About Alan Dixon

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So far Alan Dixon has created 88 blog entries.

Rain Jacket Durability 101 – How to Select the Best Durable Rain Jacket

Rain jacket “durability” is a complex topic not well understood by most people. This post debunks some durability myths and clearly lays out what to look for in a durable rain jacket. Finally, we list some of the very best durable rain jackets on the market that are also light! If you can't wait, jump to [...]

By | 2017-11-21T13:07:16+00:00 November 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Lightweight Hiker’s Guide to REI Gear Up Get Out Sale

I've been an REI member since the mid 70's. Still, when a REI sale comes around, I get overwhelmed trying to find the best lightweight gear among the vast inventory. This year, I decided to prep by going for a 2 hour visit to my local REI Store, and then doing research online selecting more great lightweight hiking [...]

By | 2017-11-17T03:14:40+00:00 November 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|9 Comments

Top Mistakes Using the Layering System – How to Stay Warmer and Drier

The layering system sounds attractive in theory. But as practiced by most hikers it is seriously flawed. It can be heavy, and expensive. And not used properly it could even make you colder. This article points out the major mistakes hikers make when buying and using a clothing layering system. And of course, it has tips on how to [...]

By | 2017-11-23T01:46:15+00:00 November 7th, 2017|Clothing, Skills|18 Comments

Light L16 Computational Camera – Hands on First Look

The Light L16 is one of the first “computational” cameras to hit the market. If it works it’s a game changer for high resolution and lightweight photography. Especially for hikers, backpackers, outdoor adventures, travelers or anybody that needs a light, pocketable camera that can produce a 52 megapixel image! And it has the promise of [...]

By | 2017-11-01T23:00:20+00:00 November 1st, 2017|Camera - Photography|6 Comments

No Car Needed Appalachian Trail Section Hike – Roanoke to Shenandoah National Park

As of November, 2017 Amtrak offers service to Roanoke, VA. This makes another stunning section of the AT accessible via public transportation to most of the East Coast. This hike is just south of Shenandoah National Park. It's every bit as beautiful as "The Shen" but wilder and without the crowds! The guide that follows gives [...]

By | 2017-10-25T15:04:04+00:00 October 25th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Review of Hyperlite Mountain Gear THE SHELL

Hyperlite Mountain Gear boldly calls their $450 rain jacket THE SHELL, and states "this jacket is unprecedentedly breathable, waterproof, and tough as f*#k for its weight." To see how well it stands up to the hype & price I took THE SHELL out for two weeks of guiding at 10,000 to to 14,000 feet in the [...]

By | 2017-10-19T20:46:26+00:00 October 12th, 2017|Clothing, rainwear|13 Comments

5 Pound Practical Lightweight Backpacking Gear List

The lightest gear that's supremely efficient and safe! Whatever you like to do: enjoying great views, photography, swimming in a lake, fishing, getting some extra camp time, or just putting in some trail miles this efficiency focused, 5 Pound Practical Lightweight Backpacking Gear List will give you more time to do it.

By | 2017-08-22T20:41:21+00:00 August 22nd, 2017|Beginners, Gear List|10 Comments

Why Wilderness First Aid Matters and How to Take a Course

Knowing what to do in a medical emergency in the wilderness can make all the difference to someone in need. That someone might even be you! I was reminded of this as I refreshed my Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification this past weekend. In fact, just a few years back I used my Wilderness First Aid skills [...]

By | 2017-08-20T19:12:19+00:00 August 20th, 2017|First Aid - Wilderness Medicine, Skills|2 Comments

3 lb Ultralight Day Hiking Checklist – stay safe, be light, have fun!

Day hiking is supposed to be fun. And part of the fun is a light pack for easy walking. Unfortunately, most day hiking checklists are way too heavy. If you add up the weight of their suggested gear, your "daypack" may approach the weight of a backpack for a multi-day trip in the backcountry. But [...]

By | 2017-08-06T00:26:20+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|Gear List, Skills|4 Comments

7 Reasons Why Hammock Camping is Fantastic – How To Get Started

For much of the US hammock camping is fantastic & arguably the best way to sleep in the backcountry. This is true anywhere with trees—nearly all of the eastern US & much of the Mountain West.  As such, hammocks are a key element of our 9-lb Full Comfort Gear List. In addition, this post contains Our [...]

By | 2017-07-24T02:09:56+00:00 July 22nd, 2017|Hammocks, Skills|3 Comments