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FOOD: MOUNTAIN HOUSE


PRO-PAK FREEZE-DRIED MEALS $6, MTNHSE.COM Rip open the vacuum-packed bag, pull out the desiccant square, and pour hot water inside. Wait a few minutes, and your meal—beef stroganoff, chicken teriyaki with rice, or chili with macaroni noodles—is “cooked” and ready to eat. Weight: 7 ounces.


SLEEPING BAG: MOUNTAIN CAMP PAD: RIDGE


HARDWEAR ULTRALAMINA 32 $190, MOUNTAINHARDWEAR.COM Rated to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, this synthetic-fill bag is a proven performer for three seasons of the year. Unlike down-filled bags, the UltraLamina’s insulation can keep you warm even when wet. It packs up small, too. Weight: 1 pound, 15 ounces.


REST SOLITE $20, CASCADEDESIGNS.COM The classic molded closed-cell foam of the Ridge Rest pad got an upgrade this year: A new aluminized coating boosts warmth of the pad by better “reflecting” your body heat. The pad, which is made in the USA, is inexpensive, durable, and more than adequately light. Weight: 9 ounces (size small).


BOOTS: TIMBERLAND LITETRACE $155, TIMBERLAND.COM The promise with this boot is waterproof protection and “the lightness of a sneaker.” A neat tech touch, the uppers are made of a single-layer waterproof fabric that feels like a beefed-up GORE-TEX jacket shell. Weight: 12 ounces (per size 9 shoe).


BACKPACK: GRANITE GEAR VIRGA $110, GRANITEGEAR.COM A classic ultralight “sack,” the Virga has few features and no internal frame. For support, drop in a rolled-up sleeping pad and let it unfurl against the inside pack walls. Now, stack your gear inside the roll—simple and smart. Pack weight is low, but the Virga offers enough capacity for multiple days of food and gear when marching on a trail. Weight: 1 pound, 3 ounces.


JOHN R. FULTON JR. (3)


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