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Gifts For The Wilderness Explorer

12 Guys of Christmas: The Adventurer

What do you get the guy who spends more time sleeping under the stars each year than most people do in their entire lives? The guy who has gear for every season, every sport, journey, and surprise bug-out? When buying for the discerning backpacker, climber, skier, and general “live larger” type, you can’t simply walk into the nearest outdoor shop and buy something flashy. These explorers live and breathe in the world of Gore-Tex, crampons, and ice axes — and a gift card will get you dropped faster than the cell phone coverage on his last jungle trek. Stumped? Don’t be. We’ve tested out some great gear this year and zeroed in on the best selections for the adventurer. He might destroy your gift on his next expedition into the wild, but he’ll be grateful you bought the best.

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The Gear for Rainier

Kit: Climbing Mount Rainier

To take on our recent ascent of Mount Rainier, we rounded up some of the latest and greatest mountaineering gear. And after two days, 9,000 vertical feet of climbing and weather that ranged from downright scorching to subzero wind chills, we’ve got a thing or two to say about each piece. So whether or not you plan to use any of this gear in your urban, or more rustic, adventures, you can be assured we’ve put it all through rigorous testing in a worse place. Just don’t take an ice axe on the subway.

limits-promo-logoThis kit is part of a new original series, LIMITS, dedicated to exploring the physical and mental borderlands of human capability. And beyond.
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Gear to get you up the Wall

Kit: Climbing Ancient Art Tower

No other sport relies quite as heavily on gear during life-and-death situations as climbing. Your gear is the only lifeline (and sometimes when you’re a few hundred feet up a sheer wall, no amount of gear seems to be enough) holding you to the rock. Selecting the right harness, rope, and protection, then, makes the difference between not just surviving your time on the wall, but enjoying every agonizing toe hold and finger-cramping crack jam. Here’s what we hauled up the rock on our climb up Ancient Art tower in Moab, Utah.

limits-promo-logoThis kit is part of a new original GP series, LIMITS, dedicated to exploring the physical and mental borderlands of human capability. And beyond.
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12 gift ideas for the active adventurer

12 Guys of Christmas: The Outdoorsman

The outdoorsman on your list is easily identifiable: he’s rarely home and smells faintly of man sweat and wood smoke when you do catch him between excursions. His particular passion falls within an extensive of range possible pursuits (noodling for catfish, anyone?), but one thing is for certain — he does them outside. His look…

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Cyclops with brains

Petzl NAO

The latest in automotive headlight technology is downright impressive. Adaptive headlights turn with the steering wheel, high-beams deactivate when oncoming traffic approaches and self-leveling low beams move when the road angle changes. Why can’t headlamps follow suit? No more complaining: the Petzl NAO ($175), an adaptive and rechargable headlamp, seems to work in conjunction with…

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Surviving a Cold Romance

Essential Gear: Winter Emergency Survival

Should you ever be in the unfortunate situation of being stranded in the winter, most survivalists advise that you stay in your vehicle and wait for help. This, of course, is the wisest course of action. Should you find it absolutely necessary to leave your vehicle to get help (for a loved one in medical…

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A Lightweight Headlamp at an Unbeatable Price

Petzl Tikka Plus 2 E97 PM Headlamp

I recently decided to ditch the use of flashlights entirely in my life, in favor of a solid headlamp. After all, what can a flashlight do that a headlamp can’t (aside from not sticking tenaciously to your noggin, of course)? After researching the best model for my need, which include camping, hiking, and late night…

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Your Head As A Beacon

Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp

Head lamps have come a long way since we were on our last scouting trip. No longer do you need to have a glorified Mag Lite strapped to your head, bobbing around and weighing your head down. Petzl’s new Tikka Plus 2 has opened our eyes and become quite a convenient piece of gear to…