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. 

Get Rid Of Several Problems With The Use Of Essential Oils

essential oils for preppers

Health trends do come and go, but the use of essential oils is used extensively and reliably in medicine for many thousands of years. Essential oil therapy or aromatherapy can be recognized as the medicinal utilization of naturally mined plant aromas for promoting emotional and physical well-being. The use of aromatic plant extracts is very old as they are highly used for soothing skins, treating burns, relaxing your mind, and also lessening stress. Essential oils for babies who are older than three months are highly helpful in calming anxiety, encouraging sleep, and even relieving signs of colic.

However, before you apply these oils on babies, you must have a detailed understanding of the application processes as well as appropriate dilution ratios. As essential oils are hugely available, it becomes very important to go through the product levels well for ensuring that you have been using nothing short of unadulterated, genuine, and pure essential oils. When an essential oil gets premixed with alcohol, then it turns irritating. This is why; you should avert artificial fragrances that are entirely different from an essential oil as these synthetic fragrances can turn harmful to your health and can be irritating too on your skin.

Some useful essential oils for babies

Chamomile – These essential oils are gentle and help babies in having a sound sleep. Chamomile is equipped with natural comforting effects and it is used for treating insomnia in babies as well as adults. When you use chamomile along with lavender, then it will be able to soothe the signs of colic.

Distilled lemon – This is capable of helping mood and energy levels and it is also excellent for a post-nap wakeup call. People prefer distilled lemon as it doesn’t result in skin irritation.

Dill – Dill’s oil is antispasmodic and calming and it helps in soothing indigestion. For using this oil, dilute it in a ratio of a drop/teaspoon of carrier oil. After this, you can apply it on your baby’s skin.

Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus happens to be a natural expectorant which can help in unclogging respiratory congestion. Due to this reason, eucalyptus is preferred during the winter months.

Lavender – Lavender has numerous sedative and calming effects. An oil massage of lavender is helpful in relaxing a fussy baby besides encouraging his sleep.Again, you can use lavender on insect bites for lessening itchiness.

Tea tree – Tea tree happens to be an antifungal, antimicrobial, and disinfectant. When you add some drops of this oil to unscented oil, it will help in lessening fungal infections and diaper rash.

Safety rules regarding essential oils

It is highly important to select essential oils which are absolutely safe for babies and for the safety of these oils you have to follow some rules like:

  • Store essential oils in a dry and safe place.
  • Don’t allow direct sunlight to fall on the essential oil and use within date.
  • You must follow the correct instructions.

As with everything else, you must have a consultation with a medical professional regarding baby essential oils which would be ideal for use on your baby. You must be particularly careful if your child suffers from breathing problems or asthma.

What Are The Best Prepper and Survival Websites?

52 Top rated survival and prepper websites and blogs

One of the very interesting aspects to the survival gear market in the United States is the fact that there are thousands and thousands of survival websites. This is likely due to the influence from the popular shows like Survivorman and Doomsday Preppers, but notwithstanding, the American populous has been prepping since before the country was founded, although there are certainly many more suppliers to choose from.

Despite the fact that we at Year Zero Survival sell survival gear and supplies, our customers often times want to know who some of the other high quality survival resources and prepper websites are. And with our continued focus on transparency and education at Year Zero Survival, here are a few websites to consider as you’re looking at survival gear and other outdoor supplies.

Hopefully many of you will find this list to be extremely helpful.

The following are 52 of the best prepper websites and blogs on the Internet…

  1. Survival Blog
  2. American Preppers Network
  3. The Survival Mom
  4. SHTFPlan.com
  5. Survival 4 Christians
  6. Urban Survival
  7. Backdoor Survival
  8. Off Grid Survival
  9. Modern Survival Online
  10. The Survivalist Blog
  11. Survivors Fortress
  12. Prepper Website
  13. The Survival Podcast
  14. Doom And Bloom
  15. Provident Living Today
  16. Prepper.org
  17. Prepared Christian
  18. SHTFblog.com
  19. Survival Cache
  20. Modern Survival Blog
  21. Rural Revolution
  22. Preparedness Advice Blog
  23. Prep-Blog.com
  24. Survival And Prosperity
  25. TEOTWAWKI Blog
  26. The Neighbor Network
  27. The Apartment Prepper
  28. Armageddon Online
  29. The Berkey Guy Blog
  30. The Home For Survival
  31. My Family Survival Plan
  32. Year Zero
  33. Prepper Dashboard
  34. Bacon And Eggs
  35. SHTF School
  36. Canadian Preppers Network
  37. Maximum Survival
  38. Survivor Jane
  39. Prepping To Survive
  40. SaltnPrepper
  41. SGTReport
  42. SHTF Wiki
  43. Jewish Preppers
  44. Survival Magazine
  45. Survival Week
  46. Prepper Forums
  47. Survivalist Boards
  48. Tactical Intelligence
  49. The Prepared Ninja
  50. Common Sense Homesteading
  51. Survivallife
  52. Geek Prepper
  53. Bunker Basics

So there are quite a few companies you may consider as you go about your survival research. Although I can’t say these companies are ‘the best’ in U.S. per se, they do have an established history of quality information and products.

Will You Be Prepared when the SHTF?

Of course, if you are looking to get premium quality survival products, we at Year Zero Survival are always ready to assist.

Happy Prepping!

Survival Movies: A list of some of our favorite survival related movies of all time.

Year Zero Survival’s favorite movie list:

Panic In Year Zero
The Omega Man
I Am Legend
The Last Man on Earth
The Road
The Day After
28 Days
The Book of Eli
The Edge
Cry In The Wild
Alive
Contagion
127 Hours
Into The Wild
Open Water
Defiance
Red Dawn
The Day After Tomorrow
2012
The Naked Prey
Deep Impact
Flight of The Phoenix

Bonus, our favorite TV survival show:

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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