Hiking/Camping Part 7 – Power Up

Transmission towers marching through the count...

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Since the industrial revolution we now live in an age of innovation.  Electronic devices and gadgets exist to help with any problem or difficulty you can think of.  Not even the great outdoors and nature can escape this.  Tools for navigation, weather, surveying, monitoring, photographing, and generally making life in the great out doors easier exist in many shapes and sizes.  If you are going to go backpacking or camping there are some electronic devices which one might consider indispensable as well as some electronic which might just be nice to have.  I will try to list these tools requiring a power source in order of importance for appropriate consideration. Read more of this post

Hiking/Camping Part 6 – Food, Fire & Water

West hawk lake biking

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When you are camping or hiking it goes without saying, you’re going to get hungry and thirsty.  We have talked about clothing, shelter and hygiene in past articles; all of which are necessary to maintain our external physical viability, to keep our outsides healthy.  But it really is of little use unless you also fuel the body.  All the activities of camping, hiking, setting up camp, cooking, foraging, fishing, etc require energy.  The human body is one of the most efficient machines on earth.  Converting human energy consumption to that of an automobile it would be like getting 900 miles to the gallon.  But at some point we all need sustenance and hydration; we need food and water.  Hiking and camping have their own sets and degrees of difficulty when it comes to food and water.  In both cases the question of weight and space are an issue and even more so when hiking.  You are not going to be able to bring Martha Stewart’s or Tyler Florence’s kitchen and sub-zero freezer with you. Read more of this post

Hiking/Camping Part 5 – Packs and Tools

Two campers with gear hiking through Bear Moun...

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If you are going to have an adventure in the great outdoors its not all about leisure or playtime, there will be some work but it should be fun work if you enjoy nature. To go hiking or camping you are going to need something to hold your stuff and you are going to need some tools to setup camp. I’ve given some thoughts on clothing, hygiene and shelter now lets talk about packs and common camp tools as well as some fun though non-essential gear to have while camping. (Note: I will cover tools for making a camp fire and compasses in the next article)

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Hiking/Camping Part 4 – Camp Rest & Shelter

A sleeping bag. A corner of the black sleeping...

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We spend quite a bit of our life resting and regenerating. When your are out camping and hiking you know that you will be active and you will expend a lot of energy. Changes in temperature, rain, wind, etc put further stress on the body and take up energy as the body compensates. No matter how acclimated you are, everyone needs rest and shelter.

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Hiking/Camping Part 3 – Camp Health & Hygiene

Decomposers The fungi on this tree feed on dea...

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Living outdoors can put a lot of stress on the body and can introduce many types of fungus, bacteria and other disease causing organisms.  While it can be difficult if you are hoofing it through forests and mountain paths it is still important to at least keep clean if not well groomed.  Depending upon where you are hiking and camping the options will differ.  Usually state park camping areas provide  bathrooms/outhouses and many even provide washrooms with showers.  So keeping clean and groomed is not that difficult.  But if you are going more back country than these options are more limited and likely you will be using a hole in the ground and lakes or streams to rinse yourself off.  Regardless of which situation you are in there are some things you are just going to need in your bag of tricks. Read more of this post

Hiking/Camping Part 2 – Hiking/Camp-Wear

Backpacking in the Grand Teton National Park, ...

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Well you can’t wear what you don’t have; I guess that goes without saying. What you wear becomes more important depending upon the circumstances. If you are hiking, backpacking and/or camping what you wear can make the difference between being comfortable and otherwise expiring due to over-heating or hypothermia. Unless you are “camping” out in John Madden’s motor home you are not going to bring a wardrobe or suitcase full of clothes. Generally you want to pack light and if you are backpacking you really want to pack light. Where you are going and when will play an important role to. If its the middle of summer in Missouri your going to want cool simple clothes. However if you are hiking from the deserts of Arizona up into the mountains you are going to need to adjust for almost all four seasons in a short period of time. If you ever find yourself in this 4 season situation, regularly, then these garments will fit the bill for all other single season situations. As I have been researching clothing I have come across the following tips and options.

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Hiking/Camping Part 1 – Enjoying Nature

man vs. wild - bear grylls

Image by no-frills marilyn. via Flickr

Well this post and its subsequent parts will be a little out of the ordinary from the usual topics of this blog.  Lately I have not been deeply studying or meditating on theological issues.  I feel this is good as it can also be spiritually positive to be employed in other diversions.  The particular diversion of spending time in nature can be of great benefit to clear ones mind and lighten ones thoughts.  It can humble us and exalt the One who created it all.  Over the past several years I have been selling the idea of camping to my wife and kids and with our youngest now over a year old I think I may be able to schedule some outings.  Also with how tight money is getting due to rising taxes and inflation at the pump and in the stores camping can be an economical alternative to the usually expensive family vacation. Read more of this post

Wonderful Stuff I’ve Learned from my Daughter

My Kids on a Train

Well, I guess my title may be a little “miss”leading.  I suppose it would be more accurate if it said what I’ve learned because of my daughter.  But I love my kids and to be sure I have learned much from them.  Jesus said “Let the little children come to me and forbid them not for such is the kingdom of heaven…”.  When I help out in Sunday school or spend time with my kids I always have the thought in the back of my mind;  “Cool, I am spending time with ‘such is the kingdom of heaven’.”  Just replace your kids names with that phrase and maybe when your patience is being tested it will help and maybe it wont.  Its been a hit or miss thing with me. 😉  The trick is getting past the current circumstance which quite obviously doesn’t look anything like you may have envisioned the kingdom of heaven to be like.

Pooh – “Hello rabbit, are you home..”
Rabbit – “Let’s pretend I’m not and see what happens…” Read more of this post