“Hear the roaring vastness of a great valley, or the sigh of wind in the treetops, or the eternal thunder of breakers on the shore. Then go back and speak to the world from your heart.”
– Randy Stoltmann

I’m an avid lightweight hiker, decent skier, mediocre mountaineer, packrafter and climber.

My travels include thru-hiking the 2660 mile Pacific Crest Trail in 2014 with my wife Tara, completing the Bob Marshall Wilderness Open six times, and hiking the first yo-yo of the Great Divide Trail in 2017.

Here you’ll find trip reports, beta, gear reviews and environmental musings.

If you want to get in touch, email durston.dan@gmail.com

Western Larch in Washington
Western Larch in Washington


  1. Hi! Great trip reports here. Heading to Vancouver area and looking to packraft for a 3-4 day trip. I’d love to know if you have any suggestions!

  2. Just stumbled upon your site by way of your Locus gear Khufu review. well done. Those mids appear high quality and are super tempting.

  3. Hi Dan,

    With you having designed two tents and a backpack, would Durston Design trekking poles be a future consideration? 😉

    1. I’ve still got a lot of stuff I’d like to do with tents and packs, so I’m pretty occupied for the time being. Trekking poles already seem pretty good (e.g. Locus Gear CP3s are my favourite) so I’m not sure I have much to add there, but it could happen down the road.

  4. I like the Torrid. I was surprising warm and is a nice 3-season jacket. I’m still a fan of down because it is a bit lighter, smaller packing and lasts longer, but for synthetic the Torrid seems quite good. I have no plans to get into clothing of any form. It seems like way too much work to get all the sizing sorted out, and the clothing market already seems pretty well served.

  5. I understand and I bet you’re pretty busy as it is. I am waiting on one of your packs fro Drop right now. Question on the Torrid, have you ever used it wet and if so, how did it perform? This is my main point of interest, how it performs in inclement weather or when wet.

    1. Yeah I’ve got it pretty soaked on a few occasions – usually packrafting. Like any synthetic jacket, it will lose warmth when wet, despite the common misconception that synthetic jackets stay just as warm when wet. How much warmth a jacket looses seems to come down two factors which are how hard you can wring it out, and how much structure the insulation has to stay lofted under the weight/forces of being wet. The Torrid seemed to have pretty good “structure” (e.g. it doesn’t collapse nearly as easily as down) so you can wring it out and end up with something that seems to provide some warmth. It’s not going to be as good as fleece though because with traditional fleece you can wring it out HARD without worry of damage, and it has more structure so that it is basically just as thick when wet. I use down probably 70% of the time. Then synthetic on sloppier trips (e.g. shoulder season) and fleece on the sloppiest of trips (e.g. packrafting).

  6. Thank you for the well thought out reply! Your answer helps a lot. I do have a down jacket already and love it, but was worried about taking it on the AT’s wet conditions (compared to my normally drier hikes). Looks like the Torrid (of course coupled with rain gear) would be a better choice than my down for this environment. I also have a very light fleece I bring on all my hike as I am a colder than average hiker. If you have any other advice, I would be very grateful and thanks again for your help!

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