Saturday, August 27, 2011

Altoids Tin Survival Kit

"Curiously Strong"

Here's a fun little survival kit I made out of an Altoids tin in just a few minutes. I managed to fit 20 things inside (and outside) but I do plan on replacing the flashlight and compass with much smaller versions so I am able to fit a few more things in it.

Whats in The Survival Kit:
Altoids Tin
Matches
2 strikers from the match box
Gum
Small Flashlight
Small compass
Candle (I used a birthday candle)
Foil
Ziploc Bag
4 Safety pins
Wire
Gauze
Bandaids
Alcohol Wipe 
Sewing Needle 
Thread
Mirror 
2 Rubber Bands (I used hair ties)
Dental Floss
Razor Blade

 Everything EXCEPT the wire! (forgot to put it in the picture)
The wire
 Everything in except the wire and Alcohol Wipes
FINISHED!

Looking at the match box it had a lot of wasted space so I decided to alter the tray that the matches come in by making it smaller so it took up less room and still was able to fit all of the matches back in and more from another box! I then used plastic wrap to wrap the box so the matches wouldn't fall out. The fallowing pictures show how I made it:

 Everything you will need







Almost done!
 Adding Plastic Wrap
Small Piece of tape will hold it together.
Fits Perfect!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Paracord Hatband for a Boonie Hat

A boonie hat , also known as a bush hat is a form of wide-brim hats what are commonly used by military forces. Its design is similar to a bucket hat but with a stiffer brim. Often a fabric tape band of 'branch loops' is sewn around the crown of the hat. This 'foliage ring' is meant to half additional vegetation as camouflage. A strap provides stability. The crown may be vented with rivets or mesh panels, Snaps may also be provided with which to fix the brim in the style of an Australian bush hat. Here is where you can buy one of these hats but you can go to any army surplus store.



This hatband is very easy to make it may look a little intimidating but its one of the easiest knots I have done so far and it looks awesome! You can use as much paracord as you want; I used 30ft.  This is just one of many different ways I came across that you can tie paracord to your hat. This is the video I used to make it...




Friday, August 19, 2011

Dehydration and Water Purification

 Dehydration:
Water is a critical element of the body, and adequate hydration is a must to allow the body to function. Up to 75% of the body's weight is made up of water. Dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving the body is greater than the amount being taken in.

Early or Mild Signs of Dehydration:
  • Dry or "sticky" mouth
  • Thirst
  • Headache
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Hotheadedness or dizziness
  • Reduced urination/ Dark urine

Moderate or More Advanced Signs of Dehydration:
  • Extreme dry mouth 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Significantly reduced urination/ very dark urine
  • Crying without tears
  • Lack of sweat, even during intense exercise
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased heart rate
  • Cold hands and feet

Signs of Severe Dehydration (A Medical Emergency):
  • Behavioral changes (increased fear, anxiety, embarrassment)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tingling limbs (pins and needles)
  • Racing pulse
  • Vomiting
  • No urination
  • Fever
  • Shriveled, dry skin
  • In extreme cases, loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures

Dehydration Prevention:
Tip #1- Plan ahead and take extra water to all outdoor events where increased sweating, activity, and heat stress will increase fluid loss. Encourage athletes and people who work outside to replace fluids at a rate that equals the loss.

Tip #2- Check weather conditions for  the area you will be in. When temperatures are high avoid exercise, outdoor exposure, and plan events that must occur outside during times of the day when temperatures are lower.

Tip #3- The young and old are most at risk of dehydration. Ensure that old people, infants, and children have adequate drinking water or fluids available and assist them if necessary.

Tip #4- Avoid alcohol consumption, especially when it is very hot because alcohol increases water loss and impairs your ability to recognize early signs associated with dehydration.

Tip #5- Wear light colored and loose fitting clothing if you must be outside when it is hot.

Tip #6- Break up your exposure to hot temperatures. Find air-conditioning or shady areas and allow yourself to cool between exposures.

Tip #7- Know the signs and symptoms of heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Preventing dehydration is one step to avoid these conditions.


About Dehydration (I am  sorry this video starts automatically I don't know how to make it not do that)



Water Purification:
Along with knowing the symptoms and prevention of dehydration you should also know about water purification. What if you are out walking the dog, taking a short hike, or even a longer multi day hike and you get lost and/or run out of water? Water purification is the proses of removing undesirable chemicals, materials, and biological contaminates from contaminated water.

Common Myths:
Myth #1- Running water or white water is safe to drink
Don't count on it. Remember it comes from somewhere and the source or what it comes in contact with between the source and reaching your location could be suspect. Typically if you have to choose between running water and stagnate water always default to the former but make sure you also treat and purify the water before you consume it.

