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Tricks of the Trade

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  • Tricks of the Trade

    Hey all,

    I was cruising around the forums and noticed that there’s lots of “gems” in every thread with little tips and “tricks” of the trade, so to speak. I thought it would be fun to start a thread to compile some of these tips and tricks.

    There’s some things that everyone who reads here should already know, like keep your feet dry, always bring rain gear, keep your head warm in the winter, etc. Let’s try to focus on more of the “unconventional” tips and tricks that not everyone knows.

    To get it started off, I’ll throw in a few I’ve learned.

    Cold Weather Tricks
    1. If it drops below freezing overnight while camping, bury your water bottle (up to the lid) in snow or the ground. It won’t freeze.

    2. A single tea candle inside a relatively closed winter shelter can provide a surprising amount of heat.

    3. Gaitors are highly underrated. You can buy military surplus pairs for a few dollars and with a water proofing spray will keep snow and wetness out of your boots.

    Hot Weather Tricks
    1. To stay cool on a hot day, soak a thin cotton bandana in cool water and wear on your head (under your regular hat if you want), as the water evaporates it’ll keep your head (and the vast amount of blood flowing through it) cool.

    2. If it’s really hot, wear a thin cotton undershirt. As you sweat, it’ll absorb it and will have the same effect as the bandana for keeping your core body temp in check.

    3. Soak your canteen cover in cold water. As it evaporates it’ll cool the water in your canteen.

    4. To dry your boots faster, prop them upside down on sticks to dry overnight.

    General tricks
    1. Rat traps make for cheap, simple, yet effective small game traps. You can catch chipmunks, squirrels, rats (of course), and even small opossums. A good little food getter to add to the BOB.

    2. 550 paracord has 7 strands inside. Take off the shell and you have ample line to make snares, fishing line, dental floss (a little tight I’ll admit), thread, whatever you want. I know a guy who likes paracord so much, he replaced all his shoelaces with it!

    3. With so many uses, every kit should include contractor garbage bags—instant shelter, instant poncho, bear bag, sleeping bag liner when your bag is soaked, solar shower bag (just got this from a recent thread). With two contractor bags you can make an instant sleeping bag. Between the two bags, stuff leaves, grass clippings, or crumpled newspaper for insulation.

    That’s all I can think of for now. Let’s hear yours!

  • #2
    Those are great, Centurion! :)

    What is a "contractor garbage bag"?
    "If Howdy Doody runs against him, I'm voting for the puppet." - SkyOwl's Wife, 2012

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    • #3
      He is reffering to large Heavy Duty garbage bags. Great stuff to have. Cost more, but are way more durable.

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      • #4
        Get the Good bags

        Get the Lowes Contractor Bags or Home Depot I guess... I know from experience the ones from Walmart aren't as good as Lowes.

        Nice post Centurion
        Waitnc

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        • #5
          Waitnc, you are right on the money the large heavy strength bags can be used for so many purposes.

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          • #6
            I have 3 of the "Lowes" contractor bags in each of the three "BOB" bags the two of us have under development. I have pics of most everything but, still haven't found the right backpack to carry the 60-70 lbs of goods. I think my final "BOB" will be more like 80 lbs. I will try to keep the wife's down to 60 or less. The third is just for extra, maybe a family member that needs it? I've gone thru several packs but they just didn't have all I want from a pack, so I returned them. Does anyone have any places/direction to find a good pack in the $100 +/- a few dollars.
            Our plan is for both of us to return to the residence and then do a analysis of the situation and then go or stay put. So the plan calls for us to have vehicle reg. size packs with walking shoes, water, foods and a few clothing items. These limited packs are equipped with a 4" blade and a small cal. handgun as well. We also, will be adding 30 mile range personal communications that are or will be EMP protected. (hopefully)
            I was busting my butt yesterday working on my k10 1981 4x4. This week will make it completely mechanically sound. Next comes the cosmetic work just in case it doesn't need to be abused in any BOB situation.
            Waitnc

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            • #7
              Bread sacks over your feet inside your boots keep feet dry. Also keep some gun cleaning rags inside a ziplock bag, need to keep your gun dry. Laminate your maps.
              G.I.H.S.O. Going In Hot, Safety Off.

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              • #8
                550 Cord actually has 14, not 7 strands. Each of the 7 strands are really two strands twisted together.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by waitnc View Post
                  Does anyone have any places/direction to find a good pack in the $100 +/- a few dollars.
                  Go to the Gear section and read ALL the posts by Mags especially the one about BOBs. He's got bunches of great gear. IIRC he posts links to most of his stuff.
                  As Zombie Axe would say...
                  "Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty."

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                  • #10
                    A few thoughts on a typical BOB:
                    Once you have it packed, pick it up and shake it. Shake it several times for two purposes. One is to see what falls out and to secure it so that it won’t when you are on the march. Second reason is to listen for noise. You should not hear anything. Lose pots and pans rattling around as you try to move through the country allows the squirrels to have a tactical advantage over you. Next a good BOB has a quick release on the shoulder strap that allows you to take it off in a hurry when it’s time to become Mr. Stealthy. It’s impossible to be mobile and agile when you are logging around 80lbs on your back, drop the weight, take care of the task at hand then continue with the mission.

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                    • #11
                      if you want to carry crackers in your bob and don't want them crunched up, slip the pack of crackers down in a pringles potatoe chip tube. Just fits and keeps them from getting crushed so easily.
                      Mike

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                      • #12
                        When you bury your canteens or water bottles bury them upside down in the snow. Snow is a good insulator keeping your water from freezing but if it should, the ice will be at the bottom then and not in the neck or nozzle. Even with some freezing you'll still be able to drink.

                        Replacing boot laces with 550 cord is time honored.

                        Your "shake, rattle and roll" test is always a good idea. It lends itself to my pet-peeve of people that have kit hanging off all over their packs. Either people don't know how to pack, or didn't get the correct sized pack for their needs in the first place. To me they are the same folks that get caught in the elements with no rain or cold weather clothing. "Mission drives your gear." The thought of diddly-boopin' down the trail with shit swinging all over my pack makes my head explode.
                        Last edited by Mags; 08-24-2009, 05:39 PM.
                        Well, for me, the action is the juice.....I'm in.

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                        • #13
                          Well said Mags, i couldn’t agree with you more. If people are sloppy with their packs then they are sloppy with everything else like, their guns (never cleaning them and wondering why it does not go bang). All in all these people really are good to keep around for tasks, like checking to see if a bear is in the cave, or trying out a new berry they just discovered to see if it is edible to eat or the usual, testing the muddy drinking water for taste. Unfortunately nature is not that forgiving to fools.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Centurion View Post
                            Well said Mags, i couldn’t agree with you more. If people are sloppy with their packs then they are sloppy with everything else like, their guns (never cleaning them and wondering why it does not go bang). All in all these people really are good to keep around for tasks, like checking to see if a bear is in the cave, or trying out a new berry they just discovered to see if it is edible to eat or the usual, testing the muddy drinking water for taste. Unfortunately nature is not that forgiving to fools.

                            They are also good to have around for peeing on an electric fence to see if it is still hot!?

                            Use the waterproof match containers for any small item you may need. These conatainers can help fill small unused space.
                            Last edited by Lil Bear; 08-24-2009, 11:44 PM. Reason: adding context

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                            • #15
                              Somebody add something to this thread. I do not want to be the one to kill it.

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