Backpacks

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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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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