Some of our favorite summer things.


1/ Jamming
Bluetooth earphones are the best—if they’d just stay in our ears. When a pair fell out into a puddle during a March run, we were ready to go back to jacks. But then we met Decibullz. The company’s take on Bluetooth wireless earphones comes with earplugs that can be easily thermofitted. And they’re affordable. Whether it’s because these fit our ears so perfectly, or because of Decibullz’s acoustic technology, we’ve found the sound pretty amazing, too. $119.99, decibullz.com

2/ The Jacket
We’ve got a quiver of Gore-Tex jackets that we cycle through. There’s the lightweight summer rain shell, the shell we bring climbing, the shell we use backpacking, and the shell we wear running errands in the rain. Arc’teryx’s new Alpha FL Shell (available in women’s and men’s) has killed our quiver, though. While it’s meant to be the ultimate jacket for alpinists, it’s very versatile. Since adding it to our collection, it’s the only jacket we’ve worn. At under 300 grams—about the weight of two hamsters—it’s freakishly light, yet it stands up to hard conditions, whether from the elements, Teton granite, or our cat’s claws. (Lesson learned: No more nice jackets slung over the back of the couch.) $425, available at Teton Mountaineering, arcteryx.com

3/ Swinging in the Breeze
If you haven’t yet tried a camping hammock, you should. Several companies make them, and our favorite is the Kammok Roo. Made from tear-resistant diamond ripstop nylon, it holds up to 500 pounds and packs down to the size of a big grapefruit. At 1.5 pounds, it’s lighter than any camping pad we’ve yet found. We won’t even get into how much more comfortable the Roo is than sleeping on the ground. $99, available at valley outdoors stores, kammok.com

4/ Cooler than Cool
Last summer, we loved Yeti’s soft-sided Hopper cooler. It kept things cold forever and was easier to haul around than traditional hard-sided coolers. But we’ll admit that after a summer of hard use, we found one thing we’d improve: the zippered access into the cooler. It was sometimes difficult to get medium-size items in and out. Meet Hopper Two, which has all of the awesomeness of the original—fully leakproof, puncture-resistant, floatable, and with an antimicrobial lining—plus improved access to the goods. Offered in 20-, 30-, and 40-liter sizes, from $299, available at ACE Hardware, yeti.com

5/ Oops, They Did it Again
Just when we thought Arc’teryx had used up all of its innovative juices, they come out with something like RotoGlide, a hip belt that rotates side to side and glides up and down, making for the world’s most comfortable backpack. You’ve never enjoyed carrying camping gear as much as you will with a new Bora AR. From $499, available at Teton Mountaineering, 170 N. Cache, arcteryx.com


6/ Dinner’s On
We’ll take your fast and raise you one. Optimus’ Elektra FE Cook System boils one liter of water in just over two minutes and uses about 20 percent less fuel than similar stoves to do it. Bonus: All together the system, which includes the Crux Lite stove, piezo igniter, Terra Weekend HE Cook set, and clip-on windshield, packs up to be no bigger than a coconut. $94.95, available at valley outdoors stores, optimusstoves.com




7/ Never Get Lost
With onXmaps’ ROAM membership, you create a map that has the information you want—trails, streams, lakes, wilderness areas, property boundaries—on your smartphone. Map downloaded (so your phone can be in airplane mode), your smartphone’s built-in GPS then tracks you on top of it. We’ve been testing different phone GPS maps for several years now, and this quickly became our favorite for ease of use and customization. $19.95/year, available in the Google Play Store and Apple Store, roam.onxmaps.com

8/ Merino, Done Better
Merino wool is naturally wicking and breathable. After Smartwool worked its latest magic on the classic material—making Corespun Merino 150 fabric out of it—it’s also lighter, more durable, and better retains its shape. The secret behind this is creating a “spine” in the fabric by mixing nylon with merino. Our top Merino 150 choice is the Pattern Tee. From $75, available at Skinny Skis, 65 W. Deloney Ave., smartwool.com

9/ The Shirt
Sorry, guys: Stio’s Sidley shirt is for women only. Stylish enough for the Brewpub, but techy enough for climbing or hiking, Sidley is a summer staple for valley women. In addition to looking good—did we mention the pearl snaps and modified hem that flatters, whether tucked in or not?—it’s made from fabric with a water-resistant finish, mechanical stretch, and UPF 50+ rating. $125, available at Stio, 10 E. Broadway Ave., stio.com

10/ Begone, Bugs!
Planning to camp somewhere with bugs? Make sure you pack Thermacell’s Backpacker insect repeller. The Backpacker, which weighs only four ounces, uses fuel from any isobutane camp canister to heat a mat treated with Allethrin, the synthetic compound found in chrysanthemums. We found the mat vaporizes the Allethrin to provide an area of (approximately) fifteen square insect-free feet. One evening of no bugs uses about as much fuel as boiling a pot of water. $39.99, available at Ace Hardware, thermacell.com


11/ Time Travel
Jackson Hole magazine’s own photo editor, Bradly J. Boner, spent months researching the images William Henry Jackson took while traveling with the 1871 Hayden Survey to Yellowstone. It is largely because of Jackson’s images that Yellowstone was named the world’s first national park. Boner, who is also the chief photographer for the Jackson Hole News&Guide, then spent three summers finding the exact spots Jackson had captured with his 8×10 plate-size camera and rephotographing them. Boner turned the project into the best coffee-table book of the area in years, Yellowstone National Park: Through the Lens of Time. $39.95, available at Valley Bookstore, 125 N. Cache

Receive Published Stories In Your Inbox

Enter your email address below to subscribe to published stories.