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ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only How One High Sierra Trip Turned Into Permanent Nomadic Travel
by Brock Delinski
Getting outdoors often makes all the difference, and a long expedition can go a long way to transforming your life. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Featured Routes
Members Only The Timberline Trail
by David Pex
Similar to its cousin, the Wonderland Trail which circumnavigates Mt. Rainier, the Timberline Trail traces the shadow of Mt. Hood and makes for a spectacular journey. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Wonderland Trail
by David Pex
As it circumnavigates Mt. Rainier, the Wonderland Trail offers some stunning views and excellent camping spots. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Featured Routes
Yosemite Adventures
by Matt Johanson
Yosemite is a wild place and has incredible wilderness opportunities for hikers, climbers, and skiers. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Onto The Shelf
by Ari “Ike” Jutkowitz
Extremely rare conditions led to a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the stunning ice shelf on Lake Superior. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Rambling the High Sierra
by Ryan Jordan
There are so many ways to navigate through the Sierras - why not try them all? Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
100 Mile Wilderness
by Matt Heid
The 100 mile wilderness is vast - and challenging. Thru-hikers often complete the whole traverse in a few days, but slowing down will offer spectacular views and an even more memorable experience. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Featured Routes
The Massanutten Ridges of Virginia
by Michael Martin
Just a stones throw form the DC metropolitan area, the Massanutten Trail offers outstanding views and challenges for new and experienced backpackers alike. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Thru Running New York’s Long Path
by Kenneth Posner
New York's long path is a gem - nestled in the middle of a sprawling metropolis, this path cuts through the city taking you northward to the peaceful woods. 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 Places Photo Essays
2013 Photo Contest Winners!
by BPL Staff
After receiving some stunning photos, our judges have chosen the best. Grab a seat and relive the experience. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only New England Traverse: Discovering a Wilderness Route
by John Fox
It's rare to find a remote route when trying to traverse New England. Worse yet, at the current rate this will only get worse. This could be remedied with greater conservation efforts in the region in an effort to preserve this beautiful land. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Backpacking Light 2013 Photo Contest - Part 1, Information for Entrants
by BackpackingLight.com Staff
Submit your best shots from 2013! Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Traversing the Adirondacks by Foot and Packraft
by Ari “Ike” Jutkowitz
Quiet streams and raging waters make for an incredible experience in the backcountry. The ADKs are home to a diverse array of animals and have a very appealing lure. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only From Bushwick to Bushwhack: UL Compromises deep in the ADK wilderness
by Adam Klagsbrun
A beautiful area filled with stunning views and MUD. If you are looking for a good challenge east of the Mississippi this is for you. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Thru-Hiking Alaska’s Arctic: A 1,000 Mile Solo Traverse
by Kristin Gates
Located above the Arctic Circle, the Brooks Range is one of the last true wildernesses. Here the grizzly bears, wolves, moose, and caribou roam free and the hiker is enveloped in nature. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only The Wonderland Trail
by Ethan Kanning
Mt. Rainer is dominating and impressive. The Wonderland Trail circumvents this majestic peak offering stunning views and unprecedented access to this gem of the Pacific Northwest. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Members Only In 10 Days across Switzerland
by Tom Pfiffner
Absolutely Stunning! This photo essay will take you over 14 mountain passes through one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Finnish Thousand Meters Round
by Harri Saarnisaari
An in depth look at an exploration above the Arctic Circle. Journey to where Finland and Norway collide. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Light and Fast on Vermont’s Long Trail
by Scott Morris
280 miles in 10 days? You Betcha. The Long Trail has become a "right of passage" of sorts for unsupported thru hikers. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Columbia and Western: Castlegar to Christina Lake
by Forest Walker (Photos: Clive Webber)
The Columbia and Western is a section of the Trans-Canada Trail, a haven for thru Hikers. It caters to all skill sets and is a wilderness of pristine beauty. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Paddle Scouts: BSA Packrafting the Sun River Drainage, Montana
by Eric Vann (Photos and Video: Ryan Jordan)
The lightweight philosophy coupled with high adventure creates a schoolroom for incredible growth. Witness it here. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only A Guide to the Grayson Highlands
