2 mins

A Brief History of Horseback Riding and the Riding Merit Badge

Brief History of Horseback Riding

Horses are one of the oldest species of animals on earth, dating back to over 50 million years in origin. At first, they were treated primarily as a source of food by our ancestors, but soon their intelligence and transportation value to led to their domestication by humans. The earliest traces of domestication of horses can be traced backed to the Eurasian steppes of Kazakhstan around 3500 BCE. Their domestication led to huge steps forward for humans in terms of agriculture, warfare, and transportation, things which were unimaginable started to happen, thrusting civilization forward.

The first historical evidence of domestication of horses and the way they revolutionized transportation for the next few thousand years came in the form of their integration with chariots, found in burial sites in the Ural mountains.

In the next few thousand years, the size of the average horse shrunk as most wild breeds were wiped out with the domesticated horses surviving primarily in the evolutionary chain. The Botai culture was the first human tribe to domesticate and use horses for transportation, leading to the invention of ‘bit’. However, most of the horse riding gear that we see today is the result of using horses in warfare, which required riders to be as safe and secure as possible while riding at high speeds on horseback.

The development of the harness and other riding equipment evolved from the application of horses in war. The first harness was used by the Egyptians in 1600 BC for chariots first used during the Hyksos invasion. The next big invention came in the form of stirrups around 400 BC, first used by the Assyrians in their war efforts. The modern saddle was first invented by the Romans around the 2nd century AD and turned the Roman cavalry into something ferocious and fearsome that all their enemies feared. To learn more about horseback riding in the 21st century, visit www.horseridingcanberra.com.au.

Until the early 1920s, before automobiles took over, horses remained the most efficient and common human transportation method not only in America but all around the world. Nowadays horses are mostly ridden for sport and hobbies. The cultural and traditional values of horses are still large in many parts of the world among many indigenous tribes who still live life the primitive way. In Canada and certain places in America, horses are still used by locals for traveling and other purposes. Horses are amazing animals and riding them is one of the most fun activities you could ever do.

2 mins

A Scoutmasters Guide to Success

Running a troop can be a tiring thing, especially on major camping trips like Summer Camp. This post will detail everything you need to know about in order to be successful, keep your moral up, and be able to lead the Scouts effectively.

Camping Equipment

Having the best camping equipment is an essential factor for success. First, you will need to know the environment you are going into. If you live in a warm area (like Troop 1 in California), you will want a sleeping bag specifically designed for warmer climates. Conversely, if you are in colder regions, you will want a cold weather rated sleeping bag to keep you warm and allow you to get a good nights sleep. Since sleep is essential, you will want to know if you prefer the ground or if that may give you back problems (leading to restlessness during the night and tiredness during the day). If you need a softer surface, you can look at getting an inflatable camping air mattress. They are inexpensive and can save your back from some major issues after a couple days in the woods.

Camping Food and Refreshment

Food and refreshments can make the difference between an enjoyable and sub par camping experience. If you do not have the right food, you will feel tired and drained of energy more quickly, which of course is not ideal when you are in charge of making sure your Scouts are learning and having fun. Some of the best foods for camping require proper cooking equipment, such as cast iron pots, mess kits, coffee brewers and more. You can find some of the most highly recommended mess kits here, and 5 best semi automatic espresso machines here. Mess kits are easy to clean, and an espresso machine will help you get more of a punch than regular coffee.

Activities and Merit Badges

Scouting trips are all about fun and learning, so it is important to have activities lined up that are both fun for the Scouts and conducive to their learning experience. Some of the best merit badges to earn for advancing in rank also happen to be some of the most fun. Many events like summer camp will have predetermined programs, but if the event you are going on does not, here is a list of all merit badges so you can pick the best options for your group.



3 mins

Importance of Water Filters, Food, And Shelter for Wilderness Survival

Wilderness survival is one of the core merit badges a scout must achieve before advancing to the rank of Eagle Scout. It focuses on survival in every inhospitable condition there is (a scout must always be prepared) and is one of the most difficult and rewarding to achieve. In order to get the merit badge, the scout must discuss ways to survive in unfriendly conditions including desert, snow, forest, plains, and oceanic environments. Below we will discuss wilderness survival in the desert, then continue with more posts on snowy, wet, and water environments.

The Importance of Water Filtration

Water is crucial to survival, especially in an environment where the heat of the day can leave you easily dehydrated. On top of this, most natural water sources (including rain) will often be contaminated with bacteria that can make you sick, drain you of energy, and make you even more dehydrated. Due to the importance of clean water, it is highly recommended that you bring a portable water filter in your survival pack, or learn about how to fashion one out of materials you may have available to you in an emergency situation. If you are currently crafting your survival pack and are unsure about which filtration system to get, you can check out EpicGifts water filter reviews, or head over to Practical Survivor and learn how to make one yourself.

Finding Shelter

Finding shelter is important, but in a desert environment it is almost as crucial as finding water. Due to the sparseness of the land, it is important to make sure that you find a place that is both comfortable enough, and offers protections from animals, debris, or insects/poisonous plants. In desert environments particularly, the days can be blisteringly hot, but the temperature may drop drastically at night, exposing you to harsh colds and the potential for freezing. To combat this, make sure your shelter can give you shade during the day, and some sort of shelter at night from wind and other elements. If possible, it should also be in a place that makes it easy for you to signal for help.

Getting Food in the Desert

The desert is infamously sparse, with very few animals, plants or people inhabiting it. Because of this, it is crucial to not only know where to find food, but also what kind of food is safe for you to eat. Some common desert edibles include prickly pears, agave, and chia sage. You can find a more complete guide on edible plants in the desert online, so I would encourage you to do some researching on your own.

There is no doubt that the desert can be one of the most inhospitable places to find yourself in a survival situation in. However, if you remember the basics of finding water, finding food, finding shelter, and finding help, you should be able to pull yourself out in one piece.

Special thank you to the contributors of the information in this post (credited below)

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