13 Winter Camping Tips For Every Survivalist

13 Winter Camping Tips For Every Survivalist


Winter camping means having to deal with harsh elements and cold weather. The latter is perhaps the most outstanding feature of the winter camping experience. Cold weather can be a source of great discomfort to many, but for some survivalists, camping in the snow poses an exciting challenge. It is a way to put their skills to the test, especially if you are camping in a blizzard. If you’re well prepared and know what you’re doing, winter camping can help you better understand your capabilities as well as your limits.

Tips For Winter Camping Every Survivalist Must Remember

Even though pitching a tent during winter months is not everyone’s idea of fun, it can still be made enjoyable and comfortable. The important thing is to be prepared as you will be needing more gear than you would while camping in the summer.

There are lots of benefits to be gained from winter camping. Unlike summer camping, there are fewer campers, more space, and cheaper fees. You won’t be bothered by bugs. If you are properly equipped, you will enjoy a restful sleep. The campfire also becomes more enjoyable in the snow. To make the most of your winter camping experience, you need the right gear, the right attitude and these tips that we have collected.

 

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1. Prepare for winter camping

Winter camping requires a lot of preparation for everyone who is planning to embark on this “cool” adventure. Having the right or appropriate gear and clothing alongside mental and physical preparedness can lessen any hassle that winter camping may bring. In the event of a survival situation or when SHTF, how prepared and equipped we are will be one of the deciding factors of our fate. For more details on what to be included in your pack, check here.

2. Go to bed warm

Even if we can get some good insulation from a sleeping bag, sleeping pad or winter camping clothing, it is useless bedding down if you’re already freezing. Winter campers need to do a little bit of jumpin’ jacks before hitting the sack or perform sit-ups or press-ups while you’re in your sleeping bag. Find out more tips to stay warm when winter camping by clicking here.

3. Eat for warmth and energy

If you want to have warmer nights, then your food should adapt to it. Physiologically, our body burns sugar to produce heat for itself and eating warm food can increase its sensation. As we devour hot porridge or a steaming bowl of chicken soup, we become warm thus making us more comfortable. Remember, we need to maintain a certain level of body heat and energy to survive the cold weather. Find out more winter camping recipes here.

4. Pack the snow

Pack down your campsite before you set up your tent. Your body heat can melt the loose snow thus leaving you with uneven flooring to lay or sleep upon. You should also position your tent away from the danger of an avalanche or falling trees. Learn more ways how to set your winter tent here.

5. Stay dry

Whenever you’re winter camping, you need to stay dry at all cost. You will feel the biting cold especially when your layers get wet. Bringing extra clothing is always helpful and will protect you from the harshness of the cold. Staying dry also extends to your gears. Protect your winter camping kit with a waterproof layer or place it inside your tent or shelter.

6. Start fall and winter trips early in the morning

You must always remember that the sun goes down early during the winter season. So starting your trip early in the morning is always better than starting it in later in the day. It will be best to set up your winter tent or find the perfect site before it gets dark.

7. Snow is a variable matter and only rarely is one situation like the next

Before you set your winter tent, you need to pick a flat spot with a lot of trees around it. This will act as a natural windbreaker. Since snow is a variable matter, you need to be aware where you are setting up your tent. Anchor your tent safely and securely.

8. Keep your matches in a metal, not plastic, container

We all know the importance of fire in our daily lives. It helps us cook food and stay warm. If you’re one of those people who loves camping during winter months, it is advisable for winter campers to keep their matches in a metal container instead of a plastic one because it easily breaks when it gets frozen.

9. Put boiling water in your water bottle and sleep with it at your feet

If you want to have a non-frozen water that you can easily drink in the morning then you have to fill your water container with boiling water. Put it in a sock, place it at your feet or keep it inside your sleeping bag to provide extra warmth.

