Backpacking Light Trail Days Online! is a live, online user conference featuring backcountry experts and enthusiasts presenting on the topics of outdoor gear materials, design, and engineering; backcountry skills trends and experiments; make your own gear techniques and projects; backcountry routes, trips, and trails; outdoor industry trends related to hiking, backpacking, and other backcountry activities; and more.
Trail Days Online ’23 featured 13 presentations from 13 speakers, with each presentation ranging from 20 to 30 minutes in length, followed by up to 10 minutes of live audience Q&A.
Your ticket includes lifetime access to recorded versions of all presentations!
This was a three-day event spanning the evenings of February 23-25, 2023:
Day 1: February 23, 2023 @ 6-9 PM US Mountain Time.
Day 2: February 24, 2023 @ 6-9 PM US Mountain Time.
Day 3: February 25, 2023 @ 6-9 PM US Mountain Time.
Feedback from the Live Event
From our end-of-day-3 chat transcript! Thanks everyone!
Partial proceeds from ticket sales to this event will be donated to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization building a strong community of CDT volunteers, enthusiasts, and supporters who want to see the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) completed and protected.
Backpacking Light Members:
Tickets are FREE for all Backpacking Light Members (Basic, Premium, and Unlimited). Become a Member today and get free access to Trail Days Online live streams and recordings.
If you are a Backpacking Light Member, you’ll see the GREEN “Access Event Content” button on this page when you are logged in with your Membership account – just click it to access the detailed program, live stream feeds, and recordings.
$14 provides access to all Trail Days Online live streams and recordings. Get your ticket by clicking one of the Orange “Enroll” Buttons on this page.
How do I access the events after I purchase my ticket/enroll?
You’ll receive an email with the link to the event live stream/recordings. Or, you can access the event through the Account > My Education menu after you log in with your backpackinglight.com user account.
Is there a deadline to purchase tickets?
No – tickets may be purchased prior to, during, or after the event. If you miss any of the sessions, you can always go back and watch the recordings.
However, there is a cap on live event tickets so we can preserve a high-quality live-streaming experience for our ticket holders. When that cap is reached, ticket sales will be closed until the entire recorded event is made available on February 27.
The following companies are event sponsors, who help promote the event and donate raffle prizes. Backpacking Light does not charge a monetary fee for event sponsorship.
How do I become a Trail Days Sponsor?
Sponsorship opportunities are now closed for this event.
BPL Trail Days ’23 – Day 1
Introduction and Welcome, by Ryan Jordan (15 min)
Lightening the Load, by Glen Van Peski (40 min)
How to Thrive When You’re Miserable, by Willow Belden (25 min)
The Rise of Cottage Brands, by Lloyd Vogel (35 min)
Day 1 Raffle! (10 min)
BPL Trail Days ’23 – Day 2
Lessons Learned on the Pacific Northwest Trail, by Anna Swarts (35 min)
State of the Continental Divide Trail, with Teresa Martinez and Ryan Jordan (20 min)
Building the Backpacking Athlete, by John Zombro (40 min)
Introduction to Tent Design, by Henry Shires (30 min)
Hiking the Desert: How to be Safe and Have Fun, by Drew Smith (40 min)
Day 2 Raffle! (10 min)
BPL Trail Days ’23 – Day 3
If the Shoe Fits: How to Select and Assess the Integrity of Hiking Footwear, by Nikki Stavile (30 min)
How to Efficiently Plan an Adventure (or Thru-Hike), by Jeff Garmire (35 min)
Dyneema Composite Fabrics Construction Techniques, by Dan Durston (30 min)
Cook Safer Inside Tents, by Rex Sanders (30 min)
How Much Do We Really Disturb the Ecosystem When We Recreate? by Ryan Jordan (35 min)
Day 3 Raffle! (10 min)
Meet Your Presenter(s)
Backpacking Light is a membership-based community that helps hikers and other backcountry users thrive outdoors. Our values are advocacy, expertise, and generosity. We provide trusted expertise so you can enjoy the backcountry with confidence.
