Friday, April 4, 2014

The Packsack Gear

Hullo... those who read this blog might have seen the little episode where I went through Mama's backpack and found nothing in the way of "useful" gear... a bottle opener is not useful! So... it is time to do some gathering...

First... if we are going to go out in the bush...

I want to know what we are looking at! There are a few good books here - plants, birds, rocks... that should cover it. Oof... these are heavy!

But they are good - see... on the left page is Salmonberry... 

Now... what else can I dig up...

Oh, this stuff looks good!

Some bug spray, an instant cold pack, binoculars, a rain poncho and...

There must be something useful in here...

Ah-hah!!! A compass... this is beary good.

And a pocket knife... I'm sure it has a bottle opener on it somewhere.

Oh, this black thing is bear spray... but don't use it like bug spray!! I don't think Mama will need this - I can just growl ferociously at any bears. (She just rolled her eyes) But she says that it would be good to use against cougars too... hmm... here kitty kitty...

And... a baseball card from 1990?? Mama says this is not hers... hmmm...

Oh, and some bright pink flagging tape might come in handy for trail marking - you never know.

Now the thing with compasses is... you need to adjust for the magnetic declination. Mama gave me a long explanation which made my eyes glaze over - basically the magnetic north pole and the North Pole are not in the same spot. OK... So this compass needs to be adjusted.

I went to the internet and typed in the latitude and longitude of home...

And it spit out the magnetic declination! Which is shifting by -11.4'/year... uh-huh... whatever. Anyhow, our magnetic declination is almost 17 degrees. Hmmm... just for fun... Little Fox is close to us and his is about 16 degrees. Jerry and Ben are beary far away and theirs is only 3 degrees!

Anyhow - you see that little screw on the dial halfway between N and E? Well, that has to be adjusted... the last time Mama used the compass, it was set for 24 degrees declination... so if I used it as is... we would be off by 7 degrees!

Now to test it... looks good (it's easy to test because the window faces due East)!

Oh... and it comes with a pretty mirror too!! Although it is a bit dirty I have to say. Where's the glass cleaner? Now... for some honey supplies - the most important of all!


  1. What a great and beary helpful post! We think you could do the new hiking show on the stuffie channel! Ben was a little bit afraid of that bear spray, and Jerry reminds you to include an emergency jar of honey for any long hike.

    1. Thanks guys! I am sure there is a little jar of honey around here somewhere... or I will just tell Mama to bring home some Starbucks packets.

  2. Sandy you are now beary prepared for some off trail exploration. Glad you got the compass to work, I still haven't figured out how to navigate with a real one (hence hwy I usually use a GPS). The books are a great idea, I need to get my roommates a wildflower book for our area, it might help them help me find bearies that edible for little foxes (and humans I guess). Glad to see you have a Swiss Army knife (and that it probably has a bottle opener just in case) . I have one of those myself and it seems beary just have to find a bottle of wine in the woods and use the corkscrew on my Swiss Army knife to open it up. Maybe on this weekends hike...

    1. Ahhh... GPS... that would be handy! Mama says she is "old school" but maybe one day... I think she could teach you and your roommates compass lore and you could teach her GPS!!

      A wildflower/plant book is beary helpful. I think a mushroom book would be good too but Mama says the only good ones are chanterelles and she knows what those look like. Sometimes humans are silly!

      Apparently there are multiple Swiss Army knives running around here, and multiple bottle opener and corkscrew attachments. You never know when a bottle of wine might roll out of the forest.