Posts Tagged ‘trail’

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

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!¬†

By Cameron McKirdy

Survival Bros followers know I’ve been on the road all summer in my 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon GL. ¬†It’s ran strong for months straight. ¬†I will do a big summer review blog soon, but here’s a van update shot recently on my travels around the Pacific Northwest. ¬†Scope out the rest area known as Dismal Nitch. ¬†This Washington State Park is a historic location, because The Lewis and Clark Expedition ran into trouble here, and were pinned against the rocks for six grueling days. ¬†Harsh winds, and brutal rain pounded The Corps. of Discovery along the mighty Columbia River over 200 years ago. ¬†

My overnight stay was much more pleasurable.  I was sheltered in my VW bus, protected from the elements.  I took advantage of the facilities by dumping my trash, washing my hands and teeth, and cooking on a covered picnic table in grass.  Dismal Nitch in WA also features a trail, informative maps, plus plaques about Lewis and Clark.  As mentioned in my HD video, you can stay parked for up to 8 hours, but overnight camping, and tenting are not allowed.  So keep a low profile, and pick up after yourself.  This is an excellent destination for car campers, and travelers on a budget, or just wanting to get away from the static of the city.  

I’ve¬†spent the night in my vehicle here maybe six times this summer, and each trip has been a positive experience, and memorable. ¬†So it’s Survival Bros tested, and approved. ¬†Visit, because it’s¬†probably¬†the only rest area you’ll ever want to take a picture at. ¬†Snap a selfie, and post it on Facebook, because I also got great cell phone reception out there. ¬†The view of Astoria, and the bountiful¬†river is astonishing, and extremely relaxing. ¬†The only cons are lots of lighting in the parking lot, possibly affecting sleepers negatively. ¬†The road noise is also noticeable, but luckily the highway is not heavily used. ¬†Thanks for supporting my blog! ¬†Feel free to comment, like, and share on social networks. ¬†Peace and love from the road less traveled.

Lewis and Clark Bronze

Lewis and Clark Bronze Sculpture at Dismal Nitch Park in Washington State

Visit the official website for more info, and history by clicking here!

By Cameron McKirdy

I’m always challenging myself. ¬†That’s why I decided hiking Saddle Mountain in Oregon on consecutive days would be a hardcore mission. ¬†I camped out a night, took photos, cooked, and rested in the VW Vanagon often. ¬†Besides achieving my goal, and reaching the summit back to back, I also met some cool people. ¬†There’s so many beautiful girls from Portland that make this day hike, it’s ridiculous. ¬†I gave them all a hard time about being tourists. ¬†I’m from Seaside, a local, and don’t look so out of place. ¬†

Take a look at the picture galleries I created for each day.  The wildflowers were exploding, and made the hike much more pleasant.  Plus, they gave me a chance to stop, breath, stretch, and take in their sweetness.  I also spent time creating a video of Humbug Mountain.  It offers a marvelous view point, and is only .2 miles off the main Saddle Mountain trail.  So are you up for the Survival Bros challenge?  Can you hike to the summit twice in two days, or maybe twice in one day?  Somebody will take me up on this.  Let us know.  Good luck!  Tons more soon, only on Survival Bros.

Day One Gallery

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 Day Two Hiking

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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.

By Cameron McKirdy

On outside:

– S Biners

– Blinking Red Light

– Tool Tether

– Grocery Ties

– Compass Keychain Tool

Front pouch:

– LG G2 with Ballistic Shell Gel Case

– Ear plugs

– Wall charger for smart phone

– Superfood pills – Maca, turmeric, bee pollen, B 12

– Duct Tape on card

– Coast Products PX20 Dual Color flashlight with pouch

– Camera Case (Case Logic)

– Kershaw Blur – Tanto Tiger Stripe folding knife

– Leatherman Skeletool

РMoist Wipes for hygiene

–¬†Toothpaste¬†and travel brush

– Chapstick

– Ballpoint Pen

– Listerine Breath Strips

– Sharpie Oil Pain Pen

– Tide Pen for stains

– Large Professional Sharpie Pen

– Coast Products DX356 knife

– Large Bic Lighter

Main Pouch:

– LED LENSER H14 Headlamp

– Dri-Fit Nike Hat – Go Ducks!

