THIS SECTION IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT...... IF YOU DON’T GET ANYTHING OUT OF THIS SITE. HEED THIS SECTION.
THE 13 essentials have a drop down menu page.
PLEASE, make up a complete essentials pouch for every person in your family, and make sure each companion has them, and knows how to use them.
Earlier in the winter of 2021, a father and daughter went to the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness, for a day of backcountry skiing on Engle Peak.
The father was on a cornice when it broke off, sending him sliding down the mountain. He and his daughter got separated. They spent the night out about 600 feet apart, but didn’t know it.
The father, had most all the food and emergency supplies. They both survived, but the daughter spent a terrible night alone on a mountain.
Or, what if you are separated and you puncture your leg or arm. And the other hiking partner has the First Aid Kit?
Each person must be responsible for his or her safety and care.
If one has only a half bottle of water and a candy bar, their chances are poor to survive a night out.
This also applies to all food, snacks, and water.. If you carry the supplies for your spouse, and you find yourself unfound, what are they going to do.
Its really simple, DON’T PLAN TO FAIL, BY FAILING TO PLAN.
As a backup, I screenshot images of my route both vertical and horizontal. By using two fingers on the screen, pull down, and the perspective will be horizontal.
Write notes on your phone for reference in the route and turns you need to take.
The more info and maps each person has, increases the odds on surviving a separation or being lost, I mean unfound. I try never to be lost. I said tried!
Clothing is a critical issue for anyone going into nature. If you don’t dress appropriately, you will pay a price. The following information is meant to show you the best, least expensive way of dressing yourself for success on the trail.
First and MOST IMPORTANT...”COTTON KILLS” in the mountains. I love my soft cotton shirts and other clothing while around the house or town, but I never wear cotton in the mountains. Cotton tends to soak up sweat as you work thru tough hikes. Then you are wet. If the weather changes or you go deep into the woods, your bodies core temps can drop to dangerous levels.
Below are some suggestions that have worked for me over the last several decades. They may or may not work for you. And that’s okay.
The base layer is worn next to your skin, and is designed to wick any moisture away from your body.
There are so many options when choosing a base layer. The way you decide, is to try a brand out. If it works, buy it. If it doesn’t, keep researching options until you find a product that works for you.
All major manufactures make state of the art base layers. But that isn’t to say they are the best for you.
For those wanting warmth and wicking capabilities, I’d suggest Indera Two Layer Pro. I’ve skied for 61 years and have found nothing to match the Indera Two Layer tops and bottoms. The inside is polypropylene, while the outer layer is Moreno wool. If I have one gripe about the Indera, it is that the waist band deteriorates after a lot of washing. But at for about 20$ per piece, it’s a great buy and works well.
Bunch the excess material on both sides of the waist band and sew it together.
The next layer is the thermo layer. The thermo layer is designed to add warmth. They come in weights like 200 grams or higher. The thicker the fleece weight, the warmer the garment. For those on a budget, look for an off brand within your budget.
Your outer layer is designed to not only keep you warm, but dry.
Do not scrimp on your outer layer. They should have features like a hood with a draw string to fit your head snuggly, removable hood, and a small sun visor. Other important features are a powder skirt to keep the snow out, pit zips to cool our self ( the larger the better), easy open and close pockets, and completely waterproof. Look below for washing and treating.
Wool has been used by people for centuries. It’s biggest plus, is when it’s wet, it’s still warm. Secondly, it very inexpensive, as apposed to the high tech fabrics. Don’t disregard the importance of wool.
Pressure breathing is a way of breathing that allows more oxygen into your blood stream. As you are approaching a steeper section of a trail, inhale deeply. Then purse your lips like you would do if you were blowing out a candle at arms length. Blow steadily thru your restricted lips. By the time you reach the summit, you will understand why pressure breathing is important to know. In the winter, it makes you feel warmer.
