Top 10 Gear Posts from 2012

Here are the top 10 most viewed 2012 posts from the AMC Equipped gear blog, as tracked by Google Analytics. This is part one of a look at the 100-plus posts from 2012—stay tuned tomorrow when I feature my personal favorite posts from the past year.

#10—Best New Gear from Winter Outdoor Retailer
Fold-up sandals, an ultralight mountaineering tent, and highly water-resistant goose down and wool. Also check out Part 2 of this round-up for a headlamp that automatically adjusts brightness, new winter cycling shoes, and a new line of ultralight packs.

#9—Four Reasons the iPhone Fails as a Backcountry Device
Discover why the potential of the iPhone is tremendous—and why it totally failed me when I tested out a new USGS topo map app on a spring backpacking trip.

#8—What's the Best Bike Lock? There Isn't One.
Some bike locks are better than others, but none is truly theft-proof.

#7—Design Your Own Sandals: Custom Chaco Sandals
You can now personalize your Chaco sandals with a range of patterns and colors.

#6—Hike the Entire Appalachian Trail in Four Minutes
A fascinating time-lapse compilation of a successful 2005 thru-hike.

#5—Deer Ticks Suck: Nymph Tick Bites Peak in Early Summer
I hate deer ticks, especially the near-microscopic nymphs that are responsible for the majority of Lyme Disease cases in the Northeast. Learn more about the risks—and how you can protect yourself from the threat.

#4—Best Ultralight Sleeping Pad? The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Gets My Vote
An in-depth review of the Z Lite, which has been my favorite, go-to sleeping pad for years.

#3—Hiking Footwear Faceoff: Hiking Boots vs. Trail Runners
Are hiking boots really essential for heading out on the trails? Or will a pair of low-cut trail running shoes suffice?

#2—Best Deal on an Ultralight Tent? It May Be the L.L. Bean Microlight FS2
A look at one of the best values out there for a two-person, double-wall tent that weighs less than four pounds.

#1—The Best Hiking Boots? The Vasque Sundowner Classic Gets My Vote
An in-depth review of my all-time favorite pair of hiking boots (top picture), which I've been using almost my entire hiking career.

Do you have ideas for a post in 2013? Please let me know!

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.