Things To Do While Camping

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Go Primitive 


One of the most interesting things about camping is you get a chance to live as former man did.   The opportunity to go back to nature and away from all the modern amenities provides you with some good opportunities to build bonding experiences with family and friends.   One way to take advantage of this experience is to try out primitive practices that have been used in years past.   Spending focusing on these tasks will be challenging and curiously interesting as you can see how your survival skills match up.   In addition, it gives you a chance to teach something to your kids.   Here is a list of additional things to do while camping:


1.   Start a fire without matches.   Try using another way to start the fire.   You could use flint and steel, bow drill, hand drill, or even a magnifying glass.

  1. The challenge would be to see if you can get the fire started another way.    You could even make a game of it as you have other family members also racing against each other to start the fire. 
  2. Trying out these other ways will likely give you a greater appreciation for your ancestors and will also give you a sense of satisfaction, if successful, in trying something you saw on some survival show. 
  3. One caveat: Using a bow drill or hand drill to start a fire is a skill that is very hard to master.   If you are teaching kids, put the emphasis on the actually doing it rather than the starting of the fire.   Once the kids get frustrated, it is better to move on to something else. 
  4.   Flint and Steel is probably the best option for speed of fire starting when comparing the other options.   Plus, it can be purchased at boy scout shops, online or at any sporting goods/camping equipment stores.  

2.   Practice your night vision.   It is a good idea to learn to use your night vision while walking at night.   The belief that you need to rely on a flashlight is largely unfounded.   Although a flashlight can illuminate a dark area and is very good at rummaging through a pack at night, a flashlight or lantern actually creates a problem at night because it only illuminates a small area and blinds you to the larger area.   By not using a flashlight, you are actually able to see quite well and can see for much farther distances.   You only need to give yourself a little practice of training your eyes to see at night.   Essentially, all that needs to be done is to focus on the outline of plants and trees and your eyes will adjust.  


3.   Tell what time it is without a watch.   Test your wits to see if you can determine what time it is while camping without your watch.   There are number of ways that this can be done.   Here, is one simple way to do it during the day.

a.         Move out to a clearing.   Move out to a point where your view of the sun is unobstructed and the sun casts a shadow off your body.   If it is close to mid-day, the shadow will be minimal.

b.        Is it morning or evening?.   If it is morning, the sun rises in the east so the sun well be to the east.   If it is evening, the sun sets in the west, so the sun should be in the west.

c.         Determine where north is.   Once you know where the sun is, you can determine where north is.   For instance, if it is evening then the sun will be to the west.   If you know where west is the opposite direction is east.   Now, if west is to the left of you and east is to the right of you, this means north is in front of you and south is behind you.

d.        Check the angle of the shadow.   While facing north with your body, check to see where the shadow is angled.   This will give you a rough estimate of the time as your body will become a human sun dial.

e.         Let the four directions become the face of a clock.   The four directions will become a face of a clock with North meaning 12, East meaning 3, South meaning 6, and West meaning 9.   In this way, you should be able to tell time roughly what hour it is in the day.   For instance if you are facing north and the shadow is half way between the East and South angles, this means it is roughly between 4:00 and 5:00 o’clock.


Naturally, there are a number of other activities that one could add to this list.   Another one that comes to my mind is building a lean-to or some other type of man-made shelter.   However, we will be discussing this one more fully in another article.   Hope you like these tips and be sure to let us know how they work out for you. 


*To get more tips on things to do while camping, take a look at learn the land.



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