Reading a Topographic Map – It Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

Reading a Topographic Map – It Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

Maybe you’re already familiar with topographic maps or topo maps for short. Maybe you’ve seen them with all their squiggly little lines and decided that they were too difficult to decipher. Or maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about. No matter which of the above scenario’s describe’s you, this post is going to help you learn, or enhance your own map reading skills. By the time we’re done, you’ll discover that reading a topographic map isn’t all that…

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Sawyer Water Filter Review – #waterbottlecuddles

Sawyer Water Filter Review – #waterbottlecuddles

Sawyer Water Filter Review – Quick Summary Description: Lightweight membrane filters to purify water for clean drinking Where to buy: I purchased mine from Amazon.com, but you can also find them at a variety of online and in-store retailers Pros: Lightweight, easy-to-use, versatile, long-lasting, guaranteed protection against bacteria and protozoa with 0.1-micron filtration, plus viruses with 0.02-micron filtration Cons: Slight plastic taste, the filter becomes damaged when frozen Warranty: Lifetime Warranty against any manufacturing defects There is a vast range of water…

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How to Use a Magnetic Compass – Learn to Navigate Before it’s too Late

How to Use a Magnetic Compass – Learn to Navigate Before it’s too Late

There are so many global positioning systems (GPS) out there from high-accuracy, heavy-duty units that cost thousands all the way down to completely free smartphone applications. In this age of technology, many may wonder, “who needs a compass anyway?” But the truth is that knowing how to use a magnetic compass can still be a very useful skill to have in your quiver. A compass is superior to a GPS unit in many ways. It is small, lightweight, cheap, needs…

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Survival Essentials List – Preparation is the Antidote to Disaster

Survival Essentials List – Preparation is the Antidote to Disaster

Quick Reference Survival Checklist When I set out on a backpacking trip or even a day hike, my mind jumps forward to the views I will see, the interesting things I might find, and the serenity I know I am going to feel from communing with nature. Like most people, thoughts of disaster, plans going awry or getting stranded are far from my mind. Though it isn’t healthy to be constantly thinking of doom and gloom, there is a problem…

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Merrell Hiking Boots Review – a Tough, yet Comfortable Boot You Can Rely on for Years

Merrell Hiking Boots Review – a Tough, yet Comfortable Boot You Can Rely on for Years

Merrell Hiking Boots Review – Quick Summary Description: Waterproof mid-height hiking boots with suede leather/ mesh uppers and rubber soles Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Pros: Durable, Stylish, Excellent Ankle Support Cons: Waterproofness doesn’t hold up under extreme weather or long-term water exposure Where to buy: Backcountry.com or Amazon.com for both Women’s and Men’s Discounts: For a limited time click here to claim 20% off at backcountry.com If I asked you, “What is the most important piece of backpacking equipment?”…

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Bear Country Safety – the Truth About Being Bear Aware

Bear Country Safety – the Truth About Being Bear Aware

Many of the most beautiful and popular backpacking locations are in prime bear country. And if you’ve ever visited anywhere like the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem or Yosemite National Park you may have heard things such as, “play dead,” “run downhill,” or “make sure to wear bells on your shoes.” There is so much misinformation about bear country safety that it’s difficult to know what’s fact and what’s fiction. I have heard conflicting advice from two different bear professionals and even…

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All the World’s a Water Fountain – How to Purify Water for Drinking

All the World’s a Water Fountain – How to Purify Water for Drinking

Have you ever looked at a nice, clear, babbling brook, and wanted to just scoop up a handful and take a long refreshing sip? Maybe I’m the only one, but this has happened to me on more than one occasion, particularly at the end of a long hike when the only water I have left is tepid and tastes slightly of plastic. Water is essential to human survival, particularly when we are physically active. Unfortunately, water is also very heavy and…

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What is Backpacking?

What is Backpacking?

Someone once said to me, “the world is your oyster.” I never understood that phrase, it makes me think that people want me to eat the world, and who would want to eat a giant oyster anyway? To me the world is a playground, just waiting for me to explore it. Have you any idea the sheer amount of stunning vistas, cool canyons, majestic waterfalls, and beautiful lakes you can find out there? They’re waiting for you, untrammeled by the…

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Don’t be a Popsicle – How to Stay Warm While Camping

Don’t be a Popsicle – How to Stay Warm While Camping

Cold temperatures can be dangerous. They lead to shivering which saps your energy and even hypothermia and frostbite in extreme cases. As a kid, I participated in a neighborhood youth campout for girls. It was held in June, every year for five days at a time. The setting was a beautiful mountain campground complete with three lakes, endless hiking trails and magnificent starry, night skies. I loved these campouts. But no matter how well I prepared, I found myself facing…

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How to Create Your Own Easy Backpacking Meals

How to Create Your Own Easy Backpacking Meals

To those just starting out, “Easy Backpacking Meals” might sound like an oxymoron. When I was planning my first backpacking trip, the task of meal prep seemed particularly daunting. Nothing about finding good tasting, non-perishable foods, and then cooking them in the middle of nowhere with limited dishes and a tiny portable stove seemed easy. That’s not even to mention portioning and packing. Fortunately, planning, packing, and cooking your meals doesn’t have to be difficult. It can even be the…

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