Know How To Use It
We get so caught up in today’s technology and the latest gadgets that we tend to loose sight of the basics. Do yourself, and the person traveling with you, a favor and know how to read a map and a compass. Electronic devices are great and simple to use, but can be disastrous if they malfunction or simply loose battery life. There is much more to reading a compass than just locating north. Knowing how to properly read a compass can be the difference between life and death. Follow this link to learn how to read a compass.
Using The Compass
What is in the kit?
January 21, 2016
When you first see the title, you probably think I am going to go into a long boring discussion about what comes in a first aid kit. The title was actually a question for you to determine if you have ever looked inside your kit. Most people today (I am also guilty) will go out and purchase a first aid kit and never open it. They throw the thing in their pack and off to the trail they go. They have a false sense of security knowing the kit is in their pack and they feel safer for it being there. I am writing this because I went to my first aid kit to retrieve the burn cream for my wife, who had burned her finger, and I realized that there was no burn cream in my kit. This prompted me to take the kit out and look through it; instead of multifunctional items that could save my life, I mostly found a bunch of bandages and not much else. At that moment, I realized how lucky I was to have discovered this now and not 8 miles back on the trail suffering from a serious laceration somewhere. This got me to thinking how many of us who might be looked upon as a make-believe doctor on the trail, have never actually taken out our first aid kits and practiced with them. I’m guilty of this myself: having spent hours playing, preparing and practicing with everything else, I have never practiced with the one thing that could save my life.
Water Bottle vs. Hydration Bladder
January 20, 2016
When I go on a short or long hikes I always bring my small pack with my hydration bladder to make sure I have plenty of hydration. When I go on an overnight trip or longer I choose to take bottles and a filter for two reasons. First, the bladder creates a weird shape to try and work around when trying to pack the pack. Second, I can use the water bottle at night as a source of warmth if needed. I always carry 2 X 32 oz. Wide Mouth Nalgene Bottles. One attached to my backpack shoulder strap and one packed away in my pack full of water. I also carry my MSR Mini Works EX filter along with a 2 liter MSR Hydromedary that I use at camp. What I like to do is fill my pot with water that I have filtered at bedtime, boil the water and place it back in the bottle that emptied on the hike that day. Place that bottle in my sleeping bag at my feet and it will provide warmth for hours while I sleep. The next morning I have cooled drinking water literally at my feet.
MSR MiniWorks EX
Nalgene Wide Mouth