10. Don’t go alone

I know that there are times that you want to go camping alone and away from any distractions. But it is always best and safe if you have someone to accompany you. So in the event of an emergency, help is just around. And always leave a message or a detailed trip plan at home so your loved ones will be informed of your whereabouts.

11. Improve zipper pulls

Zippers are important to winter clothes. They let you put on clothing quickly which is essential especially to those people who are exposed to extreme conditions. Most zippers that are included in jackets are not made for thick mittens or gloves. So you have to use a little ingenuity and improvise by adding a 3-inch lanyard. For more improvisation on a zipper pull, click here.

12. Regulate your temperature on your hike

Regulating your temperature is necessary for a winter hike. You don’t have to get sweaty or chilled, instead, you need to be aware or anticipate the weather coming your way. You have to act upon it before you even experience it. For example, it is better to put on additional layers before reaching the summit or a spot where the temperature is much lower.

13. Don’t cook in the tent

Cooking inside the tent is a recipe for destruction. Not only it can burn your tent but it can also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. You can always choose a spot outside your tent where you can set up a waterproof tarp. If the weather is intolerable, at the very least you can cook inside the vestibule but with sufficient ventilation. Find out more about cooking inside the tent vestibule here.

 

If you want to see more winter camping tips and tricks, then you need to watch this video below! 

The unprepared will have to deal with the cold realities that winter camping might bring. To greatly enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of winter camping, you have to be prepared – and the preparation for this kind of trip needs undivided focus. Having the proper gear and arming yourselves with knowledge about camping in extreme weather conditions will make your wilderness exploration an adventure to remember.

Penny for your thoughts? Tell us what you think about these winter camping tips by dropping your two cents in the comment section below!  

Up Next: Winter Storm Survival: How to Stay Warm and Survive the Cold

Winter Camping | Outdoor Survival : 13 Winter Camping Tips For Every Survivalist

 

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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published in February 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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22 Tips To Stay Safe In A Crowd Or Riot

22 Tips To Stay Safe In A Crowd Or Riot


It is of utmost importance to stay safe whenever you’re stuck in a huge crowd or if a riot breaks out. For instance, with the freedom of speech and expression constantly in effect, people can flood the streets anytime as a form of protest. In able to avoid injuries, here are a few tips on how to stay safe in a crowd or a riot.

22 Ways to Stay Safe in Case of Stampedes or Riot

 

1. Research About the Venue of the Event

This is the best preventive security measure that you should practice. Memorize the entrance and exit points, emergency evacuation protocols, parking areas and other facilities in reference to where you will be sitting.

2. Be Prepared

Why wait until you find yourself in an unlikely situation? It is best to be prepared at all times so that if it does happen you will know what to do. Always remember, prevention is better than cure.

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3. Remain CalmRemain Calm | Tips To Stay Safe In A Crowd Or Riot

For sure your adrenaline will fly right off the roof, but keeping your emotions in check, even if those around are frantic, should be your main priority. It will take tons of effort to remain composed and bring yourself to a safer place but it will surely be worth it.

4. Pay Attention to Your Intuition and Feelings

 If you happen to choose to be in such a crowd, you need to follow your intuition and feelings when it comes to the mood of the crowd.

You’ll definitely feel it when things are going to go south.

5. Move On

As fast as you can, leave the area when protesters start to become unstable. If there’s a need to sprint, do it by all means. You don’t want to get caught up with a huge crowd running at the same time with you.

6. Avoid Confrontation

While looking for a safe exit you should keep your head down.

While you’re at it, chances are you’ll get pushed or hit. Don’t retaliate and just keep on going.

7. Go with the Flow

The objective is to be able to get away from the crowd the fastest way with as little harm as possible. Even if it leads you the opposite way of where you intend to go.

8. Stick to the Edge of the Crowd

It is much safer to stay in this part of the crowd and away from the leaders or agitators. This way, you’ll have walls to cling on and with a bit of luck, you may just come across an alley you can escape to.

