Home / Backpacking Gear Reviews, Expert Tips, & Trail Guides

Backpacking Gear Reviews, Expert Tips, & Trail Guides

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. 
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.” 
A Mother’s Note

A Mother’s Note

The following email came in this morning from a caring mother doing lightweight backpacking research for her son. It reminded me of how much I love my own mother and how wonderful mothers are in general.This note made my day so I thought I’d share it with you too. Happy Friday everyone! 
Video Series Launch

Video Series Launch

The big CH launch went off without a hitch yesterday and our customers have been saying wonderful things about our series! It feels incredible to be part of a project that I believe in so much and that has been receiving such positive feedback from the community that I love. 
Learn How to Lightweight & Ultralight Backpack

Learn How to Lightweight & Ultralight Backpack

Yesterday was a huge day in the life of CleverHiker. I’d love to tell you a little bit about our progress and talk about some big things to come. About six months ago I started an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign to raise support for a video series on ultralight backpacking (image above). The campaign was wildly successful due to the support of my friends, family, and the backpacking community. Yesterday I was able to send an individual email to each of my 166 backers to deliver on a promise I made half a year ago. It was an incredibly proud moment for me.  
Filming Complete

Filming Complete

We’re very excited to announce that the filming for CleverHiker Season 1 – Lightweight & Ultralight Backpacking Foundations – is complete!!! We’re moving to the post-production phase now where we’ll chop up our footage and add stylish graphics to build a polished product. We’re still shooting for an early May release date and working hard to stay on schedule.A huge thanks to Director of Photography – Matt Mastrantuono – for his tireless efforts in making the filming of our first series successful!We’re very excited for big things to come!
1 17 18 19