Archive for April, 2009

My husband and I are just wanting to explore Europe but would like to stay with a host family. We are really interested in Amsterdam and we are not students. Most of the stuff we found was for students only. We also looked into just backpacking but thought it would be a better expierence if we lived with a family.
Try . There are families on there that welcome people to spend some time in their home and see what a real taste of life in that country is like. There are families all over Europe that open up their homes and couches. It’s a great program and even if you decide not to stay at a person’s home, it is a great way to network and meet up with a local for coffee or lunch and a quick tour of the area.

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My favorite in our area is Turkey Run State Park in Marshall, Indiana. The trails are fabulous–lots of deep ravines and old trees, etc. There are several good ones within driving distance. What good state parks has anyone been to, and what are the best features?
I really don’t pay much attention to State Parks, but maybe it’s because there are so many National Parks and Wilderness Areas within driving distance that I am so much more interested in. I tend to think of state parks as overbuilt, over regulated, and too close to civilization, and the lower elevations just don’t provide the adventure I crave, the cold air, the fishing, and wildlife.


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Pick something else besides the will to survive. After the will to survive I think fire making is the most imortant, why? well: Fire can keep you warm Fire can be used to purify water and cook food Fire can boost morale Fire can be used to signal rescuers Fire can be used to scare away dangerous animals Sorry about the grammar error.
Shelter. You can have fire all you want, but exposure can kill you quickly, and fire cannot withstand heavy rain, snow, or wind.

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PART 5 of 5: A complete series of videos by Nutnfancy and my friend chronicling firemaking in cold and snowy conditions using backpacking equipment only. The series shows

Duration : 0:18:25

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This video shows how to make a whistle out of a piece of tin or aluminum from an ordinary can…Its easy to do!

Duration : 0:8:16

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Ray Mears (born 1964) is a British author and TV presenter on the subject of bushcraft and survival techniques. He grew up in Southern England, and

Duration : 0:8:30

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Hiking in the outdoors!  A wonderful pastime and hobby for many outdoor enthusiasts, is gaining in popularity.  It is no longer just for the Boy Scouts, although they are masters of the sport.  Today all types of people enjoy hiking –  from couples, to families to senior citizens.   There are so many benefits to getting outside into a woodsy or natural environment and just taking a walk.  That’s basically all hiking is – walking.  There is really nothing to it and anyone can do it.  The fresh air and exercise are just the beginning.  There is a wonderful world out there just waiting to be explored. 

The word hiking, though, connotates that it is a bit more than just a walk in the woods.  Well, that can be true.  A hike can be a shorter walk of a mile or two in the park or it can be a much longer trek that involves gear, hiking boots, a backpack with some essential supplies and maybe even a compass and map!  There are beginner hikers and then there are advanced hikers that seek challenging terrain and conditions. 

Wilderness trekkers are the diehards in the sport who seek out the thrill of hiking during any season in the roughest terrain that can be accessible only by foot (like those high adventure Scouts or thru-hikers on the AT!).  Thru-hikers are folks who travel the entire length of the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia – all 2,168 miles of it – on foot! They require survival skills and high quality gear and a higher level of physical fitness and endurance. 

As a Scouter for the past 15 years I’ve been on several long hikes and many, many campouts and shorter hikes.  I hope to share some of the tips and skills I’ve learned along the trail.  From my experience with the Boy Scouts, our troop would choose a 10, 15 or 20 mile segment of the AT that was within a 3 hour drive, and plan a weekend campout around that hike.  They would usually choose a segment of the trail that had some historic significance to add to the learning experience for the scouts.  My husband and I are planning such a trip this summer – a weeklong backpacking hike somwhere scenic along the AT in our neck of the woods.  Someday, though, we’d like to try a thru-hike but that is still in the “thinking about it” stage!  Let’s just say it’s on our ‘bucket list’.


The key to any hike, regardless of level, is to be prepared.  By the way, that is the Boy Scout motto.  A hiker who uses a backpack to carry those important essentials can also be called a ‘backpacker’.  Hiking and backpacking are kind of interchangeable but there are some differences.   Hiking can be a simple day trek; usually called a day hike, but backpacking more often involves at least a one day hike with overnight camping where the hiker needs to carry supplies and equipment needed for sleeping and eating.  As mentioned before, there are all levels from absolute beginners to advanced wilderness trekkers.  Having the proper equipment  and gear is critical to the success or failure of a hiking trip. 

Investing in good quality gear not only saves you money in the long run but also insures that you will be safe and comfortable during your experience.  Backpacking with a poor fitting pack can result in serious injury, wearing the wrong socks or footwear can result in painful blisters and not having proper hydration can be life threatening.  There are things to be learned and all for good reasons so join me in exploring some of the wonderful things about trekking in the outdoors. 

Whether you are a beginner looking to get more involved or a serious experienced hiker, this blog  hopes to offer advice and new ideas for all levels.  Together we will explore all the aspects of the hiking experience today as well as the latest equipment and gear, information about water, food, destinations and trails, hazards and first aid, orienteering, LNT (Leave No Trace), photography and much more.  Please come along on the trek!

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Starting fires in the rain of the Northwest

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I think it's the will to survive.
I believe it's the will to survive and vanquishing fear, people without wilderness survival skills have survived because they had the will to carry on and people with survival skills couldn't vanquish fear and died. But, always choose what you think is important.

Having confidence in your abilities, and staying calm are very important. If you start to freak out, you'll forget some key survival tips. Beyond that, being able to find food, water, shelter, and your way back to civilization should be your top priority.

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Filed Under (The Great Outdoors) by admin on 22-04-2009

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