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Reading List: White Mountains

Favorite Books on The White Mountains

The Best Stargazing Spots in the U.S.

Pitch your tent in one of these 9 parks for a prime view of the cosmos.
By Abbey Dufoe

Easy-Bake Backcountry Cinnamon Rolls

Who doesnt love cinnamon rolls? Take this classic dessert from the bakery to the backcountry with our easy-to-follow recipe. Photos by Tiffany Herring

Wildfire Burning Near Yosemite National Park

The blaze has expanded to 2,600 acres.

The Best Lighthouse Hikes in the U.S.

These see-worthy beacons are just a day hike away.
By Abbey Dufoe

The Best Beach Campsites in North America

Want to fall asleep to the sound of lapping waves? Nab one of these prime waterfront campsites.
By Abbey Dufoe.

Pacific Northwest Fighting Severe Wildfires

Washington is fighting 50 separate blazes.

Hiker Survives 6 Days on Bugs & Snow

A broken leg left Gregg Hein stranded on 13,563-ft Mount Goddard.

Reese Witherspoon Goes 'Wild'

The first trailer for the Cheryl Strayed adaptation is out.

Study: Yellowstone Visitors Would Pay Nearly Triple to See Bears

Grizzlies = $$$$$

Summer 2014 Winning Gear Testers Announced!

Meet the two latest additions to our gear-testing team! Kim and John will be joining our team at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City.

Yellowstone Bison...in Iowa?

Some of the park's buffalo herd could be relocated.

WATCH: Helicopter Rescues Hiker from Cliff

He was stranded on a sheer rock face near Washington's Snoqualmie Pass.

25 Heat-Busting Hikes

Cool off this summer with these shade-filled trails and swimming holes.

The 10 Most Useful Backpacking Knots

Headed to the backcountry? Here are the knots every hiker should know how to tie.
By Abbey Dufoe & Dan Dufoe.

Fires in the Backcountry

Are you an expert fire maker, or do only newbies make fires? Weigh in on the way you use fire in the backcountry. We'll publish the results in our October issue.

Jack Brauer's Backcountry Landscapes

This month's Photo School photographer picks 10 of his favorite shots from around the world. See more of Jack's work at www.mountainphotography.com.

Survive With a Plastic Bag

Keep a plastic bag in your pack as a no-weight lifesaver. Here are 6 ways it might come in handy.
Text by Ted Alvarez. Images by Ben Fullerton.

Rescuer Sues Hiker That He Helped Rescue

Nick Papageorge is seeking damages for injuries sustained during the search.

Hiker Rescued in Rocky Mountain National Park

The 21-year-old man was evacuated after falling near Thatchtop Mountain.

Gear Hall of Fame: Ultralight

When you’re ready to shave pounds from your pack, it’s time to invest in ultralight gear. Here’s a look at some of our all-time favorite featherweights.

Gear Hall of Fame: Kids' Gear

Want to get your kids to love the outdoors? Outfit 'em the right way.

Watch: Lightning Strike Just Misses Hikers

The bolt struck a tree just a few feet away.

Insider's Guide

Expert advice and the inside scoop on your favorite national parks and other premier areas

Readers Dish: The Hardest Hike You've Ever Enjoyed

As part of our story "Proving Grounds" from our August 2014 issue, we surveyed almost 500 readers about their toughest hiking experiences. Your stories of the hardest hike you ever enjoyed were so moving, we compiled some of our favorites.

Grizzly Tries to Eat GoPro

This is becoming its own mini-genre.

Hiker Stranded on Rock Face for Two Days

He climbed 300 feet up a rock wall, but couldn't descend.

Film Review: Desert Runners

A new documentary explores the life of times of ultrarunners.

New Documentary Highlights Montana Wilderness

Common Ground examines the fight over public land in the Big Sky state.

Body of Missing Rainier Hiker Recovered

Search teams have likely found the body of travel writer Karen Sykes.

NPS Bans Drones in National Parks

Recreational unmanned aircraft are no longer welcome.

NBC Orders Bear Grylls Celebrity Survival Show

Channing Tatum, Zac Efron, and Ben Stiller will accompany Bear into the wild.

After Nearly 2 Years, Dog Returns from Tahoe Forest

The 5-year-old golden retriever was reunited with her family earlier this month.

Search Resumes for Missing AT Thru-Hiker

Geraldine Largay, a.k.a. "Inchworm" was last seen on July 22, 2013.

Beaver Attacks Kayaker in N.Y.

Yep, you read that right.

The Top 8 YouTube Bear Encounters of All Time

After watching the latest close encounter, our resident bear breaks down his favorite moments when bears and hikers have crossed paths.

Hiker Missing on Mt. Whitney

The 60-year-old man was last seen on Saturday.

Adirondack peak renamed for Grace Hudowalski

"Amazing Grace" was one of the original '46ers.'

Bear Runs After Two Joggers in Alberta

A curious black bear tags along on a trail run.

Mount Washington Museum Opens

The interactive museum showcases the mountain's notoriously extreme weather.

Cliff Jump Turns Into Terrifying Shark Encounter

Up close and personal with a great white.

Tree Kills Hiker in Yellowstone

The Taiwanese man was hiking off-trail when he was killed by a widowmaker.

Hiker Dies on Longs Peak

He was reported missing Tuesday.

Rope-Swinging Could be Banned from Corona Arch, Utah

Daredevils may no longer be welcome.

17 Really Good Reasons to Save Your Money for Kilimanjaro

Yes, you could hike the PCT twice for the cost of a two-week trip to the roof of Africa. But you won’t see any monkeys in the Sierra.

Women Busted With 290 Pounds of Marijuana in Yellowstone

Rangers found the stash while investigating an illegally parked RV.

Longs Peak Rescue Cost $41,000

A 19-year-old hiker was rescued from the eastern face last month.

U.S. Killed 4 Million Animals in 2013

Critics are not happy.

The Best Outdoor Dog Breeds

These dogs love adventures on the trail just as much as you do.
By Shey Kiester

Montana USGS Maps Receive Digital Upgrade

You can make your own custom topo maps for free.

Climbing Mount Shasta

Two teams of BACKPACKER readers are climbing 14,180-ft. Mount Shasta to help Big City Mountaineers! Check out the photos from their summit bid.
Text and images by Dennis Lewon.

George R.R. Martin Raising $200,000 for Wolves

The proceeds will benefit the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in Santa Fe, NM.

8-Year-Old Boy is Yosemite Ranger for a Day

He helped out with firefighting and a mock hiker rescue.

Bigfoot Terrorizes Teens in 'Willow Creek'

Kinda like The Bigfoot Witch Project, amirite?

Man Swept Into Yosemite Falls

The 22-year-old was carried several hundred feet down Middle Cascade before being rescued.

Earthquake 'Swarm' Detected in Yellowstone

A seismograph station counted about 30 small earthquakes.

13-Year-Old Girl Climbs Mt. Everest

She's the youngest female ever to summit.

Hall of Fame: Camp Food

The best bars and snacks we've ever tasted. Who ever said camping means compromising?

Alaska Volcano Begins Erupting

The 8,362-foot Pavlof volcano is one of Alaska's most active.

Bear Relaxes in a Hammock

Because why not?

Six Climbers Presumed Dead on Mt. Rainier

It's the mountain's worst disaster in 30 years.

Reading List: Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Daniel Pauly, 47, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, wrote a guidebook for the area after he spent the past two decades exploring the 1,500 miles of canoe routes and portages. “I’ve covered pretty much all it,” he says. In addition to his own book, here’s the rest of his must-read list.

'Cliffhanger' Reboot Is Actually Happening

The 1993 Sylvester Stallone thriller is getting a modern overhaul.

Scientists Closer to Universal Snakebite Antidote

It's a handy nasal spray.

Breaking: Rescue Underway for Hiker Stranded on Longs Peak

The 19-year-old is trapped at 13,000 feet on the peak's treacherous eastern face.

Wyoming Governor Pushes For Grizzly Bear Delisting

Yellowstone's brown bears could lose their federally protected status.

6 Trail-Ready Summer Cocktails

Hand-picked summer refreshments from our Backcountry Bartenders.
By Crystal Sagan & Michael Cerretani.

Wildfire Spreads Near Yosemite

It has already burned more than 900 acres.

Man Survives Grizzly Attack in Alberta

The bear charged a Parks Canada employee while he was biking alone.

Chicago-size Wildfire Burning in Alaska

Parts of the Kenai Peninsula have been evacuated.

10 Unique Craft Beers for the Backcountry

Enhance your next hiking trip with these 10 local craft brews. The best part? They come in trail-ready cans. By Shey Kiester.

My Partner Ate My Socks!

A goatpacking adventure in Utah’s High Uinta Mountains.
Text by Casey Lyons. Photos by Julia Vandenoever.

Camelopardalid Meteor Shower to Appear This Weekend

The never-before-seen shower could rival Perseids.

Fire Restrictions Possible for Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Dry conditions have rangers on high alert about open flames.

Recipe: Simple Slaw

Add a bit of fresh flair to your camp meals with this healthy side. It pairs perfectly with our Impossibly Easy Barbecue Chicken Sliders for a camp picnic. [Step-by-step slideshow]

Recipe: Impossibly Easy Barbecue Chicken Sliders

These juicy, saucy, super-simple mini sandwiches bring hearty home cooking to camp. Pair them with our Simple Slaw for the perfect backcountry meal. [Step-by-step slideshow]

10 Hikes to Do Solo

Because sometimes, you just need to get away from it all.
By Mattie Schuler

Gear Hall of Fame: Electronics

The best trail gadgets of all time.

Thunderstorm Timelapse is Most Intense Thing You'll See Today

A terrifying-yet-beautiful supercell captured on camera.

Blueberry Recipes

Take advantage of fresh, wild blueberries with a few of BACKPACKER's favorite recipes.

Explore the Grand Canyon

See the best the Grand Canyon has to offer with these stunning photos from Matt & Agnes Hage.

Arrest Made in Redwood Poaching Investigation

The suspect is charged with carving burls out of the iconic old-growth trees.

Africanized Honeybees Live In Colorado Now

Entomologists have discovered the state's first confirmed population.

Celebrate National Trails Day 2014

A cross-country roundup of events for National Trails Day (June 7).

Make Ahead Recipe: Bacon Krispy Bars (Printable Version)

Yes, we're recommending a bacon-marshmallow combo. Trust us. Click here to see a step by step slideshow.

Bears Suspected in Wave of New Hampshire Auto Break-Ins

Multiple vehicles have been torn apart.

Gear Pro: British Columbia Gear Testing

An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at a BACKPACKER gear testing trip.

Watch an Inspirational Desert Timelapse

Beautiful imagery from canyon country.

6 Must-See Waterfall Hikes

With summer (finally) approaching, these gushers guarantee refreshment with a big side of splendor.
By Shey Kiester.

PCT May Be Rerouted to the Tehachapi Mountains

A new land acquisition would allow the trail to ditch the Mojave and add more mountains.

Joe Kelsey's Favorite Wind River Range Hikes

The author of Climbing and Hiking in the Wind River Mountains knows these Wyoming peaks better than anyone. We asked him to tell us about some of his favorite hikes; here are his top three trips.

Hiking Switzerland's Haute Route

The Haute Route—a famed mountaineering trek from Chamonix, France, to Zermatt, Switzerland—offers towering glaciers and soaring panoramas.

Hiker Dies on Vermont's Long Trail

The 22-year-old was reported missing late Monday night.

This Speck In The Distance Is Probably Bigfoot

Or maybe just a hiker.

Yosemite Bans Drones

Officials want to make the park a no-fly zone for unmanned craft.

Reading List: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Mike White, 61, of Reno, NV wrote two guidebooks to the area and has personally hiked every trail in both parks. Here's what's on his local-reading bookshelf.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

The roof of Africa has it all: monkeys, sunsets, wildflowers, and yes, a spectacular summit. Here are just a few of the highlights from the Kili Family Climb.
Photos by Jonathan Dorn & Jon Mancuso.

Gear Review: Boom Movement Swimmer Speaker

High quality sounding bluetooth speaker is easy to secure on various sites.

Gear Review: Power Practical Lithium 4400 Battery Bank

Battery pack has enough power to charge many devices.

Gear Review: Dell Venue 7 Tablet

Durable tablet has plenty of storage.

Gear Review: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Smartphone

Phone is able to handle the most vigorous explorations.

Editor's Choice GoPRO Hero3+ Black Edition Camera

A Backpacker favorite just got even better.

Gear Review: VuVantage VuPackPole Camera Accessory



Gear Review: Olympus TG-2 iHS Camera

Previous Editor's Choice camera now has better focus range.

Gear Review: Nikon 1 AW1 Camera

Waterproof camera is ready for any adventure.

9 Signs You're An Old-School Backpacker

Fads come and go, but you've been a backpacker through it all. Here are a few signs you're a diehard dirtbag.
By Shey Kiester

Gear Review: Sony NEX-5T Camera

Easy to use camera takes quick and clear shots.

Gear Review: Fitbit Force Pedometer

Powerful pedometer tracks miles and calories burned and sends data graphs to mobile devices.

Gear Review: Fitbit Force

Powerful pedometer tracks miles and calories burned and sends data graphs to mobile devices.

Gear Review: Bushnell SolarWrap 250 Battery

Solar powered lithium battery recharges efficiently.

Gear Review: Text Anywhere

Satellite network allows texting in the most remote locations.

Canadian National Parks Get Wi-Fi

Blame the millennials.

Film Review: 'DamNation'

A new documentary explores the controversy over dam removal in the United States.

TAMRON's NYC Photography Session

Learn from an expert & be inspired.

Hiker Dies Near Start of PCT

The 19-year-old man collapsed Thursday just miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Hayduke Trail, Revisited

Mike Coronella reflects on the trail's legacy.

Hike to the Real Northwest Passage

A tiny Wyoming stream connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Gear Review: Old Town Saranac 146 Canoe

Durable and easy to manuver canoe at the right price.

Gear Review: NRS PackRaft Paddle Boat

Lightweight packraft is also durable.

Gear Review: Dagger Katana Kayak

Kayak with plenty of gear space also maintains high speeds.

Gear Review: Pyranha Venture Jura Sea Kayak

An innovative sked and rudder hybrid feature allows this kayak to navigate a straight course and easy turns.

Gear Review: Oru Kayak

Permanent creases make this folding sea kayak a reliable standby.

Gear Review: Kokatat TROPOS Otter Paddling Jacket

Waterproof paddling jacket also keeps sweat under control.

Gear Review: Keen Class6 Sandal

Super light sandal provides excellent traction and protection.

Sherpas Leave Mount Everest; Climbing Season in Doubt

The walkout comes in response to last week's deadly avalanche.

Gear Review: Watershed Westwater 80L Dry Bag

This dry bag keeps gear perfectly dry in the wettest circumstances.

Gear Review: Hala Nass Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard

Inflatable paddleboard is light enough to carry on any exploration and steady enough to withstand choppy waters.

Gear Review: Astral's Camino 200 kayaking vest

Mesh padding and vent ports makes this vest perfect for summer kayaking.

BACKPACKER Photo School

Expert tips and tricks to help you bring home frame-worthy shots, every time.

I Hiked The Grand Canyon With David Beckham, Posh Spice, And Gordon Ramsay

Sort of.

Gear Hall of Fame: Kitchen

Hands down, the best camp cookware of all time.

2014 Spring Book Roundup

7 great books for outdoor lovers to bring on the trail this season.
By Trent Knoss

See Vintage-Inspired National Park Prints

The See America series hearkens back to classic WPA travel posters.

Get a Bear's-Eye View on Life

These videos show what it's like to eat, sleep, and play like a grizzly.

BACKPACKER Trail Chef Skills & Recipe Center

Chef Jennifer Bowen spent nine seasons as a cook for trail crews in Yosemite National Park and other Sierra hot spots. Now she brings her mad skills to us as BACKPACKER's Trail Chef. Got a question for her? Email trailchef@backpacker.com.

Bonobo Makes Fire-Building Look Easy

He even roasts marshmallows!

Backcountry Dictionary: Your Guide to Hiker Slang

HYOH. Postholing. Vitamin I. Huh? Here's a cheat sheet for the hardcore hiker lingo you might hear out on the trail.

Avalanche Kills 12 on Mount Everest

It's the single-deadliest accident in the mountain's history.

Be a Greener Backpacker

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we rounded up some of the most eco-friendly gear you can own. Bonus: a primer on Leave No Trace principles you can share with friends and family. Text by Stasia Callaghan.

Solo-Hiking Alaska's Brooks Range

An interview with Kristin Gates, the first woman to traverse Alaska's Brooks Range alone.

#trailchat

Your opinions, photos, feats, and everything else backpackers are talking about this month.

Leonardo DiCaprio Takes On A Grizzly Bear in Upcoming Western

He plays a 19th-century fur trapper out for revenge.

Experience Alaska’s Brooks Range in Three Minutes

A gorgeous video travelogue.

7 Aspirational Outdoor Jobs

Working in the great outdoors is (mostly) a dream come true. Here are seven wilderness-driven careers that'll make any cubicle-dweller green with envy. Text by Shey Kiester.

Gear Hall of Fame: Socks

The BACKPACKER editors pick the pairs that have stood the test of time.

Fallen in a Crevasse: Last Words

Soon after falling into a crevasse and breaking his back, Ted Porter recorded what he thought were his last words. These are them.

Estimate Slope Using Trekking Poles

Avalanches are most likely on slopes pitched between 35 and 45 degrees, but eye-balling pitch is unreliable. Here's a simple way to measure the slope using gear you already have.

Gear Review: L.L.Bean Low Rider Rocker

Collapsible rocking chair is a comfy addition to any camp.

Gear Review: NEMO Mezzo Loft Luxury 30

Compact sleeping bag is a cozy and warm delight.

Gear Review: PackTowl RobeTowl

Microfiber water-absorbent robe is worth the investment.

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors JavaMill

Hand crank grinder provides a very tasty coffee.

Gear Review: Grub Hub Mesa 1

Easy to pack kitchen includes sink, stove, and space for eight guests.

Gear Review: Exped SynMat 12

Large sleeping pad is comfortable and luxurious.

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow

Curved pillow provides excellent comfort.

Gear Review: Eureka Taron Basecamp 6

Spacious and luxurious while still able to face any weather, this tent is ready for any adventure.

Search Continues For Father & Son Missing in Colorado Mountains

The pair has been missing since last Wednesday.

Massive Rockfall Damages Trail in Yosemite

No one was injured.

Who's Your Dream Hiking Partner?

From John Muir to Jimmy Buffett to Samwise, our editors picked their ideal companions (living, dead, and fictional) for a trek. Text by Shey Kiester.

Arizona Opens 15,000 New Acres of Backcountry

Petrified Forest National Park just got bigger.

'Blood Moon' Lunar Eclipse Will Be Visible April 15

It's the first of four over the next two years.

Gear Review: Aquapac 40L Upano Waterproof Duffel

Comfortable waterproof duffel is ready for any adventure.

Gear Review: Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel 100L

Tough duffel is ready for world-wide travel.

Gear Review: Eagle Creek Morphus 30

Bag is able to hold personal and adventure gear in many different ways.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Lightweight Exp. Duffel Medium

This lightweight duffel can hold it's own.

Gear Review: REI Wheely Beast Wheeled Duffel – 34”

Durable wheeled duffle bag can withstand any terrain.

Survival Gear For the Zombie Apocalypse

Our man sniffles over the season finale of The Walking Dead….and puts together the ultimate BACKPACKER survival pack in anticipation of season 5.
Text by Ted Alvarez

Gear Review: Bollé Aravis Sunglasses

Flexible sunglasses that are ready to face any adventure.

Gear Review: Switch Axo Sunglasses

Magnetic interchangeable lenses for easy switch outs.

Gear Review: Tifosi Duro with Blue Clarion Mirror Lens Sunglasses

Bargain priced sunglasses with interchangeable lenses.

Gear Review: Smith Optics ChromaPop Ignitor Lens Sunglasses

Non-prescription sunglasses that still enhance vision.

Watch An Ice Climber Survive A Collapsing Ice Waterfall

Frightening.

Two Gigantic Crocodiles Captured Within 24 Hours

In Uganda and Australia, respectively.

Legislators Push For New Colorado National Park

The Colorado National Monument could soon become Rim Rock Canyons National Park.

Polluted Chinese City Offers Residents Fresh Mountain Air

Zhengzhou is one of the most polluted towns in the world.

Gear Pro: Pack Some Power

Don’t get stuck with a dead smartphone or headlamp on your next weekend trip. Pack one of these and always have spare juice.

Gear Pro: Are You Our Next Gear Tester?

We're recruiting for 2014!

Illustrator’s Amazing Wilderness Paintings Are Smaller Than A Penny

Impressive art from Sam Larson.

The Six Most Dangerous National Parks

National parks are pretty safe, but some carry more risk than others. Text by Shey Kiester. Research by Mackenzie Murphy

4.8-Magnitude Earthquake Rumbles Through Yellowstone

It's the area's largest quake since 1980.

10 Amazing Cave Hikes in the U.S.

Adventures abound, both above and below ground.
Text by Mattie Schuler

10 Amazing Cave Hikes in the U.S.

Adventures abound, both above and below ground. By Mattie Schuler.

Motorcyclist Group Saves A Baby Moose With Gatorade

Bikers have a soft spot for wildlife too.

Man With No Hands Or Feet Climbs the Matterhorn

What's your excuse?

House Votes to Curb Presidential Authority on National Monuments

The bill would limit new national monuments to one per state per four-year term.

2014 Adventure Travel Reader Photos

Our readers traveled to some of the most gorgeous locations in the world and brought back amazing photos to prove it. Here are the best of the best.

Gear Pro: Why Review Expensive Gear?

Readers often ask why we review such pricey equipment. Here's the answer.

BASE Jumper Dies in Zion National Park

It's the park's second such fatality in two months.

Go Inside an Alaskan Glacier

This drone camera footage shows off the gorgeous interior of the Mendenhall Glacier.

Grizzly Takes On a GoPro Camera

Amazing up-close-and-personal footage.

Epic Mud #Fail

A (hilarious) cautionary tale for us all.

The Beautiful North Cascades

Talk about a dream job: Photographer Ethan Welty roved secluded valleys and isolated mountaintops as an artist-in-residence at Washington's North Cascades National Park last summer. That was just the capstone on eight years he's spent photographing the area. Here are a few of his favorite spots.

Baby Animals Taking First Steps

Nature's most adorable moment.

‘Bear Simulator’ Is Exactly What It Sounds Like

Admit it: you'd play this.

Go the Distance: Endurance Workout

Endurance coach and ultrarunner Travis Macy developed this plan to get you off the couch and into the biggest hiking weekend of your life in 90 days.

Go the Distance

Cover more ground--whether you're out for a day or a month--and you'll experience more of everything you came for. Here's how to squeeze the most miles out of the least amount of time--with advice from the endurance pros who do it better than anyone ever.

Go the Distance: Endurance Strategy

Combine your physical and mental training to hike farther than ever before.

Go the Distance: Mental Endurance

Get your head around the challenges of hiking hour after hour, day after day.

Go the Distance: Physical Endurance

Prepare your body for the rigors of hiking long distances.

The Hiker's Handbook

Hike smarter with 110 tips on trail and camp comfort, navigation, gear prep, and more.

Fearsome Wolf Tamed By Belly Rub

Everybody's favorite thing.

Man Dies After Falling from Grand Canyon Rim

The 53-year-old Texas man fell near El Tovar Lodge.

June 2014 Reader Photo Contest

This is one of the best batches of reader-submitted photos we've ever received—period. Check out these 15 contenders, then vote for your favorite.

2014 Facebook Photo Contest Winners

BACKPACKER readers travel to some of the most beautiful places on Earth, as evidenced by the photos you sent us this month. Here are the top 11 shots, as voted by our Facebook audience.

Outfit Yourself for a Day Hike

Everything you need for a typical spring day hike.

Gear Pro: Weekend Hike Essentials

These 7 items make a killer kit for your spring weekends.

Season Starters

These 17 trips ripen early. Dust off your boots to revel in mild temperatures, vibrant wildflowers, precious solitude, and far-reaching vistas unobscured by thick summer foliage.

Deam Wilderness, IN

Chicago, IL: Watch raptors' sunset hunts.

Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area

Denver, CO: Explore a canyon oasis.

Lake Chelan National Recreation Area

Spokane, WA: Scratch your itch for alpine splendor.

Pine Mountain Trail, FDR State Park

Atlanta, GA: Find spring at the Appalachians' southern tip.

St. Croix River, Governor Knowles State Forest, WI

Minneapolis, MN: Explore a pristine river corridor.

Trout Run Valley, WV

Washington, DC: Bask in big views as you undulate through remote hollows.

Hell's Canyon, ID

Boise, ID: Soak in desert warmth.

Notch Peak, Utah

Salt Lake City, UT: Discover an unknown wild range.

Sandy Neck Beach Park

Boston, MA: Savor oceanside solitude.

Tunxis State Forest Trail, CT

New York, NY: Plumb Connecticut's wildest woods in solitude.

Austin Creek State Recreation Area

San Francisco, CA. Roam sun-drenched hills.

Survival Lab: Breaking Bad

Sticks and stones can break your bones, and in the backcountry, they often do. Knowing how to stabilize and protect a break or sprain can help reduce pain and further injury until help arrives.

Troubleshoot This: Crossing a Snowfield Without Gear

A white, sloping expanse lies between you and salvation. The only problem: You don't have an ice axe or crampons. Here's what to do.

Out Alive: Six Days on a Ledge

Alone and distraught, a canyoneer fights to survive until help arrives.

Out Alive: Six Days on a Ledge

Alone and distraught, a canyoneer fights to survive until help arrives.

Vintage Photos from the Great Smoky Mountains

The late Herbert M. Webster began photographing the Smokies in 1925, nearly a decade before the formation of the national park. Seven of his striking images are reproduced here by permission of the University of Tennessee Libraries.

Wounded Veterans Tackle World's Highest Peaks

An interview with The Heroes Project founder Tim Medvetz, who is preparing to guide a wounded Marine up Mount Everest this spring.

The 13 Most Dangerous Animals (And How to Survive Them)

From bears to Bigfoot, these are the creatures that you don't want to encounter in a dark forest. Here's how to stay one step ahead of them. By Shey Kiester.

NPS: Isle Royale Wolf Was Killed By A Pellet Gun

The wolf, which left the island via ice bridge, was found dead on February 8.

New Video Game Is Set in Remote Wyoming Wilderness

Can a game really evoke the experience of manning a fire tower?

Mother Polar Bear Snuggling With Cubs Will Melt Your Cynical Heart

Your daily dose of cuteness.

30 Awesome (and Awesomely Bad) Outdoor Movies

From quintessential classics to underrated gems to "what were they thinking?," we rounded up some of our favorite outdoor-inspired cinema picks.

Video: Tiger vs. Dust Buster

Rumble in the (Household) Jungle.

Hike Smarter: 4 Ways to Camp in Comfort

Lean how to set up bear bags and a cozy camp. Also, how to protect yourself from wind and eat right.

Hike Smarter: 7 Ways to Fix and Maintain Gear

How to fix zippers, wash a sleeping bag correctly, waterproofing and make boots last.

Hike Smarter: 4 Ways to Climb higher

Learn how to acclimate to higher elevation, descend safely, use crampons, and self-belay.

Hike Smarter: 4 Ways to Hike right

Learn how to stay dry in a storm, navigate without a compass, and walk right.

Recipe: Backcountry Poached Eggs

Elevate your morning with this surprisingly easy technique. Click here for a step-by-step slideshow.

Ask a Bear: Will You Climb to Get My Food?

How far will you go to get my food? If I hang my food on a thin line strung between two trees, there's no way you could climb it to get my food, right?

Recipe: Easy No-Bake Cheesecake Sandwiches

"This decadent, creamy dessert was born out of an addiction," says our Trail Chef. "I couldn't bear a backpacking trip without cheesecake." This crowd-pleaser requires no cooking and is super-easy to make. Click here to see a step-by-step slideshow.

Book Excerpt: Aftermath of a Bear Attack

In an excerpt from his new memoir, Young Widower, John W. Evans recalls the night his wife was killed by a bear in Romania and confronts his own grief.

Your Best Shot: Photo Contest

Send us your best hiking photo for a chance to win a Black Diamond Element 60 pack!

U.S. House OKs New Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness

It will be the first new wilderness designation in five years.

Yellowstone Is Leaking Helium

Listen for those high-pitched wolf howls.

Python Devours Crocodile Whole

Because Australia, you know?

Yosemite Black Bears Are Eating Less Human Food

A new study suggests that the park's management efforts are reducing the amount of bear-human contact.

Watch These Rangers Intentionally Trigger An Avalanche

...by throwing bombs out of a helicopter.

Watch an Astonishing Yosemite Timelapse

Filmmakers Colin Delehanty and Sheldon Neill show off the park's beauty in 'Yosemite HD II.'

Gear Pro: Breaking In Your Boots

Learn how to get comfy in your new footwear.

Man Walks 34,000 Miles For Trail Therapy

Steve Fugate's 14-year journey on foot went viral this week.

Baby Moose Charges Researcher

A scary moment caught on camera.

Reward Offered for Stolen Dinosaur Footprint Near Moab

The BLM and local outfitters are offering over $1,000 for information on the missing Jurassic-era track.

NPS Nixes Daft Punk Concert at Devil's Tower

The Grammy-winning electronica duo reportedly wanted to light up the iconic rock column with lasers.

Today is International Polar Bear Day

Celebrate with some sweet views of their natural habitat.

Daredevil to Jump Off Mt. Everest in a Wingsuit

Joby Ogwyn's leap would be the first of its kind.

Watch a Gorgeous Timelape of New Zealand

Photographer Shawn Reeder's footage is stunning.

Destinations: March 2014



Destinations: March 2014



Destinations: Central



Destinations: West



Arizona: Santa Catalina Mountains

The Catalinas tower 6,500 feet above Tucson, providing a cool escape in the summer and unlikely snow in the winter. Target these high-desert peaks and canyons to explore a maze of contrasting environments.

Easy Winter Hikes

Stop hibernating and start hiking with these low-risk, high-reward trips.

Rip and Go: Canaan Mountain

Navigate across a slickrock plateau in Zion's backyard.

Trail Mix: West

Perfect days; Bring Your Skis, and finding solitude in Mt. Hood National Forest.

Trail Mix: East

Perfect Days, Bring Your: Sweet Tooth and Hear This Now.

Hiker Rescued After Attempting to Retrieve Cell Phone

Search and rescue personnel assisted when the man got stuck on a cliff.

From the Field: East

Our trail scouts' top local hikes.

Rip and Go: Birch Knob

Complete the newest section of the Great Eastern Trail with big-mile days on this big-view mountain.

Trail Mix: Central

The go-now guide for the central region.

Early Spring Hikes: Central

As soon as the ice thaws, take advantage of these season starters.

Sand Ridge Loop, Illinois

Traverse dunes through wooded corridors in the state's largest forest.

Twilight Canyon, Utah

Deep in Glen Canyon, explore lost slots restored by receding waters.

How to Do (Almost) Everything

You'll find a ton of useful tips in this issue--but some things you have to learn for yourself.

Trail Etiquette Survey

Can I update my Facebook status from the summit of a mountain? Can I give myself a trail name? Should I ask you if you're carrying a gun? It's time that these backpacking quandaries were finally solved. Weigh in with your thoughts and opinions.

Hall of Fame 2014: Bags & Pads

Smart design and quality construction never go out of style.

Vets Perform Surgery on a 300-lb Grizzly

Veterinarians are attempting to repair the bear's two broken elbows.

Is a Wolf Stalking the Halls of Sochi? [UPDATE: No]

Or maybe it's just a big malamute...?

Is a Wolf Stalking the Halls of Sochi?

Or maybe it's just a big malamute...?

How Wolves Altered Yellowstone’s Geography

The species physically changes the landscape via predation.

Your Best Shots 2014 Reader Photo Contest

Pouring over 500-plus photo submissions would be grueling work in any other contest. Not this one. Your striking images prove BACKPACKER readers explore the backcountry's best places, and have the skills to bring home amazing photos. Here are the best of the best.

Watch a Stunning Joshua Tree Timelapse

Sit back and enjoy.

Watch These Couples Get Married and Engaged in National Parks

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.

Fewer People Applying for National Parks Jobs in 2014

One contractor still has close to 4,000 positions still available.

How To Cook Camp Meals in Molten Lava

Waaaay faster than JetBoil.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Hikes

We recruited 38 regional experts to share their top trips from coast to coast.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Southern Hikes

Discover a host of great activities below the Mason-Dixon line.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Northeast Hikes

Peakbag and explore in the Northeast's thick forests.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Midwest Hikes

Find the best views on- and off-trail throughout the varied Midwest.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Southwest Hikes

Explore the deserts and distinctive features of the American Southwest.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Mountain West Hikes

Gain some elevation in the high country of the jagged Rocky Mountains.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Western Hikes

Find big features under big sky with these hikes in the Western US.

Tennessee: Virgin Falls Trail

Camp alongside a thundering waterfall and explore some of the region’s best karst features on a short-distance overnight into an old-growth forest.

Trail Mix: South

Experience the best the south has to offer: a shoreline hike in Florida, stargazing in North Carolina, and spelunking in Kentucky.

Multisport Playgrounds

Going by foot is only one way to see what’s best in the South. Bring your climbing gear, fins, or mountain bike to find the rest.

Trail Mix: Northeast

Take in a beautiful waterfall in Pennsylvania, spend the night in of New York's iconic mountain huts, and take a day trip out of NYC.

The Pemi Loop: New Hampshire

Pass from deep hardwood forests to above-treeline mountaintops again and again.

Peakbagging Treks

Go high in these dense clusters of mountains to hit several summits on a single hike.

Trail Mix: Midwest

Find solitude in Minnesota, peak Arkansas' highest mountain, and view wildflowers in the grasslands of Illinois.

Isle Royale National Park Loop

See our readers’ top spot, from lakeside to mountaintop, on a two-day loop.

Time-Scultpted Treks

Discover rock formations so unique you won’t even miss the mountains.

No Joke: NPS Tells Rangers in Washington and Colorado Not to Toke

Marijuana use is still prohibited under federal law.

Trail Mix: Southwest

Hike beneath a breathtaking arch, bask in warm, spring water, and take in a bird's-eye-view of the Colorado River in this collection of hikes.

West Rim Trail

Score a unique perspective of half-mile-deep Zion Canyon on this big-view shuttle hike.

Canyon Hikes

Sample the Southwest’s most distinctive scenery—from intricate to immense—on these reader favorites.

Trail Mix: Mountain West

Wildflowers in Indian Peaks, CO, an old climbers' trail in Wyoming, and more.

Cramer Lakes, Idaho

Follow the chiseled Rockies to a cluster of secluded alpine lakes and waterfalls.

Alpine Lakes

Kick back at one of these campsites—where nothing but an idyllic, high-country pool separates you from the Rockies skyline.

Readers' Choice 2014: Editor's Note

BACKPACKER Turns 40, You Win: We're celebrating our anniversary with an issue for you, by you

Trail Mix: West

Backcountry swimming in Oregon, alpine lakes in John Muir Wilderness, and more.

Rip & Go: Alaska's Hatcher Pass Wilderness Area

Follow the footsteps of old miners to three alpine lakes beneath the snow-capped Talkeetna Mountains.

Destinations: Top 3 West



Readers' Choice 2014: Dream Jobs

Who doesn't want to combine their passion and paycheck? We helped six BACKPACKER readers score prime internships in the outdoor biz.

Readers' Choice 2014: Heroes

We asked readers to nominate the people who inspire them.

Readers' Choice Gear Awards 2014

Your favorite products--both brand new and tried and true. Plus: Readers vote on top brands, best luxe items, and more.

Readers' Choice Award: Merrell Belay Hiking Pants

Technical hiking pants that fit a woman's curvy figure.

Readers' Choice 2014: Eastern Mountain Sports Traverse

A dependable, year-round shelter from Eastern Mountain Sports.

Readers' Choice Award: Big Agnes King Solomon Sleeping Bag

A luxurious two-person sleeping bag.

Readers' Choice Award: Vaude Cheyenne 500 Sleeping Bag

A supremely comfortable bag for mild-weather backpacking trips and car camps.

Readers' Choice Award: Asolo Vertex GV Hiking Boots

Quintessential backpacking boots - high-cut, durable, and can handle rugged terrain.

Readers' Choice Award: Mountainsmith Haze 50 Backpack

A durable, ultralight pack that's affordable.

Readers' Choice Award: Gregory Maya 18 Backpack

This frameless little pack is a great all-arounder for bike commuting and dayhikes.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Insulation

Stay warm with a little extra insulation in these performance proven jackets.

U.S. to Spend $30 million on forest recovery projects

The effort is largely aimed at reducing the risk of future wildfires.

Hike the Pacific Crest Trail in Six Minutes

This thru-hiker's video zooms through some of the highlights.

Gear Pro: The Newest Insulation Trends

The latest in down and synthetic blend technology.

Thru-Hiker Captures The PCT Through 159 Days of Selfies

His beard is pretty gnarly, too.

Gear Pro: External Frame vs. Internal Frame

A reader asks: Why did external frame packs go out of style?

Gear Pro: Sleep Warmer

A reader asks: How can I keep the whole family warm?

This Mount Fuji Prank is Hard to Beat

One unlucky hiker got a rude awakening in a backcountry hut.

Gear Pro: StrongVolt Portable Electronics Charger

We're keeping an eye on this new form of portable power.

Gear Pro

Weekly gear advice, tips, and fixes from gear editor Kristin Hostetter.

Google Maps Now Includes Antarctica

You can get a Street View of the South Pole.

Lost Australian Hiker Survives For A Month On Butterflies

Hakuna matata?

Watch These RMNP Rangers Train for Avalanche Rescues

Avalanche danger will be high for the next few days.

Banff Nearly Recovered After Flooding

Officials have spent CAD $19 million to restore damaged areas.

Avalanche Traps Alaska Town Behind 40-foot Wall of Snow; Alaskans Shrug

There's no telling when the road to Valdez will open again.

Man Fights Off Shark With A Knife, Then Gets A Beer

As one does.

Colorado renames its 14ers in honor of Denver Broncos players

The Broncos play the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday.

Gorgeous Timelapse Shows Why You Should Hike Up North, Eh?

Incredible footage from western Canada.

Watch This Couple Completely Overlook a Bear on Their Front Porch

The bear played the 'statue game' and won.

This Is Why You Don’t Let Your Kids Get Close To Lions

They are not big stuffed animals, people.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Badasses of OR

Bonus of an outdoor trade show? It attracts all kinds of top outdoor athletes. We caught up with a few of these all-stars, and even convinced some to share their favorite gear finds with us.



Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Looking Out for the Ladies

We're thankfully long past the era when "women's gear" meant "shrink it and pink it." But some companies invest more energy than others in designing for female needs. Our scout rounded up three brands that are putting in the effort.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: How To Go Bigger

Our scout has her eyes set on climbing Mt. Blanc in the Matterhorn, so today she scoped out her ideal kit for tackling a big mountain. Bonus: All her picks are trail-ready for backpackers too.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Pocket Full of Power

Electronics in the backcountry: You're bringing them anyway, so you might as well keep them juiced. We found the latest in pocket power solutions.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: An Interview with Grammy-nominated band Capital Cities

Ryan Merchant shares his favorite packs, hikes, and tunes for the trail.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: All Wool, All The Time

Meet three new layering options and a futuristic new fabric.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Drink Up

This year brings new backcountry toys for imbibing your beverage of choice, whether it be coffee, wine, beer, or liquor.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Your First Touring Boots

Thinking of making the transition from resort skiing to alpine touring? These beginner-friendly boots will help ease the way.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: How To Walk On Water

Stay steady on ice or snow with these new traction devices and winter-ready poles.

Dogs Love Snow For Pretty Much The Same Reasons We Do

It's really fun, says science.

Sea Caves in the Apostle Islands Open For First Time Since 2009

Visitors can walk across the frozen Lake Superior to reach them.

What's Up With Down?

Insulation innovation didn't stop with water-resistance. We tracked down two new trends you don't want to miss.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: The Glove Revolution

We found gloves inspired by those at the hardware store, and ones that let you text from the chairlift.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Sleep Warm While Winter Camping

A beginner's guide to the types of gear you need to stay toasty all night.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Transcendental Boots

Versatility is the name of the game in shoes for Fall 2014

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Backcountry Bindings That Will Change Your Life

The Diamer Vipec 12 and G3 Ion provide improved safety features, lighter weight, and a more resort-like feel

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: How to Gear Up For Ski Touring



Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Splitboarding 101

Think backcountry touring is just for skiers? Think again.

A Snowshoe For Every Journey

Whether you stick to the trails or get to the backcountry this winter, the right snowshoe will help get you there.

Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day

Plan your schedule accordingly.

The List: 10 Motivational Tips for Beginners

Just starting out as a backpacker? Coming back to hiking after a long break? Use these ten simple tricks to get motivated.

British teenager becomes youngest person to reach south pole

Lewis Clarke, 16, skied 700 miles over 48 days.

Watch POV Footage of Falcons Murdering Crows In Mid-Air

They really know what they're doing.

BACKPACKER READER REPORTER TEAM WINTER OUTDOOR RETAILER SHOW 2014

Four lucky readers are heading to Salt Lake City with the BACKPACKER team to check out the latest gear at the 2014 Winter Outdoor Retailer show, January 21-25.

Gear Pro: Staying Warm 2.0

Readers share their best winter comfort tips!

Forest Fires Ravaging California...In January (UPDATED)

Drier-than-average conditions are exacerbating the blazes.

New Zealand's Mountains Eroding Fast

Mount Cook, for starters.

Husky Says 'No' To Kennel Time—Literally

We've all been there.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Ski Boots

The right ski boots can make or break a day on the slopes or in the backcountry.

Gear Pro: Pack Fixes

Reinforce fraying pockets with a few simple tricks.

Bear Skips Hibernation, Hits The Ski Slopes Instead

The bruins of California haven't gone to sleep yet, apparently.

Not Joking: You Can Make $20,000 By Selling ‘Mountain Air’ to City Slickers

Business is booming.

Grizzly bear 'waves' at photographer

A Colorado photographer captures a rare moment on camera.

The Worst Hiking Partner Behaviors

Hiking with others can be a blast—as long as your partner isn't making one of these egregious gaffes, that is. Here's a taxonomy of the worst backcountry offenders.

Gear Pro: Quick Zipper Fix

Get your zipper back on track with an easy DIY repair.

Adorable Polar Bear Cub Takes First Steps…

...TO BECOMING AN UNSTOPPABLE KILLING MACHINE.

BLM Goes To Burning Man

The federal agency isn't nearly as square as we thought.

Proposed national park stays on hold in Maine

A landowner wants to donate 75,000 acres east/southeast of Mount Katahdin for a national park, but opposition remains strong.

Aurora borealis could be visible in the Lower 48 this week

It promises to be quite a light show.

Photographers suspected of baiting wolf pack near Banff

The incident has renewed criticism of so-called 'wildlife paparazzi.'

Study: Caffeine Consumption Not Linked to Dehydration

Great news for backcountry baristas.

CDC: Just 1 in 4 U.S. teens meet recommended fitness levels

More hiking, anyone?

Hiker Climbs Wales's Highest Mountain...Naked

Local SAR personnel are not happy.

Report: Grizzly Tourism More Valuable Than Grizzly Hunting in British Columbia

Grizzly hunting remains a controversial subject in western Canada.

Gear Pro: Boot TLC

Give your favorite pair a little love. Two easy steps and they’ll be good as new.

James Franco on location filming ‘Yosemite’

The actor will play his own father in the semi-autobiographical film.

What Happens When You Shoot Boiling Water From A Water Gun Into -40 Degree Cold?

Snow, naturally.

Photos: 'Chasing Shackleton'

Last year, polar explorer Tim Jarvis and a crew of five successfully recreated Sir Ernest Shackleton's incredible Antarctic survival journey: an 800 nautical mile boat journey across the treacherous Southern Ocean, followed by a 32-mile overland trek—all without the aid of modern-day clothing or equipment.

Recreating Shackleton's Journey: A Q&A with Adventurer Tim Jarvis

The polar explorer successfully recreated Sir Ernest Shackleton's incredible Antarctic survival journey.

Grand Canyon Offers Subsidies to Quieter Aircraft

The incentives are designed to reduce noise pollution within the park.

Meet Saveria Tilden

Saveria won a spot on our reader reporter team for the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Meet Joel Nyquist

Joel won a spot on our reader reporter team for the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Meet Kristin McLane

Kristin won a spot on our reader reporter team for the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Meet Eric Hanson

Eric won a spot on our reader reporter team for the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Maine Considering Arming Its Forest Rangers

The measure currently under consideration in the state legislature would allow rangers to carry sidearms for safety.

Taiwanese Pair Survives 3 Nights on Mountain Eating Just Mentos

The two hikers got lost in foggy conditions on New Year's Eve.

Some Australian Sharks Are Now On Twitter

A new monitoring system sends tweets to alert beachgoers of nearby sharks. But how effective will it be?

Meet the BACKPACKER Reader Reporter Team

Four lucky Backpacker readers scored a trip to the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, January 21-25, 2014. Meet the lucky reader reporters!

Grand Canyon Weighs Backcountry Access Restrictions

A new proposal would limit the number of South Rim wilderness permits to just one per week.

9-Year-Old Climbs South America's Highest Peak

Tyler Armstrong becomes the youngest person ever to summit Argentina's Mt. Aconcagua.

Watch This Australian Man Coax a Massive Spider Off His Neck

This video will either ease your arachnophobia or exacerbate it greatly.

The List: 10 Trails to Cure the Winter Blues

Cabin fever got you down? These trails are even better in the cold weather months.

Search for Missing Sedona Hiker Halted

22-year-old Thomas Lang has been missing since December 18.

Swarming Piranhas Attack in Argentina

Over 70 people were injured.

Alligators and Crocodiles Use Tools Now, Apparently

Because, you know, they weren't dangerous enough already.

Last-second Christmas Gift: Bearded Ski Mask

You’re welcome.

Colossal Gingerbread House Breaks World Record

For deliciousness, that is.

Gear Pro: Patching a Down Jacket

Your puffy jacket (or sleeping bag) fixed in 10 minutes!

Arctic reindeer have color-changing eyes

Red nose? Nah. Instead, the Arctic reindeer's eyes change from gold to blue in wintertime.

The List: 18 (More) Great Books for the Trail

We asked and you answered loud and clear: here are 18 more of your favorite outdoor reads that were left off our first list. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Inspirational Video of the Week: A Gorgeous Timelapse from the Canadian Rockies

The night sky in all its glory.

Inspirational Video of the Week: Incredible Wildlife in Slow Motion

A winter wonderland of animals.

Watch Santa Deliver Presents Parkour-Style

Now we know how he gets all his deliveries done in one night.

Gear Pro: Portable Tunes

6 wireless speakers that will fit in your pack.

No, You Can't Trade a Live Alligator for Beer

At least one Florida liquor store doesn't consider reptiles to be valid currency.

Yellowstone Supervolcano: Way Bigger Than We Thought and Way Overdue

Yikes.

Sledding Crow Is Amazing, Better At Sledding Than You

Too late to get him on our Sochi Olympics team?

Gear Pro: How I Stay Warm

These are a few of my favorite things.

The Grand Canyon's only freshwater pipeline is in jeopardy

The trans-canyon water supply is at risk of 'catastrophic failure,' says the park's superintendent.

Packable Beer Is Now a Reality

Ultralighter alert: these 50 ml packets weigh less than a candy bar.

Survival, Defined

It's not staring into the abyss that's the scary part.

Scientists Study Obesity Via Grizzly Bears

Who are you calling fat? Grizzlies could help scientists shed new light on weight gain.

The List: 20 Great Books For the Trail

Whether read before the trek, during the adventure, or after it's all over, these books remind us why we love the wild.

Competitive wolf hunt in Idaho sparks outcry

The hunt, scheduled for December 28-29, is believed to be the first competitive wolf hunt in the U.S. since 1974.

Antarctica sets new Earth cold record

A jaw-dropping -135 degrees Fahrenheit.

Woman Survives Utah Avalanche After Deploying Airbag

The skier was unearthed 10 minutes after being swallowed up by a slide.

BACKPACKER's Gear Hall of Fame

Out of the thousands of products we've tested over the years, these 10 have stood up to the toughest conditions the backcountry has to offer. In doing so, these inductees deserve to be called timeless.

Reader Instagram of the Week

A weekly showcase for the best reader shots tagged on Instagram (#BPMag).

Go Nuts!

How trail mix will help you live forever (or close, anyway).

Eagle Steals Video Camera, Makes Sweet Movie

Not bad for a first attempt!

Nature’s Biggest Jerks

Who are the biggest jerks in the woods? Pine beetles, that's who.

You’ll Never Guess What Animals Do On Trails While You’re Not Hiking

A hidden camera reveals a wildlife superhighway.

The List: 10 Essential Backpacking Hacks You Need to Know

These clever, easy workarounds will save you time, energy, and money on your next trip.

Hunter to face charges over the Yosemite Rim Fire

The suspect, who has not yet been identified, is accused of setting an illegal campfire in the Stanislaus National Forest.

Aron Ralston arrested, charges later dropped

The '127 Hours' hiker was jailed on a domestic assault charge that was later dropped.

Mysterious grizzly bear death caught on film

A YouTube video shows a grizzly dying of...something.

Report filed in Utah 'goblin-toppler' case; charges could follow

Two former Boy Scout leaders may face criminal charges for destroying geological formations.

Adventure Travel 2013: Oceania

Explore the watery continent on trips from the Indonesian coastline to Tasmania's mountains, and discover the on- and off-trail secrets of a place seemingly made for explorers.

Adventure Travel 2013: Antarctica

Combine unique wildlife, extreme conditions, and an ever-changing icy landscape, and you've got the adventure of a lifetime.

Watch George Clooney, Charlie Sheen, and Laura Dern get eaten by a grizzly bear

In the unfinished, never-released film Grizzly 2: The Predator.

30 Under $30: Holiday Gifts That Won't Break the Bank

Our Gear Editor drops some bargain buying knowledge for every backpacker on your list.

Emu, Ostrich Freak Out Over 'Weasel Ball' Toy

Hilarity ensues.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Sugru Repair Kit

A quick-fix for practically any gear in need of repair.

Most Rugged Coast: Tasman National Park



Most Diverse Landscape: Tasmanian Revel



Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Rab Strata Hoodie

Stay warm and dry in the backcountry with this breathable synthetic.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: The North Face Thermoball Hoodie

A synthetic puffy that rivals the weight and warmth of down.

Best Tropical Getaway: Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia



Best Bird Watching: South Georgia Island



Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Outdoor Research Lodestar Gloves

Keep your hands warm and dry while working in any weather.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Mammut Alpine Rider Helmet

A helmet to handle both warm and cold weather conditions.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Fits Pro Ski Sock

Socks so comfortable, you won't want to take them off.

Gear Review: Dynafit TLT6 Performance Ski Boot

A featherweight boot with impressive downhill performance.

Gear Review: Salomon Quest Max BC 120 Ski Boots

Ski boots featuring a flexible, 44-degree walk mode.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Power Practical Powerpot V Charging Station

Charge your gadgets while cooking your grub.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Factor MX/Shiva MX Ski Boots

Touring boots with downhill toughness built in.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe

A timeless axe that picks into ice with ease.

Gear Review: Dynafit Mercury TF Ski Boots

Boots to steer you through tricky snow and slush situations.

Gear Review: Rossignol Alltrack 130 Pro Ski Boots

Performance boots built for the best backcountry excursions.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: DPS Wailer 99 Skis

Skis built to take on the slopes and tackle backcountry snow.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Scarpa Freedom SL Ski Boots

A ski boot with standout performance and style.

Gear Review: Rossignol Xium World Cup Classic C2 Nordic Skis

Classic skis made with the same burly material found in climbing helmets.

Gear Review: Salomon S-Lab Skate Cold Nordic Skis

Fly downhill with these Nordic skate skis.

Video: Scary Crevasse Falls and Self-Arrests

The harder they fall...

Gear Review: Mammut Light Pump Mat EXP Sleeping Pad

A lightweight, inflatable pad that resists compression.

Gear Review: Exped Downmat XP 9 Sleeping Pad

Withstand glacial nights with this 700-fill down pad.

Grizzly Bear to Become Surrogate Mother for Polar Bears



Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Dream Sleeping Pad

A thick, soft pillow top to keep you cozy at night.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Gloves and Mittens

Keep your digits warm & functioning with these mittens and gloves.

Take a "Spin" Around Mount Hood With This Awesome Hyperlapse Video

Like flying, sort of.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Polarmax H1 Micro Long Sleeve Crew/Bottom

Comfortable, lightweight layers that perform as good as they feel.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Dynafit Mercury Softshell Jacket & Pants

A lightweight pant and jacket combo that packs a punch for a fraction of the price.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Bergans of Norway Glittertind 55 and 70 Pack

A comfortable, all-season pack you'll want to keep on your back.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Dynafit Mercury Softshell

A softshell that saves your skin from windy, winter weather.

Readers' Choice Photo Contest 2014

There just aren't enough pages in the magazine to print all the great photos that get entered into our reader photo contest. Here are the winner, finalists and runners up from the overall contest, as well as some other collections of inspirational photos you submitted.

