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Best of Backpacker 2011-12: True Tales of Outdoor Adventureby Backpacker Magazine Editors
The backcountry is full of great stories, and we’re proud to bring you this collection of some of our favorites. From a peek at the military’s survival school to a journey inside the fledgling conservative Christian environmental movement, in every way, these stories exemplify the power of quality writing and the transformative experience of the outdoors… See more details below
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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 a peek at the military’s survival school to a journey inside the fledgling conservative Christian environmental movement, in every way, these stories exemplify the power of quality writing and the transformative experience of the outdoors.
Table of Contents:
How hard is hiking the entire 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail in one season? On average, the success rate for Everest climbers is better than would-be thru-hikers. Warren Doyle has hiked the AT 16 times, and he has a no-fee plan guaranteed to help others do it too. The toughest part? Hiking with Warren Doyle.
By Bill Gifford
Are You Tough Enough?
Every backpacker dreams of a glory job in the outdoors. And mountain guide is the most glorious of them all. So what does it take to become one? Here’s how one hiker turned fantasy into reality.
By Shannon Davis
Hike, Pray, Protest
Something curious is happening in evangelical churches and colleges across the country. Beneath the media radar, thousands of deeply conservative Christian youth are reimagining Jesus as a Leatherman-toting, wilderness-tramping eco-crusader. They’re hitting the trail, joining anti-coal marches, and professing a green theology that breaks with centuries of church dogma. But can this fledgling movement succeed?
By Tracy Ross
Die Another Day
The surest way to get in trouble in the backcountry? Keep going forward when you should really be going back. One stubborn mountaineer examines the fine line between triumph and tragedy.
By Mark Jenkins
Around the Alps in 80 Days
Well, maybe 105. But who’s counting when it comes to an all-new adventure in Switzerland, the well-trod birthplace of trekking and climbing? Our man defies conventional wisdom with a 1,400-mile circumnavigation of this über-mountainous kingdom.
By John Harlin
The Long Way Home
Fifteen years ago, Karl Bushby made a vow: He would walk from the tip of South America back to his native England. Since then, he’s crossed Central America’s guerilla-ridden Darien Gap, traversed an ice bridge across the Bering Strait, and hiked some 17,000 miles. He’s also left behind his family, and recently, seen his expedition grind to a halt. It may be time to ask: When is a hike too far?
By Bill Donahue
Your Brain on Hiking
Yes, the views and fresh air and exercise make every backpacking trip worthwhile. But now, new research shows, staying home is just plain dumb. Learn why backpacking boosts brainpower in this exclusive report from the frontiers of environmental neuroscience.
By Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan
When an Air Force crew goes down behind enemy lines, evading capture is priority #1. But finding food, water, and shelter follow closely. At the military’s top-secret survival school, soldiers learn how to escape their worst-case scenario. With the highest level of access ever granted to a journalist, our scout learns how to escape when Mother Nature is only one of your worries.
By Brian Mockenhaupt
Everyone wants to trek to the world’s highest mountain, which makes Everest basecamp Nepal’s busiest hike. But you can see the Himalayan giants without the crowds on the Three Passes route, a high-altitude tour de force that cross three saddles more than 17,000 feet high.
By Justin Nyberg
Over the Edge
Nearly 150 years after John Wesley Powell’s pioneering trip through the Grand Canyon, the park still conceals remarkable places no humans have ever seen. Our man joins a crew of explorers on a journey of discovery.
By John Harlin
The Jesus Trail
Every hike is a pilgrimage, but this new path from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee is holier than most. Literally following in His footsteps, the 40-mile route immerses hikers in biblical history—and a culturally diverse region where you’ll find traditional hospitality, not modern hostility.
By Dennis Lewon
For decades, hikers have journeyed to Isle Royale National Park for a life-list experience: see the island’s iconic wolves. But with the fragile population in jeopardy, biologists fear the Isle Royale pack will soon be extinct.
By Gustave Axelson
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