Ask the Gear Guy

    • Q. I have a 45-degree Lafuma mummy sleeping bag and a 15-degree liner to go with it, so it becomes a 30-degree bag. My dad says I’ll be fine in the cold, but I’m not so sure. It gets pretty cold in the tri-state area. What do you think I should do?

    • Q. When I get a new traditional lock-blade knife, it often messes up within the first hour. When I close it, the blade flips in and out and will not completely shut. Why isn’t it working?

    • As high-tech gadgets like smart phones, digital cameras, and GPS devices continue to find their way into the outdoors, we have to find ways to protect them. One of the best, and most affordable options is the Pelican 1020 Micro Case.

    • Q. Should I get a mountain bike or a road bike? Where I live the roads are bad and uneven and have potholes. I would prefer a mountain bike but I do go on casual, medium cycles and I like to go fast enough. Which one should I get?

    • Q. Hello Gear Guy, My friends wear Under Armour with shorts and a T-shirt and say they are warm when it is 30 degrees out. Meanwhile I’m freezing with long johns and my uniform and a jacket on! I was considering buying Under Armour. They give me a choice of silk or polyester, which one keeps me warmer? Do you have suggestions of any other products besides Under Armour?

    • Q. I can't seem to find a good pair of convertible synthetic pants for hiking/backpacking. Could you point me to where I should look? I'm looking for something that doesn't cost more than $45 to $50.

    • If you love pancakes as much as Gear Guy does, then you'll love Batter Blaster, the easiest pancake option we've ever used for camp cooking.

    • Q. I'm shopping for a tent and am confused by the way the tents are labeled for weight. Most seem to list two weights, a trail weight and a packed weight. What's the difference?

    • Q. I need (OK, I want) a helmet camera. I like the GoPros but I don't know which model to get for filming while skiing. What would you recommend?

    • Q. How are the camping backpacks at Philmont made so lightweight?

    • HitchSafe attaches to any standard 2-inch receiver hitch on a truck, van or SUV and provides a small storage space locked securely by a combination of your choosing.

    • Sometimes when you're backpacking, the last thing you need is something else to carry. So leave the bulky hand-held global positioning system unit at home and take along the Foretrex 301.

    • Unlike most space blankets, which are clammy and sweaty to sleep in, The Escape Bivvy is waterproof and breathable. That means experienced backpackers who like to travel fast and light can use this as a minimalist bivvy sack

    • Q. Are waterproof bags necessary or will garbage bags work just as well?

    • Getting a campfire going on the trail can be a real challenge, especially when dry kindling is nowhere to be found. That’s why we love the Light My Fire Tinder-on-a-Rope.

    • Q. Yo Gear Guy, I just got back from summer camp and I had a blast, except for one thing: My tent got a hole in it. I was wondering if you know any good inexpensive ways to fix the holes?

    • Q. Dear Gear Guy, I’m going on a camp-out soon and need to buy a cot. What kind of inexpensive cot do you think is best? Thanks!

    • Q. Hey Gear Guy, I am getting ready to go on a camping trip and just would like to know what is the best kind of survival kit that fits nicely in my backpack and doesn’t take up too much room.

    • Q. Hey Gear Guy: On camp-outs, my tent is always so dirty for some reason. Whenever I lay down to go to sleep there’s always dirt and sand and leaves all over my sleeping bag and the bottom of the tent. Please help?

    • This special video edition of Stuff We Like shows you a real trail lifesaver.

    • Q. Help, Gear Guy! What do you do if your waterproof hiking boots have become un-water resistant? My boots shoe bottoms are coming off too!

    • Q. Dear Gear Guy, When I’m out camping I need to keep my eyes safe. I want to buy some sunglasses. But where can I find a pair for under $50?

    • Q. Hey Gear Guy, I run a lot, and I like to run while at summer camp. Problem is, when I wear my normal running shoes, I get blisters; and when I wear a hiking shoe, it chafes my ankles. Any suggestions for a running shoe that is good for a rough camp trail?

    • Q. Hey Gear Guy, What kinds of things do you need to look for when shopping for a hammock tent?

    • Q. What is your best idea of a survival shelter? How would you build it?

    • Q. Hey Gear Guy, my patrol is going to Philmont for two weeks this summer, and I need some help. I hear that the weather is unpredictable there and I was wondering if you could help me decide on what kind of gear we should bring?

    • Q. On camp-outs I see some boys with cots and others with bedrolls. Which should I use?

    • Q. What is better to buy: A bivvy or just a lightweight tent?

    • Q. My sleeping bag zippers always break off. This is my second sleeping bag that broke and I don’t have any extra money to keep buying a new one over and over again. PLEASE HELP!!

    • Q. Yo, Gear Guy, Where can you find some Boy Scout socks? I need a couple pairs for campouts and for board of reviews.