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Moxie00
02-02-2006, 13:20
On a long distance hike we all learn tricks we never read about in books. Hanging washed socks on my pack with a safety pin, then when they are still a little damp tossing them in my sleeping bag so my body heat dries them completly. On a wet day an excellent fire starter is alcohol hand sanitizer but watch the blue flame. Filtering water through a bandana to remove the floaties before treating it were three tricks I learned the first week out. I know there are a million tricks backpackers use to make their hike more pleasant and I would love to learn some of them.
:clap

snowhoe
02-02-2006, 13:31
This is not my idea, but I read on here some where that wood hook screws would be great for hanging stuff on when you get to the shelters or on trees to hang your water bag or semi-light stuff. They are defently going in my pack this time. They dont weigh nothing and I think I would use them.

Sly
02-02-2006, 13:35
Most of the time I'll just use a plastic trash bag, but on occasion, I turn my rain jacket into a pack cover w/hood. The jacket shoudlers go over the top of the pack and the arms tied around and through the shoulder straps, leaving the hood to use as needed. A poor man's Packa.

Mouse
02-02-2006, 13:37
This is not my idea, but I read on here some where that wood hook screws would be great for hanging stuff on when you get to the shelters or on trees to hang your water bag or semi-light stuff. They are defently going in my pack this time. They dont weigh nothing and I think I would use them.

I'd worry about the screwholes left behind.:-? I can see screwhole covered walls and trees with infections, rot or other problems.

sparky2000
02-02-2006, 13:37
Bucket hats will keep the bugs above your head and out of your eyes.

Sly
02-02-2006, 13:38
This is not my idea, but I read on here some where that wood hook screws would be great for hanging stuff on when you get to the shelters or on trees to hang your water bag or semi-light stuff. They are defently going in my pack this time. They dont weigh nothing and I think I would use them.

Kinda suck if 1000 hikers each year were screwing holes into shelters and trees, sma e for tent platforms. Try a little piece of cord.

MOWGLI
02-02-2006, 13:42
For those of you in the northern forests, the best fire starter is the bark of the paper birch. It's light weight, all natural, and flares up as good as anything. It's also a renewable resource - unlike petro products. It also sloughs off of trees naturally, so you don't have to pull bark off of a live tree in order to use it.

Carry some with you on your hike, and you'll have no problem starting a fire. For the NOBOs, once you hit Vermont you'll be passing Paper Birch all the time.

Fiddler
02-02-2006, 14:02
For hanging lightweight stuff head-high or so on trees carry a piece of stout cord 1/8" about 6 ft. long to tie around the tree. Carry a couple small S-hooks for hanging from the cord. No damage done to the tree.

Tin Man
02-02-2006, 14:11
The one trick that eliminates most issues and the need for other tricks is to carry an ample supply of Scotch Whiskey. :cool:

Fiddler
02-02-2006, 14:42
Another thing I found (probably known by quite a few others) is that some dehydrated foods don't need hot water unless you insist on a hot meal. Simply put the water in the food product an hour or so before you will eat it, time depends on the food, and hike on to camp. No extra weight since you're already carrying the food and water. Experiment with different foods you will carry to determine the minimum time needed.

fivefour
02-02-2006, 17:19
The new ziplock containers with the screw on lids work well for rehydrating food while you hike.

middle to middle
02-02-2006, 17:36
Tin Man has broken the code. The only bad thing about wilderness is lack of good booze

TwoForty
02-02-2006, 19:05
Pour water directly into the oatmeal pouch. It will hold since it is wax lined.

You can use your sleeping bag as a dryer for damp items, but that water has to evaporate somewhere, normally into your loft.

neo
02-02-2006, 19:50
i love new tricks:cool: neo

Fiddler
02-02-2006, 19:59
There are two thoughts on packing tents when breaking camp. One, fold and roll as the factory packages it. Two, grab a corner and start stuffing it in the bag. The latter method supposed to prevent any weak spots or holes developing because of repeated folding in the same place all the time. If you do yours the second way, leave the sleeping bag in the tent and stuff them together. Saves a little time packing, and unpacking too. You'll just have to get a somewhat larger stuff sack than the one for the tent or the bag alone. I can say this works OK for a week or two, might be alright for long hikes also.

Lilred
02-02-2006, 20:35
I learned about this trick on my last section. Using strips of inner tubes for emergency fire starters. They burn long and really hot and will start fires even when the wood is wet. A strip that is about 2 inchers by 4 inches does the trick. Another trick, line the stuff sack for your bag with a large oven roasting bag. Keeps your bag dry even in the wettest of conditions.

Kerosene
02-02-2006, 20:37
If you decide to carry one of those 4 liter water bags with a spigot, you can turn it into a pillow by emptying the water, inflating through the open spigot, and covering with your fleece jacket.

Kerosene
02-02-2006, 20:39
Another pillow configuration, learned right here at WhiteBlaze, is to buy a set of kids water wings from Wal-Mart ($2). Cut one of the wings along the seam and you have a nice little two-part inflatable pillow that weighs less than an ounce.

Stix
02-02-2006, 21:05
If youíre freestanding tent has a mesh roof practice setting it up upside down so that when you have to set up in a rain storm you will keep the inside dry.

sleepwalker
02-02-2006, 21:09
A couple of tricks that can come in handy. I'm a custom home framer so I try to incorporate some of the materials I use at work into my hikes. I can enthusiastically endorse masons string line(avail at any hardware store or home depot for $2/200ft)for hanging bear bags, guying out your tent or anything else you use a heavier rope for. The stuff is virtually unbreakable and resists abrading. Case in point, I have to string accross rough concrete to measure and level steel beams, etc. Tough conditions and the stuff never breaks. Best of all, it weighs nothing and has tremendous strength.

Another multitasking building material is sub-floor adhesive. When hiking I primarily use this as a wet day fire starter. I keep a small amount(maybe 3-4oz)in a lexan bottle and if needed scoop out a thumbnail size serving to start my fire. This stuff is unreal...it burns for 3-5 minutes and is a no-fail option. If it dries out, it works just as well if not better than when its fresh. The down side is that it stinks when burning...could it be the Methylchlorohydrosiloxane? We may never know, but if the smell doesn't bug you it's awesome stuff.

swift
02-02-2006, 21:12
They have PV foam towels used for drying cars in Walmart in the automotive section...come in a clear plastic tube, cost 6 bucks. Its my most useful piece of gear. When completely dry and folded it feels and weighs about the same as a styromfoam block the size of a pack of cigarettes. It absorbs 20 times its weight in water and releases 96% of it when you wring it. Makes a great bath towel, cut up it makes great headbands and wristbands, it dries your tent off in the morning like nothing else does.

Here is the really cool trick: If you get soaked take your clothes and roll them up in it and wring, do it a few times. It is amazing how well it removes the water, enough to put everything back on, and your body heat will finish the drying process in minutes.

This is the best 6 dollars you'll ever spend on anything that goes in your pack. I was curious to see what exactly the water content was in my pearl uzumi shirt after I'd dried it like this so I ran some tests at home. I soaked the shirt in a bucket of water and wrung it out in the PV towel a number of times then weighed it on a digital postal scale. I then completely dried it dryer and re-weighed it. The difference in weight was only 6/10ths of an ounce.

Skidsteer
02-02-2006, 21:17
They have PV foam towels used for drying cars in Walmart in the automotive section...come in a clear plastic tube, cost 6 bucks. Its my most useful piece of gear. When completely dry and folded it feels and weighs about the same as a styromfoam block the size of a pack of cigarettes. It absorbs 20 times its weight in water and releases 96% of it when you wring it. Makes a great bath towel, cut up it makes great headbands and wristbands, it dries your tent off in the morning like nothing else does.

Here is the really cool trick: If you get soaked take your clothes and roll them up in it and wring, do it a few times. It is amazing how well it removes the water, enough to put everything back on, and your body heat will finish the drying process in minutes.

This is the best 6 dollars you'll ever spend on anything that goes in your pack. I was curious to see what exactly the water content was in my pearl uzumi shirt after I'd dried it like this so I ran some tests at home. I soaked the shirt in a bucket of water and wrung it out in the PV towel a number of times then weighed it on a digital postal scale. I then completely dried it dryer and re-weighed it. The difference in weight was only 6/10ths of an ounce.

If that works half as well as you describe, it's the idea of the decade! Thanks, I'm going to try it.

greentick
02-02-2006, 22:14
Another thing I found (probably known by quite a few others) is that some dehydrated foods don't need hot water unless you insist on a hot meal. Simply put the water in the food product an hour or so before you will eat it, time depends on the food, and hike on to camp. No extra weight since you're already carrying the food and water. Experiment with different foods you will carry to determine the minimum time needed.

Alternatively, add half the water beforehand and then the other half when you stop. Cuts down on the amount you need to heat AND you get a hot meal.

CaptChaos
02-02-2006, 22:18
I learned to strip excess boxes and packaging on the food that I carry.

Duct tape, duct tape, duct tape not something new but I love this stuff. I use it for everything.

Trash bags, I put everything into trash bags and even use them for a pack cover at night so that my pack does not get wet when it is hanging from the bears.

I got rid of the coleman latern and the coleman stove and went with a canister stove with an attachment for cooking and a small attachment for light. I have burned it all night at it lowest setting and I have never run out of gas on the trail yet.

I also learned to carry my water in a bladder with a hose and I have in my pack so that I sip water all the time. I find I get better performance getting my water this way instead of drinking from my bottle.

And when I have damp or wet clothes I throw them on the roof of the shelter and they dry very quickly.

And one thing that I learned was I take wash cloths and wrap them around the shoulder staps with duct tape for impact protection. Take the pain out of my shoulder with more protection on the straps.

greentick
02-02-2006, 22:35
Bag of bags: light weight stuff sacks packed by use: clothes, food, first aid, etc

To gauge remaining time til sunset use your fingers between sun and horizon. One finger=15minutes.

Poncho uses (using army-issue as example): well ventilated raingear and pack cover in one. Tarp (if you're tall like me can put foot of sleeping bag in waterproof bag). Stretcher. If you use a quilt sew little ties as corners and midpoints - tie into poncho for bedroll.

Jack Tarlin
02-02-2006, 22:43
If I'm staying at a hostel or a place with a freezer, I'll buy a nice piece of meat and freeze it overnight.

When I head out for the Trail, I'll double-wrap it (so it doesn't bleed or make a mess); by the end of the day, it's thawed nicely and can be cut up and added to whatever I'm eating.

A typical hiker-glop dinner (rice, pasta, etc.) is much improved when there's steak in it.

If I remember, I'll also leave town or a hostel with some hard-boiled eggs; great for snacks or lunch and very good for you.

KirkMcquest
02-02-2006, 22:55
Getting lots of fruit in town can really help you power through the next few days. I use the outer net on my pack, this helps keep it fresh

Green Bean
02-02-2006, 23:05
i throw my extra clothing (socks,underwear,pants,shirt,etc..)in my stuff sack for my sleeping bag and use it as a pillow. ~GB

Doppleganger
02-02-2006, 23:08
Pain killers, the more powerful, the better

fivefour
02-02-2006, 23:12
The one trick that eliminates most issues and the need for other tricks is to carry an ample supply of Scotch Whiskey. :cool:

Everclear also doubles as fuel ... just kidding guys.

TJ aka Teej
02-02-2006, 23:44
Practice cooking at home. Make marks on your practice fuel canister with a sharpie to keep track of many 'cooks' you get. Use a pot cozy and wind screen. Take some town food in for the first day, like a sub and chips, or Jack's excellent idea of frozen meat. Get the clear lighters so you can see how much fuel is left. My camera, head lamp, and radio all use the same size battery. (batts that won't run the camera anymore will still run a headlamp or radio) Pencils, not pens. Drink your fill at water sources. And in the 'works for me' catagory: I pack up and hit the trail at first light. An hour and half or so later I stop for breakfast, around mid-day I'll look for a likely spot and take a boots off nap, and I swim whenever I get the chance in hot weather.

bulldog49
02-03-2006, 00:13
I stop sometime between 1:00 and 3:00 in the afternoon and cook my hot meal and then hike on until dark. I make better mileage this way and when I get to camp I'm ready to sleep.

