The Cheap Trekking ÜBERLIST:


  • ALWAYS leave trip itinerary with family at home!
  • Route, # in group, return time, DESTINATION emergency contact
  • Ensure someone looks for you if you don't arrive by agreed to time
  • Research the area conditions!
  • Know when, where, how the trip will "work"
  • Determine daily mileage based on terrain, weather
  • Average walking speed on level surface is 3 mph
  • Will route be on trail, off trail or mixed?
  • Will snow be shallow or deep?
  • Snow type: powder, packed, breakable crust, or mixed?
  • Steep grade trails increase travel time drastically
  • Have a backup plan! Alternative routes and campsites
  • Talk to Rangers before planning and hitting the trail
  • Remove valuables from car, leave glove box open
  • Leave change of clothes in car for a dry ride home

    1. MAP
      • Study it BEFORE you need it!
      • Don't depend on electronics!
    2. COMPASS
      • Practice at home!
      • Even on day trips!
      • Waterproof - 1 regular, 1 headlamp
      • Difficult switches to avoid turning on in your pack
      • 1 days extra supply. At least, one good pre-cooked meal
      • A little more than normal, in case of emergencies
      • 100% UV, emerald green, polycarbonate lenses
      • Glacier glasses with side shields if on snow
      • Band-aids & bandages, CPR mask, rubber gloves, etc.
      • Bring "Mountaineering First Aid", by Lentz, Macdonald, and Carline
      • Multi tool, or Swiss Army Knife, and a fixed blade
    9. MATCHES
      • Water/windproof, strike-anywhere, waterproof container
      • Magnesium blocks w/ striking flint
      • Treated fire sticks, or make your own- wax, saw dust
    11. WATER
      • Call ahead, confirm available water, bring plenty of your own
      • Best water is from bubbling springs after rain or snowmelt
      • Major rivers are often contaminated
      • Streams may be contaminated even in the cold of winter
      • Dig a hole near a stream, it fills with filtered water
      • Filter, treat, or boil water, unless an absolute emergency
      • Boil 3-5 minutes +1 min/1,000 ft above sea level
      • Boiling is best winter method
      • Boiling does NOT remove hazardous chemicals
      • Purifying additives need more time to treat cold water
      • Kill bacteria, viruses: 5 drops 2% Tincture iodine/liter water
      • All filters are not created equal
      • Water filters freeze, seals crack. Drain, keep filters warm
      • Flavored water does not freeze as quickly as plain water
      • Add snow to water or pot will scorch before snow melts
      • Melting Ice produces more water than snow
      • Strain trash out of snow water with a coffee filter or bandana
      • Flip water bottles, ice forms at bottom instead of in cap
      • Don't eat snow! hypothermia risk, wastes energy keeping warm
      • Solar Water Collector:
          Dig depression in snow 2 ft x 1 ft deep
          Cover with black plastic
          Pack snow around edge, it will melt, collect in bottom
      • Keep water from freezing by storing under a foot of snow
      • Wide mouth water bottles dont freeze easily
      • Keep water bottle next to your body to keep it from freezing
      • Insulated water bottle holders keep water from freezing
      • Keep water bottles in sleeping bag to prevent freezing
      • Avoid thin ice, tie cord to water bottles, lower into water
    12. WHISTLE
      • Plastic, no moving parts, metal freezes to lips
      • DEET or Picaridin for skin
      • Permethrin for clothes
      • DEET damages synthetic materials, packs and tents
      • Bug netting, wear loose, stingers penetrate tight clothes
      • Higher elevations = increased sun intensity
      • Snow and water reflects rays = 2X the exposure
      • Cover skin, light colored clothes, large brim hat
      • SPF 15+ water resistant sunscreen, lip-balm
      • Duct tape around a water bottle
      • Paracord
      • 2 ounce Quick energy drink
      • Rain poncho
      • Extra socks, rotate often, wet feet are cold feet
      • Altoids Mint Tin box- Storage, Stove, boil water
      • Fire tinder
      • Panty Hose- prevent blisters, water filter, belt, net,
      • Binder Clip
      • Paper Clip
      • Pencil
      • Playing Card Deck
      • Condoms
      • Safety Pins
      • Dental Floss
      • Needle and thread
      • Mirror



