Those Who Dare.....
Valleys of Pakistan
Basic Outdoor Tips
Basic Outdoor Tips
out slowly, gradually increasing your pace and distance traveled.
the slowest person in your hiking, paddling, biking or cross-country skiing
party set the pace. This is especially important when children are part of
the trip ahead of time and assign tasks that people enjoy. If someone
doesn't like to cook, don't force them. The goal is to have a good time
turns leading the group and sharing decision-making responsibilities.
bike or ski only on marked trails in wilderness areas unless bushwhacking is
allowed and you have excellent navigation skills.
and travel in groups as much as possible, especially during winter and in
your itinerary with a friend or family member and check in with them upon
basic repair skills for changing a bike tire, fixing a backpack or mending a
to take repair kits on your trip.
weather is generally cooler, cloudier and windier than in lowland areas. For
every 1,000 feet of elevation, the temperature often drops three to five
sunglasses and a hat or visor when you hike, ski or paddle. Snowblindness,
caused by the sun's glare on snow, can also be caused by sunlight reflecting
off water or boulders. Keep your eyes and face covered, especially during
your first few days outdoors.
sunscreen no matter the season. You can get a painful sunburn even in
an emergency plan before you start your trip. Make sure everyone knows what
to do if they become lost or a medical emergency arises. Give children
whistles with the instructions to "stop and blow" if they become
frequent rests or vary your pace to recover from strenuous activity spurts.
A steady pace will get you there with less discomfort than the
plenty of water. Water is heavy to carry, but thirst on the trail is a
hazard. Take a tip from athletes: Before a hike, drink some water so you're
well hydrated and energized. Don't run out of water. Never drink your total
supply between refills.
water supplies are unpredictable. It's better to arrive at a gushing stream
with 1/3 quart of water left then to arrive at an empty streambed and have
no water left at all. Treat or filter all water and rehydrate to your
heart's content at the water supply.
carbohydrates-energy bars, granola, candy, gorp and fruit provide an instant
pick-me-up on the trail.
a first-aid kit tailored to your outing.
yourself about two hours of daylight to set up camp.
attention to local regulations, especially concerning camp fires. In many
desert or drought areas, fires are prohibited and you must use a camp stove.
in layers. Polyester clothing worn closest to your skin will trap warm air
next to the skin and transfer or wick body moisture away.
In cold climates pack your water bottle deep inside your backpack
so it will not freeze. Make sure the lid is screwed on tight and pack it
upside-down. Water freezes from the top, so if it is stored upside down,
the mouth of the bottle remains free of ice. You could also wrap a small
heating pad that is activated when shaken around your water bottle,
secured with duct tape.
Before you crawl into your sleeping bag at night, fill your water
bottle with warm water. Use it to warm your sleeping bag by bringing it
into the bag with you, like a hot-water bottle.
If you have room to carry them, take two sleeping bag pads, a
self-inflating one and a lightweight closed-cell foam pad, for additional
insulation when camping in cold climates.
If you stop to take a water or snack break, store the outer shell
of your mittens or gloves in your pack or attach them to your jacket with
a clip. Sticking them under your arm makes it easier to have them blow
away with a gust of wind. If you lose a mitten, use a spare sock as a
Take a metal tube that is a bit wider than your tent pole with you.
If a tent pole breaks, slide the tube over the broken area to act as a
splint and secure the tube to the poles with duct tape. Store your duct
tape around your ski pole or water bottle.
Consider taking an extra stove and plenty of stove fuel, up to
one-half cup per person per day. It takes a lot of fuel to melt snow for
Eat often and carry plenty of food. You can burn up to 8,000
calories per day when winter camping.
Drink plenty of hot soup and beverages during your winter camping
trip. You need to replace water lost both through physical exertion and
also from the dry, cold air drawing moisture from your face and skin. Try
instant cocoa, decaffeinated coffee or tea, fruit-flavored drinks and
instant breakfast drinks. Caffeinated drinks are not recommended. They
contain diuretics that cause you to lose fluids.
Winter is not the time to go solo, always camp with others. Leave
your itinerary with a friend or family member and check in with them on
Watch for signs of hypothermia among your camping group:
uncontrolled shivering, poor motor coordination, mental confusion and
mumbling. If someone exhibits these symptoms, get them into dry clothes or
a sleeping bag. Have them huddle close to a warm, dry person and give them
a warm beverage.
Check for signs of frostbite and pay attention to cold feet.
Protected skin, as well as exposed skin, are all susceptible to freezing
and toes are the most vulnerable. The first sign of frostbite is white
patches on the skin surface. If the skin does not return to its normal
color after applying gentle pressure, you should seek medical attention as
soon as possible.
If you are backcountry skiing in hilly terrain, climbing skins help
you ascend hills with less effort. Skins are slightly narrower than the
width of a ski. They attach to a ski by straps or an adhesive backing. The
skins have synthetic hairs or scales that flow from front to back so they
grip snow and keep you from sliding backwards on hills.
As you gain altitude, food takes longer to cook. Plan meals that do
not require a lot of boiling.
Pack a colorful bandana in your pack. In the rare event you need to
signal rescue workers, you can attach the bandana to your ski pole and use
it as a flag.
enjoyment on the trail rests literally on your feet. Nothing can end a
great outdoor experience quicker than painful blisters, pinched toes or
even injuries caused by inappropriate hiking boots. (The comfort, fit and
construction of appropriate footwear can also add to your margin of safety
in rugged terrain.) Here are our guidelines to help you choose the right
hiking boots for all your outdoor adventures.
