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Letter From the Editor: Welcome to BACKPACKER Basecamp!

You have a whole summer of hiking ahead of you, and we're ready to help you make the most of it.

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I’m excited to introduce you to the first of our monthly newsletters. This community is going to be a great place to get tips, get deals, and get inspired to get out more. We’ll use this newsletter as a monthly opportunity to introduce BACKPACKER staff and our personal insights on what’s happening in the world of backpacking—gear we’re testing, places we’re going, stories we’re interested in.

This week, we have a deal of the month that Gear Editor Eli Bernstein scoured the web to find just for you (that’s in addition to the exclusive Gregory discount you get all of June). Senior Digital Editor Adam Roy shares one of his favorite hometown hikes, Assistant Skills Editor Zoe Gates picks out her favorite how-to video for brushing up on your survival skills, and more.

As I write this, it’s the first day of June and I’m looking forward to a summer of hiking. My advice: Plan at least one must-do trip for every month, and designate an equal number of weekends for hiking, but leave the details loose so you can improvise based on weather, travel deals, and the availability of friends. For example, next week I’ll spend a few days in Northern California’s Trinity Alps, my favorite way to start summer because it’s where I grew up hiking and backpacking. In July, I’m taking my youngest son on the five-day Sneffels Traverse in southern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. And in August, I’m meeting friends to backpack a section of the Continental Divide Trail.

What’s on your summer calendar? Go to the private Facebook group we set up for Basecamp members and share your plans, ask questions, and get inspired.

Dennis Lewon

BACKPACKER Editor-in-chief