A pack low on price but full on features.
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'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.
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.
After an off-trail slide tosses two hikers down a slope, they’re trapped by their injuries.
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.
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.
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.
This culture activist is bringing diversity to the outdoors.
Murphy’s Law, meet your match. Our experts offer trip-saving fixes for 44 mishaps, from bug bites to bad partners to broken bones.
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.
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.
Student and president of the Hiking Club at the University of Colorado, Boulder
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.
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.
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.
Tour glacial valleys and navigate to off-trail lakes and waterfalls on this six-day circuit.
Hike cross-country to explore this secluded chain of hanging lakes.
Scramble up a 12.7-mile sneak route to the park's highest peak.
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.
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.
Park your tent in one of these 10 spots, and you'll be happy in the morning. Guaranteed.
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.
Explore wildly sculpted rock.
Sea kayaking unlocks a new world of solitude and scenery.
Cast for beautiful fish that live in beautiful lakes.
See a week's worth of terrain on an epic dawn-to-dusk hike.
Kick it up a notch with these quick fixes.
Be a real explorer by going where others don't.
Scramble a class 3 route and claim your own private peak.
Serve a 5-star meal that matches the scenery.
Ski remote winter terrain—and have the most winter fun.
Discover a higher world.
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.
Hiker heaven, redefined, is a month-long hike/paddle/camp in Adventureland.
Discover solitude on the Swiss border with this highlights tour of John Harlin's favorite trips—rope not required.
Navigate a vertical sandstone maze to guaranteed solitude on a high-desert summit.
Scramble a sneak route to Rainier-worthy views-of Rainier and much more.
Top a Yosemite-like dome in a sea of green.
Claim a rare feat on this classic-in-waiting loop.
Stand atop The Mountain State's most famous peak.
Feel like you've notched a first ascent.
Walk a scary-narrow rock fin to an airy summit.
Tackle tricky terrain to gain a solitary alp.
Bag a stout weekend adventure-and vistas from the big lake to the High Uintas.
Climb without crowds to the state's top mountain view.
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.
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.
A stunning new hike—plus two thrilling classics—in the Rockies' top spot for big backpacking adventures.
As prosperity spreads across China, so does a passion for the outdoors. But can millions of new trekkers save Asia's vast wilderness from the march of development? Welcome to the world's next hiking frontier. PLUS, check out China's Top Treks.
Nepal's Annapurna Circuit can't compete with the world's best treks for lavish huts, extreme solitude, and sumptuous cuisine. So why is it still number one? Let us count the reasons.
Associate editor Shannon Davis tells us more about the highs and lows of his honeymoon trek (featured in March 2009's "The Perfect Circle") on the sky-scraping Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.
Author Tracy Ross discusses her feature story "Dogs of War" devoted to the debate raging in Alaska over the famed Toklat wolf pack.
The last time our author took his buddy camping, they stopped speaking for a year. A decade later, they still haven't hit the trail together. Which means there's only one thing to do: Try again.
Flesh-eating bears. Dive-bombing eagles. Can a regular guy escape certain death armed with only the clothes on his back and the skills he learned on TV from Les Stroud, Bear Grylls, and John Rambo?
On a snowy night in New Hampshire, Congressional candidate Gary Dodds crashed his car, wandered into the woods, and collapsed. Twenty-seven hours later, rescuers carried him out. And then the real drama began.
Survivors of the Bataan death march overcame one of history's most grueling
walks. What kept them on their feet? and could you do the same? every year,
more than 4,000 people hike through the New Mexico desert to find out.
Is he a pilgrim, a victim, or a thief? The Appalachian Trail provides a path and refuge to all sorts of seekers. Few are as baffling as the man they called Saved.
The most remote spot in the Lower 48 is inside Yellowstone National Park. It's also the goal of our correspondent. What he encounters–and what it says about the solitude backpackers treasure–will surprise you. PLUS: See more of his photos and read a Q&A.
Grand Canyon raft guide and Havasupai tribal member Shana Watahomigie becomes a paddling–and Hollywood–pioneer.
Gas prices are soaring. Glaciers are melting. What's a conscientious hiker to do? Take the bus, says Dan Koeppel, who did
just that to escape downtown L.A.
It's the gear world's ultimate endurance event: a full day and night roaming the aisles at Bean's flagship store in Freeport, Maine. Will our man survive?
First John Francis stopped riding in cars. Then he stopped talking.
More than three decades, two continent-spanning hikes, and countless trail miles later, he's still following his remarkable path of protest–only now he's not alone.
Mark Jenkins, the author of "Destination Nowhere," discusses his Yellowstone assignment to find the most remote spot in the United States.
How to retrace each segment of the author's perfect week from "A Perfect Week in the Tetons."
