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The Manual: Plan an Expedition

Go big with these expedition trip planning tips.
 june 2010 skills plan an expedition 445x260(Illustration by Supercorn)

Begin Final Countdown
>> The day before hitting the trailhead, check all of your preparations and critical gear one last time.
>> Call rangers, pilots, or outfitters for conditions, and check recent trip reports and weather (try weatherunderground.com and forecast.weather.gov).
>> If a bush pilot’s flying you into a remote region, overfly your route on the way to your dropoff, especially if it’s rarely hiked. This can save you if your plan was conceived with disastrous overconfidence.
>> Have a backup plan, plus prescouted bailout points along the route, in case weather or injury derail you.
>> Leave an itinerary with a family member and also a local outfitter, ranger, or pilot, since they’ll probably be the first to know if you miss your due-back date.

Ship Stoves
Most airlines prohibit any stove that’s been used or isn’t in its original package. And hazmat rules restrict you from shipping used burners via USPS, FedEx, or UPS. Either scrub your burner and pray baggage handlers don’t find it (we can’t recommend this, but it usually works). Or buy or rent a stove at your destination. Buy your fuel there, too.

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