Archive for the ‘Camping’ Category


Make your own homemade First Aid Kit to take on every hiking, camping or backpacking trek. All wilderness trekkers should carry one!

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I live in Decatur, Georgia, next to Atlanta, and am planning a solo 5-day camping trip in early October within 100 miles of Flagstaff. My criteria are: –water –seclusion –much beauty –strenuous is OK, maybe preferred –bonus: good side trails, especially historic ones. I’ve looked at 3 AZ trail books, & narrowed my choices to 5: Fossil Springs, West Clear Creek, Secret Canyon, Bell, and Kelsey-Dorsey. (BUT, I’m VERY open to other suggestions.) I’m an experienced backpacker, with little experience in the West. Last fall, I spent 3 days with a buddy at Phantom Ranch–down North Kaibab, back up Bright Angel. 1st time at G.C. & 1st AZ trip ever. I understand that some of these 5 are popular, but secluded on weekdays, especially in Oct. True? I’d appreciate any suggestions you have–the more broad and detailed, the better. Thanks so much.
Men’s Clothing at


I’ve backpacked both Secret Canyon, Fossil Creek and West Clear Creek. Both are very pretty places and meet most of your criteria above. While Fossil Creek is one of the prettiest areas in the state, the distance from the trailhead to the springs is pretty short, so it would be more of a hike in and stay put for a few days trip – rather than covering a lot of ground. Also, Fossil Creek has got a LOT of attention lately due to a recent documentary about it. I don’t know about week days, but it is pretty popular on weekends. If you do go there, be sure to take a little side trip down to Verde Hot Springs which is just up-creek on the Verde from where Fossil Creek empties into it. When I backpacked West Clear Creek, it was by coming in the mouth of the canyon near Camp Verde (Bull Pen Ranch). There were a lot of day trippers (and trash) near the trail, but we had the canyon (which got progressively more pretty) to ourselves after a few miles. While I liked that route, the upper portions of the canyon (going in near Clints Well) are probably more pretty, dramatic and have more solitude (certainly more strenouous). I’ve only day hiked a small section of the upper portion, but it was great (by the way, this section of the canyon was recently featured in Arizona Highways – including the cover photo).

Be warned, that the upper portions in particular require some deep wading in places which could be cold that time of year. One additional route that you should look into (it is on my list) is do a segment of the Highline Trail that runs just below the rim NE of the Payson area. It is one of the few that is long enough that you could do 5 days on the move. You will be moving from one spring or drainage to the next, so you need to plan camps around water. I have day hiked segments of it, and it looks like a great place for an extended backpack. Can’t tell you much about Bell or K-D. Enjoy! That is a good time of year to be hiking in AZ. Be warned that the northern parts of state will be getting cold (especially at night) by that time.

Bass Pro Shops

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I always carry my firearm….I’m not relying on some pepper spray while hiking to fend off a bear… I understand attacks are rare, but still…
I just finished reading ‘The Grizzly Maze’, the story of how Timothy (Dexter) Treadwell, the ‘famous’ Bear Whisperer and leader of the ‘Grizzly People’ of the 90’s, and his female companion were killed and eaten by an Alaskan Grizzly/Brown inside Kodiak Federal Sanctuary area in 2003, where firearms are not permitted. Get your own copy & read it, it will answer ALL your questions

Magnum Bear Spray and Hip Holster – 7.9 ounces by UDAP

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Should I use costly down sleeping bag soap or “Green” soap or regular laundry detergent ?

I used to manage a high-end backpacking gear shop so I know the manufacturers’ recommendations. Plus I have owned and washed down bags for years. You can safely use either regular Woolite or Ivory Snow (the detergent, NOT the dishwashing liquid.) Use warm, not hot water and a long gentle cycle. Reset the machine after the rinse cycle to run a second rinse cycle. It also helps to run a second spin cycle after the last spin to extract as much water as possible. Lift the wet bag out VERY carefully, supporting it underneath in a big ball — never grab one end and drag it out because the heavy wet clumps of down can tear loose the baffles that separate the down compartments. I usually find it best, if you have space for it, to leave the bag laid out flat on a beach towel or clean sheet, for a day or two to dry it a little more before putting in the dryer, but this is optional. Place in a dryer (don’t use a commercial coin-op dryer because they get too hot.) Dry on the lowest heat setting possible with NO softener sheet — you WANT static electricity because that fluffs the down. Put a couple of those knobby plastic dryer balls or a couple of tennis balls, even an old clean sneaker, tied inside of thin socks or pantihose and tumble them with the bag to break up the down clumps (these items beat up the nylon fabric too much if you don’t wrap them in the socks.) Be prepared for this to take a while. Depending on how much down is in the bag, it will take from 2 to 5 hours to dry.

Great DOWN Jackets: Save on The North Face Denali Jacket

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Magnum Bear Spray and Hip Holster – 7.9 ounces by UDAP


“Between 1900 and 2003 there were about 52 recorded deaths due to black bears, 50 due to brown bears and 5 due to polar bears” Steven Colbert is constantly saying how dangerous bears are.

Magnum Bear Spray and Hip Holster – 7.9 ounces by UDAP

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Filed Under (Backpacking, Camping, Hiking) by admin on 14-08-2009

Here is a great Eureka tent Eureka Solo Backcountry 1 Tent for a bike or backpacking trek. It is just the right weight at just over 3 pounds and all seams are factory taped making it very waterproof.  It’s a nice tent that can be taken into the backcountry with confidence.  It is a one-man tent and the price can’t be beat! Easy to set up and is roomy and airy.

