Archives for Camping

Water Bottle Funnel Guide – With Pictures

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I was tired of ripping paper out of my notebook to make a funnel when I was deployed.  The paper would get wet and the protein powder would get clumped up before it made it into my water bottle.  So I decided to recycle my old water bottle and make a funnel.  This funnel is great because I can screw it on to new water bottles with out making a huge mess and wasting other resources.  I’ve had this funnel for a while and I haven’t had to make a new one.

I used the following materials because it’s all I had but you can get more creative with making your funnel.  Just remember to practice safety when using knives, scissors or other sharp objects.

  • Fixed Blade boot knife by smith and wesson (pocket knife will do just fine)
  • Packaging tape (Super Glue will work better than tape)
  • An empty used water bottle
  • Used cap from a previously used water bottle.

Step 1
Gather your materials, safely prick wholes into the tops of your two extra bottle caps.  I perforrated little holes in a circular shape around the cap.  I was able to pull the plastic tab right out of the hole with out cutting my fingers.  Use caution while working with sharp objects.  See the photo below:

How to make a bottle funnel

How to make a bottle funnel

How to Make a Water Bottle Funnel

How to make a bottle funnel

Step 2:
Attache the two lids together using tape or what ever else you can use.  Be sure to put the part of the lids that would be tops together.  That way you can screw one lid to the funnel part of the water bottle and the other lid to the water bottle you are going to pour your mix into. tape the lids opposite of each other like this:

Open end of lid ——–> ] [ <-----------Open end of lid

Caps for Water Bottle Funnel

Caps for Water Bottle Funnel

Step 3
Cut the old water bottle in half (sorry I don’t have a pic of that)  Next, screw a side of the taped lids onto the cut in half water bottle and POOF you have a water bottle funnel that can be screwed onto the tops of water bottles.  Use it at your camp outs for hot chocolate or other cooking things.  It can be useful if you make it tough.  Like I said my funnel has lasted a while.

Water Bottle Funnel

How to make a water bottle funnel

How to make a water bottle funnel

How to make a water bottle funnel


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Camping In Utah For Fun

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One very popular hobby for many people is camping. I have gone camping many times throughout my life, in rain or snow, desert or forest. I have also camped on the banks of rivers, in snow caves, and in cabins. No matter where you go camping, your camping necessities may change a little, but the basics remain the same. You will need to stay warm. You will need shelter. You will need food to eat and a means to cook it.

The only places I have gone camping are in Utah, but there is such diversity in Utah’s climate and landscape, that I experienced a variety of different camping experiences. A camping hobby is great in Utah and other outdoor states. As I boy scout, I used to go on the Klondike every year. This was a winter campout in the Utah Mountains. It would get freezing up there at night. A couple of times when I went, I slept in a tent. The tent was freezing. A nice sleeping bag kept me warm, but the air was too cold to breathe. By morning my lungs felt like they had sand in them. My scout leader, another scout, and I got up a little early to make a fire, because we were so cold. The scout kept complaining about how his feet hurt all morning, until the sun came up and then we realized he had his boots on the wrong feet. I think every year that I went to the Klondike, I fell through the ice on the lake and got wet. The warmest I have been at the Klondike was when I built a snow cave to live in. You just make a large pile of snow and pack it down. Then you dig out the inside large enough for a couple people to sleep in there. If you just have a candle, it will stay very warm inside the cave. The snow acts as insulation to the cold air outside. Snowcaving should definitely be added to your camping hobbies list.

I have camped in the high Uintah Mountains of Utah. My grandparents have a cabin up there that we have stayed in often. Now that I am older, I am a much bigger fan of cabin camping. You can just light the wood burning stove to keep the whole cabin warm. We had an electric generator to have electricity in the cabin. It might not sound much like camping to some people. We were up in the mountains alone though, and cooked our food on a campfire and got our water from a spring.

I have also camped in other areas of the High Uintah Mountains, without a cabin. Once I went on a fifty mile hike through the mountains. It took us five days going ten miles a day. We had to carry our tents, sleeping bags and all of the necessary supplies for food and other things, through the mountains for five days. Which reminds me; do not ever let your mom pack your backpack if you are going on a trip like that, unless you want to carry whole boxes of cereal and other things that are not useful on a long hike. When I hiked to King’s Peak, the highest peak in Utah, my mom packed my backpack and once I got to our base camp, I found in my pack a large iron skillet to cook on that weighed a ton, a whole loaf of bread, a large jar of jelly and a large jar of peanut butter. To say the least, I was not a happy camper after I realized I had just lugged a cast iron frying pan up the mountain.

