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Basic Knot-ery

Knots are an important part of being an outdoorsmen/outdoors-woman. Even the simplest ones can change your experience. They’re a huge part of safety, ease, and structure.

To start off, get to know some basic knot terminology. Here is some useful terminology as defined by Steve Howie of GearFinder.

  • Standing end This is the long end of the rope that would go from you, the tie-er, to a tree, tent or belay point
  • Free end The end which is nearest to you and where single-line knots are tied
  • Bight A doubled-over bending of the cord, where many double-line (mid-rope) knots are tied
  • Backtie A second knot used to make sure the primary, load-bearing knot cannot come untied, also used to simply secure excess free-end cord
  • Departing rope The cordage that runs into or away from a knot

Source: GearFinder powered by Backpacker

For even more terminology, check out this list of definitions from Animated Knots by Grog™.

Now let’s get into some knots and their uses. Click the headings of each knot to see demonstrations of how each knot is created! Keep in mind that there are tons of knots out there. The ones that I’ve listed below are knots that I feel you can get the most use out of due to their extreme effectiveness and yet simplicity as well.

SlipknotThis is a basic and very commonly used knot. The great thing about this knot is that the rope will easily “slip out” when you are untying it and yet holds on tight when it is actually in use. This knot can be used to keep things tied to a post, to keep rope up & off the ground, and is even used for knitting. Something you will realize as you go along is that slipknots are often used in creating more complex knots.

Clove HitchThere is also the stacked loops method of tying this knot. This knot has its pros and cons. The clove hitch can be tied around another piece of rope to easily slide things along it. It can be tightened back into place easily but just as easily loosed back up to continue sliding things along again. It can also be used to keep a boat’s fender attached to railing or just as a general binding knot. This knot is extremely simple to tie. The only drawback is that it can slip off if tied to something that is not sturdy in its place. The same amount of pressure must always be present or else the knot may come loose.

Figure 8 KnotThis knot looks exactly as you’d imagine: like the number 8. It is most often used as a stopper knot. It is a quick knot to tie. As stated in the link above, the knot’s “virtue is that, even after it has been jammed tightly against a block, it doesn’t bind; it can be undone easily. This virtue is also, occasionally, a vice. The figure 8 can fall undone and then has to be retied.” It actually has a more complicated version often used in climbing to secure the climber’s harness to the rope. It is called the Figure 8 Follow Through knot. It looks like a “boldened” version of the Figure 8 using about double the amount of rope and “dressed” to look like a clear number 8 to keep the rope untangled.

Trucker’s HitchEventually you’ll find that you need different types of knot to make a whole other knot. Take the trucker’s hitch for example, a personal favorite of mine. As demonstrated in the video I’ve provided, this knot is based on a slip knot. As discussed earlier, due to the easy release feature of a slipknot, the trucker’s hitch is a great choice for pitching a tent. It is also a great knot for cinching gear into place. The knot has a 3 to 1 mechanical advantage. As shown in the video, the more hitches added, the greater the purchase. The great thing about this knot is that although it is extremely secure when executed correctly, it is still fairly easy to release.

Gasket CoilSomething you’ll learn as you carry around rope is that it likes to get tangled up and twisted. Well guess what? There’s a knot solution for that too. The Gasket Coil is a common knot used to keep unattached-rope clean, neat, and tangle-free thus expanding its life expectancy. This is especially important when it comes to ropes involving safety such as in the case of climbing. As the rope gets filthier, the quality of the rope quickly deteriorates. This leads to issues of safety. That’s why it has become common knowledge in the world of climbing to not step on your climbing rope. For more climbing rope care etiquette, check out this article from About.com.

A lot of knots can actually accomplish many of the same things as others. As you grow more accustomed to more and more knots, you will be able to see which you feel most comfortable with as well as where and how to use different ones. Everyone has a preference. When trying to tie a certain knot, you’ll find that people have different ways of executing the same exact knot, as can be seen in the case of the clove hitch. It is interesting to see. Knot tying is honestly an art of its own, both impressive and effective. The fact that knots can range from simple to crazy intricate shows you the range of things that rope can do for you.

Eden Ashebir
Adventure Marketing Intern

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Why Geocaching Should Be Your Next Adventure

Geocaching /ˈjēōˌkaSHiNG/

noun The recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a website.

Source: Dictionary.com

So basically, geocaching is the grown up and more technologically advanced version of a scavenger hunt. Are you excited yet?

