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Skill



The Hiker's Handbook

Hike smarter with 110 tips on trail and camp comfort, navigation, gear prep, and more.

Trail Etiquette Survey

Can I update my Facebook status from the summit of a mountain? Can I give myself a trail name? Should I ask you if you're carrying a gun? It's time that these backpacking quandaries were finally solved. Weigh in with your thoughts and opinions.

The List: 10 Motivational Tips for Beginners

Just starting out as a backpacker? Coming back to hiking after a long break? Use these ten simple tricks to get motivated.

Readers' Choice Photo Contest 2014

There just aren't enough pages in the magazine to print all the great photos that get entered into our reader photo contest. Here are the winner, finalists and runners up from the overall contest, as well as some other collections of inspirational photos you submitted.

Test Kitchen: Nuts

Protein-packed and calorie-dense, nuts are a classic backpackers' superfood. We taste-tested 96 spreads, mixes, and bars to bring you the healthiest (and tastiest) options for the trail.

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.

Electrolyte Replacements

Salts and other electrolytes help regulate cell function and nerve impulses, so when you sweat them out, you need to replace them. From Grand Gulch to the Grand Canyon, we tested 27 different gels, powders, and chews - and found the best ways to stay charged this summer.

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.

Survival: Light 'Em Up

Wet, cold, lost, hungry: In desperate times, nothing improves your changes of survival more than a roaring blaze. We tested every fuel source under the sun to show you how to start a fire every time.

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: 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.

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.

Backpacker-Friendly Noodles

Noodles are easy-prep crowd pleasers. Learn about the trail-worthiest types and cooking methods.

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.

Master Class: Cook Like a Pro

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

Fix It: Easy Backpacking Gear Repairs

Master these easy repairs to save on shop costs and replacement gear.

Backpacking Gear Maintenance Tips

Extend the life of your pack, sleeping bag, and tent with these tips.

Create Tyvek Treasures

Stay warm and fight the rain with three simple projects using this waterproof/breathable material.

Build It: Make an Efficient Alcohol Stove

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

Easy Money: Where to Find Gear Savings

Whether you're buying maps or park passes, there are easy ways to save a few bucks.

How to Buy (and Sell) Used Gear

Save and make money with these tips from experts at the country's best secondhand gear shops.

Shop Smart: Buy This, Not That

What to choose when buying water bottles, batteries, water treatments, and midlayers.

Shop Smart: Smart Gear-Buying Habits

Four handy tips for getting the most for your money.

Easy Money: Save Money on Gear

By shopping strategically, planning smart, and maintaining your gear, and making easy repairs you can save big. These 75 tip are here to help.

America's Best Used Gear Stores

We tallied your votes: These are the country's top 10* gear stores. (And tips for getting the most bang for your buck when you visit.)

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.

Make a Sleeping Bag Liner

Add 10-degrees of warmth to your sleeping bag with this simple DIY project.

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 contestómore than 650 of them. Check out these finalists (and this year's winner), then go to backpacker.com/photos to submit your own images. Weíll showcase the best entries in upcoming issues.

Survival Lab: Eat Out--Pack a Tiny Tackle Box

This pocket-size fishing kit could save your life.

Survival Lab: Eat Out--In a Pinch



Survival Lab: Eat Out

Need to find food in a crisis? Just foraging for fun? Learn to raid nature's pantry, which is full of easily harvested, highly nutritious meals.

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.

Got Problem Feet?

An expert bootfitter can help. Here's how Phil Burgess of Ski Stop in Westwood, MA, a certified fit expert, helped one editor overcome a chronic and debilitating fit problem.

Instant Upgrades

Revive waterproof jackets, salvage a wet map, get better backcountry sleep, and organize your gear. By Sarah Maurer

Master Class: The Gym-Free Fitness Plan

Use this no-cost, do-anywhere training program to enhance hiking strength and speed this spring.

Backpacker-Friendly Chocolate

Cocoa packs high energy and healthy antioxidants, and our testing revealed the best-tasting, most-meltproof varieties for the trail.

Troubleshoot This: Snowblind

Caught out on a bright day without your glasses? Things could turn ugly if you lose your vision. Learn to prevent and treat a sunburned eye.

Out Alive: Trapped in an Ice Tunnel

A solo hiker tries to claw her way out of a frozen cave after a winter pathway collapses.

Master Class: The Gym Free Fitness Plan

Use this no-cost, do-anywhere training program to enhance hiking strength and speed this spring.

What Kind of Hiker Are You?

Find your personality type and trips that match your adventure style.

Fitness Excuse Busters

Mountain guide and author of Fit by Nature John D. Colver offers up these hints for staying motivated and fit no matter what your excuse.

Adventure Travel Skills

See more wildlife, climb more peaks, and hike more miles with these tips that'll help every adventure traveling backpacker raise their game.

Mileage Master Skills

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

Family Traveler

Read these tips to make your kids more comfortable on the trail.

Peakbagger Skills

Tips for overcoming jetlag, gathering beta, and getting your summit gear to foreign peaks in one piece.

Limit Pusher Skills

Always looking for a way to go farther and faster? Get ready with these tips to take your hiking to the next level.

Multisport Maniac Skills

Learn these skills for trips that involve more than just hiking.

Navigating in the desert

Tips from our experts and readers about traveling in deserts and canyon country

Master Class: Read the Wilderness

Use nature's signs to orient yourself, pick your path through varied terrain, and predict the weather.

Test Kitchen: Cooking Trail Eggs

We cracked dozens of eggs to find the perfect camping prep. Here's how to pack them efficiently, use them in trail-worthy recipes, and clean up quickly.

Winter Survival Guide: Camp

Humans weren't built to sleep on snow. Defy nature and sleep soundly with these winter camping tips.

Winter Survival Guide: Cook

In and out of the wilderness, food is important for survival. Don't screw it up with these winter cooking tips.

Winter Survival Guide: Travel

Hiking through the snow is beautiful, but not exactly easy. Use these tips to make your winter traverse all the more pleasant.

Winter Survival Guide: Navigate

Especially in winter, getting there is half the battle. Find your way through the white with these tips.

Winter Survival Guide: Prepare

The best defense is a good offense. Employ these tips before you ever leave home.

Winter Survival Guide

Our five-part plan to staying warm and well-fed in cold weather.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Gear Aid Seam Grip Field Repair Kit

A two-ounce, packable kit to quickly mend your pad, tent, bag, or shell in the field.

The Survival Issue: You

To err is human, bt to err in the wilderness can get you in a load of trouble. Here's how to manage missteps and improvise fixes.

The Survival Issue: Wildlife

Spotting animals is a highlight of backcountry travel—unless they attack. Learn how to escape 22 dangerous species.

The Survival Issue: Terrain

Don't let the desert–or swamps, cliffs, jungles, glaciers, or other potentially dangerous landscapes–be your end.

The Survival Issue: Gravity

Falls trigger more backcountry deaths than almost ever other cause combined. Here's how to go up without tumbling down.

The Survival Issue: Weather

From hypothermia to heatstroke, the elements kill in myriad ways. Protect yourself with 34 tips on wind, rain, snow, and more.

Year of the Reader: Win a Gear or Skills Makeover!

We're matching your needs with our expertise and making over six lucky readers with new skills and gear to get more out of their trail time.

Survival Lab: Gimme Shelter

Losing daylight and don't have a tent? Don't panic: We tested three shelter-making techniques that will help you survive the night. Plus: Three bomber bivies.

Troubleshoot This: Can't Ignite Damp Wood

Maximize your spark's potential with a tinder bundle that will burn anywhere.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012

261 reviews and camping tips

Build Trail-worthy Ankle Strength

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

BACKPACKER'S Year of the Reader Contests

We're gearing up for some massive giveaways in 2013 to celebrate BACKPACKER's 40th anniversary.

Camp Friendly Cheese

Jimmy Kennedy of Cabot Cheese shares four scrumptious camp-friendly, cheese-centric delicacies that will surely satisfy. Plus: Watch our how-to video about making a cheese wax candle.

Test Kitchen: Cheese

From Gouda to good old string cheese, we tested 20 types to find the trail-worthiest.

Master Class: Lighten Your Pack

Drop 5, 10, or 15 pounds (or more!) by packing smart, planning ahead, and fine-tuning essentials.

September 2012 Table of Contents



Navigation Webinar: FOR TESTING



Master Class: Take Better Night-Sky Photos

You’ve found the ideal starry sky. Now, shoot the sparkling display—without investing in a new camera. Use these composition and setting tips from award-winning photographer Ben Canales.

Manually Adjust Declination

Change declination to navigate more accurately over long distances.

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.

Survival Lab Knife Test--The Final Cut

Can your keychain knife hack through rope? Wood? Bone? Didn’t think so. We tested 14 packable blades to find the toughest, most versatile survival tool for hikers.

Test Kitchen: Coffee

We perked more than 100 caffeinated cups to find the best trail-brew technique. Here’s how to choose your method, gear, and grounds.

Expert Panel: 11 Pro Tips

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

Master Class: Find Yourself on a Map

The best way to avoid getting lost? Always know your location. Study up on these key techniques for identifying terrain features, translating GPS data to a map, and triangulating your position.

Survival Lab

Our man-in-the-field, Drop Dead Ted, tests lifesaving gear and equipment with ingenuity and elbow grease. You can trust his results to provide the truth that every backpacker needs to know in a survival situation.

August 2012 Table of Contents



Recipe: Quinoa Taco Salad

Gourmet Southwestern salad, perfect for that light afternoon meal.

Recipe: Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

Super quick and full of flavor. Perfect for a fast and easy meal.

Navigate in Low Visibility

Leapfrogging, following benchmarks, and more.

The Manual: Rough Road Driving

Don’t get stuck in the mud. Learn to evaluate road hazards, overcome obstacles, and navigate the unpaved passages between your front door and your next adventure.

Navigation Webinar: Go Farther with Maps and GPS

In this beginner friendly course, BACKPACKER Map Editor Andrew Matranga teaches the essentials of map reading, GPS, and compass, plus how to use today's best digital mapping tools to plan trips, to navigate in the field and to share adventures once you get home.

Gear Guide 2012: Rip & Equips

Don't go shopping until you've read these comprehensive guides to buying and fitting the right pack, boots, bag, and tent.

Rip & Equip: Backpacks

Finding a great fitting backpack is the key to happy backpacking. Plus, learn how to keep your pack looking and feeling like new.

Rip & Equip: Boots

First: Buy the right boots. Second: Keep them in tip top shape with these tips.

Rip & Equip: Sleeping Bags

Mummy or semi-rectangular? Sleeves vs. clips? Choose the right sleeping bag and keep it in top shape with these tips.

June 2012 Table of Contents



Gear Guide 2012: The Ten Essentials

Get prepped with this core gear.

The Gear Pro's Repair Kit

Our resident expert, gear editor Kristin Hostetter, assembles the tools to save any trip.

Backpacking 101

Learn the basics of backpacking - from what to pack, how to plan a trip, first aid, survival skills, what to eat, and basic how-to.

May 2012 Table of Contents



Editors' Choice 2012: Hungry Hikers Murray's Hurried Curry

Yes, it's the journey that counts. But every trip is better with fast, delicious food like this.

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.

Travel Like a Pro

Adventure Travel Tips for Backpackers

Travel Like a Pro: Stay Healthy

Start with up-to-date vaccinations–for chicken pox, MMR, tetanus, and hepatitis A, B, and C–then tear out this cheat sheet to preventing six common adventure-travel risks.

Travel Like a Pro: Get Wired

Stay charged and in touch abroad.

Travel Like a Pro: Travel Comfortably

Reduce the physical stress of getting there–and enjoy the ride.

Travel Like a Pro: Choose What to Pack & How to Find Gear Deals

Pick and choose what to pack for long or multi-activity trips. Plus, three ways to avoid overspending when outfitting your next trip.

Travel Like a Pro: How to Pack Your Duffle

Carry more, protect your pack, and ease transit.

Travel Like a Pro: Carry on Your Camp Kit + Must-have Medicines

TSA-approved camp kit carry-on items. Plus, meds you might need abroad.

Travel Like a Pro: Prepare & Schedule

Get backcountry-worthy accident insurance and plan for good-weather windows and low-traffic trails.

Travel Like a Pro: Scout International Routes

Stay on track in exotic terrain with tips from adventurer Pete Takeda.

