Great Gear: The 18650 Flashlight

People disagree all the time about the best hunting and fishing equipment. There are so many brands and advocates of each that it is hard to differentiate the good from the best. Perhaps it is best to try them out for yourself and compare notes with other sportsmen. So, you can expect tips but not necessarily absolute answers. One item that I have found gets common agreement as a superior tool is the 18650 flashlight. This should be included among your great gear. I have checked out the testimonials and have found them instructive.

The most popular model is a particular black super bright LED brightest torch adjustable focus zoom light lamp for outdoor use. If you want durability, you have it as the flashlight is made of a durable aircraft grade aluminum allow. It doesn’t get better than that. Plus, it is water resistant and has an anti-abrasive hard anodized finish. You will like the zoom function as it is perfect for any activity you pursue while hunting or fishing including hiking, camping, targeted searches and more. Of course, you can also employ it around the house for general purposes. Thus, you need only buy one flashlight unless you like to keep one tucked away in your backpack at all times—ready to pull out at a moment’s notice in the wilds. Most people like the five different modes from high, medium, and low to strobe and SOS signal. This is all you need say most hunters and their kinsmen, those who fish.

In the past I have wasted too much money on expensive models that don’t work any better than the mid-range flashlight. I would never go really cheap either. Given all the option, pick one you like. There are differences in design. Some have a slightly wider head than body. I like that the body is the perfect width to fit comfortably in my hands. Then there is a matter of length. Some people like something more compact, depending upon the zoom setting.

It also might matter which battery you choose, from AA to AAA. You can get battery adapters for better compatibility. I personally want my flashlight to accept the 18650 since it provides the most power and it is the only way to reach a rating of 1600 lumens. By all means, who doesn’t want super bright unless you feel it is a distraction to animals while hunting. You also don’t want to blind the other hunters in your party so keep this in mind. Above all, you want the flashlight to throw a good beam. Next you want a zoomable lens that allows you to go from super wide to a tightly-focused beam. In the house, the wide beam will illuminate most rooms as well as an average-size backyard. The focus beam during hunting will throw light about seventy feet away.

If you ask the experts, no doubt they will provide additional benefits along with basic information. Let this start you out in the right direction.

The Great Outdoor Gym

Stop running on that boring treadmill and get outside for once. In nature you will find the best and greatest outdoor gym. And it’s free! It has everything you want and need plus nice scenic vistas of mountains, parks, and various bodies of water. It can be seaside or lakeside, or even by a pool. Once you switch gears, you won’t go back.

Everyone runs or knows someone who does but it has gotten less popular. The gym is a social place where you can greet friends and maybe your trainer. You share stories about your day and it helps vent whatever went wrong. It is as addictive as any drug. You know your routine and can do it practically blindfolded. The treadmill is your friend, the weights your buddies.

But what are the alternatives? Certainly you want some variety. I know that hunting and fishing burn plenty of calories for me, and it can go on for days! These pastimes are good weight loss activities. Even if you aren’t overweight and want to stay fit, there are plenty of things you can do in the wild.

Swimming, hiking, playing golf or any other sport are as good as aerobic exercise. Anything that involves lifting, even a baseball bat, is akin to strength training in the gym. You don’t necessarily need to contort your body in strange angles or even use one of those strange inversion tables to get the health benefits from exercising. Dieting is good to feel healthy, but working out outdoors will boost energy and flood the brain with powerful relaxing endorphins. There is something inspiring about nature I guess that makes being in it preferable and pleasurable.

You can pick your favorite activity. I have mine. You can look up the calories burned on the Internet. There are calculators that take what you do and multiply it by the minutes you perform or undertake it. Thus you get your total calories consumed. If you have a picnic along the way on your hiking trail, or even a bit of a snack, no matter. You are burning it as you eat.

Routine outdoor chores also work. You get toned while you get things done, like mowing the lawn and washing the car. It is less desirable as a workout just because it is toil, but why not change your perspective on it. You may not shirk your duties once you see it in a new way. Gardening works too, so don’t forget about it. You can save money on hiring a professional if you get into it. All that bending is equivalent of gym squats in any case.