What do you need to get started? Well according to GeoCaching.com, all you need is a GPS or a GPS-enabled device such as a mobile phone and a Geocaching.com Membership. Once you’ve signed up, you are able to access the coordinates of caches that are near your location. Choose a level of difficulty that is appropriate for you. Take the coordinates of that cache, place them in your device, and if the person who has hidden the cache has included a clue, use that as well. The coordinates will give you a general location but the clue can hint you at what specifically to look for within that location.

 

GeoPack

 

Once you have located the cache, open it up, locate the logbook, and put in your name and the date. Then, make sure to return to the logbook into the cache. You might find an assortment of trinkets in there. You can take one, so long as you put something of equal or greater value back in. Once you’re done with the cache, close it up completely and put it back exactly where you found it, hidden from view so as to not alarm a passerby who isn’t familiar with this whole geocaching thing.

In order to be successful at geocaching, you’ll need to be able to hone many skills. According to an article from REI, you’ll need to be observant and willing to employ your problem and puzzle solving skills. “You’ll sleuth for and identify clues, learn navigation and orienteering…” and so on. There are even other related games you might get into along the way. So in other words, you’re going to have a lot of fun.

Geocaching is a great activity to participate in with family, friends, or even just yourself. Whether a spontaneous outing or a day dedicated to geocaching, it’ll surely be a great time.

So, I mean, in my opinion, geocaching should be your next adventure. Caches can be almost anywhere, but to amp up your “outdoorsiness”, you should go for the caches that are in large parks. It’ll be so much fun, I promise.

For more Geocaching 101, check out this handy link from GeoCaching.com filled with tons of information. If you’re interested in learning about the history of geocaching, there’s a link for that too, here!

Before starting, make sure to checkout this informative video on Geocaching Etiquette!

What are you waiting for? If you’re looking to get started but want some help, consider doing a customized adventure with DNK Presents! Call us today at 1.317.445.7155 or email at hello@dnkpresents.com for more information.

Eden Ashebir
Adventure Marketing Intern

Your next adventure….
#DNKpresents

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A Conscious Camper’s Tools

A common theme among outdoor enthusiasts is a deep connection with the natural world. Because of this, outdoor enthusiasts are often very conscious of how what they are doing may affect the world around them. The deeper and deeper we get into the wild, the more of a harmful impact we are able to leave on the land surrounding us. But it doesn’t just start from following “leave no trace” principles. It also starts from making sure that the products we buy and use have a reduced footprint of their own.

So why not leave a positive impact and buy items that stay true to the values of an outdoorsmen instead?

Here are a few tools that will reduce your impact on this fine place we call Earth.

  1. Jetboil’s CrunchIt

Whenever you finish up with a butane canister, the question is how can I dispose of this canister? You don’t want to fill landfills with more trash when you know it can be recycled but the problem comes in the form of safety. If there is any gas left, you risk the canister blowing up while it is being recycled. But look no farther!

This butane canister, recycling tool is easy to use and very well priced at about $6 a pop. When using this tool, you are actually puncturing the seemingly empty canister in order to allow it to be safely recycled when pressure is applied. The device will actually vent fuel in a safe manner before fully puncturing, according to their website, just in case. Once you’ve done that, indicate that the canister has been drained of gas by crushing it down or giving it a dent. The actual device is lightweight, rugged, made out of stainless steel, and simply clips onto a carabineer or keying. This simple solution will keep our land clean, one butane canister at a time.

Source: Sierra Club

 

  1. BioLite CampStove

Here’s a fun one. If you’re looking to completely avoid a canister, this might be the way to go. When cooking meals in the outdoors, the more efficient the burn, the happier we are. This device, which only burns wood, is described as being “hyper efficient with performance on par with white gas stoves”. So in other words, your food is going to cook, fast.

On top of that? Instead of wasting the heat energy, it actually harnesses it and converts it into electricity. This means you can plug up any USB-charging device, on the go. Surprisingly, it weighs only about 2.06 pounds and boasts and easy setup. The price at $129.95 may not seem all that attractive at first, but if you’re an avid outdoorsman, this piece may just come in handy, especially when you consider the amount of gas canisters you often find yourself buying and not knowing what to do with. Plus, no gas canister means less weight on your back.

