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Category: Off the Main Roads

Off the Main Roads: Survival steps for your gear …

For most hikers, winter spells the end of the hiking season until the spring thaw brings us back out from our caves. But wait, before you hunker down by the fireplace with a good book, take just a little time out to make sure you put away your gear properly so that it’ll be there […]

Off the Main Roads: Toasty toes: stay warm hiking …

On the last few rescues, a very distinct chill has been in the air. I’ve learned through hard experience that the essence of staying safely warm in the winter wilderness is having proper clothing layers and knowing how to use them effectively. Here’s some info to help keep you toasty while hiking this winter. Why […]

Off the Main Roads: Gambling with gear …

Gambling with gear … It’s the the night before your big backpacking trip. You’ve been a good camper and packed all of your 10-plus essentials, checked the seals on your water bladder and made sure you have enough chocolate Goo packets to feed a small nation. While test-hefting the final weight of your pack, your […]

Off the Main Roads: Rescue me! …

So, you’re lost. You’re not quite sure where you got turned around, but if you just keep going, you’ll probably figure it out, right? Maybe if you follow this stream downhill … didn’t Bear Grylls say something about water leading to civilization? The shadows start to grow around you and the trees that seemed so […]

Off the Main Roads: Making a safe cuppa joe in the high country …

With crisp fall days on the way in the high country, cooking up a mug of some steaming hot coffee on my little MSR stove is pure backpacking heaven. However, a camp stove can also be very dangerous if used carelessly. Here are a few strategies to keep you safe and your tummy satisfied. Check […]

Off the Main Roads: Seasons Change: Fall hiking tips …

The days are still deceptively warm, but the night air carries a crispness that speaks of snow and ice to come. It’s the perfect season for hiking our San Jacinto mountain trails. Here are a few tips that will enhance your enjoyment and safety: Weather Woes A mild autumn day hike can turn uncomfortably cold […]

Off the Main Roads: Beat the heat …

When I started backpacking over two decades ago, I was convinced that packing fresh food was “verboten.” The colossal weight of several extra ounces of avocado on your back were just not worth the delight of savoring it’s creamy green goodness. The hiking gods would never allow such a sin to go unpunished. If you […]

Off the Main Roads: Beat the heat …

It’s getting hot. I noticed this obvious little fact on the Fourth of July as we were running litter races up and down North Circle Drive in all our call-out gear with litters full of girl scouts throwing candy. After the parade we were covered in sweat and very happy to enjoy a cold beverage […]

Off the Main Roads: Out-of-the-box hiking gear …

Over the years, we hikers all accumulate a closet of gear that we know we can depend on. The obvious items are pretty much standard, but what about those cool bits of gear added to our arsenals from outside the normally sanctioned realm of “backpacking gear”? Here’s a list of my own most tried and […]

Off the Main Roads: How to save your own bacon …

Planning on heading out on a hike? Great! Just one thing I’d like you to do first. Look in the mirror. You are looking at the person responsible for your own safety. Got it? Good. Any good Girl Scout knows that the hike starts before leaving the house. Whether it’s a quick trail run, bagging […]

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