Backpacking Skills

Instructional articles and FAQs for backpacking on-trail and off. Written by highly experienced backpackers and guides who walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Recommended Winter Day Hiking Gear List

Recommended winter day hiking gear list

When gearing up for winter day hiking you want footwear, clothing and traction aids that can be used across a fairly wide range of temperatures, wind speeds, sun, precipitation types, and surface conditions. For example, typical winter weather includes: Temperatures: from 40 degrees down to 20 below zero (Fahrenheit) Wind …

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Desert Water Purification

Desert Water Purification

Purifying water in the desert can be a unique challenge. Often, it’s hard to even find any water to begin with, and when you finally do, it’s opaque with silt or full of swaying algae or tiny worms. Much of it is frankly unappealing. In this article, I will discuss …

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SB Sox Compression Socks Review

SB Sox Compression Sox Review

Compression socks can help reduce swelling and improve blood circulation in your feet and lower legs if you’re recovering from a sprained ankle, plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis, which many hikers experience at some stage in their hiking “career”. I’ve used them to relieve the pain and symptoms of all …

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Ultralight Backpacking Bug Shelter Primer

Ultralight backpacking bug shelter primer

There are three different types of ultralight bug shelters suitable for cowboy camping, sleeping in a lean-to, or underneath a flat tarp: Bivy Sacks Bug Bivies Net Tents While they’re all similar in certain respects, they have distinct differences, pros, and cons. While bivy sacks are confining, they provide excellent …

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When is a Child Ready For Their Own Tent?

When is a Child Ready for Their Own Tent?

The timing of when a child is ready for a tent of their own is going to be different for every family and every child. Children mature at very different rates so its important to be realistic about where your child is in terms of independence and self-directness and how …

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Hiker Self Rescue on the Castle Trail

Hiker Self Rescue on the Castle Trail

If something bad happens to you on a hike and you’re alone or with a friend, would you be able to self-rescue, or would you need to contact search and rescue and request help? That is a question I ask myself whenever I go hiking. It dictates the routes I …

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Big Three Ultralight Backpacking Makeovers

Big Three Ultralight Backpacking Makeovers

When it comes to gear list weight reduction for lightweight and ultralight backpacking, the biggest gains come from lightening the big three, including your backpack, tent, and your sleep system which includes a sleeping pad and sleeping bag or quilt. These are almost always the heaviest items that you have …

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