Packlist

  With Americans leery of taking public transit and in need of a way to stay active with gyms closed, many have turned to bicycles as a mode of transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Google searches for “new bike” nearly doubled between May 2019 and May 2020, and bike shops and online retailers all over…

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  Think about hiking footwear as a spectrum. On one end are low-cut and lightweight trail running shoes, which feature stiffer soles, grippier tread, and a tighter fit than their road-running shoe cousins. On the other end are heavy-duty, trail stomping hiking boots that feature a high ankle collar, tough and durable materials, and a…

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Badger—based in Gilsum, N.H.—produces a range of mineral sunscreens formulated with pharmaceutical-grade zinc oxide, like the Badger Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream ($16.99, 2.9 ounce bottle). In addition to being environmentally friendly, Badger products do not contain parabens, sulfates, or other synthetic chemicals that have been linked to potentially negative health effects…

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Protecting your skin from the sun is a no-brainer when it comes to the outdoors. The easiest method, sunscreen, is a top health tip for any activity, but new research connecting coral reef deterioration and water pollution to elevated levels of chemicals commonly found in sunscreens is presenting a challenge for consumers. But what exactly…

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Bears aren’t the only threat to your food in the backcountry. Mice, squirrels, and other small critters are also known to ransack camper food supplies, especially in and around trail shelters. To protect your food, you can hang it on one of the ubiquitous “mouse mobiles” that hang in shelters (typically a threaded can on…

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They’re out there in the Northeast: black bears. Lots of them, including in popular outdoor destinations like the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where an uptick of bear activity has led to multiple campground closures and posted trail warnings over the past few years. Thing is, it’s not the bears that are the problem—it’s the…

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Hanging your food is a classic bearproofing technique, though it can be difficult to do correctly. Food must be suspended at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet from the trunk or nearest weight-bearing branch. To accomplish this, you’ll need 50 to 100 feet of cord and two stuff sacks for your food….

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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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