Archive for the ‘Camping Tips’ Category

Light My Fire – How to Extend the Life of a Lit Match

Monday, February 12th, 2018

In the past, I have written about how to make your own waterproof matches, how to create a fire kit and other fire related blogs but………..I have never wrote one on how to extend the life of the match. Well, it really is not extending the life of the match instead it is more like extending the life of the flame. Below are simple instructions for making this camping staple. Ok, I know now you are going, why do I need to extend the life of the flame. Well, let me tell you a story.

Consider this situation, you are in the woods primitive camping and it has been misting rain and snow all day. You know that fine mist that slowly gets everything wet but not dripping wet just damp. Well, you have gathered your tinder from your bag or the ground. Fluffed everything up and you strike a match. You see, you have been out for a month and have a limited amount of matches. You did pack other means by which to light a fire but a spark from a flint and steal is not going to get it. What you really need is a concentrated flame on your tinder. This is where the extended flame match comes into play.

Having a match that will hold a flame a bit longer than a few seconds can mean the difference between a warm night’s sleep or a shivering ball of misery. These matches are so easy to make, it is a good idea to carry several with you. No, you do not need to use these every time you go to light a fire but for those damp, hard to light campfires having a match with an extended flame life is invaluable. Below are the simple instructions to make your own extended flame life matches.

When it comes to the list of supplies you will need there are very few. First, you will need a box of matches not a book of matches. The stem on the matches in a book are not strong enough to hold the next item on the supply list and that is dental floss. Yes, I said dental floss. Why dental floss? Well, first the fact is that dental floss is string. Second, if you get the waxed covered then you have essentially a wick and a very small candle. The last item is optional since your dental floss has a cutting edge but if yours is broke then pick up a pair of scissors.

Now that you have all your supplies together, simply pull off a long string of the dental floss and wrap it around the match below the match head. Do not worry about whether or not it will catch. If you have every struck a match, you know that this is not a problem.

Once you have several matches done, you can simply put them back in the box or in a waterproof container of your choice. With this simple project, you have now created a match that will stay lit so that your tinder has a chance to light even in trying times.

How to Safely Build a Fire

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

In recent time, wildfires are broke out across the country. While many of these were not set due to improper fire building, why take the chance. Below are the basic steps by which you need to follow to safely build a fire. While these steps are geared toward backcountry camping, it is wise to follow these steps any time you plan on building a camp fire.

Prepare the ground

Believe it or not, skipping this step is a wonderful way of building a fire that will quickly get out of control. This is especially true in the fall and winter. Why is this? Well, think about all the dried plant material that is on the ground during this time. This includes leaves, dead grass along with dead wood. To create a safe surface, you must do two things. One, is to remove as much of this dead plant material as possible. Better yet, take the area down to bare soil. Once that is done, make a fire ring. The purpose of this fire ring is to keep the fire contained. If the fire does get on the ring, it will not get out of control. Why? Because a fire ring is made of something that is fire resistant. The best material to use is rocks but if you cannot find any, you can use a rim of compacted soil.

Create your own camp fire extinguisher

While you may take all the precautions that you can, there is still always that chance that a fire will get out of hand. Two items that you will want near the camp fire is a bucket of water and a shove. The water is self explanatory but the shovel may not be as evident. When putting out a fire, pour the water on the fire as close to the top as you can. This will prevent pushing the fire onto other flammable material compare to if the water is thrown from the side. Also, a fire can be put out with dirt. When you add dirt to a fire, it reduces the amount of oxygen that is available to the fire. Combining both of these techniques is an easy way of creating a simple fire extinguishing plan. You can also visit for getting more information about fire extinguisher.

Leave no trace

When camping one should always follow the principle of “leave no trace.” If you are not familiar with this the definition is simple-leave it the way you found it. When it comes to a camp fire, you may think that is a little hard to do. I mean you did have fire, which changes the area but the responsible way of putting a fire out can help you stay with the “leave no trace” principle.

Once you are done with your fire, put it out with water and soil. Continue to add the water and soil until you no longer feel heat coming off the ground. Next, remove the stones and/or soil rim. Finally, and only when you are absolutely sure the fire is out, add vegetation back on top of the burned area. At this point, take another precautionary measure and add more soil. Top this layer with water.

Yes, I know for some that these steps may seem like a waste of time but it is time worth spending to protect our wild places from fire.

Tent Safety Tips

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

When it comes to tent camping, you can never be too careful. What do I mean by that? Well, I have two stories to bring my point to light.

This first story has to do with my grandmother and the fair. You see the fair had several tents and tarps set up for food and shelter for the animals. As my grandmother was walking through the fair, she was not aware of the ropes coming off the tents and into the stakes in the ground. Frankly, this is really puzzling to me since she was an avid camper. Well, as she was walking, she tripped over one of the tent stakes. Or, I should say her body went over the stake but her foot got caught in the ropes and remained on the ground. As a result, she developed a stress fracture in her ankle, and had to wear an ankle brace amazon. All of this could have been prevented using the tip below. If you’re part of a group who enjoy the great outdoors, then you must try camping. If you’re going with a large party, then it makes sense to consider a tent that sleeps up to 12 people, Oemsie is the solution. This means you don’t have to erect lots of smaller tents. You can all be together on the same pitch and enjoy one another’s company whilst on your vacation. easiest way of keeping people from tripping over ropes and stakes is to make them visible. I like to first paint my tent stakes with glow in the dark paint. While this would not have helped my grandmother, it would have made them visible during nighttime activities at the fair. The second thing I like to do is to cover them with something brightly colored. When my grandmother went to the fair, the only choice was to use brightly colored ropes. Today, we can use that technique or simply cut pool noodles lengthwise and slip them over the ropes. This makes them easily seen and provides a cushion for anyone that walks into the ropes.

The second story I like to share from a trip to Yellowstone that my daughter and I took several years ago. In just, my daughter could not remember which tent she was in. You see we went with my son’s Boy Scout troop along with my daughter’s Venture Crew. To keep an eye on everyone, the troop provided a tent. While this was wonderful, the problem was they were all the same. In the past, a boy walking into the wrong tent was no problem but when girls came into the picture, tent identification became very important. To prevent any confusion, I came up with a simple technique that is cheap and easy to achieve. What is it? Well, it is a ribbon and glow stick. Tying a ribbon to the zipper pull made identifying the correct tent easy. The glow stick came into play during the evening when the ribbon would not be visible. My daughter could now go to the bathroom, shower house or anywhere else without mom tagging along. No more hearing the screams of surprise when my daughter walked into the wrong tent.

While these two examples of tent safety are unique, it is always important to keep a safe camp and that includes your tent.