The Best Outdoor Gear Blogs - Appalachian Mountain Club

The Best Outdoor Gear Blogs

October 17, 2016

Over the past eight years I’ve written somewhere around 600 blog posts for Equipped. By now you’d think it would be hard to find new topics to write about each week. Surprisingly, it’s not.

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While ideas continue to arrive from a variety of sources—personal experience, friends and family, gear catalogs and magazines, and more—I also keep tabs on a handful of particularly well-written and in-depth outdoor gear blogs. Here are the top three I follow and recommend.

THE BEST…

SectionHiker

I particularly like this one for its focus on the Northeast. A one-man blog produced by Philip Werner, it has tons of useful insights and extensive first-hand gear reviews, with a focus on how equipment stacks up to the rigors of Northeast hiking (especially the White Mountains).

Trip reports are another bonus for New England hikers. I recommend signing up for the weekly emails, which deliver on their stated promise of being “frequent enough to entertain, but not annoy.”

GearJunkie

This is the site I visit to stay on top of the latest, greatest, and sometimes craziest emerging trends in outdoor gear and activities.

It’s become a slicker, more commercial enterprise over the years but does a good job of covering the outdoor industry and flagging (and writing about) new gear before it hits the market. Tons of content, with fresh material added daily.

OutdoorGearLab

When it comes to side-by-side comparisons of outdoor gear, no site does it better. Every category of gear features extensive and in-depth rankings and results, with the added bonus of designated Top Picks, Best Buys, and Editors’ Choice for the top-ranking items in each category.

Gear changes all the time, of course, so some of the content can become dated as products evolve but overall this site is a fabulous resource.

…AND THE WORST

Backpacker magazine—the actual physical, hold-it-in-your hands paper product—remains an excellent, useful, and inspiring read. It’s one of the few physical magazine subscriptions I still have. Their web site, however, is a bloated, browser-crashing, and all-but-impossible to use mess. Don’t go there. I regret it every time I do.

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.