The Briefing

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What's New, Now

Today in Gear: December 26, 2014

Age your own spirits, Virgil Kaine Ginger Infused Bourbon, shirts from Volcom and Kat Irlin and more.

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The Story of 3 States

Introducing: The North Journal

Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are too often lumped in with the Midwest. We're putting the "North" back on the map with a new series of epic adventures; call it flyover country at your peril.

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The Greatest Reads of the Year

Our picks for the 14 best books of 2014.

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Excellent Reds Under $20

A wine list worth knowing (and bookmarking).

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Ducati's Scrambler Is an Entry-Level Winner

Riding the antithesis of the brand's flagship beasts.

On the Docket

Dopp Kits: A Survey

Grooming storage options for every kind of traveler.

Winter Driving Essentials

Don't let bad weather spoil the fun.

Hot Holiday Cocktails

Drink and be merry.

Best Gym Bags for Any Workout

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

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.

The Cubicle Workout

Workers of the world, unite!

Bring It, Apple Watch

Why traditional timepieces are here to stay.

22 Best Boots of the Season

Find the right boot for every occasion.

Hot Chocolate's Nefarious Past

Investigating the dark side of a sweet drink.

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

Latest Stories

For your viewing pleasure

Best of 2014: Films

We take a look back at 2014 to find the best films of the year.

A Partygoer's Best Friend

The Best Sparkling Wine Under $30

Here are ten of the best bottles of bubbly on the market. Give them, get them, and please, drink them with dinner.

Testing a Mindfulness Tool At the Mall on Black Friday

Home for the Holidays with the Muse Brain Sensing Headband

The Muse is a "mindfulness" tool recommended for use in a quiet place, removed from distraction for optimal results and noticeable calmness. I, being on my way home for Thanksgiving, decided the best way to test it was to wear it around my relatives and on a Black Friday trip to the mall.

Four Lists You Missed

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The 7 Best Synthetic Down Jackets
Because they stay warm when wet.
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What to Watch & Read This Holiday
Because you'll get bored between eating.
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8 Rare Bourbons Not Named Pappy
Because collecting is fun.
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How to Build the Perfect Home Gym
Because monthly fees suck.

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Earlier This Week

Rides Born to Go Off-Road

The Best Classic Adventure Vehicles

Steep slopes, muddy trails, river crossings and scree slopes turn a garden variety trip into a journey. Adrenaline junkies, take note: off-road excursions are just as exciting as transcontinental road trips, if not more so. Set yourselves up with any of these great vintage off-road adventure cars and you'll see why.

What's New, Now

Today in Gear: December 24, 2014

Coffee beans from all over the world, Glenfiddich's limited edition single malt whisky, the Meridian Explorer², Evelo's Omni Wheel turns any bike into an electric one and more.

More: Gear News
Meaningful Evolution

Field Report: Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Looking at the new Canon EOS 7D Mark II you’d be hard pressed to decide whether the APS-C shooter is more evolution or revolution. At first glance it’s still... you know... camera shaped. After a few days in the field substituting the 7D Mark II into our normal photo and video-heavy production schedule though we came away with an entirely different story. Here's our report.

Wine so serious?

The Best Boxed Wines of 2014

We conducted a blind tasting of 16 of the best available boxed wine (8 white, 8 red). A few tasted like our worst box wine memories of yore: fermented juice boxes gone bad. But another few hinted at that 92-point bottle we keep stowed away in the cellar.

10 Classic Film Shooters Worth Owning

A Guide to Vintage Cameras

We're huge fans digital photography -- but our love for film cameras will never die. Whether you're interested in shooting with film or just into collecting, here are our picks for the best vintage cameras.

Notes from a WWII POW

My Grandfather’s War

GP writer Bryan Campbell's grandfather became a prisoner of war during WWII's Battle of the Bulge. He was imprisoned for just over four months. Here is a glimpse of his experience from his personal journal, 70 years to the day of his capture.

Don't Call It Napa 2.0

New York’s Finger Lakes Wine Finds Its Way

At long last, New York's Finger Lakes wine region is gaining recognition, both nationally and abroad. Can the community preserve its identity in the face of looming challenges?

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.

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
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.

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.