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Backpacking to Fire Lookouts

Aaron Zagrodnick

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Aaron Zagrodnick

As a destination for hikers, summits are understandable at an instinctual level. Grand vistas, an imitable top of the world feeling, and a sense of accomplishment that can last for an afternoon or a lifetime are so appealing that it is often hard to resist the allure of bagging a peak. Whether on maintained trails, cross-country bootpaths, or technical rock climbing routes, there are ways to reach the tops of thousands of peaks on our public lands. While the memories of topping out on a remote highpoint have a long shelf life, the actual amount of time spent on summits is often frustratingly brief. Between the need to leave plenty of time to safely descend, unpredictable weather, and the often cramped and craggy conditions on most mountaintops, most summit visits are measured in minutes or hours. Although some might lend themselves to a reasonably comfortable bivy or even a halfway decent campsite, limited water (aside from melting snow) and gusty winds make many peaks less than ideal for camping...

@Mark shares this article that details the unique experience of backpacking to fire lookout towers - check out the article in Issue 44:

Shelter on a Summit: Lookouts

Backpacking to Fire Lookout Towers in the United States

Issue 44 Page 1

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