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My waterproof telemark ski boots were overwhelmed by the melting snowpack and open creek crossings in the Alaska Range in April. Cold and macerated feet ensued. Photo by Michael C Brown.

In what conditions will I hike in “waterproof” footwear?

For extended wear in 3-season conditions, I strongly discourage the use of “waterproof” footwear. When it’s dry, they trap excessive heat and perspiration. When it’s wet, the waterproofing will eventually fail. And after getting wet, the shoes will dry very slowly. For a more in-depth analysis of waterproof footwear performance, read this post. The paragraph […]

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Shrunk to 40 liters, using the adjustable gusset

Reviews & commentary: Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor 40-60 Pack

As third-party reviews and commentary about the Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor 40-60 Pack gets posted, I’ll be compiling them here. Gear Junkie First Look: Expanding ‘Flex Capacitor’ Backpack From Sierra Designs Overall, [the Flex Capacitor] is a sweet-carrying, versatile backpack. [It] stands out thanks to a clever expanding design that lets it carry between 40 and 60 […]

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Our camp in the North Fork of Bull Lake Creek, above a glacial outwash plain

Northern Crux || Trip Report: Wind River High Route, Loop 8

By Rud Platt, Krishna Dayanidhi, and Nathan Roseberry We met in Alaska in 2013 on a guided trip with Andrew and Alan Dixon, and have gone on several backpacking excursions in the lower 48 since then. This year we opted for Loop 8 of the Wind River High Route, reportedly one of the hardest and most spectacular section hikes. That proved to be […]

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Tie-off to a horn-like growth on a cottonwood tree

How-to video || My guyline system for tents, tarps, and hammocks

The guyline and tensioning systems normally found on backpacking shelters (including tents, tarps, and hammocks) share two flaws: Insufficient cordage is provided. This limits stake-out locations, which is especially problematic in rocky or hard-packed ground. Natural anchors like trees, downed logs, exposed roots, and large rocks cannot be used, nor can deadman anchors in the winter. These anchors […]

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After getting wet, my waterproof shoes dried extraordinarily slowly. After 24 hours of dry conditions, the exterior fabric was only partially dry. Meanwhile, moisture was unable to escape from inside my shoe.

Complete failure: I gave “waterproof” Gore-Tex shoes a second chance

My skepticism of waterproof-breathable fabrics (like Gore-Tex) and products that utilize them (like rain gear and “waterproof” footwear) is no secret. For a history, read: Why I’m hard on Gore-Tex, the King of Hype Breathability: an explanation of its importance, mechanisms, and limitations Core 13 Clothing: Rain Jacket & Rain Pants Occasionally, however, it’s healthy […]

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Pre-race meeting in the South Park Community Church

Notes for next time: Pacing, training, course beta + more || Silverheels 100

“Notes for next time” has become a regular feature on this site, following major hikes and races. Its usefulness to readers is unclear to me, but I plan to keep it up anyway — I reference them often enough prior to future big hikes and races to make the effort worthwhile. Let’s get started. Links […]

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