Top Menu

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.

arizona trail water

Skills and Techniques for the Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail (AZT) winds through diverse environments including arid landscapes. Adapting to long stretches between water sources, coping with desert plants and temperature extremes requires unique skills and techniques.  Navigation is also more challenging than on more mature and well traveled trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and Appalachian Trail (AT). Mastering […]

Continue Reading · 9

How to Poop in the Woods while Hiking

Ever wondered how to poop in the woods while hiking? Everybody poops, and everybody who enjoys the backcountry has probably heard talk about how to poop in the woods. There are many good reasons why this is such a popular topic– pooping without a toilet is something most people in the developed world find uncomfortable […]

Continue Reading · 7
trash compactor inflate sleep pad

Inflate A Sleeping Pad With A Trash Compactor Bag

Lightweight backpacking is about making the most out of the gear you bring with you. Finding multiple uses for your gear is one of the most cost efficient and ingenious ways to save weight. With a little creativity you can find that you really don’t need to bring items that serve small jobs. Ditch that […]

Continue Reading · 5

Contingency Planning for Long Distance Hike

Spend any significant time backpacking, and you’re going to have something go wrong. Usually they are pretty small things that are more an annoyance than a major problem – being prepared for the rain when it starts pouring down, the air mattress springs a slow leak, the headlamp gets turned on in the pack and […]

Continue Reading · 5
winter hiking

Tips for a Lightweight Winter Backpacking Trip

For 3-season backpacking, one of my primary goals is to go as light as possible, and I’ve gotten pretty good at putting together a pack with an 8-pound base weight. Living in New England, the 3-seasons in question tend to last for only six or seven months each year. While most people choose to either […]

Continue Reading · 10
have less4

Live a Minimalist Life

“How do you wash your clothes?“ is one of the most frequent questions I get asked, closely followed by “Where do you shower?” People don’t ask for the birds I hear in the morning, for the smell of snow I notice floating through the air when stepping outside, for how the changing of the seasons […]

Continue Reading · 8
diy bear bag

DIY Chew-Proof Bear Bag

Four years ago when fellow hiker Lee Fields and I were preparing to do a long distance hike on the AT, I ran across a blog that mentioned someone making a “chew-proof” food bag from the exploded airbag of a car. These airbags are made of a combination of materials (like Spectra) that are extremely […]

Continue Reading · 1
trail journal

Tips For Keeping A Trail Journal

Keeping a trail journal is one of the time-honored traditions in the thru-hiking community.  It serves as a personal diary of your hike and is a great way to keep your friends and family up-to-date with your journey.  Several of the Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassadors have contributed their thoughts and tips on how to keep […]

Continue Reading · 1