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Pennsylvania and its wilderness / water supply is in danger, because of the natural gas industry.
Note: Welcome to the new
Learn the Secrets of Backpacking in a Few Moments!
I would define backpacking as, going out on an outdoor excursion for one or more nights carrying only the necessary survival items needed for the adventure.
- Always have a plan (study the topography, know where the water sources and campsites are & nearest possible evacuation route if someone were to get hurt.
- Tell others (family members & the DCNR) where you are going and when you will be back.
- I would not recommend backpacking alone, however there are a lot of people that do.
YES! I would recommend it, but this is your call. There are all kinds of wildlife out there such as: Black Bears, Raccoons & Mice to name a few (and remember, you are in their home). I would hate to wake up to some animal ravaging my pack or my stuff sack in the middle of the night, especially if it's day one of a three day hike!
- Do not leave any kind of food in your tent or pack when you go to sleep, you do not want to attract any animal to yourself or your equipment, this includes toothpaste (bears like toothpaste).
- Hang your food at least 200 ft. from your campsite.
- Be careful not to spill your food or throw extra food into the woods.
- Clean up your garbage, this too attracts animals and should be hung with your food.
- Wash dirty dishes immediately and store.
- Dispose of dirty water at least 200 ft. from your campsite.
- Cook & prepare your food about 200ft. from campsite (this is not really practical and I have never done this).
- Brush your teeth at least 200 ft. from your campsite (I have never done this either?)
- Create your "port-o-potty" area at least 200 ft. from your campsite.
- 50 ft. of nylon rope
- Carabiners (1 small and 1 large)
- Waterproof, airtight stuff sacks
There are a few basic methods of hanging food out in the wilderness. I will do my best to briefly explain them in the order of 1-4 with four being the most time effective & the lightest.
- Its exactly that! Throw your rope over a tree limb, roughly 15-20 ft. in the air.
- The limb should be thick enough that a bear can't snap it off if he were to step on it & thin enough that a cub can not climb out onto it, but you take what you can get out there!.
- Hook your stuff (food) sack to the rope.
- Pull it up the tree branch
- The optimal position is 5 ft. from top of branch,
- 5 ft. from side of trunk of the tree (make sure it is a big enough tree that a bear can' t knock over!) &
- 10 ft. from the ground
- Tie the loose end of the rope to another tree.
- This is not the recommended way (raccoons and bears are smart & mice can chew) but,
- This is the easiest Method (not the best).
- Throw your rope over one branch (15-20 ft. up) and tie it off,
- Throw the other end of the rope over another branch (15-20 ft. up), pull it taunt & tie it off to base of the tree.
- The second tree should be 15-20 ft. away from the first tree.
- Throw the second rope over the taunt horizontal line you just hung.
- Hook your stuff sack filled with food & garbage to line and pull it up to your horizontal first rope.
- Your food bag should be at least 10 ft. off the ground.
- Tie off the second (food bag) rope to second tree trunk or throw it over the first rope.
- Your food bag rope should be able to move freely on the first rope.
- You will need (2) two stuff sacks with equal weight in them. Obviously food or even rocks to counterbalance the second bag.
- Throw your rope over a tree branch (15-20 ft. up & 5ft. out on the limb).
- Hook your food on the rope.
- Pull your food bag up to the limb or about 5ft. from the top of the limb (depends on tree, the rope and the situation, you will see understand when you actually have to do it).
- Hook the second food bag or rock bag to the rope. Push up as high as you can.
- Stuff the extra rope in it or on the bag, but leave enough dangling down with a loop in the end, so that you can retrieve in the morning with a stick.
- Take a stick and push the second bag up the limb, until the two meet and are counterbalanced on the limb (hence counterbalance method).
- Remember to leave extra dangling so you can retrieve the bag in the morning.
- Throw your rope over a tree limb (roughly 15-20 ft in the air).
- Hook your food sack to the rope using a carabiner.
- Put the rope through the carabiner.
- Pull your food bag up to the top of the tree branch.
- Find a small stick, maybe 3" in length & a 1/2" in diameter.