9. Always Carry Around a Small Amount of Cash

You’ll never know when you might need it.

Purchase a basic need for survival, arranging for a quick transportation, and paying off looters are the basic examples of when cash might come in handy.

10. Always Have Your Gear on You

Always Have Your Gear on You | Tips To Stay Safe In A Crowd Or Riot

If you really need to leave your house, it’s better to leave packed with a gun, a knife or a tactical pen. If you’re the type who can’t pull the trigger though, a pepper spray may be just for you.

11. Prepare for an Attack

Crowd behavior in a riot is extremely complex. Pulling out a gun or a knife should always be your last resort. However, if it’s a matter of survival, it is vital that you use it to your advantage by creating space as a means to escape. If you fail to do so at exactly the right moment, the results could be fatal.

12. Avoid Bottleneck Areas

These areas where a lot of people will try to squeeze through a small opening. Once chaos strikes it will be a death trap for those caught in it.

13. Avoid Law Enforcement

The common riot police do not know if you’re one of the violent ones. Nor do they care. The farther you are from them, the better it is for you from taking the full impact of their response.

14. Get Upwind or Escape to Higher Ground

Worst case scenario, the riot police throws in tear gas. If this does happen going uphill or a building rooftop is advised since tear gas stays low to the ground.

15. Watch Your Step

With the sea of people around you, it could be easy to trip and fall. You could be trampled amidst the chaos of a stampede or a riot and suffer from fatal injuries. This is something that you would not want to happen.

16. Keep your Loved Ones Close

Your first priority is to stick together. Lock elbows or grip your hands together while moving towards a safe location.

17. Arrange a Meeting Place

Arrange a Meeting Place | Tips To Stay Safe In A Crowd Or Riot

No matter how hard you try to hold on to each other in a heavy crowd, the chances of getting separated are high. That’s why you should agree on a meeting place beforehand.

18. Avoid Heavily Congested Areas

If you happen to break away from a crowd, chances are you might come across other groups of rioters.

19. Detering Pickpockets

Bring only what you need.Women should have their purse run along the front of their bodies with one hand on it. Men should have wallets or cell phones in their front pockets.

20. Blend In

Make sure that you don’t stand out in the crowd. Otherwise, you might as well paint a bulls-eye sign on your back. One way to do that is to wear muted colors.

21. Don’t run from the Crowd

Just act like them until you find an opportunity to slowly break away once you get to the outer-most part of the mob.

22. Seek Shelter

Securing oneself in a self-contained building, or one with a basement can be a good move to steer clear of the full force of a riot.

Always remember that a crowd of protesters can kickoff in a peaceful manner.However, the longer it continues it will definitely attract a variety of participants.  As the numbers continue to rise, emotions will run high. Thus, the greater the chances of a full-scale riot.

 

Watch this video by DrBones NurseAmy to get more tips on how to stay safe during protest or riot:

If you happen to be caught in the middle of a civil unrest or a sea of people in an event, make sure that you apply these tips for staying safe in a crowd or riot. Chances are, you and your loved ones may get out of it. Maybe not unscathed, but alive and breathing.

Have you been stuck in this predicament before? Share your experience in the comments below!

Up Next: 26 Badass Camping Hacks For Your Next Trip

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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5 Surprising Self-Defense Tips To Crush Attackers

5 Surprising Self-Defense Tips To Crush Attackers


Nobody is completely attack-proof, but you sure as hell can try to be by learning some self-defense tips. You may not be a concealed carrier or karate kid, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be knowledgeable about unconventional self-defense. These self-defense tips can give you a solid foundation to build on. Although the traditional way of doing this is always great, we love that folks are getting creative on how to defend themselves nowadays.

