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ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Can I Cook in my Tent?
by Roger Caffin
Cooking in a tent has revolved around a stigma of gear destruction and personal harm. Cooking in a tent is not that dangerous and being responsible and aware of the hazards allows for safe cooking in a tent. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Technical Canyoneering for the Ultralight Backpacker
by David Chenault
Canyoneering is challenging as it offers an opportunity to tackle a variety of terrain using new gear. Combining canyoneering with backpacking is a recipe for a legendary trip. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Training for Backpacking
by David Chenault
Training for backpacking (a fun activity) need not be complicated or painful. Get in a routine and make each session count. Your long trips will thank you. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Wilderness Trekking School - Ultralight Boot Camp Photo Essay
by Ryan Connelly (Photos by Emily Beers)
The ultralight boot camp is exactly like it sounds; it prepares you to meet unexpected challenges in the wilderness. Plus it's a lot of fun and the scenery is stunning. 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 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
Techniques for River Corridor Camping
by Ryan Jordan
Tarp camping is tricky enough. Couple that with unstable ground and strong winds and that perfect campsite can quickly become a nightmare. Learn all the tricks to stay dry and happy. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Techniques for Talus
by Ryan Jordan
Talus can be tricky but with a few tips and a new approach you'll be all set for some Talus Dancing. And boy what fun it is! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
The SUL Wanderer (Video Series) - Episode 1: Gear
by Ryan Jordan
The first episode of Backpacking Light's new video series, "The SUL Wanderer" tells stories and teaches techniques about "SuperUltralight Backpacking" - the style of backpacking that focuses on the extremes of light weight, compactness, and simplicity for wilderness travel. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only SUL BikeRaftFishPacking (BFRP)
by Ryan Jordan
An SUL approach to multisport: bikepacking, packrafting, and tenkara fly fishing. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Lightweight Fry Bake Gear and Technique (Video)
by Ryan Jordan
If you're a fan of fry-baked meals in the backcountry, and you are reading this article, it's not likely you're one who gets real excited about carrying the two-pound classic Banks' Fry Bake. Here are some options for lighter gear and techniques for fry-baking as a solo traveler, or in smaller groups. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Backpacking: Baby on Board - Part 2: Trekking with a Toddler
by Nick Meynen
In Part 1, Fany and Nick embarked on a challenging journey with an unlikely companion: their 3 month old. Two years and another 750 km later, 30 month old Flora has completed the entire traverse. Thru-hiking with a toddler can be as rewarding as it is challenging. 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
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
Members Only Winter Firebuilding Techniques (Video)
by Ryan Jordan
Ryan Jordan presents some tools and techniques for dealing with wet wood for firebuilding in winter conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
24 Hours: Packrafting the Grande Ronde River
by Ryan Jordan
A new installment of the "24" series - stories about "24 hour" overnight trips. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
24: Nine Months 'til Summer
by Ryan Jordan
Episode 3: The first big snowfall of the season (in September!) had us traversing the Hyalite-Cottonwood divide for snow hiking and camping. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Backpacking: Baby on Board
by Nick Meynen
Hiking through the French Pyrenees is challenging for any young couple hoping to enjoy some relaxation and romance in between climbing passes and breaking camp. The afternoon heat - often ending in a violent thunderstorm - brings more than one overloaded backpacker to boiling point. Now enter a six-kilo, breast-fed, three-month-old baby. Great family trip or a bad idea? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Le Parcour de Wild Race Report
by Kevin Sawchuk and Dave Chenault
With temperatures that ranged from -5 F to 40 F, the Bob Marshall Wilderness threw some formidable weather our way and reminded us: this stuff ain't for the faint of heart! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only 24: Garnet Mountain Forest Service Lookout, Montana
by Ryan Jordan
Episode 2: we focused on fast food preparation and the elimination of a whole lotta gear by hiking into a U.S. Forest Service lookout cabin. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Transitional Hiker - An Australian Story
by Mark McLauchlin
How books about or by famous UL walkers, a sewing machine, and the most devoted UL community on the planet got me back on the trail and going light. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Montana Mourning: Reflections on a Wilderness Trekking Trip
by Thomas Kight
I got less - and more - than I bargained for. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only 24: Fall Equinox in the Hyalite Cirque of Montana's Gallatin Mountains
by Ryan Jordan
You have 24 hours to quickly engage in a Wild Place with minimal disruption to your job or your family. Where will YOU go? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Therapeutic Ultralight: Using Lightweight Backpacking to Help Troubled Boys
by Luke Schmidt
Getting emotionally disturbed boys working together to take a backpacking trip is a big job... with many setbacks, limited gear, and almost no budget. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Grand Canyon Rim-2-Rim-2-Rim
by Andrew Skurka
While perhaps a touch extreme, running Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim (RRR) is not uncommon within trail running circles. But within hiking circles, this trek does not seem to garner much attention, when there are few trips, mile-for-mile, hour-for-hour, that compare. In one day, you pass through 1.6 billion years of geology (four times) and span the grandest Big Ditch in the world (twice). 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
Members Only Trekking Techniques for Early-Season Conditions
by Andrew Skurka
Andrew Skurka's insights and techniques for early season trekking can dramatically increase the length of your normal hiking season. 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 Techniques Techniques
Members Only Lightweight Footwear Systems for Snow Travel Part 3: Model Lightweight Footwear Systems for Snow Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Snow Camping
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Based on our research and testing, we recommend lightweight footwear systems for specific conditions and activities. In addition, our Backpacking Light staffers describe their favorite systems, and two ultralight nomads – Andrew Skurka and Chris Townsend – share their wisdom. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Lightweight Footwear Systems for Snow Travel Part 2: Components
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
We cover the components of a lightweight footwear system – shoes/boots, footbeds, socks, vapor barriers, booties, overboots, and gaiters (everything on or around the foot), discuss the pros and cons of different options, and identify our favorites. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Lightweight Footwear Systems for Snow Travel Part 1: Principles and Techniques for Keeping Feet Dry and Warm
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
High-tech gear to keep your feet dry and warm is useless without the proper knowledge on how to use it, and that’s especially true for lightweight footwear in cold and wet conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Igloo Building for Fun and Shelter, Part 2 - Using an Igloo as a Backcountry Shelter
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Tips for igloo living and interior climate graphs to show you why you want to camp in an igloo. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Ultralight in the Icebox: Post-Trip Report
by Andrew Skurka
Andrew Skurka talks about his cold weather tenets and ultralight gear kit following a 385 mile, 19 day backpacking trip in northern Minnesota in the dead of winter. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Igloo Building for Fun and Shelter, Part 1 - Technique
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Igloo building is a fun wintertime activity to share with family, friends, or Scouts. Build a warming hut in your favorite skiing or snowshoeing area, construct an igloo for a backcountry base camp, or design your own hut system! The Grand Shelters Icebox Igloo Building Tool does a lot of the work for you, but you’ll still need to master some essential techniques. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Taming Those Large Flexible Foil Windshields
by Roger Caffin
Learn the tricks and techniques required to make a stable windshield out of floppy metal foil. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Groovy-Biotic Cooking: Quick, Healthy Meals with an Ultralight Cook Kit
by Mike Clelland!
All the details you need to plan backcountry vegetarian meals that are nutritious and tasty. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Bushwhacking Gear: Heavyweight Fabrics and Compatible Construction Techniques to Improve Clothing Longevity for Off-trail Bushwhacking
by Roger Caffin
Thorns, scrub and sandstone can rip ultralight clothing to shreds. What materials and construction techniques hold up to serious bushwhacking? 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
Members Only The Poncho Tarp: Techniques and Gear Systems for Inclement Conditions
by Ryan Jordan and Alan Dixon
Poncho Tarps are not just for the eccentric. Learn how to use them in foul weather and save considerable weight and simplify your gear kit. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Stove Windscreen Dynamics and Design: Part II
Practical Applications for the Field

