Enjoying The Outdoors…At Home

I love camping and enjoy so many outdoor activities. Often if you don’t hear from me for a few days, I’m off on a hike, or biking on different trails. I love rock climbing and kayaking. But I also like to just relax outdoors at home too (though not toooo often).

When I am home, here are the ways I relax.

OUTDOOR AMBIANCE

I love a good fire. When I first bought my home, I made a fire pit out of bricks and sand. This was a great, cheap way to add a backyard gathering place.

I still have this in my yard. But when I got my deck, I wanted another gathering place. So now I also have a iron chiminea on my deck on top of a desk protector pad so it doesn’t ruin my deck.

So I recommend a fire pit or a chiminea to anyone who is looking to add some outdoor ambiance.

OUTDOOR SEATING

Many have conventional wood Adirondack chairs. But there are some new polywood versions that are AMAZING. They last and won’t get chewed up by squirrels. I’m so excited to use them this summer.

GRILL AND SMOKER

WHen I’m home and entertaining, I love grilling and smoking meats for my guests. What’s a cook out without grilled meat! I rely on my Weber grill paired with my igrill meat thermometer (igrill 2 is my choice).

I like my meat medium rare but many of my friends only eat well done meat. So this ensures everyone is happy.

COMFORT

When I’m out hiking, camping, etc, I don’t mind “roughing it”. But when I’m home I want to be comfortable. That’s why I had both fans and patio heaters in my yard.

My patio heater has wheels so I’m able to wheel it into my garage when the weather gets nicer.

Then when it gets hot – like 90 degrees hot – I take out my large power fans. These are the types that football teams keep on the sidelines. They’re amazing and really keep us cool in those hot summer days.

I also have many sun shades. After losing a few patio umbrellas to wind and hail storms, I decided to go a different route. Sun shades are the BOMB.

I have three shades positioned in my yard (yes it’s a large yard) and they offer some really nice areas to relax.

Living Wisely Off the Land

Planet Earth is Bountiful and Filled with Opportunities

Many people are choosing to live off the grid or live off the land. The world that we live in is fast and it is filled with technology that seems to keep changing. If you are looking for a different lifestyle and are considering living off the land or camping, you will benefit from many having many valuable skills. These skills will include the following:

  • survival know-how
  • problem-solving skills
  • self motivation
  • a can-do attitude
  • self reliance

There are so many ways to wisely live off the land and take advantage of the many opportunities that are sure to come your way. Natural living offers many advantages to the average person or family. A natural lifestyle will not burden the environment and Mother Nature has much to offer to the prepared and able. Thriving is, typically, the outcome and goal for those who opt to dive in and experience something other than a rat race.

Defining this Lifestyle in a Simple Way

You may be wondering what living off the land is really about. Surviving by the resources is a good way to sum it up simply. This may include hunting for your food. It can also include harvesting power with the use of natural sources. This would be the wind or the sun. Some people call this lifestyle “homesteading.” It can be permanent camping too. Those people who have, already, opted to live in this manner believe that self-sufficiency has many rewards to offer.

Surviving and Enjoying Ever Minute

Living off the land is also known as unplugging from the outside or real world. Setting up your own space in a quieter world will require a few valuable items. You will need access to the following:

Shelter

Of course, you will need to stay safe from the elements. Shelter can come in many shapes and sizes. You will need a reliable roof t cover your head and it will need to be equipped with cold-weather gear if you live in this type of climate. You will need to add a form of security to keep wild animals and intruders out of your shelter.

Food for Energy

Wilderness living will have you on a pursuit for food. Leaving the typical way of life may turn you into a hunter-gatherer. Creativity and food will go hand-in-hand.

Water

Off-grid living will require you to find a way to obtain your own water. Catching rain water is one way. You can dig your own well and use wind or solar power to supply you. Water is a golden resource when you live off the land.

Many people enjoy every minute of this lifestyle because it is challenging and offers freedom.

Putting a Plan in Place

Once you have your shelter, food and water ready and in place, go ahead and get started on your new life endeavor. Be sure to use your survival skills and find ways to entertain yourself too.

