000 entries from 50 countries.10 The searchable map is free to use online and the founders have also created an app for both Android and Apple.

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No matter how you identify possible foraging locations, it’s important to investigate whether the area has been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides, or is located near an industrial area. Avoid plants from these areas, because they’re likely to be contaminated with chemicals that aren’t good for you. In general, try to avoid plants growing near busy roads or train tracks, or in soil that is contaminated with lead (such as at the site of a demolished house). It’s also best to steer clear of auto shops, gas stations, and factories.11 In contrast, empty lots or wooded areas can often be great sources for forage-friendly foods.12

Be Prepared

If you’re setting out to forage, it’s helpful to wear sturdy shoes and bring along some gardening gloves, a spade, a field guide to local plants, and a couple of reusable bags to transport your loot.13 Come prepared with knowledge about the best way to harvest plants so they’ll stay fresh until you get home.14

Respect Some Basic Rules

Part of reconnecting with the land includes developing an appreciation for all the ways nature sustains us – and it’s important to demonstrate that appreciation by treating the earth with respect. Keep the following rules in mind wherever and whenever you forage.

  • If you come across a small patch of a plant species, don’t pick all of the plants. Instead, leave several behind so the species can continue to grow in that location.15
  • Do not to take more than you can use: One of the goals of foraging is to eliminate, not contribute to, food waste.16 On a similar note, don’t harvest the whole plant if you’re only going to use a specific part, such as the leaves.
  • No matter what, don’t harvest or dig up the roots of a threatened species.17 Feel free to remove invasive species from an area, as they’re not doing the local ecosystem any good.

Use Common Sense When it Comes to Food Safety

A Guide to Urban Foraging: How to Forage for Food

If you’re wondering about the safety of foraged foods from urban areas, take solace in this: One study conducted in Boston found that foraged foods were no more dangerous to eat than conventional produce. And in some cases, they actually contained more micronutrients.18

Of course, this is just one study from one city. But common sense can help protect you from major food safety hazards. Know how to identify safe plants, scout locations according to the guidelines above, avoid plants that appear to be unhealthy, and thoroughly rinse your harvest before consuming. By practicing these basic tenets and trusting your gut, you’ll maximize your chances of foraging in a healthy way.19

Even as you digest all the serious pointers outlined above, keep in mind that foraging is ultimately meant to be exciting and fun. (Consider it the adult version of a scavenger hunt.) So get out there with your field guide and marvel at all the food nature provides – even in the concrete jungle.


Source: Fix.com Blog

Sources:

  1. http://experience.usatoday.com/food-and-wine/story/news-festivals-events/food/2014/01/27/foraging-chefs-dishes-trend/4817825/
  2. http://grist.org/food/can-urban-foraging-actually-feed-poor-people/
  3. https://canberraurbanforaging.wordpress.com/about/
  4. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/5-rules-for-urban-food-foraging.aspx
  5. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/5-rules-for-urban-food-foraging.aspx
  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/02/foraging-tips-dos-and-donts_n_3367633.html
  7. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/foraging-tips.aspx
  8. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/5-rules-for-urban-food-foraging.aspx
  9. http://kwgn.com/2015/09/17/foraging-app-created-by-boulder-men-helps-you-find-all-the-free-food-around-you-2/
  10. http://www.shareable.net/blog/how-to-be-an-urban-fruit-forager
  11. http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2011/Urban-Foraging-Tips-How-to-Find-Your-Dinner-in-Chicagos-Wild/
  12. http://www.npr.org/2011/04/18/135412640/foraging-the-weeds-for-wild-healthy-greens
  13. http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2011/Urban-Foraging-Tips-How-to-Find-Your-Dinner-in-Chicagos-Wild/
  14. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/foraging-tips.aspx
  15. http://netnebraska.org/article/news/nettles-milkweed-and-dandelion-its-whats-dinner-some-urban-nebraskans
  16. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/02/foraging-tips-dos-and-donts_n_3367633.html
  17. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/5-rules-for-urban-food-foraging.aspx
  18. http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/urban-foraged-food-found-safe-eat-boston
  19. http://www.npr.org/2011/04/18/135412640/foraging-the-weeds-for-wild-healthy-greens


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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6 Life Saving Things You Need When Lost In The Forest While Hunting Deer

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

It is often said that hunting is man’s most exhilarating sport and that statement is pretty much on the money. The adrenaline pumping through the veins mixed with the intensity of focusing on a live animal is heart stopping. Deer is one of the most hunted animals and also one of the most difficult to shoot. The slightest of movements or the faintest of sounds could be the difference between a clean shot and fruitless hunt.

