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150 150 Mike Coachys

Tricks & Tips For Ice Fishing

tips for ice fishing

 

Ice fishing sounds easy enough, but getting continued success can be surprisingly difficult. Typically, there will be some early catches, but then, the fish will mysteriously “just stop biting.” Here are some tips for ice fishing to keep your bucket full for the duration of the trip.

  1. Vary jig types. According to Steve Ryan of Lake Link, most anglers start out with a vertical jig. This is initially successful, but eventually, all of the nearby fish willing to react to it will have been caught. That’s when it’s time to switch to a horizontal jig to draw in other species.
  2. Change the bait. Live bait is often seen as king, but some fish just won’t fall for it. Once the live bait stops working, switch to plastic. Panfish like bluegill often prefer it, perhaps because of its novelty. The best plastic bait uses a tiny head with a long finesse tail. It reacts to even the smallest movement of the rod, which gives the impression of plenty of action.
  3. Stop jiggling the line. It’s standard practice to bob the bait up and down while jiggling the line, but fish soon become accustomed to the motion and stop seeing it. Twisting the line while leaving it at the same depth will wake up bored fish and attract their attention.
  4. Chum the water. There’s no need to be fishing for sharks for this trick to work. Grind up some bait worms or minnows and throw them down the hole. This will draw more fish over and get them feeding. Then surprise them by putting some of that bait on a hook.
  5. Stay safe. Every year, some ice fishermen drown because the ice gave way. To be fully safe, the ice must be 4″ thick. Some chance going out when it’s thinner, but this increases the chance of breaking through. Also, be aware that ice on the Great Lakes can break off in big floes – with ice fishermen helplessly along for the ride. Fishing Tips Depot recommends that anyone going out fishing keep a charged cell phone handy. Fishermen should also let people know where they’re going and when to expect them to return.

With these tips, ice fishing can be safer and much more productive. Give them a try and see how many more fish end up in the bucket!

Also be sure to protect yourself from the elements with a Litefighter shelter!

 

150 150 Mike Coachys

Best Apps For Hunting & Fishing

best apps for hunting & fishing

While it may seem strange at first to use your top-of-the-line smartphone for hunting in the great outdoors, this little pocket computer actually provides a significant number of advantages for your sporting activities. Hikers use smartphone apps. Outdoor photographers use them as well. So why not hunters and fisherman?

Best Apps for Hunting & Fishing

Amazing apps are coming out all the time, so it is worthwhile to check for the latest and greatest hunting and fishing apps on a regular basis. However, there are a few that have already proven themselves to sportsmen – apps you gotta try on your next outing.

  1. Act in Nature – Safety is of extreme importance when you are handling a firearm. Any sportsman knows this, which is why hunting safety is trained so persistently. The Act In Nature app allows you to gain full control over the safety of your hunting group. You and your party can track one another on the app, allowing you to coordinate your hunt and to know exactly where other people are before you consider taking a shot.
  2. i-Solunar Hunting & Fishing Times – Whether you are angling or hunting, the time of day dictates what actions you take. Fish and game are active during certain times – especially around sunrise and sunset – and this is something you have to account for. The i-Solunar app gives you the best hunting and fishing times for your location, no matter where you are in the world. Valuable info for any sportsman.
  3. i-Hunt Journal – The i-Hunt Journal app is designed for the hunter who wants to be thorough in his approach. Keeping track of all the different variables of your hunt is the best way to understand what is happening, and how to get the results you want. Your memory is only so useful. This app allows you to take notes, photos, record locations and keep an ongoing log of your adventures.
  4. Primos STL – This app gives you access to over 20 hunting calls. According to the manufacturer, the Primos STL app is the best selling hunting app of all time. Whether you are trying to draw in waterfowl, elk, turkey or predators, this app has the calls you need.
  5. Hunting Light and Blood Tracker – Tracking down wounded game is not fun, but it is necessary. This smartphone app helps you see blood more clearly and locate a wounded animal.