Top Three Things to Remember When Camping and Enjoying the Outdoors

Camping is a lot of fun but if you don’t know how to handle the outdoors and don’t understand certain things about them you aren’t going to be able to enjoy it to the fullest extent. You always need to be prepared when you head into the wild and attempt to live off the land for any period of time as the outdoors can be dangerous. I like to remember when going camping that I am a guest to the wild and I need to respect it as so. The top three things I recommend you to remember when going camping or pursuing an outdoor activity is to always be aware of your surroundings, pick up after yourself and always tell somebody where you are going.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

The first rule of camping is to always remain alert. There are animals and other creatures that are in their natural habitat and you as the camper are a guest so you need to remember that and always stay alert in case something is off. Not only wildlife, but nature itself can be dangerous if not treated properly or if you are unaware of your surroundings. Most accidents and unplanned events occur when someone is not paying attention and that is why it is important that you stay alert and are always prepared for the unexpected. Part of staying alert included being knowledgeable of the outdoors and keeping yourself educated on the are you plan on staying.

Leave No Trace Behind

The next thing to remember when camping and enjoying the outdoors is to always pick up after yourself. It can be easy to accidentally leave something behind or in the absence of a trash receptacle litter in the woods, but as a human being with common sense we know this is not only distasteful but simply unacceptable. Remember to bring with you a trash bag or somewhere to keep the trash that way you or anybody else you may be traveling with aren’t tempted to litter or leave trash behind.

Make Sure People Know Where You Are

Finally, my advice to you if your planning on camping or conquering the outdoors for any other reason is to always tell somebody else where you are going. This proves to be especially important for hikers because it is much easier than you think to get lost while hiking in unknown territory. No matter how many times you hiked there before or camped there before the woods are a scary and unusual place for a person to be and the last thing you want is to be lost in the woods where nobody knows you even went. With cell phones and other electronics today it is much less prevalent to get lost in the woods however, there are a lot of places in the wild that do not have cell service at all therefore leaving you unreachable by all means.

So please, if your planning to camp outside or live off of the land for any period of time take heed to these friendly reminders as they could save your life and make your trip much more enjoyable.

Wild America – A Continuous Process of Change

Living off the land is such a big part of American culture, the tales of the Wild West. And heroes such as David Bowie and Lewis & Clark are central pieces of the American folklore along the manifest destiny and expansion Westward.

In the heartland states one can’t imagine these activities ever going away, recreational fishing for example is a $115 billion industry and Americans purchase more guns than almost any other country in the world, with a large chunk of them going to hunters. Not only that but there are still significant pockets of the country where people get much of their food from from fishing and hunting.

The big question is whether the continual shift of the population to the urban areas and net decline in rural population will decrease the popularity of outdoor activities. There are some indicators that hunting is not very popular with younger Americans. We know this because the number of hunting permits has been consistently declining every year. And this is especially true in the northeastern states like Massachusetts.

On the other hand, some large retailers such as REI are hugely popular and they cater exclusively to people who are interested in outdoor activities. They continually launch a large variety of high-end gear for activities like camping, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

It seems that many of these outdoor activities are simply evolving from their origins of people truly living off the land to more and more of a recreational activity where people are getting out of their urban environment and going into these extreme rural isolated areas and trying to survive for days weeks etc.

So there has certainly been a decline in the original true living off the land in the post-war era, but a parallel increase in extreme sports and extreme activities which are enabled by some newer technologies but also have developed a massive following due to people cooped up in urban areas year round wanting to push themselves when they finally get to nature.

One troubling aspect though in all of this is the divide between rich and poor. Originally one would imagine a poor person camping out in the woods for days and weeks as a cheap form of entertainment and a great way to get some free food and they could store all their camping, hiking gear in their spacious rural homes.

However, nowadays the urban poor have almost no ability to access this form of activity as the gear alone would be beyond their yearly income and they certainly have very limited space to store these items year round. On the other hand, the rich have no shortage of funds to buy more and more new gadgets and accessories and can certainly afford to find space to store their toys year round.

