Today I’ll review my winter backpacking sleep system. Your daytime shelter system consists of your clothes. Your nighttime system is a bit more complicated. It is important to think of both as “shelter systems.” A system isn’t just one thing, it is several components working together. A winter backpacking sleep system is a layered set of defenses designed to protect you from the environment.Continue reading Winter Backpacking Sleep System
2020 Has seen a huge explosion of newbies on the trail. Believe it or not, us outdoor veterans really are happy to see you out there. Welcome to the wilderness! But realizing that you’re new at this, its time to learn some backpacking etiquette.Continue reading Backpacking Etiquette
Have you considered your winter backpacking gear? With the pandemic going on and limited indoor options for entertainment, hundreds of thousands of Americans have taken to the outdoors. Now that winter is coming, are all the new comers going to head indoors, or continue to explore nature? I hope they pick the latter, so I’ve written this post to help them start putting together a complete winter backpacking gear list.Continue reading Winter backpacking gear list 2020
This post reviews my three season backpacking gear list. When I was learning to backpack, I found it helpful when others posted their gear lists. It gave me a reference point for the kinds of things I needed, what I was doing right, and what I could be doing better. I think the most useful kit to start putting together is one that will get you through Spring, Summer, and Fall. After that you can put together specialty kits for Winter and Summer.Continue reading 2020 Three Season Backpacking Gear List
I have been asked how I keep clean while backpacking. If you’re not already an experienced backpacker, you might not like my answer to this. Backpacking changes your standards for things like cleanliness and the quality of food. This change in your outlook on life is probably the biggest benefit of backpacking. Eventually you’ll come to appreciate being able to sit on the subway car no one else will ride in and you won’t mind so much when its leftovers night. You’ll marvel at the amount of time your more domesticated friends spend cleaning their homes. And you might not ever be asked to babysit. Continue reading How to Keep Clean while Backpacking
Christopher has asked me to suggest a lightweight but functional Backpacking Toiletry Kit. Christopher will be participating in my upcoming Intro to Backpacking event in Harriman State Park hosted with Hudson Valley Hikers. All members were required to ask a question ahead of time as a prerequisite to attending. Continue reading Backpacking Toiletry Kit
This weekend I will be hosting an Intro to Backpacking seminar with Hudson Valley Hikers. This is not a backpacking trip, but a short hike with an opportunity for show and tell. The idea is to let novices see some gear options in the field before they go shopping. My co-hosts and I will have a wide variety of gear available, ranging from typical “beginner gear” to expert ultralight gear. Participants will get to try on our packs and takes turns carrying them to our mock campsite, where we’ll set up various tents and talk about our gear. Continue reading Intro to Backpacking Syllabus
Several participants in my upcoming Intro to Backpacking event have asked me to suggest a minimum size backpack for backpacking. The answer isn’t as straight forward as it may seem, so I’m going to talk about several different pack sizes that work for me for different tripsthroughout the year. It is important to note that I usually carry minimalist style gear. I also know that I’m prone to over-pack if my pack is too large, so I always go for the smallest possible backpack. Continue reading Minimum Size Backpack for Backpacking
When I was learning to backpack, I found it helpful when others posted their gear lists. It gave me a reference point for the kinds of things I needed, what I was doing right, and what I could be doing better. That said, there is no “one size fits all” gear list. There are a number of personal factors that go into making a gear list, such as size, weight, fitness level, and need for comfort. It also matters where and when you plan to go backpacking. One must factor in temperature, precipitation, terrain, water availability and natural shelter, among other things.
Updated for 2018!
Karja wants to know more about sleeping in a backpacking hammock. She’ll be attending my upcoming Intro to Backpacking event with Hudson Valley Hikers at Harriman State Park. She asks:
Is it a sane and good idea (when trekking through the woods with an abundance of trees) to sleep in a hammock?