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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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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How to Choose Gloves and Mittens
Protect Your Hands from the Weather
From what you wear on your head to what covers your toes, every article of clothing has a particular purpose in the outdoors. Gloves protect your fingers and allow fine motor control while mittens offer extra warmth by allowing your fingers more skin-on-skin contact. Hybrid gloves (also called lobster mittens) offer the warmth of mittens and the dexterity of gloves. Consider the following aspects when shopping for hand protection: weather conditions, insulation, and design or shape.
For cold and wet weather, look for winter handwear with a waterproof coating (DWR) or waterproof shell fabric like Gore-Tex and plenty of insulation. Often, a waterproof breathable shell fabric will help to protect your hands from the warmth-robbing effects of wind.
For cold conditions or cold hands, insulated handwear is the only way to go. Synthetic insulations like PrimaLoft dry quickly and are less affected by moisture than down insulation. Down offers the best warmth-to-weight ratio.
A gauntlet-style cuff keeps wetness and cold air from creeping up the sleeve of your jacket. This design can feel bulky to some so if you want a sleeker fit look for a glove with a slim cuff that slips under your jacket cuff.