May 30, 2018

How Van Life Gives This National Champion an Edge Over the Competition

The USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships go down every year on a rugged course just shy of 50 miles that loops through rural Arkansas. Last year, everything came together perfectly for Payson McElveen, a 25-year-old racer, to take the win in a sprint across the finish line, beating his friend and competitor, Howard […]

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May 29, 2018

Gear Review: Osprey Eja 58

Backpackers looking to enjoy their time in the wilderness face a perennial question: What’s more important, having comfortable gear or lightweight gear? Your backpack is one of the most important items that impacts how you feel on the trail and how quickly you can move during your outdoor adventures. Osprey has long created packs with […]

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May 24, 2018

10 Best Hikes Near Chicago

Sunset view from the shore of Lake Michigan

Although the Chicago metro area is a bit limited by geography, a short drive to the outskirts of the city to visit a state park or conservation area or a longer drive across the state line to visit the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore provides hikers with options. The scenic midwestern landscape and easy-going terrain is […]

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May 24, 2018

DIY Van Life: Build Your Own Kitchen and Storage

People preparing food in a van retrofitted with a kitchen.

[Editor's note: This story is part of our van life collection—articles that offer do-it-yourself projects, tips and hacks for retrofitting your adventure mobile for life on the road. Be sure to check out how to create a sleeping platform for your van.] A nomadic lifestyle offers freedom and spontaneity, but it’s much more enjoyable when […]

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May 24, 2018

The Best Backpacking Packs of 2018

Backpackers along the South Rim

A pack that comfortably fits your body’s specific shape and size can make all the difference between a joyful journey or a suffering slog in the backcountry.  There are two essential considerations in finding the right fit: Your torso length. A snug grip on your hips. Many packs come in multiple sizes, including gender- and […]

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May 22, 2018

The REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Wins Coveted Backpacker Hall of Fame Award

On the 25th Anniversary of Backpacker's Editors' Choice Awards, the team behind the recommendations and evaluations you've come to depend on are announcing the Hall of Fame Awards. The REI Co-op Half Dome 2+ will be forever enshrined in this place of honor as one of the best tents around. “When the Half Dome 2 […]

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May 22, 2018

The Joys of Section Hiking

Evolution Basin on the PCT

Many backpackers dream of spending weeks—or even months—on trail; the proliferation of Instagram eye candy, along with popular books and films like Wild, A Walk in the Woods and Mile … Mile & a Half, only amplifies that desire. But most folks can’t swing the time commitment required to thru-hike classics like the Pacific Crest […]

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May 18, 2018

New Backcountry Trail Opens in Hickory Nut Gorge

Weed Patch Mountain Trail

Hickory Nut Gorge, which sits 45 minutes east of downtown Asheville, North Carolina is a 14-mile-long canyon known for its granite outcroppings and the placid waters of Lake Lure. A new multiuse trail near Hickory Nut Gorge will give hikers, climbers and mountain bikers access to some of the region's most dramatic backcountry. Weed Patch […]

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May 18, 2018

Ibiza: Come for the Party, Stay for the Hiking

Hikers near the Mediterranean

Located off of the eastern coast of Spain in the Balearic Islands, the island of Ibiza—also known as the Party Capital of the World—covers an area of 221.07 square miles, making it about half the size of Los Angeles. Its tallest peak, Sa Talaissa, stands at 1,558 feet. Despite its relatively small size, Ibiza is […]

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