Posts Tagged ‘backpacking’

By Cam The Cuddler

Survival Bros Founder Cam and blogger Kelvin cover essential gear stored in the trunk of a reliable vehicle in case of a disaster.  We both live on the Oregon Coast, and are actively preparing for a tsunami to wipe out our hometown of Seaside, #OR  What do you think this American #prepper has left out?  My YouTube subscribers think he needs more water, a BB gun, and a big fixed blade knife for extra protection.  However, I can tell you, this guy has dug his own well on his family’s property.  So, he meets the one gallon per day, per person quota.  Kelvin also has another backup vehicle that is expertly maintained, and fast – a Dodge Stealth.  

Share this video with other preppers, like, comment, and SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. Thanks.  

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By President Cameron McKirdy

I challenge you to carry a water container wherever you go on the daily!  You’ll be healthier, and happier.  I do this to stay hydrated, and make sure I’m not too over caffeinated.  

BONUS CHALLENGE:  DRINK 125 OUNCES OF AGUA EACH DAY.  

Plus, try adding lemon juice to your beverage to stimulate your metabolism, improve your digestion, and aid in the detoxification process.  

Did you know drinking cold water will burn extra calories for you too?  It’s true.  Just don’t drink a ton of water at once, because you can die from too much liquid intake.  

Thanks for supporting the blog!  Make the most of today.  Take care of yourself, and each other.  Peace, love, and big hugs to you.

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By Cameron McKirdy – Survival Bros Founder

Learn about getting food and supplement samples from your local shops at NO COST.  I visit health food stores such as GNC, and ask the cashier for freebies, or take items from their basket of product trials.  These individual servings will be stored properly in Ziploc bags, and placed in various emergency preparedness kits, plus my Everyday Carry backpack.  I have saved tons of money using this method of urban scavenging.  You can make your own freebie haul like this with little effort.

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Check out my other website http://www.CameronMcKirdy.com 

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Produced by http://www.CameronMcKirdy.com

Learn about items helpful to have on hand just in case of a disaster.  These survival products could save your life!  So stockpile this stuff, and other gear you would want.  Imagine going through adversity.  What would want for tools?  Let the community know below.

Please share this video with friends so they can make an emergency kit.  Like, comment, and SUBSCRIBE to #SurvivalBros  Enter your email on this page to get all of the news.  Plus, check out previous blog posts in the archives.  Your support is truly appreciated.

Emergency Kit Items Listed:

– Backpack with Straps

– Emergency Whistle

– Garbage Bag 

– Dust Mask

– Band-Aids

– Hand Sanitizer

– Water Bottle (1 gallon a day for 3 days, for each person)

– Rain Poncho

– Emergency Blanket

– Flashlight

All free of charge thanks to #Allstate 

By Chris Miller

 

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Backpacking Gear for the Florida Trail

Usually I try to keep my pack weight down, though I don’t really consider myself an ultra light hiker. I can live comfortably out of a pack weighing no more than 20 pounds for months at a time. And that is including food and water. My base weight, the weight of my gear not including food and water, usually hovers around the ten pound mark, though I have a tendency to carry multiple paperbacks at a time which can push that weight up a bit.

So what’s in my pack?  Let’s start with what I consider the essentials, sleeping gear and clothing.
I sleep in a cheap Walmart $30 40 degree sleeping bag made by Ozark Trails. It is one of the smallest sleeping bags around which means it packs up into a very tight space. This is one of those occasions when you don’t need to spend a ton of money on a top of the line sleeping bag.  Is it warm enough? Probably not for a lot of winter activities, and even in Florida it can get cold in January. But the sleeping bag is always slipped inside my REI Minimalist Bivy. This adds a few degrees as well as allowing me to easily stealth camp. I also usually sleep in my Under Armour base layer.  My base layer is one of my most trusted pieces of survival equipment. I probably wouldn’t have survived the week of 20 degree nights stealth camping in Austin Texas that I went through a few years ago if it wasn’t for them and my winter hat and gloves. Also something which is always in my pack.
Other than that, a change of socks and underwear, my Petzl headlamp, a 5×7 tarp, a Thermarest Prolite sleeping pad, a Nike Storm Fit rain jacket, an REI Revelcloud packable jacket, a Sawyer mini water filter and a pair of what I call sleeping socks, socks which only get worn at night when I’m in my sleeping bag rounds out most of the rest of my gear.