Almost There
02-03-2006, 00:13
I will second Swift on the towel idea, unfortunately I paid way more than I should of buying it from REI as a PackTowel, but these things are awesome. Twice I have had to set my tent up in a downpour and twice it has completely dried out the inside of my tent, essential seeing as I carry down bags to sleep in. This thing soaks up puddles!!!...and you don't even notice it in your pack. I always have to have it with me when I hike now.

Here's a trick for newbies...many of you already know to do this..."Camel Up" Drink 1 to 2 liters at the source and that way you don't have to carry more than two liters to the next water source. I used to dehydrate fast as a big guy, and since I started to do this...no problems. I used to carry 3-4 when I was just starting out...never again. Oh yeah, and I only use a filter now at questionable looking water holes, saves me time, but that is my decision. YMMV.

Panzer1
02-03-2006, 00:21
This is not my idea, but I read on here some where that wood hook screws would be great for hanging stuff on when you get to the shelters or on trees to hang your water bag or semi-light stuff. They are defently going in my pack this time. They dont weigh nothing and I think I would use them.

I'm assuming you mean to take them out when you move on. But I really don't think it's a good idea to put screw holes in the shelters or even on the trees.

Panzer

Panzer1
02-03-2006, 00:53
If you stop in town to get food, get a lunch meat sandwich without any mayonnaise. It's the mayonnaise that goes bad real fast. Instead get extra mustard. Ask to have it double wrapped. Even in the summer you will be able to eat it for dinner before it spoils.

Panzer

Panzer1
02-03-2006, 00:57
Pencils, not pens.

Hay, speaking of pencils, to save weight I found these cheap pencils at Staples that don't have any paint on them.

Panzer

mdionne
02-03-2006, 01:12
buy orange or bright colored lighters when you get to town. trying to find a green lighter after you've dropped it can be difficult sometimes. i hiked with someone who had a brillo pad to clean her dishes with, i thought that was a great idea too. in the summer, taking a couple of hershey bars and putting them into my peanut butter jar is delicious!

Newb
02-03-2006, 08:56
buy orange or bright colored lighters when you get to town. trying to find a green lighter after you've dropped it can be difficult sometimes. i hiked with someone who had a brillo pad to clean her dishes with, i thought that was a great idea too. in the summer, taking a couple of hershey bars and putting them into my peanut butter jar is delicious!

Just don't get your peanut butter on my chocolate.

MOWGLI
02-03-2006, 09:00
buy orange or bright colored lighters when you get to town. trying to find a green lighter after you've dropped it can be difficult sometimes.

A white Bic allows you to see how much butane is left in the lighter. It is also easy to spot.

Chickety
02-03-2006, 09:11
I measured out 1 cup of water, put it in my cooking pot and scratched a line as to where the "1 Cup mark" is.
Did the same for 2 Cups.
This way I'm atleast close to the right amount of water when cooking.
(I used to end up with "rice soup" when I really wanted just rice)

jlb2012
02-03-2006, 09:31
I measured out 1 cup of water, put it in my cooking pot and scratched a line as to where the "1 Cup mark" is.
Did the same for 2 Cups.
This way I'm atleast close to the right amount of water when cooking.
(I used to end up with "rice soup" when I really wanted just rice)

When you find that you have "rice soup" add a little instant mashed potatoes - sucks the extra water up very quickly.

other tricks:

fold a bandana 4 times to make 16 layers of cloth and then you can handle the hot pots safely with the bandana protecting your hand

multiuse items are great - ex for a great fire starter use toilet paper and olive oil or other cooking oil

wrapping frozen meat in newspaper lets you carry the meat farther before it thaws out and then you can burn the paper starting the fire to cook the meat

minnesotasmith
02-03-2006, 09:51
1) When you send a maildrop to an location that is not within walking distance of stores, you'll save time if you also mail TP and anything expendables you use either to clean up there (soap & shampoo/conditioner in tiny motel bottles, dispo razor) or on the Trail (wet wipes/paper towels).

2) In such maildrops, send a couple of cans of food (or even drink) that you enjoy, but are impractical for carrying on the Trail. You're going to be dumping the cans in a nearby trashcan before getting back on the Trail, so the main issue IMO is the expense for postage. This is a good way IMO to get some additional vegetables, too; I'm trying to stick in a can of spinach or asparagus in such maildrops in my own pre-thruhike attempt planning. I'm also putting in a couple of MRE heating units in some drops; I don't want to ever again hump them on the Trail, but there's no reason I can't enjoy a couple of conveniently-heated meals where I can dump the extra trash before I get back on the Trail.

3) Drive to a few potential maildrop locations in advance of a long hike, and simply drop off boxes of supplies. Bulky stuff (like TP, paper towels, freeze-dried vegetables) and heavy drinks (plastic bottles of fruit juice, or a gallon or two of distilled water, say) are particularly convenient to do this way. Plus, you can preposition supplies like stove fuel/bottles that you can't legally mail, or pricy stuff (ATC maps you won't need for a while, or camera memory sticks, say). And, the mail service (UPS, FedEx, US Snail, whatever) doesn't get a chance to lose it this way! :D

minnesotasmith
02-03-2006, 09:53
Adding some oatmeal works, too. It's more nutritious than are potatos, and are surprisingly mild in taste; if there's any seasoning in the dish at all, you'll never taste the oatmeal. (Corn meal/grits also work, as does any bread/cracker product.)

Kozmic Zian
02-03-2006, 09:59
Yea, Guys....Tricks!

I carry a stainless cup for drinking....I attach the handle thru a loop in my backpack so that I have quick, easy access to it. When I need a drink of water I can 'dip & fly'....or drink on the run, without stopping to get the bag or bottle out....just dip the cup in the next spring, avoiding carrying the heavy bottles of water. I only do this when I know, from the guides, maps and previous experience, where and when the water is. Also, being careful about the 'condition', location and other qualifiers as to the water quality.

fivefour
02-03-2006, 10:51
They have PV foam towels used for drying cars in Walmart in the automotive section...come in a clear plastic tube, cost 6 bucks. Its my most useful piece of gear. When completely dry and folded it feels and weighs about the same as a styromfoam block the size of a pack of cigarettes. It absorbs 20 times its weight in water and releases 96% of it when you wring it. Makes a great bath towel, cut up it makes great headbands and wristbands, it dries your tent off in the morning like nothing else does.

Here is the really cool trick: If you get soaked take your clothes and roll them up in it and wring, do it a few times. It is amazing how well it removes the water, enough to put everything back on, and your body heat will finish the drying process in minutes.

This is the best 6 dollars you'll ever spend on anything that goes in your pack. I was curious to see what exactly the water content was in my pearl uzumi shirt after I'd dried it like this so I ran some tests at home. I soaked the shirt in a bucket of water and wrung it out in the PV towel a number of times then weighed it on a digital postal scale. I then completely dried it dryer and re-weighed it. The difference in weight was only 6/10ths of an ounce.

I am now going to walmart for lunch ! Thanks for the tip.

John B
02-03-2006, 11:25
Thanks to Moxie00 for starting this thread. It's very useful.

I can't take credit for this idea but I used it during my last section hike and it helped. If you want to carry a sink with you and don't want to use your cooking pot for that purpose, take a 1-gallon milk jug and cut off the bottom 1 inch. That makes a very good 'sink' and its weight is negligible.

RedneckRye
02-03-2006, 11:27
I ran into Tricks at the shelter in Port Clinton and he drove me to the Burger King in Hamburg. That was pretty good.

2 ways to keep track of your lighter:
*Mark it, I usually wrap a strip of duct or elecrtical tape around it.
*Attach it to your foodbag drawstring with a long piece of thin cord and some duct tape.

Moxie00
02-03-2006, 11:50
You can use your sleeping bag as a dryer for damp items, but that water has to evaporate somewhere, normally into your loft.[/quote]


I have never found this to be a problem. My long underware got soaked once, I wrung it out and wore it in my sleeping bag. The next morning it was dry and so wasn't my bag. My bag is a Mountain Hardware, synthetic, not down, 20 degree mummy and I often dry damp clothes by tosing them in the bag. A trail vetran told me of that trick about my third day out while I was still in Georgia and it works for me.
Another handy trick is carry dental floss and a needle with a large enough eye to accomidate it. It is strong enough to sew a broken pack strap, will clean your teeth, and can replace a broken boot lace until you hit the next town.
A trick I learned fron Diamond Doug was purchase a pint of ice cream just as you leave town. Put it in a plastic bag and then roll it into the middle of your sleeping bag. The bag will insulate it and it will still be frozen when you prepare supper that night. I remember Doug sitting on top of Cheoah Bald on Easter Sunday, having a desert of ice cream while my Easter dinner was Lipton noodles.
:jump :jump :jump :jump :jump

uscgretired
02-03-2006, 12:23
I have a very lightweight boat key floatie/boat registration container that has an "o" ring seal between cap and container. I use it to keep my self striking matches (you know, the ones that you can light with your fingernail or on your levi's or trail pants) and my lighter In the small cap I keep 4 cottonballs soaked in vasoline for emergency fire starters. I chose the flourescent green color so it would be easy to find. Most boat dealerships carry this container. It could also be used for as a waterproof money holder, waterproof medicine container etc. etc.

Blister
02-03-2006, 13:42
Lighters: wrapping your duct tape around it, for convenience of course - then add a string and wear it around your neck. You never loose it or drop it. The string can be used as an emergency shoelace or whatever other use a string comes in handy for. The lighter for fire and the duct tape for everything and it doesn't add an ounce to your pack because your wearing it.
A good place for duct tape storage as well - wrap it around your hiking sticks, can't get anymore convenient than that, but be sure to apply approx the same amount on each pole if you are using two.

Just Jeff
02-03-2006, 15:54
I never leave without some 550 cord in my pack. It's gotta be the real parachute cord with 7 strand inner core, though. That way, you have a normal cord, but when certain needs arise you can separate the cores into whatever small sizes you need. For example, one core strand is enough to guy out a tarp, and it's very light. Separate the cores even further and you can use them for dental floss or sewing thread.

On my first trip to the desert, I picked up my (too heavy) pack by the shoulder strap and it broke off. On a layover, I sewed it back on with the 550 cord inner core and never had a problem with it again. Then I returned the pack for a new one when I got back.

carolinahiker
02-03-2006, 16:34
Well this works for me i rubber bands a coffe filter over my water pump inlet to help keep out the grit etc .

hammock engineer
02-03-2006, 16:58
I think this is turning out to be one of the more helpful treads I have seen.

This may make a good group article.

txulrich
02-03-2006, 17:59
I think this is turning out to be one of the more helpful treads I have seen.

This may make a good group article.

I second that:D

Kerosene
02-03-2006, 18:53
I stop sometime between 1:00 and 3:00 in the afternoon and cook my hot meal and then hike on until dark. I make better mileage this way and when I get to camp I'm ready to sleep.I concur, although I usually stop between 3 and 4 when the days are longer and I'm trying to do more miles.

Lump76
02-03-2006, 19:10
Practice cooking at home. Make marks on your practice fuel canister with a sharpie to keep track of many 'cooks' you get. Use a pot cozy and wind screen. Take some town food in for the first day, like a sub and chips, or Jack's excellent idea of frozen meat. Get the clear lighters so you can see how much fuel is left. My camera, head lamp, and radio all use the same size battery. (batts that won't run the camera anymore will still run a headlamp or radio) Pencils, not pens. Drink your fill at water sources. And in the 'works for me' catagory: I pack up and hit the trail at first light. An hour and half or so later I stop for breakfast, around mid-day I'll look for a likely spot and take a boots off nap, and I swim whenever I get the chance in hot weather.

