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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10 Amazing Places to Snowshoe in North America

Your favorite hiking trails may be under snow until spring, but snowshoeing is an affordable, accessible way to keep winter fun. The solitude of snowshoeing is also a bonus: there are no crowds, heavy machinery, or endless lift lines. The following destinations have some of the best snowshoeing in North America, from groomed Nordic tracks and valley floors, to lakeshore forest glades and rugged ascents. 10 Best Places to Snowshoe in North America 1. Ashcroft, Colorado: Ghost town turned dining destination Eleven miles from Aspen, this ghost town has been turned into an ungroomed, unmaintained Nordic playground. Explore the miles of trails that traverse meadows, creeks and evergreen forest dotted with the remnants of the mining boom town of Ashcroft. Your destination should be the famed Pine Creek Cookhouse, which…

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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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Building Your Backcountry Kitchen, Part 1: Storing, Stashing & Stocking

Even if you’re content to subsist primarily on reconstituted meals in the backcountry, there’s always room for improvement (it’s amazing what a dash of soy sauce or a dollop of peanut butter can do, for example). If you genuinely enjoy the challenge of creating healthy, delicious fare while out in the back of beyond, having a well-stocked portable kitchen will serve you well. The following are tips on storing, stashing, and stocking your backcountry kitchen. I’m not going to address cookware here, as what you carry depends upon the type of trip, destination, and your personal preference/weight-bearing capabilities. (See Part 3: Cookware and Stove Pairings.) One of the main considerations is keeping your kitchen kit lightweight and compact. If you’re going to be on the river or in a clime…

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The Ultimate Guide to MSR Fuel

You’re psyched. You just bought an MSR® camp stove—the undisputed gold standard for everything from expeditions and extended road trips to casual backpacks and a weekend of family camping. In that process, you likely considered what type of fuel you wanted your new stove to use: liquid fuel or canister fuel. Now that you’ve made that primary choice, you may find yourself wondering a host of questions, from finding compatible fuel away from home to basic use tips to make the most of your stove or stove system. So, here’s a soup-to-nuts compendium of the most common questions we receive about MSR fuel to keep you going no matter where you want to be. What is MSR IsoPro™ Fuel? MSR IsoPro fuel is the magic sauce inside our fuel canisters….

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