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I only carry two pairs of hiking socks on trips - the pair I'm wearing an a clean pair to sleep in

How Many Pairs of Socks Should You Bring on a Backpacking Trip?

Many people bring too many extra clothes on backpacking trips, including more shirts, pants, pairs of underwear, socks, and even shoes that they don’t need. Extra clothes add a lot of unnecessary weight to a backpack and take up a significant amount of extra volume. So much, that you might end up carrying a larger and heavier […]

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How Much Does Your Tent Footprint Weigh?

Ultralight Backpacking Tent Footprint Substitutions

Over fifty percent of backpackers use a manufacturer’s tent footprint under their tent on overnight backpacking trips (based on a survey that will be published next week). They do this to protect the bottom of their tents from sharp rocks and sand that can rip or puncture their tent floors, improve their floor’s water resistance, or […]

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A stove is completely optional when cooking with ESBIT fuel cubes

Ultralight Cooking without a Stove or a Fuel Container

How would you like to eliminate the weight of your backpacking stove and the fuel container (canister, liquid fuel bottle, or alcohol bottle) that you use to carry your cooking fuel on backpacking trips while still being able to boil water and cook meals? What would that save you? Anywhere from 3 to 8 ounces, […]

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The best way to avoid black bear encounters is to make a lot of noise when hiking and keep a clean camp when sleeping

Camping Fears: Eastern Black Bears and Safety

Had a reader contact me recently asking me how I managed to get any sleep when backpacking solo. He’d gone on their first overnight trip in Dolly Sods (WV) and been freaked out worrying about eastern bears at night and being attacked while he lay in his hammock. My response: “I am afraid sometimes too, but not […]

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230 Mile Bacpacking Route over 48 Mountains

Trip Planning: How Long Will It Take Me to Backpack XX Miles?

I’ve been getting a lot of emails this year from beginner backpackers who want guidance about how to estimate that time it takes to backpack a long section of trail. Here are some examples: I plan to hike the Presidential Range and the Maine Appalachian Trail this summer. How long should it take me? I’m a […]

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