by Will Rietveld
Have you tried a double windscreen to maintain alcohol and fuel tab stove performance in the wind? It really works, and one piece doubles as a GearSheet. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Stove Windscreen Dynamics and Design: Part I
Wind Effects on Stove Performance

by Will Rietveld
The theory (Bernoulli Effect, laminar and turbulent flow) behind how wind affects backcountry cooking. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Backpacking Light Trip Planning Spreadsheet Contest Winners
by Backpacking Light Staff
The winners of the Backpacking Light Trip Planning Spreadsheet Contest are a diverse group. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only How Far, How Fast, How Heavy?
Calculating the range for unsupported, long-distance hiking

by Roman Dial
Formulas and theory for predicting possible distances and times with ultralight gear for long distance backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Toilet Paper Free Expeditions
by Mike Clelland!
Go wild - leave the TP at home. 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
2005 Backpacking Light Trip Planning Spreadsheet Contest Entries
by BPL Staff
Reader submissions of spreadsheet files used for trip planning and gear lists. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Lightweight Backcountry Professional Photography
by Anatoly Ivanov
Complete lightweight camera and accessories setup for the professional backcountry photographer. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Foot Care for Diabetic Hikers
by Gerard Olenick
Perspectives on footwear and foot care from a type II diabetic backpacker. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Trail Food: Keeping it Interesting and Energizing
by Rosaleen Sullivan
The basics of selecting trail food that is appetizing, energizing, and easy to prepare. Read More...

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