Minimal Toe Shoes Banned by Army
Minimal toe shoes, like Vibram FiveFingers, have caught on among running and fitness buffs. But if you're in the Army, forget 'em. The funky toe shoes are now banned for official Army training, because they "detract from a professional military image."
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.
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.
CamelBak lets you hydrate just like an astronaut
CamelBak bite valves can be found on everything from hydration packs to water bottles for toddlers to NASA spacesuits.
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.
Choosing a Canoe: How Long?
What length canoe to get? Depends on how and where you'll use it.
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:
FDA Issues New Rules for Sunscreen Labels
It took more than 30 years, but this month the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally announced changes to confusing sunscreen labels and claims.
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.
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.
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.
Avoid Ticks On and Off the Trail
Avoid ticks and prevent tick bites while hiking. Search for ticks on your body after being outside, especially in wooded and grassy areas. Read the CDC's advice on avoiding ticks and preventing tick bites.
Celebrate outdoors with Clif Climber pouch wine
Fancy a drink to pair with your favorite energy bars on the trail? Husband and wife Clif Bar co-owners Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford have produced such...
How to Run or Hike Barefoot on the Trail
Interested in trail running or hiking barefoot or with minimal footwear? Consider the following information to determine how to start safely, where to go, and whether to go truly barefoot or minimally shod.
Choosing Your Canoe: Materials
From natural birch bark to modern composites, a wide range of materials are used to build canoes today. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and no one material does it all well.
Video: Building a Wood and Canvas Canoe
Today we published the first in a series of articles by Erich Volkstorf on canoes and paddling. Erich's initial piece explains the various materials —...
How to Cross Streams and Rivers
Though steam and river crossings deserve special consideration in spring, crossing moving water is not only inconvenient, but also potentially hazardous, year-round. Here are some basic tips for getting across moving water when hiking and backpacking.
CAMP Carabiners and Quickdraws Recalled
CAMP USA has announced a voluntary recall of its Photon carabiners and Photon and Mach Express quickdraws. The recalled products were sold nationwide from February 2011 through March 2011.
Video: Deploying an airbag in an avalanche
Avalanche airbags have become increasingly popular among backcountry skiers the past few years. When heli-skier Jeff Wyshynski was caught in an Alaskan...
Guide to Sleeping Bags
Down or synthetic? What temperature rating? Mummy or rectangular? Extra-long or women-specific? With the range of sleeping bag shapes, sizes, fills, and...
How Green is My Pack? Eco Index to assess outdoor gear and apparel
Survey your outdoor gear: your base layers, fleece, go-to backpack. What’s it all made of? Where did it come from? The Eco Index will assess your outdoor gear, apparel, and footwear's overall environmental impact, eventually.
Sleeping Bag Construction: Baffles, Layers, and Shingles
Baffled by baffles? Confused by shingles and layers? Here's your guide to the various construction techniques that keep down and synthetic insulation in the right places, and you warm in your sleeping bag.
SPOT Satellite Communicator Recalled
Spot has issued a recall on the SPOT Satellite Communicator, which is bundled and sold exclusively with the DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w. Intended messages may not be transmitted when the SPOT Satellite Communicator is used at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Gear Explained: Synthetic Insulation
To pick the right insulation — synthetic or down — for your backcountry adventures, you need to understand what each insulation is, its properties, and its pros and cons. Start with our synthetic insulation primer.
Gear Explained: Down Insulation
To pick the right insulation — down or synthetic — for your backcountry adventures, you need to understand what each insulation is, its properties, and its pros and cons. Start with our down insulation primer.
Yet another hard shell: Pactiv enters outdoor market
Pactiv, a leader in the consumer and food service industries, is entering the outdoor market. The company’s new flagship line of super affordable, ultralight, waterproof shells are aimed at budget backpackers, families and leaders of large youth groups, and anyone with a disdain for outdoor logos, fashion, or decent fit.
Time for Spring Gear Cleaning
Despite the snowpack you may see on the ground, spring is officially here. Whether you've been using your gear hard all winter or it's been sitting in...
New Barefoot and Minimalist Trail Footwear
Barefoot and minimal footwear is growing in popularity, including among the outdoor set. Whether you’re interested in going all in (barefoot) or want to ease into the idea (minimalist or lightweight), here are the latest trail offerings for 2011.
Gear Explained: Sleeping Bag Shapes, Sizes, Fits
Mummy, rectangular, and semi-rectangular, specialty bags, liners, and covers. Choosing a sleeping bag requires understanding the different shapes, sizes, and versions available.
