For five of the past eight years, we’ve guided trips in Yosemite or Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks in September. Wildfires have occasionally affected us — like with trail closures and hazy air — but we’ve typically found ideal conditions: comfortable days and crisp nights, no bugs, and low backcountry traffic. September 2020 has presented us…

As a hard-charging thru-hiker — when I would hike sunrise-to-sunset, take very few breaks, and cover 30 to 40 miles day after day — food was simply fuel. I carried items that were calorie dense, required minimal or no field preparation, and could be eaten on the go. So I ate a lot of bars…

The SPOT Gen4 was officially released today. This fourth-generation device remains a one-way messenger, and both its hardware and software has been updated from its predecessor, the Gen3 (my review), which was released more than six years ago. Functionality Like the Gen3, the Gen4 can send outgoing messages only, limited to: SOS, Help, Check in/OKAY,…

Starting at 4 AM tomorrow morning I will attempt an unsupported fastest known time (FKT) on the Pfiffner Traverse, a 76-mile high route through Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks and James Peak Wilderness Areas. This project has been on my radar for years, and the pieces have finally aligned to make a…

Here’s a sampling of client emails that were awaiting me when I exited the field late last week, with commentary below that: (Names have been changed in the interest of privacy.) From Sam After much deliberation I have reluctantly decided to forgo my participation in the Colorado Adventure this year. I am aware of the…

To help create more video content I recently purchased the GoPro Hero 8 Black. After one trip backpacking trip with it and some around-the-office tinkering, I’ve decided to return it. Background I’m new to action cameras and to videography in general, so entering this market is a bit overwhelming. And unfortunately I didn’t have time…

Several podcasts and interviews have aired recently: Out & Back with Gaia GPS Listen now My favorite interviews are those that dive deep on a specific subject matter, because I can share more information and experience than I reasonably could in a blog post. In this episode, we mostly focused on navigation skills and equipment,…

Earlier this week Joe McConaughy (“Stringbean”) set a new unsupported FKT on 270-mile Long Trail, finishing it just under five days. Last night I sat down with Joe for a live interview on Zoom about his experience. We were joined by his wife Katie for additional perspective and by standout alumnus Hunter Hall for fielding…

Yesterday Joe McConaughy (“Stringbean”) set a new unsupported FKT for Vermont’s Long Trail in 4 days, 23 hours and 54 minutes, which equates to about 54 miles per day across constant roots, rocks, and muck. Join us tomorrow (Wednesday, June 17) at 8 PM EDT for “Story time with Stringbean,” during which we’ll rehash the…