Adventurers Beware: Five Items That Could Save Your Life

by Kade 2. August 2012 21:26

The following is a guest post from Haleigh Adams.  Haliegh Adams is a professional writer. She frequently writes for BladeOps.com and has a special interest in knife collecting and the outdoors.

If you’re an adventurer planning a trek into the back country, you probably want to travel with as little weight as possible. As much as you want keep your backpack and clothing light, there are some items that are invaluable in an emergency. Here are five items that could save your life:

1. Water and food

The most important item of these two essentials is water. If the weather is hot, dehydration can cause physical distress within an hour. In extreme heat, an adult can lose as much as 1.5 liters (about .4 gallons) of water just by sweating. If you’re far from your vehicle or base camp, there won’t be nearly enough time to make it back. Even if it’s cold outside, physical exertion can cause you to sweat and become dehydrated. Even without sweating, a human can only last a few days without water.

You can certainly survive longer without food than water, but it’s still a good idea to bring enough food to last a week. Energy bars are lightweight and provide nutrients and calories if you get stranded.

2. Navigational system

Carry some form of navigation in case you get lost. This could include a map, compass or a GPS system. If you carry a GPS system, carry a paper map and compass for backup in case you can’t get a signal.

3. Cell phone

Adventurers today have a big advantage over their counterparts several years ago. Provided you can get reception, a cell phone can enable you to summon help if you get into a dangerous situation. If you’re far away from civilization or in mountainous terrain where it’s difficult to get a signal from a tower, a satellite phone can be a lifesaver.

4. Blanket

Many hikers neglect to bring a blanket during warm weather, figuring that they’ll never need it. In many locations, the temperature can dip dramatically at night. It’s also good to have a blanket in case you fall into cold water and need to get warm. Many natural springs have extremely cold water even in the summer.

5. Protection

Some adventurers are so intent on packing their bags that they forget to protect themselves. Hiking sandals may be cool and comfortable if you’re close to civilization, but if you’re in locations where there might be snakes, you’ll need better protection. Wear a sturdy pair of high-top hiking boots and something to protect your calves. If it’s winter, wear heavyweight jeans tucked into your boots. In the summer, a pair of heavy, knee-high hiking socks can protect your lower legs.

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Gear | Knives

MSR HyperFlow Filter Review

by Donna 7. May 2012 23:44

An Ideal Filter for Anyone who Regularly Camps and Hikes

For anyone who likes pursuing the backwoods and outer boundaries of civilization, then a portable water filter is a must for making sure one’s drinking water is sanitized and safe. Used by relief agencies as well as backcountry travelers, the MSR HyperFlow filter is a portable microfilter that is an ideal device to carry, especially if you are traversing through the wilderness. Campers as well as backcountry hikers use the MSR HyperFlow filter for making stream, lake or river water more potable and safe to drink.

Some of the Features

Hikers and adventure seekers use the lighter-than-light filter for day trips as well as journeys lasting as long as several weeks. The filter is able to pump approximately three liters of H20 per minute and is also equipped with bottle adapter which enables you to use the filter and pump with a variety of containers. The dimunitive gadget, which measures a mere 7 by 3 ½ inches and weighs in at only 7.4 ounces, has been shown to efficiently eliminate protozoa, debris, and bacteria from water derived from lakes and outdoor waterways.

A Little about the MSR Brand

The three letters of the brand—MSR—stand for Mountain Safety Research, a company that also provides gear for backpacking and camping as well. Besides the water filter, MSR showcases such outdoor items and accessoires as tents, winter shoes, cookware, and stoves.

Consumer Reviews

When you scan the reviews of the product on MSR HyperFlow Microfilter, the assessments are a bit varied. While some users have stated that the pump operated much more slowly than what they liked, others have given the item high marks with respect to compactness and design.

As most consumers give the filter and pump rave reviews, any problems with the device may have possibly resulted from improper backflushing or not understanding how to use the pump. Also, in the past, some of the filters have had flow problems which the manufacturer has stated have now been corrected and therefore are no longer an issue at the present time.

Take some Time to Review the Features of the Filter if you Plan to Spend Some Time in the Wilderness this Summer

Given that most users like the MSR HyperFlow filter, it certainly is one item that is worth investigating, particularly if you plan to travel in the backcountry quite a bit this summer.

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Gear

A Guide to Buying Hiking Boots

by Kade 22. November 2011 18:50

Feet are complex and therefore expert guidance is advisable when buying walking boots. There is a lot to consider when buying hiking boots because everybody’s feet are different and one person’s feet might not fit an average shaped pair of shoes.  It is good to consult with specialists in footwear when buying boots as they can direct you to personalized boots with custom molded footbeds, heel lifts and volume reducers.

