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BACKPACKER.

COM
OCTOBER 2010
THE SURVIVAL ISSUE
123
LIFE
SAVING
SKILLS
HOW TO
LIGHT A FIRE IN
ANY WEATHER
FIND WATER IN
THE DESERT
BUILD A
SURVIVAL
SHELTER
STAY WARM IN
KILLER STORMS
NAVIGATE
WITHOUT A MAP
50-Mile
Life List
America’s
10 best
weeklong
routes
NEW SECTION!
LOCAL
HIKES
top trails
near you 28
The Best Park
You’ve Never
Visited
PLUS
G
U
I
D
E

B
U
I
L
T
.

G
U
I
D
E

T
R
U
S
T
E
D
.

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NO SHORTCUTS.
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Readership has actually increased over the past five years. Even
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are the ideal complement.
The explanation, while sometimes drowned out by the Internet
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Neither obsessed with immediacy nor trapped by the daily news
cycle, magazines promote deeper connections. They create
relationships. They engage us in ways distinct from digital media.
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the advertising. Magazines remain the number one medium
for driving purchase consideration and intent. And that’s essential
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10.2010 BACKPACKER 5
P
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D
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F
O
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E
Y
16 50-Mile Thru-Hikes
No six-month sabbatical in the works for a long trail? Not a
problem. Here are 10 point-to-point treks with the payoffs of a
thru-hike—new scenery and campsites every day, enough miles
to get into a rhythm—but all sized just right for your real-world
vacation: a week. From Pennsylvania to California, these are the
top routes for a thru-hike you can do this year. By Jim Gorman
01
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44 Trail Etiquette
Go ahead and get dirty. But please, don’t act like a Neanderthal
just because you’re 14 miles from indoor plumbing. Take our
quiz to see if you’re a civilized hiker—or need to pay a visit to
backcountry finishing school.
YOU
ARE
HERE
DESTINATIONS
26 NEW TRIPS NEAR YOU!
Our expanded Local Hikes section has 28
GPS-enabled trails, from San Francisco to
Atlanta, mapped by our field scouts. Plus:
Free Print & Go planners for select trips.
30 TOP 3 RAINY SEASON HIKES
Get surprising payoffs on hikes in
California, Utah, and Pennsylvania
that save their best for soggy weather.
32 NATURAL WONDERS
Marvel at the country’s deepest gorge, and
watch Colorado’s bighorn sheep clash.
35 RIP & GO WEEKEND ADVENTURES
Less planning, more hiking. Tear out our
weekend guides to Kings Canyon, the inner
Grand Canyon, and the Shenandoahs.
42 MY BACKYARD NORTH CASCADES
See Washington’s jagged and remote
mountains through a ranger’s eyes.
43 THE PEAK MT. MARCY
Take the scenic—and sporting—route to
New York’s highest summit.
SKILLS
46 THE MANUAL PREDICT WEATHER
Can crickets tell you the temperature and a
cup of coffee forecast storms? Here’s how
to become a backcountry meteorologist.
48 HEALTH MEDICINE MAN
Feeling forgetful? Learn whether climbing
those Fourteeners caused brain damage.
50 PREDICAMENT LOST IN THE WOODS
You lose your way while hiking through a
dense forest. And night is falling. Can you
find your way to safety?
52 DIRTBAG/GOURMET FONDUE
Add rich cheese and gourmet flair to your
backcountry repertoire.
53 GEAR SCHOOL SNOWSHOES
Get expert tips on picking the right size,
shape, and style for optimal performance—
and get out more this winter.
GEAR
58 FIELD NOTES NEW REVIEWS
All-purpose boots, a three-for-one
winter jacket, a hard-duty pack for
peakbagging and bushwhacking, a
versatile three-person tent, and more
October 2010
Cover Photo by Dan Saelinger
FIELD TEST
54
Sleeping
bags and
pads
On the Cover
71
BACKPACKER. COM
OCTOBER 2010
THE SURVIVAL ISSUE
123
LIFE
SAVING
SKILLS
HOW TO
LIGHT AFIRE IN
ANYWEATHER
FIND WATER IN
THE DESERT
BUILD A
SURVIVAL
SHELTER
STAY WARMIN
KILLER STORMS
NAVIGATE
WITHOUTAMAP
50-Mile
Life List
America’s
10 best
weeklong
routes
NEW SECTION!
LOCAL
HIKES
top trails
near you 28
The Best Park
You’ve Never
Visited
PLUS
Mountains
Ocean, Sea, or Lake
26
16
42
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
WHEN
TRAVELING
TO MILAN
ON BUSINESS,
YOU ALWAYS
REMEMBER
TO PACK
VERY
SENSIBLE
SHOES.
38 LITER ROLLING CARRY-ON
© 2010 Thule Inc. All trademarks and copyrights are property of their respective owners.
Thule understands there are two sides to travel. The practical side that gets you to the places
you need to be. And the more adventurous side that gets you to the places you live for.
Thoughtfully designed Thule Crossover bags let you seize those opportunities, so you never
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True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110
Volume 38 Issue 280 Number 8
EYE IN
THE SKY
110
Big Blue
Identify this deep,
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lake and you could
win a Mountain
Hardwear Hooded
Compressor PL
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10.2010 BACKPACKER 7
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A practical guide to wilderness
catastrophes and the skills you need to:
[ ] Navigate without a compass
[ ] Make a splint from sticks
[ ] Improvise a pair of crampons
[ ] Start a fire with whiskey
[ ] Stay warm without shelter
...and more
Go back far enough, and we’re all descended from hunters, one way
or another. Yet the rift between hikers and hunters grows bigger
every year. But are the unarmed missing out on an important part
of the wilderness experience? Can shooting a deer actually make
you a better backpacker? Rifle in hand, Bruce Barcott looks for an
answer—and a target—in eastern Washington.
60
Killer Hike
We like to think that a camping trip can
bring anyone together—even three siblings
harboring five decades’ worth of betrayals,
resentments, and maybe one case of semi-
accidental poisoning. Will a backpacking trip
in the Rockies bring this family together—or
tear them apart? By Steve Friedman
92
My F*&^ing
Family
84 Test Your Survival IQ
Short of getting attacked by a bear, lost in a storm, or caught in an avalanche, the best
(and safest!) way to measure your disaster know-how is this quiz. Resist the temptation
to peek at the answer key—and see if you’ll make it out alive.

Would You Survive?
Takeour quiz to rate your wilderness IQ.
start here
True or false: You can
stay alive in the wilds by…
1. Drinking urine
2. Eating snow
3. Drinking from a cactus
4. Sleeping in a space blanket
5. Staying positive
6. Tying bags over plants
7. Eating wild greens
8. True or false: A handful of
roasted, large grasshoppers has
nearly the same number of calo-
ries and protein as a hamburger.
9. True or false: Most bunched
berries are edible.
answers
10. Which mushroom is edible?
A) Cortinarius traganus
B) Clitocybe nuda
11. True or false: When you’re
hopelessly lost in the forest, you
can orient yourself by remem-
bering that all streams lead to
roads, moss grows thicker on the
north side of trees, and spiders
build their webs facing south.
12. You’re still lost, but now
you’re also tired and hungry, and
night is falling. Your only food is
a single energy bar. You should…
A) Save it as long as possible,
because your body will start
burning fat right away and you
might need a quick burst of
energy in the coming days
B) Ration the bar bite by bite,
nibbling on it just enough to
quiet the stomach growls
C) Eat the whole thing, to give you
energy to build a shelter and fire
23. Which of the following are
signs that someone is drowning?
A) Splashing and waving of arms
B) Shouting
C) Silence
D) Upright posture
24. While backpacking along the
Lost Coast, you pitch camp on a
beach and set out for a dip. You see
a spot in the surf where the waves
are flat, and it looks like there’s an
outbound streamon the surface. Is
this a safe place to swim
A) Yes, because the waves are
calmer at that spot
B) No, that is a danger zone
25. Howdoyouescapearipcurrent?
A) Swimstraight to shore using the
most powerful stroke, the crawl
B) Let it carry you out and then
signal a passing boat
C) Swim parallel to the shore
26. Assuming you can’t get to a
stand of tall trees, which of these
spots is the best place to wait out
a lightning storm?
A) Under any lone tree
B) In a low spot or ravine
C) Atop a rock slab
D) Inside a cave
cent constitutes the majority of those
seeking survival instruction.
15. True. These soft, resinous (sappy)
woods have a lower ignition point.
16. False. Diamonds are much
harder than the steel used in blades.
Hitting your wife’s ring against your
knife will gouge the blade but won’t
produce a spark. However, striking
the blade with the sharp edge of an
opal pendant will get the job done.
17. A. Coral snakes live mostly in the
Southeast and Southwest. The
others are harmless. To tell them
apart, remember: Red on yellow, kills
a fellow. Red on black, friend of Jack.
18. C. By restricting circulation, a
If you rewarm them in the field, two
things can happen: First, they might
swell up, preventing you from get-
ting your boots back on, and second,
they might refreeze, causing more
damage. Never use a fire or massage
(friction) to warmfrostbitten tissues,
which burn easily under dry heat.
34. C. Says survival expert Laurence
Gonzales, “The personality type best
suited to survival is calm, humble,
curious, deliberate, cautious, and (at
the right times) bold.”
35. B. “When bad things happen,
denial is natural,” Gonzales says.
Getting beyond it fast is critical.
tourniquet prevents blood from
diluting the toxin and reducing tissue
damage. And suction methods have
been shown not to work.
19. All six of these will work (one point
for each), since they have a hardness
between 5 and 6.5 on the Mohs’ scale.
But the last three lose their edges
quickly and require frequent knapping.
20. B. Though cottonwoods are usually
a good sign of water, too, their roots can
reach 40feet deep. But Bermuda grass
requires water close to the surface.
21. C
22. If you can’t do C, do B (one point for
each). Downed trees formunderwater
obstacles called strainers, which can
of water flowing away from shore.
More than 100 Americans drown
in them each year. They can form
anywhere with breaking waves and
are most common around lowspots,
breaks in sandbars, piers, and jetties.
Polarized sunglasses help you see
them by reducing glare.
25. C. Rip currents are typically only
30 to 100 feet wide, so you can easily
escape thembefore they carry you out
to sea. But swimming against the
current will exhaust you.
26. B. Lightning is attracted to high
points, and since wet rock conducts
electricity, lightning can also arc
across slabs and cave openings.
27. Fill in the blanks: If a black bear
attacks, you should and if a
grizzly attacks, .
28. If you stumble across a
bear, you should...
A) Play dead
B) Back away slowly while avoid-
ing eye contact, speaking in a low
voice, and slowly waving your arms
C) Run away
29. True or false: In the broiling des-
ert, stripping off clothes is the best
way to lower your body
temperature.
30. Never cross
ice unless you
know it’s con-
tinuous and at
least…
A) 3 inches thick
B) 4 inches thick
C) 5 inches thick
31. Which of
these is most
dangerous in out-
door emergencies?
A) Panic
B) Haste
C) Despair
D) Overconfidence
32. If you’re caught in an
avalanche, you should…
A) Curl into a tight ball to avoid
being crushed
B) Fight to stay in the slide’s tail
and create an air pocket in front
of your face with your hands
C) Shed your pack so it doesn’t
drag you down, and get your
feet forward
33. What is the best way
to treat frostbitten
feet?
A) Leave your
boots on until you
reach a warm
shelter, then heat
up your feet near
a fire (or apply
heat packets
or warm water
bottles against
the skin); speed
up the process by
rubbing your feet
with your hands
B) Leave your boots on
until you reach a warm
17. Which of these
snakes is deadly?
A) Eastern coral snake
B) Mexican milk snake
C) Organ pipe
shovel-nosed snake
D) California mountain
kingsnake
18. A rattler bites you.
You should...
A) Tie a tourniquet above the bite,
to keep venomfromspreading
B) Suck out the venom with a
suction cup or your mouth
C) Immobilize the limb at heart
level and get to a doctor
19. Which of these throw a spark
when struck against a knife?
A) Flint
B) Chert
C) Jasper
D) Quartzite
E) Obsidian
F) Granite
p g
12
yo
nig
a s
A) A)
be be
bu bu
mmmmmmmmmmmm
een en en en en en een en en en en
B) B)
shelter, then heat themin lukewarm
water or with hot, wet cloths
C) Remove your boots and have
your hiking partner suckle your toes
34. Which personality
type is best equipped
to handle survival
situations?
A) Popeye
B) Eric Cartman
C) Ned Flanders
D) Drill sergeant
E) Foghorn
Leghorn
F) Charlie Brown

35. What is the
most common
mistake people
make in the midst
of emergencies?
A) Attempting
to self-rescue
B) Refusing to accept the situation
C) Relying on others to save them
D) Freaking out and making
rash, irrational decisions
onality
pped
al
st
?
20. In a desert environment,
which of these is a better indica-
tor of accessible water?
A) Cottonwood trees
B) Patches of Bermuda grass
21. Most hikers know that drink-
ing alcohol speeds dehydration,
which creates great danger in
extreme weather conditions. But
how much water must you drink
to offset your booze intake and
avoid dehydration?
A) 2 times as much water
B) 3 times
C) 6 times
D) 10 times
22. Your canoe flipped, and you’re
headed downstreamfast. Ahead,
you see a downed tree lying across
part of the river. You should...
A) Swim to it, grab on, and haul
yourself out of the water
B) Swimhard to it and use your
momentumto launch yourself over
C) Avoid it at all costs
D) Float with the current, feet
pointed downstream
when struck against
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
F)
13. Identify the North Star.
14. True or false: Hikers get lost
more than any other group of
outdoor recreationists.
15. You surely know that dead,
dry wood (but not rotted) is
always better than wet for start-
ing a blaze, but type matters,
too. True or false: All else being
equal, pine and spruce will light
faster than maple and oak.
16. True or false:
You can start a fire
by striking a diamond
ring against your knife.
r body
k
k
t-
es?
ce
feet forward
33. What
to trea
feet?
A) L
bo
re
s
u
a
h
o
b
the
up t
rubbi
with y
B) Leave
until you
10.2010 BACKPACKER 86 84 BACKPACKER 10.2010
1
s
A
B
C
ss
D
k
1
13. Identify the North Star.
14 True or false: Hikers get lost


‘
’
A B
uited to survival is calm, humble,
urious, deliberate, cautious, and (at
e right times) bold.”
5. B. “When bad things happen,
enial is natural,” Gonzales says.
etting beyond it fast is critical.
10
Score Your Odds
Give yourself one point for
each correct answer. You are...
0-5 A Fabergé egg that mostly
serves ornamental purposes
6-10 A fickle ficus that thrives
only in a narrow range of
environments
11-25 A Tuff Shed that’s capable
of weathering most conditions
26-40 The love child of
Sir Ernest Shackleton and
Sigourney Weaver
41-43 A cockroach
1. False. It contains too many toxins.
But you can exploit its evaporative-
cooling powers: Pee on a shirt or
bandana, then tie it around your neck.
2. True. Eating snowwill hydrate you.
However, if your body temperature
is dropping due to other factors,
chomping on snowwill push you into
hypothermia faster.
3. False. The water inside of a barrel
cactus is full of alkaloids, which will
cause you to vomit the liquid. Some
species are also poisonous.
4. False. Although space blankets will
trap heat and are better than nothing,
the nonporous sheet seals in water
5 percent of wild mushrooms are
edible, and one wrong bite can
literally kill you via potent toxins.
11. False. These fables are all unreli-
able. See page 78 for an action plan.
12. C. Only ration the bar if the idea
of having no food freaks you out and
you want the psychological comfort.
13. 1. See page 78.
14. False. Big time. Gino Ferri, PhD,
director of the Survival in the Bush
school, in Ontario, says the vast
majority of lost people are hunters
(56 percent), anglers (24 percent),
and trappers (12 percent). The
remaining 8 percent are hikers and
other “patrons.” Curiously, this 8 per-
snare and drown swimmers.
23. C and D (1 point for each).
Contrary to Hollywood theatrics,
most drowning victims don’t make
a peep. The body’s instinctive
drowning response blocks voluntary
actions like shouting or waving
(though the person might do these
things in the stages preceding
drowning). All actions center around
inhaling, exhaling, and keeping
the mouth above water. Signs of
a drowning person include: mouth
and nose barely breaking the water’s
surface, mouth open, and an upright
posture with no signs of kicking.
24. B. This is a rip current—a stream
pid.” Haste can be good or bad depending
on the situation, and overconfidence
can lure you on into further trouble.
But despair saps the will to live, which
eliminates the #1 reason that people pull
through ordeals.
32. B. Fight: Self-arrest, grab a tree, or
swim(crawl or backstroke) to the side
or back (tail) of the slide, to avoid being
sucked into the subducting head. If you’re
in the head and likely will get buried once
the slide stops (which happens abruptly),
focus on forming a breathing space with
your hands, to disperse carbon dioxide.
33. B. Keep your boots on until you’re in
a place where you can revive your feet
permanently (camp, a cabin, the car).
vapor fromyour breath and sweat,
so overnight, you’ll wake up wet
and shivering. You’d be better off
using it to rainproof a debris shelter
(see page 73) or to signal rescuers
via the reflective area.
5. True. “Come up with a reason
to live and focus on that,” says
survival expert Tony Nester. “The
drive to get back home has proven
over and over to be the #1 factor in
successful survival stories.”
6. False. Not enough moisture is
produced to keep you alive. Five
gallon-size bags tied around bushy
plants for 24 hours will only pro-
duce a teaspoon or less of water.
27. With a black bear, fight back.
With a grizzly, play dead by lying on
your belly, legs spread for stability
and hands over your neck. If the bear
rolls you, keep rolling until back on
your belly. (One point for each)
28. B
29. False. Clothes block sun, cooling
you off more than going shirtless.
30. B
31. C. Panic usually strikes the
moment you realize your pre-
dicament. While the sensation is
intense, says survival expert Doug
Ritter, “For most people, that panic
dissipates quickly and generally
before they do anything really stu-
ome
s will
thin hing, th h th t
te ter
majority of lost people are hu
(56 percent), anglers (24 perc
and trappers (12 percent). The
remaining 8 percent are hikers
other “patrons.” Curiously, this
6. False. Not enough moisture is
produced to keep you alive. Five
gallon-size bags tied around bushy
plants for 24 hours will only pro-
duce a teaspoon or less of water.
7. False. All six-legged insects in
North America are OK, but most
wild plants will wreck havoc on
your GI system. Unless you’re a
skilled botanist, move on; starva-
tion is a slowkiller (about 30 days).
8. True. A three-ounce hamburger
patty made fromlean ground beef
has about 145 calories and about
15 grams of protein. Approximately
10 large grasshoppers weighing 3.5
ounces total offer about 121 calo-
ries and 13 grams of protein.
9. True. Bunched berries include
raspberries and blueberries.
Avoid white and yellowberries.
10. B. A is poisonous. Less than
Survive!
71
October 2010
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all

PUBLISHER Kent Ebersole
(303) 625-1605 kebersole@backpacker.com
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, MARKETING Charina Lumley
(303) 625-1607 clumley@backpacker.com
EASTERNADVERTISING DIRECTOR Todd Peters
(917) 744-1645 tpeters@backpacker.com
EASTERN SALES MANAGER Candice Boyd
(978) 346-9385 cboyd@backpacker.com
DETROIT SALES MANAGER Chris Marcangelo
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Editor’s Note
BY JONATHAN DORN
10.2010 BACKPACKER 11
Snakes in a Cave
A GOOD FRIEND SURVIVES A HISTORIC
AND GRISLY BRUSH WITH DEATH.
WHEN SHE COULDN’T STAND UP, Michelle Barnes knew
something was seriously wrong. For days, she’d been feeling
achy and lethargic, but when her symptoms escalated to crip-
pling pain and a severe rash, the 44-year-old Coloradoan—
normally averse to doctors—headed out for a checkup. Must
be a bug I caught on my Africa trip, she thought. Some bug.
After 30 minutes in her physician’s office, Michelle’s legs were
suddenly wobbly, and her brain was getting fuzzy.
Soon, she was lying semicoherent in a Denver hospital,
fighting for her life. Backpackers can learn how to stay
alive without essential gear (see “Survive!” on page 71), but
Michelle lacked something even more critical: information.
She was desperately ill and didn’t know why.
An avid camper and climber who lives in the shad-
ow of Colorado’s Front Range, Michelle is a longtime
BACKPACKER reader, a friend, and a fellow supporter of
Big City Mountaineers. In October 2007, she’d asked me for
gear advice in advance of a trip to remote Uganda. With
her husband, she planned to hike into Bwindi Impenetrable
National Park, home to the world’s last mountain gorillas.
On Christmas Day, after they’d viewed chimpanzees, their
guide suggested a side trip to a cave that held two horror-
film-huge pythons and several hundred thousand fruit bats.
“We had to scramble up some rocks to look into the cave,”
Michelle recalls. “The stink was horrible, but I watched for 20
minutes as the snakes snapped up bats that flew too close.”
Doctors from the Centers for Disease Control would later
speculate that Michelle contracted her illness—the first
known case of Marburg virus ever detected in a
North American—when she touched or inhaled
infected bat guano while climbing to the
ledge. A member of the hemorrhagic fever
family (which includes the Ebola virus and dengue fever),
Marburg is extraordinarily lethal: Some outbreaks have killed
80 percent of their victims. Starting with lethargy and bruis-
ing (caused by the hemorrhaging of millions of capillaries
in your body), symptoms progress to multi-organ meltdown,
as the liver, kidneys, and pancreas fail, typically followed by
the lungs and heart. [Travel alert: Uganda closed the cave
after the CDC confirmed the bats are carrying Marburg, but
YouTube videos and other reports show that guides are still
taking groups to the lightly policed location.]
There is no vaccine for this killer virus, but Michelle’s sur-
vival might change that. After two weeks in critical condition,
she began to recover. Nowadays, no longer contagious, she
regularly visits the National Institutes of Health to give blood;
the live antibodies she carries are a gold mine for researchers.
Why did she live? Her existing fitness certainly helped,
as did the timing of her illness, which manifested after
she’d returned to Colorado and its world-class medical care.
Survival experts would also cite Michelle’s will to live. The
technical skills we teach on pages 71-90 are valuable, but the
pros agree that in our darkest moments, the most effective
tool in your arsenal will always be a positive outlook.
Which Michelle has in spades. “My health is better than
ever,” she reports. “No meds, no colds, none of the stuff
that used to bug me—it’s like my
body rebooted and came
back stronger.” She’s
also returned to the
mountains (we
just hiked Pikes
Peak to raise
money for can-
cer treatment),
visited Chile,
and is even mull-
ing a trip to Africa.
“Being in nature is
who I am and what I
do, and I’d never change
that,” she says. “Yeah, bad luck
happens, but I’m proof that you can’t let
it defeat you. I’ll never go in a bat cave again, but
everything else is on the table.”
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THE NORTH FACE
®
TRAILHEAD APP
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HERVE BARMASSE AND HIS TEAM PREPARE TO EXPLORE
NEW ROUTES IN THE SHIMSHAL VALLEY OF PAKISTAN
THENORTHFACE.COM
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14 BACKPACKER 10.2010
Inside this month...
30 Top 3 Rainy Season Hikes
35 Rip & Go: California’s Kings Canyon
46 The Manual: Predict Weather
50 Predicament: Lost in the Woods
54 Field Test: Ultimate Sleep Systems
DISTANCE YEARNING: GET THE REWARDS
OF A THRU-HIKE (LIKE THIS VIEW
FROM MILE 16 OF THE HIGH SIERRA
TRAIL) WITHOUT TAKING A SIX-MONTH
SABBATICAL. TURN THE PAGE FOR OUR
TOP 10 WEEKLONG ROUTES.
PHOTO BY PAIGE FALK
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BASECAMP
10.2010 BACKPACKER 15
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16 BACKPACKER 10.2010
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Less Is More
UNEXPECTEDLY AND ABRUPTLY, AT AROUND MILE 30, WE RUN INTO
a group of backpackers in their mid-20s. They are from West Chester,
Pennsylvania, and they’re the first people my buddy Alan and I have seen in
days. They smell like shampoo. They seem to be in a hurry.
“How far ya’ going?” one says.
“How many miles to Angel Falls?” asks another.
The trail chatter snaps me out of a thru-hiker’s hypnosis—I’m not sure what
time it is or exactly where we are on the map. My mind has been floating and drifting,
Six months for a long trail? Most folks don’t have that
kind of time. So do the next best thing: Cash in a week
on one of our 10 top 50-mile thru-hikes. By Jim Gorman
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10.2010 BACKPACKER 17
GUMDROP FOREST: WITH OAK, ASPEN,
MAPLE, BEECH, AND HORNBEAM, YOU’LL
NEED ALL WEEK TO COUNT THE FALL
COLORS ON PENNSYLVANIA’S LOYALSOCK
TRAIL. PICTURED: CANYON VISTA AT MILE 43.
pleasantly void of stress or boundaries
as my feet pad methodically through
mile after mile of hemlock and hick-
ory laced with rushing creeks. This is
long-trail bliss.
The crazy thing? This “long trail” is
only 59 miles end to end, and we’re
already about halfway through. Our
trip isn’t a traditional multi-month,
foot-long-beard-growing, trail name-
acquiring, complicated-mail-dropping,
job-quitting thru-hike. My friend Alan
and I have families, careers, and mort-
gage payments that can’t be put on
hold for six months. But we also
have aspirations for long-trail satis-
faction—accomplishment, adventure,
scenic variety, disconnection, and the
bone-weary exhaustion that rewards
a hard effort. The solution: a point-
to-point hike of about a week. By
passing the aches-and-pain break-in
period of the weekend, getting to
know one trail intimately, and hiking
into new territory, we hope to arrive at
a place where contemplating the fuzzy
caterpillar crossing the trail is infinitely
more important than deciding whether
granite or engineered stone counter-
tops will better enhance resale.
Judging by the looks on the twen-
tysomethings’ faces, our lofty plan
appears to be working. They move on
while I’m still trying to pinpoint our
precise location.
Alan and I are on the Loyalsock
Trail, a little-known route through
the Nowheresville of north-central
Pennsylvania. The path rolls and dips
along the Allegheny Plateau in the
heart of one of the biggest green blobs
Google Earth shows south of Maine.
The scene past the trailhead, near
Hillsgrove Township, is straight out
of the Carboniferous Period. A colony
of fledgling ground pines—Joshua
tree-like evergreens—projects weird
lime-green antennae skyward. Stands
of spruce, their arching branches stud-
ded with needles, cast shadows on
an understory of spongy, star-shaped
mosses. It’s a fascinating prologue, but
we didn’t linger.
“We better get moving if we’re going
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DESTINATIONS
+
PLAYING THROUGH (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP
LEFT): THE HAYSTACKS ON LOYALSOCK CREEK,
TWO MILES FROM THE EASTERN TERMINUS,
CREATE CLASS IV+ RAPIDS IN SPRING; THE
AUTHOR’S PARTNER AT MARY’S VIEW, MILE 28;
MAKING CAMP BELOW HIGH KNOB.
to finish this thing,” Alan had said.
The Loyalsock is diverse. It visits
31 waterfalls, countless drips and run-
nels, and one impressive set of class
IV rapids. It pings to this beaver pond,
pongs to that clearing, then shoots into
an open forest of tall maple and black
cherry underplanted in ferns nipped
with autumn gold. The variety creates
the illusion of covering more ground
than we’d thought possible, a point
driven home as Alan and I take out the
maps while relaxing beside a small fire
at a campsite in Dutters Run. We listen
to a five-foot waterfall and play rewind
on our adventure.
“Wow, still 32 miles to go?” I point
out while tracing my finger back along
the squiggling red line. “Perfect.”
“That climb right there was a killer,”
adds Alan, jabbing a finger at the map.
“And there’s where we got the apples
off that old tree.”
But the best is yet to come. Going
west to east, the Loyalsock’s highlights
go from high to higher. The valleys are
deeper, the streams more acrobatic, and
the views more extensive. Fans of the
trail are divided in pinpointing its apex.
For some, it’s the collision of seven
mountain ranges at Canyon Vista, at mile
43 in World’s End State Park. For others,
it’s the Haystacks at mile 57, a sandstone
outcrop in Loyalsock Creek that forms a
snowmelt-charged, class IV+ rapid that
kayakers paddle in spring.
I say it comes at mile 34 at the
head of Ketchum Run, where the trail
teeters between darkness and light.
Cupped in a west-facing bowl carved
into steep hillsides, the east and west
branches of translucent Ketchum Run
converge in an intimate glen. It’s made
dusky even at midday by steep walls
of schist and a dense canopy of hem-
lock. Licks of cool air and the muffled
roar of Lee’s Falls below drift up on a
breeze. And there’s a campsite, too.
Debating a trail’s best spot can start
a campfire brawl. But as we descend
the final two miles, alongside Loyalsock
Creek, I recall that sweet spot by
Ketchum Run and realize that only one
truth matters: You can never be sure
until you’ve hiked the whole thing.
Contributing editor Jim Gorman vows to
thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail before
he leaves this earth.
50-MILE THRU-HIKES
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 19
Hike it The elevation profile (below) of this
59.2-mile trail looks like an EKG of arrhyth-
mia as it cuts through the Endless Mountains
region of north-central Pennsylvania, part of
an immense deciduous woodland that spans
the northern tier of Pennsylvania and south-
ern New York. Target four to six days for a
thru-hike gaining 12,000 feet in elevation.
From the trailhead on PA 87 (1), climb
nearly 1,300 feet in two miles to ledges at
the lip of the Allegheny High Plateau, an
ancient uplift worn to a 2,000-foot-high nub
by glaciers. Quickly descend into rocky Pete’s
Hollow, losing all of that hard-won elevation.
Then it’s right back up again to hawk’s-eye
views of the Loyalsock Valley from atop
Smith Knob (2) at 1,850 feet.
The next seven miles gain minimal eleva-
tion, passing through open forest of cherry,
hickory, and gray birch, and paralleling sev-
eral small creeks. Make it an 8-, 11-, or 12.5-
mile day by picking from excellent campsites
beside mountain streams at Painter (3),
Shingle, and Grandad Runs, respectively.
The Loyalsock continues its mercurial ways,
dropping off of the Allegheny Plateau, then
regaining the heights on a three-mile walk
on Genesee Trail Road (4). The dirt road fol-
lows the Towanda Path, an Iroquois trade
route later used by soldiers in the War of
/// ///
MAPS
TOPO PLUS
To view a detailed
map, download a
GPS tracklog, or share
this trip with your
hiking partners, go to
backpacker
.com/loyalsock.
Elevation Profile: Loyalsock Trail
500 ft
2,500 ft
Total miles: 59.2 Total elevation gain: 12,000 feet
10 mi 20 mi 30 mi 40 mi 50 mi
1
2
N
1812, and runaway slaves.
Pass remnants of an old resort (5) built to
take advantage of superb views of pastoral
valleys and forested ridges at the brink of
the Allegheny Front. Lunch in open fields
at mile 19, near the trail’s high point (2,140
feet), before entering a section of steep
climbs and beautiful waterfalls, creeks,
and views. Soak tired feet in crystalline
Ogdonia Creek before the rapid ascent to
the .3-mile spur trail to 80-foot Angel Falls
(6). Continue north for two miles to Kettle
Creek, where you’ll be tempted to camp
next to the water but can’t; you’re in a pro-
tected natural area. Dutters Run (7) makes
a fine consolation prize, with four waterfalls
and several streamside campsites scattered
over a half-mile.
Next morning, hike 2.5 miles through
woodland skirted with gardens of maid-
enhair, ostrich, and Christmas fern. The
overlook at High Knob at mile 30 (8), one
of 25 vistas, looks west down sharply cut
Loyalsock Valley. Hike four rolling miles to
a veritable water park of flumes, falls, and
pools in Ketchum Run Gorge (9). From here,
switchback up to Alpine View, which makes
good on its name. Make your third camp at
raucous Double Run at mile 39.7.
The next morning, after two miles of
walking up knobs and grassy clearings, arrive
at Loyalsock Canyon Vista (10) for views of
World’s End State Park’s many deep ravines.
From here, drop 600 feet to a bridge cross-
ing Loyalsock Creek, followed by an 800-
foot climb up the gorge’s other side. Hike
east 2.5 miles to camping at Tamarack Run.
On the last day, recross Loyalsock Creek
on an iron bridge to follow a railroad grade
1.5 miles until the trail returns to the river at
the Haystacks (11), a class IV+ rapid in spring.
Finish with a two-mile, hemlock-shaded riv-
erside hike to the eastern terminus (12).
THE WAY West trailhead: on PA 87, seven
miles north of Montoursville. East trailhead:
.25 mile west of US 220 on Mead Rd., eight
miles northeast of Laporte.
THE SEASON April for enhanced views through
leafless trees, and October for vibrant fall
colors (check hunting season dates with
Loyalsock State Forest: 570-946-4049).
Summers are hot and humid.
GUIDEBOOK AND MAP A Guide to the Loyalsock
Trail ($7, lycoming.org/alpine)
SHUTTLE Local hiker and entrepreneur
Connie Wilson shuttles hikers from either
terminus ($35/hiker, $30/hiker if more than
one, 570-928-9475).
The Loyalsock Trail
Go the distance in Penn’s Woods.
3
4
5
7
9
10
11
The Haystacks rapid apid
12
8
Sunset at 2,100-
foot High Knob
Suns
foot
Angel Falls Angel F
Extra day? Glade-
camp in waterfall-rich
Ketchum Run.
First reward: the view
from Smith Knob, after
gaining 2,000 feet
2 3
4 5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
6
1
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DESTINATIONS
50-MILE THRU-HIKES
+
(72 miles, 6-7 days)
Toiyabe Crest Trail, NV
Cross the state’s loftiest range.
In the big empty of central Nevada, the
Toiyabe Range rises like a line of after-
noon thunderheads. Of Nevada’s 314
mountain ranges, it is the longest and
consistently highest, topping 10,000
feet across an uninterrupted 50 miles.
Riding on or just off the ridgeline, the
Toiyabe Crest Trail exposes thru-hikers
to all of the range’s extremes, from sere
sage to cool aspen, windswept summits
to beaver-dammed marsh, and cattle-
cussed rangelands to pristine meadow.
The TCT was built by the Civilian
Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and
in some sections, it might seem that trail
maintenance hasn’t been done since.
The route’s rough edges mean you
better check yourself: If you haven’t
stalked a trail that habitually disappears
before your eyes, toted 18 pounds of
water at a time for purposes of dry
camping, and trekked in utter isolation,
then skip the Toiyabe Crest. This trek is
for experienced desert hikers with pol-
ished navigation skills. (775) 964-2671;
fs.fed.us/r4/htnf
The way South trailhead: From Tonopah,
go 59.7 miles north on NV 376 to a left
on South Twin Rd. (FR 080), then go
four miles west. North trailhead: on
Kingston Creek Rd., eight miles west of
NV 376 just beyond Groves Lake.
Shuttle DIY
Season Mid-June (after snow melts) to
mid-July (before water sources go dry)
Guidebook and maps Hiking Nevada,
by Bruce Grubbs ($16, falcon.com);
USGS quads Arc Dome, South Toiyabe
Peak, Tierney Creek, Brewer Canyon,
Bunker Hill, and North Toiyabe Peak
($9 each, store.usgs.gov)
Little Big Hikes
(72 miles, 5-7 days)
High Sierra Trail, CA
Go straight to the top in the Range of Light.
This trail has no prologue. The John Muir Trail may hold the high country in a lov-
ing embrace for weeks, but the High Sierra Trail gets right down to business. That’s
because it cuts against the grain of the Sierra Nevada, from Crescent Meadow in
Sequoia National Park to just shy of 14,505-foot Mt. Whitney.
Thru-hikers usually go west to east, leaving the Whitney side-trip for the final
day. Most of the first two days are devoted to climbing to Kaweah Gap, a notch
in the impressively vertical Great Western Divide, a range of 13,000-footers. You’ll
shed that hard-won elevation in a gradual drop to Kern Canyon, a long, forested
trench that looks like it was scraped out of Sierra bedrock by a giant ice cream
scoop. The 49-mile HST officially ends where it intersects the JMT, but that would
leave you a long way from civilization. It’s another 23 miles up the back side of Mt.
Whitney and down to Whitney Portal. (559) 565-3708; nps.gov/seki
The way West trailhead: From Visalia, go 52.8 miles east on CA 198 to Moro Rock-
Crescent Meadow Rd. Turn right and go 2.5 miles. East trailhead: at the end of
Whitney Portal Rd., 11.4 miles west of Lone Pine.
Shuttle DIY or High Sierra Shuttle ($600/pair, highsierrashuttle.com)
Season Mid-August through September, for reliably pleasant, bug-free camping
Guidebook and map Sierra South, by Kathy Morey ($19, wildernesspress.com);
Whitney High Country ($10, tomharrisonmaps.com)
THE GREAT
WESTERN DIVIDE,
FROM MILE 27 ON THE
HIGH SIERRA TRAIL
Enjoy full-immersion backpacking on 9 more point-to-point trails.
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 21
(42 miles, 3-5 days)
Greenstone Ridge, MN
Traverse a seldom-hiked national park.
Here’s an equation we like: One
seven-hour ferry plus a 42-mile trail
equals zero crowds. Thanks to boat-
only access, the Greenstone Ridge
Trail, which bumps along the view-
draped spine of Isle Royale National
Park, dishes up Alaska-style solitude.
Jump in at either end (usually done east to west, Rock Harbor to Windigo) and
emerge having snarfed thimbleberries by the handful, swum in remote lakes, and
walked grassy heights with lookouts sweeping to shores 50 miles distant. Most
GRT hikers skip the five miles from Lookout Louise to Mt. Franklin. Big mistake.
Arrange at the Rock Harbor Visitor Center for a water taxi ($45) to Hidden Lake
Dock. The views on this stretch are tops. (906) 482-0984; nps.gov/isro
The way/shuttle Take the ferry (from mid-May until late-October) from Grand
Portage, MN ($75 one-way to Rock Harbor, isleroyaleboats.com).
Season Mid-August through September for the first blush of fall color and few bugs
Guidebook and map Foot Trails and Water Routes, by Jim Dufresne ($13, mountain-
eersbooks.org); Trails Illustrated Isle Royale National Park ($12, natgeomaps.com)
(48 miles, 5-7 days)
West Coast Trail, BC
Tackle Vancouver Island’s wild coast.
If the Navy SEALs got into trail build-
ing, they’d devise something like this.
Every mile brings a gut check: dizzy-
ing cable car rides across rivers, lad-
ders 20 stories tall, giant log hurdles,
boot-sucking mud, and seaweed-slick-
ened boulder courses. Overlay that
with potentially atrocious weather and
wildly surging tides, and you have a
trail for the brave and the few (just 30
permits for the north and south trail-
heads each day).
But the scenic payoffs are well
worth the physical tests. After watching
a pod of gray whales breach, playing
in the splash pool where Tsusiat Falls
crashes 50 feet to the beach, and hud-
dling by the warmth of a driftwood fire
in the fading light of a pastel ocean
sunset, you’ll be ready for another
tour of duty. (250) 726-3500; pc.gc.ca/
pn-np/bc/pacificrim/index.aspx
The way North trailhead: from Bamfield,
three miles south on Bamfield Rd.
South trailhead: at the Gordon River
Information Center at the end of BC 14.
Shuttle West Coast Trail Express ($85,
railbus.com)
Season August through mid-September
for drier weather (read: better footing)
Guidebook and map Hiking The West
Coast Trail, by Tim Leadem ($13,
dmpibooks.com); CanMap’s West Coast
Trail is free with your reservation.
(45 miles, 3-5 days)
Knobstone Trail, IN
Climb high (really!) in the Midwest.
Four hundred feet of incline here,
400 feet there, and before you know
it, you’re talking serious elevation.
That’s how it goes on the KT, Indiana’s
resounding rebuttal to misconceptions
that the state is basketball-court flat.
In 45 miles, the Knobstone racks
up a Rockies-esque 10,500 feet of
elevation gain while riding a rugged
escarpment that starts within eye-
shot of Louisville, Kentucky. When
united with its northern section (now
called the Tecumseh Trail), the KT will
extend a hard-to-ignore 140 miles. But
it’s not just hills that distinguish the KT.
You’ll pass through thickly forested
hollows, cross rocky outcrops, gain
tree-top vistas, and likely hear coyotes
yip in the night. Start from the north
in Delaney Creek State Park, leaving
the hardest climbs and best views for
the end. (317) 232-4029; in.gov/dnr/
outdoor/4224.htm
The way South trailhead: From
Louisville, take I-65 north six miles to
IN 60. Go nine miles to Deam Lake
State Recreation Area. North trailhead:
From Salem, IN, take IN 135 for 8.4
miles to E. Rooster Hill Rd. Go 2.3 miles
to Delaney Creek State Park.
Shuttle Go Deep Adventures ($65/two
hikers, 812-967-4620)
Season May for leaf-out. Mid-October
for colors. Must cache water from July
to September.
Guidebook and map Hiking Indiana,
by Phil Bloom ($17, falcon.com);
Indiana DNR Knobstone Trail Topo Map
($4, 317-232-4180)
TSUSIAT FALLS,
WEST COAST TRAIL
KNOBSTONE TRAIL,
DEAM LAKE STATE
RECREATION AREA
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
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DESTINATIONS
(39 miles, 3-4 days)
Resurrection Pass Trail, AK
Score big scenery. No bush plane required.
Grizzlies do it. Moose and wolves
do it. Backpackers? Only occasion-
ally. That is, travel the Resurrection
Pass Trail. Ironic, because in a state
buzzing with bush planes, the RPT is
easy-access and much longer than a
dayhike. Bonus: Eight cabins dot the
trail, making hut-to-hut itineraries pos-
sible ($5/night; recreation.gov). Alaska
newbies, this is the trail for you.
An hour south of Anchorage, seven
of its 39 miles cruise above the trees
on either side of the pass, with snowy
peaks all around. The hike is a long,
gradual rise from near sea level to the
2,600-foot pass and then a long, easy
descent. Simple is good. Creeks line the
trail for much of the way, and cabins
are situated within earshot of tumbling
water, or beside trout-filled lakes. (907)
743-9500; fs.fed.us/r10/chugach
The way North trailhead: four miles
south of Hope on Resurrection Creek
Rd. South trailhead: mile 53.2 on Sterling
Highway in Tablerock State Park.
Shuttle DIY, or hire a cab. ($250/two
hikers, Soldotna Cab, 907-262-4200)
Season The trail is snow-free from mid-
June through September.
Map Trails Illustrated Kenai NWR/
Chugach National Forest ($12, natgeo-
maps.com)
(77 miles, 6-7 days)
Foothills Trail, SC
See bears, gorges, and falls.
Between Sassafras Mountain (at 3,554
feet the highest point in South Carolina)
and Lake Jocassee, the Foothills Trail
enters a mountainous realm containing
one of the East’s densest black bear
populations. What’s good terrain for
Ursus americanus—remote, thickly for-
ested, and cut through with creeks—is
prime habitat for backpackers, too. The
FT’s three distinct and roughly equi-
distant sections all feature waterfalls,
rivers, and creeks stoked on 75 inches
of annual rainfall as the trail drops
from the “Blue Wall” of the Southern
Appalachians to the Piedmont. The
Jocassee Gorges riddle the middle sec-
tion, between miles 14 and 45. Here,
the trail skirts the outstretched arms of
Lake Jocassee and vaults four rivers on
superbly engineered bridges, including
a 225-foot steel suspension bridge over
Toxaway River. Hemmed in by the lake
and the Blue Wall, the FT crosses nary
a paved road for 34 miles through here.
Whitewater Falls, the East’s second
highest waterfall, stair-steps 411 feet
just a short distance from the trail at
mile 46. In the last section, walk along
the churning rapids of the Chattooga
River, where parts of Deliverance were
filmed. (864) 467-9537; foothillstrail.org
The way East trailhead: From Greenville,
take US 276 23.1 miles north to SC 11
west. Head 6.6 miles, and turn left onto
East Ellison Lane, which leads to the
trailhead. West trailhead: From Walhalla,
take SC 107, 12 miles north to Oconee
State Park.
Shuttle The Foothills Trail Conference
(foothillstrail.org) maintains a list of vol-
unteers who offer free shuttles.
Season April for engorged falls. Late-
October for autumn colors.
Guidebook and map Guide to the
Foothills Trail, by Karen LaFleur ($13,
foothillstrail.org); Foothills Trail Map
($11, foothillstrail.org)
50-MILE THRU-HIKES
TABLEROCK MOUNTAIN
NEAR THE TRAILHEAD
JUNEAU FALLS,
RESURRECTION
PASS TRAIL
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
Outdoor Research
proudly supports
LAUREN O’CONNELL
-
FUJII
THRU-HIKER / OR RETAIL SALES SPECIALIST / SEATTLE, WA
“ON THE TRAIL, I BREATHE MORE DEEPLY INTO MY LUNGS AND MIND...
outdoorresearch.com/hiking Lauren is wearing the Helium Jacket

and Expressa Shorts

There’s nothing better than half a year spent on the trail. I have time to think, to make a decision, change it,
and then go back to the original decision with no pressure. Walt Whitman summed up a thru-hike perfectly,
“What do you suppose will satisfy the soul, except to walk free and own no superior.” Read more about
Lauren, aka LiteBrite, and her thru-hiking experiences at outdoorresearch.com/hiking
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Middle Fork Trail, NM
Trek along—and in—the Gila River.
It’s not quite canyoneering, not quite
hiking. Amphibipacking, anyone? This
trail fords the Middle Fork of the Gila
River no fewer than 100 times as it
pings between steep, ochre-colored
walls on the way to the Gila’s headwa-
ters in the Mogollon Mountains.
The hike up the Middle Fork is never
strenuous but slow nonetheless, due
to slick pebbles and bedrock at river
crossings, plus the occasional patch of
quicksand. The first few miles of walk-
ing, beyond the trailhead in Gila Cliff
Dwellings National Monument, can be
busy with dayhikers, but crowds soon
fade: Beyond Jordan Hot Spring, a 97°F
soaker at the eight-mile mark, you’ll be
alone in the canyon.
Every twist and bend in the river
alters the play of light. At midday,
silvery green leaves of sycamore and
cottonwood stand out in sharp relief
against muted rock walls. At sunset,
the odd spires, flutings, and buttresses
of the cliff walls come alive in glowing
reds and oranges. Dry your soggy toes
by an evening fire and cock an ear for
the echoing howls of Mexican gray
wolves. (575) 388-8201; fs.usda.gov/gila
The way South trailhead: 44 miles north
of Silver City on NM 15. North trailhead:
Snow Lake Campground on NM 159.
Shuttle Gila Backcountry Services
($175/pair, gilabackcountryservices.com)
Season Early summer (after runoff) and
autumn (after monsoons)
Map Silver City Ranger District Gila
Wilderness Map ($9, 575-388-8201)
(44 miles, 4-5 days)
The Press Traverse, WA
Cross the Olympic Range on a forgotten explorers’ path.
When James Christie led an expedition across the Olympic Mountains in late 1889,
intent on “unveiling the mystery which wraps the land encircled by the snow-
capped Olympic range,” he and his men weren’t seen again until six months later,
when they emerged tattered and hungry. Strong backpackers can duplicate the
Press Expedition’s heroic feat with only four days of effort on this easy-to-follow
path. But why not take a fifth day to layover at a wildflower-lined lake?
As in Christie’s day, the only way to see the core of what is now Olympic National
Park is on foot. Start at Whiskey Bend in the north and follow the Elwha River Trail
upstream (south) to Low Divide (elevation: 3,602 feet), then take the North Fork
Quinault River Trail to shadow its namesake watercourse from freshet to torrent.
You can still find the expedition’s axe blaze of three stacked lines on trees between
Antelope and Idaho Creeks. You’ll walk through stands of colossal Sitka spruce,
western hemlock, and western red cedar making up one of the largest tracts of
old-growth this side of Canada. (360) 565-3130; nps.gov/olym
The way North trailhead: 8.2 miles south of US 101 on Olympic Hot Springs Rd.
South trailhead: 5.7 miles east off US 101 on North Shore Rd., past Lake Quinault
at North Fork Ranger Station.
Shuttle All Points Charters & Tours ($250/up to six backpackers, goallpoints.com)
Season August through September for drier days and crisp nights
Guidebook and maps Olympic Mountains Trail Guide, by Robert L. Wood ($19,
mountaineersbooks.org); Elwha Valley and Quinault-Colonel Bob maps ($5 each,
customcorrectmaps.com)
DESTINATIONS
50-MILE THRU-HIKES
SPIRES
AT MILE 5,
MIDDLE FORK
TRAIL
THE LILLIAN RIVER,
FROM THE ELWHA
RIVER TRAIL
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
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storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
26 BACKPACKER 10.2010
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DESTINATIONS
LOCAL HIKES
+
West
Hike to a volcano, a 400-foot falls, and a desert oasis.
LAS VEGAS, NV
CLIMB TO SOLITUDE
AND A CALM POND
Chelise Simmons
heads to Red Rock
Canyon’s Calico
Tanks for quick
getaways. The
secluded pool
(called a tinaja) at
the route’s turn-
around point is
rimmed by towering
slickrock and home
to brine shrimp. “I
rarely see others on
the trail and always
hear birds singing,”
she says. This 2.5-
mile out-and-back
is just a half-hour
from the Strip.
Trip ID 717877
/// ///
MAPS
THE PERFECT TRIP MAP—FREE!
Select trips on our Local Hikes pages now come
with a companion Print & Go PDF (see example
above), giving you turn-by-turn trail instructions
and photos embedded on a usable topo map.
There’s more: It has a gear checklist, driving
directions, and waypoints for finding the trail’s
nearest campground, restaurant, gas station,
and grocery store. And did we mention it’s free?
backpacker.com/printandgo
Ketchum: Hunter Creek
You’ll share the trail with moun-
tain goats, elk, and deer on
this remote, 5.6-mile dayhike
in Idaho’s Boulder Mountains.
The trail crisscrosses the creek
six times before starting a mile-
long push to 9,400-foot Hunter
Creek Summit, a broad and
grassy saddle perched between
10,000-foot peaks. Have an
extra day? Spend the night in
the meadow just below the
route’s highpoint. Trip ID 616810
Haleakala NP: Waimoku Falls
Here’s one more reason to visit
Maui: the 400-foot waterfall at
the end of the Pipiwai Trail. Hike
two miles northwest of Hana
Highway—passing 40-foot-tall
bamboo trees and an alluring
swimming hole nicknamed the
“Pool of No Return”—to a sheer-
walled lava amphitheater where
spring-fed Waimoku Falls plunges
down mossy cliffs. Trip ID 686237
San Francisco: Mt.
Wittenberg Loop
Top out on the tall-
est peak in Point
Reyes National
Seashore on a 6.3-
mile loop that begins
at the Bear Valley
trailhead and climbs
past violet Douglas
lilies and miniature
lupine. After crest-
ing the wooded,
1,407-foot summit,
descend 1,000 feet
in roughly two miles
on the Horse Trail.
Trip ID 705578
Portland: Ape Canyon
Traverse the eastern flanks
of the most active volcano
in the Cascades on this 11.3-
mile trek. It links wildflower
fields, pumice-covered
plains, and boulder-size lava
bombs in Mt. St. Helens
National Monument.
backpacker.com/ape
Trip ID 541023
Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic
Monument: Ape Canyon
LOCAL HIKES
Do it
Water gets scarce starting in July. Tank up before these sections: Tahoe City to Mt.
2
1
3
4 5
7 6
9
8
PAGE 1
MILE
1
DIRECTIONS UTM
0 Ape Canyon trailhead: Descend into second-growth maple and alder forest, heading tk. 0570078E 5112825N
2 .5 The mile-wide mud and rock lahar that wiped out forest on the southeast side of Mt. St. Helens. 0569521E 5113073N
3 3.5 Ridge views start to open to the east showcasing 12,276-foot Mt. Adams and tk-foot Mt. Rainier. 0567794E 5115598N
4 4.3 Stand at the edge of the 100’ slot at the head of Ape Canyon. Enjoy a tremendous view. 0566898E 5116120N
ElevationProfile

5 4.4 Junction with the Loowit Trail. Turn right (N) for 0.8 mile to the natural spring. 0566740E 5116129N
6 5.1 Followlarge pyramids of rocks marking the path though the Plains of Abraham. 0566540E 5116658N
7 5.2 A miniature oasis filled with wildflowers at the brink of a towering cliff, amid the desolate pumice plains. 0566787E 5116670N
8 5.6 Giant lava bombs scattered around the area; similar to the the erratics left by passing glaciers. 0566578E 5117226N
9 5.7 A river of rocks at the 6-mile point. A good turnaround spot for a dayhike, or continue on to Windy Ridge
for a shuttle hike or backpack.
0566564E 5117303N
300 ft
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
700ft
1 2 3 4 5
Total Miles: 15.2
Planit
GETTHERE FromSouth Lake Tahoe, take US 50 W7.6 miles
to FR 11NO6C. Turn right and drive .1 mile to a slight right onto
FR 11N06 (becomes Echo Lakes Rd.) and go .9 mile.
GUIDEBOOKANDMAP The Tahoe RimTrail, by TimHauserman
($13; wildernesspress.com); TomHarrison Maps Lake Tahoe
Recreation Map ($10; tomharrisonmaps.com) The Tahoe
RimTrail, by Ti
HYDRATION Water gets scarce starting in July. Tank up before
these sections: Tahoe City to Mt. Rose Highway (38 miles;
consider a cache at Brockway Summit); Kingsbury North to
Spooner Lake (20 miles); Spooner Lake to Ophir Creek (18
miles). kway Summit); Kingsbury North to Spooner Lake (20
PERMITS Required only in the Desolation Wilderness. Half
kept for walk-ups ($5/hiker/night; 530-543-2694; fs.fed.
us/R5/LTBMU/). ation WilderneR5/LTBMU/). R5/LTBMU/).
ation WilderneR5/LTBMU/). Thru-hikers must Thru-hikers
must pay fees, but aren’t subject to site quotas.
PAGE2
Heart Lake and Mt. Sheridan
Restaurant/Bar Gear Shop Trailhead Gas Station Grocery Store
Gear Lists

DayTrip
4 sterile, 3x3-inch or
5 1x3-inch adhesive strips
to cover cleaned wounds
2 blister dressings or
moleskin
1 roll tape (½inch x 5
yards) to
6 200mg tablets ibupro-
fen for pain, inflammation,
and fever
2 packets antibiotic oint-
ment to cover wounds 4
sterile, 3x3-inch or
5 1x3-inch adhesive strips
to cover cleaned wounds
2 blister dressings or
moleskin
1 roll tape (½inch x 5
yards) to
6 200mg tablets ibupro-
fen for pain, inflammation,
and fever
2 packets antibiotic oint-
ment to cover wounds
1 roll tape (½inch x 5
yards) to
6 200mg tablets ibupro-
fen for pain, inflammation,
and fever
2 packets antibiotic oint-
ment to cover wounds
CANYONMARKETANDCAFE
Milepost 238.4 Parks Hwy.,
Denali, AK; (907) 683-7467
Tk fact or tip about this
grocery store.
TKNAMEOF
RESTAURANT
Milepost 238.4
Parks Hwy.,
Denali, AK;
(907) 683-7467
Tk fact or tip
about this
restaurant.
CONACO
Milepost 238.4 Parks
Hwy.,Denali, AK;
(907) 683-7467

CONACO
Milepost 238.4 Parks
Hwy.,Denali, AK;
(907) 683-7467

Driving Directions fromTK
1) Start at Tk spot
2) Take a right onSt. George Street, go about 3.4 miles. You’ll see the
Save a lot grocery story on your right.
3) Take a left at the grocery store onto ElmSt, head on this street for
about 6 miles.
4) Start at Tk spot the Save a lot grocery story on your right.
5) Take a L at the grocery store onto El street for about 6 miles.
6) Start at Tk spot
7) Take a right onSt. George Street, go about 3.4 miles. You’ll see the
Save a lot grocery story on your right.
8) Take a left at the grocery store onto ElmSt, head on this street for
about 6 miles.
9) Start at Tk spot the Save a lot grocery story on your right.
10) End at trailhead parking lot.
Legend
BACKPACKER
subscribers
per square mile
by zip code
New trips
All backpacker.com
trips
20-200
8-20
4-8
2-4
1-2
0.5-1
0.3-0.5
0.1-0.3
0.075-0.1
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2 blister dressings or
moleskin
1 roll tape (½inch x 5
ards) to
6 200 t bl t ib
PRINT
& GO!
READER
HIKE
OF THE
MONTH
Joshua Tree NP: Lost Palms Oasis
Nope, it’s not a mirage. This 7.4-
mile desert trek really does lead
to a shady grove of palm trees
tucked in a rocky canyon bottom.
From the Cottonwood Spring
trailhead, the route rolls over hills
dotted with spiky yucca, ocotillo,
and cholla cactus before dropping
into a lush oasis. Trip ID 338185
PRINT
& GO!
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 27
Mountain West
See the best of Yellowstone, thru-hike the Gila
Wilderness, and scale a Salt Lake summit.
READER
HIKE
OF THE
MONTH
ROCKY
MOUNTAIN
NATIONAL
PARK, CO
LINK FOUR HIGH-
COUNTRY LAKES
Barbara Caisse mapped
this colorful, 3.8-mile
(round-trip) dayhike
in Tyndall Gorge in
September, when
the mountainsides
were speckled with
golden aspen groves.
Her route starts at
Bear Lake and climbs
west—passing the lily
pad-covered waters
of Nymph and the
turquoise blues of
Dream and Emerald
Lakes—to the base
of 12,000-foot
Hallett Peak and
Flattop Mountain.
“You’ll find clas-
sic Rocky Mountain
scenery in a relatively
short distance,” says
Caisse. “Make sure
to take plenty of
time to relax by all
the lakes and drink
in the landscape.”
Trip ID 488949
/// ///
MAPS
GET MORE
Download GPS data
by adding the Trip ID
digits to the end of
this URL: backpacker
.com/hikes/__________.
You’ll find maps,
directions, trail beta,
and more.
On the go? Send them
to your mobile phone.
Text “imap” and the
numerical Trip ID to
32075.
Glacier NP: Grinnell Lake
Back-to-back boat rides jump-start this
5.9-mile hike to an emerald-green pool.
Cruise across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake
Josephine ($22; glacierparkboats.com/
manygl.htm), then pick up the well-signed
trail that leads to Grinnell Lake and its
eponymous waterfall. Connect North
Shore and Swiftcurrent Nature Trails to
return to the trailhead. Trip ID 508271
Telluride: Navajo Lake
You name it, this 10.2-mile
hike has it. Mountain lakes?
You get two of ’em. Views
of 14,000-foot peaks?
You’ll see a trio. Waterfalls?
Catch a glimpse of one
at mile 3.7. To join in, link
Woods Lake and Navajo
Lake Trails and spend the
night at the lakeside camp-
site. Trip ID 528316
Grand Canyon NP: Grandview Loop
Drop into the Big Ditch on a network
of switchbacks and log stairs on this
three-day, 11.9-mile trek to and around
Horseshoe Mesa. Explore remnants of
Pete Berry’s Last Chance Mine, camp
along secluded Hance or Cottonwood
Creeks, poke your head into the Cave of
the Domes, and enjoy a sweet sunset
view of Zoroaster Temple. (p. 37)
Silver City: Middle Fork Trail
Timing is everything on this 40-mile
thru-hike. You need low water, since
you’ll crisscross the Middle Fork of
the Gila River more than 100 times
as you wind along ruddy canyon
walls. Go in early summer for ideal
river flows or fall for sycamore and
ash displays. (p. 20)
Yellowstone NP: Heart Lake and
Mt. Sheridan Let the crowds wait
for Old Faithful: Experience the rug-
ged side of Yellowstone on this two-
day, 23.2-mile backpack. You’ll track
past steaming creeks and old-growth
lodgepole en route to Heart Lake’s
rocky shoreline and Mt. Sheridan’s
10,305-foot crown. backpacker.com/
heart Trip ID 300069
Salt Lake City: The Pfeifferhorn
Take two days to savor this 4.6-
mile (one-way) climb that ends
on a rocky, 11,326-foot peak. From
Little Cottonwood Canyon, hike
roughly three miles and spend the
night by Red Pine Lake. Rise early
for the finale, a 1.4-mile ascent
that gains 1,700 feet. Trip ID 728169
M
PRINT
& GO!
5 7 0
0
TOTAL TRIPS 0 3 5

0
NEW TRIPS 1 1
8
MAP CONTRIBUTORS JOIN THE TEAM BACKPACKER.COM/POSTATRIP THE ONLINE TALLY:
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
DESTINATIONS
LOCAL HIKES
28 BACKPACKER 10.2010
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Midwest
Thru-hike Isle Royale, circle a granite monolith, and find hiking bliss in Kansas.
READER
HIKE
OF THE
MONTH
OZARK
HIGHLANDS
TRAIL, AR
SEE A NATURAL
ARCH AND
RUSHING RIVERS.
Charlie Williams is
a veteran map
contributor, so we
listen when he
drops phrases like
“one of my all-time
favorites,” which is
how he described
this 40-mile OHT
ramble from Ozone
to Fairview trail-
heads. You’ll cross
the remote Hurricane
Creek Wilderness,
see the state’s only
natural arch, and
ford the knee- to
hip-deep creek twice.
Trip ID 830236
/// ///
MAPS
PRINT HIGH-QUALITY TOPOS
Every GPS-enabled trip on our site has a sweet new option. Click
on the “Print MyTopo” button in our Map Tools menu, and you can
custom-create a map (as large as 36’’ x 48’’) of your route using
a topographical grid or aerial photo. BACKPACKER readers get 20
percent off. backpacker.com/hikes
Austin, TX: Enchanted Rock Loop
“The Rock” is a huge, pink granite dome
that rises 425 feet above the surround-
ing woodland and covers 640 acres.
Circumnavigate the monolith on this 4.9-
mile loop. Spurs to Moss Lake (backcoun-
try campsites available) and the summit
are short (.4 mile each) and worthwhile.
backpacker.com/enchanted Trip ID 555380
Isle Royale NP:
Greenstone Ridge Trail
Take a long weekend or
a week to thru-hike this
42-mile trail that bumps
along the view-crazy
backbone of the park
from Rock Harbor to
Windigo. The 3.5 hours
of ferry rides to reach
the trailheads help
ensure hefty doses of
solitude. (p. 17)
Kansas City:
Burr Oak Woods
Conservation Area
Link the Wildlife
Habitat, Hickory
Grove, and Bethany
Falls Trails for a 4.1-
mile loop winding
around limestone
bluffs, glassy ponds,
and deer-frequented
meadows—a 20-min-
ute drive from down-
town. Trip ID 503635
Badlands NP:
Pinnacles Overlook
Roadtripping?
Stretch your legs
outside of Wall,
South Dakota, on
this .2-mile trek to a
view that rivals any
in canyon country.
Trip ID 504426
Indianapolis:
Knobstone Trail
New classic: This
45-mile point-
to-point gains
10,500 feet as it
ratchets along
a craggy ridge in
Deam Lake State
Recreation Area.
Slot four days to
complete it. (p. 17)
Salina: Wilson Purple Loop
Most of Kansas is crop-covered
and pancake flat. Hike into an
anomaly on this 4.7-mile loop in
wildlife-rich Wilson State Park.
From Hell Creek Bridge, drop into
a valley, switchback to a hilltop,
then trace the sandstone shores
of the reservoir. Trip ID 370885
A
PRINT
& GO!
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 29
East
Leaf-peep in Vermont, climb an Adirondack classic,
and catch brown trout.
READER
HIKE
OF THE
MONTH
STONE
MOUNTAIN, GA
BAG A SUMMIT
20 MINUTES
FROM TOWN
Terah Shelton hits this
7.4-mile loop when
she needs a breather
from the city. “Within
minutes, you’re sur-
rounded by granite
and trees,” she says.
“And when you reach
the summit, you
can see Kennesaw
Mountain, the
Appalachians, and
the hazy skyline.”
On the way, you’ll
pass the largest high-
relief sculpture in the
world—a carving of
confederate heroes
in the mountainside
that’s larger than
three football fields.
Trip ID 39456
/// ///
MAPS
SHARE HIKES,
WIN A TRIP!
Score a hiking
vacation in Rocky
Mountain National
Park next summer—
on BACKPACKER’S
tab! Here’s how:
Upload GPS data
for your favorite
hikes to your profile
at backpacker.com.
We’ll send you a
T-shirt for your first
submission, then a
gift from our gear
closet for every fifth
hike thereafter. To
win the trip? Simple.
The reader with the
most hikes wins. Go
to backpacker
.com/mapcontest.
Great Smoky Mountain NP: Charlie’s Bunion
A 1925 wildfire incinerated the slopes of this
5,565-foot knob and created the view—and
the peculiar name. A local outdoorsman
named the bulbous peak after his buddy’s
inflamed toe. Scramble to the summit for a
vista with 1,000-foot drop-offs. back-
packer.com/charlie Trip ID 30763
Adirondack Park:
Mt. Marcy The
High Peaks region
is ground zero for
mountain climb-
ing in the East.
You could dayhike
to Marcy’s 5,344-
foot summit (the
state’s loftiest), but
take the 25.2-mile
Great Range route
instead. You’ll top
seven more 4,000-
foot peaks. (p. 43)
Hattiesburg: Black Creek Trail
Burning quads are rare among Mississippi backpack-
ers. Which is why this 12.9-mile point-to-point along
the Wild and Scenic Black Creek is legendary for
its tough climbs and descents. You’ll roller-coaster
through long-leaf pines, oaks, and beech with inter-
mittent views into adjacent valleys. It’s great training
for mountain trips. Trip ID 330150
Tallahassee: Marsh Island Trail
This lightly traveled 9.4-mile path
in Econfina River State Park strings
together sawgrass marshlands,
sandhill flats, and thick forests on
its way to end-of-the-earth views
overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
Watch for egrets, herons, and bald
eagles. Trip ID 7757
Montpelier, VT: Cotton
Brook Loop Hike beneath
the confetti of fall colors
on this 9.9-miler. You’ll trek
gentle logging roads and
crisscross Cotton Brook
to views of the Worcester
Range. Trip ID 8335
Pittsburgh: Neshannock Creek
Just an hour north of the Steel
City lies a rail-trail that parallels
this dreamy snow-fed creek. It’s
shrouded in fiery maples and oaks
come fall and is an ideal family
stroll. Trout bum? Target a rainy day.
This oxygenates and chills the water,
stirring up food and sediment—
encouraging them to bite. (p. 30)
Lexington, KY:
Knobby Rock Loop
This 4.8-miler links
caves, sandstone
towers, waterfalls,
and, yes, a knobby
overlook of old-
growth forest in
Blanton Forest State
Nature Preserve.
Trip ID 32359
PRINT
& GO!
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
30 BACKPACKER 10.2010
DESTINATIONS
DAYHIKES
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NESHANNOCK CREEK, PA
CAST A FLY TO LAND LUNKER BROWN TROUT.
Throngs of wily, foot-long browns inhabit
this lazy freestone stream (fed by snowmelt
and rain), but bright sunshine spotlights
anglers and scares fish away. Clouds and rain,
however, can ignite a feeding frenzy. Rainfall
oxygenates the water, stirring up food sources
and enough sediment to camouflage trout
and embolden them to bite. Stock up on
streamers at Neshannock Creek Fly Shop
(724-533-3212), pick up the rail-trail across
the street, and head south along the creek’s
western shore. Meander through hemlocks
and maples for 2.5 miles to Big Bend, where
trout cluster at the head of the pool. From
there, wade upstream and fish underwater
snags at the Coal Slide. Retrace your steps
along the shallow, rock-strewn bank back to
the trailhead. Not an angler? Catch the oak
and maple trees, beaming with autumnal
orange and reds. pagameandfish.com
RECHARGE
Warm up with tomato dumpling soup at the
Dumplin’ Haus in Volant. (724) 533-3732
THE WAY
In Volant, drive
north on Main
St. and park at
the fly shop,
opposite the
trailhead.
EMERALD POOLS, UT
EXPLORE GUSHING, RAIN-FED WATERFALLS.
Water always dribbles over the cliff between
Middle and Lower Emerald Pools, in Zion
National Park—but rainstorms transform
that trickle into a dazzling torrent that lets
hikers pass behind a 15-foot-wide curtain of
water. From Zion Lodge, the 3.2-mile round-
trip route allows plenty of time to enjoy the
trio of pools. Take the Emerald Pools Trail
and follow the North Fork Virgin River before
contouring along a sandstone wall where
water trickles from above. At Lower Emerald
Pool, you’ll hear water drumming into the
60-foot-wide pond above; to stand at the
source, continue up the trail for another
half-mile to Middle Emerald Pool, where
water spills into a small basin. Cross to the
stream’s east side, then climb 250 feet in a
half-mile to Upper Emerald, which is fed by
a thundering waterfall and affords views of
Cathedral and Red Arch Mountains. Retrace
your steps to the trailhead. nps.gov/zion
RECHARGE
Watch the raindrops tumble as you slurp a
margarita at the Bit & Spur in
Springdale. (435) 772-3498;
bitandspur.com
THE WAY
From Zion Canyon’s south
entrance, ride the shuttle four
miles north to Zion Lodge.
Rainy Season Hikes
Make the best of fall storms on trails that improve with soggy weather.
MILL CREEK, CA
RAINS SUMMON SALMON AND SLUGS.
In any season, the 300-foot-tall redwoods
lining Mill Creek in Jedediah Smith Redwoods
State Park would be reason enough to
hike this 5.4-mile (round-trip) trail—but
autumn rains conjure a bonus. As precipita-
tion plumps up Mill Creek, steelhead, coho,
and chinook salmon take advantage of the
deeper waters to swim upstream and spawn.
Rain-lubricated leaves also create smooth
sliding surfaces for neon-yellow banana
slugs. Spot them among understory vines
and maple leaves glowing brilliant red and
yellow from October through December.
Start at the western trailhead on Howland
Hill Road and follow Mill Creek Trail as it bobs
among the ferns on the stream’s west side.
At 2.5 miles, you’ll hike right through a grove
of fat, wrinkled old-growth redwoods before
arriving at Stout Grove parking lot, your turn-
around point. nps.gov/redw
RECHARGE
Gulp down fish and chips at Crescent City’s
Chart Room. (707) 464-5993;
chartroomcrescentcity.com
THE WAY
From Crescent City, take US 101
one mile south, then turn left on
Elk Valley Rd. In one mile, turn
right on Howland Hill Rd. and go
2.5 miles to the trailhead.
3 TOP
+
//////
HALO EFFECT: SUNLIGHT
POURS THROUGH THE
MIST NEAR MILL CREEK.
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
32 BACKPACKER 10.2010
THE
PERFECT
SPLIT
Merrell Split

Technology
Our fall Refuge collection—rugged performers that
never give up. Also available in Pro and Core Mid.

