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Personalities



Rainier's Reigning Champ

George Dunn, co-owner of International Mountain Guides, recalls personal adventures and gives tips about climbing Mount Rainier.

Give a Sherpa a Lift: Apa Sherpa Summits Mt. Everest for the 20th Time

Sherpa's big year also includes an limited edition Suunto watch to benefit his foundation.

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?

Who's the Ultimate Survivor?

We settle the debate with winner-takes-all smackdown: Meet history's true hard man.

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.



River Keeper

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

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.

Film Your Own Hike, Then Go Behind-the-Scenes

Want to make adventure films? Emmy Award-winning director Michael Brown shows you how. Plus, go behind the scenes as BACKPACKER staffers learn from the masters at Adventure Film School.

The Onion vs. Mr. Magoo

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

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.

Labor of Love: Meet the Backcountry Sanitation King

Meet Michael Rash, sanitation king of the backcountry. Be glad he uses Purell.

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.

33 Top Tips From Trail Pros

Here's how Aron Ralston, Ed Viesturs, Les Stroud, and others get out and back again–and how you can, too.

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.

Backpacker Interview: The Trail Bandit

Rangers despise him. The law is after him. Yet in chopping down trees in an overgrown national park, Bob Garrison has become a hero to some hikers.

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.

Grizzly Details: Surviving a Bear Attack

Hiker Gerald Holzer recounts a 2005 grizzly attack in Yellowstone.

Blue John Canyon: Feeling Gravity's Pull

A pilgrim heads into the canyon where Aron Ralston lost his arm to pin down the meaning of survival.

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.

Secrets Of The Ultrafit: Heidi Wirtz

Get strong with yoga poses used by a world-class climber

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.

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.

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

David Brower's Last Interview

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

Sierra Club's David Brower Mourned

David Brower led environmentalists in shaping the America we see and hike.

Ironwoman Senator Of The Yukon

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

The Wizard Of Duct Tape

A candid interview with duct tape guru Angelo Ritson.

Robert Taylor: A True Trailblazer

Robert Taylor wants African-Americans to know "there's something great out there."

Bill Foot 1946-2000

The Appalachian Trail community lost a prominent supporter, volunteer, hiker, and maintainer.

Do A Thru-Hike, Sans Pack

All it takes is $7,000 and a man named "Pittsburgh" to become a weightless thru-hiker.

The Men Behind The Bay Area Ridge Trail

Galen Rowell talks about his and others' efforts to make the Bay Area Ridge Trail a reality.

The Prophet Of The PNT

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.

Hikers Mourn The Loss Of Guy Waterman

Guy Waterman died near the summit of Mount Lafayette, a peak in the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire, on February 6.

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.

NOLS Founder Paul Petzoldt Dies

NOLS founder Paul Petzoldt fought for wilderness his whole life.

Trail Advocate Leaves Legacy Behind

Appalachian Trail (AT) advocate Edward Garvey, 84, recently died of congestive heart failure at Arlington Hospital in Virginia.

High Pointers Takes Climbers To The Top

Jim Lockart of Pughtown, Pennsylvania is part of a unique group who have scaled all 50 states' highest peaks.

Colorado Man Finishes Colorado Trail Despite Nerve Disease

Matthew Bogue, who is legally blind and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1996, completed the 471-mile Colorado Trail.

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.

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?

Nine Wilderness Hero Hikes

Nine hikes as big as the hearts of their namesake wilderness visionaries.

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.

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.

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.

What's It Like 'Anyplace Wild?'

The host of BACKPACKER's television show gives us a peek inside.

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