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ARTICLES Trends Media Reviews
Lightweight Backpacking News: Digest No. 2
by Eric Vann
Backpacking Light has scoured the web and will now bring you salient backpacking news stories, gear releases, and trip reports. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Media Reviews
Lightweight Backpacking News: Digest No. 1
by Eric Vann
Backpacking Light has scoured the web and will now bring you salient backpacking news stories, gear releases, and trip reports. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
Delmar's Poll
by Roger Caffin and Delmar O'Donnell
Delmar O'Donnell conducted a poll of BPL readers and teamed with Roger Caffin to relay the results which tell a lot about the BPL demographic and their backpacking preferences. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
The Yellowstone Paddling Dilemma
by Chase Jordan
Hand Propelled Vessels are banned in Yellowstone National Park. This is in direct violation of the Park's founding principles. Not only should HPVs be allowed on Yellowstone's waterways but their presence will improve the health of the ecosystem. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Members Only Bikepacking at the Cusp
by David Chenault
Nice gear is an added bonus, but don't get distracted by the research or gear hunting - the main goal is to get outside often! Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
An Introduction to Simple Fly Fishing
by Yvon Chouinard
"The lesson that we learn from fishing with a tenkara rod is that we shouldn't fear that a simpler life will be an impoverished life. Rather, simplicity leads to a richer and more satisfying way of fishing - and more importantly, living." - Yvon Choiunard Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
Members Only The Grocery Sack Grows Up: A Genealogy of the Modern Ultralight Backpack
by David Chenault
From humble beginnings to the sophisticated and lightweight packs, the ultralight backpack is a tale filled with adaptation and pushing the balance of weight and features. 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 Trends Trend Reports
Members Only Winter Cabineering - Part 1: Video Essay
by Ryan Jordan
Winter Cabineering is a great way to spend time outdoors and still be warm. Don't worry, the cabins should be plenty rustic so you can still get away from it all. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
Members Only Rescue Insurance for Backpackers
by Rex Sanders
Rescue Insurance can be the difference between hefty bills and peace of mind. In either case getting rescued is the main priority, but your most expensive bill might surprise you. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Snags with Tags
by Sydney Aveson
Curious on whether or not tags add significant weight to your gear? Well they don't! And there are far better ways to cut down on your gear weight! Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Members Only Moto-Backpacking
by Eric Vann (Photos: Jeremy Hanks)
Looking to jumpstart your backpacking experience? Try motorcycling to your next trip - it will get you into the lightweight mindset from the moment you step outside your door. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
Members Only The Politics of Cottage Consumption
by Benjamin Payne
Defining the role we, as consumers, play in shaping the lightweight industry. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
The SUL Mindset, Part 1: Redefining SUL
by Ryan Jordan
The SUL Mindset may be more than gear weights, and performance standards. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Members Only Recent Developments in Canister Stoves
by Roger Caffin
Recent developments in canister stoves have the potential to upset a lot of the industry, as the leadership seems to have passed out of the hands of Western brands and into Asia. Stoves that were trumpeted as the state of the art by well-known Western brands now look a little old, tired, heavy and, well, clunky. We look at a few of the leading edge stoves from 2012 to see where things are going. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
Boys in the Wild (Short Film)
by Ryan Jordan
A short film about the challenges we face when trying to expose young men to backcountry experiences. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
2012 Backpacking Light Staff Picks
by BackpackingLight.com Staff
An eclectic assortment of the staff's favorite gear for 2012. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
Members Only Commentary: The Packraft in 2013
by David Chenault
Ten years ago, packrafters had few options. Today, the choices are many, and the future looks very promising. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
Members Only Personal Perspectives on the Philosophy of Lightweight Travel
by Jen Matteis
“Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.” -Henry David Thoreau Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Members Only Lightweight Bikepacking: An Introduction
by David Chenault
"This kind of cycling actually brings you closer to the land than hiking... because you must read the landscape so closely in order to ride across it." -Drew Walker, “The Talkeetna Traverse” Adventure Cyclist (Jan/Feb 2001) Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
The Perils of Certainty
by Ken Knight
Making decisions based on incorrect information negates stellar gear and knowledge, leading to trouble. It can happen far more easily than many of us would care to admit. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Prospects for 2012: New and Noteworthy Gear
by Ryan Jordan
News from the cottage industry is conspicuously absent from Outdoor Retailer, where even modest booths can be more costly than a serious gear-buying habit. So, here are a few new and noteworthy pieces of gear from smaller manufacturers that were either released late in 2011 or are coming in 2012. Keep these items on your radar as you prepare for the coming season! Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
Members Only Cottage Stagnation and Recent Gems
by Ryan Jordan
Commentary on the (lack of) gear you can love from the cottage industry. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
2011 Backpacking Light Staff Picks
by BackpackingLight.com Staff
Backpacking Light staff pick their favorite gear/cool dealio/thingy-dingy of 2011. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2011 – Part 1: Lightweight Shelters and Sleep Gear
