Equipped

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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The following simple items can help rescuers find you in the event of a backcountry emergency. A whistle. Shouts for help can only be heard a few hundred yards away, at best. The piercing sound of a loud whistle carries more than a mile away. What’s more, you can blow a whistle in regular bursts…

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The worst has happened. You are severely injured. Or profoundly lost. Or dangerously exposed to the elements. You cannot get out of the backcountry on your own. And now you are going to die. Your only hope is that help comes and finds you. Fortunately, you have a personal locator beacon, or PLB. You activate it,…

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Most people have never even heard of qiviut, the astonishingly warm undercoat of the musk ox. It’s so warm, in fact, that it successfully insulates these Arctic creatures from the howling winds and sub-zero temperatures that descend upon the Far North each winter. And if you’ve got some (serious) money to spend, it’s remarkable properties can…

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Temperatures are set to plummet later this week in the Northeast, with lows in the single digits or even below zero across much of the region. All that bitter air doesn’t mean that you have to stay inside—it just means that you need to dress appropriately to stay comfortable (and safe) in winter’s icy embrace….

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Nearly 20 years. That’s how long I’ve had the Power Stretch top that I still routinely wear on cold-weather bike commutes. In my experience, there is simply no other fabric that performs as well, as warmly, or as durably for my base layer needs. As the name implies, Power Stretch fabric features a distinctive four-way stretch, which…

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We are entering the season of slippery sidewalks and treacherous trails. As ice slicks our favorite stomping grounds, it’s time to prepare with the grip you need to stay upright and face plant-free all season long. Sure, you could strap on any number of ice-grabbing, metal-toothed winter traction devices or even a pair of shoes with embedded metal studs in…

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I bought it as a joke. And then last week the skies ripped open. Right when I needed to ride home. Rivers of water rushed down the bike lane. Darkness surrounded me. Traffic sprayed me. I rode, upstream, through flooded bike lanes and treacherously wet and low-visibility conditions. But I was wearing my freshly purchased…

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What happens when you fuse a bicycle and pair of skis into a single contraption? You get a ski bike (sometimes called a snow bike), an unusual hybrid approach for hitting the downhill slopes. The idea is simple. Instead of putting wheels on a bike frame, you attach a pair of skis. For additional control,…

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Aerogel is made almost entirely of air encapsulated in an ultra-light silica matrix and is the lowest-density solid material that exists. This man-made substance also has superb insulating abilities and has been used extensively by NASA in spacesuits, space shuttles, satellites, and other applications. Aerogel’s ultralight, ultra-warm qualities would seem to make it an ideal…

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