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Unpacked: Reservations Required

From first-come, first-served to limited lotteries and everywhere in between, permits are increasingly becoming a fact of life for backcountry adventures

Learning Curve: I Finally Had to Plan a Backpacking Trip With No Help

I'm a big planner at home, but not so much with backpacking. On my last OCT solo section, I actually had to do all of the planning myself.

Episode 41 | Matt Mason: Bikepacking and Public Lands, Part II

In today's podcast, we are joined once again by Matt Mason for part two of our ongoing bikepacking conversation. This conversation digs a little more deeply into the nuances and logistical questions of bikepacking.

Nunatak Gear Bears Ears 50 Backpack Review

The Nunatak Gear Bears Ears 50 Backpack (MSRP: $330, ~28 ounces / 794 g) is an innovative frameless pack designed specifically to accommodate bear canisters. It features a unique water bottle storage system, optional shoulder-strap pockets, a removable foam back panel, a floating hipbelt, a large wrap-around exterior pocket, and a closed-cell foam pad attachment system.

Standards Watch: Mike Cecot-Scherer Talks Potty Trowels and More

Rex Sanders talks to Mike Cecot-Scherer about his innovative trowel design and more.

Backpacking First-Aid Philosophies

Two ibuprofen and a five-year-old Band-Aid ain't gonna cut it.

Springtime Solitude in Southern Utah

BPL author Mark Wetherington rambles through Capitol Reef National Park.

The Overlook: Good Gear Lets You Be Present

What's the perfect pack? One that stays off your mind.

Episode 40 | Story Short: The Anthropology of a Trail

Who or what makes a trail? This is the question Backpacking Light author Ben Kilbourne asks himself (and us) as he reads his essay The Anthropology of a Trail.

Searching for the Light

After the year of darkness that was 2020, I needed to walk in the light of the Mojave desert.

By the Numbers: Is Synthetic Insulation Warm When Wet?

We throw some quantitative testing at an oft-repeated synthetic insulation claim to measure the thermal performance of wet insulation.

The Backpacker’s Journey

Rex Sanders examines the arcs and stages that backpackers take as years and mileage start to add up.

Enlightened Equipment Uprising Underquilt

The Enlightened Equipment Uprising Underquilt is a tapered, somewhat customizable underquilt aimed at experienced hammock users. It incorporates a number of performance features differentiating itself from the majority of available offerings, such as strategically placed insulation and a unique suspension system.

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Nano Travel Day Pack Review

The Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Nano Travel Day Pack (MSRP: $29.95, 1 oz / 30g) is an 18 L summiting daypack that can be compressed to the size of an egg and tucked into a multiday pack for peak-bagging on longer trips.

Episode 39 | Matt Mason: Bikepacking and Public Lands

Andrew interviews backpacker turned bikepacker Matt Mason in a Bikepacking 101 conversation.

Learning Curve: Risk Assessment

It takes a close call for Maggie Slepian to dial in her risk assessment skills.

Standards Watch: Dan Durston Talks Design and Business

Dan Durston is a gear designer, wilderness guide, and biologist. In this interview with Rex Sanders, he talks about the process and philosophy of shelter design.

Unpacked: Rewards of Repetition

Greek philosophy says you can't step in the same river twice, but what about backpacking the same trail?

Red Paw Packs 28 L Flatiron Backpack Review

The Red Paw Packs Flatiron Pack 28 L (13 to 19 oz / 368 g to 538 g, MSRP from $220) is a customizable low-volume overnight / daypack with a unique zippered main compartment.

Black Diamond Blitz Spikes Review

The Black Diamond Blitz Traction Spikes (MSRP $39.95, 1.5 to 1.8 oz / 42 to 50 g) are ultralight, stainless-steel, forefoot-only traction devices for shoes and boots intended for incidental use on hard-packed snow terrain.

Take This Poem on Your Next Trip

The words you carry with you are just as important as your gear.

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