Archive for the ‘Parks’ Category

By Cameron McKirdy

nudist at hot springs

I love meeting new friends at Terwilliger aka Cougar Hot Spring in Oregon.  It’s located in the Willamette National Forest, East of Eugene near the McKenzie River.  The cost is $6 for one day pass, or $60 annually per person.  You’ll take a moderate walk 1/2 a mile in from the parking lot, before getting to the meditative area.  Accommodations include a covered changing area, and two outdoor restrooms.  Keep in mind this is a day use area only.  You could face a fat fine if you’re not in the parking lot when darkness falls.

Along the creek skirting the blue pools, you can pull clay from Earth.  People paw the hillside.  Digging.  Nude (clothing optional).  We pass the clay globs around, and apply the potter’s mask to our face and body.  Working the raw material into pores, letting it dry on skin.  This pulls the toxins out.  Wash off in the scorching, lithium-blessed waters.   Exfoliated to your essence.  

indigenous nudity girls

Lovely ladies lounging on warm rocks in the Willamette National Forest of Oregon

By Cameron McKirdy – Survival Bros President

 I invite you to step up to the stump, and gather wood for fuel instead of buying it.  Let us know if you have completed this quest in the great outdoors.  Good luck!  Please SUBSCRIBE for more action, and HD videos on YouTube. Thanks for watching our exclusive content, only seen on #survivalbros

Note: More Survival Bros challenges coming in the near future.  See how many you can complete this summer.  Welcome a friend to play this survival game along with you.  Plus, if you have a video idea to suggest, email me at thesurvivalbros@gmail.com  Best wishes!

Screenshot of Cam challenging you to play

Cam camping at Mt. Hood Village RV Park and Resort in Oregon

By Cameron McKirdy

McKenzie River Trailhead Sign

An hour East of Eugene, the McKenzie River Recreational Trail waits to be conquered.  A 26 mile path skirts the cold, rippling waterway.  It’s one of America’s premier destinations for bikers, and hikers.  Outdoor enthusiasts can also be spotted during the summer on the water in rafts of all shapes and sizes.  Survival Bros floated it.  However, here’s what’s its like to attack the upper part of the wilderness trail on my bicycle.

The 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon is locked.  Bike is ready.  God bless my vintage Univega Alpina Pro mountain bike.  It’s a hardtail with tire liners for extra protection, so I shouldn’t have trouble pummeling porous lava rocks.   This will be my first ride with it off of pavement, or graveled logging roads.  Exciting.  Water, check.  Mechanix gloves, yes.  3M safety shades, on.  Let’s crush this.

And I’m off.  Going downhill mostly, to Clearwater Lake from the top of the trail.  I will have to fill my stainless steel water bottle at the campground.  Problem is, it’s hard to know what’s undrinkable, and what’s potable with all the well pumps around.  I may have to take a chance, because I’m not buying water.  I’m looking forward to adding 2 packets of Airborne Plus Energy into my drink for flavor, vitamins, and minerals.

The plan is to tackle the challenging section of course around the lake first, then take an easy trail back uphill to my vehicle.  OK, get centered.  Where are you?  In the moment.  Faster!!!

Root!  Pop the front wheel over, and peddle.  Good.  Lean into this corner.  Branch…We’re bushwacking today.  Alright, NOW break.  Shift weight back, coming off the seat.  Who put this tree down here?  Ever heard of a chainsaw?  Pick up your bike.  Thankfully, it’s lightweight, full chromoly frame.  I’m so happy I invested in tuning this vintage ride up.  The guys at Canyonview Cyclery took care of me.  This is the video I produced at their shop after the Univega was restored to glory.

 There’s the edge of the water at Clear Lake.  I’ve never seen water so pristine.  I bet I could drink straight from the lake.  Ducks do it.  I almost hit one fowl in my way.  Move mallard.  Already, I’ve narrowly avoided about 10 chipmunks, and a large rabbit too.  I’ve seen squirrels try to take on bikes before.  They ended up in the spokes without a head.  That would ruin my day.  I need a bell on this bike of mine to signal wildlife.  

Now comes the hard part.  Negotiating lava rock fields on two wheels.  But I’ve been here before.  Only I came from the opposite direction last time.  I’m going to have to push it up this long hill.  It feels great to get off my butt, and work other muscle groups.  I like my new bicycle handle bar ends.  Now I have more hand positions, and can really pull myself up steep inclines.  

