Informational Playing Cards

cards_knots.gifEven when I’m having a truly enjoyable hike there is lots of downtime, particularly in the evenings. I generally bring a small book or something along those lines to occupy my mind. My copy of the Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southeastern States is a particular favorite, but its a tad heavy as far as luxuries go (16 ounces). I was reading in this month’s Archeology magazine about the US military issuing playing cards to help troops identify and avoid damaging the historical and cultural sites in Iran. That jogged my memory about all sort of informational playing cards that I’d seen in the past that might make great leisure time additions to my backpack.

The following are a few nice and reasonably priced ones I found on’s online catalog.

Knot Playing Cards – Learn to Tie Knots Learn to tie knots While playing a favorite game of cards. Over 50 different rope knots including: Highwaysman’s Hitch, Package & Jam Knots, Wall Knot, Waggoner’s Hitch, Jesse Walker’s Hitch, Sheepshank, Mooring Hitch, Sheep Bend, Bowline, Buntline Hitch, Stopper Knot, Half Hitch, Hunter’s Bend, Clove Hitch, Spanish Bowline, Alpine Butterfly Knot, Climbers Bowline, Eye Hook Knot, Clinch Knot, Angler’s Knot, Angler’s Loop and Good Luck Knot. Link

Edible & Poisonous Plants Utilizing wild plants for food can provide free, enjoyable and nutritious additions to modern menus. Their identification and use can be a taste-pleasing hobby for those who enjoy the feeling of being self-sufficient and a necessity for those whose survival may depend upon knowledge of wild plant foods. This deck of plant identification cards includes the more important edible and poisonous plants. Full-color pictures combined with detailed descriptions enable the collector to identify these plants in their native habitat. Eastern States Plants | Western States Plants

Survival Playing Cards Survival Playing Cards were developed to help you in an outdoor emergency. Each regular playing card features a safety tip. Survival Playing Cards will prepare you to think and act safely and to avoid the greatest threat to survival-oanic! Link Card information includes:

  • Hearts: Breathing, Bleeding, Shock, Hypothermia, Frostbite
  • Diamonds: Fractures, Wounds, Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke, Heart Attack, Bites & Stings, Burns
  • Clubs: Preparation, Campsites, Shelters, Fire Starting, Signals,
  • Spades: Water, Food, Becoming Unlost.

There are also a few other collections at you might enjoy. Now I just need to master the harmonica and I’ll never have any down-time while hiking. 🙂

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