Equipped

There’s a general truism when it comes to ultralight tents. As manufacturers shave down the ounces, they often shave inches off the tent’s length. Which is fine if you’re less than 6 feet tall. But if you’re tall like me (6 feet 5 inches), there’s nothing fine about having your head and/or feet pushing directly against…

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Part of an ongoing series on Northeast-based gear companies. I’ve long been attracted to the ultralight offerings of Mountain Laurel Designs, especially their diverse line of pyramid tents and packs. Even better, the company is based in AMC’s region, in Roanoke, Va., where they produce all of their gear. If you’re shopping for ultralight equipment—and want to…

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I went backpacking in New Hampshire’s Sandwich Range Wilderness over Memorial Day weekend. Together with my two young boys (ages 5 and 7), we camped for two nights in the backcountry, climbed 3,500-foot Mount Chocorua, and reveled in the lush woods of summer. The trip marked the third of our two-night backpacking trips to date, following…

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When it comes to backcountry camping, I’m often a base camp kind of guy. I like to hike in to a great campsite, set up for two nights or more, and then spend the intervening days day-hiking to nearby destinations. It’s a method I’ve embraced all the more now that I’ve started backpacking with my…

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Got trees? In the wooded backcountry of the Northeast, the appeal of hammock camping is obvious—you can pitch a comfortable, sleep-worthy hammock in far more places than a tent. But hammock camping has its challenges as well, from learning to pitch one appropriately (and with minimal impact) to protecting yourself from rain and weather. For me personally, one of the…

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There’s a new entry in the world of ultralight backpacks, and it’s right here in the Northeast (Coplay, Pa., to be exact). Appalachian Ultralight is a new one-man gear shop that just opened for commercial sales earlier this year. Its specialty? Small- to mid-sized (30- to 45-liter) ultralight backpacks, including a 6.25-ounce, 30-liter marvel of…

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Tent footprints are cut to precisely match a tent’s floor dimensions. When placed underneath the tent, they provide protection from abrasion, moisture, and general wear-and-tear and are generally recommended when a few extra ounces aren’t a big deal. (It’s a different story when you are counting ounces, however. More on this below.) Nearly every gear…

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You can spend a lot of money to get the latest, greatest, ultralight-est backpacking tents out there. You don’t have to. A range of solid, sturdy, and affordable tents are available that will provide you with reliable shelter for years to come. Less Is More. Here’s the thing: You need to be willing to carry…

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This could be one of the most significant innovations in backpack design in decades. Kuiu, a manufacturer of ultralight hunting gear, has developed a featherweight backpack frame that can handle stupendous loads without deforming. It’s an innovation that way well ripple into the hiking and backpacking world as manufacturers seek to upgrade ultralight packs to…

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Let’s face it: Outdoor equipment can be ridiculously expensive. Outfitting yourself from scratch for a backpacking trip can run you hundreds—even thousands—of dollars, especially if you invest in high-end gear. And if you’re gearing up an entire family? Ouch. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. You can get away…

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