Your Outdoor Skills: Weather Wisdom
Mother Nature seems to have a mind of her own. Even when we’ve done our best to anticipate the weather, she throws us a curveball. At times they are to our benefit and sometimes not. Thankfully, in some instances modern technology like cell phones can help you stay updated on the weather while you’re on the trail.
If you’re like us at Littlbug, you like to disconnect while you’re on the trail or you enjoy going places out of reach of service, then getting a weather update becomes difficult.
Regardless of what you prefer you want to be prepared. Your phone may die, become damaged, or you don’t have service or the weather has changed since you looked before leaving your house. Predicting the weather may be challenging, but you can take steps to make sure you remain safe and prepared for whatever Mother Nature hits you with.
Check, Check, and Double Check
You can never check the weather too many times before you leave. If you’re planning a trip in advance, it’s a great idea to look at the average weather conditions for the time you plan on being in the backcountry. This helps you plan your gear appropriately.
One of the most important times to check the weather is the day before you leave. Weather patterns can change quickly so it’s best to check it at least right before you leave.
If you’re planning a thru hike like the Pacific Crest Trail or Superior Hiking Trail, use the internet as a resource to read about previous hikers experiences on the trail. These kinds of long trips take you through various terrain and weather conditions. These trip reports can help you best prepare for your long backcountry adventure.
Don’t Be Afraid to Postpone or Turn Around
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you think bad weather is rolling in or the weather report looks threatening, turn around or stay home. It’s not worth your safety to try and challenge yourself with the weather. The trail will be there next week and more opportunities will come for you to go on your backcountry trip. The trails and experiences aren’t going anywhere.
If Disaster Happens
We can plan ahead and use our best judgement, but there may be times when you get stuck in the wilderness in bad weather. The best way to prepare for these instances, is to have a small weather emergency kit with you.
We like to focus on the basic human needs when planning our weather emergency kit: shelter, warmth, food, and water. For shelter, a small, lightweight tarp can easily be transformed into a shelter using trekking poles, sticks, or tied between trees works well.
The Littlbug stove can become a temporary fire ring in emergency situations to help you stay dry and warm. It’s lightweight and natural fuel can easily be found in most wilderness settings. Don’t forget to toss a lighter or waterproof matches in your bag to get your fire started. We also recommend an emergency blanket.
Lastly, packing a couple extra granola bars along with some water purification tablets doesn’t hurt either.
When it comes to outdoor skills the more you bring along, the less you have to carry. Skills don't break and they're never left behind. They don’t leak, tear, and they don’t get wet!