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Backpacker Magazine – March 2008
Here's how Aron Ralston, Ed Viesturs, Les Stroud, and others get out and back again–and how you can, too.
By the Book
Save your butt–or just dinner–with 16 more timeless tips.
"If you're going to light campfires or handle hot cooking pots, avoid synthetic gloves because they can melt and leave nasty burns on your hands. Instead, use gloves made of cotton, wool, or silk."
–Encyclopedia of Outdoor and Wilderness Skills, Chris Townsend and Annie Aggens
"U.S. Army combat pants are ideal desert pants: They are 100-percent cotton and have a dense weave to make them windproof. They're baggy, have numerous sealed pockets, and have an ankle drawstring to tighten around boots." –
Camping and Wilderness Survival: The Ultimate Outdoors Book, Paul Tawrell
"Even if you have gone to extraordinary efforts to save weight in your clothing system, you will be wasting a lot of energy if you can't move because of a restrictive cut. Climbing is hard enough that you don't need to be fighting your clothes as well as gravity. Beware of combining too many stretch garments–the overall effect can actually be confining."
–Gear: Equipment for the Vertical World, Clyde Soles
"Another way to increase the life of your sleeping bag is to wash up each night before crawling into it. The dirt and oil on your clothes and body will find its way into your bag's fill and inhibit its ability to insulate."
–Backpacking: Essential Skills to Advanced Techniques
"[When you're looking at tents], bring money. It's a worthwhile trade. 'Well, it weighs 5 pounds more, but it saved me 80 dollars' is small consolation halfway up Blister Butte in a rainstorm. And I don't care how neat-looking it is–if you wouldn't want to set it up in a hard rain, don't get the tent."
–Basic Essentials Backpacking, Harry Roberts