When Sander was younger, he was a Scout. This is something you will recognize immediately when you go travelling with him. Our holidays are not the most primitive ones. The term “glamping” suites us more. When we travel by car we bring things like a water boiler, a small fridge, a sheet for our air-mattress, our own pillows and even my hair straightener is in our suitcase.
But when you go camping with Sander, some things he learned during his scouting period will bubble up every once in a while. So here are some tips from Sander. Better known as “Sander’s survival tips”.
Tip 1: Your beer should always be cold.
Make sure your case of beer is in a cold environment, preferably a cold river or stream. This way the small fridge is not fully packed with beer and you will have a cold glass of beer when you return from a day’s hike!
Tip 2: A campfire during cold nights.
Go and look for some dry wood. Wet wood does not burn as good as dry wood. Furthermore it is clever to build a pyramid shaped tower. Make this tower by stacking up pieces of wood. Small ones go on the bottom and in the middle, bigger ones on the outside and on top. Make sure you put really small tinder in the middle of your pyramid and use one lucifer to lit them. The small tinder will catch fire immediately and you will have a warm fire within 1 minute.
Sander guarantees that with this shape the fire burn within 1 minute. This is because the really small pieces ignite instantly, setting of a chain reaction of larger pieces of wood catching fire.
Tip 3: Power nap in the hammock.
After a long hike, we both often want to take a power nap. But then the question rises, where? Well, in our hammock! The ultimate holiday feeling I guess. Be sure you have two tension straps with you. These straps will make sure that the trees you are using for the hammock, do not get damaged. Another good thing about using straps is that you can span a long distance. Win-win for everybody.
Tip 4: How to walk down in a safe way.
Walking down is not one of my favourite activities. Most of the time I fall down at least once in the first 100 meters. After seeing this happening several times, Sander gave me a descending tip. Walk down sideways, in a Z-shape. This way you will have more resistance on the slope and lessen the risk of falling down on you buttocks… again.
Tip 5: Leave the beaten tracks.
Sometimes, when this is safe, leave the marked trails. Go into the woods, go of the path. You might bump into a fox, just as we did during one of our hikes! Climb onto a rock formation to see spectacular views. But always keep in mind.. be safe and take calculated risks!
Tip 6: Rely on your map, but do not assume it is always right.
During our hike to Carolafelsen and Hohe Liebe, we encountered this ourselves. We were looking for a little path, which was not there anymore. So at a certain point we started walking through thick bushes. Eventually we found our way back to the road which would lead us to Hohe liebe. This is of course due to the great map-reading skills and sense of directions of Sander. Sometimes you have to trust your senses and not rely on the map.
Tip 7: Always bring your Swiss Army Knife.
A very handig device. You can use your Swiss Army Knife as a knife, spoon, wine opener, screwdriver, etc. You can use it in many situations. Especially during our trip through the north of Spain, we used the Swiss Army Knife a lot. as a spoon to stir the coffee and a knife to cut our bread during our day hikes. I do not know what I should do without!
Tip 8: Make sure Sander sets up our tent.
During our trips with our tent, we developed a good distribution of the work setting up our tent. Off course, most of the tasks will be completed by the lord of the manor himself, Sander. We do not need a lot of conversation, we lay down the tent, assemble the tent poles. The tent is put up like clockwork. While Sander makes sure the tent stays neat and weather-proof, I take care of the interior and make it cosy. Job well done in the end!
Tip 9: The square knot, useful for many occasions.
This is a quick knot that is useful for low strain ties. The knot is popular among sailors, climbers, gift wrappers for its convenience and ease of tying. One of the simplest knots available, the square knot nevertheless proves to be strong enough for most casual applications. Best of all, almost anyone can learn to tie a square knot in just a few steps! A useful trick to remember is left end over right end, wrap left under right, right end over left end and again wrap right underneath left. Pull both ends to tighten. Ps. It also works vice versa.
Tip 10: Always bring Duct tape and rope.
During your holiday, especially on a camping trip, bring your Duct tape and rope. Why, you ask me? You might know the saying; Duct tape fixes everything. This saying is true. During our last two trips our tent did not survive all the weather circumstances. Sanders solution? Correct, take some Duct tape and rope. Use the Duct tape to renew the tent material and use the rope (remember tip 9?) to make new tabs for the tent. Et, voila, a new all tab is made.