Published nine times a year, Backpacker is a magazine of wilderness travel, offering practical, "you can do it, here's how" advice to help you enjoy every trip. Filled with the best places, gear, and information for all kinds of hiking and camping trips, each issue delivers foldout maps and stunning color photography.
My Favorite Season • When other hikers put away their boots, the wilderness is all yours. by Dennis Lewon
Paper Problems • Your opinions, photos, and feats
1. Stand on the Edge of Eternity. • CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK, UT
2. Where Darkness Reigns • Change your perception of canyoneering by doing it underground. By Will McGough
3. The Last Great Migration
4. Hiker Forecast • Your guide to where’s good this season.
5. Deep Woods • Shining Rock Wilderness, North Carolina Pisgah National Forest blankets the southern Appalachians, and at the heart of all that greenery there’s a backwoods gem—a forest within a forest. The 18,479-acre Shining Rock Wilderness protects an East Coast paradise of waterfalls, mountaintop views, and remote trails. By Ryan Wichelns
6. Sleep Tight. • Find the right winter shelter for you.
7. Find Solitude. • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, MI
8. Pups on Peaks • Need a boost up the mountain? Your pooch has stoke to spare. By Rick Crandall
9. Apple Cider Hikes • When the apples fall, the cider flows. Reward yourself with fresh brews near these three hikes. By David Gleisner & Kristin Smith
10. Less is More • National Parks may be America’s best idea, but we’ve created more preserves than we can take care of. It’s time to rightsize the system. By Gil Lusk
11. Go Your Own Way. • Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, FL
12. Ramblin’ Rose • Death Valley National Park, CA
13. Earn some flair.
14. Riverlands • Ouachita Mountains, AR
15. Cooling Off • Cohutta Wilderness, GA
16. In the Club • …in which we honor the best hiking clubs in the country.
The Hike High Handbook • How to Thrive Outdoors
Thrive at Altitude • Less oxygen? No problem. Crush your alpine goals—whether ski-touring in winter or hiking in summer—with these tips from Peter Hackett, MD, founder of the Institute for Altitude Medicine.* By Paul Nicolaus
Ace Your Adjustment • “The number one way to thrive at altitude is to respect the time it takes for acclimitization,” Hackett says.
Altitude & the Body • Understand how thin air affects the body inside and out so you can prevent and treat these three elevation-induced illnesses.
Volcanic Eruptions • While her group witnessed an active volcano, one lowlander experienced spewing of a different kind. By Louisa Albanese
Tune Up Your Knees • Creaky knees? Strengthen your joints with supine leg lifts to prevent pain and buckling during long descents with heavy loads. Bonus: Your ankles and hips will benefit, too. Perform this circuit with 3- to 5-pound ankle weights. By Emily Pennington
Build a Fire on Snow • The solitude of a winter night beckons. But will our writer’s attempts to stay warm be a roaring success or a sputtering failure? By Will McGough
Become a Fire Master
Winter Warmers • Get toasty from the inside out with these hot beverages. By Nick Cote
A Poo with a View • “When my dad and I climbed Mt. Whitney, we carried WAG bags. But he thought he could hold it—until, on the descent, his situation became dire. He dropped his pack and bolted behind a rock. To my horror, I saw we were 100 feet above Trail Camp, where all the people had a clear view of his business. He returned with a look of shame—he’d forgotten his WAG bag and, embarrassed by the audience, he fled as quickly as...