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An Intro to Outdoor Jackets

Anyone who spends time outside has a favorite jacket—it’s a staple in the kit of every hiker, climber, skier, snowboarder, cyclist, or mountaineer. But the one-jacket-for-everything days are long gone. To get you started on the path to understanding your jacket options, we outlined the five most basic styles.

How to Choose Ski & Snowboard Pants

Frozen chairlifts, day-long submersion in thigh deep pow (we hope), slushy boot packs, and brutal arctic winds are just a few scenarios your pants experience on a regular day at the outdoor office. So when choosing a new pair of pants, it’s worth taking some time researching the various fabrics, features, and styles that will be most applicable to your type of winter recreation.

Winter Layering

Different body types, output levels, and weather conditions require different amounts of insulation. Building a bomber layering system is one part trial and error and one part know-how.

How To Care for Your Down Jacket

Your puffy spares you the shivers on long chairlift rides, it offers a cozy embrace when you’re belaying a long pitch, and it lets you enjoy evening stargazing on alpine backpacking trips. And what do you do for it in return? Cram it into a stuff sack.

Technical Shells Explained

For the worst weather conditions imaginable, you need the reliable protection of Technical Shell. The best Technical Shells often feature waterproof/breathable laminates, watertight zippers, and high denier face fabrics.

Softshells Explained

Can a softshell replace your trusty hardshell in sustained rain or snowfall? Probably not. What softshells do best is keep you warm and dry while your heart rate is up in windy and/or damp weather.
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Unanswered Questions

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Jared Downs

When shopping for a new pair of crampons you’ll notice several different designs and configurations. Each style has its strengths and weaknesses, as well as an intended use. Whether you’re planning on climbing the DC route on Mt. Rainier or venturing into the wet and cold world of ice climbing, choosing the right crampon will keep your mind off the gear and on the objective ahead. Attachment Type There are three types of attachment systems for modern crampons: step-in, hybrid, and strap-on. Step-In Crampons Step-in crampons provide the most secure attachment between the crampon and the boot. This is achieved [...]

Pace Measom

The discerning gift giver knows that the best gifts—like good cheese or fine whiskey—get better with age. We’re talking about items crafted from leather, wool, canvas, and steel—materials that feel better, fit better, and look better the more they’re used. Over time they acquire character, stories, and charm. Not only will these gifts keep giving year-round, they’ll keep giving for years to come. Red Wing Heritage Boots Red Wing boots are cut from the finest American leather, triple-stitched on 100-year-old Puritan sewing machines, and made by skilled craftsmen in Red Wing, Minnesota, USA. These are the real deal—you won’t find [...]

Skratch Labs

By now you may know that the Skratch Labs Cookie Mix makes a mean chocolate chip cookie, berry blondie, and vegan cookie bar, and that all of them fit sweetly in your pocket or pack for rides, runs, and adventures. But you can also put the Cookie Mix to use when you’re looking to make an impression at a dinner party, office function, or Sunday brunch. Here are two can’t-miss recipes that even the most baking-challenged can manage, with impressive results. Apple & Pumpkin Buckle This buckle recipe comes together in just a few minutes. You can swap out the [...]

Garson Fields

Mountain bikers have a reputation for being a picky bunch. From trails to tires, there’s usually no shortage strongly held opinions, which can make buying the right gift for a biker a challenge. If you haven’t been given a detailed wish list, and you really want to get the mountain biker in your life a gift he or she will actually use, read on. The following items stand a good chance of earning you some serious points this holiday season, with even the pickiest of riders. Blackburn Wayside C02 Inflator Simple, reliable, and absolutely indispensable, this C02 inflator makes a [...]

Kyle Livingston

We all have our favorite outdoor pursuit, and arguably the most important piece of our gear kit for that pursuit is the jacket. Hikers, climbers, skiers, snowboarders, bikers, or mountaineers have to protect themselves from the elements, but gone are the days of one jacket that works for everything. For example, I use a Gore-Tex 3-layer shell layered with a down jacket for skiing but a lightweight softshell for backpacking and hiking and another jacket for around town. To get you started on the path to understanding your jacket options, we’ve outlined the five most basic styles. The Shell Jacket [...]

Colter Hinchliffe

“Did we bite off more than we can chew?” I’m asking myself as we stand atop the 14,131-foot Capitol Peak in the notorious Elk mountains of Colorado. Photo: Jordan White The answer is a matter-of-fact “No, we have to finish.” This day began at midnight, and this mission began a week ago, and this dream began a few years ago with a taste of this big, lonesome, beautiful north face. Capitol Peak is the holy grail of all Colorado’s fifty-four 14,000 ft peaks. The easiest way up is via the infamous knife edge with a thousand-foot cliff on either side. [...]