by Luke Schmidt
A unique and diverse area, the Grayson Highlands are an excellent hiking location in the Mid-Atlantic. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Members Only Off-trail in the Teton Wilderness - Take 2
by Luke Schmidt
Grizzly Bears! Mountain Goats! Elk! With a clear conscience the author returns to conquer this vast wilderness. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Members Only Off-trail in the Teton Wilderness
by Luke Schmidt
The Teton Wilderness is vast and beautiful. Take a journey through this landscape and enjoy the scenery. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Members Only Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon Photo Essay
by Jeremy McAllister
Buckskin Gulch is one of the top 10 most dangerous hikes in America as sudden rain fall can lead to flash floods. Paria Canyon is stunning. Grab a seat and relive the journey. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only A Philmont Journal - Part 5
by Tom Baskin
Relive the exciting experience that is Philmont. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Ropers Sierra High Route
by Andrew Wolff
Solo-Backpacking the Sierra High Route - a remote expedition. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only A Philmont Journal - Part 4
by Tom Baskin
Relive the exciting experience that is Philmont. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only A Philmont Journal - Part 3
by Tom Baskin
Relive the exciting experience that is Philmont. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only A Philmont Journal - Part 2
by Tom Baskin
Relive the exciting experience that is Philmont. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
A Philmont Journal - Part 1
by Tom Baskin
Relive the exciting experience that is Philmont. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Notes from the Field: The Wintry Fringe Season in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness
by Ryan Jordan
Gear notes and more from a trek in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness in late October and early November, 2012. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Yellowstone River Packrafting
by Ryan Jordan
An Introduction to Packrafting in the Yellowstone River Corridor between its headwaters and Big Timber, MT. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Members Only Photo Essay: Spanish Peaks, Lee Metcalf Wilderness, Montana
by Ryan Jordan
Photos from a Scout trek across the Spanish Peaks in Southwest Montana, with some insight into how we incorporate an ultralight ethic into groups. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Salvation in Skykomish
by Lawton Grinter
Trail Angels to the rescue on the PCT and AT. Chapter 11 from Lawton Grinter's new book I Hike: Mostly True Stories from 10,000 Miles of Hiking . Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Close Encounters with Hypothermia
by Lawton Grinter
An unexpected rainstorm and inadequate gear threaten to end one hiker's PCT dreams, and potentially his life. Chapter 3 from Lawton Grinter's new book I Hike: Mostly True Stories from 10,000 Miles of Hiking . Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness: Photo Essay
by Ryan Jordan
Photos and a Gear List from the 2012 Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only The Bio-Bio Trek, Chile
by Chris Jones
Volcanoes, hot springs, and breathtaking vistas in the Chilean Andes. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Gilham Butte: Behind the Redwood Curtain
by Emmett Cartier
The Pilgrimage via Grasshopper Ridge Read More...
ARTICLES Places Expeditions
Members Only The 2012 Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic
by David Chenault
Is this the longest, toughest, roughest or hardest? The beauty of it is that at the finish no one knew or cared. Every competitor was left with indelible experiences, challenges accepted and honestly won or lost. Each had started with a clean slate and had accomplished every step in the wilderness through their own efforts. -Adrian Crane, writing about the Classic in Ultrarunning (1986) Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Lamar
by Ryan Jordan
Ryan and a group of Scouts search for solitude in Yellowstone National Park's Lamar River Valley Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only A Lightweight Guide to the Crown of the Continent
by David Chenault
Backpacking and Packrafting Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Cajon Pass
by Tom Moose
Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Backpacking on the Moon: A Trip Guide to Craters of the Moon National Monument
by David Chenault
A look at one of Idaho's little known backpacking jems. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Honeymoon at Isle Royale (Trip Report)
by Travis Leanna
Newlyweds Travis and Gretchen Leanna walk and packraft through Isle Royale National Park Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Success and Failure on the Colorado Trail
by Luke Schmidt
Planning like crazy to do a thru-hike doesn't quiet the fears: "Can I do this? Will my gear work? Will I stay motivated? Do I have the right food?" Only time on the trail would answer. 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 Places Trip Reports
Winter's Tone
by Lucas Boyer
The sights, sounds, and moods of the Ozark Trail. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
