CATEGORIES

Emerging from Darkness

For one hiker, nature is the best place to confront her past and consider her future.

6 mins read
Backpacker
September - October 2021

Flowing Into Silence

The natural world has a lot to say, if we're willing to listen.

7 mins read
Backpacker
September - October 2021

When the Humans are Away

Montana’s remote Crazy Mountains are a playground for more than just hikers.

4 mins read
Backpacker
September - October 2021

Chasing the Light

A photographer bushwhacks towards dawn in the Dolly Sods. Martin Radigan, as told to Kristin Smith

1 min read
Backpacker
September - October 2021

Broken and Alone

When his brother turned back a few miles into their overnight hike, Jacob Velarde decided to continue solo. Then, he fell.

5 mins read
Backpacker
September - October 2021

A Land Away From Time

Channel Islands National Park is a window into California’s wild past.

1 min read
Backpacker
September - October 2021

An Unexpected Autumn Rainbow

These 10 hikes bring kaleidoscopic hues to overlooked places.

4 mins read
Backpacker
September - October 2021

Smoke Eaters On The Front Lines

The new era of wildland firefighting is a war with no end in sight.

10+ mins read
Backpacker
July - August 2021

Improve Your Aerobic Fitness

Want to be more efficient on the trail? Start by developing your aerobic base (how well your body uses oxygen to burn fat), which allows you to do sustained cardio without gasping for breath. Hiking sometimes requires anaerobic fitness—short bursts of effort where your body produces energy without oxygen—but by and large, it’s an aerobic endeavor. During aerobic training, your heart rate should be elevated above resting, but not so high that you have to catch your breath.

3 mins read
Backpacker
September - October 2021

IF THESE HILLS COULD TALK

Environmental activists are pursuing legal steps that would allow natural entities to sue in their own defense through a human spokesperson. But maybe it’s the conversation, and not the law, that matters most.

9 mins read
Backpacker
September - October 2021

Roasted Red Pepper and Lentil Stew

Charred pepper lends a punch of smoky flavor in this hearty, veggie-stuffed meal.

1 min read
Backpacker
September - October 2021

Kill a Plant.

Humans have unmatched power to alter natural landscapes. Let’s use it for good.

4 mins read
Backpacker
September - October 2021

Seeking Refuge

A father confronts his grief in the Adirondacks.

6 mins read
Backpacker
September - October 2021

From The Ashes

Just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, a fire ecologist reckons with damage and recovery after last year's calamitous wildfires.

7 mins read
Backpacker
July - August 2021

Thru-Hiking Back to Myself

Patricia Cameron set out to hike the 486-mile Colorado Trail to raise awareness for her nonprofit. She ended up finding out even more about her personal strengths.

1 min read
Backpacker
July - August 2021

Tomorrow's Heroes

These 10 hikers are making a big difference

10+ mins read
Backpacker
July - August 2021

Edgar McGregor - Climate Activist

Two years ago, Edgar McGregor, 20, decided he’d seen enough litter. The epiphany came as he hiked Eaton Canyon Trail in his favorite Los Angeles area park. As soon as he was out of the woods, he grabbed a 5-gallon bucket and started picking up trash. He’s now notched more than 650 near-consecutive days of service, picked up thousands of pounds of garbage, and earlier this year, finally declared Eaton clean (for the moment). His work garnered widespread praise, including a shout-out from youth climate activist Greta Thunberg. But McGregor is just getting started.

3 mins read
Backpacker
July - August 2021

Stop and Smell the Wildflowers

Hiking is about living in the moment, not speed.

3 mins read
Backpacker
July - August 2021

Unquarantine Your Muscles

Your body may have changed during a year of staying home. And even if your physical fitness has remained constant, your neurological connections may have weakened from a lack of stimuli. It’s time to shake off the sluggishness with this workout designed to get your body moving. Include it in your exercise routine every other week.

4 mins read
Backpacker
July - August 2021

Kilimanjaro: But First, Soccer

Our writer sought meditation on Africa’s tallest peak. What she found was something even more meaningful: fun.

5 mins read
Backpacker
July - August 2021

Samaritan Search and Rescue

In June of 2020, ultrarunner Jeremy Humphrey used his intimate knowledge of his local mountain range to rescue a missing hiker.

3 mins read
Backpacker
July - August 2021

Learning Who I Am Not, the Hard Way

One hiker finds his limits in Mexico’s Tararecua Canyon.

6 mins read
Backpacker
July - August 2021

Long Trail – Go Big

How I got my footing back as a 300-pound adventurer on the Long Trail.

6 mins read
Backpacker
May - June 2021

Eye of the Storm

Foul-weather backcountry days have an allure all their own.

1 min read
Backpacker
May - June 2021

Falling Over a Cliff

Courtney Henderson, 19, and Gavin Caruso, 23, fell 50 feet during a storm in June of 2020. Only one survived.

4 mins read
Backpacker
May - June 2021

Emily Ford – Thru-Hiker

Late last December, Emily Ford, 28, of Duluth, Minnesota, took her first steps on Wisconsin’s 1,200-mile Ice Age Trail with a borrowed sled dog named Diggins. “I was laid off from my job as head gardener at the Glensheen Mansion, and I took full advantage,” she says. Ten weeks later, she became the first woman and second person ever to thru-hike the IAT in winter.

2 mins read
Backpacker
May - June 2021

America's Friendlist Summits

Some high points require expert skill, a bit of luck, and probably some suffering. Not these. Here are 15 peaks—high on views, low on effort—that don’t play hard to get.

10+ mins read
Backpacker
May - June 2021

Breathe, Repeat Hike

A pilgrim seeking peace and purpose on Spain’s famed Camino de Santiago finds much more.

7 mins read
Backpacker
May - June 2021

The Last Best Place

Add your voice to the call to protect Montana’s Gallatin Range, a critical–but unprotected–habitat bordering Yellowstone National Park.

1 min read
Backpacker
May - June 2021

The Long Way Down

Active Pass member Robin Mino takes the rocky route on the descent from Huemul Pass to Lake Viedma in Patagonia.

1 min read
Backpacker
May - June 2021

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