Into the Wild: 4 Useful Skills You Should Have for Camping Trips

Globalization has created a new breed of eclectic traveler. The Popular website Airbnb reports that trips to Havana Cuba have increased by 940% since 2016. A recent article on the Fox News Travel site shows that the number of Americans who go camping is also on an uptick. Those with experience trekking through national parks and forests of the great U.S. wilderness, know the art of pitching tents and boating wild rivers without skipping a beat. Those interested in joining in on what appears to be a rising national trend, however, should probably first get the hang of the following skills.

Cooking

A camp side dinner’s the perfect way to culminate a day of touring the great outdoors with your entourage of fellow adventurers. While there’s all kinds of high-tech cooking equipment you can consider using, nothing beats pan searing fresh trout in a cast iron skillet over a bonfire of dazzling flames. Pick a clearing where there aren’t dangling branches or surrounding brush that’s combustible. Gather stones and arrange them in a u-shaped pattern with a large rock at the center. Try to replicate a hearth. Pile it with layers of kindling on which you’ll cook. There’s an art to it that’s less about obsessing over the latest electric induction stove, and more about living off the fat of the land.

Fishing

Of course, you’ll have energy bars and bags of granola. You won’t forget to bring cans of your favorite beer, but camping’s not camping without going fishing. How lucky you get will have to do with where you cast your hook as much as your technique. There’s a way to finesse and direct a rod once you put bait on it. Reeling your catch out of the water calls for the right timing. You’ll also need to bone up on the best bait to bring. It won’t hurt to arrive with trustworthy fishing equipment and gear such as portable refrigeration to store your catch in.

Handling a Firearm

Bears populate the forests of Alaska, Montana, Ohio, and Wyoming. They’re in Upper Michigan and the woods of New York. Recent statistics have shown that their populations are surging due to wildlife laws that protect them, which is a good thing. Many believe it’s also good to carry a loaded firearm in bear country, however. While most avoid people, some can be aggressive and threatening. Knowing how to accurately load and aim a firearm with a MadKC bolt head will give you the confidence that you’re ready for the worst. Mastering trigger squeeze and aim doesn’t come easy, but there’s nowhere better to hone these skills than out in the outdoors.

Purifying Water

The assumption is that you’ll bring everything you need and won’t run out of basic staples. Still, surprises abound out in nature. Humans can live without eating for a number of days. Having water on hand is always essential. Boil snow or stream water to sterilize it. Add iodine or chlorine in measured amounts. Lakes and ponds are known to contain lots of bacteria. Learn how to select the safest water sources.

Spending recreational time in the great outdoors has been a part of American culture since the 1800’s. It wouldn’t be such an historically popular family pastime if fatal animal attacks or other catastrophes were a regular occurrence. Planning for the unexpected before you begin your trip into the wilderness doesn’t mean you’re embarking on something risky. Your time spent outdoors is more likely to be a rare chance for you and your loved ones to marvel at beautiful sunsets, rare bird calls and go skinny dipping.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakley Facebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

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