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ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Denali Light: The 2007 Attempt
by Matt Hage, Agnes Stowe
Lightening up on Alaska’s classic mountaineering route. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Members Only Denali Light: The 2009 Attempt
by Matt Hage, Agnes Stowe
A light and kind-of fast expedition on one of the world’s great mountains. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Backpacking Light 2009 Reader Photo Contest Results
by BackpackingLight.com Staff
We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2009 Reader Photo Contest! Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Photo Essay: A Traverse of the Bob Marshall Wilderness by Foot and Packraft
by Ryan Jordan
We entered at Benchmark (on the South Fork Sun), exited at Silvertip (on the Spotted Bear), and had the time of our lives over a few relaxing days while making long miles in a packraft on the South Fork. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
New Wilderness! Dolly Sods North & Roaring Plains West
by Devin Montgomery
There were 37,000 new wilderness acres in my home state... how could I not go walking? Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Two in One Boat: A Photo and Video Essay from Montana's Jefferson River
by Ryan Jordan
Father and son float trip in the lowlands. Experience Ryan Jordan's wild ride through skeeters and heat exhaustion, including running low on key supplies. Or... not. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Wilderness Trekking School Summer Initiation
by Mike Clelland! with editorial assistance by Addie Bedford
The summer of 2008 got Backpacking Light's Wilderness Trekking School off to a great start. We ran three trips in three wildly different locations: Northern Rockies, Pacific Northwest, and Desert Southwest. Each allowed for a unique experience and permitted us to focus on the core curriculum of the Wilderness Trekking format. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Members Only Shangri-Lite at 62 - Haute Route at 20 Pounds or Less
by Barry Truman
On the Haute Route, a 21-pound pack is over-inflated. At sixty-two well-used years, I submitted myself to random weight checks to remain sub-twenty pounds and passed most of them. Making the formula feasible are the huts and hotels which always appear just when you've had enough. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Ultralight Backpacking in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca
by Rick DeLong
With dozens of peaks above 6,000 meters (nearly 20,000 feet), Peru’s Cordillera Blanca range is one of the highest, most rugged sections of the Andes, and the most heavily glaciated of any mountains in the planet’s equatorial zone. It is a well-known mountain climbing destination, and hundreds of kilometers of hikeable trails have made the range increasingly popular among trekkers. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Photo Essay: Packrafting the Madison River
by Ryan Jordan
Stretches of the Madison River can be described as a "booze cruise," where innertube flotillas of relaxing college students and drift boats of fly-fishers fill the river. The Bear Trap canyon isn't one of those stretches, especially during spring snowmelt. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Packrafting Utah's Escalante River in Late March
by Bill Stadwiser; photos by Bill Stadwiser and Andy Heath
At 1.6 cfs in the Escalante, would there be more packrafting or raft-packing for our intrepid explorers? Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Aniakchak Adventure
by Matt Hage
Packrafts open up the lunatic fringe of National Parks. We hiked into the Aniakchak Caldera and Surprise Lake to packraft down the Aniakchak to the Pacific Ocean. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
John Muir's Birthplace - a Photo Essay
by Chris Townsend
John Muir will be forever linked with the High Sierra and California, but it was far from there that his life began, in the little coastal town of Dunbar on the southeast coast of Scotland. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Backpacking in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Photo Essay
by Chris Townsend
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, situated in the southwestern Highlands, is Scotland's first national park, encompassing a beautiful area of mountains, forests, rivers, and lochs surrounding Loch Lomond itself, the largest lake in Britain. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Winter in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
by Chris Townsend
The Cairngorm Plateau consists of bare, stony undulating terrain and can seem benign in clear, summer weather. However it's edged with cliffs and steep slopes, and poor visibility is common as clouds sweep across the slopes. Join Chris Townsend as he crosses the Plateau on a freezing winter day. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Members Only Tea House Trekking: Lightweight to Everest Base Camp
by Ron Rod
Join Ron Rod as he explores Nepal in July: monsoon season. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Autumn in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
by Chris Townsend
Reminisce about the warm colors of the fall with Chris Townsend's evocative photography. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Reflection on the Wild Coast: A Photo Essay
by Erin Mckittrick; photos by Erin Mckittrick and Bretwood (Hig) Higman
Adventurers Erin McKittrick and Bretwood Higman summarize their 4000-mile trek in photos and prose. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Mountain Magic on the Pyrenean High Route
by David McClure
Backpacking Light member David McClure's forty-two-day traverse of the French/Spanish border mountains. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Wanderlust: Backcountry Meandering with My Family in the Wallowa Mountains
by Regina WB
Join Regina WB for her annual family trek to Blue Lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, Wallowa Mountains. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Track Notes for the GR52 in France
by Roger Caffin
Roger Caffin leaves the GR5 behind and takes the GR52 to the Mediterranean Sea. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Croatan National Forest - Trip Report
by Bayley Lawrence
Join Bayley Lawrence on a hike of the Croatan National Forest in North Carolina. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Track Notes Part 2: GR5 in France
by Roger Caffin
Part two of Roger Caffin's GR5 trek in France. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Track Notes Part 1: GR5 in France
by Roger Caffin
Roger Caffin shares his notes on trekking the GR5 in France. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Packrafting the Bear Trap Canyon
by Bill Stadwiser
Bill Stadwiser shares his notes on packrafting Bear Trap Canyon with Ryan Jordan. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Podcasts
Packraft Trekking in Montana's Bear Trap Canyon (Videocast)
by Ryan Jordan and Bill Stadwiser
Ryan Jordan and Bill Stadwiser explore the Bear Trap Canyon Wilderness (the nation's first BLM-managed Wilderness Area) by foot and packraft. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Podcasts
Podcast: Journey on the Wild Coast - When the Weather Outside is Frightful and There is No Inside, What Gear Works?
