1001 Tips/tricks of the trade to make life easier

Making things, reuse tips and tricks of all sorts.

New postby Ebbtide on Thu 02 Jun 2005 05:18

119. A frozen meal will act as ice for a nonfrozen meal and that will postpone freezedried for two meals.
Example: Frozen chile keeps the keilbasa & eggs cold. Those are the first 2 dinners. First the K&E, then the chile.
Or the frozen meal will act as ice in your cooler...then the chile would be the last night's meal :D

120. Break your eggs into a jar/nagalene and you won't have them break somewhere else.
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New postby James on Thu 02 Jun 2005 11:13

121. Biking, mountaineering, bring some dextrose or fructose or sugar, even for a small travel, because if you feel tired and the world goes white (hypoglycemia), it is what you need to be able to return.

122. You can survive a few days without water and a few weeks without food. A small Dehydratation brings an immediate drop of intellectual and physical performances. So water is the priority to any trip.
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New postby SgtMike88Ret on Thu 02 Jun 2005 19:48

123. Know you're headed out on a hot day? The night before, fill your nalgene bottles 1/2 - 2/3rds full and freeze overnight. Fill the remaining volume to capacity with fresh water just before you leave and you'll have plenty of cold water for at least 4 - 6 hours.

M
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New postby Estela216 on Thu 02 Jun 2005 20:44

O.K. we got a little off track with the numbers here, this should be the correct number now.

129. When canoeing/kayaking don't carry fixed blades on lanyards attached to your body (a la pistol lanyards). In the river, they can come back and slice you.

130. Always! Always! Always! Remember gear can be replaced, people cannot.

131. Lexan dishes make great frisbees.

132. When washing expensive waterproof/breathable jackets, fleece, or parkas, bring them to commercial laundromats with greater capacity instead of cramming your jacket into your residential washer. You are less likely to damage it this way.

133. Carry about 15' of 1" webbing with you and you can tie a great harness to use in an emergency. It is more comfortable than body belaying with rope.

134. If you forget a brillo pad, bring your stainless pans to a creek and mix in some sand or silt. Works great but keep it away from teflon finishes.

135. Take a hint from Asian culture, remove handles from metal mugs. This way you will not be unaware of the temperature of the beverage you are drinking.
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New postby Estela216 on Thu 02 Jun 2005 20:46

sorry, double post
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New postby rifle on Fri 03 Jun 2005 03:22

136. The APS (oval) type film canisters hold 2 of the lithium batteries for Surefire flashlights. Get them free at any photo shop.
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New postby SgtMike88Ret on Fri 03 Jun 2005 12:24

137. When packing a BOB or packing for a camp, use a blanket bag to provide some extra weather protection for clothing items.

138. When packing clothing items as per the above, throw a couple cedar balls or blocks into the bag to keep the clothing smelling "natural."

139. A handy Zippo refill can be stored in a cleaned and dryed mini Tabasco sauce bottle from USGI MRE's.

M
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New postby Estela216 on Fri 03 Jun 2005 13:12

140. Throw a tennis ball in the dryer with your lofty clothing items or sleeping bags. It will help to puff them up.

141. Garlic packs well in the field and makes mouths happy.

142. Carry your squeeze L.E.D. flashlight on the lanyard for your mini-mag, surefire, or scorpion light. Use the L.E.D. when less light is required and have a brighter source on hand at a moments notice.

143. Take a hint from scuba divers, zip ties are a great way to attach gear to shoulder straps of packs.

144. If you want a cheap and quick boost of energy in the field or in the city, suck on a tea bag.

145. Native Americans would put a small pebble under their tongue to stave off thirst, this works, I've tried it.

146. Snow is a great insulator as long as conditions are dry. A waterbottle stuck in the snow will not freeze (usually) and snow caves are warmer than tents when done right.

147. Velcro sandals will come undone in the water over time. use small O rings (gonzo rings as Teva calls them) on your sandals and they will stay on regardless time spent wet.

148. Pull your kayak or canoe far up on shore when camping out. A sudden rain storm or high tide can wash it away while you sleep if it isn't tied down.

