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65

A healthy set of firelighters and some woodworking tools. An axe and saw are a must along with your pocket knife. Failing that, a knife and hand axe. With fire lighters, you will struggle to light sodden twigs. You might get something small going but this will burn out as your chemical fuel disappears - revealing that your twigs were not really part of the ...


37

Bring skills. Skills are by far the lightest and most useful thing to carry. They are, however, also rather difficult and time-consuming to acquire (as compared to, say, some tools that you can simply go and buy in a shop). Here are some quick suggestions (thank you commenters): Collect the lowest deadwood branches still attached on evergreen trees, they ...


33

Carrying less weight makes a big difference. My packing follows the "be prepared" style more than the ultralight one, but even I admit it's easy to carry too much. Stepping cautiously especially on descents and trying to avoid dropping too much on one step are both important. A pair of trekking poles is very helpful, and you might need to lengthen them ...


25

As excellent as the previous responses have been (and they all have great advice), I'd add that you want to be FLEXIBLE. Stretching is crucial, and not just for your knees. Hip flexors are a very important part of the equation too. Stretch all the muscle groups in your lower body. Your knees will be affected primarily by your quad (thigh) muscles, but all ...


23

As usual, skills are the lightest and most effective thing one can carry. From how to bushcraft useful things from natural materials, to clever ways to satisfy needs like signaling or navigation, to keeping a healthy state of mind. Nonetheless, some useful items greatly increase chance of success / reduce chance of suffering. The less skills, the more ...


23

Has this happened sure, Traps have been set out after an elderly woman was walking her small, mixed-breed dog on a leash around 10 a.m. on Saturday on Avenida Majorca and a coyote began attacking the dog, Falk said. Falk said the woman tried to wrestle the dog away and was bitten in the scuffle – it was unclear if the bite was from the coyote or the ...


23

This is called horse packing. It is a totally different outdoor activity to hiking. There are places you cannot go with horses/mules and caring for an animal is a lot of work. Some people love it and horse pack even though they could hike on their own. Other people hate it. Getting into horse packing is a big investment (the animals are not cheap and there ...


22

Second Edit: Thanks for all the upvotes. I just want to clarify one thing: I don't think I've done a good job in answering the OP's question. I think cr0's answer is much better for winter hiking. This little kit that I've put together is my 3-season emergency kit. Consider it the start of an emergency kit for the winter. [Also, since I have a fair ...


21

I have always found it easy to just carry a few tea lights. PUt them under a wet teepee of small kindling, and it will light, eventually. Size up slowly, remembering that the wood needs to dry and then to light. If it's actively raining you may need to "cover" the fire a bit with a tarp or large leaves, but the idea is the same. The slow-burning tea light ...


17

I have spent significant time in the backcountry in the winter. Last year I did an early season through hike of the Continental Divide Trail, spending months living in the snow. Below is a list of some items I'd recommend bringing if you're going on a casual hike in the winter. You should not bring all of these at once. Consider the conditions, your ...


17

No. If the boots have a Gore-Tex membrane, this is a PTFE film that is sandwiched between the inner lining and the upper. Light going through a glass pane is mostly harmless. For example, most of the UV light (UVB) is blocked by glass. The only issue a pair of boots left in a display might have is color fading, that's usually due to some deterioration from ...


15

What I have always carried is cotton balls mixed with petroleum jelly stored in a film canister. It's small and light, the cotton makes it easy to light and the petroleum jelly gives it quite a bit of heat. Just be careful not to get the jelly on your fingers when doing this, as otherwise, you can burn them pretty easily. There are plenty of other things ...


15

I endorse what @James Jenkins and @StongBad said about being unable to manage and take care of a mule if you are too out of shape to hike alone. I upvoted their answers and your question. Many trails are serviced by a packer, and you can hire the packer to haul in your stuff on a mule and also haul you in on mule or horse, and then haul your stuff and you ...


13

For easy climbs you have quite a good chance to be OK with hiking shoes. The most important property for a shoe to be usable for climbing is, that you have to be able to stand on contact points so small that only a part of your toes' length fits on them. To achieve that, you have basically two possibilities: You take a flexible, very tightly fitting shoe ...


13

Assuming you are not opposed to it, preemptively taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen before your knees start hurting and then re-dosing later if it is a long hike can help to keep swelling / inflammation down. [Edit regarding anti-inflammatories: By all means consult your doctor about safe dosing & frequency before beginning use in your ...


