Section-hikers carry with them virtually everything they'll need for days or even weeks. Backpacks are designed to transfer much of the weight to the wearer's hips. Here's what I carried on a recent four-day hike through part of New York. Many of the items are in sacks to keep the pack organized. The total weight of the backpack above and everything in it, excluding water, is 25 pounds. Clockwise from lower right:
1. Juan Pablo Montoya lives for windsurfing. He tweets about it, spends his downtime on a board in Miami's Biscayne Bay, just a short stroll from his penthouse suite -- and the way the Colombian's season is going, he may soon be able to turn his focus more toward wetsuits than firesuits.
The changing leaves are just one lure for outdoor adventurers during the fall season. The tourist crowds of July and August have dissipated, and in many spots, the blistering summer heat has passed. And happily, an abundance of premier tour operators offer ready-made autumn adventures that are relatively easy on the wallet. They bring expert guides and top-quality gear and arrange all meals and accommodations -- you just bring your thirst for adventure.
After declaring last week that he won't publicly discuss his sexual relationships with staffers again, David Letterman continued his mea culpa Monday night -- saying his wife had been "horribly hurt by my behavior."
In March of 1997, hiker Bill Maddrell set off on a solo trip down the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, a well-worn ribbon that slices through 14 states, eight national forests and six national parks from Maine to Georgia. Determined to walk the entire 2,176 miles, he took a 60-pound backpack, but his relatives thought that wasn't enough. "They asked me if I was going to carry a gun," he said.
Like many Vermonters, Deborah Lisi-Baker enjoys the outdoors. "I've always loved the wilderness and the woods. It's very serene. It clears your head just to get to appreciate all the sounds and colors and shapes."