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

Books for Hikers and Backpackers (Revised & Updated)

All of the works listed below have a place in my library at home. They represent a mixture of educational and philosophical texts; with a sprinkling of humour, poetry and social commentary thrown into the literary mix. The books are … Continue reading

Reveiw: Mountain Laurel Designs SoloMid XL

Over the past two years, I have used the Mountain Laurel Designs SoloMid XL in a wide range of environments around the world. Testing grounds have included Bolivia’s Altiplano and Cordillera Real, multiple trips in Tasmania’s rugged Southwest Wilderness, Wyoming’s … Continue reading

30 Crappy (but practical) Christmas Gifts for Hikers

Over the past couple of years, the most popular articles on “The Hiking Life” 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

Why Choose a Quilt over a Sleeping Bag?

From the 1980’s through to 2003, I exclusively used sleeping bags. From 2003 to 2011, I tried a couple of different types of quilts, but being a side sleeper who occasionally tosses and turns, I was never entirely satisfied with … Continue reading

Gear List: Cordillera Real Traverse

Click here for more details & images from the traverse of Bolivia’s Cordillera Real range. I hiked the 150 mile (241 km) CRT in August of this year, which is “dry” season in the Bolivian Andes. It is also winter, however, due … Continue reading