The following is an excerpt from AMC’s Mountain Skills Manual. Once you have found the perfect site for your camp, you have the task of putting together your tent or sleeping shelter. Before you set up, it is essential to know a few knot-tying skills that will help you when you’re getting your camp ready….

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The following is an excerpt from AMC’s Mountain Skills Manual. To reduce shoulder and hip discomfort, as well as to better organize and care for your equipment, it is best to load your pack by following some basic packing principles. We call these principles the ABCDs of packing. In this mnemonic, “A” stands for accessibility,…

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Adapted from AMC’s Mountain Skills Manual If you’re lost in the woods, one not-so-well-known approach to locating a more familiar area is the find-me cross. This technique is quite effective, but you have to be self-disciplined to use it. After admitting that you’re lost, mark your location by building an obvious landmark using rocks or…

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Magnetic declination refers to the angle between the geographic North Pole and the magnetic pole located in the Arctic Ocean. You will discover that good hiking and topographic maps always indicate the local magnetic declination via a declination diagram, which includes one arrow pointing to geographic north (commonly labeled as True North, or TN) and…

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A map and compass make up two of the 10 essentials recommended for safe backcountry travel, but they’ll do little good if you don’t know how to use them. Misuse could even turn a situation in which you’re simply confused into one in which you’re totally lost. The bottom line? Learn proper technique before your…

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