Travel Like a Pro: Find a Guide

Save time and energy with a knowledgeable local pro.

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's Bible: 10 Skills Every Backpacker Must Know

We've created a plan to help you upgrade your trail time in all the ways that matter: bigger views, more solitude, easier miles, and more. Donít hang up your boots until youíve mastered this definitive list of 10 skills and life-altering experiences.

Backpacker Bible: Make Fire

When disaster strikes in the backcountry, don't pin your hopes on prayer. Your ability to spark a flame could be the difference between survival and six-feet-under.

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.

Backpacker Bible: Stay Dry

Learn how to cope with relentless rain, and you can experience some of the Earth's holiest places–Alaska! Patagonia!–in comfort.

Backpacker Bible: Find Your Way

Join a long line of enlightened travelers who have navigated the wilderness–and discover a whole new world that lies beyond well-marked trails and guided trips.

Backpacker Bible: Seek Solitude

Want your very own Eden? Here's how to go where–and when–others don't.

Backpacker Bible: Camp Well

Who says spiritual travelers must shun earthly comforts? You just worked all day to reach a magnificent high-country cirque. Now create a campsite to match.

Backpacker Bible: See More Wildlife

Get closer to the mystery of life: Put yourself spine-tingling distance from the fanged and clawed and horned.

Backpacker Bible: Get Out More

Have you ever heard anyone wish he spent less time outdoors?

Backpacker Bible: Hike Farther

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

Backpacker Bible: Go Higher

Once you've been to the mountaintop, few other experiences will compare. For soul-cleansing, skill-building, life-affirming thrills, put a big one on your bucket list.

Adventure Upgrade: Thru-Hike a Long Trail

Prep for success, plan ahead, and stay healthy to pull off a month-plus trek.

Adventure Upgrade: Cook Like a Pro

Pack and prepare a week's worth of mouth-watering meals.

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.

Adventure Upgrade: Take the Family Hiking and Camping

Use these tricks to get your kids begging for another trip outside.

Adventure Upgrade: Navigate Off Trail

Open up a new door to adventure–by leaving the well-trod route behind.

Adventure Upgrades: Hike Smarter and Farther

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.

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: Ride a Whitewater Roller Coaster

Inflatable kayaks make big-water action accessible to all.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Climb Big Trees

Discover a higher world.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Make an Adventure Movie

Create a story-driven video that engages you on the trail and offers a fresh perspective on trip memories.

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.

Rip & Live: Lost

More than 1,000 hikers go missing every year in our national parks alone. Most are found within hours, but basic skills can help you get home without making a seriousóor even fatalómistake. Follow this advice for staying on course.

Go Solo--Safely

Read these tips from expert soloists to gauge your readiness and learn how to enjoy an unfettered adventure.

Gear School: Four-Season Tents

Camp comfortably this winter with a shelter built for foul, windy weather.

The Manual: Winterize Your Dog

Learn how to prepare your dog for cold temps and tricky terrain with this guide.

Recipe: Smoky PB Chicken Chili

Peanut butter is the secret ingredient to this smoky chili

Recipe: Pumpkin Peanut Soup

A can of pumpkin makes for an interesting trail soup

Build Backpacking Muscles

Strengthen three key areas - shoulders, ankles, and core - this winter so you can tackle tougher trails next spring.

Escape Plan: Reduce Lightning Strike Risk

Tips for lessening the risk of lightning in the backcountry.

Escape Plan: Use Bear Spray Safely

How to use bear spray.

Escape Plan: Cross Summer Snow

How to safely traverse a small, seasonal snowfield.

Survival: True Reader Escapes

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

Maintain Ski Gear: Patch Ski Poles and Ski Boots

Donít let a split ski pole shaft or broken boots ruin your balance.

Maintain Ski Gear: Keep Climbing Skins Sticky

Good grip is the key to fast and easy climbing.

Maintain Ski Gear: Back Up Your Bindings

Be proactive about preparing your ski-systemís hub.

Ski Strong: Kick Turn Like a Pro

Perfect this move for on-a-dime turns in steep, rugged terrain.

Ski Strong: Descend with Control

Stay safe with these six ski-down tips.

Ski Strong: Adjust Your Ski Poles

Use telescoping shafts for stability on any angle.

Ski Strong: Ski Any Snow Conditions

Change your technique and style to manage any snow conditions.

Select a Safe Route: Avalanche Terrain Travel

Recognize these avalanche-risk signs and learn how to choose routes that avoid them.

Select a Safe Route: Study the Snowpack

Hidden layers are the key to stableóor slide-readyóslopes.

Select a Safe Route: Watch the Weather

All conditions affect avy potential. Check forecasts and assess risk.

Prep Your Gear: Pack to Backcountry Ski

Use this advice to hone your backcountry layers for any trip length or conditions.

Tips from Pro Skiers

Four ski pros share advice for looking good--and staying safe--in the backcountry.

Maintain and Repair Your Ski Gear

A broken binding or a skin that wonít stick could mean a night spent out in a snow cave, or worse. Have your kit tuned up before you go, but make sure you know how to fix common problems in a pinch.

Ski Strong and Smart

You donít need pro-level skills to ski off-piste, but honing your kick-turn technique and avoiding rookie mistakes will ease your transition to backcountry terrain. Hereís how to master the ups and downs when lifts and groomers are miles away. Plus: Prevent blisters, stay energized, and negotiate steeps.

Select a Safe Ski Route

Caused by variable weather, unstable snowpack, and steep terrain, backcountry avalanches claim an average of 25 lives a year in the United States. Your first safety step: Brush up on the basics below. Next, take a course accredited by the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education

Prep Your Backcountry Ski Gear

On any wilderness trip, smart preparation is key. But itís even more important when youíre backcountry skiing, due to the technical gear, low temperatures, potential for severe weather, avalanche risk, and tricky routefinding. Hereís how to start smartóbefore you leave home.

Backcountry Skiing 101

Start earning your turns–safely–with this primer on equipment, route planning, reading conditions, and more.

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

Pocket-sized waterproof survival and first aid kit

Survival: Improvise a Splint and Treat Burns

Two skills to take with you to the backcountry

Survival: Don't Always Trust a Topo Map

Look around, not just at your map.

Survival: Cross a River

Don't get swept away, use this technique.

Survival: Learn Patience in Alaska

Don't let low points get you down.

Survival: Choose Your Partner Wisely

Pick a good partner--or you may get burned.

Recipe: Gado-gado Spaghetti

A spicy peanut butter sauce makes this a light spaghetti dish that is excellent either hot or cold.

Recipe: Cashew Beef Curry

Boil-in-the-bag rice and beef jerky make this recipe a snap.

Recipe: American Chop Suey

Make a double batch of this at home. Have it for dinner with your family then dehydrate half for your next few backpacking trips.

Survival: Find Water in the Desert

Dangerously thirsty in the desert?

Survival: Find Water in the Desert

Dangerously thirsty in the desert?

Survival: Make Good Judgement Calls

Hard-won-lessons and tips about good decision making from the front lines of survival.

Survival: Unexpected Accidents

Hard-won-lessons and tips about unexpected dangers from the front lines of survival.

Survival: Unsafe Snow Conditions

Hard-won-lessons and tips about unsafe snow from the front lines of survival.

Survival: First Aid Emergencies

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

Survival: If I Only Knew Then...

On the path to good judgment, youíll find the wreckage from a whole lot of bad decisions. Your plan: Learn from othersí mistakes, and wise up to outdoor hazards without risking your life. Your guide: Veteran adventurer Mark Jenkins. Plus: Guides and rangers share hard-won lessons they wish someone would have told them.

SURVIVE: If I Only Knew Then...

Three decades of trial and error from our favorite battle-scarred adventurer.

Fall Hiking: In Camp

Learn how to pick the perfect campground and keep your food, and yourself, toasty in dipping temps.

Fall Hiking: On the Trail

Stay warm while hiking in the fall with these temperature-regulating tips.

Fall Hiking: Weather Concerns

How to predict the weather, plan for a warmer route, and coldproof your camp kitchen.

Hiking's Best Season: Fall

34 tips for ensuring comfort as you prep at home, hit the trail, and camp in the fall months.

Case Study: Hypothermic on Mt. Washington

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


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.

How to Walk

Yes, there's a better way to put one foot in front of the other. Improve your stride, trek farther, and end leg and back pain with our guide to the new science of healthy hiking.

Ultralight Makeover

A 12-step program for cutting weight.

Recording Nature: Calls of the Wild

Enrich your trip memories by recording nature's soundscapes.

The Manual: Plan a Trip with GPS

Learn how to plot your own digital adventures with precision--then print the maps and prep your GPS.

Gear Test Fail: Off Clip-it and ThermaCELL Insect Repeller

In this home video, gear tester Joe Flowers goes out into the wilds of North Carolina to test two alternative bug repellents. The result is, well, itchy.

Gear Test: Beat the Bugs without the DEET

DEET-free bug-repellent options from chemicals to high frequency sound

Rip & Live: Survive Desert Extremes

Triple-digit temps by noon. Freezing at night. Scarce water. The desert is as dangerous for unprepared hikers. Give yourself an edge and learn to survive this hostile territory while backpacking.

Gear School: Synthetic Sleeping Bags

The best new sacks are tough on cold and packed with technology.

Recipe: Fruit and Nut Quinoa

Gourmet breakfast served in your sleeping bag

Recipe: Power Oatmeal

Traditional oats with energy-packed surprises

Skills: Mind Over Mountain

New research offers mental tricks for conquering steep slopes.

Skills: Mind Over Mountain

New research offers mental tricks for conquering steep slopes.

The Manual: Backcountry Fly-Fishing

Find fish-jumping action, spot streamside sanctuaries, and--if you're allowed to keep your catch--pull divine meals from pristine waters.

Saving Lives: Perform a Focused Assessment

Use these three assessment tools to examine every patient thoroughly after you've stopped any immediate threats to life. Trauma victims are more common in the backcountry; start your inspection with a head-to-toe exam. For ill patients, begin by asking about medical history and taking vitals.

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.

Slideshow Series: How To Keep Your Camera Working Its Best

Learn how to care for and clean your camera during trips and at home. Use these tips to keep it working, despite the elements you face in the outdoors.

Prof. Hike: Beating Summer Heat, Bugs, & Crowds

Your action plan to make high summer hiking and camping enjoyable.

Prof. Hike: Ode to a Plastic Bag

Are plastic bags an immortal evil or a hiker's best friend?

Prof. Hike: The First Five Minutes

When you're lost, your initial decisions will make the difference.

Prof. Hike: Make Your Gear Last Longer

Transform your gear closet with 11 money-saving tips.

51 Summer Camping Secrets

Maximize fun and minimize hassle with these essential tips on comfort, safety, cooking, and finding solitude during the high season.

Summer Camping Secrets: At the Stove

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

Summer Camping Secrets: In Camp

From picking the right campsite to stargazing like a pro, these summer camping tips will ensure a restful overnight.

Summer Camping Secrets: On The Trail

Once you've left camp, these tips and techniques will make your on-trail miles more enjoyable.

Summer Camping Secrets: Avoid Crowds, Hit the Trail Faster

With a little pre-planning you can hit the trail and beat the crowds all summer long.

How To Clean Your Camera's Sensor

Sand and dust in your digital camera can ruin those once-in a lifetime shots. Here's how to eliminate them from SLR or Micro 4/3rds cameras.

How To Clean Your Camera's Exterior

All cameras, whether SLRs or point & shoots, need maintenance. Here's how to clean your baby and get it ready for the next big sunset.

How To Keep Cameras Alive In The Field

The wilderness is often a wet and gritty place. Fortunately cameras are tougher than we think, but careless handling can trash them. Here's how to stack the odds in their favor.

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.

Rip and Live: Learn to Survive a Bear Attack

With 1 million bears roaming North America, chances are pretty good that you'll cross paths with one of them at some point. To make every encounter safe, from grizzly bears to black bears, bone up on bruin identification and etiquette.

So You Wanna Be a Mountain Guide

Tryout tips from a Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. Veteran

Tough Outdoor Jobs

Every backpacker dreams of a glory job in the outdoors. Here's what it takes to make the grade for 8 of the toughest ones out there.

Are You Tough Enough?

Every backpacker dreams of a glory job in the outdoors. Senior Editor Shannon Davis heads to Mt. Rainier--and a grueling tryout with premier guide operation RMI--to find out what it takes to make the grade.

