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Austin H.

Running shoes differ significantly based on their intended uses. Road shoes use lightweight, breathable materials with plenty of cushioning and rebound so you can run without feeling beat up by the hardness of concrete or pavement. Trail shoes are also lightweight and often cushioned, but they offer additional protection, support, and traction so you can tackle loose, uneven trails and rocky dirt roads with confidence. Above Photo By: Austin Holt Road Shoes – Traditional A traditional road shoe is designed to stabilize the foot and provide cushioning for running on hard surfaces like pavement or concrete. This shoe strikes an [...]

Jacob Glissmeyer

Above Photo: Mono Lake, CA Shot By: Tommy Chandler When you’re in the market for a new boat, there are many details to consider. First you need to decide what your goals are. Then you can start to narrow down your options. This precursory breakdown of the basic types of kayaks is a great place to start. Recreational Kayaks Recreational kayaks offer quick and convenient access to smaller lakes, rivers, and ponds. The combination of lightweight, durable materials and a manageable size makes these kayaks easy to handle both on and off the water. The large cockpit allows easy entry and [...]

Adam Riser

Do you need a different jacket for skiing inbounds than you do for backcountry touring? What should you look for in an expedition jacket? How about a casual jacket for cold chillin’ in winter weather? Here’s some initial advice. Alpine Skiing/Snowboarding You need a jacket that keeps you warm on the chairlift and dry while you ride. How warm and how dry depends on the weather in your area. There isn’t a whole lot of super-aerobic activity involved in alpine skiing or snowboarding, so you don’t need the most breathable thing on the market. Fit is also entirely up to [...]

Backcountry Video

This is Backcountry. Here, blood meets rock, sweat meets trail, and the well-worn path to a routine existence reaches its terminus. This is an invitation to feed your wanderlust, to rediscover the spark inside you and feel the strain of your muscles against the forces of nature. Every second is about action—it’s gas and a match fed to grit and determination. Take a glimpse, and then take another — we get it, and this is what we call #goatworthy. Music: Sura, by HECQ // Anson Fogel Remix // http://www.hecq.de From The Ashes, by Neil Pollard and Adam Solkeld // Private [...]

Bill Porreca

Above Photo Shot By: Backcountry Employee Casey Glaubman When you need an opinion on tubeless wheels, advice on climbing-shoe sizing, or someone to tell you why you’re the only one skiing in jeans, Backcountry.com’s Gearheads are the people to talk to. They’re instructors, guides, athletes, and otherwise passionate outdoor experts, and they’ll not only answer your most pressing questions about gear, they’ll help with any issues regarding your order. Our Gearheads Bill Porreca and Casey Glaubman recently hosted a live Google Hangout to talk about their mountaineering trip to ski and summit Mount Denali in Alaska earlier this spring.  They swapped [...]

Andrew Scarcella

“Sick!” Liz Daley is stoked, all smiles as she stands on the edge of Mt. Baker’s sulfur-scoured crater. Steam and smoke billow behind her as she deftly coils a rope around her shoulders. We grab another handful of whatever food we have left, cramming it into our mouths without tasting, knowing we’ll need the energy for the descent. 4,000 feet below, our tents sit, roasting in the June sun, waiting patiently for our return. A far cry from how the trip started, wrapped in classic northwest coast fog, rain squalls nipping at our noses. Tip toeing across raging rivers and [...]

renan ozturk

The sand was everywhere. Red, silty, and windblown into every crevice of everything. But as gritty as it felt against our dry, dusted skin, we were psyched to be there. Matt Segal, Alex Honnold, and I have spent many years cutting our teeth climbing the parallel cracked cliffs and towers surrounding the Canyonlands of Utah. Even though we were exploring new parts of Canyonlands by floating down the Green River and tapping into the endless first ascent potential, it felt like home. Daniel Woods, on the other hand, was a fish out of water in this dry alien landscape. For him, [...]

