Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Definitions: Acute Mountain Sickness

(1) Commonly referred to as "AMS". The mildest and most common form of altitude sickness. It develops when a too-quick ascent outpaces the body's ability to adjust.

Uncommon among hikers and backpackers, it normally happens only well above 5000 feet (1524 m), and does show up as shortness of breath, dizziness, lack of appetite, swollen extremities, insomnia, fatigue, headache, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms.

AMS's cause is unknown but may be due to swollen brain tissue starved of oxygen.

The best way to avoid mountain sickness is to take it easy, drink plenty of water, and allow the body to adjust through a slow ascent.

(2) Psychological disorder arising after months on the trail.

One manifestation is a crazy-sick desire to eat pizza, drink beer, see a movie, and sleep between sheets until well after sunrise.

Another is a crazy-sick desire to remain on the trail permanently, drifting north and south with the seasons, sleeping in vacant lots or under picnic tables, bathing in streams, eating dinner out of plastic bags, and admiring every sunset that happens.

Each type of disorder may begin subtly, but then typically advances rapidly into an acute phase which occasionally becomes permanent.

Some hikers return home and never again set foot on any trail while others disappear forever into the woods, grow increasingly hairy, and eventually lose the power of speech, though they can still whip up supper over even the tiniest of stoves, and seem to be aware of what they've become, and like it.

We few, we grumpy few, we rumply-hat geezers say to you Effort or Eff it. No sniveling.

Source: How to talk in the woods.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fresh, September 25

 Fubiz:  2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest.  A perfect occasion for people who are passionate about nature to enjoy unusual or majestic scenes.  Read this...


 Adventure Journal:  'Ghost Forests' Appear As Rising Seas Kill Trees.  As seas continue to rise they seem certain to continue killing coastal forests, leaving only the specters of logs behind.  Read this...


 The Gear Caster:  A Hammock-Specific Sleeping Pad.  Lightweight and compact, the Hammock V is easy to pack and inflates faster than you can hang your hammock.  Read this...


 Section Hiker:  Double Layer or Single Layer Backpacking Hammocks? How to Choose Between Them.  How do you decide which hammock to get and what are the consequences of choosing one type over the other?  Read this...


 Hikers For Life:  Hiking Backpacks.  This is Part 1 of a 3-part series about hiking backpacks.  Read this...


 Hiking in Finland:  The Week in Review 249.  "Real adventure is not polished. It's not the result of some marketing budget, there's no hashtag for it." — Kyle Dempster  Read this...


 India Hikes:  How to tie your shoelace so that it doesn't come off [video].  Here is a quick tip by Swathi on how to tie a shoelace knot that doesn't come off.  Read this...


 IndieGoGo:  Hunny: Ultralight Bear-Resistant Canisters.  Hunny Canisters are ultralight bear cans for reasonable prices, from $19 to $39.  Read this...


 India Hikes:  Being a woman trek leader in the Himalayas.  It is said that once you have lived in the mountains, they are yours and you theirs forever. What you do in life does not matter, you belong to them.  Read this...


 India Hikes:  How even the most experienced trekkers can get lost in the mountains.  He was not in contact with anyone. Saranbir was missing.  Read this...


 Feature Shoot:  Intimate Photographs of Tiny Creatures in Human Hands.  When I first saw these photographs by Portland artist Tamara Lischka, I wasn't sure if what I was looking at was real.  Read this...


 HikeLighter.Com:  Klymit 'Hammock V' Pad.  Our good friends at Klymit have gotten their new 'Hammock V Pad' up for sale.  Read this...


 Mountain, Coast, River:  Tide Time: Ocean Rhythms on Orkney Shores.  By the time I finished the kayak down Orkney, I'd picked up some wonderful mementos.  Read this...


 Modern Hiker:  Mountainsmith Mayhem 45 Backpack Gear Review.  Mountainsmith's Mayhem 45 gets about as close to checking all of the boxes of any pack that I've tried to date.  Read this...


 I Heart Pacific Northwest:  Mount Hood backpacking.  Camping at Cairn Basin with a day hike to McNeil Point  Read this...


 Washington Trails Association:  Sharing the Trails and Staying Safe in Hunting Season.  Hikers and hunters actually have a lot in common.  Read this...


