Backcountry cooking: An argument for soups and gruels

At home, where I have a fully array of kitchen tools — e.g. measuring spoons and cups, multiple pots and pans, and dish rags and soap — and where there is some consideration for the “dining experience,” executing perfectly a breakfast or dinner recipe is very feasible, and in fact expected. When backpacking, however, I have far […]

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

Recently I’ve read criticisms in several places that I’m “profiting” off of backpacking and that my primary motivation now is to “make money.” Some have been embedded in unnecessary and baseless personal attacks made by individuals with whom I’ve never been in the same room. I suppose this may be a good opportunity to start growing thicker skin […]

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My 2015 ultra running race schedule: Strategy & considerations

A non-running subject to start. Join me on Thursday, February 19 at 11am PST for a live online event about backpacking shelters. We’ll be discussing pros & cons of double- and single-wall tents, tarps, hammocks, and bivies. Register here: http://sierradesigns.yourbrandlive.com/c/2015tents This year excites me, a lot. It’s the first since 2010 in which I have both the desire […]

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Designing a better way with Sierra Designs

Unless you read outdoor industry press releases or saw me last month at the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow in Salt Lake City, you probably missed the news that I’ve partnered with Sierra Designs. This is not a new relationship, as I’ve been consulting for them on-and-off since 2012, but starting this year I will take on a greater […]

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Gear List — Cross-Country Skate Ski System

There are few things better than gliding along fresh corduroy on a crisp morning in the splendor of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. While Alison and I enjoy backcountry skiing on un-groomed terrain, a grand tour on groomers in the Whites is sublime, and it’s no wonder that cross-country skiing may be our favorite shared outdoor activity. Skiing on groomed trails […]

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Darn it, lost my sunglasses. Replacement shopping decisions.

Last month I sadly lost my Julbo Dirt sunglasses, which I’d owned since late-2011 and which I’d used for hundreds of days in the backcountry: Colorado, Wind River High Route, High Sierra, Alaska, Escalante, Big Bend, and even a few sunny days back East too. I thought I had left them behind at a Salt […]

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

Since the end of the Alaska-Yukon Expedition over four years ago, hundreds of times I’ve been asked, “So what’s your next big adventure?” Relative to what I had just done, and relative to some of my other big efforts like the Sea-to-Sea Route, Great Western Loop, or even Leadville 100, my answers always felt lame. […]

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Metabolic efficiency test results: I’m a butter-burner!

In the lead-up to the The North Face 50 Mile Championships in December, I was looking for any “edge” that could help me race to my potential and to offset some of the advantages that a comparably talented runner had over me, like more ultra racing experience and a training cycle longer than 6 weeks. […]

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Gear List — Backcountry Nordic Ski Touring

My backcountry Nordic touring ski setup excels on ungroomed or unbroken trails through rolling terrain. I used this equipment during my Alaska-Yukon Expedition (see the video above), and it’s my preferred setup for ski trips in Colorado. It does fine on the flats, but cross-country skis are lighter and will track and glide better. It’s even less optimized for groomed […]

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Lessons learned in Big Bend National Park’s Mesa de Anguila

Editor’s Note. Russell has been on two of my guided backpacking trips, and in April will join a third. He considers himself an “advanced beginner” backpacker, getting out a few times per year on trips of 2-4 days each. In mid-December I did a short trek with my wife and two sons at our favorite […]

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