Tough Guy Challenge: Call for Videos

Submit your video! Win a trip to Rainier and the title of America's Toughest Backpacker.

How To Slideshow: Fit A Week's Gear In A Weekend Pack

Don't own a massive pack for your big annual adventure? Here's how to make it all fit.

How to Use Online Weather Resources

Conditions mean everything when planning your weekend adventure. Check out our Rocky Mountain Editor's favorite weather sites.

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.

Prof. Hike: The Backpacker's Reading List

Seven great books and the outdoor places to enjoy them

Summer Trail Smarts: Purify Water

Learn several techniques to purify water in the backcountry.

Summer Trail Smarts: Staunch a Bleeding Wound

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

Summer Trail Smarts: Tie a Figure-8 Loop

Learn to tie a figure-8 loop–one of the most common and useful knots.

Gear School: Headlamps

Improve your night sight with the latest headlamp technology.

Technique: How to Cross a Moraine

Learn how to find a safe route through glacial rubble, crossing a moraine with nothing more than boots and trekking poles.

Rainier's Reigning Champ

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

Recipe: Farmer's Mash

For a hearty vegetable stew, make this easy Farmer's Mash recipe in less than 10 minutes.

Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

This gourmet chicken pot pie is an easy recipe for a warm and filling backcountry dinner.

Prof. Hike: Rely on Yourself, Not on Your Phone

Join the effort to make mobile phones safer for the trail.

The Manual: Learn How To Paddle Whitewater

Learn how to ride rapids, and you'll open up a new way to explore the outdoors.

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?

Tough Guy Challenge Week 3

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

Ask A Bear: Electric Fence As Deterrent?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Skunk Spray As Deterrent?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Old Vomit in a Tent?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Raise the Adventure Bar

10 tips to make an average hike extraordinary

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.

Countdown to a Successful Hike

Stop trailhead snafus with this pretrip checklist.

How-To Slideshow: Make a 2-Ring Retrievable Rappel Anchor

Take your rappel slings with you after learning this simple method.

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.

Trail Teachers: On Tour with BACKPACKER's Get Out More Team

BACKPACKER's camping experts are coming soon to an outdoor shop near you. Learn what you can expect from this dynamic couple and their Get Out More clinics.

Ask A Bear: Will Music Attract A Bear?

Got a burning ursine question? Ask our resident bruin expert in our new weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Scare a Marauding Bear

Got a burning ursine question? Ask our resident bruin expert in our new weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Do Bears Really Like Toothpaste

Got a burning ursine question? Ask our resident bruin expert in our new weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Is Submerged Food Safe?

Got a burning ursine question? Ask our resident bruin expert in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Can Boat Horns Scare Bears?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Can Mothballs Keep Away Bears

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: How Many Bear Attacks, Really?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will Camp Fire/Cigar Smoke Keep Away A Bear

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Run Away From A Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear Christmas Present

Usually, our bear answers burning ursine questions, but this week he's dropping off a holiday gift.

Ask A Bear: How Should I Handle MaMa Black Bear With Cubs?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Can Bears Get Drunk

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Ditch the Deodorant In Bear Country?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: How Long Do Food Smells Stick to My Tent?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Mountain Biking In Bear Country?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask a Bear: Will Backcountry Sex attract a Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Followed By A Dangerous Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will Dryer Sheets Attract a Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Soap-Eating Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in out weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will Pet Hair Attract a Bear

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Is It Ok To Cook In An RV In Bear Country?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will My Farts Attract a Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Charging Bear Caught on FIlm

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Storing Food Above Treeline?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Why is Black Bear and Grizzly Bear Behavior so Different?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will Cider Vinegar Attract a Bear



Ask A Bear: Bear Steals, Destroys Car for PB&J Sandwich

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will you Eat me In Rocky Mountain NP?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Do Ultrasonic Noises Repel You?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Do Bear Bells Really Work

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Which Park Has The Most Bear Attacks

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Can Wasp Spray Repel You?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Never Look a Bear in the Eyes?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Break a Stick to Scare Away Bears?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Do I Need to Bear-Bag Unopened Freeze-Dried Foods?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: More Active During a Full Moon

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will a Flashlight Make You Mad?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Why Did You Destroy my Van?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask a Bear: Bear Canisters in Winter?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask a Bear: Are you a Picky Eater? (Video)

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: What Color Are Your Eyes At Night?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Scared By Flashing Lights?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Gear Review: XC navigation skills

Learn everything you need to know to get from point a. to point b.

How To Slideshow: FIx and Maintain Your Trekking Poles

Make those tried and true trekking poles last forever with these maintenance tips.

Trail Chef: Chefs Mike Faverman and Pat Mac's Mouthwatering Dill Salmon

We review their new recipe book Ultimate Camp Cooking. Plus: their easy-cook Dill Salmon recipe.

Ask A Bear: Can You Smell My Marijuana?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Prof. Hike: A Backpacker's Guide to Smart Personal Hygiene

6 tips for staying clean and fresh on the trail

How-To Slideshow: Learn to Hang a Bear Bag

Learn to use this lightweight method of getting your food out of a bear's reach.

Everest Contaminated by Toxic Metals

New research reveals high levels of arsenic and cadmium in the mountain's snow and soil. Plus: Should you worry about similar pollution in North America's high country?

Sign Up For the Go Farther with Maps and GPS Webinar

Master essential navigation skills and turn into an interactive backcountry explorer.

Ask A Bear: Stay Away From My Honey!

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Trail Chef: Tomato Pasta with Spinach-Cheese Sauce

New research shows spinach makes your muscles work more efficiently, so power up with this savory dish.

Learn to Do a Downhill Kick Turn

This basic survival skiing turn is a backcountry staple for experts and novices alike.

Prof. Hike: Catching Hiking's Most Wanted

The most dangerous mistakes are the ones you don't recognize.

The Biggest Winner: Why Backpacking Burns Fat

Your body is an engine. It runs on a mix of carbohydrates, fats, and a very small amount of protein. And it's a finely tuned engine, using the best fuel for every need.

After Burn: Staying in Shape Off-Trail

How to keep off what you've hiked off.

Frostbite IQ

Test your skills--and possibly save some fingers--with this first-aid quiz.

The Wrong Way: Top 52 Hiker Mistakes

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

Dirtbag Recipe: Tuna with Olives and Capers

Try this quick and easy fish recipe.

Gourmet Recipe: Grilled King Salmon with Porcini Mushrooms

Take your fire-side fish skills to the next level with this savory salmon recipe.

Dirtbag to Gourmet: Fish Recipes

Dig into a backcountry fish feast with these easy-prep, sure-to-wow dishes.

Winter Training

Get trail-fit now to make next summer your best hiking season yet.

Gear School: Avalanche Beacons

Travel safely through snowscapes with this lifesaving locator.

Trail Chef: Easy-Bake Cinnamon Rolls

Start your morning with the sweet aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through camp.

Ask a Bear: Bivys in Bear Country?

When I sleep in my beloved bivy, am I just wrapping myself up like a six-foot bear burrito?

Prof. Hike: Prevent Civil War on the Trail

Don't let different hiking speeds tear your group apart.

BACKPACKER MAGAZINE APPS

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

Trail Chef: Spiced Cocoa Nuts

Add pizzazz to your gorp with this addictive mix.

How-To Slideshow: Learn to Fix a Tent Pole

Resurrect any tent pole with this handy how-to guide.

Ask A Bear: Can I Survive On Your Diet?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

How-To Slideshow: Learn to Make an Ultralight Tent Deaman

Use this cheap, simple solution for securing your tent on snow or sand in no time.

Prof. Hike: This Post Might Save Your Life

How your cell phone calls for help even when you don't have service

Trail Chef: GoodBelly ToGo Probiotics Review

Fortify your immune system (and avoid GI distress) in the backcountry with these tasty powder mixes.

Ask A Bear: How Fast Can You Run?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Trail Chef: Apple Leathers & Rhubarb Pie Roll-Ups

Why pay a mint for fruity snacks when you can make your own?

How-To Slideshow: Pitch a Tent on Snow

Learn how to pitch your tent when the snow falls with this how-to guide.

The Manual: Couples Camping 101

Use these proven methods to make sure your first romantic camping foray into the wilderness isn't your last.

Couples Camping 101: Gear and Skills

Gear and skills to keep you and your outdoor-loving honey happy in the backcountry.

Prof. Hike: The Ex-Pyromaniac's Guide to Fire

How to light an expert blaze every time

March 2011 Table of Contents



Trail Chef: Premium On-the-Go Fuel

Fill the tanks with these 5 new trail snacks.

Trail Chef: Top-Grade Trail Fuel

Fill the tanks with these 6 new on-the-go snacks.

Trail Chef: Top-Grade Trail Fuel

Fill the tanks with these 6 new on-the-go snacks.

Slideshow: How to Pitch a Tent Anywhere

Think beyond the stake. Use these techniques to pitch a tent anywhere.

Prof. Hike: The Instinctive 127 Hours

Why Aron Ralston's survival required more than a multi-tool

Trail Chef: A Brave New S'more

Switch things up with these twists on the classic treat.

Slideshow: Adjusting Trekking Pole Straps For Max Effect

Little did you know, but there's a right way and wrong way to strap on those trekking poles. Use this tutorial for maximum comfort and utility.

Gear Review: Acu-Rite Wireless Weather Station and Weather Station Forecaster

Rainshell or fleece? Know at a glance with this wireless weather station.

Prof Hike: The End of Off-the-Grid

Spot's new gadget adds satellite reception to smartphones anywhere.

Trail Chef: High Country Poppy Seed Cake

You can bake this yummy treat even at altitude, and you and your mates will be fighting over the last crumbs.

Reader Recipes: Easy Pasta & Rice Camp Meals

10 reinventions of trailworn dinner recipes. Plus some easy breakfast and dessert options.

Reader Recipe: Chicken Curry Wrap

Overall top-scorer: This wallet-saver meal is super easy to make but packs dynamite flavor.

Readers' Choice Issue 2011: Reader Recipes

BACKPACKER readers submitted scores of simple, delicious recipes. Here are 21 taste-tested favorites.

Trail Chef: Nutty Rice

Switch things up with this easy twist on a classic staple.

Prof. Hike: 5 Gear Tune-Ups for the New Year

Hit the ground hiking with this off-season checklist.

How-To Slideshow: Install Leave No Trace Trekking Pole Tips

In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you exactly how to put rubber tips on your trekking poles.

How-To Slideshow: Adjust Your Trekking Pole Straps

In this step-by-step guide, we show you exactly how to use trekking pole straps effectively.

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: Rigging a Tent

This is your guide to creating convertible guy lines and rigging a tent securely on rocky surfaces.

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.

How-To Slideshow: Fitting a Backpack

In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you exactly how to fit a pack for optimum comfort and stability on the trail.

Prof. Hike: 5 Unwritten Rules of Trail Etiquette

If Miss Manners backpacked, she'd agree with us.

Trail Chef: Backcountry Eggnog

Just because you're 10 miles into the wilderness doesn't mean you should miss out on holiday drinks.

How to Do Everything - Banish Blisters, Build Lung Power, and More.

Hike farther, faster, and pain-free with these training tips and exercise.

How to Do Everything - Become a Mileage Monster

Hike farther, faster, and pain-free with these training tips and exercise.

Hiking Exercises: Beef Up Your Lower Back

Try this exercise to give your lower back the strength you need.

Hiking Exercises: Cure Outer-Knee Pain

Nothing's worse on the trail than knee pain. Prevent and cure it with this exercise.

Hiking Exercises: Get Explosive Strength

Tackle big miles with this essential exercise.

Hiking Exercises: Sculpt 3D Legs

Want legs that handle any terrain. This is the exercise.

Hiking Exercises: Iron Out Your Core

Get core strength with this key exercise.

Trail Chef: Wheat Pilaf with Bacon

Fill up with this savory and surprising dish.

Reader Recipe: Creamy Clam Chowder

A hearty, creamy soup that will fill you up in the backcountry.

Reader Recipe: Indonesian Pilaf

Red quinoa adds a nutty kick to savory herbs and veggies

Reader Recipe: Sweet Potato Pizza Pie

Instant sweet potatoes and mini marshmallows make this a unique twist on pizza.

Reader Recipe: Pecan Pancakes with Fruit Compote

These filling flapjacks have a pleasant crunch and natural sweetness.