Somewhere... Wallyworld, I think... I saw a set of adapters that would let you use any size battery to power any battery-powered device (so long as you're sizing up). My headlamp and radio work on AAA batteries, but my camera takes AA. I'm thinking about getting an adapter so I can just carry AAA batteries and then follow TJ's method. Start them out in my camera, then move to my headlamp or radio. Might save a few ounces and allow me to buy batteries in bulk.

Lump76
02-03-2006, 19:24
I use Skippy squeezable peanut butter. MMMMmmmmm.... less weight than a jar and no mess.

Doctari
02-03-2006, 21:23
I second that:D

I third & fourth that, as they accumulate, I'll copy some to the "Words of wisdom" thread in "articles"

Great post!

Doctari.

Doctari
02-03-2006, 21:45
Practice with ALL OF YOUR GEAR!!!!

Practice with ALL OF YOUR GEAR, at home, before you hit the trail. Practice even with the old stuff you are familiar with, it may be broke.

Check all your gear, before you hit the trail! Look it over for: worn spots, tears, actual breaks, function (does your: Stove, Flashlight(s), Camera, etc. work?). When was the last time your shelter (boots, etc) seam sealed? Is now a good time to replace something? Is your fuel still good?* Lighters in good working condition / full (I get new ones each trip). Matches in good condition. NEW Zip Locks. Etc.

Clean gear lasts longer, so clean what you have. Then seam seal as needed.

*My understanding is gasoline degenerates very quickly, 60 to 90 days & the octane decreasing by as much as 30% donít know about the other fuels or how this affects gasoline stoves, my lawnmower mechanic told me this.


Doctari.

Footslogger
02-03-2006, 23:36
Years ago I hiked until I was exhausted and then took a break. During my thru-hike, and ever since, I have begun taking a short break EVERY HOUR (give or take a few minutes). What I've learned is that I can hiker longer and farther in a days time without being so tired when I get to my campsite for the night. I also have noticed is that I have fewer aches/pains. Coupled with the more frequent rest stops are increased snacks, which maintain more constant energy levels instead of the highs/lows I used to encounter.

'Slogger

Alligator
02-03-2006, 23:42
Hope this isn't a repeat. Extra water capacity greatly extends campsite choice and can lead to great sunsets/sunrises and stargazing. (And a hammock may not;) .)

gargamel
02-04-2006, 07:51
A watch can be used as a roughly accurate tool to determine the direction:
Simply point the smaller hand at the sun. Then cut the distance between 12 and the small hand in half. There lies south.
If you use a digital watch simply use two little twigs to mimic a watch with hands.
If you can't see the sun ask somebody who carries a compass :D

bogey
02-04-2006, 11:03
A watch can be used as a roughly accurate tool to determine the direction:
Simply point the smaller hand at the sun. Then cut the distance between 12 and the small hand in half. There lies south.
If you use a digital watch simply use two little twigs to mimic a watch with hands.
If you can't see the sun ask somebody who carries a compass

do you know how to find your way when lost using only a deck of cards?







If you're convinced you don't know where you are, sit down, pull out a pack of ordinary playing cards and begin playing solitaire. In no time, someone will come along and tell you to play the red two on the black three.

Pick up your cards and follow him to civilization.:D

Lone Wolf
02-04-2006, 11:07
On a long distance hike we all learn tricks we never read about in books. Hanging washed socks on my pack with a safety pin, then when they are still a little damp tossing them in my sleeping bag so my body heat dries them completly. On a wet day an excellent fire starter is alcohol hand sanitizer but watch the blue flame. Filtering water through a bandana to remove the floaties before treating it were three tricks I learned the first week out. I know there are a million tricks backpackers use to make their hike more pleasant and I would love to learn some of them.
:clap
When you come upon a Winnebago or folks having a picnic, introduce yourself and ask if you could by a few slices of bread. In no time you'll be feasting on all kinds of good stuff.:cool:

gargamel
02-04-2006, 12:31
Gargamel, (attempted Humor follows) :D

Good you added this, otherwise I had immediately declared war on your whole country (and probably lost the third time in a row :D )

Heck, as I'm German I first of all had to look up the term "humor" in my dictionary. :cool:

Smile
02-04-2006, 12:56
For little batteries like for the microlite or my headlamp or watch, I always keep one of each in my bouncebox. Much easier than trying to hunt them down and waste time in town, and they are so small and insignificant in weight that it's no big deal to stash them in there.

weary
02-04-2006, 14:48
For those of you in the northern forests, the best fire starter is the bark of the paper birch. It's light weight, all natural, and flares up as good as anything. It's also a renewable resource - unlike petro products. It also sloughs off of trees naturally, so you don't have to pull bark off of a live tree in order to use it.

Carry some with you on your hike, and you'll have no problem starting a fire. For the NOBOs, once you hit Vermont you'll be passing Paper Birch all the time.
I found my first birch tree in the col between Georgia and North Carolina. I never was without a supply for my Zip Stove thereafter. No matter how desperate, however, don't pull or cut birch bark from live trees.

Yellow birch is equally good as a fire starter. Some wild cherry trees also had tightly curled bark with an oil that served as a fire starter. Birch is a pioneer species, which means it rarely survives when other species overtop it along trails.

That means as a now protected trail, over the decades birch will become ever more scarce. But the oils that make the bark burn so well remains for years in downed limbs and trunks.

Weary

Tha Wookie
02-04-2006, 15:24
I found my first birch tree in the col between Georgia and North Carolina. I never was without a supply for my Zip Stove thereafter. No matter how desperate, however, don't pull or cut birch bark from live trees.

Yellow birch is equally good as a fire starter. Some wild cherry trees also had tightly curled bark with an oil that served as a fire starter. Birch is a pioneer species, which means it rarely survives when other species overtop it along trails.

That means as a now protected trail, over the decades birch will become ever more scarce. But the oils that make the bark burn so well remains for years in downed limbs and trunks.

Weary

So is the inner bark of yellow poplar and most cedars. Just take a stip of bark from a downed limb (never standing, it will not work because it's wet) and peel or better yet scrape off the fiberous strands. rough them up in your hands, and you have a tinder bundle that you could use a little coal (or straight flame, if you are in a hurry to get somewhere) to get things cooking.

There are over 30 ways to start a fire without matches, using only natural materials. Once you have the knowledge (which I am still working on), then you don't need the "tricks".

If you don't have the knowledge, try ping-pong balls.;)

Doctari
02-04-2006, 17:07
do you know how to find your way when lost using only a deck of cards?

If you're convinced you don't know where you are, sit down, pull out a pack of ordinary playing cards and begin playing solitaire. In no time, someone will come along and tell you to play the red two on the black three.

Pick up your cards and follow him to civilization.:D

Oh my, I was ROTFLMAO after that one!

Wife liked it too!!

Doctari.

SavageLlama
02-04-2006, 18:50
1. Carry 15 - 20 feet of twine or nylon string. Makes a great clothesline in camp and weighs nothing.

2. Keep your camera handy - such as in your water bottle pouch - so you won't miss great but fleeting shots of wildlife, etc.

3. Keep a journal and take tons of pictures - you'll thank yourself later.

mweinstone
02-04-2006, 19:00
if i had a dime for every time ive heard,"it weighs nothing",....id have ,.....like.......................................7 0 cents.

Just Jeff
02-04-2006, 22:37
I keep my journal and pencil readily accessible while hiking. Whenever I stop for a break, I write for 5 min or so. That way, details are clear and I don't have to remember the whole day when I'm tired at night.

Walessp
02-05-2006, 08:54
My tip is using WalMart-style plastic bags over wet socks after you have gotten your socks and shoes wet and still need to hike on. Socks dry quicker and the soaking wet shoes don't seem to be as uncomfortable.

Sky Rider
(walessp)

Kerosene
02-05-2006, 11:46
My tip is using WalMart-style plastic bags over wet socks after you have gotten your socks and shoes wet and still need to hike on. Socks dry quicker and the soaking wet shoes don't seem to be as uncomfortable.I'm not sure I understand this. You put plastic bags over your wet socks and feet and then slip them into your boots? If so, I don't see how that dries out your socks or makes the shoes seem more comfortable if the socks are already soaked.

Deerleg
02-05-2006, 12:34
I go pretty light and donít carry a water filter, thus I have nothing to suck up water from a trickle source. Normally I let water run into my plastic sport drink bottle if the flow is sufficient, but sometimes it canít be done without getting sediment mixed with the water. Jewelweed is often plentiful around a water source and I have used the hollow tube of the plant to ďPipeĒ the trickle to more easily position my bottle away from the sediment.

Ridge
02-05-2006, 16:38
You can use your sleeping bag as a dryer for damp items, but that water has to evaporate somewhere, normally into your loft.


I have never found this to be a problem. My long underware got soaked once, I wrung it out and wore it in my sleeping bag. The next morning it was dry and so wasn't my bag. My bag is a Mountain Hardware, synthetic, not down, 20 degree mummy and I often dry damp clothes by tosing them in the bag. A trail vetran told me of that trick about my third day out while I was still in Georgia and it works for me.
Another handy trick is carry dental floss and a needle with a large enough eye to accomidate it. It is strong enough to sew a broken pack strap, will clean your teeth, and can replace a broken boot lace until you hit the next town.
A trick I learned fron Diamond Doug was purchase a pint of ice cream just as you leave town. Put it in a plastic bag and then roll it into the middle of your sleeping bag. The bag will insulate it and it will still be frozen when you prepare supper that night. I remember Doug sitting on top of Cheoah Bald on Easter Sunday, having a desert of ice cream while my Easter dinner was Lipton noodles.
:jump :jump :jump :jump :jump[/quote]


The key word is "SYNTHETIC", people who try this drying technique with a down bag, ends up with a wet bag that is very hard to dry (on the trail).
If the synthetic bag gets wet it will dry, usually completely overnight, just from your body heat. I have a long bag so as to have extra space to put my boots and socks in the bottom. This keeps them from freezing, also allows them to dry. I usually tie grocery bags around the soles to keep the sleeping bag clean. I also have a down bag, I'll use it out west where their is low humidity or use it car camping. Never on the AT. Used a NF Cat's Meow for my 96 thru-hike, worked great.

Ridge
02-05-2006, 16:51
A watch can be used as a roughly accurate tool to determine the direction:
Simply point the smaller hand at the sun. Then cut the distance between 12 and the small hand in half. There lies south.
If you use a digital watch simply use two little twigs to mimic a watch with hands.
If you can't see the sun ask somebody who carries a compass :D


This method only works in the Northern Hemisphere (north of equator).

Southern Hemisphere

Holding your watch horizontally, point the numeral twelve on your watch at the sun.

Note the direction that lies exactly midway between the twelve and the Ďhour handí.

This will be North.

Alligator
02-05-2006, 17:08
Regarding using a sleeping bag to dry clothes, loft plays an important role. The water vapor has to pass through a certain thickness. I took my new -20 synthetic bag out and put my hiking shorts in it to dry overnight. The outside of my bag was damp near the shorts. The loft on this bag is substantial, so the condensation point for the moisture may not have been outside the bag. I have used the method very successfully however with a +20 degree bag.

Disney
02-05-2006, 17:11
If you carry a thermarest, don't roll it up slowly as you get the air out of it. Open the valve, fold it in half, then half again. Lie back on it and wait till the air all rushes out, roll side to side in order to get as much air out as possible. Close the valve, spread it out, roll it tight, open the valve, let the last air out, close and go. It takes much less time and is much easier. I thought everybody knew this, but I was suprised how often I shared the tip when I was hiking.

And one more thing.

If you like getting free stuff from tourists, carry two dollar bills in your pocket. They will become wrinkled and nasty looking. When you would like something for free (a coke, food, a cigar) offer to buy one holding the money out. I always got it for free, and usually got more pushed on me. In order to make this work, you should have a short interesting/funny hiking story ready to tell.

gargamel
02-05-2006, 18:10
This method only works in the Northern Hemisphere (north of equator).

Southern Hemisphere

Holding your watch horizontally, point the numeral twelve on your watch at the sun.

Note the direction that lies exactly midway between the twelve and the Ďhour handí.

This will be North.

