34. Room 99
There's nothing particularly remarkable about the Alta Peruvian Lodge's Room 99. It's a dorm room with six double bunks, a shower down the hall, the air foggy with the funk of 60 years' worth of wet ski boots. There are assuredly nicer places to stay in Alta, Utah—hell, even on the same hallway—although you'd be hard-pressed to find a cheaper one. But if you love skiing, I mean really love it, you must stay in Room 99 once in your life. There's the low-wattage thrill of slumming it in the crappiest room at Alta's scruffiest lodge (a yellow-pine palace whose employee housing is known as the Slave Ship), but it's more than that. When you walk into Room 99 after a day of hucking mineshaft drops into talcum drifts of the Greatest Snow on Earth to find 40-year-old investment bankers sitting in long underwear around a 12-pack of Bud and a bottle of Jameson, you understand that Room 99 is a time machine, spinning you back to an era, not so long ago, when you could still shrink the world down until you had no cares except the pure feeling of cold snow under your skis, the startling sound of your own laughter in the trees, and the taste of cold beer afterwards. A place like that is a treasure, no matter how bad it smells. From $107 a night, all meals included; altaperuvian.com
It's where your weatherman goes every morning.
No, not for sleeping under (bugs, breezes) or covering your stuff (sags, leaks). For glory! For example: Take two canoes, use a paddle as a mast, and make a catamaran. Figure it out. If you send a wake rolling toward those gawking Boy Scouts, you're doing it right.
AWOL bag. Cut from full-grain cowhide, modeled after the ones servicemen carried in WWII, and just big enough for a weekend's worth of stuff. $200; duluthtrading.com
30. Lifetime Guarantees
Especially from companies that still take time to repair worn-out gear, like Chaco: Send them your blown-out sandals and they'll fix the buckles or straps—often at no charge and always fast. For complete repair info, see Chaco's warranty policy.