"Two roads diverged in the wood and I took the one less travelled by. And that has made all the difference."Now, that you have qualified to become an experienced camper after having made some great memories in your car camping and RV camping trip it is finally time to gear yourself up for the venturesome backcountry camping trip. No different from traditional camping, except of course you are not at a traditional camp site with ten other camping groups flocking the area, neither do you have the access to the very convenient water supplies and restrooms. Backcountry camping is all about getting up on your foot and tracing the less taken trails. It is all about witnessing nature at its best and in its rawest form, untainted and untarnished by the artificiality of human existence. Primitive camping is another name that is given to backcountry camping because it requires you to develop some survival skills while exploring the isolated regions of the forests. You need to be an experienced camper or have some experience when it comes to an outdoor adventure activity because surviving out in the open can come as a mighty challenge to people who are a tad bit too settled in the comforts of their homes. What you need to remember while planning for the a backcountry camping trip is that it is no picnic. A lot of efforts and preparations are involved in preparing yourself for the possible dangers of backcountry camping. And no matter how hectic preparing for it may seem, it is all just to ensure that you have nothing but fun on your trip. Here is a list of some much-needed tips and tricks that promise to make your experience a lot more smooth and memorable.
- Starting with some extra trash bags, they will come in extremely handy when you are making sure that you abide by one explicit rule of backpacking which is not to leave any mark behind. Moreover, they are quite light in weight and do not add anything when allotted a small corner in your big backpack. What they can also help with is that you can use them as a makeshift poncho or even instant pack covers which you will need in case it rains. Another thing that these multi-purpose trash bags can be used for is to collect rain water which can further be used by you during the trip.
- Telescopes or binoculars with an extensive range can help you like you wouldn't assume. Most of the times people forget to pack them thinking they don't need them, but when you are exploring the backcountry, then you cannot ignore that river fordings, rocky terrain and outcrop regions can easily fall in your path. Yes, backcountry camping is all about being energetic and ready for all the physical workout but being just a little kind to your knees, and ankles and the rest of your body in short will only do good to you. You will feel tired irrespective of that so why to add to it. A telescope or a binocular in your backpack will guide you on the right path avoiding all the exhaustion.
- Mosquito bites are the worst thing to deal with on any outdoor trip. They get on your last nerve, and you end up using a lot of mosquito repellant. Consider yourself lucky if it lasts you the whole trip unless of course you have taken a big bottle. If not then there certainly is no need to worry. All you need to do to deal with these irritating creatures is to look for bay laurel or elderberry bushes. Pluck some leaves from the bush and rub yourself with them. You will do so much better with the rub than without it.
- If you ever wonder that the weight of the backpack can be owed to the heaps of items you are carrying with yourself then remember that it is not always the case. Sometimes, you have not packed it the way it needs to be packed which is the cause of all the imbalance and the struggle while carrying it around. What you need to do is sort all the items according to their weight. Now, take the heaviest ones and pack them close to your spine, yes not at the bottom but closer to your spine. While packing them all at the bottom of the backpack can interfere with your centre of gravity making it easier for you to lose your balance and fall, carrying them close to your spine will give you stability.
- We are all for keeping your body hydrated, especially during outdoor activities such as backcountry camping but nevertheless you also have to balance that with your skill for survival. The nights can get cold and with no roof covering your head, keeping warm can be a struggle. One trick that will help you through it is not to drink a lot of water before going to sleep.
- Food: The biggest mistake that people make is not being able to make wise choices when it comes to picking what food to take along. More often than not, it is canned and packaged products. If you are planning to prepare your meals, then that only adds to the weight of all the equipment you need to have. By just shifting your focus from these canned foods to MREs or Meals, Ready to Eat you can do so much better regarding taste, weight, nutrition and convenience. There are some definite advantages that MREs enjoy over any other food for an outdoor trip.
- For a pillow, you could take a sack bag and stuff it with your clothes, so it works as one. This way, you can save a significant amount of space when it comes to packing. Alternatively, you can also take an inflatable pillow that you can inflate while sleeping and deflate, wrap and stuff it in your bag during the day. If inflating balloons is not a problem for you, this is the best option.
- Do not be too excited about the new hiking boots because with them on your feet you will end up with blisters. So no new footwear for an outdoor trip and let's just leave it as it is.
- Do not ignore the fickleness of weather and prepare accordingly. It is sunny today, but tomorrow is whole another story. Rainy weather is the worst enemy of any outdoor trip so make sure that you carry a small umbrella and waterproof packs to safeguard your essentials. Waterproof clothing will help you but not if the rain Gods are a little too generous. However, having them in your bag is never a bad idea.