- Reach up the rope as high as you can with your twig in your hand & tie a clove hitch using the rope. Wrap up any extra rope, but leave enough line dangling down with a loop in the end, so that you can retrieve in the morning with a stick or your hiking pole. Now let go of the rope, the food bag should stop when the carabiner. and the stick meet.
|FYI:||Remember the Tree Specs when hanging your food and garbage: 15-20 ft. up, 5 ft. out & 5 ft. down from the limb. Good Luck! I have also heard of mice running down ropes, so you may even want to punch a hole in the middle of a plastic coffee lid and slide it down the rope to a knot roughly a foot from the food bag.|
|Note:||I recommend you practice each one of these methods prior to the real thing. Guestimating the distances to tie off knots, ropes, stuff sacks may vary depending on the tree, so practice before you use it on the trail.|
Do Your Research
- Always have a plan (study the topography, know where the water sources and campsites are & the nearest possible evacuation route if someone were to get hurt.
- Tell others such as: family members & the DCNR where you are going and when you will be back, including any additional useful information.
- I would not recommend backpacking alone.
- Understand that hiking & backpacking takes a great deal of energy & when you use energy you are burning calories!
- Calories are very important when doing a prolong activity for hours on end.
- High energy foods (carb or fat rich)
- Granola (complex carbs, high calories)
- Oatmeal (complex carbs, great breakfast food)
- Trail Mix (lots of calories, but heavy)
- Peanut Butter (lots of calories, good protein and fat. Also a good emergency food for the added calories)
- Sealed, Non-Perishables or Dehydrated or Foods
- Tuna Packets (good source of protein)
- Dehydrated Meals, great for lunch or dinner, light in weight (Adventurefoods)
- Freeze-Dryed Meals, great for meals, light and taste pretty good (Mountain House)
- Cheese and Cracker Packets (easy)
- Protein Bars (provides protein for repair)
- Meal Replacement Bars (combines carbs & p)rotein for both energy and rebuilding purposes
- Granola Bars (easy
- Beef Jerky (protein, salt and light in weight)
- Jell-o, Pudding or Apple Sauce (tastes good on the trail)
- Crackers (tastes good with tuna or chicken salad)
- Tortillas, Bread or Pitas (great for your tuna, chicken salad or peanut butter and jelly)
- Snack mix or pretzels (adds carbs to the day for energy)
- Fruit Roll-ups or Fruit Snacks (for a quick burst of energy)
- Chai or Hot Chocolate (nice drink other than water and adds calories to your day)
- Water (of course, I generally would say carry around 8-10 oz. per mile depending on terrain)
- Powdered Gatorade (makes a great emergency drink for energy electrolyte balance)
- All of the food and drink that you consume in a day is made up of a calorie (except water and a few other things). Calories are what the body needs to drive itself (make it work) and contain components such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats & water along with other macronutrients such as vitamins & minerals
- The primary purpose of food is to:
- provide the body with essential nutrients it needs to carry out numerous physiological and biochemical functions that support life
- 6 Key Components
- Main source of energy for the body, especially during moderate to strenous activity that is continous
- Complex carbs tend to work better for backpacking. Think of complex carbs as sustained energy, whereas simple carbs are for quick bursts of energy and contain mostly sugars
- Main source of energy for the body, especially during moderate to strenous activity that is continous
- 2nd source of energy, generally utilized for moderate to low levels of activity
- Fats are calorically dense in calories
- Basically two types, saturated (animal fats) & unsaturated (plant fats). Both have a purpose, but try to limit saturated fats in general
- 3rd source of energy that focus on building and repairing tissues, synthesizing hormones, enzymes and other body components
- Food sources are meats, beans and nuts
- Essential Necessity to Life!
- You can live without food for several weeks, you can only live without water for a few days!
- Water helps to rehydrate the body, regulate body temperature and carry out processes of the body
- Vitamins & Minerals
- Macro & Miconutrients that are water soluble and fat soluble in nature
- Are very important for carry out numerous physiological functions
- Found in just about all sources of food.
- Pack accordingly, know the terrain so that you know what and how much food to bring!