 Tales of a Mountain Mama:  Ode to the Outdoor Skirt.  Most days I am in a skirt. With leggings or shorts. Because I can.  Read this...


 The Mountains Are Calling:  On loneliness and solo adventures.  By now loneliness is an old companion, who slides in, puts an arm around my shoulders, and then moves on.  Read this...


 The Trace:  These Jolting Ads from 1968 Catalyzed the Modern Gun Debate.  "More and more people are buying guns to protect themselves from more and more people who are buying guns."  Read this...


 Tjamrog's Weblog:  It's a Wrap: Maine's Hundred Mile Wilderness.  The Hundred is made up of two distinctly different trips of approximately 50 miles each.  Read this...


 BoingBoing:  What animals would look like if they had eyes at the front.  A creepy series of shoops.  Read this...


 Swiss Miss:  Stone Backpack.  By Jana Sternback.  Read this...


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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Definitions: Closed-Ended Zipper

This is a zipper that is not infinite in length.

This style of zipper has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

When you close this zipper, it closes.

When you open this zipper it opens, but only so far, and then that's it, you can't take it any farther. At least with this kind of zipper you know what you can get away with.

You often find these zippers in pants, in the fly.

The fly is also called the "access port", "redneck air conditioning", "pickle hole" (maybe because of the warts), or "worm trap".

Originally the fly was just a flap but that wasn't good enough for city wear, so someone added teeth.

Likewise, toothiness is a characteristic of one of the other major uses of the closed-ended zipper, and that is on pullover shirts and such. Catching yourself in this upper-level zipper doesn't grab your attention in the same way the fly zipper does, but is exceptionally thrilling if you have a beard.

Most sleeping bags have a closed-ended zipper too, only there the real thrill is getting it jammed halfway up as you return to bed in the dark, on a freezing night, just after you've gotten up to go pee and have accidentally wet yourself in the wind.

This is called "adventure", which is a related topic, in case you couldn't tell. But it is.

As always, Effort or Eff it. No sniveling.

Source: How to talk in the woods.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Fresh, September 18

 The Atlantic:  Photos of the Week: 9/3-9/9.  A smiley face on a sunflower in a field in Lawrence, Kansas  Read this...


 The Ultralight Hiker:  Ultralight Collapsible Coffee Cup.  The UltrAspire C2 cup is reusable, collapsible, and at just 0.7 ounces, easy to bring wherever you go.  Read this...


 Blissful Hiking:  Etiquette in Trail Shelter Living.  Realize that you will likely NOT be the only one in the shelter. That means, don't monopolize it with your belongings.  Read this...


 Bearfoot Theory:  Sprinter Van Conversion.  I bought the van as an empty cargo van with big plans to convert it into the ultimate tiny home on wheels.  Read this...


 India Hikes:  Your Ultimate Guide to the Goechala.  For anyone trekking in India, the Goechala trail is a must-do.  Read this...


 Old School Outfitter:  3 Simple Tarp Shelters For The Campsite.  Rope. Tarp. Axe.  Read this...


 Trek on the Trail:  The Hundred Mile Wilderness.  ITS DIFFICULTY SHOULD NOT BE UNDERESTIMATED. GOOD HIKING!  Read this...


 Willis Wall Multimedia:  Mt. Baker Round-The-Mountain 8/23-24/2016.  I had to resort to biking and road walking, but it can be done if one has the stomach for it.  Read this...


 Appalachian Trail Girl:  How to Live Out of Your Car and Why You Should Want To.  I thought I would share the pearls of wisdom I've acquired during my months in my home on wheels.  Read this...


 Hiking For Her:  Hiking Self Care.  That "gut feel" that something is wrong is your best friend when you're out on a trail.  Read this...


 Hiking For Her:  Best Hiking Umbrellas.  Which weighs more, an umbrella or your rain gear? Only you can do these calculations.  Read this...


 Co-Op Journal:  Semi-Rad: A Backcountry Guide to Toilet Paper.  'Sticks and rocks, boys,' I told them. 'We'll be fine.'  Read this...


 Hiking The Trail:  50 Essential (Wilderness) Backpacking Tips.  What could be easier than a simple walk in the woods right?  Read this...


 Erik the Black:  The Ultimate Guide To Lightweight Backpacking Shelters (2016).  Now there are so many options that you could spend weeks and never see them all.  Read this...


