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Backpackers.com — For many, the new year brings new challenges, new goals and new resolutions. We’re resolving to appreciate every moment outdoors, and we hope you do too. We passed out our last 2017 awards over the holidays, and we’re stoked about these Picks. While we’re getting our 2018 Picks ready for you, we’re sharing our favorites from the end of last year.

Your Backpackers.com update is here!

New Gear Reviews

This gear has been researched, tested, and found worthy. Follow the links to read the full gear reviews and get the gear!

Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody

Rarely do you find such cozy activewear. From pajamas to potato sack races to the summit of many Colorado fourteeners, you just might want the Pataonia Nano-Air on you at all times.

Read the full review of the Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody to see why we recommend it as our Premium Pick for the Day Hiker.

Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Jacket

The Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T fleece allows you to stay comfy in camp and extra lazy in public. If you value coziness, it’s hard to do better.

Read the full review of the Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Car Camper.

Gregory Baltoro 65 Backpack

From overnight trips to multi-day excursions anywhere your feet can take you, the Gregory Baltoro 65 has the features and supreme comfort to take you there.

Read the full review of the Gregory Baltoro 65 to see why we recommend it as our Premium Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker.

Marmot Reactor Fleece Jacket

For a stellar start to your day, grab a cup of coffee and wrap yourself in the cozy Marmot Reactor fleece jacket. Run, walk, or chill at camp and on the trail.

Read the full review of the Marmot Reactor to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Day Hiker and Ultralight Backpacker.

REI Magma 850 Down Jacket

Warmth, solid zippers, and a crazy lightweight package make the REI Magma 850 perfect for any cold city-dweller that wants to hike on the regular.

Read the full review of the REI Magma 850 to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Day Hiker and Urban Hiker.

Coleman Triton Stove

The Coleman Triton Stove is a hardy piece of equipment that’s capable of cooking a damn good meal. It’ll be a centerpiece in your camping outdoor kitchen.

Read the full review of the Coleman Triton Stove to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Car Camper.

Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Parka

The Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Parka is a great budget pick for daily wear around town and weekends in the mountains with a style that transitions as you do.

Read the full review of the Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Parka to see why we recommend it as our Budget Pick for the Urban Hiker.

Cotopaxi Kilimanjaro 20L Backpack

Next level your bag game. Get practical and satisfy that hipster-style with the Kilimanjaro 20L backpack for your urban trekking.

Read the full review of the Cotopaxi Kilimanjaro 20L to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Urban Hiker.

NEMO Hornet 2P Tent

Looking for a backpacking tent that floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee? Check out the NEMO Hornet 2P tent for ultralight solo adventures.

Read the full review of the NEMO Hornet 2P to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker.

Arc’teryx Bora AR 50 Backpack

The Arc’teryx Bora AR 50 backpack is for the hardcore backpacker. It can take a beating and will go for years, but be prepared to throw down some change.

Read the full review of the Arc’teryx Bora AR 50 to see why we recommend it for the Wilderness Backpacker.

Stay Up to Date

We publish content weekly and update you every month. Visit Backpackers.com to see what new gear we’ve recommended, and what new guides we’ve penned for your reading pleasure.

The post Backpackers.com January 2018 Highlights appeared first on Backpackers.com.

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Ready to hit the trail? We have partnered with seven incredible brands to give you first-class gear for your wilderness backpacking kit. With over $650 in prizes, one super stoked winner will win eight pieces of gear to help tackle the backcountry.

What Do You Win?

Included items: Eddie Bauer EverTherm Hooded Down Jacket (Men’s or Women’s), NEMO Tensor 20R Sleeping Pad, Zpacks Ultralight Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles (2), Feathered Friends Geoduck Backpacking Pillow, Katadyn BeFree 1L, GSI Outdoors Microlite 500, SealLine Blocker 10L Dry Sack, and a SealLine BlockerLite 5L Dry Sack. Plus your own collection of sweet Backpackers.com stickers!

How Do You Enter?

Enter the Wilderness Backpacker Gear Giveaway with your email address. Earn additional entries by completing the questions and social media engagement below. Earn the most entries by sharing our giveaway with your friends and getting them to sign up.

Good luck, and see you out there.

Wilderness Backpacking Gear Giveaway

More Gear Details

Our Wilderness Backpacking Gift Guide features some of the gear in this giveaway — it’s an amazing kit of gear, and we know you’ll love it. We highlight the items featured in this giveaway below.

Eddie Bauer EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket — $279

Eddie Bauer’s new EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket packs more warmth in less packaging. ThinDown uses down in sheets, rather than plumes, which allows the jacket to have no baffles or quilting. This reduces cold spots! The EverTherm is designed to fit midlayers underneath and a rain shell over the top. It’s like wearing a big, cozy blanket in the wild without the cold spots found in traditional puffies.

An excellent gift for backpackers who want a down puffy without the bulk, those who don’t love the marshmallow puffer look, or those who love trying brand new gear.

Enter our giveaway to win an Eddie Bauer EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket.

NEMO Tensor 20R Sleeping Pad — $119.95

NEMO’s Tensor 20R Sleeping Pad is one of lightest pads on the market, has three inches of plush comfort, and packs down to the size of a water bottle. It’s comfortable and packable — every backpacker’s dream, this sleeping pad won our Classic Pick award for the Wilderness Backpacker.

An excellent gift for the size or weight-obsessed Backpacker on your list, or anyone who needs one of those “new-fangled” air sleeping pads for backcountry adventures.

Enter our giveaway to win a NEMO Tensor 20R Sleeping Pad.

Zpacks Ultralight Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles — $99 for two

Zpacks Ultralight Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are slim and ultralight, coming in at a 6.7 ounces per pole. Made from super-strong carbon fiber, these trekking poles won’t let you down. Adjustable in two points, you can amble up the hills and dales or take on the tallest peaks. This trusty sidekick will keep you steady all the way to the top. It works for Ultralight Backpackers as well as Wilderness Backpackers!

