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Kathmandu: Airport And In-Transit Hacks To Make Your Travels Easier

Amarin Cannon

The saying ‘it’s about the journey, not the destination’ certainly rings true for most travels. Unfortunately, one part of your journey though that is rarely enjoyable is transiting through an airport.

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We’ve spent way too many hours to count sitting in airport terminals, and trying to kill time and get through as smoothly as possible is second nature to us now. Here are some of our best airport and in-transit hacks to make your travels easier.

Check-In Online before

Before you head to the airport make sure you do an online check-in to help make things go smoothly arrival.

This has a few advantages. The first and best one is that with the check-in out of the way, you can usually have your boarding pass emailed to you, so you can go straight through security at the airport rather than getting in line at the check-in desk.

You can also choose your seat (depending on the airline) and get updates if there are any delays on your flight.

If you are travelling with luggage that needs to go under the plane you may still need to visit a baggage drop, or go through the check-in line anyway if the airport doesn’t have a baggage drop, so this can slow you down a bit. But this comes to my next point….

Bring Carry-On Luggage to Avoid Queues

Skip the hassle of checking in your bag and fly the skies with carry-on luggage! You’ll get to take full advantage of skipping the lines at the airport, and will save on baggage fees.

Travelling with carry-on also means you have everything you need with you at all times. That means there’s no chance of getting to your gate and suddenly realising you left your jumper in your big backpack.

If you do take carry-on just make sure are within the requirements of the airline, and you have a great bag for it. Check out our guide on how to travel with carry-on to help you with this.

Keep your passport and laptop accessible

Moving in and out of airport security will have you reaching for your passport and documents constantly. Keep your passport accessible (but safe) by keeping it in a zipped pocket. These days you can also find travel clothing with hidden passports pockets so you know where it is at all times.

To breeze through security, look for a carry-on bag or daypack that features a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved sleeve for your laptop. You can open up your bag, pop it through the machine, and easily zip it back up on the other side.

Keep your laptop in your bag with a TSA approved sleeve

Keep your laptop in your bag with a TSA approved sleeve

Know The Airport Layout

When you get to an airport, whether it’s for one flight or you’re transiting through, make sure you’re properly organised to make your life stress-free and easy.

One thing to do is have a look at the airport layout before you arrive. Are you landing into the same terminal you’re taking off from? Once you’re through security is it a long walk to your gate? These little things can catch you unaware, especially if you only have a short time at the airport between flights.

If you’re going to the food court, check to see how far away your gate is before sitting down for that big meal. The last thing you want is to hear your flight is on final call, and realising you have a 20-minute walk ahead of you.

Make Sure Your Liquids Are Under 100ml

Most people know about this law, but still you see so many people getting caught out at security.

These days no containers with liquids over 100mls will be allowed into the cabin, and must be in your check-in bags or they’ll be confiscated. This includes drinks and also most toiletries, such as toothpaste, cream, perfume and cologne.

If you’re flying carry-on only bring small liquid items with you, and remember you can buy just about anything else you might need once you get to your destination.

Bring Your Own Water Bottle

No matter where you’re going, whether it is for a walk around town or heading off on an overseas adventure, you should always have a reusable water bottle with you. The airport isn’t any different.

Make sure it’s completely empty as you’re going through security (that 100ml rule comes into effect here), but once you’re through keep an eye out for filtered water stations and fill it up.

Not only will you save money not needing to buy water at the airport, but you can also take it onto the plane with you, which is important because sometimes air stewards can’t hand out water for up to an hour after take-off, depending on weather.

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Darn Tough Vermont presents Max Holzman is Carving Out his Own Snowboard Niche

Amarin Cannon

It's hard to tell what's more impressive when linking up with Max Holzman - is it the fact he has an I-beam snowboard press in his garage, or that the wood MTN Local Snowboards he makes with it carve so well? Like, really well. Regardless, in Vermont where snowboarding's history is as deeply rooted as you will find, if you're going to start making them, critics will not be hard to find. Max doesn't have many. And if he does, it might just be that he's not ripping them out as fast as they ride.