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The Wonder Open stands of virgin longleaf pines interspersed with low grasses once cov-
ered up to 90 million acres from Virginia to Texas, forming the Southeast’s dominant ecosys-
tem. In the last 200 years, fire suppression has allowed other species to flourish, while logging
of this sturdy, slow-growing tree with 1.5-foot needles has decimated 97 percent of its historic
range. Of the 2 to 3 million remaining acres, less than 1 percent contain gnarled old-growth
specimens, which can exceed 300 years in age and provide vital habitat
for endangered species like red-cockaded woodpeckers.
The Way The Nature Conservancy’s Moody Natural
Area 100 miles west of Savannah, Georgia, preserves
about 250 acres of old-growth longleaf pine. Tour it
on Tavia’s Trail, a three-mile lollipop beginning one
mile west of the park’s office. At .25 mile, look right
for the characteristic crooked crown at the 100-foot
tops of otherwise spear-straight trunks. Wander
among the giants, then turn left at .5 mile and drop
about 100 feet to the Altamaha River floodplain.
Follow the loop back to the office. nature.org
Natural
Wonders
The Southeast’s Last Longleaf Pines
Walk beneath trees that predate the Revolutionary War.
The Wonder From 9,393-foot He Devil Peak on its east rim, Hells Canyon on the Oregon/
Idaho border plunges 8,043 feet to the Snake River. About 6 million years ago, the area
uplifted and the Snake began its long descent, revealing igneous rocks on the lower canyon
walls that date back 300 million years. Melting glaciers, plus a spillover from nearby Lake
Bonneville about 16,000 years ago, fed the Snake and helped
accelerate the canyon’s ongoing deepening.
The Way From 6,982-foot Hat Point Lookout, the highest point
on the Oregon side of Hells Canyon National Recreation Area,
pick up Hat Point Trail for a four-mile out-and-back. Switchback
down nearly 1,500 vertical feet, looking east for top-to-bottom
views of the gorge and He Devil Peak, 10 miles away. At mile
two, enjoy a 180-degree view of the Snake, 4,000 feet below.
Climb back the way you came. fs.fed.us/hellscanyon
North America’s Deepest River Gorge
Hike into a canyon that could hold five stacked Sears Towers.
The Wonder Bighorn sheep’s namesake spirals of bone and
protein can surpass two feet in length and constitute 10 percent
of a ram’s body weight, or up to 30 pounds. Shielded by a hon-
eycombed skull that can absorb 20-mph impacts, rams clash
their mighty horns to establish dominance and mating rights to
females during the late-autumn rut.
The Way Pack 10x30 binoculars and park at the 8,500-foot
base of Saxon Mountain Road on the northernmost end of Main
Street in Georgetown, Colorado. Hike up 1,300 vertical feet of
switchbacks on an unnamed trail through lodgepole pine and aspen. At four miles, stop at
a west-facing overlook to glass the 330-member Georgetown herd—one of the largest and
oldest in the state—which often grazes on the opposite slope, about a mile away. Look for
the sheep’s white “long johns,” or rump patches that extend down their legs, and listen for
the gunshot-bang of rams clashing horns. Return for an eight-mile out-and-back, or continue
three more miles to the summit of 11,546-foot Saxon Mountain. town.georgetown.co.us
The West’s Most Violent Mating Display
Witness bighorn rams’ skull-bashing attempts to win a date.
Three treks
to life-list
phenomena
DESTINATIONS
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WEB EXTRA
RIDE THE SNAKE
Get full beta on a
31.5-mile paddle
through Hells
Canyon’s class
IV whitewater at
backpacker.com/
hellscanyon.
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
MERRELL PROUDLY SUPPORTS
THE REFUGE MID
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storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
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Do it There’s no shortage of
wilderness areas named
paradise, but with its
waterfall-a-mile pace and
neck-craning granite walls,
this 18.2-mile out-and-back
actually lives up to that heavenly moniker.
You’ll see wildlife galore (think bears—can-
isters required—pine martens, bobcats,
and ringtails), and ascend to 7,000 feet on
this Sierra overnighter. Pick up your permit
at Road’s End Ranger Station(1) and head
east on the level Bubbs Creek Trail, where
you’ll meander through incense cedar,
white pine, and oak. The sandy trail passes
through a glacier-deposited boulder garden
(2) at mile .7 before dipping into a marshy
lowland along the banks of the South Fork
of the Kings River. Continue to the junction
with the Woods Creek Trail (3) at mile 1.9,
and head left (north). Trace the river and
its tributary creeks, passing beneath gran-
ite cliffs that tower more than 3,000 feet
above; their chiseled, chunky slopes could’ve
been painted by a Cubist-period Picasso.
You’ll begin your nearly 2,000-foot ascent
at mile 3.2 on a short-and-steep stone stair-
case (4) alongside the raging Kings River.
Glance back for a perfectly framed vista (5)
of The Sphinx, a 9,146-foot outcrop that
resembles its mythical namesake. The trail
passes tumbling cascades at mile 3.6 (6),
but press on for the real prize—Mist Falls (7),
a thundering, 60-foot wall of water .4 mile
later (see back page). From here, you’ll gain
almost a thousand feet in 1.6 miles en route
to riverside campsites at Lower Paradise
Valley (8). Continue past Middle Paradise
Valley camp (9), scanning for black bears
in the meadows to your right. The trail rolls
over several gentle hills, offering glimpses
of yet another waterfall pouring from the
northward cliffs. Reach your final destina-
tion—Upper Paradise Valley camp (10)—at
mile 9.1. Pitch your tent beneath behemoth
Jeffrey pines at site six, and let the river’s
roar lull you to sleep. Next day, retrace your
steps back to Road’s End.
Trip
Planner
10.2010 BACKPACKER 35
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Get there From Fresno,
take CA 180 east for 40
miles. Enter the park at Big
Stump and drive to Road’s
End Ranger Station, six
miles past Cedar Grove.
Permit Required (May to
September, $15). Reserve
them beginning March 1.
nps .gov/seki
Gear up The General Store
at Hume Lake Christian
Camp, 64144 Hume Lake
Road, Hume. (559) 305-
1275; humelake.org
Map Rae Lakes Loop Trail ($9,
sequoiahistory.org)
Trip data backpacker.com/
hikes/826549

Hike in the spray of waterfalls deep
in the heart of black bear country.
Paradise Valley
Kings Canyon National Park
//// //
MOBILE
MAP PLUS Send any Rip
& Go to your cell: Text
“imap” and the Trip ID
(826549 for this hike, from
Trip data, above) to 32075.
Day 1 Day 2
5,000 ft
8,000 ft
Rip
&Go
Total Miles: 18.2
Data Map
MAP DATUM WGS84
1.3 1.6 1.2 .7
mi.
2.1
2
3 4
9
1.4 9.1
5
1
10
8
6
7
.4 .3
.1
RETURN TO EDEN:
BEACH CAMPSITES LINE
THE SOUTH FORK KINGS
RIVER AT MILE 5.6.
UTM
11S 0362184E 4077589N
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
Hundreds of black bears
patrol Kings Canyon, and
Paradise Valley is one
of their favorite haunts.
Typically, the bruins aren’t
aggressive; but they are
gifted when it comes to raid-
ing your food. Don’t let them.
“When a bear gets human
food, it’s like a person shoot-
ing heroin for the first time,”
says wildlife biologist Daniel
Gammons. Here’s how to
handle three common bear
encounters.
Frontcountry If overnighting in
a car campsite prior to your
hike, don’t let the proximity
to infrastructure lull you into
a false sense of security. In
fact, “frontcountry bears
get very gutsy,” says wilder-
ness assistant Irene Corrao.
Prevent encounters by stow-
ing all smellables in your
site’s bear locker. If a bear
does come into your camp-
site, yell, bang pots, or honk
your horn until it retreats.
[ ] granola bars (1)
[ ] cookies (1)
[ ] Lipton Pasta
Sides (1)
[ ] raisins (1)
[ ] trail mix (1)
[ ] apricots (1)
[ ] bagels (1)
[ ] pancake mix (2)
[ ] avocado (3)
[ ] apples (3)
[ ] broccoli (3)
[ ] mushrooms (3)
[ ] cheddar cheese
(refrigerator)
[ ] salami (refrigerator)
Pack Vegetable oil,
maple syrup
THE
GROCERY LIST On The Menu
Breakfast 1
On the road
Lunches 1 & 2
Avocado and
cheese bagel;
apples
Dinner
Paradise Pasta
Breakfast 2
Bear Bait Pancakes
Snacks
Granola bars, trail
mix, cookies
Trail Backcountry bears tend
to shy away from hikers. Sing
or talk loudly, especially in
the meadows near Lower
Paradise Valley. Spot one?
Make noise to announce
yourself—a startled bear is a
dangerous bear—and back
away slowly. Never run. If a
black bear attacks, fight back.
Backcountry Store all smelly
items in campsite lockers or
a bear canister at least 50
yards from your tent. Avoid
stash spots near the river,
(lest it end up in the drink),
and don’t pin it between
rocks or branches, where a
bear could leverage off the
lid. Clean dishes and avoid
particularly fragrant foods
like bacon. If you wake to a
bear rummaging around your
site, get out of your tent and
drive it away by shouting
and throwing small rocks.
Continue hazing the bruin. If it
won’t be persuaded, pack up
and move camp.
NEAREST
GROCERY STORE
CLINGAN’S JUNCTION GROCERY
35468 E. Kings Canyon Rd.,
Squaw Valley, CA; (559) 338-2404
36 BACKPACKER 10.2010
Key
Skill
MIST FALLS
The inviting series
of cascades dotting
the South Fork of the
Kings, along the lower
Woods Creek Trail,
are just preamble
for the main show:
Mist Falls. The rag-
ing waters shroud
the area in a constant curtain of mist, supporting a
community of spray-loving mosses, false buttercup,
and woodland stars. Hike the trail in late May to wit-
ness peak flow. Swimming is too dangerous, but the
inescapable spray provides refreshing relief after the
exposed, 600-foot climb over the previous two miles.
Bear Bait Pancakes
A berry-laden and energy-
packed breakfast
1 cup blueberry pancake mix
¾ cup water
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup dried apricots
Vegetable oil
Maple syrup
Prepack oil and syrup in spill-
proof containers. Mix water,
raisins, and chopped apricots.
Heat oil over medium flame.
Spoon three tablespoons of
batter onto skillet; cook two
to three minutes per side.
Paradise Pasta
Superhearty carbs dished up with
veggies and cheese
1 packet Lipton Pasta Sides (any
cheese flavor)
1 cup fresh broccoli
1 cup assorted mushrooms
3 ounces salami
3 ounces cheddar cheese
Cook pasta according to pack-
age directions. Chop broccoli and
mushrooms and add to pasta as
it cooks. Dice salami and cheese
and add to pot when pasta is
cooked; remove from heat and
stir until the cheese melts.
*
See This
Keeping
food safe
from bears
WEEKENDS
PIT STOP Get a custom slice (or three) at the Pizza Parlor in Grant Grove Village, where you can build your
own pie with helpings of sausage, mushrooms, peppers, and more. Three miles east of Big Stump park
entrance on CA 180; (866) 522-6966 ext. 334, sequoiakingscanyon.com/cabins.html
Paradise Valley
Locals Know
Got more than a weekend? You’re in luck: Paradise Valley forms the western leg of
the classic, 46-mile Rae Lakes Loop that links sparkling lakes, 11,000-foot passes,
flower-choked meadows, and granite canyons. Take a week to cover this challeng-
ing terrain. Start heading north through Paradise Valley and hike clockwise to the
South Fork Trail, pitching your tent at Upper Paradise Valley, Woods Creek junction,
60 Lakes Basin, Rae Lakes, Charlotte Lake, and Junction Meadow. Note: This loop is
popular in summer, but by October, you can usually score walk-up permits.
DESTINATIONS
/ / / / / /
VIDEOS
BEAR AWARE
Learn how to
scour dishes clean
at backpacker.com/
cleancamp.
(AISLE #)
IN NEAREST
STORE BELOW
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10.2010 BACKPACKER 37
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Do it Take this steep path
to a rare, 11.9-mile inner-
canyon loop hike, sublime
views from Horseshoe
Mesa, and a peek into the
Canyon’s mining past. Hike
September to June to avoid the searing heat;
in winter, pack lightweight crampons—ice
can make the upper trail treacherous. From
Grandview Point (1), pack a gallon of water
per person and descend gravel switchbacks
on the Grandview Trail. At mile 1.1, rest your
knees at Coconino Saddle (2), a shady over-
look above an east-facing gully. Continue
down past daisies and vibrant-red desert
paintbrushes (May), then emerge onto
wide-open Horseshoe Mesa, which reaches
two long arms west and north (3). Here,
you’ll encounter Pete Berry’s Last Chance
Mine, a shady nook with copper-mining-era
pickaxes rusting in place. Head east past the
ruined cookhouse (4) at mile 2.8, and take
the East Horseshoe Mesa Trail toward Hance
Creek. Descend steeply off the mesa with
views of the Canyon’s clay-red slopes dotted
with juniper and sagebrush. At mile 3.5, fill
reservoirs at Miner’s Spring (5), a perennial
oasis with a small pool and fresh drip, and
camp near Hance Creek. Next morning, take
the Tonto Trail (6) heading northwest to
begin a relatively level, 4.7-mile loop around
Horseshoe Mesa. At mile 7.3, reach the junc-
tion with a use trail (7) looking south into the
mesa’s thousand-foot-high walls layered in
heather, russet, and slate blue. From here,
take your pick: Continue northwest on the
Tonto Trail to Cottonwood Creek and camp
near the spring at mile 9.4, or head south to
ascend the easy route up Horseshoe Mesa
and camp in a designated site (8). The latter
option shaves 1,200 feet off the next day’s
climbing and clears the way for a 1.5-mile
(one-way) hike over razor-edge cliffs to catch
the sunset on Horseshoe Mesa’s western-
most tip. The 300-degree view of sunset-
streaked Zoroaster Temple will redefine your
sense of grandeur. Next morning, link up
with the Grandview Trail and begin the long,
2,600-foot ascent up to Grandview Point.
Descend to the Ditch’s primitive
core on a three-day loop.
Grandview Loop
Grand Canyon, South Rim
The way From the South
Rim entrance, drive 12 miles
east along Desert View Dr.
to Grandview Point.
Permit $10 plus $5/person
per night. Reserve four
months ahead. Download
permit request form (nps
.gov/grca/planyourvisit/
upload/permit-request.pdf)
and fax to (928) 638-2125.
Gear up Canyon Village
Marketplace, South Rim.
(928) 638-2262
Trip
Planner
//// //
MOBILE
APP PLUS Navigate easily
with GPS Trails for your
smartphone. backpacker
.com/iphone or /android
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
3,500 ft
8,000 ft
Rip
&Go

Maps USGS quads Cape
Royal and Grandview Point
($8, store.usgs.gov)
Trip data backpacker.com/
hikes/823945
Total Miles: 11.9
1.1 .8 1.6 3.0 2.9
4 2
6
5
7
3
mi.
8
1.7 .7
1
MAP DATUM WGS84
Data Map
BABY GRAND: SCORE THIS VIEW OF
ZOROASTER TEMPLE FROM THE
WESTERN ARM OF HORSESHOE MESA.
UTM 12S 0411447E 3988317N
.1
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
38 BACKPACKER 10.2010
+
DESTINATIONS
The killer combination of dry
heat, relentless sun, infre-
quent water sources, and
steep terrain makes dehydra-
tion and heat-related illness
all too common in the Grand.
Here’s how to stay safe:
Water You’ll need to carry a
gallon of water per person
per day. MSR Dromedary
bags come in four sizes, the
nylon outer resists punctures,
and the cap screws on tight
to prevent accidental leak-
age—even under pressure.
A hard rubber collar around
the opening makes it easy to
hold while filling. Attach the
Hydration Kit ($20) hose to
the reservoir to keep water at
hand and encourage constant
sipping. $35; 6.9 oz. (for the
four-liter); msrcorp.com
Back up Pack two hard-sided
one-liter bottles and store
them inside your pack to keep
water cooler.
[ ] hoagies (deli)
[ ] baby spinach
(produce)
[ ] 1 cucumber (produce)
[ ] 2 small tomatoes
(produce)
[ ] parsley (produce)
[ ] lemon (produce)
[ ] bagels (1)
[ ] pitas (1)
[ ] dinner rolls (1)
[ ] sunflower seeds (1)
[ ] cannellini beans (2)
[ ] 1 box couscous (2)
[ ] granola (2)
[ ] dried milk (2)
[ ] 6 oz. pouch tuna (3)
[ ] 7 oz. pouch chicken (3)
[ ] peanut butter (5)
[ ] honey (5)
[ ] salad dressing (5)
[ ] dried blueberries (6)
[ ] craisins (6)
[ ] trail mix (6)
Pack Olive oil
Breakfast 1
On the road
Lunch 1
Hoagies from
Canyon Village
Dinner 1
Switchback Salad
Breakfast 2 and 3
Granola with dried
blueberries
Lunch 2
Bagels with peanut
butter and honey
Dinner 2
Canyon Couscous
Snacks
Trail mix
CAVE OF THE DOMES
An estimated 1,000 caves
pock the Grand Canyon’s
Redwall, but only one is
open to recreational use.
Spend a cool afternoon
in Cave of the Domes,
accessed via the precipi-
tous Trail-of-the-Caves
Trail, near the ruined cookhouse at mile 2.8. Crawl
inside, and explore the cave’s many rooms, rough
walls, stone pillars, and 10-plus-foot-high, domed
ceilings with inscriptions dating back more than 100
years. If you plan to explore the cave, carry a head-
lamp, backup flashlight, and extra batteries. Some
spelunkers unspool rope to avoid becoming lost.
Switchback Salad
A protein-rich, no-cook meal
Bag of baby spinach
15 ounces cannellini beans
6-ounce pouch tuna
1 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 small lemon for juice
Small bunch parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Combine first five ingredients
in a bowl. Mix olive oil and
lemon juice, and pour over
salad. Serve with dinner rolls.
Canyon No-Cook Couscous
Nutritious, delicious, and easy
1 box couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1¼ cup water
½ cup craisins
½ cup sunflower seeds
1 packet salad dressing
1 7-ounce pouch chicken
Day before: Combine couscous,
water, and olive oil in a zip-top
bag and let sit overnight.
Night of: Stir in remaining ingre-
dients and spoon into pitas.
*
See This
Heat-aware
hiking
WEEKENDS
On The Menu
THE
GROCERY LIST
NEAREST
GROCERY STORE
THE CANYON VILLAGE MARKETPLACE
Grand Canyon Village,
South Rim; (928) 638-2262
PIT STOP Fuel up with a burger at Cruisers Café, and sample the Sunset Amber Ale—one
of seven canyon-inspired microbrews—from the adjacent Grand Canyon Brewing
Company. 233 W. Rte. 66, Williams, AZ; (928) 635-2445
Grandview Loop
Timing Start early (6 a.m.)
and rest frequently. Avoid
hiking between 10 a.m. and
3 p.m., the hottest part of
the day.
Danger Feeling flushed? The
early stages of heat-related
illness include cramps,
fatigue, and muscle pain.
Apply cool water to the
neck, armpits, and inner
thighs (where the carotid,
brachial, and femoral arter-
ies approach the skin’s sur-
face), and fan to facilitate
evaporative cooling.
Key
Skill
(AISLE #)
IN NEAREST
STORE BELOW
Locals Know
Pete Berry’s Last Chance copper mine thrived at the turn of the 20th century.
In 1893, Berry constructed the Grandview Trail—loosely following an old Native
American route—to get supplies in and ore out, with heavily laden mules traveling
the steep path daily. Hikers still use the cobblestone paths and original log “cribs”
that support the steep cliffside switchbacks, all of which Berry and his work-
ers built by hand. When mining became unprofitable, Berry built the two-story
Grandview Hotel, and mules carried visitors instead of ore. Around the mine ruins,
find chips of blue ore that Native Americans used to make dye.
©
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10.2010 BACKPACKER 39
Do it This 16.8-mile loop
serves up a weekend clas-
sic: waterfall-filled hollows,
lush forests, and gorgeous
backcountry campsites.
Take Skyline Drive to
Mile 21 and the trailhead (1). Follow the
Appalachian Trail .2 mile before turning
right and beginning a gentle southbound
descent on the shady Sugarloaf Trail,
then east on the Pole Bridge Link Trail (2),
beneath a canopy of maple and ash that
burn crimson and orange in October. After
crossing Keyser Run Road, yellow poplars
line the path to Little Devils Stairs Trail
(3). Begin the rocky 1,200-foot descent
down Keyser Run, preparing for wide and
slippery crossings of the stream pouring
into the narrow gorge. Rest at the hollow’s
end before heading southwest on Keyser
Run Fire Road and veering right as you
pass through a gate (4) just 30 yards later.
Continue south on Hull School Trail, explor-
ing the quiet Jenkins/Keyser cemetery, bear-
ing the ancestral graves of frontier family
members evicted in the 1930s. Trace the
western base of 2,531-foot Pignut Mountain
(5) before turning left onto Piney Branch
Trail for .1 mile (6). Cross Piney River and
turn right to return to the yellow-blazed Hull
School Trail. At the four-way junction (7),
take a right onto Thornton River Trail. Head
north, passing between narrowing granite
walls and winding along a sinuous river.
The path swerves left after a short ford of
North Fork Thornton River (8). Go right off-
trail and camp in a sheltered glade .1 mile
later. Next day, hike up the Blue Ridge, cross
Skyline Drive, and stay left on the Thornton
River Trail (9). Turn right onto the AT, and
climb the wooded ridgeline for two miles.
Head left onto Elkwallow Trail (10) and
begin the sharp climb up Jeremy’s Run. At
Mathews Arm Campground, cross the road
to pick up Mathews Arm Trail (11). Climb the
Tuscarora Trail (12), and power 500 feet up
the western ridge of Hogback Mountain.
Head left on the AT (13) to the trailhead.

Ramble through brilliant red and
yellow fall foliage.
Mathews Arm Loop
Shenandoah National Park
The way From Front Royal,
take Skyline Dr. south to
mile marker 21 and park
in the lot on the right after
Hogback Overlook.
Gear up Weasel Creek
Outfitters, Inc., 221 East
Main St., Front Royal, VA.
(540) 622-6909
Permit Required (free);
available at the Front Royal
Entrance Station.
Map Trails Illustrated
Trip
Planner
1,200 ft
Rip
&Go
YOUR TURN Submit trip
reports for a chance
to win free gear! Go to
backpacker.com/mapcontest.
Shenandoah National Park
($12, natgeomaps.com)
Trip data backpacker.com/
hikes/17056
Total Miles: 16.8
4,000 ft
1.7
mi.
.5 1.4
Data Map
EMERALD TO RUBY: THE ASH CANOPY
NEAR THE THORNTON RIVER TRAIL
(MILE 7.5) MORPHS INTO DEEP RED
COME OCTOBER.
UTM 17S 0736655E 4288530N
2.0 1.2 1.5 1.4 .7 2.5
MAP DATUM WGS84
2.4
Day 1 Day 2
/// ///
MAPS
2 3 1 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 12
.5 .7 .3
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
40 BACKPACKER 10.2010
DESTINATIONS
[ ] whole-grain
bread (entrance)
[ ] 1 jar almond
butter (2)
[ ] honey (2)
[ ] 1 bag dried
fruit (2)
[ ] 1 pouch tuna (3)
[ ] linguine (4)
[ ] cinnamon (5)
[ ] dried oregano (5)
[ ] garlic powder (5)
[ ] red pepper
flakes (5)
[ ] 1 bag cheddar
sticks (17)
[ ] 2 tomatoes
(produce)

Pack Olive oil, salt
THE
GROCERY LIST On The Menu
Breakfast 1
On the road
Lunches 1 & 2
Tomato sandwich
with garlic-olive oil
dressing
Dinner 1
Spicy Tuna Linguine
Breakfast 2
Mathews Arm
Almond Toast
Snacks
Cheddar sticks,
dried fruit
SHENANDOAH SALAMANDER
This endangered, finger-length amphibian lives exclu-
sively in moist soil under rocks and forest debris on the
talus slopes of Shenandoah’s Pinnacles, Stony Man,
and Hawksbill Mountains. Scientists don’t know how
many individuals inhabit this tiny range, which includes
a similar-looking,
more common—and
competing—relative,
the red-backed sala-
mander. Both sport a
yellowish-red stripe
on their backs, but
the Shenandoah’s is
much narrower—just
one-third of its body.
Spicy Tuna Linguine
A one-pot, Italian classic
8 ounces linguine
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 pouch tuna in oil
Salt to taste
Boil pasta, drain, and set aside.
Sauté spices in olive oil until
garlic powder turns golden
brown. Add tuna and heat until
bubbling. Return linguine to pot,
toss and serve.
Skyline Almond Toast
Cinnamon dresses up this sur-
prisingly satisfying breakfast.
2 slices whole-grain bread
2 oz. almond butter
1 oz. honey
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pan fry bread until toasted.
Spread almond butter on each
slice, drizzle with honey, and
sprinkle cinnamon on top.
Repeat. Devour.
*
See This
WEEKENDS
Key
Skill
Ditch
the itch
Within Shenandoah’s nearly
200,000 forested acres
lurk blistering poison ivy
and disease-carrying ticks.
Follow these tips to enjoy the
Shennies rash-free.

Defend
Wear long sleeves and tuck
pant legs into socks to avoid
poison ivy (three-leaved
plants that turn red in fall);
apply deet to fend off ticks
(we like 3M Ultrathon;
solutions.3m.com). If you
touch a suspicious plant,
wipe skin with rubbing
alcohol, then rinse with
water—removing poison ivy’s
irritating urushiol oil within
about an hour improves your
chance of preventing or mini-
mizing a reaction.
(AISLE #)
IN NEAREST
STORE BELOW
Mathews Arm Loop
Locals Know
About 98 percent of Shenandoah’s leaves
change color each fall, usually peaking the
second or third week of October. “We’ve
got quite a diversity [about 150 to 200
species] of trees here,” park ranger Mara
Meisel says. “So the color range is really
tremendous.” Though rust-colored oak is the predominant hue, the park’s
varied elevation, moisture, and forest age result in a patchwork of golden
hickory and poplar, scarlet black gum and maple, and even purple dogwood.
For classic dayhiker vistas, walk to Hogback Overlook just east of the Mathews
Arm Loop trailhead. To gain views without the throngs of leaf-peepers, climb the
3,212-foot summit of South Marshall, a generally quiet 1.5-mile out-and-back
on the AT (starting from Skyline Drive at mile 15.9). Also look for unexpected
fall flair in the trailside understory, where spidery yellow flowers adorn the bare,
twiggy branches of witch hazel.
PIT STOP Taste the South with a house-rubbed pulled pork sandwich at Soul
Mountain Restaurant, 300 E. Main Street, Front Royal, VA; (540) 636-0070.
Diagnose
About eight to 48 hours after
ivy exposure, an itchy, red,
streaky, blistered (but non-
contagious) rash will appear.
Check daily for ticks; initially
they look like inconspicuous
black dots at the hairline,
waistband, and sockline. You
may not feel them even once
they’ve begun burrowing.

Treat
Soothe ivy rashes with wet
compresses and calamine
lotion (or make a salve of
cold water and oatmeal).
Pluck embedded ticks with
tweezers; pull straight out,
slow and steady, then wash
area with soap and water.
Fever or new rash within a
month? See a doctor.
NEAREST
GROCERY STORE
FOOD LION
260 Remount Rd.,
Front Royal, VA; (540) 622-2704
©
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storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
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My Backyard: N
orth Cascades by
C
ori C
on
n
er
k
d: N
orth Cascades by
Wilderness Patrol
Supervisor Cori Conner,
32, is a 12-year veteran
of the Park Service. She
spends 75 percent of her
time in the field, and has
joined 50-plus SAR ops.
Why the Cascades?
Because I feel that I am com-
pletely in the wild. The park
is pure, unadulterated wil-
derness. It’s rugged, remote,
inaccessible, and most of all,
completely untamed.
When is the best time to visit?
Late summer or early
autumn. The colors are turn-
ing, the weather is generally
clear and crisp, and the mos-
quitoes are finally down.
How do you beat the crowds?
What crowds? Forty-two
years after its designation,
the park is still an undiscov-
ered gem. There are nearly
unlimited opportunities for
solitude in beautiful places.
We only issue about 10,000
backcountry permits a year,
and that is for the entire
684,000 acres. Help us
keep this place wild. If you
come to visit, leave no trace.
EPICENTER
MyBackyard: NN
or
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DESTINATIONS
7. FA
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E FO
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EST
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ld
-g
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rt,
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st to

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in
. 3
42 BACKPACKER 10.2010
8. TOP FIRE-TOWER HIKE
Take the 6.8-mile (one-
way) Desolation Peak
Trail up the dry, rocky
path to summit the
6,102-foot peak and
see the fire tower Jack
Kerouac tended as he
wrote Dharma Bums and
Desolation Angels.
3. PREMIER CAMPSITE
Perched high above its name-
sake glacier, Sahale Glacier
Camp is your dry land in a sea
of ice and sky-tearing peaks.
Pitch your tent here for argu-
ably the best view in the park.
Get there: Link Cascade Pass
and Sahale Arm Trails for a
10.6-mile overnight.
th
e
C
2. BEST ALPINE CLIMB
Mt. Shuksan via the Fisher
Chimneys route. Start at Lake
Ann trailhead, climb through
the Chimneys with sections
of gentle 5.2 rock, and stay
roped up for 40-degree snowfields on Winnie’s Slide
to Sulphide Glacier at Hells
Highway. Top out for summit
views of 10,781-foot Mt. Baker.
/// ///
MAPS
GO DEEP
Explore the North Cascades’
famously wild interior with
five trips at backpacker
.com/northcascades.
+
5. EASY-ACCESS FLY-FISHING
Pull wriggling rainbow and
cutthroat trout out of milky
blue Stehekin River. Camp
along the water at Harlequin
Camp, 4.4 miles up the River
Trail from Stehekin Landing.
n
er
g.
2
4. D
EEPEST SN
O
W
S
tra
p
o
n
sn
o
w
sh
o
es (o
r
p
o
sth
o
le u
p
to
yo
u
r eye-
b
a
lls) fo
r a
10
-m
ile lo
o
p
o
n
th
e T
h
o
rn
to
n
La
ke Tra
il.
Yo
u
’ll cro
ss co
u
n
tless sm
a
ll
creeks, fir-co
vered
slo
p
es,
a
n
d
ta
lu
s field
s o
p
en
in
g
o
n
to
u
n
h
in
d
ered
view
s
o
f th
e sn
a
g
g
leto
o
th
ed
S
o
u
th
ern
P
ickets.
4
5
8
7
9. PUREST SOLITUDE
At W
hatcom
Pass, deep in
the park’s rugged interior,
you’ll enjoy private views of
the Beaver Creek Drainage
and glacier-sheathed
W
hatcom
Peak. Access it
on a five-day, 46.8-m
ile
trek from
Hannegan trail-
head to Ross Dam
.
6. BEST SKI ADVENTURE
Tackle the experts-only,
19-mile Forbidden Ski Tour.
You’ll weave around glaciers
and yo-yo through 21,000 feet
of elevation change. Start at
Eldorado Creek trailhead, nav-
igate around Forbidden Peak,
then descend to glacier-blue
Moraine Lake. Close the loop
along Rousch Creek drainage.
1
6
9
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 43
It’s always about the journey, of course, but some-
times that’s more true than others. Such as on a
climb of 5,344-foot Mt. Marcy, where you’ll shoot
into the most peak-packed section of 6-million-acre
Adirondack Park. The most sporting route is the
25.2-mile Great Range approach. You’ll scramble as much as hike as
you tag eight of the range’s tallest 46 peaks.
Pack your bear canister (required) and start the three-day loop
from The Garden trailhead at the end of John’s Brook Road in Keene
Valley. Ascend 2.9 miles on the Southside Trail to the Wolf Jaws
Trail, then set foot on the rocky spine of the Great Range, the most
airy and view-rich traverse in the Adirondacks. Hike along the root-
knotted ridge rising up and over Upper Wolf Jaw and Armstrong
Mountain. Next stop: 4,736-foot Gothics, with backside cables to
assist on the descent, then Saddleback and Basin Mountains. Camp
at the old Sno Bird Lean-To site .8 mile past the summit of Basin,
with room for three tents next to the brook.
Next day, intersect the Haystack Trail in .5 mile and follow it
through stunted spruce over Little Haystack and Mt. Haystack, suck-
ing in your first view of plunging Panther Gorge and Mt. Marcy to
the west. At Four Corners, drop your pack and bag 4,926-foot Mt.
Skylight (a steep, 1.2-mile out-and-back). And now the finale: Climb
up 800 feet over loose rocks and scrub on Marcy’s bald southwest
slope. Alpine vegetation carpets the
summit area, with views of the rounded,
tree-covered High Peaks, and diamond-
bright lakes shining below. Camp at
Slant Rock campsite beneath an over-
hanging boulder, then take the Phelps
Trail 6.5 miles back to The Garden.
Mt. Marcy
/// ///
MAPS
SNEAK PEAKS
Download an Adirondacks
Five Mountain Loop
tracklog at backpacker
.com/fivemountainloop.
The Best...
Guidebook
Adirondack Trails:
High Peaks Region
($20, adk.org)
Campground
Adirondak Loj
Wilderness
Campground on
the shores of Heart
Lake ($35 for two
people). adk.org
Peak to view Marcy
Climb 4,960-foot
Mt. Haystack, via
3.5-mile-long
Bartlett Ridge from
Warden’s Camp.
You’ll see Panther
Gorge’s deep void
and experience airy
solitude punctuated
by the High Peaks.
Eats
Noonmark Diner
in Keene Valley,
famous for its pies
and killer milkshakes.
noonmarkdiner.com
SOUTHEASTERN VIEW
FROM MARCY’S SUMMIT
The
Peak
HIGHPOINT: MT. MARCY (SEEN HERE FROM
MT. HAYSTACK) FORMS THE WESTERN
WALL OF PANTHER GORGE.
UTM 18T 0587983E 4884206N
HEART LAKE
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
44 BACKPACKER 10.2010

BASECAMP
Yes, we go into the wilderness to leave
civilization behind. But that doesn’t mean
it’s OK to act like a barbarian. Take our
quiz and rate your trailside manners.
How’s Your
Camping Etiquette?
//////
I
L
L
U
S
T
R
A
T
I
O
N
S

B
Y

C
H
R
I
S

P
H
I
L
P
O
T
.

T
E
X
T

B
Y

B
A
C
K
P
A
C
K
E
R

S
T
A
F
F

1. A big, muddy puddle swamps
the trail. Your move?
A) Walk off-trail, around the mud, to keep
your feet dry
B) Slosh on through. That’s what
Gore-tex is for.
2. Trail hygiene is tough. When the gorp gets
passed around, you should...
A) Dig in—the risk of spreading germs this way is
wildly exaggerated
B) Pour it into your palm, because who knows
whether Joe ‘Nose Blow’ Schmoe dosed with Purell?
C) Set a good example by not sharing your gorp at all.
This definitely prevents contamination.
3. It’s time to clean dishes.
What’s the minimum you
should do?
A) Lick your plates, and let
partners (and Fido) lick theirs
B) Wipe ’em clean with paper
towels and air-dry. The expo-
sure will kill germs by morning.
C) Rinse dishes in boiling water
to sterilize, and air-dry
D) Boil water, add soap, wash
dishes, then rinse them in a pot
of purified water, and air-dry
4. You doused
the campfire
with a big pot
of water. Now
what? At estab-
lished sites, you
should...
A) Leave the fire
ring as is
B) Scatter all of
the ash remains
and disassemble
the fire ring
C) Scatter the
big ash pieces so
the mess doesn’t
overwhelm the
fire ring (but
leave the ring so
the next camp-
ers don’t create a
new one)
5. Skinny-dipping in a remote
backcountry lake is...
A) Awesome
B) Illegal in 43 states
C) Cool if you’re fairly clean and other
campers aren’t nearby
D) Uncool unless your name is
Megan Fox or Robert Pattinson
6. When you need to whiz, you do it
how far from the trail?
A) 6 inches
B) 100 yards
C) Out of sight and 200
feet from any water source,
except in specific situations

7. Pick the surfaces you should NOT walk
on, either for safety or LNT reasons:
A) Microbiotic soil
B) 38-degree talus slopes
C) Lichen-covered rocks
D) Graupel
E) The midpoint of a cornice
F) Baby moose or elk tracks
G) Quicksand
8. It’s fire time and you
break out the single malt.
You should...
A) Slug it, pass it around, repeat
B) Taunt people who don’t partake
C) Hoard it—you carried it, after all
D) Trade shots for Snickers
9. While tied into a rope team on Mt.
Rainier, you really have to go—#2. You...
A) Hold it, at great risk to your undies
B) Unrope and traverse 100 yards
C) Set to while your partners look away
D) You’re not wearing a diaper?
10. It’s OK to trundle rocks if…
A) You look and yell to make
sure no one is in the line of fire
B) Your friend rolls one first
C) It’s never OK to trundle
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 45
11. It’s fine to throw apple cores, orange
peels, and seeds into the forest.
A) True B) False
20. In a campground, you
should keep noise down
until what time in the A.M.?
A) 8 a.m.
B) 9 a.m.
C) All day. People go camping for the
peace and quiet.
D) Never. Loud noise (especially heavy
metal) keeps bears away.
12. When nature calls, what should
you do with your TP afterward?
A) Bury it six inches deep or burn it
B) Pack it out
C) Put it in your partner’s top pocket
D) What TP? I use leaves.
13. Pack out
solid waste...
A) Always
B) On rivers
C) In fragile
desert areas
14. When two parties meet on a
narrow, cliffside trail, who yields?
Choose all that apply:
A) People moving uphill
B) People moving downhill
C) Smaller party
D) Larger party
E) The party with the worst BO
21. You’re hiking on lands protected from hunting, and you
encounter a group of camo-clad hunters. What do you do?
A) Lecture time, baby!
B) Say nothing, do nothing. They have guns.
C) Politely ask to see their licenses. Nature can’t protect itself.
D) Ask to borrow some blaze orange
22. Bathing with soap
in a river or lake is…
A) OK
B) Not OK. Collect water
and bathe 200 feet away
16. Because horses are big and harder to
control, they must yield to hikers and bikers
on the trail.
A) True B) False
23. You’re brushing your
teeth. Where to spit?
A) Away from camp
B) In the nearest stream
C) On the fire
25. It’s dark, rainy, and the
lean-to is full. A soggy hiker
approaches. You should…
A) Pretend you’re sleeping
B) Move over. There’s no such
thing as a full shelter in rain.
C) Send him away with your
regrets. First come, first served.
D) Tell him you think you saw
another, less-crowded shelter
about a mile up the trail
24. Dinner is
done and only
wash water
remains. What
to do with it?
A) Bottoms up!
You’re an LNT
master!
B) Pour it down
the privy hole
C) Strain and pack
out big bits; dis-
perse liquid 200
feet from water
Genteel or a Heel?
Scoring Give yourself one point for each correct answer.
» 0 to 5 You have trouble finding hiking partners, don’t you? Please go to
backpacker.com/camp_etiquette for remedial lessons.
» 6 to 10 We’re laughing with you, not at you. Really.
» 11 to 20 Good showing. There’s room for improvement, but we’re only human.
» 21 to 30 You’re welcome to join our hikes anytime.
» 31 A freakishly perfect score. Relax, would you? It’s the woods!
17. The best way to use a cell phone:
A) Bluetooth in ear
B) Secretly and away from others
C) Never. This is the wilderness, dude!
A N S W E R K E Y 1 . B , t o p r e v e n t e r o s i o n 2 . B 3 . C 4 . C 5 . C . D E E T a n d s u n b l o c k p o l l u t e r i v e r s . 6 . C , e x c e p t
w h e n o n h i g h - v o l u m e r i v e r s ( 1 , 0 0 0 - p l u s c f s ) a n d y o u c a n ’ t l e a v e t h e r i v e r c o r r i d o r 7 . O n e p o i n t
f o r e a c h : A ( T h i s c r u s t o f m o s s a n d l i c h e n p r e v e n t s e r o s i o n a n d p r o m o t e s p l a n t g r o w t h . W h e n
t r a m p l e d , i t c a n t a k e 2 5 0 y e a r s t o r e c o v e r . ) ; B ( h i g h r o c k f a l l h a z a r d ) ; D ( T h e s e s n o w p e l l e t s c a n a c t
l i k e b a l l b e a r i n g s u n d e r f o o t a n d d e s t a b i l i z e s n o w s l o p e s . ) ; E ( T h e c o r n i c e m i g h t c o l l a p s e . ) ; a n d
G ( d u h ) 8 . A 9 . C , t o a v o i d f a l l i n g i n a c r e v a s s e w h i l e d o i n g y o u r b u s i n e s s 1 0 . C 1 1 . B . T h i s f o o d , w h i l e
b i o d e g r a d a b l e , i s u n n a t u r a l f o r w i l d l i f e ; i t c a n h a r m t h e m o r m a k e t h e m d e p e n d e n t . 1 2 . B . 1 3 . B a n d
C ( o n e p o i n t f o r e a c h ) 1 4 . B 1 5 . B a n d C ( o n e p o i n t f o r e a c h ) 1 6 . B . B o t h y i e l d t o h o r s e s . 1 7 . B 1 8 . C
1 9 . B 2 0 . C 2 1 . C . O r c a l l l a n d m a n a g e r s . 2 2 . B . S e e # 5 . 2 3 . A . S p r a y i t t h r o u g h p u r s e d l i p s 2 4 . C 2 5 . B
19. A brand new water purifier is
just lying on the trail. Your move?
A) Hike on. Who needs extra ballast?
B) Grab it in hopes of finding its owner
C) Pick it up and leave your iodine
tablets behind. Hello upgrade!
15. On a weekend AT trek, you share a camp with two
hungry-looking thru-hikers. You should…
A) Keep a close eye on your food bag
B) Make a big dinner and offer them some
C) Give them your remaining food when you hike out
18. You see a fly-fisherman casting
at a secluded lake. You...
A) Grab your rod and join him!
B) Take a dip, then skip rocks
C) Keep your distance
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
2
1


The
Manual
Forecast
the Weather
There’s an old saying in the Presidential Range: “If
you don’t like the weather, wait a moment.” Funny
how that saying also crops up in the Sierra, the
Rockies, the Appalachians, and most other mountain
ranges. In the backcountry, weather can—and will—
change quickly and dramatically. In our new book,
BACKPACKER’s Predicting the Weather ($13,
falcon.com), excerpted here, Lisa Densmore teaches
you how to read the skies for safer, drier outings.
Elemental Ingredients
1. Air temperature While ground temps
determine the number of layers you wear, the
mercury up high dictates whether you’ll need
raingear. As warm air rises, it cools off and
approaches its dew point (the temperature
at which water vapor turns to droplets).
Heavy droplets then fall to earth as precip.
2. Wind The stronger it is, the colder it feels
(e.g., a 30°F day with 30-mph winds feels like
15°F). For a windchill chart, go to backpacker
.com/windchill. Wind also signals change.
3. Humidity Relative humidity (RH) is the
amount of moisture in the air divided by how
much water the air can hold at that temp
(times 100). So an RH of 100 percent means
the air is saturated (aka, at its dew point),
and rain is coming. High humidity makes cold
feel colder and heat hotter, via conduction. As
air rises and cools, relative humidity increases.
4. Barometric pressure This is the weight
(per unit area) that the air exerts on the earth.
A warm air mass is always lighter (less dense)
than a cold air mass, and thus exerts less
pressure. If the barometric pressure is falling,
a warm front is coming in. If the barometric
pressure is rising, a cold front is approaching.
FIGURING OUT FRONTS
Colliding air masses are known as fronts. Like one car rear-ending another, the
incoming front—typically from the west in the northern hemisphere—rams into
the outgoing front, pushing it eastward. The faster the new front, the more vio-
lent the collision and the stormier the resulting weather. There are three types:
SKILLS
TECHNIQUE
I
L
L
U
S
T
R
A
T
I
O
N
S

B
Y

S
U
P
E
R
C
O
R
N
.

T
E
X
T

E
X
C
E
R
P
T
E
D

W
I
T
H

P
E
R
M
I
S
S
I
O
N

F
R
O
M

B
A
C
K
P
A
C
K
E
R

S

P
R
E
D
I
C
T
I
N
G

T
H
E

W
E
A
T
H
E
R
:

F
O
R
E
C
A
S
T
I
N
G
,

P
L
A
N
N
I
N
G
,

A
N
D

P
R
E
P
A
R
I
N
G
,

B
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L
I
S
A

D
E
N
S
M
O
R
E
Warm Air
Cold Air
Cool Air
Warm Occluded Front
Warm Front
Warm Air
Cold Occluded Front
Very Cold Air Cold Air
Warm Air
Cold Front
Cold Air
1. Warm fronts A warm air mass arrives and
rises slowly above the cold air ahead and
gradually cools to its dew point.
Signs Low barometric pressure, high
humidity, low cloud ceiling
Result Fairly calm winds (max speed
of 20 mph) at the front’s leading
edge; steady rain for days
2. Cold fronts Fast-moving, unstable
cold air pushes under the warm air
ahead, forcing it up quickly and cool-
ing it. Heavy rain might result.
Signs High barometric pressure, high
cloud ceiling, good visibility unless
precipitation is present
Result Fair weather that can change
quickly; strong winds, generally from
the north or west; and severe but
brief thunderstorms or snow squalls
3. Occluded fronts A battle royal of three
air masses. A fast-moving cold front over-
takes a warm front, lifting (occluding) the
warm air mass. The incoming cold front
then collides with the departing cold air
mass. If the incoming cold front is warmer
than the departing one (a situation
dubbed a warm occluded front, WOF), the
new cold front climbs over the exiting one
while trapping the warm front high in the
middle. If the incoming cold front is colder
than the departing one, it wedges under it
(aka, a cold occluded front, COF).
Signs Wind direction changes, usually so it
blows from the north-northwest; falling,
then rising barometric pressure
Result Storms possible; light to heavy rain
followed by dry weather after the front
exits. With WOFs, cold temps get milder;
with COFs, cold temps get even colder.
46 BACKPACKER 10.2010
+
//////
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 47
4
5
3
Altitude Check
If your altimeter shows a rise
in elevation even though you
haven’t moved, it means the
barometric pressure has fallen
and a low-pressure storm system
has arrived. A fall in elevation
signals rising barometric pressure
and an incoming high-pressure
(good weather) system.
TEST YOUR METEOROLOGICAL IQ
Which of these old wives’ tales are accurate and which are bunk?
1. Tornadoes never occur in the mountains. T/F
2. The sky’s color at sunset predicts the weather. T/F
3. Geese won’t fly before a storm. T/F
4. You can predict a fair day with a cup of coffee. T/F
5. Songbirds sing louder just before a storm. T/F

ANSWERS 1. False Though less frequent, they do happen. In 2004 a tornado touched down
in Sequoia NP at an elevation of 12,000 feet. 2. True and false You’ve heard, “Red sky at night,
sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.” The sky’s redness is caused
by sunrays reflecting off dust particles when there’s little cloud cover and stable air. Our
weather typically comes from the west, so a red sky at dusk means a high-pressure
system (good weather) is coming. A red sky as the sun rises in the east means the
high-pressure system has already passed, and a low-pressure storm system may be
approaching, especially if the sky is a deep, fiery red (a sign of water vapor). With pol-
luted air, all bets are off. Smog causes red skies at dawn and dusk. 3. True Neither will
seagulls; hoofed animals, meanwhile, head for lower elevations. 4. True Stir your coffee,
creating bubbles. If the bubbles amass in the center, you’re in a high-pressure system,
which is making the coffee’s surface convex (higher in the middle). Since bubbles
are mostly air, they migrate to the highest point. It’s going to be a beautiful day. If the
bubbles form a ring around the sides of the mug, you’re in a low-pressure system, mak-
ing the surface concave. Rain is likely. Note: It has to be strong, brewed coffee to have
enough oil to work, and the mug must have straight sides. 5. False In fact, some become
quiet. 6. True With low barometric pressure, natural springs flow from the ground faster.
Also, ponds look cloudier since a higher volume of marsh gases brings muck to the sur-
face. 7. True Count the chirps for 14 seconds, then add 40. So 20 chirps means it’s 60°F
outside. Crickets are correct within one or two degrees 75 percent of the time. 8. True This
means a high-pressure system is upon you. But if, on a calm night, smoke hugs the ground,
then disperses, a low-pressure system has arrived. 9. True Humidity and wind from low-
pressure systems carry sound waves farther. 10. Mostly true It’s the calm before the storm.
6. Springs flow faster when a storm approaches. T/F
7. Counting cricket chirps tells you the temperature. T/F
8. Smoke rising straight signals a fair day tomorrow. T/F
9. Sound travels farther when a storm approaches. T/F
10. If the wind dies suddenly, it’s about to pour. T/F

Prevailing Patterns
Mountains In a process called adiabatic cooling, air cools by 5.5°F
for every 1,000 feet of elevation gained (if there’s no moisture). Add
humidity, and the rate slows to 3.2°F per 1,000 vertical feet. This
can create precipitation on a peak even if the plains below are dry.
Also: Wind flows upslope during the day as the air heats up, then
downslope in the cool evening. So the earlier you summit, the less
windy and cloudy it likely will be. Still, widespread clouds or strong
prevailing winds can neutralize mountain effects.
Valleys Since cold air sinks, valleys are usually cooler than
surrounding hillsides.
Ocean, sea, or lake It takes a huge body of water to impact the
weather significantly. Water changes temperature more slowly than
land, so during the day, breezes blow inland as air flows from the
colder water toward the warmer land. At night, gusts travel from the
cool land toward the warmer water. Thick clouds cancel this effect
because they prevent a significant temperature differential between the
lake or sea and the land. So coastal wind on a cloudy day signals an
approaching front and likely a storm.
Glaciers and snowfields These create downslope breezes that travel
about a third of a mile below them.
Deserts One big weather danger here? Thermals: columns of rising
air that occur over hot spots on land or water. Air rushes to fill the
column’s low-pressure zone, spawning sandstorms with up to 75-mph
winds. Thermal action builds during the day, making sandstorms
more likely in the afternoon. They also interfere with electronic
transmissions like cell phones and radio. Wear goggles, a windshell,
and a bandanna over your mouth and nose; seek shelter.
Mountains
Ocean, Sea, or Lake
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
48 BACKPACKER 10.2010
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Reader Shot of the Month
Are the vivid colors in this photo of Lake Superior real? No, but they weren’t Photoshopped,
either. Shooter Amanda Allard, of Duluth, Minnesota, employed one of Ansel Adams’s favor-
ite tools: a tinted filter. Here’s how you can get a similar shot.
CHOOSE YOUR COLOR Tinted filters sit in front of the lens and block certain wavelengths of
light, resulting in a color shift in the final image. Ansel Adams often used yellow and red fil-
ters to darken blue skies. Here, Allard used a graduated orange filter (Gradual Fluo Orange
2; $23; cokin.fr) to create an apricot sky and leave the bottom of the photo unchanged.
PICK THE RIGHT FOCAL LENGTH For the moon to appear huge, you need a long focal length.
Anything less than 200mm and it’ll just be a little white dot. Allard zoomed all the way in
with a Canon EF 100-400mm lens on a Canon Rebel Xsi. Like most entry-level DLSRs, it
has a smaller sensor size than a 35mm camera—making the effective focal length about
600mm. So the moon hovered large while still leaving room for the horizon and shoreline.
USE A TRIPOD Allard used a somewhat slow shutter speed (1/50 second) to capture the
waves’ motion. You don’t always need a tripod for that speed, but with such a long focal
length, 1/50 is slow enough that you’ll get camera shake if you handhold it. Don’t forget the
other moving object: the moon. Shutter speeds slower than 1/30 second will blur it.
MEDICINE
MAN
BUCK MAKES YOU RIGHT.
Air Head?
Q: Somebody recently told me that climbing a Fourteener kills
brain cells because of the low oxygen levels. Is this true?
Terry, Colorado Springs, CO
A: Medical researchers are pretty sure that exposure to altitudes above 15,000 feet causes
some brain-cell damage (such as lesions or atrophy), resulting in either short-term or long-
term loss of neurocognitive function. But the impact is small enough that most climbers don’t
notice a cognitive loss. Still, we don’t know if the damage raises dementia risk down the road.
As for whether any damage occurs in the brain below 15,000 feet, that is unknown,
so I can’t say anything definitive. But I doubt you need to worry about brain damage on
Fourteeners if you acclimatize properly (meaning not gaining more than about 1,500 to
2,000 feet per day until your body has adapted). A 2006 Spanish study (albeit on people
at 15,770 feet or higher) found that proper acclimatization reduces the brain-damage risk.
Buck Tilton is co-founder of the Wilderness Medicine Institute and author of Wilderness First Responder
($35, falcon.com), a guide to backcountry medical emergencies.
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
B A S E L A Y E R S > A C C E S S O R I E S > S O C K S
Paul
Runner, mountain biker,
B+ biology student
Ne Ne New New New New Ne ew Zeal ZZZeal Zeal Zeal Zeal Z and’ and’ and’ and’ nd’ and’ d n s Fi s Fi s Fi s Fi ss Fi s Fi F nest nest nest nest nest nest e Mer Mer Mer Mer Mer e Mer Me ino ino ino ino ino ino Wool Wool Wool WWWW
It’s why when the trail ends, you don’t have to.
Each of us has an internal odometer. For some, the numbers
barely move. For you, they click by… That’s why you layer up
in SmartWool. It keeps you warm and dry. And it keeps you
out on the trail, long after you’ve left it behind.
That’s the Power of Comfort.
Where will it lead you?
F ind a dealer near you at smartwool.com
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storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
50 BACKPACKER 10.2010
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SURVIVAL
//////
THE PREDICAMENT
Lost in the Woods
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
Sign up for our free monthly newsletter featuring great hikes and activities, plus travel deals and
expert tips for making the most of your park vacation. Go to www.NationalParkTrips.com.
NationalParkTrips.com
Dream it, plan it and live it with the best in
trip-planning tools, tips and resources:
• FREE trip-planning kits
• Insider advice on what to do, where to stay,
what to pack
• Interactive maps and driving tours
• Money-saving coupons
• And much, much more!
Your one-stop-shop for a vacation of a lifetime!
Five fantastic National Park sites offering the
most comprehensive, relevant and timely travel
tips for planning your perfect park vacation.
To access all five websites, go to
NationalParkTrips.com or check out one of
the following National Park sites.
Plan Your Ultimate
National Park Experience
• MyGrandCanyonPark.com
• MyRockyMountainPark.com
• MyYellowstonePark.com
• MyYosemitePark.com
• MyZionPark.com
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
52 BACKPACKER 10.2010
SKILLS
RECIPES
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Half of a 10-ounce can of condensed cream
of celery soup
6 slices American cheese
¼ can of beer (our pick: a light ale)
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 five-ounce can of Vienna sausages
1 five-ounce package of baby carrots
24 long, thick pretzel rods
AT HOME
Transfer soup to a spillproof container and
red pepper to a zip-top bag. Store pretzels in
a hard container.
IN CAMP
Combine soup with ½ cup water in a pot;
bring to a simmer over medium heat. Slice
cheese into half-inch squares and add to
soup, stirring until cheese is melted (about
four minutes). Mix in beer and pepper. Reduce
flame to low to keep cheese warm. Dunk dip-
pers in pot, or serve small cheese bowls.
1 eight-ounce package Gruyère cheese
(or a similar hard cheese such as Fontina,
Emmental, or Swiss)
1 tablespoon white flour
¾ cup dry white wine
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
2 Granny Smith apples
1 small head of broccoli
3 dinner rolls
AT HOME
Grate cheese. Place cheese, flour, and
herbs in separate zip-top bags. Pour wine
into a spillproof, airtight container. Wash
apples and broccoli, and remove stems
from broccoli.
ON TRAIL
Chop garlic, slice apples, and cut rolls into
bite-size pieces; arrange morsels on bam-
boo skewers (or just use forks). Cook wine and garlic in a covered
pot over high heat for about three minutes, until simmering. Toss
cheese with the flour in a zip-top bag, then add to the wine mixture.
Turn heat to low and stir until cheese melts (about two minutes).
Mix in herbs, then dip your skewers, or serve small cheese bowls.
Add rich, cheesy flair to your backcountry fare.
Fondue
dirtbag / gourmet
DIRTBAG
Beer and Pretzel Dip
GOURMET
Savory Gruyère
Fondue
Minutes Hours
Prep time
2 min
Cook time
8 min
Price $2 per serving
Weight 8 ounces per
serving
Serves 2 to 3
Calories 1,018*
Fat 48 g
Carbs 104 g
Protein 40 g
*Nutrition info is per serving based on two servings.
Prep time
4 min
Cook time
10 min
Price $5 per serving
Weight 8 ounces per
serving
Serves 2 to 3
Calories 939*
Fat 41 g
Carbs 87 g
Protein 47 g
Beyond bread Get creative with your dippers. All kinds of fruits,
veggies, chips, crackers, or canned meats work. We like: dried
salami, sliced pears, cherry tomatoes, steak, and chili peppers.
Heat cleaning After you’ve finished eating, fill the cheese-
encrusted, tough-to-clean pot with biodegradable soap and
water, cover with a lid, and return to the stove. Heat until boiling,
remove from heat, and let sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing.
//////
VIDEOS
DON’T FORGET DESSERT
Want an easy, mess-free method
for making divine chocolate fondue
in the backcountry—without
burning the chocolate on the pot?
Learn how at backpacker.com/
chocolatefondue.
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 53
Gear
School
SHOP
>> Size A snowshoe’s length and width determine the amount of flota-
tion. You want more flotation for more body weight and for deeper,
softer snow. The heavier you and your pack are, the wider and longer
your ’shoes should be. Narrower, shorter ones are best for dayhikes on
packed snow. (See chart above; if you spend most of your time in fresh
snow or on big-load treks, add your pack weight to your body weight.)
>> Frame Choose featherweight aluminum (more durable) or hard
plastic (less expensive). See above for shape information.
>> Decking The cover across the frame is typically made of hard plastic
or softer synthetics like neoprene. “The materials are so durable,” says
Carl Heilman, a snowshoe-design consultant for several manufactur-
ers. “They can take a beating. Wear and tear isn’t much of an issue.”
>> Crampons Most snowshoes have a claw-style crampon under the
foot platform. You want points angled in all directions for the best
grab. Some ’shoes also have frame crampons for steep and icy ter-
rain. Stainless steel works best for rocky conditions; for snow-only
hikes, aluminum is fine. You want the points long enough to grip the
surface, but not so long that they catch or trip you.
>> Bindings The straps or molding that wraps around your boots should
provide a secure and stable attachment. Bring the boots you snow-
shoe in to the store, and make sure the binding mechanism is easy to
operate and fits snugly around the tops of your feet and your heels.
>> Pivot point Situated under the ball of the foot, this lets your foot
move up and down naturally. With fixed rotation models, the ’shoe also
lifts up some with each step, making it easier to back up and step high,
but flipping up snow. With free rotation, the foot fully pivots, which
facilitates climbing and means you lift less weight with each step.
USE
>> Striding Keep your feet a little wider apart than usual to avoid over-
lapping or colliding snowshoes. Use trekking poles to aid balance.
>> Ascending When hiking uphill in soft powder, kick your snowshoes
toe-first into the snow to create a step; in hard snow, rely on your
crampons—the binding’s pivot point will let you walk straight up mod-
erate slopes with your ankle in a comfortable position.
>> Descending Bend your knees so your weight shifts slightly backward,
and rely on your crampons for traction. In soft and hard snow, you
can walk down moderate slopes without traversing.
>> Traversing Jam the side of the snowshoe into the snow and lean into
the slope slightly. “Keep the ’shoe as level as possible,” Heilman says.
>> Bridging Never use the snowshoes to straddle a gap between rocks
or the limbs of a fallen tree; you risk snapping the snowshoe frames.
FIX
Carry a multitool so you can tighten screws or make other repairs. Use
tent repair patches or duct tape to patch minor tears in the decking; if
it rips off the frame, use plastic zip ties or a hose clamp for a field fix.
Snowshoes
Get out more this winter with the right pair of ’shoes.
Frame shape Oval designs increase flotation,
while diamond and hourglass shapes allow a
more natural stride, as they position your feet
closer together.
Crampons Sharp points
under the heel and toe
increase traction on hard-
pack snow and ice. Teeth
on the frame enhance
grip on uneven terrain, but
about 90 percent of the
traction comes from the
underfoot crampons.
-80 100
20-
22
25-
26
30
35-
36
120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300+
body weight (lbs.)
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OPTIMAL OK OK
OPTIMAL OK OK
OPTIMAL OK OK
OPTIMAL OK OK
PICK YOUR SIZE
Heel lifts Aka ascenders or climbing
bars, these hinged supports allow
an easier stride on steep slopes.
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
BASECAMP
For five months, we tested 50 bags, pads, and other snooze-related gear
to find perfect sleep systems for every season. By Kelly Bastone
Ultimate Backcountry Beds
54 BACKPACKER 10.2010
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[FIELD TEST]
+
All weights are for regular size (unless noted) on BACKPACKER scales.
[bag]
Rab Neutrino 400
Tempted by a two-pound bag, but don’t want to sacrifice comfort details? A superlight shell, 800-fill down,
and features like a full-length zipper (which allows maximum ventilation for summer use) help the 25°F
Neutrino achieve a rare double: outstanding warmth-to-weight and luxe comfort. During a spring hike in
Colorado’s Sarvis Creek Wilderness, at 10,000 feet, one tester stayed plenty warm—even her feet, without
socks—when a hard frost encrusted her tent and temps dipped into the 20s. Thanks to high-lofting down and
a Pertex Quantum shell, which is weather-resistant yet so light it doesn’t compress the feathers, the Neutrino
puffs up to nine inches thick at the chest. Insulation is enhanced by a comfortably efficient mummy cut (avail-
able in regular and women’s versions), plus a fat draft tube and adjustable collar that seal in heat. When our
cold-sleeping tester cinched the collar close to her neck, she could toss and turn without admit-
ting bursts of icy air. As befits a bag this light (and pricy), the Neutrino packs down to
soccer-ball size in the included compression sack. Downside? Hikers who
push the coldest edges of spring and fall will want a touch more
warmth. If that’s you, get another 10 degrees from MontBell’s UL
Spiral Down Hugger #1 (Editors’ Choice Award 2009; $299;
2 lbs.; 15°F; montbell.com). $310; 2 lbs.; 25°F; rab.uk.com
Reader service #101
BARGAIN WARMTH Don’t camp in sub-
freezing temps? The Eureka! Riner 40°F uses
inexpensive synthetic fill, yet it kept our
tester warm on a Minnesota hike with a low
of 33°F. And it’s compact for the price class
(about watermelon size). $90; 2 lbs. 8 oz.;
40°F; eurekatent.com Reader service #102
[pad]
NEMO Cosmo Air
This category-blurring pad is plus-size in every direction—it’s five inches wider and four inches
longer than standard, and has a whopping three inches of cushion. “The Cosmo is so thick it let
me camp in places I couldn’t have with a thinner pad,” said our tester after a night atop clumps
of desert scrub in Colorado National Monument. But even though it’s as deluxe as many car-
camping mattresses, it weighs well under two pounds—pair it with a light and compressible
bag, like the Rab, and you have an ultracomfortable, lightweight system. Horizontal air baffles
enhance performance by evenly distributing pressure points and eliminating the bouncy “pool
raft” feel that’s common among air-chamber pads. (Like other air-only models, it’s best for
temps above 30°F; campers who regularly see the 20s might want more insulation.) Despite
the Cosmo’s plumpness, inflating it is quick—about two minutes with the built-in foot pump.
Bonus: For over-the-top comfort when basecamping, slip on the Cosmo Pillowtop ($70, 2 lbs.
3 oz.), which adds an inch of soft, insulating foam. Bummer: Even without the Pillowtop, the
Cosmo is a tad bulky (about 13”x5” when rolled), so be prepared to strap it to the outside of
smaller packs. And that extra width could infringe on your partner’s pad space in a compact
tent. $90; 1 lb. 12 oz.; 25”x76”x3”; nemoequipment.com Reader service #103
LOW BULK It’s designated a women’s mat, but anyone under
5’8” can carry less with Pacific Outdoor’s Equipment’s Peak Oyl
Mtn Women’s Petite. Side-sleeping testers like the self-inflator
because zoned cushioning puts more padding under the hips.
Eco-bonus: It’s made with 100-percent recycled PET material.
$120; 1 lb. 6 oz.; 20”x66”x1.5”; pacoutdoor.com Reader service #104
(
; m
3
Three-Season System
Get big comfort, low weight from a premium down bag and a super-cush pad.
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
TEST NUMBERS 109 bag nights; temps
from 0°F to 85°F; 0 sleepless nights
10.2010 BACKPACKER 55 Testers: Kelly Bastone, Kari Bodnarchuk, Berne Broudy, Matthew Conroy, Ben Fullerton, Ken Haag, John Harlan,
Kristin Hostetter, John Hovey, Tiffani Miller, Steve Pulford, Ben Russell, Geoff Ward
Sleep Better
Got the gear but still can’t get any rest?
These 10 tips will improve your snooze.
>> Pack your iPod and some favorite mel-
low tunes. Music can help relax you after
an adrenaline-filled day.
>> Use earplugs to tune out snoring part-
ners and flapping tents.
>> Cover your eyes. Get a multipurpose
Buff (also use it as a headband, hat, gai-
ter, and more). Starts at $14 (buff.es).
>> Camp near white noise, like the steady,
soothing sound of a river or waterfall.
>> Hike farther. Exhaustion equals sleep.
>> Pack your pillowcase from home. The
familiarity can help you sleep better.
>> Match your bag and pad to your sleeping
style. Mummy shapes work best for back
sleepers; thrashers and side-curlers will
want a roomier bag and wider pad.
>> Go to bed warm. Do a few situps or
pushups before getting in the sack.
>> Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, and
drink water instead to stay hydrated.
>> Stick to routine. Go to sleep at your
normal bedtime hour.
Winter Warmth
Stay toasty in the deepest freeze with an overstuffed bag and cold-weather pad.
[bag]
Sierra Designs BTU -20
It could have been a gear-tester horror story—an open-air bivy, between snowdrifts, on a 0°F night in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
But this Arctic-worthy 800-fill down mummy kept our tester off the evening news. “I was warm and comfortable all night, even though the
clothes I slept in were sweat-soaked from the day’s hike,” our guinea pig reports. “I usually have trouble keeping my feet warm in winter, but the
microfleece-lined footbox eliminated that problem.” When he awoke, the bag’s exterior was caked in ice, but it dried after 20 minutes in the sun.
The extra warmth and superior weatherproofing, thanks to a Drizone waterproof/breathable shell, make this -20°F bag worth the money and
weight for hikers who camp in deep-winter conditions: It’s like an insurance policy against bad weather. The cut is efficiently trim, reports our
thin, 165-pound tester, but not confining, and the weight-shaving, jacket-style hood fits closely—
big guys and restless sleepers should try it in the store. The BTU packs down small compared to
similarly warm winter bags (9”x19”) in the included compression sack, and for the weight, few
bags deliver more warmth. $529; 4 lbs. 2 oz.; -20°F; sierradesigns.com Reader service #105
LIGHTER If you don’t camp in temps below 0°F, and don’t need a waterproof shell, get
the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0°. A thread count exceeding 400 per inch makes the 800-
fill down bag luxuriously silky, and testers loved the superfat draft collar. (“Warm as a mink
stole,” says one). $475; 2 lbs. 10 oz.; 0°F; mountainhardwear.com Reader service #106
[bag]
[pad]
Big Agnes Dual Core
Unlike most winter-rated pads, this insulated air mattress is warm
and supremely packable (just half-gallon size when rolled in its
sack). It pairs air chambers with a sandwich of high-density foam
and PrimaLoft Eco synthetic insulation, making it true to its 0°F
rating. During a spring trip in Colorado’s Williams Fork Mountains,
testers never felt the icy rocks under them, even when they slept on
their sides (which often means that hips bottom out against the cold
ground). Plus, the pad’s 2.5 inches of cushion smoothed out lumpy
snow and felt decadently plush. Nitpick: It takes big lungs (and about
five minutes) to inflate this raft. Below 0°F, supplement the Dual
Core with a closed-cell foam pad for extra insulation. $100; 2 lbs. 6 oz.;
20”x72”x2.5”; bigagnes.com Reader service #107
PORTABLE HEAT Take the Klean Kanteen Classic to bed. Filled with
hot water and stuffed into a sock or the company’s Built Insulated
Tote ($12, pictured)—either will keep the metal from burning your
skin—this 27-ouncer delivers heater-warmth all night. And the
stainless steel releases no chemicals when exposed to heat (unlike
some plastics). $20; 7 oz.; kleankanteen.com Reader service #108
/ / / / / /
WEB EXTRA
SLEEP SECRETS
No one knows all-conditions snoozing like
explorers who spend more than 200 nights
a year outdoors. Learn from the pros at
backpacker.com/sleepbetter.
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
56 BACKPACKER 10.2010
Basecamp Luxury
Get all the comforts of home with this fo ur-star setup.
[bag]
Mountain Hardwear Pinole 20°
This affordable mummy is generously shaped for stretch-and-sprawl
comfort, and the interior fabric (50-denier polyester taffeta) feels
sumptuously soft. The included stuffsack is even lined with micro-
fleece, so you can turn it inside-out, stuff it with a jacket, and use it as
a pillow. Our 5’11”, 205-pound tester praised the spacious cut, which
gave him ample room through his hips and shoulders. Even the foot-
box is big. The synthetic Thermic MX insulation combines solid fibers
(for loft and softness) with hollow ones (which trap heat in tiny air
spaces). Warmth proved sufficient for most sleepers, but one cold-
sleeping tester wished for a draft collar on a subfreezing night along
Maine’s Kennebec River (in chilly conditions you can rig one by wrap-
ping a jacket around your neck and shoulders). Bonus: The Pinole
compresses enough (think medium watermelon) to use on short-
mileage backpacking trips when pack space is not an issue. $80; 3 lbs.
4 oz.; 20°F; mountainhardwear.com Reader service #109
DOUBLE UP Separate is not equal when you want to snuggle with
your sweetie. The two-person Big Agnes Cabin Creek kept our couple
warm down to 20°F in New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains, and the
separate hoods and draft collars let them each customize venting.
$240; 5 lbs. 8 oz.; 15°F; bigagnes.com Reader service #110
[pad]
Therm-a-Rest DreamTime
Full disclosure: This mattress is not light,
cheap, or packable. But if you do a lot of car
camping, you won’t care. “It’s honestly like
sleeping on my bed at home,” says our gear
editor after using the oversize DreamTime
for two years all over New England. It pairs
a 2.5-inch-thick, self-inflating air mattress
with a one-inch layer of memory foam that’s
wrapped in a removable (and machine-
washable) microfiber cover. The fabric feels
oh-so-soft against skin, and the air/foam
combo delivers the ultimate in springy, cushy
comfort. The mattress needs a few breaths
to bring it to full
loft—but it still
required far less
effort than any
other comfort
pad we tested. It
also packs eas-
ily: Just roll and
secure with the
attached buckles.
Bonus: Big guys
will love the extra
length and width.
$190; 6 lbs. 11 oz.;
25”x75”x3.5”;
cascadedesigns
.com Reader
service #111
[pillow]
NEMO Fillo
The clincher on
total basecamp
comfort? A real pil-
low. You could bring
one from home,
but this inflatable
model is compress-
ible enough for
backpacking (about
bike-bottle size),
and is so deluxe
you might just start
using it at home.
Baffles reduce any
trampoline effect on
its three-inch-thick
air chamber, and
microfiber-covered
memory foam deliv-
ers luxury softness.
Bonus: Elastic cords
on the bottom let
you stuff jackets
underneath, elevat-
ing the Fillo for side-
sleepers. $40; 11 oz.;
nemoequipment.com
Reader service #112 s
[bag]
Deuter Dream Lite 500
Everything about this bag is scant: its weight, packed size, and price.
Even without a compression sack, this 40°F mummy squishes down
smaller than a one-liter water bottle, so it disappears inside a pack.
It’s stuffed with Polydown, a short-staple polyester fiber. (Short-staple
insulation has filaments that are cut into small pieces to make it more
compressible.) For one cold-sleeping tester, the thin blanket of insulation
proved sufficient for summer nights down to 50°F in the high desert of
Colorado National Monument. A cinchable hood and zipper draft guard
boost warmth when temps dip into the 40s. When the mercury rose, the
full-length zipper offered head-to-toe venting. Our broad-shouldered,
5’11” tester found the bag’s dimensions to be “trim but comfortable.” The
Dream Lite also proved useful for winter hut-tripping, when it kept testers
warm in drafty, wood-heated yurts and cabins. Downside: The insulation
and fabric (nylon tactel taffeta for the lining, and water-resistant ripstop
nylon for the shell) delivered below-average breathability when humidity
was high: Testers felt clammy unless the bag was unzipped at least par-
tially. $79; 1 lb. 2 oz.; 40°F; deuterusa.com Reader service #113
LIGHTER For extremely warm temps (around 70°F and above), skip the bag and go with
a liner like Sea to Summit’s Reactor Thermolite. It’s made of stretchy Thermolite that breathes
and wicks well, and can also be used to add more insulation to a winter system (about
10°F, says our tester). $55; 9 oz.; seatosummit.com Reader service #114
Ultralight Bargain
For warm summer nights, this two-pound system delivers sweet dreams for just $138.
[pad]
Exped SIM Lite 2.5 Short
In summer, why carry a full-length mat
when the insulation is superfluous and you
really only need cushion from head to hips?
This one-inch-thick shortie packs down to
cantaloupe-size, and air channels in the
perforated foam deliver a surprising amount
of cushion, given its trim weight. “It turned a
rocky meadow into a tolerable bed,” reported
our tester after using it in Colorado’s Hunter-
Fryingpan Wilderness. The brushed polyester
fabric kept testers from sliding off. Warm
sleepers might push it to shoulder-season
use (put your empty pack underfoot), but
the SIM Lite is primarily a summer-only pad,
as the weight-saving holes in the foam limit
insulation. Want more length and warmth?
Go with Therm-a-Rest’s Neo Air (Editors’
Choice Award 2009; starting at $120; 13
oz.; thermarest.com) $59; 15 oz.; 20”x47”x1”;
exped.com Reader service #115
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FIELD TEST
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
Explore new terrain. Escape the everyday. Defy convention without
turning your back on tradition. Because with the cotton twill
Salt Creek Shirt and the right companion, you’re free to travel
wherever the trail takes you.
} The Salt Creek Shirt: Timeless style. Familiar comfort. | woolrich.com
Follow label directions.
Live it out.
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
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GEAR
REVIEWS
58 BACKPACKER 10.2010
NEMO Espri 3P
It was pouring when we arrived at camp in Hanging Rock State
Park, but the ball-and-socket pole connectors and intuitive
configuration made for such a quick first-time setup that the inte-
rior stayed bone dry. The best part? Three vestibule options range
from ultralight (read: no vestibule) to standard
(15 square feet, included), to a 24-square-foot
whopper (add $125) that pitches with a trek-
king pole and nearly doubles sheltered space.
Complaints: The 38-square-foot floor is a squeeze
for three, and when open, the door lies on the
floor. nemoequipment.com Reader service #118
Three-season
backpacking
in the foulest
weather
> Peter Rives
> Duration April-July
> Locales/conditions TN,
NC; 40°F-80°F, rain
> “We stayed perfectly
dry in a deluge, thanks to
plentiful guy-out points
that kept the fly taut and
the tent well-ventilated
through the mostly
mesh canopy.”
Arc’teryx
Miura 50
As a mountain guide who schleps heavy gear day in and day out, I’m
brutally tough on packs. But the Miura is brutally tough right back.
I bushwhacked through thickets, scrambled up gullies, clawed up
narrows, and this pack—made of 630-denier “Superpack” nylon and
rubbery Hypalon trim—never flinched. The roll-top
closure opens wide to accept an entire climb-
ing rack. The Miura is heavy for the capacity, but
in exchange you get that durability and support
that easily handles 40-pound loads. Gripe: The
padded back panel could ventilate better—it gets
sweaty. arcteryx.com Reader service #119
Craggers,
climbers, and
hikers who
favor punishing
approaches
and off-trail
trekking
> Matt Conroy
> Duration Feb. to June
> Locales/conditions VT,
NH; rain, sun, 43°F-85°F
> “Though not
technically waterproof,
the heavy-duty nylon
resists precipitation and
kept my cell phone and
guidebook dry through
hours of rain.”
> $225
> 4 lbs. 12 oz. (reg.)
> 50 liters/3059
cu. in.
> short, reg., tall

