Quick Tip #17

Here are some simple stocking stuffer ideas for the camper, bushcrafter or outdoor enthusiast in your life.

 

Ferocerium Rod (fire starter)
Magnesium block (fire starter)
UCO stormproof matches or any matches you can find
Bandana or Survival Bandana (Survival Tips printed on it)
Cordage (550 or 850 paracord, 1000# Paramax, bank line or even Jute twine which can also be used as tinder for starting fires.
Small lengths of fat wood
Compass
Pocket knife or Hobo Pocket Knife
Emergency Fishing Kit
Pocket Chainsaw
Emergency Whistle
Carabiners
Emergency Blanket
Emergency Candles
Books (Survival, Tracking, Weather Patterns, Edible Plants, Shelter Building etc…)
Trail Maps
Pre-packaged Camp food or snacks (Jerky, Mountain House, Backpacker Pantry ect…)
Mora Knife
Flashlight or headlamp
Duct Tape
Small Pocket or small camp stove
Emergency Rain Poncho
Emergency light sticks
Hand and feet warmers
Water Filter

 

These are just a few ideas for those that are not sure what to throw in their outdoor enthusiasts Christmas stocking. There are plenty of other small useful things that will fit in a Christmas stocking but if you are not sure what to fill that stocking with feel free to use this list to help you out. What outdoor themed things are you putting in a Christmas stocking this year that may not be on this list?

Quick Tip #14

You know that shiny emergency blanket you have tucked away in your backpack or emergency kit? It’s got so many more uses than to be just used simply as an emergency blanket. One use we will be talking about quickly today is as a heat reflector near a fire.

Find yourself two fairly straight sticks that are about an inch or so thick and will be about two feet longer than the shorter side of the emergency blanket. Sharpen one end of each stick to a point. Now lay your emergency blanket out on the ground stretched out flat. Take one of your sticks and lay it across the short side of the emergency blanket. Leave about 1 ½ feet of the sharpened end sticking out passed the blanket and about ½ foot on the other end. Start to roll the emergency blanket around the stick about 6 or so times. Now do the same thing on the other side of the emergency blanket with the other stick.

You are now ready to setup a heat reflector by your fire. Choose whether you want the heat reflector across the fire from you or behind you. If you choose to place the heat reflector near the fire across from you, make sure, depending on the size of your fire that the emergency blanket is a reasonable distance away from the fire so that it doesn’t melt or get holes in it from sparks flying around.

Once you have chosen where you want to place the heat reflector find a thick stick or something else that can be used as a hammer. Push the pointed end of each stick into the ground as far as you can well keeping the emergency blanket in between the two sticks as tight as possible. Now hammer the blunt end of each stick, making sure not to hit so hard you break the sticks wrapped in the emergency blanket, so that the pointed end goes further into the ground. Make sure to leave 2-4 inches in between the ground and the emergency blanket so that it is less likely to get damaged. You should now have a nice heat reflector that will help you capture some of the lost heat from your fire. If you set the reflector up behind you it will help remedy the issue of having a cold backside.

As always get out and enjoy nature at your own risk and have fun doing it. Thanks for taking the time to read and feel free to leave a comment or let me know some of the extra ways you use emergency blankets.

Emergency Blanket

An emergency blanket is one of the lightest and easiest things that you can carry with you at all times and could possibly mean the difference between life and death. There are many manufacturers that make and sell some version of an emergency blanket. Like anything, whichever brand of emergency blanket that you buy, test it out before your life depends on it. Some emergency blankets are silver, some are orange and some are designed to be more like a sleeping bag. Here again it will come down to personal preference. The emergency bivy’s are a little too bulky to be able to carry easily in your pocket, which means you might not even bother carrying it, which in turn  won’t help you in the end if you need it but left it home.

There are many stories of survivors who survived a cold night stuck in the wilderness only because they had one of these emergency blankets. Emergency blankets reflect a huge amount of your body heat back onto your body and can help keep you from becoming hypothermic in cold weather conditions. These blankets can also be used to keep you dry in wet weather. You can either wrap yourself up in it or you can use it like a tarp to make a makeshift shelter. Be careful if you do try to use it as a tarp because emergency blankets are much more fragile than tarps. Tying an emergency blanket too tightly or using it as a tarp in high winds could cause it to tear.

Another option is to find some wood and kindling for a fire. Then find yourself a good tree that you can comfortable sit and lean against. Sit down and spread your legs and dig a small pit in the ground for a fire in the area between your legs. Build a bank around the pit, to protect your legs, with the dirt you dug out of the hole. Now build a little fire in the pit and keep the rest of the wood in arms reach. Sit there with your emergency blanket wrapped around your body and create a sort of funnel over the fire and allow the heat from the small fire to rise up inside the blanket. Smoke will come inside as well but will escape through the hole around your neck. Just make sure it’s not so bad that all you are breathing is smoke. You can use a small stick to help keep the blanket spread out over the fire as well as keeping it up high enough that it doesn’t melt. You want a very small fire, it won’t take much. You must be very careful if you choose this option but it can help you stay somewhat warm and help you survive a cold night stuck in the wilderness.

Anytime you head out into the wilderness it is worth putting an emergency blanket in your pocket especially if you plan on just hiking for a few hours or just going out on a day hike. These are often times when injuries happen or someone gets lost and can’t find their way. This is also the time when people are not prepared to spend a night in the woods. They usually are not carrying any form of shelter or sleeping bag. In the spring and fall this could become life threatening because temperatures at night could still drop very low causing hypothermia. So for what little an emergency blanket weights why not carry one in your pocket to help protect yourself in an emergency survival situation? It may just end up saving your life!