Night Hiking and Other
What do you do when you need to be home instead of
backpacking? Dream up new ways to backpack and new ideas for
backpacking gear. Here are some of my most recent backpacking ideas
for products and techniques.
New Backpacking Ideas - Products
Swamp cooler t-shirt. This is for hot desert
hiking. Just soaking your shirt in a stream and wearing it wet is a
great way to keep cool from the evaporative effect, but twenty
minutes later you are far from the stream and the shirt is dry. The
idea here, then, is a shirt that has water bags attached. Once
filled, they slowly leak the water into the fabric of the shirt,
keeping you cool for hours.
Solid fuel fire starter sticks. Add a
strike-anywhere match head to army fuel sticks and you have an
instant fire starter. It would be something like a mini emergency
Rain cape tarp. Not of a poncho, but a tarp that
has a chin strap and a few velcro attachments down one side. It
would be cheaper and simpler to manufacture, and easier to actually
use as a tarp. It would also easily cover you and your backpack. If
you have ever held a rectangular tarp around you and over your head
to keep the rain off, you get the idea.
Disposable water container. The idea here is to
have a water container for those long hikes in the desert when you
need to carry extra water. When you have used it up, the container,
which is made of wax paper, doubles as a good fire starter,
eliminating its weight from your pack. Existing waxed milk and
orange juice cartons could be used for this.
Backpacking Ideas - Techniques
Create body heat. You can carry less cold weather
wear and sleeping gear if you have more body heat. To create more,
eat fats before going to sleep. Fats create heat when they are
digested (this is why eating whale blubber helps Eskimos stay warm).
Corn chips are oily enough to help if you can't stomach a half cup
of olive oil before bedtime.
Air conditioning your tent. On hot and dry days,
try wetting any large piece of cloth in the nearest stream and
laying it over the roof of your tent. The evaporative cooling can
lower the interior temperature of the tent by ten degrees. If you
are using a shirt or other clothing that you'll be needing, allow
enough time before dark for it to dry completely.
Night hiking. I purposely planned a five-day
backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevadas to coincide with the full
moon. Each night I slept until the cold bothered me, then easily
hiked through the rest of the night by moonlight. It got to carry a
lighter sleeping bag, and it was a unique experience - one of those
backpacking ideas I had wanted to try for a while. However, it did
mean taking a leisurely nap in the sun every afternoon.
Steve Gillman is a long-time advocate of lightweight backpacking.
His tips, photos, gear recommendations and a free book can be found
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steven_Gillman
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