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The Best National Park Day Hikes

Only have a day to spare? Here are our short-and-sweet picks for 10 popular national parks. By Drew Allred

The Best Ghost Town Hikes in the U.S.

These eerily beautiful ghost towns—complete with abandoned mines and train depots—add historical interest to nearby hikes. By Paul Chisholm

America's Best Watchtower Hikes

These towers offer the best views in town—and you can hike to them. By Paul Chisholm

The Best Fossil Hikes in North America

Want to feel young? Hike to some of the continent's coolest prehistoric sites.
By Katie Ewen

Reading List: White Mountains, NH

Steve Smith, 60, of Lincoln, New Hampshire, owns The Mountain Wanderer (a specialty map and guidebook shop) and co-authored the AMC's White Mountain Guide, which details 1,420 trail miles—all of which Smith has hiked, making him one of about 20 people to have "red-lined" the entire guide. Here are his favorite books for learning more about the area

The Best Stargazing Spots in the U.S.

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

The Best Beach Campsites in North America

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

25 Heat-Busting Hikes

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

Insider's Guide

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

Readers Dish: The Hardest Hike You've Ever Enjoyed

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

17 Really Good Reasons to Save Your Money for Kilimanjaro

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

The Best Outdoor Dog Breeds

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

Climbing Mount Shasta

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

Reading List: Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

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

10 Unique Craft Beers for the Backcountry

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

My Partner Ate My Socks!

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

10 Hikes to Do Solo

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

Celebrate National Trails Day 2014

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

6 Must-See Waterfall Hikes

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

Reading List: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

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

9 Signs You're An Old-School Backpacker

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

Gear Review: Astral's Camino 200 kayaking vest

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

See Vintage-Inspired National Park Prints

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

Backcountry Dictionary: Your Guide to Hiker Slang

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

Who's Your Dream Hiking Partner?

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

The Six Most Dangerous National Parks

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

10 Amazing Cave Hikes in the U.S.

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

10 Amazing Cave Hikes in the U.S.

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

2014 Adventure Travel Reader Photos

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

June 2014 Reader Photo Contest

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

2014 Facebook Photo Contest Winners

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

Season Starters

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

Deam Wilderness, IN

Chicago, IL: Watch raptors' sunset hunts.

Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area

Denver, CO: Explore a canyon oasis.

Lake Chelan National Recreation Area

Spokane, WA: Scratch your itch for alpine splendor.

Pine Mountain Trail, FDR State Park

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

St. Croix River, Governor Knowles State Forest, WI

Minneapolis, MN: Explore a pristine river corridor.

Trout Run Valley, WV

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

Hell's Canyon, ID

Boise, ID: Soak in desert warmth.

Notch Peak, Utah

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

Sandy Neck Beach Park

Boston, MA: Savor oceanside solitude.

Tunxis State Forest Trail, CT

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

Austin Creek State Recreation Area

San Francisco, CA. Roam sun-drenched hills.

Survival Lab: Breaking Bad

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

Recipe: Backcountry Poached Eggs

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

Your Best Shot: Photo Contest

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

Destinations: March 2014



Destinations: March 2014



Destinations: Central



Destinations: West



Rip and Go: Canaan Mountain

Navigate across a slickrock plateau in Zion's backyard.

Trail Mix: West

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

Trail Mix: East

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

From the Field: East

Our trail scouts' top local hikes.

Rip and Go: Birch Knob

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

Sand Ridge Loop, Illinois

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

Twilight Canyon, Utah

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

How to Do (Almost) Everything

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

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Hikes

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

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Southern Hikes

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

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Northeast Hikes

Peakbag and explore in the Northeast's thick forests.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Midwest Hikes

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

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Southwest Hikes

Explore the deserts and distinctive features of the American Southwest.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Mountain West Hikes

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

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Western Hikes

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

Tennessee: Virgin Falls Trail

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

Trail Mix: South

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

Multisport Playgrounds

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

Trail Mix: Northeast

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

The Pemi Loop: New Hampshire

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

Peakbagging Treks

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

Trail Mix: Midwest

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

Isle Royale National Park Loop

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

Time-Scultpted Treks

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

Trail Mix: Southwest

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

West Rim Trail

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

Canyon Hikes

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

Trail Mix: Mountain West

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

Cramer Lakes, Idaho

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

Alpine Lakes

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

Trail Mix: West

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

Rip & Go: Alaska's Hatcher Pass Wilderness Area

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

Destinations: Top 3 West



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

Incredible footage from western Canada.

The Worst Hiking Partner Behaviors

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

The List: 10 Trails to Cure the Winter Blues

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

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

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

Scientists Study Obesity Via Grizzly Bears

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

The List: 20 Great Books For the Trail

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

Reader Instagram of the Week

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

The List: 10 Essential Backpacking Hacks You Need to Know

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

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Outdoor Research Lodestar Gloves

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

Gear Review: Salomon Quest Max BC 120 Ski Boots

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

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

Charge your gadgets while cooking your grub.

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

A timeless axe that picks into ice with ease.

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

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

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

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

Gear Review: Faber Sommet Snowshoes

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

Gear Review: Montane Tourbillon Event Stretch Gaiter

The ultimate tall, tough gaiters for the shoulder season.

Gear Review: MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoes

Snowshoes built to tackle tough, backcountry terrain.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Stamina Gaiters

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

Gear Review: Packit Gourmet A Shepherd's Cottage Pie

A filling comfort food for cold camp days.

Gear Review: Kovea Booster+1 Stove

A stove that can switch between fuels in a snap.

Gear Review: Thermos Stainless King 16 oz. Food Jar

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

Adventure Travel 2013: Africa

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

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Lodestar Gloves

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

Best Adventure Eating: Baked Guinea Pig



Best Scenery: Torres del Paine Circuit, Chile



Best Wildlife Safari: Pantanal, Brazil



Best Culture Hike: Santa Cruz Trek, Peru



Best Sunrise: Laguna Torre, Argentina



Ecuador: Top 3 Training Hikes

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

Best for Peakbaggers: Volcan Cotopaxi, Ecuador



Gear Review: Big Agnes Shovelhead Puffy

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

Gear Review: Eastern Mountain Sports Fader Softshell

A wind-blocking nylon softshell jacket.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Compulsion 3L/Snowtastic Hardshell

The Swiss Army Knife of Hardshells

Gear Review: Nemo Canon -40 Sleeping Bag

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

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



best habitat diversity: Miriakamba Hut Circular Trail, Tanzania



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

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

best easy view: Sentinel Trail, South Africa



best canyon hike: Fish River Canyon Trail, Namibia



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



most audacious: Margherita Peak, Uganda



best quick climb: Cathedral Peak, South Africa



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

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

best art hike: Malealea Village Trek, Lesotho



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



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

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

best landform: Wolfberg Cracks and Arch, South Africa



Gear Review: Gregory Targhee 45 Backpack

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

Gear Review: Black Diamond Equipment Anthem Backpack

A compact pack stuffed with stability.

Best Shangri-La: Kingdom of Bhutan

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

Best Discovery: Hai Country, Japan

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

Survival A to Z: Injuries

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

2013 Adventure Travel Award Nominations

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

Local Hikes in the East - August 2013

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

Local Hikes in the Central - August 2013

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

Local Hikes in the West - August 2013

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

Local Hikes in the West - August 2013

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

One Night Wonders: Anglers, Deep Creek Lake

Stalk golden trout.

One Night Wonders: Ocean Lovers, Peanut Island Park

Snorkel among manatees.

One Night Wonders: Urban Escapees, Ibantik Lake

Savor instant solitude.

One Night Wonders: Urban Escapees, White Rocks Loop

Bust out beyond the beltway.

One Night Wonders: Urban Escapees, Berryman Trail

Hide out in Ozark Hollows

One Night Wonders: Mileage Monsters, Hut Traverse

Hike New England's highest paths.

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

Gobble the PCT's tastiest morsel.

One Night Wonders: Mileage Monsters, Kings Peak

Scale Utah's mightiest mountain.

One Night Wonders: Couples, Honeymoon Lake

Escape to a high-alpine hideaway.

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

Soak in simmering springs.

One Night Wonders: Couples, Caribou Rock Trail

Retreat into a watery labyrinth.

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

Tag two tough fourteeners.

One Night Wonders: Big Kids, Bench Lakes

Explore the Rockies' sharpest peaks.

One Night Wonders: Little Kids, Sages Ravine

Splash in swimming holes.

One Night Wonders

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

Testing the Waters

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

The Great Best Views Debate

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

Bugs getting into your tent? And other common questions.

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

Master Class: Off-Trail Hiking

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

Trail Mix: East

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

From the Field: East

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

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

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

Trail Mix: Central

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

From the Field: Central

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

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

Traverse craggy cliffs flanking America's first national river.

Trail Mix: West

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

From the Field: West

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

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

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

Mountain Map: Indian Peaks, CO

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

Top 3: Quad Burners

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

Life List: Moonlit Presidential Traverse, New Hampshire

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

Share It: Edit and Share Trip Data

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

Do It: Make the Most of Your Phone

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

Record Better Media: Picture and Video Masterpieces

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

Utilize the Top Backcountry Apps

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

Plan It: Master the Latest in Trip-Planning Technology

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

Local Hikes in the East - June 2013

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

Local Hikes in the Central - June 2013

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

Local Hikes in the West - June 2013

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

First Night Out: Year of the Reader

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

Grand Traverses

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

Trail Mix: East

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

From the Field: East

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

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

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

Trail Mix: Central

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

From the Field: Central

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

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

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

Trail Mix: West

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

From the Field: West

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

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

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

Mountain Map: Glacier National Park, MT

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

Top 3: National Park Hikes

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

Life List: Stillwater Canyon, Utah

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

Instant Upgrades

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

Master Class: Explore the Alpine Zone

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

Grand Traverses: Great Range

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

Grand Traverses: Franconia Ridge

Enjoy panoramic views on an exposed, granite ridgewalk.

Grand Traverses: Greenstone Ridge

Tackle 40 miles of an island ridge above Lake Superior.

Grand Traverses: Teton Crest Trail

Take this park's best tour.

Grand Traverses: Guadalupe Ridge Trail

Hike the length of an ancient fossilized reef.

Grand Traverses: Superstition Ridge

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

Grand Traverses: Monroe Skyline

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

Grand Traverses: Sierra High Route

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

Gear Review: Soto WindMaster

A versatile stove that works great in windy conditions.

Grand Traverses: Great Northern Traverse

Cross the top of Glacier National Park.

Grand Traverses: Ruby Crest

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

Grand Traverses: Sawtooth Ridge

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

Grand Traverses: Roan Highlands

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

Grand Traverses: Pfiffner Traverse

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

Local Hikes in the East

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

Local Hikes in the Central U.S.

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

Local Hikes in the West

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

First Night Out

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

First Night Out: Year of the Reader

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

First Night Out: Essays

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

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

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

First Night Out: Top 10 Rookie Mistakes

Dodge these common errors with our prevention primer.

First Night Out: Cooking

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

First Night Out: Treat Water

Learn how to treat water in the backcountry.

First Night Out: In Camp

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

First Night Out: On the Trail

How to dress comfortably and stay fueled while hiking.

First Night Out: Fauna

Three trails teeming with wildlife

First Night Out: The Ten Essentials

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

First Night Out: Packing and Planning

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

First Night Out: Water

Three beautiful water-side hikes

First Night Out: Views

Three hikes with spectacular views

First Night Out: Flora

Three hikes with scenic wildflower vistas

Life List: Grand Challenge

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

Treat Deep Wounds

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

Instant Upgrades

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

Gear Review: MSR Reactor 1.0 Stove

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

Master Class: Cook Like a Pro

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

Trail Mix — East

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

From the Field — East

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

Mountain Map: The Wasatch Front, UT

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

Trail Mix — Central

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

From the Field — Central

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

Top 3: Knife-edge Ridges

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

Trail Mix — West

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Build It: Make an Efficient Alcohol Stove

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

Recipe: Puyallup Planked Salmon

Take your fish seriously with this recipe for Planked Salmon.

Recipe: Slippery Hooks Fish Fry

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

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

Slurp up satisfaction with EBC soup.

Recipe: Klondike Thai Peanut Shrimp

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

Recipe: Back Rock Bami Goreng

Enjoy healthy eating with this veggie-infused stir fry.

Recipe: Backcountry Master Class

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

Recipe: No-Drawings-Needed Poached Trout

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

Recipe: No-Drawings-Needed Poached Trout

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

Recipe: World Traveler Foil Packets

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

Recipe: Fabulous Fry Brownies

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

Recipe: Indian Fry Bread

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

Recipe: Cornmeal Fry Biscuits

Fry up your own breakfast biscuits with this easy recipe.

Gear Review: REI Backpacker Plus Extended First Aid Kit

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

2013 Adventures NYC



Save Money on Your Trailhead Drive

Are you blowing big bucks driving to your favorite hike? Use these gas-mileage-boosting tips so you can get to more trailheads for less money.

The Truth About Bears: The Maps

Bears in the lower 48 have rebounded from decades of declining populations and shrinking habitat. Also improving: your chance of seeing a bruin in the wild. By Ted Alvarez

The Truth About Bears: The Mystery

Grizzlies vanished from North Cascades National Park five decades ago. Or did they? Our scout joins the search for Washington's elusive mountain ghosts. By Ted Alvarez

2013 Reader Photo Contest - Your Best Shots

For 40 years, BACKPACKER readers have explored the wilderness and returned with photographic gold. But we were wowed by the entries for this contest—more than 650 of them. Check out these finalists (and this year's winner), then go to backpacker.com/photos to submit your own images. We’ll showcase the best entries in upcoming issues.

Local Hikes in the East — March 2013

Tromp through a Florida cypress swamp, find solitude on a Catskills peak, look for rare Carolina blooms, plus 9 more.

Local Hikes in the Central U.S. — March 2013

Snag a dozen great winter trips, including a texas Hill Country overnight, a Lake Superior snowshoe, and a hike to Apostle islands ice caves.

Local Hikes in the West — March 2013

Soak in a New Mexico hot spring, spot wintering bighorn sheep in the Winds, hike to a lost California oasis, and more.

Gear and Go Tour

In celebration of our readers, we have designed a second tour (in addition to our popular Get Out More Tour) that will launch in 2013, the GEAR and GO TOUR.

10 Steps to Raising Kids Who Love the Outdoors

You want your kiddos to enjoy the outdoors – camping, hiking, biking, etc. – as much as you do. Northwest editor Michael Lanzas has 10 tips on how to accomplish that – and have fun along the way.

Trail Mix — East — March 2013

Your region's go-now guide: Visit a new hikers' hostel connected to 50 miles of trail in Maine's Bigelow Mountains, see the rare Oconee bell in South Carolina's Jocassee Gorges area, explore the world's longest mapped cave system near Louisville, and more.

From the Field — East — March 2013

Our trail scouts' top local hikes, including fire tower views in New Jersey, a New York waterfall, and more.

Rip & Go: Florida Trail, Big Cypress National Preserve, FL

Traverse a primeval landscape of cypress swamp, hardwood hammocks, and pinelands.

Mountain Map: White Mountains, NH

The Granite State's crown jewel is an epicenter for alpine adventure, from peakbagging to ridgewalking to hut camping. Where to start? In the heart of the Whites, with beta from our map team. Trek across windswept plateaus, tag a handful of the range's 48 peaks above 4,000 feet, and get a taste of high-altitude tundra.

Trail Mix — Central — March 2013

Your region's go-now guide: Explore ice caves on Wisconsin's Apostle Islands, overnight in peace in northern Missouri, and more.

From the Field — Central — March 2013

Follow the footsteps of Wild West outlaws in Oklahoma, marvel at Gooseberry Fall's frozen cascades, search out arrowheads at Hot Springs National Park, and more.

Rip & Go: Lost Maples Loop, Lost Maples State Natural Area, TX

Warm up for hiking season with a mellow escape to a maze of limestone plateaus.

Top 3: Better in Winter

What off season? Bundle up and reap the benefits of colder weather in these snowy playgrounds.

Trail Mix - West - March 2013

Your region's go-now spring guide: Scramble to Salado Indian cliff dwellings in Arizona, spot bighorn sheep in Wyoming, and more.

From the Field — West — March 2013

Our trail scouts' top local hikes: ancient Oregon volcanoes, a Nevada slot canyon, a hidden California oasis, and more.

Rip & Go: Jordan Hot Springs, Gila Wilderness, NM

Explore a slot canyon and soak in a warm backcountry pool in the country's first designated wilderness.

Life List: Northern Lights Ski Tour, Alaska

See the world's best sky show from your private backcountry cabin.

Hiking Wales: Fresh Tracks Through History

Beachside trek meets pub crawl meets castle tour on Europe's newest long trail, the 870-mile Wales Coast Path, officially opened in May 2011. We have the beta on its highlights.

The Path to Shangri-La: Eastern Tibet's Unclimbed Peaks

Climb hiker-friendly 16,000-foot summits--and maybe nab a first ascent--on a shoestring budget, plus get an unchaperoned glimpse of Tibetan culture.

Limit Pusher: Three More Epics

Test yourself on these wild routes.

Chile: Private Patagonia - Five More Multisport Trips

Explore spectacular places by air, land, and sea.

Chile: Private Patagonia - Puerto Toro

Take your pick of adventures from this major ferry stop about three hours from Natales: Beach camp next to a private glacier or paddle to a gem lake.

Chile: Private Patagonia - Cordillera Baguales

Escape to trekking and horseback riding nirvana on Patagonia's high plains.

Chile: Private Patagonia - Fjord De Las Montanas

Explore peak-lined Chilean waters by boat or by foot—in solitude.

Chile: Private Patagonia

Explore Chile's mind-bending terrain without joining the throngs on the popular trekker circuit. On this paddle/hike/horse adventure, you'll have glacier-chiseled fjords, sky-piercing mountains, and best-ever camping all to yourself.

Meet the 2013 BACKPACKER Reader Reporter Team

Meet the four lucky readers -- two guys and two gals -- who will scouring the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market for the greatest (and weirdest) new gear!

Meet the Gear Testers: Dennis Lewon

Backpacker Editor Dennis Lewon prefers solid design over shaving weight.

Mileage Master Skills

Going the distance? Use these tips to ease big-mile trips.

Canada: Treasure Island

You don't have to travel across the world to get off the map. British Columbia's Haida Gwaii boasts uncharted coastline, seaside hot springs, and more sea lions, whales, and bears than you can count.

Norway: Home of the Giants

Norway's Jotunheimen National Park bristles with glacier-clad peaks amid northern Europe's highest mountains, but a five-star hut system makes it a place you can bring your kids. And mom.

Mountain Map: Los Angeles - San Gabriel Mountains

Find solitude high above Los Angeles.

Local Hikes in the Central U.S.

Camp lake-side in Arkansas, summit 800-foot Nebraska bluffs, see Wisconsin's best foliage (alone), and dayhike near Dallas. Plus: 8 more autumn hikes.

Local Hikes in the East

Kentucky's Land Between The Lakes, see a South Carolina swamp (without the bugs), hike through four states in one huge day, and more.

Local Hikes in the West

Make a late-season hike to an aspen-dense Colorado mesa, spot bears in the Beartooths, explore gypsum dunes, and discover more fall must-hikes.

Carry the best maps for your adventures.

New Elite program from map partner Trimble Outdoors serves up best-in-class trip planning tools, exclusive map data, and mobile app extras.

Meet the Gear Testers: Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Elisabeth has been testing gear since she was a BACKPACKER intern.

Meet the Gear Testers: Julie Ellison

As excited as she gets about new gear, Climbing's Gear Editor knows that the best gear is the items that she comes back to again and again.

Meet the Gear Testers: Jon Dorn

BACKPACKER's former Editor-in-Chief says that his best tester quality is his clumsiness.

Meet the Gear Testers: Jackie McCaffrey

When it comes to gear, Jackie believes in comfort.

Meet the Gear Testers



Meet the Gear Testers: Bob Woodward

Bob has been testing gear for 50 years.

Meet the Gear Testers: Nancy Prichard Bouchard

Nancy believes you get what you pay for.

Meet the Gear Testers: Allison Woods

When it comes to gear, tester Allison believes in open-mindedness and innovation - just don't forget about designing gear for the ladies.

Expert Panel: Instant Upgrades



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.

Trail Mix: Great November Hikes in the East

Your region's go-now guide: Explore New York City, hike four states in 24 hours, and perfect days in NC, GA, and NH.

The High Life: Granite Park Chalet, MT

Discover Glacier's historic lodging.

The High Life: White Mountains Traverse, NH

Hike our quieter insider's variation on this classic route.

The High Life: Never Summer Yurts, CO

Discover your own private Rockies paradise.

The High Life: Haute Route Pyrenees, France

Go high and wild in Europe's other Alps.

The High Life: Hidden Lake Peak Fire Lookout, WA

Claim an eagle's roost above Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

The High Life: Hut, Hut, Hike!

Why should a backpacker want anything other than a tent? Michael Lanza can think of five good reasons.

The High Life: Maine Hut Trail, ME

Explore a new shelter system with old-school wild.

The High Life: Pennine Alps, Switzerland

Dine lavishly in the homeland of huts.

The High Life: Kepler Track, New Zealand

Score iconic Kiwi scenery without lining up.

The High Life: Lake O'Hara, Canada

Explore the best of Yoho National Park.

The High Life: High Sierra Camps, CA

Hike Yosemite's granite-rimmed loop.

The High Life: Rifugio Lagazuoi, Italy

Climb to a view over all of the Dolomites.

Top 3: Ghostly Hikes

Test your courage—and your quads—this Halloween on one of these spooky cemetery trails.

Life List: The Source of the Amazon

Trek to the Peruvian high spot where the planet's most powerful river is born.

Skier's Paradise: Backcountry Hut & Yurt Destinations

Maximize your winter fun with a backcountry basecamp where you can spend all day skiing or snowshoeing, and all evening lounging by the fire. These 10 huts and yurts will make you hope the snow never melts.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Snow Peak Starter Kit

A dining kit made for ultralight soloists.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012

261 reviews and camping tips

Killer Trips: Wildlife

Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

Killer Trips: Terrain

Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

Killer Trips: Gravity

Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

Killer Trips: Weather

Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

Build Trail-worthy Ankle Strength

Four moves that'll help you make an injury-free transition to lightweight hiking shoes.

Trail Mix: East

Your region's go-now guide

Trail Mix: Central

Your region's go-now guide

From the Field: East

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

From the Field: Central

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

Meet the Gear Testers: William Rochfort

William feels an obligation to share the outdoors with others, and good gear is how you get them there.

Meet the Gear Testers: Tanner Jackson

Tanner likes to think of himself as a tester and guinea pig for real-world accidents.

Meet the Gear Testers: Steve Howe

If you're looking for experience in the outdoors, Steve Howe is your man.

Meet the Gear Testers: Shelby Carpenter

When it comes to gear, Shelby believes in weight, comfort, and function.

Meet the Gear Testers: Molly Loomis

Molly believes in ditching the frills, shaving weight, and giving gear a real beating.

Meet the Gear Testers: Merrill McCauley

Tester Merrill believes in quality, well-built gear that won't fail on you when it counts.

Meet the Gear Testers: Kelly Bastone

Tester Kelly has tough standards, and it takes a lot to convince her that something new can replace what she already has.

Meet the Gear Testers: Gerben Sherpbier

President of Dartmouth's Outing Club, Gerben considers the practicality of gear and has a soft spot for the tall folks.

Meet the Gear Testers: Dan Nelson

A long-time tester, Dan is tough as nails and scrupulous with gear.

2012 Be A Mapper Contest Official Rules



Meet the Gear Testers: Cameron Martindell

Tester Cameron is as meticulous as they come.

Meet the Gear Testers: Becca Stubbs

Becca is president of the Hiking Club at the University of Colorado - Boulder.

Meet the Gear Testers: Annette McGivney

Southwest Editor Annette has been testing gear since 1990. She is on the trail every day.

Troubleshoot This: Burned by Boiling Water



Out Alive: Hammered by Falling Rocks

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

Gear: Car Camping

Ultra Luxe
Load the trunk this Labor Day with weight-is-no-object comfort gear.

Gear Review: Primus FireHole 300

A souped up camp kitchen

Trail Mix: West

Your region's go-now guide

From the Field: West

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

The Long Way Home

When Karl Bushby set out to hike 36,000 miles across four continents, he vowed he would only return to his native England on foot. Which could be a real problem if he ever wants to get there.

Life List: Walking Safari, Kruger NP, South Africa

Trek among giraffes, rhinos, lions, and elephants in one of the world's premier wildlife parks.

Expert Panel: Instant Upgrades

We asked a few of our favorite pros how to fix some common backcountry annoyances

Easy Epics: 17 Drive-up Campsites a Backpacker Will Love

Combine the best of car camping (spacious tents, comfy chairs, frosty margaritas!) and the best of backpacking (deep solitude, outrageous scenery, swimming holes!) with these 17 accessible hideaways.

Grand to Grand Ultra - Win a free race entry!

Grand to Grand Ultra is a 160-mile stage race from the Grand Canyon’s North Rim to the highest point in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument--and we have a free race entry to give away!

From The Field: East

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

From The Field: Central

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

From The Field: West

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

Canyonlands Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 4 of 6)

Our field scouts scrambled up airy ledges, trekked to giant arches, and dropped into deep gorges to bring you the best dozen trips in this slickrock paradise.

September 2012 Table of Contents



Summit Fever: The Sierra Challenge

When 37 hardcore hikers set out to scale 10 of the Sierra's highest and remotest peaks in a single Herculean, 10-day, 154-mile push, it will be an all-pain, 54,000 feet of gain kind of adventure.

Trail Mix: East

Your region's go-now guide.

Trail Mix: Central

Your region's go-now guide.

Trail Mix: West

Your region's go-now guide.

Meet the Gear Testers: Kristin Hostetter

BACKPACKER's fearless gear editor since 1994, few (if any) know outdoor gear like Kristin Hostetter.

Life List: Buckskin Gulch, Utah/Arizona

Yes, all wilderness is sacred. But this mystically beautiful slot canyon is holier than most.

Expert Panel: Instant Upgrades



Heroes: Rue Mapp, 40

This culture activist is bringing diversity to the outdoors.

Gear Review: Coleman Sportster II

This tank-tough stove is easy to use and boils water fast, even in below-freezing temps.

Backpacking Fitness

Boost performance and be a better backpacker with these fitness- and strength-building moves from our experts.

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.

The Other Way In

Hike to life-list hot spots without waiting in life-list lines. These under-the-radar trails deliver everything but the crowds.

The Last Bus

A former Denali ranger shares her secrets for finding solitude, scoring the most coveted permits, seeing wildlife, beating the weather, and more. Follow her from-the-field advice for the ultimate trip in America's wildest park.

Life List: Buckskin Gulch, Utah/Arizona

Yes, all wilderness is sacred. But this mystically beautiful slot canyon is holier than most.

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.

Out Alive: Bitten by a Rattlesnake

A dayhiker fights for her life—as her body shuts down.

Expert Panel: 11 Pro Tips

Pro Tips: Boost Performance, Planning, Safety, and More

August 2012 Table of Contents



Heros: Becca Stubbs, 21

Student and president of the Hiking Club at the University of Colorado, Boulder

Hiking Makes You Smarter

Yes, the views and fresh air and exercise make every backpacking trip worthwhile. But now, new research shows, staying home is just plain dumb. Learn why backpacking boosts brainpower in this exclusive report from the frontiers of environmental neuroscience.

Trail Mix: Central

Explore Chicago's wild places, seek out solitude, and experience three perfect days, all this summer.

Trail Mix: East

Explore wilderness bounty, see fawns in Shenandoah National Park, and experience three perfect days, all this summer and all in the east.

Trail Mix: West

Explore high points, see astronomical rarity and experience three perfect days, all this summer and all in the west.

From the Field: West

Explore the west coast in a whole new way with these five summer hikes.

From the Field: East

Experience the east in a new way this summer with hikes that each offer a special glimpse of what the east coast has to offer.

From the Field: Central

Looking to relax this summer? These central hikes offer beautiful lakes, great views, and a breath of fresh air.

Burn After Reading

Empty White Mountain summits. Tourist-free Yellowstone geysers. Rarely hiked Yosemite ridges. Rangers, guidebook writers, outfitters, and ultra-hikers dish their favorite routes for the first time.

Best Week: Continental Divide Loop

Tour glacial valleys and navigate to off-trail lakes and waterfalls on this six-day circuit.

Best Weekend: Gorge Lakes

Hike cross-country to explore this secluded chain of hanging lakes.

June 2012 Table of Contents



Best Day: Longs Peak via Clarks Arrow and the Keyhole

Scramble up a 12.7-mile sneak route to the park's highest peak.

Rocky Mountain Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 2 of 6)

Our map team scouted more than 500 miles of trails and cross-country routes to bring you a summer's worth of escapes in the Rockies.

Gear Guide 2012: Adventure Medical Kits SOL Survival Medic

A compact kit that provides you with the survival essentials you need while you're on the go.

Local Hikes

Jump-start your hiking season on these spring-ready trips from around the country.

Gear Guide 2012: Bargain Gear

$50 or less can buy you some nice gear. Here are our favorite finds.

Gear Guide 2012: Bargain Stove

The Olicamp Xcelerator Titanium was a favorite for our ultralight AT thru-hiker.

Mt. Rainier Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 1 of 6)

We mapped nearly 300 miles of trail to bring you the only resource you'll need to jump-start your adventures in this premier park.

Rip & Go: Oregon Coast Trail - Ecola State Park to Arch Cape, OR

Slip past tides along cliffy coasts on an easy-to-plan long weekend.

America's Best Campsites

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

May 2012 Table of Contents



Editors' Choice 2012: MSR WhisperLite Universal Stove

The ultimate stove: anywhere, anytime, any gas

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.

Hiking Switzerland: Around the Alps in 80 Days

Well, maybe 105. But who's counting? Contributing editor John Harlin defies conventional wisdom with a 1,400-mile circumnavigation of this mountainous kingdom.

America's Newest Long Trail

Don't have time to hike all 1,200 miles of the Pacific Northwest Trail? No worries: Our scout pinpointed the finest two-week stretch.

Died and Gone to New Zealand

Hiker heaven, redefined, is a month-long hike/paddle/camp in Adventureland.

Everest Confidential: Trekking Through Nepal's Khumbu Region

See the Himalayan giants--and cross three passes more than 17,000 feet high--on this off-the-radar route through the Khumbu region.

The Jesus Trail: Hiking from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee

Every hike is a pilgrimage, but this new path from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee is holier than most. Literally following in His footsteps, the 40-mile route immerses hikers in biblical history.

BACKPACKER GPS Trails PRO Trips

We've taken the best trips on backpacker.com and made them even better. Check out updated, interactive PRO trips and PRO bundles on GPS Trails. Use your Android or iPhone to discover these premium guides, or map your own adventures and share them with your friends.

Gear Review: MSR WindPro II Stove

A stable canister stove

BACKPACKER PRO Maps: Custom maps for your adventures

We've teamed up with map partner myTopo to create custom, pre-planned adventures printed on waterproof topo paper. No need to buy and carry multiple maps. Bonus: PRO Maps sync with your handheld GPS, your smartphone, or your tablet for a complete in-field mapping experience. Our archive is over 100 maps strong and growing.

Passion Player: Q&A with Michael Franti

On Wednesday night, reggae-hip-hop-fusion artist Michael Franti was recording a new track for his follow-up to the hit album "The Sound of Sunshine." On Thursday night, he rocks The Depot at Outdoor Retailer in a concert presented by Wolverine. BACKPACKER's Jonathan Dorn and Anthony Cerretani spoke to Franti right before the show about how the outdoors influences his music, lifestyle, and clothing line.

Blister Wars

Don't get sidelined by these common and painful foes. Fight back with these tips and tricks for preventing and treating any kind of hot spot problem.

Backpacker Bible: Never Get a Blister

Your body is a temple? Then your feet are the altar. Treat them right, and enjoy every hike from the first mile to the last.

International Adventure Travel

From Nepal to New Zealand, we have stories and tips to help you plan the perfect 'life list' backpacking trek abroad.

Backpacker Expeditions

Backpacker magazine has teamed up with AvidTrips–the leading travel platform that connects travelers directly to local tour guide operators–to create three awe-inspiring expeditions exclusively for Backpacker readers. Our Backpacker Expeditions will challenge your outdoor fortitude and indulge your passion for discovery

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.

Case Study: Lost in the Gila Wilderness

Name: Ross Mason, 44
Predicament: Off-course and severely dehydrated
Location: Gila Wilderness, New Mexico; November 2010

Readers' Choice Field Gear Test

Four trail-proven picks from the winners of our Be a Gear Tester Contest

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.

Churchill River Canoe Route

Escape time as you glide through an endless chain of connected lakes.

Asulkan Valley, Glacier National Park

Hit four technical summits in the birthplace of North American mountaineering.

Woodbury to Silver Spray Huts, Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park

Link two gorgeous cabins by scrambling through craggy alpine country.

Drinnon Pass to Gimli Col, Valhalla Provincial Park

Routefind across precipitous ridges to an ice-filled lake.

Backpacking Canada, the Big Empty

Empty of people, that is. Because the 3,000 miles of wilderness that stretch from Newfoundland's fjordlike coastal cliffs to British Columbia's rainforest and skyscraping peaks are brimming with every type of mountain, water, and wildlife adventure a card-carrying backpacker could want—crowds not included. Our Rocky Mountain Field Editor spent two months exploring places we've never covered to assemble our most extensive guide to Canadian backcountry yet.

Escape Plan: Warm a Hypothermia Victim

Treat severe hypothermia with this life saving technique.

Survival: True Reader Escapes

Seven lucky-to-be-alive subscribers share their real-life backcountry disasters. Here’s how they survived, and what you can learn from their mistakes.

True Tales: Struck by Lightning

Bad decisions and running scared got this reader struck by lightning--but he survived.

True Tales: Can't Breathe at High Altitude

A scape of pulmonary edema sends this reader down the mountain, fast.

True Tales: Flipped, Soaked, and Freezing

Two readers shiver for their lives through a cold, Alaskan summer night.

True Tales: Charged by a 500-Pound Grizzly

A charging grizzly comes too close for this reader's comfort.

True Tales: Uncontrolled Slide Down an Icy Slope

A summer snow slope gives this reader the scare of his life.

True Tales: Caught in a Flash Flood

Rising water sends this reader running--and hiding--in Utah.

Ski Strong: Beat Blisters

Outsmart stiff boots and constant heel lifting with these anti-friction tips.

Readers' Choice 2012: Reader Leader: Glacier Magic

More than 150 of you entered our contest to become a BACKPACKER field scout. Meet the winners here, starting with Colleen Contrisciane-Lewis, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. She earned the all-expenses-paid grand prize: an assignment to hike—and report on—her dream trip. Read about her 85-mile, weeklong transect of Glacier National Park on the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail.

Readers' Choice 2012: Glacier Magic

Iconic scenery bolstered by serious solitude? Get them both on this weeklong traverse.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Kitchen Gear

Two stoves, a deluxe kitchen set, and a bunch of pots and pans.

Readers' Choice 2012: Reader Leader Contest Winners

More than 150 of you entered our contest to become a BACKPACKER field scout. Meet the winners.

Readers' Choice 2012: Appalachian Trail, 100-Mile Wilderness, ME

Tackle the Northeast's most remote wilds for bears, moose, and berries.

Readers' Choice 2012: Grasshopper Glacier, Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness, MT

Visit a glacier with millions of extinct grasshoppers entombed in its ice.

Readers' Choice 2012: Skyline-To-The-Sea Trail, Castle Rock Sp, Ca

Hike through a towering redwood forest on this easy-access overnighter.

Readers' Choice 2012: Evolution Loop, Sequoia and Kings Canyon NP, CA

Hike cross-country to a pocket of dreamy lakeside camps on the John Muir Trail.

Readers' Choice 2012: Creekside Loop, Pisgah NF, NC

Looking for a mellow weekend with swimming options? We have you covered.

Readers' Choice 2012: Shoal Creek Loop, Gros Ventre Wilderness, WY

Backpack to a local ranger's favorite mountain getaway.

America's Best Backcountry Ski Tours

Upgrade your winter fun at these 8 beginner-friendly, expert-ready spots.

Iceland: Tested

After a season of backcountry skiing, hiking, and climbing everywhere from the Rockies to the Andes, we took the year's best winter gear for a final shakedown in Iceland's remote Glacier Fjords. What we found: awesome ice-carved terrain and the sweetest boat-in camping and skiing on earth.

Great Family Hikes: Chosen by the Editors of Backpacker

Hit the trail with your kids on these family-friendly hikes all over the country.

Reader Leader Application: Become a Backpacker Field Scount

Tell us about your dream destination and why it fits in the pages of Backpacker Magazine...and we may just send you there.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: SOL Survival Medic Survival and First Aid Kit

Pocket-sized waterproof survival and first aid kit

Readers' Choice 2012: Your Neck of the Woods - Southeast Hikes

See Shenandoah's tallest waterfall, traverse secluded ridgelines, score cliff-top panoramas, swim beneath falls, and walk through wildflowers and oak stands on the Florida Trail.

Readers' Choice 2012: Destinations

Get more hiking, gear, and wildlife-spotting advice from our map contributors—and see our full survey results.

Readers' Choice 2012: Top 3 - West Hikes

The region's best picks from our top field correspondent, who's notched more than 1,800 trail miles throughout the West and mapped 116 trips.

Rip & Go: West Clear Creek Canyon, Coconino National Forest, AZ

Rock-hop and wade your way down a wild sandstone corridor.

Survival: Prevent Blisters and Frostbite

Prevent these two painful toe problems.

Survival: Improvise a Splint and Treat Burns

Two skills to take with you to the backcountry

Survival: Carbon-Dioxide Poisoning

Ventilate your tent to avoid this danger.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Optimus Crux Lite Canister Stove

Do not underestimate this tiny stove's competence!

Rip & Go: Little Lyford to Gorman Chairback - 100-Mile Wilderness, ME

Ski (or snowshoe) hut-to-hut in the East's wildest preserve.

Rip & Go: Iron Mountains - Little Dry Run Wilderness, VA

Score quiet views of the southern Virginia highlands on this lush loop.

Rip & Go: Two Lakes Loop - Hoosier National Forest, IN

Camp next to forest lakes and rock-hop across clear streams.

Survival: First Aid Emergencies

Hard-won-lessons and tips about medical emergencies from the front lines of survival.

Perfect 10: North America's 10 Most Memorable Hikes

Ten trails. Ten unmatched miles each. Get maximum bang for each boot step on hikes that our most-traveled contributors call their all-time favorites.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: SOTO Muka Liquid Fuel Stove

A stove that combines the versatility, power, and cold-weather performance of liquid fuel with the ease of no-priming-required canisters.

Rip & Go: Cranberry Loop - Monongahela National Forest, WV

Circle an upland swamp rich with views, solitude, and wild edibles.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Soto Muka Stove

A stove that combines the versatility, power, and cold-weather performance of liquid fuel with the ease of no-priming-required canisters.

Gear Review: Primus ExpressLander Liquid-Fuel Stove

A reliable, user-friendly cooker that's extremely lightweight for liquid fuel.

Rip & Go: Lake of the Clouds to Summit Peak - Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, MI

Hike a high escarpment above a northern forest and Lake Superior.

Local Hikes: Extend Your Season

Cooler days mean fewer crowds and bugs—and riots of leafy color. Here are 38 fall-weekend classics near you.

Rip & Go: Trapper Creek Wilderness Loop - Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA

Climb through towering evergreens to in-your-face Cascade views.

Case Study: Hypothermic on Mt. Washington

Name: Rachel Drayer, 24, and Matt Pierce, 24
Predicament: Hypothermia rescue in whiteout
Location: Mt. Washington, NH


Rip & Live: Spiders

Itsy bitsy? Sure, but spiders loom large in hiker phobias. They shouldn't: Only a few subspecies of the black widow and brown recluse can inflict enough damage to cut short a hike. Here's what you need to know about North America's most venomous spiders, from how to avoid them to treating their bites.