2012 Photo Contest Winners!
by
The votes are counted, photos drooled over, and the top ten are in. Congrats to all who entered - the eye candy was gorgeous! Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Hiking Hells Canyon Rim to Rim
by David Drake, with Nathan Orosco
Crossing the deepest river gorge in North America with unmaintained trails, poor communication, and a little conflict: will frustration be followed by triumph or a turn-around? Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Continental Divide Trail Project Report: Hopewell Lake, NM, August 2011
by Bruce Carr
An open letter from a grandfather to his two grandsons, about his CDTA volunteer time. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Mistaken for Strangers
by Eugene Smith
Trip report from the New Mexican high desert: three fellow BPLers (strangers but for the forums) and a father-in-law unite to experience the thoughtful introspection and cheerful relationship inherent in a group backcountry trek. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Expeditions
With a Capital C: My 2011 Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic
by David Chenault
Race report, gear and food, and, for the really ambitious, pointers for entering a wilderness race. 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 Places Expeditions
Members Only Across Iceland by Packraft
by Alastair Humphreys
Encountering waterfalls, glaciers, mountains, rivers, volcanoes, and boiling hot springs during a difficult but delightful Icelandic summer. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Global Test Main Page
by BackpackingLight Magazine
Danny Milks and Kristin Tennessen left California in September 2009 to embark upon a two-year international backpacking adventure. Follow their travels, break down their gear lists, and step into their photos for a global adventure like nothing you've ever seen! Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Lightly Burdened Pilgrims: Trip Report and Photo Essay
by Andrew Wilson
My wife and I retraced the steps of Martin Luther on the 500th anniversary of his famous pilgrimage to Rome... it wasn't quite the thru-hike I had anticipated, but it had a satisfaction all its own. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Keeping it Real in Bolivia’s Cordillera Real: Global Test Photo Essay
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
Lightweight backpacking in Bolivia's northern Andes. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Tall Tales from Colca Canyon, Peru: Global Test Photo Essay
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
Trekking in one of the world's deepest canyons. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Hiking the Santa Cruz Loop in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca: Global Test Photo Essay
by Kristin Tennessen and Danny Milks
Escaping the "boxes" of modern society in the heart of the breathtaking Peruvian Andes. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Walking the Backbone: A Journey on the Continental Divide Trail
by Paul Magnanti
Anyone who hikes the long trails is asked “Why go?” There are many answers: the physical challenge, being immersed in the wilderness for months at a time, the joy of seeing new sights every day, the camaraderie of people we meet along the way. Ultimately, the reason I go is for the journey itself. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Featured Routes
7 Myths about the Continental Divide Trail
by Francis Tapon
At first glance, doing a round-trip (a yo-yo) on the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) seems like a waste. Why not hike a different trail instead of hiking the same one two times? However, unlike the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, the CDT is never the same trail twice. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Members Only A Country Divided: The Continental Divide Trail
by David Chenault
The westernmost place in the continental United States is no longer the furthest west, geographically. It is rather that most rugged landscape generally arrayed across the Continental Divide as it marches from Canada to Mexico. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Home Away From Home In Argentina’s Lake District: Global Test Photo Essay
by Kristin Tennessen and Danny Milks
Months of travel can wear on people, even as they enjoy the "other" of another country. We found the perfect combination of comforts from home and the diversity of a foreign culture in Bariloche, Argentina. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Featured Routes
Brutality, Beauty, and the Day I Could Have Died on the Continental Divide Trail
by Chris “Freefall” Sanderson
