Desolation Wilderness

Desolation WildernessDes­o­la­tion Wilder­ness strad­dles near­ly six­ty-four thou­sand acres across the Lake Tahoe Basin between Lake Tahoe and the Eldo­ra­do Nation­al For­est. Inside it, you’ll find back­pack­ing des­ti­na­tions through alpine and sub-alpine forests stud­ded with gran­ite peaks and glacial lakes.

Though still in recov­ery from the clear-cut­ting of the major­i­ty of the Jef­frey pines and fir trees essen­tial to the explo­sive growth of Vir­ginia City fol­low­ing the Com­stock Sil­ver Strike in 1859, the region’s rel­a­tive acces­si­bil­i­ty and unde­ni­able beau­ty still draws vis­i­tors from around the country.

Day Vis­it Permits
As a result, there are a num­ber of man­age­ment tech­niques in use to pre­serve the region’s wild her­itage, although only two of these apply to vis­i­tors: per­mits, and quo­tas. Folks who’d like to vis­it for the day—maybe to take the easy and pop­u­lar one-mile hike from the Eagle Falls trail­head to sparkling, pop­u­lar Eagle Lake—require a day use permit.

Day per­mits can be self-issued at most major trail­heads or picked up at Pacif­ic Ranger Dis­trict (for west-side trail­heads, man­aged by the Eldo­ra­do Nation­al For­est) or the Tay­lor Creek Vis­i­tor Cen­ter or Lake Tahoe Basin Man­age­ment Unit For­est Super­vi­sor’s Office (for east-side trail­heads, which are man­aged by the Lake Tahoe Basin Man­age­ment Unit). These day-use per­mits don’t require reser­va­tions and aren’t sub­ject to quotas.

Desolation WildernessMul­ti-Day Permits
On the oth­er hand, back­pack­ers with a mul­ti-day itin­er­ary in mind do require per­mit reser­va­tions, which you can make up to six months in advance through recreation.gov. The 30% of per­mits reserved for first-come, first-serve use must be picked up in per­son from the Pacif­ic Ranger Dis­trict in the Eldo­ra­do Nation­al For­est or at the Lake Tahoe Basin Man­age­ment Unit For­est Super­vi­sor’s Office up to four­teen days pri­or to begin­ning your trip.

If you’re vis­it­ing between Memo­r­i­al Day and the end of Sep­tem­ber, you’re also sub­ject to wilder­ness quo­tas. These are deter­mined by the region in which you plan to spend your first overnight, and some of them are quite small—the Grouse Lakes and Tri­an­gle regions each have a total quo­ta of two!—so be sure your intend­ed itin­er­ary can accom­mo­date your entire party.

Once You’re In
Once you’ve spent your first night in your des­ig­nat­ed des­ti­na­tion zone, you’re free to move about the wilder­ness. Prac­tice good out­door ethics by stay­ing on the devel­oped trails between des­ti­na­tions, and check out the inter­ac­tive vis­i­tor map to scope out pos­si­bil­i­ties for con­nect­ing those trails into longer loops.

Des­o­la­tion offers any num­ber of peaks to bag, from bossy 9,983-ft Pyra­mid Peak to the south­west to Mount Tal­lac, eas­i­ly the most icon­ic as it soars 3,500 feet above Lake Tahoe. If you’d rather get wet than high, there are a num­ber of pris­tine back­coun­try lakes just wait­ing for you. Try them out one by one, or string a few togeth­er for near­ly twelve miles of a loop tour of Gran­ite, Dick’s, Vel­ma, and Eagle Lakes.

Desolation WildernessIf You Can’t Get Enough, Thru-hike!
If you’re look­ing for a reward­ing chal­lenge that offers a lit­tle bit of every­thing the Tahoe Riv­er Basin has to offer, def­i­nite­ly con­sid­er the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail thru-hike. You’ll still have to pick up a per­mit for the por­tions of the trail that pass through Des­o­la­tion Wilder­ness, and these thru-hik­er per­mits aren’t sub­ject to the same wilder­ness quo­tas. Cin­der cones and hard­ened lava flows, wild­flow­ers and mead­ow vis­tas, stark reminders of the region’s his­to­ry as a resource extrac­tion point for tim­ber and sil­ver, aspen groves and dense pine forests, high gran­ite pass­es and ridges, canyons, and river­side, and end­less wildlife-watch­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties are just a few of the nat­ur­al won­ders you can expect to expe­ri­ence along the way.

Oh, and one last thing to woof about: Des­o­la­tion Wilder­ness is open to vis­i­tors of the four-foot­ed vari­ety, so no need to leave your best dog­gy friend at home for this campout!

Final­ly tak­ing that long-dis­tance trekking trip? Here are some tips on essen­tial items you might need to pack for a mul­ti-day trek.

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Your Pack: Adven­ture-wor­thy packs must be tough enough to sur­vive more than beat­ings from air­port con­vey­or belts; it should thwart the ele­ments atop rusty bus­es, endure inad­ver­tent stomp­ings by curi­ous locals, and wel­come myr­iad abus­es by fare-hun­gry cabbies—all while keep­ing your pre­cious belong­ings safe and sound. For a trekking trip, you’ll prob­a­bly want one sol­id back­pack­ing bag, one tough enough so that you can trust it any sit­u­a­tion, but also one that will be light­weight. No one wants to trek the 12 days to Ever­est Base Camp with an unnec­es­sar­i­ly heavy pack.

Clothes: Today’s trav­el and expe­di­tion clothes are not just pieces of tough mate­r­ial: your clothes are sun­screen, bug repel­lant, and a cool­er for your core. They should have mois­ture wick­ing prop­er­ties and be able to be worn to din­ner, the office, or on a steam­ing jun­gle trek. No trav­el kit is com­plete with­out light­weight clothes. It’s high­ly rec­om­mend­ed for long-dis­tance treks that you pack a small num­ber of clothes that can be worn across mul­ti­ple days. Qual­i­ty over quantity!

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Footwear:  The footwear you bring on trekking trips should be durable and com­fort­able, prefer­ably high-top hik­ing boots that can be worn for long-dis­tances. In recent years, how­ev­er, many long-dis­tance hik­ing afi­ciona­dos have tak­en to more pared down footwear. It’s not an uncom­mon sight to see some­one hik­ing the PCT in a pair of per­for­mance hik­ing shoes that don’t go any high­er than their ankle. What­ev­er you choose, make sure you’ll feel com­fort­able trekking many miles over mul­ti­ple days with your cho­sen footwear. Pro-tip: Pack mole­skin pads and duct tape. These will save your life if blis­ters start to arise. 

