The more you know Vernon Lake, Hetch Hetchy Valley

I love backpacking. I love loading up my Osprey Atmos 65 bag with the essentials and getting in miles with friends to a remote destination, far away from San Francisco. I’ve backpacked a ton in California. I think it’s safe to say that me and my backpacking crew are pretty knowledgeable and confident in handling the back country. Although, unexpected surprises do come up and knowing how to handle them is key to keeping a camping trip from great to bad really quick.

It’s always good to dust off your wilderness knowledge. I had two close calls this past weekend while me and my buds backpacked 20+ miles in the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite.

First, I had my first up-close encounter of a rattlesnake. Super scary. It took me a few seconds to even realize I was in danger. Pro tip: Get to know what a rattler sounds like.

Second, while fording a rushing river waist high, I picked a not-so-ideal part of the river to cross. If I slipped on a boulder or if the current picked up my foot as I was stepping, I would have definitely been swept away.

So, below are links to resources and articles to a select/small portion of wilderness backcountry knowledge. Be sure to do your homework when gearing up, unplugging, and heading out into the wilderness. I’m definitely familiarizing myself with some of these.

Bitten by a Rattlesnake? These 5 Tips Could Save Your Life
How to ford a river
How to poop in the woods
Backpacking checklist
How to Build a Campfire
What to do when you are lost in the woods
Blister Prevention and Care
Hot-Weather Hiking Tips

Photos by Andy Montgomery