Backpacking

10 Best One Person Backpacking Tents of 2020

One person, solo backpacking tents are ideal if you’re thru-hiking, fast-packing, or backpacking big miles and want to trim your gear weight as low as possible. More livable than bivy sacks, one person tents are designed for sleeping and bad weather protection. While some solo tents are more plush and spacious than others, you almost …

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Introduction to Backpacking: My Fears, Therapy, and Friends

A Change of Plans
I originally planned to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 2018. I spent most of 2017 planning, prepping, and purchasing gear for the trip. In August 2017, I learned that my husband’s job was relocating to Nashville, Tennessee, and my dreams of hiking the PCT were put on hold. I experienced conflicting feelings about our new circumstances; I was excited to live in and explore a new place, but was mourning the loss of my family, ...

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When are hiking boots better than trail runners?

Trail runners are all the rage in the hiking and backpacking community, but there are times when hiking boots really are better than trail runners. If you’re on the fence about whether to switch to trail runners or use them, take the time to figure out what works best for you and what the conditions …

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Google Maps Doesn’t Understand Forest Service Road

The weekend started out simple enough.
We made a trip to Springer Mountain this weekend and drove up to the trailhead to check out the road conditions and do some hiking in the area. It was raining on Saturday but that was OK; we hiked in the rain and had a good day. Sunday we decided to drive up to the trailhead via  Forest Service Roads 28 and 42, which was how Google directed us to go. ...

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My Preparation as a Newbie Backpacker

When I decided in April 2019  to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, I didn’t realize how much work goes into preparing for your first thru-hike. I quickly realized I was vastly unprepared for what was ahead. Luckily, I had 11 months to prepare for this crazy adventure.
Gear
When I made the decision to attempt my thru-hike in 2020, I had absolutely no gear. I didn’t even have a sleeping bag. I needed everything. I started doing research on what previous thru-hikers used, ...

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Trek the 8000m peak base camps

Emma and Trevor — from New Zealand & Australia — conceived ProjectBase8000. Great idea! The objective is to be the first non-mountaineering trekkers to hike to all the base camps of the world’s 14 highest mountains by 2020. They are all over 8,000m, located in the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges – Nepal, Pakistan and Tibet, China. They …

Jansport Katahdin 50L Backpack Review

The Jansport Katahdin 50 is an adjustable-length and rugged backpack with a top lid, padded hip-belt and dual side pockets that is well-sized for kids and short-statured adults. Weighing slightly more than 2 lbs, it’s roomy and durably made, making it a good low-cost option for new backpackers who want an economical introduction to multi-day …

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A History of Northeast Peakbagging

In Forest and Crag, the authoritative history of the mountains of the Northeast, authors Guy and Laura Waterman introduced their “Superhiking” chapter with an observation that rings true today, 31 years after this book was published.  “From time to time in every age and mountain range, individuals of exceptional strength or determination set out to show what they can do in that most rugged of physical testing grounds, the mountains.”
No strangers to strength and determination themselves, ...

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Being a Pacific Crest Trail Commitment-Phobe

I have been moving toward hiking the PCT for over a year. I took a contract that would finish around the right time; applied for the permit during a nerve-racking evening in front of my laptop; turned down a job offer for the spring; attended the visa interview in an outfit I hoped signaled that I am a responsible human (despite evidence to the contrary); told friends, family and colleagues that “yes” I would be doing it. ...

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How the Hike Changes You: Reflections from 2019 Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers

“It’s official,” I told my friend on the phone as I stepped outside and braced against the cold. “I just blew up my life.”The day was January 6, 2019, and my words felt appropriately dramatic. That morning I’d told my boss I was leaving a great job of 12 years to go hike the Appalachian Trail.
As in thru-hike: 2200 miles from Georgia to Maine.
When you blow up your life, one hopes it’s in order to build back something new. ...

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