smokinbear

Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer, Smokin’ Bear Heads for the AT

It’s official, our family just completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail this past September. To say this journey has been an adventure would be an understatement; mentally unpacking all that has happened along the way will likely take years. One of the biggest impacts on our lives has been the trail community. We have […]

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Sign after the fact

Red Flags

“If you’d live to be a grey-haired wonder. Keep the nose out of the blue!” -line from the Air Force song Perhaps a strange introduction to a hiking piece but living to be a gray haired wonder means a combination of experience, health, luck and wisdom. I started flying in 1982 in the military and it […]

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Remmel

Going the (Ultra) Distance

When I packed up my enormous backpack full of crappy gear and unpalatable food in the spring of 2003. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. All I knew was that as my friends drove away from the Springer Mountain parking lot all that was left for me to do was to […]

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Hiking In

Rogue River Trail Backpack

This past spring I convinced a few of my friends to join me on an adventure along the Rogue River Trail in Southern Oregon. My parents relocated to Grants Pass recently, so it seemed like a great way to kill two birds with one stone. I’d get to see my parents and I’d get to […]

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Infographic: Self-Tensioning Shock Cords

DIY Self-Tensioning Guy Lines

One of the popular fabrics for making lightweight tarps and shelters is silicon-impregnate ripstop nylon—silnylon or ’sil’ for short. It is valued for its light weight, strength, and waterproofness (and relative low cost compared with other options). But like all nylon-based materials, it has a downfall: it stretches when it gets wet. And it’s not […]

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The Lightweight Backpacking Conundrum

Do we need to redefine backpacking weight categories? Most lightweight backpackers are aware of the concepts of base weight and backpacking weight categories, but are the categories getting out of date? For those not familiar with the concepts, I briefly review them here; for those already familiar, jump to the next section. Base Weight Base […]

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Forester Pass

Paul Osborn’s JMT Backpacking Gear List

This was my backpacking gear list for the John Muir Trail in the summer. This 211 mile trail in California winds through the Sierra Nevada, crossing over 13 000 and 14 000 foot passes. Although the valleys were warm, nights can be close to freezing, especially at higher elevations. This list includes the awkward but […]

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