119

Couple suggestions for meeting people on the trail with dogs, Keep the dogs leashed. When passing people put the dogs on the opposite side of yourself so that you are between the dogs and the people. Pull off to the side and have the dogs sit, as this demonstrates that you have control over the dogs and they will listen to you. Talk with the people you meet,...


77

In my experience, most standard single sleeping bags, are built so you can zipper them together to make a double. They are designed to zipper to an identical/matched bag, so don't count on buying to different bags and have them work together. Instead of buying a dedicated double bag, buy a matched pair that can be joined. Google sleeping bags that can be ...


71

Dehydrated food 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 weight/...


66

No. There's nothing wrong with asking other adventurers where they have adventured. I've asked random people that question, other people have asked me, it never has put me or them on edge or anything of the sort. Sometimes people like to know if the trail they're on leads to something interesting and is worth going, sometimes people like to hear of others ...


61

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 ...


53

There are several reasons, though not all of them would apply for one's usual holiday trip. Remaining unseen Obviously, during night its dark and this gives you a fair bit of cover if you want to remain unseen. This reason for traveling at night is common for many hunters in the animal kingdom (and sometimes also their prey), has been used by humans in ...


45

I don't backpack, but I canoe camp and I used to do it with small children. We took a watch and used it for three things: we need to have all the work done and food eaten by the time it's dark, say 9pm, so we need to land by [whatever] pm to set up camp and cook. this food needs to cook for 20 minutes (or this bread needs to rise for 2 hours) that portage ...


43

While doing the West Coast Trail in Vancouver, Canada I had to buy a watch for the first time. I had a table with the tides for that week and I needed the watch to tell if high tide was going to get me while going through different parts of the track. I knew how long hiking through the tide-dependent section would take me and needed the watch to tell at ...


41

Lots of people have posted answers saying what they like to eat. However, the OP asked a very specific question, which was: "What is the most efficient food to take a for a 12-15 day hiking trip? [...] Assume I have no taste at all and don't care about eating the same tasteless thing every day if necessary." She specifically stated that her only criterion ...


40

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 ...


36

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). ...


35

I'd argue that a watch is a fairly important device for backpacking and I generally never leave without one. Monitor progress If you do multi-day hikes you generally have a plan or schedule you should more-or-less stick to. This schedule can be dictated by your entry/exit procedures (e.g. public transport), by the food you brought (e.g. you have to walk at ...


34

Option 2 is better, as activating your PLB will divert resources that could be used to fight the forest fire, and put other people in unnecessary danger (PLBs aren't a get out of danger free card). Fires rarely go above tree line, Alpine tundra areas in the [Colorado] San Juans rarely burn because, according to Korb, they are typically sparse in fuel, ...


33

As someone who is fine with dogs, I'm saddened that my son was nipped by a puppy when he was very young and is now very nervous when needing to walk past dogs, and there are lots of strays where I live. In time, I hope to help him react to dogs in a different way, but right now he is afraid of them. If you met him with your dogs, there is nothing you can ...


33

A reasonable compromise is any pop bottle -- one designed for carbonated beverages. They are several times as strong as the water bottles. I've never managed to break one. I have a polyethylene conventional water bottle that fits a pocket in my pack. I also carry a 2 liter pop bottles for times when I will be away from water for the bulk of the day. (...


32

I think you pretty much covered it. Advantages of a tent: Keeps more rain/snow out (particularly if you have little skill in tent/tarp setup) Keeps out insects. For me, this is the big one - in spring time when the mosquitoes are fierce, being confined to your sleeping bag with a net over your face is not nearly as pleasant as lounging in your enclosed ...


32

The main advantages are: You don't need sunscreen Even with a full moon, the night sky is awesome Things look (and sound) weirdly and wonderfully different in moonlight In summer, the temperature will be much more conducive to brisk hiking than during the heat of the day The OP did not ask about disadvantages, but the main disadvantage is #3 -- that ...


32

There is nothing wrong with asking people you meet on the trail where there are coming from or going to. This is very normal trail-encounter talk. I've asked people this many times and rarely gotten a negative reaction. Likewise, I've been asked these many times, and never considered it to be inappropriate in any way. One obvious reasons hikers do this, ...


31

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 improves its taste. If you don't want to eat the same food for 14 days, take ...


31

I know you said in your question that you don't want to bring a whole roll, but I've found that Duct Tape can be easily collapsable if you use a knife and cut out the cardboard inside of the roll. After that, take a strip of Duct Tape, fold it on itself and stick it to half of the inside roll. Flatten the roll and you have a rectangle of usefulness. (o) ...


30

I don't think it works like you think it works. If you're trying to build your distance, you might do 8 miles one Saturday, then the next weekend do 8 on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. The next, 10 on Saturday and 8 on Sunday. Or more if you feel up to it. Mixing training and a through hike is a recipe for bad things to happen, from fatigue to blisters to actual ...


29

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 ...


29

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 ...


29

Don't get wet! No I'm not being facetious, I hike through the rain forests of BC all the time, I've spent days in a row in solid rain while backpacking and setting up camp. Getting wet up here can mean death overnight even in the middle of summer, doesn't matter how hot it gets during the day, temperatures can drop to near zero overnight, if you're wet when ...


29

The ideal weight is zero. The less weight you carry the more you will enjoy your outing. That being said, one should try to minimize their weight within reason. There exist different schools (Ultralight, super-ultralight, etc.) on what one should carry and how much it should weight. REI suggest the following categories: minimalist - Under 12 pounds (...


29

You're bringing all the right things... (the only thing I would question is why a flashlight as well as a headlamp? - though if it's just a small flashlight, no big deal- I sometimes bring a spare headlamp). 20kg's is 44 pounds and 30-40lbs is about right for a 3 day trip alone. The only way to get the weight down is by bringing lighter (i.e. more expensive)...


29

Trying to cut pack weight is all about leaving "extra" things out and then replacing needed things with light versions. Some things that jump out at me as "extra": Tent for 2 people If there is only one of you, why do you need a 2 person tent. For only 2 or 3 days, I would go with a tarp which will be lighter 2 pairs of underwear and socks A spare ...


29

The answer to this is a resounding: No. The main problem with suffocation and cookers is in enclosed spaces where there is no airflow. Suffocation when using a cooker can happen when either the O2 concentration drops below the minimum needed, or when the CO2 (carbon dioxide) or CO (carbon monoxide) concentration rises to a toxic point. In the case of ...


28

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.


28

Sadly, in North America, there is no rating beyond what each manufacturer decides for itself. I suspect that in the US especially, some thought goes into liability (i.e. if someone freezes to death in a bag that's rated to 0F and it's 20F out, they could be in trouble). Certain manufacturers gain a reputation for conservative ratings, others for optimistic ...


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