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Using Gear: Style and Grace, Baby! | High Sierra Backpacker

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Using Gear: Style and Grace, Baby!

Share your view on Philosophy, Style, and proper Use of Gear. Stories: "tent kites!"

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Navigation Tools: Members Favorite for High Sierra Backpacking and Backcountry Travel

Members Favorites

Navigation Tools

The best tool is the one filling your boots; YOU. Below we have a selection of navigation tools found helpful by Tahoe to Whitney Membership.

Navigation Introduction

Land and Sky Navigation Resources

Astronomy Resources

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Sleeping Pads: Members' Favorites for High Sierra Backpacking

Members Favorite

Sleeping Pads for High Sierra Backpacking 


Air Mattress


rjoss                                          Thermarest NeoAir pad* (*Favorite Piece of Gear)

abramrodd                                 Neo-Air Xlite

mttim                                        Thermarest

Zandar58                                   Thermarest Prolite Plus

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Standard Backpacking Water System and Camp Shower: "The Alex"

Complete Camp and Trail Backpacking Water System

backpacking water system in break mode.

Above: Taking a break and lesiurely enjoying filtering water as needed while cooking up some food and coffee. No sitting by the creekside filtering water I'm just going to boil anyway.

Second Use: Fire Suppression

Backpacking Water System

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Alex Wierbinski's picture

Review of Solio Classic Solar Charger


Solar Charger Tests and Reviews

I started backpacking for personal experience. I did not bring a camera, phone, or any electronic gear whatsoever. I had little need or respect for GPS devices, and I still believe your best navigation and observation tools are internal.

It may be hard to believe looking at the efforts behind Tahoe to Whitney, but for twenty + years I would tell you about the mountains and the trails, but I insisted that you would have to see it for yourself.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Review of SunPak 2000 compact solar charger

Solar Charger Test

Sun Pak 2000 compact solar charger

Manufacturer's Claimed Specs

Size: 4.33” x 2.75” x .51”

Internal Battery: 2000mAh lithium-ion battery.

Charge times: Solar charging 12-14 hours, USB charging 4-5 hours.

Weight: Less than 4 ounces.

Price: 15 to 40 dollars. 15 dollars on Ebay, 40 dollars at Sears. I paid 24 dollars at Lasher Electronics on University Ave in Berkeley.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Safety: Survival Expert Successfully Crosses Death Valley In Summer

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 Above: Thomas shows us his pack and gear before departing Badwater Basin at Sunset.


The Trip 

Thomas Coyne just hiked from Badwater Basin at the bottom of Death Valley to the top of Mount Whitney during mid-Summer. 

This route goes from the lowest point in the US in Death Valley to the highest point in the US at the top of Mount Whitney.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Backpacking Skills: Stormdrane's Blog and Videos

Check out my post on Stormdrane's Rope and Knot work Blog and YouTube channel. 


Stormdrane's Blog.

Stormdrane's Videos

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Resource for rope and Knotwork: Stormdrane's Blog

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An important backpacking skill is the ability to make rope and cord serve your purpose. The ability to expertly hang food, lashing gear securely to your pack, and properly tie down your tent or tarp is very useful.

Oh, I've got another amazing use for rope skills: Check this out...

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Support Tahoe to Whitney

The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide and Magazine are walked, written, funded, and supported by my efforts, with the help of kindred spirits and my sister.

We offer valuable Trail Guide, Skills, Weather, News and Analysis.

My goal is to get you out to see your natural and social potential. Help me keep this unique resource accessible and expanding towards its potential. We've a lot of miles to cover ahead...

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I am currently working towards publishing the completed guide between Tahoe & Yosemite as an e-book, while converting this "blog" to a fine magazine format. You will like the results! Help Tahoe to Whitney reach its potential!


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