Home / Backpacking Skills / Health & Hygiene (page 4)

Health & Hygiene

Over-Pronation for Hikers and Trail Runners

< Over-Pronation Defined Simply put, over-pronation is an excessive or poorly timed pronation which is part of the regular stride. Pronation is when the foot rolls inwards and the arch compresses as part of your normal walking motion. Pronation is necessary for shock absorption to transmit forces up and down …

Read More »

Managing IT Band Syndrome

it-band-syndrome

One of my chronic hiking health issues is IT Band Syndrome. It flares up when I carry a heavy backpack for long distances and is one of the main reasons why I try to keep my pack as lightweight as possible. The IT Band (also called the Illiotibial Tract) is …

Read More »

Camping Towels

camping-towel

The main reason I bring a camping towel on a backpacking trips is to wipe down the outside of a wet tent or shelter before packing it away for the day.  It’s a neat little trick to cut down on extra water weight and leaves you with a drier shelter …

Read More »

Ibuprofen: Vitamin I

Vitamin I

  Ibuprofen (trademarked at Advil or Motrin) is so popular amongst hikers and climbers that it is often called Vitamin I. Ibuprofen is an over the counter pain reliever and anti-inflammatory that can speed recovery during training or the main event. Muscle pain caused by inflammation can occur as a …

Read More »

Best Backpacking Toilet Paper

paper-towels-as-tp

The best toilet paper for backpacking is a paper towel. Regular toilet paper just doesn’t stand up to the humidity. I like using Brawny paper towels: they’re scored down the middle of each sheet, so it’s easy to tear off a half sheet. When I pack my toiletry kit for a …

Read More »

Ticks, Lyme, and Permethrin

Wearing a Head Net on The Long Trail

Given the number of non-hikers that ask me about ticks and Lyme disease, it appears that either the awareness of tick-borne illness or it’s territorial spread are increasing, or both. According to the CDC, cases of Lyme disease are concentrated in the United States, with northern California. Connecticut, Rhode Island, …

Read More »

Preventing Dehydration in Winter

Hiking up to Mt Garfield in Winter

If you’re not careful, it’s very easy to become dehydrated in the winter particularly if you’re engaged in sports like snowshoeing, backcountry skiing or mountaineering. Under these conditions, it’s not enough to be on the lookout for yellow pee; you need to hydrate before exertion and regularly during all outdoor …

Read More »

The Human Burrito

human-burrito

This is NOT a backpacking recipe! It's a technique I learned for warming an hypothermia victim during my Wilderness First Aid certification class in Vermont recently. The Human Burrito is based on vapor barrier survival techniques that I've written about in the past. Hypothermia occurs when the body's core temperature …

Read More »

Grabber Hand Warmers

Last winter, my wife bought me some Grabber Hand Warmers to heat up my sleeping bag in cold weather. I didn’t pay much attention to them for almost a year until I tried one last weekend and I was blown away. These are so cool. Each warmer heats up to about …

Read More »

Chemical Free Insect-Bite Prevention

Ex Officio Halo Check Shirt with Insect Shield

Last year, I used 4 squirt bottles of Ben's 100% DEET to prevent mosquito bites. I'd slather Ben's on my legs, arms, and head every time I went backpacking and hiking near my home in Boston or when I visited my favorite backpacking haunts in the Catskills, the Gunks, or …

Read More »