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Hiking



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.

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: 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 Review: Scarpa Tech Ascent

The ultimate boot for the long approaches and class 3+ scrambles.

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.

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.

Editors' Choice 2012: Salomon Synapse Mid Hiking Boots

Fast and light and luxe: Get running-shoe comfort and hiking-boot stability.

Backpacker Bible: Hike Farther

For hikers, pushing your limits will certainly yield more views–plus better fitness, confidence, and, perhaps, perspective.

Gear Review: Danner Mountain Light II

These boots offer classic style with modern-day comfort -- and they'll last a lifetime.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Adidas Terrex Conrax CP Boot

Warm winter boots that are also light and nimble.

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: 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.

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.

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.

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.

Gear Review: Vasque Jule Trail Shoe

A low-cut hiker for all your daily adventures.

Local Hikes: Midwest

Hike these long trails in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and head south to Texas to see Horned Lizards.

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: 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: AKU Suiterra Suede GTX Hiking Boot

One of the most versatile boots around.

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: 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.

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 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: Ahnu Montara Hiking Boot

All-terrain stability and all-day comfort in this women's only hiking boot.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX Hiking Boots

Incredible traction, light weight, and zero break-in

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.

Editors' Choice 2011: TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX Hiking Boot

Get instant, all-day comfort and superb traction with this ultralight waterproof hiker.

Gear Review: Teva Forge Pro Trail Runners

Comfortable low-cut trail runners that offer support and performance.

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.

Gear Review: LOWA Terek GTX Boots

Boots with solid support and stability without being too heavy or clunky

Gear Review: Scarpa Pursuit GTX Shoe

These trail runners have exceptional shock absorption and a Gore-Tex liner to keep feet dry

Readers' Choice: Southwest

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Southwest.

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.

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.

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: New Balance 1000 Hiking Boot

Get the most bang for your buck with these affordable all-purpose winter boots.

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.

Prof. Hike: Don't Get Caught in the Dark

How to avoid an unplanned night hike and what to do if it happens anyway

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: Columbia BugaTrek Omni-Heat

For casual winter adventures, a warm-and-cozy boot.

Gear Review: Patagonia Das Boot

Shockingly light, impressively warm, fabulously supportive...need we say more?

Gear Review: Asolo Moran GTX Hiking Boots

Lightweight boots that are comfortable enough to wear on dayhikes, yet burly enough to mount on to a pair of crampons for three-season summit efforts.

Tahoe Rim Trail: Above it All

On a thru-hike of the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail, two brothers get some perspective - on America's largest alpine lake, and each other.

Top 3 Trailhead Pub Hikes: Buttermilk Falls SP, NY

Explore waterfall-filled Gorges with fossils preserved in the shale walls.

Top 3 Trailhead Pub Hikes: The Barr Trail, CO

Climb a fourteener for a view across the continental divide.

Life's Short, Hike More!

What makes a backpacker a backpacker? It's not the garage full of gear or piles of guidebooks--it's the experiences, from thru-hiking a long trail to pushing your personal envelope to inspiring a child's love of wilderness. Here we present BACKPACKER's new Life List: 10 experiences to add to your tick-listnow--and the key skills you need to nail them.

New Life List: Tackle a Monster Dayhike in the Grand Canyon

See a week's worth of scenery in 24 hours, and redefine your idea of what's possible.

New Life List: Shoot a Wall-Worthy Photo

The only thing equal to a life-list trip? An image that brings it back to life.

New Life List: Thru-Hike the JMT

A lifetime of weekend trips is like trying to live on appetizers. Get real sustenance with a two-week trek through the best of the Sierras on California's John Muir Trail.

Hiking Wales: Plan Your Trip

Use our guide to make your Wales hiking adventure a reality.

Hiking Wales: Brecon Beacons National Park

Cross a sprawling preserve of broad mountains, lonely ridgelines, and lush river valleys.

Hiking Wild Wales: Offa's Dyke Path

Follow a long-distance trail along the once-violent, now-bucolic border between England and Wales.

