Kick back with luxe gear for car and boat trips.
Provide the best for your dog with these canine-specific items.
Let nature fuel your light with this solar powered lantern from d.light.
Stay safe with this handheld weather station from Highgear.
This flashlight/knife combo from SOG allows for use at all times of day - or night.
Backcountry food just got better with this light-weight skillet from Lodge.
Take a seat wherever you go with this compact seat from Big Agnes.
Keep food colder longer with this sturdy cooler from Pelican ProGear.
Get a good night's sleep with this luxury cot from Therm-a-Rest.
Camp in comfort with this spacious and weatherproof tent from Sierra Designs.
For BACKPACKER'S Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012, Kristin tested tons of gear. Here are a few of her special favorites.
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.
A pack made for multi-day ski touring.
A stable, light, livable, four-season tent.
A shell that offers winter-worthy protection at a year-round weight.
Don't be afraid of cooking this superfood in the backcountry.
The next best thing to a hut
A tough, spacious two-person tent for under $400.
This tent is so small and light, you'll barely notice it in your pack–until you need it.
Carbon poles with monofilament connectors make this tent light and cold-weather friendly
On day two of the Summer 2012 Outdoor Retailer show, our reader test team tackled ultralight, three-season hiking, and breathability.
We perked more than 100 caffeinated cups to find the best trail-brew
technique. Here’s how to choose your method, gear, and grounds.
Multitasking dads will love this easy-sipping cup.
A rugged battery pack that will let him stay charged up and connected.
Turn an iPod into a campground sound system.
A camp throne built for long-term schlepping and chilling.
Haul your little one in this lightweight and customizable backpack kid carrier.
Park your tent in one of these 10 spots, and you'll be happy in the morning. Guaranteed.
Tackle slick terrain with confidence–and a light load.
Extend your backpacking season: Here's how to stay warm and protect your gear.
Use these tricks to get your kids begging for another trip outside.
Take your backpacking to the next level. Our experts craft custom plans for readers who asked for help with navigation, winter camping, thru-hiking, and more.
Serve a 5-star meal that matches the scenery.
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.
Treat severe hypothermia with this life saving technique.
Iconic scenery bolstered by serious solitude? Get them both on this weeklong traverse.
Tackle the Northeast's most remote wilds for bears, moose, and berries.
Hike through a towering redwood forest on this easy-access overnighter.
Hike cross-country to a pocket of dreamy lakeside camps on the John Muir Trail.
Looking for a mellow weekend with swimming options? We have you covered.
Goose down booties with a nylon shell that pack down super small.
Think there's nothing wild left in the Lower 48? Don't tell the grizzlies on this traverse of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Bake without an oven! Build your own spice kit! A DIY guide to dining while summer camping.
From picking the right campsite to stargazing like a pro, these summer camping tips will ensure a restful overnight.
Once you've left camp, these tips and techniques will make your on-trail miles more enjoyable.
With a little pre-planning you can hit the trail and beat the crowds all summer long.
Don't own a massive pack for your big annual adventure? Here's how to make it all fit.
For a hearty vegetable stew, make this easy Farmer's Mash recipe in less than 10 minutes.
This gourmet chicken pot pie is an easy recipe for a warm and filling backcountry dinner.
This pad delivers low weight and low cost, making no more grumpy mornings.
Stay warm and comfy with this insulated sleeping pad.
Breathable merino wool and rugged leather make for happy hands
Our favorite toddler-hauler
The best way to tote your infant on a hike
A sleeping bag that grows with your child.
You'll be the life of the campfire with a few tips from the pros.
A 100-percent wool-lined glove that heats hands instantly.
A great all-purpose glove for high-output activities.
Gore Windstopper covers the back of the hand from cuff to fingertips.
Stainless steel crampons that bite into ice and repel slushy buildup.
A budget-conscious convertible bag that changes to match its environment.
The Altitude's 800-fill down is protected from the elements by a waterproof/breathable ShelterTX shell and full-length, rubberized, splashproof zipper.
The GPS-enabled cyborg goggles you've been dreaming about
Have a blast in rolling terrain with these snowshoe/ski hybrids.
Turn any shoe or boot into a fully insulated winter trekker with these over-shoe booties.
An all-in-one lightweight hydration system for snow lovers.
This is your guide to creating convertible guy lines and rigging a tent securely on rocky surfaces.
Paddle to a beach-camping paradise in the Everglades.
Just because they have fur doesn't mean they're not serious backcountry boots.
A-frames, domes, party tents–we've tested them all.
A propane system that takes camp cooking to a whole new level.
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.
Find the best skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter camping trips in the U.S.
Want to fly business class on a coach fare? Gift the Cosmic.
Don't forget these essentials when you're headed into the cold.
Use these tips to plan perfect winter camping meals.
There are two basic ways of melting water: passive and active.
Site your stove a few steps from your tent, so you can conveniently melt snow or brew drinks. If you're camping in the same spot for several days (and in deep snow), dig out a snow kitchen.
Head high with an axe, crampons, and more.
Quick tips for your transportation of choice.
Meet our four cold-weather experts.
Pack this essential kit to handle your unpredictable gear mishaps.
Your tent will withstand anything with these tips.
