5 Essential Tips on Surviving Your First Hiking Trip

Hiking is literally not a walk in the park. It involves walking on trails of various terrains, elevations, and steepness. Given the right weather conditions and preparations, even a couch potato can successfully complete or even enjoy a hike.

Tips to surviving your first hike

The beauty and tranquility that can be offered by Mother Nature is usually a great way to dilute the stress of the daily grind. However, there are certain considerations that you must keep in mind to reduce untoward incidents––and have as much fun as you possibly can.

If you are a novice hiker, you might be at a loss on how to go about it. The list below shares what’s essential for your very first hike––in order of importance.

1. Choose a Trail that is Suited to Your Fitness Level

The best way to increase your chances of surviving any endeavor is to carefully plan ahead. Hence, if you wish to make your first hiking trip memorable in the right way, you must choose a trail that suits your current fitness level.

Given that most hikers post great photos of their adventures, it can be easy to underestimate the trail level if you just rely on “Instagrammable” views. Here are some of the things that you should take note of when you do your trail research:

  • Trail difficulty and trail type
  • Trail length
  • Elevation gain
  • Hiker reviews
  • Best months to go

Once you start your hike, make sure that you don’t rush into it. Pacing is vital to a successful hike. You are not in a competition—you are here to enjoy what’s around yo

2. Prepare an Appropriate Hiking Pack

The contents of your hiking pack will depend on the weather and the season you’re currently in. Outdoorcommand has a number of buyer’s guides to help you choose which gears are best suited for your upcoming adventure. Here are the bare essentials that must you must bring with you in any hike:

  • Daypack: 20L to 35L capacity should be enough, though you can go for bigger ones if you eventually plan to level up.
  • Water Bottle or Hydration Pack: The general rule is 500mL of water for every hour of hiking.
  • Trail Food: Go for food items that don’t need cooking, such as dried fruits, energy bars, biscuits, and nuts.
  • Headlamp or Flashlight: You may not plan on night hiking, but you never know when it would come handy.
  • Multi-tool or Knife: These will always prove to be useful at one point or another.
  • Navigation Device: This can be a compass, a map, or a GPS device. The trail may be well-labeled, but it’s better to be prepared.
  • First Aid Kit: Include antihistamines, antiseptics, bandages, pain killers, and tweezers, just to name a few.
  • Extra Clothes: Weather conditions can be unpredictable, so you’re better off bringing some extra clothes.

3. Wear the Right Clothes

It might be tempting to choose stylish clothes just to look good on your photos, but you will be sorry if you wear the wrong clothes and footwear to your hike. For clothes, go for moisture-wicking fabrics and wool (for cold weather hikes) as these materials dry quickly.

Wear the proper hiking clothes and equipment

You should also bring sun protection accessories such as hats and sunglasses if you are hiking in the heat. Make sure that you do your research on the best hiking clothes for men and women so that you’re well-protected when hiking day comes.

4. Fuel and Hydrate Adequately

The importance of hydrating before, during, and after the hike cannot be stressed enough. Additionally, snacks can also keep you going when you’re already feeling weak. Make sure that you also pack a “victory snack,” or the snack that you will eat at the end of the hike. This will serve as your reward for a job well done.

5. Follow Outdoor Etiquette

“Leave No Trace” is probably the most widely known outdoor etiquette in existence. It just simply means that you should clean up after yourself, and leave the trails exactly as you found it––or even better than you found it, if you chanced upon it in bad condition.

Be considerate of other people and the wildlife that live in the area. As the saying goes, “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.”

Conclusion

Even if it might take a lot of physical effort, hiking can be a tremendously rewarding experience. The key to surviving hikes is to ensure that you know exactly what you are getting yourself into. If you are fully prepared for the challenges of the trails, you’d surely enjoy your first hiking trip.

SHTF Essentials – A Comprehensive Bug Out Bag List

A bug out bag is basically pack of survival items that you can easily carry around with, especially with the aim of reaching your bug out location. The bug out backpack has to be resilient and comfortable enough for you to carry around, at least for 72 hours. The main reason of having a bug out bag is so that you can easily evacuate if there’s a need.  

What would you pack in your Bugout bag?

To have the ‘BEST’ bug out bag, you need to have an awesome bag, and the bug out bag contents has to be planned as well. This would mean you need a comprehensive bug out bag list. Having a quality bug out bag is only half the battle, you need suitable survival gears and survival skills to face the situation.  

Do note, you can further split this into categories too such as children’s Bug out bag or even a bug out bag for the elderly! There’s no hard and fast rule as to how you should pack your bug out bag, but I’ll raise some of the common items everyone should consider putting in their bug out bag.

