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Backpacking Skills

Winter Traction and When to Wear It

Winter Traction and When to Wear It

Winter hikers use three different kinds of traction devices in winter: microspikes, mountaineering crampons, and snowshoes. Microspikes and mountaineering crampons are used to provide traction on ice and packed snow while snowshoes are mainly used to provide flotation on top of unconsolidated snow.  However, putting on microspikes, mountaineering crampons, or snowshoes …

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Wilderness Navigation and Route Planning

Wilderness Navigation and Route Planning

Wilderness navigation requires planning routes across terrain that doesn’t have pre-defined trails or roads to follow. While following a route using a map and compass, GPS, map-to-terrain association or just dead reckoning is required, those tools and techniques don’t provide you with the skills to plan good cross-country routes. Part art and part …

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Winter Weather Forecasting in Mountainous Terrain

Winter Weather Forecasting in Mountainous Terrain

If you’re going to hiking or backpack in mountainous terrain in winter, you should learn about the prevailing weather patterns and forecasting tools that are are available for planning hikes and other backcountry tours. The weather in valleys seldom matches the weather at higher elevations, especially in terms of temperature …

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