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Spring Backcountry Safety

It was a long, gnarly winter in many parts of the country, but spring is most definitely here and undoubtedly singing a very sweet siren song to any and all outdoors-folks. It’s an exciting time to get into the backcountry, whether on skis or snowshoes or along hiking trails that have thawed out. The days are lengthening, the angle of the Sun is increasing for warmer weather, and the intoxicating phenological signs of the season are unfolding: north-bound flocks of waterfowl, melodious songbirds in the budding thickets, frog choruses from the marshes and hollows, wildflowers starting to strut their stuff … Continue reading

River Safety Tips: How to Cross a River

Crossing rivers is often the riskiest element of a typical hiking or backpacking trek. Even a midsized stream has the power to potentially knock you off your feet. River crossings must be undertaken with an abundance of caution and sharp-eyed study, and often the correct decision is not to cross at all. We know a lot of your Mountain House lovers out there are avid hikers and backpackers who are likely to run into at least a modest-intensity river crossing on occasion, so we thought we’d run a refresher article on river safety tips! The First Step in River Safety: … Continue reading

Bear Country 101

For more than a few hikers and campers in Canada and the USA, there’s no greater fear than an encounter with a bear. Bears are the classic bogeymen of the North American wilds: the go-to explanation for any thump in the night outside the tent or crash in the underbrush along the trail. The danger they pose, however, is vastly overrated, and every outdoorsperson should appreciate the ecological value and brawny spirit represented by these intelligent, resourceful beasts. Your average bear will normally go out of its way to avoid a run-in with a human being. Many bad bear/human encounters … Continue reading

Avalanche Safety

For winter outdoor recreationists in the mountains, there’s no more fearsomely violent natural hazard than the avalanche. Too many of those skiers, snowshoers, climbers, and snowmobilers underestimate the risk and/or lack basic knowledge of avalanche behavior and avalanche safety. Others at least recognize the threat avalanches pose but don’t always actually take the time to study the forecast, test the snowpack, or practice their rescue techniques. There’s no substitute for taking an avalanche-safety course, which we heartily recommend to anyone who regularly adventures out in the winter backcountry, but for starters check out this blogpost: serving up a walk-through of … Continue reading

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