Most Unconventional Self-Defense Tips and Items

 

1. Self Defense Kitty

This may look harmless at first, but its pointy ears will leave a deep wound on the unsuspecting assailant. They’re now made with an ultra-tough plastic material that is very hard to break, which is exactly what you need if you ever have to use this device. It’s so portable you can keep it in your pocket all the time. Better, you may want to give another pair to a family member or a special someone since it doesn’t look threatening and is somehow fashionable. While you’re at it, try to give them a short self-defense class using this item.

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2. Pen-Knife Combo

Whoever tries to break into your office will never see this one coming. What’s more, you can even put it in your coat or whatever you’re wearing, and the perpetrators will never suspect a thing. Just be mindful of its nature when you’re carrying it as you don’t want to inflict self-harm. Also, check out the Tactical Pen perfect for defending yourself while keeping your weapon concealed.

3. Let Your Hair Down

Let Your Hair Down | Surprising Self Defense Tips To Crush Attackers

And I don’t mean relax. I mean it literally. Whether you’re a lady or a guy, your ponytail or braid is an easy way for someone to grab you from behind. If you’re able, put your hair down until you arrive at your destination. If you want to take no chances, a nice haircut might be the easiest resolution.

4. The Gentleman’s Technique

Up for some self-defense moves? Sure, these may seem like a joke, but these self-defense techniques will surely come in handy. You’ll never know when you’ll find yourself in this kind of situation, so a little bit of self-defense training won’t hurt.

5. The Lady’s Technique

Ladies, it’s time to invest in a good pair of heels, but not just any pair of heels. This lethal pair of shoes is perhaps the last an assaulter will suspect and that carelessness will lead to their undoing. They might be in for a world of pain before they realize it, so use it without having second thoughts. Check out these heels that have both protection and fashion-forward taste. Plus, this may blend well with a pepper spray.

 

Craving for more self-defense tips? Check out this video by 5-Minute Crafts and learn new tricks that may someday save your life:

Remember, no matter who you are or what situation you find yourself in, there’s always an option for self-defense. If there’s a will, there’s a way, and self-defense might be the epitome of that saying. You’ll always find yourself at a disadvantage, so you better not lose any hope and continue to get past the obstacles in front of you. With this helpful equipment and advice listed above at your disposal, you may be able to save others and also your own life.

What self-defense tips mentioned above do you like the most? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Up Next: 7 Self Defense Video Techniques You Need To Know

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 18, 2014 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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Ultimate Survival Tips: How to Use Empty Pill Bottles

Ultimate Survival Tips: How to Use Empty Pill Bottles


Ultimate survival tips are nothing if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal. This ultimate survival guide will unveil every item you can make out of an empty pill bottle.

Ultimate Survival Tips: 9 Uses for an Empty Pill Bottle

 

1. Survival Kit

You can put anything you want in your survival kit as long as it fits without damaging any other components. The bigger your pill bottle, the more stuff you can put in your survival kit. While it’s not a full-fledged bug-out bag, what you put in your pill bottle can help you in emergencies. Remember, knowledge is your ultimate survival tool – everything else is just helpful!

As shown above, the list of items for this particular pill bottle survival kit includes:

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  1. Pill Bottle
  2. Matches
  3. Birthday Candles
  4. Fire Straws
  5. Button
  6. Mini Red Finger Flashlight
  7. Index Card
  8. Safety Pins
  9. Dental Floss
  10. Neosporin Straws
  11. Tweezers
  12. Ibuprofen
  13. Allergy Medication
  14. Cotton Balls
  15. Alcohol Wipes
  16. Band-aids
  17. Money
  18. Aluminum Foil

Further details and instructions can be found here.

2. First Aid Kit

Here, we’re going to zoom in on medicines you must add to your pill bottle. You can’t afford to go out with a fresh wound since it will likely get infected. Also, bring needle and thread in case you get a deep cut. Stack it with the following items:

  • Alcohol prep pad
  • Iodine prep pad
  • Non-aspirin pain relievers
  • Aleve
  • Alka-Seltzer

3. Sewing Kit

These decorated pill bottles can turn your never-ending search for a particular crafting item into short work. This survival guide should help you make a well-rounded sewing kit.

