Survival prep is something most of us never want to have to worry about. Unfortunately, that also means it’s often the most overlooked group of items that one should carry if they find themselves venturing into the great outdoors. I believe that camping should consist of what’s needed for your trip along with a few “just in case” items. I don’t need a four-course meal while trekking through the backcountry. The feeling of being remote is what brings me pleasure. Getting away from pavement, getting away from crowds, getting away from the creature comforts of home and calling the forest or desert your home for even just a few short days, that’s what it’s all about. Regardless of how you spend your time outdoors, being prepared is something you need to be concerned with.
ITS Tactical Editor-in-Chief’s note: This post was written by Brett McKay and originally ran on The Art of Manliness.
In the quest to streamline your camping trips, foil packet meals can be one of your greatest allies. It’s cooking at its simple best; you take some ingredients, wrap them up in a foil parcel, and place the pouch in a campfire’s coals to cook. You can prepare these foil packets before you head out into Mother Nature, and they require no pots and pans, no plates, and no clean up. All you need is a fork and some fire. And, if you know what you’re doing, they can be incredibly tasty and satisfying. So today we’re going to cover the basics of foil packet cooking and provide you with some delicious recipes to try the next time you venture into the great outdoors.
The ongoing trend in the consumer market of providing small, ready-to-go, individual size packages of consumables has been a win-win for the lightweight and ultralight backpacking communities. Always looking to shave a few extra ounces or grams off of our overall pack weight, these individual servings are the perfect fit for trail snacks, drinks, condiments – you name it.
However, these nicely packaged individual servings can come at a premium. They can often be pricy or difficult to find without going online and ordering in bulk + shipping. That’s when the creative types among us come up with ingenious solutions that lets us make our own alternatives using things we usually have lying around.
The Tarahumara from Hill People Gear is a small pack that manages to reach an impressive equilibrium between simplicity and versatility. Originally envisioned as a hydration carrier, the Tarahumara grew during its development into a small pack and compression panel.
This is the fourth post in my series on lightweight backpacking aimed at helping you reduce your overall pack weight without sacrificing any of the comfort or necessities. In my first post I introduced you to the concept of lightweight backpacking, the benefits, how to get started, and taking less stuff. The second post focused on weighing your gear, using gear lists, and knowing how much weight you are carrying. The third post focused on reducing the weight of your “Big Three” – your tent, backpack, and sleeping bag.
Carrying on the waist isn’t an option when you’re wearing a pack with a belt. In order to do its job, the pack belt needs to wrap tightly around the waist, which makes any bulky items between the waist and the pack belt inappropriate. A holster could be mounted to the pack belt itself, but then you drop your gun whenever you drop your pack. If you choose to carry a handgun in the backcountry, you probably want it with you and readily accessible at all times.
The Kit Bag addresses this problem by allowing the handgun to be carried on the chest. It’s supported by its own harness, worn underneath the pack, which allows the user to drop their pack without removing the Kit Bag.
This is the third post in my series on lightweight backpacking aimed at helping you reduce your overall pack weight without sacrificing any of the comfort or the necessities. In my first post I introduced you to the concept of lightweight backpacking, the benefits, how to get started, taking less stuff, and smaller amounts of things. In my second post I focused on weighing your gear, using a detailed gear tracking list, weight summaries, and the importance of keeping it up to date. How else can you know how much you are carrying if you don’t weigh your gear?
For this third installment I wanted to focus on the three pieces of gear that every backpacker must have and which collectively account for the majority of the weight you will be carrying – we call them “The Big Three” – your tent, backpack, and sleeping bag.
It was a few days before I was flying to Colorado for the GORUCK Ascent this year and I was thinking that it would be great to have a device that allowed me to send and receive messages as well as allow someone to track my current location and movement.
A simple search online produced the usual results; SPOT Personal Tracker, DeLorme inReach, etc. But then I stumbled across a device that no one seemed to have seen before. The CerberLink from BriarTek.
Friday, July 27th, 2012, Sniper Country Training Facility, Box Elder County, Utah
Over the course of 28 hours, spanning from July 27th through July 28th, I was a participant in Competition Dynamics’ 2012 24-Hour Sniper Adventure Challenge. The challenge was essentially an adventure race involving land navigation, fieldcraft, problem solving and practical shooting with long-range rifle, carbine and pistols.
My teammate, Bob Nugmanov and I started out at 1600HRS, Friday, with an “apparatus carry” of a large duffel bag filled with exactly 100lbs of rocks along a lengthy strip of freshly laid asphalt in Northern Utah, en route to the starting point of our trek, MCP-1 (Mandatory Checkpoint 1).
While both Bob and I have engaged in similar “apparatus carries” via the means by which we met, GORUCK Challenge 084, this was particularly difficult, in that there were only two of us to carry it and no one to swap with when we became tired. Being tired is something you get used to and it’s easy enough to push through.
They say that the One Day Hike (ODH) may be the mid-Atlantic region’s oldest long distance hike. Even though The Sierra Club has been hosting this popular adventure since 1974, I just found out about it last year.
They have two distances for hikers to choose from, a 50K and a 100K. All but 1.5 miles of the hike is on the C&O Canal tow path as it winds from Georgetown, Washington, DC to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Hiking 62.14 miles in a single day is not what some people consider a day hike, but this is exactly what they are asking people to do. [Read More…]