Western Traveler

Tips and Tricks

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DRY PLACE TO START A FIRE – Most of the time you’ll have a hard time finding a perfectly dry place to start you fire, especially using a spark system. Try carrying a piece of aluminum foil in your pack to make a dry fire-lighting platform for your needs.

EMPTY LIGHTER FIRE STARTER – It happens, you go into the backcountry with the best of intentions carrying your liquid fuel lighter. But when you try to start a fire you find out that it’s empty. All is not lost. You can make a fire with just a little ingenuity. First, take out the cotton batting and spread it out. Next use the flint from the lighter to make a spark and ignite the cotton. End result, you get a fire from an empty lighter.

CAMPGROUND CASH – Every now and then I’ll find myself actually camping at a commercial campground, which is fine, especially in the “off season” when everyone else is gone. But, just because it’s not the main season doesn’t mean you get to camp for free. Anytime you’re out camping, make sure to carry a bunch of small bills ($5.00 and $1.00) with you. That way when you use their Honor Box you’ll have exact amount in-hand. I’ve actually not done this and filled envelopes with loose change, which didn’t work out very well. Also, make sure to totally fill out the registration form on the envelope. That information will be added to a database somewhere and the next time you camp at a commercial campground, it’ll make it easier for them to register you.

MAKESHIFT GRILL – Sometimes when backpacking you may need a grill to heat food up on. You can actually make one by using metal tent stakes and laying them across two like-sized logs. You can then put your cooking pot/cup right on the stakes and cook to your heart’s content. SAFETY MESSAGE – Make sure to let them cool off before handling them and putting them back in your pack.


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Last modified on: December 29th 2017.
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