Sleep­ing: These are often high­ly trip spe­cif­ic, but chances are if you’re going on a mul­ti-day trek, you’ll be doing it in the warmer months. This means you’ll want to bring a light­weight sleep­ing bag and sleep­ing pad, and depend­ing on if you’re on a guid­ed adven­ture or not, a tent. It’s impor­tant that these items pack down tight­ly. You don’t want to lug around that huge hand-me-down sleep­ing bag you use for car camp­ing on a long-dis­tance trek.

Acces­sories: Many of these will often be spe­cif­ic to your trip, but the essen­tial trekking acces­sories range from bear spray to band-aids. What­ev­er your trip may be, we rec­om­mend you thor­ough­ly research what exact­ly you’ll need on the trek. More often than not, you’ll want a head­lamp, a water bot­tle, and a pock­et knife. As far as extra­ne­ous acces­sories, you might want to bring a book or Kin­dle: no one likes being tent bound for a day with noth­ing to do but twid­dle your thumbs.

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Mullerthal Trail, Schiessentumpel Waterfall, Luxembourg

Mullerthal Trail, Schiessentumpel Waterfall, Luxembourg

Europe is home to a num­ber of tru­ly epic hik­ing trails. Adven­tur­ers seek­ing the best thru-hikes flock to trails like the Tour de Mont Blanc in France, which cir­cum­nav­i­gates the base of Mont Blanc through three dif­fer­ent coun­tries over its 105 miles, or Spain’s El Camino de San­ti­a­go, The Way of St. James, a whop­ping 472-mile pil­grim­age to San­ti­a­go de Com­postela, a north­ern Span­ish cathe­dral in which rest the rumored remains of St. James. 

Yet in Lux­em­bourg (a tiny grand duchy land­locked between Bel­gium, France, and Ger­many, bare­ly big­ger than Rhode Island) winds a mag­i­cal triple-loop of a trail called the Mullerthal Trail. Award­ed as  “Lead­ing Qual­i­ty Trails — Best of Europe” by the Euro­pean Ram­blers’ Asso­ci­a­tion in 2014, the Mullerthal offers a tan­ta­liz­ing 70 miles of paths which wind through the name­sake Mullerthal region and appear to have been plucked direct­ly from a fairy tale. We’re talk­ing cen­turies-old roman­tic cas­tles, wood­en bridges over sparkling cas­cades, and nar­row, gloomy gorges whose walls seem to close in above and behind as you advance. There are sleepy, rolling pas­tures dot­ted with live­stock, caves from which were once carved mill­stones, and soar­ing cliffs offer­ing excel­lent views of the quaint, bustling vil­lages from which you’re nev­er too far to drop in for a meal.

Moss on rocks in forest of Mullerthal in Little Switzerland

The rel­a­tive close­ness of ameni­ties mean that while it’s pos­si­ble to back­pack the entire trail as a mul­ti-day hike, it’s equal­ly easy to stay in a dif­fer­ent place every night while explor­ing the Mullerthal. Towns through­out each stage have eater­ies and hotels, many of which offer sin­gle-night accom­mo­da­tions, wash­ing and dry­ing, even lug­gage trans­port for an addi­tion­al fee. You might also opt to book a sin­gle accom­mo­da­tion and to-and-fro by means of the excel­lent bus sys­tem that ser­vices major points along the trail.

The Mullerthal is orga­nized into thir­teen sec­tions along three loop­ing routes with two inter­sec­tions. There is no true begin­ning or end of the trail, although it’s most com­mon­ly begun in Echter­nach, which links Routes 1 and 2. From the tra­di­tion­al start of the trail at the bus stop in Echter­nach, the trail cir­cles clock­wise to the east and south, pass­ing through the for­est and the state­ly rock for­ma­tions of Stein­heim. Con­tin­u­ing to Rosport, which hous­es the Tudor Cas­tle, the trail moves on to a ven­er­a­ble shrine of the Vir­gin Mary at the Chapel of Girsterk­laus, and on still through mead­ows and val­leys towards the towns of Born and Moers­dorf. From here, the trail departs from its prox­im­i­ty to the Sûre, and turns west, ris­ing to a plateau of pas­toral farm­lands and the open for­est of Hebron. After skim­ming the lake of Echter­nacht, the trail deposits you right back in Echter­nacht prop­er. By end­ing in the very heart of the city, you’ll have your choice of shop­ping and din­ing as you pre­pare to turn in for the night.

Route 2 is short­er at 22 miles and more phys­i­cal­ly demand­ing, but the pay­off is pro­por­tion­al. It’s typ­i­cal­ly hiked coun­ter­clock­wise, head­ing steeply west from Echter­nacht toward Berdorf, a town renown for its deli­cious cheeses. From the same bus stop it descends straight into the stuff of lore and leg­end: a ravine called Wolf­ss­chlucht, the Wolves’ Canyon, where they are said to have shel­tered once upon a time; a maze of rock called the Labyrinth; the Aes­bach brook and the giant rock for­ma­tion Perekop, whose sum­mit of some 130 feet can be achieved by the nar­row stair carved into its crevice; Hohllay, a cave once used to carve the huge mill­stones used to grind flour; even a forest­ed amphithe­ater which still hosts mod­ern per­form­ers. Beyond Berdorf, the Mullerthal pass­es through the untamed Schnellert for­est and toward the town of Mullerthal, which con­nects Routes 2 and 3. Mullerthal is home to Heringer Millen, the region’s most impor­tant mill, now restored to grind its own flour. Grab­bing a quick bite at the mil­l’s restau­rant, the Schiessen­tüm­pel cas­cade will fas­ci­nate with its gen­tle brook and rus­tic rock bridge.

Mov­ing on from the mill, the trail soon becomes hemmed in with cliffs and con­tin­ues to a trio of bizarre rock for­ma­tions called Gold­kaul, Gold­fralay and Eile­burg (a wan­der­ing imag­i­na­tion might see trolls frozen by day­light with fea­tures and names like those). Beyond the not-trolls is the town of Cons­dorf, which has a mill of its own. Past Cons­dorf looms a set of gloomy crevices called Rit­ter­gang, Déi­wepëtz, and final­ly the Kohlscheuer, a slot canyon so deep that it swal­lows the sun. You’ll want to bring a head­lamp to make it through less-scathed, although the wary might always choose to go around instead. The trail snakes through forests of rock and tree around Hers­berg, the back­side of Cons­dorf, and through Schei­d­gen on its way back to the charm­ing bus­tle of Echternacht.