Don't leave home without these winter camping essentials.
Our pros tell you how to set up a deluxe–yet weatherproof–winter basecamp.
12 secrets for keeping your core (and your gear) warm in the coldest weather
Master the art of layering to keep comfy all winter.
Life's too short to be a three-season hiker. Follow these expert tips on staying warm, picking your route, and cooking savory meals--and add winter's deep solitude and frozen dreamscapes to your adventure calendar.
Warm up with 7 picks for every winter pursuit.
Carry in comfort, from dayhikes to hut trips.
Is the iPad coming to a campsite near you? It saves its weight in maps, guidebooks, novels, songs, and more. Here are four top apps for hikers.
These are the warmest (and lightest) boots you will ever need for winter.
These will keep your feet warm on the coldest of hikes.
Rely on the jagged steal crampons for grip and add-on tails for super float.
Run, really run, in the snow with the help of these snowshoes.
This all-purpose boot provides great support and warmth.
Dig quickly and easily with this all-aluminum shovel.
Keep your bod warm & toasty all fall and winter long.
This thermos converts into an insulated mug whenever you're ready for a warm drink.
Boil water in minutes with this cookware.
Ditch your hiking boots for these fleece-lined slippers and relax.
Keep your fingers warm and functional this winter with these five digit warmers.
Gloves that are rugged and cheap.
Gloves made with thermal-reflective Omni-Heat lining.
Tuck chemical handwarmers in these mitts for long-lasting heat.
Tough gloves that still let you use your fingers for delicate tasks.
The best gloves for wet and cold we tested.
For five months, we tested 50 bags, pads, and other snooze-related gear
to find perfect sleep systems for every season.
For warm summer nights, this two-pound system delivers sweet dreams for just $138.
Get all the comforts of home with this four-star setup.
Stay toasty in the deepest freeze with an overstuffed bag and cold-weather pad.
Get big comfort, low weight from a premium down bag and a super-cush pad.
A shortie summer pad that offers surprising comfort for its size and weight.
A 40° mummy that disappears inside a pack.
A sleeping pad made for luxurious car camping.
An affordable mummy bag that's super soft inside.
A winter warm sleeping pad that's also easily packable.
An Arctic-worthy 800-fill down mummy.
An extra wide and extra long sleeping pad with three inches of cushion.
A premium down bag that masters three seasons.
Get out more this winter with the right pair of 'shoes.
You took the quiz - now see how you fared.
A four-season tent that can truly handle the elements.
A wedge-style, double-walled tent that packs super small.
A floorless tunnel tent that's ultralight for it's four-person capacity.
A roomy tunnel tent that's quick to set up.
Sleeps eight and sits 12, this is the tent for a group expedition.
A lightweight, all-conditions shelter for two.
If you dip your toes in winter camping this tent is for you.
This tent survived the worst of Mt. Washington's epic weather.
Sleep better all year long with these warm sleeping bags & pads.
A closed cell/open cell foam system that provides maximum comfort.
An indestructible sleeping pad with an aluminized surface layer that reflects body heat.
A roomy and comfortable bag built for big guys (or gals).
An 850-fill bag that packs down to the size of a basketball.
A warm and weatherproof bag at a sweet price.
A women's bag that stays warm even when wet.
A sleeping bag you won't want to get out of.
Pair this bag with a puffy jacket for an ultralight, ultratoasty setup.
A sleeping bag that doesn't require a tent.
"I've made the mistakes so you don't have to."
For $35 or less, keep your core warm and toasty.
Staying warm does require extra calories when hiking in the winter.
It's skis! It's a snowboard! It's a splitboard!
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.
When the conditions call for grip but not burly crampons, strap on one of these three microcrampon options and feel secure on ice and snow.
Use our guide to make your Wales hiking adventure a reality.
Cross a sprawling preserve of broad mountains, lonely ridgelines, and lush river valleys.
Follow a long-distance trail along the once-violent, now-bucolic border between England and Wales.
The highest peak. The wildest ridges. The largest lake. Find them all in Wales's alpine heart.
Tiptoe along oceanside bluffs with views across the Irish Sea.
What crowds? Lose yourself in the Lamar Valley on this weeklong hike.
The last lonely stretch of the AT beckons from the mountains of western Maine.
Score wildlife sightings daily, choice views hourly--and at least one juicy burger--on this weeklong circuit.
Explore a granite wonderland, cross two little-used passes, and score High Sierra solitude on this point-to-point hike.
Pack an extra memory card for what is, mile-for-mile, the most photogenic hike in the Southwest.
Dive into the heart of the Lower 48's wildest park.
Ever dreamed of exploring another planet? Hike here.
Trek to shoreline campsites through woodlands rife with moose, birds, and wolves.
Walk from lush rainforest to wide-open glacier views on this 43-mile sneak route.
Surprise: This park's busy corridor trails offer a fast track to a private slice of heaven.
Climb from sublime desert to pine forests and peaks with 100-mile views.
Rise above the crowds and earn solo views of elk, wildflowers, and summit sunsets.
The perfect dozen: Embark on one of these 12 treks, and turn America's most iconic preserves into your own private paradise.
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.
