Righteous Raingear: Our Guide to Keeping Dry in the Backcountry

April 8, 2022

By Alexander Popp   In the backcountry, rain isn’t always a sure thing. But no matter where you’re hiking (with some limited exceptions), a smart backpacker is always ready for rain.  Nothing is worse feeling, or more dangerous (again, with some exceptions) than being unprepared for rain in the backcountry, especially when cold weather […]

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Appalachian Trail hikers gather around a campfire at the Hawk Mountain Shelter in North Georgia during a cold snap in March of 2017.

Build a Foolproof Backpacking Firestarter Kit

March 3, 2022

By Alexander Popp   Having a good fire on a cold day is one of my favorite parts about hiking and camping in the backcountry. Provided you have weather conditions that allow a fire, the skills to make one, and a way of putting it out, a campfire in the wilderness is an essential part […]

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Hikers stand at a campsite in North Carolina.

Combat the Cold With Winter Hiking Layers

January 27, 2022

By Chelsea Parrott   In my region, the southern Appalachian mountains, weather can be wet and cold December thru March, which could spell trouble for hikers and backpackers that need to stay warm and dry, including the many Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers beginning their northbound journey.  During nights in these mountains, temperatures can dip into […]

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From Breadcrumbs to Cairns, Staying on Trail and Not Getting Lost

January 18, 2022

By Chelsea Parrott   As the story goes, Hansel and Gretel left a trail of breadcrumbs behind them as they traveled away from their home and into the mysterious forest. Well, the birds ate the breadcrumbs, and Hansel and Gretel continued to get lost in a world of trouble.  Fortunately, there are many non-breadcrumb […]

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Backpacking Food Storage Made Easy – Bear Hangs, Boxes, Cables and More

January 11, 2022

By Chelsea Parrott   Food storage is so important while backpacking. How important? Securing food items away from animals could be the very difference between life or death – for animals and fellow hikers. Animals that access human food can become conditioned to associate campsites or backpacking gear with high-calorie jackpots, leading to aggressive […]

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Brushing your teeth in the backcountry – Leave No Trace and Fresh Breath

December 29, 2021

By Chelsea Parrott   As an outdoor educator, I’ve seen some of the most beautiful outdoor spaces tarnished by some of the ugliest human impacts. Abandoned gear, trash in fire pits, even the dreaded “surface poo”. Chances are, most of these backpacking crimes are not done out of malice but perhaps lack of understanding […]

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Hikers sit on a log in camp.

How to Pick and Set Up a Backcountry Campsite

December 14, 2021

By Alexander Popp   If you’ve followed our guide on planning a backpacking trip, you should have a good idea of where you’re headed each day and where you’ll be camping. But in the backcountry, things tend to change and disrupt carefully laid plans. It could be weather forcing you to stop early or […]

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How to Pack a Backpack for Hiking Trips

December 7, 2021

By Alexander Popp   Spend a few days in the backcountry and you’ll learn that how you pack your backpack is nearly as important as the things you pack in it. Pack your bag the wrong way and your back won’t thank you, neither will your stress level if you need to empty your […]

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9 Tips for Planning a Backpacking Adventure

December 2, 2021

By Alexander Popp   Sometimes I forget that not everyone started backpacking the same way that I did, at 10 or 11 with my dad, our boy scout troop, and dozens of experienced backpackers, who made it easy to learn how to backpack and camp safely over the years. But most people don’t have […]

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Hiker stand looking at a mountain view in North Carolina.

Beginner’s Guide to Backpacking Clothes – What to wear, what to avoid and more

November 17, 2021

By Alexander Popp   So, you’ve got your gear packed up, tent, stove, sleeping bag, and everything else all ready to go, but you’ve still got one more thing to pack – clothes. While backpacking, clothes are a big factor that will decide whether you’re going to be comfortable or not. They’ll also be […]

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