Here is a video where I go over my cooking setup. Note that the weight shown at the beginning of the video includes a full cannister of fuel. Enjoy.
A lot of us experience it, some more so than others. Knee Pain is a battle many hikers, runners, cyclists, and many outdoor enthusiasts face. For me, the most common is pain localized around the kneecaps. This type of pain can most is often be caused by Chondromalacia, Patellofemoral Stress Syndrome, or what is more commonly referred to as, “runner’s knee.” Pain caused by this problem worsen when walking up or down stairs, walking uphill, running, jumping or activities that create situations where the knee supports the weight of your body while your leg is straightened.
Every backpacking trip I go on, I make sure that I pack a small bottle of hand sanitizer. It's small and packable. I usually keep it in my ditty bag. Either buy it in bulk and put it in a reusable container or buy the little bottles pictured on the right (then buy in bulk and refill it).
The primary active ingredient in hand sanitizer is ethanol. Ethanol kills 99.99% of the bacteria it comes in contact with, Hand sanitizer also contains isopropyl alcohol. The first obvious use is to clean your hands.I Squirt some on and rub it all over after filtering water from a stream or lake. Clean your hands before mealtime, and after you use the privvy. For health purposes, it's important that you burn this routine into your mind so you don't catch a bug that can ruin your trip.
Hand sanitizer can also be used as a convenient fire starter in an emergency. It can be used to clean utensils and sterilize equipment like sporks and knives. It can clean scrapes and small wounds to help prevent infection.
It is important that you buy the unscented variety of hand sanitizer. Anything scented will attract animals, like bears, which can mistake unnatural scents for food.
Hunting season is fast apporaching and as hikers, it's important that we take some extra precautions to ensure our safety. The fact of the matter is that hunting is widely permitted on the same lands used by long distance backpackers and hikers across the US. Even if hunting is prohibited on the trail you’re on, it may still be permitted on adjacent lands, so you still need to be vigilant in case hunters don’t know about your trail and unknowingly shoot in your direction.
As a hiker, it is common to feel defenseless in this type of situation, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
Check out the newly posted trip report to the Wind River Range in Wyoming.
What has worked best for me is to figure about 2lbs of food per person, per day. Of course, this varies from person to person based on body weight and exertion level. Bottom line, you shouldn't go to bed hungry. Backpacking burns several calories and it's important that you replenish yourself by eating and eating well.
I typically don't weigh out each meal, but I do weigh my entire food bag. It usually averages out to about 1.66 - 2lbs per day. Anything more than that is too much. It's important to make smart food choices. When I say smart food choices I don't mean (necessarily) the healthfulness of the food item, but the calories per ounce it provides. It's important to pack calorie dense foods because it saves space and weight in your pack.
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Alright, so you've taken care of the BIG THREE it's time to take the next step. Buy a digital scale. You don't need anything fancy, just something that will measure in on ounces and grams. Any simple kitchen scale will work. This task may seem tedious, but it's worthwhile in making your transformation from light, to ultralight (UL).
Weighing in at roughly 2lbs per liter, I can guarantee you that per volume, water is (hopefully) the heaviest thing in your pack. For that reason, it's very important to guage how much you carry on a trip. Like all things, this is a learning experience and since I've started backpacking, I've come a long way.
When I first started backpacking, and before I had a filter, I would often times carry 4 to even 6 Liters of water. Seriously? 12 pounds of water? That doesn't even include the amount of weight added by all the water containers. I digress. I had the realization on the amount of water to carry on a trip to the Big Frog Wilderness in southern TN, northern GA. I had my 1L nalgene and 2L water bladder. I had recently purchased a pump and left the iodine tabs at home. My bladder was running low so I stopped at a stream to fill it up. It was an epiphany of sorts. On trips like this, I have an unlimited water supply, and I don't have to carry that much in my pack! This really helped advance my journey into the ultralight relm. Diving more into the whole hydration process, I've come up with a decent system to help stay hydrated on the trail.