Interesting. It's exactly the opposite. And what to do if you are ON the equator?

saimyoji
02-05-2006, 18:16
DUH....the sun's always directly above you on the equator, Just look up, then turn to the right for north, left for south.:-?

Roland
02-05-2006, 18:17
Interesting. It's exactly the opposite. And what to do if you are ON the equator?
Carry a compass??! :D

Topcat
02-05-2006, 18:50
actually the sun is only directly over you twice a year at the equator (first day of fall and first day of spring) so better carry a compass just in case

swift
02-05-2006, 19:16
DUH....the sun's always directly above you on the equator, Just look up, then turn to the right for north, left for south.:-?


what if you happen to be facing west at the time?

swift
02-05-2006, 19:16
sorry. I meant facing EAST

gargamel
02-05-2006, 19:37
what if you happen to be facing EAST at the time?

You will also get to the point you were heading for. It only will take a l i t t l e longer.

DLFrost
02-06-2006, 01:30
Well this works for me i rubber bands a coffe filter over my water pump inlet to help keep out the grit etc .
For years I sat right down by creeks zen-pumping water like an idjit. Now I use gallon freezer Ziploc bags to fetch water so I can filter it somewhere more comfortable than a damp rock. Ziplock bags are also good for collecting water dripping from seeps or from shallow waterholes. And you can let the bags sit for a while to settle out silt. (Fill em about half-full for easy carrying.)

I use a OR Hydroseal bag for general camp storage--it hangs from the hammock line. This bag also doubles as a carrier for water-filled Ziplocs, although I could also just fill that directly if I needed to. Having a carrier lets you fill up the Ziplocs more.

Doug Frost

Downunda
02-06-2006, 06:18
In the really hot mid-summer days I would be hiking by around 6:30 am. I would stop for lunch around 12.30 then have a siesta for a couple of hours. It really recharged my batteries.

Downunda
02-06-2006, 06:23
I have a small microlite hanging in the centre of my tent. If I need to go to the john in the middle of the night I leave it turned on sdo it acts as a beacon to guide me home. Don't laugh as I read a hiker's journal where he went to the john on a dark night and got lost and had to sleep in the open at the bottom of a gully until dawn.

Moxie00
02-07-2006, 18:05
Juat remembered a great trail trick. I was three days into my 2000 thru and in a tent on a mountain top in Georgia. According to my radio in was 20 degrees in Atlanta that night. Both my Nalgene bottles froze solid in my tent and in the morning I couldn't even unscrew the tops to get water for breakfast. A day later a more experienced hiker told me if it is going to freeze allways put your Nalgenes upside down. In the morning turn them over and the ice will be on the bottom, water on top. and the tops will screw right off. Now when I winter hike my water bottles are always upside down. (of course the other option is to pee on your bottles to thaw the tops out but then the water is still frozen at top when the caps come off.)

Just Jeff
02-07-2006, 18:11
Or sleep with your water bottle.

jlb2012
02-07-2006, 18:51
or limit the amount of water you are keeping overnight and get fresh water in the morning - below freezing I'll sleep with about 0.5 liter and stock up in the morning before hiking on.

SteveJ
02-07-2006, 18:59
or limit the amount of water you are keeping overnight and get fresh water in the morning - below freezing I'll sleep with about 0.5 liter and stock up in the morning before hiking on.

if it's going to be below freezing, I usually put the amount of water I anticipate needing for breakfast in my cook pot, put the lid on, and set it aside so it won't get knocked over during the night.... I usually tarp camp when it's too cold to hang. Keep the stove and pot under the tarp with me. Also makes it convenient if it gets too cold and I find I need to boil water to put in a nalgene at my feet...

ed bell
02-07-2006, 19:38
Speaking of water, I love tent camping and water can be a problem when you choose your spot. Never loose the chance to harvest rainwater when it rolls off of your tent/tarp. I remember the first time I did this. I felt like a genius.:rolleyes: What I like about this is that it turns a potential negative (rain) into a positive (H2O).:sun

sandman
02-07-2006, 20:02
tuna can or smaller foil pouch filled with soil/sand, soak with stove fuel. Remove fuel container from area before lighting! It burns slowly and will catch the wettest twigs on fire. sandman

peter_pan
02-07-2006, 20:15
I too use a foot or so of duck tape about only 1 inch wide aroud a see thru lighter... but first put a safety pin under it... this give a loop to afix a dummy cord.... now never without fire, safety pin to rmove splinters , lance blisters etc and enough duck tape for blister coverage and plenty of butterfly bandages...

pocket knife goes on another dummy cord.

never lost these critical items.

Pan

Pennsylvania Rose
02-07-2006, 20:41
Or sleep with your water bottle.

Or even better, if it's going to be that cold, boil enough water at dinner time to make a hot water bottle. Put it in your sleeping bag while you eat, then crawl into the warmth. I usually put a sock over mine. It holds the heat longer, keeps me from burning my toes, and absorbs any minor leakage.


This is an awesome thread :clap

mweinstone
02-07-2006, 21:33
my two .8oz each black diamond ion headlamps go one each prussik knotted to the inside key loop of my lid and one to the main bags inner lip.remove and where,tie to tent pole for pee lite and replace to find things and allways know where my lites are.also ,...use the space between the folds of an egg carton shape rigderest z-light pad to keep screenz,stands,stakes.and put cookpot on in pot bag ,on top of foam pad secured w pot bags cord lock and one pack strap.

bogey
02-07-2006, 21:45
DUH....the sun's always directly above you on the equator, Just look up, then turn to the right for north, left for south.:-?
depending on which way you're facing...

Jester2000
02-07-2006, 22:47
A good place for duct tape storage as well - wrap it around your hiking sticks, can't get anymore convenient than that, but be sure to apply approx the same amount on each pole if you are using two.

Well that's just silly. Everyone knows that you wrap your duct tape around your plastic Jim Beam travel bottle.

Also:
Put your headlamp around your neck as soon as you get to camp so you don't have to look for it in the dark.

If you use a water filter, be sure to keep the outlet hose in a ziplock so it doesn't become contaminated by the inlet hose when not in use.

If it's below freezing, take your Nalgene and put in in the kitchen closet and go back up to bed and forget about going out hiking.

Have one dry camp meal in your bag that takes virtually no water or fuel to prepare. I recommend a family size bag of Stove Top (It's also light). Frees you up to camp on top of things without having to eat early.

Sleep on the floor in your house for a couple of days to get used to not being in a bed.

Wear your hat when sleeping.

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2006, 22:57
Interesting idea on the duct tape, Jester.

I might have to give it a try.

Just Jeff
02-07-2006, 22:58
In addition to sleeping with water, I also put my camera, headlamp and stove fuel in a stuff sack inside the bag with me. The warmth keeps the batteries from draining, and since I use a cannister stove the cold can really make a difference.

I think it isn't the cold that wrecks the batteries. I think if it gets cold and then you use it, the batteries drain. If you warm the batteries up before you turn your camera on, though, the batteries should last longer. Haven't really experimented with this, though, since I sleep with my batteries.

I hate frozen boots the worst. I'll put my boots into a plastic bag or stuff sack and sleep with them, too.

hammock engineer
02-08-2006, 12:26
I can't take credit for this one, read it someone (probibly on WB).

Instead of putting a hot waterbottle in your bag with you, put your oatmeal breakfest in your waterbottle and add the boiling water. The oatmeal should hold the heat better, and you do not have to worry about getting your bag wet. You also have a warm meal to eat before you leave the warmth of your bag.

Disclaimer- Without starting an argument about bear bagging, this does add food smells to your sleeping area.

gargamel
02-08-2006, 12:51
Instead of putting a hot waterbottle in your bag with you, put your oatmeal breakfest in your waterbottle and add the boiling water. The oatmeal should hold the heat better, and you do not have to worry about getting your bag wet. You also have a warm meal to eat before you leave the warmth of your bag.

Thank's for this one. Sounds great. As I'm a uneasy sleeper and turn around multiple times my greatest fear would be to break the bottle and get my down bag soaking wet.
But how do I get the oatmeal out of the bottle ?

hammock engineer
02-08-2006, 12:54
Thank's for this one. Sounds great. As I'm a uneasy sleeper and turn around multiple times my greatest fear would be to break the bottle and get my down bag soaking wet.
But how do I get the oatmeal out of the bottle ?

Very carefully. Think crystals out of the After Shock Bottle.

Try the widest mouth bottle you have and a long spoon. not as easy as water, but a lot less risk.

gargamel
02-08-2006, 13:00
Very carefully. Think crystals out of the After Shock Bottle.

Try the widest mouth bottle you have and a long spoon. not as easy as water, but a lot less risk.

Hm.... I think I will try a ziplock bag wrapped into a trash bag. But the oatmeal idea is still great. :)

Gray Blazer
02-08-2006, 13:12
Thanks for all the great ideas.I can't really think of any "heavy" ideas but did someone mention mayonaise going bad? Wendy's (Thanks Dave) has small foil packets of mayo for those of you that don't like dry sandwiches for lunch.

Pickles
02-08-2006, 14:26
Practice with ALL OF YOUR GEAR!!!!

Practice with ALL OF YOUR GEAR, at home, before you hit the trail. Practice even with the old stuff you are familiar with, it may be broke.

Check all your gear, before you hit the trail! Look it over for: worn spots, tears, actual breaks, function (does your: Stove, Flashlight(s), Camera, etc. work?). When was the last time your shelter (boots, etc) seam sealed? Is now a good time to replace something? Is your fuel still good?* Lighters in good working condition / full (I get new ones each trip). Matches in good condition. NEW Zip Locks. Etc.

Clean gear lasts longer, so clean what you have. Then seam seal as needed.

*My understanding is gasoline degenerates very quickly, 60 to 90 days & the octane decreasing by as much as 30% donít know about the other fuels or how this affects gasoline stoves, my lawnmower mechanic told me this.


Doctari.
I heard the piece about gasoline degenerating on the Barrett/Jackson auto auction TV show. Something to keep in mind if you are parking your vehicle for the duration of your hike.

rhjanes
02-08-2006, 15:12
if you are parking a vehicle for 4 to 6 months..... change all the fluids before you leave. air up the tires. Put in Gasoline stabalizer. get it at Home Depot in the mower department. disconnect the battery. Put it on a trickle charger. About every other month, if you can have some one go over. Have them take off the trickle charger, hook up the battery, and drive it for about 30 minutes. Say, all day on Saturday to chores. This keeps everything just fine.
Sitting 4 months, is really not too bad.
owner of 2 classic cars that sit a LOT.

mdionne
02-08-2006, 19:14
short on cash? use regular gas instead of white gas for your stove. smells really bad and turns your pots completely black but it qualifies as a trail trick.:D

MOWGLI
02-08-2006, 19:18
short on cash? use regular gas instead of white gas for your stove. smells really bad and turns your pots completely black but it qualifies as a trail trick.:D

That's a trail stunt, and a great way to get someone badly burned or killed.

Cookerhiker
02-08-2006, 19:36
..... Keep your camera handy - such as in your water bottle pouch - so you won't miss great but fleeting shots of wildlife, etc.....

I "wear" my camera on my sternum strap - makes it handy for responding quickly to photo-ops. It's a compact Nikon 3200 digital in a Lowe-Alpine camera soft case just the right size. Fastens to the sterum strap with velcro.

Footslogger
02-08-2006, 19:55
[quote=Cookerhiker]I "wear" my camera on my sternum strap - makes it handy for responding quickly to photo-ops.
=======================================
You just reminded me of something. During my thru I stopped into a Radio Shack (I think it was Front Royal) and bought a lightweight weatherproof radio. It had a clip on the back that was the exact size of my sternum strap. I was able to plug/unplug the earbuds when I wanted to but otherwise the little radio just went along for the ride. It used on AA sized battery that darn near lasted all the way to Katahdin. Reception wasn't always great but there were those days when the miles didn't come easy and it was nice to plug in the electronic ear muffs and zone away ...

