Camping

Hypowrap

I have discussed the Hypowrap in a previous post, but I wanted to share with you a presentation that I recently did for a group of Scouters.
As we are now preparing for Winter Camping it is always good to start with First Aid for Cold Weather injuries, prevention, and treatment.
The Hypowrap is a good way to prevent hypothermia and certainly the start of hypothermia treatment.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Snow Peak Giga Power Stove Review

Like I state in the video this is a Super Stove for all Scouts, especially the first year Scouts looking to get a stove that will last a long time.
The Snow Peak Giga Power Auto Stove is light weight, compact, and is tough as nails.
It weighs in at 3.75 ounces and fits in pretty much any pot.
I can’t say it enough.. I highly recommend this little backpacking gem.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Food Storage Options

Hey all…
First of all I want to thank you for your patience.  In my next post I will do some explaining on the direction of the Blog and where we go from here.. but today I want to share with you some options when it comes to storing and carrying your food while out on the trail.
There are certainly more options than the few I explore in this video, but these seem to be the tried and true methods and most commonly used (that I have seen) on the trail.

Here are some links for the Ursack and BV500
www.ursack.com
www.bearvault.com
Bear test video with the Ursack.
I highly recommend the Loksak OPsak to use with your food storage no matter which method you use.
Thanks for watching, hanging with the blog, and being apart of the community.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Gloves for Winter Camping

Gloves are an important part of your winter gear.  If you are like me, your hands and your feet are the most important part of staying warm.  Once my hands and feet get cold.. that’s it.. I want to go home.
So I keep my hands and feet warm.  The way I do that is by using a layering system.
Three things that gloves do, 1.  Keep your hands dry.  2.  Keep your hands out of the wind.  3.  Keep your hands warm.
Here is a video I shot some time back showing my glove system.  Even though it is a little old.. these are the gloves that I still use today.  Once you get a good system and spend the money on good gear, you will have it for a long time.
Remember.. It is easier to stay warm than to get warm!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Winter camping tips

DSCN1915Its that time of the year when we break out the winter gear and head out for some chilly, exciting winter camping adventures.
I thought it was a good time to throw out some things to consider when getting out there in the cold.
We will talk more about winter camping in the near future, but this short list should at least get you thinking about your winter adventure.
1.  When setting up camp, find a place out of the wind and on higher ground.  Cold air settles in low ground.  Camp away from your water source, it’s probably in the lowest area and will be colder.  Get in the trees as best you can to get shelter from the wind.  Look up and make sure there are no “widow makers”, you know, those branches that will fall and put an end to your winter camping adventure.  Shake the tree a bit to drop some of the snow.
2.  Stomp out a tent platform.  It will make it easier to set up the tent and give you a solid, level place to sleep.
3.  Never cook in your tent.  If you need to get out of the elements, carefully use your vestibule as a wind break.  NO FLAMES in the tent.
4.  A closed cell foam pad (CCF) on top of an inflatable pad makes for a comfortable insulated place to sleep.  Fluff up your sleeping bag and let it breath for a bit before you get in.
5.  Pitch your tent tight to manage moisture.  A tight pitch will keep the rain fly away from the main body allowing air to flow.  A tight pitch will also protect against the wind and allow for snow to run off.
6.  Make sure to “empty” before you hit the sack.   Make sure your bladder is empty before you go to bed.  Don’t hold it because it is cold.  You need to be empty to stay warm.
7.  Drink a hot beverage and stoke the internal furnace before you settle in.  Eating a high fat snack before hitting the sack will get the body working for a warm nights sleep.
8.  Heat up water.  Fill up your water bottles with boiling water.  Make sure they are sealed up tight.  One in the sleeping bag will put out some heat for you and will give you water for your morning routine.  If you don’t want to put the water in your sleeping bag, put the bottle in a sock and store upside down.  It should be good to go in the morning.
9.  Put your fuel in a sock and throw it in your sleeping bag.  It will make it easier to fire up that stove in the morning.
10.  Strip down to your base layer when sleeping.  This will regulate temperature and make it easier to stay warm in the morning.  Jacket under the head area of the sleeping bag and boots under the foot area will keep them warm and ready for the morning.

If you don’t remember anything else remember this… It is easier to stay warm than to get warm.  Do what you need to do to stay warm.  Move, eat, and prepare for the cold and you will have fun adventures while winter camping.
Check back for more winter camping posts!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Black Friday.. Opting Outside

There was a lot of hub bub over a decision that the outdoor retailer REI made to close it’s stores nation wide on “Black Friday” encouraging their customers and employees to get outside on the that day and have an adventure. I LOVE IT. The fact that they value the life style that they promote in their stores and literally put their money where their mouth is. Yeah its gimmicky as all get out (no pun intended), but to me it speaks volumes about the kind of people the Coop are.  Did they take a loss on Black Friday… I guess time will tell, my gut feeling is that over the holiday they will more than make up for it because of this “event”.
But more importantly is the fact that I too decided to #OptOutside on black Friday, get away from the crowds and enjoy time out doors.
My friend Greg and I made plans to get out and camp for black friday.  We took off and headed to Mt. Hood.  Set up camp out by Barlow Pass and had a fantastic night in the woods.  We plan on doing it again next year.
There was a high of 20 degrees during the day.  We made a nice fire and just hung out, played with winter gear and cooked a lot.  Then we spent a cozy night in the hammocks.  The overnight low got down to 13 degrees and we awakened to a chilly 17 degrees.  It was a fantastic way to spend Black Friday!
The gear list:
Osprey Ather 60 Backpack
Warbonnet XLC Hammock
Warbonnet Super Fly Tarp
Hammock gear 0 degree Incubator Under Quilt
Army surplus cold weather sleeping bag (used as top quit)
Solo Stove
Trangia stove
Long spoon (Rei Lexan)
Marmot down jacket
Columbia fleece
North Face Hiking pant
Polertec fleece bibs
Columbia winter boots
Mountain Hardwear gloves
Standard packed items (compass, head lamp, etc.)
Here is a short video.  It was cold so the camera didn’t come out as much as I wanted it to.  I need to get better at doing that.

All in all it was a great weekend/overnighter and a better way to spend Black Friday.
I got excited with REI pushed the #OptOutside campaign out there.  It restored some idea in me that yes, they do think there are more important things than big sales.  Yeah Yeah.. they will surely come out of this better off.. but so will their employees and the folks that took part in the event.  I know it made my black friday better.
What’s it got to do with Scouting..not much other than to reinforce the outdoor program and the values that happiness does not always come with the swipe of the Visa card.
Perfect way to start the Holidays!
Have a Great Scouting Day!