Best Gifts for the Outdoors Under 1 Pound

Gearheads can be hard to shop for (speaking for the many gearheads at MSR, including myself). But generally, if you choose a gear gift that’s light and high-quality you’ll hit a home run. We wanted to make your holiday shopping as easy as possible this year, so we’ve compiled a list of all our favorite gear that’s under a pound and sure to delight even the most discerning of outdoorspeople. E-Bivy™ Minimum Weight: 6 oz. Price: $199.95 The E-Bivy is some people’s emergency plan and other people’s shelter of choice—we’re here for both. Tiny enough to throw in any pack and weather-resistant for protection when you need it, the E-Bivy is a great gift for everyone who spends time in the backcountry. Thru-Hiker 70 Wing Minimum Weight: 12 oz. Price: $189.95…

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Furoshiki: Easy, Sustainable Gift Wrap for the Holidays and Beyond

It’s that time of year again—already. Just like clockwork, your local retail outlets are switching over from the Halloween decorations they put up right after Labor Day to the fancy glitz of Christmas, Kwanza, Hannukah, Solstice and any number of other winter-themed holidays before the last Jack-o-Lantern has even gone out. While we’re in party mode, attending holiday gatherings, eating too much food and hopefully getting in those first few turns or pitches of ice climbing, a darker side to the holidays emerges and it’s not just because the sun is setting at 3:30 pm. Gifts of Garbage That’s right, as much as you love them, you must admit that the holidays are a pretty wasteful time of year—it has been estimated that the average American’s waste stream goes up…

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​​How Much Does a Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail Really Cost?

When I first heard about the Appalachian Trail, I knew it’d be a tremendous undertaking. But I had no idea how to quantify it. With very little backcountry experience, I kept wondering: How much does a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail cost? Would it take five lost toenails, an injured knee and a sore ego to make it to the end of the trail? Would I have to exchange years of my life to make it to Katahdin? Or could I get by with my life’s savings, and call it complete? The internet told me that a standard hiker should expect to spend about $5,000 on their journey. But I didn’t want to leave my potential success to chance, so I stuffed $10,000 away before allowing myself to hike. By…

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Shoulder Season Bikepacking in Europe

Spring and autumn should not be ignored for cycle travel. There’s a real joy and satisfaction that you can find with “out-of-season” travel that you’ll never get if you think of summer as your only option for cycling and adventure. However, the moods of the weather and route choice need thought, so I compiled a few ideas and tips to maximize the enjoyment of shoulder season cycle travel. I’m Andy Cox, creator of the European Divide Trail bikepacking route, and I’ve been bikepacking mostly around Europe for the last five years. Before I started out on this Grand Adventure I’d done quite a few shorter trips around the UK and into Europe, but I was always focused on the summer as my main travel season. While I don’t often travel…

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Why Rest Days Matter

The ache in my toes was subtle at first. I came off of a multi-pitch climb in California, unlaced my shoes and noticed a new tenderness in my joints. But I was rock climbing. Didn’t something always hurt while I was rock climbing? Cramming my feet into narrow blocks of rubber was just part of the process. Over the following weeks, I alternated between taking rest days and partaking in light activity to give my feet the chance to recover from their ailment. But it wasn’t long before I was back on the wall, exploring the limits of my body. Early on in my life, I learned that if you just put your head down and move forward through the pain, things usually get better. In my experience, doctor’s visits…

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Great Climbs & Worthy Causes: Rock Climbing in Eastern Europe

Nina and Jeremy’s Big Idea Summer, 2020 Beranger, Savoie, France The choice of vehicle wasn’t simple. It had to be more than a camper van—reliable off-road and in remote parts of the world, and tough enough to transport a climbing wall (yes, you read that right), all of our rock-climbing gear, photography equipment, and oh yeah, also be a small apartment. Through a bit of luck, a lot of networking and some big decisions, on September 1st, 2020 our very own 1991 Unimog, which we immediately named Andrea, made it home to our village in France. For the last two years, my partner and I had not traveled abroad, for obvious reasons. As an outdoor photographer and a professional climber, Jeremy and I had shaped our lives around our travels…

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