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Get to Know Your Gear

Good gear can enhance your hike, but more important is knowing what your gear can do and how it keeps you safe on trail. Find some tips on making your gear work best for you, gear reviews, and how to fix it and care for it to make it last. After all, once you find that perfect coat you want to keep it working as long as possible for you.

Good gear can enhance your hike, but more important is knowing what your gear can do and how it keeps you safe on trail.

From the packs on your back to the boots on your feet, WTA seeks out the very best in new, used and budget outdoor gear for hikers of all ages and abilities.

Here you'll find tips on making your gear work best for you, reviews, and how to fix and care for your gear in order to make it last. After all, once you find that perfect coat you'll want to keep it working for you as long as possible.

Hike sustainably: Use it Up and Wear it out

There's a lot of gear in circulation out there for you to snag without having to buy brand new. Especially if you're just getting started, look for a shop near you where you can borrow gear before buying. Plus, secondhand gear has major retro appeal.

If you find some gear you just gotta have, learn how to care for it so it lasts as long as possible. Fix zippers, patch tears up (bonus points for trendiness), re-waterproof your jackets and treat your boots right, and they'll last for years (and miles) of adventures.

Gear Reviews: See what WTA thinks of these boots, packs, tents and more.


Get the Most from your Gear

How to Tie a Hiking Boot

Sore feet are one of the top complaints of hikers and backpackers. Although well-fitting boots are the first step to overall foot comfort, lacing technique can make your new boots feel custom-made for you—and it’s a way to deal with issues that crop up unexpectedly when you’re out on trail. If you’ve ever experienced pain, pressure or blisters after a walk in the woods, consider trying out one of these alternative lacing methods.

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Essential Repellent

What you need to know to survive the battle of the bug | By Steve McClure

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Dirt-Cheap Gear

As a hiker, backpacker, trail runner, and crew leader for WTA, Holly Weiler spends a lot of time on trails. She needs quality gear for all that time outside, but she doesn't want to spend a fortune. So she's spent years perfecting her bargain-hunting skills. Here's how she outfits herself comfortably and cheaply - and how you can too.

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5 Tips for Navigating the Online Gear World

May 05, 2017

Gear, glorious wonderful gear! From seasoned outdoor enthusiasts to those just beginning to dip their toes into the great outdoors, we all need gear. And gear can be expensive. The world of online discount gear offers a ray of hope to those on a budget.

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Where to Rent or Borrow Outdoor Gear

Renting is a great way to try out a new activity, get a feel for different brands, or equip fast-growing kids.

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Clean, Protect and Waterproof Your Gear

Jan 23, 2017

This is a tough time of year for your gear—mud and rain take their toll. Here are four products from Nikwax that will help your gear perform its best.

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File a Trip Report from WTA's Updated Trailblazer Mobile App

Jul 29, 2015

An updated version of WTA's free mobile app now lets you file trip reports from your phone and syncs your saved hikes lists.

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Spring Cleaning: Reorganize Your Hiking Gear with Lightweight Packing Solutions

Mar 09, 2015

Spring is the perfect time to reorganize your hiking gear. We show you our favorite tips and products to help you minimize gear chaos and start the hiking season off right.

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Spring Cleaning: Refresh Your Hiking Gear with Fabric-Specific Cleaners

Mar 09, 2015

Keeping your gear clean and in good repair can mean the difference between using the same gear for years and having to replace it every season. Here’s the down and dirty on keeping it all—from sleeping bags to tents to boots—clean.

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Spring Cleaning: Restock Your Trail Wardrobe with 10 Apparel Essentials

Mar 09, 2015

Spring is the perfect time to update your outdoor wardrobe with these ten apparel essentials. They reflect all of the layers you need on trail to be ready for everything from dayhikes to long-distance backpacks, and all trail and weather conditions.

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Drones Banned (for Now) in Washington's National Parks

Jul 02, 2014

The National Park Service has banned drones on National Park lands, including Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park. Do you think drones have a place on Washington's hiking trails?

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Choosing the Right Hiking Boots for Your Kids

Mar 31, 2014

Selecting kids’ hiking gear is as much about fit and performance as it is matching their personality. We hit the trail with three little ones to hand-pick a selection of kids’ hiking boots: the Salomon XA Pro 2 K trail runners, Lowa Kody GTX Mid Kids and the Vasque Breeze 2.0 WP boots.

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