Author Archives: Howie

Guided Backpacking and Kitchen Safety, Part Two

In the previous post we discussed the need for clients to give our guides plenty of working space in the “kitchen area”, in order to avoid burns from either hot water or the campfire. This is important on our guided Yellowstone hikes as well as our guided backpacking treks throughout the Mountain West. Speaking of […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Guided Backpacking and Kitchen Safety, Part One

One of the most under-appreciated hazards of wilderness backpacking, including on our guided Yellowstone backpacking trips, is the food preparation area, or the back-country “Kitchen”. This kitchen is a mobile one, consisting of pots and pans plus a grill or camp stove or both, carried by the guide in order to make sure that his […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Guided Backpacking and Venomous Snakes, Part 2

First and foremost, do not handle rattlesnakes! What seems like common sense obviously isn’t,  judging by the behavior of some young males (see previous blog post for more on this) who skew the statistics upward in the annual tally of snakebite victims in the United States. In the previous post, I discussed the Darwinian implications […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Guided Backpacking and Venomous Snakes, Part 1

Arizona is the cradle of rattlesnake evolution, with more species of this pit viper than anywhere else. The southeastern U.S. is also rich venomous snake country, because you can add water moccasins, copperheads and eastern coral snakes to the rich rattlesnake mix. We’ve never encountered a rattler on any of our guided Yellowstone hikes, mainly […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Venomous Creatures On Our Guided Backpacking Trips, Part 2

In the previous post, I mentioned that so far, poisonous spiders, centipedes and scorpions are  found on most of our routes in the desert Southwest. New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness is included, though most of the miles on our Gila Wilderness trips  are too high in elevation for much worry about “creepy crawlies”. Nonetheless, on our […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Venomous Creatures on our Guided Backpacking Trips, Part 1

Our trips in the high country of Wyoming and Montana are, for the most part, free of venomous creatures. This includes the various routes we utilize on our guided Yellowstone backpacking trips. The climate is simply too cold to support these cold-blooded animals. So far. Of course, the climate is changing, and future Rocky Mountain […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Insect & Spider Stings and Bites in the Yellowstone Wilderness

There’s not too much to worry about here. However, after a few more decades of humanity doing little to arrest climate change, dangerous arthropods will probably become commonplace in Yellowstone. For now though, there are just a few things to keep in mind. First, Yellowstone is not known to harbor populations of either black widow […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

How to Avoid Hypothermia on Yellowstone Hiking Trips, Part Three

Essential to staying warm and dry is our basic Big Wild mountain layering system: synthetic or wool long johns first, then a fleece or wool layer, an insulated jacket, a two-piece rainsuit and a ski hat. For warm sunny weather, cotton shirts are great. They keep you cool and protect you from sun and bugs. […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

How to Avoid Hypothermia on Yellowstone Hiking Trips, Part Two

First and foremost, do not skimp on clothing! Follow the Big Wild Clothing/Personal Gear List that we send to all of our clients. Yes, you do need to bring the long underwear and the ski hat that’s on the list! Even in July! And don’t forget the insulated jacket, the fleece pullover or wool shirt […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

How to Avoid Hypothermia on Yellowstone Hiking Trips, Part One

Most of our Big Wild Adventures guided Yellowstone backpack trips are during the “summer season”, from June through September. So hypothermia should not be a problem. Right? Wrong! In fact, in Yellowstone and in all of the areas in the Rocky Mountain region where we guide, cold wet weather can occur any day of the […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed