Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Trip Planning: Mapping app

This is an extremely easy to use online program for mapping a route with waypoints or tracks. It's dead easy to plot your proposed route here, then export to your GPS... as a GPX file. Scroll in so it's easy to see where you want to make a waypoint, then double click. A waypoint will be made. Click save every time you make a waypoint.

I used to painstakingly use Google Earth then transfer each waypoint over. This is so much easier... scroll it to pinpoint where you want a WP, scroll back out to make sure where you want the next one, scroll back in to put it exactly where you want... repeat.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Sending your location using Google Maps

How to share you location on Google Maps in case you need help (requires an internet connection):
1. Set Google Maps to Google Earth
2. Click on the 3 vertical dots icon in the upper R/H corner
3. Choose "my location"
4. Choose "share"
5. Choose how you'd like to send the location message

It's a good idea when you go out solo or even with others to have someone at home or a friend somewhere who is aware that you 'might' use this feature if there is a problem. In other words, if you're going to use FaceBook Messenger as the potential way to send a help message, make sure your family or friend is aware of this and has it turned on.

Mobile Phone GPS apps

I've downloaded two paid-version navigation apps. One is Backcountry Navigator and the other is GPS Essentials. Both are quite versatile and easy to use. Both offer offline navigation, acting on satellites just like a standard GPS unit (no internet needed)
Backcountry Navigator was 419 Baht (US$12)
GPS Essentials (donation plugin) was 177.96 Baht (US$5)…

I used Backcountry Navigator on an actual route once a couple of days ago. It was easy to use and highly accurate. I checked it against Google Earth when I got home and it was actually more accurate on the placement of the track as it related to the road I was on.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wild edible plants: Taro nutritional facts

Taro is fairly common in the wild. If not taro, the colocasia family is readily available. The root or corm is the standard part that you eat, though the stems and leaves are also edible. The stems and leaves must be cooked to dissolve the raphides (sharp calcium oxalate crystals). Once dissolved, they are a form of usable calcium.

The root is a very good source of carbs. 100 grams of root contains about 26 grams of carbohydrate. This is about 20% of your daily requirement, so a couple of roots could be equal to about half of your daily carb requirement, which is certainly enough to keep your energy level up and your brain functioning properly.
Taro is a decent source of B-complex vitamins.

Minerals include zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, and of potassium.
If you eat the leaves, which you should in a survival situation, you can add vitamin C (100 grams provide approximately 80% RDA), Phosphorus, Calcium, and trace amounts of Selenium and other minerals.

In sum, finding a patch of Taro in the wild would go a long way towards enjoying your involuntary camping trip.

wild edible taro root
Taro corm

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Buscraft: Cooking rice in bamboo

I'm not really sure about the English or Latin name for these tree leaves, but they are used to wrap rice to boil in bamboo. The leaves add a bit of sweetness to the rice. 

You can cook rice in bamboo in about the same amount of time that it takes to cook rice in a rice cooker.

 Cooking rice in bamboo 


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Survival spear fishing: cooking fish in bamboo

You can steam fish in bamboo. Just add a bit of water and leave it until it's done. This tastes better than boiled fish. There is quite a bit of moisture in the fish and this helps cook it.

These two fish (Barbs) were speared in a nearby stream by our Thai ranger friend. He had a home-made Hawaiian sling that was basically a sharpened steel rod and a bunch of regular rubber bands tied together.

survival spearfishing
Barbs caught with a simple spear rig, then steamed in bamboo

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Wild edible plants healthy tea

This is the Butterfly Pea (Dok Anchan in Thai).  It makes a wonderful tea that has a calming effect.  It also has a lot of other medicinal properties, check out

When you boil these flowers it makes a lovely blue tea. If you add lime, the acid actually makes it turn a beautiful purple tea.  I add a little bit of honey as well.

Butterfly Pea tea
Butterfly Pea (Dok Anchan in Thai) is a tasty drink that helps you relax.