How To Size & Buy A Backpacking Quilt – Guest Post on

Once again, I’ve made a guest post over on This time I’m focusing on how to properly size and eventually buy a quilt for backpacking. One of the biggest questions I get now (especially after releasing this video on why you should switch to a quilt) is, “What size/type/brand/features should I look for in a quilt?” Well, hopefully this article will help to guide any of you that are struggling with buying a backpacking quilt and what to look for. I’m sure that I’ll eventually make this article into a video, but for now you can find it here on

Respect your elders – The 1983 Kelty Sonora III backpack

Recently a customer at the gear shop I work for, brought in a relic from the early(ish) days of backpacking. He told me of the great adventures he and his Kelty backpack had shared since it’s original purchase date in 1983. Regretfully, he said, it was time for him to move on. He had been using this pack somewhat frequently since day one, but no longer gets to backpack as frequently; he longed for a lighter and smaller pack to bring him into the modern backpacking scene. He kindly donated the pack to the shop, as he didn’t have any room to keep it stored at home any longer. Upon first inspection, I was amazed at the great condition and build quality of the pack. This got me thinking… maybe it’s time we look back at where backpacking once was. Sure, it’s easy to see that modern backpacking has changed for the better, with lighter, more comfortable loads, but let’s not forget how we got here. The early backpacks may have been heavy by todays standards, but they were beasts of design and craftsmanship. Continue reading “Respect your elders – The 1983 Kelty Sonora III backpack”

Check out the Climb Out of the Darkness Expedition!

This summer 8 adventurous souls will set out to climb all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks in only 10 weeks! Why? Well first off, why not, this sounds amazing! More importantly, however, this expedition aims to raise awareness for mental health. The Climb Out of the Darkness team are using their mountaineering skills to help shed some light on the mental illnesses, diseases, and conditions that affect so many people worldwide but that often go unnoticed or untreated. I encourage you the give the expedition a look and to expand your knowledge on mental health as well. Check out some of the links below for more information. This will be a fun adventure to follow this summer for sure.

You can help fund this expedition (and spread mental health awareness) here:

Climb Out of the Darkness website:

Climb Out of the Darkness Facebook page:

Shameless Self Promotion: Check out my new companion site

Hello Friends. I’ve been working on a companion site to BackcountryBanter for some time now and have finally finished it and am launching it today. I’d really appreciate if you gave it a look. You can find it at or at its Facebook page here:

Basically, It’s a site that sells T-shirts (and other gear soon…) that are related to hiking or thru hiking. I’ve got a few designs up now based on the AT/PCT/CDT, but I’ll have many more coming soon!

Joe (P.S. – Open this post to see a little preview of some of the designs I’ve got so far.) Continue reading “Shameless Self Promotion: Check out my new companion site”

Backpacking tips: Frequently adjust your pack!

Think about the last time you were out backpacking. How often did you adjust and readjust your pack? Once, before you headed out to the trailhead? Maybe you readjusted once just before heading down the trail the final day out? Most people tend to think of backpacks as a sort of “set it and forget it” piece of gear. Unfortunately, this leads many people to suffer through backpacking trips with an uncomfortable and poorly fitted pack. I can’t recall the number of times I’ve seen someone lumbering down trail with a loose hip belt and their pack listing dangerously to one side. This is no way to hike! Want to know the secret to efficiently and comfortably carrying a load on your back? Continue reading “Backpacking tips: Frequently adjust your pack!”

Critics questioning John Muir’s legacy and relevance in modern times

Take a look at this recent article published by the LA Times (Linked to here).

To briefly sum it up, a group of environmentalists are questioning whether John Muir’s ideas and conservationist mindset are relevant in today’s world. They imply that in this age of rapidly expanding populations, urban sprawl, and demographic changes, John Muir’s idea of maintaining undisturbed “pristine wilderness” simply doesn’t apply. Jon Christensen, a historian at UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability, says, “Muir’s a dead end, it’s time to bury his legacy and move on.” It is proposed in the article that, “Rather than accessing Muir’s beloved Sierra Mountains as backpackers, skiers or rock climbers, Californians would benefit more from the creation of urban parks, additional roads and trails in wild lands.”  Continue reading “Critics questioning John Muir’s legacy and relevance in modern times”