Milford Track Photo Gallery

Looking for some inspiration for your Milford Track adventure? Check out some of the incredible landscapes you’ll encounter on the ‘finest walk in the world’. Be sure to check out…

Looking for some inspiration for your Milford Track adventure? Check out some of the incredible landscapes you’ll encounter on the ‘finest walk in the world’. Be sure to check out our Guide to the Milford Track for everything you need to know to plan this epic trip!

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Guide to the Milford Track: Te Anau Downs to Milford Sound

The Milford Track in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park is known as the “finest walk in the world” for good reason. Accessible only by boat, this 4-day, 53.5 km route…

The Milford Track in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park is known as the “finest walk in the world” for good reason. Accessible only by boat, this 4-day, 53.5 km route traverses untouched rainforest, high-alpine passes, crystal clear rivers, and spectacular waterfalls before finishing at the idyllic Milford Sound. While the Milford Track is the most regulated of New Zealand’s Great Walks, with proper planning you’ll still find ample tranquility and a true wilderness experience on this epic tramp. In this article, we’ll walk you through each step in the planning process so that you’re ready to have the perfect Milford Track adventure.

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Guide to Heart Lake Snowshoeing

This is the snowshoeing adventure that has it all: easy proximity to the Front Range, minimal crowds in the wintertime, challenging climbs, spectacular views, and long peaceful stretches of trail…

This is the snowshoeing adventure that has it all: easy proximity to the Front Range, minimal crowds in the wintertime, challenging climbs, spectacular views, and long peaceful stretches of trail flanked by towering pines.  Getting to Heart Lake on snowshoes is not an easy task.  The hike is strenuous, and will likely take up the better part of your day.  However, the challenge of the trek makes the stunning views of the lake and the Continental Divide that much more rewarding.  Read on as we share all the essentials for planning your own Heart Lake snowshoe outing.

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Guide to Conundrum Hot Springs

Conundrum Hot Springs, located in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness just outside of Aspen, Colorado is a truly incredible backcountry experience. The 8.5-mile long hike along Conundrum Creek leads you to…

Conundrum Hot Springs, located in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness just outside of Aspen, Colorado is a truly incredible backcountry experience. The 8.5-mile long hike along Conundrum Creek leads you to natural hot springs with fantastic views of the entire valley. This is a one-of-a-kind hike is an experience that you’ll never forget. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to plan your very own Conundrum Hot Springs trip.

(Note: The Conundrum Hot Springs trail and backcountry area experience very heavy usage, and have suffered in recent years as a result. The Forest Service is implementing a reservation system beginning in 2018, which will hopefully help to keep this wilderness area pristine. Please do your part by abiding by the Leave No Trace backcountry practices.)

Conundrum Hot Springs

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Guide to Lake Verna/East Inlet Backpacking

Lake Verna, located on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park and accessible via the East Inlet trailhead, offers some of the most spectacular backpacking in the region. Less…

Lake Verna, located on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park and accessible via the East Inlet trailhead, offers some of the most spectacular backpacking in the region. Less crowded than other areas of Rocky Mountain National Park, Lake Verna and the East Inlet trail make for a fantastic backcountry adventure in Colorado’s most famous national park. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to plan your own Lake Verna backpacking trip.

Lake Verna

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Guide to Backpacking to Craig Meadows

Craig Meadows, located just south the town of Bailey, offers a great Colorado weekend backpacking trip. Reachable in less than an hour from Denver and often free of snow early…

Craig Meadows, located just south the town of Bailey, offers a great Colorado weekend backpacking trip. Reachable in less than an hour from Denver and often free of snow early in the season, Craig Meadows makes for an easy backpacking escape from Colorado’s Front Range. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to plan your own trip to Craig Meadows.