An excellent gift for anyone looking to backpack quickly and keep the weight down. Also great for those who complain of achy knees after a trip.

Enter our giveaway to win two Zpacks Ultralight Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles.

Feathered Friends Geoduck Travel Pillow — $45

Feathered Friends may have the “best travel pillow in the world” with the Geoduck Travel Pillow. Named after a burrowing clam, you’ll want to burrow into this fluffy slice of heaven. It’s compressible and stuffs into itself, making it super convenient to carry around. Your Backpacker will get great use of the Geoduck Travel Pillow in the backcountry, in the car, on a plane, and anywhere else you can think to trek.

An excellent gift for backpackers on the go in the wild and around the world.

Enter our giveaway to win a Feathered Friends Geoduck Travel Pillow.

Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System 1L — $44.95

The Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System 1L is a great companion for backpacking treks. Bacteria and protozoa are easily removed with the hollow fiber filter, and the flow rate on this is the fastest on the market. The filter and water bottle come together, and it’s uber light to boot! The Katadyn BeFree .6L won our Budget Pick award for the Day Hiker, and the larger form factor is ideal for wilderness backpacking. Give your Backpacker the gift of clean drinking water!

An excellent gift for the lover of quick and easy water filtration who also has a hankering for collapsible bottles.

Enter our giveaway to win a Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System 1L.

GSI Outdoors Microlite 500 Flip — $25.95

The GSI Outdoors Microlite 500 Flip is a handy insulated bottle that’s ready to hit the road. We love the 500 ml size (16 ounces) because it’s plenty to drink in the wilderness and only weighs 7.9 ounces for total insulation! It’s rare to find an insulated water bottle that works for backpacking, and this is it.

An excellent gift for the Wilderness Backpacker who wants piping hot (or cold) liquid on demand.

Enter our giveaway to win a GSI Outdoors Microlite 500 Flip.

SealLine Blocker and BlockerLite Dry Sacks — $14.95-$29.95

SealLine’s collection of Blocker Dry Sacks come in three easy sizes for the adventurer on your list. All your gear stays dry and ready to use with welded seams, and the rectangular shape packs well. A little extra protection goes a long way towards a stress-free trip. The BlockerLite Dry Sacks are lighter and a little less durable.

An excellent gift for the Backpacker who worries more about rain and gear getting wet than anything else. Also great for those who love to keep gear organized and easy to pack.

Enter our giveaway to win a 10L SealLine Blocker Dry Sack and a 5L SealLine BlockerLite Dry Sack.

The post Wilderness Backpacking Gear Giveaway appeared first on Backpackers.com.

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Nature is calling, whether it calls you to camp, hike, or just hang out. We’ve partnered with eight incredible brands to give you clutch gear for any outdoor activity. With over $450 in prizes, one lucky winner will win eight awesome products.

What Do You Win?

Included items: A CamelBak Cloud Walker 18, a Big Agnes Helinox Chair Zero, a Therm-a-Rest Slacker Single Hammock (and Slacker Suspenders for hanging), an Aquamira Frontier Max Water Filter, a Geigerrig 2L Hydration Engine, a YETI Loadout BucketStasher Sandwich Bags (2), and a Platypus DuoLock SoftBottle1L. Plus your own collection of sweet Backpackers.com stickers!

How Do You Enter?

Enter the Camp and Hike Giveaway with your email address. Earn additional entries by completing the questions and social media engagement below. Earn the most entries by sharing our giveaway with your friends and getting them to sign up.

Good luck, and see you out there.

Camping and Hiking Giveaway!

More Gear Details

Our Gift Guides for the Day Hiker, Car Camper, and Urban Hiker also feature some of the gear in this giveaway — it’s good stuff, and we know you’ll love it. We highlight the items featured in this giveaway below.

Big Agnes Helinox Chair Zero — $119.95

The Helinox Chair Zero is the epitome of Big Agnes’ motto — “the mother of comfort” — and its dedication to lightweight, functional gear. The chair has been engineered to be as light as possible, while still having four legs to create a stable sitting experience. The whole thing rolls up into a stuff sack the size of a large water bottle, and it weighs an even pound.

An excellent gift for anyone who wants to trek around and sit at the end of the day. We like it for Urban Hikers who frequently go to concerts in the park and festivals because it packs down easy and keeps you low to the ground, but is very comfortable. Big Agnes and others bill it as a backpacking chair, so it will work for any outdoor activity, but in general we find full-on chairs to be a bit much for the backcountry. Great as a backup camping chair, too.

Enter our giveaway to win a Big Agnes Helinox Chair Zero.

CamelBak Cloud Walker 18 — $85

CamelBak is known for hydration and hiking, and the Cloud Walker 18 is built for both. This backpack was built for the more casual day hiker, so don’t expect a full hip belt. But it works for just about any activity, from walking the dog to beach trips to getting to class (or work). Easy zippered pockets, water bottle holders, and a separate compartment for the hydration bladder all make this pack super functional. It comes with CamelBak’s new Crux reservoir, too, which is one of the best around.

An excellent gift for any Hiker. They will be stoked, and find a use for it no matter what. Also great for anyone that says they want a backpack that works for trail hikes and city commutes.

Enter our giveaway to win a CamelBak Cloud Walker 18.

YETI Loadout Bucket — $39.99

YETI’s Loadout Bucket takes a simple product and gives it the YETI makeover. This means an insaley durable, functional, and thoughtfully designed bucket. It’s food safe, has easy-carry points, tie-out points, and won’t slip around. Loadout fans are obsessed with it’s sleek design, calling it the “gretaest bucket of all time.”

An excellent gift for the Camper who catches fish, keeps a bucket of water on hand for emergencies, or takes their current house bucket (that $4 one from Home Depot) to the campsite. Upgrade their bucket life.

Enter our giveaway to win a YETI Loadout Bucket.

