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Feature Stories



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.

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.

Out Alive: Hammered by Falling Rocks

After an off-trail slide tosses two hikers down a slope, they’re trapped by their injuries.

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.

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.

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.

Heroes: Rue Mapp, 40

This culture activist is bringing diversity to the outdoors.

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.

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.

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.

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.

America's Best Campsites

Park your tent in one of these 10 spots, and you'll be happy in the morning. Guaranteed.

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.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Drop into a Slot

Explore wildly sculpted rock.

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.

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: Climb Big Trees

Discover a higher world.

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.

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.

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.

Hike the Wind River Range

A stunning new hike—plus two thrilling classics—in the Rockies' top spot for big backpacking adventures.

China: The People's Hiking Revolution

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.

The Perfect Circle: Hiking the Annapurna Circuit

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.

Hiking The Annapurna Circuit: Q&A With Shannon Davis

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.

The Alaska Wolf Debate: Q&A with Tracy Ross

Author Tracy Ross discusses her feature story "Dogs of War" devoted to the debate raging in Alaska over the famed Toklat wolf pack.

I'm Hiking with Stupid - A Buddy Story

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.

I Will Survive

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?

Rescue Me!

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.

Walking Bataan: The Hardest Miles

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.



The Long Trail to Jail

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.

Destination Nowhere

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.

River Keeper

Grand Canyon raft guide and Havasupai tribal member Shana Watahomigie becomes a paddling–and Hollywood–pioneer.

September 2008 Table of Contents



24 Hours of L.L. Bean

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?

Walking the Talk

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.

Beyond Destination Nowhere: Q&A with Mark Jenkins

Mark Jenkins, the author of "Destination Nowhere," discusses his Yellowstone assignment to find the most remote spot in the United States.

The Grand Tetons: 5 Hikes, 7 Days (or so)

How to retrace each segment of the author's perfect week from "A Perfect Week in the Tetons."

A Perfect Week in the Grand 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.

The Onion vs. Mr. Magoo

On your mark, get set ... hike. Inside a 5,600-mile footrace on the country's hardest trail.

The CDT Project

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.

Climb Higher

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?

Eat Better

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.

Train Smarter

Get trail-fit in six weeks with this simple exercise plan.

Summer Fitness Special: Hike Stronger, Live Longer

Achieve peak performance on the trail with our complete guide to training and eating like a backpacker.

Hiking The Sierra High Route

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.

Secret Agent Man

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.

The Porters' Progress

Two Everest-scaling Sherpas face their biggest challenge yet–surviving suburban America.

Rock Star: Brett Dennen

Once a guide and counselor near Yosemite, up-and-coming musician Brett Dennen is now taking his backcountry jams to the masses.

Backpacker Editors' Choice 2008

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.

Carbon-Neutral Costa Rica: How I Lost 5,400 lbs While Packing for the Trip of a Lifetime

In search of a guilt-free adventure in the tropics, Jason Daley discovers the line between saving the world–and seeing it.

Iceland: Live Earth

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.

Hot Springs: Soak Here Now

6 more must-dip pools from Alaska to Hawaii

Hot Springs: The Perfect Pool

Here are the top wilderness soaks on the continent. Can you keep a secret?

National Parks Inc.

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?

The Future of the National Parks

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.

Hiking Honeymoon: How to ruin a perfectly good marriage

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.

Secrets of the Guides

Camp like a pro with 83 field-tested tips and techniques from experts who earn their paychecks in the backcountry.

What Would Davy Crockett Do?

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.

The Backpacker Interview: From Jail to Trail

Inspired by a mountain view, Don Moseman walked out of prison and hiked his way to a better life.

The Source of All Things

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.

Gods Of Rock: The Adirondack Mountain Club trail crew

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.

Hell On Wheels

Bob Coomber is determined to become the first man in a wheelchair to ascend a 14,000-foot mountain.

The Future Of National Parks

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.

National Parks Inc.

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?

