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.
Eva Luna Harper-Zahn • This 6-year-old kicked off her mountain climbing career with the Lower 48’s highest peak.
BACKPACKER • GET OUT MORE
Private by Nature • Popular parks and trails are more crowded than ever, but finding wilderness solitude is easy if you know where to look.
TRAILCHAT • Your opinions, photos, and feats
1 GET A LOOK AT THIS.
2 BAPTISM BY FIRE • Climb an active volcano to see a fantastical crater lake in Indonesia.
3 MAY FLOWERS • No Instagram filter needed: Find a world of color on these four trips to springtime blooms.
4 SHOULD I STOP AT THIS CAMPSITE? • So, you’ve stumbled across a just-OK campsite. It’s flat, there’s water close by, but it isn’t perfect. Should you hold out for something better? Here’s how to answer the age-old query.
5 IN THE CLUB • …IN WHICH WE HONOR THE BEST HIKING CLUBS IN THE COUNTRY.
6 SEE THE NEW.
7 SEE THE OLD.
8 CITY BY THE BAY
9 SEE THE RAINBOW. • Hikers aren’t the only ones who love warm weather—so do these colorful bugs.
10 NIGHT HIKING • Turn off the lights and see the wilderness anew.
11 KEEP HIKING YOUR OWN HIKE. • Georganna Seamon knows a thing or two about thru-hikers. Every AT northbounder passes through her gear shop—Mountain Crossings in Blairsville, Georgia—after 31 miles of trial and error. The ones whose errors include starting with the wrong shoes get new ones at Seamon’s store and leave the old ones in the oak nearby. Here’s her advice for avoiding that fate.
12 JUNE 21 NATIONAL HIKE NAKED DAY
13 THE HIKER’S CODE OF CONDUCT • The longest government shutdown in history reminded us how we can be better stewards of our national parks—and each other.
14 LAND OF THE ANCIENTS
15 HEAVEN ON EARTH
16 SAVE DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT, CO/UT.
17 COASTAL PARADISE
18 Party on a peak.
19 PASTORAL UPRISING
20 SEE (OR AVOID) SNAKES. • Nothing quite says “spring” like wild snake orgies. Here’s everything you never wanted to know about trailside tangles of slithering serpents.
21 APPROACH THE ALTAR.
Backcountry Fly Fishing • Why settle for just one pastime? Add a sport that’s simultaneously exciting and relaxing to your backpacking trips by catching (and releasing) your first trout.
MASTER THE OVERHEAD CAST • Just like golfers have many different types of swings, anglers use various fly-casting techniques. Beginners only need to learn this one.
Know Your Flies
CAUGHT IN A THUNDERSTORM • One summer day, this angler nearly attracted a strike of the wrong kind.
READ THE WATER • Knowing where the fish hang out in a river or lake is just as important as the cast. Trout seek out food-rich zones and avoid fast currents, which require more energy than still water. For best success, cast your fly in the following spots.
SPRING TRAINING • Strengthen your legs for early-season hikes, which often involve postholing in lingering snow up high and crossing run-off swollen rivers down low.
BACKPACK WITH A BABY • Are mother and son ready to trade the crib for a tent?
DIY BREAKFAST BARS • Prepare the first meal of the day at home and you’ll start hiking sooner—and have on-the-go snacks.
TARP ORIGAMI • For versatility and affordability, nothing beats a tarp. With an 8-by-10-foot piece of...