I've been frustrated for years with "waterproof" jackets. The waterproofing invariably wears off after a year or so, especially if the jacket is worn in the sun. (I know, I shouldn't do that, but I'm a city guy who likes to wear one jacket all day - when it's raining and when it's not.) Hasn't some manufacturer solved the problem of "disappearing" waterproofing? Jack New York, NY

I'm starting to outfit for a trip to climb Denali via the West Buttress next year. My Julbo Nomad glacier glasses that I've used for years still work, but they've never fit well and always give me a headache. Additionally, since I wear prescription glasses, I would like to have a pair made with my script included. For five years, I've had great results with my Rudy Project cycling glasses that with photocromatic lenses. Reading your review of the Zyon Sailing glasses (noticing the removable side shields), I'm curious if I could have one eyeglass to replace them all? Would the Zyon photocromatic lens be dark enough for mountaineering? Or is a special hi-altitude lens required? I really don't want to have two pairs of custom prescription glasses made, especially if one is only going to be used during mountaineering. Joseph Washington, DC

For last ten years I've engaged in yearly two-week backpacking trips in Canadian Rockies with hiking buddy. We carry in all of our food and gear for 10 to 12 days and then emerge, and I'm looking to replace I my six-year-old Arc'Teyrx Bora 95 litre pack, which blew out under one of its lateral tension rods this year, two years after I replaced the harness. –Ed Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

I recently picked up a Masi Speciale Commuter and love it for short rides, but after reading this month's issue, I've decided that I will try to give up my car for a month. This means a commute of around 30 miles. Since I'm going to be going to work and to campus, I'd like something that looks casual. Any suggestions? Charles Arlington, TX

I've been kayaking for a few months and have been looking for a neoprene bootie that lets my feet breathe. I've tried wearing my Keens and they are definitely way too big, and the Neoprene Booties I've purchased make my feet sweat way too much. I would love something that provides protection against the sharp gravel, lets my feet breath, and will still fit comfortably in my kayak. I've heard about these so called "grip socks," but I don't know much about them or their quality. Any suggestions? John Scottsdale, AZ

While there's plenty of snow here in Australia, the temperatures typically don't get as low as they do North America or Europe. Give me the low-down on some great cross-country ski pants that aren't insulated so I won't burn up. – Tom Canberra, Australia

I just dropped a bunch of bucks outfitting a used road bike I traded my mountain bike for. Rack, fenders, computer, lights, new helmet, bags. Whew! Now I need to know what to wear for my 18-mile commute in Seattle. I have a light rain jacket and padded bike shorts to get me started, but I want to buy a jacket, bike shorts, underwear (yikes, they’re $20 a pop), some kind of wool knickers for pants, and a couple of undershirts. Is that the right stuff? Lukas Seattle, WA

Is there a heart rate monitor watch that doesn't look like a HR monitor/watch. I am in the market for a new everyday watch and HR monitor and was wondering if I could kill two birds? –Craig (Pittsburgh, PA)

Give me your best mountaineering kit on a teacher's salary! I'm looking to tackle the serious domestic peaks. –Jay (Alexandria, VA)

I'm doing the Tough Mudder in November and was wondering what shoes to wear? -Ben (Albany, NY)

What should be in an emergency survival kit you take while hiking or canoeing? -John (Edmonton, Alberta)

I know it's early but I have a ski question. I've snowboarded since I was seven but I started skiing last year. What would be the best ski/boot/binding combo for skiing the resort in Jackson and doing some backcountry stuff too. Skyler Dubois, WY

What is a good hiking boot for a seven-day Grand Canyon rafting/hiking trip in September? We'll (my wife and I) be rafting four to six hours each day with time for side hikes, and then will be hiking out of the canyon on the last day (about 7.5 miles) carrying about 20-30 pound packs. We both already have Chacos so we're covered on the river sandal front. -Chris Springfield, IL

I am looking for polarized sunglasses that are highly rated and are not expensive. Any ideas? -Jack Carmel, CA

I am looking for a good backpack for my camera gear (Nikon D300, 2 lenses, etc), but also carry my hiking gear on day trips. I have a Gregory Z30 as a daypack, but that is not easy for carrying my camera gear. I also tried some camera backpacks...but those don't have enough space and technical capabilities to support a long day hike. Any suggestions would be very helpful. -Dave Vienna, VA

