|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – April 2009
We tested more than 500 products–stoves, clothes, cameras, filters, tech tools, knives, and meals–to find these proven performers.
Meet the most useful 4-by-7-inch piece of plastic we've seen. The Brooks Range Map Tool is gridded with all of the UTMs, mileage scales, and slope indices found on maps published in North America, Europe, New Zealand, and Japan–great for geek-precise plotting. $18; 2 oz.; brooks-range.com
Mapping software Web-based Topo! Explorer Deluxe gives you surfing access to USGS maps, aerial photos, and map tools for all 50 states. Add trail overlays and info boxes by accessing National Geographic's National Recreation Database. Start with 25 free topo downloads; additional quads and hybrid aerial photos are $1 apiece. $50; shop.nationalgeographic.com
Waterproof, shockproof, and featherweight, Freestyle's Audio Soundwave 2GB has a built-in FM radio tuner, waterproof ear buds, and holds 320 songs. It rocks for 18 hours on a single USB charge. $90; 1.25 oz.; freestyleaudio.com
For hikers who want the perfect cup, damn the price, get Snow Peak's Double Wall Titanium Mug. It weighs only 4.2 ounces, but it's big enough for a Ramen dinner, and it keeps your coffee hot without scorching your lips. $50; snowpeak.com