Gear Guy

As a Raynaud's sufferer, how can I beat the cold?

As a Raynaud's sufferer, how can I beat the cold?

I have a medical condition known as Raynaud's, which basically means that I have real problems staying warm in temperatures below 50 degrees. This past winter was a killer for me. Unfortunately I can't hole up inside during the winter as my 100-pound insulated dog needs to walk (and loves the cold). What do you think would work best for me? I assume down, but the women's down parkas don't seem to be that warm. Faith Reston, Virginia

Why do you rate St. Moritz watches so highly?

Why do you rate St. Moritz watches so highly?

What does one do when his hero lets him down? Last fall you spoke highly of the St. Moritz Pathfinder TI watch. Well, let me tell you, the Gear Guy is fallible. This watch has been a huge letdown. The "glow factor" of the numbers is terrible, the alarm is barely audible, and the service is less than acceptable. I sent it in for warranty repair for its water resistance, being sure to mention the other factors, and the service was very slow and they never even addressed my other concerns. I think you may have made an error! (I know, hard to believe.) Tim Moose, Wyoming

What are the best boots for slippery rock?

What are the best boots for slippery rock?

I was out hiking in the west Texas desert a few months ago during a delicious spate of rainy summer weather. I was wearing a light pair of boots and found myself slipping and sliding all over the wet rocks. Crawling on my hands and knees over boulders is not my idea of fun, and it really ruined my week. I'm now in the market for a pair of light "day hikers," with soles that'll give me some traction on wet rock. Any suggestions? Paul San Antonio, Texas

Can I get giardia from swimming?

Can I get giardia from swimming?

Now that hikers are supposed to filter/purify all the water they consume, I'm curious if ANY contact with untreated wilderness water is safe? Is it OK to splash water from a clear stre on my face and arms to cool off? Is it OK to jump in a clear lake for a swim? Would doing these things expose me to infection through ears, eyes, nose, ETC.? What about canoeists and kayakers who are in and around untreated water all the time? Mark Her Fullerton, California

Will a pen mark destroy my rope?

Will a pen mark destroy my rope?

Please help! I recently bought a new lead climbing rope (Bluewater Accelerator 60m 10.5 mm) and I did what I have always done: mark the middle with a Sharpie marker. Then the other day someone told me this significantly weakens the rope at the marking, enough in fact to cause the rope to break in a relatively mild fall. I wasn't sure about this, because I thought it only marked the sheath and didn't affect the core of the rope. Should I throw the rope out? I would rather not due to the expense, but I will if it's gonna cost me my life! Mike Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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