Michelle Larson

When you’re going the distance, you’re going to hit a wall at some point. Rather than face-planting on the trail because your blood sugar is dangerously low, try the following recipe for homemade energy gel. Its makeup of complex carbohydrates, protein, and fat surpasses that of your standard mass-market, simple-sugar gel, and it eliminates the need to throw out packaging after every run, bike, ride, or hike. Origin Nutrition’s Energy Gel Recipe 1 cup brown rice syrup (try Lundberg’s Organic Sweet Dreams Brown Rice Syrup) 1/2 cup barley malt (try Eden’s Organic Barley Malt Syrup) 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil 1/4 [...]

steph davis

A lot of times people wonder why they need to tape, especially if they have perfect crack technique. I always say you have two choices. You can either tape before you get cut or you can tape after you get cut. It’s up to you. The other thing that’s great about taping is if you’re trying to climb really fast, do a speed ascent, or just be efficient, or if you’re climbing in cold situations either in the mountains or a snowy day, that layer of tape on the back of your hand really helps. In fact, you’ll end up [...]

Austin H.

Above Photo: Mono Lake, CA Shot By: Tommy Chandler Camping out of your kayak offers a feeling of freedom that few adventures on shore can match. You paddle down rivers or float across open water during the day, and kick back by a campfire at night. Experienced multi-day paddlers can easily pack their boats for many days on the water, but your first time packing for more than a day’s paddle can be pretty stressful. Here are some pointers for planning your trip, a sample packing list, advice on organizing and keeping track of your gear, and tips on packing [...]

Adam Riser

Photos Shot By: Backcountry Employee Adam Riser Why would anyone ski the Heart of Darkness? Sure, it sounds gnarly and may impress a friend who doesn’t know much about skiing, but it’s some of the worst skiing in a range known for “the greatest snow on earth.” Let’s take a quick walk through the day. After skinning for two hours, you find yourself on the top of Mt. Superior, looking straight down the South Face. Anyone who’s ever seen a photo of the South Face of Superior or seen the face from Alta has wanted to ski it. There you [...]

Beth Lopez

There are few touring meccas quite like the Wasatch: premium-grade fluff blankets its towering slopes, yet the finest conveniences of civilization, like Lone Star Taqueria, lie just minutes away. One fine feature of the Wasatch is the number of excellent backcountry tours that are doable in just a couple hours or less. You can cram these supreme schussing delights right into your busy day in the form of a pre-work dawn patrol or a quick mid-day foray. Above Photo By: Tommy Chandler Here are a few of our favorite quick ‘n’ dirty tours just minutes outside Salt Lake. Each is [...]

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. [...]

Backcountry Video

Remember the last time you changed shock oil on your trusty Subaru? Never, right? Good, as that’s not how it works. In the world of autos shocks are replaced, not serviced. However, in the world of two wheels, suspension maintenance is essential to extending performance and reliability of crucial components. We recently caught up with FOX RACING SHOX‘s outside technician Louis Angeley for a quick rundown on the basics of routine maintenance and service required to keep your FOX forks and shocks running their best. This video covers: Maintenance after every ride: wiping down stanchions, cleaning the dust wipers and [...]

Taylor Strand

In alpine racing you’re confined to a set course and judged on a timed basis. In pipe and slopestyle you’re also on a specific course and judged on set types of tricks on a macro scale. But freeskiing stands apart from these disciplines. The Subaru Freeride Series Freeskiing (or “extreme skiing”) emerged on the scene in the mid ’80s as a kind of cross between freestyle skiing and alpine racing, and it focused on creativity and style rather than all-out speed and control. Taking advantage of this new up-and-coming sport, Mountain Sports International and The Subaru Freeskiing World Tour emerged [...]

Curtis Jensen

Manufacturers of traditional, motion-control shoes claim stabilization and cushioning technologies solve contemporary running problems such as asphalt and overpronation. Minimalist-shoe manufacturers and barefoot proponents claim the same problems can be better solved by putting less shoe between the runner and the ground, facilitating a more natural stride. Mostrunners find a solution somewhere in between. In 2009, Chris McDougall’s Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen brought the minimalist running movement to critical mass, arguing that for the last 30+ years, most of us (and most of our shoes) have been running [...]

Taylor Strand

I grew up within the tight-knit community of Alta, Utah, and the walls of my bedroom and most of my surroundings were covered with photographs taken by Lee Cohen—everything from the iconic white-room powder turn somewhere in the Cottonwood Canyons to a triple-rigged raft engulfed in the powerful rapids of the Cataract Canyon River. If you’ve ever taken a moment to look through an outdoor magazine, or a Patagonia or Columbia clothing catalog, chances are you’ve seen one of Lee’s photographic visions. Name: Lee Cohen Nickname: Roy, Leeroy Age: 55 Location: Sandy, Utah Profession: Photographer / Writer Tell us a little bit about yourself. [...]

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