Monthly Issue

November 2015 Table of Contents

Your complete winter skills guide; Editors' Choice Snow Awards; cold-season trips, and more from the November 2015 issue of Backpacker Magazine.

The Winter Guide


The Quiet Season
Want to feel like you have a national park to yourself? Go now. Here’s where. By Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan


Easier Than You Think
Master the season with 42 tips on snowshoeing and both cross-country and backcountry skiing. By Maren Horjus


Editors’ Choice Snow Awards
After months of testing and a final shakedown in the Rockies, we unveil the 11 winners—from a weatherproof pack to a better-fitting helmet. By The Editors

Complete Your Kit: Fall Gear Guide
Find what you need among the top products in every category.

The Play List

Pacific Crest Trail, CA
It’s high time for the high desert.

Insider’s Guide: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
Venture into slots, explore badlands, and find solitude in one of the season’s best state parks.

Done In a Day: Close-to-Home Peaks
Sometimes you don’t have to go very far to find the best views.

The Experience: Make Fresh Tracks
A fresh blanket of snow affords a sneak peek at backcountry wildlife in action.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
Chase lava—from a distance—at this dependable flow.

Nags Head Woods Preserve, NC
Paddle below oaks, maples, hickories, and beeches in the November-perfect Outer Banks.

Life List: Salmo-Priest Wilderness, WA
Lose yourself in this remote refuge.

Take advantage of Arizona’s finest weather, get a front-row seat to a Texas foliage show, and kick off the Southeast’s best hiking season in Alabama.


Pull a Sled
Tame heavy winter loads by letting the snow do the work.

Cheat Sheet: Prep for a Thru-hike
Start with 10 tips from a veteran.

Trail Chef: Italian Night
Upgrade with these flavorful favorites.

Photo School: Star Trails
Capture the night sky like never before.


Out Alive: Paralyzed
A slip leaves a hiker unable to move.

Saved By: Ice
Start a fire with the frozen stuff. Really.

Den Mother: Frostbite
When are my fingers too cold for comfort?