However, a bright spot in all of this can be that the emptying out of the rural countryside has potentially given a reprieve to the environment many more areas can become truly wild with the potential giving room for species like the wolf or the bear to make a comeback and bring the ecosystem back into balance, but for thrill seekers and those willing to live off the land a more true experience of how wilderness is supposed to be.

Survival of the Fittest: An Inside Look At How To Survive Outdoors

The digital age has caused a lot of people to stop thinking about survival. People are too attached to being online that a lot of them do not know what it takes to survive outdoors.

Surviving outdoors takes a lot of strength and courage. You will have to learn to survive without your phones, your computer, and other electronic devices you are attached to.

Surviving the outdoors is very similar to living in New York. New York will weed out the survivors from the non-survivors. It is where most people cut their teeth, so to speak.

“Living in New York will teach you to survive anywhere.”

I have a few survival skills you need to master before you venture into the great outdoors.

1) The outdoors is going to test you in ways you never thought were possible. The outdoors will throw situations at you to see if you use your head or not. The last thing you want is to be reactionary. A calm head and a logical view is the best-kept secret for the great outdoors.

You need a master plan, even if you are camping for the weekend. You need to develop a rough and tough sort of attitude. True grit will set you apart from the non-survivors.

2) Some areas get hotter than others. It depends on where you venture off to. You will need to find shade once it starts getting hot. Did you know that by digging a few inches under the ground the soil is cooler?

You will need to have two shelters. You will need an insulated shelter to keep in the hot and cold air when needed. You will also need a shade shelter. That is to protect you against the extreme heat.

3) You will need to stay hydrated. A lot of people are used to the type of hydration they do after a workout. This is so much more than your average workout. You will need to keep an ample supply of clean water with you.

You can drink rainwater. You just catch and bottle the water as it comes down. Store it away for a while and then you can drink.

Some of you may see snow in different parts of the world. Wait for it to melt and bottle it. You can drink it after it sits for a while. You may have to accelerate the melting process. You can either chop the ice up, let the sun melt it for you, or you can use your body heat to do the work.

4) You will need to learn how to build a fire. You will probably use it at least once on your journey of living outdoors. You also need to know how to tie various types of knots. You will need them. Look up how to online before you go if you do not know how to make them.

How I Got Into Camping

I have always enjoyed camping and nature. When I was growing up my family would go camping many times throughout the summer months. I never wanted those camping moments to end.

As I got closer to graduating from high school, my parents kept steering me in the direction of obtaining a college degree. I eventually graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree. I used my college degree for years, but I felt like my life was meant for something else. I wanted nature beneath my feet instead of a world of cement, stress, and seeing who can out do the next person.

I eventually left my job where cement was beneath my feet for most of the day. I decided I wanted to be camping and living off the land, where I could be happy and at peace. I already had all the camping gear I needed to survive, like a tent, sleeping bag, solar powered lanterns, and fishing equipment.

Before I left the brick and mortar world totally behind me, I did some research about the best areas to camp and live off the land. I knew when I wanted to live off the land I would need somewhere I could fish and hunt for meat. I also looked up the different plants in nature a person could eat to survive.

When I researched different places to set up camp, I wanted to make sure it was a place I would be able to stay for an extended amount of time without causing any problems. It would have to be in the woods which were not owned by a private individual, unless I specifically knew that person. If the land was state or federally owned, I had to make sure camping for extended periods was allowed.

I eventually found a perfect place I could set up my camp for several months. There was a river close by where I could take out one of my fishing kayaks. There were rabbits and squirrels in the woods I could trap for meat. I knew I would be able to get fresh meat to eat whenever I needed it.

In the woods I found to camp I found raspberry bushes, leaks, ginger root, and other wild growing edible plants. I would be able to eat fresh food from the land when the different plants were in season. I could eat them like they were or make soups and teas out of them. I would always have a good enough variety of nature food to survive.

Besides my camping and fishing gear, I made sure I had one pan and one skillet. A pan and a skillet would be essential to cook the food which needed to be cooked. Even though the plant food I could eat without cooking it, the fish and wild game would need to be cooked before I ate it.

Camping and living off the land is not perfect for everyone, but it is the right way to live for me. It is peaceful. My mind and body feel better living off the land.