I’m flying.  Let’s not forget our 5 D’s of mountain biking: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!  Corner!  Hard left.  Leaning into it, and looking where I want to go.  Holy guacamole.  I almost sailed into the lake.  The canoers would have liked to see that.  I’d rather not be fishing.  This is what I came to do.

Bump.  My nuts.  Watch the nuts.  You’re going to need those.  Oh God, I have to split between a root, and a rock going fast.  No room for error.  Arrghhh.  Made it.  But that took all of my upper body strength.  I haven’t screamed that loud since…oh, let’s keep it PG.  I’m dumping sweat.  This is my hell workout.  Put it all on the line.  Gasp.  Exhale.  Breath.  Sigh.  Focused.  A few more miles of rocky road, and then a less technical section to savor.  The McKenzie River Recreational Trail is damn tough.  No wonder it’s one of the World’s most celebrated biking areas.  I can do this.  Finish strong.  I’m the man.  BEAST MODE!

mckenzie river map

Map courtesty of the USDA – Link to info on the McKenzie River National Recreational Trail

Watch an exciting video I produced with my GoPro Black Head Camera mounted during another ride here.

I had a horrible mountain bike accident on the McKenzie a few years ago.  I’m still healing from the traumatic crash, but here’s tips on healing bruises and scratches from that with gruesome injury photos for you to marvel at.

bruise legI’m lucky I didn’t break my leg! 

Cameron McKirdy of Survival Bros gets naked, and films the Terwilliger Hot Springs near Cougar Reservoir in Oregon by Blue River.  Check out the four natural pools, and the wooden structures.  The top pool is now under construction.  The natural cave, which was a sauna, and the source of the hot springs is being remodeled by experts.  They want it to remain as natural looking as possible.  Word on the street is that the first pool will reopen as soon as it’s safe, and stable.  

Here’s additional web links to explore:

Terwilliger Hot Springs – Willamette National Forest Website

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cougar_Hot_Springs

Cameron McKirdy Naked

Cameron McKirdy Nude in a Hot Springs Waterfall

HD video produced by http://www.cameronmckirdy.com 

Survival Bros Founder Cameron McKirdy goes inside an old American WW2 bunker near the hiker cabins on Tillamook Head.  Using a LED headlamp, watch Cam enter the empty fortress.  This building housed a radar installation during World War II.  The bunkers and cabins are between Ecola State Park, and Seaside, Oregon.  There are trails each way.  Before your visit, read up on Lewis and Clark’s trip to this beautiful location.  Please like, comment, and SUBSCRIBE!  Thanks.

More on http://www.cameronmckirdy.com

WW2 Bunker in Oregon

Inside the World War II bunker near Ecola State Park on Tillamook head in Oregon

Ultralight Backpack

An Ultralight backpacker’s 30 liter bag setup

Cameron McKirdy Hiking

Cameron McKirdy snaps a selfie on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean

Tillamook Head Sign Seaside

The Tillamook Head Trailhead in Seaside, Oregon

In this classic video production Survival Bros backpacks from Indian Beach to Seaside, Oregon.  Cameron McKirdy stops at the cabins to show you his gear, and take a nap before hiking back in the dark.  Read our previous blog about the trip HERE.

Produced By Cameron McKirdy

This weekend Survival Bros went for a drive up I-5, and then took Spirit Lake Highway to visit majestic Mount St. Helens.  Most of the hiking trails were off limits to us because we had a puppy to acclimate to the outdoors for the first time.  Therefore, we found ourselves at Seaquest State Park, which while splendid, doesn’t have well-maintained paths like the nearby Hummocks Trail closer to the volcano.  So, after breaking a sweat there we continued to climb in elevation, and drove to two breathtaking viewpoints called Elk Rock, and Castle Lake.  I shot the HD video above, and snapped a few pictures.  Our final stop was Clearwater Lake.  It formed after the eruption in 1980.  There’s a relatively flat trail circling the body of water, but again no dogs are allowed.  I was willing to risk a minimum $50 fine, but we’ll just have to trek it another time.  Besides, the sun was setting, and my belly was growling.  At Castle Rock we cruised into C and L Burger Bar for a feast.  I’m talking peanut butter real ice cream milk shakes, fatty elk cheeseburgers, and scalding crinkle cut french fries.  Epic.  It was a complete day, and I look forward to returning to Mount St. Helens when it’s warmer, and all the backpacking trails are open to explore.

