Tag Archive: Backpacking

Cahuilla Mountain

Hiking Cahuilla Mountain

Standing aloof from the forested ridges and mountaintops bounding Anza Valley, the rugged, wooded heights of Cahuilla Mountain offer superb views, backcountry camping, meadows, wildflowers, and an unexpected forest of pines and black oaks. The peak lies within the Cahuilla Mountain Wilderness overseen by San Bernadino National Forest. Three to fours times a year, I head out to the Idyllwild area…

read » September 19, 2016

Mountainsmith Mayhem 45 Backpack Gear Review

Best Use: Technical Trips, Ultralight Backpacking Capacity: 45L, 2745 cubic inches Gender: Unisex Pros: Very comfortable, lots of helpful features, premium construction Cons: A little heavy for its size Retail Price: $159.95 Even for the most resilient hiker, there are a few pieces of gear that can determine if your backpacking trip will be a fabulous adventure counting up the fun photos on your camera…

read » September 14, 2016
OR Realm Full Body

Product Review: Outdoor Research Realm Jacket

On the Quick: Outdoor Research Realm Jacket Style: Breathable, waterproof shell Weight: 10.9 ounces Pros: Lightweight, windproof, waterproof, breathable Cons: No women’s cut, expensive Best for: Backpacking, climbing, mixed weather conditions, sweaty people Retail Price: $279 There are a lot of things I’ve done with $280: buy plane tickets to New Orleans, assure myself another month’s worth of health coverage,…

read » August 17, 2016
Berry Creek Falls

Hiking the Berry Creek Falls Loop

Deep in the heart of California’s oldest state park lie a trio of waterfalls crashing into grottos shaded by towering redwood trees. The popular Berry Creek Falls loop visits these waterfalls via a moderately difficult loop passing through pristine, old-growth redwoods nestled into the large basin that lends this park its name. Big Basin lies in the western half of the Santa…

read » August 12, 2016
Good To Go rainbow

REVIEW: Good To-Go Backpacking Food

Once upon a particularly dreadful time, my pathetic backpacking dinner menu consisted of pouched tuna and potato flakes, or freeze-dried meals that left a bad taste in my mouth…and digestive issues in their wake. I fart – I mean, fear no more, because in addition to my much-improved backcountry culinary skills, there now exists a line of portable meals that…

read » August 9, 2016

Product Review: Tribe Provisions Adventure II Tent

A Quick Look Design – 2-person, 3-season Dome Tent Weight – 5 lbs sans footprint Pros – Versatile beginner tent, roomy, easy to use Cons – Poor durability Best For – Car camping and short-term backpacking Retail Price – $129   Since I spend over half of my nights in a tent, I’m always interested in trying out the latest…

read » June 29, 2016
Undies 101 header

Hiking Underwear 101

Undies. Drawers. Chonies. Tighty Whities. Unmentionables. Whatever you call it, underwear is often overlooked when people begin outfitting themselves for hiking and backpacking trips. However, they are not only the literal foundation of your layering system, but they’re also situated right next to your delicates, so we’d argue you’re doing a disservice by making them an afterthought. In the name of…

read » June 21, 2016
ahnu feature

Ahnu Ridgecrest: Gear Review

The perfect hiking shoe has been a long sought-after item for me.  As someone who spends over half of the year hiking, backpacking, and climbing, my shoes get a lot of use and abuse very quickly. Part of why I’ve yet to find the perfect hiking shoe is because I demand a challenging blend of characteristics in each pair’s design…

read » April 20, 2016
Rabbit Peak

Hiking Rabbit Peak via Villager Peak

One of the most challenging hikes in Southern California. This ascent of a long, ramp-like ridge takes you first to Villager Peak and then, after much undulating, to the remote sky island of Rabbit Peak. The views are phenomenal, and the sunsets and sunrises can be once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Not for the faint-of-heart, and certainly only for experienced hikers, this is…

read » April 19, 2016
San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek

Hiking San Gorgonio Mountain via the Vivian Creek Trail

In June of 2015, the Lake Fire burned its way through thousands of acres of forest contained within the San Gorgonio Wilderness area of San Bernadino National Forest. Several popular trails, including the South Fork Trail to San Gorgonio Mountain, are now closed as a result (as of July 2015), leaving some of the more popular routes to the mountain…