Hiking Wild Wales: Snowdonia National Park

The highest peak. The wildest ridges. The largest lake. Find them all in Wales's alpine heart.

Hiking Wild Wales: Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Tiptoe along oceanside bluffs with views across the Irish Sea.

Secret Hikes: Yellowstone National Park

What crowds? Lose yourself in the Lamar Valley on this weeklong hike.

Secret Hikes: Appalachian Trail

The last lonely stretch of the AT beckons from the mountains of western Maine.

Secret Hikes: Glacier National Park

Score wildlife sightings daily, choice views hourly--and at least one juicy burger--on this weeklong circuit.

Secret Hikes: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Explore a granite wonderland, cross two little-used passes, and score High Sierra solitude on this point-to-point hike.

Secret Hikes: Zion National Park

Pack an extra memory card for what is, mile-for-mile, the most photogenic hike in the Southwest.

Secret Hikes: North Cascades National Park

Dive into the heart of the Lower 48's wildest park.

Secret Hikes: Badlands

Ever dreamed of exploring another planet? Hike here.

Secret Hikes: Isle Royale National Park

Trek to shoreline campsites through woodlands rife with moose, birds, and wolves.

Secret Hikes: Olympic National Park Hiking

Walk from lush rainforest to wide-open glacier views on this 43-mile sneak route.

Secret Hikes: Hiking Grand Canyon National Park

Surprise: This park's busy corridor trails offer a fast track to a private slice of heaven.

Secret Hikes: Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Climb from sublime desert to pine forests and peaks with 100-mile views.

Secret Hikes: Grand Teton National Park

Rise above the crowds and earn solo views of elk, wildflowers, and summit sunsets.

Secret Hikes of the National Parks

The perfect dozen: Embark on one of these 12 treks, and turn America's most iconic preserves into your own private paradise.

Hiking Wild Wales

Don't be fooled by the cozy pubs and low elevations. The birthplace of mountaineering overflows with challenges, from rugged peaks to history-laden coastal treks.

The Peak: Humphreys Peak, Arizona

Discover aspens and alpine hiking, plus views of the Grand Canyon, on this trek up Arizona's 12,633-foot highpoint.

Natural Wonders: World's Tallest Geyser, North America's Smallest Bird and Best Shade Tree

Discover the world's tallest geyser, North America's smallest bird, and the country's best shade tree on these three treks.

Top 3: Ghost Town Hikes

Walk 100 or more years back into history--and deep into wilderness outposts now reclaimed by nature--with these routes to three abandoned frontier communities.

Top 3 Ghost Town Hikes: Dogtown, MA

walk 10 miles of demise carved in stone.

Top 3 Ghost Town Hikes: Boston Mine, CO

Visit a Wrecked alpine village.

Top 3 Ghost Town Hikes: Glorietta Ghost Town, NM

Hike to a hotel with no visitors.

The Future of Maps

Four cutting-edge cartographers--from Google's explorer-in-residence to Tom Harrison himself--help us chart the course of the next revolution in wilderness mapping.

Local Hikes: Southeast

Climb to two killer views, see the South's best flowers, and hike to secluded falls. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

Local Hikes: Northeast

Hike across a state, gain the country's best foliage view, and top alpine balds. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

Local Hikes: Mountain West

Spot a grizzly, basecamp amid Fourteeners, and relax in secluded hot springs. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

Local Hikes: Midwest

See moose, bag a high-desert peak, and sample a quiet long trail. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

Local Hikes: California/Nevada/Hawaii

Hike to the world's best tropical campsite, see elephant seals, and trek through poppies. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

3D Interactive Grand Canyon: Our Toughest Routes

Tackle our toughest and least-crowded routes in the Grand Canyon with this interactive map.

Local Hikes: New Hikes Near You

Our army of reader-reader scouts mapped 59 local hikes from South Carolina to Northern California. See their favorites, then learn how to download tracklogs and waypoints.

