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Backpacking gear isn’t cheap. But if you treat it right, it will last you a long time. Like this sleeping pad I bought way back in 2009.  You probably know it’s not good to leave your sleeping bag in its stuff sack. As I have talked about many times, sleeping bags keep you warm by creating loft. The beauty of down is how compressible it is. But leave it compressed too long, and it has a tendency to want to stay

I have never considered myself an ultralight backpacker. I have been known, however, to do whatever I can to try and reduce pack weight. Sometimes that means upgrading or modifying my gear, or just simply using better packing strategies. No matter how you classify yourself I think we all would like a lighter pack. The following is a list of tips and techniques to help you reduce your overall pack weight. 1. Modify your gear: You don’t have to

The following is a guest post by John Koster an avid Geocacher! You can find out more about John on his blog: Cachin' In. In 2005 I was home for a summer internship with the Alabama Geologic Survey when some of my friends asked if I wanted to “go look for something hidden, with a GPS?” I said OK, but I honestly had no idea what we were doing. We ended up at a war memorial near the mall and the

This is a continuation of Thursday's post: SPOT Messenger Owners Responsibility - Part One. Please click here to read the first half of this post.What is the responsibility of Locater Beacon owner? Not that long ago, a couple from New Bruswick, British Columbia activated their beacon when they climbed a steep trail and could not get back down. A helicopter lowered them 200 feet to secure footing. In September 2009, a hiker from Placer County was panning for gold in

I recently took my 10 year old daughter with me to purchase a SPOT gps messagner. As we were walking out of the store my daughter asked her usual curious questions. “What’s that for…What does it do?” I explained to her that if we ever got lost or in trouble while we were hiking, we could use it to call 911 or something similar. My daughter already believes I get lost more than actually do. SPOT GPS Messenger She asked

With all the fires burning and trails closing I started thinking about what I would do if caught hiking in a wildfire. I did a little research, consulted the US Forest Service, and a local fire marshal to find out what is the appropriate course of action when caught outdoors in a wildfire. Be Aware of Active Fires and Fire Danger:Before you set out to go hiking, camping, or backpacking check local conditions for fire danger and active fires in