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44

Tying knots is actually a bit of an art. Depending on what you need it for, there are knots that slide, create loops, tighten under load, and do tons of other things. Here are some backcountry essentials: Bowline Knot: Use this when you need a knot that absolutely, positively will not slip (unless loaded wrong). When I was in camp, we'd use these when ...


35

Dehydration is key. Water weighs a LOT. Breakfast -- Any variation on oatmeal. You can make your own or buy prepackaged meals. Lunch -- Peanut butter on hard tack. (did i mention water?) Dinner -- Any dehydrated meal will do. I've used both Mountain House and Backpackers pantry. Snacks -- I prefer Clif bars and Justin Nut Butter for a good ...


27

The key to keeping your back happy is to drive as much pack weight to your hips as possible. A side note on weight is that the lighter your pack overall, the happier your back. A lot of the packing order depends on your particular pack, but in general, the bottom of a pack is below your hips. Therefore, it is best to put something big and light in the ...


26

Outside more room left inside for other stuff. More likely to rip a hole in your gear when you toss your pack down. More options for weight placement (which can lead to off-blanced pack.) More likely to fall off. Inside Better protection from the elements, rocks, branches. Weight is closer to your center of gravity (and usually better balanced). ...


24

Your legs aren't as sensitive to temperture extremes. Right now it's winter here and I'm walking around outside with a regular shirt, a wool sweater, and a wind breaker on my torso. Inside I take off the windbreaker an sweater. However, inside or outside, I'm wearing the same single-layer pants and it's not a problem. My legs don't feel hot inside or ...


20

Rice. If you have fresh (or purified) water, an amazingly small amount of rice would suffice for 14 days. I've trekked the Cordillera Real for 12 days, and rice was the only reasonable option in terms of weight. A small set of spices - especially salt and pepper - dramatically improve its taste. If you don't want to eat the same food for 14 days, take ...


20

The most important knots you'll ever need to know are the taut-line hitch and the bowline. For instance, on your bear bag, you would tie a bowline through a handle or other loop the bag, and then the taut-line on the other side. The best thing about a bowline is that no matter how much force you've put on it, you can crack it easily to take it apart.


20

The absolute best is going to be titanium, but it also happens to be the most expensive. I'm not sure where you heard that it shatters in the cold, but being a space age metal I would think it can handle cold earth temperatures just fine. If you can't shell out the cash for titanium it's more or less a toss up between aluminum and stainless steel. ...


20

It depends on how many crossings. If very few, I do them barefoot and change. If there are a lot of crossings in a short distance I have shoes that I just wear for the entire hike. I'll cover both. General Rules Don't use rocks if you can avoid it. Stand on the bottom of the river. Just don't try rock hopping - you're asking for serious injury. ...


19

Cheese: Long time. Especially hard cheeses. You can just cut any mold off the edge that might creep up. Cheeses sealed in cheese wax (gouda) are a good bet. I've had extra-sharp cheddar un-refrigerated in the AZ desert for 8+ days, in the rocky mountains for 15+ days with no issues (aside from sweat.) Blocks last longer than a pile of shredded cheese. Be ...


19

Avoid Putting cheese in plastic bags. Ever. Mold guaranteed. The cheese should receive enough air and shouldn't get wet. Cutting a big piece into smaller pieces (for easier service, you know). First, you break the wax or vacuum bag, second, now you have much more surface and much more to cut if mold happens. Best practices If you can, prefer cheese ...


18

Someone who has overweight isn't normally able to carry more, so weight isn't as important. The height would be more adequate... Muscle strength isn't much important when you go on long hikes... Strength doesn't translate directly to endurance, often it's the opposite - people with smaller muscles are more endure and are actually able to carry more on ...


17

First of all, DO NOT bring anything smelly into your tent. This includes food, tooth paste, deodorant, etc. Also, keep fires away from the tend. Set up a bear triangle campground. Cook your food in one corner, Close to that corner, maybe 50 feet away, set up a latrine area. About 200 feet or more away from both, set up your tents. Keep your food in the ...


17

Sound like a human, so TALK Wear a bright orange vest, and other bright (not white) clothing Try not to hike deer routes in the peak times (6am to 9am and 6pm to 9pm) Similar to the one above, stay on trail. Generally large game are the seasons of highest concern (deer mostly) Your local DNR (Department of Natural Resources) website (example) will have ...