But ever too often, unprepared hunters are caught unawares of their surroundings and find themselves lost in the forest or woods. Although their instincts play a vital role in getting out safely, there are some other tools that could make the great escape a lot easier. Let’s take a look at what to use when you are lost in the forest while hunting deer.

Water Filtration Device

Humans can live without food for a couple of weeks, but without water, their chances of survival begin to dwindle down rapidly. While there are plenty of water sources in the forest, it is important to filter it before drinking as it could contain dirt, dead insects, animal dropping, and other impurities.

One of the easiest filtration systems you could use is a piece of cloth. Just wrap the cloth around the mouth of a container and slowly fill it. The tiny fibers in the cloth will keep out most impurities and leave you with water suitable for drinking.

If you can’t use cloth, find a piece of bamboo or a hollow log and let the water sit for a couple of hours till all the dirt settles at the bottom. To get fresh water, you could even soak up the morning dew on plants and grass using a cloth and drink that directly.

Food Source

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

One might think that with so much greenery around, finding food would be as easy as pluck and eat, but that could lead to some serious problems. Mother nature has a way of hiding our weaknesses in the most inconspicuous of places. Like the Oleander plant and its beautiful flowers.

One bite of this deadly flower and you could end up in a coma. It’s always best to trust the trees and plants you know like fruits and vegetables. Many berry plants are poisonous, but if you find one that you are certain is safe to eat, store as much as you can. It is the same with flowers and fruits. If the forest you are hunting in has a stream running through it, set a trap for fish and other aquatic animals.

Fire Making Skills And Tools

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Ever since the Neanderthals mastered fire making, it has been an integral part of any survival routine. Not only does it provide heat, light, and protection from wildlife, it is used for cooking meats, fish, and vegetables. It is also a great way to get rid of any harmful impurities in the collected water by boiling it.

If you find yourself stranded in a forest, the art of preparing a fire could give you that hope to make it through the night and look for civilization in the morning. Collect as much wood as you can to ensure the fire lasts through the night.

Look for dry stones and will help you create a spark needed to start the fire. Or if you have perfected the twig-on-twig method, keep a lot of dry grass or hay to hold the ember and light the fire.

Warm Dry Clothes

The importance of having proper protection in the form of warm clothing out in the wilderness could not be stressed more. Insulated clothing ensure that even when a fire is not available, your body temperature remains at a normal level.

A heavy, waterproof jacket is a must, along with other clothing beneath it. If there is a situation that requires you swimming through cold water, remove and store all your inner wear in a water resistant backpack and immediately put them back on once on the other side.

Useable Tools

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

It is important to carry a number of different tools that could help get you out of a sticky situation in the forest.

A Swiss Army Knife and its plethora of attachments is a classic tool that can be used for things like cutting, clipping, digging, and even picking out last lunch from your teeth.

For bigger situations, a hunting knife or dagger work wonders. Whether it’s to cut away vines and branches or to prepare your freshly caught dinner, a knife goes a long way in helping you survive the wild.
Out in the wild, insects are in abundance and they can be extremely harmful is not prepared. Carrying repellent is vital, but if forgotten, there are plenty of plants that can be used. Crushing leaves of certain plants and smothering yourself with it could keep away ants, mosquitoes, ticks, and other harmful bugs.

A rangefinder for hunting purposes is useful for determining the distance between you and the animal you’re after and getting a good shot off. But it can also come in handy when checking the distance to a nearby mountain or a cabin in the distance.

