The Ultimate Yellowstone Packing List for Every Summer Visitor
Happiest Outdoors » Gear
by Taryn Eyton
1M ago
A few years ago, I spent a week in Yellowstone National Park. OMG, what an incredible place! I did a bunch of research about what to see before I went, but I couldn’t find much info on what to pack for Yellowstone. Yellowstone presents some unique challenges for visitors. It is located in the Rocky Mountains and the park is at a high elevation. Most of it is over 7000 feet (2100m) above sea level and subject to unpredictable mountain weather. I saw lots of unprepared people shivering in the cold, soaking wet in rainstorms or with lobster-like sunburned skin. (And to be honest, sometimes I was ..read more
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Why Do Rain Jackets Wet Out?
Happiest Outdoors » Gear
by Taryn Eyton
4M ago
It can be frustrating to be out for a hike in wet weather and have your jacket fail, which is called wetting out. But why do rain jackets wet out? And what can you do about it? I’ve been hiking and backpacking for two decades, mostly in the wet Pacific Northwest weather of British Columbia. Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of rain jackets. And for seven years I worked at the head office of a large Canadian outdoor brand. My job was to write product guides and staff training materials, so I spent a lot of time working with the design and fabric teams to learn everything there is to know about o ..read more
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My Favourite Hiking Gear – 2023 Edition
Happiest Outdoors » Gear
by Taryn Eyton
6M ago
While my addiction isn’t as strong as it used to be, I’m a bit of a gear junkie. As an outdoor writer and guidebook author, I pretty much hike for a living, so good gear is important. I also know waaay too much about gear since I spent three years working in an outdoor store and then seven years working at the head office of an outdoor retailer writing about gear. Every year, I put together a list of the best gear I tried. These are the things that I reached for most often, that were usually in my backpack, and which were on high rotation in my washing machine so I could wear them again. So he ..read more
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Microspikes vs. Crampons vs. Snowshoes: What’s the Difference?
Happiest Outdoors » Gear
by Taryn Eyton
6M ago
If you’re heading out for a hike in the winter, you are probably going to encounter ice and snow. But how will you stop yourself from slipping? Should you bring microspikes? Or crampons? Or snowshoes? And what’s the difference? In this post, I’ll break down microspikes vs. crampons vs. snowshoes. I’ve been winter hiking and snowshoeing for over 20 years. I also used to work at the head office of a large outdoor retailer where I wrote about hiking gear, including writing staff training materials. So I’ve got a fair amount of winter knowledge to share. This guide to winter traction devices inclu ..read more
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20 Fabulous Canadian National Park Gift Ideas
Happiest Outdoors » Gear
by Taryn Eyton
7M ago
If you’ve been to a Canadian national park, you know they are special places. I’ve been to 18 of the 48 national parks in Canada and am already planning which park I will visit next. If you’re looking for the perfect present for a national park lover, I’ve got you covered. This list of the best Canadian national park gift ideas has something for everyone including: The BEST gift for Canadian national parks lovers: the Parks Canada Discovery pass Books and maps to plan their next trip to a national park Must-have national park souvenirs and collectibles Posters, art, and decor to celebrate the ..read more
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25 Stocking Stuffers for Hikers Under $25 (2023)
Happiest Outdoors » Gear
by Taryn Eyton
7M ago
Have you seen those stocking stuffers for hikers posts online? Full of $300 gadgets or things that are clearly too large to physically fit in a stocking? Me too. They’re ridiculous. A stocking should be full of small, fun, inexpensive stuff. And chocolate. Some of my family is pretty outdoorsy (shocking right?) so I have some experience choosing gifts for hikers. I try to pick things that are high quality, fairly cheap and actually useful. Absolutely no gimmicks! No silly 6-in-1 gadgets! Because nothing is worse than getting stuff you don’t need and will never use. (And it’s so bad for th ..read more
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Best Insulated Skirts to Keep Your Butt Warm on the Trails (Updated for Winter 2023/2024)
Happiest Outdoors » Gear
by Taryn Eyton
8M ago
A few winters ago I got an insulated skirt and it was a game-changer. (I’m not exaggerating!) My puffy skirt meant I could keep my butt warm on the trails – I simply put it on over my pants when I was cold and took it off when I wasn’t. In this guide, I’ll break down how to choose the best insulated skirts for snowshoeing, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, hiking, and running. I’ve got everything you need to know about insulated skirts including: Why would you want an insulated skirt? Why are puffer skirts great for winter sports? Best insulated skirts in several categories: Which puffy ..read more
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The Best Boots For Snowshoeing (Winter 2023/24)
Happiest Outdoors » Gear
by Taryn Eyton
8M ago
Snowshoeing is a fun and easy winter sport. All you need to get started are some snowshoes and some warm clothing. But one of the questions I get asked all the time is: What are the best boots for snowshoeing? What type of boots should you buy? Which features should snowshoeing boots have? What brands are good? I’ve put together a complete guide to choosing the best boots for snowshoeing for you. It has everything you need to know to buy your first pair of snowshoeing boots. Here’s what you’ll learn: What type of boots are best for snowshoeing? Should you snowshoe in traditional winter boots ..read more
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Gear Deals
Happiest Outdoors » Gear
by Taryn Eyton
8M ago
I spent nearly a decade working in outdoor retail, both in a store and behind the scenes at head office, so I understand the seasonal cycle for sales on hiking gear. I also understand how stupidly expensive it is to get good gear. I created the Canadian Hiking Gear Deals Facebook group to help others get hiking gear for less. I share the latest deals on sales on hiking and outdoor in Canada. All deals are from Canadian retails so you can pay in Canadian dollars and won’t incur expensive international shipping or import duties. Join the Canadian Hiking Gear Deals Group Need more ways to get hi ..read more
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20+ Ways to Reduce Your Backpack Weight
Happiest Outdoors » Gear
by Taryn Eyton
9M ago
Backpacking is a natural extension of day hiking as you trek further into the wilderness. The major downside is having to carry all that gear. I’ve been backpacking for nearly 20 years and have come up with lots of ways to reduce your backpack weight. I’m definitely not an ultralight hiker (more on what that is below), but I’m a gear geek and have refined my backpacking gear choices over the years to prioritize low weight without sacrificing safety or too much comfort. This guide to ways to reduce your backpack weight includes: Why should you reduce your backpack weight? What are the advantag ..read more
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