Are Westerner backpacking travelers over stepping the mark in Eastern countries by begging for coins? The trouble with the internet is once one video or story goes viral everybody immediately feels the need to replicate it, which clearly itself is innocent and natural behaviour. Features have been done on people who have traveled without much money, doing charity work even. It’s all very intriguing, but it seems this is a growing trend with westerners taking advantage of the kind hospitality offered.
These are the ‘begpackers’, the band of travelers who arrive in their destination with next to nothing, who plan on going cap in hand—to not only other travelers, but locals, too—to help make their way around the world.
This cook kit will serve campers well both at the campground and on the trail. We used it while kayaking the John Day River last year, and were impressed with the space-saving design. Two bowls and two mugs fit inside the cooking post.
The MSR Trailshot is the only water filter most hikers will ever need. It’s light, easy to operate, and effective against protozoa and bacteria. As long as your loved one isn’t filtering viruses (mostly found in developing regions), this will do the trick.
Sure, headlamps work around the campsite. But a lantern is really a nice addition. Hang the Coleman Rugged Rechargeable from a branch and light the surrounding area. Rechargeable with USB, you can plug it into your car to juice the battery when it runs low. A 20-hour run time on low and up to 400 lumens (high) will make the campsite a cozy place.
Swedish brand Morakniv makes reliably good fixed-blade knives. Today only, these are all 50% off! For a great all-around, full-tang knife, try the Garberg. For a uniquely useful small blade, try the Eldris. Both are wonderful choices for the adventurous and outdoorsy on your list!
The Crank Brothers multi-tool has all the basics you need to tighten, adjust, and fix a bike on the trail. Plus, it’s lightweight and comes with a stainless steel “tool flask” to keep moisture and rust at bay. The tool lends peace of mind on every ride with a solid assortment of functions for common repairs on the trail.
This bike-security package comes with a standard U-lock and a 4-foot cable. Protect a bike by locking the front wheel and frame with the U, and then lassoing the back wheel with the cable. The system gives proven security in all but the most theft-prone urban areas.
Yeah, this is a big-ticket purchase, but we’ve used the Suunto Spartan HR and love its functionality. This is a powerful tool for trail runners (and cyclists, climbers, swimmers, hikers). Get pace, heart rate, elevation, cadence, and a ton more mission-critical specs right on your wrist.
When it comes to cross training, runners are the worst! But if anyone needs to lift weights to maintain a balanced body and avoid injury, it’s runners. The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are really versatile, allowing an athlete to do a wide variety of exercises. And, they take up very little space. So help that runner do some strength conditioning with a simple, effective tool.
Skiers, cyclists, snowmobilers (and even sometimes winter hikers and climbers pushing through tough conditions) need serious eye protection. The Julbo Airflux is an excellent choice. The lenses on these goggles pull away from the frame to allow massive airflow to fight fogging. This is a big deal when sweating, for example, from skinning uphill on a backcountry tour. We’ve tested and love these goggles.
There’s a reason this much-copied piece of head/neck/face-wear is in our pack no matter the season. The Buff is so versatile and useful, we won’t leave home without one. In the winter, it’s a face mask, or ear cover, a balaclava, or, well, the uses seem endless. It’s inexpensive and everyone can use one (or three) Buffs in their pack or on their person for winter snow and wind.
A recap of top stories for the week of Dec. 10–16, 2017.
If you haven’t tried bikepacking, this video will make you want to pack up and hit the trail!
The ‘Trailhead’ will provide a 14,000-square-foot ‘jumping-off point’ for a variety of activities through Minneapolis’s largest park.
Robert Szucs analyzed satellite data to create stunning images of the world’s forests from above. Now you can hang these maps on your wall.
Running 240 miles is no easy feat. Doing it faster than anyone before, is otherworldly. We interviewed Courtney Dauwalter and got the scoop on the gear she used during her record-setting run.
Great outdoor gear at an amazing price. Check out the bargains from Marmot, Mammut, and Sierra Designs.
Lightweight but warm, the Canuk boot by Columbia was built for below-zero days… like 65 degrees below zero.
Minimalism meets all-mountain functionality in the next great line of multi-sport tents. We reviewed the ultralight Ultamid 2 tent in Mexico, Colorado, and the Sierras. Made from Dyneema fabric, this is one tough, expensive tent.