4. Waterproof Money Container

Regardless how precarious the situation is, you will always need to take some money with you. Unless it’s a zombie apocalypse or something even worse, be sure you have some dry money with you.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • A pill bottle
  • E-6000 glue
  • Goo Gone
  • A nylon cord
  • A drill or a large screw

Click here for the full tutorial.

5. Hide-A-Key

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A pill bottle has the perfect shape and size for hiding a spare key. To help it blend a little more, glue a rock on top of the bottle. Bury the bottle in a hidden spot with the rock showing to help you find the bottle when you need to retrieve it. Click here to read more.

6. Ammo Storage

Keep your ammo in a pill bottle to prevent it from getting wet. This will also keep it together in one place rather than loose in your pocket or jingling around at the bottom of your BOB. Read more here.

7. Battery Storage

Place batteries inside for cool, dry storage and easy access when needed. It’s always a plus to have an alternative source of energy outside your solar-powered equipment.

8. Seed Collecting and Storage

An empty pill bottle makes a good seed storage. Survivalists store different seed variants in case there’s a shortage in their food supply. For starters, here are the easiest vegetables to grow:

  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Pumpkins
  • Squash

9. Pill Bottle Fire Starter

This is a fun and easy project to do with your kids. It’s also a useful survival skill. This item is also a great alternative if other fire-starting methods aren’t available. Click here for the tutorial.

 

Watch this video by kipkay to learn how to make the most affordable pill bottle survival kit:

This item may not appeal as a necessity in survival situation before, but it sure does now. Its portability and versatility make it a great addition to your inventory. Be sure to keep an eye on some empty pill bottles at home as they may come in handy in the future.

Do you know other ultimate survival tips? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Up Next: 50 Survival Tips From Pop Culture!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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30 Money-Saving Stockpiling TIps

30 Money-Saving Stockpiling TIps


Want to be the BEST prepared
for the WORST to come? Click here to sign up NOW! We'll even throw in a FREE survival tool! (just pay s&h)

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for the WORST to come? Click here to sign up NOW! We'll even throw in a FREE survival tool! (just pay s&h)

One common factor among preppers is their stockpile. It is their way of preparing for the day of the apocalypse and making sure that they would have all that they need for months or years to come when it happens. Stockpiling is a fun way to store items with long shelf lives by the bulk. It’s actually an art where preppers would buy items in bulk at very low prices.

The amount of satisfaction is immeasurable when they realize how much money they saved by doing so.

Of course, purchasing items at bulk is not really light on the wallet. Especially when it’s something that you don’t need at the moment.  It requires strict budgeting and practical thinking. Otherwise, you might end up sacrificing your current needs.

Not to worry though because you have come to the right place. Here’s a list of money-saving stockpiling tips that you can follow to ease the pressure.

1. Start Small

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Aside from the regular weekly grocery budget, you can add a few more bucks for the goods that you need to stockpile on.

2. Figure Out How Much of Each Item to Stockpile

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An ideal stockpile should last you at least 3 to 6 months.

Segregate the fast moving items from the slow-moving ones. One way to to do this is by writing down the date at the bottom of an item upon opening. When empty, just check the date and you’ll know how long it lasted.

3. Stockpile on Items that You and Your Family Enjoy

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This is pretty basic, otherwise, the rest of the goods will just be put to waste.

You might as well be giving your money away…if that’s always the case.

4. Assess your Families Staple Food Consumption

This is how you narrow down on the items based on the previous tip.

The grocery receipts will show your list to the frequently bought non-perishables such as canned goods and dried staples.

5. Make a Master List

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After the previous tip, list down all the products that you and your household members use all the time.

Start with the groceries. This way it will help you refrain from indulging on “good deals” and just down to the basics.  The best method is to cut down on the average expenditure on the products on the list.

