Choosing a Backpacking Stove

A stove is among the most important items you’ll be toting as a backpacker, not least because food is going to dominate a lot of your thoughts out on the trail, and because heating water for tea, coffee, and cooking meals are natural linchpin rituals of your wilderness days. And obviously this is a subject matter very close to our heart here at Mountain House. If you’re a beginning backpacker, though, choosing a backpacking stove can seem a bewildering challenge given the number of options. That said, as with any piece of outdoors gear, the process of selecting the best … 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

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

The Principles of Leave-No-Trace

Entering the backcountry in the 21st century demands responsibility. Many postcard-perfect wilderness destinations in North America are at risk of being loved to death (or at least degradation); truly remote, pristine sites are all the more precious in the context of our never-so-great human footprint. Leave No Trace (LNT) is a philosophy every outdoorsperson should adopt. Naturally, human beings are going to leave some traces in the woods—when we’re out hunting or fishing, sure, but also simply backpacking. Comes with the territory—and totally natural. But the LNT idea about aiming for as light-handed and soft-footed a touch as we can: … Continue reading