'Slogger

swift
02-08-2006, 20:06
MOWGLI,
White gas and unleaded gasoline are for stove purposes, the same fuel. The unleaded gas has some additives that will clog generator in white gas appliances prematurely, but its no more dangerous to use than Coleman fuel. I think if you check with MSR specs and manufacturers of other white gas stoves they will bear that out.

irritable_badger
02-08-2006, 20:08
Take a dead Bic lighter and remove the spring, striking wheel, and flint and tape them to your not-dead lighter (or put them in your first-aid kit). These additional parts can be used to rebuild/fix your Bic lighter in the field. The flint in my Bic's always seems to fail before I run out of gas; especially if the flint has ever been very wet. This is an easy fix as it only takes a second to replace any part and it sure beats matches.

ed bell
02-08-2006, 20:21
Take a dead Bic lighter and remove the spring, striking wheel, and flint and tape them to your not-dead lighter (or put them in your first-aid kit). These additional parts can be used to rebuild/fix your Bic lighter in the field. The flint in my Bic's always seems to fail before I run out of gas; especially if the flint has ever been very wet. This is an easy fix as it only takes a second to replace any part and it sure beats matches.

Wow, yet another reason why I love this thread. I've had lighter falure before and this is the fix. Smart and weight is non-issue. Thanks.:sun

Seeker
02-09-2006, 02:21
That's a trail stunt, and a great way to get someone badly burned or killed.

how do you figure? the only difference between regular gasoline and 'white gas' is the additives that simply gum up your stove faster than one 'designed' to burn unleaded gas... it's not inherently 'safer' just because it's white gas. the only design change is a bigger feeder hose that enables impurities to get all the way through... like in the msr whisperlite and whisperlite international... $$ bucks more for a larger hose...

Seeker
02-09-2006, 02:23
MOWGLI,
White gas and unleaded gasoline are for stove purposes, the same fuel. The unleaded gas has some additives that will clog generator in white gas appliances prematurely, but its no more dangerous to use than Coleman fuel. I think if you check with MSR specs and manufacturers of other white gas stoves they will bear that out.

sorry... you beat me to it... didn't mean to step on you...

RITBlake
02-09-2006, 03:23
During my thru I stopped into a Radio Shack (I think it was Front Royal) and bought a lightweight weatherproof radio. It had a clip on the back that was the exact size of my sternum strap. I

Hey slogger, I did the EXACT same thing. Carried my radio like that for 1500 miles. you know what they say about great minds!

Jester2000
02-09-2006, 12:24
. . .that they think alike, and fools seldom differ?

c.coyle
02-09-2006, 12:49
A good place for duct tape storage as well - wrap it around your hiking sticks, can't get anymore convenient than that, but be sure to apply approx the same amount on each pole if you are using two.

I've never understood this. The idea is to minimize weight, consistent with comfort and safety. Especially weight that you pick up and put down repeatedly - footwear and poles being prime examples.

So, why do you want to make your poles, which you pick up and put down hundreds or thousands of times on a hike, even a little heavier?

I just throw a few feet of duct tape in my pack. If you want it handy at all times, wrap some around your water bottle.

lost & found
02-09-2006, 18:36
This tip is for those of you that hang a sleeping pad outside your pack. The plastic bags that your newspaper are delivered in are just the right size to fit over your rolled up thermarests. Just slide one on each end and put it in the stuff sack. It will keep the pad dry. It has worked well for my wife and I for 1,100 miles.

mdionne
02-11-2006, 14:04
This tip is for those of you that hang a sleeping pad outside your pack. The plastic bags that your newspaper are delivered in are just the right size to fit over your rolled up thermarests. Just slide one on each end and put it in the stuff sack. It will keep the pad dry. It has worked well for my wife and I for 1,100 miles.

carry a ridgerest or something made of a similar material. don't carry a stuff sack for it and don't worry about wetness.;)

khaynie
02-11-2006, 14:50
When it's > than or = to freezing out, and you don't want your socks/drawers/pants to be frozen in the a.m., put them under your sleeping pad. This trick helped us out when we blew through the Smokies in the snow last Oct.

Doctari
02-11-2006, 19:11
I think this is turning out to be one of the more helpful treads I have seen.

This may make a good group article.

We are doing just that. Going to combine all the tips from this forum and "words of wisdom" on the articles forums as an article. Should be posted by March 1st 2006 :sun

SOOO, If you have that GREAT idea, post it here or on "words". Be mindful that duplicates may be combined or deleted. The Idea is that we want those tips to be easy to find / read. They will be listed by author, not subject at this time. Down the road that may change as time allows.

Moxie00 & Doctari.

Mr. Clean
02-11-2006, 21:12
Jewelweed, or spotted touch-me-not, when rubbed on poison ivy or bug bites, will take away the itch in a few minutes. A second application sometimes needs to be done. It grows in damp spots, water beads and runs off the leaves, and the orange flowers turn to seed pods that when touched send out a shower of tiny little seeds.

Moxie00
02-11-2006, 21:36
Jewelweed, or spotted touch-me-not, when rubbed on poison ivy or bug bites, will take away the itch in a few minutes. A second application sometimes needs to be done. It grows in damp spots, water beads and runs off the leaves, and the orange flowers turn to seed pods that when touched send out a shower of tiny little seeds.
On the subject of plants to learn before a thru hike. About a day north of Erwin "Arrow" picked a huge bunch of nettles and boiled them for lunch, they were wonderful. In Maine in the late spring fiddleheads make a great native vegtable. In New York I was Northbound and Mr Clean was southbound he and walked into camp with chantrells,(very edable mushrooms). They were a real treat. Just carry some squeeze Parkey, some garlic powder, learn your trail plants, and you can have some great additions to your Ramen and Lipton on your thru hike.

weary
02-11-2006, 22:14
On the subject of plants to learn before a thru hike. About a day north of Erwin "Arrow" picked a huge bunch of nettles and boiled them for lunch, they were wonderful. In Maine in the late spring fiddleheads make a great native vegtable. In New York I was Northbound and Mr Clean was southbound he and walked into camp with chantrells,(very edable mushrooms). They were a real treat. Just carry some squeeze Parkey, some garlic powder, learn your trail plants, and you can have some great additions to your Ramen and Lipton on your thru hike.
I think WhiteBlaze's Mr. Clean is not the Mr. Clean Moxie met. I don't think the mushroom Clean posts, though many posters, including Moxie have met him. In 2000 the mushroom clean attempted a winter traverse of Maine. He didn't really make it, but if you see him ask for details. He has marvelous stories.

BTW section hikes through Maine this winter are being attempted by the president and vice president (Peter Roderick and Laura Flight) of the Maine Chapter, AMC this year. I think they did Route 27 to Route 4, including Saddleback, earlier this week.

Weary

SteveJ
02-12-2006, 00:05
OK, I'll jump in here....

Take a rice mix (I like the zatarin's jambalaya mix), that calls for "bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes". The zatarin's dinners are for 4. I split them in half and bring with a foil packet of chicken.

Bring a pot cozy made of ccf foam. At dinnertime, bring rice mix to boil, and boil for 5 minutes (if I fill my brasslite stove up with ~2 ozs of alkyhol, it'll usually boil for 5 min or so). towards the end of the 5 minutes, put in a foil packet of chicken. After stove burns out (or after 5 mins), put pot in pot cozy for 15 minutes. You'll have a great chicken 'n rice dinner at the end! Tastes much better than the freeze-dried stuff......

Add a little hot sauce, and enjoy!

Steve

Downunda
02-12-2006, 05:30
Don't laugh (I'm a male) but I regularly shaved my legs during my hike so it would be easier for me to spot rogue ticks. Got quite a few laughts from the other hikers... funny thing is that Murphy's law struck in that I got 2 deer ticks on me, one was on my wrist, the other on the back of my hand!

Sandy B
02-12-2006, 09:39
c.coyle said "wrap duct tape on pack" good idea "wrap duct tape on water bottle" IMO a not so good idea.
The reason is condensation from the water causes the tape to be less sticky. Find some thing that you plan to keep dry to wrap duct tape arround (I use a zip lock bag as a wallet, add to it several wraps of tape)

2nd tip, I got some where, TP, find a zip lock that will hold a whole roll, put the roll in the bag and then tear out the cardboard center. If some paper also comes out it will be OK, then flatten the roll, when using, keep the roll in the bag and pull paper from the center of the roll. Keeping it in the bag will help keep your TP dry and less dirty.
Sandy

Mr. Clean
02-12-2006, 17:56
though I've been asked many times. The mushroom hunter lives nearby, I believe, and I hope to meet him some day.

Smile
02-12-2006, 19:43
Jewelweed, or spotted touch-me-not, when rubbed on poison ivy or bug bites, will take away the itch in a few minutes.

Thanks for this info, can you post a photo of this plant?

Topcat
02-12-2006, 19:55
I have duct tape on my water bottle and have never had a problem with the condensation causing the tape to be less sticky. I have to admit, though, that i only ever got to the end of the tape that was attached to the bottle one time ( I always add to it before every trip, replacing what i used on the last trip, if i used any of it).

Duct tape may be the best, multi-purpose tool any person can carry.

neo
02-12-2006, 19:56
my favorite tricks are hammock hanging and freezer bag cooking:cool: neo

Kerosene
02-12-2006, 21:23
Thanks for this info, can you post a photo of this plant?Here (http://images.google.com/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&q=jewelweed) are the results of a Google Image search on "Jewelweed". Of course, seeing a picture has never helped me identify many things in the woods!

jlb2012
02-13-2006, 09:05
some info from USDA plants database for jewelweed: Link (http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=IMCA)

minnesotasmith
02-13-2006, 16:59
1) For dried food mixes that come in cardboard boxes, but are in little plastic bags inside the boxes, do this: remove the plastic bags of ingredients from the boxes, and place them in a Ziploc bag. Cut out the part of the label you need for seeing how much water, etc., to add to the dry mix when cooking, along with what dish the mix makes when prepared. Put the label piece inside the Ziploc bag with the mix bag. Ideally, do this for at least two mixes, only tossing the label piece after you have prepared the last mix.

2) A related technique useful IMO for any small food cans you take on the Trail, such as tuna, oysters, clams, mussels, octopus, etc.: tear off the paper label and/or take the (probably unlabeled) can out of the cardboard box it comes in. With a PERMANENT magic marker, write on BOTH sides of the can exactly what it contains. Then, discard the label/box.

3) Throw in a dispo razor, motel-sized conditioning shampoo, and bar of motel-size soap into each of your maildrops. Pick up your maildrop before getting a shower. No need to worry about buying them in BFEville efore you get your town shower that way.

4) Clothespins (plastic better) are useful for holding bandannas in place, when used to hook the bottoms to your shirt/jacket collar, or simply as weight to discourage the breeze picking up the tips of your bandannas. The flat binder clips sold in office supply places work okay, too; look for the ones that are simply flat wires coated with plastic (similiar to some coat hangers) bent repeatedly like Ws.

5) Boots and shoes dry faster if you take the laces out, use twigs to hold your footwear open, and put rocks under them to angle them toward any sunbeams you may have available. Expect to have to move them frequently to make maximum use of any sun, unless you are in a treeless/bushless field. If you are going to do this, make it one of the first things you do when you get to camp, especially on days there is still direct sunlight.

RockyTrail
02-13-2006, 17:28
Here (http://images.google.com/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&q=jewelweed) are the results of a Google Image search on "Jewelweed". Of course, seeing a picture has never helped me identify many things in the woods!

Thanks for the pics...Funny how Jewelweed is also called "Touch-me-Not" when it's a cure for poison ivy!:)

jlb2012
02-13-2006, 17:34
"touch-me-not" refers to the seed pods - they "pop" when ripe and touched sending seeds is several directions

RITBlake
02-14-2006, 03:44
when you get to the shelter, or stop and set up camp somewhere. First thing to do is to gather water. Don't take off your boots just yet. If the water source is uphill or down a muddy hill, the last thing you want to be doing is walking that distance in flip flops. So leave your boots on for another 10 minutes and gather a TON of water. That way u only have to make one trip and you can relax the rest of the night

themooseisloose
02-14-2006, 21:57
As I recall, the sun is only over the equator on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (much like the sun is over the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn on the solstices). In fact, that's the definition of an equinox.