Reader Recipe: Blueberry Crisp Bars

Take a break from gels with these fruity and peanut-buttery pick-me-ups.

Reader Recipe: No-Bake Cow Chips

Despite their eponymous appearance, these rich cookies taste divine.

Reader Recipe: Warm Apple Crescents

A yummy desert or breakfast cooked over the campfire.

The BACKPACKER iPad App

Our new iPad app brings the skills you need right to the palm of your hand with monthly digital issues. Subscribe now!

The Best of BACKPACKER - Reader Heroes

7 subscribers who inspire, lead, volunteer, and more

Best of BACKPACKER: How to Do Everything

Climb higher, live longer, and eat better, o.k. be better, with these skills.

How to Do Everything - The Master Chef

Temper our recipe for Earthworm Patty Supremes with a little Drunken Choc-Berry Fondue. Plus, other recipes and cooking skills.

How to Do Everything - The Survivor

Take care of yourself in the backcountry with these tips and laugh (or at least smile knowingly in the face of 10 common wilderness threats.

How to Do Everything - The Intrepid Explorer

Travel confidently across any type of landscape.

How to Do Everything - Become a Mileage Monster

Hike farther, faster, and pain-free with these training tips and exercise.

How to Do Everything - The (Actual) 10 Essentials

Don't leave home without these practical, helpful items.

Prof. Hike: The 10 (Un)Essentials

Gear, gizmos, and doodads you never should buy

Prof Hike: Where the Wild Things Are (and Aren't)

Why you don't need to worry about snakes, spiders, and bears...and what you should worry about instead

Best Hikes Ever: Balsam Cap and Friday Mountain, NY

Brave thick forest to reach rugged twin summits.

Learn the Art of Winter Cooking

The gear, techniques, and recipes you need to whip up five-star meals in cold climes

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Toddy and Wintermint

Warm up with these tasty backcountry winter cocktails!

Four Season Kitchen Tips

Try these 6 kitchen tips, excerpted from BACKPACKER'S new book, Campsite Cooking: Cookware, Cuisine, and Cleaning Up. Plus, cold-weather tips from the pros.

Recipe: Molly's Kickin' Mac and Cheese

Fast, filling, and yummy macaroni and cheese is comfort food wherever you pitch your tent.

Trail Chef: There's a Worm on My Plate

And if prepared properly, it'll be quite tasty and good for you, too.

Trail Chef: 8 Tips for Making Perfect Pasta

Plus: Pesto Pasta with a Kick recipe

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

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

Trail Chef: Peanut Butter Omelet

It tastes delish. (Yes, really.)

Prof. Hike: Camping (Comfortably) in the Cold

How to stay warm in your bag, keep your water bladder's tube from freezing, fuel your furnace, and more

How's Your Camping Etiquette?

Take our etiquette quiz to find out if you're genteel or a heel.

Prof. Hike: Making the Best of a Bad Situation

I've made the mistakes so you don't have to.

Dirtbag/Gourmet Recipes: Fondue

Add rich, cheesy flair to your backcountry fare.

Recipe: Savory Gruyere Fondue

Wow your campmates with this restaurant-worthy appetizer.

Recipe: Beer and Pretzel Fondue Dip

Cheese and beer make this a camp favorite.

Reader Shot of the Month - Using Tinted Filters

Enhance a photo's color without Photoshop by employing tinted filters.

Test Your Meteorological IQ - Answers



The Manual: Forecast the Weather

Can crickets tell you the temperature and a cup of coffee forecast storms? Here's how to become a backcountry meteorologist.

How's Your Camping Etiquette - Answers & Scoring

You took the quiz - now see how you fared.

Prof. Hike: Gearoholics Anonymous

Are you overspending on gear? Here's how to get the right stuff at the right price.

10 Best iPhone Apps for the Outdoors

These applications might not qualify as the 10 Essentials, but they're pretty sweet to have on the trail nonetheless.

Trail Chef: Not-So-Common Ramen

In a tip of the hat to this universal noodle, here are two sweet breakfast and dessert ramen recipes.

Trail Chef: Send Us Your Backcountry Cooking Secrets

Plus: 10 time-saving tips from the pros

Trail Chef: America's Next Titanium Chef

Last call for submissions for the 2011 Readers' Choice Contest! Plus: Three easy recipes for flat trail bread, tortilla sunrise, and a fruit smoothie

Trail Chef: America's Next Titanium Chef

Last call for submissions for the 2011 Readers' Choice Contest! Plus: Three easy recipes for flat trail bread, tortilla sunrise, and a fruit smoothie

Professor Hike: Top 10 Beginner Hiker Blunders

"I've made the mistakes so you don't have to."

Camp Chef Makeovers

Stuck in a ramen rut? Are your camp recipes ultralight but ultra boring? Does your food bag weigh more than you do? Our expert chefs solve these problems and more, with tips, recipes, and gear picks for 10 flood-flummoxed hikers.

The Manual: Travel Off-Trail

Navigate across scree, snow, and rivers without getting blocked or lost.

September 2010 Table of Contents



How To: Calculate Wind Chill

Through a process called convection, wind carries heat away from your skin, making the air temperature feel colder than it actually is. Use this chart to determine the windchill at a specific wind speed and air temperature. The color-coding tells you how quickly exposed skin would develop frostbite.

Survival 101

First-aid tips, survival gear, what to do if..., plus dangerous hikes (and a few scary stories).

Knot Tying: Learn the Mid-Rope Clove Hitch

If you don't want a rope to slip, or you want to create tension, tie a quick clove hitch and attach it to something like a tree branch or carabiner.

Learn to Tie the Figure 8 Knot

Tying a figure 8 mid-rope allows you to securely attach to a particular spot in the line. You can make hand or footholds this way, that can be easily untied after bearing weight. Learn to tie a figure 8 by watching our slide show series on knot tying.

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.

SLIDESHOW SERIES: Learn How to Tie Knots

Learn how to tie the potentially life-saving bowline knot and more with these step-by-step photo tutorials.

Introduction to Knot Tying: Terminology

Knot tying is an essential skills for the backcountry, and knowing the lingo is essential to learning how to tie knots. Here's a vocab lesson to get you started.

The Manual: Finding Lost Hikers

Turned around in the backcountry? Here are 33 essential tips to remember if you or your partner goes missing.

Recipe: Colombian Arepas

This gourmet dish combines dehydrated ground beef, fresh cherry tomatoes, and arepa flour for a protein-filled meal.

Recipe: Chicken Guaco-Tacos

Chicken, cheese, and avocado–what more do you need?

Save Your Skin: Choosing Sunblock

How to choose an effective, safe sunblock.

Fast Responders:The Medical Wilderness Adventure Race

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

Wildlife: Where to See Wolves

Find these nocturnal animals at dawn.

Wildlife: Where to See Bald Eagles

Look high for huge nests when trying to spot these beauties.

Wild Things: Where to Spot Wildlife

If seeing bears or bighorn sheep, moose or mountain lions is on your life list check out our tips for where, when, & how to catch an eye full.

The Manual: Plan an Expedition

Go big with these expedition trip planning tips.

Where to See River Otters, Javelinas, & Manatees

Check out the top spots to find these three quirky creatures

Where to See River Otters, Javelinas, & Manatees

Check out the top spots to find these three quirky creatures

10 Top Animal Viewing Tips

There are some fundamental rules to follow when seeking out wildlife.

Wildlife: Where to See Elk

Elk mostly travel in herds making them easier to spot.

Wildlife: Where to See Alligators

Head to the Southeast to spot alligators.

Wildlife: Where to See Mountain Lions

Mountain lions can be found from Central America to the Pacific.

Wildlife: Where to See Moose

Moose love water and hate black flies–two good tips for spotting them.

Wildlife: Where to See Bears

It's true that fish love their berries and fish– a great place to catch a glimpse of them.

Wildlife: Where to See Bighorn Sheep

Scout high deserts and mountains for these scrambling sheep.

Dirtbag/Gourmet Recipes: Curry

Spice up your backcountry menu with this flavorful and satisfying Asian staple.

Recipe: Thai Red Curry Noodles with Soy Nuts

Spice up ramen noodles with this easy Thai dish.

Guess and Win Free Gear

Guess the location of this image for a chance to win.

Beat Pack Strain

Hauling a heavy load can do a number on the neck, back, and hips. Stay pain-free with these tips.

How to Predict the Weather

Learn to identify three families of clouds and you'll be able to forecast rain, sun, and deadly storms.

June 2010 Table of Contents



2011 Readers' Choice Photo Contest

Enter our 2011 "Your Best Shot" photo contest for a chance to win a Crumpler camera pack.

Camp Chores: Doing Dishes

Just like at home, there's clean-up to do after every meal in the backcountry. Here's how to get your dishes clean.

Start Mapping: Tools To Help You Map Your World

5 ways to embark on your own cartographic adventure

Cloud Quiz

Test your knowledge of cloud types, and how you can use them to predict the weather.

Navigate: Whiteout, Darkness, and Fog

Just because you can't see in front of you doesn't mean you can't navigate.

Navigate: Forests and Mountains

Skirt forests and mountains with ease with these tips and gear.

Navigation: Canyons and Deserts

Learn how to stay on track and find water safely in the desert and canyons.

Navigation: Lakes and Oceans

Triangulate, forge through wind, and learn the tides with these water-bound navigation tips.

How to Navigate Any Condition, Terrain

Field-proven skills for wild weather and terrain.

How to Preheat a Thermos

Maximize your thermos's heat retention capacity with these easy preheating steps.

Bad Camp Hair

Is definitely a skill. One the BACKPACKER editors excel at.

Workbench: Build Your Own Gear Station

Claim a corner of your garage or basement to create this ultimate setup for storing, maintaining, and repairing gear.

Lost in The Frank Church Wilderness! A Video Diary

What does it mean to be utterly, hopelessly, truly lost? In this video series, author Jim Thornton takes you step by step through his bid to find his way out of the Frank Church Wilderness.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Photo Survival Guide

The outdoors can be tough on a camera, so be prepared with this survival guide.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro

Our top photographers share their secrets. Plus: 6 trail-friendly cameras.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Cameras

You can't shoot like a pro, if you don't have the right camera. Here, six models for every type of shooter.

Shoot Like a Pro: Cameras - Panasonic DMC LX3K

This point-and-shoot works great in low light and has manual controls.

Shoot Like a Pro: Cameras - Pentax Optio W80

This waterproof, freezeproof, crushproof camera produces vivid photos and video.

Shoot Like a Pro: Cameras - Olympus Stylus Tough-8000

This slim, waterproof point-and-shoot has great image stabilization.

Shoot Like a Pro: Cameras - Olympus E-P1

This Olympus has interchangeable lenses that take magazine-worthy shots.

Shoot Like a Pro: Cameras - Pentax K-x

This DSLR is under $700 and works great for landscape and wildlife shots.

How to Shoot Like a Pro: Cameras - Nikon D300s

This still and video camera comes complete with 10 in-camera editing features.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Photo Editing Software

Refine your work with these top programs.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Exposure

Learn the basics of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Wildlife

Capture great wildlife photos with patience and know-how regarding their movements and your camera.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Night Photography

Avoid grainy nighttime shots by shooting at a low ISO.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Action Shots

Learn when to stop the action or pan along for the best shot.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Summits

Emphasize the steepness, and the accomplishment, with these techniques.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Portraits

Get a classic shot of friends or family.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: When to Shoot What

High noon. Check. Dawn and dusk. Check. Overcast days. Check.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Landscapes - Water & Snow

Water and snow shots can be a lighting nightmare--but not with these tips.

Shoot Like a Pro: Landscapes - Wide Angle, Zoom, & Macro

Whether you're shooting wide angle or on zoom, learn how to best capture the beautiful scenery around you.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Composition

Just getting started? Master these basic rules to improve all of your pictures.

Scramble Safely With the Hip Belay

Add security on steep terrain with the simple hip belay.

How to Cross a Spring Snowfield

Cross the steeps safely and avoid avalanches with these guide-approved tips.

Your Best Advice: Reader Tips

Backpacker readers share their hiking, camping, gear, bear bagging, and firestarting tips.

Dubious Advice From Readers

While BACKPACKER readers are usually fonts of wisdom, not all tips are winners. Here are some of the worst.

Readers' Best Advice: Our Most Prolific Tipster Ever

Reader Leon Nelson has shared literally hundreds of tips gleaned from his 60-plus years on the trail. Here's a sampling of his best.