6. Know Your Stock Up Price

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It may sound ridiculous but without knowing the realistic stock up price of the items on your list, you’ll never know if you were actually saving money.

7. Avoid Impulsive Buying

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It was noted that families spend a few thousand dollars on spur-of-the-moment buying.

Other than following the list and sticking to the budget, always use cash as much as possible. That would mean your credit card should be left home.

8. Start Using Coupons

30-money-saving-stockpiling-tips-8

Clipping, organizing and matching coupons to sales may be time-consuming.

However, when done with due diligence it can save your 60- 75% off your average grocery bill.

9. Know What Breed of Couponer You Are

30-money-saving-stockpiling-tips-9

There are three main types of couponer:

  • The Casual Couponer
  • The Skilled Couponer
  • The Extreme Couponer

This way you know which breed saves the most.

10. Try Different Brands

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Even if you may be loyal to a certain brand, you will have to match your coupons to a brand on sale. You will be surprised at how the brands you are currently using aren’t any better than the ones on sale.

11. Set Aside a Specific Amount or Budget on Building your Stockpile

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You can actually start your stockpile even on a tight budget.

You can start by setting aside a specific amount solely intended for it on a monthly basis.

12. Start with $5.00 a Week

You’ll be amazed at how you can fill your pantry by spending $5.00 a week on a specific  item.

This article can show you a list of 18 items that you can rotate to make sure you don’t run out. And this is without the use of coupons!

13. Watch for Sales on Basic Staples During Holidays

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With just $10.00 a month, you can save a lot with basic pantry staples such as dried pasta and beans. The key is to look out for sales on these items during Labor Day, the 4th of  July or other holidays.

14. Use Storage Jars

To avoid losing your stockpile to mice and bugs you should store them in glass storage jars as much as possible.

15. Keep Your Stockpile Organized

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First, you need to know where to put it. Next, you need to know which items you have and don’t have. That way you don’t get to spend unnecessarily on items that you already have in stock.

16. First In First Out

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Organize your stocks based on the expiration date labeled on the item.

This way you don’t waste any product because since it’s in the rotation based on the expiration date.

17. Stock up on Powdered Milk

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This product has a shelf life of up to 10 years if stored properly. Commercial powdered milk can have a shelf life of up to 10 years.  Imagine the savings when buying this in bulk.

18. Stock up on Rice

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This product has a very long shelf life if stored properly. You can actually extend its storage value by placing it in buckets or canisters. Plus it’s super cheap.

19. Store Non-Perishable Food Items

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Food items such as brown rice, canned Alaskan wild salmon, bulk nuts, and wild beans are just some of the items that are considered as best survival foods that have great packaging and can last very long.

20. Economize by Buying in Bulk

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Comparing prices among stores is a good way to find out which ones have the lowest prices. Usually, warehouses, cooperatives, and buying clubs are the ones that offer great prices. By buying them in bulk you sometimes get a discount.

21. Purchase the Bulk of Your Food Supply from a Reputable Dealer

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Reputable dealers usually have their products in good packaging and containers to ensure quality sealing. That way it will bring you more bang for your buck.

22. Don’t Go Overboard

As tempting as it may be to buy a bulk load of products, you need to control that urge.

Stores usually put the same items on sale on an 8 to 12-week cycle. So, you just need to purchase that amount for the same number of weeks depending on your usage.  By the time you run out it’ll be on sale again.

23. Use the Buddy System

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Partnering with bulk purchases can save you a lot of money by splitting the purchases.

24. Shop from your Pantry

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Plan your menu based on what you have in your stockpile.  Then just replace what you used in order for it not to run out.

25. Grow Your Own Food

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If you have available space or piece of land, why not start your own garden?

26. Purchase a Food Dehydrator

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A quality product like this allows you to store healthy or perishable foods for a longer period of time.

27. Invest in a Freezer

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This will help you store freezable items that will also create variety in your daily  meal preparation.

