MSR Backcountry Pole Technology: Rethinking Traditional Design

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Photo by: Peter Mathis

Photo by: Peter Mathis

For winter backcountry travelers, poles are simply essential pieces of gear. Whether your route contains snow-laden log bridges, endless switchbacks or a rocky alpine approach, poles help increase your safety and efficiency while traveling through demanding terrain. But not all poles are engineered equally. Here we take a look at the unique technology behind MSR’s backcountry poles, and explain how our engineers employed fresh ideas to solve many frustrations plaguing traditional pole designs. Read More →

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Radiant Burner Stoves: The Ultimate in All-Weather Performance and Efficiency

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Originally Published on 8/21/2013

MSR engineered the Reactor and WindBoiler stove systems to be the fastest, most fuel-efficient stove systems in the real-world conditions of the alpine. Achieving such a high performance standard required a stove that goes beyond the conventions of camp stove burner technology. Based on decades of research and more than five years of development, the MSR engineering team built the Reactor, and then the WindBoiler, around a unique radiant burner head. The Reactor was the first climbing and backpacking stove to truly harness the benefits of a radiant burner. Radiant burners allow canister fuel stoves to achieve high-performance, excellent efficiency and great weather resistance. Read More →

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Snow Safety Tools: 7 Apps to Help You Stay Safe in the Backcountry

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By Ali Carr Troxell

Up until now, technology didn’t really exist in the realms of snow safety and weather prediction. Inclinometers, paper topo maps, online weather websites and walkie talkies aren’t what we’d exactly call 2.0. Be a Luddite no longer and grab that smartphone—the app world has stepped up with a handful of ways to make your life easier when it comes to staying safe on the snow.

WEATHER PREDICTION

RadarScope Read More →

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Water 101: Safe Water Treatment Solutions for International Travelers

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Wrangell - St Elias National Park, Alaska August 2013.

Photo: Hagephoto

Whether you’re planning a backcountry trip or an urban adventure abroad—say, an Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal, or a cultural tour of its capital, Kathmandu—you’ll want to take extra precautions with your drinking water. In many developing countries, both municipal drinking water and backcountry water are prone to viruses in addition to bacteria and protozoa. Bringing a water purification system with you is a smart way to help protect you from viral infections that can jeopardize your health, not to mention ruin your vacation. Read More →

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Gear Archives: The Evolution of MSR Avalanche Probes

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Probe 1

Photo: Scott Rinckenberger/MSR

MSR was founded on mountaineering and snow safety, and our new MSR Striker™ probes not only continue that legacy but also deliver on our founding promise to build better, more reliable and easier-to-use gear. Vastly different from the MSR probes of 40 years ago, the Striker probes’ unique construction and features meet the needs of everyone from mountaineers and professional guides, to backcountry skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers. Here’s a brief look at past and present MSR probe innovations.

The history: MSR Avalanche Probes Read More →

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The Gear Institute Tours MSR’s Water Research Lab

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Photo credit: Nathan Borchelt

Earlier this year, we gave you a behind-the-scenes look into the world of MSR’s on-site water research lab in this article. The microbiology lab was established in 1997 and has been dedicated to quality control, as well as researching, developing and testing water treatment solutions for outdoor users, the U.S. military and citizens in developing nations ever since. Recently, The Gear Institute stopped by to take a tour of the facility and find out why we go through such thorough testing on our water treatment devices. You can read all that The Gear Institute learned here.

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Production Lines: Building the WindBoiler™ Personal Stove System

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Since the original Model™ 9 stove was released in 1973, the majority of MSR stoves have been hand-assembled in our factory in Seattle, Wash. Building products in-house gives us full control of the process, allowing us to ensure a high level of production quality and properly test each stove before it leaves our production lines. Here’s a look at how our newest stove, the WindBoiler Personal Stove System, is assembled just downstairs from where it was designed and engineered.

MSR_Windboiler-Red-NoLayers2 Read More →

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Technology: How Stove Pressure Regulators Work

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It’s evening in the alpine and after a long day on the trail, you’re set to boil water for that hot, comforting meal. As soon as the sun dips below the surrounding peaks however, the temperatures plunge and your canister stove, though cranked up to full blast, suddenly loses its powerful output and oomph.

What gives?

Seasoned backpackers will recognize that the pressure has dropped in their canister. A stove’s output relies heavily on its fuel pressure, and when that pressure drops in cold weather or as you simply use up your fuel (which cools as it vaporizes), your stove’s output naturally declines.

Because of this, each back-to-back pot of water you heat with that canister can take longer to boil.

So, what makes certain canister stove systems like MSR’s Reactor, which is an alpinist’s snow-melting powerhouse, able to deliver consistently fast boil times, even amid the extreme conditions and icy temps of high altitudes?

The answer is a pressure regulator.

Photo Credit Paul Bride

Photo by Paul Bride

Read More →

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WindBoiler vs. Reactor: What’s the Difference?

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By Steve Grind, Category Director for MSR Stoves

How does the all-new WindBoiler™ Personal Stove System stack up against the legendary Reactor?

By now, you may have heard that our all-new WindBoiler Personal Stove System is built around some of the same award-winning technology that’s found in our Reactor Stove System. But is the WindBoiler simply the Reactor’s little brother? How does its performance really stack up against the Reactor’s? And which of these incredible stove systems is best for which trips?

So, what exactly is going on over there at MSR R&D? Read More →

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