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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/24/2015 in all areas

  1. Note: This giveaway ended 7/12/16. For summer, we're giving away a new ZPacks 4-in-1 MultiPack filled with a $50 Gift Certificate to REI and a choice of shirt or hat from the TrailGroove Store! If you're not familiar with this versatile storage solution from ZPacks check out our Multi-Pack Review from back in Issue 17 for all the details - I personally use one as a ~3 ounce solution to keep my camera easily accessible (in chest pack mode) on every hike. Just make sure you're subscribed to TrailGroove and then like this blog post to let us know you'd like to be included in the drawing
    162 points
  2. Note: This giveaway ended 5/16/16. This month enter to win a $100 REI e-Gift Card plus your choice of a shirt or hat from the TrailGroove Store! Just make sure you're subscribed to TrailGroove and then like this blog post to let us know you'd like to be included in the drawing. Full details below. How to Enter 1) Like this blog entry in the lower right hand corner of this post. Simply login with your TrailGroove account and like this blog entry in the lower right hand corner of this post to let us know you'd like to be entered to win. New to TrailGroove? Click here to sign
    144 points
  3. Note: This Giveaway Ended 3/15/17. For our winter giveaway (and just in time!), we're giving away a new Helinox Chair Zero and the choice of any shirt or hat from the TrailGroove Store! This new camp comfort seating solution from Helinox is a comfortable chair that's both packable and light enough for those backpacking and hiking excursions where some extra comfort might be on your list of priorities - for more info on the Chair Zero, take a look here at REI and read our recent review. Just make sure you're subscribed to TrailGroove and then like this blog post to let us know you'd
    136 points
  4. Note: This giveaway ended 10/31/16. For fall, we're giving away a new BearVault BV450 food canister filled with a $50 Gift Certificate to REI and a choice of shirt or hat from the TrailGroove Store! Check out our full BV450 review in Issue 30 for more info on the BearVault, and just make sure you're subscribed to TrailGroove and then like this blog post to let us know you'd like to be included in the drawing. Full details below. Photo credit Mark Wetherington How to Enter 1) Like this blog entry in the lower right hand corner of this post. Simply login with your
    135 points
  5. Note: This giveaway ended 6/2/17 For spring, we're giving away a $100 REI e-Gift Card plus your choice of a shirt or hat from the TrailGroove Store! Just make sure you're subscribed to TrailGroove and then like this blog post to let us know you'd like to be included in the drawing. Full details below. How to Enter 1) Like this blog entry in the lower right hand corner of this post. Simply login with your TrailGroove account and like this blog entry in the lower right hand corner of this post to let us know you'd like to be entered to win. New to TrailGroove? Click here to
    128 points
  6. Note: This giveaway ended 2/22/16. With an eye on the upcoming arrival of spring next month, we're giving away a Platypus GravityWorks water filter system - similar to the system we reviewed here in Issue 25, just in the 2 liter reservoir kit version, plus your choice of shirt or hat from the TrailGroove Store. The GravityWorks filtration kit is an easy to use .2 micron water filter system that we've found to be well designed and easy to use, and it's a great choice for anything from a day hikes to longer backpacking trips. Click here to see the exact system the winner will receive.
    117 points
  7. Note: This giveaway ended 7/28/17. For summer, we're giving away a $100 Backcountry.com Gift Certificate plus your choice of a shirt or hat from the TrailGroove Store! Just make sure you're subscribed to TrailGroove and then like this blog post to let us know you'd like to be included in the drawing. Full details below. How to Enter 1) Like this blog entry in the lower right hand corner of this post. Simply login with your TrailGroove account and like this blog entry in the lower right hand corner of this post to let us know you'd like to be entered to win. New to TrailGro
    82 points
  8. I wear the multi pack on every hike, too! My camera loves it.. On Whitney, I used it as my go-to food bag.
    7 points
  9. TrailGroove, thank you once again for putting one of these giveaways. I was fortunate enough to win the Patagonia Houdini wind-shirt giveaway last year and have been utterly delighted with the jacket, which is now a firm favourite. I say a quiet thank you ever time I use it. Thanks once again Richard
    7 points
  10. awesome giveaway. Thank you for the chance .