149. Keep kayaks and canoes stored off of their hulls and upside down. Warm weather and sunlight can warp the bottom and change the boat's handling characteristics.

150. Having a hard time getting into your wetsuit or dry top? Put plastic bags on your feet and your hands while slipping it.

151. Black and silver sharpie markers are great to take on group outings. They will help differentiate your gear if you are worried about losing it.

152. Park your car facing East while camping in the cold, the early sunlight will warm the engine block and decrease the chance of the engine not starting.

153. Closed foam mattresses work best year round but are a bit warm in the summer. Open foam (i.e. thermarest) are great in the summer but a no no in the winter.

154. Eat something very fatty before you sleep, the extra fat will require your body to metabolize more and keep you warm while you sleep.

155. Always! Always! Always! let someone know where you are going.

156. When traveling, leave the "tactical" knives at home and carry the ubiquitous Swiss Army knife. You will never be questioned about why you are carrying such a "cute" tool.

157. When traveling, pack a door stop. If your hotel, hostel, motel or room does not have a sturdy door lock, the door stop can provide you extra security and time to escape if necessary.

158. Swap out your sewing thread in your kit for dental floss. It is much stronger and can be used in more ways than standard thread.

159. Be eco friendly and pack only biodegradeable soap. The other stuff is too strong if you travel in delicate areas.

160. Be careful with neck lanyards. They can choke you and must be able to break away under tension.
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New postby rifle on Sat 04 Jun 2005 02:58

161. When travelling, carry extra foam earplugs. They come in handy if flying on small planes or if your buddy is a snorer.

162. 5 minute epoxy is good to have for expedient repairs.
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New postby Estela216 on Sun 05 Jun 2005 12:19

For those who pack some iron in the field.

163. If you carry a revolver, have shot shells handy for snakes and some bonded ammo for bigger game. It is o.k. to alternate chambers but more practical to have the bonded ammo in all and the shotshells in speed strips or reloaders.

164. Know the difference between a holster for the field and one for carrying concealed. The field holster is more practical for the field since it covers more of the pistol (i.e. Military/Bianchi UM84.) Carry what is most appropriate.

165. Don't carry a handgun without a good flashlight, you should always be able to recognize what you are shooting at.

166. Stainless/blued/matte, they will all rust at some point. Any firearm can be taken care of and last a lifetime.

167. Tether your firearm if you are around water. You don't want to swim for it or have to call the authorities to report a lost weapon.

168. Unload your rifle/shotgun while bouldering/crossing fences/climbing and especially while traveling in vehicles or walking on roads.

169. Never use lock-tite on firearm screws.

170. Keep your optics ding free with a homemade neoprene/foam scope cover. Weighs next to nothing and it is easy to piece together.
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New postby Estela216 on Sun 05 Jun 2005 12:32

I just got back from an overnight for the Relay for Life and helped some of my students be little devils. Here are some tips to help you play practical jokes on your camp buddies. Careful using some of these and use with extreme caution.

171. Bring cable ties and cable tie a tent door shut.

172. Collapse tents by unhooking poles in the middle of the night.

173. Remove the rainfly on a tent and peer in with high powered flashlights. Always a crowd pleaser.

174. Bring some fishing line and string it around ankle level in strategic places.

175. Relace your buddies boots starting from the top and work your way down to the toes.

176. If you have brownies, roll it into a nasty looking cigar shape, put it in your friend's boot and blame it on a wandering animal needing a toilet.

177. If camping out under the stars, extreme wake up calls are always annoying (extreme = whistle blowing.)

178. EAT BEANS! Enough said!

179. In the middle of the night, wake up and leave camp. Hide somewhere you can see camp and watch as your party wonders where you are. Let them know when you think they have wondered/worried enough.

180. Use the dark carbon around your camp cookware and see how much of your buddies face you can paint while he/she sleeps. This one is easier to do if they are dead tired, slightly intoxicated or a really sound sleeper. Very funny to see their reaction when they wake up and wonder what the hell happened.


