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  1. #1
    Registered User goedde2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Bradenton, FL

    Default Tips - Tricks - Helpful ??? Hints - Hopefully

    You might consider labeling your gear, especially hiking poles, camera, phone, etc. Easily lost, forgotten, or misplaced. A self adhering vinyl label attached with name, address, and phone number, will provide the means for recovery by a well intentioned individual who wants the item returned to it's owner, but would otherwise have no idea of who that might be. A Brother P - Touch, accepts several sizes of tapes and works great.

    A small collapsible water bowl comes in handy for clean up, whether it be for your cooking pans, or your personal hygiene. Weighs about an ounce. Seattle Sports makes a nice one, 9" in diameter, 4" high. I think a pet water bowl used for travel would work just as well.

    A collapsible Nalgene canteen, compatible with most water filters such as the Katadyn Hiker Pro, eliminates the need for several trips to the water source, which can sometimes be several hundred yards away. The "pro" model has quick disconnects for the hoses which is very convenient.

    If you are allergic to wasps, yellow jackets, bees, ants, etc., an Epi-Pen (Epinephrine) should be mandatory. An attack can prove fatal, especially when you are miles away from proper medical assistance and an antidote.

    If you carry an iPhone, iPod, or Blackberry, and need a charge when you are miles away from an outlet, there is an alternative. It is the Richard Solo Dexim BluePack S3, portable battery pack. It provides enough power to recharge your phone several times. The S3 provides 2600 mAh, the newer model S8, 3000 mAh. The S3 weighs in at 3.2 oz., less than the phone itself. It has a USB connection so you could charge a computer if need be, and also has a built in flashlight.

    If gnats or flies are a bother, and you don't carry a head net, try using a Bounce fabric softener sheet. I use a simple shower curtain hook and clip it to the daisy chain on my shoulder strap. I also use the same type hook to fasten a bandana, which comes in handy as a brow wipe or handkerchief.

    Wet wipes can be a blessing, but be aware of the extra weight. They are heavy.

    When your core temperature drops, you are in danger of hypothermia, potentially fatal. That means quality breathable rain gear that will keep you dry and warm, can be essential, at least a jacket. Pants, not so much. Remember to dress in layers.

    Also essential is a pack cover or a plastic bag to keep things in your pack dry. An extra layer of protection could be a spare set of clothing in its own separate plastic bag inside your pack, so you can have dry clothes ready when you are finally ready to call a rainy day done.

    A wide brim hat, with a screen strip for ventilation might look goofy, but it will keep the sun off your neck, and the rain less of a problem.

    Replacing your tie out lines with a reflective type is helpful especially on the way back to your site, so you or anyone else can see them easily and doesn't accidentally trip or stumble. An unexpected surge of a Boy Scout troop invading at midnight is a good example. Making a double loop of small bungee cord about a foot long and attaching it to your tent or tarp and then fastening your tie out line to the loop, allows just enough give so the wind can do its thing without causing damage. I use a HH with two tie outs, and a huge 6 point tarp overhead with four tie outs, and it works beautifully. The tarp stays in place, even when the wind blows just a little more than you would like it to.

    As for fastening your tie outs and easily taking up the slack, consider using Lin Lok clam cleats, which come in several different sizes. If that doesn't work for you there is a plastic strip available that fastens to the end of your line. The line then loops around your ground stake and then the plastic strip slides back on to the line with enough tension to take up the slack, and stay in place, securely holding your line.

    There is some controversy about camp shoes, but your feet may need a rest after miles of hiking during the day, and the break also allows your boots or shoes and socks a chance to air out and dry. They provide a safe trip to the water source without fear of cuts or punctures. When showers are available, they provide protection from athletes's foot and/or protection from anything else that is questionable.

    There is also controversy about hiking poles. They do provide a lot of support on the downhills, better balance generally speaking, and on the uphills, you can use your shoulders and arms to give yourself a little boost. It's another personal choice.

    For self portraits when you want yourself in a picture with a beautiful background, and no one is around to take your picture, you might consider using a small plastic tripod a few inches long that has a velcro strap about a foot long attached. You can either expand the three legs and set it on a rock or whatever, or just fasten it to a tree branch, using the velcro strap. Then, attach your camera with the built in screw, set the timer, and make a memory.

    A separate clothes line is very handy but your bear bag line can easily do double duty and save a little extra weight.

    As for luxury (extra weight) items, you might think about a small pillow that ties down to the size of a softball with a built in cord, toenail clippers, a bic lighter, a pair of fleece socks for sleeping with warm feet, small travel mirror for checking for ticks, camp towel, skull cap, or ear plugs for shelter noise. Something else to consider is carrying an extra check or two when a CC is refused.

    To help avoid blisters, wearing a liner sock can help. Also, remember to use a boot or shoe at least one size larger than you normally wear to allow for swelling during the day.

    I know this is a long post, but if you made it this far, I congratulate and thank you for your patience and understanding. Glad to share. Thanks again. Happy hiking.

  2. #2
    Registered User canoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Tyner, NC


    Thank you for your tips

  3. #3
    Registered User Schooley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Saint Charles, MO


    thank you goedde2

  4. #4
    Registered User cliffdiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Greensboro, NC


    Thanks, this was very helpful.

  5. #5


    Great tips, thanks so much and keep them coming!

  6. #6


    Tips from my section last year (Springer to Damascus);
    1. Take it easy, even if you can do 16 miles the first few days with no problems it will catch up to you if you don't take some neros/zeros.
    2. Always pack your pack the same way, or roughly the same anyways. Knowing where everything is supposed to go will help keep from losing gear.

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