The Fundamentals of Outdoor Safety

The Fundamentals of Outdoor Safety Staying safe in the woods to me is one of the most important things to plan for when preparing for a trip to the woods. Whether you’re camping, fishing, rock climbing, alone or in a group, you name it, it’s always important to have a plan just in case disaster strikes. The most common issue that I’ve ever run into while camping is cuts, bruises, and scrapes. These are pretty much unavoidable if you ever plan on camping, but that doesn’t mean to be careless. Thankfully I’ve never been alone when these things have happened so I’ve always had help getting my hands on a first aid kit and someone to help me bandage a wound up if it’s bad enough. The second most common issue (per my experience) are encounters with wildlife. Jacks River Falls is my go-to weekend backpacking spot. At Jacks River alone I’ve seen three different species of snakes, wild boar, and foxes all on the same trip. Thankfully I’ve never had an encounter with a bear, but I know they’re out there.   Being Prepared First off, let me say that you can never be too prepared, because you never …

Leave No Trace, Do Your Part!

Pack In, Pack out! Leave No Trace, in my opinion, is one of the simplest concepts to understand, and it should be extremely important to anyone and everyone who is stepping out of the world to enjoy nature. Leave no trace (also known as “Pack in, pack out”) simply means that when you get off the trail or leave one site to go to another, there should be no evidence that you were ever there other than some footprints and fresh ashes where you put out your fire. One thing to consider is that leave no trace doesn’t only mean take your trash with you when you leave, it means to be considerate of what’s around you. Take care when hanging hammocks or slacklines to make sure that you don’t damage the trees, choosing a clear spot for tents and not disrupting undergrowth, and respecting wildlife are major factors. Food   Something that many people don’t think about is packing out extra food or food scraps. When you make a dinner and have leftovers, pack the extra with you. The food we eat is not intended for animals and can make them sick. If it’s a natural food such as …

Backpacking Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for the Beginning Backpacker

In our most previous post, we talked about preparing for your first backpacking trip. We covered basics of clothing (layering and protection from the elements), choosing a basic shelter setup, sleeping bags, ground pads, and several other backpacking basics. Our goal for this post is to provide a little bit more in-depth explanations and “how-to’s” on basic backpacking skills. Some of the areas that we’ll cover in this post are; packing efficiently, starting a fire in wet conditions, keeping you and your gear dry, a simple first-aid packing list, and a handful of little shortcuts that will make your trip a little bit easier and less expensive if you don’t already have all of the latest greatest gadgets. If you have any added tips or suggestions please leave them in the comment section below! Packing   Knowing how to pack correctly is critical, especially when it’s a long trip or a multi-day trip. Properly packing will both save space, and reduce the weight of your pack, making the physical stress of carrying your gear a little bit easier. The good thing about saving space is that you’ll have room in your pack, so your gear isn’t ripping the zippers. Also if …

Preparing For Your First Backpacking Trip

Per my experience, you can never be 100% prepared for your first trip. There’s always going to be that one thing you forgot, that one thing you didn’t prepare for, or the one thing you didn’t even know that you would need. I remember my very first backpacking trip to the Chattooga River Trail. It was a bit of a crazy trip, to say the least. It was three of my close friends and me, all at the age of sixteen. I wasn’t sure what I needed to pack, or how to pack light. I hiked the 6-mile trail with an overly heavy sleeping bag (for “car camping”) that my parent’s handed down to me from years before, I wore a pair of heavy work boots, a 60L pack that was so full I had to start hanging things off of the back of it, and way more food (and not substantial food), all for a two-day summer trip. I swear for a week my entire body ached in ways that I never knew it could. This all being said, don’t misunderstand me and think that you have to go out and spend a fortune on gear, especially on your …