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Outdoor Survival Skills

How To Read A Fish Finder



A fish finder is the most effective tool that is looking for very specific things in the water. By this tool, you can see what’s going on under the surface of the water. It can help you to find the locations where certain species congregate or know better where your bait is in relation to the fish in the water.

A modern fish finder is a basic small computer with special software designed specifically shows you what’s happening under the water. The sound waves bounce off of objects and fish, and the readout shows that where they bounce back from.

Not all fishermen are technology savvy, so it’s nothing unexpected that many people don’t understand the fish finder basics. The fish finder manufacturers should do a better job instructing their customers.

How to Use a Fish Finder and How To Read a Fish Finder.

Identifying Fish

The first thing you have to learn is how to identify fish. This technology converts the raw data received from the water into a user-friendly interface to help you explain what is below you.

1. Fish Icons

Fish icons are a helpful tool when you are getting started with a sonar device. Your fishfinder interprets the sonar data it receives and tries to find out if it is a fish or not. It’s work based on factors like the size of the object and the strength of the sonar return.

Fish swim at different speeds, in different ways through the sonar cone your fishfinder sends. It doesn’t mean that one uniform reading they always give. Sometimes many underwater objects or vegetation may give readings similar to that of a fish. So for the best accuracy using your fish finder, you have to figure out how to interpret the data yourself.

Fish Arches

If you have an arch fish finder, then hope to be receiving lines and arches from the transducer. This will save your time once you understand how it works.

They show fish as arches more clearly than Fish IDs. So when this fish finder shows bigger arches, it means it has detected a big fish. And when it shows small arches that mean it found a small fish. Though it might be a hassle trying to find out the rocks and plants. But with the time you’ll get the idea of how to use and understand your fish finder.

2. Judging fish size

Now you have spotted some fish arches, it’s a great opportunity to understand what each arch tells us about how big the fish is. As earlier we said, a bigger arch means a bigger fish. But there’s more to this as this may not be the case in every time. We are going to inspect this based on the thickness, width, and fullness of the arches.

Fish Arch Width

So, if the fish finder doesn’t show you the original length of a fish, can it then show you the arch width? Yes, you’re probably going to get the actual size of the fish is you look at the width of the fish arch.

Always consider the thickness of the arch instead of the size. If the fish finder gives a return of a full arch, then it is probably going to be a big fish. So if you get a return of school of fish of a similar size, you can easily spot out the biggest one with the thickest size.

Half Or Full Fish Arches

The arches on your fish finder can either be half or full arches. Your fish finder screen will show a full arch if the fish swims to the whole sonar cone. But it will display a half arch if the fish swims through part of the sonar cone.

The most important thing to remember is that a half arch doesn’t necessarily mean a small fish. There are still high possibilities it could be a big fish. So, the size of the arch doesn’t show whether it is a big or small fish. We suggest you keep an eye on the thickness of the arch.

Finding Baitfish on Your fish Finder

Baitfish will show on your display as dashes, lines or even just dots, so they can sometimes seem like vegetation. There are 3 key differences though:

  1. The baitfish will usually be suspended in the water, not on the bottom.
  2. Your fish finder will show baitfish in a different color to vegetation.
  3. The baitfish will often be in balls, which will then be indicated like a cloud or cluster, rather than lines.

Finding a Trophy Fish on Your Fish Finder Display

The best way to find a trophy fish is to look at the previous tip we dropped earlier. Always look at the thickness or width of the fish arch that how you can find a bigger fish. It doesn’t really make any difference if the arch is full or half.

3. Identifying Different Types of Underwater Structure

If you understand the sonar and interpret the display, you will be able to read the depth, determine the bottom contour of the underwater structure. And a cool feature that gives you a wide view of this is the depth finder feature.

The depth finder on a transducer gives you a clear view of the depth of the water underneath your boat. It also lets you know the type of fish to expect in that river. Generally, the depth finder feature can easily be seen in most fish finders on the top left corner of the screen.

Besides this, the depth finder feature does a fair job of showing you water temperature to help you know the type of fish you’re going to catch.

