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The Overlook: Backpacking in a Time of Uncertainty

Is backpacking suddenly...hard? Ben Kilbourne understands, and discusses how to deal with it during uncertain times.

Life in the Dog House: A Survey of the One-Person Tent, With History

Some observations on cheap one-person shelters, including on their design, proliferation, and history, and comparison between some shelters.

Learning Curve: Learning to Suffer

BPL columnist Maggie Slepian unpacks suffering in endurance sports.

Gratitude and Recovery After Outdoor Trauma

BPL author Rex Sanders meditates on gratitude and 2020 as he recovers from a traumatic brain injury during the time of COIVD and wildfires.

Salamander Song

Rediscovering the Great Smoky Mountains by lens and brush.

Ultralight, Ultradurable, Ultracheap: A Backpack Made From Car Airbags

Greg Perhson details the process of creating your own, lightweight (19.5 oz), MYOG backpack from vehicle airbags!

Helly Hansen Odin Minimalist 2.0 Jacket Review

The Helly Hansen Odin Minimalist 2.0 jacket (180 g / 6.35 oz, $220) is a lightweight 2.5-layer rain jacket with a well-designed hood and minimal features.

Unpacked: When Gear Owns You

A recent multi-sport adventure got BPL columnist Mark Wetherington thinking about gear and our relationship to it.

Staff Picks 2020

Backpacking Light staff and contributors give their 2020 staff picks - their favorite backpacking and hiking gear of the year.

Standards Watch: Tent Designer Mike Cecot-Scherer Talks Standards

Rex Sanders interviews long-time gear designer Mike Cecot-Scherer about a range of common gear standards.

Podcast 033 | Digital Route Planning

Andrew and Ryan discuss some digital tools useful for planning your route effectively. Also: An interview with FATMAP founder Misha Gopaul.

The Overlook: Understanding Livestock Grazing in Wilderness Areas

BPL columnist Ben Kilbourne uses a close encounter to examine the practice of livestock grazing on public land.

A Gear Confession

Chances are, you've got something in your pack that could be lighter, but it works for you. Maggie Slepian shares her heaviest items.

Learning Curve: A Shoulder Season Reminder

BPL columnist Maggie Slepian reminds new and old hands alike to prepare for shoulder-season backpacking accordingly.

Escape from COVID-19 at Corona Ridge

Longtime Backpacking Light author Emylene VanderVeldon takes on a suspiciously-named untraversed route, one of the most difficult she’s ever attempted.

By the Numbers: Patagonia Worn Wear Micro Puff vs. New Micro Puff

In his new column for Backpacking Light, Stephen Seeber runs thermal testing on used and new Patagonia Micro Puff jackets.

Winter Backpacking When There’s No Snow?

My shelter, sleep, clothing, water, and cook system for when temps drop but full-on winter snow and wind hasn't yet arrived.

How to Get Water Out of a Frozen Stream Where the Ice is Several Inches Thick

We invited this challenge from our community on the forums and Instagram. Here's our solution - thanks for your feedback and suggestions!

REI Co-op Flash Air 2 Tent Review

The REI Co-op Flash Air 2 Tent is a two-person hybrid single/double-wall shelter with dual entrances and vestibules. It is non-freestanding and can be pitched with two trekking poles to save weight or by using the included pole set.

Unpacked: “Free Outside” by Jeff Garmire Book Review

BPL columnist Mark Wetherington reviews the book “Free Outside” by fellow BPL member and author - and Colorado Trail FKT holder - Jeff Garmire.

Outdoor Research Stargazer AscentShell Bivy Review

The Outdoor Research Stargazer AscentShell Bivy (18.9 oz / 536 g, $259) is one of the few waterproof-breathable bivy sacks on the market that weigh just over a pound and also includes mosquito netting and a headroom-extending pole.

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