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March 2008 Perfect System: Northwest

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Aloksak Map Case

A soggy map is a useless map. Protect topos in this clear waterproof case. The 12-inch square version perfectly holds a folded USGS quad. $11 per 3-pack; 1 oz. each; watchfuleyedesigns.com

Traction
Kahtoola MicroSpikes

Cascade concrete–the heavy, wet snow that typically falls in the Northwest–often turns hard and slippery come spring. Enter the MicroSpikes, the perfect choice when full crampons are overkill and rubber tread won’t cut it. The binding snaps onto any shoe, and steel chains and 3/8-inch spikes bite into slopes up to about 25 degrees. $59; 13 oz.; kahtoola.com

Bargain!
Backup shelter
GoLite UL Poncho Tarp

On rain-soaked treks, this extra protection is a godsend. The coated nylon tarp adds nearly 38 square feet of dry living space to camp (great for kitchen duty), and it can also be strung over a tent door to make a tall awning. Yes, you can wear it as a poncho, too. $50; 10 oz.; golite.com

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