Posts Tagged :

camping tips

150 150 Mike Coachys

How to Identify Poison Ivy

poison ivy

 

More than half of people are allergic to poison ivy, a common plant found throughout North America. Because an allergic reaction to this plant can cause uncomfortable symptoms, knowing how to properly identify this common plant is recommended, especially for people who spend a significant amount of time outdoors. Below is some information people can use to properly identify and avoid poison ivy.

Why is it dangerous?

Poison ivy contains an oil known as urushiol, which causes a rash in people who are allergic to it. The rash typically consists of fluid-filled blisters that may itch and weep. To contract the rash, people must come into direct contact with the oil. The oil may be found on the plant itself, as well as on objects, people or pets that have touched the plant. Reactions may also occur among people who inhale smoke produced by the burning of the poison ivy plant.

Identifying Poison Ivy

Poison ivy plants can be found in a variety of locations, from vacant lots to deep in the woods. Poison ivy may grow as a single plant, a bush or a vine. Typically, poison ivy plants are characterized by various stems that each contain three leaves.

The leaves will be close together, and they may appear shiny. Leaves on poison ivy plants are usually bright or dark green in the spring and red or orange in autumn. If the leaf is turned over or viewed from below, the bottom will appear fuzzy and lighter in color. Poison ivy plants also produce dense clusters of berries, which are white in color and usually appear late in the summer and remain on the plant until winter.

Dealing with Poison Ivy

If you come across poison ivy in your backyard or on your next hike, avoid touching any part of the plant. If you accidently touch part of the plant, wash the oil off your skin immediately with warm water and soap. Keep in mind that not all soaps will effectively remove poison ivy oils. Special soaps are available for purchase, or you can simply use dish detergent. If you develop a rash, you can treat the symptoms with topical steroids and anti-itch creams. In severe cases, oral steroids may be necessary. Regardless of the severity of your reaction, you should not scratch the rash, as this can lead to skin damage and infection.

From special soaps for removing poison ivy oils to the right type of tent, having the proper equipment is essential for the success of any camping trip. For your next trip in the great outdoors, be sure to have a durable shelter from Litefighter.

150 150 Mike Coachys

How To Effectively Camp In The Snow

camp in the snow

 

Learning how to camp in the snow gives one access to experiences that few people ever get. Snowfall and freezing temperatures mean there will not be many other people out there, giving one access to virtually untouched scenery and a quiet solitude that is impossible to find anywhere else. Of course, one has to stay warm and safe to make the experience a good one.

Tips and Tricks to Camp in the Snow

Snow camping can be awesome – or it can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. The outcome is all based on the preparation.

  • Bring the right gear – This is probably the coldest experience most people will ever have, so it pays to bring the right equipment. A tent rated for winter use, backup shelter, winter sleeping bag, gloves, warm hat, plenty of warm clothing, waterproof and insulated boots, several different fire-starting methods, navigation tools, first-aid supplies, plenty of food (even sitting in freezing weather burns a lot of calories), sunscreen and more. One should use a winter camping packing list to make sure nothing is forgotten.
  • No cotton – Cotton is not made for cold weather. Wool or synthetics are much better. Before going on the trip one should learn about different insulating materials and discuss clothing choices with someone who knows what they are doing.
  • Wear layers – A base layer, a middle layer and an outer layer are necessary for comfort and warmth. The base layer is essentially one’s underwear, made to wick moisture away from the body. The middle layer insulates, while the outer layer provides a shell against the elements.
  • Bring friends – Winter camping is best done in groups of two or more people. This ensures that there is enough help to get things done, a range of outdoor skills and abilities to draw on, another person to provide additional safety and perhaps most important – conversation.
  • Know the area – It is easy to get lost in the woods on a good day. But when everything is covered in snow and glare, one is almost guaranteed to get lost if he or she cannot navigate using a map and compass, or GPS. It is best to study the area thoroughly before one ever leaves home.
  • Know the weather – One should always check the weather right before the trip. Camping in the snow is fun, but a blizzard will ensure that the entire trip is spent inside the tent.

You can have a lot of fun winter camping. Just be sure to be prepared, and bring a durable Litefighter tent on your next trip!

150 150 Mike Coachys

Tips On How To Start A Fire Without Matches

how to start a fire without matches

Learning how to start a fire without matches or a lighter is one of the most basic outdoor survival tips for campers. Fire is not only used to keep campers warm, but it is also useful for cooking food, providing light, repelling insects and boiling drinking water. Below are some useful strategies for campers who don’t know how to start a fire without a lighter or matches. Keep in mind that all of these methods require tinder, which is a material that will catch fire easily.

Flint and Steel

Carrying flint and steel is an excellent way to make sure that fire is always attainable. To start a fire with flint and steel, hold the flint and steel close to the tinder and strike the steel against the flint to create a spark. This procedure should be repeated until the tinder catches fire.

Lens/Magnifying Glass

This method requires a lens or magnifying glass that will be used to magnify the rays of the sun and create a hot spot. To use this method, hold the lens approximately 12 inches away from the tinder and angle it until the beam is focused on the smallest possible area. Hold the lens in place until the tinder smolders, then blow on the tinder gently to start the fire.

Friction (Fireboard and Plow)

When none of the above tools are available, a fire can be started using resources available in the woods. First, obtain a suitable fireboard, which is a piece of softwood that will serve as a base for the fire. Next, obtain a plow, which is a stick made of hardwood that will be used to create friction. Both the fireboard and the plow must be dry.

To start fire using this method, carve a 6-inch by 1-inch groove in the softwood, then carve a point on the end of the hardwood plow. Place the plow in the groove on the fireboard and rub back and forth until a small amount of dust is created. Angle the board and rest it against your knee, allowing the dust to collect in a pile at the bottom. Rub the plow back and forth and fast as possible until the dust smolders. Blow gently on the smoldering dust to start the fire. Transfer the fire to your tinder.

Knowing how to start a fire in the woods is helpful for campers, but reliable shelter is essential. Don’t be left in the cold, get a shelter from Litefighter!