About Alan Dixon

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So far Alan Dixon has created 72 blog entries.

Quick and Efficient Training for Backpacking and Hiking

We use this common sense, 2-day-a-week training program to prepare for hiking 30+ mile days on the AT. We also used it to do the "the toughest long distance trek in Europe," the GR20 in Corsica, in ½ the normal time. But this training also works great for shorter and less intense trips.

By | February 8th, 2017|Skills|15 Comments

Review of Dutchware Chameleon Hammock – Light & Superbly Versatile

One hammock can do it all—and well! The Chameleon, works in all conditions from hot, bug infested jungles to bitter cold winters of the Northeastern US. In the following "Review of Dutchware Chameleon Hammock," I discuss what makes it possibly the best multi-season hammock. The review concludes with a Comparison of the Chameleon Hammock to its nearest Competitors. Overview [...]

By | February 6th, 2017|Hammocks, Recommended Gear|14 Comments

Guide to Colombia’s La Ciudad Perdida Trek (Lost City)

It's like Machu Picchu, but remote and not overrun by tourists. So definitely put La Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City) near the top of your travel list!  La Ciudad Perdida is a vast, ancient city in the jungles of the Sierra Nevada mountains on Colombia's Caribbean coast. It is believed to have been built by the [...]

By | January 11th, 2017|Trip Guides, Trip Reports|2 Comments

9 Pound – Full Comfort – Lightweight Backpacking Gear List

A 9 pound pack is all you need to be safe and warm. So, if you want to lower your pack weight but retain all the convenience and comfort of “traditional” backpacking, look no further than this Lightweight Backpacking Gear List This Lightweight Backpacking Gear List is suitable for most backpackers on most 3-season trips in the lower 48 and [...]

By | December 10th, 2016|Beginners, Gear List, Recommended Gear|59 Comments

Olympus OM-D EM-5 II Camera Review for backpacking & hiking

Superb zoom lenses & weather resistance set the Olympus OM-D EM-5 II apart as a great backpacking & hiking camera. With the EM-5 II you'll continue taking great pictures in tough environmental conditions that would shut down other cameras. [Picture above is the environmentally sealed Olympus OM-D EM-5 II and 12-40 f/2.8 PRO lens working in the rain-shadow of hurricane Matthew.] Note: This Olympus OM-D [...]

By | December 9th, 2016|Camera - Photography|2 Comments

5 Most Important Features for a Backpacking Camera

Alert! as a backpacker you are not well served by mainstream camera reviews like DPReview. That is, the 5 Most Important Features for a Backpacking Camera are quite different than those for a general use camera in mainstream reviews. Here are the major differences. CAMERA WEIGHT - In mainstream reviews, the weight of the camera with a sharp zoom [...]

By | December 2nd, 2016|Camera - Photography, Skills|19 Comments

Recommended Sleeping Bags & Quilts

At half the cost, a down quilt is best for most backpacking trips.  A 20°F down quilt like this weighs only 19 oz and costs $250 vs. 29 oz and $500 for a similar down sleeping bag. A Down Quilt is an essential part of my 9 Pound - Full Comfort - Lightweight Backpacking Gear List. [Pic in [...]

By | November 26th, 2016|Beginners, Recommended Gear, Sleeping Bags & Quilts|24 Comments

Guide to Lightweight Down Jackets and Pants for Backpacking

Forget synthetics! Down rocks. A lightweight down jacket is the most weight and cost effective way to stay warm. Lightweight down jackets are less expensive than synthetics,* they weigh less, but most importantly they are so much warmer! It is true that down jackets may be one of the most expensive items in your kit. BUT, if [...]

By | November 23rd, 2016|Clothing, Recommended Gear, Uncategorized|10 Comments

Cheap Lightweight Backpacking Gear

A $10 down vest that looks eerily similar to a $250 Patagonia vest? A $20 down quilt? Hard to believe. These are just the first two items in this post on Cheap Lightweight Backpacking Gear. Other great values include a 9 oz rain jacket, a +20 down quilt that's ½ the price of the competition, and bomber, lightweight [...]

By | November 18th, 2016|Cheap Gear|10 Comments

The Point and Shoot Camera is Dead for Hikers

This post answers two questions. First, why is point and shoot camera is dead for hikers? And second, what are the best cameras for hiking now that the point and shoot camera...

By | November 17th, 2016|Camera - Photography|13 Comments