Clark Hill Lake Sunset
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.
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.
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.
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.
I will give a brief description about how I made this water bottle insulator and I will attach my YouTube video providing an overview.
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 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.
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.
I have been hiking Flat Creek PFA for many years now and I can honestly say out of all the places I have hiked, it always provides surprises. This hike started like all of the rest, I crossed the open fields to get to the road that enters the woods, then I made my way to the old cypress flat pond deep in the forest.
Once there I stopped, hung my Hammock and then waited to see if I might see any wildlife moving along the edges. Being pretty uneventful I decided to pack up and move on, as I was walking to a different section I stopped to notice something unusual in the road. It looked like a dog had been scratching at the ground and it looked fresh. At that moment I heard the woods come alive around me and when I looked up, I was staring at a pack of coyotes. I had never been that close to a pack before, I could have literally brushed one with my hand as he sped by me to take retreat. I counted six in the middle of the commotion and got no pictures before they had vanished as fast as they appeared. After taking a moment to take it all in I moved on to next stop. I got to back of the lake and took a few pictures and then found the place where they had been bedding quite often.
As I left this area I checked my GPS and had gone about three miles when I decided to do another three, so I took the right fork in the trail. It was about ten minutes after making that decision that I almost stepped on the four foot Timer Rattlesnake.
I guess it being about 58 degrees outside it had crawled out to get some sun. Whatever the case I took that as sign to turn around and head back to the truck and calling it a day. I can honestly say that every time I go here to take a walk or do a good hike, I always come out with a good (or bad) story to tell.