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Recommended clothing systems: Backpacking in the Mountain West

What clothing is necessary for backpacking in the Mountain West in 3-season conditions? Let’s discuss. I define the Mountain West as the semi-arid ranges of the Sierra Nevada, Intermountain West, and Rockies. Examples: Pacific Crest Trail in California and southern Oregon High Sierra, including the John Muir Trail and multiple high routes, e.g. Sierra High […]

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Video || Core 13 Backpacking Clothing: Streamline & simplify your systems

Two years ago I posted a series on Core 13 Clothing, and many have found it useful as a framework for assembling their clothing systems for 3-season backpacking trips. It helps in: Preparing properly for the conditions, Eliminating redundancies within your kit, and Minimizing costs by maximizing the versatility of each clothing item. I can’t […]

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The Hoka One One Speedgoat 2, developed with superstar Karl Meltzler, is classic Hoka: it's lightweight and generously cushioned, and offers a smooth ride. For its height, it's remarkably stable.

Review: Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 || Light, plush, grippy & surprisingly stable

On my first three outings with the second-generation Hoka One One Speedgoat 2, I took it out for 13-, 11-, and 25-mile trail runs with nearly 10,000 vertical feet in cumulative climbing. That’s rare for a shoe with which I had no prior history — normally, I start off slowly, with short and low-risk runs […]

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A close-up of the 5.5-oz Ultimate Direction Deluge Jacket, which features 20d waterproof/NON-breathable fabric  and taped seams.

Preview: Ultimate Direction Deluge || Waterproof/NON-breathable jacket & pants

The Ultimate Direction Deluge Jacket and Deluge Pants — which will be released in Spring 2018 — are awesomely light, at 5.5 oz and 2.3 oz for men’s Large. But I’m more excited about the fabric. No, they’re not made of the latest-and-greatest membrane that is more waterproof and more breathable than anything the world […]

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The Ultimate Direction FK Poles: fixed-length carbon fiber shafts with extended foam grips and replaceable carbide tips.

Preview: Ultimate Direction FK Poles || 4-oz fixed-length carbon

All things being equal, fixed-length trekking poles will be lighter, stronger, and less expensive than telescoping or foldable models like the Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Poles or Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles. Yet there is currently only one off-the-shelf fixed-length pole that is suitable for backpacking: the Black Diamond Vapor Carbon 1 Pole. […]

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The Nitro (right) and Cloud (right), SD's new premium mummy bags

Preview: Sierra Designs 2018 sleeping bags || Highlight: “Zipperless mummy”

The Sierra Designs 2018 sleeping bag program includes four distinct models, each with several temperature rating options and in a male and female version: an updated Backcountry Bed and Zissou mummy, and an entirely new Nitro and Cloud, which are an ultralight mummy and “zipperless mummy,” respectively. The Backcountry Bed and Nitro will be available […]

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The third-generation Pocket Cleat from Vargo, which will be available this fall.

Preview: Vargo Pocket Cleats v3 || Sub-3 oz traction for early-season backpacking

The third-generation Pocket Cleats from Vargo have undergone significant revisions since v2, which was tweaked from v1. They will be available in October or November in stainless steel ($40, 2.9 oz) and titanium ($60, 2.1 oz), each in just one size that will fit most running shoes, hiking shoes, and hiking boots. Problems with v1 and […]

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