Beginners guide to hand drill firemaking

Posted by El DiPablo | 7:00 AM |

Although my preferred method of making a fire when out in the wild is using a ferro rod, knowing how to make a fire using primitive methods can save your life it you find yourself in a survival situation without any tools (Because you didn't prepare ahead of time).

This video shows a step-by-step guide to making fire with the hand drill, meant for people who have never done it before. Please leave your own tips and tricks, favorite materials, etc. in the comments. For this video, the instructor is using common mullein for the spindle and box elder for the hearth board. He also described another combination -- Jerusalem Artichoke and White Pine.

I realize that at this time of year in the United States we aren't thinking about mosquitoes too much. I mean it is winter time and they aren't out. Still though, spring and summer are just around the corner and that means we'll be venturing out into the wild a bit more and when we get out there we will be met with those blood sucking bastards!

Most of us spray ourselves with some form of DEET spray to ward off mosquitoes, but I've found something that seems to work much better. I've still had mosquitoes bite me no matter if I've been sprayed or not, and there are tons of people who are allergic to DEET.

If you are looking for a DEET alternative, or just a better alternative insect repellent then I recommend getting an insect repelling bracelet! Ever since I've started to wear one I've noticed a significant drop in bug bites for myself and my kids.

Most bracelets last up to 200 hours, which is about 8 full days. Many come with resealable packages to make that time last a bit longer. Either way, these are pretty affordable, and you can get a pack of 10 for about $8.00.

If you live in an area with a significantly larger mosquito population, then I've heard that wearing one on your wrist, and one on your opposite ankle will usually still be more effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay than an insect repellent spray.

When mosquito season comes to your town, I suggest giving these a try instead of using the spray.

Have you used these before? Did they work for you? Let us know in the comments.

I'm a big fan of television survival shows. In a lot of these show they bring some gear that one might find in that particular scenario. One thing they always bring though is a knife. In fact, there is only one episode of Dual Survival that I remember Cody Lundin didn't have his neck lanyard knife, and that was when he was in his home state of Arizona and he demonstrated making primitive stone tools.

So it makes me wonder, if you are smart enough to bring your knife, why not bring at the very least one or two more things to help you survive? I've listed previously my four items I think you should always have when trekking in the wilderness. If at the very least you only want to bring a knife, then why not bring a knife like Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Survival knife? I have one and I love it!

My Bear Grylls knife with homemade paracord lanyard
The reason I say to take Bear's knife (Whether you like Bear Grylls or not) is that it also comes with a ferro rod, which means that if you find yourself in a survival situation, at least you can get a fire going without having to resort to rubbing sticks together!

I've also added some paracord as a lanyard to my knife so I have some cordage with me as well as ways to make snares or traps. Just having my Bear Grylls knife I have three of the four things I always recommend taking with you in the woods.

So, if you're going to bring a knife why not bring a Bear Grylls knife (Or something similar)? Doing that will make your life much easier.

What is Geocaching?

Posted by El DiPablo | 7:00 AM |

One of the things I like to do in my spare time is Geocaching. It is basically a high-tech game where people hide a container with a log in it, then upload the GPS coordinates for that container to, then people like me go out and try to find those containers using a GPS device or a smart phone.

The containers can range from the size of a button to a giant Tupperware container. A lot are stored in old army ammo cans. The bigger ones not only contain a log book, but also "swag" items like little toys that kids can trade, or trackable items like Geocoins or Travel bugs.

Once you start Geocaching you find that they are literally hidden everywhere. If you are at your favorite neighborhood coffee shop, pull out your smart phone with your Geocaching app and I bet there are a few right down the block! The best ones in my opinion require some hiking, but that's because I like to hike!

If you want to see Geocaching in action, the game is featured in a 2009 movie called Splinterheads!

Here is a preview:

Anyway, you get the idea right? It's actually pretty fun to do and gives you a great excuse to get outdoors and enjoy some nature!