Astral again

Last summer I bought what ended up being one of my favorites shoes ever; the Astral Brewer.  All of the limitations, and virtues, I noted in my review last summer have held true.  The lack of a little extra structure in the sides of the forefoot has gotten me pinched on numerous occasions.  The lack…More

FAQ: so I want to start packrafting..

Another frequent question is how to get started packrafting.  Due to right time, right place a decade ago, and the guidebook, I’ve become one of the promoters of packrafting in the lower 48, which is fine.  Due to the slant of content here, the inquiries I receive are essentially always from someone with a backpacking/wilderness…More

FAQ: packrafting with kids

A number of years ago I removed the Contact button from the front page here, and hid my email link in the Fine Print.  This has been effective, cutting out the overwhelming majority of the knucklehead emails (“Can you plan my whole Glacier backpack for me?”) which used to be almost daily, while not impacting…More

How the Dana Longbed Works

Amongst the few dozen folks worldwide who care about such things, the Dana Designs external frame packs are regarded as the pinnacle of the genre.  I spent a couple hundred field days carrying an Arcflex, and for a number of reasons gladly passed it along a decade ago.  Finding both the load carriage and feature…More

North Fork Falls Canyon

The lowest unroaded section of the North Fork of the Blackfoot is a proper packraft classic.  You can packraft it at kayak flows (~600 cfs or more), but I much prefer the pure boulder garden aesthetics and utterly clear water of true summer levels, with 350 cfs being ideal.  Casey and I got it, from…More

It

There is a meadow hidden below the center of the universe.  Going north, towards the sawtoothed limestone knobs and canyons you might for the expanse of sky miss entirely, a burnt bog curves in unison with the river.  To the eye water is held distinct from vegetation by a 10 foot band of cobbles.  The…More

Ending tourism

“To be a mass tourist, for me, is to become a pure late-date American: alien, ignorant, greedy for something you cannot ever have, disappointed in a way you can never admit.  It is to spoil, by way of sheer ontology, the very unspoiledness you are there to experience.” -David Foster Wallace, “Consider the Lobster” If…More

Evolution of the Tamarisk: Shoulder Straps

First: what the hell is happening with those packs, maan? A lot.  Unfortunately, almost none of that is helping to get you a pack faster.  While the pandemic hasn’t impacted our family as directly or egregiously as it could, or still might, it has made the world more complicated.  I’ve been and remain on a…More

Jefferson Lives

No two men now live, fellow-citizen, perhaps it may be doubted whether any two men have ever lived in one age, who, more than those we now commemorate, have impressed on mankind their own opinions more deeply into the opinions of others, or given a more lasting direction to the current of human thought… And…More

Creeks of fear

Several creeks from the golden age of my explorations in Glacier and the Bob stand out for their blankness, the extent to which specifics were and remain washed out by fear.  I’ve begun revisiting some of them, haphazard fun which has self-organized into a project, to delve into how far modern boats, modern rigging, improved…More