July/August 2011

Have you noticed that your camera sometimes takes pictures that are overexposed and overbright, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of bright sky? Or that the pictures are underexposed and inappropriately dark? There’s a simple way to address this problem: exposure compensation. Every digital camera, even the simplest point-and-shoot will give you the option…

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Got a camera? Want to take better pictures? Then read on. This is part 1 of a series that will discuss several simple things you can do to improve your photos. Understanding White Balance Consider this. If you take the color white and put it in a precarious situation, say on a tightrope over the…

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The outdoor industry has done a good job stressing the importance of water treatment in the backcountry, primarily to eliminate giardia—a nasty intestinal parasite—from your drinking sources. But the evidence is mixed, at best, as to how real the risk actually is. The most comprehensive study I was able to locate comes from the International…

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Here’s part 2 of the latest and greatest gear from the recent Outdoor Retailer convention in Salt Lake City, culled from a variety of online blogs and other sources. Watch for these new products in late 2011 and 2012. Gerber Steady Multi-Tool Shutterbugs no longer need to carry a separate tripod on backcountry excursions. The…

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The outdoor gear universe gathers twice a year in Salt Lake City for Outdoor Retailer, where manufacturers showcase all the latest and greatest in the world of gear. Over the next two posts, I’ll highlight some of the most interesting items, culled from a variety of online blogs and other sources. Watch for these new…

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There’s no doubt that boiling water makes it safe to drink—the high temperature kills all the aquatic baddies that might otherwise make you sick in the backcountry. But how long do you really need to boil water before its safe? Over the years I’ve heard any number of recommendations, from 5 minutes, to 1 minute,…

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Looking for a recreational kayak for two? No, wait, for one? Used to be that you had to buy two separate boats to have both. Now you can have it all with a single modular kayak from Point 65, a Swedish company that has recently begun offering its wares through L.L. Bean and other U.S….

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Interested in a stove that weighs less than 3 ounces, burns in blissful silence, features no complicated moving parts, and uses a low-cost and widely available fuel? Plus is inexpensive, durable, and ultra-simple to use? Meet the alcohol stove, a featherweight cooker that can instantly shave a pound or more off your packweight. Its unique…

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Before you head to the high peaks of the White Mountains, check out the current conditions with the help of these live web cams. Mount Washington and the PresidentialsThe Mount Washington Observatory (MWO) operates several excellent webcams that cover all sides of the Presidentials, including views from Bretton Woods, Wildcat Mountain, Attitash Ski Area, and…

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If you love espresso and want a piping hot shot of delicious caffeine at your next campsite, check out the Presso Espresso Maker. This elegantly designed piece of machinery requires no electricity, just boiling water and a little muscle power. Simply add espresso grounds to the basket, pour water in the top, pull up the…

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