Product Info and Reviews

Walter’s Rock Climbing Trip to Joshua Tree

I ventured away from Louisiana a few weeks ago and went to Southern California to visit Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua Tree is located near Palm Springs about an hour and a half from Los Angeles County.

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I visited May 9th – May 12 and the weather was highs of 75 and lows of 45, overall great weather. We found a spot at Jumbo Rock campground that was a first come first serve campground with 124 spots. It was a nice campground because it was surrounded by boulders and there were some trails nearby. We packed pretty heavy because we decided to car camp so we didn’t hesitate on what not to bring. One essential was an awning. Joshua Tree is a desert so there is not much natural shade and the sun can beat you down. Other things to mention is you have to bring your own water and most campgrounds only had outhouses and no potable water.

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To highlight some of the gear I used Camping:

Helinox Chair One – Super comfortable and only 2 pounds!

Helinox Table One – Compact, great to play card games on and lightweight.

Big Agnes 4 person Tent-Spacious and easy to pitch great for car camping.

Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight- Gives lots of light (has floodlight and flashlight settings), has the capacity to charge electronic devices, and recharges itself with built-in solar panel. 

Our main reason for traveling to Joshua Tree was to check out the climbing. Since I was traveling, to cut down on the weight we focused on bouldering.(Really wished I had some rope though!) 

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IMG_0437This photo was provided by Scott Poupis.

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Climbing gear I used:

Black Diamond Mondo Pad-Great large pad, downside it is really expensive to check on a plane. My solution was I found I could mail it via USPS priority two days and that cost me around $55.00.

La Sportiva Skwama’s- I was super happy with these shoes because they were easy to get on my feet and were more comfortable than other aggressive shoes I have tried on in the past. They are sensitive enough for small chips and the heel fits great allowing good use of a heel hook.

Friction Labs Bam Bam Chalk – Honestly, I use whatever chalk is available to me. But, friction labs I do believe last longer and I find myself chalking my hands less.

Prana Brion’s – These pants are my favorite because they look good and they stretch. I can do anything in them from hiking, working, climbing or whatever else the day calls for.

The last day of our trip we used just to hang out around camp and enjoy all the beauty of Joshua tree. #geauxoutthere

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Til my next adventure!

Lindsey’s Ski Trip to Steamboat

Instead of hittin’ the Mardi Gras parades, I decided to hit the slopes with Backpacker Tours! I had an awesome experience traveling with our team, from the charter flight (direct from BTR) to the Apres Ski Party!

 

Caroline and I @ Apres Ski Party
Caroline and I @ Apres Ski Party

 

This was my first time skiing in Steamboat, and I definitely recommend what it has to offer. It had been a few years since I last skied, but the wide variety of trails from beginners to experienced skiers made Steamboat an ideal spot for me to hit the slopes again.

While in Steamboat I stayed at Trailhead Lodge. Trailhead had great amenities including transportation to the Mountain via Gondola, not to mention complementary ski/ snow board and boot storage with boot warmers! Did I mentioned boot warmers?!

 

View from Trailhead Lodge
View from Trailhead Lodge

 

My top gear picks…

– The FERA Jen Insulated Parka had a incredible fit along with great insulation and lots of functional pockets! The pockets were perfect for storing my wallet, phone, keys and my Goal Zero Charger.

The FERA Lucy Pant had all the features I needed and wanted while skiing. The Lucy Pant had a variety of features from DWR waterproofing, stretch, articulated knees and powder cuffs.

 

Fera Jen Parka and Lucy Pant.

 

The North Face Glacier 1/4 zip I used as a layering piece on colder days on the mountain. The Glacier 1/4 zip is a light weight fleece that you will get multiple uses from the slopes to back home on a chilly day.

Sorel Joan of Arctic boot kept my feet warm and dry!

Smith Transit goggles are a must. My first few days of skiing it snowed and the Transit came in handy!

 

Smith Transit goggles
Smith Transit goggles

 

Lindsey has been with The Backpacker for over 3 years. She is the apparel, footwear and accessory buyer. Her favorite brands include Prana, Dylan by True Grit, FERA and Tasc.

