Category Archives: How-To Tips & Gear Advice

Find out how to choose the right outdoor gear based on expert advice on the Sierra Social Hub. We offer tips on choosing the best backpack, hiking gear and outdoor products including hiking boots, trekking poles, day packs, backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, waterproof jackets, layering and more. You’ll learn how to choose the best gear and how to improve your outdoor skills. Our gear tips and advice will prepare you for all of your outdoor adventures. You can hit the gym, trail or back country with confidence after reading our outdoor gear how-to tips and advice.

5 Things You Don’t Know About Rain Jackets

rain jacket

Waterproof rain jackets are a necessity for many outdoor activities. Staying dry on a hike, backpacking trip, run, bike ride or whatever, will make it much more enjoyable. There’s more to rain jackets than you think. Check out these 5 things you probably didn’t know about rain jackets. 1. You can bring an old rain jacket back to life. I’ve heard people say that their rain jacket just isn’t waterproof any more and they are going to replace it. Hold on, jackets have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating that was applied to the fabric at the factory. Over time […]

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Fill Your Bottles From A Shallow Stream

Trailtime tip

The map clearly shows a creek, but when you arrive with empty bottles and an unquenchable thirst, you find only a trickle. No sweat, you can easily use this cool trick to fill your bottles or water bladder from a shallow stream. How to Fill a Water Bottle in a Shallow Stream 1. Find a place where the water is slowly trickling over a rock or log. 2. Place a large leaf or the wind screen from your camp stove at the drop off in such a way that the water flows over it. Use a small rock to hold […]

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Wetsuit Buyer’s Guide for Surfers

Wetsuit Buying Guide

There’s nothing like surfing year-round, the bigger waves roll in during the winter months and the waves you catch in the cold are a little sweeter since you’ve had to suffer to catch them. When you pick the right wetsuit for the right conditions, you won’t have to suffer as much. Pick one that’s too thick and you’ll feel like you’re about to pass out in the water from heat exhaustion. Then again, pick one that’s too thin and you’re going to be shivering and miserable all day. Follow this wetsuit buyer’s guide for surfers to learn about the different […]

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Easy Way to Stake a Tent on Rocky Ground

staking a tent

Sometimes it’s necessary to set up your tent on a rocky campsite. It can be nearly impossible to get a stake into the ground and you risk bending your stakes. Did you know you can use two rocks to secure your tent almost anywhere? Follow this quick tip and you’ll be able to easily secure your tent on rocky campsites. 1. Tie a loop at the end of a guy line so you can loop the guy line around a smaller rock. 2. Secure the line around the smaller rock as seen below. 3. Place a larger rock on the […]

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Hiking the Colorado Trail

David Fanning

Last summer, David Fanning thru-hiked the nearly 500-mile Colorado Trail. The hike took him from Denver over multiple mountain ranges, through wildflowers, past high country lakes and all the way to Durango. David will be sharing his experience at the Sierra Trading Post retail stores in Fort Collins, Colo. (March 14, 2015) and Cheyenne, Wyo. (March 21, 2015). Leading up to these presentations, I asked David a few questions about his experience hiking the Colorado Trail. AH: What made you want to hike nearly 500 miles from Denver to Durango? David: I hiked the length of Colorado in 1981 and […]

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4 Things Snowboarding Has Taught Me About Life


Ripping down perfectly molded corduroy, tracking out powder stashes in the trees or hitting the half pipe, snowboarding is just so much fun. It’s not surprising that some of my greatest moments have been on the slopes. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned about life from snowboarding. 4 Things Snowboarding Has Taught Me About Life 1. If you want to experience the best, you’ve got to get out of bed and work for it. The early bird gets the worm or in this case, the fresh powder. 2. Don’t be afraid to try new things. You never […]

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Quick Tips For Protecting Your Car From Muddy Dogs

Muddy Dogs

I absolutely love heading to the mountains for a hike with my dogs. When we are on the trail, I feel free and like I don’t have a care in the world. That is, until I get back to my car. Where I live (in the Pacific Northwest), there is some kind of water on the trails year round. Water plus dirt equals one muddy dog. My dogs ride in the backseat of my car so it’s a constant battle to keep my dirty dogs from destroying the inside of my car. I know I am not alone in this […]

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Running Jargon: How to Sound Smart Around Runners

racing jargon

While it might be snowy and cold outside “race season” will be here soon. Whether you’re new to running or a seasoned veteran one thing will always be true – the world of running is full of fancy jargon, seemingly senseless acronyms and odd phrases. And let’s face it – everyone wants to sound smart when chatting up another runner! Which is exactly why I’m writing this post for you! Training Jargon Speed Work – This type of workout focuses on making you faster and includes a wide range of workouts. Some are outlined below, but don’t let that limit […]

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You Aren’t Making These 5 Layering Mistakes, Are You?

Layering Basics

Staying warm on winter adventures isn’t that difficult but you do have to know a few basic rules of layering. Whether you’re floating through some deep powder, climbing ice or snowshoeing through a wind storm, avoiding these layering mistakes can help keep you warm, dry and comfortable enough to keep going. 1. Too Many Layers- Believe it or not, the number one mistake outdoor adventures make is wearing too many layers. Sure, it’s cold when you arrive at the trailhead but once you get moving you’ll be producing a lot of heat. If you’re wearing too much you’ll likely start […]

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How to Leave No Trace While Winter Backpacking

Winter LNT

With a few more months of winter ahead for much of the country, many backpackers who haven’t ventured out since the fall might be getting the itch for a few good nights out on the trail, even if the temps are pretty chilly. To be full prepared for the winter trips, a little additional planning and preparation should take place to account for the colder temps and shorter days. One important piece of planning that also needs to be considered is how to adapt to the Leave No Trace Principles in winter. Since they take on a little different twist […]

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