+
The North Face
Syncline GTX
Talk about mixed conditions: Over the course of 14 hours and 6,500
feet of vertical gain on Hvannadalshnúkur, Iceland’s highest peak, I
dealt with crumbling volcanic rock that shifted underfoot, loose gravel,
slushy snow, glaciated hardpack, and mist so thick it settled like rain.
This high-cut, Gore-tex-lined boot barreled through it all without giv-
ing me so much as a hot spot or a drip of internal
condensation. The nylon mesh upper with nubuck
reinforcements is light but tough, and offered ample
ankle support for up to 30-pound loads on the
uneven terrain. The Vibram tread gripped securely on
slush, mud, and hardpack. Ideal for medium- to nar-
row-width feet. thenorthface.com Reader service #116
> Anthony Cerretani
> Duration May to July
> Locales/conditions CO,
Iceland; rain, snow, ice;
rocky, muddy trail
> “The high, gusseted
tongue kept water,
stones, pebbles, and
debris from sneaking
in, even when I was
scrambling down steep
scree slopes.”
PRODUCT VERDICT BEST FOR TESTER DATA
FIELD NOTES
THE LATEST WORD
FROM OUR TESTERS
Hikers looking
for a water-
proof boot
with comfort
for dayhikes
and support
for weekends
Skiers, snow-
boarders,
snowshoers,
and cool-
weather hikers
Three-in-one jacket systems are usually bulky and ill-fitting, but this
breaks the mold. The 700-fill inner jacket is lined with Omni-Heat, a
silver layer that reflects body heat and boosted my warmth in single-
digit temps on Mt. Washington. The puffy mates with a waterproof/
breathable, seam-sealed nylon shell, and pit
zips on both pieces line up perfectly when worn
together. A microfleece liner in the shell adds
weight, but made it comfy (not clammy) when I
wore the jacket over a tank top on a spring trip in
Idaho. columbia.com Reader service #117
> Berne Broudy
(plus: Jane Melrose)
> Duration Dec. to April
> Locales/conditions VT, NY,
PA, CA, Spain; 5°F-60°F,
wind, rain, sleet, snow, sun
> “The long cut in back
repelled kicked-up snow
when I snowshoed.”
> $280
> 2 lbs. 5 oz. (w’s M)
> men’s S-XXL;
women’s XS-XL

Costa Fathom
with 580P lens
Want to see the world in high-def? Put these glasses on. Costa’s 580
lens technology, available now for the first time in impact-resistant
polycarbonate, screens out yellow light (580 nanometers on the light
spectrum), which is harder for the eye to process than red, blue, and
green. The result is razor-sharp color and definition. The polarized
gray lens proved versatile for changing light while I was hiking, biking,
and paddling. Side vents prevented fogging on
sweaty trail runs, and a hydrophobic coating
kept the lenses free of water streaks when I was
bouncing down rapids on California’s Trinity River.
costadelmar.com Reader service #120
Anyone who
wants eye
protection with
superior clarity
> Dennis Lewon
> Duration June-July
> Locales/conditions CA,
CO, WY; bright sun, rivers,
dappled forest cover
> $159
> 1 oz.

> $150
> 2lbs. 14 oz.
(m’s 12)
> men’s 8-14;
women’s 6-11

> $370
> 3 lbs. 13 oz. (no
vesti); 4 lbs. 4 oz.
(med. vesti); 5 lbs.
11 oz. (large vesti)


///// /
WEB EXTRA
MORE REVIEWS!
Every week, our field testers post exclusive new
reviews online—check for this week’s products, plus
searchable archives at backpacker.com/gear.
Columbia
Carabineer II /
Frosty Forest
Parka
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
SEVENTYONE years ago, in the fall
of 1939, the eyes of an adventurous
American nation turned south.
To Antarctica.
With a World War looming on the
horizon, President Franklin Roosevelt
called on expertise of Admiral Richard
Byrd, tasking the legendary polar
explorer with a return to the frozen
landscape of Antarctica.
It was to be Byrd’s third trip to the
remote region – but his first with the
official backing of the US
Government. Bringing 125 men, two
ice-breaking ships, three airplanes and
a monstrous 60-foot all-terrain
vehicle, the dynamic affair caught and
held the nation’s attention.
Byrd’s expedition was supported by a
key collection of the nation’s top
private companies, individually
selected to support specific needs. For
the critical choice of winter apparel,
trip suppliers turned to Woolrich, the
“Original Outdoor Clothing
Company,” requesting and receiving
close to 1,300 all-wool winter
garments.
The Woolrich woolen gear was
essential, needed to protect Byrd and
his men against the cold blasts, snow,
ice and temperatures as low as 60
degrees below zero. The woolen gear
was a proven success as well, as
members of the expeditionary force
had worn the apparel before and
knew that it would stand up to
the challenge.
The list of items provided by
Woolrich to the expedition
included heavy wool
shirts, reinforced pants,
special red and black hunting
breeches, heavy 32-ounce wool pants,
and special virgin wool hunting
coats.
No heavier than regular Woolrich
winter wear, the only modifications
made to the apparel were the addition
of longer sleeves, caps and hoods to
protect the hands and faces against
the extreme Antarctic weather.
Geared head to foot in Woolrich
woolen apparel, Byrd and his men
spent the winter of 1940 inAntarctica
in three camps, conducting numerous
scientific obervations and mapping
the curious coastline.
Wool’s presence on the Byrd
expedition wasn’t the first time the
fabric had supported adventure, nor
was it the last. For while the long
history of wool dates back thousands
of years, it’s direct contribution to
modern adventure has included a
presence on the pioneering climbs of
Mt. Everest and the Seven Summits,
on first whitewater descents
throughout the world, and on the 20th
century’s major backpacking
explorations.
ADVERTORI AL
American-made
wool for American
outdoor adventures
For nearly two centuries,
Woolrich has been synonymous
with outdoor adventure.
Beginning by supplying the
lumber camps of central
Pennsylvania by horseback
with woolen fabrics, socks and
coverlets, Woolrich opened
their own woolen mill in 1845.
Still in active operation, the
mill in Woolrich, Pennsylvania
blends the finest modern
techniques with a heritage of
performance to create high
quality clothing of remarkable
comfort and style.
Computer-controlled worksta-
tions, automated cutting
systems and a global presence
from Manhattan to Paris mark
the modern Woolrich, which
continues to celebrate its
heritage by keeping its
headquarters in the little
Pennsylvania village where the
company got its start.
That same mix of proven
products and non-stop innova-
tion are inherent in Woolrich
clothing, where legendary
products like the Buffalo Check
shirt and Railroad vest meet
cutting edge for play, adventure
and work.
Leading the way in how we
enjoy and benefit from the
wonders of wool, for 180 years
Woolrich has been what
America wears outdoors.
+
Woolrich Adventures:
Admiral Byrd Returns to Antarctica
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
60 BACKPACKER 10.2010
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
killer hike
When a lifelong backpacker decides to shoot a deer, will he
lose touch with the wilderness he loves—or get closer to it?
By Bruce Barcott • Photography by Paolo Marchesi
10.2010 BACKPACKER 61
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
62 BACKPACKER 10.2010
The thought runs through my head as I walk across a
stubbled wheat field on a freezing October morning in
eastern Washington. I’m in the Palouse, a land of gently
rolling bluffs and prairies. The land here unfolds in sensuous
dips and swirls, like the topography of a bell pepper. In
farming circles, the topsoil under my boots is legendary. A
good man with a tractor can grow 75 bushels of wheat an
acre, twice what the dirt yields in Kansas. Nobody’s plowing
or harvesting at the moment, though. It’s opening day of deer
season. Every farmer in the county—or so it seems—is duded
up in a blaze-orange vest, rifle in hand, looking to bag a buck.
I’m here on the same mission. I’m wearing the orange
vest, the camo cap, and the two-day growth on my chin.
I’m toting a Ruger .270, and in my pocket is a permission
slip from the state of Washington that allows me to fire it at
properly antlered ungulates. I am, for this day at least, and
for the first time in my life, a hunter.
“We’ll check out this dry creekbed,” Jennifer says,
whispering just loud enough to be heard over the sound
of our boots crackling the wheat remnants. “But stay low
on the hill. Be careful not to skyline.” Skyline, a verb: To
allow one’s silhouette to appear over the crown of a ridge,
spooking potential game.
Jennifer Brenner is my mentor. She’s a farm girl raised
nearby, and a hunter since she could walk. Brenner, 42, is
one part naturalist, one part park ranger (her day job), and
two parts Gretchen Wilson. Deer hunting at dawn? Hell yeah!
Nothing flushes from the creek, so we raise our binoculars
and glass the hillside across the valley. “I see three over by
the eyebrow,” says Brenner. “They’re bucks.”
Eyebrow? I have no idea what she’s talking about. I scan
until I see something vaguely deerlike. “By the clump of
trees?” I ask.
There’s an uncomfortable pause.
“No,” she says. “Those are our horses.”
We keep walking. Brenner asks, cautiously, “Your rifle’s
unloaded, right?”
I open the bolt. “Right.”
We head up a little rise and spot more deer. Six muleys,
three bucks of legal size. Ever so slowly, I ease the rifle bolt
forward and raise the scope to eye level. Brenner, looking
at the deer through her binoculars, whispers the go-ahead.
They’re legal. Through the crosshairs, I can see a clear shot.
I can also see my point of decision: To take a life or let it go.
I’ve been walking with a deadly explosive. Now I’m
aiming it.

We live in a world too cleanly divided. We are red
states or blue states, urban or rural, creamy or crunchy.
The outdoor world suffers miserably from this binary split.
We are hikers or hunters, two cultures divided by a chasm
of ignorance and mistrust. We wear Patagonia R2 fleece
or Mossy Oak Break-Up camouflage. Our seasons have
different names: One person’s duck season is another’s ski
season. The catalogs in our mailbox define us: Cabela’s
or REI. Six years ago, the rift was distilled in two political
bumper stickers. Sportsmen for Bush. Climbers for Kerry.
I’m troubled by this great divide. As a member of REI
Nation, I’ve been a backpacker, a car camper, and a bird-
watcher. I’ve thrown bait and flies at Alaskan salmon and
Rocky Mountain trout. I’ve climbed Cascade volcanoes,
paddled Sierra rivers, and I’m a skier of catholic taste. But
I’ve never been hunting.
I find that a little strange. Hunting is, after all, the original
outdoor activity. But what’s more puzzling is the fact that
nobody’s ever asked me to go hunting—or wanted to know
if I’ve ever been. I’m so deeply smothered by the fleecy
bosom of my demographic that the notion never arises. In this
polarized world of us and them, hunting is something they do.
And who are they? If you believe Hollywood type casting,
they’re beer-guzzling good old boys. They’re Toby Keith
in a trucker cap. They love wildlife they can kill, but don’t
have much use for the rest of nature. They run generators
in campgrounds and drive F-250s with NRA stickers in the
window. Not our kind, dear.
At least that’s the way I used to think. And then, little by
little, my assumptions changed. As an outdoor writer, my job
often requires me to drop into backcountry terrain where I’m
a stranger to the land. Years ago, I discovered that sportsmen
offer an excellent perspective on the local wild. I’ll find the
best hunter in the county and spend an afternoon with him,
without weapons, crashing through the forest. A hunter’s
eyes, ears, and nose are tuned differently than a hiker’s. He
sees things that are invisible to those of us trained to follow
signs and stay on trails.
I’ve also learned that there are plenty of hunters who are
hikers, and vice versa—among them, readers of this magazine.
For them—and maybe that includes you—the notion of a
divide would be a mystery, perhaps even an insult.
Still, every statistic indicates that crossovers are a distinct
minority. Among most backpackers, and among most
hunters, the culture divide grows wider. In a hiking club,
the word “hunting” can suck all the air out of the room. It’s
become a conversational taboo.
Hunting is the act of
hiking with a bomb
in your hands.
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
Any issue that volatile is worth investigating. So I decided
to meet the hunters, explore their world, and attempt the
pursuit myself. I wanted to bridge the gap with a gun.
I figured I’d need a partner, so I called my friend Mike
“Gator” Gauthier, who was then the head climbing ranger
at Mt. Rainier National Park. (He’s since been promoted to
Interior Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.) I
explained the project.
“So…we’d actually go hunting,” he said. “Not just hang out
and watch some hunters?”
Yes.
“I’m in,” he said. “How do we do it?”
“I have no idea,” I told him. “Maybe we should find a
hunter we can go with.” That’s when we realized that, well,
we didn’t know any hunters.
Hikers or not, our lack of gun-toting acquaintances
wasn’t surprising. Hunting in America is a dying pastime.
In my home state of Washington, nearly one in three
hunters has hung up his rifle in the past decade. It’s
happening everywhere. Hunting permits are down 20 percent
in West Virginia over the past 10 years. According to the U.S.
Fish & Wildlife Service, the number of Americans who hunt
has fallen 25 percent since 1980, to less than 13 million.
Hunting’s decline isn’t due to lack of game. Whitetail deer
are overpopulated in 73 percent of their range. A century
ago, only 50,000 elk roamed the continent. Today, the
combined North American herds total one million strong.
The biggest culprit is land development. Specifically,
the loss of private farmland, where much of the country’s
hunting has traditionally occurred. According to the National
Farmland Trust, two acres of prime American farmland are
lost every minute. If hunting were hiking, that would be like
losing one Grand Canyon National Park each year.
Hunting’s decline can’t all be blamed on the loss of open
space, though. Powerful cultural forces have also been at
work. Hunting is commonly passed down from fathers to
sons and daughters. But over the past two generations, the
hunting gene has withered on the vine.
I saw it happen in my own family. My grandfather was a
duck hunter. When my father was young, Grandpa Barcott
took him out for predawn shotgunning parties. “We went out
with dad’s buddies, and they had a great time—cooking up
steaks, hash browns, the whole deal,” Dad told me. “But by
the time I got good enough with the shotgun to shoot ’em on
the fly, in my early 20s, I found that I just didn’t want to do it.”
“Why not?” I asked.
“The ducks,” Dad said. “They were just too beautiful.”
Sooner or later, every hunter comes face to face with the
same issue. To hunt is to kill a living creature. And we’re not
talking about squashing a mosquito. In the early stages of
my hunting interest, I browsed the rifle section of a Dick’s
Sporting Goods store. My six-year-old son was with me.
“Why do you want a gun, Dad?” he asked.
“I’m thinking about maybe going deer hunting,” I said.
He thought about that for a minute.
“Why do you want to shoot a deer?” he asked.
My answer was so half-hearted and halting that a passerby
overhearing the conversation would have been embarrassed
for me. Clearly, I had some philosophical work to do.
I went to the experts for perspective.
I put the question to Bruce Friedrich, vice president of
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and Ted
Nugent, guitar hero and prolific hunter: Should we hunt?
Friedrich treated the phrase “ethical hunting” as an
LIVING LANDSCAPE: “I FEEL LIKE I’VE BEEN GIVEN A
FRESH PAIR OF EYES,” SAYS THE AUTHOR (ABOVE,
IN BALLCAP), AFTER TRACKING DEER IN THE SNAKE
RIVER BLUFFS (RIGHT) AND ON FARMLAND IN EASTERN
WASHINGTON (PREVIOUS SPREAD).
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
64 BACKPACKER 10.2010
oxymoron. “There’s no ethical difference between shooting
a deer and shooting a cat or a dog,” he told me. “The deer
has the same intelligence and range of emotions, the same
capacity to feel pain.”
But don’t hunters help keep the deer population in check?
“Some people just enjoy shooting defenseless animals, and
that’s one way they justify it,” he said. “Future generations
will look back on our shooting animals with the sort of moral
incredulity that we reserve for past abuses of human beings.”
When did hunting cease to be morally justified?
He thought for a second. “It could
have been phased out 10,000 years ago,
with the development of agriculture.”
Ted Nugent begged to differ. “Don’t
let the lunatic fringe keep you from
hunting,” he said. (Actually he emailed
me between hunts. The Nuge is a very
busy beast slayer.)
Nugent, of course, is the 1970s
rock star who reinvented himself as
America’s foremost hunter. Nugent
views animal rights advocates like
Bruce Friedrich as nutjobs divorced
from the natural cycle of life.
“Do we really need to shoot wild animals when there’s
a Safeway down the street?” I asked The Nuge. “Is this just
murder as sport?”
“That’s like saying recorded music is available, so none
of us needs to make our own,” he said. “Vegetables are on
store shelves, so we don’t need to tend gardens. I’m sure we
could find someone else to breed our wives for us, too. Not
me. I have nothing to do with the mass assembly of food.
I hunt, kill, butcher, and cook my own, knowing that it’s
the healthiest, most natural nutrition available to mankind—
while at the same time bringing balance to the environment.
Remaining connected to the good Mother Earth is a driving
force in all the hunters, fishermen, and trappers that I know.”
“Hunting,” Nugent assured me, “will cleanse your soul.”
As much as my soul could use a scrub, I didn’t put a lot
of faith in the Motor City Madman’s method. I doubted that
any epiphanies would come attached to a smoking gun. At
the same time, I found myself falling closer to Nugent than
to the guy from PETA. I’m an enthusiastic carnivore. Over the
past 40 years, dozens of cows, pigs, and chickens have been
slaughtered on my behalf—butchered out of sight and out of
mind. Like a lot of Americans these days, I’m trying to live
closer to my food. I’m eating backyard vegetables and buying
eggs from my neighbors. I decided it was time I met my meat.
Ironically, explaining my desire to kill a deer to a
six-year-old was the most challenging aspect of preparing for
a hunt. Everything else fell into place in short order. In August,
Gator found us a hunter. “Her name’s Jennifer Brenner,” he
told me. “She’s the girlfriend of my friend Shaun Bristol.
They’re both state park rangers over in eastern Washington.”
And acquiring a weapon was surprisingly easy. I strolled
into a local gun shop, picked out a used bolt-action Ruger, and
laid down my Visa card. The sale was delayed for 10 minutes
while the salesman carried out a background check to make
sure I wasn’t certifiably insane, or an ex-con, or both.
The real problem was where to store it. “Go hunting, by
all means,” said the wife. “Just don’t bring the gun anywhere
near the house. Ever.”
Gator offered a solution. He had
secure storage and no kids. I became
a rifle divorcee. Gator got custody. I got
visitation rights.
I called Jennifer to discuss what we’d
hunt. Hunting elk seemed an overreach
for a rookie. I hadn’t earned an elk
hunt. Moreover, I’d moved among elk
in the mountains. They are majestic
creatures. I doubted I could pull the
trigger on one. Deer, on the other hand,
are common as squirrels. They’re tick
spreaders, garden killers, poop-pellet
producers. Therefore, deer.
“Have you handled a rifle before?” she asked.
Nope.
She told me to take a hunter-safety course. “If you’re going
hunting with me, we’re going to do it the right way.”
If you’ve ever suffered through the mind-screwing
tedium of childbirth classes, you have a fair idea of the
hunter-safety course. It’s childbirth class with bullets.
On a Monday evening in September, I slipped in the
back door of the Bainbridge Island Sportsmen’s Club and
claimed one of the few empty seats. The Sportsmen’s Club
was straight out of “The Red Green Show”: knotty pine
paneling, a moose head above the fireplace, and a sign that
read “Absolutely No Drinking While Shooting Is In Progress.”
If hunting is in decline, you wouldn’t have guessed it by
the turnout. The place was packed.
“Welcome to Hunter Safety,” said Jim Walkowski. A
grandfatherly man in an orange vest and green ballcap,
Walkowski is an ex-cop and Navy survival instructor who’d
taught this class for 35 years. “Hunting is a privilege,” he told
us, “and safety is our number one priority.”
Safety, it turns out, is a relative thing. Walkowski assured
us that hunting was safer than playing football or driving a
car. “Of the 25 most popular activities in the United States,”
he told us, “hunting is the 13th safest.”
I looked it up. According to the International Hunter
Education Association, a group that promotes hunter-safety
courses in the U.S. and Canada, there were 241 fatal hunting
accidents from 2005 through 2009. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
“There’s no
ethical difference
between shooting
a deer and
shooting a cat
or a dog,” said
Friedrich.
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
STILL LIFE: THE AUTHOR
APPROACHES THE THREE-POINT
BUCK HE SHOT SECONDS EARLIER.
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
66 BACKPACKER 10.2010
Service estimates that about 12.5 million Americans hunt
every year. That works out to a risk rate of about 0.38 fatalities
per 100,000 hunters annually. Comparing the risk rates of
different sports is a tricky and often suspect proposition—
there are a lot of apples-to-oranges problems—but based
purely on fatalities per participant, hunting appears safer
than, say, swimming (6.57 drownings per 100,000 swimmers)
and bicycling (1.87 fatalities per 100,000 cyclists), but not,
technically, football (0.2 per 100,000).
And yet over the five-day course, Walkowski and his
fellow instructors rattled off an endless string of hunting-
accident anecdotes. One guy’s friend got shot climbing
over a fence. A husband and wife picked up their rifles
after lunch. “Boom!” said Walkowski. “Killed their partners.”
One evening, Walkowski pointed to his rifle and said, “That
.30-30 right there, my brother-in-law killed his brother with
it. Drinking. So there you go.”
Holy crap! There you go what?
I stepped outside and rethought the whole proposition. It
occurred to me that there might be a scared-straight method
to Walkowski’s madness. “Maybe it’s like reading Accidents
in North American Mountaineering to climbing students,” I
told my wife. “Gets them to pay attention.”
Night after night, I returned to the Sportsmen’s Club
to receive hot cups of Walkowski’s wisdom. In fairness, I
learned quite a lot. Stuff like: Aim for a deer’s lungs, not its
head. It’s illegal in Washington to have a loaded rifle in a
vehicle. If you get some dirt in the muzzle, a fired shot could
split the barrel like a banana peel.
Walkowski and his fellow Club members were friendly,
generous men. One of them, a former Army sniper, gave
up an afternoon to let me shoot his rifles on the range.
(I practiced with my own as well.) And yet, as I slipped
my Subaru between massive pickups in the parking lot, I
couldn’t help but feel like a blue spy in the house of red.
That’s worth considering. One of the sources of the hiker-
hunter rift can be found in the post-Vietnam shift in military
culture. Prior to the 1970s, military service was an experience
common to the American man. (A draft will do that.) Basic
training acquainted a wide spectrum of society—conservative
and liberal, rich and poor—with firearms. Nowadays, that
doesn’t happen. Today’s soldiers and sailors are self-selected,
and they tend to be a politically conservative demographic.
Distrust of the military, driven by misadventures like Vietnam
and Iraq, and years of urban violence and mass murders like
Columbine and Virginia Tech have made a hostility toward
guns part of the liberal package deal. Almost all of my liberal
friends consider themselves environmentalists. Almost none
own a gun. If you’re not comfortable around firearms, you
aren’t likely to become a hunter.
The irony, of course, is that hunters founded the modern
conservation movement. Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot,
Aldo Leopold, and Stewart Udall all hunted. (Though John
Muir and Rachel Carson did not.) In the 1930s, conservation-
minded hunters crafted the Pittman-Robertson Act, which
established some of the nation’s first habitat-restoration
programs using gun and ammunition excise taxes. Last year,
$300 million in gun and ammo tax went to conservation
programs—and that’s to say nothing of the more than $1
billion collected in hunting and fishing permit fees.
The big rift opened in the late 1970s. Conservative leaders
realized they could use gun control as a wedge issue to turn
rural, conservation-minded voters against urban enviros. Many
liberal leaders categorically embraced the era’s animal rights
movement, which painted hunters as cold-blooded murderers.
The hard feelings still linger. A couple of years ago, I
praised a local wilderness group for reaching out to hunting
and fishing groups. The director of the group thanked me
for the kudos, but admitted that the great reach-out wasn’t
a huge success. “We lost members over that one,” she said.
HARVEST: JENNIFER BRENNER (ABOVE, RIGHT) SHOWS THE AUTHOR (IN RED CHECKED
SHIRT, ABOVE, AND AT LEFT) HOW TO DRESS A DEER ; HIDE, BONES, AND BLOOD
ACCOUNT FOR NEARLY A THIRD OF A MATURE BUCK’S WEIGHT.
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 67
Opening day broke cold and clear. On the first
Saturday in October, I rose in the predawn darkness and
pulled on two shirts, a thick hoodie, a down vest, a fleece
jacket, a Gore-Tex shell, and a bright orange vest. With all
of that padding, I felt I could stop a bullet myself. But I
needed it. Outside, it was 31°F, a light dusting of frost on the
ground. In the rolling hills above the Snake River, hundreds
of hunters fueled up on coffee.
Plan your hunt, hunt your plan. Those were Jim Walkowski’s
words. Our plan was to hunt three types of terrain over three
days: wheat fields, river bluffs, and mountain forest.
Unfortunately, Gator was delayed. “Duty calls,” he told us
from his office at Mt. Rainier. “We’re opening a new visitor
center, and the Interior Secretary is here.” Gator would arrive
late on the first night.
As a streak of blue snaked into the black sky, Jennifer and
I set out across an open field. We were hunting her family’s
700-acre farm about a mile from the Snake River, prime deer
habitat. “The mule deer and whitetail come into the fields to
feed on grain left over after the harvest,” she told me.
The family farm was also a practical choice, as we
wouldn’t have to worry about access or opening-day
crowds. For backpackers, route planning is as easy as
opening a Trails Illustrated map. For hunters, though,
land access is a challenge. Not all public land is open
to hunting. Rules change even within states. Shooting a
whitetail deer might be legal on one side of a dirt road
and illegal on the other.
As it became light, Jennifer began pointing out signs of
wildlife. A badger hole, a coyote print. “Deer track,” she said,
pointing out a print I’d nearly stepped on. “It’s a buck.”
“How can you tell?”
“Bucks have dewclaws that leave a little mark in the
ground; does’ dewclaws don’t make prints.”
We kept walking, careful to keep our profiles below the
ridgeline. Jennifer kept her body still. Her eyes constantly
scanned the horizon. She learned how to spot wildlife when
she was a kid, going hunting with her dad.
At the top of a rise, we stopped to glass the distant fields.
“There’s one,” Jennifer said. “A whitetail.”
It took me a while to find the deer. It was a tiny speck on
the landscape, at least a mile distant.
We crossed a barbed-wire fence and hopped a stream. As
a hiker, I would have overlooked this as dross land, the junk
you’d cross to reach the trailhead. As a hunter, it came alive
with excitement and potential. My eyes became attuned to
the terrain. Pockets of brush—chokecherries and rosehips,
mostly—turned into deer refuges. Cresting a hill became a
test of stealth and readiness. Ever so slowly, I began to think
like a deer. What’s good cover? Where’s the food?
As we came over another rise, Jennifer and I froze. Four
whitetail deer grazed in a pocket of brush below us. In an
instant, they spotted us and bolted. They were over the hill
before I could even swing the rifle off of my back.
My hopes crashed. I knew the deer would move. I just
didn’t know they’d move so fast.
“Why don’t you put one in the chamber,” Jennifer
said. “We’ll be ready next time.”
I loaded a bullet and we kept walking, a little quieter now.
All we could hear was the sound of wheat stalks crunching
under our boots. Then I spotted them. One deer. No, two.
Then I saw all six, browsing in a wheat pocket below us.
I glanced at Jennifer. She and I slowly backed away from
the edge of the bluff, erasing our bodies from the herd’s sight.
We crouched and glassed them. “Muleys,” Jennifer whispered.
Mule deer are less skittish than whitetail deer. A whitetail
will be in the next county by the time a muley starts thinking
about trotting away.
At least one of the deer looked legal: Three points on each
side of his rack. I belly-crawled to the lip of the bluff. Grass
tickled my cheek. The buck stood broadside, offering a perfect
target. The others were bedded down. I glanced at Jennifer.
“The one standing,” I whispered. “Is he legal?”
“Yes.”
I looked through the scope and confirmed it.
And here we came to the point of decision. “You can’t call
a bullet back” is a common saying among hunters. At this
moment, I can take my finger off the trigger and walk away.
But I don’t. Neither my head nor my heart feels the flutter of
Crossing the Divide
Can hikers and hunters just get along? We
asked readers and Facebook fans to weigh in.
Should hunting be
allowed in national parks?
NO 67% YES 33%
Have you participated in a
hunt in the last five years?
No 69% Yes 31%
If you were
to take up
hunting,
would you
choose a…
Gun 54%
Bow 43%
Trap 3%
On a scale from 1 to 5, where 1=not
cool and 5=cool, what’s your opinion of
shooting wolves from a helicopter?
1: 82% 2: 4% 3: 11% 4: 1% 5: 2%
If you had to share your trails
with one of these groups,
which would you choose?
Hunters
39%
Horseback
riders
32%
ATVers
2%
Mountain
bikers
27%
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
68 BACKPACKER 10.2010
any last-second moral qualms. Instead, I find myself thinking
about bringing food home to my family. Ridiculous? Maybe.
But that’s what’s in my head when I pull the trigger.
BOOM.
Though I’d fired it a couple of dozen times, the .270 still
rattles me to the core. The calm, clear-eyed world seen
through the riflescope goes herky-jerky. For a full second,
all six deer freeze.
“Is he hit?” I ask.
“Yep,” says Jennifer. “You got him.”
Five of the deer scatter. They hop over the bluff and tear
east for the Snake River. The sixth deer doesn’t get that far. He
takes one full step, then bucks high into the air and collapses
on his side. He kicks once more before lying still. He’s dead.
“Wow,” I say. “My god.”
Jennifer and I stand and watch the herd disappear over
the ridge.
“So how did it feel?” she asks.
“Amazing,” I say, and can’t find words after that. Here’s
what I feel, and it’s not going to make me popular among
my vegetarian friends. I feel happy. Proud. Fulfilled. The
two minutes and 10 seconds that elapsed between the time
we spotted the deer and when I pulled the trigger (I kept
my tape recorder running, and timed it later) were among
the most intense, primal, and profound moments I’ve ever
spent in the outdoors. I can’t explain those feelings. But I
can’t deny them, either.
“Field dressing” is a pretty term for a bloody, messy,
disgusting operation. It involves cutting open a freshly
killed animal and removing its guts and organs. It’s done
on the spot, at the point of the kill—otherwise, the carcass
is too heavy to haul. The guts are left for coyotes and other
scavengers. Jennifer tutors me on the finer points.
“Start your cut here,” she says, pointing to the deer’s nether
regions. Jennifer and I spend the next half an hour slicing
FAQ: Hunting 101
WHERE CAN I LEARN HOW TO USE A GUN? Find a local firing range
with rentals and instruction. A .30-06 rifle works for anything from
antelope to buffalo. Start here: wheretoshoot.org.
WHEN DOES HUNTING SEASON START? Seasons vary by state, by
animal, and by weapon. Bow season often starts before rifle
season, for example. Tip: Avoid the (very busy) opening day of
deer season, when accidents are more likely. Find links to state
wildlife departments at huntinfo.org.
DO I NEED A PERMIT? Yes, you need a license specific to the type of
hunting you’ll do. You’ll likely need to take a hunter-safety course
(some states offer an “apprentice license” that lets you go with a
more experienced hunter first). See nssf.org/hunting/getstarted.
WHERE SHOULD I GO HUNTING? Start with relatively easy terrain
(fields, rolling hills, open forest) so you can focus on learning new
skills without significant backcountry challenges. Hike away from
roads for solitude; just be certain you can pack a dead animal out.
A vehicle rollover, a downed aircraft, a blizzard. If you push limits,
the world will periodically push back. That’s why the Crank

is an
edged weapon first and a multi-tool second. No other tool in your
kit can defend, feed, and shelter
you. It’s plan-B when plan-A is
in flames and taking on water.
Frame holes.
Lash it to a
stick to make
a survival
spear.
1/2-inch
wrench.
The most
common size.
Single-
bevel edge.
Easier to
sharpen
in the field.
Stout pocket
clip for
dependable
retention.
Hardened 7075
aluminum frame;
just 1.2 ounces.
Insert quarter
or penny for
two sizes of
field expedient
flathead screw
drivers.
3-inch, 154CM
stainless steel
blade. Designed
for extreme use.
Bottle opener.
For a sweet
celebration
when you get
home alive.
Protected cord
cutter.
Blade bar
lock. Protects
fingers from
injury.
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 69
Continues on page 108
through deer hide
and peeling through
the animal’s thin,
mucousy layer of fat.
The shifting breeze
sends a briny funk of
odor—the smell of
warm blood mixed
with body gasses—
up my nose. I fight
back a dry-heave.
By the time Gator
arrives that evening,
my deer is cooling
in a local meat locker. “Time to get
you yours,” I tell him. I can’t believe I’m
saying those words even as they leave
my mouth.
Gator is a bit of a legend in
mountaineering circles. He pulled injured
climbers off of Mt. Rainier for nearly 20
years. He’s almost as famous for his
eclectic collection of friends. Senators,
CEOs, Everest-climbing superstars, and
backwoods hippies all consider Gator
their righteous bro. One of those friends,
Ted Cox, is a seasonal Rainier employee
in his 60s who’s come along on the
hunting trip to…well, nobody’s quite
sure why he’s come along. Ted opposes
hunting like dogs oppose cats—with
loudness and constancy. “I’m here to
witness the slaughter,” Ted declares.
The next morning, Gator, Ted, and
I are up just before dawn, pounding
coffee. Gator’s day often starts with
a 2 a.m. alpine start, so this is a lazy
Sunday for him. “Sure beats getting up
in the middle of the night in a storm on
the side of a mountain,” he says.
“I can’t believe you’re really going
through with this,” scolds Ted. “What
have you got against some poor,
defenseless creature?”
Gator laughs. “Aw, Ted. What about
those fish you like to catch?”
“That’s different,” says Ted.
We hike through fields to the sloping
coulees of the Snake River canyon. At
the rim we pause to take in the scene, a
classic Western vista that hasn’t changed
much since Lewis and Clark came upon
it more than 200 years ago. The Snake
drains most of Idaho, and the river’s
breaks are formidable—dry gulches and
ravines falling away and folding in on
themselves for more than a mile before
hitting water. Deer, coyotes, and other
wildlife come here to hide out in the
rock crevices and pockets of brush.
Gator and I scramble over steep
terrain. Because of the rifle on my
back, I find myself placing steps with
newfound precision. A tumble here
could easily lead to a misfire, or worse.
“You’ve got to add something to
the equation when you’re hunting the
breaks,” Jennifer had told us. “That’s
whether you can haul a 150-pound
deer up the cliffs after you shoot it.”
“Honestly, I’m not that worried about
bagging a deer,” Gator says. “The
main thing I’m concerned about is not
making a lousy shot and letting some
poor animal wander off wounded.”
We crouch by a pocket of trees
and brambles. “There’s got to be
something in there,” I say. “Why
don’t you set up a shot while I
flush?” Gator hugs the ground and
props himself on his elbows. I toss
some rocks into the trees. After the
crackle and thunk, movement.
“Two of ’em,” I say.
“I see them,” Gator murmurs.
A doe and her yearling emerge from
the shadows. Gator takes his finger off
the trigger. Our tags are for bucks, not
CARNIVORE’S DILEMMA:
EXPECT A GALLON OF
BLOOD FROM A BUCK.
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True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 71
What to do when the you-know-what hits the fan

storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
72 BACKPACKER 10.2010
When Sir Ernest Shackleton crossed the icy glaciers
of South Georgia Island in 1916—the final hurdle of his
16-month epic in Antarctica—he didn’t have crampons, so
he twisted metal boat screws into the soles of his boots
for traction. In a similarly brilliant stroke, John Wesley
Powell, trapped on a cliff 400 feet above the Colorado River without a
rope, had his men scramble up to nearby ledges and pin him to the wall
with long oars so he could climb down. And John Muir crawled inside
a hollow tree trunk to escape the flames of a Sierra wildfire. It seems
H.G. Wells was right: “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable
imperative.” To learn how to grapple with life-or-death scenarios,
improvise survival tools when key gear gets lost, and grade your own
emergency skills, read on.
Long before satellite beacons,
humans thrived in the wild
with the best technology
available: a knife. And with
that one tool and some basic
knowledge, they fulfilled all
life-sustaining needs. Flagstaff,
Arizona–based survival expert
Tony Nester helps today’s
tech-dependent humans get
back to their primal roots
with his popular “Knife
Only” course. “A knifeless
man is a lifeless man,” Nester
says. Here is how to cut,
slice, and pry your way out
of any mess with these sur-
vival fundamentals.
For thousands of years, humans made fire by rubbing two
sticks together (aka the hand drill). Here’s how to make one:
1. For the spindle and fireboard, find some dry, soft, and non-
resinous (no sap) wood—like yucca, cottonwood, poplar,
cedar, cypress, or elm—which are easier to create friction
with. The spindle stick should be about 16 inches long, ¾-inch
thick, and fairly straight. Sharpen the bottom end like a pencil
tip, and whittle away any jagged or rough spots on the shaft
so you can easily run your hands along it.
2. The fireboard should be about six inches by one inch wide,
and ¾-inch thick. Carve this rectangular piece so it lies flat on
the ground. Cut a V-shaped notch, half as deep as the board,
into the edge. Next, carve out a pencil-eraser-size depression at
the base of the V, where you will place the spindle tip.
3. Position a leaf, piece of thin bark, or your knife blade (any-
thing as thick as an index card) under the board to catch the
coal that will fall out of the board’s notch.
4. For the tinder bundle, gather dry and pithy materials (cat-
tails, mullein, grass, bark, moss), and shape them into a bird’s
nest. Place it within arm’s reach.
5. Get in a stable kneeling or sitting position, with one foot
on the edge of the fireboard to steady it. Put the tip of the
spindle in the board’s depression, and place your hands at
the top. Using significant downward pressure, roll your hands
back and forth, up and down the spindle. Go slowly at first to
deepen the board’s notch. Then go faster (a lot faster), bear-
ing down on the spindle with your body weight as you roll it in
your hands. Hot dust will be generated first, then smoke, and
as the spindle glows red from the friction, a tiny ember will
appear in the notch. If the ember doesn’t automatically fall
into your catching device, gingerly tap the board.
6. Transfer the ember to the center of the tinder, blow gently until
you have flames, then erect small sticks around it, tepee-style.
Survival Secret
Always carry a
reliable firestarter.
Nester favors a
magnesium spark
rod and Vaseline-
coated cotton
balls, which burn
even in rain. Rub
one teaspoon of
Vaseline into a cot-
ton ball; pack a few
loosely in a film
canister. Also good:
butane lighters.
P
H
O
T
O

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T
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S
Y
.

T
E
X
T

B
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N
E
T
T
E

M
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G
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N
E
Y
.

K
N
I
F
E

:

B
E
N
C
H
M
A
D
E

(
P
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E
V
I
O
U
S

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A
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E
)
In the wild with…
Only a
Knife
Photography by Dan Saelinger /// Illustrations by Peter Sucheski
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
The most energy-efficient option is to create a nest.
Pile up leaves, pine needles, and moss to create a giant
sleeping bag that will trap your body heat. Make the mound about the length and width of a
single mattress and five feet high, if possible. “You should have two feet of insulation below you
and two feet above,” Nester says. “I’ve stayed warm like this on 10°F nights.” To tuck yourself
in, scoop out a trough in the middle, sit inside butt first, then pull the debris
over your body, working up from your feet.
On rainy nights fashion a lean-to against a short tree like a juniper. Use a sturdy,
low branch as the shelter’s ridgepole. Knife-chop boughs (or scavenge) and lean them
against the branch, then fill in the holes with forest debris
so no light shows through. Insulate the floor
with one foot of leaves and pine needles.
Also, site your shelter wisely. Avoid
ravine bottoms, since cold air sinks,
and high, wind-whipped spots.
Instead, set up next to a broad
rock face or tree that has been
soaking up the sun’s warmth
all day and will
release it
at night.
10.2010 BACKPACKER 73
Survival Secret
For hours of extra
warmth, place
football-size rocks
at the campfire’s
edge until they’re
warm to the touch.
Hug one against
your chest (under
a jacket but over a
shirt), and put one
between your legs
and another near
your neck or head.
In most emergen-
cies, food isn’t a
priority. Depending
on your extra
reserves (love han-
dles were never so
welcome), it takes
a month or more
to starve to death.
Conserve energy
and water by stay-
ing put rather than
foraging. “The
fasting body taps
into its fuel stores,”
Nester says. “In
survival situations,
people can last 25
percent longer this
way compared to
those who burn
calories looking for
a measly morsel.”
But you can
graze on nearby
food like: acorns
and other tree
nuts; ants and ant
larvae; grasshop-
pers and crickets
(roast these first
to avoid stomach
upset); and fish.
To make a fish-
ing spear, carve a
10-inch tip onto a
sturdy stick about
eight feet long and
1.5 inches thick;
saplings work well.
Harden the tip in
hot coals for a few
minutes. Then pin
a fish to the creek
bed and grab it
with your hands.
« This is a knife! A Swedish Mora with a 3
7
⁄8-inch fixed blade is Tony Nester’s preferred tool for
bushcraft ($20, apathways.com). The reason: A fixed blade with a full tang (meaning the blade
runs through the length of the handle) is stronger, so the handle never breaks. He favors carbon
steel because you can sharpen it against a smooth river stone using an arcing motion against the
rock. It also sparks when you strike the back of the blade with a piece of quartzite, flint, or chert.
That’s Not a
Knife
Stay cool Hole up in the shade and
wait until dusk to hunt for water. If
you have a bottle of liquid left, drink it at your normal pace, or
until your urine is mostly clear. “Rationing water, especially in
the desert or the tropics, hastens heat exhaustion,” says Nester.
Search smartly Top spots to look: shady areas at the base of
north-facing cliffs; islands of green vegetation; rock depressions;
tree trunk cavities; undercut banks or shady, outer bends in dry
riverbeds; and anywhere you see birds and insects gathering. No
sources nearby? Head down gullies, or dig wells with your knife:
Find a spot that’s likely near the water table such as a riverbed.
Dig a few holes, about two feet deep, and wait five minutes. If
water seeps up, line the hole with pebbles so it’s less porous. Sop
up mud with a shirt and wring the moisture into your mouth.
No purification method? Guzzle anyway. Most water bugs take
weeks to incubate, but you can die in days from dehydration.
SURVIVE!
p the suns warmth
d will
Find H
2
0 Find food
Cave Man
For instructions
on building an
emergency win-
ter shelter, see
backpacker.com/
snowshelter.
«
b
r
s
r
a
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
74 BACKPACKER 10.2010
So you’ve zigzagged into the
woods to drink your sad self
into oblivion with a fifth of
Johnnie Walker Red, hop-
ing night freezes away life’s
pain. Then a bluebird alights
on your shoulder, chirps a
sweet song of hope, and you
realize life is possibly worth
living. But now you’re lost!
Crikey—what next? Well,
friend, dry those tears and
put that hooch to good use.
Survival guru Tony Nester suggests tying a
bandana or shoelace around the bottle’s
neck, then hanging the bottle somewhere
elevated, like a tree branch. The key is to get
it off the ground, so you expose more surface
area and maximize glint. This passive signal-
ing method also frees you up to perform key
tasks like shelter-building. Any shiny object
will work: bottles, mirrors, space blankets,
hubcaps, bike parts, even a machete.
Early settlers in Canada’s Red River
area who mixed a little whiskey into
their drinking water had fewer inci-
dences of waterborne illness than their
counterparts, reports BACKPACKER
columnist and wilderness-medicine
expert Buck Tilton. Add a shot to your
liter of water, then wait 20 minutes.
You want dead—not drunk—giardia.
Survival Secret
One thing liquor
won’t do is warm
you: Although
alcohol makes
you feel flushed
temporarily, via
peripheral vasodi-
lation, the dilated
vessels near your
skin’s surface shed
heat into a cold
environment faster
than narrower
vessels. Alcohol’s
diuretic effect
further abets
hypothermia, since
temperature con-
trol is harder when
you’re dehydrated.
To make wood more flammable, whiskey-soak it to the
core, then wait a few minutes so the vapors disperse,
reducing the risk of a fireball. In damp conditions, resin-
ous woods (pine, spruce, fir, mesquite)—which have a
lower ignition point—work best; avoid oaks and maples.
Nester also suggests filling a small can (like a tuna or Altoids can) with whiskey
and lighting it. Or you can build a sand fire by scooping a cupful of dirt into a mound;
it must be a dry substrate like sand, or clay formed into a small clay pinch pot.
Then pour in a quart of whiskey. It should burn 10 to 30 minutes; as the flame dies,
use a stirring stick to bring fuel back to the surface and add a few minutes of life.
Although your sand fire won’t be hot enough to boil water, it can provide warmth,
heat food, or help light a signal fire. For the latter, feed in twigs, then transfer the
burning twigs to a fire pit. (Beware of wildfire hazard in dry backcountry areas.)
If you don’t have a lighter, pour out the whiskey, fill the bottle with water, and
start a fire magnifying-glass style. With the sun at its zenith (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), focus
the sun’s beams onto some rotten, punky wood, dry cow pies, or elk droppings until
you get a glowing ember. Nestle this in grass or dry bark, then blow it into a flame. If
the bottle has broken, try a shard: Add one or two beads of liquid, then lie flat with
your forearms supported, focusing the beam as per above, with the water-droplet
side facing the sun. You must let the pinpoint of light concentrate for 20 to 30 sec-
onds on the tinder before it will ignite, so keep still and be patient.
Now imagine you’re injured—does the old cowboy “whiskey in
the wound” method work? Modern liquor, including bourbon,
clocks in at 40 percent alcohol, only half the punch of the Wild West moonshines, but it still kills
topical germs, Tilton says. It might also kill healthy cells, however, and it burns like hell, mak-
ing clean water a better option. Whiskey does work to sterilize instruments and to blunt pain—
drinking two ounces of 90-proof George Dickel reduces pain roughly 50 percent for two hours.
+ =
Care for cuts
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Treat iffy water
Lost with…
Only a
Bottle of
Whiskey
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 75
You’re hiking. You slip. You’re hurt. But the first-aid kit
is back in the car—12 miles away. What should you do?
First, don’t panic. “You can improvise almost everything
in your first-aid kit,” says Tod Schimelpfenig, curricu-
lum director of the Wilderness Medicine Institute of the
National Outdoor Leadership School.
Research shows that plain ol’ water cleans cuts very effec-
tively. Irrigate the injury with at least one liter of the cleanest
water available; ideally, use purified water (iodine is fine) and
squirt it through a bladder or zip-top bag. If you have soap,
apply it to the surrounding skin but not inside the wound
itself, rinsing with water when you’re done. Otherwise, just
bandage it until you’re back in antiseptic’s reach.
The key is creativity. Some good choices: long bundles of grass
(align them lengthwise along the limb); your sleeping pad; a
stove screen; trekking poles; sticks; or pack stays. Secure the
splint with strips of cloth, straps, or vines. Make sure the splint is
firm but padded, and immobilizes the joints above and below the
fracture (so if you break your shinbone, immobilize the knee and
ankle). The splint shouldn’t constrict blood flow, and it should
allow access to fingers and toes, so you can check circulation.
Find the cleanest fabric handy, tear
off a piece, then fold or crumple
it, and place it on the cut. Apply
pressure. If you need to add more
bandages, apply them without
removing the first. Once bleeding
has stopped, clean the wound and
rebandage. Hold fabric in place with
straps or strips of cloth. For gap-
ing (nonvenomous) wounds, use
¼-inch strips of duct tape to close
the cut as close as possible to the
original skin position.
People have applied old-man’s beard (usnea) as
an antiseptic for centuries. These greenish, hair-
like tufts grow on tree branches worldwide. Pull
back the main stem’s sheath; usnea has a white
cord in the center. Place a clump on the cut.
For every 1,000 vertical feet gained, UV exposure increases by five percent;
and snowfields reflect 90 percent of the sun’s glare. To prevent snowblindness,
always wear sunglasses. But if a fashionable marmot swipes your
Ray-Bans, cut UV exposure by folding a one-foot piece of duct tape
in half to cover the sticky side. Cut eye slits one-inch wide and
¼-inch tall; punch holes in the ends; and tie them with a cord.
Injured with…
No First-Aid Kit
Above treeline with...
No Sunglasses
Nature’s antibiotic
SURVIVE!
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
76 BACKPACKER 10.2010
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You’re floundering on a frozen snowfield while your cram-
pons sit forlorn and forgotten on the credenza at home. If
you encounter steep snow or icy trails without crampons, it’s
best to turn back or find another way. But if quitting isn’t an
option, you can increase traction on snow and ice by embed-
ding nails or screws in your boot treads. If you’re loathe to per-
forate the soles, drive the screws through a thin plank of wood
or bark, and secure one plank to each foot with straps or duct
tape. Since most hikers don’t pack extra screws, you might be
able to scavenge them from a miner’s cabin or fence. Strands of
barbed wire, rusty mattress springs (stretched flush against the
sole and over the sides), and shredded aluminum-can bottoms
also work. A less effective but more widely
available approach is to wrap a densely knot-
ted rope around the bottom of your shoes, like
tire chains. Polar explorer Ranulph Fiennes
depended on this approach while descending
the Beardmore Glacier during his successful
1992-93 Antarctic crossing.
Survival Secret
Need to ascend a
steep snowfield
but don’t have an
ice axe? Carry a
tent stake to help
you self-arrest in
case of an unex-
pected and possi-
bly perilous slide.
Few forms of hiking are more frustrating, exhausting, and potentially
dead-ending than postholing (aka, flailing through thigh-deep snow). If
a storm struck overnight or you forgot to pack snowshoes—but still have
miles to go—save energy and stay drier by constructing your own Ojibwas.
Cut down two pine branches that are still green, full of needles, and about
three times the length of your boots. Densely needled boughs perform
better than strips of bark or wooden boards because the gaps between the
needles let the snow sift through, just like the lattices found in regular snowshoes.
Step lengthwise onto the center of each branch; orient them so the tips
face forward and the woody stems extend behind you. Strap the boughs
securely to your boot soles using compression straps, cordage, or tent guy-
lines. Trim the branches so there's not excess overlap, which can trip you up.
To keep the boughs from shifting as you walk, weave the straps
through your boot laces. (Prefer high-performance snowshoes? See
page 53 for tips on buying the right model.)
Need fire but have…
No Tinder
When the ground is drenched, look
in your pack for dry, flammable fuel.
Burn this…
› Alcohol-based hand sanitizer A
grape-size dab will burn almost
invisibly for 90 seconds.
› White gas Though it evaporates in
the open air, it does so slowly.
› Cooking oil Unrefined oils work best.
› DEET bug sprays Burning OFF! might
create some unhealthy fumes, but
it’s worth it if you need a fire.
› Gauze bandages Or paper products
like TP, tissue, trash, or playing cards
› Steel wool It lights even when wet.
› Fabric Apply the above fire acceler-
ants to cotton or wool garments, or
silnylon. Torn strips of cotton ignite
easily and blaze brightly. Tighter
weaves burn longer, so shirts and
underwear work better than socks.
Don’t burn…
› Butane from an opened lighter When
exposed to air, it evaporates quickly.
› Polyester Synthetics light slowly
and melt into a fire-killing plastic
Stuck in powder with...
No Snowshoes
1
2
3
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 77
Here in the world of professional backpacking, those of us
who have been around the backcountry block and have seen
some things—and, yes, escaped a few brushes with physi-
cal and other kinds of nearly certain death—we possess a
secret survival method that’s as effective as it is unorthodox.
Variously known as the Pringles Primer, the Fritos Firestarter,
or the (more on this later) Fritos Firebomb, this mystery
is one we reveal here only because, frankly, photographer
Dan Saelinger shot a really cool picture of it. Inadvertently
invented at an ’80s bonfire in southern Ohio, the technique
Word up to Eric Schlosser and all you other health-food ninnies out there: A bag of
greasy chips could save your triglyceride-loathing, carb-counting, GMO-bashing arses.
is dirtbag simple: Flick a Bic under a greasy sliver of potato,
and that all-American farm product will burn for 45 to 60
seconds (per 1.87g serving—the weight of an average chip
these miserly days). The flame won’t cook the rabbit you just
snared, but several blazing crisps will lick your recalcitrant
kindling enough to get a real fire going. We never carry chips
on trips (though we love Tim’s Cascade Jalapeño afterward),
but extensive testing reveals that Fritos Scoops! is the sine
qua non of incendiary snacks. As for the Firebomb, put on
your pyro thinking cap and imagine a white gas marinade.
SURVIVE!
Lost with...
Only Some Junk Food
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
78 BACKPACKER 10.2010
Uh-oh, you forgot to
download free maps at
Backpacker.com, and now
you’re lost in the woods
without any navigational
tools. Smart! Now follow
these rules to get found.
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Start by locating the sun. It rises in
the east and sets in the west (yes, lost
persons have messed this up). It also
sits low on the southern horizon during
winter and, by midsummer, is almost
overhead. If the time is close to noon,
use this watch method to fix a direction
more accurately: Take an analog watch
(or draw one on the ground, taking the
time from your digital watch). Position
the watch so the hour hand points at
the sun. The line that bisects the angle
between the hour hand and 12 o’clock
(1 o’clock during DST) is aligned north
to south; find north by recalling that the
sun tracks through the southern horizon.
Survival Secret
If you’re lost,
regularly double-
check your direc-
tion as you hike to
make sure you’re
not wandering in
circles or letting
the terrain deter-
mine your path.
At night, you can identify
Polaris (the North Star)
by first finding the eas-
ily recognized Big Dipper.
Take the two stars that
form the lip of the Big
Dipper’s cup, and trace a
line upward (for about five times the
distance between the two stars) until
you reach a faint star. This is Polaris,
and it always points north. Mark this
direction in the dirt before sheltering for
the night, and follow it in the morning.
Stop moving and start thinking about
your last known location, usually a
singular spot like a summit, trail sign,
river crossing, or a lake. Return to that
place if possible. If you can’t back-
track, you’ll need to navigate by dead
reckoning. The good news is that
most hikers lose their way within a
mile of a marked trail, road, parking
lot, or structure. So if you know a road
or a trail is somewhere east of your
location—and you’re certain you can
travel east without a compass—head
in that direction. The bad news is that
lost people generally cannot follow a
straight line across wilderness terrain.
Unless you are totally confident, stay
put and wait for rescue.
Fording the river didn’t seem risky until the moment your butt
hit the water. Now you’re soaked up to your pits as the evening
mercury drops below 45°F. Your goal: Prevent hypothermia.
Find a spot sheltered from the wind and,
if possible, in the sun. Remove wet cloth-
ing, including socks and underwear, and
don the warmest, driest layers you have;
cover your head and neck, too. No dry
clothes? Start a fire. Also, insulate your-
self from the ground with a pad or pack.
Still shivering or feeling clumsy? You
need to raise your temp fast. Pitch your
tent and unroll your sleeping bag inside,
so it’s ready. Do jumping jacks, and cook
up a warm drink that has no caffeine or
alcohol (both are diuretics, and dehydra-
tion hampers temperature regulation).
Slurred speech, resisting help, and confu-
sion signal hypothermia’s downward spiral.
If those symptoms develop, zip the victim
into a dry sleeping bag, treat for shock by
raising his feet, and place a water bottle
or bladder filled with lukewarm—not hot—
water against his chest, back, groin, and
head. Before you strip naked to spoon with
your buddy, know that a 1994 Canadian
study in the Journal of Applied Physiology
showed that body-to-body contact doesn’t
warm up hypothermia victims any faster
than applying heated water bottles at these
key areas. Plus, it chills another person.
Survival Secret
Sugary drinks and foods boost a hypo-
thermic person’s ability to generate
body heat. For other key tips, check out
BACKPACKER’S Outdoor Survival: Skills to
Survive and Stay Alive ($13, falcon.com).
Orient yourself
Get dry
Treat
hypothermia
Warm things up
North Star
T
r
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t
h
Little Dipper
Big Dipper
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 79
Doing more (fresh-baked pizza and rumaki hors d’oeuvres) with less (a
canister stove and a frying pan) is the essence of backcountry cooking. But
when you’re stuck without pots, pans, or utensils for more than a week,
knowing how to cook and boil water with these four stand-in containers
can be a vital, calorie-providing skill.
It is possible to boil
water in plastic
jugs—even flimsy
#1 PET soda
bottles. Since too
much heat will
melt plastic, shield
the bottle from
direct flames by
suspending it from
a cord or shoelace
four to six inches
above the fire.
Spin the bottle
to distribute the
heat. Hard plastic
bottles and water
bladders are more
heat-resistant, but
still never put them
directly in flames.
Survival Secrets
Use tent stakes—
not poles—to
create a grill over
a fire, since they
resist heat better.
A prickly pear pad
effectively filters
water. Slice the
pad in half and
place both halves,
insides facing
down, in the water
container or well
(let sediment set-
tle in the container
first). The pad’s
thick gum will
soak up most of
the dirt and nasty
bacteria after
about 30 minutes.
To cook freeze-
dried meals
without a pot,
remove the dry
food from the foil
pouch, fill it with
water, and heat
it over a stove or
fire. When the
water boils, add
the food, and mix
as instructed.
Save the bag to
heat additional
water later.
Unlike foil pouches, zip-top plastic bags won’t sur-
vive high heat. But you can steam-cook with them.
First, place a flat rock atop a stove or fire. (Note:
Avoid using river rocks; the latent water inside their
crevices might cause the rocks to expand and frac-
ture when heated.) Suspend a zipped bag containing
your water and uncooked food (pasta, rice, vegeta-
bles, tea, etc.) directly over the hot rock. Drip water
onto the rock to generate steam, which will cook the
food without destroying the bag. Cooking times vary
widely, but ballpark is 10 minutes.
If you’re feeling prehistoric, light a wood fire in a hole about one foot
deep and three feet wide. When the fire peaks, add large rocks; as the
flames die into coals, cover the rocks with wet, green plant material—
the wetter, the better. Add a layer of uncooked food (red meat, fish,
veggies), then a second layer of flora. Cover the pit with two to four
inches of dirt and wait several hours until the food is cooked.
Famished but with…
No Cooking Pots
The Survival
Encyclopedia
Find 7 ways to light a
fire (including with your
cell phone!), 10 essen-
tial knots, and much
more at our Survival 101
Center at backpacker
.com/survival101.
Heat pouches
Steam-cook in zip-top bags
Bake dinner in a pit oven
5
6
4
3
2
1
LAYERS
1. Dirt
2. Plants
3. Food
4. Plants
5. Rocks
6. Coals
SURVIVE!
Boil -
in - the -
bottle
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
80 BACKPACKER 10.2010