In my view, there are some fundamental items your bag should contain, and you can customize your bag for different emergency situations.

Important Rules

The purpose of making a bug out bag list is so that you will have a clear idea of what you need (making a distinction between your wants and needs). Although we don’t know what the future holds, you can’t be bringing too many things. There’s no way you can carry it for long hours.  

The goal is to keep only items that help you become self-sufficient, surviving various situations. You don’t need to stuff any fancy shmancy tools that you don’t use. With that said, let’s see what are the top items you need for your bug out bag. 

1. Water

Water is placed number 1 because of its importance. Without getting proper water supply, your success of surviving a bug-out situation will drastically decrease.  I would suggest prioritizing the need to get good water supply before even thinking about food. Especially if you are caught in hot weather, you may suffer from dehydration.

Water can be seen in 2 aspects, (1) Storage and (2) purification.

For Storage, you can use water bottles or even sealed pouches. The water bottle you choose should be solid and has no paint or coating.

Ideally, you should keep 3 liters of water in your bag because it’s suggested that one adult should drink at least 1 liter of water per day. Since you are aiming to survive for 72 hours, you’ll need 3 liters.

You can even get a Platypus Bladder, where most of them has holsters for a bladder container which you can use to store water and drink from it. Make sure to get one that is easily collapsible so that you can store it with ease when you are not using it.

For Purification, you can keep some iodine tablets or some other device to filter the water.

You need to pick your water purification tablets wisely because there are a huge range of products in the market, manufactured for different needs. For example, some tablets are made to purify water you obtain from rivers.

Alternatively, you can pack water filters such as LifeStraw. They are often compact, which makes packing them easy.

To kill two birds with one stone, I would suggest storing a backpack stove because they are an excellent tool for cooking water and food. Let’s be real, it’s extremely time consuming to get an A-frame logwood to ignite. This would be highly dependent on your surroundings as well, if the temperature is cold or its drizzling, the probability of you successfully setting up a campfire would fall drastically.

Since water is heavy, you need to consider how to balance the need to pack clean water, and getting water purifiers as substitute.

2. Food

Next, you may want to ensure that you have enough food supply. There are several criteria to consider, including how long the food can last, how much energy content does it contain and what nutrients it has.

You definitely need to keep some food supply packed in your bug out bag to keep your body healthy and obtain stamina. You should definitely consider the weight of the food as well.

If you live in a rural setting, you can consider packing hunting gears so that you can hunt animals as a source of food when you are en route to your bug out location.

If you don’t want to make things complicated, you can just get any energy bars that is jam-packed with calories. If you want to be more careful with what food you pack, you can check out this list of food which I recommend having:  

Energy bars – It’s important that you distinguish between a food bar, a ration bar and even a candy bar. Candy bar is self-explanatory, so I’ll skip that.

Ration bars are often packed in mylar, which are made of a combination of flour, vitamins and electrolytes. Ration bars usually have a bland taste, made to address a particular emergency situation.

Since there are many types and flavors in the market, you need to test them out to see which one you like. You can check out Mayday Apple Cinnamon Bar which come in individual packets and they come with specific flavours. Or, you can even choose the Datrex 3600 Food Ration Bar which comes with multiple bars with each sub-packaged to ensure freshness.

Some do not consider this as food for your bug out bag because they are designed to save lives (such as being stored in lifeboats).  But to me, they are fundamental items you should store as well.

For Food bars, they are portable bars which taste better than ration bars. Most of them taste like candy or even cookies. These bars are made to give you energy and sufficient nutrition as well. However, ration bars tend to give more nutrients because they are ‘made’ that way.

You can check out Clif Bars to get food bars that have a good source of protein and fiber.

MREs – Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) or “wet food” often taste better than energy bars. Also, most MREs are made to last for years. If you would like to prioritize long-term storage, MREs would be your top pick.

However, your body may have some reactions to MREs if you are not used to consuming them. This can be solved by getting your body used to it. 

Dehydrated Food – Dehydrated foods are excellent for long-term storage but they are a bit pricey. Dehydrated food requires a reasonable amount of water to re-constitute, which cause you to use-up some clean water-supply.

Mountain House is THE company to look out for when it comes to dehydrated food. They are known for producing survival food kits and dehydrated food that taste awesome!

Pack your bugout bag to survive

3. Clothing

Clothing comes hand in hand with shelter, because both of them are aimed to protect you from external elements.

