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Choosing Tents and Shelters

Unless you’re up for sleeping under the stars, you’ll want a tent for your next camping trip. Tent styles range from small solo shelters to huge, structured tents designed to withstand gale-force winds while mountaineering. You’ll need to consider seasonality (three or four-season) and size when you make your choice.

3-Season Tents
For most campers, 3-season tents are the way to go. Intended for relatively mild conditions, these tents have mesh panels to promote airflow and employ rain flies to keep you dry. Shop 3-Season Tents
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4-Season Tents
Designed primarily for winter, 4-season tents feature heavier fabrics and more poles than 3-season tents. This adds weight but is essential for withstanding fierce winds and heavy snow. Shop 4-Season Tents
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Bivy Sacks
Bivy sacks and tarps are extremely lightweight, compact shelters preferred by mountaineers, climbers, and minimalist backpackers who need shelter but want to conserve as much space and weight as possible. Shop Bivy Sacks
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How to Choose an Alpine Ski Boot

The Main Line of Communication Between You and Your Skis

 

In contrast to an alpine touring or telemark boot, an alpine boot is designed almost entirely around resort-based and inbounds skiing. Honestly assess your ability level and your interests before you start shopping for a boot. Ability level and interests dictate where and what you ski, and ultimately, the type of boot you’ll need. When choosing a ski boot, pay attention to fit, flex, and last width. These factors will help you maximize the likelihood of finding a well-fitting boot without stepping foot in a store. Secondary considerations, such as liner, buckle configuration strap, footbed, and boot sole features will come later in the buying process.

Fit:

A boot that fits well will hold your foot firmly and encourage ample control, circulation, and reduce the chance of blister-causing heel slippage. Ski boots come in a variety of lengths, measured in Mondo sizing (insole length in centimeters), forefoot widths (measured in millimeters), and cuff height and width (based on gender or manufacturer).

Flex:

Flex refers to how hard it is to flex the boot forward. Aggressive or heavier skiers will want a stiff boot (120-130+) to handle high speeds and arduous terrain. Beginners or smaller skiers best to start with a softer boot (80-100) and intermediate skiers may prefer a boot with a flex around (100-110).

Interest:

Alpine boots come in three flavors: park and pipe, alpine touring, and alpine. Park boots tend to be a little softer and more forgiving, alpine touring boots are made with lighter materials and offer a walk mode, and alpine boots balance performance and comfort for skiing inbounds at the resort.