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Winter Hiking

12 Essential Winter Camping and Backpacking Hacks

Dug Out Winter Kitchen Area

Winter camping and backpacking have a much steeper learning curve than three season hiking and camping because you have to carry a lot more gear and learn so many new skills. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years that have improved the safety and comfort of my winter trips. …

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5 Essential Winter Survival Skills

Avalanche Danger

Winter is when the training wheels come off for hikers, climbers, and backcountry skiers. When all of the planning and preparation you did before your trip won’t help you get out of the jam you’re in. When your buddy hits his head on a tree skiing down a backcountry route or …

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How to Attach Snowshoes to a Backpack

Snowshoes stuffed into the back pocket of a backpack.

I’m often asked about the best way to attach snowshoes to a backpack. There are basically two ways: You can attach them to the sides of your pack (top photo) or hang them off the back, either stuffed in a shovel pocket, as shown below or just attached using shock …

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How to Size Snowshoes

MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes

The size of snowshoe you need depends on your body weight, the weight of your gear, snow type, and whether you snowshoe on broken-out trails or travel cross-country, on fresh powder. But if you are about to buy a new pair of snowshoes, don’t take manufacturer’s size recommendations as gospel. …

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Freestanding Tents vs Floorless Pyramids: Winter Bakeoff

DuoMid in Snow - Crawford Notch, White Mountains - 2011

Black Diamond FirstLight Tent and a very stealthy MLD cuben fiber Duomid Sub-pound, floor-less pyramids are very lightweight, but free-standing tents pitch in minutes. Which is the right choice for winter backpacking and mountaineering, when pack weight and space are at a premium? Pitching a floorless pyramid on snow takes …

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How to Attach an Ice Axe to a Backpack

Ice axe shaft is lashed to a Talon Buckle using elastic cord and a cord lock

This is a serious issue, because I see a lot of people do this improperly, opening themselves to a potentially serious injury. ??To remedy that, I’m going to demonstrate how you should do this safely, in a way that prevents the axe pick from puncturing your hip if (when) you …

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