Read a Blog Post by the Leave No Trace Center and watch the video below.
Read our Blog post on Principle 3: Dispose of Waste Properly.
|Neuse Basin District||
It may be awkward, but be sure to have "The Talk" with your kids before they learn bad habits. Not the talk that you are thinking of, but what to do when you have to go to the bathroom when in the woods.
Read a Blog Post by the Leave No Trace Center and watch the video below.
Read our Blog post on Principle 3: Dispose of Waste Properly.
Being able to start a fire in less than optimal conditions is a skill that we should know and practice. It could save your life in a survival situation.
On a bone-dry day or when there’s plenty of dry paper or fire-starter, anyone can make a fire. If the weather deteriorates to a persistent rain, they might get smoke. But that’s no guarantee they’ll get fire. Here’s how you can make a fire when the woods are wet with rain.
This method isn’t fast, but it works with any kind of wood — even damp wood. You’ll need a:
Saw the limb into footlong sections and split each section into kindling. The hatchet should be used as a splitting wedge so there’s no chance of an accident.
Splitting wood is easier (and safer) with two people. Hold the hatchet with both hands and have a friend knock it through.
Hold the hatchet firmly with both hands and allow a friend with a log chunk to pound the hatchet head through.
Use that same procedure (with a lighter log) to split fine kindling with your knife. Then, use your knife to prepare your tinder. Cut a handful of wafer-thin shavings from your dry splittings.
Now that you’ve reached the dry part of the wood splittings, slice off several wafer-thin shavings to use as tinder.
Assemble the tinder (a handful of dry wood shavings no thicker than a match), kindling (one-eighth to one-quarter-inch thick dry wood splittings) and fuel (quarter-split logs). Trim all bark and damp wood from your tinder and kindling, and separate your wood into piles — tinder, kindling and fuel.
If it’s raining, work under a tarp so that all the materials stay dry.
Build It Right
Watch the video below.
Fire occurs whenever combustible fuel in the presence of oxygen at an extremely high temperature becomes gas. Flames are the visual indicator of the heated gas. Fire can also occur from lower-temperature sources. Over time, combustible materials such as smoldering embers can reach their ignition temperature.
The Fire Triangle
The fire triangle is a simple way of understanding the elements of fire. The sides of the triangle represent the interdependent ingredients needed for fire: heat, fuel and oxygen.
A heat source is responsible for the initial ignition of fire, and is also needed to maintain the fire and enable it to spread. Heat allows fire to spread by drying out and preheating nearby fuel and warming surrounding air.
Fuel is any kind of combustible material. It’s characterized by its moisture content, size, shape, quantity and the arrangement in which it is spread over the landscape. The moisture content determines how easily it will burn.
Air contains about 21 percent oxygen, and most fires require at least 16 percent oxygen content to burn. Oxygen supports the chemical processes that occur during fire. When fuel burns, it reacts with oxygen from the surrounding air, releasing heat and generating combustion products (gases, smoke, embers, etc.). This process is known as oxidation.
Remove any one of these elements, and you cannot have fire.
Follow these important safety tips when preparing a campfire.
Clear a 10-foot-diameter area around the site. Remove any grass, twigs, leaves and firewood.
Before you build your fire, make sure you have a source of water, a bucket and shovel nearby at all times.
Gather three types of wood from the ground.
Never cut whole trees or branches, dead or alive. Live materials won’t burn, and you’ll be damaging the forest. Dead standing trees often are homes for birds and other wildlife.
Best for cooking
A campfire can be one of the best parts of camping, or provide necessary warmth to hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts. Just don’t forget your responsibility to maintain and extinguish it to prevent wildfires.
There’s nothing quite like enjoying the great outdoors with a roaring fire, gooey s’mores and a night sky full of stars. But that wonderful campfire is also a big responsibility. Smokey needs your help preventing wildfires so more families like yours can enjoy this experience in beautiful forests, other wildlands, and even your backyard, for years to come. That’s why it’s important to learn how to be safe with your campfire.
How to Pick Your Campfire Spot
Follow these steps when picking your campfire spot to help prevent wildfires.
