Packlist

Aerogel is a nearly weightless super-insulator, used by NASA in satellites and other space technology. A commercial version, Primaloft Gold Aerogel, first hit the outdoor gear market in 2017 as a synthetic and ultra-warm insulation. L.L.Bean had exclusive rights to use it during its first year of release, notably in the company’s Packaway Jacket ($169,…

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Properly layering your clothing is essential to staying warm and comfortable in the cold. A simple mnemonic device can help you remember the basics of dressing for winter activities outdoors. W is for Wicking. First you’ll want a (non-cotton!) next-to-skin base layer that is both warm and effective at moving body-chilling moisture (a.k.a. your sweat)…

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Down is a miracle material, one of the few natural fibers that science and the outdoor industry have yet to fully replicate in synthetic form. That doesn’t mean companies aren’t trying to evolve and slowly improve synthetic down options, including the releases of several new breakthroughs. As temperatures dip in the coldest season, here are…

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The Northeast abounds with ponds, rivers, and streams that beckon both aspiring and veteran fly-fishers alike. To get started, it’s important to know the four core components of a fly-fishing rig—rod, reel, line, and flies—and how they work together to match the conditions, and the fish, you expect to encounter. Rods Fly-fishing poles come in…

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Climbing shoes come in three different styles—neutral, moderate, and aggressive—and become progressively more arched, or “cambered,” to take on more difficult climbs. Beginners should opt for the flattest, most neutral style, which offers good all-around performance with a relaxed, wear-all-day fit. More advanced climbers will want arched shoes, which compress your toes and create more…

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Rock climbing can be an exhilarating adventure into the vertical realm. It can also be intimidating, given all of the gear and lingo that comes with it. Just as you’ll want to learn climbing skills from the ground up, it’s helpful to get acquainted with the basic equipment you’ll need. Most climbing gyms rent the…

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Climbing shoes are notorious for retaining hard-to-remove foot odor, especially since they’re usually worn without socks that could help soak up any sweaty stink. To neutralize smells, you’ll need a powerful counteragent. Enter Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil Odor Eliminator ($15; lumioutdoors.com) from Utah-based Lumi Outdoors. This shoe spray relies on natural, antimicrobial ingredients…

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‘Tis the mud season in the mountains of New England, a good time to review how to keep stuff—including mud and slop—out of your footwear when you’re hiking. A key way to do this is to wear ankle gaiters over your hiking footwear, which blocks mud, grit, and other debris from getting inside, because hiking around…

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If your boots have been languishing in the closet all winter, or you’ve been using them to stomp through the snowy season, it’s time to get them cleaned, conditioned, and ready to go. Here’s the three-step process I recommend. (And while this post is geared toward all-leather hiking boots rather than boots constructed from fabric…

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Ultralight backpacking quilts have been around for years. Now they are one of the leading items of gear used by Appalachian trail thru-hikers. One company in particular, Minnesota-based Enlightened Equipment, has become a go-to for ultralight hikers. What is a backpacking quilt? Backpacking quilts are essentially down blankets that have been modified to perform in…

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