Hi-tec Altitude Lite 1 Waterproof Hiking Boots

Hi-tec Altitude Lite 1 Waterproof Hiking Boots Practical Travel Gear 1

In the title I call these "boots," but that word certainly doesn't conjure up an accurate image of the lightweight Altitude Lite Waterproof footwear from Hi-Tec. These may be the lightest over-the-ankle shoes/boots I've ever strapped on for a hike: they weigh in at just a shade more than a pound each, which is in line with a lot of low-rise regular walking shoes.Like many Hi-tec products, the Altitude Lite models are primarily a value play. If you want a lot of features in a boot that costs … [Read more...]

Oboz Switchback Real Trail Hiking Shoes

Oboz Switchback Real Trail Hiking Shoes Practical Travel Gear 1

A lot of the shoes we've tried labeled as "light hikers" and such are fine for a mellow walk in the woods, but they aren't really built for tough trails. If you want some low-rise shoes that aren't real heavy but can really hold up during steep hikes with lots of rocks and roots, the new Switchback style from Oboz is a winner.These didn't fit like a pair of slippers when I put them on, which I've learned to take as a good sign for any hiking footwear. Usually when they feel great right out … [Read more...]

Rewind: Hiking Trip Travel Gear That Works

Rewind: Hiking Trip Travel Gear That Works Practical Travel Gear 2

We try to take a good amount of time to try out the gear we review on here, but often it's a year down the line, after multiple trips, that we really start loving the gear we can depend on. (And maybe hating that one nagging fault that bugged us just a little the first time around.)In late April I spent a week in Peru, hiking around the Andes Mountains around the Sacred Valley on a Lares Adventure tour. Some days were tougher than others, but on several days we were doing heavy-duty hikes … [Read more...]

Lorpen Trail and Hiking Socks for Women

Lorpen Trail and Hiking Socks for Women Practical Travel Gear 2

No matter how much I hike--and I hike a lot--I am plagued with blisters on my heels, in part because I'm often trying out new hiking boots for review. I've learned to do two things: 1. always have a blister kit with moleskin at the ready, and 2. invest in very good hiking socks.For the latter, I've been turning lately to Lorpen. These technical socks are well-known in Europe, and thankfully, are now available in the US. Lorpen makes multi-sport socks for winter sports, hiking, biking, … [Read more...]

Outdoor Travel Safety and First Aid Round Up

Outdoor Travel Safety and First Aid Round Up Practical Travel Gear

I’m always glad to find new products for my outdoor first aid arsenal. If you need to restock your supply of insect repellents, emergency medical supplies, or outdoor survival tools before high camping season or outdoor excursions while traveling, Natrapel, Adventure Medical Kits, and Sol have some interesting new items to consider. Here’s what we’ve recently tried out during our first camping and kayaking trips of the season.Natrapel bug spray:Natrapel is DEET-free, yet unlike most … [Read more...]

Grand Trunk Nano 7 Lightweight Hammock

Grand Trunk Nano 7 Lightweight Hammock Practical Travel Gear 1

Whether you're doing some serious backcountry hiking or you're just kicking back for a siesta in your travels, this Nano 7 Hammock from Grand Trunk won't load you down when you bring it along. Weighing in at around a half pound and squishing down to the size of a softball, it's less trouble to pack than a typical shoe.Despite the diminutive size and weight, this is still a tough hammock. The Nano 7 supports up to 300 pounds, so even if you're an ambitious overweight hiker on Day 1 of the … [Read more...]

ExOfficio Airhart and Camina Trek’r Shirts

ExOfficio Airhart and Camina Trek'r Shirts Practical Travel Gear 3

I have quite a few outdoor technical shirts in my closet, but when it comes to adventure-wear that can double as multi-use travel wear, it's hard to beat ExOfficio. This brand is a solid bet for high-quality, practical, comfortable clothing that will take you from travel day to outdoor excursion to city streets.ExOfficio Airhart Shirt:The Airhart shirt is the lightest weight shirt ExOfficio makes. It's literally a relief to put on in warm or humid environments, especially after … [Read more...]

Natural Wilderness Wipes From Sea to Summit

Natural Wilderness Wipes From Sea to Summit Practical Travel Gear

Grab a pack of these Wilderness Wipes from great travel and camping gear outfitter Sea to Summit and you'll be ready to clean your dirty hands or get presentable anywhere.Sometimes when you're in the backcountry or just stuck on a dusty Indian bus, it's hard to find a clean place to get yourself clean. We can all put up with a bit of grubbiness for a while, but it's not good to be caked in dirt and germs when it's time to lift food to your mouth. Or clean up a scraped arm. Or just wipe off … [Read more...]

Oboz Mystic Low BDry Lightweight Hiker

Oboz Mystic Low BDry Lightweight Hiker Practical Travel Gear 1

If you're a hiker in need of a serious hiking boot, mostly likely, you've been steered toward the most serious-looking gear out there: the most rugged, high-topped boots on the market. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, for a mega-tough, ankle-supporting Oboz hiking boot, check out my review of the Bridger. But if you prefer a much lighter, more flexible boot, you don't have to sacrifice quality or performance. Enter the Oboz Mystic Low.I love this boot, and yes, I'm a serious hiker and … [Read more...]

Arc’teryx Zeta AR Jacket and Pant

Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket and Pant Practical Travel Gear

Given the cost of high-quality outdoor apparel, I need my preferred wear to be three-season-friendly, versatile, and durable. I was immediately drawn to the Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket and pant, both due to Arc'teryx's high standards and the many uses of the Zeta line. And don't worry guys...these exact items come in a men's version. See it all in one place here.Zeta AR Jacket: Certainly, it's possible to highly specialize when it comes to technical outdoor jackets. And sometimes, it's … [Read more...]