Additionally, you can extend the storage life of your perishable items.

28. Buy an Exact Amount of Ammo for Every Gun You Own

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Being able to determine which gun should have more ammo than the rest is a good way to determine how much you need to buy every few weeks.

Other than being able to use it for hunting game, it can also be used for defense.

29. Don’t let Naysayers Bother You

As long as you follow all the tips aforementioned and you don’t waste any of the items you purchased, then it isn’t a disorder. It’s just smart.

30. Know When to Stop

Knowing when to stop stocking up on a certain item or as a whole is a vital part of stockpiling. Learning how to say no to a certain deal or sale is equally important.

Of course, there may be one or more factors to consider in order to come up with this decision.

As long as you follow the tips mentioned above you will surely be able to save a few bucks on a daily basis. Before you know it, you will have saved a thousand dollars in a year on your grocery bill.

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Preparing for a hiking adventure

8 Fitness Tips for the 50+ Explorer


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Preparing for a hiking adventure

“Am I too out-of-shape for an adventure trip?” It’s the number-one question we’re asked by so many travellers inquiring about our trips.

It’s the nagging worry that especially keeps 50+ adventurers from taking the plunge on the vacation of their dreams – and that’s a shame, because anyone who loves the outdoors is a good candidate for an adventure tour.

Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to prepare before your trip to make it more enjoyable. A little investment in your overall fitness before you go pays big dividends in terms of what you can accomplish out on the trail.

That doesn’t mean you have to join the gym or punish yourself with a triathlon-level training regimen. There are a lot of common sense steps you can start right now to get yourself ready for the adventure of a lifetime. So if you’re a 50+ adventurer and wondering where to start, try these eight fitness tips to give yourself the confidence to achieve your personal goals.

 

1. Give yourself time to prepare.

Preparing for a Hiking Adventure: 8 Fitness Tips for the 50+ Explorer

In general, it can take your body from three weeks to three months to really see a significant improvement in your fitness level and to respond to a change in routine. So if you’ve already booked your trip, you’d best get started now!

 

2. Focus on your cardiovascular fitness.

Preparing for a Hiking Adventure: 8 Fitness Tips for the 50+ Explorer

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week for people 50+ with at least 30-minute sessions at a time.

The best aerobic activities for mature athletes are swimming, cycling, brisk walking or jogging—all of which are great preparation for an adventure like exploring Peru and Machu Picchu.

Even if you can’t get outdoors or make it to the gym, there are lots of great cardio exercises you can do at home to get your heart pumping. Jumping jacks, half-jacks, squats, leg raises, hops, and even plank-jacks are great bodyweight exercises that require no special equipment or skill.

If you’re doing a hiking adventure (like Mt. Everest perhaps), high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is particularly beneficial because it improves both aerobic and anaerobic fitness and prepares your body for the bursts of strength you’ll need on your climb.

HIIT sounds more complicated than it really is – it’s simply adding a short period of more strenuous exertion into your daily walking, jogging, swimming, or biking routine. For example, if you take a 45-minute brisk walk, try to jog for 30 to 60 seconds every 5 to 10 minutes of your walk. Same if you swim or bike – add a few sprints during your usual routine.

A note of caution for you mountain adventurers: Even if you’re in pretty good shape, it’s important not to push yourself too hard at higher altitudes. Exertion is a key driver of altitude sickness.

 

3. Focus on leg strength.

Preparing for a Hiking Adventure: 8 Fitness Tips for the 50+ Explorer

Strength training is generally a good idea for athletes of all ages, but for hikers, leg strength is essential for an enjoyable experience. Your legs are doing the bulk of the work, after all.

Lunges, squats, and calf-raises are all good exercises you can do at home. Try slowly stepping on and off a step or exercise platform, gradually increasing the height as you progress.

Setting your treadmill at a higher incline is also great preparation – or just walking up a few hills on your evening stroll.