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Josh and Jacob Gately, two brothers
from Missouri, began their descent of
Colorado’s Mount of the Holy Cross
together back in October 2007. As
mist swirled around them at 13,000
feet, Jacob hiked ahead of his brother
and became separated by the rugged
terrain. When Josh arrived at base-
camp a few hours later, his brother
wasn’t there. Scenarios like this play
out all the time in the wilderness. If
faced with it, here’s what to do.
First, look at your watch.
Knowing how long your
buddy has been gone will
help you and SAR teams
calculate how far he might
have traveled. Then orga-
nize anyone else in camp
for a quick hunt in the
immediate vicinity. Spend
only an hour sweeping
the area, because only 40
percent of hasty searches
are successful.
If you don’t make contact quickly, leave
a note in case he returns, then head
toward the last known point where you
saw the missing person. If that fails,
apply these stats to the terrain around
you to determine where to search next:
Two-thirds of lost hikers show up within
two miles of their final known location;
more than half move downhill; and 75
percent follow trails, streams, drainages,
and other easy paths (at an average
speed of two mph). One-third continue
to move after dark, but most stop mov-
ing after 24 hours.
If the lost hiker doesn’t turn up within a
few hours, or you’re concerned about cold
weather or his ability to survive the night,
contact rangers or call 911 to initiate a pro-
fessional search. That’s what Josh did, and
two days later, a SAR team discovered Jacob
hypothermic and frostbitten—but alive.
“Start as a group, hike as a group, and end as a group,” says Lt. Todd Bogardus, SAR coordinator with
New Hampshire Fish and Game. Since groups naturally spread out, make it a rule to assemble at
every junction, turn, and sign. Also, assign a sweeper to bring up the rear, and make sure everyone
carries a map and a whistle, and knows the rally point (like a campsite or a trailhead).
Ounce for ounce, few items
can improve your survival
chances more than a humble
trash bag. And you’re prob-
ably packing several already,
as liners for your stuffsacks
and as cheap pack covers.
But when trouble arises, they
can do much more. Note: For
these tasks, opt for brightly
colored, heavy-duty lawn bags
30 to 55 gallons in size and 3
mils (
1
/1000 of an inch) thick.
Create two buoyancy chambers—and
a place in-between to grab on to—by
filling the bottom of the trash bag
with air and cinching down the middle
section with tape or cord. Then inflate
the top of the bag with air and tie it
closed. Trash bags can also be used to
collect water.
Survival Secret
Bright-yellow bags are more visible
in low light and at night than black
or red ones. Unfurl and wave them
to signal airborne rescuers.
Take the
Ultimate
Survival
Quiz!
Open here

On your debris shelter’s roof (see page
73), layer one bag between the layers
of branches and leaves. For a mat-
tress, stuff a second bag with dry litter.
Cut slits for your head and arms, and slip
the bag over your torso. Shivering from
the wind? Tuck the end into your pants
and stuff the interior with dry leaves.
1. Do a hasty
search
2. Backtrack
3. Call in help
Lost with…
Only a
Trash Bag
Cross a river Improvise a rainshell
Waterproof a shelter
In the backcountry with…
A Missing
Partner
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all

start here
True or false: You can
stay alive in the wilds by…
1. Drinking urine
2. Eating snow
3. Drinking from a cactus
4. Sleeping in a space blanket
5. Staying positive
6. Tying bags over plants
7. Eating wild greens
8. True or false: A handful of
roasted, large grasshoppers has
nearly the same number of calo-
ries and protein as a hamburger.
9. True or false: Most bunched
berries are edible.
answers
10. Which mushroom is edible?
A) Cortinarius traganus
B) Clitocybe nuda
11. True or false: When you’re
hopelessly lost in the forest, you
can orient yourself by remem-
bering that all streams lead to
roads, moss grows thicker on the
north side of trees, and spiders
build their webs facing south.
12. You’re still lost, but now
you’re also tired and hungry, and
night is falling. Your only food is
a single energy bar. You should…
A) Save it as long as possible,
because your body will start
burning fat right away and you
might need a quick burst of
energy in the coming days
B) Ration the bar bite by bite,
nibbling on it just enough to
quiet the stomach growls
C) Eat the whole thing, to give you
energy to build a shelter and fire
13. Identify the North Star.
14. True or false: Hikers get lost
more than any other group of
outdoor recreationists.
15. You surely know that dead,
dry wood (but not rotted) is
always better than wet for start-
ing a blaze, but type matters,
too. True or false: All else being
equal, pine and spruce will light
faster than maple and oak.
16. True or false:
You can start a fire
by striking a diamond
ring against your knife.
84 BACKPACKER 10.2010


‘
’
A B
1. False. It contains too many toxins.
But you can exploit its evaporative-
cooling powers: Pee on a shirt or
bandana, then tie it around your neck.
2. True. Eating snow will hydrate you.
However, if your body temperature
is dropping due to other factors,
chomping on snow will push you into
hypothermia faster.
3. False. The water inside of a barrel
cactus is full of alkaloids, which will
cause you to vomit the liquid. Some
species are also poisonous.
4. False. Although space blankets will
trap heat and are better than nothing,
the nonporous sheet seals in water
5 percent of wild mushrooms are
edible, and one wrong bite can
literally kill you via potent toxins.
11. False. These fables are all unreli-
able. See page 78 for an action plan.
12. C. Only ration the bar if the idea
of having no food freaks you out and
you want the psychological comfort.
13. 1. See page 78.
14. False. Big time. Gino Ferri, PhD,
director of the Survival in the Bush
school, in Ontario, says the vast
majority of lost people are hunters
(56 percent), anglers (24 percent),
and trappers (12 percent). The
remaining 8 percent are hikers and
other “patrons.” Curiously, this 8 per-
vapor from your breath and sweat,
so overnight, you’ll wake up wet
and shivering. You’d be better off
using it to rainproof a debris shelter
(see page 73) or to signal rescuers
via the reflective area.
5. True. “Come up with a reason
to live and focus on that,” says
survival expert Tony Nester. “The
drive to get back home has proven
over and over to be the #1 factor in
successful survival stories.”
6. False. Not enough moisture is
produced to keep you alive. Five
gallon-size bags tied around bushy
plants for 24 hours will only pro-
duce a teaspoon or less of water.
7. False. All six-legged insects in
North America are OK, but most
wild plants will wreck havoc on
your GI system. Unless you’re a
skilled botanist, move on; starva-
tion is a slow killer (about 30 days).
8. True. A three-ounce hamburger
patty made from lean ground beef
has about 145 calories and about
15 grams of protein. Approximately
10 large grasshoppers weighing 3.5
ounces total offer about 121 calo-
ries and 13 grams of protein.
9. True. Bunched berries include
raspberries and blueberries.
Avoid white and yellow berries.
10. B. A is poisonous. Less than
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
23. Which of the following are
signs that someone is drowning?
A) Splashing and waving of arms
B) Shouting
C) Silence
D) Upright posture
24. While backpacking along the
Lost Coast, you pitch camp on a
beach and set out for a dip. You see
a spot in the surf where the waves
are flat, and it looks like there’s an
outbound stream on the surface. Is
this a safe place to swim
A) Yes, because the waves are
calmer at that spot
B) No, that is a danger zone
25. How do you escape a rip current?
A) Swim straight to shore using the
most powerful stroke, the crawl
B) Let it carry you out and then
signal a passing boat
C) Swim parallel to the shore
26. Assuming you can’t get to a
stand of tall trees, which of these
spots is the best place to wait out
a lightning storm?
A) Under any lone tree
B) In a low spot or ravine
C) Atop a rock slab
D) Inside a cave
cent constitutes the majority of those
seeking survival instruction.
15. True. These soft, resinous (sappy)
woods have a lower ignition point.
16. False. Diamonds are much
harder than the steel used in blades.
Hitting your wife’s ring against your
knife will gouge the blade but won’t
produce a spark. However, striking
the blade with the sharp edge of an
opal pendant will get the job done.
17. A. Coral snakes live mostly in the
Southeast and Southwest. The
others are harmless. To tell them
apart, remember: Red on yellow, kills
a fellow. Red on black, friend of Jack.
18. C. By restricting circulation, a
tourniquet prevents blood from
diluting the toxin and reducing tissue
damage. And suction methods have
been shown not to work.
19. All six of these will work (one point
for each), since they have a hardness
between 5 and 6.5 on the Mohs’ scale.
But the last three lose their edges
quickly and require frequent knapping.
20. B. Though cottonwoods are usually
a good sign of water, too, their roots can
reach 40 feet deep. But Bermuda grass
requires water close to the surface.
21. C
22. If you can’t do C, do B (one point for
each). Downed trees form underwater
obstacles called strainers, which can
of water flowing away from shore.
More than 100 Americans drown
in them each year. They can form
anywhere with breaking waves and
are most common around low spots,
breaks in sandbars, piers, and jetties.
Polarized sunglasses help you see
them by reducing glare.
25. C. Rip currents are typically only
30 to 100 feet wide, so you can easily
escape them before they carry you out
to sea. But swimming against the
current will exhaust you.
26. B. Lightning is attracted to high
points, and since wet rock conducts
electricity, lightning can also arc
across slabs and cave openings.
17. Which of these
snakes is deadly?
A) Eastern coral snake
B) Mexican milk snake
C) Organ pipe
shovel-nosed snake
D) California mountain
kingsnake
18. A rattler bites you.
You should...
A) Tie a tourniquet above the bite,
to keep venom from spreading
B) Suck out the venom with a
suction cup or your mouth
C) Immobilize the limb at heart
level and get to a doctor
19. Which of these throw a spark
when struck against a knife?
A) Flint
B) Chert
C) Jasper
D) Quartzite
E) Obsidian
F) Granite
20. In a desert environment,
which of these is a better indica-
tor of accessible water?
A) Cottonwood trees
B) Patches of Bermuda grass
21. Most hikers know that drink-
ing alcohol speeds dehydration,
which creates great danger in
extreme weather conditions. But
how much water must you drink
to offset your booze intake and
avoid dehydration?
A) 2 times as much water
B) 3 times
C) 6 times
D) 10 times
22. Your canoe flipped, and you’re
headed downstream fast. Ahead,
you see a downed tree lying across
part of the river. You should...
A) Swim to it, grab on, and haul
yourself out of the water
B) Swim hard to it and use your
momentum to launch yourself over
C) Avoid it at all costs
D) Float with the current, feet
pointed downstream
snare and drown swimmers.
23. C and D (1 point for each).
Contrary to Hollywood theatrics,
most drowning victims don’t make
a peep. The body’s instinctive
drowning response blocks voluntary
actions like shouting or waving
(though the person might do these
things in the stages preceding
drowning). All actions center around
inhaling, exhaling, and keeping
the mouth above water. Signs of
a drowning person include: mouth
and nose barely breaking the water’s
surface, mouth open, and an upright
posture with no signs of kicking.
24. B. This is a rip current—a stream
27. Fill in the blanks:
attacks, you should
grizzly attacks,
28. If you stumble across a
bear, you should...
A) Play dead
B) Back away slowly while avoid-
ing eye contact, speaking in a low
voice, and slowly waving your arms
C) Run away
29. True or false:
ert, stripping off clothes is the best
way to lower your body
temperature.
30. Never cross
ice unless you
know it’s con-
tinuous and at
least…
A) 3 inches thick
B) 4 inches thick
C) 5 inches thick
31. Which of
these is most
dangerous in out-
door emergencies?
A) Panic
B) Haste
C) Despair
D) Overconfidence
27. With a black bear, fight back.
With a grizzly, play dead by lying on
your belly, legs spread for stability
and hands over your neck. If the bear
rolls you, keep rolling until back on
your belly. (One point for each)
28. B
29. False. Clothes block sun, cooling
you off more than going shirtless.
30. B
31. C. Panic usually strikes the
moment you realize your pre-
dicament. While the sensation is
intense, says survival expert Doug
Ritter, “For most people, that panic
dissipates quickly and generally
before they do anything really stu-
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
Would You Survive?
Take our quiz to rate your wilderness IQ.
If you rewarm them in the field, two
things can happen: First, they might
swell up, preventing you from get-
ting your boots back on, and second,
they might refreeze, causing more
damage. Never use a fire or massage
(friction) to warm frostbitten tissues,
which burn easily under dry heat.
34. C. Says survival expert Laurence
Gonzales, “The personality type best
suited to survival is calm, humble,
curious, deliberate, cautious, and (at
the right times) bold.”
35. B. “When bad things happen,
denial is natural,” Gonzales says.
Getting beyond it fast is critical.
27. Fill in the blanks: If a black bear
attacks, you should and if a
grizzly attacks, .
28. If you stumble across a
bear, you should...
A) Play dead
B) Back away slowly while avoid-
ing eye contact, speaking in a low
voice, and slowly waving your arms
C) Run away
29. True or false: In the broiling des-
ert, stripping off clothes is the best
way to lower your body
temperature.
30. Never cross
ice unless you
know it’s con-
tinuous and at
least…
A) 3 inches thick
B) 4 inches thick
C) 5 inches thick
31. Which of
these is most
dangerous in out-
door emergencies?
A) Panic
B) Haste
C) Despair
D) Overconfidence
32. If you’re caught in an
avalanche, you should…
A) Curl into a tight ball to avoid
being crushed
B) Fight to stay in the slide’s tail
and create an air pocket in front
of your face with your hands
C) Shed your pack so it doesn’t
drag you down, and get your
feet forward
33. What is the best way
to treat frostbitten
feet?
A) Leave your
boots on until you
reach a warm
shelter, then heat
up your feet near
a fire (or apply
heat packets
or warm water
bottles against
the skin); speed
up the process by
rubbing your feet
with your hands
B) Leave your boots on
until you reach a warm
shelter, then heat them in lukewarm
water or with hot, wet cloths
C) Remove your boots and have
your hiking partner suckle your toes
34. Which personality
type is best equipped
to handle survival
situations?
A) Popeye
B) Eric Cartman
C) Ned Flanders
D) Drill sergeant
E) Foghorn
Leghorn
F) Charlie Brown
35. What is the
most common
mistake people
make in the midst
of emergencies?
A) Attempting
to self-rescue
B) Refusing to accept the situation
C) Relying on others to save them
D) Freaking out and making
rash, irrational decisions
10.2010 BACKPACKER 86
Score Your Odds
Give yourself one point for
each correct answer. You are...
0-5 A Fabergé egg that mostly
serves ornamental purposes
6-10 A fickle ficus that thrives
only in a narrow range of
environments
11-25 A Tuff Shed that’s capable
of weathering most conditions
26-40 The love child of
Sir Ernest Shackleton and
Sigourney Weaver
41-43 A cockroach
pid.” Haste can be good or bad depending
on the situation, and overconfidence
can lure you on into further trouble.
But despair saps the will to live, which
eliminates the #1 reason that people pull
through ordeals.
32. B. Fight: Self-arrest, grab a tree, or
swim (crawl or backstroke) to the side
or back (tail) of the slide, to avoid being
sucked into the subducting head. If you’re
in the head and likely will get buried once
the slide stops (which happens abruptly),
focus on forming a breathing space with
your hands, to disperse carbon dioxide.
33. B. Keep your boots on until you’re in
a place where you can revive your feet
permanently (camp, a cabin, the car).
27. With a black bear, fight back.
With a grizzly, play dead by lying on
your belly, legs spread for stability
and hands over your neck. If the bear
rolls you, keep rolling until back on
your belly. (One point for each)
28. B
29. False. Clothes block sun, cooling
you off more than going shirtless.
30. B
31. C. Panic usually strikes the
moment you realize your pre-
dicament. While the sensation is
intense, says survival expert Doug
Ritter, “For most people, that panic
dissipates quickly and generally
before they do anything really stu-
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 87
P
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“Hello, this is 911. Please state your emergency.” If you’re calling
for backcountry help on your cell phone, what you say—or
sob incoherently—next could determine when you get rescued.
Survival Secret
Extend your cell
phone’s battery
life by warming it
in an inner pocket
before turning it
on to make a call.
Storing the batteries
at cold temperatures
is fine, however,
and won’t drain
the power.
Assume your first call will be your only call, because
storms, fading signals, and dying batteries can disrupt
connections. “You initially need to give your name, problem, general location, physi-
cal condition, and cell number to the 911 dispatcher,” says Lt. Todd Bogardus, SAR
coordinator with New Hampshire Fish and Game. Before calling, write these details
down, check your map, complete an injury inventory, and take a deep breath—a
calm, prepared caller tends to communicate better and get key details correct. SAR
teams also need to know your last known location. This can be a trailhead, a lake,
a road or river crossing, a summit, or a trail sign. Focus on known places because
lost hikers often misjudge their current position by many miles. Providing additional
details like a GPS waypoint, terrain conditions, sun position, types of nearby trees,
river crossings, and distinctive landmarks can narrow a search zone, Bogardus says.
Give the 411
Drowning is the #2 cause of outdoor deaths (falls are #1), so avoid wading waist-deep or too-fast
rivers (a tossed, fist-size rock shouldn’t move downstream before sinking), but if no choice exists:
Remove your backpack If you topple with it strapped to your back,
the pack will force your torso and head underwater, so unbuckle
the waist and sternum straps. If the water is up to your waist or
above, wrap your pack in a waterproof bag, and either push or
tow it across the river. Yes, it will float.
Hang on to your sleeping pad This is prob-
ably your most buoyant gear. Partially
inflate the pad, then roll it up, and make
arm loops from the compression straps
so it can be your emergency PFD as you
wade or swim; this also leaves your hands
free for poles. Foam pads also work.
Make water wings Link two or more empty plastic water bottles
or bladders together with straps to create a chain of buoys.
Use your trousers Remove your pants, tie off the cuffs, grasp the
open waistband, and plunge it top first into the water to fill the
legs with air. The Red Cross teaches this when no better options
exist. Note: Even Bear Grylls had trouble crossing a lake with only
his pants keeping him afloat (he had to re-inflate them midway).
Choose your route Wider or braided channels signal slower, shal-
lower water. Face the current at a 45-degree angle and carry
poles or sticks. If walking across, wear shoes sans socks for trac-
tion. If swimming, go barefoot; sodden boots will drag you down.
Before leaving for a hike, activate your phone’s SAR-friendly “Location” options,
under the settings menu. Most newer (post-2005) phones contain a GPS chip
that tells emergency responders your approximate position—either through
cell-tower triangulation, satellite fixes, or both. Enabling the “Location”
function for all calls, not just to 911, makes it easier for cell phone companies
to find you. Also, make sure call-forwarding and automatic voicemail are
disabled. Most importantly, keep your phone turned off and stuffed inside
your pack until you need it (to preserve the batteries).
Enable your phone
Must cross a raging river with...
No Personal Flotation Device
SURVIVE!
Wait!
Did you
take the
Ultimate
Survival
Quiz?

storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
88 BACKPACKER 10.2010
Now you’ve done it, fumblefingers: bobbled your belay/rappel
device or dropped your harness, with one 5.8 pitch left before
the summit and three pitches below you back to the ridge.
What to do? Other than screaming Mommy, you have options.
The click, click, crap of a dead
battery is about as welcome as
the rattle of a diamondback in
the latrine. Here’s what to do.
Check the juice Clean crusty deposits from
inside the battery posts and terminals.
That ensures the engine’s starter is receiv-
ing a full charge, says AAA-certified master
technician Michael Calkins. Nothing? Ask
another hiker for a jump. If no one is around,
call AAA. No cell reception? Don’t worry. As
long as the dashboard warning lights flash
when you turn the key—indicating the bat-
tery has some juice—you have options.
Warm the battery If you think subzero temps
(and not the overhead dome light) drained
the battery, you can try warming it up (at
5°F, a lead-acid battery produces only
half of its normal cranking power). Calkins
recommends removing the battery from
the engine block and placing it in a pot
of hot (not boiling) water, submerged to
within two inches of the battery top. Don’t
fully immerse it, or place a heat source
directly under the pot. Hot water bottles
and bladders are less effective, but will still
warm up the internal plates. After an hour,
try starting the car. Never place a stove
or flames near a battery being charged or
jumped; it could ignite hydrogen gases.
Try pushing If you drive a manual (stick shift)
car, you can push-start it if the battery
retains enough reserve power to activate
the car’s computer, Calkins says. Shut off
the radio, heat, and anything electrical, turn
the key to the ‘on’ position, and press down
the clutch as you shift into first gear. Release
the brake pedal, and tell your friends to start
pushing. As the car speeds up to 5 or 10
mph (downhill helps), release the clutch, let
the engine turn, and give it gas. Note: This
doesn’t work with an automatic because
the transmission won’t allow the engine to
be cranked by the wheels’ motion.
Be proactive Get your car inspected pretrip,
and buy a portable jump-starter like Black
& Decker’s Start It ($90, amazon.com).
Use a locking carabiner and a Munter hitch, popularized in
the 1960s by the Swiss guide Werner Munter. This easy,
bomber knot has 2.5 kN of holding power when locked
off—versus the roughly 2 kN of most belay devices.
Ideally, you’ll have a pear-shaped HMS biner, which
easily fits two bends of the rope. First, draw the rope
through the biner, and form a bight with a half-twist.
Flip the bight another 180 degrees and clip it into the
biner (fig. 2). To lock it off, bring the brake-hand strand
parallel with the side entering the biner (fig. 4). To
rappel (with double lines), form the Munter with both
rope strands together. Caveat: Keep the knot clear of the
biner gate to lower the risk of opening. Oh, and Munters
kink ropes to an unholy degree, so use them sparingly.
Let’s say you took it off to pee…in a wind-
storm. Whoops! Or, more likely, you just
didn’t bring it, not realizing your “fourth
class” objective was actually 5.6. You still
have options. Back in the day before har-
nesses, climbers tied the rope around their
waists with a bowline on a coil. This method
can snap ribs in a big fall, but it works in a
pinch. Bring the rope snugly around your
waist at least three times, leaving two to
three feet of tail. Form a bight with a half-
twist. Bring this under and back through
your waist coils, then tie a bowline with
the tail. Add an overhand backup with the
remaining tail (fig. 4). Voilà, you’re ready
to climb. Comfort tip: Jerry-rig leg loops
by girth-hitching slings around your gams;
clip them to all of the waist coils.
Say—blackest of horrors—you must
rappel sans harness. It’s time for the
Dülfersitz. Here’s how: Straddle the rap-
pel ropes, bringing them back around
one leg and across your hip, then up
over the opposite shoulder. Now bring
the rope down and across your back,
where the brake hand holds it beside the
wrapped hip. Step backward over the
edge, and use your brake hand and the
rope’s cross-body friction to meter your
descent—go
slowly! While
the rope’s fric-
tion is punishing
(pad your cloth-
ing accordingly),
rope rash beats
an appear-
ance in next
year’s volume
of Accidents in
North American
Mountaineering.
T
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B
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(
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Stuck at a remote
trailhead with…
A Dead
Car
Battery
Belay
without
a device
Climb without a harness
Cliffed out with...
No Climbing Gear
Rappel without a harness
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 89
Some cracks devour ropes the
way marmots munch on radia-
tor lines. If your lifeline gets
hung up in a crack while you’re
pulling it between rappels,
first try flicking it sharply from
different angles. No luck? If
there’s enough free cord, your
partner can belay you while you
climb to the snag. Otherwise, be
ready with a belay knife—no,
you’re not touching the void,
but you might have to cut that
irretrievable rope and make
a series of mini rappels
with the remaining cord
(melt the ends to
prevent fraying). This is
what alpinist Kelly
Cordes had to do when
bailing off Mt. Hunter,
in Alaska—rapping about
3,000 feet with only
half a length of rope.
“Not fun,” he says,
“but it worked.”
SURVIVE!
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
90 BACKPACKER 10.2010
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In an emergency, paracord can prove just as valuable as a knife and firestarter. You
can use it for lashings, tourniquets, makeshift shoelaces, snares, and tying splints.
You can even tease out the cord’s individual strands and make a fishing line or sew-
ing thread. But how do you carry a useful amount—that will always be on your
person—without just shoving it in your pocket? Enter the survival bracelet. Often
worn by American soldiers, this is not a fashion accessory but a survival tool. Just
like your knife and lighter, this can be worn on your body, in case you become sepa-
rated from your gear. To construct one, you’ll need scissors, a lighter, a tape measure,
and 10 feet of 550 paracord (breaking strength of 550 pounds). Here are the steps:
1. Cut a two-foot length of cord and melt the ends with the lighter. Fold the cord in half.
Wrap the doubled-up cord around your wrist, pulling the tag ends through the loop. Tie an
overhand knot with the ends; this is the stopper knot. Adjust the knot so you can slip a finger
between the cord and your wrist. Do not trim the ends. This is your base cord.
2. Lay the remaining eight feet of cord in front of you horizontally. Now place the base cord—
with the loop at the top—over the middle of the eight-foot cord, forming a T.
3. Make a cobra knot. To start, take the cord on the left and bring it over the top of the base
cord to form an S.
4. Take the right cord and thread it down through the loop on the right side of the base cord;
then go under the base cord and up inside the loop on the left and pull
tight. Make sure the overhand knot will fit through the small opening at the
top of the base cord.
5. Starting on the right, reverse the process. This will complete
the first cobra knot.
6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 until you are about one-quarter of an inch from
the stopper knot. Check the fit on your wrist by pushing the stopper knot
through the loop at the apex. You can adjust the fit by moving the overhand
knot up or down. The brace-
let needs to fit snugly without
being too tight. When you are
satisfied, trim the tag ends and
melt them with the lighter.
7. To wear, push the stopper
knot through the loop to hold
the bracelet securely on your
wrist. If desired, you can also
add wooden toggles, buttons,
buckles, and other fastening
methods. To use the cord, sim-
ply unweave the bracelet.
DIY Survival Bracelet
SURVIVE!
Accessorize
Find a step-by-
step slideshow
on building this
bracelet at back-
packer.com/surviv-
albracelet.
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
2010 GET OUT MORE TOUR
BACKPACKER IS COMING TO A TOWN NEAR YOU!
The 10
th
annual Get Out More Tour brings the pages of Backpacker to life in towns across
America! Join Backpacker’s all-star Get Out More team for an engaging 60-minute seminar
full of trail-tested tips. It’s your chance to learn from the experts, check-out the latest gear and
apparel, and win great prizes. Visit backpacker.com/getoutmore for more information and to
enter to win the GET OUT MORE SWEEPSTAKES!
presented by
September/October 2010 SCHEDULE
CITY DATE TIME ADDRESS
Redwood City, CA Sun, Oct 3 2 pm Redwood Trading Post, 1305 El Camino Real
San Jose, CA Tue, Oct 5 7 pm Mel Cotton’s Sporting Goods, 1266 W San Carlos St
San Diego, CA Sat, Oct 9 2 pm Adventure 16 , 4620 Alvarado Canyon Rd
Phoenix, AZ Sat, Oct 16 2 pm REI , 12634 N Paradise Village Pkwy
Tuscon, AZ Sun, Oct 17 3 pm Summit Hut, 605 E Wetmore Rd at 1st Ave
Albuquerque, NM Thu, Oct 21 7 pm REI , 1550 Mercantile Ave NE
Oklahoma City, OK Tue, Oct 26 6 pm Bass Pro Shops, 200 Bass Pro Dr
Tulsa, OK Thu, Oct 28 7 pm Sun & Ski Sports, 6808 Memorial Dr
Springdale, AR Sat, Oct 30 2 pm Lewis & Clark Outfitters, 4915 S Thompson
Dallas, TX Thu, Nov 4 7 pm Whole Earth Provision Company,
5400 E Mockingbird Ln
Austin, TX Sat, Nov 6 2 pm Whole Earth Provision Company, 1014 N Lamar Blvd
New Orleans, LA N Tue, Nov 16 6:30 pm Massey’s Professional Outfitters, 509 N Carrollton Ave
Jackson, MS Ja J Thu, Nov 18 6 pm Buffalo Peak Outfitters, 115 Highland Village
Homewood, AL HH Sat, Nov 20 2 pm Alabama Outdoors, 3054 Independence Dr
Apopka, FL Ap Sat, Nov 27 1 pm Mosquito Creek Outdoors, 170 S Washington Ave
Pinellas Park, FL Sat, Dec 4 2 pm Bill Jackson’s , 9501 US Highway 19 N
Jacksonville, FL Sat, Dec 11 12 pm Black Creek Outfitters, 10051 Skinner Lake Dr
www.backpacker.com/getoutmore
LET’S GET GOING!
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
92 BACKPACKER 10.2010
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
Backpacking with relatives
can present emotional chal-
lenges, particularly for the
philosophically inclined
camper. I am such a camper,
and I encountered some dif-
ficult moments on a recent trip into the backcountry. During the lightning storm on the way in, for example, when
I found myself shivering and huddling under a tree while allegedly loving family members chortled at my distress;
at 3 a.m. on our first night, at which point I woke with a splitting headache, upset stomach, and a glum suspicion
that my older brother had intentionally poisoned me with giardia-infested hot chocolate; the slightly awkward
instant earlier, during the otherwise peaceful and happy circle around the campfire, when—after I had recounted
to my niece and nephews how Comanches had perfected torture to an art form in this very country, maybe even
at this very campsite, and how that particular tribe of Native Americans could strip off a man’s skin, layer by layer,
Camping is known to bring loved
ones closer together, but what
happens when your relations
include a treacherous sister,
murderous brother, and their savage
offspring? Steve Friedman leads
his clan into the Rockies to resolve
five decades’ worth of sibling
rivalry and simmering resentment.
*
Family! l
F*&^ing
ly
My
Illustration by Zohar Lazar
10.2010 BACKPACKER 93
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
94 BACKPACKER 10.2010
vein by vein, until all that was left were eyeballs and nerve
endings—my younger sister hollered from her tent to knock
it off and if the kids had nightmares, she was throwing them
into my tent and what the hell was wrong with me, anyway?
Those were challenging experiences by the standards of
any camper, even those not as philosophically inclined as
me. But they weren’t as challenging as the moments when I
was betrayed by the two people I thought I could depend on.
First, the terrible and urgent scream from thigh level.
“You promised us s’mores!”
It was Iris, my seven-year-old niece, my sister’s child. Iris
stands 3 foot 9 inches, weighs 44 pounds, has oceanic blue
eyes, hair so blonde it’s almost white, and a sparkling, toothy
smile that makes strangers gasp with reflexive delight. She
has freckles and a pug nose, too. She has a face that compels
people to pinch it and liken it to an angel’s. If only they knew.
“I know, Iris,” I said, “but Uncle Stevie needs some time to
get settled and he’s not sure where the marshmallows are…”
“You! Promised! S’mores!!!” she shrieked again. It was a hei-
nous sound, a primitive howl of rage and pure animal need.
“Please, Iris,” I said. “Uncle Stevie also promised relaxing,
carefree family fun. I need your help. Have a little patience.
You know how your mommy always says patience is some-
thing that will make you happier when you grow up, if you
had more of it. Well, now is a good time to practice and…”
“S’mores! S’mores! S’mores!”
I rubbed my temples.
“Just give her a piece of chocolate, Uncle Stevie. She’s
hungry and tired. And this is how she gets.”
The soothing voice belonged to Isaac, Iris’s 10-year-old
brother, also towheaded, also blue-eyed. But Isaac is calm
where Iris is stormy, quiet where she’s loud, steady where
she is occasionally psychotic and possibly (though the family
hopes not) criminally insane. I have been cultivating Isaac’s
loyalty since he was a toddler, when I had taught him to say
“Mommy doesn’t need to know we had ice cream for lunch”
and “Bedtime is stupid.” Isaac had been a key ally in my
efforts to organize the first Friedman backpacking trip.
I offered Iris a bar of chocolate, which she tore from
my grasp and fell upon, much as a blonde, blue-eyed, pug-
nosed hyena might fall upon the tender and defenseless neck
flesh of a hapless gazelle. She gnashed and tore and chewed.
The wind picked up. The temperature dropped.
“Uncle Stevie,” Isaac said. He would turn 11 the next morn-
ing. It was one reason we’d all gathered for this trip (there were
other, darker reasons, too, and I’ll get to those in a minute).
“Yes, I-dog?”
And then, the second, even more injurious betrayal. A very
challenging moment for me.
“Uncle Stevie,” Isaac repeated, “this trip really sucks.”
THINGS WOULD BE DIFFERENT IF I HAD GOTTEN MY
way, if we had been camping at one of south-
western Colorado’s Ice Lakes, which sit in a glacial
basin. We would have left a day earlier, as I had planned,
ahead of the storm. I might not have misplaced the marshmal-
lows. The kids would not have turned on me. But, of course,
I hadn’t gotten my way. With this group, I—the middle child—
had never gotten my way. My older brother got his way for
many years, because he was bigger. So it didn’t matter that I
preferred suburban St. Louis’s Velvet Freeze ice cream, which
served a simple but proud vanilla, over Baskin Robbins, which
specialized in flavors like Bubble Gum and Apple Pie that
even a five-year-old could tell were cheap, whorish abomina-
tions; or that given my druthers (which I wasn’t), I would have
rather raked the leaves than helped our father push the lawn
mower. But no! I was the little brother, so when it came to
ice cream emporiums and chores, my big brother, Don, got to
decide. (Is it a coincidence that he grew up to marry, bear a
son, and, as CEO, command a large financial services corpora-
tion while I have hopped, philosophically, from writing gig to
writing gig and girlfriend to girlfriend? I think not.)
Then, just as I was ready to start asserting my will and
needs, when I was six years old and my brother was eight,
my little sister was born, and suddenly “the baby” had to be
catered to. That left me, the middle one. The comic relief.
The diplomat. The forgotten child. (There was a brief, embar-
rassing period in my ostensibly adult life when I haunted
the self-help aisles of bookstores to better understand my
underemployment and general malaise; some of the phrases
I learned have stayed with me.)
I’m 54 now, marshmallow-less, chilly, induced to despair
by a savage seven-year-old and her once-dependable
brother. I’m having a challenging moment. The trip is not
turning out quite as I had planned.
“FAMILY RESENTMENTS WILL DRIFT AWAY LIKE
dandelion seeds on the summer wind,” I had
emailed my siblings last spring, lobbying for a
family backpacking trip. “Ancient enmities will melt like the
morning dew in a sun-kissed glade.”
“Whatever,” my sister had emailed back. “But you had bet-
ter not scare the kids with your stupid ghost stories.” (Isaac,
I learned later, had crept into the living room after my last
Colorado visit—at midnight, wide-eyed, refusing to return to
his bedroom. Under interrogation, Isaac admitted that he was
afraid that The Fingernail Mutant was going to get him and
that yeah, Uncle Stevie had told him about the monster.)
“You write pretty,” my brother had replied, “but that
doesn’t mean you’re not insane. No one has forgotten the
giant ham you bought Grandpa for Hanukkah.”
Why did my sister not trust me? Why couldn’t children
keep secrets? Why was my brother forever bringing up painful
episodes from the past? Also, for the record, at the time of the
Hanukkah Ham, I had been seeking a better understanding of
my place in the world. I had been seeking to understand other
holiday traditions and to bridge generational gaps. I had been
seeking to expand my family’s consciousness, and while it’s
true that I had also been smoking lots of marijuana, my shrink
assures me that I have always been a seeker, and that I should
*
*
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
10.2010 BACKPACKER 95
honor that part of my emotional life, because it is sacred.
I had promised my sister—again—that I would not men-
tion The Fingernail Mutant or stolen livers. I told my brother
that I would not steal the chocolate when everyone else was
sleeping, as I’d been accused of doing on previous family
gatherings. Why couldn’t my relatives let go of the past?
What I didn’t say but what I thought was that a bonding
experience together under the stars might help us through
the transitional phases we had recently found ourselves in—
my brother suffering from acid reflux and lower-back pain
brought on, I felt, by overwork, impending global economic
apocalypse, and the imminent departure of his only son,
Eddie, to college; my sister, a single mother of two, living
with her kids and her boyfriend, the couple pondering the
attractions and perils of marriage; and I, girlfriendless, under-
employed, overweight, battling gout, and wondering if lying
about my age by approximately 13 years in my online dating
profile was “pathetic and sick,” as a disturbed, angry, and
distressingly hostile woman whose name I won’t mention
suggested, or merely cagey and forward-looking marketing.
It wasn’t just the grown-ups whom I was thinking of help-
ing. The trip would be good for the youngsters, too. It would
help with the I-dog’s capacious sense of awe and curiosity
regarding the natural world. Camping out would be good for
Eddie, who earns straight As, throws the javelin, plays gui-
tar, paints, is president of his school, and generally acts like
the kind of boy who will never find himself shuffling along
self-help book aisles. I thought some pine-scented, campfire-
smoked wisdom from Uncle Stevie might help prepare Eddie
for his freshman year of college.
But Iris? Would a backpacking trip help Iris? Iris is some-
what of a mystery. On one hand, she is already fairly hardy.
When she was five, in the dead of a frigid mountain winter,
she spent the better part of three months in a grass skirt and
a coconut bra and flip-flops. A year earlier, when she was
four, she had been informed by her older brother during
lunchtime that “Hey, Irie, you know where that hamburger
comes from? It comes from a cow. That’s right, you’re eating
a dead cow right now. Ha ha. Moo. Ha ha.”
“You’re stupid,” Iris had said, calm as a giant toad, then she
returned to her lunch, working over her burger, tearing at it
as the wild African spotted dog tears at the baby wildebeest.
“Mmmmm,” she said, smacking her lips, “cow meat!”
Recently, she has adopted some new favorite phrases.
One is “Seriously!” The other is “I’m very angry!” Uttered
together, the words have made adults weep. They are uttered
together now, after my sister has told me to shut up about the
Comanches, after Isaac has turned on me, after the blue-eyed
mountain beast has swallowed an entire chocolate bar, con-
sidered her surroundings, and delivered her crie d’estomac.
“S’mores!” the tiny omnivore howls. “I’m very angry!
Seriously!”
A MONTH BEFORE THE TRIP, I TELEPHONE MY SISTER
to get her in line with my plans for camping
above treeline.
“Mr. Comfort is going to push for something wimpy,”
I tell her. Mr. Comfort is my brother’s nickname, which he
earned over the years by, whenever backpacking, lugging two
pillows, fresh tomatoes, hammocks, a reclining chair, one or
two hardback books, salt and pepper shakers, and an extra-
long, inflatable air mattress. Mr. Comfort is a complicated man.
In his professional life, he is demanding and hyper-focused.
But he also finds a way to take a short nap every afternoon,
no matter his location or social obligations, or the value of the
stock market. He is implacable about this, but never overly
confrontational. He is like a combination of Rupert Murdoch,
Gandhi, and Yoda—but lazier. Lately, he has been lobbying
for hiking trips on which no hiking actually takes place, on
horses. “Or at least some llamas that could carry our stuff.”
“And Mr. Comfort is going to want to camp for only one
night. So you have to promise to stick with me on the plans,
OK? Two nights, Ice Lakes Basin. No horses or anything.”
“I’ll back you, but no ‘I Want My Liver’ story for the kids.”
“That’s not just a story; it’s a parable. It’s a powerful nar-
rative and…”
“No promise, no deal.”
Mr. Comfort and Eddie (Mrs. Comfort stays home) and
I all arrive at my sister’s in Durango,
Colorado, on a Monday afternoon in
early August. Over dinner, I review
the plans for the next day. I extol the
wonders of the Ice Lakes Basin, the
lunar splendor of the tundra-y land-
scape, its spongy beauty and stark,
annihilating isolation.
“I can hike up any mountain!” screams
Iris, who has just finished assaulting a
brick-sized piece of lasagna. “I’m like a
mountain goat! Seriously!”
After dinner, while everyone else
drives to a hot springs for a prehike soak, I recline on the
couch to read more about Ice Lakes, which I have never tech-
nically visited. When the group returns, I encourage everyone
to get a good night’s sleep, because we have an adventurous
three days ahead.
“Um, Steve,” my brother says, “actually, we’re not going in
I told my brother that I would not steal
the chocolate when everyone else was
sleeping, as I’d been accused of doing
on previous family gatherings. Why
couldn’t my relatives let go of the past?
*
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all

When our mother asked what kind of
cake he was going to serve at his 50th
birthday party, he replied, “Why do
you want to know?” When, a few years
ago, at my shrink’s urging, I delivered a
10-minute soliloquy over the telephone
to Mr. Comfort, which I had written out
in advance, regarding the decades of
jealousy, resentment, admiration, and
love I had felt for him, and admitted
that sometimes I hadn’t expressed those
feelings in a way that demonstrated
ownership for my actions, and after
I had vowed to be more emotionally
transparent and kind as we moved into
middle age, he replied, “So noted.”)
“I can’t believe she lets Iris hold her
emotionally hostage,” I tell my brother.
“Mmmm-hmm,” Mr. Comfort replies.
“Children want boundaries,” I say,
tossing a bag of chips into the cart, then
steering toward the dairy section, where
I plan to get some whipped cream, in
case anyone needs a hot fudge sundae
to build strength on the night before we
hike in. “They need boundaries.”
“Uh-huh.”
tomorrow. And we’re not going to Ice
Berg Lake…”
“Ice Lakes Basin. Not Ice Berg Lake!
Ice Lakes Basin! ”
“Yeah, whatever. We’re going to hike
to Highland Mary Lake and stay one
night. It’s six not-too-steep miles, and
it’s got some nice, hilly campsites.”
“What?” I glare at my sister, who
won’t meet my eyes.
“It was her idea,” my brother says.
He has never shied from delivering
unpleasant truths.
“Iris doesn’t want to go tomorrow,”
my sister says. “She’s been on the go
for the past two weeks, and I don’t
want to fight with her in the morning.”
“She’s a seven-year-old!” is what I
want to say. “Make her go!” is what
I want to say. “That’s what mothers
do. They make their kids do things!
You think I wanted to walk to school
on rainy days when the worms were
crawling all over the sidewalks? You
think I wanted to eat mom’s tuna cas-
serole just because you liked it, or mow
the lawn, because Don was hogging
the rake? You think I liked that disgust-
ing bubble gum swill they called ice
cream at Baskin Robbins? You think I
liked it when mom brought you in for
my first-grade show-and-tell, when I
told her very clearly that I really would
have rather presented the giant, dead
caterpillar I had found in the backyard?
You think I liked that?”
But I say none of it. I think it,
though, I think it hard.
“So we’re only going for one night?” I
ask. “And we’re camping in the woods?”
What I mean is, “So the middle
child gets screwed again? So number
two son is ignored one more time, in
a lifetime of getting ignored? So good
old Uncle Stevie takes another one for
the fucking team?”
“I suspected you would be the one
to turn,” I say to Mr. Comfort the next
day, as we load up on trail mix, graham
crackers, and chocolate at a local gro-
cery store. “I didn’t think our sister was
going to stab me in the back.”
“Yeah, well,” Mr. Comfort says. (Over-
sharing is not one of my brother’s sins.
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“You know,” I say, “I was talking to
my shrink last week about the plight of
the forgotten child and…”
“Hey, Steve,” my brother says, “if
you’re planning to sneak the chocolate,
why don’t you just buy a few extra bars
this time? Save some drama.”
THE TRAILHEAD IS A HAPPY
place, filled with the prom-
ise of adventure and the
soothing properties of nature. I am
filled with optimism, as I usually am at
trailheads. I’m so filled with optimism
that I mention, yet again, how this
would be a beautiful day for a real
hike—to a glacial basin—and I reflect
on the spongy beauty of the tundra we
will not be climbing to.
“Give it a rest,” my sister says.
“It’s sad that your mom has no sense
of adventure,” I say to Isaac, who I still
think of as my ally, even though he
squealed about The Fingernail Mutant.
I consider forgiveness and generosity of
spirit to be two of my greatest strengths.
“You mean the kind of adventure
sense that inspired the Hanukkah
Ham?” Mr. Comfort asks.
“Is that like fancy holiday pig meat?”
Iris wants to know.
“Your Uncle Stevie is silly some-
times,” my sister says to her daughter.
“I’m a seeker,” I say. “Seekers seek.
When will everyone understand that?”
“How about seeking your backpack
and putting it on,” my sister says. “I
want to get in before dark. And it looks
like it might rain.”
Mr. Comfort triple-checks to
make sure all the chocolate bars are
accounted for, and then my sister’s boy-
friend announces that it’s time to go.
“Aren’t you forgetting something?”
I ask.
“What,” my sister says, “do you want
to complain some more?”
“Don’t you think we need to agree
on our trail names?”
“Why do we have to have trail
names?” Isaac asks.
“We have to have trail names
because of safety concerns, mostly,” I
explain. “Say we’re up at our Highland
Mary campsite, which is dangerous to
start with because of the hidden perils
lurking everywhere in the surrounding
forest, unlike at a campsite in a glacial
basin, where you can see everything.
Then a bear, or a mountain lion, or a
plague-carrying marmot attacks, and
someone cries for help. And say, for
example, I-dog, it’s you, so you yell,
‘Hey, Steve!’ or ‘Mom!’”
“Yeah?” Isaac asks. Attacks by wild
animals continue to captivate him. I
love my young nephew and our sacred
teaching moments. Sometimes I suspect
he might be a seeker, too.
“Well, who knows if there might be
other campsites near where we are, and
maybe there will be someone named
Steve there, and another mom, and
none of the adults will be absolutely
positive if it’s he or she who is being
screamed to, or someone else, and that
split second hesitation could spell the
difference between life and death.”
“And it would not be fun to find
yourself between the gaping jaws of a
grizzly!” says Eddie, who has already
*
©
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storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
benefited from some sacred teaching
moments. “Not fun at all!”
“Seriously!” Iris says.
“That makes sense,” Isaac says. “It
really does. Mom, I think Uncle Stevie
is right on this.”
“Great,” my sister snarls. “Friggin’
awesome. Trail names. OK, let’s have
’em. Give us our goddamn trail names.”
Iris is, of course, Jaws. Mr. Comfort,
at Isaac’s insistence, will henceforth
be known as Dr. Comfort “because it
sounds cooler.” My sister’s boyfriend, a
weirdly calm and sweet-natured guy, is a
captain of the Durango Fire Department,
and hyper-efficient with power tools. He
is The Captain, obviously.
Eddie, at Isaac’s behest, will be
addressed as Hulk because his forearms
are the approximate size of well-fed
anacondas. I suggest The Professor for
Isaac, but he says he’d rather be Ice,
“because it sounds cooler.” I ignore my
sister’s proffering of “Piggy,” “Infant,”
and “SlowMo,” and accept Ice’s sug-
gestion: Java Junkie. (In efforts to self-
medicate my inclination to stillness and
over-philosophizing, I recently upped
my caffeine intake to nine cups a day.)
“What’s mom’s trail name?” Jaws asks.
“I think we’ll call your mom
Quisling,” I say.
“Quis what?” Ice asks.
“Well, children,” I tell them, as the
three of us share another sacred teach-
ing moment and, at my urging, a giant
bar of milk chocolate. “A long time ago,
when the Nazis were going to invade
Norway, one of the head Norwegians
kept promising all the nice people
there that he would fight the Nazis, and
the Norwegians believed him, because
they were nice, and they trusted people
when they made promises, because
that’s what nice, kind, decent people
do, but in secret the head Norwegian,
whose name was Quisling, was plot-
ting to give away the country to the
Nazis, who were really, really bad. So
when someone promises something,
like your mom promised Uncle Stevie,
but then betrays the person…”
“Fine,” my sister snaps. “I’m friggin’
Quisling. Now can we please get going,
because I’d like to have our camp set
up before dark. And I see clouds.”
At a mile and a half, I feel drizzle. I
had packed a lightweight water-resistant
jacket rather than a heavier water-
proof one because, as I explained to
Isaac during a sacred teaching moment,
“An experienced camper has to make
decisions every second, and it’s more
important to travel light than to bur-
den oneself, especially considering that
we’re not traveling to monsoon coun-
try.” After two miles, the drizzle has
turned to a steady downpour. Then the
downpour turns to hail, with thunder.
Then I, who happen to be about 20
yards ahead of everyone, reflecting on
the hard and lonely path of the seeker,
am almost struck by a jagged bolt of
lightning. It’s later alleged by some in
the group that I jumped in the air and
turned 180 degrees in one move. I
might have screamed, too. I scurry back
to the group. To my great displeasure,
the children are laughing.
“You jumped really high,” Jaws says.
We gather under a tree and discuss
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100 BACKPACKER 10.2010

whether that’s such a good idea in
a lightning storm. But at least we’re
protected from the downpour, so we
stand, huddled into a tight group, not
talking, watching the lightning, listening
to the thunder. It’s cold, and at least one
of us is soaked. We crouch so closely
together that we’re touching.
When the rain stops, we resume
our trek, ending up an hour later at
the third of the Highland Mary Lakes,
a half-mile-long, 300-yard-wide smear
of shimmering blue. Ice and Hulk pitch
their tent in a protected spot with good
views of the lake, Quisling and the
Captain claim an area a little closer to
the rocky shore, and I suggest to my
brother that we spread our gear on a
nearby hilltop, because it seems the
safest spot around.
“Isn’t this where lightning will most
likely strike?” Dr. Comfort asks.
I explain to him that we’ll be able
to see any approaching predators, that
camping is all about tradeoffs and risk-
assessment. The CEO grunts. He’s even
quieter than usual. I know that he’s
worked the last 10 weekends, and that
his acid reflux and back pain have been
worsening, and that the college appli-
cations piling up on the dining room
table provide bittersweet reminders
that Eddie will soon be leaving home.
I suggest to Dr. Comfort that he might
be going through an important transi-
tional phase in his life, and perhaps if
he opened up a bit about his feelings,
he would feel better. He grunts again.
I look upward at what are now angry,
swollen clouds. I feel my eyes moisten.
I identify with the obese clouds. (My
nickname as a toddler was “butterball.”)
The dark clouds continue to gather.
AFTER OUR TENTS ARE SET
up, hammocks situated, a
kitchen area built, and gen-
eral campsite preparation taken care of,
the rain returns, so we all retire to our
tents. While Dr. Comfort sleeps, I listen
to the tapping of rain. A few minutes
after the tapping stops, Isaac opens the
tent zipper and sticks his head in.
“Java Junkie?” he says.
“Yes, Ice.”
“I think I heard a feral dog pack
down by the lake. I think they might be
getting ready to attack the camp!”
And so it comes to pass that Ice and
I “secure the perimeter,” which involves
peering toward the lake and throwing
rocks at bushes and, after making Ice
promise not to tell, splitting a chocolate
bar I steal from the group food bag.
After that we stroll down to the lake’s
edge, where we sit on a slab, stare into
the crepuscular gloom, and skip rocks.
“Junkie,” my nephew asks, between
throws, “do all criminals smoke?”
“I don’t think so.”
“In the movies, they seem to.”
“Good point, Ice. Maybe later, we’ll
try to make a list of history’s worst crim-
inals who didn’t smoke. I think Attila
the Hun didn’t smoke, for example.
And Jack the Ripper.”
“Oh, yeah, I remember when you
told me about him.”
“And Hitler. Don’t forget Hitler.”
“Cool,” he says. Then, “Junkie?”
“Yes, Ice.”
“What are the approximate chances
an asteroid will hit our campsite tonight?”
I skip a rock. I regard my philoso-
phizing nephew. My fellow seeker.
I tell him I consulted some cosmo-
logical websites and took some sextant
readings from New York City while I
was planning the trip, and that we’re
definitely safe here for the next day or
so, and then we skip some more rocks.
We throw stones in silence for a
while, and an hour later, the rain stops,
and we gather for dinner. Everyone but
Quisling, who, the Captain informs us,
is not feeling well. She’s suffering from
a headache and upset stomach.
The Captain heads out over the
soaked landscape on a doomed mis-
sion to gather wood, and Dr. Comfort
starts to work on dinner. That leaves
the children and me. I glance toward
the tent, estimate the distance, and
decide Quisling is likely out of earshot.
“Now, kids, you need to be really
quiet, and promise not to tell Mommy
the secrets I’m going to tell you tonight.
Do you know which tribe of Indians
was renowned for making torture an art
form, for how the tribe’s warriors could
strip a man’s flesh until all that was left
were nerve endings and eyeballs?”
“I think they’re called Native
Americans, Stevie,” Ice says.
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“His name is Java Junkie!” Jaws
says. “And you’re stupid! And I am
very angry. Very Angry!”
“Both of you are right,” I say.
“They are called Native Americans,
and because we’re in the wilderness,
it’s better to stick with our trail names.”
Then I tell them the terrible secrets
of the mighty Comanches, and my sister
threatens to throw the kids in my tent if
they have nightmares, and I tell the kids
that Mom is a little cranky sometimes.
“Dinner!” Dr. Comfort yells, and after
Jaws runs to her mother’s tent (where
she will also be sleeping), and reports
that Quisling will not be getting out
of the tent anytime soon, the rest of
us gather to eat Dr. Comfort’s noodles
with salami. Then Dr. Comfort boils
water for hot chocolate and distributes
it to the kids. I go off in search of
s’mores ingredients, and after conduct-
ing my first futile hunt for marshmal-
lows, I tell Dr. Comfort that I would
like some hot chocolate, too, so he
prepares me a cup. Only after I take a
gulp do I notice that the water he has
used for my hot chocolate is heating,
but not bubbling.
“Has this water boiled?” I ask.
“I think so,” Dr. Comfort says.
I take a seat and spend a few
moments envisioning the giardia and
other invisible but virulent bugs cur-
rently backstroking through my diges-
tive system. Then I notice the moonlight
is no longer so light. Clouds are massing
over our campsite again. The Captain
returns with a huge armful of wood,
which should make me feel grateful,
but instead sparks envy and anger that
he found wood in this misty hell.
I seek. I seek hard. Why do I so
seldom find?
My hands are shaking and I notice
myself stumbling and gasping more
than usual. Altitude? The cold? Jet lag?
Or the fastest case of water poisoning
ever? I still can’t remember where I
stuck the marshmallows. Will the kids
notice if we have marshmallow-less
dessert? Maybe the kids won’t remem…
“I WANT S’MORES!” Jaws screams.
“YOU PROMISED S’MORES!!!”
Finally, after Jaws feeds on some
chocolate, and screams some more, and
I find the marshmallows, we all settle
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102 BACKPACKER 10.2010
around the now-blazing fire. I suggest
we join hands and pray to the mountain
gods to keep rain and predators away
tonight, because I think it’s good for
children to grow up with faith in some
sort of divine power. Then I get back to
the bloodthirsty Comanches.
As I settle into the story, the moon
rises across the lake and the wind dies
and the only sounds are the crackling of
the fire and the lapping of water on the
rocks. The moment feels sacred.
“Children,” I say, “I’m not sure I
should bring this up, because there
are grown-ups around who don’t think
you’re old enough to hear this story.”
“Sweet!” the Hulk says. “Is it time for
I Want My Liver?”
“I’m old enough, Uncle Stevie,” Iris
says. “Really, I am. Seriously!”
“OK, Jaws, but before I start the
story, everyone’s got to promise not to
tell Mom, OK?”
They agree and I reflect silently on
the subtle and varied types of trust one
encounters in life, and how my sister
might regard the telling of the “I Want
My Liver” tale as a technical violation of
the trust she has placed in me. I worry
about this for a second or two, then
I share the story of the well-meaning
but mischievous little Billy, his dead
and suddenly liver-less grandmother,
the bloody Swiss Army knife gripped
in little Billy’s sweaty fingers, and the
lessons we can all take from the tale.
Then we visit Quisling in her tent,
where Jaws mentions to her mom that
some Native Americans used to strip
flesh from their victims and maybe the
Native Americans used to camp right
here and my sister cuts me a nasty look,
and then we all retire for the evening. A
few hours later, I wake with a splitting
headache, an urge to puke, and a suspi-
cion that Dr. Comfort has poisoned me.
DAWN BREAKS CLEAR AND
chilly and damp. When I
stumble to the campfire, the
others are already finishing their gra-
nola. We wish Ice happy 11th birthday
and then Quisling, who is feeling bet-
ter, tells her son’s birth story, which
involves a yurt, a midwife, horrified
grandparents, and a lot of burning sage.
I sit on a rock, drinking coffee, next
to my brother and sister, watching their
offspring break camp.
“God,” my sister says, looking at
Hulk as he expertly disassembles a
tent, then shows Ice how it should be
packed. “I remember when Eddie was a
baby, just a mushy, smiling little lump.”
“Yep,” Dr. Comfort says. Is he
remembering the infancy of his strap-
ping son? Is he musing on the glory
of growing up, the tragedy of growing
old? Is he, I allow myself to wonder,
wishing he would have granted his
sensitive younger brother one measly
little trip to Velvet Freeze when we
were young? With Dr. Comfort, it’s hard
to know. But his face looks more slack
up here, more relaxed.
Iris sprints over the hills in her flip-
flops, chasing a butterfly. I wonder
if she’ll try to swallow it. Isaac’s and
Eddie’s heads touch as they roll the tent.
“I wonder what the boys are plot-
ting,” my sister says, and suddenly I
remember being Ice’s age, rolling up
sleeping bags and shooting marbles
and riding bikes to Kranson’s drug store
with Dr. Comfort, when he was still
called “Donnie,” both of us dispatched
there by our mother to buy her pack-
ages of Kent cigarettes. She was preg-
nant with Baby Quisling at the time,
and at the drugstore, my big brother
and I would drink grape soda and read
Hawkman and Green Lantern comic
books. I remember hearing grown-ups
call us “the boys” and my eyes sud-
denly start leaking.
“Are you OK?” Dr. Comfort asks.
The sun is shining but my view is
watery, soft-focus. Due to some back-
country miracle, I feel optimistic and
emotionally shattered at the same time.
My sister peers at my contorted face.
“Maybe he’s just overcome with terri-
ble guilt,” Quisling says, “because I’ll be
paying shrink bills for the next 20 years
while my children are having night-
mares about eyeball-eating Apaches.”
“Comanches,” I correct her, through
my tears, “and they didn’t eat the eye-
balls. They just stripped the fles…”
“Jesus Christ, Steve!” my sister shouts.
“You can be such…”
“What?” I ask.
“I mean, really, don’t you reali…”
“WHAT?”
*
True PDF release: storemags & fantamag
She sighs. Her shoulders sag. But she
knows. Seekers seek.
“I mean, Jesus Christ, Java Junkie.”
“Thank you, Quisling,” I say, and
then it’s time to hike out.
HULK AND ICE LEAD THE WAY,
followed by a skipping,
trilling Jaws, then, hold-
ing hands, Quisling and The Captain.
Dr. Comfort comes next, and I follow,
regarding the group, thinking about
family camping trips in general, this trip
in particular, and my future. I wonder
if I might be happier if I moved to
Durango, living closer to women who
spend more time outside and less time
hunched over cell phones. I might
be able to contribute more to soci-
ety’s general good if I were intimately
involved in the day-to-day lives of Jaws
and Ice. I ponder the positive ways I
might help mold their characters. With
painstaking training, I believe Jaws
could be turned into an elite athlete,
or a highly paid professional assassin.
With enough sacred teaching moments,
I might help shape Ice into a critically
acclaimed novelist, or a cult leader.
My eyes start leaking again. I feel a
philosophical urge coming.
“Hey, Ann?” Ann is Quisling’s given
name. “Sorry I told the kids the ‘I Want
My Liver’ story. I know I promised.”
“Uh-huh.”
“You know, you were a pretty cute
baby,” I say. “I actually was glad Mom
brought you for show-and-tell that one
time. I know it wasn’t your fault I never
got to bring in my dead caterpillar.”
“Really? You forgive me for using
my two-month-old telepathic powers
to make Mom ruin your big first-grade
moment with your friggin’ dead cater-
pillar? Jesus, Steve, do you ever think
maybe you should fire your shrink?”
I know she doesn’t mean it. I know
that she’s a good sister, her shocking
treachery regarding the Ice Lakes Basin
notwithstanding, and a good mother,
even though she needs to crack down
more, especially on Iris.
By now I have caught up to Dr.
Comfort. “So,” I ask my brother, “what
was your absolute favorite moment of
the trip? The campfire? The s’mores?”
“When we were under the trees, in
the thunderstorm,” Dr. Comfort says,
which surprises me.
“Really?”
“It was a reminder of how powerless
we are in the face of nature,” he says,
“and how we just have to surrender to
it, and when we do, everything is all
right. It’s a reminder that we don’t have
to struggle so much.” It’s the longest
speech I have heard my brother make
in approximately three decades. It’s
also somewhat prophetic. After the trip,
he starts practicing yoga, stops fretting
over balance sheets on weekends, and
once, when my mother asks him what
they’ll be having for dinner on a night
when she is joining his family, he actu-
ally tells her.
We have been picking up our pace,
until we’re all hiking together.
“Quis?” I ask my sister. “How about
you? What was your favorite moment
of the trip?”
“Under the trees. Intimate, all
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104 BACKPACKER 10.2010
together, and no one was complain-
ing.” (The outdoors and, I like to think,
our lightning-storm bonding work their
magic on Quisling, too. A few months
later, she and The Captain announce
plans to marry. I think I should get
more credit for the nuptials because I
proposed the camping expedition, but
that doesn’t happen. I’m working with
my shrink to let go of that resentment.)
“Ice?”
“Skipping rocks with you, learning
about Attila the Hun and Hit...”
I cough loudly.
“I mean, skipping rocks with you.”
“Hulk?”
“It was all cool.”
“Jaws?”
“S’mores!” cries the flesh-eating cherub.
Me? Has a camping trip with my clos-
est kin transformed me? I philosophize
about this when we arrive back in
Durango, at the house The Captain and
Quisling and the kids share. Inspired
by Dr. Comfort, who does the same, I
pad into an empty room and I lie down
and stare at the ceiling. What I see is
our cozy little campsite. What I hear is
the soft lapping of the mountain lake.
In the interest of efficient philoso-
phizing, I insert the earplugs I always
carry with me to family gatherings.
I stare at the ceiling some more.
Philosophizing with great intent, I return
to our campsite. It is the same place, but
it is different. Great, fat marshmallows
spill from easily accessible pouches. The
clouds are thin and wispy, not overweight,
and the children are well-behaved, and
everyone—even the adults—clamors for
the “I Want My Liver” tale. We recline on
spongy grass, happy and filled with love,
safe from predators, and the ground is soft
and we are in a glacial basin.
I hear a door slam, and the boys
shout. Then Iris screams that she’s hun-
gry. Seriously! I stuff my earplugs in a
little deeper and I put a pillow over my
eyes. I return to the magical campsite. I
seek the crackling fire, the family love,
the moonlit circle where marshmallows
are plentiful and forgotten children are
found, the hushed place where philoso-
phizers are exalted. I seek really hard.
Writer at Large Steve Friedman lives
all by himself in New York City.
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108 BACKPACKER 10.2010
Continued from page 69
Killer Hike
does. We watch them disappear over
the next ridge.
That night we return empty-handed.
Ted is visibly pleased.
“Nothing killed today, fellas?” he
says. “What a shame.”
Centuries ago, kings employed
jesters to keep things lively and to
deliver hard truths in a nonthreatening
package. For Gator and me, Ted
plays the jester for our collective
conscience. He gives voice to the
inner hiker in both of us. All around
us, sportsmen speak of “harvesting”
deer, as if living creatures are barley.
Ted reminds us that we are, in fact,
killing animals.
Day three: Gator’s last chance at a
deer. We decide to hit it hard, hunting
the Blue Mountains’ ponderosa pine
forests in the morning and working the
isolated Grande Ronde River breaks in
the afternoon.
At first light, Gator and I and Shaun
Bristol, who has joined us for the
morning, set up on the edge of a
Blue Mountain meadow. We’d seen
some does browsing in the field at
dusk the previous night, and figure
we might catch a buck among them
this morning. We lean against the
rough bark of the ponderosas, trying
to blend in and remain motionless.
If open-field hunting is all about
covering ground and flushing game,
forest hunting requires opposite
tactics: Hide and wait for the prey to
come to you. Or so we think. We’re
hunting for the first time without
Jennifer—a solo flight of sorts.
As Gator creeps forward for a better
view, a spear of meadow barley nails
him in the eye. “God damn,” he says,
pulling the barbs out of his eyelid.
“Um, guys…” Shaun is trying to get
our attention.
“Did you get it out?” I ask. Gator
shakes his head.
“Guys…” Shaun says. I look back at
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10.2010 BACKPACKER 109
BACKPACKER (ISSN 0277-867X) is published nine times a year (January, March, April,
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him. He points to two whitetail bucks quietly crossing the
road 20 yards behind us.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I say. The deer catch our
movement and bolt into the forest. I laugh at the thought of
Gator and me standing there, Jethro and Elmer Fudd, as our
prey fearlessly strolls by.
In the afternoon, we load our packs with food and water
and hitch a ride to the rim of the Grande Ronde River canyon.
The Grande Ronde, a tributary of the Snake, unwinds like
a curling ribbon through the Columbia Plateau near the
Oregon-Washington border. It’s world
famous for its steelhead, and the dry,
brushy ravines above the river are
prime habitat for deer, coyote, wild
turkey, chukar, black bear, elk, and
bighorn sheep.
We have a plan. Gator and I will
start about a quarter-mile apart at the
top of the rim, then pick our way
down in a V that meets at the bottom
of the ravine. I’ll flush the deer in
Gator’s direction.
As I heel plunge down the scab-land ravine, my eyes
scanning for movement, Gator in my periphery, a sort of
perfect moment comes over me. My own hunt is done.
Because I’ve already bagged my deer, I can relax and enjoy
the hike, the camaraderie, the strategy and cunning, the
suspense, and the pure joy of physical movement in the wild.
Gator, on the other hand, hunts with all the pressure and
anxiety of a live trigger. If you’re doing it right, hunting comes
with a huge responsibility. You’ve got to line up a good
shot, not carelessly wound the animal, not shoot something
illegal, not crack off an errant bullet that flies into a house a
half-mile away, and not kill your partner. It’s not that far from
mountain climbing, in fact. A certain amount of danger and
risk enhances the experience of moving across wild terrain. It
revs up your adrenaline and puts the senses on edge. Hunting
combines strategy, motion, experience, skill, and danger.
It does something else, too. By the end of our three-
day hunt, I feel like I’ve been given a fresh pair of eyes.
Landscapes that were once barren to me become lush and
vibrant, alive with life, crackling with possibility. Where once
I saw lowland scrub—white noise for a backpacker—now I
see a living habitat where rosehip bushes function as secret
deer beds. Blank hillsides aren’t blank at all; they’re terraced
with game trails. I see water and imagine the animals it might
draw. I start to think like a predator. To be perfectly frank,
hiking as a hunter is fun.
After a couple of hours, I’ve flushed only a doe and a
mangy coyote from the brush. Gator and I take a break. The
late-afternoon sun beats down, and we strip off layers.
“I don’t know if it’s in the cards for us today,” I say.
That’s when Gator spots the buck.
It’s just below us, in a dry creekbed: Mule deer, a buck
of unknown antler points. The deer takes off uphill, moving
over a ridge before Gator can get a look through the scope.
Gator scrambles across the creekbed and muscles up the
ravine. I follow for a while, but I’m in no shape to be chasing
uphill after a man who has climbed Rainier 190 times.
The buck keeps moving high. Gator follows. Over one
ridge, then another. I shadow them from below. Finally, Gator
peeks over the edge of the last ridge and puts the buck in his
crosshairs. The deer stares back at him.
“He was at an angle where his antlers lined up exactly
in a row,” Gator later tells me. “So
I couldn’t get a read on his points. I
couldn’t confirm that he was legal.”
They stood there like that, frozen for
a few moments. Then the deer turned.
Gator saw the antlers—a three-pointer,
legal—but the deer’s butt was angled
toward him. A lousy gut shot if he took
it. A wounded deer, the meat spoiled.
Plenty of hunters have pulled the
trigger in that situation.
Gator didn’t.
As the sun fades behind the canyon’s rim, we hike out
through an old apple orchard to a road beside the river.
There, Jennifer, Shaun, and Ted—a happy, relieved Ted—
greet us with a warm truck and cold beer.
“Well, what do you think of hunting now?” Jennifer
asks me.
“Harder than it looks,” I say. “But a hell of a lot of fun.”
“Are you going to become a hunter now, Bruce?” Ted asks.
It will take some time, some reflection, before I can answer
that question with any certainty. To do it right, hunting
requires long-term preparation. The payoffs, though, can’t
be expressed in antlers or meat. Hunting offered this lifelong
hiker an enriching and profound new way to interact with
the land. Different landscapes opened up to me. I’ve met the
Cabela’s crowd on their turf and, hopefully, shattered some
of their own stereotypes about fleece-wearing treehuggers.
So call me a hunter. I’ve got visitation rights with my rifle,
and if someone asks me to join his deer camp next season,
I just might grab it and go.
Bruce Barcott brought home 55 pounds of venison from this
hunt. He wrote about mapping his new home, Washington’s
Bainbridge Island, for the May 2010 issue.
Landscapes that
were once barren
to me become lush
and vibrant, alive
with life, crackling
with possibility.
storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
110 BACKPACKER 10.2010
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Eye
Sky
+
Some 7,000 years ago, a volcano
erupted and collapsed on itself, form-
ing the caldera in which this lake now
sits. Originally and oh-so-imaginatively
named Deep Blue Lake by early gold
prospectors, this dazzling body of
water is about six miles wide and
nearly 2,000 feet deep. Can you name
the lake and the park it lies in?
1,852
Total backcountry
permits issued by
the park in 2009
1
Tally of places you
can legally swim
in the lake. You
access the spot via
a strenuous, 2.2-
mile round-trip hike
with 700 feet of
elevation gain.
38
Average water tem-
perature, in degrees
Fahrenheit
1977
Release date of a
B-list (OK, C-list)
horror flick about a
meteor that crashes
into this lake, caus-
ing a dinosaur to
hatch from a bur-
ied egg and start
feasting on locals
throughout this area
90
Miles of hiking trails
in the park
38
Price, in dollars, of
a boat ride to the
larger of the lake’s
two islands. The
764-vertical-foot
hike up the island’s
cinder cone reveals
a crater 300 feet
across and almost
100 feet deep.
Big Blue
in the
//////
WIN! Name this lake, and the park it’s in, for a chance to win a
Mountain Hardwear Hooded Compressor PL jacket (men’s and
women’s versions available). Go to backpacker.com/skyeye for
contest rules. Entries due by September 29.
AUGUST ISSUE ANSWER Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park WINNER Shawn Donahue, Redding, MA
Satellite image by GeoEye
30
Number of Snickers
you can scarf to
replace the calo-
ries you’ll burn on
the park’s 33-mile
Pacific Crest Trail
segment
1949
The last year the
lake’s surface com-
pletely froze
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EN ROUTE TO 12TH EVEREST SUMMIT, MAY 2010 // KHUMBU ICEFALL, 18,500 FT.

