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Camping, Outdoors, and Survival Skills


Outdoor Backpacks

There are several sites on the web, that describe programs that provides backpacks full of outdoor supplies for camping, especially during the summer break, and backpacks full of toiletries and other necessities for wounded military personnel and for victims of disasters.  Buying a backpack depends on whether you’ll hike a loop trail, go out and back on the same section of trail or do a point-to-point route.  For any outdoor activity that involves more gear than you can carry in your pockets for one day, you need a reliable outdoor backpack.

Best Tough Outdoor Backpacks

When you are ready to buy your backpack, you need to consider the backpack features, the backpack fit, and the backpack capacity. The backpack capacity must allow you the duration of your trip without any hassles. That means the size pack you’ll need is tied to the length of your trip and how much weight and bulk you want to carry. In order to get the best backpack features, you need to ask yourself what you want to achieve during your stay in the woods, or outdoors. Is it fishing? hiking? camping? or are you an artist that needs some time to yourself to reconnect with nature? All these things matter in your decision making to get a backpack. These are the refinements that affect how the pack works for you. Your backpack must fit you properly. Consider your torso length, because that is where your backpack will sit comfortably. Always consider your midsection.

Some backpacks will give you more room like the sport large compartments that can hold books, binders, lunch bags, gym clothes, travel clothes, toiletries and more. You can find backpacks with built-in sleeves for laptops and tablets. They also have front organizer pockets for keeping essentials handy, and some even have side water-bottle pockets. The choice is yours.

This backpack fits all the criteria mentioned above.

Bowhunting and Electronics: Tradition? Technology? Or Both?


Go to the magazine section of your favorite bookstore or supermarket, and check out any periodical pertaining to the challenging sport of bowhunting. There is a good chance you will find an article discussing the pros and cons of technological advancements in bow and arrow design, material, and manufacture as well as in the myriad accessories offered to make bowhunting easier.

If the magazine caters to the majority of bowhunters, the article’s author will most likely extol the virtues of the latest and greatest in compound bow technology, such as the percentage of let-off, cam shape, cable material, riser material and shape, carbon arrows, fletching vanes, feet per second, etc.

Don’t forget the sure-fire bowhunting success gadgetry like electronic aiming devices, electronic rangefinders, bowstring release triggers, etc. On the other hand, if the periodical is devoted to the more traditional side of the sport; i.e., hunting with recurve bows, long bows, self-bows, Indian flat bows, wood arrows with feather fletching, then the opposing view will probably be proffered.

I tend to lean toward the more traditional bowhunting tackle; I shoot a Black Widow recurve and a Howard Hill longbow. I use a bow quiver on the recurve and a leather back quiver with the longbow.

I prefer to hunt with homemade cedar arrows with feathers that I burn to size and shape and glue-on Zwickey or Wolverine broadheads. I twist up my own bowstrings. I don’t use a sighting device (can’t judge distance that well, anyway), which forces me to get pretty close before I feel comfortable making an instinctive shot. I prefer wool to fleece (own both), plaid to camo (own both), hunting into the wind to cover scents.

Bowhunting and Electronics

However, I am not what some technophiles would call an elitist. I have my old-fashioned streak, but I have no problem sharing a campfire or a tent with a fella and his high tech, wheelie bow. I just believe that if a guy or gal decides to chase game with a bow, all that matters is that he or she practices with whichever type of equipment he/she prefers, learns his/her effective range, and doesn’t try to shoot beyond it.

So, why am I writing this article about technology versus tradition? Well, as a traditionalist when it comes to bow and arrow, I gotta tell you, when it comes to safety and survival, give me the high tech stuff anytime! There was a time when I figured all I needed was a topo map and my trusty compass; did fine with them for quite a few years. That’s probably because I am blessed with a pretty decent sense of direction and because I hunted in the same area for several years. BUT..

Do you Prefer An Electronics GPS to A Compass?

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About ten years ago, my buddy and I decided to check out an area in the Cascades of Washington with which we were not so familiar. As bowhunters often tend to do, we got out of the truck and immediately split up (two guys make three times the racket a single bowhunter makes). After entering the forest to the west of the road and walking a couple hundred yards, I found and followed a game trail southward in what I thought was a parallel with the logging road we drove in on.