Gear Review: Grivel 360 Ice Screw

Longer, yet still manageable, screws to give you a mechanical advantage.

Gear Review: Mammut Rescyou Crevasse Kit

An all-inclusive rescue kit that's easy to operate.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Aspect Harness

A cushiony, comfortable harness without the added bulk.

Gear Review: Singing Rock Kappa Helmet

A well-ventilated, comfortable design for all skull sizes.

Gear Review: Grivel G10 Crampon

Spikes built with extra security for all your alpine adventures.

Gear Review: Beal Unicore Tiger 10MM Rope

A rope you can confidently rely - and rappel - on.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Snowshoes

Stay afloat with these shoes.

Gear Review: Leatherman Hail + Style PS

A multi-purpose tool for making snowshoe binding adjustments.

Gear Review: Tubbs Xpedition Snowshoes

Easy to get into so you can focus on getting out.

Gear Review: Northern Lites Quicksilver Snowshoes

A simple, lightweight design with barely-there comfort.

Gear Review: Komperdell Alpinist Snowshoes

Snowshoes that stay a step above the snowy slush.

Gear Review: Faber Sommet Snowshoes

A snowshoe with extra grip to keep you stable on all slopes.

Gear Review: Atlas Fitness Snowshoes

A snowshoe to support you through ski-like snow terrain.

Gear Review: Montane Tourbillon Event Stretch Gaiter

The ultimate tall, tough gaiters for the shoulder season.

Gear Review: Fits Pro Ski Sock

Editors' Choice 2013 Winner. Long-term comfort assured.

Gear Review: MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoes

Snowshoes built to tackle tough, backcountry terrain.

Gear Review: Wolverine Merino Xtreme Hiker Sock

Cushy winter socks that side-step being bulky or stuffy.

Gear Review: Lorpen T3+ Polartec Light Ski Sock

A sock with double the layer of Polartec power.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Stamina Gaiters

A beneficial hiking shoe-addition to help buffer snow, slush, and debris.

Gear Review: Sauce Chill Toque Hat

A go-to beanie that sheds winter snow and moisture.

Gear Review: Columbia Noble Falls Trapper Hat

A hat that's durable for the long, multi-day haul.

Gear Review: Buff Wool Balaclava Headwear

A super-thin model that can fit under your helmet or stand up to cold on its own.

Gear Review: Pret Cynic/Lyric Helmet

A vented helmet so comfortable you'll forget it's on.

Gear Review: Kind Dark Chocolate Chili Almond Bar

A sweet-and-spicy trail mix combo.

Gear Review: Mammut Alpine Rider Helmet

Editors' Choice 2013 Winner. Protection adjustable for spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Gear Review: Spyder Nordwand Pants

Comfortable pants built to handle all backcountry conditions.

Gear Review: MaryJanesFarm Ginger Sesame Rice

A vegan rice that serves as a savory addition to any meal.

Gear Review: Millet Touring Neo Hardshell Pants

A light hardshell pant with superb breathability.

Gear Review: Packit Gourmet A Shepherd's Cottage Pie

A filling comfort food for cold camp days.

Gear Review: Adventure Appetites Heady Cake and Bake

A pancake mix packed with savory-sweet deliciousness.

Gear Review: Kovea Booster+1 Stove

A stove that can switch between fuels in a snap.

Gear Review: Stanley Classic 20-oz. One-Hand Vacuum Mug

A push-button lid makes sipping from this mug hassle-free.

Gear Review: Thermos Stainless King 16 oz. Food Jar

A jar to keep your meals hot when the weather is not.

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Tablespoon

A super-tough spoon that can stand up to years of scraping.

Grand Teton National Park to eliminate its mountain goats



Gear Review: Patagonia Untracked Hardshell Pants

These ski pants have seemingly bulletproof durability and loose, freeride styling.

Gear Review: Dynafit Cho Oyu Skis

If you spend most of your time touring to technical peaks and then carefully etching your way down them, the Cho Oyu is your choice.

Gear Review: Dynafit Mercury Softshell Pant

Editor's Choice 2013 Winner. Innovative softshell fabric for a bargain price

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Valhalla Softshell Pants

Softshell pants to withstand gnarly weather

Gear Review: Dakine Kodiak Gloves

A tough, badass glove that is warm as can be

Adventure Travel 2013: Africa

Wildlife, waterfalls, and epics await in Africa, where there's more than enough scenery and solitude to go around.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Lodestar Gloves

Editors Choice 2013 Winner. Comfortable and capable gloves to fit high-exertion trips

Gear Review: Seirus Heattouch Hyperlite Gloves

Affordable battery-powered warmth

Gear Review: Black Diamond Fever Mittens

Leather mitts that stand up to the single digits

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Grub Glove

Don't settle between mitten or glove

Gear Review: Rab Alliance Gloves

Double layered warmth and protection

Best Adventure Eating: Baked Guinea Pig



Best Scenery: Torres del Paine Circuit, Chile



Best Wildlife Safari: Pantanal, Brazil



Best Culture Hike: Santa Cruz Trek, Peru



Best Sunrise: Laguna Torre, Argentina



Ecuador: Top 3 Training Hikes

Got your eye on Cotopaxi? Work up to it on a series of acclimatizing hikes before tackling the big one. These trips, in ascending order of difficulty, are ideal proving grounds: close to Quito, tall enough to help your legs and lungs adjust, and all doable without a guide.

Best for Peakbaggers: Volcan Cotopaxi, Ecuador



Fall Gear Guide 2013: Hardshells

Beat the elements with armor-like protection.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Softshell

Wind is no match for these versatile jackets.

Gear Review: Patagonia Knifeblade Softshell

Classic softshell for any winter sport

Gear Review: Millet Rock + Ice WDS Softshell

Keep cool on hard-charging tours

Gear Review: Big Agnes Shovelhead Puffy

A jacket that packs some serious heat without being a heavyweight.

Gear Review: Fjallraven Abisko/Nikka Softshell

A simple yet rugged cotton softshell.

Gear Review: Eastern Mountain Sports Fader Softshell

A wind-blocking nylon softshell jacket.

Gear Review: Crux Plasma Puffy

A jacket built to bring the heat in any winter weather.

Gear Review: Montbell Plasma Puffy

A lightweight jacket designed to keep you warm - in the loftiest way possible.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Halogen Hoody

A breathable jacket built to withstand all kinds of cold weather.

Gear Review: Columbia Zonafied Softshell

Complete Insulation with added hardshell-style wind and water proofing

Gear Review: Dynafit Mercury Softshell

Editor's Choice 2013: High-level performance without the price.

America’s Highest National Park Is Not Denali…

…it’s Yosemite, where rangers issued the most citations for marijuana possession since 2009.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Dawn Patrol LT Softshell

All-weather defense in a light and stretchy softshell.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Fortrez Softshell

A midlayer that pinch-hits as outerwear.

Google adds "Street View" for 44 National Parks

Now you can watch Old Faithful from the comfort of your living room.

"Lam-bear-ghini" thrills L.A., is fake



Gear Review: Rossignol Soul 7 skis

A winning powder ski has to do more than just float through the feathers.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Aspect skis

If you're like some of our staffers, you appreciate the uphill as much as the downhill. For that brand of skiing, choose the Aspect.

Gear Review: The North Face Kichatna Shell Jacket

Armor for tall hikers

Gear Review: Adidas Outdoor Terrex Advanced Shell Jacket

Unique features fit for the cold

Gear Review: Voormi High-E Hoodie

A pullover made with Rocky Mountain wool to keep you warm.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Beta LT Shell Jacket

Brawn without the bulk

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Compulsion 3L/Snowtastic Hardshell

The Swiss Army Knife of Hardshells

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Sleeping Bags

Hit snooze no matter what.

Gear Review: Montane Alpine Endurance Event Hardshell

Alpine climbers' all-time favorite

Gear Review: Flylow Lab Coat Hardshell

For style, form, and function

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Footwear

Get the right footwear for every adventure.

Gear Review: Mammut Lanin/Larain Hardshell

A hardshell that's powder ready and made for the skier that likes to earn her turns.

Gear Review: Nemo Canon -40 Sleeping Bag

A bag built to wrap you in a world of warmth - sans sweat.

Gear Review: Dynafit Patroul GTX Hardshell

Outstanding lightweight shell with serious breathability

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 0 Sleeping Bag

A bag with down-like features for a fraction of the price.

Gear Review: Salomon Tour Hardshell

Favorite all-season shell

Gear Review: DPS Wailer 99 skis

When 90 percent of our test crew argues over who gets to ride a certain ski, we know we've found excellence.

Gear Review: Mountain Equipment Snowline SL Sleeping Bag

A lightweight bag built to battle cold temps.

Gear Review: Line Sick Day 95 skis

Skis for less-than-optimal backcountry conditions.

Gear Review: Asolo Eiger GV Boot

The Eigers are so much more nimble and maneuverable than other mountaineering boots for big summits in snow and cold.

Gear Review: Vasque Arrowhead UD/Sakadia UD Boot

Featuring 200 grams of Thinsulate, a dimpled mylar reflective liner, and a fleece collar.

Nut consumption linked to lower death rate



Gear Review: Chaco Hinterland Mid Boot

More concerned about comfort than cold? If you don nott need winter insulation, this is your boot.

Gear Review: Salomon Fellraiser Trail Runner

The 8mm deep lugs bit into the muddiest, steepest terrain.

Gear Review: Adidas Outdoor SlopeCruiser CP Boot

Supportive, street-looking, lightweight and waterproof kicks.

Gear Review: Treksta Alta GTX Boot

Wear the midweight Alta GTX, which provides unmatched grip on frozen terrain.

Patagonia To Market Specialty Craft Beer



Fall Gear Guide 2013: Eyewear

See better in all conditions with these sunglasses and goggles.

World’s largest snake now calls the U.S. home.

Gulp.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Baselayers

Boost next-to-skin comfort with 12 top picks.

Gear Review: The North Face Aleutian 3S Sleeping Bag

A bag low on price and high on comfort.

Gear Review: REI Radiant Long and Wide Sleeping Bag

A bag built with more wiggle room in mind.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Electronics

Stay connected while off the grid.

Gear Review: Terramar Smartsilk Crew/Tights

Made from a lightweight, body-mapped fabric, these baselayers excelled in all conditions.

Gear Review: Lowe Alpine DryFlo LS Top 120 Baselayer Top

An odor-resistant 100-percent polyester knit top.

Gear Review: Smartwool NTS Mid 250 Hoody

A midweight baselayer with year-round performance.

Gear Review: Westcomb Sphere Baselayers

These ultrawarm layers will keep you outside longer.

Gear Review: Redington SonicDry Crew/Pant

Baselayers that move with you.

Gear Review: Icebreaker Tracer/Rush Tights

These do-it-all midweights worked overtime for our testers, performing well both alone and layered under shell pants.

Gear Review: Craft Warm Crewneck

A high-wicking baselayer for aerobic movers.

Apps for the Trail

Upgrade your digital trip planning and recording.

Gear Review: DeLorme inReach SE Two-Way Messenger

Receive messages from off-the-grid locales.

Gear Review: Brunton Power Essentials Solar Kit

A power pack and solar panel for backcountry juice.

Gear Review: Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell Portable Speakers

Wireless speakers with great sound.

Gear Review: Pentax Optio WG-3 Digital Camera

A camera built for adventure races.

Route Planner: Rand McNally Foris 850 GPS

The first GPS unit from maps maker Rand McNally.

Gear Review: Sony DEV-50V Digital Recording Binoculars

A pair of binoculars that doubles as a video camera - with the added bonus of 3D.

Gear Review: Garmin Oregon 650 GPS

This is one of the most powerful--yet compact--GPS units we've ever tested.

States seek reimbursement for keeping national parks open during shutdown

States, feds remain at odds over repayment.

Gear Review: Smith Approach Max Slideshows

Lightweight shades with maximum ventilation.

Gear Review: Oakley Style Switch Sunglasses

A no-budge sunglass with interchangeable lenses.

Gear Review: POC Cornea NXT Photo Goggles

An all-purpose lens combined with fog-free performance.

Gear Review: Zeal Penny Lane Sunglasses

If you want one pair of shades that are both stylish and functional the Zeal Penny Lane fit the bill.

Gear Review: Julbo Suspect Sunglasses

A lightweight, single-lens, do-anything frame with great coverage and durability.

Gear Review: Oakley Airbrake Snow Goggles

Goggles sporting easy-change lenses - even with gloves on.

SAR teams remove obscene rock art near waterfall in Twin Falls, ID

More like “Twin Phallic.”

Pig chugs 18 beers, picks a fight with a cow



Fall Gear Guide 2013: Tents

Find refuge in these lightweight picks

11 Wolves vs. 1 Grizzly

One lucky Grand Tetons visitor catches a crazy showdown between charismatic megafauna on video.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Backpacks

Make easier miles in these tester favorites.

best camping with big-five animals: Makuya Hiking Trail, South Africa



best habitat diversity: Miriakamba Hut Circular Trail, Tanzania



best wildlife walk: Naukluft Hiking Trail, Namib Naukluft Park, Namibia

Seize a rare opportunity to hike unguided through big-game country.

best easy view: Sentinel Trail, South Africa



best canyon hike: Fish River Canyon Trail, Namibia



best swimming hole: Devil's Pool, Victoria Falls, Zambia



most audacious: Margherita Peak, Uganda



best quick climb: Cathedral Peak, South Africa



best peak: Mt. Kenya, Mt. Kenya National Park, Kenya

Scale an airy, exposed twin-pronged volcano to killer Kili views in East Africa.

best art hike: Malealea Village Trek, Lesotho



best coffee “bar” crawl: Simien Mountains Trek, Ethiopia



best culture hike: Wild Coast Hiking Trail, Silaka and Huleka Nature Reserves, South Africa

Visit eight rural villages on this five-day tour along an undeveloped stretch of coast.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Akto Tent

Packed, the Akto scrunches to the size of a six-pack-of-bagels.

best landform: Wolfberg Cracks and Arch, South Africa



Gear Review: Exped Orion III Tent

Three-person space at a weight comparable to many two-person winter tents; that's the Orion III.

Gear Review: Brooks Range Propel 2D Tent

The Propel 2D includes 5 poles and the shelter only weighs 3 pounds.

Gear Review: Easton Torrent 2P Tent

Many two-person tents fill up fast with gear and humans, leaving scant move-around space. Not so with the Torrent 2P.

Gear Review: Crux X2 Storm Tent

"This tent is built like a brick house."

Gear Review: Millet Matrix 30 MBS Backpack

A pack low on price but full on features.

Gear Review: Fjallraven Akka Endurance Tent

In places with ferocious weather, there's nothing better than a lot of protected space for cooking and storing gear.

Gear Review: Gregory Targhee 45 Backpack

A pack with plenty of easy-to-access storage.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Equipment Anthem Backpack

A compact pack stuffed with stability.

Gear Review: Tarptent Scarp 1

This an ultralight, compact, one person tent.

Gear Review: Tarptent Scarp 1

This an ultralight, compact, one person tent.

Gear Review: REI XT 85 Backpack

A big-load capacity pack that's big on comfort.

Gear Review: Tarptent Scarp 1

This an ultralight, compact, one person tent.

Gear Review: Osprey Kode 32 Backpack

A pack perfect for backcountry skiing or snowboarding.

Best Shangri-La: Kingdom of Bhutan

Trust a country that didn't allow television until 1999 to provide a portal into traditional Buddhist culture and unspoiled landscapes. But get there soon: Thanks to a new democracy, Bhutan is modernizing fast. Luckily, getting around has never been easier, and strict regulation keeps the hordes away. Mix and match these three adventures into a trip of a lifetime.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Khamski Backpack

A backpack built to handle all outdoor activities.

Gear Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Ice Pack

A lightweight, indestructible ice pack for all conditions.

The BACKPACKER Q&A: The National Parks



Alaska man donates amputated leg to search and rescue dogs

Fetch just got real.

New Mexico’s Chaco National Park earns ‘dark sky’ designation

Minimal light pollution makes this park a top destination for stargazers.

Best Discovery: Hai Country, Japan

Can you really find true wilderness in the most civilized country on Earth?

Gear Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Ice Pack

A lightweight backpack for ice climbing.

Video: Elk Challenges Photographer in the Smokies



Ghost Town For Sale. Must Hike In.

A California mining town is for sale on Craigslist. Liquor license included!

BACKPACKER's Best Outdoor Dogs



Man punches grizzly IN THE FACE

Fairbanks man wards off a tent-invading bear with his fist.

Just a little off the top: Denali gets shorter

In a recent scientific survey, North America’s tallest peak loses elevation — again.

Study links two genes to mountain sickness

The results might eventually lead to more effective treatment for altitude sickness.

Irish hiker rescued from New Zealand forest



Silent rattlesnakes emerging in South Dakota’s Black Hills

All the venom, none of the warning.

Gear Review: Outdoor Edge Fish & Bone Knife

A portable knife made for cleaning fish.

Fly Fishing Gear

Four products to help you catch your dinner.

Gear Review: Redington Sonic-Pro Ultra Packable Waders

Fishing waders that pack down to the size of a cantaloupe.

Gear Review: Orvis Clearwater Fishing Rod & Encounter II Reel

An affordable fly fishing rod/reel combo from Orvis.

Gear Review: Patagonia Sweet Pack Vest

A versatile fishing vest from Patagonia.

Tech Talk: Trailproofing Headlamps

Learn what a headlamps IP code is. Plus, three more multifunctional lights.

Field Test: Headlamps

Seven ways to light up the night.

Gear Review: LED Lenser SEO 5

A focusable headlamp.

Gear Review: Fenix HL30 Headlamp

A bargain headlamp that's still powerful and durable.

Gear Review: UCO ARKA Lantern

A light but powerful lantern.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Lapel Torch

A camp light that fastens wherever you need it.

Gear Review: Light and Motion Solite 250 Headlamp

A headlamp perfect for mutisporters.

Gear Review: Princeton Tec Vizz

A headlamp for those wet weather climes.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

The best all-around headlamp from Black Diamond Equipment.

Adventure Travel 2013: North America

Think you know adventure travel on your home continent? Not unless you've mixed paddling and hiking in Utah, highpointed the Caribbean, summited a Mexican volcano, and taken a few more trips on the wild side.

Highpoint the Carribean

Find culture, scenery, and solitude at the top of a tropical island.

Packraft Utah

Can't decide between river and trail? Paddle and pad your way to the best of Canyonlands National Park.

Survival A to Z: Zapped

Lightning injuries and deaths by the numbers

Survival A to Z: Victimology

What does the typical Search and Rescue victim look like? A detailed look at who's most likely to get in trouble in our national parks.

Heroes: Rixi, 6

This German Shepherd searches rugged terrain for dozens of lost hikers each year.

Survival A to Z: Quicksand

Don't get stuck in the muck: Here's how to escape a sticky situation.

Survival A to Z: Nightfall

No serene sunsets for you—your hike went long, daylight is fading, and you feel a knot of panic in your chest. Should you try to find your way out, or prepare to overnight?

Survival A to Z: Mantra

M is for Mantra

Survival A to Z: Lost

During a long day trip, you decide to scamper off-trail in search of some wall-worthy shots of a secret waterfall. The trees blend together and in your rush to find photo gold, you suddenly realize you are LOST!

Kilimanjaro Family Climb!

Follow Jonathan Dorn, Peter Whittaker, and their families to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on this once-in-a-lifetime experience! See their daily videos and posts below.

Survival A to Z: Injuries

Most backcountry wounds simply leave you vulnerable to the elements. These few are serious enough to kill in their own right.

Survival A to Z: Hunger

Out of food in the wilderness? Don't let that cause a real problem

Survival A to Z: Fire

You don't need a magnifying glass to coax a flame from the sun.

Survival A to Z: Escape

Just run! 5 life-or-death scenarios when flight trumps fight.

Breaking News: 2 hikers stranded on Longs Peak

Good news: Both women returned to safety as of Friday, September 13.

Readers' Choice Awards - Your Gear Preferences!

Let your voice be heard! In our January 2014 issue, we will reveal the results of this short survey, designed to capture the personality, passion, and penchants of you...our amazing readers!

2013 Adventure Travel Award Nominations

What's the best backcountry guide service in Nepal? The best trail town in Chile? New Zealand's best hiker bar? Nominate your faves on every continent for our first-ever Adventure Travel awards!

Hidden Montana: Absaroka Range

The little-known Absaroka (ab-SOAR-kuh) Mountains are the largest single range in the Rockies, and they undoubtedly form the wild core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. In their northern extremities, the Absarokas manifest their grandeur as steep, rugged spires, thanks to cliff-friendly blends of granite and gneiss. There among the pinnacles you'll find all the mountain wildlife of Yellowstone (mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, wolves and bears both black and brown), but with bigger, badder scenery and far fewer people.

Hidden Montana: Sawtooth Range



Hidden Montana: Mission Mountains

The Missions stand out even in northwest Montana, a region with no shortage of steep, crazed peaks. Travel in this glacially eroded landscape of dense evergreen forest, hidden lakes, tusk-like 9,000-foot summits and long, knife-edged ridgelines can be described in three simple terms: Steep. Rocky. Strenuous. Basecamping is the best plan.

Hidden Montana: Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness

Fewer than 300 miles of trail crisscross the 158,615-acre Anaconda-Pintler, but only 45 miles along the CDT qualify as busy. At this northern latitude, treeline sits around 9,000 feet, and timberline regions are like bonsai gardens writ large; an aesthetic blend of spruce, fir, and the whimsical larch. The best way to experience it? A multiday immersion trek trip.

Hidden Montana: Beaverhead Range

Rugged, scenic, and lightly traveled, the Beaverheads rise above Big Hole Valley's broad meadows as a skyline full of 10,000 foot summits with alpine lakes pooling at their feet. Outside of Montana, this place would be on every hiker's tick list, but here it fades into obscurity behind Glacier and the northern Bitterroots that loom above Missoula. Explore them shoreline to summit on these two hikes.

Hidden Montana

No need to fight the crowds in Glacier or Yellowstone. Montana is full of life-list trips--you just have to know where to look.

Local Hikes in the East - August 2013

Trace a West Virginia ridgeline in the Alleghenies, show your family eight waterfalls on one Pennsylania hike, check out a rare moonbow in Kentucky, and go on nine more adventures.

Local Hikes in the Central - August 2013

Trek along the country’s first national river in Arkansas, find solitude in Michigan’s Trap Hills, watch whooping crane chicks learn to fly outside Madison, WI, and plan for nine more summer trips.

Local Hikes in the West - August 2013

Hike through wildflower-laden alpine meadows in Washington’s volcanic high country, see a meteor shower in dark-sky New Mexico, escape the crowds above Lake Tahoe, and more.

Local Hikes in the West - August 2013

Hike through wildflower-laden alpine meadows in Washington’s volcanic high country, see a meteor shower in dark-sky New Mexico, escape the crowds above Lake Tahoe, and more.

Heroes: David Gonzales, 46

This eco-obsessed author and photographer is saving his local forest, one tree at a time.

Drink Up: Hydration and Purifying Gear for the Trail

Stay hydrated on the trail with these innovative filters and containers.

Gear Review: Platypus Sprinter X.T. 35.0

A hearty hydration pack that's also water resistant.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen H2 Flow Jacket

A versatile, hoodless jacket.

Gear Review: Alite Mayfly Chair

A packable, comfortable camp chair that's not tippy.

Gear Review: Oboz Traverse Low Hiking Shoes

Low-cut hiking boots that are grippy in all conditions.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Jacket

A bargain rain jacket that's actually breathable.

Pamper Your Feet

Boost comfort with these three sock, shoe, and insert options.

Gear Review: Scarpa Kailash GTX Boot

A new and improved version of a boot we've long loved.

Field Test: Big-Trip Boots

Tackle rugged peaks, haul mighty loads, and thrash through the backcountry. These seven boots will support and protect you through it all.

Gear Review: The North Face Verbera Hiker GTX Boot

Excellent cushioning in a long-trail hiker.

Gear Review: LOWA Focus GTX Mid/Focus GTX QC Boot

An ideal boot for technical terrain that requires precise footing.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Navigating the Latest In GPS

Reader Report Jon Bausman takes you inside the latest in GPS navigation at the Summer OR Show, whether you're a purist seeking an inexpensive option or a tech-lover searching for the newest gadget.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: High-Tech Tools

Backpacker Reader Reporter Whit Vogel digs up a few pint-size multitools, watches, and a headlamp that will turn heads.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Hydration Big and Small

Reader Reporter Shey Kiester quenches her thirst for new H20 accessories.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Oh I Would Walk 500 Miles...

Reader Reporter Evan Pederson searches for what's new below the knee.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Action Accessories

Backpacker Reader Reporter Whit is on a mission to look for the wackiest accessories around.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Heroes in a Hardshell

Reader Reporter Jon Bausman takes you inside the best ultralight, softshell, and technical hardshells for 2014.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Adventure Wear for Adventure Women

Reader Reporter Shey Kiester shovels through duds for the best in women's digs.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: A Man's Vest Friend

Evan looks for stylish baselayers and functional vest that might take the place of an old favorite.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: The Perfect Pack

Reader Reporter Shey Kiester seeks out the most versatile and innovative daypacks and expedition bags.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: The Lighter Side of Tent City

Reader Reporter Jon Bausman finds that Tent City offers a field of tents for every adventurer.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: A Range of Stoves & Cook Sets

Reader Reporter Whit Vogel sparks up conversations about 2014 backcountry cooking products.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Sleep On It

Reader Reporter Evan Pederson ignores the Salt Lake City heat and climbs into this season's new sleeping bags.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Fly Fishing 101

Reader Reporter Whit Vogel seeks out a lesson in fly fishing and finds a few ladies to show her the ropes.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Wacky and Wild Ways to Move at Demo Day

Reader Reporter Shey Kiester gets down and dirty testing out the latest and greatest modes of transport.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: What's SUP at the OR Show?

Jon Bausman takes you inside for a first-timer's perspective on stand-up paddleboarding (SUP).

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Evan Hunts for Treasure

Magellan sponsors a geocaching treasure hunt and Evan searches for what's new at Day 0 of Outdoor Retailer.

One Night Wonders: Anglers, Deep Creek Lake

Stalk golden trout.

One Night Wonders: Ocean Lovers, Peanut Island Park

Snorkel among manatees.

One Night Wonders: Urban Escapees, Ibantik Lake

Savor instant solitude.

One Night Wonders: Urban Escapees, White Rocks Loop

Bust out beyond the beltway.

One Night Wonders: Urban Escapees, Berryman Trail

Hide out in Ozark Hollows

One Night Wonders: Mileage Monsters, Hut Traverse

Hike New England's highest paths.

One Night Wonders: Mileage Monsters, Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie Pass

Gobble the PCT's tastiest morsel.

One Night Wonders: Mileage Monsters, Kings Peak

Scale Utah's mightiest mountain.

One Night Wonders: Couples, Honeymoon Lake

Escape to a high-alpine hideaway.

One Night Wonders: Couples, Goodwin Lake to Granite Hot Springs

Soak in simmering springs.

One Night Wonders: Couples, Caribou Rock Trail

Retreat into a watery labyrinth.

One Night Wonders: Peak Baggers, Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point

Tag two tough fourteeners.

One Night Wonders: Big Kids, Bench Lakes

Explore the Rockies' sharpest peaks.

One Night Wonders: Little Kids, Sages Ravine

Splash in swimming holes.

One Night Wonders

Make the most of your precious weekend Freedom. These 15 hikes deliver epic to all types of time-crunched hikers.

Testing the Waters

Four days on New England's idyllic waterways. Is it enough to win a father's blessing for his daughter's new life?

The Great Best Views Debate

In our September 2013 issue we polled our experts on their favorite views in the U.S. What are your favorite views in each state?

Test Kitchen: Nuts

Protein-packed and calorie-dense, nuts are a classic backpackers' superfood. We taste-tested 96 spreads, mixes, and bars to bring you the healthiest (and tastiest) options for the trail.

Bugs getting into your tent? And other common questions.

Keep up with your buddies on the trail, backpack on the cheap, keep pesky bugs out of your tent, and stay on track with your weight loss goals without bonking mid-trip.

Survival Lab: Caveman Skills

No knife? No rope? No problem. For our great-great-great-great-great-great grandfathers, every day was a survival epic, and they fashioned simple blades and cordage from raw wilderness. With a bit of practice, so can you.

Troubleshoot This: Sediment-Choked Water

Dirty water clogs filters, hampers UV purification, and makes chemical treatments less effective. Find a better water source or clean what you have.

Out Alive: Trapped by Wildfire

Two kayakers survive a howling inferno by clinging to their crafts in the middle of a frigid lake-and then hypothermia threatens.

Master Class: Off-Trail Hiking

Discover secret campsites and total solitude with this expert guide to safely navigating untracked wilderness.

Trail Mix: East

Your region's go now guide: Find wild horses near D.C., spot 8 waterfalls on a family-friendly loop, view the "Niagara of the South" in Kentucky, and more.

From the Field: East

Trace a West Virginia ridgeline in the Alleghenies, show your family eight waterfalls on one Pennsylvania hike, check out a rare moonbow in Kentucky, and go on nine more adventures.

Rip & Go: North Fork Mountain, Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, WV

Climb sandstone outcroppings and spot raptors on this wildlife-packed ridgeline.

Trail Mix: Central

Your region's go now guide: HIke with your kids in Missouri, watch the endangered whooping crane in Wisconsin, and more.

Unthinkable Situations

You may believe you're an all-around good trip buddy, but there's nothing like adversity-and extraordinarily difficult decisions-to test your mettle. There are no right answers, but you have to live with the decisions.

From the Field: Central

Trek along the country's first national river in Arkansas, find solitude in Michigan's Trap Hills, watch whooping crane chicks learn to fly outside Madison, WI, and plan for nine more summer trips.

Rip & Go: Buffalo River Trail, Ponca Wilderness, AR

Traverse craggy cliffs flanking America's first national river.

Trail Mix: West

Your region's go now guide: Explore the Pacific coastline in California, hike in isolation near Lake Tahoe, and more.

From the Field: West

Hike through wildflower-laden alpine meadows in Washington's volcanic high country, see a meteor shower in dark-sky New Mexico, escape the crowds above Lake Tahoe, and more.

Rip & Go: Goat Ridge Loop, Goat Rocks Wilderness, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA

Explore an alpine oasis amid volcanic terrain along the crest of the Cascades.

Mountain Map: Indian Peaks, CO

Of all the reasons to be jealous of Denverites (craft beer, deep powder, Peyton Manning), the Front Range's backyard peaks might top the list. These glacier-carved mountains straddle the Continental Divide and offer 133 miles of maintained trails, plus endless serrated ridges to explore. Local or visitor, venture into this land of massive crags with these routes that promise views from every vantage point—if you don't live here yet, you'll wish you did.

Top 3: Quad Burners

You're in mid-season shape—reap the rewards on some of the country's steepest hikes.

Life List: Moonlit Presidential Traverse, New Hampshire

An after-hours trek on one of the Northeast's best hikes yields unexpected sights.

Share It: Edit and Share Trip Data

You're back from the trail with a bunch of beta--now show it off.

Do It: Make the Most of Your Phone

Pick the right case to shield your device, never lose touch, boost your juice, and conserve battery power with these tips and tricks.

Record Better Media: Picture and Video Masterpieces

You can't beat a dedicated camera for clarity, control, and quality, but smartphones come close enough for most of us-this magazine has even published iPhone photos. Use these tools and techniques to amp up your device's multimedia power:

Utilize the Top Backcountry Apps

These apps help you navigate through weather, identify plants, and navigate.

Plan It: Master the Latest in Trip-Planning Technology

In the past, route-planning involved browsing guidebooks, consulting rangers, and convincing locals to give up their secret places. Today, that information lives on the internet; you just have to know how to find it.

Local Hikes in the East - June 2013

Snake through swamplands in Congaree NP, see fireworks atop Vermont's highpoint, catch a firefly light show in the Smokies, and grab nine more early summer trips.

Local Hikes in the Central - June 2013

Hike the border country in Big Bend NP, bring your kite on an Illinois hike, see bison duel in Wind Cave NP, and go on nine more adventures.

Local Hikes in the West - June 2013

Trek past eight lakes in Lassen Volcanic NP's high country, check out the newest national park. hike the Wonderland Trail in Rainier NP like a pro, and more.

First Night Out: Year of the Reader

Meet a Texas reader who chose Big Bend National Park for her inaugural backpacking trip.

BACKPACKER's Million Mile Month

Starting August 1, 2013 we're challenging our readers to hike 1,000,000 collective trail miles! Find out how you can participate.

Editor's Note: The Parks Provide

No reservations? No problem. You can still have an epic national park adventure this summer.

Grand Traverses

Ever wished the view never stopped? It doesn't on these mountain-straddling routes. Here's how to conquer the skyline.

Troubleshoot This: Busted Hydration Bladder

Learn to field-fix a leaky reservoir.

Nirvana Now!

Is hiking and yoga the ultimate path to rejuvenation? Our man takes his bad back and troubled soul to Yosemite to find out.

Trail Mix: East

Your region's go now guide: See synchronous fireflies in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, hike through a Civil War battlefield, witness a July 4th celebration on a Vermont peak, and more.

From the Field: East

Get magnificent coastal views in Maine, snag a few fish in West Virginia's Otter Creek Wilderness, spot sunning alligators in the Florida panhandle, and more.

Rip & Go: Kingsnake Trail, Congaree National Park, SC

Spy diverse swamp wildlife in one of the newest national parks.

Trail Mix: Central

Hike the border country in Big Bend NP, bring your kite on an Illinois hike, see bison duel in Wind Cave NP, and go on nine more adventures.

From the Field: Central

Hear various bird songs during Ohio's bird breading season, cool off in clear swimming home in a hidden Oklahoman gem, and more.

Rip & Go: Outer Mountain Loop, Big Bend National park, TX

Trek through wide-open desert and ascend big-view mountains in the still-wild West.

Trail Mix: West

Your region's go now guide: Trek past eight lakes in Lassen Volcanic NP's high country, check out the newest national park, hike the Wonderland Trail in Rainier NP like a pro, and more.

From the Field: West

Experience the varying habitat in California's Lobo Canyon Trail, get a high-vantage view of the Colorado River in Arizona, hike former mining roads, and more!

Rip & Go: Summit Lakes Trail, Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA

Pass sparkling alpine lakes on this easy weekend through volcanic high country.

Mountain Map: Glacier National Park, MT

With 1,584 square miles of soaring peaks, alpine tundra, and yes, glaciers, this mountain mecca belongs on every hiker's life list. We rounded up five of our scouts' top treks in the Many Glacier region—so when you get there, you'll shoot straight to the park's best terrain.

Top 3: National Park Hikes

Sample the best of our crown-jewel lands on these superlative trips.

Life List: Stillwater Canyon, Utah

Travel rugged, red-rock backcountry in Canyonlands National Park the easy way—by boat.

Electrolyte Replacements

Salts and other electrolytes help regulate cell function and nerve impulses, so when you sweat them out, you need to replace them. From Grand Gulch to the Grand Canyon, we tested 27 different gels, powders, and chews - and found the best ways to stay charged this summer.

Instant Upgrades

Snag a last-minute permit for a popular national park trail, ease the itch from a poison ivy/oak encounter, navigate successfully in a canoe, and pack the right amount of food for your big groups backcountry trip.

Master Class: Explore the Alpine Zone

Apply mountaineering basics to adapt to thing air, avoid high-altitude hazards, and make smart decisions.

Heroes: Mike Peters, 54

This alt-rock star helps fight cancer by combining music and hiking.

Survival: Light 'Em Up

Wet, cold, lost, hungry: In desperate times, nothing improves your changes of survival more than a roaring blaze. We tested every fuel source under the sun to show you how to start a fire every time.

Survival: Drowning

Drowning is the top killer in national parks - accounting for 37 percent of deaths - and in the backcountry, rivers are the biggest threat. Here's how to keep from going under.

Out Alive: Struck by Lightning

A heart-stopping bolt hits one hiker and levels a group of his friends who then fight to resuscitate him.

Field Test: All-Purpose Trail Clothes

Our crew of Grand Canyon rangers spent 520 days in the backcountry to find the best three-season wardrobe.

Smartphone Photo Accessories

Outfit your phone for better backcountry pictures.

Gear Review: Costa Del Mar Cat Cay Sunglasses

Full-coverage lenses that let zero light seep, but shades that don't overwhelm a small face.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear ThruWay 50 Backpack

A light 50-liter pack with minimalist suspension.

Grand Traverses: Great Range

Bag eight peaks on the way to New York's high point.

Grand Traverses: Franconia Ridge

Enjoy panoramic views on an exposed, granite ridgewalk.

Grand Traverses: Greenstone Ridge

Tackle 40 miles of an island ridge above Lake Superior.

Grand Traverses: Teton Crest Trail

Take this park's best tour.

Grand Traverses: Guadalupe Ridge Trail

Hike the length of an ancient fossilized reef.

Grand Traverses: Superstition Ridge

Catch an eye-full of the volcanic Superstition Mountains just 45 minutes from Phoenix.

Grand Traverses: Monroe Skyline

Bag six of the state's loftiest peaks in a single, stout day on the Long Trail.

Grand Traverses: Sierra High Route

Breathe in the views and grandness of the Sierras without the crowds of the John Muir Trail.

Gear Review: Lighter1 Bear Bin

A bear canister with a built-in cooking pan and bowl -- for you, not the bear.

Gear Review: Soto WindMaster

A versatile stove that works great in windy conditions.

Tech Talk: The Science Behind Synthetics

The differences between nylon and polyester workout gear.

Grand Traverses: Great Northern Traverse

Cross the top of Glacier National Park.

Grand Traverses: Ruby Crest

Soak up the alpine solitude in the "Swiss Alps of Nevada".

Gear Review: Trail Shorts & Hiking Tops

Two his-and-her options for trail shorts and tops.

Gear Review: Merrell Ngeo Crew

This super soft synthetic crew shirt has excellent wicking and quick-drying properties.

Gear Review: GoLite Koli Wool Baselayer Shortsleeve

A stink-free wool baselayer that's perfect for multiday backpacking trips.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Voodoo Pants

The Voodoos cast a three-part spell of comfort, durability, and function.

Grand Traverses: Sawtooth Ridge

Tick of Washington's alpine gems the fast-and-light way.

Grand Traverses: Roan Highlands

Gorge on views that don't quit on a high stretch of the Appalachian Trail.

Grand Traverses: Pfiffner Traverse

Choose your own adventure on this rocky mountain routefinding test piece.

Table of Contents: Grand Traverses

Ever wished the view never stopped? It doesn't on these mountain-straddling routes. Here's how to conquer the skyline.

Gear Review: Marmot Stride Jacket

This souped-up windshirt is the latest iteration of the DriClime.

BACKPACKER "Summer of Tough" Photo Safari

Join Backpacker magazine photo editor, Genny Fullerton, and Backpacker contributing photographer, Steve Howe, on a four-day, three-night backpacking photo safari where you'll learn what it takes to shoot images worthy of publication.

Gear Review: Grivel G10 Crampons



Gear Review: Kahtoola K-10 Hiking Crampons



Gear Review: Kahtoola MICROspikes



Gear Review: Kako Diamond Grip Icetrekkers



Gear Review: STABILicers Lite



BACKPACKER'S Year of the Reader Contests May

Our year long 40th anniversary celebration continues with a chance to win an epic Kilimanjaro trek and other great prizes.

Gear Review: Get a Grip

5 ways to boost traction on snow-covered, early-season routes

Field Test: Big-trip Packs

We tested a slew of load monsters to find the best in comfort, support, and organization.

Local Hikes in the East

Paddle an Outer Banks island, hit a new trail in Tennessee, stargaze in Pennsylvania, and grab nine more adventures.

Local Hikes in the Central U.S.

Sample a section of Missouri's Ozark Trail, harvest Minnesotan morels, see endangered sea turtles in coastal Texas, and more.

Local Hikes in the West

Get your waterfall fix in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge, find solitude in Wyoming, check out a new Denver-area state park, and tag more spring hikes.

First Night Out

We've gathered top skills for new backpackers and a dozen unforgettable—yet beginner-friendly—trails. What they say is true: You'll never forget your first time.

First Night Out: Year of the Reader

Three readers who hit the trail for the first time (newbies!) in 2013 as part of our Year of the Reader celebration.

First Night Out: Essays

Three authors write about the moments that changed their impressions of the backcountry forever.

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

Can you walk off a war? A veteran who served in Iraq embarks on a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail to find out.

First Night Out: Top 10 Rookie Mistakes

Dodge these common errors with our prevention primer.

First Night Out: Cooking

Learn how to set up your kitchen, store food, and wash dishes in the backcountry.

First Night Out: Treat Water

Learn how to treat water in the backcountry.

First Night Out: In Camp

How to choose a campsite, set up camp. and sleep comfortably.

First Night Out: On the Trail

How to dress comfortably and stay fueled while hiking.

First Night Out: Fauna

Three trails teeming with wildlife

First Night Out: The Ten Essentials

Outdoor experts have refined the list of key safety and survival tools into these 10 categories. Don't leave home without them.

First Night Out: Packing and Planning

Tips on packing and planning for your first night under the stars.

First Night Out: Water

Three beautiful water-side hikes

First Night Out: Views

Three hikes with spectacular views

First Night Out: Flora

Three hikes with scenic wildflower vistas

Heroes: Jason Stout, 42

He healed his grief on an outdoor journey - and now helps teens do the same.

Life List: Grand Challenge

Push yourself on a self-supported, 167-mile race through the Southwest. The blisters will go away; the accomplishment will stay with you forever.

Test Your Survival IQ: Widlife

Bear Grylls has had his share of close scrapes with wildlife, yet he's always managed to come out alive. Would you? Take this quiz to see how you measure up.

Great Walks of New Zealand

The Great Walks are New Zealand's premier walking tracks. They take the walker on an incredible journey through some of the best scenery in the country.

Win an Ultimate Dream Trip

Win a trip for two to New Zealand.

Air New Zealand Grand Prize Contest Rules



Treat Deep Wounds

Miles from the trailhead, your hiking partner springs a gusher after taking a fall on an iffy scramble. Here's what to do.

Troubleshoot This: Soaked Sleeping Bag

Dry out your sleeping bag so it will keep you warmer longer.

Out Alive: Caught by a Strainer

A kayaker struggles to stay afloat when a tangle of trees pins her boat.

Get a Grip

5 ways to boost traction on snow-covered, early-season routes.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Equipment Cosmo Headlamp

Bright and light describe this rugged headlamp from Black Diamond Equipment.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX Boots

Hike confidently with these sticky-soled boots from La Sportiva.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Bellyache Mountain SL 17 Sleeping Bag

Lightweight and affordable, this bag will keep you warm and dry in a variety of weather.

Backpacker-Friendly Noodles

Noodles are easy-prep crowd pleasers. Learn about the trail-worthiest types and cooking methods.

Instant Upgrades

Improve your balance on uneven terrain, figure out if your water filter is still working, and determine the crossability of a questionable river or stream during spring and early-summer.

Gear Review: Salomon Mont Baron WS Hoodie

This breathable hoodie is ideal for high-elevation or high-intensity trips.

Gear Review: MSR Reactor 1.0 Stove

An integrated burner, pot, and heat exchanger sized for solo hikers.

Master Class: Cook Like a Pro

Use these tips to advance your cooking skills and improve your camp grub's taste and nutritional value.

Pack Upgrades

3 great ways to store accessories, water, and food.

Gear Review: Field Test More Packs

Find the best pack for your needs with these four field-tested models.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Shaka 70/Lani 60

Hike hard in hot weather with this well-ventilated pack from Mountain Hardwear.

Gear Review: Osprey Volt 75/Viva 65

Enjoy big pack performance with this light-weight bargain pack from Osprey.

Gear Review: The North Face Conness 70/65

This adjustable pack from The North Face provides all-day comfort, even with a heavy load.

Trail Mix — East

Your region's go-now guide: Take in Pennsylvania's nighttime skies in the Cherry Springs State Park, ascend the 2,625-foot Mt. Moosalamoo in Vermont, enjoy the new 38-mile section of the Cumberland Trail in Tennessee, and more.

From the Field — East

Let our field scouts' beta fuel your next adventure from the wildlife-rich Sky Meadows State Park Loop, to thickets of mountain laurel in Georgia, and more.

Mountain Map: The Wasatch Front, UT

Minutes from Salt Lake City, The Wasatch Front is a gold mine for adventure. The 2.1-million-acre area includes 22 peaks above 11,000 feet and with at least 300 feet of prominence, houses 78 bikeable miles on 11 different bike trails, and boasts an average of 226 sunny days annually.

Trail Mix — Central

Enjoy the wildlife of Mississippi, search for Morels in Minnesota, view the nesting turtles on Texas' Padre Island, and more.

From the Field — Central

Take in the birder's paradise around Vern Wolf Lake in Wisconsin, cleanse yourself in the mist of a 15 foot waterfall in Arkansas, marvel at a 320-million-year-old sandstone formation in Ohio, and more.

Top 3: Knife-edge Ridges

Test your bravery with these scrambly hikes that take you to airy heights and rewarding views. Don't forget to watch your step.

Trail Mix — West

Your region's go-now guide: get your heart rate up by climbing 1,500 feet in 2.4 miles in Santa Barbara, visit the newest state park in Colorado, enjoy the solitude of the Wyoming Range, and more.

From the Field: BACKPACKER Trail Scouts' Top Western Local Hikes

From a panoramic hike above Sin City and Lake Mead to a slot canyon adventure in Utah, our scouts provide trail beta.

Rip & Go: Eagle Creek Loop, Columbia River Gorge, OR

Spot waterfalls and wildflowers on a rainforest loop into one of the gorge's wildest canyons.

Rip & Go: Shackleford Banks, Cape Lookout National Seashore, NC

Paddle to explore beach, dunes, and maritime forest on an uninhabited barrier island.

Raising the Bar: Best Energy Bars for Backpackers

We tested 40 new energy bars flavors and culled these five top picks.

Fix It: Easy Backpacking Gear Repairs

Master these easy repairs to save on shop costs and replacement gear.

Backpacking Gear Maintenance Tips

Extend the life of your pack, sleeping bag, and tent with these tips.

Create Tyvek Treasures

Stay warm and fight the rain with three simple projects using this waterproof/breathable material.

Rip & Go: Ozark Trail, Huzzah Conservation Area/Mark Twain National Forest, MO

Climb from ravine to ridge for views over a trio of river valleys.

Build It: Make an Efficient Alcohol Stove

Use extreme-distance hiker Andrew Skurka's plan to construct an ultralight, ultracheap cooking system.

Easy Money: Where to Find Gear Savings

Whether you're buying maps or park passes, there are easy ways to save a few bucks.

How to Buy (and Sell) Used Gear

Save and make money with these tips from experts at the country's best secondhand gear shops.

Rent or Own? Making Gear Choices

Don't (always) shell out for specialty gear.

Shop Smart: Buy This, Not That

What to choose when buying water bottles, batteries, water treatments, and midlayers.

Shop Smart: Smart Gear-Buying Habits

Four handy tips for getting the most for your money.

Easy Money: Save Money on Gear

By shopping strategically, planning smart, and maintaining your gear, and making easy repairs you can save big. These 75 tip are here to help.

Blood, Sweat, & Beers

Join editor-in-chief Dennis Lewon for a hike--and cancer-fighting concert--in the Rockies.

Editors' Choice 2013

From a bomber ultralight tent to the best GPS watch we've seen, here are the 15 products that passed the ultimate field test.

Gear Guide 2013: Backpacks

Treat your back to the perfect load-hauler.

Gear Guide 2013: Heavy Duty Boots

The toughest, burliest of boots.

Gear Guide 2013: Mid Duty Boots

Tough, ankle-protecting boots that can carry a load.

Gear Guide 2013: Light Duty Boots

Low profile shoes that can take a beating.

Gear Guide 2013: Trail Runners

Go light and fast with these trail running models.

Gear Guide 2013: Boots & Trail Runners

Find the perfect kicks for going fast and far.

Gear Guide 2013: Tents

Find the right shelter for every budget and trip.

Gear Guide 2013: The Ten Essentials

Don't get caught without these trail-tested must-haves.

Gear Guide 2013: Food

Get fueled with tasty backcountry meals.

Gear Guide 2013: Kitchen Gear

Cook better - use the best tools.

Gear Gude 2013: Paddling

Float away with the best boats and watersport accessories.

Gear Guide 2013: Women's Gear

Our female testers found this year's best products.

Gear Review: Moving Comfort Vero Sports Bra

The adjustable Moving Comfort Vero has three adjustments, accommodating a variety of sizes.

Gear Review: Wenonah Royalex Spirit II Canoe

Paddle through any conditions with this durable canoe from Wenonah.

Gear Review: Immersion Research Long Sleeve Zephyr Paddling Jacket

Stay dry and comfortable with this breathable paddling jacket from Immersion Research.

Gear Review: Nux Breathe T-Back Sports Bra

Small-chested women rejoice: this moderate-compression racerback resists chafing.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Airpurge Dry Compression Sacks

Combine all the benefits of a dry bag and compression sack and you get the Airpurge Dry Compressions Sacks from Outdoor Research.

Gear Review: Bending Branches Sunrise Glass Kayak Paddle

Go lightweight with this adjustable kayak paddle from Bending Branches.

Gear Review: Isis Aurora Shell

This Isis bargain shell will keep you dry in hours of downpour.

Gear Review: Perception Expression 11.5 Sea Kayak

Get flexibility for a bargain with this sea kayak from Perception.

Gear Review: Patagonia Women's Capilene 4 Expedition Weight Bottoms

Leg insulation built for a woman's curves.

Gear Review: Kokatat Maximus PFD

Re-think your preconceptions with this comfortable PFD from Kokatat.

Gear Review: Innova Swing II Inflatable Kayak

This inflatable kayak from Innova combines storage benefits and a hard-shell-like deck.

Gear Review: Sperry Top-Sider SON-R Sounder Shandal

Grip and draining combine in this hybrid shoe from Sperry Top-Sider.

Gear Review: Wilderness Systems Zephyr 160 Sea Kayak

This sea kayak from Wilderness Systems gives you the comfort and storage space necessary for a multi-day journey.

Gear Review: MSR Trail Lite Duo System Cook Kit

Make more while carrying less with this compact cook kit from MSR.

Gear Review: Baladeo G-Series 52G Cutlery Set

These lightweight utensils from Hyalite Equipment are functional and fashionable.

Gear Review: Olicamp Vector + XTS Stove Combo

Never take more than you need with this compact cookstove from Liberty Mountain

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Soft-Sided Bottle Set

Never be at a loss for flavor when using this bottle set from GSI Outdoors.

Gear Review: Optimus Vega Stove

Feel like you have an entire kitchen in your arsenal with this versatile stove from Optimus

Gear Review: Skirt Sports Adventure Girl

Embrace your femininity on the trail with this oh-so-flattering skirt. Pockets included.

Gear Review: Ahnu Montara Boot

Comfy and fun, the Ahnu Montara Boot will keep you stabilized while hiking and stylish in the town.

Gear Review: ExOfficio Women's Dryflylite Long-Sleeve Shirt

ExOfficio brings modesty, sun protection, and breathability with this women's shirt model.

Gear Review: Isis Active Boy Shorts

Flexible and supportive: Isis Active Boy Shorts also double as spontaneous swim gear.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Harmony Pants

Fashion and function: these quick-dry pants can withstand cold, thorns, and dog loving with a comfortable waistband.

Gear Guide 2013: Climbing Gear

Crag-tested picks from the editors of Climbing magazine

Gear Review: Starbucks VIA Refreshers Very Berry Hibiscus Drink Mix

These aptly named Refreshers from Starbucks provide a flavorful energy kick to get you back on the trail.

Gear Guide 2013: Basecamping

Kick back with luxe gear for car and boat trips.

Gear Review: Skratch Labs Raspberry Exercise Hydration Mix

These fruit infused drink mixes from Skratch Labs are the all-natural energy boost you need during a hard summit push.

Gear Review: Hiya Green Tea

Enjoy staying hydrated with this cold-brewed green tea from Hiya.

Gear Review: Sahale Snacks Pomegranate Pistachios

Step aside, GORP. This flavorful nut mix from Sahale Snacks is taking trail snacks to a new level.

Gear Review: PocketFuel Pineapple Coconut

Go nuts over these flavored spreads from PocketFuel.

Gear Review: Mooney Farms Bella Sun Lucí Sun-Dried Julienne-Cut Tomatoes

These sun-dried tomatoes from Mooney Farms are great on-the-go or to add flavor to a meal.

Gear Review: Just Tomatoes Etc! Freeze-Dried Strawberries 'N Bananas

This freeze dried fruit from Just Tomatoes is great on its own or as an add-in.

Gear Guide 2013: Eyewear

Protect your eyes with versatile shades.

Gear Review: Honey Stinger Vanilla Organic Energy Gel

Quick energy is the hallmark of these energy gels from Honey Stinger.

Gear Review: Clif Shot Bloks Chocolate Cherry

Stay energized the natural way with these fruity sweet Shot Bloks from Clif.

Gear Review: Packit Gourmet Poblano Corn Chowder

Spice up you adventure with this poblano corn chowder from Packit Gourmet.