Route 3 begins in Mullerthal, and the bab­bling brooks are its faith­ful com­pan­ion for much of it. Head west to Beau­fort to take in the beau­ti­ful Haller­bach val­ley land­scape. Soon enough you’ll find trees laced with vines and rocks dressed appro­pri­ate­ly in mossy fin­ery as you approach Beau­fort Cas­tle. Dur­ing vis­it­ing hours at the cas­tle you can taste the well-known Cassero, a black­cur­rant liqueur made from cur­rants pro­duced on the prop­er­ty. From one cas­tle to anoth­er, fol­low the trail through the beech woods from Beau­fort to Laro­chette, where looms yet anoth­er dash­ing 11th cen­tu­ry cas­tle. Only beware the drag­on, said to be the spir­it of the cas­tle stew­ard who was thrown into its well as pun­ish­ment. The trail from here march­es on to Blu­men­thal on its high plateau, then again into a dream­ing for­est and along the Black Ernz, through a beau­ti­ful high moor called the Ripsmoor and a Taver­tine sun­di­al carved into the rock. You’ll pass the Schiessen­tüm­pel once more en route to Mullerthal prop­er, and if you haven’t stum­bled into a faerie cir­cle in the mean­while, that will be the end of this journey.

Pacific Rim National Park

If you think of hik­ing as some­thing you only do in the moun­tains, think again. These rugged coastal hikes will stretch your per­cep­tion of what life on the beach can mean.

Shi Shi BeachShi Shi Beach to Rial­to Beach, Olympic Nation­al Park, WA
Dis­tance: 35 miles, 5–7 days
Part of Olympic Nation­al Parks, this hike takes you along beach­es, over rugged head­lands on rope lad­ders, and around points that can only be round­ed dur­ing low tide. Sea otters, whales, and col­or­ful tide­pool crit­ters abound along with spec­tac­u­lar sun­sets and sea stacks. You’ll need: a tide chart, a reser­va­tion, and a bear can­is­ter for keep­ing your food away from the aggres­sive raccoons.


Lost Coast, CaliforniaMat­tole Beach to Shel­ter Cove, The Lost Coast, CA
Dis­tance: 25 miles, 3 days
In North­ern California’s fog­gy, “Lost Coast,” this hike through the King’s Range is less rugged than its pre­de­ces­sor, but more iso­lat­ed. Don’t miss the Pun­ta Gor­da Light­house, and enjoy long sandy beach­es with occa­sion­al riv­er cross­ings. A per­mit is required to camp overnight in the Kings Range Wilderness.


Channel Island National Park, CASan­ta Bar­bara Island, Chan­nel Island Nation­al Park, CA
Dis­tance: 5 miles or more
To hike San­ta Bar­bara Island, you first have to get there, which involves a boat ride from main­land south­ern Cal­i­for­nia to this rugged lit­tle nation­al park of scat­tered islands that are home to Ele­phant Seals, sea cliffs, and arch­es. Once you make your way up the steep cliffs from the beach, you’ll find rolling land­scapes and stun­ning vis­tas of a great blue world stretch­ing off into the horizon.


Pacific Rim National ParkThe West Coast Life­sav­ing Trail, Pacif­ic Rim Nation­al Park, B.C.
Dis­tance: 47 miles, 6–8 days
The great-grand­dad­dy of Pacif­ic coastal trails, the West Coast Life­sav­ing Trail from Pachena Bay to Port Ren­frew on Van­cou­ver Island’s west coast, has been described as gru­el­ing, remote and as “an obsta­cle course for adults.” It involves scram­bles over impass­able head­lands, riv­er cross­ings on hand-cranked cable cars, and scram­bles up and down lad­ders. Orig­i­nal­ly cre­at­ed to pro­vide an egress to sailors strand­ed by the many boats that wrecked in the “grave­yard of the Pacif­ic,” it fol­lows a road­less, rugged, and reward­ing stretch of the British Colum­bia Coast.

 

If there’s any­thing that defines the Pacif­ic North­west, it’s that we camp. And there are plen­ty of places to camp that gives you scenery and soli­tude. But these are the best, the all-time most scenic spots, the most sub­lime. They require effort. And they’re worth it.

Coleman GlacierCole­man Glac­i­er Ter­mi­nus, Mount Baker

The Cole­man Glac­i­er descends the west side of Washington’s north­ern­most ice-cov­ered stra­to­vol­cano. It’s usu­al­ly the last camp climbers use before climb­ing Mount Bak­er via the Cole­man-Dem­ing route. But it’s a great des­ti­na­tion in its own right, with views of crevasse fields, the sum­mit of Bak­er, and Col­fax Peak. In sea­son, look for alpine wildflowers.
Vista Tips: Wake up ear­ly to see the lights of Belling­ham flick­er out as the sun ris­es over Mount Baker.
Hard­ship Fac­tor: You’ll be haul­ing a pack up a steep climbers trail to the base of the glac­i­er. Sum­mit­ing is anoth­er com­mit­ment entire­ly. While Bak­er isn’t as tall as Mounts Adams or Rainier, the ice extends low­er, so more time is spent on glac­i­er trav­el with sig­nif­i­cant ice­falls and crevasses.
Near­est Town: Belling­ham, WA


unnamed glacial tarnUnnamed Glacial Tarn, Cham­bers Lakes

The trail ends at Camp Lake on the east side of Mid­dle Sis­ter. From there, keep on truckin’: go up a ridge toward the moun­tains. Then it’s off-trail nav­i­ga­tion to get to any num­ber of small tarns amidst snow­fields and mini-glac­i­ers. Look for one with a glac­i­er calv­ing into it, and set­tle in for an Alaskan-style camp­ing expe­ri­ence. From there, you can explore one of Oregon’s pre­mier land­scapes, or even climb Mid­dle Sister.
Vista Tips: Set up your tent with a view of the glac­i­er and the lake…but use the guy­lines. Winds tend to plow over the glac­i­er across the lake right at you. It’s worth it.
Hard­ship Fac­tor: Car­ry­ing a pack (and an ice axe) off trail through talus and scree.
Near­est Town: Sis­ters, OR


illumination saddleIllu­mi­na­tion Sad­dle, Mount Hood

Illu­mi­na­tion Rock is perched to the west side of Mount Hood’s Zigzag Glac­i­er, sec­ond in dra­ma only to the sum­mit itself. Not many moun­taineers camp in the sad­dle, which offers high alpine views down the Sandy Riv­er basin, south to Mount Jef­fer­son and the Three Sis­ters, and close-ups of Hood’s sum­mit. And the rock itself is pret­ty darn scenic.
Vista Tips: Pret­ty hard to get wrong
Hard­ship Fac­tor: You can dri­ve to Tim­ber­line Lodge, but there’s still a ton of high-alti­tude snow and glac­i­er trav­el involved. Beware loose rock.
Near­est Town: Gov­ern­ment Camp, OR