- Eat like a bird, all day long. Nibble, nibble, snack, snack, snack
- Your body needs a continuous source of food often to fuel itself, if you do not eat enough you may find yourself not feeling well. This is because you have taxed the body without an adequate source of energy
- I Generally Pack:
- Breakfast, dessert, dring bullet Snack or two
- Lunch, dessert
- Snack or two bullet Dinner, dessert, drink
- Bedtime Snack
- A little extra for myself or another (just in-case)
- Tell someone (friend, family, DCNR) where you are going, when you will be back, how long you will be out, how far you will hike roughly each day and where you plan on camping each night
|Backpack||Book (Lateral Thinking / Trees / Tracks|
|Hiking Poles||Bug Spray / Bug Palm / Skin-So-Soft|
|Pack Rain Cover||Camping Permit (if needed)|
|Lighting||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2||Cell Phone w/charged battery|
|Head Lamp||Compass & Map Tool|
|Led Keychain Light||Digital Camera / Battery / SD Card|
|Matches / Firestarter Sticks||Digital Camera Bag / Tripod|
|Cotton Balls in Vaseline||Dry Bags (Bear Bag & Camera Bag)|
|Tent||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2||GPS w/charged batteries|
|Tent / Rain Fly / Footprint||Guide Book / Topo Map / DCNR Map|
|Tent Poles / Stakes||Gun / Bullets / Holster|
|Hand Sanitizer w/case|
|Hammock||Hiking Book w/pen|
|Fly / Guy Rope||Leatherman|
|Stakes / Bag||License / Gun Permit|
|Sleeping||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2||Mini Playing Cards / Dice Game|
|Camp Pillow||Money / Credit / AAA / Insur. Card|
|Fleece Blanket||MP3 Player w/headphones|
|Sleeping Bag||Rope / Cothesline|
|Sleeping Pad w/stuff sack||Shovel|
|Eating Supplies||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2||Sunglasses w/micro-fleece case|
|Camp Stove||Uploaded Tracks & Waypoints to GPS|
|Camp Stove Fuel Bottle w/fuel||Watch|
|Dish Towel / Dry Towel||Whistle|
|Mess Kit w/extra cup||Clothing||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2|
|Nalgene Bottle||Bandana / Hair Tie|
|Plastic Bags / Garbage Bag / Baggies||Base Layers (Pants / Shirt)|
|Water Filter w/attachments||Clothes for Car & Sneakers|
|Dry Fit Long-sleeved Shirt|
|Food / Drink||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2||Dry Fit Short-sleeved Shirt|
|Apple Sauce / Fruit Cup||Fleece Shirt / Pants / Flannels|
|Banana Bread / Brownies / Treats||Gloves / Ear Cover / Winter Hat|
|Granola or Protein Bars||Hiking Boots|
|Beef Jerky||Hiking Pants w/safety pin|
|Chicken or Tuna Salad||OR Hat / Camo Had|
|Dry Food / Freeze-Dried Meals||Sandals / Camp Shoes|
|Fruit Roll-Up / Fruit Snacks / Sweets||Socks / Sock Liners|
|Gatorade||Underarmour / Columbia Jacket|
|Hot Chocolate or Chai||Underwear / Bra|
|Jelly Packets / Marshmellow||Winter Pants|
|Peta Pockets / Sandwiches||Bathroom Stuff cont..||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2|
|Pretzels / Crackers & Cheese||Glasses w/case|
|Pudding /Jell-O||Ibuprofen / Tylenol|
|Soft Taco Shells / Torillas||Inhaler|
|Trail Mix or Nuts||Mirror|
|Water||Pack Towel w/rip cord|
|Paper Towel for contacts|
|Bathroom Stuff||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2||Snake Bite Kit|
|1st Aid Kit / Safety Pins||Toilet Paper / Tissues|
|Ace Bandage / Knee Brace||Toothbrush / Toothpaste / Floss|
|Benadryl / Hydrocortisone Cream||Tums|
|Deodorant||Wet Wipes / Face Wipes / Packet|
|Extra Contacts / Solution / Case / Bag||Itinerary emailed to Family & DCNR|
|* FYI: This list is just a guide||* Adjust your list accordingly. Hope this helps!|
--> Backpacking Checklist <-- Excel Document for Download
Day Hike Checklist
|Day Pack||1st Aid Kit / Safety Pin|
|Hiking Poles||AAA / Ins. Card / Gun Permit / License|
|Pack Rain Cover||Bandage / Knee Brace|
|Lighting||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2||Cell Phone w/charged battery|
|Batteries||Compass & Map Tool|
|Head Lamp w/batteries||Credit Card / Money|
|Keychain LED light||Elevation Profile (trail specific)|
|Emergency Blanket or Bivy|