Therm-a-Rest Slacker Single Hammock — $69.95

The Therm-a-Rest Slacker Single Hammock is well named, and meant for the Camper that wants to chill. Not meant as an overnight shelter, the Slacker is for reading lazily next to the river or mid-day naps while the kids draw circles in the dirt. It packs down small and is soft to the touch.

An excellent gift for the Camper that wants way more relaxation than a chair. Or for the individual who’ll hang a hammock at home, take it into the woods, and generally live out of it whenever they can.

Enter our giveaway to win the Therm-a-Rest Slacker Single Hammock and two straps to hang the hammock.

AquaMira Frontier Max Filtration System — $49.99

AquaMira is best known for water purification, and they recently released the Frontier Max Filtration System. It’s actually a purifier, and gets rid of pathogens and viruses, which is safer than most similarly-priced filters on the market. It’s built to be used inline with a hydration bladder, and comes equipped with all the attachments you need to make that happen. The Frontier Max comes with the Series IV RED Line filter inside it, which is good for 120 gallons. You can easily unscrew the housing and put any Aquamira Series IV filter inside. The biggest claim on this product, though, is that it’s the only outdoor and tactical filter system that has been certified by the EPA and to NSF/ANSI standards. If you want legit, it doesn’t get better.

An excellent gift for hikers that are concerned about clean water. It’s small and light enough to always take with you, and will work in international travel as well because it gets rid of viruses.

Enter our giveaway to win an Aquamira Frontier Max Filtration System.

Geigerrig Hydration Engine 3L — $49

You may not know Geigerrig, but you should, and you should specifically get to know their Hydration Engine bladders. They can be used like a normal hydration bladder to sip water while you hike, but they also come with a pump, which creates pressure in the bag when used. This means water flows out crazy fast — either in your mouth or as a shower. You can use this bladder to rinse off, hose down wet dogs, or just drink extremely fast. The design is easy to clean and fill due to the slide-off top, and is thin enough that it doesn’t bulge in your backpack.

An excellent gift for any Hiker that uses a hydration pack. The Hydration Engine is a step up from other bladders due to the pressurized pump, and your Hiker will love it. Also can be used easily with Aquamira’s Frontier Max filter, or other inline filters.

Enter our giveaway to win a Geigerrig Hydration Engine.

Stasher Sandwich Bag — $11 each

Stasher Bags are an awesome product — they are self-sealing, air-tight, and made of plastic-free silicon. Think of a Ziplock that will last forever, can be boiled, thrown in the dishwasher, or frozen, and is inherently food-safe. The Bags come in three sizes — Half Gallon, Sandwich, and Snack — and can be used to safely store just about anything. They’re nice to touch, too.

An excellent gift for any Urban Hiker that wants to take leftovers to work, or keep a fresh snack on hand. They also work to store tubes of liquids on planes or organize your supplements. Since you can boil them, the Half Gallon size is excellent for backpacking trips.

Enter our giveaway to win two Stasher Sandwich Bags.

Platypus DuoLock Softbottle 1L — $13.95

The Platypus DuoLock Softbottle 1L is an easy-to-pack, easy-to-use, super light water bottle. A wide opening means you can fill it up quick, and a new dual-locking cap prevents water from leaking out. The convenient handle gives you a spot to hang onto while filling up the bottle, so you don’t fill and squeeze precious water right back out. And the built in clip lets you attach this bottle just about anywhere. Four patterns give you a stylish bottle that stands out.

An excellent gift for a thirsty Backpacker who wants maximum gram-counting in a super packable package. Also great for ultralighters who hate spills. If you want the true ultralight version, get the regular Platypus Softbottle, which can work with a Sawyer MINI or Squeeze.

Enter our giveaway to win a Platypus DuoLock Softbottle 1L.

Backpackers.com Affiliate Policy: This giveaway article contains affiliate links, which help fund our website. When you click on the links to purchase the gear we get a commission, and this goes a long way to creating guides, gear reviews, and other excellent content. This giveaway is made possible by the brands supplying the gear, and includes links (affiliate and regular) to their websites.

The post Holiday Camp and Hike Gear Giveaway! appeared first on Backpackers.com.

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Backpackers.com — Our bellies are full from turkey dinners and we’re getting in the holiday mood. New for you: reviews of excellent backpacking gear, and five highly curated Gift Guides for all of our Backpacker Types. There’s almost enough in this update to make a full packing list, minus snacks and clean socks.

Your Backpackers.com update is here!

New Gear Reviews

This gear has been researched, tested, and found worthy. Follow the links to read the full gear reviews and get the gear!

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded Down Jacket

Wearing the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer down jacket is akin to being wrapped in a cozy ball of cotton candy. Perfect for cold days and chilly nights in camp.

Read the full gear review of the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded jacket to see why we recommend it as our Premium Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker.

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 HV Tent

The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 HV tent was built by backpackers, for backpackers. Thoughtful design elements and a spacious interior allow a true dirtbag to call this tent a second home.

Read the full gear review of the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 HV to see why we recommend it as our Premium Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker.

Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor Backpack

The Sierra Design Flex Capacitor has been cleverly designed with the modern ultralight backpacker in mind. Adjustable volume and heavy load capacity allow a seamless transition to ultralight.

Read the full gear review of the Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor to see why we recommend it as our Budget Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker.

Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite2 Rain Jacket

Don’t want to spend a boatload of cash to keep a little rain off your shoulders? The Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite2 Jacket will protect you from the elements because that’s all it was made to do.

Read the full gear review of the Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite2 to see why we recommend it as our Budget Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker.

Primus Classic Trail Stove

The Primus Classic Trail Stove won’t wow you with features, but it’s a solid stove that provides a reliable source of warmth in your time of need. All for $20.

Read the full gear review of the Primus Classic Trail Stove to see why we recommend it as our Budget Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker.

Holiday Gift Guides

You love our gear guides for how thorough they are, and we’ve kept nothing back for the holidays. Looking for the perfect gift? We’ve got you covered with highly curated guides for all our Backpacker Types. Send your Backpacker on their next adventure with new gear they’ll love.