Sure there are a few other things, random assorted things clipped inside my pack or stuffed in Ziploc bags near the top where they are easy to get to. The toilet paper and first aid kit, the mini Bic lighter and fire starter cubes. I also have a clip with several safety pins, a GSI plastic spoon, some rubber bands, a small set of nail clippers and a P-51 can opener.  You’ll notice that I didn’t mention a knife of any kind.  Airlines are pretty picky about letting you bring knives on board and I have found that when you are stealth camping in urban environments it is very likely that you will at some point be stopped by the police. Usually when I’m hiking I’ll carry a small Swiss Army knife. I’ve never needed anything more serious no matter the situation but have recently added a Buck Paklite Caper to my gear. Mostly for batoning wood for fires.  But for the Florida Trail I wasn’t able to pack a knife and in the rush before leaving I had failed to mail them ahead to myself. So I was without a knife in the swamps and back country of Florida.

Backpack Gear List

REI Lookout 40 backpack 53 oz
With 3 Liter Camelback water bladder and insulated drinking hose
Ozark Trail 40 degree synthetic mummy bag 32 oz
REI Minamalist Bivy 15 oz
Thermarest Prolite Small Sleeping pad 11 oz
Blue patched Silnylon 5×7 tarp with ropes 11 oz
Nike Storm Fit Rain Jacket 16 oz
Winter hat and gloves 3 oz
Underarmour bottoms lg 6 oz
Underarmour top xl 8 oz
REI Revelcloud Jacket md 12.5 oz
2 Extra Pair socks 6 oz
Petzl Headlamp w/batteries 3 oz
4 tent stakes w/stuff sack 2 oz
Sawyer Mini Water filter 2 oz
32oz Gatorade bottle 1 oz
Toiletries, First Aid Kit 8 oz
Notebook, Guidebook, Pens 32 oz
Swing Trek Umbrella 7 oz
Tent – Freestanding cheap Ebay tent 31 oz

259.5 oz or 16.2 Pounds

Much heavier than I’m normally used to and this is mostly because it is a new, heavier pack with the ability to not only carry more food but which also has a larger water carrying capacity. Florida is notorious for having bad tasting water which no amount of filtering or flavoring would cover and I wanted to be able to camel up when I found clear water.  Also, the cheap tent was a last minute add on. I wasn’t sure how I felt about sleeping in a bivy on the levees in Florida knowing that alligators were so close. As it was one of the hikers ahead of me woke up to the sound of one snoring next to their tent.  So how did the gear hold up?  Most of the gear are old standards that I’ve lived with for years so I knew what to expect. But there were a few newer items that hadn’t been extensively tested before.

Sawyer Mini Water Filter

The first was the Sawyer Mini water filter. Coming in at 2 oz I had used this on only one other two month long backpacking trip along the Oregon coast and it had held up well under the minimal water filtering I had done.  It comes with a squeeze bag for forcing water through the filter as well as a back flush syringe for cleaning out the filter when it becomes clogged. It has a 0.1-micron filter which means I never really have to worry about Giardia, e. coli or salmonella. And the best feature, at least for me, is the threaded end which can be screwed onto most soda and water bottles. This lets you fill your bottle from any source, screw on the filter and squirt the water directly into your mouth.

The biggest drawback, at least on hiking in the Florida swamps, was that the water often had enough silt suspended in it that I had to back flush the filter on an almost daily basis. I’ve heard this complaint from other hikers as well and they say for the slight difference in weight they carry the full Sawyer water filter which doesn’t seem to clog as easily.  This year the swamp was little on the dry side and at least one long stretch had very little in the way of drinkable water. Another hiker had gotten so low that he decided to drink his own urine. He turned around, filled up his Smartwater bottle, screwed on his Sawyer filter and shot a good healthy stream into his mouth.  “Hmm, still salty,” was his only response.  That’s because the Sawyer filters were not meant to filter the salt out of water. Just an FYI if you are thinking about drinking your own urine anytime soon.

Cheap Ebay Tent

I liked this tent mostly because it was freestanding and cost about $20 shipped directly from China.
The problem was that those also seemed to be the only good things about it.  The tent was listed by a few different Chinese Ebayer’s under titles like “Camping Tent Single Layer Waterproof Outdoor Portable UV-resistant Army green” or “Portable Camp Camping Tent Single Layer Waterproof Outdoor UV-resistant 1 Person.”  It was a one person tent that weighed just under two pounds and it could easily be stuffed in a side pouch or rolled up and strapped to the bottom of my pack. I wanted to make a few modifications to it to make it more camouflaged and perhaps add a rain flap over the zipper on the door but there wasn’t time before the trip.  It help up fine in decent weather and even light rain. That’s when I noticed that the floor wasn’t waterproof. This wasn’t a big deal until some of the heavier thunderstorms rolled in. Even though they lasted less than half an hour the wind would force the rain through the walls of the tent and I would end up sleeping in puddles for a while. Thankfully I had my bivy.  The storms also brought out another drawback of this tent. That the poles were weak. In the mornings I would notice that section after section of the poles were splitting and had to be repaired with Gorilla Tape.  But I was glad to have even this cheap tent to keep the hoardes of mosquitos at bay. Even then, sometimes just after sunset, the cloud of them would be so thick outside the tent that I thought they might be able to collectively break the flimsy tent and suck me dry.  Walmart used to sell a Junior Dome freestanding tent for about the same price that was only slightly heavier. It was meant for kids but I used that thing for years before passing it on to someone else. An act I sometimes regret as Walmart has discontinued their production.  Let’s just say that the cheap Chinese tent didn’t make it back from Florida.

