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20 Most Essential Trail Skills

20 Most Essential Trail Skills

We just announced the content for CleverHiker seasons 2 & 3! Follow this link to SectionHiker.com to see the article that was posted today with a full list of episode titles and content summaries. Our next series is called Essential Trail Skills I & II and it’s going to be rad. We’re currently in the process of editing 20 HD videos teaching the most important backpacking skills for the trail. The release date will be in early 2014.Check out the content on SectionHiker and let me know what you think! Feel free to leave a comment on SH, tweet out the article, or leave me a comment here.
Backcountry Weather Forecasts

Backcountry Weather Forecasts

Checking the weather forecast before heading into the backcountry is a no-brainer – but how do you get the best info for the middle of nowhere? This article covers 4 basic tips on how to get the best prediction possible for your next backpacking adventure.
4 Reasons Why “Ultralight” is Here to Stay

4 Reasons Why “Ultralight” is Here to Stay

It’s true, the name “ultralight backpacking” is lame. It just is. It’s a title that’s trying too hard to sound extreme for an activity that’s inherently peaceful. And as a guy that’s played a sport called “ultimate frisbee” for the past 10 years, I have lots of experience with monikers like this. It’s also not really a different activity than traditional backpacking. Carry everything you need on your back into the wilderness and have an adventure. That’s backpacking. The weight of your pack doesn’t make the core activity any different.
Filming Nearly Finished!

Filming Nearly Finished!

The new content is looking incredible and I know that all backpackers will enjoy the series focus. I’m really excited to fill everyone in on the details and I’m working on a blog post to give the full update. I’m offering the post up as a guest post to one of my favorite blogs, so we’ll see if that works out.
Keep Wildlife Wild – Protect Your Food

Keep Wildlife Wild – Protect Your Food

Philip Werner put up a great rant this week about bear bagging and the importance of properly protecting your food in the wilderness. There’s been a lively discussion on his post about the best food storage techniques and how to fix the general problem that animals are getting into human food too much in the wilderness. When animals get human food, it damages their natural foraging instincts and hurts the environment. It also causes pests around established campsites and can be deadly for the animals themselves.
Back At It!

Back At It!

It’s been an action-packed summer for CleverHiker and we’re back in the field filming our next series, Essential Trail Skills! The content for our new series is looking incredible and we’re really excited to get to work in the editing studio in October. More info about the new series coming soon!We’ve got a lot of big updates coming up, so make sure to stay tuned. We’re working on some huge website improvements, we’ve got some great new trip reports to share, we’ll be posting some sweet gear reviews, and we’re working to bring on a few key sponsors for our new videos.
Nature’s Coffee Kettle Review

Nature’s Coffee Kettle Review

I love a good cup of coffee in the morning, and there’s hardly a better place to enjoy it than the great outdoors. A good cup of Joe is always better with a great view.Nature’s Coffee Kettle is a new product that helps make the entire process easier. Their portable drip coffee bag lets you enjoy artisan coffee without any mess. Boil water, pour it in the bag, and let it filter for a tasty cup of java on the trail.
Collegiate Peaks Loop Backpacking Guide

Collegiate Peaks Loop Backpacking Guide

Searching for an epic two-week Colorado backpacking adventure? Here’s what you’re looking for: The Collegiate Peaks Loop.This stunning 160-mile loop in central Colorado provides a perfectly balanced two-week backpacking adventure.  Follow along the pristine Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail as they wind through lush forests, meadows, and  valleys. Trek through vast fields of wildflowers that drape the rugged mountainsides. Scan the hills for a glimpse of an elk, mountain goat, or bighorn sheep. With huge sections of trail above tree line, you’ll get a healthy dose of craggy peaks and epic views.
Bear Bagging Gone Wrong

Bear Bagging Gone Wrong

How you store your food at night in the wilderness is an important decision, especially in bear country. I’ve been thinking about proper food storage techniques this week while I write content for the next CleverHiker video series. In some parks and wilderness areas, they have rigid rules, which make your decision much easier. In Yosemite for example, backpackers are required to carry bear canisters in the backcountry and campers are required to use bear boxes in campsites. Educating visitors and forcing them to obey strict food storage rules has led to a dramatic reduction in bear break-ins, aggressive bear behavior, and bear fatalities. 
Sawyer Squeeze

Sawyer Squeeze

Water purification tends to be a topic that is highly debated among lightweight backpackers. Some choose the ultralight route of chemical purification, some wave the magic UV wand, some carry bulky filters, and some choose to take the risk of drinking straight from unfiltered sources. After a nasty run-in with giardia a few years ago, I have become the type of backpacker that always purifies water and pays close attention to my treatment method.
We’re back!

We’re back!

Dear Colorado, don’t ever change.Annie and I just got back from our grand Colorado road trip and we had an absolutely amazing time! Our three week adventure was filled with weddings, friends, and one of the finest backpacking loops in the country. I took a boatload of photos, videos, and time lapse photography during our backpacking trip, which will make the next CleverHiker season really pop. It’s going to be an incredibly busy month, but I hope to post lots of updates with pictures and information from our trip. 
Colorado Bound! July 11th – 31st

Colorado Bound! July 11th – 31st

My girlfriend Annie and I leave on an epic road trip to the great state of Colorado tomorrow! We’ll be driving from Portland to Boulder over the next two days. We have two weddings in Boulder that are separated by about twelve days. We’ll be spending those twelve days in the Rocky Mountains hiking the Collegiate Loop trail! 
Cut your pack to save pounds

Cut your pack to save pounds

Backpacker magazine just popped up on my Facebook feed and asked if I was ready to try ultralight backpacking. Huh, I thought, as a matter of fact I am! When I clicked the link, it sent me to watch the short video below, which explains how to cut up a heavy backpack to reduce weight. You can imagine my disappointment when I started watching. They asked if I was ready to learn about ultralight backpacking, and when I said yes, they told me to take a pair of scissors and chop up my backpack. Bummer. If I wasn’t already an UL backpacker, I wonder if I’d ever give it a second chance. 
The Road from Karakol – Short Film

The Road from Karakol – Short Film

If you can spare 25 minutes for a short film that is sure to inspire any adventurer, have a look at The Road from Karakol presented by Outdoor Research. It’s a powerful story, with breathtaking landscapes, and a compelling focus character, Kyle Dempster. This film’s depiction of true adventure shines throughout, at times deeply depressing and at times sincerely exhilarating. At its core the film poses the question; “When the road ends, will you keep going?”
Essential Trail Skills? – CH Season 2

Essential Trail Skills? – CH Season 2

What are the most important backpacking skills that you’d like to see covered in CleverHiker season 2?
Caldera Cone System

Caldera Cone System

A little while ago I was able to connect with Rand Lindsly, from Trail Designs, to learn more about their popular Caldera Cone System. I had always thought of the Caldera Cone as an alcohol stove with a windscreen, but Rand was able to shed some light on the topic for me. He made some really great points and got me thinking about alcohol stoves in a way that I hadn’t before. It’s easy to tell that Rand and the Trail Designs team really understand the ins and outs of lightweight backpacking stoves. In his words “We pretty much eat, sleep, and drink this stuff every day, so we kinda got our heads around it.” 
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