Monday, November 10, 2014
|The exciting world of Legend Tripping. Looking outside the box!|
Every successful trip or expedition is a result of the people and the equipment. A well-planned-out legend trip is a successful and exciting one. I make no apologies about going into depth about putting together an equipment list. All the items that I will go over with you are those that I have used and that have worked for me. With equipment, I look for dependability and not a name brand. You may have different items than what I use, that you prefer to take. That is up to you. You need to bring equipment that you are comfortable with and know how to use.
|David Lauer, Stacy Brown and I searching for Bigfoot in Florida|
Here is the first in a series of packing lists that I have put together for certain legend trips. The first one being a Bigfoot/Monster trip. You can add to or take away from these lists, depending where you are going and how long you are staying at the location. I am offering the basics. I always make a list to ensure that I don’t forget anything. Some people like to take a lot of electronic equipment with them. Don’t go buy something because it looks neat. I personally like to keep it simple and not take a lot of weight. Plus, when it comes to ghost hunting, I believe that too much electronics will interfere with any ghost that might be there. When I say Bigfoot, I mean any large bipedal creature, such as Sasquatch, the Skunk Ape, the Fouke Monster, and MoMo.
• Camping gear: tent(s), sleeping bag(s), lanterns, and cooking stove:
1. Tents: Make sure you buy a tent that is the right size for you. If you go with your family and take a tent that is only made for two people, you all are going to be very uncomfortable. You don’t have to buy an expensive tent, just as long as it is big enough for all who are sleeping in it. Make sure you bring some ant spray to put around your tent, otherwise you are going to have a ﬁ re ant problem.
2. Sleeping Bags: There are different kinds of sleeping bags for different temperatures. If you are out and it gets really cold but your bag is designed for summertime, you are going to end up wearing all your clothes to keep warm. I know I said you shouldn’t spend a lot of money on certain things, but when it comes to a good night’s sleep, you might want to invest in a good sleeping bag. The military has great sleeping bags and they sell them at Army surplus stores. I recently purchased one that could handle the different climates. It consisted of two actual sleeping bags, a small one for mild temperatures and a larger one for cold temperatures. For extreme cold you take the small one and put it into the larger one, giving you an extreme cold weather sleeping bag. The best two things about the sleeping bag are that it folds to a tiny size for my rucksack and it only cost me sixty dollars. When you purchase a sleeping bag, look at the tag and make sure it is designed for the temperature in which you’re going to be sleeping.
3. Air Mattresses: The family and I like to bring them when we use tents. It makes sleeping outside a lot more bear-able. My wife refuses to go camping without them. You can ﬁnd them in the camping section of any store, and the great thing is that they are not expensive. I also have a self-inﬂating mattress that I bring. Let’s be real, you’ve got to have a good night’s sleep, otherwise the whole legend trip turns into a bad experience and puts everybody in a bad mood. You need to get your body off the cold ground at night; it’s not healthy. For me, there is nothing better than a nice comfortable bed after a nighttime ruck march. Make sure you bring a repair kit, in case you or a team member gets a leak in the mattress. I don’t know why, but it always seems to happen.
4. Lanterns: I highly recommend the battery-operated ones over the kerosene ones. They come in a wide range of sizes, and they are not expensive. Always remember to bring extra batteries and replacement light bulbs. I always bring two lanterns, in case one breaks.
5. Cooking stove: You should always have a cooking stove. There are all kind on the market today and some of them are very reasonable priced. I have a large one that I use at basecamp and a small one that I always carry with me in my backpack. Make sure you bring fire starting material with you.
|This is best cooking stove I have ever owned.|
· Food: When I am not taking the camper out, I usually take military meals called MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). It’s easier than carrying around huge coolers of food. But that is me, and MREs get old quick. You can purchase a cooking stove for a good price, and it is fun to cook over the campﬁre. Because of the recent droughts, some campgrounds prohibit campﬁres. A camping stove will come in handy. If you have never gone camping before, then waking up on your ﬁrst morning will be a wonderful experience. I say that facetiously. For me, a good hot cup of coffee is the way to start the morning, so I always make sure I bring coffee with me.
