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

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

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

A Hiker’s Guide to Blister Management

To a certain degree, blisters are to hikers what carpal tunnel syndrome is to court reporters – an occupational hazard. The primary cause of these little bubbles of fun is friction. Long hours on your feet combined with ill-fitting footwear … Continue reading