When Fisher isn’t studying or helping customers at our Asheville store, you’ll find him out in the woods or on top of a mountain, relishing all of Western North Carolina’s opportunities for outdoor recreation. As an avid backpacker on a student budget, he digs gear that’s functional and built to last, but still offers great value. Below are his picks for fellow weekend warriors.


Katadyn BeFree Water Microfilter$39.95 

No hoses or backflushing required!  This water filtration system is lightweight, easy-to-use, and will last 1000 liters before needing to change the filter.  The filter is integrated into the lid, so you can drink straight from the bottle. Comes in 0.6-liter, 1.0-liter, and 3.0-liter sizes.


Kelty Gunnison 1 Tent$159.95

Kelty makes backpacking more affordable with the Gunnison tent line.  These three-season backpacking tents set up in a snap and come with a footprint to prolong the life of the tent.  Tight on space? Use your trekking poles to convert the vestibule to an awning. 


Peregrine Altai Evo Sleeping Bag$139.95

This is the bag that our staff have been drooling over!  At 1 lb 12 oz, this 35 degree bag blends synthetic Primaloft and down. You get the best of both worlds – the lightweight and compression of down along with the moisture management and affordability of synthetic. A DWR finish offers some added protection from condensation, and the drawstring at the foot makes it usable for hammock camping!


Kelty Cosmic Mummy Sleeping Pad$49.95

Kelty again makes backpacking more affordable with this cushy self-inflating sleeping pad. It’s just over 2 lbs and under $50.


Pisgah Map Company Maps$14.00

The best maps are made by those who know the area well. This local map company out of Brevard, NC, makes maps that feature more detail than National Geographic Trail Maps and more accurate trails than a USGS quad.  


Suunto A10 Compass $19.99

I (try to) never venture into the woods without a map and compass.  Even a day hike can turn nasty quickly without these essentials. The Suunto A10 compass gets the job done.  (Need brushing up on your navigation skills? Keep an eye on our events calendar for upcoming clinics!)


Black Diamond Spot Headlamp – $39.95

I love the features of this headlamp.  It’s waterproof, has a red light (great for bugs!), multiple white light settings, and a lock function to keep it from turning on inside your pack.


AlpineAire Sierra Chicken Pasta – $7.43

I usually steer clear of freeze-dried meals because they are so expensive.  Not so with AlpineAire, these 2-serving meals are just $4-$9!

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that it’s supposed to snow this weekend – a lot. The right clothing is the difference between making snow day memories and enduring a grumpy day of being wet and cold. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back with quality cold weather gear at prices so frugal that you’ll be saying “snowpocalypse, shmopocalypse” in no time. Below are a few of our favorite frugal finds for men, women, and kids.


Kids’ Snow Day Essentials:

  1. Arts of Ecuador Grey Wolf CapFrugal Price: $24.95
  2. Columbia Powder Lite Jacket Frugal Price: $59.99
  3. Northside Frosty Boots – MSRP: $35.00 Frugal Price: $28.00
  4. Buff Original Junior – MSRP: $19.00 Frugal Price: $18.99
  5. Patagonia Baby Puff Mitts – MSRP: $39.00 Frugal Price: $31.00


Men’s Toasty Layers:

  1. Patagonia Recycled Wool Earflap Cap – MSRP: $49.00 Frugal Price: $39.00
  2. Columbia Lake 22 Down Jacket – MSRP: $120.00 Frugal Price: $99.00
  3. Adidas Outdoor Knit Fleece JacketFrugal Price: $89.00
  4. Northside Braedon Boot – MSRP: $80.00 Frugal Price: $64.00
  5. Seirus Eclipse Glove – MSRP: $34.99 Frugal Price: $29.99
  6. Terramar Thermolater BottomsFrugal Price: $35.00


Women’s Cozy Adventure Finds:

  1. Columbia Fireside Full ZipFrugal Price: $59.99
  2. Sherpa Rimjhin HatFrugal Price: $34.95
  3. United By Blue Martel Wool Vest – MSRP: $158.00 Frugal Price: $63.20
  4. Northside Bishop Boot – MSRP: $65.00 Frugal Price: $52.00
  5. Purnell Nordic Snow LeggingsFrugal Price: $45.00
  6. Columbia Thermarator GlovesFrugal Price: $30.00