Giant’s GraveyardGiant’s Grave­yard, Olympic Coast

Camp on the wilder­ness beach with a gor­geous view of mas­sive sea stacks and off­shore rocks that resem­ble the bones of some huge being. With luck, you’ll also have whales, bald eagles, and otters to watch. Explore the tide­pools at low tide.
Vista Tips: Face west, and make sure your tent is above the high tide line.
Hard­ship Fac­tor: Back­pack­ing down the beach may seem eas­i­er than the moun­tains, but you’ll also be climb­ing over head­lands using rope ladders.
Near­est Town: Forks, WA


zigzagEast Zigzag Moun­tain, Mount Hood

Perch your tent on the tiny flat spot atop a small peak that pokes about above tree­line on Mount Hoods’ South­west cor­ner. Get views of up to four vol­ca­noes: Hood, Adams, St. Helens and Rainier, as well as the Sandy Basin and Burnt Lake. The hike is close to Port­land, but a long rough dirt road to the trail­head keeps the crowds low.
Vista Tips: Face your tent north­west for views of the Wash­ing­ton Cas­cades at sun­rise. Wan­der up the near­by rock slope to watch the sunset.
Hard­ship Fac­tor: Mod­er­ate: a bit of a climb, with some poten­tial for bugs. If you want to burn more calo­ries, include West Zigzag Moun­tain near­by. Melt snow or make a detour to Cast Lake for water: there’s none at the summit.
Near­est Town: Zigzag, OR


catalaCata­la Island, British Columbia

A rugged island on the edge of the Pacif­ic off the west coast of Van­cou­ver Island, Cata­la Island is one of the pre­mier view camp­sites on an island full of pre­mier views. Watch fog burn off in the morn­ing. Sun­sets are mind-bend­ing with the array of off­shore rocks and the wild Pacif­ic kick­ing up waves. With luck, you’ll also have sea otters, por­pois­es, wolves and deer to scan with your binoc­u­lars. The near­by sea kayaking—which is the only way to get there—is fantastic.
Vista Tips: Plan your trip for a full moon for an incred­i­ble night vista
Hard­ship Fac­tor: At least half a day for skill sea kayak­ers to get there in calm con­di­tions. To explore the near­by sea stacks takes anoth­er lev­el of skill and commitment.
Near­est Town: Zebal­los, BC.

staying found

staying foundGet­ting lost is no fun. It can make you retrace miles, miss a camp­site, and keep you out past dark. At worst, it can lead you into dan­ger­ous expo­sure. The best way to avoid these prob­lems is to stay on track at all times. As every hik­er or climber knows, this can be hard, espe­cial­ly when you’re in deep woods or on a riv­er where one bend can look much like the next. Here are some ways to avoid get­ting lost.

Look at the Map
This may sound obvi­ous, but most of us don’t break out the topo map until we real­ize we’re lost. Now you have the hard work of find­ing your start­ing place and fig­ur­ing out where you lost the route and how to get back. Start your trips by look­ing at the map. Or on the sea, a chart. And don’t just look at a map for trail infor­ma­tion. Learn how to read a topo­graph­ic map to spot cliffs, ravines, and oth­er land­forms. This will help you know how the land­scape depict­ed on the map will look in reality.

Spot Land­marks
Use land­marks to know where you are. Promi­nent peaks, rock for­ma­tions, rivers, and val­leys can give you a sense of your loca­tion in the land­scape. When the angle seems off, you’re prob­a­bly not where you should be.

Def­i­nite Spots
Deep in the for­est, you may not have obvi­ous land­marks. Look for spots where you can know pre­cise­ly where you are at a giv­en moment: where a trail cross­es a riv­er, dis­tinc­tive turns or switch­backs, a giant rock. This will tell you where you are when there’s not much else to go from.

Watch the Clock
Pay atten­tion to how long you’ve been hik­ing (or pad­dling, ski­ing, etc.). If you know some­thing should be two miles away, you’ll know the aver­age hik­er will bump into it in about an hour—if you don’t, it’s time to stop and assess where you actu­al­ly are.

Get A Fix
When you’re con­fused about where you are, get a fix. This estab­lish­es your position—a nec­es­sary step before you can decide which way to go. Learn how to take a bear­ing off a def­i­nite object (i.e. a peak) with a com­pass. Bear­ings from three points will pin­point your loca­tion. Then, it’s sim­pler to get your­self where you want to go.

Know Your Direction
Once you’ve got­ten your fix, you can find the rough direc­tion you need to go to reach your des­ti­na­tion. It may not be the most direct line since we’re in moun­tain­ous land­scapes, but now you can fol­low a bear­ing to your next spot.

Don’t Rely on Gadgets
Go old school. Instead of star­ing at the screen of your GPS, learn how to read a map and use a com­pass. They won’t run out of bat­ter­ies or lose a sig­nal. A GPS is cer­tain­ly use­ful in fea­ture­less land­scapes, but it has you star­ing at a screen instead of the moun­tains you came to see.

bear

While it may seem to out­siders like a walk in the park, back­pack­ing is seri­ous busi­ness. It requires real sur­vival skills and it places humans back in the food chain; back­pack­ers expose them­selves to the very real dan­gers of the wilder­ness. How­ev­er, giv­en our of years of intel­lec­tu­al and tech­no­log­i­cal devel­op­ment, we have devel­oped strate­gies for avoid­ing many of the dan­gers of rur­al adven­tures. Hike at your own risk!

bearBears: Food Safety
When trav­el­ing in the back­coun­try, or even near towns in cer­tain areas such as the Sier­ras, bears pose a very real threat—particularly giv­en how used to humans they have become. Before you trav­el, do a bit of research to find out if you will be in bear coun­try. If you will be trav­el­ing through lands poten­tial­ly occu­pied by these hulk­ing beasts, food aware­ness is key. When you go to bed for the night, you will want to keep all food, includ­ing food waste, and good-smelling items, such as lotions, sun­screen, deodor­ant, and tooth­paste in a bear-safe con­tain­er, such as a bear can or bear bag, and hang it at least 100 feet from where you will be sleeping.