Rip & Live: Survive Spiders

Itsy bitsy? Sure, but only a few subspecies of the black widow and brown recluse can inflict enough damage to cut short a hike. Here’s what you need to know about North America’s most venomous spiders, from how to avoid them to treating their bites.

Gear Review: Jetboil Sol Ti Premium Cooking System

Jetboil’s Personal Cooking System (PCS) is fast, fuel-efficient, and foolproof, and this new titanium version is barely half the weight.

Deepest Daks

Journey through America's most accessible wilderness in search of untouched places, and you might just find peace of mind to match the lakes and hills.

Rip & Go: Godwin Trail to Inspiration Point - Shawnee National Forest, IL

Cross deep, vine-laced forests to bluff-top views over rivers and prairie.

Rip & Go: Two Gorges Loop - Gorges State Park, NC

Trace the watery divide between the Carolinas.

Saving Lives: When to Evacuate, First-Aid Essentials

Learn to decide when to walk out and when to stay put with a variety of backcountry medical ailments.

Rip & Go: Debsconeag Loop - Maine Public Reserved Lands, Nahmakanta Unit, ME

Cross the northeast's wildest moose country beneath fall's fiery canopy.

Perfect 10: Free PDF Trip Planning Guides

We've picked the top 10 miles of North America's 10 most memorable hikes. Find your way to wilderness nirvana with these map and planning guides.

Rip & Go: Stratton Loop - Lye Brook Wilderness, VT

Climb to an expansive view of green rollers that inspired two long trails.

Rip & Go: Hilgard Basin - Lee Metcalf Wilderness, MT

Climb to a wonderland of tundra, rugged peaks, and dreamy lakes.

A Piece of Quiet

America’s leading advocate of wilderness silence shows the way to Mt. Rainier National Park’s quietest corner. Plus: 9 more campsites with life-list listening.

Rip & Go: Three Sisters Loop - Lava Beds National Monument, CA

Discover hidden wonders in a cave-riddled wilderness.

Rip & Go: Horse Heaven Loop - Wyoming Range, WY

Discover a pocket of wildlife beyond Yellowstone's borders.

Rip & Go: Broken Top Loop - Deschutes National Forest/Three Sisters Wilderness, OR

Cross ancient lava fields on a lake-filled weekend.

Prof. Hike: Don't Get Lost, Have a Backup Plan

Bad things happen to good hikers. Everyone should have a smart back-up plan--or two.

Rip & Go: New England National Scenic Trail - Mt. Grace State Forest, MA

Walk deliberately into woods filled with waterfalls and stone walls.

Madman Walking?

Warren Doyle has hiked the Appalachian Trail 16 times, and he has a no-fee plan guaranteed to help others complete the 2,180-mile trek. The hardest part? Hiking with Warren Doyle.

Saving Lives: Prioritize, Plan, Protect, and Monitor

Once you've stabilized a backcountry injury or illness, the next step is to prevent the patient from worsening. Here's some key steps to take.

Saving Lives: Size Up the Scene and Identify Lethal Dangers

When an emergency strikes, your mind can go blank. These easy clues and rhymes will help you remember what do to first.

5 Steps to Saving Lives

How the pros treat an injured hiker

Prof. Hike: Leave Blisters in the Dust

Blisters are the most common on-trail injury, but blisters are also easy to prevent.

Ultimate Peak Planner

BACKPACKER and CLIMBING have teamed up to bring you a one-stop resource for scaling the best treks and technical climbs in the country.

Backyard Everests: Mt. Wilson

Navigate a vertical sandstone maze to guaranteed solitude on a high-desert summit.

Backyard Everests: Mt. Stuart

Scramble a sneak route to Rainier-worthy views-of Rainier and much more.

Backyard Everests: Stone Mountain

Top a Yosemite-like dome in a sea of green.

Backyard Everests: Mounts Webster and Jackson

Claim a rare feat on this classic-in-waiting loop.

Backyard Everests: Spruce Knob

Stand atop The Mountain State's most famous peak.

Backyard Everests: Mt. Alice

Feel like you've notched a first ascent.

Backyard Everests: Mt. Conness

Walk a scary-narrow rock fin to an airy summit.

Backyard Everests: Elephant Head

Tackle tricky terrain to gain a solitary alp.

Backyard Everests: Pfeifferhorn

Bag a stout weekend adventure-and vistas from the big lake to the High Uintas.

Backyard Everests: Lone Pine Peak, Inyo National Forest

Climb without crowds to the state's top mountain view.

Rip & Go: Tonahutu Loop - Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Cross elk-filled woods and bighorn- busy flats on this park's quiet side.

Rip & Go: Santa Rosa Island - Channel Islands National Park, CA

Venture off SoCal's coast for long beaches, hidden canyons, and sea life.

Rip & Go: Rocky Point to Round Lake - Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, MN

Glide through back-to-back lakes on a classic North Country canoe trip.

Summer Adventure Atlas: 50 Hikes / 50 States

When you're planning a weekend outing, you don't want good, you want the best. Well, here's perfect. These hikes tour the deepest backcountry, best views, and quietest wilderness areas in every state.

Case Study: Disaster on Katahdin

Name: Michael Hays Predicament: Shattered kneecap, dehydrated, starving Location: Baxter State Park Days lost 4

National Parks: Grand Canyon

Discover surprising solitude and endless vistas on an easy-access multiday trip between rim and river.

National Parks: Glacier

Rule #1 when planning a hike through this iconic park: Let your ambition match the scenery.

Summer Camping Secrets: At the Stove

Bake without an oven! Build your own spice kit! A DIY guide to dining while summer camping.

National Parks: Olympic

On a climb from the Hoh River's silty riffles to high-country glacier views, pass through a moss-hung rainforest that might be the lushest place in America.

National Parks: Grand Teton

Wade through wildflowers, listen to wolves, and escape the crowded trade routes in this secluded corner of the park.

National Parks: View Finder

Go ahead, look again. And again. These images are worth a third, fourth, and then a tenth gaze.

National Parks: Yosemite

Enjoy this legendary park (without the legendary crowds) on a four-day trip through the Clark Range.

National Parks: Yellowstone

A forgotten explorer's route leads to off-trail, high-peak adventure and bona fide solitude.

How To Slideshow: Improvise An Ankle Brace

Sprained or broken ankles are the most common injury for hikers and backpackers. Here's how to deal.

How To Slideshow: Build A Backcountry Knee Splint

Your hiking buddy torqued their knee? This simple splint can prevent further injury and let you both limp home.

Summer Trail Smarts

Get ready for your summer adventure with these these essential on-trail skills.

Backpacking 101: Summer Trail Smarts

Learn to tie a basic, but essential knot, staunch a bleeder, and purify water.

Tough Guy Challenge: Week 5

It's the final push. Complete the final week's challenge and get ready for next week's call to submit your video.

Editor's Note: New National Parks

The prognosis for naming new sanctuaries looks grim. Is our best strategy to vote a few misfits off the island?

Prof. Hike: The Backpacker's Reading List

Seven great books and the outdoor places to enjoy them

Local Hikes: Midwest

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

Local Hikes: Southeast

Hike these long trails in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida, and paddle three days in the Everglades backcountry.

Rip & Go: Long Path Loop - Harriman State Park, NY

Enjoy soaring views from open ridges on this easy-access overnight.

Rip & Go: Rockytop Loop - Shenandoah National Park, VA

Escape Skyline Drive to discover secret summits and hidden valleys.

Rip & Go: Twin Valley Trail - Five Rivers MetroParks, OH

Ramble along a wide river to quiet, old-growth hollows.

Summer Trail Smarts: Staunch a Bleeding Wound

Use these first aid techniques to control and treat a bleeding wound.

Tough Guy Challenge Week 4

We're down to the last two weeks of our five-week Tough Guy Challenge. Are you still hanging in there?

National Parks: Best of the Rest (Acadia to Zion)

Your life-list only starts with the top 10 parks. Our favorite hikes from the next 40 will fill it with glacier-edge paddling, desert-oasis exploring, and more.

National Parks: Great Smoky Mountains

For guaranteed solitude in the park's southwest reaches, explore this quiet loop during the off-season.

National Parks: Denali

Denali isn’t just for experts. These guinea pigs will prove it. Probably.

Going to Extremes

Can you ever really have too much of a good thing? Once you've seen the biggest tree, largest glacier, and deepest canyon, nothing else compares.

The High Life: Hiking Utah's Highline Trail

Watch your step on Utah' Highline Trail. The nonstop views and rampant wildlife are distractingly spectacular. Plus: Gaze away on 9 more elevated hikes.

Tough Guy Challenge Week 3

Week three of our five-week challenge will have you navigating obstacles and increasing mileage.

Rip & Go: Alamo to Capulin Canyon - Bandelier National Monument, NM

Climb across mesas and up canyon walls to a cave full of pictographs.

Rip & Go: Rock and Serene Lakes Loop - Mt. Hood National Forest, OR

Discover real wilderness just two hours from Portland.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

Hike these long trails in Montana, Idaho, Arizona, and Colorado, and raft an eight-mile section of the Arkansas River.

Local Hikes: West

Hike these long trails in Washington, Oregon, and California, and climb to a 10,064-foot peak in Angeles National Forest.

National Parks: North Cascades

Come for the sheer, glaciated peaks, but be mesmerized by rain-fed waterfalls that pour down on all sides.

National Parks: Capitol Reef

Discover a private paradise by crossing the park’s convoluted Waterpocket Fold.

Hiking Hells Canyon, ID

This remote chasm boasts big views, craggy mountains, abundant wildlife, and staggering solitude.

National Park Slideshows

See scores of stunning images from the Grand Canyon, Denali, Yosemite, and more.

Gear Guide 2011: Essentials

Welcome to accessory and apparel heaven: puffy jackets, stoves, windpants, knives, iPad apps, solar panels, GPS, hydration, first aid, socks, camp food, baselayers, and more.

Tough Guy Challenge Week 2

Build on week one's regimen by mastering even more survival and navigation skills and improving your overall fitness level.

Tough Guy Challenge Week 1

Rev up for the first week of our plan to make you the ultimate tough guy, or gal.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: TRAIL DINNER DATE

A backcountry setup for the maestro in the kitchen.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Optimus Terra HE Cook Set

A gourmet cook set for fancy feasts

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Jetboil Sol Advanced Cooking System

Smaller, lighter, and even better performing than the original

Mother's Day Gift Guide: MSR DragonFly Stove

Don't just boil water, cook up a masterpiece

How-To Slideshow: Learn to Tape a Sprained Ankle

This low-bulk bracing is used by sports trainers and wilderness medics to stabilize weak ligaments and discourage further injury. You can apply all sorts of extras like pre-wrap liners, ankle pads, and skin adhesive, but here's the down and dirty trail version.

2011 Be A Mapper Contest Official Rules



Gear Review: Jetboil Crunchit

Easily puncture and crush spent fuel cans with this handy tool.

Gear Review: GSI Crossover Kitchen Set

Everything you need to cook up a feast in the backcountry.

Gear Review: MSR Alpinist 2 Cookpot

A 2.4-liter hard anodized aluminum cookpot.

Gear Review: Jetboil Sumo Cookpot

A 1.8-liter aluminum cookpot.

Gear Review: Soto Muka Stove

A white gas stove that doesn't require priming.

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits' S.O.L. 3 Survival, Medical & Gear Repair Pak

A first aid kit that can handle way more than blisters.

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits’ S.O.L. 3 Survival, Medical & Gear Repair Pak



Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits’ S.O.L. 3 Survival, Medical & Gear Repair Pak



Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker Pad

The Trekker is a more affordable descendant of the NeoAir, which won our Editors' Choice Award in 2009.

Almost Editors' Choice

5 near-perfect pieces of gear in our 2011 Editors' Choice testing

Get Higher: Best Firetower Hikes

For sheltered scenery high above the trees, there's no better place than a fire tower. Try one of these editor-approved hikes to backcountry rooms with a view.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

Hike Denver's lost wilderness, a twofer of peaks in Idaho, lava tubes in New Mexico, Zion's sneak route, and Bozeman's trout-filled lake.

Hike. Pray. Protest.

Does God love camping? A new church movement foot-soldiered by wilderness-loving young people could transform the way conservative Christians perceive and protect the environment. We hit the trail with the new green evangelicals.

Lighten Up: Losing Weight by Hiking

Make one simple resolution–to hike more –and we guarantee you'll lose that spare tire around the middle. Here's the proof, the plan, and the inspiration.

The Wrong Way: Top 52 Hiker Mistakes

Your guide to 52 common mistakes hikers make--and how to avoid them.

Right Place, Perfect Time: An Oasis in California's Desert Peaks

Peakbag in the White Mountains—without lugging in water.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Olympic's Spring Waterfalls

Hike through a wild water park in Enchanted Valley.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Aurora Borealis

Notch the best northern lights show in the Lower 48.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Frazil Ice

Witness a river of slush flow through Yosemite Valley.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Geminid Meteor Shower

See shooting stars from a five-star backcountry observatory.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Best River Paddle

Hit Idaho's Owyhee River just right, and you get one of the West's best paddles to yourself.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Monarch Butterfly Migration

See these colorful flutters fuel up for the long flight to Mexico.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Showiest Fall Colors

Hit the leaf jackpot on these classic footpaths.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Golden Eagle Gathering

Soar with the world's largest migration.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Brightest Wildflower Bloom

Wait for El Nino and cruise through mesmerizing fields of seldom-seen desert blossoms.

Local Hikes: Southeast

Ascend Rocky Top in Tennessee; spot herons and Pelicans in a Florida bayou.

Local Hikes: Midwest

Discover east Texas's longleaf pine forest; see the Boundary Waters on foot.

Rip & Go: Turkey Creek Trail

Hike through three ecological zones in east Texas's carnivore country.

America's Best-Kept Secrets: Wind River Range, WY



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Gila Wilderness, NM



America's Best-Kept Secrets: John Muir Wilderness, CA



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, MT



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Dark Canyon Wilderness, UT



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness, WA



America's Best-Kept Secrets: White Cloud Mountains, ID



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Eagle Cap Wilderness, OR



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Linville Gorge Wilderness, NC



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Eagles Nest Wilderness, CO



America's Best-Kept Secrets

The only thing better than enjoying the life-list scenery in the country's premier national parks? Getting that same scenery, minus the crowds. Find it in these 10 backcountry hotspots, along with no-hassle permits, choice campsites aplenty, and solitude to match the world-class terrain.

Local Hikes: West

See California dunes, Nevada red-rock canyons, Alaska's deep forest, quiet Oregon Coast, and Washington's Cascade lakes.

Rip & Go: Pine Tree Loop

Paddle to shoreline solitude, then perch on dunes above the Atlantic Ocean in Maryland's Assateague Island National Seashore.

Rip & Go: Goldmyer Hot Springs - Snoqualmie NF, WA

Track beneath waterfalls and icicle-hung trees to a soothing soak.

BACKPACKER MAGAZINE Digital Editions and APPS

From the iPad to the iPhone and Android, check out these BACKPACKER mobile apps.

Gear Review: Ultra Light Kettle Co. mKettle

A cool way to boil and carry water, all in one package.

Special_Section Pagination Test

Subtitle Subtitle SubtitleSubtitleSubtitleSubtitleSubtitleSubtitleSubtitleSubtitleSubtitleSubtitle

Rip & Go: Thunderhead Loop

Hike from forest floor to a rocky ridge linking twin summits in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Gear Review: MSR Universal Canister Stand

An easily packable pot stand that will end tipping.

March 2011 Table of Contents



Trip Finder: West

Your favorite western hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: Lyell Canyon, Yosemite

Escape front-country crowds on a trek to the park's idyllic interior.

Our Backyard: Joshua Tree National Park, California

Climb, hike, and camp in Joshua Tree National Park.

Readers' Choice: West

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

Readers' Choice 2011: America's Best Hikes

The undisputed local experts—you—chose the top parks, trails, campsites, and weekend getaways from Alaska to Alabama.

2011 Reader Photo Contest Winners

These six winning shots represent the best photos we saw all year from you, our readers.

Reader Rated: Weekend Warrior Gear

Get comfort and convenience with these four well-priced picks.

How-To Slideshow: Adjust Your Trekking Poles For Varying Terrain

In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you the proper height of trekking poles for various types of terrain.

How-To Slideshow: Boot Lacing for Maximum Comfort

In this guide, we show you methods for lacing your boots to prevent blisters and maximize comfort.

Gear Review: Primus Eta Solo Stove

Complete kitchen in an easy to pack compact package

Print & Go Weekend Trip Planners

Free Print & Go PDFs give you turn-by-turn trail instructions and photos embedded on a usable topo map. Also: gear checklists, driving directions, and geo-references for finding the nearest campground, restaurant, gas station, and grocery store.

Trip Finder: Southeast

Your favorite Southeast trips—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: Approach Trail Loop, Chattahoochee National Forest, GA

Relax in a hiker-friendly lodge at the Appalachian Trail's southern tip.

Our Backyard: Everglades National Park

Paddle to a beach-camping paradise in the Everglades.

Readers' Choice: Southeast

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

Trip Finder: Southwest

Your favorite Southwest hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: McKittrick Canyon

Soak up high-desert views amid the Lone Star State's tallest peaks.

Trip Finder: Great Plains

Your favorite Great Plains hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: Big Piney Trail

Roll from dark hollows to dolomite ridges in the Ozark highlands of Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest.

Stove Buying Guide

What’s your cooking style? In this guide, gear editor Kristin Hostetter walks you though all the camp stoves options, so you can pick the type that best matches your needs.

Our Backyard: Black Hills National Forest

Explore the wildest corner of the Great Plains.

Readers' Choice: Great Plains

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Great Plains states.

Our Backyard: Glen National Recreation Area

Explore slots and marvel at arches in Glen Canyon.

Rip & Go: Big Creek Loop

Hike from a wildlife-choked river valley to soaring mountain views.

Rip & Go: McCargoe Cove to Rock Harbor

Hike among moose and wolves on this two-day escape to Isle Royale National Park.

Trip Finder: Alaska

Your favorite Alaska hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Trip Finder: Appalachians

Your favorite Appalachians hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Trip Finder: Northwest

Your favorite Northwest hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Readers' Choice: Appalachians

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

Rip & Go: Devil's Path

Conquer the rocks, ridges, and ravines on the East's toughest trail.

Trip Finder: Northeast

Your favorite Northeast hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Our Backyard: Denali National Park

Explore Denali's top dayhikes, photo ops, and epic wildlife treks.

Our Backyard: Trinity Alps Wilderness, CA

Follow trail-savvy locals to nine sweet spot in the Trinity Alps Wilderness.

Readers' Choice: Great Lakes

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

Readers' Choice: Northeast

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

Our Backyard: Chequamegon National Forest, WI



Our Backyard: Green Mountains

Nine ways to see Vermont's Green Mountains

Readers' Choice: Rockies

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

Trip Finder: Rockies

Your favorite Rockies hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: Four Pass Loop

Like peaks, lakes, and wildflowers? You'll love this Rockies classic in White River National Forest.

Our Backyard: Glacier National Park

Trek through grizzly terrain in Glacier National Park.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Under $150

Stay connected, warm and well fed, with these staple gift ideas.

Time-Tested Gear: Essentials

Apparel, cookware, stoves...swimsuits?

Rip & Go: Enchantment Lakes Basin - Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Discover a hidden basin filled with wildlife, lakes, and granite peaks.

Rip & Go: Crow Pass Trail - Chugach State Park, AK

Cross the west edge of the Chugach for glaciers, bears, and wildflowers.

Readers' Choice: Northwest

The undisputed local experts—you—choose the top parks, trails, campsites, and weekend getaways in the Northwest.

Readers' Choice: Alaska

The undisputed local experts—you—choose the top parks, trails, campsites, and weekend getaways in Alaska.

Reader Rated

Extra gear reviews from our January 2011 Reader Test Team reports.

Gear Review: Vargo Titanium Hexagon Wood Stove

A wood or pellet-burning stove that doubles as windscreen.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Hybrid Trail Cookset

An all-in-one titanium kitchen kit.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Crab LI Stove

A sturdy stove with claw-like appendages that grab most surfaces.