- When choosing a backpack befitting your backcountry camping requirements you might get drawn to the extra zippers, pockets and buckles. Well, just to let you know you will do a lot better without them because all they do is add to the weight and unwanted clutter that you won't necessarily need. So before you choose the right backpack for you, it will be good if you would figure out what you are taking and how much space it will need. Over packing is as big a blunder as under packing.
- A whistle will take up a tiny space in your pocket or no space while simply hanging around your neck but will be quite useful because you can use that to scare animals away if you feel their presence in your vicinity. You can also use it to shout out for help or locate your group just in case you lose your way too deep into the wild.
- While maps, compass and GPS are relied upon to find your way into and out of the wilderness, it would be of great help to you if you don't solely rely on those. You must study the area you are going to and use the knowledge to judge which way to proceed and which to avoid.
"The mountains are calling, and I must go..."There is something about the mountains that immediately makes us associate them with fun, excitement and adventure. From treating the lungs to cool and fresh oxygen to attending to the mysteries of nature, from the plethora of beautiful landscapes to the sound of water flowing and air rustling through the leaves, from the snow-covered mountains to the green pine trees adorning them, an adventure in the mountains is an experience of a lifetime. This reason is probably why ski tours beat any other kind of mountain sport. As ski touring involves finding your way through the possible avalanche terrain, the best part of this activity is that you are free from the hefty fees you have to pay at ski resorts. The independence that comes with pursuing the sport is a supremely thrilling. But despite the thrill, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind if your are going for ski touring because the very nature of the activity requires you to be a master of ski skills along with some knowledge of meteorology. Sometimes, you also need to hike during the ski tour to find the right trails and understand which portion of the terrain will give you the proper ascent or descent. Given all these requirements, there are a lot of preparations that you need to make because as we have always said, preparing well for anything makes it so easy. With the right tricks in your mind, tips on your fingers and items you might need right there in your backpack, you will be ready for a memorable ski tour. So while we are at it, here are some tips and tricks that will come in handy on your ski trip. Protect yourself: You will, of course, take all the necessary precautions to protect yourself but going the extra mile will always work out in your favour. Take a chemical free sunscreen, preferably with SPF 30 or more. If you have sensitive skin, there is all the more reason to have one with you. Don't be thrown off by the winters and the snow, sunscreens are your best friends for any activity outdoor. Wearing eye protection that provides you clear vision during foggy weather will be a great favor you will do for yourself. An excellent way to prevent fogging is to buy goggles whose lenses are at a distance from the face so the warmth from the face will not settle on the lenses. Take care of the skin of your skis: There is nothing but snow all around which might get the snow to get globbed to the skin. This globbing can add a lot of weight to your skis, and that is the last thing you need. Instead of scraping off the snow from your skis repeatedly you could prevent that from happening by rubbing some wax against the skin of your skis. You can use the special glob stopper wax made for this purpose, or you could even use a candle wax which will work just fine. The rub will make sure that no snow gets globbed. Speed Check: Do not get carried away by the thrill, which without any doubts can be extremely tempting but not safe. Keep it slow enough so that if there is a person beside you, you can keep talking to them. You might be skilled and experienced, but accidents can happen to anyone, especially on a mountain. Skin fitting: You have to make sure that the skins fit the skis because they might look comfortable that night while sitting at home, you'll know how much of a problem they are because you certainly won't like all the frozen crust on them when you wake up in the morning. If you are thinking of cutting the extra off on your own then only cut enough to expose the edges and no more than a millimeter of the base or even better, follow a guide that directs you how to go about it. If you have an old pair of skis lying around, and you are thinking of reusing their skins when they have become skinnier by 2 to 3 millimetres then resist the temptation because that can turn out to be genuinely risky. Body Balance: The age old trick of being an excellent skier is to find the right way to maintain your body balance. See where your toes are and avoid crossing your body over and ahead of them because that will create a condition of imbalance. What you need to do instead of this is to push your skis forward and let your lower body follow.Keep your upper body upright. This position is like a backward slide which will give you a stronger stride. Choice of the trail: Don't be worried about creating your path because after all that is what ski touring is all about. Touring is independent and whoever comes up in the mountains first, leaves a trail behind. They might not always lead you to where you want to go. However, if you end up taking a path with ski marks then instead of skiing on the ski mark itself, create one right next to it for better traction. It's all about your feet: Your feet will take you places, so make sure that the boots you wear fit you well. Boot choices are made depending upon where you ski, on