Good Outdoor Books for Children
Outdoor kids books can be doubly rewarding: You share time reading, learn about the natural world, and help inspire kids to get outdoors and connect with nature. In honor of Read Across America Day March 2, here are some favorite outdoorsy children's books.
Gear Explained: Parts of a Sleeping Bag
Even a seemingly simple piece of gear like a sleeping bag can have a confusing number of features, parts, and terms. Here are the basic parts of a typical mummy bag.
Petzl warns of counterfeit climbing products
In February Petzl discovered identical-looking counterfeit Personal Protective Equipment with the Petzl logo. The four counterfeit products found — a carabiner, pulley, and two ascenders — do not meet Petzl's safety requirements and are potentially dangerous.
Mountain Hardwear's Dry.Q enters waterproof-breathable battle
Mountain Hardwear developed its Dry.Q technology with some help from the folks at GE, owners of eVent. The waterproof-breathable outerwear debuted at Outdoor Retailer, along with a host of competitors.
Outdoor Retailer: Interesting Hydration
In addition to the numerous water bottles and bladders on display, a few other interesting hydration options stood out at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.
Outdoor Retailer: Seen at the Show
Because with 900 exhibitors at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, we're bound to see things that make us stop and take a second look.
Outdoor Retailer: Fashion Worthy meets Outdoor Styling
There's plenty of technical outdoor apparel that's also stylish and can do double duty from trail to town. That's not what this photo blog is about though. It's a peek at a few of the outdoor-inspired fashionable duds I saw, and occasionally fondled, at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in January. These pieces are for when you just want to look and feel outdoorsy.
Outdoor Retailer: Hardgood Gear Highlights
Outdoor Retailer abounds with enough models, styles, and price points of outdoor gear to equip every flavor of outdoors guy or gal. Here are a few more highlights from January's show.
Outdoor Retailer: Fun lights, all about the blink
Whether they were lights to decorate your hammock, a battery-powered lantern that flickers when you "blow" it out, or a light reminiscent of a light saber, there were a number of interesting lights at Outdoor Retailer.
Outdoor Retailer: Illuminating Lanterns and Hybrid Lights
Things have come a long way since a hissing old gasoline lantern illuminated your camp. Multifunctional and hybrid lighting was popular at Outdoor Retailer with products from Joby, Snow Peak, and Mammut combining area lighting with focused linear lighting in one product.
Outdoor Retailer: Dean Cummings launches H20 ski line
Big mountain skier, extreme ski champion, and H2O Guides founder Dean Cummings has launched a line of big mountain, backcountry skis. We spoke with Cummings at Outdoor Retailer and he showed us the line.
Outdoor Retailer: Flashlights from Fenix
Flashlight manufacturer Fenix had some of the most powerful lights at Outdoor Retailer, plus a multifunctional camp light that weighs less than two ounces.
Outdoor Retailer: Headlamp Highlights
It may be the dark days of winter, but there's no shortage of illuminating products to light your way on the trail, the road, or in camp. Here are a few highlights from the headlamp category shown at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market last week.
Outdoor Retailer: Avalanche Airbags Expand
Only a few years ago avalanche airbags were unavailable in the United States, and until now it’s been a limited market. But in 2011, the options available to backcountry skiers, riders, and others venturing into avalanche terrain will expand.
Outdoor Retailer: Clothing highlights from head to toe
Judging by the quantity and variety of technical apparel shown at Outdoor Retailer last week, no outdoorsperson should complain that he or she can't find something appropriate to wear for their favorite backcountry activity. Here are a few clothing highlights, from head to toe, culled from the masses of wool, down, softshell, and other fabrics on display.
Outdoor Retailer: Soto's Muka atomizing liquid fuel stove
Trailspace gets a first look at the Japanese stove manufacturer Soto's Muka (Japanese for "atomize") liquid fuel stove. The unique Muka stove atomizes fuel rather than evaporating it.
Outdoor Retailer: Gore-Tex Active Shell promises waterproof fabric with high breathability
Gore-Tex promises the most breathable waterproof membrane yet with its new Active Shell fabric. Arc'teryx, Mammut, and Adidas are on board to offer fast and light alpine jackets with Active Shell for fall 2011.
Outdoor Retailer: How to use a snow density gauge
Donny Roth — a professional ski guide, ambassador for Brooks-Range Mountaineering, and Trailspace member — explained how to use a snow density gauge for avalanche assessment.
Outdoor Retailer: First Polartec NeoShell Jackets
They may be the most breathable waterproof jackets in the world. Get a first look at the original Polartec NeoShell soft shells for fall 2011 from Marmot, Rab, and Westcomb.