For 40 years, BACKPACKER readers have explored the wilderness and returned with photographic gold. But we were wowed by the entries for this contest—more than 650 of them. Check out these finalists (and this year's winner), then go to backpacker.com/photos
to submit your own images. We’ll showcase the best entries in upcoming issues.
From hypothermia to heatstroke, the elements kill in myriad ways. Protect yourself with 34 tips on wind, rain, snow, and more.
Mnemonics make it easy to remember weather sayings and make weather predictions, but is there any truth behind the prediction rhymes?
Knowing fact from fiction can help you avoid—and survive—a 54,000℉ strike.
Waves, currents, and tides threaten thousands of miles of American
trails (any within a quarter of a mile of a waterway), and hikers can get caught in the barrage. Headland-sculpting, beach-pounding waves can swallow an unwary trekker without so much as a burp. Learn how to recognize, negotiate, and avoid nearshore hazards
Bad decisions and running scared got this reader struck by lightning--but he survived.
Rising water sends this reader running--and hiding--in Utah.
Hidden layers are the key to stable—or slide-ready—slopes.
All conditions affect avy potential. Check forecasts
and assess risk.
Stay alert in canyon country.
What not to wear in a lightning storm.
Conditions mean everything when planning your weekend adventure. Check out our Rocky Mountain Editor's favorite weather sites.
Rainshell or fleece? Know at a glance with this wireless weather station.
Don't forget these essentials when you're headed into the cold.
Use these tips to plan perfect winter camping meals.
There are two basic ways of melting water: passive and active.
Site your stove a few steps from your tent, so you can conveniently melt snow or brew drinks. If you're camping in the same spot for several days (and in deep snow), dig out a snow kitchen.
Quick tips for your transportation of choice.
Meet our four cold-weather experts.
Pack this essential kit to handle your unpredictable gear mishaps.
Your tent will withstand anything with these tips.
Don't leave home without these winter camping essentials.
Our pros tell you how to set up a deluxe–yet weatherproof–winter basecamp.
12 secrets for keeping your core (and your gear) warm in the coldest weather
Master the art of layering to keep comfy all winter.
Life's too short to be a three-season hiker. Follow these expert tips on staying warm, picking your route, and cooking savory meals--and add winter's deep solitude and frozen dreamscapes to your adventure calendar.
Can crickets tell you the temperature and a cup of coffee forecast storms? Here's how to become a backcountry meteorologist.
Learn to identify three families of clouds and you'll be able to forecast rain, sun, and deadly storms.
Test your knowledge of cloud types, and how you can use them to predict the weather.
Staying warm is easier than getting warm: Plan ahead.
Think like a desert dweller to stay cool and comfortable.
In the wettest conditions, learn to create and maintain a personal bubble of dry space.
Read the terrain and use anchors to stay grounded.
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.
Parks czar Ken Salazar talks trails, nixes ANWR drilling, and defends his boss's controversial guns-in-parks decision.
If your going to Chile's Atacama Desert, don't forget the sunscreen.
Two years after hurricane-force winds and rain ravaged hundreds of miles of trail in Mt. Rainier National Park, the true damage is finally becoming clear. And what it's telling scientists is alarming: Bigger, more frequent–and more destructive–storms
may be coming.
Hike safely in avalanche terrain
Frostbite is bad news. Learn how to safely treat frozen feet.
UV rays are still harmful even when the temperature drops. We'll show you how to protect yourself against the sun, even when it's cold.
Solar panels and hand crank keep Eton Microlink FR150 weather radio going and going.
Experts dissect the missteps in five recent hiking tragedies
Where winter strikes year-round
It'll blow you away
A hair-raising hike
Baked or broiled?
How we rate risk, using a highly scientific formula
A gym teacher's speed hike becomes a five-day bushwhack in Olympic National Park.
An autumn climb turns life-threatening when a hiker endures a night in a whiteout at 12,000 feet in the Rockies.
Which is the bigger backcountry threat, grizzlies or flash floods? Find out what should scare you–and how to survive it–with BACKPACKER's Terror Index.
Use this step-by-step guide to beat 7 common backcountry fears. Plus, ideal hikes for overcoming–or avoiding–the source of your scare.
Conquer any fear with this DIY guide to applying a proven treatment plan called cognitive-
behavioral therapy. Think of it as training for the mind.
Don't let groundless phobias ruin–or even prevent–your backcountry adventures. Here's a foolproof plan for overcoming your terrors.
What to know about hiking with asthma
Here's how to avoid hypothermia.
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.
Hikers and ATV riders hit the ground in a new battle over trail access.
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.
These vertical hurricanes are rare–but deadly.
Is it possible to build a backpack that doesn't contribute to global warming? Not yet, but five pioneering companies gave it one helluva try. (Cue standing ovation.)
These dozen creatures are threatened by global warming.
Pine beetles are felling more trees than wildfires and the timber industry combined.
