Gear Guy

Are digital SLRs reliable enough for the high mountains?

Are digital SLRs reliable enough for the high mountains?

After a disappointing performance on Mount Rainier, I have decided to retire my point-and-shoot and start carrying an SLR into the mountains with me. But what kind? Should I choose a pro-level for toughness and control? A compact for its light weight and portability? A manual focus for both light weight and durability? Or are digital SLRs now reliable enough for the cold and exposure in the mountains? Nick Los Angeles, California

What's the perfect shoe for a pilgrimage?

What's the perfect shoe for a pilgrimage?

I looking for the perfect shoe for walking Spain's El Cino de Santiago de Compostela, something that will cushion for 20- to 25-pound loads and up to 20 miles a day. There will be some wet weather, and temps will range from almost freezing to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I hearing a lot about choosing a trail runner over a hiking boot from former Cino hikers who say it's not necessary for this terrain. I currently considering the women's Vasque Endorphin. Sheila Calgary, Alberta

Can you recommend a daypack with good suspension?

Can you recommend a daypack with good suspension?

My homage: I a regular and long-time reader; I have made purchases based on your advice; I previously submitted questions regarding winter camping gear; I even read your book, A Season of Fire. Everything but drink the Kool-Aid! My quandary: I six-foot-four with a long torso and having trouble finding daypacks that fit. Do you have any recommendations for a medium- or high-volume daypack with a good suspension system? Jim Holland Patent, New York

What's the perfect boot for my year-long, cross-country wander?

What's the perfect boot for my year-long, cross-country wander?

I've read some of your previous columns regarding women's hiking boots, but I don't feel confident in choosing a good boot. I'm a novice hiker looking for a women's hiking/backpacking boot. My plans are to travel all over the U.S. and live most of my time in the outdoors, forests, deserts, etc. I need a good hiking boot for year-round, long-distance, constant use. I don't plan on climbing any major mountains quite yet, though. Rebekah Appleton, Wisconsin

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