The Briefing

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What's New, Now

Today in Gear: December 19, 2014

Cask-strength "Navy style" rum, DIY alcohol infusing, DIY oyster shucking and more.

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A Scotland Travel Guide

Welcome to our sprawling travel journal of Scotland's environmental, cultural and culinary riches. Over the next two weeks we'll be sharing our collection of 50 essays, videos, anecdotes, photo essays, travel guides, recipes, poetry and tall tales gathered during one hell of a trip. The journey begins now.

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Down Jackets for Every Budget

These top picks for lightweight, innovative down jackets will keep you warm from when the leaves fly until the snow melts next spring.

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The 100 Best Products of 2014

The gear of the year in home, tech, automotive, watches, style, sports, outdoors and spirits.

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The Best Travel Apps

Make sure your smartphone is ready.

On the Docket

Dopp Kits: A Survey

Grooming storage options for every kind of traveler.

Your Guide to Home Fragrance

No, Febreeze isn't the answer.

Best Gym Bags for Any Workout

The 10 best bags for being shoved into a locker while you get your sweat on.

Racing the 640 HP McLaren 650S

0 to 60 mph in 2.9 f%&*ing seconds.

How to Grill the Best Steak of Your Life

The magic of the Pinbone sirloin.

5 Facial Moisturizers to Beat Winter

There's no excuse for dry skin.

Triathlon Gear for the Newbie

Everything needed to race your best.

What to Watch & Read this Holiday

Catch up on what you missed.

22 Best Boots of the Season

Find the right boot for every occasion.

The History of In-N-Out Burger

One family's patty-filled chapter in the book of American dreams.

Original Films

Fishing in the Late Light

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Meeting a fishy relative in beautiful Cairngorms National Park.

Photo Essay

Dispatches From Cuba

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Photos and Stories From a 20-Day Journey

Today's Contents

Feature Story

The Pros and Cons of Abandoning Europe's Hiking Hut System

Hiking the Alps, Sans Huts

Dan had mentioned his novel idea before our summer trip to Switzerland: we’d go backpacking, in the Alps -- no huts. Bring your sleeping bags and bivy sacks, he said. Brilliant, I thought.

Latest Stories

Vin from the bargain bin

Best Red Wines Under $20

You and Andrew Jackson walk into a wine store. Read on to find out what you come out with.

Stopping to Smell the Wildflowers

Getting to Know Australia on the Larapinta Trail

Outdoor enthusiasts sometimes turn their backs on organized, outfitted tours. But as a first-time visitor to Australia, GP contributor Will McGough was glad to hike the Larapinta Trail with a handful of locals.

Four Lists You Missed

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16 Gifts for the Travelers Under $50
Because adventure is out there
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16 Great Tech Gifts Under $50
Because last year's obsolete
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16 Stylish Finds for Under $50
Because their wardrobe needs updating.
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16 Camping & Outdoor Gifts for Under $50
Because they're one with nature.

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Earlier This Week

Ducati ditches the suit and tie

The Ducati Scrambler Is an Entry-Level Winner

Ducati's new Scrambler is the antithesis to the brand's flagship beasts: fun rather than intense, individualized rather than perfected, accessible rather than the stuff of dreams.

More: Ducati
Unique Travel Guides via Algorithm

DELI Scatters the Tourist Herd

DELI is a free web-based app that offers users tailor-made travel advice for both visitors and locals with ranging interests. Based in Amsterdam, the service plans to expand mid-2015.

Four Tips for Staying on Track

Stop Letting Excuses Ruin Your Workouts

At Fitbit, tracking steps, calories, weight loss and sleep efficiency is just the start. The mission isn't to push you to perpetually break a step record -- it’s to find habits that put you on the path to becoming healthier, happier and revitalized.

More: This post is presented by Fitbit
Light, After 40 Days of Night

Viewfinder: Return of the Sun

Ice and darkness: winters in Ilulissat, a coastal city in northwestern Greenland, are unfathomably severe. After 40 straight days of darkness, the Inuits welcome the sun.

A Scotland Travel Guide

The Right To Roam: The End

It's the final day of our sprawling travel journal of Scotland's environmental, cultural and culinary riches. We spent Day 11 exploring Edinburgh (where we got a trim, drank great beer and met a fellow American), reading great Scottish literature, and saying goodbye to this beautiful country.

James Wood & Sons

Postcard: The Oldest Barbershop in Edinburgh

2:30 p.m. GMT | Edinburgh, Scotland -- That’s what the guy in the shop selling scarves told us, anyway: that James Wood & Sons, Wood’s for short, was the oldest place to get a cut in Scotland’s capital city.

More: Postcards
Best Supporting Timekeepers

8 Iconic Movie Watches

Watches generally hold two positions in movies: they’re either part of the story, or part of the character. In either case, given the right circumstances, movie watches can reach icon status for watch enthusiasts and movie buffs alike.

A Scotland Travel Guide

Right To Roam: Day 10

Welcome to our sprawling travel journal of Scotland's environmental, cultural and culinary riches. Over the next two weeks we'll be sharing our collection of 50 essays, videos, anecdotes, photo essays, travel guides, recipes, poetry and tall tales gathered during one hell of a trip. On Day 10, we examined the best independent Scotches (and tasted a delicious Big Scotch name), visited the oldest in on Skye and learned a thing or two from a Scottish brown trout.

A Scotland Travel Guide

Right To Roam: Day 9

Welcome to our sprawling travel journal of Scotland's environmental, cultural and culinary riches. Over the next two weeks we'll be sharing our collection of 50 essays, videos, anecdotes, photo essays, travel guides, recipes, poetry and tall tales gathered during one hell of a trip. On Day 9, we talked Scotland's greatest adventures, then feasted on delicious Scottish cheeses, smoked fish and beer.

Cocoa Goes Craft

Hot Chocolates to Try This Winter

Hot chocolate has an artisan niche that's on par with the craft beer scene. So next time you’re seeking a second wind, or a substitute for a post-ski IPA, consider one of these delicious cocoas.

Prepare to space out

Kit: Tools for Clutter-Free Lifestyle

Winter is always a season for reflection, particularly when it comes to your personal space. An influx of family, gifts and food leave most wondering where it all went. Take advantage of the extended time indoors by reorganizing your living situation with these clutter killing solutions and remind yourself about just how good home can be.

More: This Post is Presented by Bose
A Scotland Travel Guide

The Right to Roam: Day 8

Welcome to our sprawling travel journal of Scotland's environmental, cultural and culinary riches. Over the next two weeks we'll be sharing our collection of 50 essays, videos, anecdotes, photo essays, travel guides, recipes, poetry and tall tales gathered during one hell of a trip. Day Eight saw us further battered by Hurricane Gonzalo on the Isle of Skye -- we biked the roads anyway. We took refuge in The Three Chimneys, one of the best restaurants in Scotland, where we ate the best scallops we'd ever had.