read » December 27, 2015
Duck Lake

Hike Duck Lake

If you think sparkling aquamarine lakes and shimmering frosted peaks are the stuff of faraway epic adventures, you’ll be surprised at just how quickly you’re immersed in stunning scenery on this spectacular hike just a short drive from the bustling ski town of Mammoth Lakes, California. Your journey begins at the Duck Pass trailhead (elevation 9,128’), where you’ll find ample parking,…

read » October 28, 2015

Backpack Indian Heaven Wilderness via Thomas Lake

While the pacific northwest is generally known and beloved for its epic vistas and high peaks, it is also home to countless wilderness areas offering unique environments, from newly formed volcanic zones to small and quiet meadows full of wildflowers. Indian Heaven Wilderness, located two hours from Portland within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest of southern Washington is one such…

read » October 26, 2015

Gear Review: Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine Waterproof Boots

Specs: Retail price: $140.00 Style: Full-height boot Waterproof: Yes Best for: Day hiking, backpacking, snow travel and water crossings Pros: -Lightweight -Extremely comfortable, right out of the box -Waterproof -Sturdy, with good, sticky treads -Great color selection for a stylish look, both on trail and around town Cons: -Durability for long-term use, they feel less solid than other traditional hiking boots…

read » September 9, 2015

Backpack Point Reyes National Seashore

Located approximately 30 miles north of San Francisco, Point Reyes National Seashore is a staple for any outdoor enthusiast, both to bay area locals and visitors alike. Despite its relatively close proximity to a major city and its location within Marin County, Point Reyes immediately feels like a different world. Tucked away on the beautiful California coast among breathtaking foggy…

read » September 3, 2015
Katadyn Water Filter Ultralight

Katadyn Hiker Microfilter Review

On the Quick: Weight: 11oz Dimensions: 7.6” x 16.5” x 6.1” Capacity (gal/L): ~ 200 / ~750 Output (gal/L): ~ 1 quart/min / ~ 1 L/min Type: Activated Carbon MSRP: $74.95 – but can often be found cheaper. At the time of writing, Amazon is listing this item at $56.70 Available from: REI and Amazon. Note: Katadyn recently released Katadyn…

read » October 20, 2014

Hike Parker Lake

Parker Lake is one of the smaller lakes near the June Lake Loop, but while foliage-seeking tourists will flock to the easily accessible aspen groves of June, Gulf, Silver, and Grant Lakes, for a tiny bit more effort hikers can enjoy the absolutely stunning views at the end of the Parker Lake Trail. There is a handful of trails I…

read » October 9, 2014

Hike McGee Creek Canyon

The Eastern Sierra is a supremely photogenic region of California no matter what time of year, but in early fall when the aspen change color it can be especially tough to beat. McGee Creek – between Mammoth Lakes and Bishop just to the southwest of Lake Crowley – is an absolute must-hike at peak color. It’s difficulty is very manageable…

read » October 7, 2014
ultralight headlamp

Snow Peak SnowMiner Headlamp / Lantern Review

On the Quick: Weight: 2.3oz (without batteries) Dimensions: 2.2” D x 2” W Usage Hours: 140 hrs. on Low, 55 hrs. on Hight, 250 hrs. on Strobe Brightness: 80 Lumens High, 8 Lumens Low Power: 3 AAA (included) MSRP: $49.95 Available From: www.snowpeak.com   If there’s one piece of equipment that tends to be in anyone’s arsenal it’s the headlamp. …

read » October 6, 2014
Golite Jam 70

GoLite Jam 70L Backpack Review

On the Quick Weight: 1lb 15oz Capacity: 70l Design: Frameless Totally Carrying Weight: 30lb Maximum MSRP: $129.99 Available From: http://www.golite.com Whenever someone asks me about how they can start getting their pack lighter, I first ask them what kind of pack they have. In my opinion, ultralighting starts with the pack. Your average pack weighs roughly three and a half…

read » September 29, 2014

Hiking the Chesler Park Loop in Canyonlands

If you’re in the mood for some terrain and rock formations that will make you think you’re on another planet, this loop in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park via the Chesler Park and Joint Trails needs to go on the top of your to-hike list ASAP. This 10.4 mile loop takes you into some of the most seemingly…

read » September 19, 2014