When I offered guided trips for the first time under my own company in 2011, it was a trial balloon of sorts — Will anyone even sign up? Thankfully, a few did — eighteen, to be exact. But that made me curious — What could this become? So for the next three seasons, I tried…

On most backpacking trips last year, I carried the Black Diamond Iota Headlamp (my review). Its 150 lumens were plenty for 3-season conditions; it weighed only 1.9 ounces (56 grams) and packed away small; and I loved that it was rechargeable, so that I could keep AAA batteries out of the waste stream and so…

In April 2007 I began my second mega long-distance hike, the Great Western Loop. Unlike the first one, during which I walked east to west across North America, this was predominately a wilderness experience: I linked five existing long-distance trails and a DIY route across the desert Southwest to create a 6,875-mile circumnavigation of the…

After reviewing the Showa 281 and 282 gloves two years ago (281 review, 282 review), I contacted Showa urging them to develop a more outdoor recreation-specific version. In particular, I wanted to see a rain mitt (not glove) in a subtler color and with a wrist cinch. I got no response and dropped it. Their…

In early-December an alumnus, Rud Platt, shared with me a project that he’d been working on, snowEvaluator. Its chief function is creating snow coverage maps, i.e. where there is snow, or where there was snow on specific dates in the past. If you’ve ever been uncertain about whether you’ll encounter snow on an upcoming backpacking…

Seasons greetings. I hope you are having a great week. Three quick announcements related to my 2020 guided trips: 1. Apply by December 28 for Utah and West Virginia Open Application started December 15 for all locations, and it will close for Utah and West Virginia on December 28 (or, more specifically, when I sit…

Alan is 59 years-old and lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and adventuring partner, Alison. He has two children and two grandchildren. Four years ago he retired as an environmental engineer, and now focuses mostly on Adventure Alan, one of the oldest and most respected sources for ultralight backpacking. Since joining Andrew’s program in 2012,…

Brian has been backpacking since the 1970’s and helped to popularize ultralight gear and techniques. In 2001 he became the first person to complete the Calendar Triple Crown, which entails thru-hiking the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide Trails (7,400 miles total), all in the same year. This feat earned him the trail name “Flyin’…