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  • An emergancy personal locator beacon (PLB) can weight as little as 6 oz., and  save your life.

  • If hiking with a group, never put the slowest person in the last position on the trail.

  • Ensure your sleeping bag, and air pad or mat, have a reasonable amount of friction between the two, and against your shelter material. Otherwise you will slide a lot.

  • If hiking in rain, do not wear heavier down or even synthetic filled garments if perspiring a lot. The garment will become soaked from the inside. Layer your attire and keep the jacket packed for when you stop. If wet, synthetic fill retains heat more than down and drys out faster, though typically weighs a few ounces  more.

  • If you don't want to carry multiple topo maps (more than 1 or 2 sometimes required even for shorter trips), and you're traveling popular routes, just draw your own from the ones in the store, on-line, or from a book. Include trails, major peaks and lakes, plus all junctures. Wrap in a clear waterproof pouch.

  • Do not wait until you feel blister pain in your boots to dress it. Attend to any "hot spot" as soon as you feel ANY discomfort. Also, wrap any known problematic areas on the feet prior to a hike's start.

  • Always inform at least two people of your return date in case there's an emergency.  Have them notify the ranger station (or sherrif) if you don't return by your agreed date.  Leave your contacts with an itinerary of your travel route.

  • Do not leave food, even if contained in a chest or bear-proof container, in your vehicle unattended. It's a serous invite for bears to forcefully enter.

  • When looking at scenery while hiking, first quickly look down and ensure the terrain makes for easy walking prior to briefly glancing up.

  • If your hat lacks enough sun or cold protection around your neck, wear a bandana tucked inside your hat so it hangs down around your neck.

  • If you can't find the topo map(s) you need, often a ranger station  will have them for sale, or trail maps at no cost. Call ahead of time to check.

  • If carrying an electronic navigational device, or other electronics, you may have to pack extra batteries and conserve use of the device for longevity.

  • If carrying a smartphone, note that phone/text coverage is limited by the tower reception area There is usually no coverage in the wilderness.

  • Asprin, tea tree oil, salt, cold water, soap and lemon can be used in the treatment of insect bites. See "Pest Pre-vention Power" article on this page.

  • A floorless tent, though lightweight, can leave you wet in a downpour, or biten if mosquitoes, black flys, etc. are prevalent.

  • If you've been out of backpacking for a long duration, or a beginner, ensure you know how to tie appropriate knots that match your need, such  as securing a tent, hanging some-thing from your belt loop, hanging food, adjoining two lines, etc.

  • Sleeping with any scent on you, such as food, insect repellant or deodorant, is an invite for bears to investigate you.

  • Hiking long durations  consumes a lot of fuel: roughly 300 calories per hour. 7 hours of hiking burns roughly 2100 calories, plus an average of 1400 for metabolism. That's 3400 total! Depending on your natural metabolism, you'll need to pack ample food, and selections that are high in calories (i.e., if you have a fast metabolism). Slower metabolisms can deal with less food.

  • Be aware that many "ultralight" paradigms claim to be as such, but are actually only light-weight.  True ultralight should be around 8-20 lbs. for all gear and food over 2-7 days.

Article Solicitations

Send article solicitations to: fastbackpacker@ccstrip.com or click here. Please include your contact information and nature of the article. A reply will be sent to you within 2 weeks.

FAST10 Your Seatbelt!... just updated


This is an extensive and turnkey article about fast ultralight backpacking. It furnishes everything you need to experience comfort and much more enjoyment on your next backpacking adventure. Migrate toward a hugely lighter backpacking paradigm. You will be guided through a refined list of today's leading ultralight gear, and stay within a starting weight of only 10+- lbs. total! Amazingly, this includes all food, pack and today's elite gear of full utility: wide 30-degree mummy bag, bear-resistant food container, full tent, sleeping pad, rain gear, down jacket, water filter, pillow, personal items, meals and much more. Trips can easily be extended with very little modification- mainly, more food. The article is captivating and provides a complete equipment list with recommended alternatives, food list, weights, trip examples, strategies, illustrations and useful equipment websites. Also included are innovations unique to fast, plus a host of safety tips. Targeted for beginners through experienced backpackers.


Cost: $4.98    Allow up to 48 hours for reception

Note: Significantly updated versions of the articles are found only  in the fast book.


Why Resistance to Ultralight?

Don't resist the ultralight
paradigm... relish it!
Click here




Pack Packing Savvy

Give a hoot about pack efficiency,
comfort, and trip safety. Click here




UFO!  Ultralight First-aid Orchestration

Do you believe in UFOs? Ensure you do
with fast UFO. Click here



Bear Self-Defense

Don't pacify bears; prevent them! Learn
preventive techniques against encounters
from these amazing creatures.  Click here



Snub Out Sleeplessness

Save your sleep: wake up and smell the comfort
by minimizing sleeping distress.  Click here


fast Stretching!

Mind your body with fast stretches to reduce discomfort,
prepare you for hiking and increase safety.  Click here



ESP  Electronics School for Packers

GPS, compass, PLB, add-ons, satphone, geocaching,
camera, towers, messaging, firmware, video, 2-way radio,
downloads, smartphones, accelerometer, waypoints...
confused? Learn all about today's backcountry tech
before you buy. Give ESP a try. Geared for beginner-
intermediate users.  Click here




Don't be caught with your muscles down! Learn the
best way to prepare and condition your body for
your next trek: long or short, intense or mild. Go!
Click here




Pest Prevention Power

Empower a variety of techniques to deal
with those pesky mosquitoes, flies and
other non-gregarious pests.
Click here


Knack 4 Knots

Tying down tents, securing lines, and
hanging things gotch your fingers tied?
Know the knots you should know for
backpacking and camping.
Click here



TNT Tents 'N Tarps

Tents, stakes, rain, tarps, materials,
vestibules, groundcloth, mesh,
poles, floorless, weight, conden-
sation & other shelter decisions?
Harbor the right choice! Click here



Get Gassed!

...with the right steam,
  from the right stove,
  with the right stuff...
  Click here




Bet 'chyr Boots!

OK to be off in horseshoes
but not with your boots. Get the
traction you need as this
portal spells it out for you.
Click here and here



FAST Book!

fast is today's latest and ultra-effective
ultralight backpacking book. It combines
all of the above articles, plus many
updates and refinement.  The book
streamlines hoards of information into a quick,
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