Tweet #winteriscoming and you’ll see it. The fever is catching and backcountry enthusiasts are itching to dust off skis. But, even though the word is out that La Niña is gearing up for another return (read: lots of snow), we’ve still got a bit of time on our hands. What to do while we wait […]Read more "Getting Ready for the Backcountry Ski Season"
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"
Pristine alpine lakes – we take them for granted. But in the backcountry, lakes are popular destinations. These areas already have extreme weather conditions and short growing seasons, making them slow growing environments for plant life. It doesn’t take too many footsteps for shorelines to degrade and the water’s edge to become a muddy bog. […]Read more "Caring for Alpine Lakes"
It’s a bunny. No, it’s a bird. Wait, now it’s a dragon. Cloud-watching while lazing on an ridgetop can be filled with child-like wonder, but knowing that cirrostratus clouds usually means warm weather and stratocumulus means a cold front is on its way can be a valuable outdoor skill. Cirrostratus? Stratocumulus? Obviously forecasting weather involves […]Read more "Clouds and Weather Forecasting"
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"
Crackling wood, dancing flames, flickering light – there is no denying the innate appeal of a campfire. But with lightweight, efficient and reliable backcountry stoves doing most of the cooking these days, having a campfire in the backcountry is becoming more of a luxury than a necessity. We rarely have fires when backpacking, but on paddling […]Read more "Backcountry Campfires"
Protozoa, bacteria, viruses – oh my! When you go out into the backcountry today, it’s often necessary to treat your water before drinking. We’ve been using a pump action water filter for a few years now. It works well for large amounts of water, but it does require regular cleaning and maintenance. After each trip, […]Read more "Water Filters Versus UV Light Purifiers"
Bumper boats are a lot of fun – in amusement parks. Playing around in lakes can also be fun. But when it comes to moving water, learning how to handle your boat properly won’t just keep you dry, it just might save your life. What can go wrong? Whether you’re a novice scrambler, backcountry skier […]Read more "River Canoeing 101"
How should I… you know… go to the… well… umm…? Let’s cut the crap, we’re all human with basic human needs for relieving ourselves of waste. But how is one supposed to properly go about this business in the backcountry? If you’re fortunate enough to stay at a backcountry hut with a pit toilet, the […]Read more "Backcountry Toilet Talk"
There are many ways to find your way in the backcountry. There are trails marked by signs with individual trails named and well-graveled routes that are easy to follow. Other trails have occasional markers along the trail that let hikers know they’re on the right path. Alpine areas may have cairns or poles or bright […]Read more "Finding Your Hiking Route"