4.5+ million words and 2,500+ articles about backpacking gear, hiking and camping skills, gear testing, outdoor technology research, backpacking routes and trips, people, philosophy and ideas, outdoor news and commentary, and more. Premium and Unlimited Members get full access to the entire library.
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Tri Peaks: Winter Scrambles in the Santa Monica Mountains
An essay on how day hikes and trail runs can enhance our outdoor experience when the wilderness isn’t accessible.
Episode 78 | Stove System Performance (Flame Power vs. Fuel Efficiency)
In this episode, we're going to address stove system performance and specifically, flame power vs. fuel efficiency.
Lightweight and Ultralight Backpacks for Backpacking
A curated guide to Backpacking Light resources on ultralight backpacks - gear, skills, podcasts, forums, research, education, product recommendations, and more.
Mantras, Mandalas, and Meditations: A hike through the hidden Tibetan Kingdom of Nepal – the Nar Phu Valley and Upper Mustang Regions
An account of a trek through Nepal's Central Himalayan Nar Phu Valley and Upper Mustang region near the border of Tibet via an ancient trading route.
See how backpacking and forest ranger work in the High Uinta Wilderness and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument influenced Ben Kilbourne’s record, Unresting Event.
Yama Mountain Gear 1P Cirriform Min Tarp Review
The Yama Mountain Gear 1P Cirriform Min Tarp ($210 in silpoly) is a one-person, 2-trekking pole, side/end-entry full-perimeter tarp shelter.
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.
Alpacka Refuge Review
The Alpacka Raft Refuge Packraft weighs less than six pounds but includes a cargo fly and whitewater deck.
Home Freeze-Drying vs. Other Trail Food Preparation Strategies
Drew Smith talks about the place of home freeze-drying in the wider context of trail food strategies, and attempts freeze dried french toast!
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.
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?
Lessons from Moving Fast
Ben Kilbourne explores the experience of moving fast through a vast mountain landscape and what you can learn from the experience.
The Best of Backpacking Light: 2022 Highlights
Highlights of 2022 - the most popular, most engaging content and featured highlights, forums, education, and more.
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!