Going hand in hand with a rangefinder is a compass. Not only do you need to know the distance of an object, but also its direction.

 

Shelter Materials

The forest is a dangerous place to be, especially at night. Insects are the least of your worries with bears, mountain lions, wild boars, snakes, and more calling it their home. Having a place to safely stay out of the way of these creatures ensures that you don’t become somebody’s dinner.

If you know you’re in a place that doesn’t have animals like bears around, you’re safe to build a shelter on the forest floor. Gather as many branches, twigs, and dry leaves as you can and make a tent-like shelter a few feet away from the fire.

If you can find trees with large horizontal branches, you could protect yourself from bears and mountain lions by securing yourself to the trunk and branch high above the ground. Sitting up and sleeping doesn’t sound too comfortable, but it is safe.

About the Author: Alex Ramsey

Work hard & live to hunt! Countryman Hunter , Archery, shooter, Freelance outdoor writer and Love USA. founder of Thebigdeer.co where I share my hunt experiences with all, about guns, showcase real gear & real reviews to help you become more prepared. Knowledge will save you, but great gear will help! Let Get Out & Go Hunting

 

How to Survive Your First Night in the Forest

Surviving in the wilderness on your own doesn’t resemble much TV shows you’ve watched, though there are some tips from them that you can use. Everything looks easy and achievable from the comfort of your home, but when you find yourself in a sticky situation, your perspective changes dramatically. To keep yourself alive and well if you get lost somewhere in the woods, mountains or any other type of wilderness, you need to be as calm as possible at all times, and this will be one of the biggest challenges you will face.

All is good and grand when we’re watching some pore sap fight his way through rough terrain and we can root for him from our comfy chairs, but how well would we cope with difficult survival circumstances? Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to make sure you get through your first night in the forest unscathed.

 

Have Some Basic Tools with You at All Times

Maybe you’re not much of a camper, but you still love to be in nature from time to time, which is great. What’s not great however is your lack of survival skills that can be a significant problem if you wander off while no one’s looking. You’re probably thinking that you aren’t that thick and you know how to find your way around, but you would be surprised at how little is needed to get lost in the woods. This is why it’s always a good idea to carry some tools with you at all times while you’re in the wild. You can find an easy-to-use fire-starter in the form of a key chain, which won’t take any room in your backpack and it fits in your pocket, so there’s no reason not to take it everywhere you go. Also, taking a multipurpose knife with you is a good idea, seeing that you never know what you will need on the go, and it’s even more so when you’re left to your own devices. There are knives that come with a built-in compass in the handle, and though a high-quality knife might be an investment, it’s well worth buying it. Get a small flashlight that can be a lifesaver in the complete darkness of the forest, it will make you feel safer. Water canteen is another great idea, particularly if you can find those made of stainless steel that can also be used for water purifying.

Think Carefully About Your Next Step

When you realize you’ve wandered off much further than you realized and now you have no choice but to spend a night in the forest, stop for a minute and think carefully. What should your course of action be? Do you feel well? What time of the day is it? How well do you know the terrain? What kind of wildlife can you expect? Do you know of any body of water nearby or a place that you can use as a shelter for the night? These are all valid questions that need to be answered quickly and without panic, so that you can continue to your next step.

Shelter, Water, Food

It’s paramount to secure your basic needs in this order – shelter, water, food. I know that food is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about how you’ll survive in nature, but water and shelter are far more important. Finding a cave or a hidden place where you can spend the night more or less safely is vital, as you really don’t want to scramble through the forest in the middle of the night, even with your flashlight on. Building an impromptu shelter is also a good idea, supposing that you know how, you can do it while there’s still daylight, and there are many different types of shelter you can make. If at all possible, find shelter near a river, stream or a lake, so that your water needs are taken care of because you can survive without food for a lot longer than without water. Finally, when it comes to food, you should do your best to at least have some energy bars with you or any other kind of non-perishable food and if push comes to a shove, look for berries and plants that you recognize and you know are good to eat. Don’t experiment with plants, as being lost in the woods is the worst possible time to have a food poisoning.

