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Monthly Issue

August 2008 Table of Contents

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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!

How to Pack for Backcountry Skiing

Get to know the winter safety gear you need in your pack.