Although there are various disaster scenarios that you may be caught in, you can still reasonably predict what environment you will be in when Shit Hit the Fan.

To make your thought-system more systematic, you can think of what layer of clothing you need to pack for.

For myself, I would like to see it as Base Layer Clothing, Mid-layer clothing and outer-layer clothing. Each layer has different functions and purposes.

The base layer is meant to keep your body as dry as possible. This means that getting a fabric that easily absorbs moisture would be ideal. Keeping your body dry throughout the bug out scenario is important to avoid bacterial growth and it helps keep you comfortable. I’ll suggest that you use cotton or wool for base layer clothing.   

For mid-layer clothing, its purpose is to help maintain your body temperature. Therefore, it’s important that you get a mid-layer clothing with good insulative qualities. For this layer, the materials which you can look out for is cotton, wool and fleece.

The Outer layer should be waterproof and durable but allows moisture to escape. One excellent material you can consider is jackets that are coated with membrane.

With that said, here are some general ideas for what clothes you need to pack – spare clothes, long pants, coat, boots, extra socks, mid-layer shirts and a hat.

4.Shelter                                                                                                                                                                                           

In your bug out bag, you need to include some type of shelter to protect your body from external elements. You can either pack a tarpaulin sheet, a tent or a sleeping bag.

Tents are really comfortable to be in, but they are heavy and bulky. Try to get a tent that weighs less than 5 lbs so that you won’t go overboard on the weight.

If you are looking for something more portable, you can opt for tarps. Since you can set them up into different configurations, they are definitely more feasible to be used in most situations.

Since ‘shelter’ include anything that protects your body from external elements, it will include fire starting kits as well.

A general list of items you can consider include a space blankets (first aid blankets), poncho, Tarp, sleeping bags and tents.

As for a list of items to help you maintain surrounding heat., you can consider getting a firestarting kit, single Burner Folding stove, hand warmer and windproof torch lighter. 

Shelter is important because exposure to cold temperature for long hours can kill you. If you stay in a place with extreme weather, you need to take shelter SERIOUSLY. For cold weather, you will need to find ways to create heat sources so that you can retain your body heat. Make sure you don’t lose your body heat unnecessarily.

If you live in an area with warm weather, you may have to consider bringing more water and packing more loose clothing.

5. Medical Supplies

Getting ready a first aid kit in your bug out bag is a MUST-HAVE. Usually, they won’t take up a lot of space.

Medical supplies are highly personalized, so you need to mull through what you need to use. This includes going through what are the potential diseases that you will likely contract.

To do this, you need to know what are the injuries that you will most likely face in a bugging out situation. There are various categories of injuries including Traumatic injuries, burn injuries, minor wounds, mobility injuries, infectious diseases and your individual medical needs.

To understand your individual medical needs, you need to go through a personal screening by talking to your doctor and ask what are the medicines you need.

Generally, it’s important to include some basic items such a bandage, disinfectants and scissors. Other items you can consider are Tourniquets, Israeli Bandages, Hygiene Kit, Wet Naps or even ThyroSafe Potassium Iodine Tablets.

To Sum Up

I hope that the bug out bag list has helped you consider different aspects as to what you should pack. This list is aimed to help you create a new bug out bag list, which is definitely not an exhaustive list. Feel free to give your suggestions in the comments on what to add in the list.

Bear in mind the important factors when considering which items you want to store in your bag. Be sure to take into account other considerations too such as what location you live in, what bug-out skills you have, what are the likely threat you will face and how many people you need to protect. With all these factors considered, I am sure your success of surviving a calamity will drastically increase.

By Peter Betts

Peter Betts
I have been an active prepper since 2016. Although it’s only been a few years, I have learnt a lot along the way. I have spent hours reading before purchasing a gear. Also, I have spent hours practicing survival skills such as building a lean-to shelter or getting an A-Frame fire kindling. Hope you love the blog as much as I enjoy writing it.

Create A Simple Portable Stove From An Aluminum Can [video]

Easy enough to create a few of these simple portable stoves for your survival kits. Lightweight carry for hiking, backpacking or in your bugout bag.

You can store the fuel in a small shampoo bottle, and add when needed.

5 Reasons Why Biology Homework Is Essential For Your Survivability

As a student, you need to view homework as more than just a way to improve your grades in school. Learning should not be centered around the four walls of a classroom. When you have the right attitude toward learning, and toward your biology homework, you will learn skills that are essential for survival in different situations. You see, biology as a science studies life forms. It dwells on everything regarding life from the single cell organisms to multi-cell organisms. Freelance writers who write about biology can testify to this fact that knowledge of biology is key to survival.

