Books for Hikers and Backpackers (2021 Edition)

Updated and expanded since the last edition in 2019, “Books for Hikers and Backpackers” now includes more than 70 works separated into eight categories: 1. Educational; 2. Guidebooks; 3. Humour; 4. Inspirational; 5. Literature; 6. Memoirs; 7. Philosophy, and; 8. Read More …

50 Signs You May Have Taken Ultralight Backpacking Too Far

A couple of years ago I published an article titled 30 Signs You May Have Taken Ultralight Backpacking too Far. It was a (mostly) tongue-in-cheek take on those that may have imbibed a little too much on the UL Kool-Aid. Read More …

Redwood Creek Trail Hiking Guide

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. Read More …

A Long Absence and a Return to Alaska

It’s been almost a year since I last posted on The Hiking Life. Even by my sporadic publishing standards that’s a long time between drinks. Indeed, it’s gotten to the point where I’m regularly receiving messages from readers asking if Read More …

The Essential Guide to Frameless Backpacks

A frameless backpack is a core element of any ultralightweight backpacking strategy. Since the beginning of the 2000s, they’ve been my backpack model of choice for the majority of hiking trips that I’ve done. The following article contains a rundown Read More …

A Quick & Dirty Guide to the Stubai High Trail

The Stubai High Trail (“Stubaier Höhenweg” in German) is one of the most beautiful treks in the Austrian Alps. Linking together eight characterful mountain huts, this horseshoe-shaped route around the Stubai Valley oscillates between breathtaking passes and enchanting valleys, while Read More …

Trail Runners Vs Hiking Boots: A 30 Year Perspective

From the late 1980s through to the end of the 1990s, I exclusively used hiking boots on all of my backpacking trips. They were waterproof, durable, grippy on slippery surfaces, and provided protection and stability for my feet and ankles. Read More …

A Quick & Dirty Guide to the Wonderland Trail

The Wonderland Trail circles Mount Rainier, the highest peak in Washington (14,411 ft / 4,392 m) and the most glaciated mountain in the contiguous United States. During its 93 mile (150 km) course, it passes through a diverse collection of Read More …

Slim’s River West Trail to Observation Mountain

Located in Canada’s remote Yukon Territory, Kluane National Park and Reserve is home to the country’s highest mountain (Mount Logan – 5,959 m /19,551 ft), one of North America’s densest concentration of grizzly bears, and the largest non-polar icefield in Read More …

Ultralight Backpacking Gear for Hot and Humid Weather

Since the early 2000s, I’ve applied ultralight principles to all of my backpacking trips around the globe. From deserts to jungles and from alpine regions to arctic tundra, lightening and simplifying my load has made a significant difference to the Read More …

Around the Mountain Circuit (Mount Taranaki)

In the southwestern corner of New Zealand’s North Island lies a lonely mountain by the name of Taranaki (aka Egmont). Rising some 2,518 m (8,261 ft) above sea level, it is recognized as one of the world’s most symmetric volcanoes, Read More …

Hiking the Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island

Stretching along the eastern side of Hinchinbrook Island, the Thorsborne Trail is widely recognized as one of the world’s finest coastal walks. Part of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, over the course of 32 km (19.9 mi), the track Read More …

Liechtenstein Panoramaweg

Sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria, Liechtenstein is the sixth smallest country in the world. Famous for its private banks and castles, this tiny Alpine principality is also home to a classic hiking trail by the name of the Liechtenstein Panoramaweg Read More …

Gear List: The Long Crossing of the Lofoten Islands

Overall I was happy with my gear selections for the Long Crossing. During the seven day trip we encountered inclement weather over the last day or two, but for the most part conditions were excellent. Nighttime temps at some of Read More …

The Long Crossing of Norway’s Lofoten Islands

Just off the coast of northern Norway in the Arctic Circle lies a legendary archipelago by the name of Lofoten. A combination of deep fjords, windswept beaches, jagged peaks and picture-postcard villages, its staggering beauty has long been celebrated in Read More …

The Altiplano Traverse (Stage 2) – Coloured Lakes, Geothermal Fields and a Towering Finale

In August, 2017, I hiked an approximately 600 km (373 mi) route across Bolivia’s Altiplano region. An otherworldly landscape of salt flats, volcanoes, fantastical rock formations and coloured lakes, to the best of my knowledge it was the first time Read More …

A Quick & Dirty Guide to Italy’s Alta Via 1

Located in northeastern Italy, the Dolomites are one of Europe’s most dramatic mountain ranges. A combination of serrated limestone peaks, sheer cliffs, shimmering alpine lakes and deep, narrow valleys, they have long been a magnet for geologists, travellers and outdoor Read More …

My 10 Favourite Hikes of the 2010’s

As another decade draws to a close, I look back with an appreciative smile. Over the past ten years my journeys taken me from the snow-capped peaks of Peru to the Aurora Borealis of Arctic Norway, and from the pristine Read More …

60 Crappy (but practical) Christmas Gifts for Hikers

Over the past four years, the most popular articles on “The Hiking Life” website haven’t been about outdoor skills, backpacking equipment, or trip reports from exotic locales. Nope, they’ve been about crappy hiker gifts that you can pick up for Read More …

Books for Hikers and Backpackers (2019 Edition)

This year’s book list has been revised and significantly expanded, and to make things easier on the sorting front, I’ve divided the works into eight different categories: Educational, Guidebooks, Humour, Inspirational, Literature, Memoirs, Philosophy and Ultralight. All of the more Read More …