Getting Ready For the Backpacking Season

When the call of the wild is hitting you hard, you need to start thinking about your camping gear and the supplies you need to make backpacking a great experience.

It is time to check your tent, pack, sleeping bag, and emergency supplies to make sure the key components for your camping comfort and safety are in order.

Your Tent

Camping Tent

Your tent serves more than a way to keep the rain off your head (or snow, if you are a winter camper).

If properly sealed, your tent will not only be waterproof, but will also help contain your body heat.

Tent Checklist

  • Make sure your vents, fly, and entry are all cleaned and tear-free.
  • Use a mild mix of bath soap (unscented) to wash off any dirt or debris on the fabric, and
  • Use clear water under mild pressure to clear any dirt, debris, or sand in your zippers.
  • Never use any harsh chemicals – the man-made fibers can be damaged by any chlorinated cleaners.

Anything in the zippers will cause them to wear out faster as a natural course of using them, so keeping them clean is critical.

Winter Camping

For winter camping, you want those zippers to close snugly to keep out the cold and blowing snow – and in the summer you want them to open all the way so the moisture and heat released from your body while you’re sleeping can escape.

Check the siding material of your tent to make sure they are free of tears or other openings. You can usually patch most man-made fibers with kits readily available from a variety of sources.

It is a good idea to apply a coat of sealant to the exterior of the seams of your tent and fly with the sealant appropriate for your tent’s material.

ONLY apply the sealant in a warm dry place, making sure you give it plenty of time to dry properly.

In order to apply the sealant, it is best to pitch your tent with all sides taut, which will help ensure the sealant gets into the nooks and crannies.

Lastly, check that all of your supplies – poles, straps, and stakes – are intact, then set up the tent completely one time before packing it and going out into the wild.

Your Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Bag Example

Your sleeping bag and ground pad should be relatively maintenance free, other than the same cleaning of the surfaces and zippers for the bag apply.

You need to clean your bag inside and out, but not get the insulation wet. You also want to make sure the skin of your bag is clean and free of any oils or greasy substances.

Check the insulation. If it is becoming bunched, or lumpy, it may be time to replace your sleeping bag.

Ground Pads

Ground pads come in a variety of materials and comfort levels.

Their primary function is to insulate, to keep your body heat from being radiated into the ground through your sleeping bag. Your ground pad is also your last defense from ground water getting to the skin of your sleeping bag, drenching you.

Both situations can lead to hypothermia, a dangerous condition in which your core body temperature drops below 93 degrees.

A self-inflating ground pad offers a great combination of comfort and protection.

These foam-core pads are a relatively new development, are very light-weight, and compress for easy attachment to your backpack.

Your Backpack

Taking Care of Your Backpack

Your backpack is your greatest asset for wilderness camping, and maintaining it so it will withstand several kinds of constant abuse is critical.

1. Check that there are no threads hanging or tears in the liner.

Snags and tears can quickly spread, dumping your supplies into a creek at an inopportune moment, or the entire bag coming undone if you are using it to suspend your food supplies for safekeeping during the night.

Clip any snagged threads, and patch any tears. You also need to make sure you keep your pack water-tight. Seal the seams, and if the material permits, coat the entire bag.

2. Check all the grommets and clips on the straps.

If you are using pack with an external frame, make sure the clips holding the bag to the frame are secure.

Make sure there are no rips or tears in any of the straps, and that the fastening clips that hold the shoulder straps and waist strap in place are free of chips or cracks.

Readjust the straps to fit your body as it is today.

Let’s face it, we all tend to gain a little weight over the winter, and an improperly balanced backpack can overbalance you, or chafe in very uncomfortable ways.

Your tent and bag came with stuff bags. Use them – but make sure the bags are clean and dry before stowing away your equipment.

TIP: Packing Your Tent

When loading your tent, put in the fly, then the poles, then the tent itself.

This is the reverse order in which you will need them, and the proper order when you unpack it.

You should never store the stakes with the tent, even if they are in their own ripstop bag, the edges could puncture the tent skin, forcing an emergency repair out in the field.

Emergency Supplies

Emergency Preparations

Duct Tape

One of the backpacker’s best friends is duct tape.

