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Author Archive | Samuel Chaneles

The author at the last trail junction before Milner Pass, the northern terminus of the Pfiffner Traverse, with trusted inReach Explorer+ at the ready.

Long-term review: Garmin inReach Explorer+ || Sat comm + GPS unit 2-in-1

For different trips, I often wear and carry different gear. But some items are so vital that they end up on every trip — and my Garmin inReach Explorer+ is one of them. Since its release in early-2017, I have used my inReach Explorer+ on many trips around the globe, including on the southern Appalachian Trail, […]

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A big horn sheep in Rocky Mountain National Park. I also saw moose and herds of elk.

Comparison: Nolan’s 14 vs. Pfiffner Traverse || Wilderness, difficulty, and flow

As part of a 650-mile, 39-day self-supported hike along Colorado’s Continental Divide last summer, Sam Chaneles completed both Nolan’s 14 and the Pfiffner Traverse. Nolan’s 14 and the Pfiffner Traverse are both high routes in the Colorado Rockies, suitable for advanced backpackers and adventurous ultra runners. While they both feature lengthy off-trail sections and alpine […]

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A snowy Muir Pass. Good tracks are visible.

John Muir Trail early-season 2017: What was it like? || Part 1: Snow coverage, navigation & snowshoes

Q | Describe your your prior backpacking experience — generally, in the High Sierra, and in early-season conditions. A | Since I was young, family vacations have revolved around outdoor activities (hiking, skiing, fishing, etc.). My true “backpacking” experience began in the summer of 2016 when I went on an 11-day expedition to Alaska as […]

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A legendary combination. . . Crocs and crampons.

John Muir Trail early-season 2017: What was it like? || Part 4: Mosquitoes & final thoughts

Q | Did you encounter any mosquitoes? At what elevation and times of day? Thankfully, we encountered mosquitoes only a few times, and only once or twice were they bad enough that we put on our headnets. That said, those mosquitoes we encountered swarmed aggressively (that that’s coming from someone who grew up in South […]

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