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Readers’ Best Advice: Hiking Tips

Dry Storage

I use a wide-mouthed water bottle to hold things I absolutely need to keep dry, as well as loose items that I don’t want to lose: matches, cell phone, ID, extra small batteries. Even my headlamp goes in there. If you’re worried about things rattling, pad the inside with a bandanna. 

Tim Smith, Eau Claire, WI 

Silent Hike

I keep a tube of lip balm in my first-aid kit to quiet the squeaks and creaks of my pack and straps. Just rub a bit on the offending grommet or pin, and voilà! You have an instantly quiet pack. 

Scott Cooper, Garrettsville, OH

Peak Performance

When climbing backcountry peaks, bring as much info (maps, route pictures, descriptions, etc.) as you can. Don’t rely on research committed to memory. Routes look a lot different in person than on topos, and it helps to have the route pictures and descriptions right with you. 

Michael “reship1” Li, Chicago, IL

Happy Feet

To keep toes from banging into the front of your boots on steep descents, tie locking overhand knots between the eyelets or lace hooks, beginning with the one in the middle of the instep (the top of the foot, as opposed to the arch on the bottom). This helps hold your foot securely toward the heel of the boot. 

Stanley Tysco, Syracuse, NY

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