Myth #2- Eating snow is a great way to rehydrate safely
No, This can actually lead to further dehydration due to the process your body has to go through to heat and melt the snow once you eat it. It can also lead to hypothermia. If the snow has been on the ground for a significant period of time it could contain bacteria and other organisms that can make you sick. Always try to melt snow before you consume it. If the snow if not white or fresh, stay away from it or at least make sure you purify and treat it as you would any other suspect water (after you melt it).

Myth #3- Drinking saltwater in small amounts is safe
No, Drinking saltwater in any amount will lead to further dehydration and death more quickly than if you went without water at all. you can use saltwater to cool down your body but never to drink.

Myth #4- Drinking urine will prevent dehydration
You can drink urine 1 to 2 times in an extreme emergency but remember, urine is how you pass waste products out of your body. There is more water than waste products in a well hydrated individual however the ratio goes down as your hydration levels go down. Hence your urine will become darker colored as you become more dehydrated. It is a process of diminishing returns and eventually your body will shut itself down.

Myth #5- Barrel cacti are great source of water
This is not necessarily true.Although cacti do hold water, the odds are that the inside will be tough and fibrous and the water contained will not be abundant. In addition there is a greater likelihood that the water inside will be bitter and acidic which could induce vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. This would further complicate a survival situation and speed up dehydration.

Video on water purification





Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sturtevant Falls

About Sturtevant Falls:
In Big Santa Anita Canyon, the stuning 50 feet of cascading water that is Sturtevant Falls attracts thousands of visitors a year. Sturtevant Falls was named for canyon pioneer Wilbur M. Sturtevant, who carved out a trail in the 1890s and built his Sturtevant camp trail resort two miles up canyon from the falls.
  • The check dams all along the trail were built by the Los Angeles County Flood Control District and the Forest Service in the early 1960s.
  • The cabins were built in the early1900s before the area was designated a National Forest. They primarily see only recreational use since the Forest Service prohibits continuous occupancy of structures on leased land.

Location:
Coming from Long Beach take 605 north to the 210 west/ Foothill freeway towards  Pasadena. Exit Santa Anita Ave. Right at north Santa Anita Ave. Continue onto Chantry Flats Rd. Fallow Chantry Flats Rd. all the way to the parking lot. An adventure pass is needed, they are sold at the Chantry Flats parking lot.

Date/ Times Completed: 
August 15, 2011
9:45am - 5:45pm

Hours:
6am - 8pm

Difficulty:
Moderate to difficult in some places

Elevation:
Trailhead- 2200'
Sturtevant Falls- 2100'
Total loss/gain- 700'
Gain/loss per mile- 378'

Seasons:
All year

Entrance Fee:
An adventure pass is needed when parking at Chantry Flats, they are available for $5. Here is a link where you can find a place near you to buy them or they are sold at Chantry Flats.

Cell Service:
(Along the trail fellow hikers and I try to successfully send texts at random points along the trail to determine cell coverage)

T-Mobile - Had service the whole time

Trails:
Sturtevant Falls- 3.7 miles round trip
Lower Trail (top of Sturtevant Falls)- About 1 mile round trip
Hermit Falls- 2.6 miles round trip

Trail Condition:
The first part of the trail is paved the rest is well maintained. There are a few spots along the Lower Trail (top of the falls) that I don't recommend for small children as parts of the trail has fallen down the mountain. See pictures below.

Trail Directions: 
Starting at the Chantry Flats parking lot fallow the paved road behind the bathrooms on the first parking level all the way down the mountain till you reach an area with a bathroom, trashcans, a bridge, and trail sings. Crossing the bridge there is a trail to your right that I was told will take you to Hermit Falls without having to go up the hill but adds about a mile to your hike. I have not done this trail yet but once I do I will let you know. To get to Sturtevant Falls fallow the large trail past the trashcans and bathroom. Eventually you will see some cabins look for cabin 50 directly between you and the cabin is the stream there you will see natural slide in the rocks. Check out the videos below for us going down it. We have called it slide at cabin 50. Continue to fallow the trail along the stream crossing it a few time till you come to a sign that point up to the right to Lower Trail (top of the falls) this we took on our way back from Sturtevant Falls. This trail is not for dogs or children as parts were very difficult to get around as the trail have fallen down the mountain see pictures below... Continue along the same trail you have been on and that will take you to the waterfall base. There you can swim and hang out. To get back to the parking lot just go back the way you came.

