The Best Hiking Boots of 2016
Tackle your next outdoor adventure with the right footwear for the job.
Tackle your next outdoor adventure with the right footwear for the job.
We asked and you responded. Here are the best of the best.
Whether we're headed out for a weekend trip or a thru-hike, these items always make our packing list.
What better way to spend time with your little one than tossing them in a pack and hitting the trail?
Gore-Tex's latest technology is their new “C-Knit” fabric, which will debut in Gore-Tex-equipped jackets in 2015. We were invited out to Yosemite National Park to get a first look at the new jackets and try them out.
As far as recreation goes, heli-hiking is expensive. But it's also a means for everyday folk to access remote, sometimes impossible-to-reach parts of the world -- like the peaks of the Tantalus Range in British Columbia -- in a four-minute helicopter ride, instead of a four-day slog. It's only when you see the other side of the ridge that you realize you'd never tasted a wild berry or truly seen the color blue (reserved only for the types of lakes hidden in the mountains).
The North Cascades aren't exactly user friendly. There are no drive-up views for the minivan crowd. Plush lodges and charming hamlets are few and far between. Rangers usually spend a lot of time telling you what a miserable time you’ll have if you put yourself at the mercy of the park’s capricious and violent weather. But with some grit and serious sweat, adventurers who press through those barriers reap major rewards. Photographer Chris Burkard covered our own recent trip.
We found the 15 best day hikes near major cities in the South.
Nearly one in three Koreans hike on a monthly basis — some consider it an “addiction” — where weekends at trailheads are backlogged with eager hikers dressed in brightly colored mountaineering gear. But several paces in, trails unfurl a multitude of unique sights to Westerners accustomed to sweeping landscapes. On a recent hike at Seoul's Woo-Myun Mountain we discovered a few for ourselves.
With the Appalachians to the east and Rockies to the west, the relatively flat American Midwest doesn't call to mind a hiking destination. But that's dead wrong. Instead of coastlines there are lakeshores. Instead of continuous mountain ranges, there's rolling loess higher than anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere. In the north, terrain varies from the Badlands of the Dakotas and the Pictured Rocks of Lake Superior; in the south are lush forests nestled between the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Rethink the flyover states and hit the trailheads of the American Midwest -- these fifteen are your starting points.
Acatenango is Guatemala’s third highest peak, towering 13,041 feet above the nearby Pacific Ocean and about 8,000 feet above the city of Antigua at the mountain’s base. Photographer and GP contributor Jonathan Levinson hiked to the top.
Today in Gear: New ECCO shoes, a ridiculous disco hammock, top-tier headphones, a new Super 8 camera and more.
A guide to ultralight hiking: rethinking pack weight, preparedness, safety and more.
The summer before his senior year at Duke University, Andrew Skurka thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, his first ever backpacking trip, alone and in only 95 days (that's 23 miles a day). He had caught the bug. He's since hiked 7,775 miles from Quebec to Washington and the Great Western Loop (6,875 miles) and has been named the 2005 "Person of the Year" by Backpacker Magazine and the 2007 "Adventurer of the Year" by National Geographic Adventure. We caught up with him to talk about success and failure on the trail.
Stick anyone next to a cliff and they'll inch forward and peek over; put anyone in a supercar and they'll double the speed limit. We all want to stay safe and comfortable, sure, but in those moments when we lose our footing and time slows to a crawl, we are undeniably living in the moment. Call it suicidal or call it truly living. Here are ten trails that return hikers to their baser need: staying alive.
Gear worth owning is pricey, and repairs used to be the path of least resistance. Today, it’s actually kind of a pain. Yet reviving well-worn gear has major payoffs.
Over the years we've owned a number of different hiking boots in a continuous search for just the right balance of sufficient support, stability, and grip without being so rigid and heavy that they feel like Tony Soprano concrete specials. Recently we had the opportunity to try the BIOM Terrain Plus ($230) from ECCO, a brand we knew only as the maker of grandpa's "most comfortable shoes you'll ever wear!" Of course we were skeptical about where they would rate on that scale of comfort and stability -- and, equally as important, whether we'd want to be seen wearing them on the trail.
