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Archive | Backpacking

The author atop Muir Pass on May 18, 2007, after a dry winter. Travel was excellent in the morning, when the snowpack had a solid crust. But by early-afternoon I would badly posthole.

Tutorial: Backpacking in early-season conditions || Recommended gear, supplies & skills

Recently I explained how an exceptionally snowy winter in California will affect summertime backpacking conditions throughout the Sierra Nevada, including in Yosemite, Sequoia-Kings Canyon, and Desolation Wilderness, and along the John Muir Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Sierra High Route, and Kings Canyon High Basin Route. For all the details, read the post. In short, expect: […]

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Top: A Cuben laminate with 150d black face polyester face fabric. Bottom: The 210d Robic nylon that is standard on ULA packs.

Reader question: Are Cuben Fiber shelters & backpacks worth the cost?

A question from reader Patrick H.: Most backpackers who look beyond REI while researching gear have probably learned of Cuben Fiber, either in a standalone conversation or as a fabric option for shelters, backpacks, and accessories made by cottage brands like Hammock Gear, Katabatic Gear, Mountain Laurel Designs and others. Cuben stands out, partly because equipment made with it is exorbitantly […]

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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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