No Cook

This hike I decided to go No Cook, meaning that I wouldn’t be packing my pot and stove and that I’d be eating everything cold.  For me this works out really well though I can understand how some people would prefer hot meals.  It meant that I’d never have to resupply fuel and I would have more room in my pack for food.  So what did I eat?  Bagels, cream cheese and sliced salami were most of my big meals. Protein shakes and Multi-Grain breakfast bars were usually my breakfasts and Snickers, Chia seeds and Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies were my snacks throughout the day.

Drinks, besides the protein drinks, were powdered Gatorade for the electrolytes and Crystal Light packets to flavor the water.  The big comfort food for me was the protein shakes. They have become a standard backpacking food for me. I carry about a pound of vanilla whey protein along with roughly the same amount of either non fat dry milk or Nido which is powdered whole milk. I prefer the Nido not only for the extra calories but because it doesn’t foam up as much when shaking the shake.  I make the shakes in my 32 oz Gatorade bottle, great because of its wide mouth. Usually I’ll drink some of the water off the top to make room for the powders. Personally I don’t measure what goes into the bottle. I’ll simply add a roughly equal amount of spoonfuls of powder, mixing it in gently at first to make room for more powder. When I think its ready I’ll just put the cap on and shake violently for a while.  The whey protein is great for repairing the damage to my muscles caused by hiking and generally this is just a tasty shake that I never seem to get sick of, which is pretty important in any foods you carry.  The only drawback was going through airport security. I was pulled aside for a security check and they emptied the contents of my food bag. When the TSA agent pushed everything aside he picked up the ziplock bags of what looked like kilos of cocaine. Luckily he laughed.  That doesn’t mean he didn’t swab down everything I owned looking for traces of drugs though.

All in all the gear held up well.  The tent though was left in a dumpster somewhere in Florida.  I’ll stick with the Sawyer Mini and I may start going No Cook on more of my travels.  The pack was a bit heavy for my tastes. Leaving the southern terminus of the Florida Trail I was carrying four liters of water, roughly 8 ½ pounds, more than I’ve ever carried before, and way too much food. I’ll probably go back to the 30 liter pack I usually use for the next adventure, which will probably be hitchhiking across the US.  And next time I go hiking in Florida I’ll probably pack some bug spray.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail on Amazon

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Chris Miller Backpacker

By Cameron McKirdy

There was a High Wind Warning in effect yesterday on the Oregon Coast, but I didn’t get the memo in time.  75 MPH wind gusts destroyed my home.  The Coleman Hooligan 3-person tent leveled, poles shattered, nylon shreded.  I wouldn’t purchase this entry level gear again.  Buyer beware!  The worst part is, replacement poles for this shelter are temporarily out of stock.  Unacceptable.  So I had to throw a $100 tent in the garbage.  It was too far gone, and I don’t have the time or energy to mess with repairs.  However, I saw you can get tent pole repair sleeves at REI or under a buck.  So that’s good to know.

Can you recommend a good 4-season tent?  I’m researching Mountaineering tents online, but there aren’t many one person setups.  I do have a Gor-Tex Bivy bag in storage, just in case.  Maybe a waterproof sack like that is the only thing that can beat the wind, by staying low, and not having any supports, or stakes in the ground.  That would make for presumably less resistance against the elements, just held in place by the weight of my sleeping pad, bag, and body.  

Coleman Hooligan 3

Fiberglass poles snapped in half by High Winds

I will keep y’all posted on my sleeping systems as they continue to evolve.  Thanks supporting your fun emergency preparedness blog – SURVIVAL BROS.  Please SUBSCRIBE with your email on the top left side of the screen!  Visit again soon.  And don’t forget to read the archives, featuring previous adventure stories.  Peace and love.  More information, and stimulation on my Video Production website http://www.cameronmckirdy.com

Find out more on repairing your own broken tenting poles on Backpacker.com

 

 

By Cameron McKirdy

car camping food listCar camping is one of my favorite blog topics.  I hope you find it interesting too.  Here’s a checklist of my top foods to store in your vehicle.  Many items instantly turn into grub by adding hot water.  I got ideas for the perfect van dwelling foods by watching YouTube videos of Thru Hikers packing for their long distance trips.  Search for Pacific Crest Trail aka PCT, or Appalachian Trail Backpackers online.