Now that you have the best apps for your hunting or fishing adventure, make sure you have the best gear as well.

Bring along a LiteFighter tent on your next adventure!

150 150 Mike Coachys

How To Properly Dress For The Cold In The Outdoors

dress for the cold

Learning how to dress for the cold in the outdoors is important not only for comfort, but for safety. Winter weather, especially in certain climates, can be unpredictable and dangerous. But even if one is not worried about scaling mountain passes, it still pays to be able to adjust one’s temperature throughout a winter day – with all of the variations in temperature that can occur.

How To Dress for the Cold Weather

The two key things one should remember when choosing winter clothing are materials and layers. Certain materials work better to keep one warm and dry than others, and knowing how to dress in layers is key to remaining comfortable in the cold.

Materials

White cotton socks and cotton t shirts are fine in the summer, but cotton is not a material well-designed for cold weather. When cotton becomes wet it loses its insulation properties. This means if boots fill up with snow, get doused in water or one just sweats from exertion, cotton goes from a comfort to a hazard.

Wool, on the other hand, is an ideal insulator even when wet. This is why it is still considered a prized material for winter weather underlayers – even with the creation of a range of useful synthetics. Merino wool in particular is used as an underlayer because it is both comfortable and warm.

Synthetics are perfect for outer layers. They can shed water and snow so well that one can remain completely dry in most circumstances – unless one falls in water or sits on snow so long it melts and soaks through the material.

Layers

With an understanding of materials, it is easy to start creating layers. A base layer is always recommended, such as long underwear made out of merino wool or a synthetic material. Then comes more layers – the number depending on how severe the weather will be. Warm footwear should also always be a priority, with waterproofing if possible.

For a walk in the woods it may be enough to put on a base layer, then a pair of outdoor pants or snow pants and a long sleeve shirt or sweater, and a jacket. Someone doing a serious hike in the snow might increase the layers and bring a backpack to store layers that he or she is shedding as body temperature rises.

So remember, know your materials and learn to dress in layers. And for your next hike or camping trip, be sure to pack a Litefighter tent to stay warm!

150 150 Mike Coachys

Best Places To Go Deer Hunting In America

deer hunting

 

Many states have a population of deer, so there’s no need to travel for the simple purpose of hunting them. Instead, the point of traveling is to get a chance to get a buck that is superior to the rest. Even though most hunters say they target deer for their meat, they also want a chance to get a trophy buck at least once.

Here are some of the top locations to visit to increase the chances of scoring one:

  1. Wisconsin – This state has produced over 700 trophies over the last 10 years, according to Boone & Crockett. That’s about 130 more than Illinois, which has the next-best record. Wisconsin also has plenty of state land, which makes it easy to find some hunting grounds.
  2. Illinois – As mentioned, this is the #2-ranked state for trophy bucks. Unlike Wisconsin, however, it doesn’t have many state-owned areas where hunting is allowed. Instead, hunters in Illinois usually have to deal with expensive private outfitters. Even so, the chance of scoring a once-in-a-lifetime buck is very good.
  3. Texas – The state known for its giant versions of everything doesn’t disappoint when it comes to deer. It has both big bucks and a huge number of bucks. Its number of hunters is also high, but thanks to the size of the state, that isn’t a problem. Over a million licenses are sold each year, and a season will usually result in about 600,000 kills.

Some hunters have different criteria for what makes a place a good location for hunting. Things like the number of other hunters present, the total deer population, and the requirements for getting to that population all factor in. Therefore, many people may be more satisfied with the “next best” places for deer hunting.

One such place is the suburban areas of Connecticut, where residents are often quite happy to have people lower the numbers of encroaching deer. There, gaining access to private lands will take some doorbell-ringing, but most land owners won’t charge high costs for access. Another good location is Lenape Farms in New Jersey. It used to be a hunting club, but the club has ceased to exist. The deer, however, are still there.

