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  1. Yesterday
  2. Michael aka Mac

    Gear Questions

    Dove, I am curious if you had gone on your trip yet and curious how it was.. I am also going to link for you three of my other posts on this website I also wanted to clarify something to our readers. I do enjoy M.R.E.'s and have used them for years, but for Campsite Camping, Car Camping, and at home. For decades now, I always stash M.R.E.'s in my SUV for emergency situations. Backpack Camping on the other hand, the only things I have ever brought with me that came from a M.R.E. are the condiment packs ( Tabasco, salt, pepper, moist towelette, sugar, jelly, peanut butter ), a MRE h
  3. Michael aka Mac

    What is Minimalist Camping?

    You have probably heard people talk about Minimalist Camping and are right now wondering what does that entail. Well the fact is the answer to that depends on who you ask. On my adventures both here across the USA and abroad in Europe & Mexico, I have spoken to a variety of minimalist campers. The only thing that they all shared in common was the desire to carry less weight and gear, and to have the ability to pack up and bug out as fast as possible. Minimalist Camping is by definition camping while carrying less weight/gear. What one brings with them on the other hand will vary fr
  4. Within the Last week
  5. Michael aka Mac

    Backpack Gear list for Camping / Outdoor Survival

    Backpack Camping Gear List Tent & tent stakes Sleeping bag Self-inflating mattress pad or just a sleeping pad (get insulated R value 5 versions for winter camping) Stove ( fuel sources: canister, liquid fuel, fuel tabs, alcohol stove, propane, wood burning, kerosene, white gas, or gasoline stove types) Mess Kit & cookware ( this varies with the type of stove you have and type of cooking i.e. cooking dehydrated foods vs. stewing foods) Items to bring for making fire: Waterproof matches, Bic Lighter, Ferro Rod & striker, Magnesium Fire Starter,
  6. I was reading the Trailgroove magazine Gear Mash review of the Six Moon Designs Base Silver Shadow Ultralight Umbrella and wanted to put my own two cents in. In order for a hiker or camper to bring an umbrella with them on a trip, it has to be ultralightweight, durable, free of conductible material (Lightning Storms), Windproof, extremely collapsible and packable, and it must reflect the sun. These necessities for us campers give Umbrella makers a hard task, especially when considering being not only ultralight, but durable at the same time. In my opinion though, the Six Mo
  7. Michael aka Mac

    biggest mistake you made in the outdoors?

    The idiotic things one does to impress a girl... It was approximately 25 years ago, and I was on a hiking trip with my girlfriend at Hunter Mountain, in the Catskills. Many years prior to this trip I was a regular there, but with all the years away I had seemed to forgotten a lot of the area. Trying to find a more scenic view, and more private location, I decided to take her off trail. This mistake created a domino like effect which lead to one problematic situation after another. Eventually I made the worst mistake of all, and trying to save time I lowered her down a section that
  8. Alright Guys, it was me that posted originally & as you guys are still responding, I thought I would! I ended up buying an Outdoor Research Foray & have been really impressed with it. The pit zips & controlling the temperature seems to be critical to these jackets working & this one completely opens up dumping the hot sweaty air out. Ive actually just washed it (tech wash) & reproofed it (nikwax) & it's as good as new. I'm sure that there are better options but for the cash, i'm pretty happy with this.
  9. Another thing you could invest in is a POWER BANK and in a Portable Solar Panel and Rechargeable Batteries and Charger. A Power Bank is a rechargeable battery that can power or charge your electronic gear. When used with a Portable Solar Panel, one can trickle charge their power bank. Adding rechargeable batteries and charger to this setup allows you to charge the batteries either using the Power Bank or the Solar Panel or both.
  10. Michael aka Mac

    My 1st gear list, looking for input

    It is too bad Reflex that your link is no longer available for others to see. the term "Camping" has different meanings depending on the person you ask. How much gear one needs is also relative. An expert survivalist needs only the clothing on their back, everything else they can make, create, procure, or deduce. They can make a knife, then use that knife to make a bow and drill to make fire, and now with fire they can make gear by being able to temper the wood to make it harder like for a Bow and Arrow, or they can crate gear from using the coals from the fire onto wood to make
  11. One never can predict when the SHTF on your hiking and camping adventures. Maybe you are on a day hike and an act of God development takes place. Whether you are caught in pouring rain, night time came faster then you predicted, or for some reason you are forced to stay the night, it helps to have a little survival knowledge on hand. A majority of the time an unexpected night out in the wilderness can be gruesome for those not prepared, but the best survivor tool there is happens to be knowledge. I have seen tons of so called "Survival Experts", outdoor survival online streamers, and TV
  12. For the average person, making a fire consists of a Bic lighter or a pack of matches. The main problem with these 2 being your primary fire starting source is that eventually you run out of matches or fuel, or they have some sort of mechanical problem ( matches get wet, lighter flint wears out or falls out, striker dislodges) The Boy Scouts and the military share a lot in common, one of which is packing redundancies. There are a lot of different weather conditions that can create difficulties in starting a fire. I would like to introduce to you a few alternative fire starti
  13. Michael aka Mac

    Tip: Staying Warm

    I absolutely love winter camping, and the beauty of the forest and mountains covered with snow is simply breathtaking. It does not come without dangers though. Safety comes 1st. What you do not want to happen is to have your winter camping trip turn into a survival situation. I always instruct those attempting winter camping to inform 3 people (that are reliable) of where you are going, when you are leaving, what route, path , or trail you are taking, how long you are going to be gone for, where you are parking your vehicle, and whom to call if something happens to you. I will r
  14. balzaccom

    Alex, 18, helpless newbie -- pleased to meet you!

