Backpacks

With proper care, quality outdoor gear is built to last through years, even decades, of hard use and abuse. And yet all it takes is one neglectful or absent-minded moment to cause substantial damage to your equipment. Here are some of the most common fails and their accompanying fixes. MOLD AND MILDEW In the rush…

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Whether you’re hiking, climbing, biking, skiing, or just living in the modern world, you need a way to carry your supplies for the day. The concept is simple, and yet day packs come in multitudinous forms, with bewildering arrays of features to match. Here are the most important elements to consider. BIG DECISIONS Most day packs feature roughly 1,200 to 2,400 cubic inches of volume (or between 20 and…

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Some day-pack features are worth the money; others less so. Here’s what to look for and what to skip: Side straps are useful for lashing gear to the outside of your pack or for compressing an underfilled pack. Bungee systems also let you attach gear to your pack’s exterior, but these tend to be less secure and lose their stretch…

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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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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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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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Your backpack is one of the most important items of gear you own. A quality ultralight pack will not only eliminate several pounds from your back, it will also ensure a comfortable ride for many miles and days. As we rapidly march into hiking season in the Northeast, here are three ultralight backpacks worth considering…

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