Have a Cold One
I spent some time in the deserts of Kuwait while I was in the Marines, and our water always seemed to be near boiling. My staff sergeant suggested that I put my water bottle in an old sock, soak the sock, and hang the bottle on the outside of my pack. A half-hour later, I grabbed my bottle and took a drink. To my surprise, the water was a lot cooler. Now when I go backpacking in the deserts of Arizona, I carry a spare sock with me.
Jamie Scott Leslie, Mesa, AZ
A tip for keeping dry in the rain: Fold a bar towel or synthetic chamois into a long, thin, two- to three-inch-wide strip. Wrap it around your neck before pulling up your hood. Any rain that may drip inside your jacket will be trapped in the towel instead of getting into your clothes.
Alan Johnson, Seal Beach, CA
Pack a small notepad with your camera to record each picture’s photo number and a brief description of the location for future reference.
Lori Garvin, Columbia, SC
In my 26 years as a vet, I’ve tried every tick removal method out there. The best gadget I’ve ever seen for dogs is a small device called the Tick Twister ($4, ticktwister.com). A slot slides under the tick’s head like a crowbar under a nail; rotate it a few times and the tick pops out, mouthparts intact.
Dan Thompson, Victoria, BC
I speed up packing time by having meals prepacked in gallon bags according to the duration of the trip. They are all marked from weekend to weeklong trips. That way, I can just grab what I need and go.
John “Dehydrator” Harlan, Nampa, ID