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August 2008 Table of Contents


Walking the Talk
For decades, John Francis refused to ride in cars, kept a strict vow of silence, and—while he was at it—hiked thousands of miles across North and South America. Now that he’s opened his mouth again, the world—and Hollywood—are listening.
By Bill Donohue

24 Hours of L.L. Bean
Thru-hiking? For pansies. Endurance mountain biking? Pshaw. We challenged our man to the ultimate indoor (outdoor) test: a full day and night in Bean’s flagship store. Will he survive 24-hours in gear-junkie paradise? Would you?
By Dan Koeppel

The 25 Habits of Highly Effective Hikers
The best way to ensure a great adventure every time: Learn how to make amazing trips routine by adopting the habits of the most successful backcountry travelers.
By Michael Lanza

National Parks Lifelist
In our biggest parks guide yet, we detail must-do routes in the seven wonders of the hiking world.

Scramble high peaks and camp in remote valleys.

 Hike the Range of Light to high camps and Ansel’s favorite view.

Grand Canyon
Link five lush oases in the belly of the Big Ditch.

Great Smoky
Connect the South’s premier high-country swimming holes.

Sample two wonders: rainforest and alpine wildflowers.

Camp amid grizzlies, moose, wolves—and spouting thermals.

Follow wolf tracks in the legendary Toklat Valley.


Weekend Packs
Today’s bargain load haulers—costing less than $150—are comfortable, durable, and versatile. We review the top six.

Field Notes
This month, we test a light summer bag, two basecamp tents (one light, one large), a dimmable LED lantern, big-trip boots and more.

Green Scene

Review: Coffee gadgets

3 Ways To Save: Ultralight Dayhiking


The Trip: Red Rock Secrets
Hike the farthest reaches of Utah’s lower Grand Gulch, and you’ll be alone in a canyon filled with Anasazi ruins.

Quick Fix: The Apostle Islands
You don’t need a boat to see this spectacular national lakeshore. Here’s how to explore the best of its bluffs.

Top 3 Fire Tower Hikes
Want a backcountry room with a view? Climb these lookouts from Vermont to Washington.

Trip Finder: Waterfall Hikes
Nine ways to get your cascade fix from Tennessee to Montana.

Best Damn Weekend Ever: Track Caribou in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness
Glimpse these rare mammals in Idaho’s Salmo-Priest Wilderness.

Backpacking Wyoming’s Medicine Bow Mountains
Explore big skies and pristine lakes in the Medicine Bows.

The Works: Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands
On this 70-miler, see rhododendrons by day and hike light by staying in shelters at night.

Where Can I Find: The highest designated campsite in the National Park system

Trip Doctor: Will my vacation to a national park help them?


Road Warriors
Peek inside the competition between hikers and ATV riders mapping vehicle tracks on public lands.

Phenomenon: Glacial Relics
The Ice Age left its mark from Acadia to Yosemite. Here’s scenic evidence.

See More: Vultures
Learn the secrets of nature’s greatest recyclers.

Danger Signs: Bear Country

The Big Question: Is inadequate funding the main problem facing the national park system?

3 Poached Treasures
These icons are vanishing from trails and showing up on black markets.


Snag the Best Campsite
Master the permit process, then land a primo spot.

The Specialist: Spy More Wolves

The Fix: De-skank Your Gear
Does your pack smell like last summer’s cheddar? Here’s how to clean up.

Reader Tip: Night Rounds

Survive This: (Rabid) Animal Bites

Start Smart: Take Action Photos

Next Level: Navigate Cross Country

Food: Backcountry Pub Grub
Chips, dips, burgers, and fries — for the trail!

Taste Test: Camp Coffees

Reach Your Peak: No-Excuses Training

Stay Balanced
Take a page from gymnasts—and train barefoot.

Health News: Get Naked!

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