Yes, the great outdoor gym beckons and awaits you. Take photos for Facebook and Instagram and spread the news. You have found the best fitness program on earth and it is there for all the world to see and experience themselves. Add the calories for each activity per month and then get on the scales. You will be pleasantly surprised. One pound of fat is about 3,500 calories. You do the math. It’s your daily burn fitness program. Go for it!

The Bane of Camping

You have seen the movie and sequel Dumb and Dumber. Maybe you have seen My Idiot Brother. They all apply to my sibling when it comes to camping. I let him pick the spot, set the date, and make the plans. I dropped a lot of hints and even set out some clothing items for packing. I mentioned weather issues, tents, entertainment platforms, and hiking boots. I talked food and more food. When we camp, we like to eat well.

So what could go wrong? Everything! First of all it was nice, warm weather, but actually too warm for the locale he had read about. He forgot to see the fine print where it said to go only in the spring. There we were sweltering in an airless space with no air conditioning in sight. We didn’t really need the tents except for sun protection maybe, and our hats would do that just fine.

There was a pond nearby and he thought it would be oh so picturesque. He brought his sketch pad and some charcoal pencils. We sat by the water, drinking beer, and I watched him perform his pictorial magic. We got pretty relaxed in the heat and spent more than a few hours, devouring a nice lunch before returning to base camp. All seemed to be going well until after dark. First one, then the other of us started to itch and scratch. It was an interminable kind of sensation. Mosquito bites are unpleasant and annoying. You can’t sleep unless you pour on the calamine lotion. And we didn’t have any!

My brother hadn’t factored in the wet swampy area attracting the summer crop of mosquitos. Since few humans were around, they were hungry and ready to pounce. We were easy marks sitting there out in the open with bare arms and legs. They feasted well that day and we had a little less blood for our part. Mosquitos require some effort to repel and we did not come equipped with the requisite spray. It would have made a huge difference to conduct some pest control during this outing.

The next day was even more unnerving. Flies started to swarm our food as we were running low on ice. I threw up my hands in despair and said we should head home early while we had some blood, and our sanity, left. My brother did not find this amusing and it was not intended to be. I convinced him that we weren’t wimping out and that itching to death in the sun was a bad way to go. He quite agreed.

We packed our gear, threw out the remaining fly-bitten food, folded the tent, and almost ran to the van. You couldn’t find two happier guys when we arrived at home. The welts had subsided a bit but were visible evidence of our camping suffering. While I won’t go so far as to say I won’t let my brother come on the next trip, but I will mention that he is not to be the planner then, or ever.

Hunting: The Ancient Primal Instinct

As old as the “fight or flight” instinct, the innate impulse to hunt just seems to be written in a man’s DNA, or many of them at least.  While in modern days, hunting is usually accredited to sport, it hasn’t always been that way.

In ancient times, hunting was done out of necessity.  It was often hunt or be hunted.  Hunting was carried out as a means for survival, in order to eat and to avoid being the hunted also.

Although times have changed, this gut born instinct to hunt still lives in the hearts and souls of many men.  It is as primal as life itself.

Why hunt?  Not only is hunting done for fun and sport, but many do eat the kill.  Many freezers are full of game like elk, deer and even bear.  Hunters often share their kill with friends, neighbors and even the needy.

There are other great reasons to hunt as well.  It is a huge stress releaser.  When a guy goes out to hunt, he can leave his worries (and his laptop) behind.  He is at peace and is one with nature for probably the first time since the last time he hunted.  It’s a good time to bond with hunting partners that are often friends or maybe even a son or two.

Men have always had the need to make their mark.  Some do it by way of sports like football or soccer but others do it as marksmen.  It is challenging to kill an animal.  It requires skill and usually demands physical abilities such as walking through the wilderness, stalking the animal and so on.  It is a huge accomplishment to have a successful hunt and that is great for a man’s ego.