Backpack to Craig Meadows

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Backpacking Gear List

Camping Gear Personal Gear Women’s Clothing Men’s Clothing

Camping Gear

ItemOur recommended gear 
Map & CompassSportneer Compass
TentSierra Designs - Clip Flashlight 2 This is the best budget tent on the market!
Sleeping bagMarmot Trestles 15
Sleeping padNemo Astro Sleeping Pad If you are a side sleeper this is a must!
PillowTherm-a-Rest pillowIf you're camping more than a few nights you will be glad you packed this!
HeadlampBlack Diamond Storm headlamp
StoveMSR Pocket Rocket StoveIan has used this stove for nearly a decade and highly recommends it!
Bear canister (or nylon cord to hang food)Bear Vault BV500
Backpacking potGSI Halulite
UtensilsHumangear Spork Best $4 you will ever spend!
Plate/Bowl/MugMSR Deep Dish plate , MSR Stainless Steel mug

Personal Gear

ItemOur recommended gear 
Water-treatment systemMSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter
Multi-toolGerber Suspension Multi-Plier
First-aid kitAdventure Medical Kits
Camel BakCamel Bak Crux - 100 oz.Way easier than a water bottle!
Small day-packCotopaxi Luzon 18LGreat for side hikes.
Pack-coverSea to Summit Pack coverThe best pack-cover we've ever used.
Men's backpackGregory Baltoro 75L
Women's backpackOsprey Aura 65L
Trekking polesBlack Diamond Trail Back Trekking polesEssential for long downhills!
Fire starter
Dry bagsSea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry SackKeeps your clothes and other items dry in a downpour!
Sunscreen

Women’s Clothing

ItemOur recommended gear 
UnderwearAdidas Climacool underwearVery packable and easy to wash on the go!
SocksDarn Tough Hiker Micro CrewIn our opinion, these are the best hiking socks available. Your feet will thank you!
Sports BraBrooks Rebound Racer Sports BraThis is the most versatile, comfortable, and high-quality sports bra that Emily has found on the market.
Long sleeve base layerSmartwool Women's NTS Mid 250 Crew
Short sleeve hiking shirt Mountain Hardwear Wicked shirt
LeggingsNike Power Essential Running Tight
Running shortsLululemon Run Speed ShortsThese shorts are so comfortable, packable, and quick-drying, that Emily didn't even feel the need to buy hiking-specific shorts.
Down jacketPatagonia Down Sweater JacketLightweight, super warm, and packs down small. This jacket was perfect for this kind of trip!
Rain jacketKelty All-Weather JacketAn affordable and high-quality all-weather jacket that packs up small.
Hiking bootsKeen Targhee II Mid Hiking BootEmily has had these boots for five years and hundreds of muddy, snowy hikes, and they are still going strong!
GaitersOutdoor Research Crocodile GaiterEssential for steam crossings and thick willows.
SunglassesSuncloud Loveseat Polarized SunglassesGood quality sunglasses are essential when you're in the mountains all day. And these are stylish too!
Hat
Sandals/Camp shoesChaco ZCloudThese are a must for the stream crossings!
BandanaBuff UV Headband
PonchoTotes Rain Poncho

Men’s Clothing

ItemOur recommended gear 
UnderwearExofficio Give-N-Go boxerHighly recommended!
SocksDarn Tough Hiker Micro CrewIn our opinion, these are the best hiking socks available. Your feet will thank you!
Long sleeve base layerSmartwool Men's NTS Mid 250 CrewVery versatile mid-weight base layer
Short sleeve hiking shirt Moutain Hardwear Wicked shirt
Hiking pantsPrana Brion pantsThese are great for hiking and also look great walking around town!
Hiking shortsPrana Brion shortsAwesome shorts that are great for hiking.
Down jacketPatagonia Down Sweater HoodieSuper warm, and super packable
Rain jacketOutdoor Research Helium II jacketA good rain jacket is a must!
HatOutdoor Research Performance Trucker hat
SandalsChaco Z1Great for stream crossing and hanging around camp.
GaitersOutdoor Research Crocodile GaiterEssential for stream crossings and thick willows.
Hiking bootsVasque Talus UltradrySuper comfortable and super waterproof!
BandanaLevi's bandana
Digital watchCasio Classic Sports watchAll you'll ever need
PonchoTotes Rain PonchoThis is often the most effective way to stay dry while hiking. And it's cheap!
SunglassesSuncloud Mayor Polarized sunglasses
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Our Top 5 Travel Essentials

