The Spokesman-Review

Overboots Will Keep Toes Toasty On Denali

Q. I am planning a trip to Denali next year. I have done my homework and my research suggests that the Brooks Ranger is the warmest overboot (some objective testing published in Rock and Ice recently). My alpine crampons are the Rotoflex from Climb High (they are German-made; I’m not sure of the brand). My question is: How compatible are they with the Brooks Ranger overboots? Any comments on warmth of specific overboots from personal experience. My alpine boots are Scarpa Inverno.

Ken Brown

Gear Guy: You should be in good shape, Ken. I used Scarpa Invernos and Brooks Ranger overboots on Denali when I climbed the West Buttress two years ago this June, and my feet were comfortably toasty all the way up and down. The fact is, you may need the Brooks Rangers only above 14,000 feet. Lower down on the mountain Outdoor Research Crocodiles or a similar gaiter should be fine.

The Rotoflex cramps will work well, too. The only cautionary note is that you’ll want to avoid over-tightening the crampon straps.

Doing so could reduce circulation to your feet.

Q. I was wondering if you have ever considered this: Save tons of money on “breathable” outerwear and bright expensive clothing by coating your entire body in antiperspirant. This method of applying anti-perspirant stick (or spray) all over your body every day for a few weeks will effectively clog up your pores making it difficult or impossible to sweat. Sure there may be “health problems” associated with this but imagine how much money could be saved.

Jon Bennett

Gear Guy: An excellent idea, Jon. By spraying yourself from head to foot with Arrid Extra Dry each day for a week before you depart on a trip, you should eliminate any possibility of sweating. And as you so shrewdly note, that will make it unnecessary to wear expensive, heavy and often-fragile garments made of Gore-Tex or other waterproof-breathable fabrics. I don’t doubt that The North Face and other big clothing manufacturers are well aware of this principle, but have managed to hush it up so far. This communication between us will not pose a dire threat to their hegemony (say…THERE’S a big word!). If I were you, I would immediately join the “Gear Guy Witless Protection Program” and assume a new identity. For starters, take that shower you’ve been putting off for the past six months. That alone will throw people off the trail. To complete the disguise, buy a cheap, “off-brand” rain jacket for $19.95 and stencil the words “Gore-Tex” to a sleeve. That should fool them. Good luck.

Q. Do you have any experience or knowledge regarding Jack Wolfskin tents? The Blue Moon model looks like a good possibility for family backpacking. I am hoping for some input, as I have not been able to see any of this manufacturer’s products first-hand.


Gear Guy: I’ve used a Jack Wolfskin Rock N’ Roll, which is that company’s two-person mountaineering tent. In my view their products are well-made and well-designed, despite the goofy name and the corny wolf-paw logo. As for the new Blue Moon, it looks like a tremendous deal - a tent that’s nearly as roomy as some umbrella-style tents designed for car-camping, but that weighs just 10 pounds. It even has mountain-tent features like a vestibulelike alcove for storing gear out of the weather. At $430, it’s a little steep price-wise, but compares favorably with a tent such as REI’s Geo Mountain 4 ($385), another four-person tent.

MEMO: Send your questions directly to Interactive Gear Guy Douglas Gantenbein by e-mail at or check out his twice-weekly column on Outside Online at

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, QUESTION & ANSWER - Gear Guy

Send your questions directly to Interactive Gear Guy Douglas Gantenbein by e-mail at or check out his twice-weekly column on Outside Online at

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, QUESTION & ANSWER - Gear Guy

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