Platypus Siouxion: WHAT’S IN MY PACK?

Amarin Cannon

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Emily Slaco is a Pemberton-based rider, guide, skier, and all-around fantastic person. We asked her to show what she carries in her W’s Siouxon Pack when she rides.

I’ll often pull something out of my pack trailside and immediately get asked, “What else you got in there?” along with some inquisitive looks. To be honest, I carry a fair amount of stuff but there are a few things that I bring along on every ride which have saved not only myself but many clients of mine from a long walk out in the woods. So here it is: a few of the bits and bobs to be found in my Platypus Siouxion pack.

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The Basics

I like to be prepared… chock it up to the guide in me, but I’m either going out for a ride with my whole pack or I’m doing a quick backyard lap with a buddy and I’m not carrying much other than my cell phone. My Siouxion 10L pack is a great size for most all of my rides. In the Siouxon, I carry these basics pretty much all the time and they fit easily in the multiple compartments and pouches of my pack without overstuffing it. Basic bike tools are shown clockwise from the top; One Up Components pump, shock pump, tire pressure gauge, extra brake pads, master links, patch kit, valve core remover & valve stem, derailleur hanger, lube, zap straps, tire levers, seat post collar, chain break, tube, duct tape, sunscreen, pliers, shifter cable, electrical tape, emergency shot blocks & my trusty Adventure Medical Kit.

Continue reading the full article.

KATHMANDU: How to Layer Outdoor Clothing

Amarin Cannon

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Layering your clothing when heading outdoors is key to being comfortable and protected from the elements. Learn about the different layers and which materials will work the hardest for you.

Layering 101:

Each layer has a function.

  • The base layer is the layer closest to your skin and manages moisture.

  • The mid-layer keeps you warm.

  • And the outer layer shields you from wind, rain and snow.

Simply mix and match the layers to suit the conditions: wear all layers if it’s freezing and wet, or just the base and outer layer if it’s hot and windy.

How to choose a base layer

The base layer is your next-to-skin layer. Its function is to wick sweat away from your skin so you feel dry and comfortable — rather than cold and clammy — which is especially important in cold conditions.

The base layer also regulates body temperature: in cold conditions a snug-fitting base layer will trap body heat in and keep you warm, while in warmer conditions a loose-fitting base layer will allow air to freely circulate and keep you cool.

How to choose a mid layer

A quality mid-layer keeps you warm by trapping body heat in its fibres.

Fabrics like wool and fleece (altica® 100, altica® 200, altica® 300 and altica® tech) are great for this, and have the added bonus of being highly breathable and moisture-wicking (again, moving moisture away from your base layer).

They also have a great warmth-to-weight ratio, providing comfort without bulk.

How to choose an outer layer

The outer layer is generally a lightweight jacket that provides excellent protection from wind, rain and snow.

The best outer-shell options are made from durable, waterproof and windproof fabrics:

  • GORE-TEX® jackets are treated with a durable water repellent that makes water bead up and roll off, ensuring maximum performance in extreme conditions.

  • NGX® jackets are waterproof, windproof and breathable; keeping you dry inside and out.

  • Softshell jackets are another great option that hold in body heat and allow vapour to escape.

Gregory Packs: Adventure Travel Series

Amarin Cannon

Life on the road presents some unique challenges. When you're jetting, driving and navigating between lodges in as many countries as you have fingers, you'll quickly discover why we created our Adventure Travel series.


WOMEN'S PROXY: 45L Get away for the weekend or longer with the Proxy 45. With its full-surround Gear Guard and load-bearing, women’s-specific suspension, this carry-on compliant pack born for active travel— just like you. Need to mix business with pleasure? Stow your laptop in the padded compartment and keep your trail running gear separate behind the ActiveShield divider. - Weight: 3.39 lbs | 1.54 kg - Volume: 2746 in | 45 L

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Darn Tough Vermont Wins 2018 Backpacker Editor's Choice Gold Award

Amarin Cannon

Editors’ Choice 2018 Gold Award

by, BACKPACKER Editors

Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Cushion

Your socks should last at least as long as your boots.