· Water/Canteen. It’s pretty obvious why. Let’s be real: you can’t survive with-out it. A lot of weekend hikers and legend trippers do not take enough water with them. They think they are just going to be in the woods or forest for a couple of hours, and why carry around a heavy canteen? This is a disaster waiting to happen. I have been dehydrated, and I can tell you that is not some-thing I want to have happen again. There is a survival saying that a human can live three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Because of this, water needs to be a top priority on your packing list. If you are out in the woods and run out of water, then you’re going to have to end your legend trip and go back. That happened to me with a friend, and now I don’t go legend tripping with him anymore. I don’t buy cases of water; instead I buy big collapsible water containers. It is a lot cheaper, and it gives you more room in your vehicle. Plus, you won’t have all those empty plastic containers to deal with.
|I've owned this 2 quart canteen for years. I got it while I was in the military.|
I always take a canteen with me, and I make sure it is ﬁlled up with water before I go out hiking. I prefer the two-quart military-style canteen. It is easier to carry than some of the new styles of containers. I also take water puriﬁcation tablets and iodine in case I run out of water and have to get it from a stream or creek. I always put the water containers in a cooler with ice. There is nothing better than coming back to some cold water after a hike. I’m not a big fan of energy drinks. They only work for a short period of time, plus, again, you have to deal with those empty plastic containers. I stick to just water. There is water ﬂavoring you can buy, and it does a great job making yucky water taste good. Make sure you don’t put it in water that needs to be treated. I don’t use it all the time.
• Night Vision Devices: These are nice to have, but they can be expensive. I bought a set online for ﬁfty dollars. They work, but you can only see for about ﬁfty feet in front of you. Even though the device is a toy, you can see the eye reﬂections from animals more than one hundred feet away. My cam-era also has night-vision capabilities, and with it I can see a lot further than ﬁfty feet. It’s a small camera that I can carry in my breast pocket, which makes it easier to grab when I need it. I’m not a big fan of using night-vision devices to maneuver through the woods. They have no depth perception, and you end up tripping over plants or branches. I like to get my eyes adjusted to the dark and go from there. If it gets too dark then I pull out my ﬂashlight and use that. As I stated before, I don’t like tramping around the woods, be-cause I end up making too much noise.
|I got this one on EBay|
1. A knife is one of the most important items to have whenever you go into the woods or swamps. Remember, a knife should be considered a tool and not a weapon. Small children should not have knives until they know and understand the importance of knife safety. Knives were not originally designed as weapons. A knife is only as good as the person who owns it and takes care of it. Every camping and survival book I have read says, “You’ve got to have a good knife.” All I can add is that it’s true. Every time I have gone out to the swamps or woods, I’ve had to use a knife for some task. With that being said, I’m not an expert on knives, but I know what I want from my knife. I used to have a great knife; I had it the whole time I was in the Army. It was very dependable, but unfortunately I lost it. I loved that knife, and I was mad when I lost it. It took a long time for me to ﬁnd a good replacement for it. There are all different kinds of knives and all with different uses. The purpose of this is not to get you to buy a certain kind of knife, but I have learned a couple of lessons in my military career about the kinds of knives not to buy. When the Rambo movies came out, everyone had to go buy one of the survival knives. I bought one and it looked so cool and it had every-thing I would need to survive in the wild – or so I thought. The knife broke the ﬁrst time I used it. The embarrassing part was that I was showing it off to some friends. Now I don’t own or carry a big fancy survival knife or a Rambo-style knife. I don’t choose a knife that looks fancy, but one that has everything for a survival situation.
|I recently purchased this Cold Steel knife and so far it has held up great.|
2. Machete are large knives that are good to have in the jungle or swamps. But if you are like me and only go out to the jungle once a month, then you really don’t have to invest in an expensive one. A while back, I ordered a parang machete online because I thought it was just what I needed in the jungle and swamps. When it arrived I found it to be too heavy, and it gave me blisters every time I used it. I ended up dropping it off a cliff in Ecuador, when I almost fell off the cliff. It was going to be either me or the parang, and I chose the parang. Our Ecuadorian guides had cheap machetes, which they sharpened the heck out of. They had no problems cutting through the jungle with them. Now I don’t buy fancy machetes. I own a cheap one that I rarely use, which I got for a reasonable price at a hard-ware store. If I go back to Ecuador, I won’t be taking an expensive parang with me. Remember, just because it looks neat, doesn’t mean that it is practical. Machetes and little kids do not mix. An accident always happens when a kid gets a machete.
|There are different machetes and parangs on the market today.|
3. I have a small Russian special forces shovel that I found when I was deployed to Afghanistan. I always carried with me in my vehicle. It has proven useful a number of times. Now, I always make sure I got it with me.