Vegetation And Weeds

There are times you will need to choose areas with vegetation and plants as your potential areas to cast. Just like looking for logs, your fish finder will show a spotter return or vertical lines on your fish finder screen when you bump in areas with vegetation.


Particularly for carp fishing, small depressions will be an ideal feature to target. Frequently these depressions are created by the fish themselves. Spotting them with your fish finder is not difficult just lookout for small, v-shaped dips in the bottom contour as you reel or troll.


Points are slower than drop-offs, but spotting them is easy. Ensure you maintain a steady speed when trolling or reeling so you get an accurate reading on how steep the incline is. You should scan with a narrow sonar beam to get the clearest reading and to ensure you see any shelves or humps which wider beam scanning probably won’t get.

4. Judging Bottom Type and Hardness

Whatever species you are hunting, knowing the hardness of the lake bottom and its consistency is another key piece of knowledge when you are trying to crack the code and get the fish biting. There are 3 factors to consider when working out if the bottom displayed on your fish finder is hard or soft: bottom color, bottom thickness, and the presence of a 2nd bottom return or not.


When your fish finder returns, a stronger echo, it then displays a thicker, bold line. That means, the bottom of the water it encounters is less porous and a lot harder. But what about if the transducer shows a thin, light line? Then it is showing you a softer water bottom like dirt.

Color and 2nd Returns

Another thing you have to understand about fishfinders is they do come in either color or Grayscale. Models with colored fish finder will show high and dark colors if the echoes returned by the transducer are powerful. In other words, if the transducer returns a stronger echo, then the fish finder will show a stronger or darker color.

Final Words

By using a fish finder you can easily find what kind of fish you’re looking for. Many ways that a fish finder shows you the fish and floor of a body of water below you or around you will require you to spend a little bit of time out the water practicing with the tool. However, you’ll quickly be able to get the hang of it with a little bit of time.

In the end, all we can say is that fish finders are relatively easy to use. Now you know how it works and how to read a fish finder. If you are a beginner you will need some time to get use it but all of this is incredibly simple and easy to use. If you have any questions please let us know through the comment section.

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The Top 10 Essential Uses for a Survival Knife




Camping trips offer families a chance to bond, explore nature, and create lasting memories. When embarking on outdoor adventures, a survival knife can be a versatile tool with numerous essential uses. From food preparation to emergency situations, a well-chosen survival knife can enhance safety, convenience, and enjoyment during family camping trips. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 essential uses for a survival knife in family camping scenarios.

Campsite Setup and Shelter Building

A survival knife is invaluable for tasks related to campsite setup and shelter building. Whether you’re pitching tents, clearing brush, or constructing makeshift shelters, a sturdy knife can assist with cutting ropes, trimming branches, and shaping materials to create comfortable accommodations for the family.

Fire Starting and Management


Fire is essential for warmth, cooking, and warding off insects during camping trips. A survival knife can aid in fire starting by creating tinder bundles, shaving wood for kindling, and striking ferrocerium rods or sparking flints. Additionally, a knife can be used to safely tend to the fire and adjust burning logs as needed.

Food Preparation and Cooking

Preparing meals while camping requires basic food preparation skills and tools. A survival knife can be utilized for slicing vegetables, filleting fish, and carving meats for cooking over the campfire or portable stove. Ensure your knife is clean and sanitized before and after food preparation to prevent contamination.

Hunting and Fishing Assistance

Hunting knife in a plastic sheath

For families engaging in hunting or fishing activities during camping trips, a survival knife can serve as a versatile tool for cleaning and processing game or fish. From gutting and scaling to skinning and quartering, a sharp knife facilitates efficient processing of harvested food resources.

Tool for Repairs and Improvisations


In the wilderness, unexpected equipment failures or situations may arise, requiring quick repairs or improvisations. A survival knife can function as a multipurpose tool for tasks such as tightening screws, cutting cordage, repairing gear, or fashioning makeshift tools and implements as needed.

Emergency Signaling and Communication

In emergency situations, a survival knife can aid in signaling for help or communication with rescue teams. Use the knife to create reflective signals by polishing the blade or fashioning improvised signaling devices such as whistles or flagging tape to attract attention and indicate your location.