Pace Measom

After 20 years of working with the best outdoor brands on the planet, we’ve forged relationships that allow us to collaborate with their design teams, bringing you unique and exclusive products you simply can’t find anywhere else. ExclusiveFilson Down Cruiser Parka The signature Filson heritage he’ll love in a versatile, go-anywhere flat black color—and you can only get it at Backcountry. Filson was founded in 1897 to outfit northbound fortune-seekers with reliable clothing for the Great Klondike Gold Rush. Fast-forward 118 years and a lot of Filson’s apparel still bears a striking resemblance to the clothing of the past. Filson [...]

Backcountry Video

Burton Presents is a web series showcasing Burton’s top riders doing amazing things on slopes and streets all over the world. The latest episode (above), focuses on Danny Davis as he prepares for X Games by exploring the snow-choked forests of Hokkaido, Japan, with Mark McMorris and Terje Haakonsen. Whether it’s in the pipe or some misty forest, few humans truly embody the concept of balance quite like Danny, and when it comes to “training,” Danny does it right. Previous Episodes This installment features Mikkel Bang and Mikey Rencz, two names that run deep in Burton’s history and evoke thoughts [...]

Phil Parrish

The faster you can recover from a workout, the sooner you can train again. By increasing training frequency, you can achieve a desired result faster or complete a higher volume of training in a desired time. To achieve this end, many athletes and weekend warriors are turning to compression clothing as an aid to training and recovery. But, what is compression clothing? And how does it work? Benefits of Compression Garments Depending on who you ask, compression garments make a huge difference, or they’re just really tight underwear. Some controlled studies have yielded interesting results, while others are completely inconclusive. [...]

Jeff Catalano

Alpine Touring (AT) bindings have been around for several decades, but the recent explosion of the touring scene has really brought them into the spotlight. AT bindings differ from their alpine counterparts in that they aren’t meant only for skiing downhill. Instead they allow the skier to free the heel of the boot, while staying clipped in at the toe, which creates the ability to “walk” naturally uphill on skis. When it’s time for that ski descent you’ve been working toward all day, simply step back into the heel of the binding and make some turns! Considerations for Choosing AT [...]

Pace Measom

Clothing Supplied by Roark Revival Why Trout? Backpacking fare is often limited to energy bars and freeze-dried meals, but it doesn’t have to be. In cold-water lakes and streams, stretching from the Adirondacks in New York to the High Sierra in California, you’ll find trout. And for more than a few reasons, these fish are an ideal food source when you’re out in the wild. Nutrition Whether you’re backpacking or camping, you burn a lot of calories, requiring a meal that’s high in fat and protein. A 3-ounce serving of wild trout supplies 130 calories, nearly 20 grams of protein, [...]

Lexi D.

The irresistible lure of a backcountry yurt or hut is one of the reasons I was motivated to begin dabbling in backcountry skiing six years ago. As a good friend often proclaims, “Yurt life is the good life,” and I agree wholeheartedly. There’s nothing more special than time spent unplugged in nature, where the necessities of melting water, chopping firewood, and preparing a yurt feast are your chief concerns (besides powder snow, of course). With luck and planning, your home away from home for the weekend. Having taken excursions to various huts and lodges around Utah, Idaho, and British Columbia, [...]

Ryan Schoeck

Above Photo By: Re Wikstrom By now you’ve undoubtedly ogled, researched, and wisely chosen a pair of shiny new sticks or a new board for the season. But have you given any real thought to what you’ll be wearing? After all, your jacket is going to be just as much a part of your quest for pow as what’s underneath your feet. Choosing the right jacket for the right conditions is crucial to maximizing your comfort, protection from the elements, and overall stoke factor. Types of Jackets As you begin the search for your new jacket, it’s important to know [...]

Ryan Schoeck

Those unassuming ski and snowboards pants—like that friend everybody just loves to hate—seem to get all the action without even trying. Yet while you’re carrying on with your mission of chasing untracked lines and lapping the mountain, they’re working hard to keep your lower body dry and comfortable. Frozen chairlifts, day-long submersion in thigh deep pow (we hope), sprays of spring slush, and brutal arctic winds are just a few scenarios your pants experience on a regular day at the outdoor office. So when choosing a new pair of pants, it’s worth taking some time researching the various fabrics, features, [...]

Pace Measom

For us, mountain towns don’t get any better than Park City, Utah. The powder skiing, Western heritage, and small-town feel with big-city style have a way of inspiring the creation of great brands. Founded twenty years ago by two Park City ski bums, is counted among them. To introduce Basin and Range, the latest creation inspired by Park City, we shot the clothing on location at the new High West whiskey distillery at Blue Sky Ranch, another great Park City establishment. Featuring Utah’s first legal distillery since 1870, High West has been breaking some serious trail―we can get behind [...]

Jeff Catalano

If you want to ski uphill, you’re going to need climbing skins. One of the essential pieces of an alpine touring kit, climbing skins provide directional grip on the snow, allowing you to slide your skis forward without losing progress on uphill terrain. If you’re new to alpine touring, climbing skins can hold their fair share of mystery when it comes to choosing the right material, size and connection type. They also require a little bit of initial setup and maintenance. Although this article is focused on climbing skins for skis, splitboard skins feature the same technology as those made [...]

Pace Measom

Highway 89 is a slow road. It winds north from Mexico to Canada for nearly 1600 miles, connecting seven iconic National Parks including Grand Canyon, Zion, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone. As long as there have been cars, 89 has beckoned to travellers yearning to see the American West, especially so during the ‘50s and ‘60s—the golden age of the American road trip. Faded remnants of the era are still visible in the one-stoplight towns that have since been bypassed by modern freeways―boarded-up motor inns, faded diners, and neon signs that have long gone dark. With the promise of Teton powder [...]

Bill Porreca

With the seemingly inexhaustible supply of proprietary ski profiles that debut every year, choosing the right profile can seem like a daunting task. Backcountry Expert Gearhead Bill Porreca breaks down your options. The profile shape of a ski is a primary determinant for how a ski will interact with the snow, making profile an important feature to consider when selecting a pair of skis. While there exist a lot of variations of each, and every manufacturer has a different name for them, there are essentially four basic types of profiles: traditional camber, directional rocker, hybrid rocker, and full rocker. All [...]

Pace Measom

Climbing the Iconic Peak on the 150th Anniversary of the First Ascent, Powered by Mammut. “Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end.” Edward Whymper So People Really Do Win These Things The Matterhorn is perhaps the most famous, most recognized mountain on the planet. It’s the crown jewel of the Swiss Alps and its likeness can be found on everything from deodorant [...]

Pace Measom

In July of 1865, an English climber named Edward Whymper became the first human to stand on the summit of the Matterhorn—Switzerland’s most famous mountain. On the descent, the triumph of the summit quickly turned to tragedy, and in the 150 years following, the controversy, fame, and mystique surrounding the mountain have only grown. Climbing the Matterhorn is without question one of the world’s great classic adventures; a bucket-list must-do for anyone with a passion for mountains. Looking to plan your trip? Here are a few tips to get you on your way. In 2015, to celebrate the 150th anniversary [...]

Matthew Pizza

In addition to length and weight, another way fly rods differ from one another is in their action. Loosely defined, it’s related to the flex pattern of the rod; the action and flex of the fly rod significantly affect its feel and performance. Rod actions are rated as soft, medium, and fast. Following is a rundown of each. Fast Action Most fast-action rods will be tip flex, meaning only the tip of the rod is going to bend while the butt is very stiff. These rods can be hard for the beginning angler to cast, but if you are on [...]

Dan Gates

Finding the right set of snowboard bindings can take your setup to the next level in terms of comfort and control. Backcountry Expert Gearhead Dan Gates reviews some things to consider when picking out your next pair. Snowboard bindings are the direct interface between you and your board. A good binding should enhance the natural flex pattern of your board as well as provide all-day comfort, because when the goods are good, you don’t want to have to head to the lodge with hurting feet while your buddies are scoring lap after lap of freshies. Flex When picking a binding [...]

Colin Clancy

Ten years ago this very moment I may have taken a break from shotgunning beers with my ski bum friends to stir the Crock Pot of sloppy joes simmering atop the toilet for lack of table space. Or I may have been hot-lapping Loveland Pass backcountry lines under the full midnight moon until the cops kicked us out. More likely, though, I was dropping into the superpipe on a stolen cafeteria tray, because we did that damned near every night. I earned my ski bum stripes at Copper Mountain, where I spent two seasons bumping chairs, shoveling snow, setting up [...]

Wally Phillips

Selecting a new pair of ski boots can be a little overwhelming, to say the least. Backcountry Expert Gearhead Wally Phillips, a former bootfitter, offers some guidance to help you select just the right pair of boots. Every year, ski companies roll out their shiny new boots in a myriad of styles, sizes, flexes, and widths. If you’re wondering what it all means and how these correspond to your specific skiing needs, here’s a little guide designed to help you make sense of this dizzying array of choices. Your skiing style The first thing you’ll want to consider is the [...]