Alright, full disclosure: Despite the fact that I exude a dump truck's worth of musky male machismo, I can't really grow a beard. But I've always wanted to join the ranks of Chuck Norris and Grizzly Adams by sprouting a full, bushy beard. It seems like all the wilderness wisdom and toughness I could ever want would come prepackaged with an intimidating nest of manly facial hair.
Not that you need to read any further, but in case you need more reasons to get on the Beardo train, witness these 10 Very Good Reasons Why You Should Grow A Giant Beard. Of particular interest to backpacking travelers include Reason #5 ("in times of crisis, people always flock to a bearded person") and Reason #7 ("in emergencies, it can keep you and your friends warm").
No one at BP HQ currently sports a beard (though those who can should). Associate Editor and sleeping bag superstar Shannon Davis once grew a Darwin scarf in college, and he reports that it was "really freaking itchy, but it always helped part the sea of hippies and meatheads crowding around the keg so I could refill my glass. After I shaved it off, my roommate said I looked 'faster.'"
Anyone out there sporting a killer backcountry beard? Send all your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll post the most righteous beards.