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.

More Great Brands Made in the USA

Made in the USA

Back in January, I wrote a post introducing ten great brands offered by Sierra Trading Post that make products in the United States. With Labor Day coming up, I thought it might be a good time to showcase a few more American-made brands. If you’re familiar with any of these, give us a shout-out in the comments and tell us about your experience. You can also tell us about your favorite brand that didn’t make our list. Proof Eyewear: Sunglasses with Attitude Founded in 2011 by a young entrepreneur named Brooks Dame, Proof is a fashion eyewear brand based in […]

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Gear Testing: How Kelty Test and Designs Backpacks

kelty backpack testing

We love outdoor gear and are always looking for the best products. Have you ever thought about how outdoor gear is designed and tested? We called our friends at Kelty to see how they test their new backpack designs. They invited us to the Kelty backpack testing facility to see first hand how it’s done. Watch this video to see the tests Kelty uses to measure how comfortable their designs will be on the trail. Kelty has developed a way to simulate the distribution of force on the body when it’s carrying a fully loaded pack. This test helps them […]

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You Want to Run Your First Half-Marathon?

Train for a half-marathon

So you want to run your first half-marathon. Good—I’m glad. It’s every runner’s first “real” running accomplishment and it’s the high mileage gatekeeper. Before you set out on your own or go signing up for your first half-marathon, read these training tips to ensure your best chance at finishing. 1. Give yourself adequate time to actually train for a half-marathon. Listen to your body and plan accordingly. More advanced runners might only need six to eight weeks to prepare for a half-marathon. Consider taking a couple extra weeks to prepare. I gave myself 10 weeks and did just fine (I […]

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3 Ways Drivers Can Help Cyclists

Cycling tips

I live in Wyoming. There are more pronghorn here than people. There are more horses in my neighborhood than residents. So it’s not like overcrowding is exactly a problem. Still, whenever I ride my roadbike, something cool happens. I am nearly overcome with gratitude for the awesome drivers who share the road with me. In three years of weekly riding, I have precisely zero stories of negative encounters with drivers on my state’s highways and byways. Zero. What do these drivers do right? 1. They give me plenty of room as they pass. On a two-lane highway with plenty of […]

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5 Common Backpacking Mistakes That Can Cost You Your Life

backpacking mistakes

Heading into the backcountry requires some survival knowledge and attention to safety. You can’t plan for everything you might experience on a backpacking trip but you can prepare yourself with quality gear and enough knowledge to spot dangerous situations. Keep reading to learn the 5 common backpacking mistakes that can put you in serious danger. 5 Common Backpacking Mistakes 1. Ignoring poor weather conditions- Last week as I quickly descended Flattop Mountain with dark clouds closing in on this section of Rocky Mountain National Park, I came across multiple people still climbing the mountain (without rain jackets). Having been in […]

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3 Ways Outdoor Adventures are Easier as the Kids Get Older

easy outdoor adventures with kids

My kids are elementary age, 10 and 7, and we have had plenty of outdoor adventures over the years. We’ve camped, hiked, swam, and explored the world around us. Some of those outings have been hard, difficult, and a few have been plain torture. However; as with anything in life, you live and learn. We have had equally as many wonderful times spent outside and that always makes the effort totally worth it. As the children have grown, I have too. I’ve learned their personalities and temperaments. What works for one child doesn’t necessarily work for the other. Our current […]

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5 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Reduce Your Pack Weight

pack weight

When it comes to backpacking, weight is everything. The lighter the backpack the faster and further you can go without injury or exhaustion. Check out these 5 surprisingly easy ways to reduce your pack weight before you hit the trail this summer and you’ll surely have a great adventure. 1. Bring Items That Can Be Used in Multiple Ways – Think of ways you can use the same item for multiple uses. For example, I carry a down jacket for hanging out at camp on cool nights then I use that down jacket as a pillow at night. Paracord is […]

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Tips for New Roadbikers

New Roadbikers

Thinking about getting into road biking? Good! I’ve got a few tips for you, which I’ve gleaned from my three years being involved in the sport. I don’t race, I just ride and have fun keeping up with my super speedy girlfriends who train a lot harder than I do! 1. Buy the best bike you can afford. I give this advice to anyone thinking about entering any sport. Why? Because having good equipment enhances the experience, lest your dreams be crushed by ill-fitting, rusted out equipment or a bike that just doesn’t meet your need. I don’t mean buy […]

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Getting into Whitewater Kayaking

Whitewater Kayaking

I never really thought about whitewater kayaking until I went rafting one day with a few friends.  We went through the first rapid and there were these tiny boats everywhere, people surfing waves, people swimming, it looked like a lot of fun. And it is.  I went out the next day and bought myself a boat.  Kayaking sort of changed my life.  It opened up this whole new world of adventure and not to mention I met my husband on the river. I find kayaking is a mental sport.  You really have to think a lot and be aware of […]

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How to Hang Food in the Backcountry

how to hang your food

If you are going to spend a night in the backcountry, you need to know how to store your food correctly. Improperly stored food often results in bears becoming accustomed to humans… and often ending up being shot. Keeping food, and odoriferous objects (like toothpaste or deodorant) in your tent can land you with nighttime visitors, big and small. Even in areas where there are no bears, you can end up going hungry thanks to opportunist raccoons, mice and other hungry critters. Aside from parks that require bear canisters, or areas where there are no trees, your best (and safest […]

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