What’s in Your… Hiking Backpack? with Kelly Vaughn

Written by Judy Harper Category: Lifestyle Issue: July 2018
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The Arizona Highways managing editor opens her 75-liter pack to show us what she needs to survive while trekking the state’s trails.

Arizona Highways managing editor Kelly Vaughn isn’t afraid of much. The 36-year-old mother of two has climbed daunting cliffs without cringing, confidently sidestepped rattlesnakes and bravely faced a bear or two while hiking across the state for her job. The one thing that does scare her? “I am terrified of mountain lions,” she says. “I’ve never seen one in the wild and I’m so scared I’ll run into one!” Of course, the seasoned backpacker – who’s currently working on the second edition of her 2015 book, Arizona Highways Camping Guide, while growing The Land Remains, a blog and screen-printing shop focused on travel and conservation she launched with her boyfriend – would likely be just fine in a big cat encounter, especially with the aid of the vintage Norlund hatchet she carries in her massive, 75-liter Kelty Coyote pack.

photos by Angelina Aragon; What’s in Your… Hiking Backpack? with Kelly Vaughn