 The Drifter:  Do: Take in the Details.  Here are four ways to soak up all the details from the sights, smells and tastes to make the most of your travel.  Read this...


 The National Parks Girl:  The Last Frontier: Gates of the Arctic National Park — Part 2 of 3.  By this point my ankles were screaming with every step I took.  Read this...


 PopUpBackpacker:  Is 'stink' from sweating while backpacking bad?.  Should you join the search for clothing that minimizes body odor?  Read this...


 Walking With Wired:  Day 1: We Got It!  We decided to drive directly up to Mt Rainier National Park (3hrs) so that we could spend the night somewhere and be in line by 4:30am for permits.  Read this...


 Outdoors MH:  MYOG Dyneema X Backpack.  I've always wanted to make my own backpack so here it is, attempt number 1.  Read this...


 The Cotopaxi Journal:  Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs.  If you're looking to add some flavor to your camp menu, give this recipe a try!  Read this...


 Old School Outfitter:  4 Bacon Cocktails to Change Your Life.  Bacon cocktails will bring a whole new level of joy to your life.  Read this...


 Hyperlite Mountain Gear:  Double Duty: Lightening Your Backpacking Load with Multi-Purpose Gear.  'If you can't ride two horses at once you shouldn't be in the circus.' — James Maxton  Read this...


 My Very Long Walk:  The Dickens Guide to Surviving a Cow Attack.  Face to face with Bovine the Destroyer, the barbarian cow?  Read this...


 Hiking in Finland:  The Week in Review 248.  'Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.' - John F. Kennedy  Read this...


 Hiking in Finland:  The Week in Review 247.  "Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple." — J.K. Rowling  Read this...


 The Ultralight Hiker:  Bushbuddy Stove.  The original wood burning double walled secondary combustion wood gasifier stove.  Read this...


 Section Hiker:  Section Hiker's Top Backpacking Gear Picks — 2016.  It's the kind of stuff I've been using for years and will likely replace when it wears out.  Read this...


 Chris Townsend Outdoors:  Rewilding in Scotland.  Rewilding in Scotland means initially the restoration of a natural forest.  Read this...


 PopUpBackpacker:  How to get a Good Night's Sleep in the Backcountry (and everywhere else).  'Lie down, close your eyes, and go to sleep.' This is what I do nearly every night.  Read this...


 MSR Summit Register:  BTUs, Boil Time and Water Boiled: Understanding Stove Performance.  When we talk stove performance, we mean two things: How fast that stove boils water and how much fuel it uses to do so.  Read this...


 The Mountains Are Calling:  The time I walked 22 miles for a party.  Though I will always gravitate to the alpine, I appreciate forgotten corners like this.  Read this...


 PopUpBackpacker:  Wilderness For Sale.  In the backpacking community, the debate seems to be which route is better; not whether it is ethical to publish such detailed information.  Read this...


 Rambling Hemlock:  Day 2- Pikas and rainbow mountains.  y stress fracture site starts talking. Not pain but I feel it. Hello, it says, don't forget!  Read this...


 Adventure Journal:  The Best Backpacking Loop You've Never Heard Of.  The Mineral King loop is hard to beat.  Read this...


 Adventure Journal:  You Can Now Get Every U.S. Topo Map for Free — Easily.  Nat Geo's PDF Quads service is just about the smartest, most convenient way to acquire and carry the maps.  Read this...


 Adventure Journal:  100 Years Ago Today, Shackleton Crew Finally Rescued.  No one had ever crossed South Georgia, and the map showed nothing but a blank expanse.  Read this...


 Adventure Journal:  This One-Eyed Surfing Cat Will Totally Make Your Day.  Sometimes he goes solo on his own boogie board.  Read this...


 Timothy Mcsweeney's:  I've Been Sent to Rescue You From This All-You-Can-Eat Brunch Buffet.  I'm not going to make it but you still have a chance. Freedom is right through that door. Stay focused.  Read this...


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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Definitions: Bear Wire

A metal clothesline for food. Some people call it a "Bear Cable". (As if bears even knew about TV.)

A permanent wire or cable hung between two trees, usually at least 10 feet high (3 m).

Other wires descend from this, sometimes hanging from pulleys, so food bags can be raised to and lowered from the safe height of the bear wire.

