earlylite

Blister Prevention and Treatment for Hikers

Leukotape

No one is immune to blisters. However, blisters are preventable if you understand the conditions that cause them and they will heal faster if you know how to treat them properly. In the following article I begin by explaining what blisters are and why they occur. I then discuss techniques …

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Best Convertible Hiking Pants

I’ve tried hiking pants from a number of different manufacturers like REI and RailRiders, but the ones I like best are EMS’ cargo zip off hiking pants. The price for these pants is $55, but EMS often has them on sale.  At 16 oz they are not the lightest hiking …

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Backpacking Gear Repair Kit

My murphy bag contains a lightweight first aid kit (4.6 oz.) and a emergency gear repair kit listed below (4.0 oz). I store both kits in a small stuff sack which I tuck into the bottom of my pack under my sleeping bag to keep it out of the way. …

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Stealth Camping

Stealth Camping

I like camping far away from established campsites. If I’m hiking solo on a managed trail, I usually avoid shelters and lean-tos unless I want company. If I’m bushwacking there is usually no other option. When I get tired or the light is fading, I make sure my water supply …

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Selecting a Sleeping Pad

NEMO Astro 20R Inflateable Sleeping Pad

Selecting a sleeping pad for a backpacking trip depends on a variety of factors including personal preference, outside temperature, terrain, and weight. It’s important to understand the tradeoffs between these when selecting the right sleeping pad for a backcountry trip. First off, sleeping pads provide you with two primary benefits: …

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Ursack Bear Bag

Ursack Bearproof Bag hanging from a tree. There's no need to hang it 10 feet off the ground and 5 feet from a tree trunk because the bag is made out of super strong fabric.

Ursack is a company that specializes in the manufacture of bear bags made of bullet proof fabric that are far lighter than rigid bear canisters. Weighing only 7.5 oz, the TKO (since renamed the A29 All White) sounded like it was worth trying out and I took it on a …

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Choosing the Right Camping Shelter

Hennessey Hammock Ultralite Backpacker Asym Classic with a Down Underquit at Lost Pond, New Hampshire

I’ve started planning my early spring trips and I have been weighing the pros and cons of different shelter alternatives.  I own ultralight tarps, tarp tents, 4-season tents and a Hennessey Hammock and have different criteria for bringing each along on a trip depending on terrain types, trip duration, weather, …

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Hydration Bladder Pockets in Backpacks

  Hydration pockets are good for day hikers because they hold your Camelback or platypus hydration bladder in place. If you’re a day hiker, you don’t have a lot of gear in the pack to keep your bladder from shifting around. However if you’re doing a serious hike and you …

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