This is good to know when it comes to buying hiking boots, as they are probably the most important part of your hiking gear.  If you can’t walk comfortably, you’re not going very far! Good footwear can also prevent injury and improve your performance, keeping your mind on the scenery rather than sore feet!

Here are some tips to consider when buying walking boots:

  • Make sure your footwear will provide secure footing on rough ground. Consider the terrain where you’re going and the type of activity you’ll be doing.
  • Your boots need to be durable.  Pay attention to materials which will survive climbing and gripping rough terrain.
  • Comfort is important. After walking for long periods you don’t want your boots to rub or cause sweating.
  • Often when hiking you could be up and down hills and near water and so your footwear needs to be able to adapt.
  • On easier terrain fabric and suede are suited.
  • Plastic boots are good waterproof shoes and help keep your feet warm in cold climates.
  • Your footwear should be supportive.
  • Make sure the material and size fit well and allow for movement.
  • Pay attention to features of the materials such as breathability, waterproof, etc.

There are many different types of men and women’s hiking boots available.  By applying these points, you should be able to find the perfect pair for your next outdoor adventure.

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Gear | Hiking

Rock Climbing With Kids

by Kade 26. May 2010 09:32

 

Kid Rock Climbing

Kids love to climb. Whether it's all over Dad, up ladders, or between the door frame, kids just love it.  Introducing your children or child to rock-climbing at a young age can help you spend a lot of quality time together as your child grows.  Think of the great conversations you'll have with your teenager as you trap them in the car on the way to a crag.  Where better to talk about the birds and bees than out in nature?

Here are some tips to get you and your kids rock-climbing:

  1. Take a rock climbing class together. This has many benefits and not just for climbing.  your children will see that Mom and Dad can take direction too.
  2. Set the rules.  Rock-climbing can be very dangerous and it is important for all climbers to know and follow the rules.  Set consequences and follow through if the rules are broken.
  3. Start small and work up. After having lessons, try a free climbing at a rock wall gym. This will give you time to practice together with your kids. 
  4. Don't expect too much.  Children will often show enthusiasm for rock climbing and then decide it is too scary to climb higher than 3-4 feet. Don't force the issue.  Just praise them for how high they went and challenge them to get a foot or two higher.
  5. Teach them climbing terms. If you take a rock-climbing class with your children, you'll probably learn these, but re-teach them before you climb just to make sure you are all on the same page.  "On belay" "Climbing" "Slack" "Tension" "ROCK!"
  6. Find helmets that fit.  A good helmet is very important when rock-climbing.  Make sure your child has a helmet that fits and is not damaged.
  7. Double check harness and make sure your child is big enough for it.  Before you leave to the wall, make sure your child fits the manufacturers suggested weights and sizes for the harness they will be wearing.  Before your child starts to climb, double check the harness is set properly. 
  8. Chalk up.  Children love to get their hands dirty especially when Mom and Dad are doing it as well.  Plus it helps when you're rock climbing.
  9. Get some rock climbing shoes.  Climbing shoes should fit snug, but not too tight.  You don't necessarily need to buy new.  Look for used ones on gear surplus sites, or rent shoes from a local shop.
  10. Celebrate accomplishments and have fun.  That's why you go!

Children's climbing harnesses from Altrec.com

Children's climbing harnesses and helmets from Backcountry.com

Some of the topics covered here definately do not go in to great detail.  Harnesses, helmets, and shoes could each have their own post about the proper kinds and how to purchase.  Do your homework and you'll enjoy the time you spend rock climbing with kids.  

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Family | Gear | Rock Climbing

Win a Stansport Single Burner Flat Propane Stove

by Kade 3. July 2009 02:32

As part of our new site release, Backcountry Secrets is giving away a Stansport Single Burner Flat Propane Stove.

If you want to win it, Submit a Point to our site between 12:01AM Jul 01 2009, and Midnight September 30, 2009 Mountain Time, have it approved by us and you'll be entered in to the drawing.  A "point" is anywhere to recreate in the outdoors that falls within our categories of outdoor sports.

Stove is made with durable heavy gauge steel with baked on enamel finish. Features: Individual regulator on/off control knob adjusts burner up to 5000 BTU's. Stove to cylinder tube has on/off valve and fits 16.4 oz. disposable propane cylinder (not included). Wind baffles supports cookware and shields burners. Low profile base for stability.

  • Retail Value: $39.99 - For you, maybe FREE!
  • Durable heavy gauge steel with baked on enamel fin
  • 10,000 BTU stainless steel burner
  • Wind baffles supports cookware and shields burners
  • Uses 16.4 oz disposable propane cylinder, not included
  • 7-3/4" x 7-3/4" x 3"

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Gear | Giveaways

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