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How to Do Everything – Hiking

From navigation to staying dry to predicting the weather, our primer will have you dialed.
compassillo(Illustrations by Supercorn)

Hiking | Packing & Planning | Camping | Gear | First Aid & Health | Cooking

Navigate Off-Trail | Stay Dry in a Downpour | Descend Safely | Beat Fatigue on Steep Climbs | Read a Rattlesnake’s Body Language | Predict Weather With an Altimeter | Identify a Mountain Lion Track | 5 Ways to Navigate Without a Compass | 4 Ways to Prevent Blisters | Lace Your Boots for Maximum Comfort | Take a Perfect Summit Photo | Two-Second Tips

Bright sky, snow, and shadows make hero shots hard to capture. Here’s how BACKPACKER’s resident adventure photographer Steve Howe does it:

  • Forget about horizons and sky. Put your buddy slightly down from the summit–10 to 15 feet below the actual top–or near a cliff edge with a superb background.
  • Get above him and shoot downward, so you include your friend, the scenery behind him, and just a tiny strip of sky in the upper background. You’ll get the incredible setting, plus a sense of height and exposure.
  • If you can’t resist the standard Tenzing-against-the-sky photo, set your camera’s exposure compensation meter to one or two stops of overexposure (+1 or +2). That way his face won’t be a dark blob.
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