Archive for the ‘Backpacker Magazine’ Category

Christmas treeThe christmas trees are up in some homes and more are on its way. It is that time of the year again…I read the other day on Canadian Tire Flyer cover – just 3 weeks to go. Wow time is flying by….Here are some ideas for you to help you decide and pick out the right gift for your hiker friend(s).

Lets start with the small ones under $30.00 –  mesh bags,  a watch that clips on your daypack, a good whistle,  a compass,  a hat,  sunglasses pouch,  a memory card for the camera, re-chargeable batteries,  sunscreen, insect repellent,a  tree book, dry pouches or dry bags,  maps, a pair of smart wool socks, a small knife, waterproof matches, pack biners, pedometer,  a stainless steel waterbottle,  gloves,  DVD spindle,  Turtle Light (MEC), a first aid kit,  gaiters, a bird book,  a wool toque,  a one year subscription to Backpacker, Explore or Outside magazine, and a nature or landscape photography book.      

Some bigger and more expensive gifts ($40.00 & over) –  baselayer, mid-layer,  fleece jacket, rain jacket & pants, daypack,  headlamp, trekking poles,  gps, water filter,  photo organizer & editing program, a pair of hiking pants/shorts that you can zipper off the legs, hiking boots,  a $50.00 gift card and registration fee for a photography course.   

I hope this list provides you with some ideas to help you with your christmas shopping. Good Luck and Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas


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Backpacker Magazine - Sept. 2010 issue

Sept. Issue Backpacker features Best raingear, baselayers and fleece

If you avid hiker – you have learn through trail & error, the importance of dressing in layers for hiking. Hot weather, cold weather and rainy weather required different strategies.  There is baselayer, mid-layer and raingear/jacket. As well, there are a number of different materials out there – merino wool, polartec, powerdry, silk and polyester.

The Sept. issue of Backpacker Magazine features an article on the best raingear, baselayer and fleece. Always important to read reviews and try equipment on first before purchasing.

Baselayers come in short or long sleeve as well zip -T.  Baselayers absorb the moisture from your skin and keep you warm.  Baselayers are designed to be worn close to your skin.  The zip- t allows you pull the zipper down if you get too warm. Polyester, silk, Polartec and Powerdry are cheaper than merino wool.  

Mid-layers are generally fleece, provide relief from the wind, and can assist in absorbing moisture from raingear and base-layer. An important layer when stopping for long breaks or wearing in the evening.

Rain-gear is  lined ( late fall & winter)  or unlined (summer &  early-mid fall).  There are a number of brands out there for rain gear – North Face, MEC, REC,  Columbia, Helly Hansen, Marmot, Sierra Design etc.  Rain gear is breathable – mesh plus zips under the arms but always expect a little condensation.

The real test is for you to hike in all types of weather. To learn from each experience, what layers &  material (brands) work  for you and adjust accordingly.

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May 2010 Issue of Explore

The May 2010 issue of Explore – Canada’s Outdoor Magazine is out and two articles that caught my attention were Riding the New Wave  by Masa Takei and Best Gear for 2010 by Ryan Stuart.  Riding the new Wave was a story of  of four individuals paddling standing up on a paddleboard into BC’s remote Great Bear Rainforest.  

The Best Gear 2010 sections looked at Hiking Boots, Light Hikers, Trail Runners, Day Packs, Multi-Day packs, sleeping bags and tents. Lets start with Hiking boots – Salomon Wings Sky GTX  was one of the four boots mention in the guide along with Le Sportiva FC ECO 3.0 GTX, Keen Pyrenees, and Asolo Powerlite-ERGO. Interesting Backpacker Magazine has given the 2010 Editor’s Choice Award to the Salomon Wings Sky GTX.  Check out Backpacker’s video on the review of the Salomon Wings Sky GTX  in the 2010 Editors Choice awards.

My nephew has a pair of Salomon Quest 4D GTX Day Hiking Boots and loves them. MEC had 13 reviews on the my nephews boot and rated 5 out of 5 stars. So Salomon boots are well worth taking a long look at especially if you are in the market for a new pair of boots this year. 

