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Mike Martin
Longtime BPL Forum contributor Mike Martin joined the Backpacking Light staff in 2006 as Sleeping Systems Section Editor. Mike holds a Bachelors Degree in Engineering and currently teaches Engineering and...
Rick Dreher
Rick Dreher is interviewed by Bruno the Dalmatian. B. So, now that I’ve had my kibble (AGAIN with the kibble!) we can get down to business. Why backpacking? R. At...
Integral Designs Sil Poncho
See how this shelter rates with others in our Comparison Review of Tarps and Other Floorless Shelters Overview Are you looking for a truly ultralight, minimalist solution for shelter and...
Integral Designs Silshelter
See how this shelter rates with others in our Comparison Review of Tarps and Other Floorless Shelters Overview At only 12.9 ounces, the Integral Designs Sil Shelter provides the lightest...
GoLite Lair 1 Shelter REVIEW

The GoLite Lair 1 Shelter offers more weather protection than a tarp without a dramatic weight penalty. At less than 12 oz, the Lair 1 is ideally suited for solo travel in areas where ventilation is important but the chance for rain is very real.

Comparison Review of Tarps and Other Floorless Shelters
Overview The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the floorless shelters for lightweight backpackers. Herein, we review products from GoLite, Integral Designs, TarpTent, Oware, Granite Gear,...
Merino Wool Shirts

A review of lightweight long sleeve merino wool shirts from Smartwool, Ibex, Icebreaker, Merino Skins, and WhisperWarm.

Campmor (Equinox) Silnylon Poncho-Tarp
See how this shelter rates with others in our Comparison Review of Tarps and Other Floorless Shelters Campmor’s "Ultralite Poncho/Tarps" and Equinox’s "Ultralite Poncho" are one in the same. Order...
Oware Tapered Catenary Tarp (6×8)
See how this shelter rates with others in our Comparison Review of Tarps and Other Floorless Shelters Photo: Oware’s 6×8 Cat Tarp: The trim size and catenary cut ridgeline make...
Granite Gear White Lightnin’ Tarp (8×10)
See how this shelter rates with others in our Comparison Review of Tarps and Other Floorless Shelters Also available in 10×10 and 10×12 sizes In the field, using 8 tie-out...
Oware Alphamid
See how this shelter rates with others in our Comparison Review of Tarps and Other Floorless Shelters Overview As the name implies, the Oware Alphamid is based on a pyramid...
Campmor (Equinox) Silnylon Tarps
See how this shelter rates with others in our Comparison Review of Tarps and Other Floorless Shelters Configurations Reviewed: 6′ x 8′, 8′ x 10′ Photo Caption: Campmor/Equinox’s Ultralight Backpacking...
Oware Flat Tarps (6×8, 8×10, 10×10)
See how this shelter rates with others in our Comparison Review of Tarps and Other Floorless Shelters Photo: An Oware 10×10 ft tarp setup for an incoming mountain thunderstorm: Pitch...
TarpTent Virga, TarpTent Squall, and TarpTent Cloudburst

Henry Shires' TarpTents, including the solo Virga, the dual-person Squall, and the dual-person Cloudburst, offer simple setup and excellent stability in a package suitable for those who just aren't quite ready to migrate to an open tarp yet.

Lightweight Backpacking for Couples
Introduction Most of us do not venture into the backcountry alone. Sharing the outdoors with another person heightens our outdoor experience. That person can be a good friend, parent, brother,...
Catenary Curvature as an Element of Ultralight Tarp Design
Introduction There’s a saying that “there are two types of tarp pitches, hummers and flappers.” You definitely want a hummer. Almost everybody has spent a noisy, miserable and possibly sleepless...
New Lightweight Backpacking Gear – (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2003) – Member’s Version
Gear Availability Many of these products will be available in Spring ’04. Some are being released in Fall ’03 (as early as September) and a few are available now or...
New Lightweight Backpacking Gear – (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2003) – Public Version
If you are a member and would like to view a version that includes full product specifications and high resolution photos, click here Gear Availability Many of these products will...
Pertex Shield Raises Ante in DWR Finishes for Soft Shell Garments
Woven soft shell fabrics such as microfiber polyester and ultralight ripstop nylons suffer from poor DWR finishes that make their utility in the rain very limited. Perseverance Mills of the...
Revisiting Wind Shirts
Revisiting Wind Shirts: Breaking the 3 oz Barrier When we last reviewed wind shirts in “Windshirt Wars”, the lightest fabrics were 1.4 to 1.1 oz/sq.yd. nylons and the lightest hoodless...
Marmot Precip vs. Cloudveil Drizzle: Raingear for Lightweight Backpacking
Introduction It seems like all major manufacturers have an “ultralight” rain jacket in their line. The problem, however, is that all is not what it seems to be…ultralight often results...

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