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Our community members have questions on gear. Do you have the answers? Help other members out and serve up your gear expertise.

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Shannan Hansen

I am a trail runner, a yoga teacher, and a single mother. I am not sure which of these causes me the most joy or the most suffering. They each have their moments, I suppose. Today I am choosing the joy and suffering of running nine miles in the mountains. I feel tired, tight, and satisfied. As a yogi, I understand the intense effect running has on the body and I value the importance of stretching to keep my joints and muscles in balance. At the end of a long run my soul is soothed, and I take a moment to [...]

dena eaton

If you’re searching the Internet for training advice, you’ll find more than just a few words of wisdom about how to get faster. The consensus: to get faster you have to go harder. Because even though LSD (long slow distance) definitely has its place—especially when it comes to ultra events—it won’t make you faster, you’ll just suffer less. But how do you know how hard to go? That is where heart rate training comes in. What is a Heart Rate Zone? Your heart rate is an objective indicator of how hard your workout is. Whether you are training for that [...]

Andrew Bisharat

The La Sportiva Miura is an high-performance, do-it-all, “quiver-of-one” climbing shoe that edges really well, but isn’t the most soft or sensitive shoe, especially during its long break-in period. The Miura, aka the “Bananas” as they are affectionally called by aficionados, is built for all angles and rock types. It’s comfort, support and unique, speedy lacing system make this classic shoe appropriate for all types of climbing. Tech Specs Profile Shape: Minimal Downturn Asymmetrical Curvature: High Closure Style: Speed Lacing System UpperFabric: Leather Lined: Yes Sole:  4mm Vibram XS Edge Construction: High tensioned slingshot rand Weight of Size 38: 8.43oz [...]

Lexi Dowdall

Backcountry.com’s online community encompasses a passionate group of wanderers, adventurers, Gearheads, and athletes. Get the rundown on the raddest happenings within the community in You Are Backcountry, your connection to the best product reviews, photos, and videos submitted and uploaded by our athletes, our employees … and you! In this installment of You Are Backcountry we’ve compiled the best community-submitted images of climbing. Climb on! Few things are as exhiliarating as bagging a noteworthy summit. Krista H. and some equally bold women manage to up the ante on the Grand Central Couloir of the Nokhu Crags, in Colorado. “What I love most about [...]

Andrew Bisharat

Europe, the birthplace of climbing, has amazing limestone sport climbing and incredible mountains for mountaineering and alpinism. But what the Lower 48 lack in steep limestone cliff bands and soaring mountain ranges like the Alps, we more than make up for with the best trad cragging in the world. We have Yosemite. We have Eldo. We have Indian Creek and the Utah desert. And we have the Gunks. We would have Squamish, too, if it weren’t for the pesky detail that Squamish is actually located just north of our border in Canada (fortunately, border crossings are pretty mellow, eh?). To [...]

Jason True

Given my experience in Haines, Alaska in April of 2013, it may have seemed crazy to start planning a return almost as soon as I got back. But as time goes by, you forget the struggles (four days of dumping snow that required eight hours of shoveling a day) and think about the amazing terrain you experienced (or merely saw from a distance); returning has a way of consuming your thoughts. Of course, there’s a lot of planning involved–but that’s part of the fun, at least for me.  I got a couple partners interested in the idea and started scheming. [...]

Kim Havell

Part I Our plane crossed the Arctic Ocean and dipped down towards the Davis Strait. Banking a sweeping right turn towards the short runway, cut between big cliffs and ocean, we got our first glimpse of the minimalist oceanside town of Sisimuit, Greenland. Sisimuit, and most of Greenland, is north of the 60-degree line that traditionally defines the northern polar region. The ruby-red Air Greenland turboprop plane halted at the house-sized airport and, from our seats, we had a window view of five couloirs straight down to the water. The ski terrain and conditions looked promising. Greenland is an autonomous [...]

Jason Sager

Heading up to Missoula from Utah for the next race on the Pro Mountain Bike Cross-Country Tour , we were equal parts nervous and excited to see first-hand what the buzz was all about at the Marshall Mountain course. There was the famous “A-Line” jump, the rowdy crowds, and the summer solstice buzz and requisite parties that Missoula is known for. After an almost seven-week break since our last major domestic cross-country event, we all wondered who would be on top of their game. The last time the top North American women had lined up together was for the Whiskey [...]