There have to be some serious practical jokers here. Lets hear some more. Bring this thread into a new direction.
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New postby bushwacker bob on Sun 05 Jun 2005 12:43

I aint ever going camping with you!
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New postby Bootlegger0173 on Sun 05 Jun 2005 15:52

Howdy, just got here. Will probably come up with a few more later, but for now, let me just say that when seasoning by the campfire, Cayanne pepper doesn't show up well at all by green LED. Can make for some hot food.

Bootlegger.
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New postby Mike Stewart on Sun 05 Jun 2005 17:35

Bootlegger,

Very very happy to see you here.

Mike........................ :D
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New postby Ebbtide on Sun 05 Jun 2005 19:28

134 A. Another substitute for brillo is some crumbled up aluminum foil. It can even be used since you'll soap and water the pot after you remove the sticky gunk.

My practical joke?
A semi-realistic snake, skunk, or other critter.
Tie mono to the critter, the other end to an outer zipper pull. Measure this so that the critter is more or less out of sight.
When the zipper gets pulled open, the critter moves into the sight line.
Great for late night bathroom trips and early morning wake ups :twisted:
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Welcome aboard!

New postby SgtMike88Ret on Sun 05 Jun 2005 22:29

Keith,

Thanks for stopping in...

M :survival:
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New postby sencaus on Mon 06 Jun 2005 07:35

135. Rests of cigars or cigerets randomly throwed around will keep the snakes away from your camp-place.
I've heard that half-burned cotton cloths also works, so I'll check it ASAP.

Greetings, ..... Senad
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New postby James on Mon 06 Jun 2005 10:26

Rests of cigars or cigerets randomly throwed around will keep the snakes away from your camp-place.


And most life, including humans :-)
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New postby bushwacker bob on Fri 10 Jun 2005 19:44

ssj wrote:118. Lighter and smaller is almost always better than heavier and larger.

Applies to women and kit! :wink:
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New postby James on Sat 11 Jun 2005 06:22

that's a point, and women can say the same for men :-)
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New postby bushwacker bob on Sat 11 Jun 2005 23:38

#138 a pair of cotton socks,one inside the other makes a good emergency milbank bag (primary water filter) to remove detritus from murky water.
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New postby SBRaider on Mon 13 Jun 2005 22:29

I think the numbers are messed up.....I counted tips from the number in sequence and then started here. Hope I got it right.

184 Bug netting can be used as a water filter to get the major gunk out before the final treatment. Don't use it if you have bug spray on it.

185 Put a laminated business card with your name and phone number on your pack, sleeping bag, tent, and assorted gear bags in case it gets lost. Someone may be nice and try to return lost items.
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New postby randjack on Tue 14 Jun 2005 04:43

Stainless steel leader/ crimping sleaves. Packs really flat & small, and very versatile.
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New postby sencaus on Tue 14 Jun 2005 08:07

SBRaider,

you are right, the counting is damned difficult job. After that Ebbtide posted his #134A, I continued with #135 and screwed the math. BTW, welcome to the Outdoor Magazine Forum!

#187: Make your skinning job easier
by blowing the air into the animal.

Make a little cut into the inner side of the back leg, push a twigle between the skin and meat all the way to the animal's buck and blow the air in it. You can use a peace of wooden tube for that, but not necessary. Then, rub the animal with both hands to push the air under the front and back part of the skin. The air will make the most of job for you.
I hope that you have got a point. It's much easier to make than describe this.

Greetings from the border, ..... Senad
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New postby Ebbtide on Tue 14 Jun 2005 19:51

Sorry 'bout that chief :oops:
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New postby bushwacker bob on Tue 14 Jun 2005 21:33

#188 As an alternative to bannock make Roman bread.Whole wheat flour mixed with some beer makes an exellent yeasted bread.
#189 always carry a knife and fire starting device on your belt or in your trouser (pants) pocket.If you loose your pack and /or kit you still have the essentials with you.
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New postby warrior on Wed 15 Jun 2005 18:17

