Tag Archives: tips

22 Absolutely Essential Diagrams You Need For Camping

12 Nov


22 Absolutely Essential Diagrams You Need For Camping

From survival to s’mores, here’s everything you need to know to ensure a flawless camping trip. posted on June 17, 2013 at 2:27pm EDT

1. How to Build a Campfire

How to Build a Campfire

2. Tent Tips

Tent Tips

3. Everything You Need to Know About the Technicality of S’mores

Everything You Need to Know About the Technicality of S'mores

4. How to Estimate Remaining Daylight with Your Hand

How to Estimate Remaining Daylight with Your Hand

5. Snacks to Pack

Snacks to Pack

6. What You Can Do to Repel Mosquitoes

What You Can Do to Repel Mosquitoes

7. How to Sleep Warm

How to Sleep Warm

8. How to Survive Hypothermia

How to Survive Hypothermia

9. Backpacker’s Checklist

Backpacker's Checklist

10. How to Rig a Tarp

How to Rig a Tarp

11. How to Get Your Dutch Oven to the Right Temperature

How to Get Your Dutch Oven to the Right Temperature

You can very easily adapt recipes you can make in a kitchen oven to an outdoor dutch oven.

12. How to Identify Animal Tracks

How to Identify Animal Tracks

13. Know Your Stargazing Events This Summer

Know Your Stargazing Events This Summer

14. 10 Easy Fire Starters

10 Easy Fire Starters

15. Kayak Camping Checklist

Kayak Camping Checklist

16. A Guide to Hammock Camping

A Guide to Hammock Camping

17. Guide to Spider Bites

Guide to Spider Bites

18. Checklist for Car Camping

Checklist for Car Camping

19. How to Make Shelters in Survival Situations Using Nature

How to Make Shelters in Survival Situations Using Nature

20. How to React to a Wildlife Encounter

How to React to a Wildlife Encounter

21. Tarp Tips

Tarp Tips

22. Know Your Poisonous Plants

Know Your Poisonous Plants

What To Do When Lost In The Woods

28 Jun


1946 U.S. Forest Service safety flyer





  1. Finding oneself is the test of man.
  2. Merely being out of sight of others in a strange forest gives a man the creeps — a natural feeling but a dangerous one. Never yield to it.
  3. Stop, sit down, and try to figure out where you are. Use your head, not your legs.
  4. Build a fire in a safe place.
  5. Don’t wander about.
  6. Don’t yell, don’t run, don’t worry, and above all, don’t quit.
  7. A thinking man is never lost for long. He knows that…he must remain where he is or push on to some definite objective, but not to the point of exhaustion…that someone will be looking for him, and strength in that knowledge makes hardships easier.



Fitness Tips from the World’s Greatest Athlete – Olympic Decathlete Trey Hardee

13 Jun


Outside Magazine, July 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The World’s Greatest Athlete

Spoiler alert! You’re not making this year’s Olympic team. But here’s your consolation prize: Priceless advice from reigning world champion decathlete Trey Hardee, who has distilled a decade of training and nutrition wisdom into one totally customizable gold-medal fitness formula.

By: Ryan Krogh



Hardee’s routine of choice is something he calls speed-endurance workouts. “They’re designed to tip you over the edge of your lactate threshold,” he says. “You’re in oxygen debt, and you’re forcing your body to work through it.” A common example for Hardee is a 450-meter run, a 350, and a 250, all with relatively short recovery times (roughly four minutes) between each one. He’ll follow those with a 10-minute break and then three 150-meter sprints, with a longer recovery period in between (five or six minutes). “At the end, your muscles are just swimming with lactic acid,” says Hardee. “Your body feels like it’s going to shut down, but it will learn to recover faster, which is particularly important for me when there are short times in between events.” For you, it means faster recovery between ascents on the bike or ski laps at the resort.

I’m just a runner/cyclist/swimmer. Is the weight room really worth my time?
Hitting the weights, insists Hardee, is necessary no matter what sport you do. But it’s not about getting bigger by isolating muscles. It’s about getting stronger for your sport through dynamic exercises. Hardee does heavy rotations of Olympic movements—power cleans, squats, and bench presses. “They’re our bread and butter,” he says. “There’s almost a one-to-one transfer of power we build there to all of the events we do on the track.” Not surprisingly, Olympic exercises are good for many outdoor sports, too, because they engage muscles throughout the body. Hardee and his coach incorporate other exercises, but Olympic movements are the foundation.