With these ideas, it should be easier to find a destination for a deer hunting trip. Even better, hunters will have a higher chance of scoring a record buck with a visit to one of the top three!

On your next deer hunting excursion, be sure to pick up a durable Litefighter tent!

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

Finding The Best Wood For Starting A Fire by Friction

 

fire by friction

There are seemingly endless modern tools to use to start campfires, but no one is properly prepared unless he or she also knows how to start a camp fire with no outside equipment at all. This is because mishaps can cause the original equipment to be lost or broken. When these things occur, it’s important to know how to start a fire by friction.

The friction method is sometimes known as “rubbing two sticks together,” but this is really just one way to do it. Usually, it’s actually done by rubbing a wood stick against a wooden base. No matter which specific method is used, the principle is the same: The rubbing must create enough friction to heat the wood until it’s hot enough to ignite materials that are then placed around it.

Even though it seems simple, many people find that when they attempt to make a fire this way, the wood just gets hard and shiny. The slick, shiny surface produces almost no friction when rubbed, so it won’t heat up. What causes this problem? It turns out that this is the result of using hardwood.

While different campers may prefer different types of wood, all agree that softwood is a necessity. They also prefer the bow drill fire starting method, in which a stick is quickly rubbed into a base. A hardwood stick can work, but the base must always be softwood. Using softwood for both parts works great.

One specific type of wood that has been mentioned as the best wood for a fire is white pine. Other types of pine are also commonly used where available. If there are no pine trees around, other softwoods are also acceptable. To determine if wood is soft enough, try to dent it with a thumbnail. If it dents, it’s softwood.

The other key is to make sure the wood is dry. Dead wood that has been on the ground will have absorbed water, so it won’t work. An easy way to get dry, dead wood is to look for a dead branch that’s still attached to a tree.

This may turn out to be one of the camping tips that turns out to be a lifesaver, but the ability to start a fire is just one of the things that’ll be needed on a trip through the woods. For your next camping trip, be sure to pick up a durable Litefighter tent for shelter and warmth.

150 150 Mike Coachys

Best Trail Mix Ingredients for Hiking Trips

best trail mix ingredients

Trail mix is the quintessential hiking food. Lightweight and packed with nutrients, it offers an ideal balance for people in the outdoors. Generally one is burning a great deal of calories while hiking, backpacking or even working outside – meaning he or she must replenish those resources. However, not all trail mix is created equal. Store bought varieties can be chock full of unnecessary salt and sugar, and may not offer a balanced energy source. Homemade trail mix is a better solution, one where the end-user can control the mix.

Healthy Trail Mix Ingredients

Trail mix generally consists of roasted nuts, dried fruit and possibly vegetables, and possibly some sort of sweet candy like chocolate. Here is the lowdown on the best trail mix ingredients:

  • Nuts and seeds – Packed with protein and a range of other nutrients, nuts typically make up at least 50% of the mix. Nuts should be dry roasted for preservation purposes. Some prefer to use salted nuts, as one naturally secretes salt while sweating that must be replenished. However, avoid putting too many salty ingredients in the batch. It is best to use several nuts for nutrition and variety – but make sure only one type is salted.
  • Dried fruit – Dried fruit has a ton of nutrients and often packs plenty of sweetness. The fruit provides vitamins that nuts cannot, making it a necessary part of the mix. Fruit also provides a different texture, which is important to keep the mix interesting.
  • Dried vegetables – While dried veggies may not sound appetizing at first, they can often be incorporated sparingly into a mix to provide even more nutrition and fiber. They also have the advantage of containing much less sugar or fat than the other ingredients. One can experiment with different dried veggie options, such as dried red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and pumpkin.
  • Chocolate or other sweet ingredients – It is arguable whether ingredients like chocolate are truly necessary for a trail mix. Plenty of people stick to a straight Nut/Seed/Fruit and possibly vegetable mix. However, a bit of dried chocolate or some honey roasted nuts may be a perfect way to make the trail mix more fun to eat – and one is probably going to burn off all the extra calories anyway.

