Category Archives: Colorado Outdoors ‘Quick Tips’

High-altitude Survival

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Every year, more than a few hunters must be rescued from the wilds and high country of Colorado. Hunters get trapped by snowstorms, injured in various types of accidents or simply get lost in the woods.

Hunters must remember that altitude can affect their health and their ability to move easily. And in the Rockies, weather can change quickly with fast-moving storms dumping a couple of feet of snow in just a few hours. Read more

New camping options for last minute planners

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Tent camping at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Photo by © Thomas Kimmel/CPW.

The ability to make last-minute camping reservations is coming to some of Colorado’s state park campgrounds.

My dad sends me a text on Friday: Hey, let’s go camping this weekend! Want to head up to Eleven Mile State Park, go fishing, and camp on Saturday?

Yes, yes, I do. I’ll see if I can book us a campsite.
Read more

BACKCOUNTRY BASICS

IMG_0675-web.jpgFOR THE HIKING BOOT-CLAD FLY FISHERMAN

Every outdoorsman has their specialty. Whatever the pursuit, there is somebody passionate enough to fill that niche. For me, that niche is backcountry fly fishing. I’m fortunate that I live in Colorado, where miles and miles of backcountry wilderness sit at my backdoor. For years I’ve explored rivers and lakes without names and no permanent address on topographic maps. Some are seasonal ponds or creeks only to be found during runoff, and I suppose others are ones the cartographer just never got around to naming, so they sit patiently waiting for the weary fly fisherman to come along and unlock their secrets. These waters can be either quite rewarding, painfully stubborn or barren of any life form. However, most tend to be quite willing to relinquish a few fish. At altitude, these fish have a short growing season, which means they are quite occupied with filling their gut with as many invertebrate vittles as possible. This is excellent news for the angler, but certain strategies can enhance success and even the quality of fish one might land. Although most backcountry fish have rarely — if ever — seen a fly, they can still be extremely spooky at the slightest disturbance. The following are guidelines I follow trip after trip that have treated me well over the years. Read more

Quick Tips: Hunting Quail in Eastern Colorado

Quick Tips: Hunting Quail in Eastern Colorado. Video by © Crystal Egli/CPW

With very good quail populations in Colorado and hunting seasons extending into January, it’s a great time to get out and go quail hunting. Trent Verquer, Grasslands Habitat Coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, shows how to identify and locate scaled and northern bobwhite quail in eastern Colorado.

Some helpful resources for your next quail hunt:

Field Dressing Pheasants

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Yuma County Pheasant. Photo by © Mike DelliVeneri/CPW

December and January offer ideal pheasant hunting conditions in Colorado. The opening day crowds have thinned, crops have been cut and harvested and the cooler air is just right for walking the draws, sloughs and grassy fields in search of roosters. For those lucky hunters that are able to get some time in the field, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has some field dressing advice that will help protect your harvest and keep you legal. Watch Trent Verquer, Grasslands Habitat Coordinator, and Josh Melby, District Wildlife Manager, for some tips that will get you on the right path to field dressing your next pheasant. Read more

Shelter (Outdoor Survival Series Chapter 8)

Colorado’s weather can change in an instant and the ability to quickly find shelter in the backcountry is crucial to survival.

An unexpected change in weather over Ridgeway State Park. Photo by Nick Clement/CPS

An unexpected change in weather over Ridgeway State Park. Photo by Nick Clement/CPW

A great option for an emergency shelter is a brightly colored 4mm thick trash bag.  The bags are affordable, easy to transport and provide a durable and effective shelter. Read more

Clothing (Outdoor Survival Series Chapter 7)

Potentially unexpected weather brewing above French Pass. Photo by Dennis Mckinney/CPW

Rapidly changing weather above French Pass. Photo by Dennis Mckinney/CPW

Changes in weather may come at any time, especially in the high country. In the event of an unexpected change in weather, the only shelter you can truly count on is your clothing. And your clothing’s ability to keep you warm may be the difference between life and death.  Read more

Staying Hydrated (Outdoor Survival Series Chapter 6)

 

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Water purification tablets. Photo by Nick Clement/CPW.

Dehydration is one of the greatest threats to hunters, hikers and outdoor recreationists. Each year, hundreds of people face potentially life-threatening situations in the outdoors simply because they didn’t bring enough water with them. In this Colorado Outdoors Survival Series, we’ll discuss the best methods for purifying water and offer tips on how to stay properly hydrated in Colorado’s backcountry.

Click HERE to visit the previous chapter in this series.

Using a Map & Compass (Outdoor Survival Series Chapter 5)

 

CPW Photo by Nick Clement

CPW Photo by Nick Clement

 

Colorado’s backcountry and rugged terrain can confuse and disorient even the most experienced outdoorsman. Therefore, it’s important to know how to use a map and compass to avoid getting lost when venturing into remote areas. In this chapter of Colorado Outdoors‘ Survival Series, you will learn how to navigate your way to safety in any situation. To view the previous chapter in this series, click HERE.

Survival Kit (Outdoor Survival Series Chapter 3)

The most important thing to remember is that your survival kit is NO GOOD unless it is with you. When I venture more than 200 feet from the truck, trailhead or camp I always make sure I have my survival kit.

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Photo by Nick Clement/CPW.

This small kit includes those things that will enable you to survive an unforeseen situation. Your kit should contain the tools necessary to build a fire, provide shelter, signal for help and stay hydrated:

  1. FIRE – metal match and Vaseline-soaked cotton balls
  2. SHELTER – 4mm-thick bag, 8×10 tarp
  3. SIGNAL – whistle, mirror, orange flagging tape
  4. HYDRATION – chlorine tablets

In this third chapter and video, we will take a closer look at the essential items to stock in your survival kit. Click HERE to go to the previous chapter in this series. Click HERE to go to Chapter 4 .

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