Yosemite @ $7.38 An Hour: Seasonal Work in the National Parks

Our scribe-turned-pizzaman labors in the land of granite and pulls back the curtain on the seasonal-employment fantasy.

Utah Hikes: The Case For Glen Canyon

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.

Wide Awake And Dreaming

The author sets out to camp in New York's Central Park--and winds up roused by matters of life and death.

Mountaineering Fitness: Climb Like Ed

Got summit fever? The sky's the limit with a fitness plan and climbing tips from world-class mountaineer Ed Viesturs.

Last Chance Adventure: Oregon's Umpqua National Forest

Can you see the forest through the trees? Join a bittersweet trek through an old-growth wilderness in its final days.

Paddling's Greatest Getaways

16 wild ways to find backcountry solitude and big-time scenery. All this, and you can bring the ice chest, too.

8 Weeks to Fitness for Any Hike

No gyms, no weights–and, with our easy-to-follow plan–no bonking on the trail.

Alive Again: New Findings in the 1972 Andes Plane Crash

Colorado climber Ricardo Peña's surprising discovery raises new questions in the infamous tale of survival

Ultimate Summer Escapes: The Best Dayhikes and Backpacking Trips Near You

Coming soon to your city: far-out adventures that are shockingly close to home.

America's Hardest Dayhikes

Push yourself on any of these challenging hikes

The Unbearable Lightness Of Being Scott Williamson

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.

Oy, Wilderness: First-Time New York Campers

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?

More New Zealand Adventures: Climb, Paddle, Jump!

Canyoning, mountaineering, kayaking, and camping, Kiwi-style

New Zealand Backpacking

It's better than you've heard, and closer than you think. Here's how to see it all in 10 perfect days.

The Grizzly Detective: Tracking Bears in the Bitterroots

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.

High Points: Humphreys Peak, Arizona

An easy high point with an unpredictable personality

High Points: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Bighorn sheep and golden eagles await you at this high point.

High Points: Boundary Peak, Nevada

Expect unexpected challenges to reach the summit

High Points: Kings Peak, Utah

The mosquitoes make it challenging, but the towering sedimentary rock makes it worth it.

High Points: Mt. Rainier, Washington

Get to the top and you'll hear a joyous echo

High Points: Borah Peak, Idaho

Don't forget your sound judgment when summitting this high point.

High Points: Mt. Hood, Oregon

Head through the Pearly Gates for a heavenly sunrise

High Points: Granite Peak, Montana

The toughest high point in the lower 48

High Points: Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Your car does all the climbing here.

High Points: Gannett Peak, Wyoming

The longest and wildest approach in the bunch

High Points: Mt. Elbert, Colorado

Come enjoy this high peak's playground

High Points: Mt. Whitney, California

You could do it in a day, but don't rush this one.

High Points: Brasstown Bald, Georgia

Come visit this Cherokee named place of fresh green.

High Points: Woodall Mountain, Mississippi

America's bloodiest high point

High Points: Guadalupe Peak, Texas

This peak lives up to its reputation.

High Points: Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina

It's all about the journey.

High Points: Mt. Magazine, Arkansas

Hit the high point and move on to the other attractions this park offers.

High Points: Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina

A high point that provides an alluring combination of scenery, storms, and access.

High Points: Driskill Mountain, Louisiana

The mile-long walk invites contemplation like few other high point approaches.

High Points: Britton Hill, Florida

A humble high point in a low-lying state

High Points: Black Mesa, Oklahoma

Welcome to this delightfully weird world of extremes.

High Points: Cheaha Mountain, Alabama

Go from the path of racecars to the path of a high point.

High Points: Clingmans Dome, Tennessee

A downright goofy dome marks this highpoint.

High Points: Black Mountain, Kentucky

Look closely for the path to this high point.

High Points: Harney Peak, South Dakota

Traveling to this point will leave you at a loss for words.

High Points: Charles Mound, Illinois

Access is limited, but well worth the view.

High Points: Panorama Point, Nebraska

There's not a bad napping spot anywhere.

High Points: White Butte, North Dakota

If you loathe traffic, the commute to White Butte is pure ecstasy.

High Points: Timms Hill, Wisconsin

This old logging camp and woolly mammoth marching ground provides incredible views.

High Points: Campbell Hill, Ohio

Time it just right to get to the top of this one.

High Points: Taum Sauk Mountain, Missouri

Lay low like Jesse James at this high point.

High Points: Mt. Sunflower, Kansas

Something's happening in this spot where nothing happened.

High Points: Mt. Arvon, Michigan

The view is nothing to write home about, but this newly crowned high point deserves a visit.

High Points: Eagle Mountain, Minnesota

Find this high point in the largest national forest outside of Alaska.

High Points: Hoosier Hill, Indiana

A fitting place to ponder the true meaning of the term Hoosier.

Family Camping Tips

Ideas to help make the backcountry family friendly

An Overnight Success?

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.

High Points: Mt. Rogers, Virginia

Allow the plants to color the landscape as you make your way along the trail.

High Points: Ebright Azimuth, Delaware

True highpointers will find this peak.

High Points: Mt. Marcy, New York

A long hike to the highpoint where weather and black flies could pose a challenge.

High Points: Spruce Knob, West Virginia

Watch out for rough weather and serpentine-like roads as you drive up to this highpoint.

High Points: High Point, New Jersey

You'll find numerous surprises as you explore the lakes, rivers and forests of this highpoint.

Being Caribou Returns Home

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 6.

Secrets of Yosemite National Park

Sneak in the side door for a private viewing of the finest in California's High Sierra real estate.

Being Caribou: Arctic Summer

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 5.

Balancing Act

Secrets for staying on your feet from dancers, tightrope walkers, running backs, and more.

Body Of A Backpacker

It's lean, it's mean, and it can last forever.

Stone Cold Campers

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.

Being Caribou: A Mountain Of A Shortcut

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 4.

Being Caribou: Calving Grounds

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 3.

Being Caribou: 350 Miles On Skis

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 2.

Good News About Bad Food

Got burgers on the brain? Learn why some experts say it's okay to indulge.

Being Caribou: Spring Migration

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 1.

Touched By A Grizzly

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.

Being Caribou: The Route

How do you plan a route following 123,000 migrating caribou across Canada and Alaska? Try to keep up.

Being Caribou: ANWR Or Bust

Will he keep up? Karsten Heuer embarks on an audacious 1,200-mile expedition-cum-caribou chase.

Being Caribou: Caribou Facts

18 facts you didn't know about Alaska and Canada's Porcupine Caribou herd.

Being Caribou: Protecting the Porcupine Caribou Herd

Protection one of Alaska and Canada's largest caribou herds is so close, yet so far away.

Being Caribou: Caribou I Am

How do you plan an expedition to follow 123,000 migrating caribou across Canada and Alaska? Very carefully.

The Wild List: A Guide To The Best Outdoor Spots

A definitive guide to the hottest, sweetest, looniest, and most colorful spots in the great outdoors.

Dreams Of Tibet: Exploring Lost Himalayan Mountains And Cultures

Deep in the heart of the forbidden Tibetan kingdom, a long-awaited adventure inherited from the author's father takes an unexpected twist.

Trapped! The Mike Turner Story

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.

Challenge The Backpacker Editor: The Ultralight Report

Torrential rain and wind expose chinks in our author's ultralight armor, but don't dampen his enthusiasm for the pleasures of unencumbered trekking.

Avalanches: The Big Slide

Watching snow fall is a backcountry joy--unless it's barreling 80 mph down a mountain and you're in its path.

The View No More

How America's tragedy affected one New Jersey hiker.

HIking British Columbia's Savage Coast

Hike a rugged, historically rich trail for 21 miles along a nearly deserted island off British Columbia's coast.

Hike To Protect Wilderness From Drilling

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.

