MSR Trail Shot Water Filter Review

One of the easiest ways to lighten your pack weight is by reducing the amount of water you carry. If you’re carrying a lot of water for a whole day, but passing sources and not using them, you’re wasting an opportunity to save weight, travel faster, and move more comfortably. If you prefer to filter your mountain water, the MSR Trail …

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The Salomon X Alp 23 is the Perfect Backpack

Hiking the Oberaarhorn

I admit, I have a pack fetish. I dream of being given the chance to design my own perfect pack, a vision which includes the very best bits and pieces of all the countless packs I’ve used in the last 20 years. More importantly, it would not include all the many design blunders I’ve seen. Why am I so into packs? …

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Essential SkiMo Gear

Skimo Gear

What’s inside my skimo pack? The beauty of skimo is that it really is like going for a run. You can go alone, you can get an intense workout in with little time, and you really don’t need much gear. But, you do need the right gear, and you need to understand what that is and if it’s right for …

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Winter Trail Running Gear

Winter Trail Running Tips & Gear Yesterday Doug Mayer introduced why winter trail running may be the best time of year to be out, and how to make it easier. Today is all about the making it easier, and more enjoyable part – and yes, it’s gear talk! Does this scene sound familiar…? Because I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one …

A Year of Stoke and Appreciation

  ALPSinsight’s first year has been a great one! We set out with huge motivation to stoke others, built a site we are proud of, developed a good size following on social media, and now know that we have positively influenced a lot of people to do things in the Alps. Based on how many emails we received over the summer from people …

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Sony RX100 and a6300 Reviewed for Mountain Sports

As a pro mountain sport photographer, and someone working and playing in the mountains more than 300 days a year, I used to dream of having a camera light enough to not be a burden but also capable of producing the highest quality image files. I tried many systems but all came up short, the quality was not there. Then in 2012, …

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Ultralight Bike Touring in the Alps

  Bike Touring in the Alps Until 24 months ago, the idea of bike touring, or bikepacking as it’s called now, was foreign to me. I was a roadie, a bike racer. A tiny saddle bag is all I had, and I would carry food, a wind breaker and my phone in my jersey pockets. No more. Ever. Then I …

Ultralight Trail Running Packing List

Nearly every time I’m on an iconic tour in the Alps I see it. A hiker, ski tourer, or trail runner laboring up some massive climb beneath too much weight and in the wrong gear. Americans, I’m talking to you. And yes, I have been there too and just hope my advice here can help you avoid the carnage. It’s a fact, …

Gravel Biking

Dan discovers gravel biking… I was, and always will be, a purebred roadie. I’m also a pure uphill kind of guy. For many years my life was about bikes. In fact I first moved to Europe to race on the road and to experience the Italian cycling culture. I dreamt of racing up passes with cowbells ringing and spectators screaming. For …

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Osprey Trail Running Packs Review

Osprey has made a serious entry into the trail running pack game with their new Duro (men’s) and Dyna (women’s) packs. Available in 3 sizes each for both men and women, the packs come in 1.5 liter, 6 liter, and 15 liter capacity models. Something for every need, from quick runs with just some water and a rain jacket, to multi-day trail running …

Katadyn BeFree Water Filter

A trail runner sits by a small creek filling his waterbottle, that uses a Katadyn BeFree filter system.

Katadyn BeFree water filter For most people, where we go to run, hike, bike, whatever… there is water to be found. You just can’t always freely drink it. The options are: Use/carry a water filter (heavyish) Water disinfection tablet (slow to use & not the tastiest) Carry more water (heavy) Of course how you deal with this depends on where you are. If …

Ultralight Trail Running Gear and The Way Up Project

The Way Up Peak & Trail Running Project Last summer I discovered several peaks in the Alps with enormous elevation gain through all terrain, from valley to alpine summit. Some entirely on trail, others a mix of trail and scrambling. All relatively easy, just big ups, well over 2000 meters of big. In my book, big means fun. It started with …

Goal Zero Solar for Himalayan Expeditions

For five weeks we were six people completely self sufficient at a very remote 5250 meter basecamp beneath the south face of Shishapangma in the Tibet Himalaya. One of the absolute necessities on a trip like this is power for charging all the numerous electronics so we can work and communicate. If our charging system fails, or doesn’t work – we …

Suunto Traverse Track Back Feature

One of the additional ideas with the ALPSinsight platform is to include what gear works well in the mountains. This then is the first entry with gear, and not a trip or story, as the subject. Over the winter we received some of the new Suunto watches to use and shoot in our work as photographers. The Traverse quickly became …

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Introducing ALPSinsight

After spending the vast majority of the last 16 years playing and working in the Alps, it was inevitable that we would have to do something to share our photography, knowledge, enthusiasm and stories, from what we believe is the most motivating and beautiful place on earth. Thanks to meeting a certain Swiss girl in photography school back in 1999, many doors opened …

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Best Outdoor Gear Sony a6000

I’ve been talking a lot about Sony after having mostly switched to using Sony after 17 years with Canon. For us, this was a huge, and very complicated decision. What got me interested in the Sony system was our need for a camera to take running, or for any activities where weight was critical – but so too quality. Much …

Best Outdoor Gear Goal Zero Venture 30

It’s a somewhat unfortunate fact these days, we all have things that need regular charging. Some more than others. If you rely on tech gear for work in the mountains, there is even more to charge, and more to rely on. Phones, headlamps, cameras, watches, GPS units, etc… Traveling with it all requires a system. If you stay in tents …

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Best Outdoor Gear Fstop Camera Bags

We give F-stop Camera Bags a “Best” award every year. Yes, they support us by giving us packs, but they also really drill us for design input. So much so that in 2015, the head designer of the bags came and stayed with us for a few days in Interlaken to simply watch how we use the packs when we …

Best Outdoor Gear Mountain Hardwear Summit Rocket 20

Ueli Steck is famous for his strict, dedicated and highly effective training regimen. But he not only focuses solely on preparing his body, he is meticulous about what gear he uses and is intolerant of what does not work. But when something does, that gear then becomes what he relies on for his projects. He’s a good guy to pay attention …

Best Outdoor Gear Vasque Inhalers

Part of working for so many different brands is that we often get product we’d normally never seek out on our own. Both Janine and I do almost all of our hiking trips in running shoes, they’re the most comfortable, light, agile, and what we are used to being in. But when we started working for Vasque Footwear this year, …