Gear Reivew: Packit Gourmet Pizza Margherita Wrap

This pizza-inspired flavor-packed filling from Packit Gourmet will become whatever you make it.

Gear Review: Packit Gourmet Curried Mango Chicken Salad

This cold-water-prep chicken salad from Packit Gourmet will keep you fueled and on the trail.

Gear Review: Backpacker's Pantry Cuban Coconut Black Beans and Rice

Bring the fruity flavors of the tropics to the backcountry with this vegan meal from Backpacker's Pantry.

Gear Review: Adventure Appetites Basil Pistachio Penne

This rich pasta from Adventure Appetites combines many exciting flavors - smoked salmon, black olives, and sun dried tomatoes to name a few - into one satisfying backcountry dish.

Gear Review: Quaker Real Medleys Summer Berry Instant Oatmeal

Spice up a backpacker's staple with this berry oatmeal from Quaker Oats.

Gear Review: Packit Gourmet West Memphis Grits Soufflé

Bring southern comfort food into the outdoors with these mildly spicy and cheesy grits from Packit Gourmet.

Gear Review: Stonelick BLU Crashpad

Don't break the bank or yourself with this affordable crashpad from Stonelick.

Gear Review: BlueWater Flash Harness

This adjustable, comfortable harness from BlueWater is a bargain to share with the whole family.

Gear Review: Scarpa Force X Rock Climbing Shoe

Stay comfortable without sacrificing performance with the Scarpa Force X Rock Shoe.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Equipment Vapor Helmet

Stay protected without being weighed down wearing this ultralight helmet from Black Diamond Equipment.

Gear Review: Mammut 10.0 Sensor Rope

Feel secure with this Mammut rope with built-in safety features.

Win a Trip to Kilimanjaro!

Ascend to the "Roof of Africa" with renowned guide Peter Whittaker and BACKPACKER's Jonathan Dorn.

Gear Review: Dog Gear

Provide the best for your dog with these canine-specific items.

Gear Review: d.light S10 Solar Lantern

Let nature fuel your light with this solar powered lantern from d.light.

Gear Review: Highgear WeatherPort Weather Station

Stay safe with this handheld weather station from Highgear.

Gear Review: SOG Folding Bladelight Knife

This flashlight/knife combo from SOG allows for use at all times of day - or night.

Gear Review: Lodge 15” Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet

Backcountry food just got better with this light-weight skillet from Lodge.

Gear Review: Helinox Chair One

Take a seat wherever you go with this compact seat from Big Agnes.

Gear Review: Pelican ProGear MC Elite Cooler

Keep food colder longer with this sturdy cooler from Pelican ProGear.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot

Get a good night's sleep with this luxury cot from Therm-a-Rest.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Mirage 4 Tent

Camp in comfort with this spacious and weatherproof tent from Sierra Designs.

Gear Review: Revo Guide Extreme Sunglasses

These multi-featured shades from Revo will keep you seeing clearly during high-altitude exertion.

Gear Review: adidas Swift Solo Sunglasses

These versatile shades from adidas provide no-slip comfort coupled with clear, natural colors.

Gear Review: Costa Tuna Alley with 580G Green Mirror Lens Sunglasses

View the world with clarity wearing these copper-tinted lenses from Costa,

Gear Reivew: Smith PivLock V2 Sunglasses

Get great coverage in a light-weight, zero-fog package with the Smith PivLock V2.

Gear Review: Tifosi Dolomite 2.0 With Smoke Polarized Fototec Lens Sunglasses

Experience all of the benefits of sunglasses with no change in natural color with these shades from Tifosi.

Gear Review: Ryders Cypress Sunglasses

Get great vision at all light levels with these killer deal shades from Ryders.

Editors' Choice 2013 Gold Award: Snow Peak Titanium Double Wall 450 Mug

Drink from the sweetest camp cup on the planet.

Editors' Choice 2013: Adventure Appetites Reindeer Gouda Scramble Wrap

This breakfast is so good, you'll forget it's camp food.

Editors' Choice 2013: Sweetwood Cattle Company Beef Jerky

This small-batch, baked (not dehydrated), Colorado-made protein snack is a cut above the rest.

Editors' Choice 2013: Garmin fenix

Stay found and stay fit with this best-in-class GPS watch.

Editors' Choice 2013: Pentax K-30 DSLR Camera

This weather-sealed DSLR is immune to the elements.

Editors' Choice 2013: Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS

Shoot high-quality pics with a rugged point-and-shoot.

Editors' Choice 2013: Black Diamond Equipment ReVolt

Recharge the batteries or swap them out with standard AAAs; you'll never be in the dark.

Editors' Choice 2013: Big Agnes Scout UL2 Tent

This is the lightest two-person shelter on the market that offers big-storm and bug protection for less than $300.

Editors' Choice 2013: Eddie Bauer First Ascent Accelerant Jacket

Discover extreme versatility: You'll find a reason to wear this mid- and outer layer 12 months a year.

Editors' Choice 2013: Zamberlan 230 SH Crosser Plus GTX RR

Get no-compromise lightweight boots that perform like heavyweights.

Editors' Choice 2013: LifeProof iPhone Case

Protect your phone from anything, no bulk required.

Editors' Choice 2013: Sierra Designs Flash 2 Tent

Score a tent that has it all: low weight and impressive durability, plus ample living space and solid storm protection.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Mini Hozuki Lantern

Improve every camp night with this little big light.

Editors' Choice 2013: NEMO Nocturne 15 and 30 Spoon Sleeping Bags

This bag's revolutionary shape delivers maximum roll-around comfort with minimum weight.

Editors' Choice 2013: Asolo Reston/Athena Boots

Enjoy goat-like agility with midweight support.

Gear Guide 2013: Shells

Stay dry and warm with core protection for any weather.

Gear Guide 2013: Electronics

Enhance any trek with these cameras and gadgets

Recipe: Puyallup Planked Salmon

Take your fish seriously with this recipe for Planked Salmon.

Recipe: Slippery Hooks Fish Fry

Keep it simple with this recipe to spice up freshly caught fish.

Recipe: EBC (Egg, Bouillon, and Chive) Soup

Slurp up satisfaction with EBC soup.

Recipe: Klondike Thai Peanut Shrimp

Bring the ocean to the forest with Klondike Thai Peanut Shrimp.

Recipe: Back Rock Bami Goreng

Enjoy healthy eating with this veggie-infused stir fry.

Recipe: Miscellaneous Backcountry Food

Having trouble deciding? Enjoy these miscellaneous recipes on any occasion.

Recipe: Miscellaneous Backcountry Food

Having trouble deciding? Enjoy these miscellaneous recipes on any occasion.

Recipe: Appalachian Trail Jerky

Take Appalachian Trail Jerky along for a sweet and spicy burst of energy.

Recipe: Wild Turkey Jerky

Opt for this healthier, freshly seasoned Wild Turkey Jerky.

Recipe: Sierra Szechwan Chicken Salad

The Sierra Szechwan Chicken Salad provides a healthy option that satisfies.

Recipe: Backcountry Master Class

Bring the written word to life with these featured Master Class backcountry dishes.

Recipe: No-Drawings-Needed Poached Trout

Eat fresh with this hook-to-table recipe for Poached Trout.

Recipe: No-Drawings-Needed Poached Trout

Eat fresh with this hook-to-table recipe for Poached Trout.

Recipe: World Traveler Foil Packets

Travel the world from the comfort of your campfire with these globally-inspired Foil Packets.

Recipe: Backcountry Desserts

Satisfy your sweet tooth in style with these backcountry desserts.

Recipe: Fudge-In-a-Bag

Keep it simple and delicious with Fudge-In-a-Bag.

Recipe: Earth Worm Pudding

Relive your childhood with the classic throwback Earth Worm Pudding.

Recipe: Mexican Smores

Combine something old and something new with this twist on the classic smore.

Recipe: Peaches and Sunshine Dessert

Enjoy a healthier dessert with this play on peaches and cream.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Twigs Dessert

Indulge the child inside with this twig look-alike dessert.

Recipe: Backpackers Rice Pudding

Get sugar and spice and everything nice with the Backpacker's Rice Pudding.

Recipe: Niagara Trail Bars

Homemade is always better definitely rings true for these make-ahead Niagara Trail Bars.

Recipe: Hanging-by-Your-Boots Upside-Down Cake

Take on the tropical with this fruity Upside-Down Cake.

Recipe: Whitewater Cheesecake

Go rich with this on-the-trail cheesecake.

Recipe: Cache Peak Crumble Donuts

Who says the original is always better? Enjoy this donut-inspired crumble on the go.

Recipe: Blueberry Nian-Gao Rice Cake

Come prepared with these make-ahead Blueberry Nian-Gao Rice Cakes.

Recipe: Fabulous Fry Brownies

Indulge yourself with the chocolatey goodness of these Fabulous Fry Brownies.

Recipe: Green Mountain Grasshopper Dessert

Make your friends green with envy at this tasty mint dessert.

Recipe: Backcountry Bread

Enjoy better sandwiches and sides with these easy on-the-trail bread recipes.

Recipe: Indian Fry Bread

Take your trail meals up a notch with this easy Indian Fry Bread.

Recipe: Cornmeal Fry Biscuits

Fry up your own breakfast biscuits with this easy recipe.

Recipe: Bread on a Branch

Leave the marshmallows at home with this classy bread on a branch recipe.

Recipe: Backcountry Bruschetta Appetizer

Impress your friends with this cocktail party quality bruschetta.

Recipe: Onion Rings Appetizer

Bring comfort food to the outdoors with these tasty onion rings.

Recipe: Olympus Sushi Appetizer

Eating can be tasty and fun with these make-your-own sushi rolls.

Recipe: Dates with Bacon and Goat Cheese Appetizer

Snack in style with these easy-to-make savory dates.

Recipe: Backcountry Appetizers

Make your backcountry meal into a feast with these four great appetizers.

Gear Review: Apple iPad Mini Tablet

Make lasting memories in style with the Apple iPad Mini.

Gear Review: Google Nexus 7 Mini Tablet

Personalize your maps on the go with the beginner-friendly Google Nexus 7.

Gear Review: Braven 625s Multi-use Speaker

You don't have to stop the music with this multi-use speaker from Braven.

Gear Review: MTM Special Ops Silencer Never-Fail Watch

Never lose track of time with the burly and feature-heavy MTM Special Ops Silencer watch.

Gear Review: Lezyne Phone Wallet

Take your essentials with you wherever you go with this smart storage case from Lezyne.

Gear Review: Pelican Elite Case i1075 Portable Office

Never be more than a click away with this portable office from Pelican.

Gear Review: Solio Classic2 Solar Charger

Stay plugged in off the grid with the Solio Classic2 solar charger.

Gear Review: Nikon D3200 Entry-Level DSLR

Shoot like a professional with minimal experience using this entry-level DSLR from Nikon.

Gear Review: Millet Tech Stretch Top

Warm and snug, this baselayer from Millet will keep you happy at any altitude.

Gear Review: SmartWool Lightweight Crew Baselayer

Experience all of the comfort with none of the smell with this SmartWool baselayer.

Gear Review: Kühl Raptr Pants

Trek everywhere with assurance with the durable and stylish Kühl Raptr Pants.

Gear Review: Three Essential Socks

Find the best socks for any occasion and preference.

Gear Review: The North Face Verto Micro Hoodie

This hybrid hoodie from North Face will keep you comfortable in changing conditions.

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits SOL 2-Person Emergency Bivvy

Stay safe and comforted in an emergency with this bivvy for two from Adventure Medical Kits.

Gear Review: Leki Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Poles

Get a grip - more comfortably - as you hike with these trekking poles from Leki.

Gear Review: KINeSYS SPF 30 Alcohol-Free Spray Sun Protection

Play outside without fear using KINeSYS SPF 30 Alcohol-Free Spray sunscreen.

Gear Review: Columbia Freeze Degree Half Zip Sun Protection Shirt

Long sleeves in the sun? You'll stay cool with this 1/2 zip from Columbia.

Gear Review: Tilley T5MO Organic Cotton AIRFLO Hat Sun Protection

Stay covered in the toughest of conditions with this Tilley hat.

Gear Guide: Outdoor Research Womens Squadron Cap

Stay cool and covered in all weather with the Outdoor Research Women's Squadron Cap.

The North Face Outdoor Exploration Intern

TNF is looking for an energetic intern available to work on an exciting upcoming event with North Face athletes. Deadline for applications is April 16, 2013, so do it now!

Gear Review: SOG PowerAssist Multitool

Do it all with this easy-access, customizable multitool from SOG.

Gear Review: Gerber Bear Grylls Paracord Fixed Blade Knife

Feel confident in the outdoors with this all-purpose knife from Gerber.

Gear Review: MSR Aquatabs Water Treatment

Go ultralight while staying healthy with the MSR Aquatabs.

Gear Review: Platypus GravityWorks 4.0L Water Treatment

Spread the joy of clean water with this group-friendly filtration system from Platypus.

Gear Review: SteriPen Ultra Water Treatment

Get clean water fast with this easy-to-use SteriPen Ultra.

Gear Review: PowerBar Energy Blasts Extra Food

Enjoy your extra calories with PowerBar Energy Blasts.

Gear Review: Trimble Outdoors Elite Mapping Software

Get a trip planner, online, and print maps in one bundle from Trimble Outdoors.

Gear Review: Suunto MC-2 Global Compass

Get to your destination quickly and reliably with the Suunto MC-2 Global.

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits SOL Fire Lite with Tinder-Quik Fire Starter

Keep warm in a storm with this light-anywhere fire starter from Adventure Medical Kits.

Gear Review: REI Backpacker Plus Extended First Aid Kit

Be prepared for trips of all lengths with this first aid kit from REI.

2013 Adventures NYC



Gear Review: More Tester Picks Shoes

Perfect your stride with this myriad selection.

Gear Review: Mammut Mercury Advanced GTX Heavy Duty Boots

You'd never expect this model's protection by looking at it's ultralight weight.

Gear Review: More Tester Picks Shells

Find your ideal shell with these myriad reviews.

Gear Review: Wild Things Custom Wind Pro Hoody Softshell

Make a statement with this custom softshell from Wild Things.

Gear Review: Marmot Nabu Softshell

The waterproof Marmot Nabu bridges the gap between softshell and hardshell.

Gear Review: Rab Zephyr/Solar Softshell

The Rab Zephys/Solar pairs a multitude of features with one low price.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Gamma LT Hoody Softshell

Explore off the beaten path with this durable softshell from Arc'teryx.

Gear Review: Mammut Ultimate Light Softshell

Be ready for all weather conditions with the Mammut Ultimate Light.

Gear Review: adidas Outdoor Terrex Zupalite Softshell

This ultralight adidas softshell excels in everything from daily life to daring ascents.

Gear Review: Westcomb Crest Hoody Softshell

For cold weather activities, check out this softshell from Westcomb, a minimalist in price and weight.

Gear Guide 2013: Sleeping Pads

A good sleeping pad completes your sleeping bag - here are five great ones.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Enchainment Softshell

The sky is the limit for this weather-resistant softshell from Outdoor Research.

Gear Review: Patagonia Encapsil Down Belay Parka Hardshell

What do you get when you make a down jacket water resistant and increase its loft? The Patagonia Encapsil Down Belay Parka Hardshell.

Gear Review: Millet Alpine Xcelerator Hardshell

This well-rounded hardshell from Millet suits the most varied of lifestyles.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Transonic Hardshell

Choose the Outdoor Research Transonic for breathability in the worst of conditions.

Gear Review: Salomon Veyrier Stretch Jacket Hardshell

Freedom of movement defines this hardshell from Salomon.

Gear Review: Patagonia Torrentshell Hardshell

Spend less with this all-around performer from Patagonia.

Gear Review: Montane Minimus Smock Hardshell

Go minimalist with the Montane Minimus Smock.

Gear Review: Marmot Micro G Hardshell

Stay snug in a storm with the Marmot Micro G.

Gear Review: Westcomb Focus LT Hoody Hardshell

Breathability and ultralight combine in this hardshell from Westcomb.

Gear Review: Bergans Helium Hardshell

The breathability of this hardshell from Bergans provides comfort in all conditions.

Gear Review: Rab Myriad Hardshell

For comfort in Myriad conditions, look no further than this hardshell from Rab.

Gear Review: REI Flash Insulated Air Sleeping Pad

Features abound in this three-season sleeping pad from REI.

Gear Review: Exped DownMat Lite 5 Sleeping Pad

Stay warm with this down-lined inflatable sleeping pad from Exped.

Gear Review: Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad

Save money and reduce bulk with this summer sleeping pad from Klymit.

Gear Guide 2013: Sleeping Bags

Our team spent 516 field nights picking the best bags for all seasons -- so you'll never risk a sleepless night.

Gear Review: Mammut Alpine Mat UL Sleeping Pad

Get more for less with this durable foam pad from Mammut.

Gear Guide 2013: Winter Bags

Stay warm in sub-freezing temps with these sleeping bags option.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SL Sleeping Pad

Take the comfort of your bed outdoors with the Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SL.

Gear Guide 2013: Three-Season Sleeping Bags

Year-round, well almost, sleeping bag comfort.

Gear Guide 2013: Summer Sleeping Bags

Find your perfect backcountry bed for when the temps are balmy.

Gear Review: More Tester Picks Sleeping Bags

Find the bag that fits you best with this plethora of reviews.

Editors' Choice 2013: Marmot Plasma 0 Sleeping Bag

Go light without sacrificing warmth with the Marmot Plasma 0.

Gear Review: Kelty Ignite Down DriDown 0 Sleeping Bag

Keep warm and dry at a bargain with the Kelty Ignite DriDown 0.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Cal 13 Sleeping Bag

Water-repellent down keeps this ultralight Sierra Designs bag drier and loftier than the competition.

Gear Review: Marmot Xenon 15 Sleeping Bag

Sorry men, this lofty and warm Marmot Xenon 15 is only available for women.

Gear Review: NEMO Strato Loft 25 Sleeping Bag

Perfect for car camping and shorter hikes, the NEMO Strato Loft 25 provides the best in roomy backcountry comfort.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest Antares Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bag and pad are combined in this ultralight model from Therm-a-Rest.

Gear Review: Exped UltraLite 500 Sleeping Bag

Whatever tough adventures you dream up, the Exped UltaLite 500 is up to the challenge.

Gear Review: GoLite Z10 Sleeping Bag

Pack small without sacrificing warmth with the GoLite Z10.

Gear Review: Millet Dreamer Composite Sleeping Bag

Waterproof and warm, this hybrid Millet is an excellent bargain.

Gear Review: Eastern Mountain Sports Mountain Light 15 Sleeping Bag

This all-around bag from Eastern Mountain Sports boasts an impressive warmth-to-weight ratio.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Shoestring SL 22 Sleeping Bag

This synthetic bag from Big Agnes is as breathable and lofty as down.

Gear Review: The North Face Hightail 2S Sleeping Bag

The North Face Hightail 2S offers unparalleled loft in a roomy, waterproof bag.

Gear Review: REI Flash Sleeping Bag

This hybrid bag from REI provides the best in comfort and waterproofing.

Gear Review: LaFuma Lightway 45 Sleeping Bag

Save money without sacrificing quality with the LaFuma Lightway 45.

Gear Review: Brooks-Range Cloak 30 Sleeping Bag

Think outside the bag with this minimalist blanket from Brooks-Range.

Gear Review: Oboz Wind River II Heavy Duty Boots

Strengthen weak ankles with optimal support and comfort.

Gear Review: Lowa Camino GTX Flex Heavy Duty Boots

Pack on the pounds and strap on the Lowa Camino GTX Flex model: These tanks can take it.

Gear Review: Ecco BIOM Hike 1.1 Heavy Duty Boots

Podiatrist-designed Ecco BIOM Hike 1.1 saves the day for those with pronation tendencies.

Gear Review: Crispi Ascent Plus GTX Heavy Duty Boots

Feather-like ankle support and heel stability come with these Crispi Ascent Plus GTX heavy duties.

Gear Review: Salewa Hike Trainer GTX Mid Duty Boots

From scrambling to hiking, this killer deal provides ample protection.

Gear Review: Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX Mid Duty Boots

Bear those heavy-packed trips with stable strides by way of Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX support.

Gear Review: Patagonia Drifter A/C Mid Waterproof Mid Duty Boots

You'll never want to take off these comfortable Patagonias.

Gear Review: AKU Transalpina GTX Mid Duty Boots

Ditch the insoles with the built-in support of the mid duty AKU Transalpina.

Gear Review: Salewa Wildfire GTX Light Duty Boots

The support, flex, and grip of these Salewas will keep your stride solid.

Gear Review: Millet Rock Hopper Light Duty Boots

Scramble narrow edges without killing your feet: flat-footed stability for a killer price.

Gear Review: Asolo Reston/Athena Light Duty Boots

This Asolo model wins best light duty for its impressive stability.

Gear Review: Merrell Proterra/Vim Sport Light Duty Boots

Breezy shoes perfect for a heated hike where sandals just wont cut it.

Gear Review: Five Ten Aescent Light Duty Boots

These light duty kicks will bust you up scrambles with its impressive grips.

Gear Review: Salomon XT Wings 3 Trail Runners

Secure and light: This fantasy turns reality with the Salomon XT Wings 3 model.

Gear Review: Saucony Xodus 3.0 GTX Trail Runners

Fang-ridden soles keep runners on their feet in the muddiest terrain with this Saucony model.

Gear Review: Asics Gel-FujiTrainer 2 Trail Runners

Gel patch-induced comfort make Asics' lightweight model a tester favorite.

Gear Review: New Balance Minimus 1010 Trail Trail Runners

A barefoot profile and barefoot weight, yet cushioned for rocky trails.

Gear Review: Scarpa Spark GTX Trail Runners

Water-resistant and light, hit the trail with no rainy day excuses.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Trail Runners

These slip-resisting kicks allow for a bold increase of your trail-run stride.

Gear Guide 2013: Three-Person Tents

Comfy for three (or spacious for two!), these three-person tents are backcountry ready.

Gear Guide: More Tester Tent Picks



Gear Review: NEMO Bugout 9X9 Tent

Bugout lets you congregate for blissfully insect-free meals and card games.

Gear Review: The North Face Kings Canyon 4 Tent

Few four-person tents best this blend of livability, low weight, and reasonable cost.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Lago 2 Tent

This versatile, two-person shelter handles high-altitude summers and winters with equal aplomb.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Skyledge 3 Tent

If low weight is your prime tent priority, put this shelter at the top of your shopping list.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Anjan 3GT Tent

A sturdy shelter that's under five pounds.

Gear Review: Bergans Compact Light 3-Person Tent

A tent that is ideal for regions that see plenty of rain and wintry weather year-round.

Gear Guide 2013: Two-Person Tents

Double up in these two-person tents.

Gear Review: REI Half Dome 2-Person Tent

The perennial BACKPACKER favorite gets an upgrade with better ventilation.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Mountain Shelter LT Two-Person Tent

It's not often that the lightest shelter in our test is also the cheapest and biggest.

Gear Review: Marmot Pulsar 2 Tent

A long drip line and spacious headroom let's you enjoy the inside, and the outside, no matter the elements.

Gear Review: GoLite Imogene UL 2 Tent

A low-weight, low-cost two-person, freestanding tent

Gear Review: Eureka! Midori 2-Person Tent

An affordable two-person tent that can handle real weather.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Slater UL2+ Tent

A 96-inch-long, two-person tents suits every height.

Gear Guide 2013: One-Person Tents

Lightweight, but sturdy tents for the solo camper.

Gear Review: The North Face Mica FL 1 Tent

Deluxe features and headroom for a relatively low weight.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear SuperMegaUL 1

A lightweight tent that doesn't skimp on weather protection.

Gear Review: Big Sky Soul Solo Tent

A freestanding tent that tarp lovers will love.

Gear Review: More Tester Picks for Packs

Check out these additional tester picks.

Gear Review: REI Crestrail 70 Multiday Pack

For big, big loads (think parents or mountaineering) this pack is ideal.

Gear Review: Gregory Contour 70 Multiday Pack

The more you pack, the better it will carry.

Gear Review: Osprey Xenith 75 Multiday Pack

Clever features, plentiful pockets, and easy-access side zips have earned this pack "best organization."

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Altra 65 Multiday Pack

Best all-around: this pack will melt into your body and accomodate any quick-access needs as it supports over 50 pounds.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Lariat 65 Multiday Pack

Mountainsmith Lariat 65 is a big-load bargain pack that'll last.

Gear Review: Bergans Helium 55 Multiday Pack

Light weight and load-bearing: Try this clean-design, ultralight pack.

Gear Review: Kelty Fleet 55 Multiday Pack

Cure for back sweat takes the form of pack with the Kelty Fleet 55.

Gear Review: Granite Gear Leopard V.C. 46 Multiday Pack

This pack's balance and close-fit is made complete with it's most exhaustive compression system.

Gear Review: Exped Lightning 45 Multiday Pack

This pack will fine-tune fit, carry 50-pound loads, and ease the burden with its ultralight weight.

Gear Review: Deuter ACT Zero 50+15 Multiday Pack

With incredible load distribution, this pack's easy on the shoulders.

Gear Review: Boreas Sapa Trek Multiday Pack

This "best travel pack" can check as luggage, keep your electronics dry, and accomodate your travel needs.

Gear Review: Vaude Brenta 35 Daypack

Don't judge a pack by its price: this pack's a loaded bargain.

Gear Review: Columbia Silver Ridge 35L Daypack

Tough fabric, compact, and room to spare. What more could you want?

Gear Review: High Peak USA Alpinizmo Rapid 35 Daypack

Anywhere, any activity, this pack will carry your goods from bushwacking in Arizona to climbing Mt. Sneffels with an ice axe.

Gear Review: Outdoor Products Amphibian Weather Defense 20 Daypack

In constant downpour, the impermeable thermoplastic, PU-coated nylon material of this pack kept our tester's gear bone-dry.

Gear Review: Grivel Gamba 30 Daypack

Best-in-class air circulation keeps sweat off your back while maintaining stability, ideal for intense dayhikes.

Gear Review: Mammut Trion Light Daypack

This Mammut pack hugs your back for balance while maintaining freedom for movement, creating the ideal alpine pack.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Equipment Bolt 24 Daypack

Stability for heavy loads from a stiff nylon framesheet allow for minimal rubbing and improved balance with this "carry-anything workhorse" daypack.

Gear Review: Patagonia Black Hole Daypack

Durable, efficient, comfortable, surprisingly roomy, this pack survived 200 trail miles and 200,000 air miles and landed its spot as "best all-around."

Gear Guide 2013 Table of Contents

412 trail-tested products

2013 Year of the Reader: Meet the Winners

2013 is a yearlong celebration of BACKPACKER readers, with dream trips, gear makeovers, and other great prizes. Meet the lucky readers just like you who have already won this year.

America's Best Used Gear Stores

We tallied your votes: These are the country's top 10* gear stores. (And tips for getting the most bang for your buck when you visit.)

Save Money on Your Trailhead Drive

Are you blowing big bucks driving to your favorite hike? Use these gas-mileage-boosting tips so you can get to more trailheads for less money.

Make a Sleeping Bag Liner

Add 10-degrees of warmth to your sleeping bag with this simple DIY project.

Myths About Bears

What's true and what's false when it comes to bear behavior.

The Truth About Bears: The Skills

Learn how to stay safe in bear country from myth-busting biologist Tom Smith. By Ted Alvarez

The Truth About Bears: The Maps

Bears in the lower 48 have rebounded from decades of declining populations and shrinking habitat. Also improving: your chance of seeing a bruin in the wild. By Ted Alvarez

The Truth About Bears: The Mystery

Grizzlies vanished from North Cascades National Park five decades ago. Or did they? Our scout joins the search for Washington's elusive mountain ghosts. By Ted Alvarez

Special Report: The Truth About Bears

You love them. You fear them. And you misunderstand them. See more bears and learn about the surprising new thinking around hiker safety in this complete guide. By Ted Alvarez

Heroes: Bob Peoples, 68

This tireless trail angel is firing up a new generation of backcountry stewards.

2013 Reader Photo Contest - Your Best Shots

For 40 years, BACKPACKER readers have explored the wilderness and returned with photographic gold. But we were wowed by the entries for this contest—more than 650 of them. Check out these finalists (and this year's winner), then go to backpacker.com/photos to submit your own images. We’ll showcase the best entries in upcoming issues.

Local Hikes in the East — March 2013

Tromp through a Florida cypress swamp, find solitude on a Catskills peak, look for rare Carolina blooms, plus 9 more.

Local Hikes in the Central U.S. — March 2013

Snag a dozen great winter trips, including a texas Hill Country overnight, a Lake Superior snowshoe, and a hike to Apostle islands ice caves.

Local Hikes in the West — March 2013

Soak in a New Mexico hot spring, spot wintering bighorn sheep in the Winds, hike to a lost California oasis, and more.

Survival Lab: Eat Out--Pack a Tiny Tackle Box

This pocket-size fishing kit could save your life.

Survival Lab: Eat Out--In a Pinch



Survival Lab: Eat Out

Need to find food in a crisis? Just foraging for fun? Learn to raid nature's pantry, which is full of easily harvested, highly nutritious meals.

Gear Guide 2013: Charts

Hundreds of pieces of outdoor gear from all the major outdoor retailers - now in an easy-to-print digital format.

Gear and Go Tour

In celebration of our readers, we have designed a second tour (in addition to our popular Get Out More Tour) that will launch in 2013, the GEAR and GO TOUR.

2013 Adventures Denver

Our second-annual Adventures Denver is a family friendly day of fun in the outdoors trying out new gear and activities...for free!

2013 Adventures NYC

On June 22, 2013 we'll help bring the outdoors to life with our popular Central Park adventure day!

2013 Get Out More Tour

The 2013 Get Out More Tour is celebrating BACKPACKER's 40th Anniversary. Check out what we have planned for this "Year of the Reader" celebration year!

Field Test: Tough Waterproof Cameras

These six cameras can take it all and still bring home your hero shots.

Gear Review: Merino Midlayers

Get year-round versatility for travel, trail, or town.

10 Steps to Raising Kids Who Love the Outdoors

You want your kiddos to enjoy the outdoors – camping, hiking, biking, etc. – as much as you do. Northwest editor Michael Lanzas has 10 tips on how to accomplish that – and have fun along the way.

Trail Mix — East — March 2013

Your region's go-now guide: Visit a new hikers' hostel connected to 50 miles of trail in Maine's Bigelow Mountains, see the rare Oconee bell in South Carolina's Jocassee Gorges area, explore the world's longest mapped cave system near Louisville, and more.

From the Field — East — March 2013

Our trail scouts' top local hikes, including fire tower views in New Jersey, a New York waterfall, and more.

Rip & Go: Florida Trail, Big Cypress National Preserve, FL

Traverse a primeval landscape of cypress swamp, hardwood hammocks, and pinelands.

Mountain Map: White Mountains, NH

The Granite State's crown jewel is an epicenter for alpine adventure, from peakbagging to ridgewalking to hut camping. Where to start? In the heart of the Whites, with beta from our map team. Trek across windswept plateaus, tag a handful of the range's 48 peaks above 4,000 feet, and get a taste of high-altitude tundra.

Trail Mix — Central — March 2013

Your region's go-now guide: Explore ice caves on Wisconsin's Apostle Islands, overnight in peace in northern Missouri, and more.

From the Field — Central — March 2013

Follow the footsteps of Wild West outlaws in Oklahoma, marvel at Gooseberry Fall's frozen cascades, search out arrowheads at Hot Springs National Park, and more.

Rip & Go: Lost Maples Loop, Lost Maples State Natural Area, TX

Warm up for hiking season with a mellow escape to a maze of limestone plateaus.

Top 3: Better in Winter

What off season? Bundle up and reap the benefits of colder weather in these snowy playgrounds.

Trail Mix - West - March 2013

Your region's go-now spring guide: Scramble to Salado Indian cliff dwellings in Arizona, spot bighorn sheep in Wyoming, and more.

BACKPACKER Wall Maps

Printed on MyTopo's finest paper, these maps are custom-made to display on serious wall real estate in your home or office. But they're worth it, as you'll be able to enjoy your favorite places in full shaded relief.

Gear Review: Helle Dokka Knife

You'll never have to buy another knife after the 3.3-inch triple-laminated Helle Dokka.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Seedhouse 3 Tent

A lightweight tent that can handle 30-mph windstorms...and kids.

Gear Review: The North Face Verbera Backpacker GTX

A burly boot that doesn't beat up your feet.

Gear Review: Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody

A versatile fleece midlayer that performs like outerwear.

Gear Review: Black Diamond EXL Backpack

A 20-liter pack that offers all-day comfort.

Gear Review: Rab MeCo 250 Long Sleeve Zip Tee

An ultralight turtleneck that is 65 percent merino and 35 percent Cocona polyester.

Gear Review: SmartWool PhD SmartLoft Divide Full Zip

A versatile jacket that's comfy in temps from 20 to 60.

Gear Review: Icebreaker Sierra/Cascade Long Sleeve Hood

A mideweight merino layer perfect for on or off the mountain.

From the Field — West — March 2013

Our trail scouts' top local hikes: ancient Oregon volcanoes, a Nevada slot canyon, a hidden California oasis, and more.

Gear Review: Ibex Scout/Alana Full Zip

A low-bulk merino sweater that can handle cardio workouts.

Rip & Go: Jordan Hot Springs, Gila Wilderness, NM

Explore a slot canyon and soak in a warm backcountry pool in the country's first designated wilderness.

Life List: Northern Lights Ski Tour, Alaska

See the world's best sky show from your private backcountry cabin.

Upgrade Your Camera

Improve and protect your photos with these three accessories.

Gear Review: Nikon Coolpix AW100 and FujiFilm Fine Pix XP150

Two point-and-shoot cameras that maps & GPS lovers will appreciate.

Gear Review: iON Air Pro WiFi POV Videocam

The Air Pro is the quickest, most responsive point-of-view camera we've tested.

Gear Review: Pentax WG-2

A camera that withstood a 13-mile Tough Mudder race...clipped to the racer's waist.

Gear Review: Panasonic Lumix TS20

A compact (read: lightweight and highly packable) camera that's under $200.

Gear Review: Olympus Tough TG-1

A rugged waterproof camera with great image quality.

Got Problem Feet?

An expert bootfitter can help. Here's how Phil Burgess of Ski Stop in Westwood, MA, a certified fit expert, helped one editor overcome a chronic and debilitating fit problem.

Out Alive: Trapped in an Ice Tunnel

A solo hiker tries to claw her way out of a frozen cave after a winter pathway collapses.

Instant Upgrades

Revive waterproof jackets, salvage a wet map, get better backcountry sleep, and organize your gear. By Sarah Maurer

Master Class: The Gym-Free Fitness Plan

Use this no-cost, do-anywhere training program to enhance hiking strength and speed this spring.

Backpacker-Friendly Chocolate

Cocoa packs high energy and healthy antioxidants, and our testing revealed the best-tasting, most-meltproof varieties for the trail.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Boots on the Ground

Katy Welter searches out her favorite new footwear among hundreds of pairs on the OR Show floor.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: The Ideal Backcountry Ski Setup

Gerben Scherpbier is on a quest for the ultimate backcountry ski gear, and versatility is key.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: A Tester's Wishlist

Becca Stubbs explores the floor in search of the gear she'd most love to run through the wringer.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Best in Snow...Gear

Snow is falling in the mountains around Salt Lake, so Dave Harding hits the floor with one thing in mind: ski accessories

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Foraging for Winter Cooking Gear

Katy Welter seeks out winter cooking gear and finds the latest innovations put to new use.

Outdoor Retailer 2013 for Under $35

Amid $900 jackets and $3,000 tents, Gerben Scherpbier finds new backpacking gear for under $35.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Packing Up New Options

Becca Stubbs searches for this year's best haulers for around town and on the trail.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Packs To Combat Zombies (And More)

Dave Harding tracked down more of the show's coolest new haulers, from ultralight ski packs to ones that'll help you prepare for the zombie apocalypse.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: The Hottest New Clothes

Gerben Scherpbier scours the show floor for the warmest winter layers from head to toe.... and then he throws axes.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Charge!

More people are bringing electronics into the backcountry, and those devices need POWER. Dave Harding checks out some fun new ways to recharge.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Things That Go Blink in the Night

Katy Welter covers electronics debuting at the OR Show.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Hard Goods on a Big Floor!

Becca Stubbs is on a quest for the warmest of next year's sleeping bags, pads, and tents.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Snow Running at the All Mountain Demo

Backpacker Reader Reporter Katy Welter gears up and tries out a new sport: snowshoe running.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Let the Madness Begin!

Becca Stubbs tries sweet skis and some high-tech new safety gear at the Outdoor Retailer 2013 All Mountain Demo Day.

How to Read EN Ratings 



Outdoor Retailer 2013: May I Have Seconds Please?

Backpacker Reader Reporter Gerben Scherpbier just couldn't get enough of the gear at the 2012 OR Summer Market, so he's back for another go.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Getting Ready with Ice Axes and Avocados

Backpacker Reader Reporter Becca Stubbs shares stories about her path into the outdoors and some unconventional gear use.

Troubleshoot This: Snowblind

Caught out on a bright day without your glasses? Things could turn ugly if you lose your vision. Learn to prevent and treat a sunburned eye.

Out Alive: Trapped in an Ice Tunnel

A solo hiker tries to claw her way out of a frozen cave after a winter pathway collapses.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: All Tuned Up!

Our newest gear tester, Dave Harding, is packing his bags and waxing his skis in preparation for this winter's Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City.

Master Class: The Gym Free Fitness Plan

Use this no-cost, do-anywhere training program to enhance hiking strength and speed this spring.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Appreciating Winter Gear Preshow

Backpacker Reader Reporter Katy Welter leaves oddly balmy Chicago for the Northeast's cold and snow, and gains a new appreciation for winter gear.

Heroes: Austin Taylor, 27

He's creating Haiti's first backpacking tours—and keeping the profits local.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Pro vs. Joe at the All Mountain Demo

Dave Harding reports on challenging big-mountain skier and professional guide Dean Cummings to a beacon search race.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Hunting Grounds

At the All Mountain Demo, Gerben Scherpbier glimpses beacon search wonderland.

Hiking Wales: Fresh Tracks Through History

Beachside trek meets pub crawl meets castle tour on Europe's newest long trail, the 870-mile Wales Coast Path, officially opened in May 2011. We have the beta on its highlights.

The Path to Shangri-La: Eastern Tibet's Unclimbed Peaks

Climb hiker-friendly 16,000-foot summits--and maybe nab a first ascent--on a shoestring budget, plus get an unchaperoned glimpse of Tibetan culture.

What Kind of Hiker Are You?

Find your personality type and trips that match your adventure style.

Casio Features Keith Garvey



Gear Review: Patagonia Alpine Guide Pants

Softshell pants built for years of abuse.

Gear Review: Oboz Arete Trail Shoes

High-performance trail shoes that look good on the street.

Gear Review: Rab Generator Alpine Jacket

A jacket revered by a search-and-rescue team.

Gear Review: Eddie Bauer Expedition Drop-Bottom Duffel

A slick drop-bottom feature sets this tough, smooth-rolling duffel apart.

Gear Review: Terramar TXO 1.0 Body-Sensors Crew

This baselayer has excellent wicking and quick-dry performance.

Field Test: Two-Person Tents

Whether you seek maximum storm protection, minimum weight, or highest value, we've found your perfect shelter.

Four Field-Tested Two-Person Tents

Check out these four two-person tents, all under $300 and 5 pounds.

Gear Review: Marmot Traillight 2 Tent

68-denier ripstop polyester on the canopy and fly make this tent a burly one.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Archer 2 Tent

A tent that can handle any and all weather conditions.

Gear Review: First Ascent Stargazer 2 Tent

The First Ascent Stargazer is a highly livable shelter for backpackers who spend tons of time in wet weather.

Reader Survey: The Best Used Gear Shops

Vote for your favorite used gear shop!

Limit Pusher: Three More Epics

Test yourself on these wild routes.

Chile: Private Patagonia - Five More Multisport Trips

Explore spectacular places by air, land, and sea.

Chile: Private Patagonia - Puerto Toro

Take your pick of adventures from this major ferry stop about three hours from Natales: Beach camp next to a private glacier or paddle to a gem lake.

Chile: Private Patagonia - Cordillera Baguales

Escape to trekking and horseback riding nirvana on Patagonia's high plains.

Chile: Private Patagonia - Fjord De Las Montanas

Explore peak-lined Chilean waters by boat or by foot—in solitude.

Chile: Private Patagonia

Explore Chile's mind-bending terrain without joining the throngs on the popular trekker circuit. On this paddle/hike/horse adventure, you'll have glacier-chiseled fjords, sky-piercing mountains, and best-ever camping all to yourself.

Meet the 2013 BACKPACKER Reader Reporter Team

Meet the four lucky readers -- two guys and two gals -- who will scouring the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market for the greatest (and weirdest) new gear!

Backpacker Book Recognized by 2012 National Outdoor Book Award

Backpacker Magazine's Complete Guide to Outdoor Gear Maintenance and Repair written by Kristin Hostetter and published by FalconGuides Takes Home Gold Medallion

Easy-as-Pie Backcountry Chocolate

Need some inspiration for killing a serious backcountry chocolate craving? Look no farther, you've clicked into a chocoholic's dream.

Events Worth Training For

Want to set a big goal to give your training more focus and direction? Sign up for one of these mettle-testing trail events.

Fitness Excuse Busters

Mountain guide and author of Fit by Nature John D. Colver offers up these hints for staying motivated and fit no matter what your excuse.

Grand Canyon National Park: Tanner-Escalante-Grandview Circuit

If you've hiked the park's established paths, it's time to raise your game. Explore the South Rim's wilder side with this 41.1-mile, off-trail trek. The challenges: routefinding, exposure, class 3 scrambling. The rewards: riverside beach camps, big views, solitude.

Grand Canyon National Park: Boucher-Hermit Loop

Scramble through remote ravines, soak up private riverside vistas, and tour from rim to river on this stout, 25.1-mile circuit.

Grand Canyon National Park: South Kaibab-Tonto-Bright Angel Trail

Start early for sunrise in the canyon and crowd-free hiking on this 13.4-miler that descends to the gorge's mezzanine level.

Grand Canyon Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 6 of 6)

Find world-class scenery and challenges (no passport required) with our scouts' top day, weekend, and weeklong routes in the Big Ditch. Whether you're a canyon-country pro or a first-timer, we guarantee you'll find terrain that tests your boundaries.

Meet the Gear Testers: Dennis Lewon

Backpacker Editor Dennis Lewon prefers solid design over shaving weight.

Adventure Travel Skills

See more wildlife, climb more peaks, and hike more miles with these tips that'll help every adventure traveling backpacker raise their game.

Wildlive Lover Skills

See more wildlife--and capture it better on film.

Mileage Master Skills

Going the distance? Use these tips to ease big-mile trips.

Family Traveler

Read these tips to make your kids more comfortable on the trail.

Peakbagger Skills

Tips for overcoming jetlag, gathering beta, and getting your summit gear to foreign peaks in one piece.

Limit Pusher Skills

Always looking for a way to go farther and faster? Get ready with these tips to take your hiking to the next level.

Multisport Maniac Skills

Learn these skills for trips that involve more than just hiking.

Canada: Treasure Island

You don't have to travel across the world to get off the map. British Columbia's Haida Gwaii boasts uncharted coastline, seaside hot springs, and more sea lions, whales, and bears than you can count.

Norway: Home of the Giants

Norway's Jotunheimen National Park bristles with glacier-clad peaks amid northern Europe's highest mountains, but a five-star hut system makes it a place you can bring your kids. And mom.

Mountain Map: Los Angeles - San Gabriel Mountains

Find solitude high above Los Angeles.

Local Hikes in the Central U.S.

Camp lake-side in Arkansas, summit 800-foot Nebraska bluffs, see Wisconsin's best foliage (alone), and dayhike near Dallas. Plus: 8 more autumn hikes.

Local Hikes in the East

Kentucky's Land Between The Lakes, see a South Carolina swamp (without the bugs), hike through four states in one huge day, and more.

Local Hikes in the West

Make a late-season hike to an aspen-dense Colorado mesa, spot bears in the Beartooths, explore gypsum dunes, and discover more fall must-hikes.

Carry the best maps for your adventures.

New Elite program from map partner Trimble Outdoors serves up best-in-class trip planning tools, exclusive map data, and mobile app extras.

Meet the Gear Testers: Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Elisabeth has been testing gear since she was a BACKPACKER intern.

Meet the Gear Testers: Julie Ellison

As excited as she gets about new gear, Climbing's Gear Editor knows that the best gear is the items that she comes back to again and again.

Meet the Gear Testers: Jon Dorn

BACKPACKER's former Editor-in-Chief says that his best tester quality is his clumsiness.

Meet the Gear Testers: Jackie McCaffrey

When it comes to gear, Jackie believes in comfort.

Meet the Gear Testers



Grand Canyon National Park: Custom adventure maps on waterproof paper

Our editors map their favorite trips on custom-centered topos. Order today!

Navigating in the desert

Tips from our experts and readers about traveling in deserts and canyon country

Master Class: Read the Wilderness

Use nature's signs to orient yourself, pick your path through varied terrain, and predict the weather.

Meet the Gear Testers: Bob Woodward

Bob has been testing gear for 50 years.

Meet the Gear Testers: Nancy Prichard Bouchard

Nancy believes you get what you pay for.

Meet the Gear Testers: Allison Woods

When it comes to gear, tester Allison believes in open-mindedness and innovation - just don't forget about designing gear for the ladies.

Expert Panel: Instant Upgrades



Test Kitchen: Cooking Trail Eggs

We cracked dozens of eggs to find the perfect camping prep. Here's how to pack them efficiently, use them in trail-worthy recipes, and clean up quickly.

Smokies Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 5 of 6)

Leave it to our seasoned map contributors to find solitude in America's most-visited park. This exclusive trip planner serves up routes guaranteed to get you off the tourist trail and into deep wilderness.

Backcountry Chocolate Recipes

Need to kill your chocolate craving? Use these recipes to get your chocolate fix in the backcountry.

Trail Mix: Great November Hikes in the East

Your region's go-now guide: Explore New York City, hike four states in 24 hours, and perfect days in NC, GA, and NH.

BACKPACKER Trail Scouts' Top Eastern Local Hikes

Check out the River Trail in South Carolina, the Florida Trail, or a loop in Mississippi and Virginia.

Rip & Go: North-South Trail, Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, Kentucky/Tennessee

Snake along hidden inlets as you follow the shore of America's largest inland peninsula.

Trail Mix: Great November Hikes in the Central U.S.

Your region's go-now guide: Perfect days in Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Tulsa.

The High Life: Granite Park Chalet, MT

Discover Glacier's historic lodging.

From the Field: BACKPACKER trail scouts' top Central local hikes

Try a 9-mile out-and-back in Ohio's Hemlock Gorge or hike through history in Per Marquette State Park or on the Saddle Rock Trail in Nebraska.

The High Life: White Mountains Traverse, NH

Hike our quieter insider's variation on this classic route.

The High Life: Never Summer Yurts, CO

Discover your own private Rockies paradise.

Rip & Go: Little Blakely Trail, Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas

Hike through old-growth forest to ridgetop views of Arkansas's largest lake.

The High Life: Haute Route Pyrenees, France

Go high and wild in Europe's other Alps.

The High Life: Hidden Lake Peak Fire Lookout, WA

Claim an eagle's roost above Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Trail Mix: Great November Hikes in the West

Your region's go-now guide: See newts on the move in California and bears heading for lower elevation in Beartooths, MT

The High Life: Hut, Hut, Hike!

Why should a backpacker want anything other than a tent? Michael Lanza can think of five good reasons.

The High Life: Maine Hut Trail, ME

Explore a new shelter system with old-school wild.

From the Field: BACKPACKER Trail Scouts' Top Western Local Hikes

Whether you want an uncrowded hike in Zion National Park or a five-miler through a gypsum dune field in New Mexico, our scouts have paved the way.

The High Life: Pennine Alps, Switzerland

Dine lavishly in the homeland of huts.

The High Life: Kepler Track, New Zealand

Score iconic Kiwi scenery without lining up.

The High Life: Lake O'Hara, Canada

Explore the best of Yoho National Park.

The High Life: High Sierra Camps, CA

Hike Yosemite's granite-rimmed loop.

The High Life: Rifugio Lagazuoi, Italy

Climb to a view over all of the Dolomites.

Winter Survival Guide: Camp

Humans weren't built to sleep on snow. Defy nature and sleep soundly with these winter camping tips.

Winter Survival Guide: Cook

In and out of the wilderness, food is important for survival. Don't screw it up with these winter cooking tips.

Winter Survival Guide: Travel

Hiking through the snow is beautiful, but not exactly easy. Use these tips to make your winter traverse all the more pleasant.

Winter Survival Guide: Navigate

Especially in winter, getting there is half the battle. Find your way through the white with these tips.

Winter Survival Guide: Prepare

The best defense is a good offense. Employ these tips before you ever leave home.

Winter Survival Guide

Our five-part plan to staying warm and well-fed in cold weather.

Heroes: Ken John, 55

This former executive helps the homeless by distributing used camping gear.

Top 3: Ghostly Hikes

Test your courage—and your quads—this Halloween on one of these spooky cemetery trails.

Life List: The Source of the Amazon

Trek to the Peruvian high spot where the planet's most powerful river is born.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Chimney Tops via Newfound Gap

Follow fern-lined trails to scramble up a rocky pinnacle.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Maddron Bald Loop

Pass waterfalls, cross empty peaks, and visit monster-size trees.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Mid-Smokies Circuit

String together the Appalachian, Benton MacKaye, and Mountains-to-Sea Trails for a 48-mile instant classic that hits the park's best views and backcountry campsites.

Gear Picks by Kristin Hostetter

For BACKPACKER'S Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012, Kristin tested tons of gear. Here are a few of her special favorites.

Rip & Go: Kannah Creek Basin Loop, Grand Mesa NF, CO

Descend from a cliff-rimmed mesa to a trout-filled lake.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Food

Fuel the biggest cold-weather adventures.

Skier's Paradise: Backcountry Hut & Yurt Destinations

Maximize your winter fun with a backcountry basecamp where you can spend all day skiing or snowshoeing, and all evening lounging by the fire. These 10 huts and yurts will make you hope the snow never melts.

Gear Review: Petzl Lynx Crampon

Crampons that switch between automatic and semi-automatic, for all boots and situations.

Gear Review: Climb X High Mountain Axe

A high-performance axe for an unbeatable price.

Gear Review: Mammut El Cap Helmet

An hip and multifunctional helmet for all uses.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Aspect Harness

The Aspect will take you anywhere a harness needs to go.

Gear Review: Salewa Pro Guide Boot

A solid mountaineering boot that handles distance.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Mountaineering

Go high with gear picked by the editors of Climbing magazine.

Gear Review: The North Face Radish Mid Layer Softshell

A killer softshell that performs both as an outerlayer and a midlayer.

Gear Review: Stoic Microlith Softshell Pullover

A softshell and baselayer in one.

Gear Review: Sage Quest Insulated Softshell Hoody

This angler-worthy jacket keeps your torso toasty and your arms free.

Gear Review: Rab Baltoro Guide Jacket Softshell

Warm and fuzzy on the inside, durable on the outside.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Salvo Softshell

Mediating breathability and weather-proofing, the Salvo does exactly what a softshell is supposed to.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Alakazam Softshell

This breathable softshell combats weather like the best hardshells do.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Racing Light Softshell

This sleek softshell was built for speed and temperature regulation.

Gear Review: Icebreaker Kodiak Hood/Arctic Hood Softshell

Feel good, look good, and perform at your best in this high-tech merino softshell.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Softshells

These versatile jackets repel wind and wet.

Gear Review: Yaktrax XTR

A bomber traction device that's durable and versatile.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Mini Hozuki Lantern

A light and packable miniature lantern.

Gear Review: Granite Gear Air Zippditty Ditty Bags

Ultralight, oblong, zippered sacks to help you keep all your traveling gear organized.

Gear Review: Hydro Flask 24-ounce Narrow Mouth Stainless Steel

Keeps coffee hot for over 24 hours, and water cold for more than 48!

Gear Review: Osprey Ozone 28"/80L Roller Bag

A lightweight, rolling duffel bag with plenty of compartments to keep you organized.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Snow Peak Starter Kit

A dining kit made for ultralight soloists.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: CamelBak All Clear UV Water Purification System

A fast, integrated, and rechargeable water purifier.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Honey Stinger Caffeinated Lime-Ade Energy Chews

A tester favorite for their smaller-than-average size and a mix of quick- absorbing organic sugars.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Gregory Border 25

A perfect pack for the world traveler.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Survival Strap Bracelets

Carry an emergency essential with you at all times.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: MyTopo BACKPACKER Pro Maps



Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Complete Guide to Outdoor Gear Maintenance & Repair

This 200-page bible teaches you how to repair any item in your pack, with step-by-step instructions and full-color photos.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Gear Aid Seam Grip Field Repair Kit

A two-ounce, packable kit to quickly mend your pad, tent, bag, or shell in the field.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Want to find the ideal gift for every hiker on your gift list? No matter your budget we've got you covered.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Night Ize BugLit

A bright, bendable LED light that weights less than an ounce.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Sierra Designs Ymir 55 Backpack

A pack made for multi-day ski touring.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: First Ascent Katabatic Tent

A stable, light, livable, four-season tent.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Bear Creek Country Kitchens Dry Soup Mixes



Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Vasque Snow Junkie UD Hiking Boot

The midcut Snow Junkies are for people who like their cold-weather adventures light and fast.

