Equipped

Once your socks get soaking wet, your boots start churning up an unpleasant cocktail of squishy feet, cold toes, and mushy blisters. A good pair of gaiters helps protect you from this soggy fate by keeping snow, muck, and wet from getting into your boots in the first place. They can also save your feet…

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We live in 21st-century Gadgetopia. GPS units, digital cameras, iPods, cell phones, laptops— all light and portable enough to carry to off-the-grid locations. So why not bring the grid along as well? An array of lightweight, compact solar chargers are available that can recharge your electronics anywhere you hike or travel. Well, sort of. Eventually….

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Whitewater paddlers in the Northeast have to be slightly crazy (or is it seriously committed?) to pursue their passion to the fullest. Some of the best, most exciting conditions don’t occur during the warm days of summer. They tumble down in the frigid days of late winter and  early spring, when rain and snowmelt flood…

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It’s like a force field around your new rain jacket, an invisible defense system that repels water so vigorously it almost sizzles on contact. Unable to penetrate your armor, the droplets bead up, roll off, and leave you deliciously dry underneath. But time, use, and abuse wear down your jacket’s protection, until one day you…

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You may already own a boat, a hard-shell canoe or kayak that spends most of its time languishing in the backyard due (at least in part) to the hassle of getting it to the water in the first place. Or perhaps you’ve avoided buying that great albatross of outdoor gear, recognizing that a boat is…

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Winter camping is fun. In a frosted bug-free landscape devoid of crowds, you experience sparkling tranquility. Snow-draped woods, crystalline views, and glittering night skies await. But winter’s less friendly aspects lurk as well: heavy snowfall, blustery winds, and nose-nipping cold. To experience it comfortably, you’ll need a quality four-season tent to keep you safe and…

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Frigid fingers are unpleasant. Numb wooden hands are far worse, and potentially dangerous in the chilly backcountry. Prevent the fingertip blues this season and keep your dexterity, enjoyment, and digits intact with these handy tips. IF THE GLOVE FITS In a properly fitting glove, your fingers should almost, but not quite, touch the tips. The…

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You are stranded, injured and alone. Night is falling, conditions are deteriorating, and there is no way out until the next day. Or longer. Are you equipped to survive? Your chances will be vastly improved if you carry these essential items and know how to use them. STAY DRY AND WARM Hypothermia will kill you…

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Sure, headlamps make you look like some sort of cyclopean beambrain. But it’s a small price to pay for the convenience of hands-free lighting, whether in camp, on the trail, or in the depths of your gear closet. Headlamp design has made a quantum leap in recent years, incorporating bulbs and battery-sipping LEDs into an…

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For many of us, heading into the backcountry for a multi-day trip means that we’re carrying more than just a loaded backpack. The monkey of caffeine addiction rides along as well, and you’ve got to feed it or face the logy, headpounding consequences. And, hey, coffee tastes good anyway. So what’s the best way to…

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