How to Layer for a Spring Ski Trip

Planning a spring ski trip? Be sure to pack lots of layers. You’ll be glad you did. Weather can be hard to predict for February, March, and April skiing. Keep reading for a practical guide on what layers to pack the next time you hear the mountains calling.

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Beautiful from the inside out. Each layer has an important function, and it’s fun to color coordinate the entire ensemble. Here’s what I packed for my cross country ski trip to the Continental Divide’s Boreas Pass Section House in mid-March 2017. The temperature low’s were in the upper 20s, and the high’s were in the lower 60s.

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Three Layers on your Torso, Two on your Legs 

BASELAYERS: Next to your skin you want clothing that is either synthetic or wool, and absolutely not cotton. This distinction is important because cotton holds moisture whether it’s from perspiration or snow. Once the cotton is wet, it becomes cold and makes you shiver. On my mid-March trip to Breckenridge, I wore The North Face Reaxion Tank underneath a Smartwool Lightweight Crew. The extra core warmth provided by the tank in the morning also doubled as a 3:00 pm escape from the heat when I was ready to soak up the sun in 60 degree weather. I prefer wool over synthetic for my long sleeve because I can wear it several days in a row without fear of it smelling of sweat. My husband, Clayton, is warm natured and often wore just his baselayer and no jacket. We both wore Smartwool Lightweight Leggings.

MIDLAYER: The perfect midlayer for me is a light puffy jacket. I prefer a puffy over a fleece because of it’s weight to warmth ratio. In other words, it is much warmer while being lighter weight than a fleece. It slides into my coat with ease, and I don’t feel constricted in the sleeves. It also takes up less room in my luggage. If you decide to wear fleece, the thickness depends on how insulated your outer shell is and what the weather conditions are. I wore an Arc’Teryx Atom LT as a midlayer in the morning and evening. It also ended up being used as an outer shell most of the trip because the temperatures were so warm and sunny.

OUTER SHELL: Spring skiing weather can vary from warm and sunny to cold and snowy. That being said, I prefer a lightly insulated, waterproof jacket that I can layer under according to the weather that day. On my mid-March trip to Breckenridge, I found myself only wearing my outer jacket over my midlayer in the morning and after sunset. I didn’t need it mid-day because it wasn’t snowy, but I was glad to have it when the temps plummeted. Speaking of plummeting, my North Face Ski Pants came to the rescue keeping me warm and dry even though I fell numerous times!

Aside from all the layers, here’s a handy checklist for everything else to pack for your next snowy exploration: The Backpacker’s Winter Hike Checklist

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If you’ve got the guts, we’ve got the gear!

Canoeing and Paddling Gear Checklist

Canoeing and Paddling Gear Checklist

Getting ready for whitewater or maybe just a relaxing paddle down a remote river? We’ve got you covered.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Clothing
Outerwear

  • waterproof/breathable jacket
  • waterproof/breathable pants
  • fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • waterproof gaiters
  • synthetic hiking pants
  • synthetic shorts

Base Layer

  • midweight long john top
  • midweight long john bottoms
  • long sleeve T-shirt
  • synthetic briefs
  • synthetic sports bra
  • synthetic T-shirt

Accessories

  • wool or fleece hat
  • midweight wool or fleece gloves
  • Footwear
  • boots, sneakers, or sandals
  • camp footwear (optional)
  • wool or synthetic socks (3)
  • liner socks (2)

Extras

  • sun hat
  • personal locator beacon (optional)
  • bandanna

Gear
Canoeing Specific Gear

  • tripping-style canoe (16-17′)
  • personal flotation device (PFD)
  • throw rope
  • paddle (straight or bent shaft) and spare
  • drybags
  • plastic map case
  • waterproof binoculars
  • duck boots (optional)

Other Gear

  • Internal or external frame backpack
  • three-season tent
  • down or synthetic sleeping bag (15° to 30°F)
  • inflatable sleeping pad
  • canister stove and fuel canisters
  • lighter and waterproof matches
  • cookset
  • eating utensils, bowl, and insulated mug
  • headlamp w/extra batteries and bulb
  • 32 oz. water bottles (2)
  • water treatment (filter, tablets, or drops)
  • pocket knife or multitool
  • compass or GPS (and map)
  • sunglasses
  • first-aid kit with personal medications
  • stuff sacks
  • assorted zipper-lock bags
  • bear-bagging rope (or canister)
  • insect repellent (optional)
  • mesh head net or suit
  • sunscreen (SPF 15+)
  • lip balm (SPF 15+)
  • toilet paper and trowel