by Carol Crooker
Carol Crooker exposes the insanity of Bretwood Higman and Erin McKittrick. Three pounds of shared sleeping quilt for minus 30 degree weather?! Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Fire and Ultralight, a US Forest Service Recon
by Jhaura Wachsman, Photos: Paul Cronshaw
Ultralight Backpackers Scouting Post-Disaster Trail Conditions for the US Forest Service. 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 Places Trip Reports
Members Only Packrafting the Grand Canyon
by Roman Dial
Roman Dial leads first legal (permitted) packrafting trek in the Grand Canyon. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Ultralight Packrafting in Cataract Canyon
by Forrest McCarthy
A river explorer takes on the Colorado River in a packraft. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Expeditions
Members Only Ultralight Gear and Techniques on the Edge of Winter with Backpacking Light’s Wilderness Trekking III Program
by Don Wilson; photos by Don Wilson and Ryan Jordan
The gear chosen by the Wilderness Trekking III course participants and leaders Read More...
ARTICLES Places Expeditions
Out of Your Comfort Zone: Through the Beartooth Mountains with Backpacking Light’s Wilderness Trekking III Program
by Don Wilson
BPL members and staff trek - off trails and off maps - through the snowy Beartooth Mountains Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Bringing up the Rear: An Ultralighter Hikes across the Weminuche with a "Mixed" Group
by Ben Smith
Ultralighters love replacing old gear with new. But what gets lost when you get new hiking buddies to go with your new kit? Read More...
ARTICLES Places Expeditions
Doing Denali Light: Post-Trip Report and Gearlist
by Agnes Stowe with Matt Hage
It IS possible to climb Denali using lightweight techniques! Agnes and Matt discuss their gear and provide detailed gearlists. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Featured Routes
Journey on the Wild Coast, Part 2 - the Gear
by Erin McKittrick
Erin describes the gear needed to complete a 4000 mile trek encompassing multiple climate zones, every season, and mixed modes of travel. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Featured Routes
Journey on the Wild Coast, Part 1
by Erin Mckittrick
4000 miles. 9 months. Seattle to the Aleutian Islands. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Wise Women Go Light, Conclusion
by Jean Rogers and Sue Wright with Ben Smith
Wise Women Jean (from 20 to 13 pound base weight) and Sue (14 to 9 pound base weight) put their new lightweight gear to the test in the field. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Wise Women Go Light, Part 2
by Jean Rogers and Sue Wright with Cat Jasins
Jean and Sue select and test lighter gear from a dizzying array of choices while receiving an avalanche of expert advice - which they accept with trepidation, reject, or take on wholeheartedly - all the while listening to their own self-wisdom gained in their six (or near six) decades of life experience. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Results: John Muir Trail (JMT) Record Attempt - Unsupported, Without Resupply
by Al Shaver
BPL subscriber, Al Shaver, didn’t break the JMT speed record for an unsupported hike without resupply, but his account may inspire you to try. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Notes from the Field: Summer on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Don Wilson
Long distance hikes have a unique character. BPL editor, Don Wilson, shares his perspectives on gear, technique, clothing and philosophy following a lightweight, 6-week section hike of the PCT. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
John Muir Trail (JMT) Record Attempt - Unsupported, Without Resupply
by Al Shaver
BPL subscriber, Al Shaver, will attempt to break the JMT speed record for an unsupported hike without resupply. He starts on the full moon, September 7th. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Wise Women Go Light, Part 1
by Jean Rogers and Sue Wright
The first in a series of three articles chronicling the experiences of hiking buddies Jean and Sue as they begin on the journey to lightweight backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Backpacking Light Editor, Don Wilson, on the PCT this Summer
by Carol Crooker
Mojave, CA (June 12) to Ashland, OR (August ?) - say Hello! Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Members Only Backpacking Scotland - Dealing With the Wet and Cold (Photo Essay & Gear List)
by Chris Townsend
What kinds of gear and clothing are optimal for wet, windy, and cold Scottish weather? Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Notes from the Field - SuperUltraLight in November on the Flagstaff Peaks, Arizona
by Carol Crooker
Was just 5 pounds of gear enough to keep our warm-weather-acclimatized Arizonian cozy into the 20s? Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Notes from the Field: SuperUltraLight Bushwhacking in the Canyons of Grand Gulch, Utah
by Carol Crooker
Can a SUL pack survive intense bushwhacking? Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Notes from the Field: SuperUltraLight Hammocking on the Black Forest Trail in Pennsylvania
by Carol Crooker
Perspectives from the Black Forest Trail in Pennsylvania, with commentary on gear and techniques to stay warm in a hammock with less than five pounds of gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Ken and Marcia Powers First to Through-hike the American Discovery Trail
by Carol Crooker
The 4900 mile ADT bisects the continental US from east to west. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Notes from the Field: SuperUltraLight in the Cascades with a Sub-4-pound Pack
by Doug Johnson
Perspectives from the field, with commentary on gear and technique for high mileage backpacking with a sub-4-pound base weight pack. Read More...

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