|I never go into the woods without my shovel.|
• Camera – one that has IR capabilities: This is one of the most important pieces of equipment on a legend trip. You’ve got to have something to record your experience. You might end up seeing Bigfoot or a ghost and need a camera to get a picture or video of it. To me, the best part of legend tripping is recording the experience. When it comes to cameras, you can’t buy some cheap piece of crap. I’m talking about the disposable ones that you have to turn in to get your pictures back. Most cameras are digital now, and it is really easy to download your pictures right onto your computer. I recently purchased a small digital camera that has IR capability, from a ghost-hunting store. The IR means infrared, and it takes pictures with night vision. This is a must when you are looking for Bigfoot, ghosts, or other nocturnal legends. If you look at some of the online sites that sell stuff, you can ﬁnd a good camera at a good price. That is where I found mine. I ﬁnd most of my equipment online. When you go on a legend trip, you need to make sure you take a whole bunch of pictures. You never know what might appear in the background of your picture. You should also video each other and talk about your legend trip and talk about the stories behind the legends. I know it sounds weird, but imagine you are on one of those reality shows. This actually makes it easier to do, and you’ll be surprised at how everybody gets into the whole thing. Make sure you bring extra batteries and car chargers so your cameras are ready.
|For a small camera, it takes great pictures and the night vision is better than my goggles.|
• Flashlights/head lights/light sticks: a ﬂashlight is essential at night. Humans are not nocturnal. I always make sure I bring a couple of them with me. One is a small pocket light that I carry on the pocket ﬂap of my jacket. I like to wear a headlight at night. It makes monster hunting easier, and it leaves your hands free to operate your camera. And it makes going to the bathroom outside a lot easier. Be careful some of the headlights are heavy and uncomfortable. I always make sure I carry a couple of light sticks that I can break open and use in case my ﬂashlight stops working.
When you go legend tripping at night, you really need to be proactive on this. If your light source goes out and you are in the middle of the woods, you are screwed, and you’re going to end up lost for hours. If you are Bigfoot hunting, it is good to have a red or blue lens ﬂashlight. It doesn’t give off a strong light and it helps your eyes adjust more quickly to the darkness – a technique I learned in the military. I even installed a blue light in my Jeep for that same reason.
• Thermal Imager: This is an excellent tool to have on a monster hunt or paranormal investigation, but unfortunately they are extremely expensive. They are for serious monster/para-normal hunters who have the money to buy them. I have used them in the military, but I don’t own one. I found out that most agencies rent the cameras because of the cost; they do break, and they are expensive to have repaired. The good news is that the prices are coming down, and there is one that is durable enough for outdoor use. They are making FLIR cameras to attach to cellphones.
|Even though FLIRs are expensive, they are a great tool for monster hunting. Nothing can hide |
• Trail/Game camera: If you are going on a monster or ghost legend trip, then you might want to get one. Called a “trail cam” for short, it is a camera that has an automatic device that triggers when something walks by. It is good for Bigfoot and ghost hunting. Trail cams used to be really expensive, but now you can get them from any outdoor store for a reasonable price. I like to ﬁnd a game trail (a path made by some animal through the brush) and put the trail camera on a tree with a good ﬁeld of view. I then spray it with a chemical that takes away the human smell. I leave it out there for about two weeks or a month, long enough for the human scent to go away. I go back and retrieve it and check the pictures. If I get nothing, then I move it to another location.
|Make sure you lock it to a tree, otherwise it will get stolen.|
• Outdoor clothing and footwear: When it comes to “what to wear” on a legend trip, it is not about fashion. Make sure your clothing is comfortable, not heavy, quick-drying, and – most important – durable! Like I said earlier, “You get what you pay for.” I once bought some cheap clothing items and they fell apart the ﬁrst time I washed them. Never again will I buy cheap clothing.
I am very careful about the clothing I buy because I am pretty hard on clothes and I’ve been known to tear them up. Regardless of the brand names, I purchase outdoor clothing that I know is going to stand up to trips into the woods or swamps. That being said, I don’t dress up as if I were going to be on television. I do wear some camouﬂage clothing. I didn’t buy them because they were camouﬂage; I bought them because they were durable and comfortable. I don’t have anything against camouﬂage clothing; I wore it for more than twenty-one years in the Army. I just don’t see the necessity in wearing it. I like light-colored (usually tan) clothing that will dry quickly and keep me cool when it gets hot.