Local Hikes: Northwest

See five volcanoes, camp at secluded lakes, and hike through a swarm of butterflies. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

Life List: Colorado Trail

Bag a peak every day (and a view every step) on the country's highest-elevation footpath.

Life List: Switzerland's Via Alpina

Devour the world's best scenery, chocolate, and cheese on the Via Alpina.

Life List: Grand Canyon

Learn where solitude reigns--and why. Plus: Tackle the hardest Big Ditch route we've ever published.

Colorado Trail: Find Solitude

How to beat the crowds and find solitude in the Rockies

Colorado Trail: Top Peaks

The top peaks for every type of hiker.

Colorado Trail: Best Of

Find your hike on the country's highest footpath.

Switzerland's Via Alpina: The Best 10 Miles

Turn-by-turn beta for highlights on its best 10 miles.

Grand Canyon: Hardest Hike Ever

This epic trip is hard, dry, steep--and gorgeous. The Cranberry Route--the final leg of this challenging loop--is the boldest, hardest scramble our scouts have done in the Grand Canyon. Study the key steps of this eight-mile section and see more details at backpacker.com/hikes/637440. Warning: Don't attempt this route without advanced navigation skills.

Grand Canyon Treasure Map: Hard

Find solitude and Adventure in the Big Ditch.

Grand Canyon Treasure Map: Moderate

Find solitude and adventure in the big ditch.

Grand Canyon Treasure Map: Easy

Find the best trail for your backcountry skills.

Glacier's Greatest: Screen It

Score wildlife sightings daily, choice views hourly--and at least one juicy burger--on this weeklong circuit. Northwest editor Michael Lanza shows you how with a GPS tracklog and Google flyover video..

Spring Hikes: Trip Planner

From Georgia to Oregon, spring blossoms are finally pushing through the winter frost. That means it's time to clear the cobwebs out of the boot soles and bag your first hike of the spring. Here's our exclusive guide to the best spring dayhikes around the country from east, middle, and west.

Gear Review: Injinji Performance Crew

These five-toes socks squelch blisters.

Gear Review: Injinji Performance Crew



Gear Review: Stuffits Shoe Savers

Squash stinky feet.

Gear Review: 5.10 Stealth Paint

Revitalize the soles of your hiking boots and climbing shoes.

Editors' Choice 2010: Zamberlan 760 Steep GT Hiking Boot

Tackle the biggest terrain–under the heaviest loads–in this uncommonly comfortable boot.

Editors' Choice 2010: Salomon Wings Sky GTX

Hike far, fast.

Gear Review: Thinsulate Thermal Insoles

Boost your boots' warmth with these insoles.

Gear Review: KEEN Obsidian WP Trail Shoe

A stable lightweight trail shoe for trail running or light backpacking trips

Gear Review: Kahtoola KTS Aluminum Crampons

Crampons that won't weigh you down

Gear Review: Ahnu Firetrail Winter Trail Shoe

Genuinely breathable winter running shoe, great for long slushy runs.

Gear Review: Zamberlan 1009 Vioz Top GT RR Mountaineering Boot

Insulated backpacking boots with enough support to carry a 50-pound pack.

Gear Review: Columbia Winter Trek XMT Omni-Tech Hiking Boot

Ideal for treks on packed snow, this boot is great for wintry day hikes.

Gear Review: Kamik Snowpass Snowshoe Boot

Ideal for snowshoeing, or wintry day hikes, this boot keeps your feet dry and warm.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Lynx Snowshoe Boot

Whether it's snowshoeing, light day hiking, or sloshing through town, this boot does it all.

Gear Review: Zamberlan 4041 Expert Pro GT RR

Sturdy yet light, this boot is great for the most extreme day hikes.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Baruntse Mountaineering Boot

Made for big peaks, this boot is warm, and great for ice and snow

Gear Review: Kayland 8001 Mountaineering Boot

Multiple layers and materials make this boot perfect for the summit.

