The “Born Wild” Film Is Out

Really inspiring and just released, this film is the combined work of Brooke Froelich, Morgan Brechler, Ali Geiser, and Shannon Robertson.

Watch the short Born Wild film here.

In Raising a Wild Child millennial parents turned social-media influencers use the very technologies that threaten to separate them from nature to connect with it—and each other—instead.  This family-centric outdoor adventure film shares the stories of parents who are raising their kids on outdoor adventure, and using social media to build a community doing the same.

There work shares a common ground with my book Let Them Be Eaten By Bears.

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Practical Outdoor Tip – How To Enjoy Pooping Outside

There’s an excellent book called “How To Shit In The Woods.” If you haven’t seen it, skimmed it, or read it, you might want to check that out online or at a bookstore. It’s detailed, funny, and popular (it’s sold more than 2.5 million copies).

Also, a lot has been written on the internet about digging and using “cat holes” for Leave No Trace purposes, and if you haven’t read about those either, here’s a good link to the Section Hiker blog‘s coverage of that topic.

But this is a practical tip, a simple, quick guide post: How To Enjoy Pooping Outside.

So here are a few quick tips to make your #2 experience more enjoyable:

– First, dig a hole with a broken branch, not a shovel or trowel. Shovels or trowels weigh a lot and only improve the digging experience marginally. So if backpacking in, don’t carry the extra weight. If you really want to carry a digging tool, buy a short, all-plastic trowel at a hardware store because the all-plastic models are much lighter than any kind of metal tool (the worst is the VERY heavy Army-Surplus-Model folding trowel). Carrying something heavy just so you can dig and poop in a hole is not an enjoyable experience. Save the weight.

– Second, if the ground is too hard to dig, don’t fight it, don’t spend half-an-hour digging a rocky hole only to find that the urge to poop has passed. Instead, the proper Leave No Trace method for pooping on hard ground is to poop on top of an elevated, exposed rock, then to smear it around afterward to decrease disintegration time. Rain, wind, and time will get rid of your trace after a while. Plus, you can act like a crazy person while you smear your own poop. I like to hum while I do this.

– This is key for enjoyment: If it’s hot out, poop in the shade. No one wants to be dripping with sweat as she squats over a stinky cat hole.

– Along the same lines: If it’s cold out, poop in the direct sunlight if possible. My friend once pooped in the early-morning shade on a snow-camping trip and passed out from hypothermia. Not a pretty situation.

SUPER TIP: If you want to squat more comfortably, dig your hole at the base of a tree and lean back against the trunk as you go. This will take half your weight off of your legs. Or, dig your hole at the base of a low-lying fallen tree and half-sit on the log…as you drop your own logs.

Practical Outdoor Tip – How To Start A One-Match Fire

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A lot of people spend extensive amounts of time finding fire-building materials and building a perfect fire structure before struggling to light it. But there’s a quicker, easier way, using all-natural materials.

First, go to a big tree or large rock with an overhang. Next to the trunk of the tree or underneath the rock’s overhang, quickly scrape together a one-foot-square pile of dried organic material. For example: Pine needles and pine cones work really well. The base of a large tree or underneath an overhanging rock are two areas that receive little moisture, so that material is often extremely dry. If it’s not dry (green rather than brown or damp to the touch), try a different rock or tree.

Second, dump the pile where you intend to build the fire. Then dig a fist-sized cave in the bottom of the pile.

Third, lay four or five sticks in a tipi shape over the pile.

Fourth, strike the match or flick the lighter and hold it inside of the cave that you dug out. As the pile goes up, you might need to blow a little. But probably not.

This is the method I use every time I build a fire outside, and it’s never failed yet. Even in the rain or snow, there’s usually dry organic material that’s piled up and been protected from the elements.

SUPER TIP: People pay money for Zippo tinder or other all-weather fire-starting products. Don’t. Instead, fill an old pill bottle with dryer lint (which is obviously free). Lint lights like a firework even in the rain. A water-proof match and a ball of dryer lint are magic in any weather. If you want to test it out, take a little dryer lint out to the driveway and light it to see how it burns.