    ESSENTIALS (Ultralight Kit)
    • Antiseptic wipes (3 wipes)
    • Antibiotic ointment (½-ounce tube)
    • Assorted bandages (4 bandages)
    • Butterfly bandages (3 butterflies)
    • Rolled gauze (½ roll)
    • Elastic wrap (½ roll)
    • Medical tape (½ roll)
    • Pack of Blister pads (1 sheet)
    • Pain-relief medication (3 single dose packages)
    • Anti-diarrheal pills (1 single dose)
    • Latex gloves (1 pair per person)
    • Assorted Gauze pads
    • Insect sting treatment
    • Antihistamine for allergic reactions
    • Non-stick pads
    • Butterfly bandages
    • Tweezers
    • Safety pins
    • Multitool
    • Intstructions

    • Wraps, Splints and Wound Coverings
    • Finger splint
    • Cleansing pads
    • Blood-stopping gauze
    • Liquid bandage
    • Triangular bandage
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Eye drops
    • Poison ivy / poison oak treatment
    • Insect sting treatment
    • Rehydration salts
    • Cottons swabs
    • Thermometer
    • Irrigation syringe
    • Blunt-tipped scissors
    • Sewing needle
    • CPR mask
    • Duct tape
    • Small notebook with pen (to record vitals, etc.)
    • Heat-reflecting emergency blanket
    • Personal locator beacon (optional)
    • Sunscreen
    • Lip balm
    • tampon

    RABIES -


    • If you suspect RABIES, see a doctor immediately!
    • More common in raccoons, skunks, bats, coyotes, foxes than cats or dogs.
    • Rabbits, squirrels and rodents rarely carry rabies
    • Not found in fish or reptiles (mammals only)
    • Wash bite as soon as possible for 5 minutes
    • Apply IODINE to bite after washing
    • Flush eyes, mouth, nose with water
    • Apply antibiotic cream, cover bite with clean bandage.



    Most North American snakes aren't poisonous.

    Some exceptions:
    • Rattlesnake rattles rings at end of tail
    • Water moccasins' mouth looks white like cotton
    • Coral snakes have red, yellow, black rings along length of body
    • Copperhead

    All North American poisonous snakes, except the coral, have slit-like eyes, triangular heads with a depression, or pit, midway between the eyes and nostrils.

    The coral snake color pattern is not consistant, don't trust rhymes.

    Walk cautiously, never touch ANY snake even if you THINK it isn't poisonous.
    If you encounter a snake, back away slowly.
    Most snakes only bite when threatened or surprised.

    If a snake bites you:

    • Remain calm
    • Immobilize the bite, stay quiet to keep the poison from spreading
    • Remove jewelry before swelling
    • Position the bite below the level of your heart
    • Clean wound, do NOT flush with water, cover with clean, dry dressing
    • Use a loose split to reduce movement, do not restrict blood flow
    • Don't use a tourniquet or apply ice
    • Don't cut the wound or attempt to remove the venom
    • Don't drink caffeine or alcohol
    • Don't try to capture the snake, but describe it to doctors
    • Call 911, seek immediate medical attention


    • Friction and moisture

    • Buy shoes with with room for feet to circulate and swell
    • Break-in shoes around house
    • Wear liners or panty hose under snug Merino wool socks
    • Change socks freqntly, air dry outside pack
    • Cover hotspots immediately with moleskin, or duct tape
    • Reduce friction with sportslick, bodyglide, or vaseline
    Hike Goo Blister Prevention

    ** Do not drain blisters if you have poor circulation or diabetes
    • If not too painful, keep blister intact.
    • Cover with gauze pad to allow air flow.

    To reduce pain, drain fluid but leave skin intact.
    • Wash hands and blister with soap and water.
    • Swab blister with iodine or rubbing alcohol.
    • Sterilize needle with alcohol or boiling.
    • Puncture skin in several spots near blister edge.
    • Apply antibiotic ointment and cover with gauze pad.

    Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR: -

    • Use 2-3 fingers below nipple line
    • 30 (1/2 – 1 inch deep) compressions
    • 2 gentle breaths until chest rises
    • 100 compressions/minute
    • Use 1-2 hands in center of chest
    • 30 (1-1 ½ inch deep) compressions
    • 2 breaths until chest rises
    • 100 compressions/minute
    • Use 2 hands in center of chest
    • 30 (1-2 inch deep)
    • 2 long breaths until chest rises
    • 100 compressions/minute


    • Lie down with head lower than body
    • Remove objects from wound
    • Do not reinsert displaced organs, simply cover wound
    • Apply pressure with cloth until bleeding stops
    • Apply pressure around embedded objects not on them
    • Don’t “look” for at least 20 min
    • Do not remove, keep adding more as needed
    • Elevate any bleeding limbs

    BURNS -

    • Deep, skin looks dry and leathery
    • May appear charred or have patches of white, brown or black
    • Larger than 3 inches (8cm) covers hands, feet, face, groin etc

    • Call for help while surveying the area
    • If safe to do, remove person from contact with the burn source
    • For electrical burns, turn power source off before approaching victim
    • Do NOT remove clothing
    • Do NOT immerse in cold water, this can cause hypothermia
    • Begin CPR if needed
    • Elevate burned parts above heart if possible
    • Remove restrictive items before swelling occurs
    • Cover with a cool, moist, bandage or cloth
    • Lay person down with head slightly lower than heart, elevate legs,
    • Keep person warm
    • Stay in place and wait for help

    • Superficial redness similar to a sunburn
    • Blisters
    • No larger than 3 inches (8cm) in diameter

    • Cool the burn
    • Hold burned area under cool (not cold) running water or apply a cool,
       wet compress until the pain eases
    • Don't break blisters to protect against infection
       If blister breaks, clean with water and apply antibiotic
    • Apply lotion that contains aloe vera or a moisturizer
    • This helps prevent drying and provides relief
    • Bandage the burn loosely to keep air off and reduces pain
    • If needed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever

    SHOCK -

    • Lay person on side with head lower than body
    • Treat injuries, give CPR if needed
    • Keep person warm, cover with blankets
    • Keep person as still as possible and encourage them
    • Do not let the person eat or drink


    • Give 5 back blows between shoulder blades w/ heel of hand
    • Wrap arms around person’s waist
    • Position your fist above the navel and grab with other hand
    • Give 5 quick, upward thrusts (Heimlich)
    • Repeat sequence until item is dislodged
    • Place hands higher at base of breastbone
    • Lie on back and dislodge item if possible
    • Do not perform Heimlich. Give CRP instead.
    • Give 5 back blows lying facedown on your forearm over thigh
    • Flip over, Give 5 compressions with fingers on chest
    • Repeat sequence until item is dislodged


    • Don't move the person unless necessary to avoid further injury
    • Stop any bleeding, apply pressure and cover with bandage or cloth
    • Do NOT push in bones sticking out, this can cut nerves blood vessels
    • Pull the limb, as if in traction, to manipulate the bone into place
      It sounds gruesome, but usually results relieving a lot of pain
    • Imobilize and splint with rigid poles to either side of the limb
    • Do NOT tie tight enough to stop cirulation

    Treat for shock- If person looks pale, feels faint, or breathing is rapid,
    • Lay them down with head slightly lower than heart, elevate legs,
    • Keep person warm, but do not give water

    • It’s never a good idea to move a patient with a broken leg,
       but those with arm injuries often can move at a reduced pace
    • A lower etremity broken bone is worthy of calling for rescue


    Body temperature below 95 F (35 C)
    • Move to warm location, protect from wind
    • Insulate person from the cold ground
    • Replace wet clothing with dry coats or blankets
    • If further warming is needed, do so gradually
    • Apply warm, DRY compresses to torso, neck and groin
    • Wrap hot water bottles or chemical hot packs in towel before applying
    • Offer warm, sweet, nonalcoholic drinks
    • Begin CPR if no sign of life

    • Do not rewarm too quickly, such as with a heating lamp or hot bath
    • Don't try to warm arms or legs, this can stress the heart and lungs
    • Alcohol or cigarettes interfere with circulation needed for rewarming


    Try NOT sweat or get wet constructing these shelters.
    Take your time, be careful, conserve energy

    • Stick a center marking pole in the ground
    • Pile snow at 35 degree angle, around pole, until shelter size plus 2 feet
    • Allow snow to settle 2 hours
    • Dig entrance on side away from wind until pole is reached.
    • Excavate the interior around marker pole
    • Poke stick through wall to check thickness
    • Poke vent in roof to ventilate

    • Dig cave UP into hillside so door is below sitting level.
    • Dig cave under branches of trees covered with snow.
    • Always make ventilation holes

