Welcome to Trapper's World!
Version 1.0, Hit
Here you'll find hints'n'tricks to help you
in the bush as well as in civilization. I tried to leave out the trivial
stuff you can read in every traveller's guide. If you know a good trick
and want to tell it to your fellow trappers, feel free to send a mail to
Same for feedback. If you don't like my English, feel free to choose
another language or send me corrections.
If you don't like your towel being totally wet
and heavy after having a shower, soon starting to stink in your backpack,
wring out your washcloth first and dry yourself with that. It's wet anyway,
but after wringing it out you're wetter. You won't get totally dry with
that, but your towel will get less wet.
If you want to wash your clothing in a washbasin,
you've got to leakproof it first. I heard that bikers sometimes bring along
rubber plugs. That's ok, but they won't fit all times. Today's modern trapper
just puts a plastic bag in the basin and does his washing in the bag. Make
sure you cut the edges of the detergent tube (ref. Packing).
To distinguish between clean and dirty clothing
in your bagpack, just tie a knot into the clean stuff.
A Mosquito or other evil insects can transfer
illnesses even more evil. Besides the usual preventives as there are mosquito
nets, repellents and light off watch this:
If you sleep in a room and think you're
able to kill all evil mosquitos, first jam all gaps of windows and doors
e.g. with crumpled plastic bags. If you can't find the evil insects any
more, lie down face up on the floor, this way you're most likely to spot
the mossies in contrast to a white ceiling.
It may be useful to pull your socks over
You're already familiar with the closed-bottle-no-ice
stuff concerning contaminated water. But even salad may be dangerous when
washed with contaminated water. If you get a glass in a cafe, dry it with
e.g. your sleeve or a handkerchief.
If you suffer of motion sickness in a room (of
a boat...) it may be because your brain gets different information from
your eyes and from your ears (where the gravity sensors are located). Try
to focus on a fix point (horizon, stars), this way your sense of gravity
will also know that you're moving. This trick might not always help.
Don't take your tongue between your teeth.
If you don't have a fat stick for your lips,
If you buy films during your trip, always check
the age. Don't buy the films out of a showcase which sees 16 hours of sun
every day, films (especially slide films) are heat-sensitiv (you can freeze
them for longer storages).
To avoid blured pictures, especially with zoom
cameras with long focal distances and less sensitiv films (ISO 100), lean
against a tree or even better make the camera touch a fixed pole/tree/wall.
Or bring along a tripod, which you can also use as a tent pole, hiking
stick or cooking tripod.
Films are valuables.
If you leave your bagpack at a baggage room,
tie a knot into the string which only you know and check afterwards if
it's still the same knot. That's not as good as a padlock, but it's not
as heavy either.
If you need information, ask anybody. Don't
get information from people speaking to you, this way the chance to get
information from hasslers is smaller.
You should also try to look as if you'd
know where to go.
Don't give information to people which is
none of their business!
If someone asks you "How long are you in
the country for?" or if it's the first time, he wants to know whether he
can take the mickey out of you. He won't ask this directly, he'll go more
like "How much did you pay for this T-shirt?" or "Where else have you been
in the country?" Don't hesitate to lie some times! If someone wants to
know what's your job or where you come from, he wants to know how much
money you have. If in doubt, tell him you're a student from Tabaluga.
It is useful to carry some coins in your pockets.
This way you can tip people or hand out alms or pay for a coke without
showing anyone in the crowded street where you keep your wallet and which
credit cards you use.
Our fellow trapper Charles Bukowski (+ 1994)
makes his main character in his last novel "Pulp" keep his wallet in his
left back pocket to cheat pickpockets. I do the same.
A person doesn't need to be one of the good
guys just because he's from your home country. In my worst experiences
always westeners were involved.
If someone tells you about his friends/relatives
in your home country, that's a bad sign. Even worse, if he shows you photographs
Not every policeman is a good guy everywhere.
Most trappers get suspicious, when an offer
sounds to good. But if it promises really huge profits, they get greedy
and fall for it. Don't make that mistake.
