Backpacker4 min citite
Build A Fire On Snow
FROM MY BEDROOM WINDOW, I watch the clouds rolling over the mountains. Snow falls all night long, blanketing the valley floor with a few inches of light, fluffy powder. In the morning, I strap my lightweight shovel and hatchet to the outside of my ba
Backpacker5 min citite
TENTS STRONGEST OUR TAKE In 2014, we lauded the four-season Moment for its stability, and this redesign doubles down on sturdiness. A thicker brow pole provides better support in high winds: “I saw 45-mph gusts and the tent stood firm,” said one test
Backpacker2 min cititeFood & Wine
Winter Warmers
Leave Swiss Miss to the kids. This homemade classic satisfies more sophisticated palettes. Makes 6 servings 1 cup dry milk powder½ cup powdered sugar⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder1 tsp. cornstarch1 tsp. ancho chile powder¼ tsp. salt¼ tsp. ground cinn
Backpacker1 min citite
Splitboarding gear is lighter and stronger than ever. After a few experimental years of snapped decks and rigid flex profiles, a handful of companies have managed to use carbon constructions to shave weight without sacrificing durability or downhill
Backpacker4 min citite
Trapped in Quicksand
A FRESH LAYER of snow settled on my shoulders and hat. The contrast of white atop the rust sandstone and pines looked lovely—I tried to focus on that instead of the numbness in my trapped leg. Only a chilly wind broke the silence of the ravine. I lis
Backpacker3 min citite
Ski Boots
OUR TAKE The TLT line has been the “everything you need, nothing you don’t” boot for a generation of skiers, and the TLT8 is the best-fitting version yet. A lower-volume design than its predecessors means this boot feels more precise on downhills whi
Backpacker2 min citite
My Favorite Season
CARIBOU LAKE, A STUNNER in California’s Trinity Alps, sits in a granite bowl with a steep cirque on one side and smooth slabs on the other. A few bed-flat pieces of granite invite you to lay out a sleeping bag and stay up half the night watching the
Backpacker2 min citite
In the Zone
WE STEP OUT of our shuttle van and onto the sloping streets of Boi—a tiny mountain village a few hours north of Barcelona. The skies are blue overhead, the temperature is comfortably warm, and we’ve got 7.8 miles and 3,000 feet of elevation gain betw
Backpacker4 min citite
BEST FEATURE OUR TAKE Magnets? Neat! The FINDr now has magnets in its tips and tails, which allow the skis to snap together base-to-base without the need for brakes or aftermarket straps. This makes it easy to keep the FINDrs secure when transitionin
Backpacker2 min citite
Paper Problems
When we published a list of backpacking skills fixes in our July/August issue (“You’re Doing it Wrong”), a few readers wrote in to say that one particular piece of advice smelled a little funny. “Your endorsement for burying toilet paper…is misleadin
Backpacker2 min citite
Indoor/Outdoor Hiking
From a distance, Llagunes, which we hiked to on day three of our trek, looks like it’s painted red, so colorful are the rocks used to build the village. The 8-mile trail from the riverside town of Sort to Llagunes ascends modestly along a creek, skir
Backpacker3 min citite
Snow Accessories
EASY AVALANCHE PACK OUR TAKE The latest iteration of the JetForce is the most hassle-free airbag pack yet. The key component is the updated Alpride E1 system, a battery-driven supercapacitor—which charges up and discharges energy extremely quickly—th
Backpacker1 min citite
4. Hiker Forecast
Snowstorms begin to sweep through the mountains as temps drop and bears typically enter hibernation in November. See Glacier National Park without risking a gizzly run-in on Going to the Sun Road, open to snowshoers and skiers all winter. The leaves
Backpacker2 min cititeFood & Wine
Wine and Dine
MY PHOTOS FROM hiking trips are largely the same: Peak, alpine lake, valley view, maybe the odd sweaty-but-happy group shot. The locales may differ, but the subject matter rarely does. But take a look at my pics from a weeklong trek in the Pyrenees,
Backpacker3 min citite
BEST STRIDE OUR TAKE Unlike most snowshoes on the market, which are stiff to maximize float in powder and stability on steeps, these are made of foam that flexes for a more natural stride on packed snow and cruisey trails. The V2’s relatively short 2