Swamp Hiking / Paddling Gear Packing Checklist

Swamp Gear Packing Checklist

Ready to get wet and wild? This packing list will prepare you for any swamp trek.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Clothing
Outerwear

  • waterproof/breathable jacket
  • waterproof/breathable pants
  • fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • waterproof gaiters
  • synthetic hiking pants
  • synthetic shorts

Base Layer

  • cotton T-shirt
  • synthetic T-shirt
  • synthetic briefs
  • synthetic sports bra

Accessories

  • synthetic liner gloves

Footwear

  • camp footwear (optional)
  • waterproof hiking boots
  • wool or synthetic socks (3)
  • liner socks (2)

Extras

  • sun hat
  • rain hat
  • bandanna

Gear

  • internal or external frame backpack
  • screen tent or tarp
  • synthetic sleeping bag (30° to 50°F)
  • inflatable sleeping pad
  • trekking poles
  • canister stove and fuel canisters
  • lighter and waterproof matches
  • cookset
  • eating utensils, bowl, and insulated mug
  • headlamp w/extra batteries and bulb
  • 32 oz. water bottles (filter, tablets, or drops) (2)
  • pocket knife or multitool
  • compass or GPS (and map)
  • sunglasses
  • first-aid kit with personal medications
  • personal locator beacon (optional)
  • stuff sacks
  • assorted zipper-lock bags
  • sunscreen (SPF 15+)
  • lip balm (SPF 15+)
  • toilet paper and trowel

Dayhiking Gear Checklist

Dayhiking Gear Checklist

Ready your gear quiver for a for a full day outing.

by: The Backpacker Editors

ON YOUR BODY

  • Synthetic short-sleeve t-shirt
  • Lightweight synthetic shorts or trekking pants
  • Synthetic briefs or boxers
  • Synthetic bra
  • Wool hiking socks (liner socks optional)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Gaiters (optional)
  • Hiking shoes or boots

 

IN YOUR PACK

  • Midweight synthetic or fleece long-sleeve top
  • Waterproof/breathable jacket or windproof shell
  • Waterproof/breathable pants (optional)
  • Extra pair of socks (optional)
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Sunscreen (SPF 15+)
  • Map
  • Compass or GPS
  • Headlamp
  • Extra food
  • Water bottles and water treatment (drops, tablets, or filter)
  • First-aid kit (with personal meds)
  • Firestarting kit
  • Toiletries and trowel
  • Personal locator beacon (optional)

COLD WEATHER ADDITIONS

  • Down or synthetic insulated jacket
  • Emergency shelter (bivy sack, tent, tarp)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Fleece pants
  • Insulated gloves or mittens

Snow / Winter Hiking Gear Packing Checklist

 

Snow/Winter Gear Packing Checklist

Get ready for winter with this comprehensive packing list.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Clothing
Outerwear

  • waterproof/breathable jacket
  • waterproof/breathable pants
  • insulated parka
  • fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • waterproof gaiters
  • synthetic or softshell hiking pants
  • fleece pants

Base Layer

  • expedition-weight long john bottoms
  • expedition-weight long john top
  • midweight long john top
  • midweight long john bottoms
  • long sleeve T-shirt
  • synthetic briefs
  • synthetic sports bra

Accessories

  • wool or fleece hat
  • balaclava
  • midweight wool or fleece gloves
  • heavyweight wool or fleece mittens
  • synthetic liner gloves
  • waterproof overmitts

Footwear

  • insulated camp booties
  • waterproof hiking boots (insulated is best)
  • wool or synthetic socks (3)
  • liner socks (2)

Extras

  • sun hat
  • bandanna

Gear

    • internal or external frame backpack
    • convertible or four-season tent
    • down sleeping bag (-30° to 0°F)
    • inflatable sleeping pad
    • closed-cell foam sleeping pad
    • trekking poles
    • white gas stove and fuel bottles
    • lighter and waterproof matches
    • cookset w/ heat exchanger
    • eating utensils, bowl, and insulated mug
    • headlamp w/extra batteries and bulb
    • 32 oz. water bottles (2)
    • water bottle parkas (2)
    • pocket knife or multitool
    • compass or GPS (and map)
    • sunglasses
    • first-aid kit with personal medications
    • personal locator beacon (optional)
    • chemical heat packs
    • stuff sacks
    • assorted zipper-lock bags
    • sunscreen (SPF 15+)
    • lip balm (SPF 15+)
    • toilet paper and trowel

