Climbing

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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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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  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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You can strap a lot of different gear to your feet for winter adventure. But do you really need to? There are obvious benefits to avoiding the hassle and weight of equipment like snowshoes, gaiters, and crampons—so here’s my advice for evaluating whether you need them in the first place. For this exercise, I’m going to…

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Deep snow, cold temperatures, and slick conditions are upon us throughout much of the Northeast. If you’re headed outside for winter adventure, that means it’s time to strap some extra gear to your feet. I’ve written extensively over the past few winters about the myriad options available for winter traction, from the latest no-slip winter boots to…

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The climbing rope my husband, Pete, purchased in 1993 never saw a harness after 1998, but we still have several pieces of it around the house. It has kept kayaks fastened to car roofs, held drying laundry on camping trips, and even towed a stuck car. In the warm months, it is a makeshift tree…

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In the last month, I’ve gone on two big hikes in the Great Gulf Wilderness. I’ve had this objective in mind for a bit: to start at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, hike north into the Wilderness Area, west and south to climb onto the shoulder of Mount Washington, summit, and come down via the…

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