Backpacker – Editor's Note – May, 2013

If you could save a life by hiking 3 miles up an aspen-cloaked peak in the Colorado Rockies, would you set aside a weekend to do it? If rock stars joined you on the trail, and then played an exclusive concert at the 11,570-foot summit, would you sign up? Would it sweeten the deal if the hike concluded with another performance and an epic party? And if you could win a $500 gear package and a private hike guided by my staff, would you meet me in Vail on June 15?

Some 12 million people in the U.S. are battling or recovering from cancer. Chances are you know one. And though hiking can’t cure the disease, it can help victims beat it. Here’s how: Love Hope Strength, a cancer charity, focuses on saving lives by making existing technology (like early screening) widely available, and growing international bone marrow databases through highly successful donor drives (with almost 500 lifesaving matches to date). And the nonprofit has devised a fundraising formula that music-loving hikers can’t resist: trekking with rock stars. Read our story about the group’s 2009 concert atop Mt. Kilimanjaro at