Avoiding Bear Problems in the Backcountry

Avoiding Bear Problems 1

By Carley Fairbrother

I went on my first backpacking trip when I was 19, and since then, solo backpacking has been an important part of my life.  It does shock people sometimes, though.  One of the first things people ask is, “what about bears?”

On the other end of the spectrum, I hear people talking about their bad habits and saying, “I’ve been doing it like this for years, and I’ve never had a problem.”

Both these mind frames can really ruin a trip.  On one hand, the fear of bears can hold people back from immersing themselves in nature, but on the other hand, being too relaxed about it can result in disaster.

What we really need to bear in mind (pun intended) is that bears think a whole lot like us.  We have similar food preferences, we’re both curious, neither of us are great hunters, and we’re both pretty darn smart. It makes sense that we run into each other so often in nature.  It’s helpful to keep those similarities in mind when considering how to avoid dangerous situations with bears.

Avoiding Bear Problems 2
Berries – a favourite food of humans and bears

 

On the Trail

Like us, bears want to avoid other large predators. It’s their instinct to avoid us, and knowing where we are will allow them to do just that.  They don’t like being surprised, and running into a potentially harmful creature like a human may trigger some aggressive behaviour.

Avoiding Bear Problems 3

A lot of people like to bring bear bells with them, so that they are constantly making nose.  However, I’ve heard of accounts of bears coming to inspect the curious noise.  This is unlikely to create an aggressive encounter, but it’s something to keep in mind.  The main reason I don’t use bear bells is that it stops me from hearing my surroundings.  Aside from the fact that I love the peace an quite of the forest, I feel a lot more comfortable if I can hear a large creature moving around in the underbrush.  Instead I opt for yelling periodically – something like “Hey bear ” or “Way O.” This also lets other people on the trail know that I am human.

 

Avoiding Bear Problems in Camp

Bears usually wander into camp because they’re hungry – no, not for human flesh, but for whatever delicious meal the humans have been cooking up.  Bears have very similar food preferences to us, though they are significantly less picky.  This means that you have to watch out for things like your garbage and sunscreen too.  To keep your camp safe, follow these three rules.

Avoiding Bear Problems 4

 

 1. Store your food (and other smelly stuff) properly

When it comes to storing food, it’s important to put it somewhere where a bear isn’t going get to it.  Anything that smells, such as chapstick, toothpaste, dishes, sunscreen, and garbage should be stored with your food. Some folks say to put the clothes you wore while cooking in the bear cache, but I don’t think that’s necessary unless you’ve spilled food on them or have been gutting fish all day.  And yes, a bear can smell your candy bar, so don’t even think of trying to store it in your tent for a midnight snack.  When it comes to how to store your food, there are a few options.

Avoiding Bear Problems 5

 

Use the bear cache provided: A lot of sites that are maintained by parks will have bear caches already set up.  They can come in the form of big metal lockers, a cable and pulley system, or, if you’re lucky, an old rickety ladder leading up to a sketchy platform.  Use these if you can.  If those aren’t available there are other options.

Avoiding Bear Problems 6

 

Hang it from a tree:  This is probably the most common method.  It’s a pain in the butt, but all you need is a waterproof bag and some rope.  There are a number of ways to hang food, the simplest being to throw something weighted (I use my water bottle) over a tree limb, tying one end to my food bag, pulling it up, and tying it off to a tree trunk.  Of course, there is always the risk that I’ll lose my water bottle in a tangle of branches, and it can be hard to get it far enough away from the tree trunk using this method.  Speaking of which, your food bag should be 2 m (6 ft) or more away from the trunk and 3 m (12 ft) above the ground to actually get it out of reach of a bear.  Make sure your bag for this method is waterproof.

Avoiding Bear Problems 7

 

Use bear proof canisters: If you like camping in places with no trees (or small trees), hanging food from a tree is obviously not going to work.  Even in some forested areas, bears, being the smart critters that they are, have managed to figure out that getting that yummy smelling bag down from a tree isn’t actually that hard.  As a result, many busier parks, particularly in the United States, now demand that food be kept in a bear canister. This saves you the trouble of hanging it from a tree, but they are heavy (at least 1 kg/2 lbs) and bulky.

Avoiding Bear Problems 8

 

Use bear resistant bags: Bags such as the Ursack are made of tough, bear resistant fabric.  They are light and easy to stuff into your bag. The drawstrings are very strong, and allow you to tie the bag to a tree.  The downside is that a bear will be able to crush your food, and probably get a tooth or two through the fabric.  As a result, most of the parks that require bear canisters do not allow bear resistant bags.  This is, however, my preferred method.  If I’m camping in the forest I will put it in a 20 L dry bag and hang it from a tree.  If I’m camping in the alpine, I will hide it outside of my camp and try to tie it to a rock or a dwarfed tree.

Avoiding Bear Problems 9

 

Odour Proof Sacks:  There are a number of companies that make odour proof sacks. The most popular is LOKSAK’s OPSak.  I’ll admit that I haven’t used them, but many people swear by them. This should be used in combination with one of the other methods, and not a replacement for it. I’ve heard of people keeping their food in a “smell proof” bag in their tents. Bears have an amazing sense of smell; some sources say that a bear can smell a carcass upwind from up to 30 km (20 miles) away.  Sorry, I but I trust a bear’s nose over a piece of mylar.  However, many of these bags are very light and make an excellent supplement to your food bag or canister.

 

2: Store your food away from camp:

Don’t get caught up in idyllic campsites on TV and movies where happy campers are roasting their hotdogs over a fire with their tents only a few feet away.  Evidently, movie makers don’t know much about camping in bear country.  Sleeping near anything that smells like food is a bad idea.