5 Reasons Why Interest In Biology Can Save Your Life

1. In Case You Get Frostbite

Frostbite can happen when you stay in cold regions for an extended period. Whether you’re there by choice or by force, knowledge of biology can help you survive. While a mild case of frostbite will not cause any lasting damage, a more serious case can lead to a number of severe symptoms. Some of these include blistering, loss of feeling, cold sensitive, and hypothermia all of which can lead to death. The worst mistake you can make at a time like this is using friction to warm the part of your body that is affected. This can damage your tissue.

2. In Case Of A Heart Attack

While heart attacks are more likely to happen to people who are more advanced in age, youths still have a slight risk of having a heart attack. When the body can no longer pump blood to the heart efficiently, the heart muscles suffer a deficit in oxygen and die. From a biology textbook or articles written by freelance writers, you can learn the symptoms of a heart attack and seek out professional help. Taking an aspirin tablet as soon as you notice the symptoms can reduce the risk of clot formation. If you’re not the one having the heart attack and the patient is not responding, attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation with your hands.

3. In Case You Suffer Burns

There are several circumstances that can lead to burns. Whatever the case may be, knowing about the human body will help you get or provide instant relief before experts get there. Most people think the best way to relieve a burn is with ice. This is only going to damage the burnt skin more. The best thing to do in such a situation is to use a sterile dressing to cover the affected skin and wait for the medical team to arrive.

4. In Case Of Convulsions

If someone around you suffers a convulsion, you can quickly check the internet for an article about how to provide first aid. There are many articles by freelance writers about this emergency. A convulsion is also called a seizure and it’s a situation where a person suffers rhythmic movements of the muscles that cannot be controlled. It happens when the brain receives abnormal electrical impulses. While these seizures can stop without any first aid, you can help the victim by assisting them to lay down in a comfortable position. It’s common to see people put objects in their mouths but this should be avoided. Just remove harmful objects from the environment and wait for a medical professional.

5. In Case Of A Traumatic Head Injury

You can suffer a traumatic head injury when you hit your head hard. If you don’t get medical attention as soon as it happens, you will be at risk of brain damage. The first thing to do would be to call for professional help. If you’re not the one who got injured, you can assist the victim by checking if their airways are blocked. If the person is not conscious, perform CPR.

There are many other ways to care for yourself or someone else during a medical emergency. Learning about how the human body works during biology lectures or from freelance writers will teach you more survival techniques in cases of emergency.

Sebastian Miller is a former Calling Lake School science teacher. After 4 years of teaching, he decided to become a freelance writer. In Sebastian’s opinion, math is the core of all science and his goal is to enlighten as many schoolers as possible through writing. 

How to Sharpen Serrated Edge Knives-Serrated Knife Sharpening

Today I thought I would talk about a little problem that many folks that carry and/or use knives in their homes seem to have all over the country. That little problem is serrated knives. We all own them in one form or another like a serrated survival pocket knife or serrated bread knife or even a serrated carving knife. There is an issue that arises for many people that own serrated knives. That issue is how to properly sharpen a serrated knife? The question of the ages for the modern knife owner. In this post, I am going to address this issue and when I am done with it you will know how to sharpen your serrated knives.

How to Sharpen Serrated Edge Knives

For the most part, your serrated kitchen or pocket knife will stay sharp longer than your straight edge pocket or kitchen knives will and they will even cut when the serrations are getting dull. As the scallops and teeth of a serrated knife get dull the quality of the cuts that you once got will slowly degrade into tearing, pulling and shredding of the item that you are cutting. When this tearing/shredding effect starts to happen then it is time to sharpen your knives.

For many people the chore of sharpening knives is time-consuming and for many, it is a daunting chore. The fact of the matter is that sharpening serrated knives for many is more problematic than sharpening standard straight edges. Proper care and maintenance of serrated knives will keep those scallops cutting cleanly for a long time. Have no doubt though; these serrated knives do need a greater level of experience to sharpen properly. Another thing to consider is that serrated knife blades take longer to sharpen than their plain edged counterparts.

As I said earlier serrated knives can and do stay sharper longer than plain edged knives and because of this it will take longer for a serrated blade to become dull, and this is even true for combination bladed pocket and kitchen knives. The “teeth” of a serrated blade “bite” or start the cutting process first and then the scallops of the blade follow through to complete the cut. The “teeth” take most of the cutting pressure and the scallops take the least amount of cutting pressure. Because the scallops take the least amount of cutting pressure they stay sharper longer.