Hiking (in cities or wilderness)
Every 20 steps you make, look back. This will
help you on your way back.
If you're not sure wether it's the right way
and you ask someone saying yes, he maybe didn't understand you quite good
and wants to welcome you with nodding and laughing or finds it impolite
to say "no". Better ask for anything else to check wether he understood.
If the legs of your shoes are to low and the
legs of your trousers are to short lots of sand and little stones might
fall into your shoes, especially when walking downhill.
learn to pronounce place names right.
If your shoes don't fit, stick plaster or Leukoplast
to the endangered spots before you get blisters!
If your boots aren't waterproof anymore and
you don't have shoe fat, use butter.
Ear plugs are the most important invention of
the last century. When you travel in groups, they avoid tensions between
trappers, and an trapper who got a good night's sleep is a satisfied trapper.
I'm talking about these synthetic plugs you can squeeze which expand inside
the ear, forget about the other stuff.
If you have a traveller's
guide with city maps etc, it's useful to stick a string or two (with different
colours) to it to use it as a bookmark (e.g. with Leukoplast). If you did
so, you don't need to hang around at the station and search your guide
until everyone noticed that you don't have a clue and tries to bring you
to the hotel/restaurant/shop of his brother in law. Paper clips are ok
A towel takes in a huge potential. If you have
a long towel, you can tie a knot into both ends and put it behind your
neck e.g. in a bus (watch this foto (30
KB) for better understanding). The thick knots prevent your head from
falling to the side. You can as well use a towel to protect you from sun,
as a shoping bag, prayer carpet, mattress, blanket or even to dry yourself
If it's pretty cold, just fill your water bottle
with hot water and put it into your sleeping bag. Don't forget to pull
a sock over it, otherwise you might burn your feet.
If your tent istn't 100% waterproof, a syringe
might be useful. You can pump puddles with it, and it's only a few grams...
If your tent's floor isn't very strong and you
camp on gravel, why don't you put your camping matress between the ground
and the tent instead of between the tent and you?
If you check in your backpack you might get
trouble e.g when flying, when straps catch in conveyor belts. Wrap the
side with the carrying system of your backpack with your backpack-raincoat,
tighten two straps around the pack and tie a knot into the two ends of
the straps to build a grip. Looks quite silly, but's cool!
If you take tubes with you
(tooth paste, detergent), the edges at the joint can be quite sharp and
destroy your bag or your hands when rummage in it. There's no reason why
not to cut off the edges e.g. with a nail clipper.
Use Bookmarks (ref. Comfort).
Don't try to save the 20 $ a traveller's guide would cost, it's going to
be more expensive in the end.
Good guides are the lonely
planets or for eastern Europe the "In
your Pocket" guides (can be bought in the respective places).
Traue Deinem Reiseführer nicht zu sehr,
manchmal sind Stadtpläne nicht ganz richtig oder die Information einfach
That's it, folks. If think you know anything you want to tell your fellow
trappers, feel free to email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For hitchhiking in Germany the booklet "Tanken und Rasten", which you can
pick up at several roadhouses for free, is quite useful. There's a map
in it with all the motorways, fuel stations and roadhouses.
If you don't want to ask anyone for information, just sit down anywhere
and watch how the others (locals) are doing it. Don't watch the crowd,
watch single persons.
If you don't negotiate prices or give to much money to begging kids in
third world countries, the contry becomes dependent on tourism and your
fellow trappers coming after you will have to pay higher prices.
Try to smile and look cool.
When asking other trappers for information, don't trust them to much. Do
you know weather they're real trappers, if the know what's a good deal
and what they mean is an interesting site or a good place to stay? And
maybe they don't know anything and just don't want to admit.
Many people think a lead pencil is for weicheis and loosers, but a trapper
knows: There aren't many situations in which a lead pencil won't write.
If your envelopes became wet in the misty climate of the Amazonas, write
your letter onto a piece of A4-Paper or bigger and fold it following these
instructions (12 KB).
Take care and don't let anyone pee into your colt!