In fact, here is a 5 star review from the Amazon website for customer satisfaction:

By J Coveleski

“Took a risk buying this tent Eureka Solo Backcountry 1 Tent on my way to my last backcountry hiking weekend on August 17-19, 2007.  It set up quickly with no struggle. I found that if I removed the poles from the stuff sack and packed them vertically I could gain even more space. This tent packs & compresses small. I love it. Ventilation is awesome even with the rain fly. I did get rained on but stayed perfectly dry and NO condensation.  There’s also lots of room and I’m 6’4″ @ 235 lbs, easy to move around, sit up, get in & out. I kept my day pack at the side of my feet IN THE TENT and was not cramped. Temperature dropped at night so I had to put on some extra clothing – plenty of room to shuffle about.  I researched 1person tents for a while and I’m thrilled that I decided on this one.”

And here is another review of 5 Stars:

(By Wayne Angerame)

“Bought this tent Eureka Solo Backcountry 1 Tent for use on a cold weather camping trip at the tail end of winter. Wanted something good; had been dissatisfied with cheaper ones at the discount stores – especially when it plainly said on the box “this tent is not waterproof.” No such problem with Eureka, in fact the important seams on the Eureka are factory taped and it’s very waterproof. It’s a tent that I would take with confidence deep into the backcountry.

Had also wanted something light and sturdy enough for backpacking. Again, dissatisfied with cheap dome tents weighing over 7 pounds; this one is not much more than 3 pounds, being a “half” dome, and is very well constructed. The size is OK for one person; especially easy to get into with the wide side door. The poles and fly worked fine and set up quickly and easily by one person. The fly seems to be necessary for cold weather camping, otherwise there would be too much air flow; with the fly on it feels snug inside. Of course that air flow would be great for warm weather. The short pole for the fly was a bit tight – needed to “bow” it to get it to fit into its slots; may want to use a tube cutter to shorten it 1/4 inch or so.

I like the color; it blends in nice with the woods. For backpacking, will probably replace the steel stakes with something lighter. Then again, I have yet to stake it out. It’s totally free-standing, and even in the wind just a few guy lines kept it in place.”

Eureka Solo Backcountry 1 Tent

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Filed Under (Backpacking, Camping, Hiking) by admin on 17-05-2009

Lyme Disease is a tick-borne illness that is acquired by getting bitten by a tick.  Deer ticks are the most common carriers of the disease.  As outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy being on the trail in the woods you  must take precautions because that is where you will find the little critters and that’s where they find you! 

Lyme disease is a non-contagious infection that can become a serious health problem.  The deer tick carries a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorfer that gets transmitted to humans through the skin when the tick latches on to suck blood.  They are like little hitchhikers hanging on the ends of grasses and tall weeds just waiting for a host to pass by so they can hitch a ride and get a free meal.  You or your dog become the meal or any warm blooded creature that happens to be passing by such as mice, birds or deer.  

The first key to prevention is awareness.  Always be aware that ticks are out there and that you need to do a tick check on yourself after you’ve been in the woods.  To prevent ticks from being carried into your home, it is also important to thoroughly check your dog after a walk in the woods as they are much lower to the ground and tend to pick up many more ticks.  Before heading out it is a good idea to wear long pants and long sleeved shirts  and a hat to help deter the little buggers.  They are looking for warm skin so clothing will be a deterrent but is no guarantee, hence the need to still do a body and hair check. Spraying some insect repellent that contains deet on your clothing will also help.

Most infections are caused by ticks in the nymph stage as larger, older ticks are more easily seen and removed. The host will often not even feel the bite as the secretions do not cause any pain or itching as most insect bites do.  There are some symptoms to be aware of in the event that you did get bitten but did not know.  The classic rash that looks like a red bull’s-eye ring around what might look like a mosquito bite or other insect bite.  In addition to the rash you might not be feeling so well and experiencing some joint pain or fever.  Some people have serious reactions to tick bites and the swelling and pain will be obvious and can be accompanied by aching muscles as well. 

It is important that you seek medical attention and get a proper diagnosis because if it is indeed lyme disease you will need to be treated with antobiotics.  If left untreated you will experience more serious problems often leading to paralysis, neuroligical and cardiac problems.

Playing in the outdoors, hiking, camping and backpacking, requires some preparation, awareness and knowledge in order to stay safe.  Little tiny things such as deer ticks have the power to ruin your life so take precautions and “Be Prepared !”

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Filed Under (Camping) by admin on 13-05-2009

Nothing ruins your camping trip like a brush with poison ivy, a pesky bee sting or other minor injury. Unfortunately, there�s no way to guarantee you won�t encounter any of these inconveniences, but you can be prepared to deal with them. Read on for more advice on packing …
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On a recent Cub Scout campout (Webelos Weekend), the boys went around to various learning stations such as fire building, nature, fishing, archery, BB Gun shooting and cooking.  At the cooking station they were taught how to make a simple campfire dessert using bananas.  The campfire should be at the hot embers stage and not in full flame. 

The recipe is below:

 Needed:  1 sheet of aluminum foil

                1 banana

                 2 Tablespoons of Chocolate Morsels

                 2 Tablespoons of Mini Marshmallows


 Slice the banana through the skin lengthwise (leave the banana peel on).  Put chocolate and marshmallows into the center of the banana.  Wrap banana (that is still in its peel) in a piece of aluminum foil to cover it and then toss it into the coals for about 10-12 minutes to cook until candy melts.  Allow it to cool.   It will be oohey and gooey.  Eat with a spoon.  Enjoy !


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Filed Under (Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Wilderness Trekkers) by admin on 10-05-2009

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