Because some hippies decided that “dismemberment due to improper use of a chainsaw” was a bad thing…we now have instructions with all outdoor products.
But this has made us reliant on the instructions to tell us everything we need to know about our gear. The problem is, if you’re reading the instructions you are probably using it for the first time, you don’t know what you’re doing, and the gear is potentially dangerous.
Here are the top 5 things not in the instructions
5. Point the Blade AWAY from you
Funny enough, knives don’t come with instructions.
So, some tips on knives:
- Never cut towards yourself. NEVER.
Unless you don’t care for all your fingers.
- Never put a wet knife in the sheath.
If left wet, even stainless steel will rust. Rusty knives = tetanus
- Keep it sharp.
The #1 cause for all knife related injuries are dull blades. It forces you to work harder. The harder you have to force the blade, the greater the chance it will slip…right into your soft parts.
4. Canned Drinks will Melt Your Ice
Again, no instructions on how to use an ice chest. If they did, I’m sure it would read something like: put in ice, put in food. Order is not important.
What they need to tell you is some basic laws of thermodynamics. Heat goes from warm things to not-so-warm things. If you have warm food/drinks, and you put that into ice, the heat transfers to the ice.
When ice warms up, it converts to water.
Canned drinks are notoriously the worst culprit to pre-mature evaporation.
A single can has quite a bit of mass for its volume. If it’s at room temperature, it’s holding quite a bit of heat energy. Heat that you don’t want in your cooler.
Pro tip: Cool down all your canned drinks before putting them into the cooler.
3. Always Use a Ground Tarp
Tent makers are real keen to tell you how to put your tent up, but are suspiciously quiet on how to keep your tent in tip-top shape.
Always, always, always use a ground tarp under your tent.
That is, unless you like holes in the floor of your tent. Which sounds like fun…until it rains.
2. Don’t Chop Towards Your Foot
Chopping wood seems fairly simple. Take axe, raise over head, swing down, put blade into wood. Or in Jason Voorhees’ case, put into sexually active camp counselor.
The thing they don’t tell you is the proper stance. Now, it makes sense to not have one foot forward, you know, just in case you miss…but it happens.
Always have your feet a little under shoulder width apart and parallel. Then swing so that, if you miss, the axe will hit the ground between your feet.
1. Use the Pole Bag to Measure When Folding Your Tent
One of the biggest frustrations when breaking camp is trying to get that damn tent back into the now impossibly small tent bag.
There is a trick to this. See, when they make all the tent stuff, they want to make things as small as possible to save on materials.
To do this, they have to use the size of the longest thing (hehe) to determine how small they can make everything else.
The longest single thing in your tent is one section of tent pole.
So that means all the tent bags are approximately a little bit longer than the length of the tent pole bag.
So the trick is:
- Pack away the tent stakes in their bag
- Pack away the tent poles in their bag
- Flatten the tent
- Put the rain fly on top of the flat tent. Fold the fly so that it’s not hanging over the edges of the tent.
- Put your tent pole bag by the middle of the side of the tent. Not actually on the tent, just next to it, and centered.
- Use the length of the tent pole bag to fold in the sides of your flattened tent and rain fly so that the entire width of your tent is a little less than the length of the tent pole bag.
- Once you have the width set, then put the tent pole bag onto the tent and use it to roll the tent around the bag.
- Make sure you roll it nice and tight.
- Now the tent should fit back into the tent bag.