Archive

Category Archives for "Hiking"

Top 10 Best hiking backpacks under $100 in 2018

A good backpack becomes your best friend during a trekking trip, which is why it is so critical to choose the right backpack. In this article, we will enlist our choice of the top ten cheap and affordable hiking backpacks under 100 dollars. We will also provide you with a quick guide on what to look for while choosing a backpack for trekking or camping.

So let’s jump right in!

Quick Comparison: Top Hiking Backpacks

**Below, you'll find our expert's reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Continue reading

Trench Foot Guide! -How to Keep Your Feet Dry?

Since winter is approaching, the hikers are facing new challenges with their set of ultralight gear. The wet and the cold climatic conditions point out to the limitations in using the ultralight footwear in several ways. Flitting through the woods with your branded sneakers and a pair of wool socks is one of the primary delights of ultralight backpacking.

However, these can turn out to be highly disappointed when the temperature approaches the freezing point and when the precipitation starts to go down. It is always better to avoid the cold and wet feet by adequately choosing the hiking gear since there are high chances to get blisters, swellings, forced foot smell and many more.

Taking good care of your feet starts prior to planning a hike. The best pair of boots and the right pair of socks will help you stay comfortable all through the journey.

hiking in rain can cause wet foot and lead to trench foot

Hiking in rain can make your feet wet!

Why Hikers Says No to Cotton Socks?

The only thumb rule for the best hiking experience is to avoid hundred percent cotton socks, especially during the winter seasons and also while you trek in cold and wet areas. There is a significant reason why the hikes claim that ‘cotton is rotten.’

The fact is that cotton socks will absorb the sweat which is generated in your feet and dries only slowly. This, in turn, gets feet wet, stay wet and will end up in a soggy kind of socks inside the boots all the way while hiking. Remember that there is no insulation offered by the cotton socks and hence no breathing. They pave the way for the formation of blisters, and therefore it is always better to avoid things that make you wet.

Care Your Feet!!!

Another factor is that you should always ensure that you have got an extra set of socks inside your backpack before you hit the trail. Change the socks when you think that there is a chance for the formation of blisters or spots on your feet.

There are professional hikers who highly recommend changing the socks on every four to six miles, no matter whether you have wet socks or not. This may also help to avoid boot rash. After changing your wet socks, clip the damp or the dirty socks to the backpack and then dry them out properly. 

The Need for Waterproof Shoes!!!

Even though the waterproof or the breathable membranes inside the shoes provide a hot environment within, these are a necessity for certain climatic conditions for avoiding blisters as well as maceration.

If you are sure that your feet are going to be exposed to wet or cold conditions, then considering a waterproof-breathable membrane one will aid you in keeping drier and warmer than buying those meshy shoes which leak at every point of time. 

river crossing can wet your foot, even if you were wearing waterproof shoes!

River crossing can wet your foot, even if you were wearing waterproof shoes!

Importance of Dry Feet!!!

Maintaining a dry foot is one of the most critical factors in avoiding fungal skin, blisters, nail issues and warts. Incorporate the below-mentioned tips in your day to day routine for keeping the feet dry and also for maintaining health hygiene:

  • Take out all the liners from the shoes
  • After every use, try to keep the boots next to a heat source to ensure complete dryness
  • Dry the feet properly after taking a shower or once you step inside a river, particularly in between the toes
  • hashtag
    Try to use wool toe socks since it helps to maintain moisture content away from the feet skin
  • hashtag
    If possible, use baby powder inside the socks as these helps in retaining the dryness while wearing them
  • hashtag
    For avoiding foot or shoe odors, make use of natural medicated foot powder
  • hashtag
    Dry the shoes after each use and remove all the moisture content as this will prevent the growth of odor-producing fungus as well as bacteria
  • hashtag
    If you have extra money to spend on, then try getting a shoe dryer
  • hashtag
    Above all, ensure that you buy a ‘No Cotton’ pair of socks

Bye to Wet Sock – Get the Right Waterproof Ones!!!

Getting the right pair of waterproof sock is a good option for shallow stream crossings since they work great for you. Try to use insulative, merino wool blend and also crew height socks as they are right in offering additional insulation for your foot.

These dry feet socks are the best option while being in terrains where you can expect wet climates. Ultralight and thin socks are the right choice for trekking in summer; however, there are limitations for them when the temperature drops down considerably.

If you are hitting a wet or cold weather terrain, then upgrade yourself to heavyweight or mid weighted socks for getting better insulation. On the other hand, heavy socks are slow in drying and are one of the significant disadvantages of heavier socks.

Is Waterproof Socks A Necessity?

Apart from the camping usage, waterproof socks will provide many on-trail benefits for the hikers. They help to stay away from soaking the trekking socks while you cross the shallow streams. In addition to this, they are also good at offering the required warmth during the first two hours of hiking in wet and cold climatic conditions.

