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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

Multipurpose Gear: Rethink Your Backpacking Basics

Being able to find multiple purposes for single pieces of gear can be a helpful skill to have in the backcountry. And many of the things you already bring on your trips can probably be used for a couple of different things.

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How to Choose Your Traction

There are tons of different traction aids out there, and depending on the conditions you’ll be hiking in, some will be more helpful than others.

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How to Choose Footwear for Hiking

We look to shoes or boots to protect our feet. And if we don’t choose wisely, what should be a fun time can be halted by sore — or even injured — feet.

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Ask WTA: How do Sleeping Bag Ratings Work?

Nov 11, 2021

Few things are as comforting and important as a good sleeping bag when camping. But how are sleeping bags tested and what do temperature ratings really mean? Luckily Feathered Friends, a top manufacturer of down sleeping bags, is based right here in Washington, and they had some answers for us.

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Worth the Weight: WTA Staff Add to the 10 Essentials

Aug 30, 2021

The little luxuries we like to add to our backpacks.

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What to Wear on a Winter Hike

Tips for dialing in your layering system and staying warm during your cold weather outdoor adventures.

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Four Gear Tips for Family and Group Camping

Aug 31, 2020

Are you headed out this long weekend to enjoy an outdoor adventure with your household or social pod? Here’s a few gear tips from WTA’s Outdoor Leadership Training program staff to make things a bit easier, and maybe even help to reduce the environmental and social impact of your group’s outing.

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Day Hike Packing List

Say you're heading out to spend some time in your local greenspace or going on a short hike a little further from home. Use this list to pack for a hike if you're going somewhere you can quickly access emergency services.

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How to Take Better Photos With Your Phone

Phone photography has come a long way in the last handful of years, with manufacturers and app developers creating a number of ways for photographers to take control of their images. In the early days of phone photography, you were lucky if you had any options beyond just snapping the photo, but now most phones come standard with a fairly robust camera and controls that allow you to get the most out of your photos.

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Stability and Strength: Choosing the Right Trekking Poles for You

Oct 11, 2019

Here's what you need to know to pick a pair of trekking poles — and make hiking and backpacking just a bit easier.

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How to Keep a Clean Camera on Trail

How to protect your camera from dust and moisture for sharper photos.

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Gear Review: Headlamps

Jun 24, 2019

What you need to know to find the right one.

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