How To

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How to: Reduce a Dislocated Shoulder

As I skimmed through the latest Annual Safety Report looking for ideas for this month's article, I noticed The Mountaineers had 5 instances of dislocated shoulders in 2014. This got me thinking about all of my friends who have had shoulder dislocations while out in the backcountry. Read more…

How To: Care For Your Sleeping Bag

It’s that time of year when I like to take inventory of my backpacking gear and find the chores I put off during the busier hiking months. Remember that small tear in your tent mesh you ignored or the clogged water filter you put off cleaning? Like me, you probably forgot about those issues when you stuffed your gear away last fall and will only remember them when you are already in the wilderness on your first trip. If these simple tasks are left unattended, they can become major annoyances or worse, require expensive replacements. Read more…

How To: Pick an altimeter

Early altimeters with 19 jewels and Swiss-made movements were price-prohibitive and thus weren’t included in either The Mountaineers navigation courses or the Ten Essentials. However, with new technology emerging, the upcoming  9th edition of Freedom of the Hills  will feature map, compass, and all of the modern tools with altimeters prominent among them. Read more…

How To: Know When Your Fuel Canister Is Empty

Ever wonder how much fuel is left in a used canister? In this short, instructional clip, MSR shows how to measure MSR canister fuel.  Read more…

Backcountry Bites: Chocolate Matcha Energy Balls

Nuts, trail mix, energy bars? They do the trick. But it doesn’t take long for regular snacks like those to become boring and bland. So I went on the search for something full of flavor, but healthy and compact. And something that would sustain me too.  Read more…

How To: When To Put On Crampons

Crampons are an indispensable tool for any alpine mountaineer. But sometimes it's not so "cut-and-dry" as to when you should use them. Read more…

How to: Prepare for Variable Weather

With the days getting shorter and colder as we creep into winter, many climbers start looking for warmer venues for their climbing excursions. If you are looking for a weekend warm-up, we have good crags close to home, like Vantage, Tieton, and Smith Rock. However, even though these areas are usually warm during the day, they can still get bitterly cold at night. Climbers should be prepared for the temperature swings that accompany these arid, deserty crags. Read more…

Leave No Trace: Rappel and Belay Stations in the Alpine

Leave No Trace isn't just for orange peels or poop. It applies to all facets of our outdoor explorations. Climbing is unique because it is one of the few outdoor sports where you often must leave gear or webbing behind to descend safely. Consequently, the climbing community must work as a team to limit our collective impact, especially on our popular climbing routes.   Read more…

Balance and Coordination - One-leg deadlift

One of the most important exercises in my own outdoor-conditioning strength program, and indeed in the program of many hundreds of mountaineers I've trained over the past fifteen years, is the one-legged deadlift. Whether you are 8 or 88, you need balance, coordination, and strength. To go faster uphill on foot, include the one-legged deadlift in your program. It will help your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and balancing muscles around the feet, ankles, hips and knees. Read more…