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After years of testing, we’ve found that certain gear picks can change the way we interact with each other on the trail and make it easier to coexist. (Photo: Justin La Vigne)[/caption]

Outside: Thru-Hiking Gear That Can Make or Break a Relationship

We've been married 13 years and backpacked more than 12,000 miles together. This is what we've learned.

In the new normal of inescapable household intimacy, the pettiest irritations can quickly escalate into intolerable aggravations. For some couples, this might be the ultimate test. But if you can survive quarantine together, you can certainly survive a long-distance hike.

Having backpacked 12,000-plus cumulative miles on the Appalachian Trail together, as well as sections of the Pacific Crest Trail and New Zealand’s Te Ararora, we can say with confidence that the gear we chose for long treks saved our marriage. And after years of testing, we’ve found that certain gear picks change the way we interact with each other and make it easier to coexist on the trail.

Read the full article by Patrice and Justin La Vigne on Outside's website here.


May 3, 2022

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Outside Online

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Outside covers travel, sports, gear, and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the outdoors.


Of all the creepy crawlers, ticks keep me on high alert. They can be very tiny in the nymph stage and difficult to see. They love to hang out in tall grasses along the trail and hitch a ride on hikers passing by. I plan on treating most of my clothes and gear with Sawyer Permethrin.

Joanne Gigliotti


Ultra-compact and lightweight

House Grail
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I would often just drink directly from the sawyer squeeze if I was feeling lazy- which by the way works wonderfully.

Rachel McVittie