Author: TheBackPacker

Trust the Trail Podcast
TheBackPacker February 15, 2018 0

Episode 45: Is Less Really More?

On this Episode, we compare 2 trends growing in popularity = lightweight backpacking and minimalist living – AND do the two truly parallel each other. So, we ask – is less really more? In recent years the nomadic life has become a socially appealing trend and for some, a generally acceptable lifestyle to explore.

As lightweight backpackers we HAD to ask ourselves are we lightweight living? And we think the answer is YEAH, we are. Though it wasn’t always that way for us.

What we discuss on this Podcast:

  • Does Life Parallel the trail?
  • How does lightweight backpacking equate to a lightweight lifestyle?
  • Trusting the Trail is always a new experience
  • Getting rid of a 1974 ash tray.

Huge thank you! It’s because of people like you that inspire us to keep podcasting our passion. If you’ve been enjoying the show and want to help others find it, We’d love a review from you in iTunes. Each and every review helps more people find the show (each one counts and we are super grateful).

To leave a review, click here and then go to “ratings and reviews”. It takes one minute and we read every one?

Please help support us on Patreon so we can keep up the weekly Podcast’s. We promise you won’t be disappointing

TheBackPacker December 2, 2017 0

12 Gifts For The Outdoor Lover That Are A Must

What would be the Holiday’s without a desire to get out on the road and spend time with family and friends. Of course, it’s also a time to get outdoors and hike off the Turkey Dinner that is still haunting you on the scale. As travelers, we are always looking for the biggest bang for our buck and is lightweight and compatible.  After all, you can’t “wide flat screen tv” in 190 square feet easy.   Plus, if you are doing a road trip to the fam, it has to be pack-able right?

The Esbit Stainless Steel Coffee Maker – 8 fl.oz.

We love coffee in the morning. What better way to start your Christmas morning than a quick easy way to make some java.

Ideal for backcountry travel
Brews coffee and tea
Stainless steel construction
Stand fits into cup for compact, easy transport
Holds one cup (8 fl.oz.)

Last Spring we did a 2000 mile road trip to Munising, MI and this little coffee maker saved the day, or the mornings for sure. Camping while we travel, this is great piece of equipment on living on the road.

Buy it here, then give it some love by sharing.

$29.99 Save 40% Compare at $49.99


Marquette Alloy Mountain Bike


There is nothing like the feeling of a little quite time and freedom when out visiting for the Holidays. Hit the Mountain Bike trails and really get the blood pumping. We absolutely have our Bikes with us and love to ride when we have some free time.

Frame: Framed Marquette 6061 Aluminum Alloy 148×12, replaceable derailleur hanger, 2 water bottle cage mounts, tapered headtube
Fork: Suntour Raidon 120mm 110×15, air spring, rebound adjust, manual lock out, hydraulic rebound, tapered steerer. This is a super lightweight bike that can easily be mounted on the back or top of your car or RV.  It hardly feels like a bike it’s so lightweight.

buy it HERE then spread the word to #optoutside
Was $1,600 On Sale $999.95  38% off


Hyperlite Southwest 3400

This is my (Ariane speaking here) favorite backpack to hit the trail with. Whether it’s a day hike, or 300 miles of the Appalachian Trail (which I did last Spring) Love it!

Three external, solid Dyneema® Hardline pockets. Removable, contoured aluminum stays Dyneema® Hardline shoulder straps with 3/8” closed cell foam and spacer mesh
1/4” foam back panel pad

The best part…it weighs only 1.94 lbs for a medium pack.

Buy it HERE  and give that special hiker a great Holiday present.  Was $340.00 $289.00

Sea to Summit X-Set 31 Cookset

If you know someone who travels a lot, especially in a Camper or RV like we do, then the Sea To Summit X Cookset is a must.  You can’t be the compactibility of cookware that you can fold, and then cook in. Cookset includes a 2.8-liter X-Pot, two 22 fl. oz. X-Bowls and two 16.2 fl. oz. X-Mugs
X-Pot has a lightweight and durable 6063-T6, hard-anodized aluminum base that allows a fast boil time.
Buy HERE and get in time to put under your tree.

