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Backpacker Magazine –
EDITORS' CHOICE AWARDS
All it took was 6,000 miles of hiking, 425 nights of camping, and one gale-tossed trip to the highlands of Wales to determine our 2009 Editors' Choice Awardss. From dozens of intriguing new products we selected 18 winners, including a do-it-all boot, a GPS-enabled camera, and the tastiest trail soup we've ever eaten. Plus, a Gold Award for the planet's best duffel.
VIDEO: EDITORS' CHOICE BLOWOUT
Editors' Choice Trip 2009: Snowdonia National Park, Wales
Editors' Choice Award Winner: Black Diamond Orbit
Editors' Choice Trip 2009: Brecon Beacons, Wales
Editors' Choice Trip 2009: Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, Wales
Editors' Choice Trip 2009: Climbing Mount Snowdon
SKILLS GEAR SCHOOL
Know how to fit a pack? Patch a ripped rainfly? You'll learn these skills–and many more–in our 10-page guide to buying, cleaning, and repairing outdoor gear. Whether you're a beginner or pro, this is your one-stop, do-it-all user's guide.
Zero Impact Challenge, II
Save the planet while you sleep! Or at least make a dent. Last fall, five bag makers answered our call for new thinking in eco-friendly design. The result: five toasty sacks that cut your footprint by 10 percent.
GEAR, GEAR, GEAR
Whether you're an avid dayhiker, thru-hiker, peakbagger, or mountain zealot–or all of the above–we have the perfect load hauler. Here are 32 tester-approved choices.
With the right shelter, the entire backcountry is your bedroom. We spent 450 nights in the wilderness to find the best new tents on the market. These 31 rose to the top.
From Maine to Oregon, and back–that's how far we hiked this year to separate good boots from bad. Our testers hit peaks, coasts, and ridges to pick the top 32 shoes, from trail runners to mountaineering boots.
We'll sleep better knowing you can pick 30 new sleeping bags that were tested in every season, region, and climate. Plus: the latest, lightest, best-cushioned pads.
Sunglasses? Check. Camera. Check. Ultralight stove, raingear, headlamp, and water filter. Check. Outfit yourself with the best of the rest, from appetizers to a zipline, with our indispensable (and alphabetical) guide.
ONLINE EXCLUSIVES: GEAR SHOPPING SECRETS
Gear editor Kristin Hostetter shows you how to pick the perfect sleeping bag and pack in two info-packed videos.
PLUS, check out the updated GearFinder tool. Search our expanded database by brand, price, weight, size, and more to find the gear that matches your specs and budget. We now have more than 2,000 products, plus photos, reviews, and user ratings.