Bears: Avoid­ing and Address­ing an Encounter
While hik­ing, you should make noise or wear bear bells to warn bears of your pres­ence to avoid an encounter, though the effec­tive­ness of bear bells is debat­ed. You can fur­ther pro­tect your­self from curi­ous or starv­ing bears by car­ry­ing a can of bear spray while you hike and keep­ing it handy in your tent. This is a high­ly effec­tive means of ward­ing off a would-be attack at close range. If you encounter a bear at some dis­tance, and/or you do not have bear spray, assess the sit­u­a­tion, slow­ly retreat while keep­ing your eyes on the bear (but not eye con­tact), and if it stalks, approach­es, or charges you, attempt to climb a tree and/or pre­pare to fight back. How­ev­er, if the bear is a griz­zly, play­ing dead has also been proven effec­tive in deesca­lat­ing the sit­u­a­tion or reduc­ing the damage.

wolvesWolves: Address­ing Encoun­ters and Food Safety
While much less com­mon, wolf pop­u­la­tions have been ris­ing in the Unit­ed States, so an encounter could hap­pen. Just as with bears, being aware of and pro­tect­ing your food is impor­tant for avoid­ing wolves. If you encounter a wolf in the wild, what­ev­er you do, don’t run. Also, do not make eye con­tact, but do not show fear. If you can find a rock face to back against, do so, and try to scare them off by mak­ing your­self look big, make a lot of noise, and throw stones. If they attack, cov­er your head and face.

raccoonRodents: More Food Safety
A very real dan­ger in the wilder­ness is star­va­tion, so it is impor­tant to keep your food safe. Rodents, such as mice, squir­rels, and even larg­er ani­mals, such as rac­coons, will try to steal your food if giv­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty. Hang­ing your food up in a bear can is also effec­tive for pro­tect­ing it against pests if sealed properly.

Rodents: Avoid­ing Disease 
When peo­ple think of ani­mal-human com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases, they often think of rabies. Of course, avoid approach­ing ani­mals in the wild, but if you do get bit­ten, wash the wound with soap and water as soon as pos­si­ble. Then, if you have it, rinse the wound with alco­hol or iodine and head straight to the near­est hos­pi­tal for treatment.

How­ev­er, anoth­er dis­ease lurks in back­coun­try wildlife. Believe it or not, the bubon­ic plague is alive and well and exists in the Unit­ed States. It is, just as dur­ing the dark ages, trans­mit­ted by rodents through their feces, bod­i­ly flu­ids (dead or alive), and the fleas they car­ry. While back­pack­ing, avoid all dead ani­mal car­cass­es and try to stay away from rodents as much as pos­si­ble. Thank­ful­ly, we can now treat bubon­ic plague with antibi­otics, but they should be admin­is­tered with­in 24 hours of the first sign of symp­toms, so if you feel like you have a flu com­ing on while hik­ing and you know you were recent­ly exposed to rodent drop­pings or were bit by a rodent, head straight to the hospital.

Before you buy your back­pack­ing equip­ment, check out these pop­u­lar myths to make sure you only buy the things that you real­ly need.

hiker with backpacking equipment

When it comes to hik­ing, there are lots of rules that every­one should fol­low. For exam­ple, hik­ers know that they need to bring water and a back­pack with them when they hike. And they know that they should always plan their route before set­ting off.

How­ev­er, there are lots of myths about back­pack­ing equip­ment that hik­ers believe. These myths may seem harm­less, but they can end up cost­ing you lots of mon­ey. Some will even put you in danger.

Myth 1. You Don’t Need a Map If You Have a Smartphone/GPS
Many peo­ple don’t use a map as they have GPS on their phone. This can be a risky move. Hik­ers should always car­ry a map of the area they are hik­ing and it can also be use­ful to bring a com­pass. Because tech­nol­o­gy devices can run out of charge, you can’t rely on them when hik­ing for a few days at a time.

It goes with­out say­ing, but mobile phones and GPS also nor­mal­ly require the Inter­net to work, which will quick­ly drain your bat­tery. If you don’t want to be strand­ed in the back­coun­try, it’s best to pack a map as well as your GPS.

Myth 2. You Need a Four-Sea­son Tent If You Are Camp­ing in Winter
Four-sea­son tents are designed for all types of weath­er, but most three-sea­son tents work just as well dur­ing win­ter. This is because they are still designed for cold weath­er and light snow. If you are camp­ing in an area with very heavy snow you may need to buy a four-sea­son tent. But if the snow is light, a three-sea­son tent should do the job perfectly—just make sure that you have a sleep­ing bag that is designed for cold weather.

Myth 3. You Need Hik­ing Boots
If you are new to hik­ing, it is like­ly that some­one has already told you that you need to buy hik­ing boots. This is actu­al­ly untrue; lots of long-dis­tance hik­ers don’t wear hik­ing boots any­more! This is because hik­ing boots are quite heavy and big so they can be unpleas­ant to wear in hot weath­er. They also take a long time to dry when they get wet.

This is why lots of hik­ers choose to hike in run­ning shoes instead. Run­ning shoes are light­weight and they dry quick­ly, so they are ide­al for any­one who is hik­ing in a warm climate—but if you live in a cold, snowy area, hik­ing boots will be more appropriate.

Myth 4. A Two-Per­son Tent Is for Two Peo­ple (and Their Gear)
Two-per­son tents are designed for two peo­ple, so it is nor­mal to assume that they can com­fort­ably fit two peo­ple. How­ev­er, most of them are far too small for two peo­ple and all their hik­ing gear. Hik­ers tend to have a lot of hik­ing gear with them. Since there is very lit­tle floor room inside, all of the indoor space is ded­i­cat­ed to sleeping.

So if you want to make sure that you buy a tent with room for two peo­ple and their hik­ing gear, invest in a three-per­son tent or start pack­ing light­ly.

Myth 5. You Need to Wear Head-to-Toe Pro­fes­sion­al Hik­ing Wear
Last but cer­tain­ly not the least impor­tant les­son. Some peo­ple like to believe they need to wear pro­fes­sion­al ath­let­ic cloth­ing, but this is rarely the case. Most hik­ers buy a good water­proof jack­et, hik­ing shoes, and a hik­ing back­pack, and then they just wear clothes they already have. This is much cheap­er than buy­ing new clothes you don’t need.

©istockphoto/pixdeluxeIt’s an incred­i­bly roman­tic thought: just you and your beloved, deep in the woods, with­out a care in the world. And sure, back­pack­ing with your sig­nif­i­cant oth­er can be a won­der­ful bond­ing experience—but it can also be very challenging.

Even if you’re used to hang­ing out togeth­er 24/7, you’re bound to see a whole new side of your part­ner while out on the trail. Here are some ways to prepare.

