Posts Tagged ‘outdoors’

Produced by Cameron McKirdy

Watch and learn how to get a free home, vehicle, or abandoned trailer like this one I found.  It was left on a back road in Oregon.  If someone doesn’t claim it by the posted time on the public notice, then it will be towed and impounded.  To get a free house, etc. just call the Sheriff and tell the police it’s yours now, and you will be taking responsibility of ownership.  

I could put this on a friend’s property, or pay only $35 per month to store it locally.  Decisions…Decisions…and here I am blogging about it.

Would you take a ditched trailer like this project?  How fun would it be to make it how you wanted?  Subscribe to #survivalbros on YouTube, and enter your email on the top left side of the homepage of http://www.SurvivalBros.com  #Hugs 

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More info on Cam The Cuddler on http://www.CuddleLife.com

Produced by Cameron McKirdy

Chill out on the North Fork of the McKenzie River with #SurvivalBros and Papilio Oregonius butterflies.  This is the official insect of Oregon State.  Filmed near Cougar Hot Spring, in the Willamette National Forest.  SUBSCRIBE NOW ON YOUTUBE FOR MORE!  

What a spectacular day this was by the water.  The sun scorched my naked body.  It burned getting into the 106 degree water later that evening at Terwilliger Hot Springs.  I did dive headfirst into the crystal clear river.  Exhilarating.  However, do you have any idea how hard it is to hold your junk with one hand?  Just saying, it wasn’t staying put.  Thankfully through the power of editing, the family jewels remained in safe keeping.  

I ventured to this sacred spot two weeks earlier, and saw the same collection of butterflies!  I counted 40.  I’m amazed they were still there when I returned.  My friends are posted up hard in heaven.  They danced around me as I paid my respects.  This area produces insanely large moths too, like this one I spotted heading into a shower last summer.

Giant Moth in OR

Thanks for watching our fun video productions.  This blog has been going strong for four years now.  Can you believe it?  Your support is so appreciated.  You rock!

Oregon Swallowtail Butterflies

Survival Bros talks to and films a wild coyote pup by the Pacific Ocean near Seaside, Oregon!  What an amazing and playful creature, huh?  Share this video with friends, and please be sure to like, comment, and SUBSCBIBE to our channel for more high-definition video productions. Stay tuned for more blogs on traveling and Mother Nature.  Hugs.

More on the Artist @ CameronMcKirdy.com

coyote2

Cameron McKirdy did this:

Survival Bros shows you exactly how to get FREE CLOTHING IN LIFE!  Click on the HD YouTube video above for the exact mission details.  All you have to do is visit your local painting supply company store, and request a complimentary painter’s shirt or even a hoodie.  Every painter needs a shirt, preferably one with sleeves to protect themselves from paint over spray, and drips.  Trust me, I’ve painted houses and after pulling globs of latex out of my chest hair, a barrier of soft, breathable protection is a must.

It’s simple: Request swag (politely), get gear.  Try this method of acquiring, and comment on the blog post here if you have any luck.  It’s worked every time for me when I need fresh clothes to wear, and there’s more than one paint shop to pick from.  

I got another free shirt, this time from Rodda Paint in McMinnville, Oregon by asking…

More proof you can do this too.  

Send me (Cam) and email at thesurvivalbros@gmail.com if you have a photo you’d like to share, or want to suggest a topic for me to write an article about here on SB.  Thanks.

By Cameron McKirdy

A survivalist and cancer fighter answers my questions about his unique ride.  This electric trike gets 240 miles per gallon of gas.  Talk about frugality and wellness wrapped in one man’s mission to live!  The cyclist is always moving his legs, and getting a workout while going down the road.  He had this tricycle loaded with groceries, and clean laundry.  It could easily haul over 100 pounds of gear.  What do you think of this survival mobile?  More on the #survivalbros YouTube Channel.  Subscribe today to watch all the HD video adventures for free online.  Thanks for the support.

electric trike euge

Feel free to leave a comment or word of encouragement for this man

Produced By Cameron McKirdy

I’ve been managing Cougar Crossing Campground in The Willamette National Forest, while living in my Volkswagen Vanagon.  Plus, running Terwilliger Hot Spring in Oregon.  That has kept me busy enough, but with Spring and Summer, come baby making, and mice are no exception.  I have assassinated 18 mice in three weeks, using this Five Gallon Bucket Peanut Butter Trap, and a few traditional spring loaded wooden Victor Brand weapons.   Watch the HD Survival Bros Video Production below to see exactly how to build your own mouse deathtrap.  

