January 2011 Table of Contents

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Photo Contest

Your Best Shots

How do we know BACKPACKER readers hike to some of the most spectacular places in the country? We pored over the visual proof–hundreds of images submitted for our second annual photo contest–to select six winners. Get ready to update your life list.


America’s Best Hikes

The country’s top experts on local trails—BACKPACKER readers—share insider secrets for 10 regions. Discover their favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, primo campsites, and more.












Top Trail Chefs

Fast. Easy. Delicious. That’s what you get with the hiker-approved meals that won our camp food taste test. From belly-warming clam chowder to no-bake cookies, here are 21 recipes guaranteed to satisfy hungry hikers–and gourmet trail cooks.

Reader Recipe: Warm Apple Crescents

Reader Recipe: No-Bake Cow Chips

Reader Recipe: Blueberry Crisp Bars

Reader Recipe: Pecan Pancakes with Fruit Compote

Reader Recipe: Sweet Potato Pizza Pie

Reader Recipe: Indonesian Pilaf

Reader Recipe: Creamy Clam Chowder

Reader Recipe: Chicken Curry Wrap

Reader Recipes: Easy Pasta & Rice Camp Meals


Custom Kits

Our official Reader Test Team racked up more than 2,000 trail miles to find the best equipment for dayhikers, weekenders, ultralighters, alpine trekkers, tech fans, and family campers.

Reader Rated: The Family Camper

Reader Rated: Tech Gear

Reader Rated: Alpine Gear

Reader Rated: Weekend Warrior Gear

Reader Rated: Dayhiking Gear

Reader Rated: The Ultralighter