Latest Posts

How to Plan an Off-Trail Hike with Caltopo

Off Trail Hiking exercises your mind and body differently than hiking on trails that others have defined and built for you

This is a tutorial about how to plan an off-trail hike that illustrates the judgements that experienced hikers make when they plan off-trail routes. I illustrate these with a free navigation tool called, but there’s nothing preventing you from using other route planning tools like Gaia GPS, Garmin Basecamp …

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Human Triggered Avalanche on North Percy Peak

North Percy Mountain

We triggered a human generated avalanche on North Percy mountain, breaking through wind slab that was sitting on a layer of ice. It wasn’t a huge slide, but I could tell that it rattled that guys who triggered it. No one was hurt, but it served as a reminder of …

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Icebug DTS2 BUGrip GTX Shoe Review

When worn, you cannot feel the carbine studs poking through the sole of the DTS2 BUGrip GTX shoe.

The Icebug DTS2 BUGrip GTX Shoe is designed for running and walking on ice-covered roads, sidewalks, and trails covered with hard-packed snow. The sole of each shoe has 19 carbide steel studs that provide traction, much like studded snow tires on icy roads. They really provide an amazing amount of grip and …

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Hiking Navigation Gear List

My Navigation Toolkit consists of a couple of maps, compass, whistle, watch:altimeter, pencil, paper, and a smartphone running the Gaia Navigation App

I carry a variety of navigation tools and devices on my hikes and backpacking trips because I’ve never found once that’s perfectly reliable or easy to use in all situations. Every tool and device has different strengths and weakness, as I describe below. Maps, often more than one Compass, declination adjustable Suunto …

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Superior Wilderness Designs 50L Long Haul Backpack Review

The Beastie dee rings on the rear of the pack make it easy to rig up custom attachment points on the back of the pack. Shown here: snowshoes.

Superior Wilderness Designs is a Michigan-based ultralight gear manufacturer that has just introduced a backpack designed for thru-hiking called the 50L Long Haul. Weighing 29 ounces, it’s made with X-Pac, an ultralight waterproof laminate like cuben fiber, but less expensive and more durable. While less well-known, X-Pac is a tried …

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