Thursday, November 29, 2012

Black Bear Sightings On The Rise In Texas...

Photo courtesy of Animal Planet
Black Bear sightings are on the rise in Texas according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.
Usually black bears are only seen around the Big Bend area but this year they seem to have migrated in from Mexico.
Hikers, backpackers, and many outdoor enthusiasts have learned to coexist with these magnificent creatures while having a heavy respect for the dangers involved.
Hill Country residents are now having to increase their awareness.

Read the press release from TPWD below...

Nov. 27, 2012
Black bear activity on the upswing in the Hill Country and South Texas
AUSTIN -- Black bear activity in the Hill Country and South Texas along the Rio Grande from Del Rio to below Laredo is increasing, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists.
Though historically it has been very rare for bears to be sighted south or east of Val Verde County, so far in 2012 there have been a dozen such sightings.
"This is likely a result of a growing number of bears in Mexico dispersing and searching for food after severe droughts and wildfires," says TPWD biologist Jonah Evans of Alpine, the department's bear coordinator. "Whether these sightings signify a permanent recolonization of Central and South Texas remains to be seen."
While black bears are native to all of Texas, in the early 1900's, heavy hunting and trapping completely eliminated them from the state. Currently, the only established breeding populations are in the Big Bend area of West Texas.
"Black bears are generally not a risk to humans," Evans says. "But they can become a nuisance if they gain a taste for human food, pet food, or trash. We've recently received several reports of bears tipping over and damaging deer feeders and a few raiding trash cans along the border."
Evans says the department's goal is for people and bears to coexist peacefully.
"By eliminating food rewards, we eliminate most of the problems," he says. "Many communities in bear country have effectively adapted to live with bears, but it takes everyone working together and doing their part."
The most effective strategy is for residents along the border to secure their trash, bird feeders, and pet food, so bears don't become habituated to easy meals, Evans notes.
"This cannot be overstated," he continues. "The saying 'A fed bear is a dead bear' is absolutely true. If a bear becomes habituated and food-conditioned, there is little we can do to save it. It will likely have to be destroyed."
TPWD is asking for people to report all bear sightings. If a bear is causing a nuisance, TPWD will work with residents to secure attractants and may attempt to haze the bear. In extreme situations, the bear may be relocated. Biologists are also available to give talks and educational programs on living with bears. Since black bears are a threatened species in Texas, they cannot be legally hunted or harmed.
If you see a bear, please report it to Jonah Evans at (432) 837-2051 x228.
Bear activity reported so far this year includes:
--Maverick County -- Jan. 26 -- Sighting
--Starr County -- July 30 -- Relocated
--Kimble County -- Aug. 6 -- Sighting
--Menard County -- Aug. 8 -- Sighting
--Schleicher County -- Aug. 8 -- Sighting
--Sutton County Aug. 12 -- Sighting
--Webb County -- Aug. 27 -- Killed on road by vehicle
--Uvalde County Aug. 31 -- Sighting
--Kinney County Sept. 25 -- Sighting
--Maverick County -- Oct. 14 -- Relocated
--Val Verde County -- Nov. 3 -- Sighting

--Edwards County -- Nov. 5 -- Sighting

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Be Adventurous... Get Out and Do Something!

Every day there are people pushing themselves to the edge, seeing how far they can go, testing the boundaries, and exceeding their ouwn expectations.

Too often we sit at our desks, or on the couch, saying that we want adventure. There are few of us who actually seek out the adventure. We don't have the time, we're too busy, or we're too lazy... plain and simple, we are not motivated.

No matter what it is you like to do... hiking, biking, surfing, climbing, or riding motorcycles... there should always be an element of adventure. Adventure is what makes humans go farther.

One of our Facebook followers posted this video. It is very inspirational and adrenalizing. It is quite simply motivating. So watch it... then go outside and get your adventure on!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Good Knives Save Lives...

Copyright 2012 - Human Spirit of Adventure
I love a good knife. In a survival situation, a good knife will save your life.

They are such handy tools to have around in everyday life, not to mention during the course of an adventure. In survival situations, they will help you with building shelter, finding food, first aid, defense, and a myriad of other things that pop up.

When I was in the Army, I once had a Platoon Sergeant who made the comment "Good knives save lives" and I have found that to be true on more than one occasion. In fact, the very first time I used my Gerber Mark I was to cut a suspension line away from my parachute that had wrapped over the canopy and was causing a "Mae West". Once the line was cut, the canopy inflated fully and I safely landed without injury.

I have a vast collection of blades... literally hundreds of them. But in survival situations, there are really four of them I depend on most.

The first is my Gerber Mark I (Pictured left above). This knife has been with me for over 22 years. I first acquired it when I was in the Army. A gift from a girlfriend. As mentioned earlier, this knife saved my life several times and I will never leave home without it. Gerber makes one of, if not the finest blades available.