Download Smokey's Campfire Safety Checklist below.
A fundamental key to warding off debilitating fear is being prepared with a proper emergency preparedness kit. If you ever find yourself in a disaster or an emergency situation—your primary nemesis in most cases will be fear. The moment you realize your world has been turned upside down by a major storm, earthquake, or some other emergency, keeping a clear head is essential. That understandable wave of panic, if sustained, can cloud your judgment and compel any number of rash, unwise courses of action.
You want to be able to safely and securely withstand at least 72 hours of being unexpectedly “off-the-grid,” given that rescue personnel often need adequate time to reach each and every area afflicted by a natural disaster. The correct emergency preparedness kit mirrors those items you’d have on hand for backcountry outings in case of a wilderness contingency. Here we’ll break down the basics:
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS KIT NECESSITIES
(1) Water and Food: Stockpile enough water so that each person in your group or household can consume a gallon per day. Having the means of purifying water—a backpacking water filter and iodine tablets, for example—is also a good idea. You’ll want non-perishable food provisions that are simple and quick to prepare; it’s easy enough to store a couple weeks’ worth.
(2) Tools: A high-quality survival knife is the supreme cutting tool for use in disaster or wilderness-emergency situations. Moderately sized full-tang knives can help you render tinder and kindling—even split logs—and assist in innumerable other tasks, from catching fish or game to mending equipment and preparing bandages. Multipurpose tools are another good option, although they’ll be even more useful in conjunction with larger, sturdier survival knives. Include properly sized wrenches for shutting off home utilities if needed.
(3) Light Sources: Have a flashlight and headlamp on hand, as well as plenty of extra batteries. A crank-operated light source is ideal. It’s always wise to have fire-starting materials at the ready, such as ferrocerium rods in any emergency preparedness kit.
(4) Medical and Hygiene Items: A fully equipped first-aid kit is imperative. If you take any medications, stockpile a reserve in case a trip to the pharmacy is out of the question. Include a dust mask or at least a cotton bandanna or shirt to function as a breathing filter. In terms of sanitation, include garbage bags and moist towelettes.
(5) Clothing and Shelter: Pack suitable clothes for a range of conditions in your emergency preparedness kit, with special emphasis on insulating layers. Tarps, sleeping bags, emergency blankets, garbage bags—stow away the simple equipment you’d need to erect a makeshift roof over your head or bundle up.
(6) Communication Equipment: As in the backcountry, an emergency whistle and signaling mirror can help convey distress following a disaster. A weather radio—crank-operated, ideally—allows you to keep tabs on developing conditions and important announcements. When possible pack a cell phone with a solar charger in your kit.
(7) Essential Documents: Make and store copies of critical documentation, such as your birth certificate, insurance policies, home deed, and a roster of your medications and any important medical details. You’ll also want your list of emergency contacts in the kit.
(8) Money: Include a modest amount of cash.
We can all hope we’re never forced to use the items composing our emergency prepareness kit—but we all want to have the option if unforeseen circumstances place us in a desperate situations.
Tread Lightly!'s powerful public awareness campaigns reached nearly 40 million people last year alone.
Tread Lightly! and its partners lead a national initiative to protect and enhance recreation access and opportunities by promoting outdoor ethics to heighten individuals’ sense of good stewardship. Tread Lightly!’s goal is to balance the needs of the people who enjoy outdoor recreation with our need to maintain healthy ecosystems and thriving populations of fish and wildlife. The scope of there work includes both land and water, motorized and non-motorized recreation, and is representative of nearly every form of outdoor recreation including, but not limited to hunting, recreational shooting, fishing and boating.
Combined with Leave No Trace Principles, you will have the most robust Outdoor Ethics training for your Pack, Troop, or Crew.
Travel Responsibly on land by staying on designated roads, trails and area. Go over, not around, obstacles to avoid widening the trails. Cross streams only at designated fords. when possible, avoid wet, muddy trails. On water, stay on designated waterways and launch your watercraft in designated areas.
Respect the Rights of Others including private property owners, all recreational trail users, campers and others so they can enjoy their recreational activities undisturbed. Leave gates as you found them. Yield right of way to those passing you or going uphill. On water, respect anglers, swimmers, skiers, boaters, divers and those on or near shore.
