The Essential Guide to Frameless Backpacks

A frameless backpack is a core element of any ultralightweight backpacking strategy. Since the beginning of the 2000s, they’ve been my backpack model of choice for the majority of hiking trips that I’ve done. The following article contains a rundown Read More …

A Quick & Dirty Guide to the Stubai High Trail

The Stubai High Trail (“Stubaier Höhenweg” in German) is one of the most beautiful treks in the Austrian Alps. Linking together eight characterful mountain huts, this horseshoe-shaped route around the Stubai Valley oscillates between breathtaking passes and enchanting valleys, while Read More …

A Hiker’s Guide to the Labor Day Sales 2020

As many of my US readers will be aware, the Labor Day sales are now in full swing. This represents a great opportunity to save on any wishlist backpacking gear you may have been thinking about during the pandemic. Over Read More …

Trail Runners Vs Hiking Boots: A 30 Year Perspective

From the late 1980s through to the end of the 1990s, I exclusively used hiking boots on all of my backpacking trips. They were waterproof, durable, grippy on slippery surfaces, and provided protection and stability for my feet and ankles. Read More …

A Quick & Dirty Guide to the Wonderland Trail

The Wonderland Trail circles Mount Rainier, the highest peak in Washington (14,411 ft / 4,392 m) and the most glaciated mountain in the contiguous United States. During its 93 mile (150 km) course, it passes through a diverse collection of Read More …

Mount Kailash Kora: Trekking Around Tibet’s Sacred Mountain

Mount Kailash (6,638 m / 21,778 ft) is Asia’s holiest mountain. Located in the far reaches of western Tibet, for centuries it has been an important pilgrimage site for Hindus, Buddhists, and members of the Bon and Jain faiths. Many pilgrims Read More …

Gear List: The Long Crossing of the Lofoten Islands

Overall I was happy with my gear selections for the Long Crossing. During the seven day trip we encountered inclement weather over the last day or two, but for the most part conditions were excellent. Nighttime temps at some of Read More …

The Long Crossing of Norway’s Lofoten Islands

Just off the coast of northern Norway in the Arctic Circle lies a legendary archipelago by the name of Lofoten. A combination of deep fjords, windswept beaches, jagged peaks and picture-postcard villages, its staggering beauty has long been celebrated in Read More …

Leave No Trace and the Extra Yard

“Nine out of ten people who visit the outdoors are uninformed about Leave No Trace and minimizing their impacts.” ~ Ben Lawhon, Education Director LNT Center for Outdoor Ethics Leave No Trace (LNT) principles are like the golden rules of Read More …

The Altiplano Traverse (Stage 2) – Coloured Lakes, Geothermal Fields and a Towering Finale

In August, 2017, I hiked an approximately 600 km (373 mi) route across Bolivia’s Altiplano region. An otherworldly landscape of salt flats, volcanoes, fantastical rock formations and coloured lakes, to the best of my knowledge it was the first time Read More …

A Quick & Dirty Guide to Italy’s Alta Via 1

Located in northeastern Italy, the Dolomites are one of Europe’s most dramatic mountain ranges. A combination of serrated limestone peaks, sheer cliffs, shimmering alpine lakes and deep, narrow valleys, they have long been a magnet for geologists, travellers and outdoor Read More …

My 10 Favourite Hikes of the 2010’s

As another decade draws to a close, I look back with an appreciative smile. Over the past ten years my journeys taken me from the snow-capped peaks of Peru to the Aurora Borealis of Arctic Norway, and from the pristine Read More …

30 Signs You May Have Taken Ultralight Backpacking Too Far

Earlier this year I wrote an article titled 14 Signs You are Carrying too Much Stuff in your Backpack. This time around I thought I’d address the other end of the load-carrying spectrum, and list some of the red flags Read More …

A Quick and Dirty Guide to the Alta Via 2

Located in northeastern Italy, the Dolomites are one of Europe’s most dramatic mountain ranges. A combination of serrated limestone peaks, sheer cliffs, shimmering alpine lakes and deep, narrow valleys, they have long been a magnet for geologists, travellers and outdoor Read More …

A Long Hiatus and an Alpine Rejuvenation

Until last Wednesday’s Patagonia Baggies review, I had been in the blogging and social media wilderness since June. My absence wasn’t a conscious decision at the outset of this period, but rather the result of an unexpectedly long and time-consuming Read More …

Gear Review: Patagonia Baggies Shorts

Since 2014, I’ve used three different pairs of Patagonia Baggies (both the 5″ and 7″ models), all of which are still going strong at the time of writing. During this period I’ve covered more than 5,000 hiking miles (8,047 km) Read More …