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Brandon Widder

Brandon Widder

Former Digital Trends Contributor

Brandon Widder is a journalist and a staff writer for the Manual and its brother site, Digital Trends, where he covers tech news, how-to guides, and more. In his free time, he moonlights as a freelance music writer for the Portland alt-weekly, Willamette Week, and enjoys venturing around the wilds of the Pacific Northwest when he's not putting together his weekly "Trekking" column for the Manual. Follow him @BrandonWidder.

shine light best camping lanterns 50 lantern 2021

The Best Camping Lanterns Under $50

Headlamps are all the rage for backpacking and hiking, but nothing beats a camping lantern when huddled in a tent or around the campfire.

Drink Dirty Water Without Worry Using the LifeStraw Filter

More than 780 million people lack access to clean water. With the LifeStraw—you don't have to be one of them, even while trekking in the backcountry.
happier camper hc1 feature image final

Trekking: The HC1 brings the retro vibes to the road

Dedicated motorhomes might be overrated, but the Happier Camper HC1 is anything but. The towable camper brings retro flair to a modern, modular design.
Buffalo Tent

Trekking: The Buffalo Tent Is Probably Bigger Than Your Aparment

Alien Buffalo's tipi-like structure can be set up in mere minutes and sleeps up to 14 people. When collapsed, it's also roughly the size of your club bag.
Soak wood-fired hot tub

The Wood-Fired Soak is the Winter Antidote We Need

The Soak wood-fired hot tub takes a cue from Japanese Ofuro tubs & outfits it with metal & red cedar, resulting in a design that's easy on the eyes & back.
trekking shoes

Trekking Shoes: The FEIT Wool Hiker Might be the Plushest Boots in Existence

A single craftsman makes each pair of FEIT's iconic trekking shoes, outfitting them with buffalo-leather insoles & a rigid outsole built for any scenario.
Hults Bruk Jonaker

Trekking: The Hults Bruk Jonaker is backpacker’s delight

Hatchets come in all shapes and sizes, but few of them are as exceptional as those courtesy of Hults Bruk. The compact Jonaker is the perfect case in point.
Tanuck Backpack

Trekking: The Tanuck is a backpack built for photographers

Mountainsmith's first collab with pro photographer Chris Burkard is versatile to a tee, namely due to its modular design and Cordura-imbued construction.
Tut 4 Man

Trekking: Trade in your two-man tent for a tipi with Kifaru

The iconic tipi may not be as common as it once was, but that hasn't stopped Colorado's Kifaru International from designing the apt-titled Tut 4 Man.
Trekking: 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Trekking: The 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Racking your brain for the perfect gift for the outdoorsman on your list? Check out our holiday gift guide for a quick look at our favorite products.
best vinyl record accessories guide

Got vinyl? Here are five accessories for the audiophile on your list

A record collector should own more than just a turntable and a vintage copy of "Dark Side of the Moon."
Cambium C17

The Cambium Might Very Well Be the Last Bike Saddle You Ever Buy

Brooks is a household name among bike enthusiasts, and the latest in the Cambium series is a waterproof testament to the company's seasoned engineering.
Yakima SkyRise

Trekking: Yakima Is Taking Camping to New Heights With the SkyRise

Yakima's first rooftop tent comes in two sizes, each of which flaunts weather-resistant components and a setup process that takes less than a minute.
Opinel No12 Explore

Trekking: The Opinel No12 Explore is a Survival Knife You Can Actually Afford

Opinel's recently-launched blade takes a classical design and outfits it with a survival whistle, a gut hook, and a fire starter -- all for a cool $50.
Airstream Basecamp

The Second-Gen Airstream Basecamp is 16 Feet of Unfettered Luxury

The latest Airstream Basecamp isn't quite as luxurious as its six-figure siblings, but the re-imagined camper is just as iconic and fit for the road.
Heimplanet NIAS

