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My Backpacking First Aid Kit & Emergency Communication Checklist

What I carry in my backpack is not a substitute for what’s between my ears. This is especially true with first aid kits and emergency communications when hiking and backpacking in the wilderness: rather than thinking of this collection of items as a get-out-of-jail-free card, I’m much better served by having researched beforehand the environmental and route conditions I will […]

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Wish this wasn't a client of mine, but it was. Vic badly strained his LCL, to the point that self-rescue and even a mule ride was implausible. Thankfully the park helicopter and a medical crew were available.

Backcountry First Aid & Emergencies | Next SD LIVE – Thurs, Aug 20

The next SD LIVE will broadcast on Thursday, August 20, at 5:30 PM PDT. Register here to join. In this 45-minute live show, I will discuss Backcountry First Aid and Emergencies, specifically: Preparedness Wilderness medical training Items in my solo and group first aid kids Satellite communication devices, e.g. messengers and phones There always seems to […]

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Extensive talus and huge vertical relief, par for the course on the Wind River High Route. It can get old.

Planning a high route? Three critical mental adjustments.

Within the backpacking community I have sensed increasing interest in “high routes,” such as the the Sierra High Route, Wind River Range High Route, and Kings Canyon High Basin Route. I think this concept will continue to expand, with most of the emphasis on “route” rather than “high,” since there are thematically similar opportunities in […]

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Food for 10+ days. When I calculated the cost/benefit of a mid-trip resupply, I determined that it was more efficient to carry all of my food from start to finish. This had the added advantage of increased flexibility: for 10 days I could go where ever I wanted, when I wanted.

Notes for next time: Gear, supplies, food & logistics

An assortment of takeaways from my Kings Canyon High Basin Route thru-hike earlier this month. They are mostly a reminder for me, but maybe they’ll have some value for you, too. If any prompt a question, leave a comment. Gear Pack weight. Take a handheld digital scale to the trailhead for a final weigh-in of all gear, supplies, and food. This […]

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Topographic maps, guidebook, and databook, plus my navigation tools: magnetic compass, altimeter/barometer watch, smartphone with GPS app, 2-way satellite messenger, and backup battery charger plus necessary cords.

Backpacking Trip Planning Checklist: To do before you go

I have planned hundreds of backpacking trips. Many have been personal outings, ranging from long weekends in nearby destinations to multi-month thru-hikes in faraway places. The rest have been guided, when I’ve been accountable to paying clients. To maximize my working efficiency and to prevent oversights when getting backpacking trips out the door, I use a trip planning checklist — a spreadsheet, […]

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