A quick list of backpacking tricks we’ve picked up! John “Apogee” and Lorela, our new hiking buddies, showed us this one. Use long sticks to prop up covered packs in event of rain. It keeps them drier than leaving them set against a tree, and saves shelter space. I have now expanded this idea into creating little bag nests when we camp. (This has contributed to Clif wanting “Bird Fancier” to be my trailname.) Heavy duty windscreens Clif made have about halved our denatured alcohol use in our cat food stoves in bad weather! We’re thinking about trying something lighter for the next several days and bounce-boxing these tough ones forward to the Smokies. We are scared of the Smokies. Trekking umbrellas. The best. Not just for rain protection, they are good for blocking wind for fires, taking a little break under during crummy weather, and blocking bright sun. We met a couple last year who said they also used their umbrellas for extra privacy during bathroom breaks without a lot of foliage and for signaling for hitchhiking. We’ve not tried those uses yet but are pretty happy with our GoLite Chrome Domes.

Published on March 18, 2015