I'm planning to hike the Long Range Traverse at Gros Morne National Park, which is a four- to five-day trek without trails. I have Arc'teryx Alpha SL pants, but I'm wondering if I should to bring gaiters, too.
Swi of gear, I finally bought my first road bike since I was a kid: a nice carbon-fiber Specialized that is kind to my back. What I need is some advice on a good set of wheels to replace the original Alex wheels. My budget is around $500. What do you think of Neuvation M28 Aeros or Ksyrium Elites? Ideally they would be available at Performance as I have some points to burn. Tim Mountain View, California
I planning a hike through the Narrows in Zion National Park, which involves wading up the Virgin River. What do you recommend to keep warm? Dry is obviously not possible. How about footwear? Connie New Haven, Connecticut
I do most of my backpacking when the bugs (mainly mosquitoes) are out. Last year, CNN said that there were two alternatives to deet, including lemon eucalyptus. But is there anything that comes close to deet's performance, without the plastic-destroying quality? Chuck Mount Morris, Michigan
I having trouble finding a skillet that is lightweight yet will not burn. I using a Primus canister stove and able to adjust the heat low enough. I use my equipment for bike touring, backpacking, and canoeing, so I looking for something that is both small and light. Brad Rantoul, Illinois
I'm thinking of buying the Koflach Arctis Expe for trekking and general mountaineering (some technical sections) in the Garhwal Himalayas. But I saw some comments about these being tough to wear when trekking for long distances. Is there another boot I could use for these mixed activities? John New York, New York
I like to backpack with my iPod when I alone in the wilderness. After setting cp it would be ideal to have speakers instead of headphones to enjoy my music. Are there any lightweight, portable speakers good for backpacking? David Vancouver, Washington
My son is a Boy Scout and had a very nice and somewhat expensive cold-weather sleeping bag from The North Face. He recently discovered a small tear in the nylon fabric. I am looking for advice about how to patch it. Can you give some advice to a Loyal Scout Mom?
I am looking for a lightweight camera for nature photography. I would like a good zoom so I can capture wildlife from a distance, and want to carry it on backpacking trips along with other gear. I recently graduated with a degree in media production, so I am still mostly just a beginner, but I am looking for something that I won't be disappointed in as the years pass.
I have an older tent, it's still in great condition... except it leaks. I was in a rainstorm and the whole tent leaked, not just the seams but the actual roof fabric. After the tent dried I sprayed sealer I found at the local department store and let it cure, but the next rain it did the same thing. Can you recommend a great spray sealer and seam sealer? Or am I wasting my time and need another tent? The tent is a large two-room tent with an enclosed screen area in the front and we love it, just want to try to save it.
I have a 2003 Cannondale Mountain Bike which I would love to convert into a "City Slicker" to ride around town on errands. It's got Ritchey rims, Shimano shifters, brakes, Crank, and front and rear derailleur. In addition, I have some old Continental fat slick tires on it, and a super-old Rock Shock fork. It weighs a ton. What's you best advice to put it on a "diet" to reduce some weight?