There is no perfect trail mix recipe. Proper proportions are important – at least 50% nuts, a balanced salt level, not too much sugar – but the rest is up to the maker. Healthy trail mix is ideal, but there are many combinations that can create healthy trail mix recipes.

Next time you go camping or hiking, bring plenty of homemade trail mix and your own Litefighter tent for durable protection from the elements!

150 150 Mike Coachys

Edible Wild Plants You Can Eat To Survive

edible wild plants

 

Knowing what wild plants are edible when exploring the outdoors can turn out to be a lifesaver in certain situations. There are numerous edible wild plants that can be consumed safely – the problem is knowing which plants are actually safe. Here are some of the more common edible plants in the wild.

Wild Plants You Can Eat In The Woods

  • Asparagus – This plant is quite a bit longer and skinnier than the grocery store variety, but it can be found in many different places, including North America, Europe and North Africa. It can be eaten raw or cooked in boiling water for a nutritious meal.
  • Cattail – This distinctive plant is usually found near standing water, with its long stalks sticking up far above the waterline. Native Americans used cattail for food quite often, eating the roots, the softer white part of the stem and even the bushy flower at the top – which can be eaten when it is still soft in the early summer.
  • Clovers – Clovers grow abundantly in open areas and are edible – although they tend to taste better boiled than they do raw.
  • Chickweed – Chickweed can be found in both arctic areas and temperate areas. Small white flowers will distinguish the plant in the spring to early summer. The leaves of the plant can be consumed boiled or raw.
  • Conifer – In the spring conifers will begin generating new growth in the form of shoots, soft and lightly colored extensions at the tip of each branch. These shoots can be eaten raw.
  • Wild Grapes – Wild grapes grow all across the U.S. and can make for a delicious meal. It is best to become familiar with the grapes in the area one will be exploring to avoid eating something unpleasant or dangerous.
  • Berries – There are a number of berries that can be found on different bushes outdoors, including blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and huckleberries. Berries are a great source of food and can be easily identified once one knows what to look for. One should be careful when harvesting blackberries or raspberries, however, as the plants are quite thorny.

Practice and Preparation

The best way to be prepared for an outdoor adventure is to practice finding edible plants beforehand – when one is not starving and desperate. Eating random plants can be dangerous and potentially deadly.

Be prepared, and don’t be without quality equipment like a durable outdoor shelter from Litefighter

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!

150 150 Mike Coachys

Packing Tips For Hikers

packing tips for hikers

Hiking is an exciting and enjoyable outdoor activity, but it can also be challenging. Packing appropriately will help to ensure that your trip is a success. If you’re wondering how to pack for your next hiking trip, just follow the tips below.

1. Choose an appropriate backpack.

Pack all of the items you need for your trip in a backpack that fits well, is designed for hikers and is easy for you to carry. Keep in mind that the backpack will be with you throughout the trip, so choose one that is both sturdy and comfortable.

2. Figure out what you need.

Taking the right supplies with you is essential to the success of your trip. Depending on the weather and the nature of your trip, you may need food, cooking gear designed for camping, a camera, water, map, compass, tent, sleeping bag, medicine, extra clothes, fire-starting supplies and a first aid kit.

3. Know how to pack your backpack.

One of the most important packing tips for hikers is not to pack a backpack that is too heavy. Even if it’s possible to carry a heavy backpack around for a few minutes at home, you will tire quickly if you try to carry too much on a hike. Take only those items you will need for the trip, and pack dehydrated meals if possible to save space and reduce overall weight.

If you pack everything you want to take and your backpack is still too heavy, ask yourself what you can live without and leave it behind. You can also reduce the backpack’s weight by purchasing lightweight supplies designed for hikers, such as lightweight sleeping bags or tents.

Need a tent for your next hiking trip? Litefighter has the tent for you!