Archive | Health & Hygiene

Don't Shoot! I'm a hiker.

Time for Blaze Orange. It’s Deere Hunting Season

You can probably guess what I’m going to say. It’s DEERE season again and you should wear blaze orange if you plan to hike in areas where hunters (or heavy equipment operators guarding their backhoes) are likely to be present. Blaze Orange Clothing for Hikers It’s surprisingly difficult to find good (not cotton) blaze orange hiking […]

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Karen, a Leave No Trace Master Educator, brushing her teeth on the Appalachian Trail

Leave No Trace Toothbrushing

Maintaining dental hygiene is just as important when backpacking and camping as it is at home. But the question arises, what’s the best way to practice leave no trace toothbrushing and rinse out the toothpaste in your mouth after your brush? My answer may surprise you. Swallow It! While many leave no trace practitioners advocate […]

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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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Great Balls of Fire!

Hiker’s Jock Itch: Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment

If you’re experiencing a persistent chafing sensation in your groin that won’t go away, you may have jock itch (tinea crusis) a fungal infection  similar to athlete’s foot, common to hikers and backpackers (both male and female) that causes persistent itching, burning, cracking, and scaling of skin in the genital area. Backpackers are particularly good targets for […]

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Heat Exhaustion

A Close Call with Heat Exhaustion

I didn’t put two and two together when I was experiencing the symptoms of heat exhaustion during a high exertion hike last week, but after a friend pointed it out to me, I realized that I’d had a close call. While I’d taken precautions against the sunlight and heat such as drinking plenty of water, monitoring […]

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