Backcountry Cafe: DIY Mashed Potatoes with All the Fixings

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Photos and Story by Laura Lancaster

We had just turned the corner on the final ridge of the day when my husband stopped.

“You’re sure there’s a lake?”

I checked the map again. It was a scorching day in late summer, and we were both hot and tired after a full day of backpacking in Northern California’s Russian Wilderness. We’d been skirting an impressive granite peak for the last hour, switchbacking around ridges and crossing steep talus fields. For the last five miles I’d been eyeing deep blue mountain lakes hundreds of feet below the trail. I desperately wanted to jump in, glacial melt be damned, but I had my eye on Paynes Lake. The map showed it 300 yards in front of us, and right on the trail. But the trail in front of us was continuing to edge around a steep slope, with nary a lake in sight. I was beginning to doubt Paynes existed at all.

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WhisperLite Stove Maintenance

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Getting ready to take your WhisperLite out backpacking? Don’t forget regular maintenance. It will help keep your stove clean and running efficiently. Here’s what you need to know in order to get the most out of your WhisperLite stove year after year.

For more information on your MSR stove, check out our Frequently Asked Questions on our website, here.

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A Reconnaissance Mission in Patagonia

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By Eric Larsen

The crew from MSR sent me a quick note asking if I would share details from my recent reconnaissance trip to Patagonia. They were specifically wondering about my gear, if I achieved my goals and how might this trip be different from last year’s North Pole expedition. Legit questions for sure, but the last one made me smile. Read More →

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Perfecting Your Snowshoe Binding Fit

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Photo by Scott Rinckenberger

Photo by Scott Rinckenberger

A great day of snowshoeing can hinge on a good set of comfortable, well-fitting bindings. Last month, we discussed how to pick the right snowshoe. Now we’ll look closer at MSR binding designs and how you can ensure the best fit possible for your choice of winter footwear.

First, it’s important to seek out snowshoes with bindings that suit your needs. Do you prioritize comfort or security in a binding? If your snowshoe trips tend to be all-day adventures through less aggressive terrain, you’ll probably prefer maximum comfort. Conversely, if you pursue mountaineering objectives, you’ll want bindings with ultimate foot security. The best bindings deliver on both, are easy to use and are durable. Read More →

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The Ins and Outs of Canister Fuels

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MSR_IsoPro_2_

By Steve Grind, category director for MSR Cook & Shelter

What is in those fuel canisters, anyway? Is Brand X’s fuel really any different from Brand Y’s?

In this article, I’ll discuss what makes up MSR’s IsoPro™ fuel and why it’s some of the best canister fuel on the market. I’ll also share candidly where fuel canisters can sometimes be equivalent.

Let’s start with the fuel itself. Backpacking canister fuels, such as MSR’s IsoPro, typically use a blend of propane, isobutane and/or butane. Each of these fuels falls into the general class of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), but there are some important differences between them that can have a real impact on the quality of your stove experience—particularly if you camp in cold weather, or go for long trips and use your stove for more than a few minutes at a time. Read More →

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Field Testing MSR Snowshoes in Andermatt, Switzerland

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Designing gear can’t happen in a cubicle. Sure, there’s a lot of computer work that goes into creating CAD drawings and engineering specs, but the real solutions—the big ideas—come from the field. Chris Barchet, category director for MSR Water & Winter products, is a perpetual field tester. He recently headed to the Andermatt region of Switzerland on a snowshoe R&D trip to reacquaint himself with the terrain and chat with mountain guides and users to find out what works best for them. Here’s a quick look at one of the many professional recon missions Chris takes in the world’s most incredible places.

MSR traction takes over.

MSR traction takes over.

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Behind the Shot: Photog Scott Rinckenberger Talks Light, Shadows and Snowshoeing

Posted by & filed under Culture.

My assignment was to shoot the new MSR Revo Explore snowshoes in their element: long distance treks without a defined trail, without getting into the realm of technical terrain. I pulled together a group of outdoor athletes with some serious snowshoe experience, and booked a yurt in the Oregon backcountry to make the most of a late spring snowpack. Read More →

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New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail: Tramping vs. Hiking

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looking down from the 42 Traverse onto the Whanganui River.

Looking down from the 42 Traverse onto the Whanganui River.

Perhaps it was the face plant into ankle deep mud, my feet ensnared in slippery roots and grasping vines, my pack pressing me deeper into the sludge. Or maybe it was bushwhacking through a tunnel of needle-prick gorse, my arms and face cut by a thousand tiny, green swords. Or, no, it could have been the time an electric fence was stretched directly across the trail—when I realized New Zealand’s famed Te Araroa might not quite be what I was expecting. Read More →

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Making Better Snow Tools: the MSR Snow Saw Legacy

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Photo by: Eric Larsen

Photo by: Eric Larsen

For some, winter adventures in the backcountry mean snow camping, for others, backcountry skiing. Whether you see yourself building a snow shelter or checking snow conditions this season, you’ll need snow tools you can rely on to deliver unmatched performance in the field. Developing gear that’s safer and easier to use is something MSR has been doing for more than four decades, and it’s a focus that has led to innovations in snow tools, including our new snow saws. But first, a little history… Read More →

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Radical Reels: The Best Action-Packed Mountain Sports Films

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© Sebastien Montaz-Rosset | Petit Bus Rouge

© Sebastien Montaz-Rosset | Petit Bus Rouge

By Ali Carr Troxell

Picture this: a bunch of svelte mountain athletes rabbiting between slack-lining, base-jumping, paragliding, and free-soloing…wearing clown shoes. All at a frenetic pace set to music that’s better suited to a big top than an outdoor film. This mash up of skilled athletes and acrobatic circus performers is the premise behind the French film, Petit Bus Rouge (or Little Red Bus, as it translates). It’s a sure audience-pleaser scheduled for this year’s Radical Reels tour. Read More →

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