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The Overlook: Observing Transition Season

Ben Kilbourne uses the writing of Aldo Leopold to examine his interaction with nature.

Episode 42 | Skills Short – Windscreens

In this Skills Short, Ryan Jordan gives a rundown of some common stove windscreens, talks about their pros and cons, and gives some advice on choosing and using the right one for your needs.

By The Numbers: How Bad is Thermal Degradation in Synthetic Insulation?

The latest findings on thermal degradation in synthetic insulation from Stephen Seeber may surprise you in this By The Numbers column.

Using a New Sport to Refine Your Ultralight Philosophy

Single-speed all the way, baby.

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.

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Gear Reviews

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.

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.

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Skills

Backpacking First-Aid Philosophies

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

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!

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Gear Testing & Research

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.

By the Numbers: Rethinking Fleece

Stephen Seeber subjects ten fleece samples to rigorous thermal testing.

By the Numbers: Thermal Performance Measurements of Synthetic Insulations

Stephen Seeber presents measurements of several market-leading insulations along with four performance metrics to help judge their performance.

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Culture

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

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

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.

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