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Category: Safety & Survival

Why Are Flash Floods so Dangerous?

Why Are Flash Floods so Dangerous?

The Southwest of the United States experiences a unique season called the monsoon season. Monsoons are usually associated with the tropics as cool ocean air rises when it hits the warmer currents over land. This forms clouds that can drop heavy rains for a long time. The US states of Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Utah and Colorado get the periphery of the Mexico monsoons. And when heavy rains fall suddenly on dry desert ground flash flooding often occurs….

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Reading a Topographic Map – It Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

Reading a Topographic Map – It Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

Maybe you’re already familiar with topographic maps or topo maps for short. Maybe you’ve seen them with all their squiggly little lines and decided that they were too difficult to decipher. Or maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about. No matter which of the above scenario’s describe’s you, this post is going to help you learn, or enhance your own map reading skills. By the time we’re done, you’ll discover that reading a topographic map isn’t all that…

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How to Use a Magnetic Compass – Learn to Navigate Before it’s too Late

How to Use a Magnetic Compass – Learn to Navigate Before it’s too Late

There are so many global positioning systems (GPS) out there from high-accuracy, heavy-duty units that cost thousands all the way down to completely free smartphone applications. In this age of technology, many may wonder, “who needs a compass anyway?” But the truth is that knowing how to use a magnetic compass can still be a very useful skill to have in your quiver. A compass is superior to a GPS unit in many ways. It is small, lightweight, cheap, needs…

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Survival Essentials List – Preparation is the Antidote to Disaster

Survival Essentials List – Preparation is the Antidote to Disaster

Quick Reference Survival Checklist When I set out on a backpacking trip or even a day hike, my mind jumps forward to the views I will see, the interesting things I might find, and the serenity I know I am going to feel from communing with nature. Like most people, thoughts of disaster, plans going awry or getting stranded are far from my mind. Though it isn’t healthy to be constantly thinking of doom and gloom, there is a problem…

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Bear Country Safety – the Truth About Being Bear Aware

Bear Country Safety – the Truth About Being Bear Aware

Many of the most beautiful and popular backpacking locations are in prime bear country. And if you’ve ever visited anywhere like the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem or Yosemite National Park you may have heard things such as, “play dead,” “run downhill,” or “make sure to wear bells on your shoes.” There is so much misinformation about bear country safety that it’s difficult to know what’s fact and what’s fiction. I have heard conflicting advice from two different bear professionals and even…

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Don’t be a Popsicle – How to Stay Warm While Camping

Don’t be a Popsicle – How to Stay Warm While Camping

Cold temperatures can be dangerous. They lead to shivering which saps your energy and even hypothermia and frostbite in extreme cases. As a kid, I participated in a neighborhood youth campout for girls. It was held in June, every year for five days at a time. The setting was a beautiful mountain campground complete with three lakes, endless hiking trails and magnificent starry, night skies. I loved these campouts. But no matter how well I prepared, I found myself facing…

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