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 …

25 Greatest Walking Songs of All Time

Six years ago I put together a whimsical list of 10 songs about walking; or more specifically tunes that included “walk“, “walkin‘” or “walking” in their respective titles. On my recent trip to the Alps, I jotted down a bunch 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 …

60 Crappy (but practical) Christmas Gifts for Hikers

Over the past four 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 Read More …

Books for Hikers and Backpackers (2019 Edition)

This year’s book list has been revised and significantly expanded, and to make things easier on the sorting front, I’ve divided the works into eight different categories: Educational, Guidebooks, Humour, Inspirational, Literature, Memoirs, Philosophy and Ultralight. All of the more 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 …

Gear List: Alta Via 1 and 2 (Dolomites, Italy)

I hiked Italy’s Alta Via 1 and 2 back-to-back over 10 days in mid-September, 2019. The conditions I encountered were typical for that time of year, with temps ranging from low 20’s C to just below just below freezing. Overall 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 …

20 Best Restaurants on America’s Long Distance Hiking Trails

Food represents the most commonly fantasised about subject that occupies a long distance hiker’s mind. Yep, even more than that other one. That being the case, it stands to reason that no matter whether you are a gourmet, spartan or Read More …

Gear List: The Altiplano Traverse

The Altiplano Traverse is an approximately 600 km (372 mi) backcountry route across Bolivia’s Altiplano region. A singular landscape of salt flats, volcanoes, fantastical rock formations and coloured lakes, I completed the journey over 16 days in August, 2017. My Read More …

The Altiplano Traverse – Stage 1 – Salt Flats, Volcanoes & Quinoa

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, it was a trip that had been bouncing around my noggin Read More …

Hiking across Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni

The Salar de Uyuni is the earth’s largest salt flat. Situated in the southwest corner of Bolivia’s Altiplano, it measures a staggering 12,106 sq km (4,674 sq mi); more than 20 times bigger than Death Valley. It is an otherworldly Read More …

A Backpacker’s Guide to the REI Sale

As many of my US readers will be aware, it’s Members Rewards time at REI. That means that in addition to the release of the annual dividend earlier this month, from March 22 to April 8 they are offering members Read More …

Sleeping Bags and Quilts for Thru-Hiking (2019 Edition)

When it comes to thru-hiking its important to have a sleeping bag (or quilt) that meets both your individual needs, as well as the dictates of the environment/s into which you are venturing. The challenge is finding a model that Read More …