Readers' Best Advice: Gear Tips



Readers' Best Advice: Better Bear Bagging



Readers' Best Advice: No-Fail Firestarters



Readers' Best Advice: Camping Tips



Readers' Best Advice: Hiking Tips



Inspirational BACKPACKER Readers

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

Gear School: Crampons

Traverse snow and ice safely with the right set of points.

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.

DIY Fall Trail Snacks

Turn fall's harvest into healthy, energy-packed treats.

The Basics of Backcountry Ski Touring

See more–and have more fun–this winter with these gear and technique trips.

The Manual: Deluxe Winter Camping

Don't let frigid temps keep you inside. Here are five tips for deluxe winter camping.

Recipe: Spicy Pad Thai with Chicken and Veggies

For authentic takeout on the trail, try this spicy Pad Thai.

Recipe: Easy 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.

Cold Comfort: Winter Camping Guide

No crowds, no bugs: Winter camping holds rewards aplenty– once you master the gear and skills required to thrive in frigid climates.

Gear Review: G3 Tonic/Zest Telemark Ski

Great for powder, but still handles the bumps like a pro, these skis are super smooth.

Winter Camping: Recipes & Menu Planner

These recipes are fortified with extra warmth and calories for winter camping.

Winter Camping: Winter Checklist

Get the gear you'll need to stay warm and happy on a winter backpacking trip.

Winter Camping: Safety & Survival

Assess your winter climbing risks with this handy chart.

Winter Camping: Navigation

Learn to figure out where you are (even in a whiteout) and prevent, or stop, a snowy fall.

Winter Camping: Winter Essentials How To...

Learn how to cook, make water, and...go to the bathroom when the backcountry is a winter wonderland.

Winter Camping: Camp & Trail Skills

Learn how to choose between a tent and a snow cave. Plus the best ways to travel in the snow.

Winter Camping: Gear & Clothing

Your complete guide to choosing, fitting, and using essential winter gear.

Winter Camping: Getting Started

Winter camping requires extra planning and gear. But it's well worth the effort.

BACKPACKER Halloween Special

Heading out into the woods this weekend? Stock up on scary ghost stories and frightening trail tales in our special Halloween section.

Fall Foliage Photo Special

Learn how to take the perfect fall foliage photo with our tutorials and slideshows.

Stay Comfortable in Any Weather: Cold

Staying warm is easier than getting warm: Plan ahead.

Stay Comfortable in Any Weather: Heat

Think like a desert dweller to stay cool and comfortable.

Stay Comfortable in Any Weather: Rain

In the wettest conditions, learn to create and maintain a personal bubble of dry space.

Stay Comfortable in Any Weather: Wind

Read the terrain and use anchors to stay grounded.

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.

Camp Cooking Tips and Tricks

We'll show you how to be the ultimate trail chef in no time with these tips.

Gear: Backcountry Cookware

Just because you're in the backcountry doesn't mean you don't need cookware. Here, some essentials to make you king of trail kitchen.

Drinks For the Trail

From cocktails to coffee, these recipes and tips will keep you quaffed no matter what.

Snacks for the Trail

Need to recharge with something tasty? These savory snacks will do just that.

Dessert Recipes for the Trail

Finish your meal off right with these treats for the trail.

Dinner Recipes for the Trail

Whip up a four start meal with these trail side recipes.

Breakfast Recipes

Start the day right with these out-of-the-ordinary breakfast treats.

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.

Stay Comfortable in Any Weather

Sunny and 70 is nice, but makes for a mighty short hiking season. Hit the trail all year long by learning how to thrive–not just survive–in wet, cold, hot, and windy conditions. Here are 115 guide-approved tips.

Find the Trout: Scouting a Stream

Learn to read a stream and snag the big fish.

Plot an Off-Trail Route

Try these 10 tips for cross-country travel.

The Boy Scout Quiz Answers & Scoring



How to Start a Fire With Fungus

Chaga, or "tinder fungus" and other natural firestarters abound in the backcountry–you just have to know where to look for them.

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 Boy Scout Quiz

Could you earn a merit badge in wilderness travel? Better ace this test, taken straight from the Scouts' own backpacking manual.

Are You Smarter Than a Boy Scout?

Scoutmasters wrote the book on camping, and built an army of pack-toting teens. But do the troops truly rule when it comes to outdoor skills? We pitted three Scouts against three average readers to find out.

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.

Reader Tip: Double-Duty Firestarter

All you need is toilet paper and a little olive oil.

Cast a Wild Animal's Track

Take that grizzly print hope with you with this fool-proof technique.

August 2009 Table of Contents



Time-Saving Recipes: Kendall Katwalk Chicken and Dumplings

Scenario: The camp cupboard is bare, but the fridge is full of leftovers. Solution: These tasty dumplings.

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.

The Biggest Loser: Hikers That Get Lost

Search-and-Rescue guru Robert Koester creates a quick profile of the average victim and his behavior.

How to Read a River

When runoff turns a nice stream nasty, use these tips to cross safely.

Master Alpine Starts

Boost your summit chances and beat lightning storms with a smooth early-morning start.

Readers' Choice 2010: Submit Your Favorite Skills Tip



Gear School 2009: Essentials

From sleeping pads to trekking poles, we'll have you good to go in no time.

Gear School 2009: Sleeping Bags

Save your down, seal up tears, and get ready for wet weather with the all-inclusive guide.

Gear School 2009: Tents

Mend a broken pole, fix leaky seams, and get rid of that musty smell.

Gear School 2009: Packs

Learn how to fix snagging zippers, re-waterproof material, deal with frayed fabric, and more.

Editors' Choice 2009: Gibbon Slacklines

Here's a cheap, crazy-fun way to build mountain skills.

Beyond the S'More

Invent your own dessert with these versatile starters from your pantry.

How To: Build a Snow Shelter

Tents are better, but if the time comes, building a snow shelter isn't that hard.

Start Smart: Trip Planning

Here are some simple tips to make trip planning that much easier.

Survive This: Caught in a Blizzard

Use these simple tips to survive the storm.

The Fix: An Ultralight Repair Kit

When you're trying to save weight, repair gear is often the first thing you're tempted to eliminate.

Get An Edge on Knife Safety

A knife expert's guide to blade selection and safety

Snowshoeing 201: 3 Tips for Conquering the Trail

3 tips for conquering hills and steep trails

Hike Forever

Train for the long haul with endurance tips from Climbing: Training for Peak Performance author Clyde Soles.

Skill- Know how to self-arrest

This valuable skill will keep you from sliding around while climbing in winter.

Travel Like a Pro

Master every detail of far-flung adventure–from visas to vaccinations–with these time-tested tips from guides and veteran globetrotters.

February/March 2009 Table of Contents



How to Avoid Avalanches

Hike safely in avalanche terrain

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.

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes - Abrams Falls, Great Smoky Mtns., TN

Drowning in beauty

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes - Buckskin Gulch, UT

Gambling in the slots

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes - Huckleberry Mtn., Apgar Range, MT

Fatten griz for winter

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes - Muir Snowfield, Mt. Rainier, WA

Where winter strikes year-round

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.

The Danger Scale

How we rate risk, using a highly scientific formula

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?

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.

Trail-Specific Stretches

Stay fit and healthy with these static and dynamic stretches, and secrets from Yosemite National Park wilderness ranger Mark Fincher.

Start Smart: Properly Pack a Canoe or Kayak

Follow these guidelines to keep your gear dry, secure, and well balanced in a canoe or kayak.

Danger Signs: Flash Flood

July to mid-September is prime time for heavy rains in the Southwest, where fast-rising water in narrow canyons can turn trickling streams into deadly torrents. Don't get swept away.



Camp Coffee Gear: Make the Perfect Cup

4 backcountry brew gadgets even the snobbiest baristas will love.

Tune Up: Improve Your Balance

Gymnasts can land backflips on balance beams four inches wide. Their secret: training barefoot.

No-Excuses Fitness Training Tips

Having trouble getting motivated? These soldiers toughen you up with their custom can't-quit tips.

Trail Recipes: Portable Pub Grub

We'll show you how to adapt you favorite bar food for the trail: Mushroom-Asiago Veggie Burgers, Spicy Sweet Potato Fries, Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip, and Toasted Tortilla Chips.

Next Level: Navigate Cross Country

3 key skills for getting off the trail without getting off course

Start Smart: Take Action Photos

Capture fast-paced summer adventures with these image-improving tips.

Reader Tip: Night Rounds

This reader recommends packing hospital scrubs when camping.

Secure a Choice Campsite

You'll need strategy, luck, and a little guile to reserve a spot at the country's most popular parks this summer. Here's how to game the (permit) system.

Trip Doctor: Helping National Parks

Will my vacation to a national park help them?

25 Habits of Highly Effective Hikers

Guarantee yourself a great adventure– every time–by adopting these proven routines for planning and pulling off the perfect trip.

Return of the Survivor: Q&A with Steve Friedman

In this exclusive Q&A, Steve Friedman talks about trying out the techniques of TV's survival show hosts Bear Grylls and Les Stroud in the (real) wild.

The Ultimate "Survive This!" Archive

If you can imagine it, we've seen it-and offered expert analysis. From avalanches to volcanoes, this archive contains step-by-step plans for escaping a slew of mishaps that can befall weary travelers.

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

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

Backpacker Survival Poll

What do you pack? What's the most important skill? Let us know in this online poll, and we'll publish your answers in the October issue of Backpacker magazine.

Trail Recipes: Rising Sun Cuisine; Sushi on the Go

4 Japanese meals adapted–and enhanced–for the trail

Next Level: Survive an Emergency Rappel

Learn the Dülfersitz rappel and safely lower yourself off of a steep pitch with only a rope.

See More: Great Blue Herons

This dignified giant stands four feet tall, making it North America's largest heron.

Share and Share Alike?: Top Five Photo Sharing Sites

Your adventure is ready for primetime. Here are 19 ways to reach the audience in your living room–or around the world. Web-based photo sites aren't all created equal. Here are our top 5.

Photos 101: Save and Share Your Photos, Produce a Slideshow, and Print Your Images

Learn how to save your photos, print them, get published, and produce an audio visual slideshow.

Post Your Video Online

Learn how to upload your video to YouTube and tap a social network like Facebook or MySpace to post links to your movie. Your adventure is ready for primetime. Here are 19 ways to reach the audience in your living room–or around the world.

Share Your Trip; Make and Show Off Your Map

Your adventure is ready for primetime. Here are 19 ways to reach the audience in your living room–or around the world.

Share It: All the World's a (Cyber) Stage

Your adventure is ready for primetime. Here are 19 ways to reach the audience in your living room--or around the world.

Start Smart: Shoot Low-Light Photos

Master dawn and dusk photographs with these pro tips.

Slice and Dice: Build Your Own Cutting Board

Follow this reader tip to custom-build your own backcountry cutting board.

The Specialist: Heat Doctor

Stay cool with expert tips for boiler days.

Survive This: Separated From Group

If you get lost from your hiking party, here's how to get found–fast.

Organize Your Gear Essentials

Does your pack's lid pocket resemble a junk drawer? To help you eliminate the mess–and find stuff fast when you need it–we created lightweight, custom systems to store and organize two vital stockpiles: gear repair tools and emergency provisions.



A Glow in the Dark: Starting a Campfire

It's hard to beat a campfire after a long day on the trail. Here's how to enjoy the moment even when conditions are against you.

Danger Signs: Painful Plants

Sure, you know the mantra "leaves of three, let it be." But that warning alone doesn't help you detect those irritating plants that change colors, grow as vines, or mimic harmless species. Heed these tips to keep your summer itch-free.

The Cutting Room: Editing Programs and Storage

Here's how to turn raw data into finished files that will wow your friends and preserve trip memories better than any photo album.

The Cutting Room: Video

Here's how to turn raw data into finished files that will wow your friends and preserve trip memories better than any photo album.

The Cutting Room: Photos

Here's how to turn raw data into finished files that will wow your friends and preserve trip memories better than any photo album.

The Cutting Room: GPS

Here's how to turn raw data into finished files that will wow your friends and preserve trip memories better than any photo album.

Organize It: The Cutting Room

Here's how to turn raw data into finished files that will wow your friends and preserve trip memories better than any photo album.

Field School: Trail-Tested Tech

Take your new tools to the trail to master the skills you'll need to navigate, record, and share your best adventures. The best new digital tools for every budget and skill level.

