Bearproofing your food in the backcountry

Few things are better than enjoying meals in the backcountry. Few things are worse than encountering a bear intent on them away from you. There are three methods for minimizing the likelihood of a bear (or bears) marauding your stash: bear bagging, bear canisters and the latest invention, using an Ursack. Bear bagging Bear bagging […]

Thoreau and Life at 3 mph

Appalachian Trail ©2019 www.JeffRyanAuthor.com

“What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?”  Henry David Thoreau I’ve always felt that one of the greatest gifts of hiking is its ability to make us slow down to ponder the world. When I step onto a trail, any trail, I feel the pressure […]

How to load a backpack

Katrine Connelly, the editor/adventurer behind the website My Open Country, kindly suggested referencing her site’s post on The ABCs of Packing a Backpack. I am thrilled to do so because the piece not only shows you how to load a backpack — the ideal “carrying zones” for heavy, medium and light items — but also […]

Three Lines of Defense for (almost) Insect-Free Hiking

Summer is a great time for hiking. The days are long, the footing is as good as it gets (no ice and snow to contend with) and you don’t have to carry a lot of extra clothes (or, if you’re backpacking, a cold-weather sleeping bag) in your pack.  But one thing that can be an […]

A Backpacker’s Guide to Loop Hikes and Trail Shuttles

Photo of Skyline Drive. ©2018, www.JeffRyanAuthor.com

When it comes to planning a hike, particularly a multi-day adventure, my first priority is designing a trip that won’t require going back the way I came. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with doing an “out and back” hike, I’m hard-wired for seeking new ground. There are two ways to achieve this: designing loop hikes […]

Introducing 30 Second Hiking Hacks

I’ve created a new series of tips and tricks I’ve learned over 8,000+ miles of hiking, called “30 Second Hiking Hacks.” I hope you find them useful for your day hiking and backpacking trips.

What you need for an Appalachian Trail hike – Part 3 – Water

Photo of Pur Water filter

How to Stay Hydrated on the Trail Nothing affects your pack weight more than your choices of food and how much water you need to carry. Today I’ll cover the topic of H2O. Water management is critical One pint of water weighs one pound. Depending on your peak water carrying capacity, the difference between having […]