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Learning Curve: Breaking Loose

I fell into a rut, like many of us when an activity is familiar and comfortable. It took connecting with a more experienced backpacker to show me I had the knowledge and skills to push myself into new territory.

The Overlook: Othering in the Outdoors

BPL columnist Ben Kilbourne was on a trail run when he suddenly found himself in a mask-related confrontation. What happened next got him thinking.

Standards Watch: Steve Seeber Interview

In this installment of Standards Watch, Rex interviews testing and standards development expert Steve Seeber.

Podcast 032 | Jeff Garmire and the Colorado Trail FKT

In this episode of the Backpacking Light Podcast, Andrew and Ryan interview some of the folks who came together to make friend’o-the-podcast Jeff Garmire’s recent FKT of the Colorado Trail a success: Maggie Slepian, Dylan Harris, Nik Tizekker, and, of course, the Fastest Known Tiger himself.

Adapting to Changing Wildfires: Part Three

In part three of his series on modern wildfires, Rex Sanders uses video and animation to help you visualize just how crazy this wildfire season has been.

Adapting to Changing Wildfires: Part Two

In part two of his essay series on modern wildfires, Rex Sanders explores how backpackers must adapt to the new normal.

Adapting to Changing Wildfires: Part One

In the first part of his series on modern wildfires, Rex Sanders runs through the most common dangers associated with wildfires - and what you can do about them.

Arc’teryx Norvan VT 2 Shoe Review

The Arc’teryx Norvan VT 2 shoe provides above-average foot protection and traction performance when hiking or running on rocky, uneven ground, but suffers from abysmal durability.

Book Review: “The Cold Vanish: Seeking the Missing in North America’s Wildlands”

Backpacking Light columnist Mark Wetherington is no stranger to risk assessment. But this non-fiction account of search-and-rescue operations in North America gave him chills.

Q & A with Shilletha Curtis

Shilletha Curtis was awarded a Backpacking Light Diversity Grant in 2020 to help her prepare, acquire gear, and train for her next dream: hiking the Triple Crown. We caught up with Shilletha for a quick interview.

Ultralight Water Treatment Options for Backpacking

The purpose of this article is to present three ultralight water treatment options for backpacking. We chose these three for their diversity and efficacy, and they include a chemical method, a physical method, and an electro-ultraviolet method. We included a video to demonstrate each technology in the field.

Unlimited Podcast 002 | Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

In this Unlimited video podcast, Rex Sanders and Ryan Jordan discuss sleeping bag temperature ratings, the ISO 23537 temperature rating standard, and how consumers can interpret the standard to make better buying decisions.

GPS: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

BPL author Rex Sanders tackles the pros and cons of navigating by GPS in a short blog post that includes links for further info.

Seek Outside Flight One Review

The Seek Outside Flight One (36 oz/1.02 kg, $299 - $319) is a lightweight, minimalist pack designed with comfort and durability in mind.

Learning Curve: In Over Your Head

The Learning Curve is a new column by outdoor journalist Maggie Slepian. In this installment, she talks about how easy it is to find yourself in over your head in the outdoors.

Backpacking Trip Planning Resources

Here are some of our favorite trip planning resources. These are curated by our staff and include products we've personally used and recommend.

CS Instant Coffee Review

CS Instant Coffee is a small instant coffee product designed to compete with Starbucks Via and other popular backcountry coffee solutions.

Podcast 031 | 40 Days Unsupported in Russia (Tully Henke)

In this episode of the Backpacking Light podcast: National Public Lands Day, transitioning from summer to fall gear, UV light as a water treatment technology, an interview with adventurer Tully Henke about his epic trek through the wilderness of eastern Russia, and attempting to answer the question: "why do I walk?"

The HydraPak Flux 1L – A Smartwater Bottle Replacement?

The HydraPak Flux 1 L (2.7 oz / 77 g, MSRP $20) is a soft-sided, collapsible, 42 mm threaded, reusable water-bottle aimed at the single-use Smartwater or sports-drink bottle crowd.

Standards Watch: Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

In this installment of Standards Watch, Rex Sanders tackles sleeping bag ratings: the standard, the pros, and the cons.

Keeping Gear Handy on the Trail with Multi-Use Accessory and Utility Pouches

Having accessible "pockets" on your pack is useful for keeping little bits of gear handy without taking off your pack. But consider a multi-use pouch that can also be worn as a standalone fanny-style pack.

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