Camping and Survival Tool Kit

camping and survival tool kit

Camping is one of our favorite outdoors activities, because it allows us to enjoy and absorb the peaceful environment of nature. However, no matter how peaceful and relaxing nature can be, the wilderness also has an extremely harsh and unforgiving side, so you must always be prepared to handle all scenarios when adventuring into the depths of the wild.

The first thing to consider is to be fully prepared by gearing up. The trick is to make sure that you have all the essential equipment, while keeping your pack as light as possible, because nobody wants to be hauling massive amounts of gear around the wilderness for days. Some of the essential items to consider are: Tent equipment and sleeping bags, fire starting tools, canteens, food and cooking equipment, flashlights, rope, and an emergency survival tool kit.

When going out in the wild, also make sure to have an emergency contingency plan if things go terribly wrong, such as having a contact in civilization who must receive regular and daily communication from you, and if they don’t, they should assume that you are in danger. Also making sure to have a fully charged cell phone or satellite phone with you at all times is crucial. Another consideration is protection. You want to have some kind of protection against wild animals, which can be bear spray or even a firearm if necessary.

When setting up camp, make sure to find a place with level ground and a location near running water and ample firewood. Also remember to never leave food in the tent, as you don’t want wild animals invading the tent.

There are three components for building a fire, which are tinder, kindling and firewood. Tinder is used to start burning the fire, and you should lightly blow at the base of the fire to provide oxygen for it to intensify. Once the fire gets going, you can add kindling and firewood to really build it up. It is recommended to always pack some kind of fire starter. We recommend having at least a lighter, matches, and a waterproof version such as a solar fire starter, because if the other ones get wet, you can always rely on the waterproof one.

Camping is definitely a great outdoors experience that allows you to get away from the superficial problems of civilization and society. But like anything else, there are risks involved that must be fully accounted for. These risks can be mitigated with proper gear, a plan of attack, and a good awareness of surroundings.

BASE Jumping Dangerous

base jumping dangerousMost people do not even know what a BASE jump is. BASE is an acronym for Buildings, Antennas, Spans (bridges), and Earth. BASE Jumping is jumping off of low altitudes with a parachute, with zero room for mistakes. BASE Jumping ends in a lot of fatalities across the globe. In many places, BASE jumping is actually illegal because in most people’s eyes, the risk is not worth the reward.

So why do people BASE jump? Most of the people who do BASE jumping are actually certified professionals. Even then, it is still very risky. There is little to no room while BASE jumping. One tiny mistake and your life is in jeopardy. People also do this for the thrill because skydiving is not enough for them. Skydiving usually starts at 10,000 feet or higher. BASE jumping is usually 2,000 feet or lower. That alone tells you the risks involved while base jumping. Believe it or not, some BASE jumpers start below 300 feet while free falling. Crazy isn’t it? Those types of BASE jumpers use static lines to deploy the chute automatically.

The position the body is in happens to be very important while BASE jumping. Keeping the body oriented and facing down is extremely important while BASE jumping. On very small jumps, jumpers use tracking to direct the body properly while falling to the ground. If you are positioned feet first, for example when people are standing up, that spells disaster.

In order for BASE jumpers to actually enjoy the experience, they must go on 10 jumps or more to actually start enjoying the experience. Initially, through the first few jumps, BASE jumpers will experience pain and difficulty rather than enjoyment. Is it really worth going on that many BASE jumps just to start enjoying it? Conventional wisdom would tell you no. But there are plenty of people out there still wanting to do it.

The people that do BASE jumps quite often are living their dreams. Most of them, after finishing BASE jumping, are full of excitement, and the release of their tension prevents them from being able to express their opinion. They are usually speechless after finishing a BASE jump. The pulse of BASE jumpers also goes through the roof. Right before doing the jump and after it is complete, BASE jumpers experience an extreme pulse due to the excitement. Their heart rates are through the roof.

BASE jumpers, at times, have a lot of fear right before BASE jumping. That can be a problem. For the slightest second, if a BASE jumper has any sort of hesitation, it can result in death.

BOTTOM LINE: BASE jumping is very dangerous. That is the main reason it is illegal in many places across the world. Even first time BASE jumpers do not have a thrill of fun, but instead experience problems. There are many ways BASE jumping can lead to a person’s death. In the end, it may not be worth it.


Photo credit:  wales_gibbons / Foter / CC BY
Photo credit: wales_gibbons / Foter / CC BY

There’s nothing quite like falling to the Earth from the sky going at over 120 miles per hour after getting a good jump-off from the plane. Skydiving is an intense adrenaline rush that cannot be described. You can read a bunch of books on skydiving or watch videos. However, until you actually experience it for yourself and get the thrill, you will not know the truly amazing experience it brings you.

Since most of us are not professional skydivers, you have to make sure someone who is a certified skydiver guides you while falling to the face of the Earth. Some people believe you can just put on a parachute without the proper training or without guidance from a professional skydiver and assume that things will be fine. However, everyone who wants to go skydiving has to make sure they get the proper training and guidance before they attempt this dangerous sport.