Gear Review: Coleman All-in-One Cooking System

A propane system that takes camp cooking to a whole new level.

Rip & Go: King's Canyon CA, Grand Canyon AZ, Shenandoah VA

From routes to food to post-hike brewski, we've got your weekend backpacking plans dialed. This week, we've got three killer adventures in Kings Canyon, Shenandoah, and the Grand Canyon. Ready? Read. Rip. Go!

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Best Winter Trips

We traveled to Fjordland and discovered that nothing compares to skiing glacier-clad mountains above deep-water fjords. Plus: 20 winter adventures, from California to New York.

Top 25 Winter Trips: United States

Find the best skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter camping trips in the U.S.

Best Winter Trips: 10th Mountain Division Huts, Colorado

Get backcountry spoils--snorkel-deep pow on remote Rockies peaks--with frontcountry comforts (warm fire and hot toddies, anyone?) in this famed hut system. More than 350 miles of trails wind through prime winter terrain, connecting the 31 full-service cabins.

Best Winter Trips: White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Few places serve up fierce, unpredictable winter weather quite like Mt. Washington, the 6,288-foot capstone of New Hampshire's White Mountains. Battle hurricane-force winds--and 20-plus feet of annual snowfall--while tackling the East's best mountaineering, or choose from hundreds of miles of snowy trails for a lower elevation romp.

Best Winter Trips: Teton Range, Wyoming

Towering 7,000-plus feet above Jackson Hole, the Tetons wrest more than 30 feet of snow from passing storms and pile it thick on road-accessible slopes.

Best Winter Trips: Mt. Rainer National Park, Washington

The granddaddy of the Cascades looms above Seattle like a great white beacon for snow junkies. The mountain's 25 major glaciers hold enough ice to bury Manhattan 150 feet deep, and some of the planet's highest recorded snowfalls guarantee powder for all. Paradise, the park's winter epicenter, has year-round road access.

Norway: Tested

Traverse a Glacier: On Norway's west coast, ancient ice scapes offer an otherworldly adventure.

Best Hikes Ever: Northville-Placid Trail, Ny

Explore the Adirondack's valleys.

Best Hikes Ever: Willow Gulch, UT

Explore resurrected sandstone slots.

Best Hikes Ever: Olympic Traverse, WA

Go from rainforest to glaciers.

Best Hikes Ever: Redwood Creek Trail, CA

Feeling small among the world's tallest trees.

Wyoming Hikes

Go high and wide in Wyoming's untamed range.

Best Hikes Ever: Boundary Waters, MN

Immerse yourself in Minnesota's liquid wilderness.

Long Trail Hikes

Traverse the first long trail in Vermont.

Best Hikes Ever: Sabino Canyon Trail, AZ

Hike to a natural day spa.

Best Hikes Ever: Four-Pass Loop, CO

See the Rockies' most iconic mountains.

Best Hikes Ever: Bucking Mule Falls Trail, WY

Watch a waterfall cascade from the sky.

Best Hikes Ever: Southern Traverse, AK

Tackle an epic adventure in the far north.

Best Hikes Ever: Wonderland Trail, WA

Circumnavigate the West's most majestic mountain.

Best Hikes Ever: North Vista Trail, CO

Aim upward for majestic views over an ancient canyon.

Best Hikes Ever: Ben Avery Trail, AZ

Trek a desert landscape under a purple sun.

Best Hikes Ever: Gospel Hump Loop Trail, ID

Find private valleys, mountain passes, and riverside campsites.

Best Hikes Ever: Duffer Peak Trail, NV

Ascend a remote summit pyramid far away from civilization.

Best Hikes Ever: Jenkins Mountain Trail, NY

Skirt lakes to soaring ’Daks views.

Best Hikes Ever: Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, AK

Find deep solitude where the continent crashes into a frigid ocean.

Best Hikes Ever: Falls Hollow Trail, VA

Hike through waterfall spray to a rarely summited grassy bald.

Best Hikes Ever: Chupadera Mountain Trail, NM

Rise from the desert floor to an airy, see-all perch.

Best Hikes Ever: St. Mary to McDonald Lake, MT

Hike lake to lake through bear central in Glacier National Park.

Best. Hikes. Ever.

We've covered 245,591 miles of trails in our 37-year history. Here are our 20 all-time favorite trips, plus—shocking!—20 routes we never covered.

Best Hikes Ever: Grand Island Loop, MI

Hike along bluffs and fern forests in total solitude on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Best Hikes Ever: Zion Narrows, UT

Sluice through towering walls of sandstone in Utah's Zion National Park.

Best Hikes Ever: Mt. Cabot Loop, NH

Bag a little-known triple crown in New England's northern woods.

Best Hikes Ever: Prairie Trail, ND

Weave around grassy meadows and mirror lakes.

Best Hikes Ever: Summit Lake Trail, CA

Backpack a knee-trembling route through an active geothermal zone.

Best Hikes Ever: Turkey Trail, KS

Snag views of swaying prairie grass stretching to the horizon.

Best Hikes Ever: Burr Oak State Park, OH

Traverse rolling hills to star-gazing meadows.

Best Hikes Ever: The Needles Traverse, CO

Forge your own route through the Rockies' most rugged corner.

Best Hikes Ever: The Lost Coast Trail, CA

Hike America's most punishing paradise.

Best Hikes Ever: Appalachian Trail, GA-ME

Thru-hike America's most revered long trail: the Appalachian Trail.

Best Hikes Ever: Denali, AK

Pick your pilgrimage through the backcountry Holy Land: Mt Eielson Loop or Kesugi Ridge.

Best Hikes Ever: Elk Trail, PA

Track through dense forests ringing with bugling.

Best Hikes Ever: Balsam Cap and Friday Mountain, NY

Brave thick forest to reach rugged twin summits.

Best Hikes Ever: Presidential Traverse, NH

Tag a team of the East's most challenging peaks in the White Mountains.

Best Hikes Ever: Logging Lake Trail, MT

Hike a forested, fire-scarred trail between two iconic pools.

Best Hikes Ever: Sandpiper Trail, SC

Emerge from crane-crossed coastal grasslands to pristine beaches.

Best Hikes Ever: Escalante Route, AZ

Plumb the wild depths of the Big Ditch.

Best Hikes Ever: Teton Crest Trail, WY

Traverse the nation's most photogenic range on the Teton Crest Trail.

Best Hikes Ever: John Muir Trail, CA

Step for scenery-packed step, nothing else compares to the John Muir Trail.

Reader Leader Contest Winner!

After sifting through scores of submissions, we've chosen a reader who will be an official BACKPACKER field scout.

The Peak: Mt. Marcy, Adirondacks, NY

Take the scenic--and sporting--route to New York's highest summit.

Natural Wonders: Hells Canyon, Bighorn Sheep, and Longleaf Pines

See North America's deepest river gorge, the west's most violent mating Display, and the Southeast's last longleaf pines.

Natural Wonders: Longleaf Pines, GA

Walk beneath trees that predate the Revolutionary War.

Natural Wonders: Sparring Bighorn Sheep

Witness bighorn rams' skull-bashing attempts to win a date.

Natural Wonders: Hells Canyon, OR/ID

Hike into North America's deepest river gorge--a canyon that could hold five stacked Sears Towers.

Top 3 Rainy Season Hikes: Neshannock Creek, PA

Cast a fly to land lunker brown trout.

Top 3 Rainy Season Hikes: Emerald Pools, UT

Explore Gushing, Rain-fed waterfalls.

Top 3 Rainy Season Hikes: Mill Creek, CA

Rains summon salmon and slugs.

Top 3: Rainy Season Hikes

Make the best of fall storms on trails that improve with soggy weather.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: The Press Traverse, WA

Cross the Olympic Range on a forgotten explorers' path.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Middle Fork Trail, NM

Trek along–and in–the Gila River.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Foothills Trail, SC

See bears, gorges, and waterfalls on this 77-mile South Carolina hike.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Resurrection Pass Trail, AK

This 39-mile Alaska hike offers big scenery without a bush plane.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Knobstone Trail, IN

Climb high (really!) in the Midwest.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Greenstone Ridge, MN

Traverse a seldom-hiked national park.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: West Coast Trail, BC

Tackle Vancouver Island’s wild coast.

High Sierra Trail, Ca: 50-Mile Thru-Hikes

Go straight to the top in the Range of Light.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Toiyabe Crest Trail, NV

Cross Nevada's loftiest range in 6-7 days.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Loyalsock Trail, Pennsylvania

A 59-mile "long trail" through Pennsylvania.

Less is More: 50-Mile Thru-Hikes

Ten point-to-point treks with the payoffs of a thru-hike, but hikeable in a week.

Survival: Injured with...No First-Aid Kit

You're hiking. You slip. You're hurt. But the first-aid kit is back in the car--12 miles away. What should you do?

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Backcountry Kitchen Accessories

Everything you need to stay sated in the backcountry.

Rip & Go: Mathews Arm Loop - Shenandoah National Park

Ramble through brilliant red and yellow fall foliage.

Rip & Go: Grandview Loop - Grand Canyon, South Rim

Descend to the Ditch's primitive core on a three-day loop.

Rip & Go: Paradise Valley - Kings Canyon National Park

Hike in the spray of waterfalls deep in the heart of black bear country.

Gear Review: Primus OmniFuel

Cook with just about any fuel with this versatile stove.

Coming Soon: BACKPACKER's Life List: The International Edition

Our free guide to the 20 best international hikes ever written about in the pages of BACKPACKER.

Gear Review: Joshua Tree Climbing Salve

Fight rough effects on your skin with this moisturizing climbing salve.

October 2010 Table of Contents



20 Best International Hikes: Sign Up for a Free Digital Download

BACKPACKER's Life List: The International Edition is a free guide to the 20 best international hikes ever written about in the pages of Backpacker.

Top 10 Page Turners: The Best Backpacker Stories Ever

Our editor-in-chief's picks for the finest writing in this magazine's history.

The Seven Deadly Sins (And Why We Love Them)

This classic roundup appeared in the June 2003 issue of BACKPACKER

Local Hikes: St. Louis, MO

The best local hikes near St. Louis.

Local Hikes: Knoxville, TN

The best hikes near Knoxville, TN.

Local Hikes: Spokane, WA

The best hikes near Spokane.

Local Hikes: Portland, OR

The best hikes near Portland.

Local Hikes: Anchorage, AK

The best hikes near Anchorage.

Local Hikes: Boise, ID

The best hikes near Boise.

Local Hikes: Portland, ME

The best hikes near Portland, ME.

Local Hikes: Rochester, NY

The best hikes near Rochester.

Local Hikes: Burlington, VT

The best hikes near Burlington.

Local Hikes: Philadelphia, PA

The best hikes near Philly.

Local Hikes: Manchester, NH

The best hikes near Manchester.

Local Hikes: Boston, MA

The best hikes near Boston.

Local Hikes: Pittsburgh, PA

The best hikes near Pittsburgh.

Local Hikes: Albany, NY

The best hikes near Albany.

Local Hikes: New York City, NY

The best hikes near New York, as selected by the Big Apple's best hiking clubs.

Rip & Go: Horse Mountain to Traveler Mountain - Baxter State Park, ME

Reach great granite heights on Katahdin's next-door neighbor.

Rip & Go: Watchtower to Sheephead Loop - Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, MT/ID

Have rocky ridges and sparkling alpine lakes all to yourself.

Rip & Go: Stuart Fork to Alpine Lake -Trinity Alps, CA

Discover the inner sanctum of California's second largest wilderness.

Top 3 Waterslide Hikes: West Clear Creek, AZ

Hike through a winding canyon, then cool off in a whitewater spa.

Ranger Confidential: Secrets of the National Park Rangers

True tales from the front lines--and behind the scenes--of America's national parks.

VIDEOS: Winter Test Fest

Video footage & backcountry skills tips from Backpacker's winter ski testing in Norway & Colorado.

September 2010 Table of Contents



BACKPACKER Editors' Choice 2007: MSR Reactor and Primus EtaPower

These cooking systems offer remarkable power, efficiency, and wind resistance to gourmet cooks and noodle boilers alike.

Print & Go: Heart Lake and Mt. Sheridan, Yellowstone NP

Experience the rugged side of Yellowstone on this two-day, 23.1-mile backpack. You'll track past steaming creeks and old-growth lodgepole on the way to a campsite near Heart Lake's rocky shoreline. On day two, rise early for the 2,800-foot climb to Mt. Sheridan's 10,308-foot crown.

Print & Go Weekend Trip Planners

Free Print & Go PDFs give you turn-by-turn trail instructions and photos embedded on a usable topo map. Also: Gear checklists, driving directions, and geo-references for finding the nearest campground, restaurant, gas station, and grocery store.

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.

Top 3 Trailhead Pub Hikes: Deschutes River Trail, OR

Hike streamside near pacific northwest greenery and caribbean-blue eddies.

The Peak: Mt. Mitchell

Enjoy solitude and fixed-rope scrambling on the East's highest mountain.

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: Explore Patagonia

Experience the thrill of being a pioneer: Trek to a remote corner of the globe.

New Life List: Summit a Himalayan Peak

The roof of the world is open to everyone, and your personal Mt. Everest is waiting.

New Life List: See a Grizzly

Coming face to face with the biggest predator in North America might just alter your worldview.

New Life List: Bag a Remote Peak

Stand alone atop Washington's Glacier Peak--a summit that others rarely see, let alone climb.

New Life List: Traverse a Mountain Range

Walking a high ridge with countless views and no people is the stuff of dreams. Make it real in Olympic National Park's Bailey Range.

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: Ultimate Family Paddling Adventure

World-class scenery, luxe camping, and easy paddling await your family on the Green River in Canyonlands. Your kids will remember this forever.

New Life List: Climb a Via Ferrata

Get a taste of the vertical alpine world--no experience required.

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.

20 Full Moon Hikes

The moon is full on Monday, July 26. Get out this weekend to explore open meadows and ridgelines at night.

My Toughest Gear: MSR PocketRocket

Online gear tester Will Rochfort weighs in on his toughest piece of backpacking gear to date–and how it has impressed the ladies.

Download BACKPACER Photo Wallpaper for Your Computer, iPhone, iPad, or Blackberry

Need instant inspiration? Download these BACKPACKER destination photos–Switzerland, Grand Canyon, & John Muir Wilderness–and get lost.

Rip & Go: Snowy Range Loop, Medicine Bow National Forest, WY

See snaggly summits and hook trout galore on a high-alpine trek.

John Muir Trail, Cherokee National Forest, TN

Contemplate the south's wild side on the trail that launched America's greatest wilderness champion.

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.

Fast Responders:The Medical Wilderness Adventure Race

In a Utah mash-up of adventure racing and wilderness medicine, everyone wins.

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.

High Note: Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with Rock Stars for a Cause

The only problem with cancer survivors and rockers joining forces for a fund-raising concert on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro? It's hard to cheer when you can't breathe.

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.

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.

Gear Review: First Ascent Mountain Guide Lite Pants

The fit, the fabric, and the details make these pants shine.

The Manual: Plan an Expedition

Go big with these expedition trip planning tips.

June 2010 Table of Contents



Gear Review: Monatauk Gnat Stove

This 1.6 oz. canister stove has our tester neglecting his regular go-to stove.

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: 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: 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.)

Zones: 6 Topographies, 18 Amazing Trips

Whether you're looking for Coastal, Canyon, Peak, Forest, or Urban hikes, we have those. Plus some paddling (Water) trips for good measure.

Zones: Forests

Hike amongst the trees in these Washington, California, and Vermont hikes.

Zones: Peaks

Hike high points on Mt. Rainier, Mt. Washington, and Mt. Whitney.

Zones: Canyons

Marvel at Mother Nature on these canyon hikes in Utah and North Carolina.

Zones: Coastal

Hug the coastline in these Michigan, California, and British Columbia hikes.

Zones: Water

Hit the water, and see plenty of wildlife and scenic views, on these paddling trips in Alaska, Florida, and Minnesota.

Colorado Trail: Find Solitude

How to beat the crowds and find solitude in the Rockies

Water: Boundary Waters, MN

Looking for animals? This Minnesota paddle is a sure bet.

Water: Ten Thousand Islands Loop, FL

See the Everglades by boat on this 23 mile trip.

Water: Muir Inlet, AK

Paddle along Glacier Bay's dynamic shores.

Coastal: Nootka Trail, British Columbia

Hike Canada's Pacific Coast harbor on this British Columbia trail.

Coastal: Pictured Rocks Lakeshore, MI

Hike Lake Superior's shoreline in this 12+ mile hike.

Coastal: Lost Coast Trail, CA

This 26-mile trek along California's coast should have been a highway...except it was too riddled with cliffs to build on.

Canyon: Davis Gulch, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, UT

This picturesque Utah hike features natural arches and ancient petroglyphs.

Canyon: Linville Gorge Loop, NC

Head to Asheville, North Carolina for this beautiful gorge loop.

Canyon: Narrows of the Virgin River, UT

Hike, swim, and scramble in this 16-mile slot canyon route.

Peak: Mt. Washington, NH

If you don't mind the potential of extreme weather and wind, Mt. Washington is your hike.

Peak: Mt. Whitney, CA

Check out the Mountaineer's Route of Mt. Whitney if you're looking for a challenge.

Peak: Mt. Rainier: Disappointment Cleaver Route

This challenging climb on Mt. Rainier gains almost 2,000 feet per mile.

My Island, My Map: Creating a Custom Map of Bainbridge Island

If you think you missed the age of exploration and discovery, you haven't tried the latest mapping tools. Join our tech scout as he learns how to hike like a cartographer--and sees the wilderness in an entirely new way.

Grand Canyon: Treasure Map

Score your own private paradise with this insider's guide to uncrowded areas in Grand Canyon National Park.

Forest: Giant Forest Loop, CA

See giant sequoias, including General Sherman, on this great family hike.

Forest: Hoh River Trail, WA

This Olympic National Park trail features serious elevation gain and switchbacks galore.

Forest: Monroe Skyline, VT

This 15-mile section of the Long Trail traces the spine of Vermont's Green Mountains.

Urban: The Vegas Strip, NV

This 5.3 mile sunset tour of Vegas takes in all the sights and sounds.

Urban: Manhattan, NY

If you don't mind the crowds, hiking Manhattan is urban hiking at its finest.

Urban: Walt Disney World, FL

Hike Disney's Magic Kingdom with the family.

Table of Contents: May Maps Issue 2010



Gear Review: Gear Aid Repair Kits

Whether it's a torn pack, cracked buckle, ripped tent mesh, or leaky sleeping pad, these kits can pretty much restore anything that breaks.

Be A Backpacker Map Correspondent

Become an official BACKPACKER Map Correspondent and get FREE GEAR!

OFFFICIAL RULES: BE A BACKPACKER MAPPER CONTEST

The official rules for entering and winning prizes in our "Be A Mapper" Contest.

'BE A BACKPACKER MAPPER' GIVEAWAY: Official Rules

Official rules for "Be A Backpacker Mapper" Giveaway

Hike America's Long Trails

We know. You've always wanted to hike a long trail. Lucky for you, we've got the comprehensive guides to make your dreams a reality. Check out the best sections and dayhikes along the AT, PCT and CDT. PLUS: See how four hikers beat the recession...by hiking through it.

Meet the Backpacker.com Gear Test Crew

We pulled these four guys off the streets, eh, the trail, to test some of the compelling and crazy products that come across our desks everyday.

Gear Review: Z-Medica QuikClot Sport

Stop big bleeds fast.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Photo Galleries

Catch the best views in the nation's marquee parks from the comfort of your computer. Prepare to drool...now.

Gear Review: Ultimate Survival Technology BASE Kit

This light survival kit has all the essentials.

Toughest Gear: MSR XGK-EX Stove

A masterpiece of no-compromise indestructibility.

BACKPACKER Editors' Toughest Gear

Thirty indestructible gear picks from two decades of hardcore field-testing.

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: Elemental Herbs Sport SPF 22 Tinted

Get all-day protection without the greasy white tint with this chemical-free sunscreen.

Gear Review: Elemental Herbs All Good Goop

This healing balm soothes cracked skin, dry lips, and minor cuts and burns.

Gear Review: Soto OD-1R Micro Regulator

Finally, a canister stove that thrives in cold weather.