– OPTIONAL: Change of clothes, solar panel

– Notebook for ideas, contacts, calculator

– GSI Outdoors Stainless Steel 1 Liter bottle

– Mechanix Wear M Covert Gloves (Large)

Coast Products F611 Survival Knife with glassbreaker

– Camelbak 3 Liter hydration pack

Right Side Pouch:

 РFood Kit, Airborne Plus Energy Mix, raw food bars, honey, protein bars, condoms, vitamins, Chapstick sample, sugar, oatmeal, dish-washing soap, tea, salmon packets, instant soup, microwavable popcorn, and more Antibacterial Moist Wipes

Left Side Pouch: 

РAluminum Free deodorant, poncho, emergency blanket, Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Kit, spare cell phone and charger, camera charger and camera, shampoo, soap

Notes:  Everyday Carry Backpack items change all the time.  Make something like this for yourself for everyday emergency preparedness.  My pack also has a rain cover, but I have considered buying a medium sized dry bag.  I also carry 3m protective sunglasses, paracord bracelet, keychain with tools, one Hoo-Rag bandana, my wallet, and a mace pen, but the self-defense weapon fell out in my van before filming.  Oh well, I survived.  Please like, comment, and subscribe to the blog and our Survival Bros channel on YouTube.  We are on Facebook too!  Thanks for watching.  Peace and love.

EDC Backpack ItemsPhoto of the full EDC Backpack Gear Setup for Survival Bros.

 

By Cameron McKirdy I sling a day pack on my back nearly every day. ¬†I’ve mentioned the types of things I have in it before, like gear, food, and a warm change of clothes. ¬†So when I discovered the Ribz Front Pack, I was stoked. ¬†This innovative, steroid injected version of a fanny pack solves many of the challenges I face when backpacking. ¬†Here I am with it on the Hummocks Trailhead near Mount St. Helens in Washington State. Ribz Front Pack One issue I have with a regular backpack is I’m constantly taking it off to grab water, my cell phone, or something else that isn’t handy. ¬†With Ribz Wear, it’s all right in front of me, so I can continue trail blazing. ¬†I also mention in the video how backpacks catch on trees when I have to duck under them. ¬†It usually happens a few times each hike, and I practically have to crawl under the obstacle. ¬†With my gear in front, navigating through heavy brush is considerably easier. ¬†The best part of this system is the pack is easy to adjust. ¬†My Dad’s chest and waist are smaller than mine, so after he used it, a quick tug on the straps in back and in front made it comfortable again for me. ¬†Plus, Ribz have long, padded shoulder straps, so it feels like a natural extension of your body. ¬† Mount St. Helens Adventures Map Check out the map of different Mount St. Helens Adventures. ¬†Back to the Ribz Front Pack review, I must mention the Large version I tested can hold absurd amounts, with an 11 liter capacity. ¬†Even with it packed full, I was able to swing my arms freely. ¬†My dad wore it, and noted that you could still use hiking poles with it on. ¬†Ribz makes smaller Front Packs with 8 liters of room too. ¬†Internally, there are separate pouches to keep smaller items organized. ¬†These elastic lined compartments will hold all your tools close to your ribs, and prevent them from rattling around. ¬†We both ran with it, and the pack remained snug, not bouncing around, or swaying side to side.Mount St. Helens View In conclusion, the Ribz Front Pack is an excellent tool itself. ¬†The quality is¬†unbelievable, and far superior to what I¬†expected. ¬†It’s lightweight, at only 11 ounces, so it beats a backpack there too. ¬†However, I think it would be best suited for use with a rear pack, so the weight of your supplies can be evenly distributed forward and back, thus giving you better posture than wearing one or the other. ¬†But if you’re into ultralight backpacking, Ribz might be a dream come true. ¬†You can’t machine wash Ribz, but it cleans up nicely with a wet rag. ¬†I love the Cordura brand water resistant, ripstop material it’s fabricated with. ¬†I will be sporting my Ribz for a long time. ¬†I like it so much I want the smaller 8 liter pack too for shorter trips, and cross country running. ¬†I just don’t know which color to get next. ¬†Check out http://www.ribzwear.com to grab yours.