Mount St. Helens lookout

Clearwater Lake Washington

c and l burger shake

Produced By Cameron McKirdy

In this HD video I demonstrate the power of the high-performance Coast HP314 Focusing LED Light.  This monster has three modes: high, stobe, and low.  On high the beam will travel up to 2240 feet!  Plus, the four D batteries (included) boast an impressive run time of 4 hours 15 minutes.  On low, the HP314 works effectively for 192 hours, at 185 meters.  The long range focusing optic worked extremely well.  You can go from broad view flood beam, to X-Range spot beam with a quick adjustment forward or back.  It illuminates all ranges in between, so you have ultimate control of the intense light.

In the box you get a heavy-duty shoulder strap, and thick protective end caps.  However, they have to be removed after each use, because the light wont fit in the carrying case with them attached.  The HP314 has an amazing feel.  With the strap, its weight is evenly balanced.  I had no issues with grip even when Survival Bros tested it in the rain.  My hands were cold, but it’s just the right size width to grasp naturally.  In addition, the diamond shaped knurling pattern on the casing gives it just enough texture, without being overly abrasive.

It’s durable casing is made of lightweight professional grade aluminum.  The light kept shining after a shock test, when I threw it on the ground several times.  I even had it submerged in murky water for minutes while turned on.  This is an epic tool for rescue and law enforcement professionals, or anyone who needs to see at long distances.  The HP314 weathered the Survival Bros stress test.  All Coast products have a lifetime guarantee.  Their quality is unmatched.  Check out the full line of products at http://www.coastportland.com  More product reviews soon.  Thanks for watching, and visiting my emergency preparedness blog.  Please subscribe to this website, and our Youtube channel to receive all of our posts.  Peace.

coast hp314 picture

Produced By Cameron McKirdy

Survival Bros decided to help a previously abandoned shelter pup out, and take him for a walk around Lake Sacajawea in Longview, Washington today.  Charlie spends way too much time in his concrete kennel, and was aching for attention, and exercise. The shelter is completely full of dogs right now, and would like to get some adopted out immediately.  Stop by or give them a ring if you need a buddy.

charlie

 When we got to The Humane Society of Cowlitz County they asked if we would release a wild, rescued duck too.  I’m a University of Oregon Duck, so of course I helped out.  We put the female in a crate, and drove to it’s home on the water.  She followed us for a ways down the path, but eventually settled in, and got regrouped.  All in a good days work.

Saddle Mt Summit Photo

Ready or not, my chubby puggle Mocha was going hiking with me.  I took the pug/beagle combo to the top.  She made the summit by herself, but it was a struggle.  It was a sweltering 80 plus degrees out.  My poor dog hasn’t been training hard lately.  Her exercise routine consists of going from the couch to food and back.  But Mocha and I have hiked, so I knew the 5-year-old mutt still had it.  I remember the first time I let her off the leash on a trail.  She was running back and forth, up and down it.  The puggle was so excited to be out of the apartment.  I couldn’t contain her.  Once she even fell off a cliff as the bank eroded and I had to quickly swing her up by the leash and collar to save her.  Mocha is much fatter now, but we are working on it.

Mocha The Puggle

When we got to Saddle Mountain State Natural Area her nose was working overtime.  There were lots of people hitting the trail, and camping.  I brought water, and gave the puggle breaks.  I made her sit, and she would lay in the shade when she could.  The hike is 5 miles round trip,  but the elevation change is brutal. It’s 1603 feet to be exact, with the top at 3283 feet. Mainly I was concerned about her paws bleeding.  There is lots of metal fencing on the ground to contain the loose rocks, and I didn’t know if that would bother her.  On the way up I kept Moc on the leash, 1 because there’s cliffs, and 2 because lots of people were coming down the trail with dogs.  I wanted to protect her.  However, on the way down I decided it would be better to let her follow me off leash.  She didn’t want to walk on the trail because the gravel was hurting her.  So she waddled along side the main path, and didn’t hurt anything.  Plus, it was getting late, and we were basically the last down.

Mocha Survival Puggle

On the way we checked out a geocache hidden on a side trail.  I’ve found it before, but I wanted to see all the new stuff inside, and sign the log book again.  Not many people locate it each year.  I traded in a emergency paracord bracelet for a CD with clues to another cache.  I’m getting into geocaching because it’s something fun to do while hiking, or when you’re just out and about.  There’s more than 2 million geocaches planted around the world.  This hobby also forces me to analyze and use maps too.  I filmed Mocha and I checking out what was inside the ammo box this time.

