Philip Werner

Philip Werner quit his corporate job in 2010 to become a full-time hiker, guide, and outdoor writer. Since then he's hiked over five thousand miles, become an adept fly fisherman, XC skier, and written over 2500 backpacking and hiking articles for SectionHiker.com.

Bushwhacking Eagle Cliff and Downing Mountain

Bushwhacking Eagle Cliff and Downing Mountain

Eagle Cliff and Downing Mountain are two New Hampshire 500 Highest peaks located near Stinson Lake outside of Rumney, NH. They’re in a section of the White Mountain National Forest that doesn’t have many maintained trails, so they’re seldom visited. Snowmobiling is popular in this area, however, and there is …

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10 Best Lightweight Backpacks of 2021

10 Best Lightweight Backpacking Backpacks

Backpacking packs and backpacking gear have gotten much lighter weight in recent years due to innovations in the materials and fabrics available to backpack manufacturers. Most lightweight backpacks now weigh between 2 and 3 pounds and have 40 to 60 liters of storage volume. They have frames and can usually …

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10 Best One Person Backpacking Tents of 2021

10 Best One-Person Backpacking Tents

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 …

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Bushwhacking Towns Mountain and Mt Misery

Towns Mountain and Mt Misery

Towns Mountain and Mt Misery are located north of Littleton, NH, within spitting distance of the New Hampshire and Vermont border. They’re both on the New Hampshire 500 Highest peak list that my friend Ken and I are working through. This being winter, we’re picking off the peaks that are …

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REI Activator 3.0 Softshell Pants Review

REI Activator 3.0 Softshell Pants Review

REI’s Activator 3.0 Soft-Shell Pants, available for both men and women, are softshell pants for winter hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing. They’re water-resistant and highly breathable to prevent sweat build-up, with articulated knees and a gusseted crotch for freedom of movement. They’re rated windproof to 35 mph wind and coated with …

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5 Best Leave No Trace Trowels of 2021

5 Best Leave No Trace Trowels

Using a Leave No Trace trowel is one of the most responsible things you can do to preserve the backcountry for others to enjoy. While there’s nothing quite as satisfying as having a good bowel movement outdoors in the crisp morning air, surrounded by white-capped mountains and wild flowers, it’s …

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Winter Backpacking Gear List Explained

Winter Backpacking Gear List Explained

Winter backpacking is very different from three-season backpacking. It requires more gear, good decision-making, and many new skills. It’s almost like backpacking on a different planet because so many things you take for granted during the rest of the year are different. For example, you need to melt snow to …

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10 Best Hiking Boots and Trail Shoes of 2021

10 Best Hiking Boots and Trail Shoes

While there are hundreds of hiking boots, trail shoes, and trail runners available, most hikers and backpackers choose from a small set of common makes and models. Preferences vary widely, however, and some hikers like waterproof mids and boots, while others prefer more breathable trail running shoes that dry rapidly …

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Bushwhacking Garnet Mountain and Lewis Hill

Garnet Mountain and Lewis Hill

Garnet Mountain and Lewis Hill are two trailless mountains just outside the quaint town of Bethlehem, NH. Both are on the New Hampshire 500 Highest peak list that my friend Ken and I are working through. As he says, “There are 2000 mountains in New Hampshire. Why would you climb …

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Ultralight Backpacking Double-Wall Tent Guide

Ultralight Backpacking Double Wall Tent Guide

The number of ultralight double-wall backpacking tents available today has grown significantly, driven by consumer demand and advances in material technologies. If you prefer a double-wall tent over a single-wall tent because it’s more spacious, warmer, less drafty, and has a separate inner tent and rainfly to prevent internal condensation …

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10 Best Backpacking Stoves of 2021

10 Best Backpacking Stoves of 2021

Backpacking stoves fall into three popular categories: isobutane canister stoves which are best for solo cooking and short trips, alcohol stoves which are best for ultralight backpacking and thru-hiking, and liquid fuel stoves which are best for group cooking, cold weather use, and international travel. Below are our picks for …

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10 Best Ultralight Backpacking Tarps of 2021

10 Best Ultralight Backpacking Tarps

Backpacking tarps are a great camping option if you want to reduce your backpacking gear weight while experiencing a deeper connection to the outdoors by sleeping under a shelter without walls. Backpacking tarps come in two basic flavors: shaped/catenary cut tarps that have curved sides to reduce weight and flapping …

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Bushwhacking the Daltons

Bushwhacking the Daltons

Dalton Mountain is located north of Littleton, NH, quite close to the New Hampshire and Vermont Border. It has two summits on the NH500 list: Dalton Mountain NE and Dalton Mountain, the main peak, about 1.2 miles to the south.  My friend Ken and I bushwhacked both in about 4″ …

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