    • Dig pit 6 ft wide X 3 ft deep (for 4-6 people).
    • Pile excavated snow around the perimeter.
    • This gives a deep area, protected from the wind.
    • Carve out benches, cooking counter, etc.
    • Line floor with insulation materials, evergreen boughs etc.
    • Roof of ski poles, then evergreen, then tarp, cover with snow
    • Ventilation hole in roof. Keep stick in hole & shake to keep open
    • Entrance is tunnel below & to the side.
    • Tunnel is below pit so colder air stays lower than pit
    • Door can be hard packed snow plug

    • Pile snow on tents windy side while help provides support inside
    • Dig out pit in front of door
    • Snow sets up a better insulated hybrid tent-snow shelter

    • Dig a kitchen trench 2' D X 2' W. Sit with feet in trench and eat on opposite side.
    • Use snow flukes, special snow stakes, or skewers for tent anchors
    • Fill gallon freezer bags with snow, tie to cords for deadmen tent anchors.
    • Leave no trace, don't dig down to soil, let springtime melt camp site
    • Pack snow B 4 tent setup, avoid freezing uncomfortable shapes under bed.
    • Setup tent in snow pit to block wind.
    Deeper pit under vestibule makes entering tent easier
    • Attach longer cords to tent, 4' - 6', to tie to rocks or logs in case ground is too frozen or snow too soft
    • Winter rated tents are stronger to withstand high winds heavy snow
    • Vent tent at night, reduce condensation. Being dry is worth losing some heat
    • Hang tarps between trees protect camp site from the wind
    • Three-sided A.T.-style shelters can be used comfortably in the winter by hanging a tarp across the open side to block the wind. The result is a roomier and sturdier place to sleep, cook, and pack. Tarps are much lighter to carry than winter tents
    • Make camp out of the wind, 50' above valley floor or low area cold air
    • Exposure -south facing areas will give longer days and more direct sunlight.
    • When setting up camp, pick a flat, leafy area for the tent. It'll be softer and will drain better, so you won't wake up damp.   Setting up Camp Leave your snowshoes or skis on & tramp down areas for tents and your kitchen.   If possible, let the snow set up for 30 minutes or so, this will   minimize postholing once you take snowshoes or skis off.   Stake tents out. On a cold night you can build snow walls on wind side.   Put your foam pads in the tent and unstuff your sleeping bag and place it in the tent so it can "expand" from it's stuffed size


    • Do not cook in a tent! You will die!
    • Set up tent doors 90 degrees to the prevailing winds
    • 3 season tents are lighter with weaker poles
    • 4 season tents are stronger domes for wind & snow loads
    • Dome tents shed snow & provide efficient interior space
    • Winter tents are larger for extra gear & extended stays
    • Rainfly is a must
    • Breathable wall with fly reduces condensation, provides insulation with unmoving air space layers.
    • Typically a tent will be 10-20 degrees warmer than the outside air (once your body is inside heating it up)
    • Black Diamond Megamid- A single, center pole, pyramid tent with no floor.
    Require staking but are quit roomy. Add a space blanket as a floor,
    and covering the edges with snow, you can seal off the tent quite well
    • Hang a frost liner for moisture to pass through yet protects from ice
    • Brush ice off of inner tent walls and sweep outside to avoid getting wet
    • Bring extra tent poles, or pole splints in case a pole breaks
    • Place a ground sheet under tent to protect floor from sharp ice
    • Sweep snow off boots, clothes, out of tent to reduce condensation, stay dry

    • Avoid ridge tops and areas where wind can blow down tents or create drifts
    • Be aware of "widow makers", dead branches hanging in trees
    • Avoid low lying areas where the coldest air will settle
    • Avalanche danger - select sites that do not pose any risk from avalanches


  • COLD is the absence of HEAT
  • HEAT is constantly lost through 4 types of transfer
      • Avoid direct contact with cold surfaces
      • Always sit or lay on insulated pads
      • Avoid cold air blowing across bare skin
      • Block wind with tarps or snow walls
      • Stay dry, change and dry your clothes
      • We always "perspire", try not to "sweat" :)
      • Our bodies radiate invisible heat into the air
      • We radiate similar to fire heat felt through cold air
      • Reflective blankets reflect the heat back inside
  • HEAT must constantly be produced and captured

