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Kyle Wright

Kyle Wright is the Forest Archaeologist for The Shoshone National Forest, a rugged area in northwest Wyoming, USA. Lying adjacent to Yellowstone National Park, the Shoshone covers nearly 1 million hectares (2.5 million acres), of which over 607,000 hectares (1.5 million acres) is designated Wilderness. Native Americans have lived in the region for at least 10,000 years, and the Forest includes sections of the Absaroka, Wind River, and Beartooth Mountains. Terrain in the Shoshone includes sagebrush plains, dense fir and spruce forests, and rocky peaks, and the elevations range from 1400 m (4600 ft) to 4207 m (13,804 ft) on Gannett peak, the highest mountain in Wyoming. Since the area was never settled, nearly all the animal species that were present when the first white explorers visited the area in the early 19th century are still there, including Gray Wolves, Grizzly Bears, and Cougars. “Conducting backcountry archaeological surveys in the Shoshone is logistically difficult and demanding,” says Kyle, “especially when you are working at elevations above 3000 meters (9843 ft).” Crews are typically dropped off deep in the mountains, far from any road or town, and work for up to 14 days, and they use horses and mules to get to their project area. “We are isolated and on our own until our transportation comes back to ferry the crew and our gear back home,” says Kyle. “The distance from civilization and the lack of any support from the outside world, coupled with the ability to encounter winter-like weather in the middle of summer, to have unreliable equipment is a serious risk. My Hilleberg tents are essential for keeping me and my supplies protected from the elements. I own and use the Akto and the Nallo 3 GT. The Akto is my choice for the shorter backpack trips where every ounce of weight counts. On the extended backcountry trips, I depend on the Nallo to keep me and my gear safe.”