After a few solid hours of hiking, Mocha, my cameraman, and I reached the peak.  We all sat down and took in the majestic views of the North Coast.  You can see the whole coastline, from Seaside well into Washington State.  Poor Mocha was beat.  She was gasping for air, and I was a little worried about her.  We had just enough water left to quench her thirst, but more would have been nice.  Usually there is a spring about halfway up that I feel is safe to drink from.  My dog did lap up the puddle there, but I wasn’t getting on all fours.  In the end, Mocha killed it.  I was so proud of her.  I kept her motivated with words of encouragement, smacking her butt, and tossing turkey jerky in her mouth.  On the way back I told Moc we were going back to the car and home for ice cubes (her fav).  My legs were jello, and Mocha was walking funny, but we accomplished the mission.  Next time we will be even stronger, and smarter about it.  

Cam and MochaMocha knew we were going to the top.  If you want to rock a paracord bracelet for emergency preparedness made by Survival Bros, send $8 to cameronmckirdy@hotmail.com via PayPal.  Thanks and best wishes from us both.

P1000580By Cameron Consumption McKirdy

My dad and I have been planning this one for awhile. We hiked half of the Ramona Loop and lots more on Mount Hood in Oregon. It was brutal. The hike was almost 18 grueling miles. We crossed the Sandy River several times, and were on the epic Pacific Crest Trail.

First I will list the gear in my day pack. I rocked a black Kelty day bag with a new U.S.M.C approved 3 liter Camelbak hydration system. I recently got that at a Navy Exchange. Here was my checklist: compass with whistle, emergency poncho, Mylar blanket, Bear Grylls Gerber Ultimate Survival kit, Moleskin plus padding, Coleman biodegradable eipes, caffeine pills, lighter, various fruit and nut bars, GoPro Hero 3 Black on my head, Panasonic TS4 digital camera, Vibrams, Coast LED flashlight with with white and red light, extra socks, Chapstick with SPF, cash, mace pen, Coast Rapid Response 3.0 knife, 12 hour glow stick, Tillamook County turkey jerky, natural bug spray, and hand warmers. My backpack was on the heavy side with all the extra stuff. It weighed maybe 25 pounds.

To begin we hiked from our spot at Lost Creek campground. It was an easy climb along the Sandy river. We crossed it on a temporary wood bridge to get to Ramona Falls. I’d never been there. It was spectacular, and massive. I filmed the waterfall, and snapped pics.

Along the way I spotted several types of mushrooms popping up. Unfortunately, king boletes are a few months away from harvest. I did find out at the Ranger Station that they only give out 20 mushroom collecting permits per day, and commercial hunting is not permitted. Amanita Muscarias are in season. But of course those are hallucinogenic and poisonous. I found a few russulas too. In addition, I identified and tried huckleberries. They aren’t my fav, but were better than nothing when I ran out of aqua.

We met lots of people on the trail. Most were on day hikes like us. The route from Timberline Lodge to Ramona Falls was popular. I wish we did that, because our hike sucked. We were mobbing hardcore for 10 hours straight. We only had a few brief breaks, just long enough to catch our breath, check the map, and grab a snack.

Cameron McKirdy hiking on the trail

I wore new waterproof Columbia boots. They held up, and had lots of cushioning. My tall Nike Dri-Fit training socks helped too. They were dry at the end of the day, and shielded my legs as we bushwhacked the unpopular, overgrown trail. We almost didn’t make it back before nightfall! It was getting dark quickly in the forest. So we had to book it all day. I was dumping buckets of sweat. I went through my entire 3L hydration pack, plus 1.5 coconut waters.

The pain of hiking that much basically nonstop was draining. My feet hurt, knees ached, and balls were sore. Women complain about childbirth, but try hiking with a big pair. I stretched along the way, but my hamstrings were tight. If you plan on doing a trek like this, bring pain killers just in case. I will be sore tomorrow, but didn’t cramp up or anything. I managed.

It will be a day or so before I get back to civilization, and can upload pictures and HD video. I got great shots of the canyon, mountain, and river. The highlight of the day was when pops and I used sticks and hiking poles to cross the rapid Sandy river. It had a path of loose rocks and wet logs. We made it across fine, but my dad realized he left his boots across the river. I got a good laugh in and filmed him tip toeing to safety. So he had to cross 3 times then. He changed into sandals, and me the Vibrams, so we didn’t get our boots wet. More soon. Thanks for visiting the Survival Bros blog.
Sandy River and Mt Hood

Cam McKirdy at Mt Hood

Sandy River Canyon near Mt. Hood

Mount Hood Waterfall in Oregon

Dad crossing the Sandy River for the 4th time.  He won’t leave his boots behind in the future.