Renting outdoor gear is a great option for anyone traveling or looking to try before buying.
Even if you’re not a serious ice skater, this video will make you want to strap on a pair and glide across a frozen lake.
Changing snow conditions, weak legs, skiing above your ability—knee injuries are one of the most common traumas on the slope. Here are some tips to avoid knee injuries this winter.
The Running Event trade show debuts some of the running industry’s top products for the coming year. We were on hand to learn about five exciting new running shoes for 2018.
The humble camp chair gets an inflatable upgrade this year. Our contributor lounged on air for a weekend to test a cushioned seat unlike any other.
Heather Weidner climbed China Doll, a 5.14- R trad route in Dream Canyon, Colorado, on trad gear. This film documents her progress, with passion and determination exposed in full.
Stretch it! A new construction method adds stretch and makes this 2017/18 Mountain Hardwear jacket unlike anything on the market.
The rebranded Gander Outdoors will refresh the bankrupt Gander Mountain stores and online presence with direction from new owner Camping World, Inc.
Our weekly column finds the best deals from across the web to save you money on outdoors gear. Check out the deals from Arc’teryx, Leatherman, Outdoor Research, Helly Hansen, Gerber, and more.
Interested in backcountry snowboarding but can’t afford the gear? Jones Snowboards and the American Alpine Club offer two new grants for amateurs only.
The [As One] line honors U.S. communities devastated by natural disasters this year.
Shot at midnight, this ski film follows two skiers down one of Chamonix’s renowned lines, the Vallée Blanche.
Not sure what to get that special—and adventurous—lady in your life? It’s OK, neither were we. So we talked to the women who test, review, and buy the gear that works best.
No matter the type of hunting, you’re sure to find a suiting gift in this list that will enhance the outdoor hunting experience.
The ‘Grounds Keepers’ program will sponsor 25 individuals to clean trash along major section hikes and popular public trails in 2018.
Cast better with some simple instruction! This video from RIO teaches fly fishers how to properly perform a forward cast and points out common problems along the way.
Our team of gear experts scoured REI for our favorite gear picks and gift ideas. Best of all, they don’t cost a fortune, with each item costing $40 or less.
Our weekly peek at emerging products examines the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
During Super Bowl LII, attendees can take part in a high-flying zip line over the river in Minneapolis. The zip line will span more than 800 feet and will likely be one of the coldest to date.
Experience the vibrant culture of Oaxaca, Mexico, in ‘Ride of the Dead.’ The film showcases a mountain bike competition during the Day of the Dead celebration.
Can a non-locking knife hold up against the rigors of modern use? In testing, the Proper 318 proved itself a rugged and ready worker.
No need for a holiday wish list. We’ve chosen 19 products that will be sure to please anyone who loves the outdoors.
One lucky, polar-minded person will receive an $8,000 hands-on education by renowned explorer Eric Larsen. Best of all: Gear is included.
What was going through his mind free soloing El Cap? Alex Honnold discusses risk, goals, and tiny mouse people in this animated short from The North Face.
Share : GJ Week In Review: Gift Guide, Inflatable Lounger, Moab 240 Gear
One lucky polar-minded person will receive an $8,000 hands-on education from renowned explorer Eric Larsen. Best of all: Gear is included.
Do you long for perpetual night or ice-cold daylight, blistering winds, and the thunderous crack of a splintering iceberg? If so, you might be crazy enough to tackle Eric Larsen’s “Polar Training Course,” covering everything from meal prep and navigation to proper sledding and sleeping techniques.
And before you file it away for later consideration, now is the perfect time. That’s because this month Helly Hansen and Allied Feather and Down are offering an $8,000 scholarship and gear package for Larsen’s Level 1 classes.
One lucky applicant will receive travel to the Lake Winnipeg training grounds, a four-day traverse through polar conditions with Larsen himself, and all necessary gear from Helly Hansen, Stanley, MSR, and more.
Applications are open now. The only requirement to enter is availability for the 10-day adventure – with travel days – spanning Jan. 11–22. The deadline to enter is Dec. 22.
