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36

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 ...


27

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 ...


26

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 ...


23

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). ...


22

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 ...


19

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. ...


19

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. ...


18

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.


17

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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


14

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 ...


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

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 ...


14

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

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

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 ...


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

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 ...


12

"Better" might be the wrong question. Here are few alternatives: "Safer" - Canister, hands down. Depending on where you are, bears have been known to study brilliant bear hangs, find the critical tie point 3 trees over, and with a casual flick of a claw, order takeout. On the other hand, I have seen bear canisters take a tumble off a several hundred foot ...


12

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 ...


12

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. ...


12

Roland Muser wrote a book, Long-Distance Hiking: Lessons from the Appalachian Trail, based on surveys of 136 long-distance hikers, each of whom spent 3-6 months on the trail. Some relevant quotes (p. 133): Two or three hikers had run-ins with local inhabitants, and some reported uncomfortable hitch-hiking incidents. More seriously, two hikers were ...


12

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 ...


11

I can offer my favorite hiking food rotinue, but I usually just had it for 4-5 days max, between resupplies. Quaker Oatmeal for breakfast (usually two packets with the powdered milk, add cold water to each packet) 3-4 snacks during the day (2 sneakers snickers, 2 m&ms, sometimes other variants. Sometimes Cliff bars/Oatmeal snacks instead) A big ...


11

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 ...


11

I would begin thinking about the overnight accommodation. You can do this fairly cheaply in the UK if you stay in a hostel, walkers lodge or a bunk barn. Many of them provide bedding and often food as well. Thus removing the need to take a tent or sleeping bag. Some places even provide tents for a charge! If accommodation cannot be found then I would take a ...


11

One advantage teflon brings to the wilderness is how easy it is to clean. The heat on backpacker stoves can be hard to regulate, it's not uncommon for hot spots that get food stuck to the bottom of the pot or worse, burnt to the bottom (I'm looking at you pasta + sauce packets!). Teflon makes it less likely to get stuck, often needing only to be wiped off ...


11

The traditional tip is to cross at the widest point, where the river has the least power and is spread over a wider area. Often this is the most shallow point also. You will cross while facing upstream, but you can move slightly downstream to use some of the force of the current rather than working against it. If you are a group, lock arms and move in a line ...



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