lower altitudes or higher ones. Whichever boots you buy, you must remember that the ski tour itself is not the first time your feet feel them around because otherwise, instead of a great trip you will only end up with sore feet, shoe bites and blisters. Where is the fun in that? Heat your feet: You can keep your feet warm by lining the insides with heat liners which are available in the market. Without any external source of heat, keeping your feet warm might be a tough task. For any heating liners that you will attach you need to make sure that the boots you wear are roomy enough. Do not assume: If you have ski equipment at home, and you use that to ski in artificial ski areas then don't think that they will work as well in the natural setting because of lack of a firm base. Clothing: If you are looking for some cool ski gloves, they will probably have short gauntlets. While you can look cool with them on, this is a tip on not to forget that the gauntlets fill up with snow quite easily providing you considerably less insulation. So go for the not so trendy looking bigger gloves with larger gauntlets. While wearing a lot of layers is an idea that will attract you when you picture, mountain, fog, mist and snow but with too many clothes on your body, the movement will get restricted which is the last thing you want on a ski trip. Also, you might think that you will feel cold but you would love to know this, especially if you are going for a first-time ski trip that, you will sweat and then it will just turn the story upside down. So wear enough to insulate you but don't overload yourself for convenience. Fur coats will become wet after the first few skies. Why? Because they will be holding in so much of snow in them, all of it that is melting down from your neck while you ski away. So choose to wear jackets that have individually been made to hold the powder. While color coordination is excellent but ski tour is no party! It is for your safety that we ask you to avoid wearing anything white because once you decide to blend in with the snow, you make it difficult for other skiers around you to locate your presence while skiing and this might lead to accidents. In the case of any mishap, it will be tough to find you too. Food and water supplies: When it comes to water, you can carry thermos bottles to hydrate yourself during the breaks. A lot of energy is lost in skiing and hydration is crucial to maintaining the energy levels. When it comes to food, because of the low temperature, there will never be a possibility for you consuming a hot meal unless you set up a fire. And because sometimes a hot meal is all you need here are MREs or Meals, Ready to Eat that comes with a self-heating system. Once you open the MRE pack, the system is instantaneously activated and within a few seconds, you can enjoy a sumptuous meal. MREs or Meals, Ready to Eat also provide you with all the necessary nutrition and come in a lot of variety. Each MRE is packed in the hermetically sealed environment, is rugged and impact resistant. The Meals, Ready to Eat are an excellent option because they occupy a lot less space and provide a lot of energy with the taste of homemade food. You can buy MREs from military and outdoor stores, do not forget to aske for XMRE. A repair kit: Even if all your equipment may be just a ski old, you never know when a problem might occur. And when that happens you will thank yourself a hundred times over for bringing the repair kit with you. Here is all that the repair kit needs to have:
- Pole Splint (you can also make one at home)
- Ski Strap made of rubber
- Duct Tape
- A knotted accessory cord (You can use it for cutting cornices)
- Headlamp so you don't have to worry about rushing back when the day ends
- Extra batteries
MRE Reviews Menu No.5 Shredded Beef in BBQ Sauce by XMRE 2015 Lot # 5041" It was a very good meal, and I have to say that the new Shredded Beef in BBQ Sauce entree is now one of my favorites. It has a strong BBQ flavor which is a little sweet and smoky. It's not terribly spicy but does have a little kick. Someone looking for a lot of heat might want to add some of their favorite hot sauce, but overall it's an excellent entree. " Review by Gschultz [embed]https://youtu.be/KcQ7ChslX7s[/embed]
XMRE are a commercially available brand of MRE meals that contains many similar items to the military issue ones. They arrive in the familiar khaki bags. Inside, you'll find an entree, a cracker/bread item, another snack item, jam/peanut butter, dessert, drink powder, heater, hot drink bag, and accessory pack with spoon, salt/pepper, wet nap, napkin, sugar, instant coffee, and instant creamer.
The menus vary, and having tried several, they are very consistent in terms of taste. So how do they taste? Well, I would compare them to major-brand canned food. That is to say, they're actually pretty good, especially considering the packaging, shelf-life, and price. If you need to stock these in a 72-hour emergency kit, you'll be very pleased. But please note: You will need water to prepare and enjoy these MRE meals. In the first place, the beverage powder needs to be mixed with at least 12 ounces of water. And the mixing bag will not stand on its own while you drink it, so have a cup of some kind handy. Similarly, you need a few ounces of water to activate the heater to warm your entree (unless you want to eat it cold). I recommend having at least 24 ounces of water at hand for every meal. Also, I would like to see a better napkin in the accessory pack as the supplied one is mostly useless. It's a small point but when this may be all you have with you, the small things count. I've used these on day hikes and on a few bicycle day-treks. They're relatively light, easy to prepare, and when you're finished, you can stuff all the packing into the main bag and dispose of properly. Again, for a 72-hour kit, these will work great. Tasty and Quick September 4 , 2014 By : Daniel Putkowski - danielputkowski.com