There are big-name brands in the outdoor clothing market that turn out lustworthy, cutting-edge shells, baselayers and insulation pieces season after season. But every once in a while, we stumble upon a small brand doing things a little bit differently yet equally well. One of those is NW Alpine, based in that outdoor playground, Portland, Oregon. We got to test out three pieces of NW Alpine gear in the mountains this fall: the Black Spider Hoodie, the Fast/Light Pant and the Simplicity Jacket.
For thru-hikers of the AT, the White Mountains are a cruel joke, coming near the end of a months-long journey that begins in the gentle hills of Georgia. With nary a flat mile the trail follows the spine of the Presidential Range before exiting into Maine and the final miles to Katahdin. But while the Whites can be cruel, they are also kind. Among the rocky steeps is a series of huts where a weary hiker can find a soft bed, warm smiles and hot meals.
I came to the White Mountains of New Hampshire with too much confidence and they kicked my ass. With the trail's highest point barely above tree line and only one thousand feet higher than the starting point of my June ascent of Mount Rainier, I figured hiking here would be easy. I was wrong.
You don't have to be a genius to understand that there are trade-offs in life, a fact that applies to products as well. The spork notwithstanding, hybrid products typically appeal to a broader swath of the population in exchange for being less desirable to enthusiasts in either of the original disciplines. The Adidas Terrex Fast R GTX hiking shoe ($180) stands out for being both nimble and rugged; it's not a compromise, but an elevation above and beyond what exists in the lightweight hiker category.
The rotor wash from a Bell 212 helicopter is startlingly strong. Though I was getting used to the pick up and drop off routine -- kneel, huddle together, cover your face -- every time the helicopter landed I was nearly blown off my feet. Peering out the side window as we lifted straight up from a postage-stamp-sized rock atop a peak called "Kickoff", I noticed that getting blown over here would have meant a very long fall. Note to self: don’t be the guy at the back of the huddle.
Helicopter travel is addictive. Though it's loud and uncomfortable, it's the swiftest and most scenic way to get from Point A to Point B in the mountains. There’s also a certain Green Beret appeal to being whisked off a remote peak by a Huey. Purist hikers and climbers may call it cheating (I used to be one of them), but reserve judgment until you’ve hiked for five hours and 5,000 vertical feet in some of the wildest backcountry in the world and can get back to the lodge in ten minutes for a beer by a crackling fire. I came to this newfound appreciation after a week of up and down in the Bugaboo Mountains of British Columbia.
Retro gear is retro for a reason: modern outdoor gear design performs better than its forebears in almost all respects. But we still have a soft spot for the leather, wool, canvas alpine designs of the 1950s and ‘60s -- you know, before things got all sleek and neon. After seeing two Gear Patrol favorite brands, Topo Designs and Howler Brothers, collaborate to design a classic climbing pack, the Klettersack ($189), we decided to go all Reinhold Messner and take it to the mountains to see how a retro style pack works in the environment that inspired it.
We love winter and all it brings: fires, warm sweaters, skiing and flasks of Scotch. But come June, we’re ready to bust out and undertake some adventures that can only be done in the warmer months. Memorial Day is traditionally when bikes and boats and boots get dusted off and you hit the ground running until the Labor Day slow down. This summer, why not go a little further and tackle something truly epic? We’re here to help with five great summer-only adventures. There are only twelve weeks of summer, so get planning.
Eschewing the goliath, steel-toed, curb-stomp readiness of hiking boots of yore, the LiteTrace Mid Waterproof Hiker ($150) are the funked-up kick you've been looking to hit your next trail with. Three-ply laminated waterproof membrane, durable upper mesh and climbing rubber
Clean, drinkable water is critical to life on this planet and is a resource that those of us in first world countries often take for granted. That is, unless you've traveled far enough to know otherwise. In the past, though, portable
The Marmot Essence Jacket is just that - the essence of what you need in a rain jacket and nothing more. It keeps you dry, is light and breathable, and you'll find it eminently packable. The Essence gets a sound GP recommendation in the rain jacket department.
It's not often I find myself very surprised by a product. Well before my review of any product is published on Gear Patrol, I have researched it extensively, read other people's comments and reviews on it, and tested it myself.