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

Trip Report: Cordillera Real Traverse

I first visited Bolivia’s Cordillera Real in 1996. During that trip I distinctly recall thinking that it would be cool to return in the future, and put together an extended route spanning the entire range. As is sometimes the case … Continue reading

Backpacks for Thru-Hiking

When choosing a backpack for a long distance hike, you want something that is functional, lightweight, comfortable, durable, and preferably with a proven track record. No one wants to splash out $200 to $300, only to find their purchase coming … Continue reading

Ausangate Circuit: Independent Hiker’s Guide

The Ausangate Circuit is a classic Andean trek that features glaciers, hot springs, turquoise lakes, and traverses four high altitude passes. Despite the fact that it boasts some of the finest mountain scenery in Peru, it receives only a fraction … Continue reading

When to Call it Quits on the Pacific Crest Trail

“With disturbing frequency, backpackers die in the mountains during the first snows of the season. Avalanche danger, hypothermia and obliterated trails are a threat to your life. Snow has closed the PCT in Washington as early as mid-September. In a … Continue reading

Websites for Hikers and Backpackers

These days the internet is full of backpacking blogs and websites. When coupled with a multitude of online hiking forums, advice is never more than a click or two away. However, not all advice is created equal, and the fact … Continue reading

Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Sleeping Pad

I recently returned from a two month hiking trip to Peru and Bolivia. Due to the subfreezing conditions I was going to encounter, before setting out I decided to leave behind my beloved Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite, and opt instead for its thicker … Continue reading

Introducing “Quick and Dirty Hiking Guides”

On July 22, 2017, Paul “Mags” Magnanti and I became hiking guidebook authors (woohoo!). Specifically we released the first two books in the Quick and Dirty Hiking Guide series. They are titled, 12 Classic Hikes in Colorado and 12 Classic … Continue reading