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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 Buy Climbing Skins

Skin It to Win It
Alpine Touring Climbing Skins

Unless you enjoy slogging around in the snow on foot, climbing skins are the only way to go when you travel in the backcountry. Climbing skins attach to the bases of your skis and give you traction so you can step and slide uphill. Easy to attach and detach, skins are a simple, easy tool and a vital piece of backcountry ski equipment.

Material:

Skins are made of mohair, synthetics or a synthetic/mohair blend. Synthetics are durable and grippy, while mohair glides with superior speed and efficiency.

Attachment:

Clips at the tip and tail and sticky, non-permanent glue compound keep a skin attached to your ski. Most skins use clips that will universally attach to any ski, but some manufacturer-specific skins will only work with a few skis.

Length & Width:

Unless it’s manufactured specifically to fit your ski, you’ll need to buy a skin that’s longer and wider than your ski at its widest point (usually the tip) and trim it to fit. Most skins ship with an easy-to-use trimming tool and instructions.