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Blake Miller
Retired Naval Officer and Land Navigation Instructor in Oregon
Retired Naval Officer and Land Navigation Instructor in Oregon


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Stowing Your Clothes In a Pack
A few weeks ago a family friend asked me to go over what should be in their son's pack and review a few backcountry  techniques. So, three days later Nick and his buddy Daniel are at my door with a surprise guest, Nick's  Mom. We had a great three hour sess...

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5 Things to Look for When Backpacking the Appalachian Trail
The low cost of backpacking travel makes it possible to visit
most places of the world in an economical and more personable manner. The
Appalachian mountains are one beautiful travel location for people to backpack.
The mountainous region is made up of thir...

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Knots In the Backcountry
Several years ago I had the opportunity to take an abbreviated wilderness survival course conducted by Emergency Response International ( visit ).    One component of their presentation was emergency shelters.    Key to emergency shelter ...

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6 Must Haves for your Next Mountain Backpacking Adventure
Backpacking can be a real high when you are prepared for the
trip. However, being halfway up a mountain is not a good time to wish you had
packed a certain item. Being in the fresh open air of nature can raise your
awareness level ten-fold. This is when you...

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Topo Map Selection and Care
preparing for a backcountry trip take into account what maps selections the hiker will need to take. O rder maps early. It is rare to find USGS 7.5 minute quadrangles ("the backpacker’s maps") in stores. The map table tucked  away in  some corner of t...

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Your Personal Outdoor Plan
There are lots of articles and posts about letting the responsible person know about your travel plans.  Should you not return home on time they are the trigger to begin the search process. This may be the most comprehensive plan made yet!!! After the loss ...

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Topographic Maps
Reviewing a topographic map is usually the starting point for the planning of any back country trip.  A topographic map is your road map to the outdoors.  It provides you information at a scale that is meaningful and detailed.   For years, the US Geologic S...

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Is Your GPS Receiver Set-up Correctly?
Setting up the GPS receiver is key to accurate navigation.  The phrase "match the map" is a big first step.   Therefore, ensure that the GPS receiver's default settings correspond with key factors on the map.    A selection of such factors includes: Set the...

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Snake Bite
A very interesting article about a potential break through in dealing with snake bites. Nice work by the University of California at Irvine. snake bite

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Why Every Hiking Trip Needs a Hammock
Why Every Hiking Trip Needs a Hammock   When you think about packing up your
hiking gear, you might think about bringing along your first aid kit , your
water bottle and a few other necessities. Although these things are obviously
important, you might be mi...
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