Conquer Tough Terrain
Terrain extremes require specialized techniques. Learn these first.
Massive elevation changes result in huge temperature fluctuations, so pack layers for cold nights and rest in midday heat. Scramble safely: Only ascend slopes you can downclimb, maintain three points of contact (pack trekking poles, which also save knees), test holds, and don’t climb above others.
Reduce heatstroke risk by wearing long, light-colored, breathable clothes; hiking early and late; and drinking one liter of water or energy drink every 60-90 minutes when temps approach triple digits.
>> Deep snow
Postholing will exhaust and dampen you (with sweat and snowmelt). Improvise snowshoes by tying 3-foot branches to your boots (stem-end forward). Travel in straight lines and walk single-file, taking turns breaking trail.
Stay on paths (off-trail hiking may be impossible), and use a stick to part thorn-covered overgrowth. Use your machete sparingly; go around dense obstacles and look low for game trails.