For elite through-hikers like Andrew Skurka, Roman Dial, and Demetri “Coup” Coupounas, thousand-mile walks have become so easy and fun that they’ve made the pastime a kind of competitive endurance sport, seeing who can move the farthest the fastest, all while carrying the least. They’ve shown that ultralight backpacking is the way to go if you want to visit America’s most popular through-hikes: from the Continental Divide Trail (3,000 miles) to the John Muir Trail (211 miles). Daniel Duane, author of the featured article “Lighten Up,” compares the contents of his 70-pound backpack to Skurka’s 8-pound load and shows how he strips down to find backpacking happiness. (page 25)
No matter what kind of hike you have in mind—whether a sunset stroll or a multi-month slog on the Appalachian Trail—you’ll want to shoulder the latest in comfortable, earth-minded packs featured in SIERRA’s Green Life backpack review. (page 8)
Advances in technology only make it seem like the world is getting smaller. But there is still a lot of wilderness out there to get lost in, and we all could use some help now and then getting from trailhead A to campsite B. The guide to GPS units and other directional devices, “North Star 2.0” by Steve Casimiro, will keep you on the right path. (page 32)
No amount of packed-in food could be as tasty or have less of a carbon footprint then a brook trout fresh from the waters of a Rocky Mountain river. “Backcountry Locavore” is a delicious tale of an angler whose catch-and-release ethic gives in to his catch-and-eat hunger. (page 34)
Having difficulty logging off long enough to get out? Learn from Brother Yusuf Burgess who tells urban teens to log off, hang up and get out in “Xbox Detox.” For more than 20 years, Burgess has provided many urban teens with their first opportunity to experience wilderness areas. (page 36)
Find these articles and more in SIERRA magazine, a bimonthly publication of the Sierra Club, where more than one million readers get inspiration from the features and departments that move them outdoors “to explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth.” www.sierraclub.org/sierra.