Tips for Safely Enjoying the Outdoors on a Slim Budget by Carmine Barbetta (FB)
Here are 6 handy tips that will make your time outside a bit safer and more enjoyable without breaking the bank:
• Any time you go on an extended outing, take a “first-aid kit” for your gear. Use a small waterproof container to hold items you might need to make simple repairs around camp. Here’s a list to get you started, but you’ll need to come up with your own list based on your gear:
o Duct tape
o Heavy-duty needle and thread
o Stove/lantern parts and repair tools
o Nylon cord and strap material
o Extra bulbs and batteries for headlamps and lights
o Fabric patches with adhesive
o Tent repair kit
o Extra buckles for back packs
• If you’re camping in bear country, make sure you NEVER take food into your tent. Instead, hang anything edible in a pack hanging at least 10 feet off the ground from a rope strung between two trees away from your tent. Place a pile of throwing-size rocks within reach of your sleeping bag. If a bear wakes you up during the night, go on the offensive by shouting and throwing rocks at the bear. Most bears that can’t easily find something to eat will leave if threatened.
• Whether you are in a boat or hiking in remote country, a pocket-size mirror can be a lifesaver in many critical situations. Any small mirror will work, but a polished metal mirror like those sold in camping supply stores is more durable than glass and plastic mirrors. A mirror can be used to flash sunlight toward distant objects when you need to communicate your location across long distances or signal distress.
• When distant sounds seem louder than normal, it may mean that bad weather is approaching. Distant sounds become louder when they occur under a lowering cloud ceiling that forces the sounds to dissipate outward rather than upward. Lowering clouds are a sign of imminent precipitation.
• If you spend a lot of time in the outdoors, consider getting a hand-held GPS. One of the most important reasons to carry a handheld GPS, along with some type of communication, is so you can relay your exact position to other members of your party if you get separated or to rescue personnel in the event of an emergency. Also, there are a number of free GPS programs you can download from the Internet to create custom maps, show others where you are in real-time, and much more.
• Outdoor enthusiasts who use an Apple iPhone, Motorola Droid, or other “smartphone” have access to a variety of useful apps. For example, you can track moon phases, tides, use your phone as a compass, get weather forecasts, call game, download maps, and much more.
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