Issue 44 has been released! Download your own high definition PDF copy with a Premium Membership or read online here.



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  2. The Lone Peak series of trail running shoes from Altra are a popular shoe choice in lightweight backpacking and hiking circles, mainly due to the comfort of the Lone Peak platform combined with a decent outsole and rock protection. Comfort is achieved via Altra’s foot-shaped toebox, the light weight of the shoe, and its zero drop midsole for a natural gait. Combined with an aggressive outsole and rock protection we having the makings of a great summer long distance hiking shoe. As an option for extending hikes into the shoulder seasons or winter and for those who want to keep all the aforementioned benefits of the Lone Peak, Altra previously offered a waterproof version (both in a low and a mid-height) in the form of the Altra Lone Peak NeoShell we’ve previously reviewed. Since then, Altra has switched to a waterproofing solution based on an eVent membrane and the current waterproof Lone Peak, based on the Lone Peak 4, is offered in the form of the Lone Peak 4 RSM (Rain, Snow, Mud) that is available either as a low trail running shoe or in the form of a mid-height boot as reviewed here. The first thing I do with any waterproof shoe or boot is give it a test just to see how waterproof it really is, and the RSM was no exception. The RSM did exhibit some initial leaks in several areas and especially through stitching around the lower lacing area (still below the gusset) and the overall waterproofing does get worse with wear. Thus in terms of being water resistant the RSM is not as waterproof as a typical mid-height boot you might run across that uses a sealed inner Gore-Tex or eVent bootie – on the RSM, Altra is still utilizing the waterproofing layer as the upper material of the shoe similar to the older NeoShell. This exposes the waterproofing layer directly to abrasion, although this layer has face fabric offering a level of durability combined with a lot of overlays. However, this design approach does appear to lead to challenges in creating a fully waterproof shoe. While not 100% waterproof, the shoe is still highly water resistant and an improvement over the previous NeoShell version. Breathability wise, the shoes seem to keep up with my feet in the conditions where I reach for a waterproof shoe. However for summer – and as I can definitely feel my feet starting to heat up in moderate temps with the RSM – I’ll be sticking to the mesh Lone Peak. On the trail the Altra RSM is just as comfortable in those wetter and colder conditions underfoot as its mesh Lone Peak counterparts, and it’s safe to say when it comes to a mid-height boot, it’s the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. In wet conditions you can expect some water intrusion, but it’s usually minimal. As an example on a recent backpacking trip in cold conditions through half a foot of snow (The boot has multiple gaiter attachment points for deeper snow) once at camp my socks were a bit damp in some areas (matching up to the previous waterproofing weak points), but it wasn’t too bad – my socks were dry in other areas and were completely dry once I’d been in my sleeping bag for half an hour. One could potentially hit these boots with some seam-sealer in key areas as well if desired, which is something I initially considered but was never compelled to actually complete. These are lightweight boots and even with thick socks, my feet do start to get a bit chilly once hiking temperatures reach the lower 30’s. This usage range could be extended into lower temperatures with a VBL setup. One interesting design choice is that Altra is utilizing a metal lacing ring at the top of the boot: this requires you to fully untie and re-tie your boots every time you take them off or put them on. For this purpose I much prefer a metal speed lace hook, that way I can get the boots off without having to untie the laces if I want, and I can then slip the boots on loosely for walking around camp without having to retie the shoe or walking around with untied laces. It’s just a faster and more convenient system. Overall, the RSM does feature some improvements compared to previous waterproof versions of the Lone Peak, but as far as the RSM is concerned, it’s still suited for a relatively narrow range of users and activities: namely those who love the zero-drop platform of the Lone Peak, and want a similar waterproof / resistant early or late season shoe…in conditions that aren’t too hot, too cold, or too wet. The Altra Lone Peak 4 RSM Mid retails for $160 – find it here at REI and on Amazon.com. The RSM is also available in a low cut trail running shoe version.
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  4. Want To Buy - 2015-2016 version LG or XL hip belt for a Gossamer Gear Mariposa. I have an older 2016 XL GG Mariposa pack and looking for a hip belt either LG or XL. The current GG hip belts are slightly smaller, the older ones have a 1.5" web belt and larger buckle. Thanks!
  5. Aaron

    Issue 44 Released

    Thanks grizzled, glad you liked the issue and that article in particular from @jansenjournals. It was a fun one for us to work on!
  6. grizzled

    Issue 44 Released

    Nice issue Aaron. Sean Jansen's piece on the Bridger Range was of special interest as this is literally my backyard. Other than being way too close to Bozeman, there remain numerous areas that you can still get "lost" in that range not to mention the skiing.
  7. jay

    Yellowstone...Finally.

    I agree with getting there anytime you can. I am not a fan of going when there is a high density of other visitors, personally, I head to the wilds to avoid people. We did see bears, fattening up before winter, and just about every other form of wildlife there. The best part of that time of year for me was that there were no mosquitos or other biting insects.
  8. Rob Newton

    Backpacking in Sarek National Park

    Thanks @Aaron, happy to answer any questions people may have ...
  9. I own a great pair of lightweight Salomon boot, and almost never wear them. 90% of my time outdoors, even backpacking, is done in trail shoes.
  10. alcap

    Yellowstone...Finally.