According to the scholarship page, the lucky recipient will be “someone who will be positively transformed by this experience.” And though the application is short, it asks a handful of qualitative questions to vet would-be explorers.
“What are your future expedition/adventure goals?” “Why is this experience going to change your life?” and “How do you embody or embrace a ‘Cold Culture’?” are a few questions where applicants can stand out.
The winner will fly to a “remote cabin on Lake Winnipeg,” which will serve as base for a mini-expedition. Indoor classes take place on the first three days before a four-day traverse of the frozen lake. And the itinerary promises below-zero temperatures and “conditions nearly identical to the poles.”
In addition to meeting a famed polar explorer and receiving a polar gear package, participants will learn key preparation and survival tactics.
Polar Training Topics
Polar travel philosophy
Fitness and training
Daily routines and travel techniques
Safety and first aid
Polar bears and wildlife
Expedition nutrition and menu planning
Safety and first aid
Reminder: Applications close on Dec. 22, so get cracking. Don’t be left out in the cold.
Share : Love Cold? ‘Polar Training Scholarship’ Up for Grabs
Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie – from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it’s outside, it’s worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.
Slender, lightweight, and super inexpensive: Black Diamond’s Solution harness offers a whole lot of bang for not a lot of buck. We tested this harness and were impressed with its comfort, construction, and value. A great choice for logging hours at the gym this winter or as an all-around go-to harness.
Kammok’s Roo Hammock still holds the record for the most successful Kickstarter hammock campaign, amassing a whopping $200,000 back in 2011. We’ve relaxed in one ourselves and can vouch for its lightweight yet sturdy construction.
Never run out of power with Goal Zero’s power bank bundle. Quickly charge AA and AAA batteries, cell phones, and small devices with the Goal Zero Guide 10. It can directly charge a cell phone in just one hour.
This jacket packs down small, weighs less than 10 ounces, and offers impressive warmth. We’ve been testing the Micro Puff and are pleased with its cold-weather performance and quality construction. It’s a jacket that will layer up for winter and stand strong on its own the rest of the year.
Add more tunes to your life. We put the Turtle Shell 2.0 Bluetooth speaker on a head-to-head test, and it performed beautifully. Whether you mount it to your handlebars or bump it at a house party, the water-resistant device is sure to please. Play time: 16 hours.
The Kusa jacket is the first mass-market llama jacket made for the outdoors. We put it through a three-week test and appreciated its street style, comfort across a range of temps, and reversible versatility.
Packed with Aerogel, the Orion Parka from OROS is designed to provide more freedom of movement and less “puff” than traditional down jackets. A waterproof shell, removable hood, and full seam taping keep the wearer dry in nasty weather, while pit vents help regulate heat inside.
Made in Portland, Ore., these sunglasses from Shwoodwere specifically designed for those looking for the winning combination of style and function. They’re perfect for your morning commute or strolling around town.
This tent packs light, pitches quick, and withstands heavy use and variable weather. That’s all you can ask for in a tent. We’ve tested the two-person Dagger with Pawprint for more than 250 nights and found it durable, comfortable, and easy to use.
At less than $30, the Fiskars Hatchet is a reliable tool for the outdoors. As our tester noted, “The Fiskars 14 proved immediately and eminently capable, splitting medium-sized chunks of wood with ease. The blade bit deep and hard, and the handle did an excellent job of absorbing any recoil.”
If you could only have one action camera mount, this one should be it. It can clip on virtually anything, from backpack straps to ski boots, providing unlimited angle possibilities. It’s compatible with GoPro and other action and point-and-shoot cameras.
Monkii Bars can be strung over any limb, fence, railing, etc. and used to perform an endless array of workouts, including pull-ups, dips, rows, single-leg squats, pikes, and more. Stay fit on the go and have fun while you’re at it.
Everyone needs a good knife. Choose one from LT Wright, and you’ll have a gift that lasts a lifetime and can be passed on for generations to come. It fits nicely in the hand, maintains a sharp edge, and comes with a well-made leather sheath.
Woolrich has been crafting quality outdoor clothing for over 180 years now. The moccasin-style Potter County Slippers are perfect for relaxing by the fire in a hut after a long ski tour and a great way to end or begin the day in a cold-floored cabin.