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Brutality, Beauty, and the Day I Could Have Died on the Continental Divide Trail

The CDT is off-the-charts gorgeous, a great challenge, and it is my favorite of the big three long-distance trails. However, as with the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails, the CDT is not without its tricky areas.

Fast and Light Winter Travel

Insights from the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Ski Classic.

PHD Mountain Software Yukon Down Pullover Review

Featuring 900 fill-power down, baffled construction, high loft, and a nearly waterproof shell, the Yukon Pullover is a well-balanced four-season down parka. Is this the ultimate ultralight down garment for cold weather pursuits?

SteriPEN vs H2O Amigo: A Long Distance Hiker’s Comparison

Cutting-edge solar-powered UV water purification or simple gravity filter? I took both on the CDT to compare/contrast their performance, durability, and usage.

Ten Days in Torres del Paine: Global Test Photo Essay

We discovered why Torres del Paine, Chile is the poster child for Patagonia's wilderness playground.

Food Planning Using Pounds Per Person Per Day

Calculating how much food to take on a trip? My goal is to be perfectly satisfied during my time in the backcountry, but to walk out of the mountains with absolutely ZERO food. It is so gratifying to eat that last raisin on the last mile of the last day. If I can do that, the math worked out perfectly.

Nine Days in Parque National Los Glaciares, Argentina: Global Test Photo Essay

In this Global Test Photo Essay, we arrived ill-equipped for a trek over an ice field. Setting up a base camp and sticking with day trips ensured that we didn't miss out on one of the most beautiful parks in the world.

Katabatic Sawatch 15 Quilt and Crestone Hood Review

Very warm, quality gear from a cottage manufacturer dedicated to innovative lightweight sleeping solutions.

Trip Report: 2010 Teton Crest Expedition

Our seasoned crew decided early on a mostly off-trail trip on a high route through the Teton Range. With no navigational resources but map and compass, we planned to formulate our route day by day as we progressed north to south through mountains.

Small Wonders of Latin America – Global Test Photo Essay

In nine months backpacking around Latin America, there was much grandeur to be seen, but there were also tiny treasures that required a closer look. Examine their petite beauty.

Hiking Through Hyperbole: A Walk in the Clouds

With nearly constant cloud cover and a few mornings waking up to a thick layer of snow on the ground, the focus of the last days on the trail went from staying dry to just staying warm.

Winter ISPO 2011: Day 4 – Technical Treats

Stoves, shovels, poles, crampons, harnesses, and more: oh my!

Winter ISPO 2011: Day 3 – A Smorgasbord of Worldly Flavors

From practical (bras) to indulgent (a back-country electronics charger) to "they can do new things with zippers?", the ispo show floor has it all.

Hiking Through Hyperbole: Blisters and Fire

Blisters, hiking solo, and lightning-started fires marked the stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail from northern California through Oregon.

MYOG: 3mil Plastic Tarps

Practice makes perfect: using polyethylene to prototype designs means I can spend less and try more variations before sewing a final product in technical materials.

Winter ISPO 2011: Day 2 – Powered by Nutella

Another round-up of innovations and interest, treats and treasures!

Winter ISPO 2011: Day 1 – International Delights

In Backpacking Light's first ever coverage of this massive trade show, we're highlighting the innovations not generally available stateside.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: An Emerging Revolution in Waterproof-Breathable Fabric Technologies – It’s Not Just Gore-Tex Versus eVent Anymore!

Since 2004, when Backpacking Light published Alan Dixon’s manifesto on Waterproof Breathable Fabric Technologies, we have been a “whisper in the wilderness” extolling the benefits of truly breathable fabrics, like eVent. Now we are seeing the beginning of a waterproof-breathable fabric revolution.

Hiking Through Hyperbole Part 2: The Snowy Sierra

The desert portion done, fear (and trail gossip) centered on snow in the Sierra, with six major passes above 11,000 feet.

Therm-a-Rest ProLite Air Mat Product Review

Cascade Designs upgraded their ProLite self-inflating mat once again, with another weight reduction. What were the consequences of weight loss on warmth?

Hiking Through Hyperbole: The Vortex of Fear

Tackling the Pacific Crest Trail is a big job, made harder by a stream of scary stories filtering down from other hikers.

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