That said, the-hour-hand-on-the-watch trick has worked for me (and although I've been to the equator several times, I never thought to use it there...).

KirkMcquest
02-14-2006, 22:54
I don't know if this ones been posted already but keeping plenty of talcum powder is key. At the end of the day, I always take all hiking clothes off ( especially base layer in cold weather), and dry off completely before putting fresh layers on. Talcum powder is essential for drying off EVERYWHERE. I always keep a set of sleeping clothes and never mix with my hiking stuff( clothes get damper than you realize when hiking).

Talcum powder can also be used in your hair to keep it from getting greasy and gross. Dry shampoos all have talc as one of their main ingredients. It really works.

themooseisloose
02-15-2006, 10:13
I sometimes have a bit of a weak stomach so I often bring along two of the chewable Pepto Bismol tablets. They're tiny and while I haven't weighed them, I assume they weigh a couple of grams or so.

khaynie
02-15-2006, 10:28
I don't believe this has been posted yet but if it has forgive me.

When throwing your rope over a tree limb to hang your food bag, wrap a rock up with your bandana and tie the rope around the bandana. This insures the rope will not come off the rock. Auggie showed me this trick in the 100 mile wilderness. It works great!

jlb2012
02-15-2006, 10:48
I don't believe this has been posted yet but if it has forgive me.

When throwing your rope over a tree limb to hang your food bag, wrap a rock up with your bandana and tie the rope around the bandana. This insures the rope will not come off the rock. Auggie showed me this trick in the 100 mile wilderness. It works great!

Another option if you use soda bottles for water bottles is to tie the rope to the soda bottle neck and adjust the weight of the bottle by adding/drinking the water. I use a constrictor knot to tie the rope to the bottle - fast to tie and it does not come loose in the throwing. I find it easier to throw the bottle accurately than to throw the rock accurately.

TN_Hiker
02-15-2006, 11:07
Another option if you use soda bottles for water bottles is to tie the rope to the soda bottle neck and adjust the weight of the bottle by adding/drinking the water. I use a constrictor knot to tie the rope to the bottle - fast to tie and it does not come loose in the throwing. I find it easier to throw the bottle accurately than to throw the rock accurately.

You can also use the jug knot for your soda bottles which has the advantage of creating a "handle"

Kerosene
02-15-2006, 11:10
When throwing your rope over a tree limb to hang your food bag, wrap a rock up with your bandana and tie the rope around the bandana.CAUTION: Be careful of the rock swinging back towards you after it clears the branch! I was using a larger-than-normal rock, and it came flying back at me fast enough to break my lower leg if it had hit me!

"ME & U"
02-15-2006, 13:52
We have a couple:
After Aron Rolston hacked off his arm with a dull leatherman I switched to a steel backed razor blade which I wrapped in a Motrin foil and stuffed into my first aid kit. I have no need for a knife now since the only thing I cut in the forest is the cheese. This should make for a swift and clean cut...

We wrap our trekking poles at the handles to form a tripod to hang our packs on, between our hammocks. Her's on her side, mine on mine. This keeps them off the ground, dry, and slug free! The rope doubles as a guy line.

We use rubbing alcohol for all our hygenic needs (most anyway). In the long run, we found it keeps stank at bay, toughens your feet, and the dry skin thing goes away. Also, it doubles as our stove fuel. Save it guys, tooth paste is for teeth.

Tank on water to keep cramps at bay

Use your pasta water to make a soup.

Paint ball containers make for grreat cracker or cookie holders. Folgers coffee containers work too but are bulkier. I use a folgers container to store my Hiker pro in when I use it. It's perfect for collecting water under a trickle and the filter fits nicely.

Oh ya...teach your honey how to use the stove:D

rickb
02-15-2006, 14:34
1. Keep your stuff in exactly the same spot in your backpack each and every trip. In my case, my tent poles are ALWAYS tucked on the front right hand corner, for example. Makes it esier to find stuf, and more important it makes it much more obvious to notice if anything is missing.

2. A very common trick on the trail used to be to take a discarded coke can and cut a door in it to make a reflective candle lantern.

3. When weight isn't such an issue, carry a small recorder with several owl calls and a decent flashlight. When you hear one way off in the distance, call him right into your camp.

4. In Maine, the Gray Jays will be common place. Be sure to go hiking with someone who is unfamiliar with their personalities. WHen you see one, stop in the middle of the Trail and raise you arms to the sky proclaiming you are the beastmaster, and lord of the Northern forest. Let you partner conclude that you are a raging idiot, but don't budge an inch and make sure she is watching you. Then get the last laugh.

veteran
02-15-2006, 18:03
For duct tape I find this small package is all I need and you don't
have to wrap on anything.

http://www.duckproducts.com/products/detail.asp?catid=1&subid=1&plid=8

I use a gas level indicator cut to fit the fuel canister so I can tell how much
gas is left.

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/lp-gas/propane-tank-level-indicator.htm

Tinker
02-15-2006, 18:11
This is not my idea, but I read on here some where that wood hook screws would be great for hanging stuff on when you get to the shelters or on trees to hang your water bag or semi-light stuff. They are defently going in my pack this time. They dont weigh nothing and I think I would use them.

Tie a light rope around a tree with "S" hooks permanently attached to it to hang things on, if you must. Please don't go screwing hooks into trees. Screwing them into shelters is a good way to snag another shelter occupant, too. Not advised.

RockyTrail
02-15-2006, 18:18
For those of you that use propane/butane canister stoves (i.e. powermax, etc) weigh a full can on a postage scale and write the weight on the bottom with a sharpie. Then weigh a similar empty one and write that empty weight on the bottom as "xx oz E.W."

Then after a trip you can easily tell exactly how full the can is, and decide if you need to bring another. You can even keep a running log of weight on the bottom of the can. BTW I got this idea from reading the weight stencils on the side of military airplanes...

I use my pepsi stove except in really cold wx, so the canister stove doesn't get used that often and this helps to know how much fuel you have.

jlb2012
02-15-2006, 18:19
Tie a light rope around a tree with "S" hooks permanently attached to it to hang things on, if you must. Please don't go screwing hooks into trees. Screwing them into shelters is a good way to snag another shelter occupant, too. Not advised.

Something similar is to take a spare shoe lace and a light weight 'biner or minibiner - tie the boot lace into a loop with a bowline knot - double the loop over and hook the 'biner into the doubled loop - for small trees wrap the doubled loop around the tree and hook in the 'biner - for larger trees pull one side of the doubled loop around the tree and hook in the 'biner - fine tune by twisting the 'biner and shoe lace loop before hooking pack or whatever onto the 'biner.

Skidsteer
02-15-2006, 18:33
I found a very small(@3"x4"), flat, zippered nylon pouch with a small plastic 'biner attached to one corner. I use it to store I.D., credit card, car keys, etc. I clip the 'biner to one of the zippers on my top pocket, stuff it inside, and zip it up. It makes it easy to get it out of my pack without a long search, and the pouch fits easily into the pocket of my pants or shorts-just like a wallet.

Tinker
02-15-2006, 18:35
Or even better, if it's going to be that cold, boil enough water at dinner time to make a hot water bottle. Put it in your sleeping bag while you eat, then crawl into the warmth. I usually put a sock over mine. It holds the heat longer, keeps me from burning my toes, and absorbs any minor leakage.


This is an awesome thread :clap

That's what I'll be doing in Georgia this March. In warm weather, I ditch the Nalgene polycarbonate bottle and carry Gatorade bottles and/or Nalgene Cantenes/Platypus, etc.
Don't pour boiling water into a white Nalgene. They get brittle and crack.

Now my tip - put a dab of hand sanitizer (contains mucho alcohol) on an Esbit tab in windy weather. Starts them every time.

Tinker
02-15-2006, 18:46
If you, like me, put duct tape on your bottles, use a marker to put your name on the tape. True, it'll be gone if you need the tape, but in the time being, you may be the only one in the shelter who knows which water bottle is his/hers.

In the above response, there is mention of putting your hot water bottle Nalgene in a sock to keep it from "burning" your feet. Good idea.

Also, if your socks are wet, stuffing a hot Nalgene in them will dry them much more quickly than putting them in your sleeping bag on your body.

irritable_badger
02-15-2006, 18:57
What do youn do with them once you catch them??

Best fillets ever.

Skidsteer
02-15-2006, 19:13
Best fillets ever.

And the feathers have decent loft. Not quite as good as goose down but...I hear it keeps the mice away from your sleeping bag.

irritable_badger
02-15-2006, 19:21
And the feathers have decent loft. Not quite as good as goose down but...I hear it keeps the mice away from your sleeping bag.

See. Killing of owls should be considered as conservation, not hunting, think of all the different applications. :D

dje97001
02-15-2006, 21:20
Not that it is a big deal, but we've avoided the sticky glue-residue on the bottles/poles by wrapping duct tape around a disposable straw (you can always trim the straw to fit)... when you are low, just throw it out and get another one from any where that sells soda.

Skidsteer
02-15-2006, 21:29
See. Killing of owls should be considered as conservation, not hunting, think of all the different applications. :D

If you had signed your post "McQuest" and I "Longshanks" this thread would be 15 pages long by now.:D

Fiddler
02-15-2006, 21:30
If you cook with alcohol and want to put your name on your water bottles, poles, etc. don't use a regular marker. Get a paint pen at a hardware store, about the same size but got a spring-loaded tip and filled with oil-based paint. Costs about 2 bucks. The reason is the marker ink, even the best permanent, comes off very easily with alcohol as well as some other solvents. Never know when you might have an accidental fuel spill.

Fiddler
02-15-2006, 21:41
Everyone has probably heard about getting a scrap piece of tyvek from a building site to use as a footprint, or ground cloth. But it is usually quite stiff. Take it to a laundromat (for the front loading commercial washer) and wash it. Hot water, don't need any soap. This doesn't change the toughness or waterproofing in any way, but it will make it as soft as a bedsheet. Much easier to handle and fold back up.

Doctari
02-15-2006, 23:35
Hopefully by 03/01/06 I will have combined Trail tricks & words of wisdom (& a few other hints from other forums) into one bag of tricks type article. So, if you have a burning hint or trail trick to post please do so.

After March we can still add those great tips of course, but why wait?

Thanks for all the great tips everyone. I for one have learned much.

Doctari.

LostInSpace
02-16-2006, 00:36
Everyone has probably heard about getting a scrap piece of tyvek from a building site to use as a footprint, or ground cloth. But it is usually quite stiff. Take it to a laundromat (for the front loading commercial washer) and wash it. Hot water, don't need any soap. This doesn't change the toughness or waterproofing in any way, but it will make it as soft as a bedsheet. Much easier to handle and fold back up.

Does washing it in a machine cause it to shrink at all? I suppose if you are taping two pieces together, you should wash it first before using the tape.

Fiddler
02-16-2006, 00:47
Does washing it in a machine cause it to shrink at all? I suppose if you are taping two pieces together, you should wash it first before using the tape.
Doesn't shrink even a little bit. Tyvek comes in 8 or 10 foot widths, on long rolls. Unless you got a really huge tent I see no need to tape 2 pieces together. But if you do I think it should be washed first so the tape don't come loose in the machine.

LostInSpace
02-16-2006, 02:18
Doesn't shrink even a little bit. Tyvek comes in 8 or 10 foot widths, on long rolls. Unless you got a really huge tent I see no need to tape 2 pieces together. But if you do I think it should be washed first so the tape don't come loose in the machine.

Thanks for the info. I'll try washing it. I have a roll of Tyvec that is only 3' wide. That's why I'm using tape.

Peacock
02-16-2006, 02:28
An easy way to stabilize your canister stove...push a tent stake or two in the ground then wrap a velcro strap (Home Depot,Lowes) around the fuel canister and stakes. Think of the time you'll save looking for that perfectly flat rock!

jlb2012
02-16-2006, 09:02
Doctari - here is a link to an old thread I started with some ideas that might be useful in the article : http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=120

dje97001
02-16-2006, 09:29
An easy way to stabilize your canister stove...push a tent stake or two in the ground then wrap a velcro strap (Home Depot,Lowes) around the fuel canister and stakes. Think of the time you'll save looking for that perfectly flat rock!

WOW great idea. Now if only I had a canister stove...:-?

ScottP
02-16-2006, 13:53
If it's too cold to dry items outside socks can be dried by hanging them in your crotch or armpits--both of these areas emit a lot of heat.

irritable_badger
02-16-2006, 13:55
If it's too cold to dry items outside socks can be dried by hanging them in your crotch or armpits--both of these areas emit a lot of heat.
OK. I can understand how guys are supposed to hang socks in their crotch, but what about women.....

jlb2012
02-16-2006, 14:05
just stick your socks in your pockets if you have pockets in whatever you are sleeping in

KirkMcquest
02-16-2006, 14:16
If you had signed your post "McQuest" and I "Longshanks" this thread would be 15 pages long by now.:D

So true. Must be our predilection for infamy, or the human need for 'villainizing'. Whatever the case may be, even Mcquest can not condone the killing of owls.

KirkMcquest
02-16-2006, 14:17
If it's too cold to dry items outside socks can be dried by hanging them in your crotch or armpits--both of these areas emit a lot of heat.

And alot of sweat

ed bell
02-16-2006, 15:10
Must be our predilection for infamy
You mean that you two actually have an agenda here? Wow, I'm stunned.;)
As for "villainizing", my being from the south is getting in the way of understanding that word.;) On a serious note though, good to see you adding helpful info here lately. This is a particularly good thread.:sun

LostInSpace
02-16-2006, 16:52
Doesn't shrink even a little bit. Tyvek comes in 8 or 10 foot widths, on long rolls. Unless you got a really huge tent I see no need to tape 2 pieces together. But if you do I think it should be washed first so the tape don't come loose in the machine.

Today I washed a Tyvek footprint that I had already made in my home top-loading washing machine. It was made of two pieces taped together using Tyvek brand tape. I used hot water with a slow agitate and spin cycle. The tape held, and the washing machine seems to have not had any adverse effect. It came out great! I appreciate that idea.

I often carry a small 3' square piece of Tyvek that I use as a makeshift tablecloth, butt pad, and door mat.

Doctari
02-16-2006, 19:55
Doctari - here is a link to an old thread I started with some ideas that might be useful in the article : http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=120

Thanks.

Good stuff Ill be sure to add it in.

Doctari.

Downunda
02-16-2006, 22:01
IMO this has been the best and most informative forum topic in the 7 years I've been following AT forums. Lots of great ideas for both novice and experienced hikers alike!

Moxie00
02-16-2006, 22:47
Another use for a common product, Purchase any strong smelling after shave lotion from the dollar store. Now take a tampax, soak it in the after shave. Now using the string tie it to your tent, food bag, or anything you wish to keep small animals away from. I don't know if it will work for bears but racoons, skunks, and other small animals can't stand the smell of cheap aftershave and the tampax is a very absorbant carier and has a nice convient string to attach it. Soaked with deet and attached to your hiking boot laces it not only may keep tics off your legs but will also give strangers someting to open the conversation when you walk into a shelter at night.

Skidsteer
02-16-2006, 23:01
Another use for a common product, Purchase any strong smelling after shave lotion from the dollar store. Now take a tampax, soak it in the after shave. Now using the string tie it to your tent, food bag, or anything you wish to keep small animals away from. I don't know if it will work for bears but racoons, skunks, and other small animals can't stand the smell of cheap aftershave and the tampax is a very absorbant carier and has a nice convient string to attach it. Soaked with deet and attached to your hiking boot laces it not only may keep tics off your legs but will also give strangers someting to open the conversation when you walk into a shelter at night.

I expect it would lead to an "interesting" trail name! I''ll pass on that one, Moxie! :D

Jack Tarlin
02-16-2006, 23:15
A small wad of damp tobacco pressed against the wound stops bee stings from hurting and cuts down on swelling.

I know it sounds crazy, but it works.

lobster
02-16-2006, 23:39
Speaking of unleaded fuel in a bottle. I love the look of the gas station attendant when you fill up for 6 cents!

Sly
02-16-2006, 23:40
Why Baltimore Jack? I can see Jim Jack or Camel Jack, but Baltimore Jack? Who would have thunk it?

bobgessner57
02-16-2006, 23:44
Crush some jewel weed and rub on the itchy places after you blunder into stinging nettles. Jewel weed generally seems to be available when needed.

Urine or a plaster of urine and mud will take the pain from bee stings. Onion also works, but I don't often have a slice of fresh onion in the backcountry.

Krewzer
02-17-2006, 00:46
To light your alcohol stove, pick up a handy twig and dip it in the alcohol. Then light it like a match and use it to light your stove.

When hanging your food bag on the lines in crowded shelters or gear on the bear cable systems in some campsites, use a lightweight carabiner to hook on with. You can easily get your bag or pack off without having to untangle from everyone else.

jlb2012
02-17-2006, 08:53
one way to keep your shoes from getting untied - use a strong cord lock instead of tieing the shoes and tuck the ends down into your shoe to keep them out of the way - works best with thin flat laces

Skidsteer
02-17-2006, 08:59
one way to keep your shoes from getting untied - use a strong cord lock instead of tieing the shoes and tuck the ends down into your shoe to keep them out of the way - works best with thin flat laces

Or just tie the two ends of the lace as usual after you cinch the cord lock.

Kerosene
02-17-2006, 10:18
A small wad of damp tobacco pressed against the wound stops bee stings from hurting and cuts down on swelling.My grandfather did this for my brother after he was swarmed by a nest of bees. It worked wonders.

Nearly Normal
02-17-2006, 10:29
Carry a plastic table mat for a dry spot to sit.
Pete

Gray Blazer
02-17-2006, 10:34
A small wad of damp tobacco pressed against the wound stops bee stings from hurting and cuts down on swelling.

I know it sounds crazy, but it works.


Works for scorpion bites, also (Fl Scorpions).

Moxie00
02-17-2006, 10:57
A small wad of damp tobacco pressed against the wound stops bee stings from hurting and cuts down on swelling.

I know it sounds crazy, but it works.
Whenever one of our goats got worms we would feed it a couple of Lucky Strikes. Cleaned them right out. I imagine Camels would work as well and could be used on thru-hikers with worms as well.

Fiddler
02-17-2006, 12:06
A small wad of damp tobacco pressed against the wound stops bee stings from hurting and cuts down on swelling.

I know it sounds crazy, but it works.
Another trick with tobacco: If you wear glasses and are in the rain and can't see very good rub the lenses with tobacco. This will cause the rain to run off the glasses somewhat like a RainEx treatment for an auto windshield. Not perfect, but better.

Peacock
02-18-2006, 01:19
Tobacco as Entertainment This will be forever known as the AT PEEP SHOW. You'll need a metal (stainless) spoon and tobacco. First,spread your index and middle fingers and take a small wad of damp tobacco and place it in between. Now close your fingers together and bend them. Get your spoon ready (back of the spoon facing you).Place the spoon in front of your knuckles.Gaze into the spoon as you slowly open your fingers. (resemblance to Don King unintenional)

greentick
02-18-2006, 01:47
carry a ridgerest or something made of a similar material. don't carry a stuff sack for it and don't worry about wetness.;)

To keep an externally packed/strapped ridgerest (or equivalent) pad dry/clean fold it lengthwise with the sleeping surface on the inside. Then S-roll it into a square or rectangle, whichever works best for your pack, with the "peak" of your lengthwise fold "up."

Frolicking Dinosaurs
02-18-2006, 08:19
This is the most informative thread I've ever seen. Thanks to Moxie (soon to be renamed Hikes with Tampons :D ) for starting it.

Moxie00
02-18-2006, 20:53
A trick for trail maintainers; rather than paint all your blazes a good substitute is cut a white gallon clorox bottle into 2 x 6 inch strips. To help night hikers put a small piece of white scotch reflective tape on each strip. With a sharpie you can even put a small N or S on the strips depending on which side of the tree they go on. Staple the strip to the tree. Enviromently paint is better but where trees have rough bark or on wooden rails, steps or sign posts the plastic blazes seem to work just fine.

weary
02-18-2006, 21:21
A trick for trail maintainers; rather than paint all your blazes a good substitute is cut a white gallon clorox bottle into 2 x 6 inch strips. To help night hikers put a small piece of white scotch reflective tape on each strip. With a sharpie you can even put a small N or S on the strips depending on which side of the tree they go on. Staple the strip to the tree. Enviromently paint is better but where trees have rough bark or on wooden rails, steps or sign posts the plastic blazes seem to work just fine.
You say you don't have a ruler. Use a dollar bill as a template. It's so close that no one will notice, whether the blaze is painted or is simply a patch from a milk jug.

Weary

Jeff
02-19-2006, 13:45
Carry an extra tent stake....you're going to lose one every hike!!

Cheesewhiz
02-19-2006, 13:52
I put a small once wrap of duct tape on the head end of my HH so when in the snake skins, it is easy for set-up.

Jester2000
02-20-2006, 12:40
You say you don't have a ruler. Use a dollar bill as a template. It's so close that no one will notice, whether the blaze is painted or is simply a patch from a milk jug.

Weary

Better yet, take that dollar and go buy a ruler.

jlb2012
02-20-2006, 14:12
wrt to painted blazes I wonder why more clubs don't touch up old "expanded" blazes by edging the 2x6 blaze area with black or brown to cover over the old expanded paint - I wound think that would look better and be somewhat easier than scraping the old blaze off to repaint

weary
02-20-2006, 16:14
wrt to painted blazes I wonder why more clubs don't touch up old "expanded" blazes by edging the 2x6 blaze area with black or brown to cover over the old expanded paint - I wound think that would look better and be somewhat easier than scraping the old blaze off to repaint
That looks okay only if you can use paint that comes close to matching the bark of the tree. Otherwise it just emphasizes the past mistake.

As for Hog's suggestion that one buy a ruler, rather than use a dollar bill as a template, that's a great idea! I'll do it the next time I find an office supply store on the trail.

Weary

Klezmorim
02-20-2006, 16:51
Use it instead of smelly, bear-baitin', where-do-I-spit toothpaste. Just dab a damp toothbrush in a small amount of it and scrub away!

Use it as an underarm deodorant. Pat it on after you clean up and you'll be set for a couple days.

Use it to remove stains from cookware. Make a paste by adding some water and it makes a great polishing compound.

bfitz
02-20-2006, 17:33
My tip is using WalMart-style plastic bags over wet socks after you have gotten your socks and shoes wet and still need to hike on. Socks dry quicker and the soaking wet shoes don't seem to be as uncomfortable.

Sky Rider
(walessp)
I go to subway and ask for a bunch of plastic sandwich sleeves...they're shaped like socks almost and work great. Except I put them on before my socks get wet and they stay dry...

Kerosene
02-20-2006, 18:55
I put them on before my socks get wet and they stay dry...My sweaty feet would just love this improvised sauna!

Blissful
02-20-2006, 21:50
I'd worry about Athlete's foot forming by encasing feet in plastic, esp if you're feet are wet. You don't need feet cracking and itching. They need to breathe.

My Salomon Canyon GTX Gortex boots work for me. Love 'em! :)

weary
02-20-2006, 21:58
I'd worry about Athlete's foot forming by encasing feet in plastic, esp if you're feet are wet. You don't need feet cracking and itching. They need to breathe. ...
Encasing feet is not a problem for a few hours, even an afternoon. Just don't keep them encased 24 hours or more, certainly not days at a time. Remember, a successful hike requires moderation in all things.

Weary

Turbo Joe
02-20-2006, 23:00
1. Carry 15 - 20 feet of twine or nylon string. Makes a great clothesline in camp and weighs nothing.

