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Gear List — The North Face 50 Mile Championship

The North Face 50 Mile Championship is now just three days away. I began thinking about the clothing, footwear, and equipment that I would use months ago, giving me ample time to obtain, test, and familiarize myself with different options during my ultra running training. And now that I have a good sense for race […]

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Metabolic Efficiency Testing: Explanation and motivations

Tomorrow I am having tested my “metabolic efficiency” by Dina Griffin of eNRG Performance in Denver. In this post I will explain the concept and its relevance for backpackers and runners. In a second post, I’ll share my results. What is Metabolic Efficiency? Our bodies rely primarily on two sources of energy: Carbohydrates Fat Carbohydrates are most quickly […]

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Top tips: Efficient backpacking trip planning, preparing, & packing

The first year I offered guided backpacking trips and courses in 2011, preparations for them were disastrously inefficient. My systems were nicely refined for solo thru-hikes, but I learned that groups of up to 10 clients for 3, 5, or 7 days at a time entail much more: more logistics, more food, more group equipment, […]

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Elk 1, Skurka 0: Lessons Learned and Relearned

What lessons did I learn and relearn on my Colorado elk hunt last week? Here are the big three: 1. In order to shoot them, you must find them It’s called “hunting” for a reason — it’s not as simple as just shooting and processing. While many hunters have filled their tags on the first […]

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Make your own gear: 5-gram Basso Bifold Wallet

Editor’s Comments. I’d like to thank Patrick for submitting this how-to post. This is a fun little project with a very functional result. Patrick’s suggested “5-gram Tyvek Wallet” as a name, but in honor of his creativity I give you the Basso Bifold Wallet… Project Objective To create a low-profile, ultralight, waterproof, and tear resistant wallet that […]

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Backpack Hunt Gear List — Colorado Big Game — Early-Fall

Introduction Before scrolling any further down this page, first read prefacing remarks about my gear lists. In mid-October I’ll return to GMU 371 in Colorado’s Gore Range for the First Rifle elk season. Other hunters would describe me as a “backpack hunter,” in that I’m entirely self-sufficient and have a mobile camp; I don’t day-hike out of […]

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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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Backpacking Gear List — High Sierra — Late-Summer

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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