Cam makes instant coffee with an emergency water packet at Loowit Lookout near Mt. St. Helens in Washington State.  Subscribe to Survival Bros on Youtube for more!  Thanks for watching!  Feel free to comment.

Mt. St. Helens SelfieCam snaps a selfie with his dad on the trail

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.

Produced by Cameron McKirdy

My dad and I just got back to the Oregon Coast, after a 4 day trip playing on the McKenzie River and the trail. First we geared up, and hit the rapids with the Oregon Whitewater Association. A group of 70 extreme outdoor enthusiasts floated 14 miles down the river. The water was brutally cold, at only 47 degrees. I fell off our cataraft for the first time after we smashed into a log along the bank. I didn’t have time to be fearful. I was just trying to catch my breath from the shock of the water, and keep my legs up as I floated down. Of course, I had a class 3 life jacket on. I swam to the back of the boat, but didn’t like being where I couldn’t see the rocks ahead of me. Plus, I didn’t want to get trapped under the massive military grade raft. So I separated from the craft, and tried to swim to shore, but the water was moving too fast, and nobody there could help me. I swam to the side of the raft, and was barely able to climb back on. I had to quickly jump off the river bottom to boost myself up. I was fatigued, and just wanted to sit down and assess my injuries. I hit my knee on a rock, and bloodied by shin up. I was only in the river for a few minutes, but it wouldn’t have been long before my body started shutting down, and hypothermia set in. It was intense.

I had my iPhone 4S in my pocket with a LifeProof case on when I went overboard. It worked. No water got in thankfully. In my other pocket I was carrying the new Coast DX335 rescue knife. It stayed clipped on, but luckily I didn’t have to use it. You’d be surprised how many people die on the river getting tangled in ropes. Below is a funny clip I took with the LifeProof case on my cell. It took great video, and you can hear my dad yelling at me to put it away. He thought it was going to get splashed, or fall in as we hit the drop in the rapids. Also below is an HD video review of the Coast Products knife. I will update this blog as I get media online. I used my GoPro Hero 3 Black camera to record my treacherous mountain bike ride down the McKenzie River Trail. That will be up soon. Thanks for visiting Survival Bros. Follow us on Twitter, Youtube, and join the community on Facebook. Peace.

 

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Produced by Cameron McKirdy

I was on a mission today. It was too sunny not to train hard. I got a good sweat going.

It’s Spring Break! My hometown Seaside Oregon was full of life. The bumper cars, and mini golf course were finally open. The smell of freshly dipped corn dogs in the air. But I biked by, and checked out the action on the beach. I didn’t stay long. I was going for speed and distance today.

I did stop for a raw Synergy kombucha, and found a new green one with chunky chia seeds. It was dank. Slightly sweet. It’s full of healthy bacteria and blue-green algae. It’s an energizer. The convenience store also offered free reverse osmosis filtered water. I filled 2 big bottles, and packed them up to the gravel logging roads.

It was a great day, bursting with sun. I rocked out, and flew down the mountain. I had it to myself. I used the Nike+ GPS iPhone app to track my route and progress. I check Google maps a few times to make sure I didn’t take a dead end. A few of the hills were monstrous, and needed to be walked up, but I like mixing up riding with hiking.

With a few water breaks, and stops for a picture, I went 10.7 miles in 1 hour 50 minutes. I figured the loop would take 3 hours. It was a solid training session. I only laid the bike down once trying to muscle over a down tree. I slammed some protein when I rolled out of the woods and got home, just before darkness fell. I wish you were there, but you may have slowed me up. ;^].

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