The Systems That Bind: An Overview of Snowshoe Bindings

The earliest snowshoes were most likely made from panels of stiffened animal hides or slats of wood. They were probably held on the wearer’s feet by leather thongs or roping made from fibrous plant stems, tied to the foot and ankle to secure their snowshoe.

After thousands of years, the traditional/wooden-framed shoes still use mostly leather strapping and laced foot harnesses to hold onto the wearer’s feet.  Straps have advanced to incorporate ratcheted buckles and basic bindings now also include…READ MORE.

Smith’s Introduces Bushcraft Stainless Steel 4.5-inch Blade at Shot Show

Bushcraft Definition – The skill of living and thriving in the bush. Skills often used in bushcraft include hunting, fishing, building a fire or shelter, or any other survival skill needed to stay safe outdoors. 

Smith’s Bushcraft Knife is a fixed-blade knife designed for bushcraft and hunting. This robust, all-purpose knife is perfect for those needing an effective tool to handle whatever task they choose to tackle. With its ergonomic design and durable construction, this bushcraft knife will quickly become your go-to blade in most outdoor situations. Whether tackling bushcraft projects like building a fire, skinning game, or preparing a shelter, the Smith’s Bushcraft Knife will be an invaluable addition to your outdoor arsenal….READ MORE.

Product Review: ECW N-1B Mukluk Boots

A little over a year ago, I rolled the dice on a completely new kind of boot. On the recommendation of a wilderness survival/winter camping expert I know, I acquired the U.S. military issue Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) N-1B boot, styled after the time-tested mukluk. After a proper break-in period, I can say the gamble has paid off handsomely.  READ MORE.

by Roy Heilman

Change-over to Cold-Weather Camping

Adapting your summer camping gear to the shorter, colder days of autumn can extend your comfort zone well into the shoulder season and help you make the transition into winter camping. Oftentimes it requires no more than increasing the weight/insulating properties of the clothing and gear you already have.

The principles of layering your clothing remains the same, but it needs to be re-assessed in anticipation of the severity of the environment you’ll be camping in. A thicker base layer, one that that wicks away perspiration efficiently will…READ MORE.

by Tom Watson

Camp Blankets…Got Ya Covered

It used to be that a classic piece of camp gear was an old stadium blanket or a well-worn military-style wool blanket. No frills, no special treatments, just an added layer to wrap around a chilled body or provide a bit of extra warmth in or under a sleeping bag.

Today’s classic wool blankets still have that traditional military look and feel to them, (the 100% wool fabric now blended with softer Merino wool and about 30% synthetics). At the other end of the “camp blanket” scale would be the mylar ‘fabric’ survival/emergency blankets most outdoors enthusiasts carry in their field kits. While they can be used as a supplemental heat-retaining wrap around camp, they are mostly used in threatening…READ MORE.

by Tom Watson

First Day Hikes

Looking out the window at blowing gusts of snow while the thermometer reads five below zero, the idea of going for a hike isn’t top of mind. But temperatures are predicted to be back in the 50’s by New Year’s Day. After too many days indoors during the arctic blast, this is a perfect year to participate in a First Day Hike. 

Across the country, parks and recreation organizations, along with local, state and national parks are planning events around hikes on January 1, 2023. Stretching your legs and starting the new year off with physical activity outdoors is a great way to set the pace for the year. Resolutions often include…READ MORE

by Brandon Butler

Winter Backcountry Dangers

Enjoying the backcountry in winter offers both unique recreational experience and cold-weather, life-threatening environments. Hypothermia, Frostbite and Cold Water Immersion/Thin Ice are perhaps the most common conditions regardless of locations across the wintry landscape. There are, however, several other potentially fatal ice/snow scenarios that, while more geographic specific based on the topography of the land, should be of a cautionary concern to winter adventurers as well.

Here are several snow/ice factor situations that demand caution by trekkers venturing across a snow-covered landscape…READ MORE.

by Tom Watson

River Hazards and How To Survive Them

I learned the hard way, why, at certain times of the year – during spring flooding primarily – our local river, the Pomme de Terre, is called the Pomme de TERROR! High spring waters flowing down its narrow, meandering channel clogged with fallen cottonwoods and other debris create ongoing hazards around nearly every bend.

Such it was one afternoon when I found myself in my canoe, forced precariously sideways against a dense network of skeletal-like branches of a downed cottonwood. A narrow opening immediately adjacent to the high cutbank was my only possible escape route if I could free the boat from the powerful force of the swollen current.

While trying to wiggle free with a slight downstream lean, I lost my balance and…READ MORE.

by Tom Watson

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