Trusted Gear Program

At the Colorado Mountain Club, we get asked a lot of questions about outdoor recreation. Like, A LOT of questions. Sometimes it’s for suggestions on which 14er’s to tackle where you’ll encounter the least amount of people. The best climbing routes in Eldorado Canyon. Or where to ski tour to stay out of avalanche danger. The good news is, to answer those, we can often point folks to the 75 (and counting) books we publish through CMC Press. 

But sometimes we get asked “What gear should I bring along on a [insert preferred mountain craft activity] trip?” or “What type of [specific gear] would you recommend for [super specific outdoor excursion]?”  

It’s hard to answer such questions with a singular, nuanced response, as there are so many variables to consider when it comes to choosing the right gear for your backcountry adventures: 

  • Skill and ability
  • Fitness level
  • Fit preferences
  • How hard you treat gear
  • Personal style

This list goes on, and on, and on. 

But oftentimes we find a few select products that get consistently mentioned by our trusted team of outdoor educators and trip leaders. 

With that in mind, we want to share with you “CMC Trusted Gear,” a compilation of recommendations and authentic reviews of the gear most commonly used - and abused - by CMC staff and instructors. 

Whether you prefer hiking, climbing, skiing, biking, or any other outdoor pursuit, as Colorado’s premier club for outdoor activity and education, we want to provide you with objective and honest accounts of the gear we personally use when getting outside.      

So just as we share our knowledge with others when it comes to technical skill progression, we hope this list and our reviews provide guidance when you find yourself asking the question: “I wonder what CMC would recommend…?” 

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