|Food Supplies||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2||GPS w/batteries|
|Bags / Black Garbage Bag / Baggies||Guide Book (trail specific)|
|Gatorade or Electrolyte Tablets||Gun / Bullets / Holster|
|Hydration Bladder||Heat Packs|
|Nalgene Bottle||Hiking Book w/pen|
|Spork||Map (Topo & DCNR, trail specific)|
|Water||Matches / Vasoline-dipped Cotton Balls|
|Water Purification Tablets||Multi-purpose Tool|
|Food / Drink||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2||Snake Bite Kit|
|Apple Sauce||Strap Its|
|Beef Jerky||Sunglasses w/soft case|
|Bread||Uploaded Tracks & Waypoints to GPS|
|Chicken or Tuna Salad||Watch|
|Cheese & Crackers||Whistle|
|Fruit Roll-ups or Snacks|
|Granola / Protein Bars||Clothing||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2|
|Jell-O / Pudding||Bandana / Hair Tie / Wristband|
|PB & Jelly||Bug Net|
|Sandwiches (lunch)||Dry-fit Long-sleeved Shirt|
|Soft Taco Shells or Pita Pockets||Dry-fit Short-sleeved Shirt|
|Trail Mix / Nuts||Ear Covers / Beanie / Gloves|
|Fleece Shirt or Flannel / pants|
|Bathroom Stuff||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2||Hiking Boots|
|Benadryl / Hydrocortisone Cream||Hiking Pants w/safety pin|
|Bug Spray / Bug Balm / Skin-So-Soft||Rain Gear|
|Chapstick||OR Hat / Baseball Hat|
|Hand Sanitizer w/holder||Socks / Sock Liners|
|Ibuprofen / Tylenol||Water Shoes (if needed)|
|Pack Towel w/rip cord||Geocaching / Computer Stuff||Wt.oz.||Trip1||Trip2|
|Small Mirror||Digital Camera / Battery / SD Card|
|Toilet Paper / Tissues||Digital Camera Case / Tripod|
|Dry Bag for Camera|
|* FYI: This list is just a guide||Laptop / Power Inverter|
|* Adjust your list accordingly. Hope this helps!||Palm / Geocaching Items|
--> Day Hike Checklist <-- Excel Document for Download
Below you will find various techniques for lacing your boots
to help alleviate foot issues depending on the problem.
<--- Regular Lacing
A typical lace in which your laces are criss-crossed to the top and then tied off.
Heel Slippage --->
To prevent your heel from slipping, criss-cross your laces normally and when you reach the top, form a "lace lock" as shown.
<--- Toe Problems
If you have hammer toes, corns, or nail problems, lace your shoes so the top-box area is lifted. This will help to relieve pressure in that area.
High Arch --->
Lace your shoe so that the shoelace travels in a straight line from eyelet to eyelet. By avoiding the crisscross, you remove pressure points on the tongue of the shoe which often causes pain to the top of the foot.
<--- Narrow Heel and/or Wide Forefoot
Use two sets of short shoelaces, one to lace the bottom three eyelets, and the second to lace the top eyelets. For a good heel fit with no slippage, use the "lace lock" technique at the top.
Pain on the Top of Your Feet --->
If you have pain on the top of your feet, leave a space in the lacing to remove pressue.
* Secure lacing lends itself to a better fit, which improves comfort, performance and safety for hiking
* Generally speaking your hiking boot size will be .5 sizes larger than your sneaker size
* The above information was discovered on the Internet. The author is beyondthetreeline (I think?)
* I found this searching the Internet. Its by a guy named beyondthetreeline.
Questions or Comments?: Please feel free to email me, I would appreciate them, Thanks!
*Please remember, the information posted on this page and all other pages can & probably will change. I assume no liability for accidents happening to, or injuries sustained by, readers who engage in the activities posted on my entire website including links. Remember, you are responsible for your own actions, please understand conditions on the trail, in the woods or on the river can/will change due to mother nature. Please don’t assume I know all there is about such topics, unfortunately I do not. I am just posting my travels and opinions experienced out in the wilderness. I encourage you to read further and look to reliable resources like the PA Game & Fish Commission and the PA DCNR. Thank You.