It's all metal so critters (mice, skunks, raccoons, chipmunks, squirrels, bears, and so on) can't gnaw through it easily.

Easily is the key word, since one or more of them might succeed in gnawing through it if given enough time, but generally, for any animal that hungry, it's easier to eat you instead of going through all that painful gnawing.

Hey, it's all about hunger in the back country.

In some places the "bear wire" might be a metal contraption something like a tall coat rack with hooks at the top, which requires you to raise your food up to it by using a (provided) metal pole, which is yet another reason never to go backpacking.

As always, Effort or Eff it. No sniveling.

Source: How to talk in the woods.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fresh, September 11

 Carrot Quinn:  The Wind River High Route.  It's so easy to forget that there's a big world out there.  Read this...


 Five Months to NowHere:  Dustbuster and Chiseled.  Trail names.  Read this...


 Long Trails:  Welcome to Long Trails.  Long Trails is all about long distance treks, hikes and tramps. The site is also a collection of tips and tricks for the long distance and thru-hiker.  Read this...


 Bad at Backpacking:  Three Days on Mount Jefferson.  The sunshine glimmered off the water...a strand of spider web caught in the breeze. It reflected the sunlight as it floated above the lake and into the open air.  Read this...


 The Outbound Collective:  What Foods Should You Eat While Backpacking?.  Eating right will help you hike further and feel better.  Read this...


 Oregon Natural Desert Association:  Oregon Desert Trail: 175-Mile Packraft on the Owyhee River.  To the river!  Read this...


 The Hiking Guy:  Cactus to Clouds Hike.  The Cactus to Clouds hike should only be attempted by the very experienced and very fit hiker.  Read this...


 Living On The Dirt:  Cape Flattery.  Cape Flattery is the most northwestern part you can get to in the Lower 48.  Read this...


 The Ultralight Hiker:  A Gorilla in the Bush..  Oh, you have been wondering how did the Gorilla stand up?  Read this...


 Section Hiker:  Six Moon Designs Fusion 50 Backpack Review.  The Six Moon Designs Fusion 50 has a unique frame system that lets it carry heavier loads than other ultralight-style backpacks.  Read this...


 The Hiking Life:  Four Kinda Long Walks.  Four Routes. Four States. Four opportunities to ramble around some incredible backcountry areas.  Read this...


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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Definitions: Aiming Off

Used when following a compass bearing.

Aiming off is like deliberately missing a target.

You probably won't hit the bullseye no matter how hard you try.

Honestly. You're not that good.

So if you go ahead and aim for it anyway because you're ornery, you will still miss.

You're really, seriously not that good. We've seen you, and it's obvious. But aiming off can make you seem smart.

So smart that people will finally pretend to respect you, so listen up.

With aiming off you secretly make the target much bigger and then deliberately miss to one side.

That's step one, and any fool can do it, even you.

Step two is even easier.

You know you missed your bullseye to one side, and which side that was, so you know how to correct for your mistake.

So you do. Bingo. You can suddenly navigate like Columbus.

Example: Say you want to get back to camp, which is by a river.

If you aim for your tent and come to the river without seeing the tent, then you have no idea which way to go from there, or how far.

But if you deliberately aim upstream then you know that when you get to the river you have to go downstream from there.

Maybe not how far but you know your tent is definitely downstream.

You will look like a genius.

You can't lose.

Unless the normal error in walking (which will knock you off course about three to five degrees), coupled with your natural incompetence (could be huge), lumpy ground, annoying large trees, and general woodland untidiness conspire to actually take you somewhere else entirely.

Or someone steals your tent while you're out mooning around.

Then when you confidently turn to walk that last short leg directly to your tent (where your tasty food and fresh puffy sleeping bag should be expectantly waiting for you), you will in reality be sailing blindly off into the outer darkness and will die a miserable and lonely death in the cold.

Poor you. What a dope. Maybe you should just stay home and watch TV.

Remember Columbus? The guy who aimed at Asia and missed?

As always, Effort or Eff it. No sniveling.

Source: How to talk in the woods.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Fresh, September 4

 littlegrunts:  Oxygen Plus Skinni Natural.  The air inside contains 95% enriched oxygen.  Read this...


