Busy lives can yield big backcountry results if you do it right. Because discipline leads to freedom, we know that 9-to-5ers are versed in managing time if they expect to nail it on their weekend excursions. Knowing all the ins and outs of backcountry quick hits is beyond the scope of a blog post, but these […]Read more "The Weekend Warrior’s Way: How to Maximize Your Time Off"
I stare into my gear room, aka my basement, in fear and awe of the packing I need to tackle the night before my seven-day ski traverse of the Pickets Range in the Cascades. What do I need to bring? Will I forget the most important item and what is it? With so little time […]Read more "7 Packing Tips for a 7-Day Adventure"
Nothing can take a hiking trip downhill faster than a blistered heel… or toe… or… ball of your foot. Blisters suck. Once you get one on a trip, it’s there for the duration. The good news is that blisters don’t have to happen. How to Prevent Blisters Don’t plan a multi-day backpack trip and then […]Read more "Before Blisters"
We were standing just off the parking lot, looking across the lake where we could see our destination. “It should only take about three hours,” my hiking partner announced. It ended up taking closer to five. Why? The rule of thumb (aka Naismith’s Rule) for coming up with approximate hiking times is 1 hour for […]Read more "Estimating Hiking Times"
Backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, warm clothes, food, rope, crampons, harness, helmet, chimney brush – there’s a whole list of items commonly carried into the backcountry, but who carries a chimney brush? I was lucky enough to sign on for a couple of volunteer days to join my trail crew girl for a trip […]Read more "Backcountry Gear"
Hiking in the backcountry and a pattern-winged insect lands on your arm. Quick – is it a skipper, a moth, or a butterfly? Can’t tell the difference? Read on! Knobs, hooks and plumes – that’s how you can quickly tell the difference between each species. Yes, your antennae are helping you focus on the right […]Read more "Skippers, Moths and Other Flutterbys"
Whether it’s bad weather, or the end of a long day on your feet, or bugs that force you into shelter, unwinding with a game may be the perfect way to spend the evening. But what games should you pack? Forget bulky board games, think cards, or better yet, dice. 10,000 It’s a deceptively simple […]Read more "Backpacking Games"
Let’s face it, some approaches are simply tedious. Whether a long and winding slog along an old roadbed, or a vista-impaired bushwack through thick dogpine forests, some backcountry access routes beg to be shortened. At times like this, a canoe or bicycle can be a backpacker’s best friend. I’m just back from a backcountry hut […]Read more "Getting into the Backcountry"
It really wasn’t that hot the other day while out on a backpack trip – well below 90 Fahrenheit – but I was sweating. We stopped often to drink, but even with a brimmed hat and sunglasses, the sun in my face was too much. I was constantly thirsty and a headache quickly followed after […]Read more "Water – How Much Do You Need?"
The hills are alive – with the sight of wildflowers. A late start to summer means that alpine wildflowers are blooming their little… uh… hearts out. If you haven’t hiked to the alpine in the past week or so – what are you waiting for? These beauties won’t be around in another month. A few […]Read more "Alpine Wildflowers"