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Stay warm when it’s wet: How to protect down insulation from moisture

When shopping for a sleeping bag, insulated jacket, or insulated pants, you will have a choice of insulations: Down, which is a commodity product measured by fill power, e.g. 800-fill; or, Synthetic, which is normally made of interwoven plastic fibers and which may be marketed as Primaloft, Climashield, or a proprietary version like TNF Thermoball. […]

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The liner adds warmth and buffers the hand from moisture, but its durability is questionable. Notice the extensive pulling after just a few weeks of use.

Review: Showa 282 Gloves || Preferred cold & wet solution, but imperfect

When hiking or running in cold and wet conditions, keeping my hands comfortable has been a chronic challenge. On multiple occasions I’ve pulled into a campsite, trailhead, aid station, or my house with inoperable and painful fingers. To minimize (or perhaps even, to end) this suffering, this summer I looked beyond conventional rain mitts like the REI […]

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Cowboy camping in Tablelands in September, using the 20-degree Nitro 800 mummy bag from Sierra Designs

Review: Sierra Designs Nitro 800 mummy || Great price, ordinary design

The Sierra Designs spring 2018 line-up has two themes: (1) back to basics, and (2) better pricing. Innovation is not entirely lacking, evidenced by the “zipperless mummy” Cloud series (my review) and the High Side Tent (my review), but the “better and different” mantra was no longer a requirement of new products. Review: Sierra Designs […]

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The uppers are made of breathable mesh and TPU reinforcements. This has proven to be a winning construction for Salomon running shoes.

Review: Salomon Odyssey Pro || Hiking shoe with strong running pedigree

The Salomon Odyssey Pro was introduced to me at Outdoor Retailer as “a thru-hiking shoe with running shoe design cues.” That sounded interesting and right up my alley, so I asked for a review pair to test while leading trips this summer in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. Our routes were […]

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The porch-able awning greatly improves ventilation (and therefore condensation resistance) and increases usable space. The side entry is much more convenient for entry and exit.

Review: Sierra Designs High Side Tent || Light & packable, but small

The most interesting new shelter from Sierra Designs in its spring 2018 lineup is the High Side. I previewed it in my summer Outdoor Retailer coverage, and recently used it on two 5-day/4-night backpacking trips in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra-Nevada. Testing conditions were varied. We camped in forest, at treeline, and in […]

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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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