Save at REI and get it for $109.95


Cedar Electronics WASPcam 9905 Digital Video Camera – WiFi HD

If you are going to spend any time outdoors, then why not make some epic vids. The Cedar WASPcam works much like the GoPro (which we have also) but a lot less impact on the Holiday budget.

Requires a Micro SD card to record videos (card not included)
Accepts up to a 32MB Micro SD card
Records 1080p/30fps high-definition video
5, 8 and 12MP photo quality

We like this because it has built-in WiFi connects camera to smartphone for live viewing, remote control and instant sharing online

Buy it HERE and really make an instant impact on your YouTube Videos.  $99.99 Save 31% Compare at $145.00


Advanced Elements Island Voyage Ii Kayak

Now is the time to get the best deals on summer toys. We use our Inflatable Kayak for those spontaneous moments when we find ourselves camped next to a beautiful lake that we want to explore.

The bungee deck lacing and grab handles makes getting the kayak in the water simple. It includes high back seating with pockets and bottle holders. Buy it HERE and share the love. Was $429.99 Save $30.99 Sale $399.00

ENO RestNest Hammock

We love lounging around our campsite and chilling. The Eno RestNest absolutely is on our Holiday list. Compactable, Lightweight, and easy to set up.

Durable, rip-resistant nylon with triple interlock stitching
Marine-grade rope with steel S-hook attaches to trees, posts, RVs, boats, and more
Stuffs into built-in stuff sack

Buy it HERE and send it to your favorite outdoor enthusiast.

$29.99 Save 36% Compare at $47.00


Jetboil Genesis 2-Burner Stove

This by far is one of our favorite travel and camp stoves. It’s quick, easy and light.  If you are into car camping or just love cooking outdoors, this is the perfect way to do it. Put a griddle over both burners and make pancakes.

It uses a regular Coleman propane tank found at any Walmart.

Compact folding 2-burner stove
Jetboil engineered valve for advanced simmer control
Easy-to-clean drip trays
Lever igniter

Buy it HERE  and then share a recipe with us.
Was: $239.95  Now: $203.96  You save 15%



YETI Hopper Two 20 Soft Cooler


Traveling lightweight is always the main focus in our lives, so we look for gear that meets both the compact and lightweight test. The Yeti Hopper meets that test.

Updated leakproof zipper access makes it easier to load and retrieve contents
DryHide Shell with RF-welded seams and nearly indestructible straps will stand up to an abundance of abuse in the field and provide superior leakproof durability

Buy it HERE at REI
$300.00 Save 30% on Members Day


America the Beautiful National Parks Pass – 2018 

America’s National Park Pass easily pays for itself if you are a traveler or a Backpacker. We love exploring different National Parks and even Guide people on our Full Moon Adventure Trips. This is one of the best Holiday Gifts to give.

It has really saved us money at RV parks and entrance fee’s.

Buy it HERE at REI  $79.99


Goal Zero Venture 70 Recharger


Often times we are not in a place where we can “plug in”. Either out in the backcountry or at an event. So we use the Goal Zero Recharger. Especially when you want to use your smart phone for a camera and don’t want to miss a shot.

It’s small enough and weighs only 1 pound. Easy to put in a backpack for a long day hike or a several overnight camping trips. It’s definitely one of our “go to” pieces of gear when we go on the road.

66.9-Wh / 17,700mAh capacity keeps phones, cameras, tablets and small USB devices powered up wherever you roam
Smart charging technology optimizes output to match what’s plugged in and prevent overcharging
2 USB outputs let you charge more than one device at the same time

You can buy it HERE for $149.95




Helinox Chair Zero

While we travel, camp, and explore, often we just want some chill time by the campfire and have a good craft brew. This is the chair we use to do just that. Lightweight, fast to set up and it compacts nicely.

These chairs fit snug in our camping box so we always have these no matter where we go. We even bring them while visiting other RV’ers at a RV Park.

Seat is 11 in. off the ground
Thanks to anodized DAC aluminum poles, Chair Zero is strong enough to support up to 265 lbs.
Single shock-corded pole structure makes for easy setup
Compact size makes it easy to pack and carry
Stuff sack included

Buy it HERE at REI for $119.95



These items WE USE. We never post gear that we don’t know and trust. While making this list we thought of you. What did we miss? Have something on the list you would use instead? Let us know.

Happy Holidays!!!!!

TheBackPacker November 3, 2016 0

Episode 8: Why Trust the Trail

In Episode 8: Scott and Ariane share why their podcast is called Trust the Trail. When things go wrong in the wilderness why trusting nature is to your benefit. More importantly, trusting that the trail will give you everything that you are looking for when backpacking and more.

Also, a huge thank to our listeners. We really appreciate all the support and e-mails. Keep them coming.


Ariane forgets tent poles, Oh Oh!

Scott ask’s the universe for a 3 Musketeer’s Bar…and get’s one

Do more with less

The Trail provides if you have a good mental attitude

Have a trail story? Leave a comment and let us know. In the meantime, Trust the Trail.

TheBackPacker October 20, 2016 0

Episode 6: Small Steps Big Adventure

In this episode Scott and Ariane talk to Casey Rheaume who’s backpacking adventure started out with just some small steps on the trail. Casey shares how she started with just a desire to learn a little about the outdoors and to keep pushing herself a little at a time. Car camping was first, then some Snowshoeing, then it was a Backpacking Adventure of a lifetime.

As a first time backpacker, Casey also explains how important it was to go with people who could help her learn the right way, but also let’s her make mistakes also.

Scott and Ariane discuss how important it is to  let new backpackers learn from others at the same time.


The Buckland Trail don’t play

Snowshoeing is hard

Inner Ear Infection makes sleeping in a cave difficult

Casey gives Scott a “List”. (Scott feels pressure)

Let us know your First Backpacking Story in the comments below. We love to hear first timers experience. Also, sign up for our Mailing List so we can get you up on the latest videos, stories and upcoming trips.


TheBackPacker October 12, 2016 0

Scott Gauvin talks about Gear Forward

We love our backpacking community so when we get a chance to actually talk to a fellow backpacker, we jump at it. Recently Scott Gauvin from reached out to us about his passion for getting gear to our Youth.  Scott is the Executive Director for Gear Forward.  What is Gear Forward?

Gear Forward, simply is about providing the next generation of stewards, adventurers, Scoutmasters and Girl Scout Leaders the resources they need to get outdoors. No child should be denied access to all the outdoors has to offer because they don’t have the necessary equipment. Through the collection of gently used outdoor gear, Gear Forward will work with other worthwhile youth and outdoor focused organizations to get donated gear into the hands that need it.

In this interview Scott explains how you can help donate your un-used gear, or old gear to kids that perhaps want to go camping but don’t have the money or racecourses to go.

So, what can YOU do to Donate: First, clean out your gear closet. WE all have one, and we all have gear we don’t use. Then go to and click on the GET INVOLVED Link.

So when you donate your old gear, and maybe looking to buy some new gear. You can visit Teton Sports and purchase gear using the coupon code LHX2017 to get 15% off your order.

TheBackPacker October 12, 2016 0

Paul’s Boots Documentary

The Appalachian Trail community is something that is still amazing to me today. After my Thru-Hike in 2003, I still talk to people that I hiked with. Paul’s Boots shows just how tight that community is. This is a touching story about a dream, and how the AT community carried that dream all 2,189 miles.

From the REI YouTube Page.

Last year, Paul passed away before he could make his dream reality. But that’s not the end of this story – it’s the beginning. He left behind three pairs of polished hiking boots and a backpack packed for his dream hike: the 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail. Paul’s wife, M’Lynn, had an idea for a final gift for her husband. “How good would it be,” she asked, “for his boots to make the journey even if Paul could not?”

Of course this Documentary is spreading through social media, but we wanted to make sure that you didn’t miss it on our site. We would love to hear your thoughts or feelings about Paul’s Boots.
Learn more at

TheBackPacker October 6, 2016 0

Episode 4: Can I Bring My Dog?

You would be surprised that one of the top questions we get when taking new people out backpacking for their first time is..Can I bring my dog?  Of course! Scott & Ariane discuss what and how to bring your Pup backpacking. On Episode 4, they share some stories about bringing their own dogs backpacking and what to know before you go.