Wilderness Backpacking Gift Guide

These gifts are specifically tailored to the Wilderness Backpacker — people who trek into the wilderness for a few nights, make camp, and commune with nature.

Ultralight Backpacking Gift Guide

These gifts are specifically tailored to the Ultralight Backpacker — those cooky folks who count every gram and take the minimum necessary for their adventure.

Car Camping Gift Guide

These gifts are specifically tailored to the Car Camper — those relaxed nature-lovers who pull out the chairs, s’mores, and cast iron.

Day Hiking Gift Guide

These gifts are specifically tailored to the Day Hiker — the people in your life who are always trekking to some peak, down a nature path, or out for a stroll with the dog.

Urban Hiking Gift Guide

These gifts are specifically tailored to the Urban Hiker — those city-dwelling, hill-climbing commuters and wanderers.

Stay Up to Date

We publish content weekly and update you every month. Visit Backpackers.com to see what new gear we’ve recommended, and what new guides we’ve penned for your reading pleasure.

The post Backpackers.com November 2017 Highlights appeared first on Backpackers.com.

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Backpackers.com — Late October is one of our favorite times: leaves are changing color, snow has started to fall, and the southern part of the country is still scorching hot! It puts your layering skills to the test, and it’s ripe with last-minute hikes, camping, and backpacking before full winter is here.

We’ve been busy testing three of the most important things you need in the wild: somewhere to sleep, some way to cook (or make coffee, you caffeine addict!) and some way to carry water. We have new gear reviews and recommendations for tents, stoves and water bottles for four different Backpacker Types.

Your Backpackers.com update is here!

New Gear Reviews

This gear has been researched, tested, and found worthy. Follow the links to read the full gear reviews and get the gear!

Zpacks Duplex Tent

The Zpacks Duplex is a masterpiece of design. An ultralight backpacker simply will not find a tent that is lighter, roomier, more durable, or more packable.

Read the full gear review of the Zpacks Duplex to see why we recommend it as our Premium Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker.

Snow Peak LiteMax Stove

Truly light and cool to the max, the Snow Peak LiteMax stove delivers quick boil times and ease of use in a tiny titanium package. Welcome on any trip.

Read the full gear review of the Snow Peak LiteMax to see why we recommend it as our Premium Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker.

Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter 

Stay Giardia-free with the Katadyn Hiker Pro, a pump-style water filter that makes water taste good and connects to basically everything.

Read the full gear review of the Katadyn Hiker Pro to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker.

Kelty Salida 2 Tent

The Kelty Salida 2 is an great option for a tent that is packable, shareable, and durable. It works like a tent should, and won’t destroy your wallet.

Read the full gear review of the Kelty Salida 2 to see why we recommend it as our Budget Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker.

MiiR 27oz Bottle

The MiiR 27oz Bottle is a stainless steel water bottle with a fancy lid. And it’s an investment that won’t drown you in buyer’s remorse.

Read the full gear review of the MiiR 27oz Bottle to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Urban Hiker.

Alps Mountaineering Lynx 4

The Alps Mountaineering Lynx 4 is a standout camping tent. If you’re looking for ease of set up, comfort, and durability, then this may be the tent for you.

Read the full gear review of the Alps Mountaineering Lynx 4 to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Car Camper.

Glaceau Smartwater Bottle

The Glacaeu Smartwater Bottle holds its own against any outdoor water bottle on the market, and it costs a dollar. If you need a water bottle, just buy it.

Read the full gear review of the Glaceau Smartwater Bottle to see why we recommend it as our Budget Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker.

Snow Peak GigaPower Stove

The Snow Peak GigaPower stove allows you to make delicious backcountry curry. Need we say more? Alright — it’s stable, powerful, and will last a lifetime.

Read the full gear review of the Snow Peak GigaPower to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker.

Tarptent Double Rainbow

There’s no place like home on the trail, especially when home is the Tarptent Double Rainbow. This two-person ultralight tent sets up in a flash and adapts to almost any situation. Clip it. Strap it. Stake it. Bop it!

Read the full gear review of the Tarptent Double Rainbow to see why we recommend it as our Budget Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker.

Stay Up to Date

We publish content weekly and update you every month. Visit Backpackers.com to see what new gear we’ve recommended, and what new guides we’ve penned for your reading pleasure.

The post Backpackers.com October 2017 Highlights appeared first on Backpackers.com.

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Backpackers.com — What started with campfire musical chairs has turned into the BioLite FirePit, a smokeless campfire from the leader in unique tech-based stoves and outdoor gear. You can carry the BioLite FirePit with you, toast marshmallows on it, and, best of all, use it to grill. We got the inside scoop on this multi-functional marvel that is sure to warm your toes and your heart.

The BioLite FirePit comfortably holds four pieces of standard cord wood and has air jets that concentrate airflow around the wood for more burn and less smoke. Three speeds of air jets allow you to get a fire started on Low, increase heat output on Medium, and grill to your heart’s content on High. You can also control the airflow with a handy app on your iPhone or Android device.

Here’s the promo video:

BioLite FirePit - See Fire, Not Smoke - YouTube

The FirePit is only available through BioLite’s Kickstarter campaign until Friday, October 20, with delivery expected to begin in summer 2018. The starter pack comes in at $199 through the Kickstarter campaign, and includes a solar cover to recharge the battery (a $60 value, which may ultimately be sold separately). An innovative design that took two years to develop, we can’t wait to roast up dinner and share ghost stories without running from the smoke.

We know you love specs, so here are the important ones:

Dimensions

Legs Unfolded: 13 W x 27 L x 15.8 H in.

Legs Folded: 13 x 27 x 10.5 in.

Weight 19.8 lbs (8.98 kg)
Fuel Capacity Fits up to four pieces of standard cord wood. Raise fuel rack for charcoal cooking.
Airflow Runtime Low: 24 hours
Med: 10 hours
Max: 5 hours
Getting to Know the BioLite FirePit: Interview with the Design Team

We interviewed the BioLite design team to learn more about the FirePit, why it was designed, and who it’s really built for. See the interview below.

From beach to backyard. Image courtesy BioLite, All Rights Reserved

Backpackers.com: What was the inspiration behind the product?

BioLite: The FirePit was conceived on a company camping trip to the Adirondaks. At BioLite, we love fire, but we realized that sometimes the smoke from the fire gets in the way…and the rest of the night is usually playing “musical chairs” with your friends to avoid the smoke.

Backpackers.com: What was the biggest challenge during the design process?

BioLite: The most difficult decision was: how big the FirePit need to be. The CampStove combustion chamber has a very optimized system powering a relatively small volume of fuel. Our combustion team knew that a typical 36-inch diameter fire pit would require a vastly larger blower system to maintain clean combustion of randomly arranged, everyday firewood. It was not until we began early prototyping that we started to understand our optimal size for the best performance. A rectangular proportion forces an arrangement of the wood into in a predictable, parallel arrangement that we knew our air jets would fully penetrate the flames.

The FirePit fits four pieces of wood, and the controls adjust the airflow from the motor. Image courtesy BioLite, All Rights Reserved

We were able to build the body of the FirePit with a metal mesh that enables users to see directly into the fire so you can see the combustion at work. A lot of the time people tend to overbuild their campfires because so much of it is obscured by sunken firepit designs ­– in our design you can get a hot, efficient fire with only four pieces of firewood and see every step of the process.

The FirePit has X-Ray Mesh that allows you to see the fire at night. GIF courtesy BioLite, All Rights Reserved.

With its compact size, the FirePit pulls its weight and then some. The dual-rack configuration means the FirePit can be filled up with firewood for a glowing s’mores session or stacked with charcoal for a portable grill. Bonus: you’re not wasting fuel for either setup.

Coals and wood work for cooking and a campfire. Versatile. Image courtesy BioLite, All Rights Reserved.

Backpackers.com: How would you compare the FirePit to your other products?

BioLite: Our FirePit is our biggest fire to date, designed to deliver all the benefits of a classic campfire, but without any of the smoke. It’s designed to be experiential thanks to the X-Ray mesh as well as interactive with the FirePit doubling as a hibachi grill (it’s also our first fire product that can accommodate charcoal fuel).

Unlike our other stoves, this does NOT have a thermoelectric generator and that’s on purpose; the FirePit is designed to radiate heat outward (something you want from a campfire) which is not optimized for a TEG design. A TEG would have doubled the price of the FirePit, and we decided a solar carry case was a more valuable and practical energy solution for a self-reliant system.

The Kickstarter FirePit comes with a case that has a solar panel, and has fold out legs. GIF courtesy BioLite, All Rights Reserved.

The FirePit recharges using the solar carry case, and can recharge on solar alone in a few days. With a battery life of 24 hours on the lowest setting and 5 hours on the highest, the battery is designed to last you through several of all-night s’mores sessions or through cooking a couple of meals. Pack it up and leave it out in the sun during the week and it will be recharged for your next weekend adventure. Got a time crunch? You can plug it in and recharge too, but we like the eco-friendly option. The motor pack also doubles as a power bank, so you can charge up a phone in a pinch or plug in one of BioLite’s outdoor lights.

Design schematic, courtesy BioLite, All Rights Reserved.

Backpackers.com: We love Car Campers, and think they’ll use this the most. What are your thoughts?

BioLite: This will enable Car Campers, van lifers, and backyarders to enjoy the classic benefits of a campfire but with a much smaller footprint — you use less fuel, you don’t leave behind a ton of crap, and your clothes, tent, hair etc doesn’t reek of smoke (don’t worry to still get the crackle and smell of a fire, it’s just not overpowering).

Backpackers.com: What about other Backpacker Types?

BioLite: We’d love to see this become a staple at cabins everywhere, serving as a welcomed feature for thru-hikers, like Wilderness Backpackers and Ultralight Backpackers. Beyond backpackers we see this serving day-trippers looking to replace their beach bonfire with something more sustainable and folks who are looking for a better experience right in their own backyard. Day Hikers and Urban Hikers can get the campfire experience right at home.

BioLite FirePit with attractive models! Image courtesy BioLite, All Rights Reserved.

Backpackers.com: What is your favorite recipe that you would recommend for the FirePit?

BioLite: We’re gonna go really simple on this one: beef satay skewers and some grilled limes to squeeze in your beer. Awesome shock of flavor.

The grill is included in the The FirePit, so you can cook over an open flame. Image courtesy BioLite, All Rights Reserved.

Backpackers.com: How might the FirePit reduce forest fires or other side effects of open fires in National Recreation Areas?

BioLite: We definitely took into account wanting to leave a smaller footprint [through using less fuel and leaving behind less waste], but it’s also important to note that you must check with your local ranger if you can use this product in your area. We want to be more efficient and safer than a typical fire, but we always defer to local regulations.

Backpackers.com: What is the return/repair/warranty process like, and what is the product life-time?

BioLite: We offer a 1 year warranty, as with all of our products. With proper care, this should last you years.

Backpackers.com: Is there anything you want our readers to know before they commit to supporting your Kickstarter?  

BioLite: Their support not only brings the FirePit to life, but it also helps us continue our work in emerging markets where household live in energy poverty. You can learn more about that here.

The FirePit may be your hottest friend ever. Sign up through BioLite’s Kickstarter campaign to stay updated and get on the list of first-run orders. We wouldn’t be surprised if the FirePit gets to sit shotgun on your next car camping adventure.

The post BioLite FirePit: Meet the Smokeless Campfire appeared first on Backpackers.com.

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Backpackers.com — With the fall equinox behind us, we’re searching for end-of-summer camp sites and noticing fewer people on the trail. Winter (as always) is coming, which means prepping for winter gear, rain gear, and the joy of a brisk morning.

We have new gear reviews and recommendations for sleeping bags, quilts and sleeping pads, plus tents and stoves for three different Backpacker Types.

Your Backpackers.com update is here!

New Gear Reviews

This gear has been researched, tested, and found worthy. Follow the links to read the full gear reviews and get the gear!

Kelty Cosmic Down 20 Sleeping Bag

The Kelty Cosmic Down 20 is a budget sleeping bag loaded with convenient features for the average backpacker. Down doesn’t come at a better price unless you’re plucking the bird yourself.

Read the full gear review of the Kelty Cosmic Down 20 to see why we recommend it as our Budget Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker.

MSR PocketRocket 2 Backpacking Stove

The MSR PocketRocket has been the stove standard bearer for years, and the PocketRocket 2 is even better. Easy, fast, reliable, and ultralight.

Read the full gear review of the MSR PocketRocket 2 to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker.

REI Half Dome 2 Plus Backpacking Tent

The REI Half Dome 2 Plus is a backpacking tent fit for a King and Queen. Sleep like the royal family in a well-designed space filled with abundant comforts.

Read the full gear review of the REI Half Dome 2 Plus to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker.

Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Quilt

When it comes to weight, packability, and versatility, the Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 quilt is hard to beat. Move like a ninja through the wilderness.

Read the full gear review of the Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 to see why we recommend it as our Classic and Budget Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker.

Camp Chef Everest Camping Stove

The Camp Chef Everest stove performed admirably. Its ease of use, powerful burners, and stable design meant that no food was burned, undercooked, or covered dirt.

Read the full gear review of the Camp Chef Everest to see why we recommend it as our Premium Pick for the Car Camper.

Exped MegaMat 10 Sleeping Pad

The Exped MegaMat 10 is the most comfortable outdoor sleeping experience around. If you’re considering a new mattress for your bedroom, get this instead.

Read the full gear review of the Exped MegaMat 10 to see why we recommend it as our Premium Pick for the Car Camper.

REI Kingdom 4 Camping Tent

The REI Kingdom 4 is a palace. Enough room for four adults, board games, and bedtime stories, it’s also guaranteed to make your camp neighbors jealous.

Read the full gear review of the REI Kingdom 4 to see why we recommend it as our Premium Pick for the Car Camper.

The North Facier Glacier 1/4 Zip TKA 100

The North Face Glacier 1/4 Zip is like the bass player in your favorite rock band: reliable, adaptable, and doesn’t steal the show, but it pulls together your whole backpacking layering system.

Read the full gear review of The North Facier Glacier 1/4 Zip TKA 100 to see why we recommend it as our Budget Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker and Ultralight Backpacker.

New Outdoor Guides

We dug deep on this one. A new Outdoor Guide means a massive dose of information for our readers. That’s you. You can thank us later.

How to Choose the Best Camping Stove For You

The best camping stove really depends on how you camp. From gourmet chefs to heating up a can of beans, our guide points you in the right direction for your inner outdoor foodie.

Stay Up to Date

We publish content weekly and update you every month. Visit Backpackers.com to see what new gear we’ve recommended, and what new guides we’ve penned for your reading pleasure.

The post Backpackers.com September 2017 Highlights appeared first on Backpackers.com.

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Backpackers.com – Tiny planet pictures are all the rage. If you haven’t seen one yet, prepare to be amazed. We’re living in an age when a smartphone — yes, the one in your pocket — can capture the roundness of Earth in a single shot.

Below is a collection of outdoor tiny planet pictures that feature mountains, snow, and forests. Like any picture, timing, setting, and composition are everything. Josh Smith — better known as Instagram-er and Redditor jsmooth — snapped each of these on an epic trek. We interviewed him about the process, which you can read below.

Tiny Planet Pictures Interview with jsmooth

Backpackers: How long have you been a photographer? How long have you been shooting tiny planet pictures?

jsmooth: I’ve been taking pictures since I was 11 and I went hiking in the Rockies with my family. Back then I had a little film camera and only a limited amount of film, so I had to be selective about what I took pictures of. Also to get a panorama shot, you had to literally attach the pictures together after they were developed. Since then I’ve always enjoyed taking photos while I’m up in the mountains.

Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia.

As for tiny planet pictures, I’ve been taking those since 2012. That’s when I bought a Nexus 4 and learned they could take these really cool looking shots. I did a bunch of experimenting, trying taking tiny planet pictures in lots of different places. Some failed badly while others looked amazing. Tiny planets taken from the top of a mountain always came out fantastic so I kept taking them.

Mt. Laughington and the Cheam Range, British Columbia.

Backpackers: What gear do you use to capture the tiny planet pictures?

jsmooth: Just my phone! My phone takes pretty average looking pictures, nothing special. But since tiny planet pictures are the result of a whole bunch of photos stitched together, it doesn’t seem to be an issue. The final result usually looks pretty great.

Mt. Hope, British Columbia.

I’ve also tried taking them using my actual camera. And those can look really good too. But I usually just stick with my phone to take them.

Backpackers: If someone wanted to try this, what would be the best way to start?

If you have an Android phone, just download the Google Camera app (only available in some countries, for an APK Mirror of the app go here), find a relatively open area and try taking one yourself. There are tutorials available that can direct you through it, but it’s pretty straightforward.

First you take a photosphere. This involves slowly spinning around several times, taking a picture in every direction, including straight up and down. Then the app will stitch together your photo. Once that’s done, you just apply the Tiny Planet effect and you’re all done. The first one you take might not work perfectly, but usually it doesn’t take too long to get the technique down.

E.C. Manning Provincial Park, British Columbia.

Note that if you have an Apple phone, you’ll have to use a different app but the general process will be similar. I’ve never tried this myself, so I don’t know the exact details or how well it works. Again, the best thing to do is just experiment for yourself and see if the results look good.