I pussyfooted through the area for about three hours, covering probably only a couple of miles, and then I decided to head back to the truck in order to meet up with my buddy at the agreed-upon time. I still don’t know what possessed me, but instead of simply back-tracking the way I had come, I decided to head east toward the logging road with the intention of crossing it and hunting the other side of the road back to the truck.


What I didn’t know was the trail I had been hunting did not parallel the road exactly; it was actually on about a 45-degree angle southwest to it. Anyway, I slowly headed in the direction of the road expecting to reach it in a few hundred yards; I didn’t. So, I shrugged and climbed the next ridge.  Still no road. I trudged down to the valley and up the next ridge.  Still no road. Now I was a bit concerned; so, I opened my pack to get out my topo, it’s not in there; not in my pockets. I had left it on the dashboard of my friend’s truck! I hate it when that happens! I broke out my compass.

I was, actually, heading east, well, more like southeast, but where in the world was that darned road? Should I go back the way I had come? By now I was even starting to doubt my compass and my sense of direction. I started to whistle and yell in hopes that my buddy or someone who knew where the heck he was would hear and come to guide me out of the forest. No response. After I calmed down a little, I decided to continue on the way I was going. After another hour of climbing over downed trees and four or five more ridges, I finally found the road.

I turned north on it, but I came to a fork I didn’t remember. Not knowing which way to turn at the fork, I just prayed that I was on the main road, turned around and walked the five miles back to camp. My friend showed up in camp about an hour later intending to get our two other friends to go looking for me. I was pretty embarrassed, to say the least.

I swore that wasn’t going to happen to me again. Before the next bowhunting season, my family and I moved to Colorado. My sweet wife also bought me a Garmin GPS (global positioning system) from Cabelas for Christmas. And boy, did that come in handy a few years ago! I was hunting for the first time on the Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado.

It had been raining like crazy for much of the trip. While I was in the forest (very thick stands of aspen and spruce) a few miles from camp, it not only started raining again, it became socked in with fog. I got pretty nervous because I could barely see where I was going.

Fortunately, in my pack was my GPS, into which I had entered a waypoint for our campsite the minute we arrived earlier that week. I was able to walk through thick woods, dense fog, and torrential rain directly to camp. Sure, I still keep a topography of an area I hunt in my pocket and the compass in my pack as backup, but will I ever venture into the woods again without my GPS? Not likely! It is as much a part of my survival gear as the first aid kit and fire starters in my pack.

I plan to purchase a pair of the Garmin Rino 520 14-Mile 22-Channel Waterproof FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio and GPS Navigator now that my son will start hunting with me next season. No reason he should have to worry about getting lost.  Share if you gained something from my story.

A Solid Plan For Success When You Go Cat Fishing

A Solid Plan For Success When You Go Cat Fishing

You can really bond with your kids over a catfishing trip, but you need to catch some fish if you want them to have fond memories of the trip. Look to the experts for advice when you want to make a good impression on your family by catching a tasty fish to eat. Keep on reading so that you can start reeling in those fishes to cook for tasty meals for the whole family.

Carefully wade through the water. Always be careful and slow when wading in a river. If you make too much noise, you will scare the fish away, as sound can travel a long way under water, and catfishes live under the water. Do your best to not disturb the bottom of the river.

Take along a camera if you do not plan on keeping the fish, this way anything you throw back will be saved on film. This guarantees that you get your keepsake and the fish lives on.

Be aware of your surroundings when fishing. There are a lot of people who smoke when they’re fishing. If you are one of those people, make sure that your cigarette embers or tossed cigar or cigarette don’t start a fire. Even though the bank is wet, there can be some dry areas that can catch on fire very quickly.

Avoid trying to go fly fishing when it’s windy out. Windy conditions make it practically impossible to cast accurately. The optimal time to fly fish is very early or late at night, where the wind is less of a problem. If you go out and there is too much wind, fish with your back to the wind.

Do not waste the catfish you’ve caught. It may look impressive to have a huge bucket overflowing with fish, but it is important to only keep what you can realistically eat. If you’ve caught more than you can use, turn some of the little ones loose or share your fish with your friends.

When you fish, be sure to have sharp hooks. You can find much difficulty in fishing if you have a dull hook, so be sure to pack a good sharp one. To avoid this, sharpen your hooks on the fly, or take some extra hooks with you and replace them as needed. A sharp fisherman needs sharp hooks!


