Becoming An Outdoorsman
With summer approaching it’s time to get out! But what if I’m not an outdoorsy person? Don’t worry, just follow our 4 steps to becoming an outdoorsman and you’ll be just fine.
Choosing Your Gear Properly
Choosing gear is very important; if you’re not comfortable you won’t enjoy yourself. Invest in a tent that is big enough to fit you comfortably and keep some of your stuff in it. Buy a sleeping pad, I’ve had a few nights without one and I never sleep very well. A pad will assure you’re not feeling every rock below you jabbing into your hip as you move onto your side. Clothing is another key element. The last thing you want is to be shivering and have no way of warming up. If you’re in a colder area, be sure to pack high quality clothing that will help you battle the cold, rain or snow. If you’re in an area that is hot, look for clothing that will protect you from the sun as well as wick away moisture.
Don’t Bring Too Much, Don’t Bring Too Little
Packing can be tricky, you don’t want to bring everything you can think of, but at the same time the one thing you don’t bring you’ll want. Make a list of necessities and mark them off as you pack them. Take into consideration your environment and weather forecast. Keep in mind your warmth, food necessities, how you’re going to cook your food, how much water you’ll need and items just in case of emergency like duct tape, bug spray or a first aid kit.
Here is a list of things often overlooked:
A folding knife with extras
Pick The Right Spot
Just because it’s legal to camp somewhere doesn’t mean it’s advisable. Do your homework before you decide where to camp. You don’t want to get somewhere just to find out it’s dirty, noisy, or packed with people.
Here are two apps that will help you avoid the hassle and improve your car camping experience.
Campfinder provides other campers’ ratings and reviews of campsites. You can search by current or other location and filter by price and amenities. Our recommendation is to start here, and then do some advance Web recon to confirm.
GPS Kit is the very best tool we’ve seen for navigating to a site or trailhead via someone else’s GPX track (the digital breadcrumb trail that somebody else has recorded and shared). Not only does it simulate what a $400 GPS unit would do, it also navigates, even without a cell signal, using your iPhone’s built-in GPS capabilities. To do this right:
When looking at a campsite keep a few things in mind.
- Take a look at the ground, is it soft, hard, or wet? If it rains is the water going to collect at your tent?
- Find shade. You’re going to be outside constantly, be sure to allow yourself somewhere to be cool and hide from the sun.
- Don’t let bugs get the best of you. In nature being around bugs is unavoidable, but you can seek areas that don’t have much vegetation or areas that have a consistent breeze.
How To Build A Fire
Step 1: Gather wood. You’ll need small, medium, and larger pieces of wood. You’ll also need a few handfuls of small kindling—think toothpick sized twigs and dried pine needles. It’s better to have too much than too little of the small stuff.
Step 2: Place something that will burn well, like balled-up newspaper, at the center of the fire pit, then build a small structure of your kindling around it. There is an age-old debate over whether the log cabin (twigs stacked in an ascending square shape) or the teepee (twigs leaned against each other in a cone shape) is more effective. The short answer is: They both work. Just make sure whichever structure you create offers plenty of space in the center to give the fire air.
Step 3: Light the material inside the structure, then sit back and be patient. Blow on the flame a bit to stoke it if need be, and add a few of the smaller sticks in your firewood collection, but give your creation at least a couple of minutes to grow before adding larger sticks. Blowing too hard on a small flame with extinguish it, as will tossing on the larger logs.
Step 4: Once your fire is consuming forearm-thick sticks, drop one or two larger logs on there, gently, one at a time. Don’t throw them on there or you risk destroying all you’ve built!
Step 5: Sit back and enjoy.