For people who are really ambitious, it’s also possible to take one using a regular camera too. You won’t have an app guiding you through the process, but you can also potentially get a higher quality end result than using just a smartphone.

Cape Chignecto Provincial Park, Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy.

Backpackers: Do you take these photos mostly on day hikes, or are they backpacking trips?

jsmooth: Both! I almost always have my phone with me while hiking, so I’ll take one anytime I find a good spot. For backpacking trips I just have to make sure I’m careful with battery life. I keep my phone off except for taking pictures.

Mt. Seymour, British Columbia.

Backpackers: It looks like most of your photos are in British Columbia. Is this where you trek most of the time? Have you been to other areas of the world to do this, or to hike in general?

jsmooth: I grew up in British Columbia and I currently live in Vancouver, so yes, most of my hiking is in this area. These photos tend to work best when you are at the very top of something so the British Columbia mountains are fantastic for that. I also lived in New Brunswick for a couple years, and I did take some of these photos out there too. I also have some from Iceland (pictured in this article) when I visited for a couple weeks. The surreal Iceland landscapes worked really well for tiny planet pictures.

Skyline Trail and Mt Frosty in Manning Provincial Park, British Columbia.

Backpackers: How do you decide to take one of these pictures? Do you base it on a specific high point, particular scenery, something else?

I have a few things I look for. The best is when there is an unobstructed 360 degree view and you are at the highest point around. You want there to be something interesting going on in every part of your tiny planet, so the fewer things blocking the view, the better.

Artist Point and Mt. Baker, Washington.

Also if you are near something tall or on a slope, you’ll end up with an oblong tiny planet, which looks wonky. It’s good if you can avoid crowds of people. That said, if you are hiking with a few other people, it’s nice to get them to stand in the shot somewhere. It can really add to the effect. Just make sure they stand still while you take it. (Unless of course you want them to be in your picture multiple times, that can be fun too.)

Ptarmigan Glacier, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington

Backpackers: What are your favorite trails or trips you’ve taken?

Oh, that’s a tough one, there are so many to choose from! Definitely one of my favorites was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail through Goat Rocks Wilderness in Washington. Most of it was up in the alpine, and you get some really nice views of Mt. Adams, Mt. St Helens and Mt Rainier, sometimes all at the same time. It’s some very classic Washington hiking.

Goat Rock Wilderness, Washington.

Also I loved hiking in Skaftafell National Park, Iceland. I got some of the best glacier views I’ve ever seen. Plus the lack of trees meant you got 360 degree views pretty much the whole entire hike.

Skaftafell National Park, Iceland.

When an app makes something simple, beauty gets created through skill. Try your hand at these tiny planet photos, and tag Backpackers.com on Instagram with #BackpackersCom to get featured!

The post Tiny Planet Pictures: The Outdoor World From On High appeared first on Backpackers.com.

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Backpackers.com — Summer temperatures and the National Park Service are hitting 101 this month. There is nothing quite like the outdoors in the heat — we’re thankful, sweaty, and have been testing gear like winter is coming.

We have new gear reviews and recommendations for sleeping bags and quilts, sleeping pads, and another new headlamp for three different Backpacker Types. Plus our first backpacking stove review!

Your Backpackers.com update is here!

New Gear Reviews

This gear has been researched, tested, and found worthy. Follow the links to read the full gear reviews and get the gear!

REI Igneo 17 Sleeping Bag

The REI Igneo 17 sleeping bag doesn’t know the meaning of the word “compromise.” You will be will warm, you will be dry, you will be light, and you will sleep so good.

Read the full gear review of the REI Igneo 17 to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker.

REI Trekker Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

New to the outdoors? Experienced adventurer? Anyone can sleep easy on the REI Trekker Self-Inflating sleeping pad without breaking your back or the bank.

Read the full gear review of the REI Trekker Self-Inflating sleeping pad to see why we recommend it as our Budget Pick for the Car Camper.

Kelty Callisto 30 Sleeping Bag

The Kelty Callisto 30 is a classic car camping sleeping bag with a modern touch. Think luxurious comfort plus a couples blanket. Snuggle-bots, roll out!

Read the full gear review of the Kelty Callisto 30 to see why we recommend it as our Budget Pick for the Car Camper.

Petzl e+LITE Headlamp

Prepping for Armageddon? Shaving down the grams? Just want reliable light in the backcountry? The Petzl e+LITE headlamp’s rich feature set does it all.

Read the full gear review of the Petzl e+Lite to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker.

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad

The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol’s accordion folds are classic, but the cost and weight make it an easy choice for the thrifty, gram-counting backpacker.

Read the full gear review of the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol to see why we recommend it as our Budget Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker.

REI Trail Pod 29 Sleeping Bag

The REI Trail Pod 29 is an adaptable bag with a soft, squishy heart. Take it adventuring, keep it handy for overnight guests, let it work for its money!

Read the full gear review of the REI Trail Pod 29 to see why we recommend it as our Classic Pick for the Car Camper.

MSR Whisperlite International Backpacking Stove

The MSR Whisperlite liquid fuel stove shines for long trips in the mountains. It can go the distance, be repaired when it gets clogged, and uses cheap fuel.

Read the full gear review of the MSR Whisperlite International stove to see why we recommend it as our Premium Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker.

New Outdoor Guides

We dug deep on this one. A new Outdoor Guide means a massive dose of information for our readers. That’s you. You can thank us later.

How to Choose the Best Backpacking Stove For You

The best backpacking stove is situational. Figure out what stove is best for your wilderness experience, and learn a few things too!

Stay Up to Date

We publish content weekly and update you every month. Visit Backpackers.com to see what new gear we’ve recommended, and what new guides we’ve penned for your reading pleasure.

The post Backpackers.com August 2017 Highlights appeared first on Backpackers.com.

