Archive | Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks help you use your gear smarter and lighter. If you have a tip or a trick you would like to share with us, email it to us and we will post it to help all our tribe.

Devils Thumb Pass Sunset

The Weekend Warrior

Over the course of my hiking “career”, I’ve been blessed with being able to hike weeks or even months at a time. I’ve seen the spring flowers of the Appalachians, the first snows hinting at an upcoming winter in the Rockies and the green of summer giving to the brilliant colors of fall. I’d put […]

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Reducing the weight and size of small items makes it easier when you have to carry 7 liters of water and tools for 3 days of dry camping and trail maintenance.

Making Small Things Smaller to Save Weight and Space

Inspired by my friend Trail Ambassador Rik Christiansen who unpacked all his hygiene and other random little items for me one night, I decided I would try to shave even more weight from my pack by going through everything and seeing if I could make it smaller. This kind of “gram weenie” behavior smacks of […]

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Section Hiking the Appalachian Trail: Planning and Logistics

When I set out to hike my first section of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia in October 2000, I had no aspirations of hiking the entire trail. Planning this first hike had been rather complicated for an A.T. novice, so 2200 miles of trail seemed out of reach. On subsequent trips, as state lines were […]

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Open Burner Type Alcoholl Stoves

Drought and Fire Restrictions: How NOT to End Up on the 11:00 News

It’s dry out west, really dry.  According to National Public Radio, fire authorities are fighting about three times the normal number of fires.  So, how not to burn the whole place down?   Wood Fires First, and maybe this goes without saying, but open wood fires aren’t such a good idea in a drought.  Wood […]

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Melted chocolate straight from the Ziploc

Going Stoveless: Dinner in a Jar

I never thought I’d explore the many uses of a peanut butter jar until last summer on the Continental Divide Trail, when it became both my stove and my bowl. Repurposing the peanut butter jar was all part of an attempt to go lighter and simpler, and to secretly test my threshold for a daily […]

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Ultralight Mini-Uno

Acceptable Pack Weights

I’ve been lurking on various Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail web communities for the past few months, watching the annual ritual of this year’s hikers trying to plan ahead as much as they can for the unknown. The questions never end– which sleeping bag to bring, how to resupply, what shoes to wear, are […]

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View from Whitney

Hiking the John Muir Trail

You know you’ve married the right girl when she says, “go for it, this’ll probably be your only chance to hike it before you retire!”, especially when you add the fact that she was committing to watching our four kids by herself for the two-to-three weeks that I would be hiking our dream hike. It […]

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