In the Daypacks section, Deuter Spectro AC 32 was one of the four daypacks that made best 2010 list with Explore. I am familiar with Deuter daypacks as I own a Futura 28 that has a bottom compartment. The Deuter Spectro AC 32 is top loading pack with great reviews.

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Gear Guide Isssue - April 2010

One sure way of knowing spring is coming is getting your Gear Guide issue of Backpacker Magazine in the mail ….the other way is of course is looking outside and enjoying  the great sunny days of March here in the Cape Breton Highlands.

Over 542 reviews & skills are featured in the Gear Guide, April 2010 issue of Backpacker Magazine on packs, boots tents, sleeping bags and more including the  tough stuff.  

 This is my favorite issue of the season and I look forward to checking out the new gear for the season. The gear reviews and helpful tips on equipment are very useful in planning for the upcoming hiking season. I will pre-warn you, once you pick this issue up is it hard to put the magazine down. Be prepared for many hours of enjoyable reading.  And  to all the gear testers, writers and editors thank-you for a job well done, an outstanding issue of Gear Guide.

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March 2010 Issue of Backpacker Magazine

The March 2010 Issue of Backpacker Magazine is a great motivator for us to get ready for the 2010 hiking season.  The passion for hiking is rekindled with articles titled “Dream Big and Stay on Budget”,  “Take your Best Photos Ever”,  and “Hike Further and Feel Better – 7 ways to get stronger and recover faster. 

The hiking challenges are coming soon for us in the highlands of Cape Breton. The first one begins with International Trails day June 5th and the 2nd CBHNP Geocaching Day,  Walk for the Wildlife – 16km,  Cape Breton Highlands  Three Peak Challenge – tentatively scheduled July 3rd and the 7th Annual Hike the Highlands Festival Sept. 10-19.  It plans to be exciting hiking season and most hikers can’t wait for it to begin. Time to start planning and begin your training schedule for the 2010 hiking season. It won’t be long before it begins.

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January 2010 Issue

 Backpacker’s January 2010 magazine starts off the new year with a great issue based on Readers’ Choice Awards.  2009’s best reader tips plus several real-life survival stories dealing with bears, wild goats, and much more.

My favorite sections of the magazine have always been skills and gear. In this issue, the gear section will focus on mid-size packs for weekend trips while the skills section in the magazine concentrates on first aid, cooking, wildlife, survival and map secrets.  

The January 2010 issue of Backpacker is now available at newstands…

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Le Chemin du Buttereau, one of the new hikes in 2009 Hike the Highlands Festival

Le Chemin du Buttereau, one of the new hikes in 2009 Hike the Highlands Festival

A great week for hiking …Explore, Canada’s Outdoor Magazine Sept/October issue arrives then October issue of Backpacker Magazine and now Hike the Highlands Festival begins today. 

The festival opens with a Outdoor Nature Photography Workshop by Wally Hayes at Jack Pine Hiking Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park at 1:30 pm.  For those registered for the workshop – please bring your camera.  There are still a few spots left in the workshop – you can register today at Festival Headquarters, conference room, Glenghorm Beach Resort, Ingonish or at Jack Pine hiking trail Parking lot.

The festival continues with a guided hike later, on the  Middle Head hiking trail beginning at 5:30 pm. Note the time – wise to have an early supper.  Evenings are cooler now, bring a jacket. Then hikers come back for the opening ceremonies at conference room, Glenghorm Beach Resort, Ingonish beginning after 7:30 pm.

The weather for the first weekend looks good especially Friday and Saturday with a chance of showers on Sunday. Might be wise to bring a rain coat on Sunday.  Festival headquarters and registration desk at conference room will be open the following hours on the first weekend – Friday, Sept. 11-
12:00 noon to 9:00 pm,  Saturday, Sept. 12 – 8:00  am. to 8:00 pm., and Sunday, Sept. 13 – 8:00 am. -11:00 am. and 5:30 pm. to 8:00 pm.

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