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Backpackers.com — We talk a lot about parks. We might love parks more than our morning brew — blasphemy, I know. And we love the National Park system (I still have my collection of National Parks badges tucked away in my mom’s attic), which celebrated its centennial in August 2016.

While it may not be easy to tick all 59 U.S. National Parks off your bucket list, the best way to start is with a National Park pass, better known as America the Beautiful: The National Parks Annual Pass. Plus, with the pass sitting in your glove compartment, burning through your dash, you’ll be more likely to go check out all these amazing spaces. Everglades? Check. Joshua Tree? Check. The Badlands? Check. You get the idea.

There are over 2000 recreation areas included with your National Parks Pass. Yes, the pass includes free entry to all National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, and many National Forest lands. So what are you waiting for?

Badlands National Park. You can visit for free with a National Park Pass! Courtesy QFamily. How to Buy a National Park Pass

Don’t worry, it’s not complicated. Before you purchase one, you need to know what kind of pass you qualify for. There are three general types:

  1. Annual Passes: These are offered to citizens under the age of 62 who don’t qualify for a free National Park pass. These will cost you $80 a year and include a car full of people, up to four people over 16. Anyone 15 and under gets in free. If you’re going to bury someone under camping gear to sneak them into the park, make sure they have snacks. It’s only polite.
  2. Lifetime Seniors Passes: If you’re over the age of 62 you can buy a Lifetime Seniors Pass. This does exactly what you think it does! A pass that gets you in free for the rest of your life.
  3. Free National Park Passes: You may qualify for a free National Park pass. To see if you do, scroll to the bottom of this article.
Lifetime Seniors Pass Fee Increase!

The National Park Service (NPS) recently announced that the Lifetime Seniors Pass was getting a price boost. What’s the current price? A ridiculous $10. Yes, you can currently get a lifetime pass to our National Parks for the price of a movie ticket. The only catch is that you have to be 62 years old.

On August 28, 2017 these passes are going to be a whopping $80. Now — right now — is the time to score your Lifetime Senior Pass. We also recommend this as a perfect gift for the camper, hiker, or wilderness-obsessed 62 year old in your life.

So how do you score the best 62nd birthday present ever? Or buy a pass in the first place? There are several easy ways.

Where to Buy a National Park Pass In Person

The cheapest way to get your National Park Pass is in person. Here is the list of all the offices where you can buy your pass and bring it home immediately. You can feed it, crack open a cold beer with it, buy it a sleeping bag and snuggle up together under the stars.

In-person pass buying doesn’t add a “service” fee to the process, and makes sure you’ll interact with a knowledgable NPS employee — always a good idea.

This is also the only way to get a last minute pass — the other options take at least a couple weeks to get sent over.

Online

You can buy a pass online, but you have to pay for the digital privilege. There’s a $10 convenience fee. Steep, I know. But hey, the money still goes towards National Parks.

You can buy the National Park pass online from the official USGS store. Make sure to select the appropriate pass for you.

You can also buy the Annual National Park Pass online at REI. While you can’t get the Senior Pass or other versions, this is a hassle-free way to grab one. You can also use an REI gift card, which is a major win. Your local REI might actually sell the pass in store, too, so if you’re desperate make sure to call.

Note: the USGS has a big warning on their website that Senior Passes are backlogged. That’s ok, you can use your confirmation page to get into National Parks now. Your actual pass will arrive in the mail, delivered by a bald eagle.

By Mail

If you’re old school, enjoy licking envelopes, and find joy in picking out the perfect summer fruit stamp (watermelon, always), you can mail in your National Park Pass order. The convenience fee is $10 for this method as well. Or if you’re counting pennies, it’s $10.49 including the postage. (Unless you bought your Forever stamps when they were $0.35).

If you want to mail in the form, download it here. You’ll need to include a copy of your driver’s license proving you’re old enough (I bet it’s nice to be carded again, huh?).

Note: All eligible Senior Pass orders postmarked before August 28 will be processed at the $10 price. Lifetime Senior Pass orders postmarked after August 28 will be processed at the $80 price.

How to Get a Free National Parks Pass

There are some options to get free National Parks passes, which we wanted to share in case they apply to you.

Free National Parks Pass for Military

I come from a Military family and love that we give our Military families free National Parks passes.

How do you get one? Show a proper Military issued ID at any of the physical locations where you can purchase an annual pass. Most of them have Military Passes available as well. You may want to call and double check that they have them in stock if you have a long drive.

Current U.S. military members and their dependents in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, as well as most members of the U.S. Reserves and National Guard are eligible for free Military passes.

Free National Parks Pass for Fourth Graders

If you’re lucky enough to still be nine years old, you can get a free National Parks Pass! Every 4th grade kid in America can complete some fun and easy online activities about our parks on the Every Kid in a Park website. Then, print off your voucher and exchange it for an Annual 4th Grade Pass at your local Federal Recreation Site. You have to show up in person to get these, sorry Mom and Dad!

Gummy worms, chocolate pudding, and a free National Park pass…Can I be nine again, please?

Free National Parks Pass for Disabled Americans

If you are permanently disabled, you should get outside and enjoy our National Parks. They are there for all of us. You can order a free pass here. Download the paper form to mail in here.

Free National Parks Pass for Volunteers

I’ve got a beach clean-up on my calendar, but it’s not enough to get me a free National Parks Pass. You need a hefty 250 hours of community service to get a free pass for the next year. Take as long as you like to accumulate your hours, just make sure you get them officially signed off.

Are there any restrictions on my volunteering, you may ask?

Yes. You can collect your 250 hours by volunteering on Federal recreation lands managed by one or all of these agencies:

You can pick up hours at any or a combination of agencies, it just has to total 250 hours before you get to turn your time in for a free pass. Then your pass is valid for 12 months from the date you pick it up.

We think all passes should come with a bag of marshmallows, ready to roast. But you’ll have to pick those up, too. Just make sure to save extra chocolate for my s’mores!

The post How to Buy Your National Park Pass appeared first on Backpackers.com.

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