First Aid and Medical Assistance

first aid kit is in a backpack

Accidents and injuries can occur during outdoor activities, making first aid preparedness essential. A survival knife can be used to cut bandages, dressings, or medical tape in first aid situations. Additionally, it may serve as a tool for minor medical procedures or improvising medical implements when necessary.

Crafting and Whittling

During downtime at the campsite, engaging in creative activities like crafting and whittling can be enjoyable for family members of all ages. Use the survival knife to carve wood, fashioning hiking sticks, utensils, or decorative items. It’s a relaxing and meditative pastime that fosters creativity and connection with nature.

Food Gathering and Foraging

A man is cutting mushroom with a knife.

Exploring the surrounding wilderness offers opportunities for food gathering and foraging. A survival knife can assist in harvesting edible plants, cutting fruit from trees, or digging for roots. Exercise caution and ensure proper identification of edible species to avoid consuming potentially harmful plants.

Personal Safety and Defense

While camping is typically a safe and enjoyable experience, it’s essential to prioritize personal safety, especially in remote or unfamiliar environments. A survival knife can provide a sense of security and serve as a tool for self-defense against wildlife threats or aggressive encounters. However, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and de-escalation tactics in such situations.

A survival knife is a versatile and indispensable tool for family camping trips, offering myriad uses that enhance safety, convenience, and enjoyment in the great outdoors. When selecting a survival knife for your camping adventures, prioritize quality, durability, and functionality to ensure it meets your family’s needs and withstands the rigors of outdoor use. With proper care, responsible use, and basic knife safety protocols, a survival knife can become an essential companion on memorable family camping excursions.

Do you and your family take a survival knife out with you when you go camping? Why or why not? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Outdoor Survival Skills

Starting A Fire In The Wild Without Gadgets




In a survival scenario, you need food, you need water and you need shelter. You also need a heat source for a few reasons. First, there’s the small matter of keeping warm. Even if you live in a more temperate climate, the nights get pretty cold pretty fast. You’ll also need a heat source for cooking and boiling water.

Now there are lots of handy little gadgets out there that can make your life much easier when it comes to getting heat and a fire going even without power from the grid. However, almost all of them have one problem in common: They tend to be bulky, heavy and impractical for travel by foot. 

So that means knowing how to light a fire the old-fashioned way is a skill that all survivalists should have under their belt. While it takes a bit of practice, it’s like riding a bike: once you’ve got the skill down, you’re probably not going to lose it. 

Starting A Fire In The Wild: Tinder

The first thing you need to start a fire is tinder. 

Tinder are very small pieces of very dry wood and also some leaves and other inflammable material. You use these as the very base of the fire because they help to get things going and don’t require a lot to get started. Think of Tinder as nature’s newspaper. So hunt around for material that is very dry and fine that you can put at the base of your fire to light the next layer.

You can also make your tinder by cutting off small pieces of wood and bark using a machete, hatchet, or other tool. 

Starting A Fire In The Wild: Kindling

Kindling is the next step of the game. These are pieces of firewood, but they’re smaller, thinner, drier, and easier to burn. Again, this is something that you can make yourself using a machete or a hatchet, something that you should have in your bugout bag (we prefer machetes because of the versatility they offer). 

Starting A Fire In The Wild: Firewood

Now we get to the meat of your sandwich. For firewood, we mean big logs that are going to go onto the fire to really make it roar. Avoid pieces of wood that are on the ground as these are much more likely to be damp. You want to find the driest wood possible and splitting the wood (cutting it into halves or quarters) is the best way to make it more flammable.

Starting A Fire In The Wild: Arranging Your Wood

We’ve presented the three types of wood you need to start a fire in this order for a reason: it’s also the way you want to arrange the wood for your campfire to get started.

Put the tinder at the bottom, arrange the kindling on top of it in a kind of “teepee” so that the kindling can breathe with a second layer of “teepee” made out of the main firewood around it. That’s the best way to arrange your wood so that the fire catches quickly.

Starting A Fire In The Wild: Starting The Fire

close-up hands of male starting a fire in forest.