Ziplock bags are a trusted way to keep organized.  You can even write on the outside with a permanent pen to label things.  Plus, plastic sacks maintain some protection from water, rats, an other elements.  Let me know if you have any questions about my setup.  Add several gallons of distilled and spring water (not pictured), and I’m ready to go off the grid for weeks.  I’m stocked up on:

  • Honey with ginseng, bee pollen, and royal jelly
  • Drinks: water, aloe water, coconut beverages, teas, fruit juices
  • Soups in cans to heat and serve, and powdered packets
  • Protein Powder, plus various green powders (wheat grass)
  • Pasta Sides, and Dishes like Top Ramen
  • Dehydrated Food such as Mountain House Freeze Dried Meals (Apple Crisp is my favorite)
  • Fruit: Fresh Produce like apples and bananas, also fruit strips, bottles, and cans
  • Nuts and Seeds like Almond and Hemp
  • Granola Bars, and Oatmeal 
  • Instant Coffee, instant milk
  • Condiments: Packets of butter, salsa, pepper, salt, raw sugar, mayonnaise, ketchup, and everything else Free and Holy
  • Canned meats: Flavored tuna, Spam, Chicken Salad with crackers

 

By Cameron McKirdy

Scary GoPro Black High-Definition video footage at Devil’s Cauldron from Survival Bros.  Shot with my HD Head Camera on, while walking above a rocky cliff near the Oregon Coast Trail.  This state long hiking trail follows the shore, and includes sections on paved Highway 101.  These cliffs are close to the Neahkahnie Mountain trail head.  More GoPro videos coming soon on this blog.  Exciting, I know!

Be safe outdoors.  And remember, it didn’t happen unless there’s video proof of it.  Email me at thesurvivalbros@gmail.com if you have questions, comments, or would like to share an article/something you’ve produced.  I’m always looking for EDC pictures.  So let’s see the pocket dumps, and which items you find useful daily.  Thanks.large_Oswald-West_map

Map of Oswald West State Park in Oregon

Produced by Cameron McKirdy and Tactical Gypsy

Survival Bros opens a brand new blade called the Cold Steel Recon Tanto.  Watch the HD video for the glorious tech specs, and the reasons why we purchased this model.   The weapon will be going to Afghanistan on deployment soon.  It’s a magnificent tool, and a work of art.  Plus, since it’s a Cold Steel, you know its been torture tested to the max, and can take any beating you can dish out.  Like the Recon Tanto knife?  Tell us about it.

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In this video we check out a new tool for the woods, cover the details, and our planned usage.  I can’t wait to throw this tomahawk!  The Cold Steel Frontier Hawk feels extremely well balanced.  It’s an excellent value for the low retail price of just $39.99.  Make sure to visit http://www.coldsteel.com to watch their awesome videos, and request a free product catalog and DVD.  

frontier hawk cold steel

You can’t go wrong with the Cold Steel Frontier Hawk in your hand. 

Produced By Cameron McKirdy

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This is my new and improved EDC keychain system.  Now I have many practical items handy at all times, with little redundancy. I plan on changing out gear as I acquire smaller, higher quality tools, but this is stuff I had on hand. Everything fits easily in my pocket, since I usually wear athletic shorts, and not tight pants like a hipster.  I’ve also hooked my everyday carry survival keychain to the belt loop on my jeans, and to the outside of my tactical Bug Out Bag, for easy access.  I’d like to add a telepen, peanut lighter, USB thumb drive, glow in the dark tape, 550 paracord, bit driver, seat-belt cutter/knife sharpener, and maybe something for self defense like a kubaton, or pepper spray.  

I will update this blog post as the project develops. Tell us what’s on your keychain, and help out other Survival Bros readers. Below is the EDC Keychain items list. Thanks for visiting.

– Sharpie Mini
– CRKT Eat N’ Tool (tactical spork)
– 4 In One Tool: whistle, compass, thermometer, magnifying glass
– Gerber Shard multitool: pry bar, bottle/can opener, Phillips/Standard screw driver, nail puller
– Coast Products TX5 Night Vision Red Keychain light
– LED LENSER P3 AFS P focusing LED light with pocket clip, sheath, and carabiner included
– Leatherman Style Multitool: knife, tweezers, nail file, and scissors
– Kershaw Rainbow Chive with Tip-lock (Ken Onion Design)
– Mini Nail Clippers
– Waterproof pill container
– Lighter Leash for Bic
– Belt Loop Clasp