    5 points
  11. Gossamer Gear has been refining their ultralight oriented backpacks since 1998, including multiple iterations of the Gorilla – their medium volume framed pack. The newest version was released in early 2015 using gray Robic fabric instead of the white Dyneema Grid fabric as seen on older packs. The shoulder straps are now unisex, more contoured, thicker,and slightly narrower than the previous version. The hip belt was also redesigned to have more padding with a mesh inner face to wick sweat. Trekking pole holders were also added along with heavier stitching for prolonged pack life. As a result,
    5 points
  12. Boy, this would be a great addition to my gear for my summer trip to Thousand Island lake!. Thanks for the contest.
    5 points
  13. It's kind of an interesting line of questioning to ask if something is necessary. You don't "need" a backpack. You can easily fold a tarp up into a pouch to hold all your gear and hang it from a sling. But not many people would make an argument not to use a backpack, despite the significant expense. Continuing the thought process, you don't need a tent, a tarp is just fine. You don't need a cook kit or water filtration, as you can cook on a fire or boil water to drink. Bottom line, most things in this hobby are optional. We choose to use things that make the experience more enjoyable and
    5 points
  14. It is one thing to conceptually understand that you have the gear to bivy at 7,500 feet in the Northern Rockies with a forecast of six degrees below zero. It is another thing entirely to find yourself in circumstances where you end up having to do exactly that. And it was in such circumstances that I found myself on the last night of 2015. Perhaps I shouldn’t have turned down that invitation to a New Year’s Eve party after all. I left home that morning later than I would’ve liked and drove for more than five minutes but less than five hours to the trailhead. Montana, Idaho, Washingt
    4 points
  15. They say fire warms the soul, better yet when that fire is in a potbelly stove set inside a historic cabin atop the spine of the continent burning wood you didn’t have to chop! Rachel and I decided to celebrate my 31st birthday and our recent move to Colorado by booking an overnight stay at one of the over 30 backcountry huts for rent in Colorado through the 10th Mountain Hut Association and the above scenario is exactly what we found. Based on some advice from fellow TrailGroove writer @PaulMags, we decided on Section House – a historic railroad cabin built in 1887, restored in the 1990’s and
    4 points
  16. In the summer of 2009 I was sitting in a hotel room in Hirosaki, a small city in the far north of Japan’s main island of Honshu, eagerly anticipating my upcoming hike. It was to be the second big hike I’d ever gone on in Japan, and I was determined that unlike my first journey into this country’s wilderness, this one would be perfect. Unfortunately for me, though, neither of the two friends I was traveling with seemed particularly enthusiastic about hitting the trails, and we had yet to make the final decision as to whether or not we’d even be going out to the mountain. The reason w
    4 points
  17. After a season of hiking, sleeping and sweating in your down jacket or sleeping bag things can get a little stinky. You might even notice a slight loss of loft as body oils compromise the fluffiness of the down feathers. Or, as in my case, the jacket is just grubby. Fortunately washing your jacket or sleeping bag is a lot easier than you may fear. In this article I’ll go step by step through washing one of my down jackets but the same process can be used for nearly all down sleeping bags. The only difference is more soap (typically a capful) and using a clean bathtub instead of a sink. To
    4 points
  18. The last two winters I’ve spent living in the American southwest, and before I left I planned to take a long bike ride. I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to go, but I was leaning towards somewhere way out in the desert. I changed my mind many times in the months before the trip, but eventually decided to leave sunny California, and drive further inland, to Utah. I had driven this highway once before, a scenic route through the southern part of Utah. Highway 12, “The All American Road.” I knew there was a route. I could bike out to this highway, turn right in the town of Boulder ont
    4 points