Wet Socks Treatment

There are many ways in which you can treat the wet socks. However, few of the most commonly adopted methods are mentioned in this article. You can stuff them well inside the thermal underwear when you wear it, placing each of the socks on the upper portion of the thigh and then dress into sleep. Another technique is to wrap up the socks on the hand towel and then hold it as the dampness gets neutralized within the items.

Yet another way is to keep the wet socks on your hands and warm them cautiously within a low-setting camp stove. Above all, the easiest method is to activate a hand warmer inside the socks and let it dry. You can also try stuffing the socks on the base portion of the sleeping bags.

Wet feet can lead to....

Trench foot is a condition which results from the prolonged wetness of feet. Some of the visible signs and symptoms of this condition may include blisters, blotchy skin, redness, skin tissues which die and falls off, etc.

Signs and Symptoms of Trench Foot

Signs of trench foot may include itching sensations in those wet areas, wrinkled feet, pain, cold or blotchy skin, swelling, heavy feeling, numbness, etc. Sometimes, the foot may even show redness in the affected area, and when the area is dried, you might feel the pain. Following the pain, there are high chances for the blister formation, and gradually the skin or the tissues will die and start falling off. If left untreated, the infection may spread to other areas such as toes, heel or even the whole foot.

blisters on foot

Blisters on foot

How to Prevent Trench Foot?

Whenever possible, try to air dry or elevate the feet and change the wet socks. This will help in the prevention of the development of trench foot. The treatment mode is the same as that for the treatment which we apply for frostbite or the swamp foot disease. The below mentioned steps will help you in preventing trench foot:

bare foot- make it dry
  • Clean and dry the feet properly
  • Use clean and dry socks daily
  • Use warm packs in those affected areas or trying soaking in the warm water (for a short period of five minutes)
  • While you are resting or sleeping, don’t use socks

If your foot is having a wound and has higher tendencies to get infected, check those areas during the hike at least once and make sure that the conditioning is not worsening.

Trench Foot Treatment

The very first thing which any hiker should do to overcome this situation is to take rest and sit with feet on an elevated position. This will help to increase blood circulation. In addition to this, it would also help to prevent the formation of new blisters and any wounds. If you notice any early signs of trench foot, then it can be easily treated with simple home remedies.

first aid applied on trench foot

The basic things which you have to do are to remove the dirty socks and clean the foot hygienically. Now dry the feet thoroughly and use heat packs on those affected areas for getting better relief.

Keep in mind that even if the condition is not under control after applying home remedies, don’t wait anymore. Rush to the nearest hospital and get the first aid for avoiding further complications.

The Backpack Size and Volume Guide

If you have planned a trail just beyond the car campground by carrying the backpack on your shoulders and moving on, then you need to know many things for making yourself comfortable. Backpacking is the best adventure which intermingles the back country camping with hiking. It helps you in enjoying splendid as well as more creative outdoor experience. One of the major factors with day hiking is with choosing the size of your backpack since you need to take with you all the life’s essentials right on your shoulders.

The backpack, which is also referred to as rucksack, backsack or rucksack is the simplest kind of cloth sack which a hiker will be carrying on his back and has got two straps for securing over the shoulders. There are wide ranges of choice in design, color, making, size and volume. Choose the one which meets your demands and picks it according to your planned trail.

Backpacks – The Basics!!!

Backpacks are those stuff which is often preferred by the hikers who will be carrying heavy loads while trekking. The packs are available in large sizes which are capable of taking loads more than 22 lb (around 10 kgs) and also in small quantities (sports bags) that are used by people who engage in activities such as cycling, running, hiking, etc. Whatever the format is, the shoulder straps will help you in stabilizing the loads.

trekking man backpacks

What is a Daypack? How Does It Differ From A Backpack?

All daypacks can be considered as backpacks; however, all the backpacks can’t be regarded as daypacks. The backpack is a pack which is carried on your shoulders. It can be a day pack, something like a camera pack, or any other larger packs which are generally utilized for backpacking and can hold all your gear right on your back.

CamelBak Women's Helena 20 Hydration day hiking backPack

On the other hand, a day pack is a small thing (ranges between 600 cubic inches – around 2,500 cubic inches). The size will be chosen based on the kind of day hiking which you are planning. Those winter hikes and hiking with your family, all need a larger pack while the smaller one deals with those shorter trips.

Even though the larger daypacks have a frame for helping in carrying as well as distributing weight, the majority of the day packs comes frameless. The ultralight backpackers will mostly prefer to go with the smaller models, and at times they pick the largish day packs if they are on a multi-day trail.

Multiday Backpack – What Are They?

If you are in a plan to spend beyond two or three days on hiking, then it is highly recommended that you should choose packs which are within the range of 70 to 110 liters. They will help you in accommodating everything right from the gear to the food. They are a mostly heavy duty.

Backpack Sizing – The Basics!!!

There are lots of confusions going on with the backpack dimensions. Majority of the backpacks ranges from 25 liters to 85 liters; This is almost a considerable range. However, the smaller model packs start with 25 liters, and these are more suited for day packs.

