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33 Top Tips From Trail Pros

Here's how Aron Ralston, Ed Viesturs, Les Stroud, and others get out and back again–and how you can, too.

"Most polar expeditions take gear which is remarkably similar; rarely are odd gizmos brought along, since they often fail in extreme cold. But I still use a Ventile hooded jacket that goes down to the knees for manhaul-sledging with 300-pound loads. The body sweats even in polar conditions, and this densely woven cotton is the only material that’s 100 percent breathable."
–Sir Ranulph Fiennes, first to cross the Antarctic by foot

"Let’s face it–seven ounces of Kentucky’s finest bourbon in a sturdy, stainless steel flask comes in handy during good and bad times. And I bring an iPod loaded with a broad spin: Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, The Who, Snoop Dogg, AC/DC, Fela Kuti, Peter Tosh, Tupac"
–Mike Gauthier, Mt. Rainier head climbing ranger

"For sheer warmth and protection, nothing surpasses an old-fashioned wool stocking cap that can be pulled down over the ears."
The Wilderness Handbook, Paul Petzoldt

"Dark-colored underwear absorbs more heat–keeping you warmer–and dries more quickly in sunlight."
Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, The Mountaineers

"A large cotton bandana is your wardrobe’s maid-of-all-work. It performs as a potholder, napkin, dish cloth, washcloth, towel, emergency headgear, Lawrence-of-Arabia neck protector, snooze mask, and even fig leaf."
–The Complete Walker, Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlins

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