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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.

gear shakedown

Tips for Your Own Gear Shakedown

As an employee at Mountain Crossings, a huge part of my job is to tear through all the possessions of Appalachian Trail thru hikers and tell them what to give the boot. We call it a shake down. Sitting at mile 31.7 on the AT, the employees of the outfitter and hostel are well known […]

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hiking gear

What’s OFF Your Backpacking Gear List?

Whether I’m pumping trail miles, soaking it all in, or exploring the off-trails, my trips are always about gaining intimacy with the mountains and learning something new about myself and those that I am with.  I view my gear and my skills as necessary means to help me do that. Gear list: Necessary but insufficient […]

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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 […]

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cathole

Guide: How to Poop in the Woods

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 at best, and when done incorrectly, it can leave unpleasant […]

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trash compactor inflate sleep pad

Inflate A Sleep 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 […]

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Contingency Planning for Long Distance Hikes

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 – the air mattress springs a slow leak, the headlamp gets turned on in the pack and runs the batteries down, or you forgot your spoon. As […]

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winter hiking

Packing for Lightweight Winter Backpacking

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 […]

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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 […]

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