• An emergancy personal locator beacon (PLB) can weight as little as 6 oz., and  save your life.

  • If hiking with a group, never put the slowest person in the last position on the trail.

  • Ensure your sleeping bag, and air pad or mat, have a reasonable amount of friction between the two, and against your shelter material. Otherwise you will slide a lot.

  • If hiking in rain, do not wear heavier down or even synthetic filled garments if perspiring a lot. The garment will become soaked from the inside. Layer your attire and keep the jacket packed for when you stop. If wet, synthetic fill retains heat more than down and drys out faster, though typically weighs a few ounces  more.

  • If you don't want to carry multiple topo maps (more than 1 or 2 sometimes required even for shorter trips), and you're traveling popular routes, just draw your own from the ones in the store, on-line, or from a book. Include trails, major peaks and lakes, plus all junctures. Wrap in a clear waterproof pouch.

  • Do not wait until you feel blister pain in your boots to dress it. Attend to any "hot spot" as soon as you feel ANY discomfort. Also, wrap any known problematic areas on the feet prior to a hike's start.

  • Do not leave food, even if contained in a chest or bear-proof container, in your vehicle unattended. It's a serous invite for bears to forcefully enter.

  • When looking at scenery while hiking, first quickly look down and ensure the terrain makes for easy walking prior to briefly glancing up.

  • If your hat lacks enough sun or cold protection around your neck, wear a bandana tucked inside your hat so it hangs down around your neck.

  • If you can't find the topo map(s) you need, often a ranger station  will have them for sale, or trail maps at no cost. Call ahead of time to check.

  • If carrying an electronic navigational device, or other electronics, you may have to pack extra batteries and conserve use of the device for longevity.

  • If carrying a smartphone, note that phone/text coverage is limited by the tower reception area There is usually no coverage in the wilderness.

  • Asprin, tea tree oil, salt, cold water, soap and lemon can be used in the treatment of insect bites. See "Pest Pre-vention Power" article on this page.

  • A floorless tent, though lightweight, can leave you wet in a downpour, or biten if mosquitoes, black flys, etc. are prevalent.

  • If you've been out of backpacking for a long duration, or a beginner, ensure you know how to tie appropriate knots that match your need, such  as securing a tent, hanging some-thing from your belt loop, hanging food, adjoining two lines, etc.

  FAST Tips
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