The great outdoors

It is as beautiful and exciting as it is dangerous. Outdoor enthusiasts need to be prepared if they want to enjoy the wilderness safely. Basic safety training, first aid supplies, and appropriate licenses should all be obtained, but what about the tips you would only learn with experience? Well, we’ve compiled a list of seven of the best tricks that every outdoorsman should know. With these expert tricks you’ll be totally prepared for your next outdoor adventure.

Getting a Fire Started

Fire is essential for survival in the great outdoors. It warms us, cooks our food, and frightens away predators. Every outdoorsman should have a complete grasp of fire basics. Knowing what to do when you don’t have your fire starting supplies can literally mean the difference between life and death. You can start a fire with some found wood, dry grass, and a piece of cord or rope. Check out the full tutorial from Esquire here.

Read the Animals

Picking up clues from the surrounding wildlife is an essential trick for any outdoor enthusiast. Reading the behavior of various animals can help you avoid danger, locate food and water, or find your selected prey. Wild animals need to stay hydrated too, so watching their patterns and behavior can help you find water. Also, if you’re trying a new place when fishing, watch the behavior of fish eaters like birds. Their location can clue you into the best fishing spot.

Dress Appropriately

Being prepared for the extremes of Mother Nature is an essential outdoor skill. One of the most important aspects of that is the clothing you wear. The best tip for hikers, campers, and hunters is to dress appropriately for the environment. Wear quality shoes that offer protection on rough terrain. Use multi-purpose items like vests that protect you from the elements and offer storage. Dress in layers so you’re ready for hot and cold extremes and include items made of fleece fabric for their light weight and warmth.

Tying Knots

Knot tying is useful knowledge for most outdoor activities. From fishing to camping to survival, knots serve many functions. Learn some basic knots and you’ll be ready for many different situations. You can use a Clove Hitch to secure a line to a tree or make a shelter, or try a Sailor’s Knot to join ropes, cables, and other lines. Check out this infographic from Business Insider for 12 of the most common knots to use in outdoor situations.

Purify Water

Bringing enough clean water for everyone in your group to stay hydrated is a critical survival task. You should also put some thought into what you’ll do if you run out of water in an emergency situation. Although you may find water in the wilderness, it could be contaminated with bacteria that could make you really sick. Invest in some water purification solutions like iodine tabs or filter bottles that are easy to carry and will make sure you’re prepared. Read all their instructions and make sure you’re familiar with how your chosen water purification product works.

Finding Your Way

A good sense of direction is nice to have, but it can only get you so far. If you enjoy nature or activities like camping, hiking, or rock climbing, it is a good idea to be sure you know how to find your way back to civilization. If you end up without a compass or map, you’ll need to know what to do. Learn to use other techniques to help you find direction, like the position of the sun during the day or the location of the North Star at night. Check out this article from Mental Floss for some specifics on how to find direction without a compass or map.

Pack the Necessities

We all know that you should always be prepared, but packing for outdoor activities and trips requires finesse. You want your pack to have all the items you need, but be light enough to carry easily across distances. Think of items that can serve multiple purposes like Swiss Army style knives or sunblock that contains bug repellant. You’ll also want light weight items like blankets or jackets made of fleece fabric and lightweight tents.
By: Vincent Stokes