What about warming up? Should I stretch before I work out?
“Stretching isn’t warming up,” says Hardee. “Warming up is literally that—raising your body’s temperature and getting blood flowing to your muscles.” Hardee recommends dynamic exercises that are movement-oriented. Instead of going for a jog around the track and then bending over to touch his toes, Hardee goes for a jog around the track and then does lateral shuffles, jumping jacks, backward runs, lunges, box hops, legs swings, and other light exercises. “The idea is not to elongate your muscles,” explains Hardee. “It’s simply to wake them up and let them know what they’re about to do.” 

How much water should I drink when I’m training?
“For me, there’s no such thing as too much water,” says Hardee. “My body craves it from the moment I wake up until I go to bed, and I drink until my body tells me I’m loaded.” Good call. Recent research backs up this basic but intuitive guideline: Hydrate if you’re thirsty, don’t if you’re not. In a survey of distance runners last year, more than a third said they drink according to a preset schedule, such as one liter per hour, and nearly 10 percent simply down as much as they can. Thirst, which has been honed over millennia, turns out to be a pretty good measure of how much to drink when working out. As you pay more attention to your body’s signals, Hardee says, you’ll be able to recognize the subtleties of thirst more quickly. “Even if you don’t change your diet but pay more attention to how much water you drink, it will make a difference,” he says. “You’ll be surprised at how good you feel.”

I’ve just done a hard workout—what’s my recovery routine?
“I can spend as much time getting ready for the next day’s workout as actually doing the current day’s regimen,” Hardee says. After an intense sprint session, he’ll go for a low-intensity jog, do exercises like leg swings against a wall or lateral jumping jacks, then stretch for 10 to 15 minutes. Hardee says the biggest mistake most athletes make is not taking the time to properly cool down after a heavy session. “You’re breaking down your muscles when you’re working out,” Hardee explains, “and you need to work equally hard to help them recover. I’m always actively trying to recover and get ready for the next day.”

What do you mean by active recovery?
For one, Hardee soaks in a 55-degree cold tub daily—he has one in his house—to help reduce inflammation. More important for non-Olympians is one of his other protocols: a quality meal high in protein and carbs within an hour or so after the last workout of the day (see his daily meal plan, below). After a training session, your body is primed to take in nutrients and use them to build muscle. To end his daily recovery, he has a foam roller that he self-massages with at night. To use it, he simple lies on it and lets his body weight do the work as he rolls back and forth on tight spots. In addition, he gets a professional massage and visits a chiropractor every other week—the former to loosen any particularly tight muscles and the latter to make sure everything is in proper alignment. The massage-and-chiropractor protocol is not so much an immediate recovery technique, explains Hardee, as a way to make sure there are no weak links that might cause an injury.

What about off days?
There’s no such thing as an off day—but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on non-training days. “Instead of giving yourself the day off, which may make you feel even worse,” says Hardee, “do something to raise the metabolism a bit.” That may be as simple as a few push-ups and sit-ups and then stretching. “Sometimes I’ll ride my bike or go stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Travis here in Austin.”  

SUPing? Really?
“Oh yeah. It’s great, because it’s low impact and it’s left up to you how hard you want to go. I also like it because it gets me out on the water and I can be in my own serene little world.” 

What about food? Do I need to behave like a cyclist and weigh out every meal?
Not at all, insists Hardee, explaining that his meal plan probably looks a lot like a weekend warrior’s with a few hundred extra calories added in. “My meals are real simple,” says Hardee. “I use organic when I can and eat foods high in antioxidants to help my body recover.” Here’s Hardee’s prescription for a day’s nutrition:

Breakfast: A bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar, along with daily vitamins (more on that in a second).

