Tent Footprints and Ground Cloths are common add-ons to commercial tents. Their intentions include protecting the bottom of your tent, keeping you dry, and providing insulation. Depending on how they are used, they meet these goals with varying success. This post will try to correct some common misinformation about tent footprints and ground cloths. Continue reading
A few months ago, I started planning a series of backpacking trips to take place in New Hampshire’s White Mountains this coming summer. Because I was planning the trips so far in advance, weather forecasts were not yet available. I wanted to give my participants a good idea of what weather we might expect so that they could buy the proper equipment, particularly quilts or sleeping bags. To do this, I looked historical records to produce my own long-term weather forecasts for advanced trip planning. Continue reading
When heading out into the wilderness, one must always plan ahead, study the route and weather predictions, carry the correct gear, and have a back-up plan. Perhaps these rules are never more true than when winter backpacking. Knowing your the route, the weather, the abilities of your crew, how to properly use your gear and having some survival skills make a fun time out of a potentially dangerous situation. Continue reading
Several years ago, I went on a guided backpacking trip in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with A Walk in the Woods. I had a great time and learned a lot. One of the most important lessons I took away from that trip was “The Rule of Threes.” This simple rule has become the cornerstone of my philosophy for lightweight backpacking and enjoying the outdoors safely. Continue reading
This is Part 3 in a series on my recent adventure in the Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness. In this section, I will discuss planning for the backpacking trip.
Planning for base camp is very easy compared to planning for backpacking. When you are backpacking, you rely much more on your planning and your wits than you do on your gear. It is very important to have a route mapped out and to understand the terrain, climate, and local restrictions. It is also very important to have a good understanding of the capabilities of your group, as I found out the hard way. Continue reading