The CDT is off-the-charts gorgeous, a great challenge, and it is my favorite of the big three long-distance trails. However, as with the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails, the CDT is not without its tricky areas. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Ten Days in Torres del Paine: Global Test Photo Essay
by Kristin Tennessen and Danny Milks
We discovered why Torres del Paine, Chile is the poster child for Patagonia's wilderness playground. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Nine Days in Parque National Los Glaciares, Argentina: Global Test Photo Essay
by Kristin Tennessen with Danny Milks
In this Global Test Photo Essay, we arrived ill-equipped for a trek over an ice field. Setting up a base camp and sticking with day trips ensured that we didn't miss out on one of the most beautiful parks in the world. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Trip Report: 2010 Teton Crest Expedition
by Pat Starich, Eric Petriz, Damien Tougas, and Douglas Ide
Our seasoned crew decided early on a mostly off-trail trip on a high route through the Teton Range. With no navigational resources but map and compass, we planned to formulate our route day by day as we progressed north to south through mountains. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Hiking Through Hyperbole: A Walk in the Clouds
by Ryan Linn
With nearly constant cloud cover and a few mornings waking up to a thick layer of snow on the ground, the focus of the last days on the trail went from staying dry to just staying warm. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Small Wonders of Latin America - Global Test Photo Essay
by Kristin Tennessen with Danny Milks
In nine months backpacking around Latin America, there was much grandeur to be seen, but there were also tiny treasures that required a closer look. Examine their petite beauty. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Hiking Through Hyperbole: Blisters and Fire
by Ryan Linn
Blisters, hiking solo, and lightning-started fires marked the stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail from northern California through Oregon. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Hiking Through Hyperbole Part 2: The Snowy Sierra
by Ryan Linn
The desert portion done, fear (and trail gossip) centered on snow in the Sierra, with six major passes above 11,000 feet. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Hiking Through Hyperbole: The Vortex of Fear
by Ryan Linn
Tackling the Pacific Crest Trail is a big job, made harder by a stream of scary stories filtering down from other hikers. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Via Alpina: Not Another Walk in the Woods
by Brandon Wilson
Designed as a European cultural itinerary traversing the continent along the backbone of the Alps, you can experience jaw-dropping Alpine beauty, culture, nature, ecology, history and cuisine in whatever region you like! Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Valley Hopping in the Cordillera Huayhuash - Global Test Photo Essay
by Kristin Tennessen with Danny Milks
Hopscotch over lakes, skip the main trail, and discover the jewels of Peru. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only SUL with My Kid Brother
by Luke Schmidt
Planning a 2-day, 20-mile trip with my 11-year-old brother meant going SUL, as he wasn't going to tolerate being babied with a lesser load. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
September Around Mount Hood
by Jerry Adams
Trip report and photo essay of a wildflower-filled circumnavigation of Oregon's famed peak. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Philmont Redux: A Returning Scouter’s Report
by Tom Baskin
Nearly 40 years after his first visit, Tom brought his son's Troop to experience the magic of Philmont - and the magic of lighter packs! Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Fear and Loneliness on the Ozark Highlands Trail
by Lucas Boyer
The Ozark Highlands Trail winds through the Boston Mountains of northern Arkansas for approximately 165 continuous miles. Planning to yo-yo it for my first thru-hike, I had to come to terms with adjusted expectations. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Hiking The Diablo Trail: A Conservation Success Story
by Jeremy Pendrey
In 1993, Save Mount Diablo, a charity that works to acquire and preserve land on and around the San Francisco Bay Area’s Mount Diablo, proposed a multi-use recreation trail to showcase the region’s cooperation efforts to preserve area land. In 2007, they produced the first map highlighting the thirty-mile trail. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Aconcagua Photo Essay and Gear List
by Matt and Agnes Hage
Tackling big mountains with lightweight gear is becoming our trademark, and it never gets dull! Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
MYOG Goes to the Mountains
by Jamie Shortt