Set Expec­ta­tions
If it’s your first back­pack­ing adven­ture togeth­er, it’s impor­tant to sit down well ahead of the trip and estab­lish real­is­tic expec­ta­tions. Talk about your respec­tive back­pack­ing styles—are you a total min­i­mal­ist while he likes to pack every­thing but the kitchen sink? Do you like to pow­er hike to get from point A to point B while she prefers to stop and take plen­ty of pho­tos along the way? Know­ing what you’re get­ting into well help pre­vent sur­pris­es down the road. As is usu­al­ly the case in rela­tion­ships, com­mu­ni­ca­tion is key.

Plan Like a Pro
It’s easy to get along when you’re hap­py, well-fed, and well-rested—it’s not until the unex­pect­ed aris­es that the walls begin to crum­ble. You can’t con­trol some things (like the weath­er), but there is a lot that you can man­age with prop­er plan­ning (like hav­ing a water­proof tent and wear­ing water­proof hik­ing boots). Make a list and check it twice, pack plen­ty of food, and bring sup­plies that will help you in an emer­gency, like a first aid kit and repair tools.

Indulge in Some Luxuries
A back­pack­ing trip is typ­i­cal­ly pret­ty bare bones, but you can keep the romance alive after a par­tic­u­lar­ly gru­el­ing day by sur­pris­ing your oth­er half with a few small lux­u­ries. Go ahead and pack that freeze-dried choco­late cake, the flask filled with your loved one’s favorite whiskey, or an extra pair of dry socks to boost his or her morale when times get tough.

Divide and Conquer
Ten­sions can arise when one part­ner feels like the oth­er isn’t pulling their weight. If both peo­ple play to their strengths, it can make back­pack­ing life a lot more pleas­ant. Deter­mine who will take care of what around camp: maybe you head to gath­er fire­wood and start a fire while your part­ner takes care of set­ting up the tent and sleep­ing bags. The work will get done twice as fast, giv­ing you more time to enjoy your time together.

Savor Solo Time
On a longer trip, it’s only nat­ur­al that you’ll even­tu­al­ly start rub­bing each oth­er the long way. Often times, this has noth­ing to do with you or your partner—you sim­ply have no one else to vent to, so you acci­den­tal­ly take your frus­tra­tions out on your loved one. If you notice this is start­ing to hap­pen, try to spend a bit of time apart. Stay up late watch­ing the stars on your own, or get up ear­ly to have some alone time before your day kicks off. A lit­tle solo time goes a long way in pre­serv­ing your sanity.

Bring Bud­dies
It’s not as inti­mate or roman­tic, but bring­ing a few friends along might just be the key to sur­viv­ing a back­pack­ing trip with your part­ner. You’ll still get to share adven­tures with your oth­er half and snug­gle up togeth­er in your sleep­ing bags, but you’ll also get healthy dos­es of hang­ing out with oth­er people—which means you won’t get sick of each other.

Before explor­ers had maps, com­pass­es, and hand­held GPS devices, humankind was nav­i­gat­ing the world using direc­tion­al clues in the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment. There is infor­ma­tion hid­den all around us—in the sun, moon, stars, clouds, weath­er pat­terns, chang­ing tides, plant growth and more. Here are a few quick nat­ur­al nav­i­gat­ing wilder­ness tips:

Use Clues To Find The Sun
The sun ris­es in the east and sets in the west. In the mid­dle of the day, the sun will show you which way is south. Even if you can’t see the sun on a cloudy sky, you can ass­es which direc­tion is south by feel­ing a damp rock. If one side feels dry­er or warmer than the oth­er, chances are it’s the south­ern aspect. Be warned: the myth about moss grow­ing on the north sides of trees is just that—a myth.

Learn To Find Polaris
Polaris is less than one degree from the celes­tial pole—making it one of the eas­i­est ways to iden­ti­fy car­di­nal direc­tions at night. Also called the North Star, it has been doc­u­ment­ed over the ages in cul­tures through­out the North­ern Hemi­sphere. “It was Gra­had­hara in North­ern India and Yil­duz in Turkey. It has been known as al-Qiblah to the Arabs, in tes­ta­ment to its aid in find­ing the direc­tion of Mec­ca. The Chi­nese had at least four names for it,” writes nav­i­ga­tion expert Tris­tan Gooley.

To find Polaris, use the Big Dip­per as ref­er­ence. You’ll see the three stars of the dipper’s “han­dle,” and four stars that make up the “dip­per.” Mea­sure the dis­tance between the two far­thest-right stars in the dip­per, then fol­low an imag­i­nary line between them and up and to the right. The dis­tance to the North Star is five times the dis­tance between the point­er stars. (Tip: Polaris is the bright­est star in its imme­di­ate vicin­i­ty, so if you see two stars of sim­i­lar bright­ness close to each oth­er, you’re look­ing in the wrong place.)

Use Nat­ur­al Handrails
A handrail is an immov­able nat­ur­al or man­made land­mark. You can use this as a point of ref­er­ence as you trav­el. For exam­ple, hik­ers might look at a map and make a men­tal note to keep a riv­er on their left-hand side as they trav­el, and boaters might stay between a chain of islands and the mainland’s shore. Using a handrail can let you trav­el rel­a­tive­ly quick­ly while stay­ing on a route as you’re nav­i­gat­ing in the wilderness.

Lost Cost Trail

Lost Cost TrailThis 26-mile stretch of rock-strewn North­ern Cal­i­for­nia coast­line was sup­posed to be a highway—but it was too rugged for the con­struc­tion equip­ment, so the builders of High­way 1 decid­ed to leave it untouched. Now it’s California’s most unde­vel­oped stretch of shore­line, acces­si­ble only to hik­ers and back­pack­ers with a sense of adven­ture. Think misty marine morn­ings, jagged rocky cliffs, and sweep­ing sandy beach­es. And the best part? It’s free for the taking.

How To Get There
Rough­ly five hours north of San Fran­cis­co, the Lost Coast Trail is locat­ed on the edge of the Bureau of Land Man­age­ment (BLM) King Range Nation­al Con­ser­va­tion Area on the west­ern edge of Hum­boldt Coun­ty in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. The north­ern edge of the wilder­ness area is the town of Fer­n­dale, and the coast­line wan­ders for rough­ly 90 miles of unde­vel­oped inlets—the longest stretch of unde­vel­oped Pacif­ic coast­line in the Unit­ed States out­side of Alaska.