I love going to Burning Man but the environment just destroys all my point-and-shoot cameras. Dust gets in there and after a few days the pictures start getting blurry and a few days after that the moving parts stop moving. The reason I have sacrificed these point-and-shoot cameras is because the best shots are at night, turning on the flash just lights up the dust in the air and not the environment, and I like keeping the camera in a pocket so if I'm running around its not flying all over the place. Do you know of an indestructible camera that takes awesome night shots, if not a moderately priced sacrificial camera that takes great night shots where fire and glow sticks are the main source of light? -Daniel Long Beach, CA

Is it safe to use one of those Brita pitchers to filter river and lake water while camping? -Eric Oakland, CA

Can you recommend any method to protect zippers from salt water corrosion? We camp three to four times a year on the beach and I have noticed that the zippers are beginning to show signs of deterioration. Can I do anything to help preserve the zippers? -Alex San Juan, Puerto Rico

What's the best overall food to carry on a thru-hike on the Colorado Trail while striving to be ultralight?

I'm building an emergency kit into a small fanny pack for day hikes in Colorado. I don't have space for cookware so I was wondering if there's a titanium water bottle that could be used to boil water over a campfire if necessary. – Jerry Colorado Springs, CO

I'm looking to go all out on a really good hard shell to last me a long time. I'm thinking about the Arc'teryx Alpha SV. I want something that can handle every condition possible, but wonder if this jacket really only for the worst of the worst weather and any other time it'll be too much. Should I be looking at the Theta AR instead? I'm in Ireland, so no extreme weather really. Any other suggestions welcome. -Cillian Louth, Ireland

I want to enter the Chicago Urbanathlon, but I don't know what type of shoe I should wear. Ideas? -Eric Evergreen Park, IL

What is the best clothing for hiking/bushwacking in the jungles of Thailand in August? Nylon/Gore Tex vs. cotton, shorts vs pants? Is it too hot for raingear? Also, what do you recommend for a sleeping bag? I already have bug netting. Is a 40 degree bag still to warm? Would a fleece sleeping bag liner suffice? I'll be sleeping in a tent. –Erik Shandaken, NY

I'm moving from a sit-on-top to a sit-in kayak, and am looking for something I can use in summer in cold-water Maine. The Perception Carolina 12 is at the top of my wish list. But my budget says that if I go for a Pelican Pursuit 120 DXL I can buy it now. I can't get a good idea of how the Pursuit would do in close-to-shore ocean paddling, and no dealer near me has one I can try. Should I just hold out for the Carolina? –Nan Medford, NJ

I am planning to climb Kilimanjaro in December this year. What will be the best sleeping bag and boots tor this trip? –Florin Guelph, Ontario

I was just reading about pepper spray repelling a mountain lion...what about using one of those very loud boating/marine fog horns? These horns are quite small but can be very loud.

Years ago I wrote in and you recommended a Gregory Forester pack for my separated shoulder. It has served me well. I have lost too much weight for the large belt to keep the pack on my hips and getting a new belt has been difficult. I am headed to Philmont and am looking at the Gregory Baltoro 70, Osprey Aether 70, Deuter Act lite 60 +10, and the REI Flash 65. Could I go wrong with the REI Flash? Very light on the back and wallet. Mike Spory, VA

I just returned from Mt. Rainier where we experienced rainy, cold weather (not unexpected). I noticed my Marmot Couloir sleeping bag felt dp around the feet in the morning. Is there anything I can do to prevent this in the future?

I'm a 57-year-old female cyclist who likes long day rides and touring. I have always enjoyed a quick, responsive bike, but I'm now experiencing arthritis and neck pain with the current, fairly extreme, bike configurations. I guess I need a new bike. What type should I buy?

A nail recently tore a one-inch hole in my nice new Pearl Izumi Ultrasensor bib shorts. The tear is just to the right of center; not on a se. Are these things repairable?

How can I prevent my tent from warping in all the worst places, shrinking at some points and stretching elsewhere? This leads to sagging in the rain. I never pack them wet and never let them dry in the sun. And thanks for all the advice; I have been a reader for the past ten years.

