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Backpacker Magazine –

February/March Table of Contents

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Special Report: The Truth About Bears

You love them. You fear them. And you misunderstand them. See more bears and learn about the surprising new thinking around hiker safety in this complete guide. By Ted Alvarez

Part 1: The Mystery
Grizzlies vanished from North Cascades National Park five decades ago. Or did they? Our scout joins the search for Washington’s elusive mountain ghosts.

Part 2: The Maps
Bears in the Lower 48 have rebounded from decades of declining populations and shrinking habitat. Also improving: hikers’ chances of seeing a bruin in the wild. Here’s why, and where to go.

Part 3: The Skills
Learn how to stay safe in bear country from myth-busting biologist Tom Smith. Plus Experts break down the lessons of Denali’s first-ever fatal grizzly attack.

Free Trips, Gear, More!
BACKPACKER turns 40, you win. Learn how to enter contests for dream trips, gear, makeovers, and more.

DESTINATIONS

VIEWFINDER: READER PHOTOS
We asked for your best shots—and wow.

LIFE LIST: ALASKA SKI HUT

Ogle the northern lights from cozy cabins.

TOP 3: BETTER IN WINTER
These hikes improve as temps drop.

MOUNTAIN MAP: THE WHITES
Explore New Hampshire’s storied peaks.

Local Hikes

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

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

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

SKILLS

MASTER CLASS: GET FIT
Shape up with this gym-free training plan.

INSTANT UPGRADES
Revive waterproof gear, save your map, sleep better, and pack smarter.

TEST KITCHEN: CHOCOLATE
Drink it, spread it, savor it. We tested the best trail-friendly ways to indulge.

SURVIVAL

TRAPPED IN AN ICE TUNNEL

Learn from a hiker who fell through a snow bridge, then struggled to escape her icy tomb.

TROUBLESHOOT THIS: SNOWBLIND!
Treat and prevent sunburnt corneas.

SURVIVAL LAB: FORAGING
Our man in the field shares the best emergency eats. Plus Pack a 2-ounce tackle box.

GEAR

WATERPROOF CAMERAS
We tested point-and-shoots and found the best for backpackers.

GEAR REVIEW: MERINO MIDLAYERS


Plus big-load boots, versatile layers, an ultralight tent, and more.

Heroes: Bob Peoples, 68



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READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
AZ Hiker
Mar 14, 2013

Don't forget to pack your own personal safety net; a copy of "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart" (Amazon) and a compass! Before you go, be sure to calibrate your compass for the declination at the location where you will be hiking. Go to: http://magnetic-declination.com A compass doesn't need a signal or batteries and works in all types of weather but you need to know how to use it and this book makes learning how to use a compass easy. Felix! explains how to orient yourself using a compass, a compass and a map, a map and no compass, no compass and no map. Look for it on Amazon, "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart." Anyone wanting to know direction and especially for those who want teach these skills to children might enjoy learning from this book. To feel more confident about orienting ourselves outdoors, we read thru this book before every hike - it's only 34 pages and illustrated. The ability to know your way and know where you are is something we all need in any survival situation not just while hiking. Learn to stay found by using a compass and paying attention to your surroundings. Felix! teaches the reader what to pack for a day-hike, trail ethics, what to do if you get lost or scared, how to get rescued, and survival packing (for the car and for the trail) just incase you end up unexpectedly spending the night outdoors.

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Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

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