new in 2018 – MSR Hubba Tour tents

I’m super happy with my Hubba and newer Hubba NX 1 solo tents.

But if you want to keep gear in a big vestibule outside the tent, this might be a good option for you.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


4 Wheel Bob – the film

Having been on Bob’s support team for his 2007 ascent of 14,252-foot (4344m) White Mountain Peak, California, I can highly recommend his inspiring documentary.


Bob’s smiling here. But let me confirm that trip was bloody tough. I could never possibly have made it in his chair.

The new film covers his attempt to cross 11,845-foot Kearsarge Pass in the Sierra Nevada. It’s much rougher than White.

Click PLAY or watch the trailer on YouTube.

Click through for details.

protecting food from bears

Andrew Skurka:

Personally, I own a BearVault BV500 and Ursack Major. I use the BV500 when it’s required, and the Ursack Major in areas with bears and/or mini-bears but without canister regulations.

Buyers guide: Bear canisters || Comparison of volume per weight & cost

Good advice. I do the same.

I’m still using a clear BEARVAULT BV500. Or an Ursack.

The canister is a little better, but bulky.

I hang my Ursack, when I can.

But in areas with bears — and inappropriate trees — tying directly to a tree at eye level works too.  I’ve never had a bear approach my food … though I did once have a mouse get inside the Ursack.

cycle / hiking the Carretera Austral, Chile

future trip planning by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

During my two months in Patagonia 2018 I did a fair bit of research on a future cycle hiking trip.

  • what bike? (Surly Long Haul Trucker with 40mm tires is popular)
  • buy, rent or bring with me from Canada?
  • exact route? (north to south via Chiloe sounds best to me)

I’d camp and hike en route.

The Carretera is far more popular now than when I did it in 2004 by bus / hitchhiking.

The Carretera Austral runs about 1,240 kilometers (770 mi) from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins through (sparsely populated) rural Patagonia. …

This area is characterized by thick forestsfjordsglaciers, canals and steep mountains. …

Among the world’s finest road trips, the Carretera Austral – or “Southern Highway” – is a 1240km route through Chile that’s mostly unpaved. Winding through millennia-old forests, it visits dusty Andean hamlets and turquoise rivers spawned from landlocked glaciers. …

Cyclists should have the skills and materials to repair their own gear, and should plan on taking a solid month for the entire endeavor. According to Italian cyclist Tomas Balzk, the hardest part was not pedaling the terrain, but ingesting enough calories. …

Lonely Planet


Nahuel Huapi Traverse – day 0

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles 

day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | video | info page

This is one of the very best hikes in the Andes. But it’s extremely difficult.


  • high level ridge walking with scrambles. Some exposure. And route finding. I wish I’d had a GPS track to follow.
  • Nahuel Huapi is pronounced nah-well-wah-pee
  • December to March are the best months
  • Nahuel Huapi National Park is the oldest in Argentina
  • the tourist mecca jumping off point of San Carlos de Bariloche is a transportation hub
  • convenient city bus service whisks you 20km from Bariloche to the trailhead at Villa Catedral, a popular ski resort 
  • the Traverse — Villa Catedral to Puente Lopez —is only 36.5km (23mi) but they are some of the most difficult trails you’ve hiked
  • it’s easy to shorten this 4 day adventure by exiting early down a number of different valleys

As you probably guessed, I did the entire thing.

Happily, I survived.

Every tourist who travels to Argentina’s lake district spends time in tourist trap Bariloche.

Close together in town are the Tourist Information office, Nahuel Huapi National Park Office and Club Andino Bariloche (CAB) Mountain Info Center.

CAB is the best place to go for information. You can fill out your FREE registration with (guessed) itinerary. There’s no need to stick to that route once you start, however.

If unsure, put down the full Traverse.

he classic (difficult) Traverse has you sleeping 4 nights in the mountains. No reservation for tenting is required except at Frey. 

  1. Refugio Frey  (alternative Cascada if Frey is booked)
  2. Refugio San Martin (Jakob)
  3. Refugio Segre (Italia)
  4. Refugio López

Unless you are exhausted, there’s no need to stop at López. It’s only 3.5km to the highway bus stop near Puente López, walking distance from the town of Colonia Suiza.

I always prefer sleeping in a tent to the alternative: noisy, crowded, dirty communal hut mattresses.

Bariloche has plenty of outdoor stores (camping fuel) and a few large supermarkets. Stock up for your hike. Celebrate with excellent Argentinian gelato.

day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | video | info page