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Archive | Backpacking

I thought the toebox of the Pro was roomy, but press materials indicate that the Triple Crown will be even more generous.

Preview: Salomon Odyssey Triple Crown || Altra Lone Peak alternative

The Salomon Odyssey Pro (my review) is somewhat unique: instead of being a trail running shoe that has been adopted by hikers, it’s a hiking shoe that has the comfort, breathability, and weight of a trail runner. In spring 2019 Salomon will release the second generation Odyssey, the Odyssey Triple Crown. The target market is not […]

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The updated Sierra Designs High Route will be smaller and 10 oz lighter than the original.

Preview: Sierra Designs High Route 2.0 || Smaller, but now just 27 oz for fly + inner

The Sierra Designs High Route 1FL was launched in fall 2016, and a second-generation will arrive in spring 2019. Its name will not change (i.e. not High Route 2.0 or High Route II), and the existing design will be phased out. MSRP remains $300. Most notably, the updated High Route is smaller than the original. Instead of being […]

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The BD Distance Tent is new for spring 2019, and the first BD tent that uses trekking poles for support. It's full sided, fully enclosed, and weighs about 1.5 pounds.

Preview: Black Diamond Distant Tent || Got ventilation?

Nearly all backpacking shelters from cottage manufacturers use trekking poles for support, e.g. MLD SoloMid, TarpTent Notch, and ZPacks Duplex. The explanation is simple: This saves weight over geometries that require dedicated pole sets, e.g. Big Agnes Copper Spur, REI Quarter Dome. Some of the weight must be given back to achieve a minimum of […]

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The SOS button is well protected with a cover.

Preview: SPOT X || 2-way messenger with physical keyboard

SPOT revolutionized backcountry communication in the late-2000’s with its original device, the SPOT Personal Tracker (my review), which retailed for $170 (plus an annual service plan) and which could send three one-way messages: Okay, Help, and SOS. The Tracker was less expensive to own and operate than a satellite phone. It was more functional than […]

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Credit: Mary Cochenour

FAQ for female backpackers: Menstruation, #1 & #2, group dynamics, and clothing & gear

Jessica Winters and Mary Cochenour, who will be helping Alan Dixon and me guide trips next month in Rocky Mountain National Park, recently fielded questions from our clients about a few female-specific topics, including menstruation, #1 and #2, group dynamics, and clothing. Rather than share the answers only with our groups, I thought they’d have greater value if […]

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Lost Tribe Lakes in Colorado's Indian Peaks Wilderness after a violent afternoon monsoon storm

Tutorial: How to predict backcountry weather conditions || Methods & sources for short & long trips

I have said this before, and continue stand by it: there is a right way to backpack: equip yourself with the gear, supplies, and skills that are appropriate for the conditions and your trip objective. Among the conditions that I consider (there are about 10; view the full list), the weather — specifically temperatures, precipitation, […]

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The SPOT Gen3 wins the weight and size award, with the ACR PLB just behind. The inReach units and satellite phones are comparable in weight and size.

Comps: inReach Mini vs SE+/Explorer+, SPOT Gen3, and PLB’s

For Outside I have written a piece on the primary differences between the new Garmin inReach Mini, which was released last week, and existing satellite communication devices like the inReach SE+, inReach Explorer+, SPOT Gen3, and personal locator beacons like the ACR Electronics ResQLink. Here’s the link: The Garmin InReach Mini vs. the Competition If […]

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