You know that piece of gear? The one you reach for hike after hike, season after season. It’s spectacularly simple, beautifully functional, and has just the right amount of soul to make it unforgettable. That… is a legendary piece of gear. The only thing that could make it better is a frugal price. That’s where we come in.
We just scored closeouts on three legendary pieces of gear, and we can’t wait to share these savings with you. Wanna know what makes them so special? Read on.
Topo Designs Daypack – you’ve gotta love a pack that has a laptop sleeve, travel bag attachments, and an ice axe loop. This bag is up for anything, and heavy duty Cordura construction will make it a reliable adventure companion for years.
Topo Designs Klettersak – can we talk for a second about how beautiful this pack is? I don’t know about you, but it’s classic styling makes me dream about hiking through the Swiss Alps with it on my back. Plus, it’s sturdy enough that that wouldn’t be a problem. We’re big fans of it’s abundance of lash points and roomy construction. Plus, all Topo Designs bags are made in the USA.
La Sportiva Wildfire – This shoe is La Sportiva’s most popular for a reason. It’s nice and cushy for covering long distances. It’s also ready for technical terrain thanks to a beefy rock plate, agressive tread, and grippy FriXion rubber. The Wildfire’s lightweight and responsive sole also make it a great shoe for hikers who like to go fast and light.
These awesome finds won’t stick around long, so hurry in to find your new fav piece of gear.
Fewer crowds and bare trees make winter hikes unbeatable for solitude and sweeping views. Be prepared to get the most out of winter adventures with these 6 tips.
Check the Weather
Before any hike you should check the weather, but this is even more important when winter hiking. You’ll want to check not only the temperature, but the predicted precipitation, wind and daylight hours so you can plan accordingly. Don’t forget that high elevation and bald peaks can make trail temps much colder than in town.
Layers, Layers, Layers…
Be prepared for all conditions. You may work up a sweat going up a steep incline and times but be cold walking a flat section or taking a moment to enjoy the view.  Be prepared for unexpected changes in the weather by bringing layers that offer insulation and wind/water protection.
Pack Safety Equipment
Hiking in the winter can be unpredictable at times. Trails and conditions may not be what you are used to during the warmer months. Make sure that you have the necessary emergency equipment (see our blog post on Outdoor Safety Basics). It is always a good idea to throw a basic first aid kit in your bag and let someone know your planned route and return time.
Start Early and Be Flexible
Because of the limited sunlight during the winter months, you might want to start earlier than usual on your adventure. Plan a turn-around time and stick to it so you can get out of the elements before the sun goes down and the temperature drops.
Invest in Good Gear
With winter hiking, it’s critical to have the appropriate gear when heading out. Avoid cotton, it loses its warmth when wet and takes a long time to dry. Instead opt for synthetic, merino, or bamboo apparel.
A few gear essentials are waterproof or insulated boots, baselayer, something to keep your head warm (hat, balaclava, etc), an insulated jacket, and a weatherproof shell. It is always good to have a change of clothes in your bag or waiting for you in your car!
Treat yo’ self!
After braving the harsh conditions of winter, treat yourself to a nice warm meal and a hot cup of cocoa or tea. It’s always good to have a thermos of something hot waiting for you at your car or in your pack.

Looking for a hike that’s short enough to do in an afternoon, but challenging enough to keep the crowds at bay? You might want to give Frugal Backpacker Greenville Staffer, Marie’s favorite hike a try – Rainbow Falls. Located in Jones Gap State Park, these stunning falls and offer plenty of space to spread out for a picnic or wade around the base (always use caution on slick rocks and around water).

Marie at her fav trail.

Distance: 5 mile out and back

Difficulty: Strenuous

Directions: From Greenville, head north on 276 toward Caeser’s Head State Park. Continue 2.6 miles past the park and turn right onto Solomon Jones Road. After 4.6 miles, you’ll see a small parking area on the right. Head back about 10 yards and turn left to to access the trail.

Start out on the blue blazed Jones Gap Trail, then after 3/4 of a mile veer right onto the red blazed Rainbow Falls Trail.



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