Hunting is an excellent cure for depression.  Getting out and getting exercise cleanses the soul.  Being in nature stimulates the endorphins.  It’s a time that is appropriate to take out pent up aggression too.  Don’t like your boss?  Well, you can’t shoot him but…you can shoot an elk in his behalf.

Eight out of ten women polled said that their husbands generally return from a hunt in much better spirits than they were when they left.  Many state that they look forward to their husbands going because they feel it does them good psychologically.  Of those who did not feel a hunt was positive for their spouse, one stated that her husband is never happy about returning home is the only reason she feels it is negative.

Personally, when I hunt, the actual hunt is only a small part of the process.  It’s the anticipation of going that pumps me up for months before I really go.  The early morning coffee with my hunting buddies is one of my treasured times not to mention the campfires in the evenings.  I love the hunting part and I can’t explain the satisfaction I get from shooting a trophy buck or a big black bear but that’s just the icing on the cake for me.  Why do I love it all so much?  I guess it’s just in my genes.

If you are in need of a getaway and some stress relief, why not go hunting?  Even if you don’t kill anything, the time with other hunters and with Mother Nature herself might just do you good.  Hunting is good for the soul.  The desire to hunt is primal and the benefits are immense.

Getting Your Fly On: What States are Best For Fly Fishing?

Fly Fishing not only takes a good bit of skill and determination, it takes knowing where to cast a line too.  What states are best for fly fishing?  Read on to get the top spots.

It’s pretty much a given that Florida wins out when it comes to the best state for saltwater fly fishing, in the United States at least.  The Everglades, Panhandle and even inland at places like Disney Lakes are all loaded with largemouth bass and redfish too.

Some of the best fly fishing ever can be found in Colorado.  One of the most popular spots to fish is the South Platte River with more that fifteen public accesses.  There you will find Cutbows, Suckers, Bass, Salmon and Rainbow Brown fish in abundance.  You can also just pull over beside the road if you happen to be traveling down the Scenic Byway of the San Juan Skyway in Southwestern Colorado.  Small towns such as Ouray, Placerville and Ridgway are home to some of the best obscure fly fishing around.  Here you can go it alone or enlist the help of a fly fishing outfitter for an even better chance at a successful fish.

New York has its fair share of great fly fishing holes too.  The Catskills is one of my favorite, for the fish and for the sheer beauty of the Beaverkill, Neversink and the Willowemoc.  Long Island South is a coveted spot and don’t forget the Adirondacks and of course the Great Lakes where salmon are plentiful.

Pennsylvania is another fantastic fly fishing state in the East.  Penn Creek and Spring Creek are notorious for brown trout.  Elk Creek and Walnut Creek boast steelhead and salmon too.

Montana is not only one of the most gorgeous states, it is home to fabulous fly fishing.  Yellowstone is overflowing and Beaverhead too.  In my opinion, Montana ties Colorado for the best fly fishing state if you’re going for trout.

Alaska is certainly another excellent state to fly fish in.  Although the season doesn’t last long, only a few short months, it’s for sure worth casting in during that time.  There are salmon, rainbows, northern pike and steelhead, just to name a few.  Of course you will be competing with the Grizzlies for the fish so do take precautions so you don’t become dinner instead.

Some states have great fly fishing that you might not think would like North Carolina, Idaho, California and even Maine.  The truth of the matter is that fly fishing can be enjoyed in most every state.  What fly fishing spot is the best?  That is a subject of great debate.  The best thing to do is to get on out there, get your fly on,  and find out which is your personal favorite.

Knowledge Is Key When it Comes To Big Game

Got Game?  If you are into hunting for the big ones, the more you know about the species you are hunting for, the more likely you are to have a successful hunt.  That’s a proven fact.  So, how do you go about getting this information?

The first thing you will want to do is to narrow down where and what you want to hunt.  Maybe you just know you want to hunt in Alaska but are not sure what you want to hunt for.  Or, perhaps you want to hunt black bear…somewhere.  If you at least know one or the other, what OR where, you can start there.

