Moon Navigation 1

Moon Navigation
How can you find your way if you are lost at night and do not have a compass or GPS? It’s common to navigate in the wilderness by using the sun or the stars, however if it is a cloudy night and you can’t clearly see the constellations, using the moon is also a good ...

First Aid Kits for Backpacking – 10 Essentials 4

First Aid Kits for Backpacking - 10 Essentials
What items should you carry in a first aid kit, as a solo backpacker? If you hike with a dog, what extra items do you need for your furry companion? Medical survival kits are often a boring subject and many hikers don’t give it much attention. However, a survival kit is one of the most important items ...

Estimating Distance with your Thumb 6

Estimating Distance with your Thumb
Estimating distance is important in daily life, hiking, and survival situations. It helps you to maintain your sense of direction, calculate distance and height, and estimate travel time while hiking relative to your pace. Estimating distance by using only your finger is based on this known fact about human anatomy: Your arm is about ten times ...

Map Skills Primer

Map Skills Primer
Knowing how to read a topographic map is an important skill for navigating the backcountry. Make sure you understand how to follow a topographic map before your hike — especially if you plan to be in a remote area. Here we’ll cover the basics and provide some online sources for finding topographic hiking maps. We will also feature some external ...

Walking in Circles 1

Walking in Circles
“The belief that people walk in circles when lost is mainly based on anecdotal evidence and has never been studied systematically in a real desert or forest.” (Current Biology, August 20th 2009) It is a common scenario: when we get lost in the wilderness, we wind up walking in circles.  Much to our dismay, at ...

Preventing Altitude Sickness 2

Preventing Altitude Sickness
Hiking at mile high altitudes? The air is thinner at higher altitudes because the atmospheric pressure is lower. Your body will initially have difficulty getting the amount of oxygen it needs and your performance will suffer. This lack of oxygen can cause unacclimated hikers to lose up to 50% of their normal physical efficiency at altitudes ...