Lunch: Because Hardee often eats lunch in between training sessions (weights in the morning and track in the afternoon), he likes a carb-heavy meal with a little lean protein, often something like whole-wheat pasta with turkey sausage and a side of broccoli. “If I’m still hungry after that,” says Hardee, “then I go to fruit, like bananas or apples, to fill in the gaps.”

Dinner: It needs to be a dish high in protein to help repair and build muscle, like grilled salmon or a bison-and-quinoa chili that has become a recent favorite of his. “We had a really good sweet Italian chili recipe and started throwing in quinoa to raise the caloric intake,” he says. “It’s unreal how good it is.” 

Pistachios. “I eat my weight in them each month,” says Hardee. “That’s my snack if I’m watching a movie or just vegging out. They’re a good source of amino acids and have a low glycemic index”—a measure of how quickly the food breaks down into glucose in the bloodstream—“so they’re a great healthy snack.”

What about supplements?
Hardee takes a multivitamin in the morning, as well as flax- and fish-oil supplements. Which isn’t a whole lot compared with many world-class athletes. “I try to rely as best I can on the food that I’m already putting in my body for my nutritional needs,” he says. “But I can’t eat or drink enough calories to repair my muscles like I need to.” To augment, Hardee will also down a whey protein shake after a heavy workout. On non-training days, though, he says whole-food nutrition will suffice. 

How do I stay motivated?
Set goals. But don’t make them unreasonable. “I set long-range goals that will be hard to achieve,” says Hardee, “but I keep it interesting by setting small, attainable goals, too. I get to accomplish these on a daily basis. In essence, I rehearse being successful.” For Hardee, the Olympics are always on the horizon, but a daily goal might be envisioning—and then completing—a flawless 27-foot long jump or a fast 400-meter run with perfect form. For you that might mean signing up for a race, like a sprint triathlon, which will serve as your long-term goal. Then, for a short-term objective, do five 100-meter sprint drills one day at two-thirds speed. Two days later, make it your goal to go a little faster or do an extra 100 meters. 

How do I maintain performance all year?
First, recognize that you can’t be at your peak at all times. “There’s a tiny window,” explains Hardee, and his periodized fitness plan is designed to let him peak during competition—and back off some in between. Second, never back off too much. Listen to what your body is telling you, but don’t be afraid to push it. “That’s why older athletes are sometimes better,” says Hardee, “because they know exactly what their body needs to peak, but also how hard they can push it without hurting themselves.” Once you start paying more attention to your training regimen—or start one in the first place—your brain will almost automatically become more in tune with your body, and you’ll be able to expand what you thought were your limits. Lastly, compete with yourself to get better. “People talk about rivalries,” Hardee says. “I don’t have that urge. I just want to get better than my old self. I want to be better today than I was yesterday, and better tomorrow than I was last year. That’s what’s most important to me.”



How to enjoy the shit out of the world… or: 18 travel resolutions

5 Jan

Awesome piece on how to really get out there and ENJOY the world and all it has to offer.




18 Travel Resolutions to Keep This Year


1. Take your travel in any portion you can

At BootsnAll, we believe that the life-changing experience of extended travel is possible for almost anyone. But we also understand that it’s not always the right fit (or the right time) for every traveler. If you can’t get away for longer trips, take your travel in small chunks. Taking weekend trips, booking red-eye flights, and planning your trips around holidays to take advantage of extra free days off can help you get more out of limited time, but remember that not every trip needs to be epic. Pick destinations that seem manageable for the amount of time that you have, don’t worry about “seeing it all,” and expect that you’ll return at some point in the future.


2. Earn your experiences

Maybe it’s the endorphins or the adrenaline that kicks in during physical activity, but some of the best travel moments are the ones that are earned with sweat, tears, and a few small bruises. Get active and experience the world on a human-powered adventure. Go hike, kayak, swim, run, climb, ride, row, push, pull, hang, crawl, jump or whatever else gets you moving.


3. See less, experience more

You know the traveler type….the one who is running around from monument to museum, pausing for a moment to snap a picture, and then scurrying off to check the next item off a packed itinerary. It’s easy to recognize the most extreme examples of this type of whirlwind traveler; it’s harder to recognize the signs of trying to do to much in your own travel behavior. If you find yourself needing a vacation after your trip, if the only conversations you have with locals involve ordering food or buying museum tickets, and if you come home with more photographs than memories, you may be forsaking the experience of travel for the accomplishment of it. Travel shouldn’t be about getting it done, but about savoring the moment. Slow down, unpack, relax, stay awhile.


