Backpacks

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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This holiday season, give a gift to your loved ones and your local economy at the same time. Dozens of outdoor gear companies, large and small, call the Northeast home. Many of them manufacture at least some of their products in the region, while others produce their entire collections locally. If you’ve got an outdoor…

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Four years ago, two innovative gear pioneers created a backpack unlike any other. It is without doubt the most mesmerizing and creative backpack I have ever seen. But is it the Whipsnake 37 Trillion for you? No other pack in the world is as intimidating as the Whipsnake 37 Trillion. Consider these key questions: Do…

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I’ve used an extensive array of outdoor gear over 20 years of hiking, camping, and backpacking. Here are my top five most used, most abused, most durable, and most loved items. Please share yours! Mountain Hardwear Subzero Parka I purchased this ultra-warm, super-sized down parka a decade ago—and still revel in its delicious warmth every…

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There’s ultralight backpacking, and then there’s hyperlight. It’s possible for all your backpacking gear to weigh less than 10 pounds (excluding food, water, and the clothes you’re wearing) but accomplishing it requires some notable sacrifices and expense. Here’s what it takes to experience the lightest, rightest, fastest backpacking experience of your life. Shelter: 0 to…

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Chafing on the hips is a common problem, especially with heavier loads and for hikers whose hips have little or no curvature to support a waist belt.  To minimize potential pressure points, wear pants or shorts with a smooth waistband.  For extra padding and waistbelt support, tie a fleece jacket evenly around your waist.  To help…

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When it comes to choosing a multiday backpack, forget about pockets, zippers, ventilation, access panels, materials, color, and any other number of design elements. Focus instead on the single most important feature: a good fit. Figuring out how to fit a backpack isn’t difficult, yet it may be one of the most crucial gear skills…

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Getting your kids to carry a pack while hiking teaches them important skills, like thinking about what’s essential gear. And toddlers who carry their own snack or water bottle take great pride in their growing self-sufficiency. But how much weight should children carry in their packs? Medical experts say a child’s backpack should weigh no more…

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