I live near the ocean, and every part on my bike that isn't aluminum or titanium is rusting. Is there something that could help save my bike?

I’ve done a small amount of mountaineering and have been trained on how to use an ice axe. But now I’m getting more into the sport and would like to buy my own equipment. How do I pick out an ice axe?

I want to make a tent by myself. Any advice on where to buy ten feet of gray or blue polyester taffeta fabric that will suit my needs?

After pulling my large backpack out of storage in my attic, I was dismayed to find that it stinks to high heaven. Are there some big guns that I can pull out to deodorize it without daging the pack?

Do you have a solution for sweat getting in your eyes while hiking? I have tried wearing a visor but I like to get sun on my face. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

What's the best way to train for getting in and out of clipless bike pedals? New to the road bike, I'm also living in a chaotic city and terrified of falls. Thanks a million!

I wear sunglasses for mountain biking, both for sun protection and shielding my eyes from flying branches and stuff, even during night riding. The climate here in the Bay Area has my glasses fogging up most of the time. I've tried the Smith No-Fog cloth and Cat Crap, with no real success. Do you have any suggestions to prevent this problem?

I'm in the market for a summer hiking shoe. I've previously bought and returned pairs that felt comfortable in the store but not on a long hike. How will I know if a pair fits correctly?

Last month I purchased an older Climb Light rainjacket from The North Face, but the fabric "wets-out" as soon as rain or snow hits the surface. I treated it with Nikwax TX-Direct wash-in solution, but to no avail. It's not the first time I've had such a problem with a TNF jacket, either. What can I do?

Every time I wake up in my new Marmot Swallow tent the condensation is so bad that my sleeping bag and clothes get wet, so much so that I'm considering taking the tent back and exchanging it for a Mountain Hardwear Skyview or MSR Fusion. I have searched the Internet and read many positive reviews about the Swallow, so is this just a common problem in three- to four-season tents, or did I just get the one defective tent in the batch?

So, the winter snow will soon be upon us. As a snowboarder, my feet always seem to get extremely cold. I wear SmartWool socks, and I sometimes need to wear two pairs of socks (though not necessarily both SmartWool). Do you think my feet are just overly sensitive to the cold, or is there something else out there to keep my tootsies cozy?

During a week's hiking around the High Sierra Cps of Yosemite, my backpack began to reek! Even though I washed myself and my clothes regularly, my husband, who is normally a very sweet man, insisted I hike behind him so as not to be asphyxiated. How, oh how do I get the stench out of my backpack straps?

What's the best way to clean my hands in the wilderness prior to handling contact lenses? My waterless hand sanitizer warns against eye contact and I don't want to use stream water.

I'm a big guy (six feet five, 270 pounds) who's interested in buying a hybrid bike for some urban biking and trail riding (nothing too extreme or competitive). So I need a bike that fits but doesn't cost a fortune. Also, can you explain mountain- and hybrid-bike sizing conventions, especially as there doesn't seem to be a standard way of measuring hybrid bikes?

While preparing for a recent overnight backpacking trip in the Adirondacks, I was surprised at the weight of my loaded pack. Despite having modern "lightweight" gear such as a Western Mountaineering down sleeping bag and the Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight CD, my pack probably weighed 50 pounds. The pack itself, an Arc'Teryx Bora 80, is somewhat heavy, but I needed its size to fit all my gear, including a bear food canister. Do you have any advice for reducing the weight of my pack for an overnight trip?

Do you have any tips, or can you recommend any sources of information, on how to remove tree sap from the outside of a Goretex XCR shell? Thanks!

I just returned from Mount Rainier with a rope I had bought specifically for this trip but with the intention of using it for rock climbing. I hate to think of the number of times I saw it go under foot. None of my ropemates put a crampon into it, but I sure don't see myself taking a lead fall with it now, especially 100 feet up. But what about glacier travel? Certainly the guides on Rainier leading newbie mountaineers don't replace their ropes after every trip. Is there anything I can do to physically check the condition of my rope and feel comfortable using it for glacier travel? I truly hate to toss a rope after one trip.