What gear works best? How do I save money? Take some time to read through these trail-tested tips.
Send your questions to Ask SG. We'll do our best to respond within a day or two.
Keeping Gear Dry: Line your backpack with a heavy-duty plastic trash bag -- although pricey, the best are trash compactor bags. Not only will your gear stay dry during a heavy downpour, it will also keep your hiking sweat from soaking through the pack!
Selecting the Right Boots: An old adage says “a pound on your feet is worth five on the back”. During a full hiking
day, you’ll lift your foot nearly 50,000 times! Keep your boots as light as
possible while still providing necessary waterproofing and heel support.
Types: Lightweight Hiking ($30+) – Low ankle, fabric boot for
groomed trails and light daypacks. Midweight Backpacking ($50+) – The
right choice for Scouts… some ankle support, but still not very heavy. Look
for a waterproof/breathable barrier (Gore-Tex). Full-grain leather is more
waterproof, but more expensive and heavier. Waffle Stompers ($100+) –
Heavy leather boots with lug soles designed for overloaded pack weights, rugged
conditions and long expeditions. Not for me!
Fit: Ask for the best boot fitter in the store. Wear the socks you’ll
have with you on the trail. After lacing the boots up, stand downhill on an
incline board. Check that your toes don’t cramp into the boot front. Facing
uphill, try to lift your heal out of the boot. If it comes up more than ˝”,
try a smaller size. Not every boot style will fit your foot, if you can’t find
the right size -- try a different manufacturer.