BACKPACKER Magazine: Bringing the Outdoors to Your Doorstep
Best of Backpacker 2010: True Tales of Outdoor Adventureby Backpacker Magazine
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The backcountry is full of great stories, and we’re proud to bring you this collection of some of our favorites. From urban hiking in Los Angeles to a backpacker’s first taste of hunting, in every way, these stories exemplify the power of quality writing and the transformative experience of the outdoors.
Table of Contents
Forty years after his own adolescent ascent of the Arctic’s Mt. Chamberlin, the author returns with his 13-year-old daughter. But on this father-child epic, glaciers and grizzlies may be the least of the hazards.
By John Harlin
Above It All
When John Muir said that a “proper” wilderness experience requires at least two weeks of backpacking, he probably didn’t foresee two Speedo-clad brothers hiking around the Sierra Nevada’s 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail, occasionally hitching into town for burritos and beer. Still, we’re sure Muir would have approved of circling America’s largest alpine lake on foot.
By Charles Bethea
Utterly, Hopelessly, Truly Lost
Not lawyer-approved: We blindfolded navigation novice Jim Thornton and dropped him by bushplane in the middle of Idaho’s Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Then it started snowing.
By Jim Thornton
Imagine an Alaska paradise with trout bigger than your leg, bears and caribou traipsing by camp, and no people—except your good friends. This place exists. We have proof. We can’t tell you where it is, but we can tell you how to get there.
By Jonathan Dorn
America’s Worst Trail: A Love Story
Got health insurance? You’ll need it for a hike on Vermont’s famously rugged Long Trail, according to our Green Mountains junkie, who reflects on what makes this 273-mile path the country’s most frustrating hike—and why he can’t stay away.
By David Hiscoe
When a lifelong backpacker decides to shoot a deer, will he lose touch with the wilderness he loves—or get closer to it?
By Bruce Barcott
What really happens when you land the best job in the outdoors? In this tell-all, a former national park ranger dishes on cleaning up after dead climbers, saving wimpy hikers, policing nudists, and witnessing wilderness miracles.
By Andrea Lankford
The Big Parade
Two days. Forty-two miles. More than 10,000 feet of elevation gain. In Los Angeles? Here’s how one visionary (OK, a slightly obsessed backpacker) started a local-hikes revolution in the epicenter of urban sprawl.
By Dan Koeppel
My F*&^ing Family
We like to think that a camping trip can bring anyone together—even three siblings harboring five decades’ worth of betrayals, resentments, and maybe one case of semi-accidental poisoning. Will a backpacking trip in the Rockies bring this family together—or tear them apart?
By Steve Friedman
Lots of musicians perform charity concerts. Very few climb mountains and play on top. And only one—Mike Peters of The Alarm—has staged a fundraiser on Mt. Kilimanjaro’s 19,341-foot summit. The two-time cancer survivor is on a mission to fight the disease, and if he has to gasp for air between verses, so be it. Join Peters, plus friends from the Fixx, the Stray Cats, Gin Blossoms, and Squeeze, for the world’s highest show.
By Nick Heil
The Last Best Place
Hikers have long sought hidden trails, secret valleys and lush, untouched mountain meadows. A young man discovered such a place deep in California’s Sierra 38 years ago. Eight years later, in 1983, he wrote about the place and submitted it to BACKPACKER. Then he disappeared. The story never ran, because we didn’t think it was true—until now.
By Eddie Oglander
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