Discover aspens and alpine hiking, plus views of the Grand Canyon, on this trek up Arizona's 12,633-foot highpoint.
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.
walk 10 miles of demise carved in stone.
Hike to a hotel with no visitors.
Four cutting-edge cartographers--from Google's explorer-in-residence to Tom Harrison himself--help us chart the course of the next revolution in wilderness mapping.
Climb to two killer views, see the South's best flowers, and hike to secluded falls. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)
Hike across a state, gain the country's best foliage view, and top alpine balds. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)
Spot a grizzly, basecamp amid Fourteeners, and relax in secluded hot springs. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)
See moose, bag a high-desert peak, and sample a quiet long trail. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)
Hike to the world's best tropical campsite, see elephant seals, and trek through poppies. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)
Tackle our toughest and least-crowded routes in the Grand Canyon with this interactive map.
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.
See five volcanoes, camp at secluded lakes, and hike through a swarm of butterflies. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)
Bag a peak every day (and a view every step) on the country's highest-elevation footpath.
Devour the world's best scenery, chocolate, and cheese on the Via Alpina.
Learn where solitude reigns--and why. Plus: Tackle the hardest Big Ditch route we've ever published.
How to beat the crowds and find solitude in the Rockies
No one takes a to-go cup on the trail. Unless it's one of these hardy thermoses or hot/cold bottles.
Upgrade any camp dinner with this medium-bodied wine.
A fork, knife, and spoon for the green and ultralight crowd.
This synthetic-filled puffy stays warm even in wet, sloppy snow.
Get some real sleep on your next trip with this packable pillow.
The best instant coffee ever
Boost your boots' warmth with these insoles.
A super-comfy hang-able camp "chair"
A disposable grill for backcountry feasts
A great rainy day tent game
The finest flask for your finest single malts
A real backpacking boot for kids
A great two-pot cookset
A ceramic coated cook pot with a fry pan lid
The perfect solo cookset
The ultimate winter camp shoe
Rocky Mountain Editor and survival blogger Steve Howe gets you out of the house on your first winter camping trip with this seven-part how-to guide.
Cross the steeps safely and avoid avalanches with these guide-approved tips.
From boots to bindings to skis, this rig will have you set for the backcountry.
Skip the resort crowds and find clean powder with this backcountry ski gear.
Gross a glacier or handle snow travel on big peaks with this versatile mountaineering axe.
Traverse snow and ice safely with the right set of points.
Don't let frigid temps keep you inside. Here are five tips for deluxe winter camping.
For authentic takeout on the trail, try this spicy Pad Thai.
Craving something Asian on your next trek, but don't want to put in a lot of effort? Try this easy Pad Thai.
This convenient travel snowbag pays for itself quickly.
Hit the trail in the winter with one of these nine snowshoes.
These wide-decked Tubbs snowshoes are perfect for long hauls and large loads.
These TSL snowshoes are best for day-long adventures over varied terrain.
New to snowshoeing? Check out this stable snowshoe for beginners.
Great shoe for deep powder and big mountains
Best shoe for the mini mountaineer
Check out this staff favorite voted best-all-around snowshoe.
This ultralight aluminum-based snowshoe will keep you moving fast.
This reliable camp stove runs on any gas, quick to heat and easy to use.
From a Quickie sled to sunscreen used by the U.S. ski team, these five winter essentials are must haves.
Keep your feet warm and happy with these socks, gaiters, & booties.
This guide covers ski gear for telemark, alpine touring, backcountry touring, and rugged Nordic touring.
No crowds, no bugs: Winter camping holds rewards aplenty– once you master the gear and skills required to thrive in frigid climates.
Insulated backpacking boots with enough support to carry a 50-pound pack.
Ideal for treks on packed snow, this boot is great for wintry day hikes.
Ideal for snowshoeing, or wintry day hikes, this boot keeps your feet dry and warm.
Whether it's snowshoeing, light day hiking, or sloshing through town, this boot does it all.
Sturdy yet light, this boot is great for the most extreme day hikes.
Made for big peaks, this boot is warm, and great for ice and snow
These recipes are fortified with extra warmth and calories for winter camping.
Get the gear you'll need to stay warm and happy on a winter backpacking trip.
Assess your winter climbing risks with this handy chart.
Learn to figure out where you are (even in a whiteout) and prevent, or stop, a snowy fall.
Learn how to cook, make water, and...go to the bathroom when the backcountry is a winter wonderland.
Learn how to choose between a tent and a snow cave. Plus the best ways to travel in the snow.
Your complete guide to choosing, fitting, and using essential winter gear.
Winter camping requires extra planning and gear. But it's well worth the effort.
You'll never use zip-top plastic bags again after trying these Pacific Outdoor PU-coated nylon storage bags.
This sunscreen goes on clear and blocks sun and wind. Bonus, it also moisturizes.
This Talus face mask mixes your hot breath with the cold outside air to keep your face warm and snot free.
For sledding or glissading, the TSL Quickie is a speedy descent.
Comfortable and stable straps win this snowshoe the best binding award.
Stuffed with 750-fill down, this camping pillow gives you 5 inches of pure comfort and support.
No kid gets left in the dark with this versatile LED lamp.
Cozies made for camping comfort
Affordable starter mummy bag for kids 2-10 compresses down to soccer ball size.
No more plastic bags or map cases, these waterproof, and tear-resistant topos will last a lifetime.
Don't let the these light weight stuffsakcs fool you, they keep your gear dry in the wettest conditions.
This tent stands up to rough conditions, assembles in minutes, and has room for the whole family.
True to product description, this tent gives you more for the money.
Spacious for two, the "bow frame" geometry of this tent stands up to the toughest conditions.
weighing in at 2 lbs. 6 oz, this ultralight tent fits two with room to spare.
Unmatched in weather-worthiness, this solo tent earned top honors among testers.
This versatile headpiece is half fleece, half microfiber–it can even double as a pillow.
How many miles, and how heavy a pack, can your kid handle? Plus, big tents, first aid, and newbie adults.
Meal-by-meal tips to please the whole family
87 tips for making your next family trip easy, fun, and comfortable
A realistic, hassle-free handbook for taking kids outdoors
Everything you need to eat well in the backcountry.
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.
This sustainable light gives cap-wearers a viable headlamp alternative.
Make Fido's next trip doggie heaven with our tips on finding pooch-friendly trails, loading a dog pack, and treating injuries.
This legit 20° kids' bag will keep your little ones toasty in the backcountry.
Want to get a winter tent without breaking the bank? The Cirque is the tent for you.
This winter tent is long, lean, and livable.
Brave cold, wet weather with LOWA's sturdy, Gore-Tex winter boot.
For extreme waterproofing at a good price, you can't beat these insulated, high cut boots.
Great bag all around that also costs less than most competitors.
Add this sleeve for added comfort.
This lightweight summer bag is great for big guys or active sleepers.
Turn your sleeping pad into a comfy camp chair.
You won't roll off of this foam, self-inflating pad.
This two-layered pad weighs a few more ounces, but it's worth it to get the sleeping-at-home feeling.
A simple pad with that's easier to pack than you might think.
We like almost everything about this winter bag.
A high-performance winter bag for the thrifty shopper.
This storm-proof bag will keep you warm, dry and cozy.
This synthetic bag is a killer deal and offers a "tucked in" fit.
Last year's Editors' Choice Gold Award winner stands out again with its minimalist design and excellent fit.
This fitted bag packs small and weighs just over a pound.
Attention cold sleepers: This bag is so warm we almost put it in the winter section.
Want a great bag at a great price? Look no further than the Chrysalis.
Staying warm well below its rating, this bag is perfect for when the clouds roll in.
A warm bag at a great price, simple as that.
This ultralight bag will stuff-to-fit anywhere you've got room.
Grabbing our best fit award, this three-season bag is perfect for any cold sleeper.
This pricey three-season bag has a waterproof shell and can function as a wet bivy.
Last year's Editors' Choice bag features the same functional zipper design and low weight.
This 10°F bag is ruthlessly pared down for low weight and high performance–and it works.
A super-light, three-season bag that stuffs smaller than you'd think.
A three-season bag that is roomy and light, but not for side sleepers.
This high-end fitted bag may just be worth the extra bucks.
This retro-inspired bag is tough and simple.
This full-featured bag is light, warm and comfy. It gets our best all-around summer bag tag.
Warm below its rating, and made of eco-products, this bag should have even the biggest green-thumbs sticking straight up.
This summer bag had one tester wondering if it really was a summer bag– it was just that warm.
This down bag is super warm and great for saving weight.
This full-featured bag has it all, except a high price tag.
This easy-packing summer bag is lightweight and perfect for the budget-shopper.
Bring along your winter toys— L.L. Bean's Mountain Guide pack can carry anything from ice climbing gear to skis.
Take Black Diamond's practical Predator 50 with you on any trail, anytime.
Pack up the weekend toys for your outdoor activity of choice in Marmot's ultralight–and ultra cheap–Alpha 25 backpack.
There might be a journey too daunting for this load hauler. But it's not on this planet.
The ultimate solution for backcountry coffee–fast, ultralight, and fuss-free.
"Habitat for humanity" gets a new meaning with this eco-friendly tent.
Bring us your narrow feet, your wide feet, or the freakishly long–these boots are the answer.
Can't decide which boots are right for the trip? Stop wondering and start hiking with this all-purpose midweight.
Tell the kids–finally, real packs for them, too
Carry less, sleep more with this light-and-luxe mattress.
Four is not a crowd in this family-size featherweight.
Ultralight meets ultra-comfortable in this roomy sleeping bag.
Tents are better, but if the time comes, building a snow shelter isn't that hard.
Here are some simple tips to make trip planning that much easier.
Use these simple tips to survive the storm.
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.
Perfect baselayer: the Icebreaker Superfine 140 Henley Lite stays odor-free with style.
The white, fluffy, subzero-temperature-loving polar bear takes this title.
Float, backpack, and mountain bike Canada's wild west coast.
For one soul-searching hiker, Grayson Highlands stirs powerful memories.
Hike safely in avalanche terrain
There's nothing cozier than a warm, dry tent on a cold night. But strong winds and rain can turn setup into a sopping, frustrating fiasco.
Frostbite is bad news. Learn how to safely treat frozen feet.
Rain, snow, cold, hard knocks–the backcountry can be tough on trail gadgets. You can either upgrade your devices, or learn how to protect them.
Solve winter routefinding challenges with these expert tips.
These gaping glacier cracks are dramatic–and deadly. Here's how they form, plus three safe places to see a crevasse up close.
UV rays are still harmful even when the temperature drops. We'll show you how to protect yourself against the sun, even when it's cold.
Pick your own path to an empty 14er.
Close a wound, remove a tick, prevent poison ivy rash, and more essential tips.
From ultra-warm to ultralight, here are the year's best-performing bags in every category.
Got guts? Good. Now learn what skills you'll need to bag America's Little Everest—a traverse of New Hampshire's Presidential Range in Winter.
Upgrade your trail menu–and lower your carbon footprint–with farmers' market fare.
Use this step-by-step guide to beat 7 common backcountry fears. Plus, ideal hikes for overcoming–or avoiding–the source of your scare.
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.
Don't let groundless phobias ruin–or even prevent–your backcountry adventures. Here's a foolproof plan for overcoming your terrors.
Head to the RMNP for the highest designated camp–find out where below.
Mark Jenkins, the author of "Destination Nowhere," discusses his Yellowstone assignment to find the most remote spot in the United States.
After reading Dan Koeppel's latest urban hiking adventure "Don't Pay at the Pump" (September 2008), we guarantee you'll want to crank "Magic Bus" and ditch the car on your next trip to the trailhead. We can help. Our map team has assembled more than 25 hikes you can access via public transportation. Plus, check out more of Michael Darter's photos and read Koeppel's 2004 feature, "I Climbed Los Angeles," to learn about his slightly insane 19-mile L.A. staircase route.
The best gear in the world can be worthless in the wrong conditions. That's where Backpacker's Perfect System comes in.
Want to hike visit Yellowstone in winter? Follow our guide to get all the winter highlights.
With the cold driving away crowds, National Parks are a delight to visit in winter. Here's our top picks.
From an ultralight knife to a full-service multitool, prepare for your Survivorman moment. Or lunch.
Save yourself from squinting, and get the most of the view you've worked for with these essential specs.
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.
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.
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.
You won't go far with sore feet. So our testers went the distance–5,000 miles, to be exact–to bring you the best shoes for every foot and hike.
The secret to a great day outdoors? Start with a great night. Sleep well in all conditions with one of these snooze-tested bags.
You can test-drive a car, but not a tent. So our crew did the shakedown for you, logging 600-plus nights under stars and storms. Here's what we liked.
The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.
The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.
The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.
The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack. The Solution: One of these 30 field-tested vanishing acts.
When you're trekking into a backcountry bowl, avalanches are almost always a threat. Learn how to protect yourself when the worst happens.
You're lost, hungry, and starting to shiver: Time to play squirrel.
Made with down or synthetic fibers and paper-thin shells, these puffy jackets weigh less, loft higher, and pack much smaller than fleece.
On the trail and in camp, beat the cold with these tips.
Don't be fooled: Hypothermia can happen in the summer or the winter. Learn how to prevent and treat a dropping core body temp.
Time is of the essence in the backcountry. Learn how long it will take an impending thunderstorm or avalanche to find you.
8 easy ways to fortify your sleeping bag
Restaurant-quality dining on the trail. Choose from Mushroom and Tomato Orzo with Pesto or Chicken Posole Wraps for your next campfire dinner.
Unwind after a long hike chilé fondue, French bread bruchetta, or an Asian peanut dip
Spice up your oatmeal with lemony blueberry sauce. Or go for camp-side blueberry pancakes--topped by more blueberry sauce.
Avoid the Pop-Tart rut with Backpacker's seven-day, two-person shopping and menu list.
Eat for energy minus the meat with this three-day, two-person meal plan.
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.
Circumnavigate Oregon's Crater Lake on snowshoes
New Hampshire's Mt. Washington is know for its evil weather. Learn how to survive a winter storm from one of the peak's experts.
By keeping your gear (relatively) free of dirt and grime and storing it properly you can make your gear last forever.
These hares love the snow and cold and they're designed to use the elements to their advantage
Don't overload your pack. Learn how to leave the non-essentials behind and still stay warm.
8 easy ways to fortify your sleeping bag
A NOLS veteran offers tips on balancing comfort, safety, and Leave No Trace principles.
Florida's Everglades National Park has a December high of almost 78°.
Master these skills to make your axe a tool—not a toy.
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.
Expert tips for improving your night vision
Expert tips for a safe, sound night's sleep
How the warm-weather down mummy bags Marmot Atom, Montbell Super Stretch Down Hugger #3, Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32, and Feathered Friends Osprey stack up.
Enjoy this instant chair on your next trip
Keep your kids entertained in camp and on the road with a football, stuffball, and flyer set
Four new recipes for belly-warming campfire drinks
Keep your feet toasty with these 6 tricks
Keep your feet warm and dry while snowshoeing, camping, and shoveling the driveway with the Columbia Ice Dragon, North Face Ice Storm GTX, and Kamik Patriot.
How to make your cold months warmer: boots, bags, jackets, backpacks, and booties for frosty weather
Head out with six hard-charging huskies, and winter will never feel more alive.
Seven national parks in 7 days--starring a ragtop, Red Bull, and one scary rabbit.
Start packing now for a once-in-a-lifetime ski tour through silent, snow-draped Yosemite.
The author sets out to camp in New York's Central Park--and winds up roused by matters of life and death.
Four steps to a lights-every-time blaze
Get more and better Z's with these tricks from a sleep expert.
Kayak island-to-island on the Maine coast
See all (or any) of northern California's three faces.
Discover the beauty of our most southern states by paddling down Carolina rivers, camping out beside Alabama waterfalls, and climbing a 3,792-foot summit in Georgia.
3 tips for conquering snowy hills and steep climbs
Hurricane-force winds and a snowfall average of 246 inches per year? Cake, compared to the challenge the mountain poses in summer.
Testers give the Jannu two thumbs up, despite wanting more space
Carry less, enjoy the cold months more with the latest four-season tents, gloves, hats, and gaiters.
Backpack Lake Huron's shores, kayak the St. Lawrence Islands, and camp along Lake Superior
Hike, pitch your tent, then play like a pro with these new Frisbee and hacky sack diversions
Ideas to help make the backcountry family friendly
Helpful tips for scrambling Canada's Rocky Mountain parks
Spend New Year's in the Big Ditch, where fishing, camping, and hiking await
Lake effect snow and a vast virgin forest make this a spectacular winter getaway for skiing and snowshoeing
Clear-running creeks, longleaf pines and wildlife in Florida's outback
Snowshoe to a scenic high balcony
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 6.
Sneak in the side door for a private viewing of the finest in California's High Sierra real estate.
3 surefire ways to light a reluctant fire
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 5.
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.
Berries Prove Balance Can Be Sweet
If you can't hook a monster in one of these fishing holes, you better hang up your rod.
Freshen up stinky clothes with this homemade, portable washing machine.
Enjoy a slickrock playground of your very own
Learn the latest survival smarts with this military acronym
3 waterproof secrets from veteran mountaineer Pete Takeda
The One-Pan Gourmet shows how to eat like a king.
Here is your chance to tag six summits in only 3 days.
One camper sweats and another shivers. What's the deal?
No frame, no pain--if you try these simple backpack solutions.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 4.
How to acquire your very own Navy SEAL Protective Combat Uniform.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 3.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 2.
Camping in Death Valley might give you the hottest day of your life.
Put some rocks in your socks.
Get more Glacier hiking ideas in our online exclusive
Keep water flowing with this simple technique.
Who would have thought a piece of golf equipment could be really useful to backpackers?
Make your sleeping bag smell laundry fresh.
This trick will help you find just what you're looking for in the dark.
Receding water levels mean more miles of choice desert hiking and kayaking.
This classic snack offers more then just a tasty treat for backpackers.
No need to bring along a big, bulky container for your water in camp when you have this great compact suggestion.
How to avoid slipping and sliding in your sleeping bag.
Carrying around those little extras just got easier with this trick.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 1.
Visit Croatan National Forest, a place so wild it has more flesh-eating plants than people.
Protection one of Alaska and Canada's largest caribou herds is so close, yet so far away.
Here's the best way to make a lightweight and inexpensive camping mattress.
How do you plan an expedition to follow 123,000 migrating caribou across Canada and Alaska? Very carefully.
You'd never guess it: Three quiet trails in such a busy, beautiful place.
River rats wait years to ride the wild Selway River. Hikers can taste its raw beauty right now.
Will he keep up? Karsten Heuer embarks on an audacious 1,200-mile expedition-cum-caribou chase.
This wild Ozark gem is close to St. Louis, but still waiting to be discovered.
18 facts you didn't know about Alaska and Canada's Porcupine Caribou herd.
How do you plan a route following 123,000 migrating caribou across Canada and Alaska? Try to keep up.
Can a place that sees 9 million visitors a year really have any surprises? You bet. We found three hikes full of unexpected history, scenery, and solitude.
A definitive guide to the hottest, sweetest, looniest, and most colorful spots in the great outdoors.
Don't let itchy eyes and a sneeze-machine nose ruin your hike. Here's our guide to keeping allergies at bay.
Winter warmth is easy with these tips from arctic explorers, cold-weather experts, and army docs.
Bust out of winter doldrums on one of these stellar snowshoe routes.
Stay cozy this winter by bedding down in a heated cabin or yurt.
Here's a detailed hiking planner that will take you to the hidden corners of Colorado's most scenic park.
Three ways to salvage broken crackers and pulverized bread.
We tortured 51 trail snacks and staples to pick the longest lasting foods for backpacking.
Tips to take with you when the snow flies.
The hungry hiker's foolproof plan for eating like a king in the backcountry.
Do you have what it takes to climb Alaska's Denali? Find out with our mountaineer's guide.
Tuolomne Meadows monarch Mount Conness has been a classic Yosemite climb for years -- and for good reason.
Hidden deep in Montana's high country lies the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness, a seldom-visited range of cool forests and skyscraping peaks.
City life got you down? Head for the quiet hills of southeastern Washington, where the air is clean, the water clear, and bighorn sheep outnumber hikers.
Hiding in the arid plains of Nevada you'll find a cool refuge from the desert heat and room to let your imagination soar.
Camera hints for bringing home hard-to-get photos in the backcountry
With an abundance of wolves and water--two rarities in the desert--Arizona's remote Blue Range may be the Southwest's best kept secret.
Guide to common bugs in the backcountry.
Deep in the cloud forests of Costa Rica, you'll learn to dodge fireballs and poisonous frogs while tracing a circuit around a living volcano.
How to complete your backcountry kitchen for $5 or less.
Rather than simply stare at the Great Wall, a determined hiker decided to get a different perspective.
If you've never heard of Arizona's 40,000-acre Wabayuma Peak Wilderness, take heart--most people haven't. That's why the silence is deafening.
Torrential rain and wind expose chinks in our author's ultralight armor, but don't dampen his enthusiasm for the pleasures of unencumbered trekking.
Watching snow fall is a backcountry joy--unless it's barreling 80 mph down a mountain and you're in its path.
Let rivers and ridgelines be your compass as you hike in the shadow of Alaska's Mt. McKinley.
In Minnesota's Boundary Waters, thousands of blue routes await those willing to dip a paddle.
In the Paria River canyon, adventure and breathtaking views await around every narrow bend.
A soup-to-nuts guide that'll get you through the supermarket and on the trail faster than you can say "express lane."
A trek from rim to river reveals the Grand Canyon's ancient, storied history.
How to hike safely across frozen lakes and ponds
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Hawaii.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Montana.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Colorado.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in New York.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Illinois.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Rhode Island.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Delaware.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in America.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Alabama.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Massachusetts.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Connecticut.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Kansas.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in New Hampshire.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Nevada.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Florida.
These crunchy, easy-to-prepare side dishes will make your hiking buddies green with envy.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Maryland.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Arizona.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in New Jersey.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Mississippi.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in New Mexico.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in California.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Nebraska.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Pennsylvania.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Michigan.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Indiana.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Louisiana.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Maine.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Missouri.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Oregon.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in North Carolina.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Minnesota.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Ohio.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Alaska.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Kentucky.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Idaho.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Arkansas.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in South Dakota.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Georgia.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Iowa.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in South Carolina.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in North Dakota.
Camping with kids can plant a wild seed in them that will grow as they do-but only if you get them Out There.
The short list of what works and what doesn't.
Hear wild horses thunder through camp. Look for wolf tracks in the mud or eagles' nests in the cliffs high above. Cast off the workaday world and go hike an island paradise.
You won't have a lot of company in North Dakota's badlands, which is why hiking the Maah Daah Hey Trail is so good.
How can we conserve South Dakota's Badlands?
Nuggets of knowledge from those who have brought their youngsters into the backcountry.
Thanks to the Cutler Coast Public Reserve, Maine's rocky, wild coastline is now open to backpackers who like solitude as much as scenery.
Camping without stove or fire gains you freedom, flexibility, simplicity, and compactness, and sometimes a lighter load.
If you have asthma but don't have an inhaler, follow these procedures to breathe easy in the backcountry.
On your next outing, be sure to heed these 10 tips for sleeping like a log.
Hike to the edge of the Cascade Range in this forgotten corner of the Washington wilderness.
Head to the White Cloud Mountains for a crowd-free taste of Idaho high country.
If overpowering stillness is your thing, try the old-growth forests in Oregon's Bull of the Woods Wilderness.
Forgot a sponge? No worries -- clean your camp with these everyday wilderness substitutes.
If water's in short supply where you're headed, know the secrets of dry camping.
How light can you go? Six friends face off to determine whether carrying less gear makes you half as macho, or twice as smart.
Sniff the rhododendrons and enjoy hiking the Valley Rim Trail in North Carolina's Valley River Mountains.
Experiencing a sore butt on the trail? Try these healing tips.
When you're deep in the wilds, a bedraggled stranger wandering into camp triggers a moral dilemma: Offer him dinner or run for the hills?
How and where you should set up your winter tent for maximum comfort and shelter longevity.
Boy Scouts are at the forefront of teaching Leave No Trace ethics.
Follow the hummingbirds in the Mt. Naomi Wilderness to the best high-country wildflower show in all of Utah.
It's the easiest hiking on Earth, and you get to sleep with buffalo, listen to coyotes sing, and bask in quiet so deep you can hear the grasslands growing. Welcome to the prairie.
Seven places where you can walk through a whole new landscape, plus opportunities to help rebuild charred trails.
Take a look at what your sole is doing to the ground.
What to do if the berries you munched weren't safe after all.
Take the finest mountains in the world, add high-country meadows, glacial valleys, alpine lakes, pine-and-hemlock forests, and what do you have? A recipe for backcountry bliss.
Help keep trails clean by picking up your own and other people's trash.
For 30 years, some wide-eyed dreamers have been chiseling a 745-mile route through the Canadian Rockies. The result is a labor of love set to become one of North America's most magnificent long trails.
We know the strength that courses through flesh and bone when standing at a trailhead, ready to set out and practice our primitive art.
Can't wait for the snow to melt? Get warmed up at Minnesota's Jay Cooke State Park.
In Point Reyes National Seashore, you'll find peace and quiet in the heart of California's earthquake zone.
Not all shelters are created equal, as anyone with a cheap tent will tell you after a bad storm. Follow these 10 essentials when buying your next tent.
How to travel safely across four seasons of white.
Lines at backcountry outhouses. Hikers competing for tent sites. Is there any solitude left in New Hampshire's White Mountains? Lots of it, if you know where to go.
Keep your sleeping bag up to fluff with proper care and handling.
Meet Jamie and Joe, who need help with everything from planning to packing to eating well. Enter our team of experts, with a few simple tricks designed to turn them-and you!-into well-oiled backpacking machines.
Ed Abbey said the Sonoran Desert "leaves a golden glow on the mind," which is one of many good reasons why this cactus-spiked paradise should be the next national park.
Follow these tips when you embark on your next snowshoeing journey.
A whale of a Minnesota trail beside a Great Lake.
It's the longest stretch of virgin coastline left in the Lower 48. But that's just one of many reasons to hike it.
Follow these tips before you embark on your next winter snowshoeing journey.
Need someplace to go shoe with your snowshoes? Whet your whistle with one of these great places.
Quick Tips to Prevent, Recognize, and Treat Hypothermia.
Get up close and personal with all those snowshoe parts.
Take BACKPACKER's quiz to quickly determine where your natural ability directs you.
In the 20 years since the passage of the Alaska Lands Act, nothing has changed in many of the state's wild places. And that's reason to celebrate.
With a few precautions, expecting hikers can hit the trail.
Some well-meaning, leave-no-trace horsepackers are trying to rein in their environmentally uncouth brethren. The question is: can they change practices and attitudes that date back to the wild west days?
The French-Canadian trappers are long gone, but the grizzlies and waterfalls remain in this alpine nirvana.
Sure, you can summit Mt. Rainier, but the real treasure isn't on top. It's the Wonderland Trail down below.
Rare stands of virgin hardwood and creekside camping beckon sunburned hikers.
Wyoming's Medicine Bow National Forest is just what the hiker ordered.
Are you antsy? Need to get away? Try New York's Tongue Range.
Hike up and down oak- and hickory-covered ridgetops, or explore underground.
Wind through what remains of a lost Carolina world.
Where you can look down on soaring eagles and feel the power of the Missouri River.
In Big Cypress' land of exotic plants and lurking alligators, swamps aren't such bad places after all.
A bit of nerve opens up the stunning canyonlands made famous by Wile E. Coyote.
Majestic peaks rise in all directions in Washington's Boulder River Wilderness -- elegant, jagged, draped in snow.
Not your laid-back summer holiday -- canoeing and hiking galore.
Strap on the skis and glide across wind-sculpted snow into alpine solitude.
Heavy forests and the roar of whitewater wait in this section of the Appalachian Mountains.
Tucked away in a New England corner is an old-growth paradise.
Sunny beaches, cool forests, and a birder's paradise along the shores of Lake Michigan.
In winter, the glasslike menagerie of icicles in the Cumberland Plateau will send a chill down your spine.
Other tips to beat the most annoying backcountry biters.
The bawling in the black night is the spring chorus of hooting barred owls.
By themselves, noodles are just plain bland. Add the proper topping, though, and dinner takes on a whole new flavor.
That's essentially what the outdoors is, so use those cold temps to carry tasty foods that wouldn't stand a chance in summer.
When the footpath is named the Backpack Trail, you know what to do.
Winter activities demand more of your body's energy.
Use these tools if you're hankering to learn the secret of snow.
When the ground is frozen or 3 feet under snow, use these backcountry bathroom techniques.
In the European high-country Alps you can wander through the most stunning mountains in the world. Vive la difference!
Cold can harm in subtle and quick ways, so it pays to be prepared.
When the rest of the East is bare, snowshoers can find plenty of powder in New York's Five Ponds Wilderness.
When the white stuff piles up, work together to break a trail.
Setting up a tarp? Follow these techniques depending on the situation.
The William O. Douglas Wilderness is a monument worthy of a great man.
Hike this crown of North Cascades National Park, Washington.
Never heard of Utah's George Washington Hayduke Route, have you? That's because it's brand new.
Hickory Creek Wilderness in the Allegheny National Forest remains a great hiking destination all year -- even in winter.
A hidden spot in Washington's popular Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Extend the hiking season at these three destinations, all perfect for winter newbies.
Stomp and glide at Wild River State Park, where no snow monsters are allowed.
Techniques for winter trekking. Find out the advantages snowshoes provide for getting over hill and dale.
Tips to take with you when the winter snow flies in camp.
Two trails, same river, two different worlds.
When temps warm but the going's still snowy, strap on snowshoes to reach Washington's hidden camping gems.
Thickness, length, width, and weight options make choosing the right pad more involved than you might think.
Beat the rainy-day blues by playing sleeping-pad chess or checkers.
A homemade bear bag will make sure your provisions stay safe from hungry critters.
It may be winter, but that's no reason to stop hiking.
How to dress smart and stay warm when Old Man Winter blows in.
In a land with few trails, Alaska's Resurrection Pass stands above them all.
Keep your food away from hungry bears.