 

  1. Big Agnes Encampment 15

This sleeping bag is made out of 97% recycled material. Made out of nylon, with a synthetic fill, it manages to feel as toasty as down insulation would. It has Insotect Tubic™ which, according to its description is a “revolutionary tubular insulation system” that was engineered with maximum comfort and thermal efficiency in mind. According to Inhabitat, it is “one of the most vegan-friendly” sleeping bags out there.

 

  1. Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash

This cleaning product is biodegradable and phosphate, paraben, and fragrance free. Just a little bit of this product goes a long way. It is gentle on fabrics and skin while being effective when used on dishes and laundry stains. The tough packaging insures that leakage in your pack won’t be a problem. Note that although this is biodegradable, it is still good to keep with leave no trace principles and stay at least 200 feet away from a water source when using this product. From REI, 3 oz. of this stuff will cost you about $4! For how concentrated it is, that’s not bad at all.

It also comes in a pocket version!

 

  1. GearTrade.com

GearTrade is a website for you to recycle your gear! Not only are you saving the Earth from waste, but you are also getting money back for it. How? Think E-Bay or Craigslist. With no image or listing fees, unlimited photos, and great brands, you’ll be sure to love this site. On top of being able to sell your unneeded gear, you can buy some of what you need at a discounted price! Conditions, brands, and sizes are listed and sellers are rated. The site will even compare the item to its retail price!

 

If you have any questions for sellers, you can directly ask them by scrolling down on a listing and typing it up. There are actually quite a few stores and online sites that offer used gear so be on the look out for those others as well.

A word of caution! When it comes to gear that is a matter of safety i.e. climbing rope or a harness, used gear is probably not the best route to go. Make sure to purchase items of safety brand new so as to guarantee that the item will keep you safe upon use.

 

To learn about even more eco-friendly camping gear, check out this article from Inhabitat!

 And while you’re at it, find out what your next adventure with DNKpresents should be, here!

 

Eden Ashebir

DNK Adventure Marketing Intern

Your next adventure awaits…

#DNKpresents

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June 21st Paddle Adventure on the White River!

“If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.” Dr. SeussDr. Seuss

Join us this Sunday, June 21st from 4:00-6:30pm on the White River in Indianapolis for a leisurely paddle trip! We will meet at the Broad Ripple Art’s Center to launch our boats for an awesome time!

Click here to reserve your spot!

DNK Presents… your next PARTY adventure!

Do you have a birthday, bachelorette party or other special event you want to plan with you and your friends? Let DNK Presents provide you with an adventure to relax, unwind, and enjoy the outdoors.

Danielle and Kate are certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR, Lead Climbing, and have years of experience, mountain biking, hiking, caving, camping and taking trips in the backcountry across the U.S. Their next private adventure is in Costa Rica, stay turned for updates on the website.

See the link to our latest Newsletter here.

Wilderness First Aid

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dnk presents, private group adventures, corporate team building adventures, adventures, mountain biking

Finding Our Oxygen Again

When did blue thumbs, 6-second videos, and 140-character limits equate the amount of purpose in our step? When did they begin to define us, to shape us, to be us?

When did sharing pictures of our meals, and virtually every moment between become the reason we breathe? But even more than that…

When did it become our oxygen?

Don’t be embarrassed. For the most part, we’re all guilty of it. I mean it would be selfish of us to keep this beauty to ourselves. Right? What about our friends, family, our future selves, but most importantly, our Facebook feeds? But that’s just the thing.

So many of us nowadays get so wrapped up in our phones and in sharing moments with friends, that we end up looking at the world through the pixels of our screens instead of through our own thoughts.

The world of outdoor adventure-ing can force you to take a step back and check yourself. Here are a few benefits to looking up and taking in the outdoors.

  1. Exercise:

Things are a lot easier nowadays. Need to cash a check in? Snap a pic on your bank’s app. No need to go and drive over to the bank anymore. That’s why in today’s world, it is more important than ever that we get out and force ourselves to get active. Outdoor activities are a great way to get your exercise in while having the time of your life. There are so many forms. From backpacking to mountain biking, to rock climbing and kayaking, the outdoors offer so much adventure. It is really up to you and what interests you most.

  1. Social Benefits:

Learning to engage with other human beings in the real world is something we have lost touch with. Participating in outdoor adventures with others allows for a more intimate platform to get to know each other through. The teamwork that is often required in adventuring allows for a deeper understanding of the people that surround us. Working through challenges together can often bring people closer together. Scavenging through profiles may not be quite as satisfying anymore.