As far as hunting big game in the United States goes, you have a lot of options.  Black bear, brown bear, grizzly bear, elk, alligator, bison, moose, antelope and boar are a few of the many species you have to choose from.  What you want to hunt will help determine where you want to hunt and vice versa.

Alaska, Colorado, Montana, Florida and practically every state has big game hunting.  They also have seasons in which you are allowed to hunt each specie and rules and regulations that include a hunting license application and possibly a safety class as well so do your homework so you don’t miss out.

Watching hunting shows on television is a great way to learn more about the game you are wanting to hunt for.  You will learn tips from experienced hunters that would otherwise most likely take you many hunts to learn on your own.  Hunting show hosts are also good about plugging equipment and products they feel help in the hunt like specific brands of eronus scents and scent-block as well.

There are many excellent big game hunting websites too.  You can learn much from personal blogs written by hunters.  Many not only give helpful hints about the hunt but about spots to hunt in as well.

Natural Geographic publications and videos are another fantastic way to learn about the animal you wish to hunt.  Learn the creature’s habits as well as his likes and dislikes.  Where and when do they sleep and feed?  What spooks them?  What lures them?  Answer these questions and you are well on your way to a successful big game hunt.

Word of mouth can’t be beat.  Learn from those who have gone before you.  Not only can you get this firsthand information from televised hunting shows, but right down at the local diner as well.  Spend time rubbing shoulders with those who share your passion and listen to their hunting tales.  The “big one that got away” might just be yours for the taking.

Learning all you can about the spot and species you wish to hunt is the key to a successful big game hunt.  Knowing what to hunt, where, when and how are all things you will gain knowledge on by watching informative shows, searching out great hunting websites and listening to those who tell their tales.  Knowledge coupled with great products, skill and a bit of luck will help you

Close to the Catch

Whether you already like to fish from a Kayak or it’s your first time, you have come to the right place. All you need are a few pointers and you are ready for a great adventure. If you are still in doubt, check out some great photos online and you will be convinced. Below you will learn about types of kayaking and how to get the perfect bait for the perfect fish. Once you dip that paddle in crystal blue waters, you will be hooked (pun intended).

Types

Coastal/Ocean: You can join a group of anglers on a boat that carries some 20 odd kayaks at once. For a bit of extra luxury, there are staterooms for hire. The kayaks are stacked on racks and loaded by the crew. I might be describing an 88-foot craft in San Diego, California that specializes in bass, halibut, and yellowtail. Cold drinks are plentiful through the day. The sun is spectacular on the water and the catch is always good. Participants relax as their kayaks drift with the wind. They say there is nothing like it in the world of fishing.

River: There you are, alone with your paddle, sitting… and waiting. When the white water appears, a kayak will do its job perfectly. The best are designed for rough water and fast flow. Anglers are watching for the fish that hide in ambush along the way. Maneuverability is a major issue here. You need to be able to run across flows and spin into an eddy both for good fishing and safety. You don’t want your kayak to just track straight as an arrow. River boats have a rocker or banana shape in the front making them nimble, while an upswept bow helps force the nose of the boat on top of standing waves. Thus you can turn quickly and follow the best line through the water.

Tips

  • Get the right fishing kayak and paddling gear out of the box and learn how to secure it. River and ocean fishing demand different items.
  • Select the appropriate width and length of your kayak for optimum performance. Standing and sitting should be comfortable and easy. These boats come with raised seats and pull-in ropes. You can elect a sit-on-top feature. Some fishermen like more stability and weight than others who prefer speed.
  • Opt for an adjustable seat that can be removed for camping.
  • Storage is a plus in the stern or bow hatch.
  • To maximize ergonomics, there are back rests, ventilated seats, leg lifters, and foam knee supports.

Kayaking takes some know-how. Consult the experts and garner advice for the area in which you will be fishing. It is a wonderful recreational sport for the whole family. There are specialty magazines loaded with photos that will pump up your interest fast. You need different gear for coastal and river fishing as you may be surf launching, catching larger fish, and facing a variety of conditions. Wherever you live, there is no doubt a suitable locale nearby. In no time you will become a regular.

