McMurdo Fastfind 210 PLB (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

McMurdo offers tried and true 406Mhz band Personal Locator Beacon performance in a 5.3-ounce package. How will it compare against the current crop of personal signaling devices?

CamelBak All Clear Microbiological UV Water Purifier (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

CamelBak introduces a complete and easy to use UV water purification system, marking the adoption of this proven technology by a big company.

Generation Two: SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

New lighter and smaller SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger

New Personal Locator Devices at ORSM 2009 (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

Personal locator devices (PLDs) are a hot, rapidly evolving area for the outdoor market. An overview of where we think it's headed (and why).

Energizer Micro Headlamp is Powered by a Single AA Cell (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

A bright and lightweight LED headlamp from battery giant Energizer that offers several attractive features at $30 and 3.1 oz with a lithium battery (as weighed by BPL).

A Potpourri of Eye Candy: Day 1 (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

A grueling first day at summer 2009 OR rewarded us with loads of lightweight goodies; here's a first installment, with more to come.

ORSM09: Open Air Demo (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

Open Air Demo consists of booths and boats – and there is always something new, something interesting, and something unique.

Tarptent Moment (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

Henry Shires performs his magic once again – the new Tarptent Moment has one hoop pole, two stakes, sets up in less than a minute, and has loads of room for one person.

Coming Soon – Backpacking Light Coverage of the Summer 2009 Outdoor Retailer Show (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

What can you expect from our coverage of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market next week?

Wilderness Trekking School Summer Initiation

The summer of 2008 got Backpacking Light's Wilderness Trekking School off to a great start. We ran three trips in three wildly different locations: Northern Rockies, Pacific Northwest, and Desert Southwest. Each allowed for a unique experience and permitted us to focus on the core curriculum of the Wilderness Trekking format.

Shangri-Lite at 62 – Haute Route at 20 Pounds or Less

On the Haute Route, a 21-pound pack is over-inflated. At sixty-two well-used years, I submitted myself to random weight checks to remain sub-twenty pounds and passed most of them. Making the formula feasible are the huts and hotels which always appear just when you've had enough.

Ultralight Backpacking in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca

With dozens of peaks above 6,000 meters (nearly 20,000 feet), Peru’s Cordillera Blanca range is one of the highest, most rugged sections of the Andes, and the most heavily glaciated of any mountains in the planet’s equatorial zone. It is a well-known mountain climbing destination, and hundreds of kilometers of hikeable trails have made the range increasingly popular among trekkers.

Photo Essay: Packrafting the Madison River

Stretches of the Madison River can be described as a "booze cruise," where innertube flotillas of relaxing college students and drift boats of fly-fishers fill the river. The Bear Trap canyon isn't one of those stretches, especially during spring snowmelt.

Packrafting Utah’s Escalante River in Late March

At 1.6 cfs in the Escalante, would there be more packrafting or raft-packing for our intrepid explorers?

Therapeutic Ultralight: Using Lightweight Backpacking to Help Troubled Boys

Getting emotionally disturbed boys working together to take a backpacking trip is a big job... with many setbacks, limited gear, and almost no budget.

Aniakchak Adventure

Packrafts open up the lunatic fringe of National Parks. We hiked into the Aniakchak Caldera and Surprise Lake to packraft down the Aniakchak to the Pacific Ocean.



John Muir’s Birthplace – a Photo Essay

John Muir will be forever linked with the High Sierra and California, but it was far from there that his life began, in the little coastal town of Dunbar on the southeast coast of Scotland.

Uncovering the Truth: Underground Doping in the Long Distance Hiking Community

When Jason Goldman* (not his real name) completed a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in less than 100 days, not too many people paid attention: it had been hiked faster by others. But this was Jason's third thru-hike of the PCT. His previous two were completed in 183 and 174 days, respectively...


Backpacking Light (, an internet-based community of hikers known for their pro-wilderness values, is forging partnerships with organizations such as the pro-trails Blue Ribbon Coalition ( to join forces in the fight for American Wilderness preservation.

Join Our Community

Become a Backpacking Light Member

Forum Access

Unrestricted access to all forums, plus the ability to post and start new threads.

Premium Content

Unrestricted access to all 2,300+ articles, gear reviews, skills, stories, and more.

Community Posts

Post new content to the community including gear swaps, reviews, trip reports and more!

Online Education

Get unlimited access to all our online education (*Unlimited membership required).

Pack less. Be more. Become a member today!

Get Started