Avoiding Bear Problems 10
Don’t do this in bear country
Avoiding Bear Problems 11
Planning your camp area

 The last thing you want is to draw a bear into camp.  This means cooking and storing your food at least 100 metres (or yards) away from your tent.  You also want to minimize the smell around your food to reduce the chances of a bear finding it.  This means eating 100 metres away from where you are storing your food.  Essentially, your camp should make a triangle, with each side at least 100 m apart.  If you need help estimating distances, that’s about 120 steps.  Unfortunately, some sites are set up with a cooking area or fire pit right next to the tent pads.  Evidently, it’s not just Hollywood who don’t know much about camping in bear country.  If this is the case, still try to find somewhere else to cook.


3. Keep you camp clean:

Going through all these precautions aren’t going to do you much good if you’ve left a bunch of smelly morsels of food around. Try really, really hard not to spill, and pick up what you can if you do. Don’t bury leftovers or put them in lakes or streams, even if you think they will decompose easily.  Aside from bear concerns, this could attract a variety of unwanted critters and disrupt the ecosystem.  Pack your leftovers out or store them and eat them for breakfast the next morning.  Try to eat every bit of food before washing your dishes; heck, lick your plate if you need to (no one cares about table manners in the backcountry anyway, right?). Remember, leaving a mess not only puts you in danger, but also the people who camp there after you.  Plus, no one want see little bits of your ramen noodles in the stream.

Avoiding Bear Problems 12
Don’t burn garbage or leftovers.

 

If you follow these rules, it will go a long way to keep you safe.  Bears are just like us but hungrier, and better at smelling things (okay, they also have bigger teeth and shorter tempers).  If you keep food smells away from camp, store you food properly, and make noise while you hike, the only time you are likely to see a bear is from a safe distance.  While following bear safe principles aren’t guaranteed to keep you safe, the vast majority of bear attacks happen when people haven’t followed them.

 

To see all about avoiding bear problems in video form please take a look at the video below:

 

Grill Tips for the Gourmet Gal in You

Grill Tips 1

By Gail Kearns

Summer is here. It’s grilling season! Fearless women everywhere are dusting off their barbecues and getting their grill on. We all know that cooking food over an open fire is one of life’s greatest joys. And, yes, another is eating the perfectly grilled steak, a rack of ribs, or a piece salmon once it’s done to perfection.

And grilling isn’t just men’s territory either. More and more women are getting out the charcoal, entering grill contests, chili cook-offs, and judging outdoor cooking competitions. Check out the recently launched bushcooking.com, and you’ll see plenty of mouthwatering recipes.

Indeed, sometimes the simplest pleasures are the greatest enjoyments. So, to get your grill season started right, here are a few tips about the basics and some techniques to master, whether you’re a beginner or a veteran, using either a gas or charcoal grill.

  • Get yourself a chimney starter. Forget the lighter fluid or even the match-light coals. The chimney starter works like a charm. No more gas-flavored hamburgers.

Grill Tips 2

  • Let those coals get gray before putting your food on the grill. It may take some patience if you’ve got a crowd of hungry people to feed, but if you start cooking before your coals are ready you may not get the results you desire. If you’re using a gas grill make sure you preheat the grates sufficiently (10 minutes or so) before cooking, otherwise your food will stick to the metal. Not good!
  • Don’t forget to clean your grill grates. Burnt-on layers of food also contribute to the sticky factor when preparing food on the grill. But don’t bother cleaning it when you’ve got hungry mouths to feed or at the end of the evening when the grill has already cooled down. If you use your grill regularly, clean it up the next time you fire it up!

Grill Tips 3

  • Try cooking with indirect heat. This means setting up the coals on one side of the grill and leaving the other side empty. If using a gas grill, light the burners on one side and leave the other side off or on very low heat. You’ll have much more control over cooking when you can move your food items from one side to the other. Sear meat and veggies on the hot side then move them to other side for gentler cooking. This is especially useful during flare-ups! For easier clean up, you can also place a drip pan in the center of the banked coals.
  • Use a grill basket for fish and small foods that could easily slip through the barbecue grates. For veggies use perforated pans.

Grill Tips 4

  • Don’t keep opening the lid! This again is where patience comes in handy. “Is it done yet!” is not a good mantra. If you’re cooking on a gas grill, opening the lid will make it cooler. If you’re cooking on a charcoal grill, opening the lid will make it hotter. Some outdoor chefs like to flip their burgers and meat several times to get those lovely looking charred grill marks. That’s okay as long as you know that opening and closing the lid is adding inconsistencies to your cooking temp.
  • Use those vents on your grill to control heat. It’s all about adjusting the flow of oxygen, which in turn adjusts the heat inside your grill. The venting system is crucial to how long the coals will last and the amount of heat it provides.
  • Add barbecue sauce toward the end of cooking your chicken or ribs, or any other fare for that matter. You’ll get just as much flavor without the risk of burning your food to a crisp or giving it a bitterness that will turn up the noses of your foodie girlfriends.

Grill Tips 5

  • A good tip for spareribs: Don’t forget to remove the membrane from the bone side of the slab. If left on, it can shrink and cause uneven cooking.
  • When caramelizing onions for your burgers, place a cast iron pan directly on the barbecue grate over considerable heat. Stir onions frequently for 30 to 45 minutes until a deep golden color. You’ll need a lot of onions because they shrink down a lot, but it’s so worth it!

Grill Tips 6

  • Use a thermometer to tell when the meat is done. Sounds simple, but too many people cut open a piece of chicken or meat to see if it’s done or they poke it with their fingers to test it.
  • Let meat rest off the grill for a few minutes before serving. If you want serve it really sizzling, you can put it back on the grill for 30 seconds each side. Ta-da!

Here’s to your success in becoming an authentic grillmeister in the great outdoors!

Free checklists for lovers of the great outdoors

Free Checklists image

By Nicole Anderson

Many of us live for the time when we get to experience the outdoors.  We are constantly planning the next great escape from the city to again be at peace with the serenity, majesty and wonder of nature.

