Check out the VLOG from the recent trip to Yosemite. Full trip report coming soon!
I've been hiking with the same group of guys for about 5 years now. We all started at the same time in college and immediately fell in love with it. Since, we've all graduated and moved on with our lives, but always find weekends to get together for backpacking. When we first graduated we took a trip to Virginia and decided that we should start planning one big trip outside of the south eastern US a year. Last year's adventure took us to the Snowmass Wilderness in Colorado. This year, we are headed to Yosemite.
I personally don't go on a lot of winter-time hikes (comparatively to spring summer) because that's when my work schedule starts to ramp up. Typically throughout the fall and winter months I'll get in two trips, one of which being the annual MLK. In cold weather it is important that you are properly dressed to suit the conditions. It will make your trip a lot more comforable and enjoyable.
Chances are, gearing up for a cold hike you're going to over prepare and take way too much. Granted, it is easier to shed clothes than it is to put more clothes on that you don't have, but extra clothes are extra weight. Dead weight at that. It's important to acheive your own personal level of comfort with EFFICIENCY. I'm going to outline a few tips and suggestions for making a cold weather hike a little more enjoyable.
UL packing can be broken down into three subclasses: Lightweight, Ultralight, and Hyperlight. The difference between the three comes down to base weight. Everything in a hiker's pack, with the exception of food, fuel, and water, is included in this total.
The biggest contributor to any backpacker's baseweight is, of course, the BIG THREE. I've worked hard and invested time and money into finding the gear that works best for me while still being light. I've made some changes to my gear since the original post on the BIG THREE, but we'll get into that later. Let's take a look at the three subclasses of UL packing and what's required to meet those criteria.
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.
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.
Going ultralight is a game-changer. This can really help you excel in your backpacking ability which is why we highly recommend Ultralight (UL) backpacking at Backpacker's Resource. If you really want to be able to cover more ground and boost your hiking capacity follow our Going Light series. Our first two posts of the series show ways to cost effectively save some ounces. Now it's time to save some pounds!
What is the BIG Three? When we talk about the BIG Three, we are refering to the three heaviest pieces of equipment that every backpacker uses: Sleeping Bag, Shelter, and Backpack. In this post we are going to break them down one by one to help you save some serious pounds on your back.
When hiking, it's very important to choose the proper clothing. When on the trail, the last thing any hiker wants is to always be wet and cold. Sometimes it can't be avoided, but it's the hiker's responsibility to take all the necessary precautions to avoid it the best they can.
In choosing the right clothing there is one material you want to avoid at all costs and that's COTTON.
The main purpose of clothing is to provide some type of insulation or barrier between your body and the outside. Clothing keeps you warm by trapping warm air near your skin. When cotton gets wet, it ceases to insulate you because all of the air pockets in the fabric fill up with water. When you hike, you perspire, and any cotton clothing touching your skin will absorb your sweat like a sponge.