Archive for the ‘Camping’ Category

Staying Warm Outdoors

If there is one thing people like, it’s being warm. Without warmth in the outdoors we are susceptible to hypothermia, chills, colds, or at the least one very long weekend, and that thought’s just downright chilling. Staying warm, but not too warm, in the outdoors is a very important part of the outdoor survival basics.

how to stay warm outdoors

Know how to stay warm when outdoors in the winter

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Copyright 2016 Mike Wilson

How to Build an Emergency Shelter

Shelter is one of the basic elements of survival. Along with food or water, a good shelter is necessary to survive. Shelters have been constructed from nearly every material on the planet at one point or another in history. Some are huge castles made from stone, others are lightweight tents made from fabric or animal skins. All have three purposes, to keep the occupants safe, warm and dry. A good shelter can be constructed quickly from almost anything and almost anywhere.

how to build an outdoor shelter

Even a rough shelter of leaves and branches can help in an emergency outdoors

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Copyright 2016 Mike Wilson

The Compass

using a compass when outdoors

A magnetic compass has a needle to point North or South, a capsule dial with degrees printed around it, a sight mark, and index line.

The magnetic compass has been used for hundreds of years as a navigation tool both by hikers and sailors. It is almost completely infallible and doesn’t rely on batteries or satellites to function. Using a compass to find your direction of travel through the woods or over water is very easy once you learn the basics. When it comes to outdoor skills most people think of building a camp fire or pitching a tent, but one of the most important skills everyone should learn from an early age is how to use a compass.

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Copyright 2016 Mike Wilson

When You’re Lost in the Woods

when you're lost in the woods

Learning to use a compass and keeping track of unique landmarks such as weather equipment on a hilltop will help you identify your location if you get lost in the woods.

There are few things scarier than getting lost in the woods. Getting lost can happen to anyone at anytime even in places that are on familiar ground. Every year police and rescue agencies perform thousands of searches for missing people in the woods across North America. Most people are found safe and sound, but for others the outcome is not as happy. Getting found once you are lost in the woods is easier than it may seem at the time and there are several things you can do to help yourself be found.

Firstly, before venturing into the woods for a hike, hunt, or to play, make sure you tell someone trustworthy where you are going and what time you will be back. By letting a family member, trusted friend or neighbour aware of your plans you greatly increase the chance of being found before you even leave.

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Copyright 2016 Mike Wilson

Cooking Bannock

Bannock is an ancient form of bread that can be cooked over an open fire by just about anyone. Aboriginal people of North America from the Navaho to the Inuit all cook a form of bannock based on the ingredients available at the time. Scottish settlers also brought their variation of the recipe over to North America with them, yet no one place on Earth claims to be the originator of the bannock recipe.

how to make campfire bannock

Bannock can be cooked over a fire wrapped around the end of a cooking stick for a tasty woodland treat.

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Copyright 2016 Mike Wilson

Starting a Campfire

If you have never built and cooked your dinner over a campfire, or just simply laid back watching the stars while the fire crackles and pops beside you, then you have never fully enjoyed the outdoors! Getting a fire going is very easy, but it is a skill that will serve you well to learn whether you are camping, stuck on the side of a mountain in an emergency, or need to impress the guys (or a lucky girl) with your back woods skills.

how to start a campfire

Building a campfire requires from left to right: heavy logs 3” x 12”, lots of medium sticks ½” by 12”, lots of small sticks ¼” x 8”, tinder (in fire pit), and a pit 2’ to 3’ in diameter.

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Copyright 2016 Mike Wilson

Types of Tents

Nothing beats sleeping under the stars, except possibly sleeping in a tent under the stars. A tent will keep the bugs away, the rain or snow off of you and give some shade from the hot sun. There are more different types of tents available now than ever before. Tents are available for every season and condition; which type to get depends on your chosen activity.

Tents are separated into different size categories, the backpacking tent, family tent, or excursion tent. Each size category can then be separated again to three season, four season, and mountaineering or excursion quality.

different types of tents for camping

Three season tents are for spring, summer, and fall use in nice weather only. The fly will usually only provide mild protection from light rain by not fully covering the tent, and the taller size is prone to catching the wind making them less stable.

Three season tents are made from lightweight materials that are breathable and designed for camping in the spring, summer, or fall. Most tents are used during this time period when the nighttime temperatures are not very cold, the wind isn’t bitterly chilled and the chances of rain or snow are minimal.

Three season tents are available in sizes that sleep one person and up and they can be small enough to fit in a backpack or large enough to fill the trunk of your car and can include built in screened porches and separate bedrooms. These tents are for the weekender who only camps in nice weather a couple times a year. Read the rest of this entry »

Copyright 2016 Mike Wilson

How to Sleep Outdoors

When it comes to spending the night outdoors, there are many options to ensure a comfortable nights rest. While the image of curling up under the stars with nothing but a blanket is a nice one, there are more pleasant ways to sleep.

The Sleeping Bag

how to choose a sleeping bag

The outer cloth should be breathable as well as wind and water resistant.

It’s hard to beat this tried and tested method of sleeping outside. The traditional sleeping bag has gone through many technological changes over the years. Stuffing inside has evolved from cotton to goose down to polyester fillings which all help keep you warm. Sleeping bags should be chosen based on the temperatures where you will be sleeping. Less expensive bags are made in a simple rectangle shape with a light filling. This bag is designed for sleeping outside in warm temperatures or a sleepover at a friend’s place. This style of bag is great for the summer months when the temperature at night is around 10°C (50°F) but not a good choice for the fall or winter. Read the rest of this entry »

Copyright 2016 Mike Wilson

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