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Tips for quality sleep in the backcountry || SD LIVE (May 12, 2015)

SD Live: Sleeping Comfortably in the Backcountry from Sierra Designs on Vimeo. In our May episode of SD LIVE, Sierra Designs Brand Manager Michael Glavin and I shared our tips for getting quality sleep in the backcountry. This topic should be of great interest — I know many backpackers, especially first-timers and beginners, struggle to […]

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East Fork, with views of the peaks surrounding Gardiner Basin. This is big country.

Finest route in the High Sierra? Introducing the Kings Canyon High Basin Route.

Seven years ago I thru-hiked with Buzz Burrell the Sierra High Route, which parallels the crest of the High Sierra between Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park. Its 200 miles represents less than 1 percent of the total miles that I have hiked, yet the experience proved to be one of the most […]

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A closeup reveals how much topographic detail is compressed onto these maps. The upper map of Utah is at a scale of 1:75,000, or more than 1 mile per inch; the lower map is 1:250,000, or nearly 4 miles per inch. These maps are most useful when planning a trip, and may be sufficient in the field only for on-trail itineraries.

Essential backpacking topo maps: types, sources & formats

When I mostly only followed established backpacking trails or routes, I relied heavily on existing resources — topographic map sets, route descriptions, databooks, and now digital trail apps — under the assumption that they were sufficient, which they normally were. But when my trips became more of the choose-your-own-adventure variety, I had to develop these […]

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Backpacking in the rain: helpful gear and skills|| SD LIVE (March 31, 2015)

In last month’s SD LIVE event, I discussed multiple ways to help maintain a relative level of comfort and safety when backpacking in the rain. Some methods are simply a matter of packing differently or packing more: sleeping clothes, camp shoes, breathable footwear, group tarp, down insulation, and a pack liner. Other methods are techniques: […]

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Mesh harness and leash, attached via a small carabiner

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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