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wilderness survival

How to Stay Safe While Hiking in Bear Country

How to Stay Safe While Hiking in Bear Country

by Austin Campbell April 20, 2017

Seeing a bear in the backcountry can be simultaneously breathtaking and terrifying. We are always hoping for a chance to see a bear from a distance while also hoping to avoid the danger of a close encounter. Over the years we've been given good and bad advice on what to do when we see a bear, like the time our Scout Master threw a rock towards a black bear and told us to drop our packs and run if it charged us (three things you should never do during a bear encounter). While bear attacks happen regularly, the number of attacks is very low in relation to the number of hikers, backpackers, and campers spending time in bear country every year. While it is impossible to completely eliminate bear danger in the backcountry, employing common sense and familiarizing yourself with these bear safety tips and resources will greatly reduce your risk. 

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National Geographic Just Made it Easy to Find Free Topo Maps for Your Next Hike

National Geographic Just Made it Easy to Find Free Topo Maps for Your Next Hike

by Austin Campbell August 10, 2016

The first item on the updated 10 Essentials list is navigation, yet many hikers explore new trails without bringing a map. Luckily, National Geographic just made it easy to make sure you have a map for every hike with their free printable PDF USGS Topo Map site. USGS Topo Maps have long been available for free online, but it was hard to find the map you needed, and they were a pain to print because they weren't sized to print on a standard printer. National Geographic just solved both of these complaints with their new easy to navigate website. And as an added bonus they have upgraded each USGS map with hillshadding, to help adventurers better visualize the terrain they will be hiking in.

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10 Wilderness Survival Uses for Hiking Socks

10 Wilderness Survival Uses for Hiking Socks

by Austin Campbell April 27, 2016

We do our best to be prepared and carry the 10 Essentials when we hit the trail, so we can handle whatever the backcountry throws at us. Even so, when the unexpected happens, survival often depends on more than the 10 Essentials, but also your skills, and resourcefulness. One item that you will probably always have with you when hiking, backpacking or camping is a good pair of hiking socks, and here are 10 ways they can be used in a wilderness survival situation. 

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