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Plus: Free Print & Go planners for select trips. more hiking. Mountains Ocean. a three-for-one winter jacket. 30 TOP 3 RAINY SEASON HIKES Get surprising payoffs on hikes in California.magazines for all October 2010 YOU ARE HERE PHOTOS BY (FROM TOP) PAIGE FALK. 43 THE PEAK MT. Here are 10 point-to-point treks with the payoffs of a thru-hike—new scenery and campsites every day. or Lake GEAR 58 FIELD NOTES NEW REVIEWS All-purpose boots. shape. and the Shenandoahs. From Pennsylvania to California. and watch Colorado’s bighorn sheep clash. SKILLS 46 THE MANUAL PREDICT WEATHER Can crickets tell you the temperature and a cup of coffee forecast storms? Here’s how to become a backcountry meteorologist. MAP BY VIKKI CHU. Sea. 48 HEALTH MEDICINE MAN Feeling forgetful? Learn whether climbing those Fourteeners caused brain damage. MARCY Take the scenic—and sporting—route to New York’s highest summit. from San Francisco to Atlanta. the inner Grand Canyon. But please. COURTESY (2). 50 PREDICAMENT LOST IN THE WOODS You lose your way while hiking through a dense forest. 26 71 HOW TO LIFE SAVING SKILLS LIGHT A FIRE IN ANY WEATHER FIND WATER IN THE DESERT BUILD A SURVIVAL SHELTER STAY WARM IN KILLER STORMS NAVIGATE WITHOUT A MAP 123 NEW SECTION! near you 28 top trails LOCAL HIKES PLUS The Best Park You’ve Never Visited 50-Mile Life List America’s 10 best weeklong routes OCTOBER 2010 54 Sleeping bags and pads FIELD TEST 42 16 B A C K PA C K E R . DON FOLEY 16 50-Mile Thru-Hikes No six-month sabbatical in the works for a long trail? Not a problem. LISA DENSMORE. 32 NATURAL WONDERS Marvel at the country’s deepest gorge. these are the top routes for a thru-hike you can do this year.storemags & fantamag . Take our quiz to see if you’re a civilized hiker—or need to pay a visit to backcountry finishing school. don’t act like a Neanderthal just because you’re 14 miles from indoor plumbing. a versatile three-person tent. And night is falling. and Pennsylvania that save their best for soggy weather. By Jim Gorman 44 Trail Etiquette On the Cover THE SURVIVAL ISSUE Go ahead and get dirty. Utah. enough miles to get into a rhythm—but all sized just right for your real-world vacation: a week. JUSTIN BAILIE. 53 GEAR SCHOOL SNOWSHOES Get expert tips on picking the right size. C O M 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 DESTINATIONS 26 NEW TRIPS NEAR YOU! Our expanded Local Hikes section has 28 GPS-enabled trails. Tear out our weekend guides to Kings Canyon. 42 MY BACKYARD NORTH CASCADES See Washington’s jagged and remote mountains through a ranger’s eyes. Can you find your way to safety? 52 DIRTBAG/GOURMET FONDUE Add rich cheese and gourmet flair to your backcountry repertoire. a hard-duty pack for peakbagging and bushwhacking. and more Cover Photo by Dan Saelinger 10. ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRIS PHILPOT. KEVIN MCNEAL. and style for optimal performance— and get out more this winter.2010 BACKPACKER 5 . mapped by our field scouts. 35 RIP & GO WEEKEND ADVENTURES Less planning. SUPERCORN.

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which of these is a better indicator of accessible water? A) Cottonwood trees B) Patches of Bermuda grass 21. Hitting your wife’s ring against your knife will gouge the blade but won’t produce a spark. (One point for each) 28. True or false: A handful of roasted. Volume 38 Issue 280 Number 8 10. Gino Ferri. Keep your boots on until you’re in a place where you can revive your feet permanently (camp. Only ration the bar if the idea of having no food freaks you out and you want the psychological comfort. piers. “The drive to get back home has proven over and over to be the #1 factor in successful survival stories. that panic dissipates quickly and generally before they do anything really stu- pid. 14. With a black bear. 32. 27. Fill in the blanks: If a black bear attacks. All six-legged insects in North America are OK. However. 12. the crawl B) Let it carry you out and then signal a passing boat C) Swim parallel to the shore 26. False. 30.2010 BACKPACKER 7 . The others are harmless. Lightning is attracted to high points. While the sensation is intense. g 9. These soft. Says survival expert Laurence Gonzales. 23. False. 34. the car). True. However.. wet cloths C) Remove your boots and have your hiking partner suckle your toes 34. Panic usually strikes the moment you realize your predicament. 20. You should… s A) Save it as long as possible. C and D (1 point for each).. Signs of a drowning person include: mouth and nose barely breaking the water’s surface. True or false: Hikers get lost more than any other group of outdoor recreationists. “The personality type best uited suited to survival is calm. Score Your Odds Give yourself one point for each correct answer. 35. 4. since they have a hardness between 5 and 6. or caught in an avalanche. so overnight. 11. You surely know that dead. But despair saps the will to live. Eating snow 3. 1 Which of these s snakes is deadly? A A) Eastern coral snake B) Mexican milk snake B C) Organ pipe C shovel-nosed snake s D) California mountain D kingsnake k 18. Bunched berries include raspberries and blueberries. With a grizzly. urious. they might refreeze. kills a fellow. 17. Will a backpacking trip in the Rockies bring this family together—or tear them apart? By Steve Friedman 92 My F*&^ing Family 60 EYE IN THE SKY Killer Hike Go back far enough. moss grows thicker on the north side of trees. one way or another. and it looks like there’s an outbound stream on the surface. This is a rip current—a stream of water flowing away from shore. If you rewarm them in the field. start here   10.. See page 78. if your body temperature is dropping due to other factors. Sleeping in a space blanket 5. Drinking urine 2. mouth open. breaks in sandbars. stripping off clothes is the best way to lower your body r temperature. and you’re headed downstream fast. and one wrong bite can literally kill you via potent toxins. But you can exploit its evaporativecooling powers: Pee on a shirt or bandana. 19. C 22. Which of these is most dangerous in outtdoor emergencies? es? A) Panic B) Haste C) Despair D) Overconfidence ce Wouldto rate your wilderness IQ. Approximately 10 large grasshoppers weighing 3. ZOHAR LAZAR We like to think that a camping trip can bring anyone together—even three siblings harboring five decades’ worth of betrayals. dry wood (but not rotted) is always better than wet for starting a blaze. See page 78 for an action plan. you can orient yourself by remembering that all streams lead to roads. and overconfidence can lure you on into further trouble. which creates great danger in extreme weather conditions.” Curiously. which burn easily under dry heat. and maybe one case of semiaccidental poisoning. 12. 8. too. Contrary to Hollywood theatrics. False. A) Play dead B) Back away slowly while avoiding eye contact. deliberate. Which mushroom is edible? A) Cortinarius traganus B) Clitocybe nuda 11. B 31.storemags & fantamag . resentments. most drowning victims don’t make a peep. C. The body’s instinctive drowning response blocks voluntary actions like shouting or waving (though the person might do these things in the stages preceding drowning). Rip currents are typically only 30 to 100 feet wide. 2. 21. Identify the North Star. A. you should and if a grizzly attacks. Clothes block sun.. to keep venom from spreading B) Suck out the venom with a suction cup or your mouth C) Immobilize the limb at heart level and get to a doctor 19. you pitch camp on a beach and set out for a dip. 15. A is poisonous. You see a spot in the surf where the waves are flat. to give you energy to build a shelter and fire 17. irrational decisions ‘ ’ 14 14. you should. COURTESY OF GEOEYE. B. Which personality onality type is best equipped pped to handle survival al situations? A) Popeye B) Eric Cartman C) Ned Flanders D) Drill sergeant E) Foghorn Leghorn F) Charlie Brown 35. and an upright posture with no signs of kicking. lightning can also arc across slabs and cave openings. this 8 per- cent constitutes the majority of those seeking survival instruction. you should… A) Curl into a tight ball to avoid being crushed B) Fight to stay in the slide’s tail and create an air pocket in front of your face with your hands C) Shed your pack so it doesn’t drag you down. 3. Diamonds are much harder than the steel used in blades. and spiders build their webs facing south. C.. If the bear rolls you. but most wild plants will wreck havoc on your GI system. and slowly waving your arms C) Run away 29. the best (and safest!) way to measure your disaster know-how is this quiz. Coral snakes live mostly in the Southeast and Southwest. Unless you’re a skilled botanist. starvation is a slow killer (about 30 days). B 29. Tying bags over plants 7. which of these spots is the best place to wait out a lightning storm? A) Under any lone tree B) In a low spot or ravine C) Atop a rock slab D) Inside a cave 27. 25. because the waves are calmer at that spot B) No. If you can’t do C. 0-5 A Fabergé egg that mostly serves ornamental purposes 6-10 A fickle ficus that thrives only in a narrow range of environments 11-25 A Tuff Shed that’s capable of weathering most conditions 26-40 The love child of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Sigourney Weaver 41-43 A cockroach 84 BACKPACKER 10. anglers (24 perc percent). play dead by lying on your belly. “When bad things happen. C. their roots can reach 40 feet deep. says survival expert Doug Ritter. You Survive? Take our quiz 32. that is a danger zone 25. you’ll wake up wet and shivering. False. But how much water must you drink to offset your booze intake and avoid dehydration? A) 2 times as much water B) 3 times C) 6 times D) 10 times 23. True. or swim (crawl or backstroke) to the side or back (tail) of the slide. which can snare and drown swimmers. Ahead. then heat them in lukewarm water or with hot. Polarized sunglasses help you see them by reducing glare. cooling you off more than going shirtless. PhD. Although space blankets will s trap heat and are better than nothing. Never use a fire or massage (friction) to warm frostbitten tissues. cold. True. But the last three lose their edges quickly and require frequent knapping. because your body will start be burning fat right away and you bu might need a quick burst of m energy in the coming days en en B) Ration the bar bite by bite. striking the blade with the sharp edge of an opal pendant will get the job done. False. True or false: All else being equal. B. causing more damage.. chomping on snow will push you into hypothermia faster. Eating snow will hydrate you. Assuming you can’t get to a stand of tall trees. True or false: When you’re hopelessly lost in the forest. 28. Avoid white and yellow berries. True or false: Most bunched berries are edible. cautious.” says survival expert Tony Nester. then heat s up your feet near u a fire (or apply heat packets h or warm water o bottles against b the skin). and trappers (12 percent). Staying positive 6. The water inside of a barrel cactus is full of alkaloids. A) Swim to it.5 on the Mohs’ scale. which will cause you to vomit the liquid.. 22. they might swell up. Resist the temptation to peek at the answer key—and see if you’ll make it out alive. False. Never cross ice unless you know it’s continuous and at least… A) 3 inches thick k B) 4 inches thick k C) 5 inches thick 31. resinous (sappy) woods have a lower ignition point. large grasshoppers has nearly the same number of calories and p protein as a hamburger.” Gonzales says. They can form anywhere with breaking waves and are most common around low spots. Eating wild greens Short of getting attacked by a bear. but now 12 yo you’re also tired and hungry. speaking in a low voice. and second. nibbling on it just enough to quiet the stomach growls C) Eat the whole thing. You’d be better off using it to rainproof a debris shelter (see page 73) or to signal rescuers via the reflective area. pine and spruce will light faster than maple and oak. but type matters. and since wet rock conducts electricity. th thin h the nonporous sheet seals in water ter te . Five gallon-size bags tied around bushy plants for 24 hours will only produce a teaspoon or less of water. 110 Big Blue Identify this deep.5 ounces total offer about 121 calories and 13 grams of protein. Drinking from a cactus 4.” 6. C. If you’re in the head and likely will get buried once the slide stops (which happens abruptly). .. 1 You should.. grab on. In a desert environment. in Ontario. to avoid being sucked into the subducting head. C. and jetties. do B (one point for each). Downed trees form underwater obstacles called strainers. More than 100 Americans drown in them each year. and we’re all descended from hunters. By restricting circulation. 5.” Haste can be good or bad depending on the situation. 9. Your only food is a single energy bar. 16. and keeping the mouth above water. preventing you from getting your boots back on. True or false: In the broiling desert. A three-ounce hamburger patty made from lean ground beef has about 145 calories and about 15 grams of protein. It contains too many toxins.. enial denial is natural. But are the unarmed missing out on an important part of the wilderness experience? Can shooting a deer actually make you a better backpacker? Rifle in hand. Which of the following are signs that someone is drowning? A) Splashing and waving of arms B) Shouting C) Silence D) Upright posture 24. 1. True or false: You can start a fire by striking a diamond ring against your knife. 18. and nig night is falling. You should. says the vast majority of lost people are hu hunters (56 percent). Big time. 30. remember: Red on yellow. Your canoe flipped. B. If you stumble across a bear.magazines for all October 2010 A practical guide to wilderness catastrophes and the skills you need to: [ [ [ [ [ ] Navigate without a compass ] Make a splint from sticks ] Improvise a pair of crampons ] Start a fire with whiskey ] Stay warm without shelter Survive! 71 84 Test Your Survival IQ A True or false: You can stay alive in the wilds by… 1. To tell them apart. “Come up with a reason to live and focus on that. You are.and more vapor from your breath and sweat. Some ome species are also poisonous. fight back. If you’re caught in an avalanche. How do you escape a rip current? A) Swim straight to shore using the most powerful stroke. ILLUSTRATION BY PETER SUCHESKI. All actions center around inhaling. What is the best way to trea frostbitten treat feet? A) L Leave your boots on until you bo reach a warm re shelter.” 5. Though cottonwoods are usually a good sign of water.2010 BACKPACKER 86 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 PHOTOS BY (FROM LEFT) PAOLO MARCHESI. 8. 26. 16. keep rolling until back on your belly. B 13. B. then tie it around your neck. and get your feet forward 33. lost in a storm. too. 13. Bruce Barcott looks for an answer—and a target—in eastern Washington. But swimming against the current will exhaust you. And suction methods have been shown not to work. which eliminates the #1 reason that people pull through ordeals. 10. so you can easily escape them before they carry you out to sea. False. and colorful lake and you could win a Mountain Hardwear Hooded Compressor PL insulated jacket. All six of these will work (one point for each). Less than 5 percent of wild mushrooms are edible. and (at e the right times) bold. 33. B. True. While backpacking along the Lost Coast. Red on black. The remaining 8 percent are hikers and other “patrons. “For most people. exhaling. and haul yourself out of the water B) Swim hard to it and use your momentum to launch yourself over C) Avoid it at all costs D) Float with the current. grab a tree. speed up the process by t rubbing your feet rubbi with your hands y B) Leave your boots on until you reach a warm shelter.2010 10 10. curious. a cabin. Not enough moisture is produced to keep you alive. 15. A rattler bites you. you see a downed tree lying across part of the river. A) Tie a tourniquet above the bite. friend of Jack. two things can happen: First. What is the most common mistake people make in the midst st of emergencies? ? A) Attempting to self-rescue B) Refusing to accept the situation C) Relying on others to save them D) Freaking out and making rash. True. Fight: Self-arrest. Most hikers know that drinking alcohol speeds dehydration. focus on forming a breathing space with your hands. 7. move on. to disperse carbon dioxide. Is this a safe place to swim A) Yes. humble. Which of these throw a spark when struck against a knife? A) Flint B) Chert C) Jasper D) Quartzite E) Obsidian F) Granite 20. 24. You’re still lost. legs spread for stability and hands over your neck. These fables are all unreliable. B. feet pointed downstream answers 1. False. director of the Survival in the Bush school. thing. False. But Bermuda grass requires water close to the surface. etting Getting beyond it fast is critical. Yet the rift between hikers and hunters grows bigger every year. B. a tourniquet prevents blood from diluting the toxin and reducing tissue damage.

Jim Gorman.com EASTERN SALES MANAGER Candice Boyd (978) 346-9385 cboyd@backpacker. WRITE TO THE ADDRESS ABOVE. Don‘t Follow. Chuck Graham. DIRECT RESPONSE & TRADE Jasa Jawn Schumacher (303) 625-1608 jschumacher@backpacker. Bill Velasquez. CALL INTEGRATED MARKETING CONCEPTS AT (800) 201-3591. Ted Villaire. ALLOW 8 WEEKS FOR CHANGE OF ADDRESS. Chelise Simmons. PALM COAST. Claudio Berstein. Tracy Ross. David Tate. FREEL ANCE SUBMISSIONS BACKPACKER. SUITE 650 EL SEGUNDO. FL 32142-0235 BACKPACKER. Michael Lanza.com WESTERN ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Michael Byrne (773) 271-6171 mbyrne@backpacker.COM (800) 666-3434 (386-597-4318 OUTSIDE THE U. Buck Tilton WRITER AT LARGE Steve Friedman MAP CORRESPONDENTS Amy Balfour. Inc. Fox ACTIVE INTEREST MEDIA 300 CONTINENTAL BLVD. Echo Hobbs. Jeremy Barnes.com EASTERN ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Todd Peters (917) 744-1645 tpeters@backpacker. Joel Nyquist. CA 90245 (310) 356-4100 (310) 356-4110 FAX ™ available Copyright 2010 © Cruz Bay Publishing. Kelly Stewart. MARKETING Charina Lumley (303) 625-1607 clumley@backpacker.com.GPS ENABLED™ STAFF PICKS TO SURVIVE. WHICH WOULD YOU SACRIFICE? • Smell • Eyeball • Hearing • Forearm • Foot EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jonathan Dorn DESIGN DIRECTOR Matthew Bates PUBLISHER Kent Ebersole (303) 625-1605 kebersole@backpacker. Ben Fullerton. Steve Howe. Jeff Chow.com ADVERTISING MANAGER. Joe Flowers. SUITE 210 BOULDER. III (310) 341-2341 richard@accessmediala. Clurman SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & CFO Brian Sellstrom SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT. Rachel Kiely Best DESIGN PHOTO EDITOR Julia Beck Vandenoever SENIOR ASSOCIATE PHOTO EDITOR Genny Fullerton ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Jacqueline McCaffrey PHOTO INTERN Crystal Sagan BACKPACKER. Scott Sanders. TO REMOVE YOUR NAME FROM PROMOTION LISTS.) PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS AS THEY APPEAR ON THE MAGAZINE MAILING LABEL WITH ALL CORRESPONDENCE. Eli Boschetto.com Magazine Publishers of America 8 BACKPACKER 10. Lisa Densmore. Readers BACKPACKER staff Vote on the next poll at backpacker. Kristy Holland.COM/SUBSERVICE BACKPACKER@EMAILCUSTOMERSERVICE.delorme. Dave Miller. Melissa Gaskill.2010 Printed on recycled and chlorine-free paper True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . Nathan Barnes.S. Michael Brown. Lead. OPERATIONS Patricia B.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER. Alan Bauer. CO 80301 SELLING BACKPACKER TO SELL BACKPACKER IN YOUR RETAIL STORE.com MAGAZINE PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Barb Van Sickle PRODUCTION SPECIALIST Joy Kelley PUBLISHING ASSISTANT Janine Zwetolitz SPECIAL PROJECTS DIRECTOR Alison Kennedy SENIOR ONLINE MARKETING MANAGER Erika Worobec ASSOCIATE MARKETING MANAGER Andrea Schwartz Neukom RESEARCH DIRECTOR Kristy Kaus CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Barbara Besser GROUP FULFILLMENT MANAGER Jessica Bucher GROUP NEW BUSINESS MANAGER Kathleen Donahue WEB & PARTNERSHIP DIRECTOR Debbie Kane EDITORIAL EXECUTIVE EDITOR Dennis Lewon SENIOR EDITOR Shannon Davis MAP EDITOR Andrew Matranga GEAR EDITOR Kristin Hostetter ASSOCIATE EDITOR Kristin Bjornsen ASSISTANT EDITOR Casey Lyons ASSOCIATE MAP EDITOR Kim Phillips NORTHWEST EDITOR Michael Lanza ROCKY MOUNTAIN EDITOR Steve Howe SOUTHWEST EDITOR Annette McGivney GREEN EDITOR Berne Broudy CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Kelly Bastone.COM EDITOR Anthony Cerretani PRODUCER Katie Herrell ASSISTANT EDITOR Ted Alvarez FIELD CORRESPONDENTS Berne Broudy. Will Rochfort READERS’ CHOICE Which would you sacrifice? • Smell • Eyeball • Hearing • Forearm • Foot 9% 11% 5% 52% 4% 7% 10% 23% 15% 64% GPS maps SUBSCRIPTIONS & READER PREFERENCES BACKPACKER SUBSCRIPTION DEPARTMENT PO BOX 420235.COM/GUIDELINES LETTERS TO THE EDITOR LETTERS@BACKPACKER.com SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SALES MANAGER Richard Taw. Charlie Williams OFFICE MANAGER JoAnn Thomas INTERN Alex Geller.com DETROIT SALES MANAGER Chris Marcangelo chris@onmarcmedia. John Harlin.COM EDITORIAL AND BUSINESS OFFICES 2520 55TH STREET. www. CHAIRMAN & CEO Efrem Zimbalist III PRESIDENT & COO Andrew W. MacKenzie Ryan. Jason Kauffman.

. Emergency SOS also available.storemags & fantamag . even from beyond cell coverage. DeLorme’s rugged PN-60w GPS offers all the maps and aerial imagery to make your way off the beaten path. It connects wirelessly to the SPOT Satellite Communicator. Lead.magazines for all Peace of Mind Wherever You Go. Don‘t Follow. DeLorme and SPOT team up to bring you a new way to explore the great outdoors safely. designed exclusively for DeLorme. and type and transmit one-way messages to update loved ones. Navigate confidently.

Dear Subaru. Tell your story at subaru.com/dearsubaru True PDF release: storemags & fantamag .” -Robert P. “I was driving up I-80 when an earthquake occurred.. A four-foot boulder came down the hillside and I collided with it going around 60 mph. a Subaru. It’s what makes a Subaru. Love. NV. I am lucky to be alive because I was lucky enough to buy a Subaru. Reno.

fighting for her life.” Michelle recalls. the 44-year-old Coloradoan— normally averse to doctors—headed out for a checkup.” 10.2010 BACKPACKER 11 . the most effective tool in your arsenal will always be a positive outlook. After 30 minutes in her physician’s office.magazines for all Editor’s Note BY JONATHAN DORN Snakes in a Cave A GOOD FRIEND SURVIVES A HISTORIC AND GRISLY BRUSH WITH DEATH. she’d asked me for gear advice in advance of a trip to remote Uganda. no colds.] There is no vaccine for this killer virus. After two weeks in critical condition. none of the stuff that used to bug me—it’s like my body rebooted and came back stronger.storemags & fantamag . Michelle’s legs were suddenly wobbly. and is even mulling a trip to Africa. the live antibodies she carries are a gold mine for researchers. “My health is better than ever. She was desperately ill and didn’t know why. visited Chile. “The stink was horrible. Soon. as did the timing of her illness. and a fellow supporter of Big City Mountaineers. and her brain was getting fuzzy. Survival experts would also cite Michelle’s will to live.” Doctors from the Centers for Disease Control would later speculate that Michelle contracted her illness—the first known case of Marburg virus ever detected in a North American—when she touched or inhaled infected bat guano while climbing to the ledge. she regularly visits the National Institutes of Health to give blood. For days. their guide suggested a side trip to a cave that held two horrorfilm-huge pythons and several hundred thousand fruit bats. Marburg is extraordinarily lethal: Some outbreaks have killed 80 percent of their victims. and pancreas fail. WHEN SHE COULDN’T STAND UP.” she reports. but Michelle’s survival might change that. home to the world’s last mountain gorillas. “Yeah. a friend. kidneys. “We had to scramble up some rocks to look into the cave. but when her symptoms escalated to crippling pain and a severe rash. she planned to hike into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Some bug. Starting with lethargy and bruising (caused by the hemorrhaging of millions of capillaries in your body). Which Michelle has in spades. she was lying semicoherent in a Denver hospital.” She’s also returned to the mountains (we just hiked Pikes Peak to raise money for cancer treatment). “No meds. but I’m proof that you can’t let it defeat you. In October 2007. and I’d never change that. Michelle Barnes knew something was seriously wrong. but I watched for 20 minutes as the snakes snapped up bats that flew too close. but everything else is on the table. bad luck happens. she thought. An avid camper and climber who lives in the shadow of Colorado’s Front Range. she began to recover. With her husband. [Travel alert: Uganda closed the cave after the CDC confirmed the bats are carrying Marburg.” she says. she’d been feeling achy and lethargic. Backpackers can learn how to stay alive without essential gear (see “Survive!” on page 71). Must be a bug I caught on my Africa trip. after they’d viewed chimpanzees. A member of the hemorrhagic fever PHOTO BY MICHAEL BLANN/GETTY IMAGES family (which includes the Ebola virus and dengue fever). Why did she live? Her existing fitness certainly helped. The technical skills we teach on pages 71-90 are valuable. On Christmas Day. I’ll never go in a bat cave again. which manifested after she’d returned to Colorado and its world-class medical care. Michelle is a longtime BACKPACKER reader. symptoms progress to multi-organ meltdown. typically followed by the lungs and heart. but the pros agree that in our darkest moments. but YouTube videos and other reports show that guides are still taking groups to the lightly policed location. “Being in nature is who I am and what I do. no longer contagious. Nowadays. but Michelle lacked something even more critical: information. as the liver.

THE NORTH FACE® TRAILHEAD APP True PDF release: storemags & fantamag .

COM PHOTO: KRISTOFFER ERICKSON .magazines for all HERVE BARMASSE AND HIS TEAM PREPARE TO EXPLORE NEW ROUTES IN THE SHIMSHAL VALLEY OF PAKISTAN THENORTHFACE.storemags & fantamag .

.Inside this month.. TURN THE PAGE FOR OUR TOP 10 WEEKLONG ROUTES. PHOTO BY PAIGE FALK 14 BACKPACKER 10. 30 Top 3 Rainy Season Hikes 35 Rip & Go: California’s Kings Canyon 46 The Manual: Predict Weather 50 Predicament: Lost in the Woods 54 Field Test: Ultimate Sleep Systems DISTANCE YEARNING: GET THE REWARDS OF A THRU-HIKE (LIKE THIS VIEW FROM MILE 16 OF THE HIGH SIERRA TRAIL) WITHOUT TAKING A SIX-MONTH SABBATICAL.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag .

2010 BACKPACKER 15 .magazines for all BASECAMP 10.storemags & fantamag .

“How many miles to Angel Falls?” asks another. They are from West Chester. They seem to be in a hurry. So do the next best thing: Cash in a week on one of our 10 top 50-mile thru-hikes. AT AROUND MILE 30. They smell like shampoo. WE RUN INTO a group of backpackers in their mid-20s. The trail chatter snaps me out of a thru-hiker’s hypnosis—I’m not sure what time it is or exactly where we are on the map. 16 BACKPACKER 10. Pennsylvania. My mind has been floating and drifting.BASECAMP Less Is More Six months for a long trail? Most folks don’t have that kind of time.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTO BY TOM TILL . and they’re the first people my buddy Alan and I have seen in days. By Jim Gorman UNEXPECTEDLY AND ABRUPTLY. “How far ya’ going?” one says.

complicated-mail-dropping. MAPLE. but we didn’t linger. It’s a fascinating prologue. ASPEN. But we also have aspirations for long-trail satisfaction—accomplishment.2010 BACKPACKER 17 . BEECH. “We better get moving if we’re going 10. we hope to arrive at a place where contemplating the fuzzy caterpillar crossing the trail is infinitely more important than deciding whether granite or engineered stone countertops will better enhance resale. The crazy thing? This “long trail” is only 59 miles end to end. and mortgage payments that can’t be put on hold for six months. their arching branches studded with needles. scenic variety. foot-long-beard-growing. and we’re already about halfway through. They move on while I’m still trying to pinpoint our precise location. My friend Alan and I have families. This is long-trail bliss. getting to know one trail intimately.storemags & fantamag .magazines for all GUMDROP FOREST: WITH OAK. Our trip isn’t a traditional multi-month. PICTURED: CANYON VISTA AT MILE 43. and the bone-weary exhaustion that rewards a hard effort. AND HORNBEAM. Alan and I are on the Loyalsock Trail. is straight out of the Carboniferous Period. adventure. By passing the aches-and-pain break-in period of the weekend. job-quitting thru-hike. The scene past the trailhead. disconnection. pleasantly void of stress or boundaries as my feet pad methodically through mile after mile of hemlock and hickory laced with rushing creeks. The path rolls and dips along the Allegheny Plateau in the heart of one of the biggest green blobs Google Earth shows south of Maine. and hiking into new territory. The solution: a pointto-point hike of about a week. careers. Stands of spruce. cast shadows on an understory of spongy. YOU’LL NEED ALL WEEK TO COUNT THE FALL COLORS ON PENNSYLVANIA’S LOYALSOCK TRAIL. a little-known route through the Nowheresville of north-central Pennsylvania. near Hillsgrove Township. trail nameacquiring. our lofty plan appears to be working. A colony of fledgling ground pines—Joshua tree-like evergreens—projects weird lime-green antennae skyward. star-shaped mosses. Judging by the looks on the twentysomethings’ faces.

For others. The Loyalsock is diverse. TIM SEAVER. to finish this thing. JIM GORMAN. the Loyalsock’s highlights go from high to higher. JIM GORMAN. Debating a trail’s best spot can start a campfire brawl. CREATE CLASS IV+ RAPIDS IN SPRING. it’s the collision of seven mountain ranges at Canyon Vista. MAP BY MYTOPO. The valleys are deeper.” “That climb right there was a killer.” Alan had said. countless drips and runnels. Licks of cool air and the muffled roar of Lee’s Falls below drift up on a breeze. pongs to that clearing.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTOS BY (FROM LEFT) TIM SEAVER.COM west to east. . still 32 miles to go?” I point out while tracing my finger back along the squiggling red line. It pings to this beaver pond. “Wow. THE AUTHOR’S PARTNER AT MARY’S VIEW. TWO MILES FROM THE EASTERN TERMINUS. where the trail teeters between darkness and light. We listen to a five-foot waterfall and play rewind on our adventure. at mile 43 in World’s End State Park. it’s the Haystacks at mile 57. And there’s a campsite. jabbing a finger at the map. Fans of the trail are divided in pinpointing its apex. MAKING CAMP BELOW HIGH KNOB. too. The variety creates the illusion of covering more ground than we’d thought possible. “And there’s where we got the apples off that old tree. I say it comes at mile 34 at the head of Ketchum Run. + 18 BACKPACKER 10. GADOMSKI. the east and west branches of translucent Ketchum Run converge in an intimate glen. LAURENCE PARENT. It’s made dusky even at midday by steep walls of schist and a dense canopy of hemlock. MILE 28. a point driven home as Alan and I take out the maps while relaxing beside a small fire at a campsite in Dutters Run. class IV+ rapid that kayakers paddle in spring. Going Contributing editor Jim Gorman vows to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail before he leaves this earth. Cupped in a west-facing bowl carved into steep hillsides.50-MILE THRU-HIKES DESTINATIONS PLAYING THROUGH (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): THE HAYSTACKS ON LOYALSOCK CREEK. then shoots into an open forest of tall maple and black cherry underplanted in ferns nipped with autumn gold. and one impressive set of class IV rapids. the streams more acrobatic.” But the best is yet to come. But as we descend the final two miles. It visits 31 waterfalls. MICHAEL P. “Perfect. alongside Loyalsock Creek.” adds Alan. For some. a sandstone outcrop in Loyalsock Creek that forms a snowmelt-charged. I recall that sweet spot by Ketchum Run and realize that only one truth matters: You can never be sure until you’ve hiked the whole thing. and the views more extensive.

N 10 11 Angel F Falls 9 8 7 12 Suns Sunset at 2. East trailhead: .2-mile trail looks like an EKG of arrhythmia as it cuts through the Endless Mountains region of north-central Pennsylvania. climb nearly 1. near the trail’s high point (2. dropping off of the Allegheny Plateau. Make it an 8-. you’re in a protected natural area.300 feet in two miles to ledges at the lip of the Allegheny High Plateau.5 miles through woodland skirted with gardens of maidenhair. an ancient uplift worn to a 2. recross Loyalsock Creek on an iron bridge to follow a railroad grade 1. falls.magazines for all The Loyalsock Trail Go the distance in Penn’s Woods. go to backpacker . and runaway slaves. Hike four rolling miles to a veritable water park of flumes.140 feet). THE WAY West trailhead: on PA 87. GUIDEBOOK AND MAP A Guide to the Loyalsock Trail ($7. with four waterfalls and several streamside campsites scattered over a half-mile. download a GPS tracklog. and October for vibrant fall colors (check hunting season dates with Loyalsock State Forest: 570-946-4049). or share this trip with your hiking partners. Pass remnants of an old resort (5) built to take advantage of superb views of pastoral valleys and forested ridges at the brink of the Allegheny Front. and Grandad Runs. hike 2.5 miles until the trail returns to the river at the Haystacks (11). which makes good on its name. respectively. and gray birch. followed by an 800foot climb up the gorge’s other side. ostrich. Lunch in open fields at mile 19. hemlock-shaded riverside hike to the eastern terminus (12).000-foot-high nub by glaciers. Target four to six days for a thru-hike gaining 12.com/loyalsock. a class IV+ rapid in spring. after two miles of walking up knobs and grassy clearings. 11-.000 feet in elevation. THE SEASON April for enhanced views through leafless trees. losing all of that hard-won elevation. From here. creeks. one of 25 vistas. The next morning. passing through open forest of cherry. looks west down sharply cut Loyalsock Valley. where you’ll be tempted to camp next to the water but can’t.. arrive at Loyalsock Canyon Vista (10) for views of World’s End State Park’s many deep ravines. 570-928-9475). seven miles north of Montoursville. Quickly descend into rocky Pete’s Hollow. and Christmas fern. Then it’s right back up again to hawk’s-eye views of the Loyalsock Valley from atop Smith Knob (2) at 1.storemags & fantamag . and views. The next seven miles gain minimal elevation.100foot High Knob 6 2 1 3 5 First reward: the view from Smith Knob. or 12. TOPO PLUS Elevation Profile: Loyalsock Trail 2.7.5mile day by picking from excellent campsites beside mountain streams at Painter (3). part of an immense deciduous woodland that spans the northern tier of Pennsylvania and southern New York. Soak tired feet in crystalline Ogdonia Creek before the rapid ascent to the . eight miles northeast of Laporte. On the last day. Shingle. hickory.2010 BACKPACKER 19 . The overlook at High Knob at mile 30 (8). From the trailhead on PA 87 (1).000 feet apid The Haystacks rapid 4 Hike it The elevation profile (below) of this 59. lycoming.000 feet 10 11 12 500 ft 10 mi 20 mi 30 mi 40 mi 50 mi To view a detailed map. Make your third camp at raucous Double Run at mile 39. From here. Hike east 2. and pools in Ketchum Run Gorge (9). Summers are hot and humid.5 miles to camping at Tamarack Run. The dirt road follows the Towanda Path. Continue north for two miles to Kettle Creek.org/alpine) SHUTTLE Local hiker and entrepreneur Connie Wilson shuttles hikers from either terminus ($35/hiker. then regaining the heights on a three-mile walk on Genesee Trail Road (4). $30/hiker if more than one. switchback up to Alpine View. and paralleling several small creeks. after gaining 2. Dutters Run (7) makes a fine consolation prize.25 mile west of US 220 on Mead Rd. Finish with a two-mile. The Loyalsock continues its mercurial ways. an Iroquois trade route later used by soldiers in the War of 1812.850 feet. before entering a section of steep climbs and beautiful waterfalls.3-mile spur trail to 80-foot Angel Falls (6).2 7 8 9 Total elevation gain: 12. drop 600 feet to a bridge crossing Loyalsock Creek. /// MAPS /// 10. Next morning. Extra day? Gladecamp in waterfall-rich Ketchum Run.500 ft 2 3 4 5 6 1 Total miles: 59.

forested trench that looks like it was scraped out of Sierra bedrock by a giant ice cream scoop. but that would leave you a long way from civilization.000-footers. and trekked in utter isolation. falcon. and cattlecussed rangelands to pristine meadow. That’s because it cuts against the grain of the Sierra Nevada. Bunker Hill. a long. This trail has no prologue. The 49-mile HST officially ends where it intersects the JMT. Brewer Canyon.4 miles west of Lone Pine.com). and North Toiyabe Peak ($9 each. by Bruce Grubbs ($16. go 52. topping 10. but the High Sierra Trail gets right down to business. the Toiyabe Range rises like a line of afternoon thunderheads. it is the longest and consistently highest.fed.com) Season Mid-August through September. (775) 964-2671. The TCT was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. tomharrisonmaps. Whitney High Country ($10. The route’s rough edges mean you better check yourself: If you haven’t stalked a trail that habitually disappears before your eyes. leaving the Whitney side-trip for the final day. for reliably pleasant.com) + 20 BACKPACKER 10. bug-free camping Guidebook and map Sierra South. a notch in the impressively vertical Great Western Divide.com). East trailhead: at the end of Whitney Portal Rd.000 feet across an uninterrupted 50 miles. highsierrashuttle. CLINT FARLINGER . You’ll shed that hard-won elevation in a gradual drop to Kern Canyon.us/r4/htnf The way South trailhead: From Tonopah. (FR 080). nps. a range of 13.50-MILE THRU-HIKES DESTINATIONS Enjoy full-immersion backpacking on 9 more point-to-point trails. The John Muir Trail may hold the high country in a loving embrace for weeks. 11. the Toiyabe Crest Trail exposes thru-hikers to all of the range’s extremes. Tierney Creek. CA Go straight to the top in the Range of Light. windswept summits to beaver-dammed marsh. Whitney. Most of the first two days are devoted to climbing to Kaweah Gap. from Crescent Meadow in Sequoia National Park to just shy of 14. (559) 565-3708. then skip the Toiyabe Crest.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTOS BY (FROM LEFT) PAIGE FALK.gov/seki The way West trailhead: From Visalia. FROM MILE 27 ON THE HIGH SIERRA TRAIL (72 miles. Whitney and down to Whitney Portal.8 miles east on CA 198 to Moro RockCrescent Meadow Rd. by Kathy Morey ($19. from sere sage to cool aspen.7 miles north on NV 376 to a left on South Twin Rd. and in some sections. 5-7 days) High Sierra Trail. wildernesspress.usgs. (72 miles.505-foot Mt. Shuttle DIY or High Sierra Shuttle ($600/pair. eight miles west of NV 376 just beyond Groves Lake. fs. North trailhead: on Kingston Creek Rd.5 miles. Of Nevada’s 314 mountain ranges.. Thru-hikers usually go west to east. NV Cross the state’s loftiest range.gov) THE GREAT WESTERN DIVIDE. Shuttle DIY Season Mid-June (after snow melts) to mid-July (before water sources go dry) Guidebook and maps Hiking Nevada. In the big empty of central Nevada. store. USGS quads Arc Dome. South Toiyabe Peak. it might seem that trail maintenance hasn’t been done since.. It’s another 23 miles up the back side of Mt. Turn right and go 2. This trek is for experienced desert hikers with polished navigation skills. 6-7 days) Little Big Hikes Toiyabe Crest Trail. go 59. SERGIO BALLIVIAN. toted 18 pounds of water at a time for purposes of dry camping. then go four miles west. Riding on or just off the ridgeline.

storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
TSUSIAT FALLS, WEST COAST TRAIL

(42 miles, 3-5 days)

Greenstone Ridge, MN
Traverse a seldom-hiked national park. Here’s an equation we like: One seven-hour ferry plus a 42-mile trail equals zero crowds. Thanks to boatonly access, the Greenstone Ridge Trail, which bumps along the viewdraped spine of Isle Royale National Park, dishes up Alaska-style solitude. Jump in at either end (usually done east to west, Rock Harbor to Windigo) and emerge having snarfed thimbleberries by the handful, swum in remote lakes, and walked grassy heights with lookouts sweeping to shores 50 miles distant. Most GRT hikers skip the five miles from Lookout Louise to Mt. Franklin. Big mistake. Arrange at the Rock Harbor Visitor Center for a water taxi ($45) to Hidden Lake Dock. The views on this stretch are tops. (906) 482-0984; nps.gov/isro The way/shuttle Take the ferry (from mid-May until late-October) from Grand Portage, MN ($75 one-way to Rock Harbor, isleroyaleboats.com). Season Mid-August through September for the first blush of fall color and few bugs Guidebook and map Foot Trails and Water Routes, by Jim Dufresne ($13, mountaineersbooks.org); Trails Illustrated Isle Royale National Park ($12, natgeomaps.com)

(48 miles, 5-7 days)

West Coast Trail, BC
Tackle Vancouver Island’s wild coast. If the Navy SEALs got into trail building, they’d devise something like this. Every mile brings a gut check: dizzying cable car rides across rivers, ladders 20 stories tall, giant log hurdles, boot-sucking mud, and seaweed-slickened boulder courses. Overlay that with potentially atrocious weather and wildly surging tides, and you have a trail for the brave and the few (just 30 permits for the north and south trailheads each day). But the scenic payoffs are well worth the physical tests. After watching a pod of gray whales breach, playing in the splash pool where Tsusiat Falls crashes 50 feet to the beach, and huddling by the warmth of a driftwood fire in the fading light of a pastel ocean sunset, you’ll be ready for another tour of duty. (250) 726-3500; pc.gc.ca/ pn-np/bc/pacificrim/index.aspx The way North trailhead: from Bamfield, three miles south on Bamfield Rd. South trailhead: at the Gordon River Information Center at the end of BC 14. Shuttle West Coast Trail Express ($85, railbus.com) Season August through mid-September for drier weather (read: better footing) Guidebook and map Hiking The West Coast Trail, by Tim Leadem ($13, dmpibooks.com); CanMap’s West Coast Trail is free with your reservation.

(45 miles, 3-5 days)

Knobstone Trail, IN
Climb high (really!) in the Midwest. Four hundred feet of incline here, 400 feet there, and before you know it, you’re talking serious elevation. That’s how it goes on the KT, Indiana’s resounding rebuttal to misconceptions that the state is basketball-court flat. In 45 miles, the Knobstone racks up a Rockies-esque 10,500 feet of elevation gain while riding a rugged escarpment that starts within eyeshot of Louisville, Kentucky. When united with its northern section (now called the Tecumseh Trail), the KT will extend a hard-to-ignore 140 miles. But it’s not just hills that distinguish the KT. You’ll pass through thickly forested hollows, cross rocky outcrops, gain tree-top vistas, and likely hear coyotes yip in the night. Start from the north in Delaney Creek State Park, leaving the hardest climbs and best views for the end. (317) 232-4029; in.gov/dnr/ outdoor/4224.htm

KNOBSTONE TRAIL, DEAM LAKE STATE RECREATION AREA

The way South trailhead: From Louisville, take I-65 north six miles to IN 60. Go nine miles to Deam Lake State Recreation Area. North trailhead: From Salem, IN, take IN 135 for 8.4 miles to E. Rooster Hill Rd. Go 2.3 miles to Delaney Creek State Park. Shuttle Go Deep Adventures ($65/two hikers, 812-967-4620) Season May for leaf-out. Mid-October for colors. Must cache water from July to September. Guidebook and map Hiking Indiana, by Phil Bloom ($17, falcon.com); Indiana DNR Knobstone Trail Topo Map ($4, 317-232-4180)

10.2010 BACKPACKER

21

50-MILE THRU-HIKES

DESTINATIONS
(39 miles, 3-4 days)

Resurrection Pass Trail, AK
Score big scenery. No bush plane required. Grizzlies do it. Moose and wolves do it. Backpackers? Only occasionally. That is, travel the Resurrection Pass Trail. Ironic, because in a state buzzing with bush planes, the RPT is easy-access and much longer than a dayhike. Bonus: Eight cabins dot the trail, making hut-to-hut itineraries possible ($5/night; recreation.gov). Alaska newbies, this is the trail for you. An hour south of Anchorage, seven of its 39 miles cruise above the trees on either side of the pass, with snowy peaks all around. The hike is a long, gradual rise from near sea level to the 2,600-foot pass and then a long, easy descent. Simple is good. Creeks line the trail for much of the way, and cabins are situated within earshot of tumbling water, or beside trout-filled lakes. (907) 743-9500; fs.fed.us/r10/chugach The way North trailhead: four miles south of Hope on Resurrection Creek Rd. South trailhead: mile 53.2 on Sterling Highway in Tablerock State Park. Shuttle DIY, or hire a cab. ($250/two hikers, Soldotna Cab, 907-262-4200) Season The trail is snow-free from midJune through September. Map Trails Illustrated Kenai NWR/ Chugach National Forest ($12, natgeomaps.com)
JUNEAU FALLS, RESURRECTION PASS TRAIL

TABLEROCK MOUNTAIN NEAR THE TRAILHEAD

(77 miles, 6-7 days)

Foothills Trail, SC
See bears, gorges, and falls. Between Sassafras Mountain (at 3,554 feet the highest point in South Carolina) and Lake Jocassee, the Foothills Trail enters a mountainous realm containing one of the East’s densest black bear populations. What’s good terrain for Ursus americanus—remote, thickly forested, and cut through with creeks—is prime habitat for backpackers, too. The FT’s three distinct and roughly equidistant sections all feature waterfalls, rivers, and creeks stoked on 75 inches of annual rainfall as the trail drops from the “Blue Wall” of the Southern Appalachians to the Piedmont. The

Jocassee Gorges riddle the middle section, between miles 14 and 45. Here, the trail skirts the outstretched arms of Lake Jocassee and vaults four rivers on superbly engineered bridges, including a 225-foot steel suspension bridge over Toxaway River. Hemmed in by the lake and the Blue Wall, the FT crosses nary a paved road for 34 miles through here. Whitewater Falls, the East’s second highest waterfall, stair-steps 411 feet just a short distance from the trail at mile 46. In the last section, walk along the churning rapids of the Chattooga River, where parts of Deliverance were filmed. (864) 467-9537; foothillstrail.org The way East trailhead: From Greenville, take US 276 23.1 miles north to SC 11 west. Head 6.6 miles, and turn left onto East Ellison Lane, which leads to the trailhead. West trailhead: From Walhalla, take SC 107, 12 miles north to Oconee State Park. Shuttle The Foothills Trail Conference (foothillstrail.org) maintains a list of volunteers who offer free shuttles. Season April for engorged falls. LateOctober for autumn colors. Guidebook and map Guide to the Foothills Trail, by Karen LaFleur ($13, foothillstrail.org); Foothills Trail Map ($11, foothillstrail.org)

True PDF release: storemags & fantamag

PHOTOS BY PAT & CHUCK BLACKLEY (TOP); HAGEPHOTO

storemags & fantamag - magazines for all
T A KI M IN R CO W E A R. G E TO G K R IN AC TE CK KP EN PA AC CK .B BA WW W

THRU-HIKER / OR RETAIL SALES SPECIALIST / SEATTLE, WA
“ON THE TRAIL, I BREATHE MORE DEEPLY INTO MY LUNGS AND MIND...
There’s nothing better than half a year spent on the trail. I have time to think, to make a decision, change it, and then go back to the original decision with no pressure. Walt Whitman summed up a thru-hike perfectly, “What do you suppose will satisfy the soul, except to walk free and own no superior.” Read more about Lauren, aka LiteBrite, and her thru-hiking experiences at outdoorresearch.com/hiking
Lauren is wearing the Helium Jacket™ and Expressa Shorts™

LAUREN O’CONNELL- FUJII

outdoorresearch.com/hiking

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goallpoints. Every twist and bend in the river alters the play of light. the odd spires.com) Season August through September for drier days and crisp nights Guidebook and maps Olympic Mountains Trail Guide. flutings. ochre-colored walls on the way to the Gila’s headwaters in the Mogollon Mountains. intent on “unveiling the mystery which wraps the land encircled by the snowcapped Olympic range. (575) 388-8201. North trailhead: Snow Lake Campground on NM 159. You’ll walk through stands of colossal Sitka spruce. plus the occasional patch of quicksand. mountaineersbooks. Wood ($19. you’ll be alone in the canyon. It’s not quite canyoneering. western hemlock. 4-5 days) The Press Traverse. KIRKENDALL-SPRING . anyone? This trail fords the Middle Fork of the Gila River no fewer than 100 times as it pings between steep. You can still find the expedition’s axe blaze of three stacked lines on trees between Antelope and Idaho Creeks. NM Trek along—and in—the Gila River. 575-388-8201) THE LILLIAN RIVER. then take the North Fork Quinault River Trail to shadow its namesake watercourse from freshet to torrent.com) Season Early summer (after runoff) and autumn (after monsoons) Map Silver City Ranger District Gila Wilderness Map ($9.” he and his men weren’t seen again until six months later.. fs. gilabackcountryservices. (360) 565-3130. Amphibipacking. Start at Whiskey Bend in the north and follow the Elwha River Trail upstream (south) to Low Divide (elevation: 3. due to slick pebbles and bedrock at river crossings.usda. But why not take a fifth day to layover at a wildflower-lined lake? As in Christie’s day. Strong backpackers can duplicate the Press Expedition’s heroic feat with only four days of effort on this easy-to-follow path.602 feet). but crowds soon fade: Beyond Jordan Hot Spring.7 miles east off US 101 on North Shore Rd. 3-5 days) Middle Fork Trail.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTOS BY RAMEY NEWELL (TOP). beyond the trailhead in Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Dry your soggy toes by an evening fire and cock an ear for the echoing howls of Mexican gray wolves. At midday.50-MILE THRU-HIKES DESTINATIONS SPIRES AT MILE 5. and buttresses of the cliff walls come alive in glowing reds and oranges. South trailhead: 5. not quite hiking. by Robert L. At sunset.gov/gila The way South trailhead: 44 miles north of Silver City on NM 15. WA Cross the Olympic Range on a forgotten explorers’ path. silvery green leaves of sycamore and cottonwood stand out in sharp relief against muted rock walls. The hike up the Middle Fork is never strenuous but slow nonetheless. and western red cedar making up one of the largest tracts of old-growth this side of Canada.org). the only way to see the core of what is now Olympic National Park is on foot. When James Christie led an expedition across the Olympic Mountains in late 1889. FROM THE ELWHA RIVER TRAIL + 24 BACKPACKER 10. MIDDLE FORK TRAIL (44 miles.com) (40 miles.gov/olym The way North trailhead: 8.2 miles south of US 101 on Olympic Hot Springs Rd. can be busy with dayhikers. The first few miles of walking. past Lake Quinault at North Fork Ranger Station. Elwha Valley and Quinault-Colonel Bob maps ($5 each. nps. customcorrectmaps. when they emerged tattered and hungry. Shuttle Gila Backcountry Services ($175/pair. a 97°F soaker at the eight-mile mark. Shuttle All Points Charters & Tours ($250/up to six backpackers.

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AK.com/ape Trip ID 541023 Ketchum: Hunter Creek You’ll share the trail with mountain goats. A good turnaround spot for a dayhike. (907) 683-7467 CANYON MARKET AND CAFE Milepost 238.4 miles.6 miles to FR 11NO6C. Sheridan Plan it GET THERE From South Lake Tahoe. 9) Start at Tk spot the Save a lot grocery story on your right. UTM 0570078E 5112825N 0569521E 5113073N 0567794E 5115598N 0566898E 5116120N 0566740E 5116129N 0566540E 5116658N 0566787E 5116670N 0566578E 5117226N 0566564E 5117303N CONACO Milepost 238. Wittenberg Loop Top out on the tallest peak in Point Reyes National Seashore on a 6. From the Cottonwood Spring trailhead. Tank up before these sections: Tahoe City to Mt. elk. KRISTY HOLLAND (2).Denali.276-foot Mt.01-0. Adams and tk-foot Mt. giving you turn-by-turn trail instructions and photos embedded on a usable topo map.2010 /// MAPS /// True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTOS BY (FROM LEFT) ELI BOSCHETTO (2). A river of rocks at the 6-mile point. Enjoy a tremendous view. ation WilderneR5/LTBMU/). 4) Start at Tk spot the Save a lot grocery story on your right.4 5. a broad and grassy saddle perched between 10.com trips LOCAL HIKES Mt. St.3-0. by Ti HYDRATION Water gets scarce starting in July.3 0. by Tim Hauserman ($13.COM.9 mile. Turn right and drive . George Street. 3x3-inch or 5 1x3-inch adhesive strips to cover cleaned wounds PRINT & GO! 2 blister dressings or moleskin 1 roll tape (½ inch x 5 yards) to ards) 6 200 200mg t bl t ib tablets ibuprofen for pain. Rainier. 5) Take a L at the grocery store onto El street for about 6 miles.5-1 0. AK.1-0. MAP IMAGE: MYTOPO. (907) 683-7467 Tk fact or tip about this grocery store. Trip ID 686237 Legend BACKPACKER subscribers per square mile by zip code HIGHEST 20-200 8-20 4-8 2-4 1-2 0. kway Summit). pumice-covered plains. and fever 2 packets antibiotic ointment to cover wounds 5 4 3 2 1 CONACO Milepost 238. it’s not a mirage. but aren’t subject to site quotas. Kingsbury North to Spooner Lake (20 PERMITS Required only in the Desolation Wilderness.1 0. NV CLIMB TO SOLITUDE AND A CALM POND PRINT & GO! San Francisco: Mt. inflammation.5 4.7 DIRECTIONS Ape Canyon trailhead: Descend into second-growth maple and alder forest. A miniature oasis filled with wildflowers at the brink of a towering cliff.4 Parks Hwy. Denali. Helens National Monument. and deer on this remote. 5. gas station.LOCAL HIKES DESTINATIONS West Hike to a volcano.6 5.01 New trips All backpacker. fs. Stand at the edge of the 100’ slot at the head of Ape Canyon.5mile out-and-back is just a half-hour from the Strip. Follow large pyramids of rocks marking the path though the Plains of Abraham. ocotillo.COM. 10) End at trailhead parking lot. 6) Start at Tk spot 7) Take a right on St. It links wildflower fields.075-0. restaurant. similar to the the erratics left by passing glaciers.. AK.3 4. 3x3-inch or 5 1x3-inch adhesive strips to cover cleaned wounds 2 blister dressings or moleskin 1 roll tape (½ inch x 5 yards) to 6 200mg tablets ibuprofen for pain. This 2. St. Trip ID 338185 1 2 3 Day 1 4 5 Day 2 Day 3 Total Miles: 15. and waypoints for finding the trail’s nearest campground.fed.4 Parks Hwy.3mile trek.000-foot peaks.4 miles. There’s more: It has a gear checklist. go about 3. Ridge views start to open to the east showcasing 12. Kingsbury North to Spooner Lake (20 miles).. Gear Lists Day Trip 4 sterile.4mile desert trek really does lead to a shady grove of palm trees tucked in a rocky canyon bottom.2 PAGE 1 PAGE 2 THE PERFECT TRIP MAP—FREE! Select trips on our Local Hikes pages now come with a companion Print & Go PDF (see example above). Spooner Lake to Ophir Creek (18 miles).025-0. Trip ID 616810 READER HIKE OF THE MONTH LAS VEGAS. tomharrisonmaps. Portland: Ape Canyon Traverse the eastern flanks of the most active volcano in the Cascades on this 11. Helens. and grocery store.025 0. backpacker.com) The Tahoe Rim Trail. George Street. CHELISE SIMMONS. After cresting the wooded. consider a cache at Brockway Summit). And did we mention it’s free? backpacker. go about 3. head on this street for about 6 miles. driving directions.. ation WilderneR5/LTBMU/). Turn right (N) for 0.05-0. “I rarely see others on the trail and always hear birds singing.5 3. The trail crisscrosses the creek six times before starting a milelong push to 9. and cholla cactus before dropping into a lush oasis. R5/LTBMU/). amid the desolate pumice plains. Junction with the Loowit Trail. wildernesspress.” she says.1 5. descend 1.. 530-543-2694. Denali. or continue on to Windy Ridge for a shuttle hike or backpack. MILE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 . 1. Half kept for walk-ups ($5/hiker/night. AK. Tank up before these sections: Tahoe City to Mt.400-foot Hunter Creek Summit. Have an extra day? Spend the night in the meadow just below the route’s highpoint. and fever 2 packets antibiotic ointment to cover wounds 1 roll tape (½ inch x 5 yards) to 6 200mg tablets ibuprofen for pain. The mile-wide mud and rock lahar that wiped out forest on the southeast side of Mt. Helens National Volcanic Monument: Ape Canyon 9 8 6 7 Heart Lake and Mt. You’ll see the Save a lot grocery story on your right. You’ll see the Save a lot grocery story on your right. The secluded pool (called a tinaja) at the route’s turnaround point is rimmed by towering slickrock and home to brine shrimp.407-foot summit. Thru-hikers must Thru-hikers must pay fees. (907) 683-7467 Restaurant/Bar Gear Shop Gas Station Grocery Store Trailhead Elevation Profile 700 ft 300 ft Driving Directions from TK 1) Start at Tk spot 2) Take a right on St.075 0. Giant lava bombs scattered around the area.3mile loop that begins at the Bear Valley trailhead and climbs past violet Douglas lilies and miniature lupine. 3) Take a left at the grocery store onto Elm St. DENSITY Joshua Tree NP: Lost Palms Oasis Nope. Tom Harrison Maps Lake Tahoe Recreation Map ($10. Trip ID 717877 LOWEST .2 5. take US 50 W 7. Hike two miles northwest of Hana Highway—passing 40-foot-tall bamboo trees and an alluring swimming hole nicknamed the “Pool of No Return”—to a sheerwalled lava amphitheater where spring-fed Waimoku Falls plunges down mossy cliffs. inflammation.ALPENGLOWPRESS. JEFF CHOW. a 400-foot falls. us/R5/LTBMU/).4 Parks Hwy. head on this street for about 6 miles. inflammation.com/printandgo + 26 BACKPACKER 10.000 feet in roughly two miles on the Horse Trail.4 Parks Hwy.1 mile to a slight right onto FR 11N06 (becomes Echo Lakes Rd.Denali.8 mile to the natural spring. and fever 2 packets antibiotic ointment to cover wounds 4 sterile. Rose Highway (38 miles. 8) Take a left at the grocery store onto Elm St. This 7. St.6-mile dayhike in Idaho’s Boulder Mountains. heading tk.com). TK NAME OF RESTAURANT Milepost 238.05 0. WWW. GUIDEBOOK AND MAP The Tahoe Rim Trail. the route rolls over hills dotted with spiky yucca. and a desert oasis.0003-0.) and go . and boulder-size lava bombs in Mt.5 0. Trip ID 705578 Haleakala NP: Waimoku Falls Here’s one more reason to visit Maui: the 400-foot waterfall at the end of the Pipiwai Trail. (907) 683-7467 Tk fact or tip about this restaurant. GOOGLE MAPS Chelise Simmons heads to Red Rock Canyon’s Calico Tanks for quick getaways. Do it Water gets scarce starting in July.

Explore remnants of Pete Berry’s Last Chance Mine. You’ll track past steaming creeks and old-growth lodgepole en route to Heart Lake’s rocky shoreline and Mt. (p.000-foot Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain. Sheridan’s 10. From Little Cottonwood Canyon. “Make sure to take plenty of time to relax by all the lakes and drink in the landscape. hike roughly three miles and spend the night by Red Pine Lake.” Trip ID 488949 GET MORE Grand Canyon NP: Grandview Loop Drop into the Big Ditch on a network of switchbacks and log stairs on this three-day.com/ manygl. directions. when the mountainsides were speckled with golden aspen groves.9-mile hike to an emerald-green pool. Rise early for the finale.com/ heart Trip ID 300069 ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK.8-mile (round-trip) dayhike in Tyndall Gorge in September. Views of 14.com/hikes/__________. Connect North Shore and Swiftcurrent Nature Trails to return to the trailhead. camp along secluded Hance or Cottonwood Creeks. Her route starts at Bear Lake and climbs west—passing the lily pad-covered waters of Nymph and the turquoise blues of Dream and Emerald Lakes—to the base of 12. glacierparkboats. Text “imap” and the numerical Trip ID to 32075. and enjoy a sweet sunset view of Zoroaster Temple.magazines for all Mountain West Glacier NP: Grinnell Lake Back-to-back boat rides jump-start this 5. this 10.000-foot peaks? You’ll see a trio.326-foot peak. Trip ID 728169 Telluride: Navajo Lake You name it. Cruise across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine ($22. On the go? Send them to your mobile phone. You need low water. 11. Sheridan Let the crowds wait for Old Faithful: Experience the rugged side of Yellowstone on this twoday.2-mile hike has it. 23. THE ONLINE TALLY: 5 7 0 0 TOTAL TRIPS 0 3 5 0 NEW TRIPS 1 1 8 MAP CONTRIBUTORS JOIN THE TEAM BACKPACKER.9-mile trek to and around Horseshoe Mesa. Mountain lakes? You get two of ’em. a 1. backpacker. link Woods Lake and Navajo Lake Trails and spend the night at the lakeside campsite. thru-hike the Gila Wilderness. 37) Silver City: Middle Fork Trail Timing is everything on this 40-mile thru-hike. then pick up the well-signed trail that leads to Grinnell Lake and its eponymous waterfall.4-mile ascent that gains 1.storemags & fantamag .700 feet. trail beta. Waterfalls? Catch a glimpse of one at mile 3. and more.6mile (one-way) climb that ends on a rocky.2010 BACKPACKER 27 .htm). You’ll find maps. 20) Download GPS data by adding the Trip ID digits to the end of this URL: backpacker . 3.305-foot crown. Go in early summer for ideal river flows or fall for sycamore and ash displays. READER HIKE OF THE MONTH PRINT & GO! Yellowstone NP: Heart Lake and M Mt. Trip ID 508271 See the best of Yellowstone.” says Caisse. Trip ID 528316 Barbara Caisse mapped this colorful. To join in.COM/POSTATRIP /// MAPS /// 10. and scale a Salt Lake summit. poke your head into the Cave of the Domes.2-mile backpack. (p.7. 11. since you’ll crisscross the Middle Fork of the Gila River more than 100 times as you wind along ruddy canyon walls. CO LINK FOUR HIGHCOUNTRY LAKES Salt Lake City: The Pfeifferhorn Take two days to savor this 4. “You’ll find classic Rocky Mountain scenery in a relatively short distance.

com/enchanted Trip ID 555380 Salina: Wilson Purple Loop Most of Kansas is crop-covered and pancake flat. switchback to a hilltop. BACKPACKER readers get 20 percent off. AR SEE A NATURAL ARCH AND RUSHING RIVERS. (p. circle a granite monolith. Trip ID 504426 Indianapolis: Knobstone Trail OZARK HIGHLANDS TRAIL.1mile loop winding around limestone bluffs. Trip ID 370885 PRINT HIGH-QUALITY TOPOS Every GPS-enabled trip on our site has a sweet new option. BILL JACKSON. (p. Circumnavigate the monolith on this 4.9mile loop. South Dakota. 17) Thru-hike Isle Royale. backpacker. backpacker. Hike into an anomaly on this 4. TIM JOHNSON. glassy ponds. and ford the knee.LOCAL HIKES DESTINATIONS Midwest READER HIKE OF THE MONTH Isle Royale NP: Greenstone Ridge Trail Take a long weekend or a week to thru-hike this 42-mile trail that bumps along the view-crazy backbone of the park from Rock Harbor to Windigo.7-mile loop in wildlife-rich Wilson State Park. and find hiking bliss in Kansas. Slot four days to complete it. Hickory Grove. Spurs to Moss Lake (backcountry campsites available) and the summit are short (. TX: Enchanted Rock Loop “The Rock” is a huge.2010 /// MAPS /// True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTOS BY (FROM LEFT) MARK RAYCROFT/MINDEN PICTURES. Trip ID 830236 Kansas City: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area Link the Wildlife Habitat. Click on the “Print MyTopo” button in our Map Tools menu. pink granite dome that rises 425 feet above the surrounding woodland and covers 640 acres.com/hikes + 28 BACKPACKER 10.” which is how he described this 40-mile OHT ramble from Ozone to Fairview trailheads. Badlands NP: Pinnacles Overlook Roadtripping? Stretch your legs outside of Wall. Trip ID 503635 New classic: This 45-mile pointto-point gains 10. KIM PHILLIPS. on this . drop into a valley. FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION .4 mile each) and worthwhile.to hip-deep creek twice. The 3. From Hell Creek Bridge. You’ll cross the remote Hurricane Creek Wilderness. Charlie Williams is a veteran map contributor. and Bethany Falls Trails for a 4.2-mile trek to a view that rivals any in canyon country.5 hours of ferry rides to reach the trailheads help ensure hefty doses of solitude. 17) PRINT & GO! A Austin. TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE. so we listen when he drops phrases like “one of my all-time favorites. and deer-frequented meadows—a 20-minute drive from downtown. and you can custom-create a map (as large as 36’’ x 48’’) of your route using a topographical grid or aerial photo. then trace the sandstone shores of the reservoir.500 feet as it ratchets along a craggy ridge in Deam Lake State Recreation Area. see the state’s only natural arch.

