Backpack Fabrics: Understanding Nylon, Canvas, DCF & More

Four types of backpack material: Dyneema, Gridtstop, Leather, and Cotton Canvas side by side

Today, we’ll take a deep dive into the different backpack fabrics and materials that make up modern-day bags. We’ll start by looking at the most popular synthetic fabrics on the market: nylon (Ripstop, Ballistic, Cordura, and Robic), polyester, neoprene, Dyneema/DCF, ULTRA, X-Pac, and ECOPAK. After that, we’ll look at tried-and-true traditional fabrics, like cotton canvas … Read more

Traveler Profile: Tanner Cibula (Survivalist, Backpacker, Traveler)

Today, in our Traveler Profiles series, we highlight Tanner Cibula, a backpacker, traveler, and self-reliance expert with an incurable urge to thrive and survive during challenging situations in the middle of nowhere. Tell us a little bit about yourself Tanner Cibula is the name, and wilderness adventuring is the game! In the last five years, … Read more

What is Backpacking? Hiking/Camping vs. Travel/Urban

Split screen of man backpacking: walking down trail and walking down street

When I tell people I’m a backpacker, they sometimes ask, “Well, what is backpacking, exactly?” Maybe they sense a complicated lifestyle choice, so I offer a simple explanation: “Hiking or traveling for extended periods of time with everything I need packed into my backpack.” Let’s dive deeper and discuss the two distinct styles of backpacking: … Read more

Zpacks 8.5’ x 10’ Tarp Review: The Ultralight Tarp to Carry?

My favorite hammock tarp is the Zpacks 8.5′ x 10′ Flat Tarp, a top choice for ultralight enthusiasts in search of single-digit base pack weights. It’s light and versatile enough that I take it everywhere, including day hikes and car camping trips. I mostly use tarps as hammock rain covers, but they’re also popular for … Read more

Zpacks Offset Trio Review: A Stellar 3-Person UL Shelter?

Zpacks’ ultralight tents have long reigned supreme in the backpacking shelter world. But rather than resting on their laurels, the good folks at Zpacks have continued to raise the bar with their recently released Offset Duo and, now, the three-person Offset Trio, which I was recently able to test out and review. The Duo already … Read more

20 Hiking Trails & Backpacking Trips in & Near Los Angeles

Featuring sunset views, dense forests, and ocean breezes, the best hiking in and near Los Angeles will challenge everything you think you know about the city. Let’s face it — the Walk of Fame is far from the best walk L.A. has to offer. When I moved to the Los Angeles area nearly 10 years … Read more

Hiking Mount Bierstadt (One of Colorado’s Finest 14ers)

I started hiking more seriously this year and decided to climb my first 14er. But I had two requirements. It had to be easy to access, with no entrance fees, and I didn’t want the mountain to destroy me. I decided on Mount Bierstadt. The problem was the weather didn’t cooperate. July and August 2023 … Read more

Zpacks Triplex Review: A Formidable 3-Person Backpacking Tent?

Man sitting inside a backpacking tent with his arms stretched out wide

I welcomed the chance to review the Zpacks Triplex ultralight backpacking tent. Its versatile trekking pole setup and Dyneema Composite Fabric (DCF) make it one of the lightest, thinnest, and most reliable tents for staying dry and out of the elements. Here’s my in-depth look at its features, specifications, setup, and its upsides and downsides. … Read more