Keep the Camp Cool

My favorite camping time is early spring, barring the onslaught of April rain, or late fall (also known as Indian summer). There is less chance of a fire hazard and it is usually mild weather. Who doesn’t like a balmy night that is warm enough to shed the heavy jackets, but cool enough to sleep well? It’s nice to feel the fresh air and not be totally entrapped in a sleeping roll. Only the most hardy, daring souls go in winter anyway. The rest of us recreational campers and fishers like to avoid roughing it too much. Hunters have seasons so they may be caught in some drastic downpour, but we all do our best to book trips appropriately.

I always assumed that I would follow this schedule. However, there was a time I recall when a family unit was formed during the kids’ vacation for a special outing. The organizers were sure that warm weather would be great. You can run around in your swimsuit or shorts and enjoy swimming without shivering. You can sleep in the open all night long. A campfire would primarily be for cooking, not warmth. To a certain extent, this is quite true. The event date was set, everyone was on board, and we started packing— very lightly.

The light part turned out to be wise since we experienced an unexpected and unwanted heat wave. The mountains are not prone to higher temperatures, but guess what? Our weekend was actually more than an anomaly. It was a world record event. We were out there sweating and steaming, even in the early morning as we arrived. As the day wore on, we wore out. It got hotter and hotter and the temperature did not abate at dusk as we hoped. It maintained until at least midnight, at which time we fell asleep exhausted from the heat. Hiking was dreary that day as we trod along slow as oozing snails. We didn’t even want to roast hot dogs much less marshmallows. The next day, one of the uncles came back to camp grinning with glee. He had purchased a portable camping fan, big enough to cool a nice area in front of the main tent. It ran on batteries and could hook into a generator if need be. It was a lifesaver.

We gathered in a circle sitting on mats on the ground. Cool air caressed our dripping faces as we relaxed our tense muscles and slowed our breathing (more like panting) down. We started to enjoy the ambiance and each other a lot more. We decided to sleep with it on and made sure it was plenty charged up. It made the trip bearable if not pleasurable. A fan is not something you expect to take with you, and it requires some room in the van or car, but I now know how much of a necessity it can be. I never even appreciated the ceiling fan at home in the sun room and have always taken it for granted. Not anymore.

Campfires 101

Safety first. This is always a good rule when fishing and hunting. Thinking ahead will help anticipate typical problems and keep you alert and ready. This applies to so many things such as equipment, water safety, and building a fire. I am particularly concerned about the latter since most people give the first two their full attention and neglect the ins and outs of campfire practice. Smokey the Bear is there for good reason! Why not follow his wise rules.

First and foremost, you have to know what you are doing. This is not like adding wood to your indoor fireplace or turning on the gas. A little know-how is in order. Once you decide on a good pre-selected spot, and it is not too dry and hazardous to continue, you can look for existing pits. They are likely to be well away from tents and nearby trees. Check for any other flammable objects, says Smokey.

After the eagle eye tour of your area, you can fill the pit with small pieces of dry wood. Here comes the safety part: keep a buck of water and a shovel close at hand. If you are not using an existing pit, you will have to carefully clear an area, dig a pit, and circle it with rocks.

To continue with Campfires 101: Gather your tinder, kindling and fuel. If you are not familiar with them, you should not be in charge of building the fire! The fuel, by the way, consists of the larger pieces of wood. You pile them loosely to allow oxygen between layers. There are several “styles” of stacking the fuel including forming a tent or crisscross pattern. Now you can get out the matches or lighter. Add wood as the fire grows and blow on it at the base. Here’s the safety part: keep it under complete control.

So far so good. Before I lose your attention, you have a bit more to learn. You have to maintain the fire and then extinguish it properly later. While you add wood as needed, you should always be mindful of a manageable size. The safety part is watching pets and children and protecting them at all times. You should also know not to cut live tree branches or leave your fire unattended. Rules, rules—but they are for your own good.