  19. With so many places to explore in Montana, it might seem a bit strange to visit the same place for a second time – much less a third time. But one lake in particular has drawn me back to it three times over the last few years. My first visit to this lake was coincidentally my first summer in Montana. My eagerness for mountain scenery led me to visiting it so early (late May) that even though it had been a mild winter, the lake was still frozen over and although the scenery was magical I wasn’t able to fish it. That trip also resulted in a memory that made an impression on me and that I’ve succ
    4 points
  20. Note: This giveaway ended 10/30/15. For fall, we're giving away a brand new Helinox Ground Chair, (Reviewed here in Issue 23) a ~22 ounce chair that's great for those more relaxed backpacking trips, day hikes, or even while car camping or just about anything else you can think of. We'll also throw in a TrailGroove hat or shirt of the winner's choosing! How to Enter: Leave a comment below on this blog entry describing the single backpacking/hiking luxury item you'd never leave behind on a backpacking/hiking trip, and why that's the case. Your comment counts as one
    4 points
  21. In typical backpacker fashion, I did my solemn duty of taking off the Thursday before a federal holiday falling on a Friday to schedule a two-night trip followed by a day of rest. A stroke of good fortune allowed me to book Christmas Eve and Christmas night at a small, rustic Forest Service rental cabin in the mountains of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Given the frigid forecast, it was well worth the nominal fee to know that after skiing around all day I’d have four walls, a roof, and a wood stove to wind down in and not have to put in the full effort required of winter
    4 points
  22. The Red Desert of Wyoming holds a unique appeal no matter your approach – it’s a country just as suitable for backpacking as it is for exploring and camping beside your vehicle off a rough and long forgotten dirt road. Either way, you’re likely to be in the middle of the nowhere. Adding to its allure, to begin the year the desert can only be comfortably explored for a short time each spring after the roads have sufficiently dried from melting snow to make passage by vehicle (just to get there) possible, and before this treeless and shadeless expanse becomes too hot for comfortable h
    4 points
  23. A bit of a followup to http://www.trailgroove.com/issue31.html?autoflip=17 I made a return trip to the Ah-shi-sle-pah Wilderness in October 2017. I had been to this rough badland area before where we saw the ‘King of Wings’ formation, but his time we were headed farther west toward the ‘Valley of Dreams’ area where the ‘Alien Throne’ was located. After miles of driving mostly unmarked dirt roads across the boring plains, we came to a spot in the road where there was one other car, and my GPS showed us to be a little over a mile from the destination. We loaded our backpacks and headed off
    4 points
  24. I know this is an old post, but I noticed that there were no factual data posted about the safety of aluminum cookware. As a critical thinker and an REI employee, I believe that people should make informed decisions based on facts from credible sources, not someone's own personal beliefs. (Disclaimer: This post in no way represents the opinions or recommendations of REI and I am not posting as an employee, but as a private individual.) According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), aluminum is safe to cook with. Aluminum is naturally present soil, water, and the air, but account for
    4 points
  25. So there's a foot of snow on the ground, the temps have been in the single digits (both positive and negative). I should get out and go for a ski, but the NWS says winds of 30+ MPH in the high country. Clearly, the proper thing to do today is start planning a long-distance hike. For section-hiking the PCT, I have relied on Craigs PCT Planner to help me estimate how many miles I'll hike per day and thus how many days it will take to get from one resupply point to another. It does this by having you put in an average pace, hours hiked per day, and an elevation gain factor. It works
    4 points
  26. These look useful even when you are not in bear country. I can see thwarting the local raccoons with this.
    4 points
  27. The compact size of the bear cannister is perfect for a solo overnighter. I generally carry the Bearicade Weekender for the small group I hike with, and it just about fills half my pack! Thanks for a chance to win!
