Archive | For Beginners

Campfire on a Cool Autumn Night

Reader Poll: What’s in Your Fire Making Kit?

I always carry a small fire-making kit when I go hiking. It contains a Light My Fire firesteel that can generate sparks and a small sandwich bag with vaseline smeared cotton balls as tinder that light easily and will burn for a few minutes, long enough to get the small sticks in my fire to stay lit. I […]

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Backpacking Gear

My Gear List Philosophy

When I started getting into lightweight backpacking, I spent a lot of time staring at my gear list to make sure I squeezed every ounce of weight out of it. That’s ok. It’s part of the process that every lightweight or ultralight backpacker goes through when they realize that they can be more comfortable by […]

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Campsite Setup Checklist -1

Camping Gear Checklist

My wife has expressed a willingness, even a desire to go car camping with me. But we both get anxious when we have to pack up for a multi-day car camping trip, so I created this checklist of all the stuff we need to bring. It really helped minimize the stress of getting ready for […]

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Thunderstorm Activity for the Appalachian Trail in Stratton, Maine

How to Avoid Thunderstorms While Hiking and Backpacking

I am very cautious when hiking during thunderstorm season, especially above treeline where these is no protection from lightning, hail, and high winds. I’ve just had too many calls where thunderstorms have caught me out in the open and scared me half to death with their fury. While I can peacefully sleep through storms like this […]

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