2. Keep your camera handy - such as in your water bottle pouch - so you won't miss great but fleeting shots of wildlife, etc.

3. Keep a journal and take tons of pictures - you'll thank yourself later. dont forget photo logs

Turbo Joe
02-20-2006, 23:03
note that if you are a northbounder when you wake up in the morning the sun will always be on your right as you are walking. some people last year did not realize this and accidentally became a 2.5kmiler

SGTdirtman
02-21-2006, 02:04
Does anyone fish on the trail? last year i decided to try.... I wrapped some fishing line around a little 35mm film canister and put some hooks inside the canister... when i stopped at a lake for lunch or something id cut some line and throw a couple hooks out in the water with worms i found by the bank, in a matter of minutes i cought a few sunfish and fried them up for lunch. you can usually find some food in your pack to use as bait if you dont feel like digging for worms, sunfish eat pretty much anything

gave me something to do while sitting down and a nice meal with fresh meat that took basicly no time at all and only envolved putting a tiny 35mm film canister in my pack. (the fishing line also has a million other uses on the trail, great for sewing, makes a nice close line, 20lb test line is strong enough to use as a boot lace in a pinch)

Turbo Joe
02-21-2006, 10:30
Interesting. It's exactly the opposite. And what to do if you are ON the equator? if you can afford to fly or hike to the equator then you can spend 2 bucks on a compass

Turbo Joe
02-21-2006, 10:32
Does anyone fish on the trail? last year i decided to try.... I wrapped some fishing line around a little 35mm film canister and put some hooks inside the canister... when i stopped at a lake for lunch or something id cut some line and throw a couple hooks out in the water with worms i found by the bank, in a matter of minutes i cought a few sunfish and fried them up for lunch. you can usually find some food in your pack to use as bait if you dont feel like digging for worms, sunfish eat pretty much anything

gave me something to do while sitting down and a nice meal with fresh meat that took basicly no time at all and only envolved putting a tiny 35mm film canister in my pack. (the fishing line also has a million other uses on the trail, great for sewing, makes a nice close line, 20lb test line is strong enough to use as a boot lace in a pinch)
tried last year i converted my leki pole into a rod using a reel hose clamps and rod eyelets did't catch anything however. the leki poles don't bend soo easliy.

bfitz
02-21-2006, 13:56
Originally Posted by Blissful
I'd worry about Athlete's foot forming by encasing feet in plastic, esp if you're feet are wet. You don't need feet cracking and itching. They need to breathe. ...
A little wet and sweaty is better than totally soaked and wrinkled...at the end of the day get out your rubbing alcohol and dry off your feet with it and you're good to go.

bfitz
02-21-2006, 13:57
Plus the gore-tex just keeps the water in the boot after it comes in over the top in heavy rain....

Fiddler
02-21-2006, 18:34
To remove ticks easily (but this is one more thing to carry) get a very small bottle and fill it with turpentine. A little dab with a Q-tip, cloth, or finger placed on the tick's rear end causes it to back out in just a few seconds.

robanna
02-21-2006, 19:56
If you're a light sleeper, try ear plugs. If that with out them, I take notice of every little sound (tarp rustling, branches breaking in the distance) and I get to sleep faster.

A warm bottle of hot cocco in you sleeping bag keep you warm and make a nice 3am snack.

Lugnut
02-21-2006, 20:24
A warm bottle of hot cocco in you sleeping bag keep you warm and make a nice 3am snack.

If the bears don't take it away from you first! :D

mdionne
02-22-2006, 14:03
bandana tied to my shoulder strap to wipe sweat from my brow. also kept my journal on my maps.

Twofifteen
02-22-2006, 15:26
Instead of a pillow or a lumpy bag of clothes, I stuff my longsleeve fleece inside its left arm. It's soft, warm and just the right firmness.

BTW, I'm the guy on the trail with the oversized left arm.:D

Fiddler
02-22-2006, 17:14
If you must leave your pack where little critters might get into it looking for goodies at night, leave all the zippers and other closures open if this is practical. Better to have a little gorp taken than have holes chewed through the pack.

leeki pole
02-22-2006, 18:05
Shoes and boots dry much faster on their sides than on the soles. Don't know why, but they do.

Skidsteer
02-22-2006, 18:40
Shoes and boots dry much faster on their sides than on the soles. Don't know why, but they do.

Yup, the same way a bottle dries out faster on it's side, and I don't know why either.

Tin Man
02-22-2006, 20:05
Shoes and boots dry much faster on their sides than on the soles. Don't know why, but they do.

especially when placed near, but not too near, a nice fire.

swift
02-22-2006, 20:54
Newspaper. Best stuff there is to dry shoes when youre in town. Stuff em full and change often. The boots/shoee can get crispy dry within 24 hours as long as you keep dry paper in them

irritable_badger
02-22-2006, 21:13
If you are in a place to score a baby diaper or two you can cram one in your boot. It makes an instant difference and if you leave it in there a while it will get 'em super dry.

You can cut the diapers up for easier packing if you wanted to carry some but they are fairly heavy and only work once.

saimyoji
02-22-2006, 21:26
If you are in a place to score a baby diaper or two you can cram one in your boot. It makes an instant difference and if you leave it in there a while it will get 'em super dry.

You can cut the diapers up for easier packing if you wanted to carry some but they are fairly heavy and only work once.

Can't you just wring them out?

irritable_badger
02-22-2006, 21:31
Not really. The silica or whatever they put in there turns to a funky gel when it gets saturated. I don't know how to extract it and I doubt the diaper manufactuers would put a multi-use component in diapers. They seem pretty intent on selling as many as possible.

Hikerhead
02-22-2006, 22:01
To remove ticks easily (but this is one more thing to carry) get a very small bottle and fill it with turpentine. A little dab with a Q-tip, cloth, or finger placed on the tick's rear end causes it to back out in just a few seconds.

Would the alcohol for my stove do the same thing?

Skidsteer
02-22-2006, 22:06
Would the alcohol for my stove do the same thing?

Yeah, but you must use a windscreen in cold weather. :D

Fiddler
02-22-2006, 22:57
Would the alcohol for my stove do the same thing? Referring to tick removal:
I don't know. I never tried alcohol on them.

saimyoji
02-22-2006, 23:08
Haven't seen it mentioned but, you need to light that alcohol after covering the ticks. Alcohol doesn't kill them reliably, but FIRE will. :banana

mambo_tango
02-23-2006, 01:54
Actually I have heard of using a blown out match to get rid of ticks.

garybaribeau
02-23-2006, 11:33
:-? I'm new to all of this and have managed to interest my 13 year old son too. Thanks for all the great info. We're learning lots from this site and we've ordered some reading material. Hoping to do the GA part some time this year. I'm living in SC now but originally from ME. I'm about a 5 hour drive from Springer Mt. Hoping to be able to complete the GA part in 7-9 days. I'll be 45 next month and currently trying to quit a 30 year Marlboro habit. Do I have a chance in hell of doing this? The ?? was concerning the GA trek, not the smoking... thanks for any and all info.

Gary

Lone Wolf
02-23-2006, 11:37
GA in 7-9 days? Most certainly. Have at it.

garybaribeau
02-23-2006, 11:54
Thanks for the encouragement. How about the Marlboro lungs? Are they going to make it with me?

Fiddler
02-23-2006, 12:43
Thanks for the encouragement. How about the Marlboro lungs? Are they going to make it with me?
Just take it slow and easy, and don't take any Marlboros with you. Quite possible you will totally quit while out there. If you feel you must smoke on the hike get a pack of roll-your-own and a pack of papers. At least you will smoke less. And when (if) you start wheezing and breathing hard tell the son "This is what smoking does to you." Both of you may get more benefits from this than just an outdoor experience.

hammock engineer
02-23-2006, 12:47
Concering ticks and matches, I was always told that if you get the match to close to the tick it will explode. Leaving the head in you.

I haven't had a tick in me, just on me. But I do not think I will try the match to get it to back out trick.

The Cheat
02-23-2006, 12:48
If you get a deer tick in you, don't try any method to get it out except for pulling it out with a tweezers. Letting it drop off, burning it, vaseline, etc... will cause it to expel the lyme disease spirochetes into your bloodstream. Pulling it off, it might not get the chance.

Basically, if it backs out on it's own, either because it is done or you've made it very unpleasant, you could be in trouble.

Jester2000
02-23-2006, 13:27
Just take it slow and easy, and don't take any Marlboros with you.

But don't try to bum any off me, or I will, before giving you one, subject you to my poem, "Can I Bum A Cigarette?"

Good luck, though!

Fiddler
02-23-2006, 13:51
This was previously posted on another thread, but I think is should be here as well. To give an idea of what you're dealing with. After you see this, take out a dime and look at it.

The tick that causes Lyme disease (the Deer Tick) is a very small critter. Very easy to miss on a casual inspection. Here's how small they are:
http://www.town.oxford.ma.us/Boh/LymeDisease.htm
They look more like a speck of dirt than anything else.
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SGTdirtman
02-23-2006, 14:08
I may be wrong but i was pretty certain lyme has showed up in wood ticks as well..... :confused:

Fiddler
02-23-2006, 16:40
I may be wrong but i was pretty certain lyme has showed up in wood ticks as well..... :confused:
Hmmm.... Haven't heard about that one. I'll have to check it out.

Just Jeff
02-23-2006, 19:38
Just be sure not to squeeze the tick's body when you pull him out - you'll squeeze the blood back into your body...with the Lyme's baddies. Or so I've heard.

Hikerhead
02-23-2006, 19:58
What about dropping some Deet/bug juice on a tick after it's already attached? It looks like I have some experiments to try out.

Moxie00
02-23-2006, 21:24
:-? I'm new to all of this and have managed to interest my 13 year old son too. Thanks for all the great info. We're learning lots from this site and we've ordered some reading material. Hoping to do the GA part some time this year. I'm living in SC now but originally from ME. I'm about a 5 hour drive from Springer Mt. Hoping to be able to complete the GA part in 7-9 days. I'll be 45 next month and currently trying to quit a 30 year Marlboro habit. Do I have a chance in hell of doing this? The ?? was concerning the GA trek, not the smoking... thanks for any and all info.

Gary
I quit a two pack a day for 37 years cold turkey but it might not work for you because everyone who quits does it his or her own way. My only advice is quit a few days before you hit the trail. Have an unopened pack with you as a security blanket. You will know it is there if you fall off the wagon and you won't be tempted to bum a smoke from another hiker or just ask for a drag. It's been over 10 years for me and I still have my un-opened "security" pack. Once I decided to quit I have never taken even a drag off a cigarette or even some of our home grown "Mt. Vernon Blue" Good luck.:) I have an awful addictive personality and if I quit anyone can.

saimyoji
02-23-2006, 21:55
I quit a two pack a day for 37 years cold turkey but it might not work for you because everyone who quits does it his or her own way. My only advice is quit a few days before you hit the trail. Have an unopened pack with you as a security blanket. You will know it is there if you fall off the wagon and you won't be tempted to bum a smoke from another hiker or just ask for a drag. It's been over 10 years for me and I still have my un-opened "security" pack. Once I decided to quit I have never taken even a drag off a cigarette or even some of our home grown "Mt. Vernon Blue" Good luck.:) I have an awful addictive personality and if I quit anyone can.

This reminds me of Danny Devito in "The War of the Roses" with Kathleen Turner and Mike Douglass. He quits and keeps his last cigarette in a plastic case to remind him, then when the hot babe comes in he goes nuts, smashes the case and starts smoking again. Too funny.

SawnieRobertson
02-24-2006, 21:47
My pillow is normally constructed just before I hit it by putting everything stuffable into a stuff bag, which I use for a pillow. Now I'm planning to use a hammock. Will I need a pillow?

Just Jeff
02-24-2006, 22:03
I like a small neck pillow...it doesn't support my head, just my neck. Otherwise, it kinda strains my neck right at the base of my skull and gives me a headache. Usually a small stuff sack with clothes or my fleece stuffed into its sleeve works well.