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Assistant Photo Editor Louisa Albanese in camp on the Whanganui River

Photo by Louisa Albanese

We’ve taken socks to the corners of the world and the extremes of heat and cold. We’ve gotten them wet and muddy, dried them in our sleeping bags overnight, and worn them the next day. And the day after. And here’s what we’ve learned: Most socks are good for a year or two. Some make it three. But for five years and hundreds upon hundreds of miles, the Darn Toughs have always returned to our sock drawer to bear witness as lesser socks lose their shape, lose their elasticity, and lose their yarn, leaving behind a sad nylon skeleton.

One dedicated editor put the Darn Tough Hiker head-to-head with every other major and minor brand of sock and it won every bout. Most recently? Five days in a row in Colorado’s Eagles Nest Wilderness, no washes, in a lined shoe frequently overtopped by mud and slop. Still, the Darn Tough persisted—and it was four years old by that point.

Why so durable? Credit the construction: Darn Tough’s engineers analyze wear patterns and come up with specific yarn configurations to meet the abuse, varying combinations of merino, nylon, and elastane across the foot. Need more convincing? Darn Tough backs up the durability promise with a lifetime guarantee. Not that we’ll ever need it. –C.L.

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SealLine--How to Choose Waterproof Gear

Marjolein Pawlus

Should you use a dry bag, or a dry sack? What goes in a dry case? Why would you use a dry backpack instead of a dry duffle? What is the best waterproof protection for a sleeping bag?

We routinely hear the above questions, and with so many choices when it comes to selecting waterproof gear, we certainly understand—to help ease the process of choosing waterproof gear, we made the below guide for identifying and choosing between our waterproof dry bagsdry sacksdry packs & duffles, and protective cases & accessories. We hope this helps you choose the right waterproof option for your next journey!


Advantages of Liquid Fuel

Marjolein Pawlus

Canister or liquid fuel? It’s a debate we can run into as we get ready to hit the trail. Which one burns hotter? Which is more efficient? Which weighs less overall? Which is better? Truthfully, there is no black and white answer here. However there are distinct differences between the two fuel styles, and with them unique pros (and cons).

To help iron out this fuel conundrum, MSR Category Director of Stoves Doug Sanders is helping us take a look at liquid fuel, addressing five of its key advantages as they relate to our adventures in the outdoors.

Consistent heat in all conditions

While canister fuel performance is directly affected by ambient temperature, liquid fuel offers consistent heat at both cold and warm temperatures. Canister fuels tend to sputter in colder weather, but a liquid fuel will still perform, removing one of the variables that can make backcountry cooking tricky. Some people may not imagine themselves winter camping, but even a frosty fall morning could hinder the effectiveness of a canister fuel. That being said, it is important to note that liquid fuel itself doesn’t actually burn hotter (both are capable of producing the same level of output), but canister fuel performance will vary, where liquid fuel’s is remarkably consistent.


Article by: Kade Krichko

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The Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads announced by

Peter Pawlus

By: PRZen | Jun. 19, 2017

The Winners are:

Editors' Choice - Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Mattress

The Z Lite Sol is a classic design and has been around for years and perfected the Therm-a-Rest to be comfortable while being lightweight. The "egg-crate" foam construction of the pad folds up into a compact package that clips on the bottom of a backpack. The tried and tested Z Lite wins the Outside Pursuits "Editors' Choice" award.

Top Pick - Therm-a-Rest ProLite Mattress

The ProLight sleeping pad is another excellent offering from Therm-a-Rest and has a very different design. The ProLite is a "self-inflating" backpacking sleeping pad. This type of pad inflates itself by simply unfolding it. It features a very lightweight and packable design and wins the "Top Pick" award.