    1. Produce heat with your body and other methods
      • Eat food that produces the most fuel to produce heat
      • To increase heat production, eat more fuel and exercise
      • Always pack plenty of high calorie snacks
      • Eat before sleeping, snack during the night if you wake
      • Stay hydrated, but decrease fluids at night to empty bladder
      • Place chemical warming pads inside clothing or sleeping bag
      • Place warm rocks or water bottles inside clothing or sleeping bag
    2. Prevent heat loss/transfer
      • Don't touch cold surfaces
      • Block out cold air, trap the air warmed by your body
      • Insulation slows the transfer. Non moving "dead" air is an insulator
    1. WICK BASE- removes water from skin to prevent heat transfer
      • Polypropylene or silk, snug enough for wicking fibers to touch skin
    2. VAPOR/RADIANT BARRIERS- Reflective plastic layer
      • Should not touch skin, wear a wicking polyproylene layer
      • Inhibit insensible perspiration by raising the humidity above 70%
      • Cause the body to shut down perspiration before getting wet
      • Average water that invisibly evaporates is 1/2 quart per 24 hours
      • Prevent evaporative heat loss, & slow dehydration
      • Water loss is heat lost
      • Block body moisture from entering sleeping bags
      • Improve sleeping bag warmth 10 - 15 degrees
      • Decrease activity, don't sweat while wearing a vapor barrier
      • Reflect thermal radiation back into the body
    3. INSULATION- Trap heated air with down, fleece, wool, or all three
    4. SHELL- Gore-Tex to block wind and rain yet sweat vapor escapes

      *Layers for hands- liner, gloves, over mittens, outer waterproof shells

      • Best warmth-to-weight ratio, period.
      • Compresses extremely well for transport
      • Compresses while you sleep, requires insulated pad & fluffing
      • Absorbs moisture, dries slowly, leaves you cold
      • Insulates even when wet
      • Heavier than down, but getting better
      • Doesn't compress like down, good for sleep, bad for packing
      • Primaloft closest to down in warmth-to-weight ratio
      • Thinsulate warmer than down but heavy



      • Sweating or getting wet cools 25X faster than cold air alone
      • You lose heat quickly through evaporation of sweat or water if wet
      • Clothes should fit properly, not too loose or tight, for good dead air space
      • Tight clothes compress, reduce dead air space in layers

      • Oiled leather or synthetic upper or they will absorb moisture and freeze
      • Put warm water bottles in boots to prevent them from freezing at night
      • Change socks often, wet or moist socks will not keep your feet warm.
      • Open boots wide when removing to prevent freezing in a closed position.
      • Insulated booties keep feet warmer around camp than hiking boots.
      • Layer socks- moisture wicking liner under 1 - 2 pairs of wool socks.
      • Outer sock layers must fit comfortably. Too tight will restrict blood flow.
      • Put antiperspirant on feet for several days before trip to reduce moisture
      • Mukluks - knee high moccasins, comfortable, breathable high gaiter
      • Wear insulated booties with soles around camp or late night toilet trips.
      • Keep socks, shoes, gloves loose, to allow blood flow to warm fingers/toes
      • Gaiters keep snow, rain out of boots, feet dry, warms lower legs.

      • Layers on hands- liners, mittens, waterproof shell with long sleeves
      • Ensure hand protection is waterproof!
      • Mittens are warmer than gloves since fingers touch, share body heat
      • Attach cords to mittens, prevent loss in windy or snowy conditions
      • Carry extra gloves or liners in case your first pair gets wet

