By Charly SHELTON
School may be back in session but it’s still hot out and will be for another month. Why not take a weekend for a little reprieve from school and summer heat to get away to the woods or the beach for some camping? The great outdoors can be a rugged place but easy enough to conquer when you have the right tools – a good knife, a walking stick, a sturdy backpack and good shoes can make all the difference when on the trail. But there are also smaller conveniences that can make your day in nature a little more pleasant.
I took a couple of new bracelets into the woods to test out and want to share my findings with anyone who may hear the call of the outdoors before it gets too cold this year.
The two bracelets taken to Mammoth and the Sequoias this summer were very different and surprisingly useful. One is preventive, one is corrective.
Mosquitos and bug bites are arguably the worst part of being outdoors. The fresh air and beautiful views may be worth it when there, but after getting home and having 25 bites that itch for several days, one may think twice about going unprotected into buggy places. Of course there’s bugspray and citronella candles, but the spray is usually sticky and runs off with sweat. Carrying a lit candle on a hike is ill-advised during a drought. Mosquitino is the solution to that problem. It’s a little bracelet, like a scause or a Livestrong bracelet, with natural citronella oil that repels mosquitos and doesn’t run off or wear out. This is the preventive one because it prevents mosquitos from attacking in force.
To be fair, it doesn’t prevent all the mosquitos, but the majority of the swarm will stay away. I wore the bracelet to Mammoth while camping and the mosquitos stayed pretty well away, but I was accosted by biting ants. Then, to see the difference, I went to the Sequoias and didn’t wear it, and was mercilessly attacked. So it does make a difference in the mosquitos for sure, but it can’t fight everything. At $3.99 per bracelet, I suggest getting 250 of them and making a suit out of bracelets then never take it off all summer.
The other bracelet is more what I’m accustomed to from previous experience. I love bush-craft survival preparedness and primitive living techniques. Getting out in the wilderness can go wrong very quickly if you become lost or injured and can’t get back to the car.
I’ve been in situations before where my options were to hike out or make camp with nothing more than a pocket knife and a sweater. In such situations, cordage becomes very valuable. Paracord survival bracelets are a great tagalong to wear on the trail which can come in handy whether surviving or just enjoying the outdoors.
The Active Edge Gear collection from Survival Straps takes the paracord bracelet a step further by giving the fabric in the cord low-wave frequency technology. This low-wave tech has some solid science behind it, available on its website at activeedgegear.com, that confirms that this technology can affect the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates the unconscious aspects of body regulation, and provide better sleep, increased flexibility and increased endurance, among other benefits. I wore the bracelet for several weeks, 24 hours a day, removing it only to take a shower. And for me, personally, I didn’t notice any difference. I tried the exercises to determine my starting point of flexibility and breath holding, and after two weeks the results remained the same. I tested again at four weeks and six weeks with no major change in ability. That being said, though, I am a young man in relatively good health so it could be that I have nothing noticeably wrong with my flexibility or endurance and therefore won’t get much better than I am now, unless I start working out. Either way, it’s a beautiful paracord bracelet, hands down the best one I’ve had so far.
So get out there and enjoy nature while you still can, and be prepared for whatever may come. For more information on these bracelets, visit MosquitnoBand.com and SurvivalStraps.com.