You won't waste a minute with our only-the-highlights hiking and climbing guide to the West's archetypal range. From the loftiest summits to the loneliest cross-country routes, this seven-day sampler visits every type of Tetons treasure-and then some.
On your mark, get set ... hike. Inside a 5,600-mile footrace on the country's hardest trail.
We sent 209 readers out to GPS the Continental Divide Trail, the biggest, baddest long-distance path of them all. They brought back the makings of the first authoritative map of this American classic. These are their stories–and their favorite sections.
With the right preparation–and a little help from a half-dozen friends, two exotic techno-gadgets, and one very sweaty hypoxic chamber–can a sea-level-dwelling rookie climb the highest peak in Colorado?
Want to hike farther, explore tougher terrain, and carry big loads without bonking? To achieve your biggest backcountry goals, you have to change how you eat.
Get trail-fit in six weeks with this simple exercise plan.
Achieve peak performance on the trail with our complete guide to training and eating like a backpacker.
On this burly, 210-mile traverse, which crosses 33 passes and barely touches established trails, you can find Alaska-sized scenery, complete solitude, and just enough risk to keep things interesting.
Animals can't talk. But Ed Newcomer can. As an elite U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service detective, he goes undercover to protect threatened raptors, bears, even butterflies–and bring poachers and smugglers to court. Inside the agency's latest covert operation.
Two Everest-scaling Sherpas face their biggest challenge yet–surviving suburban America.
Forget all the rules about freezing or making yourself big. When faced with these angry beasts run for cover.
Once a guide and counselor near Yosemite, up-and-coming musician Brett Dennen is now taking his backcountry jams to the masses.
The year's best packs, boots, tents, jackets, and sleeping bags. Period. Plus, a never-die headlamp, a life-saving beacon, a back-saving ultralight chair, and more innovative, trail-tested gear.
In search of a guilt-free adventure in the tropics, Jason Daley discovers the line between saving the world–and seeing it.
The planet's most dynamic landscape is full of bubbling hot springs, steaming geysers, and kaleidoscopic lava flows. Hike Iceland's epic Laugevegur Trail, and join the action.
6 more must-dip pools from Alaska to Hawaii
Here are the top wilderness soaks on the continent. Can you keep a secret?
Like it or not, national parks are officially in the business of business. Will this focus destroy the soul of a national institution - or save it in these lean times?
Everyone loves national parks - but are they being loved to death? Join a star-studded roundtable to explore the fate of this embattled American institution.
What happens when a couple's vows are tested by hard miles and hunger pains on the John Muir Trail? A sore-footed bride tells all.
Camp like a pro with 83 field-tested tips and techniques from experts who earn their paychecks in the backcountry.
He'd toss the titanium stove and build a big fire. Our man enrolls in a traditional guide school and learns how to survive - and think - like an American original.
Inspired by a mountain view, Don Moseman walked out of prison and hiked his way to a better life.
Recently released as a full-length memoir, The Source of All Things
was first published as a feature article in BACKPACKER in December 2007. This is the full-text of that article.
Sharpen your double-bit axe, get your pecs ready for action, and shoulder the biggest pack you've ever seen. Then dive into the trenches with a screwball trailbuilding crew, fixing the neediest hiking paths in the Adirondacks. Assuming you're not afraid of some very heavy lifting, this just might be the ultimate summer job.
Bob Coomber is determined to become the first man in a wheelchair to ascend a 14,000-foot mountain.
Everyone loves national parks--but are they being loved to death? Join representatives from the Park Service, Department of the Interior, Sierra Club, American Hiking Society, and more to explore the fate of this embattled American institution.
Our scribe-turned-pizzaman labors in the land of granite and pulls back the curtain on the seasonal-employment fantasy.
Like it or not, national parks are officially in the business of business. Will this focus destroy the soul of a national institution--or save it in these lean times?
Drought is giving Glen Canyon--and those who love it--a second chance. Here are four spectacular reasons why we should protect this Southwest wilderness by making it America's next national park.
Can you see the forest through the trees? Join a bittersweet trek through an old-growth wilderness in its final days.
Got summit fever? The sky's the limit with a fitness plan and climbing tips from world-class mountaineer Ed Viesturs.
The author sets out to camp in New York's Central Park--and winds up roused by matters of life and death.
16 wild ways to find backcountry solitude and big-time scenery. All this, and you can bring the ice chest, too.
No gyms, no weights–and, with our easy-to-follow plan–no bonking on the trail.
Coming soon to your city: far-out adventures that are shockingly close to home.
Colorado climber Ricardo Peña's surprising discovery raises new questions in the infamous tale of survival
Push yourself on any of these challenging hikes
To hike from Mexico to Canada and back, a man needs strength and speed and luck. He needs something else, too. If only he knew what it was.
