Category Archives: The Basics

Weight Range for Backpacking

Hikers with a wide weight range for backpacking.
Crossing the Shenandoah River

Connie asks the following question about a weight range for backpacking.  Connie will be participating in my upcoming Intro to Backpacking event at Harriman State Park.  The event is part of Hudson Valley Hikers and beginners will get to try out a variety of gear.

“Is there a specific weight range your backpack should be in if you’re very new to the activity, so that you don’t end up with a bad back?”

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Planning Group Backpacking Trips

An HVH Backpacking Group ready to Go!

Ahead of my upcoming “Intro to Backpacking” event, Katherine asks about planning group backpacking trips:

I have gone on several week-long backpacking trips before, but have not been the one to organize them; what does planning a 3-4 day backpacking trip involve?  I don’t want to be responsible for … weighing people down…  How do you distribute gear that everyone will be using?

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Camping vs Backpacking

Several large tents set up in Base Camp in the Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness
Basecamp in the Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness

Ahead of my upcoming “Intro to Backpacking” event, Nancy asks about Camping vs Backpacking:

Question about backpack: what’s different from camping ? Sorry, I have no knowledges about camping and backpacking. Just started hiking .  But I am interested to learn everything you want to show me. Thanks.

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HVH Intro to Backpacking Gear List

Intro to Backpacking at Harriman State Park with HVH
Intro to Backpacking at Harriman State Park with HVH

This last weekend I hosted an intro do backpacking workshop with Hudson Valley Hikers. I worked with St Gregory and Kremlin to demonstrate various pieces of equipment each of use for backpacking at different times of year. During the workshop, there were many questions about where to purchase various pieces.  I hope that this list helps those who attended and anyone else reading it make good choices: Continue reading HVH Intro to Backpacking Gear List

Backpacking Buy-In

My post yesterday was in response to a question about the cost of “gearing up” and who my favorite retailers were.  I was unsatisfied with my answer to the first part of the question and wanted to provide a more scientific analysis of market options.  What follows is a result of my combined obsession with both backpacking gear and probability. This should give you a fair estimate for the cost of backpacking buy-in. Continue reading Backpacking Buy-In

Gearing Up

Campmor is a great retailer with an expert staff. They have been operating a paper catalog for as long as I remember and they have one retail store in Paramus, NJ.
A happy camper with a bag full of goodies from Campmor.

Holly asks, “What’s a realistic cost of “gearing up” and who are your favorite retailers?”

Holly will be participating in my upcoming “Intro to Backpacking” seminar at Harriman State Park. I’m Hosting the event with Hudson Valley Hikers.  If you’re interested in the event, please leave a comment below. Continue reading Gearing Up

Essential Backpacking Skills

Checking out my map one last time before we begin.

Ahead of my upcoming “Intro to Backpacking” event, Andre asks about Essential Backpacking Skills:

I have been attending the HVH Beginner Series hikes to get in shape and acquainted with the area and gear, and Mary F. and Timothy from HVH (Hudson Valley Hikers) recommended I sign up for this one. My medium-term goal is to be able to backpack on my own, which leads to my question: What kind of skills do I have to learn to do solo backpacking/camping, and what challenges can I expect as opposed to doing it with a group?

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Backpacking Stoves

Backpacking Stoves: Snow Peak Isobutene Canister Stove
CampingJay’s standard Cookset

A participant in my upcoming Intro to Backpacking Workshop at Harriman State Park asks about backpacking stoves, “Do you have any suggestions for cooking stoves? I’e gone camping and backpacking a couple of times, but every time I’e taken the easiest non-perishable foods because I don’t know which stove to purchase. Are there some that can be used across most seasons? Which are the best models? Which are the most economical and light weight, yet durable?” Continue reading Backpacking Stoves

Sharing Backpacking Gear

The Tarptent Rainshaddow 2 is a 3 person tent that weighs just 2.5 lbs.
3 Person Tarptent Rain Shaddow

This coming weekend I will host  “Intro to Backpacking” at Harriman State Park with “Hudson Valley Hikers.”   I’ve asked everyone who has signed up to email me a question about backpacking as a pre-requisite to attending the workshop. These questions have made for a nice series of posts. Today we will discuss sharing backpacking gear.

Mark Asks, “Is it ever a good idea to split camping gear between or among two or three people? In other words, if I carry a two or three person tent, would it be wise if someone else carried extra clothing, cooking gear, etc.?” Continue reading Sharing Backpacking Gear