Take a fresh perspective of science to the wilderness with these helpful tips.
Have you ever thought about how a little bit of science could make your next fishing or camping trip more successful and relaxing?
From the perfectly positioned campfire to picking the right fishing line for the job, a little research now will definitely make your next trip to the wilderness an enjoyable one.
1. Building the Best Fire
Adrian Bejan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University, came up with the Constructal Theory back in the mid-90s, coining the concept of aging flow systems and how they can be designed to remain effective despite the aging process. Upon applying this concept to the flow system of a typical campfire, Bejan concluded that the hottest fires have a height that is the same as the diameter of their base.
Translated into caveman language, this means you should make your fire as wide as it is tall. Make sure there is room for air to flow through your pile because oxygen will naturally get sucked into the crevices of your wood pile and fuel the fire from the inside, so you can stop dousing it with lighter fluid or bringing the oh-so-embarrassing starter log.
You can also control the temperature of your campfire to some degree by how you build it, which is perfect for cooking. A fire that is wider than it is tall gets hotter the taller it gets decreases in temperature as it burns down. A tall, skinny fire increases in heat as it burns down. NPR has an infographic that reviews all stages of fire-building, including the most important prep work you can do. Some of these tips include gathering enough tinder and kindling in addition to bulk wood and using sand or water to put out your fire and making sure it’s cold before you leave.
2. Casting the Best Line
The perennial question of open water fisherman is what material is best when it comes to your fishing line. Is it braid, fluorocarbon or monofilament? The answer, according to plenty of seasoned anglers, is all three. Fluorocarbon is gaining popularity due to its flexibility, thin diameter, and high level of sensitivity. It’s also the only one of the three materials that does not float. We’d recommend fluorocarbon line specifically for casting crankbaits, wacky worms, Texas rigging or jigging for walleyes or crappies.
Monofilament is the easiest to manage for beginners. It’s thicker, stronger and has tons of stretch. Tuma uses it for jigging for walleyes and for casting crankbaits for bass and walleyes.
Braids are sometimes called superlines for good reason. They float, they’re strong, and they cut right through the water column and run deeper. Use braid lines for trolling and longline setups. However, they don’t stretch, so anglers have taken to incorporating a fluorocarbon or monofilament to the braid to help.
3. Hunting With Tech
Tech gear can be overpriced and gimmicky, but it can save your life. It pays to stay up to date on some of the most high-tech gear and go into big adventures over-prepared. Companies like goTenna and Beartooth have mass produced off-the-grid technology that saves lives.
Beartooth is a small device that pairs with your phone and uses radio waves to turn it into a walkie talkie with a two-mile radius in parts of the world with no cell service. GoTenna uses the same principle, but it is only for texting. It has a six-mile radius.