Gear Review: Hestra Spring Ergo Grip Glove

The perfect spring skiing glove.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Boldog Glove

The perfect glove for those who demand everything.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Luminary Glove

Enemies: Wind, sweat, water. This gloves fights them all.

Gear Review: The North Face Work Glove

There is little these hearty gloves can't handle.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Superlight Mitt

Warm doesn't have to mean weight.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Gloves

Need your hands? You need these.

Gear Review: Columbia Triple Trail II Pants

These bullet-proof pants are unbreakable.

Gear Review: First Ascent Nail Driver Pants

Durability and insulation in a mobile and comfortable pant.

Gear Review: Sherpa Adventure Gear Saba-Tek Pants

Sherpa agains delivers quality pants at a great price.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: La Sportiva Storm Fighter GTX Pants

These Gore-Tex beauties will restore your faith in hardshell pants.

Gear Review: The North Face Enzo Shell Pant

From snow to rain, backcountry to lifts, these pants do it all.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Pants

Tame winter's worst with five all-purpose pants.

Gear Review: Dynafit PDG Ski

A special ski for fitness freaks who like to earn their descent, even when inbounds.

Gear Review: Salomon Rocker2 115 Ski

The perfect ski for those who like to access their backcountry with a lift.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Current Ski

This ski cannot be overpowered.

Gear Review: Dynafit Baltoro Ski

An outstanding touring ski you'll never want to take off.

Gear Review: Scott Powd'air Ski

This ski is all about edges, but loves powder too.

Gear Review: Ski Trab Volare

This ski will go everywhere you go and more.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Komperdell Carbon Expedition Vario 4 Poles

These lightweight poles will serve you well on all of your multisport outings.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Black Diamond Carbon Megawatt Ski

A wide ski that weighs nothing.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Scarpa Alien Boot

The most comfortable alpine touring boot we have ever encountered.

Gear Review: Rottefella NTN Freedom Binding

The gold standard for New Telemark Norm (NTN) bindings.

Gear Review: Scarpa Terminator X Boot

High performance telemarking boots that work in traditional and NTN binding setups.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Prime/Swift Boot

When taking your ski boots on a long trip, you don't want you feet to hate you.

Gear Review: Plum Guide Bindings

What's the point of feather-weight skis and boots if the bindings aren't super light as well?

Gear Review: Garmont Cosmos/Celeste Boot

These boots will power through whatever conditions nature decides to throw at you.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Ski Gear

Read about our favorite new boots and bindings, then choose a ski from the seven winners to create your ideal setup.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: First Ascent BC MicroTherm 2.0 Jacket

An outstanding winter performance combo.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Sierra Designs Tov Jacket

Warm, high-tech, and fitted for optimal winter performance.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: L.L. Bean Ultralite 850 Puffy

The ultimate bang-for-buck ratio jacket.

Gear Review: The North Face Polar Hooded Fleece

This fleece will keep you warm, light, and unrestrained.

Gear Review: Mammut Eigerjoch/ Biwak Jacket

This coat redefines what warm means.

Gear Review: SmartWool MerinoMax Full Zip Midlayer

This midlayer will go with you on any adventure requiring more than short sleeves.

Gear Review: Stoic Luft 60 Anorak Pullover

A bullet-proof pullover that doesn't add pounds.

Gear Review: Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody

This insulated hoody keeps performing, even when conditions are at their worst.

Gear Review: Marmot Variant Hoody

The perfect jacket for when your hardshell is just too much.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Incandescent Jacket

A versatile and lightweight puffy you won't be disappointed by.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Insulation

If these heat-makers don't keep you from freezing, nothing will.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Headwear

Keep your noggin' warm or protected with these three hats and two helmets.

Gear Review: Bollè Synergy Helmet

An all-weather helmet with a unique double venting system.

Gear Review: Bern Macon Carbon Fiber Helmet

A helmet that's tough, but that you can forget you're wearing.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Dome Beanie

A slim, 100-percent polyester skull cap.

Gear Review: Dale of Norway Weatherproof Hat

A classic Norwegian wool hat with Teflon-treated yarn for enhanced water resistance and the windproof Gore liner.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Aria/ Transcendent Beanie

"It's a parka for your melon!"

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Hardshells

Stay protected from the elements with these nine hardshell picks.

Gear Review: Wild Things Alpinist Hardshell Jacket

A super breathable hardshell that also offers great protection.

Gear Review: Millet Davai GTX Hardshell Jacket

A jacket burlier enough for a BASE jumper.

Gear Review: Hi-Tec Hard Rain WP Hardshell Jacket

A sub-$100 jacket that provides excellent rain protection with decent breathability.

Gear Review: Patagonia Troposphere Hardshell Jacket

A shell that offers winter-worthy protection at a year-round weight.

Gear Review: adidas Terrex Skyclimb Hardshell Jacket

The comfort of a softshell with the protection of a hardshell.

Gear Review: Columbia Ultrachange Hardshell Jacket

A 3-in-1 system that also works great as separate pieces.

Gear Review: Marmot Speed Light Women's Hardshell Jacket

A great fitting, great performing jacket for the ladies.

Gear Review: The North Face Split Hardshell Jacket

A lightweight hardshell for under $200.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Mentor Hardshell Jacket

A great all-around jacket that handled a month straight of wet weather and rough hiking.

Cooking Backcountry Eggs

Don't be afraid of cooking this superfood in the backcountry.

Gear Review: Victorinox Day Packer Knife

One simple blade that gets the job done.

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip Coffee Maker

Java-lovers rejoice: drip coffee in the backcountry.

Gear Review: MSR MicroRocket Stove

A stove so compact it's almost not there.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Ti Double 450 Colored Mug

The best vessel you ever splurged on.

Gear Review: BioLite CampStove

Going where no stove has gone before, this wood-burner also charges your electronics.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Kitchen

Bring home cooking to the outdoors with these backcountry innovations.

Gear Review: Smartphone and Tablet Apps for Map Lovers

Three apps for map lovers of all tech denominations.

Gear Review: Magellan eXplorist 310 North America GPS

A perfect starter GPS unit, with a great price and minimal drawbacks.

Gear Review: Brunton Sustain2 Battery

Your electronics will never run out of juice with this portable battery charger.

Gear Review: Magellan Switch Series GPS

This GPS is perfect, however you get from A to B.

Gear Review: Suunto Ambit Watch

The sleekest, best GPS watch yet.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Navigation

Never get lost with these navigation tools.

Saved by...An Emergency Blanket

10 ways to use a survival blanket

Saved by...A Sock

7 more reasons to pack an extra pair

Saved by...Cell Phone

Dead battery? No reception? No problem. Find plenty of survival gear inside your phone.

Saved by...Dental Floss

A string, several strands, and even the box can all come in handy.

Saved by...Tampon

Don't cringe. Tampons were used by battlefield medics to plug bullet holes as early as World War I. Use them to...

Saved by...Skin Care

How to start a fire and treat minor wounds with basic toiletries

Saved by...Trash

Turn your trash into life-saving treasure

The Survival Issue: Saved by a Sock

"Improvise, adapt, and overcome." Bear Grylls and his crew lived by this mantra while filming episodes of Man vs. Wild. Here's how hikers can adopt it.

2012 Glacier Unforgettable Sweepstakes Offical Rules



The Survival Issue: You

To err is human, but to err in the wilderness can get you in a load of trouble. Here's how to manage missteps and improvise fixes.

The Survival Issue: Wildlife

Spotting animals is a highlight of backcountry travel—unless they attack. Learn how to escape 22 dangerous species.

The Survival Issue: Terrain

Don't let the desert–or swamps, cliffs, jungles, glaciers, or other potentially dangerous landscapes–be your end.

The Survival Issue: Gravity

Falls trigger more backcountry deaths than almost ever other cause combined. Here's how to go up without tumbling down.

The Survival Issue: Weather

From hypothermia to heatstroke, the elements kill in myriad ways. Protect yourself with 34 tips on wind, rain, snow, and more.

Gear Review: Tubbs Mountaineer Snowshoes

A basic, affordable snowshoes for the newbies.

Gear Review: TSL 438 Access Snowshoes

For those who prefer vertical to distance, the 438 is your snowshoe.

Gear Review: Crescent Moon Gold 13s Snowshoes

A woman-specific shoe that will keep your toes warm.

Gear Review: Easton Backcountry 25 Snowshoes

The perfect snowshoe for the those who just want to take a hike over snow.

Gear Review: Atlas Run Snowshoes

The name says it all - these shoes let you run.

Gear Review: Redfeather Alpine Snowshoes

These shoes will always get you through, regardless of the situation.

Gear Review: GV Mountain Extreme 830 Snowshoes

These burly monsters will not let you sink, period.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Socks

Banish blisters with these cushioned models. Bonus: A gaiter and camp shoe for all your winter trips.

Gear Review: Dahlgren Multisport Compression Socks

Thin, graduated compression knee-highs that that keep the blood moving in your legs.

Gear Review: Darn Tough 1/4 Length Cushion Hiking Sock

High enough to keep debris out, but low enough that it won't cause overheating on warm days.

Gear Review: Timberland Radler Camp Insulated Booties

Camp booties that are light enough for multiday trips, yet warm and grippy enough to leave the hut.

Gear Review: Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiter

This winter-ready gaiter keeps it all out: snow, slush, and sideways sleet.

Gear Review: Fox River VVS LV Ski Sock

These socks have just the right amount of cushion and warmth.

Gear Review: SmartWool PhD Mountaineering Sock

A blend of nylon and merino makes these socks durable and fast-drying.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Snowshoes

Stay afloat this winter with these worthy snowshoes.

Gear Review: Anon M1 Goggles

When conditions change, these goggles can trade lenses while they are still on your head.

Gear Review: Julbo Trek Sunglasses

These mountaineering sunglasses keep perspiration away.

Gear Review: Salomon X-Tend XCESS8 Goggles

A great, dependable pair googles for a price you can swallow.

Editors' Choice Snow Awards 2012: Smith I/O Goggles

Our Editors' Choice award winner resists fog like no other.

Gear Review: Native Eyewear Trango

Our favorite interchangeable-lens sunglasses are also stylish and affordable.

Gear Review: Bollé Rainier Sunglasses

For changing conditions, look no further than these specks by Bollé.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Eyewear

Seeing is important. Looking good is nice too. Do both with these sunglasses and goggles.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Baselayers

Even if no one else can see it, you are going to notice the difference with these worthy baselayers.

Gear Review: MontBell Zeo-Line M.W. High Neck Shirt Baselayer

The best baselayer for the money.

Gear Review: Toast Heated Clothing Baselayer

Finally, a baselayer that holds hand-warmers for ultimate warmth.

Gear Review: Patagonia Capilene 4 Expedition Weight Zip-Neck

When you want something thick to keep you warm, this baselayer has you covered.

Gear Review: Mammut Alpine Underwear Long All Year

You'll be feeling just right below the waist with this intricatly fitted long underwear.

Gear Review: Wild Things Power Stretch 1/4-Zip Hoody Baselayer

If you like going up and down snowy mountains, you're going to like this simple baselayer.

Gear Review: Polarmax Light Weight Tech Silk Men's Crew Baselayer

The most affordable baselayer that still get the job done right.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Cabela's E.C.W.C.S. Thermal Zone Baselayer

Our top pick for baselayers in 2012.

Gear Review: Nau M2 Hoody Baselayer

We're still counting the uses for this versatile hoody for any layer.

Gear Review: The North Face Wool Base Layer One Piece

Stay warmer and bunch-free in this worthy one-piece baselayer.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Phase AR Zip Neck Long Sleeve and Bottoms Baselayer

This layer raises the bar in moisture wicking technology.

Danger Zones/Escape Plans: Gravity

A hiker's worst enemy is the earth's downward pull. Here's how to prevent falls, and survive rockslides and avalanches.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Cameras

Bring back better images and video with these adventure-worthy cameras and accessories.

Gear Review: Photo Editing Apps

Get two smart apps that do spiffy editing tricks.

Gear Review: Cotton Carrier Camera Vest

Never miss a shot with this quick-draw vest system.

Gear Review: Pentax K-30 DSLR Camera

"This is the best adventure DSLR ever made for its price."

Gear Review: Olympus OM-D Camera

Old-school sturdiness fused with iPhone-generation usability made the OM-D our pick for tech-savvy hikers.

Gear Review: Nikon Coolpix 510 Camera

A point-and-shoot with advanced hiker-centric chops

Year of the Reader: Win a Gear or Skills Makeover!

We're matching your needs with our expertise and making over six lucky readers with new skills and gear to get more out of their trail time.

Survival Lab: Gimme Shelter

Losing daylight and don't have a tent? Don't panic: We tested three shelter-making techniques that will help you survive the night. Plus: Three bomber bivies.

Troubleshoot This: Can't Ignite Damp Wood

Maximize your spark's potential with a tinder bundle that will burn anywhere.

Out Alive: Chased by Widowmakers

A violent storm ravages a stressed forest, threatening to crush two dayhikers.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Footwear

Climb, hike, or run with snow-ready shoes.

Gear Review: Vasque Snowburban/Pow Pow UD Winter Boot

A high-cut winter hiking boot at home on steep slopes and deep snow.

Gear Review: Keen Bryce WP Hiking Boots

Low-cut hiking boots with plenty of support.

Gear Review: Scott eRide Icerunner Trail Running Shoe

Winter trail runners that stick

Gear Review: adidas Terrex Softshell Mid Hiking Boots

Ultralight, cold-weather speed hikers

Gear Review: Danner Roughhouse Mountain Boot

A Gore-Tex-lined boot that handles big loads and deep snow.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Omega GTX Hiking Boot

A shoulder-season boot that goes the distance in any terrain.

Gear Review: Scarpa Rebel GTX Carbon Mountaineering Boots

One of the world's lightest mountaineering boots designed by climbing phenom Ueli Steck.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Tents

A lightweight shelter for any storm.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Mountain Guide Tarp

This lightweight shelter served as a basecamper, a day shelter for a climbing party, and a winter mess tent.

Gear Review: The North Face Bastion 4 Tent

If you value elbow room over ounces on your winter treks, this is your four-person tent

Gear Review: Exped Pegasus Tent

The next best thing to a hut

Gear Review: L.L. Bean 2-Person Backcountry Dome

A tough, spacious two-person tent for under $400.

Gear Review: Brooks Range Invasion Tent

This tent is so small and light, you'll barely notice it in your pack–until you need it.

Gear Review: Easton Expedition 2P Tent

Carbon poles with monofilament connectors make this tent light and cold-weather friendly

Gear Review: Hilleberg Soulo Tent

A go-anywhere solo tent that's spacious for one.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Backpacks

A load hauler for every winter activity for ski touring to expeditions.

Gear Review: CamelBak Gambler Hydration Backpack

For sidecountry hikes and day tours from huts, the Gambler offers the next best thing to no pack at all.

Gear Review: Pieps Alpinist Pro Backpack

A climbing-oriented ski pack that combines high performance and low weight

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear BMG 105 Backpack

A fully-featured, 105-liter pack made for the long haul.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Quintic 28 Backpack

A ski daypack that's extremely stable

Gear Review: Mammut Spindrift Lite 30 Backpack

A lightweight pack that doesn't skimp on features

Gear Review: Gregory Alpinisto 50 Backpack

Made for mountaineers who need overnight capacity or who carry huge day loads

Gear Review: Black Diamond Covert AvaLung Backpack

A pack that holds your gear and could save your life thanks to BD's AvaLung breathing device.

Gear Review: Marmot Backcountry 30 Backpack

The ultimate snow sports daypack

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Sleeping Bags



The Science Behind Water-repellent Down

Will water-repellent down bags make synthetic insulation obsolete?

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Talus Ts I Sleeping Bag

An ultralight bag that breathes

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Zissou 15 Sleeping Bag

A water-resistant down bag made with Sierra Designs' DriDown.

Gear Review: First Ascent Igniter 15 Sleeping Bag

A packable synthetic sleeping bag with an extremely durable DWR shell

Gear Review: REI Polar Pod +10 Sleeping Bag

A budget-friendly shoulder-season bag

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Wraith -20 Sleeping Bag

Cross a super-warm bag and a weatherproof bivy and you get the Wraith.

Gear Review: Mammut Sphere Alpine Winter Sleeping Bag

This ultralight sleeping bag packs small but lofts quickly for a warm night.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012

261 reviews and camping tips

Killer Trips: Wildlife

Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

Killer Trips: Terrain

Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

Killer Trips: Gravity

Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

Killer Trips: Weather

Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

How to Find North

Learn how to orient yourself for when it really counts.

Meet Survival Expert Creek Stewart

Learn to use standard household items to survive with these pro tips from Stewart.

Weather Anecdotes: Explained

Mnemonics make it easy to remember weather sayings and make weather predictions, but is there any truth behind the prediction rhymes?

Build Trail-worthy Ankle Strength

Four moves that'll help you make an injury-free transition to lightweight hiking shoes.

Heroes: Ken Phillips, 53

A savior to injured hikers, he's training the next wave of backcountry medics.

Die Another Day

You won't get far in the backcountry without pushing through challenging conditions and terrain. But perseverance can be your worst enemy, and turning around the only way to succeed. Mark Jenkins explores the fine line between daring and doom.

Profiles In (Dis)Courage: Melissa McQueen

Broken, but not beaten, four backcountry travelers tap unexpected reserves to overcome horrific injuries.

Profiles In (Dis)Courage: Danelle Ballengee

Broken, but not beaten, four backcountry travelers tap unexpected reserves to overcome horrific injuries.

Profiles In (Dis)Courage: Justin Harris

Broken, but not beaten, four backcountry travelers tap unexpected reserves to overcome horrific injuries.

Profiles In (Dis)Courage: Brenna Fisch

Broken, but not beaten, four backcountry travelers tap unexpected reserves to overcome horrific injuries.

Survival Bootcamp

At the military's top-secret survival school, Air Force crews learn how to escape their worst-case scenario — shot down behind enemy lines. With the highest level of access ever granted to a journalist, our scout learns how to escape when Mother Nature is only one of your worries.

Worst Nightmare: Blindsided

A hair-raising tale of wilderness terror that will haunt your backcountry dreams

Bear Grylls: Master of Disaster

Q&A with Guest Editor Bear Grylls

Trail Mix: East

Your region's go-now guide

Trail Mix: Central

Your region's go-now guide

From the Field: East

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

From the Field: Central

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

Rip & Go: Southern Harriman Loop, Harriman State Park, NY

Escape into wild forest just a short train ride from Manhattan.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Longs Peak

Climb this iconic summit on an uncrowded sneak route.

Rip & Go: Backpack Trail, Yellow River State Forest, IA

Climb to bluff-top views of hardwood forest and rolling farmland.

Meet the Gear Testers: William Rochfort

William feels an obligation to share the outdoors with others, and good gear is how you get them there.

Meet the Gear Testers: Tanner Jackson

Tanner likes to think of himself as a tester and guinea pig for real-world accidents.

Meet the Gear Testers: Steve Howe

If you're looking for experience in the outdoors, Steve Howe is your man.

Meet the Gear Testers: Shelby Carpenter

When it comes to gear, Shelby believes in weight, comfort, and function.

Meet the Gear Testers: Molly Loomis

Molly believes in ditching the frills, shaving weight, and giving gear a real beating.

Meet the Gear Testers: Merrill McCauley

Tester Merrill believes in quality, well-built gear that won't fail on you when it counts.

Meet the Gear Testers: Kelly Bastone

Tester Kelly has tough standards, and it takes a lot to convince her that something new can replace what she already has.

Meet the Gear Testers: Gerben Sherpbier

President of Dartmouth's Outing Club, Gerben considers the practicality of gear and has a soft spot for the tall folks.

Meet the Gear Testers: Dan Nelson

A long-time tester, Dan is tough as nails and scrupulous with gear.

BACKPACKER'S Year of the Reader Contests

We're gearing up for some massive giveaways in 2013 to celebrate BACKPACKER's 40th anniversary.

2012 Be A Mapper Contest Official Rules



Meet the Gear Testers: Cameron Martindell

Tester Cameron is as meticulous as they come.

Meet the Gear Testers: Becca Stubbs

Becca is president of the Hiking Club at the University of Colorado - Boulder.

Meet the Gear Testers: Annette McGivney

Southwest Editor Annette has been testing gear since 1990. She is on the trail every day.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2012 Recap Day 3

On the third day of the 2012 Summer Outdoor Retailer show, our reader reporter team found some great boots and essentials for under $20.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2012 Recap Day 2

On day two of the Summer 2012 Outdoor Retailer show, our reader test team tackled ultralight, three-season hiking, and breathability.

Camp Friendly Cheese

Jimmy Kennedy of Cabot Cheese shares four scrumptious camp-friendly, cheese-centric delicacies that will surely satisfy. Plus: Watch our how-to video about making a cheese wax candle.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Final Picks

Our Reader Reporter gravitated to the products she most looks forward to coveting in the coming year and selling in her job as an REI employee. See her picks for food, drinks, kids' packs, zipperless tents, and more.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Meeting New Brands

On his final day at the show, our Reader Reporter Gerben got introduced to some new brands, and put together his money-is-no-object hit list of favorite gear.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Core Gear Wish List

Set loose on the floor today, our Reader Reporter assembled his list of dream items he'd love to have in his kit. See his top picks for tent, pad, bag, pack, and other key essentials.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: These are a Few of Our Favorite Things

Our Reader Reporter Erica takes one last tour to gather a wish list of her favorite items at the 2012 Summer Market.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Foot Fetish

Our Reader Reporter was on the hunt for midweight hikers, minimalist shoes, and trail runners.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Triple Challenge

Today our Reader Reporter Lisa went hunting for items that not only cost less than $20, but were eco-friendly and made in the USA. She pulled in a surprisingly large haul of accessories, including water bottles, headbands, lights, and a new backcountry toilet system.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Essentials Under $20

Our bargain-hunting Reader Reporter found high-quality accessories for less than a Jackson.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Boot Bonanza

Our Reader Reporter's mission for the day: find the best new mountaineering boots, sandals, and low-cut hikers.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Light and Long-lasting

Our Reader Report looks to balance light weight with affordability and durability with his report from the first day on the show floor.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Hot, Sweaty and Smelly No Longer

This northeast native Reader Reporter searches for the best in three-season hiking warm and outer layers.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Three-Season Hiking From The Inside Out

Staying cool, smelling fresh, packing light, and looking good come together in this Summer OR hiking ensemble assembled by our Reader Reporter.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP) 101

Our Reader Reporter checks out all the basic gear you need to get started with the hot new sport of stand-up paddleboarding, including socks, a board, and a paddle.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Paddlesport Goodies

Our Reader Reporter made a splash with the paddling and watersport accessories she found at Demo Day, including a paddle, a rain-proof pack, and an accessory to make your paddleboarding a breeze.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Ski Boards and Knives, oh my!

Our Reader Reporter finds herself on the cutting edge of a new sport, and then finds a literal cutting edge.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Fired up

It's demo day! From gadgets that charge your phone while you cook to sandals that move with your toes, see what our Reader Reporter scouted out at Jordanelle State Park.

Survival: Animal Attacks

Don’t be prey. Learn where you’re likely to encounter North America’s deadliest predators.

Survival Lab: Emergency Water

Without a drink, a hiker can die in as little as a day. We tested three techniques for conjuring H20 out of thin air. Plus: 5 easy ways to stay hydrated in hot climates.

Troubleshoot This: Burned by Boiling Water



Out Alive: Hammered by Falling Rocks

After an off-trail slide tosses two hikers down a slope, they’re trapped by their injuries.

Gear: Car Camping

Ultra Luxe
Load the trunk this Labor Day with weight-is-no-object comfort gear.

Gear Review: Kelty LumaSpot Lantern



Gear Review: REI Camp Kitchen



Gear Review: Eureka Curvy Low Rider Chair



Gear Review: Sierra Designs Yahi 4

A car camping tent that's spacious, but easy to set up and carry.

Gear Review: Primus FireHole 300

A souped up camp kitchen

Gear Review: Brunton Resync

A wallet-size battery pack

Gear Review: MontBell Highland

A warm, packable down sweater at an affordable price.

Gear Review: Boreas Lagunitas

A dayhike/bike/travel/commute pack

Gear Review: Scarpa Tech Ascent

The ultimate boot for the long approaches and class 3+ scrambles.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Anjan 3

An alpine tent that's light, compact, and brawny enough for storms.

Gear Review: Sweet Dreams

Boost comfort and convenience–and your zzzz’s–with these three sleeping accessories.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm

A sleeping pad that's light enough for summer yet warm enough for winter.

Gear Review: Slumberjack Lone Pine 20

A $90 starter sleeping bag.

Gear Review: Western Mountaineering Alder 25

A lofty, hoodless, semi-rectangular down bag.

Gear Review: L.L.Bean Katahdin PrimaLoft Synergy 20

A synthetic sleeping bag with warm, generous cut.

Gear Review: Columbia Reactor 25

A synthetic bag with a Omni-Heat liner.

Gear Review: Feathered Friends Osprey 30

A pricey, but super light, sleeping bag

Gear Review: First Ascent Karakoram 20



Field Test: Three-Season Sleeping Bags

Upgrade your bed: No matter what your budget or performance preferences, our testers found the perfect bag for all your spring-through-fall trips

Trail Mix: West

Your region's go-now guide

Test Kitchen: Cheese

From Gouda to good old string cheese, we tested 20 types to find the trail-worthiest.

From the Field: West

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

The Long Way Home

When Karl Bushby set out to hike 36,000 miles across four continents, he vowed he would only return to his native England on foot. Which could be a real problem if he ever wants to get there.

Rip & Go: Heather & Maple Pass Loop, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, WA

Orbit an alpine lake on the edge of North Cascades National Park.

Life List: Walking Safari, Kruger NP, South Africa

Trek among giraffes, rhinos, lions, and elephants in one of the world's premier wildlife parks.

Expert Panel: Instant Upgrades

We asked a few of our favorite pros how to fix some common backcountry annoyances

Master Class: Lighten Your Pack

Drop 5, 10, or 15 pounds (or more!) by packing smart, planning ahead, and fine-tuning essentials.

Easy Epics: 17 Drive-up Campsites a Backpacker Will Love

Combine the best of car camping (spacious tents, comfy chairs, frosty margaritas!) and the best of backpacking (deep solitude, outrageous scenery, swimming holes!) with these 17 accessible hideaways.

Going, Going...Gone?

Wolf howls have echoed across Isle Royale National Park for decades. But with the once-widespread predators down to a single pack, the time to go hear--and maybe spot--them is now.

Mountain Map: New Mexico - Sandia Mountains

Explore Albuquerque's backyard mountain range.

Best Day: Horseshoe Canyon

Wind through an isolated gorge with ancient art.

Best Weekend: Taylor Canyon to Upheaval Canyon

Circle through giant gorges and sleep at a riverfront campsite.

Best Week: Chesler Park to Salt Creek Canyon

Hit up the park's highlights--slickrock scrambles, mesa-top views, and hoodoo-dotted canyons--on this seven-day trek.

Grand to Grand Ultra - Win a free race entry!

Grand to Grand Ultra is a 160-mile stage race from the Grand Canyon’s North Rim to the highest point in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument--and we have a free race entry to give away!

From The Field: East

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

From The Field: Central

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

From The Field: West

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

Canyonlands Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 4 of 6)

Our field scouts scrambled up airy ledges, trekked to giant arches, and dropped into deep gorges to bring you the best dozen trips in this slickrock paradise.

September 2012 Table of Contents



Summit Fever: The Sierra Challenge

When 37 hardcore hikers set out to scale 10 of the Sierra's highest and remotest peaks in a single Herculean, 10-day, 154-mile push, it will be an all-pain, 54,000 feet of gain kind of adventure.

Trail Mix: East

Your region's go-now guide.

Trail Mix: Central

Your region's go-now guide.

Trail Mix: West

Your region's go-now guide.

Meet the Gear Testers: Kristin Hostetter

BACKPACKER's fearless gear editor since 1994, few (if any) know outdoor gear like Kristin Hostetter.

Get Live Updates From Outdoor Retailer!

Get live updates on the latest and great gear starting on January 22, 2013.

2012 Winners of the Gear Tester Contest

BACKPACKER announces the winners of the Summer 2012 Gear Tester Contest

Survival: Fall Zones

Watch your step. Trips and tumbles are the number one cause of backcountry deaths.

Top 3: Beach Campsites

Fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves in these remote sandy spots—no boardwalks allowed.

Apps and Maps

From GPS data to navigation apps and printed maps, we have you covered and can get you ready for your next adventure.

Life List: Buckskin Gulch, Utah/Arizona

Yes, all wilderness is sacred. But this mystically beautiful slot canyon is holier than most.

Navigation Webinar: FOR TESTING



60 BACKPACKER Readers to Climb Mt. Whitney

Bookmark this page for ongoing updates about our 2013 expedition benefiting at-risk urban teens.

Survival Lab: Vital Signs

When you’re lost or injured, you need a foolproof way to get your rescuers’ attention. Ted’s testing team tried more than 25 devices—here are their ratings of 9 top tools.

Troubleshoot This: Stalked by a Cougar



Out Alive: Trapped by Rising Water

Five hikers fight a raging river before attempting a dangerous bushwhack to safety.

Test Kitchen: Salami

We sampled 50 jerkies, salamis, and summer sausages to find the tastiest and longest-lasting. Here’s how to choose, use, and make trail-worthy meats.

Expert Panel: Instant Upgrades



Master Class: Take Better Night-Sky Photos

You’ve found the ideal starry sky. Now, shoot the sparkling display—without investing in a new camera. Use these composition and setting tips from award-winning photographer Ben Canales.

Heroes: Rue Mapp, 40

This culture activist is bringing diversity to the outdoors.

Make a custom map for your next adventure

We've partnered with myTopo to bring you the best in maps for your backcountry pursuits.

Gear: Eyewear

High summer is no time to go without shades. These models will protect your eyes no matter where your adventures take you.

Gear Review: Smith Gibson

Frontcountry looks meet backcountry performance with these shades.

Gear Review: Julbo Tensing

With vented wrap-around sidewalls, dark lenses (5 percent VLT), and a face-hugging frame, the Tensing provided high-altitude sun protection rivaling heavier, spendier mountaineering models.

Gear Review: Zeal Zeta

Full-coverage lenses without the huge frames.

Gear Review: Spy Quanta

These sunglasses will stay in place and won't mist up, even during your most difficult hikes and climbs.

Gear Review: Dynafit Feline Superlight

A lightweight trail runner that hits a sweet spot of precision, comfort, and protection.

Gear Review: Coleman Sportster II

This tank-tough stove is easy to use and boils water fast, even in below-freezing temps.

Gear Review: MSR SureLock TR-3

A trekking pole that's easy to adjust on the fly.

Gear Review: Gerber Dime

A 10-piece multitool that weighs only 2.3 oz.

Gear Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter Pack

A backpack made for ultralighters who travel in wet climates

Field Test: Do-it-All Boots

Upgrade your footwear: We found seven models that can take you from dayhikes to thru-hikes, and from desert to rainforest to peaks.

Gear Review: Improve Fit, Boost Comfort

These after-market insoles control motion, fill excess volume, and more.

Gear Review: Keen Alamosa Mid GTX

Comfortable, sneaker-like feel with a roomy toebox.

Gear Review: LOWA Scorpio GTX Mid

Flexible support and instant comfort; great for trips with lighter loads.

Gear Review: Chaco Tedinho Waterproof

This supple leather boot has top-notch shock absorption and nearly an inch of arch support.

Gear Review: Scarpa Moraine Mid GTX

Running-shoe-like comfort, fit, and breathability.

Gear Review: Merrell Chameleon4 Mid Ventilator GTX

For hikers in blazing climates who need well-ventilated, waterproof protection and all-terrain traction.

Gear Review: Vasque Talus UD

Testers prized these all-leather boots for their tenacious traction, superior comfort, and midsole support.

Gear Review: Salewa Mtn Trainer Mid GTX

Named the best all-around boot by testers because of its unusually strong combination of protection, support, and nimbleness.

Manually Adjust Declination

Change declination to navigate more accurately over long distances.

Rip & Go: Pyramid Peak Loop, Great Basin National Park, NV

Climb out of the desert heat to breezy alpine solitude.

Backpacking Fitness

Boost performance and be a better backpacker with these fitness- and strength-building moves from our experts.

Recipes: Cooking with Salami

Try these camp-friendly breakfast recipes using summer sausage and salami. They're delicious ways to add protein to your trail menu--and finish an opened serving of sausage before it begins to spoil.

The Troubleshooter’s Handbook

Murphy’s Law, meet your match. Our experts offer trip-saving fixes for 44 mishaps, from bug bites to bad partners to broken bones.

Heroes: Kyle Maynard, 26

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is plenty hard with two strong legs. Imagine crawling to the top, like the first congenital quadruple amputee to reach the summit.

Gear: Ultralight Layers

Stay comfortable and carry less with these versatile, all purpose pieces.

Gear Review: 3 Sweet Deals

Get performance summer apparel for less.

Gear Review: Ultralight Layers

Stay comfortable in summer and beyond with these lightweight, high-performance pieces.

Reel Deal: Charting Big-Wall Movie Scenes

Hollywood climbing: Survivable or surreal?

The Other Way In

Hike to life-list hot spots without waiting in life-list lines. These under-the-radar trails deliver everything but the crowds.

The Last Bus

A former Denali ranger shares her secrets for finding solitude, scoring the most coveted permits, seeing wildlife, beating the weather, and more. Follow her from-the-field advice for the ultimate trip in America's wildest park.

Survival: Lightning Myths: Busted

Knowing fact from fiction can help you avoid—and survive—a 54,000℉ strike.

Survival Lab Knife Test--The Final Cut

Can your keychain knife hack through rope? Wood? Bone? Didn’t think so. We tested 14 packable blades to find the toughest, most versatile survival tool for hikers.

Mountain Map: Coast Range - Olympic Mountains

Explore peaks and forests in this coastal range.

Life List: Buckskin Gulch, Utah/Arizona

Yes, all wilderness is sacred. But this mystically beautiful slot canyon is holier than most.

Best Day: Jenny Lake and Hanging Canyon Loop

Circle a glacial lake, see a waterfall, and explore a forgotten trail.

Best Weekend: Death Canyon Loop

Sleep in a lake-dotted basin and scale an 11,000-foot peak.

Best Week: Granite Canyon to Paintbrush Canyon

Take a grand tour of the Tetons on a six-day trek past pinnacled peaks, wildflower meadows, and secluded lakes.

Grand Teton Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 3 of 6)

Our map scouts scaled 13,000-foot peaks, trekked to hidden lakes, and explored glacier-carved canyons to bring you our 21 favorite routes in America's most vertiginous range.

2012 Father's Day Gift Guide

Skip the new wrench sets and the flowery ties. Give the man on your list something that he’ll really be stoked about. We’ve got a slew of great dad-tested gift ideas starting at $20

Out Alive: Bitten by a Rattlesnake

A dayhiker fights for her life—as her body shuts down.

Test Kitchen: Coffee

We perked more than 100 caffeinated cups to find the best trail-brew technique. Here’s how to choose your method, gear, and grounds.

Expert Panel: 11 Pro Tips

Pro Tips: Boost Performance, Planning, Safety, and More

Master Class: Find Yourself on a Map

The best way to avoid getting lost? Always know your location. Study up on these key techniques for identifying terrain features, translating GPS data to a map, and triangulating your position.

Survival Lab

Our man-in-the-field, Drop Dead Ted, tests lifesaving gear and equipment with ingenuity and elbow grease. You can trust his results to provide the truth that every backpacker needs to know in a survival situation.

Gear: Stanley Ninteen13 One-Hand Vacuum Mug

Multitasking dads will love this easy-sipping cup.

Gear: Otter Box iPad 2 Reflex Series Case

What’s better than having an iPad? Not having to worry about what’ll happen to it when it gets into little hands.

Gear: Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro

A rugged battery pack that will let him stay charged up and connected.

Gear: Eton Rukus Solar Sound System

Turn an iPod into a campground sound system.

Gear Guide 2012: Waterproof iPhone Case

Protect your valuables on your next paddling trip with this iPhone case.

August 2012 Table of Contents



Heros: Becca Stubbs, 21

Student and president of the Hiking Club at the University of Colorado, Boulder

Hiking Makes You Smarter

Yes, the views and fresh air and exercise make every backpacking trip worthwhile. But now, new research shows, staying home is just plain dumb. Learn why backpacking boosts brainpower in this exclusive report from the frontiers of environmental neuroscience.

Case Study: Surge Survivor

Name: Neil Perterson, 63
Predicament: Swept into a surge channel; stuck in a cave


Survive Coastal Dangers

Waves, currents, and tides threaten thousands of miles of American trails (any within a quarter of a mile of a waterway), and hikers can get caught in the barrage. Headland-sculpting, beach-pounding waves can swallow an unwary trekker without so much as a burp. Learn how to recognize, negotiate, and avoid nearshore hazards

Trail Mix: Central

Explore Chicago's wild places, seek out solitude, and experience three perfect days, all this summer.

Trail Mix: East

Explore wilderness bounty, see fawns in Shenandoah National Park, and experience three perfect days, all this summer and all in the east.

Trail Mix: West

Explore high points, see astronomical rarity and experience three perfect days, all this summer and all in the west.

From the Field: West

Explore the west coast in a whole new way with these five summer hikes.

From the Field: East

Experience the east in a new way this summer with hikes that each offer a special glimpse of what the east coast has to offer.

From the Field: Central

Looking to relax this summer? These central hikes offer beautiful lakes, great views, and a breath of fresh air.

Recipe: Quinoa Taco Salad

Gourmet Southwestern salad, perfect for that light afternoon meal.

Recipe: Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

Super quick and full of flavor. Perfect for a fast and easy meal.

Dirtbag/Gourmet: Savory Southwest

Black beans and a heaping dose of flavor make for tasty, fiber- and protein-rich meals

Navigate in Low Visibility

Leapfrogging, following benchmarks, and more.

The Manual: Rough Road Driving

Don’t get stuck in the mud. Learn to evaluate road hazards, overcome obstacles, and navigate the unpaved passages between your front door and your next adventure.

Navigation Webinar: Go Farther with Maps and GPS

In this beginner friendly course, BACKPACKER Map Editor Andrew Matranga teaches the essentials of map reading, GPS, and compass, plus how to use today's best digital mapping tools to plan trips, to navigate in the field and to share adventures once you get home.

Gear Guide 2012: One-Person Tents

Find lightweight shelter for every budget and weather scenario.

Gear Guide 2012: Two-Person Tents

Find lightweight shelter for every budget and weather scenario.

Gear Guide 2012: Three-Person Tents

Find lightweight shelter for every budget and weather scenario.

Gear Guide 2012: Four-Peson Tents

These four-person tents offer outstanding space-to-weight ratios and high performances in foul-weather.

Gear Guide 2012: Sleeping Pads

Sleep comfortably on your next adventure with one of these great sleeping pads.

Gear Guide 2012: Summer Sleeping Bags

These bags are ideal for summer backpacking trips, each offering lightweight comfort for warmer temps.

Gear Guide 2012: Three-Season Sleeping Bags

7 new bags perfect for your spring-time adventures.

Gear Guide 2012: Winter Sleeping Bags

Ready to endure all the elements, these bags offering warmth and protection for winter camping.

Trail Running Apparel: Jacket, Shorts, Hydration Pack

These three key pieces will keep you comfortable on the trail.

Gear Review: Patagonia Fore Runner Trail Runners

A perfect balance between traditional and barefoot running shoes.

Gear Review: Vibram Five Fingers Spyridon LS Trail Runners

A barefoot runner made for trails.

Gear Review: Hoka One One Mafate Edition Trail Runners

Trail runners that are ultracushioned...and unique to look at.

Gear Review: Hi-Tec V-Lite Infinity HPI Trail Runner

A trail runner that's light but stable

Buyer's Guide: Trail Runners

An in-depth guide to the technology, top products, and latest skills, plus how to get in shape faster to see more trail.

Gear Guide 2012: Rip & Equips

Don't go shopping until you've read these comprehensive guides to buying and fitting the right pack, boots, bag, and tent.

Rip & Equip: Backpacks

Finding a great fitting backpack is the key to happy backpacking. Plus, learn how to keep your pack looking and feeling like new.

Rip & Equip: Tents

Tips on buying the right tent for your backpacking style. Plus, cleaning and repair advice.

Rip & Equip: Boots

First: Buy the right boots. Second: Keep them in tip top shape with these tips.

Rip & Equip: Sleeping Bags

Mummy or semi-rectangular? Sleeves vs. clips? Choose the right sleeping bag and keep it in top shape with these tips.

The Changing Mountain

The following is adapted from Northwest editor Michael Lanzas new book, Before Theyre Gone: A Familys Year-Long Quest to Explore Americas Most Endangered National Parks ($24.95, beacon.org, TheBigOutside.com).

Gear Review: Patagonia Air Flow Cap



Gear Review: FITS Light Hiker Quarter

The unusually deep heel pocket in these socks contours to feet perfectly, and doesn't bunch.

Gear Review: Patagonia Merino 2 Lightweight

This tee is naturally breathable, resists odor, and feels as soft as cotton.

Gear Review: Stoic Thrive

Stretchy poly fabric and and a gusseted crotch provide killer freedom of movement in these comfortable shorts.

Gear Review: First Ascent High Route

Get the sun-protection of a collared, long-sleeve shirt with the versatility of a button-down and the comfort of a tee.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Odin Isolator

This versatile shell offers puffy-jacket warmth and wind protection in a light and compressible package.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Gamma SL Hybrid

These multi-season pants will keep you dry while providing outstanding freedom of movement.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Axiom

This versatile, all-weather shell is comfortable in mild temps and on high-effort outings.

Gear Reviews: Versatile Layers

Stay comfortable in summer and beyond with these lightweight, high-performance pieces.

Mountain Map: Adirondacks - The High Peaks

Get a field-scouted tour of the High Peaks.

Gear Reviews: Ultralight Packs

Cut weight and boost comfort with the best new ounce-shaving load haulers—tested and rated by tough-on-gear Grand Canyon National Park rangers.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Alpha SL Hybrid

A do-it-all hardshell for wilderness warriors who want four-season versatility in a light, packable, and impeccably cut package.

Gear Review: The North Face Phoenix 3 Tent

A single-wall tent is roomy enough for three adults

Gear Review: Millet Touring WDS Glove

Thin softshell gloves with Gore Windstopper

Gear Review: First Ascent MicroTherm Down Hoodie

A featherweight, 800-fill puffy

Gear Review: Keen Ambler Mesh Lightweight Hiking Boots

A perfect lightweight hiker for people with a wide forefoot

Over The Edge

Nearly 150 years after John Wesley Powell's pioneering trip through the Grand Canyon, the park still conceals remarkable places no humans have ever seen. Contributing editor John Harlin joins a crew of explorers on a journey of discovery.

Gear Review: Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack

A versatile pack that can be pared down or bulked up depending on your load and the terrain.

Burn After Reading

Empty White Mountain summits. Tourist-free Yellowstone geysers. Rarely hiked Yosemite ridges. Rangers, guidebook writers, outfitters, and ultra-hikers dish their favorite routes for the first time.

Gear Review: ZPacks Exo

The lightest ultralight pack we tested.

Gear Review: Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus FS Backpack

A roomy and comfortable ultralight bag.

Top 3: Heavenly Hikes

No early bedtimes on these overnights; you'll want to stay up and enjoy unusually dark skies with clear views of summer's showiest celestial fireworks.

Gear Review: Osprey Exos 46 Backpack

An "ultralight" pack that can handle up to 40 pounds.

Gear Review: GoLite Jam 50 Backpack

A top performing pack that's only $160.

Rip & Go: Zaleski Backpack Trail, Zaleski State Forest, OH

Escape into tranquil, rolling woods in the foothills of the Appalachians.

Rip & Go: Batona Trail, Wharton State Forest, NJ

Follow a river through the surprisingly wild Pine Barrens.

Rip & Go: Divide Creek Lake, Targhee National Forest, ID

Explore a seldom-visited stretch of the Continental Divide with hidden lakes, world-class trout fishing, and abundant wildlife.

Best Week: Continental Divide Loop

Tour glacial valleys and navigate to off-trail lakes and waterfalls on this six-day circuit.

Best Weekend: Gorge Lakes

Hike cross-country to explore this secluded chain of hanging lakes.

June 2012 Table of Contents



Best Day: Longs Peak via Clarks Arrow and the Keyhole

Scramble up a 12.7-mile sneak route to the park's highest peak.

Rocky Mountain Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 2 of 6)

Our map team scouted more than 500 miles of trails and cross-country routes to bring you a summer's worth of escapes in the Rockies.

Gear Pro's Guide to Spring Cleaning

Get your gear ready for hiking season with these tips from gear editor Kristin Hostetter.

Editors' Choice 2012

From a smart-and-light pack to a groundbreaking backcountry communicator, here are the 12 products that passed the ultimate gear challenge.

Gear Guide 2012: Climbing Equipment

A lightweight, crag-tested collection for new climbers

Gear Guide 2012: Paddling Equipment

Top picks and values for backcountry lake and rivers

Gear Guide 2012: The Ten Essentials

Get prepped with this core gear.

Spring Showers Rain Shell Giveaway April 16-20, 2012

Don't let the rainy season of spring keep you off the trail. Enter to win a rain shell a day and hit the trail in style.

Gear Guide 2012: Balega X Athlete Multisport Crew Socks

These socks use a fabric that promotes airflow without sacrificing comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: FITS Performance Trail Socks

Manage moisture with these lightweight, low-cuff socks.

Gear Guide 2012: Dynafit Broad Peak Trekking Poles

These adjustable poles use a glove-friendly locking mechanism that helps to create a responsive feel.

Gear Guide 2012: Leki Micro Stick Trekking Poles

The Micro Stick collapses easily for great packability.

Gear Guide 2012: Helinox Featherlite Trekking Poles

Durable and lightweight, these poles offer an impressive strength-to-weight ratio.

Gear Guide 2012: Cabelas E.C.W.C.S. Thermal Zone Polartec Power Dry Baselayers

These no-bulk baselayers provide warmth when you need it and breathability where you don't.

Gear Guide 2012: Duofold Champion Varitherm

These baselayers deliver great moisture management and a skin-tight fit.

Gear Guide 2012: Polarmax TransDRY Cotton Underwear

Water-repelling fabric allows for these cotton briefs to wick moisture and keep you dry.

Gear Guide 2012: Helly Hansen Odin Quick-Dry Pant

With custom sizing and smart features these quick-dry pants are a must-have.

Gear Guide 2012: Patagonia ULW Merino Crew Socks

Prevent blisters with these liner socks.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountain Hardwear Rifugio Trek Shorts

These shorts are made to handle heat with a barely-there feel.

Gear Guide 2012: Stoic Microlith Softshell Pant

Keep comfortable in warm or cold with these no zip pants.

Gear Guide 2012: The North Face Think About It Jacket

This full-zip jacket combines protection and warmth to create a great go-to jacket for staying warm.

Gear Guide 2012: Hardshell Jackets

Core protection for any weather and environment

Gear Guide 2012: Softshell Jackets

Stay dry and comfortable on the move with these breathable softshells.

Gear Guide 2012: Trail Runners

Hit the trail running with these lightweight, all-terrain shoes.

Gear Guide 2012: Adventure Medical Kits Escape Bivvy Blanket

Using a waterproof and breathable fabric, the Escape Bivvy provides comfort and insulation.

Gear Guide 2012: Elemental Herbs Zinc Sunscreen

Using pure zinc oxide, Elemental Herbs sunscreen protects you from the solar radiation and the sun's harshest rays.

Gear Guide 2012: Bridgford Ready To Eat Sandwiches

For emergency calories or just an easy-to-pack meal, Bridgford sandwiches are easy to carry and can keep for up to three years.

Gear Guide 2012: Outdoor Research Revel Convertible Cap

The Revel offers two domes for maximum versatility.

Gear Guide 2012: Columbia Solar Polar 1/2 Zip

Stay comfortable in hot temperatures with the Solar Polar.

Gear Guide 2012: Gerber Steady Multitool

The Steady is lightweight considering its dozen tools, including flexible tripod legs.

Gear Guide 2012: Black Diamond Icon Headlamp

The Icon uses a four-AA power source allowing for long lasting light and no drops in power.

Gear Guide 2012: SteriPen Freedom Water Treatment

Light, compact, and easy to use, the Freedom treats water in seconds with just a push of a button.

Gear Guide 2012: Wenger Fidis Lighter

This lighter produces flame with liquid fuel and a wick, providing you with fire even in windy conditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Brunton O.S.S. 10B Compass

Simple, yet reliable, this compass is great for spot checks and map consults.

Gear Guide 2012: MyTopo/BACKPACKER Pro Maps

Get customized maps that give you turn-by-turn directions and campsite information all in one, easy to use and waterproof map.

Gear Guide 2012: Pocket Profile Maps

Waterproof maps pack in all the information you need for AT and JMT thru-hikers.

Gear Guide 2012: Adventure Medical Kits SOL Survival Medic

A compact kit that provides you with the survival essentials you need while you're on the go.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Softshells

Lightweight and durable, these softshells provide solid weather resistance.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Hardshells

Extreme weather protection and breathability make these hardshells great performers when it comes to rough conditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Food - Trail Bars

Snack smarter and pack a variety of energy bars to get the right boost at the right moment for optimal on-trail performance.

Gear Guide 2012: Food - Drinks

From a morning cup of joe to easy-sipping fireside nightcaps, here are our staff’s most-requested trail beverages.

Gear Guide 2012: Food - Dessert

Sweet treats to close a campside meal--and help you recoup after an energy-zapping hiking day.

Gear Guide 2012: Food - Dinner

Hunger-sating (and quick to prepare) meals to cap off a long day on the trail.

Gear Guide 2012: Food - Lunch & Snacks

Grab these quick-fix and fast-fueling trail meals on the go.

Gear Guide 2012: Food - Breakfast

Start your day with these tester-favorite and camp-ready breakfasts.

Gear Guide 2012: Food

Fuel more trail miles with our favorite new packable meals.

Local Hikes

Jump-start your hiking season on these spring-ready trips from around the country.

Gear Guide 2012: The North Face Alpine Project Shell

This shell's design enhances moisture transfer and provides both wind-proofing and water resistance, making it the most versatile.

Gear Guide 2012: Marmot Vapor Trail Hoody Shell

A stretch material allows for excellent range of motion while its overall cut leaves room for layering.

Gear Guide 2012: Fly-fishing Gear

An affordable starter kit for backcountry anglers

Gear Guide 2012: Arcteryx Gamma SL Hybrid Hoody Shell

The Gamma SL's design achieves optimum flexibility while creating a great fit.

Gear Guide 2012: Outdoor Research Mithrilite Jacket Shell

This multi-use shell demonstrates high performance weather protection with a breathable design.

Gear Guide 2012: Helly Hansen Odin Light Softshell

The Odin Light offers a unique design that focuses on versatility as well as comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: Rab Scimitar Shell

This is the go-to shell for alpine activity providing great breathability and impressive weather protection.

Gear Guide 2012: Helly Hansen Odin FastPack Shell

With smart details and great versatility this shell delivers protection and breathability all in one lightweight package.

Gear Guide 2012: Stoic Stash Shell

This shell handles wind, rain and snow like a pro offering versatility and a great fit.

Gear Review: Westcomb Switch LT Hoody Shell

This shell was built to take on the toughest conditions with ease providing heavy-duty protection with superior breathability.

Gear Guide 2012: MontBell Versalite Shell

This featherweight shell is full-featured with ultralight wind protection and a relaxed cut.

Gear Guide 2012: REI Kimtah Shell

The Kimtah offers excellent weather protection and breathability at a bargain price.

Gear Guide 2012: Columbia Compounder Shell

The Compounder's design helps you stay completely dry and comfortable in the most wet conditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Millet LTK Active Shell

This shell is great for the fast-and-light climbing crowd offering excellent breathability and low weight.

Gear Guide 2012: Montane Trojan/Athena Shell

If it's breathability you want, it's the Trojan/Athena that you need.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountain Hardwear Quasar Shell

Maximum protection and great breathability help make this shell a force against the toughest conditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Outdoor Research Helium II Shell

Reliable weather protection in a light-weight package.

Gear Guide 2012: Patagonia Super Cell Shell

This shell can handle any kind of weather and is both protective and comfortable.

Gear Guide 2012: Scarpa Reflex Climbing Shoes

A shoe that easily transitions from gym to sport climbing to bouldering to multipitch routes.

Gear Guide 2012: Mammut El Cap Helmet

A super safe helmet that you forget you're wearing

Gear Guide 2012: Trango Smooth Quickdraws Carabiner

Big and beefy carabiners

Gear Guide 2012: Metolius Climbing Safe Tech Comp Harness

A harness that's great for both beginners and experts

Gear Guide 2012: Petzl Xion 10.1 Climbing Rope

Deemed a 'go-to workhorse rope' by the editors of Climbing Magazine

Gear Guide 2012: Old Town Saranac 160 XT Canoe

This budget-friendly boat made from durable thermoformed polyethylene offers a plush ride for everyday paddling.

Gear Guide 2012: Kokatat Aries Life Vest

The low-profile, adjustable PFD features soft, PVC-free foam, which molds around your body for custom-fit-like comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: Wenonah Super Seat Canoe Chair

Keep your butt happy on long canoeing trips with this add-on seat.

Gear Guide 2012: NRS HydroLock Dry Bag

A giant roll-top and zip-top dry bag in one

Gear Guide 2012: Necky Looksha 17 Polymer Sea Kayak

A versatile 17x4 cruiser with plenty of storage space.

Gear Guide 2012: Waterproof iPad & iPhone Cases

Protect your valuables on your next paddling trip with these iPhone and iPad cases.

Gear Guide 2012: AIRE Outfitter II Inflatable Kayak

An inflatable kayak with multiday gear-carrying capacity and legit whitewater stability

Gear Guide 2012: Alpacka Denali Llama

A one-person pack raft

Gear Guide 2012: Nova Craft Prospector 17 Expedition Canoe

A 17-foot boat for paddlers who rank long-haul performance over short-course speed.

Gear Guide 2012: Electronics

Cameras, gadgets, and cases for the trail.

Gear Guide 2012: Sunglasses

Four pairs of shades that perform in the wild

Gear Guide 2012: Women's Gear

From a pack that accommodates curves to two sports bras that go the distance, we've rounded up our favorite women's gear of the year.

Gear Guide 2012: Bargain Gear

$50 or less can buy you some nice gear. Here are our favorite finds.

Gear Guide 2012: Boots & Trail Runners

Go fast or go far–it all starts with your footwear.

Gear Guide 2012: Adventure Travel Gear

A duffel, shirt, and water purification system that make the life of an adventure traveler that much safer and easier.

Gear Guide 2012: Bargain Accessories

A colorful headlamp, hands-free camera harness, and a flask–all for under $50.

Gear Guide 2012: Bargain Stove

The Olicamp Xcelerator Titanium was a favorite for our ultralight AT thru-hiker.

Gear Guide 2012: Bargain Gloves

A lightweight glove and a mitten made for big peaks.

Gear Guide 2012: Bargain Gaiters

Two gaiter styles–one full-coverage and one ultralight–that cost $50 or less.

The Gear Pro's Repair Kit

Our resident expert, gear editor Kristin Hostetter, assembles the tools to save any trip.

Gear Guide 2012: Sleeping Bags and Sleeping Pads

Find the perfect sack for any budget or adventure.

Gear Guide 2012: Kelty Lowdown Camp Chair

A camp throne built for long-term schlepping and chilling.

Gear Guide 2012: Primus Profile Duo Camp Stove

This two-burner camp stove is half grill, half cooktop.

Gear Guide 2012: Osprey Poco Plus Kid Carrier

Haul your little one in this lightweight and customizable backpack kid carrier.

Gear Guide 2012: Kids' Gear

Our littlest testers give a thumbs-up to these field-proven products.

Gear Guide 2012: Icebreaker Sprite Racerback Bra and Moving Comfort Serena

Whether you're looking for all-day comfort or maximum support, we found two backpacking-friendly sports bras

Gear Guide 2012: Terramar HotTotties Thermolator Pro Crew and Tight Baselayers

HotTotties is Terramar's women's-only line, and it emphasizes femme-specific fit details–this top and bottom set is no exception.

Gear Guide 2012: Arc'teryx Palisade Capri

Short pants that offer a blend of performance and style.

Gear Guide 2012: Oboz Mystic Low B-Dry Hiking Boot

The shoe has less width in the heel and ball and more curve in the arch compared to men’s hikers.

Gear Guide 2012: Therm-a-Rest Women's NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

If you're 5'5" and under (or sleep curled up) this sleeping pad is a welcome, warm addition to the Therm-a-Rest line

Gear Guide 2012: Feathered Friends Egret Sleeping Bag

Even cold female testers found this bag a warm 20°s

Gear Guide 2012: Kelty Rally 45 Backpack

A pack made for curves that can easily haul 40-pound loads.

Gear Guide 2012: Marmot Athena Jacket

The Athena's attractively trim fit flatters ladies' curves better than any other rain jacket we tested this year.

Gear Guide 2012: Tents

Find lightweight shelter for every budget and weather scenario.

Gear Guide 2012: Backpacks

Find the perfect load hauler for any type of trip.

Backpacking 101

Learn the basics of backpacking - from what to pack, how to plan a trip, first aid, survival skills, what to eat, and basic how-to.

Gear Guide 2012: Heavy Duty Boots/Shoes

These heavy duty boots provide great stability, support and solid weather protection, allowing you to tackle any terrain in any condition.

Gear Guide 2012: Mid Duty Boots/Shoes

These mid duty boots offer a great fit with comfort and stability to help you conquer any terrain.

Gear Guide 2012: Light Duty Boots/Shoes

These light duty shoes and boots offer support and protection in one lightweight package.

Gear Guide 2012: Trail Running Boots/Shoes

Comfort, support and durability is something all of these trail running favorites offer.

Gear Guide 2012: Scarpa Kinesis/Mythos Pro GTX Boot

With a tough exterior and gentle inside, these boots protect feet from rough terrain while offering comfort and support.

Gear Guide 2012: Asolo Khumbu GV Boot

The Khumbu is an all-terrain mountain boot with a design that promotes comfortable walking for any kind of adventure.

Gear Guide 2012: Mammut Teton GTX Boot

This affordable, all-purpose boot provides a great fit and can handle all seasons and conditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Crispi Nevada Legend HTG GTX Boot

Great support and stability for any cross-country exploration.

Gear Guide 2012: LOWA Khumbu II GTX Boot

A supportive and protective heavy-duty boot that keeps your feet cool with excellent breathability.

Gear Guide 2012: Danner Mt. Defiance GTX Boot

This boot offers serious protection and stability for a trustworthy support.

Gear Guide 2012: AKU SL Trek GTX Boot

This off-trail champ is both built tough and lightweight.

Gear Guide 2012: Timberland Radler Trail Camp Moc Shoe

Fold these fleece-lined sneakers in half and store easily.

Gear Guide 2012: Ahnu Mendocino Boot

Waterproof, breathable, and protective, this boot has it all.

Gear Guide 2012: Patagonia P26 High Boot

A thick spongy sole gives the cushion and arch support you need on long hikes or climbs.

Best Day: Mt. Rainier, Camp Muir (Summer Route)

Trek to a lofty, iconic basecamp on Rainier's snowy slopes.

Best Weekend: Northern Loop Trail

See scores of wildflowers, waterfalls, and peaks.

Best Week: Wonderland Trail

Explore Mt. Rainier from nearly every angle on this hike from Fryingpan Creek to Mowich Lake. The classic route tags the subalpine meadows of Summerland, crests 5,000-foot Cowlitz Divide, and links dozens of crystalline lakes and waterfalls.

Mt. Rainier Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 1 of 6)

We mapped nearly 300 miles of trail to bring you the only resource you'll need to jump-start your adventures in this premier park.

Rip & Go: West Rim Trail - Tioga State Forest, PA

Chase canyon vistas through stands of old-growth hemlock.

Gear Guide 2012: Ryders Clamor Sunglasses

Bargain sunglasses that perform

Gear Guide 2012: Julbo Dust Sunglasses

Sunglasses made for hiking, climbing, and mountain biking

Gear Guide 2012: adidas Terrex Fast sunglasses

No-fog sunglasses that are built for the active user

Gear Guide 2012: Switch Tioga Sunglasses

Interchangeable lens glasses that both sturdy and easy-to-use

Gear Guide 2012: Backcountry Solutions Geek Pocket

A backpacker-friendly smartphone or GPS case that doesn't block signals

Gear Guide 2012: Mophie Juice Pack Plus Outdoor Edition

A bomber iPhone case that also recharges the battery.

Gear Guide 2012: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc

A top-performing GPS unit with photo-location capabilities.

Rip & Go: Bartram Trail - Nantahala National Forest, NC

Climb past a glimmering highland lake to a lofty southern bald.

Gear Guide 2012: Eton Raptor Solar Charger

An all-purpose survival tool or a bomber solar charger.

Gear Guide 2012: Highgear Axio HR Altimeter Watch

Track elevation, weather, and workout intensity with this powerful watch

Gear Guide 2012: Kodak Playfull Video Camera

A palm-sized video camera that still performs.

Rip & Go: Crane Creek Island - Chippewa Flowage, WI

Paddle a novice-friendly route on the state's third largest lake.

Gear Guide 2012: Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera

A DSLR camera that can handle a multitude of light and weather conditions.

Rip & Go: Horseshoe Lake - Pecos Wilderness, NM

Navigate a long-lost trail to a remote alpine lake.

Rip & Go: Oregon Coast Trail - Ecola State Park to Arch Cape, OR

Slip past tides along cliffy coasts on an easy-to-plan long weekend.

America's Best Campsites

Park your tent in one of these 10 spots, and you'll be happy in the morning. Guaranteed.

May 2012 Table of Contents



Gear Guide 2012: Five Ten Pursuit Boot

This mid duty boot provides maximum stability to prevent ankle rolling on the most dicey terrain.

Gear Guide 2012: adidas Outdoor Terrex Fast R Shoe

The Terrex Fast R offers exceptional traction on all surfaces including ice, slush, mud, and scree.

Gear Guide 2012: Chaco Ponsul Bulloo Shoe

This shoe is ideal for river rats, but can handle any adventure with its gripping capabilities and overall protection.

Gear Guide 2012: Keen Alamosa Mid Shoe

This shoe offers a great fit and highly breathable mesh great for hot-weather hiking.

Gear Guide 2012: The North Face Havoc Mid GTX XCR Boot

With great lateral stability and all around protection, this boot can handle the rockiest terrain.

Gear Guide 2012: Teva Forge Pro Mid eVent Leather Shoe

All-leather, waterproof, and comfortable, these shoes offer a roomy fit that enhances its overall comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: Salewa Firetail Shoe

Take on any kind of terrain with this versatile shoe that offers comfort, traction and durability.

Gear Guide 2012: Saucony ProGrid Outlaw Shoe

This shoe is built tough for the roughest paths, but offers a barefoot feel giving you comfort and breathability.

Gear Guide 2012: New Balance 110 Trail Shoe

This minimalist shoe offers great protection and stability.

Gear Guide 2012: Vasque Velocity 2.0 Shoe

With cushion and rough-trail protection, these shoes can take on any terrain.

Gear Guide 2012: Montrail Rogue Fly Shoe

This shock absorbing shoe offers cushion and support.

Gear Guide 2012: La Sportiva Vertical K Shoe

Handle slick surfaces with these featherweight shoes.

Editors' Choice Gold 2012: Lodge Cast Iron Camp Dutch Ovens

Feed the troops or go gourmet–these pots do both.

Editors' Choice Gold 2012: Kahtoola MICROspikes

Tackle slick terrain with confidence–and a light load.

Editors' Choice 2012: Feathered Friends Spoonbill

Couples camping just got a whole lot better–and lighter–with this down bag built for two.

Editors' Choice 2012: Kühl Liberator

Zip-off pants? Yes, thanks to convertibles that finally bring form to the function.

Editors' Choice 2012: L.L.Bean Microlight FS 2

Score an ultralight tent for two—for less.

Editors' Choice 2012: Hungry Hikers Murray's Hurried Curry

Yes, it's the journey that counts. But every trip is better with fast, delicious food like this.

Editors' Choice 2012: inReach by DeLorme

Send and receive with the ultimate backcountry communicator.

Editors' Choice 2012: Boreas Buttermilks 55 & Lost Coast 60

Get everything you need and nothing you don't in one of these ultralight, ultracomfortable packs.

Editors' Choice 2012: Snow Peak SnowMiner

Get the right light on trail and in camp with this 2-in-1 lamp.

Editors' Choice 2012: Salomon Synapse Mid Hiking Boots

Fast and light and luxe: Get running-shoe comfort and hiking-boot stability.

Editors' Choice 2012: Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter

Ultralight, affordable, and idiotproof. What's not to like?

Editors' Choice 2012: MSR WhisperLite Universal Stove

The ultimate stove: anywhere, anytime, any gas

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Four-person Tents

These four-person tents offer outstanding space-to-weight ratios and high performances in foul-weather.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Three-person Tents

Stability and comfortability are staples for these three-person tents.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Two-person Tents

Lightweight, durable, and spacious, these two-person tents offer comfortability while taking on the most foul-weather.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Solo Tents

These solo tents offer easy setup, ample space, and durability in weather's toughest conditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Big Agnes Burn Ridge 4 Outfitter Tent

This four-person tent is great for families, offering generous space for an affordable cost.

Gear Guide 2012: Hilleberg Saivo Tent

Stronger and lighter fabrics make this tent great for any adventure and can handle any weather condition.

Gear Guide 2012: NEMO Espri LE 3P Tent

This three-person tent handles challenging weather well and the freestanding dome is lightweight and easy to setup.

Gear Guide 2012: Easton Mountain Products Kilo 3 Tent

This ultralight and stable three-person tent offers space and a quick setup.

Gear Guide 2012: Exped Gemini III Tent

Ample cooking and storage space along with a durable construction make this tent a champ in handling foul-weather.

Gear Guide 2012: Sierra Designs Mojo 2 Tent

Take on challenging weather and withstand strong winds with this freestanding tent.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountain Hardwear SuperMega UL2 Tent

This three-season, ultralight tent offers durability in some of the most foul-weather.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountain Equipment Co-Op Volt 2 Tent

Stay comfortable in both summer and winter conditions with this tent's floor-to-ceiling doors and fly vents.

Gear Guide 2012: Easton Mountain Products Hat-Trick 2 Tent

Mesh walls create outstanding ventilation in this four-season tent for two.

Gear Guide 2012: Marmot Firefly 2P Tent

Comfortable and highly ventilated, this tent offers lots of space with a double-wall dome that's great for short overnight hikes.

Gear Guide 2012: NEMO Obi Elite 2P Tent

This tent for two is designed to increase ventilation, durability and interior elbow room.

Gear Guide 2012: Exped Mira II Tent

This spacious, two-person tent uses durable fabrics to provide sturdy weather protection in a lightweight package.

Gear Guide 2012: The North Face Asylum Bivy Tent

With best-in-class ventilation, this tent provides generous dimensions and a breathable single-wall for a comfortable and roomy experience.

Gear Guide 2012: REI Quarter Dome T1 Tent

This spacious tent provides stability and protection while weighing less than three pounds.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountain Laurel Designs Cricket Tent

Stable and light, this three-season minimalist tent offers minimal flapping and a quick setup.

Winter 2012: Outdoor Retailer Wrapup

All the best gear our reader reporter team saw at the 2012 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks Multiday Backpacks

These multiday packs provide excellent load support with comfortable designs that will help you move easily with any kind of terrain.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Daypacks

These daypacks offer plenty of comfort, easy to access pockets and the kind of durability you need for any climbing adventure.

Gear Guide 2012: Arc'teryx NoZone 55 Backpack

An extraordinary toughness-to-weight ratio makes this pack both durable and supportive.

Gear Guide 2012: Gregory Savant 58 Backpack

With effective compression and great load stability, this lightweight pack offers great balance and comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: Deuter Aircontact 65+10 Backpack

Great for family camping trips, this pack has plenty of useful features that everyone in the family can enjoy.

Gear Guide 2012 Vaude Terkum 75 +10 Backpack

An innovative cinching hipbelt and customizable torso helps create a support system tough enough to handle your heaviest loads.

Gear Guide 2012: Black Diamond Mercury 65 Backpack

This pack is equipped with a suspension system that helps increase mobility and overall stability.

Gear Guide 2012: REI Flash 62 Backpack

This pack handles heavy loads without compromising your ability to move efficiently, offering improved suspension and great versatility.

Gear Guide 2012: Osprey Atmos 65 Backpack

This best all-around pack offers plenty of easy to access pockets and compartments, making organization a cinch.

Gear Guide 2012: First Ascent Alchemist 40 Backpack

Take this pack on any trip as its design is made to handle big days, weekend trips and even ultralight expeditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountainsmith Ghost 50 Backpack

Carry this pack sweat-free with its improved suspension that allows for dynamic movement wherever you take it.

Gear Guide 2012: Exped Torrent 50 Backpack

Take on wet conditions with this waterproof pack that offers welded seams and waterproof closures.

Gear Guide 2012: Marmot Drakon 35 Backpack

Ultralight and climber-friendly, this pack can carry large amounts of gear while remaining light and stable.

Gear Guide 2012: Mile High Salute 34 Backpack

This pack offers easily accessible zippers and great suspension for carrying heavy loads comfortably.

Gear Guide 2012: GoLite Quest 50 Backpack

A great fit and excellent load transfer is what you'll get with this multiday pack.

Gear Guide 2012: JanSport Cienega Backpack

This anatomically friendly pack is great for women, offering suspension and comfort when carrying heavy loads.

Gear Guide 2012: Salomon Quest 30 Backpack

This ultralight daypack is perfect for spring skiing and offers a U-shapped zipper that's great for quick packing.

Gear Guide 2012: Sierra Designs Discovery 30 Backpack

Keep air circulating with this highly ventilated daypack.

Gear Guide 2012: Ortovox Lightning 25 Backpack

Easily accessible and plenty durable, this daypack offers plenty of organizers from your GPS to your headlamp.

Gear Guide 2012: Columbia Treadlite 22 Backpack

This daypack easily handles heavy loads and transfers weight well, making warm weather hikes a breeze.

Gear Review: Esatto Custom Classic Hiker Boots

Is old world craftsmanship and custom fit worth the price?

Gear Guide 2012: Charts

All the great gear specs you're used to seeing in the Gear Guide - now in an easy-to-print digital format.

Kids, Camping, and Abuse: A Q&A with Tracy Ross

Contributing editor Tracy Ross talks about the aftermath of publishing her abuse memoir, The Source of All Things, which originated as a BACKPACKER feature story and is now available in paperback.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Winter Sleeping Bags

Ready to endure all the elements, these bags offering warmth and protection for winter camping.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Three-Season Sleeping Bags

These 3-season sleeping bags offer packability, reliability and durability for wherever your adventure takes you.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Summer Sleeping Bags

These bags are ideal for summer backpacking trips, each offering lightweight comfort for warmer temps.

Gear Guide 20120: Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core Sleeping Pad

Get the comfort you deserve with horizontal and vertical tubes that add both support and cushion.

Gear Guide 2012: NEMO Cosmo Air XL Sleeping Pad

For big-and-tall types, this pad will offer you a comfortable and good night of sleep.

Gear Guide 2012: Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad

This pad offers a thermal reflective barrier for extra warmth at an affordable price.

Gear Guide 2012: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

High-performance and ultralight, this pad offers comfort and great packability.

Gear Guide 2012: Exped Downmat UL7 Sleeping Pad

This down mat offers comfort and cushion in some of the roughest camp grounds.

Gear Guide 2012: REI Habanera Sleeping Bag

Stay warm in this down-filled bag that offers a relaxed cut for extra room and insulation at a bargain price.

Gear Guide 2012: Valandre Shocking Blue Sleeping Bag

This roomy bag allows you to lock in your body heat with its cocoon-like structure.

Gear Guide 2012: Eastern Mountain Sports Mountain Light 15 Sleeping Bag

Sleep comfortably and warm in negative temps with this packable bag.

Gear Guide 2012: Sea to Summit Trek TkIII Sleeping Bag

A big-guy favorite that packs small despite the extra internal dimensions.

Gear Guide 2012: Marmot Cloudbreak 20 Sleeping Bag

A synthetic-fill bag with ample loft that offers warmth and comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: Columbia Moonstone 15 Sleeping Bag

Feel the heat instantly with this bag as tiny dots in the liner reflect your body heat.

Gear Guide 2012: REI Igneo/Joule Sleeping Bag

An affordable, high-performance sleeping bag that keeps you warm and dry in the harshest of elements.

Gear Guide 2012: Sierra Designs Cloud 15 Sleeping Bag

Packability is what you will get with this bag. Durable, yet lightweight, Sierra Designs has created a insulated sleeping bag that is made for comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: Rab Genesis 3 Sleeping Bag

This eco-friendly, synthetic sack offers comfort and sustainability.

Gear Guide 2012: Selk bag 4G Lite Sleeping Bag

Wearable warmth allows you to stay warm in and outside your tent. The union-suit design gives you the capability to move around camp easily as well as sleep comfortably at night.

Gear Guide 2012: Sierra Designs Pyro Maniac 15/30 Sleeping Bag

Lightweight and warm, this sleeping bag has a roomy cut and core insulation.

Gear Guide 2012: Lafuma Extreme 600 Sleeping Bag

Affordable and ultralight synthetic, the Lafuma Extreme 600 performs to keep you comfortable in warm and cool temperatures.

Gear Guide 2012: Marmot Plasma 40 Sleeping Bag

Featherweight comfort and superior design allows for all-around warmth in the coldest of places.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountain Hardwear Mountain Speed 32 Sleeping Bag

A minimalist sleeping bag that weighs under sixteen ounces.

Gear Guide 2012 Table of Contents

The gear issue everyone's been waiting for is now online!

Backpacker iPad Subscriptions Surge; Reader Satisfaction at 96%

Interactive tablet editions reach younger, more affluent demographic

Hiking Switzerland: Around the Alps in 80 Days

Well, maybe 105. But who's counting? Contributing editor John Harlin defies conventional wisdom with a 1,400-mile circumnavigation of this mountainous kingdom.

America's Newest Long Trail

Don't have time to hike all 1,200 miles of the Pacific Northwest Trail? No worries: Our scout pinpointed the finest two-week stretch.

Died and Gone to New Zealand

Hiker heaven, redefined, is a month-long hike/paddle/camp in Adventureland.

Everest Confidential: Trekking Through Nepal's Khumbu Region

See the Himalayan giants--and cross three passes more than 17,000 feet high--on this off-the-radar route through the Khumbu region.

The Jesus Trail: Hiking from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee

Every hike is a pilgrimage, but this new path from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee is holier than most. Literally following in His footsteps, the 40-mile route immerses hikers in biblical history.

BACKPACKER GPS Trails PRO Trips

We've taken the best trips on backpacker.com and made them even better. Check out updated, interactive PRO trips and PRO bundles on GPS Trails. Use your Android or iPhone to discover these premium guides, or map your own adventures and share them with your friends.

Bear Attack: Q&A with Bear Grylls

The star of "Man vs. Wild" talks gear, luxury items, and survival advice.

Travel Like a Pro

Adventure Travel Tips for Backpackers

Travel Like a Pro: Stay Healthy

Start with up-to-date vaccinations–for chicken pox, MMR, tetanus, and hepatitis A, B, and C–then tear out this cheat sheet to preventing six common adventure-travel risks.

Travel Like a Pro: The World's Best Budget Finds...

Don't miss these affordable services, local haunts, and cultural highlights recommended by adventure-travel experts. Plus, bargaining 101.

Travel Like a Pro: Get Wired

Stay charged and in touch abroad.

Travel Like a Pro: Travel Comfortably

Reduce the physical stress of getting there–and enjoy the ride.

Travel Like a Pro: Choose What to Pack & How to Find Gear Deals

Pick and choose what to pack for long or multi-activity trips. Plus, three ways to avoid overspending when outfitting your next trip.

Travel Like a Pro: How to Pack Your Duffle

Carry more, protect your pack, and ease transit.

Travel Like a Pro: Carry on Your Camp Kit + Must-have Medicines

TSA-approved camp kit carry-on items. Plus, meds you might need abroad.

Travel Like a Pro: Prepare & Schedule

Get backcountry-worthy accident insurance and plan for good-weather windows and low-traffic trails.

Travel Like a Pro: Scout International Routes

Stay on track in exotic terrain with tips from adventurer Pete Takeda.

Travel Like a Pro: Find a Guide

Save time and energy with a knowledgeable local pro.

The World's Best Performance Shirts

We tested more than 100 samples to find the best tops that breathe, wick, resist wear and tear, and keep you looking smart wherever the trail takes you.

Adventure Travel Luggage

Our bags logged thousands of miles–through airports and atop donkeys–and we came back with these top picks, from gigantic rollers and impervious duffels to laptop carriers and packable organizers.

Three Backpacker-friendly Solar Chargers

These compact, hyper-efficient solar chargers will power your gadgets no matter where you travel.

Gear Review: The North Face Base Camp Duffel

A staff favorite, again and again.

Gear Review: Patagonia MLC Bag

This spacious shoulder bag holds a surprising 45L of goods.

Gear Review: Osprey Shuttle 32 Roller Bag

This cargo hauler is outfitted with a surprising number of organizational features.

Gear Review: Victorinox Altmont 2.0 Dual Compartment Laptop Backpack

If you're mixing business with adventure travel, this is the bag for you.

Gear Review: Gregory Alpaca 28 Roller Bag

This stable roller bag handles curbs and rough terrain with ease.

Gear Review: Sea To Summit TravellingLight Packing Cells

These ultralight storage sacks, made from water-resistant and strong Ultra-Sil fabric help you stay super organized.

Gear Review: Eagle Creek ORV Super Trunk 36

Going far and going big, hauling monster loads? This is your bag.

Gear Review: Pearl Izumi syncroFuel XC Trail Shoe

A trail runner that can handle day hiking with ease

Gear Review: SteriPEN Freedom

Our favorite UV light water treatment tool just got lighter, smaller, and easier to recharge.

Gear Review: MSR WindPro II Stove

A stable canister stove

Gear Review: Exped Mira 1 Tent

A freestanding, double-wall solo tent that's light and packable

Gear Review: Patagonia Simple Guide Hoody

A light, packable, and good-looking softshell

Gear Review: MontBell Wickron T

A super soft tee that feels like cotton but is really a quick-dry performance synthetic

Gear Review: SmartWool Teller/Cortina Tech Tee

A wool/poly blend that dries fast and doesn't feel itchy

Gear Review: White Sierra Kalgoorlie Long Sleeve Shirt

This long-sleeve top with UPF 30 keeps you cool and burn free.

Gear Review: Ibex Ace/Ciara Button-down Shirt

This stylish button-down shirt is loaded with performance features

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Motus Crew SS

This t-shirt was voted our "best synthetic"

BACKPACKER PRO Maps: Custom maps for your adventures

We've teamed up with map partner myTopo to create custom, pre-planned adventures printed on waterproof topo paper. No need to buy and carry multiple maps. Bonus: PRO Maps sync with your handheld GPS, your smartphone, or your tablet for a complete in-field mapping experience. Our archive is over 100 maps strong and growing.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Homemade Chalk Bags, A Beast of a Generator

Plus, another indestructible iPhone case and theft-resistant bags.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Goggles, Headphones, Bags, and Boots Made for Pow

As the snow falls in Salt Lake City, finally, BRR Steph makes the final rounds of the ski gear.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: An iPhone case that's photo-taking friendly

Sea to Summit makes a fingers-friendly, waterproof iPhone case, and Arc'teryx unveils a new hoody to covet.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Tiger Tail, CAMP, & Old Favorites with New Products

BRR Nick, who is also a physical therapist, found lots of back- and budget-friendly gear on Day 3.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: BACKPACKS!

On Day 2 this reporter had one focus: backpacks.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Mammut Safety Harness and Arc'teryx Life Shell Jacket

Plus, winter boots from Teva that fold as small as regular shoes!

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Face First Travel Pillow and Saxx Men's Underwear

Day 2 had this reporter looking for comfort - gloves, hats, travel pillows, and undies.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Knives, Solar Chargers, and Dog Gear

Day 2 for this Reader Reporter featured upgrades to popular knives, solar chargers, and doggie gear.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Backcountry Ski/Snowboard Gear

A sweet ladies' splitboard from Jones and a collapsible pole from K2 to pair with it.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Climbing Gear

Shoes that stick, rope worth investing in, and a Grigri 2 overhaul.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: SteriPen Freedom Bundle and Petzl NAO Reactive Lighting

Petzl unveils a very smart headlamp and SteriPen offers a one-drink bundle.

Passion Player: Q&A with Michael Franti

On Wednesday night, reggae-hip-hop-fusion artist Michael Franti was recording a new track for his follow-up to the hit album "The Sound of Sunshine." On Thursday night, he rocks The Depot at Outdoor Retailer in a concert presented by Wolverine. BACKPACKER's Jonathan Dorn and Anthony Cerretani spoke to Franti right before the show about how the outdoors influences his music, lifestyle, and clothing line.

Blister Wars

Don't get sidelined by these common and painful foes. Fight back with these tips and tricks for preventing and treating any kind of hot spot problem.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: G-Form Protection, Piggy Backs Made Easy

From water bottles that filter (unobtrusively) to bomber foam for all your gadgets, see what our Reader Reporter scouted on the satellite floor.

Backpacker's Bible: 10 Skills Every Backpacker Must Know

We've created a plan to help you upgrade your trail time in all the ways that matter: bigger views, more solitude, easier miles, and more. Don’t hang up your boots until you’ve mastered this definitive list of 10 skills and life-altering experiences.

Backpacker Bible: Make Fire

When disaster strikes in the backcountry, don't pin your hopes on prayer. Your ability to spark a flame could be the difference between survival and six-feet-under.

Backpacker Bible: Never Get a Blister

Your body is a temple? Then your feet are the altar. Treat them right, and enjoy every hike from the first mile to the last.

Backpacker Bible: Stay Dry

Learn how to cope with relentless rain, and you can experience some of the Earth's holiest places–Alaska! Patagonia!–in comfort.

Backpacker Bible: Find Your Way

Join a long line of enlightened travelers who have navigated the wilderness–and discover a whole new world that lies beyond well-marked trails and guided trips.

Backpacker Bible: Seek Solitude

Want your very own Eden? Here's how to go where–and when–others don't.

Backpacker Bible: Camp Well

Who says spiritual travelers must shun earthly comforts? You just worked all day to reach a magnificent high-country cirque. Now create a campsite to match.

Backpacker Bible: See More Wildlife

Get closer to the mystery of life: Put yourself spine-tingling distance from the fanged and clawed and horned.

Backpacker Bible: Get Out More

Have you ever heard anyone wish he spent less time outdoors?

Backpacker Bible: Hike Farther

For hikers, pushing your limits will certainly yield more views–plus better fitness, confidence, and, perhaps, perspective.

Backpacker Bible: Go Higher

Once you've been to the mountaintop, few other experiences will compare. For soul-cleansing, skill-building, life-affirming thrills, put a big one on your bucket list.

International Adventure Travel

From Nepal to New Zealand, we have stories and tips to help you plan the perfect 'life list' backpacking trek abroad.

Backpacker Expeditions

Backpacker magazine has teamed up with AvidTrips–the leading travel platform that connects travelers directly to local tour guide operators–to create three awe-inspiring expeditions exclusively for Backpacker readers. Our Backpacker Expeditions will challenge your outdoor fortitude and indulge your passion for discovery

Adventure Upgrade: Thru-Hike a Long Trail

Prep for success, plan ahead, and stay healthy to pull off a month-plus trek.

Adventure Upgrade: Cook Like a Pro

Pack and prepare a week's worth of mouth-watering meals.

Adventure Upgrade: Camp Comfortably in Winter

Extend your backpacking season: Here's how to stay warm and protect your gear.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Drop into a Slot

Explore wildly sculpted rock.

Adventure Updgrade: Make Gear Last

Learn how to fix and prep your gear so that it lasts for miles

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Paddle Pristine Shorelines

Sea kayaking unlocks a new world of solitude and scenery.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Catch a Golden Trout

Cast for beautiful fish that live in beautiful lakes.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Hike 30 Miles in a Day

See a week's worth of terrain on an epic dawn-to-dusk hike.

Adventure Upgrade: Take the Family Hiking and Camping

Use these tricks to get your kids begging for another trip outside.

Adventure Upgrade: Navigate Off Trail

Open up a new door to adventure–by leaving the well-trod route behind.

Adventure Upgrades: Hike Smarter and Farther

Take your backpacking to the next level. Our experts craft custom plans for readers who asked for help with navigation, winter camping, thru-hiking, and more.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Easy Upgrades

Kick it up a notch with these quick fixes.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Discover the World Off-Trail

Be a real explorer by going where others don't.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Climb to Heart-Pumping Heights

Scramble a class 3 route and claim your own private peak.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Become a Backcountry Batali

Serve a 5-star meal that matches the scenery.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Grab Steep Thrills

Ski remote winter terrain—and have the most winter fun.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Ride a Whitewater Roller Coaster

Inflatable kayaks make big-water action accessible to all.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Climb Big Trees

Discover a higher world.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Make an Adventure Movie

Create a story-driven video that engages you on the trail and offers a fresh perspective on trip memories.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook

Tired of the same old weekend loops? Looking to create memories your grandkids will talk about? In this how-and-where guide, we serve up 15 extraordinary escapes that will shatter your expectations of "normal." From adventure moviemaking to canyoneering, we'll take you places you've never been—but will long to visit again soon.

Case Study: Lost in the Gila Wilderness

Name: Ross Mason, 44
Predicament: Off-course and severely dehydrated
Location: Gila Wilderness, New Mexico; November 2010

Rip & Live: Lost

More than 1,000 hikers go missing every year in our national parks alone. Most are found within hours, but basic skills can help you get home without making a serious—or even fatal—mistake. Follow this advice for staying on course.

Readers' Choice Field Gear Test

Four trail-proven picks from the winners of our Be a Gear Tester Contest

Reader Extreme Makeovers: Lighten a Heavy Load

By replacing just five key items from this reader's Army surplus kit we helped him save over 10 pounds of unnecessary weight.

Reader Extreme Makeovers: Layering Systems

This reader's wardrobe was letting her down on the trail. We outfitted her in some comfy boots with a versatile clothing layering system.

Reader Extreme Makeovers: Camp Kitchen Upgrade

This family of five needed a camp kitchen overhaul to keep everyone well fed for the long haul

Adventure Travel: New Zealand

Hiker heaven, redefined, is a month-long hike/paddle/camp in Adventureland.

Secret Switzerland

Discover solitude on the Swiss border with this highlights tour of John Harlin's favorite trips—rope not required.

Video Gear Review: Hennessy Hammock Ultralite

For the ultralighter who doesn't need a tent this updated hammock makes for a comfy camp.

Churchill River Canoe Route

Escape time as you glide through an endless chain of connected lakes.

Asulkan Valley, Glacier National Park

Hit four technical summits in the birthplace of North American mountaineering.

Woodbury to Silver Spray Huts, Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park

Link two gorgeous cabins by scrambling through craggy alpine country.

Go Solo--Safely

Read these tips from expert soloists to gauge your readiness and learn how to enjoy an unfettered adventure.

Drinnon Pass to Gimli Col, Valhalla Provincial Park

Routefind across precipitous ridges to an ice-filled lake.

Backpacking Canada, the Big Empty

Empty of people, that is. Because the 3,000 miles of wilderness that stretch from Newfoundland's fjordlike coastal cliffs to British Columbia's rainforest and skyscraping peaks are brimming with every type of mountain, water, and wildlife adventure a card-carrying backpacker could want—crowds not included. Our Rocky Mountain Field Editor spent two months exploring places we've never covered to assemble our most extensive guide to Canadian backcountry yet.

Dirtbag/Gourmet: Nutty Stews

With a fatty boost of peanut butter, these savory soups fuel cold-weather trips.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man/Woman Jacket

Warning: Wearing this jacket will encourage complete strangers to pet you.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Editors' Picks

The editors of Backpacker and Climbing weigh in on their favorite pieces of gear and gadgets.

Editors' Picks with Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Dorn

BACKPACKER's Editor-in-Chief weighs in on his favorite products of 2011.

Editors' Picks with Climbing Editor-in-Chief Dougald MacDonald

Climbing's Editor-in-Chief weighs in on his favorite cam.

Editors' Picks with Senior Online Producer Katie Herrell

A cozy hat and a cozy jacket for our always-cold staffer.

Editors' Picks with Associate Editor Kristy Holland

This editor like her campsite to be well lit.

Editors' Picks with Executive Editor Dennis Lewon

This no-nonsense editor needs gear that can go the distance.

Editors' Picks with Associate Editor Kim Phillips

This associate map editor likes to stay well connected.

Editors' Picks with Deputy Editor Anthony Cerretani

Gadgets to help you lop off the miles.

Editors Picks' with Senior Editor Shannon Davis

This hard-charging editor needs gear that can stand up to long, hard days.

Editors' Picks with Map Editor Andrew Matranga

Gadgets and gear from our resident map editor.

Editors' Picks with Climbing Gear Editor Julie Ellison

Climbing's gear editor weighs in on her favorite harness and ice axe.

Editors' Picks with Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter

Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter with her favorite gear picks for 2011.

Gear School: Four-Season Tents

Camp comfortably this winter with a shelter built for foul, windy weather.

The Manual: Winterize Your Dog

Learn how to prepare your dog for cold temps and tricky terrain with this guide.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: The North Face Diez Pullover

Get serious warmth for the weight

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Packable Day Pack

Ultralight stuff sack and daypack

Recipe: Smoky PB Chicken Chili

Peanut butter is the secret ingredient to this smoky chili

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Pedco CellPod

Versatile tripod for ultralight photography

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: GrubPack and Outsak UL

Ultralight and critter-proof chainmail food storage bags

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: GrubPack and Outsak UL

Ultralight and critter-proof chainmail food storage bags

Recipe: Pumpkin Peanut Soup

A can of pumpkin makes for an interesting trail soup

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Ranger Doug National Park Posters

Wall art for the outdoor lover

Build Backpacking Muscles

Strengthen three key areas - shoulders, ankles, and core - this winter so you can tackle tougher trails next spring.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Patagonia Fezzman Short Sleeved Shirt

A shirt that does dayhike and "meet the parents" equally well.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Camp-Tek Microburst Mini Air Pump

What you didn't know you needed: A tiny fan for inflating your sleeping pad, freeing your mind to contemplate the alpenglow.

Escape Plan: Reduce Lightning Strike Risk

Tips for lessening the risk of lightning in the backcountry.

Escape Plan: Warm a Hypothermia Victim

Treat severe hypothermia with this life saving technique.

Escape Plan: Use Bear Spray Safely

How to use bear spray.

Escape Plan: Cross Summer Snow

How to safely traverse a small, seasonal snowfield.

Escape Plan: Get High and Avoid Quicksand

Strategies for staying alive in flash floods and quicksand.

Survival: True Reader Escapes

Seven lucky-to-be-alive subscribers share their real-life backcountry disasters. Here’s how they survived, and what you can learn from their mistakes.

True Tales: Struck by Lightning

Bad decisions and running scared got this reader struck by lightning--but he survived.

True Tales: Can't Breathe at High Altitude

A scape of pulmonary edema sends this reader down the mountain, fast.

True Tales: Flipped, Soaked, and Freezing

Two readers shiver for their lives through a cold, Alaskan summer night.

True Tales: Charged by a 500-Pound Grizzly

A charging grizzly comes too close for this reader's comfort.

True Tales: Uncontrolled Slide Down an Icy Slope

A summer snow slope gives this reader the scare of his life.

True Tales: Caught in a Flash Flood

Rising water sends this reader running--and hiding--in Utah.

Maintain Ski Gear: Patch Ski Poles and Ski Boots

Don’t let a split ski pole shaft or broken boots ruin your balance.

Maintain Ski Gear: Keep Climbing Skins Sticky

Good grip is the key to fast and easy climbing.

Maintain Ski Gear: Back Up Your Bindings

Be proactive about preparing your ski-system’s hub.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Opena iPhone Case with Beer Opener

A gift for the iPhone user who has everything

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Leatherman Style PS

A mini-multitool for working a little MacGyver magic in the mountains

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Oliso PRO VS97A Vacuum Sealer

A perfect splurge gift for the foodie on your list

Ski Strong: Kick Turn Like a Pro

Perfect this move for on-a-dime turns in steep, rugged terrain.

Ski Strong: Descend with Control

Stay safe with these six ski-down tips.

Ski Strong: Adjust Your Ski Poles

Use telescoping shafts for stability on any angle.

Ski Strong: Ski Any Snow Conditions

Change your technique and style to manage any snow conditions.

Ski Strong: Stay Fueled

Conquer cold with proactive hydration and calorie-packed nutrition.

Ski Strong: Going Up

Master the art of backcountry climbing and skinning.

Ski Strong: Beat Blisters

Outsmart stiff boots and constant heel lifting with these anti-friction tips.

Select a Safe Route: Avalanche Terrain Travel

Recognize these avalanche-risk signs and learn how to choose routes that avoid them.

Select a Safe Route: Study the Snowpack

Hidden layers are the key to stable—or slide-ready—slopes.

Select a Safe Route: Watch the Weather

All conditions affect avy potential. Check forecasts and assess risk.

Prep Your Gear: Outfit for Avalanche Safety

Equip yourself with safety gear and practice proper techniques.

Prep Your Gear: Pack to Backcountry Ski

Use this advice to hone your backcountry layers for any trip length or conditions.

Prep Your Gear: Fit Ski Boots Perfectly

Get more comfort going up and more power and control going down.

Tips from Pro Skiers

Four ski pros share advice for looking good--and staying safe--in the backcountry.

Maintain and Repair Your Ski Gear

A broken binding or a skin that won’t stick could mean a night spent out in a snow cave, or worse. Have your kit tuned up before you go, but make sure you know how to fix common problems in a pinch.

Ski Strong and Smart

You don’t need pro-level skills to ski off-piste, but honing your kick-turn technique and avoiding rookie mistakes will ease your transition to backcountry terrain. Here’s how to master the ups and downs when lifts and groomers are miles away. Plus: Prevent blisters, stay energized, and negotiate steeps.

Select a Safe Ski Route

Caused by variable weather, unstable snowpack, and steep terrain, backcountry avalanches claim an average of 25 lives a year in the United States. Your first safety step: Brush up on the basics below. Next, take a course accredited by the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education

Prep Your Backcountry Ski Gear

On any wilderness trip, smart preparation is key. But it’s even more important when you’re backcountry skiing, due to the technical gear, low temperatures, potential for severe weather, avalanche risk, and tricky routefinding. Here’s how to start smart—before you leave home.

Backcountry Skiing 101

Start earning your turns–safely–with this primer on equipment, route planning, reading conditions, and more.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Backcountry Snowboarding

The ultimate splitboard set-up

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Hats

Cover your head...and ears...even your face, with these cold-weather coverups.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Gloves & Mittens

Keep your digits warm through any cold-weather outing.

Readers' Choice 2012: Reader Leader: Glacier Magic

More than 150 of you entered our contest to become a BACKPACKER field scout. Meet the winners here, starting with Colleen Contrisciane-Lewis, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. She earned the all-expenses-paid grand prize: an assignment to hike—and report on—her dream trip. Read about her 85-mile, weeklong transect of Glacier National Park on the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Backpacks

Eight packs that haul cameras, ski gear, and everything else you'll need for a cold-weather outing.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Tents

From solo tents to big basecamp, eight bomber tents for cold-weather camping.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Footwear

From snowshoeing boots to winter trail runners and electric boots - we found the best cold-weather footwear for every activity.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Sleeping Bags & Sleeping Pads

Sleep comfortably from -20° to 15°

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Alpine Touring & Telemark

If your winter to-do list includes backcountry camping or hut trips - these are your ski setups.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Skis

Find the backcountry powder with these downhill and touring skis

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Snowshoes

The winter hiking season just got a whole lot longer with these multipurpose snowshoes.

Readers' Choice 2012: Glacier Magic

Iconic scenery bolstered by serious solitude? Get them both on this weeklong traverse.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Mountaineering Gear

All the top mountaineering gear, picked for you by the editors of Climbing magazine.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Ice Gear

We teamed up with sister publication Climbing to bring you the best ice climbing gear.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Cameras

Capture all your outdoor moments with these cameras and camcorders.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Eyewear

Protect your eyes from sun, snow, and debris with these goggles and sunglasses.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Kitchen Gear

Two stoves, a deluxe kitchen set, and a bunch of pots and pans.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Socks & Gaiters

From short to tall to toe socks - we have a performance sock for every foot.

Readers' Choice 2012: Reader Leader Contest Winners

More than 150 of you entered our contest to become a BACKPACKER field scout. Meet the winners.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Pants

Tough winter pants (plus one really cushy pair) for all your cold-weather activities.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Hardshells

Protect yourself from the worst of nature in these hardshell jackets.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Softshells

Eight softshell jackets from super breathable to warm and cozy.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Insulation

Stay warm with these puffys, fleece, and wool layers.

Readers' Choice 2012: Appalachian Trail, 100-Mile Wilderness, ME

Tackle the Northeast's most remote wilds for bears, moose, and berries.

Readers' Choice 2012: Grasshopper Glacier, Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness, MT

Visit a glacier with millions of extinct grasshoppers entombed in its ice.

Readers' Choice 2012: Skyline-To-The-Sea Trail, Castle Rock Sp, Ca

Hike through a towering redwood forest on this easy-access overnighter.

Readers' Choice 2012: Evolution Loop, Sequoia and Kings Canyon NP, CA

Hike cross-country to a pocket of dreamy lakeside camps on the John Muir Trail.

Readers' Choice 2012: Creekside Loop, Pisgah NF, NC

Looking for a mellow weekend with swimming options? We have you covered.

International Appalachian Trail, Quebec - Readers Choice 2012

Find caribou, moose, and bald eagles on a hut-to-hut trek in an undiscovered park.

Readers' Choice 2012: Shoal Creek Loop, Gros Ventre Wilderness, WY

Backpack to a local ranger's favorite mountain getaway.

America's Best Backcountry Ski Tours

Upgrade your winter fun at these 8 beginner-friendly, expert-ready spots.

Iceland: Tested

After a season of backcountry skiing, hiking, and climbing everywhere from the Rockies to the Andes, we took the year's best winter gear for a final shakedown in Iceland's remote Glacier Fjords. What we found: awesome ice-carved terrain and the sweetest boat-in camping and skiing on earth.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Top 3 Hiking Apps

Three hiking-focused apps - for iPhone, iPad, or Android.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Navigation - GPS Units & Apps

Never get lost again, with these four GPS units and three hiking apps.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Touchtec Sensor Glove

Thanks to specially treated leather on the palms and fingertips, these gloves are gadget friendly...but still warm.

Gear Review: SCOTT Roam

A versatile helmet that can cover deep freeze to shoulder season.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Mt. Baker Modular Mitt

Two-layer insulated mitts lined with both synthetic fill and fleece.

Gear Review: Shredalert Smith Rock Micro Beanie

A great lightweight lid for any cool weather outing or high-rpm activity in deep cold.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Enforcer Waterproof Gloves

Great winter climbing gloves thanks to a Gore-Tex lining and EVA padding across the knuckles.

Gear Review: Chaos Spruce Recycled Cashemere Hat

An 80-percent recycled cashmere hat delivers a bit of backcountry luxury.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen HH Dry Balaclava

Made with Helly Hansen's Lifa material, this balaclava wicks and dries super quickly.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Venta LT Gloves

Leather/softshell gloves that weigh less than a Clif bar.

Gear Review: SmartWool Reversible Training Beanie

This 100-percent merino cap will be your go-to three-season and winter-workout hat.

Gear Review: Stoic Forge Gloves

These all-purpose gloves cost less than $90.

Gear Review: Fjällräven Skare Softshell

A 93-percent nylon, double-woven cap that is extremely lightweight and low profile.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Roj Headband

A super wide ear band with a brim that blocks sun while encouraging air flow.

Great Family Hikes: Chosen by the Editors of Backpacker

Hit the trail with your kids on these family-friendly hikes all over the country.

Reader Leader Application: Become a Backpacker Field Scount

Tell us about your dream destination and why it fits in the pages of Backpacker Magazine...and we may just send you there.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Western Mountaineering Flash Down Booties

Goose down booties with a nylon shell that pack down super small.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Black Diamond Orbit Lantern

A lightweight lantern that illuminates any tent perfectly.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks

The perfect Merino sock for mountaineering or winter expeditions

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: M-EDGE Recon iPad Jacket

A military-grade iPad case, built for the backcountry.

BACKPACKER Reader Photo Contest

Enter this year's Readers Choice Photo Contest... there was more text here.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Trailblazer Sawvivor Saw

Compact, ultralight saw is a lifesaver

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: SOL Survival Medic Survival and First Aid Kit

Pocket-sized waterproof survival and first aid kit

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Don’t Die Out There Survival Cards

Stacked with survival tips

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Farkle Dice Game

The classic dice-rolling, risk-taking game (to buy or DIY)

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Bears! Dice Game

Fast-paced family dice frenzy

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Timeline Card Game

Fun, educational card game for kids and adults alike

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Sockwa G2 Camp Shoe

We just might have found the perfect camp shoe.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Outdoor Research Omni Gloves

Gloves with Polartec Windstopper that glow in the dark!

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Ex Officio Women's Give-N-Go Lacy Tank Top

Bringing sexy-cute to a hiker babe near you!

Win a Chance to Be a Gear Editor for a Weekend!

Join us as an all-expenses-paid reporter at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in January 2012, and get a sneak peek at next season's hottest stuff. Learn how to apply.

Online Exclusive: Readers' Choice 2012: Lisa Densmore's Five Favorite Hikes in the Northeast

Five more must-do hikes from this region's top map contributor—with 20 years of experience in the area—dishes tips for beating the crowds on her all-time favorite hikes.

Online Exclusive: Readers' Choice 2012: Travis Lesicka's Wildlife Sighting Tips

This region's top contestant in our Be a Mapper contest reveals his wildlife sighting tips.

Readers' Choice 2012: Your Neck of the Woods - Southeast Hikes

See Shenandoah's tallest waterfall, traverse secluded ridgelines, score cliff-top panoramas, swim beneath falls, and walk through wildflowers and oak stands on the Florida Trail.

Readers' Choice 2012: Your Neck of the Woods - Northeast Hikes

Snag Big Apple skyline views, tackle four peaks in a day, rack up waterfalls, hike through history on the AT, and climb Vermont's highest peak.

Readers' Choice 2012: Your Neck of the Woods - Mountain West Hikes

Scramble on red rock, camp at alpine lakes, cross a high pass, explore a trailless moonscape, and bushwhack to a peak.

Readers' Choice 2012: Top 3 - Southeast Hikes

Our prolific map contributor has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and notched more than 90 bag nights while scouting routes for BACKPACKER.

Readers' Choice 2012: Top 3 - Northeast Hikes

The region's top map contributor—with 20 years of experience in the area—dishes tips for beating the crowds on her all-time favorite hikes.

Readers' Choice 2012: Top 3 - Mountain West Hikes

This region's top contestant in our Be a Mapper contest reveals his favorite off-the-beaten-path routes through canyon country and mountain refuges.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Presents for every hiker on your gift list.

Readers' Choice 2012: Destinations

Get more hiking, gear, and wildlife-spotting advice from our map contributors—and see our full survey results.

Online Exclusive: Readers' Choice 2012: Eli Boschetto's Five Favorite Hikes in the West

Five more must-do hikes from our top field correspondent, who's notched more than 1,800 trail miles throughout the West and mapped 116 trips.

Readers' Choice 2012: Your Neck of the Woods - Midwest Hikes

Climb dunes, find instant solitude, camp atop riverside bluffs, ascend to surprising above-treeline views, and hike along the St. Croix River.

Readers' Choice 2012: Top 3 - Midwest Hikes

This region's top mapper has notched 20 bag nights and 200 trail miles in 9 states this year scouting trails for BACKPACKER. Here are three of his favorite routes.

Video Gear Review: Boilerwerks Backcountry Boiler

Our field correspondent puts a chimney kettle to the test.

Readers Choice 2012 Online Exclusive Gear Reviews

We didn't have room to print these readers in our January 2012 Readers Choice Issue--but they still tested some great gear.

Gear Review: Danner Mountain Light II

These boots offer classic style with modern-day comfort -- and they'll last a lifetime.

Readers' Choice 2012: Your Neck of the Woods - West Hikes

Climb an 11,000-foot peak, hike to a secret summit, see the glacier-capped Cascades, soak in hot pools, and explore the ruins of a 100-year-old resort.

Readers' Choice 2012: Top 3 - West Hikes

The region's best picks from our top field correspondent, who's notched more than 1,800 trail miles throughout the West and mapped 116 trips.

Rip & Go: West Clear Creek Canyon, Coconino National Forest, AZ

Rock-hop and wade your way down a wild sandstone corridor.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Kelvinator Down Jacket

A 650-fill down jacket that's super warm and packs to the size of a pineapple.

Gear Review: Stoic Luft Down Sweater Jacket

An ideal down midlayer made with 750-fill down and a Pertex Microlight shell.

Gear Review: Sherpa Ananta/Priya Pullover

For those days when a baselayer is not enough and a puffy jacket too much.

Gear Review: Patagonia Winter Sun Hoody

A top pick for its combination of warmth, weather resistance, fit, and packability.

Gear Review: Ibex Tuck Softshell Jacket

A weather-resistant softshell that has strong moisture and odor control.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Snowtastic Jacket

A softshell jacket made for skiing

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Savage Softshell Jacket

A softshell with full-length side zips for great ventilation

Gear Review: Sherpa Adventure Gear Lobutse Softshell Jacket

A softshell jackets that's not too heavy, warm, bulky, or expensive

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Venta MX Hoody

A softshell with a hood that's ready for any weather condition

Gear Review: Marmot Zion Waterproof Softshell Jacket

Breathable and supple with the waterproofness of a hardshell.