    4 points
  28. What a great contest! Just in time hiking season. Thanks..
    4 points
  29. Hike to Backcountry Hot Springs Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Clearwater National Forest Idaho November 26-28, 2015 Soaking in a hot spring and stargazing on a winter night certainly meets the definition of sublime. When the hot spring is reached after a delightful five-mile hike and you have it all to yourself, the charm of the experience increases exponentially. When there’s just enough snow on the ground to provide a lovely contrast to the lush evergreen forest without causing the slightest inconvenience to camping or hiking, then the setting and experience appr
    4 points
  30. The trail before me had become a treacherous, muddy mess. My backpack felt like a sodden weight pulling me down, and my shoes squished and oozed water with every step. I was looking down at what would have been a sharp descent, now transformed into a muddy slide. As I debated between simply sitting down on the trail and letting gravity carry me along or staggering forward and attempting to remain upright, I thought again about how I had let this happen. The answer involved a series of bad decisions and bravado that all began with a hat. It had been the parting gift of a friend of mi
    3 points
  31. After an introduction to lightweight backpacking chairs a few years ago, my philosophy on this admittedly somewhat superfluous (but many times well worth the weight) camp comfort item has generally remained unchanged; on longer trips where I’m moving daily and pack weight is of more concern the chair stays behind and any rock or log will do. For the amount of time that you’re actually in camp – and not inside your tent – carrying the weight is simply not worth it. But mental and physical comfort levels on when the extra comfort is worth the weight of course, will vary. But on shorte
    3 points
  32. It’s almost as if the Pacific Ocean is a magnet, pulling me west each time I venture out to explore. While I take full advantage of the natural wonders offered by my home region in the central U.S., if I am traveling very far to hike, it is usually somewhere west of Oklahoma. As a result, I have hiked very little in the eastern United States, though I’ve managed to walk short sections of the Appalachian Trail on trips to Vermont and Maryland. Not much to brag about. Recently, I was in Virginia on business with my husband, Bill, and found myself with a free day, presenting an opportu
    3 points
  33. It's an early December afternoon in Yosemite National Park, and I'm watching a bobcat padding down the trail in front of me. In his mouth is a lifeless gray squirrel, so large that he drops it several times. He turns and surveys me with the lazy arrogance of a house cat who's proud of his kill. I'm unsure if I should be following this wild creature down the trail. I think of how animals are protective of their food. Still, the large cat and I are headed the same way, so I continue at a distance. Eventually he turns off the trail, and I draw closer and look up the embankment where he stands. Th
    3 points
  34. There are certain trails which, when hiked in certain seasons, can be so blissfully pleasant as to seem almost otherworldly. Each step is a pleasure. Every view is breathtaking. The scents of the forest are almost intoxicating. Chirping birds, chattering squirrels and rushing creeks create a soundtrack that is almost orchestral. Spending unhurried time in nature seems to be one of the most refreshing things humans can do for themselves and one of the few activities which consistently pays out rewards greater than the time and effort entered. With an eye towards those indescribable and abstract
    3 points
  35. After something like three years of talking about it and months spent making plans, my good friend and hiking companion, Wayne Garland, has finally set out on his attempted thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. In October, at the age of 70, Wayne retired from a long and distinguished career as a Paramedic, providing emergency medical services here in Oconee County, South Carolina. One of Wayne's stated goals for his retirement, was to do a lot of traveling. I think that it's safe to say that he's accomplished that goal already. In the months since his retirement, he's already traveled
    3 points
  36. Long before I’d ever shouldered a backpack for a hike into a wilderness area, I found myself intrigued by Arizona’s Superstition Mountains. As the purported location of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, I was first exposed to the Superstitions in books about lost treasures and historical mysteries I checked out from my middle-school library. An episode of “In Search of . . .” with Leonard Nimoy that featured the legend and aired as a re-run on the History Channel further deepened my fascination. Hidden gold and lost maps, murders and disappearances, towering rock formations and an unforgiving des
    3 points
  37. Looks like the Leave no Trace Center just published a post in regards to them taking public input on this issue and concern. If these issues are important to you in regards to social media, or any type of media for that matter, here's the link: https://lnt.org/blog/social-media-and-8th-principle-discussion
    3 points
  38. Let me give you some perspective from a law enforcement officer: 1. If you are camping illegally and practicing LNT ethics, I might give you a warning and tell you to be elsewhere come the next day. 2. If you are camping illegally and practicing LNT ethics, but disregarded my posted sign that said NO CAMPING, it will cost you about $200. There's a reason that sign is there. And you'll have to break camp in the middle of the night. 3. If you are camping illegally and not practicing LNT ethics--booze, bonfires, litter, cutting down trees, etc, you are going to make a hefty contr
    3 points
  39. How can I not go into the High Sierra without my BV450. Sign me up and Thanks for a Great magazine.. Just Bruce
    3 points
  40. Here is my trip report blog post on the Scott Paul Loop backpacking trip with my 9 month old Aussie, Brook. She experienced snow for the first time, the video in the post will give you a glimpse of a 9 month old Aussie having a wonderful time.
