Best Satellite Messenger inReach vs SPOT?

Last year we had a local backpacker freeze to death. They'd likely be alive today if they had brought a Satellite Messenger & activated its emergency signal (by the time they were reported missing and the search crews went out, they had frozen to death overnight). Of course, there are many other good reasons to carry a [...]

By | 2018-02-04T20:51:56+00:00 January 28th, 2018|Emergency & SOS, Recommended Gear, Skills|54 Comments

Quick and Efficient Training for Backpacking and Hiking

We use this common sense, 2-day-a-week training program to prepare for hiking 30+ mile days on the AT. But it's also excellent training for the John Muir Trail, PCT, CDT or even the GR20 in Corsica, considered “the toughest long distance trek in Europe.”

By | 2018-01-23T15:19:11+00:00 January 16th, 2018|Skills|34 Comments

10 hacks and accessories for better smartphone hiking photography

Many stunning outdoor photos are shot with smartphones. BUT most are no accident. The photographer used good basic techniques & inexpensive gear to get that great photo. The good news is that you too can do this with the 10 following hacks and accessories for better smartphone hiking photography. The Newest Smartphone Cameras Kick Ass! The [...]

By | 2017-12-20T00:20:31+00:00 December 17th, 2017|Camera - Photography, Skills|6 Comments

Top Mistakes Using the Layering System – How to Stay Warmer and Drier

The layering system sounds attractive in theory. But as practiced by most hikers it is seriously flawed. It can be heavy, and expensive. And not used properly it could even make you colder. This article points out the major mistakes hikers make when buying and using a clothing layering system. And of course, it has tips on how to [...]

By | 2017-11-23T01:46:15+00:00 November 7th, 2017|Clothing, Skills|33 Comments

Why Wilderness First Aid Matters and How to Take a Course

Knowing what to do in a medical emergency in the wilderness can make all the difference to someone in need. That someone might even be you! I was reminded of this as I refreshed my Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification this past weekend. In fact, just a few years back I used my Wilderness First Aid skills [...]

By | 2017-08-20T19:12:19+00:00 August 20th, 2017|First Aid - Wilderness Medicine, Skills|2 Comments

The Ultralight Backpacker’s Guide to Leave No Trace

Want to practice good Leave No Trace (LNT) but keep your pack ultralight? No problem, this guide gives you some think-outside-the-box, ultralight (UL) options for LNT. It also covers areas of caution where UL backpackers need to pay special attention with regard to LNT. As such, this Ultralight Backpacker's Guide to Leave No Trace covers specific UL [...]

By | 2017-08-13T23:54:27+00:00 August 13th, 2017|Skills|2 Comments

3 lb Ultralight Day Hiking Checklist – stay safe, be light, have fun!

Day hiking is supposed to be fun. And part of the fun is a light pack for easy walking. Unfortunately, most day hiking checklists are way too heavy. If you add up the weight of their suggested gear, your "daypack" may approach the weight of a backpack for a multi-day trip in the backcountry. But [...]

By | 2017-08-06T00:26:20+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|Gear List, Skills|4 Comments

7 Reasons Why Hammock Camping is Fantastic – How To Get Started

For much of the US hammock camping is fantastic & arguably the best way to sleep in the backcountry. This is true anywhere with trees—nearly all of the eastern US & much of the Mountain West.  As such, hammocks are a key element of our 9-lb Full Comfort Gear List. In addition, this post contains Our [...]

By | 2017-07-24T02:09:56+00:00 July 22nd, 2017|Hammocks, Skills|12 Comments

13 Essentials for the Modern Hiker – A Realistic “10 Essentials”

This article proposes a more realistic 13 Essentials that will better keep the modern hiker safe. This is because the Classic 10 Essentials (first proposed in the 1930's) need an update for the 21st Century given the realities of a modern day hiker. First, a major conceptual trap of the traditional 10 Essentials is that they are all gear. I would [...]

By | 2018-02-04T21:19:22+00:00 June 7th, 2017|Beginners, Gear List, Skills, Uncategorized|16 Comments

The Best Hydration – Drink When Thirsty

Drink When Thirsty debunks the many myths about hydration and dehydration like "If you are thirsty, it's already too late" and "If your urine is yellow, you are dehydrated." This article suggests that Drink When Thirsty is the best and healthiest strategy for hydration during exercise.

By | 2017-04-27T19:18:26+00:00 April 27th, 2017|Backpacking Food, Hydration, Skills|31 Comments