Be Prepared

Every hiker, camper, and hunter should carry something in his pack or on his person that can start a fire. Matches, flint, magnesium sticks, UDAP Bear Spray, etc., all are good options. But, what if a person in the outdoors has lost or left behind his tool to start fire, and they must start a fire in the backcountry in an emergency. While there are many ways to start a fire in an emergency, the Fire Plow Method is effective, although challenging it is challenging to get it just right. The fire plow method is effective because it allows a person to use nothing more then the friction of wood against wood to ignite a spark.

Bear Spray

The Fire Plow method is only effective if a person has a cutting instrument. A knife, or, if no knife is present, a sharp narrow rock can be used for cutting. After gathering wood and tinder, prepare the plow. The plow is nothing more then a stick that is roughly one foot long, and one, to one and a half inches, wide. Use the cutting tool – knife or sharp stone – to carve a point into the plow at a forty-five degree angle. Also, a base made up of wood will have to be created. The base should be wider than the plow, sturdy and flat. Carve a flat spot into the base with the cutting instrument for stability, and carve a shallow groove at the width of the plow to give the plow a guide to be worked in. Put the plow into the groove and begin to work it back and forth along the track of the base. Once the wood on the base feels softer, or, possibly, there is smoke in the track, increase the pressure on the stick until a small ember forms over the wood. Slide the ember, carefully, onto a pad of tinder – dried grasses, etc. – and, when the ember begins to burn the tinder, slightly blow on the timber to increase the fire.

The Fire Plow method is difficult to perfect, and, if a person is relying on this method for starting a fire in the woods, practice should be intense and repetitive, careful and consistent. And as always, don’t forget your UDAP Bear Spray!

Archery Elk Season

The archery elk season in Montana is underway. And, for the archery elk hunter who has spent his summer exploring remote stands of timber most hunters only glance at on Google Earth, while hiking countless backcountry miles and prematurely wearing the sole from a pair of hunting boots, congratulations on your effort and good luck on this seasons hunt. For those hunters, however, that haven’t spent as much time in the backcountry this season, or for those hunters that aren’t sure how to effectively scout for the season, here are a few tips to help.

Archery Elk Season, bow hunting season montana

When you are out scouting, the most obvious signs of elk activity are droppings, tracks, and rubs. Elk are transient by nature, so being really excited about evidence of elk may be jumping the gun, so to speak. Pay attention to the freshness of the rubs on the trees, or the prevalence of the tracks, and know that it only means that elk may frequent that area, and there are a few other ways of figuring out more precise locations and patterns for the elk when the rut begins.

If you are scouting and you find a bull before the rut has begun, don’t be too excited. That bull most likely will be somewhere else when the rut actually begins. So, when you are doing your preseason scouting, make sure to pay attention to the cow elk. When those cows go into heat, those bulls wont let them out of sight.

Also, while scouting, look for elk wallows (areas where bull elk may tear up the ground to reach the mud and moisture). When the rut is on, elk will use a wallow every day, most likely in the heat of the afternoon, so knowing where fresh or old wallows are is a big advantage. Those bulls run really hot during the rut, and rely on the mud and moisture from those wallows to cool down. Areas to look for that could be potential wallows are in meadows – pay close attention to the edges of the meadows where moisture may run off and collect. Also, look for bright green patches of grasses on densely timbered slopes. Near creeks and lake are obvious choices, and also near beaver dams.

And don’t forget your UDAP Bear Spray and have it accessible in a UDAP holster while you are bow hunting this season! Archery Elk Season, UDAP hip holster for bear spray

Wildlife on The Road

Looking for wildlife on the road can be fun and exciting. Different areas of the United States have an array of wildlife that can be seen from the open road. Unfortunately, wildlife will occasionally get onto the road. Knowing when to swerve your car can not only help you to save the life of an animal, it can help you prevent damage to your vehicle.

Look for Crossing Signs

Crossing signs are not always for ducks and deer. Because wildlife is different throughout the United States, you may come across crossing signs with different symbols. Even if you cannot identify the animals on the sign, you should still pay attention to your surroundings. Other animals may cross frequently at that point, even if they aren’t on the sign. Look for small animals like turtles, armadillos and cats that could get in the way.

Wildlife on The Road

Pay Attention to the Shoulders of the Road

Animals don’t always travel across the road. Many walk alongside it, but are rarely seen. Turtles are a great example and they can cause a lot of damage to your vehicle if you run one over. When driving, stay in your lane and be alert, especially in wooded areas.