    3 points
  41. Can't sleep in the backwoods? Easy solution: join the Army or Marines, you'll learn to sleep anywhere and everywhere. OK, that may sound a little dramatic, but the science behind it is worth exploring. If you're able to, start by taking naps in less than ideal places. The couch, the floor, bathtub, you get the idea. It doesn't have to be long deep sleep at first, just a quick 20 minute nap to get your body used to falling asleep on harder surfaces. And don't just do this the week before your hike, do it on a regular basis. If if your body is used to only falling asleep in a pillow toppe
    3 points
  42. thanks for the chance I have learned a lot from this site so thanks to every one. Jim
    3 points
  43. A trip Aaron, myself, Mike Henrick (fellow TG contributor) and my friend Mark. It was TrailGroove theme jaunt in many ways. http://www.pmags.com/ferris-mountain-wsa-walkabout
    3 points
  44. Earth Day was a perfect day, in regards to both weather and spirit, to embark on my first backpacking trip of the year. The destination, the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, seemed particularly fitting as well as a bit daunting. Covering over 2.3 million acres, this area is one of the wildest places in the Lower 48. With the high country still covered in snow, I would limit my hiking on this trip to a mere five miles on the Lower Salmon River Trail and a short way up the Horse Creek Trail to a quaint campsite. While the Salmon River (also known as the River of No Return)
    3 points
  45. I wanted to share a few things about the experiences I had while over there. All in all, it was a great trip. the first several days were constant rain; there has been historic flooding in the region over this winter and I aw a lot of flood damage across the area. The weather finally broke and we managed to get out and see some of the countryside. One thing I like about England is that they have public footpaths throughout the country. There are marked paths, even through private property, that allow you to basically hike to and from any given point in the country. I spent a lot of t
    3 points
  46. Sure would be nice to let gravity do all the work instead of having to pump all my water. Will this thing inflate my sleeping pad as well???
    3 points
  47. Hiking from one beautiful place to another on pleasant and well-maintained trails is a great way to spend five days. Doing so with a good friend and cooperative weather makes a great experience even better. Throw in a few synchronous strokes of good fortune and you end up with an incredibly rewarding and memorable adventure. Neither John nor I had been on a four-night trip since March 2011 when he, myself, and my girlfriend at the time did a trek through the Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona. John was working nearby in Sierra Vista, Arizona with the US Forest Service at
    3 points
  48. I would suggest not thinking about useful vs necessary as the standard for considering a purchase, but rather risk vs. reward or discomfort vs. comfort. This is basically the decision we make with all of our gear... tarp, tent, or hammock? Inflatable sleep pad or closed cell foam? Cook on a fire, carry a jetboil, or use a pepsi can stove? You get my point. When it comes to trek poles, I believe the reward and comfort factors are significant. In addition to all the features mentioned above, they provide a 3rd (or even 4th) point of contact with the ground, which provides added stability o
    3 points
  49. The movie of A Walk in the Woods comes out this week... anyone planning to see it? http://www.walkinthewoodsmovie.com/
    3 points



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