Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter Fun in Wisconsin


A quiet white blanket has settled over Wisconsin. The snow is here! What's there to do? Snow offers a variety of fun activities and many ways to see and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Here's three ways to enjoy the frigid Wisconsin winter!

  • Cross Country Skiing - This is a great way to see the beautiful winter landscape. Cross country skiing trail criss cross the state, so get out and enjoy them! For beginners, cross country skiing might be a bit challenging, but one can easily get the hang of it. Here's a list of Cross Country Ski Trails in WI.

  • Snowshoeing - Snowshoeing is beginning to make a comeback as a winter sport. Shoeshoeing is as silent a "silent sport" you can find. It's a great way to get out and see wildlife. In Wisconsin snowshoeing trails are limited, but there are many wild places to explore in Wisconsin. One beauty about snow shoeing is that you don't even need a trail! Just find a pact of land and explore! Here's a list of Shoeshoeing Trails in WI.

  • Snowmobiling - Here's a way to combine speed, the outdoors, and snow, all into one package! Snowmobiling is one of the most popular winter sports in Wisconsin, but you do need a snowmobile - which can be pricey. If you really want a snowmobile start looking in the spring and summer. This is when the best deals come about. Here's a list of Snowmobiling Trails in WI.

Don't be afraid to get out and try something new! Wear some warm clothes, take a camera, and who knows where you might end up!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Water Purification - Livesaver Bottle

Water Water Everywhere And Not A Drop to Drink!

Water is crucial for survival. The average person can only last 3-5 days without water. What would you do if you ran out of water in the wilderness? How can you have peace of mind?

Now there is the Lifesaver bottle. The bottle is specifically designed to filter the nastiest water on the planet. You can practically make mud safe to drink!

What are the features of the Lifesaver bottle?

  • Activated Carbon Filter - This eliminates chemical residues, sewage, medical resides, lead, copper, sulphur, and chlorine.
  • Fail Safe Technology - As the filter begins to near the end of its life the pumping mechanism tightens up. This prevents unsafe water from being consumed.
  • Pre-Filter Disc/Scavenging Sponge - The bottle comes with a pre-filter disc to screen out large object such as leaves, gravel, and sticks. This can also be used as a sponge to soak up that hard to reach water.

For More Information:
Here is a super interesting video that shows the LifeSaver bottle in action! You won't believe it until you see it! For more information about the LifeSaver bottle visit


Monday, December 6, 2010

Using the Outdoors to Make a Difference

Interview With Luke

This blog post features an interview with Luke Tanis. Luke is actively involved with a Christian camp in Wisconsin. He talks about how the outdoors can be used to influence and encourage kids to grow in their relationship with God.

What do you find yourself doing the most during the summer?
Most summers I work at Camp Chetek in northern Wisconsin. Specifically outside a lot of the time doing either running activities or being a part of the numerous activities available.

What is your main job at Camp Chetek?
My main job for 3 summers was photographer. I got to photograph all the "awesomeness" of camp each week. Last summer I was a counselor so I got to be with the kids all week and do all the activities with them.

The blob
What type of activities do the kids enjoy doing at the camp?
Well this list could go on for a while, but to name a few, the kids love: horseback riding, go-karts, the rifle range (.22s), archery, human foosball, mini-golf, laser-tag, tubing, blobbing, campfires, and four-wheeling.

Is it easy to connect with the kids?
I would say yes. If you have the right attitude and are willing to invest in the kids’ lives then yes, it is pretty easy to connect with the kids. One of the neat things I learned being a counselor was how to show compassion to others like Christ showed compassion and with that attitude it was very easy to connect with the kids and have a great time. The outdoor activities were a huge part of being able to connect with the kids and build relationships with them

How important is it to have the right outdoor gear so the kids can have the best possible outdoor experience?
It is very important to have the right outdoor gear. Working in a camp environment means there are a lot of activities but it also means risks for many types of accidents. We are responsible for the safety of the kids, and must make sure their safety is never at stake.

The Bible instructs us to “do everything decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40) therefore for every activity we offer, we research it to make sure we have the right outdoor gear so that it will run safely and work for its intended use. Safety is a vital part to a fun activity. Picking the right outdoor gear goes a long way in helping the kids to have the best possible outdoor experience while staying safe and having fun.

What is your favorite thing about the outdoors?
Besides the fact that I get to enjoy the beauty of God's wonderful creation which declares his glory as seen in Psalms 19:1, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork." I love the fresh air and just being able to have a great time in so many different ways.

Any final thoughts?
Outdoor Activities can be a great tool to reach out to kids, but they must be well planned and prepared for. If one is willing to put the effort into these, there will be great fun for everyone who is involved.

If you would like to find out more about Camp Chetek visit the camp's website at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

'Tis the Season of Rifles and Shotguns

Photo Courtesy of
The hunting season is in full swing in the land of America. Many hunters are eager to try out their newly purchased firearms. And others are wondering what type of gun they should invest their money into.

What makes a gun a good gun? How do I know what gun is right for me?

These are valid questions when considering what type of gun to purchase because there are as many types of guns as there is days in a year.

Common Gun Sizes
The three most common sizes of deer-hunting rifles are:

  •  .273
  • .30-06
  • .30-30

These number refer to the caliber size of the bullet. Normally the larger the caliber size the more "kick" a gun will have. Also each gun may have a different type of reloading action. Bolt-action, lever-action, and pump-action are the main types.

Personal Experience
When it comes to hunting, I use a Remington pump-action .30-06 rifle. This gun has never failed me. It has a simple action, and is very easy to use and operate. Each type of gun has their advantages and disadvantages. Always be sure to ask questions and look at the different types of guns in the store. Remember, buying a gun is an investment, so be sure to invest your money in a gun that you absolutely adore.