Outfit Your Kids: Fall '09 Kids' Gear Reviews

Want to enjoy more time on the trail? It's simple: Bring the whole family, but make sure the kids stay comfortable with gear built for them.

Gear Review: Vasque Sundowner Kids' Boots

Solid, mid-weight support, waterproof, and grippy tread make this classic boot your kid's go to for all their hiking needs.

Gear Guide 2009: Scarpa Kailash GTX Boot Review

This Gore-Tex hiking boot has only improved since we named it Editors' Choice last year.

Gear Guide 2009: La Sportiva FC 3.0 Boot Review

Expect heavy-duty performance in this lightweight hiking boot by La Sportiva.

Gear Guide 2009: Lafuma X Light Mid OT Boot Review

The Outdry treatment and ultralight weight mean this hiking shoe will go wherever you do.

Gear Guide 2009: Five Ten Exum Guide Boot Review

Get a grip—the soles of these boots stick to any surface.

Gear Guide 2009: Zamberlan Lhasa GT RR Boot Review

These boots are tough on terrain but nice and comfortable on feet.

Gear Guide 2009: Vasque Radiator Boot Review

Heavy loads and dangerous terrain are no obstacle for these waterproof mountaineering boots.

Gear Guide 2009: The North Face Jannu GTX Boot Review

The North Face packs extreme waterproofing and long distance comfort into this bargain boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Scarpa Barun GTX Boot Review

This boot is the perfect fit from the first lace-up to the top of the tallest, wettest mountain.

Gear Guide 2009: LOWA Tibet Pro GTX Boot Review

For tough hikes with heavy loads and varying terrain, choose this waterproof and super supportive boot.

Gear Guide 2009: LOWA Khumbu Ice GTX Boot Review

Brave cold, wet weather with LOWA's sturdy, Gore-Tex winter boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Kayland Contact Boot Review

Don't let the tough and sturdy exterior fool you—inside this boot is pure, luxurious comfort.

Gear Guide 2009: Hi-Tec Cascadia XCm eVent Boot Review

Tackle the soggiest, wettest, and coldest terrain with this solid traction boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Asolo Lothar Gv Boot Review

For all-around performance, check out this ultralight and super comfortable boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Merrell Chameleon Leather Mid WP Boot Review

Submerge these comfortable waterproof boots in snow and your toes will never know the difference.

Gear Guide 2009: Kamik Northfield Boot Review

For extreme waterproofing at a good price, you can't beat these insulated, high cut boots.

Gear Guide 2009: KEEN Oregon PCT Boot Review

Scramble, bushwhack, and ascend with this all-around solid boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Kayland Vertigo Light Boot Review

This updated Editors' Choice winner stays true to its roots—but now it's a lighter and more breathable boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Hi-Tec V-Lite Mach 2.0 eVent Boot Review

You won't find a boot more supportive or breathable with this low of a price tag.

Gear Guide 2009: Vasque Velocity VST GTX Boot Review

For lightweight versatility, lace up this low-cut and supportive shoe.

Gear Guide 2009: Teva Aniso eVent Boot Review

Hit the trail with this waterproof and ultralight boot from Teva.

Gear Guide 2009: Patagonia Karakoram Boot Review

Use and abuse this tough, low-cut, and lightweight boot by Patagonia.

Gear Guide 2009: Oboz Teton Suede Boot Review

The supportive midsole, tough build, and bargain price of the Teton proves looks can be deceiving.

Gear Guide 2009: Montrail Hardrock 09 Boot Review

Run and hike through any terrain thanks to the sticky outsole of this shoe.

Gear Guide 2009: Merrell Chameleon Evo Mid Boot Review

This boot combines lightweight, sneaker-like comfort with solid support.

Gear Guide 2009: Merrell Chameleon Arc Wind Boot Review

Testers loved everything about this women's specific shoe, especially the arch support and breathability.

Gear Guide 2009: Kayland Dragonfly eVent Boot Review

These trail runners are the perfect mix of waterproof and breathable.

