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Backpacking Skills

Powerbar Bake-off

Olympia Granola Bar Man

Backpacking food can be really expensive if you buy commercially packaged meals and snacks. Most freeze-dried meals cost $5-8 dollars and powerbars can cost as much as $3.50 each. Your best alternative is to prepare your own meals and snacks or to find prepackaged foods that are easy to cook, …

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Zinc Oxide: A First Aid Kit Essential

Zinc Oxide ointment is a must have item that every hiker needs in their first aid kit. This simple white ointment provides fast relief for chafed skin and diaper rash, also known as monkey butt amongst backpackers. It can be applied as sunblock and helps dry out the oozing and …

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Sleep System Survival Tactics for Staying Warm

Camping in Winter

Have you ever spent a cold night in your sleeping bag  wondering why you are cold when you’re sleeping in a bag that is properly rated for the temperature outside? A lot of backpackers and campers have this problem and blame their sleeping bag for it, when it could be …

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Black Fly Season

Black fly season occurs from mid-March to mid-July in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, north through New York and New England, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and into Southern Canada. Some backpackers, campers, and fishermen avoid outdoor activities during black fly season, but the rest of us soldier on despite the …

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Blister Prevention and Treatment for Hikers

Leukotape

No one is immune to blisters. However, blisters are preventable if you understand the conditions that cause them and they will heal faster if you know how to treat them properly. In the following article I begin by explaining what blisters are and why they occur. I then discuss techniques …

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Stealth Camping

Stealth Camping

I like camping far away from established campsites. If I’m hiking solo on a managed trail, I usually avoid shelters and lean-tos unless I want company. If I’m bushwacking there is usually no other option. When I get tired or the light is fading, I make sure my water supply …

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Hydration Bladder Pockets in Backpacks

  Hydration pockets are good for day hikers because they hold your Camelback or platypus hydration bladder in place. If you’re a day hiker, you don’t have a lot of gear in the pack to keep your bladder from shifting around. However if you’re doing a serious hike and you …

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