Category Archives: Shelters

Thruhike Advice

rainwear for hiking and backpacking
Demonstrating Equinox Silnylon Backpacking Poncho

In a few weeks, I’ll be running another one of my very popular Intro to Backpacking seminars at Harriman State Park.  I ran my first seminars at Harriman State Park in November and December of 2015. Among the attendees was a very enthusiastic young lady who now goes by the trail name “Kremlin.”  Kremlin was having a rough time fitting into civilized life and was looking for something more exiting to do. She asked me if I thought she should go on a thruhike, and I said “do it!” She started her hike from Katahdin after 6 months of preparation and finished just around Thanksgiving of 2016. Recently she referred a friend to me to get some thruhike advice of his own. Continue reading Thruhike Advice

HVH Intro to Backpacking Gear List

Zpacks Hexamid Solo
Zpacks Hexamid Solo

This weekend I ran the third session of my very popular Introduction to Backpacking seminar.  My goal with this event was to expose newcomers to some of the equipment that’s available out there and give them some buying advice.  I like to help people avoid purchasing equipment before they get a chance to see it in real life.  I saw a lot of busy note taking going on this weekend, so I decided to help out with a list of gear we looked at.


Continue reading HVH Intro to Backpacking Gear List

The Rule of Threes

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 The Rule of Threes

I Made My Own Backpacking Tarp, Part 3

I made my own backpacking tarp, and this is it.

In the first installment of this series, I discussed the events that led me to ditch my tent in favor of sleeping under a backpacking tarp.  In Part 2 I talked about buying that first tarp, what it was like to sleep under it, and some of the advantages it had over a tent.  Now its time to talk about how and why I made my custom backpacking tarp. Continue reading I Made My Own Backpacking Tarp, Part 3

I Made My Own Backpacking Tarp, Part 2

Spacious Backpacking Tarp pitch at Rutherford Shelter
Spacious Backpacking Tarp pitch at Rutherford Shelter on the Appalachian Trail in New Jersey

This is Part 2 of the story about how I came to make my own backpacking tarp.  (For the first part, click here.) It all started when I first got into backpacking.  All of the experts told me that the best way to sleep while backpacking was under a tarp.  Of course, I didn’t believe them, and bought a two-man backpacking tent.

Continue reading I Made My Own Backpacking Tarp, Part 2

Adirondack Adventure 2014, Part 3: Planning for Backpacking

Planning for backpacking requires checking and rechecking the map until you are sure of every detail.
Checking out my map one last time before we begin.

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 Adirondack Adventure 2014, Part 3: Planning for Backpacking

Start Camping Right

The goal of this blog is to help introduce people to the joy of camping. So far, I have been covering a lot of advanced topics, like gear care and navigation; and perhaps I have been neglecting the basics, like how to start camping right.  Recently, a friend of mine expressed interest in getting started. Here’s her question:

Hey Jason! How are you? This is a GREAT PAGE!!! Where is there a nice spot to go camping that’s close [to home]? What would I have to do to camp there? I’ve NEVER been camping before and would like to try it this Summer!!! 🙂

Continue reading Start Camping Right