Gear Guide 2009: Hi-Tec V-Lite Altitude Ultra WPi Boot Review

New ion mask technology is great for breathability in this lightweight midcut boot.

Gear Guide 2009: GoLite Speed of Lite Boot Review

Take a bite out of dirt and snow with the tough soles on this midcut boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Asics Gel-Trabuco Boot 11 WR Review

If you want the perfect pair of trail runners, look no further than the Gel-Trabuco's.

Gear Guide 2009: Ahnu Lodi WB Boot Review

This low-cut, waterproof shoe is a bargain and perfect for dayhikes and light overnights.

Review: Ahnu Mirage

The stylish Ahnu Mirage is tough enough for the backcountry or streets.

International Multisport Meccas: Queenstown, New Zealand

Hike, paddle, and swim narrow canyons before running class IV rapids on an inflatable boogie board.

International Multisport Meccas: French Alps

Walk, bike, and raft between a string of glaciated peaks; then ladder-climb 2,500 feet up a sheer rock face.

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.

Top 3 Night Hikes

These dark-sky treks serve up perfect viewing spots for autumn's intergalactic bling in North Carolina, New Mexico, and California

The Fix: Deodorize Your Gear

Does your pack smell like last summer's cheddar? Here's how to clean up.

Big-Trip Boots: Trail Blazers

Get maximum support, traction, and protection without wafflestomper weight or break-in. Welcome to the new breed of all-terrain, any-load boots.

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.

Web Exclusive: The Rebirth of Santa Cruz Island

Dive into the Channels Islands with exclusive on-the-scene video, photos, and trip reports.

Spring Cleaning Your Gear

We know. You meant to scrub and scour your gear last fall. But...[insert excuse here]. Now, set aside one weekend afternoon to get your gear back into action and promise to be better next year.

Weekend Packs: Other Top Packs



March 2008 Perfect System: East



March 2008 Perfect System: Southwest



March 2008 Perfect System: Rocky Mountains



March 2008 Perfect System: Northwest



Backpacker 2008 Gear Guide: Perfect System

The best gear in the world can be worthless in the wrong conditions. That's where Backpacker's Perfect System comes in.

March 2008 Essentials Review: Hydration



March 2008 Essentials Review: Trekking Poles



March 2008 Essentials Review: Blades & Tools

From an ultralight knife to a full-service multitool, prepare for your Survivorman moment. Or lunch.

Headlamp Reviews



March 2008 Essentials Review: First-Aid Kits



March 2008 Essentials Review: Sunglasses

Save yourself from squinting, and get the most of the view you've worked for with these essential specs.

March 2008 Essentials Review: Binoculars



March 2008 Essentials Review: Navigation



March 2008 Essentials Review: Shell Jackets



The Works: Trek Tasmania

Half a world away, you'll find exotic highs while hiking in Tasmania.

March 2008 Essentials Review: High Tech



PERFECT DAY: Olympic National Park

In the Elwha Valley, tidal rivers collide with towering old-growth forests, creating an outsized multisport playground. You'll need a bike, a kayak, and a boatload of stamina to join Sara Gagnon, an area native and co-owner of Adventures Through Kayaking, on this rollicking tour.



60 Minute Fixes: Detroit

Adventurous types can still find magic in the rivers, lakes, and paths of Detroit.

March 2008 Essentials Review: Camp Kitchen

Packs, tents, boots, and bags--that's easy. Now comes the hard part: Everything else. Below, you'll find our top picks for all the lust-worthy backcountry essentials you'll need to make your trip safe, fun, and simple.