Alex Blackmer

Plenty of serious things can ruin a backpacking trip—starvation, hypothermia, brain aneurysms, bears—but nothing seemingly small can blow up a backcountry mission quite like blisters. Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to stop them, but if you start thinking about taking care of your feet the same way you do meal planning and packing, you’ll be way more likely to make it through your next backpacking trip with paws intact and spirits high. Prevention Blisters are caused by warmth, moisture, and friction. When you walk, your feet rub in your boots, and the outermost skin slides over the inner layers. Introduce [...]

Micah Lewkowitz

The West Buttress route on Denali is a strenuous and time-intensive climb.  Climbers need to be in top physical shape, and have both the mental fortitude and organizational skills that enable them to stay on top of things in the challenging high-altitude mountain environment. They also need to have all the right gear. This summer, I will be guiding two climbs on Denali and have put together a summary of the equipment I will be taking with me (excluding group items and personal food). Climbing Equipment Lightweight Harness You’ll want a mountaineering harness with adjustable leg loops to accommodate your different [...]

Andrew Bisharat

If you’re going to be a rock climber, you don’t necessarily need to know how to tie your shoes (as long as you wear Velcro slippers), but there are seven essential knots you’ll want to know. There are dozens of knots that might be worth learning as a climber, but for the most part, you can get up and down any climb on Earth with just these basic, essential knots—The Figure-8 Retraced, Girth Hitch, Clove Hitch, Munter Hitch, Double Fisherman’s, Prusik and Euro Death Knot. Know them, learn them, and practice them until you can tie them in your sleep. [...]

Andrew Bisharat

If you’re going to be a rock climber, you don’t necessarily need to know how to tie your shoes (as long as you wear Velcro slippers), but there are seven essential knots you’ll want to know. There are dozens of knots that might be worth learning as a climber, but for the most part, you can get up and down any climb on Earth with just these basic, essential knots—The Figure-8 Retraced, Girth Hitch, Clove Hitch, Munter Hitch, Double Fisherman’s, Prusik and Euro Death Knot. Know them, learn them, and practice them until you can tie them in your sleep. [...]

Andrew Bisharat

If you’re going to be a rock climber, you don’t necessarily need to know how to tie your shoes (as long as you wear Velcro slippers), but there are seven essential knots you’ll want to know. There are dozens of knots that might be worth learning as a climber, but for the most part, you can get up and down any climb on Earth with just these basic, essential knots—The Figure-8 Retraced, Girth Hitch, Clove Hitch, Munter Hitch, Double Fisherman’s, Prussic and Euro Death Knot. Know them, learn them, and practice them until you can tie them in your sleep. [...]

Andrew Bisharat

If you’re going to be a rock climber, you don’t necessarily need to know how to tie your shoes (as long as you wear Velcro slippers), but there are seven essential knots you’ll want to know. There are dozens of knots that might be worth learning as a climber, but for the most part, you can get up and down any climb on Earth with just these basic, essential knots—The Figure-8 Retraced, Girth Hitch, Clove Hitch, Munter Hitch, Double Fisherman’s, Prusik and Euro Death Knot. Know them, learn them, and practice them until you can tie them in your sleep. [...]

Andrew Bisharat

If you’re going to be a rock climber, you don’t necessarily need to know how to tie your shoes (as long as you wear Velcro slippers), but there are seven essential knots you’ll want to know. There are dozens of knots that might be worth learning as a climber, but for the most part, you can get up and down any climb on Earth with just these basic, essential knots—The Figure-8 Retraced, Girth Hitch, Clove Hitch, Munter Hitch, Double Fisherman’s, Prusik and Euro Death Knot. Know them, learn them, and practice them until you can tie them in your sleep. [...]

Andrew Bisharat

If you’re going to be a rock climber, you don’t necessarily need to know how to tie your shoes (as long as you wear Velcro slippers), but there are seven essential knots you’ll want to know. There are dozens of knots that might be worth learning as a climber, but for the most part, you can get up and down any climb on Earth with just these basic, essential knots—The Figure-8 Retraced, Girth Hitch, Clove Hitch, Munter Hitch, Double Fisherman’s, Prusik and Euro Death Knot. Know them, learn them, and practice them until you can tie them in your sleep. [...]