My wife and I are traveling to Nepal soon for a friend’s wedding. We are looking for luggage to travel with. My preference is an expedition duffel that I can easily carry on my back and my wife prefers something she can roll. We also both need a carry-on that can double as a bag to carry items in around town, including a Nikon D40 camera. We will be doing significant sightseeing in and around Pokhara, but nothing overnight. What are the best pieces to suit our needs for this trip? Roy Louisville, KY
I sweat a lot when I mountain bike, and when I wear sunglasses they usually fog up, or the lens gets covered in dripping sweat. I've tried to wear a headband, but that doesn't work. Do you have a recommendation for sunglasses with lenses that won't fog up or get covered with beads of sweat?Todd
I already own the Mountain Hardware Woman's Sub Zero SL Hooded Jacket and understand that this is not warm enough for Denali. Can I pair this with a lighter 800 fill down sweater to get the warmth that I need? Or must I buy another pricey parka? And on the boot front, my feet get cold. I would like a boot that will get me up Denali, toes intact, but that I can also wear on other climbs in the Lower 48 (and maybe someday in the Himalaya). Is this asking too much? I had a pair of Spantiks but their size made me feel clumsy...AbiSan Francisco, CA
Im searching for a great multi-purpose backpack for graduate school. I'd like to use it while biking to carry my laptop, books, and some dog accessories. In addition, I'd love to be able to throw a bladder in there along with some hiking gear. Any suggestions for me as to what route to go for a super sweet new pack?LizDenver, CO
I would like to find a pair of clipless cycling shoes that are suited for adventure cycling with conditions that demand you have to hike while carry the bike. I have some old Sidi shoes but they dont do the job when walking. Suggestions?TonyLima, Peru
I'm graduating from a Masters program in May, and planning, possibly, my last great summer get-away before becoming a hard-working stiff in September. My itinerary from mid-May through August includes a hiking/camping cross-country road trip to Sedona, two weeks of camping and hiking in Alaska, volunteering as a fly-fishing instructor in Alaska, and traveling in Asia for three weeks. If you were putting together a recommended gear list (particularly lightweight waterproof jacket, backpack, tent, and sleeping bag) from scratch where would you start?JosephPittsburgh, PA
In the last few years I have really taken to trail running long distances. My long runs can last over eight hours and are often big loops or out-and-backs in the mountains. Stream water is abundant on the trails in Cascades where I run but unsafe to drink untreated. When I hike or backpack I can take my water purifier. While trail running I try and travel light. It looks like some of the treatment tablets take up to four hours and are not effective against all the nasties in the water. What do recommend for water treatment?TomSeattle, WA
Wow, it's been nearly a decade I've been stopping in and asking you questions for my Army sponsored jaunts around the globe. It's Afghanistan this time and I need a stiff mountaineering boot that is still light and won't cook my feet to death in the 110 degree heat this summer. Our issue boots are getting better, but still aren't quite there for the really steep, rocky stuff. My average load is around 40 to 60 pounds with the body armor. Don't worry about colors or "military looking" stuff. Just let me know what will get the job done. BTW: The Suunto altimeter you turned me onto back in '02 is still going strong and hard at work over here. Nice job.LarryFirebase Vulcan, Afghanistan
I am trying to decide between a Gregory Whitney 95 or the Gregory Baltoro 70 for the best-all around pack for anything from weekend trips to taking on the Appalachian Trail, and hopefully further reaches of the planet. Just trying to decide if the Baltoro offers enough space for the AT or if stick with the Whitney.DavidOcala, FL
I tore a ligament in the ankle area last August and it still gives me a bit of grief at times, though a recent ultrasound showed nothing. I'm walking around the house wearing an ASO Ankle Brace but worry that I wont have enough flexibility in my ankle area to cross-country ski; do you have any thoughts here?MarilynToronto, Ontario
I live in Las Vegas and I spend a lot of time rock scrambling at Red Rock Canyon and I need a durable backpack. It seems that most packs are designed with weight over durability in mind. Unfortunately, Red Rock Canyon presents many "tight" spots which tend to damage these lighter-weight materials when they inevitably "drag" on the sandstone. Any suggestions?BrianLas Vegas, NV
I sea kayak in the cold Pacific waters of British Columbia. Being a warm-water boy from North Carolina, I'm always freezing out there. I have a dry suit but have never found the perfect combination of layers below the suit to keep me warm while doing rolls and rescues involving submersion. I've even tried wearing my wetsuit with Sugoi thermal shirts and still been frigid. What else can I try?JohnSalt Spring Island, BC
I am looking for a portable, bright lantern that would do admirable service for hut-to-hut ski trips or sea-kayaking excursions. Is there one available that runs on liquid fuel? This would permit a modicum of fuel economy as I am still using my SVEA 123 stove, and avoid using throw-away canisters (recyclable though they may be). My Coleman 222 lantern just heaved its last gasp on a recent winter trip to the Gaspe and, sadly, needs to be replaced.GeofferyToronto, Ontario
Im going on a three-day backpacking trip in the Catskills in upstate New York this summer and need a pair of pants for the trip. Something light and breathable, yet tough for abrasion resistance on scrambles. I would also like a bit of water resistance, and a quick dry time if they do get wet. Lastly, I would like something that can pack small if I decide to also carry a pair of shorts with me.SamWoodstock, NY
What's the best defense for when you are running alone and get chased by a couple of wild dogs? All I had was a twig and a snowball to defend myself! Dogs in Mongolia often have rabies and these two were very nasty (and hungry) looking.DaveMongolia
I recently went for a snowshoe hike in the Adirondack mountains and struggled to maintain a comfortable temperature. The day started out at -11 degrees F and as long as I stayed moving I was warm, but once I stopped I would freeze! How do I layer properly for variable weather so I don't roast when moving and freeze when stopped?AlvahGeneva, NY
What are your top choices for a commuter urban/city bike for NYC under $1,000? Also, the bike needs to handle long afternoon rides (50+ miles) through the city. I've looked at Cannondale, Swobo, Specialized, Marin, and others, need some help. Thanks!JosephAstoria, NY
Hey, I'm looking for your recommendation on high-quality lightweight tents. I lead extended backpacking trips (30 to 45 days) in Alaska during the summer (read: snow is likely, so both three- and four- season tents are options), and am hoping to find a good three- to four-person tent that can withstand strong winds, heavy rain, and is light enough to be carried by the group. Double wall is preferable. Any suggestions? I'd like to keep the price under $600 if possible.CaseyO'Malley, NY
I am looking for an all around boot/shoe to go hiking with in the mountains, usually distances of more than 20 miles. I like to hike without socks in the summer. I have had Merrells before but want to try something different now.BryceRaleigh, NC
I have a Bibler Ahwahnee, which is a brilliant tent, but I see new options for tents that are a kilo or more lighter. Having compared Black Diamonds HiLight and Nemo's Nano, they look sturdy and light. But how can I check for breathability to match my Bibler?IanJohannesburg, South Africa
I am an avid reader of your advice and I like the way you also explain technologies. So here's a question that involves both: I would like some shoes for day hikes of up to six hours. I already have some great boots (Meindl Burma) for multi-day trips or rugged day-hiking terrain. But I'd like something light for other occasions (but probably with some waterproofness as it rains a lot in New Zealand). The trouble is, I don't really know what I am looking for. Light hikers, trail runners, cross-terrain shoes...? Are these different names for essentially the same thing?KarenWellington, New Zealand
Im working in Southeast Alaska (Juneau) again for the summer as a deckhand on a whale-watching tour boat. The rain jackets they gave us last year werent all that great, and I want to bring something that offers a little more protection. I work 8 to 16 hours at a time, sometimes it's raining the whole time. I like being able to move, but weight isnt that big an issue. As a younger student I am also budget-conscious. What do you recommend?JosephAustin, TX
I travel a good deal, mostly to visit friends or on vacations. I've made it my goal to never check a bag, which of course dictates that I pack simply (and wash clothes often). It also demands the right bag for the job. What would you recommend?DavidDansville, NY
I've been searching for an elusive jacket for more than six months. My ideal selection would be a soft shell for fall/winter/early spring activities. The jacket would need a detachable/stowable hood, armpit zips, and two or more pockets for stowing gear.
I use snow-shoes for winter backpacking and I love it; but I think I could cover more ground and enjoy it more if I used skis. Can you recommend a cross-country ski binding that will accept my perfect fitting Asolo TPS 535 hiking boots? James Orem, UT
I need a soft-shell jacket with high breathability that I can also use for casual wear most of the time. I'm going to use it on spring and cool summer nights. Basically something I can wear with a T-shirt after hiking or rock climbing, something highly breathable and wind proof, but it doesnt need to keep me too warm. Should I wait until new models come out in spring or buy one now? Ugur Istanbul