March 2008 Sleeping Bag Review: Start Smart Sleeping Bag Tips



March 2008 Sleeping Bag Review: Winter Sleeping Bags



2008 Three-Season Sleeping Bag Reviews



2008 Sleeping Bag Review: Summer Sleeping Bags



March 2008 Boots Review: Start Smart Boot Tips



March 2008 Boots Review: Heavy Duty Boots



March 2008 Boots Review: Mid-Duty Boots



March 2008 Boots Review: Light Duty Boots



March 2008 Tents Review: Mountaineering Tents



March 2008 Tents Review: Three-Person Tents



March 2008 Tents Review: Two-Person Tents



Backpacker Gear Guide: One-Person Tents



Backpacker Gear Guide: Essentials

Packs, tents, boots, and bags–that's easy. Now comes the hard part: Everything else. Below, you'll find our top picks for all the lust-worthy backcountry essentials you'll need to make your trip safe, fun, and simple.

Backpacker Gear Guide: Boots

You won't go far with sore feet. So our testers went the distance–5,000 miles, to be exact–to bring you the best shoes for every foot and hike.

Backpacker Gear Guide: Sleeping Bags

The secret to a great day outdoors? Start with a great night. Sleep well in all conditions with one of these snooze-tested bags.

Backpacker Gear Guide: Tents

You can test-drive a car, but not a tent. So our crew did the shakedown for you, logging 600-plus nights under stars and storms. Here's what we liked.

March 2008 Backpacks Review: Start Smart



Weeklong Packs: The Best



Weeklong Packs: Other Top Packs



Backpacker Gear Guide: Weeklong Packs

The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.

Weekend Packs: Ladies' Luxe



Weekend Packs: Bargain!



Weekend Packs: The Best



Backpacker Gear Guide: Weekend Packs

The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.

Daypacks: Bargain!



Daypacks: The Best



Backpacker Gear Guide: Daypacks

The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.

Backpacker 2008 Gear Guide: Backpacks

The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack. The Solution: One of these 30 field-tested vanishing acts.

Vibram Expands Group of Trail Running Partners

Vibram continues to expand on its successful mission of reaching a younger, broader audience with work for innovators in the trail running field.

How to Clean and Store Your Gear

By keeping your gear (relatively) free of dirt and grime and storing it properly you can make your gear last forever.

Low-Cut Hiking Boots Review

Stay light on your feet with the Lafuma Active Raid GTX XCR, Garmont Eclipse XCR, Merrell Chameleon II XCR, Montrail Mountain Mist XCR, and Vasque Breeze Low XCR.

Hiking Boots Review: Midweight and Lightweight

Go light on your feet with the Adidas Cloudcap XCR and Garmont Nasty.

Editors' Choice: Timberland Cadion Mid GTX XCR

Get killer ankle and underfoot support in an ultralight hiking boot.

Hiking Boots Review: Asolo Stynger GTX

Boots for women that are both sturdy and compact.

Hiking Boots Review: Montrail Stratos XCR

Boots that are amazingly stable, delightfully lightweight, and surprisingly waterproof.

Hiking Boots Review: Lafuma Active Raid GTX XCR

Light boots that are good for medium-sized feet.

Hiking Boots Review: Merrell Chameleon II GTX XCR

Breathable low-cut hikers for medium-volume feet.

Winter Boots Review: Snowshoeing and Camping

Keep your feet warm and dry while snowshoeing, camping, and shoveling the driveway with the Columbia Ice Dragon, North Face Ice Storm GTX, and Kamik Patriot.

The Fix: Repair Peeling Boots

What to do when your soles come undone.

Boot Review: Zamberlan 180 Micron GT Women's

A hiking boot that provides outstanding protection against rocks, cactus, snow, and rain

The Cure: Beating Blisters

Catch the hot spot before it's too late

Boot Review: Lafuma Active Raid GTX XCR

Enough support and comfort to carry a big load for 56 miles in four days--that is, if you're up to it

Foot Fixes: How to Deal with 4 Common Boot Problems

Prevent blisters, hike grit-free, and find arch support in a lightweight boot

Boot Review: Five Light Hikers

Introducing a new breed of synthetic boots: fast, nimble, and surprisingly supportive.

Boot Review: Salomon Pro Sticky Mid 2

Channel your nimble-footed inner child with these grippy, hikeable shoes.