Field School: Essential Tips

Take your new tools to the trail to master the skills you'll need to navigate, record, and share your best adventures.

Field School: Make a Movie

Take your new tools to the trail to master the skills you'll need to navigate, record, and share your best adventures.

Field School: Capture Classic Images and Record Your Hike

Take your new tools to the trail to master the skills you'll need to navigate, record, and share your best adventures.

Document It: Field School

Take your new tools to the trail to master the skills you'll need to navigate, record, and share your best adventures.

4 Trip-Planning Sites and Top Tech Tools

Every great trip boils down to this: Picking an ideal location, capturing memorable moments, and bragging about it.

New Tools, New Rules: Get Maps and Go

Every great trip boils down to this: Picking an ideal location, capturing memorable moments, and bragging about it.

New Tools, New Rules: Plan the Perfect Trip

Every great trip boils down to this: Picking an ideal location, capturing memorable moments, and bragging about it. Here's how to get started the high-tech way.

Plan It: New Tools, New Rules

Every great trip boils down to this: Picking an ideal location, capturing memorable moments, and bragging about it.

iHike: Hiking in the Digital Age

A Complete Guide to the Digital Revolution–and How to Join It

Keep Your Feet Happy

Long-distance runner Russell Secker feels your foot pain–and he knows how to get rid of it.

Better to the Last Drop

A hiker cannot live on water alone. Next time out, try these coffee, tea, and wine updgrades.

Recipes for the Trail: Fish Feast

4 hook-and-cook dinners just waiting to be caught

Next Level: Prep a Fish for Dinner

Add fresh-caught trout to the menu with these 6 easy steps.

Start Smart: Team Paddling

Improve your speed and efficiency by synchronizing your strokes.

Reader Tips: Big Burn

Need to start a fire fast? Try a flammable cupcake.

Emergency Repair Knots

Duct tape isn't always the best fix for busted gear. When a torn strap or blown seam halts your hike, try these strong and simple ties.

The Specialist: Plan Away Pounds

Shed useless pack weight, not luxuries

Casting Call

Fly-fishing is part meditation, part ultralight technique (catch, don't carry, your dinner), and all fun.

See More: Deer

Learn the difference between elk, white-tails, and mule deer.

Danger Signs: Burn Zones

Here are the top three wildfire dangers and how to avoid them.

Trip Doctor: Best National Park Bus System

Tired of commuting in a car around our national parks? Catch the best backcountry bus.

February 2008 Table of Contents



April 2008 Table of Contents



Tune Up: Protect Your Joints and Build Pivot Power

Get ready for spring with 3 joint-specific routines.

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

Free Food! Trailside Edible Plants

Wild parsnip, burdock, and wild carrot grow throughout North America. Learn when and where they're prime for picking.

Recipes for the Trail: Underground Cuisine

3 tasty, filling trailside finds that could save dinner–even your life.

Start Smart: Stay Clean and Healthy

4 strategies to feel and smell better

Survive This: A Plunge into Raging Whitewater

Learn how to battle your way out of a raging river with these tips.

Spring Cleaning Your Gear

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

Stoves on a Plane

Air travel advice from an FAA expert

Be a Hiking Ambassador

6 trail-tested tips to guarantee your friend's first trip isn't his last

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.

Danger Signs: Trail Confusion

Don't want to get lost? Heed this advice on four trail situations that routinely cause problems.

Trip Doctor: Theft-Proofing Your Car

Clear out your car before heading into the woods.

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.

Your Weeklong Dream Trip



Your Next Big Peak



Your Longest Dayhike Ever



Medicine Man: High-Altitude Kids

Advice on kids and herbs at altitude.

Next Level: The Rest Step

Learn the mountaineer's secret for hiking up steep, high-altitude terrain.

Secrets of the Guides

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

What Would Davy Crockett Do?

He'd toss the titanium stove and build a big fire. Our man enrolls in a traditional guide school and learns how to survive - and think - like an American original.

March 2008 Sleeping Bag Review: Start Smart Sleeping Bag Tips



Backpacker Skills Videos

Not quite sure how to fit a pack, measure your torso, calculate your V02 max, patch a sleeping pad, or clean a funkified hydration unit? Watch and learn.

March 2008 Boots Review: Start Smart Boot Tips



33 Top Tips From Trail Pros

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

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.

Leave No Trace Principles

On the trail and at the campsite, there's plenty you can do to leave nature...natural.

Calculate Trouble

Time is of the essence in the backcountry. Learn how long it will take an impending thunderstorm or avalanche to find you.

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.

How to Align Your Compass

Learn how to orient your map with a few basic compass skills

Backpacking Basics

Take these 21 trail tips to heart, and you're virtually guaranteed a good hike.

How to Hang a Bear Bag

Learn the easiest way to hang a bear bag and keep your camping snacks safe from rummaging paws.

Medicine Man: Your Source for Wilderness Survival

Wilderness guru Buck Tilton answers your pressing wilderness medicine and rescuequestions

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.

Backpacker's Readers' Choice Awards 2008

America's 100 Best Hikes–chosen by you.

How to Survive Getting Lost In a Whiteout

Don't forge ahead when faced with whiteout conditions.

Find a Hiking Partner

Keen on birds, peak bagging, or wildflowers? Here's how to join hikers who share your passions.

Motivate With a Fitness Challenge

Whether it's a "Birthday Challenge" or a peak that needs climbing, choosing a specific fitness challenge will help you stay motivated to get out more.

Learn How to Use an Ice Axe

Master these skills to make your axe a tool—not a toy.

Plan the Perfect Trip

Smart ways to foolproof your next hike.

Trip Doctor: How Can I Get My Spouse to Go Hiking With Me?

Pretty pictures and promises of a trade might get unenthusiastic spouses out the door.

GPS 201: Using Advanced Navigational Tools

Don't be daunted by a thick owner's manual. Unlocking your unit's advanced navigational tools is easier than you think.

How to Choose a Campsite

A NOLS veteran offers tips on balancing comfort, safety, and Leave No Trace principles.

How to See In the Dark

Expert tips for improving your night vision

Backcountry Survival: How to Survive in the Backcountry

There's a backcountry killer on the loose, and it's not hypothermia, grizzly bears, or rockfall. The thing mostly likely to maim you on your next hiking trip is living inside your head.

Winter Camping: Building a Snow Shelter

Expert tips for a safe, sound night's sleep

Repair Snowshoes in the Field

Follow these tips to fix any snowshoe problem you meet on the trail.

Essential Survival Skills

Guaranteed to get you out of trouble fast.

Ticks: Avoid the enemy

To protect yourself from ticks-and reduce your risk of contracting Lyme disease-follow these steps.

How To Remove A Tick

Use this quick approach to remove ticks from your body.

Tick Identification 101

Get to know the ticks that cause Lyme-and those that don't

High-Energy Food: Eat For The Long Haul

Enjoy all-day power by combining these 5 superfoods

Beating Poison Ivy

Learn to recognize, avoid and treat poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. Start by scrolling through the photos below.

Backpacking Recipe: Spicy Trail Pozole

Stuff yourself with this camp-style version of a traditional Mexican stew.

Start smart: First Aid For Kids

Teach your youngsters the basics; it could save your life.

Backpacking Recipe: Maple Sweet Grits

A simple twist packs protein into this down-home favorite.

Backpacking Recipe: Rum and Black Bean Soup

Enjoy this hardy and healthy Mexican soup at home or in camp

The Fix: Revive Your Rain Jacket

Don't buy new--just give your rain shell a little TLC

Health Tips: Beat Winter Blues

Fend off a cold-weather slump with these expert strategies.

5-Minute Meals: Cups Of Cold-Weather Comfort

Four new recipes for belly-warming campfire drinks

Winter Skills: Warm Toes Forever

Keep your feet toasty with these 6 tricks

Dessert Recipes: Beyond The S'More

Make your romantic weekend in the backcountry extra special by inventing your own dessert. Use these versatile starters from your pantry: piecrusts, pudding, and maple syrup.

Dessert Recipes: Sweets For Your Sweet

Sweeten up your next overnight trip with any of these 4 dessert recipes

Backcountry Skiing: Master The Telemark Turn

The tele turn requires careful technique and some practice. Work on these moves at your local slope before venturing onto untracked snow.

Essential National Park Skills: The Ultimate Park Pass

Write your own ticket to new adventures with these 10 territory-expanding skills.

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.

Dogs on the Trail: See Spot Hike

Help your backpacking hound carry his weight with these fit-and-wear tips.

How to Ferry A Canoe

An essential paddling tip for turning in fast water

Start Smart: Have Poles, Will Hike Longer

How to get the most out of your trekking poles

Freshen Up: Fruits and Vegetables on the Trail

Liven up camp fare with these 35 natural foods.

Start Smart: Build The Perfect Campfire

Four steps to a lights-every-time blaze

Leg Exercises: Your Biggest Day Ever

Supercharge your legs with conditioning tips for monster hikes.

The Fix: Repair Peeling Boots

What to do when your soles come undone.

Camping Sleep Tips: Rest Assured

Get more and better Z's with these tricks from a sleep expert.

Fitness: Paddle Power

Conquer any current with these two simple strength conditioning exercises.

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

Next Level: Scrambling Steep Peaks

Don't let a steep hike keep you from the best views. Put these vital mountaineering tips to use this weekend.

Baby On Board: Hiking with Infants

Simple solutions for backpacking with new babies

The Specialist: Don't Get Sunburned

A lifeguard's guide to using sunscreen

The Fix: How to Reattach A Pack Strap

Repair a busted backpack with this simple sewing technique

Foot Fixes: How to Deal with 4 Common Boot Problems

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

Conditioning Your Abs: Strong To The Core

Haul hefty loads more easily by strengthening your midsection.

8 Weeks to Fitness for Any Hike

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

Liquid Energy: Hydration Tips

Improve your performance with the right drinking strategy

The Fix: Boots That Cause Blisters

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

Trail Tips: Outdoor Photography

6 tricks for successful backcountry shooting

Digital 101: Photography Skills

Learn your camera's capabilities by doing, not reading.

Picture Perfect: Photography Tips

Troubleshooting tips for 9 common problems

Outdoor Photography: Anatomy of a Digital Camera

At first glance, digital cameras can be intimidating. Use this guide to take the guesswork out of the features on your camera.

Digital 201: Photography Skills

Add valuable intermediate techniques to your shooting repertoire.

Digital 301: Photography Skills

Push your photos to the next level with these shooting techniques

Trail Cooking: The Low-Impact Kitchen

9 tips for Leave No Trace dining

5-Minute Meals: Pack In The Protein

Add four low-carb recipes to your trail cookbook

Night Hiking: A Walk In The Dark

A beginner's guide to after-hours hiking

Post-Hike Massage: Here's The Rub

4 techniques to soothe trail-weary muscles

How to Ford A River

Forget bears and lightning: The most common and dangerous backcountry hazard is a river crossing. Here's how to do it safely.

Start Smart: Hiking Solo

Save your wild, off-trail adventures for a group of backpacking vets

Tune Up: Your First Adventure Race

Get ready for your first race with a fitness plan from a world champ

Four Top Trail Meals

Testers' favorite backpacking entrees

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.

Help Wanted: Outdoor Volunteer Opportunities

How to make a difference outdoors--without swinging a Pulaski

Next Level: Off-Trail Navigation

Use a map, compass, and GPS unit to plot an ambitious route with this beginner's guide to bushwhacking

The Winning Bid: Buying Gear on eBay

An online shopping pro shares timesaving advice.

Start Smart: Trip Planning

Forget that get-up-and-go spontaneity--great planning only enhances your experience.

Snowshoeing 201

3 tips for conquering snowy hills and steep climbs

Knife Tips: Get An Edge

A knife expert's guide to blade selection and safety.

Endurance Tips: Hike Forever

Train for the long haul with endurance tips from Climbing: Training for Peak Performance author Clyde Soles.

Leave No Trace: The Low-Impact Hiker

7 strategies for keeping the backcountry pristine

Finding Hiking Partners

Looking for a suitable trailmate? It can be challenging, but try these tips to find your perfect outdoor buddy.

Survive This: Caught between a Mama Bear and Her Cub

Here's how to get out of the middle when motherly instincts kick in.

Happy Go Wet: Backpacker's Rain Quiz

Can you handle a rainy outing? Take our fun quiz to see how you'd fare under a sky of liquid sunshine.