Wildlife on The Road

Spot the Herd

Whether you are looking for wildlife for fun or to be safe, it is important to remember that deer and elk wander in groups. If one is spotted, more are probably in the immediate area. Slow the vehicle down and make sure none are crossing the road. Don’t rely on deer whistles or salt to keep the animals away from your car.Wildlife on The Road

Should You Swerve Out of the Way?

In most cases, drivers should make an effort to swerve out of the way. If this is impossible due to oncoming traffic or other road hazards, lock the brakes and use the horn. If the animal is large, such as a moose, it may be more practical to swerve away from the animal. A moose can weigh up to 1,600 pounds and collisions often cause serious damage to the vehicle and passengers.

Whether you are looking for wildlife as you travel or are looking to be a safer driver, understanding how roads affect wildlife is important. Study tips for specific species that live in your area to gain a better understanding of what to do. This will not only help to make your journey a safer one, but a more enjoyable one. And carry UDAP Bear Spray in your vehicle at all times!Wildlife on The Road

Backpacking For Recreation and Enjoyment

Backpacking is something that millions of people all over the world enjoy. Some go backpacking for the enjoyment of nature and the ability to get out and hike on a beautiful trail. Others go backpacking for the sport of it and the ability to get in great shape. Whatever the reason, backpacking is a popular and healthy recreational activity that promotes health and encourages a respect for nature. Enjoying a hike can be done in various types of terrains and areas. It is important to have the proper backpacking equipment as well as the knowledge to navigate the area.

Backpacking For Recreation and Enjoyment

Things Needed For Safe Backpacking

In order to backpack safely, it’s important to have the right equipment and even the right people surrounding you. If you are new to backpacking, it is recommended to have a partner to go along with you. Sometimes, there are group hiking trips so that it can be safer for everyone involved. Having a partner that is trusted or a group of hikers to go with can ensure a safer backpacking adventure. People going backpacking for the first time often find there are some things they weren’t expecting and having someone with knowledge along for the trip can be a huge help.

Backpacking For Recreation and Enjoyment

Once a partner or group is picked, the next step is to pick a destination. Choosing a destination can be based on factors that are important to everyone hiking. For those that are interested in certain types of terrains, there are guidebooks and magazines that can suggest various trails and give a description of the terrain. For those that are more experienced, it may be possible to choose a more challenging terrain to hike. For beginners, it is important to choose a terrain that is forgiving enough yet still carries the ability to give a challenging and fun experience. Guidebooks and magazines often have detailed reviews of hiking trails and even have maps of the entire trail. It is recommended to have a map of the hiking trail to take on a backpacking trip just in case.

When choosing a destination, it is imperative to choose one that can be hiked safely in a certain amount of time. Inexperienced backpackers may want to go on a shorter trip, typically less than ten miles. More experienced backpackers may choose to hike for several days and there should be a plan to stop and relax along the way. It’s important to have all of the necessary supplies regardless of how long you plan on staying. Planning ahead is the key to having a successful backpacking trip.

Supplies needed for the trip should be chosen carefully. It is important to pack enough water for the trip and calculate how much water will be needed for the planned amount of time. A map should be brought along of the hiking trail and kept in a protective cover in case of bad weather. A compass is always a handy tool to have as well. Other supplies to bring are: sun protection, flashlights, matches, first aid kits, lighters, a tent, and food. It is recommended to pack all the supplies into the backpack and practice hiking around with the weight of the full pack. This will ensure that you will have enough strength to hike with the backpack and have a successful trip.

Mistakes Made in The Great Outdoors

Hiking, camping and backpacking are all excellent ways to experience the wonder of the Great Outdoors. However, it can also be a dangerous way to witness Mother Nature in all her fury. Simple common mistakes made hastily can have inconvenient and even disastrous consequences. Here we explore some common mistakes average people make when enjoying nature.

Failure to Prepare

Whether you forget to bring a map and determine your route beforehand or you make a rookie mistake like not bringing enough water, you could add hours or even days to your trip if you get lost — no to mention lose expensive equipment along the way. That’s why it’s crucial to sit down before hand — even with a hike that you’ve done many times before — and map out your route, procure rations and make sure you have the proper gear.

Mistakes Made in The Great Outdoors

Ignoring Signs

You may think you can handle a bigger workout than you’re actually trained for because at the bottom of a mountain, anything seems possible. Halfway up and you may reconsider. By then it could be too late and you’re already committed to the summit run. Pay attention to marked trails and their ratings. Don’t go for an intense trail with lots of climbing and scaling if you’re just out for a casual scenic hike. Instead, pick a trail for your fitness level and gradually work your way up in ratings over time. Also, don’t go off the marked trail. Doing so could send you on a route that could get you lost in no time.

Failing to Test out New Equipment

One of the biggest mistakes in camping in particular is not testing out equipment such as grills, tents and even sleeping bags beforehand. Before you head out on your trip, make sure the grill works and that you have enough propane to fuel it. Nothing kills a good camping buzz faster than hungry kids huddled around the grill mad at Dad who can’t get the darn thing to work. Set up the tent in the backyard before going, too. Make sure you know exactly how to put it together to save yourself the hassle of wrestling with directions at the camp site. Pack all components of the tent with you, including rain covers and stakes, so you’re well prepared.

Mistakes Made in The Great Outdoors

Leaving out Food and Toiletries

Most people know not to leave out food at a campsite, especially at night when asleep, so that bears and other large animals don’t come a-hunting. But most people don’t realize that many critters, such as raccoons and squirrels, are attracted by the smells of toiletries like toothpaste, soap and bug repellant. Keep these securely packed away as well to avoid unwelcome visitors.

Mistakes Made in The Great Outdoors

Be careful on your next hiking or camping trip by preparing beforehand so you can have the most enjoyable time possible.

Camping in the Back Country of Montana

One of the biggest chores in the backcountry is hanging your food in the trees so bears won’t get to it. It is very time consuming. Not any longer, thanks to the Bear Shock® Food Storage Electric Fence for the backcountry.

Camping in the Back Country of Montana

Nothing says Montana like a backcountry camping experience! But while you are out enjoying the Big Sky Country, please be BEAR AWARE! Being bear-friendly in Montana is something that we pride ourselves on. And it does come with sacrifice—the welfare of the bear always come first even if it means that we won’t be able to see a bear or get that perfect picture. It means taking steps to prevent bears from finding sources of food on your property or when you are out camping like using our Bear Shock® Food Storage Electric Fence.

Did you know that once a bear is food-trained, it is often impossible to un-train them. That is why biologists so often say a fed bear is a dead bear. So let’s don’t feed the bears!

Your attentiveness in keeping your outdoor camp space “Bear Friendly” is doing your part to keep Montana’s grizzly and black bears wild and free.

“Bear Friendly” means allowing every bear to retain its wild and free nature.

Black Bears

The American black bear is the smallest of the three bears types that can be located in North America, and are it should be noted that they are only found in North America. Black bears have the ability to climb trees because of their short non-retractable claws.

Black bears are very easy going and have a variety of habitat types, they are mostly found in forested areas with thick ground vegetation and an abundance of fruits, nuts, and vegetation. In the northern areas, they can be found in the tundra, and they will sometimes forage in fields or meadows.

Black bears are inclined to be solitary animals, with the exclusion of mamma black bears and her cubs. Typically, these bears will forage alone, but will endure each other and forage in groups if there is a wealth of food in one location.

Most black bears hibernate subject to local weather trends and the availability of food throughout the winter months. In areas where there is a reliable food supply and warmer weather all winter long, bears may not hibernate at all or do so for short period of time. Female black bears will give birth and stay denned throughout the winter, but you should know that both males and females who do not have young may leave their dens from time to time during winter months.

Black Bears

Bear Spray Works on Moose

Bear Spray Works on Moose

With everyone heading to the mountains to get that last hike in before the snow flies, don’t forget your UDAP Bear Spray! UDAP Bear Spray works on all kinds of animals including moose, not just bears! Read what one of our customers had to say!

You just never know how a moose will react….

Last year I was working near the Continental Divide just south of Glacier National Park. Over the course of about two months I saw this cow moose, never saw a calf, at least a half a dozen times, in the same area. I came with-in a hundred yards of her each time and she never displayed any aggression.

Then one morning I’m in the same area and see the cow moose again. This time, at about a hundred yards or so, she lays her ears back, with the hair standing up on the back of her neck, and trots in my direction. I thought, “what the hell’s up with her?” and stepped back in the timber behind the largest tree I could find. She came charging in, reared and started striking with her front feet around either side of the tree. I’m ducking and dodging and thinking this old girl is pretty serious.

The can of UDAP, that is ALWAYS in the right-hand leg pocket of pants when I’m in the backcountry, comes to hand and I give her about a two or three second burst at about three feet distance. The effect is immediate and dramatic. The cow moose almost goes down, regains her feet and ricochets off about three trees on her way out of the timber. It worked very well and I didn’t have “moose tracks” all over me! I have been treed by moose on one occasion and respect them as much as grizzly bears. Under certain circumstances they are more unpredictable than bears. You just never know how a moose will react and I was very glad to have your product in my pocket on that day. Thanks again for “saving my bacon!”

Sincerely, Ross Buckingham

 

Bear Spray Works on Moose

So enjoy your hike before the snow falls, take some great photos and don’t forget your UDAP Bear Spray!