The second is my Victorinox Swiss Army knife (Pictured above at bottom). Not enough can be said about the Swiss Army knife. It is likely the most versatile knife ever made. This blade has been used by campers, hikers, outdoors-men  and military units all over the world. It is the forerunner to most popular multi-tools on the market today.

The third is a no-name brand, Chinese-made blade that I bought for $5 at a flea market (pictured center above). I never expected the knife to hold up under any condition, nor hold an edge for very long. Amazingly, it has surpassed every expectation. I have cut rope, vines, paracord, meat, and a list of other things with it and the blade has never dulled, corroded, or rusted. I have used it as a screwdriver and a pry bar with no damage. Who knew that it would hold up so well? I don't think I would want it as my only option in a survival situation, but given that it has proven itself  it is a better option than many other brand-name knives that I own.

The fourth is a knife I carry every day for use at work. It is a Ka-bar folding knife (pictured right above). very sharp, hold a good edge, and is versatile.

When it comes to survival knives, my suggestion is to do your research, find the knife that fits your needs, and experiment with it at home before taking it on the trail. You don't want it to let you down when you need it most.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

One Soldiers Sacrifice - Happy Veterans Day!

In 1987, after graduating high school, I enlisted in the U.S. Army. The Cold War was at a pinnacle  approaching a turning point if you will, and it was either going to end soon, or war would breakout large scale.

I wanted to serve my country more than anything. I wanted to defend my country from those who would try to deprive us of our liberties. With my 18th birthday approaching, I had no idea what that really meant. I had no idea of the sacrifices that defending freedom would bring, I wanted the adventure... but I was ready to sacrifice anyway.
Anyone who grew up during this time had a lingering fear that the USSR would nuke us for all we were worth. Hollywood helped incite that fear with movies such as Red Dawn (the original, not the cheesy remake), Rambo, and countless others. Anyone who grew up during that time also felt a strong sense of patriotism. So I enlisted. I joined the Infantry, went to Airborne School, Ranger School, as well as others, and worked hard to become a true defender of our nation. I lived for the adventure and the excitement.

In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. It was a glorious victory for the good guys... democracy had prevailed. The oppression seemed to be coming to an end and it was only a matter of time before the Red Menace would be vanquished.... but there was still a fear that the ugliness of war was imminent.
Six weeks later, I found myself in Panama going in to battle.

The battle field was not at all like I had expected... there were no moments of personal glory. The was no glamour  there was no Hollywood scripted stuff. It was real. People... other human beings not so different than myself were dying. It was loud. It was bloody. It was ugly... and I thank God often that it was quick.

I was a soldier. I did what I was asked to do. I did what I enlisted to do... and I was forever changed. I was no longer innocent. I was no longer a boy. At 20  years old, I had become a man. A man who had killed other men.

Days, weeks, and months roll by without me ever giving much thought to it. But sometimes I can think of nothing else. I have not suffered as many other Veterans have. I am strong, sound, and have my life and family. But I understand others sacrifices deeply.

With politics such as it is, causing everyone to hate the other side, right here in our own country, don't forget about those who are sacrificing their families, their innocence, and indeed their lives in order to protect an ideal that only history will dictate as right or wrong. Whether you do or do not support the war... at least support the soldiers. It's the least you could do.

When you see a soldier, sailor, or Marine... tell them "Thank you!"... not just for their service, but thank them for the sacrifices they have made. Thank them for sacrificing their innocence. Thank them for sacrificing their families. Thank them for doing what most would never do.

To my brothers in arms, Thank you... and HAPPY VETERANS DAY!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Extreme Adventure Vehicles Pt. 2

Photo courtesy of
In keeping with our series on Extreme Adventure Vehicles, we come to a group of vehicles that are truly built for adventure.
These vehicles are extreme! If you are trekking across South America or the African Savanna then one of these might be for you.
These vehicles are not for the Weekend Adventurers... they pack a serious punch and are built for the literal long haul.

Built by Global Expedition Vehicles, these will definitely get you wherever you want to go...

Check out their website HERE

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Extreme Adventure Vehicles Pt. 1

Photo Courtesy of
One item that every adventurer dreams of owning is the ultimate adventure vehicle. The very thought of being able to access the inaccessible is one of the driving forces in an adventure.

Have you ever wished that you could have the conveniences of an RV, but knew there was no way your Winnebago was going to make it through that rough outback trail? Have you ever spent hours thinking of how to build the perfect vehicle for your adventure needs? Have you ever wished there was a vehicle on the market that would satisfy your taste for adventure? Well, there is.

This is the first of a series dedicated to Extreme Adventure Vehicles. These are not your average 4X4... no, this is a salute to the truly EXTREME!

One such vehicle (if you have an extra $80,000) is a custom Sportsmobile. These things are great. They are a 4X4 van with many options for customization. They can be as comfortable as they are rugged and will definitely get you where it is that you want to go. It's all up to you!

These vehicles passed the test in MOAB and Baja... they just might work for you.

Check out their website and all of the custom options HERE