Hike into the epicenter of a cataclysmic explosion in New Mexico's Valles Caldera
Alaska is the last frontier, but energy development and climate change promise to change the face of our wildest state in your lifetime. Here's how.
Last fall, we showed you the many ways that climate change is altering the wild places we love. Now, a look at what BACKPACKER is doing to reduce the magazine's impact.
Global warming creates conditions that invite larger and more frequent forest fires. Here's how.
Rising alpine temperatures and polluted snow are threatening snowpack–and the water it generates.
Learn how you can help combat climate change by researching everything from Alaska's Bering Glacier to tracking pumas in Argentina through citizen scientist programs
Global warming is drying up Glacier National Park's rivers of ice. Learn how scientists are trying to prevent the Glacier demise from happening at other outdoor attractions.
On the trail and in camp, beat the cold with these tips.
From your tent, to your bivy sack, to yourself, learn how to stay dry and comfortable.
When a day hike turns into an overnight, learn how to take care of yourself.
Thanks to melting ice and snow, climate change is effecting the future of our mountains
Information on 19 more "green" companies and an interview with Big Agnes's Bill Gamber
New Hampshire's Mt. Washington is know for its evil weather. Learn how to survive a winter storm from one of the peak's experts.
Quicksand isn't just in old Westerns, it's also a real backcountry hazard. Learn how to save your life when faced with the slippery stuff.
Don't forge ahead when faced with whiteout conditions.
Learning to determine winter weather signs depends on where you are.
Warming temps can wreak havoc on snow-packed adventures. Learn the conditions and warning signs that can cause a dangerous, sudden thaw.
To see how animals stay cool in a hot climate, just look up.
Looking to get more than scenic views out of your hikes? The U.S. Forest Service's Passport in Time program turns trekkers into weekend archaeologists.
A hiker's guide to fighting climate change
Can you handle a rainy outing? Take our fun quiz to see how you'd fare under a sky of liquid sunshine.
3 surefire ways to light a reluctant fire
Will anyone ever climb the dangerous northwest face of Alaska's Devil's Thumb? Maybe they shouldn't.
3 waterproof secrets from veteran mountaineer Pete Takeda
One camper sweats and another shivers. What's the deal?
Visit this remote section of the Arctic before climate change alters it forever
The beauty of this hike comes alive with the rain.
The ultimate guide to greenhouse adventure, featuring 8 surprising new trips, acres of virgin terrain, and a peek at the future of North American wilderness.
Spring comes earlier to this mountain paradise.
Paddle blue inlets too new for any topo.
Camping in Death Valley might give you the hottest day of your life.
Receding water levels mean more miles of choice desert hiking and kayaking.
Winter warmth is easy with these tips from arctic explorers, cold-weather experts, and army docs.
Watching snow fall is a backcountry joy--unless it's barreling 80 mph down a mountain and you're in its path.
Here's a handy tip to avoid wildfires in the backcountry.
How and where you should set up your winter tent for maximum comfort and shelter longevity.
Follow these tips when hiking in burned country.
Seven places where you can walk through a whole new landscape, plus opportunities to help rebuild charred trails.
Hike into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and you'll enjoy Colorado's best summer school.
In an ancient cycle older than man, the fires that torched the West in summer 2000 are causing a dramatic and stunning rebirth of the once-charred landscape.
Years and even decades after a forest fire, the healed land tells amazing tales about the benefits of flame.
If you're caught in a lightning storm on the trail, head for the hills.
When it pours, good rain gear and a great sense of humor help you find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
How to improve your tolerance for cold and enhance your outdoor performance.
Wind chill can nip noses or lead to frostbite. Here's what you should know.
Telling time without a watch is just a few digits away.
Where not to be during lightning.
Here's what to do if you're caught near a wilderness wildfire.
Why two commonly held lightning-safety beliefs could get you fried, plus expert advice.
Follow these tips to make the most out of the northern night skies.
Where does the aurora borealis come from?
Pine Mountain and Wilson Ridge command high-country vistas stretching across rock-strewn meadows.
The lunarlike landscape and dark skies of this preserve make White Sands one of the best places for star watching.
In winter, the glasslike menagerie of icicles in the Cumberland Plateau will send a chill down your spine.
The wind can save you from bugs or drive you mad. Here's how to enjoy the benefits and avoid the downside of a good stiff breeze.
Learn what the white stuff means.
Okay, so the weather stinks and so does the hiking. Change both by heading down the road to where the sun shines and the trail beckons.
Like shimmering rainbows in the night, the northern lights electrify the sky with color.
What have you done lately for the trails and backcountry you use? Join a Volunteer Vacation and save the trails you love.
When it's hot outside, keep cool with this sunscreen for your head.
As the temperature dips, hypothermia can threaten survival for backwoods adventurers unaware of its warning signs.
Your odds of surviving, much less enjoying, a -30°F night in the woods rate right up there with a snowball's chance in you-know-where. That is, unless you make friends with a guy they call The Iceman.
Learn how to weatherproof your tent -- before it rains.