Posts tagged Beginner
My 5 Favorite Fitness Recovery Devices

As I get older, one life priority seems to resonate louder than any other: Injury Prevention. I spent my twenties poo-pooing stretching, had no clue what a rest day was, and generally pushed myself to the literal breaking point. But when training hard, I’m not always able to heal up completely during my rest day. I’ve found that the vast majority of lingering pain stems from muscle and tendon overuse issues. In the last two years I have become a fanatic in the church of self-massage and stretching. But all that body work can tire out fingers—and there are some places fingers can't reach. So on those days where I can hear my body pleading with me for extra TLC, I turn to the following five gadgets.

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How to Avoid Getting Blisters

Blisters are a common injury that affects both novice and experienced hikers in surprising numbers. These insidious and painful little bastards form—and become an issue—when hikers ignore the warning signs. So that’s what we’re looking at today: How to detect the warning signs of, and avoid creating blisters when hiking or backpacking.

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Why hikers say “Cotton Kills”

Have you heard hikers recite the phrase “Cotton Kills” with a sort of blind devotion reminiscent of a fully brainwashed member from a religious cult? Have you ever wondered what the heck they were talking about? In this post, we’ll look into the thinking behind that blanket statement, examine the why cotton is a fabric that is dangerous to use in the backcountry. We'll also look at what fabrics are most ideal to wear and why.

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Gear Tip: DIY Ultralight Water Scoop

Sure, the gram weenies and ultralight all stars rocking their Pa’lante packs, with their sub-five-pound base weights will scoff at the title of this post. They’ll boast how they don’t need a scoop for their water, because they use a leaf. Or they’ve perfected the art of sweeping their dirty water bladder through a half-inch deep stream 1000 times to get half a liter of water. But, for the rest of us, who value a bit of practicality—albeit at the expense of an entire ounce—here’s an easy, and cheap way to make a durable water scoop that nests with your water bottle like a Russian doll. It takes up virtually no space and adds a mere ounce to your ultralight hydration system. Let’s get started!

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Review: Ferrosi Pants by Outdoor Research

If the thought of shopping for a hiking pant makes you roll your eyes, then we have something in common. For me, finding the perfect hiking pant is an exercise in frustration. Several years ago, I stumbled on the Ferrosi Pant by Outdoor Research, and I’ve been in love with it since. In this review, I’ll dig into the features of this pant… you already know I think it’s great, so keep reading if you want to know why.

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How to Poop in the Woods

Let’s face it, if you want to spend any serious amount of time in the backcountry, at some point you will have to poop in the woods. I remember hating when nature called on me—while I was in nature. I found it inconvenient and uncomfortable to squat. But mostly I suffered from an intense fear that after relieving myself I would look down only to realize I had pooped right into the crotch of my pants.  I’m not kidding, for a long time this was a huge fear. I’d been backpacking for seven years and still hated pooping in the woods. However, after only a couple weeks on the Pacific Crest Trail, I very quickly became a pro-level backcountry defecator. Many of the techniques I figured out I wish I had learned about years earlier, so hopefully this article helps you.

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Best Water Treatment System for the PCT

Are you planning for an upcoming thru hike? If you're anything like I me, you're probably spending a lot of time determining how to handle hydration while thru hiking the PCT—especially the first 700 miles in Southern California. You may be wondering: What is the best way to filter water on the PCT? Or maybe you're pushing your limits and wondering if you need to treat your water at all. If you’re reading this post, I assume you've opted for the more conservative approach and are intending to treat your water in the backcountry. In this post I examine four different categories of water treatment and provide a recommendation on what I think the best water treatment system is for thru hiking the PCT.

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Exploring the Foothills of the Atlas Mountains

While on vacation in Marrakech, we took a day trip to Amizmiz to hike in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. We visited a local souk, hiked five miles toward the mountains, had mint tea and a proper feast with a Berber family and then hiked back to town.

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