There are two stretch­es of the Lost Coast Trail: the north sec­tion and the south sec­tion. On the north sec­tion, you’ll be walk­ing on boul­ders, peb­bles, and sand. On the south sec­tion, the ele­va­tion gain and loss makes hik­ing much more challenging—some esti­mates even cite 12,000 feet of change, which is more than trav­el­ing in and out of the Grand Canyon. Most hik­ers vis­it the north part of the trail, head­ing south from Mat­tole Riv­er for rough­ly 26 miles.

There are sev­er­al com­mer­cial­ly oper­at­ed shut­tle ser­vices in the area. Research which stretch of the coast­line you’re inter­est­ed in hik­ing, then arrange for a ride so you can hike one-way, then hop a lift back to your car.

Lost Cost TrailWhen To Go
While the trail is tech­ni­cal­ly pos­si­ble all year, most hik­ers choose the warmer and dri­er months between April and Octo­ber. You’ll need to track the dai­ly tides because there are sev­er­al key sec­tions where cliffs and waves com­bine to make the trail impass­able at any­thing except low tide. Invest in a local tide table, and make sure you know how to read it. Also, keep in mind that the wind usu­al­ly blows in from the northwest—which means it’s often more pleas­ant to hike from north to south, so the wind is at your back.

Camp­ing
You can legal­ly camp any­where, but to min­i­mize your envi­ron­men­tal impact pitch your tent in a pre­vi­ous­ly estab­lished camp­site. Sites are first come, first serve, and most are locat­ed next to sea­son­al fresh­wa­ter streams, which are handy for cook­ing and refill­ing drink­ing water sup­plies. Remem­ber that all water used for drink­ing, cook­ing, and doing dish­es should be treated.

It is required that food be car­ried in a bear can­is­ter, and every mem­ber of each team is required to be car­ry­ing at least one bear-proof con­tain­er for stor­ing food and oth­er scent­ed items. Main­tain con­ver­sa­tion and car­ry bear spray while you’re hik­ing to keep the bears away. Remem­ber, all your food must fit inside the bear can­is­ter, so plan your meals accordingly.

And Final­ly
Don’t for­get your cam­era! You’ll see black bears, ele­phant seals, sea birds, otters, and more. The sun ris­es over sweep­ing panoram­ic views, and the Pacif­ic Ocean glis­tens in the dis­tance. Wear lots of sun­screen, take lots of pic­tures, and don’t for­get to take off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes.

Self-reg­is­ter for per­mits (free) at Mat­tole Riv­er trail­head (ca.blm.gov/arcata). For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact the Bureau of Land Management.

©istockphoto/AJ_WattBecause there’s more to life—and camping—than instant oat­meal. Just don’t for­get the coffee!

Alpine Scram­ble
For mul­ti-day back­pack­ing trips, noth­ing beats a good break­fast scram­ble. Use dehy­drat­ed hash browns as a base, then add what­ev­er inspires you: chopped sausage, bacon, ched­dar cheese, and hardy, easy-to-trans­port veg­gies like onions, zuc­chi­ni, pep­pers, and cab­bage. Then add eggs. If ambi­ent tem­per­a­tures are cold and you’re rel­a­tive­ly close to home, you can car­ry real eggs (out of the shell) in a small water bot­tle. If you’re on a longer trip or tem­per­a­tures make car­ry­ing real eggs unsafe, pick up some pow­dered scram­bled huevos at your local co-op or out­door store. Mix all ingre­di­ents in a fry­ing pan, scram­ble until everything’s cooked, and blow your adven­ture part­ners’ minds.

Break­fast Burritos
The best recipe for an overnight week­end adven­ture: bur­ri­tos! Make them at home with your favorite ingre­di­ents, wrap each bur­ri­to in alu­minum foil, then freeze in a Ziplock bag. If you take them out of the freez­er on a Fri­day night, they’ll be per­fect­ly ready to reheat on Sat­ur­day morning.

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Pop Tarts
Toast­er pas­tries are a clas­sic for a rea­son: they’re stur­dy, deli­cious, and ready to eat. Pop Tarts aren’t a nutri­tion­al pow­er­house, but because they pack a hardy punch of calo­ries and sug­ar they make a great sum­mit-morn­ing snack, and they warm eas­i­ly in a pan or skil­let over a camp stove, fire, or toast­er. To add a hearty dose of pro­tein and heart-healthy fat, top with almond or peanut but­ter. Look for organ­ic ver­sions, too.

Chi­laquiles
If you’re car camp­ing, opt for a south-of-the-bor­der break­fast casse­role: chi­laquiles! All you need is a pack­age of stale (or fresh) tor­tillas, a can or two of beans (prefer­ably black), chopped toma­toes (either fresh or canned), and shred­ded cheese. Tear tor­tillas into chip-sized chunks, then mix with beans and toma­toes and heat slow­ly over a camp stove until the tor­tillas are soft. Top with shred­ded cheese. For added piz­zazz, add jalapeños, avo­ca­do, fresh onion, canned corn, sal­sa, or hot sauce. To add a pro­tein kick, top with a fried egg.

Upgrad­ed Oatmeal
For a healthy treat, skip store-bought pack­ets of instant name-brand oat­meal and make your own! All it takes is quick-cook­ing oats, a sprin­kling of brown sug­ar, and some fun addi­tions: chopped nuts, cin­na­mon, ground gin­ger, dried berries, coconut flakes, nut but­ter, etc. Pack­age serv­ings indi­vid­u­al­ly in sand­wich-sized zip bags. If your camp­ing part­ners are handy when you’re pack­ing, let them select their own ingre­di­ents for a do-it-your­self gourmet mix­ture. Try cin­na­mon-cran­ber­ry, coconut-wal­nut, or blueberry-almond-ginger.

©istockphoto/Joel CarilletSo you’ve been dream­ing of back­pack­ing through South­east Asia. When the Banana Pan­cake Trail beck­ons, how do you make your vision a reality?

Get­ting There
Flight is prob­a­bly your best bet, espe­cial­ly if you’re a solo adventurer—although there are options for trav­el by ship, these can be either cost­ly or unre­li­able. Look­ing up the best (largest) air­ports and the best (safest) air­lines in South­east Asia is a good place to begin your research.

Plug your cho­sen des­ti­na­tions into the Google Flights tool. This tool is the best! You can include near­by air­ports and look at prices for any date in the cal­en­dar drop­down. Look for rewards pro­grams offered through rep­utable sites like Expe­dia to snag the best deal possible.

Now that you’ve booked your flight, the dream just got real, and you need to tack­le the least glam­orous aspects of your trip. It’s logis­tics, but it’s imper­a­tive that you fig­ure these con­cerns out soon­er rather than later.

