Backpacking

Vasque St. Elias GTX Hiking Boot review

The St. Elias boots handled both backpacking and off trail scrambling/mountaineering with ease. (photo: Ryan Malavolta)

It’s not exactly breaking news that Vasque makes killer outdoor footwear. The real news came at the 2013 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, where I was informed that one of their more popular hiking boots, the Wasatch, was to be discontinued.…

Climbing Tokewanna Peak

Luna the dog enjoys the fine views from atop Tokewanna (Photo: Dave Thieme)

There are nineteen “13′ers” in Utah, and every one of these beasts can be found somewhere in the Uinta Mountain Range. One of the things that make Utah’s 13,000′ mountains unique is their distance from roads. Climbing these summits often…

Backpacking Coyote Gulch

Hiker Skip Whitman beats the heat by walking through the stream in Coyote Gulch (Ryan Malavolta)

If you want life list hikes, Utah has them in spades. High on the list for me and a few friends had been Coyote Gulch in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. This riparian canyon boasts a natural bridge, huge alcoves,…

Backpacking 101: Your Sleep System

Choose a pad with insulation and a warm sleeping bag for mountain camping (photo: Ryan Malavolta)

Sleeping well in the backcountry is crucial; you don’t want to wake up sore and tired after a restless night. Of course, this is often easier said than done. Unfamiliar surroundings, chilly temperatures, creepy noises and your own imagination may…

Backpacking 101: Choose Your Bag

It’s a perfect day on the trail: blue skies with warm temperatures, and not a cloud in the sky. You’re hammering out the miles; only three more until you hit camp for the night. Your shoulders feel good, your feet…

Backpacking 101: Getting Started

Mountains or desert? You'll have plenty of options for overnights here in Utah. (Photo: Ryan Malavolta - UtahOutside.com)

Backpacking is awesome. There might be no finer way to truly experience the great outdoors: exploring remote areas, observing wildlife, and the unmatched solitude of a far away campsite are just some of the rewards awaiting you in the backcountry.…

Kelty Rally 45 Backpack review

The Kelty Rally 45 backpack (courtesy Kelty)

I had a chance to visit the Kelty booth at last summer’s Outdoor Retailer convention here in Salt Lake City. They were showcasing a wide array of products, but the ones that excited me the most were the brand-new “Agile…