Browse Geartrade long enough, and you’ll see quite a few “regulars” among the gear sellers. Among the most prolific is Lone Pine Gear Exchange; they seem to have an incredibly impressive array of gently used and good-as-new gear listed for sale. Dig in a little deeper, and you’ll see why they have such mighty breadth: they’re also a gear shop located in Salt Lake City, Utah. But they’re certainly not any gear shop—they specialize in used gear, repurposed gear, and repaired gear. Which, obviously, we’re wild about because it aligns exactly with our own mission.
The Powder Highway is less-glamorously known as 95A, it’s a 630-mile loop that passes through, at last count, more than 60 different ski areas, heli-ski ops, backcountry lodges, guided snowcat experiences and more. Until it’s safe again to travel and travel restrictions into Canada are lifted, we’ll just be dreaming of our next visit to the Powder Highway. Here are some suggestions for planning your future trip.
Ahh, the winter wonderland, a muffled landscape of snowy trails and slopes. Resplendent in white, untouched by man… well, until we start showing up in droves to recreate. But just like in the summer, there are steps we can take to keep the winter wilderness wild by adhering to the Leave No Trace Winter Use Principles of backcountry travel and recreation.
Uphill skiing, inbounds touring—whatever you want to call this variant sport, it’s on the rise this winter. While AT skiers and splitboarders have been partaking in early morning laps at their local ski resorts under an unspoken agreement for decades, this season thanks to the increasing popularity, that access is now becoming official. The outcome is that resorts are posting rules for uphill travel, marking routes, and in some cases adding fees in the form of uphill season passes or requiring daily tickets.
There’s no doubt COVID-19 is complicating this winter ski season. Ski resorts are implementing new protocols and processes to keep everyone safe, but with those come a need to plan ahead and strategize, which is kind of a new game for some of us powder hounds. The prospect of reservations systems and crowd management makes some visitors uneasy, but there is another way. Consider visiting the smaller mom-and-pop ski areas. Here’s our top tips for why mom-and-pop resorts are looking tempting this winter.
While drysuits are the perfect tool for extending your paddling or fishing season into fall, or starting it early in the spring, drysuits can be an I-need-to-save-up-for-this type of expense. That said, it’s important to take care of them properly, so they can last as long as possible. To learn more about drysuits, how to care for them, how to source them secondhand, we connected with Mustang Survival, a premier technical marine gear company based in British Columbia, Canada.
In Scandinavia, there’s a saying: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” It seems like a pretty grand promise, but we can tell you that it’s true: with the right layers, nearly anything can be comfortable. You can enjoy even the longest days of resort skiing, backcountry touring, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or winter running—if you understand layering, that is.
Outdoor gear and clothing brands typically classify their winter clothing by layer—base layers, mid-layers, and outer layers. Their definitions aren’t a mystery, but it’s worth discussing how to work with them and plan for a day out.
It’s a seemingly miraculous defiance of physics, and yet it’s possible exactly because of physics: when you strike your ice axe and kick your crampons into a vertical wall of ice, you wonder how on earth these little tiny metal connection points could ever support your weight. Yet you move up the wall, step by step, swing by swing. You feel the magic sensation of the perfect connection with the ice—rock solid, yet it’s water.
We’ll give a brief rundown here, with a few tips on how to get started. As leading ice is quite a committed move, ice climbing isn’t something you can just jump into and figure out as you go. But don’t worry; that’s what professional guides, courses, and mentors are for!
If you ever ski the backcountry, one of the best things you can do is read the avalanche report from your local avalanche center every day—not just on the days you go out touring. (Although it’s mandatory on those days!)Within the avalanche report, you’ll find not only valuable information about what’s safe, what isn’t, and how it’s trending over time—you’ll also get insightful clues about where the softest snow is. When it’s time to plan a tour of your own, you can look at the avalanche report and recent observations to compile an ascent route and descent route that will be as safe as possible.
If you love talking gear, you’re in the right neck of the woods. Especially during the winter season, we get pretty amped up about our favorite brands, especially when they have a decadent supply of gently used, sample, and surplus gear listed on Geartrade at the moment.
The Challenge: go an entire year buying UnNew goods except for food and medical supplies. The idea is daunting, but now, more than ever before there are more opportunities to buy and sell pre-loved things. It’s exciting, watching the seeds of a normalized second-hand economy firmly take root—this may be a game-changing moment in consumerist history, and I want a front row seat when it all blooms.
Buying pre-loved gear is the most sustainable way to kit yourself out, and the best way to support Mama Earth as you wander her rapidly warming canyons and tundras in search of magical ice.
Safety, though, is paramount when ice climbing, and it’s helpful to know what pieces of gear are ok to buy second-hand, and what should be prioritized to buy brand-new. In talking with veterans in the field, we’ve put together a breakdown, with some helpful tips on what to look for when soliciting used pieces.
With sustainability goals growing more common in the outdoor and adventure industries, we rounded up some of the most impressive new-year pledges. Which brands are committed to moving toward more-sustainable futures? Which are doubling down on commitments to the environment? There were many iterations of sustainability goals to parse through, so here are some of our favorites.
If there’s anything we can agree on, it’s that 2020 has been a challenging year—one filled with lows and highs so expansive and dramatic, trekking from month to month has felt like a hike worthy of the Himalayas. But, as with the gnarliest of expeditions, it all comes with opportunities for growth—with the chance to practice tracking the silver linings—the bird chirps in a rainstorm, or the resonant echo of a thunderclap, the depth of emotion when falling short of a goal, the thrill of pushing through a scary climbing move.
In that spirit, the spirit of acknowledging hardship but also celebrating its fruits, we gathered a range of forward-thinking folks who love the environment—athletes, gear journalists, organizational leaders, and more—to reflect on a positive aspect of their year. We asked them: What was the best piece of sustainable gear introduced into your life in 2020? What makes it so special? Here’s what they had to say.
So, you walk into a used gear shop, or peruse the selection of Geartrade’s goods, and you wonder: If this jacket is being sold for 50% of its retail value, does that mean it’s only 50% as good as it was brand-new?
In short, no. The price of second-hand gear does not directly correlate with the value of second-hand gear. If anything, Aisha Weinhold, owner of the consignment gear shop Ragged Mountain Sports in Carbondale, Colorado, says, “For what you’re paying, you’re usually getting more”—more bang for your buck. “Good gear has a much longer lifespan than people either realize or their patience can withstand.”