back to backpacking
10 tips before you begin:
1. Learn some basics of wilderness travel from books, classes or other hikers.
2. Develop a good attitude about the outdoors—the idea is not to conquer
the wilderness but rather to co-exist peacefully with nature.
3. Get some good information on how to choose a backpack and how to
4. Gather what you think are the necessities—and cut the load in half. But
do consider these accessories: a camera and lenses, compass, field glasses
and maps, including contour maps.
6. Carry resource material. You'll want to identify a tree, name a bird, check
historical dates or locate some boundary. Do take your choice lightly- paperbacks over hardbounds and photocopy pages or articles instead of carrying the whole magazine.
7. Read everything you can find on the area you'll be hiking. And maybe
carry a book whose mood matches your locale; perhaps one that was
written about that area by someone who lived there or hiked it.
8. Work out a way to take field notes on the move. You'll have more ideas
and input than you'll want to trust to memory, so catch it as it comes.
9. Be in good physical shape before you hike. Practice rhythmic breathing.
Yoga is especially helpful.
10. And this especially—take someone along who knows more than you do!
Basic sourcebooks and magazines:
Backpacker Magazine, Box 2946, Boulder, CO 80302. $12 per year, 6 issues.
Fletcher, Colin. The New Complete Walker, (Knopf, 1974). The best and
brightest of the "how to" books!
Nelson, Sharon & Dick. 50 Hikes in Texas, (Tecolote Press, 1974). Trailhead
locations, highway numbers, simplified maps.
Perrin, Alwyn. The Explorers Ltd. Sourcebook. (Harper & Row, 1973). "An
information clearing-house for adventurous, geographically inquisitive people including every kind of amateur explorer, shoestring sailor, cliff hanger,
cave dweller, bug chaser, frogman, bone digger, rock hound and river rat
Women in the Wilderness, 13 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94111.
Quarterly publication, $10 per year. "The wilderness furnishes us with the
opportunity to develop new role models for women by seeing each other as
competent, adventuresome and willing to take risks."
Recreation Equipment, Inc. Co-op, PO Box C-88125, Seattle, Wash. 98188.
Mail order for the best equipment at the best prices-and it's member-
owned! Phone toll free for a catalog: 1-800-426-4840.
Organized expeditions through:
Artemis, 1001-A Shelly, Austin 78703. A guide/outfitter service which offers
women-only outings. "Trips are educational processes. . .discover that wilderness survival skills may be easily transported into city survival tactics."
Houston Sierra Club—"to explore, enjoy and preserve the nation's forests, waters, wildlife and wilderness " Phone Citizens' Environmental Coalition
National Outdoor Leadership School, Box AA, Lander, Wyoming 82520. A
school (giving optional college credit) teaching outdoor skills, practical
leadership and an appreciation of the wilderness environment. "Co-exist
with nature without leaving a trace." Women-only courses available Phone
Outback Expeditions, PO Box 444, Austin 78767. "Learn self-sufficiency in a
wilderness environment-mountain, river or desert." 1-512-442-8036.
Outward Bound, Box 50, Hanover, NH 03755. A motivational school which
utilizes stress therapy for self knowledge.
Women in the Wilderness, 13 Columbus Ave., San Francisco CA 94111. Publicizes trips, expeditions, outings and educational experiences led by women
in the out-of-doors. 1-415-982-4588.
Local classes through:
University of Houston Sundry School-assists qualified people in the process
of sharing their knowledge through non-credit courses in areas of special
University of St. Thomas Courses a la Carte-a series of special interest, non-
credit courses offered to the community. 522-7911 ext 296- 522-7914
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20 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH DECEMBER/JANUARY 1979