12

In addition to the other fine answers here, I'd like to add another skill I recently learned about to help with wet weather fire building. It's called the upside down fire. You can view how-to videos on youtube.com here and here. The basic gist of the fire is that you start by laying out larger more damp pieces in the bottom of your fire lay, as you build ...


12

Locally one of the forms of firestarter our hardware store sells amounts to coarse sawdust mixed with candle wax. Break a piece in half to get a rough edge to start. You can make your own from old candle stubs and shredded paper. Do the wax in a double boiler. Vaseline and cotton balls work too, but they are messy if they escape in your pack. On trips ...


12

The old style pocket compasses worked just like that. The problem: If you use a compass without using that arrow -- just using the degree marking on the dial, your error will about triple. If you hold a compass at waist level look down at it, and look up, you won't be looking the same direction. You can increase the accuracy by first pivoting your ...


12

Climbing scree is a skill all on it's own. The trick is to have good balance and have a good feel for the ground, and gradually transfer your weight from one foot to the other, almost like walking on thin ice, you don't want the scree to "break". If you can plant your foot just right, and ease your weight on to it, then you can often manage to progress ...


12

Make sure you are using your knees correctly. Body mechanics is a big deal. My doctor was on the road to a knee replacement 25 years ago, and decided he really did not want that. So he learned Tai Chi from an real expert. Tai Chi, as designed, is to train proper body mechanics (in a martial arts context). This made him rethink how he used his knees, and ...


11

Layering and wicking. Back to layering and wicking in a minute, but first note that 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) isn't really all that high compared to what you are aiming for, which is above 5,500 meters (18,045 feet). That extra 8,000 plus feet means a temperature drop of 16 degrees F (9 degrees C) to 24 degrees F (13 degrees C), more if you go higher. ...


10

First: buddies. Solo activities are inherently riskier. Not that's out of the way, what kit is practical? Extra insulation and extra wind/waterproofing. This may be just one item, but it's more likely to be a foil blanket, extra mid layer, and survival bag. If you stop moving, you stop generating as much heat, so you need insulation. The extra mid layer, ...


10

A few decades ago, I raised Saanens goats as part of a small farm. I also liked to hike. I did some research and found that 'pack goats' where in use in some places. The have a number of positive attributes that make them a good choice. I have actually had them on the trail a few times They eat brush so can browse for food along the trail (this may be ...


10

The key for cold weather clothing is layers ...some tips (some from experience, some from reading/hearing from others): Use layers, especially on your top body Wear something on your head (you lose a lot of warmth through your head) (moved up by comment of bob) Your body (chest/back) is most important to keep warm Use not thick clothes, but more thin ...


9

A couple of additional thoughts: A metal pencil sharpener with a large hole (often only available as a two-hole sharpener). Great for turning twigs into shavings. More surface area should mean they dry faster (once you have an initial bit of tinder going) and catch more easily. Shavings will blow around in even a light breeze though, so think about using ...


9

A lot has been covered already, I'll add the thing I find most of use. Knowledge about flora and geography where you hike. Someone answered "Skills" which is fundament, of course - but they won't help you if you do not know the vegetation types around where you hike. Where I hike (Norway) I know which bushes burn well. I know which roots burn well. I have ...


9

I'd like to challenge a premise of your question: I noticed that snow jackets tend to be cheaper than soft shell jackets and that they are waterproof and wind resistant, so I was wondering what issues I would face if I use a snow jacket? You are putting too much emphasis on labels: "Snow jacket" is an arbitrary label that a company (seller or producer) ...


9

If you feel hot, then remove some clothes. Going without a tee-shirt in -10C or lower is quite practical if you are working hard. There are caveats: Firstly, be prepared to put the clothes back on as soon as you stop exercising. Secondly, different parts of your body have different levels of heat input and heat loss; you may well be down to nothing on ...


8

I've hiked in the UK, and a little in the US and western Europe. I'll concentrate on the UK. My perception is that British hikers keep their gear for longer than Americans, leading to two things: old fashioned kit, and a preference for sturdy kit. I, for example, have a pair of leather hiking boots from over 20 years ago. They're heavy but still the best I ...


8

It would probably work and some of it will just depend on your preferences. Possible issues may include, Too much insulation causing you to overheat and sweat and become uncomfortable, doubly so if the jacket is not breathable. Bulkier and heavier than it needs to be. Several layers instead of one large jacket works better for variable temps. Like I said a ...


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