Andrew Bisharat

If you’re going to be a rock climber, you don’t necessarily need to know how to tie your shoes (as long as you wear Velcro slippers), but there are seven essential knots you’ll want to know. There are dozens of knots that might be worth learning as a climber, but for the most part, you can get up and down any climb on Earth with just these basic, essential knots—The Figure-8 Retraced, Girth Hitch, Clove Hitch, Munter Hitch, Double Fisherman’s, Prusik and Euro Death Knot. Know them, learn them, and practice them until you can tie them in your sleep. [...]

Griffin Post

What serious skier or snowboarder hasn’t daydreamed of riding pristine powder in August? Massive mountains, friendly people, and lift-serviced terrain–it seems too good to be true. In reality, however, South America serves up just that and is only an overnight flight away. For the intrepid rider, there may be no better adventure than leaving North America’s sweltering heat behind and heading for the Andes. While all this is seemingly at one’s fingertips, there is some legwork that needs to be done before hopping on Delta 147 to Santiago, Chile. Good snow does await powder-starved riders from the northern hemisphere, but [...]

63mph

The idea to live on the road came to me in January of 2013. It was a romantic idea with a backbone of logic – for someone who wants to make a living with words and photographs, the road is an endless source of inspiration. But like most of my best ideas, it was one that I shoved into the crazy box–the home of ideas that were too radical for this 30-year-old Midwestern boy with an expensive education and an office chair softening his ass. A month later, during a boredom-driven Craigslist search, I got a glimpse of the future – [...]

TJ Parsons

Think what you drink after a long day on the trail is merely a reflection of your personal palate? Think again. Your beverage of choice publicly broadcasts much more about you than you ever imagined, and can even predict how your night is likely to turn out with near-scientific accuracy. At least according to this incomplete, subjective, and incredibly biased list that you should definitely take super-seriously. PALE ALE You’re well-rounded and versatile, with refined taste in both beverages and gear. You don’t mind springing for something high-end if it’s worth the hype, but you also don’t buy the most [...]

Nate Disser

On multi-pitch climbs, you carry a lot of gear with you–cams, nuts, draws, slings, carabiners–and of course, your trusted belay/rappel device. Over the years, I’ve seen people drop gear on climbs more often than you might imagine. What will you do when it happens to you? Dropping your #2 Camalot is a big deal, especially if your route offers up plenty of hand crack, but in most cases you can make do with other gear and plan your protection strategy for each pitch accordingly (if you’re climbing a trad route, that is). Dealing with a dropped cam, nut, or quickdraw [...]

Catherine Greenwald

Sure, you can just run. But strength training can help you run faster and better, and stay free from injury. If you’re going to start anywhere with strength training, start not with your legs, but with your core. The system of muscles – not just your abs – at your core are essential to supporting your posture, which will help you run more efficiently and cut down on fatigue. A stable core also enables you to respond to changes in terrain underfoot with a minimum of energy expenditure. We consulted with Whitney Liehr and Adam Daniels, both trainers at the [...]

Travis Woodruff

For the competitive cyclist, the transition from early season to summer requires some thought. Throughout the winter and spring, you’ve focused on developing the aerobic system and sustainable power you need for the summer race schedule. A lot of miles went into this pursuit of base fitness and if you did it right, it felt like work at some point along the way. But while long hours on the bike can improve overall fitness, come summer you’ll want to make some changes by adding some more intensity, balanced by more fun, into the mix. Go Harder After months of logging [...]

Daryl Deprey

Real talk, it’s not a matter of if you’ll get a flat but when. In fact, the difference between a 10-minute fix and walking your bike home hinges on whether you’re prepared for the inevitable. That’s why I made a step-by-step tutorial for fixing a flat that’ll save your ride someday. Step 1: Removing the Wheel Before you start looking for the culprit, you’ll need to remove the wheel from either the frame or fork. Depending on your bike, you’ll either have to loosen the quick-release and drop the wheel or remove the thru-axle and drop the wheel. We suggest [...]