Finally, it is time to put the fire out. The definition of that in my book is that you can touch it. The wood has burned to ash and you have poured water on all the embers, glowing or not. After all hissing has stopped, you can stir it all with a shovel. An extra ounce of safety means scraping any remaining logs for embers. Take that extra step: it is well worth it!

We are almost done. After the dousing, adding dirt will ensure complete ember obliteration. Many well-meaning campers have ignored all the steps and have caused destructive forest fires. It is an obligation to do it right every time. You are not actually burying the fire with the dirt as it can continue to smolder. You are stirring the whole time. With knowledge about safety, you can feel confident about your camping experience and enjoy the wonderful wilds.

Camping Appliances

An appliance isn’t just a refrigerator or a stove. These are “major” appliances and you can add on a washer and dryer set. Small appliances in the kitchen include mixers, blenders, bread makers, toasters, ovens, and other assorted kitchen appliances. When we are talking about camping, the term takes a different turn. I think of a Coleman stove, hot pots and plug-in sauce pans, battery refrigeration units, mini car vacs, and even microwaves (for those who hate to rough it). These assorted devices are like cheating on the real outdoor experience, but they can sure makes things go a lot easier. Some of us just have to have fresh brewed coffee every morning wherever we are. I would eliminate the electric toothbrush and shaver, however, as being a little too soft for the camping world. I would allow a stainless steel icemaker for a larger group of less than virile woodsmen and maybe a Ninja juice machine.

There are so many possibilities for the well-equipped outdoor kitchen. Camping becomes the art of not roughing it, rather than the other way around. If you don’t mind lugging all this stuff, or can assign one or two to every camper, it is not a bad way to go. After all, we have all heard about those luxury fishing trips that take you into the wilds by helicopter only to find a professional gourmet chef at the site, ready with all kinds of cooking gear. They cost an arm and a leg!

So… that being said… camping appliances are great gifts for the person who has absolutely everything. You can order them on line and have them shipped, so you don’t have to lift a finger. They will also insure the recipient doesn’t have to lift one when enjoying the scenery. There can be more time for photos and hikes. You can occupy the kids with appliances as they like to get into the act and you don’t want them anywhere near the wood fire.

Taking a grill is out of the question and destroys the fun of building your own fire pit. Who doesn’t like to search for wood and kindling? You can be proud of your handiwork as you roast meat over an open flame. You have to employ safety measures, but you do as well with many appliances (and you also have to worry about batteries and power connections). Remember, there are things you can use outdoors at home like smokers and turkey fryers that don’t necessarily belong on a camping adventure.

There is nothing like camping during the warmer season for the whole family, or just a male bonding outing. Getting a cold beer out of the automatic cooler is heaven. You don’t have to go running off for ice. Fresh juice in the morning can be done by hand, but then again… It all comes down to what kind of camper you are. We are not all purists! I have seen portable washing machines and showers that are amazing. Compact and lightweight, they easily find a place in the car or RV. The longer your trip, the more you will find these items quite handy.

Hunting License: Knowing the Ropes Can Save Time and Frustration

Hunting License

If you want to go hunting, you are going to need a license.  Hunters like to gripe about having to do so but when you know the ropes of how much one is going to cost, where to get it and when, it’s not that bad and besides, the regulations are in order for public safety and proceeds help to keep lands maintained.

Hunting guidelines can be vague as in unwritten laws or they can be strictly enforced as state laws.  Each state’s regulations vary as does their charge and their timing so you will want to get your plan together and check the area you wish to hunt in and the season as well.  There are websites that make it easy to find out which state does what and when like http://www.huntinfo.org/.

How do you go about getting a hunting license?  You will need to fill out paperwork during the time span allotted by the state you wish to hunt in and it will go by what you are hunting for and what you are hunting with.  If you are hunting duck and other migratory birds, you will need to fill out federal paperwork too.  You will also most likely need to take a hunting safety course.  All but one of the fifty states require a course but the states vary as far as the ages they allow one to attend the course.  Some only offer them for adults while others let children as young as twelve years of age join.

