Gear Guy

Looking to upgrade my old multi-day backpack. Suggestions?

Looking to upgrade my old multi-day backpack. Suggestions?

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

Can you outline the perfect batch of gear needed for an active summer in Alaska, Sedona, and Asia?

Can you outline the perfect batch of gear needed for an active summer in Alaska, Sedona, and Asia?

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

What's the best way to treat water while on a long-distance trail run?

What's the best way to treat water while on a long-distance trail run?

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

What’s the best boot for a stint in Afghanistan?

What’s the best boot for a stint in Afghanistan?

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

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