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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

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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How to Re-Waterproof Your Rain Gear

Hiking boots (or ski boots) can get a bit funky after heavy use. Deodorizing is easy when you understand what to do and how it works. You’ll want to treat the funk so it goes away, not cover it up.

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How to Deodorize Boots, Insoles and Boot Liners

Hiking boots (or ski boots) can get a bit funky after heavy use. Deodorizing is easy when you understand what to do and how it works. You’ll want to treat the funk so it goes away, not cover it up.

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How to Fix a Zipper, Restore Worn Heels, Patch Holes and Tears

How to fix a zipper, restore worn heels, patch holes and tears, and keep a head lamp or flashlight shining. Check out these four quick tips from "Backpacker’s Complete Guide to Outdoor Gear Maintenance and Repair" by Kristin Hostetter.

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How to Clean and Store Your Gear

By properly cleaning and storing your gear this fall, you'll spare yourself the hassle of removing mildew, repairing equipment and finding those pesky tent poles next spring.

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Hiking 101: Pack Your Bag

You don't need to spend a fortune to hike safely and comfortably. But you do need a few essentials.

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How to Build A Hiker's First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is an essential part of your hiking equipment. Prepackaged kits contain much of what you need, at a reasonable price. But you should consider supplementing those kits with personal medications, a flexible splint, a small roll of duct tape, povidone iodine, irrigation syringe, forceps, digital thermometer and other items.

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How to Buy a Tent

Jul 16, 2008

Buying a tent is serious business. Getting caught in poor conditions with the wrong tent can be at most disastrous, and at least terribly uncomfortable. Let us help you be as comfortable as possible on trail.

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The Ten Essentials for Dogs

Aug 29, 2007

Taking your dog for a hike sometime soon? If your dog is new to hiking, or even if the trail is an old friend to your canine companion, preparing your dog for the hike is essential.

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