I have also camped in the deserts of Southern Utah. There is no end to the scenery and variety of landscape there, from arches to the Grand Canyon along with Goblin Valley to Lake Powell. There are also the large canyons with the Green River and the Colorado River carving through them. Find your camping gear at your online hobby store and more.

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Swimming at Scout Camp

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8 Tips On Open Water Swimming

So you’re ready to get out there and do some open water swimming to prepare for your next camp? Before you go dipping into your local body of water, keep these tips in mind:

1. Never swim alone. For safety purposes, always swim with a group or bring along a friend. Given the unknown elements, a dangerous situation may arise such as fog, currents, boats, etc. where you will be in much better shape with others around.

2. Adjust to cold water. If the water you are training in is cold, below 66 degrees fahrenheit, be prepared. Wetsuits are necessary. Wearing a swim cap and earplugs can help keep your head warm. Get in the water slowly and only get in for 5-20 minutes the first time out, gradually increasing your time in the water with each swim.

4. Upon exit of your cold water swim, drink warm fluids, take off your wetsuit, and dress warmly.

3. On sunny days, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before getting in (especially for those with light skin!).

4. Be careful of the fog. It is easy to get lost in foggy weather and lose sight of the shore.

5. Watch the seaweed. If you are ocean swimming and come across seaweed, stay high in the water and do not kick. The seaweed can wrap around you if your legs are kicking.

6. Never swim in a lightning storm.

7. Open water swimming can cause chaffing. Use petroleum jelly if this is a problem.

8. Goggle color. Use dark lenses on sunny days, blue lenses on cloudy days.

Open water swimming can be challenging, but for many it is FUN and a nice change from “following the black line” at the bottom of the pool. Enjoy, and remember, “when in doubt, get out.”

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Scouts Car Emergency Kit |

Shelter Unit
Military space blanket
- Also known as a casualty blanket. This item is made of a heavy duty thermal reflective plastic with reinforced grommets along the edges. The primary use of this item would be conservation of body heat, but it can double as a shelter should she need to abandon the auto. Parachute cord- About 50’ of 3/16” to provide attachment for above. Numerous other uses.

Leaf bag- A heavy duty leaf bag to serve as emergency rain coat when holes are cut for head and arms. Can also be used as a ground sheet.
Clothing Unit Military BDU pants- Made of a reinforced cotton/polyester blend, these pants are made for rough usage. I picked a size large enough to accommodate thermal underwear.
Turtleneck longsleeve shirt- Cotton/polyester blend. A light to medium weight wool shirt would be better. Will upgrade soon.
Underwear- A complete change of lingerie is worth its weight in gold to a lady. Forget the stuff from “Frederick’s”, we’re talking utility.
Socks- Two pair, light weight wool/nylon.
Shoes- A pair of athletic shoes in their mid-life stage with good laces.
Gloves- Wool, military issue glove liners.
2 Hats- One is a “boonie” style for rain, the other is a stocking type for maximum heat retention.
Bandanna- Plain old cotton hankie, 1001 uses.

All items are stored in a plastic trash bag.
Comfort Unit
Soap- Small bar of “hotel” soap.
Shampoo- Single use “hotel” packet.
Toothbrush- Kid sized.
Toothpaste- Sample size.
Dental floss- One of those ity-bity types the dentist gives you. Can be used for heavy duty sewing, suturing, snares, garrote, rappelling rope for insect, etc.
Mirror- Small, for vanity or signaling.
Sanitary napkins- For obvious and not so obvious uses i.e. tinder for fire making, bandage compress.
Sponge- The dehydrated variety.

