I’ve never been a big fan of wearing gloves while belaying and rappelling. Actually, I never though I would be a fan even though I’ve never tried it, with the exception of winter climbing. As of today, my mind is changed.

When it comes to climbing, descending is often the most dangerous part. If you’ve ever gone down too fast with the only option being to grab the rope tighter, further burning your hands, you know how dangerous this can be. Outdoor Research designed the Air Brake gloves to make descending and belaying safer by taking the risk of burning or otherwise hurting the skin on your hands out of the equation.

Made of a breathable leather with extra padding in the palm these gloves will keep your hands cool while still protecting you from burns and causing the rope to slip.

These gloves would also come in handy on via ferret routes so don’t forget them on your next trip to the Dolomites. Those steel and iron shards sticking out of the cable ends can leave a small but painful wound that might cause you to take your concentration off the work in front of you; a bad idea when you might be 1,000’ off the deck.

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Outdoor Research Air Brake Gloves

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Now that we’ve had the opportunity to use the Wave multi-tool by Leatherman over the last few months, we can’t possibly imagine what it would be like to embark on camping trips or daily adventures without the multi-purpose tool. The Wave has everything and more that you could imagine yourself using on a daily basis. Even if you’re not a “multi-tool user” you still need to have one of these for emergency situations!

The quality of Leatherman is unparalleled and chances are you know someone who has had a Leatherman for many years. This is obvious with the 25-year warranty. Covering workmanship, if you have any issues they will either fix or replace your tool.

Leatherman uses a 420 high-carbon stainless steel, which adds both strength and durability ensuring that in times of need, your tool won’t give up on you. While there are many different multi-tools to choose from, this one seems to have a good array of features. It combines popular features like a knife and pliers with tools that are more subtle yet when you need them you’ll be happy you have them.

Whether you’re an avid backpacker, camper, professional builder, or soccer mom, this should be a tool that you have on hand. It comes in use for many different projects and is guaranteed to save the day more than once! Be sure to check out Leatherman because they have a tool and or multi-tool for any and every occasion. Chances are you’ll want to have more than one in your life.

For a detailed look at every feature of the Wave, check out the picture below (taken from Leatherman):

wave breakdown

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The Wave multi-tool by Leatherman

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Last fall, I decided to break down and buy a really nice tripod that we would use mainly for filming video and the occasional photograph. When the box arrived I knew instantly I had definitely gotten a film-specific tripod. I mean, this thing was so heavy (I know what you’re thinking and yes I did read the description and no I did not picture the weight listed in real life situations). There was no way I’d take it in the backcountry skiing, on hikes, or backpacking trips. So there it was. My nice, new tripod only used on specific filming projects. My old, extremely pathetic tripod still accompanied us on all of our fun backcountry adventures.

Finally, I was introduced to Manfrotto’s Off Road line. They recently began developing a line with hikers and adventurers in mind who needed an extremely light, easy to use, fast tripod that they could throw on any pack and not even know it was there. The Off Road Tripod by Manfrotto is one of the lightest in their line. It’s sleek, packable, so very versatile.

The head is by far my favorite part of the tripod. It takes very little time to attach your camera, has a level bubble, and is on a built-in ball which ensures you can get the exact shot you want with minimal adjustments. The new quick wheel is an efficient way to attach your DSLR or action cam into the universal ¼” bolt.

The simple Twist-to-Lock mechanism is not my favorite tripod leg locking mechanism but is necessary for a sleek and light design like this. For myself, I’m often less concerned with weight than I am ease of use. I would rather add a pound or two and have standard push locks.

Overall, this is a great tripod to take out into the backcountry, on short hikes, or out for some review filming excursions. I still love my film-specific tripod but it definitely won’t cover as much ground as my Off Road tripod will. Manfrotto is one of the most experienced companies in the industry when it comes to tripods as they have been creating them for many years. Whether you’re looking for a beginner tripod, a professional tripod, or an off road tripod, they will have you covered!

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The Off Road Tripod by Manfrotto

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Whether you’re an avid backcountry explorer, a weekend camper, a professional wildlife photographer, or someone who just likes to get out and explore, the Sherpa 50 Kit by Goal Zero is a must have. Use the Sherpa 50 Solar Kit for charging your DSLR batteries, GoPros, your smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer (excluding some macs), GPS device, and other things you may have with you on your adventures.   The kit includes the Sherpa 50 battery, Nomad 13 Solar Panel, and an inverter.

One of the great things about having this as a kit is that you can adapt the kit to virtually any excursion you go on. If you’re heading out to Moab for a weekend in the car, bring the entire kit. If you’re going backpacking in the backcountry for 6 days, you could probably get by with just the solar panel. The solar panel is equipped with ports so it can run independently of the Sherpa 50 battery.

