If staying focused at work is getting harder and harder these days, we don't blame you. It is summertime, after all. And when it's looking so nice out, you can't help but want to leave those e-mails unread, stretch your legs, and get out there.
We can't think of a better way to do that than by going camping. Just imagine: you and your best buds, all geared up, taking in everything nature has to offer. Finally, a chance to relax and recharge.
Better yet, it's a great opportunity to use your favorite EDC gear or a reason to pick up something new. If you've been meaning to put together an outdoors kit, it can be tempting to keep collecting gear until you have this huge, expansive, all-bases-covered loadout. But for weekends away and casual camping excursions, you'd probably be better off with a setup that's easier to carry and still able to get the job done.
Your New Outdoor Companion
The multi-tool experts at Leatherman recently released a new tool designed specifically for that purpose: the Signal. It's another entry in their line-up of full-sized plier-based tools, packing a total of 19 functions in a DLC-coated stainless steel frame that won't weigh you down.
With the inclusion of a saw, combo-edge blade, can opener, and hammer, the Signal makes for a suitable companion for your outdoor adventures. It even includes some last-ditch survival features too, like a ferro rod firestarter and safety whistle.
And in true Leatherman fashion, it's got a complement of features for day-to-day utility: pliers, 154CM steel wirecutters, bit drivers, wrenches, a bottle opener, a carabiner, and a pocket clip. You can check it out in full detail at the link below.
So You Want to Go Camping…
Remember, it's not always enough to just have the right gear. You've got to know how to use it, too.
If you're new to camping or don't do it as much as you'd like, it can be intimidating to get set up properly. So grab your gear, and we'll cover the rest. Here are a few things you'll want to keep in mind before you go camping that'll really save you some headache and stress.
1. Pitch a Tent the Right Way for an Amazing Night's Sleep
Before you set up your tent, pick a spot that's flat and clear of roots or debris. You'll be doing your back a huge favor, and it'll keep your tent from tearing on something sharp.
Next, lay down ground tarp to keep the moisture out, and secure those stakes deep into the ground. It's a small but important step, and the hammer end on the Signal is especially handy for this.
2. How to Start a Fire Without a Lighter or Matches
Matches can get wet, and lighters run out of fuel eventually. Here's how to do it with just a ferro rod firestarter, like the one on the Signal. First, gather some tinder, a material that can catch a spark and ignite, like some nearby dry grass or birch bark (as a backup, you can bring a few cotton balls along).
Get a firm grip on your ferrocerium rod in one hand and a striker in the other. Use deliberate strokes to scrape sparks off the rod, and don't rush it. Repeat until your tinder catches, build the fire by adding your kindling (small twigs, bark, etc.) to it, then bask in the triumphant glory of your new flame.
3. Use the Right Tool for the Job
Use your knife for slicing, saw for paring down wood, and a proper screwdriver for turning screws (and light prying if you must)—not your knife tip.
It might seem obvious, but it's worth emphasizing: treat your tools well, and they'll serve you well in return. When you're out camping, you have to make do with the limited tools you have with you, so it's important to keep them in top shape. The Signal has plenty of tools optimized for specific outdoors purposes for this reason.
We don't mean to baby your gear, just don't abuse them so they'll work reliably if you ever find yourself in a pinch. If you do happen to dull your blade, the Signal has its own knife sharpener to get it back to working condition.
4. The Ingredients of an Incredible Campfire Cookout
You'll want a hearty meal you can cook up with limited refrigeration and an open fire—we suggest canned foods and cured meats for this. If you’re bringing a cooler, pick up a block of dry ice to keep perishable foods nice and fresh.
Leave the kitchen utensils at home, your EDC blade and a can opener (like the one in your multitool) are really all you need to get a meal ready.
Pro tip: pre-cut any vegetables and meats at home and store them in a resealable bag. This way you're spending more time eating and less time prepping.
5. Have Fun, Be Safe!
Pay close attention to the wildlife near your campsite too. The last thing you want is an hungry bear crashing through camp, a raccoon making off with your bacon, or a deer rummaging through your vegetables.
If possible, set up your camp kitchen at least 100 feet away from where you’re sleeping. If you’re car camping, store garbage and food right in your car (but remember to close the windows!). Not near your vehicle? Rig up a bear bag with a duffel bag and some paracord. Throw your food inside, sling the line over a tree branch and make sure to hoist it at least 10 feet off the ground and four feet from the trunk of the tree.
Now you're all set up to do what you love, whether it's hiking, fishing, or cooking and eating. Just be sure to stay prepared with the right gear and surrounded by your favorite company. Happy camping.
What's your favorite camping memory? Whether it's why you love to get outdoors, some sage advice for camping newbies, or your best campground experience, we'd love to know in the comments section below!
This is a sponsored post presented by Leatherman.