We’re big fans of traveling as light and efficiently as possible. Whenever possible, we strive to bring the smallest carry-on bags we can pack. This reduces the stress of waiting…

We’re big fans of traveling as light and efficiently as possible. Whenever possible, we strive to bring the smallest carry-on bags we can pack. This reduces the stress of waiting for our checked bags to come out of baggage claim, makes walking to our hotel that much simpler, and provides the satisfaction of knowing that we can get by on less. To this end we have a few essential pieces of travel gear that make the “carry-on only” mindset much easier to pull-off. Here are five of our favorites:

1. Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

The first and most essential piece of gear for traveling light is a good backpack. You want a pack that is big enough to fit everything you need, but not so big that it exceeds carry-on requirements or feely bulky when walking around. Enter the Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack. The Farpoint is incredibly spacious and includes great  pockets that make staying organized on the road a breeze. It also comes with an awesome removable day-pack that gives you the flexibility to take only what you need on your daily adventures.

2. Eagle Creek Compression Cube Set

Let’s say you’re all set for your next big trip. You’ve booked the flight, reserved the Airbnb, and arranged your ride to the airport. Your only problem is that you can’t seem to fit everything you need inside your bag. Compression packing cubes solve this problem by compressing your clothes down to a fraction of their original size, allowing you to fit everything you need. Our favorite are the Eagle Creek Pack It Specter set. Not only do they reduce the size of your bag, but they’re also great for staying organized and keeping dirty clothes separate in your bag!

3. Anker Power Core Portable Charger

Nothing is worse than touching down in a new city only to see the ‘low-battery’ warning pop-up on your phone. If you’ve got to catch the train to your hotel and don’t remember the address, a dead smartphone is a major problem. The Anker Power Core charges an iPhone up to 7 times, ensuring that you’ll still have plenty of battery even after that long bus ride.

4. Sea to Summit DryLite Travel Towel

A big, fluffy towel is the enemy of a small travel bag. A musty wet one at the bottom of your backpack is even worse. Travel towels are light, can absorb huge amounts of water, and dry much faster than traditional cotton. They also pack down nearly flat, saving valuable space in your bag. Our favorite is the Sea to Summit DryLite Travel Towel.

5. ExOfficio Underwear

ExOfficio’s line of packable, quick-dry underwear is truly one of our travel favorites. It weighs next to nothing, can be easily washed in a bathroom sink, and dries incredibly quickly. Plus, it’s so comfortable that we find ourselves wearing it even when we’re not traveling! You can check out the Women’s Give-n-Go here and the Men’s version here.


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Southwest Companion Pass: How We Earned 2 for 1 Southwest Flights for the Next Two Years

We’re big fans of planning  our travel in advance to take advantage of the incredible savings that can be achieved through travel hacking. As part of our planning process for …

We’re big fans of planning  our travel in advance to take advantage of the incredible savings that can be achieved through travel hacking. As part of our planning process for  2018 travel, we decided that this would be the year that we finally earned what many consider to be the best deal in the miles and points world: the Southwest Companion Pass. The Companion Pass is truly an incredible deal. We’ll go into more detail below, but all you really need to know is that it allows you to bring a companion (friend, family member, etc.) on any Southwest flight you’ve booked for nearly free! You only need to pay the taxes and fees for your companion’s ticket. Keep reading to see how we earned the Companion pass for nearly TWO full years, and to learn how you can too!

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How We’re Flying to Scotland and Ireland for Nearly Free

It’s the start of a new year, which means we are busy planning our upcoming summer travel. In July of 2018 we’re heading to Ireland for a good friend’s wedding….

It’s the start of a new year, which means we are busy planning our upcoming summer travel. In July of 2018 we’re heading to Ireland for a good friend’s wedding. Given our love of long-distance hiking, we quickly got to work on finding a trek we could add on to our trip. After exploring some options in Ireland we ultimately decided to tackle the West Highland Way through the Scottish Highlands. We’ll spend 8 days hiking this 96-mile trail before hopping over to Ireland for the wedding. We’ll have many more posts on our West Highland Way trip in the future – but for now let’s focus on how we’re getting across the Atlantic and back for less than $100 per person!

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