First Aid: How to Stop A Bleeder

Let our wilderness EMT teach you the best way to treat those gushing cuts and scrapes.

Tips and Tricks for Staying Dry

How to keep your gear--and yourself--dry on your next backpacking adventure.

The Best Recipes: REI/BACKPACKER Camp Cook-off

The best gorp, breakfast, entree, and dessert recipes from our cooking contest: 200 contestants, eight finalists, one culinary king

Save Your Feet: How to Prevent Foot Problems

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

Walk Faster: Interval Training

Pick up your hiking pace with these fitness tips

The Body Olympic: Fitness and Conditioning Tips

Meet these 6 Olympic hopefuls who will help you perform like a champion outdoors.

South Beach Trail Diet

A hiker's guide to low-carb eating

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.

Offshore GPS: How to Navigate in the Water

New tools for water navigation: Strap one to your thwart, and you'll never paddle in circles again.

Backpacking Basics

Our 5-step guide to planning, gear, food, fitness, and essential skills

How To Skip Stones

The science behind nature's coolest toy

GPS Basics

What's GPS, how does it work, and will it help you?

The Savvy Shopper

5 questions before you buy new gear.

Burn, Baby, Burn

3 surefire ways to light a reluctant fire

Night Vision

Bats have nothing on this nocturnal hiker.

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.

Trail Stale?

Freshen up stinky clothes with this homemade, portable washing machine.

Get A Spine

No frame, no pain--if you try these simple backpack solutions.

Bone Up With Backpacking

Does backpacking build up your bones?

5 Easy Ways to Get Strong and Avoid Injuries

Strong legs, abs, back, and arms make hiking more enjoyable and helps prevent strains and sprains.

Repack Your Bag

Sometimes gaining balance is as simple as adjusting the load in your pack.

How Pete Stays Dry

3 waterproof secrets from veteran mountaineer Pete Takeda

Go Light, Not Hungry

The One-Pan Gourmet shows how to eat like a king.

Under Strain

Is there a maximum weight you can safely haul?

Good Gear Gone Bad

It's all fun and games 'til someone gets a tent pole in the eye.

Survival Starts With A Kiss

Learn the latest survival smarts with this military acronym

Water Worries

How much H2O do you really need on the trail?

One Good Thing About Golfing

Who would have thought a piece of golf equipment could be really useful to backpackers?

Find Gear Fast At Night

This trick will help you find just what you're looking for in the dark.

Jiffypop Pan

This classic snack offers more then just a tasty treat for backpackers.

Ultralight Warmth

Keep arms and legs warm with gear invented by cyclists.

A Better Mouse Trap

Rodents can be real pests in campsites. Use this trick to stay rodent-free the whole trip long.

That Zesty Taste

Liven up your purified water.

Winter Fuel Saver

Keep water flowing with this simple technique.

Cap Keeper

Keeping a close eye on those binocular caps.

Sticky Pads

How to avoid slipping and sliding in your sleeping bag.

South Is Thata Way

Determine direction without your compass.

Stinky Bag No More

Make your sleeping bag smell laundry fresh.

A Speedy Recovery

Sidelined by injury? Get back on the trail fast with this easy treatment plan.

Eye Dropper Storage

Carrying around those little extras just got easier with this trick.

Fetch Me Water

No need to bring along a big, bulky container for your water in camp when you have this great compact suggestion.

My Crest Is SPF 30

Preventing sunburn is as simple as brushing your teeth.

Sock Toss

Put some rocks in your socks.

Think Outside The Bottle

10 surprising uses for your water bottle.

Ultralighter's Pad

Here's the best way to make a lightweight and inexpensive camping mattress.

Supercharge Your Legs

7 ways to kick your stride into overdrive

Mountain Miles

Calculate real mileage by accounting for slope in the mountains, and you'll avoid getting into camp after dark.

Passport Protection

Always carry extra identification when traveling internationally.

The Sock Fits: Trail Sock Buyer's Guide

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

Common Hiking Boot Lacing Techniques...

...From The Experts At Montrail

Make your trekking poles last forever

Try these easy cleaning tricks to keep using your hiking poles out on the trail longer.

HIkers Strike a Yoga Pose

Want to develop legs of steel and the balance of a mountain goat? Try yoga.

Homemade, High-Tech Gear

A do-it-yourself guide for sewing space-age hats and other performance outdoor gear.

How To Waterproof Your Boots

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

Dead Flashlight Battery Blues

Keep your flashlights and headlamps alive longer with these trail tips.

Tips For Slow Hikers

Shortcuts that'll help you keep up with faster hikers.

Broken Crackers? Keep The Crumbs

Three ways to salvage broken crackers and pulverized bread.

Finding Food For The Long Trail

We tortured 51 trail snacks and staples to pick the longest lasting foods for backpacking.

Winterize Your Camp

Tips to take with you when the snow flies.

The Hiking Gourmet

The hungry hiker's foolproof plan for eating like a king in the backcountry.

Make Backpacking Meals Better

No refrigerator, no problem, says this cooking instructor. Here's her secret to making every meal better.

Emeril Spices Up Camp Food

Cuisine expert Emeril Lagasse shares eight tips on how to liven up your camp cooking.

Hot, Light, And Cheap: Homemade Camp Stove Contest Winners

The best ultralight cookers built by BACKPACKER readers.

Calling The Shots: Be A Better Backcountry Photographer

Camera hints for bringing home hard-to-get photos in the backcountry

How To See More Animals

To get closer to the critters, you need to look like a tree and smell like a raccoon.

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.

Cheap Camping Tools For Eating

How to complete your backcountry kitchen for $5 or less.

Your Backwoods Pharmacy

When illness or injury strikes, the medicine you need is in the plants alongside the trail and at your feet.

Tips For Safe Travel

Planning an overseas backpacking trip? Here's a few tips to prepare you before you go.

Turn Small Sacks To Favorite Packs

Nine features that can turn a small sack into your favorite backpack.

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.

Fast Food: A Backpacker's Guide To Grocery

A soup-to-nuts guide that'll get you through the supermarket and on the trail faster than you can say "express lane."

The Camper's Grocery Express Lane

These tips will have you in and out of the grocery faster than a runaway cart.

Avalanches: The Big Slide

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

The Science Behind Trekking Poles

Now here's scientific proof that trekking poles are a hiker's best friend.

Weak In The Knees

12 ways to get more miles out of your legs.

On Thin Ice: Safe Hiking On Frozen Lakes

How to hike safely across frozen lakes and ponds

How To Speak GPS

Common GPS terms you should know.

Rash Decisions: Fighting Backcountry Itches

Here's what I keep in my first-aid kit to battle the itchiest rash known to medical science.

Packable Salads

These crunchy, easy-to-prepare side dishes will make your hiking buddies green with envy.

Understanding GPS

Using your GPS is easier than you think.

Tidy Seam-Sealing Tips

Applying seam sealer neatly is easy with the right applicator.

Field Fix: Tent Poles Apart

Tackle your tent pole problems with this quick tip.

Reader Tip: Bladder Bowl

Try this homemade, ultralight bowl for long distance treks.

Quick Tip: Tarp Tactics

Tarp tips for the tactical hiker.

How To: Dehydrate Your Own Trail Food

Make your own dehydrated trail food with these simple techniques.

Quick Tip: Rainfly Right

Quick tips to set your tent with the right rainfly.

Reader Tip: In The Wick Of Time

Follow this BACKPACKER reader's tip to get the most out of your candles on the trail.

Eating On The Runs

To keep trekking when you have the trots, feed your body the right fuel.

Stretching Your Hiking Boots' Life Span

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

Frustrate Bears With A Rock Sack

This homemade rock sack will help you hang your food bag faster and better.

Rainy Day Skills

To stay dry in a downpour, carry the right wet-weather gear and know how to use it.

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.

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.

Paddling Skills

Take your hike into the river with these paddling, kayaking and boating tips.

Guide To Sound Sleeping

On your next outing, be sure to heed these 10 tips for sleeping like a log.

Sleep Comfort In Camp

Trouble sleeping in camp? Try our tips for a good night's rest.

Retaining Water While Hiking: Don't Sweat It

When water is scarce, minimize the amount your body expends.

Tips For Camping With Kids

Nuggets of knowledge from those who have brought their youngsters into the backcountry.

Different Strokes: Paddling Techniques For Hikers

For a different wilderness experience, try floating down the river in a kayak or canoe.

Jacket vs. Vests

Going sleeveless might save you weight, but will a vest keep you as warm as a jacket?

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.

Blazing Trails: Avoid Wildfires

Here's a handy tip to avoid wildfires in the backcountry.

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.

Rx Drugs On The Trail

Prescription drugs you should carry on the trail.

Saddle Sore? Tips To Heal Your Rear

Experiencing a sore butt on the trail? Try these healing tips.

Dry Camping Secrets

If water's in short supply where you're headed, know the secrets of dry camping.

Winter Camping Tips: The Perfect Tent Pitch

How and where you should set up your winter tent for maximum comfort and shelter longevity.

Scouts' Honor: Teaching Leave No Trace Ethics

Boy Scouts are at the forefront of teaching Leave No Trace ethics.

Coping with Leeches

How to deal with and treat those bloodsucking leeches.

Scrub Pans Without A Sponge

Forgot a sponge? No worries -- clean your camp with these everyday wilderness substitutes.

Bug Bite Evasion Therapy

What's the best way to treat bug bites? Don't get bit in the first place.

Leave No Trace: Water Disposal

Here's how to Leave No Trace when you dump water in camp.

Navigating From Lost To Found

How one perpetually disoriented hiker found her bearings, thanks to some backwoods navigation pros.

Bushwacking: Pole Position

Stow your trekking poles to get an advantage when bushwacking a trail.

Frisbee: The Perfect Camping Tool

How to make your Frisbee function as a camping tool.

Leave No Trace: Mind Your Footprint

Take a look at what your sole is doing to the ground.

Bushwacking: It's A Jungle Out There

From North Carolina to Alaska, bushwhacking is easier with the proper preparation and attitude.

Lightning Survival Update

If you're caught in a lightning storm on the trail, head for the hills.

Stride Right, Feel Better

Tips to improve your hiking stride.

Swallowing Camp Stove Fuel

How to treat yourself if you gulp down stove fuel in camp.

Field Fix: Clear Your Stove's Fuel Jets

Got a clogged stove? Try this cleaning method before eating that camping meal cold.

Safe Trekking After Wildfires

Follow these tips when hiking in burned country.

Bushwhacking: Go Up The Creek

Trouble crossing the trail? Try the creek.

Bushwacking: Get High, Stay High

When bushwacking a trail, go high altitude and stay there.

Planning Your Route

Use these navigational tricks, gleaned from champion orienteers and U.S. Army's Special Forces, to stay on track.

Compass Tips: Bearing It All

Just to be safe, keep that compass handy.

Skills For The Upwardly Mobile

Everything you need to know about hiking in the high country, from talus hopping to finding the right gear to dealing with wind and glaciers.

Route-Finding Tips: Stay On Course

Follow these six route-finding tips, and stay found.

Trailworthy Cheese Alternatives

With a little creativity, dairy-wary hikers can find tasty and satisfying alternatives to cheese.

Walking On Water

Face it: you aren't Moses and the waters won't part, so here are ways to cross wild rivers safely.

Approach Shoes Instead Of Hiking Boots?

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

Make The Big Jump

Are you a dayhiker who's ready for an all-nighter? A weekender longing to try a 5-day trek? Or are you ready for a thru-hike? Regardless of your skill level, here's the information you'll need to go that extra mile.

Be A Dried-Food Gourmet Chef

Create tasty trail meals like fish chowder, lasagna, and seafood with pasta.

Stop Trail Chafing

Stop chafing with these tips.

Teepee Tent Setup Secrets

Hard-won tips for pitching tepee tents on any terrain

Treating Backcountry Swimmer's Ear

How to identify and treat swimmer's ear in the wilderness.

Bug Bites: Close Your Clothes

Use these tips to bug-proof your clothes.

Leave No Trace Trash Tips

Help keep trails clean by picking up your own and other people's trash.

Save Your Hiking Sole

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

Tent Setup: Building A Rain Dam

Protect your tent from rain by building a rain dam.

Backcountry Menus For Diabetics

Feeding a diabetic hiker takes planning and professional advice, but not necessarily a special menu.

