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ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only The Evolution of a Winter Stove - Part 4 - Lessons Learnt
by Roger Caffin
About 110 people bought the custom stove and served as beta testers. Their feedback highlighted some of the benefits and bugs of the stove. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Backpackable Wood Stoves: Theory and Ultralight Application
by David Chenault
Backpackable wood stoves will add weight to your pack, but they have many benefits, such as, peace of mind, warmth, and the ability to dry wet gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Into the Gray
by Ari “Ike” Jutkowitz
The story of one man’s obsession with the Lake Superior Shoreline in winter. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Members Only Winter Cabineering - Part 2
by Ryan Jordan
Winter Cabineering not only makes your sleep more enjoyable, but you can save pack weight as well. It's a creative and unique way to winter camp. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Avalanche Safety for Backcountry Travelers
by Kevin Sawchuk
The winter can make popular locations your personal sanctuary; however avalanche safety and preparation are crucial to enjoying the pristine conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only The Evolution of a Winter Stove - Part 3
by Roger Caffin
Dissatisfied with what was commercially available at the time, the author has been working on the design of a lightweight winter canister stove since 2007. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only The Evolution of a Winter Stove - Part 2
by Roger Caffin
Dissatisfied with what was commercially available at the time, the author has been working on the design of a lightweight winter canister stove since 2007. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Spring Snow Trekking Gear List
by Ryan Jordan
Ryan shares his ideal gear list for late-winter, early-spring trekking. By utilizing a snow shelter and making a few adjustments to your kit, you can push the limits of your conventional 3-season gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Test Reports
Members Only Thermal Feedback in Upright Canister Stoves
by Roger Caffin
Different upright canister stoves seem to work with differing levels of success in very cold weather, and one wonders why. Claims for pressure regulator stoves are especially problematic, with marketing spin being extreme in some cases. We examine just what is going on here, with an in-depth analysis of some aspects of both upright and remote canister stoves, to unravel some critical factors. Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Test Reports
Members Only Impact of Wind on Insulation Loft
by Tim Hawthorne
During a winter storm, strong winds can render your lightweight puffy useless. This article examines the effect that compression can have on various types of insulation, and presents recommendations for staying warm and alive. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Sierra Designs Cloud 15 Review
by Brad Groves
A 29 oz sleeping bag featuring vertical baffles and Insotect technology... is it worth the weight? Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Test Reports
Members Only Midlayer Technology: Patagonia Capilene 4 v. Mountain Hardwear Desna Hoody
by David Chenault
This winter, increase the versatility of your other layers by adding a midlayer. An overview of two notable options, and discussion of current fabric tech. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only An Introduction to Nordic and Backcountry Ski Gear: Part 2 - Advanced Nordic Ski Mountaineering on UL Tele Gear
by Forrest McCarthy
It is natural for skiers, as their skills improve, to seek more challenging terrain. And, with access to mountainous landscapes, it is inevitable for a skier to enter the realm of ski mountaineering. An overview of UL backcountry ski mountaineering gear and discussion of proper gear choice. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Alpacka Stowaway Dry Suit Review
by Ryan Jordan
A 22-ounce waterproof dry suit designed for packrafters with an eye towards saving weight and bulk on longer expeditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only An Introduction to Nordic and Backcountry Ski Gear
by Alan Dixon and Mike Martin
A Primer to Backcountry Ski Travel – Why you can and should overnight ski in the backcountry Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Camping in the Snow
by Roger Caffin
Proper gear choices, site selection, and preparation techniques can make or break a winter excursion. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Tools for Human Powered Oversnow Travel - State of the Market Report
by David Chenault
Fat bike, skis, or snowshoes? A discussion of the most efficient tools for oversnow travel. Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Science, Theory & Math
Members Only Just Say No To Wicking: Non-Traditional Base Layers Based on a Next-to-Skin Fishnet Model
by Ryan Jordan and Mike Martin
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only 5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking
by David Chenault
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Down Jacket Shoot-out: GoLite Bitterroot vs. Rab Infinity
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
A comparison of two full-featured down jackets with Quantum GL fabric and 850 fill power down. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only On-Trail Route Finding: When the Trail is Hard to Follow
by David Chenault
"I've never been lost, but I was once a mite bewildered for a few days." - Daniel Boone Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Indoor Girl Takes on a Yurt
by Margie Broschinsky
Baby steps: out of love for her outdoorsy husband, Margie looks before she leaps and books a weekend in a Utah yurt, THEN learns the definition of "yurt." Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Igloos
by Tad Englund
Build an igloo using the “hub and spoke method” and lightweight backpacking tools. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Deep Freeze: A Cold, Hard Look at Winter Stoves
by Brad Groves
Investigating the lightest-weight options on the market and assessing ease-of-use, reliability, fuel efficiency, and time to boil. Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Science, Theory & Math
Members Only Storm Resistance of Ultralight Shelters: Part 1, Introduction
by Ryan Jordan
Evaluating the wind and snow loading of shelters for ultralight backpacking in inclement conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Lightning Flash Snowshoe Review
by Will Rietveld
If unlimited traction is what you want in a snowshoe, the Lightning Flash delivers; it can rightfully lay claim to the title of lightest high-traction snowshoe available. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Altai Skis: The Hok Ski and X-Trace Universal Binding Review
by David Chenault
For fast, easy over-snow travel, combine the traits of a snowshoe and those of a ski. A short, fat ski would keep the maneuverability, packability and hopefully light weight of a snowshoe as well as the glide and easy trail breaking of a ski. How well does this theory play out in reality? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Kahtoola MTN 28 Snowshoe Review
