Advice to Your Younger Self…

Just for fun: If you could travel back in time and give your younger self one really good piece of backpacking related advice based on your experiences over the years, what would it be? I think I’d tell myself to look at a career path that would allow me work outdoors and become an ¬†advocate […]

Outdoor Retailer Show – Salt Lake City

In a few hours I’ll be boarding a plane to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend the Outdoor Retailer Summer Show (OR Show). I’ve wanted to attend this event for the last few years and was finally able to make it happen this year. I’ll be meeting with as many of the vendors as I […]

Poll: Bear Bells – Effective or Gimmick?

I was recently contacted by a reader who had a very specific question regarding the effectiveness of bear bells vs. whistles in the back country. Here is the full question: “Brian I wanted to get your opinion on the use of whistles to alert bears in the area as opposed to using bells. I fish […]

How Many Miles Have You Hiked in 2012?

Nowhere near enough, would be my response to that question. Between my day job, training for a major event, family life, and every other distraction you can think of, I’ve been unable to get out as much as I would normally or wanted to. I’ve done less hiking this year than any other year I […]

Could a UL Gear Exchange Work?

The concept of a backpacking gear exchange has been tried before, I recall something on the East Coast not so long ago, but it eventually failed – I don’t know the details why. When I look at the amount of unused or lightly used gear that I have in my closet as a result of […]

Bushcraft vs. Leave No Trace (LNT)?

I’m conflicted. I enjoy getting outdoors with my kids at the weekend, going on day hikes, and practicing our bushcraft skills like making firesticks, carving pot hangers, and learning how to properly build and start a camp fire. BUT – when I go on my multi-night or longer distance ultralight backpacking trips (typically without my […]

Do You Need a Knife for Backpacking?


Not carrying a knife or some form of small blade is incomprehensible to me and a lot of other backpackers and hikers, but to others it’s a piece of gear they don’t feel is necessary to carry at all. As some of my more frequent readers may recall, I have been slowly reducing the size […]