 

4. You need a strong back to carry your pack.

Preparing for a Hiking Adventure: 8 Fitness Tips for the 50+ Explorer

Your adventure pack and a few bottles of water are a portable gym to help you get in shape just about anywhere. Strap on your pack and practice “step ups”. This will really get your calves and back ready for the weight you’ll be carrying on a hike! Walking up and down the stairs with your pack is also great training.

Push-ups and planking with a loaded pack build up essential muscles in your core, shoulders, and upper body that you’ll need on longer hikes. Here are some good exercises you can do with your pack to strengthen your back.

 

5. Don’t neglect your core.

Preparing for a Hiking Adventure: 8 Fitness Tips for the 50+ Explorer

Your core muscles are your abdominal muscles, back muscles, and the muscles in your pelvis and they give you balance and flexibility – and underpin just about every other physical activity you’ll do on an active adventure.

Crunches, bridges, and planks are some of the best exercises to build a strong core. You can tune up your core by sitting on an exercise ball while you read or watch TV at night; step up your core fitness game with these stability ball exercises.

 

6. Keep it balanced.

Preparing for a Hiking Adventure: 8 Fitness Tips for the 50+ Explorer

This sounds too simple to mention, but a few minutes spent improving your balance can prevent injuries on your trip and give you more stability when you climb. Walking heel-to-toe with your arms out at your side and your eyes looking straight ahead is an easy and effective balance exercise. So is simply standing on one foot for 30-60 seconds at a time (longer if you can manage) before switching to the other foot.

Here’s a great video with some easy exercises to improve your static and dynamic balance (and you’ll need both on the trail).

 

7. Don’t forget the practice hikes.

Preparing for a Hiking Adventure: 8 Fitness Tips for the 50+ Explorer

Now’s the time to put all those exercises to work for you with a few practice hikes. Look for places with variable terrain and elevation so you can get the feel for how your body responds to the stresses – and areas where you may want to improve.

Remember to wear your pack and toss in a few water bottles, adding more as you progress, so you get used to handling your body with a weighted pack.

The practice hikes are essential for one more extremely important reason: You’ll get a chance to break in your boots – or buy a new pair if the ones you have aren’t supporting you correctly. There’s nothing worse than hitting the trail with a pair of painful, poorly fitting boots.

Remember that new boots rarely feel great right out of the box. The lighter models may break in with just a few hikes, but some of the sturdier leather ones may take weeks to really conform to your feet. Keep that in mind if you’re considering a new pair of hikers before your trip.

 

8. Mental preparation is important, too.

Preparing for a Hiking Adventure: 8 Fitness Tips for the 50+ Explorer

Fear is the enemy when it comes to trying something new. Combat it with physical preparation – knowing you’re doing positive things to get your body ready for the trip.

Focus on the “why,” the personal benefit you hope to attain by completing an adventure: “I want to hike the Inca Trail because I will _______________________.” Keep that benefit firmly in mind when you’re feeling discouraged, both in your preparations and on the trail.

Finally, visualize success. See yourself standing on the vast Tibetan Plateau or hiking Grey Glacier in Patagonia. Seeing success is the first step toward achieving it.

Don’t be afraid of a little self-doubt – it happens to everyone, even the most well-prepared. But you can combat it by knowing why you’re taking an adventure tour in the first place and what success looks like to you.

Of course, a really knowledgeable and supportive trip leader can make all the difference, too.

 

Final thoughts…

You don’t have to be in the best shape of your life to have a memorable and successful adventure tour. But it helps to give yourself confidence with a little preparation before you go.

Just remember – no matter how you feel when you leave, you’ll return renewed, refreshed, and alive with a sense of accomplishment.

If you’re ready to take the next step and start planning your own active adventure, why not contact us today to talk about your travel goals?

And if you’re not ready to have a conversation, but want to know more about adventure vacations and how to plan and prepare for them, sign up for our free email course today.

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