Backpacking Skills

Carrying Too Much Food?

Stuffed Food Bags

It’s well known that long distance hikers become eating machines and have to struggle to get enough calories to maintain their body weight on hikes that last for months. But as a section hiker, I rarely have the opportunity to go backpacking …

Read More »

Comfortable Backpacking

Tarp Camping on The Long Trail

I like my creature comforts when I’m out backpacking. I like to bring a comfortable air mattress, some extra camera gear, a good paperback, a plush animal friend and good food to eat. I can get away with bringing these little extras, …

Read More »

Snowshoeing in Trail Runners

I did a long hike approach snowshoe (7.2 miles round trip) over the weekend to the base of North Hancock, including 16 water crossings. We still have snow on the ground, but I figured that doing the crossings wearing my Inov-8 trail …

Read More »

Hard Candy

Hard Candy

It’s a hot day and you’ve been piling up the mileage, hiking up one mountain after another. You come to another peak and you are overcome by fatigue and self-doubt. You think, “there’s no way I can make it up this hill. …

Read More »

Defining a Winter Packing System

We finally have significant snowfall in the White Mountains and I've got a two night camping and hiking trip scheduled this weekend. All I have to do now is to figure out how to get all of this gear (there's still more …

Read More »

Mountains Make Their Own Weather

Last week, I heard a great talk at the AMC Boston Winter Hiking Program given by Larry Takiff on Mountain Weather and Avalanche Awareness. Larry is a very seasoned winter hiker and climber with international experience. The gist of Larry's talk was …

Read More »

The Summit is Optional

This past Tuesday, I heard a great talk on Winter Hiking Safety given by Mohamed Ellozy, a leader with the Boston AMC Winter Backpacking Program and former Appalachia Magazine accidents editor. I thought I'd summarize the key points he made during his …

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 …

Read More »

Hiking Kilts for Men

Elkommando Kilt - Men's

I’ve met a few hikers who prefer wearing kilts instead of hiking pants. Hiking kilts are a practical hiking garment for men and it’s surprising that more hikers and backpackers don’t use them. They’re great way to avoid moisture build-up and chafing in those …

Read More »

Alcohol Stoves: Timing Your Boil

Long-distance AT hikers love to obsess over pack weight and gear choices. Eventually any extended or thru-hike planning effort will come to a decision on what stove to bring. For me, this was quickly remedied by the statistics on what kind of …

Read More »