They are found to be more useful when you are planning to take only limited things with you such as cameras, books or jackets. In addition to this, they can also be used for any short trips which you plan since they are considered as light packs.

On the other hand, the large dimension bag starts at 65 liters and is meant for only long trails. They are suited for outdoor activities and can hold all your clothing as well as camping gear.

Osprey Mens Atmos 65 Backpacks

65L Backpack- Check on Amazon

Backpack Size Chart

Choosing the right sized daypack is an essential factor since you need to carry that with you all through the trip. Similar to that of the larger counterparts, the volume of the daypack can be well determined by two methods – liters and in cubic inches.

Once you are settled with the type of the bag which you are carrying with you, the next step is to get the torso measured. The backpacks which are now available in the market come with specific designs and with varied body sizes.

The only thing which you have to do is to take a tape and measure the back of your neck and also the area where the shoulders meet the neck. Next, place the hands on the hips and then feel the top portion of your hip bone. Now you need to spread the thumbs out in the direction of the spine. Measure the imaginary line in between the thumbs. This will provide you with the right torso length.

bag size and fit

What Size Backpack Do I Need?

Almost all the makers of the backpacks use to determine the volume of the backpacks by merely adding the complete volume of the closed storage of those backpacks. This may include small pockets, major compartments and even the pockets in the hip belt (this can be closed or opened with the help of the zippers).

On the other hand, there are several smaller makers who are using different methods and will be including even open pockets such as the rear mesh and the side water bottle pockets apart from the closed storage. This, in turn, will mislead the weight-to-volume comparisons somewhat while comparing with those packs that are made from various other manufacturers.

If you have any doubts, it is always better to call the maker and check with them the technique which they are using for measuring the volume of their backpack.

Average Backpack Size

How to determine the average sizing of your backpack is one of the most asked questions by many of the hiking beginners, It is simple. The size should be chosen wisely depending on the length of the trip, the things which you need to carry along with you and above all the gear required for performing various activities.

If you are planning for a multi-trip, then consider taking more things with you so that you can be safe and secure all through the journey. Every trial requires different preparations, and hence the size may vary based on the plan of your trail.

What Does Standard Backpack Size and Volume Mean?

The backpacks are measured in two different. The first one is by considering the bag volume. That is, how much amount of things it is capable of holding. It will be measured in cubic inches or liters. Secondly, the size of the backpack and this is where you need to check with the dimensions of your backpack. It is the manufacturer who decides whether to note down the measurements in cubic inches or liters. However, in specific brands, both will be noted so that the user can understand.

Do you doubt how much is 75 liters or 80 liters?  Don’t worry; the calculation is straightforward. The conversion is like 1 liter = 61 cubic inches. This points out that a 25-liter backpack would be mentioned as 1525 cubic inches.

compression backpacks

The Best Weekend Backpack!!!

REI Co-op Special Edition Flash 18 day hiking backPack

You might be on the weekend trip and have brought a 20-liter daypack, and this may sound perfect for you as long as you can accommodate all your necessities inside it. The underlying logic is just enough for planning and buying the right backpack which meets your demands.

If you are planning for a 6 months trip, larger backpacks are required. If you are taking the same thing for a 3day trip, then it might leave lots of space in the rucksack. Making you feel uncomfortable since the stuff which is placed inside will move around while you trek in the woods.

Expedition Backpacks – The Different Models

Expedition backpacks are ever noted as the behemoths of backpacking, and the size ranges in between 80 liters to 110 liters or even more. They are specially designed for holding or carrying all your food and gear in the right way. It is meant for the mountaineering trails which are professionally guided. If you are ever planning such a trip, then it is better to ask the guide regarding their recommendations since you can make the best use of it. They even have the gear which could rent out as the expedition model backpacks are expensive.

Recommended Backpacks

Foot Note!!!

Keep in mind that the backpack you choose for your trail has the power to either break the trial or to make it in the right way. Before you select a particular model, consider things like the primary use (long trip, overnight trips or day trips), size of the pack, the model of the frame used, materials used for making, construction type and finally the cost factor.

Picking the right model hikers backpack will make you feel stress-free. Remember that there is no specific standard backpack size and hence the backpacks are measured either in cubic inches or liters, and these factors are mostly determined with the major compartments which can carry the stuff while bulging full. Plan the trail, choose the pack and then move around comfortably.

How to Waterproof a Tent to Stay Safe and Dry Overnight?

Majority of the tents which you get from the shops or via online will be waterproof. However, this does not mean that they are perfectly fit to be taken out into the rainstorm and used in any terrain, enjoying the warmth or dry time.

You can’t most of the time.

There are certain things which you should consider while you are setting out with your waterproof tents. Sometimes there might be situations where you will need a waterproof tent quickly.

You might be planning a trail with your family or friends and then cancelling the event since you don’t have any rainproof tents and you are not able to afford a new one.

Don’t worry anymore!

Continue reading