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Extensive snow coverage on the north side of Mather Pass, looking towards Palisade Lakes, after a very wet winter. Taken June 28, 2006.

Reader question: Should I change my High Sierra itinerary due the heavy snowfall?

A reader question from Gabino: I’m sure that every backpacker planning to undertake the PCT, JMT, Sierra High Route, Kings Canyon High Basin Route, or any other high-elevation route in California’s High Sierra is wondering the same thing right now. Here are some thoughts: California’s snowpack: The Facts There are many ways to record and analyze […]

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gear-lists-second-edition

Points of difference: First vs. Second Editions of the The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide

The upcoming release of the Second Edition of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide has prompted the obvious question: What are the points of difference between it and the First Edition? Or, more to the point, “If I already own the original, is the new version worth it?” In this post I will detail the changes. In […]

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40L volume at capacity, next to a BV500 bear canister (11 liters)

Reader question: Is the Flex Capacitor Pack appropriate for a thru-hike?

From Lisa K.: For two reasons I wanted to share my answer to this reader question. First, I have not yet addressed the appropriateness of the Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor 40-60 Pack for thru-hiking, and I probably should. Second, it gives me an opportunity to discuss the specific needs of thru-hikers in regards to backpack selection. Appropriateness for thru-hiking […]

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On my first real backpacking trip, a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, I did not understand how my objective should shape my other choices. Notice the size of my pack, lower-left -- it was hardly something that you should carry for 2100+ miles.

Beginner backpackers: Start here || Advice, info, tips & resources

This page is a one-stop resource to help you learn to backpack. It establishes a philosophical basis, offers critical advice, and links to valuable resources and additional reading. I’ve kept the length manageable — it’s high signal, low noise. I wish that I had found something like it fifteen years ago when I began to backpack. It would […]

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Screenshots of the inReach+ weather forecast tool

inReach+ U/I and features || Topo NA, test tool, quick type & weather

The $400 and $450 retail prices on the new Garmin inReach SE+ and Garmin inReach Explorer+ probably causes many prospective customers to balk. Like the second-generation inReach units, the inReach+ models can send and receive text messages and emergency signals even if outside of cellular range. But the inReach+ units are more than just that. They […]

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