The reader with the most hikes wins. Pittsburgh: Neshannock Creek Just an hour north of the Steel City lies a rail-trail that parallels this dreamy snow-fed creek.8-miler links caves.000foot peaks. and catch brown trout.” she says. “And when you reach the summit. You’ll trek gentle logging roads and crisscross Cotton Brook to views of the Worcester Range.” On the way. Scramble to the summit for a vista with 1. A local outdoorsman named the bulbous peak after his buddy’s inflamed toe.magazines for all East Montpelier. To win the trip? Simple. and the hazy skyline. Watch for egrets. the Appalachians. waterfalls. Trout bum? Target a rainy day.344foot summit (the state’s loftiest). you’ll pass the largest highrelief sculpture in the world—a carving of confederate heroes in the mountainside that’s larger than three football fields. 30) READER HIKE OF THE MONTH STONE MOUNTAIN. herons.000-foot drop-offs. and beech with intermittent views into adjacent valleys. We’ll send you a T-shirt for your first submission.com/charlie Trip ID 30763 Adirondack Park: Mt. It’s great training for mountain trips. and bald eagles. You could dayhike to Marcy’s 5. Marcy The High Peaks region is ground zero for mountain climbing in the East. sandstone towers. you’re surrounded by granite and trees.4-mile path in Econfina River State Park strings together sawgrass marshlands. “Within minutes. Go to backpacker .com/mapcontest. Hattiesburg: Black Creek Trail Burning quads are rare among Mississippi backpackers. yes. Trip ID 330150 /// MAPS /// 10. stirring up food and sediment— encouraging them to bite.com. KY: Knobby Rock Loop This 4. WIN A TRIP! Score a hiking vacation in Rocky Mountain National Park next summer— on BACKPACKER’S tab! Here’s how: Upload GPS data for your favorite hikes to your profile at backpacker. (p. oaks. (p. climb an Adirondack classic.4-mile loop when she needs a breather from the city. backpacker. You’ll roller-coaster through long-leaf pines. sandhill flats. but take the 25.storemags & fantamag .9-miler. 43) PRINT & GO! Lexington. Trip ID 32359 Terah Shelton hits this 7. a knobby overlook of oldgrowth forest in Blanton Forest State Nature Preserve.2010 BACKPACKER 29 .9-mile point-to-point along the Wild and Scenic Black Creek is legendary for its tough climbs and descents. It’s shrouded in fiery maples and oaks come fall and is an ideal family stroll. then a gift from our gear closet for every fifth hike thereafter. Trip ID 7757 SHARE HIKES. you can see Kennesaw Mountain. and thick forests on its way to end-of-the-earth views overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. GA BAG A SUMMIT 20 MINUTES FROM TOWN Great Smoky Mountain NP: Charlie’s Bunion A 1925 wildfire incinerated the slopes of this 5. Trip ID 39456 Tallahassee: Marsh Island Trail This lightly traveled 9. VT: Cotton Brook Loop Hike beneath the confetti of fall colors on this 9.2-mile Great Range route instead. You’ll top seven more 4.565-foot knob and created the view—and the peculiar name. This oxygenates and chills the water. Which is why this 12. Trip ID 8335 Leaf-peep in Vermont. and.

gov/redw RECHARGE Gulp down fish and chips at Crescent City’s Chart Room. Retrace your steps along the shallow. the 300-foot-tall redwoods lining Mill Creek in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park would be reason enough to hike this 5. then turn left on Elk Valley Rd. chartroomcrescentcity. MILL CREEK. Meander through hemlocks and maples for 2. Cross to the stream’s east side. Clouds and rain. wade upstream and fish underwater snags at the Coal Slide. Water always dribbles over the cliff between Middle and Lower Emerald Pools. and park at the fly shop. can ignite a feeding frenzy. pick up the rail-trail across the street. however. the 3. and head south along the creek’s western shore. CA RAINS SUMMON SALMON AND SLUGS.2-mile roundtrip route allows plenty of time to enjoy the trio of pools. your turnaround point. then climb 250 feet in a half-mile to Upper Emerald. As precipitation plumps up Mill Creek. (707) 464-5993. coho. where water spills into a small basin.gov/zion RECHARGE Watch the raindrops tumble as you slurp a margarita at the Bit & Spur in Springdale. where trout cluster at the head of the pool. stirring up food sources and enough sediment to camouflage trout and embolden them to bite.DAYHIKES DESTINATIONS TOP 3 Rainy Season Hikes Make the best of fall storms on trails that improve with soggy weather. Retrace your steps to the trailhead. HALO EFFECT: SUNLIGHT POURS THROUGH THE MIST NEAR MILL CREEK. EMERALD POOLS.5 miles to the trailhead. opposite the trailhead. In one mile. From there.com THE WAY From Crescent City. bitandspur. PA CAST A FLY TO LAND LUNKER BROWN TROUT. and go 2. foot-long browns inhabit this lazy freestone stream (fed by snowmelt and rain).5 miles. nps. but bright sunshine spotlights anglers and scares fish away. rock-strewn bank back to the trailhead. RAIN-FED WATERFALLS. NESHANNOCK CREEK. In any season. At Lower Emerald Pool.5 miles to Big Bend. From Zion Lodge. turn right on Howland Hill Rd. and chinook salmon take advantage of the deeper waters to swim upstream and spawn. + ////// 30 BACKPACKER 10. take US 101 one mile south. At 2. steelhead. you’ll hike right through a grove of fat. you’ll hear water drumming into the 60-foot-wide pond above. in Zion National Park—but rainstorms transform that trickle into a dazzling torrent that lets hikers pass behind a 15-foot-wide curtain of water. Not an angler? Catch the oak and maple trees. to stand at the source. Throngs of wily.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTO BY KEVIN MCNEAL. Take the Emerald Pools Trail and follow the North Fork Virgin River before contouring along a sandstone wall where water trickles from above. pagameandfish. continue up the trail for another half-mile to Middle Emerald Pool. which is fed by a thundering waterfall and affords views of Cathedral and Red Arch Mountains. Rain-lubricated leaves also create smooth sliding surfaces for neon-yellow banana slugs. drive north on Main St. UT EXPLORE GUSHING. nps. Start at the western trailhead on Howland Hill Road and follow Mill Creek Trail as it bobs among the ferns on the stream’s west side.com RECHARGE Warm up with tomato dumpling soup at the Dumplin’ Haus in Volant. (724) 533-3732 THE WAY In Volant. wrinkled old-growth redwoods before arriving at Stout Grove parking lot.4-mile (round-trip) trail—but autumn rains conjure a bonus. Stock up on streamers at Neshannock Creek Fly Shop (724-533-3212). TEXT BY KELLY BASTONE . beaming with autumnal orange and reds.com THE WAY From Zion Canyon’s south entrance. ride the shuttle four miles north to Zion Lodge. (435) 772-3498. Rainfall oxygenates the water. Spot them among understory vines and maple leaves glowing brilliant red and yellow from October through December.

magazines for all .storemags & fantamag .

town. a three-mile lollipop beginning one RIDE THE SNAKE mile west of the park’s office. Look for the sheep’s white “long johns. 4.co. At four miles. TEXT BY SARAH L. Melting glaciers. slow-growing tree with 1. JERRY PAVIA. Wander Canyon’s class among the giants.com/ Follow the loop back to the office.DAYHIKES THE PERFECT SPLIT Merrell Split ™Technology Merrell's visible technology joins dualdensity EVA under the heel to absorb shock and promote stability. look right Get full beta on a 31.500 vertical feet. and listen for the gunshot-bang of rams clashing horns. pick up Hat Point Trail for a four-mile out-and-back. then turn left at . Our fall Refuge collection—rugged performers that never give up. the highest point on the Oregon side of Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. revealing igneous rocks on the lower canyon walls that date back 300 million years.500-foot base of Saxon Mountain Road on the northernmost end of Main Street in Georgetown. 10 miles away.5 mile and drop IV whitewater at about 100 feet to the Altamaha River floodplain. In the last 200 years.546-foot Saxon Mountain. 32 /////WEB EXTRA / BACKPACKER 10. The Way From 6. nature. STEWART . or up to 30 pounds.georgetown. About 6 million years ago. LISA DENSMORE. Softer exterior for cushioning gives you a smooth ride.” or rump patches that extend down their legs.043 feet to the Snake River.393-foot He Devil Peak on its east rim. Switchback down nearly 1. less than 1 percent contain gnarled old-growth specimens. Climb back the way you came.25 mile. plus a spillover from nearby Lake Bonneville about 16. fire suppression has allowed other species to flourish. the area uplifted and the Snake began its long descent. stop at a west-facing overlook to glass the 330-member Georgetown herd—one of the largest and oldest in the state—which often grazes on the opposite slope. which can exceed 300 years in age and provide vital habitat for endangered species like red-cockaded woodpeckers. Hike up 1. backpacker. Colorado.300 vertical feet of switchbacks on an unnamed trail through lodgepole pine and aspen. The Wonder From 9. while logging of this sturdy. The West’s Most Violent Mating Display Witness bighorn rams’ skull-bashing attempts to win a date. fs. DESTINATIONS Natural Wonders Three treks to life-list phenomena North America’s Deepest River Gorge Hike into a canyon that could hold five stacked Sears Towers. The Way The Nature Conservancy’s Moody Natural Area 100 miles west of Savannah. Also available in Pro and Core Mid. The Wonder Open stands of virgin longleaf pines interspersed with low grasses once covered up to 90 million acres from Virginia to Texas. about a mile away. fed the Snake and helped accelerate the canyon’s ongoing deepening.us/hellscanyon Firmer interior for stability keeps you in control. At mile two.org hellscanyon.000 feet below. Return for an eight-mile out-and-back. At . preserves about 250 acres of old-growth longleaf pine.5-mile paddle for the characteristic crooked crown at the 100-foot through Hells tops of otherwise spear-straight trunks. The Way Pack 10x30 binoculars and park at the 8. The Wonder Bighorn sheep’s namesake spirals of bone and protein can surpass two feet in length and constitute 10 percent of a ram’s body weight. Georgia.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTOS BY (FROM TOP) RUSS BISHOP / AGE FOTOSTOCK. looking east for top-to-bottom views of the gorge and He Devil Peak. Tour it on Tavia’s Trail. Of the 2 to 3 million remaining acres.us The Southeast’s Last Longleaf Pines Merrell Refuge Core Walk beneath trees that predate the Revolutionary War. Shielded by a honeycombed skull that can absorb 20-mph impacts. or continue three more miles to the summit of 11. rams clash their mighty horns to establish dominance and mating rights to females during the late-autumn rut.982-foot Hat Point Lookout.000 years ago.fed. Hells Canyon on the Oregon/ Idaho border plunges 8. forming the Southeast’s dominant ecosystem. enjoy a 180-degree view of the Snake.5-foot needles has decimated 97 percent of its historic range.

storemags & fantamag . shock-absorptiowhile providing the best in balance for an n—giving you the perfect y adventure.magazines for all THE REFUGE M Merrell Split ™te ID and alignmen chnology allows stability t. MERRELL PROUDLY SUPPORTS .

SUPERLOCK Locking System Internal External Locking System True PDF release: storemags & fantamag ©2010 LEKI USA LEKI/MATERA .ec T hnology rules.

gov/seki Gear up The General Store at Hume Lake Christian Camp. and head left (north). and ringtails). nps .1 . From here. Glance back for a perfectly framed vista (5) of The Sphinx. bobcats. You’ll see wildlife galore (think bears—canisters required—pine martens. Continue to the junction with the Woods Creek Trail (3) at mile 1. offering glimpses of yet another waterfall pouring from the northward cliffs.1. but with its waterfall-a-mile pace and neck-craning granite walls. Continue past Middle Paradise Valley camp (9). The trail rolls over several gentle hills.9. scanning for black bears in the meadows to your right.4 2. from Trip data.6. 64144 Hume Lake Road.3 .2 Trip Planner Get there From Fresno. take CA 180 east for 40 miles. Reach your final destination—Upper Paradise Valley camp (10)—at mile 9.3 1. sequoiahistory. Do it There’s no shortage of wilderness areas named paradise. You’ll begin your nearly 2. a thundering. chunky slopes could’ve been painted by a Cubist-period Picasso.000 feet above. a 9. humelake.2010 BACKPACKER 35 . retrace your steps back to Road’s End. you’ll gain almost a thousand feet in 1.org) Trip data backpacker. Next day.com/ hikes/826549 MAP PLUS Send any Rip & Go to your cell: Text “imap” and the Trip ID (826549 for this hike. $15).1 1 2 8. Trace the river and its tributary creeks. 60-foot wall of water . Reserve them beginning March 1. Permit Required (May to September. Enter the park at Big Stump and drive to Road’s End Ranger Station. Pick up your permit at Road’s End Ranger Station (1) and head east on the level Bubbs Creek Trail.6 1.6 miles en route to riverside campsites at Lower Paradise Valley (8). and let the river’s roar lull you to sleep. Pitch your tent beneath behemoth Jeffrey pines at site six.org Map Rae Lakes Loop Trail ($9. (559) 3051275. passing beneath granite cliffs that tower more than 3. white pine. but press on for the real prize—Mist Falls (7).storemags & fantamag . where you’ll meander through incense cedar.2 . The sandy trail passes through a glacier-deposited boulder garden (2) at mile .1 9.000 ft 5.7 1. their chiseled.4 1. . RETURN TO EDEN: BEACH CAMPSITES LINE THE SOUTH FORK KINGS RIVER AT MILE 5. above) to 32075.7 before dipping into a marshy lowland along the banks of the South Fork of the Kings River.000 ft 3 7 46 5 8 9 10 Day 1 Day 2 Total Miles: 18. Hume. UTM 11S 0362184E 4077589N PHOTOS BY HANK CHRISTENSEN (FRONT AND BACK).6 (6). TEXT AND MAPPING BY ELISABETH KWAK-HEFFERAN Data Map mi.000 feet on this Sierra overnighter. and oak.2 on a short-and-steep stone staircase (4) alongside the raging Kings River.146-foot outcrop that resembles its mythical namesake. this 18.magazines for all ✁ Rip &Go Paradise Valley Kings Canyon National Park Hike in the spray of waterfalls deep in the heart of black bear country.4 mile later (see back page). six miles past Cedar Grove. MAP DATUM WGS84 //// MOBILE // 10. and ascend to 7.2-mile out-and-back actually lives up to that heavenly moniker.000-foot ascent at mile 3. The trail passes tumbling cascades at mile 3.

along the lower Woods Creek Trail. but the inescapable spray provides refreshing relief after the exposed. mushrooms. apples (3) broccoli (3) mushrooms (3) cheddar cheese (refrigerator) [ ] salami (refrigerator) Pack Vegetable oil. Prevent encounters by stowing all smellables in your site’s bear locker. Don’t let them. Three miles east of Big Stump park entrance on CA 180. 11. flower-choked meadows. where you can build your own pie with helpings of sausage. the bruins aren’t aggressive. (559) 338-2404 BEAR AWARE Learn how to scour dishes clean at backpacker. and don’t pin it between rocks or branches.” says wilderness assistant Irene Corrao. CA. and Paradise Valley is one of their favorite haunts.. Tbob` ljj >kqfp bka el`h mlib p+ ©2010 LEKI USA Afs^ Locals Know Got more than a weekend? You’re in luck: Paradise Valley forms the western leg of the classic. Typically. Mix water. remove from heat and stir until the cheese melts. cook two to three minutes per side. you can usually score walk-up permits.000-foot passes. Squaw Valley.WEEKENDS DESTINATIONS Paradise Valley Key Skill Keeping food safe from bears Hundreds of black bears patrol Kings Canyon. Take a week to cover this challenging terrain. Spoon three tablespoons of batter onto skillet. On The Menu Breakfast 1 On the road Lunches 1 & 2 Avocado and cheese bagel. If you wake to a bear rummaging around your site. Hike the trail in late May to witness peak flow. trail mix. get out of your tent and drive it away by shouting and throwing small rocks. (lest it end up in the drink). but by October.” says wildlife biologist Daniel Gammons.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . Chop broccoli and mushrooms and add to pasta as it cooks. Rae Lakes. “When a bear gets human food. bang pots. Charlotte Lake. but they are gifted when it comes to raiding your food. supporting a community of spray-loving mosses. it’s like a person shooting heroin for the first time. Clean dishes and avoid particularly fragrant foods like bacon. pack up and move camp.html BACKPACKER 10. cookies THE GROCERY LIST [ ] granola bars (1) [ ] cookies (1) [ ] Lipton Pasta Sides (1) [ ] raisins (1) [ ] trail mix (1) [ ] apricots (1) [ ] bagels (1) [ ] pancake mix (2) [ ] avocado (3) [ [ [ [ ] ] ] ] (AISLE #) IN NEAREST STORE BELOW Paradise Pasta Superhearty carbs dished up with veggies and cheese 1 packet Lipton Pasta Sides (any cheese flavor) 1 cup fresh broccoli 1 cup assorted mushrooms 3 ounces salami 3 ounces cheddar cheese Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat oil over medium flame. especially in the meadows near Lower Paradise Valley. maple syrup NEAREST GROCERY STORE CLINGAN’S JUNCTION GROCERY 35468 E.com/ cleancamp. and more. Continue hazing the bruin. Swimming is too dangerous. fight back. Here’s how to handle three common bear encounters. Start heading north through Paradise Valley and hike clockwise to the South Fork Trail. where a bear could leverage off the lid. If a bear does come into your campsite. and granite canyons. are just preamble for the main show: Mist Falls.com/cabins. 600-foot climb over the previous two miles. and Junction Meadow. Woods Creek junction. false buttercup. Never run. (866) 522-6966 ext. “frontcountry bears get very gutsy. yell. If a black bear attacks. Kings Canyon Rd. See This MIST FALLS The inviting series of cascades dotting the South Fork of the Kings. 60 Lakes Basin. don’t let the proximity to infrastructure lull you into a false sense of security. peppers. If it won’t be persuaded. Bear Bait Pancakes A berry-laden and energypacked breakfast 1 cup blueberry pancake mix ¾ cup water ¼ cup raisins ¼ cup dried apricots Vegetable oil Maple syrup Prepack oil and syrup in spillproof containers. 46-mile Rae Lakes Loop that links sparkling lakes. The raging waters shroud the area in a constant curtain of mist. In fact. Spot one? Make noise to announce yourself—a startled bear is a dangerous bear—and back away slowly. Frontcountry If overnighting in a car campsite prior to your hike. Avoid stash spots near the river. Sing or talk loudly. or honk your horn until it retreats. raisins. 334. Dice salami and cheese and add to pot when pasta is cooked. sequoiakingscanyon. apples Dinner Paradise Pasta Breakfast 2 Bear Bait Pancakes Snacks Granola bars. Note: This loop is popular in summer. Backcountry Store all smelly items in campsite lockers or a bear canister at least 50 yards from your tent. Trail Backcountry bears tend to shy away from hikers. and woodland stars. * VIDEOS 36 ////// PIT STOP Get a custom slice (or three) at the Pizza Parlor in Grant Grove Village. and chopped apricots. pitching your tent at Upper Paradise Valley.

The latter option shaves 1. South Rim. a shady nook with copper-mining-era pickaxes rusting in place. Here. and take the East Horseshoe Mesa Trail toward Hance Creek. take your pick: Continue northwest on the Tonto Trail to Cottonwood Creek and camp near the spring at mile 9.7 . MICHAEL QUINN / NPS PHOTO. which reaches two long arms west and north (3). Do it Take this steep path to a rare.000 ft 3.com/iphone or /android MAP DATUM WGS84 //// MOBILE // 10. or head south to ascend the easy route up Horseshoe Mesa and camp in a designated site (8).9 1 2 8. a shady overlook above an east-facing gully.6 .8 3. Hike September to June to avoid the searing heat. Download permit request form (nps . link up with the Grandview Trail and begin the long. The 300-degree view of sunsetstreaked Zoroaster Temple will redefine your sense of grandeur. reach the junction with a use trail (7) looking south into the mesa’s thousand-foot-high walls layered in heather. a perennial oasis with a small pool and fresh drip. At mile 7.usgs. Continue down past daisies and vibrant-red desert paintbrushes (May). BABY GRAND: SCORE THIS VIEW OF ZOROASTER TEMPLE FROM THE WESTERN ARM OF HORSESHOE MESA. Descend steeply off the mesa with views of the Canyon’s clay-red slopes dotted with juniper and sagebrush.gov) Trip data backpacker.2010 BACKPACKER 37 .9 Trip Planner The way From the South Rim entrance.7-mile loop around Horseshoe Mesa.600-foot ascent up to Grandview Point. fill reservoirs at Miner’s Spring (5). and a peek into the Canyon’s mining past. South Rim Descend to the Ditch’s primitive core on a three-day loop. backpacker .1 .1. UTM 12S 0411447E 3988317N PHOTO BY ED CALLAERT. 11.3. Next morning.4. rest your knees at Coconino Saddle (2). From here. BACKSIDE: JESSICA PETERSON / AGE FOTOSTOCK (LEFT). 1. From Grandview Point (1). Next morning. At mile 1. russet.gov/grca/planyourvisit/ upload/permit-request.1 1. sublime views from Horseshoe Mesa. Gear up Canyon Village Marketplace. and slate blue. to Grandview Point. you’ll encounter Pete Berry’s Last Chance Mine. MAPPING BY KIM PHILLIPS Data Map mi. TEXT BY CARRIE MADREN.8. store. Head east past the ruined cookhouse (4) at mile 2.0 1. pack a gallon of water per person and descend gravel switchbacks on the Grandview Trail.storemags & fantamag . (928) 638-2262 Maps USGS quads Cape Royal and Grandview Point ($8. 4.magazines for all ✁ Rip &Go Grandview Loop Grand Canyon. drive 12 miles east along Desert View Dr. pack lightweight crampons—ice can make the upper trail treacherous.pdf) and fax to (928) 638-2125.5-mile (one-way) hike over razor-edge cliffs to catch the sunset on Horseshoe Mesa’s westernmost tip.com/ hikes/823945 APP PLUS Navigate easily with GPS Trails for your smartphone. At mile 3.5.500 ft 3 4 5 6 7 8 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Total Miles: 11. Reserve four months ahead. and camp near Hance Creek. then emerge onto wide-open Horseshoe Mesa. in winter.9-mile innercanyon loop hike. Permit $10 plus $5/person per night.7 2. 2. take the Tonto Trail (6) heading northwest to begin a relatively level.200 feet off the next day’s climbing and clears the way for a 1.

Danger Feeling flushed? The early stages of heat-related illness include cramps. and muscle pain.m. Berry constructed the Grandview Trail—loosely following an old Native American route—to get supplies in and ore out. When mining became unprofitable. Apply cool water to the neck. Berry built the two-story Grandview Hotel. Rte. Attach the Hydration Kit ($20) hose to the reservoir to keep water at hand and encourage constant sipping. (928) 635-2445 BACKPACKER 10. fatigue. evaporative cooling.9 oz. Williams. (928) 638-2262 PIT STOP Fuel up with a burger at Cruisers Café. and 10-plus-foot-high. diced 1 small lemon for juice Small bunch parsley. chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil Combine first five ingredients in a bowl. and steep terrain makes dehydration and heat-related illness all too common in the Grand. near the ruined cookhouse at mile 2. stone pillars. diced 2 tomatoes. Avoid hiking between 10 a.m. and fan to facilitate water cooler.. A hard rubber collar around the opening makes it easy to hold while filling. jlifqb Qebo ©2010 LEKI USA jjbka Tbob`l  + mlibp el`h qfp UI>k Locals Know Pete Berry’s Last Chance copper mine thrived at the turn of the 20th century. water. Serve with dinner rolls. relentless sun. and explore the cave’s many rooms.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . with heavily laden mules traveling the steep path daily. and inner thighs (where the carotid. Mix olive oil and lemon juice. pouch chicken (3) ] peanut butter (5) ] honey (5) ] salad dressing (5) ] dried blueberries (6) ] craisins (6) ] trail mix (6) Pack Olive oil NEAREST GROCERY STORE * + 38 THE CANYON VILLAGE MARKETPLACE Grand Canyon Village. Some spelunkers unspool rope to avoid becoming lost. no-cook meal Bag of baby spinach 15 ounces cannellini beans 6-ounce pouch tuna 1 cucumber. and sample the Sunset Amber Ale—one of seven canyon-inspired microbrews—from the adjacent Grand Canyon Brewing Company. and pour over salad. On The Menu Breakfast 1 On the road Lunch 1 Hoagies from Canyon Village Dinner 1 Switchback Salad Breakfast 2 and 3 Granola with dried blueberries Lunch 2 Bagels with peanut butter and honey Dinner 2 Canyon Couscous Snacks Trail mix THE GROCERY LIST [ ] hoagies (deli) [ ] baby spinach (produce) [ ] 1 cucumber (produce) [ ] 2 small tomatoes (produce) [ ] parsley (produce) [ ] lemon (produce) [ ] bagels (1) [ ] pitas (1) [ ] dinner rolls (1) [ ] sunflower seeds (1) [ ] cannellini beans (2) [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ (AISLE #) IN NEAREST STORE BELOW Switchback Salad A protein-rich.com See This CAVE OF THE DOMES An estimated 1. Around the mine ruins.8. find chips of blue ore that Native Americans used to make dye. 66. South Rim. AZ. domed ceilings with inscriptions dating back more than 100 years. but only one is open to recreational use.) and rest frequently. and the cap screws on tight to prevent accidental leakage—even under pressure. armpits. and easy 1 box couscous 1 tablespoon olive oil 1¼ cup water ½ cup craisins ½ cup sunflower seeds 1 packet salad dressing 1 7-ounce pouch chicken Day before: Combine couscous.WEEKENDS DESTINATIONS Grandview Loop Key Skill Heat-aware hiking The killer combination of dry heat. and mules carried visitors instead of ore. Back up Pack two hard-sided brachial. msrcorp. and olive oil in a zip-top bag and let sit overnight. and extra batteries. carry a headlamp.000 caves pock the Grand Canyon’s Redwall. Timing Start early (6 a. 233 W. and 3 p. $35. delicious. infrequent water sources. Here’s how to stay safe: Water You’ll need to carry a gallon of water per person per day. (for the four-liter). Crawl inside. pouch tuna (3) ] 7 oz. Spend a cool afternoon in Cave of the Domes. ] 1 box couscous (2) ] granola (2) ] dried milk (2) ] 6 oz. the hottest part of the day. Hikers still use the cobblestone paths and original log “cribs” that support the steep cliffside switchbacks. and femoral arterone-liter bottles and store ies approach the skin’s surthem inside your pack to keep face). backup flashlight. all of which Berry and his workers built by hand. the nylon outer resists punctures.m. If you plan to explore the cave. Canyon No-Cook Couscous Nutritious. accessed via the precipitous Trail-of-the-Caves Trail. rough walls. In 1893. Night of: Stir in remaining ingredients and spoon into pitas. MSR Dromedary bags come in four sizes. 6.

5 1. and gorgeous backcountry campsites. UTM 17S 0736655E 4288530N Data Map mi. and power 500 feet up the western ridge of Hogback Mountain.4 2.7 1.5 . Next day. Head left onto Elkwallow Trail (10) and begin the sharp climb up Jeremy’s Run.7 .2010 BACKPACKER 39 . lush forests. EMERALD TO RUBY: THE ASH CANOPY NEAR THE THORNTON RIVER TRAIL (MILE 7.storemags & fantamag . take a right onto Thornton River Trail. yellow poplars line the path to Little Devils Stairs Trail (3). Head north.200-foot descent down Keyser Run.com/ hikes/17056 YOUR TURN Submit trip reports for a chance to win free gear! Go to backpacker. Trace the western base of 2.200 ft Day 1 Day 2 Total Miles: 16. Rest at the hollow’s end before heading southwest on Keyser Run Fire Road and veering right as you pass through a gate (4) just 30 yards later.4 1. south to mile marker 21 and park in the lot on the right after Hogback Overlook. available at the Front Royal Entrance Station. 221 East Main St.000 ft 1. then east on the Pole Bridge Link Trail (2). Gear up Weasel Creek Outfitters. Follow the Appalachian Trail . MAP DATUM WGS84 /// MAPS /// 10.5 . MAPPING BY JEFF CHOW Rip &Go Mathews Arm Loop Shenandoah National Park Ramble through brilliant red and yellow fall foliage. Take Skyline Drive to Mile 21 and the trailhead (1). natgeomaps. cross Skyline Drive. Front Royal. and stay left on the Thornton River Trail (9). At Mathews Arm Campground.magazines for all ✁ PHOTO BY TIM SEAVER. passing between narrowing granite walls and winding along a sinuous river. At the four-way junction (7).com/mapcontest. take Skyline Dr. LINDA BAILEY / ANIMALS ANIMALS. Map Trails Illustrated Shenandoah National Park ($12. The path swerves left after a short ford of North Fork Thornton River (8). Climb the Tuscarora Trail (12). Turn right onto the AT. preparing for wide and slippery crossings of the stream pouring into the narrow gorge.com) Trip data backpacker.2 .5) MORPHS INTO DEEP RED COME OCTOBER. bearing the ancestral graves of frontier family members evicted in the 1930s. BACKSIDE: VISUALS UNLIMITED / MASTERFILE (TOP)..1 mile (6). Go right offtrail and camp in a sheltered glade .3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 4. Inc.8-mile loop serves up a weekend classic: waterfall-filled hollows. beneath a canopy of maple and ash that burn crimson and orange in October. VA. Continue south on Hull School Trail. 1. hike up the Blue Ridge. After crossing Keyser Run Road.0 1.4 2. TEXT BY ALEX GELLER (DO IT) AND SARAH L. Cross Piney River and turn right to return to the yellow-blazed Hull School Trail. (540) 622-6909 Permit Required (free).. exploring the quiet Jenkins/Keyser cemetery. cross the road to pick up Mathews Arm Trail (11).1 mile later.7 .8 Trip Planner The way From Front Royal. STEWART.5 2.2 mile before turning right and beginning a gentle southbound descent on the shady Sugarloaf Trail.531-foot Pignut Mountain (5) before turning left onto Piney Branch Trail for . and climb the wooded ridgeline for two miles. Begin the rocky 1. Do it This 16. Head left on the AT (13) to the trailhead.

. (540) 622-2704 * 40 PIT STOP Taste the South with a house-rubbed pulled pork sandwich at Soul Mountain Restaurant. red. Main Street.5-mile out-and-back on the AT (starting from Skyline Drive at mile 15. where spidery yellow flowers adorn the bare. Sauté spices in olive oil until garlic powder turns golden brown. more common—and competing—relative.com). Locals Know About 98 percent of Shenandoah’s leaves change color each fall. slow and steady. blistered (but noncontagious) rash will appear. then rinse with water—removing poison ivy’s irritating urushiol oil within about an hour improves your chance of preventing or minimizing a reaction.” park ranger Mara Meisel says. Diagnose About eight to 48 hours after ivy exposure. a generally quiet 1. Stony Man. Repeat. [ ] red pepper flakes (5) [ ] 1 bag cheddar sticks (17) [ ] 2 tomatoes (produce) Pack Olive oil. Check daily for ticks. Both sport a yellowish-red stripe on their backs. and even purple dogwood. Skyline Almond Toast Cinnamon dresses up this surprisingly satisfying breakfast. Defend Wear long sleeves and tuck pant legs into socks to avoid poison ivy (three-leaved plants that turn red in fall). toss and serve. “So the color range is really tremendous. apply deet to fend off ticks (we like 3M Ultrathon. Return linguine to pot.. waistband. Fever or new rash within a month? See a doctor. walk to Hogback Overlook just east of the Mathews Arm Loop trailhead. Spread almond butter on each slice. usually peaking the second or third week of October. See This SHENANDOAH SALAMANDER This endangered. BACKPACKER 10.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag ‹/(. solutions. and Hawksbill Mountains. the park’s varied elevation. and forest age result in a patchwork of golden hickory and poplar. Italian classic 8 ounces linguine 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon garlic powder ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes ¼ teaspoon dried oregano 1 pouch tuna in oil Salt to taste Boil pasta.212-foot summit of South Marshall. Pluck embedded ticks with tweezers. VA. honey ¼ teaspoon cinnamon Pan fry bread until toasted. and set aside. the red-backed salamander. initially they look like inconspicuous black dots at the hairline. If you touch a suspicious plant. Devour. wipe skin with rubbing alcohol. pull straight out. and sprinkle cinnamon on top. rklite Co mmend We reco les. finger-length amphibian lives exclusively in moist soil under rocks and forest debris on the talus slopes of Shenandoah’s Pinnacles. drain.9).WEEKENDS DESTINATIONS Mathews Arm Loop Key Skill Ditch the itch Within Shenandoah’s nearly 200. (540) 636-0070. 300 E. For classic dayhiker vistas. then wash area with soap and water. You may not feel them even once they’ve begun burrowing. VA. which includes a similar-looking. Treat Soothe ivy rashes with wet compresses and calamine lotion (or make a salve of cold water and oatmeal). 2 slices whole-grain bread 2 oz. ck po dLo Spee On The Menu Breakfast 1 On the road Lunches 1 & 2 Tomato sandwich with garlic-olive oil dressing Dinner 1 Spicy Tuna Linguine Breakfast 2 Mathews Arm Almond Toast Snacks Cheddar sticks. To gain views without the throngs of leaf-peepers. dried fruit THE GROCERY LIST [ ] whole-grain bread (entrance) [ ] 1 jar almond butter (2) [ ] honey (2) [ ] 1 bag dried fruit (2) [ ] 1 pouch tuna (3) [ ] linguine (4) [ ] cinnamon (5) [ ] dried oregano (5) [ ] garlic powder (5) (AISLE #) IN NEAREST STORE BELOW Spicy Tuna Linguine A one-pot. Front Royal. almond butter 1 oz. salt NEAREST GROCERY STORE FOOD LION 260 Remount Rd.3m. Scientists don’t know how many individuals inhabit this tiny range. twiggy branches of witch hazel. scarlet black gum and maple. streaky. and sockline. an itchy. moisture. drizzle with honey.” Though rust-colored oak is the predominant hue. Front Royal.86$ . climb the 3.000 forested acres lurk blistering poison ivy and disease-carrying ticks. Follow these tips to enjoy the Shennies rash-free. “We’ve got quite a diversity [about 150 to 200 species] of trees here. Add tuna and heat until bubbling. Also look for unexpected fall flair in the trailside understory. but the Shenandoah’s is much narrower—just one-third of its body.

magazines for all .storemags & fantamag .

Close the loop along Rousch Creek drainage. Star t Ann trailh ead. deep in 9.781-foot M t. 2 3 7 E YHIK T DA d ORES ITE F ir and re geVOR 7. Help us keep this place wild. It’s rugged. st view in th Pass ably the be k Cascade Lin Get there: ls for a le Arm Trai and Saha ernight. EASY-A inbo riggling ra t of milky Pull w t trout ou Camp cutthroa kin River. the park is still an undiscovered gem. to head 9 1 8 IKE -TOWER H 8. Land Camp. Top out fo Hells r summit views of 10 . sky-tearing of ice and re for arguyour tent he Pitch e park.S. hike a r v eye himme n trailhe rail to T s and annega r Ridge ksan u e H the e Copp t Mt. DE on snow your ey to op ap Str le up 0-mile lo Trail. n blue Stehe ater at Harlequin w iver along the up the R 4. e k of th ern Pic th Sou FISHING CCESS FLY. NGA. TEXT BY RACHEL KIELY (BACKYARD). n Desolatio 2.000 backcountry permits a year. The colors are turning. and has joined 50-plus SAR ops. How do you beat the crowds? What crowds? Forty-two years after its designation.000 feet of elevation change. loop iews. Baker. + 42 BACKPACKER 10. 2 rock. IMAGE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY. and the mosquitoes are finally down. 46 n trailve-d nega on a fi m Han trek fro Ross Dam. U. climb at Lake through the Chimne ys with se ctions of gentle 5. e 9 the of . PAT & CHUCK BLACKLEY. Acc ile -m tco .000 acres. Start at Eldorado Creek trailhead. ho ake mall post for a 1 ) s ton L balls e Thorn untless es.3eaks ur d he 3 ffers fo iated p From T c o s.2010 /// MAPS /// True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTOS BY (FROM LEFT) COURTESY. 1. FA rowth f ay to lod t. w ie a dr ines vie h Moun g p the.8 Take the ation Peak ol way) Des dry. a At Wh ’s rugge f iews o rk the pa joy private v age Drain ’ll en you reek d aver C the Be ier-sheathe ss it c e and gla m Peak. IMAGE MASSGIS. then descend to glacier-blue Moraine Lake. GEBCO. TIM SEAVER. th co lop on ross ed s u’ll c ir-cover pening Yo so ks.ourdou S foot 6 CAMPSITE 3. an d stay roped up for 40-deg ree snowfield s on to Sulphide Winnie’s Slide Glacier at Highway. BEST SKI ADVENTURE Tackle the experts-only. unadulterated wilderness. Yo ed fores ene b Kno moss-lin ith betw 02 wet. She spends 75 percent of her time in the field. and that is for the entire 684.w and 5. There are nearly unlimited opportunities for solitude in beautiful places. PUR tcom P d interior. BERNE BROUDY (PEAK).1 tain. The park is pure. rocky e Trail up th mit the m path to su peak and ot ck 6. TOP FIRE -mile (one6. GOOGLE EARTH PROVIDERS: SIO. MAP BY VIKKI CHU. You’ll weave around glaciers and yo-yo through 21. Sh d-filled h o up t . GOOGLE. Shuksa n via the Fi sher Chimneys route. If you come to visit.102-fo e tower Ja see the fir ed as he rouac tend Bums and Ke rma wrote Dha Angels. f cree alus field ed views t r and unhinde toothed onto snaggle ets.8 Wha ay. completely untamed. remote.com/northcascades. is a 12-year veteran of the Park Service. NAVY. 32.127-fo ten-clou rn via etu . R rail se ss alley acro wack V k River T li Chil hilliwac C the LITUDE EST SO ass.4 miles ing. gla ing lake d. Wilderness Patrol Supervisor Cori Conner. leave no trace. 10. Sa land in a sea sa ur dry Camp is yo peaks. the weather is generally clear and crisp. 19-mile Forbidden Ski Tour. g r Old. When is the best time to visit? Late summer or early autumn. TO 4. NOAA. GO DEEP Explore the North Cascades’ famously wild interior with five trips at backpacker . Stehekin Trail from 6. Why the Cascades? Because I feel that I am completely in the wild. r area w s of 6.EPICENTER DESTINATIONS r scades by Cori Conne r h Ca rt ky My Back ard: No ge ALK per Rid ’sGE W p ird P RID mile Co ays of b . navigate around Forbidden Peak. We only issue about 10. PREMIER namegh above its ier Perched hi hale Glac ke glacier. BEST AL PINE CLIMB Mt. COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS EOEA .6-mile ov 4 5 or OW T SN shoes ( e EPES 4. inaccessible. and most of all.rs give w the sho der n ceda pines on on Thu from op le ss po mile lo u’ll pa t to four Trail.

Marcy It’s always about the journey.960-foot Mt. . Camp at Download an Adirondacks Slant Rock campsite beneath an overFive Mountain Loop hanging boulder.com/fivemountainloop. Next day. Pack your bear canister (required) and start the three-day loop from The Garden trailhead at the end of John’s Brook Road in Keene Valley.8 mile past the summit of Basin. Hike along the rootknotted ridge rising up and over Upper Wolf Jaw and Armstrong Mountain. At Four Corners. famous for its pies and killer milkshakes. where you’ll shoot into the most peak-packed section of 6-million-acre Adirondack Park. Camp at the old Sno Bird Lean-To site .5 mile and follow it through stunted spruce over Little Haystack and Mt. Ascend 2. Haystack.5-mile-long Bartlett Ridge from Warden’s Camp. Guidebook Adirondack Trails: High Peaks Region ($20. And now the finale: Climb up 800 feet over loose rocks and scrub on Marcy’s bald southwest slope. Next stop: 4. of course. and diamondSNEAK PEAKS bright lakes shining below.org) Campground Adirondak Loj Wilderness Campground on the shores of Heart Lake ($35 for two people). Marcy. sucking in your first view of plunging Panther Gorge and Mt. UTM 18T 0587983E 4884206N Peak The Best.org Peak to view Marcy Climb 4.magazines for all The HIGHPOINT: MT.2-mile out-and-back). 1. then set foot on the rocky spine of the Great Range. Skylight (a steep. Eats Noonmark Diner in Keene Valley. Marcy to the west. the most airy and view-rich traverse in the Adirondacks.736-foot Gothics. Alpine vegetation carpets the summit area. adk. with backside cables to assist on the descent.5 miles back to The Garden.2010 BACKPACKER 43 . then take the Phelps tracklog at backpacker Trail 6. Mt. You’ll scramble as much as hike as you tag eight of the range’s tallest 46 peaks.9 miles on the Southside Trail to the Wolf Jaws Trail. drop your pack and bag 4.926-foot Mt.. Such as on a climb of 5. HAYSTACK) FORMS THE WESTERN WALL OF PANTHER GORGE. with room for three tents next to the brook. adk.com SOUTHEASTERN VIEW FROM MARCY’S SUMMIT HEART LAKE /// MAPS /// 10.344-foot Mt. but sometimes that’s more true than others. You’ll see Panther Gorge’s deep void and experience airy solitude punctuated by the High Peaks. via 3. then Saddleback and Basin Mountains.2-mile Great Range approach. The most sporting route is the 25. MARCY (SEEN HERE FROM MT. with views of the rounded.. tree-covered High Peaks. Haystack. noonmarkdiner.storemags & fantamag . intersect the Haystack Trail in .

. A) Awesome B) Illegal in 43 states C) Cool if you’re fairly clean and other campers aren’t nearby D) Uncool unless your name is Megan Fox or Robert Pattinson 3. You. Trail hygiene is tough. That’s what Gore-tex is for. When you need to whiz. then rinse them in a pot of purified water.2010 A) Slug it. around the mud. What’s the minimum you should do? A) Lick your plates. ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRIS PHILPOT. This definitely prevents contamination. repeat B) Taunt people who don’t partake C) Hoard it—you carried it. add soap. to keep your feet dry B) Slosh on through. A) Dig in—the risk of spreading germs this way is wildly exaggerated B) Pour it into your palm. A) Hold it. TEXT BY BACKPACKER STAFF How’s Your Camping Etiquette? Yes. after all D) Trade shots for Snickers 9.... It’s fire time and you break out the single malt. When the gorp gets passed around.. you do it how far from the trail? A) 6 inches B) 100 yards C) Out of sight and 200 feet from any water source.. and let partners (and Fido) lick theirs B) Wipe ’em clean with paper towels and air-dry. A) Leave the fire ring as is B) Scatter all of the ash remains and disassemble the fire ring C) Scatter the big ash pieces so the mess doesn’t overwhelm the fire ring (but leave the ring so the next campers don’t create a new one) 6. we go into the wilderness to leave civilization behind. except in specific situations 7. The exposure will kill germs by morning. C) Rinse dishes in boiling water to sterilize. because who knows whether Joe ‘Nose Blow’ Schmoe dosed with Purell? C) Set a good example by not sharing your gorp at all. 2. you should. It’s time to clean dishes. Skinny-dipping in a remote backcountry lake is. ////// BACKPACKER 10. You doused the campfire with a big pot of water.. wash dishes. and air-dry D) Boil water. It’s OK to trundle rocks if… A) You look and yell to make sure no one is in the line of fire B) Your friend rolls one first C) It’s never OK to trundle 44 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . A big. While tied into a rope team on Mt. muddy puddle swamps the trail. But that doesn’t mean it’s OK to act like a barbarian. Pick the surfaces you should NOT walk on.. and air-dry 4.BASECAMP 1. Take our quiz and rate your trailside manners. you really have to go—#2. You should. at great risk to your undies B) Unrope and traverse 100 yards C) Set to while your partners look away D) You’re not wearing a diaper? 10. Now what? At established sites. Your move? A) Walk off-trail. Rainier. 5. either for safety or LNT reasons: A) Microbiotic soil B) 38-degree talus slopes C) Lichen-covered rocks D) Graupel E) The midpoint of a cornice F) Baby moose or elk tracks G) Quicksand 8. you should... pass it around.

When two parties meet on a narrow.).000-plus cfs) and you can’t leave the river corridor 7. and G (duh) 8. C 25. One point for each: A (This crust of moss and lichen prevents erosion and promotes plant growth.. B 3. When trampled. » 6 to 10 We’re laughing with you. What to do with it? A) Bottoms up! You’re an LNT master! B) Pour it down the privy hole C) Strain and pack out big bits. B 18. would you? It’s the woods! ANSWER KEY 1. C) All day. Nature can’t protect itself. You’re brushing your teeth. You should… A) Pretend you’re sleeping B) Move over. Both yield to horses. is unnatural for wildlife. Bathing with soap in a river or lake is… A) OK B) Not OK. C 19. C 21. Who needs extra ballast? B) Grab it in hopes of finding its owner C) Pick it up and leave your iodine tablets behind. See #5. Where to spit? A) Away from camp B) In the nearest stream C) On the fire 24. On a weekend AT trek. dude! Genteel or a Heel? Scoring Give yourself one point for each correct answer. B. B. D) Ask to borrow some blaze orange 15. you share a camp with two hungry-looking thru-hikers. B 20.com/camp_etiquette for remedial lessons. People go camping for the peace and quiet. A) Always B) On rivers C) In fragile desert areas 14. B. It’s dark. C. C 5. When nature calls. A 9. they must yield to hikers and bikers on the trail. first served. A) True B) False 20. Or call land managers. C. except when on high-volume rivers (1. First come. B. B and C (one point for each) 14. B 15. A) Grab your rod and join him! B) Take a dip. what should you do with your TP afterward? A) Bury it six inches deep or burn it B) Pack it out C) Put it in your partner’s top pocket D) What TP? I use leaves.. This is the wilderness. then skip rocks C) Keep your distance 19. it can take 250 years to recover. Collect water and bathe 200 feet away 23. to avoid falling in a crevasse while doing your business 10. C 11. 13. C) Send him away with your regrets. C) Politely ask to see their licenses. There’s no such thing as a full shelter in rain. Loud noise (especially heavy metal) keeps bears away.m. A. Your move? A) Hike on. and seeds into the forest. B 18. Because horses are big and harder to control. DEET and sunblock pollute rivers. rainy. don’t you? Please go to backpacker. D) Never.M. 17. » 0 to 5 You have trouble finding hiking partners. D) Tell him you think you saw another. B and C (one point for each) 16. you should keep noise down until what time in the A. D (These snow pellets can act like ball bearings underfoot and destabilize snow slopes. but we’re only human. E (The cornice might collapse. orange peels. baby! B) Say nothing. A) True B) False 17. They have guns. Spray it through pursed lips 24. it can harm them or make them dependent.storemags & fantamag .. who yields? Choose all that apply: A) People moving uphill B) People moving downhill C) Smaller party D) Larger party E) The party with the worst BO 21. B (high rockfall hazard). Dinner is done and only wash water remains. It’s fine to throw apple cores. You. » 31 A freakishly perfect score.). A brand new water purifier is just lying on the trail. You’re hiking on lands protected from hunting.? A) 8 a.magazines for all 11. disperse liquid 200 feet from water 25. not at you. 12. Relax. C. 23.m. In a campground. do nothing. » 21 to 30 You’re welcome to join our hikes anytime.2010 BACKPACKER 45 . The best way to use a cell phone: A) Bluetooth in ear B) Secretly and away from others C) Never. less-crowded shelter about a mile up the trail 16. 22. A soggy hiker approaches. while biodegradable.). and the lean-to is full. This food. What do you do? A) Lecture time. You should… A) Keep a close eye on your food bag B) Make a big dinner and offer them some C) Give them your remaining food when you hike out 22. cliffside trail. 6. and you encounter a group of camo-clad hunters. C 4. B.. You see a fly-fisherman casting at a secluded lake. B) 9 a. Really. 13. There’s room for improvement. C. Hello upgrade! 10. Pack out solid waste. » 11 to 20 Good showing. 12. to prevent erosion 2.

high cloud ceiling. Signs Wind direction changes. + ////// 46 BACKPACKER 10. it cools off and approaches its dew point (the temperature at which water vapor turns to droplets). at its dew point). BY LISA DENSMORE 1 There’s an old saying in the Presidential Range: “If you don’t like the weather. WOF). and rain is coming. If the incoming cold front is colder than the departing one. light to heavy rain followed by dry weather after the front exits. For a windchill chart. a 30°F day with 30-mph winds feels like 15°F). cold temps get milder. usually so it blows from the north-northwest. If the incoming cold front is warmer than the departing one (a situation dubbed a warm occluded front. drier outings. relative humidity increases. In the backcountry. the new cold front climbs over the exiting one while trapping the warm front high in the middle. As warm air rises. Air temperature While ground temps determine the number of layers you wear. As air rises and cools. the more violent the collision and the stormier the resulting weather. 4. A warm air mass is always lighter (less dense) than a cold air mass. Heavy rain might result. The incoming cold front then collides with the departing cold air mass. Humidity Relative humidity (RH) is the amount of moisture in the air divided by how much water the air can hold at that temp (times 100).g. generally from the north or west.com). strong winds. excerpted here. a cold occluded front. go to backpacker . cold temps get even colder. and most other mountain ranges. TEXT EXCERPTED WITH PERMISSION FROM BACKPACKER’S PREDICTING THE WEATHER: FORECASTING. Lisa Densmore teaches you how to read the skies for safer. steady rain for days 2. falling. In our new book. Signs High barometric pressure. the Appalachians. Barometric pressure This is the weight (per unit area) that the air exerts on the earth. falcon. the colder it feels (e. Wind also signals change. low cloud ceiling Result Fairly calm winds (max speed of 20 mph) at the front’s leading edge. forcing it up quickly and cooling it. If the barometric pressure is rising. So an RH of 100 percent means the air is saturated (aka. it wedges under it (aka. 3. and severe but brief thunderstorms or snow squalls 3. The faster the new front. Elemental Ingredients 1. PLANNING. weather can—and will— change quickly and dramatically. unstable cold air pushes under the warm air ahead. 2. a cold front is approaching. Wind The stronger it is. There are three types: 1. the mercury up high dictates whether you’ll need raingear.2010 2 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag ILLUSTRATIONS BY SUPERCORN. a warm front is coming in. Heavy droplets then fall to earth as precip. A fast-moving cold front overtakes a warm front. High humidity makes cold feel colder and heat hotter.” Funny how that saying also crops up in the Sierra. Signs Low barometric pressure. and thus exerts less pressure. Like one car rear-ending another. via conduction. Cold fronts Fast-moving.. good visibility unless precipitation is present Result Fair weather that can change quickly. AND PREPARING. high humidity. pushing it eastward. the incoming front—typically from the west in the northern hemisphere—rams into the outgoing front. wait a moment.TECHNIQUE SKILLS The Manual Forecast the Weather Warm Occluded Front Cold Occluded Front FIGURING OUT FRONTS Colliding air masses are known as fronts. Warm Air Cold Air Warm Front Warm Air Cool Air Cold Air Cold Front Warm Air Very Cold Air Cold Air .com/windchill. Warm fronts A warm air mass arrives and rises slowly above the cold air ahead and gradually cools to its dew point. If the barometric pressure is falling. Occluded fronts A battle royal of three air masses. the Rockies. with COFs. COF). With WOFs. lifting (occluding) the warm air mass. then rising barometric pressure Result Storms possible. BACKPACKER’s Predicting the Weather ($13.

fiery red (a sign of water vapor). the less windy and cloudy it likely will be. Mostly true It’s the calm before the storm. A fall in elevation signals rising barometric pressure and an incoming high-pressure (good weather) system. and a bandanna over your mouth and nose. 2. But if. This can create precipitation on a peak even if the plains below are dry. So the earlier you summit. True This means a high-pressure system is upon you. air cools by 5. Glaciers and snowfields These create downslope breezes that travel about a third of a mile below them. False Though less frequent. 5 47 10.magazines for all Prevailing Patterns Mountains In a process called adiabatic cooling. T/F 6. T/F Altitude Check ANSWERS 1. a windshell.2°F per 1. Since bubbles are mostly air. smoke hugs the ground. If the wind dies suddenly. they do happen. T/F 4. T/F 2. so a red sky at dusk means a high-pressure system (good weather) is coming. Also: Wind flows upslope during the day as the air heats up. If the bubbles amass in the center. Red sky in the morning. The sky’s color at sunset predicts the weather. With polluted air. True Count the chirps for 14 seconds. Rain is likely. 4. 8.” The sky’s redness is caused by sunrays reflecting off dust particles when there’s little cloud cover and stable air. So 20 chirps means it’s 60°F outside. ponds look cloudier since a higher volume of marsh gases brings muck to the surface. They also interfere with electronic transmissions like cell phones and radio. Thick clouds cancel this effect because they prevent a significant temperature differential between the lake or sea and the land. you’re in a high-pressure system. True With low barometric pressure. True Stir your coffee. Air rushes to fill the column’s low-pressure zone. True and false You’ve heard. then add 40. widespread clouds or strong prevailing winds can neutralize mountain effects. Deserts One big weather danger here? Thermals: columns of rising air that occur over hot spots on land or water. So coastal wind on a cloudy day signals an approaching front and likely a storm. all bets are off. then downslope in the cool evening. False In fact. and a low-pressure storm system may be approaching. Springs flow faster when a storm approaches. hoofed animals. especially if the sky is a deep. and the rate slows to 3.000 feet. making the surface concave. sea. 3. T/F 7. Crickets are correct within one or two degrees 75 percent of the time. sailor’s delight. T/F 8. If your altimeter shows a rise in elevation even though you haven’t moved. it means the barometric pressure has fallen and a low-pressure storm system has arrived. brewed coffee to have enough oil to work. it’s about to pour. If the bubbles form a ring around the sides of the mug. Sea. Tornadoes never occur in the mountains. gusts travel from the cool land toward the warmer water. Mountains 3 4 Ocean. T/F 9. Still. so during the day. head for lower elevations. which is making the coffee’s surface convex (higher in the middle). Valleys Since cold air sinks. Smog causes red skies at dawn and dusk. then disperses. or Lake TEST YOUR METEOROLOGICAL IQ Which of these old wives’ tales are accurate and which are bunk? 1. True Humidity and wind from lowpressure systems carry sound waves farther.000 vertical feet. 5. seek shelter. Songbirds sing louder just before a storm. Wear goggles. Thermal action builds during the day. A red sky as the sun rises in the east means the high-pressure system has already passed. T/F 3. It’s going to be a beautiful day. T/F 5. Geese won’t fly before a storm. Also. they migrate to the highest point.storemags & fantamag . meanwhile. sailors take warning. True Neither will seagulls. T/F 10. 9. Our weather typically comes from the west. valleys are usually cooler than surrounding hillsides. At night. Counting cricket chirps tells you the temperature. breezes blow inland as air flows from the colder water toward the warmer land. Add humidity. and the mug must have straight sides. Smoke rising straight signals a fair day tomorrow. Ocean. 7. or lake It takes a huge body of water to impact the weather significantly. You can predict a fair day with a cup of coffee. 6.2010 BACKPACKER .5°F for every 1. creating bubbles. some become quiet. Note: It has to be strong. making sandstorms more likely in the afternoon. on a calm night. you’re in a low-pressure system. natural springs flow from the ground faster. Sound travels farther when a storm approaches. a low-pressure system has arrived. Water changes temperature more slowly than land. spawning sandstorms with up to 75-mph winds. In 2004 a tornado touched down in Sequoia NP at an elevation of 12. “Red sky at night.000 feet of elevation gained (if there’s no moisture). 10.

So the moon hovered large while still leaving room for the horizon and shoreline. you need a long focal length. Still.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTO BY AMANDA ALLARD.com). falcon. that is unknown.000 feet causes some brain-cell damage (such as lesions or atrophy). Shutter speeds slower than 1/30 second will blur it. But I doubt you need to worry about brain damage on Fourteeners if you acclimatize properly (meaning not gaining more than about 1. But the impact is small enough that most climbers don’t notice a cognitive loss. As for whether any damage occurs in the brain below 15. Is this true? Terry. Anything less than 200mm and it’ll just be a little white dot. either. Buck Tilton is co-founder of the Wilderness Medicine Institute and author of Wilderness First Responder ($35. A 2006 Spanish study (albeit on people at 15. Here’s how you can get a similar shot. cokin. CHOOSE YOUR COLOR Tinted filters sit in front of the lens and block certain wavelengths of light. but with such a long focal length.770 feet or higher) found that proper acclimatization reduces the brain-damage risk.000 feet per day until your body has adapted). resulting in either short-term or longterm loss of neurocognitive function.fr) to create an apricot sky and leave the bottom of the photo unchanged. CO A: Medical researchers are pretty sure that exposure to altitudes above 15. PICK THE RIGHT FOCAL LENGTH For the moon to appear huge. Allard used a graduated orange filter (Gradual Fluo Orange 2. 1/50 is slow enough that you’ll get camera shake if you handhold it. employed one of Ansel Adams’s favorite tools: a tinted filter. Minnesota. $23. USE A TRIPOD Allard used a somewhat slow shutter speed (1/50 second) to capture the waves’ motion. Ansel Adams often used yellow and red filters to darken blue skies. but they weren’t Photoshopped. Q: Somebody recently told me that climbing a Fourteener kills brain cells because of the low oxygen levels.HEALTH SKILLS MEDICINE MAN Air Head? BUCK MAKES YOU RIGHT. so I can’t say anything definitive. a guide to backcountry medical emergencies. You don’t always need a tripod for that speed. Don’t forget the other moving object: the moon. resulting in a color shift in the final image.000 feet.500 to 2. we don’t know if the damage raises dementia risk down the road. of Duluth. Shooter Amanda Allard. Are the vivid colors in this photo of Lake Superior real? No. Like most entry-level DLSRs. TEXT BY GENNY FULLERTON (PHOTO TIPS) Reader Shot of the Month . + 48 BACKPACKER 10. Colorado Springs. Here. it has a smaller sensor size than a 35mm camera—making the effective focal length about 600mm. Allard zoomed all the way in with a Canon EF 100-400mm lens on a Canon Rebel Xsi.

storemags & fantamag .magazines for all New Zeal nd’ Fi e Me New Zealand’s F nest Merino Wool e nd e W It’s why when the trail ends. the numbers barely move. For some. And it keeps you out on the trail. That’s the Power of Comfort. It keeps you warm and dry. B+ biology student B A S E L AY E R S > A C C E S S O R I E S > S O C K S . All rights reserved. Each of us has an internal odometer. Find a dealer near you at smartwool. Where will it lead you? Paul Runner. they click by… That’s why you layer up in SmartWool. mountain biker.com SmartWool and the SmartWool logo are trademarks of SmartWool Corporation. long after you’ve left it behind. you don’t have to. For you. © 2010 SmartWool Corporation.

SURVIVAL SKILLS THE PREDICAMENT Lost in the Woods 50 + ////// BACKPACKER 10.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag ILLUSTRATION BY HEADCASE DESIGN. TEXT BY ELISABETH KWAK-HEFFERAN .

tips and resources: • FREE trip-planning kits • Insider advice on what to do.com NationalParkTrips.com • MyZionPark. Go to www. plan it and live it with the best in trip-planning tools.com.com Dream it.com • MyYosemitePark. plus travel deals and expert tips for making the most of your park vacation.com • MyRockyMountainPark.Plan Your Ultimate National Park Experience Your one-stop-shop for a vacation of a lifetime! Five fantastic National Park sites offering the most comprehensive. go to NationalParkTrips. To access all five websites. storemags & fantamag . what to pack • Interactive maps and driving tours • Money-saving coupons • And much.magazines for all • MyGrandCanyonPark.com • MyYellowstonePark.NationalParkTrips. relevant and timely travel tips for planning your perfect park vacation. much more! Sign up for our free monthly newsletter featuring great hikes and activities. where to stay.com or check out one of the following National Park sites. .

arrange morsels on bamboo skewers (or just use forks). and let sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing. Pour wine into a spillproof. GOURMET Beer and Pretzel Dip Half of a 10-ounce can of condensed cream of celery soup 6 slices American cheese ¼ can of beer (our pick: a light ale) 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper 1 five-ounce can of Vienna sausages 1 five-ounce package of baby carrots 24 long. veggies. Emmental. remove from heat. cover with a lid. Toss cheese with the flour in a zip-top bag. then add to the wine mixture. or serve small cheese bowls. chips. flour. Cook time 10 min Calories 1. steak. or Swiss) 1 tablespoon white flour ¾ cup dry white wine 1 clove garlic 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence 2 Granny Smith apples 1 small head of broccoli 3 dinner rolls AT HOME Grate cheese. stirring until cheese is melted (about four minutes). Store pretzels in a hard container. bring to a simmer over medium heat. DAVID PIDGEON (SNOWSHOES). then dip your skewers. or serve small cheese bowls. All kinds of fruits. airtight container. ILLUSTRATION BY DON FOLEY. Minutes Hours True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTOS BY JUSTIN BAILIE.2010 ////// VIDEOS *Nutrition info is per serving based on two servings. cheesy flair to your backcountry fare. and remove stems from broccoli. Cook wine and garlic in a covered pot over high heat for about three minutes. Heat until boiling. SIZING CHART: SIERRA TRADING POST Price $2 per serving Weight 8 ounces per serving Serves 2 to 3 Price $5 per serving Weight 8 ounces per serving Serves 2 to 3 . Wash apples and broccoli. tough-to-clean pot with biodegradable soap and water. Place cheese. Mix in herbs. or canned meats work. fill the cheeseencrusted. DON’T FORGET DESSERT Want an easy. Mix in beer and pepper. and herbs in separate zip-top bags.com/ chocolatefondue. Dunk dippers in pot. Reduce flame to low to keep cheese warm. TEXT BY BRENDAN SPIEGEL (FONDUE). Calories 939* Fat 41 g Carbs 87 g Protein 47 g Beyond bread Get creative with your dippers. Prep time 4 min Savory Gruyère Fondue 1 eight-ounce package Gruyère cheese (or a similar hard cheese such as Fontina. and return to the stove. We like: dried salami. sliced pears.RECIPES SKILLS dirtbag / gourmet Fondue DIRTBAG Prep time 2 min Cook time 8 min Add rich. crackers. and cut rolls into bite-size pieces. thick pretzel rods AT HOME Transfer soup to a spillproof container and red pepper to a zip-top bag. slice apples. Turn heat to low and stir until cheese melts (about two minutes). IN CAMP Combine soup with ½ cup water in a pot. and chili peppers. + 52 BACKPACKER 10. mess-free method for making divine chocolate fondue in the backcountry—without burning the chocolate on the pot? Learn how at backpacker. Heat cleaning After you’ve finished eating. cherry tomatoes. until simmering.018* Fat 48 g Carbs 104 g Protein 40 g ON TRAIL Chop garlic. Slice cheese into half-inch squares and add to soup.

aluminum is fine. 10. as they position your feet closer together. >> Descending Bend your knees so your weight shifts slightly backward. “The materials are so durable. for snow-only hikes.2010 BACKPACKER 53 . Use tent repair patches or duct tape to patch minor tears in the decking. making it easier to back up and step high. FIX Carry a multitool so you can tighten screws or make other repairs. but flipping up snow. You want points angled in all directions for the best grab.” Heilman says. You want the points long enough to grip the surface. “Keep the ’shoe as level as possible. in hard snow. if you spend most of your time in fresh snow or on big-load treks. but not so long that they catch or trip you. With fixed rotation models. Narrower. kick your snowshoes toe-first into the snow to create a step. >> Bridging Never use the snowshoes to straddle a gap between rocks or the limbs of a fallen tree. >> Decking The cover across the frame is typically made of hard plastic or softer synthetics like neoprene. (See chart above. softer snow. >> Ascending When hiking uphill in soft powder.storemags & fantamag . but about 90 percent of the traction comes from the underfoot crampons. and rely on your crampons for traction. >> Bindings The straps or molding that wraps around your boots should provide a secure and stable attachment. Use trekking poles to aid balance. if it rips off the frame. while diamond and hourglass shapes allow a more natural stride. these hinged supports allow an easier stride on steep slopes. OPTIMAL OK Snowshoes SHOP Get out more this winter with the right pair of ’shoes. >> Pivot point Situated under the ball of the foot. >> Size A snowshoe’s length and width determine the amount of flotation. which facilitates climbing and means you lift less weight with each step. add your pack weight to your body weight.) 2022 2526 30 3536 body weight (lbs. Gear School Heel lifts Aka ascenders or climbing bars. the ’shoe also lifts up some with each step. the wider and longer your ’shoes should be. PICK YOUR SIZE snowshoe length (in. “They can take a beating.magazines for all Frame shape Oval designs increase flotation. Stainless steel works best for rocky conditions. a snowshoe-design consultant for several manufacturers.) >> Frame Choose featherweight aluminum (more durable) or hard plastic (less expensive). and make sure the binding mechanism is easy to operate and fits snugly around the tops of your feet and your heels. With free rotation. rely on your crampons—the binding’s pivot point will let you walk straight up moderate slopes with your ankle in a comfortable position. this lets your foot move up and down naturally. Wear and tear isn’t much of an issue. Teeth on the frame enhance grip on uneven terrain. shorter ones are best for dayhikes on packed snow. You want more flotation for more body weight and for deeper. In soft and hard snow. use plastic zip ties or a hose clamp for a field fix. USE >> Striding Keep your feet a little wider apart than usual to avoid overlapping or colliding snowshoes. The heavier you and your pack are. Bring the boots you snowshoe in to the store. See above for shape information. the foot fully pivots.) -80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300+ OK OPTIMAL OK OK OK OPTIMAL OK OK OPTIMAL OK Crampons Sharp points under the heel and toe increase traction on hardpack snow and ice. >> Traversing Jam the side of the snowshoe into the snow and lean into the slope slightly.” says Carl Heilman.” >> Crampons Most snowshoes have a claw-style crampon under the foot platform. Some ’shoes also have frame crampons for steep and icy terrain. you risk snapping the snowshoe frames. you can walk down moderate slopes without traversing.