by Ray Estrella
Incorporating a stand-alone trail crampon that works along with the snowshoe itself, the Mountain 28 eliminates the need to carry a separate traction device for conditions that call for grip, not float. Intriguing in theory, how did it work in practice? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
New Balance 1000 Insulated Boot Review
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
The NB1000 replaces the discontinued Keen Growler as our favorite lightweight insulated boot; it’s made of lighter materials and has the same insulation and functionality. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
A Marriage Proposal on Walden Pond
by Ron Strickland
Can a backpacker more comfy on the trail find love with a lady for whom three stars is roughing it? An excerpt from Ron's recently published memoir, Pathfinder: Blazing a New Wilderness Trail in Modern America . Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
SIA Nordic Ski On-Snow Demo 2011: New Waxless Ski Technologies
by Alan Dixon
While the new waxless technologies are mostly in Nordic race skis and high end touring skis, we see promise for their future use in backcountry skis as well. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Fast and Light Winter Travel
by Luc Mehl
Insights from the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Ski Classic. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
PHD Mountain Software Yukon Down Pullover Review
by Will Rietveld
Featuring 900 fill-power down, baffled construction, high loft, and a nearly waterproof shell, the Yukon Pullover is a well-balanced four-season down parka. Is this the ultimate ultralight down garment for cold weather pursuits? Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 2 – Another Roundup of New and Interesting Gear
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Lots of footwear today, for the trail and snow, plus an assortment of jackets, a to-die-for backcountry ski system from La Sportiva, Big Agnes introduces new lightweight trekking poles, a new Klymit skeletal sleeping pad, a 12 ounce sleeping bag from Terra Nova, a 2.3-ounce Quantum GL windshirt from Montane, and more, and more... Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Science, Theory & Math
Members Only The Effect of Cold on Gas Canisters
by Stuart Robb & Roger Caffin
Ever tried to use your stove in the cold only to find that it just won't work, even although shaking the canister tells you there is plenty of fuel left? Then, when you check it at home to see what's the matter, it works perfectly. What is going on? Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Rapids, Wolves, and Winter
by Forrest McCarthy, photos by Moe Witschard
With amazingly light loads that included skis, packrafts, dry suits, winter camping gear, and a week’s worth of food, we set out to visit the Frank Church Wilderness in winter to prove a point. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Western Mountaineering Expedition Down Bootie Review
by Will Rietveld
Well designed, lightweight, warm down bootie with an integrated tall gaiter and performance equivalent to a multi-layer system. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Crater Lake Snowshoe Video Essay
by Darin Banner
Join some of the Backpacking Light crew for their three-day circumnavigation of Crater Lake. In January. On snowshoes! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
MYOG: The Incredible Rulk - Rucksack and Pulk Combo
by Jörgen Johansson
It would be so nice to have a light pulk strapped onto my pack so that I more or less would be able instantly to switch back and forth between pack and pulk. Witness the creation of the Incredible Rulk! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Pitching a Tent in the Snow
by Roger Caffin
Want to try tenting in the snow, but haven't done it before and not sure how? Haven't time in the evening to build a snow cave or an igloo just for one night? We walk you through the basics of what gear you need, how to choose a good site, how to create a platform, and how to pitch your tent (or a tarptent if you are brave). Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Snow Stakes Revisited
by Roger Caffin
After using the original snow stakes in extreme conditions, the design has been enhanced to extend the life of both your snow stakes and your guylines. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only When Things Go Wrong
by Roger Caffin
Roger Caffin shares his adventure in misadventure. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG Titanium/Carbon Fiber Ice Axe
by Steven Evans and Roger Caffin
Following the Review of the ULA Helix Potty Trowel, there was considerable discussion on the Backpacking Light Forum (MYOG, DIY walking axe) regarding the use of a light "ice axe" in areas where one's life or ultimate safety would not be an issue. The author, Steven Evans, asked specific questions regarding the required length of such an ice axe, the general use of such an ice axe, and what people used in situations where a UIAA-certified ice axe would be overkill, but where a tool of some sort would be nice to have. Such a tool could be used to assist in small steep sections of snow and ice and general up-hill travel in less then desirable conditions, but it would have a weight which would be negligible on one's back when not in use. This project was born from that discussion. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Yellowstone in Winter: An Igloo Traverse in America's Oldest National Park
by Chris Townsend
Chris Townsend explores Yellowstone during the winter in a group igloo expedition with skis, snowshoes, and pulks. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Reducing Winter Pack Weight: Wood Fire Cooking in the Snow
by Kevin Sawchuk
For the hardcore ultralighter, cooking over wood fires in the winter offers a way to substantially reduce pack weight on longer trips, adds a bit of warmth around camp, and forces you to learn fire skills that just might save your life someday. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Titanium Snow Stakes
by Roger Caffin
Lightweight and stable titanium snow anchors that are easy to make Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Light My Fire SL3 (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008)
by Mike Martin
Virtual Pack: Light My Fire SL3 Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
A Virtual Pack (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008)
by Mike Martin, Ryan Jordan, Don Wilson, Craig Mortensen, Alan Dixon, Ken Knight, Steve Nelson, Addie Morstad, Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
The Backpacking Light Outdoor Retailer Team outfits an entire lightweight pack for a long winter weekend using only gear found at the show. Join us throughout the trip for updates as we add gear to our hyper-linked Outdoor Retailer Virtual Pack. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Take the Load Off: Using Pulks to Travel Over Snow
by Ed Bouffard
Pulk techniques for winter travel over snow Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
CAMP AT Fix Shovel (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008)
by Steve Nelson
Virtual Pack: Camp AT Fix Shovel Read More...

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