To test his latest creation, a sub-5-ounce pack, Jamie filled it with the rest of his MYOG kit and took to the Great Smoky Mountains. 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 Places Trip Reports
Members Only Skiing the John Muir Trail
by Kevin Sawchuk
When the snow resembles cement and you're making one mile per hour or less at times, what would YOU do? Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Experiential Learning in the Heart of Utah
by Nathan Auck
A high school class laughs their way through five days in the Escalante National Recreation Area. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Return to the Fight! Lightweight Rematch in the High Annapurnas
by Perrin Lindelauf
After a knee injury put me on the ropes, I got back into the ring with a long, slow hike over many miles, hoping that the Himalayan trail would not be an impossible opponent. 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 Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Three Sisters Backpacking
by Jerry Adams
In 2008 and 2009, I got better acquainted with the lovely ladies that make up the Three Sisters in the Cascade Range. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Sierra Prime: Off Trail in California's High Country
by Alan Dixon and Don Wilson
The greatest rewards come when you choose to get off the beaten path and build a personalized hike that mixes challenge and fun at whatever level works for you. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Seven Days on the Katy
by Lucas Boyer
I went looking for a long-distance hike in the midwest and found the 225-mile Katy Trail. No time like the present to try out my first thru-hike! Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Backyard Wilderness: The New England Trail
by Ryan Linn
600 miles of trail and it's not the Long Trail or the AT! Sure, it's got some rough spots, but it's a nice taste of something different when you want to cover some mileage in the northeastern U.S. Read More...
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 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 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 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...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Several Thousand Steps on the PCT
by Ken Maddox
Lightweight gear and food, and lessons learned along two hundred miles of the PCT from B to C (Bend, Oregon to the Columbia River). Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Notes from the Field: SuperUltraLight Tarp vs. Hammock in the High Uintas
by Carol Crooker
Perspectives from the field, with commentary and comparison of gear and technique for tarp and hammock camping at 40 °F. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Notes From the Field: SuperUltraLight Hammock Camping
by Carol Crooker
Perspectives from the field, with commentary on gear and technique for hammock camping with less than five pounds of gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Notes from the Field: High, Dry, and SuperUltraLight in Arizona
by Carol Crooker
Perspectives from the field, with commentary on gear and technique from a 10k high camp near Mount Humphries with less than five pounds of gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Notes from the Field: Arizona Canyoneering, SuperUltraLight Style
by Carol Crooker
Field notes on perspectives from the field, with commentary on gear and technique in the canyons of the desert southwest. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
PHOTO ESSAY: Navajo Canyon, Arizona
by Carol Crooker
BPL Staffers enjoy a rare opportunity to explore Arizona's Navajo Canyon. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Almost to Katahdin: Appalachian Trail Section Hike to the Kennebec River
by Don Johnston and Dave Johnston
Section hiking progress towards the 2000 mile patch by Don "Photon" and Dave Johnston. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Featured Routes
Members Only Classic Denali: Climbing America's Highest Peak (Part 2, Gear Notes)
by Richard McDrew & Dennis Swanson
Backpacking Light Magazine grant winners balance safety and gear weight on America's highest peak. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Featured Routes
Classic Denali: Climbing America's Highest Peak (Part 1, Summit Day Narrative)
by Richard McDrew & Dennis Swanson
Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Hot Weather Hiking – A Family Hike in the Grand Canyon
by Don Wilson
Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Summer Alpine Ice Climbing in Montana's Beartooth Mountains
by Ryan Jordan and Alan Dixon
Read More...
ARTICLES Places Featured Routes
A Westerner's Weekend on the Appalachian Trail
by Ryan Jordan
A Westerner's Weekend on the Appalachian Trail Read More...

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