If you are hunting large game, you will only be able to kill a certain amount, one per tag that you are issued.  Oftentimes the licenses are given out by a lottery system for big game or for extended seasons such as for deer.  Some states only allow tag hunting and others use it along with regular licensing.

Another thing that varies is the cost.  Most states charge additional fees to those from other states.  How the states spend the monies differs too.

The best way to go about your next hunting trip is to plan early.  Check out magazines, hunting shows, online sites and of course, listen to your hunting buddies’ stories.  Chose what you want to hunt and where.  Then, write for information from that state in regard to the particular game or look it up online.  You can have the information ready so you can fill out the forms right away when they become available.  You will also want to be sure you have saved up and have the funds to pay for it because it will be due upon request of the license.

Another thing to be thinking about is where you are going to lodge or if you are going to camp.  You will want to make reservations, if needed, when you get your license and not wait to the last minute as you might find yourself with a hunting license but no place to stay.  Along with checking online, you can also look in local papers for spots that may not be nationally advertised.  If you know someone in the area you plan to hunt in, ask for behind the scenes information…it is priceless.

Having a plan and being in the know is imperative for a good hunting experience and that begins with the license itself.  When you know what to expect and when to apply, you have got a handle on a good start.  Now for the fun part, you can get down to the hunt.

Extreme Camping: Living Life on the Edge

Hunting & Fishing

Camping is a great way to get away from it all and relax…but for those of us who like to live life on the edge, relaxing is the last thing we want to do on vacation.  We are not only into living life on the edge but we want to jump off too.  Forget roasting marshmallows by the campfire, we want extreme camping.

If you’re up for an adrenaline pumping high time, try adventure camping in the mountains.  There’s always lots to do like hiking, rock climbing, rafting and dodging snakes and bears.  Some of the most rugged and highest mountains you will find in the United States are the Rockies.

With elevations reaching over 14,000 feet, the Rocky Mountains extend from New Mexico through the southwest all the way up into British Columbia.  Even in the summertime, the weather itself can be extreme with snow and freezing temperatures.  When the snow melts, the rivers swell and rush often causing flooding and dangerous currents.  It is advised to do your homework on the weather because you will need to be prepared.  Between avalanches, bolstering currents and freezing temperatures, many a man has lost his life in this rough terrain.

You can go it alone or, you can enlist the guidance of a professional.  In fact, there are new endurance camping outfitters that can boost your trip by giving you inside information and pointing you in the right direction but don’t worry, they are not going to babysit you.  In fact, quite the contrary.  The programs are designed to challenge even the best but to do so wisely and with knowledge of the terrain, weather and the sport.

One such outfitter is in Estes Park, Colorado that offers extreme cliff camping.  It is exclusively available through Kent Mountain Adventure Centre.  There you can hike up a 50-metre vertical ascent to pitch your tent on the edge, literally, with the wind and the bears.

Not only will you want to take appropriate clothing wherever you do your extreme camping, you will want to take a tent and sleeping bag that is made for the weather and terrain you will be in.  Also, emergency gear is in order to bring as well.  Of course you will want to also pack whatever entertainment you want like rock climbing gear, snowshoes or maybe even fly fishing equipment.

California’s Yosemite National Park is another fun spot to go for extreme mountain camping.  There are some really great places to hike and awesome rocks to climb not to mention fantastic fishing too.  You can find organized teams to go along with so that you don’t get into trouble, like the one Good Morning America joined, the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute.

Extreme Camping in the mountains is both adventurous and dangerous.  Maybe that’s what us thrill seekers like best about it.  Why do we do it?  Perhaps that was best answered by three time Primal Quest competitor, Kimberly Dunkin.  When asked why she puts herself through torture and takes such risks and even calls it fun she simply answers, “Because I can.”

Words of wisdom to my fellow extreme mountain campers, “Why just go to the edge when you can camp out there?  Be wise, my friends and…enjoy!”