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Born in Oregon 1969
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There’s nothing really more fundamental to backpacking than sensibly loading your backpack (such as with our lightweight Pro-Paks). That might seem overly obvious, given the name of the whole pursuit, but actually many backpackers sort of wing it when it comes to packing—not necessarily in terms of what they’re packing, but how they’re packing it. It’s all too common to simply stuff gear in willy-nilly, then tough out the awkward load during the trip. A poorly packed pack (how’s that for alliteration?) costs you in aches and pains, accumulating fatigue, maybe even a few tumbles on the trail. Here are … Continue reading

Tips on Loading Your Backpack

There’s nothing really more fundamental to backpacking than sensibly loading your backpack (such as with our lightweight Pro-Paks). That might seem overly obvious, given the name of the whole pursuit, but actually many backpackers sort of wing it when it comes to packing—not necessarily in terms of what they’re packing, but how they’re packing it. It’s all too common to simply stuff gear in willy-nilly, then tough out the awkward load during the trip. A poorly packed pack (how’s that for alliteration?) costs you in aches and pains, accumulating fatigue, maybe even a few tumbles on the trail. Here are … Continue reading

Great Long-Distance Trails in the USA

There’s magic and mystery in a long-distance footpath, and America’s blessed with some of the finest—and most famous—in the world. From the rhododendron tunnels of the Appalachian Trail to the lined-up volcanoes of the PCT, stupendous landscapes and stupendous adventure await on these backcountry (and frontcountry) traces, whether you’re hopping on for just a couple of days or doing an ambitious thru-hike. And you’ll certainly appreciate your Mountain House along the way… Let’s take a freewheeling tour of America’s National Scenic Trails: hopefully spurring some fond memories for anyone who’s hoofed it on one or more of them, and otherwise … Continue reading

River Safety Tips: How to Cross a River

Crossing rivers is often the riskiest element of a typical hiking or backpacking trek. Even a midsized stream has the power to potentially knock you off your feet. River crossings must be undertaken with an abundance of caution and sharp-eyed study, and often the correct decision is not to cross at all. We know a lot of your Mountain House lovers out there are avid hikers and backpackers who are likely to run into at least a modest-intensity river crossing on occasion, so we thought we’d run a refresher article on river safety tips! The First Step in River Safety: … Continue reading

Hiking and Backpacking Meal Plan

Whether you’re hitting the trail for a day hike or a week-long backpack, your food plan is vital to keeping those hoofing-it muscles of yours going and your all-around spirits up. We’ve written here lately at the Mountain House blog about how to devise a camping meal plan; today we’ll narrow the focus to the backpacking meal plan specifically, with a few words as well about dayhiking cuisine. Remember, eating’s one of the deepest pleasures of the backpacking experience: Your trail-weary body craves food to an almost spiritual degree—the kind of well-earned, satisfying, pure hunger that a couch-potato or car-commuting … Continue reading

What Every Backpacker Needs in their Pack

Some backpackers who don’t mind lugging the extra weight bring everything but the kitchen sink (and, hey, there are portable backcountry sinks on the market, don’t you know) with them into the wilds. At the other end of the spectrum are the ultralighters with their minimalist gear. There’s no rulebook dictating the contents (or weight) of your pack, but there are certain essentials all backpackers ought to have on hand to cover their bases. After all, only you know what special gadgets and creature comforts will make a backcountry trek most enjoyable for you, but no matter what you need … Continue reading