BASECAMP [FIELD TEST] Ultimate Backcountry Beds For five months. “The Cosmo is so thick it let me camp in places I couldn’t have with a thinner pad.000 feet. at 10. (Like other air-only models. True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTOS BY COURTESY . Downside? Hikers who push the coldest edges of spring and fall will want a touch more warmth. By Kelly Bastone Get big comfort. m . and has a whopping three inches of cushion. $310.com Reader service #103 LOW BULK It’s designated a women’s mat. And it’s compact for the price class 3 (about watermelon size). like the Rab. and you have an ultracomfortable.5”. but anyone under 5’8” can carry less with Pacific Outdoor’s Equipment’s Peak Oyl Mtn Women’s Petite. During a spring hike in Colorado’s Sarvis Creek Wilderness.” said our tester after a night atop clumps of desert scrub in Colorado National Monument. Bummer: Even without the Pillowtop. Bonus: For over-the-top comfort when basecamping. slip on the Cosmo Pillowtop ($70. 40°F. which adds an inch of soft..). it weighs well under two pounds—pair it with a light and compressible bag.. Three-Season System [bag] Rab Neutrino 400 Tempted by a two-pound bag. $90.com Reader service #102 [pad] NEMO Cosmo Air This category-blurring pad is plus-size in every direction—it’s five inches wider and four inches longer than standard. yet it kept our tester warm on a Minnesota hike with a low of 33°F. plus a fat draft tube and adjustable collar that seal in heat. pads. 2 lbs. the Cosmo is a tad bulky (about 13”x5” when rolled). 12 oz... inflating it is quick—about two minutes with the built-in foot pump. insulating foam. eurekatent. 20”x66”x1. $90. and other snooze-related gear to find perfect sleep systems for every season. and features like a full-length zipper (which allows maximum ventilation for summer use) help the 25°F Neutrino achieve a rare double: outstanding warmth-to-weight and luxe comfort. Horizontal air baffles enhance performance by evenly distributing pressure points and eliminating the bouncy “pool raft” feel that’s common among air-chamber pads. As befits a bag this light ( (and pricy). which is weather-resistant yet so light it doesn’t compress the feathers. $120. 8 oz. 25°F. $299. Insulation is enhanced by a comfortably efficient mummy cut (available in regular and women’s versions). 3 oz. without socks—when a hard frost encrusted her tent and temps dipped into the 20s. campers who regularly see the 20s might want more insulation..2010 All weights are for regular size (unless noted) on BACKPACKER scales.uk. pacoutdoor. 2 lbs. montbell. 1 lb. And that extra width could infringe on your partner’s pad space in a compact tent. Side-sleeping testers like the self-inflator because zoned cushioning puts more padding under the hips. But even though it’s as deluxe as many carcamping mattresses. 2 lbs. Thanks to high-lofting down and a Pertex Quantum shell. low weight from a premium down bag and a super-cush pad. so be prepared to strap it to the outside of smaller packs. When our cold-sleeping tester cinched the collar close to her neck. Eco-bonus: It’s made with 100-percent recycled PET material. she could toss and turn without admitting bursts of icy air. If that’s you. but don’t want to sacrifice comfort details? A superlight shell. nemoequipment. the Neutrino packs down to soccer-ball size in the included compression sack.) Despite the Cosmo’s plumpness.com). it’s best for temps above 30°F. lightweight system. 2 lbs. 1 lb. one tester stayed plenty warm—even her feet.com Reader service #104 + ////// 54 BACKPACKER 10. 6 oz. 25”x76”x3”.com Reader service #101 BARGAIN WARMTH Don’t camp in subfreezing temps? The Eureka! Riner 40°F uses inexpensive synthetic fill. 15°F. 800-fill down. rab. get another 10 degrees from MontBell’s UL Spiral Down Hugger #1 (Editors’ Choice Award 2009. we tested 50 bags. the Neutrino puffs up to nine inches thick at the chest.

even though the clothes I slept in were sweat-soaked from the day’s hike. 7 oz. soothing sound of a river or waterfall. temps from 0°F to 85°F. thanks to a Drizone waterproof/breathable shell. this insulated air mattress is warm and supremely packable (just half-gallon size when rolled in its sack). >> Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. on a 0°F night in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. >> Hike farther. Matthew Conroy. but not confining.2010 BACKPACKER 55 . [pad] Big Agnes Dual Core Unlike most winter-rated pads. Do a few situps or pushups before getting in the sack. Exhaustion equals sleep. 10 oz..magazines for all Stay toasty in the deepest freeze with an overstuffed bag and cold-weather pad. 4 lbs. Get a multipurpose Buff (also use it as a headband.com Reader service #106 Sleep Better Got the gear but still can’t get any rest? These 10 tips will improve your snooze. $20. making it true to its 0°F rating. 20”x72”x2. Go to sleep at your normal bedtime hour. (“Warm as a mink stole. Berne Broudy. the pad’s 2. >> Go to bed warm.. / WEB EXTRA///// Testers: Kelly Bastone. It pairs air chambers with a sandwich of high-density foam and PrimaLoft Eco synthetic insulation. >> Stick to routine. >> Cover your eyes. supplement the Dual Core with a closed-cell foam pad for extra insulation. Below 0°F.. even when they slept on their sides (which often means that hips bottom out against the cold ground).. Filled with hot water and stuffed into a sock or the company’s Built Insulated Tote ($12. pictured)—either will keep the metal from burning your skin—this 27-ouncer delivers heater-warmth all night. like the steady. Kari Bodnarchuk. Nitpick: It takes big lungs (and about five minutes) to inflate this raft. but the microfleece-lined footbox eliminated that problem.” says one).storemags & fantamag .com/sleepbetter. Mummy shapes work best for back sleepers. During a spring trip in Colorado’s Williams Fork Mountains. John Harlan. jacket-style hood fits closely— big guys and restless sleepers should try it in the store. mountainhardwear. Starts at $14 (buff. $100. And the stainless steel releases no chemicals when exposed to heat (unlike some plastics). But this Arctic-worthy 800-fill down mummy kept our tester off the evening news. the bag’s exterior was caked in ice. Winter Warmth TEST NUMBERS 109 bag nights. sierradesigns. >> Match your bag and pad to your sleeping style. Steve Pulford. $475. John Hovey. Learn from the pros at backpacker. make this -20°F bag worth the money and weight for hikers who camp in deep-winter conditions: It’s like an insurance policy against bad weather. bigagnes. Tiffani Miller. between snowdrifts. 6 oz. “I was warm and comfortable all night. 0°F. The cut is efficiently trim. Music can help relax you after an adrenaline-filled day. gaiter. and drink water instead to stay hydrated. and testers loved the superfat draft collar. The BTU packs down small compared to similarly warm winter bags (9”x19”) in the included compression sack. but it dried after 20 minutes in the sun.es). The familiarity can help you sleep better. and for the weight.com Reader service #107 PORTABLE HEAT Take the Klean Kanteen Classic to bed. 165-pound tester. 2 lbs. $529. 0 sleepless nights [bag] Sierra Designs BTU -20 It could have been a gear-tester horror story—an open-air bivy. Geoff Ward 10. The extra warmth and superior weatherproofing.com Reader service #108 SLEEP SECRETS No one knows all-conditions snoozing like explorers who spend more than 200 nights a year outdoors.5”.com Reader service #105 LIGHTER If you don’t camp in temps below 0°F. Plus. Ben Russell. 2 oz. 2 lbs.5 inches of cushion smoothed out lumpy snow and felt decadently plush. thrashers and side-curlers will want a roomier bag and wider pad. and the weight-shaving.” our guinea pig reports. reports our thin. >> Pack your iPod and some favorite mellow tunes. >> Camp near white noise. Kristin Hostetter. A thread count exceeding 400 per inch makes the 800fill down bag luxuriously silky. >> Pack your pillowcase from home.” When he awoke. -20°F. Ben Fullerton. few bags deliver more warmth. get the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0°. testers never felt the icy rocks under them. Ken Haag. kleankanteen. and more). “I usually have trouble keeping my feet warm in winter. and don’t need a waterproof shell. hat. >> Use earplugs to tune out snoring partners and flapping tents.

11 oz. so it disappears inside a pack. 1 lb. packed size. this two-pound system delivers sweet dreams for just $138. 40°F. which gave him ample room through his hips and shoulders. says our tester).com Reader service #115 [bag] Deuter Dream Lite 500 Everything about this bag is scant: its weight. given its trim weight. so you can turn it inside-out. but one coldsleeping tester wished for a draft collar on a subfreezing night along Maine’s Kennebec River (in chilly conditions you can rig one by wrapping a jacket around your neck and shoulders). $190.com Reader service #114 + ////// 56 BACKPACKER 10. 25”x75”x3. cascadedesigns . 6 lbs. The included stuffsack is even lined with microfleece.. but this inflatable model is compressible enough for backpacking (about bike-bottle size). a short-staple polyester fiber. It also packs easily: Just roll and secure with the attached buckles. wood-heated yurts and cabins. and use it as a pillow. $79. and is so deluxe you might just start using it at home. 8 oz. Bonus: Big guys will love the extra length and width. The fabric feels oh-so-soft against skin. $40. Want more length and warmth? Go with Therm-a-Rest’s Neo Air (Editors’ Choice Award 2009. and price. [pad] Therm-a-Rest DreamTime Full disclosure: This mattress is not light. skip the bag and go with a liner like Sea to Summit’s Reactor Thermolite. It’s stuffed with Polydown.. and air channels in the perforated foam deliver a surprising amount of cushion. when it kept testers warm in drafty. Our 5’11”. Warm sleepers might push it to shoulder-season use (put your empty pack underfoot). The mattress needs a few breaths to bring it to full loft—but it still required far less effort than any other comfort pad we tested. seatosummit. 4 oz. When the mercury rose.com Reader service #110 Ultralight Bargain For warm summer nights. starting at $120.com Reader service #113 LIGHTER For extremely warm temps (around 70°F and above). cushy comfort. mountainhardwear. 20°F. exped. and the interior fabric (50-denier polyester taffeta) feels sumptuously soft. and can also be used to add more insulation to a winter system (about 10°F.com) $59.com Reader service #112 [bag] Mountain Hardwear Pinole 20° This affordable mummy is generously shaped for stretch-and-sprawl comfort. It’s made of stretchy Thermolite that breathes and wicks well.. and water-resistant ripstop nylon for the shell) delivered below-average breathability when humidity was high: Testers felt clammy unless the bag was unzipped at least partially. 20”x47”x1”.) For one cold-sleeping tester. (Short-staple insulation has filaments that are cut into small pieces to make it more compressible. 9 oz. and the separate hoods and draft collars let them each customize venting. 15°F. 5’11” tester found the bag’s dimensions to be “trim but comfortable. cheap. and microfiber-covered memory foam delivers luxury softness.. bigagnes. A cinchable hood and zipper draft guard boost warmth when temps dip into the 40s. stuff it with a jacket. Bonus: Elastic cords on the bottom let you stuff jackets underneath. 13 oz.. The two-person Big Agnes Cabin Creek kept our couple warm down to 20°F in New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains. this 40°F mummy squishes down smaller than a one-liter water bottle. 15 oz. $55.5-inch-thick. Bonus: The Pinole compresses enough (think medium watermelon) to use on shortmileage backpacking trips when pack space is not an issue. “It’s honestly like sleeping on my bed at home. The brushed polyester fabric kept testers from sliding off.” says our gear editor after using the oversize DreamTime for two years all over New England. You could bring one from home.. But if you do a lot of car camping. The synthetic Thermic MX insulation combines solid fibers (for loft and softness) with hollow ones (which trap heat in tiny air spaces). 11 oz.” reported our tester after using it in Colorado’s HunterFryingpan Wilderness. why carry a full-length mat when the insulation is superfluous and you really only need cushion from head to hips? This one-inch-thick shortie packs down to cantaloupe-size. 205-pound tester praised the spacious cut. It pairs a 2.FIELD TEST GEAR Basecamp Luxury Get all the comforts of home with this fo ur-star setup.” The Dream Lite also proved useful for winter hut-tripping. and the air/foam combo delivers the ultimate in springy. you won’t care. Even without a compression sack. [pad] Exped SIM Lite 2. or packable. 2 oz. thermarest. $240. Baffles reduce any trampoline effect on its three-inch-thick air chamber. deuterusa. Even the footbox is big.com Reader service #109 DOUBLE UP Separate is not equal when you want to snuggle with your sweetie.5 Short In summer. nemoequipment.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTOS BY COURTESY . as the weight-saving holes in the foam limit insulation.com Reader service #111 s [pillow] NEMO Fillo The clincher on total basecamp comfort? A real pillow. Downside: The insulation and fabric (nylon tactel taffeta for the lining. the full-length zipper offered head-to-toe venting. $80. elevating the Fillo for sidesleepers. but the SIM Lite is primarily a summer-only pad.5”. 5 lbs. self-inflating air mattress with a one-inch layer of memory foam that’s wrapped in a removable (and machinewashable) microfiber cover. 3 lbs. “It turned a rocky meadow into a tolerable bed. Warmth proved sufficient for most sleepers. Our broad-shouldered.. the thin blanket of insulation proved sufficient for summer nights down to 50°F in the high desert of Colorado National Monument..

| woolrich. . Defy convention without turning your back on tradition. Familiar comfort. you’re free to travel wherever the trail takes you.storemags & fantamag . Explore new terrain. Escape the everyday.com Live it out. } The Salt Creek Shirt: Timeless style. Because with the cotton twill Salt Creek Shirt and the right companion.magazines for all Follow label directions.

Washington. 43°F-85°F > “Though not technically waterproof. 5°F-60°F. + 58 BACKPACKER 10. 13 oz. I dealt with crumbling volcanic rock that shifted underfoot. But the Miura is brutally tough right back. sun. 14 oz. rain. and this pack—made of 630-denier “Superpack” nylon and rubbery Hypalon trim—never flinched. climbers. seam-sealed nylon shell. reg. vesti). the door lies on the floor. snow.” > Dennis Lewon > Duration June-July > Locales/conditions CA. plus searchable archives at backpacker. muddy trail > “The high. 40°F-80°F. weight. screens out yellow light (580 nanometers on the light spectrum). included). snowshoers. Iceland’s highest peak. gusseted tongue kept water. glaciated hardpack. CO.com Reader service #120 BEST FOR Hikers looking for a waterproof boot with comfort for dayhikes and support for weekends TESTER DATA > Anthony Cerretani > Duration May to July > Locales/conditions CO. Spain. uneven terrain. loose gravel. Gore-tex-lined boot barreled through it all without giving me so much as a hot spot or a drip of internal > $150 condensation. that easily handles 40-pound loads. even when I was scrambling down steep scree slopes. 5 oz. The puffy mates with a waterproof/ breathable. biking. snow. our field testers post exclusive new reviews online—check for this week’s products. A microfleece liner in the shell adds > men’s S-XXL. BEN FULLERTON. The Vibram tread gripped securely on women’s 6-11 slush. (no whopper (add $125) that pitches with a trekvesti). sleet. a silver layer that reflects body heat and boosted my warmth in singledigit temps on Mt. bright sun. kept the lenses free of water streaks when I was bouncing down rapids on California’s Trinity River. The best part? Three vestibule options range from ultralight (read: no vestibule) to standard > $370 (15 square feet. (med. thanks to plentiful guy-out points that kept the fly taut and the tent well-ventilated through the mostly mesh canopy. rain. (w’s M) together. The roll-top > $225 closure opens wide to accept an entire climb> 4 lbs. thenorthface. Ideal for medium. scrambled up gullies. dappled forest cover Costa Fathom with 580P lens Anyone who wants eye protection with superior clarity MORE REVIEWS! Every week. 11 oz.to narrow-width feet.. and hardpack. mud. NC. The nylon mesh upper with nubuck > 2lbs.com Reader service #118 As a mountain guide who schleps heavy gear day in and day out. COURTESY. snowboarders. rain. I bushwhacked through thickets. and when open. the heavy-duty nylon resists precipitation and kept my cell phone and guidebook dry through hours of rain. and debris from sneaking in. rain > “We stayed perfectly dry in a deluge. columbia. Costa’s 580 lens technology. The 700-fill inner jacket is lined with Omni-Heat. CA. 12 oz. and green. arcteryx. but the ball-and-socket pole connectors and intuitive configuration made for such a quick first-time setup that the interior stayed bone dry. king pole and nearly doubles sheltered space. 5 lbs. This high-cut.REVIEWS GEAR FIELD NOTES PRODUCT The North Face Syncline GTX THE LATEST WORD FROM OUR TESTERS VERDICT Talk about mixed conditions: Over the course of 14 hours and 6. reinforcements is light but tough. which is harder for the eye to process than red.500 feet of vertical gain on Hvannadalshnúkur. I’m brutally tough on packs. and coolweather hikers NEMO Espri 3P Three-season backpacking in the foulest weather Arc’teryx Miura 50 Craggers. pebbles. 4 lbs.) ing rack. in. 4 oz.com Reader service #119 Want to see the world in high-def? Put these glasses on. rivers. The Miura is heavy for the capacity. costadelmar. but this breaks the mold. ice. The result is razor-sharp color and definition. to June > Locales/conditions VT. slushy snow. COURTESY (5) > Peter Rives > Duration April-July > Locales/conditions TN. stones.2010 /////WEB EXTRA / True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTOS BY (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP) PETER RIVES. and hikers who favor punishing approaches and off-trail trekking > Matt Conroy > Duration Feb. and mist so thick it settled like rain. (reg. rocky. and pit > $280 zips on both pieces line up perfectly when worn > 2 lbs. WY. to a 24-square-foot > 3 lbs.” Columbia Carabineer II / Frosty Forest Parka Skiers. Iceland. and offered ample (m’s 12) ankle support for up to 30-pound loads on the > men’s 8-14.” > Berne Broudy (plus: Jane Melrose) > Duration Dec. (large vesti) Complaints: The 38-square-foot floor is a squeeze for three. to April > Locales/conditions VT. PA. KELLY BASTONE.” . but made it comfy (not clammy) when I women’s XS-XL wore the jacket over a tank top on a spring trip in Idaho.com Reader service #116 Three-in-one jacket systems are usually bulky and ill-fitting. and a hydrophobic coating > 1 oz. and paddling.com Reader service #117 It was pouring when we arrived at camp in Hanging Rock State Park. nemoequipment. Gripe: The > short. NH. clawed up narrows. but > 50 liters/3059 in exchange you get that durability and support cu. The polarized gray lens proved versatile for changing light while I was hiking. tall padded back panel could ventilate better—it gets sweaty. wind. sun > “The long cut in back repelled kicked-up snow when I snowshoed. NY. blue. available now for the first time in impact-resistant polycarbonate.com/gear. Side vents prevented fogging on > $159 sweaty trail runs.

For while the long history of wool dates back thousands of years. automated cutting systems and a global presence from Manhattan to Paris mark the modern Woolrich.magazines for all A DV E R TO R I A L Woolrich Adventures: Admiral Byrd Returns to Antarctica SEVENTY ONE years ago. Byrd and his men spent the winter of 1940 in Antarctica in three camps. No heavier than regular Woolrich winter wear. Geared head to foot in Woolrich woolen apparel. Everest and the Seven Summits. Wool’s presence on the Byrd expedition wasn’t the first time the fabric had supported adventure. trip suppliers turned to Woolrich. heavy 32-ounce wool pants. Leading the way in how we enjoy and benefit from the wonders of wool. With a World War looming on the horizon. Bringing 125 men. That same mix of proven products and non-stop innovation are inherent in Woolrich clothing. where legendary products like the Buffalo Check shirt and Railroad vest meet cutting edge for play. two ice-breaking ships. it’s direct contribution to modern adventure has included a presence on the pioneering climbs of Mt. caps and hoods to protect the hands and faces against the extreme Antarctic weather. Computer-controlled workstations. It was to be Byrd’s third trip to the remote region – but his first with the official backing of the US Government. snow. Still in active operation. needed to protect Byrd and his men against the cold blasts. for 180 years Woolrich has been what America wears outdoors. socks and coverlets.storemags & fantamag . President Franklin Roosevelt called on expertise of Admiral Richard Byrd. the “Original Outdoor Clothing Company. nor was it the last. Byrd’s expedition was supported by a key collection of the nation’s top private companies. special red and black hunting breeches. individually selected to support specific needs. in the fall of 1939. on first whitewater descents throughout the world. Pennsylvania blends the finest modern techniques with a heritage of performance to create high quality clothing of remarkable comfort and style. Woolrich has been synonymous with outdoor adventure. the dynamic affair caught and held the nation’s attention. and special virgin wool hunting coats. Beginning by supplying the lumber camps of central Pennsylvania by horseback with woolen fabrics. The woolen gear was a proven success as well. the eyes of an adventurous American nation turned south. ice and temperatures as low as 60 degrees below zero. and on the 20th century’s major backpacking explorations. adventure and work.” requesting and receiving close to 1. three airplanes and a monstrous 60-foot all-terrain vehicle.300 all-wool winter garments. conducting numerous scientific obervations and mapping the curious coastline. + American-made wool for American outdoor adventures For nearly two centuries. the mill in Woolrich. the only modifications made to the apparel were the addition of longer sleeves. Woolrich opened their own woolen mill in 1845. as members of the expeditionary force had worn the apparel before and knew that it would stand up to the challenge. The Woolrich woolen gear was essential. For the critical choice of winter apparel. which continues to celebrate its heritage by keeping its headquarters in the little Pennsylvania village where the company got its start. reinforced pants. . tasking the legendary polar explorer with a return to the frozen landscape of Antarctica. To Antarctica. The list of items provided by Woolrich to the expedition included heavy wool shirts.

60 BACKPACKER 10.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag .

2010 BACKPACKER 61 . will he lose touch with the wilderness he loves—or get closer to it? By Bruce Barcott • Photography by Paolo Marchesi killer hike 10.storemags & fantamag .magazines for all When a lifelong backpacker decides to shoot a deer.

hunting is something they do. without weapons. a verb: To allow one’s silhouette to appear over the crown of a ridge. I ease the rifle bolt forward and raise the scope to eye level. after all. For them—and maybe that includes you—the notion of a divide would be a mystery. and among most hunters. Brenner. right?” I open the bolt.” Skyline. is one part naturalist. and in my pocket is a permission slip from the state of Washington that allows me to fire it at properly antlered ungulates. “They’re bucks. In farming circles. whispers the go-ahead. a land of gently rolling bluffs and prairies. A good man with a tractor can grow 75 bushels of wheat an acre. and I’m a skier of catholic taste.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . The land here unfolds in sensuous dips and swirls. I’ve climbed Cascade volcanoes. The thought runs through my head as I walk across a stubbled wheat field on a freezing October morning in eastern Washington. I’m toting a Ruger . for this day at least. “We’ll check out this dry creekbed. I’ve thrown bait and flies at Alaskan salmon and Rocky Mountain trout. and a birdwatcher. I can see a clear shot. “No. There’s an uncomfortable pause. Brenner asks. Jennifer Brenner is my mentor.” We head up a little rise and spot more deer. “I see three over by the eyebrow. But I’ve never been hunting. 42. Years ago. Nobody’s plowing or harvesting at the moment. Every farmer in the county—or so it seems—is duded up in a blaze-orange vest. They run generators in campgrounds and drive F-250s with NRA stickers in the window. my job often requires me to drop into backcountry terrain where I’m a stranger to the land.Hunting is the act of hiking with a bomb in your hands. urban or rural. two cultures divided by a chasm of ignorance and mistrust. little by little. The catalogs in our mailbox define us: Cabela’s or REI.” she says. creamy or crunchy. perhaps even an insult. I’m wearing the orange vest. “By the clump of trees?” I ask. He sees things that are invisible to those of us trained to follow signs and stay on trails. the original outdoor activity. They’re legal. I find that a little strange. “Those are our horses. Now I’m aiming it. they’re beer-guzzling good old boys. twice what the dirt yields in Kansas. three bucks of legal size. and two parts Gretchen Wilson. I’ve been a backpacker. though. I’ve also learned that there are plenty of hunters who are hikers. They love wildlife they can kill. Be careful not to skyline. my assumptions changed. We are hikers or hunters. Through the crosshairs. I’m so deeply smothered by the fleecy bosom of my demographic that the notion never arises. and the two-day growth on my chin. I’m here on the same mission. It’s become a conversational taboo. the topsoil under my boots is legendary. a hunter. In a hiking club. ears. a car camper. They’re Toby Keith in a trucker cap. and nose are tuned differently than a hiker’s. “Your rifle’s unloaded. As a member of REI Nation.270. Deer hunting at dawn? Hell yeah! Nothing flushes from the creek. Not our kind. She’s a farm girl raised nearby. looking at the deer through her binoculars. Ever so slowly. I’m troubled by this great divide. At least that’s the way I used to think. The outdoor world suffers miserably from this binary split.” Eyebrow? I have no idea what she’s talking about. spooking potential game. We wear Patagonia R2 fleece or Mossy Oak Break-Up camouflage. cautiously. rifle in hand. I’ve been walking with a deadly explosive. We are red states or blue states. every statistic indicates that crossovers are a distinct minority. I scan until I see something vaguely deerlike. but don’t have much use for the rest of nature. and vice versa—among them. 62 BACKPACKER 10. so we raise our binoculars and glass the hillside across the valley. I’ll find the best hunter in the county and spend an afternoon with him. dear.” says Brenner. I am. A hunter’s eyes. the rift was distilled in two political bumper stickers. the culture divide grows wider. the camo cap.” We keep walking. And who are they? If you believe Hollywood type casting. “But stay low on the hill.” Jennifer says. Brenner. looking to bag a buck. I can also see my point of decision: To take a life or let it go. And then. one part park ranger (her day job). As an outdoor writer. I discovered that sportsmen offer an excellent perspective on the local wild. In this polarized world of us and them. Six years ago. But what’s more puzzling is the fact that nobody’s ever asked me to go hunting—or wanted to know if I’ve ever been. whispering just loud enough to be heard over the sound of our boots crackling the wheat remnants. Sportsmen for Bush. Hunting is. and a hunter since she could walk. It’s opening day of deer season. like the topography of a bell pepper. Still. We live in a world too cleanly divided. crashing through the forest. “Right. the word “hunting” can suck all the air out of the room. Climbers for Kerry. and for the first time in my life. paddled Sierra rivers. I’m in the Palouse. Six muleys. Our seasons have different names: One person’s duck season is another’s ski season. Among most backpackers. readers of this magazine.

(He’s since been promoted to Interior Department headquarters in Washington. “Why do you want to shoot a deer?” he asked. “Not just hang out and watch some hunters?” Yes.” I said. Hunting permits are down 20 percent in West Virginia over the past 10 years. the combined North American herds total one million strong. every hunter comes face to face with the same issue.” he said.” he said. AFTER TRACKING DEER IN THE SNAKE RIVER BLUFFS (RIGHT) AND ON FARMLAND IN EASTERN WASHINGTON (PREVIOUS SPREAD).” “Why not?” I asked. I browsed the rifle section of a Dick’s Sporting Goods store.” SAYS THE AUTHOR (ABOVE. Whitetail deer are overpopulated in 73 percent of their range. explore their world. I saw it happen in my own family.” I told him. I put the question to Bruce Friedrich. A century ago. Clearly. To hunt is to kill a living creature. Rainier National Park. In my home state of Washington. “I’m in. “So…we’d actually go hunting. “The ducks. According to the National Farmland Trust. nearly one in three hunters has hung up his rifle in the past decade. Grandpa Barcott took him out for predawn shotgunning parties. vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). When my father was young. According to the U. But over the past two generations. “I’m thinking about maybe going deer hunting. to less than 13 million.” Sooner or later. and they had a great time—cooking up steaks. so I called my friend Mike “Gator” Gauthier. I had some philosophical work to do. in my early 20s. “We went out with dad’s buddies. Hikers or not.C. Powerful cultural forces have also been at work. “Why do you want a gun. our lack of gun-toting acquaintances wasn’t surprising.magazines for all Any issue that volatile is worth investigating.” Dad told me. two acres of prime American farmland are lost every minute. “But by the time I got good enough with the shotgun to shoot ’em on the fly.000 elk roamed the continent. Hunting in America is a dying pastime. the hunting gene has withered on the vine. . I wanted to bridge the gap with a gun. It’s happening everywhere.” Dad said. and attempt the pursuit myself. we didn’t know any hunters. where much of the country’s hunting has traditionally occurred. though. The biggest culprit is land development. only 50. If hunting were hiking. Specifically. So I decided to meet the hunters. well. I figured I’d need a partner.storemags & fantamag . Hunting’s decline can’t all be blamed on the loss of open space. who was then the head climbing ranger at Mt.” That’s when we realized that. I found that I just didn’t want to do it. hash browns. I went to the experts for perspective. guitar hero and prolific hunter: Should we hunt? Friedrich treated the phrase “ethical hunting” as an LIVING LANDSCAPE: “I FEEL LIKE I’VE BEEN GIVEN A FRESH PAIR OF EYES. Hunting is commonly passed down from fathers to sons and daughters. In the early stages of my hunting interest. Dad?” he asked. “How do we do it?” “I have no idea. IN BALLCAP).) I explained the project. that would be like losing one Grand Canyon National Park each year. My grandfather was a duck hunter. the number of Americans who hunt has fallen 25 percent since 1980. the loss of private farmland.S. My answer was so half-hearted and halting that a passerby overhearing the conversation would have been embarrassed for me. And we’re not talking about squashing a mosquito. Fish & Wildlife Service. He thought about that for a minute. the whole deal. D. Today. and Ted Nugent. Hunting’s decline isn’t due to lack of game. “Maybe we should find a hunter we can go with. My six-year-old son was with me. “They were just too beautiful.

“Hunting is a privilege. Walkowski is an ex-cop and Navy survival instructor who’d taught this class for 35 years. They’re both state park rangers over in eastern Washington.” he 64 BACKPACKER 10. is a relative thing. “She’s the girlfriend of my friend Shaun Bristol. “Go hunting. The Sportsmen’s Club was straight out of “The Red Green Show”: knotty pine paneling. On a Monday evening in September. The place was packed.” Ted Nugent begged to differ. so we don’t need to tend gardens. They’re tick spreaders. Not me. most natural nutrition available to mankind— while at the same time bringing balance to the environment. “Vegetables are on store shelves. too.” Gator offered a solution. explaining my desire to kill a deer to a six-year-old was the most challenging aspect of preparing for a hunt. Fish and Wildlife Ironically. “and safety is our number one priority. “Don’t let the lunatic fringe keep you from hunting. “Have you handled a rifle before?” she asked. I strolled into a local gun shop. you have a fair idea of the hunter-safety course. and that’s one way they justify it. of course. I doubted I could pull the trigger on one. Walkowski assured us that hunting was safer than playing football or driving a car. I have nothing to do with the mass assembly of food. is the 1970s rock star who reinvented himself as America’s foremost hunter. a moose head above the fireplace. garden killers. At the same time.” he said. “Welcome to Hunter Safety. I didn’t put a lot of faith in the Motor City Madman’s method. or an ex-con. Remaining connected to the good Mother Earth is a driving force in all the hunters.” If hunting is in decline. I decided it was time I met my meat. The Nuge is a very busy beast slayer.) Nugent. “The deer has the same intelligence and range of emotions.” I looked it up. it turns out.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag .” said the wife.” he told us. “Just don’t bring the gun anywhere near the house. pigs. Nugent views animal rights advocates like Bruce Friedrich as nutjobs divorced from the natural cycle of life.” he said. I’m trying to live closer to my food. It’s childbirth class with bullets. and chickens have been slaughtered on my behalf—butchered out of sight and out of mind. The U. Over the past 40 years. A grandfatherly man in an orange vest and green ballcap. and cook my own. with the development of agriculture. (Actually he emailed me between hunts.S. Hunting elk seemed an overreach for a rookie. fishermen. I doubted that any epiphanies would come attached to a smoking gun. Nope.” he told me. deer. and trappers that I know. a group that promotes hunter-safety courses in the U.oxymoron. are common as squirrels. kill. I’m sure we could find someone else to breed our wives for us. In August.S. “hunting is the 13th safest. I’m an enthusiastic carnivore. poop-pellet producers.” he said. and a sign that read “Absolutely No Drinking While Shooting Is In Progress. so none of us needs to make our own. I’d moved among elk in the mountains. and laid down my Visa card. Gator got custody. I’m eating backyard vegetables and buying eggs from my neighbors. He had secure storage and no kids. Moreover.” Nugent assured me. picked out a used bolt-action Ruger. I called Jennifer to discuss what we’d hunt. Therefore. we’re going to do it the right way. “There’s no ethical difference between shooting a deer and shooting a cat or a dog. Ever. I found myself falling closer to Nugent than to the guy from PETA. The sale was delayed for 10 minutes while the salesman carried out a background check to make sure I wasn’t certifiably insane. Like a lot of Americans these days.000 years ago. I became a rifle divorcee.” “Hunting. knowing that it’s the healthiest. “Do we really need to shoot wild animals when there’s a Safeway down the street?” I asked The Nuge. or both. there were 241 fatal hunting accidents from 2005 through 2009. “will cleanse your soul. the same capacity to feel pain.” As much as my soul could use a scrub. According to the International Hunter Education Association. butcher. Deer. “Future generations will look back on our shooting animals with the sort of moral incredulity that we reserve for past abuses of human beings. Everything else fell into place in short order. and Canada. by all means.” But don’t hunters help keep the deer population in check? “Some people just enjoy shooting defenseless animals. I slipped in the back door of the Bainbridge Island Sportsmen’s Club and claimed one of the few empty seats.” And acquiring a weapon was surprisingly easy.” he told us. I hadn’t earned an elk hunt. told me. “If you’re going hunting with me.” said Jim Walkowski. She told me to take a hunter-safety course. “Her name’s Jennifer Brenner. I hunt.” Safety.” said Friedrich. dozens of cows. Gator found us a hunter.” If you’ve ever suffered through the mind-screwing tedium of childbirth classes. you wouldn’t have guessed it by the turnout. “Is this just murder as sport?” “That’s like saying recorded music is available. The real problem was where to store it. They are majestic creatures. “There’s no ethical difference between shooting a deer and shooting a cat or a dog.” When did hunting cease to be morally justified? He thought for a second. “Of the 25 most popular activities in the United States. “It could have been phased out 10. I got visitation rights. on the other hand.

.magazines for all STILL LIFE: THE AUTHOR APPROACHES THE THREE-POINT BUCK HE SHOT SECONDS EARLIER.storemags & fantamag .

HIDE. It occurred to me that there might be a scared-straight method to Walkowski’s madness. Today’s soldiers and sailors are self-selected.000 cyclists). That works out to a risk rate of about 0. “Killed their partners. I learned quite a lot. AND AT LEFT) HOW TO DRESS A DEER. BONES. “Boom!” said Walkowski. Almost none own a gun. which painted hunters as cold-blooded murderers. not its head. my brother-in-law killed his brother with it. Stuff like: Aim for a deer’s lungs. generous men. and Stewart Udall all hunted. Last year. I returned to the Sportsmen’s Club to receive hot cups of Walkowski’s wisdom. “We lost members over that one. conservationminded hunters crafted the Pittman-Robertson Act. In fairness. Almost all of my liberal friends consider themselves environmentalists. conservation-minded voters against urban enviros. Service estimates that about 12. military service was an experience common to the American man. Aldo Leopold. “Maybe it’s like reading Accidents in North American Mountaineering to climbing students. Prior to the 1970s. that doesn’t happen.57 drownings per 100.38 fatalities per 100.” she said. I praised a local wilderness group for reaching out to hunting and fishing groups. but admitted that the great reach-out wasn’t a huge success. “Gets them to pay attention.” Night after night. Drinking.000). but not.HARVEST: JENNIFER BRENNER (ABOVE. driven by misadventures like Vietnam and Iraq. Theodore Roosevelt. One of them.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag .87 fatalities per 100. and years of urban violence and mass murders like Columbine and Virginia Tech have made a hostility toward guns part of the liberal package deal. Gifford Pinchot. It’s illegal in Washington to have a loaded rifle in a vehicle. (I practiced with my own as well. AND BLOOD ACCOUNT FOR NEARLY A THIRD OF A MATURE BUCK’S WEIGHT.000 hunters annually. of course. a fired shot could split the barrel like a banana peel. which established some of the nation’s first habitat-restoration programs using gun and ammunition excise taxes. The big rift opened in the late 1970s. Nowadays. is that hunters founded the modern conservation movement. The hard feelings still linger. swimming (6. Walkowski pointed to his rifle and said. A couple of years ago. Many liberal leaders categorically embraced the era’s animal rights movement. you aren’t likely to become a hunter. a former Army sniper. That’s worth considering. I couldn’t help but feel like a blue spy in the house of red. (Though John Muir and Rachel Carson did not. If you get some dirt in the muzzle. Walkowski and his fellow Club members were friendly. rich and poor—with firearms. 66 BACKPACKER 10.” One evening. A husband and wife picked up their rifles after lunch. ABOVE.) And yet. gave up an afternoon to let me shoot his rifles on the range.000 swimmers) and bicycling (1. football (0.) Basic training acquainted a wide spectrum of society—conservative and liberal. say. Conservative leaders realized they could use gun control as a wedge issue to turn rural.” Holy crap! There you go what? I stepped outside and rethought the whole proposition. And yet over the five-day course. So there you go. The irony. as I slipped my Subaru between massive pickups in the parking lot. technically.2 per 100. (A draft will do that. and they tend to be a politically conservative demographic.5 million Americans hunt every year. RIGHT) SHOWS THE AUTHOR (IN RED CHECKED SHIRT. “That . One of the sources of the hikerhunter rift can be found in the post-Vietnam shift in military culture.) In the 1930s. Walkowski and his fellow instructors rattled off an endless string of huntingaccident anecdotes.” I told my wife.30-30 right there. Comparing the risk rates of different sports is a tricky and often suspect proposition— there are a lot of apples-to-oranges problems—but based purely on fatalities per participant. The director of the group thanked me for the kudos. One guy’s friend got shot climbing over a fence. $300 million in gun and ammo tax went to conservation programs—and that’s to say nothing of the more than $1 billion collected in hunting and fishing permit fees. hunting appears safer than. If you’re not comfortable around firearms. Distrust of the military.

Jennifer kept her body still.” I looked through the scope and confirmed it. But I don’t. pointing out a print I’d nearly stepped on. mostly—turned into deer refuges.” I loaded a bullet and we kept walking. “We’ll be ready next time. All we could hear was the sound of wheat stalks crunching under our boots. “There’s one.” he told us from his office at Mt. at least a mile distant. With all of that padding. going hunting with her dad. which would you choose? Hunters 39% Horseback riders 32% ATVers 2% Mountain bikers 27% If you were to take up hunting. I belly-crawled to the lip of the bluff. two. Cresting a hill became a test of stealth and readiness. They were over the hill before I could even swing the rifle off of my back. I rose in the predawn darkness and pulled on two shirts. offering a perfect target. browsing in a wheat pocket below us. careful to keep our profiles below the ridgeline. At the top of a rise. hundreds of hunters fueled up on coffee. What’s good cover? Where’s the food? As we came over another rise. For hunters. One deer. As a streak of blue snaked into the black sky. The buck stood broadside. Shooting a whitetail deer might be legal on one side of a dirt road and illegal on the other. As it became light. “You can’t call a bullet back” is a common saying among hunters. As a hunter. hunt your plan. I knew the deer would move. “The mule deer and whitetail come into the fields to feed on grain left over after the harvest. Those were Jim Walkowski’s words. “We’re opening a new visitor center. No. Unfortunately. prime deer habitat. erasing our bodies from the herd’s sight. And here we came to the point of decision. a fleece jacket. She and I slowly backed away from the edge of the bluff. A whitetail will be in the next county by the time a muley starts thinking about trotting away. “Duty calls. the junk you’d cross to reach the trailhead.” Gator would arrive late on the first night. I felt I could stop a bullet myself.” Jennifer said. Her eyes constantly scanned the horizon. In an instant. they spotted us and bolted.” Jennifer whispered. a thick hoodie. Then I saw all six. Ever so slowly. It was a tiny speck on the landscape. Rainier. “A whitetail. a coyote print.” she told me. Jennifer and I set out across an open field. The others were bedded down. A badger hole. As a hiker. For backpackers. does’ dewclaws don’t make prints. I glanced at Jennifer. We crossed a barbed-wire fence and hopped a stream. I glanced at Jennifer. Plan your hunt. I began to think like a deer. Should hunting be allowed in national parks? Have you participated in a hunt in the last five years? No 69% Yes 31% NO 67% YES 33% If you had to share your trails with one of these groups. I can take my finger off the trigger and walk away. we stopped to glass the distant fields. Grass tickled my cheek. would you choose a… Gun 54% Bow 43% Trap 3% On a scale from 1 to 5.magazines for all Opening day broke cold and clear. “Why don’t you put one in the chamber. a Gore-Tex shell. I would have overlooked this as dross land. route planning is as easy as opening a Trails Illustrated map. it came alive with excitement and potential. I just didn’t know they’d move so fast. Neither my head nor my heart feels the flutter of Crossing the Divide Can hikers and hunters just get along? We asked readers and Facebook fans to weigh in. though. In the rolling hills above the Snake River.2010 BACKPACKER 67 . On the first Saturday in October. Mule deer are less skittish than whitetail deer.” Jennifer said. a little quieter now. as we wouldn’t have to worry about access or opening-day crowds. and the Interior Secretary is here.” “How can you tell?” “Bucks have dewclaws that leave a little mark in the ground. But I needed it. “The one standing. and mountain forest. Jennifer and I froze. We were hunting her family’s 700-acre farm about a mile from the Snake River. Jennifer began pointing out signs of wildlife. a light dusting of frost on the ground. river bluffs. My eyes became attuned to the terrain. Gator was delayed. My hopes crashed. “It’s a buck. “Is he legal?” “Yes. Then I spotted them. Outside. and a bright orange vest. “Muleys.” It took me a while to find the deer. Our plan was to hunt three types of terrain over three days: wheat fields.” We kept walking. it was 31°F. “Deer track. a down vest. The family farm was also a practical choice. Not all public land is open to hunting. what’s your opinion of shooting wolves from a helicopter? 1: 82% 2: 4% 3: 11% 4: 1% 5: 2% 10.” I whispered.” she said. We crouched and glassed them. She learned how to spot wildlife when she was a kid. land access is a challenge. Four whitetail deer grazed in a pocket of brush below us. Rules change even within states. where 1=not cool and 5=cool. At this moment. Pockets of brush—chokecherries and rosehips. At least one of the deer looked legal: Three points on each side of his rack.storemags & fantamag .

Stout pocket clip for dependable retention. at the point of the kill—otherwise. and profound moments I’ve ever spent in the outdoors.” Five of the deer scatter. I find myself thinking about bringing food home to my family. No other tool in your kit can defend.org. and timed it later) were among the most intense. the carcass is too heavy to haul.” I say. “You got him.” says Jennifer.” she says. 68 BACKPACKER 10. It involves cutting open a freshly killed animal and removing its guts and organs. A vehicle rollover. and by weapon. a downed aircraft. Bow season often starts before rifle season. For a full second. open forest) so you can focus on learning new skills without significant backcountry challenges. BOOM. If you push limits. 154CM stainless steel blade. It’s done on the spot. “Start your cut here. Here’s what I feel. and can’t find words after that. “Wow. But that’s what’s in my head when I pull the trigger. WHEN DOES HUNTING SEASON START? Seasons vary by state. “My god. Hike away from roads for solitude. “Yep. But I can’t deny them. Jennifer tutors me on the finer points. Ridiculous? Maybe.org/hunting/getstarted. I feel happy. DO I NEED A PERMIT? Yes. any last-second moral qualms. just be certain you can pack a dead animal out.org. He’s dead. Insert quarter or penny for two sizes of field expedient flathead screw drivers. The calm. See nssf. Though I’d fired it a couple of dozen times. “Is he hit?” I ask. all six deer freeze. the . Instead. Protected cord cutter. WHERE SHOULD I GO HUNTING? Start with relatively easy terrain (fields. Start here: wheretoshoot. The sixth deer doesn’t get that far.Singlebevel edge.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . The two minutes and 10 seconds that elapsed between the time we spotted the deer and when I pulled the trigger (I kept my tape recorder running. Frame holes. Bottle opener. 3-inch. It’s plan-B when plan-A is in flames and taking on water. “So how did it feel?” she asks.2 ounces. Easier to sharpen in the field. The most common size. The guts are left for coyotes and other scavengers. You’ll likely need to take a hunter-safety course (some states offer an “apprentice license” that lets you go with a more experienced hunter first). for example. That’s why the Crank™ is an edged weapon first and a multi-tool second. Jennifer and I spend the next half an hour slicing FAQ: Hunting 101 WHERE CAN I LEARN HOW TO USE A GUN? Find a local firing range with rentals and instruction. just 1. clear-eyed world seen through the riflescope goes herky-jerky. and it’s not going to make me popular among my vegetarian friends. For a sweet celebration when you get home alive. Fulfilled. messy. 1/2-inch wrench. Protects fingers from injury. feed. pointing to the deer’s nether regions. and shelter you. Find links to state wildlife departments at huntinfo. rolling hills. primal. He takes one full step. Hardened 7075 aluminum frame. Proud. A . by animal. “Amazing.” I say. either. you need a license specific to the type of hunting you’ll do.” Jennifer and I stand and watch the herd disappear over the ridge. Lash it to a stick to make a survival spear. disgusting operation. then bucks high into the air and collapses on his side. when accidents are more likely. the world will periodically push back. Blade bar lock. They hop over the bluff and tear east for the Snake River.30-06 rifle works for anything from antelope to buffalo. I can’t explain those feelings. a blizzard. He kicks once more before lying still. “Field dressing” is a pretty term for a bloody. Designed for extreme use.270 still rattles me to the core. Tip: Avoid the (very busy) opening day of deer season.

I find myself placing steps with newfound precision. Rainier for nearly 20 years. I fight back a dry-heave. By the time Gator arrives that evening.magazines for all CARNIVORE’S DILEMMA: EXPECT A GALLON OF BLOOD FROM A BUCK. “I see them.” Gator murmurs. mucousy layer of fat. movement. Gator takes his finger off the trigger.” “Honestly. At the rim we pause to take in the scene. Ted. The next morning. “Why don’t you set up a shot while I flush?” Gator hugs the ground and props himself on his elbows. “What have you got against some poor. and other wildlife come here to hide out in the rock crevices and pockets of brush.” Ted declares.” Jennifer had told us. He’s almost as famous for his eclectic collection of friends. Ted opposes hunting like dogs oppose cats—with loudness and constancy. Gator and I scramble over steep terrain. Gator’s day often starts with a 2 a. “I’m here to witness the slaughter. “There’s got to be something in there. and I are up just before dawn. A doe and her yearling emerge from the shadows. “The main thing I’m concerned about is not making a lousy shot and letting some poor animal wander off wounded. Because of the rifle on my back. “Sure beats getting up in the middle of the night in a storm on the side of a mountain. coyotes.” We crouch by a pocket of trees and brambles. defenseless creature?” Gator laughs. After the crackle and thunk. The shifting breeze sends a briny funk of odor—the smell of warm blood mixed with body gasses— up my nose.m. is a seasonal Rainier employee in his 60s who’s come along on the hunting trip to…well. A tumble here could easily lead to a misfire.” he says. “Aw. nobody’s quite sure why he’s come along. Our tags are for bucks. He pulled injured climbers off of Mt.” I say. and backwoods hippies all consider Gator their righteous bro. We hike through fields to the sloping coulees of the Snake River canyon. or worse.” Gator says. I toss some rocks into the trees. “That’s whether you can haul a 150-pound deer up the cliffs after you shoot it. “Time to get you yours. through deer hide and peeling through the animal’s thin. “You’ve got to add something to the equation when you’re hunting the breaks. Everest-climbing superstars. pounding coffee. so this is a lazy Sunday for him. The Snake drains most of Idaho. I can’t believe I’m saying those words even as they leave my mouth. not Continues on page 108 10.” I tell him. Gator. “I can’t believe you’re really going through with this. What about those fish you like to catch?” “That’s different. Ted Cox. Senators. Gator is a bit of a legend in mountaineering circles. One of those friends.storemags & fantamag . CEOs. I’m not that worried about bagging a deer. “Two of ’em. my deer is cooling in a local meat locker. a classic Western vista that hasn’t changed much since Lewis and Clark came upon it more than 200 years ago. Ted.2010 BACKPACKER 69 .” scolds Ted.” says Ted.” I say. and the river’s breaks are formidable—dry gulches and ravines falling away and folding in on themselves for more than a mile before hitting water. Deer. alpine start.

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magazines for all What to do when the you-know-what hits the fan ➜ 10.storemags & fantamag .2010 BACKPACKER 71 .

up and down the spindle. Rub one teaspoon of Vaseline into a cotton ball. and whittle away any jagged or rough spots on the shaft so you can easily run your hands along it. into the edge. Using significant downward pressure. poplar. improvise survival tools when key gear gets lost. PHOTO BY COURTESY. humans made fire by rubbing two sticks together (aka the hand drill). gingerly tap the board. with one foot on the edge of the fireboard to steady it. and as the spindle glows red from the friction. which burn even in rain. It seems H. Nester favors a magnesium spark rod and Vaselinecoated cotton balls. The spindle stick should be about 16 inches long. Get in a stable kneeling or sitting position. roll your hands back and forth. moss). For the spindle and fireboard. Carve this rectangular piece so it lies flat on the ground. 5. find some dry. and pry your way out of any mess with these survival fundamentals. cedar. pack a few loosely in a film canister. mullein. where you will place the spindle tip.” To learn how to grapple with life-or-death scenarios. and nonresinous (no sap) wood—like yucca. and grade your own emergency skills. or elm—which are easier to create friction with. Also good: butane lighters. Flagstaff. Sharpen the bottom end like a pencil tip. cottonwood. grass. and ¾-inch thick. For the tinder bundle. Here’s how to make one: 1. 6. soft. Cut a V-shaped notch. Put the tip of the spindle in the board’s depression.” Nester says. tepee-style. bearing down on the spindle with your body weight as you roll it in your hands. and fairly straight. And with that one tool and some basic knowledge. Here is how to cut. KNIFE : BENCHMADE (PREVIOUS PAGE) Long before satellite beacons. Photography by Dan Saelinger /// Illustrations by Peter Sucheski True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . TEXT BY ANNETTE MCGIVNEY. slice. had his men scramble up to nearby ledges and pin him to the wall with long oars so he could climb down. bark. Wells was right: “Adapt or perish. they fulfilled all life-sustaining needs.2010 Survival Secret Always carry a reliable firestarter. then erect small sticks around it. read on. and shape them into a bird’s nest.When Sir Ernest Shackleton crossed the icy glaciers of South Georgia Island in 1916—the final hurdle of his 16-month epic in Antarctica—he didn’t have crampons. cypress. 2. gather dry and pithy materials (cattails. is nature’s inexorable imperative. Go slowly at first to deepen the board’s notch. ¾-inch thick. If the ember doesn’t automatically fall into your catching device. blow gently until you have flames. “A knifeless man is a lifeless man. piece of thin bark. carve out a pencil-eraser-size depression at the base of the V. 3. now as ever. or your knife blade (anything as thick as an index card) under the board to catch the coal that will fall out of the board’s notch. trapped on a cliff 400 feet above the Colorado River without a rope. Transfer the ember to the center of the tinder. then smoke. Then go faster (a lot faster). Position a leaf. and place your hands at the top. 72 BACKPACKER 10. humans thrived in the wild with the best technology available: a knife. The fireboard should be about six inches by one inch wide. a tiny ember will appear in the notch. half as deep as the board. In a similarly brilliant stroke. In the wild with… Only a Knife For thousands of years. John Wesley Powell. 4. And John Muir crawled inside a hollow tree trunk to escape the flames of a Sierra wildfire. Hot dust will be generated first. Place it within arm’s reach. so he twisted metal boat screws into the soles of his boots for traction. Arizona–based survival expert Tony Nester helps today’s tech-dependent humans get back to their primal roots with his popular “Knife Only” course. Next.G.

grasshoppers and crickets (roast these first to avoid stomach upset). The reason: A fixed blade with a full tang (meaning the blade b runs through the length of the handle) is stronger. If you have a bottle of liquid left. rock depressions.com/ so no light shows through. Survival Secret For hours of extra and high. Avoid ravine bottoms. If water seeps up. Insulate the floor snowshelter. then pull the debris over your body. Harden the tip in hot coals for a few minutes. tree trunk cavities. outer bends in dry riverbeds. soaking up the suns warmth sun’s p Hug one against your chest (under all day and will d a jacket but over a release it shirt). apathways. hastens heat exhaustion. with one foot of leaves and pine needles. Most water bugs take weeks to incubate. Search smartly Top spots to look: shady areas at the base of north-facing cliffs. line the hole with pebbles so it’s less porous. or dig wells with your knife: Find a spot that’s likely near the water table such as a riverbed. warmth. “The fasting body taps into its fuel stores. so the handle never breaks. then fill in the holes with forest debris ter shelter. and put one between your legs at night. it takes a month or more to starve to death. undercut banks or shady. or chert. ants and ant larvae. if possible. people can last 25 percent longer this way compared to those who burn calories looking for a measly morsel. pine needles. and fish. wind-whipped spots. saplings work well. Find food In most emergencies. and anywhere you see birds and insects gathering. Use a sturdy.5 inches thick. drink it at your normal pace. Knife-chop boughs (or scavenge) and lean them on building an emergency winagainst the branch. For instructions low branch as the shelter’s ridgepole. Pile up leaves. It also sparks when you strike the back of the blade with a piece of quartzite.” Nester says. “You should have two feet of insulation below you and two feet above. about two feet deep. Stay cool Hole up in the shade and wait until dusk to hunt for water. place football-size rocks Instead. scoop out a trough in the middle. site your shelter wisely. set up next to a broad at the campfire’s rock face or tree that has been edge until they’re warm to the touch. No sources nearby? Head down gullies.” To tuck yourself in.com). Make the mound about the length and width of a single mattress and five feet high. “Rationing water. sit inside butt first. and wait five minutes. To make a fishing spear.” says Nester. working up from your feet. islands of green vegetation.magazines for all SURVIVE! The most energy-efficient option is to create a nest.storemags & fantamag . “I’ve stayed warm like this on 10°F nights. “In survival situations. since cold air sinks.” But you can graze on nearby food like: acorns and other tree nuts. but you can die in days from dehydration. Find H20 That’s Not a Knife « This is a knife! A Swedish Mora with a 3 7⁄8-inch fixed blade is Tony Nester’s preferred tool for bushcraft ($20. r 10. Sop up mud with a shirt and wring the moisture into your mouth. Dig a few holes. Cave Man On rainy nights fashion a lean-to against a short tree like a juniper. Then pin a fish to the creek bed and grab it with your hands. carve a 10-inch tip onto a sturdy stick about eight feet long and 1.2010 BACKPACKER 73 . Also. especially in the desert or the tropics. Depending on your extra reserves (love handles were never so welcome). Conserve energy and water by staying put rather than foraging. and moss to create a giant sleeping bag that will trap your body heat. No purification method? Guzzle anyway. He favors carbon r steel because you can sharpen it against a smooth river stone using an arcing motion against the s rock. food isn’t a priority. flint. or until your urine is mostly clear. and another near your neck or head. see backpacker.” Nester says.

JASON STEVENSON (SUNGLASSES) To make wood more flammable. the dilated vessels near your skin’s surface shed heat into a cold environment faster than narrower vessels. Although your sand fire won’t be hot enough to boil water. mirrors. but it still kills topical germs. In damp conditions. then lie flat with your forearms supported. Whiskey does work to sterilize instruments and to blunt pain— drinking two ounces of 90-proof George Dickel reduces pain roughly 50 percent for two hours. then wait a few minutes so the vapors disperse. You must let the pinpoint of light concentrate for 20 to 30 seconds on the tinder before it will ignite. via peripheral vasodilation.) If you don’t have a lighter. however. Care for cuts 74 BACKPACKER 10. it must be a dry substrate like sand. But now you’re lost! Crikey—what next? Well. hoping night freezes away life’s pain. The key is to get it off the ground. (Beware of wildfire hazard in dry backcountry areas. This passive signaling method also frees you up to perform key tasks like shelter-building. making clean water a better option.m. Survival Secret One thing liquor won’t do is warm you: Although alcohol makes you feel flushed temporarily. Then a bluebird alights on your shoulder. spruce. to 2 p. and start a fire magnifying-glass style. Alcohol’s diuretic effect further abets hypothermia. With the sun at its zenith (11 a. as the flame dies. clocks in at 40 percent alcohol. even a machete. whiskey-soak it to the core. Then pour in a quart of whiskey. and it burns like hell. Nester also suggests filling a small can (like a tuna or Altoids can) with whiskey and lighting it. space blankets. . focus the sun’s beams onto some rotten. it can provide warmth. Any shiny object will work: bottles. then transfer the burning twigs to a fire pit. It might also kill healthy cells. Treat iffy water Early settlers in Canada’s Red River area who mixed a little whiskey into their drinking water had fewer incidences of waterborne illness than their counterparts. fill the bottle with water. If the bottle has broken. like a tree branch. focusing the beam as per above. + = Now imagine you’re injured—does the old cowboy “whiskey in the wound” method work? Modern liquor. bike parts.). reducing the risk of a fireball. resinous woods (pine. reports BACKPACKER columnist and wilderness-medicine expert Buck Tilton. then hanging the bottle somewhere elevated. or elk droppings until you get a glowing ember. DEIRDRE SHEVLIN BELL (FIRST-AID KIT). Or you can build a sand fire by scooping a cupful of dirt into a mound. friend. dry cow pies. chirps a sweet song of hope. use a stirring stick to bring fuel back to the surface and add a few minutes of life. pour out the whiskey. including bourbon. and you realize life is possibly worth living.Lost with… Only a Bottle of Whiskey So you’ve zigzagged into the woods to drink your sad self into oblivion with a fifth of Johnnie Walker Red. Add a shot to your liter of water. only half the punch of the Wild West moonshines. then wait 20 minutes. TEXT BY MATT SAMET (WHISKEY). KURT WERBY. with the water-droplet side facing the sun.m. Survival guru Tony Nester suggests tying a bandana or shoelace around the bottle’s neck. try a shard: Add one or two beads of liquid. avoid oaks and maples. You want dead—not drunk—giardia. since temperature control is harder when you’re dehydrated. or clay formed into a small clay pinch pot. or help light a signal fire. so you expose more surface area and maximize glint. mesquite)—which have a lower ignition point—work best.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTO BY PONTUS EDENBERG/ISTOCK (TOP). For the latter. feed in twigs. so keep still and be patient. punky wood. heat food. dry those tears and put that hooch to good use. Tilton says. fir. then blow it into a flame. It should burn 10 to 30 minutes. Nestle this in grass or dry bark. hubcaps.

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Injured with…

No First-Aid Kit
You’re hiking. You slip. You’re hurt. But the first-aid kit is back in the car—12 miles away. What should you do? First, don’t panic. “You can improvise almost everything in your first-aid kit,” says Tod Schimelpfenig, curriculum director of the Wilderness Medicine Institute of the National Outdoor Leadership School.

Research shows that plain ol’ water cleans cuts very effectively. Irrigate the injury with at least one liter of the cleanest water available; ideally, use purified water (iodine is fine) and squirt it through a bladder or zip-top bag. If you have soap, apply it to the surrounding skin but not inside the wound itself, rinsing with water when you’re done. Otherwise, just bandage it until you’re back in antiseptic’s reach.

Find the cleanest fabric handy, tear off a piece, then fold or crumple it, and place it on the cut. Apply pressure. If you need to add more bandages, apply them without removing the first. Once bleeding has stopped, clean the wound and rebandage. Hold fabric in place with straps or strips of cloth. For gaping (nonvenomous) wounds, use ¼-inch strips of duct tape to close the cut as close as possible to the original skin position.

The key is creativity. Some good choices: long bundles of grass (align them lengthwise along the limb); your sleeping pad; a stove screen; trekking poles; sticks; or pack stays. Secure the splint with strips of cloth, straps, or vines. Make sure the splint is firm but padded, and immobilizes the joints above and below the fracture (so if you break your shinbone, immobilize the knee and ankle). The splint shouldn’t constrict blood flow, and it should allow access to fingers and toes, so you can check circulation.

Nature’s antibiotic
People have applied old-man’s beard (usnea) as an antiseptic for centuries. These greenish, hairlike tufts grow on tree branches worldwide. Pull back the main stem’s sheath; usnea has a white cord in the center. Place a clump on the cut.

Above treeline with...

No Sunglasses
For every 1,000 vertical feet gained, UV exposure increases by five percent; and snowfields reflect 90 percent of the sun’s glare. To prevent snowblindness, always wear sunglasses. But if a fashionable marmot swipes your Ray-Bans, cut UV exposure by folding a one-foot piece of duct tape in half to cover the sticky side. Cut eye slits one-inch wide and ¼-inch tall; punch holes in the ends; and tie them with a cord.
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Need fire but have…

NotheTinder look When ground is drenched,
in your pack for dry, flammable fuel.

Burn this…

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer A grape-size dab will burn almost invisibly for 90 seconds.

› White gas Though it evaporates in the open air, it does so slowly. ›
Cooking oil Unrefined oils work best.

› DEET bug sprays Burning OFF! might create some unhealthy fumes, but it’s worth it if you need a fire. › › ›
Gauze bandages Or paper products like TP, tissue, trash, or playing cards Steel wool It lights even when wet.

Fabric Apply the above fire accelerants to cotton or wool garments, or silnylon. Torn strips of cotton ignite easily and blaze brightly. Tighter weaves burn longer, so shirts and underwear work better than socks.

Don’t burn…
› ›

Butane from an opened lighter When exposed to air, it evaporates quickly.

Polyester Synthetics light slowly and melt into a fire-killing plastic

You’re floundering on a frozen snowfield while your crampons sit forlorn and forgotten on the credenza at home. If you encounter steep snow or icy trails without crampons, it’s best to turn back or find another way. But if quitting isn’t an option, you can increase traction on snow and ice by embedding nails or screws in your boot treads. If you’re loathe to perforate the soles, drive the screws through a thin plank of wood or bark, and secure one plank to each foot with straps or duct tape. Since most hikers don’t pack extra screws, you might be able to scavenge them from a miner’s cabin or fence. Strands of barbed wire, rusty mattress springs (stretched flush against the sole and over the sides), and shredded aluminum-can bottoms also work. A less effective but more widely Survival Secret available approach is to wrap a densely knotNeed to ascend a steep snowfield ted rope around the bottom of your shoes, like but don’t have an tire chains. Polar explorer Ranulph Fiennes ice axe? Carry a tent stake to help depended on this approach while descending you self-arrest in case of an unexthe Beardmore Glacier during his successful pected and possi1992-93 Antarctic crossing. bly perilous slide.

Stuck in powder with...

No Snowshoes
Few forms of hiking are more frustrating, exhausting, and potentially dead-ending than postholing (aka, flailing through thigh-deep snow). If a storm struck overnight or you forgot to pack snowshoes—but still have miles to go—save energy and stay drier by constructing your own Ojibwas.
Cut down two pine branches that are still green, full of needles, and about three times the length of your boots. Densely needled boughs perform better than strips of bark or wooden boards because the gaps between the needles let the snow sift through, just like the lattices found in regular snowshoes.
PHOTO BY COURTESY. TEXT BY JASON STEVENSON; JONATHAN DORN (JUNK FOOD)

1

Step lengthwise onto the center of each branch; orient them so the tips face forward and the woody stems extend behind you. Strap the boughs securely to your boot soles using compression straps, cordage, or tent guylines. Trim the branches so there's not excess overlap, which can trip you up.

2

To keep the boughs from shifting as you walk, weave the straps through your boot laces. (Prefer high-performance snowshoes? See page 53 for tips on buying the right model.)

3

76

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Lost with...

Only Some Junk Food
Word up to Eric Schlosser and all you other health-food ninnies out there: A bag of greasy chips could save your triglyceride-loathing, carb-counting, GMO-bashing arses.
Here in the world of professional backpacking, those of us who have been around the backcountry block and have seen some things—and, yes, escaped a few brushes with physical and other kinds of nearly certain death—we possess a secret survival method that’s as effective as it is unorthodox. Variously known as the Pringles Primer, the Fritos Firestarter, or the (more on this later) Fritos Firebomb, this mystery is one we reveal here only because, frankly, photographer Dan Saelinger shot a really cool picture of it. Inadvertently invented at an ’80s bonfire in southern Ohio, the technique is dirtbag simple: Flick a Bic under a greasy sliver of potato, and that all-American farm product will burn for 45 to 60 seconds (per 1.87g serving—the weight of an average chip these miserly days). The flame won’t cook the rabbit you just snared, but several blazing crisps will lick your recalcitrant kindling enough to get a real fire going. We never carry chips on trips (though we love Tim’s Cascade Jalapeño afterward), but extensive testing reveals that Fritos Scoops! is the sine qua non of incendiary snacks. As for the Firebomb, put on your pyro thinking cap and imagine a white gas marinade.

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know that a 1994 Canadian study in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that body-to-body contact doesn’t warm up hypothermia victims any faster than applying heated water bottles at these key areas. Warm things up Still shivering or feeling clumsy? You need to raise your temp fast. taking the time from your digital watch). use this watch method to fix a direction more accurately: Take an analog watch (or draw one on the ground. If those symptoms develop. Uh-oh. resisting help. river crossing. No dry clothes? Start a fire. and cook up a warm drink that has no caffeine or alcohol (both are diuretics. It rises in the east and sets in the west (yes. The good news is that most hikers lose their way within a mile of a marked trail. and dehydration hampers temperature regulation). North Star Tru eN ort Stop moving and start thinking about your last known location. Remove wet clothing. Fording the river didn’t seem risky until the moment your butt hit the water. insulate yourself from the ground with a pad or pack. The bad news is that lost people generally cannot follow a straight line across wilderness terrain. or a lake. 78 BACKPACKER 10. is almost overhead. or structure. This is Polaris. Survival Secret If you’re lost. At night. Return to that place if possible. stay put and wait for rescue. Do jumping jacks.com. Smart! Now follow these rules to get found. Plus. Unless you are totally confident. too. zip the victim into a dry sleeping bag.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTO BY GENNY FULLERTON. and place a water bottle or bladder filled with lukewarm—not hot— water against his chest. and it always points north. find north by recalling that the sun tracks through the southern horizon. parking lot.com). back. you forgot to download free maps at Backpacker. usually a singular spot like a summit. Pitch your tent and unroll your sleeping bag inside. and confusion signal hypothermia’s downward spiral. you can identify Polaris (the North Star) h by first finding the easLittle Dipper ily recognized Big Dipper. if possible. groin. Position the watch so the hour hand points at the sun. regularly doublecheck your direction as you hike to make sure you’re not wandering in circles or letting the terrain determine your path. Survival Secret Sugary drinks and foods boost a hypothermic person’s ability to generate body heat. Mark this direction in the dirt before sheltering for the night. including socks and underwear.Orient yourself Start by locating the sun. falcon. in the sun. Also. treat for shock by raising his feet. and don the warmest. The line that bisects the angle between the hour hand and 12 o’clock (1 o’clock during DST) is aligned north to south. ANNETTE MCGIVNEY (CACTUS SECRET) Treat hypothermia . TEXT BY JASON STEVENSON. Slurred speech. Your goal: Prevent hypothermia. Before you strip naked to spoon with your buddy. For other key tips. Now you’re soaked up to your pits as the evening mercury drops below 45°F. If you can’t backtrack. check out BACKPACKER’S Outdoor Survival: Skills to Survive and Stay Alive ($13. by midsummer. road. Take the two stars that Big Dipper form the lip of the Big Dipper’s cup. trail sign. and now you’re lost in the woods without any navigational tools. Get dry Find a spot sheltered from the wind and. and trace a line upward (for about five times the distance between the two stars) until you reach a faint star. So if you know a road or a trail is somewhere east of your location—and you’re certain you can travel east without a compass—head in that direction. It also sits low on the southern horizon during winter and. driest layers you have. If the time is close to noon. so it’s ready. and head. you’ll need to navigate by dead reckoning. cover your head and neck. lost persons have messed this up). it chills another person. and follow it in the morning.

since they resist heat better. 1 2 3 LAYERS 1. Since too much heat will melt plastic.storemags & fantamag . Spin the bottle to distribute the heat. Cover the pit with two to four inches of dirt and wait several hours until the food is cooked. A prickly pear pad effectively filters water. then a second layer of flora. Steam-cook in zip-top bags Unlike foil pouches. fish. Save the bag to heat additional water later. 10 essential knots. Drip water onto the rock to generate steam. light a wood fire in a hole about one foot deep and three feet wide. tea. green plant material— the wetter. but ballpark is 10 minutes.2010 BACKPACKER 79 . Rocks 6. zip-top plastic bags won’t survive high heat. in the water container or well (let sediment settle in the container first). Plants 5. vegetables. cover the rocks with wet. and heat it over a stove or fire. (Note: Avoid using river rocks. Slice the pad in half and place both halves. etc. The pad’s thick gum will soak up most of the dirt and nasty bacteria after about 30 minutes. 10. Dirt 2. Add a layer of uncooked food (red meat. Boil in .the bottle It is possible to boil water in plastic jugs—even flimsy #1 PET soda bottles. and much more at our Survival 101 Center at backpacker . But you can steam-cook with them. Plants 3. add the food. veggies). or utensils for more than a week. But when you’re stuck without pots. Food 4. rice. Bake dinner in a pit oven If you’re feeling prehistoric. the better. Cooking times vary widely. remove the dry food from the foil pouch.magazines for all SURVIVE! Famished but with… Survival Secrets Use tent stakes— not poles—to create a grill over a fire. Coals 4 5 6 The Survival Encyclopedia Find 7 ways to light a fire (including with your cell phone!). add large rocks. No Cooking Pots Doing more (fresh-baked pizza and rumaki hors d’oeuvres) with less (a canister stove and a frying pan) is the essence of backcountry cooking. First. the latent water inside their crevices might cause the rocks to expand and fracture when heated. Hard plastic bottles and water bladders are more heat-resistant. shield the bottle from direct flames by suspending it from a cord or shoelace four to six inches above the fire.) directly over the hot rock.) Suspend a zipped bag containing your water and uncooked food (pasta. fill it with water. as the flames die into coals. Heat pouches To cook freezedried meals without a pot. place a flat rock atop a stove or fire. which will cook the food without destroying the bag. knowing how to cook and boil water with these four stand-in containers can be a vital. calorie-providing skill.com/survival101. insides facing down. and mix as instructed. When the water boils. pans. When the fire peaks. but still never put them directly in flames.

and knows the rally point (like a campsite or a trailhead). If that fails. and slip the bag over your torso. stuff a second bag with dry litter. 3. Scenarios like this play out all the time in the wilderness. Since groups naturally spread out. look at your watch. more than half move downhill. heavy-duty lawn bags 30 to 55 gallons in size and 3 mils (1/1000 of an inch) thick. contact rangers or call 911 to initiate a professional search. Note: For these tasks. then head toward the last known point where you saw the missing person. make it a rule to assemble at every junction. That’s what Josh did. layer one bag between the layers of branches and leaves. 2. And you’re probably packing several already. or you’re concerned about cold weather or his ability to survive the night. Then inflate the top of the bag with air and tie it closed. began their descent of Colorado’s Mount of the Holy Cross together back in October 2007. Then organize anyone else in camp for a quick hunt in the immediate vicinity. opt for brightly colored. If faced with it. streams. “Start as a group. Waterproof a shelter On your debris shelter’s roof (see page 73). here’s what to do. and end as a group. Spend only an hour sweeping the area. they can do much more. As mist swirled around them at 13. a SAR team discovered Jacob hypothermic and frostbitten—but alive. turn. One-third continue to move after dark. Call in help If the lost hiker doesn’t turn up within a few hours. and 75 percent follow trails. Jacob hiked ahead of his brother and became separated by the rugged terrain. Shivering from the wind? Tuck the end into your pants and stuff the interior with dry leaves. his brother wasn’t there. But when trouble arises. and other easy paths (at an average speed of two mph). Josh and Jacob Gately. but most stop moving after 24 hours. When Josh arrived at basecamp a few hours later. and sign.000 feet. Also. SAR coordinator with New Hampshire Fish and Game. Todd Bogardus. Do a hasty search First. because only 40 percent of hasty searches are successful. For a mattress. and two days later. and make sure everyone carries a map and a whistle. Survival Secret Bright-yellow bags are more visible in low light and at night than black or red ones. apply these stats to the terrain around you to determine where to search next: Two-thirds of lost hikers show up within two miles of their final known location. Improvise a rainshell Cut slits for your head and arms. Backtrack If you don’t make contact quickly. drainages. Open here ➥ True PDF release: storemags & fantamag TEXT BY JASON STEVENSON Take the Ultimate Survival Quiz! .In the backcountry with… A Missing Partner 1. as liners for your stuffsacks and as cheap pack covers. hike as a group. few items can improve your survival chances more than a humble trash bag.2010 Cross a river Create two buoyancy chambers—and a place in-between to grab on to—by filling the bottom of the trash bag with air and cinching down the middle section with tape or cord. leave a note in case he returns. Knowing how long your buddy has been gone will help you and SAR teams calculate how far he might have traveled. Trash bags can also be used to collect water.” says Lt. Unfurl and wave them to signal airborne rescuers. assign a sweeper to bring up the rear. Lost with… Only a Trash Bag Ounce for ounce. two brothers from Missouri. 80 BACKPACKER 10.

