SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.
Share your tales of travel & adventure with our step-by-step guide. Upload trail descriptions, photos, video, and more. Get Started

Searching for "Skills_and_Tips"

Chaos in Emergency First Aid

Video from my recent Wilderness First Responder course




Hey gang. I'm finally back on the blog train after three weeks of field time, guiding hikes in Zion and taking an intense 80-hour Wilderness First Responder course taught by the Wilderness Medicine Institute at the Boulder Outdoor Survival School in Boulder, Utah.

Both Zion and the "Woofer" course were grand, but together they formed a long string of 16-hour days, hence my skimpy blogging.

The Woofer seminar was nine days of full-tilt instruction - and very useful, even for an ex-EMT like myself who went into it with a smugly casual attitude. Above you'll see footage from one short field exercise that required traction splinting a femur and backboarding two patients. We'll post more First Aid videos in the future....and I'll try to stay more current on the dispatches from here forward. Stay tuned. --Steve Howe Read Full Story...
Monday, May 03, 2010 in: Survival, Skills and Tips
View Comments (11)

Trip Report: Weekend of Epic Fail

Reflections on the upside of grudge match hiking

I've got a confession to make: When I go out hiking, a lot of the time I don't get where I'm going. That was definitely the theme last Weekend as I continued Project Backyard, my self-assigned mission to suss out cool wilderness routes ecologically close to my Torrey, Utah home.

On Friday I headed up to Boulder Mountain loaded for a three-day ski trek atop this 11,000-foot plateau. But a big storm moved in and I didn't feel like spacewalking in a ground blizzard for 48 hours, so I bailed back to trailhead after dusk. Tally: One well-loaded day hike.

The next morning I repacked, bid adieu to Mistress Betty after some Valentining, and headed into Capitol Reef with an overnight load to redeem machissimo points by testing myself in tougher but warmer country. It seemed like a sure thing too - a simple 2-mile scramble crossing from Pleasant Creek into the slot canyon of Burro Wash and hopefully beyond. Stroll in the park, literally.

I did not prevail in that either. Double "L" on forehead. In fact, I did an overnight on Saturday and Sunday, then went back for a day hike on Monday, and still didn't pull it off. In the end, gnashing my teeth mightily, I turned around about 200 feet from the pass, the divide, the other side of the mountain, the view into El Dorado, thanks to snow-covered slickrock slabs that would be cake in dry weather. So: Wilderness 3, Howe 0.

Adding stoutness to what should have been a trivial 4-mile round-trip was the warm weather, which flooded Pleasant Creek thigh-deep, chocolate water running atop hard-frozen ice sheets. This was a particularly rude Monday surprise because the creek had been casual all weekend, and I figured I had this golf-course jaunt all sewed up. But it took forever to find crossings, and that meant I faced the slippery final slabs just before dusk. Hence I bailed, and fortunately, water levels were dropping by the time I headlamped it back downcanyon to my truck.

So this section of my Waterpocket Fold route just turned into a grudge match. But that's a good thing, because memorable treks often require layer upon layer of mistake. I'm not talking about the 'Golden Sieve of Memory' here, that phenomenon where you remember the romantic adventure of an epic while utterly forgetting the abject pain, fear and misery that made it such a trial at the time. No, grudge match hikes are good because, as you stack up the errors, check off all the possible link-ups and push ever further on repeat trips, you end up in outrageous place you'd never see otherwise.

And indeed, I found a ton of secret little Shangri Las. Sure it can get frustrating, like being a lab rat in a maze, but at least there are consolation prizes at all the dead ends.

I got no shortage of consolation prizes this weekend. For a peek into the uglier side of map scouting, check out the embedded e-Quad. Just hover over the waypoints for a brief description.
All this produced a whopping 1.5 miles of additional route. But that's OK, failure can be fun too.

Hike safe. -- Steve Howe



Tuesday, February 17, 2009 in: Survival, Skills and tips
View Comments (2)

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Burger King moving headquarters to Canada
Posted On: Aug 27, 2014
Submitted By: star
Pacific Northwest
Alaska
Posted On: Aug 27, 2014
Submitted By: NicholasBell
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions