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Backpacking Skills

9 Expert Stream Crossing Tips

Wait for water to drop to a safer level or find a different crossing point.

Stream crossings can be intimidating for many hikers, even small streams where the consequences of getting wet or falling are minor. But learning to cross small streams forms the foundation for coping with larger streams and rivers, where the consequences of a fall are much higher. Here are some expert …

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Backpacking Lyme Disease Prevention

About the size of a poppy seed, a tick nymph embeds itself in the skin of a hiker.

Some people think I’m cracked when it comes to the preventive measures I take to avoid tick bites and getting Lyme Disease. But I still haven’t contracted Lyme Disease after 5000 miles of hiking, backpacking, and off-trail hiking through prime tick habit on the Appalachian Trail, in the northeastern United States, or …

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Hiking Navigation Gear List

My Navigation Toolkit consists of a couple of maps, compass, whistle, watch:altimeter, pencil, paper, and a smartphone running the Gaia Navigation App

I carry a variety of navigation tools and devices on my hikes and backpacking trips because I’ve never found once that’s perfectly reliable or easy to use in all situations. Every navigation tool and device has different strengths and weakness, as I describe below. Maps, often more than one Compass, declination adjustable …

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9 Winter Navigation Hazards

Winter Navigation Hazards

Winter hiking navigation is different than three-season navigation because easy trails can become unsafe from avalanche danger, deep snow, or dangerous weather conditions. When planning winter hiking routes, it’s important to factor these hazards into your route plans and preparation, even if it means taking a longer and safer route. …

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