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Three mistakes on the Wind River Range High Route, Attempt #1

Last week I was in Wyoming’s Wind River Range with Buzz Burrell and Peter Bakwin, trying to complete a route that we’ve been eyeing for years and plotting for months. In short, we failed, due to an oversight in our gear selection and route planning. Perhaps inspired by the increasingly popular Sierra High Route, there […]

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Breakdown — A week of food

I start a 7-day trip on Tuesday in the Wind River Range. My partners — Buzz Burrell and Peter Bakwin — are both studs and we’ll be getting after it on a traverse of the entire range that is bookended by the southernmost and northermost 13ers and that goes through the heart of the range’s most rugged terrain […]

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High Sierra — Late-Summer — Backpacking Gear List

Introduction Before scrolling any further down this page, first read prefacing remarks about my gear lists. Every backpacking gear list should be optimized for a location, time of year, and duration. Needs change — sometimes subtly, sometimes wildly — depending on where, when, and how long the trip is. This particular list is designed for: California’s […]

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Gear list philosophy, disclaimers, disclosure, and additional resources

For some time I’ve been aware that my gear lists from past trips are not as useful as they could be. They are at least somewhat outdated due their age — my thoughts about gear are still evolving, and the gear actually available is constantly changing. Going forward, I intend to keep an updated set of recommended […]

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Backpacking training: Three top picks

For the first time since March, I’ve been home for an entire month straight. It’s been awesome, with much more time to spend with Amanda, to take care of the business’s backend, and to run and hike in Boulder’s open space. In specific regards to the latter, I’ve been climbing Green Mountain (8,144′) several times […]

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20% off coupon for Ultimate Direction, through June 26 only

When Buzz Burrell became the Brand Manager at Ultimate Direction in early-2012, the brand was dead. No longer, much thanks to a brilliant product and marketing story: the Signature Series running vests. They’re now de facto mandatory equipment in the ultrarunning scene, and I see them regularly on Boulder’s foothills trails, too. Nice work, Buzz! […]

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DIY Skyline Trolley for Cats and Dogs

Last week I partnered with Petco to share tips with pet parents about being outdoors with dogs this summer. While dogs are certainly the customary four-legged friend when hiking and camping, there are safe ways in which cats can enjoy the beautiful summer months, too. Here’s one idea: Our beloved domestic orange shorthair cat, Oden, […]

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Thoughts and conclusions about ski shopping for Amanda

Shh, Amanda is getting a new alpine touring ski setup for Christmas. While I’ll have to pick up the tab, it’s a win for me, too: If my wife can now backcountry ski, I’ll get to backcountry ski more. Ski shopping is a good excuse to create another spreadsheet — it’s useful to compile and […]

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Characteristics of an expert navigator: Part II — Proficiency in the understanding and uses of tools

This post is part of a series on the characteristics of expert navigators. I’d recommend first reading the Introduction and Part I, and then returning to this latest installment. Within a few days of starting my Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2002, I began dead-reckoning using my watch and the Databook. With surprising accuracy, I now had […]

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Characteristics of an expert navigator: Part I — Equipped with proper tools

This is Part I of a series on the characteristics of an Expert Navigator. Read the Introduction. More installments are forthcoming. Every “Ten Essentials” list I’ve seen has included a map and compass, and modern versions sometimes also include a GPS. If only the first characteristic of an expert navigator — being equipped with proper […]

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