  1. Rejuvenate:

The outdoors are beautiful in the peace that they bring. Take a moment to listen to the birds and to hear the creek rush by. Hear the crickets and get the rare chance to look into the sky and see all the stars that city lights hide from us. The added benefits of exercise won’t hurt either. This is a moment to separate yourself from the constant buzzing of technology and go go go pace of what may have become your world.

Stop.
Think.
Return.

Escape cannot be found in nature for it is only in our return to it that we may truly be.

Register for your next adventure with DNK Presents today!

Your Next Great Adventure Awaits

By: Eden Ashebir

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Remember when we posted about an adventure summer internship…

It has been filled!

Congratulations to Eden Ashebir, read the full press release and her bio below!

DNK Presents Our Newest Team Member

DNK Presents would like to welcome Eden Ashebir to their team this summer. Eden, an Indianapolis native, is currently attending Duke University. Eden’s bright, witty and up for adventure. She was drawn to the Adventure Marketing Internship because of her love of the outdoors and rock climbing. Danielle Wolter and Kate Nolan know her knowledge and experience will take DNK Presents to new heights.

Eden will be in charge of writing a weekly blog on the website, aiding in social media, advertising, and other marketing aspects of the business. Eden will also get the opportunity to join DNK Presents on their upcoming adventures. This position will allow Eden more time to get outdoors and gain first hand wilderness, adventure and business marketing experience.

DNK Presents is a full service adventure company. They provide guided adventures and retreats for individuals, groups and small businesses. Day and overnight trips are available, are you ready for your next adventure?

 

Eden Ashebir’s Bio

My name is Eden Ashebir and I am from Indianapolis, Indiana. I am currently attending Duke University and will be a junior in the upcoming fall. I am majoring in Sociology, minoring in Visual Media Studies, and working on a Marketing & Management Studies certificate all in hopes of someday going into some aspect of marketing. I’m involved in various organizations at Duke including ΑΦΩ (Alpha Phi Omega), a national service fraternity. I’ve always enjoyed my casual hikes, bike rides, canoeing trips, etc. throughout different parks, but until recently, I hadn’t discovered my love for the more adventurous side of the outdoors. Currently, my favorite outdoor activity is rock climbing which I was fortunate enough to do at Pilot Mountain in North Carolina last April!

By the end of my internship with DNK Presents, I hope that I will have successfully helped in bringing this great company some more of the recognition it deserves. I also hope to have learned much more about what it takes to get a new business going.

I look forward to my time working with Danielle & Kate as well as to seeing you all out on some adventures!

 

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Wilderness Survival Article Info.

Hello Adventurers!

We came across this article (link below) which has some great tips on learning about plants and animals in the backcountry. As you go out for your summer adventure in the wilderness make sure you are fully prepared. If you can’t make one of our beginner adventures the guide from Flora and Fauna gives you some great survival tips for the backcountry. As always do not attempt to consume any plant or berry that is in question of edibleness. There are many plants and berries that are not edible in the wilderness and it is always best to have a trained professional that is experienced on wilderness survival who is with you to determine whether something is edible or not.

Click here below to read the full article.

We are offering Sunday evening paddle adventures on the White River in Indianapolis this summer. Starting June 7th from 4-6:30 we will dock at Broad Ripple park with our canoes and kayaks for a leisure paddle on the River. These events are first come first serve so if you want to sign up click here. We are looking forward to seeing you on the water this summer!

Is your business looking for something different for an office outing? We offer outdoor adventures for businesses for team building such as canoeing, camping, hiking, learning the basics of the backcountry, and many more! Contact us to learn more about outdoor adventures for your company!

We hope you have an adventurous weekend!

Danielle & Kate

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Mother’s Day Weekend Mimosa’s on Monroe!

Join us for a relaxing time on Lake Monroe this Saturday from 10am-12:30pm. We will meet at the Cutright boat loading parking lot in Bloomington, IN on Lake Monroe for a leisure canoe trip. Ladies this is a great opportunity to un plug, enjoy nature and make new friends! The $65.00 fee includes your canoe, life jacket, paddle and 2 mimosas! Join DNK Presents for an awesome adventure this weekend!

Space is limited so sign up today!

Adventurously,

Danielle & Kate

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Beginner Backpack Weekend Adventure!