17

On canoeing trips, especially with a lot of people, I schedule at least one "stay put" day for every two or three moving days. This allows different people to do different things: hike up to a hilltop, lookout, waterfall etc - the stop is strategically positioned to put this side trip in reach, and the hikers will carry only a day pack rather than all the ...


16

For hiking with a backpack I would recommend the following considerations: Weight I would go as light as possible. Generally the lighter you go the more expensive you go, but on those long treks it will make a huge difference. Temperature Rating A good 3-season bag is generally at the 20 degree mark. Shape Since you will be trekking with this, definitely ...


16

Being in a hammock shouldn't change anything. A tent is not any safer, and may be more dangerous, since you don't have visibility of the area around you. Buy or borrow a copy of Trail Life, there's a good discussion of the issues with using a tent. A tarp is my preference over a hammock or a tent, because they make for a dryer and more comfortable night's ...


16

It is fairly common to store duct tape just below the handle of your trekking poles. This is my preferred way as it is always accessible. Some people prefer to wrap it around Nalgene bottles. An alternative you could also buy it in small square pieces instead of the typical roll. I usually place about 10 layers around each poles. I would not bring three ...


15

When you meet a bear, keep several things in mind: Never make eye contact with a bear. Make yourself as large as possible - do this by standing on a stump or rock. take your coat and raise it above your shoulders, etc. Never turn your back to the bear or run. This will make him think you are prey and encourage him to chase you. Talk in a monotone and keep ...


15

I see three priorities: Make sure no one gets hurt Make sure possessions needed for survival (food, tents) are not destroyed Make sure the fire doesn't spread further and become a forest fire If the campsite you're using is an officially-sanctioned one, this last is probably the least likely to be a problem. You have a large group of people, so you can ...


14

Some helpful points from someone who lives in the western US... Altitude: is a big factor in hikes, often in the West, especially around the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevadas, you will experience a lot of altitude changes. the Western terrain varies widely - even in the space of a few miles. Make sure your equipment (boots, pack, supplies, etc.) can ...


14

You don't have to spend a lot to enjoy the benefits of hammock camping. It sounds like you already know the jargon and have probably seen some great hammock kits out there (e.g., Warbonnet, Hennessy, etc.). These kits are great because, generally speaking, they have all the major components (rain protection, bug protection, hammock body) combined into a ...


14

I am not a doctor, so I can only repeat what I think I understood from lectures by those that do have medical training. I'm pretty sure I remember Dr Murray Hamlett (I highly recommend attending one of his lectures, if he's still doing them. He is not only a leader and pioneer in cold weather medicine, but also a very good and engaging speaker.) saying to ...


14

Hooray! Welcome to the wonderful world of backpacking! This post is LONG, so I've made a summary list to get you started, and what follows below is a probably way too comprehensive explanation of the items. Sorry for the tl;dr! Summary: Backpack (with detachable day pack or separate, if needed) Tent (or hammock, bivy, etc.) Stakes and guylines Tarp/tent ...


13

Here is an article from Scoutin magazine Knots and Boy Scouts go together like campfires and cobbler. Here’s how to tie three of the knots required to reach First Class, plus four more that can be very useful. Knots. It all begins with rope — different sizes, lengths, widths, and strengths, depending on its use. Ropes used for climbing can bear more ...


13

I've used both kinds of packs. External frame packs are generally cheaper, can carry more gear, and allow much better ventilation to your back. In addition to the main compartment and side pockets, most external frame packs also have an area above and below the main compartment where gear can be lashed. Internal frame packs tend to have larger interior ...


13

Well, this can somewhat depend on the type of backpack you have and the length of the trip you're planning to take (so how much you will be carrying), but there are a few general principles that apply to almost all situations: From the bottom up: The sleeping bag. Most backpacks have a larger, seperately-zipped area at the bottom that is the most ...


13

The most important thing is to know what is being hunted so you can know how the hunters should be approaching their prey. It's best to talk to several hunters to find out from them where they will be concentrating, but it's hard to control for any random person with their own ideas about how they will be approaching their hunting. The vast majority of ...


13

Try a menstrual cup. The advantage being that you only need one (maybe having two is a good idea) and that it can be washed.


13

I'm not sure why pants don't receive the same attention but the layers are available. You can easily find base, insulating, and shell layers. Olin's answer gives some good reasons layering pants may not seem as common. In reply: (2) There are full-side-zip pants for mountaineers (crampons) and wide-opening pants for skiers/boarders and regular boots. ...



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