Aquatic Critters in your Drinking Water

Aquatic Critters in your Drinking Water
That cold fast moving clear mountain spring appears pristine to the naked eye, but microscopic organisms are thriving in its water by the millions. If ingested, some of these microorganisms can cause severe gastrointestinal infections resulting in diarrhea and vomiting. Two such common microorganisms you might encounter in wilderness waters are Giardia and Cryptosporidium.  Here we ...

Staying Cool on the Trail in Hot Weather

Staying Cool on the Trail in Hot Weather
Staying Cool Tip#1: Perspiration & Evaporation When you get overheated and begin to sweat, your skin appears pinkish because the capillaries open up near the skin and release water and salts. As the sweat evaporates, it transfers internal heat from the core to the surface of your skin for rapid cooling. The blood near the surface ...

Where Bear Canisters are Mandatory in the US Parks & Forest

Where Bear Canisters are Mandatory in the US Parks & Forest
Carrying a bear canister is something that backpackers have to do in many US National Parks and most areas of the California Sierra. The heavy hard sided canisters tend to dominate the list of approved bear resistant canisters because they have a longer history demonstrating their effectiveness. The problem is that they’re bulky and cumbersome, ...

International Travel: Backpacking Gear and U.S. Customs

International Travel: Backpacking Gear and U.S. Customs
If you are planning to travel to the United States to go backpacking, you might be wondering what items you can bring with you. We’ll cover what backpacking gear is permitted in your carry-on and checked luggage so you can quickly get through U.S. customs without a problem. Backpacking Food & U.S. Customs Generally, the ...

10 Steps to Restful Sleep in the Backcountry

10 Steps to Restful Sleep in the Backcountry
Getting good sleep in the backcountry can be a challenge and bad sleep does not make hiking enjoyable the next day. Here we offer a few tips to help you get better zzz’s. Find a Comfortable Camp Site. Take your time scouting a flat, rock-free spot and clear away any sticks and pine cones before pitching your ...

Eliminate Leg Cramps while Hiking 2

Eliminate Leg Cramps while Hiking
Backpacking involves a long and steady aerobic workout with fitness benefits that rival other more intense, higher impact activities. Although backpacking is a non-competitive recreational activity with a low chance of burn-out, the constant climbing and descending can lead to cramping and injury. Besides overuse of the muscles, leg cramping is exacerbated by inadequate eccentric ...