Camping and Camp Related Topics
Keep the camp organized. Put prospecting equipment in one location, camp supplies in another. Put fuel and oil in a third area away from, and downhill from the rest of the camp.
Cover fuel cans with tarps to prevent overheating. Open the breather cap to prevent cans from bloating when the cans heat up in the middle of the day.
If a generator is used, locate the generator as far from the camp as practical. Point the exhaust away from the camp (to reduce noise). Place a tarp under the generator to catch oil drips and fuel spills. Clear an area approximately 5-6 feet around the generator to prevent sparks from igniting dry vegetation. ALWAYS use an approved spark arrestor on the exhaust.
Always wait 2-5 minutes after the engine shuts down to refuel to give the engine a chance to cool down, reducing the chance of spontaneously igniting fuel vapors.
Always check oil levels when refueling. Don't rely on "low oil protection" devices, as they can fail like any mechanical part.
Keep power cords from generators as short as possible. Use a minimum 12 gauge outdoor UL approved cord. Cover Extension cord joints (plugs) laying on the ground, and ensure they won't be laying in a pool of water during rain storms.
Canyons are known for channeling winds. If an awning, tent, dining fly, or any other shelter is erected, storm lash it at every support pole. If a tent stake won't hold, because of sandy or loose soil, the dig a hole about 12 inches deep, and pound the stake into the bottom of the hole. Attach the lashing rope to the stake. Put a large rock into the hole on top of the stake, and bury the rock and stake with dirt removed from the hole. Then, attach the other end of the lashing rope to the top of the support. You can also run lashing ropes totally over the awning, tent, etc., and secure in the same manner.
When choosing a campsite, one of the things to look for is standing dead trees. DO NOT camp within reach of dead trees in case a sudden fast wind comes along and decides to take it down. A 60 foot pine missed me by 4 feet during a microburst wind storm. A rude awakening at one o'clock in the morning.
In bear country, burn all open food cans and other food containers not washed and stored. Bears will be attracted even by dog food cans. Burying cans and other garbage won't keep bears away and is NOT considered good camping etiquette. Burn it out, then pack it out.
Keep at least 6 feet of ground cleared around camp fires. Keep a shovel handy as well as a bucket of water with a couple of large rags soaking in it dedicated to fire fighting and standing by.
Always check with local forest authorities for any needed permits and "fire danger" status. Even if you have a permit, don't burn anything on windy days. It doesn't take much for a spark to blow over to a clump of dried grass or pine needles. We don't need a repeat of summer 2000, 2001, & 2002 fire seasons.
If your going to be "out of touch" for long periods of time, nothing can take away that sense of isolation better than a satellite system. If you have a small generator and a small TV, an investment in a satellite system is well worth the money. In fact, some dealers provide systems free.
Use a GPS!
Donít get lost even in bad weather or in the dark. Use it for preplanning your trip so that you can quickly get to spots where you suspect are good places. Use it to avoid dangerous territory but if you get into trouble use a GPS unit and a two-way radio to communicate your exact position to rescue teams.