Emergency Preparedness & Survival - Mountain House Blog
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All things considered, the backcountry isn’t as dangerous as many people think: as is often said, the drive to the trailhead might be the riskiest part of a typical hike. Prepare thoughtfully, come properly equipped, and keep a clear head, and you’ll usually be just fine out there. That said, sometimes things don’t go so smoothly, and you find yourself in a potentially dicey situation. Today at the Mountain House blog we’re going to look at five wilderness survival scenarios and how to act in them. For several of these, we’re summarizing topics we’ve delved into more deeply on our … Continue reading

5 Common Wilderness Survival Scenarios

All things considered, the backcountry isn’t as dangerous as many people think: as is often said, the drive to the trailhead might be the riskiest part of a typical hike. Prepare thoughtfully, come properly equipped, and keep a clear head, and you’ll usually be just fine out there. That said, sometimes things don’t go so smoothly, and you find yourself in a potentially dicey situation. Today at the Mountain House blog we’re going to look at five wilderness survival scenarios and how to act in them. For several of these, we’re summarizing topics we’ve delved into more deeply on our … Continue reading

Map & Compass Basics for Navigation – Part 2

In Part 1 of our two-part blog series on “How to Use a Map & Compass,” we covered the design and symbology of topographic maps and the basics of map reading and land navigation. In Part 2, we’ll introduce the essential outdoors tool of the baseplate compass, and talk about using it on its own and how to navigate with a map and compass together. The Compass A magnetized needle suspended in a fluid-filled housing that aligns with the magnetic field of Planet Earth: that’s the marvelously simple fundamental design of the compass. Every outdoorsperson should own a good-quality compass … Continue reading

Map & Compass Basics for Navigation – Part 1

We’ve never lived in an era in which wilderness travelers are so robustly equipped to find their way and to be found. Between basic smartphone maps and fancy handheld GPS units, modern technology is a wonderful resource for the backcountry (check out our roundup of our favorite navigation apps right here) That said, the realities of the wilderness require that we don’t rely exclusively on such devices. Signals and batteries fail, computerized systems go haywire, digital maps lead us on technically impossible routes. Whether you’re a mountain climber, a backpacker, a backcountry skier, or anybody whose recreational inclinations or professional … Continue reading

Setting Up an Emergency Disaster Plan

Have you put together an emergency preparedness kit yet? You have? Awesome news! But how about your emergency preparedness plan? The right tools and supplies (including Mountain House emergency kits) are great, but if you don’t have a protocol to turn to for when a natural disaster or other disruptive event occurs, your kit can only do so much good. What is an Emergency Disaster Plan? No matter where you live, it’s essential to come up with an emergency disaster plan. It’s a strategy and a step-by-step course of action that you and other members of your household agree upon … Continue reading

Backcountry Skiing, Snowshoeing and Climbing: Assessing Avalanche Terrain

It’s avalanche season again, which means it’s high time to refresh your snow-slide smarts if you’re a backcountry skier, snowboarder, climber, or snowmobiler. We’ve published a general guide to avalanche safety here at the Mountain House blog, which we recommend reading for more insight into what causes an avalanche and what to do if you get caught in one, among other topics. Today, we’re tightening the focus a bit and presenting a basic guide to assessing avalanche terrain as you travel. The considerations we’re covering below can help you hone your “avalanche eyeballs,” as Bruce Tremper, Director of the Forest … Continue reading

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