 

  • pee bottle

 

 

Ultralight Hiking Gear Checklist

Ultralight Gear Checklist

Strip off the pounds with our ultralight checklist and hit the trail light as a feather.

by: The Backpacker Editors

CLOTHING

  • Synthetic short-sleeve t-shirt
  • Midweight synthetic or fleece long-sleeve top
  • Wind or rain shell (not both, under 12 ounces)
  • Rainpants (optional)
  • Lightweight synthetic trekking pants (zip-offs preferable)
  • Lightweight synthetic shorts (optional)
  • Down jacket (10 to 12 ounces)
  • Socks (two pair, one doubles as mittens)
  • Underwear (optional)
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Sun hat

 

GEAR

  • Internal frame pack or frameless rucksack (3,000 cubic inches or less, 2 pounds or less)
  • Down sleeping bag (750 fill or better)
  • Short sleeping pad (60″, closed foam or uninsulated air mattress)
  • Tarp (siliconized nylon)
  • Trekking poles (if needed for pitching tarp)
  • Headlamp (small LED)
  • Water bladder
  • Alcohol or canister stove, fuel, and lighter (optional)
  • Cookpot with lid (titanium or ultralight aluminum)
  • Mug and spork
  • Water treatment drops or tablets (chlorine dioxide or iodine)
  • Bear canister (optional)
  • First aid kit with razor blade (instead of knife)
  • Map and compass
  • Toiletries and trowel
  • Stuff sacks (siliconized nylon)
  • Sunscreen

 

Hot Desert Hiking Checklist

Hot Desert Gear Checklist

From New Mexico to the Sahara, this gear checklist will have to prepped for any desert adventure.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Clothing
Outerwear

  • waterproof/breathable jacket
  • fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • synthetic or softshell hiking pants
  • synthetic shorts

Base Layer

  • midweight long john top
  • midweight long john bottoms
  • synthetic briefs
  • synthetic sports bra
  • synthetic T-shirt
  • cotton T-shirt

Accessories

  • wool or fleece hat
  • synthetic liner gloves

Footwear

  • camp footwear (optional)
  • wool or synthetic socks (3)
  • liner socks (2)

Extras

  • sun hat
  • personal locator beacon (optional)
  • bandanna

Gear

  • Internal or external frame backpack
  • screen tent or tarp
  • down sleeping bag (-30° to 20°F)
  • inflatable sleeping pad
  • closed-cell foam sleeping pad
  • trekking poles
  • canister stove and fuel canisters
  • lighter and waterproof matches
  • cookset
  • eating utensils, bowl, and insulated mug
  • headlamp w/extra batteries and bulb
  • 32 oz. water bottles (2)
  • water treatment (filter, tablets, or drops)
  • pocket knife or multitool
  • compass or GPS (and map)
  • sunglasses
  • first-aid kit with personal medications
  • stuff sacks
  • assorted zipper-lock bags
  • insect repellent (optional)
  • sunscreen (SPF 15+)
  • lip balm (SPF 15+)
  • toilet paper and trowel
tent and boat 2017

Annual Tent and Boat Sale

Our annual Tent and Boat Sale is here! Get ready for your upcoming adventures with new camping and outdoor products from your favorite brands! We’ll have special prices and packages available Saturday only but the sale continues through Sunday!

Buy a $5 raffle ticket to enter to win a Goal Zero Sherpa 1250 solar generator package valued at $2000!  All proceeds will go to our local Habitat for Humanity chapters and their ongoing flood recovery response.

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You’ll also be able to learn more about and meet members of Everybody Plays Foundation, UpTown Climbing, Wonder South, Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club and Baton Rouge Group of the Sierra Club CommunityPaddle BR at our Baton Rouge store, and Southern Stone Indoor Climbing, LASOAR, and the LA Hiking Club in Lafayette!

 

tent and boat 2017