Climbing

Winter poses an annual dilemma for many outdoor adventurers in the winter months: Do I need some form of traction gear? And if so, what kind? Whether you run, hike, snowshoe, ice climb, or simply want to make it home safely on a slippery sidewalk, a little extra grip can go a long way. And…

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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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Dress in layers. It’s a mantra repeated ad nauseam whenever the temperature plunges. In general, it’s good advice. But it’s also easy to take it too far and cause yourself more sweat and irritation than fun. Here are two key recommendations to keep your layering under control. Three Long-sleeve Layers, Max First, don’t try and put on…

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Climbing, descending, or traversing snow-covered slopes requires an ice ax that’s not just sturdy, but lightweight. But with so many ice axes on the market, it can be difficult to choosing one that fits your winter expedition needs. Here’s a rundown of some of your best options. Black Diamond Raven Pro If you’re looking for…

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Here’s the scenario: You’re on an outdoor adventure that at some point requires a climb, traverse, or descent of a steep, snowy slope. A slip or fall could send you sliding dangerously downhill. It’s the type of terrain where an ice ax would be the optimal piece of gear to provide a firm point of…

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Aerogel is amazing stuff. Made almost entirely of air encapsulated in an ultra-light silica matrix, aerogel is the lowest-density solid material that exists. In fact, one kind of silica aerogel weighed, at its creation, just three times more than air and could be made lighter than air by extracting the air from its pores. Aerogel also…

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  Picture your most beloved piece of gear, the loyal companion that has accompanied you on your greatest adventures. Now imagine that, no matter the wear and tear, your pack or bivy doesn’t have to end up in a landfill. Instead, it could be stitched up and repaired, accompanying you or someone else on future exploits. …

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If you’re a regular REI shopper, you’re almost certainly familiar with the company’s regular “garage sales.” At these one-day events, individual stores clear out—for cheap—all of the returned gear that has accumulated since the previous garage sale. They’re hugely popular, with dozens of people typically lining up before the doors open. So it’s no surprise that REI has now…

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