Someone asked me recently if ultra light gear has gotten too light; too weak to hold up to the rigors of outdoor adventures. While there will always be some problems with manufacturing, ultra light gear requires extra care to avoid shredding it. Zippers can’t be forced, pads can’t be thrown down on rocks, and backpacks need to be fitted and ... Read More »
Someone asked me recently if ultra light gear has gotten too light; too weak to hold up to the rigor...
Arc’teryx Gamma MX Softshell Jacket The ‘best of both worlds’ beauty of the softsh...
At Backcountry Essentials, we’ve expanded into alpine skiing with more services and boot-fitti...
Yin or Yang: When choosing a sleeping bag you’ve got two choices – down or synthetic. Do...
When it comes to selecting backpacking gear, your tent is obviously a prime consideration. You want ...
Arc’teryx Gamma MX Softshell Jacket The ‘best of both worlds’ beauty of the softshell concept is simple – yet complicated. The idea is that softshell garments shed water, snow and wind and yet offer the comfort of stretchability and a ‘soft hand’. The Arc’teryx Gamma MX lives up to this promise with style and the kind of bomb-proof construction that ... Read More »
At Backcountry Essentials, we’ve expanded into alpine skiing with more services and boot-fitting. Now in addition to carrying the best of backcountry ski boots, we also carry boots for inbounds skiing that will provide the performance and comfort you’re looking for. And we guarantee that fit when you buy boots and custom footbeds (come in to learn more)! Wherever ... Read More »
Yin or Yang: When choosing a sleeping bag you’ve got two choices – down or synthetic. Down is lighter, more compressible, more durable, and in my opinion, more comfortable; but it’s slow to dry if it gets saturated wet. Synthetic bags, by contrast, are heavier, bulkier, more fragile and lose their loft sooner than down; but when wet, they’ll dry ... Read More »
When it comes to selecting backpacking gear, your tent is obviously a prime consideration. You want lightweight – but you also want comfort and dependability. Here are three great options. The Black Diamond Mesa is the ideal two-person tent for the northwest mountaineer. This tent blends the pole structure of a four-season tent with the materials (mesh walls) of a ... Read More »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »