A few months ago, an article published by Slate started to get a lot of attention, for suggesting that the practice of treating backcountry water sources against possible pathogens was built on myth. No doubt it got the buzz Slate was looking for, but I pretty much ignored it at the time. Recently though, I was pointed…Read more To Clean, or Not To Clean – Water in the Backcountry
The Eight (Yes, Eight) Seasons
Welcome to Groundhog Days! We're entering the second of eight outdoor seasons this year - Groundhog Days are that period where it's still winter-cold, but the skies are brightening. This combo means ideal conditions for winter camping, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, etc. - Cold, brisk winter weather, snow, but with lengthening afternoons that actually give you…Read more The Eight (Yes, Eight) Seasons
Winter Camping Without a Tent
December was a crazy month - it always is during the run up to the holidays, trying to prepare at home, and preemptively get everything done at work. Like I mentioned in the run-up to Christmas though, I had plans, and some of them have come to fruition. In mid-December, I was able to complete…Read more Winter Camping Without a Tent
Imagining the Possibilities
Happy December, everybody! It's hard to believe we've come all the way around to the end of the year again, but happy to have completed the journey. For whatever reason, this time of year always stirs a wanderlust in me for getting out on the trail somewhere. It may be a conditioned response - with…Read more Imagining the Possibilities
This may be a little to exact for this week's challenge, but hey, it's Science Fair season! One of my sons has been experimenting with the chemistry that creates cool light - along the bioluminescence capabilities of fireflies (lightning bugs), jellyfish, and our own man-made glow sticks, generally referred to as chemiluminescence. After several iterations…Read more Experiments!
How To Lash a Tripod (And Make a Chair)
I posted a picture of this lashed-together camp chair not too long ago, and it got a lot of interest among my small group of Facebook followers, so I thought I'd write up a quick how-to! As camp chairs go, this one is simple. That's one of the reasons I use this design - if…Read more How To Lash a Tripod (And Make a Chair)
Sleeping In On A Rainy Day
We've all been there. Lying in bed, knowing it's time to get up - but outside it's raining. You can hear it on the roof, on the windows. So you pull your covers over your head and doze off for another half-hour (if you're lucky). Scientists link rainy-day drowsiness to a lack of sunlight. Light…Read more Sleeping In On A Rainy Day
Orienteering (Competition Style!)
Sanctioned off-trail bushwhacking for fun and education.
FISH IN FERN. The Ten Essentials: A Systems Approach
A different way to think through what you need.
Playing With Fire
Nothing beats a nice campfire. It provides warmth, light, hypnotic entertainment, and is the centerpiece of camaraderie and conversation. Relaxing by the campfire is a days-end goal that we all look forward to. Building a fire is an outdoor skill that we spend a lot of time developing, and practicing. It's ALSO a job that most…Read more Playing With Fire
Time and Direction – Celestial Tricks for the Backcountry
Quick tips on finding your way and tracking time while outdoors
3 Common Joining Knots
This week I got to playing with stop motion, using real ropes, inconsistent lighting, and permanent marker on a whiteboard (doh!) to show how to tie one rope to another, why, and under what circumstances you want to use them. The Square Knot, Sheet Bend, and Thief Knot. It's all boiled down into just over…Read more 3 Common Joining Knots
Animal Tracking in Snow
Using a fresh snowfall to find and identify common animal tracks.