Obviously the simplest way to get a fire going that doesn’t take up a ton of room is a lighter or matches. But let’s assume that you don’t have those. 

Other than rubbing sticks together – which can be frustrating, exhausting and time consuming, you can use some kind of small firestarter that attaches to your keychain. Magnesium goes up like a Roman torch and the only thing you need to have other than this little keychain attachment is a pocket knife (or some other kind of metal – but you do have a pocket knife, right) to create the spark.

Practice with your family in your backyard on a cool fall night. Not only will everyone learn a valuable survival skill, you’ll also get to spend some quality time together in front of your roaring homemade fire.

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Outdoor Survival Skills

Financial Freedom: The Backbone of Prepping for the Future



In the ever-shifting landscape of preparedness, financial independence emerges as a crucial pillar for preppers gearing up for uncertain times. In this guide tailored for the vigilant prepper community, we delve into the essential strategies to achieve and uphold financial freedom, a key component of ensuring self-reliance.

Understanding the Crucial Role of Financial Freedom

Financial independence stands as the bedrock of prepping, offering the means to secure resources, fortify assets, and navigate economic challenges. For preppers, attaining and sustaining financial freedom is not just a financial goal; it’s a proactive stance toward ensuring self-sufficiency.

A robust emergency fund serves as the initial line of defense against unforeseen expenses. Preppers are encouraged to amass three to six months’ worth of living expenses in a readily accessible account. This financial safety net ensures the ability to weather crises without compromising prepping efforts.

Strategic debt reduction is paramount for financial freedom. Developing a systematic plan to pay down high-interest debts, starting with the most burdensome, liberates resources for critical prepping initiatives.

Dependence on a single income source can be precarious. Preppers are advised to explore diversified income streams, such as investments, side businesses, or freelance opportunities. A varied income portfolio provides resilience against economic uncertainties.

Creating a realistic budget serves as the foundation of financial freedom. Tracking income, categorizing expenses, and identifying areas for potential savings ensures that resources are allocated efficiently, supporting both daily living and prepping goals.

In times of economic turbulence, precious metals like gold and silver act as a safeguard against inflation. Allocating a portion of the financial portfolio to tangible assets adds a layer of security and enhances overall financial resilience.

Knowledge is a powerful asset. Investing in financial education equips preppers to make informed decisions about investments, wealth preservation, and economic trends. A well-informed prepper is better positioned to navigate the complexities of the financial landscape.

Advanced Financial Strategies for Preppers

If you want to truly be prepared, you need to go beyond eliminating debt and start making your money work for you. That means investing in financial instruments as well as hard assets. For those seeking to elevate their financial preparedness, consider these advanced strategies:

Strategic real estate investments can provide both passive income and a tangible asset. Exploring opportunities to invest in properties aligns with prepping goals and can contribute to long-term financial stability.

Investing in self-sustainable ventures, such as homesteading, renewable energy sources, or small-scale agriculture, not only promotes self-reliance but also presents opportunities for income generation.

Protecting assets is crucial. Preppers are encouraged to consider establishing trusts, creating legal structures, and consulting with financial professionals to safeguard their wealth and prepping resources.

Safety Measures for Financial Freedom:

In the pursuit of financial freedom, security is paramount. Implement the following safety measures:

  • Regular Financial Audits: Conducting regular audits of the financial portfolio ensures alignment with prepping goals and allows for adaptation to changing economic conditions.
  • Security Protocols: Implementing robust security measures for financial assets, both digital and physical, safeguards against theft or unauthorized access.
  • Legal Consultation: Seeking legal advice ensures that financial strategies comply with local laws and regulations.

For preppers, achieving financial freedom is a proactive step toward ensuring self-reliance and preparedness. By strategically managing finances, reducing debt, diversifying income, and investing wisely, preppers can build a solid foundation for navigating the uncertainties of the future. Incorporate these financial strategies into your prepping roadmap, and embark on a journey toward true financial independence. 

In the world of preparedness, financial freedom is not just a goal; it’s a strategic imperative for those committed to securing their future. Stay vigilant, and stay prepared.

How are you securing your financial freedom? How important is this for you in the overall scheme of prepping? Leave a comment below.

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