Hiking Boot Alternative: The Altra Lone Peak 4 Review

This post was last updated on September 28th, 2020 at 06:37 pm

Treksumo was created with hiking and trekking in mind, but from time to time we step off the well-beaten hiking routes in order to explore and review gear we think should have a place in your packing list. A good example of this is the hiking boot alternative category as today we’re going to be walking through a quick Altra Lone Peak 4 review.

Altra Lone Peak 4: a great hiking boot alternative
Altra Lone Peak 4: a great hiking boot alternative (toggles are my cusomtisation for fast and secure fitting.

We originally looked at this topic when we answered the question should I use hiking boots or trail runners for my hikes? Check out that post for thoughts and advice we’ve collected over the years.

You’ve probably already guessed that Altra are a company that make footwear for road and cross country running. So why are we reviewing running shoes? Because I’ve found they make an near-perfect alternative to hiking shoes and boots as you’ll see.

Preamble over. Time to review the Lone Peak 4 trainers.

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What Is Rucking?: Awesome Cardio for Running Haters

This post was last updated on August 31st, 2020 at 08:52 am

Here’s a revelation: one of the two authors of TrekSumo hates running. He sees it as the very embodiment of Hell, but he pounds the pavements and trails because running is one of the best ways to prepare for long days hiking over hill and vale. But there is another way to create a powerful pair of heart and lungs – rucking. But what is rucking?

Let’s explore this very simple form of exercise.

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Garmin InReach Explorer+ Review: A Deep Dive

garmin inreach explorer+ review

This post was last updated on August 3rd, 2020 at 04:21 pm

I’ve already carried out some side by side comparisons of satellite communicators and navigator devices, but finally decided to get a Garmin InReach Explorer+ review out there for our readers.

Jake, the co-author of TrekSumo, and I have a huge amount of experience using GPS and navigation devices. I’m ex-military, with 10 years service in the British Army, and Jake is seasoned hiker and explorer. Over the course of respective tours, we’ve encountered the good, the bad and the ugly of satellite navigation devices (trust me: the military is great at buying and dumping heavy, U-G-L-Y equipment on the troops).

Anyway, time to quit the meander down memory lane. Let’s get this InReach review on the road.

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Hiking Boots vs Trail Runners: Which are Best for You?

Your plans are set, gear packed and all that’s left is to choose the right footwear for you hike. The age old battle of hiking boots vs trail runners keeps on coming round. What I’d like to do today is make a few suggestions for you to consider.

First though, trail runners have come a long way since I first pulled on a pair (about 18 years ago). Over time they’ve been engineered to be more rugged, with deep treads on the outsoles, and lightweight. And for many trips they’ve become a credible alternative to hiking boots.

Let’s walk through some of the questions you should be asking of your footwear.

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How To Choose Hiking Boots That Work For You

This post was last updated on July 5th, 2020 at 06:05 pm

Do you know how to choose hiking boots? Well, the process is a little like entering into a long and committed relationship: you’re going to travel long distances together, on journeys that may take many years. Along the way there will be friction, fun and occasional boot envy when you’re hiking the wilds.

merrell moab 2 hiking boots
Merrell Moab 2 – a great pair of day hiking boots that carried me 400 miles across Lake Baikal‘s frozen surface.

Most important of all, you’ll care and protect one another. Mutual respect will grow, and in time you’ll feel comfortable with each other, no matter where you adventures take you both. How to choose hiking boots that you’ll cherish in a way that will make your bobble hat green with envy is a dizzying process.

But don’t worry! This post is part of a new series of article that will bring together all you need to know about hiking boots. Let’s get this love affair on the trail!

Before you finally commit to a match made in hikers heaven, you need to be sure the two of you are compatible.

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Garmin Vivosmart HR+ Review: An 8/10 Hiking Watch

Garmin Vivosmart HR+ review

General: a small, but very capable sports watch. Rugged and reliable, the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is a great option for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a relatively low cost GPS-enabled fitness tracker that’s ideal for more than just hiking or running.

The Vivosmart HR+: General Information

One of a long line of capable devices, the Vivosmart HR+ has been around for a few years now. That’s because it works and it works well. When it comes to buying a low cost fitness tracker or hiking/running watch it’s worth pausing to look this one over.

