Osprey Variant 37
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Purchased January 2016, reviewed October 2017 Most people start with two basic backpacks: a day pack in the 15-30 liter range and an overnight pack in the 55-80 liter range. Packs in the 35-50 liter range always seem to require … Read More

DMOS Stealth Shovel
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Purchased March 2017, reviewed September 2017 The DMOS Stealth is a blingy backcountry shovel introduced as the ideal tool to build ski and snowboard jumps (called “kickers”). The Stealth’s serrated blade is made from 2.5mm 6061 aluminum, and its 56.5-inch … Read More

Valandre Shocking Blue
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Purchased December 2016, reviewed September 2017, updated November 2017 The Shocking Blue (aka Shocking Blue Neo) is the namesake sleeping bag in France-based Valandre’s “Shocking Blue Series” of cold-weather sleeping bags. Many winter sleeping bags are given names that conjure … Read More

Hilleberg Nammatj 2
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Purchased July 2015, reviewed August 2017, last updated November 2017 The Nammatj 2 is a four-season Swiss Army Knife of a tent from Swedish tentmaker Hilleberg. Weighing in at between 5 and 6.5 pounds depending on setup, the Nammatj 2 … Read More

The Bomber Traverse Map
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The Bomber Traverse is an informal hut-to-hut wilderness backpacking route in the Talkeetna Mountains of Alaska. The purpose of the Bomber Traverse Map is to aid wilderness travel by indicating general backcountry routes and hut locations, by codifying locally-accepted names … Read More

The Birds and the Bombers Traverse
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A variation on the Bomber Traverse route through the Talkeetna Mountains Another August rolls around, which means it’s time for blueberry picking, avoiding the State Fair, and heading out on the Bomber Traverse. The snow on the glaciers is usually … Read More

2002-2018: The Great Blow-Up
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Packraft History 2002-2018: The Great Blow-Up In the 1980s-90s the sport of packrafting went through a long, quiet incubation period. A few grizzled outdoorspeople bought, repaired, and traded Curtis and Sherpa packrafts, pushing the simple boats to their limits (and … Read More

Campbell Creek
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Campbell Creek is a splashy, meandering Class I/II creek that originates in the Chugach Mountains and flows southeast through the urban center of Anchorage, Alaska. Most boaters will float some portion of the 8-mile section between the Piper St cul-de-sac and the Dimond Blvd bridge.… Read More

Gear Storage
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Anatomy of a Packraft Gear Storage Gear can either be lashed on top of a packraft’s bow or stored inside the tubes. Internal storage lowers the boat’s center of gravity, improves sightlines over the bow, and keeps gear dry. However … Read More

Packrafting PFDs
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Accessories Packrafting PFDs As with paddles, there really isn’t such a thing as a “packraft PFD,” but some PFDs will tend to work better for packrafting than others. Good options for packrafters include those that are light, built from quality … Read More

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