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Staff Picks 2022

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Winter Backpacking Trailhead

A curated guide to winter backpacking gear, strategies, skills, podcasts, forums, research, education, product recommendations, and more.

Episode 74 | Shelter Stakes for Winter Camping
Listen Summary In this episode, we address winter shelter stakes for frozen ground, hard snow, and unconsolidated snow. In this Episode: News: Avalanche Awareness and Safety Live Stream Q&A – January...
Superior Wilderness Designs Movement 40L Backpack Review

This review focuses on the modularity of the Superior Wilderness Designs Movement 40L backpack. In particular, the Movement has the ability to morph from a frameless to a framed pack with a suspension capable of carrying 35 pounds (15.9 kg) or so.

Avalanche Awareness & Safety for Hikers and Backpackers (Member Q&A)

In this Member Q&A, we'll provide the foundations for recognizing avalanche hazards and a framework for avalanche risk management.

Episode 73 | Avalanche Awareness for Backpackers

In this episode of the Backpacking Light Podcast, you're going to learn about avalanche awareness in the context of winter hiking, snowshoeing, and ski touring.

The Best of Backpacking Light: 2022 Highlights

Highlights of 2022 - the most popular, most engaging content and featured highlights, forums, education, and more.

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Gear Reviews

Alpacka Refuge Review

The Alpacka Raft Refuge Packraft weighs less than six pounds but includes a cargo fly and whitewater deck.

Bearvault BV500 Review

The Bearvault BV500 Journey (41 oz, 700 cubic inches, $88) is an IGBC-certified and SIBBG-approved bear canister. This review focuses on its usability and quality.

Alpacka Scout Review

The Alpacka Raft Scout packraft (2022 model) weighs less than four pounds. We review its durability and stability for both flatwater and Class 1 river running.

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Skills

Is Buying a Home Freeze-Dryer Worth the Money?

Home Freeze-dryers are handy but expensive. Are they worth the cost? We show you how to find out.

Walking With Marcus: How Stoic Philosophy Informs My Ultralight Backpacking

Can an ancient Roman philosophy make you a better backpacker? It all depends upon your application.

How to Plan and Execute a Successful Backpacking Trip in Developing Nations

A few suggestions for your next out of the ordinary adventure.

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Gear Testing & Research

By The Numbers: What’s the Best Base Layer Fabric? Wool vs. Alpaca vs. Polyester

In this paper, I subject base layers in various weights made from merino, merino blends, and alpaca to the suite of tests I have developed to evaluate base layer performance. I then compare the performance of these base layers with those of the polyester base layers I have recently reviewed. We also see if my preconceived notions about merino hold water. Finally, we will see how to choose the fiber for our base layers.

How to Store Freeze-dried Food

Best practices for storing your freeze-dried food (plus one killer chiles rellenos recipe).

By The Numbers: Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight vs. Patagonia Capilene Midweight Performance Comparison

How does Patagonia Thermal Weight Capilene stack up against Midweight Capilene?

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Culture

BPL Live! Tour, News, and Q&A

Join us for BPL Live! and take a tour of Backpacking Light, find out what's new, and get answers to your questions about Backpacking Light, using the website, getting the most out of your membership, and more!

Hiking and Backpacking Injuries and Other Medical Issues Dominant inReach SOS Incidents

Data from 10,000 inReach SOS incidents show that hikers and backpackers needing emergency assistance for injuries and other medical issues is the predominant inReach use case.

Garmin inReach Messenger (Preview/Updated)

The Garmin inReach Messenger provides seamless messaging across cellular, WiFi, and satellite networks for only 4.0 ounces. It offers some compelling features over its closest competitor, the Zoleo Satellite Communicator, including an on-device display that makes it a viable standalone device when used without a smartphone.

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