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Archive | Backpacking

A black bear in Bubbs Creek, Sequoia-Kings National Park

Tutorial || How to store & protect food from bears & mini-bears

You’ve set up camp for the night and cooked dinner. Now what should be done with the Snickers, salami, peanut noodle dinners, and the other calories that will sustain you for the remainder of your backpacking trip? Protect from what? Most backpackers seem to protect their food overnight because they’re worried about bears. In places […]

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The Suunto 9 Baro is accurate and fully featured, and has a long-lasting battery.

Long-term review: Suunto 9 Baro || Legit flagship watch, needs firmware fix

For five months I’ve been using the Suunto 9 Baro GPS Sport Watch on a near daily basis, mostly while trail and road running, and occasionally backpacking. With few exceptions, it has supplanted my trusted Suunto Ambit3 Peak (long-term review). It’s the nicest Suunto watch that I’ve used yet, but has one significant blemish that […]

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The author at the last trail junction before Milner Pass, the northern terminus of the Pfiffner Traverse, with trusted inReach Explorer+ at the ready.

Long-term review: Garmin inReach Explorer+ || Sat comm + GPS unit 2-in-1

For different trips, I often wear and carry different gear. But some items are so vital that they end up on every trip — and my Garmin inReach Explorer+ is one of them. Since its release in early-2017, I have used my inReach Explorer+ on many trips around the globe, including on the southern Appalachian Trail, […]

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The FluxRing is one of several features that help make Jetboils fast and efficient.

How to choose: Jetboil backpacking stoves || Zip v. Flash v. -Mo v. Joule

Yesterday I attended a Jetboil press event in Boulder. It was an opportunity to examine the product line and to speak with Jetboil reps in a less time-crunched setting than Outdoor Retailer. Stove system overview To simplify decision-making for its dealers and customers, Jetboil seems to have worked hard to keep its product line tight. It […]

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The Lyngen Down 850 Parka, with 850-fill down and 10d face fabric. It weighs 12 oz (M's Large) and retails for $419.

Brand intro: Norrøna || Premium & technical, ubiquitous in Norway

Outdoor Retailer is an opportunity to learn about brands I’ve never heard and brands about which I know little. So when I was invited into the Norrøna booth, I said yes. Norrøna is a 90 year-old Norwegian company that is still owned and managed by the original family. The intended application, materials and construction quality, and […]

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The upper looks like other Sense shoes: mesh with TPU overlays, elasticized tongue, and Quick Lace.

Preview: Salomon X Alpine Pro || For scrambly runs, maybe high routes

When running and racing on trails, I normally wear Salomon Sense or Salomon Ultra shoes. But for hiking and backpacking, I currently have to look elsewhere. For two years my go-to has been the La Sportiva Bushido (my review; and my preview of the Bushido II), which is perfectly suited for high routes: they’re securely fitting, durable, […]

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The Altra Tusher will be released in July 2019. It is a conventional hiking boot but with Altra's famed zero drop and wide foot-shaped last.

Preview: Altra Tusher || Hiking boot with zero drop & foot shape

My coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2018 starts with Altra, which has developed a cult-like following among hikers and runners for its zero drop shoes, wide lasts, and gender-specific fits. Altra revealed three new shoes at the show: the Tusher, Grafton, and Wahweap. They will be available in July 2019. Availability is uncertain at this […]

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The SPOX X has rudiumentary navigation capabilities. It has a digital compass, and can create and go-to waypoints.

Review: SPOT X Satellite Messenger || I’ll keep my inReach, thanks

Exactly one week after Garmin announced the inReach Mini in May, SPOT released its first new device in five years and its first device with two-way satellite messaging. The SPOT X retails for $250, weighs 6.7 oz, and features a 2.7-inch dot matrix illuminated screen and physical QWERTY keyboard. It looks like an orange Blackberry with an over-sized antenna. […]

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