A Good Pack Shines in the Shoulder Seasons

For those of us whose lives are based on the seasons as we move from location to location for work or just activity to activity for play, appreciation for the “shoulder season” has grown. Sure, there is a little bit of compromise involved, but we find the best balance right there in the middle.

As a ski mountaineering athlete for Deuter and Outdoor Research, I am always looking for ways to enjoy that space between those snowy trips in the mountains and the kayak guiding season in the San Juan Islands with Outdoor Odysseys that’s just around the corner.

Now is a great time for cross training on the mountain bike, interval trail runs and long hikes up to alpine lakes where skiing is still great at the high mountain passes.

Here in Washington, east of the Cascades, the weather gets a little unpredictable, sometimes downright inhospitable, in the fall and spring. The days get shorter then longer, and the temperature fluctuates. But amongst those transitional days of rain and fog are some of the best days of the season. No matter your favorite activity, there is always a day this time of year when you can find the goods.

You have to be ready for anything. It was snowing just a week ago, and today the clouds are gone and the weather is in the 70s. The sun shining on the ridges and valleys of Icicle and Tumwater canyons gives an undeniable feeling of imminent summer.

The key to making the best of both worlds this time of year is dialing in a versatile pack like the Pace 36. Having a system of extra layers and harsh-weather countermeasures will not only keep you warm, dry and safe but can turn this fickle time of year into the best time of year to be outside.

The lightweight pack is perfect for overnight rambles and hikes up high. It is so compressible that it makes for an amazing daypack as well as a light and fast multi-day pack.

It’s also the time of year when we are packing up our Transit 50 travel packs on our way to visit family and celebrate the spring holidays. So as we move from winter to summer take the time to push out of the fog and rain and enjoy those glorious spring days on the path less traveled.

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