So why do people want to skydive? Some reasons include the thrill and the once in a lifetime moment. Some people skydive to put it in their book of memories, for the opportunity to experience such an incredible event in their lives. Most people, when initially skydiving, ask themselves whether they are making a mistake. After all, primal instinct tells us not to jump off cliffs, buildings or planes. It takes a substantial leap of faith to put your life in the hands of your equipment and the guidance of another person.

According to statistics, less than 1% of the U.S. population has actually gone skydiving. Although we have incredible technology these days that mitigates the risk of skydiving, many people still consider it extremely dangerous. There have been many injuries and deaths in skydiving, mainly due to improper training or poor guidance from the certified skydiver. This emphasizes the importance of having thorough and correct training and preparation before attempting to skydive. It also shows the importance of the skydiver certification. This certification should be rigorous and only granted to those that have proven to be absolutely qualified, because they have the responsibility for the safety and lives of their clients.

Despite all the risks that come with skydiving, many consider it a unique experience unlike any other, which makes it well worth the risks. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie or someone who values living life to the fullest before you go out, there are few thrills in life that can match that of skydiving.

Hunger Time

When we’re not exploring the world and new domains, we enjoy recharging and eating, and we like to eat a lot. We like to keep it simple when we eat out because time is valuable and spending an entire night out for just a meal isn’t the best use of our time. I have a lot of things to do before I die, so I need to get to work and not waste time. When it comes to fast food, Chipotle is hands down the best combination of  for taste, quality, price and convenience. You can put Chipotle Tabasco sauce and sour cream on pretty much anything and it’ll taste good, but all the vegetable and meat ingredients make it taste even better. They have a way of searing chicken to make it smoky and pack that flavor.

deli sandwich

Another place that we love to frequent when we’re in the area is Manhattan Cafe, which has some great deli sandwiches and very good buffet options. Arlington VA can be very pricey, but this Arlington cafe has really good lunch and breakfast food for a great price. They’re also very quick so you can get what you want without much hassle. The good thing about Arlington is that it feels like the city but isn’t actually in DC. You can get by with the metro service here, but the metro fees can be pricey compared to other metro systems.

When it comes to desserts, we also like another favorite pick by Best DC Metro Food, Sweet Frog in Falls Church, which is a shop for frozen yogurt in VA. It seems like there are froyo joints popping up all over the place in that area, but we think this is the best based on taste of flavors and price. There really is nothing like froyo to satisfy the sweet tooth. It also has dairy and yogurt cultures so it doesn’t feel like you’re just pounding sugar into your system. There is some nutritional value so I don’t mind piling it up and gorging on it.

Our next favorite dessert would be the classic American chocolate chip cookie by Mrs. Fields. I haven’t seen many of these locations around anymore, but they used to be at many mall locations. I guess the old school cookie shop isn’t the fad anymore, with trendier dessert shops opening up everywhere and pushing out the more classic shops. But you can’t really beat their chocolate chips cookies when they’re baked hot, which are some of the most delicious and addicting cookies we’ve ever had.

Of course these aren’t the healthiest choices to eat all the time, but when you have the active lifestyle that we do, you need to get those calories in. I am a proponent of the healthy eating lifestyle, but when you’re active, playing sports, working, and jumping off of cliffs and out of planes, you can really work up an appetite and craving for your favorite eat out places and desserts. For us, food is another escape from life’s problems, similar to our other adrenaline pumping adventures.


One passion in life for many people is severe risk taking, which can be an escape from life’s evils. And one of the most extreme risk taking and exhilarating activities on this earth is wingsuiting. In this act of defying the laws of nature, wingsuiters exit the ground and enter the air, reaching up to 127 mph, known as terminal velocity. They then use their feet as rudders to steer in the air, directing themselves to a destination point while evading death. Finally, to end the jump, they deploy parachutes, as wingsuits cannot provide a safe landing. There is nothing that can make you feel more alive than staring death in the face and living in the moment.

The genesis of wingsuiting began with fatal experiments in the 1940s in Europe. Up until recently in 1997, wingsuiting was not accepted until the invention of the first successful wingsuit. However, as the sport increases in popularity, so do the number of fatalities. The most dangerous version of the sport, proximity flying, has resulted in more deaths than any other sport. There have been 87 wingsuit fatalities in the last 13 years, with the number increasing every year as more and more people participate.

The number of risks in this activity are tremendous. Besides the obvious danger of hitting rocks and trees while traveling at an extremely high rate of speed, many wingsuiters also experience equipment failure. Even initiating the jump is a very risky proposition and can result in cliff collisions. It is questionable as to why proximity flying is so popular, as the dangers are just insanely high. Even the most expert wingsuiters are exposed to major dangers of hitting protruding objects or losing control for a split second. The thrill is obviously great, but human flight in the open air is much safer.

Despite all these risks, many people find a refuge and way of life in this sport, as seen by the story of this one cancer surviving wingsuiter. This seems to be a hobby for those that have nothing left to lose, whether from personal disasters or health problems. According to Daniel Rodriguez, you can’t think of anything else when you’re wingsuiting. You have to be completely in the moment, and when you’re in the moment, everything else goes away. This might only be a temporary escape, but sometimes when you can begin to forget, it can eventually become permanent. Life is mostly mental, and being able to change your mental state can change you. Many of these wingsuiters are also traveling to the most exotic and breathtaking locations in the world, bonding with nature in ways that only a small number of humans have in history.