    I have been out there twice now, once in early spring (1st week of May) and once in early Sept. Both seasons have benefits of course. For our spring trip the bears were ravenous and VERY active. We saw grizzly every single day we were there, usually more than one. Watched as one grizzly came out of the woods and chased some wolves off an elk carcass. The cool think about the fall trip was the rutting elk. They were bugling and chasing cows constantly, and if you aren't from the mountain west that is really an impressive thing too. The bottom line is there probably is not a bad time to go. Just go!
  11. jay

    River Otter

    I can't really blame him, I like sushi, too!
  12. Aaron

    Issue 44 Released

    Issue 44 of TrailGroove Magazine is now available! Click the preceding link or the cover below to take a look: In This Issue: Jargon: NPS, BLM, USFS Trail News Trail Tip: Holiday Weekends Backpacking in Sarek National Park Hiking Montana's Bridger Range MSR Access 1 Tent Review Gear Mash Backcountry Chili Recipes Media: Turn Around Time Backpacking to Fire Lookouts 121 pages dedicated to backpacking and hiking. Special thanks to all of our readers and contributors for your support and contributions towards the latest issue! If it's your first time viewing the magazine, we suggest starting on Page 1 for viewing tips and tricks. Prefer a different format or want to view the magazine offline? A PDF is also available individually or included with a Premium Membership. Your input is highly appreciated. Let us know what you thought about Issue 44 here on the TrailGroove Forum, or contact us anytime. Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for Issue 45, due out this winter.
  13. Aaron

    Issue 44

    Note: This download is included at no extra cost with a Premium TrailGroove Membership - Details Here. Issue 44: (121 Pages) Table of Contents: Jargon: NPS, BLM, USFS Trail News Trail Tip: Holiday Weekends Backpacking in Sarek National Park Hiking Montana's Bridger Range MSR Access 1 Tent Review Gear Mash Backcountry Chili Recipes Media: Turn Around Time Fire Lookouts

    $5.00

  14. Aaron

    Issue 44 Wallpaper

    Note: This download is included at no extra cost with a Premium TrailGroove Membership - Details Here. Full HD Desktop Wallpaper / Background for TrailGroove Issue 44.

    $1.50

  15. My next backpacking trek will be a return to conquer California's Lost Coast Trail. I am planning on doing this with a backpacking buddy February 19-23. My blog post I Lost to the Lost Coast from December of 2015 will explain why this is a return to conquer for me. The plan is to meet at Shelter Cove, CA, leave a car and then drive to Mattole Trailhead to begin the trek on Thursday morning the 20th back to Shelter Cove. The tide charts are favorable with 0' low tide occurring in late afternoon which will work out fine as long as the weather cooperates. We should finish up the trek on Saturday drive back to pickup a car at Mattole and then spend a night in the Redwoods before driving back home to Oregon.
  16. Aaron

    Issue 44

    Read Online Download PDF Contents: Jargon: NPS, BLM, USFS Trail News Trail Tip: Holiday Weekends Backpacking in Sarek National Park Hiking Montana's Bridger Range MSR Access 1 Tent Review Gear Mash Backcountry Chili Recipes Media: Turn Around Time Fire Lookouts PDF Version Read Online Download PDF In This Issue: Sarek National Park Bridger Range Fire Lookouts MSR Access 1 Turn Around Time Chili Recipes Holiday Weekend Tips Public Lands Jargon
  17. Davywhiker

    Trails in the Northeast

    Backpacking in the Northeast US Hello fellow hikers, I was wondering if anyone knows a good trail in the northeastern US (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York etc) that will take anywhere from 3 days to a week. I would prefer to see and climb mountains during the trek. My group is very experienced so no trek is out of reach!!
  18. Rosspark

    Alternative to Keen Targhee III

    Hello! My husband and I used to have Keen boots and didn’t really like them. Now we have have Vasque (I think Breeze model) and they’re great. We also have wide feet and they’re very comfortable. We hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc in them!
  19. Any NJ hikers that like to hike in Europe? We’ve hiked the TMB and are planning to hike the Italian Dolomites. Just wondering if anyone else near us is doing similar hikes...
  20. balzaccom

    River Otter

    Despite the fact that we live in downtown Napa, this morning we were having breakfast when M noticed something odd in our fishpond--a great disturbance. Water was splashing everywhere. When we went out to investigate we found a river otter was dining on our goldfish sushi.... We chased him away...and he was back in five minutes. Apparently the sushi was delicious. Then we chased him away with more determination, and we think he headed back to the creek behind our house. He'll probably return for thirds at some point...sigh.
  21. Cassf

    Alternative to Keen Targhee III

    Hello! I'm buying my boyfriend a pair of hiking boots for Christmas and he recently tried on a few different boots. He really liked the Keen Targhee III mid waterproof boots but after reading some reviews they seem like they aren't very durable. We're looking for a lightweight mid hiking boot with a similar fit, he has wide feet and likes something with a slightly flexible sole. Any suggestions? Thanks!
  22. Mark

    What wine to take backpacking?

    I'm a big fan of the Bandit box wine Pinot Grigio. Has been one of my "go to" wines for backpacking for almost a decade. I also like to take bourbon on some trips and have packed in beer for many trips where I can put them in a stream or lake to keep cool. My kit is pretty lightweight so it's not too big a deal for me to pack in a beer or two, especially since I won't have that weight on the way out.
  23. For most three-season conditions, I hike in trail runners rather than boots. Mostly non-waterproof trail runners, but occasionally waterproof ones depending on the conditions I expect. There haven't been any trips I've been on since making this switch where I wished I had boots.
  24. jay

    What wine to take backpacking?

    You and I think alike on this.
  25. balzaccom

    What wine to take backpacking?

    If you're carrying it a long distance, go for concentration. Scotch works just fine!
  26. unfortunately not, it is top on my list for next spring, though.
  27. jay

    What wine to take backpacking?

    wine is good; I prefer a quality single malt scotch, personally. I have a flask that is dedicated solely to my adventuring.
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