Plenty of companies produce outdoor clothes that are reasonably priced. Some of it can be kind of expensive, though, and I recommend that you look for seasonal sales. My wife has found some really good deals on the clearance rack. I see people going out and buying expensive clothing and gear for their ﬁrst legend trip. Make sure you like legend tripping before you invest a lot of money in it.
Clothing is the last thing you want to worry about when you are deep in the woods on a monster hunt. Again, make sure your clothing is durable and light if it is summertime. During the wintertime, make sure your clothing is made to keep the cold out and keep you warm and dry. If you are going on a monster hunt, wash your clothes in anti-scent detergent. You can ﬁnd this in the sports and hunting section of outdoor stores. You will need the anti-scent dryer sheets, because even the no-scent dryer sheets have a scent. It will show your family that you are serious about seeing a cryptid.
|Yes, those are Bear Grylls clothes. Very durable|
During colder months, you will need warmer clothes. Don’t go with this television survivalist attitude and think you are going to rough it. If you don’t bring the right gear in cold weather, you can and will die. I highly recommend ﬂeece shirts and caps. You may need a warm coat and maybe gloves. A lot of people don’t think about how cold it can get at night. While I was in Afghanistan, it was blazing hot during the day and be-low zero at night. If you’re going to go rucking in cold weather, have your coat handy so you can put it on during stops to stay warm. When you are actually rucking (hiking), your body heat will keep you warm.
During hunting season, wear items that have orange in them so you don’t get mistaken for a deer and get shot in the butt.
When it comes to footwear, the hiking boots I wear on my legend trips are broken in and comfortable, and I can walk for miles in them. Proper footgear can make or break your legend trip. If you buy new boots and start wearing them on the expedition, you had better have some moleskin for blisters. I have seen this hap-pen many times. You need to break in your new boots before you begin your expedition. If you plan to hike a long distance then you need foot powder. If you think you will be getting your feet wet, then you need some petroleum jelly. It stops you from getting foot fungus, especially in a tropical environment.
I also own some snake boots, but I only wear them when I’m walking through the deep swamps. I prefer to wear my hiking boots whenever I can. Snake boots are great for what they are designed for, and there are some areas where you do need to wear them, but they are not designed for long-term walking. In Florida we have rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. Both are extremely poisonous and aggressive. A bite from one of these reptiles will quickly end the legend trip. On a safety note, stay away from areas that might have snakes. Snake boots are expensive and will run you about a hundred bucks on average. They are cheaper during the off-season. I only use them when I have to or when my wife makes me.
Another type of footwear I always bring is my Crocs sandals. I like to wear them when I am not hiking or out in the woods. They are great to put on in the morning when you ﬁrst wake up. They are also great to change into after a long hike or ruck march. They help my feet relax. They are better than normal sandals because they cover up your toes and are extremely comfortable. The straps on my Crocs sandals are orange and easy to ﬁnd when I need them.
• Sunglasses: You should always bring them. You are going to need sunglasses for daytime use. Get a strap to put on the back so you won’t lose them. Make sure everybody in the team has sunglasses. You can pay a fortune for some, or you can just buy some cheap ones. I don’t like expensive ones, for fear of losing or breaking them. The great thing about mine is that they are also bifocal, and I use them for reading. In my travels, I have gone through many pairs of sunglasses. I buy ones that are durable and not expensive.
• Rain gear – GORE-TEX is great because it also keeps you warm. GORE-TEX can be expensive but it does work, and it will also keep you warm on cold nights. I still have my original GORE-TEX rain jacket from the Army and I still use it. Yes, it is camouﬂage, but I don’t use it for that reason, and I didn’t have to pay an outrageous price. I recommend that if you do want to buy it, go to a military surplus store. It is used, but that will be the cheapest place to buy it. If you do purchase any GORE-TEX gear, make sure you take care of it and be careful how you clean and store it. Pro-longed exposure to the sun can cause it to dry out.
|These can be pricy but they will keep you warm.|
• Bug spray/sunblock: When it comes to bug spray, all I can say is purchase a lot of it. Make sure everybody on the trip has his or her own bug spray. It has been my experience that unless the bug spray contains DEET, it will not work, or it won’t work for long. The new mosquito device with a cartridge that you insert and then turn on and clip to your belt works when there are only a few of the darn bugs around or in your tent. One time I wore it in the woods and I still got covered in those bloodsucking insects so I ended up putting bug spray on. It works well in tents, but make sure the tent has an opening at the top. In a closed tent, it may not be safe to breathe that stuff in. There is a new device that you clip on your belt to keep mosquitoes away. It does work, but only for a limited time, plus it is kind of noisy. I prefer bug spray.