It's better than you've heard, and closer than you think. Here's how to see it all in 10 perfect days.
Three days. Two nights. Five New Yorkers who had never slept outdoors. And a leader who has some issues with map and compass. What could go wrong?
Canyoning, mountaineering, kayaking, and camping, Kiwi-style
America's preeminent bear tracker backpacks Idaho's most remote wilderness looking for signs of the lost grizzlies of the Bitterroots--and winds up staring at the great bruin's future.
The mosquitoes make it challenging, but the towering sedimentary rock makes it worth it.
Your car does all the climbing here.
Expect unexpected challenges to reach the summit
Get to the top and you'll hear a joyous echo
You could do it in a day, but don't rush this one.
Bighorn sheep and golden eagles await you at this high point.
Come enjoy this high peak's playground
Don't forget your sound judgment when summitting this high point.
The longest and wildest approach in the bunch
The toughest high point in the lower 48
Head through the Pearly Gates for a heavenly sunrise
An easy high point with an unpredictable personality
It's all about the journey.
A high point that provides an alluring combination of scenery, storms, and access.
The mile-long walk invites contemplation like few other high point approaches.
A humble high point in a low-lying state
Welcome to this delightfully weird world of extremes.
A downright goofy dome marks this highpoint.
This peak lives up to its reputation.
Hit the high point and move on to the other attractions this park offers.
Go from the path of racecars to the path of a high point.
Look closely for the path to this high point.
America's bloodiest high point
Come visit this Cherokee named place of fresh green.
The view is nothing to write home about, but this newly crowned high point deserves a visit.
Lay low like Jesse James at this high point.
Something's happening in this spot where nothing happened.
Find this high point in the largest national forest outside of Alaska.
Traveling to this point will leave you at a loss for words.
Time it just right to get to the top of this one.
A fitting place to ponder the true meaning of the term Hoosier.
Access is limited, but well worth the view.
There's not a bad napping spot anywhere.
If you loathe traffic, the commute to White Butte is pure ecstasy.
This old logging camp and woolly mammoth marching ground provides incredible views.
Ideas to help make the backcountry family friendly
Need a crash course in backpacking? Join our newbie and his brooding teenager as they fend off mountain lions, overzealous retail clerks, and other beginner hazards.
A long hike to the highpoint where weather and black flies could pose a challenge.
Watch out for rough weather and serpentine-like roads as you drive up to this highpoint.
True highpointers will find this peak.
You'll find numerous surprises as you explore the lakes, rivers and forests of this highpoint.
Allow the plants to color the landscape as you make your way along the trail.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 6.
Sneak in the side door for a private viewing of the finest in California's High Sierra real estate.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 5.
Secrets for staying on your feet from dancers, tightrope walkers, running backs, and more.
They kill swiftly and silently. They flit like ghosts through enemy forests. And they will brew you a fine cup of cowboy coffee. Meet America's deadliest hikers as we hump ruck with the Special Forces.
It's lean, it's mean, and it can last forever.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 4.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 3.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 2.
Got burgers on the brain? Learn why some experts say it's okay to indulge.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 1.
Can anyone really know what lurks in the heart of a grizzly? In the wilds of Russia's Kamchatka peninsula, Charlie Russell believes he is beginning to find out.
How do you plan an expedition to follow 123,000 migrating caribou across Canada and Alaska? Very carefully.
How do you plan a route following 123,000 migrating caribou across Canada and Alaska? Try to keep up.
Protection one of Alaska and Canada's largest caribou herds is so close, yet so far away.
18 facts you didn't know about Alaska and Canada's Porcupine Caribou herd.
Will he keep up? Karsten Heuer embarks on an audacious 1,200-mile expedition-cum-caribou chase.
A definitive guide to the hottest, sweetest, looniest, and most colorful spots in the great outdoors.
Deep in the heart of the forbidden Tibetan kingdom, a long-awaited adventure inherited from the author's father takes an unexpected twist.
Deep in Wyoming's Wind River Range, an accident with a sliding boulder makes a hiker confront his life, his fate, and his faith in God.
Torrential rain and wind expose chinks in our author's ultralight armor, but don't dampen his enthusiasm for the pleasures of unencumbered trekking.
Watching snow fall is a backcountry joy--unless it's barreling 80 mph down a mountain and you're in its path.
Do you ever have the urge to step off the edge and fly like a bird?
How America's tragedy affected one New Jersey hiker.
Hike a rugged, historically rich trail for 21 miles along a nearly deserted island off British Columbia's coast.
When you're deep in the wilds, a bedraggled stranger wandering into camp triggers a moral dilemma: Offer him dinner or run for the hills?
How many miles of trail or acres of wilderness will we sacrifice for a tank of gas? Here's a look at eight threatened wildernesses and what you can do to stop the drilling.