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in Ontario. says the vast majority of lost people are hunters (56 percent). 8. “The drive to get back home has proven over and over to be the #1 factor in successful survival stories. but most wild plants will wreck havoc on your GI system. to give you energy to build a shelter and fire ‘ ’ 14. Drinking urine 2. but type matters. so overnight. Less than 5 percent of wild mushrooms are edible. However. but now you’re also tired and hungry. answers 1. if your body temperature is dropping due to other factors. True. B. Tying bags over plants 7. 13. Unless you’re a skilled botanist. 4. 7. You should… A) Save it as long as possible. and spiders build their webs facing south. 15. pine and spruce will light faster than maple and oak. this 8 per- 84 BACKPACKER 10. then tie it around your neck.5 ounces total offer about 121 calories and 13 grams of protein. dry wood (but not rotted) is always better than wet for starting a blaze. Eating snow will hydrate you. 9. Not enough moisture is produced to keep you alive. 1. 12. True. 5. which will cause you to vomit the liquid. True. See page 78 for an action plan. Bunched berries include raspberries and blueberries.” says survival expert Tony Nester. 11. These fables are all unreliable. You’d be better off using it to rainproof a debris shelter (see page 73) or to signal rescuers via the reflective area. Some species are also poisonous. Avoid white and yellow berries.” Curiously. True or false: You can stay alive in the wilds by… 1. False. Only ration the bar if the idea of having no food freaks you out and you want the psychological comfort. False. Eating snow 3. too.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . 3. True or false: Hikers get lost more than any other group of outdoor recreationists. the nonporous sheet seals in water vapor from your breath and sweat. False.A B start here 13. Drinking from a cactus 4. PhD. Which mushroom is edible? A) Cortinarius traganus B) Clitocybe nuda 11. A is poisonous. True or false: All else being equal. C. A three-ounce hamburger patty made from lean ground beef has about 145 calories and about 15 grams of protein. False. 14. 9. nibbling on it just enough to quiet the stomach growls C) Eat the whole thing. The remaining 8 percent are hikers and other “patrons. True or false: A handful of roasted. False. you’ll wake up wet and shivering. director of the Survival in the Bush school. Gino Ferri. “Come up with a reason to live and focus on that. chomping on snow will push you into hypothermia faster. 12. False. 2. Eating wild greens   10.” 6. starvation is a slow killer (about 30 days). The water inside of a barrel cactus is full of alkaloids. True or false: You can start a fire by striking a diamond ring against your knife. 8. True. Your only food is a single energy bar. moss grows thicker on the north side of trees. Sleeping in a space blanket 5. All six-legged insects in North America are OK. because your body will start burning fat right away and you might need a quick burst of energy in the coming days B) Ration the bar bite by bite. Approximately 10 large grasshoppers weighing 3. 10. You’re still lost. 16. You surely know that dead. See page 78. Five gallon-size bags tied around bushy plants for 24 hours will only produce a teaspoon or less of water. Identify the North Star. True or false: When you’re hopelessly lost in the forest. and one wrong bite can literally kill you via potent toxins. move on. False. and trappers (12 percent). Although space blankets will trap heat and are better than nothing. It contains too many toxins. But you can exploit its evaporativecooling powers: Pee on a shirt or bandana. Staying positive 6. and night is falling. True or false: Most bunched berries are edible. large grasshoppers has nearly the same number of calories and protein as a hamburger. Big time. you can orient yourself by remembering that all streams lead to roads. anglers (24 percent).

Diamonds are much harder than the steel used in blades. str way to tempe 22. They can form anywhere with breaking waves and are most common around low spots. Which of these throw a spark when struck against a knife? A) Flint B) Chert C) Jasper D) Quartzite E) Obsidian F) Granite 20. s Ritter. Downed trees form underwater obstacles called strainers. Hitting your wife’s ring against your knife will gouge the blade but won’t produce a spark. a tourniquet prevents blood from diluting the toxin and reducing tissue damage. B. and since wet rock conducts electricity. do B (one point for each). that is a danger zone 25. 23. mouth open. friend of Jack. striking the blade with the sharp edge of an opal pendant will get the job done. C. which can snare and drown swimmers.. 20. With a With a gri your belly. True. since they have a hardness between 5 and 6. How do you escape a rip current? A) Swim straight to shore using the most powerful stroke. and you’re headed downstream fast. And suction methods have been shown not to work. 26.storemags & fantamag . Your canoe flipped. lightning can also arc across slabs and cave openings. B 29. exhaling. Pan moment y dicament intense. In a desert environment. remember: Red on yellow. All actions center around inhaling. However. A) Tie a tourniquet above the bite. because the waves are calmer at that spot B) No. If you can’t do C. and an upright posture with no signs of kicking. The body’s instinctive drowning response blocks voluntary actions like shouting or waving (though the person might do these things in the stages preceding drowning). But the last three lose their edges quickly and require frequent knapping. B. Ahead. Though cottonwoods are usually a good sign of water. 19. You should. A. Red on black. which of these is a better indicator of accessible water? A) Cottonwood trees B) Patches of Bermuda grass 21. and hand rolls you. Polarized sunglasses help you see them by reducing glare. Which of these snakes is deadly? A) Eastern coral snake B) Mexican milk snake C) Organ pipe shovel-nosed snake D) California mountain kingsnake 18. C. False. to keep venom from spreading B) Suck out the venom with a suction cup or your mouth C) Immobilize the limb at heart level and get to a doctor 19. kills a fellow. To tell them apart. and it looks like there’s an outbound stream on the surface. False. Lightning is attracted to high points. Ne ice unl know i tinuou least… A) 3 in B) 4 in C) 5 in 31. You see a spot in the surf where the waves are flat. Is this a safe place to swim A) Yes. which of these spots is the best place to wait out a lightning storm? A) Under any lone tree B) In a low spot or ravine C) Atop a rock slab D) Inside a cave 27. Coral snakes live mostly in the Southeast and Southwest. and jetties. A) Swim to it. The others are harmless. This is a rip current—a stream of water flowing away from shore. You should. most drowning victims don’t make a peep. piers. But swimming against the current will exhaust you. If y bear. 18. While backpacking along the Lost Coast. Signs of a drowning person include: mouth and nose barely breaking the water’s surface. their roots can reach 40 feet deep. But how much water must you drink to offset your booze intake and avoid dehydration? A) 2 times as much water B) 3 times C) 6 times D) 10 times 23. feet pointed downstream 30. 15. so you can easily escape them before they carry you out to sea. breaks in sandbars. 28. you pitch camp on a beach and set out for a dip. C) Run 29. 21. which creates great danger in extreme weather conditions. Most hikers know that drinking alcohol speeds dehydration. “Fo dissipates before the . More than 100 Americans drown in them each year. All six of these will work (one point for each). y A) Pla B) Bac ing eye voice.. Tru ert. Rip currents are typically only 30 to 100 feet wide. the crawl B) Let it carry you out and then signal a passing boat C) Swim parallel to the shore 26. 16. too. you off m 30. C and D (1 point for each). 25. These soft. grab on. you see a downed tree lying across part of the river. Which of the following are signs that someone is drowning? A) Splashing and waving of arms B) Shouting C) Silence D) Upright posture 24. 27. and haul yourself out of the water B) Swim hard to it and use your momentum to launch yourself over C) Avoid it at all costs D) Float with the current. and keeping the mouth above water. 24. 17. B 31.. resinous (sappy) woods have a lower ignition point.5 on the Mohs’ scale. C 22. Fil attack grizzly 28.. Assuming you can’t get to a stand of tall trees. k your belly. Contrary to Hollywood theatrics. By restricting circulation. B. C. But Bermuda grass requires water close to the surface. A rattler bites you.magazines for all 17. W these dange door e A) Pan B) Has C) Des D) Ove cent constitutes the majority of those seeking survival instruction.

If the bear keep rolling until back on y. then heat up your feet near a fire (or apply heat packets or warm water bottles against the skin). speaking in a low and slowly waving your arms n away ue or false: In the broiling desripping off clothes is the best o lower your body erature. two things can happen: First. Keep your boots on until you’re in a place where you can revive your feet permanently (camp. which burn easily under dry heat. 34.. and second. you should… A) Curl into a tight ball to avoid being crushed B) Fight to stay in the slide’s tail and create an air pocket in front of your face with your hands C) Shed your pack so it doesn’t drag you down.2010 BACKPACKER 86 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . B. If you’re caught in an avalanche. Score Your Odds Give yourself one point for each correct answer. nic usually strikes the you realize your pret. a cabin. 32. B. But despair saps the will to live. they might refreeze. Fight: Self-arrest. the car).” 35. 33. Says survival expert Laurence Gonzales. and overconfidence can lure you on into further trouble. which eliminates the #1 reason that people pull through ordeals. “The personality type best suited to survival is calm.. and (at the right times) bold. If you rewarm them in the field. denial is natural. Never use a fire or massage (friction) to warm frostbitten tissues. cautious. or swim (crawl or backstroke) to the side or back (tail) of the slide. 0-5 A Fabergé egg that mostly serves ornamental purposes 6-10 A fickle ficus that thrives only in a narrow range of environments 11-25 A Tuff Shed that’s capable of weathering most conditions 26-40 The love child of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Sigourney Weaver 41-43 A cockroach 10. What is the most common mistake people make in the midst of emergencies? A) Attempting to self-rescue B) Refusing to accept the situation C) Relying on others to save them D) Freaking out and making rash. speed up the process by rubbing your feet with your hands B) Leave your boots on until you reach a warm shelter. legs spread for stability ds over your neck. play dead by lying on y. What is the best way to treat frostbitten feet? A) Leave your boots on until you reach a warm shelter. grab a tree. humble. (One point for each) Clothes block sun. irrational decisions you stumble across a you should. curious. preventing you from getting your boots back on. “When bad things happen.” Haste can be good or bad depending on the situation.. Wouldto rate your wilderness IQ. and get your feet forward 33. that panic s quickly and generally ey do anything really stu- pid. deliberate. If you’re in the head and likely will get buried once the slide stops (which happens abruptly). causing more damage. You Survive? Take our quiz 32. You are.” Gonzales says. you should and if a y attacks. Getting beyond it fast is critical.ll in the blanks: If a black bear ks. cooling more than going shirtless. fight back. izzly. Which personality type is best equipped to handle survival situations? A) Popeye B) Eric Cartman C) Ned Flanders D) Drill sergeant E) Foghorn Leghorn F) Charlie Brown 35. While the sensation is says survival expert Doug or most people. they might swell up. wet cloths C) Remove your boots and have your hiking partner suckle your toes 34. B. to avoid being sucked into the subducting head. C. ever cross less you it’s conus and at … nches thick nches thick nches thick Which of is most erous in outemergencies? nic ste spair erconfidence a black bear.. focus on forming a breathing space with your hands. to disperse carbon dioxide. ay dead ck away slowly while avoide contact. then heat them in lukewarm water or with hot. .

Before calling. a summit. fading signals. and distinctive landmarks can narrow a search zone. sodden boots will drag you down. JAKUB JIRSAK/ISTOCK. but if no choice exists: Make water wings Link two or more empty plastic water bottles or bladders together with straps to create a chain of buoys. If swimming. Most newer (post-2005) phones contain a GPS chip that tells emergency responders your approximate position—either through cell-tower triangulation. grasp the open waistband. a lake. satellite fixes. and dying batteries can disrupt connections.magazines for all SURVIVE! “Hello. SAR coordinator with New Hampshire Fish and Game. If walking across. terrain conditions. because storms. Wait! Ultimate Survival Quiz? Did you take the ➥ Hang on to your sleeping pad This is probably your most buoyant gear. Choose your route Wider or braided channels signal slower. “You initially need to give your name. or a trail sign. write these details down. This can be a trailhead. Enabling the “Location” function for all calls. complete an injury inventory. make sure call-forwarding and automatic voicemail are disabled. ANNETTE MCGIVNEY. Must cross a raging river with. shallower water. this also leaves your hands free for poles. keep your phone turned off and stuffed inside your pack until you need it (to preserve the batteries). Use your trousers Remove your pants. Assume your first call will be your only call. and cell number to the 911 dispatcher. MATT SAMET. so avoid wading waist-deep or too-fast rivers (a tossed. wrap your pack in a waterproof bag. under the settings menu. Please state your emergency. and plunge it top first into the water to fill the legs with air. Partially inflate the pad. Todd Bogardus. types of nearby trees. not just to 911. problem. and either push or tow it across the river. TEXT BY JASON STEVENSON. ISTOCK (2). a road or river crossing. check your map. SAR teams also need to know your last known location. Note: Even Bear Grylls had trouble crossing a lake with only his pants keeping him afloat (he had to re-inflate them midway). QUIZ TEXT BY KRISTIN BJORNSEN. Yes. Focus on known places because lost hikers often misjudge their current position by many miles. and make arm loops from the compression straps so it can be your emergency PFD as you wade or swim.2010 BACKPACKER 87 . river crossings. PHOTOS BY (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP) TAYLOR LOCKWOOD (2). Give the 411 Survival Secret Extend your cell phone’s battery life by warming it in an inner pocket before turning it on to make a call. Remove your backpack If you topple with it strapped to your back. general location. 10. The Red Cross teaches this when no better options exist. physical condition. AM WU/ISTOCK. Foam pads also work. JOHN BURCHAM. Face the current at a 45-degree angle and carry poles or sticks. it will float. Bogardus says.storemags & fantamag . CASEY LYONS. Storing the batteries at cold temperatures is fine. and won’t drain the power. activate your phone’s SAR-friendly “Location” options. No Personal Flotation Device Drowning is the #2 cause of outdoor deaths (falls are #1). ISTOCK. RANDY MAYOR/GETTY.. so unbuckle the waist and sternum straps. what you say—or sob incoherently—next could determine when you get rescued. prepared caller tends to communicate better and get key details correct. sun position. KONRAD WOTHE/MINDEN. tie off the cuffs. however. wear shoes sans socks for traction. this is 911. then roll it up.. If the water is up to your waist or above.” says Lt.” If you’re calling for backcountry help on your cell phone. fist-size rock shouldn’t move downstream before sinking). or both. Most importantly. and take a deep breath—a calm. go barefoot. JASON STEVENSON Enable your phone Before leaving for a hike. Also. Providing additional details like a GPS waypoint. the pack will force your torso and head underwater. makes it easier for cell phone companies to find you.

Bring the rope snugly around your waist at least three times. which easily fits two bends of the rope.6. heat. turn the key to the ‘on’ position. Be proactive Get your car inspected pretrip. 4). climbers tied the rope around their waists with a bowline on a coil.8 pitch left before the summit and three pitches below you back to the ridge. First. Comfort tip: Jerry-rig leg loops by girth-hitching slings around your gams. Back in the day before harnesses. Belay without a device Use a locking carabiner and a Munter hitch. As long as the dashboard warning lights flash when you turn the key—indicating the battery has some juice—you have options. crap of a dead battery is about as welcome as the rattle of a diamondback in the latrine. Voilà. then up over the opposite shoulder.. Hot water bottles and bladders are less effective. Try pushing If you drive a manual (stick shift) car. release the clutch. then tie a bowline with the tail. Check the juice Clean crusty deposits from inside the battery posts and terminals. Don’t fully immerse it. 88 BACKPACKER 10. It’s time for the Dülfersitz. click.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag TEXT BY JASON STEVENSON (CAR BATTERY). and form a bight with a half-twist. more likely. Step backward over the edge. you can try warming it up (at 5°F. draw the rope through the biner. If no one is around. To rappel (with double lines). Climb without a harness Let’s say you took it off to pee…in a windstorm. No Climbing Gear Stuck at a remote trailhead with… A Dead Car Battery The click. Add an overhand backup with the remaining tail (fig. Here’s how: Straddle the rappel ropes. and tell your friends to start pushing. call AAA. Oh. and use your brake hand and the rope’s cross-body friction to meter your descent—go slowly! While the rope’s friction is punishing (pad your clothing accordingly). it could ignite hydrogen gases. MATT SAMET (CLIMBING GEAR) . Never place a stove or flames near a battery being charged or jumped. Flip the bight another 180 degrees and clip it into the biner (fig. a lead-acid battery produces only half of its normal cranking power). Now bring the rope down and across your back. and anything electrical. Here’s what to do. says AAA-certified master technician Michael Calkins. Caveat: Keep the knot clear of the biner gate to lower the risk of opening. Ideally.5 kN of holding power when locked off—versus the roughly 2 kN of most belay devices. popularized in the 1960s by the Swiss guide Werner Munter. but it works in a pinch. where the brake hand holds it beside the wrapped hip. but will still warm up the internal plates. No cell reception? Don’t worry. Release the brake pedal. try starting the car. submerged to within two inches of the battery top. What to do? Other than screaming Mommy. let the engine turn. bring the brake-hand strand parallel with the side entering the biner (fig. fumblefingers: bobbled your belay/rappel device or dropped your harness. As the car speeds up to 5 or 10 mph (downhill helps). with one 5. rope rash beats an appearance in next year’s volume of Accidents in North American Mountaineering. you can push-start it if the battery retains enough reserve power to activate the car’s computer. or place a heat source directly under the pot. Nothing? Ask another hiker for a jump. 2). you’re ready to climb. Calkins says. and give it gas.Cliffed out with. Whoops! Or. To lock it off.com). amazon. This easy. Bring this under and back through your waist coils. After an hour. you’ll have a pear-shaped HMS biner. form the Munter with both rope strands together. Shut off the radio. and Munters kink ropes to an unholy degree. You still have options. not realizing your “fourth class” objective was actually 5. so use them sparingly. Note: This doesn’t work with an automatic because the transmission won’t allow the engine to be cranked by the wheels’ motion. That ensures the engine’s starter is receiving a full charge. Now you’ve done it. bringing them back around one leg and across your hip. leaving two to three feet of tail. This method can snap ribs in a big fall.. Warm the battery If you think subzero temps (and not the overhead dome light) drained the battery. Form a bight with a halftwist. Calkins recommends removing the battery from the engine block and placing it in a pot of hot (not boiling) water. and press down the clutch as you shift into first gear. bomber knot has 2. clip them to all of the waist coils. 4). Rappel without a harness Say—blackest of horrors—you must rappel sans harness. and buy a portable jump-starter like Black & Decker’s Start It ($90. you have options. you just didn’t bring it.

This is what alpinist Kelly Cordes had to do when bailing off Mt.storemags & fantamag . first try flicking it sharply from different angles. your partner can belay you while you climb to the snag. No luck? If there’s enough free cord. “but it worked.2010 BACKPACKER 89 . in Alaska—rapping about 3. “Not fun. be ready with a belay knife—no. If your lifeline gets hung up in a crack while you’re pulling it between rappels.” he says. Otherwise.magazines for all SURVIVE! Some cracks devour ropes the way marmots munch on radiator lines. Hunter. but you might have to cut that irretrievable rope and make a series of mini rappels with the remaining cord (melt the ends to prevent fraying). you’re not touching the void.” 10.000 feet with only half a length of rope.

Tie an overhand knot with the ends. When you are satisfied. this is the stopper knot. 7. 5. Fold the cord in half. Cut a two-foot length of cord and melt the ends with the lighter. you’ll need scissors. forming a T. and 10 feet of 550 paracord (breaking strength of 550 pounds). This will complete the first cobra knot. 2.com/survivalbracelet. Wrap the doubled-up cord around your wrist. a lighter. To use the cord. push the stopper knot through the loop to hold the bracelet securely on your wrist. Make a cobra knot. Take the right cord and thread it down through the loop on the right side of the base cord. Adjust the knot so you can slip a finger between the cord and your wrist. But how do you carry a useful amount—that will always be on your person—without just shoving it in your pocket? Enter the survival bracelet. trim the tag ends and melt them with the lighter. makeshift shoelaces. Do not trim the ends. Often worn by American soldiers. tourniquets. You can even tease out the cord’s individual strands and make a fishing line or sewing thread. a tape measure. Make sure the overhand knot will fit through the small opening at the top of the base cord. simply unweave the bracelet. 4. and tying splints. in case you become separated from your gear.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag PHOTO BY GENNY FULLERTON. To wear. Just like your knife and lighter. Lay the remaining eight feet of cord in front of you horizontally. and other fastening methods. this can be worn on your body. you can also add wooden toggles. reverse the process. The bracelet needs to fit snugly without being too tight. Repeat steps 3 through 5 until you are about one-quarter of an inch from the stopper knot. 3. 90 BACKPACKER 10. Now place the base cord— with the loop at the top—over the middle of the eight-foot cord. Check the fit on your wrist by pushing the stopper knot through the loop at the apex. paracord can prove just as valuable as a knife and firestarter. To construct one. Here are the steps: 1. If desired. Starting on the right. take the cord on the left and bring it over the top of the base cord to form an S. You can use it for lashings. 6. buckles. then go under the base cord and up inside the loop on the left and pull tight. You can adjust the fit by moving the overhand knot up or down. Accessorize Find a step-bystep slideshow on building this bracelet at backpacker. this is not a fashion accessory but a survival tool.SURVIVE! DIY Survival Bracelet In an emergency. pulling the tag ends through the loop. buttons. To start. TEXT BY BILL WACHHOLDER . This is your base cord. snares.

6808 Memorial Dr Lewis & Clark Outfitters. FL Thu. 4620 Alvarado Canyon Rd REI. Nov 4 Sat. TX N New Orleans. 4915 S Thompson Whole Earth Provision Company. 605 E Wetmore Rd at 1st Ave REI. Nov 20 Sat. Nov 18 Sat. FL Pinellas Park. Nov 16 Thu.storemags & fantamag . Oct 28 Sat. Dec 4 Sat. TX Austin. OK Springdale. 5400 E Mockingbird Ln Whole Earth Provision Company. 12634 N Paradise Village Pkwy Summit Hut. 10051 Skinner Lake Dr Oklahoma City. MS H Homewood. CA San Jose. 1305 El Camino Real Mel Cotton’s Sporting Goods. FL Jacksonville.backpacker. 115 Highland Village Alabama Outdoors. 170 S Washington Ave Bill Jackson’s. Oct 17 Thu. Oct 26 Tulsa. and win great prizes. It’s your chance to learn from the experts. 1266 W San Carlos St Adventure 16. AZ Tuscon. 9501 US Highway 19 N Black Creek Outfitters. 1014 N Lamar Blvd Buffalo Peak Outfitters. 509 N Carrollton Ave 6 pm 2 pm 1 pm 2 pm 12 pm www. CA Phoenix. Oct 9 Sat. 200 Bass Pro Dr Sun & Ski Sports. Oct 16 Sun. 1550 Mercantile Ave NE Bass Pro Shops. CA San Diego. 3054 Independence Dr Mosquito Creek Outdoors. AZ Albuquerque. NM Sun. Visit backpacker. Nov 27 Sat. AL Ap Apopka. Dec 11 6:30 pm Massey’s Professional Outfitters. LA J Ja Jackson.com/getoutmore presented by . Oct 3 Tue. Nov 6 Tue. check-out the latest gear and apparel. OK Tue. AR Dallas.magazines for all LET’S GET GOING! BACKPACKER IS COMING TO A TOWN NEAR YOU! The 10th annual Get Out More Tour brings the pages of Backpacker to life in towns across America! Join Backpacker’s all-star Get Out More team for an engaging 60-minute seminar full of trail-tested tips. Oct 30 Thu.com/getoutmore for more information and to enter to win the GET OUT MORE SWEEPSTAKES! September/October 2010 SCHEDULE CITY DATE TIME ADDRESS 2010 GET OUT MORE TOUR Redwood City. Oct 21 2 pm 7 pm 2 pm 2 pm 3 pm 7 pm 6 pm 7 pm 2 pm 7 pm 2 pm Redwood Trading Post. Oct 5 Sat.

2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag .92 BACKPACKER 10.

when—after I had recounted to my niece and nephews how Comanches had perfected torture to an art form in this very country. I am such a camper. murderous brother. and their savage offspring? Steve Friedman leads his clan into the Rockies to resolve five decades’ worth of sibling rivalry and simmering resentment. for example. particularly for the philosophically inclined camper. F*&^ing * Camping is known to bring loved ones closer together. when I found myself shivering and huddling under a tree while allegedly loving family members chortled at my distress. and a glum suspicion that my older brother had intentionally poisoned me with giardia-infested hot chocolate. maybe even at this very campsite. layer by layer. During the lightning storm on the way in.magazines for all My ly l Family! Backpacking with relatives can present emotional challenges. and I encountered some difficult moments on a recent trip into the backcountry. at which point I woke with a splitting headache. the slightly awkward instant earlier. Illustration by Zohar Lazar 10. but what happens when your relations include a treacherous sister. at 3 a. during the otherwise peaceful and happy circle around the campfire.m. and how that particular tribe of Native Americans could strip off a man’s skin. upset stomach.storemags & fantamag . on our first night.2010 BACKPACKER 93 .

too.” “Whatever. quiet where she’s loud. I’m having a challenging moment. Isaac admitted that he was afraid that The Fingernail Mutant was going to get him and that yeah. some of the phrases I learned have stayed with me. refusing to return to his bedroom. wide-eyed. because he was bigger. if you had more of it. chilly. With this group. had crept into the living room after my last Colorado visit—at midnight. just as I was ready to start asserting my will and needs. We would have left a day earlier. which served a simple but proud vanilla. and that I should * * 94 BACKPACKER 10. bear a son. She gnashed and tore and chewed. Well. my big brother. anyway? Those were challenging experiences by the standards of any camper. I had been seeking a better understanding of my place in the world. and suddenly “the baby” had to be catered to. from writing gig to writing gig and girlfriend to girlfriend? I think not. also blue-eyed. and while it’s true that I had also been smoking lots of marijuana. I learned later. whorish abominations. a primitive howl of rage and pure animal need. The kids would not have turned on me. But no! I was the little brother. I had been seeking to understand other holiday traditions and to bridge generational gaps. steady where she is occasionally psychotic and possibly (though the family hopes not) criminally insane. “Uncle Stevie. Uncle Stevie. my shrink assures me that I have always been a seeker. Iris stands 3 foot 9 inches. has oceanic blue eyes. as I had planned. toothy smile that makes strangers gasp with reflexive delight. I-dog?” And then. It was one reason we’d all gathered for this trip (there were other. pugnosed hyena might fall upon the tender and defenseless neck flesh of a hapless gazelle. But. The wind picked up. Iris. even more injurious betrayal.” my sister had emailed back.) I’m 54 now.) “You write pretty. my seven-year-old niece. for the record. I need your help. Iris’s 10-year-old brother. when I was six years old and my brother was eight. She’s hungry and tired. “but Uncle Stevie needs some time to get settled and he’s not sure where the marshmallows are…” “You! Promised! S’mores!!!” she shrieked again. “I know. which specialized in flavors like Bubble Gum and Apple Pie that even a five-year-old could tell were cheap. It was a heinous sound. I would have rather raked the leaves than helped our father push the lawn mower. The temperature dropped. she was throwing them into my tent and what the hell was wrong with me.) Then. Don. induced to despair by a savage seven-year-old and her once-dependable brother. The comic relief. “FAMILY RESENTMENTS WILL DRIFT AWAY LIKE dandelion seeds on the summer wind.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . So it didn’t matter that I preferred suburban St. darker reasons. got to decide. hair so blonde it’s almost white.” Isaac had been a key ally in my efforts to organize the first Friedman backpacking trip. If only they knew. The diplomat. Uncle Stevie had told him about the monster. “But you had better not scare the kids with your stupid ghost stories. the second. so when it came to ice cream emporiums and chores. embarrassing period in my ostensibly adult life when I haunted the self-help aisles of bookstores to better understand my underemployment and general malaise. Under interrogation. She has a face that compels people to pinch it and liken it to an angel’s. as CEO. “Ancient enmities will melt like the morning dew in a sun-kissed glade. of course.” The soothing voice belonged to Isaac. But they weren’t as challenging as the moments when I was betrayed by the two people I thought I could depend on. The trip is not turning out quite as I had planned. But Isaac is calm where Iris is stormy. also towheaded. blue-eyed. She has freckles and a pug nose. if we had been camping at one of southwestern Colorado’s Ice Lakes. ahead of the storm.vein by vein. over Baskin Robbins. philosophically. I might not have misplaced the marshmallows. “Please. Have a little patience. my sister’s child. (There was a brief. marshmallow-less. weighs 44 pounds. And this is how she gets.” Isaac repeated. and a sparkling.” Why did my sister not trust me? Why couldn’t children keep secrets? Why was my brother forever bringing up painful episodes from the past? Also.” (Isaac. when I had taught him to say “Mommy doesn’t need to know we had ice cream for lunch” and “Bedtime is stupid. A very challenging moment for me. I hadn’t gotten my way.” I had emailed my siblings last spring. “Uncle Stevie also promised relaxing. Louis’s Velvet Freeze ice cream. That left me. I have been cultivating Isaac’s loyalty since he was a toddler. even those not as philosophically inclined as me.” THINGS WOULD BE DIFFERENT IF I HAD GOTTEN MY way. the middle one. the terrible and urgent scream from thigh level. and. and I’ll get to those in a minute). (Is it a coincidence that he grew up to marry. until all that was left were eyeballs and nerve endings—my younger sister hollered from her tent to knock it off and if the kids had nightmares. “this trip really sucks. First. too. my little sister was born.” my brother had replied. “Uncle Stevie. or that given my druthers (which I wasn’t). “You promised us s’mores!” It was Iris. which she tore from my grasp and fell upon. You know how your mommy always says patience is something that will make you happier when you grow up. My older brother got his way for many years.” I said. which sit in a glacial basin. now is a good time to practice and…” “S’mores! S’mores! S’mores!” I rubbed my temples. I had been seeking to expand my family’s consciousness.” Isaac said. He would turn 11 the next morning. at the time of the Hanukkah Ham. I—the middle child— had never gotten my way.” I said. carefree family fun. The forgotten child. much as a blonde. No one has forgotten the giant ham you bought Grandpa for Hanukkah. “but that doesn’t mean you’re not insane. Iris. I offered Iris a bar of chocolate. “Yes. “Just give her a piece of chocolate. command a large financial services corporation while I have hopped. lobbying for a family backpacking trip.

my sister. underemployed. she is already fairly hardy.” Iris had said. Over dinner. and delivered her crie d’estomac. But he also finds a way to take a short nap every afternoon. annihilating isolation. Why couldn’t my relatives let go of the past? What I didn’t say but what I thought was that a bonding experience together under the stars might help us through the transitional phases we had recently found ourselves in— my brother suffering from acid reflux and lower-back pain brought on. “Mr. and I. no matter his location or social obligations. Comfort and Eddie (Mrs. “actually. and wondering if lying about my age by approximately 13 years in my online dating profile was “pathetic and sick. one or two hardback books. plays guitar. One is “Seriously!” The other is “I’m very angry!” Uttered together. When the group returns. then she returned to her lunch. but no ‘I Want My Liver’ story for the kids. calm as a giant toad. I had promised my sister—again—that I would not mention The Fingernail Mutant or stolen livers.” “And Mr. who has just finished assaulting a brick-sized piece of lasagna. hammocks. Mr. battling gout. it’s a parable. campfiresmoked wisdom from Uncle Stevie might help prepare Eddie for his freshman year of college.” “You’re stupid. he is demanding and hyper-focused. its spongy beauty and stark. a single mother of two. Camping out would be good for Eddie. inflatable air mattress. I thought some pine-scented. no deal. smacking her lips. a reclining chair. or merely cagey and forward-looking marketing. the lunar splendor of the tundra-y landscape. and Yoda—but lazier. whenever backpacking. after my sister has told me to shut up about the Comanches. we’re not going in * I told my brother that I would not steal the chocolate when everyone else was sleeping. “S’mores!” the tiny omnivore howls. on horses. because it is sacred. Comfort is my brother’s nickname. Ice Lakes Basin. “I can hike up any mountain!” screams Iris. when she was four. “cow meat!” Recently. On one hand. He is implacable about this. 10. fresh tomatoes. I TELEPHONE MY SISTER to get her in line with my plans for camping above treeline. The trip would be good for the youngsters. Ha ha. I felt. after the blue-eyed mountain beast has swallowed an entire chocolate bar. after Isaac has turned on me. Comfort is a complicated man. I recline on the couch to read more about Ice Lakes.” “That’s not just a story. When she was five. as I’d been accused of doing on previous family gatherings. and an extralong. he has been lobbying for hiking trips on which no hiking actually takes place. girlfriendless. living with her kids and her boyfriend. considered her surroundings. It’s a powerful narrative and…” “No promise. Mr.magazines for all honor that part of my emotional life. or the value of the stock market.storemags & fantamag . working over her burger.” she said. Colorado. and generally acts like the kind of boy who will never find himself shuffling along self-help book aisles. Gandhi. the words have made adults weep. A year earlier. and the imminent departure of his only son. she had been informed by her older brother during “Mmmmm. I extol the wonders of the Ice Lakes Basin. tearing at it as the wild African spotted dog tears at the baby wildebeest. in the dead of a frigid mountain winter. So you have to promise to stick with me on the plans. “I’m very angry! Seriously!” A MONTH BEFORE THE TRIP. Steve. and distressingly hostile woman whose name I won’t mention suggested. she has adopted some new favorite phrases. “Um. to college. overweight.” Mr. lugging two pillows. I review the plans for the next day. I told my brother that I would not steal the chocolate when everyone else was sleeping. she spent the better part of three months in a grass skirt and a coconut bra and flip-flops.” “I’ll back you. “I’m like a mountain goat! Seriously!” After dinner. is president of his school. He is like a combination of Rupert Murdoch. Lately. because we have an adventurous three days ahead. It wasn’t just the grown-ups whom I was thinking of helping.2010 BACKPACKER 95 . as I’d been accused of doing on previous family gatherings. But Iris? Would a backpacking trip help Iris? Iris is somewhat of a mystery. by overwork. while everyone else drives to a hot springs for a prehike soak. Moo. which I have never technically visited. That’s right.” as a disturbed. angry. Why couldn’t my relatives let go of the past? lunchtime that “Hey.” I tell her. I encourage everyone to get a good night’s sleep. salt and pepper shakers. impending global economic apocalypse. Ha ha. OK? Two nights. too. Eddie. In his professional life. the couple pondering the attractions and perils of marriage. They are uttered together now. which he earned over the years by. Irie. you’re eating a dead cow right now. you know where that hamburger comes from? It comes from a cow. who earns straight As. Comfort is going to want to camp for only one night. Comfort stays home) and I all arrive at my sister’s in Durango. but never overly confrontational. “Or at least some llamas that could carry our stuff. on a Monday afternoon in early August.” my brother says. Comfort is going to push for something wimpy. paints. It would help with the I-dog’s capacious sense of awe and curiosity regarding the natural world. throws the javelin. No horses or anything.

We’re going to hike to Highland Mary Lake and stay one night. Comfort says. and love I had felt for him. and it’s got some nice.” I say to Mr. and chocolate at a local grocery store.” Mr. Comfort replies. “Mmmm-hmm. in a lifetime of getting ignored? So good old Uncle Stevie takes another one for the fucking team?” “I suspected you would be the one to turn. well. and I don’t want to fight with her in the morning. When our mother asked what kind of cake he was going to serve at his 50th birthday party.” “She’s a seven-year-old!” is what I want to say. and in minutes you have hot water and a hot meal. He has never shied from delivering unpleasant truths. They make their kids do things! You think I wanted to walk to school on rainy days when the worms were crawling all over the sidewalks? You think I wanted to eat mom’s tuna casserole just because you liked it. “It was her idea. admiration. Comfort the next day. With the Primus EtaPackLiteTM. And we’re not going to Ice Berg Lake…” “Ice Lakes Basin.” I say. “Why do you want to know?” When. in case anyone needs a hot fudge sundae to build strength on the night before we hike in. “Children want boundaries. hilly campsites. Don’t waste your time fiddling with a finicky stove when the reason you are out is to enjoy the scenery. “Make her go!” is what I want to say. travel the trails. I delivered a 10-minute soliloquy over the telephone to Mr. “So noted. when I told her very clearly that I really would have rather presented the giant. at my shrink’s urging.” “Uh-huh. “They need boundaries. and admitted that sometimes I hadn’t expressed those feelings in a way that demonstrated ownership for my actions. (Oversharing is not one of my brother’s sins. “So we’re only going for one night?” I ask. you have a compact.” Mr. regarding the decades of jealousy.bruntongroup. “That’s what mothers do.”) “I can’t believe she lets Iris hold her emotionally hostage. Not Ice Berg Lake! Ice Lakes Basin! ” “Yeah. or mow the lawn. graham crackers. Comfort. dead caterpillar I had found in the backyard? You think I liked that?” But I say none of it. who won’t meet my eyes. which I had written out in advance. then steering toward the dairy section. a few years ago.” I tell my brother. and after I had vowed to be more emotionally transparent and kind as we moved into middle age. “I didn’t think our sister was going to stab me in the back. set up your Primus. where I plan to get some whipped cream. and get away from it all.” my sister says. “She’s been on the go for the past two weeks.” “What?” I glare at my sister. as we load up on trail mix. fuel-efficient stove that comes with everything you need. It’s six not-too-steep miles. I think it.” FAST! EASY! Traveling light and fast never was so easy. though. resentment. I think it hard.tomorrow. B R U N T O N O U T D O O R G R O U P 307-857-4700 • www. tossing a bag of chips into the cart. because Don was hogging the rake? You think I liked that disgusting bubble gum swill they called ice cream at Baskin Robbins? You think I liked it when mom brought you in for my first-grade show-and-tell. he replied.” my brother says. Arrive in camp. “Iris doesn’t want to go tomorrow. whatever. “So the middle child gets screwed again? So number two son is ignored one more time. he replied.” “Yeah.com True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . “And we’re camping in the woods?” What I mean is.

LLC . and another mom.” my brother says. which is dangerous to start with because of the hidden perils lurking everywhere in the surrounding forest.” my sister says to her daughter.” I say. who I still think of as my ally.” my sister says. “if you’re planning to sneak the chocolate.” “And it would not be fun to find yourself between the gaping jaws of a grizzly!” says Eddie. “It’s sad that your mom has no sense of adventure. even though he squealed about The Fingernail Mutant. I love my young nephew and our sacred teaching moments. I’m so filled with optimism that I mention. for example. yet again. “I’m a seeker. and that split second hesitation could spell the difference between life and death. You can also find us on ® ©2010 Marcal Manufacturing. “I want to get in before dark.000. ‘Hey. where you can see everything. I-dog. “What.” I say to Isaac. mostly. “You mean the kind of adventure * sense that inspired the Hanukkah Ham?” Mr.paper like junk mail or printer overruns. I consider forgiveness and generosity of spirit to be two of my greatest strengths. filled with the promise of adventure and the soothing properties of nature.” Mr. it’s you. Steve!’ or ‘Mom!’” “Yeah?” Isaac asks. I am filled with optimism. When will everyone understand that?” “How about seeking your backpack and putting it on.” my sister says. Thanks for making a real difference! CTS TAL FA NMEN NVIRO OUR E DOES TOILET PAPER Join the Marcal Movement and Help Us Save 1.com to learn more. “We have to have trail names because of safety concerns. Then a bear. “Seekers seek. who has already GROW ON TREES? NOT OURS Most big tissue brands are made by cutting down more trees. Our small company’s products are made from paper that you recycle at home or office . “Say we’re up at our Highland Mary campsite. too. “do you want to complain some more?” “Don’t you think we need to agree on our trail names?” “Why do we have to have trail names?” Isaac asks. who knows if there might be other campsites near where we are. “Your Uncle Stevie is silly sometimes. Comfort asks. Sometimes I suspect he might be a seeker. And say. why don’t you just buy a few extra bars this time? Save some drama.” I explain. and none of the adults will be absolutely positive if it’s he or she who is being screamed to. or someone else. Steve. “I was talking to my shrink last week about the plight of the forgotten child and…” “Hey. and then my sister’s boyfriend announces that it’s time to go.” I say. Comfort triple-checks to make sure all the chocolate bars are accounted for. unlike at a campsite in a glacial basin.” my sister says. Attacks by wild animals continue to captivate him. “Is that like fancy holiday pig meat?” Iris wants to know. or a plague-carrying marmot attacks. “Well. so you yell. and someone cries for help. which destroys natural habitats.” THE TRAILHEAD IS A HAPPY place. as I usually am at trailheads. And it looks like it might rain.storemags & fantamag . “Give it a rest. or a mountain lion.magazines for all “You know. and maybe there will be someone named Steve there. “Aren’t you forgetting something?” I ask.000 Trees Visit marcalsmallsteps. how this would be a beautiful day for a real hike—to a glacial basin—and I reflect on the spongy beauty of the tundra we will not be climbing to.

“It really does. too. whose name was Quisling. Give us our goddamn trail names. I had packed a lightweight water-resistant jacket rather than a heavier waterproof one because. the children are laughing. who were really. “An experienced camper has to make decisions every second. let’s have ’em. because they were nice.” Isaac says. I recently upped my caffeine intake to nine cups a day. is a captain of the Durango Fire Department. when the Nazis were going to invade Norway. will henceforth be known as Dr.” Iris is. a weirdly calm and sweet-natured guy.” Jaws says.) “What’s mom’s trail name?” Jaws asks.benefited from some sacred teaching moments. And I see clouds. I feel drizzle.” my sister snaps. who happen to be about 20 yards ahead of everyone. OK. “You jumped really high.” I ignore my sister’s proffering of “Piggy. obviously. and they trusted people when they made promises. reflecting on the hard and lonely path of the seeker. “I think we’ll call your mom Quisling. “Quis what?” Ice asks. Now can we please get going. kind.” “Great. with thunder. am almost struck by a jagged bolt of lightning. and it’s more important to travel light than to burden oneself. Comfort. “That makes sense. especially considering that we’re not traveling to monsoon country. decent people do. (In efforts to selfmedicate my inclination to stillness and over-philosophizing.” At a mile and a half. like your mom promised Uncle Stevie. Then the downpour turns to hail. “I’m friggin’ Quisling. at Isaac’s insistence. Mom.” and accept Ice’s suggestion: Java Junkie. “A long time ago. I might have screamed. but he says he’d rather be Ice. Comfort “because it sounds cooler.” my sister snarls. I think Uncle Stevie is right on this. because I’d like to have our camp set up before dark.” “Infant. really bad. children. as I explained to Isaac during a sacred teaching moment. will be addressed as Hulk because his forearms are the approximate size of well-fed anacondas. at my urging. He is The Captain. but in secret the head Norwegian. I scurry back to the group. one of the head Norwegians kept promising all the nice people there that he would fight the Nazis.” I tell them. “because it sounds cooler. We gather under a tree and discuss True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . at Isaac’s behest. “Not fun at all!” “Seriously!” Iris says. of course. and hyper-efficient with power tools. as the three of us share another sacred teaching moment and.” and “SlowMo. Mr. “Friggin’ awesome. So when someone promises something. and the Norwegians believed him. I suggest The Professor for Isaac. but then betrays the person…” “Fine. “Well. a giant bar of milk chocolate. the drizzle has turned to a steady downpour. It’s later alleged by some in the group that I jumped in the air and turned 180 degrees in one move. Then I.” My sister’s boyfriend. was plotting to give away the country to the Nazis.” I say. because that’s what nice. Jaws. Eddie.” After two miles. To my great displeasure. Trail names.

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He’s even quieter than usual. that camping is all about tradeoffs and riskassessment. We throw stones in silence for a while.” “Good point. 300-yard-wide smear of shimmering blue. you need to be really quiet. (My nickname as a toddler was “butterball. and Dr. She’s suffering from a headache and upset stomach. The CEO grunts. AFTER OUR TENTS ARE SET up. It’s cold. and that the college applications piling up on the dining room table provide bittersweet reminders that Eddie will soon be leaving home. When the rain stops. the rain stops. and at least one of us is soaked. A few minutes after the tapping stops. a kitchen area built. While Dr. we’ll try to make a list of history’s worst criminals who didn’t smoke. Comfort sleeps. That leaves the children and me.2010 . so we all retire to our tents. splitting a chocolate bar I steal from the group food bag. and promise not to tell Mommy the secrets I’m going to tell you tonight.whether that’s such a good idea in a lightning storm.” “In the movies. yeah. and perhaps if he opened up a bit about his feelings. I listen to the tapping of rain.” my nephew asks. the Captain informs us. after making Ice promise not to tell. Everyone but Quisling. for how the tribe’s warriors could strip a man’s flesh until all that was left were nerve endings and eyeballs?” “I think they’re called Native Americans. I glance toward the tent. “Junkie. the rain returns. we resume our trek. and an hour later. for example. “do all criminals smoke?” “I don’t think so. between throws.” “Oh. where we sit on a slab. Comfort that he might be going through an important transitional phase in his life. and skip rocks. I explain to him that we’ll be able to see any approaching predators. b i g ag n e s . he would feel better. Isaac opens the tent zipper and sticks his head in. watching the lightning. “Yes. I know that he’s worked the last 10 weekends. “Now. estimate the distance. so we stand. “Isn’t this where lightning will most likely strike?” Dr. and decide Quisling is likely out of earshot.”) The dark clouds continue to gather. Do you know which tribe of Indians was renowned for making torture an art form. But at least we’re protected from the downpour. and I suggest to my brother that we spread our gear on a nearby hilltop. listening to the thunder. is not feeling well. huddled into a tight group.8975 getting ready to attack the camp!” And so it comes to pass that Ice and I “secure the perimeter. Quisling and the Captain claim an area a little closer to the rocky shore. Maybe later. I think Attila the Hun didn’t smoke. and that we’re definitely safe here for the next day or so. and that his acid reflux and back pain have been worsening. Andrew Burr True PDF release: storemags & fantamag 100 BACKPACKER 10. and then we skip some more rocks. hammocks situated.” “Cool. Stevie.” he says. He grunts again. Don’t forget Hitler.” Ice says. After that we stroll down to the lake’s edge.” which involves peering toward the lake and throwing rocks at bushes and. kids. Comfort starts to work on dinner. My fellow seeker. We crouch so closely together that we’re touching.” “And Hitler. not talking. c o m 877.” “I think I heard a feral dog pack down by the lake. a half-mile-long. Ice. I feel my eyes moisten. “Java Junkie?” he says. The Captain heads out over the soaked landscape on a doomed mission to gather wood. because it seems the safest spot around. I look upward at what are now angry. I think they might be * ® The Mother of Comfort ! w w w. Comfort asks. I regard my philosophizing nephew. and general campsite preparation taken care of. Ice. ending up an hour later at the third of the Highland Mary Lakes. And Jack the Ripper. who. I remember when you told me about him. I suggest to Dr. “Junkie?” “Yes.” “What are the approximate chances an asteroid will hit our campsite tonight?” I skip a rock. Ice. and we gather for dinner. swollen clouds. I identify with the obese clouds. Then. they seem to. Ice and Hulk pitch their tent in a protected spot with good views of the lake. stare into the crepuscular gloom.554. I tell him I consulted some cosmological websites and took some sextant readings from New York City while I was planning the trip.

“They are called Native Americans.” Then I tell them the terrible secrets of the mighty Comanches. Comfort says. I seek. Comfort’s noodles with salami. Only after I take a gulp do I notice that the water he has used for my hot chocolate is heating.226. Clouds are massing over our campsite again. Very Angry!” “Both of you are right. but instead sparks envy and anger that he found wood in this misty hell. it’s better to stick with our trail names. after Jaws feeds on some chocolate. and after conducting my first futile hunt for marshmallows. “Has this water boiled?” I ask. but not bubbling. Then I notice the moonlight is no longer so light. and after Jaws runs to her mother’s tent (where she will also be sleeping).800.2010 BACKPACKER OUTFITTING YOUR DREAMS EQUIPMENT CLOTHING & MORE! FOR OUR FREE CATALOG CALL 1. I seek hard. I take a seat and spend a few moments envisioning the giardia and other invisible but virulent bugs currently backstroking through my digestive system. The Captain returns with a huge armful of wood. we all settle 10. “Dinner!” Dr. and I tell the kids that Mom is a little cranky sometimes. so he prepares me a cup. NJ 07430 WWW. and I find the marshmallows. “YOU PROMISED S’MORES!!!” Finally. I tell Dr. Then Dr. and reports that Quisling will not be getting out of the tent anytime soon. which should make me feel grateful.” Dr. and because we’re in the wilderness. Will the kids notice if we have marshmallow-less dessert? Maybe the kids won’t remem… “I WANT S’MORES!” Jaws screams. and screams some more.CAMPMOR (800.magazines for all “His name is Java Junkie!” Jaws says. “I think so. Comfort yells. the rest of us gather to eat Dr. Altitude? The cold? Jet lag? Or the fastest case of water poisoning ever? I still can’t remember where I stuck the marshmallows. and my sister threatens to throw the kids in my tent if they have nightmares.” I say. too.7667) OR WRITE US AT: PO BOX 680-6BP MAHWAH.CAMPMOR. Why do I so seldom find? My hands are shaking and I notice myself stumbling and gasping more than usual. Comfort that I would like some hot chocolate. I go off in search of s’mores ingredients. “And you’re stupid! And I am very angry. Comfort boils water for hot chocolate and distributes it to the kids.COM 101 .storemags & fantamag .

because there are grown-ups around who don’t think you’re old enough to hear this story. The sun is shining but my view is watery. a midwife. and at the drugstore.” “Sweet!” the Hulk says. really. everyone’s got to promise not to tell Mom. just a mushy.” Quisling says. “Maybe he’s just overcome with terrible guilt. because I think it’s good for children to grow up with faith in some sort of divine power. then I share the story of the well-meaning but mischievous little Billy. “I wonder what the boys are plotting.” my sister says. Iris sprints over the hills in her flipflops. looking at Hulk as he expertly disassembles a tent. Steve!” my sister shouts. I wonder if she’ll try to swallow it. “and they didn’t eat the eyeballs. I allow myself to wonder. Comfort has poisoned me. “I remember when Eddie was a baby. soft-focus. Then we visit Quisling in her tent.” I say. the moon rises across the lake and the wind dies and the only sounds are the crackling of the fire and the lapping of water on the rocks.” I correct her. then shows Ice how it should be packed. the tragedy of growing old? Is he. Comfort says. who is feeling better. I remember hearing grown-ups call us “the boys” and my eyes suddenly start leaking. But his face looks more slack up here. A few hours later. next * to my brother and sister. don’t you reali…” “WHAT?” True PDF release: storemags & fantamag 102 BACKPACKER 10. I suggest we join hands and pray to the mountain gods to keep rain and predators away tonight. and the lessons we can all take from the tale. She was pregnant with Baby Quisling at the time. “Are you OK?” Dr. Isaac’s and Eddie’s heads touch as they roll the tent. rolling up sleeping bags and shooting marbles and riding bikes to Kranson’s drug store with Dr. I feel optimistic and emotionally shattered at the same time.” Dr. horrified grandparents.” both of us dispatched there by our mother to buy her packages of Kent cigarettes. I am. OK?” They agree and I reflect silently on the subtle and varied types of trust one encounters in life. and a suspicion that Dr. Jaws. through my tears. “I’m not sure I should bring this up. which involves a yurt. My sister peers at my contorted face. When I stumble to the campfire.” “Comanches. Then I get back to the bloodthirsty Comanches. Comfort.” my sister says. an urge to puke. and suddenly I remember being Ice’s age. “Is it time for I Want My Liver?” “I’m old enough. and how my sister might regard the telling of the “I Want My Liver” tale as a technical violation of the trust she has placed in me. Comfort asks. As I settle into the story.” “Yep. Seriously!” “OK. “Children. the bloody Swiss Army knife gripped in little Billy’s sweaty fingers. Uncle Stevie. when he was still called “Donnie. my big brother and I would drink grape soda and read Hawkman and Green Lantern comic books. “God. Due to some backcountry miracle. chasing a butterfly. I sit on a rock. more relaxed. “because I’ll be paying shrink bills for the next 20 years while my children are having nightmares about eyeball-eating Apaches. drinking coffee.around the now-blazing fire. Is he remembering the infancy of his strapping son? Is he musing on the glory of growing up. The moment feels sacred. watching their offspring break camp. I worry about this for a second or two. “You can be such…” “What?” I ask. “Really. Comfort. but before I start the story. DAWN BREAKS CLEAR AND chilly and damp. They just stripped the fles…” “Jesus Christ. We wish Ice happy 11th birthday and then Quisling. and a lot of burning sage.2010 . smiling little lump. it’s hard to know. “I mean. his dead and suddenly liver-less grandmother. the others are already finishing their granola. tells her son’s birth story.” Iris says. where Jaws mentions to her mom that some Native Americans used to strip flesh from their victims and maybe the Native Americans used to camp right here and my sister cuts me a nasty look. wishing he would have granted his sensitive younger brother one measly little trip to Velvet Freeze when we were young? With Dr. and then we all retire for the evening. I wake with a splitting headache.

without translation. $699 $206 $485 $629 language you already know with powerful visual clues. $539 Reg. In our immersion environment. he actually tells her. “So. they get stronger. This allows you to discover new language meaning intuitively. in the thunderstorm. and find mental clarity. and once. you were a pretty cute baby.&3 Level 1.magazines for all She sighs.3. Offer expires January 31. With painstaking training. Prices subject to change without notice.” “Really? You forgive me for using my two-month-old telepathic powers to make Mom ruin your big first-grade moment with your friggin’ dead caterpillar? Jesus.” Dr. Her shoulders sag. Quisling and The Captain. living closer to women who spend more time outside and less time hunched over cell phones. MARATHON except you end up SPEAKING GREEK. No-Risk.” I say. Using Intelligent Sequencing. $229 Reg. followed by a skipping. and I follow.” he says. and cannot be combined with any other offer. which surprises me. With enough sacred teaching moments. increase endurance. What they discover along the way is that what looks like work is actually fun. I know I promised. Ann?” Ann is Quisling’s given name. . I know it wasn’t your fault I never got to bring in my dead caterpillar. “Sorry I told the kids the ‘I Want My Liver’ story. when my mother asks him what they’ll be having for dinner on a night when she is joining his family. It’s also somewhat prophetic. “what was your absolute favorite moment of the trip? The campfire? The s’mores?” “When we were under the trees. and then it’s time to hike out. By now I have caught up to Dr. especially on Iris. or to Audio Companion® CDs purchased separately from the CD-ROM product. Offer limited to Version 3 Personal Edition CD-ROM products purchased directly from Rosetta Stone. Comfort comes next. because that’s how people learn and grow. then. “Quis?” I ask my sister. Java Junkie. 2011. Jesus Christ.” “Thank you. Rosetta Stone understands that effective language learning requires a sense of accomplishment. actually. Money-Back Guarantee is limited to Version 3 CD-ROM product purchases made directly from Rosetta Stone and does not include return shipping.2. until we’re all hiking together. HULK AND ICE LEAD THE WAY.” I say.” “Uh-huh. Rosetta Stone® solutions combines WIN/MAC compatible. I might be able to contribute more to society’s general good if I were intimately involved in the day-to-day lives of Jaws and Ice. Quisling. Call or go online (866) 817-9513 RosettaStone. thinking about family camping trips in general. all REWARDING LIKE A SAVE 10% TODAY WHEN YOU ORDER Version 3 Personal Edition CD-ROM products.storemags & fantamag .” “You know. even though she needs to crack down more. Intimate. he starts practicing yoga. “How about you? What was your favorite moment of the trip?” “Under the trees. *Six-Month.” It’s the longest speech I have heard my brother make in approximately three decades. “I actually was glad Mom brought you for show-and-tell that one time. Comfort. I feel a philosophical urge coming. Seekers seek. regarding the group. I wonder if I might be happier if I moved to Durango. “Hey.” I ask my brother. Money-Back Guarantee. and a good mother. Dr. ©2010 Rosetta Stone Ltd. * Level 1 Level 1. My eyes start leaking again.&5 Reg. But she knows.4. or a highly paid professional assassin. I believe Jaws could be turned into an elite athlete. “and how we just have to surrender to it. I ponder the positive ways I might help mold their characters. “Really?” “It was a reminder of how powerless we are in the face of nature. this trip in particular. They rise to the challenge and discover that the process of self-improvement results in a rewarding.2. And our sophisticated speech technologies get you speaking from the start – in Greek or any of our 31 languages. * I might help shape Ice into a critically acclaimed novelist. holding hands. Six-Month. Steve.com/zps100 Use promo code zps100 when ordering. her shocking treachery regarding the Ice Lakes Basin notwithstanding. Comfort says. and my future. you’re presented with just the right ™ level of challenge. Guarantee does not apply to any online subscription. We have been picking up our pace. I know that she’s a good sister. enjoyable journey. everything is all right. No-Risk. “I mean. or a cult leader. and when we do. It’s not surprising. trilling Jaws. do you ever think maybe you should fire your shrink?” I know she doesn’t mean it. stops fretting over balance sheets on weekends. When people train for a marathon. After the trip. All rights reserved. It’s a reminder that we don’t have to struggle so much. All materials included with the product at time of purchase must be returned together and undamaged to be eligible for any exchange or refund.

she and The Captain announce plans to marry.. Seriously! I stuff my earplugs in a little deeper and I put a pillow over my eyes. I like to think. community organizations that break down the barriers to getting youth outdoors. the hushed place where philosophizers are exalted.com/Montana. Then Iris screams that she’s hungry. who does the same. We recline on spongy grass. I think I should get more credit for the nuptials because I proposed the camping expedition. the family love.com/entertowin WIN ENTER TO WIN GREAT PRIZES! Visit backpacker. I’m working with my shrink to let go of that resentment. CHECK OUT BACKPACKER. What I see is our cozy little campsite. True PDF release: storemags & fantamag 104 BACKPACKER 10.2010 . Plan your trip at crownofthecontinent. and the boys shout.™ ExploreFund. I pad into an empty room and I lie down and stare at the ceiling. A few months later. Writer at Large Steve Friedman lives all by himself in New York City. happy and filled with love. Comfort.” I cough loudly. Nothing but Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.backpacker. The clouds are thin and wispy.TRAILHEAD WIN A MONTANA NATIONAL PARK TRIP FOR TWO Montana. Great. In the interest of efficient philosophizing. “I mean.” “Jaws?” “S’mores!” cries the flesh-eating cherub. ADVERTISEMENT HELPING KIDS DISCOVER NATURE’S PLAYGROUND The North Face Explore Fund is a grant-giving program committed to supporting nonprofit. and no one was complaining. Towering peaks.com/entertowin for your chance to win tents. Unearth the details of a Montana backpacking experience at backpacker. I return to the magical campsite. and the children are well-behaved. and everyone—even the adults—clamors for the “I Want My Liver” tale. I stare at the ceiling some more. I seek the crackling fire. ADVENTURE IS EVERYWHERE. learning about Attila the Hun and Hit. not overweight. I hear a door slam. fat marshmallows spill from easily accessible pouches.COM FOR THE LATEST PROMOTIONS AND EVENTS. clear trout streams and genuine souls appreciating every square mile. but that doesn’t happen. but it is different. our lightning-storm bonding work their magic on Quisling. I insert the earplugs I always carry with me to family gatherings.” (The outdoors and. Inspired by Dr. safe from predators. and the ground is soft and we are in a glacial basin. goats.net ENTER TO www. the moonlit circle where marshmallows are plentiful and forgotten children are found.org EXPLORE THE CROWN OF THE CONTINENT This lush realm of grizzlies. It is the same place. What I hear is the soft lapping of the mountain lake. I seek really hard. I return to our campsite. Me? Has a camping trip with my closest kin transformed me? I philosophize about this when we arrive back in Durango. at the house The Captain and Quisling and the kids share. too.” “Hulk?” “It was all cool. NEVER STOP EXPLORING. sleeping bags and other great prizes for your next outdoor adventure! together.. And between them epic landscapes alive with wildlife. wolves and wildflowers stretches like a mantle from Montana into Alberta and British Columbia.) “Ice?” “Skipping rocks with you. packs. skipping rocks with you. ancient forests. glacier-fed waters and an abundance of wildlife and rare native plants bedazzle North America’s scenic crown. Philosophizing with great intent.

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some reflection. Gator saw the antlers—a three-pointer. The payoffs. The deer takes off uphill. It does something else. Inc. in fact.” I say. Shaun. Bruce?” Ted asks.” “Are you going to become a hunter now. on the other hand. coyote. CA and additional mailing offices. Gator scrambles across the creekbed and muscles up the ravine. Where once I saw lowland scrub—white noise for a backpacker—now I see a living habitat where rosehip bushes function as secret deer beds.” Gator later tells me. brushy ravines above the river are prime habitat for deer. in a dry creekbed: Mule deer. Different landscapes opened up to me. 475 Sansome St. Inc. I’ll flush the deer in Gator’s direction. $42. Plenty of hunters have pulled the trigger in that situation. Gator and I take a break. It revs up your adrenaline and puts the senses on edge. I’ve met the Cabela’s crowd on their turf and. hunting comes with a huge responsibility. Then the deer turned. subscriptions are $29. The Grande Ronde. I couldn’t confirm that he was legal. and not kill your partner.2010 BACKPACKER 109 . BACKPACKER publications. San Francisco.storemags & fantamag . So call me a hunter. a tributary of the Snake. Hunting offered this lifelong hiker an enriching and profound new way to interact with the land. the meat spoiled. Gator in my periphery. Finally. “Harder than it looks. My own hunt is done. Boulder. Jethro and Elmer Fudd. for the May 2010 issue. though. © 2008 Cruz Bay Publishing. Subscribers: If the postal authorities alert us that your magazine is undeliverable. A lousy gut shot if he took it. “You’ve got to be kidding me. The deer stares back at him. we load our packs with food and water and hitch a ride to the rim of the Grande Ronde River canyon. skill. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to BACKPACKER. GST #R122988611. including GearFinder®. Gator. October 2010. shattered some of their own stereotypes about fleece-wearing treehuggers. the camaraderie.98 per year in the U.” They stood there like that. before I can answer that question with any certainty. I laugh at the thought of Gator and me standing there. I’ve got visitation rights with my rifle.98 CDN in Canada. a buck Landscapes that were once barren to me become lush and vibrant. I shadow them from below. BACKPACKER (ISSN 0277-867X) is published nine times a year (January. August. I’ve flushed only a doe and a mangy coyote from the brush. CO 80322-0022. Issue 280. hopefully.S. black bear. the strategy and cunning. You’ve got to line up a good shot. “But a hell of a lot of fun. and bighorn sheep. and danger. He wrote about mapping his new home. In the afternoon. elk. and Adventure Travel®. I can relax and enjoy the hike. That’s when Gator spots the buck. April. crackling with possibility. alive with life.” I say. not carelessly wound the animal. they’re terraced with game trails.” I say. The buck keeps moving high. Landscapes that were once barren to me become lush and vibrant. As the sun fades behind the canyon’s rim. He points to two whitetail bucks quietly crossing the road 20 yards behind us. Suite 850. After a couple of hours. 10. Gator didn’t. but I’m in no shape to be chasing uphill after a man who has climbed Rainier 190 times. Periodicals postage paid at San Francisco. and the dry. Jennifer. hunting requires long-term preparation. It’s not that far from mountain climbing. October and November) by Cruz Bay Publishing. I follow for a while. The deer catch our movement and bolt into the forest. There. the suspense.magazines for all him. I just might grab it and go. Gator follows. It will take some time.. A certain amount of danger and risk enhances the experience of moving across wild terrain. “I don’t know if it’s in the cards for us today. motion. As I heel plunge down the scab-land ravine. To do it right. hiking as a hunter is fun. alive with life. Over one ridge. moving over a ridge before Gator can get a look through the scope. we hike out through an old apple orchard to a road beside the river. By the end of our threeday hunt. It’s just below us. then another. Hunting combines strategy. The late-afternoon sun beats down. not crack off an errant bullet that flies into a house a half-mile away. All rights reserved. Inc. PO Box 50022. Bruce Barcott brought home 55 pounds of venison from this hunt. a sort of perfect moment comes over me. legal—but the deer’s butt was angled toward him. as our prey fearlessly strolls by. Waypoints®. and if someone asks me to join his deer camp next season. We have a plan. my eyes scanning for movement. can’t be expressed in antlers or meat. March. It’s world famous for its steelhead. Volume 38. September. May. June. then pick our way down in a V that meets at the bottom of the ravine. I see water and imagine the animals it might draw. unwinds like a curling ribbon through the Columbia Plateau near the Oregon-Washington border. Number 8. hunts with all the pressure and anxiety of a live trigger. Because I’ve already bagged my deer. $42. and we strip off layers. Washington’s Bainbridge Island. CA 94111. chukar. A wounded deer.. “Well.. wild turkey. what do you think of hunting now?” Jennifer asks me. If you’re doing it right. I start to think like a predator. I feel like I’ve been given a fresh pair of eyes. too. Blank hillsides aren’t blank at all. Gator and I will start about a quarter-mile apart at the top of the rim. “So I couldn’t get a read on his points. frozen for a few moments. and Ted—a happy. and the pure joy of physical movement in the wild. we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within 2 years. Gator peeks over the edge of the last ridge and puts the buck in his crosshairs. experience. To be perfectly frank. “He was at an angle where his antlers lined up exactly in a row.00 elsewhere (surface mail). of unknown antler points. relieved Ted— greet us with a warm truck and cold beer. crackling with possibility. not shoot something illegal. are registered trademarks of Cruz Bay Publishing.

2. Go to backpacker. Can you name the lake and the park it lies in? 90 38 1. The 764-vertical-foot hike up the island’s cinder cone reveals a crater 300 feet across and almost 100 feet deep. Yellowstone National Park WINNER Shawn Donahue. You access the spot via a strenuous.Sky Eye in the WIN! Name this lake. Originally and oh-so-imaginatively named Deep Blue Lake by early gold prospectors. and the park it’s in. Satellite image by GeoEye Big Blue Some 7. C-list) horror flick about a meteor that crashes into this lake. in dollars. 1977 Release date of a B-list (OK. causing a dinosaur to hatch from a buried egg and start feasting on locals throughout this area Number of Snickers you can scarf to replace the calories you’ll burn on the park’s 33-mile Pacific Crest Trail segment 1949 The last year the lake’s surface completely froze + ////// 110 AUGUST ISSUE ANSWER Grand Prismatic Spring.2mile round-trip hike with 700 feet of elevation gain.852 Miles of hiking trails in the park Total backcountry permits issued by the park in 2009 38 Average water temperature. in degrees Fahrenheit 30 Price. forming the caldera in which this lake now sits.com/skyeye for contest rules. of a boat ride to the larger of the lake’s two islands. MA BACKPACKER 10. a volcano erupted and collapsed on itself. Redding. this dazzling body of water is about six miles wide and nearly 2.000 years ago. 1 Tally of places you can legally swim in the lake.2010 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag TEXT BY RACHEL KIELY . for a chance to win a Mountain Hardwear Hooded Compressor PL jacket (men’s and women’s versions available). Entries due by September 29.000 feet deep.

storemags & fantamag .magazines for all .

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