We love the Sherpa 50 kit because while we use it on all of our adventures, we also use it in the camper when it is parked. It is way easier to just use the Sherpa 50 battery to charge up a phone or two rather than turning on the generator.   Most recently, we took the kit on a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters. While most are extremely concerned with weight, we aren’t. We tend to over pack clothes, food, and gear. Bringing the entire kit wasn’t an issue because for someone who is not concerned with weight, it hardly adds anything to an already over-packed and heavy backpack. Overall, you’re looking at a weight of about 3 pounds (for the entire kit). If you wanted to just pack a solar panel, the weight would drop down to 1.6 pounds.

Another benefit of choosing Goal Zero for all of your portable power needs is that you can know absolutely nothing about solar, batteries, or inverters and you could get on their website and know exactly which kit or product would work perfectly for your needs. Talk to one of the experts at Goal Zero and you’ll feel like an expert yourself. They provide ample amounts of information on each product on their website so you can know exactly what it is you’re looking for. When the product arrives and you’ve reverted back to your original self of knowing absolutely nothing about solar or portable power, you’ll have the guidance you need to get this kit up and running. Read the directions, or don’t, because it’s that simple. Goal Zero has done a phenomenal job at keeping their products simple, straightforward, and easy to use.

The durability of the solar panels made by Goal Zero is another thing to note as a highly loved feature of the Nomad 13. When we were first introduced to Goal Zero, we could tell their design was made to match the ruggedness and unexpectedness of the outdoors. But solar panels, don’t they have like micro crystals or something? So they’re totally fragile… right? NO! Not only do they look like they match the ruggedness and unexpectedness of the outdoors, they actually do! We even saw one of the Goal Zero representatives hit the Nomad 13 as hard as they could on the sharp edge of a counter top. It did absolutely nothing. Not a scratch, or dent, or crack. This durability has held up on the everyday use and adventures that we have put our Sherpa 50 Kit through.

I won’t list the countless details and pieces of information regarding the Sherpa 50, Nomad 13, and inverter because I wouldn’t do nearly as nice of a job as Goal Zero has done on their website. The durability, packability, and simplicity of the Sherpa 50 Kit has made this kit our most reliable and across the board usable portable power kit. Stay charged up wherever your next adventure may take you!

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The Sherpa 50 Solar Kit

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On our last camping trip to Moab, we wanted so badly to take camp chairs with us but we didn’t have room for the large, cumbersome, chairs that were popular 13 years ago. We settled for not taking any, in hopes that we would find some good logs and rocks to use as seats instead. Luckily for us, most of the campsites within close range to Moab are fairly developed and our nice spot along the river even included a picnic table.

On the same trip, we visited Moab’s local gear shop several times where finally we were introduced to these new, small, lightweight camp chairs that looked like a must have. They looked extremely comfortable and could definitely fit into our over-packed car.

We did a little research and found that coming in at just less than two pounds, the Chair Elite by Helinox would fit our lifestyles and fit in our backpacks. Call us high maintenance, but we knew the Chair Elite would be way more fun to sit around the campfire on then something like a log or rock.

The chair breaks down easily because of the single shock corded pole structure, similar to tent poles, and can be set up with almost one hand. The poles stay connected while the fabric seat comes off to be folded easily into the carrying case.

The chair has two mesh panels on the back and sides to allow for optimal breathability. It’s a surprisingly comfortable seat and will make you want to just sleep next to the fire. The load capacity is 320 pounds, so not a lot to worry about there (which is kind of crazy, you’ll look at the chair and wonder how it’s even going to hold you… but it will!).

If you’re looking for a lightweight, comfortable, and easy to use camp chair, you have to check out Helinox. This chair will be with you on any adventure during any season! They also have different colors so they are easy to distinguish if you have many in the family. Helinox also makes several different designs so be sure to check them out and see what will work best for you.

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The Chair Elite by Helinox

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*Check out Helinox’s “Ball Feet” if you’re having sinkage problems in your Helinox Chair.

The Microcool Hoodie by Terramar will give you many benefits this summer under the hot sun during any adventure! The polyester and nylon blend will keep you cool, protect against the sun, and will cover more than just your torso and arms with the built in balaclava.

This extremely lightweight hoodie would be a good one to add to your summer gear list. It dries rapidly, moves moisture, and helps control odor so you don’t make your friends sick with your stinky B.O.

My most favorite feature of this piece by Terramar is the fact that it is so lightweight so that I can protect my skin from the sun but not be baking because I’m wearing a long sleeve layer. Once you get it in your hands, you’ll understand. The fit is really nice and flattering, it can be worn as an outdoorsy layer but when you walk into the bar afterwards, you won’t be made fun of by your trendy friends.

Terramar has also taken advantage of a new technology in this piece. Nano crystals are embedded which supposedly helps in keeping you feeling cool and reducing the body temperature. All I know is that I stay cool when I wear this hoodie.

The Microcool Hoodie is a good hoodie to pick up if you’re going to be spending a ton of time outside this summer under the burning sun and endless heat. It will keep you cool, protected, and comfortable. You won’t smell bad, will be able to dry quickly when you need to, and you won’t even feel this piece in your backpack as it is super light!

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Microcool Hoodie by Terramar

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