What is the top mistakes people make when bring their dog backpacking? They fail to Plan & Prepare. Episode 4: Can I Bring My Dog goes into some of the different rules and regulations that different Land Management Bureaus have and  how to find them.  Of course they share funny times when their own dogs, (Dino and Caldonia) go rouge on the trail.


Packing First Aid Kits are a must for your dog

Dinner time is for people, not Fido

What did Dino roll in?

Plan & Prepare is the best policy

Caldonia and Bees

Have a favorite story about hiking with your dog? Share it in comments below. We love to hear from you.

Every Thursday come pack for our weekly podcast show: Trust the Trail.


TheBackPacker September 22, 2016 0

Episode 2: For the love of Backpacking

Episode 2 discusses “For the Love of Backpacking”. Ariane and Scott talk about their first time backpacking and how it affected who they are today. They also share their favorite moments on the trail, most memorable experience, and the most humorous backcountry comments people going out on their first backpacking trips say.


  • Ariane Backpacks the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast in Kauai and explains her solo hike
  • Ariane shares her first backpacking experience and a visit from a Bear
  • Scott explains that getting lost in the Sycamore Wilderness Canyon was his most memorable hike
  • Ariane and Scott share hilarious stories from first time backpackers

Why won’t you die!?

I just peed on my shoes

Listen and have fun to episode 2 of the Trust The Trail Podcast.


TheBackPacker September 14, 2016 0

Outdoor Research Ascendant Jacket

We are eagerly waiting for this jacket to get to market.  One of the great things about this new OR Ascendant Jacket is it’s weight. Lightweight and easily pack-able for late fall, early winter backpacking trip.  Breathability is the key with most soft-shell jackets. The OR Ascendant Jacket uses a new technology called Polartec® Alpha® Direct.

According to Polartec’s web site:

Polartec® Alpha® was originally developed for the U.S. Special Forces when they required a more advanced insulating material in their combat uniforms. This fabric is a new technology with active insulation that regulates core body temperatures during both dynamic and static activities. This latest advancement in adaptable breathability helps eliminate the need of shedding or adding layers while on the move.

Jacob from Outside Magazine does the production of this video and does a great job getting us pumped for the gear coming out in 2017. Looks like it’s coming out in early Spring 2017.  Click HERE to watch the Video


TheBackPacker September 10, 2016 0

Oregon’s PCT

We love fun backpacking video’s, and this is one of them. (Especially when there is dancing involved) Claire Stam puts together a great expression of backpacking in this section of the Pacific Crest Trail.

From near Siskiyou Summit (elev. 4,310?) in southern Oregon to the Washington border, this section is both the shortest and the easiest to hike or ride. Oregon’s Cascade Range is a subdued volcanic landscape, with a gentle crest that is fairly constant in elevation. The highest point in Oregon is an unnamed saddle (elev. 7,560?) north of Mount Thielsen. Other volcanoes, including Mount McLoughlin, Mount Mazama (Crater Lake), Diamond Peak, the Three Sisters, Mount Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mount Jefferson and Mount Hood, punctuate the skyline. The only major elevation change in Oregon is the 3,160 foot drop into the Columbia River Gorge crossing Interstate 84 and the Columbia River on the Bridge of the Gods (elev. 180?).


If you have a hiking/backpacking or a adventure video you would like to share, let us know. We love sharing your outdoor videos. Drop us a line a

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TheBackPacker August 18, 2016 0

How to Love Backpacking in the Rain

We love the videos that come from Dave Collins at Of course when we see on that strikes at the very heart of being outdoors, we just have to share. The most common question we get when we take newbies out in the backcountry is “what  happens if it rains”?. We always answer that with a tiny grin and say “You get wet”.  I think Dave got it exactly right.

Backpacking in the rain isn’t everyone’s idea of a fantastic time in the woods. It’s going to be wet, cold, and visibility will be greatly reduced. 

If you’re not properly prepared, backpacking in the rain can be all-out miserable. But if you’re ready for it, backpacking in the rain can actually be a lot of fun. 

When conditions are wet you’ll be able to avoid the crowds, you’ll probably see more wildlife, and you’ll be able to experience wilderness areas in completely different way.

Being good at backpacking in the rain is a skill that takes years of practice. The more time you spend doing it, the better you’ll get. 

It’s a good idea to practice close to home at first, so you can hone your skills before heading out on a more extreme trip. 

One of the most important factors to having a good time during a rainy backpacking trip is having a positive attitude. 

If you’re mentally prepared to be wet and still have fun, you’ll probably have a great time. You can sing, and dance to keep warm, or bring fun games to play in your tent. 

One concept that’s tough for beginners to accept is that, if it rains for an extended period of time on your trip, you’re going to get wet, and there’s really no avoiding it. 

Waterproof gear will keep the water out, but it also forms a barrier that holds your body heat in, which leads to condensation and increased perspiration. 

Even the most expensive and breathable rain gear won’t keep your body completely dry while you hike in extended rain. 

The same is true of waterproof shoes. Waterproof shoes don’t breath well and your feet will sweat while you hike. 

When it rains, water from brush along the trail will run down your legs and into your shoes. 

Gaiters and rain pants can delay the effect, but eventually, your feet are going to be soaked one way or another. 

Rather than trying to prevent getting wet, it’s better to just accept that you’re going to get wet and learn how to best adapt to it. 

With the right skills, you can still stay warm, hike comfortably, and have completely dry evenings, even during days of nonstop rain. 

Thanks Dave!

TheBackPacker August 9, 2016 0

Food Ideas for Vegan Backpacking

We were really surprised when we saw this video on Vegan Backpacking Food. There is so much info on what kind of food to bring on a typical backpacking trip, but rarely do you see any video’s for the Vegan community. So we wanted to share this video from TREEfool

I am always trying new recipes and seeing what works best for my energy levels, my wallet, and my taste buds.

Not onlyis the video informative for what kind of food to bring (if your a Vegan) on a backpacking trip, but some good points on WTF are we eating.

TheBackPacker July 17, 2016 0

The West Coast Trail

The West Coast Trail, originally called the Dominion Lifesaving Trail, is a 75 km (47 mi) long backpacking trail following the southwestern edge of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It was built in 1907 to facilitate the rescue of survivors of shipwrecks along the coast, part of the treacherous Graveyard of the Pacific. It is now part of Pacific Rim National Park and is often rated by hiking guides as one of the world’s top hiking trails

The West Coast Trail is open from May 1 until September 30. It is accessible to hikers outside this period but Parks Canada does not guarantee the accessibility of services (such as search and rescue) in the off season.

The trail starts at Bamfield near Barkley Sound and runs south to Port Renfrew on Port San Juan Bay. In 1902, Bamfield became the North America terminus of the All Red Line’s Pacific submarine cable, which spanned the globe linking the British Empire. A trail was constructed to carry the line south to Victoria (and thence across Canada to link up with the Transatlantic telegraph cable at Heart’s Content, Newfoundland), as well as providing telegraph service to the lighthouses at Cape Beale (on Barkley Sound) andCarmanah Point (27 km or 17 mi north of Port Renfrew, at the mouth of theStrait of Juan de Fuca).

Hikers can choose to begin the trail in Port Renfrew and travel north, or in Bamfield and travel south. The southern parts of the trail are far more challenging than the flatter area in the north. Overnight hikers must buy a permit as only a set number of people are allowed to be on the trail at any one time, however individuals are permitted to visit during the day at no expense.



TheBackPacker July 17, 2016 0

Exped DeepSleep Duo 400

A unique option for couples who are backpacking or camping in warm-weather or milder climates, the Exped DeepSleep Duo 400 Plus is a down-filled double-wide quilt/fitted sheet combo that mates with two sleeping pads (sold separately) to deliver a comfortable night of sleep.

The quilt is insulated with 700-fill power duck down. Down has a soft, comfortable feel and continues to be the insulation with the best warmth-to-weight ratio. The feathers and fibers are renowned for containing body heat and are very easily compressed which makes the insulation ideal for backpacking. NOTE: The one downfall to this insulation is that it loses much of its ability to maintain warmth when it gets wet.

The quilt has a 20D polyester shell and the accompanying fitted sheet is constructed of soft, durable Tencel and recycled polyester. The quilt includes an integrated foot box to enhance warmth and has a pass-through that enables it to serve double-duty as an insulated poncho (for one)! Together, the quilt and sheet deliver a comfort rating of 41-48 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fitting users up to 6’ 4” in height, the Exped DeepSleep Duo 400 Plus is available in Medium (fits two 20” wide pads) and Long Wide (fits two 25” wide pads). A stuff sack is included.

Insulation Type Down
Item Weight Medium: 41.6 oz
Long/Wide: 43 oz
Warranty 5 Years
Packed Size Medium: 11.8″ x 9.8″
Long/Wide: 12.6″ x 9.8″
Shell Material 20D Polyester
Liner Material Quilt: Texped PR46 Polyester
Sheet: 65% Tencel/35% Polyester
Fits to Length 6′ 4″
Fill Material 700 Fill-Power Duck Down
Temperature Rating 41 – 48 Degrees F
TheBackPacker July 6, 2016 0

How to Reduce your Pack Weight

We we offer our Backpacking Bootcamp classes, the most asked question is: How to I reduce my pack weight? All to often it’s your sleeping system, and food. Here is a great video from Sierra Trading Post that explains how to reduce your pack weight.

Reducing your pack weight can greatly increase your comfort out on the trails. While many tips for saving weight relate to what’s in your pack, this tip relates to simply knowing the trail that you’re hiking. Knowing the trail can help you significantly reduce the water weight in your pack, and it will also help you have a more enjoyable time backpacking.

Remember, there are always different methods and philosophy’s to shed weight. Pack weight, and Tent are just two. Do your research!

TheBackPacker July 6, 2016 0

Backpacking Gear for your Dog

There is nothing better than backpacking with a great partner. Especially, when you partner is your Dog. They always follow and never complain. Here is a great video that explains a typical backpacking system for their dog Barlely.

Video by Andy Timinsky

These are the typical items we take for Barkley on every backpacking trip. Keep in mind it is not recommended that your dog carry no more than 25% of their body weight in their dog pack.
List of the gear below: The gear below is good for 3 season – this will not work for the winter time.
-Ruffwear Approach pack
-Ruffwear Quencher bowl
-Ruffwear Climate Changer sweater
-Windshield sun reflector from dollar store- this is used to insulate him from the ground when he’s laying around camp and also sleeping in the tent.
-Dog food- Typically carry more than when we feed him at home since we are burning more calories.
-Plastic bowl for food or water – we reused a plastic container
-Nite Ize led light for collar

One other note: Dogs typically drink from the Creeks and Rivers. It’s always a good idea to have your local Vetrinarian give your dog preventative shot for Leptospirosis

TheBackPacker June 27, 2016 0

How To Plan Food For a Backpacking Trip

Planning meals for a backpacking trip can be tricky, but it’s important to get it right, as it will have a huge impact on how much you enjoy your trip. In this episode of Backpacking TV, Eric Hanson walks through how he plans food for a 5-day backpacking trip.


TheBackPacker June 27, 2016 0

Therm-a-Rest Saros Sleeping Bag

Hit the Pacific Crest Trail with the Therm-a-Rest Saros Sleeping Bag in your backpack, and revel in three seasons of blissful sleep. Since this sleeping bag is insulated with synthetic insulation, you won’t have to pamper it in the backcountry as you would with a down bag, as it will retain its insulating properties if it gets wet. This full-featured bag is fitted with a draft collar and tube, as well as an anti-snag zipper, so you aren’t struggling with your zipper after a long day of hiking. An external zippered pocket is a great place to stash a headlamp, and the adjustable hood can be cinched down to keep your dome warm throughout the night. Like all Therm-a-Rest sleeping bags, the Saros features SynergyLink mattress straps, which allow the bag to be securely attached too your sleeping mattress for a warm and comfortable night’s sleep, no matter how much you roll around.

Insulation Type Synthetic
Item Weight Regular: 2lbs 15 oz
Long: 3 lbs 3 oz
Warranty Limited Lifetime
Packed Size 8″ x 18′
Shell Material 20D Polyester Silicone
Liner Material 20D Polyester
Fits to Length Regular: 6′
Long: 6′ 6″
Fits to Girth Regular: 62″
Long: 64″
Fill Material EraLoft Polyester Hollow Micro Fiber
Temperature Rating 23-33 Degrees F
EN Comfort Rating 33 Degrees F