More Information
For those of you who want to learn more, here is a Field and Stream story that picks and gives an overview of the 30 best rifles and shotguns.
The Gun Nut Battery: 30 Essential Rifles and Shotguns

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Simple Ways to Start a Fire

You're in the wilderness and you want to start a fire, but you forgot the matches! Now whether this happens to you on a family camping trip in the middle of Yogi Bear state park, or you just want to impress your friends, knowing different ways to start a fire can save you from many problems.
Here are two creative ways to ignite your own personal inferno.

Photo by: Steve Sanford
(Field & Stream Magazine)
Hand/Spindle Method - This is one of the most common ways to start a fire without matches. The only downside to this method is that it takes a good deal of patience.
The materials you'll need are:
  • 2 foot long spindle
  • Flat board with V-notch
  • Tinder (anything easily flammable)
First position your V-notched board close to tinder in order to catch spark. Then take the spindle, insert into the notch, and maintain pressure while rolling your hands down the spindle in short bursts of speed. With some luck you'll be able to build up enough friction to make a spark! Remember, patience is the key!

Battery/Steel Wool Method - This is one of the easiest methods to start a fire! All you need are a couple everyday items.
The materials you'll need are:
  • Steel wool
  • Battery (9 volt performs best)
First flatten the steel wool into a thin layer. Then apply the contact points of the battery to the steel wool. The steel wool should ignite within seconds! Just be sure to transfer the steel wool immediately to your tinder!

These are but a few methods to start a fire without matches. For more ideas and tips check out Field & Stream.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fishing Gear 101

Today's post features a Jing presentation that looks at different rod and reel types.  Hopefully it will give you an understanding of which rod and reel would fit your fishing needs!

Fishing Gear - Rod & Reel Combos

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Geocaching - Explore Your World!

Today's post includes a Prezi presentation that previews the basics of geocaching. Geocaching is a fun simple way to enjoy the outdoors with your friends and family. For GPS reviews and more information about geocaching visit

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"There and Back Again" - Basic GPS Technology

Getting to a location is important, but what about getting back? With the Bushnell Backtrack you can rest assured that you'll never get lost again.

The Backtrack utilizes GPS technology in its most basic format. The Backtrack lets you set your location and later navigate back. This allows you to set the location of your favorite fishing spot, find your parked car, or navigate back to your hotel.

The Bushnell Backtrack features include:
  • Stores 3 locations
  • High sensitivity GPS receiver
  • Self calibrating digital compass
  • Weather resistant
  • Functions on 2 AAA batteries
  • Compact size
  • Lanyard included
If you want a GPS unit that has a simple user interface, GPS navigation, and an average price of $45, then the Bushnell Bacltrack is for you.

Here is a video that shows the features of the Backtrack in action:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Essential Wilderness Gear

Included in the gallery are items that can improve the enjoyment of your outdoor experience.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Interview with Andrew - Essential Outdoor Gear

Today's post includes an interview with Mr. Andrew Gable. Mr. Gable is a graduate student and former soldier in the United States Army. He very graciously answered a few questions that provide helpful advice for any person interested in the outdoors.

How long have you been an outdoor "enthusiast"? 
I have been hunting since I was about five years old.  I have since hunted, trapped, and fished in varying capacities. 
What is your favorite outdoor hobby? 
Hunting by far. 
Why do you enjoy the outdoors?  
The outdoors is magnificent and inspires appreciation for its beauty, but what I think keeps bringing me back is more the challenge, struggle, and wildness of being out.  One must in a way conquer both nature and its various elements to walk out successful at the end of the day.  Within that however there is a peace, a stillness that is both comforting and relaxing. 
How can having the right kind of outdoor equipment make a person's outdoor experience safe and enjoyable? any personal experiences? 
While equipment is not the measure of the experience it will measure the enjoyment and level of work found in the experience.  Like having the right tool for the right job in mechanics having the proper equipment can mean the difference between success and misery, between life and death.  The most important gear to the outdoor enthusiast will be the clothing/foot wear that they wear.  They must be able to stay cool, harm, dry, etc...  The second would be a GPS, compass, and or map with the ability to use them.  These two are cardinal requirements above situation specific necessities like canoes, kayaks, rifle, etc... per differing activities.   
What piece of equipment should a person always be sure and take with them into the woods? and why? 
Clothing appropriate to the conditions both present and possible future.  This is the one thing that will never change given the knowledge of the land or any other variable.  No matter who is going out they will equip themselves with the best they have for the environment. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

The “EDGE” of Survival

“So you have the map right? No, I thought you had it.” These are some infamous last words. You probably never want to be in a situation like this, but if you did get lost in a deep terrible forest what would you do? What gear could save your life? I would wager that most people underestimate the capabilities of a good knife.

Having a knife in the woods is like driving a Mazarati at a racetrack! The sky is the limit! You can perform many different jobs with a knife, for instance you can: construct a shelter, start a fire, obtain food and water, and protect yourself.

You might be asking, “What makes a knife a good knife?” That's a great question because not all knives are the same. They range in different sizes and shapes, from your everyday Boy Scout knives to Ranbow’s knife of death. I prefer a happy medium between those two.

From experience I’ve found Gerber Knives to be the most durable and easy to use. Gerber just came out with a new series of knives called the Survival Series. These new knives feature a five inch fixed blade, a flint (to start your fires), a blade sharpener, and a sheath to store your amazing knife. If you didn’t want to empty your wallet for a nice knife like this, you could always find a more basic model or an off-brand that will only set you back about twenty dollars.

So the next time you feel like leaving your map at home and getting lost in the woods be sure to bring your knife with you! It could save your life!