    Hi Alex I'm not really a summit seeker, so I've never hiked from the coast to the highest point anywhere, except for a few smaller islands. I did drop out of school and go to live in Spain, where I lived for nearly five years. I arrived with a very rough version of Spanish, a couple hundred dollars in my pocket and a return airplane ticket to the USA....but ended up working and living there. That had a far larger impact on my than my years at university. And my Spanish is now pretty darn good. I have hiked in the Andes, but only for about a week at a time. Would love to do more
  15. Scodischarge

    Alex, 18, helpless newbie -- pleased to meet you!

    Thank you to both of you for your further suggestions and inquiries. Again, my apologies for staying away from the thread for so long; I know it's not good form, but life has unexpectedly gotten a lot busier on my end. Plus, it turns out notifications from this forum have been marked "spam" by my email client. The more you know... Far from it. I know people who quit their jobs later in life to travel. Others managed to make travel and their job work in parallel (like your teacher acquaintance). So I know that this plan is possible later in life, too, in principle -- but I have no idea wh
  16. Michael aka Mac

    Hydration advice

    This post is intended for future readers and not the original person that started this thread. I am not a huge fan of Murphy's Law, but somehow it seems to always apply to me. Why do you carry a cell phone with you on your hike? Why would you carry a rain jacket with you? Why do you carry your insurance card with you in your wallet or purse? You never know when the SHTF is going to happen, and being prepared is good practice. Lets say during your hike you are injured with only 1 bottle of water or none at all. Does anyone know that you are on a hike? Do they know which path you to
  17. jay

    Anyone been to Kaibab National Forest?

    I stand corrected. thanks for the info, Hope you are doing well!
  18. Michael aka Mac

    Illegal Camping

    So camping someplace you are not suppose to can result in $250 fine and land you in jail for 15 + days, depending on your location. It is trespassing plain and simple. Now I am not saying that I have never camped illegally, but doing so was out of pure necessity, and not intention. For example, when I arrived in Switzerland, being totally exhausted, and unable to rent a room for a few hours, I took out my hammock and slept for a couple of hours at woody area until the hotels were accepting guests for check ins. In all honesty, there is so many free places one can camp legally that t
  19. Michael aka Mac

    Wool Allergy or sensitivity

    Here is an old hunters trick my grandfather taught me. Put on ladies silk stocking (sock version) and then the sock liner or wool sock to eliminate some of the irritation. ounce per ounce silk is a great insulator, and wicks moisture too. Silk is also resistant to mold and fungus. For those guys out there giving dirty looks, my Gramps was ex military, a professional trucker/mover, a hunter, and probably one of the most manly macho no BS men I have ever met and one tough SoB. so bite your tongue and try it to see if it helps your feet.
  20. correction that should read "A 9 volt battery has inside of it 6 1.5 V batteries...
  21. Michael aka Mac

    Build Your Own Trail Chili

    Aaron you actually inspired me to post my Buffalo Chili recipe here in Trailgroove. Been a chili fan my entire life, more so when I moved to Texas, and fact when i was in 2nd grade when asked to bring a recipe to school, I brought in my biological mothers Chili recipe, least so how i thought it was made, looking back at the recipe now, I think 2 cups of salt was a tad too much for the recipe lol
  22. Michael aka Mac

    Packing Dehydrated or Freeze-dried Foods

    Oh, and regarding how long does dehydrated food last when not in a vacuum sealed bag, well that depends on several factors: Temperature its stored at, humidity, when cooked relative to its expiration date, and whether the food was fully/properly dehydrated, and type of food being dehydrated ( fish tends to last less then beef, and shell fish even less so) Having empty trays for example when dehydrating certain foods can prevent the food from dehydrating at proper temperature allowing the formation of bacteria on the food.
  23. Michael aka Mac

    Packing Dehydrated or Freeze-dried Foods

    This is one of those circumstances where having both your ex of 28 years and your step mother ( who is also a former health inspector) , both being Nutritionists, to be particularly beneficial. The problem with not having your dehydrated food in vacuum sealed packaging is oxygen and moisture. The combination of these two is what leads to food spoiling, and becoming unsafe for consumption. If you are only eating dehydrated veggies and fruit that is one thing, but when it comes to meat, fish, dairy, and egg infused meals, this can be hazardous. Have you ever tried to procure w
  24. Earlier
  25. ppine

    Anyone been to Kaibab National Forest?

    The North Rim is higher than the South Rim. It is relatively cool and damp compared to the rest of Arizona. A National Forest is a not a park. You may be able to find some water tanks built for cattle. Use a water filter to treat the water. There are summer thunderstorms. It a beautiful place and the fall is perfect but cold at night.
  26. In serious rain day after day you are going to get wet. If you use waterproof type rain wear then you will get wet from the inside in your own sweat. There are many remedies. All will work, sort of. I used to work in the bush a lot, coastal Alaska, the Rockies with summer thunderstorms. In warmer weather I gave up on rain gear. I wore Filsons in Alaska. In the mountains in summer, I would bring a plastic garbage bag for a vest and just wear a fleece or wool garment under it.
  27. Michael aka Mac


    Ka-Bar BK2 Scharade T Tops Mil Spie 3
  28. Our phones, GPS, flashlights, headlamps, radios, MP3 players, Mattress air pumps, LED lanterns, etc. all have one thing in common, they use batteries. One of the most annoying parts of camping is when one of your key pieces of gear runs out of batteries and your trip to the local store you discover they are out of the battery type you need. Many people are not aware that in situations like these, there are innovations out there they can temporarily fix this problem. AA batteries: Your device is dead and the store is out of AA batteries so what now? AAA batteries can be converted to
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