Gadgets

After nearly a year of planning and training, the big day is almost here: In a few weeks, two friends and I will wake up early and make our way to the Appalachia trailhead for the beginning of our attempt at the Presidential Traverse. The Presidential Traverse (or Presi) is a roughly 20-mile journey that…

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Having the means and ability to make an emergency fire is an essential survival skill. It requires two key items: something that generates a spark or flame, and tinder to catch the spark or flame and start your fire. For the latter, I have long recommended Vaseline-coated cotton balls (though a variety of other pre-made…

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We’ve finally moved past the swelter of summer and into the glorious days of autumn. That means crisp days, cool nights, and brain-popping foliage all around. It also means darkness comes earlier with each passing day. As you head outdoors on your next autumnal adventure, keep these two tips for safe fall hikes top of…

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When picking out a headlamp that works for your outdoor needs, we recommended four key factors to consider: its primary use (trail or camp), brightness, beam distance, and battery life. But wait — there’s more! Here are some additional specifications—in rough priority order—to consider when choosing a headlamp.  Comfort. Wide elastic headbands are more comfortable and secure than…

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Clocking in at less than 1 ounce, the e+LITE has been the ultralight standard for years and a solid weigh-nothing emergency option that you can keep in your pack at all times. Last year Petzl upgraded the model with a noticeably brighter LED bulb—50 lumens, up from 26—which makes it a viable around-camp option, as…

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A light is one of the 10 essentials—those crucial pieces of gear you should carry on any hike. This is particularly true in the fall, when daylight fades earlier, and the odds of finding yourself outside after twilight increase.  When it comes to choosing a light, it’s hard to beat a headlamp for convenient, hands-free illumination that…

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Fat bikers roll with much lower air pressure in their tires than mountain bike or road riders. In loose snow or sand, cyclists typically aim for tire readings of less than 10 pounds per square inch (psi). But many tire gauges fail to accurately measure pressure at such a low range. Instead, you’ll want a specialized instrument, such as the Accu-Gage Low Pressure Bicycle…

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I like to think of myself as a minimalist. I hate carrying extra stuff when I’m running, whether in my hand or on my back. I still wear shirts, tights, and jackets that I’ve had for 15 years, and I’m one of those snobs who scoffs at wearing headphones on a run. But that doesn’t…

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Just inside the door to AMC’s trails workshop in Pinkham Notch, N.H., there’s a battered wood tool bench with a faded logo spray-painted on its side: a pair of double-bit axes forming a cross. Actual axes and ax heads cover the bench’s surface. Many are rusted and missing handles; others feature jagged shards of wood…

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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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