• Anti-scent spray: start spraying this on your equipment before you leave on the legend trip. I always spray down my game camera after I set it up in a tree.
• Global Positioning System (GPS): I recently purchased a GPS, and now I make sure I always bring it with me. They are great and easy to use. A lot of cell phones now have GPS on them. My wife loves using hers, and she can always tell me where we are. They are good to use at night when you can’t see where you are going. You need to make sure you have good batteries in them. I remember one time when I was Bigfoot hunting up near the Suwannee River when we (my friend Eric and I) were checking a trail camera. After we put it up, I couldn’t see where we were or how far we had gone from the dirt road we were using. In fact I couldn’t tell what direction the road was in. Eric pulled out his GPS and switched it on. It turned out the dirt road was just to our left and about ten feet away. It was so dark in the woods and every tree looked the same. I should have gotten a compass reading before we went into the woods that night. But I didn’t think it was going to be hard to ﬁnd the road again. Boy, was I wrong. Now, no matter what, I always take a compass reading when I go Bigfoot hunting. GPS depends on the use of satellites, and if it is cloudy you may not get an accurate reading. Always bring a compass and map with you. this is good to use when you set up your game cameras; you can mark where you put them with the GPS
• Parabolic dish listening device (Bionic ear): It looks like a toy gun with a satellite dish on the front of it, and it comes with a set of earphones. It is great for listening to noises, especially at night. I can plug it into my wife’s voice recorder and tape what I am listening to. The only problem is that it is bulky and hard to pack away in my backpack. This is not much of problem if you set up a static post with your vehicle, but it is when you go rucking into the woods. It is not easy lugging around a lot of gear in the woods or jungle.
|these Bionic ears are easy to purchase online and very inexpensive.|
• Evidence kit including footprint casting material: Your kit should consist of the following items:
1. Plaster casting powder, which you can purchase from any hardware store. You need to double what you think you should have. I purchase two of the eight-pound tubs. I carry a Ziploc bag of plaster powder when I go deep into the woods. I always say that if I don’t bring it, I’m going to end up ﬁnding a print.
2. Rubber gloves, because the process can be messy.
3. Water – if you use too much it takes forever to dry and the material is not as strong. If you use too little water, you end up with a thick paste that can damage the footprint.
4. Soft brush.
5. Large plastic or bendable copper strip. (2” x 24” or two pieces of 2” x 13”).
6. Hairspray (in an aerosol can).
7. Measuring tape.
8. Plastic tackle box – to keep the kit together.
9. Plastic bags of assorted sizes – for collecting hair or scat samples
10. Rubber gloves
12. Small shovel
13. Plastic medicine containers
14. Measuring tape
• Fishing gear: Bring it with you just in case you get a chance to ﬁsh. It will give you something to do during the day when you are waiting for the evening. There is nothing worse than being bored. If you don’t have something for your family to do, then the chance of them coming back for another trip is slim. If you can catch ﬁsh for dinner, it will save you some money down the road. You can also use the ﬁsh or ﬁsh guts as bait for your trail camera. Just make sure you are in compliance with state law when you go ﬁshing. You can purchase most ﬁshing permits online. Fishing poles are a great thing to add to your packing list. Fishing itself is enjoyable, and I have found that for some reason, when you and your son are alone out there, he likes to communicate. I don’t know why, but there is something about a father and son ﬁshing trip. Sons seem to understand the bonding factor with ﬁshing, and they will start to open up and communicate. If you don’t believe me, try it. It works. My sons and I have some awesome conversations when we’re out ﬁshing. I always bring my “Pocket Fisherman” pole with me. It is a small, compact ﬁshing device that you can take with you anywhere (I sound like a commercial), and it is inexpensive. I bought mine on an online auction site for ﬁve dollars, including postage, and it is made in the USA. It works great, and I’ve caught quite a lot of large ﬁsh with it. If you are going to go ﬁshing, make sure you adhere to local and state laws and have a ﬁshing license.
|Great to have a long and they don't take up a lot of room.|
• Binoculars: These are another great item to bring along. If you are a serious legend tripper then you need to get a good set. Make sure you look online before buying them. Binoculars can be expensive. I found a great pair at a garage sale. If you have younger kids then you can purchase relatively cheap sets for them. It gets them into the mood and ready for adventure. It also gives them something to do when they are riding in the car, and they feel part of the experience.
