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Winter Hiking

How to Size Snowshoes

MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes

The size of snowshoe you need depends on your body weight, the weight of your gear, snow type, and whether you snowshoe on broken-out trails or travel cross-country, on fresh powder. But if you are about to buy a new pair of snowshoes, don’t take manufacturer’s size recommendations as gospel. …

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Freestanding Tents vs Floorless Pyramids: Winter Bakeoff

DuoMid in Snow - Crawford Notch, White Mountains - 2011

Black Diamond FirstLight Tent and a very stealthy MLD cuben fiber Duomid Sub-pound, floor-less pyramids are very lightweight, but free-standing tents pitch in minutes. Which is the right choice for winter backpacking and mountaineering, when pack weight and space are at a premium? Pitching a floorless pyramid on snow takes …

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How to Attach an Ice Axe to a Backpack

Ice axe shaft is lashed to a Talon Buckle using elastic cord and a cord lock

This is a serious issue, because I see a lot of people do this improperly, opening themselves to a potentially serious injury. ??To remedy that, I’m going to demonstrate how you should do this safely, in a way that prevents the axe pick from puncturing your hip if (when) you …

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Boiling Water for Winter Hiking

Fill Up Your Winter Water Bottles at the Convenience Store

I used to get up extra early on the days when we’d drive to the mountains for winter hiking, so I could boil water for my water bottles. Since we’d meet in downtown Boston at 5 AM, this meant getting up at 4 AM to get ready. Those days are …

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