 The Roaming Bobcat:  AT day 35 - the Whites - Attitude adjustment.  'If you still want to quit then, call me, I'll talk you out of it.'  Read this...


 The Huckleberry Hiker:  Brain-eating Pathogen Found in Grand Teton National Park.  Infection with Naegleria fowleri is rare, and the infection risk is low. But, infection is likely fatal.  Read this...


 REI Co-op Journal:  Midwest Mega-Trail: Wisconsin's Ice Age National Scenic Trail.  Spanning 1,200 miles and situated entirely within Wisconsin, the IAT traces the border of the ice mass that defined the last ice age.  Read this...


 Summit Register:  Water 101: Decoding Water Filter Testing Claims.  'Any device can be sold as backcountry water filter, and there's no authority confirming that it will actually protect you against backcountry water.'  Read this...


 Hiking For Her:  When Grandma Gatewood Took A Hike: A Hiking For Her Book Review.  The book offers insight into a woman who left an indelible mark on long distance trail hiking, without ever planning to do so.  Read this...


 Hiking For Her:  Solo Hiking Trip Planning.  How can you avoid fear and utilize the upside of caution on a solo hiking trip? Check lists!  Read this...


 Hiking For Her:  A Skirt Is The Way To Go For Men & Women.  So go for it. It's just a skirt.  Read this...


 Hiking For Her:  Famous Female Hikers.  I've been on a quest to find some.  Read this...


 The Roaming Bobcat:  AT day 39 or 40 - lessons from the green tunnel.  It's nice to be alone. Trees are shy, they tend to not speak to hikers in group.  Read this...


 The Hiking Life:  Are Energy Bars Worth the Money?  The DIY trail mix combo worked out to be around three times cheaper than Kind Bars, and significantly less expensive than all the other wrapper covered products as well.  Read this...


 The Hiking Life:  Hitchhiking Tips for Long Distance Hikers.  1. Location, Location.  Read this...


 Pacific Crest Trailside Reader:  Breaking the PCT Speed Record.  Jim Peacock, Howard Shapiro, and I had outfitted ourselves with military surplus wool pants, heavy leather boots, and way too much of everything.  Read this...


 Hike Bike Travel:  Can Hiking With a Grizzly Bear Expert Make the Wild Cool Again?  Can real turtles compete with ninja turtles when it comes to garnering people's attention?  Read this...


 LightHeart Gear:  Diary from the Colorado Trail: Part 1.  LightHeart Gear owner Judy Gross is currently thruhiking the Colorado Trail.  Read this...


 Willis Wall Multimedia:  Enchantments Transit.  There are three ways to experience the Enchantments, none easy.  Read this...


 Avaunt:  Gurkhas.  Gurkhas are first-class soldiers but they are not natural mountaineers.  Read this...


 Across Utah!  Hamburger Rocks, Capitol Reef.  Hamburger Rocks is an interesting unmarked geological formation along the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park.  Read this...


 Avaunt:  Kingdom of Spirits (photo essay).  Follow writer Marco Barneveld and photographer Rene Koster deep inside the Arctic Circle on a lyrical journey through the largest fjord system in the world.  Read this...


 Linda's Lens:  Ape Canyon.  Ok, show of hands - how many of you clicked on this post hoping to see some apes?  Read this...


 Hi Fructose:  Kevin Peterson's Elegant Scenes Return to Thinkspace Gallery.  Recognized for scenes in which wild animals and children interact against urban backdrops.  Read this...


 Avaunt:  Living Free.  "We are not lost," Devi says..."There is a path," Devi insists."  Read this...


 Rambling Hemlock:  The thing about Montana.  Step out on the trail and Montana comes full force flooding into consciousness. Fresh.  Read this...


 Hiking in Finland:  The Week in Review 245.  "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." - Albert Einstein  Read this...


 Barefoot Jake:  Truth About Minimalist Footwear.  Most common questions about minimalist footwear.  Read this...


 HikeLighter.Com:  Vargo 'ExoTi50' Backpack (pre-release interview with vargo).  Does 'X' mark the spot for this second generation Vargo backpack?  Read this...


 Cool Tools:  What's in My Bag — Wayne Ruffner.  Outdoorsman shares his ultimate bug repellent kit.  Read this...


 Harvard Magazine:  Born to Rest.  It is natural and normal to be physically lazy.  Read this...


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