do you want a hiking Kindle?

Andy Howell has been using one for a few months … and gives it quite a favourable review:

… The key to the Kindle is its weight. This is a properly portable machine which can slip into your case or pack quite happily. …

First off, this is a very light way of carrying a lot of books

With the wifi link usually off I have been able to get three weeks usage without any problems at all. If you are backpacking you should be able to rely on three weeks, maybe four, so long as you keep the machine warm at night, although I must say I’ve not noticed any great degrading of battery performance in the cold.

When backpacking you will want to keep the Kindle in a waterproof sleeve of some kind — I use an Ortlieb map carrier which I know to be watertight. Phil Turner has devised his own protection system details of which he has published here so you can knock one up yourself. …

The really big downside is that you can’t share books or pass them on to someone else. You can register up to 6 Kindles with one Amazon account, which might get around things a little. But this system is still far too inflexible and Amazon need to sort this out quickly, even if it is to let you pass books on a limited number of times. …

read the rest of the review

I’m quite happy with audio books and podcasts on my iPods (normally carrying two) but wouldn’t mind trying a kindle on a longer adventure.

I mostly read in the tent. And it seems a pain that a headlamp is required to read a kindle. In fact, that might even be a deal breaker for me. Perhaps I’d use the built-in audio jack or rear speakers to listen to my audio books via Kindle.

Leave a comment if you’ve tried taking a Kindle on the Trail. Either here or over on Andy’s review.


DAVE PIDGEON will not take his iPad on the Trail.

Compass Points Media via flickr – original photo

But he does review a few Apps on this post – A Backpacker’s iPad

(via Tom Mangan on Facebook)

hiking electronics

by site editor Rick McCharles

You may find it surprising how much electronic gear I hauled on my recent 17-day trek in the Everest region.

I carried two iPods. … Overkill?

My iPod shuffle plays for about 10hrs on a charge. The iPod touch perhaps 20hrs. Both filled with audio podcasts and books on MP3.

Click on any of the images below for a description.

Everest trek  - 148

Everest trek  - 151

Everest trek  - 150

Everest trek  - 149

Everest trek  - 146

Everest trek  - 147

Recharging batteries en route was not always easy.


no job? … go hiking

Happy 4th of July to all our American readers.

And a special shout out to Fedak who’s hiking out the recession.

Three of 4 of our top 10 hiking regions in the world are in the USA.

#1 New Zealand
#2 Southwest USA
#3 The Rockies
#4 Sierra Nevada

National Public Radio has an interesting podcast called – On The Appalachian, Some Hike Off The Recession:

… For Rusty Towery, taking this much time away isn’t difficult at all. Nicknamed “Wheeler,” he was laid off in November from construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar. He sees this as an amazing opportunity.

“I have no major responsibilities yet in life so [I] might as well do something like this while I can, instead of having to wait like the other half of the population on the trail,” he says.

Wheeler is 26 years old. After being laid off last year, he worked a series of odd jobs to save up a little money. He also ran each day to build his endurance. He says his friends were a little jealous the day he left, even joking that they wished they’d been laid off, too. …

click through to see the audio / video presentation – On The Appalachian, Some Hike Off The Recession

Mount Katahdin - Northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail
Mount Katahdin - Northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail

more interesting photos tagged Appalachian Trail

iPhone Apps hit the trail

One of Backpacker Magazine’s blogs, The Daily Dirt, has been my favourite in recent weeks.

Here’s another interesting post:

… In a new 30-second spot, the familiar hands demonstrate apps to replace a compass, identify bird species, and spot poison ivy. Add those apps to the already impressive list including the Google Earth and GPS systems and you’ve got a handheld, do-just-about-anything, outdoor genius machine. …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Still, I’ll be taking my iTouch on the trail with me this season. Mainly for listening to Audiocasts and Audiobooks during the long nights in the tent.

Where I hike there’s no free WiFi. So many of the apps will not work since the Touch has not phone service.

7800mi backpacking the Andes

Deia Schlosberg & Gregg Treinish were named Adventurers of the Year by one of the National Geographic magazines.


did-itTwo years. 7,800 miles. No roads. That was how Deia Schlosberg, 28, and Gregg Treinish, 26, vowed to trek the length of the Andes. They had no idea what they were getting into. Beginning in Papallacta, Ecuador, the two Montana-based wilderness educators cobbled together a route of llama tracks, old Inca roads, and forgotten trade paths down the spine of the world’s longest mountain range. It was an Andes few outsiders had seen before. For good reason: “We were lost the entire time,” Treinish says. “Every time we wanted to quit, we were so far in the middle of nowhere that it wasn’t even an option.” …

National Geographic Adventure – Trekking the forgotten Andes

As I write I’m listening to their audio interview on Wend magazine.

… successfully completed the trek, after covering 56 degrees of the globe, trekking more than 7800 miles, we became the first two people to backpack the Andes Mountain Range, the first two to walk it through the mountains without relying on roads, and Deia became the first woman to have walked South America. …


It was a struggle at many times. There are no fixed long distance trails.


home page – Across the Andes

George Bush on Re-Arming Our Wilderness


There’s a move under way in the U.S. Senate to have Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne reverse the National Park Service’s ban against the public carrying concealed weapons in the national parks. …

National Parks Traveler

The president of the Association of National Park Rangers responded that Kempthorne’s rationale is “hypocritical in some cases and just plain wrong in others,” …

There is a very amusing audiocast currently playing on The Official Parody Site of George Bush’s Weekly Radio Address. Playing only for 1wk.

motorized vehicles ruin the Utah desert

WildeBeat audio journal did a great piece this Fall on the problems of off road vehicles in the Utah desert.

This wild places program examines the problems of trying to designate new wilderness areas in the central Utah desert. If it gets overrun by off road vehicles, can it still become new wilderness?

This story was provided to us by guest reporter Kurt Repanshek, creator of the National Parks Traveler web magazine. Kurt tells this story of the struggle for wilderness designations in the desert canyonlands of central Utah with the help of:

* Heidi McIntosh, conservation director for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
* Wayne Ludington, assistant field manager for the Price district of the Bureau of Land Management
* Liz Thomas, attorney for the Moab office of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

(A spokesman for the Blue Ribbon Coalition, the dominant advocacy group for off road vehicle enthusiasts, didn’t respond to our e-mailed requests for an interview.)

The WildeBeat: The audio journal about getting into the wilderness.

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

What a shame.

We named the SW USA the #2 best region in the world for hikers. But seeing motorized vehicles welcomed into Canyonlands National Park is a huge downer.

National Geographic Greatest Trips – Paria Canyon

by Rick McCharles, editor

I was a minor contributor to a gorgeous new National Geographic coffee table book.

500 of the World's Greatest Trips

Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips

One chapter describes Adventures on Foot. I helped write the Paria Canyon hike description.


My own 2006 trip report was used as a reference.

Though any experienced hiker will dismiss some of the trips chosen by National Geographic, their list of trekking adventures, overall, is surprisingly good.

Paria Canyon tops our own list of the best hikes in the Southwest USA. I’m very happy it was included.

Check my my Paria photos (flickr). Or checkout our hike Paria Canyon information page.

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