      • Snug sleeping bags are warmer than oversize bags with air space
      • Sleep in extra layers or use filler to take up bag space
      • Silk bag liners add 5-10 degrees of warmth to your bag
      • Vapor barrier liners, used correctly block body moisture from entering bag
      • Inserting sleeping bag in a bivy sack adds 5-10 degrees
      • Overbags are summer weight bags which add 15-20 degrees
      • Double bags only if enough room to be comfortable in the bag.
      • ALWAYS use a pad under sleeping bag to insulate from cold ground
      • Don't breathe moisture into bag. Cinch tight, breathe through balaclava
      • Warm your clothes inside sleeping bag before getting dressed.
      • Hot water bottle between legs against femoral artery quickly warms body
      • A layered sleeping system (sleeping bag, liner, half bag, bivy sack)
      • reduces frost buildup when body warmth meets cold air.
      • Avoid overheating and sweating at night, go to bed dry
      • Ensure feet and socks are as dry as possible before bed
      • Use dry sleeping socks or polarguard booties for sleeping only
      • Sleep in clean long underwear stored in your sleeping bag
      • Wear loose fitting clothing to bed so it doesn't restrict circulation
      • Keep your sleeping gear clean and maximize insulation value
      • While sleeping, keep feet warm by inserting them in an "elephant foot",
      • half bag, or jacket, inside foot of sleeping bag.
      • Fill hot water bottle, place in cold spots in your sleeping bag
      • Snacks before bed provide fuel to generate heat during the night
      • Exercising before sleep warms the body and a cold sleeping bag
      • Don't dry clothes in sleeping bag overnight moisture will make you cold
      • Fluff up your sleeping bag with vigor to gain maximum loft.
      • An insulating pad under a sleeping bag is as important as the bag
      • Hot rocks in wool socks help warm sleeping bag, careful, don't melt it
      • Hot water in bottles warm bag cold spots prevent frozen bottles
      • Large disposable heat packs help warm feet in sleeping bags
      • Urinate in a bottle, don't leave a warm tent. Holding it wastes energy
      • Each morning unzip sleeping bag, shake to restore loft, allow to dry
      • Plan extra 1/8 quart of fuel/person/day if you melt snow for water
      • Plan on 1/8 quart per person per day if water will be available
      • Ensure 1 day of surplus fuel for bad weather, sanitize water etc.
      • Winter requires more food for body fuel AND stove fuel
      • Always wear a warm hat. Most heat loss is from your head.
      • Armpit zippers vent heat AND moisture
      • Water PROOF clothing traps moisture, soaks clothes, makes you cold

      • Hike with reduced layers, you will warm up as you hike
      • Tie loops of cord around bottle necks to make them easier to carry
      • Tie cord to zippers, easier to pull with mittens or cold fingers
      • Put electronics dry in plastic bags and keep from freezing
      • Cold does NOT kill batteries, but they perform better warm
      • Always sit on a foam pad to avoid heat loss to the frozen ground
      • Lightweight insulated coffee mug for hot drinks or soups at mealtime
      • Chemical heat packs warm feet and hands for several hours
      • Tight clothing, socks, boots, restrict blood flow making you cold
      • Don't breathe inside sleeping bag. Breath will freeze in the insulation
      • Clean clothing insulates better as it fluffs to trap more warm air
      • Sleep in clean clothes, a clean sleeping bag performs better
      • Proper hydration is required for body to be efficient, keep warm
      • Insulate water bottles in cases, socks, or taped foam
      • Winter requires lots of extra fuel for cooking and melting snow!
      • Keep lids on pots to help keep your dinner warm
      • One pot meals or stews are more efficient and require less fuel
      • Carry your water bottle inside your parka to keep it from freezing
      • Everything is tougher in winter, use daylight wisely!
      • Wear sunscreen, sunglasses in snow to protect from harmful rays
      • Side zipper pants ventilate, can be added with boots on
      • Bibs/overalls prevent cold spots at junction between tops and bottoms
      • Velcro is better than snaps that fill with snow and freeze
      • Don't let snow melt into clothing, it will refreeze, brush it off
      • Don't cool down too much, it burns extra calories to back heat up
      • Wear fresh socks and light shoes in camp, your feet will thank you
      • Plastic insulated mugs keep hot drinks or soup warmer than metal cups
      • Avoid long breaks, keep moving, snack often, stay warm
      • Stay hydrated, but avoid night fluids and caffeine
      • Avoid caffeine at night, it keeps you awake, increases urine
      • Dehydration significantly increases risk of hypothermia
      • Snacks at bedtime gives your body fuel to generate heat during the night
      • Exercise before bed, warms your body and sleeping bag
      • If cold, eat. Digestion burns calories and creates warmth
      • Drink plenty of water, Frequent, clear urine indicates proper hydration
      • Wear toboggan or balaclava, avoid losing body heat through your head
      • Gaiters keep snow and rain out of boots to warm lower legs, feet, toes

      General night sequence-
      • Exercise and warm up before bed to warm your bag, but DO NOT SWEAT!
      • At tent door, sit down and brush off snow and dirt with wisk broom
      • Don't believe the sleep in your underwear myth. Night-time layers are best
      • Put warm water bottles in foot of sleeping bag to keep your feet warm
      • A hat and polarguard booties are recommended to help keep you warm
      • If you wake up cold, exercise, generate heat, eat some protein for fuel

      Caloric Requirements-
      • Couch potato- 1,500 calories
      • Sedentary occupation- 2,500 ~3,000 calories
      • Regular Backpacking- 3,500 ~4,000 calories
      • Winter Backpacking- 4,500 ~5,000 calories

