A Country Divided: The Continental Divide Trail

The westernmost place in the continental United States is no longer the furthest west, geographically. It is rather that most rugged landscape generally arrayed across the Continental Divide as it marches from Canada to Mexico.

Walking the Backbone: A Journey on the Continental Divide Trail

Anyone who hikes the long trails is asked “Why go?” There are many answers: the physical challenge, being immersed in the wilderness for months at a time, the joy of seeing new sights every day, the camaraderie of people we meet along the way. Ultimately, the reason I go is for the journey itself.

Home Away From Home In Argentina’s Lake District: Global Test Photo Essay

Months of travel can wear on people, even as they enjoy the "other" of another country. We found the perfect combination of comforts from home and the diversity of a foreign culture in Bariloche, Argentina.

Ten Days in Torres del Paine: Global Test Photo Essay

We discovered why Torres del Paine, Chile is the poster child for Patagonia's wilderness playground.

Nine Days in Parque National Los Glaciares, Argentina: Global Test Photo Essay

In this Global Test Photo Essay, we arrived ill-equipped for a trek over an ice field. Setting up a base camp and sticking with day trips ensured that we didn't miss out on one of the most beautiful parks in the world.

Small Wonders of Latin America – Global Test Photo Essay

In nine months backpacking around Latin America, there was much grandeur to be seen, but there were also tiny treasures that required a closer look. Examine their petite beauty.

September Around Mount Hood

Trip report and photo essay of a wildflower-filled circumnavigation of Oregon's famed peak.

Aconcagua Photo Essay and Gear List

Tackling big mountains with lightweight gear is becoming our trademark, and it never gets dull!

Denali Light: The 2009 Attempt

A light and kind-of fast expedition on one of the world’s great mountains.

Denali Light: The 2007 Attempt

Lightening up on Alaska’s classic mountaineering route.

Backpacking Light 2009 Reader Photo Contest Results

We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2009 Reader Photo Contest!

Photo Essay: A Traverse of the Bob Marshall Wilderness by Foot and Packraft

We entered at Benchmark (on the South Fork Sun), exited at Silvertip (on the Spotted Bear), and had the time of our lives over a few relaxing days while making long miles in a packraft on the South Fork.

Two in One Boat: A Photo and Video Essay from Montana’s Jefferson River

Father and son float trip in the lowlands. Experience Ryan Jordan's wild ride through skeeters and heat exhaustion, including running low on key supplies. Or... not.

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?

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.

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