Often in our pressured, busy lives it is so easy to forget a few things that would make our experience in nature all the better.  How many times can you recall running late to get away from your routine and in your rush, you overlooked things you wished you hadn’t?  If you’re anything like me (human, that is), then you can surely relate.

And let’s face it.  On some outings, be they for a short or a long while, there can be so many things to remember, depending on what you are doing and who you are doing it with.

So with the above in mind, a few Camping for Women contributors have come up with some checklists to help make our planning and getting things together a little easier.   There are 6 checklists that we have put up initially and more will be added to in the future.

Enjoy the Free Checklists!

The totally free checklists that have been prepared for anyone to download and use below:

 

Free Checklist Hiking and Backpacking

The Hiking and Backpacking Checklist by Lynley Joyce

Click below to download:

hiking-and-backpacking-checklist.pdf (295 downloads)

 

 

 

Free Checklists CampingThe Camping Checklist by Lynley Joyce

Click below to download:

Camping-checklist.pdf (269 downloads)

 

 

 

Free checklists Camping with kids at all stagesThe Camping with Kids at all Stages Checklist by Lynley Joyce

Click below to download:

Camping-with-kids-at-all-stages-checklist.pdf (246 downloads)

 

 

 

Free checklists the ultimate road trip checklistThe Ultimate Road Trip Checklist by Janessa Tice Miller

Click below to download:

The-Ultimate-Road-Trip-Checklist.pdf (252 downloads)

 

 

 

 

 

Free Checklists first aidThe First Aid Kit Checklist by Amanda Parent

Click below to download:

First-Aid-Kit-Checklist.pdf (257 downloads)

 

 

 

Free Checklists post camping

And lastly, but by no means least:

The Post-Camping Checklist by Lynley Joyce

Click below to download:

Post-camping-checklist.pdf (249 downloads)

 

 

 

Use, share and tailor the checklists

You can also tailor these checklists by adding other things that may be particular to your circumstances, activity or location.

And in the future, Camping for Women plans to add to these checklists with different activities that readers tell us are useful.  Future free checklists and any updates to these initial lists will always be accessible from the Resources tab at Camping for Women.

You will be able to download which ever free checklists you like in future directly by going here.

We sincerely hope you get great value out from these checklists and that they save you some time and hassle that often goes with forgetting to take something that you really felt you needed to have.

Be sure to share this resource with your family and friends who love the great outdoors too!

Free checklists for lovers of the great outdoors

33 Top Rated Hiking and Camping Gear on Amazon

Top Rated 35

By Kelly Price

This Top Rated list compiled for women outdoor adventurers only features products with at least 4.3/5 stars and 25+ reviews on the global Amazon platform.

When you’re out in the wilderness, it’s just you, Mother Nature and your gear. It’s critical for every product you bring with you to (1) do its job perfectly and (2) leave the smallest footprint possible. The gear on this list has been put to the test by thousands of explorers just like you, and they’ve all performed better than the rest.

 

1. A collapsible kettle that takes up very little room

Top Rated 1

Average rating: 4.6/5 stars (30+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I tested it over my propane grill and it did an amazing job heating the water. When it is collapsed it is about the size of a dessert plate so it saves space in my gear.”

 

2. A tiny but effective fire starter

Top Rated 2

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (1,400+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “A fantastic little tool, really throws some good sparks! Fairly large rod should last a long time, well made, comfortable finger grips, light weight, small enough to fit into any camping / survival kit.”

 

3. A pocket-sized outdoor blanket

Top Rated 3

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (50+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “Easy to carry and can fit in one hand, strong and durable, yet big enough for 2/3 people to lounge around on. We were able to use it as a base for inflatable airpads, or simply pull it out for additional friends to lay on it.”

 

4. A lightweight-yet-warm double sleeping bag

Top Rated 4

Average rating: 4.8/5 stars (40+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “This thing is awesome! We’re a big camping family (cheap vacation!) and all have our own sleeping bags. However, I loved the idea of a sleeping bag I could share with my husband and this is the perfect fit. It’s not too much bulkier than an average size sleeping bag, but once you open it up the inside is very spacious! The material is soft and definitely will keep us warm on a chilly summer/fall night.”

 

5. An ultra soft microfiber towel

Top Rated 5

Average rating: 4.9/5 stars (140+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I bought this towel for camping. It is lightweight and folds up very small for its size. The texture is sort of like a chamois, soft and kinda “rubbery”, for lack of a better word. It will absorb a ton of water. Far more than it needs to to dry you off after a shower. It does dry very quickly if you hang it in a breeze. Much quicker than a standard cotton towel.”

 

6. A hand crank power bank with a radio, flashlight, and USB charger

Top Rated 6

Average rating: 4.4/5 stars (340+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “This little jewel would provide invaluable during emergencies. It will provide 50 lumen LED light, AM/FM/NOAA radio and even a way to charge phones.”

 

7. A personal water filter

Top Rated 7

Average rating: 4.4/5 stars (340+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “As soon as I got this thing in the mail I went straight to the nastiest, most contaminated thing I could find. There just happened to be a sink full of soaking dishes that worked just fine. Couldnt taste a thing. I even spit some of the water out and it was nice and clear.”

 

8. A spork with a bottle opener

Top Rated 8

Average rating: 4.4/5 stars (1,700+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “Well made. Just right for eating that emergency can of pork and beans on the road. Clipped it to the key ring on my car’s AA Maglite along with the P-38 can opener and Gerber 1 1/2″ pocket knife. Too big for a pant’s pocket but just right for a coat’s. Of course it can be clipped to a purse or pack too.”

 

9. All-purpose nylon paracord

Top Rated 9

Average rating: 4.6/5 stars (1,700+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “Worked great! I brought this with me whenever I went camping or had other outdoor adventures. I used it pretty much every time. The hardest load I put on it was a hammock, which I only had to double the string from the tree to the hammock.”

