One of the most daring stunts I ever tried was mountain climbing. I've always loved the outdoors -- being "one with nature" is most appealing to me. But even I was surprised that at age 40 I suddenly felt the uncontrollable urge to climb -- to "see what's up there." Nothing could stop me. I toned up my rusty bones, joined the Meralco Mountaineers, bought a pair of trek shoes, and hit the incline.
In four years I was able to peak a good number of climbing sites (some more than once), train a batch of newbie trekkers, survive two close calls of hypothermia, and celebrate my 44th birthday climbing the second highest peak in the Philippines the hard way.
My articles on mountaineering, hiking and backpacking are about the lessons I learned after I almost died on my very first ascent. Hopefully, by sharing my experiences, I can help you to not only stay alive, but actually appreciate the wonders of the outdoors as much as I do.
Introduction to Backpacking -- This set of features used to be an online course through Suite 101 University (2002-2010). The course was everyone's first practical -- and life-saving -- guide to preparedness, presence of mind, and delight in memorable escapades in the great outdoors.
* Fitness Exercises
* Outdoor Survival Basics
* Choosing a Backpack
* Choosing a Sleeping Bag
* Choosing a Tent
* Choosing Hiking Boots
* What to Wear
* How to Pack a Backpack
* How to Pack Food
* How to Choose a Campsite
* How to Pitch a Tent
Tita Ruby's Tips For The Aspiring Mountaineer - a five-part series of important reminders and valuable information fundamental to the learning curve of an enthusiastic novice mountaineer.
Outdoor Survival Basics: Techniques That Can Save Your Life - When you head out for the outdoors, towards the backcountry, and into the wilderness, remember this corollary to Murphy's law: "What can go wrong, can kill you."
Vital Tips for the Aspiring Mountaineer - a series of mountaineering tipsets at the Bundok Philippines site. My good friend Robert Gardner, climber-photographer-webmaster par excellance, also published some of my earlier pieces:
- Two Mountains - my first mountaineering essay
- Up The Mountain Or Down The Ocean? - comparing Mountain Climbing and Scuba Diving (Philippine context, 1996)