Survival Of The Fittest

Wish you could leap tall mountains in a single bound? Here's an exercise program designed for backpackers.

Dehydrate Your Trail Food

Who says you need water in your food? Dehydrate your vittles and you'll carry less weight, save money, and eat better.

Have Diabetes, Will Travel

Even diabetes can't slow down hikers with these health tips.

Tundra Trekking Tips

Just because it's flat and treeless doesn't mean it's easy hiking.

How To Dry Your Sleeping Bag

Add some ribbons to your sleeper to speed drying.

Tundra Tip: Farther Than You Think

Distances can appear farther in the tundra.

Guarding Your Grub

Above treeline, there's no easy way to hoist your vittles.

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.

Field Fix: Pole Patch

Tent pole problems? Here's an easy fix.

European Pack Size Conversion

Buying a European backpack? Use our conversion chart before you buy.

Buying A Better Sleeping Pad

Half of your "good sleep" equation is a comfy pad (the other half is your bag). Look for these 10 essentials when you buy.

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.

Buying Better Boots

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

Buying A Better Pack

There's no single piece of equipment more crucial to your backwoods enjoyment. Here's how to make the right choice.

Buying A Better Tent

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.

Boot Sizing Chart

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

Hiking Dreams Really Do Come True

Easily said and done, when you have a constant reminder at bedtime.

Avoiding Snakes: Nature's Evil Twins

Some species look alike, but guess wrong and you could have a harmful mistake on your hands.

Winter Tips For Cold Hands And Feet

A little motion brings the heat back.

Sleeping Bag Care: A Lofty Goal

Keep your sleeping bag up to fluff with proper care and handling.

Millet, Kasha, Quinoa: Against The Grain

Rice and pasta are nice, but if you want variety, add some millet, kasha, or quinoa to your trail menu.

Burn Treatment: A Heated Situation

To stem the pain, act fast when treating burns.

Poison Ivy, Bees and Wasps

Do you know your backcountry poisonous threats?

Snow Smarts

How to travel safely across four seasons of white.

Boosting Backcountry Meals

With simple planning, you can turn your bare-bones backcountry meals into satisfying, energy-boosting successes.

Organize Your Backpacking Trip

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.

Tent Stake Solution

QuickTip: How to stake tents on hard ground.

Finding Blazed Trail Markers

Here's a quick tip for finding blazed trails.

Tent Pole Wisdom

Quick Tip: Preserving tent poles

Compressing Your Pack: It's A Cinch

17 tips for better compression

Preserving Your Poles

Trail-proven ways to keep your trekking sticks healthy and strong.

Before You Snowshoe

Follow these tips when you embark on your next snowshoeing journey.

Planting Pole Pointers

How to make sure you stay upright on your poles.

Baking Soda Solutions

Eight reasons to pack baking soda on the trail.

Wired For Anything

Texas reader says plastic-coated wire ties are essential item for backcountry emergency kits.

Cleaning Pads With Medicine

Keep scrapes clean with lightweight cleaning pads.

Natural Toothbrushes

Forgot your toothbrush? You can still practice good hygiene.

Desert Cool Customer

Keep fresh and cool with this clothing tip from one of our readers.

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.

Before You Go Snowshoeing

Follow these tips before you embark on your next winter snowshoeing journey.

Reading Backcountry Animal Scat

A good pile of scat speaks volumes about your backwoods animal neighbors, if you know how to read the calling card.

Aluminum Foiled Again!

Tuck a folded square of aluminum foil in your pack and it may come in handy as a...

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?"

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.

Bears And The "Blend In" Theory

New research suggests that bear bells don't work, and colorful tents and clothing may attract bruins.

Cover Up In The Desert

Follow this cover-up advice before you head into the desert.

Horsepacking: A Leave-No-Trace Guide

Here's our guide to environmental etiquette while horsepacking.

Treating Achilles Tendinitis

Hikes with a lot of elevation gain and loss are prime for getting tendinitis in the Achilles tendon.

Smashed Finger Relief

Your finger got crushed between a rock and a hard place. Here's what to do.

Wrinkled Hats Ward Off UV Rays

New trail-tested advice for shading your face from the sun.

Fitting Filter Head Adapters

What to do if your filter head does not have an adapter for your water bottle.

Bear Spray: Packin' Heat

It's basically pepper in an aerosol can, and it's supposed to stop a charging grizzly. But will it? Here's everything you need to know.

Frame Pack Tips

Two ways to keep your external frame on your pack in tip-top shape.

How To Pick Raingear

Getting the right shell has as much to do with personal needs and hiking habits as it does with the quality of a garment.

H2O-No: Water Bottle Tips

How to fill a water bottle without getting all wet.

Gaiter Grooming Tips

Before you cinch up your gaiters, consider the best way to keep the wicked weather and bits of terrain at bay.

Sew A Key Pouch In Your Pack

Sewing a key pouch inside your pack is the best guarantee of a quick ride home.

Old-Time Camp Food

Tired of freeze-dried? Try hardtack and corn dodgers for a tasty change of pace.

Dandelion Burgers: A Vegetarian Recipe

This vegetarian burger recipe will suit your palate and clean-up the environment.

'Biner Basics

If I had to pick, I'd take a carabiner instead of a pocketknife when I hike.

Only You Can Avoid Forest Fires

Here's what to do if you're caught near a wilderness wildfire.

Lightning Tips

Where not to be during lightning.

Dessert Time: Use Nature's Fridge

Use streams, snow, rivers, and ponds as chilling grounds for enticing backcountry desserts.

Let Your Fingers Tell Time

Telling time without a watch is just a few digits away.

Mountain Safety

Make sure you know how to stay safe in the mountains.

How To Deal With River Crossings

Crossing rivers can be treacherous -- unless you know what you're doing.

Sea Kayaking: Putting Paddle To Water

Sea kayaking might not be difficult, but follow these tips to make the most of your ocean voyages.

Northern Lights Viewer's Guide

Follow these tips to make the most out of the northern night skies.

Mosquitoes: Avoiding Alaska's Winged Plague



The Bear Facts in Great Smoky

There are scads of bears in Great Smoky Mountains National Park -- so don't forget these tips.

Make Your Own Walking Stick

Ease the load on your knees and shoulders by making a hiking stick.

Homemade Tool Tube

A tool tube answers the age-old packing dilemma: Where do I put the long, skinny stuff?

Alternative To Bug Spray: Permethrin

Another bug-beating option.

Bug Off: Tips To Keep Away Insects

Tips to beat the most annoying backwoods biters

Bonus Backcountry Bug-Off Tips

Other tips to beat the most annoying backcountry biters.

Sew Like A Surgeon

Five stitches every backpacker should know.

Gear Rx: Packs

Can you revive a sputtering pack? With this diagnostic checklist, you may be able to breathe new life into a tired old backpack.

Gear Rx: Boots

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

Gear Rx: Stoves And Water Filters

See if your stove or water filter is safe to repair.

In Camp, Hit The Sauce

By themselves, noodles are just plain bland. Add the proper topping, though, and dinner takes on a whole new flavor.

Gear Rx: Clothing

Everyone knows good outdoor clothing is expensive. See if you can save your old hiking apparel.

Gear Rx: Tents

Mildew. Torn mesh. Broken zippers and poles. Is it worth fixing your home away from home? Find out for yourself.

Gear Rx: Sleeping Bags

Has your sleeping bag lost its loft? Zipper off its track? Check to see if your bag is worth repairing or if it's time to buy a new one.

A Long Life For Your Boots

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

A Long Life For Your Trekking Poles

Keep your trekking poles clean and maintained with these tips.

Backcountry Bathroom: How To Go In The Snow

When the ground is frozen or 3 feet under snow, use these backcountry bathroom techniques.

Camping With A Fridge

That's essentially what the outdoors is, so use those cold temps to carry tasty foods that wouldn't stand a chance in summer.

Winter Calorie Count

Winter activities demand more of your body's energy.

Improve Your Sense Of Direction

Scientists now believe that the navigationally challenged can retrain their brains.

Decoding Snow Flakes

Learn what the white stuff means.

Homemade Stove Platforms

Or anything else, for that matter, once you use this easy-to-make stove platform.

Breaking Trail: Snow Going

When the white stuff piles up, work together to break a trail.

Treating Aches and Pains

A personal perspective on healing back, joint and other body pains.

Steady Rock Hopping

If rock hopping or log crossing triggers panic, maybe you need to fine-tune your balancing act.

How To: Boot Cleaning

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

Trailworthy Recipes

How to make dreamy drinks and crispy chicken in camp, and lots of other trail-tested cooking tips from readers.

Your Homemade Survival Kit

Make your own backcountry insurance policy.

Survival Skills: Finding Water

How to find emergency water in the backcountry.

Signaling For Help

How to signal for help if you get lost.

Building Shelter

How to build a shelter if you get stuck in the backcountry.

Foot Fitness

Stronger foot muscles can end ankle sprains and aching arches.

Fixing A Blister

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

Dry, Cool Feet = Happy Feet

For maximum comfort, keep your feet drier and cooler.

Wash Your Feet

Clean and rub them, and feet will go the distance.

Break In Your Boots

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

Tarps: High And Tight

Setting up a tarp? Follow these techniques depending on the situation.

For Broken Gear, Don't Despair...Repair

What you can and can't fix: How to breathe new life into tired old faithfuls.

Fixing Tents: Don't Despair...Repair

What can and can't be fixed on your tent.

Healing Thorns, Splinters, And Other Pricks

How to deal with all kinds of things that get under your skin.

Build A Winter Wagon

Why shoulder a heavy load when you can easily slide it along behind you?

Knee Help?

No joint is more prone to injury than the knee. Here's what to do when faced with a backcountry blow-out.

Water Filter First-Aid

Make sure your water purifier doesn't leave you high and dry.

How To Splint A Bum Knee

Pretend Your Leg Is A Jelly Roll.

Load Lifters: Homemade Sherpa Straps

When pack weight drags you down, homemade Sherpa straps can help ease the burden.

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.

Trout Fishing: Reel Fine Dining

When the trout are thick and the ethics resolved, catch-and-eat is the tasty way to go.

Make Way For Animals

We love watching wildlife, but follow these tips to stay safe.

Wildlife Body Language

When faced with a large, testy animal, it pays to know whether it's saying, "Hi there" or "I'm about to shred your lungs."

Foot Odor: Toxic Sock Syndrome

If your feet are a source of backcountry air pollution, here's how to keep them smelling sweet.

Poison Ivy: Plant World Darth Vaders

Believe it or not, poison ivy isn't all bad -- but it's still best avoided. Here's how.

Make Your Own Shade

When it's hot outside, keep cool with this sunscreen for your head.

Snowshoes Terrain Techniques

Techniques for winter trekking. Find out the advantages snowshoes provide for getting over hill and dale.

Winterize Your Camping Habits

Tips to take with you when the winter snow flies in camp.

Sprained Ankle Relations

How to keep hiking when your ankle takes a turn for the worse. Plus, keeping them strong and trail-ready.

Getting Your Gear Fixed

It's hard to give up your tried and true gear after so many miles together. So don't! These repair shops can keep your favorites in tip-top shape.

Rainy-Day Camping Games

Beat the rainy-day blues by playing sleeping-pad chess or checkers.

Fixing An Inflatable Sleeping Pad

A few simple precautions will prevent punctures and preserve the foam in your self-inflating pad.

Water Filter Maintenance

Tips to keep water filters filtering.

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.

Hypothermia 101

As the temperature dips, hypothermia can threaten survival for backwoods adventurers unaware of its warning signs.

Layering For Winter

How to dress smart and stay warm when Old Man Winter blows in.

Homemade Bear Bag

A homemade bear bag will make sure your provisions stay safe from hungry critters.

Quick And Dirty: How To Cope

Here's how to stay sanitary in the backcountry.

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.

Head Cases: Wilderness Head Injuries

If you take a hit to the head in the wild, think twice before deciding to hike on.

'Seams' Dry: Weatherproof Your Tent

Learn how to weatherproof your tent -- before it rains.

Poisoned In Camp?

How to deal with common backpacking substances that are more toxic than three-day-old socks.

Drowning Victims: In Over Your Head

Your partner just disappeared under an icy torrent. Quick, do you know what to do next?

Game Trails: Nature's Trail Crews

Follow four-legged trail blazers down paths you'll never find on a map.

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