 

10. A completely waterproof dry bag

Top Rated 10

Average rating: 4.9/5 stars (750+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “We used this dry bag on a trip to French Polynesia. Brought it everywhere-on a boat (standing on outside observation deck in tropical rain), a jet ski tour, a shark excursion, and lunch IN the water. Our stuff stayed totally dry. It’s a good looking bag, people asked where we got it. 10LB green bag, perfect size.”

 

11. A portable personal cooking system

Top Rated 11

Average rating: 4.8/5 stars (600+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “In the military this was extremely helpful when we had to be out in the woods for weeks on end. We got really creative in what we can make in the jetboil. We used the hot water for shaving, making coffee, hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, hot dogs, hot chocolate, if you can make something with boiling water, we made it.”

 

12. A bottle of versatile 18-in-1 soap

Top Rated 12

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (4,900+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I use this soap for shampoo, body wash, face wash, I put it in my bath, I’ve used it to clean my counters, I’ve used it to clean dishes.”

 

13. A water bottle that will keep liquid cold for 24 hours

Top Rated 13

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (2,600+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “1) Unbelievably effective at holding temperature. Have yet to see an occasion when there is not still ice at the end of the day, no matter how hot it’s been: sitting in a hot car, going through a double class of Bikram yoga (4hrs in 105 degree room!)
2) Incredibly well made. We have had other metal water bottles; they dent; paint chips or peels. Not this one; my son’s still looks brand new after hanging off his backpack, banging around for the past 3 months.”

 

14. A lightweight, durable backpack for day hikes

Top Rated 14

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (5,500+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I needed a packable, waterproof backpack for my trip to Brazil and this was perfect! I wore it while hiking through the jungle in Iguassu Falls, where weather was unpredictable, and it kept all my belongings dry. At one point, I was able to fit a change of clothes, sunscreen, towel, and a bunch of other items.”

 

15. And a bigger, more robust backpack for camping

Top Rated 15

Average rating: 4.5/5 stars (1,500+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “It has endured some serious abuse and keeps on taking it. I would recommend this pack to anyone at this point. As to the pack itself, it has tons of little features. It has locking mechanisms on the lumbar straps, 2 outside pockets that are literally the perfect size for a Nalgene, It has a pocket on the top for random things (I used it for flint and my back up plan of 9V battery and steel wool), At the bottom it has a place for your sleeping bag. All in all a fantastic pack for the price.”

 

16. A ventilated shoe for warm & wet hikes

Top Rated 16

Average rating: 4.5/5 stars (4,300+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I just used these as my primary shoe for a ten day hiking/white water rafting trip in the Grand Canyon. I used them for the 7 1/2 mile hike from the upper rim to the lower rim while carrying a 35 lb. pack and they performed exceptionally. My feet never got sore and my toes didn’t get bruised, despite the constant decline of the trail. I also used them during day hikes. Even when crossing streams, they dried relatively quickly and were still comfortable even when wet.”

 

17. And a heavier duty hiking boot for longer hauls

Top Rated 17

Average rating: 4.6/5 stars (4,30+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I pretty much submerged these boots in water ENTIRELY, and they are definitely WATERPROOF. They were also incredibly comfortable – I had multiple days of hiking for 12+ hours consecutively, and I cannot stress how comfortable they were. They seem pretty light-weight, great support, solid traction on all sorts of terrain.”

 

18. Fill them shoes with Darn Tough high performance socks

Top Rated 18

Average rating: 4.8/5 stars (40+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I am on my feet 12 hours a day wearing steel-toed boots and these help greatly with making my feet comfortable. I have gifted a few pairs to my coworkers and they have purchased several pairs afterwards. They are a bit pricey but I have a few pairs that have lasted 4+ years, if you wear them out, mail them to Darn Tough and they will send you a new pair.”

 

19. The classic Swiss Army Knife

Top Rated 19

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (4,600+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I think that this item should be standard issue to everyone. I have several and if I don’t have a reason to use it daily, someone around me does.”

 

20. A compact 10-piece cookset

Top Rated 20

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (2,300+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “This has to be the most complete camping cookware set I have ever purchased. Well finished, fine quality product, pretty solid and tight cookware, no rattling noise when you shake them. It includes a pot with a cover, a frying pan, 2 bowls for drinking water or soup, a soup spoon, bamboo handle spoon, a cleaning loofah and a stainless steel spork, and even though it does not contain a knife, the spork its strong enough to cut through meat, potatoes or carrots.”

 

21. A lightweight yet complete first aid kit

Top Rated 21

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (180+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “This one is a terrific size and weight for hiking. It fits anywhere in or on my backpack.”

 

22. A pair of lightweight convertible hiking pants

Top Rated 22

Average rating: 4.4/5 stars (460+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “These are great fitting, light weight, comfortable pants, perfect for hiking in. I will never wear jeans to hike in again. They have a nice straight leg (not wide at all) that fits my body perfectly, and I feel skinny and cute in them too! They also dry incredibly fast. I took these pants to hike around in Switzerland and didn’t want to wear any other pants, I loved these so much.”

 

23. An ultra compact sleeping pad

Top Rated 23

Average rating: 4.8/5 stars (100+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “Great bang for your buck. Inflates with about 15 breaths. Comfortable on the ground. Shields you from feeling every little leaf and twig under you. Obviously not best for very cold weather camping if you’re needing this to help insulate you from cold ground. But for basic camping and down to about 45-50 degrees it works.”

 

24. A handy headlamp

Top Rated 24

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (200+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I have had several Petzl headlamps which have evolved positively in functionality (e.g. operating the switch with a gloved hand) and the Tikkina is, in my opinion, the perfect end result. The default “on” is bright enough for almost any pre-dawn trekking, approach, or climbing, without fear of running the batteries down. And if you occasionally need extra light, it is available with an extra click.”