Lost Soul Or Yukon Slasher?

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?

Keeping Utah's Outdoor Secret

Should secret wildernesses be revealed? Utah's Anasazi artifact hotbed Cedar Mesa begs the question.

Hiking Through Lessons Of Fire

Years and even decades after a forest fire, the healed land tells amazing tales about the benefits of flame.

The Mountain Knows

When our firstborn son left us, the word "burial" was never uttered.

Firewalking: A Forest Fire's Aftermath

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.

Going Tribal

We know the strength that courses through flesh and bone when standing at a trailhead, ready to set out and practice our primitive art.

Breathing Easy

A double lung transplant slows, but doesn't stop, Pacific Crest Trail hiker Dennis Coffey.

Grand Canyon Magic

"With some eagerness, and some anxiety, and some misgiving, we enter the canyon below?." -John Wesley Powell, August 13, 1869

Death On Montana's Granite Peak

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.

David Brower's Last Interview

Activist and former backpacker David Brower reflects on his life in the political trenches and on the trails.

Just Go

Sometimes, despite all the commitments and obligations, you know what you have to do.

Ironwoman Senator Of The Yukon

Compared with the rough-and-tumble Chilkoot Trail, the Senate is a walk in the park for Ione Christensen.

Quest For The Jackalope

Is the legendary jackalope the most endangered species in the Lower 48 or just an old cowboy tale that refuses to die?

Wilderness: Access For All

Should we pave the wilderness and install escalators for the disabled? No, says a former backpacker.

The Joy of Wilderness Music

In a strange way, music and wilderness go hand in hand.

Wilderness Of Hope

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.

Love Thy Rattlesnake

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.

Bruce Babbitt: Not Your Average Bureaucrat

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.

Julia 'Butterfly' Hill Leaves Redwood Home

Protester celebrates victory in a two-year battle to save a giant redwood by coming back to earth.

The Wisdom of Abo Dude

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.

Climbing: A Higher Calling

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?"

Tales Of A Wilderness Rescuer

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.

The Devil Wore Sneakers

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?

The Mother of All Beginner Trips

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?

Solo Hiking Alaska: Fear Walked With Me

A once-in-a-lifetime solo hike through Lake Clark National Park, where the midnight sun shines like candlelight on the mountains.

ANWR: Postcards From The Edge

Journey to Alaska's far northern edge, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where the midnight sun shines like candlelight on the mountains.

Animal Rut: Doing The Wild Thing

They paw, prance, bang heads, and curl lips. The rut is on, and there's no better time to observe the wild kingdom.

Yosemite: Treasure Of The Sierra

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.

A Blank Spot On The Map

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.

Why Do Fireflies Glow?

Plus 24 other round-the-campfire brain stumpers every nature buff should know.

Go Now! The Wilderness Life List

The 10 once-in-a-lifetime adventures any backwoods fanatic should have under his hipbelt before hanging up the ol' pack.

You Can Leave Home Without It

Putting the Ray Jardine ultralight way to the test.

Ultralight: The Ray Jardine Way

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.

Grand Staircase-Escalante: The Last Best Place

Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante is huge, remote, controversial, and one of the finest destinations for backpackers in the Lower 48.

Paul Schurke: Chillin' With The Iceman

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.

Mt. St. Helens: The Cataclysm and Beyond

A trek through the blast zone of a restless volcano raises questions about a father's legacy and a child's future.

Gall Wasps In Trees

What makes those golf-ball-size lumps on trees? A tiny wasp with a lot of nerve.

Praise For Porcupines

Even though they eat boots and pack straps, there's newfound appreciation for porcupines.

Mountain Lions: Return Of The Ghost Cat

The mountain lion is the only North American predator that occasionally stalks humans. Do you have anything to fear?

Canada's Lewis and Clark: Alexander Mackenzie

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.

Big Bad Wolves?

On their own and with help from the government, wolves are reclaiming their former range. Should you worry?

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