Backpacker3 min citite
2. Where Darkness Reigns
WHENEVER WE STOP for a break and turn off our headlamps, the darkness swarms in. My imagination takes over and I see blotches of color despite the blackness, as if my sense of sight is trying to fight back, to prove it’s still worth something. I wave
Backpacker3 min citite
Living Rock
TIME DOESN’T WAIT. It doesn’t matter that my boots are still wet from yesterday’s march into twilight, or that the hut keeper just piled another log into the hearth. We’ve got a date with the past, which in Catalonia is never far from the surface. An
Backpacker3 min citite
BEST FOR SKI TOURING OUR TAKE Having to pull up your socks during a dayhike is bad enough, but in the middle of a 1,000-vertical-foot climb on skis? Pass. To combat this problem, Le Bent added three silicone strips to the inside of the Le Send’s top
Backpacker3 min citite
5. Deep Woods
Having spent most of his life in either Charlotte or the deep-mountain trail town of Brevard, North Carolina, Adam DeWitte has a wealth of knowledge about the Shining Rock Wilderness and larger Blue Ridge Mountains region. But for him, that’s not eno
Backpacker2 min cititeScience
Old World Epics
1. West Highland Way, Scotland 96 miles, 6-8 days Follow in the steps of Celtic legends across the Scottish highlands, where fairy rings abound and kelpies lurk in the lochs. This is a popular trek, but one dose of Scotland’s infamous weather and you
Backpacker2 min citite
WARMEST OUR TAKE Winter in the Yukon is no joke, but our tester had the last laugh in even the coldest weather while wearing this hat. With a waxed polyester exterior to repel moisture, lofted synthetic insulation on the interior, and fleece earflaps
Backpacker3 min citite
8. Pups on Peaks
RIGHT UP UNTIL the moment I blacked out and fell forward, September 12, 2007 had been one of the happiest and most satisfying days of my life. It had long been circled on the calendar as the day Emme and I would attempt a climb of Colorado’s Mt. Yale
Backpacker10 min citite
The Vampire Trail
THE WOLF TRACKS cross the trail and disappear straight over the edge of the precipice. It makes no sense. We’re descending from the summit of Mt. Moldoveanu, at 8,346 feet the highest peak in Romania. The trail, a stony, knifeedge arête with thousand
Backpacker3 min citite
BEST DEXTERITY OUR TAKE Last year, we gave an Editors’ Choice Award to the Bitterblaze and Ouray gloves for their innovative use of aerogel, a superthin but solid insulator, in the palms. This year, Outdoor Reasearch spreads aerogel throughout the gl
Backpacker2 min citite
9. Apple Cider Hikes
ERVING STATE FOREST, MA By November, most of the showstopping fall foliage is gone, and so are the crowds. Take advantage of the solitude on a 4.4-mile loop on the New England Trail’s northern section. From the trailhead on Briggs Street in Erving, h
Backpacker7 min citite
MOST VERSATILE OUR TAKE When the mantra for the day was “just keep moving,” we reached for the Refuge. On one such day, we started skinning in sunny, above-freezing temps and ended—almost 12 hours later—in blowing snow and low-20s on the final push t
Backpacker2 min citite
10. Less is More
Over the past 30 years, necessary repairs and upkeep have gone largely unfunded, creating an infamous backlog of $12 billion in deferred maintenance. The result? Crumbling historic structures, long lines for restrooms, overflowing parking lots, and f
Backpacker11 min citite
Editors’ Choice Awards
WHEN THE GUIDES GET WIDE-EYED, you know you’re in a special place. That’s exactly what happens on our third day on the Freshfield Icefield: after descending from our basecamp that morning, we round a ridge and ascend to an overlook. The view is an al
Backpacker2 min citite
14. Riverlands
SUNSHINE SETS THE fall foliage around me aglow, each leaf casting a thousand shades of red and yellow against the blue sky on this rare, low-humidity fall morning in Arkansas. I’m about halfway along the 16-mile Little Missouri Trail, which follows i
Backpacker8 min citite
LIGHTEST OUR TAKE For areas of the country that experience “winter lite,” the Ready Set Go strikes a Goldilocks balance between comfort, weight, and protection. Its three-layer fabric combines good breathability with a water- and windproof membrane t
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