 

25. A bottle of water treatment drops

Top Rated 25

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (340+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “There are many ways to get clean water these days. Filters, UV lights, charged salts, chlorine, iodine, etc. They all have PROs and CONs. I prefer the Aquamira drops over the other methods because I never have to worry about dead batteries, dead UV bulbs, broken equipment, foul tastes, or clogged filters. I keep several sets of these around.”

 

26. A state-of-the-art GPS watch

Top Rated 26

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (340+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “Did a lot of research on a device that can track my ocean swims, bike rides, runs, heart rate, etc. I have gone on an ocean swim, and it worked like a champ. Mapped my swim, calculated the distance and generated a SWOLF score. The hr sensor was working in the water, but I did go with a hrm-tri strap for better accuracy. Did a 15mi bike ride and it synced easily with my garmin cadence and speed sensor. Post workout data gave me every detail on my ride.”

 

27. A portable high capacity power bank

Top Rated 27

Average rating: 4.6/5 stars (900+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “This is personally the best portable battery I have purchased in my life. For the iPhone 6s a full charge lasts me a good 4 full charges, its small so its very compact and fits in the pocket nicely when you want to go places and it doesn’t bother you so much when walking around or running around.”

 

28. A 10-liter camping kitchen sink

Top Rated 28

Average rating: 4.5/5 stars (75+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “If you do any camping at all, you soon discover the need for something that holds water. Sometimes it’s for washing dishes, other times it’s for moving water up to camp so you can filter it, sometimes it’s just for washing the dust off your face. It’s always for keeping “dirty” water away from otherwise clean water sources, unless you’re into making someone else sick or messing up the environment.”

 

29. A pack of No Rinse bathing wipes

Top Rated 29

Average rating: 4.6/5 stars (35+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “Went on a 2.5 trekking trip through Nepal where you couldn’t shower every day – TMI, I know. These were a great alternative. One wipe is plenty for the whole body – remember you can use the other side. Plus, they packed really flat/neatly into my backpack. There really wasn’t a scent, I felt refreshed and it got the sunblock/insect repellant off surprisingly well.”

 

30. A waterproof notebook

Top Rated 30

Average rating: 4.8/5 stars (160+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “This is the best pad out there. I have carried one of these in my cargo pocket through training and now months in Afghanistan. I keep a daily journal in one and use another for important notes. I will always have one of these with me.”

 

31. A pair of low gaiters

Top Rated 31

Average rating: 4.3/5 stars (65+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “The gaiters were used over some 10 year old waterproof hiking boots on a route following paths cut by snow-melt fed streams that took us in and out of rocky scree, gravel, tundra grasses and 3 inches of fresh snow. I lost track of the number of low water stream crossings, but my feet stayed warm and dry thanks to the gaiters–can’t say the same for my companions. Product was also highly effective at keeping debris out of my boots.”

 

32. A pair of waterproof binoculars

Top Rated 32

Average rating: 4.6/5 stars (800+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “The clarity and magnification is pretty remarkable. They are really compact and light weight for what they are. Magnification is about the limit of what you can hold steady by hand without a rest. I went to a football game sitting in the nosebleeds and let a couple strangers next to me use them, they were blown away and ordered a pair on the spot!”

 

33. For extreme emergencies – a personal locator beacon

Top Rated 33

Average rating: 4.5/5 stars (180+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “My boat capsized offshore at 11:31 am. I turned on the signal. The colonel from the coast guard called my wife in the next 2-3 minutes to confirm that I was out fishing. The coast guard helicopter was sent to my location immediately. The helicopter was there very soon.”

 

To discover more top rated products on Amazon or to get in touch with the author, visit WeGravy.com – a new product curation site that hand selects the highest-rated products on Amazon.

 

Outdoor Food and Cooking in the Wild

Cooking in the Wild

By Iris West

Any camping experience for women isn’t complete without outdoor food – and, of course, cooking in the wild. Let’s be honest; nothing beats that adrenaline-packed thrill that comes with going all “wild” out there. That in itself isn’t news at all. Since time immemorial, humans have always found home in the wilderness. That being said, they’d cook in the outdoors enjoying that ambient, calming and refreshing air. So, why wouldn’t today’s women enjoy that thrill and rewarding experience in the great outdoors?

Nowadays, women campers look to relive the bygone stone age era. Herein, I am going to walk you through some camping food ideas and tips on cooking in the wild. Read on to have a taste of the Stone Age Epoch.

Cooking in the Wild Tips

Cooking in outdoor camps is part and parcel of the whole nature experience. Whether you intend to cook over campfires, camp stoves, grills, Dutch ovens, or foil packets, we got you covered.

Cooking Over Campfire Tips

Start the Fire Early

Cooking in the Wild 1Campfires are exhilarating. No question, but if you don’t start the fire early enough, it won’t burn well. If you are in a group of 3 or more, it would be great if one of you takes charge of the campfire.

If you dread the use of burning wood, cooking over hot coal can be your best shot. But, what would be the need for a camp if you aren’t willing to experiment a little, right?

Use a cookie sheet:

The allure of a cookie sheet lies in its ability to contain heat. This way, you food will cook evenly. If you can garner any item that can trap heat, it would be ideal for even cooking as well.

Want to Grill Green Corns?

Whether you are a newbie to outdoor camping or a seasoned camper, grilling green corn will certainly knock your socks off. The green corn itself is a mouth-watering delicacy that makes cooking in the wild such an exciting adventure. So, how do you grill green corn in the wilderness? Start off by removing the silk then soak the corn in water. Grill on medium heat until it’s well done, pull back the husk then slather it with a little basil butter. The result is quite a treat.