If you engage in a fight with a fish, make sure you pay close attention to the way it moves. The fish will roll on its side as its jumps become less energetic. This decreased movement indicates that your catch is becoming tired, making it the ideal time to begin reeling it in. Try to resist reeling in before you spot the fish rolling over.

Try fishing during the night, if you would like to experience something new from the area you love to fish in. A headlamp can give you the light you need to see, along with any lights you have available on your boat. You might find you catch fish which are considerably different from your daytime catch.

Talk to local fishermen at the local tackle and bait shop before beginning to fish in that area. At the local bait shop, talk with the employees and other fishermen. It is also good form to purchase a few local flies and a hat. The locals tend to be nicer to people who take an interest in their area. You might get some fishing advice or even an invitation to join them on a fishing trip.


Despite what some infomercials may lead you to believe, there is no single “miracle” bait that will land every type of fish under every condition. To catch the catfish you want, you will need to know how to use different baits, such as worms, jigs or grub. Jigs will work wonders for you in water that is a little murky, as the motion will attract the fish. Also, plastic worms are excellent for clearer water, because fish can spot them without a great deal of motion.

Fishing is fun, exciting, allows you to bond with your friends and relatives and is a good way to bring home some healthy food. These particular memories are going to last your lifetime, and now you can create them as it suits you, as you are now good at catfishing. This post will be updated as I remember anything else about how to catch a catfish.

2017 Shimano Force Master Electric Reels FM9000

Basic Information For Bass Fishing.

Bass Fishing

Since three-fourths of the world is composed of bodies of water, it’s natural that a great number of people rely on fishing for their livelihood or just for their recreation needs. There are numerous of fish species swimming under the lakes, seas, ponds, and rivers. Most anglers consider fishing as the delight in their purpose-driven life, a sport, as they say.

Bass fishing, at present, is considered as America’s number one freshwater sport, its industry is, in fact, seventy percent higher in growth compared to other types of fishing activities. Bass is a fish that belongs to the Serranidae family or sea basses and the Centrarchidae or the black basses. This family of perch-like fishes is large and oblong with compressed bodies that dwell in warm and temperate seas throughout the world.

Bass_FishingAlong the Atlantic coast, black or common sea basses a sluggish bottom fish are found. Its size averages 6 pounds or 2.7 kilograms in weight and 18 inches or 45 centimeters in length. The Pacific Seabasses, on the other hand, are giant fishes with bulky characteristics that reach a weight of 600 pounds or 270 kilograms and a length of 7 feet or 2.1 meters.

There are two things that should be considered in bass fishing, which is, the bass fish location on the lake or river and bass catching using different techniques, presentations, and baits.

In locating bass dwellings, there are lots of different factors that have to be determined like map-reading, how to locate active bass just after cold fronts and during early spring and late fall periods, understanding water depth, water clarity, temperatures, seasonal patterns, locating structure areas and finding their vegetation areas.

In map reading, there are two general types of lake maps that most anglers use. These are the Hot Spot maps that show more fishing spots and the Topographical map which shows more details. Experiment first by taking it on shore and looking for areas where fish are most likely be. The next step would be familiarization.

In locating bass one element that should be considered is the vegetation or the area where they eat, breathe and cover themselves. In other words, it is where they could be found to congregate. If there is no vegetation, other elements like irregular contours, shallow water close to deep-water areas, points and point drops and other types of structure can require alternative techniques.

The rest of the necessities are the selection of a few crankbaits. One needs a shallow diver and a deep diver but two colors of each are fine. A natural looking crankbait, one that resembles baitfish and a shocker bright one should be selected. These represent the two extremes, nonetheless are very effective.

The most successful method of catching bass is the crankbait. The throwing and retrieving method can be done with varying speed and its depth can be determined by the speed of the reeling and by the pole.


Bass Fish

Bass loves colorful lures and they seem to hit them more often. When fishing with these lures, one should always try to make them look good in the water and make the bass come after them. This can be done by making them swim as realistically as possible.

Bumping these lures against objects in the water attracts fish, but the chance of getting the lure stuck might be a risk you don’t want to take.

A worm, on the other hand, is a good lure and represents the most edible and tasty meal. Even plastic worms will do.