      Simple Carbohydrates-
      • Candy, honey, anything sugar rich
      • Convert quickly to give bursts of energy, but quickly fades
      • Eat to get the day started or help finish that long hike

      • Grains, legumes, & vegetables
      • Convert more slowly, no burst, but longer lasting
      • Eat during the day to provide lasting energy

      • Cheese, margarine, butter, oils, nuts
      • Digest slowly & can slow you down during exercise
      • Eat in the evening for slow release heat energy while sleeping

      • Meat, eggs, dairy products, grains, legumes
      • Do not provide energy rush
      • Eat to renew muscle tissue

      • Avoid alcohol, it thins blood, and the body's ability to warm itself.
      • Eat big, high calorie, dinner. Calories are fuel the body burns to keep warm.
      • One-pot meals are easier to cook in the winter.
      • We need water to generate heat. Clear urine indicates proper hydration.
      • Winter requires extra fuel for cooking and melting snow.
      • Carry a small thermos of hot drink or soup for a warm snack.
      • Drink hot decaffeinated drinks in the evening to help keep warm.
      • Insulated mugs keep drinks and soups hot at mealtime.
      • Multiple small meals maintain energy levels better than fewer large meals
      • Pack mostly dry foods: cereal, pasta, rice, wheat, oatmeal
      • Pack baked goods: brownies, cookies
      • Freeze dried food, light, cook quick, save stove fuel, expensive
      • Powdered milk adds protein, vitamins to any meal.
      • Dehydrated foods require a lot more water to rehydrate than freeze dried.


      • Be careful of flooding the bloodstream with too much sugar
      • Eat a good mix of all three major food types.
      • Sugars to start, proteins and fats to keep you going through the morning.
      • Easy hot meals: oatmeal with hot milk and margarine, hot Tang,
      • Granola with hot milk or hot chocolate with milk and margarine.


      In both cases you should include all the food groups by having some of the following items: meats, cheeses, nuts, dried fruit, raisins, cookies, candy, granola bars. In the case of an "eat through the day lunch" a general formula is to take the following per person per day: • 1/2 - 3/4 lb. GORP - raisins, peanuts, M&M's, sourballs coconut, chocolate morsels etc. •• 1/4 - 1/2 lb. Lunch Meat and/or Cheese - cut into bite size chunks so you don't break your teeth - Cookies, brownies, peanut butter, bagels, etc.

      • Have a hot, decaffeinated, drink for internal warmth while cooking
      • Save fuel, stew rice or noodles, vegetables, protein
      • Spice it up, an interesting meal is essential to get you to eat.
      • Conclude dinner with a hot decaffeinated drink & possibly dessert.
      • Before bed, heat water for personal water bottles at night
      - Eat fats & proteins if you wake to release heat during the night


      • If lost, stop, start signaling, wait.
      • Wandering makes you harder to find, wears you out, leads to panic.

      • Don't cross moving water above your waist.
      • Don't cross streams barefoot.
      • If you must cross a stream, it is safer to cross in a pair or threesome in a circle like a football huddle. Shuffle feet to avoid getting a foot caught, loosen your pack shoulder harnesses and waist belt. If you fall, drop the pack immediately. You don't want to weigh yourself down midstream.


      • When resting, loosen shoes, raise feet to reduce swelling
      • Hammocks just sleep better :)
      • Pump out water filter after each use to reduce weight
      • Eat before hungry, drink before thirsty
      • Stuff fleece or down jacket into a stuff sack to make a pillow
      • Protect your food with a bear bag hung with the PCT method
      • Animals will eat through expensive tent & packs. Hang food in tree

      Internal Frame-
      • Lower center of gravity
      • Better for agility
      External Fame-
      • Higher center of gravity
      • Away from body, back stays cooler, but less agile

      • Reduce pack weight and trash, leave food packaging at home
      • "Light my fire" spork.
      • Titanium cooking pot, large insulated plastic cup.

      • Store food in food bags, not in your pack, pockets or tent
      • Hang food bags from tree so wild animals won't pilfer them at night.
      • Put sleeping bag, clothes, in trash bag, roll closed to keep dry
      • Use sleeping bag rated 15 degrees below minimum temperature
      • Down or Primaloft mummy bags with hood, draft tube zipper, collar
      • Wash your pack w soap and water, rinse well once a year
      • Rodents will eat nylon just for the flavor of dried sweat.