Should secret wildernesses be revealed? Utah's Anasazi artifact hotbed Cedar Mesa begs the question.
Years and even decades after a forest fire, the healed land tells amazing tales about the benefits of flame.
When our firstborn son left us, the word "burial" was never uttered.
In an ancient cycle older than man, the fires that torched the West in summer 2000 are causing a dramatic and stunning rebirth of the once-charred landscape.
We know the strength that courses through flesh and bone when standing at a trailhead, ready to set out and practice our primitive art.
A double lung transplant slows, but doesn't stop, Pacific Crest Trail hiker Dennis Coffey.
High on a Montana mountain, the mystery of a long-lost climber continues to unravel for those willing to make the arduous trek and search for clues that literally lie at your feet.
Activist and former backpacker David Brower reflects on his life in the political trenches and on the trails.
"With some eagerness, and some anxiety, and some misgiving, we enter the canyon below?." -John Wesley Powell, August 13, 1869
Sometimes, despite all the commitments and obligations, you know what you have to do.
Compared with the rough-and-tumble Chilkoot Trail, the Senate is a walk in the park for Ione Christensen.
Is the legendary jackalope the most endangered species in the Lower 48 or just an old cowboy tale that refuses to die?
Should we pave the wilderness and install escalators for the disabled? No, says a former backpacker.
Five troubled teens and three well-meaning volunteers head into the Colorado mountains, hoping the wilds will help heal the youngsters. But in the end, it's hard to tell whose lives were forever shaped by the experience, the youths or the adults.
In a strange way, music and wilderness go hand in hand.
Encountering a rattlesnake is a splendid moment in time, a cherished wilderness event--at least that's the view of Arizona researchers trying to change public perception of all things fanged.
With the fervor of a pulpit-pounding evangelist, Ron Strickland has wandered the land, preaching the gospel of the Pacific Northwest Trail he hoped to create.
Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbit knows he can't please everyone. So rather than try, he spends his time righting environmental wrongs and preserving wildlands.
Protester celebrates victory in a two-year battle to save a giant redwood by coming back to earth.
NOLS founder Paul Petzoldt fought for wilderness his whole life.
To all the techno-weenies with your space-age outdoor gear, Cody Lundin has some advice: For that day when your butt's on the line, you better know how to get primitive.
In every backpacker's life, there comes a time when you stare awestruck at a mountain and wonder, "What's it like to climb that sucker?"
After you've spent a cold, drizzly, miserable night searching for a lost or injured hiker, sometimes a few simple words of thanks make it all worthwhile.
Imagine that your well-coiffed, country club mother calls and says, "I want to go backpacking." Would it be your worst nightmare or a family dream come true?
Last time you went looking for a new place to hike, you probably consulted a guidebook. We all do. So why is author Michael Kelsey getting lambasted for giving us what we want?
Journey to Alaska's far northern edge, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where the midnight sun shines like candlelight on the mountains.
A once-in-a-lifetime solo hike through Lake Clark National Park, where the midnight sun shines like candlelight on the mountains.
They paw, prance, bang heads, and curl lips. The rut is on, and there's no better time to observe the wild kingdom.
Forget what CNN and Your Daily News say about Yosemite's crowds and crime and traffic. the "treasure of the Sierra" is still a golden place for backpackers to escape.
We travel to New Mexico's Aldo Leopold Wilderness to understand the roots of the preservation movement and see just how far we've come.
The 10 once-in-a-lifetime adventures any backwoods fanatic should have under his hipbelt before hanging up the ol' pack.
Plus 24 other round-the-campfire brain stumpers every nature buff should know.
He rocked the world of climbing, challenged the accepted wisdom in sea kayaking, and now Ray Jardine turned his renegade way of thinking to backpacking.
Putting the Ray Jardine ultralight way to the test.
Your odds of surviving, much less enjoying, a -30°F night in the woods rate right up there with a snowball's chance in you-know-where. That is, unless you make friends with a guy they call The Iceman.
Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante is huge, remote, controversial, and one of the finest destinations for backpackers in the Lower 48.
A trek through the blast zone of a restless volcano raises questions about a father's legacy and a child's future.
What makes those golf-ball-size lumps on trees? A tiny wasp with a lot of nerve.
Even though they eat boots and pack straps, there's newfound appreciation for porcupines.
The mountain lion is the only North American predator that occasionally stalks humans. Do you have anything to fear?
When it came to continent crossing, the noted U.S. explorers were a step behind Canada's Alexander Mackenzie. And until you hike his namesake trail, you can't truly appreciate the toughness of his journey or the magnitude of his accomplishment.
On their own and with help from the government, wolves are reclaiming their former range. Should you worry?