4. Invest in good gear

We’re always extolling the benefits of packing light; it makes travel easier, cheaper, and more convenient. But without the proper gear, traveling light is much more difficult. Just try going two weeks with three shirts that aren’t quick-drying and after spending all your time waiting for your sink-washed clothes to dry or hanging out in the laundromat, you may give up on packing light altogether. Investing in gear that is designed to help you travel with less can make all the difference.  Compression sacks, quick-drying and lightweight clothes, and the right toiletries are worth the investment.


5. Protect yourself

No one wants to think about something going wrong on a trip, but nothing ruins a trip faster than unexpected illness or injury, and the financial strain that can come with them. Most travelers won’t need insurance on their trip; they’ll return home with only happy memories. But for those who do encounter unexpected problems, insurance can be a literal lifesaver. From replacing stolen goods to getting you home in the event of major injury, insurance is one of those things which, when you need it, you really need it.  Protecting yourself, your family, and your financial investment in your trip is worth the minor expense.


6. Get past the “once-in-a-lifetime” roadblock

“Going on an African safari is a once-in a-lifetime-experience, so I want to do it right.” “I’ll probably only go to Europe once, so I want to see it all.” “This will be our last trip before we have kids, so it needs to be amazing.” There’s nothing wrong with wanting to splurge on a trip you’ll remember forever, and of course there are some destinations that you will probably only go to once. But the problem with the “once-in-a-lifetime” mentality is that it leads to “all-or-nothing” thinking. Too many travelers think that they don’t have enough time or money to “do the place right” and so they keep waiting until they have more time or more money. Except it never comes, and so they never go.

Snap out of it! One week in Italy is better than none, and going on a budget safari is better than never going at all. Compromise on your dream trips and you’ll find it’s easier to make them a reality.


7. Change up your travel style

If you’ve been traveling for any length of time, you probably have a well-defined travel style. You might be a budget-backpacker, a mid-range traveler, or a slow traveler; you might crave adventure,  or prefer the beach, or stick to cities. Change things up a bit!

If you usually go budget, splurge a bit on your next trip – book one night in an ultra-luxe hotel, or bump up to business class, or spend big on a multi-course gourmet feast. If you prefer the finer things in life, seek out some street food or try a night at a hostel.  If you’re an adventure junkie, take a break on the beach for a few days, and if you’re a sun-worshipper, add some active adventures off the beach. Solo traveler? Plan a trip with your parents. In a couple? Go it alone next time. Changing things up can help you discover more to love about travel.


8. Save the planet you love to explore

We travel to meet people, to experience things outside our normal life, to eat, to drink, to do. And we travel to explore this big, beautiful planet we call home. Yet, there’s no denying that the very act of travel is effecting the planet’s ecosystem in a negative way. Planes, trains, and buses all add pollution to the atmosphere. The hotels we stay in and restaurants we eat in also require energy to operate. And if we’re not careful, the tours we take and treks we go on can actually harm the local environment and peoples we’re going to visit.

You can’t eliminate the negative impact your travel has on the Earth, but you can reduce or offset it. Travel slowly, go by foot or take mass transit as much as possible. Respect the local culture and environment and only support businesses that do as well. Give back to the local communities you visit, and encourage others to do the same.


9. Boldly go solo

Traveling alone for the first time can be scary. You might worry if it’s safe, if you’ll be lonely, who you will talk to. But what you’ll quickly discover is that solo travelers are never really alone unless they want to be and that there is always someone to talk to, eat with, or explore alongside. Many solo travelers also say they meet more people than when they travel in a group, as they are more approachable alone. If you’ve never gone on a trip by yourself, make this the year you do, even if it’s just for a weekend. And if you have taken a few trips alone, go bigger this year, traveling solo longer or farther than you have in the past.