Last weekend we had the amazing opportunity to take out a great group of people to Morgan Monroe State Forest for our first adventure of the year. This was our beginner backpack trip where we shared our knowledge and helpful tips to get them out in the backcountry on their own. We went over topo maps, trail blazes, picked an amazing site along the Tecumseh Trail where we set up camp, filtered water from the neighboring stream, made fire, cooked, hung our food and even dug cat holes. We were fortunate enough to see tons of beautiful wild flowers such as shooting stars, jack in the pulpit, trout lilly and dutchman’s breeches. We had a clear night to sit by the fire under the pines and gaze at the stars and Jupiter shining bright. We were also visited by the local Great Horned owls and coyotes. They put on a wonderful performance of howling and hooting.

If you are ready to take your next adventure with your group, family, by yourself or with your company please let us know what excursion you would be interested in.

See what a member of our group spoke about our adventure below.

“Our family of 4 are seasoned campers but novice backpackers. We all agreed that our time with Danielle and Kate was educational but more importantly, FUN! No pressure, our pace and our guides were like hanging out with old friends. We’ll definitely recommend Danielle and Kate to anyone interested in outdoor adventure or to a family or couple who just want some together time outdoors. We had a great backpacking weekend!!” Heidi – Indianapolis, IN

Check out these photos from our adventure!

Backcountry Campsite
Backcountry Campsite
Hiking Morgan Monroe State Forest
Hiking Morgan Monroe
Bridge Morgan Monroe
On the Bridge
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dnk presents, private group adventures, corporate team building adventures, adventures, mountain biking

Our Red River Gorge Weekend!

Red River Gorge Adventure!

We had an adventure planned for ourselves and our friends this past weekend. It was pretty epic to say the least. We left Friday evening and met our friends in the rain/half flooded campground at Miguel’s restaurant campground in the Red River Gorge. Were we upset about the rain, cold, floodedness of the camp? Heck no! Why? Because we were excited to be in a new place spending the weekend with our friends, and when you wake up in the morning to this, what could ruin you day?!

If you haven’t been or don’t know about the Red River Gorge or “The Red” as they call it, you should definitely plan your next trip. Most of the Red is located inside the Daniel Boone National Forest in Eastern Kentucky and makes up about 29,000 acres on mostly private property. The Red has been designated as a National Natural Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It truly is a magical place, but we find most places in the wild have this essence.

We woke up Saturday morning and had a delicious breakfast at Miguel’s, sharing the french toast and the tofu scramble wrap (we try to mix up the healthy and sweets). We packed up and headed for Muir Valley.
We were lucky to catch the tail end of the ceremony they were conducting. That day, April 4th the former property owners, the Weber family gave their property rights to the “Friends of Muir Valley” Foundation. More information can be found by visiting their website here.

http://friendsofmuirvalley.org/

Muir Valley Red River Gorge
Muir Valley Red River Gorge

Since our group had about 10 people in it we decided to divide and conquer so we could get the most “rock time” as possible. Some of us headed to Land Before Time Wall and some of us to Practice Wall first. For some some of us it was our first time climbing outdoors and let me tell you it was very different!  The first time actually being on a real rock with no tape or arrows telling you where to go or what to do next, and then looking down – not onto a sound padded floor but a hard rocky earth was a little intimidating to say the least. Once I got over that initial shock it was truly an amazing experience.

Land Before Time Wall Muir Valley
Land Before Time Wall Muir Valley

The whole climbing up the wall not being scary did get easier, physically climbing the rock actually did not though. We realized that the rest of the day and the following day when we decided to go to Johnny’s Wall and Tectonic Wall the climbs we did were much harder than anything we had ever done in a gym before. But that didn’t stop us, we pushed ourselves to the limit. I realized that this weekend I changed myself because I and my friends challenged ourselves. If you want to create change in your life whether it’s a job, a goal, or you are feeling stuck you must try new things and take chances because opportunities will pass you by. You may forget buying material things, meeting your friends out for drinks, etc. I know I will never forget this experience we had this weekend. It challenged us and changed us for the better. We will not succeed in life if we do not do things outside our comfort levels.

Muir Valley Red River Gorge
Muir Valley Red River Gorge
Muir Valley Red River Gorge
Muir Valley Red River Gorge

Until next time Red River Gorge, we will see you soon!

Red River Gorge
Red River Gorge

What is your challenge? When is the last time you did something for the first time? Take an adventure with us and find out! If we don’t have an adventure that you can attend, contact us and tell us what adventure you want to experience. Start your challenge today and really start living! Your life can be your greatest adventure!

Muir Valley Red River Gorge
Muir Valley Red River Gorge
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