Gear Review: REI Centre Peak Softshell Jacket

A softshell that's weather resistant and super breathable.

Gear Review: REI Spruce Peak/Nevis

Get maximum bang for your buck with this two-in-one, synthetic-fill jacket.

Gear Review: Rab Fusion Softshell Jacket

The ideal jacket for high-effort pursuits in wet snow and drizzle

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Packaway Pullover Jacket

This bargain jacket costs less than $100--and it was worthy of an AT thru-hike.

Gear Review: Icebreaker Sierra/Cascade Full-Zip

This baseslayer packs a lot of warmth and versatility into a sub-one-pound package that scrunches up small

Gear Review: The North Face Jakson Jacket

Warmth where you need it most; mobility and breathability where it counts.

Gear Review: Patagonia Super Alpine Bibs

Bibs built for the worst of conditions.

Gear Review: REI Mistral Hiking Pants

Made for cold-weather hikes and cruiser snowshoe tours where ski pants seem like overkill.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Bokta Hardshell Pants

Extremely breathable waterproof shell pants.

Gear Review: MontBell U.L. Down Inner Pants

Five-ounce down pants that provide instant warmth after bone-chilling hikes.

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Trail Model Rain Jacket

Absolute rain protection in a well-priced package

Gear Review: Stoic Vaporshell Hardshell Jacket

This shell is a good lightweight option for when you hit showery weather and need solid waterproofness and breathability.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Paladin Hardshell Jacket

A super durable jacket for the multisporter

Gear Review: Rab Stretch Neo Jacket

A super breathable jacket for those foggy, humid hikes

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Beta FL Hardshell Jacket

A streamlined shell that achieves a low weight-to-performance ratio without scrimping on features.

Gear Review: Mammut Felsturm Half-Zip Jacket

Winner of our 2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Ampato Jacket

A jacket that combines packablity, breathability, and durability, all at a great price.

Gear Review: Patagonia Super Pluma Jacket

This hardcore shell has everything you need to weather a monster blow without weighing you down

Gear Review: Adidas Terrex Swift 3in1 Jacket

A convertible jacket that doesn't compromise

Gear Review: Mammut Eiger Extreme Nordwand Jacket

A jacket made for a mountaineer

Gear Review: Icebreaker Spring Boxer Brief and Pace Hipster

Don’t muck up the performance of your pants by wearing cotton undies underneath.

Gear Review: Mammut Moench Zip Tee

This baselayer fits like a cycling skin suit without looking like underwear

Gear Review: Patagonia Merino 3 Midweight Hoody

You’ll get your money’s worth out of this spendy but multifunctional merino hoody

Gear Review: Mammut Eisfeld/Eismeer Softshell Pants

Tough, weather-resistant, and stretchy, these pants are also supremely breathable.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Dry Revolution Pant



Gear Review: SmartWool Lightweight Asymmetrical Zip Baselayer

This midweight merino top sports a hidden 7-inch diagonal zip

Gear Review: Beyond RoughRider/Steel Pants

Beyond creates custom-made trail clothes at a remarkable price.

Gear Review: Columbia Omni Heat Half-Zip Baselayer

With Columbia’s Omni-Heat technology you get the warmth of a much thicker baselayer from a thin fabric

Gear Review: Injinji Performance Series Orginal Weight Mini-Crew Socks

Toe socks that give you the benefits of barefoot running with the comfort of socks.

Gear Review: Craft Concept Piece



Gear Review: Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiter

Cordura and Gore-Tex gaiters that have been a staff favorite for years.

Gear Review: Fox River Cirrus/Sierra Socks

A sock made for those in-between days.

Gear Review: Fox River Mammoth Ski Socks

These lightweight ski socks are warm, snug, and boot bang friendly.

Gear Review: Darn Tough True Seamless Mesh Socks

A seamless sock that's blister proof.

Gear Review: Dakine Chester/Cheyenne Shirt

It looks like a button up, but is amazingly functional in the backcountry

Gear Review: FITS Hiker Crew Medium Socks

These super cushy socks provide all-day comfort.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Baselayers

Keep your top and bottom warm and dry through any outdoor activity with these baselayers.

Survival: Prevent Blisters and Frostbite

Prevent these two painful toe problems.

Survival: Improvise a Splint and Treat Burns

Two skills to take with you to the backcountry

Survival: Don't Always Trust a Topo Map

Look around, not just at your map.

Survival: Cross a River

Don't get swept away, use this technique.

Recipe Upgrades

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even desert recipes that are easy and tasty campground meals.

Survival: Learn Patience in Alaska

Don't let low points get you down.

Survival: Choose Your Partner Wisely

Pick a good partner--or you may get burned.

Recipe: Five Ponds Fajitas

Grab some dehydrated veggies, a little salsa, and some beef jerky for these tasty Fajitas.

Backcountry Cooking Tips

Three backcountry cooking tips that will guarantee easy and tasty meals

Recipe: Mud, Dirt, and Worms

Your favorite desert as a kid goes trail-side.

Recipe: Mom's Carlsbad Spread



Recipe: Shredded Rice Salad

Some quick-cooking rice and a handful of vegetables makes this a healthy trail lunch.

Recipe: Mexican Chili Mac 'n' Queso

A bit of frozen chorizo extends your backcountry options.

Recipe: Backcountry Pizza

If you're camping with kids, this pizza is a must make.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Galen Rowell: A Retrospective

A book of photos from a great outdoorsman who was equal parts climber and photogrpaher

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Yosemite in the Sixties

The backcountry bookworm will love this glimpse into the past courtesy of Glen Denny.

Survival: Bring Your Own Gear

Don't scrimp on survival equpiment.

Recipe: Gado-gado Spaghetti

A spicy peanut butter sauce makes this a light spaghetti dish that is excellent either hot or cold.

Recipe: Cashew Beef Curry

Boil-in-the-bag rice and beef jerky make this recipe a snap.

Recipe: American Chop Suey

Make a double batch of this at home. Have it for dinner with your family then dehydrate half for your next few backpacking trips.

Survival: Carbon-Dioxide Poisoning

Ventilate your tent to avoid this danger.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Platypus PlatyPreserve Wine Storage Bottle

Enjoy a little Merlot at your favorite high lake

Survival: Predict a Flash Flood

Stay alert in canyon country.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Optimus Crux Lite Canister Stove

Do not underestimate this tiny stove's competence!

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Evernew Titanium Frying Pan

A sweet piece for the angler on your gift list

Survival: Lightning Attire

What not to wear in a lightning storm.

Survival: Find Water in the Desert

Dangerously thirsty in the desert?

Survival: Find Water in the Desert

Dangerously thirsty in the desert?

Survival: Sea Kayak Flip

Do a T-rescue for a flipped sea kayak.

Rip & Go: Little Lyford to Gorman Chairback - 100-Mile Wilderness, ME

Ski (or snowshoe) hut-to-hut in the East's wildest preserve.

Rip & Go: Iron Mountains - Little Dry Run Wilderness, VA

Score quiet views of the southern Virginia highlands on this lush loop.

Rip & Go: Two Lakes Loop - Hoosier National Forest, IN

Camp next to forest lakes and rock-hop across clear streams.

Survival: Make Good Judgement Calls

Hard-won-lessons and tips about good decision making from the front lines of survival.

Gear Review: Ueli Steck Special Edition Wenger Climbing Knife

It won't carry you up the north face of the Eiger in 2 hours and 47 minutes, but it can tune all the gear you need to do it.

Survival: Unexpected Accidents

Hard-won-lessons and tips about unexpected dangers from the front lines of survival.

Survival: Unsafe Snow Conditions

Hard-won-lessons and tips about unsafe snow from the front lines of survival.

Survival: First Aid Emergencies

Hard-won-lessons and tips about medical emergencies from the front lines of survival.

Survival: Save Yourself in Whitewater

Hard-won-lessons and tips about whitewater kayaking from the front lines of survival.

Survival: Save Yourself in Whitewater

Hard-won-lessons and tips about whitewater kayaking from the front lines of survival.

Survival: If I Only Knew Then...

On the path to good judgment, you’ll find the wreckage from a whole lot of bad decisions. Your plan: Learn from others’ mistakes, and wise up to outdoor hazards without risking your life. Your guide: Veteran adventurer Mark Jenkins. Plus: Guides and rangers share hard-won lessons they wish someone would have told them.

Survival: Recognize Grizzly Behavior

Hard-won-lessons and tips about grizzly bears from the front lines of survival.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Desserts

Fast-and-easy desserts for the trail.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Lunches/Snacks

Knock off more miles after a tasty trail-side lunch.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Breakfasts

Fuel a long day on the trail with these tasty breakfasts.

Perfect 10: North America's 10 Most Memorable Hikes

Ten trails. Ten unmatched miles each. Get maximum bang for each boot step on hikes that our most-traveled contributors call their all-time favorites.

Gear Review: MSR Alpine Deluxe Kitchen Set

For large groups, this kitchen set will making cooking a snap

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: SOTO Muka Liquid Fuel Stove

A stove that combines the versatility, power, and cold-weather performance of liquid fuel with the ease of no-priming-required canisters.

Rip & Go: Cranberry Loop - Monongahela National Forest, WV

Circle an upland swamp rich with views, solitude, and wild edibles.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Mammut Felsturm Half-Zip Jacket

A jacket that 30% lighter weight than its competitors and 20% more breathable.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Outdoor Research Sensor Gloves

Touch screen gloves that are durable (thanks to leather) and warm (thanks to polarfleece).

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All Season Sleeping Pad

An inflatable sleeping pad that packs small but kept our tester warm down to -15°

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Beyond RoughRider/Steel

Custom-made pants that fit every body type.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Adidas Terrex Conrax CP Boot

Warm winter boots that are also light and nimble.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Soto Muka Stove

A stove that combines the versatility, power, and cold-weather performance of liquid fuel with the ease of no-priming-required canisters.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: La Sportiva GT/GTS Alpine Touring Ski

A go-anywhere ski that's also superlight.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: La Sportiva RT Alpine Touring Binding

A lightweight alpine touring binding that doesn't skimp on performance.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Karakoram Split30 Snowboard Bindings

Bindings that quickly transition from hike to ride mode

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Dynafit TLT5 Mountain Boot

"The most comfortable alpine touring boots on the planet," says one tester.

Gear Review: Primus ExpressLander Liquid-Fuel Stove

A reliable, user-friendly cooker that's extremely lightweight for liquid fuel.

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Collapsible Fairshare Mug

A utilitarian tumbler that shines in a big-group camp kitchen.

Gear Review: REI Campware Nonstick Cookset (Large)

The nesting 4.7- and 3.2-liter pots each come with frypan lids, plus there’s a pot gripper and a mesh storage sack.

Gear Review: 4-Person Tents

Light and large: That's what you get with these five shelters, which deliver comfort on trail and in camp for families and groups.

Gear Review: Selk'bag 4G Lite

A sleeping bag with arms and legs – because onesies shouldn't just be for '80s-themed slumber parties.

Gear Review: Beal Tiger 10mm Climbing Rope

A 10mm rope that's not too stiff and not too flexible with a Golden Dry treatment for added durability and water resistance.

Gear Review: Austri Alpin SI-KO FX Ice Climbing Screw

These screws cost half as much as comparable models but still grind into bulletproof ice with ease.

Gear Review: Bushnell BackTrack D-TOUR

This budget-friendly, no-frills device delivers basic safety and positioning without adding weight.

Rip & Go: Lake of the Clouds to Summit Peak - Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, MI

Hike a high escarpment above a northern forest and Lake Superior.

Gear Review: Grivel Quantum Tech Ice Climbing Tool for Women

A tool that's light and easy to swing and fits a woman's hand.

Gear Review: Garmin Montana 650T

You’ll get in-car voice and off-trail navigation on 1:100K USA topo maps, plus a 5MP camera that snaps crisp, geotagged images.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons

These stainless steel crampons are perfect for all your winter climbing needs.

Gear Review: Garmin eTrex 30 GPS Unit

A compact, durable unit with sophisticated features like barometric altimeter.

Gear Review: Cassin X-All Mountain Ice Climbing Tool

A all-mountain tool that truly lives up to its name.

Gear Review: Mammut Togir/Togira Light Climbing Harness

Climbing Magazine's favorite alpine harness of 2011.

Gear Review: Magellan eXplorist 710

An all-in-one unit that captures GPS, photos, 320x240 video, and audio.

Gear Review: Scarpa Mt. Blanc GTX Boot

The ultimate all-mountain boot

Gear Review: Petzl Crevasse Rescue Kit



Gear Review: Native Vim Sunglasses



Gear Review: CAMP XLC Crampons

The all-aluminum XLC is about half the weight of comparable steel spikes

Gear Review: Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet

A great mountaineering helmet that's breathable and easy to adjust

Gear Review: Revo Guide Sunglasses

A pair of sunglasses that can handle glare from water, snow, and alpine environments.

Gear Review: Julbo Around Excel Goggles

These goggles have all-conditions lens that really perform in all conditions.

Gear Review: Zeal Eclipse SPPX Goggles

These goggles have excellent optics and the best-in-test ventilation.

Review: Camp Lights and Headlamps

Find the perfect backcountry glow for any occasion.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Half Dome



Local Hikes: Extend Your Season

Cooler days mean fewer crowds and bugs—and riots of leafy color. Here are 38 fall-weekend classics near you.

Rip & Go: Trapper Creek Wilderness Loop - Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA

Climb through towering evergreens to in-your-face Cascade views.

SURVIVE: If I Only Knew Then...

Three decades of trial and error from our favorite battle-scarred adventurer.

Fall Hiking: In Camp

Learn how to pick the perfect campground and keep your food, and yourself, toasty in dipping temps.

Fall Hiking: On the Trail

Stay warm while hiking in the fall with these temperature-regulating tips.

Fall Hiking: Weather Concerns

How to predict the weather, plan for a warmer route, and coldproof your camp kitchen.

Hiking's Best Season: Fall

34 tips for ensuring comfort as you prep at home, hit the trail, and camp in the fall months.

Case Study: Hypothermic on Mt. Washington

Name: Rachel Drayer, 24, and Matt Pierce, 24
Predicament: Hypothermia rescue in whiteout
Location: Mt. Washington, NH


BACKPACKER Map Maker iPad app

Plan hikes and backpacking trips, plus other outdoor adventures like never before on detailed, interactive topo maps and aerial photos.

Gear Review: Adidas Terrex Pro Sunglasses

Fog-free full-coverage eye protection

Gear Review: Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Point-and-Shoot Camera

A point-and-shoot that fires 1080HD video and geo-tags photos.

Gear Review: GoPro HD Helmet HERO Video Camera

A tiny helmet camera that delivers flat-screen-worthy footage.

Gear Review: Canon Rebel T3i DSLR

A compact DSLR with an outstanding battery life.

Gear Review: Pentax Optio WG-1 Point-and-Shoot Camera

A point-and-shoot that you can freeze, submerge it water, and drop from high heights.

Gear Review: Olympus TG-310 Point-and-Shoot Camera

A bomber camera that's a bargain at $200.

Two Ultralight Dinners: Beef Stroganoff & Spicy Curry Noodle Bowl

Pack light and eat well with these two dinner options.

Recipe: Sweet Rice Pudding

Brown rice becomes a yummy desert with this easy recipe.

Recipe: Oatmeal You'll Never Get Sick Of

Think apple pie and lime cranberry flavors!

Dirtbag/Gourmet: Fall Desserts

Enjoy comfort sweets that complement any autumn campfire meal.

The Manual: Stay Healthy at Altitude

Play it safe against altitude sickness.

Recipe: Butternut Squash and Honey Apple Cakes

Get a hearty dose of fruit and vegetables right on the trail.

Recipe: Insta-Pumpkin Pie

Bring a little Thanksgiving right to the trail with this easy backcountry pie recipe.

Yoga for Backpackers

Ease post-hike pain and prep muscles for the next day.

Gear Review: Metolius FS Mini Long Draw Quickdraws

For winding mountain routes these quickdraws with included mini carabiners are a huge help

Gear Review: Mammut Smart Alpine Belay Device

Say goodbye to buying different belay devices for every type of climbing—the Smart Alpine does it all.

Gear Review: Grivel G1 Ice Axe

Light enough to carry comfortably, hefty enough to be a lifesaver.

Gear Review: Atlas Sprout/Mini Kids' Snowshoes

Lightweight snowshoes that keeps kids elevated and happy

Gear Review: Tubbs Flex ESC Snowshoes

Serious mountain performance at a sweet price.

Gear Review: Kahtoola RNR 22 Running Snowshoes

These snowshoes are great for running due to solid balance, traction, and flotation, and a light weight

Gear Review: Easton Artica Hike Snowshoes

Great snowshoes for beginners

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Summit Trekker Snowshoes

For hut trips and overnights, these snowshoes can carry a load

Gear Review: Crescent Moon Gold 10/Gold 13 Snowshoes

The Crescent snowshoe bindings expand and contract to fit virtually any boot type or size.

Gear Review: Atlas Aspect Snowshoes

From deep powder to hard, windpacked snow and ice, the Aspect handles it all.

Gear Review: VÖlkl Nunataq

Fat skis that are light enough for days of touring.

Gear Review: Liberty Envy Powder Skis

Women's-specific skis that really cater to women skiers.

Gear Review: Karakoram Split30



Gear Review: Jones Solution Splitboard

Go-everywhere versatility and resort-board stability in one light package.

Gear Review: Rossignol S3 Skis

For the skier transitioning from front country to back.

Gear Review: Dynafit Stoke Skis

If you climb high to ski long, these are your skis

Gear Review: Black Diamond AMPerage/Element



Gear Review: La Sportiva GT/GTS Ski

The ski for every skier, in every condition.

Gear Review: La Sportiva RT Alpine Touring Binding

A stainless-steel and aluminum binding that's energy-saving light.

Gear Review: Dynafit TLT5 Mountain Boot

A boot with slipper-like comfort and weight but incredible stiffness and control

Gear Review: Black Diamond 01 Tele Binding

It's unanimous: The best tele binding on the market.

Gear Review: Garmont Voodoo Ski Boots

A powerful three-buckle tele boot

Gear Review: Fritschi Diamir Eagle 12 Step-in Binding

A satisfying step-in binding that allows fast, on-the-fly switching from ski to hike mode.

Gear Review: Dynafit Radical ST 10 Ultralight Binding

An ultralight Dynafit binding that's easy to use and fit for any serious conditions

Gear Review: Black Diamond Quadrant Ski Boot

The Quadrant is the most versatile four-buckle AT boot on the market.

Gear Review: Kelty Recluse 2.5i Sleeping Pad

This synthetic-insulated, mummy-shaped pad packs down to football size.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All Season Sleeping Pad

Tiny meets mighty in this shockingly warm and light pad.

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Alpine ApII Sleeping Bag

This mummy is stuffed with 850+ fill down and protected by Sea to Summit’s 3D NanoShell.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith El Diente 5 Degree Sleeping Bag

If you’re built more like a linebacker than a cyclist, consider the El Diente.

Gear Review: Brooks-Range Alpini 15 Sleeping Bag

It packs down as small as a summer bag and weighs just two pounds

Gear Review: Mammut Ajungilak Alpine Winter Sleeping Bag

A synthetic mummy that's virtually waterproof

Gear Review: Eureka! Kaycee 0°F Sleeping Bag



Gear Review: Big Agnes Hahns Peak SL Sleeping Bag

A -20°F bag that's both light and roomy.

Gear Review: Teva Forge Pro Winter Mid WP Hiking Boot

The trail-runner-like Forge Pro has the teeth to take on ice, slush, and shallow snow.

Gear Review: Garmont Momentum Icelock Insulated Boot

This boot is packed with 600 grams of Thinsulate, the most insulation in any non-mountaineering boot we tested.

Gear Review: Adidas Terrex Conrax CP

Warm enough for lifties but in a light and nimble package.

Gear Review: Crispi Super Granite Hiking Boot

A rigid, all-leather boot with an integrated heel crampon.

Gear Review: Koflach Degre Alpine Boots

Serious conditions require serious footwear, like these double-plastic alpine boots.

Gear Review: Korkers Snowjack Hiking Boot

A boot with interchangeable soles--one for ice and one for snow and mud.

Gear Review: Keen Revel Hiking Boot

A versatile deep-winter boot

Gear Review: Columbia Bugaboot Max Electric Boot

If the prospect of cold feet keeps you off the trail come winter, get these battery-charged boots.

Gear Review: Salomon Spikecross 3 CS Winter Trail Runner

Trail runners with spikes embedded in the sole.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Black Diamond Eldorado Tent

A bomber tent with lots of legroom

Gear Review: Black Diamond Eldorado



Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Nemo Obi 1p Elite Tent

A super light double-wall tent

Gear Review: Nemo Obi 1p Elite



Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: The North Face Assault 2 Tent

A lightweight, easy-pitching, two-pole tent.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Mountain Equipment Co-op TGV2 Tent

No other double-wall tent we tested offers so much protection for so little money and bulk.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Big Agnes Royal Flush 3 Tent

A tent that can handle it all - temperature swings, ripping wind, humidity, and rocky campsites.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Mountain Laurel Designs Circus Tent

With a massive 96-square-foot (floorless) area and 70-inch peak height, the Circus Tent can fit up to seven.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: MSR Storm King Tent

An ultralight shelter for four.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Nemo Alti Storm 3p Tent

A tent with all the bells and whistles you'd want--large vestibules, super sturdy, and great ventilation.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Sierra Designs Sorcery 55 Backpack

A super comfortable pack that makes 40 pounds feel nonexistent.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Pieps Plecotus Backpack

The best organized big-day backcountry ski pack

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Black Diamond Agent Backpack

A lightweight ski pack that is super stable.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Osprey Mutant 38 Backpack

This pack is like a personal valet for your ice tools

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Clik Elite Obscura Camera Pack

Get the features you need for grab-and-go shooting without extra wonk and weight.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Golite Terrono 90 Backpack

A light-and-large pack perfect for bulky winter loads.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: K2 Pilchuck Kit Backpack

This compact, 11-liter pack comes equipped with an avalanche shovel and probe.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: The North Face Patrol 34 Backpack

The Patrol does it all—skiing, climbing, and hiking.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Hozuk

A soft shell lantern that's perfect for illuminating a tent.

Gear Review: Kelty Lumapivot

A bright LED lantern that's perfect for car camping.

Gear Review: Mammut X-Shot

The brightest headlamp we tested.

Gear Review: Princeton Tec Byte

A great headlamp for ultralighters.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Storm

The Storm has multiple setting options for only $50 and four ounces.

Rip & Live: Spiders

Itsy bitsy? Sure, but spiders loom large in hiker phobias. They shouldn't: Only a few subspecies of the black widow and brown recluse can inflict enough damage to cut short a hike. Here's what you need to know about North America's most venomous spiders, from how to avoid them to treating their bites.

Dirtbag/Gourmet: Hot Cereals

Fuel your day with these energy-packed twists on classic breakfast bowls.

Rip & Live: Survive Spiders

Itsy bitsy? Sure, but only a few subspecies of the black widow and brown recluse can inflict enough damage to cut short a hike. Here’s what you need to know about North America’s most venomous spiders, from how to avoid them to treating their bites.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Sunlight 20

A legit 20°F down bag that costs less than 200 bucks.

Gear Review: REI Merino Wool Hoodie

This fine-gauge merino feels like my coziest pajamas.

Gear Review: Jetboil Sol Ti Premium Cooking System

Jetboil’s Personal Cooking System (PCS) is fast, fuel-efficient, and foolproof, and this new titanium version is barely half the weight.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Stash 1 Tent

A solo tent that can handle nasty weather and is comfortable to boot.

Gear Review: Adidas Terrex Fast X FM

A low-cut hiker that fits and feels like a supportive sneaker.

Gear Review: MSR Twin Brothers

This roomy tent has 96 square feet of floor space.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Genesee

This four-person tent costs just $199.

Gear Review: Tarptent Hogback

A four-person, double-walled tent that's supremely packable.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Soda Mountain SL4

This freestanding dome weighs less than two pounds per person, but it’s as roomy as a deluxe car-camping tent.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Zeta 4

This top performer is light, roomy, stable—and affordable.

Deepest Daks

Journey through America's most accessible wilderness in search of untouched places, and you might just find peace of mind to match the lakes and hills.

Gear Test: Bargain Three-Season Bags

Three synthetic sleepers for less than $110.

The Best Breathable, Waterproof Rain Jackets

Four companies made bold claims about cutting-edge waterproof technology in 2011. So we gathered a dozen rain jackets with the new fabrics and put them to the test in a head-to-head challenge. Verdict: We've never worn a more breathable crop of shells.

Rip & Go: Godwin Trail to Inspiration Point - Shawnee National Forest, IL

Cross deep, vine-laced forests to bluff-top views over rivers and prairie.

Gear Review: Marmot Mavericks 20

This hoodless, semi-rectangular bag was the roomiest in our test.

Gear Review: Eureka! Casper 15

This bag packs down to the size of a volleyball.

Gear Review: The North Face Aleutian 20

This mummy costs only $89 and weighs just over three pounds!

Gear Review: Columbia Peak 2 Peak/Peak Power

Made with Columbia Omni-Dry this full-featured jacket is $40 less than its nearest competitor.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Jovian

Made with a PTFE membrane made by General Electric this shell was great in heavy rain.

Gear Review: Westcomb Apoc

Made with Polartec NeoShell, this versatile jacket is durable and breathable.

Rip & Go: Two Gorges Loop - Gorges State Park, NC

Trace the watery divide between the Carolinas.

Saving Lives: When to Evacuate, First-Aid Essentials

Learn to decide when to walk out and when to stay put with a variety of backcountry medical ailments.

Rip & Go: Debsconeag Loop - Maine Public Reserved Lands, Nahmakanta Unit, ME

Cross the northeast's wildest moose country beneath fall's fiery canopy.

Gear Review: Mammut Felsturm Half-Zip

Made with Gore-Tex Active Shell this breathable jacket was wearable in a wide range of temperatures.

Perfect 10: Free PDF Trip Planning Guides

We've picked the top 10 miles of North America's 10 most memorable hikes. Find your way to wilderness nirvana with these map and planning guides.

Rip & Go: Stratton Loop - Lye Brook Wilderness, VT

Climb to an expansive view of green rollers that inspired two long trails.

Rip & Go: Hilgard Basin - Lee Metcalf Wilderness, MT

Climb to a wonderland of tundra, rugged peaks, and dreamy lakes.

A Piece of Quiet

America’s leading advocate of wilderness silence shows the way to Mt. Rainier National Park’s quietest corner. Plus: 9 more campsites with life-list listening.

Rip & Go: Three Sisters Loop - Lava Beds National Monument, CA

Discover hidden wonders in a cave-riddled wilderness.

Rip & Go: Horse Heaven Loop - Wyoming Range, WY

Discover a pocket of wildlife beyond Yellowstone's borders.

Professor Hike: Your Must-Have, Favorite, Can't-Leave-Behind Gear

What's the one item you can't leave home without?

Rip & Go: Broken Top Loop - Deschutes National Forest/Three Sisters Wilderness, OR

Cross ancient lava fields on a lake-filled weekend.

Gear Reviews: Featherweight Shells

Windproof jackets for every type of hiker.

How to Walk

Yes, there's a better way to put one foot in front of the other. Improve your stride, trek farther, and end leg and back pain with our guide to the new science of healthy hiking.

Ultralight Makeover

A 12-step program for cutting weight.

Gear Review: Eureka Dualis Sleeping Pad

Do you toss and turn endlessly in your tent at night? Keep reading.

Gear School: Helmets

The latest in skull science and safety

Recording Nature: Calls of the Wild

Enrich your trip memories by recording nature's soundscapes.

Dirtbag/Gourmet: Thai Food

Pack your collapsible chopsticks and dig into this delicious Asian cuisine.

Recipe: Trailside Summer Rolls with Tangy Satay Sauce

Get a dose of veggies on the trail with these DIY summer rolls.

Recipe: Spicy Peanut Noodles

Protein-rich and flavor-packed noodles for the trail.

The Manual: Plan a Trip with GPS

Learn how to plot your own digital adventures with precision--then print the maps and prep your GPS.

Green Guide

Articles on nature and climate change as they relate to backpacking, and environmentally friendly backpacking gear.

Five All-Purpose Light Hikers

Get light yet supportive shoes that stand up to the worst boot-chewing terrain–and satisfied our crew of Grand Canyon rangers and guides.

The End-of-Summer Gear

Close out the season in style, with sandals, eyewear, a wearable air conditioner (for your dog), and a proper skinny-dipping accessory.

Big Wild Empty: The Bob Marshall Wilderness

Think there's nothing wild left in the Lower 48? Don't tell the grizzlies on this traverse of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Trail Master: Q & A with record-breaking thru-hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis

Having just broken the speed record for thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Jennifer Pharr Davis sits down to discuss gear, preparation, and the joy of a stellar hike.

Gear Test Fail: Off Clip-it and ThermaCELL Insect Repeller

In this home video, gear tester Joe Flowers goes out into the wilds of North Carolina to test two alternative bug repellents. The result is, well, itchy.

Gear Test: Beat the Bugs without the DEET

DEET-free bug-repellent options from chemicals to high frequency sound

Rip & Live: Survive Desert Extremes

Triple-digit temps by noon. Freezing at night. Scarce water. The desert is as dangerous for unprepared hikers. Give yourself an edge and learn to survive this hostile territory while backpacking.

Prof. Hike: Don't Get Lost, Have a Backup Plan

Bad things happen to good hikers. Everyone should have a smart back-up plan--or two.

Rip & Go: New England National Scenic Trail - Mt. Grace State Forest, MA

Walk deliberately into woods filled with waterfalls and stone walls.

Madman Walking?

Warren Doyle has hiked the Appalachian Trail 16 times, and he has a no-fee plan guaranteed to help others complete the 2,180-mile trek. The hardest part? Hiking with Warren Doyle.

Gear School: Synthetic Sleeping Bags

The best new sacks are tough on cold and packed with technology.

Recipe: Fruit and Nut Quinoa

Gourmet breakfast served in your sleeping bag

Recipe: Power Oatmeal

Traditional oats with energy-packed surprises

Skills: Mind Over Mountain

New research offers mental tricks for conquering steep slopes.

Skills: Mind Over Mountain

New research offers mental tricks for conquering steep slopes.

The Manual: Backcountry Fly-Fishing

Find fish-jumping action, spot streamside sanctuaries, and--if you're allowed to keep your catch--pull divine meals from pristine waters.

Saving Lives: Prioritize, Plan, Protect, and Monitor

Once you've stabilized a backcountry injury or illness, the next step is to prevent the patient from worsening. Here's some key steps to take.

Saving Lives: Perform a Focused Assessment

Use these three assessment tools to examine every patient thoroughly after you've stopped any immediate threats to life. Trauma victims are more common in the backcountry; start your inspection with a head-to-toe exam. For ill patients, begin by asking about medical history and taking vitals.

Saving Lives: Size Up the Scene and Identify Lethal Dangers

When an emergency strikes, your mind can go blank. These easy clues and rhymes will help you remember what do to first.

5 Steps to Saving Lives

How the pros treat an injured hiker

Prof. Hike: Leave Blisters in the Dust

Blisters are the most common on-trail injury, but blisters are also easy to prevent.

Ultimate Peak Planner

BACKPACKER and CLIMBING have teamed up to bring you a one-stop resource for scaling the best treks and technical climbs in the country.

Free Editors' Choice iPad App!

That's right. Free. We're bringing the best, most interactive gear coverage right to your iPad.

Gear Review: Backcountry Skirts

Three skirts for conquering the backcountry with a dash of feminine style.

Backyard Everests: Mt. Wilson

Navigate a vertical sandstone maze to guaranteed solitude on a high-desert summit.

Backyard Everests: Mt. Stuart

Scramble a sneak route to Rainier-worthy views-of Rainier and much more.

Backyard Everests: Stone Mountain

Top a Yosemite-like dome in a sea of green.

Backyard Everests: Mounts Webster and Jackson

Claim a rare feat on this classic-in-waiting loop.

Backyard Everests: Spruce Knob

Stand atop The Mountain State's most famous peak.

Backyard Everests: Mt. Alice

Feel like you've notched a first ascent.

Backyard Everests: Mt. Conness

Walk a scary-narrow rock fin to an airy summit.

Backyard Everests: Elephant Head

Tackle tricky terrain to gain a solitary alp.

Backyard Everests: Pfeifferhorn

Bag a stout weekend adventure-and vistas from the big lake to the High Uintas.

Backyard Everests: Lone Pine Peak, Inyo National Forest

Climb without crowds to the state's top mountain view.

Rip & Go: Tonahutu Loop - Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Cross elk-filled woods and bighorn- busy flats on this park's quiet side.

Rip & Go: Santa Rosa Island - Channel Islands National Park, CA

Venture off SoCal's coast for long beaches, hidden canyons, and sea life.

Rip & Go: Rocky Point to Round Lake - Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, MN

Glide through back-to-back lakes on a classic North Country canoe trip.

Slideshow Series: How To Keep Your Camera Working Its Best

Learn how to care for and clean your camera during trips and at home. Use these tips to keep it working, despite the elements you face in the outdoors.

Gear Review: Stoic Wraith Rain Jacket

A wisp of a rain jacket at a great price

Summer Adventure Atlas: 50 Hikes / 50 States

When you're planning a weekend outing, you don't want good, you want the best. Well, here's perfect. These hikes tour the deepest backcountry, best views, and quietest wilderness areas in every state.

Prof. Hike: Beating Summer Heat, Bugs, & Crowds

Your action plan to make high summer hiking and camping enjoyable.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Zia 3 Tent

A three-person tent with 40 square feet of floor space.

Gear Review: REI TiWare Nonstick Cookset

This four-piece set has a nonstick silicone/ceramic coating.

Gear Review: Patagonia Lightweight Sun Hoody

This polyester jersey is loose and meshy while still being a great sun barrier.

Gear Review: Suunto Core Anniversary Edition Watch

This watch features an altimeter, barometer, compass, and logbook, and is dead-on accurate.

Gear Review: JanSport Forsyth 50 Pack

A backpack for organized backpackers.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Vigor Jacket

An extremely lightweight and tough jacket that's only $70.

Gear Review: Patagonia Nine Trails Jacket

This hoodless Patagonia jacket is extremely breathable.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Shadowland Jacket

A windproof jacket with a warm, brushed tricot lining.

Navigation Center: Videos

Learn the basics of using GPS devices and watch amazing Google 3D flyovers in our special navigation focused video center.

Gear Review: GoLite Kenai Jacket

This waterproof, windproof jacket loves crappy weather.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Celeris Jacket

A great jacket for trail runners at only five ounces.

Gear Review: Keen Alamosa Hiking Boot

These cushy dayhikers are perfect for hiking with light loads.

Gear Review: Merrell Chameleon 3 Ventilator Hiking Boot

This light hiker is practically abrasion resistant thanks to the thick pig suede upper.

Gear Review: Lowa Tempest Lo Hiking Boot

This light hiker can carry up to 50 pounds!

Gear Review: Five Ten Insight Hiking Boot

A Five Ten shoe that excels at scrambling and smearing.

Gear Review: Patagonia Drifter A/C Hiking Boot

Bootlike support and traction with trail-runner shock absorption and weight.

Navigation Center

Learn how to make custom maps, navigate any terrain, and the ins-and-outs of GPS devices and mobile apps in our comprehensive navigation center.

Prof. Hike: Ode to a Plastic Bag

Are plastic bags an immortal evil or a hiker's best friend?

Prof. Hike: The First Five Minutes

When you're lost, your initial decisions will make the difference.

Prof. Hike: Make Your Gear Last Longer

Transform your gear closet with 11 money-saving tips.

Case Study: Disaster on Katahdin

Name: Michael Hays Predicament: Shattered kneecap, dehydrated, starving Location: Baxter State Park Days lost 4

51 Summer Camping Secrets

Maximize fun and minimize hassle with these essential tips on comfort, safety, cooking, and finding solitude during the high season.

National Parks: Grand Canyon

Discover surprising solitude and endless vistas on an easy-access multiday trip between rim and river.

National Parks: Glacier

Rule #1 when planning a hike through this iconic park: Let your ambition match the scenery.

Summer Camping Secrets: At the Stove

Bake without an oven! Build your own spice kit! A DIY guide to dining while summer camping.

Summer Camping Secrets: In Camp

From picking the right campsite to stargazing like a pro, these summer camping tips will ensure a restful overnight.

Summer Camping Secrets: On The Trail

Once you've left camp, these tips and techniques will make your on-trail miles more enjoyable.

National Parks: Olympic

On a climb from the Hoh River's silty riffles to high-country glacier views, pass through a moss-hung rainforest that might be the lushest place in America.

Summer Camping Secrets: Avoid Crowds, Hit the Trail Faster

With a little pre-planning you can hit the trail and beat the crowds all summer long.

National Parks: Grand Teton

Wade through wildflowers, listen to wolves, and escape the crowded trade routes in this secluded corner of the park.

National Parks: View Finder

Go ahead, look again. And again. These images are worth a third, fourth, and then a tenth gaze.

National Parks: Yosemite

Enjoy this legendary park (without the legendary crowds) on a four-day trip through the Clark Range.

National Parks: Yellowstone

A forgotten explorer's route leads to off-trail, high-peak adventure and bona fide solitude.

Gear Review: Klymit Inertia X-Frame

Is your sleeping pad from the Stone Age? Try upgrading to this Jetsons-worthy mattress.

How To Clean Your Camera's Sensor

Sand and dust in your digital camera can ruin those once-in a lifetime shots. Here's how to eliminate them from SLR or Micro 4/3rds cameras.

How To Clean Your Camera's Exterior

All cameras, whether SLRs or point & shoots, need maintenance. Here's how to clean your baby and get it ready for the next big sunset.

How To Keep Cameras Alive In The Field

The wilderness is often a wet and gritty place. Fortunately cameras are tougher than we think, but careless handling can trash them. Here's how to stack the odds in their favor.

How To Slideshow: Improvise An Ankle Brace

Sprained or broken ankles are the most common injury for hikers and backpackers. Here's how to deal.

How To Slideshow: Build A Backcountry Knee Splint

Your hiking buddy torqued their knee? This simple splint can prevent further injury and let you both limp home.

Gear Review: Tilley TWP1 Waterproof Hat

A fully-featured topper, the Tilley TWP1 waterproof hat has enough style to satisfy even the snobbiest hiker.

Gear News: DELORME TO LAUNCH TWO-WAY GPS, "inReach"

New inReach device from Delorme offers two-way communication and much more.

Summer Trail Smarts

Get ready for your summer adventure with these these essential on-trail skills.

Rip and Live: Learn to Survive a Bear Attack

With 1 million bears roaming North America, chances are pretty good that you'll cross paths with one of them at some point. To make every encounter safe, from grizzly bears to black bears, bone up on bruin identification and etiquette.

So You Wanna Be a Mountain Guide

Tryout tips from a Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. Veteran

Tough Outdoor Jobs

Every backpacker dreams of a glory job in the outdoors. Here's what it takes to make the grade for 8 of the toughest ones out there.

Are You Tough Enough?

Every backpacker dreams of a glory job in the outdoors. Senior Editor Shannon Davis heads to Mt. Rainier--and a grueling tryout with premier guide operation RMI--to find out what it takes to make the grade.

Gear Review: Fenix HL20 Headlamp

Some headlamps only provide a little light to get you by. Not so with the 105-lumen Fenix HL20–and it runs on a normal AA battery too!

Tough Guy Challenge: Call for Videos

Submit your video! Win a trip to Rainier and the title of America's Toughest Backpacker.

Father's Day Gift Guide

What do dads really want? Hint: not more ties or car wash gift certificates. We polled our male staffers to find out what they hope to get (or give) this June 19th.

How To Slideshow: Fit A Week's Gear In A Weekend Pack

Don't own a massive pack for your big annual adventure? Here's how to make it all fit.

How to Use Online Weather Resources

Conditions mean everything when planning your weekend adventure. Check out our Rocky Mountain Editor's favorite weather sites.

Casting Call: Backcountry Fly-Fishing Gear

Get started backcountry fly-fishing with our testers' value-oriented picks, and you'll have one more excuse to linger in beautiful places.

Gear Review: FlytePacker Raft

Get off the bank and onto the lake with the FlytePacker Raft.

Gear Review: Gerber Flik Fish Multitool

Heavy but handy, the Gerber Flik Fish multitool offers functions specific for fishermen (and women).

Gear Review: Fishpond Tumbleweed Chest Pack

There's no need for an angler's vest with the Fishpond Tumbleweed Chest Pack.

Gear Review: Costa Del Mar Zane Sunglasses

Worth the price, the Costa Del Mar Zane sunglasses have polarized lenses perfect for spotting fish despite the water's glare.

Gear Review: Sage 1650 Fishing Reel

Reel in dinner with the Sage 1650.

Gear Review: Redington Classic Trout 9056 Fly Fishing Rod

The packable Redington Classic Trout 9056 is a great fly rod for beginners.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Gnar Hoody

Throw the 800-fill Sierra Designs Gnar Hoody for a cozy extra layer.

Gear Review: Helinox Featherlite Lever Button Trekking Poles



Gear Review: REI Passage 2 Tent

There's no need to sacrifice sturdiness with the less-pricey REI Passage 2 three-season tent.

Gear Review: Wenger EvoWood S557 Multitool

Keep the Wenger EvoWood S557 multitool handy to cut, clamp, screw or slice.

Gear Review: Mammut Teton GTX Hiking Boots

A Vibram sole adds a bit of burly sturdiness to the Mammut Teton GTX boot.

Gear Makeover Contest - Meet the Winners!

These six readers convinced us their gear needed an update! Look for their full makeovers in our January 2012 Readers' Choice issue.

Gear Review: Vasque Jule Trail Shoe

A low-cut hiker for all your daily adventures.

Gear Review: Weekend Packs

Load and go: Our test crew logged 1,689 miles to find the perfect short-haul pack for every type of hiker.

Dirtbag/Gourmet: Stew Recipes

Warm your belly with these hearty dishes.

Backpacking 101: Summer Trail Smarts

Learn to tie a basic, but essential knot, staunch a bleeder, and purify water.

Tough Guy Challenge: Week 5

It's the final push. Complete the final week's challenge and get ready for next week's call to submit your video.

Editor's Note: New National Parks

The prognosis for naming new sanctuaries looks grim. Is our best strategy to vote a few misfits off the island?

Prof. Hike: The Backpacker's Reading List

Seven great books and the outdoor places to enjoy them

Local Hikes: Northeast

Head out on one of these trails in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

Local Hikes: Midwest

Hike these long trails in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and head south to Texas to see Horned Lizards.

Local Hikes: Southeast

Hike these long trails in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida, and paddle three days in the Everglades backcountry.

Rip & Go: Long Path Loop - Harriman State Park, NY

Enjoy soaring views from open ridges on this easy-access overnight.

Rip & Go: Rockytop Loop - Shenandoah National Park, VA

Escape Skyline Drive to discover secret summits and hidden valleys.

Rip & Go: Twin Valley Trail - Five Rivers MetroParks, OH

Ramble along a wide river to quiet, old-growth hollows.

Summer Trail Smarts: Purify Water

Learn several techniques to purify water in the backcountry.

Summer Trail Smarts: Staunch a Bleeding Wound

Use these first aid techniques to control and treat a bleeding wound.

Summer Trail Smarts: Tie a Figure-8 Loop

Learn to tie a figure-8 loop–one of the most common and useful knots.

Gear School: Headlamps

Improve your night sight with the latest headlamp technology.

Technique: How to Cross a Moraine

Learn how to find a safe route through glacial rubble, crossing a moraine with nothing more than boots and trekking poles.

Rainier's Reigning Champ

George Dunn, co-owner of International Mountain Guides, recalls personal adventures and gives tips about climbing Mount Rainier.

Recipe: Farmer's Mash

For a hearty vegetable stew, make this easy Farmer's Mash recipe in less than 10 minutes.

Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

This gourmet chicken pot pie is an easy recipe for a warm and filling backcountry dinner.

Gear Review: REI Venturi 45 Backpack

Check out the Venturi 45 for its significant space and plentiful pockets.

Gear Review: Osprey Hornet 46 Backpack

If you're going light, choose the Osprey Hornet 46, which is durable despite its minimal weight.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Kanza 55/Tadita 50 Backpack

Stability is good in relationships and backpacks. It's guaranteed in the Mountain Hardwear's Kanza 55/Tadita 50 with its ability to flex to fit any spine position.

Gear Review: Deuter ACT Zero 50+15/45+15 Backpack

Beefy and adaptable, the Deuter ACT Zero shrinks sizes from week-long adventurer to afternoon excursioner without compromising comfort.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Epic 45 Backpack

The dynamic suspension system of the Black Diamond Epic makes carrying loads up to 45 pounds a walk in the park.

Prof. Hike: Rely on Yourself, Not on Your Phone

Join the effort to make mobile phones safer for the trail.

The Manual: Learn How To Paddle Whitewater

Learn how to ride rapids, and you'll open up a new way to explore the outdoors.

Tough Guy Challenge Week 4

We're down to the last two weeks of our five-week Tough Guy Challenge. Are you still hanging in there?

Gear Review: Black Diamond Epic 45 Backpack

A perfect weekend pack for mountaineer and ice climbers.

Outdoor Apps for Android Users

Don't let iPhone fanatics fool you: There are tons of great outdoor apps for the other operating system.

National Parks: Best of the Rest (Acadia to Zion)

Your life-list only starts with the top 10 parks. Our favorite hikes from the next 40 will fill it with glacier-edge paddling, desert-oasis exploring, and more.

National Parks: Great Smoky Mountains

For guaranteed solitude in the park's southwest reaches, explore this quiet loop during the off-season.

National Parks: Denali

Denali isn’t just for experts. These guinea pigs will prove it. Probably.

Ultralight Survey

Take our poll, then put your pack on a diet with tips coming in our August 2011 issue.

Going to Extremes

Can you ever really have too much of a good thing? Once you've seen the biggest tree, largest glacier, and deepest canyon, nothing else compares.

The High Life: Hiking Utah's Highline Trail

Watch your step on Utah' Highline Trail. The nonstop views and rampant wildlife are distractingly spectacular. Plus: Gaze away on 9 more elevated hikes.

Tough Guy Challenge Week 3

Week three of our five-week challenge will have you navigating obstacles and increasing mileage.

Rip & Go: Alamo to Capulin Canyon - Bandelier National Monument, NM

Climb across mesas and up canyon walls to a cave full of pictographs.

Rip & Go: Rock and Serene Lakes Loop - Mt. Hood National Forest, OR

Discover real wilderness just two hours from Portland.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

Hike these long trails in Montana, Idaho, Arizona, and Colorado, and raft an eight-mile section of the Arkansas River.

Local Hikes: West

Hike these long trails in Washington, Oregon, and California, and climb to a 10,064-foot peak in Angeles National Forest.

National Parks: North Cascades

Come for the sheer, glaciated peaks, but be mesmerized by rain-fed waterfalls that pour down on all sides.

National Parks: Capitol Reef

Discover a private paradise by crossing the park’s convoluted Waterpocket Fold.

Gear Review: Four Summer Camping Steals

Bonus: They are all lightweight and former Editors' Choice winners.

Gear Review: Empire Canvas Works Wool Blanket Shirt

A retro-looking (albeit heavy) coat that stands up to wintry weather and hard work.

Hiking Hells Canyon, ID

This remote chasm boasts big views, craggy mountains, abundant wildlife, and staggering solitude.

Ask A Bear: Electric Fence As Deterrent?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

National Park Slideshows

See scores of stunning images from the Grand Canyon, Denali, Yosemite, and more.

Gear Guide 2011: Essential Apps

Load up your smartphone or iPad with these backpacker-friendly apps.

Gear Guide 2011: Weeklong Packs

For big hauls these packs deliver.

Ask A Bear: Skunk Spray As Deterrent?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Gear Review: High Peak Everest 75+10

Its design is a mash-up of features we like in luggage and a trail-ready backpack.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Molimo 70

The Molimo fit everyone from beanpoles to fireplugs.

Gear Review: The North Face Zealot 70

Rain, mud, rocks, snow, crampons. Some packs need to be coddled when faced with the wet, rough, and sharp. Not the Zealot.

Gear Review: MontBell Super Expedition 90

The payload-to-weight-to-price of this pack is in a class by itself.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Mission 75

Its high-and-slim, alpine-style design easily kept 45 pounds close and stable as a tester scrambled up steep slopes and across tightrope-thin ridges.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Mission 75

Its high-and-slim, alpine-style design easily kept 45 pounds close and stable as a tester scrambled up steep slopes and across tightrope-thin ridges.

Gear Review: GoLite Terrono 70

This load monster's suspension is so dialed, it can induce a pleasant form of trail amnesia.

Gear Review: Mary Janes Farm High Attitude Six Pack (Bulk Dehydrated Food)

Stock your backcountry pantry for a full season of chowing down on delicious, satisfying, organic (and vegetarian) trail food.

Gear Guide 2011: Essentials

Welcome to accessory and apparel heaven: puffy jackets, stoves, windpants, knives, iPad apps, solar panels, GPS, hydration, first aid, socks, camp food, baselayers, and more.

Gear Guide 2011: Winter Sleeping Bags

Camp through the coldest months with these hearty sleeping bags.

Gear Guide 2011: Three-Season Sleeping Bags

This year's roundup of three-season bags features three killer deals and an Editors' Choice Award winner.

Gear Guide 2011: Summer Sleeping Bags

Six summer bags that cover summer's mood swings.

Gear Guide 2011: Sleeping Bags & Pads

Enjoy sweet dreams in nasty conditions with these sacks and pads.

Gear Guide 2011: Big Agnes Jack Rabbit SL2 Tent

A lightweight, freestanding, stable tent with adequate space.

Gear Guide 2011: Three- & Four-Person Tents

Pile in with these three- and four-person tents.

Gear Guide 2011: Tents

Stay warmer and drier thanks to efficient pole structures, geometries that enhance space and stormproofing, durable lightweight materials, and wind-tunnel-proven shapes.

Gear Guide 2011: Two-Person Tents

Whatever your needs–ultralight, inexpensive, all-season, tough–we found the perfect two-person tent.

Gear Guide 2011: One-Person Tents

If you fly solo, these are the tents for you.

Gear Guide 2011: Backpacks

Whether you're loading for a local dayhike, a weekend in the wilderness, or a once-in-a-lifetime thru-hike, this year's class of packs redefines comfort.

Trail Chef: Blue Cheese-Stuffed Dates

Power up the trail with these healthy energy bombs.

Gear Guide 2011: Light Duty Boots/Trail Runners

If light and fast is your hiking/trail running motto, these are your kicks.

Gear Guide 2011: Mid Duty Boots

Two of BACKPACKER's 14 Editors' Choice Award winners fall into this all-purpose hiking boot category.

Gear Guide 2011: Heavy Duty Boots

For big mountain climbs, these are your boots

Gear Guide 2011: Boots

From fit to grip, this year's shoes do everything better.

Gear Review: Pacific Outdoors Peak Elite AC

This pad delivers low weight and low cost, making no more grumpy mornings.

Gear Review: Exped SynMat UL 7

Stay warm and comfy with this insulated sleeping pad.

Gear Review: Montrail Mountain Masochist MID GTX Hiking Boot

Bedroom-slipper light and instantly comfortable

Gear Review: Ahnu Montara Women's Hiking Boot

Women love this comfortable, stable and affordable boot.

Gear Review: Garmont Zenith Hike GTX Hiking Boot

Lightweight book with a lightweight price.

Gear Review: SCARPA Terra GTX/Luna GTX Hiking Boot

The Terra's soft PU midsole, gives the boot a cushy, shock-absorbing feel.

Gear Review: AKU Suiterra Suede GTX Hiking Boot

One of the most versatile boots around.

Gear Review: Merrell Refuge Core Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

It crushed the competition in terms of support.

Gear Review: Salewa ALP Trainer Mid GTX Hiking Boot

Voted Editors' Choice 2011 as the best all-around boot.

Gear Review: Vasque Bitterroot GTX Hiking Boot

A classic looking boot with above average support and stability.

Gear Review: Patagonia Scree Shield Hiking Boot

One shoe for everything from dayhikes to dog walks to peakbagging epics.

Gear Review: Kayland Vertigo Dual Hiking Boot

This boot offers maximum performance and durability.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Delta GTX Hiking Boot

A great lightweight boot for heavy duty hiking.

Gear Review: Mammut Mountain Cascade GTX Hiking Boot

The perfect boot for big, unpredictable mountain adventures.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Quantum Trail Runner

This shoe excels when 'trail' is a generous description.

Gear Review: New Balance 101 Trail Runner

This barely there trail runner has the perfect blend of breathability, support, and durability.

Ask A Bear: Old Vomit in a Tent?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Raise the Adventure Bar

10 tips to make an average hike extraordinary

Tough Guy Challenge Week 2

Build on week one's regimen by mastering even more survival and navigation skills and improving your overall fitness level.

