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Backpacking Skills

What is a Tent Vestibule?

The Hilleberg Akto Side Vestibule has plenty of gear storage space, but does not block the tent entrance.

Tent vestibules are like mudrooms at the front of a tent or along its sides. They provide extra space to stash your gear out-of-the-way in a cramped multi-person tent, or a place to change out of wet, muddy gear before you get into the clean, dry end of your tent. …

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How to Speed Up Esbit Cube Cooking

You can increase boiling speed by increasing the rate at which Esbit cubes burn. Break one in half and stand up the two halves to boil water faster.

Esbit cubes are solid fuel cubes used for cooking backpacking meals. Weighing just 0.5 ounces (14 g) each, they’re ultralight, you don’t need a container to carry them like an isobutane gas canister or alcohol bottle, and you can even ship them via ground transportation (in the USA), making them …

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Backpacking in a Hurricane

Hurricane Ike, September 2008

I backpacked the northermost section of Vermont’s Long Trail during Hurricane Ike in 2008. I didn’t realize that I was hiking through a hurricane at the time, since that kind of weather is the norm on the Long Trail not the exception.  It was only when I’d finished my section …

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