Now let’s talk about how to sharpen your serrated knives. In order to do this, you will need to obtain the correct type of sharpener designed for sharpening these types of blades. There are many on the market made by many manufacturers that are specific to the chore. Some are good, and in my humble opinion, some are just plain old bad. Some of the types of serrated knife sharpeners are the “draw through” type. (I personally do not care for “draw” or “pull” through sharpeners)Then there are the sharpening rods that come both in standard and tapered versions and made of different materials from carbide to diamond coated. There are specialized serrated sharpening stones that are textured to accept the scallops of serrated knives. Many of the sharpening rods or sticks come in a triangular shape to work on the scallops between the teeth of the knife. The “rat tail” type of file or sharpener is tapered in order to naturally fit the diameter of the scallops of the blade. The one thing to keep in mind when wanting to sharpen serrated knives is that as with sharpening plain edges you will have to take the same considerations with serrated knife edges and that means that you will need to choose the correct sharpener and what materials you want that sharpener to be made of.

Many of the sharpeners that you would use to sharpen a serrated knife can be used to sharpen plain edged knives as well and you can get pocket-sized sharpeners for serrated knives and combo edged knives to carry with you for daily honing and sharpening of your daily carry knife.

When it is time to sharpen your knife whether it is a plain edge or a serrated edge one of the things to keep in mind is the angle that you will use to sharpen your knife. It does not make any difference what type of sharpener you use, keep the angle in mind. Most of the time when sharpening combo edged blades the serrated portion of the blade in the majority of cases will be of the same angle as the plain edged section of the blade. This means that when sharpening the serrated section of a combo edge it should be kept at the same angle as the plain edge section of the blade as well. Now there are many sharpeners out there that are referred to as “guided” sharpeners like the Lansky Sharpening Systems. This type of system will maintain the proper edge angle as you sharpen your knives and you can get stones or diamonds that are triangular in shape to sharpen your serrations at the correct angle with the Lansky System too!

Many people that I have met and many people that call themselves “professional knife sharpeners” for a living have sharpened serrated knives by either drawing the back/flat side of the knife across a bench stone, and in many cases I have seen them sharpened by drawing the back/flat side of the serrated knife across a sanding belt. This is not the correct way to sharpen this kind of knife. I order to sharpen the scalloped part of a serrated knife you can use the serrated sharpening stone or diamond from something like the Lansky System and work it into the scallops in a perpendicular movement to the cutting edge one scallop at a time. You can also do the same thing using one of the many diamond or ceramic files or tapered “rat tail” files and move them in the same perpendicular fashion to the cutting edge of the scallops.

Remember, you have to take your time and sharpen one scallop and one tooth at a time before moving to the next one. When you are done you should be able to feel a “burr” on the flat side of the knife. Many will tell you to lightly grind that burr off. I do not do this and I tell others not to do this. I have a small piece of 2X4 wood and I then lightly draw the serrated blade across a corner of the 2X4 to remove the burr this is also the way many people who sharpen Japanese kitchen knives do it as well. You can also take a hand held ceramic rod and start at the top of the rod and work your way down to remove the burr and polish the flat of the blade. When you “grind” you are removing metal and when you use a ceramic rod you are taking much, much less metal from the blade. I do it this way for the longevity of the blade.

Here is another way to sharpen a serrated knife really quick that I use all the time. Take corrugated sharpening steel and then take your serrated knife and start at the bottom of the steel at the handguard and take the very tip of the serrated knife and stroke the blade across and up the steel holding the blade at your chosen angle. Don’t just put the flat of the blade flat on the steel. Put the flat to the steel flat and then raise it up to your desired angle. If you know what 20 degrees looks like when sharpening on a flat stone then you should know what 20 degrees look like against the sharpening steel. Then after 10, 20, 30 reverse strokes up the steel the burr will be raised on the flat of the blade and I lop it off on the 2X4 and then a few strokes on the ceramic rod to polish the flat and I am good to go!

 

Secret Uses For Common Household Items

Secret Uses For Common Household Items

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Critical Essentials: Modern Survival Kit

Essentials Of The Modern Survival Kit

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What To Pack In Your Car Emergency Kit

CAR EMERGENCY KIT

It’s not possible to foresee or prevent every eventuality when it comes to driving. However, you can be prepared for the majority of outcomes with a little advance work. By prepping a car emergency kit for you and your family, you’ll make sure that when an accident happens, or you break down, that you are safe, comfortable, and able to proceed on your way without too much undue hassle.

Use this informative infographic below as a basic guideline:

What To Pack In Your Car Emergency Kit

[source]

 

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