Monthly Archives: October 2011

October 18, 2011 Rain1-20 View from Crescent Mtn, Northern Loop

Completely Alone on Mt. Rainier’s Northern Loop

In Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

“There’s absolutely no one out here.”

I was just a few hours into a solo backpacking trip around Mt. Rainier National Park’s 32.8-mile Northern Loop when that realization hit me. It was a cool, clear day in October 2003. None of my usual hiking partners had been available to join me. So I decided to do the trip alone, something I’ve done more times than I could count and felt comfortable with. I had no idea that this time I’d face the kind of situation that solo hikers think about but can never anticipate: a threat that shrinks the margin of safety in the wilderness down to nothing. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Princeton Tec Bot Kids Headlamp

October 18, 2011  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Princeton Tec Bot

Headlamp
Princeton Tec Bot
$16, 2 oz. (with two AAA batteries)
Max burn time: nine hours at maximum brightness
princetontec.com

Your kids need to see in the dark in camp, too. Plus, having his or her own headlamp is pretty cool. My eight-year-old daughter loves his headlamp because it’s pink (it also comes in blue, purple, and green). Continue reading →

Gear Review: Princeton Tec Byte Headlamp

October 18, 2011  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Princeton Tec Byte

Headlamp
Princeton Tec Byte
$20, 2 oz. (with two AAA batteries)
Max burn time: 146 hours at maximum brightness
princetontec.com

If weight is your top priority when choosing gear and you need a headlamp that’s bright enough for most backpacking situations, the Byte is your pick. I used this tiny, water-resistant light on several backcountry adventures, including family trips in the Everglades and Tetons and a backpacking trip in Idaho’s Sawtooths. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Rab Boreas/Aurora Pull-On Soft Shell Jacket

October 18, 2011  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , ,   |   Leave a comment

Rab Boreas

Lightweight Soft Shell
Rab Boreas/Aurora Pull-On
$75, 9 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
rab.uk.com

Hikes and trail runs on crappy fall and spring days, fast-changing mountain weather in summer, highly aerobic activities in winter—for all of these things, nothing beats a highly breathable, lightweight pullover or jacket. The men’s Boreas and women’s Aurora are ideal for all of those pursuits. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Drystein Jacket

October 18, 2011  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Mountain Hardwear Drystein Jacket

Rain Shell
Mountain Hardwear Drystein Jacket
$425, 16 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
mountainhardwear.com

I’ve worn dozens of waterproof-breathable jackets over the past two decades of gear and apparel testing, and the characteristic that has always distinguished the best of them is breathability: It’s easy to make a jacket waterproof, not so easy to make it really breathe well when you’re sweating hard. The technology has come a long way over the years, and Hardwear’s new DryQ Elite takes breathability to a new level. Continue reading →