On lower angle slopes, you don't need to restrict your exhale as much as on steep slopes
A camera with fully charged batteries and lots of memory, can be a useful tool. I have used my camera to shoot back at trail intersections or Y’s to make sure I don’t miss key turn offs, upon returning.
I also carry a dozen 18' lengths of bright pink surveyors tape. I loop the tape over a branch, then pull the ends thru th loop. This allows me to easily retrieve the tape as I walk past it. Do not tie the tape. Future hikers may think its the way to go. and it may not apply to them.
Also, if you are going off trail, take an image of the direction and area you are headed. Once you get way over there, it just doesn’t look like it did from way back there. An image may be useful in choosing the route you need to go.
I use screen shots of goggle maps. I draw the proposed route, and use them to understand my surroundings in the field.
You can shoot vertical and horizontal images of the route, and refer to them on your phone.
Having said this...DO NOT FAIL TO TAKE A FOREST & TOPO MAP ON EACH TRIP. BATTERIES DIE.
Listed below are types of fire starters, but the following can help getting damp or wet woods to light. In a forest, there usually is the light green or black stringy moss that hangs from tree branches. Not only does it make a good fire starter, it can be used like a sponge to collect water.
Solid fuel fire starter. Some look like thick matches.
Magnesium Fire Strikers do well if they are dry.
Fire Starter Pastes are another option.
-Tell someone where you are going & when to call the sheriff if you are overdue. If you change your destination, make sure your reliable person knows where your new destination is. If you don’t, you run the chance of not being found in a timely manor.
-Types of headlights. Now a days, we have LED and LCD headlamps to show our way. There is, however, a new type of headlight to consider. A (Circuit On Board) COB headlamp, scatters the light and allows for more depth of field as you walk. I carry one of each with extra batteries, on every outing.
-How to chop wood with a knife. By carrying a 6+” hunting knife, you can use a log to smack the blade down thru a chunk of wood to make kindling.
-First Aid Kit are a must for EVERY participant. If you get separated from your group and gouge you leg, you will need your own FIRST AID KIT. They should include a variety of band-aids, compression bandages, antiseptic creams, butterfly bandages, alcohol wipes, gauze wraps, Conan wraps, hand sanitizer, and feminine hygiene pads (even if you are a guy), to name a few. “2nd SKINS BURN PADS” by Spenco are a must. If a heel feels hot, STOP Immediately, clean the area with an alcohol wipe and apply a Second Skin Burn Pad. I prefer the type you have to cut to size, as apposed to a patch. After cleaning the area, cut to size and apply as directed. I carry athletic tape to secure the Second Skins. You will be amazed at how well this product works, and your ability to get up and walk away without pain. I also carry several different types of Coban’s self adhesive wraps for a verity of needs. Whatever you decide to carry, practice placement and proper cleanliness, so you know how to properly treat an injury. PLEASE don’t stab yourself at home to make it real!
It is imperative to change out old or used supplies for new items. Nothing is more frustrating then to need an item you are out of. If anything gets wet or dirty, toss it out and resupply your First Aid Kit. Always pick up your bandage papers and wipes before you leave the area.
PACK IT IN- PACK IT OUT.
The USFS does not have the staff or time to clean up the many trails and campsites within their districts. Please clean up after yourself and others if needed. And please remember, aluminum foil and glass DO NOT BURN. Please pack them out.
-An old saying goes...”if you can carry it in full, you can certainly carry it out empty.”
LEAVE NO TRACE.
As states and the USFS don’t have the staff to clean up after you. Please clean up your, and others messes.
FREEZE DRIED FOOD MANUFACTURERS
On a recent trip up near Priest Lake, we noticed that if you let the pouch sit for over 15 minutes, the freeze dried meals taste much better.
The following are companies that make freeze dried meals for hiking and backpacking, with a twist.
I would like to invite you to tell us about your experience and taste of the foods listed below. Contact Chic thru this website.
If you have any suggestions on the above topics, please use our contact form. when I include it in this section, I will credit you for your advise.
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