Winter Gear

  Winter hiking is ideal for those who crave the peaceful, restorative qualities of being outdoors. The crowds of tourists that flock to popular trailheads in the summer and fall—along with the occasional swarms of black flies and mosquitos—tend to vanish with the last of the foliage. Add to that a blanket of pristine, white…

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Hiking in the winter demands more. More preparedness and more planning. More outdoor experience and ability, and—perhaps most easily overlooked—more time. The cold months require better decision-making and a more cautious mindset. The same trail you hiked in summer six months ago is a different world now. Just as a wind chill intensifies the cold,…

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  Sarah Goodnow says she was lucky the first time she saw a natural avalanche. Lucky, as in she and others around her were in a safe place, allowing them to witness the phenomenon without fear.“It was after a snowstorm and there wasn’t much wind,” she recalls. “I could see Hillman’s Highway (a ski route…

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According to an old Norwegian proverb, “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Winter throws its fair share of bad weather at those of us who like to get outside year-round. But, with the right clothing, you can safely and comfortably head outdoors in the cold and snow. Knowing the meaning…

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  The need to get outside and break free from our homebound life is acute this winter. If you’re living in a snow-bound world or plan to drive to one, a pair of snowshoes can open up new doors of exercise, adventure, and escape. It’s a booming pastime—early numbers are showing a dramatic increase in…

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  The COVID-19 pandemic, for all the turmoil it has caused, has also sparked a burst of interest in outdoor recreation for many people who had not taken to it before. Restrictions on activities such as eating at restaurants, working out at gyms, visiting museums, and shopping in malls have pushed many to step outdoors…

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‘Tis the season to strap on giant snow-stomping footwear and take on the wintry backcountry. If you’re buying a new pair—or upgrading or adding to your existing collection—here are two excellent snowshoes from MSR to consider. (If you’re new to snowshoeing, it can be useful to first brush up on the basics, including snowshoe terminology…

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Introduced in 2016, Vibram’s Arctic Grip technology is designed to provide extra traction and grip on slick, wet ice, making it a top contender for winter footwear this year. Integrated into the rubber sole underfoot, it does indeed work, as I detailed two winters ago in my product review of the Merrell Overlook 6 Ice+…

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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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Aerogel is a nearly weightless super-insulator, used by NASA in satellites and other space technology. A commercial version, Primaloft Gold Aerogel, first hit the outdoor gear market in 2017 as a synthetic and ultra-warm insulation. L.L.Bean had exclusive rights to use it during its first year of release, notably in the company’s Packaway Jacket ($169,…

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