WILLOW BELDEN is the host and founder of Out There, an award-winning podcast that explores big questions through intimate stories outdoors. She’s thru-hiked the Colorado Trail, goes cross-country skiing almost every day in the winter, and is conquering her fear of heights by learning to rock climb. Out There Podcast Website
DAN DURSTON is equal parts outdoor adventurer and gear nerd. He has hiked the PCT, Great Divide Trail, set FKTs, and pioneered new high routes but is best known for the X-Mid tents he designed as part of his company Durston Gear. Durston Gear Website
JEFF GARMIRE has completed the Calendar Year Triple Crown (AT, PCT, CDT in one year), climbed all of the Colorado 14ers, The Great Western Loop, Nolans 14 in 59 hours, and broke the Arizona Trail self-supported FKT, Pinhoti Trail self-supported FKT, Long Trail Unsupported FKT, John Muir Trail record, and the Colorado Trail Unsupported FKT among other records. The Free Outside Website
RYAN JORDAN is the owner/founder of Backpacking Light and is based in Estes Park, Colorado. Backcountry passions include #alpinism #tenkara #paddling. Advocate for local community development (via the Estes Park Economic Development Center), coffee (via Kind Coffee), and public lands stewardship (via Rocky Mountain National Park). Backpacking Light Website
TERESA MARTINEZ is the Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. For over 30 years, Teresa has worked professionally to increase awareness, engagement, access, and stewardship of our entire National Trails System. Continental Divide Trail Coalition Website.
REX SANDERS started exploring the outdoors and sciencing long ago. That led to a career at the U.S. Geological Survey, two decades as a part-time whitewater raft guide, and many backpacking trips. Now a freelance writer, he also develops simple backpacking gear tests, and obsesses over backpacking jargon. Rex's Blog
HENRY SHIRES carried too much weight as an 11-year-old backpacker, cried all the way up the trail but fell in love with alpine lakes and snowfields. Fast forward to a physics degree, a 1999 PCT thru-hike, and my desire for lighter gear, and the first tarp tent was born. Tarptent Website
DREW SMITH grew up roaming the deserts and mountains of southern Arizona and started backpacking when he was 11. After a career as a molecular biologist and raising a family, he returned to long-distance hiking as those adult obligations faded away. Drew has hiked many short and long trails in the deserts of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and California. Drew's Blog
NIKKI STAVILE has been a long-distance runner for fourteen years, and has nearly 2,700 miles of backpacking experience, including an AT '21 thru-hike and a CT '22 section hike. She lives in the Sonoran Desert where she always fails to properly hydrate. Find Nikki on Instagram
ANNA SWARTS was introduced to backpacking at a young age and hasn’t stopped adventuring since. She’s the instructor for the Backpacking Light Womens Backpacking Masterclass and is passionate about removing barriers and helping others experience the benefits of outdoor adventure. She currently lives in Duluth, Minnesota. Anna's Blog
GLEN VAN PESKI is the Founder/Managing Director of Gossamer Gear, and a retired civil engineer living in Bend, Oregon. Glen has run ultra-marathons, and backpacked and bikepacked in the US and abroad. Watch for Glen’s book take less. do more. 20 Life Lessons from Ultralight Backpacking in mid-2023. Gossamer Gear Website
LLOYD VOGEL is the Co-Founder and CEO of Garage Grown Gear. An avid backpacker and paddler, Lloyd first entered the outdoor industry through trip-leading and outdoor education. Based in Minneapolis MN, Lloyd is a huge fan of small brands, light packs, and large meals. Garage Grown Gear Website
JOHN ZOMBRO is a performance coach and physical therapist, specializing in backcountry athletics and online service delivery via The Lifetime Athlete. He has 39 years of experience in health education, fitness, sports, and rehabilitation. John resides in southwest Montana. The Lifetime Athlete Website
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