I have to admit to really liking the HR+: the GPS tracking is great and there are plenty of applications that just work with it out of the box (more on those points in a while). And the price point is a good one – right now you can pick one up for about $100/£100.

When it first launched back in 2016, the Vivosmart HR+ was relatively expensive. Over time the price has dropped to a point that it’s an easy purchase decision.

Okay, let’s get into the heart of this Garmin Vivosmart HR+ review…

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How to Wash A Down Jacket

hippo in mud, eyeing your down jacket!
Hippos and mud: the two mortal enemies of down jackets!

Hiking is hard work. With the sheer physical effort associated with hualing your gear through forests and over mountains come the inevitable post-trip aromas! You trekking gear will achieve a degree of ‘ripeness’ normally only associated with that that six week old salad hiding at the back of the fridge. With that unpleasant thought in mind, we’re going to walk through how to wash a down jacket.

This step by step is part of a series of posts designed to help you look after your down jacket (including a collection of reviews of the current best down jacket offerings. Each one has been written with a specific question, or topic, in mind and aimed at helping you choose, maintain and understand various aspects of down-filled jackets. If you enjoy the posts please do let more people know by sharing on social media, or linking to the content you like.

Okay, you’ve just back from your latest big hike. Your hiking pants and base layers now have a breezy freshness, the scent of home that reinvigorates you halfway through a long distance hike. Carefully following the instructions for washing your Sealskinz cold weather socks (links to a review) has dispelled the lingering odour of sweaty feet.

Now it’s time to clean you down jacket. Where to start?

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What Makes A Down Jacket Warm? Complete Guide

Lake Baikal in Russia, it's here you'll discover what makes a down jacket warm
Laike Baikal, Russia – you’ll need a high quality down jacket if you’re going to trek this location.

Note: This is part of our what is a down jacket series of articles. Now let’s get into this – the easy answer is: eider (the soft down feathers that insulate bird’s bodies). But that’s too simple of an answer. What makes a down jacket warm is a series of construction features combined with differing weights and quality of feathers.

Let’s delve a little deeper.

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History of Down Jackets: From Innuit to Catwalk

Innuit down-filled parka
The Innuit beat Berghaus to the punch by about 1,000 years

Continuing our ‘what is a down jacket‘ series, it’s time to explore the history of down clothing. The 1922 summit of Mount Everest by an Australian team is the first acknowledged use of a down jacket. But the evolution of down jackets, and their predecessors, is rooted deep in the history of mankind.

Use of down goes way back in time. North American tribes have been using bird feathers as part of religious ceremonies that date back thousands of years. Images of native American war bonnets (headdresses made with eagle feathers) show us of the importance placed on birds and their integration into various cultures.

Caribou Innuit, inhabitants of the North West Territories, Canada have used down-stuff parkas for countless generations. The heavy overcoats were designed to keep hunters warm during the harshest weather. Tracing the origins of the parka is hard, but researchers believe that this form of cold weather clothing has been used by the Innuit for many thousands of years.

More recently, from the 1600s onwards, down feather became a key component in the construction of clothing worn in cold environments. In this era, Dutch merchants were regularly buying down feathers from Russia.

Fast forward another couple of hundred years and we can see examples of duck nesting sites in Norway being protected. Eider was harvested by Norwegian communities and stuffed into both clothing and blankets. This method of farming, thought to date back to the 1800’s, appears to be an early form of mass supply of eider.

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What Is A Down Jacket? The Complete Guide

This post was last updated on May 14th, 2020 at 01:48 pm

carinthis down jacket used in Greenland
Carinthia down jacket, an essential piece of outdoor gear for expeditions such as a crossing of Greenland.

When Jack Frost decides to pay us a visit it’s time to wrap up and beat the chill. For most of us that means ditching t-shirts in favour of something a little warmer – usually a down jacket. But what is a down jacket? And how do they keep you warm?

Down-filled clothing has moved from the kind of specialist gear sported by only huge-bearded explorers and mountaineers to everyday wear. This trend has been driven by outdoor gear companies who have taken popular models and redesigned them for less extreme climates.

Let’s go on a guided tour of the ins and outs of down jackets…

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