Using Portable Camp Stoves

Camps stove are indispensable equipment for venturing into the wilderness. If handled rightly, they can work like a charm out in the woods. The trick is to use versatile cooking utensils. For one, a cast iron skillet and camps stove are a match made in heaven. They are sturdy and rugged enough to cook food over open fires and subtle enough to cook delicate food.


Use camp stoves with instant turn-off feature. Also, propane use is advisable to avoid forest fires.

Cooking with Dutch Oven Tips

A dutch oven is another tool that can make cooking in the wild fun and somewhat practical. Though cooking with a dutch oven is pretty straightforward, here are some tips to make it effortlessly easy.

Bring a lid lifter with you:

This is the wilderness, you can even craft your own lifter from a tree brush. A lid lifter is paramount as it allows you to stay at a safe distance from the blazing campfire.

Use a grill grate to keep your oven stable.

You need to keep steady at all times to avoid spillages. Also, make sure to point the handle away from the fire.

Breezy conditions?

Block the direction the wind is blowing from to minimise heat loss when cooking with a Dutch oven over a campfire. This way, cooking in the wild can take the shortest time possible.

Cooking meat?

If you are cooking meat, it’s advisable that the whole surface of the piece makes contact with the Dutch oven to ensure that it’s browned evenly. If your oven isn’t large enough for your meat, you can cook in smaller batches. Here’s the thing: hot campfire can brown meat pretty quickly, but if you want precise temperatures, you opt for charcoal briquettes.

Grilling in the Wild Tips

Believe it or not, grilling in the great outdoors is far much more exhilarating than your average backyard cookout. The ambient air out there is always ideal for grilling. From charring veggies to cooking steak and everything in between, there’s something to grill out in the wild. To make it even easier, here are grilling tips:

Char Some Veggies using a grill basket. Mix some pepper, salt, and olive oil and toss some veggies in it before setting them on a grill basket. Wait till they char nicely before serving warm. Your fellow campers will have nothing but praise for your culinary skills.

Use foil packets to grill directly over a campfire. Foil packets make cooking a breeze. As if that isn’t terrific enough, clean-up is a snap.

And finally if you are keen on really impressing your fellow campers with amazing and delicious creations, then check out The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook.  It is a fabulous resource.  Bon Apetit!

Packing for Camp and the Outdoors

packing for camp 1

By Lucy Gomez

Packing for camp should be thought about carefully.  Planning for a camping trip can be hard work, as camping requires a lot of gear to ensure that nothing goes wrong. Your list should obviously start with the basic necessities, that being food, water, and warm clothes, among a lot of other things, but there are also quite a few more items that you may not realize you are going to need.

What Do I Need With Camping?

Depending on the type of camping trip you are planning to have, there are multiple different categories of items, supplies, and other miscellaneous items that are going to be necessary for your trip.

Shelter Items

packing for camp 2For starters, you are going to need shelter items, unless you have a cabin that you will be staying in. You will need a tent, stakes and a few extra, a dust brush and pan, ground tarp or cloth, a small mat for the entrance, a hammer or an ax for the stakes, and rope, poles, and a shade tarp.

Bedding Items

packing for camp 3If you are bringing your own tent, then you will most definitely need bedding to sleep on. Also, if you are bringing an air mattress or a cot with you, you’re going to need a sleeping pad, pillow, sheets, blankets, an air pump, and a repair kit, just in case any damage occurs while camping. However, if you are just bringing a sleeping bag, then all you will need is a pillow, an extra blanket, and a sleeping pad. A utility bag is also a good item to bring, as well.

Cooking Supplies

packing for camp 4Just bringing food items is not enough, especially if you are going with a larger group of people:

  • Water bucket and a large jug
  • Ice and a cooler
  • Thermos, you may need more than one depending on how large your group is
  • Lighter or a box of matches
  • Buddy burner, firewood, or charcoal
  • BBQ grill or a campfire grill, which will be something similar to an oven rack
  • Newspaper or any other fire starter
  • Clips, thumb tacks, and tablecloth, if there are picnic benches where you are camping, or if you are bringing your own table
  • Measuring cups
  • Aluminum foil, heavy-duty
  • Paper plates and bowls with plastic cutlery
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags for cleanup
  • Potholders and oven mitts
  • Frying pans and pots with their lids
  • Skewers, grill forks, tongs, can opener, bottle opener, and any other utensils you may need that are not cutlery
  • Tupperware or containers for storage of food
  • Brillo, scrub pad, sponge
  • Dish towels and rags

Hygienic/Personal Items

packing for camp 6For the next checklist, you are going to need all of your hygiene and personal items, which is an especially important essential when going camping. You will need washcloths, towels, shampoo, conditioner, soap, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, a portable camping shower or pump shower if you do not have access to one, toothbrush and paste, deodorant, a brush and/or a comb, flip flops or shower shoes, medications, razor, and any other personal item that you deem necessary to bring.

Clothing Items

Camping and any style of retreat in the outdoors will require essential clothing that you will need to bring with you. You will need warm sweaters, jeans track pants, and coats, long johns if necessary, hats, gloves, scarves, a dirty laundry bag, a swim suit, beach towel, rain gear, boots, and extra warm clothing.

Miscellaneous Items

packing for camp 7The following are random, miscellaneous items that you might want to include when packing for camp:

  • GPS or compass
  • Lantern with mantles or fuel
  • Chopstick
  • Sunscreen
  • Water purifier or filters
  • Bug candles and/or repellent
  • Chairs for sitting
  • Sunglasses
  • Radio
  • Fishing bait, license, and gear
  • Fanny pack and backpack
  • Random tools, including utility knife
  • Candles
  • Books, Kindle, or magazines
  • Camera and/or video camera
  • Games that will cater to a summer camp for toddlers
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid kits, always bring more than one
  • Hershey bars, graham crackers, and marshmallows to make smores
  • Bungee straps and cords
  • Coffee pot, water bottle, and a spare canteen

Packing for Camp: Having a Successful Camping Trip or Retreat

By ensuring you have all of the items in this checklist, plus the extra items that you deem necessary, you will have a fun, successful camping trip!

