Tents for Thru-Hiking

The following article is a compilation of trail-tested lightweight tents, recommended by some of the most accomplished long distance hikers from the US, Australia and the UK. All of the shelters listed weigh three pounds (1.36 kg) or less, and … Continue reading

50 Crappy (but practical) Christmas Gifts for Hikers

Over the past few years, the most popular articles on “The Hiking Life” website haven’t been about outdoor skills, backpacking equipment, or trip reports from exotic locales. Nope, they’ve been about crappy hiker gifts that you can pick up for … Continue reading

The Hidden Tracks: Wanderlust off the Beaten Path

Yesterday marked the US release* of my second book with Gestalten Publications, “The Hidden Tracks: Wanderlust off the Beaten Path.” In a nutshell, it’s a 272 page coffee table book that features 29 terrific hikes from around the world. Some of … Continue reading

Cape Wrath Trail Backpacking Guide

The Cape Wrath Trail is often referred to as Britain’s toughest long distance walk. Stretching approximately 230 miles (370 km) from the Highland hub of Fort William to the remote lighthouse of Cape Wrath, it is an unmarked and sometimes … Continue reading

The Essential Guide to Ultralight Bivy Sacks

For hikers that enjoy tarping and cowboy camping, ultralight bivy sacks represent an excellent supplementary option for your sleeping system. Weighing in at between 4.5 and 7.5 oz (0.13 – 0.21 kg), they add approximately four to eight degrees of … Continue reading

25 Multipurpose Backpacking Gear Items

“If you can’t ride two horses at once you shouldn’t be in the circus.” ~  James Maxton (1885-1946) One of the principal ways in which a hiker can lower his or her pack weight is by using multipurpose gear. A … Continue reading

The Skye Trail – Trip Report & Backpacking Guide

Scotland’s Isle of Skye is a place steeped in myth, legend and natural beauty. Tales of giants and shape-shifting water horses are woven together with stories of dramatic mountain ranges and coastlines. It is an island that engages and inspires … Continue reading

Books, Bothies and the Northern Lights

Let me begin this long overdue post with an apology to my readers. I just arrived home after six weeks of hiking around the Scottish Highlands and Norway’s Lofoten Islands. Before departing I had planned to put up a quick … Continue reading

A Quick & Dirty Guide to the Lowest to Highest Route

From the lowest spot in North America (280 ft below sea level) to the highest point in the contiguous United States (14,495 ft). The Lowest to Highest Route takes the hiker from Death Valley to the summit of Mt.Whitney, via … Continue reading

A Quick & Dirty Guide to the Pyrenean Haute Route

The Pyrenean Haute Route (or HRP for Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne) is an approximately 800 km (497 mi) traverse of one of Europe’s most beautiful mountain ranges. Stretching from the Atlantic ocean to the Mediterranean sea, it criss-crosses the natural boundary … Continue reading

The Three A’s

One of the things I’ve always loved about the wilderness is that everything is what it is. No masks, no motives, no hidden agendas. Mother Nature can be the hardest of taskmasters, but I’ve never found her to be disingenuous … Continue reading

Tips for Backpacking in Bear Country

Bears are the animals that everyone wants to see and doesn’t want to see. It is really just a question of timing and distance. Spot a grizzly bear on the other side of a raging river; fantastic. Walk around a … Continue reading

The Thru Hiker’s Gear List – Vol. 2

The article below is a follow-up to last year’s most popular post, The Thru Hiker’s Gear List. In a nutshell, it’s a compilation of gear recommendations from 11 of the most accomplished and experienced long distance hikers in the United States; … Continue reading

A Quick & Dirty Guide to the Sierra High Route

The Sierra High Route is one of the most spectacular and challenging treks in North America. Stretching approximately 195 miles (314 km) north to south through the Sierra Nevada, it is a largely off-trail affair that stays between 9,000 ft … Continue reading

Arthur Range Traverse Planning Guide

When many folks think of multi-day hikes in Australia, the first names that come to mind are the Overland, Bibbulmun and Larapinta. All three are great trails. However, none of them are as spectacular, and certainly not as challenging as … Continue reading

Hammocks for Thru-Hiking

Every once in a while I receive emails about hammocks and thru-hiking. It is a subject about which I know very little. That being the case, I asked a hiking buddy of mine with extensive hammocking experience, to put together … Continue reading

Hypothermia – Prevention, Symptoms and Treatment

Hypothermia is subnormal body temperature that occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. It is most often caused by exposure to cold weather. Other factors that may contribute to the onset of hypothermia include over-exertion, … Continue reading