Educate Yourself prior to your trip by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies. Plan for your trip, take recreation skills classes and know how to operate your equipment safely.
Avoid Sensitive Areas on land such as meadows, lake shores, wetlands and streams. Stay on designated routes. This protects wildlife habitats and sensitive soils from damage. Don’t disturb historical, archeological or paleontological sites. On water, avoid operating your watercraft in shallow waters or near shorelines at high speeds.
Do Your Part by modeling appropriate behavior, leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species and repairing degraded areas.
Find some additional TreadLightly! tips here: https://www.treadlightly.org/education/learn/recreation-tips/
Take the online Tread Lightly 101 awareness course.
Thinking of heading out the trail or backcountry?
You have the tips, maps, where you are going, and how long you will be there. You even have all the gear you think you need for the trip. How do you get it all in the pack?
Learn how to pack the backpack properly for the trip or trek.
Watch the video below by CleverHiker.com.
Trying to decide what to and what not to bring on a backpacking trip may be a daunting task. Whether it's your first time out, or your hundredth, you can always look at the gear you are taking out on a trek and decide, "Do I really need that?"
Look at the 10 Essentials and slightyly beyond the essentials when you pack.
Check out REI's article here: Backpacking Checklist
Check out the Backpacking Gear Checklist below.
More importantly, talk to someone who is an avid hiker and backpacker before you go spending a ton of money on gear you may not need.
7 BEST BACKPACKS 2017If you're planning to hit the trail this year, you’ll probably want one of these badboys on your back. Here's my list of the 7 Best Backpacks of 2017.
10 BEST TENTS 2017Packing a top-notch tent is one of the best ways to increase comfort, safety, and enjoyment on backcountry trips. So when you're in the market for a new shelter, pick up one of the 10 Best Backpacking Tents of 2017.
6 BEST SLEEPING BAGS 2017Looking for some deep trail sleep? Then snuggle up with one of the 6 Best Sleeping Bags & Quilts of 2017.
7 BEST SLEEPING PADS 2017Nobody likes waking up with numb hips. Get the restful trail sleep you’ve earned with one of the 7 Best Sleeping Pads of 2017.
10 BEST HAMMOCKS 2017Take your backcountry chillin' game to the next level with one of the 10 Best Backpacking Hammocks of 2017.
7 BEST STOVES 2017A steamy cup of java on a crisp, quiet morning is just about the perfect start to any day in the wilderness. So pick up one of the 7 Best Backpacking Stoves of 2017 and make that moment happen.
Gear Review Policy
I designed the CleverHiker Gear Guide to share my favorite backpacking tools and to simplify the often frustrating gear buying process. I've spent hundreds of hours testing and researching the equipment that I recommend and I hope you find my suggestions helpful.
I regularly update the CleverHiker gear guide to to add new products and make modifications. If you feel like I’ve missed a great tool or you'd like to provide feedback on an item, please use the form on my contact page to get in touch.
My main focus with the CleverHiker Gear Guide is recommending gear I trust from companies I believe in. Keeping the trust of my readers is my number one goal, so I work very hard to only promote the very best of the best. My gear recommendations are completely independent choices. I never accept payment for reviewing an item, but I do occasionally get to keep free samples. I also include affiliate advertising links on my gear guide, which helps me to keep CleverHiker up and running.
Just like my tutorial videos, this guide is about spreading knowledge and helping to raise the bar for future innovations. I focus on recommending only the best gear and that's why my audience keeps coming back for more.
You'll also notice that a lot of the gear I recommend is made by small businesses that manufacture specialized products. Though this process can sometimes lead to longer wait times, it often results in increased customization, accountability, and innovation.
It's also important to remember that great gear can really enhance a backpacking trip, but at the end of the day, it's more important to get out and hike, than to spend weeks mulling over which tent stakes to buy. So go have an adventure! You'll learn a lot more about what you like and what you don't by gaining experience in the backcountry.
You don't want to be "that guy".
Read this article/blog post for some great tips for backpackers.