Techy hikers unite.

Welcome to the Tech on the Trail section of the Atlas Guides blog! This series features stories told with data, reviews of gear, scientific experiments, and much more!

Blog Archive: Tech on the Trail

Browse through our chronological Tech on the Trail history or check out our most recent posts to see what we’re experimenting with with now!

a tent stake being used

Which Tent Stake is Best for Your Thru-Hike?

We took 4 types of tent stakes to the JMT to do a real field test over 17 days and 240 miles of hiking. Find out which one is best for you!

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Sawyer squeeze being filtered

How My Sawyer Squeeze Filter Performed on My JMT Thru-Hike

I tested a brand new Sawyer Squeeze on my 17 day thru-hike of the 211 mile John Muir Trail (250 actual miles).

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Useful Knots for Hikers: The Sheet Bend Knot

One of the most important knots a hiker can learn is called the "Sheet Bend." This knot is great for joining two lines together and can be very useful while out on the trail.

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A woman sitting on a rock in the woods.

How to Optimize Your Break Time While Hiking

What is the optimal break time when you want to hike big miles?

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How to send a check-in blog banner

How to Send a Check-In in the Guthook Guides App

Here are step-by-step instructions to send a Check-in in the new social feature in your Android and iPhone Guthook Guides app.

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6 Instant Coffee Brands for Thru-Hiking

We taste-tested 10 different instant coffees and a few mocha mixes. Find out how they taste, how much they cost, and whether this is a good choice for your backpacking trip.

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GSI Outdoors Coffee Rocket Maker

8 Ways to Make Coffee While Thru-Hiking or Camping

We tested eight different methods for making coffee in the outdoors, each with varying taste, cost, and weight.

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Measuring the amount of toothpaste on a toothbrush.

How Long Will My Toothpaste Last On A Thru-Hike?

Have you ever wondered how long a travel-size tube of toothpaste should last? We did the research so you will know.

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Guthook standing next to the Mount Katahdin sign.

Why is our app called Guthook?

A lot of people ask why our app is called Guthook Guides and how it got its name. Guthook, himself, is here to explain everything from the beginning.

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A Sawyer water filter separated into three pieces.

Review: We Sawed a Sawyer Squeeze Filter in Half!

We disassembled a Sawyer Squeeze filter to show you how it filters water and why you should backflush it to keep it clean.

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A girl with borwn hair smiles in the rainy green forest.

The One Piece of Gear You Never Knew You Needed

Originally written for The Trek. Dental care in the backcountry often seems pretty self-explanatory but there are many options for dental care on trail.

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Useful Knots for Hikers: The Round Turn and Two Half-Hitches

The round turn and two half hitches is a useful knot for backpackers.

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Hiking Tip: What To Do When Your Phone Battery Gets Too Cold

Your battery indicator doesn't always tell you the truth. When hiking, here is what you should do if your phone battery gets too cold...

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Review: Sawyer Mini, Micro and Squeeze Compared

I wrap up my series of Sawyer filter reviews by testing the flow rate of the Sawyer Mini against the Squeeze and Micro.

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Review: Should I carry the Sawyer Syringe?

It is more effective to use the Sawyer coupler or a Smartwater bottle nozzle to backflush your Sawyer Squeeze filter than to use the Sawyer syringe that comes packaged with the Sawyer Squeeze filter.

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Review: Sawyer Squeeze and Sawyer Micro Flow Rate Tests

We continue our review of the Sawyer Micro Squeeze and Sawyer Squeeze, this time with different squeeze containers, including the Vecto, Evernew, Smartwater Bottle, and Sawyer Squeeze Pouch.

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Items in Sawyer Micro Squeeze package: Squeeze bag, filter, back-flush syringe, connectors, packaging material

Review: the New Sawyer Micro Squeeze

We review Sawyer's new Micro Squeeze water filtration system.

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a tent and gear set up

10 Affordable Lightweight Gear Options for Backpackers and Thru Hikers

Ten affordable lightweight backpacking items that are a must for any trip.

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Choosing the Right Charger for your Thru-Hike

Since many hikers carry phones and portable batteries, we evaluated a variety of battery chargers and have some to recommend for long-distance hikers.

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A hiking backpack with many tools for trail maintenance sits on the ground next to a rock.

Trail Maintenance for Lightweight Backpackers

This set of maintenance tools is great and it fits easily in the side pocket of my pack.

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Getting the Most From Your Phone’s Battery

You’re ready to hit the trail, your fully-loaded smartphone in hand. But how long will it last when you’re not near an outlet?

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A graph shows statistics for hikers on the Appalachian Trail.

How Many People Hike the AT and PCT?

If you’ve been on the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Trail and thought, “there are a lot of people out here,” you’re not wrong.

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A screenshot from Guthook Guides of farms on the Appalachian Trail.

Birds Eye Stories of the Appalachian Trail

I’ve been fascinated by satellite imagery of the the Appalachian Trail. It tells a very different story about the landscape.

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A graph from the Guthook Guides app showing the steepest climb on the Continental Divide Trail.

What Are the Steepest Climbs on the AT, PCT, and CDT?

I analyzed elevation data to come up with an estimate of the steepest climbs.

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