The Prize

In the spring of every year, hundreds, if not thousands, of enthusiastic hikers take their first steps on a 2,185 mile journey on the Appalachian Trail. Months of preparation have led to this moment. They have read books, bought equipment, packed food and talked to others who have come before them. They have diligently studied every aspect of the journey to come, and now they stand under the stone portal as they prepare to ascend Springer Mountain, the true starting point of the trail.

Yet no amount of study can prepare them for what lies ahead. Nature is beautiful and alluring and very hard. There will be sore knees, turned ankles, persistent thirst, lonely nights and lingering doubt. They will become exhausted from the searing summer heat in Pennsylvania, sudden lightning strikes in Virginia, downpours in New Hampshire, snow in the Smokey Mountains, or mud in Maine, and from unexpected obstacles of all kinds everywhere.

But, as they walk the trail and become hardened by its challenges, hikers will experience a change of heart and mind. With time and miles, a veteran slowly emerges; the novice at Springer becomes the confident and knowledgeable Thru-Hiker who will keep on striving to achieve victory over every large and small adversity. The postcard landscape of the armchair hiker has given way to a more profound understanding. What began as toil and trouble has become something akin to joy.

The seasoned hiker overcomes through endurance and perseverance. In this respect, he is like the faithful pilgrim. Both are on a long journey; both must endure hardships; both are tested at every turn. And both keep pushing on to the goal, knowing that there is a prize to be won: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Adventure Travel – Mississippi

Adventures Mississippi

Adventure travel is easy in Mississippi you will find the wonders of century old oaks, discover the history of the civil war, great food and of course the blues. Since you will be traveling in the south you may want to slow down the pace and travel on the Natchez Trace Parkway rewarding your 50 mph speed limit with scenic views and plenty of places along the way to help you to understand the southern way of life.

Hiking along the trails in Tishomingo State Park you will find a part of the Appalachian Trail that has been traveled for centuries. Ferns and plant life here are different from any other part of Mississippi. The hiking trails take you along refreshing creeks and around the big boulders. Spend the day relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

If your looking to find wildlife in Mississippi Homochitto National Forest is the best place to find it with two wildlife reserves within its bounderies plenty of places to hike off and enjoy the quiet beauty of the park. By now you should be able to just kick back and relax. Enjoy a hike around the man made lake or a refreshing swim.

You will find 26 miles of sun drenched beaches at the end of the highway. Travel to Biloxi you can take a cruise out to Ship Island where Fort Massachusetts housed prisoners of war during the Civil War. Walking along the beaches of Gulf Islands National Park will open a window on how the coast was hundreds if not thousands of years ago.

Travel along the Deep South Antiques and Wine trail to Natchez and discover some of the best Mascadine wine in the United States. Natchez is the oldest settlement along the Mississippi River full of history, fun and music. Some of the Natchez Indian Burial Mounds remain and here is a reconstructed village. You can steep yourself in history and wonder at years gone by.

The blues is the music of Mississippi for the blues lover you will find many points of interest along the Natchez Trace Parkway. Adventure travelers who travel to Mississippi will not be disappointed, where oaks, moss and history are a feast for the eyes. Southern hospitality will recharge a weary travelers batteries. A adventure trip to Mississippi will not soon be forgotten by anyone who takes their time and smell the Magnolias along the way.

Food Ideas for Emergency Situations

I think a lot of people like to think they’d know what to do if the world went to hell tomorrow. But, be honest with yourself- do you really know what it would take to live, at least slightly comfortably, without the convenient comforts that we take for granted today? Think about it- what would you do without a grocery store, fast food, or pizza delivery for that matter? If you had no one preparing your food for you, how would you do it, and do you know how to find the food you need? We rely so much on a food supply that is quite easy to disrupt, and then we would probably starve.

Thus, it’s a little more complicated than you may think and takes some specialized knowledge, but with some basics to expand on, you’ll be more than ready if the civilized world as we know it ends. You’ll be prepared and equipped with emergency survival food, while others won’t, which will give you the survival edge if the situation ever presented itself. You could also read more about modern survivalist experts like Damian Campbell.

