Top 5 Posts of 2015

Sunrise adirondacksHere are the five most viewed Hiking Life posts of 2015.

When looking at the WordPress stats, I couldn’t help but notice that the most popular articles were a microcosm of my overall approach to blogging. A balance between humour, trip reports, education and backcountry musings.

That struck me as being pretty cool.

Because mixing things up in such a fashion is how I like to write. Indeed, while The Hiking Life has always been about enabling folks to head out into the woods in a safe and responsible fashion, it has also been my hope to convey just how much fun and out-and-out joy are inherent in such excursions. Obviously I’m a tad biased, but for my money, there really isn’t any better way to experience terra firma than on foot!

Thanks to everyone for following along!

#5.  Going Lighter & the Big 3

“By 2009, the cumulative weight of my “Not so Big Three” items was between 2.7 and 3.8 lbs. That constituted a savings of at least 12 lbs. from my 1990’s total. That’s a lot of weight. We’re talking six days food, five and a half litres of water, half a case of beer or more than a hundred Snickers bars!”

"Backpacking's Big Three - A two decade evolution"..........or............ "How I saw the light and in the process saved my back and knees." (L to R) Pyrenees High Route, 1999 / Cape to Cape, 2010. See the latest post on for all the "Big Three" details. #backpacking #hiking #thebigthree @gossamergear @tarptent #mountainlaureldesigns #katabaticgear #thehikinglife #goinglighter

“Backpacking’s Big Three – A two decade evolution”……….or…………
“How I saw the light and in the process saved my back and knees.” (L to R) Pyrenees High Route, 1999 / Cape to Cape, 2010.

#4.  Tips for Hiking in Cold & Wet Weather

“No garment is completely waterproof given extended exposure to the conditions I describe above. Working on the principle that damp is better than soaked and being comfortable rather than dry is the priority, I look for rain jackets with the following features……….”

Versalite Jacket

Rain, driving wind and temps just above freezing………..gotta love SW Tasmania in the summer!”

#3.  Ten Crappy (but practical) Christmas Gifts for Hikers

” # 10……..$5 Goodwill Gift card…………Polyester Hawaiian-style shirts, sun dresses, baggy shorts; the list of bargain basement hiker options are almost endless. Avoid socks, undies and bandanas. There’s cheap and there’s just plain tacky.”


” #1. A box of Zip-locs – Pretty much everyone takes ziplocs backpacking. But let’s be honest, nothing says, “I don’t give a shit about you” like plastic bags for Christmas.

#2.  Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter

“There is no universal blueprint as to how you should backpack. We all have our own motivations, needs and levels of experience. That being said, one thing upon which everyone can agree is that hiking is substantially easier and more enjoyable, if your pack doesn’t weigh the proverbial tonne……………..”


Going light in the Peruvian Andes.

#1. Ten Reasons why a Donkey is the Ideal Hiking Companion

“Looking for a hiking partner? Here are ten reasons why you should consider giving friends the flick and team up with a donkey instead:

1.  No risk of teary moments or emotional breakdowns. Indeed, the donkey is widely considered to be the Chuck Norris of the equine world.

2.  Not big on idle chit chat, but if you feel the need to have a chinwag, they are very good listeners………….note the size of the ears…………”

Donkey CBT

A Hiker’s Best Friend | Cordillera Blanca Traverse, Peru, 2014.


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