Trekking: The inflatable NIAS is the Tent to Pitch in a Pinch

Heimplanet is not your typical manufacturer of your typical tent. Their latest inflatable, 6-person tent benefits from a no-fuss setup and a geodesic design
Bentley Bentayga Fly Fishing by Mulliner

Trekking: This custom Bentley Bentayga is a Fisherman’s Delight

Bentley's customization division has crafted the Bentley Bentayga for anglers, lined with quilted leather, fine china, and a cool price tag of $330,000.
leatherman tread

Trekking: Meet the Leatherman Tread, the Wearable Toolbox for Your Wrist

Smartwatches and connected wearables might be all the rage, but the Leatherman Tread affords you some physical functionality you just can't find elsewhere.
Board Bag

Trekking: The Board Bag might just quell your surfboard-hauling woes

Koraloc's specialized board bag gives you a means to carry a wetsuit & up to three surfboards directly on your back. The wet dry bag is just an added plus.
trucker hat

Trekking: These trucker hats capture the West with wax, dye, and style

Artist Abby Paffrath's trucker hats utilize an Indonesian art technique and draw inspiration from aspen, skiers, and everything that defines her landscape.
5.11 Tactical Operator Axe

Trekking: 5.11 Tactical’s Operator is an axe of all trades

The Operator Axe represents the perfect blend of form and function. The stainless-steel tool touts 24 functions, which let you skirt your toolshed entirely.
Owyhee Rod

Trekking: The Owyhee Rod can go wherever you might wander

The telescoping Owyhee Rod makes lugging all your necessary fishing gear a bit easier, offering a walnut spool and 13 feet of length when fully extended.
Timberleaf Trailer

Trekking: The Timberleaf Trailer is a Subie owner’s dream

The aptly-titled Timberleaf Trailer is 1,2000-pound, mobile dwelling that doesn't require a Ford F-350 to move. The skylight is just an added plus.
North St. Bags

Big concepts, small batches, and the world of North St. Bags

The folks at North St. Bags pride themselves on American-made, small-batch manufacturing that's geared toward the PNW and beyond. And they totally should.
Tentsile Flite Tree Tent

Trekking: Get lifted with Tentsile’s Trillium Hammock and tree tents

Tentsile's suspended dwellings provide 360-degree views, along with ample sleeping room and storage space for any equipment you might string along.
MVMT Watches

MVMT Watches prove you can have sleek style with petty pricing

You don't need to pay an upwards of $500 for a proper timepiece. MVMT Watches makes brilliant wears that tout ample style at a fraction of the cost.
Filson Wedge Tent

Trekking: Get back to the basics with Filson’s Wedge Tent

The apt-titled Wedge Tent is a lesson in old-school design, one that sports heavy-duty canvas, rugged components, and enough floor space to go around.
Sea Dart

Trekking: Track in style with the Escobedo Sea Dart

Constructed of Joubert marine plywood and built using the timeless lapstrake method, the Dart is a canoe-kayak hybrid that's looks as great as it performs.

The strata-focused Layer Leather brings the stadium to your wrist

The Minus-8 Layer Leather uses established Japanese movements and layered strata to bring a futuristic touch to a timeless design that anyone can savor.
best bouldering gear essentials

Trekking: Hit the slab with these 10 bouldering essentials

There's more to bouldering than a pair of climbing shoes and crash pad. Check out some of our favorite climbing essentials for your next date with crag.
fly fishing collaborative wallet header image

Trekking: The Fly Wallet lets you stash your flies with style

Few sports offer the kind of serenity fly fishing affords. Crafted of leather and wool, the Fly Wallet allows you to store up to 16 flies of your choice.
Sanborn Canoe Company

Trekking: Sanborn paddles are as functional as they are handsome

Sanborn's wooden canoe paddles are gorgeous, hand-painted and built to last, rendering them as suitable for your cabin wall as the open water before you.
Nubé 2.0

