Buyers' Guides

How many cats or bacon slices can you fit in a pack?

REI just released this infographic on "How to Choose & Use a Backpack." In a brief layout, it covers a fair amount of introductory info for the beginning pack buyer/carrier in an easy-to-read format.

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Winter Traction: An Introduction to Snowshoes and Crampons

The biggest difference between three-season and winter hiking is the walking surface. Snow and ice require traction aids such as snowshoes, microspikes, or crampons. Here's an overview of the options.

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See and Be Seen with Reflective Technology

Reflective technology can improve visibility, convenience and safety as days get shorter.

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Guide to Lightweight Backpacking

Is your backpack so heavy that you need help lifting it off the ground? If so, perhaps it's time to learn about lightweight backpacking and how to reduce the weight of your pack to a more comfortable 10 to 15 percent of your body weight ยป

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Guide to Canoes and Paddles

Whether you're buying your first recreational or touring canoe or adding to your quiver of whitewater boats, there are numerous factors to consider in selecting the right craft. What type, shape, and materials? How long? And what about a paddle?

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Lightweight Backpacking: Stove Systems

Consider the pros and cons of different lightweight backpacking stoves and how to think about stoves and cooking from the perspective of a lightweight backpacker.

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Choosing Your Canoe: Shapes and Curves

Tumblehome, flare, and rocker. Flat, round, vee, shallow arch. A canoe's shape and curves directly affect its stability, speed, and tracking. Understand the basic design principles to understand what canoe(s) will perform best for you and the waters you paddle.

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Choosing a Paddle: Selecting Your Personal Propeller

You need something to make your canoe go. Choosing a paddle is a bit like a black art. Science is a good beginning, but feel makes the final determination.

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Gear Explained: Parts of a Canoe Paddle

To help you differentiate your grip from your tip, here are the basic parts of a canoe paddle.

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Lightweight Backpacking: Backpack Makeover

Consider a backpack that weighs between 1 and 3 pounds and can carry 20 to 30 pounds of gear. Learn how to size one, how to choose a pack made with durable fabrics, and how backpack suspensions work.

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Choosing a Canoe: How Long?

What length canoe to get? Depends on how and where you'll use it.

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Gear Explained: Parts of a Canoe

Don't know your keel from your yoke? Even a seemingly simple canoe can have a confusing number of parts, features, and terms. Here are the basic parts of a typical canoe, from bow to stern:

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Lightweight Backpacking: Sleeping Bag Makeover

Lightening your load? Learn how to choose a sleeping bag under three pounds. Evaluate different sleeping bag and quilt designs, insulation, temperature ratings, sizing, and more.

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Lightweight Backpacking: Shelter Makeover

Learn how to reduce the weight of your current tent and what to look for in a new tent if you decide to replace yours, in this second piece from our introduction to lightweight backpacking. Also, consider some alternative ultralight shelters.

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An Introduction to Lightweight Backpacking

Is your backpack so heavy that you need help lifting it off the ground? Do you let out a cougar scream when you finally get it onto your back? If so, perhaps it's time to learn about lightweight backpacking and how to reduce the weight of your pack to a more comfortable 10 to 15 percent of your body weight.

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