Visas
Visa poli­cies dif­fer by coun­try. Viet­nam requires a visa in hand before you can enter the coun­try, unless you are arriv­ing by air, in which case you can pre­arrange for a visa. Indone­sia offers 30-day visas on arrival for rough­ly $25.

Cam­bo­dia offers 30-day visas that you can pick up at a bor­der or an air­port, while Thai­land also offers a 30-day visa for those arriv­ing by air and a 15-day visa for those arriv­ing by land…but guess what…they’re free! Malaysia also offers free 90-day visas on arrival.

For longer visas and visas for oth­er South­east Asian coun­tries, this arti­cle cov­ers the var­i­ous oth­er require­ments. It also rec­om­mends pay­ing for any fee-based visas in West­ern cur­ren­cy to get a deal.

Vac­ci­na­tions
You should con­sid­er a vari­ety of vac­ci­na­tions when vis­it­ing South­east Asia. Some fall into the “you should just have these vac­ci­na­tions in your reg­u­lar life” cat­e­go­ry and some fall into the “you should have them for your trip” category.

Accord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol, you should already have your measles-mumps-rubel­la (MMR) vac­cine, diph­the­ria-tetanus-per­tus­sis vac­cine, vari­cel­la (chick­en­pox) vac­cine, polio vac­cine, and your year­ly flu shot. If you haven’t had these, get them.

For your trip, you might con­sid­er Hepati­tis A and Typhoid. If you’ll be vis­it­ing mul­ti­ple coun­tries, Hepati­tis B, Japan­ese Encephali­tis, Malar­ia, Rabies, and Yel­low Fever also fall under the list of pos­si­ble vac­ci­na­tions. Dis­cuss options with your doctor.

Learn the Language
The main artery of the Banana Pan­cake Trail is the Khao San Road, which winds through Bangkok. Know your basic Thai phras­es. As you ven­ture from Thai­land, most vis­i­tors can prob­a­bly get by with Viet­namese, Khmer (spo­ken in Cam­bo­dia) and Burmese. If you make it to China’s Yun­nan Province, brush up on your South­west­ern Mandarin.

Learn to say hel­lo, good-bye, par­don me, sor­ry, where is and how much. Short phras­es and ques­tions (spo­ken in your fal­ter­ing, clear­ly non-native accent) should make it obvi­ous that you want to con­nect on a mean­ing­ful level.

Guides, restau­rant own­ers, and shop­keep­ers who cater to tourists are a great resource for expand­ing your vocab­u­lary fur­ther. They fre­quent­ly speak some English.

photo-1455812678798-21f57285a6dc

Nav­i­ga­tion and Transportation
Keep a map handy. If you man­gle the name of the city you wish to vis­it, just point to it on the page.

Trains routes are eas­i­er to make sense of than bus­es. Check all timeta­bles short­ly before you depart. You’ll real­ly get to know your fel­low thrill-seek­ers on these jour­neys, mak­ing them an ide­al time to com­pare trav­el notes and adjust your route.

If you just want to go from point A to point B, these inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized taxi ser­vices can be accessed from your phone.

For those moments when trans­porta­tion is more a mat­ter of expe­ri­enc­ing the sights and sounds of the region than about arriv­ing at a spe­cif­ic loca­tion at a giv­en time, your options will vary accord­ing to coun­try: slide on the back of a xe om motor­bike taxi in Viet­nam or catch a tuk tuk in Cambodia.

Putting It All Together
If the nec­es­sary plan­ning and poten­tial for cul­tur­al mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion seems over­whelm­ing, just remem­ber: we’ll nev­er under­stand each oth­er as glob­al cit­i­zens until we take the jour­ney. So get out there and explore!

Between win­ning numer­ous gear awards and accom­pa­ny­ing thrill seek­ers as they climb Mt. Ever­est and trav­el the world, Sier­ra Designs has proven they have what it takes to pro­vide qual­i­ty out­door appar­el. Today’s Sier­ra Designs event fea­tures out­er­wear, down booties, and more at up to 50% off.

We’re also fea­tur­ing a selec­tion of wom­en’s appar­el from Stonewear Designs: cloth­ing per­fect for yoga, fit­ness, hik­ing, and trav­el­ing. Stonewear Designs cre­ates appar­el with unique designs and a great fit. Shop this event at up to 60% off now.

Cred­it: StonewearDesigns.com

Final­ly, anoth­er great mag­a­zine sub­scrip­tion deliv­ered to your door. Get a full year’s sub­scrip­tion to the award-win­ning Back­pack­er Mag­a­zine at up to 50% off the news­stand price.

If you want to shop our oth­er events from this week, there’s still time. Click the fol­low­ing brand names to check out the selec­tions: O’Neill eye­wear, Philips | O’Neill head­phones, Hyper­flex wet­suits, DAKINE gear, and Loopt­works apparel.

You’ll receive free ship­ping on any order that con­tains an exclu­sive The Clymb t‑shirt and e‑gift cards are still avail­able in a vari­ety of incre­ments. As always, some­one is avail­able on Face­book or Twit­ter to answer your ques­tions, take your sug­ges­tions, and extend invi­ta­tions to shop The Clymb.

Just one event mid-week, folks, but it’s a big one filled with lots of great stuff and from a brand that’s a def­i­nite Clymb favorite.

We’ve got DAKINE bags that are hike, school, trav­el, street, moun­tain, beach, back coun­try, skate, and even prom wor­thy. That’s right; I said prom. Along with durable, prac­ti­ca­ble bags for all occa­sions, we’re car­ry­ing a selec­tion of DAKINE appar­el and acces­sories for men and women. You can get your DAKINE shop­ping on at up to 55% off for the next three days. The event begins here.

 

 

Also, your entire order ships for free if you pur­chase a 1‑year sub­scrip­tion to Wend Magazine.

The event is only open to Clymb mem­bers, but I can extend an invi­ta­tion via Face­book or Twit­ter. You just have to know the pass­word which is, “May I have an invite, please?”

We’re work­ing on a short­er, more clan­des­tine password.

We’ve kicked off our new Monday/Wednesday/Friday event sched­ule, which gives you more brands and more chances to save.

Our first Fri­day event belongs to Kel­ty. We have a sol­id selec­tion of tents, sleep­ing bags, packs and a cool sun-shade. Mem­bers, you have the week­end to snatch up this Kel­ty gear at up to 60% off.

Click here to shop Kel­ty. If you’re not a mem­ber, vis­it us on Twit­ter or Face­book and ask for an invite. We’re hap­py to extend one.