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Gear essentials



Digital Camera Glossary

Before you shop–and buy–your dream camera, familiarize yourself with these commonly used terms

Field Notes: North Face Propel Sleeping Bag, Asolo Power Matic Boot, Lanterns, and Vargo Titanium Sierra Pot

The latest word from our testers

Green Scene: BPA-Free Water Bottles

Lighten your planetary load, water bottle style, with these BPA-free water bottle alternatives.

Backpacker Gear Guide: Essentials

Packs, tents, boots, and bags–that's easy. Now comes the hard part: Everything else. Below, you'll find our top picks for all the lust-worthy backcountry essentials you'll need to make your trip safe, fun, and simple.

Exclusive Online Content: Layer Up

Ward off the chill of cooler temps with these Backpacker-tested base layers and shells

Socks Review: Darn Tough Socks

Socks so darn perfect they can make a thief out of your dearest friend

Apparel Review: More For Your Money

Budget shopper or big spender? We have the perfect three-season layering system for you.

Trail Accessories Review: AntiGravityGear AT Mapdana

The Harry Potter hat for AT hikers: a bandanna that doubles as the key to the trail.

Water Bottle Review: Guyot Designs Gription

Prevent embarassing, water-wasting splashes by replacing your water bottle's lid with the Gription.

Footwear Review: Gear for Rainier

Stop dreaming, start planning with our top tips and picks for boots and gaiters

Editors' Choice Gold Awards 2005

Two tried-and-true favorites--the Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero and the Smith Sliders sunglasses--join our gear hall of fame

Hat Review: Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero

Stay dry in the wettest weather with this lid, winner of a 2005 Editors' Choice Gold Award

Gear Reviews: Editors' Choice 2005

New Zealand is pretty to look at, but harsh on gear--making it just what we needed for our Kiwi challenge.

Apparel Review: Teko Socks

These Editors' Choice Green Award-winning socks are soft on the planet-and your feet

Accessory Review: New Balance Ultra Arch Support Inserts

Pamper your feet with the most supportive footbeds we've tested

Backcountry Technology Review: Electronics and GPS

Your complete guide to the latest in outdoor electronics, including a smart watch, a weatherproof MP3 player, and the best in GPS.

Q&A: How to Stay Dry

We went to outdoor educators and gear retailers to uncover the most common questions asked about staying dry in the backcountry. Here are the top 6.

Accessory Review: Sea to Summit Trekking Umbrella

You won't miss a thing with this piece of raingear.

Common Sock Materials

Get the lowdown on what your socks are made of.

Gear TLC: Make Your Socks Last

Get more mileage from your stockings, on the trail and in the wash

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