What are your favorite things to include when packing for camp?

packing for camp 8

The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook

“Who else wants to know how to make sure no one complains about food or goes hungry on your next trip to the great outdoors?”

If you are interested in proving you can put together delicious and nutritious creations with limited ingredients and equipment while in the middle of nature … then this is going to be the most exciting message you ever read.

Here’s why:

The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine CookbookThere is an amazing new book called, The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook.” It covers nearly everything you need to know about putting together tasty, nutritious and hearty food that will satisfy even the most fussy and discerning palates easily and really make your trip memorable.

Imagine being able to to have at your fingertips a resource that would mean you don’t miss out on the joys of scrumptious food and meals just because you don’t have all the modern conveniences of home.. Wouldn’t that be great?

Or what about if you could show off how easily you could put together dishes that foodies would be impressed with, using very limited means.. How would that feel if you could do this?

Imagine being able to bring another element of complete enjoyment and fulfillment by providing food that people just do not expect in the wilderness.. It truly is possible, but you need to know how.

That’s what this brand new book could help you to do.

And it’s not like any other book you’ve ever read proving you can put together delicious and nutritious food with limited ingredients and equipment while in the wilderness.

Why?

For one very simple reason :campfire cooking

This book is a rare find catering to all three major outdoor activities: Hiking, Camping and Glamping, written by a caterer, nutritionist and experienced camper.

Which means , whether you are on foot moving through challenging terrain or based at a campsite you have found or even if you have brought along your own impressive mobile facilities, The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook combines all these scenarios into a single practical and indispensable resource.

Can you see now why owning this product makes such sense?

Here are some of the important points about The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook:

  • Camping CuisineHow to put together tasty and nutritious food that provide high levels of energy needed for hiking.
  • Simple ways to prepare beautiful dishes for people of all ages as well as cater to those with specific dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten free as well as lactose free diets.
  • The little-known way to prepare great variety of food useful for day hikes as well as food best suited to longer hikes and trekking.
  • Proven steps to produce tried and tested recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner including starters, light meals, main meals, desserts and even baking treats you can prepare before leaving home.
  • Simple keys to plan and utilize numerous options that are simple to create and meet the needs of vegetarians (40 dishes), Vegan (24 dishes), Gluten Free (31 Dishes) and Lactose Free (40 dishes).
  • Campfire Cooking 2AMAZING! Discover in a matter of minutes how to choose the best options for your family with 43 dishes that are proven favorites with children.
  • Proven strategies for ensuring food safety while out in the great outdoors including 11 tips for storing meat and other perishables, another 11 tips for storing fruit and vegetables and lists of fruit and vegetables that do not require refrigeration, together with how long you should expect them to last.
  • Many tips and tricks for applying variations to most of the recipes featured throughout the book, allowing you the flexibility to be able to creatively alter dishes in a number of ways to suit differing tastes while changing the feel and presentation as you like.
  • A dirt-cheap way to savor so many delightful and quick options within this full color publication featuring professional photos of each finished dish in addition to photos of various hiking, camping and glamping environments.
  • Glamping CuisineA free and easy way to prepare multiple and diverse dishes following a well laid out format comprising all the ingredients, steps and methods needed to produce wholesome, delicious and satisfying food.
  • Discover how to implement 34 safety tips while away in the wilderness as well as 19 clean up tips and a Bibliography listing a number of other sources for great food and food-related ideas.
  • How to use 10 practical food ideas for hiking in addition to using hiking recipes.
  • REVEALED! The hidden truth behind the secrets of a seasoned woman camper with qualifications in commercial cookery and nutrition and who has taught cookery classes and built up a wealth of knowledge and experience across two continents.
  • Your secret weapon for looking really talented as a foodie/chef in front of your fellow campers and making it all look easy thanks to this book.
All of this is what you’ll find in The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook” That’s why you should own this book today (in fact, you can be reading the e-book version as little as 5 minutes from now!).

Click Here To Order the e-book version Securely Through Paypal

(All you need is a credit card, no special internet accounts or anything like that. And it’s totally secure. Your credit card data is passed directly to the bank and no one but the bank has access to your sensitive information.)

What’s a resource like the 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook worth?

Camping Cuisine 3To have someone do all this research for you would normally cost you a whole lot of money.  Particularly laser-guided accurate information like this –SPECIFICALLY for putting together outdoor tasty, nutritious and hearty food that will satisfy even the most fussy and discerning palates easily and really make your trip memorable.

Everything is explained in PLAIN English. Which means it’s dead-easy to read and understand. And it’s logically laid out.

Which is why The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook” is such a bargain at $17.00

Camping Cuisine 2That’s right, a fraction of what it’s really worth or what it cost to research and compile. Why would we make it so affordable? Simply because our costs to deliver it to you are so low.

You can download the e-book version to your computer in a flash. Which means you can be reading it and discovering all these amazing secrets in as little as 5 minutes from now.

So we figure we’ll be able to offer this fantastic resource of information (which if you follow the tips contained in its pages could really give you some amazing enjoyment) to more people across the globe.  For just $17.00 you can have this wonderful resource as an e-book that you can share with your loved ones, family and friends.

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$17.00 is a drop in the ocean compared to what you learn with these secrets.

The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine CookbookADDITIONAL BONUS:

“Upgrade to hard printed copy for just $10 more”

This amazing book is also available in print directly through Amazon, the world’s largest internet-based retailer.  This will enable you to have your full color printed book sent to you promptly and safely anywhere across the globe and you will be able to take this with you again and again on trips to the outdoors, enhancing the enjoyment and memories of your times away for only $27.00.

