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ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
MYOG: Bubble Wrap and Duct Tape Camera Case
by Sam Haraldson
A durable camera case made from cheap and free materials. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Contoured Side Panels for Improved Load Carry in Frameless Packs
by David Chenault
Overpacking is a major issue with frameless packs. Implementing side panels can help distribute your load in a more effective way. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Down Vest
by Jerry Adams with editorial assistance from Addie Bedford
An easy introduction to working with down, this vest has no frills, bells, or whistles: just warm insulation where you need it most! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: eVent Rain/Wind Jacket
by Jerry Adams with editorial assistance from Addie Bedford
Turning 2.5 yards of high performance fabric into a lightweight, breathable rain jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
MYOG Fleece Headgear
by Jerry Adams
Come see the softer side of making your own cozy fleece items! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen
by Benjamin Roode
What's better than a communal, one-pot meal between hiking buddies under the stars? Learn how to make a pot stand/windscreen that's sturdy enough to hold a large pot filled with dinner and light enough to not bow your backpack. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Hanging Stove System
by Darin Banner
In the winter, depending on snow conditions a fully-enclosed shelter can be preferred in which case a hanging stove system will still allow you to cook from the comfort of your shelter. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Knotless PCT Bear Bag Hang
by Josh Taylor
Perform an easier-yet-secure PCT Bear Bag Hang without using the traditional stick + clove hitch. This MYOG is simple, functional, and lightweight! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Silnylon Backpack
by Jerry Adams
A gem of MYOG: with an 11-ounce weight and 3500-cubic-inch volume, this pack is simple to make and elegant to behold. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Silnylon Floorless 2-Person Tent
by Jerry Adams
A roomy floorless tent that sleeps two easily and four in a pinch, this 22-ounce beauty will be the pride of your pack! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Supplex Pants
by Jerry Adams
Step by step guide to simple, lightweight, inexpensive trekking pants. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
MYOG Technical Note - Catenary Curves
by Roger Caffin
The whys and wheres of catenary curves, with downloadable spreadsheet for calculating your own MYOG curve masterpieces. 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 Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: The Poddle
by Dan Baker
Hiking poles + paddle blades = the Poddle, the ultimate multi-tool for hiking and packrafting or kayaking! 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 Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
My UL Frenzy: Twenty-Five Weekends of Backpacking in the White Mountains and Beyond
by James Bailey
2008: A Year of Change. Follow Jim Bailey on his rabid quest to hike every possible weekend between March and November, despite living in New England with its record-breaking weather. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Necessity vs. Importance: Considering Ultralight Essentials
by Ryan Jordan
Essentials commentary from BackpackingLight Publisher, Ryan Jordan. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Negotiating the Permit System: Six Western US National Parks
by David Chenault
Our National Parks are awe-inspiring places of beauty. Often the backcountry permitting can be a challenge. Don't let that stop you. Here are some tips to face the process with ease. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Not a Day on any Calendar
by Bill Stadwiser
Backpacking Light's Wilderness Trekking School Photo Essay. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Nutritional Considerations for Cold Weather Hiking
by Brenda Braaten
Nutritional Considerations for Cold Weather Hiking Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
One Night At A Time
by Mike Clelland!
Quit making it so hard: jeepers, just cram a few things in your pack and let's go! 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 Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Overboots as Mukluks: Basecamp Footwear for Ski Mountaineers
by Ryan Jordan
Hardshell double boots, common amongst ski mountaineers using modern alpine touring or telemark equipment, make for miserable discomfort during extended stays in camp. Adding a pair of thin neoprene overboots at less than a pound allows one to kick off the plastics and enjoy basecamp slippers while keeping feet warm and dry in the coldest weather. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Pack-and-Paddle Wilderness Route Planning: Predicting Stream Flows
by Ryan Jordan
Guidelines for evaluating watershed geography and streamflow to help ask the question: is this creek runnable in a packraft? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Packing for Adventure Travel: Ultralight Tips to Integrate Wilderness and Urban Kit
by Ryan Jordan
Packing to combine adventure travel and wilderness recreation. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Packrafting: An Introduction to Wilderness River Running with a Packable Inflatable Boat
by Jim Jager, Sidebar by Sheri Tingey
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Packraft Rating (PR) System
by Roman Dial
Roman Dial demystifies whitewater for the packrafter wanting to understand the natural progression of learning to packraft in the context of increasingly difficult whitewater. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Packraft Wet Reentry Photo Demo
by Matt Hage (photos) and Roman Dial (text)
Foot entrapment among submerged rocks is the leading killer of whitewater boaters. Think about it: the most common way to die while boating is by doing something OUTSIDE your boat! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Pertex/Pile History and Products
by Chris Townsend
Chris Townsend and the Pertex/Pile Revolution. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Philmont Scout Ranch: How Light Can You Go?
by Doug Prosser
After taking a Wilderness Trekking course from Andrew Skurka and Don Wilson, I wanted to try the Philmont Scout Ranch in a UL style. By stepping out of my existing comfort zone, I discovered a whole new one. 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 Pockets for Hyperlite Mountain Gear Packs
by Darin Banner
Make your own lightweight and effective side pockets for HMG porter. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Podcast: Packrafting Safety Tips from the Experts Part 1
by Carol Crooker
Seven packrafters with a total of over thirty-five years of experience under their bums share the safety gear they won't be without, skills that have kept them coming back for more, common - and dangerous - mistakes, and real life rescue stories. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Podcast: Packrafting Safety Tips from the Experts Part 2
by Carol Crooker
Seven packrafters with a total of over thirty-five years of experience under their bums share the safety gear they won't be without, skills that have kept them coming back for more, common - and dangerous - mistakes, and real life rescue stories. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Podcast: Packrafting Safety Tips from the Experts Part 3
by Carol Crooker
Seven packrafters with a total of over thirty-five years of experience under their bums share the safety gear they won't be without, skills that have kept them coming back for more, common - and dangerous - mistakes, and real life rescue stories. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Reader Tips: Best Way to Pitch a Tarp with Fewest Stakes or Guylines
by the BackpackingLight.com Readership
We asked, you answered! Responses to our solicitation for the best tarp pitch using the fewest poles, stakes, or guylines. 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 Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Sandals for Summer Backpacking
by Chris Townsend
Chris Townsend shares his sandal wearing experience. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Saving Time and Weight: A "Winter Water" Routine Tuned for Lightweight Style
by Ryan Jordan
Water prep in the winter is a time- and fuel-consuming chore. Learn tips and tricks to save time and weight in this treatise on lightweight winter water prep using a white gas stove. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Selecting a Canister Stove for Cold Weather Backpacking
Part II: Commercially Available Canister Stove Systems

by Roger Caffin
Many canister stove models become excellent cold weather performers with a simple twist. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Selecting a Canister Stove for Cold Weather Backpacking
Part I: Stove and Fuel Fundamentals

by Roger Caffin
Fuel fundamentals and basic flame chemistry explained so that canister stove cold weather performance can be optimized. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Selling Lightweight: How Retailers Can Help Your Pack Weight
by Brad Groves
The interactions between retailer and consumer can have a dramatic influence on the gear carried and experience had by a consumer. We examine the tools both retailers and consumers can use in evaluating gear and determining the best lightweight options for individuals. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Simplifying Expedition Food With Single Serving Sized Packages
by Ryan Jordan
Single serving packages can simplify shopping, packaging, and preparation of meals. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Sipping the Waters: Techniques for Selecting Untreated Backcountry Water for Drinking
by Michael von Gortler, MD
Drinking untreated backcountry water can make you sick - but choosing your drinking spots intelligently can greatly reduce that risk. Here, a doctor shares the methods that have kept him healthily "sipping the waters" for the past 20 years. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Smartphone Navigation
by Ken Knight
Use the ubiquitous smartphone to get where you're going, with details on four apps that support maps for more places (not just the States). All you need do is supply the adventure. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Sno-Seal Original Beeswax Waterproofing for Leather
by Roger Caffin
Treat your leather nicely, THEN abuse the ever-loving daylights out of it. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Soft Shells: The Real Story
by Alan Dixon and Ryan Jordan
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Spring Footwear: Lightweight Footwear Systems Built Around Thin Neoprene Overboots and High Gaiters
by Ryan Jordan
Foremost among the challenges that spring hikers face is the presence of melting snow and the prospect of continuously wet feet. Ryan Jordan presents his two favorite footwear systems for cold or warm spring conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Spring Raftpacking (and Packrafting)
by Ryan Jordan
In the high country, runoff doesn’t always coincide with what we all consider to be backpacking season, where trails are dry and the days are sunny. That being the case, here are some tips for trekking, packrafting, and camping in the spring snow and muck. 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...

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