Boot Review: Lafuma Cross Tour GTX

Excellent fit, support, and waterproofing set a high bar for low-priced boots.

The Fix: Boots That Cause Blisters

Don't throw big-ticket boots in the bin when a quick makeover will do the trick.

Boot Review: Salomon Extend Mid

On hot summer days, these breathable shoes beat the heat.

Boot Review: L.L. Bean Gore-Tex Ridge Runner Hiker Mids

These nimble shoes are a steal for hikers with narrow feet.

Boot Review: Hi-Tec Apex

A cushy sole makes these a good choice for long trail days.

Night Hiking: A Walk In The Dark

A beginner's guide to after-hours hiking

Accessory Review: New Balance Ultra Arch Support Inserts

Pamper your feet with the most supportive footbeds we've tested

Gear Reviews: Editors' Choice 2005

New Zealand is pretty to look at, but harsh on gear--making it just what we needed for our Kiwi challenge.

Trail Runner Review: Salomon GCS Pro

Be cool in fastpacking's finest footwear

Boot Review: Garmont Trail Sport Junior Boots

Young hikers deserve performance shoes

Boot Review: Raichle Mt. Trail XT GTX

Slip into the most comfortable all-leather backpacking boot you've worn in years

Boot Review: Dunham Waffle Stomper Terrastryder-Mid

The Terrastryder-Mid triumphs in the "Best Fit" category for the hard-to-fit group -- just beware of its sogginess factor.

Boot Review: Teva Zakka Mid GTX

Check out the best lightweight boot for your heavyweight foot.

Boot Review: AKU Croda GTX

If you wake up wanting to walk 1,000 miles, go out and purchase a pair of these first.

Boot Review: AKU Stone XCR

This scrambler provides everything you need to go anywhere you want: support, grip, comfort, and waterproofing.

Boot Review: Tecnica Cyclone Mid GTX-XCR

If there's a rough and tough masochist in the ultralight category, it's the Cyclone.

Boot Review: Adidas Yukora Mid ATS

Mesh-covered vents take these strong midcuts into the future of fastpacking shoes.

Boot Review: Asolo Stynger GTX

When it was time for Ladies' Choice, they picked the boot that 'just plain fit.'

Boot Review: Garmont Flash XCR

Despite its name, Garmont's lighter boot provides excellent support, but a bit too much for fastpackers and trail runners.

Boot Review: La Sportiva Trango Trek

The Trek brings serious trail mileage capabilities to the original (and winning) Trango S.

Boot Review: Dunham Waffle Stomper Premier Leather

Give this boot a little time to really feel broken-in, and it will reward you with years of comfortable hiking.

Boot Review: La Sportiva Exum Ridge

What kind of scrambler would pass up a shoe with soles described as Spider-Man-like? C'mon!

Boot Review: Nike ACG Air Tallac +

Don't underestimate the power of this model's plus sign -- the new and improved shoe almost offers too much to use the same name.

Time To Treat: When to Repair Gear

How do you know that your gear is crying out for help? Consult our handy list of signs and solutions.

Waterproof Your Wilderness Gear

A complete guide to buying gear that will keep you dry--no matter what

Save Your Feet: How to Prevent Foot Problems

You think thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is a long walk?

Boot Review: Scarpa Alpha

No toes will be lost in these mountaineering boots.

Boot Review: Vasque Velocity

Pillows underfoot might be softer, but they won't last like these cushy shoes.

Boot Review: Dunham Trail Mix

Even big guys with wide feet will feel agile with these supportive shoes.

Boot Review: Montrail Masai

Let others wilt in the heat; your feet are air-cooled by these ventilated runners.

Boot Review: Merrell Torque

Not a speed demon? These traditionalists are great for light hiking.

Boot Review: 6 Fast-Track Shoes

Ready, set, go. You'll literally run down the trail with these featherweight kicks.

Boot Review: Tecnica Tricon

Ventilation and traction are a nice combo, but stability doesn't match the best.