This is massive value that Camping for Women offers within this unique and practical resource.

Click Here To Securely Order The Complete Printed Version Through Amazon

And hey, don’t take our word for it on how great this book is. Listen to what campers just like you have to say about it:

Karson Freeman
Karson Freeman

“The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook has it all. It has a multitude of options… whether you might be vegan, vegetarian or need a lactose or gluten free diet, or just looking for kid-friendly options, this book is the way to go. It’s really helped me come into my own with this whole camping thing. Who said you can’t enjoy the great outdoors and have good food too?” Karson Freeman Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Vivian Shen
Vivian Shen

“When I go camping, I take this book with me. It has many easy and tasty recipes. The recipes are easy to follow and there are color photos of every dish. I’m please I found this book and I would recommend it to all campers.” Vivian Shen Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.

Mirjana Vukovic 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook
Mirjana Vukovic

“It’s just an amazing, helpful book if you are going outside or if you’re going camping.  It has a lot of recipes that include fresh ingredients and has a lot of tips that are related to camping and spending time outdoors.  Overall very helpful and handy if you are a camper or if you love to spend time outdoors.  A big, big, thumbs-up for this book.”  Mirjana Vukovic, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Stephanie Price
Stephanie Price

“I actually bought this book last month (advanced review copy) because we were going camping with a couple of friends. It really makes a difference when you go because the recipes are really easy to follow and you can cook so many interesting things which you kind of miss when you go camping. All the recipes use basic ingredients that you would have with you. It tells you how to cook using quite limited cooking equipment which is great. It really livens up the cuisine for the week when you go camping. There’s everything from breakfast to lunch to evening meals, desserts and for everything from hiking, cooking around a campfire and for when you go glamping as well.” Stephanie Price, Usk, South Wales, United Kingdom.

As they say, the proof is in the pudding. And these people are super happy. Just like we know you’ll be.

You can’t leave this page empty handed, can you?

For a mere $17.00 (or $27.00 for the full printed version), you’re getting the answers you need … PLUS MORE. Now, you can only get this product from Camping for Women through Paypal or Amazon. It’s not available in libraries or anywhere else on the net. Just imagine being able to get these answers you can start benefiting from right away.

Click Here To Order Securely Through Paypal for the E-book

 

OR

 

Click Here To Order Securely Through Amazon for your own printed copy

cropped-campaign_for_women-300.jpgWishing you super delicious times in the great outdoors.

Warmly,

The Camping for Women Team

P.S. Don’t forget, you’re getting the expertise of a qualified and experienced caterer, nutritionist and seasoned camper in this publication.  Everything to get you started in putting together tasty, nutritious and hearty food that will satisfy even the most fussy and discerning palates easily and really make your trip memorable.. So if that’s what you want to do, the 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

Click Here To Order Securely Through Paypal for the E-book

 

OR

 

Click Here To Order Securely Through Amazon for your own printed copy

How to Build a Campfire for Cooking

Campfire Cooking

By Mitra Cazaubon

Camping just isn’t camping without a fire.  Whether to roast marshmallows or keep you warm; you got to have one. Better yet, a campfire you can use to cook is ideal. In this article, I will give you the step by step process to build a campfire specially designed for cooking.

Safety Tips

1)    Before you start your fire ensure you are allowed to light a fire in your location. If your area is dry and hot, be extremely careful or don’t light a fire at all.

2)    Your tent should be at least 25 ft away from the campfire downwind.

3)    Don’t light a fire near the base of any tree, as this can kill or damage the tree. Neither should you light a fire near dead stumps as fire can travel underground through the dead roots and damage neighboring trees.

4)    To avoid accidents clear dry overhanging branches or low hanging branches. Keep water close by in case of an incident.

5)    Rack dry leaves and debris away from your fire location (not downwind of the fire).

Tools

A cutting tool for processing your wood; and a small shovel for digging a trench and maneuvering hot coals are all the tools you’ll need. You can use a Y stick or your shovel as a rake to get rid of dry leaves and debris before lighting the fire.

Constructing a Trench Fire for Campfire Cooking

Step#1

Dig a 4ftX1ft trench about three inches deep. You can get the same effect by lining the area with stones. I used both techniques, digging the trench and lining one side with rocks. This configuration gives me the added benefit of a reflector wall made of stone which is ideal for keeping warm and for smoke reduction.
Building Campfire Cooking Trench

Step#2

Get your firewood, two Y sticks (to be placed on either side of the trench), one or more sticks with hooks  (for hanging pots) and a long stick the length of the trench (for ridge pole). Process your firewood, kindling, and tinder ensuring that you cut them to fit inside your trench.

build campfire cooking trench 2

Step#3

Take your two Y sticks and put them on opposite sides of your trench (see photo). Secure them by digging a small hole for each stick. Place your ridge pole onto your Y sticks.

build campfire cooking trench step 3

Step#4

Place your tinder along the entire bottom of trench then light. Add kindling over tinder allowing the fire to breathe. Then add firewood diagonally to the previous layer. Allow wood to burn through the length of the trench. Crave notches in your hook stick to hang your pot.

Carve notches in your hook stick/s

Step#5

Start cooking. Place some pots directly on the coals or hang those that can be hung, roast your meat on the stick or add a grill and barbecue.

Start campfire cooking using your trench

Campfires are great for making that excursion more memorable, and one of the best for cooking is the trench fire. You won’t need a separate fire for grilling and cooking since the trench fire will allow for a variety of cooking styles and cook pots.

A simple three stone fire, instead of the trench, can also work if you don’t want to be extravagant. But for multiple pots, baking, roasting meat and chatting around a trench fire with reflector wall is perfect.

Next time you go camping with friends show off your skills and build a trench fire to cook up a storm.

Here is a video that also shows a completed cooking trench and the finished result in action…