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How to Plan a Backpacking Trip: Skills, Tools, and Resources

A curated guide to Backpacking Light resources on how to plan a backpacking trip - gear, skills, podcasts, forums, research, education, and more.

Lightweight and Ultralight Backpacks for Backpacking

A curated guide to Backpacking Light resources on ultralight backpacks - gear, skills, podcasts, forums, research, education, product recommendations, and more.

Episode 59 | Ben Kilbourne Reads “Good Gear Lets You Be Present”

Ben Kilbourne reads his essay on the balance between caring about gear and being present on adventures.

The Backpacking Poncho: An Ultralight Alternative to Rain Jackets

Drew Smith makes the case for backpacking ponchos. They provide more ventilation vs. rain jackets and can also function as ultralight tarps.

Longest Known Soaking at Goldbug Hot Springs

A well-timed winter backpacking trip allowed for priceless solitude at an oft-crowded Idaho hot springs.

Episode 58 | Benny Braden on Public Lands Stewardship

Andrew and Ryan talk with public lands advocate and accomplished backpacker Benny Braden about vandalism, stewardship, and social media.

Route Planning Tools & Processes (Member Q&A)

Planning a route for wilderness backpacking trips in remote environments can be complicated. In this webinar, learn about route planning tools and processes that simplify planning and help you plan safe, comfortable trips in the backcountry.

Durston X-Mid Pro 2 Review (Update)

The Durston X-Mid Pro 2 tent is an ultralight (20.4 oz / 578 g) two-person, side-entry, double-door, double-vestibule single-wall Dyneema Composite Fabrics (DCF) trekking pole-supported shelter.

Canyons and Contemplation

Exploration and reflection on a backpacking trip in the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness

Why Freeze-Dried Food Retains Taste and Nutrition

In part three of his ongoing series on freeze-drying, Drew Smith explores the science behind how freeze-drying preserves important nutrients - and why it matters.

Episode 57 | Cottage Industry Interview: Food for the Sole

Andrew talks to Food for the Sole founders Julie and Henry Mosier about running a food production business, scaling, staff management, recipe iteration, and more.

Where Do I Put My Waterbottles When Backpacking?

What's the best way to store water bottles while backpacking? You've got some options, but the answer depends on what you want to achieve.

Tent Fitting the Easy Way

If you are struggling to find a shelter that fits, you aren't alone. We provide some (mostly useful) advice in the context of a pop culture tour.

Episode 56 | Portable Battery Chargers for Backpacking

In this episode, we chat with longtime Backpacking Light contributor Rex Sanders about his ongoing tests of portable battery chargers. Also, Ryan and Andrew chat about vandalism on public lands, electronic device management, new gear from Atom Packs, and the benefits of freeze-drying.

Mindfulness Meditation for Backpacking

Andrew Marshall explores an ancient life skill that is surprisingly applicable to backpacking - meditation.

Trekking Poles (Member Q&A)

Learn how to choose and use trekking poles for backpacking, trekking pole design, and how trekking poles influence physiological energy costs and biomechanics as related to mitigating overuse injuries.

How Does Freeze-Drying work? (The Physics of Making Freeze-Dried Backpacking Food)

Why and how does freeze-drying work? The physics and science of freeze-drying your own backpacking food, plus a killer freeze-dried hash browns recipe.

Exploration, An Act of Imagining

The horizon is our reminder that the way things are now is not the way things have to be. Exploring, even just backpacking into the hills at the edge of town, expands the known and opens us up to the possibility of more.

Pushing the SOS button on the Garmin inReach Mini in Jasper National Park

"I was suddenly seized by an inability to breathe: the world went black and I was bent over gasping for air, then passed out and collapsed, falling into the marsh."

Pa’lante V2 Review

The Pa'lante V2 Backpack (16.8 to 17.5 ounces / 476 to 495 g, MSRP $240) is a lightweight, frameless backpack for low to moderate weight loads and compact equipment.

Sunscreen for Hiking and Backpacking: Efficacy, Ingredient Safety, and Best Practices

Dan Hu reviews current research regarding the safety and efficacy of sunscreen for hiking and backpacking, including ingredient efficacy, safety, and best practices for outdoor adventuring.

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