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My most popular & favorite posts of 2015

This year my website audience grew 68% from 2014. The big spike in late-winter/early-spring 2015 was driven by the Core 13 Clothing series, which was hugely popular.

This year my website audience grew 68% from 2014. The big spike in late-winter/early-spring 2015 was driven by the Core 13 Clothing series, which was hugely popular.

To close out 2015, I’d like to share my most popular posts. My method in creating the list was only partially scientific — I started with total page views for 2015 in Google Analytics, and then I loosely accounted for publishing dates, since posts released earlier in the year have had more time to be viewed than those released later in the year. The data was pretty clear and a more exact method (e.g. pro-rating traffic) would not have changed much.

The most popular articles are really strong — they are all worth a read, and maybe a bookmark for future reference, too. But the list omits several posts that I’m more attached to, so I created another list of favorite articles as well.

Happy reading and Happy New Year.


Most popular

1. Core Backpacking Clothing: Systems & Checklists for 3-season Conditions

This was the capstone article of my Core 13 Clothing series, in which I detailed thirteen pieces of clothing that can be mixed-and-matched to create appropriate clothing systems for all variations of 3-season conditions. The series was hugely popular, generating seven out of my ten most popular posts. Read the full series.

2. First Aid Kit & Emergency Communication Checklist

Would you like to know exactly what I carry on a backpacking trip in order to treat minor and major medical situations — and why? Here you go.

3. Dinner Recipe: Beans & Rice with Fritos & Cheese

It’s no surprise that this is most popular recipe on my website — it’s also the most popular with clients on my guided trips. As good as it is, though, you’ll want a few other go-to recipes — here are six more favorites.

4. Gear List Template + Checklist

This is the most useful backpacking gear list template and checklist on the web. It achieves a fine balance of being universally applicable (i.e. backpackers of all styles and experience levels, and trips in all locations and seasons, and of all lengths) while still being approachable and instructive.

5. Trip Planning Checklist: To do before you go

If you do something enough, you get really good at it. I’ve planned a lot of backpacking trips — hundreds, including 50+ in which individuals were paying me to plan the trip for them — and, well, I’m really good at it. In this post, I listed all of the tasks that I must do (or confirm that I don’t have to do) before walking out the door.

Honorable mention

Personal favorites

1. Short is the new long: My next “big” adventure

Now 34 years-old, with a wife, house, small business, and four-legged fur child, I can’t get out as much as I used to — and I don’t want to, either. The adventures that better fit my lifestyle now are shorter, but more intense, more risky, and more consistently awesome. The new theme is working out well — read my 2015 Year in Review.

2. Is it wrong to “profit” from your passion? Not at all.

Do your livelihood and your lifestyle overlap, like mine do? Congratulations, but expect some criticism from trolls and cynics.

3. Giving up a dream job: Why I’m not guiding trips in 2016

When I launched my guiding business in 2011, I hoped — but did not expect — that it would become as successful as it did. It was a great experience, with client relationships being the biggest reward. But in 2016 (at least), it’s time for a change.

4. Designing a better way with Sierra Designs

Sierra Designs is a 50 year-old brand that lost its way and became irrelevant. But that’s changing, and I’m delighted to be part of the brand reawakening. This year watch for the release of the first two (at least) products that we’ve co-developed from scratch: a double-wall mid shelter and a suspension backpack.

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