Before competitions became a part of it, bass fishing was reserved for seasoned anglers and did get much media coverage. It was a recreation mostly practiced in the springtime and mostly early in the mornings and late in the afternoons all over the globe. Now, it has grown tremendously in every way, from the effort to gain knowledge to the technology to the equipment used to get the best results.

Top Tips For The Best Camping Trip Of Your Life

Best Camping Trip

When you’re camping, you won’t have A/C, heating, or a kitchen. You need to think through everything that you might need to be happy while you are out in the woods. To get some great guidance for crafting the perfect camping adventure, continue reading.

Include the family in the selection of the campsite. Discuss which state you would most like to visit. With all of the options available, it is wise to let people decide for themselves. It may be easier to choose a few front-runners and have family members vote.

Check the terms of your health insurance before leaving. If you go camping out of state, you may need to have coverage where you go. That can be even more important when you plan to travel across international borders. Be sure you’re prepared to be on the safe side!

Always locate your shelter before dark when you are camping. Finding the right spot for your tent, gathering firewood and making dinner are all a lot tougher after darkness settles in. Someone who isn’t very familiar with the outdoors can come to harm by placing their tent in an unsafe area due to being unable to see. To prevent this from happening to you, you should set up your camp immediately when you arrive.

If possible, incorporate swimming into your camping trip. When camping, you might find yourself missing your shower. A swim may help you to not miss the luxury of your shower quite so much.

Bring a handkerchief or a bandanna with you. That small piece of cloth could become a potholder, a bag, a blotter or a towel. They are quite versatile, so be sure to bring one every time you go on a trip.

Old dryer lint makes a great fire-starter. Collect some lint from your clothes dryer to bring with you. Simply use a plastic grocery sack to collect each new crop of lint. This is a good way to have kindling ready when it is time to go.

Make sure that all of your friends and family are involved in choosing the camping site. Think about where it is you want to go. The United States offers so many choices that choosing one can be hard! Throw out your ideas to see if they stick with members of your family.

Pack a first aid kit. Pack an emergency kit that contains basic first aid supplies as well as anything needed for the specific location in which you are camping. For example, if you are camping in an area that may have poison ivy, make sure you pack hydro-cortisone.

To make your camping trip more enjoyable, bring along something luxurious. This can be something simple like fresh coffee or a favorite candy. Having these luxuries available can help lift your mood.

Double check that you have all of your necessary equipment prior to your camping trip. For example, your trip can be ruined if you forget your sleeping bag or tent. Make sure you check for the items you need and create a list before leaving to be certain you have everything you want.

When you buy a new tent, always set it up at home once before taking it camping. You can be sure there are no missing pieces and learn ahead of time the correct way to set your tent up. This will also eliminate some of the frustration associated with setting up a tent.

Prior to camping in a brand new area, you must understand its dangers. You need to know about the local insect population, wild animals, natural dangers like water or steep locations and weather conditions. Every camping area has its dangers.

Make sure you have charged flashlights for the trip. It is very common for flashlights to be turned on inadvertently when going through camping supplies or while being stored. You can prevent your batteries from losing power by storing them backward in your flashlight. This way, you’ll still have fresh batteries for your trip.

Ensure you bring some flashlights and extra batteries whenever you go camping. Even after the sun is gone, you may need to see. Make sure areas are well-lit to avoid falls or animal issues. Make sure you have at least enough flashlights for each person to have their own.

Be well-versed in emergency first aid if you plan on camping out, especially if there will be kids with you. Should an emergency arise, your knowledge of first aid can prevent further issues until help arrives. Additional research can also provide valuable information. You should be aware of things like whether there are snakes around and what kind of animals live there.

When you are out in the wilderness with kids, have a photo of them with you. If they get separated from you, having a picture will make finding them a lot easier. Bring at least one photo of each child for any emergencies.

Camping can either be a beautifully relaxing journey, or it can be a virtual nightmare. Preparation is the difference between the two. If you are able to think ahead about what you might come across and protect yourself against it, you will have a great time camping.

When you camp, you are “roughing it”. Some people find this appealing, while others find it an ordeal. Since the idea of a camping trip is fun and relaxation, you should plan your trip carefully and have some good ideas. You have read some of them here in this article so make sure you use them!

Make sure you know what the weather will be before going on your trip. There are dozens of websites that can tell you about local climates. Armed with the forecast, you can prepare yourself with appropriate clothing and camping gear.

Daniel Craig
Camping Equipment Expert |

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