Clark Hill Lake Sunset
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.
I picked these up at REI the other day and I thought I would share. This is a great snack that is good for you and packs a bundle of energy for the trail. This is a good source of nutrition without the fuss of having to stop and break out the cook set. I continuously look for fast ways to reenergize on the go and these fit the bill. Check them out through the link below, they make all shapes and sizes to that will fit your adventure.
Pocket Coffee Espresso
I came across these this past weekend at Whole Foods and let me tell you, these little delights pack a punch. When I think of these, I am thinking of those mornings when conditions just don’t allow you to get out the cookware. Milk chocolate covers a thin wafer with a heavy shot of espresso. These little things gave me a burst of energy like I had just had a pot of coffee. They will most likely have a permanent place in my pack on every trip.
Cheddar Potato Soup Mix
I have started keeping a record of the different foods that I find that can accompany me on the trail. This happens to be one that my lovely wife found and picked up for me today. It says to mix 8 cups water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. You could divide the bag into 4 trail servings, which is about a bowl of soup per serving. This would equate to 3 ounces of soup mix, to 2 cups of water.
If had come home and my wife told me she was making homemade soup, I would have never known the difference. At less than $3.00 for basically 4 servings of potato soup, you can’t beat it. Do yourself a favor and try it.
Tasty Bite Meals
I came across these meals this weekend at Whole Foods and thought I would share. The amazing thing about these meals was the fact that one of the directions says, “Submerge the unopened pouch in water and boil for 5 minutes, then eat directly from the pouch.” I thought this was a great idea because you could use any water to heat the pouch. They also claim to be very healthy. I am always in the market for new ideas for trail food and this is about half the price of the usually dehydrated meals. I also checked the weight and they are weighing in at about 9 oz. per pouch.
Black Diamond Spot Review
I wanted to do a quick review of my thoughts on this headlamp. It is super bright (200 lumens) and will last up to 50 hours on the brightest setting. It came be submerged up to 30 minutes in water and the case is rugged. I am very impressed so far with this light and have to say I think it is the best light on the market. Also wanted to mention it takes 3 AAA batteries unlike some that take a weird type battery that can be hard to find in moments notice. Check it out, it is worth 40 dollars.
Easy and Efficient Heat Source
One of the biggest challenges in the backcountry is staying warm in unfair conditions. I have found myself many times in extremely high winds or damp conditions that prevent me from building a fire. If you do not have a heat source available, the only heat you have is the heat your body is producing. One trick to providing extra heat throughout the night is to make a hot water bottle. The key is to create an insulator that will keep the water warm for hours. The only items you will need for this project I have listed below.
- Mylar Bubble Wrap (Can be purchased at any hardware store)
- Duck Tape
- The Water Bottle of Choice (I use a Nalgene Wide Mouth)
- Knife or Box Cutter
I will give a brief description about how I made this water bottle insulator and I will attach my YouTube video providing an overview.
- You simply take two pieces of Mylar cut the same size to fit the water bottle with extra to fold at the bottom.
- Then, place each piece with the foil facing outwards around the water bottle and wrap with duct tape.
- Cut holes into the sides similar to the picture shown.
I have tested this using boiling water, placing into a stuff sack and hanging it outside at temperatures ranging from 42 to 51 degrees. I checked the bottle at 4 hours and the bottle was still substantially warm. The Mylar reflects the heat back into the bottle and the holes allow the heat to be forced out. This generates heat while allowing the bottle to maintain its warm temperature for hours. I use this in the foot part of my sleeping bag, at my side in the sleeping bag or hung by paracord at the end of my hammock so I can place my feet on it. This is just a simple way to provide supplemental heat for hours on those cold frigid nights.
This Past Fall Backpacking Trip
Mistletoe State Park
This was a backpacking trip to Mistletoe State Park in Appling, Ga. We hiked about 3 miles the first day and then made camp along a waterfall, then we moved on the next day finishing up about 7 miles total.