#190 Reflective tape from 3M and others has nearly as many uses as duct tape. Wrap a band around the end of a [well known torch brand name, censured for bad commercial practices] for a makeshift signaling baton near roadways. Mark tools that need to be close to hand at night. Small pieces can be put on gear to keep a group together at night. Don't forget to put some on the back of one's hat so the fellow behind you can follow. Mark trails, etc.
#191 A sock half filled with activated charcoal (fish aquarium filter charcoal) can be used to reduce odors in clothes. Just toss in the bag with them. The charcoal is also available to strain water or in case of poisoning.
#192 An army BDU jacket minus the sleeves makes a quick vest with four big pockets, others can be added.
#193 Develop the habit of carrying the tools you actually use in the exact same place every time out. When the need arises you can place your hand directly on it.
#194 Immediately at the end of your trip empty your kit and identify what items were actually used, which ones were not, what needs repaired or replaced. Be ruthless in eliminating what you do not really need or use. Do not repack until all items needing it have been repaired or replaced.
#195 Be careful consuming wild fruit ghathered near roadways agricultural, even in silvicutural (managed forestry) areas, the use of herbcides has increased.
#196 TP is worth it's weight in gold, stash it everywhere. Have every member of the party be responsible for there own. If your camping with me I am automatically out of TP if asked. :twisted:
#198 ASSUME NOTHING, carry it with you rather than expect it to be there.
#199 When traveling at night use a red lens on flashlights it does not disrupt your night vision and doesn't spook game.
#200 .22 rimfire (not magnums) cartridges can be used for fire
starter. The lead bullet can be pulled with one's teeth if need be and the powder poured out to be used for fire starter. Other cartridges can be used but pliers are needed to remove the bullet and risk of accidental discharge is increased.

Okay I got it to 200 someone take it from here.
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New postby SBRaider on Thu 16 Jun 2005 02:24

201 Excess "candies" from Altoids tins used in making PSK's can be wrapped in colored tissue paper, tied with a ribbon and used as gifts. I'm not fond of the candies and hated wasting them, so I found ways to use them as I only wanted the tins. LOL
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New postby randjack on Thu 16 Jun 2005 13:50

warrior wrote:#200 .22 rimfire (not magnums) cartridges can be used for fire
starter. The lead bullet can be pulled with one's teeth if need be and the powder poured out to be used for fire starter. Other cartridges can be used but pliers are needed to remove the bullet and risk of accidental discharge is increased.


#202: Bullets can be removed from center fire cartridge, or any others with a crimp, by lodging the bullet in the muzzle of the weapon and working the case back & forth until loose. Yeah, it probably violates 397 basic principles of safety, not to mention being hard on the rifling, but emergency is emergency.
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New postby warrior on Fri 17 Jun 2005 04:53

Suprised I haven't seen this one. Have no persnal experience with this but repeating army training.
#203 When crossing ice of unknown thickness carry a long stout pole. It can be used to distribute your weight across the ice in the event of a fall through the ice.
#204 In areas where finding water is a concern learn the vegation native to the area. Some species, most notably willow, grows adjacent to water.
#205 This should be a no brainer, batteries go dead. Learn to use and be proficent with compass and map. You would be suprised the number of people I see in the woods that never learned to use a compass and rely solely on batteries.
#206 In snake country do not step over fallen logs. Step on top so that you can see the other side. Snakes might be laying on the other side or under the log. In the same vein be aware at all times where you place your feet and hands.
#207 In the continental US "leaves of three leave it be" (poison ivy/oak). If you can identify it jewelweed sap applied to the rash is a curative.
#208 Sassafras leaves chewed to a pulp and applied to mosquito bites brings relief.
#209 Instead of the flimsy mylar space blanket carry an extra large industrial trash bag (bin liner). In use you place the bag over the head with an opening in one corner just large enough for the face to be exposed. The remainder is tucked under the person (sitting). Some of these bags are available in bright colors. The thick plastic holds in heat and the black ones absorb the suns heat.
#210 When you will be returning by the same way you entered stop from time to time turn around and memorize what the view will be on your return trip. This is most useful if done at important points such as turns or forks in the trail.
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