If you are looking to just do a day trip and walk around area where there has been some Bigfoot sightings. Here is what I carry in the backpack I use for day trips:
• Backpack: you should have a good back-pack or rucksack to carry your gear. There is a new term, “bug out bag,” which refers to a portable emergency bag, usually a backpack, that’s thoughtfully ﬁlled with critical gear and supplies you will need in order to survive a multi-day journey to a safe location in the event of a crisis. I don’t keep my bag ready for a crisis. I like to have a bag with all the stuff I use on a legend trip. It does have some survival gear and some supplies, but only because I want to be prepared for anything while I’m out in the woods. I carry my trail camera and evidence-collecting equipment in case I ﬁnd some-thing, as well as casting powder in case I ﬁnd a large footprint.
I have my family members each put together a bag of stuff for a legend trip, and they have designed their bags according to what they feel they need. My sons always make sure they have their music listening devices. There are plenty of good backpacks on the market. I have two packs. The ruck that I carry for day trips is one I had in the military. It is the one I’m used to, and I ﬁnd it comfortable. The second one is a large backpack for when I go rucking back into the woods and I expect to camp over time. I bought it used on the Internet. If you don’t have one, I suggest you ﬁrst look on the auction websites before buying anything new. Some backpacks can be expensive.
• Survival Kit: The third thing that is a must is a survival kit, and I do stress the importance of having one with you. I carry a survival kit and so does every member of my family. Though it is considered pretty standard, it has everything I need in a survival situation. There are plenty of really good survival kits available on the market today. Most are priced at about thirty dollars and come in small, compact containers. There are even zombie survival kits and end-of-the-world survival kits. Whatever kit you purchase, just make sure you can carry it with you. I’m not going to endorse any particular one. Most of them essentially all have the same stuff. Remember, a survival kit is only as good as the person who owns it. In other words, you can have all this fancy stuff to help you in a survival situation, but if you don’t know how to use it then the kit is worthless to you.
I made up my survival kit based on what I think I will need in a survival situation. A good friend of mine, Kevin Jackson, runs a survival school in Florida, and I have learned a lot from him about what to carry with me. I will talk more about Kevin at the end of the chapter. I keep my kit with me at all times when I go into the woods, even if it is just a day trip. You never know when something will happen. It is a good idea to make sure your family members or teammates have one as well. I make sure every one of my family members carries a kit when we go legend tripping in the woods. Before you go into the woods, make sure you know to make a ﬁ re with the stuff in the kit. It’s better to learn how to use it before you are in a real survival situation. Learning to make a ﬁ re is not an easy task, and it takes practice. I added a sewing kit to my survival kit, because of my habit of ripping my clothes or losing a button. You don’t want to turn your trip into a survival situation, but it can happen. You can read stories about people who went on a day trip and found themselves in a survival situation. If you prepare accordingly and make sure you bring everything you need, then it won’t happen. I recently downloaded a survival app to my cell phone. It looks pretty good and has a lot of information, but I have not tried it yet. I hope I won’t have to, but it’s there if I need it.
When it comes to survival situations involving young kids, the only things useful to them in a survival kit are the emergency blanket and a signaling mirror. The most important thing to relate to them is that when they ﬁnd themselves disoriented, they should stay where they are. The safety necklace (de-scribed below) is a must for a young member of the family.
• Foot powder (cold weather) Great to use to keep your feet dry.
• Petroleum jelly (hot weather and swamps): On a recent outing in the Florida swamps, everyone got trench foot except for me. I slathered my feet with petroleum jelly before departing on the trail. I always pack extra moleskin and petroleum jelly for my family and friends, just in case. A good rule for hiking is, use foot powder for cold weather and petroleum jelly for tropical weather. Do not use it in extreme cold or icy water, because it can cause you to get frost bite.
• Extra socks: This item is equally important as footwear. You have to make sure your socks ﬁ t properly and that they do not rub when they get wet. Most standard white socks are terrible when they get wet, and you can get fungus because of the cotton. I wear nylon socks that dry quickly and are made for hiking. They aren’t too expensive, and they help prevent foot fungus or blisters. Properly sized hiking socks will help prevent blisters.