Light a Fire and Don’t Panic

When you’ve managed to find your shelter, get a fire going, it’s essential to keep you warm throughout the night, which can be very cold in the woods. Lighting a fire will make you feel much better and calmer about the situation you’re in and it will give you time to gather your bearings about what you should do next. There’s never place for panic when you’re in survival mode, so think as clearly as possible what you can do to be found and how you can find a way out yourself. Do your best to leave marks and signs where you’ve been and when a new day comes, climb a tree to get a general sense of where you’re at and if there’s a smoke from a fire anywhere near you. Your brain will be in overdrive constantly, but once you decide that you’re not going to panic, ideas will surface and then you can use them to get back to civilization. – Howard Scalia

 

Howard Scalia is 37-year-old former scout leader from Austin, Texas, and one of the best and most trusted blog writers at www.prosurvivalist.com. When he’s not working on some new interesting article, he enjoys taking long walks in the woods with his dogs.

 

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


Wilderness First Aid

Be Prepared Before Venturing to the Backcountry

One of the scariest things that can happen when you’re in the backcountry is an injury. Even a small blister can upend a backpacking trip, but imagine facing something more serious, like a broken leg, an allergic reaction, or a burn from the campfire, and not knowing where to start. Suddenly it’s abundantly obvious that getting to a hospital isn’t as simple as calling 911, and you wonder where you packed the first-aid kit – you did pack a first-aid kit, right? Having a first-aid kit and knowing how to use it are important parts of making any trip to the backcountry. Here are some tips to get you started.

Take a Course

If you plan on spending time in the backcountry, it’s important to take a course in wilderness medicine. You have three options when choosing a course.

Wilderness First Aid (2–3 days)

This course provides an overview of wilderness medicine, and it is designed for people who plan on taking mostly weekend trips. You’ll learn how to check for threats to life, how to care for wounds and fractures, and how to deal with an emergency in a deliberate way.

Wilderness First Responder (~10 days)

This course is usually required for people who want to work in the outdoors. The material is presented more thoroughly than the material in the short course, and the course covers a wider range of common wilderness injuries.

Wilderness EMT (one month)

If you want to be a ski instructor or expect to bounce between EMT work and time in the backcountry, this is a great option. In addition to the national EMT curriculum, the Wilderness EMT includes a component designed for providing remote care.

Don’t be intimidated by the fact that these are all classes; most wilderness medicine courses involve a lot of hands-on learning and scenarios, which provide plenty of chances to practice your skills. Be sure to take a class from a reputable program and keep your certification up to date. Most certifications have to be renewed every two to three years, and most of them include a CPR component. Renewing your certification may seem like a hassle, but it’s a great way to brush up on rusty skills and learn changes to the curriculum or protocols.

First-aid Kit

  • Gloves (2–3 pairs Latex or nitrile gloves are essential for anyone treating a patient; pack a few pairs so you won’t run out.
  • Band-Aids (10–20): These are great for small cuts and scrapes.
  • Ibuprofen and acetaminophen: Sometimes referred to as “Vitamin I,” ibuprofen is great for treating everything from headaches to aching feet.
  • Antihistamine and an EpiPen: Allergic reactions happen fast, so make sure you know where the EpiPen and Benadryl are located so you can retrieve them quickly.
  • Tweezers: Tweezers are great for removing splinters and ticks.
  • Moleskin (2 sheets): These are great for preventing and treating blisters.
  • Molefoam (1 sheet): Molefoam provides a fast way to pad a blister.
  • Athletic tape (1 roll): Athletic tape can be used for a number of injuries, including twisted ankles and blisters, and it can be used to tape gauze over larger wounds.
  • Duct tape: Instead of packing a roll, unwind some tape and wrap it around itself so you can remove pieces.
  • Gauze pads (2–3): These are perfect for burns and big cuts.
  • Gauze roll: Having two types of gauze may seem redundant, but the roll can be handy for wrapping any number of injuries.
  • Antibiotic ointment (3–5 packets): These come in small packets, which are a nice, lightweight option.
  • Ace bandage: These are bulky, but they are great for wrapping around splints if you’re dealing with a fracture or simply supporting a rolled ankle.
  • Trauma shears or a pocket knife: Scissors aren’t lightweight, but they are indispensible if you need to cut molefoam or remove clothing around an injury. If you opt to leave them behind, be sure to carry a pocket knife.
  • CPR face shield: This is a lightweight version of a CPR mask.
  • Paper and pencil: These are vital for recording information and taking notes on your patient.
  • Plastic bag: These are always useful, but if you’re disposing of biohazardous material, it’s especially important to have one in your kit.

