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How-to || Pack a backpack: Load distribution, organization, canisters, wet stuff, & other considerations

When packing my backpack, I have two primary goals: Minimize its effect on my center of gravity, and Keep oft-needed items easily accessible so that I can hike uninterrupted. I’ll start by discussing these goals in-depth. Then, I will address special considerations like bear canisters and backpack styles. Center of gravity When not wearing a […]

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The BV500 and Ursack AllWhite S29.3 are both about 650 cubic inches in volume. But the Ursak is 60 percent lighter and is soft-sided. Which would you rather carry?

Interview with Ursack CEO: Yosemite food regs, lobbying, & new products

Among bear-resistant food containers certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC), the Ursack S29.3 AllWhite is easily my favorite. It weighs just 8 oz, or 80 percent less than my BearVault BV500, which has the same volume. It’s also $10 less. And, Unlike plastic or carbon fiber canisters, it’s soft-sided and collapsible, and as comfortable to […]

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Cold Spring Shelter, May 2002

Five-star campsites || Part 4: Four examples of classically bad campsites

In the previous two posts I discussed the ideal features of backpacking campsites, on both a zone- and spot-level. There are many of them, probably too many to remember. So in this final installment I will discuss four classically bad campsites. Despite having multiple and severe problems, I regularly see backpackers camping in these types of locations. If […]

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An excellent camp near West Virgina's Spruce Knob. Warm, well protected, insect-free, cushioned, and flat and level.

Five-star campsites || Part 1: Intro, regs, planning, zones & spots

Campsites are not created equal. Where possible, I seek out locations that are relatively warm, dry, private, aesthetic, and free of bugs, rodents, and bears — “five-star campsites,” I call them. A high quality campsite makes a difference: It is more conducive to a night of quality sleep, and It enhances my backcountry experience. Sadly, […]

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wound-care

Gear List: Backpacking First Aid Kit – Solo & Group – Downloadable

What I carry in my backpack is not a substitute for what’s between my ears. This is especially true with my first aid kit when hiking and backpacking in the wilderness: rather than thinking of this collection of items as a get-out-of-jail-free card, I’m much better served by having researched beforehand the environmental and route conditions I will likely encounter, […]

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To use the High Route as a 2-person shelter, leave the inner tent at home. Instead, use a bivy sack (as Amanda has), a ground sheet, and/or headnet.

Two snug: Can the High Route Tent 1FL be used as a 2-person shelter?

For a one-person backpacking shelter, the Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL is palatial. Its footprint is 36 square feet and its minimum peak height is 48 inches. In comparison, the two-person Big Agnes Copper Spur 2UL has a 38-square-foot footprint, with a maximum interior height of 42 inches. And the two-person MSR Carbon Reflex […]

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The Altra Provision 2.5, my current go-to for easy runs on roads and non-technical trails.

Review: Altra Provision 2.5 || An easy-rider for roads & non-technical trails

When I retired my Altra Lone Peak 2.5 shoes in June after surpassing 550 clicks (read my long-term review), a void was left in my closet: I had no generously cushioned shoe suitable for easy recovery runs on roads and non-technical trails. Fortuitously, the Altra Provision 2.5 recently arrived for review. (Altra also sent the Lone Peak […]

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