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backpackers are aware of the concepts of base weight and backpacking weight categories, but are the categories getting out of date?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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Navigating the Mental Trail

There is a saying about many athletic ventures that it’s 90% mental. Although the percentage may not be that extreme, I would agree that mental fortitude is a huge part of backpacking that often gets overlooked. Regardless of how long the trip is, or how many people are on the hike, there is a mental […]

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Hayley Pass in the Wind River Range - Photo Credit Sarah Zhang

The Lonely Hiker….An Essay on Solo Hiking

John Muir said, “The mountains are calling and I must go”, but what if I’m used to going as part of a “we”? After 12 years and close to 10,000 miles of backpacking I have found myself in a strange situation…time off in the summer and the desire to go hiking. What could be better? […]

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Trail Ambassador Allison Nadler on The JMT

Allison Nadler’s JMT Backpacking GearList

This gear list was used for my 15 day thru hike of the John Muir Trail. I encountered temperatures ranging from 30-100 degrees. In late July it is generally warm and dry and you can expect afternoon thunderstorms. On my hike I experienced an unusual 2 1/2 days of rain. Water is abundant throughout the […]

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