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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.

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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Sub 4 Pound Baseweight for Backpacking

When I started backpacking I was on the smallish side (4’4”, 65 lbs), so I had to watch my pack weight. With some parental help and custom (because manufacturers were not making youth equipment), smaller-sized gear, I had a base pack weight of around 13 pounds. As I grew and added amenities (pad, stove, etc.) […]

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diy bear bag

DIY 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 […]

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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 […]

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solo hiking

Is Solo Hiking For You?

While I do enjoy hiking with others, I find myself planning many adventures without ever contemplating who I’m going to hike with. Whether it be a challenging dayhike or a multi-day trip, solo hiking is an experience I crave.   Hike Your Own Hike- Without Restriction With a partner you need to be mindful of […]

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Foot care during a rest break in Yosemite.

Footcare Basics for the Pacific Crest Trail

Sore feet and blisters can be a major problem for both beginning hikers and experienced backpackers.  I had never seen so many gnarly blisters, blackened and falling off toenails, or other foot problems as when I was out hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year.  Many of us who had never had blister problems previously […]

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