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
We found lots of new lightweight shelters and sleep gear this time. We present them together in this article so you can compare them more easily. Doing so brings out some realizations regarding weight, roominess, and cost. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2011 – Part 4: Technical Watches, Minimalist Footwear, and Family Gear
by Damien and Renee Tougas
For those who like less on their feet, OR didn't disappoint. For those who like more on their wrist, OR didn't disappoint in that area either. And for those who venture in the outdoors as a family, there were a few nuggets worth noting. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2011 – Part 3: Lightweight Apparel and Hiking Footwear
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
We sorted through tons of apparel and footwear to find the lightweight standouts suitable for hiking and backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2011 – Part 2: Lightweight Backpacks, Stoves, and Accessories
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
OR delivers a fresh crop of lightweight, innovative, and useful gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Canovaccio: Natural, Sustainable Pack Fabrics
by Ryan Jordan
New developments in durable and water-resistant backpack fabrics. 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 Trends Trend Reports
Winter ISPO 2011: Day 4 - Technical Treats
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
Stoves, shovels, poles, crampons, harnesses, and more: oh my! Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Winter ISPO 2011: Day 3 - A Smorgasbord of Worldly Flavors
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
From practical (bras) to indulgent (a back-country electronics charger) to "they can do new things with zippers?", the ispo show floor has it all. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Winter ISPO 2011: Day 2 - Powered by Nutella
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
Another round-up of innovations and interest, treats and treasures! Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Winter ISPO 2011: Day 1 - International Delights
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
In Backpacking Light's first ever coverage of this massive trade show, we're highlighting the innovations not generally available stateside. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: An Emerging Revolution in Waterproof-Breathable Fabric Technologies – It’s Not Just Gore-Tex Versus eVent Anymore!
by Will Rietveld
Since 2004, when Backpacking Light published Alan Dixon’s manifesto on Waterproof Breathable Fabric Technologies, we have been a “whisper in the wilderness” extolling the benefits of truly breathable fabrics, like eVent. Now we are seeing the beginning of a waterproof-breathable fabric revolution. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Enduring sleep deprivation and a cold, we roamed the show on the final day and found some very interesting gear – new trail crampons, very lightweight rain mitts, more collapsible trekking poles, a 9-ounce snow shovel, cool apparel and footwear, and more... Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 3 – An Assortment of Awesome Gear
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
This is not our backpacking gear list (honest!); today we again report on a wide variety of new gear – a new bear canister, more collapsible trekking poles, an insulating skirt for your derriere, lightweight high output lights, an ultralight down jacket from an unlikely source, more footwear, etc, etc... 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 Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 1 – Let the Hunt Begin!
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
The show is underway and we are finding loads of new and interesting lightweight gear to report on. Enjoy! Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: The Show Begins With All-Mountain Demo at Solitude Ski Area
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
New/upgraded snowshoes from MSR, Atlas, Tubbs, and Kahtoola; lightweight Kahtoola crampons; and a new “sidecountry” ski pack from Osprey. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
2010 Backpacking Light Staff Picks
by BackpackingLight.com Staff
Backpacking Light staff pick their favorite gear/cool dealio/place of 2010. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
Lightweight Backpacking, Wal-Mart Style
by Benjamin Roode
I love gear, but I hate paying for it. Could I get a lightweight shelter, pack, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad for under $100? And if I could... how long would it last me? Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
The Evolution of Fastpacking
by Ed Tyanich
How do the classic fastpacking offerings by Ultimate Direction compare to a pack of today? Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: The Morning After - Reflections on OR and the State of the Market
by Brad Groves
The dust has settled, sleep has been snatched, and I've processed the more intriguing themes of the Show. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: New Fabric Technologies Are the Driving Force For Many New Products
by Will Rietveld
Columbia Thermal Reflective, Pertex Quantum GL, Polartec Power Shield Pro, Polartec Yarn applications, and a case against wool for hiking socks. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: Day 4 - Cool Finds and Sleep Deprivation
by Brad Groves
The daily perspective: NEED. MORE. ESPRESSO. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: Day 4 – OR Winds Down in the Final Day – But the Good Stuff Keeps Coming!
by Will Rietveld
We present our final lightweight gear finds and summarize the trends we noticed at this Outdoor Retailer. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: Day 3 – More New, Lightweight, and Exciting Gear
by Will Rietveld
Lightweight gear – no problem. Innovation – yes. Things we would like to see – lots of 'em. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: Day 3 – Treasure Hunt
by Brad Groves
The daily perspective: Can I just live here? Hang out and drink... beverages, talking super-tech about gear with the coolest people in the world? Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: Day 2 – Another Potpourri of New and Interesting Gear
by Will Rietveld
Another productive day turns up another batch of truly innovative and lightweight gear. Read More...