Metamorphosis #1: Confessions of a Heavyweight Backpacker

At the trailhead, I saddle up: I don't carry my pack. It rides me. My steel-toed boots thunder along the trail, resonating tremors deep into the ground of high country tundra. My shirt clings heavily with perspiration, the soles of my feet cry out for air, and my shoulders ache for reprieve. My name is Nathan Boddy, and I have a backpacking problem.

Backpacking in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Photo Essay

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, situated in the southwestern Highlands, is Scotland's first national park, encompassing a beautiful area of mountains, forests, rivers, and lochs surrounding Loch Lomond itself, the largest lake in Britain.

Grand Canyon Rim-2-Rim-2-Rim

While perhaps a touch extreme, running Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim (RRR) is not uncommon within trail running circles. But within hiking circles, this trek does not seem to garner much attention, when there are few trips, mile-for-mile, hour-for-hour, that compare. In one day, you pass through 1.6 billion years of geology (four times) and span the grandest Big Ditch in the world (twice).

The Unbearable Heaviness of Business and the State of Outdoor Retailer

There is a cost of doing business in the outdoor industry, especially as a collective whole. Can social media alleviate some of that cost, or is it simply a mechanism for increasing the clutter of information coming from OR?

Winter in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

The Cairngorm Plateau consists of bare, stony undulating terrain and can seem benign in clear, summer weather. However it's edged with cliffs and steep slopes, and poor visibility is common as clouds sweep across the slopes. Join Chris Townsend as he crosses the Plateau on a freezing winter day.

Podcast: Alpacka Packraft Safety Design Features

Designer Sheri Tingey talks about the history of safety design in Alpacka packrafts and the latest tweaks she's made to the boats to improve whitewater performance and safety.

Tea House Trekking: Lightweight to Everest Base Camp

Join Ron Rod as he explores Nepal in July: monsoon season.

Autumn in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Reminisce about the warm colors of the fall with Chris Townsend's evocative photography.

Dana Parnello on Controlled Product Testing at REI

Dana shares his thoughts on lightweight trends, gear testing, breakthrough products and assorted other topics.

Reflection on the Wild Coast: A Photo Essay

Adventurers Erin McKittrick and Bretwood Higman summarize their 4000-mile trek in photos and prose.

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