Posts Tagged ‘walking’

By Cam The Cuddler

Watch this HD video, and try meditating with Survival Bros at the McMinnville COOP’s Labyrinth and Gardens.  Presented by Parkview Community Center.  Here’s the address: 325 NE Burnett Rd McMinnville, OR 97128  

A labyrinth is reflective space where you can notice changes in your thinking.  Perhaps you can look at a situation, and see it in a new light.  Find a labyrinth using this locator website.  Tell #SurvivalBros what you think about these amazing works of Art.  Combining both the best of Philosophy and Nature.  

cam-walks-labyrinth-in-or

Cameron McKirdy takes another selfie

deer-in-oregon

A deer eats and apple under a tree in the park

Please comment, like, share, and SUBSCRIBE!  Thanks for watching our HD video productions.  Have a peaceful day.  More on http://www.CameronMcKirdy.com

By CAM

Try Earthing or Grounding outdoors today!  Have you experienced any benefits when you take off your shoes and socks to play in the grass?  Share your story here on Survival Bros.  I filmed this while on a camping trip.  I’m cruising around Oregon in my 1986 Vanagon, and doing some tenting.  Look out for new challenges soon.  

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Read more blogs by visiting our archives, bottom-left, or click on the Tag Cloud. 

survival bros challenge 2

Survival Bros goes outside for Earthing or Grounding by walking barefoot in the dirt

By Cameron McKirdy

I spent the weekend on the Oregon Coast in Seaside, and had spare time to experiment with a new Art project.  First, I dug through a recycling bin for cardboard to create a small handmade sign with a permanent pen.  Then I rounded up some fun objects I didn’t need anymore, like a Smokey The Bear keychain whistle.  These goods would be available to begin the open bartering.  I spread out a towel, and placed the trinkets on The Prom’s concrete path.

With little effort, and few resources, a self-serve system was born.  A take one, leave one blanket is a place where an item of any kind can freely be exchanged as you see fit.  Share this concept with people in your town.  You wouldn’t believe the response.  Nearly every biker, and pedestrian stopped their forward progress to figure out what was going on.  This open trading system seemed to inspire, confuse, and even make some people greedy.  

I may have seen people taking without giving, thinking nobody was looking, but I’m not sure.  Others had no issue taking nice items, like a Tree of Life necklace pendant, and replacing it with trash.  I found the blanket riddled with wrappers, cardboard scraps, and even half of a marijuana cigarette.  Take a close look at the pictures, and you’ll see other small stuff, like a paperclip, pocket change, flower, price tag sticker, and a pile of sand from the beach.

I discretely checked back every few hours for a day, and saw some of the action in person.  People generously placed beautiful possessions with little hesitation.  There were cool things left behind that I didn’t get a picture of, because I didn’t want to interrupt the process.  My favorite moment was when a 12-year old girl named Krystin Crawford set down her hand painted sand dollars.  She took a braided piece of grasses someone constructed.  The girl enjoyed sharing the Art she made, and getting involved.  See her craftsmanship below.  The found, and re-purposed shells were adorable.  Krystin and her mom came back to the free exchange place the following morning with a positive attitude.  Everything had changed.  This artist endeavour has restored my faith in humanity once and for all, despite some shady, but acceptable transactions by others.

In conclusion, I will try this social experiment again.  I was thrilled to see this interactive art piece evolve rapidly.  I saw joy on many of the participants faces.  This free trading system can be implemented anywhere, at anytime.  Let’s spread the concept, and see the random generousity of others displayed in public.  And remember, you’ll usually get more than you give.  Leave a comment, or question if you like.  Thanks for visiting Survival Bros.

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Wikipedia information on Bartering and Gift Economy

Oregon Country Faire Take One, Leave One blanket from 2015

Oregon Country Faire Take One, Leave One blanket from 2015

This picture courtesy of Regina Mattingly

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

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

Season’s greetings!  On Christmas Eve my Dad and I hiked from Indian Beach in Ecola State Park to the Hiker’s Camp on Tillamook Head.  We checked out the abandoned World War 2 bunkers, and the viewpoints too.  Pops split, leaving me to spend the night by myself.  In this HD video I show you the trail, my gear, and my fire.  I also cooked up some Goulash thanks to my new flameless cookwear system by Trekmates.  Enjoy the video.  After a two hour nap, I decided to back to Seaside in the dark night.  It was crazy.  I used a glow stick, and my Coast HP14 flashlight to luminate the path.  A recent storm kicked tons of massive trees down.  I had to climb over many, with my 40 pound pack on.  I booked it from the cabins, and got back to Seaside in just over 2 hours, covering 4 gnarly miles of ground.  It was an intense op.  I lost the trail briefly once, slightly rolled an ankle, and nearly slipped down a steep bank.  It was one of the most rewarding, and challenging adventures of my life.  Next, I plan to raft the Nehalem river this weekend.  Thanks for visiting Survival Bros.  I’d appreciate your comments, and likes.  %^).

Indian Beach photo P1000380

A few years ago I gave up my Cadillac. It was a waste of money to operate, and I love being active anyways. This blog is about my use of alternative transportation, while surviving on the Oregon Coast.

Riding my mountain bike has been option #1. It’s way cheaper to use than a car. I’ve had to repair my Mongoose several times, but at least I can do some of the work. It’s not like a computerized vehicle, where I have no chance of fixing it. I’ve saved thousands of dollars by not driving, and haven’t had to get a real job. It’s allowed me to do things like run this blog, and avoid the rat race entirely.

I also love walking. I have rain gear and an umbrella, so I don’t have an excuse to not get outside. If course Oregonians don’t actually use umbrellas, but I know how to. The key for me is being comfortable moving around outdoors. I have a variety of shoes for the job, including boots for mud, sandals for the beach, and light running kicks too. Plus, I make sure to have rain gear on hand, or at least an emergency rain poncho just in case. I walk many miles each week. It keeps me loose, and strong.

This summer I also made a point to hitchhike. I walked along Highway 101 for a few hours before someone finally swooped me. The trick is to find a place where drivers can pull off the road, and staying in that open area. The gentleman that picked me up told me about his days thumbing on the road. He told me to bring toilet paper or I’d be sorry. Hitchhiking isn’t a viable option really. You can’t rely on others like that, especially if your in a hurry. But it was fun trying, and I will get around that way again for the hell if it.

I’ve been riding the bus at least once a week too. It’s great because in December you can donate a can of grub to the food bank for a free pass. Most riders have been taking advantage of that offer, unless they already have a monthly bus pass. You meet all sorts of people on the bus. Some want to borrow my phone, while others feel like talking the entire trip while I listen to music. Still, I like riding the bus. It’s a giant carpool, and less damaging to the environment than if everyone drove a car.

I have said cars are for lazy people. I think that’s true, especially if you never use your own power to get around town. We sit so much as it is anyways. I will own a vehicle again, but there’s no hurry. I’m more free without one. Less is more. Good luck getting to your destination over the holidays. Remember there’s more than one way to get there. I have Rollerblades too. Lol. Peace.
– Cameron McKirdy

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