All items packed in a Tupperware container.
Sustenance Unit
Water- Two 20 oz. softdrink bottles (plastic), two drops of bleach in each.  Individually packed in a ziplock bag.  Food beans, potatoes au gratin, crackers, peanutbuter, jelly, hard candy, cocoa,accessory packs and a package of “Datrex” food bars. When stocking your “pantry” remember that people under stress need more carbohydrates for energy, they will want to munch to help relieve stress and they will quite often refuse unfamiliar foods. Pack in ziplock bags for visibility/resealable.
Spoon- Large and long, tough plastic or Lexan.
Cup- I prefer the metal military canteen cup because you can cook or boil water in it.
Water purification tablets- The chlorine based are better than the iodine based. Check the expiration date on the bottle and replace when needed.

Fire Making Unit
- A small box.
Lighter- Butane, childproof lock prevents fuel from escaping. Magnesium bar w/ striker- Air crew survival firestarter.
Birthday candles- Stays lit long after a match would, indispensable for getting a fire going.

Packed together with lighting unit.
Lighting Unit
Cyalume sticks- Two 12 hr. green. Flameless, no batteries, they are dated but I have used sticks that were years out of date and they still worked.
Flashlight- Any flashlight that is small, tough and you can hold in your mouth to free both hands. One set of batteries should last for the duration, replace them yearly.
Candle- For light/heat, I prefer the type used in candle lanterns because they stand up to high temperature better than most, sold in camping stores.

First Aid Unit
Bandages- Assorted fabric backed.
Tape- Small roll, fabric backed, 2” width.
Pain reliever- Whatever you use at home, several doses in 2 pill packs.
Anti-diarrhea- A case of the trots while safe at home is a nuisance, when you are in a stressful situation you can not tolerate the potential dehydration much less the hygiene problems. A blister pack of Immodium should suffice.
Antibiotic ointment- Small tube of opthamolic ointment, could be used in eyes, skin cuts, or warmed and poured in ear for earaches. I am not a doctor, this is not medical advice, proceed at your own risk.
Antihistamine- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is a good choice for a runny nose, hayfever, or better than nothing for insect stings. Diphenhydramine will make you drowsy, keep this in mind.
Prescription drugs- In a waterproof container, pack a 3 day supply of any medicine that you can not do without.

- A good basic model will give you enough information to help orient yourself.
Map- I chose a detailed highway map of our state.
Whistle- Unless help is within speaking distance use the whistle for attracting attention.
Swiss army knife- An ersatz version of the original with a passable cutting edge.
Sewing kit- One of those promotional items with a couple of needles, some thread and a button or two.
Pencil and paper- For leaving notes, a pencil will not smear when wet.
Toilet paper- A half used roll in its own baggie.
Money- About 25 bucks in small bills, some coins too.
Phone numbers- A small list of friends and relatives.
Survival manual- Army manual soon to be replaced by the military survival cards.
Book Of Mormon/Holy Bible- A palm sized version for inspiration in dark moments.

This kit is stored in a military, medium sized “Alice” pack without the frame, its home is in the trunk of her car. The total weight is approx. 25lbs.

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How to Build a Real Fire

This is instuction on how to build a Camp Fire. This method is used widely among many Scouts and Leaders. This is intended as a useful guide to get the fire rollin’

Common’ Baby Light my Fire’


Kindling (sticks, small logs from fallen branches, dry leaves, paper) and logs
Bucket of water, or water source
Small- to medium-sized rocks and stones (for optional fire pit)


1. Build your fire at least 10 feet away from tents, trees, roots and other flammable items. A fire ring is simple to build with stones and rocks and helps contain the fire. If you can’t build one, just clear a space 24 to 32 inches across.
2. Gather dry firewood and kindling, using only fallen branches, then build a small, loose pile of twigs, dry leaves, paper, and kindling, allowing space for air to flow through and feed the fire.
3. Build a pyramid of dry twigs and small sticks around and above the pile of kindling, allowing space for the air to flow through and feed the fire. Light the kindling with a match.
4. As the fire grows in strength, add increasingly larger sticks, then logs, making sure to always leave enough space between them for the fire to breathe.


Building and Burning

* Build a fire only as big as you need.
* Never build a fire near tents or other flammable items.
* Never use flammable fluids to start a fire.
* Never leave fire unattended.
* Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby just in case.


* Make sure to completely extinguish the fire when you’re done.
* Scatter the ashes or embers, then springle with water. Stir with a stick. Repeat.
* Drench the charred logs.
* Repeat until everything is cold.

When all Fails you can always use a little

Scout Water’

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