Contemplating the view on Gulf Slide Peak

The Hike Starts Well Before the Hike and Never Ends…

My hiking and backpacking trips start well before I ever step foot on the trail. I like to plan out my route by reading maps and trail guides, figure out what gear I need to bring depending on the terrain or expected weather conditions, plan out my menu in great detail, get packed, maybe practice using some […]

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Red hot glow of a MSR Whisperlite Stove melting snow on full power

MSR Whisperlite White Gas Stove: An Enduring Classic

The MSR Whisperlite Stove was introduced in 1984 and is still the best liquid fuel stove you can buy for group camping, backpacking, and winter mountaineering. Preferred by professional guides and  expedition leaders, the fuel efficiency, reliability, and field repairability of the MSR Whisperlite make it a go-to stove on any group trip, including winter trips where snow […]

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Rectangular Tarp pitched with a fallen tree as a back wall

Best Dimensions for a 1 Person Backpacking Tarp

If you crave a deep connection with the wilderness, there’s nothing more intimate than sleeping under a square or rectangular tarp. Pitching a tarp takes more thought than setting up a tent because you need to consider what the best setup or “shape” will be for the night and whether it needs to be wind or weather resistant, the […]

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The Northern Terminus of the Bay Circuit Trail, at The Atlantic Ocean

Bay Circuit Trail Section 1: Plum Island to Rowley

Plum Island Date: 1-21-15 Starting Location: Joppa Flats Wildlife Refuge Destination: Newbury Lower Green BCT Map: Section 1, A to D Distance: 6.6 miles; 14.2 miles RT back to car When I got to the beach and stood on the sand, I was filled with a feeling of contentment. I’d picked a good winter day to hike to the […]

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The Silky Bigboy cuts through dead wood like butter.

Silky Saw’s BIGBOY Folding Saw for Trail Maintenance

Saws are an amazingly versatile tool for a backpacker or camper to carry in woodland terrain, both for trail maintenance and for cutting firewood, provided it’s done in accordance with Leave No Trace Principles and local fire regulations. Note: Leave No Trace is not against fires in the backcountry, Leave No Trace recommends the responsible […]

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Leaving Torridon - Scotland

Core Clothing for 3 Season Hiking and Backpacking

Andrew Skurka posted a very informative series last week about the 13 Core Clothing items he wears for 3 season backpacking. We corresponded over the weekend, and he suggested that I write up my list for comparison purposes. Unlike Andrew, I only use 9 clothing items vs his 13, (not including hats, socks, or gloves), but […]

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