Popular

Categories

Standout gear for cold-and-wet conditions in the Appalachians

By Andrew Skurka / May 19, 2019 / 25 Comments

Last week my guiding season kicked off in the beautiful — but soggy and unseasonably cold — mountains of West Virginia, with four 3-day/2-night learning-intensive Backpacking Fundamentals courses, split between two guide teams. Based on the conditions assessment that we performed during the Planning Curriculum, we expected rain and cool temperatures. But I was hoping for…

Snowpocalypse 2019: Expected “summer” conditions in the High Sierra & southern Rockies

By Andrew Skurka / March 28, 2019 / 71 Comments

California, Oregon, Nevada, and the Four Corners states have been drenched this winter, with snowpacks now about 150 percent of their normals. If you have scheduled backpacking trips in the High Sierra or southern Rockies in June or July, and to a lesser degree August, here is some reading for you: 1. Today on my…

Ineffective & outdated: Six reasons to not hang a bear bag

By Andrew Skurka / January 10, 2019 / 137 Comments

Bear bags are a stubborn fixture of the backpacking world. Hanging is recommended, taught, and practiced by influential organizations and individuals even though it is less effective, less foolproof, less reliable, less efficient, and less safe than other food protection techniques, notably hard-sided canisters and (to a lesser degree) soft-sided bear-resistant food sacks. I have not…

Long-term review: Suunto 9 Baro || Legit flagship watch, needs firmware fix

By Andrew Skurka / November 29, 2018 / 42 Comments

For five months I’ve been using the Suunto 9 Baro GPS Sport Watch on a near daily basis, mostly while trail and road running, and occasionally backpacking. With few exceptions, it has supplanted my trusted Suunto Ambit3 Peak (long-term review). It’s the nicest Suunto watch that I’ve used yet, but has one significant blemish that…

How to choose: Jetboil backpacking stoves || Zip v. Flash v. -Mo v. Joule

By Andrew Skurka / November 16, 2018 / 20 Comments

Yesterday I attended a Jetboil press event in Boulder. It was an opportunity to examine the product line and to speak with Jetboil reps in a less time-crunched setting than Outdoor Retailer. Stove system overview To simplify decision-making for its dealers and customers, Jetboil seems to have worked hard to keep its product line tight. It…

Preview: Altra Tusher || Hiking boot with zero drop & foot shape

By Andrew Skurka / November 11, 2018 / 25 Comments

My coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2018 starts with Altra, which has developed a cult-like following among hikers and runners for its zero drop shoes, wide lasts, and gender-specific fits. Altra revealed three new shoes at the show: the Tusher, Grafton, and Wahweap. They will be available in July 2019. Availability is uncertain at this…

Gear List: Yosemite High Route || High Sierra in August

By Andrew Skurka / September 5, 2018 / 38 Comments

Last month I went on a 9-day/8-night backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park. My route was more ambitious than the norm: I was scouting the Yosemite High Route, which has monstrous vertical change and extensive off-trail and alpine travel. I tried to avoid popular trails like the John Muir Trail/Pacific Crest Trail and the High Sierra Camp…

Preview: Big Agnes Carbon Tents || Dyneema for the (rich) masses

By Andrew Skurka / July 30, 2018 / 52 Comments

Originally published July 30. Revised November 10. My coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2018 begins with Big Agnes, which revealed new editions of three existing tent geometries: Fly Creek 1 Carbon ($800, 1 lb) and Fly Creek 2 Carbon ($850, 1 lb 2 oz) Tiger Wall 2 Carbon ($1000, 1 lb 9 oz)and Tiger…

Buyers guide: Bear canisters || Comparison of volume per weight & cost

By Andrew Skurka / March 29, 2018 / 92 Comments

During the day, properly protecting food is as simple as not leaving it (or a backpack full of it) unattended. The conversation about overnight food protection is longer and more nuanced. Multiple techniques can be used; regulations vary by location; and misinformation and poor practices are abundant. In this post I will focus on one specific food…

Preview: Altra Lone Peak 4.0 || More durable upper & new stickier outsole

By Andrew Skurka / January 26, 2018 / 93 Comments

At the Altra booth I found the Lone Peak 4.0, the next-generation of this popular trail running and thru-hiking shoe. It will be available in August 2018, and in four versions: Low Mesh ($120, 10.2 oz for M’s, 8.7 oz for W’s) Mid Mesh ($130, 12.3 oz for M’s, 10.3 oz for W’s) Low RSM…