Keep the critters out of your house, and vehicle by using this hunting method.  It’s a simple, and easy solution, to a disgusting problem.  I hate killing anything living, but NOW they won’t be damaging my car, tent, etc. and eating my food!  I lost a few Pop Tarts folks.  To make this project at home:

1. Spread Peanut Butter around the inside edge of the large plastic bucket, just down from lip

2.  Place stick running up to the top, overhanging so the mice fall inside after looking for a meal

3.  Fill bucket with 3 – 4 inches of water

4.  Wait overnight for animals to become trapped, and die

5.  Dispose of dead rodents properly with gloves, bury if possible a foot underground

Don’t call me PETA.  I love animals, and drowning is a peaceful way to go right?  Continue reading for more helpful information about mouse removal and solutions from personal experience.

I asked around for more mice control tips and tricks, and here’s what my friends came up with.  Rats dislike pure mint oil extract.  Place a few drops on a cotton ball, and put it where you’ve seen animals to keep them out.  Also, try putting dryer sheets in the holes of your car or house.  The mice won’t want to pass through these smelly spots.  Steel wool (not thin) set in car air vents is a deterrent too, allegedly.  Play with these things if you have a rodent issue.  I think it’s good stuff to know, so I’m taking the time to share for my fellow Survival Bros.

Manager's Campground Spot #1 on The McKenzie River

Manager’s Campground Spot #1 on The McKenzie River

The most mice I’ve captured in a night was four!  They are getting thinned out quick, but I expect them in waves all Summer.  I also decapitated some poor, innocent slugs, when they set off the lever on my traps.  It takes time setting up multiple devices.  I’ve spent 30 minutes many nights smearing peanut butter, and setting them in all the right spots.  Which for me, would be small game trails, near holes, or by my vehicle.  In addition, a pal told me dumping sugar away from your camping spot will keep various critters out of your outdoor gear.

You can also try low tech scare tactics on the mice.  When I first heard them scampering around my Vanagon, I didn’t have traps in place.  So I make a bunch of intimidating noises.  I was hissing, growling, barking, and clapping.  That didn’t work, and neither did playing music.  I should have tried Nickelback.  Shaking the van side to side wasn’t and effective deterrent either.  The mice are too smart.  I swear they are tuned into my brain waves, and attack my living quarters as soon as I start to fall asleep.

1986 Volkswagen Vanagon GL Vandwelling Project for Survival Bros

1986 Volkswagen Vanagon GL Vandwelling Project for Survival Bros

Later I peed on my rig to make it seem like a big animal lives there, and to serve as a warning.  If I wasn’t deathly allergic to evil cats, I’d get one to stand watch.  Where’s an owl when you need one?  I have tried it all folks.  And the 5 gallon peanut butter bucket trap as seen HERE works best.  Good luck.  More soon.  Please comment, like, and share this blog post with friends.  You’re the best.

Owl Kills Squirrel and Poses for Cameron McKirdy's Camera http://www.CameronMcKirdy.com

Owl Kills Squirrel and Poses for Cameron McKirdy’s Camera

Check out http://www.CameronMcKirdy.com for more Art, Video, and Fun! 

 

 

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

@CleanshaveChris on Twitter

Chris Miller Videos on YouTube

Chris Miller Backpacker

Produced by Cameron McKirdy in Seaside, Oregon

Survival Bros goes car camping, and cooks food with the new Pinnacle Base Camper Large from GSI Outdoors.  The slick gear features their nFORM Destination System, offering a nesting design for compact storage.  Watch in HD video as I show you how it works, and clean it with ease.  

The camp cookware is top quality.  Each item is designed for hard use, and extended durability.  The Teflon coating on the two pots, and large skillet is abrasion resistant, so harmful chemicals won’t be scratched off into food.  Plus, the metal is proven to distribute heat evenly, for quick cooking.  You can see in the vlog how my food is boiling over the entire radius.  Also, GSI Outdoors has developed every product they make to be BPA-free.  That’s good, because I don’t want my hormones being disrupted.  This Washington State based company has the excursion items you need.  Carrying around swag from them makes my life much easier, because it does the job, and lasts.  

The Base Camper Large is ideal for a group of four, so I intend on using it when I entertain while tenting with friends, or I’m just super hungry.  You’ll be glad you got a set like this if you enjoy camping, an preparing meals outdoors.  Retail price is $109.95.  Visit GSI Outdoors for more info, and check out the Pinnacle Camper set for the ultimate, integrated cooking and eating solution.  

base camper

Link to the GSI Outdoors Product Page

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

 

 

Produced by Cameron McKirdy and Sarah Whisler

Certified yoga instructor Sarah Whisler guides you through an easy warm up, workout, and cool down in this HD video production.  We filmed our “flow” in Seaside, Oregon.  Our hope is that you use this video, and create more joy and peace in your life daily.  Stay tuned to Survival Bros, because we will be creating even better instructional routines soon.   Make yoga a part of your practice, and glow in all the benefits.  If you like the video, please share this workout with a friend.  Positive comments are also welcome.  Thanks! http://soulsearchersarahgirl.wordpress.com/

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Sarah shows you how it’s done on her yoga mat near the beach in Seaside, Oregon.

Survival Bros Logo Cool Grey

Visit http://www.cameronmckirdy.com