One of the first things you learn in first-aid training is how to assess a situation to ensure your own safety and that of potential victims. When someone gets injured, your instinct will be to rush to help, but it’s important to take a minute to size up the situation first. These five steps will help you quickly gather important information about the situation before you approach the injured party.

1. Make sure the area around the patient is safe for you, the rescuer. This may be a quick decision if the patient simply fell, but consider the scene after an avalanche, a lightning strike, or a bear attack. If the thing that caused the injury is still a danger to others, keep yourself safe by waiting to approach the patient. There’s no sense in creating more patients.

2. Make a quick determination about what happened to the patient. This isn’t a diagnosis but an observation based on what the scene looks like.

3. Put on gloves! It’s crucial to ensure that none of the patient’s fluids (like blood) get on your skin. Gloves are the easiest solution for protecting your hands, and you should wear them at all times while treating a patient.

4. Make a quick scan of the area to count how many patients you’ll be treating. Maybe you’ve stumbled upon a boating accident with a raft full of people, or maybe you’re hiking with a friend who stumbled and fell to the ground.

5. Is the person alive or dead? This may seem basic, but it will give you a lot of information about what your next steps will be and how fast to make them. Sometimes you have to get closer to the patient to see if they are alive, which is why this step is last.

First-aid 101: Blister Prevention

Blisters are a much more likely to occur on a hiking or camping trip than are some of the other incidental injuries a person may incur. Learning how to treat them is a valuable skill that will pay off in dividends. Blisters are essentially burns caused by friction, and they are incredibly common on backpacking trips, especially if you’re wearing brand-new boots. The pre-cursor to a blister is known as a “hot spot.” It’s best to catch blisters at this stage, when they’re easily treated.

If you or your hiking partner discovers a hot spot, stop and take a look at the foot. Hot spots are usually red, and they will be slightly painful to the touch. They’re caused by the foot rubbing against either the boot or the sock, so to treat them, you need to relieve the friction. This is easy to do with moleskin. Simply cut out a circular piece about the size of the hot spot and tape it in place (athletic tape works well for this).

Have the person remove their boot and sock. Take out a square of Molefoam and cut a circle that covers the entire blister, plus a little extra. Round pieces are best because they don’t have any corners, which will peel.

Once you have a circular piece cut, fold the piece in half and cut out the middle, creating a foam donut. The inside hole should be large enough that it covers the entire blister.

Place the foam donut over the blister. If the extends out further than the foam, make a second donut and place it on top of the first. The goal is to create a ring around the blister that will protect it from rubbing against the boot.

If the blister has popped, apply some antibiotic cream inside the donut. If it hasn’t popped, leave it intact. A popped blister is no longer protected by the cushion of the fluid, and it’s an easy access point for infection-causing bacteria. Once the blister is surrounded by the donut of foam, wrap the area with athletic tape to keep the bandage in place.

Now that you know some of the basics, sign up for a wilderness medicine class in your area. Start by checking these three schools that offer nationally recognized certifications: SOLO, WMA, and NOLS WMI.
Source: Fix.com Blog


Learn How to Tie 12 Useful Knots with This Visual Guide

If the only knot you know involves tying your shoes, then this infographic provides clear, step-by-step instructions on tying some of the most useful knots out there. This is a great little chart to keep around for reference and it explains the best uses for each knot.

Do you know of some great uses for these knots that aren’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments!

how to tie knots for survival

[source]


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