Trekking: The Nubé 2.0 is a lofted, 3-season delight

The latest iteration of Sierra Madre's Nubé takes camping innovation to new heights, with a rainfly, bug netting, and built-in storage compartment in tow.
best crampons header 3

Trekking: Strap in and step up with our favorite crampons

Trekking in the snow requires more than a pair of shorts and synthetic-leather boots. Check out our favorite three crampons for your winter wanderings.
Snow Peak Sky Nest

Trekking: The Sky Nest takes camping to new heights

Snow Peak's Sky Nest lets you sleep suspended between two trees, allowing you to swap uneven ground and wet terrain for lofty views of the backcountry.
The American Dream Trailer

Trekking: Yes, the roof of this camper moonlights as a boat

The American Dream Trailer is a compact, customizable camper that sleeps two and features a detachable rowboat that conveniently doubles as a secondary roof.
Casio Smart Outdoor Watch WSD-F10

Trekking: The Smart Outdoor Watch lives up to its name

Casio's forthcoming WSD-F10 combines Android Wear with a wealth of built-in sensors, culminating in a tool that looks to be your next backcountry companion.
NightShift V2

Trekking: The NightShift V2 is as subtle as it is suitable

Proper catch-all bags are hard to come by, but Seagull Bags' flagship backpack is just as suited for your morning bike ride as your next backcountry trek.
Pendleton Limited Edition

The Pendleton Limited Edition is built for the outdoors (not your budget)

So, what do you get when two iconic brands partner in honor of the National Park Service's centennial? A rustic, high-class camper that will make you drool.

Trekking: Stay connected with our favorite outdoor apps

We love to completely unplug at the Manual. Nonetheless, we've compiled a list of the best outdoor apps, whether your prefer maps of the terrain or stars.

Trekking: The Kronos is the world’s first wooden ice axe

Not every ice axe is made of metal — at least, not anymore. The Kronos uses a dense beech wood laminate and meets industry standard safety certification.
Burton Throwback Snowboard

Trekking: The Throwback Snowboard takes Burton back to the basics

The Burton Backhill remains one of the most iconic boards to have ever existed, and this year, the company looks to resurrect it with the Burton Throwback.
Cricket Trailer

Trekking: The Cricket Trailer is NASA-approved… well, sort of

The Cricket Trailer is everything you want in a pop-up camper, one outfitted wealth of amenities and an intuitive design courtesy of a former ISS engineer.
Snogo Snobike

Trekking: The Snogo Snobike combines the best of both worlds

Want the sensation of biking and the freedom of skiing? Meet the Snogo Snobike, a Kickstarter-backed device built for the backcountry or your own backyard.
national park

Trekking: A Tabletop Book Fit For The Park Service’s centennial

This summer, the National Park Service will celebrate its 100-year anniversary. Anderson Design Group's latest coffee table book celebrates that heritage.

Trekking: The Sunnto Traverse is smart only where it matters

Smartwatches might be all the rage, but most don't provide you with off-the-grid navigation and withstand a downpour. Thankfully, the Suunto Traverse does.
Palladium Pampa Cuff WP Lux

Trekking: The Pampa Cuff WP Lux looks as good on the trail as off

Romping through the woods in the fall requires a different kind of boot. Thankfully, the Pampa Cuff WP Lux provides protection without sacrificing style.
Ventra Mainframe

Trekking: You can breathe easy with the Ventra Mainframe

The Ventra Mainframe attaches to any pack in your arsenal and allows for ample ventilation and support, allowing you to lug 60-pound loads with ease.
Iris surf board

Trekking: Skate meets surf with Iris’ handmade surf boards

Iris may have made a name for itself crafting decks made of recycled skateboards, but the company's latest offerings are more apt for water than concrete.
the closca fuga helmet fits in a bag feature 2

The Closca Fuga can save your life… and fit in your bag

Foldable helmets rarely meet the standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Thankfully, the Closca Fuga does so within a collapsible frame.