Other Activities:
Hiking
Running
Equestrian
Mountain Bike
Swimming

Jessie's Thoughts:
Reading about this and the Hermit falls trail I found that most people liked this one the most out of the two falls but I have to say Hermit falls is my favorite. Sturtevant falls is a great hike for the family its easy to get to, the trail isn't very long, and the water at the base of the waterfall is deep enough to swim in but there are no spots to jump in from. The drawbacks are as this is such an easy trail a lot of families with small children do visit the fall. By the time we got to Sturtevant falls the whole area in front of the fall was packed with people with a bunch of kids splashing and screaming in the water. Along with hiking Sturtevant Falls we also did the Lower Trail (Top of the falls) and Hermit falls trail.

Map:

View Jessie's Trails in a larger map

Hermit Falls

Location:
Coming from Long Beach take 605 north to the 210 west/ Foothill freeway towards  Pasadena. Exit Santa Anita Ave. Right at north Santa Anita Ave. Continue onto Chantry Flats Rd. Fallow Chantry Flats Rd. all the way to the parking lot. An adventure pass is needed, they are sold at the Chantry Flats parking lot.

Date/ Times Completed: 
August 15, 2011
9:45am - 5:45pm

Hours:
6am - 8pm

Difficulty: Moderate - difficult in some places

Elevation Gain:
400 feet

Seasons:
All year

Entrance Fee:
An adventure pass is needed when parking at Chantry Flats, they are available for $5. Here is a link where you can find a place near you to buy them or they are sold at Chantry Flats.

Trails:
Hermit Falls- 2.6 miles round trip
Sturtevant Falls- 3.7 miles round trip
Lower Trail (top of Sturtevant Falls)- About 1 mile round trip

Trail Condition:
Most of the trail was in great condition; part of it is even paved but there were a few spots where the trail was eroding and it was a long way down! We also had to cross over the stream using rocks, fallen trees, and plants but it was fun.

Cell Service:
(Along the trail fellow hikers and I try to successfully send texts at random points along the trail to determine cell coverage)
T-Mobile - Had service the whole time

Other Activities:
Hiking
Running
Equestrian
Mountain Bike
Swimming

Trail Directions:
Starting at the Chantry Flats parking lot we fallowed the paved road behind the bathrooms on the lower parking level down a short distance where we saw a sign to the left for Hermit Falls. The trail will Zig-zag all the way down to the stream where you will have to use the rocks to cross. Fallowing the signs we kept going along the trail till eventually ran into the top of Hermit falls. There were quite a few people there mostly teens so keep that in mind when going here. Sadly where there are large groups of teens there will always be tons of trash and graffiti... BUT Hermit falls is still a beautiful place! so please don't let the trash deter you and/or your family from enjoying this amazing place. Once at the falls we saw three pools of water the top one that had a natural waterside down to the second pool that was deep enough to jump in from the rocks above. The third and most difficult to get to is at the base of the fall. After attempting to find a way to climb down to the water we realized the only way down was to JUMP! off the large boulder that over looks the large/ deep body of water below. So take a step back and jump in! the water its deep enough :) After spending about an hour we headed back up the trail to the paved road where we took that all the way down to Sturtevant Falls.

Jessie's Thoughts:
Hermit falls is a great hike its just a little backwards starting up at the parking lot and having to descend down into the mountains only to have to climb back up once you are tired from swimming but if you aren't tired head over Sturtevant falls. There was a lot of trash most at the waterfall itself; hidden in and under rocks or just left on the floor! There was a small amount of graffiti but I have seen far worse. All in all this was a great hike and the end result (the waterfall) was way worth the trek back up the mountain. We can't wait to go back!!

Map:

View Jessie's Trails in a larger map

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Trails Canyon Falls

 As of August 10, 2011 the Trails Canyon Falls trail is still closed due to the Station Fire in 2009!

So todays hike was going to be the Trails Canyon Falls trail in Angeles National Forest BUT because of the station fire in 2009 its STILL closed! So we had to improvise and found a small dirt parking area further back down the road (see google map for the exact location) once you park and get out of the car look behind you back across the street and you will see some water fallow that and you will almost right away see an awesome waterfall! We then walked down to the creek and fallowed it upstream for a while till we found a very cool hut someone had made with a large deep swimming whole right in front! We continued to fallow the creek upstream and on the left side there was a waterfall that was dry but might be flowing after a good rain. Even though todays hike was a bust due to it being closed we had a great time exploring and getting lost that it was almost worth it being closed. :]

 Trails Canyon Falls trail is CLOSED!

 Trails Canyon Falls trail is CLOSED!




















































































Private swimming area near Trails Canyon Falls


A small hut we found


A small Waterfall Near where we parked

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