Warm Is Right

Layering strategies for alpine routes and bivouacs

What to wear? It’s the perennial question when packing for an ice route or alpine peak. When I plan my clothing and bivouac systems, whether for a one-day or a multi-day route, I use three principles. First, bring as few different items as possible. Second, manage moisture (I don’t mean rain, I mean sweat). Third, prepare for storms–rain or snow.

layering_strategiesClimbers too often dress for the worst-case scenario, leaving you sweaty and uncomfortable in all but those conditions. Here’s how I decide what to bring:

The base layers, I always start with the same clothing uniform: lightweight soft-shell pants, synthetic briefs and a wicking synthetic T-shirt. The only time my base layers vary is when I’m in a winter environment; then I start with fleece-insulated soft-shell pants or long underwear under my soft-shell pants.



squirrelIn the woods “Ole Bushy Tail” will play hide and seek; him hiding you seeking. He always keeps a limb or trunk of a tree between you and him. He can be spotted in early morning and late afternoon.

Where are the SQUIRRELS? In nut rich woods. M.D. Johnson says, “Memorize this: buckeye, beach, black walnut in the bottoms, hickory half way up and oaks on top.” Look for stumps with shucks around them. Their sense of hearing and sight are excellent so the SQUIRRELS can eat and watch for their enemies simultaneously.

RF health and outdoors

One of the adverse health less discussed (but controversial) of the latest wireless technology applications is the radio frequency, widely used in outdoor activities on phones, walkie talkies, handies, Wifi, Blutooth and other communications equipment, guidance, etc.

Among the indisputable facts that show the level of injury potential of using cell phones and other devices wirelessly using radio frequencies, such as wireless routers (Wi-Fi) and Bluthooth technology, there is one worth noting. I refer to the relationship between the size of the equipment and its power (and therefore scope).

First establish some facts:

1 – Electromagnetic waves between the frequencies of 300 MHz and 300 GHz are called “microwave.” In radio, standard UHF, SHF and EHF.

Wildland Ethics – Avoid Places Where Impact Is Just Beginning

Most campsites can recover completely from a certain level of use. However, a threshold is eventually reached where the regenerative power of the vegetation cannot keep pace with the amount of trampling. Once this threshold is reached the site will deteriorate more rapidly with continued use. This will result in the development of an established campsite with a discernible “barren core.” The threshold for a particular site is affected by many variables, including vegetation type, soil fertility and length of growing season.

Avoid sites and trails that show slight signs of use. Campsites which show slight evidence of use are best left alone to regenerate. In places with no well established campsites, camp on a pristine site; in popular areas always select pre-existing campsites.


Reduce your impact on other visitors

outdoor-visitorsReduce your impact on other visitors. Being friendly and outgoing toward other hikers and campers is a natural trait of backcountry visitors, but every visitor has a desired level of socialization or solitude. Around shelters or designated camp sites, share news of the day’s events with other groups, and enjoy the camaraderie fostered by a dry spot in a rainstorm, but remember to be respectful of others’ needs for cooking and sleeping space, and for a good night’s sleep.

Portable radios and tape players often disturb other visitors and wildlife. Technological “conveniences” such as cellular phones, GPS devices, etc. harms the integrity of the wilderness experience for many people. If you plan on using such items, do so unobtrusively and consider whether they contribute to the backcountry experience you are seeking, or instead cause you to miss elements of it.

muskie guide

Mike Lazarus Muskie Guides

Qubec Canada

he makes trophy muskie fishing look so easy!

mike with musike fishTo most muskie fishermen, catching a 50-inch fish represents a lifetime ambition; only a handful ever attain this goal. In one year Mike Lazarus boated and released 29 muskies that were 50 inches or longer! Very few fishermen have ever seen muskies of over 40 pounds in their lifetimes. Lazarus’s caught 17 muskies over 40 pounds in one season, including one over 50 pounds, and a second giant that weighed 49.5 pounds!

Where is this prolific muskie hotspot and who is this Lazarus character? The answers are surprising. The waters are near Montreal, Quebec and are a closely guarded secret (Mike has had numerous offers from outdoor magazines and television programs to publicize his guiding service, but for obvious reasons he has refused). Anglers can literally fly to Montreal early in the morning and be fishing a short time after they clear customs. While locals have known of these rivers’ muskie potential, few outsiders have had an inkling.