• Canteen with cup
• Flashlight (two) – always carry a head lamp and an extra ﬂashlight
• GPS (with extra batteries)
• Compass: in case the GPS stops working
• Poncho (for use as a poncho or shelter)
|Not expensive but has a lot of different uses.|
• Backup knife: always bring a second knife in case you lose or brake the first one. It happened to me.
|I always bring my Bushnell Mora knife as a backup knife.|
• Water puriﬁer pump/ portable water filter straw: This new and inexpensive device removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and surpasses EPA standards for water filters and removes 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites and filters to an amazing 0.2 microns. Filters up to 1000 liters of contaminated water WITHOUT iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals. Comes in a sealed bag, perfect for storing for emergencies.
• Pheromone chips: (keep in sealed durable container) are a method used to attract Bigfoot by creating an impregnated scent. These chips are made up of a mixture of ape and human pheromones. The chip is attached to a tree branch, and are often accompanied with a trail cam to capture an image. Experts say that any primate would be attracted to them, Bigfoot or not. You can purchase them on line and they are not cheap.
• 550 parachute cord: This should always be part of your gear when you go camping. Rope must have a thousand uses. I use it to cross rivers or streams and to secure gear. I like to bring 550 paracord with me. It is actually parachute cord, but it is extremely strong and can hold 550 pounds, hence the name 550 paracord. I like to use it for my safety necklaces, and I also replaced my bootlaces with it. I use it when I put up my ham-mock and to help secure my trail cameras to trees. You always see it being used on survival shows to set up animal traps. Again, I like to use orange-colored 550 paracord so that it’s easy to see in the woods. It comes in all different colors. You should also bring bungee cords. Like 550 cord, bungee cords have a hundred different uses. They make setting up a shelter a lot easier.
• Marking kit: These are brightly colored strips of cloth or plastic that hunters use to mark their area in the woods or swamps. They are great for marking where you want to go at night. You can also use them to ﬁnd your way back to a main road or trail. I use them during my daytime scouting trips. They are inexpensive and easy to see at night. Some of them are reﬂective and can easily be spotted at night with a ﬂashlight. You want to especially use them in thick, wooded areas. Make sure you retrieve them during the daytime so you can use them again.
• Bear mace: If you are worried about the wild animals you might encounter, then I suggest you take bear mace with you rather than a gun. Most public park areas prohibit guns. When you are on an outing with the family, it might make everybody uncomfortable, knowing you have a gun on you. Also, if you happen to go on private or government property with a gun, you can be charged with poaching. Poaching comes with a heavy ﬁ ne, and your gun will be conﬁscated. If you happen to be caught trespassing and all you have is bear mace, than you might get ﬁned only for trespassing. It happened to me, and I was able to talk my way out of it, with only a butt-chewing from the Fish and Wildlife people. Actually, I think the Fish and Wildlife ofﬁcers were amused when I told them I was Bigfoot hunting. Bear mace is not that expensive and it will do the trick if you run into a bear, panther, or wild pig. Snakes hate the stuff as well.
|I take this instead of a firearm. |
• Food (beef jerky, trail mix, peanut butter crackers, and an MRE)
• Solar recharger: used to recharge a cell phone or GPS
|This also has a flashlight and a light and I can recharge my cellphone.|
• Toilet paper/baby wipes (you will need them). I like to bring hemorrhoid wipes. They are soaked in Witch Hazel and make it easier when you have to do a number 2 in the woods. Also you can use the wipes to treat for cuts.
• Map of area: You should always have a map of the area where you are doing your legend trip. It makes it easier when you are explaining where you are and where you want to go to your group.
· Walking Stick: You should always bring a stick of some sort when you are out walking around the woods. It comes in handy when you have a run in with animals (snakes) and insects (spiders). Also it helps you find out how deep a creek is and to help set up a shelter. You can also you it to do wood knocks. I never go hiking without my stick. I've had it for years.
In Conclusion, No packing list is ever complete. You’ll journey out on your legend trip and discover something you wish you had brought, but as long as you got the basics as I mentioned above then your trip will be exciting and enjoyable.
In Conclusion, No packing list is ever complete. You’ll journey out on your legend trip and discover something you wish you had brought, but as long as you got the basics as I mentioned above then your trip will be exciting and enjoyable.