SMARTWOOL ADRENALINE LIGHT CREW
A perennial favorite, SmartWool socks are the gift that keeps on giving. They last forever. They freakishly never smell, even after 15-mile days. And they keep feet cool, even on the steamiest Southern summit ascents. $17.
ROYAL ROBBINS BIVY SHORTS
For those all-day slogs, the Bivy is made of a durable nylon that won’t rip or tear. It also passed our moisture test, as we made an excessive sweater hit the trail for a long afternoon in the heat. $40.
SMARTWOOL LIGHTWEIGHT NTS WOMEN’S TEE
Wearing wool on a warm weather hike sounds counterintuitive, but SmartWool’s merino actually keeps you cool on extended journeys. Our editor prefers it to other synthetic moisture-wicking shirts, because it’s softer on the skin. A big perk is the odor resistance, which held up even after a 40-mile, one-day slog on the entire Maryland portion of the Appalachian Trail. $55.
For unexpected downpours, the Typhoon is the best kind of backcountry hardshell. It’s waterproof but also light and breathable—weighing in at just over a pound and packing down to the size of soda can. $199.
Looking for the safest water bottle on the planet? Nothing beats old-fashioned stainless steel. Klean Kanteen’s line of stainless steel water bottles are durable, lightweight, and 100 percent recyclable. Best of all, they are completely non-leaching and toxin-free. Even more eco than SIGG, Klean Kanteen is the greenest and cleanest choice for water. $17.
PETZL TIKKA XP HEADLAMP
Powerful white light that can be adjusted with 120 hours of burn time—if only all outdoor gadgets were this simple and reliable. Petzl also makes the most comfortable headlamps on the market. $50.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS EXPLORER 3D
The newest software from NG combines the functionality and ease-of-use of their TOPO! Trail software with the accuracy, added information, and beauty of Trails Illustrated maps. It combines 14 Trails Illustrated maps and enables you to plan and print spectacular maps, visualize your hikes with one-click trail profiles, and get birds-eye-views of your trail in 3D. You can also generate GPS waypoints using this software. Get the lay of the land before you step foot on the trail. $50.