It is strong, water-proof, and multi-functional. You can use it to make temporary fixes to any torn material, and if you combine it with the extra tube sections that came with your tent, you can even temporarily fix the poles on your tent.

You can also use duct tape for emergency first aid, because it makes a great way to tightly secure bandaging material or splints.

Gallon Zipper Sealed Plastic Bags

Bring along a few gallon-sized zipper-sealed plastic bags.

You can use them for a variety of purposes, from collecting specimens to storing your wet socks until you can set up camp and get them dry.

Keeping your supplies (and feet!) dry is critical. In a pinch, you can use them to catch and store water.

First Aid Supplies

Check all of your first aid supplies, and make sure you still have a proper assortment of bandaging materials, disinfectants, scissors, and other supplies.

Toss out the antibiotic ointment you have in your first aid kit from last year and replace it. It has lost its efficacy. If you carry hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant, it needs replaced as well.

You can find the components of a good “do it yourself” first aid kit by checking with the Boy Scouts or the Red Cross.

Water Purification System

Check your water purification supplies, and make sure the iodine and/or filters are ready for use.

Make sure that your purification kit’s components are free of cracks. Get your canteen, waterpack, bladder, or insulated water bottle cleaned and ready for use, too.

Signaling Devices – Mirror & Whistle

No backpack is complete without two signaling devices – a mirror and a whistle.

Obviously a mirror only works when there’s a light source, but if you become disabled and a search party is looking for you, the reflection from the mirror gives you better odds of being spotted from a great distance.

The whistle is a vital signaling device. You can only yell for help for a few minutes at a time, while you can blow a whistle for hours.

GPS Locator

Another signaling device becoming more common in our high-tech world are GPS emergency locators.

Many are solar-powered, some are coming with Farraday generators, or they come with batteries.

No matter how they are powered, they only work if there is a satellite overhead, and a means of triangulating on your position. When you intend on going into extreme wilderness, rugged terrain, or into mountainous areas, you may want to invest in one of these gadgets.

Do NOT rely on this as your sole signaling device. If you’re breathing, you can still use a whistle. If the batteries go dead on the GPS unit – you could be as well shortly after.

Miscellaneous

Other stuff

Matches

Always have at least two different means of starting a fire in your pack.

Waterproof matches and a “permanent match” are easy to stow away, and work in a wide variety of weather conditions.

Knife

Always have a knife. A good multi-tool with a knife blade and other gadgets, can be found in most hardware and sporting goods stores, and can be handy.

Patch Kit

An emergency patch kit for your tent and backpack could also prove handy – but keep in mind for every ounce you add, you are losing food!

You have duct tape (featured above), which is a great permanent patch.


There are a wide assortment of other supplies you might consider bringing along for your camping expedition, but these suggestions cover most contingencies, in lightweight materials suitable for backpacking.

The best preparation if you’re a novice is to pick up any of the various books available for backpacking in the type of environment you plan on trekking in, or to pick up a copy of the Boy Scout manual on camping.

More Backpacking Season Tips

Your First Business Trip

You knew the day would come and it’s finally arrived. You’re being sent on your first business trip.

  • Wondering what to pack?
  • Do you make the plans or does the company?
  • How will you know how to make your way around a new city?

Prepare for Production on Trip

You could fly by the seat of your pants or use your professionalism and organize in advance for a smooth sailing business trip, even if it is your first.

Most companies plan the logistics for you, but just in case your company leaves all the details up to you it’s time get started.

  1. As soon as you know your destination and time frame book a flight. Choose a flight with the shortest amount of air time. You don’t want to spend an entire day puddle-jumping from one airport to the next. When possible, select a direct flight.  Don’t hesitate on scheduling your flight, the longer you wait, the higher the cost.  Keep your company’s bottom line in mind (or not).
  2. Making reservations at a hotel should be next on the list. Hop online and look for hotels that cater to business warriors. Hotels near airports and in business districts of major cities no where their bread and butter lies and greet business men and women with open arms and all the amenities needed. Available internet access is a must with businesses speeding down the information highway.

    While searching find out if the hotel you’re considering offers any kind of transportation?  A shuttle to major business areas can be a real plus. 

    Finally, look for hotels that offer great customer service.

  3. Whether you’ve made the arrangements or the company you work for has; it’s time to learn about where you’re going. Once again, the internet can play a big part in your journey to discovering the location you’re headed for. Look for possible transportation options. In major cities taxis are always available.  You might want to take the time to find out an average cab fare, just to be prepared. And, even better, there’s Uber–or something similar–in nearly all destinations around the world. Again depending on location, if a rented car looks to be your mode of transportation, make the reservations well in advance. Check out restaurants in the city. Will you need to make plans and reservations to wine and dine a client?  You’ll want to have a good grasp of places to entertain clients in a new city.Learn all you can about your business destination.

Packing For Your First Business Trip

Once all the reservations and plans have been taken care of it’s time to think about what you’ll pack. 

How to pack for business trip

Use your organizational skills and come up with a BTL or business trip list.

The last thing you want on your first business trip is to be caught with your pants down.  That may be going a bit too far, but it’s not inconceivable that your luggage could be lost and you’ll find yourself without clothes.

By planning ahead, even in the case of lost luggage you could manage to get by with smart packing and essential planning.

Break your BTL down by thinking about what you’re going to need, but always keeping in mind “pack light.”

Carry-ons should hold top priority items like your laptop and case, the mouse for your computer, extra batteries or power pack.

Flying is not the breeze it was pre 9/11.  It’s wise to give yourself plenty of time and have your ticket or boarding pass ready.  Don’t forget to carry one other piece of ID with you such as a passport, driver’s license, or identification card.

List your business needs, things like business cards, the contact information, and the trip itinerary are absolute must haves.  You’ll know what needs to go and what can be left behind.

The final listing within your BTL should be clothing and personal items.

Again, think light, small, and convenient.  Wear your power suit on the plane, just in case you luggage is lost.

Business Travel Packing Personal Items

The length of time you’ll be gone determines what to take.

If you can mix and match, take one suit and several shirts and ties that work well together.  You’re saving a lot of space.

Try rolling clothing rather than folding [Video Below]

Tuck items within others.  Take only what’s needed and necessary.

Impress yourself, your peers, and clients by planning ahead. Be organized, prepared, and most of all have a prosperous, productive first business trip.

Get the Business Travel Edge with Heroic Adventures Business Series

Bingo: A Way to Fight Boredom While Traveling

What do 15 hour flights, 4 hour bus rides and 2 hour train rides have in common?

Without any entertainment, each form of traveling will get boring at some point. The demand for travel entertainment has sparked the interest of many companies as they now have a new target market to promote their products to, the market being seasoned travelers. Many people combat the monotony of a bus or train ride with board games like road bingo. Travel Bingo cards are simple to set up, yet the “on-the-road” version of the game is engaging enough so that you and your travel companions will remain entertained until you reach your next destination.

Travelers have not only resorted to board games for travel amusement. Because of the digital age we are living in, they are seeking entertainment through their gadgets.

According to Statista, the online gaming market more than quintupled in size in the span of ten years, from 7.4 to 37.6 billion dollars in 2013.

Inside Mobile Apps stated that in November of last year, the September launch of the CheekyBingo mobile app led to a total of 54 million played bingo cards in the UK. Imagine the total sales from online bingo apps collectively.

Although bingo is an ancient game typically associated with grandmothers frequenting bingo halls, over the past few years the face of bingo — specifically online bingo — has grown appealing to younger generations. It’s the booming popularity of online bingo that has reminded everyone of the amusement that also comes from regular bingo.

But in case you don’t have travel bingo cards or an online bingo game at your disposal, here are some cheap apps that you could download on your gadgets.

What’s amazing about these apps is that these are all under the theme of road games.

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

This is a multiplayer game that randomizes scavenger items such as objects, words, or a mix of both. As soon as the item is spotted, all you have to do is click on the player to automatically increase their score and have the next item appear.

Ice Breakers Road Trip

Ice Breakers is more of a conversation starter rather than a road game but it’s still equally amusing.

AdLibs! It’s better than [noun]

Everybody loves building crazy stories with this classic game. AdLibs! adds a new story every week, and the great thing about it is that it’s an entertaining app that can be played both on and off the road.

App Advice lists down a few more road games if these don’t suit your taste.

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Continue your journey at www.Heroic-Adventures.com

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Heading To Phuket? Here’s What You Need To Pack

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