Gear Review: Primus Express Spider

With a low center of gravity and a wide, stable burner, this stove is perfect for big groups or melting piles of snow.

Gear Review: JetBoil Flash

With great fuel efficiency, quick boil times, and a small packed size, this stove is ideal for campers who need hot water fast, without the fuss.

Editors' Choice 2010: Soto OD-1R Micro Regulator Stove



Gear Review: EZ Grill

A disposable grill for backcountry feasts

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits Day Tripper

A handy, all-inclusive first aid kit

Ultralight First-Aid

Build your own superlight first aid kit

Gear Review: Optimus Terra HE

A great two-pot cookset

Gear Review: Evernew Aluminum Ceramic Non-Stick Deep Pots

A ceramic coated cook pot with a fry pan lid

Gear Review: Smartshield SPF 30 Spray with Insect Repellent

An all-natural sunscreen with bug repellant

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits Blister Medic

Stop blisters in their tracks.

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits Heatsheets Emergency Bivy

A light emergency bivvy sack

National Parks Center

We've collected the best hikes, most amazing photos, and mind-blowing videos for the ultimate National Park planning center. Get inspired and get hiking now!

Natural Wonders: Smallest Deer, Frozen Waterfall, and Death Valley's Wildflowers

Three treks to life-list phenomena from Death Valley to Colorado.

Top 3 Luxury Hikes

Hit the trail, then hit the oh-so-soft mattress at one of these hiker-friendly lodges.

Ultimate Rocky Mountain Destinations

Disappear into Yellowstone's forgotten peaks. Bag Colorado's most exciting Fourteener. Hike Utah's unknown long trail Our field editors pick 24 epics for your Rockies life list.

The Big Easy: Backpack Alaska

Plan your perfect Alaskan trip–from a budget-friendly weekend to an entry-level expedition–with field reports from Steve Howe.

The Rangers are Watching: Webcams in Yellowstone

Are wilderness webcams good for the backcountry–or bad for privacy?

Thru-Hiking the Recession

The upside to being downsized? Having time to hit the nation's long trails.

Higher Love: Father & Daughter Climb Mt. Chamberlin

On a remote Arctic peak, a father and his teenager encounter the hardest of all human challenges.

Fly Fishing Mystery Alaska: A Fish Story

Imagine an Alaskan paradise with trout bigger than your leg, bears, and caribou traipsing by camp, and no people–except your good friends. This place exists, we just can't tell you where it is.

Destination Alaska: Castner Glacier

Witness the effects of climate change on a challenging trek in the Delta Mountains.

Destination Alaska: Devil's Pass

Easy routefinding and life-list sights make this thru-hike a must for Alaska novices.

Destination Alaska: Grizzly Pass

Hike to a private paradise deep in the Talkeetna Mountains.

Destination Alaska: Harding Icefield

Hike a classic in Kenai Fjords–and escape the crowds by making it an overnight.

Destination Alaska: The Goat Trail

Tackle an epic route through Chitistone Canyon in Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve.

Destinatons Alaska: Johnson Pass

Hike a historic, kid-friendly trail to wildflower meadows and fish-filled lakes.

Destination Alaska: Flute Glacier

Just minutes from town, score big scenery fast on the South Fork of Eagle River.

Destination Alaska: Lost Lake, Chugach Mountains

Bring plenty of supplies to this alpine plateau in the Chugach Mountains–you'll want to extend your stay.

Destination Alaska: Thompson Pass

See the awesome Valdez Mountains on this off-trail adventure to Point Odyssey and beyond.

Rip & Go: Big Moose Mountain - Maine Public Reserved Lands Little Moose Unit, ME

Hike to an historic fire tower and camp beside secluded ponds.

Rip & Go: Soldier Creek Loop - Fort Robinson State Park, NE

Explore an unknown Nebraska wilderness for a surprising dose of rolling hills, wildlife, and solitude.

Rip & Go: Dewey Point - Yosemite National Park, CA

Discover the rewards of winter camping on this easy snowshoe trek.

Southern Rockies: Truchas Traverse, NM

Hit three 13,000-foot peaks in the wildest wilderness south of Glacier.

Southern Rockies: Wheeler Peak, NM

Climb to the crown of the Sangre de Cristo Range.

Southern Rockies: Twilight Peaks, CO

Explore a secret wonderland in the West Needle Mountains.

Southern Rockies: Continental Divide Trail, CO

Hike high on this above-treeline route through the Weminuche Wilderness.

Central Rockies: Green River Lakes, WY

Hike to the heart of the Winds.

Central Rockies: Highline Trail, UT

Discover Utah's best-kept secret.

Central Rockies: Longs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park

Climb this iconic summit on an uncrowded sneak route.

Northern Rockies: Gallatin Skyline, Yellowstone National Park

Go high for the see-it-all hike in this iconic park.

Northern Rockies: Dawson Pass Loop, Glacier National Park

See the best of Montana without the crowds.

Northern Rockies: Moose Creek, Grand Teton National Park

Find solitude with this surf-and-turf trip.

Northern Rockies: Thompson Peak, ID

Climb the high point of the Sawtooth Mountains.

Northern Rockies: Imogene Pass Loop, ID

Swim, climb, nap–repeat. This Sawtooths trek has it all.

The Peak: Mt. Tamalpais, CA

At Mt. Tam you'll find wilderness solitude with Pacific views only 20 miles from San Francisco. Plus, there's a beer garden.

Natural Wonders: Death Valley's Wildflowers

Trek through lush fields that thrive on just two inches of annual rainfall.

Natural Wonders: Colorado's Tallest Frozen Waterfall

See a 365-foot cascade turned to ice at Bridal Veil Falls.

Luxury Hikes: Amicalola Falls SP, GA

Trek to an off-the-grid bunkhouse.

Luxury Hikes: Muleshoe Ranch, AZ

Discover a desert oasis.

Luxury Hikes: Navajo Lake Trail, CO

Hike to a hot springs and private cabin.

Editors' Choice 2010 Videos: Hiking the Swiss Alps

Hike Switzerland's Via Alpina route with the Backpacker editors in our video series.

Editors' Choice 2010: Switzerland Photo Slideshows

View stunning vistas and snowy passes in these photos of Switzerland's Via Alpina route. Included: the Eiger, the Wetterhorn, and Jungfrau Glacier.

Reader Essays: Close Encounter

Paula Patterson learns how to share the trail–but not her tent–with the wildlife.

Reader Essays: Yogi, Meet the Kids

Finding it hard to get the whole family out for a hike? Let Danny Griffs show you the way.

Your Favorite Places: Readers' Choice Trips 2010

Who knows the secret trails and must-do classics in every corner of the country? Our teams of regional experts, recruited from the ranks of readers like you. Here are their top hikes from coast to coast.

Midwest Readers' Choice Hikes

Mississippi river vistas, ocean-size grasslands, and guaranteed solitude.

Mountain West Readers' Choice Hikes

A weekend in Glacier, a quiet 14er, and the Rockies' best hot springs.

Northeast Readers' Choice Hikes

A state high point, killer foliage, and a hike loaded with waterfalls

Northwest Readers' Choice Trips

Crashing waterfalls, hidden lakes, and a choice Denali view highlight the 2010 Northwest Readers' Choice hikes.

Southeast Readers' Choice Hikes

Colossal trees, sweet swimming holes, and the USA's best picnic spot.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes

The world's prettiest shoreline, giant pines, and Yosemite's premier view.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes: Kalalau Trail, HI

Hike Hawaii's all-world coast to a secluded beach.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes: The Ruby Crest Trail, Humboldt NF, NV

Explore lonely alpine scenery in this off-the-radar wilderness.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes: Thru-hike the John Muir Trail, CA

Trek 211 miles through hiker heaven.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes: California's Giant Sequoias, Sugarbowl Loop, Kings Canyon NP

Take a lightly trafficked trail into the word's biggest grove.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes: Sentinel Dome, Yosemite NP

Bag a granite peak with big views and small crowds.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes: Lakes Trail to Pear Lake, Sequoia NP

Get a highlights tour of the High Sierra backcountry.

Readers' Choice Southeast Hikes: Ramsey Cascades, Great Smokies, TN

See big water, massive trees, and tiny amphibians.

Readers' Choice Southeast Hikes: Mt. Rogers NRA, VA

Celebrate the arrival of summer with an unrivaled circus of color.

Readers' Choice Southeast Hikes: Max Patch Bald, NC

Have a picnic on one of the Southeast's biggest balds.

Readers' Choice Southeast Hikes: Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald, TN

Bag four scenic peaks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Readers' Choice Southeast Hikes: Thru-hike the Florida Trail

See wild, historic surprises in the Sunshine State.

Readers' Choice Southeast Hikes: Raven Ridge - Blackbird Knob Loop
Dolly Sods Wilderness, WV

See a Great White North south of the Mason-Dixon.

Readers' Choice Northwest: Golden Larches - Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

See this deciduous pine turn electric-yellow.

Readers' Choice Northwest: Wahtum Lake, OR

Find primo lakeside camping on a rainforest-to-alpine loop.

Readers' Choice Northwest: Lost River Range, ID

Want guaranteed peace and quiet? Hike to two of the Lower 48's most remote alpine lakes.

Readers' Choice Northwest: South Spur, Mt. Adams, WA

Climb the Northwest's tallest nontechnical volcano.

Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainier National Park

This classic alpine loop belongs on every backpacker's tick list.

Readers' Choice Northwest: Hannegan Peak and Copper Ridge - North Cascades NP, WA

Enjoy unparalleled views from one of the country's finest skyline trails.

Readers' Choice Northeast Hikes: Ricketts Glen State Park, PA

22 falls in a one day. Need we say more?

Readers' Choice Northeast Hikes: Panther Gorge and Mt. Marcy, Adirondack Park, NY

Bag New York's high point and two other big peaks.

Readers' Choice Northeast Hikes: Bernard Mountain, Acadia National Park, ME


Hike to a crowd-free view of the ocean.

Readers' Choice Northeast Hikes: Vermont's Green Mountains Foliage

Ogle fiery color in the Green Mountains.

Readers' Choice Northeast Hikes: Maine's 100-Mile Wilderness

Explore the Appalachian Trail's wildest stretch.

Readers' Choice Northeast Hikes: Burroughs Range Loop, Catskill Mountain Preserve, NY

Scramble to the Catskills' highest peaks.

Readers' Choice Mountain West Hike: Santa Maria Spring, Grand Canyon NP

Gaze into the world's most beautiful labyrinth.

Readers' Choice Mountain West: Mr. Bubbles, Yellowstone NP

Relax in an effervescent bath far from the dayhiking crowds.

Readers' Choice Mountain West Hike: West Maroon Pass, CO

Trip through kaleidoscopic color amid high-alpine splendor.

Readers' Choice Mountain West: Mills Lake, Rocky Mountain NP

Get big payoffs on an easy hike.

Readers' Choice Mountain West: The Colorado Trail

Thru-hike America's highest trail.

Readers' Choice Mountain West: Gunsight Pass, Glacier NP

See the park's famed glaciers from a high mountain pass.

Readers' Choice Midwest Hikes: Nachusa Grasslands, IL

Explore a vast, trail-free prairie.

Readers' Choice Midwest Hikes: Aurora Borealis Isle Royale NP, MI

See the country's best light show.

Readers' Choice Midwest Hikes: Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, OK

Bushwhack into what very well might be the quietest spot in America.

Readers' Choice Midwest Hikes: Effigy Mounds National Monument, IA

Climb to views of the mighty Mississippi River.

Readers' Choice Midwest Hikes: Ice Age Trail, WI

Thru-hike one of the country's least-known National Scenic Trails.

Midwest Reader Map Team



Readers' Choice Midwest Hikes: Garden of the Gods to Lusk Creek Canyon, Shawnee NF, IL

Hike the River-to-River Trail over rugged ridges, through narrow canyons, and into small caves.

Reader Essays: Grandpa's Lesson


William G. Godlove discovers that even a short hike can last forever.

Reader Essays: Wilderness Served

James Dammar dishes up some brotherly love on Isle Royale.


Reader Essays: Great Smokies Solitude

Greg Hoover shares his secrets for finding quiet on the busiest trail in the country's busiest park.

Reader Essays: Timber!

Jon Heaton and his son survive a deadly Yellowstone windstorm.

Reader Essays: If Clark Griswold Went Camping ...

The trip would start like this, imagines Wayne Wright.

Reader Essays: Going in Circles

Reece Price finds himself lost and alone in the desert.

Reader Essays: Hold Your Fire

Robert DeNike demonstrates how NOT to greet a bear.

Reader Essays: Stampede!

Caught between a goat and a hard place? Don't move, says Daniel Claar.

Reader Essays: Bullfight!

John Joy goes fist-to-nose with an invasive species.

Reader Essays: My First, Worst Trip

New to hiking? Brian Simpson 
has a foolproof plan for doing it all wrong.

America's Worst Trail: A Love Story

Is the reward always equal to the effort? Uh...maybe, says this bloodied, bruised, and bandaged reader.

Inspirational BACKPACKER Readers

Meet five of BACKPACKER's most inspirational heroes–they're also readers.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: Risk Factors

Most common backcountry injuries.

The Five-Star Camp Kitchen

Car camping? Here's the ultimate setup for any chef.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: Evacuate or Wait for Rescue?

Your buddy just slid down a steep scree and broke his leg. Should you go for help–or haul him out? It's a tough call. The answer depends on several factors. Here's how to decide.

Rip & Go: Iron Mountain Loop - Mount Rogers National Recreation Area

Lose the leaf-peeping crowds on this quiet ramble above Virginia's loftiest canopies of color.

Rip & Go: Sage Creek Loop - Badlands National Park, SD

Explore off-trail in a wilderness with more bison than boot prints.

Rip & Go: Badwater Basin to Gold Valley - Death Valley National Park, CA

Don't waste winter: Tackle this cross-country canyon trek in the Lower 48's largest national park.

Injury-Proof Your Legs

Loosen up–and stay pain-free–with resistance stretching.

Protect Your Vision in the Backcountry

Here's how to prevent–and treat–three common backcountry eye problems.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: Stay or Go?

Use this chart to determine if you can finish your trip–or should hightail it to the ER.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: What to Pack

Construct a solid emergency kit with these medical must-haves.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: First Aid Improv

"Be prepared" is a great maxim, but be honest: Who among you packs a SAM splint and an irrigation syringe on every backpacking trip? Fear not–everyday items can serve as medical equipment in a pinch.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: Extreme First Aid

When you're miles away from medical help and it's serious: Here's how to handle extreme injuries in the backcountry.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: Muscles & Bones

Sprains, strains, and fractured bones. Here's what to do in the case of a distressed limb.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: Environmental Threats

As much as we try to protect ourselves from extreme elements, sometimes the elements hedge even our greatest efforts. Here's what to do when Mother Nature wins.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: Heavy Bleeding

Check out what to do when it's much more than a simple scrape or puncture wound.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: Dental Emergencies

Soothe tooth pain with these helpful remedies.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: Gastrointestinal Illness

Ugh. It's happened to us all. Here's how to handle a bad belly when you're away from far from home.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: Animal & Insect Bites

Though we love backcountry wildlife (well, mostly), sometimes we get no love back. Read up on what to do when Mother Nature bites.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: Minor Wounds

No wound, now matter how minor, should go ignored in the backcountry. Check out these quick tips to clean it up and keep trekking.

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual

Treating injuries miles from the ER is an essential skill. But don't pack a medical text: Instead, learn what really matters. Wilderness Medicine Institute cofounder Buck Tilton boils down a lifetime's worth of experience into 62 tips every hiker should know. Read it, save it–and go forth to save lives.

National Parks Hall of Fame

The all-time best. That's what every hiker wants on a national park trek, and that's what you'll get if you tackle one of these 25 trips.

Natural Wonders: Blowholes, Salmon Runs, & Wine Country

Hawaii's Nakalele blowhole rivals Old Faithful. Plus: Trek to Oregon's salmon run and California's wine country.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Solitude

If less people, more elk has become your mountain mantra, check the Guadalupe Mountains backcountry camping sites and trails and get that so sought after alone time.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Loop

Don't go up, go around. Rainier's Wonderland Trail loop offers the marathon hiker two weeks of backpacking bliss.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Park Finder

Zero in on your perfect hike, from thrilling slots to soak-awhile hot springs.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Alpine Hike

Live longer, take the North Circle Route. Glacier's highcountry views and crisp alpine air are rumored to add years to a backpacker's being.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Dayhike

Beat the crowds by tackling this classic dayhike by moonlight.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Canyon

The Tanner Trail in the grandest of U.S. canyons is a camping classic.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Wildlife

Who ever said out of sight, out of mind was certainly not referring to the wealth of wildlife that are making some big noise in Thorofare Valley.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Cross-Country Adventure

Traverse alongside delicate ecosystem, open tundra and hit nine summits on this "grand slam" of cross-country treks.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Wildflowers

Smelling the flowers doesn't require slowing down your trek (though you might want to) through the explosion of wildflowers that cover the Great Smoky Mountains each year.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Coastal Hike

Swap summits for sand scrambling along nearly 18 miles of quiet coastal terrain.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Peak

No crowds. No frills. No cakewalk. This hang-on-for-your-life climb is not for the meager-hearted.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Ranger Rated

No one knows the national parks better than the rangers who patrol them. We polled a bunch of insiders on their favorite national park sights, sounds, and tastes.

Gear Review: Lafuma Futura Clipper Chair

Kick back, throw your feet up and enjoy this super comfy camp lounger.

Gear Review: Lodge Logic Deep Dutch Oven

Cook almost anything in this burly outdoor oven.

Gear Review: REI Weekend Cooler

Keep your weekend fixings cool with this soft, spacious cooler.

Gear Review: GSI Infinity 4 Person Deluxe Tableset

This sturdy four-person mess kit boasts more than pretty colors.

Gear Review: Kelty Kitchen Sink

On dish duty? This portable basin makes scrubbing easy.

Gear Review: Coleman Fold N Go Grill

Interchangeable cooking surfaces make this compact stove a cook's backcountry dream

Climber, Guide, Gear Geek: Gear Design Advice from Peter Whittaker

Calling all equipment designers: Everest summiteer and Rainier veteran Peter Whittaker has some advice.

Fall Foliage Photo Special

Learn how to take the perfect fall foliage photo with our tutorials and slideshows.

BACKPACKER 3D Trail Flyover Videos

Fly these classic hikes in 3D with our guided tours.

America's Scariest Trails: What are You Afraid of?

Haunted mountains? Vanished campers? Bloodthirsty creatures? An evil wind that lures hikers over a waterfall? We dare you to hike America's scariest trails.

America's Scariest Trails: Really, I Saw it Myself

True tales from BACKPACKER editors and readers

America's Scariest Trails: Bloodthirsty Creatures

Bigfoot? He's a softy compared to the other menacing monsters lurking in the woods near you.

America's Scariest Trails: Vanished

Lost? Murdered? When the wilderness swallows people without a trace, who's to say what happened?

America's Scariest Trails: Supernatural Sights

Alpine views and starry skies are nice, but on these unsettling hikes you might see something really stunning.

America's Scariest Trails: Tragedy in the Grand Canyon

When bodies can't be buried, do their spirits ever rest? Hike to the scene of this wreck and find out.

America's Scariest Trails: Yosemite's Supernatural Wind

Go ahead and hike to this park's famous lakes and waterfalls. Just watch your step–and your back.

America's Scariest Trails: Mt. Washington's Phantom Crowds

Never let your guard down on this deadly peak, where the weather–and spirits–are unpredictable.

America's Scariest Trails: Big Bend's Deadly Past

With more than 200 murders recorded here, it's no wonder the Chisos Mountains are named for ghosts.

The Lost Boy of the Ozarks

After three decades of silence, a reporter reveals the story he was afraid to write.

BACKPACKER First Aid Center

From splinting a broken leg to duct taping a bloody wound, the BACKPACKER First Aid Center is an invaluable resource for backcountry first aid.

Bushwhackers Wanted: Portland's Forest Park to the Pacific Ocean

Be the first to thru-hike an exploratory route from Portland to the Pacific.

A 2,175-Mile Dayhike: Trekking the Appalachian Trail in One Day

The Dartmouth Outing Club targets an Appalachian Trail hiking record.

Your Daily Tread: Local Hikes Across the U.S.

What's better than hiking every weekend? Hiking every day. Here are the best big-city escapes from New York to Los Angeles. Plus: Bill Donahue explores the remote reaches of Portland's Forest Park and discovers secrets even locals don't know.

The Wild Edge: Exploring Portland's Forest Park

When urban trails blend with raw wilderness, the sum is much greater than the parts.

Quick Escapes: 10 Trails Near Major Cities

The perfect metro-area trail: close, wild, uncrowded. Here are 10 major city options.

Rip & Go: 10,000 Islands Loop - Everglades National Park, FL

Kayak to pocket beaches and Gulf islands at Florida's southern tip.

Rip & Go: Wood Lake - Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, MT

Cross the Stillwater Plateau to trout-rich ponds at the foot of Montana's second highest peak.

Rip & Go: Loowit Trail - Mt. St. Helens National Monument, WA

Tackle a challenging, rocky route in the shadow of America's most famous volcano.

The Peak: Mt. Le Conte, TN

It's not the tallest peak in the Smokies, but spend a night on its summit (no tent required), and you'll agree it's the finest.

Natural Wonders: Freaky Bats, Dry Falls, Winter Witch Hazel

Washington, Arkansas, and Georgia are host to these three life-list phenomena treks.

Top 3 Battlefield Hikes

Close your eyes and hear the bullets fly: These three routes pass through parks drenched in United States military history.

Watch It, Hike It: An Episode-by-Episode Guide to The National Parks: America's Best Idea by Ken Burns

Catch these highlights from The National Parks: America's Best Idea, then download maps to hike to them yourself.

National Parks Confidential: Q & A with Filmmaker Ken Burns

On the eve of his much-anticipated documentary, Ken Burns discusses the heroes and history of America's most precious wildlands–and the new challenges they face now.

Insider's Guide: Yellowstone

From camping with wolves to fly-fishing smarts this insider's guide has you covered.

Vanishing Act: Explore Yellowstone's Northern Fringe

Disappear into Yellowstone's secret northern fringe, where you'll find a rejuvenated landscape and total solitude (except for the bison and grizzlies).

Recipe: Sesame-White Bean Potato Cakes

These potato cakes are heavy on the carbs–and taste.

Recipe: Italian-Style Potatoes

Spice up boring potatoes with some summer sausage, brown sugar, and tomatoes in this Italian-inspired dish.

Recipe: Wasabi Potatoes with Salmon

The wasabi adds a kick to instant potatoes, while the salmon is a perfect protein source.

Out of Africa: Interview with Ultrahiker Justin Lichter

In an attempt to hike the continent's wild divide, one ultrahiker does something he's never done–quit.

Gear School: Liquid Fuel Stoves

These workhorse cookers are ideal for long expeditions, cold weather, and foreign adventures.

Undiscovered Hikes: 19 New Trails

Hike these paths before the masses find them.

Footprints Needed: Colorado's Undiscovered Black Canyon

Descend into Colorado's Black Canyon and explore a park that has everything–life-list scenery, challenging terrain, a revitalized river–except hikers.

Rip & Go: Black Balsam Knob to Cold Mountain - Pisgah National Forest, NC

Trek 18.2 miles from the South's best view to its most famous mountain.

Rip & Go: Wheeler Peak Loop - Wheeler Peak Wilderness, NM

Connect alpine lakes and tag three summits on this wildflower- and wildlife-packed loop.

Rip & Go: Loon Creek to Horseshoe Lake - Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, ID

Explore a supersized wilderness that's home to Idaho's densest population of gray wolves.

How to Lead a Summit Hike

Keep a group of peakbaggers safe with these field-proven tips.

The Manual: How to Explore a Slot Canyon

Explore these redrock mysteries safely with expert tips on gear and technique.

The Peak: Windom Peak, CO

Take a historic train to the trailhead and climb this Colorado beauty, nestled deep in the Weminuche Wilderness.

Natural Wonders: Tallest Hoodoo, Largest Gators, Lost Maples

These three treks to life-list phenomena will take you to Bryce Canyon, Florida gator land, and fall foliage in the Texas desert.

Top 3 Family Dayhikes

Pack up your brood for a day in the outdoors with these kid-friendly trails.

Insider's Guide: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

From secret spots to the perfect campsites, this insider's guide has the goods on the Smokies.

Time Travel: Hiking Historical Homesteads in the Smokies

A unique route linking historic homesteads yields an exciting Smokies adventure for hikers and history buffs alike.

Higher Education: Should 13-Year-Old Jordan Romero Climb Everest?

Romero climbed Denali at 11 and has bagged five of the Seven Summits. He hopes to climb Everest in 2010, but is mountain climbing good for a growing kid?

Vote on America's Best Trail

For our 2010 Readers' Choice issue we want to know your favorite trail in America.

Backpacking Alaska: Glaciers, Wildlife, & Peaks On Every Corner

During a one-month August journey, BACKPACKER undertook multiple crowd-free Alaskan backpacking routes and returned with extensive photos, video, & GPS.

Rip & Go: Five Mountain Loop - Adirondack High Peaks, NY

Trek to the trail-free summits of Macomb, Hough, and The Dixes

Rip & Go: Paintbrush-Cascade Canyons Loop - Grand Teton National Park

Climb through bear country to a campsite with views of The Grand.

Rip & Go: Spider Glacier - Glacier Peak Wilderness, WA

Stroll through wildflower-filled meadows to a frozen slice of the Cascade Range.

Top 3 Perfect Substitute National Forests

Get national park-caliber scenery without crowds (or entry fees!) in these dead ringers for Great Smoky Mountains, Zion, and Yosemite.

The Peak: Mt. Rainier

From the best guiding service to ultimate summit routes, Washington's highest peak is still the greatest.

Insider's Guide Rocky Mountain National Park

From the top day hike to the key skills you'll need, we'll have you ready for the Rockies in no time.

Full Circle: The Rocky Mountain Grand Loop

Follow a long-forgotten loop in Rocky Mountain National Park across the Continental Divide, through moose-infested meados, and up Longs Peak via a rarely climbed route.

Eat Your Medicine: Natural Pain Relievers

Three pack-friendly snacks that soothe tired, overworked muscles.

Which Water Treatment is for You?

Fast, hassle-free, ultralight,–we explore five different water treatment scenarios and the right system to use.

How to Avoid Mosquito Bites

Stay itch-free this summer with these guide-tested tips.

The Smokies' Homesteads: Exclusive Google Flyover Video and Tracklog

Marcus Woolf explores history and wilderness during a six-day trip through the Smokies.

Yosemite Rescue Dogs: Could This Dog Save Your Life?

Kristin Bjornsen hikes into the Sierras to meet Gus, a new breed of highly trained rescue professional that's already patrolling Yosemite for lost and injured backpackers.

Professor Rescue: Q & A with SAR Statistician Robert Koester

By crunching numbers on the thousands of lost hiker cases in the backcountry each year, Robert Koester hopes to keep you on track.

August 2009 Table of Contents



Canned Heat: Stove Reviews

Tiny. Featherweight. Simple. Affordable. From the windy peaks of Colorado's Rockies to the icy summits of New Hampshire's Presidentials, these canister stoves kept us fat and happy.

The Kitchen Sink: Backcountry Cookware Reviews

Everything you need to eat well in the backcountry.

Weekend Planner: Go High-Tech

Go wireless, get dialed in, and navigate like a pro with these gadgets.

Weekend Planner: Bring the Kids

Follow our fool-proof three-stage guide to getting your kids as psyched as you are about getting outside.

Weekend Planner: Pack Less

Get outside earlier and faster by taking less with you. Here's how to ditch excess gear and pack light, tasty food.

Weekend Planner: Join Others

Team trips will help get you outside faster than solo outings.

Weekend Planner: Organize Your Gear

If you want to hit the trail before everyone, you'll need to get your gear in gear. Here's how.

Weekend Planner: Work Smarter

A little thought and planning in the office can put you on the trail earlier than everyone else. Get started with this primer from productivity experts.

BACKPACKER's Ultimate Weekend Planner

We guarantee you can triple your trail time this summer. How? Our step-by-step guide solves every challenge–work overload, gear chaos, no partner, family demands–so you can enjoy more of what you live to do every weekend: hike.

America's Newest Wilderness

A quick guide to the best acres, trails, and views.

Hike It, Save It: Red Buttes, Oregon/ California

Threatened by OHVs, logging, and overgrazing a 120,000-acre proposed addition to Red Buttes Wilderness would quintuple its size and benefit the Pacific Crest Trail.

Hike It, Save It: Tumacacori Highlands, Arizona

Urban sprawl and local opposition lead the threats to this 84,000-acre tract of Coronado National Forest.

Hike It, Save It: Seneca Creek, West Virginia

A two-day, 17-mile zigzag along blueberry-lined mountain ridges will give you a dose of the 24,000-acre "Crown Jewel of the Monongahela," threatened by oil and gas drilling.

Hike It, Save It: Handies Peak, Colorado

The biggest threat to his critical gap between the Weminuche and Uncompahgre Wilderness Areas? Off-highway vehicles.

Hike It, Save It: Upper Desolation Canyon, Utah

Oil and gas development threaten these 65,000 acres. Float the Green River to see what's at stake.

Hike It, Save It: Utukok Uplands, Alaska

On the Brooks Range's Arctic slop, coal mining and oil and natural gas drilling are threats to half a million caribou, and the Arctic's highest concentration of grizzlies.

Hike It, Save It: Scotchman Peaks, Montana/Idaho

Development, bureaucracy, and apathy threaten this Glacier-like mecca, home to grizzlies, fields of beargrass, and superlative alpine hiking.

Hike It, Save It: Chestnut Ridge and Tracy Ridge, Pennsylvania

Oil drilling and vacation homes threaten on of the last Chestnut tree bastions, a 5,191-acre proposed Wilderness Area in the Allegheny National Forest.

Hike It, Save It: Maine's Grafton Loop

The thread to this Down East trail? Vacation homes. Passing through roughly 10 miles of private land that has yet to be protected, wilderness designation could neutralize the looming threat.

Hike It, Save It

It's never been easier to help save the wilderness–no donations, no petitions, no pulaski swinging required. The only thing you have to do is go backpacking.

Rip & Go: Eagle Rock Loop - Ouachita National Forest, AR

Climb riverside bluffs in the South's oldest national forest.

Gear Review: Evernew Color Ceramic Non-Stick Deep Pots

Camp cooking and cleanup goes much faster with Evernew's ceramic-coated pots.

Gear Review: Evernew EL9 Solar Clip Light

This sustainable light gives cap-wearers a viable headlamp alternative.

Gear Review: Soto Micro Regulator Stove

This stove comes tailor-made for winter campers and high-altitude mountaineers.

Gear Review: Brunton Raptor Stove

Few stoves are tougher or more stable than the Brunton Raptor.

MSR Pocketrocket Stove Review

This tiny, fast stove performs great in poor weather.

Gear Review: Optimus Crux Lite Stove

The Optimus Crux Lite is meant for backcountry foodies who need precise cooking control.

Gear Review: Primus Express Stove

If you need speed, this boil-test champ is your stove of choice.

Gear Review: Snow Peak LiteMax Stove

Extremely lightweight and versatile, this stove can handle just about anything.

Sleep Better Now: Improve Your Backcountry ZZZ's

Our restless guinea pig snooze-tested the latest science and gear to bring you a simple plan that's guaranteed to improve your backcountry ZZZ's.

Kings of the Hill: Q & A with Ed Viesturs, The Whittakers, Seth Waterfall, Dave Hahn, & Melissa Arnot

Three generations of American mountaineering royalty discuss their sport, their fears, and their new mission: design great gear.

Backcountry Tooth Care

Treat dental problems–from minor to major–with these tips.

The Biggest Loser: Hikers That Get Lost

Search-and-Rescue guru Robert Koester creates a quick profile of the average victim and his behavior.

Perfect Substitutes: Crowd-Free Destinations

You know that the big-name parks draw big-time crowds. But each of those outdoor icons has a lesser-known replacement that offers some of the same classic features and epic scenery–and you get it all to yourself.

The Mosquito Truth: Behind the Bite

Get the bug dope ready: The bloodthirsty mosquito is heading your way this summer.

Hike Forever: Ultimate Hiking Workouts

The secret to long-term health and fitness? Reap backpacking's many benefits–a strong heart, lean muscle, superior endurance–through every stage of your life. Here's how.

America's Best Day Hikes: Midwest

Beaches, wildlife, and prairies in Minnesota, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Ohio, North Dakota, Kansas, and Illinois make the Midwest a hiker's paradise.

America's Best Dayhikes: Northeast

From blueberry picking in New York and New Hampshire to pure solitude in New Hampshire and Maine, moose sitings in Vermont, and peaks in New York, these the hikes feature the best of the Northeast.

America's Best Day Hikes: Southwest

From canyons to rock art to waterfalls, the Southwest has an abundance of natural beauty.

America's Best Day Hikes: South

Take is stunning rivers and waterfalls, killer views, and amazing wildlife in Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Texas with these hikes.

America's Best Day Hikes: Rockies

With alpine views, hot springs, wildflowers and wildlife, these hikes in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana offer the best of the Rockies.

America's Best Dayhikes

From dawn-to-dusk epics in Utah canyons to lazy-picnic blueberry strolls in Maine–plus hikes to peaks, redwoods, hot springs, beaches, and more–here are 100 ways to spend a perfect day on the trail.

Insider's Guide: The Grand Canyon

From dayhikes to weekends to weeklong hikes our Grand Canyon expert will have you ready to hit this natural wonder in no time. PLUS: Get dialed with essential skills.

Depth Perception: Trek to Grand Canyon's Royal Arch

The best view in the Grand Canyon can't be seen from the rim. Brave the trek to Royal Arch, hidden deep in the gorge, and your world will never look the same.

Rip & Go: Glen Camp Loop - Point Reyes National Seashore

Hike across forested hills to gape at ocean vistas just one hour north of San Francisco.

Rip & Go: Bowen-Baker Loop - Never Summer Wilderness, CO

Get national park scenery without the crowds on an alpine overnight with lakeside camping.

Rip & Go: Jacks River Trail - Cohutta Wilderness, GA

Disappear into the largest–and probably the wettest–wilderness east of the Mississippi.

Climb This Peak: Katahdin

This iconic summit shouldn't be rushed. Save the experience on this 33-mile trek.

Hike the Wind River Range

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

Yosemite's North Rim: Exclusive Google Flyover Video & Photo Slideshow

Kelly Bastone hiked a long-forgotten trail through Yosemite's North Rim and documented the trek on video, in photographs, and using GPS.

Readers' Choice 2010: Submit Your Favorite U.S. Hike



Video/Blog: Kings of the Mountain--Ed Viesturs, the Whittakers and more

Ed Viesturs, Peter Whittaker, Dave Hahn, and young guns Seth Waterfall and Melissa Arnot are joining forces to create a new line of gear and attack Mount Everest.

Gear Guide 2009: Weeklong Packs

Heading out for a long haul? With these backpacks, you'll have the room you need for long trail comfort.

Gear Guide 2009: Weekend Packs

From this year's Editors' Choice winner to the ultimate organizational wonder, these weekend packs are perfect for heading to the hills Friday to Sunday.

Gear Guide 2009: Daypacks

Heading out for the day? We have your can-do ultimate daypack. From the best bargain to the lightest on the market, these packs have everything you need.

Gear Guide 2009: 3-Person Tents

From the most headroom to the best deal, three isn't a crowd with these tents.

Gear Guide 2009: Tarps

All you need is a roof over your head you say? A tarp might be just what you're after.

Gear Guide 2009: Mountaineering Tents

Head to the high-country with these altitude-ready tents.

Gear Guide 2009: 1-Person Tents

Going solo? Options abound with these 1-person tent choices.

Gear Guide 2009: 2-Person Tents

From the most innovative to the most eco-friendly, pitch one of these 2-person tents for your home away from home.

Gear Guide 2009: Heavy-Duty Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Light-Duty Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Mid-Duty Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Tents

Home improvement: The best new shelters are roomy and light, thanks to innovative pole structures that expand space and reduce weight and bulk.

Gear Guide 2009: Backpacks

How do we know this year's packs are lighter and more comfortable than ever? We spent the last 12 months lugging loads from Denali to the 'Daks to bring you the 32 best.

Gear School 2009: Essentials

From sleeping pads to trekking poles, we'll have you good to go in no time.

SOUTH
Special Survey: Best Cities to Raise an Outdoor Kid

Accessible national forests like the George Washington and Jefferson surround national park gems like Great Smoky and Shenandoah in a southern terrain that varies dramatically from Florida's Everglades to West Virginia's wilderness.

Vote Now! What's the Best City to Raise an Outdoor Kid?



Get This Gear: Essentials From A to Z

We tested more than 500 products–stoves, clothes, cameras, filters, tech tools, knives, and meals–to find these proven performers.

Ridge Runner

Undeterred by injuries that would cripple most men, a Colorado hiker nears the halfway point in a pioneering attempt to thru-hike the true crest of the Continental Divide. In this extended online interview, Dunmire talks about his gear essentials, near misses, and the challenges that lay ahead as he continues to trace North America's spine.

Get An Edge on Knife Safety

A knife expert's guide to blade selection and safety

The Cure: Treating Frostbite

Frostnip and frostbite are poetic names for a serious health issue: frozen skin. Frostnip occurs when the first layer of skin freezes, creating pale blotches on the affected area (usually the fingers and toes). If unchecked, the condition deepens into frostbite, in which multiple layers of skin freeze. Frostbite turns the flesh white and makes it feel solid to the touch. It often causes permanent tissue damage, and in rare cases requires amputation.



Ethiopia Backpacking Trips

Explore secret Africa on an alpine wildlife safari.

Polar Route, Greenland

See sheer-sided fjords, calving glaciers, and the northern hemisphere's largest ice sheet.

Rolwaling And Khumbu Valleys, Nepal

Experience the magic of the remote Himalaya.

Sarek National Park, Sweden

Lose yourself in Europe's last great wilderness.

Overland Track, Australia

Explore a hiker's fantasy island on Tasmania's rough-and-wild long trail.

Cordillera Apolobamba, Bolivia

See the Andes the way Cortez did–totally wild.

Tongariro Northern Circuit and Heaphy Track, New Zealand

Discover the best of Kiwi wilderness–north and south–with these two hikes.

Austria Backpacking Trips

Score classic Alps scenery, adventure, and hut culture without the classic crowds.

Higher Calling: Adventure in Valencia, Spain

Spain's little-known Valencia region beckons the mountain-minded adventurer with dramatic topography, sun-drenched hiking and biking, and sumptuous end-of-day feasts.

Hike the Classics

It takes a certain kind of trail to earn such a lofty title. But our top 10 deliver unrivaled scenery, challenge, local culture, and most of all–fun.

Stateside Adventures: Closer Than You Think

A veteran traveler discovers a world of adventure in his backyard.

Globetrotter: Leo Le Bon, the Godfather of Trekking

In this interview the founder of adventure travel dishes on his favorite wild places, oddest encounters, and the world's next great trekking destinations.

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.

Travel Like a Pro: For the Extreme Traveler

Bound for one of the globe's most exotic locales? Thrive in any environment with these tips.

Travel Like a Pro: How to Stay Healthy

Tackle everything from jet lag to malaria (and those pesky mosquitoes) with our guide to staying healthy abroad.

Travel Like a Pro: What to Do When You Get There

Start your adventure right with these tips on getting to the trailhead and keeping in contact once you get there.

Travel Like a Pro: Tips for En Route

Leave that fuel canister at home, and other tips to consider when you're packing for your international adventure.

Travel Like a Pro: What to Do Before You Leave

Don't suffer through a poorly planned trip: Use our tips to choose a destination and create a to-do list to begin your adventure.

The World's Best Unknown Treks

We've traveled to 10 countries and uncovered the best adventures you never knew existed.

Review: Adventure Medical Kits SmartTRAVEL First Aid Kit

From stings to dehydration, this fully-stocked kit has everything you'd need to handle a medical issue, even when overseas

Passport Protection: Aloksac ShieldSak Review

This tech-saavy passport sleeve protects your documents from radio wave scanners

Camera Pack: LowePro CompuRover

LowePro CompuRover is the outdoor photographer's best friend.

Traveler's Daypack: Patagonia Scramble 35

For a rough day on the trail, wear Patagonia's stable Scramble 35 daypack.

All-In-One Luggage: High Sierra Overpass Wheeled

Roll, carry, or tote around your gear with the versatile High Sierra Overpass Wheeled bag.

Classic Duffel: The North Face Base Camp Series

The North Face Base Camp Series duffel is reliable through the worst dragging, zipper-yanking and rain.

Lightweight Roller: Granite Gear Ultraflight 115

Durable and lightweight, the Granite Gear Ultraflight 115 will keep you rolling.

International Multisport Meccas: Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador

Trek across the roof of the Andes, mix in some trail riding–on bike and horseback–and climb a 19,000-foot volcano.

International Multisport Meccas: Julian Alps, Slovenia

Traverse the unknown end of the Alps–by trail, canyon, and cliff face–on this demanding journey in and around Triglav National Park.

Wilderness Wonders: Hottest Geysers

Superheated water sprays from Yellowstone ground.

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.

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: Darjeeling, India

Trek between Buddhist villages, raft Himalayan whitewater, and ride an elephant in the shadow of 8,000-meter peaks.

International Mulitsport Meccas: Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Float, backpack, and mountain bike Canada's wild west coast.

February/March 2009 Table of Contents



Poll: What's Your Favorite National Park?



Readers' Choice Awards 2009

Discover the best hike in every state, as voted by BACKPACKER readers. Plus: your essential gear, most desirable tentmate, worst-ever adventure movie, and our picks for the best reader-submitted photos.

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.

Reindeer Games: Tracking Caribou in the Slate Islands

Happy coincidence for wildlife-loving paddlers: Canoes and woodland caribou converge like nowhere else on Earth in Ontario's Slate Islands. PLUS: See video of caribou on the move.

Pioneering Frostbite Treatment

One Minnesota doctor and his team have discovered a new treatment that reduces the need for amputations.

Hiking with Chronic Conditions

Have one of these three common health problems? Stay safe on the trail by taking sensible precautions.

Survive This: Frostbitten Feet

Frostbite is bad news. Learn how to safely treat frozen feet.

What's the Most Packable Firearm?

The Trip Doctor reveals what works better against grizzleis than buckshot.

Trek Copper Canyon Rim to Rim

Hike North America's deepest canyon

Life List: Climb Mt. Whitney

Climb the Lower 48's highest peak on a route with all of the thrills but none of the crowds.

Best Damn Weekend Ever: See California Condors in the San Rafael Wilderness

We'll show you how to see these majestic birds in the wild.

Where Can I Find the Best View of the Northern Lights?

You guessed, it, you need to head North. Here's where you'll get the best view of the Northern Lights.

Quick Fix: Dayhike Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Plunge from rainforest to caldera in Hawaii's famously explosive national park

Mr. Haugen's Highpoints

Denver teacher Mike Haugen sets a new state summits speed record–fifty state highpoints in less than 50 days!

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.

Pack Man: The Appalachian Trail Guru

Thirty miles up the trail from Springer Mountain, Winton Porter shelters and feeds thru-hikers–and works tirelessly to slash their pack weight.

Thoreau Slept Here: The Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail

Maine's newly minted Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail tracks the famous naturalist's 1800s expeditions. Good news: It's still wild.

Little Big Houses: Three-Season, Double-Occupancy Shelters

At right around two pounds per person, these three-season, double-occupancy shelters do everything but weigh you down.

Trip Doctor: Rent Gear for Newbies?

I'm organizing my first group trip. Can I rent gear for newbies who may not be ready to buy?

The Works: Snowshoe the Sierra

Pick your own path to an empty 14er.

Life List: Raft And Hike The Grand Canyon

Explore hidden gorges and spy rarely seen wonders on this three-week raft trip designed specifically for hikers.

Quick Fix: Big Bend National Park

Scout for gold–and desert views–amid this Texas park's spray of late-fall foliage.

How to Do Everything - Cooking

Eat like a pro with our recipes for every course.

How to Do Everything - First Aid & Health

Close a wound, remove a tick, prevent poison ivy rash, and more essential tips.

How to Do Everything - Gear

Patch a tent hole, layer for extreme conditions, clean your stove, make an old bag warmer, and more.

How to Do Everything - Camping

Find water anywhere, make a fire in five minutes, learn secrets for battling mosquitoes, and more.

How to Do Everything - Packing & Planning

We'll show you how to be ready to the the trail in 20 minutes, guaranteed. Now gear up!

ESSENTIAL OUTDOOR SKILLS SPECIAL: How to Do Everything

Want to be a better hiker? Look no further. Our comprehensive guide is packed with the backcountry secrets that separate average campers from true wilderness experts.

Tell a Great Ghost Story: How to Scare People and Win Friends

Wouldn't it be cool if you could turn your friends into mewling, terrified--I mean, wouldn't it be cool to be able to tell a great ghost story on your next camping trip? Here's how.

Terror in the Trees

Ghost stories always seem scarier beside a flickering campfire. So, dim your headlamp and scoot up closer: our writer-at-large explores the ghoulish beginnings of these age-old tales and shares a few of his all-time favorite blood-curdlers. We dare you to read on.

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?

Life-or-Death Decisions - Caught in a Storm

When a storm comes out of nowhere, learn how to handle the unexpected.

Life-or-Death Decisions - Injury

Learn how to plan and react when and unexpected injury creeps up on you.

Life-or-Death Decisions - Lost

How did you get here? How can you get out? Staying found starts at home.

Life-or-Death Decisions

Survival depends on more than dumb luck–to live to see another day, you must correctly navigate a tricky series of choices. Here's how to do it when the consequences couldn't be higher.

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.

3 Ways To Save: Adventure Racing

Adventure racing isn't for those without high pain thresholds, but here's three ways to cut down on the inevitable hurt.

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.



Thru-Hike The Roadless Sierra

Thru-hike the most remote miles in California's range of light



Above & Beyond

The world's tallest tree towers above a secret location deep within the lush, tangled backcountry of Redwood National Park. Determined to find this giant, our correspondent discovers something more incredible than he ever imagined.

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.

Never Fear: The Phobias

Use this step-by-step guide to beat 7 common backcountry fears. Plus, ideal hikes for overcoming–or avoiding–the source of your scare.

Never Fear: The Fix

Conquer any fear with this DIY guide to applying a proven treatment plan called cognitive- behavioral therapy. Think of it as training for the mind.

Never Fear: Q&A with Barbara Rothbaum



Never Fear: How to Beat Backcountry Phobias

Don't let groundless phobias ruin–or even prevent–your backcountry adventures. Here's a foolproof plan for overcoming your terrors.

Health News: Breathe Easy

What to know about hiking with asthma

How to Rescue an Injured Hiker

Your partner can't go on. Should you stay–or go for help?

Survive This: You're Wet & Cold

Here's how to avoid hypothermia.

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



How to Score Denali's Choicest Permits

The system was rigged, says a former ranger. Here's how to beat it.

Denali National Park

Hike with grizzlies in this remote northern corner of Alaska's greatest park.

Yellowstone National Park

America's first national park is a playground for grizzlies, wolves, moose, and hikers (not in that order).

Olympic National Park

Explore two ecosystems in this hinterland of moss-draped forests, ancient trees, and snowcapped peaks.

How to Light a Campfire in the Smokies

Trees, trees are everywhere, but sometimes there isn't a dry twig in sight.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Graze blueberry patches, explore swimming holes, and tag the South's high points on this sultry hike.

How Your Kid Can Save a Park

Send him out on a work trip. Let wilderness do the rest.

Grand Canyon National Park

Drop into America's belly on a little-known hike that dips in and out of four different canyons, each blessed with gurgling spring water.

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.

Yosemite National Park

Climb classic Sierra passes, ogle granite monoliths, and camp above treeline in John Muir's second home.

Glacier National Park

Scramble up class III peaks and cross late summer snowfields on this strenuous but straightforward trip through Montana's big-mountain country.

National Parks Lifelist: Intro



National Parks Lifelist

The ultimate vacation in one of America's iconic parks requires the ultimate hiking plan: classic scenery, no crowds, and secret campsites. Here's how to spend a perfect week in Glacier, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Olympic, Denali, and the Great Smoky Mountains.

Health News: Get Naked!

And other ways to prevent tick-borne infections

Canyon Confidential: Utah's Grand Gulch

To discover the best-kept secrets in Utah's Grand Gulch, you need to start at the bottom.

Quick Fix: Apostle Islands

You don't need a boat to see this spectacular national lakeshore. Here's how to explore the best of its bluffs and beaches by foot (and paddle).

Is Inadequate Funding the Main Problem Facing the National Park System?

This question fuels the debate regarding how to help the aging national park system improve.

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.

Searching for Solitude: Mark Jenkins Photos and Interview

In "Destination Nowhere" (September 2008), Mark Jenkins explores the most remote wilderness location in the continental United States–a top-secret spot in Yellowstone. See his trip photos and read an interview with Jenkins where he discusses the assignment.

Big Trips Made Easy: Hayduke Trail, UT

Finding total Southwest solitude

Big Trips Made Easy: Glacier Peak Wilderness, WA

Exploring a high, wild corner of the North Cascades

Big Trips Made Easy: Allagash Wilderness Waterway, ME

Floating a liquid maze in the Northeast's lake-riddled forests

Big Trips Made Easy: High Sierra, CA

Rambling a granite redoubt

Hike It: 4 Big Trips Made Easy

Ready to dial up the adventure meter? Try out your digital skills–and go places most people can't–on these life-list journeys.

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.

Health News: What's in Your Bottle?



The Specialist: Heat Doctor

Stay cool with expert tips for boiler days.

Thru-Hike the Tahoe Rim Trail

Spectacular lake views, granite-edged trails, and surprising solitude will make you want to go in circles on the Tahoe Rim Trail.

The Onion vs. Mr. Magoo

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

National Park Vacation Planners: 3D Videos and Downloadable Beta

3-D hike videos, complete trip planner pdfs, our interactive ParkFinder tool, and more.

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 Cure: First Aid For Fido

Dogs can get hurt on the trail just like you. Here's how to treat 5 common problems.

Keep Your Feet Happy

Long-distance runner Russell Secker feels your foot pain–and he knows how to get rid of it.

Prime Your Pump

You can't hike with a bum ticker–follow these heart-healthy strategies to stay on the trail longer.

Paddle and Hike Voyageurs National Park

With a thousand islands and countless passages, this little-visited treasure is a watery maze. Here's the way in–and out.

The Porters' Progress

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

February 2008 Table of Contents



April 2008 Table of Contents



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?

Tune Up: Protect Your Joints and Build Pivot Power

Get ready for spring with 3 joint-specific routines.

Sprained Ankles: Watch Your Step

The latest health news reveals that ankle injuries are more common than you'd think. Here's some beta.

Skills Health: Make Time For Exercise

Full schedule? Here's how to work in working out.

Taste Test: Best of the Bars

What to grab when you need a boost

Stoves on a Plane

Air travel advice from an FAA expert

The Backcountry Bathroom

Nature calls, even in the wilderness. We've found 5 products that will make your outdoor bathroom runs easy, hygienic, and safe.

Trip Finder: Stay-Dry Spring Hikes

Stay dry on spring treks in Minnesota, New Mexico, and more.

Backpack West Virginia's Cranberry Wilderness

Discover a slice of rare Eastern wild country in West Virginia, where Canadian taiga meets Southern forests.

Where Am I Lowest On The Food Chain?

Want to hike where the most predators exist? Pack your courage and follow these directions.

Top 3 Trail-Building Trips

Want to boost your backcountry karma? Here are three places to hike–and give back.

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?

Backpacker Magazine Launches Fully Redesigned Website with New Multimedia and GPS-Supported Content

New features and web-based tools enable Backpacker's passionate online community to share trips, post pictures, and get the latest in gear reviews and adventure news and content.

Fitness Advice from Top Outdoor Experts

For these three fitness gurus staying fit is a job requirement.

Your Weeklong Dream Trip



Your Next Big Peak



Your Longest Dayhike Ever



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.

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.

Trip Doctor: National Park Weddings

Can I get married in a national park?

3 Ways To See Yellowstone

Want to hike visit Yellowstone in winter? Follow our guide to get all the winter highlights.

March 2008 Essentials Review: First-Aid Kits



Medicine Man: High-Altitude Kids

Advice on kids and herbs at altitude.

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.

The Works: Trek Tasmania

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

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.

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.

May Close-to-Home Hikes

Our map team has been hard at work plotting the coolest hikes. Check out May's selections here.

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.

Survive This: Trapped by a Rock

When a scramble turns to a nightmare learn how to help yourself.

Survive This: Lost in the Desert

When you're stuck in the desert unexpectedly conserve, conserve, conserve.

A Dozen Ways to Die

How do hikers meet their maker in the backcountry? The answers may surprise you.

Survival Story: Surviving a Grizzly Attack in Glacier National Park

On August 25, 2005, Johan Otter and his 18-year-old daughter, Jenna, hiked right into the worst nightmare of any Glacier National Park backpacker: a 300-pound mother grizzly protecting two cubs. Here, in his own words, the 45-year-old physical therapist from Escondido, CA, shares the incredible story of their life-and-death struggle.

Missing in Action: How a Backcountry Ranger With 28 Years Experience Disappeared

Did High Sierra ranger Randy Morgenson succumb to depression or disaster?

Lost: True Tales of Wilderness Treks Gone Desperately Wrong

From snowblindness to wrong turns, everyday wilderness adventures can turn ugly if you're not prepared for everything.

Learning About Survival Where Aron Ralston Outwitted Death

Follow correspondent Kevin Fedarko into the remote Utah slot canyon where Ralston famously separated himself from his right forearm.

Lost & Found

John Donovan disappeared in a high-elevation blizzard, leaving rescuers and friends stumped. His backpack contained a miracle clue. Bill Donahue investigates.

How to Stay Safe in the Wilderness

Retracing the route to people's accidents can help us prevent our own. These 10 trips lead you to the exact locations of disasters from Denali to the Grand Canyon.

The Brown Death: Pine Beetles vs. Forests

Pine beetles are felling more trees than wildfires and the timber industry combined.

The Future of Forests

As the earth warms, here's how higher temps will affect our forests.

Trail Food: 3 Edible Nuts

You're lost, hungry, and starting to shiver: Time to play squirrel.

Stretches for Hikers

Recover from high-mileage days with these before-and-after stretches.

Welcome to the New Backpacker.com!

With more features, a new look, and the most informative content this side of the trail, the new Backpacker.com is amped up with the best in adventure, gear, travel, skills, and survival on the web.

The Impact of Climate Change on Florida's Everglades, Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias

What do Florida's Everglades and Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias have in common? Both face uncertain futures as temperatures rise.

Can a Lime-Green Vegetable-Oil-Powered Beetle Save the Earth?

One writer ditches his S.U.V. for a vegetable oil-powered Volkswagon Beetle and drives into the Sierras to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and test his environmentalist platitudes

National Parks Report Card

We surveyed more than 40 scientists, conservationists, and professional adventurers, then ranked the 15 parks that are most in peril from climate change.

Snake Bite First-Aid

Learn the steps to take if you're bitten by a poisonous snake.

Packing List: Kitchen Kit

When cooking in the backcountry, don't leave home without...

18 Sudden Threats: The Right and Wrong Responses

Things happen fast in the wilderness. It's important to learn the right and wrong actions beforehand so you can react accordingly.

Gear: Accessories

From water purifiers to first-aid kits, these accessories are also essentials.

Dinner Camping Recipes

Restaurant-quality dining on the trail. Choose from Mushroom and Tomato Orzo with Pesto or Chicken Posole Wraps for your next campfire dinner.

Appetizer Camping Recipes

Unwind after a long hike chilé fondue, French bread bruchetta, or an Asian peanut dip

Breakfast Camping Recipes

Spice up your oatmeal with lemony blueberry sauce. Or go for camp-side blueberry pancakes--topped by more blueberry sauce.

Week-Long Backpacking Menu

Avoid the Pop-Tart rut with Backpacker's seven-day, two-person shopping and menu list.

Weekend Menu: Vegetarian

Eat for energy minus the meat with this three-day, two-person meal plan.

Weekend Menu: Simple Meal Preparation

A three-day, two-person menu and shopping list for those who go camping to escape the rigors of everyday life--including the kitchen.

Weekend Menu: Campsite Gourmet

From cashew-ginger chicken to fruited scones, tasty breakfast, lunch, and dinner options for the trail and the campsite.

Day Hike Menu: Ultralight

What to eat when you're one person spending one day on the trail and looking to travel light

Homemade First Aid Kit

There are plenty of pre-packaged first aid kits out there but, here are some good ingredients that should go in most kits for most types of hikes. Keep in mind that the longer the hike, or the larger the group, the more safety gear you should bring.

Gear Checklists and Shopping Guides

Make sure you don't forget a thing with our comprehensive gear checklists for pretty much any trip occasion. Plus, learn how to pick the perfect piece of gear.

How to Recycle Spent Fuel Canisters

Different cities have different rules for recycling your used fuel canisters

Flavor In a Flash: Ultralight Spice Kit

Enhance bland backpacking food with an ultralight spice kit including everything from curry to soy sauce.

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.

How to Prevent Blisters

Sweaty feet, thick socks, and sturdy boots are a blister cauldron. Learn four easy ways to keep your feel clean, dry, and blister free.

Learn Backcountry First Aid

Use this quick guide to determine what type of backcountry first aid training you need.

Survive This: Meeting a Menacing Stranger On the Trail

Learn how to avoid shady characters on the trail.

Regional Trail Recipes

Four trailworthy variations on favorite regional recipes

The Essential Weekend Backpacking Menu

Banish blah food with this 3-day guide to quick, delicious meals.

How to Keep Your Food Warm In Camp

3 simple heat shields to keep your meals toasty in the backcountry

How to Protect Your Heart While Hiking

Cardiac arrest is the number three killer in the outdoors&ndashlearn how to prevent, recognize, and treat trail-side heart issues.

Camp Stove Cooking: Curry in a Hurry

4 easy recipes that will warm your whole body.

Post-Hike Beverages: Hot Trail Toddies

4 steamy drinks to spice up your after-dinner stargazing

Survive a Mangled Ankle

Help yourself hike out after an ankle injury

Holistic First Aid

A naturopath's top 5 remedies for common backpacking injuries.

Half The Weight, Twice The Fun: Hike The John Muir Trail

Find out what happens when four people hike the 221-mile John Muir Trail in just a week. Then learn how to bag the classic in more sensible lightweight fashion.

The Menu: Be an Ultralight Gourmet

No, it's not an oxymoron. You, too, can say buh-bye to endless energy bars and instant rice glop--and eat like royalty for less than two pounds a day.

The Skills: Ultralight or Bust

A 10-step plan for getting your base pack weight under 15 pounds

The Plan: Doing Ultralight Right

In 10 days, carrying just 25 pounds, you can pound through the John Muir Trail...happily. Get the plan.

Quiz: Would You Survive?

The wilderness can be deadly if you don't know what you're doing. Take our test to rate your survival IQ—and learn a few skills that might save your hide.

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.

The Gear: Cut the Fluff

Shave pounds from your whole packing list.

The Hike: John Muir In a Week

Got a few days off, a pair of healthy feet, and a pain threshold higher than Dean Karnazes? You can (possibly) blaze the length of America's Most Beautiful Trail

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.

Lyme Disease And You

The latest on prevention, symptoms, and treatment

Health: Other Tick-Borne Diseases

A comprehensive guide to tick-borne illnesses beyond Lyme Disease.

Blood tests for Lyme?

Several tests can detect the Lyme bacteria. Find out which one you should take if you are bitten.

Tick Identification 101

Get to know the ticks that cause Lyme-and those that don't

The Pacific Crest Trail's High Sierra

Some things are so inevitable there's no sense disputing them: death, taxes, and the unrivaled beauty of the Sierra.

Can Lyme Disease Become Chronic?

Simple question, complex answer.

How To Remove A Tick

Use this quick approach to remove ticks from your body.

The Pacific Crest Trail's Sonora Pass

You won't want to miss this breathtaking 8-mile dayhike.

Ticks: Avoid the enemy

To protect yourself from ticks-and reduce your risk of contracting Lyme disease-follow these steps.

Lyme Disease By The Numbers

Any way you slice it, Lyme disease is an expanding problem. Use this map and chart to understand how the disease is growing.

Reality Bites: Lyme Disease

A park ranger's struggle with the tick-borne illness.

Bitten: Lyme Disease

Lyme disease may be the nation's #1 wilderness health threat, but it's no reason to avoid the outdoors. Check out this special report on tick-borne illness to learn how to protect yourself and your family.

Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

Learn the signs so you can get on the road to recovery faster.

Hell On Wheels

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

Beating Poison Ivy

Learn to recognize, avoid and treat poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. Start by scrolling through the photos below.

Physical Conditioning: Spring Training

30 days to a killer trail body with cardio and strength workouts for backpackers.

Start smart: First Aid For Kids

Teach your youngsters the basics; it could save your life.

Stove Review: Vargo Jet-ti

A compact, superlight canister stove to call your own.

Stove Review: Jetboil GCS

A revolutionary stove-and-pot set that'll cramp your prep time with super-fast boils.

Health Tips: Beat Winter Blues

Fend off a cold-weather slump with these expert strategies.

Get (Even More) Trail-Fit This Winter

4 indoor workouts that'll keep you outdoors-ready

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.

3 Ways To See: Yellowstone

Pick your poison with three epic adventures in Yellowstone: camping, canoeing, and ski touring

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.

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?

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.

Essential National Park Skills: The Ultimate Park Pass

Write your own ticket to new adventures with these 10 territory-expanding skills.

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.

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.

Secrets Of The Ultrafit: Heidi Wirtz

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

The Cure: Beating Blisters

Catch the hot spot before it's too late

The Works: Trek Tasmania

Up high and down under--Tasmania's wildest hiking route.

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.

The Specialist: Climb Better At Altitude

Feel good at 10,000 feet with advice from a Rainier guide.

The Cure: Beating Sunburn

Hot first aid tips for treating sunburn

The Specialist: Don't Get Sunburned

A lifeguard's guide to using sunscreen

Foot Fixes: How to Deal with 4 Common Boot Problems

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

8 Weeks to Fitness for Any Hike

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

The Lost Trail: Chasing Yellowstone's Nez Perce Path

Hike a historic long path through Yellowstone--if you're lucky enough to find it.

The Cure: Treating Bee Stings

Health tips for backpackers experiencing life-threatening or just plain annoying bee stings 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

Post-Hike Massage: Here's The Rub

4 techniques to soothe trail-weary muscles

The Cure: Treating Knee Pain

Show your knees a little TLC

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.

The Specialist: Breathe Easy

7 tricks for averting on-the-trail allergies

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.

More New Zealand Adventures: Climb, Paddle, Jump!

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

Tune Up: Your First Adventure Race

Get ready for your first race with a fitness plan from a world champ

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?

The Cure: Treating Snow Blindness

Sunburned eyes can throw you to the sidelines for a painful 48 hours. Learn how to prevent and treat this winter threat.

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.

Epicenter: The Scene In Bishop, California

Hike and climb-and then kick back-in a High Sierra sweet spot.

High Points: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

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

High Points: Granite Peak, Montana

The toughest high point in the lower 48

High Points: Mt. Whitney, California

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

High Points: Mt. Elbert, Colorado

Come enjoy this high peak's playground

High Points: Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Your car does all the climbing here.

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: 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: Boundary Peak, Nevada

Expect unexpected challenges to reach the summit

High Points: Humphreys Peak, Arizona

An easy high point with an unpredictable personality

High Points: Gannett Peak, Wyoming

The longest and wildest approach in the bunch

High Points: Cheaha Mountain, Alabama

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

High Points: Driskill Mountain, Louisiana

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

High Points: Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina

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

First Aid: How to Stop A Bleeder

Let our wilderness EMT teach you the best way to treat those gushing cuts and scrapes.

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: Guadalupe Peak, Texas

This peak lives up to its reputation.

High Points: Black Mountain, Kentucky

Look closely for the path to this high point.

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: Clingmans Dome, Tennessee

A downright goofy dome marks this highpoint.

High Points: Mt. Magazine, Arkansas

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

High Points: Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina

It's all about the journey.

Save Your Feet: How to Prevent Foot Problems

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

Thirst

Is there a sense that's more powerful? We'll let you be the judge.

High Points: Mt. Arvon, Michigan

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

High Points: Hoosier Hill, Indiana

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

High Points: Timms Hill, Wisconsin

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

High Points: White Butte, North Dakota

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

High Points: Panorama Point, Nebraska

There's not a bad napping spot anywhere.

High Points: Eagle Mountain, Minnesota

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

High Points: Charles Mound, Illinois

Access is limited, but well worth the view.

High Points: Campbell Hill, Ohio

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

High Points: Harney Peak, South Dakota

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

High Points: Mt. Sunflower, Kansas

Something's happening in this spot where nothing happened.

High Points: Taum Sauk Mountain, Missouri

Lay low like Jesse James at this high point.

Family Camping Tips

Ideas to help make the backcountry family friendly

Tight Ain't Right: How to Stretch for Hiking

4 simple stretches to relieve stiff, sore muscles.

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: High Point, New Jersey

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

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.

Being Caribou Returns Home

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

Devil's Thumb: It Can't Be Climbed

Will anyone ever climb the dangerous northwest face of Alaska's Devil's Thumb? Maybe they shouldn't.

Secrets of Yosemite National Park

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

A Hiker's Guide To Surfing and Snorkeling

Use your backpacking skills at the best surfing, climbing, trail running, and even paragliding spots

Being Caribou: Arctic Summer

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

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.

Good Gear Gone Bad

It's all fun and games 'til someone gets a tent pole in the eye.

Luxury Gone Wild At Ahwahnee

A night in Yosemite's most famous hotel

Survival Starts With A Kiss

Learn the latest survival smarts with this military acronym

Highlander Genes

Why are Sherpas so studly?

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.

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.

Jiffypop Pan

This classic snack offers more then just a tasty treat for backpackers.

My Crest Is SPF 30

Preventing sunburn is as simple as brushing your teeth.

A Better Mouse Trap

Rodents can be real pests in campsites. Use this trick to stay rodent-free the whole trip long.

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: Caribou Facts

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

Being Caribou: Caribou I Am

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

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: Protecting the Porcupine Caribou Herd

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

Foot Mechanic Quiz: Fixing Foot Problems Before The Hike

Do your foot troubles warrant an expert's opinion? Take this quiz to find out.

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.

Stop Your Sniffling: Allergy Advice

Don't let itchy eyes and a sneeze-machine nose ruin your hike. Here's our guide to keeping allergies at bay.

Stay Warm In Winter

Winter warmth is easy with these tips from arctic explorers, cold-weather experts, and army docs.

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.

Hot, Light, And Cheap: Homemade Camp Stove Contest Winners

The best ultralight cookers built by BACKPACKER readers.

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.

Healthy Hiking For Men: Preventing Jock Itch And Other Problems 'Down There'

A wilderness guide to proper care and maintenance of the family jewels.

Know Your Backcountry Bugs

Guide to common bugs in the backcountry.

Itch-Free Summer

Ten ways to avoid bug bites and what to do if bitten.

Snow Leopards: Gray Ghosts Of The Himalaya

When you hike the world's highest peaks in search of the legendary snow leopard, be prepared for the unexpected.

Your Backwoods Pharmacy

When illness or injury strikes, the medicine you need is in the plants alongside the trail and at your feet.

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.

Weak In The Knees

12 ways to get more miles out of your legs.

Walk Through The Pacific Crest Trail's Alpine Wonderland

Follow the Pacific Crest Trail through Washington's volcano country and discover the high life.

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.

Eating On The Runs

To keep trekking when you have the trots, feed your body the right fuel.

Best Backpacking In Wyoming

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Wyoming.

Rash Decisions: Fighting Backcountry Itches

Here's what I keep in my first-aid kit to battle the itchiest rash known to medical science.

Good News For Sore Joints

Got a bum knee or ankle? Better treatments for post-hike joint pain are on the horizon.

Best Backpacking In West Virginia

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in West Virginia.

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.

Sleep Comfort In Camp

Trouble sleeping in camp? Try our tips for a good night's rest.

Mind Over Mileage: Breathing Techniques For Hiking

Feeling pooped at the end of the day? Try these relaxation and breathing techniques to put more pep in your step.

Fighting Backcountry Asthma: Waiting To Inhale

If you have asthma but don't have an inhaler, follow these procedures to breathe easy in the backcountry.

Retaining Water While Hiking: Don't Sweat It

When water is scarce, minimize the amount your body expends.

Drinking Risky Water

If disaster leaves you deep in the backcountry without any means to disinfect drinking water, what do you do? Follow these methods to stay hydrated without getting sick.

10 Simple Ways To Get To Sleep In Camp

Getting a good night's sleep on the trail is easier said than done. Our experts show you how to get your 20 winks.

Tips For Camping With Kids

Nuggets of knowledge from those who have brought their youngsters into the backcountry.

Keeping Utah's Outdoor Secret

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

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?

Saddle Sore? Tips To Heal Your Rear

Experiencing a sore butt on the trail? Try these healing tips.

Rx Drugs On The Trail

Prescription drugs you should carry on the trail.

Coping with Leeches

How to deal with and treat those bloodsucking leeches.

Baca Ranch: The Southwest's Yellowstone

For years, hikers have dreamed of trekking in Baca Ranch's untouched, wildlife-thick backcountry. You'll soon get your chance.

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.

Spotting The Elusive Wolf

Our guide to spotting wolves on Michigan's Isle Royale.

The Mountain Knows

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

Belly Ache Or Poison?

What to do if the berries you munched weren't safe after all.

Aluminum Pots Are Safe

Cooking with aluminum pots in camp won't cause Alzheimer's.

Chicken Soup For The Trail

Some trailworthy soups can even help you heal.

Hiking Through Lessons Of Fire

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

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.

Hiking Pain Explained

What causes pain on the trail?

Swallowing Camp Stove Fuel

How to treat yourself if you gulp down stove fuel in camp.

Stride Right, Feel Better

Tips to improve your hiking stride.

Field Fix: Clear Your Stove's Fuel Jets

Got a clogged stove? Try this cleaning method before eating that camping meal cold.

Stop Camp Snoring

If you have a problem with snoring (that is, if you have a tentmate who snores), try this remedy on your next night in camp.

A Fly In The Ointment

Antibiotic ointment, a basic element of every first-aid kit, has gotten a bad rap lately.

Backwoods Headaches

We head for the hills to escape the tensions of everyday life. So why do our heads often pound like a drum soon after hitting the trail?

Foods For Backcountry Recovery

Our medicine man gives his food suggestions for recovering in the backcountry.

Bug Bites: Close Your Clothes

Use these tips to bug-proof your clothes.

Breathing Easy

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

Stop Trail Chafing

Stop chafing with these tips.

Treating Backcountry Swimmer's Ear

How to identify and treat swimmer's ear in the wilderness.

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.

David Brower's Last Interview

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

Grand Canyon Magic

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

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.

Bacteria In Paradise

On your next tropical dip, beware of water-borne bacteria.

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.

The Mountaineer's Herb

Ginkgo helps with altitude sickness and cold.

Have Diabetes, Will Travel

Even diabetes can't slow down hikers with these health tips.

Buying A Better Stove

After a long, hard day, nothing is more disappointing than a stove that refuses to fire. Follow these 10 essentials for foolproof stove features and techniques.

Filtering Vs. Chemicals Vs. Boiling Water

Water treatments defined.

Poison Ivy, Bees and Wasps

Do you know your backcountry poisonous threats?

Another Tick-Borne Disease

You can add another disease to those you might get from ticks: ehrlichiosis.

Fighing Shin Splints

Soreness and tightness in your shins (aka shin splints) can make every step along the trail painful.

Just Go

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

Cold Doesn't Always Mean Dead

You can freeze to death and still live to tell about it.

Burn Treatment: A Heated Situation

To stem the pain, act fast when treating burns.

Avoiding Caffeine Withdrawal

Your daily cups of java seem innocent-until you hit the trail and don't get your normal caffeine buzz for a couple of days.

Natural Toothbrushes

Forgot your toothbrush? You can still practice good hygiene.

Thwarting Cryptosporidium

Think crypto comes only from polluted water? Your healthy camp mate could be a carrier.

Cleaning Pads With Medicine

Keep scrapes clean with lightweight cleaning pads.

Hiking The Pacific Crest Trail

Everything you'd want in a long trail.

Ironwoman Senator Of The Yukon

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

Hypothermia: Just The Facts

Quick Tips to Prevent, Recognize, and Treat Hypothermia.

Backpacker Body Odor Throughout History

Smelling foul in the outdoors is nothing new. Check out these historical tidbits.

Backcountry Body Odor: What's That Smell?

Body odor can get pretty bad on the trail. Here's how to make sure you never again hear the words, "What's That Smell?"

Zipped-Tight Water Safety

Use ziplock baggies with your water purifiers for extra safety.

Sweat Glands: 3 Million And Counting

Your 3 million sweat glands can make for a sweaty, smelly hike.

Too Cold For Comfort

How to improve your tolerance for cold and enhance your outdoor performance.

Hiking While Pregnant

With a few precautions, expecting hikers can hit the trail.

Giving Thanks At Washington's Jackson Wilderness

The best way to honor a wilderness-minded senator is to hike the Jackson Wilderness.

Cover Up In The Desert

Follow this cover-up advice before you head into the desert.

Wrinkled Hats Ward Off UV Rays

New trail-tested advice for shading your face from the sun.

When Hiking, Beware Dirty Water

Unless you're partial to polluted water, don't fill your bottle during or just after a major storm.

Smashed Finger Relief

Your finger got crushed between a rock and a hard place. Here's what to do.

Before The Trail, Cut Your Toenails

We're not saying you need a pedicure, but a toenail trim doesn't hurt on the trail.

National Parks: Best Wildlife

Where the words "wild" and "life" take on new meaning

Treating Achilles Tendinitis

Hikes with a lot of elevation gain and loss are prime for getting tendinitis in the Achilles tendon.

Wildlife Myths And Manners

When you have park visitors asking such questions as, "The animals aren't really wild, are they?" you have a recipe for disaster.

Robert Taylor: A True Trailblazer

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

Wind Chill Bites

Wind chill can nip noses or lead to frostbite. Here's what you should know.

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.

Stressed? Start Backpacking

Startling research reveals the backcountry melts tension.

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.

The Joy of Wilderness Music

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

West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest

Classic eastern mountain scenery along West Virginia's skyline pathway.

HIkers' Strong Shoulder Treatment

Sore shoulders after lugging a pack? Try this exercise remedy.

Splints For Broken Bones

Suffer a bone-related injury and one of these high-tech splints will quickly become your best friend.

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.

Oregon's Volcanoes In Full Bloom

Vast meadows of wildflowers sprawl across the ridgetops and valley bottoms of the Three Sisters.

Elksong

At a campsite along the Snake River, the bugling goes on night and day.

Alternative To Bug Spray: Permethrin

Another bug-beating option.

Bonus Backcountry Bug-Off Tips

Other tips to beat the most annoying backcountry biters.

Bug Off: Tips To Keep Away Insects

Tips to beat the most annoying backwoods biters

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.

Eye To Eye With Raptors

Eyeball to beak with impressively taloned hawks in West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest.

Perfecting Your First Aid Kit

Whether it's old and dirty or fresh off the store shelf, your first-aid kit should be able to handle any emergency.

Gear Rx: Stoves And Water Filters

See if your stove or water filter is safe to repair.

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.

Stamp Out Foot Fungus Naturally

Finish foot fungus fast -- and naturally.

Julia 'Butterfly' Hill Leaves Redwood Home

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

Winter Harm: Cold Dangers

Cold can harm in subtle and quick ways, so it pays to be prepared.

Homemade Stove Platforms

Or anything else, for that matter, once you use this easy-to-make stove platform.

Treating Aches and Pains

A personal perspective on healing back, joint and other body pains.

Knee Injuries: An Unexpected Twist

If you've had a knee injury, follow these exercises before you hit the trail again.

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.

Hiking Medicine: Trail Rx

Got a first-aid kit? Great. Now add these over-the-counter medicines and it'll be perfect.

Survival Kit

Make your own backcountry survival kit.

You Can't Strut With Fallen Arches

Test to see if your "shocks" -- the arches of your feet -- are blown.

Fixing A Blister

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

Break In Your Boots

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

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?"

Fighting Altitude Sickness

What happens when you go from sea level to altitude too fast? One brave editor found out the hard way, and offers her blow-by-blow findings in hopes that you don't suffer a similar fate.

Wash Your Feet

Clean and rub them, and feet will go the distance.

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.

When Panic Attacks

Stay calm, have a bite to eat, and remember there's nothing to fear but fear itself.

Stretching: Muscle Relaxers

Use these specific stretches to alleviate muscle pain.

Fighting Cramps On The Trail

Nothing cramps your style like a knotted muscle. Here are simple ways to stay pain-free.

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?

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?

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.

The Colors Of Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias

Wrangell-St. Elias National park is known for its jaw-dropping scenery, but there's just as much beauty at your feet.

Healing Thorns, Splinters, And Other Pricks

How to deal with all kinds of things that get under your skin.

Fish Hook Wounds: Catch And Release

Fish hooks can be painful and dangerous -- here's how to get 'em out.

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.

Knee Help?

No joint is more prone to injury than the knee. Here's what to do when faced with a backcountry blow-out.

How Your Knee Works

The big hinge in your leg is essential to hiking -- here's how the knee gets you over the pass.

How To Splint A Bum Knee

Pretend Your Leg Is A Jelly Roll.

Wilderness First-Aid Courses

Take an advanced wilderness first-aid course and you'll never have to say "I didn't know what to do" to the next-of-kin.

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.

Foot Odor: Toxic Sock Syndrome

If your feet are a source of backcountry air pollution, here's how to keep them smelling sweet.

Of Mice And Lyme Disease

Stay away from mice out on the trail, and you'll stay away from disease-carrying ticks.

West Virginia Mountain Hobnobbing

Birds and deer are your only companions on this stretch of the Allegheny Trail.

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.

Modern Man Vs. Mad Dog

A techno-packer and a yard-sale minimalist go stride for stride to find out what kind of equipment is best for a good time. Or more importantly, does it really matter?

Cancer Concerns

When it comes to hikers with skin damage, not all cancers are created equal.

Understanding Sunscreen Labels

Here's how to make sense of your sunscreen.

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.

A Few Ounces Of Prevention

The 25 often-overlooked ways to stay healthy and injury-free.

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.

Sprained Ankle Relations

How to keep hiking when your ankle takes a turn for the worse. Plus, keeping them strong and trail-ready.

Taping Ankle Injuries: Stick To It

Athletic tape can still do wonders for an injured ankle.

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.

Not-So-Wise Tales

If you think ringworms crawl or chewing poison ivy prevents the itch, you're obviously a fan of medical fiction.

Hypothermia 101

As the temperature dips, hypothermia can threaten survival for backwoods adventurers unaware of its warning signs.

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.

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.

Goat Rocks Wilderness: A Real Eye-Popper

Some say Goat Rocks Wilderness has the best scenery along the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Decide for yourself.

Head Cases: Wilderness Head Injuries

If you take a hit to the head in the wild, think twice before deciding to hike on.

Backcountry Diarrhea: Treating The Runs

When diarrhea strikes in the backcountry and there's no porcelain for 20 miles, the proper response can save your trip.

Quick And Dirty: How To Cope

Here's how to stay sanitary in the backcountry.

Insect Stings: What's Bugging You?

If the thought of a spider bite or bee sting makes your skin crawl, then preventing a painful encounter is the key.

Poisoned In Camp?

How to deal with common backpacking substances that are more toxic than three-day-old socks.

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.

Drowning Victims: In Over Your Head

Your partner just disappeared under an icy torrent. Quick, do you know what to do next?

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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