Garmin's latest mapping GPS has a large, high-resolution display, streamlined controls (including the new "Rock 'n Roller" input wheel), and topographic maps for the entire United States at 1:100K scale. In many ways, it represents an advance in handheld GPS for the general consumer...but it appears to have missed the mark for lightweight backpacking.
Following the Review of the ULA Helix Potty Trowel, there was considerable discussion on the Backpacking Light Forum (MYOG, DIY walking axe) regarding the use of a light "ice axe" in areas where one's life or ultimate safety would not be an issue. The author, Steven Evans, asked specific questions regarding the required length of such an ice axe, the general use of such an ice axe, and what people used in situations where a UIAA-certified ice axe would be overkill, but where a tool of some sort would be nice to have. Such a tool could be used to assist in small steep sections of snow and ice and general up-hill travel in less then desirable conditions, but it would have a weight which would be negligible on one's back when not in use. This project was born from that discussion.
NOLS Rocky Mountain discusses the process and progress of the 40-Pound Initiative, a branch effort to reduce student pack weights to 40 pounds or less for all Wind River courses.
Gloves made with Komperdell's new seamless bonding construction get a mixed review.
Ultralight Backpackers Scouting Post-Disaster Trail Conditions for the US Forest Service.
Good lightweight insulated boots for travel in dry snow, but they have some major drawbacks for wet snow travel and for normal hiking and backpacking.
High-quality, 800-fill down quilt with Pertex Endurance “Arid Zone” patches at head and foot is a solid value.
Attractive and durable packaging is one thing; green packaging is quite another. The best companies have both. Learn about green packaging and see the best and worst of what the Outdoor Industry has to offer.
Bill Stadwiser explores the practical and emotional rewards of cooking over wood in the backcountry.
Backpacking Light Magazine to launch first book on Packrafting in June 2008.