Tough Guy Challenge Week 1

Rev up for the first week of our plan to make you the ultimate tough guy, or gal.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: CAN'T GO WRONG

Socks to hats to sports bras–the essential gear for any female hiker.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: WEEKEND HIKER

Outfit your mama with the perfect overnight gear.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: PEAK BAGGER

If the lady on your gift list likes to go hard or go home, we have eight pieces of gear calling her name.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: TRAIL DINNER DATE

A backcountry setup for the maestro in the kitchen.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: BUSY MOM

Bring the kids and keep 'em happy with these backpacking gift ideas.

Trail Chef: Backcountry Easter Eggs

Make hard-boiled eggs without even boiling water. Plus: Why a marshmallow Peep has never climbed Everest

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2011

Whether you're shopping for your wife, mom, girlfriend, or BFF we've done the heavy lifting for you with 40 picks that are sure to make her Mother's Day.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Outdoor Research Solar Roller

Fool-proof sun protection for her noggin

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Smith Optics Heyday Sunglasses

Good-looking performance shades that fit a woman's face.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Moving Comfort Alexis Sports Bra

Finally–a flattering sports bra

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Prana Burnout Headband

Say goodbye to hat head

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Montbell Alpine Light Down Parka

Maximum warmth for minimum weight

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Dahlgren Hiking Socks

Plushly padded socks for all-day comfort

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Coco-Zen Truffles To-Go

Portable and delicious chocolate truffles

Mother's Day Gift Guide: The North Face Venture Jacket

An eco-friendly jacket that performs and won't break the bank

Mother's Day Gift Guide: LEKI Cressida AERGON Speedlock

Save your knees with these lightweight poles made especially for women

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Ki

An ideal weekend pack for women

Mother's Day Gift Guide: The North Face Women's Hotlum 3-Season Sleeping Bag

A tough, warm, bargain down sleeping bag

Mother's Day Gift Guide: DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w with SPOT Satellite Communicator

Manage your social network from anywhere

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Equal Exchange Organic Spicy Hot Cocoa

Hot cocoa, with the emphasis on "hot"

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Mountain Hardwear Super Power Hoody

This mid-weight fleece is ultra-comfy, stretchy, and warm.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Ahnu Montara Hiking Boot

All-terrain stability and all-day comfort in this women's only hiking boot.

Tax Rebate Gear: Build a Better Backpacker

This year, spend that extra dough on at-home workout gear that will make it easier to get out and log miles. Basically, you're investing in you.

How-To Slideshow: Learn to Build an Emergency Fire

Lost and alone without your gear? Don't just sit there. Get a fire going.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Smartwool Spring Glove

Breathable merino wool and rugged leather make for happy hands

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Bobo's Oat Bars

Yummy organic trail bars

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Mammut Ultimate Hoody

A featherweight softshell with the biggest pit zips you've ever seen

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Patagonia Multi Use Skirt

A cute, comfy, and functional hiking skirt

Mother's Day Gift Guide: REI Traverse 30 Daypack

Perfectly sized and organized for done-in-a-day outings

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Highgear Axio Mini Altimeter Watch

A feature-filled altimeter watch sized for the female wrist

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Petzl Tikka2 Headlamp

A tough, dependable nightlight

Mother's Day Gift Guide: TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX Hiking Boots

Incredible traction, light weight, and zero break-in

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Outdoor Herbivore Sprout Kit

Grow your own food on the trail, no gardening or greenhouse required

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Alice White Lexia Moscato

A very tasty box wine

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Packit Gourmet Trail Meals & Baking Set

Eat well without all the fuss with these prepackaged camp meals

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Coghlan's Multi-Spice Shaker

Improve the taste of any meal

Mother's Day Gift Guide: GSI Gourmet Backpack Kitchen

Measure it, whisk it, and serve it in the backcountry with these kitchen accessories.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Optimus Terra HE Cook Set

A gourmet cook set for fancy feasts

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Jetboil Sol Advanced Cooking System

Smaller, lighter, and even better performing than the original

Mother's Day Gift Guide: MSR DragonFly Stove

Don't just boil water, cook up a masterpiece

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Snack This Veggie Medley

Grab your veggies on the go

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Horny Toad Tranquil Hoody

A comfortable, cute, easy-to-wear top

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Kelty Diaper Daypack

An everyday diaper pack that goes from trail to train with ease

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Olympus TG-310 Point-and-Shoot Camera

Shockproof, waterproof, and freezeproof means it's kid-proof

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure Kit Battery Charger

Rechargeable, portable power for all your mobile devices

Deuter Kid Comfort III Kid Carrier

Our favorite toddler-hauler

Mother's Day Gift Guide: ERGObaby Performance Infant Carrier

The best way to tote your infant on a hike

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Kelty Big Dipper 30 Jr. Kids Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag that grows with your child.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Smartwool Lupine Striped Hat

A densely knit merino wool that fits and breathes well.

Trail Chef: Double-Lemon Bars

When life hands you a lemon, make lemon bars, then go hiking.

Ask A Bear: Why Did You Steal My Empty Pack?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Countdown to a Successful Hike

Stop trailhead snafus with this pretrip checklist.

How-To Slideshow: Make a 2-Ring Retrievable Rappel Anchor

Take your rappel slings with you after learning this simple method.

How-To Slideshow: Learn to Tape a Sprained Ankle

This low-bulk bracing is used by sports trainers and wilderness medics to stabilize weak ligaments and discourage further injury. You can apply all sorts of extras like pre-wrap liners, ankle pads, and skin adhesive, but here's the down and dirty trail version.

Gear Review: Olympus Tough TG-310 Point-and-Shoot Camera

A shockproof, waterproof, freeze-proof camera for all your outings

Gear Review: Thermosoles Rechargeable Remote Controlled Heated Insoles

Say hello to my second-most guiltiest pleasure in the backcountry.

Trail Teachers: On Tour with BACKPACKER's Get Out More Team

BACKPACKER's camping experts are coming soon to an outdoor shop near you. Learn what you can expect from this dynamic couple and their Get Out More clinics.

How To: Make a Survival Bracelet

Learn to make a handy survival bracelet with this step-by-step slideshow.

Tough Guy Challenge 2011

Think you're a tough guy (or gal)? Take our five-week challenge and enter our video contest for a chance to prove it.

Ask A Bear: Will Music Attract A Bear?

Got a burning ursine question? Ask our resident bruin expert in our new weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Scare a Marauding Bear

Got a burning ursine question? Ask our resident bruin expert in our new weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Do Bears Really Like Toothpaste

Got a burning ursine question? Ask our resident bruin expert in our new weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Is Submerged Food Safe?

Got a burning ursine question? Ask our resident bruin expert in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Can Boat Horns Scare Bears?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Can Mothballs Keep Away Bears

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: How Many Bear Attacks, Really?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will Camp Fire/Cigar Smoke Keep Away A Bear

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Run Away From A Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear Christmas Present

Usually, our bear answers burning ursine questions, but this week he's dropping off a holiday gift.

Ask A Bear: How Should I Handle MaMa Black Bear With Cubs?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Can Bears Get Drunk

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Ditch the Deodorant In Bear Country?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: How Long Do Food Smells Stick to My Tent?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Mountain Biking In Bear Country?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask a Bear: Will Backcountry Sex attract a Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Followed By A Dangerous Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will Dryer Sheets Attract a Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Soap-Eating Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in out weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will Pet Hair Attract a Bear

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Is It Ok To Cook In An RV In Bear Country?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will My Farts Attract a Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Charging Bear Caught on FIlm

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Storing Food Above Treeline?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Why is Black Bear and Grizzly Bear Behavior so Different?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will Cider Vinegar Attract a Bear



Ask A Bear: Bear Steals, Destroys Car for PB&J Sandwich

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will you Eat me In Rocky Mountain NP?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Do Ultrasonic Noises Repel You?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Do Bear Bells Really Work

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Which Park Has The Most Bear Attacks

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Can Wasp Spray Repel You?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Never Look a Bear in the Eyes?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Break a Stick to Scare Away Bears?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Do I Need to Bear-Bag Unopened Freeze-Dried Foods?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: More Active During a Full Moon

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will a Flashlight Make You Mad?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Why Did You Destroy my Van?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask a Bear: Bear Canisters in Winter?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask a Bear: Are you a Picky Eater? (Video)

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: What Color Are Your Eyes At Night?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

2011 Be A Mapper Contest Official Rules



Trail Chef: No-Cook Oatmeal

Everyone's favorite breakfast staple doesn't necessarily require a stove.

Ask A Bear: Scared By Flashing Lights?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Gear Review: Flip An Zip Zipper Repair Kit

This kit makes zipper repair a DIY project.

Gear Review: Yarns

You'll be the life of the campfire with a few tips from the pros.

Gear Review: XC navigation skills

Learn everything you need to know to get from point a. to point b.

Gear Review: Grease Monkey Wipes

A magic eraser for grease and grime.

Gear Review: Magellan iPhone ToughCase

A waterproof case that doesn't render your iPhone useless.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Lateral Dry Bag

A dry bag that doubles as a duffel.

Gear Review: GoLite TraveLite 30'' Wheeled Duffel

An expedition-size wheeled duffle.

Gear Review: Polar Pure Water Disinfectant

An iodine treatment that doesn't taste like iodine.

Gear Review: MSR Dromlite Bag

A lightweight, six-liter bag.

Gear Review: Tech4o Data Center II Watch

A watch with all the whistles, but you don't have to wear it on your wrist.

Gear Review: Bandit Wine



Gear Review: Icebreaker Beast 150 Boxer Brief with Fly

A wool boxer brief for him (even if he hates wool).

Gear Review: Patagonia Switchback Bra

A sports bra with a very supportive wraparound design.

Gear Review: Stoic Merino Boy Boxer

A little bit of spandex helps these boy boxers (for her) stay in place.

Gear Review: Easton CTR-80 Trekking Poles

An all-carbon trekking pole that absorbs shock through the grip.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z-pole



Gear Review: Davek Traveler Umbrella

A pricey umbrella that's worth every penny.

Gear Review: Portable Sounds Laboratories iMaingoX Speaker System

A handy little speaker system.

Gear Review: Eton Soulra iPod Dock

An iPod dock for the backcountry.

Gear Review: Patagonia Tropic Comfort Hoody

A long-sleeved shirt built for hot and sunny weather.

Gear Review: Dahlgren Backpacking Sock

Socks that stay plush through heavy miles.

Gear Review: Bridgedale X-Hale Light Hiker with NanoGLIDE Socks

Socks with friction protection in all the right places.

Gear Review: Darn Tough Vermont True-Seamless Socks

Socks that promise no blisters–and deliver.

Gear Review: Granite Gear Uberlight eVent Stuffsack

These Cuben Fiber stuffsacks are light and tough.

Gear Review: Brunton Restore Solar Charger

This bomber solar charger was the most durable of all the models we tested.

Gear Review: Energizer's Xpal SP2000 Power Pack

A hybrid battery and solar array.

Gear Review: Goal Zero's Nomad 7M Charger

Through the use of monocrystalline solar cells, Goal Zero created a super effective charger.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Muru Short

Shorts that move but aren't baggy.

Editors' Choice 2011

From a bargain ultralight tent to perfect-fit boots, here are 14 products that passed the ultimate field test.

Gear Review: Balanzza Mini Scale



Gear Review: The North Face Leonidas Jacket

A stretchy, three-season jacket

Gear Review: GoLite Malpais Jacket

A ridiculously light shell that also blocks wind and rain.

Gear Review: Marmot Ether DriClime Jacket



Gear Guide 2011: Weekend Packs

These packs will comfortably hold all your Friday-Sunday needs.

Gear Review: Stoic Welder Lo Jacket

The perfect three-season jacket.

Gear Guide: Lowe Alpine Alpine Attack 45 Weekend Pack

This pack is thousand-foot glissades and crampon/ice axe friendly.

Gear Review: Rab Boreas/Aurora Pull-on Jacket



Gear Review: Granite Gear Nimbus Trace 62 Weekend Pack

A weekend pack that can handle overtime.

Gear Review: REI ecoSensitive Revelcloud Jacket

PrimaLoft, DWR-treated Pertex Quantum, and recycled polyester make this a warm and eco-friendly puffy jacket.

Gear Review: Montbell Alpine Light Down Parka

A hooded, 800-fill down puffy.

Gear Review: Jetboil Crunchit

Easily puncture and crush spent fuel cans with this handy tool.

Gear Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider Weekend Pack

If you travel light and fast, this is your weekend pack.

Gear Review: Gregory Baltoro 65 Weekend Pack

An updated version of a previous Editors' Choice Awards winner.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Cohesion Stretch Pant

Lightweight and durable shell pants.

Gear Review: Cocoon Ultralight Air-Core Pillow

A compact pillow that inflates to 12x15".

Gear Review: REI Passage 65 Weekend Pack

Just $149 can buy you a great pack.

Gear Review: Kuhl Renegade Pants

Styled like cotton pants, but built to work out.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Revival 65/Jubilee 65 Weekend Pack

If you're an organizer, this is the pack for you.

Gear Review: Loksak's OPSAK bag

These resealable, washable, and polyethylene bags protect food and toiletries from small critters.

Gear Review: Sky Tonight Star Charts

Chart your campsite's night sky with customizable maps.

Gear Review: Montrail Sabino Trail Mid GTX Boots

Want boots with maximum support and protection for minimum weight?

Gear Review: America the Beautiful Annual Pass

If you plan to hit more than one national park in a year, consider this national parks pass.

Gear Review: Leki Aergon Photoadapter Kit

Turn your Leki trekking pole into a monopod for photo ops.

Gear Review: Hurraw! Lip Balm

Handmade from fair-trade ingredients, this lip balm has BACKPACKER editors raving.

Gear Review: Petzl Core Headlamp

A rechargeable and programmable headlamp.

Gear Review: Primus PrimeTorch 1010

A 140-lumen beam in a lipstick-size flashlight.

Gear Review: Coghlan's Cooler Light

A light for your cooler–perfect for car camping.

Gear Review: Pelican HeadsUP Lite 2690 LED Headlamp

An easy-to-use headlamp (even with gloves on).

Gear Review: GSI Crossover Kitchen Set

Everything you need to cook up a feast in the backcountry.

Gear Review: MSR Alpinist 2 Cookpot

A 2.4-liter hard anodized aluminum cookpot.

Gear Review: Jetboil Sumo Cookpot

A 1.8-liter aluminum cookpot.

Gear Review: Soto Muka Stove

A white gas stove that doesn't require priming.

Gear Review: Lorpen Kids Light Hikers

Merino/synthetic socks that will make kids' feet happy.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Hurricane Accelerator Shell

A hooded, seam-taped, DWR-treated rain jacket for kids.

Gear Review: REI's Tarn 18 Pack

A kid-size mileage logging pack.

Gear Review: Patagonia Kid's Capilene 3 Midweight Crew Baselayer

For outdoor kids, a baselayer that will keep them dry and warm.

Gear Review: Baladeo 22G Knife

A full-size, three-inch blade that's sharp and light.

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits Core Lite Knife

A knife, whistle, and light in one.

Gear Review: Callpod Fueltank DUO Rechargeable Battery Pack

A rechargeable, lithium-ion battery pack for all your gadgets.

Gear Review: RoadID's Wrist ID Sport

A bracelet with all your vital information in case of emergency.

Gear Review: Rab Aeon Print T-shirt

A polyester performance t-shirt that's worth every penny–and we're giving away four! Read on to win!

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Echo Cap

A stretchy, superbreathable sun hat.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Downpour Wide Brim Rain Hat

A storm shell and umbrella for your head

Gear Review: Chaos Dri-Release Multi-Tasker Pro Balaclava

A versatile balaclava made of a blend of fabrics.

Gear Review: ENO ProNest Hammock

Set up camp anywhere with this easy-to-use hammock.

Gear Review: DeLorme PN-60w with SPOT Communicator

GPS + Spot + Text Messaging

Gear Review: Apples to Apples

While away tent hours with this fun card game.

Gear Review: Black Diamond GTX FrontPoint Gaiters

Bomber gaiters that block out slime.

Gear Review: Stoic Welder Gauntlet Mitt

A 100-percent wool-lined glove that heats hands instantly.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Arc Gloves

A great all-purpose glove for high-output activities.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Backstop Gloves

Gore Windstopper covers the back of the hand from cuff to fingertips.

Gear Review: Pre-packaged Desserts

Follow a day of hiking with one of these yummy desserts.

Gear Review: Pre-packaged Dinners

You won't go hungry with these backcountry dinners.

Gear Review: Pre-packaged Lunches & Snacks

Easy-to-eat lunches and snacks that actually taste good.

Gear Review: Pre-packaged Breakfasts

Oatmeal, granola, and eggs–backcountry style.

Gear Review: Zeal Tenacity Sunglasses

High performance shades scaled down to fit small and medium faces.

Gear Review: Julbo MonteBianco Sunglasses

High-elevation glasses that have city street style.

Gear Review: Ryders Eyewear Vela Interchangeable Sunglasses

High quality interchangeable optics for one low price.

Gear Review: Smith Pivlock V90 Sunglasses

Rimless and interchangeable

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits' S.O.L. 3 Survival, Medical & Gear Repair Pak

A first aid kit that can handle way more than blisters.

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits’ S.O.L. 3 Survival, Medical & Gear Repair Pak



Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits’ S.O.L. 3 Survival, Medical & Gear Repair Pak



Gear Review: Handpresso Wild

Caffeine in the palm of your hand–no plumbing or plugs required.

Gear Review: Nuun U Natural Hydration Tablets

A subtle way to mask chemically treated water.

Gear Review: Planet Dog Natural Hemp Adjustable Collar and Leash



Gear Review: Ruff Wear Cloud Chaser

A primo softshell jacket...for your dog.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Contact Crampons

Stainless steel crampons that bite into ice and repel slushy buildup.

Gear Guide 2011: Daypacks

For a day outside, grab one of these trail-tested packs.

Gear Review: Osprey Sirrus 24 Women's Daypack

The fit and comfort of this pack scored high with all our female testers.

Gear Review: Deuter Speed Lite 15

A 15 liter daypack that's small, light, and tough.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Axis 33 Daypack

A tough pack made for climbing rock.

Gear Review: Mammut Creon Light 32 Daypack

If you only want one daypack, ever, this is your pack.

Gear Review: ContourHD Camera

A tiny helmet cam with above average sound quality.

Gear Review: CamelBak Highwire 25 Daypack

A 100-ounce reservoir makes this hydration pack the best of the bunch.

Gear Review: Sanyo Xacti VPC-CA102YL Camera

A waterproof video camera that's reasonably priced.

Gear Review: Pentax K-5 Camera

A tough DSLR that's perfect for shooting wildlife thanks to its quiet shutter.

Gear Review: Pentax Optio W90 Camera

An all-conditions, high-value performance point-and-shoot camera.

Gear Review: Brunton Pioneer 26DNL Compass

A compass that floats.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero Shoe

550-fill down booties that are perfect winter camp shoes.

Gear Review: Patagonia Advocate Shoes

A leather slipper with a rubber sole–the perfect camp shoe.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest Trekker Lounge Chair

Turn any standard-size sleeping pad into a decadent recliner.

Gear Review: Clik Elite Access Pack

A light and streamlined chest camera pack.

Gear Review: Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle

A double-wall insulated bottle that is amazingly effective for its weight.

Gear Review: Brunton Eterna Compact 10x25 Binoculars

Powerful optics that pack small.

Gear Review: Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 Binoculars

A bargain binocular that doubles as a backcountry microscope.

Gear Review: Mammut Smart Alpine Belay Device

A versatile belay device that works with single, double, and some twin ropes. It also offers active braking support.

Gear Review: Ibex Shak Lite Half Zip Baselayer

A heavyweight baselayer that's soft and fitted, and stretch and warm.

Gear Review: WinterSilks Long Sleeve Silk Wool Crewneck and Pant Baselayers

This 70/30 silk/wool baselayer keeps you warm while also wicking.

Gear Review: Patagonia L/S Polarized Tee Baselayer

A 100% polyester t-shirt that feels just like cotton.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Pace SS Baselayer

A polypropylene/polyester blended baselayer that wicks away sweat.

How To Slideshow: FIx and Maintain Your Trekking Poles

Make those tried and true trekking poles last forever with these maintenance tips.

Trail Chef: Chefs Mike Faverman and Pat Mac's Mouthwatering Dill Salmon

We review their new recipe book Ultimate Camp Cooking. Plus: their easy-cook Dill Salmon recipe.

Gear Review: High Peak Chameleon 20/0

A budget-conscious convertible bag that changes to match its environment.

Ask A Bear: Can You Smell My Marijuana?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Prof. Hike: A Backpacker's Guide to Smart Personal Hygiene

6 tips for staying clean and fresh on the trail

The Birth of the Rockies

A new theory might solve the mystery of how these mountains formed.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker Pad

The Trekker is a more affordable descendant of the NeoAir, which won our Editors' Choice Award in 2009.

Trail Chef: Irish Potato Candy

Lads and lasses, stuff your gobs with these tasty treats.

How-To Slideshow: Learn to Hang a Bear Bag

Learn to use this lightweight method of getting your food out of a bear's reach.

Almost Editors' Choice

5 near-perfect pieces of gear in our 2011 Editors' Choice testing

Editors' Choice 2011 Gold Award: Icebreaker Hopper T

Buy now, wear forever.

Editors' Choice 2011 Green Award: The North Face Venture Jacket

Get total weather protection for half the gas.

Get Higher: Best Firetower Hikes

For sheltered scenery high above the trees, there's no better place than a fire tower. Try one of these editor-approved hikes to backcountry rooms with a view.

Everest Contaminated by Toxic Metals

New research reveals high levels of arsenic and cadmium in the mountain's snow and soil. Plus: Should you worry about similar pollution in North America's high country?

Sign Up For the Go Farther with Maps and GPS Webinar

Master essential navigation skills and turn into an interactive backcountry explorer.

Ask A Bear: Stay Away From My Honey!

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Editors' Choice 2011: TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX Hiking Boot

Get instant, all-day comfort and superb traction with this ultralight waterproof hiker.

Editors' Choice 2011: Rab Boreas/Aurora Pull-On Softshell Jacket

Get a softshell that's so light and versatile, you won't leave it behind on multiday treks.

Editors' Choice 2011: SteriPEN Adventurer Opti

This ultralight water purifier is fast, easy, and leaves zero aftertaste.

Editors' Choice 2011: Nemo Astro Insulated Sleeping Pad and Pillowtop

Upgrade your zzzzz's with this luxe and versatile system.

Editors' Choice 2011: Marmot Plasma 15 and 30 Sleeping Bags

In the quest for maximum warmth at minimum weight, we have a new standard setter.

Editors' Choice 2011: Kelty Salida 2 Tent

This sub-four-pound bargain brings ultralight shelter to the masses.

Editors' Choice 2011: Salewa Alp Trainer Mid

Tackle any terrain in these midweights, and don't worry about blisters. We–er, they–guarantee it.

Editors' Choice 2011: Granite Gear Blaze AC 60

Want a lightweight pack with the guts for big-load trips? This best-in-class suspension delivers.

Editors' Choice 2011: Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z-Poles

Get a grip on the best carbon poles we've ever tested.

Editors' Choice 2011: MontBell Alpine Light Down Parka

Low weight, high warmth, and modest price make this jacket a perfect fit.

Editors' Choice 2011: DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w with SPOT Satellite Communicator

Here's a high-tech trifecta: Navigate the backcountry and call for emergency help and stay connected with those at home.

Editors' Choice 2011: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4 Tent

Where are the smoke and mirrors? This family-size tent weighs the same as some two-person shelters.

Got Busted Gear?

Gear editor Kristin Hostetter is working on a new book and she wants your dirty, broken gear to fix up.

Dan's Wild Berry Trout Recipe

Dress up your fresh caught trout with this delicious wild berry compote.

Trail Chef: Tomato Pasta with Spinach-Cheese Sauce

New research shows spinach makes your muscles work more efficiently, so power up with this savory dish.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

Hike Denver's lost wilderness, a twofer of peaks in Idaho, lava tubes in New Mexico, Zion's sneak route, and Bozeman's trout-filled lake.

Learn to Do a Downhill Kick Turn

This basic survival skiing turn is a backcountry staple for experts and novices alike.

Prof. Hike: Catching Hiking's Most Wanted

The most dangerous mistakes are the ones you don't recognize.

Gear Review: Feathered Friends Peregrine eVent Sleeping Bag

Packed with 850-plus-fill down, this bag lofts up a full nine inches, yet remains remarkably packable.

Gear Review: Mammut Altitude Winter Sleeping Bag

The Altitude's 800-fill down is protected from the elements by a waterproof/breathable ShelterTX shell and full-length, rubberized, splashproof zipper.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear ExtraLamina 0 Sleeping Bag

Three inches of extra space in the shoulder area make this a primo bag for the broad shouldered.

Gear Review: REI Radiant 0 Sleeping Bag

Winter camping becomes budget friendly with this 0° bag.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Pyro 15 Sleeping Bag

The Pyro is the economical solution if you need a 15°F bag in 30°F temps.

Gear Review: Sea To Summit Traverse Xt1 Sleeping Bag

The Traverse Xt1's secret weapon? Sea To Summit's 3D NanoShell which keeps down dry without inhibiting breathability.

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Katahdin 20 Sleeping Bag

Knock-around durability, easy-care synthetic insulation, and a no-brainer price.

The Biggest Winner: Why Backpacking Burns Fat

Your body is an engine. It runs on a mix of carbohydrates, fats, and a very small amount of protein. And it's a finely tuned engine, using the best fuel for every need.

Ask A Bear: Will My iPod Keep You Away?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Gear Review: Kelty Light Year Down 20 Sleeping Bag

The space-heater warmth and long-term durability of a down bag without the lofty price.

Gear Review: Stoic Somnus 30 Sleeping Bag

An ultralight summer sleeping bag that sleeps warm.

After Burn: Staying in Shape Off-Trail

How to keep off what you've hiked off.

Gear Rview: Big Agnes Big Creek Sleeping Bag

No more zipping bags together, a two-person bag designed for couples.

Frostbite IQ

Test your skills--and possibly save some fingers--with this first-aid quiz.

Hike. Pray. Protest.

Does God love camping? A new church movement foot-soldiered by wilderness-loving young people could transform the way conservative Christians perceive and protect the environment. We hit the trail with the new green evangelicals.

Lighten Up: Losing Weight by Hiking

Make one simple resolution–to hike more –and we guarantee you'll lose that spare tire around the middle. Here's the proof, the plan, and the inspiration.

Gear Review: Solar Powered Backpacking Gear

Five of our favorite solar items to make your next trip brighter, safer, and less stinky

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Poncha 35 Bag

Carry about a pound extra,and save more than $100.

The Wrong Way: Top 52 Hiker Mistakes

Your guide to 52 common mistakes hikers make--and how to avoid them.

Right Place, Perfect Time

See Yosemite's river of ice, witness there-and-gone meteor showers in Hawaii, and mark your calendar for eight more fleeting natural wonders.

Right Place, Perfect Time: An Oasis in California's Desert Peaks

Peakbag in the White Mountains—without lugging in water.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Olympic's Spring Waterfalls

Hike through a wild water park in Enchanted Valley.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Aurora Borealis

Notch the best northern lights show in the Lower 48.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Frazil Ice

Witness a river of slush flow through Yosemite Valley.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Geminid Meteor Shower

See shooting stars from a five-star backcountry observatory.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Best River Paddle

Hit Idaho's Owyhee River just right, and you get one of the West's best paddles to yourself.

Dirtbag Recipe: Tuna with Olives and Capers

Try this quick and easy fish recipe.

Gourmet Recipe: Grilled King Salmon with Porcini Mushrooms

Take your fire-side fish skills to the next level with this savory salmon recipe.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Monarch Butterfly Migration

See these colorful flutters fuel up for the long flight to Mexico.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Showiest Fall Colors

Hit the leaf jackpot on these classic footpaths.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Golden Eagle Gathering

Soar with the world's largest migration.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest Alpine Down Blanket

A quilt-style bag that integrates perfectly with a sleeping pad.

Local Hikes: Northeast

Paddle to Maryland's Assateague Island; pack an ice axe for the Presidentials.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Brightest Wildflower Bloom

Wait for El Nino and cruise through mesmerizing fields of seldom-seen desert blossoms.

Dirtbag to Gourmet: Fish Recipes

Dig into a backcountry fish feast with these easy-prep, sure-to-wow dishes.

Winter Training

Get trail-fit now to make next summer your best hiking season yet.

Gear School: Avalanche Beacons

Travel safely through snowscapes with this lifesaving locator.

8 Ways to Treat Water

Stay hydrated–and healthy–with a filter or purifier that's right for you.

Gear Review: Exped Dreamwalker 250 Sleeping Bag

The 850-fill Dreamwalker converts to a full-length poncho–like a puffy jacket, only warmer.

Gear Review: Terra Nova Laser 300 Elite Sleeping Bag

The Laser weighs a scant 12 ounces and packs down to the size of a grapefruit, yet it's warm right down to its temp rating.

Gear Review: NEMO Pentalite Tent

A roomy pyramid shelter.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Saitaris Tent

A mountaineering tent that costs as much as a mortgage payment, but delivers homelike comforts.

Gear Review: Marmot Boreas 3P Tent

A freestanding, three-person tent that has super ventilation.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Corners 3 Tent

A roomy, affordable, and freestanding dome.

Gear Review: Cabela's XPG Ultralight 3 Tent

This three-star accommodation costs less than $60 per person.

Gear Review: Easton Kilo Tent

This three-season tent saves weight with new pole technology.

Gear Review: Marmot Turret 2P Tent

A tent that can handle the rougher edges of spring and fall.

Gear Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo II Tent

If you count weight savings in grams, not ounces, you won't find a lighter option with this much protection.

Gear Review: MSR DragonTail Tent

True all-season performance–without a weight penalty.

Trail Chef: Easy-Bake Cinnamon Rolls

Start your morning with the sweet aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through camp.

Ask a Bear: Bivys in Bear Country?

When I sleep in my beloved bivy, am I just wrapping myself up like a six-foot bear burrito?

Local Hikes: Southeast

Ascend Rocky Top in Tennessee; spot herons and Pelicans in a Florida bayou.

Local Hikes: Midwest

Discover east Texas's longleaf pine forest; see the Boundary Waters on foot.

Gear Review: Camp Cookware

We scrambled eggs, flipped pancakes, and scrubbed burnt-on crud to find the best pots and pans for every backcountry chef.

Prof. Hike: Prevent Civil War on the Trail

Don't let different hiking speeds tear your group apart.

Rip & Go: Turkey Creek Trail

Hike through three ecological zones in east Texas's carnivore country.

America's Best-Kept Secrets: Wind River Range, WY



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Gila Wilderness, NM



America's Best-Kept Secrets: John Muir Wilderness, CA



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, MT



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Dark Canyon Wilderness, UT



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness, WA



America's Best-Kept Secrets: White Cloud Mountains, ID



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Eagle Cap Wilderness, OR



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Linville Gorge Wilderness, NC



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Eagles Nest Wilderness, CO



America's Best-Kept Secrets

The only thing better than enjoying the life-list scenery in the country's premier national parks? Getting that same scenery, minus the crowds. Find it in these 10 backcountry hotspots, along with no-hassle permits, choice campsites aplenty, and solitude to match the world-class terrain.

Local Hikes: West

See California dunes, Nevada red-rock canyons, Alaska's deep forest, quiet Oregon Coast, and Washington's Cascade lakes.

Rip & Go: Pine Tree Loop

Paddle to shoreline solitude, then perch on dunes above the Atlantic Ocean in Maryland's Assateague Island National Seashore.

Rip & Go: Goldmyer Hot Springs - Snoqualmie NF, WA

Track beneath waterfalls and icicle-hung trees to a soothing soak.

BACKPACKER MAGAZINE Digital Editions and APPS

From the iPad to the iPhone and Android, check out these BACKPACKER mobile apps.

Trail Chef: Spiced Cocoa Nuts

Add pizzazz to your gorp with this addictive mix.

How-To Slideshow: Learn to Fix a Tent Pole

Resurrect any tent pole with this handy how-to guide.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Lightning HT 2 Tent

Two-person tent with more space than meets the eye.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Morrison Tent

A double-wall tent that's simple on design but big on space.

Gear Review: Tarptent Moment Tent

An ultra-affordable ultralight solo tent.

Gear Review: NEMO Moto 1P

A solo tent with XXL dimensions.

Gear Review: Ultra Light Kettle Co. mKettle

A cool way to boil and carry water, all in one package.

Gear Review: EMS Velocity 1 Tent

A bargain solo tent.

Gear Guide 2011 Table of Contents



Ask A Bear: Can I Survive On Your Diet?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Gear Review: Zeal Optics Transcend SPPX Goggles

The GPS-enabled cyborg goggles you've been dreaming about

How-To Slideshow: Learn to Make an Ultralight Tent Deaman

Use this cheap, simple solution for securing your tent on snow or sand in no time.

Prof. Hike: This Post Might Save Your Life

How your cell phone calls for help even when you don't have service

Editors' Choice 2011: Video Gear Reviews

This year's Editors' Choice testing trip took place in Utah's Capitol Reef National Park -- a perfect testing ground for our favorite gear of the year.

Gear Review: Marmot Variant Jacket

Ever wish to stitch additional insulation onto the front of your favorite mid-layer? Your wish is granted.

Trail Chef: GoodBelly ToGo Probiotics Review

Fortify your immune system (and avoid GI distress) in the backcountry with these tasty powder mixes.

Ask A Bear: Sleeping In Hammocks?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Boot TLC: Tips on Cleaning, Buying, and Mending Your Hiking Boots

Your boots will last longer, fit better, and hike farther if you give them a little TLC.

Tent TLC: Tips on Cleaning, Buying, and Mending Your Tent

Keep your favorite shelter in tip-top shape with this advice.

Sleeping Bags TLC: Tips on Cleaning, Fitting, and Mending Your Sleeping Bag

Your sleeping bag is critical to backcountry enjoyment - keep it happy.

Backpack TLC: Tips on Cleaning, Fitting, and Mending Your Pack

Proper fit and care will keep your backpack comfortable and functioning.

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Gear Guide 2011: Extra Online Chart Reviews

Read all the full-text reviews of the gear we didn't have room to dish about in the 2011 Gear Guide charts.

Gear Guide 2011: Online Sleeping Bag Reviews



Gear Guide 2011: Online Boot Reviews

Online gear reviews of boots featured in the 2011 Gear Guide charts.

Ask A Bear: How Fast Can You Run?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Rip & Go: Thunderhead Loop

Hike from forest floor to a rocky ridge linking twin summits in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Backcountry Bartender: Valentine's Day Cranberry Passion Cocktail

Spoil your love in the backcountry with this fruit-forward winter cocktail.

Gear Review: MontBell Thermawrap BC Jacket

A light, warm, synthetic layering piece ideal for damp conditions and active pursuits.

Online Tent Reviews | 2011 Gear Guide



Greening Gear: Q & A with Eco-Friendly Outdoor Gear Leaders

Imagine eco-friendly equipment that offers superior performance to today's gear. The future is bright, but how do we get there? A BACKPACKER roundtable discussion.

Sleeping Bag Buying Guide

In this guide, gear editor Kristin Hostetter shows you how to pick the right sleeping bag for any outing.

Boot Buying Guide

More than any other category of gear, boots can make or break your trip. In this guide, gear editor Kristin Hostetter shows you how to pick the right pair for any outing, any feet.

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Boreal Sliding Snowshoes

Have a blast in rolling terrain with these snowshoe/ski hybrids.

Trail Chef: Apple Leathers & Rhubarb Pie Roll-Ups

Why pay a mint for fruity snacks when you can make your own?

How-To Slideshow: Pitch a Tent on Snow

Learn how to pitch your tent when the snow falls with this how-to guide.

The Manual: Couples Camping 101

Use these proven methods to make sure your first romantic camping foray into the wilderness isn't your last.

Couples Camping 101: Little Extras

Freshen up for backcountry lovin' with these little extras.

Couples Camping 101: Wine & Dine

Chocolate, wine, and pasta for two.

Couples Camping 101: Victoria's Secret Goes Backcountry

Skivvies for your bivy.

Couples Camping 101: Set the Mood

Marvin Gaye loves camping.

Couples Camping 101: Build a Cozy Lovenest

Comfort for a cozy backcountry couple

Couples Camping 101: Gear and Skills

Gear and skills to keep you and your outdoor-loving honey happy in the backcountry.

Prof. Hike: The Ex-Pyromaniac's Guide to Fire

How to light an expert blaze every time

Gear Review: MontBell Tachyon Anorak Jacket

An extremely light and extremely packable windshell.

Gear Review: REI Arete ASL 2 Tent

A four-season tent that truly can be used year-round.

Gear Review: Granite Gear Blaze AC 60 Pack

We liked this pack so much, we upgraded it to an Editors' Choice award winner.

Gear Review: GoLite Demaree Canyon Jacket

A packable puffy with a sleek, athletic fit.

Gear Review: Teva Forge Pro Trail Runners

Comfortable low-cut trail runners that offer support and performance.

Gear Review: Vargo Titanium Pot Gripper

Grab any pot with this lightweight and sturdy pot gripper.

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink

Wash dishes and haul water easily in the watertight nylon container.

Gear Review: REI Campware Silicone Spatula

Make pancakes in camp with this silicone spatula.

Gear Review: Pot Pal

An oven mitt, a dish towel, a food warmer - this cotton bag does it all.

Gear Review: MSR Universal Canister Stand

An easily packable pot stand that will end tipping.

Gear Review: To-Go Ware RePEat Bamboo Utensil Set

A bamboo utensil set that won't wreck nonstick coating.

Gear Review: CamelBak Groove

A water bottle that makes chemically treated water taste better.

Gear Review: Katadyn MyBottle

Water bottle and filter in one.

Gear Review: Steripen Adventurer Opti

An easy-to-use tool that zaps water drinkable withe the use of ultraviolet rays.

Gear Review: Platypus GravityWorks

A fast, effective way to filter water for a big group.

Gear Review: MSR HyperFlow Filter

A lightweight filter that filters at a rate of three liters per minute.

Gear Review: Vargo Ti-Boiler Mug and Pan

A titanium mug and pot/lid set that is super durable and lightweight.

Gear Review: MSR Alpine 4 Pot Set

A stainless steel three-pot set that is bombproof.

March 2011 Table of Contents



Backcountry Bartender: Tequila Review

Say goodbye to Jose and say hello to these tasty tequilas you won't want to miss.

Trail Chef: Premium On-the-Go Fuel

Fill the tanks with these 5 new trail snacks.

Trail Chef: Top-Grade Trail Fuel

Fill the tanks with these 6 new on-the-go snacks.

Trail Chef: Top-Grade Trail Fuel

Fill the tanks with these 6 new on-the-go snacks.

Gear Guide 2011: Online Backpack Reviews



Slideshow: How to Pitch a Tent Anywhere

Think beyond the stake. Use these techniques to pitch a tent anywhere.

Ask A Bear: Bags vs. Canisters?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Prof. Hike: The Instinctive 127 Hours

Why Aron Ralston's survival required more than a multi-tool

Trail Chef: A Brave New S'more

Switch things up with these twists on the classic treat.

Gear Review: High-Powered Flashlights

We tested four unique high-powered lights using lithium batteries for lightweight super power.

Slideshow: Adjusting Trekking Pole Straps For Max Effect

Little did you know, but there's a right way and wrong way to strap on those trekking poles. Use this tutorial for maximum comfort and utility.

Gear Review: Acu-Rite Wireless Weather Station and Weather Station Forecaster

Rainshell or fleece? Know at a glance with this wireless weather station.

Ask A Bear: Are You A Good Swimmer?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Prof Hike: The End of Off-the-Grid

Spot's new gadget adds satellite reception to smartphones anywhere.

Trip Finder: West

Your favorite western hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: Lyell Canyon, Yosemite

Escape front-country crowds on a trek to the park's idyllic interior.

Our Backyard: Joshua Tree National Park, California

Climb, hike, and camp in Joshua Tree National Park.

Readers' Choice: West

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the west.

Trail Chef: High Country Poppy Seed Cake

You can bake this yummy treat even at altitude, and you and your mates will be fighting over the last crumbs.

Gear Review: Primus AluTech 1.4 Liter Pot

A triangular shaped pot that's easy to pour and balance on three-legged stoves.

Readers' Choice 2011: America's Best Hikes

The undisputed local experts—you—chose the top parks, trails, campsites, and weekend getaways from Alaska to Alabama.

Backcountry Bartender: Gin Review

Rethink gin. With heavy pine needles and balanced, exotic flavors, this spirit may be the perfect backcountry compliment you've written off.

2011 Reader Photo Contest Winners

These six winning shots represent the best photos we saw all year from you, our readers.

Reader Recipes: Easy Pasta & Rice Camp Meals

10 reinventions of trailworn dinner recipes. Plus some easy breakfast and dessert options.

Gear Review: Crescent Moon Over-Shoe Booties

Turn any shoe or boot into a fully insulated winter trekker with these over-shoe booties.

Reader Recipe: Chicken Curry Wrap

Overall top-scorer: This wallet-saver meal is super easy to make but packs dynamite flavor.

Readers' Choice Issue 2011: Reader Recipes

BACKPACKER readers submitted scores of simple, delicious recipes. Here are 21 taste-tested favorites.

Readers' Choice Issue: Reader-Rated Gear

Our official test team logged more than 2,337 miles and 263 nights in the backcountry to find the best gear for every type of hiker.

Reader Rated: The Ultralighter

Cut weight, not comfort, in three core categories.

Gear Review: Energizer's Solar Folding Lantern & Hard Case Professional Area Light

Two Energizer products that light up camp (and your social habits) in unique ways.

Trail Chef: Nutty Rice

Switch things up with this easy twist on a classic staple.

Gear Review: Optimus Terra HE Cook Set

A versatile three-pot combo for the gourmet backcountry chef.

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist Cookset

A two-person cookset that comes with a stuffsack for washing dishes.

Gear Review: Platypus Insulator Hydration System

An all-in-one lightweight hydration system for snow lovers.

Prof. Hike: 5 Gear Tune-Ups for the New Year

Hit the ground hiking with this off-season checklist.

Reader Rated: Family Camping Gear

Get great gear without breaking into the college fund.

Reader Rated: Tech Gear

Attention e-hikers: Upgrade–and power–your gadgets with these five finds.

Reader Rated: Alpine Gear

For weeklong trips that range above treeline, you want gear that's light, protective, and built for abuse.

Reader Rated: Weekend Warrior Gear

Get comfort and convenience with these four well-priced picks.

Reader Rated: Dayhiking Gear

Dawn-to-dusk adventure ahead? Prepare for anything with this versatile system.

How-To Slideshow: Install Leave No Trace Trekking Pole Tips

In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you exactly how to put rubber tips on your trekking poles.

How-To Slideshow: Adjust Your Trekking Pole Straps

In this step-by-step guide, we show you exactly how to use trekking pole straps effectively.

How-To Slideshow: Adjust Your Trekking Poles For Varying Terrain

In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you the proper height of trekking poles for various types of terrain.

How-To Slideshow: Rigging a Tent

This is your guide to creating convertible guy lines and rigging a tent securely on rocky surfaces.

How-To Slideshow: Boot Lacing for Maximum Comfort

In this guide, we show you methods for lacing your boots to prevent blisters and maximize comfort.

How-To Slideshow: Fitting a Backpack

In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you exactly how to fit a pack for optimum comfort and stability on the trail.

Prof. Hike: 5 Unwritten Rules of Trail Etiquette

If Miss Manners backpacked, she'd agree with us.

Gear Review: Stoic Welder Hi Softshell Jacket

It's a stretchy winter softshell completely coated in high loft, fuzzy lining. Need we say more?

Gear Review: Jacks 'R Better High Sierra Sniveller Sleeping Bag

An ultralight sleeping bag with 3.5 inches of loft and an extra-wide torso area

Gear Review: GoLite Poncho Tarp

An ultralight poncho/tent with durable 15-denier, siliconized fabric

Gear Review: Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus Backpack

A 60-liter ultralight frameless rucksack perfect for long weekends

Gear Review: Deuter Aircontact 75+10 Backpack

Stays comfortable and stable with loads up to 70 pounds

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Basecamper Medium Cookset

Ideal for family outings plus has everything but the kitchen sink

Gear Review: The North Face Double Toad 44 Tent

An all-mesh canopy and 54 square feet of living space

Gear Review: SCOTTEVEST Fleece 5.0 Jacket

Has 24 pockets to keep all your gadgets in place

Gear Review: USBCell AAs Rechargable Batteries

Able to recharge off of any USB port

Gear Review: SanDisk Sansaclip+ 2GB

Smooth, clear sound and a voice recorder for 40 bucks

Gear Review: Garmin Dakota 20 GPS

Easy to read touch screen with a tough hard-shell

Gear Review: Powermonkey Explorer Solar Charger

Holds a lot of power, comes with 11 adapter tips, and charges quickly

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear BMG Backpack

A 100-liter pack that provides excellent load transfer and customlike comfort

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Virtuoso Puffy Jacket

This puffy has high-end weatherproofing and an insulated, versatile hood

Gear Review: High Gear ATF8 Watch

Clips to your pack for easy access to stats like temperature and altitude

Gear Review: LOWA Terek GTX Boots

Boots with solid support and stability without being too heavy or clunky

Gear Review: Black Diamond HiLight Tent

Fend off heavy precipitation and 30-mph wind in this cozy tent for two

Gear Review: EMS Velocity 2 Tent

Two person, double-wall shelter with ample room and easy setup

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Katahdin 35°F Sleeping Bag

Light, roomy, compressible, and perfect for weekends

Gear Review: Primus Eta Solo Stove

Complete kitchen in an easy to pack compact package

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Falcon 55 Backpack

Great suspension and easily accommodates a 50-pound load

Gear Review: REI Endeavor Pants

These four-way stretch, double-weave polyester pants are comfortable and quick drying.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Alibi Jacket

A stretchy softshell jacket that is perfect for dayhikes

Gear Review: Scarpa Pursuit GTX Shoe

These trail runners have exceptional shock absorption and a Gore-Tex liner to keep feet dry

Gear Review: Gregory Serrac 45 Backpack

Perfect dayhike hauler that can handle gear-heavy multi-day trips

Trail Chef: Backcountry Eggnog

Just because you're 10 miles into the wilderness doesn't mean you should miss out on holiday drinks.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Fusion Pant

If your winter gear closet includes skis, snowshoes, snowboards, and sleds, you need only one pair of drawers: the men's Sierra Designs Fusion Pant.

Backcountry Bartender: New Year's Sparkling Cocktail

Ring in the New Year with this twist on the classic champagne cocktail featuring pomegranate and brown sugar.

As Seen on The Martha Stewart Show

Our own gear diva met with Martha on December 20th to talk about cold-weather layering. Here's the gear Kristin suggested:

Print & Go: Buckeye-Caney Creek Loop, Ouachita National Forest, AR

This 10.2-mile circuit through a forest of maple, oak, and sweet gum follows the 2,000-foot ridge of Buckeye Mountain, before dropping to peaceful Caney Creek (with plenty of camping options). Follow the flow and view multiple falls on your way back to the trailhead.

Print & Go: Lost Creek Loop, Denver, CO

Skip Colorado's wildly popular Fourteeners and their buzzing crowds. Instead, explore Lost Creek Wilderness's granite domes, mansion-size boulders, and fingerlike spires on a rugged, 27.6-mile circuit packed with sweeping Continental Divide views and killer riverside campsites.

Print & Go: Greenwater-Lost-Echo Lake Loop, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie NF

Mt. Rainier's snowy, 14,411-foot crown rises less than 20 miles southwest of this 3-day, 23.3-mile lasso loop-- and you'll get picture-perfect views of it at miles 9.8 and 10.4. Hike south along the Greenwater River before starting a 17.2-mile counterclockwise circuit that connects Lost, George, and Echo Lakes with ridgelines overlooking Rainier's glaciated slopes.

Print & Go Weekend Trip Planners

Free Print & Go PDFs give you turn-by-turn trail instructions and photos embedded on a usable topo map. Also: gear checklists, driving directions, and geo-references for finding the nearest campground, restaurant, gas station, and grocery store.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Twilight Bivy Sack

A minimalist-style bivy that separates you from the nasty outside.

Gear Review: Oakley Radar Path Sunglasses

Sporting a pair of Oakley's Radars gives your eyes as much protection as they can get, this side of a welding helmet.

Backcountry Bartender: Build a Bar Kit

Can't decide on just one cocktail for your adventure? Put together a mobile backcountry bar kit.

How to Do Everything - Banish Blisters, Build Lung Power, and More.

Hike farther, faster, and pain-free with these training tips and exercise.

How to Do Everything - Become a Mileage Monster

Hike farther, faster, and pain-free with these training tips and exercise.

Hiking Exercises: Beef Up Your Lower Back

Try this exercise to give your lower back the strength you need.

Hiking Exercises: Cure Outer-Knee Pain

Nothing's worse on the trail than knee pain. Prevent and cure it with this exercise.

Hiking Exercises: Get Explosive Strength

Tackle big miles with this essential exercise.

Hiking Exercises: Sculpt 3D Legs

Want legs that handle any terrain. This is the exercise.

Hiking Exercises: Iron Out Your Core

Get core strength with this key exercise.

Trail Chef: Wheat Pilaf with Bacon

Fill up with this savory and surprising dish.

Trail Chef: Savory One-Pot Meals--Chili Crunch and Tortellini Stew

Check out these delicious one-pot dishes.

Trip Finder: Southeast

Your favorite Southeast trips—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: Approach Trail Loop, Chattahoochee National Forest, GA

Relax in a hiker-friendly lodge at the Appalachian Trail's southern tip.

Our Backyard: Everglades National Park

Paddle to a beach-camping paradise in the Everglades.

Readers' Choice: Southeast

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the southeast.

Readers' Choice: Southwest

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Southwest.

Trip Finder: Southwest

Your favorite Southwest hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: McKittrick Canyon

Soak up high-desert views amid the Lone Star State's tallest peaks.

Trip Finder: Great Plains

Your favorite Great Plains hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Backcountry Bartender: Spicy Hot Chocolate

A double dose of chocolate and cayenne pepper will keep your taste buds hopping this winter.

Reader Recipe: Creamy Clam Chowder

A hearty, creamy soup that will fill you up in the backcountry.

Reader Recipe: Indonesian Pilaf

Red quinoa adds a nutty kick to savory herbs and veggies

Backcountry Bartender: Spicy Hot Chocolate

A double dose of chocolate and cayenne pepper will keep your taste buds hopping this winter.

Backcountry Bartender: Spicy Hot Chocolate

A double dose of chocolate and cayenne pepper will keep your taste buds hopping this winter.

Reader Recipe: Sweet Potato Pizza Pie

Instant sweet potatoes and mini marshmallows make this a unique twist on pizza.

Reader Recipe: Pecan Pancakes with Fruit Compote

These filling flapjacks have a pleasant crunch and natural sweetness.

Reader Recipe: Blueberry Crisp Bars

Take a break from gels with these fruity and peanut-buttery pick-me-ups.

Rip & Go: Big Piney Trail

Roll from dark hollows to dolomite ridges in the Ozark highlands of Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest.

Reader Recipe: No-Bake Cow Chips

Despite their eponymous appearance, these rich cookies taste divine.

Stove Buying Guide

What’s your cooking style? In this guide, gear editor Kristin Hostetter walks you though all the camp stoves options, so you can pick the type that best matches your needs.

Reader Recipe: Warm Apple Crescents

A yummy desert or breakfast cooked over the campfire.

Backpack Buying Guide

When shopping for a pack, there are four major things to consider: type, fit, capacity, and features. In this guide, gear editor Kristin Hostetter shows you how to pick the right one for you.

Our Backyard: Black Hills National Forest

Explore the wildest corner of the Great Plains.

Readers' Choice: Great Plains

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Great Plains states.

Our Backyard: Glen National Recreation Area

Explore slots and marvel at arches in Glen Canyon.

Rip & Go: Big Creek Loop

Hike from a wildlife-choked river valley to soaring mountain views.

Trip Finder: Great Lakes

Your favorite Great Lakes hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: McCargoe Cove to Rock Harbor

Hike among moose and wolves on this two-day escape to Isle Royale National Park.

Tent Buying Guide

Shopping for a tent is like shopping for a home: there are dozens of styles, designs, sizes, and features to consider. In this guide, gear editor Kristin Hostetter shows you how to pick the right one for any outing.

Trip Finder: Alaska

Your favorite Alaska hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Trip Finder: Appalachians

Your favorite Appalachians hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Trip Finder: Northwest

Your favorite Northwest hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Readers' Choice: Appalachians

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Appalachians.

Rip & Go: Devil's Path

Conquer the rocks, ridges, and ravines on the East's toughest trail.

Trip Finder: Northeast

Your favorite Northeast hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Our Backyard: Denali National Park

Explore Denali's top dayhikes, photo ops, and epic wildlife treks.

Our Backyard: Trinity Alps Wilderness, CA

Follow trail-savvy locals to nine sweet spot in the Trinity Alps Wilderness.

Readers' Choice: Great Lakes

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Great Lakes.

Readers' Choice: Northeast

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Northeast.