Before you begin shopping for a pair of hiking boots, think
carefully about what kind of hiking you plan to do. Select boots that are
designed to provide the support and protection you will need for the most
difficult terrain you expect to encounter.
Choose boots that are designed to support the load you expect to be
carrying. The heavier your load, the more support you will need.
Remember that great hiking boots do not have to weigh a great deal.
Today's high-tech materials have replaced the traditional metal
shank and other heavy elements that provide stability in a boot. As a
result, hiking boots are lighter but offer great support.
Once you have identified your terrain and load, consider the
various advantages of fabric versus leather boots. Fabric/leather boots
are lighter in weight and easier to break in. Many hikers today are
returning to traditional leather hiking boots for added protection and
durability in rigorous terrain.
Leather boots are supportive and water resistant yet still allow
your feet to breathe.
Consider the advantages of a waterproof boot. Today's top-quality
hiking boots, including many of L.L. Bean’s fabric-and-leather boots,
are made with a Gore-Tex® lining that lets perspiration escape while
keeping water out. Gore-Tex® is more expensive, but you can walk through
puddles and shallow streams and not get your feet wet, potentially a major
advantage on longer treks.
Note that there are four distinct types of hiking footwear, ranging
from rugged walking shoes suitable for smooth paths to rugged
mountaineering boots that carry hikers to the world's highest peaks:
If you are hiking in a dry climate and on
well-established paths that don't have a lot of rocks, a pair of trail
shoes may be just what you need. Trail shoes are the most versatile type
of hikers and are sometimes referred to as "approach shoes."
This refers to their use for getting comfortably to and from difficult
climbs. High-quality trail shoes like Bean's Gore-Tex Mountain Treads are
ideal for one-hour to one-day hikes when you are carrying a light daypack.
If you are going to encounter steeper inclines and muddy paths, or plan to
stay out three days to a week, then you will need some sturdier,
higher-cut waterproof boots like Bean's Cresta Hikers. These will provide
added stability and ankle protection against protruding limbs and rocks.
If you plan to climb in the mountains (and might even need to attach
crampons for a better grip on glaciers or hard-packed snow), you will want
an extremely strong boot with a stiff sole to give your ankles sturdiness
and support as you climb. Bean's rugged Mt. Guide Hikers, which weigh in
at only about four pounds, offer reinforced heels and toes for exceptional
protection on challenging terrain.
Finding the Best Fit
When trying on boots, wear the socks you plan to wear on the trail.
Bean experts suggest polyester liner socks that wick away moisture, as
well as an outer pair of heavy-weave wool or synthetic ragg socks for
Boots should feel snug but comfortable, so you can still wiggle
your toes. Most hiking boots won’t feel as instantly comfortable as
sneakers, but they shouldn’t pinch, cause hot spots or constrict
circulation. They should fit securely around your ankle and instep.
When trying on boots, try walking down an incline. Your feet should
not slide forward, nor should your toenails scrape against the front of
your boot. If your foot slides forward, the boot could be too wide. If the
back of your heel moves around, your boots might not be laced up tight
Breaking in Your New Boots
Care and Maintenance
Cleaning and waterproofing your boots from time to time is
critical. Use waterproofing on leather, and be sure to concentrate on the
seams, which can become porous over time. For boots with a Gore-Tex™
lining, use a silicon-based waterproofing treatment, not a wax-based
treatment. Wax-based treatments keep the leather from
On the trail, if a blister or hot spot develops, place padding such
as moleskin or an adhesive bandage over the area. You can cut a donut in
the moleskin to create a buffer around the blister.
Remember, hiking boots will never feel like bedroom slippers
are carrying an internal frame or an external frame pack, you should load
it with balance and the convenient location of gear in mind. A few basic
packing principles apply to both styles of packs.
Carry sunglasses, guidebook, map, compass, water bottles, camera and other essentials in outer pockets. Nothing is more frustrating than having to sort through all the compartments in your pack to find something you need. The easiest way to avoid frustration is to consistently pack the same items in the same pockets. For example, your map, guidebook and compass in the top pocket.
for the Outdoors
enthusiasts have long recognized that multiple layers of clothing keep
them warm in winter and from overheating in summer. Adding or removing
garments is a practical way to adapt quickly to different activity levels
and temperature changes during your time outside.
performance underwear, made from polyester or polypropylene, is most
effective in moving moisture away from your skin and into outer layers of
clothing where it can evaporate.
should fit snugly, without hampering movement. Make sure the shirt is long
enough to tuck firmly into the lower half. Too loose a fit may cause
In addition to
traditional shirts and "long johns," many other garments
including short-sleeve tops, bras, boxer shorts and briefs are now made
with polyester fabrics to "wick" away chilling perspiration.
campers wear a system of underwear, a midlayer of polyester fleece (pants
and top), followed by a windproof, water-resistant outer layer (windpants
with full zips down the side for easy on/off and a high-performance wind
shell with zippers under the arms for ventilation during active sports).
trips, carry a lightweight polypropylene hat. It is lightweight and stores
compactly in your pack pocket and doubles nicely as a comfortable sleeping
hat in cool weather.
often carry a hat system consisting of a lightweight polypropylene liner
and a nylon shell to adjust to changing winter temperatures.
Hiking and Camping
To help ensure quality backcountry experiences for fellow outdoors people and future generations, we encourage our customers to join us in practicing low-impact hiking and camping.
the "wild" in wilderness
Enjoy your adventure in the backcountry. Take only pictures. Leave only footprints.