September 2015 Table of Contents

How to find solitude, the best ultralight tents, and more from the September 2015 print issue of BACKPACKER magazine

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Prime Time in Yosemite
Head to the Sierras in September to experience the best park backpacking in the country. Plus: Our yearlong National Park Centennial celebration continues.
By Michael Lanza

The Upgrade: Your Tent
Go clutter-free in your home away from home.
By Maren Horjus

The 7 Rules of Solitude
You don’t need a bush plane to find the best crowd-free hiking. Use these rules to get away from it all—wherever you are.
By Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Scout’s Honor
Rather than tolerate gays in the Boy Scouts of America, a splinter group formed Trail Life USA, dedicated to scouting, the outdoors, and Christian values.
By Patrick Doyle

The Play List

Toroweap Overlook, AZ
Get the Big Ditch to yourself from this rim-top basecamp.

Done In a Day: Float Trips
Cool off on these close-to-home paddle routes.

Fern Canyon, CA
Hike into a cool, green grotto.

Wheeler Geologic Area, CO
This place puts a new twist on the term “rock-hop.”

Life List: Cloud Peak, WY
Climb an obscure summit in the Bighorns and enjoy very tangible rewards.

The Experience: Couples Camping
Use backpacking to improve your odds in the dating game.

Little El Capitan, WY
Go deep and high on a cross-country route in the Wind Rivers.

Insider’s Guide: Buffalo River, AR
Backpack and paddle the country’s first National Scenic River.

Cross the Continental Divide—twice—in Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness, pick a path through badlands in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and check off the best piece of Rhode Island’s state-long trail.


Run the Rocks
Tackle steep, technical trails.

Cheat Sheet: Predict the Weather
Meteorologists share tricks for no-forecast forecasting.

Pass/Fail: Night Hiking
What happens when you navigate only by moonlight?

Trail Chef: Snacks and Apps
Fuel up on flavor.

Photo School: Slot Canyons
Capture images as artful as your subject.


Out Alive: Swept Away
A wave washes a hiker out to sea.

Saved By: A Cell Phone
When your batteries die, use these skills instead.

Den Mother: Buggin’ Out
How to overcome arachnophobia


Solo Tents
6 ultralight picks

Top models for camp and trail

Field Notes
Tester picks and tips