Author Archives: Howie

Water Consumption In Yellowstone National Park

In today’s America, water is almost out of fashion. Go into any convenience store and you find a mind boggling array of excuses to drink anything but water. Soft drinks, booze and beer, coffee, fruit juices, high caffeine energy drinks, Gatorade and more have all replaced the healthiest liquid of all, good old water. Water […]

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Yellowstone Thermal Features: Backcountry Safety

Most Yellowstone backpackers, particularly novices, focus their fears mainly upon bears, though driving to the trailhead is the biggest hazard of backpacking in Yellowstone. Yet one of the most underrated dangers is the park’s thermal areas. Yellowstone National Park has the greatest concentration of hot springs, geysers, boiling mud pots and other related manifestations of […]

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How to Avoid Drowning in the Yellowstone Wilderness

Wait a minute. You’re going backpacking, not canoeing with the Boy Scouts. And it’s not a whitewater rafting trip, either. So why worry about drowning? Well, for good reason! Although water is an important landscape feature on nearly all of our trips, guided Yellowstone backpack trips are particularly well-endowed with rivers, streams and lakes. Sometimes, […]

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Four Ways to Avoid Getting Lost on a Guided Backpack Trip

It is almost counter-intuitive to consider the possibility of getting lost when you are on a guided backpack trip! After all, guides don’t get “lost”, though sometimes, in new territory, it may take them a few minutes to figure things out. Nonetheless, although we have a 100% success rate in never having lost a client, […]

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Backpacking Hazards: Driving to the Trailhead

Unless you are lucky enough to live literally on the border of a big wilderness area, nearly every backpack trip requires a drive to the trailhead. And while it is natural for folks to worry about bears or rattlesnakes or even falling off a cliff, the truth is that if you are careful in the […]

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Backpacking Hazards: Falling

On most of our guided backpacking trips, you would have to really work at it to fall off a cliff! That’s partly because we avoid climbing anything that requires technical skills. It is also because we choose routes where exposure to steep dangerous drop-offs are limited or non-existent. This is particularly true on our guided […]

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Choosing A Tent Site On A Guided Backpack Trip

On any of our guided backpacking trips, your Big Wild guide will choose the campsite. On our Yellowstone backpacking treks, we will have reserved each campsite prior to the trip. But on most of our other treks, the guide can pick and choose as the trip unfolds, according to the groups’ progress, weather, animal sightings […]

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The Little Ones

Perhaps more than any other nature preserve in North America, Yellowstone National Park is known for its large mammals. On any of our guided hiking tours in the world’s first national park, our clients might see elk, moose, mule deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn or mountain goats. We occasionally view predators, too, including black and grizzly […]

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Three Reasons To Choose Yellowstone

Of all the national parks in the lower 48 states, Yellowstone is my favorite. There are many reasons, but here are three of my top ones. First, Yellowstone has the biggest, wildest backcountry. Sure, Death Valley National Park is larger, but numerous paved and dirt roads carve its backcountry into a couple of dozen separate […]

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Yellowstone Backpacking Highlights 2016, Part Two: Of Bears and Snow

What a year for our guided Yellowstone hikes: wildfire, snow, the great bear and much, much more! Really, who is to say what constitutes an actual “highlight”? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and while in these two blogs I focus on wildfire, bears, snow and autumn foliage, perhaps to some of our […]

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