Our Backyard: Chequamegon National Forest, WI



Our Backyard: Green Mountains

Nine ways to see Vermont's Green Mountains

The BACKPACKER iPad App

Our new iPad app brings the skills you need right to the palm of your hand with monthly digital issues. Subscribe now!

Gear Review: Silva Guide Series 426 Compass

A basic sighting compass that is lightweight, durable, and unsinkable.

Readers' Choice: Rockies

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Rockies.

Trip Finder: Rockies

Your favorite Rockies hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: Four Pass Loop

Like peaks, lakes, and wildflowers? You'll love this Rockies classic in White River National Forest.

Our Backyard: Glacier National Park

Trek through grizzly terrain in Glacier National Park.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Over $150

If you're looking to splurge on your favorite outdoorsperson, here are the gifts to do it with.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Under $150

Stay connected, warm and well fed, with these staple gift ideas.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Under $75

Make camp a little more comfortable with these bonus items.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Under $25

Don't break the bank with these gift ideas for the adventurous types.

Gear Review: Salomon Nytro WP Cold-weather Hiking Boots

Just because they have fur doesn't mean they're not serious backcountry boots.

Backcountry Bartender: Single Malt Scotch Review

If you prefer a flask to a cocktail in the backcountry, give these fine Scotches a chance to warm you from the inside out this winter.

Trail Chef: Russian Tea & Apricot Oatmeal

Fuel up with these belly-warming meals.

Gear Review: Kriana AA Krill Light

The Krill Light electronic electroluminescent (EL) light stick is a bright, long-lasting glow stick made for function not fashion.

The Best of BACKPACKER - Reader Heroes

7 subscribers who inspire, lead, volunteer, and more

Gear Review: Victorinox Swiss Army Solider Knife

Snag an ideal stocking stuffer with this modernized classic.

Backcountry Bartender: Craft Canned Beer Test

After testing 23 canned craft beers from across the country, we narrowed it down to our top choices--simply the best craft canned beers for backpacking.

Gear Review: Exped MultiMat

An ultralight, waterproof mat that is handy for wet hikes, snow, rocky areas, and picnics.

Best of BACKPACKER: How to Do Everything

Climb higher, live longer, and eat better, o.k. be better, with these skills.

Best of BACKPACKER: Time-Tested Gear

Over the years we've tested a lot of gear, and learned a lot of lessons.

The Last Best Place

More than three decades ago, a tiny band of California hikers discovered a magical valley in the Sierra Nevada. They possessed a rough map, but told no one. Now, the truth comes out.

Gear Review: Cocoon Travel Pillow - Aircore Ultralight

Just because you're sleeping on the dirt doesn't mean you have to be uncomfortable.

Trail Chef: 4 Hearty Sandwiches

For your next backcountry lunch, don't just munch on an energy bar. Try one of these tasty options.

Recipe: Drunken Choco-Berry Fondue

A top-ranked dessert in the 2004 REI/BACKPACKER Camp Cook-Off

Recipe: Omelette in a Bag

May 2000 readers' favorite

Recipe: Stick Cookies

March 1982 readers' favorite

Recipe: Angry Red Lentil Tortilla Soup

First-place entrée winner of the 2004 REI/BACKPACKER Camp Cook-Off

How to Do Everything - The Master Chef

Temper our recipe for Earthworm Patty Supremes with a little Drunken Choc-Berry Fondue. Plus, other recipes and cooking skills.

How to Do Everything - The Survivor

Take care of yourself in the backcountry with these tips and laugh (or at least smile knowingly in the face of 10 common wilderness threats.

How to Do Everything - The Intrepid Explorer

Travel confidently across any type of landscape.

How to Do Everything - Become a Mileage Monster

Hike farther, faster, and pain-free with these training tips and exercise.

How to Do Everything - The (Actual) 10 Essentials

Don't leave home without these practical, helpful items.

Time-Tested Gear: Essentials

Apparel, cookware, stoves...swimsuits?

Time-Tested Gear: Boots

BACKPACKER testers have endured numerous blisters over the years finding the best boots on the shelves.

Time-Tested Gear: Sleeping Bags and Pads

Many starry nights–and a handful of miserable ones–revealed the best bags and pads over the years.

Time-Tested Gear: Tents

A-frames, domes, party tents–we've tested them all.

Time-Tested Gear: Backpacks

You can't be a backpacker...without a backpack.

Rip & Go: Enchantment Lakes Basin - Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Discover a hidden basin filled with wildlife, lakes, and granite peaks.

Rip & Go: Crow Pass Trail - Chugach State Park, AK

Cross the west edge of the Chugach for glaciers, bears, and wildflowers.

Readers' Choice: Northwest

The undisputed local experts—you—choose the top parks, trails, campsites, and weekend getaways in the Northwest.

Readers' Choice: Alaska

The undisputed local experts—you—choose the top parks, trails, campsites, and weekend getaways in Alaska.

Reader Rated

Extra gear reviews from our January 2011 Reader Test Team reports.

Gear Review: Satworx ISatphone

A bargain of a satellite phone.

Gear Review: Coghlan's Flint Striker

A simple magnesium rod that's an easy fire starter.

Gear Review: Vargo Titanium Hexagon Wood Stove

A wood or pellet-burning stove that doubles as windscreen.

Gear Review: Sawyer 4 Way Water Filter

A 32-ounce dip-and-sip filter that lets you refill in about 10 seconds.

Gear Review: SofSole Airr Performance Insole

Air chambers embedded in the heel and arch and polymer gel in the forefoot put extra cushioning exactly where you need it most.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Hybrid Trail Cookset

An all-in-one titanium kitchen kit.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Crab LI Stove

A sturdy stove with claw-like appendages that grab most surfaces.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Titan Camp Light

A camp light that you'll find yourself using everywhere.

Gear Review: Coleman All-in-One Cooking System

A propane system that takes camp cooking to a whole new level.

Gear Review: Baselayers--Rivers West Apex Base System

This merino wool layer keeps all your bases covered, without smelling like a sock drawer.

Backcountry Bartender: Box Wine Test

Box wine is back in a big--and quaffable-- way. Here are our favorites for the trail.

Gear Review: Icon Irix Headlamp

Icon attempts the impossible: to make headlamps cool.

Rip & Go: King's Canyon CA, Grand Canyon AZ, Shenandoah VA

From routes to food to post-hike brewski, we've got your weekend backpacking plans dialed. This week, we've got three killer adventures in Kings Canyon, Shenandoah, and the Grand Canyon. Ready? Read. Rip. Go!

Backcountry Bartender: Hot Toddy--Old and New School

Learn to make the classic cold weather cocktail and get a primer on a new version that's sure to impress your tent-mates

Gear Review: Sherpa Thamel Hard Shell Jacket

Light on the wallet and on the back...and perfect for hunting salamanders.

Gear Review: Aerobed Pakmat Camping Air Mattress

If you're going to sleep in the frontcountry, you might as well spoil yourself.

Prof. Hike: The 10 (Un)Essentials

Gear, gizmos, and doodads you never should buy

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Best Winter Trips

We traveled to Fjordland and discovered that nothing compares to skiing glacier-clad mountains above deep-water fjords. Plus: 20 winter adventures, from California to New York.

Top 25 Winter Trips: United States

Find the best skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter camping trips in the U.S.

Best Winter Trips: 10th Mountain Division Huts, Colorado

Get backcountry spoils--snorkel-deep pow on remote Rockies peaks--with frontcountry comforts (warm fire and hot toddies, anyone?) in this famed hut system. More than 350 miles of trails wind through prime winter terrain, connecting the 31 full-service cabins.

Best Winter Trips: White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Few places serve up fierce, unpredictable winter weather quite like Mt. Washington, the 6,288-foot capstone of New Hampshire's White Mountains. Battle hurricane-force winds--and 20-plus feet of annual snowfall--while tackling the East's best mountaineering, or choose from hundreds of miles of snowy trails for a lower elevation romp.

Gear Review: Zerogoo Fuel Injector System

A gel/water system for those hard efforts when stopping and refueling isn't an option.

Best Winter Trips: Teton Range, Wyoming

Towering 7,000-plus feet above Jackson Hole, the Tetons wrest more than 30 feet of snow from passing storms and pile it thick on road-accessible slopes.

BACKCOUNTRY BARTENDER: Ginger Spiced Apple Cider

Warm up with this recipe for apple cider with a kick.

Best Winter Trips: Mt. Rainer National Park, Washington

The granddaddy of the Cascades looms above Seattle like a great white beacon for snow junkies. The mountain's 25 major glaciers hold enough ice to bury Manhattan 150 feet deep, and some of the planet's highest recorded snowfalls guarantee powder for all. Paradise, the park's winter epicenter, has year-round road access.

Norway: Tested

Traverse a Glacier: On Norway's west coast, ancient ice scapes offer an otherworldly adventure.

Trail Chef: Backcountry Birthdays

Toasting to the day of your birth in the backcountry isn't complete without a proper dessert. Or three.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: REI Sahara T-Shirt

Made from 50% recycled polyester (and 50% virgin poly) the Sahara has a relaxed fit, a soft cottony feel, and no-fuss styling.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Tubbs Xplore Snowshoe Kit

Anyone on your holiday lineup looking to launch into snowshoeing? Tubbs has packaged up three essentials into this smart, well-priced starter kit.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: REI Flash 65 Backpack

Whether your loved one is into fast-and-light weekend trips, long-and-overloaded weeks, or a combination of the two, this pack is up for the job.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: GoPro HD Hero 960 Video Camera

Got a budding videographer on your list? Check out this wearable pocket-size HD video camera.

Holiday GIft Guide 2010: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Tent

An ultralight, two-person tent that's livable.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Arc'Teryx Alpha SV Glove

If you’re looking for the ultimate splurge gift for your skier, ice climber, or mountaineer, you can’t go wrong with this glove.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Arc'Teryx Alpha SV Glove

If you're looking for the ultimate splurge gift for your skier, ice climber, or mountaineer, you can't go wrong with this glove.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover

A perennial favorite of BACKPACKER editors, the Nano Puff is a no-brainer layer that your gift-ee will use 12 months a year.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Motorola Talkabout Radios MR350R

An off-beat gift that will please any family that hikes, bikes, or skis together.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Marmot Aegis Jacket

This 14-ounce shell is equally at home on the trail or around town, thanks to its reliable weatherproofing, performance features, and plush niceties.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Kelty Cosmic Down 20° Sleeping Bag

Want to fly business class on a coach fare? Gift the Cosmic.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Jetboil GreenKit with Flash and CrunchIt

Update the kitchen of your favorite backpacker with this all-in-one set that cranks out hot drinks faster than a Starbucks barista.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Victorinox Flash 2GB Ruby

We can't think of anyone who wouldn't love this James Bonds-ian little gizmo.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Solar Sleeping Pad

Give the gift of good sleep to your winter camper or mountaineer.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: The North Face E-Tip Glove

Here is a lightweight glove ideal for 3-season hikers, cross-country skiers, cold-weather cyclists, or runners who want to stay connected to their gadgets.

Winter Camping Skills: Bring the Right Cooking Gear

Don't forget these essentials when you're headed into the cold.

Winter Camping Skills: Plan Your Menu

Use these tips to plan perfect winter camping meals.

Winter Camping Skills: Melt Water

There are two basic ways of melting water: passive and active.

Winter Camping Skills: Build a Camp Kitchen

Site your stove a few steps from your tent, so you can conveniently melt snow or brew drinks. If you're camping in the same spot for several days (and in deep snow), dig out a snow kitchen.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Mammut TR1+Ambient Light Set

All backpackers carry a headlamp in their pack, but many often hesitate to carry a mini-lantern–this smart two-fer solves the problem.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: I/O BIO Contact 1 Boy Short and Top (Sports Bra)

Active ladies need active undies, and this ensemble fits the bill and still looks cute.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: The StickPic

For the photo-happy folks on your gift list, the StickPic is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Navigation Devices

Stay on track with the best GPS units. Plus, awesome navigation apps.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: MiiR 600ml Water Bottle

These days, water bottles are all the rage. Our office has literally been inundated them, and this stainless steel bottle has risen to the top for several reasons.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Fozzils Solo Pack

A fun and functional four-piece kitchen set that includes everything you need to dine in ultralight style.

3 Top Navigation Apps

Stay on track with these three navigation and hiking apps.

Best Hikes Ever: Northville-Placid Trail, Ny

Explore the Adirondack's valleys.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Ski Gear

Find your perfect A.T., tele, or Nordic setup.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Bison Tap Cap Belt

Drop one of these utilitarian, yet cool-looking, belts into any guy's stocking and he will love it.

Best Hikes Ever: Willow Gulch, UT

Explore resurrected sandstone slots.

Best Hikes Ever: Olympic Traverse, WA

Go from rainforest to glaciers.

Best Hikes Ever: Redwood Creek Trail, CA

Feeling small among the world's tallest trees.

Wyoming Hikes

Go high and wide in Wyoming's untamed range.

Best Hikes Ever: Boundary Waters, MN

Immerse yourself in Minnesota's liquid wilderness.

Long Trail Hikes

Traverse the first long trail in Vermont.

Best Hikes Ever: Sabino Canyon Trail, AZ

Hike to a natural day spa.

Best Hikes Ever: Four-Pass Loop, CO

See the Rockies' most iconic mountains.

Best Hikes Ever: Bucking Mule Falls Trail, WY

Watch a waterfall cascade from the sky.

Best Hikes Ever: Southern Traverse, AK

Tackle an epic adventure in the far north.

Best Hikes Ever: Wonderland Trail, WA

Circumnavigate the West's most majestic mountain.

Best Hikes Ever: North Vista Trail, CO

Aim upward for majestic views over an ancient canyon.

Best Hikes Ever: Ben Avery Trail, AZ

Trek a desert landscape under a purple sun.

Best Hikes Ever: Gospel Hump Loop Trail, ID

Find private valleys, mountain passes, and riverside campsites.

Best Hikes Ever: Duffer Peak Trail, NV

Ascend a remote summit pyramid far away from civilization.

Best Hikes Ever: Jenkins Mountain Trail, NY

Skirt lakes to soaring ’Daks views.

Best Hikes Ever: Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, AK

Find deep solitude where the continent crashes into a frigid ocean.

Best Hikes Ever: Falls Hollow Trail, VA

Hike through waterfall spray to a rarely summited grassy bald.

Best Hikes Ever: Chupadera Mountain Trail, NM

Rise from the desert floor to an airy, see-all perch.

Best Hikes Ever: St. Mary to McDonald Lake, MT

Hike lake to lake through bear central in Glacier National Park.

Best. Hikes. Ever.

We've covered 245,591 miles of trails in our 37-year history. Here are our 20 all-time favorite trips, plus—shocking!—20 routes we never covered.

Best Hikes Ever: Grand Island Loop, MI

Hike along bluffs and fern forests in total solitude on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Mountaineering Gear

Head high with an axe, crampons, and more.

Prof Hike: Where the Wild Things Are (and Aren't)

Why you don't need to worry about snakes, spiders, and bears...and what you should worry about instead

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Cameras

Upgrade your outdoor images with a rugged pocket cam, a pro-level DSLR, and more.

Best Hikes Ever: Zion Narrows, UT

Sluice through towering walls of sandstone in Utah's Zion National Park.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Gear News

iPad apps, backcountry beer, and the perfect tent.

Best Hikes Ever: Mt. Cabot Loop, NH

Bag a little-known triple crown in New England's northern woods.

Best Hikes Ever: Prairie Trail, ND

Weave around grassy meadows and mirror lakes.

Best Hikes Ever: Summit Lake Trail, CA

Backpack a knee-trembling route through an active geothermal zone.

Best Hikes Ever: Turkey Trail, KS

Snag views of swaying prairie grass stretching to the horizon.

Best Hikes Ever: Burr Oak State Park, OH

Traverse rolling hills to star-gazing meadows.

Best Hikes Ever: The Needles Traverse, CO

Forge your own route through the Rockies' most rugged corner.

Best Hikes Ever: The Lost Coast Trail, CA

Hike America's most punishing paradise.

Best Hikes Ever: Appalachian Trail, GA-ME

Thru-hike America's most revered long trail: the Appalachian Trail.

Best Hikes Ever: Denali, AK

Pick your pilgrimage through the backcountry Holy Land: Mt Eielson Loop or Kesugi Ridge.

Best Hikes Ever: Elk Trail, PA

Track through dense forests ringing with bugling.

Best Hikes Ever: Balsam Cap and Friday Mountain, NY

Brave thick forest to reach rugged twin summits.

Best Hikes Ever: Presidential Traverse, NH

Tag a team of the East's most challenging peaks in the White Mountains.

Best Hikes Ever: Logging Lake Trail, MT

Hike a forested, fire-scarred trail between two iconic pools.

Best Hikes Ever: Sandpiper Trail, SC

Emerge from crane-crossed coastal grasslands to pristine beaches.

Best Hikes Ever: Escalante Route, AZ

Plumb the wild depths of the Big Ditch.

Best Hikes Ever: Teton Crest Trail, WY

Traverse the nation's most photogenic range on the Teton Crest Trail.

Best Hikes Ever: John Muir Trail, CA

Step for scenery-packed step, nothing else compares to the John Muir Trail.

Winter Hiking: Master Winter Travel

Quick tips for your transportation of choice.

Blizzard Wizards: Cold Weather Hiking Experts

Meet our four cold-weather experts.

Winter Hiking Repair Kit

Pack this essential kit to handle your unpredictable gear mishaps.

7 Steps to a Bombproof Tent

Your tent will withstand anything with these tips.

4 Key Winter Camp Accessories

Don't leave home without these winter camping essentials.

Build a Winter Basecamp: Beat the Deep Freeze

Our pros tell you how to set up a deluxe–yet weatherproof–winter basecamp.

Cold Weather Camping: Sleep Better Than a Hibernating Bear

12 secrets for keeping your core (and your gear) warm in the coldest weather

Layering For Cold Weather: Dress to the Nine-Belows

Master the art of layering to keep comfy all winter.

Winter Hiking: The Cure for the (Un)Common Cold

Life's too short to be a three-season hiker. Follow these expert tips on staying warm, picking your route, and cooking savory meals--and add winter's deep solitude and frozen dreamscapes to your adventure calendar.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Boots

Warm up with 7 picks for every winter pursuit.

Learn the Art of Winter Cooking

The gear, techniques, and recipes you need to whip up five-star meals in cold climes

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Backpacks

Carry in comfort, from dayhikes to hut trips.

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Toddy and Wintermint

Warm up with these tasty backcountry winter cocktails!

Four Season Kitchen Tips

Try these 6 kitchen tips, excerpted from BACKPACKER'S new book, Campsite Cooking: Cookware, Cuisine, and Cleaning Up. Plus, cold-weather tips from the pros.

Recipe: Molly's Kickin' Mac and Cheese

Fast, filling, and yummy macaroni and cheese is comfort food wherever you pitch your tent.

Holiday Gift Guide

Want to find the ideal gift for every hiker on your list? No matter what your budget, we've got you covered.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Bison Tap Cap Belt



Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Trad Pack

A pack built for climbers.

Gear Review: Lowe Alpine TX Expedition 75:95 Pack

A pack that holds monster loads but weighs just over five pounds.

Gear Review: Millet Odyssee 60+10 Pack

If you only buy one multiday pack, this is it.

Gear Review: Vaude Daytour 24 Pack

A trim pack built for backcountry ski days.

Gear Review: Mammut Spindrift Guide 40 Pack

A 40-liter pack that comfortably carries up to 50 pounds.

Gear Review: Multi-Use Shirts - Icebreaker Superfine 200 Top, First Ascent Cloud Layer 1/4 Zip, Columbia Leadout Shirt

Just because you can't be in the backcountry everyday doesn't mean you can't dress for it.

Gear Review: TSL Snowalker 15 Pack

A pack built to haul snowshoes.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Revelation Avalung Pack

A backpack with built in Avalung technology for use in avalanche-prone areas.

Gear Review: Deuter Pace 30 Pack

An ultralight pack that's under $100...and comfortable.

Gear Review: 9-Weight Fly Rods & Reels

If you chase big fish, you need a 9-weight fly rod to carry along on your adventures. BACKPACKER reviewed five rods that fit the bill.

Don't Get Burned: FDA Updates Sunscreen Regulation

Misleading sunscreen claims today could be causing tomorrow's skin cancer.

Trail Chef: There's a Worm on My Plate

And if prepared properly, it'll be quite tasty and good for you, too.

Argon Update: Klymit Inertia X-Frame Sleeping Pad

Klymit creates revolutionary sleeping pad filled with argon gas.

Give a Sherpa a Lift: Apa Sherpa Summits Mt. Everest for the 20th Time

Sherpa's big year also includes an limited edition Suunto watch to benefit his foundation.

High-end Tent Company SlingFin Enters the Market

A master designer attempts to build the last mountain shelter you'll ever need.

Gear News: Hydro Flask Backcountry Beer Growler

Enjoy a cold beer mid-trip with this 64-ounce growler.

Four All-Star iPad Apps for Camping

Is the iPad coming to a campsite near you? It saves its weight in maps, guidebooks, novels, songs, and more. Here are four top apps for hikers.

Reader Leader Contest Winner!

After sifting through scores of submissions, we've chosen a reader who will be an official BACKPACKER field scout.

Sleep Better When Camping

Got the gear but still can't get any rest? These 10 tips will improve your snooze.

Trail Chef: 8 Tips for Making Perfect Pasta

Plus: Pesto Pasta with a Kick recipe

Gear Review: Muck Boot Arctic Sport Winter Boots

These are the warmest (and lightest) boots you will ever need for winter.

Gear Review: Sorel Alpha Pac Winter Boots

These will keep your feet warm on the coldest of hikes.

Gear Review: Salomon XA Pro 3D Mid GTX Ultra Trail Runners

Your toes will stay warm while snowshoe running with these insulated runners.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Snowshoes

Float better, move faster with these 7 choices.

Gear Review: Icebug Attla BUGrip Trail Runners

These runners have such good traction, you'll love running in the snow.

Backpacker Photo School: Tips for Great Fall Photos

Before all the leaves drop, read these quick tips and take your camera out on the trail for one more shot at Autumn photos.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Crossover GTX Trail Runners

Have the best protection in any weather with these all-season runners.

Gear Review: Salewa Raven Combi GTX Mountaineering Boots

These heavy duty mountaineering boots are surprisingly lightweight and comfortable.

Gear Review: Crescent Moon Kid's Snowshoes

Snowshoes built for little feet and short gaits.

Gear Review: Atlas 12 Series Snowshoes

Even on steep, deep, and technical inclines these shoes performed mightily.

Gear Review: Redfeather Conquest Snowshoes

$70 snowshoes that perform.

Gear Review: Louis Garneau UX Trek 824 Snowshoes

Snowshoes built for beginners

Gear Review: MSR Lightning Axis Snowshoes

Rely on the jagged steal crampons for grip and add-on tails for super float.

Gear Review: Atlas BC24 Snowshoes

Snowshoes that comfortably fit on the back of a pack.

Gear Review: New Balance 1000 Hiking Boot

Get the most bang for your buck with these affordable all-purpose winter boots.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Tents

Find refuge in these 8 storm-tested shelters.

Gear Review: Redfeather Vapor Snowshoes

Run, really run, in the snow with the help of these snowshoes.

Gear Review: Lowa Baikal GTX Hiking Boot

This all-purpose boot provides great support and warmth.

Gear Review: Garmont momentum Snow GTX

The most versatile cold-weather boot for backpacking and snowshoeing.

Gear Review: Backcountry Access Tracker2

Find avalanche victims as quickly with this beacon.

Gear Review: Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 Video Camera

This video camera is perfect solution to handle all weather conditions while backpacking.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Couloir Harness

Stay comfortable and safe with this easy on and off harness.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Insulation

Insulating pieces from down to fleece.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Borealis AT Camera Backpack

A great camera backpack that also has room to carry your gear.

Gear Review: Mammut Alugator Expert Shovel

Dig quickly and easily with this all-aluminum shovel.

Gear Review: Camp X-Lite Axe

A great lightweight axe for mountaineering.

Gear Review: Edelweiss Discover 8mm x 30m Rope

Keep your pack light with this twin rope.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Bargains

Sometimes, it's the little things that count.

Gear Review: Grivel Air Tech Light

These lightweight crampons will keep you safe without the added weight.

Gear Review: SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger

Never go missing with this personal locator beacon.

Gear Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 Point-and-Shoot Camera

This point-and-shoot camera does it all: stills, video, and GPS.

Gear Review: Magellan eXplorist GC

Geocaching just got easier with this palm-size GPS unit.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Hardshells

Repel rain, cold, and snow with these hardshell jackets.

Gear Review: Casio Exilim G EX-G1 Point-and-Shoot Camera

Casio Exilim G EX-G1 point and shoot camera is the perfect solution for the backpacker.

Gear Review: Mophie Juice Pack Reserve

Stay connected with this keychain-size battery charger.

Gear Review: Canon EOS 7D DSLR Camera

Best DSLR digital camera for backpacking.

Gear Review: Garmin GPSMAP 62st

The pinpoint accuracy of this GPS system will keep you on track even in the most narrow valleys.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Baselayers

Keep your bod warm & toasty all fall and winter long.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Optics

From sunglasses to binoculars to goggles these six items will help you see better.

Gear Review: Komperdell Carbon Ti-2 Powerlock Women Poles

Indestructible ski poles

Gear Review: K2 Lockjaw Carbon/Alu Poles

A built-in inclinometer means these poles can easily take quick slope-angle measurements.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Razor Carbon Poles

Lightweight poles that can still take a beating.

Gear Review: Rottefella Chili Three-Pin Cable Nordic Bindings

A tried-and-true tele binding.

Prof. Hike: Don't Get Caught in the Dark

How to avoid an unplanned night hike and what to do if it happens anyway

Trail Chef: Peanut Butter Omelet

It tastes delish. (Yes, really.)

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Softshells

Find a jacket that's suited for highly active, cold-weather activities.

Prof. Hike: Camping (Comfortably) in the Cold

How to stay warm in your bag, keep your water bladder's tube from freezing, fuel your furnace, and more

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Baselayers

Keep your core warm & toasty with these baselayers.

Survival: Above Treeline With No Sunglasses

Can't see a thing and forgot your shades at home? We've got a solution for you.

Rip & Go: Maine, Idaho, California

Take the guesswork out of weekend hike planning; download these new trips in Baxter State Park, the Bitterroot Wilderness, and the Trinity Alps.

The Peak: Mt. Marcy, Adirondacks, NY

Take the scenic--and sporting--route to New York's highest summit.

Natural Wonders: Hells Canyon, Bighorn Sheep, and Longleaf Pines

See North America's deepest river gorge, the west's most violent mating Display, and the Southeast's last longleaf pines.

Natural Wonders: Longleaf Pines, GA

Walk beneath trees that predate the Revolutionary War.

Natural Wonders: Sparring Bighorn Sheep

Witness bighorn rams' skull-bashing attempts to win a date.

Natural Wonders: Hells Canyon, OR/ID

Hike into North America's deepest river gorge--a canyon that could hold five stacked Sears Towers.

Top 3 Rainy Season Hikes: Neshannock Creek, PA

Cast a fly to land lunker brown trout.

Top 3 Rainy Season Hikes: Emerald Pools, UT

Explore Gushing, Rain-fed waterfalls.

Top 3 Rainy Season Hikes: Mill Creek, CA

Rains summon salmon and slugs.

Top 3: Rainy Season Hikes

Make the best of fall storms on trails that improve with soggy weather.

Gear Review: First Ascent Maximus 80 Duffel Bag

Cram in everything you want...even if it includes the kitchen sink.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: The Press Traverse, WA

Cross the Olympic Range on a forgotten explorers' path.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Middle Fork Trail, NM

Trek along–and in–the Gila River.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Foothills Trail, SC

See bears, gorges, and waterfalls on this 77-mile South Carolina hike.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Resurrection Pass Trail, AK

This 39-mile Alaska hike offers big scenery without a bush plane.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Knobstone Trail, IN

Climb high (really!) in the Midwest.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Greenstone Ridge, MN

Traverse a seldom-hiked national park.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: West Coast Trail, BC

Tackle Vancouver Island’s wild coast.

High Sierra Trail, Ca: 50-Mile Thru-Hikes

Go straight to the top in the Range of Light.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Toiyabe Crest Trail, NV

Cross Nevada's loftiest range in 6-7 days.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Loyalsock Trail, Pennsylvania

A 59-mile "long trail" through Pennsylvania.

Less is More: 50-Mile Thru-Hikes

Ten point-to-point treks with the payoffs of a thru-hike, but hikeable in a week.

Survival: Deal with a Snagged Rope

Rope caught up in a bad way. Here's what to do.

Survival: Injured with...No First-Aid Kit

You're hiking. You slip. You're hurt. But the first-aid kit is back in the car--12 miles away. What should you do?

Survival: Need Fire But Have...No Tinder

When the ground is drenched, look in your pack for dry, flammable fuel.

How's Your Camping Etiquette?

Take our etiquette quiz to find out if you're genteel or a heel.

Survival: Stuck at a Remote Trailhead With... A Dead Car Battery

The click, click, crap of a dead battery is about as welcome as the rattle of a diamondback in the latrine. Here's what to do.

Survival: Cliffed Out With No Climbing Gear

Now you've done it, fumblefingers: bobbled your belay/rappel device or dropped your harness, with one 5.8 pitch left before the summit and three pitches below you back to the ridge. What to do?

Survival: Must Cross a Raging River With No Personal Flotation Device

Drowning is the #2 cause of outdoor deaths (falls are #1), so avoid wading waist-deep or too-fast rivers (a tossed, fist-size rock shouldn't move downstream before sinking), but if no choice exists:

Survival: In Dire Straits With Enough Battery Life for...Only One Call

"Hello, this is 911. Please state your emergency." If you're calling for backcountry help on your cell phone, what you say--or sob incoherently--next could determine when you get rescued.

Survival: Lost with Only a Trash Bag

Ounce for ounce, few items can improve your survival chances more than a humble trash bag.

Survival: In the Backcountry With a Missing Partner

Lost your hiking partner? Here's what to do to make sure you both come home in one piece.

Survival: Famished But With...No Cooking Pots

Doing more (fresh-baked pizza and rumaki hors d'oeuvres) with less (a canister stove and a frying pan) is the essence of backcountry cooking. But when you're stuck without pots, pans, or utensils for more than a week, knowing how to cook and boil water with these four stand-in containers can be a vital, calorie-providing skill.

Survival: In the Cold with...No Body Heat

Fording the river didn't seem risky until the moment your butt hit the water. Now you're soaked up to your pits as the evening mercury drops below 45-degrees F. Your goal: Prevent hypothermia.

Survival: Off-Course With No Map or Compass

Uh-oh, you forgot to download free maps at Backpacker.com, and now you're lost in the woods without any navigational tools. Smart! Now follow these rules to get found.

Survival: Lost with...Only Some Junk Food

Word up to Eric Schlosser and all you other health-food ninnies out there: A bag of greasy chips could save your triglyceride-loathing, carb-counting, GMO-bashing arses.

Survival: Stuck in Powder with...No Snowshoes

Few forms of hiking are more frustrating, exhausting, and potentially dead-ending than postholing (aka, flailing through thigh-deep snow). If a storm struck overnight or you forgot to pack snowshoes--but still have miles to go--save energy and stay drier by constructing your own Ojibwas.

Survival: Crossing an Icefield with No Crampons

Without any traction, you're not going anywhere. Here's how to cross an icefield with the stuff in your pack.

Survival: Lost with...Only a Bottle of Whiskey

Put that hooch to good use with these tips for starting a fire, treating water, and even signaling for help.

Survival: In The Wild with...Only a Knife

Long before satellite beacons, humans thrived in the wild with the best technology available: a knife. And with that one tool and some basic knowledge, they fulfilled all life-sustaining needs.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Pants

From softshells to bibs, the toughest and most comfortable pants for every cold-weather outdoor adventure.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Backcountry Kitchen Accessories

Everything you need to stay sated in the backcountry.

Gear Review: Zeal Optics Airstream

The large frame and polarization of these sunglasses will keep your eyes fresh all day.

Gear Review: Switch Cortina FullStop

The struggle between user and lens is over with these magnetic interchangeable lenses.

SURVIVE! The Ultimate How-To Guide

What to do when the you-know-what hits the fan.

Gear Review: Tifosi Logic

These sunglasses come with three interchangeable lenses, so you're ready for anything.

Gear Review: Olympus Outback 10x21 RC 1

Sharpness and definition are not compromised with these compact binoculars.

Gear Review: Julbo Contest

Transition seamlessly between seasons with these year round sunglasses.

Gear Review: Gordini Virve

See in any lighting with these interchangeable lens goggles.

Rip & Go: Mathews Arm Loop - Shenandoah National Park

Ramble through brilliant red and yellow fall foliage.

Gear Review: High Sierra Wheeled Double Decker Ski and Snowboard Combo Bag

Keep all your equipment in one place with this durable ski and snowboard bag.

Rip & Go: Grandview Loop - Grand Canyon, South Rim

Descend to the Ditch's primitive core on a three-day loop.

Gear Review: Jetboil Flash

No need for bulky equipment with this combo vessel.

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Halulite Ketalist

With this outdoor kettle set, you'll have boiling water in no time.

Gear Review: Packit Gourmet Big Easy Gumbo

Bring a taste of New Orleans with you on your next camping trip with this packaged Gumbo.

Rip & Go: Paradise Valley - Kings Canyon National Park

Hike in the spray of waterfalls deep in the heart of black bear country.

Gear Review: MSR Flex Skillet

A home cooked meal no longer has to stay at home with this skillet.

Gear Review: Klean Kanteen Wide Insulated

This thermos converts into an insulated mug whenever you're ready for a warm drink.

Gear Review: Primus OmniFuel

Cook with just about any fuel with this versatile stove.

Gear Review: MSR Reactor 2.5 Pot

Boil water in minutes with this cookware.

Gear Review: High Sierra Wheeled Double Decker Ski and Snowboard Combo Bag



Gear Review: BACKPACKER books by FalconGuides

These handy skill guides will tell you everything you need to know while backpacking.

Gear Review: SOLE Exhale Slippers

Ditch your hiking boots for these fleece-lined slippers and relax.

BACKCOUNTRY BARTENDER: Backcountry Cucumber Mojito

Part rum, part minty-goodness. This one will help you hold on to the last warm days of the year in style.

Gear Review: Rossignol BC X-11 Nordic Boots

Boots built for touring.

Gear Review: Rossignol BC 125 Nordic Skis

If you favor long backcountry tours over rolling–but not supersteep–terrain these skis are for you.

Gear Review: Dynafit Manaslu Skis

A lightweight, slim ski built for experts.

Gear Review: K2 Coomback/Gotback Skis

A one-ski workhorse.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Hats, Helmets, Face Masks

Protect your beaner, or just keep it warm, with these headwear options.

Gear Review: Volkl Nanuq Skis

A ski that performs in all conditions.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Drift/Starlet Skis

Built for backcountry powder sessions.

Gear Review: TwentyTwo Designs AXL Telemark Binding

The perfect touring/skiing binding.

Gear Review: Dynafit TLT Vertical ST Alpine Touring Binding

This AT binding is the lightest on the market.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Socks & Gaiters

Whether you're skiing, postholing, or just building a snow fort with the kids we have the socks and gaiters for every condition.

Gear Review: SCARPA T2 Eco Telemark Boot

This telemark boot combines stiffness (for downhills) and comfort (for touring).

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Gloves & Mitten

Keep your fingers warm and functional this winter with these five digit warmers.

Gear Review: Dynafit ZZero 4 C-TF/PX-TF Alpine Touring Boot

These alpine touring boots fit all are testers superbly and is comfortable going up or flying down.

Gear Review: Flylow Tough Guy Gloves

Gloves that are rugged and cheap.

Gear Review: Columbia Carabineer Gloves

Gloves made with thermal-reflective Omni-Heat lining.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Virago Mitt

Tuck chemical handwarmers in these mitts for long-lasting heat.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Pistolero Gloves

Tough gloves that still let you use your fingers for delicate tasks.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Alpha SV Gloves

The best gloves for wet and cold we tested.

Gear Review: TSL Trek Short Gaiter

These zippered gaiters keep out crusty debris.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Salamander Gaiter

These gaiters thrive in wet, wet conditions.

Gear Review: Black Diamond FrontPoint Gaiter

Made for ice climbers–perfect for anyone who needs tough, tall gaiters.

Gear Review: Point6 Ski Light Sun Sock

Ski socks that protect shins from boot bang.

Gear Review: tekoMERINO Evolution Midweight Sock

Multi-season socks with tons of cush.

Gear Review: Wigwam Weather Shield Sock

Bargain socks that are warm and resilient.

Gear Review: Lorpen Trekking/Expedition Polartec & Primaloft Sock

Perfect fit and great performance

Gear Review: Smith Vantage Helmet

The most comfortable helmet in our test.

Gear Review: Grivel Air Tech Helmet

An ultralight helmet with 16 vents.

Gear Review: Grivel Air Tech Helmet



Gear Review: SmartWool Lupine Hat

A merino wool beanie for temps down to 25°.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Hat for All Seasons

A two-in-one hat that keeps out cold and precipitation.

Gear Review: Sugoi RSE Windblock Cap

A cap that lives up to its name

Gear Review: Chaos Adrenaline Multi-Tasker Pro Balaclava

A full-face balaclava

Gear Review: MontBell Neige Down Cap

A winter ball cap that's filled with down.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Radiant Hybrid Beanie

A barely there beanie for high-octane workouts.

Coming Soon: BACKPACKER's Life List: The International Edition

Our free guide to the 20 best international hikes ever written about in the pages of BACKPACKER.

Gear Review: Costa Fathom Sunglasses with 580P lens

Sunglasses that provide super clarity and eye protection.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Miura 50 Backpack

A hard-core pack built for craggers, climbers, and punishing hikers.

Gear Review: NEMO Espri 3P Tent

A tent built for three-season backpacking in the foulest weather.

Gear Review: Columbia Carabineer II /Frosty Forest Parka

Cool-weather enthusiasts–skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, & winter hikers–will love this jacket.

Gear Review: The North Face Syncline GTX Boot

A waterproof boot that's comfortable for dayhikes and weekend outings.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Verglas Pants

Softshell pants that are waterproof, breathable, and abrasion resistant.

Gear Review: Marmot Alpinist Pants

Lightweight bibs that turn into pants with a zip.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research TrailBreaker Pants

Breathable softshell pants for skiers that log logs of vertical.

Gear Review: Flylow Magnum/Bella Donna Pants

Ski or snowboard pants that won't get shredded.

Gear Review: First Ascent Rainier Storm Shell Pants

Ultralight shell pants that protect from snow and cold.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Phase AR Zip Neck

A new fabric makes this synthetic zip-t odor free.

Gear Review: SmartWool NTS Microweight Crew

A superthin merino layer that is deceptively durable.

Gear Review: Ortovox Supersoft LS Zipper

The softest baselayer we've tested...ever.

Gear Review: Icebreaker GT 260 Pursuit/Express Legging

Baselayer bottoms that you can wear solo.

Gear Review: Merrell Ashby Zip T

A bargain layer that's pretty and tough.

Prof. Hike: Making the Best of a Bad Situation

I've made the mistakes so you don't have to.

Gear Review: Dale of Norway 180 Short Sleeve Crew

A short-sleeved baselayer for year-round wear.

Gear Review: Sherpa Adventure Gear Khushi Top

A built-in neck gaiter for her and a built-in hoody for him give this shirt head and neck protection.

Gear Review: Patagonia Capilene 3 Midweight T-Neck

Patagonia updates this perennial favorite making it lighter, faster-drying, and softer then previous Capilene layers.

Gear Review: I/O Bio Merino Pilot Suit

A full-body baselayer (a.k.a. pilot or "union" suit) that's as warm as they come.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Verglas Hybrid Baselayer

Nordic skiiers and runners will love this moisture moving layer.

Gear Review: Brooks-Range Backcountry Multi-Tool

Cut your tool bag in half with this compact multi-tool.

Gear Review: Freedom of the Hills Playing Cards

Cut camp boredom with these playing cards.

Gear Review: Merrell Raven/Falconry Tri-Therm Jacket

A three-in-one jacket system...that works.

Gear Review: Patagonia R1 Full-Zip Jacket

This lightweight fleece jacket has been a long-time tester favorite.

Gear Review: REI Antifreeze/Davos Jacket

-20°? No problem for this bargain heater.

Gear Review: Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody

A super warm jacket that compresses down to softball size.

Gear Review: Columbia Heat Elite Jacket

Columbia's "Omni-Heat" increases insulation by 20 percent over standard fill.

Gear Review: The North Face Redpoint Vest

A core-warming affordable, functional vest.

Gear Review: Montbell ThermaWrap BC Jacket

A versatile jacket that blends in anywhere.

Gear Review: Boxers or Briefs?

Although perhaps not as sexy as a brand new Gore-Tex Pro hardshell, the most basic of baselayers is a crucial component of your backcountry enjoyment. We put three mens' styles to the test.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Gravitor/Sooka Jacket

A waterproof ski jacket that's warm as well.

Gear Review: Canada Goose HyBridge Jacket

A hybrid softshell/puffy jacket.

Gear Review: Joshua Tree Climbing Salve

Fight rough effects on your skin with this moisturizing climbing salve.

Gear Review: Rab Infinity Jacket

A water resistant, down-filled force field.

Ultimate Backcountry Beds

For five months, we tested 50 bags, pads, and other snooze-related gear to find perfect sleep systems for every season.

Ultralight Bargain: Sleeping Bags and Sleeping Pads

For warm summer nights, this two-pound system delivers sweet dreams for just $138.

Basecamp Luxury: Sleeping Bags, Sleeping Pad, and Camp Pillows

Get all the comforts of home with this four-star setup.

Gear Review: Westcomb Skeena Hoody

A weather-resistant shell that's as warm as a sweater.

Gear Review: Marmot Up Track Jacket

This wind resistant yet breathable softshell is great for layering.

Gear Review: Salomon XT Wings II Softshell Jacket

An ultralight softshell that wicks.

Gear Review: Rab Exodus Jacket

A midweight softshell that's multiseason.

Gear Review: The North Face Kishtwar Jacket

This softshell provides maximum breathability and weather protection.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen EkoLab Rapide

This eco-friendly jacket is everything you'd expect from a midweight softshell.

Winter Warmth: Sleeping Bags and Sleeping Pads for Cold-weather Camping, Plus Tips for Easy Sleeping While Camping

Stay toasty in the deepest freeze with an overstuffed bag and cold-weather pad.

Gear Review: Columbia Turn-'N-Go Softshell Jacket

A bargain softshell that's cozy and great for aerobic activities.

Three-Season Backcountry Sleeping Bags & Sleeping Pads

Get big comfort, low weight from a premium down bag and a super-cush pad.

Gear Review: Westcomb Cruiser Jacket

One pound of all-purpose protection

Gear Review: The North Face Lockoff Jacket

A good looking jacket with plenty of storm protection.

Gear Review: Exped SIM Lite 2.5 Short Sleeping Pad

A shortie summer pad that offers surprising comfort for its size and weight.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Mantra Fusion Jacket

A versatile ski shell at a great price

Gear Review: Deuter Dream Lite 500 & Sea to Summit's Reactor Thermolite Sleeping Bag

A 40° mummy that disappears inside a pack.

Gear Review: Rab Kinetic Rain Jacket

An ultralight hardshell jacket for under $150.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Axial/Emporia Jacket

A versatile hardshell that's lightweight and breathable.

Gear Review: Mammut Adrenaline Jacket

Reinforced shoulders and three-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell fabric make this jacket super tough.

Gear Review: First Ascent BC-200 Jacket

An all-conditions jacket that's under $200.

Gear Review: NEMO Fillo Camping Pillow

An inflatable pillow that feels like the real thing.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest DreamTime Sleeping Pad

A sleeping pad made for luxurious car camping.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Pinole 20° & Big Agnes Cabin Creek Sleeping Bag

An affordable mummy bag that's super soft inside.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Dual Core Sleeping Pad & Klean Kanteen Classic Water Bottle

A winter warm sleeping pad that's also easily packable.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs BTU -20 Sleeping Bag and Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0&Deg;

An Arctic-worthy 800-fill down mummy.

Gear Review: NEMO Cosmo Air & Pacific Outdoor's Equipment's Peak Oyl Mtn Women's Petite Sleeping Pads

An extra wide and extra long sleeping pad with three inches of cushion.

Gear Review: Rab Neutrino 400 & Eureka! Riner 40°F Sleeping Bag

A premium down bag that masters three seasons.

Gear School: Snowshoes

Get out more this winter with the right pair of 'shoes.

Dirtbag/Gourmet Recipes: Fondue

Add rich, cheesy flair to your backcountry fare.

Recipe: Savory Gruyere Fondue

Wow your campmates with this restaurant-worthy appetizer.

Recipe: Beer and Pretzel Fondue Dip

Cheese and beer make this a camp favorite.

Reader Shot of the Month - Using Tinted Filters

Enhance a photo's color without Photoshop by employing tinted filters.

Test Your Meteorological IQ - Answers



The Manual: Forecast the Weather

Can crickets tell you the temperature and a cup of coffee forecast storms? Here's how to become a backcountry meteorologist.

October 2010 Table of Contents



How's Your Camping Etiquette - Answers & Scoring

You took the quiz - now see how you fared.

The 2010 Fall/Winter Gear Guide

Click below to download a free digital version of the 2010 Fall/Winter Gear Guide, viewable on your computer, iPad, or iPhone. Or, view the online version.

BACKCOUNTRY BARTENDER: Corralejo Tequila Sangria

Our resident imbibing expert takes on the Spanish staple...and adds a twist.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Convert 3 Tent

A four-season tent that can truly handle the elements.

Gear Review: Big Agnes String Ridge 2 Tent

A wedge-style, double-walled tent that packs super small.

Gear Review: Integral Designs SilTunnel Tent

A floorless tunnel tent that's ultralight for it's four-person capacity.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Keron 3 Tent

A roomy tunnel tent that's quick to set up.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Altai XP Yurt Tent

Sleeps eight and sits 12, this is the tent for a group expedition.

Gear Review: Brooks-Range Rocket A2 Tent

A lightweight, all-conditions shelter for two.

Gear Review: REI Arete ASL 3 Tent

If you dip your toes in winter camping this tent is for you.

Gear Review: The North Face Mountain 25 Tent

This tent survived the worst of Mt. Washington's epic weather.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Sleeping Bags & Sleeping Pads

Sleep better all year long with these warm sleeping bags & pads.

Gear Review: Kelty Alpine Sleeping Pad

A closed cell/open cell foam system that provides maximum comfort.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Solar Sleeping Pad

An indestructible sleeping pad with an aluminized surface layer that reflects body heat.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear ExtraLamina 20 Sleeping Bag

A roomy and comfortable bag built for big guys (or gals).

Gear Review: Western Mountaineering Lynx Sleeping Bag

An 850-fill bag that packs down to the size of a basketball.

Gear Review: Marmot Never Summer MemBrain Sleeping Bag

A warm and weatherproof bag at a sweet price.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Euphoria Sleeping Bag

A women's bag that stays warm even when wet.

Gear Review: MontBell U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger #1 Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag you won't want to get out of.

Gear Review: Brooks-Range Elephant Foot Sleeping Bag

Pair this bag with a puffy jacket for an ultralight, ultratoasty setup.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010

255 gear reviews and cold-weather tips!

Gear Review: Exped Waterbloc 1000 Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag that doesn't require a tent.

Prof. Hike: Gearoholics Anonymous

Are you overspending on gear? Here's how to get the right stuff at the right price.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Cohesion Rainshell

A reasonably priced rainshell that breathes well and feels great against the skin.

Gear Review: Byer of Maine Easy Traveller Hammock

Backcountry hammocks–the easiest way to bring tropical comfort to your wilderness paradise.

20 Best International Hikes: Sign Up for a Free Digital Download

BACKPACKER's Life List: The International Edition is a free guide to the 20 best international hikes ever written about in the pages of Backpacker.

10 Best iPhone Apps for the Outdoors

These applications might not qualify as the 10 Essentials, but they're pretty sweet to have on the trail nonetheless.

Top 10 Page Turners: The Best Backpacker Stories Ever

Our editor-in-chief's picks for the finest writing in this magazine's history.

The Seven Deadly Sins (And Why We Love Them)

This classic roundup appeared in the June 2003 issue of BACKPACKER

BACKCOUNTRY BARTENDER: The "Perfect" Manhattan

In this inaugural expert section, the Backcountry Bartender drops some knowledge on crafting the perfect trail cocktail. First up, a timeless classic: the Manhattan.

Trail Chef: Not-So-Common Ramen

In a tip of the hat to this universal noodle, here are two sweet breakfast and dessert ramen recipes.

Local Hikes: Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

The best hikes near Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Local Hikes: Columbus, OH

The best hikes near Columbus, OH.

Local Hikes: Austin, TX

The best hikes near Austin, TX.

Local Hikes: Milwaukee, WI

The best hikes near Milwaukee.

Local Hikes: Chicago, IL

The best hikes near Chicago.

Local Hikes: St. Louis, MO

The best local hikes near St. Louis.

Local Hikes: Dallas, TX

The best hikes near Dallas, TX.

Local Hikes: Roanoke, VA

The best hikes near Roanoke, VA.

Local Hikes: Asheville, NC

The best hikes near Asheville, NC.

Local Hikes: Atlanta, GA

The best hikes near Atlanta, GA.

Local Hikes: Knoxville, TN

The best hikes near Knoxville, TN.

Local Hikes: Richmond, VA

The best hikes near Richmond, VA.

Local Hikes: Spokane, WA

The best hikes near Spokane.

Local Hikes: Charlotte, NC

The best hikes near Charlotte, NC.

Local Hikes: Tallahassee, FL

The best hikes near Tallahassee, FL.

Local Hikes: Portland, OR

The best hikes near Portland.

Nashville Hiking

The best hikes near Nashville, TN.

Local Hikes: Anchorage, AK

The best hikes near Anchorage.

Local Hikes: Boise, ID

The best hikes near Boise.

Local Hikes: Portland, ME

The best hikes near Portland, ME.

Local Hikes: Rochester, NY

The best hikes near Rochester.

Local Hikes: Burlington, VT

The best hikes near Burlington.

Local Hikes: Philadelphia, PA

The best hikes near Philly.

Local Hikes: Washington, DC

The best hikes near Washington, DC.

Seattle Hikes

The best hikes near Seattle, WA.

Local Hikes: Manchester, NH

The best hikes near Manchester.

Local Hikes: Boston, MA

The best hikes near Boston.

Local Hikes: Pittsburgh, PA

The best hikes near Pittsburgh.

Local Hikes: Albany, NY

The best hikes near Albany.

Local Hikes: New York City, NY

The best hikes near New York, as selected by the Big Apple's best hiking clubs.

Local Hikes: Bozeman, MT

The best hikes near Bozeman, MT.

Local Hikes: Laramie, WY

The best hikes near Laramie, WY.

Salt Lake City Hiking

The best hikes near Salt Lake City, UT.

Albuquerque Hiking

The best hikes near Albuquerque, NM.

Local Hikes: Aspen, CO

The best hikes near Aspen, CO.

Local Hikes: Flagstaff, AZ

The best hikes near Flagstaff, AZ.

Phoenix Hikes

The best hikes near Phoenix, AZ.

Local Hikes: Moab, UT

The best hikes near Moab, Utah.

Local Hikes: Grand Junction, CO

The best hikes near Grand Junction, CO.

Local Hikes: Denver/Boulder, CO

The best hikes near Denver/Boulder.

Local Hikes: Santa Barbara/Ventura

The best local hikes near Santa Barbara/Ventura.

Local Hikes: San Francisco

The best hikes near San Francisco.

Local Hikes: Las Vegas, NV

The best hikes near Las Vegas.

San Diego Hikes

The best hikes near San Diego.

Sacramento Hiking

The best local hikes near Sacramento.

Local Hikes: Redding

The best local hikes near Redding, CA.

Local Hikes: Los Angeles

The best local hikes in LA.

Local Hikes: Midwest

The best hikes in the Midwest, as recommended by the region's best hiking clubs.

Local Hikes: Southeast

The best local hikes in the southeast, as chosen by the area's best hiking clubs.

Local Hikes: Northwest

The best hikes in Northwest, as suggested by the best local hiking clubs.

Local Hikes: Northeast

The best hikes, as recommended by the best hiking clubs in the Northeast.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

The best local hikes in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana.

Local Hikes: California

The best hikes within two hours of California's major cities.

The Best Hikes Near You

Clear the schedule for next Saturday (and the rest of the year). We partnered with regional hiking clubs in 50 cities to bring you the country's top 121 local trails.

Rip & Go: Horse Mountain to Traveler Mountain - Baxter State Park, ME

Reach great granite heights on Katahdin's next-door neighbor.

The Peak: Triple Divide Peak, Glacier NP

In Glacier National Park, summit a mountain that feeds three oceans.

Rip & Go: Watchtower to Sheephead Loop - Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, MT/ID

Have rocky ridges and sparkling alpine lakes all to yourself.

Natural Wonders: Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

Watch 10,000 birds take wing daily.

Natural Wonders: Devil's Tower, WY

Marvel at America's first national monument.

Natural Wonders: Pando Aspen Colony, UT

Meander through a sprawling forest of clones.

Natura