10. Learn something

The best trips teach us something, whether that be something about ourselves or the place we’ve gone to explore. Embrace more opportunities to learn on your next trip by taking a class in something that interests you. From one-day cooking or dance classes to week-long lessons in art, culture, language and activities, studying around the world is one more way to make a deeper connection with the local culture.


11. Be a traveler at home

Part of travel is about experiencing new places, seeing and doing new things, and meeting new people. So many travelers are open all these things when they’re on a trip to a foreign place, and yet they quickly forget the traveler’s mindset as soon as they return home. Be a traveler no matter where you are. Be a tourist in your own town. Try a new restaurant; head to a side of town you never visit; find a new event, festival, or parade you’ve never attended; go to a museum you’ve never explored. Look at your familiar environment with fresh eyes and try to see it as you would a new destination.


12. Eat something that scares you

Chances are, you probably try a few new foods on every trip – spicy curries in Thailand, the local fish in Colombia, a traditional dessert in Italy. It looks good, it smells good and it’s local, so you try it. Why not go beyond that a bit, and try something that you actually don’t think you’ll like? You don’t have to start chomping insects or rotten shark (unless you want to), just sample something you wouldn’t normally expect to enjoy. If offal isn’t your thing, at least try the tripe in Rome, and don’t scoff at lentils without at least tasting them in an Ethiopian berbere sauce. You’re mom was right: you don’t know if you’ll like it until you try, and if you don’t, you may miss out on something delicious.


13. Find your quest

The earliest adventurers didn’t travel to “get away” from something, they were searching for something. You don’t have to go in search of a new land or a new trade route in order to follow in their footsteps. Plan your own quest, whether it be an ambitious goal like biking from North America to the bottom of South America or a more personal journey, like tracing you family history. Having a greater purpose to your goal can give you more motivation to achieve it.


14. Talk to strangers and make meaningful connections

One of the best parts of travel can be the connections you make with locals and other travelers. If you tend to be on the shy side, focus on making more meaningful connections on the road. Strike up a conversation with a stranger in a cafe, on the bus, or in your hostel common room. Try a home exchange program to get a better look at local life, or Couchsurf for the first time.  And don’t forget the connections you already have; keep up correspondence with people you’ve met on your trips, and plan more visits to family and friends who don’t live locally. Visiting someone you know in another city gives you a built-in local guide and helps you save money.


15. Be impulsive

Some of the most memorable experience are the ones we never expected to have. This year, vow to be more spontaneous.  Book a last minute trip or arrive somewhere with no plans and just see where the wind takes you. On a longer trip, leave one day (or week) or one destination up in the air, or plan a mystery day trip where you just get on the next train and see where it takes you in an hour’s time. You can even apply the same idea locally. Pick a nearby city and just drive or hop on public transit and get off at a new stop. With no time to prepare, you can be more open to serendipity.


16. Be an inspiration

Think back to the time before your first big trip. You may have wondered if someone like you could actually do this. Could you study abroad, could you go on a trip alone, could you travel for a whole year? Maybe what pushed you over the edge and made you finally just do it was the advice or inspiration of  someone who had shared their own story with you. Pay it forward by inspiring someone else to take a trip, to travel more, or to accomplish their own travel goals.


17. Ditch the technology

Smartphones and easy access to the internet have been great for travelers. We can stay connected with home, easily make travel arrangements, and get local information at the touch of a button. But all this technology can also keep us from truly being present; we’re too busy tweeting about the moment to really appreciate it. Take some time to disconnect. Spend at least one day on your trip without tweeting, Facebooking,  or texting. Go a week without checking email. Or really take a tech-break by traveling to a destination where you won’t have any internet or cell service at all.


18. Make this the year you do it

How many times have you said that this was the year you would visit that place, or save for a round the world trip, or travel solo? Stop putting it off! It doesn’t get any easier, and you aren’t getting any younger. Don’t let five, or ten, or twenty years go by before you know it. Whatever your travel dream is – to sleep on the Great Wall of China, to dive in the Red Sea, to ride a horse in Mongolia, to stomp grapes in France, to haggle in the markets of Morocco, or to take a round-the-world trip – make this the year you make it happen! Come up with a plan to achieve your goals in small steps and make 2012 the year you realize your travel dreams.

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