Sleeping Bags for Thru-Hiking

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know.” ~  Ernest Hemingway The sleeping bag is perhaps the most cherished item in a thru-hiker’s kit. After a long day on trail, is there … 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

Tips for Hiking in Cold and Wet Weather

A combination of driving rain, high winds and temperatures just above freezing, represents some of the most challenging weather that a hiker can face. In these conditions hypothermia and frostbite (if the thermometer subsequently drops below 0°C / 32°F) are … Continue reading

The Thru-Hiker’s Gear List

There are a lot of thru-hiking gear lists on the internet. However, because individual hikers vary so much in terms of goals, fitness, style, age and experience, a lot of these compilations don’t have much in the way of wide-ranging … Continue reading

Badlands Traverse Gear List

For someone that has been going lightly in the wilderness for a long time, jeez I’ve carried some heavy loads in 2016. For the February / March traverse of southwest Tasmania, I started with forty-two pounds (19 kg); twenty-eight (12.7 … Continue reading

Five Tips for a Successful Tarp Pitch

Theoretically speaking, tents are easier to set up than tarps. Same deal every time; give or take an extra guyline or two. Tarps on the other hand require a little more thought and creativity. Options are many and your choice … Continue reading

Sangre de Cristo Traverse Gear List

Click here for more details & images from the traverse of Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Range.  Salida to Blanca Peak. Approximately 120 miles in total. Mostly exposed, off-trail terrain. Elevation generally ranged between 10 and 14,000 ft. Throw in regular … Continue reading

Gear Review: MLD Burn Backpack

Between 2010 and 2015, I hiked more than 19,000 miles (30,577 km) carrying an MLD Burn. This included multi-week trips in Australia, New Zealand and the calendar year triple crown of 2012 (plus eight of the other 12 Long Walks). Suffice … Continue reading

Arthur Range Gear List – Stage 2: SW Tasmania Traverse

The second & final stage of the Southwest Tasmania Traverse, was a six day stretch between Scotts Peak Dam and Farmhouse Creek via the rugged Arthur Range. As I have mentioned in previous posts, the Arthurs are notorious for their exposed … Continue reading

Tasmania’s West Coast – Gear List

When: February 27 to March 14, 2016. First stage of the Southwest Tasmania Traverse. Terrain: A combination of rocky, gulch laden coastline, open beaches, buttongrass plains and extremely dense scrub. Weather: South West Tasmania is an area of high precipitation (it … Continue reading

Southwest Tasmania Traverse – Stage 1: The West Coast

The traverse of Southwest Tasmania consisted of two main stages – the west coast followed by the Arthurs Range. The summary below is from the first stage, a 17 day stretch from Cape Sorrell to Scotts Peak Dam. Note: For … Continue reading

2015 – The Year in Pictures

It’s been a great year on the hiking front. Extended trips in southwest Tasmania, the Colombian Andes, New York’s Adirondacks and the Colorado Rockies. Throw in some shorter hikes in my beloved Mexico and my ‘ancestral’ home of Queensland, Australia. All … Continue reading

Going Lighter and “The Big Three”

Thinking about reducing your pack weight, but not exactly sure where to begin? Before you start cutting the labels off your clothes, the edges off your maps and the end off your toothbrush, it’s worth noting that the most significant … Continue reading