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.
Warming up to winter
TRAILCHAT • Your opinions, photos, and feats
National Summit day winner
Frosted World • ROAN MOUNTAIN, NC
Meet the Neighbors • A weeklong paddle through Florida’s Everglades National Park is chock-full of wildlife encounters.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore MUNISING, MICHIGAN • Nearly 100 miles of trail unspool through this pristine section of Lake Superior shoreline. Winter here means no bugs and lots of privacy—just be sure to strap a pair of snowshoes to your pack.
All Fun, No Car • Ride public transport all the way to the trailhead on these hikes.
Game Thory • Why do we still manage public lands like it’s 1920?
Public Lands Private Industry
Above it all • BIG FROG WILDERNESS, TN
Coastal Getaway • SIUSLAW NATIONAL FOREST, OR
Back Country Hide Out • ROBBER’S CAVE STATE PARK, OK
Ushishir Kuril Islands, Russia • See the world through the viewfinder of one of the world’s foremost adventure photographers.
Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Play it Cool • Take the guesswork out of fourth-season adventuring with our snow camping tips. Plus: Train to carry a heavy pack, identify animal tracks, and hunker down with three recipes to keep you warm.
Sleeping in a winter wonderland • The fourth season’s rewards—unparalleled solitude and otherwordly views—don’t come easy. Use this advice from Colorado ski guide Mia Tucholke to handle the cold and witness the season’s splendor.
Create A Cozy Camp • A good sleeping setup can mean the difference between safety and suffering.
Turn up the heat
Get Pack Ready • Whether it’s a moderate overnight load or 45 pounds of expedition gear, the moment you put on a pack your body must acclimate to additional pressure on your joints, muscles, and spine. Add these exercises to your workout routine to feel like a champ no matter how much you're carrying.
Who’s Afraid of Winter • Two fair-weather enthusiasts tear down their fear of the fourth season.
Calorie Bombs • In winter, consuming hearty, nutrient-dense foods goes a long way toward keeping you warm. Stoke your inner furnace with these three energy-packed recipes.
Mountain Mystery • Pam Bales’ solo hike in October 2010 turned into a daring rescue of a fellow hiker. But she was left with more questions than answers.
Big Trundle • Sometimes, when the coast is clear, I roll small boulders down hillsides for the thrill of watching them smash things. Rockfall is just a part of nature, right? —Exhilarated in El Paso
Editor’s Choice • Adventuring is different in winter. It requires mental and physical toughness, adaptability—and a proper kit. We tested the field to come up with these six award winners that insulate, protect, and thrill. With this gear (and the right attitude) you’ll be able to get out and find the best of winter, just like our testers.
FGG • Gear is your ticket to a winter wonderland. All of the apparel and equipment in this year’s guide is field-proven to keep you charging up the trail or down the mountain when the weather turns cold.
PCT • When they wake up broke, broken, and far from home, how do thru-hikers find the will to go another mile?
Uncovered • Hike to this month’s newsstand cover sho t.