If you think about it, grocery stores and fast food chains are actually a fairly recent convenience. Before these things, people would rely on their own know-how when it came to procuring food. In fact, in some small, very poor, independent backwoods communities (think Appalachians) people still forage for wild food, hunt and process their own game, and completely rely on the land they live on to sustain them. However, these are a dying breed of people, and their ways are almost all but forgotten. In order to really understand the work that goes into preparing food from absolute scratch (or even finding it!) you could live with them for a while, or you could start practicing now. Damian Campbell would recommend you put into practice his teachings as well.

Tools of the trade

You may want to make sure you always have some basic survival tools and basic supplies handy, and you should know how to use them. A good, foldable hunting knife is a great start. A hatchet is also a good idea. A machete is a good tool if you happen to live in an area that sports heavy vegetation. A gun may be useful, but in terms of basic survival they’re not really necessary with the right skill sets (like knowing how to build traps, use a slingshot or spear, etc.) Know how to tie knots and have rope handy. Know how to make simple shelters and familiarize yourself with how to build larger, sturdier shelters for permanence if needed. For reference, some of these tools and others like a ham radio are listed in Damian Campbell’s survival manuals.

There are several basic foraging tips you should know. For wild crops, there are several high yield, easy to identify, and highly nutritious wild foods that you should use as your basis of foraging in the event of an emergency. One of these foods is cattails. American Indians relied on cattails for a good portion of their diets, and it’s unfortunate that American settlers didn’t adopt this food source and cultivate it when they came to America. Every part of the cat tail is edible and very tasty. The best edible parts of the cattail are in the stalk itself. To harvest, simply either cut an entire stalk at the ground and remove the outer leaves revealing a lighter colored fleshy heart, or you can also pull away the outer leaves of the stalk while it’s still attached to the ground, and pull up and hard on the heart flesh, popping it out of the ground without cutting it. Cattails also have fleshy rhizomes that are edible and can be stored for a long time. You can pull these up out of the ground by grabbing one in the muck and pulling up hard. You can extract the starch in the rhizome by mashing it in a liquid, then allowing the starch to settle down, pouring off the water, and squeezing out the water of the white starch. This is a labor intensive process however, but the result is a mash of high-energy food that’s easy to eat. Another very common food that’s easy to find through a good portion of the country are American persimmons. Persimmons are a very sweet, large, fleshy orange fruit that fully ripens in the fall, and is usually ready to be harvested after the leaves of the persimmon tree have fallen off and the fruit just begins to look past its peak. If you eat them any sooner, you’ll be punished with an astringent feeling in your mouth that’s not unlike dentist’s cotton (not pleasant). You will need to learn from local experts what grows in your region and temperate zone.

Meat may also be prepared for long-term storage by drying it, or dehydrating it into jerky. People used to butcher their catches or animals, salt them heavily, and hang them out to dry in the hot sun. Salting the meat preserved it and kept bacteria and other microorganisms from breaking it down, and the hot sun pulled out the water, effectively petrifying the meat so that it could be stored for later consumption. You can do this with just about any kind of meat, including fish.

You can also smoke meat to preserve it. Smoking is done in a small hut or smoker. The meat is hung or set in the smoker and a small amount of coals and or wood is placed in the bottom of the smoker. The meat is then immersed in smoke for days on end, drying it out and infusing the flesh with the smoke, making the meat last a long time after it’s removed. Smoking can also enhance the flavor of the meat if done right.

What to do now

Even though you don’t have a survivalist teaching you side by side, you have information sources like in this article and you can read more from experts like Damian Campbell. You should practice some of these time-honored techniques for preserving food, game, and drying your foraged foods.

For now, you can create an emergency food supply list and stock up one non-perishable emergency survival food to get you through temporarily in the event of an emergency. Gallons of water, canned foods, dried and freeze-dried foods all make a good start. Stockpile sugar, flour, salt, Lyme, matches, and a book or two on how to identify wild edibles, make traps, and how to build shelters. Familiarize yourself with basic sewing skills. All of these things will add up to a more prepared you, in the unfortunate event of an emergency.

Damian Campbell has a lot more tips for surviving and packing emergency food supply lists. This material is great training for you to survive many scenarios, including long-term “end-of-civilization” emergencies. If you follow the materials and training in his manuals, and put together the emergency kits he recommends, you will have to forage less when disaster strikes. With an emergency kit already assembled, you could be more mobile and perhaps you could flee the disaster area better. That is why it pays to be prepared, and Damian Campbell has a lot to offer.