Darn Tough Vermont Factory Tour

Peter Pawlus

Positioned among the quiet, rolling hills of Northfield, Vermont—a stone’s throw away from some of finest ski areas in New England like Mad River Glen and Sugarbush—some of the best socks on Earth are being knit by the good folks at Darn Tough Vermont. It’s here, in a massive and impressive mill, that up to 20,000 pairs of top-notch socks are produced every day by hundreds of passionate employees who keep the Darn Tough boat afloat. - See more at:

Left: Co-Owner Marc Cabot. Right: Co-Owner and CEO Ric Cabot. Photo courtesy of Darn Tough Vermont. - See more at:

Left: Co-Owner Marc Cabot. Right: Co-Owner and CEO Ric Cabot. Photo courtesy of Darn Tough Vermont. - See more at:



Keep in mind that the photos above provide just a glimpse of the insanely complex and commendable process Darn Tough goes through to make its socks. This is a company that exemplifies hard American work—resulting in some of the best ski socks we’ve ever slipped our feet into. 


Outdoor GearLab Reviews Gregory Baltoro 65 Backpack

Peter Pawlus


The Gregory Baltoro 65 is a Top Pick award winning pack that is rich in features and one of our higher overall scoring packs. This award winning pack excels at carrying massive loads (60+ lbs) and was certainly one of the most comfortable packs that we tested, especially for extended or laden trips. While the Baltoro is slightly on the heavier side, this newest version is noticeably lighter than previous models and is now very close in the running in terms of weight (and when compared to other contenders).


This pack is easily one of the most comfortable packs in our review and is comparable to our other top performers, such as the Osprey Xenith 75, Arc'teryx Altra 65, and Osprey Atmos 65 AG. This model utilizes extremely well-designed and nicely articulated shoulder straps that use high quality foam, while the face fabric is among the best in the review and performed above average, even if the user was wearing light clothing (or was shirtless). 

One of the biggest reasons that folks love this pack (and really, Gregory packs in general) is that impressive lower back support is present; the lumbar support is the most substantial in the review and most of our testers loved it. However, one in seven of our testers thought the lumbar support was a little much; fortunately, the lumbar support is removable, which makes the pack fit a broader range of consumers. When we used the lumbar pad, it felt like a classic Gregory; once we took it out, the level of lumbar support felt like most of the other packs out there. 

Backpacker Magazine 2015 Editors' Choice Awards - Gregory Baltoro/Deva

Peter Pawlus

"Sometimes we cringe when a company announces a complete overhaul of a product we already love. We’ve seen some “redesigns” go in the wrong direction. But Gregory managed a tricky feat: preserving the essential DNA of the original, while improving every detail. The Baltoro’s organization makes it easy to live out of on weeklong trips, and it has some features we’d like to see on every pack—like a waterproof hipbelt pocket that fits a smartphone and a clever hydration sleeve that converts into a daypack. “No need to think about it, you always have a summit pack with the capacity and comfort for shoulder-season, full-day hikes,” says one tester. It’s easy to get bottles in and out of the angled water bottle pocket without awkward contortions or enlisting a friend (though bottles can fall out if you bend all the way over; cinch the drawstring to secure them). Since 2008, we’ve loved the Baltoro’s carry-anything dynamic suspension, which subdues big loads with uncommon comfort. “The well-padded hipbelt wraps wide around my hips,” says a tester. “Hiking into the John Muir Wilderness in November, I loaded this guy with 48 pounds of cold-weather gear and group food, and felt good the whole hike in—my hips weren’t even sore the next day.” Bottom line: At more than 5 pounds it’s a Cadillac, not a Ferrari, but for hikers who want a big-trip, big-comfort pack that’ll last for years, the extra ounces are worth it. The Baltoro is available in 65-, 75-, and 85-liter models. Deva, the women’s version, comes in 60, 70, and 80." - See more at: