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Buck Nelson (Colter) - BPL Lifetime Member

My Locale Alaska
About Me I have recently retired as a career smokejumper. Like most Backpackinglight members I enjoy my outdoor adventures, such as thru-hiking the AT, CDT, the Desert Trail and PCT. I recently completed a 1,000 mile traverse of northern Alaska. You can see photos and the stories at my website.
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All Forum Posts by Buck Nelson

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Forum » Thread

My desert gear list
I think people often underestimate how much insulation they'll need in the desert. Low 20s is still chilly. It can rain and blow (and even snow seasonally) as well. Personally, I'd bring a ...

In GEAR » Good high dessert hike/sleeping system?
December 21, 6:05pm

re: GPS for early PCT
Here is the problem with interpreting the answers given to this question. You would think that you would get generally similar answers from folks that hiked the same trail. The problem is that the ...

In GEAR » GPS for early PCT
December 15, 7:53am

Many have hiked the CDT without a GPS
Here's why I carried one on the CDT and would again: I navigated for decades successfully without a GPS. They are, however, an extremely valuable tool and made my hike more enjoyable. Re...

In GEAR » GPS necessary for the CDT?
December 13, 8:44am

Another vote for Possumdown aka possum fur-merino sleep socks
Really hard to beat in my opinion for warmth and comfort. Took me a while to adapt the "dedicated sleep socks" idea, but it's a good one.

In GEAR » Best sleep socks?
December 09, 11:36am

Amazing photos, cougar risk
Really cool photos. Quite an accomplishment getting them. I think it's natural to get a little nervous knowing their are mountain lions in the area, but the danger likely isn't as high a...

In Photography » Got my mountain lion pictures!!! I did it!!
December 08, 10:39am

Re: Pearls for backpacking in the rain
Attitude makes a big difference. Accept the rain and dwell on the positives, not the negatives. The most challenging weather makes some of the best stories. Keep your sleeping bag and sleeping c...

In Philosophy & Technique » Pearls for backpacking in the rain
December 07, 9:22am

Is it a problem or a peeve?
On most of my baselayers I immediately sew up the fly, but am still left with an unnecessary wad of triple layer fabric in the front. I just looked at several sets of long underwear bottoms. All...

In GEAR » The Other Fly --The Ridiculous One in your Baselayer
December 04, 12:39pm

Not something I get excited about.
I swear, the most recent baselayers I purchased had a pad in front, the thickness (and flexibility!) of a catcher's mitt. Really. You swear that? :) I use the fly in my base layer. And th...

In GEAR » The Other Fly --The Ridiculous One in your Baselayer
December 04, 7:16am

Gear, AND good judgment
Whatever it was he used to initiate "a rescue with GPS coordinates" probably helped more than the headlamp. ;) and "To the south a wall of white came rushing toward the mountai...

In General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » 'Caught In A Storm, Near-Hypothermic, A Piece Of Gear Saved My Life'
November 30, 6:47am

Re: Help planning Death Valley backpacking?
FWIW I hiked through Marble Canyon on my Desert Trail Hike. I hiked through the Canyon April 2. It was fine that year (2012) but I barely missed some very hot weather a week or so later. I campe...

In General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Help planning Death Valley backpacking?
November 21, 7:04pm

All Reader Reviews by Buck Nelson

Showing 1 - 10 of 14 | Page: 1 2



Marmot Hydrogen (2004 model)
I've got an older model with the shorter zipper that weighs 23 oz. I use it with my warm clothing (down jacket, balaclava, long underwear) on the coldest nights. I've slept toasty down into th...

In Sleeping Bags - Mummy & Other
December 31, 10:08pm

ZPacks Hexamid Solo Tent
I used this shelter on my Desert Trail hike, Mexico to Canada, followed by three weeks canoeing the Yellowstone River. My shelter...

In Shelters - Single Wall Tents
November 20, 9:43am

SMD Wild Oasis
I got my Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis for the Pacific Crest Trail. I already had the SMD Lunar Solo, which I love, but decided to save a few more ounces with the Wild Oasis. I planned to switch to the ...

In Shelters - Tarps & Floorless
December 14, 5:20pm

Darn Tough Socks Boot Sock Cushion and Full Cushion, Merino Wool
I have been a loyal Smartwool wearer for years. For me, Merino wool is the way to go. On prior thru-hikes Smartwools were very comfortable but seemed to wear out too quickly. So for the PCT I got some...

In Footwear - Boots, Shoes, Gaiters
December 03, 10:43pm

ULA Helix "Ice Axe" Potty Trowel
I bought one at the "kick-off" to use on the PCT. It broke when I was chopping snow to melt for drinking water. I was appalled when I looked at the broken pieces to see how weak this "i...

In Climbing Gear & Accessories
December 02, 10:56pm

GoLite GoLite customer service
I liked my Golite Infinity pack but the material was too weak. Golite quickly and cheerfully replaced the pack. Unfortunately I hadn't requested a newer model and after nearly two thousand miles t...

In 1 - COMPANIES (Customer Service)
May 05, 12:05pm Customer Service
I hiked the Continental Divide Trail last summer. In New Mexico there were two pieces of new gear I wanted. A friend put in an order with on my behalf to be delivered to Ghost Ranch. W...

In 1 - COMPANIES (Customer Service)
February 21, 4:05pm

PossumDown Gloves (BPL Gear Shop)
I used these gloves on my CDT hike. Ultralight hiking is all about tradeoffs, and these gloves were a good compromise. Under normal cool conditions, say to just below freezing, they were quite warm. T...

In Clothing - Headwear, Handwear
November 26, 8:41am

Titanium Goat AGP AGP
I used these poles on my CDT and PCT and Desert Trail hikes. I often hike with a single pole. These are not poles for people hard on gear. If y...

In Trekking Poles
October 08, 1:58pm

Pak-Lite White Super
This is a very good light. I'm giving it a 4 instead of a 5 because this is the Backpackinglight website, and there are other lights that are much smaller, lighter, and do a similarly good job. Fo...

In Lights - Flashlights & Headlamps
October 08, 11:31am