Rain Gear

With time and use, those factory-applied durable water repellent coatings on your outdoor equipment slowly wear off. But did you know you can use an after-market treatment at home to help restore your gear’s water resistance, without restoring the PFCs? Several options are available, but only Nikwax produces its entire line without PFCs and has…

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The outdoor gear industry has used PFC-based coatings for decades, but only in recent years have the associated risks brought increased scrutiny. Most notably, in 2012 Greenpeace launched its Toxic Threads campaign, which tested gear from a range of manufacturers for PFCs and then called out companies with the chemicals in their products. In response…

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Ever wonder about the magic substance that causes water to bead up and roll off your rain jacket? In most cases, that water resistance comes from a toxic and long-lived class of chemicals known as perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs. Now a growing backlash is driving gear manufacturers to look for safer, more eco-friendly alternatives. Here’s…

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Trick question. They’re the same thing. Last year, Dyneema acquired the Cubic Tech Corporation, the primary manufacturer of cuben fiber, and rebranded the material as Dyneema Composite Fabrics. So if you’re interested in shelling out for the very lightest weight fabric currently being used for outdoor gear—and have been confused by this name change on gear specs…

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With proper care, quality outdoor gear is built to last through years, even decades, of hard use and abuse. And yet all it takes is one neglectful or absent-minded moment to cause substantial damage to your equipment. Here are some of the most common fails and their accompanying fixes. MOLD AND MILDEW In the rush…

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Hiking and backpacking in the Northeast means that, sooner or later, you’re going to get rained on. So how do you stay dry in the rain? To help keep you a bit less wet than you might otherwise get, here are some simple tips and tricks, organized by type of gear. Rain jacket Look for wrist cuffs…

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Regardless of the length of your trip, from a three-hour hike to a three-day or three-week expedition, all hikers should carry the 10 essentials—a list developed by the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department, the public agency responsible for the majority of search and rescue operations in New Hampshire. In this outdoor skills video, AMC…

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I bought it as a joke. And then last week the skies ripped open. Right when I needed to ride home. Rivers of water rushed down the bike lane. Darkness surrounded me. Traffic sprayed me. I rode, upstream, through flooded bike lanes and treacherously wet and low-visibility conditions. But I was wearing my freshly purchased…

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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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Waterproof-breathable materials like Gore-Tex sound great in theory. But the marketing hype obscures the damp realities of it all, especially the inevitable loss of a jacket’s durable water repellency, or DWR. DWR is the chemical treatment applied to a fabric that causes water to bead up and roll off. It is essential for maintaining a…

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