Salomon XA Pro 2

One of the lightest shoes in the test scores big with trail runners.

Boot Review: Montrail Java GTX

These shoes can handle any terrain.

Boot Review: La Sportiva Monarch Crest

Become geckolike the minute you slide into these shoes.

Boot Review: Asolo FSN 95

Given an Editors' Choice Award in 2001, this boot continues to be a great value.

Boot Review: Dunham Waffle Stomper Nimble

Boots ideal for summer fast-packing

Boot Review: Boreal Tundra

Boreal gives us a boot that provides stability and waterproofing.

Boot Review: Cabela's Perfekt Hiker

The cork-bed of your sandals in a boot.

Boot Review: Five Ten Via Ferrata

Snow-covered trails are no match for this shoe

Boot Review: Crispi All-Over Running

While these shoes aren't for running they are great on the trail or on the town.

Boot Review: Garmont Nagevi XCR

You won't find a better all-purpose lightweight boot.

Boot Review: La Sportiva Nuptse

A favorite among mountaineers

Boot Review: Salomon Expert Low

Not the best for long days and heavy loads, but great for fastpacking.

Boot Review: L.L. Bean GTX Leather Cresta Hikers

They're not fancy, but they do the job.

Boot Review: Montrail D7

Whether you're on rocks or a grassy trail, you're sure to love these boots.

Boot Review: Kayland Contact 1700

A boot that actually improves your agility

Boot Review: Tecnica Vortex Mid TCY

Light and supportive all in the same package

Boot Review: Salomon Pro Trek 6 GTX

A well valued boot, great of every level of hiking.

Boot Review: Dunham Waffle Stomper Premier

A long lasting, hard working boot

Boot Review: Teva Haze

Hike on the trail then run on the road with these versatile shoes.

Boot Review: Asolo Fugitive

A top all-purpose midweight boot

Boot Review: Scarpa Light Ascent

These aren't Elvis' blue suede shoes.

Boot Review: Lowa Biomex Vertex

New technologies make this pair of boots a standout.

Boot Review: Garmont Dakota Plus

Want a midweight that can tread in heavyweight terrain?

Boot Review: Merrell Torque

If a short trip is your plan, grab these boots and go.

The Sock Fits: Trail Sock Buyer's Guide

Socks are as important as the footwear we buy. Follow our two-step buyer's guide.

Common Hiking Boot Lacing Techniques...

...From The Experts At Montrail

How To Waterproof Your Boots

Waterproof boots can make the difference between a sick hike and a miserable slog.

Stretching Your Hiking Boots' Life Span

Lengthen your boots' life span by following this simple maintenance plan.

Approach Shoes Instead Of Hiking Boots?

Consider these points when deciding if an approach shoe is right for you.

Save Your Hiking Sole

You can experience heavenly hiking even if you lose your boot sole.

Tundra Tip: Wear Your Rubber Boots

Rubber boots are essential gear in the tundra.

Albuquerque's Magic Mountain

Albuquerque's backyard wilderness lets hikers perform a disappearing trick.

Blister Prevention: Hiker, Heel Thyself

Think blisters are a sure thing when you hike? Think again: Here's your ticket to preventing and treating the dreaded sores.

Buying Better Boots

There are different boots for different types of terrain. Follow these 10 essentials to match sole to trail.

Boot Sizing Chart

Before you get a new boot, make sure the shoe fits with our sizing chart.

Boots That Get You Charged Up

Inventor finds a way to harness all that energy you burn on switchbacks and long trails.

Gear Rx: Boots

Know what can and can't be repaired on your boots, and who to call.

A Long Life For Your Boots

Insiders' tips to keep your hikers on the trail longer.

How To: Boot Cleaning

Take care of your hiking boots and they'll take care of you.

Break In Your Boots

Log some easy "city" miles in your new hiking boots before that epic trip.

Dry, Cool Feet = Happy Feet

For maximum comfort, keep your feet drier and cooler.

Fixing A Blister

A simple blister remedy gets you back on the trail fast.

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