Published nine times a year, Backpacker is a magazine of wilderness travel, offering practical, "you can do it, here's how" advice to help you enjoy every trip. Filled with the best places, gear, and information for all kinds of hiking and camping trips, each issue delivers foldout maps and stunning color photography.
Higher Education • Everything I need to know I learned in the mountains.
TRAILCHAT • Your opinions, photos, and feats
1 COME INTO SEASON. PEMIGEWASSET WILDERNESS, NEW HAMPSHIRE
2 WATERFRONT PROPERTY ALPINE LAKES WILDERNESS, WASHINGTON • Yes, the peaks here are something to behold. And there’s no way to downplay views of Pacific Northwest forests and Cascadian volcanoes. But look a little lower in the aptly named Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and you’ll see the real prize: 700 crystalline tarns. The sharp topography hides pockets of water deep in basins, high on slopes, and everywhere in between. Here, it’s about the swimmable, campable, and jaw-droppable lakes as much as it is the climbable summits. And at the end of summer, the water sure is fine.
3 GROW YOUR LIFE LIST.
4 A SUPERIOR TRAIL • Hike Isle Royale National Park’s Greenstone Ridge Trail for a deep-wilderness experience in the Midwest.
5 BACKPACKER ® Tour GET OUT MORE
6 BAG A PEAK—AND PROVE IT. • What’s the fun in climbing a mountain if you don’t have somebody to share it with? This month, ‘Gram your summit shot (and tag us @backpackermag), and see where it ranks among the four most common types of peakbagging post.
7 APPROACH THE ALTAR. • BRIDGER WILDERNESS, WYOMING
8 HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER: FLY FISHING • Learn more about what goes on beneath the surface by casting a line.
9 FLY SOUTH. • As the cold winds roll in, these birds are riding the breeze to their winter getaways. But don’t feel jealous—it’s a long commute.
10 DUCK HUNT • Do we need trail markers where they’re not needed or wanted? Down with cairns!
11 SEPTEMBER 16 COLLECT ROCKS DAY
12 MEET THE LOCALS • Say hi to four endemic animals on these day trips to distinct habitats.
13 TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE. • STEPHENS GAP CALLAHAN CAVE PRESERVE, ALABAMA
GREEN WITH ENVY • MT. GRACE STATE FOREST, MASSACHUSETTS
15 MARIETTA UNIT, WAYNE NATIONAL FOREST, OHIO
16 OFF SCRIPT • UPPER BUFFALO WILDERNESS, ARKANSAS
17 NAME THAT PEAK. • So, you think you’re a mountain lover? Can you identify these six classic massifs? (Answers to right.)
18 CASCADIAN KINGDOM • NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK, WASHINGTON
19 WAX POETIC. • The air is chilling, which means two things for our furry friends: mating and feasting. For hikers in the right spot, all the world’s a stage—and these players take their cues from the Bard himself.
The Top 10 Wilderness Maladies • In the backcountry, anything can go wrong at any time. Unfortunately, “anything” is hard to prepare for. We dug into the numbers from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) database of medical incidents* to figure out what you really need to worry about out there. Here’s how to save your trip—and maybe even your life.
BECOME A LOCAL • Whether you’re visiting a mountain town or moving in, it’s only natural to want the natives to accept you. But how far out of your comfort zone are you willing to go to get there?
GLOBAL CUISINE • Tour the world—and its flavors—without leaving your campsite.
FOR THE’GRAM • “I found this cool waterfall that no one knows about. I posted a photo on Instagram recently and tagged the location—does that make me a traitor?”
SLEEPING BAG YOGA • Warm up before a hike (or wind down after one) with these poses for strengthening and recovery.