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Gear for the Adventurous Photographer, Tasty Treats and More

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Vasque Erikkson GTX Boots Uh-oh… The new boots from Vasque arrived the day before we were heading out on our gear testing trip, a three-day backpack in the North Cascades. No time for break-in. As it turned out, no need. The brand new Vasque Erikkson GTX boots set the bar for comfort. Combining rigidity to support long hikes over rough ... Read More »

Cascadia Gear: Crampons, A Bear Can and Sweet Boots

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Heading out into the untrammeled wild? Make sure that your gear is solid. Great boots, dependable crampons and a bear-proof food storage solution. You’re good to go!   La Sportiva Omega GTX Hiking Boots The sweet spot for me when it comes to hiking boots is the place where ruggedness and light weight meet. The Omega GTX from La Sportiva ... Read More »

Which Headlamp? It Depends.

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LED technology has done wonders for outdoor lighting and here are a few tips to help you choose the right light. For doing camp tasks, reading a book in your tent, or walking down a trail, an inexpensive two-bulb LED light (about 20-30 lumens) should be sufficient. Some examples are the Black Diamond Gizmo and Petzl Tikkina2. If you are ... Read More »

End of Winter Gear for Adventurous Souls

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Winter is winding down fast but of course here in the northern mountains there are still lots of opportunities for cold weather travel. Here’s a round-up of some choice gear options to make your late-winter travels warm and wonderful. Mountain Hardwear Tangent 2 Four-Season Tent Mountain Hardwear’s brand new four-season tent, the Tangent 2 trumps even the company’s venerable Trango ... Read More »

Get a Grip with Ski Crampons

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The question is not so much “if” ski crampons, but which crampons. Whenever possible I’ll drop my boot crampons in favor of my lighter ski crampons. Within ski crampons, basically, there are two types: those that fix directly to the ski and are static (for example, Voile Universal ski crampons), or those that pivot as the binding and boot make ... Read More »

Backpacking Gear for Discerning Adventurers

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  MSR Hubba Hubba tent In my view, the perfect 3-season two-person tent is light, roomy, and has two doors. Oh, and two vestibules. And is quick and easy to set up. The MSR Hubba-Hubba has made this dream a reality. It weighs in at 4 lbs., 4 oz. and, as the name suggests, features an ingenious hubbed pole system ... Read More »

Cascadia Gear: Essentials for your Next Adventure

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A Pleasing Contradiction The ThermaRest ® brand has long been synonymous with backpacking sleeping pads. They have continually refined and perfected the art of building lightweight, tough, and cushy pads, and those of us who appreciate a good night’s rest after an arduous day on the trail are grateful to them. But they’re never satisfied. This quest for constant innovation ... Read More »

A Daypack and Sleeping Pad for the Cost-Conscious Hiker

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Sierra Designs Garnet 20 Daypack The Sierra Designs Garnet 20 Daypack is a 19-liter panel-loader that is easy to like. Our tester got to know the pack on a series of hikes on the island of Maui’i and she sang its praises. The Garnet 20 has a molded HDPE frame sheet, a balance between load-carrying comfort and relatively light weight. ... Read More »

Anything Worth Doing: A New Adventure Classic

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By John D’Onofrio A disclaimer right up front: I love adventure stories. Just devour them. From Endurance to Touching the Void, I’m a sucker for pulse-quickening, what-the-hell-happens-next tales about those rare modern (or not so modern) heroes that push the envelope in the pursuit of some magnificent obsession. Stories of derring do. People who put practical considerations aside to pursue ... Read More »

Backcountry Essentials: The Season’s Best New Skis

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  by Chris Gerston, owner, Backcountry Essentials, Bellingham, WA.   My perspective: I am 165 lbs., 5’5” on a good day, and ski tele, mostly in what some would say is my one and only forward gear – as fast as I can.  About mid-season on deep powder days, when I’ve finally gotten my 41 year old legs back into ... Read More »