Are you backpacker material? You might be closer than you think. Traits you’ve cultivated under fluorescent lighting might translate nicely to the natural world. And if they don’t, don’t despair (just keep reading). Take a look:
You think on your feet. Your biggest survival skill is your ability to think on the trail, to pay attention and use your head. So in the office, let’s say it’s time to move a project forward; you might work a pro/con list on a path or two, then send the project on its way. On the trail, when you reach a fork, you look in each direction, checking first for a blaze that translates to :”Go this way!” (easier, really, than in the office, yes?). If there’s no blaze, you might need to travel on a ways to see if it is a spur or the real path forward. “Reading” the trail—like reading options in the office—gets easier with experience.read more
Before every backpack trip, we hold a trip planning meeting. We call it a “trip planning” meeting; in truth, the trips are pretty much already planned. It’s more of a “trip explanation” meeting. We go over basic logistics: carpooling, the route, the campsites, where we’ll find water, the weather forecast, any special precautions to take — for instance, if it’s an exposed route, bring extra sunscreen; if there are multiple water crossings, bring water shoes; if there are bears, bring a bear canister.read more
Just because summer arrives Thursday (at 6:06 a.m.) and the temperature this week already has hit the mid-90s doesn’t mean we’re going to stop hiking. We’re just going to adjust our approach. We’re going to make sure that, for the next three months or so, the majority of our hikes include one of two things:read more
The first time I went on a solo backpacking trip, I didn’t.
It was back in the 1990s, I’d been backpacking with friends for about 5 years, and convinced myself I should take a solo backpack trip. I felt good about my basic backpacking skills, I loved hiking alone … still, there was this worrisome doubt.read more
As the days heat up, you might be tempted to cool it on your hiking habit. But, actually, you can hike all summer long — the secret lies in the when and where. Here are a few tips to keep you on the trail.
Timing is important. Evening is good. So is early morning: Hit the trail at 7 a.m., be done by 11 and you can get in a decent hike before the temperature gets much above 80.read more