Setting Up Camp

In the event of a backcountry emergency—such as a debilitating injury, unexpected night out, or severe weather event—a simple lightweight tarp can provide crucial protection from the elements, if you know how to use it. Covering the Basics Tarps come in a variety of dimensions. An 8-by-10 foot tarp can provide full coverage for up…

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A trusted knot in a backpacker’s repertoire, the taut-line hitch is hard to forget and a lot easier to learn than the trucker’s hitch. The taut-line is so named for its adjustability, slipping when loose but holding tight under a load, making it the perfect knot for securing a tarp or tent. (It’s important to…

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Can you dig it? Photo: Chewonki Semester School; Flickr A quinzee is a giant pile of snow that you then hollow out to create a shelter—essentially it’s a build-it-yourself snow cave. Knowing how to construct one is a useful winter survival skill, a fun activity to do with kids, and a potential use for the…

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Lightweight. Low-impact. Usable almost anywhere trees grow. Hammock camping has a lot of advantages over tents and shelters—but what do you need to know before stashing one in your pack and heading for the backcountry? First, you want to make sure that a hammock is right for you, and that you’re comfortable with each piece…

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