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Six Spring Softshells

Spring skiing is almost here, which means it's time to ditch the puffy and switch to a light softshell. Here are some of our favorites.

GSI’s BPA-free cookware fully accommodates two people’s eating needs. At just 20.7 ounces, this lightweight set includes two insulated mugs with lids, two bowls, two telescoping foons, and a hard-anodized pot with strainer lid. All cookware, fuel, a stove, and utensils fit inside the pot. Nonstick coating makes cleanup easy, the Pinnacle-series aluminum pot distributes heat evenly for perfectly cooked English muffin pizzas, and Teflon radiance technology prevents scratches. Our favorite feature? The waterproof storage bag doubles as a camp sink.  $60; gsioutdoors.com

Summer Gear List: Backpacking

When you’re out in the woods for an extended period of time the gear you pack is important. Here’s what we bring on backpacking trips.

Made 100 percent from recycled plastic water bottles, the Recycler features stretch fabric in the shoulder, a helmet-friendly hood, and two oversize chest pockets. [$300; hellyhansen.com]

10 Great Spring Jackets

Spring has sprung, so ditch the goose down and check out these lightweight jackets that are perfect for warm days on the mountain.

As sexy as shiny new skis are, every skier knows boots are what really make a set-up work. And, while skis change for the better every season, in the boot world, some old technology is poised to give the newest designs a run for their money. Distinctly-shaped three piece boots are reappearing on skier’s feet in a re-incarnation of the concept of the once-popular Raichle Flexon. But this time, it looks like they might be here to stay, thanks to brands like Full Tilt and Dalbello. The simple three-piece design is the result of an ingenious application of NASA technology to ski equipment. Eric Giese, a former NASA worker living in Aspen in the late 1970s, took the same concept used to make articulating joints in space suits (see also: bendy straws) and used it to create a flexible, floating ski boot tongue. One of the major draws of the design is a smoother flex, which virtually eliminates shin-bang and jolting. As the tongue flexes, it is loaded with energy and springs back without losing contact with your leg. The position of the middle buckle securely locks your heel back in the pocket. Aftermarket tongues can be switched to change the flex in a few minutes, and less plastic in the design makes for a lighter boot overall.

Three-Piece Suits

Or, how Full Tilt and Dalbello, with a little help from Seth Morrison and NASA, are bringing the sexy back to three-piece ski boots.

Just outside Mammoth Lakes, you have to swim through the cold water of the river to get to warm bath water of Hot Creek. A desolate location, but usually full of people, enjoy the dusty, washboard roads on the drive to the springs.

Hot Springs in Ski Country

After a day of skiing, nothing feels better than a steamy soak in a tub. Except maybe a steamy soak in an all-natural, outdoor hot spring, which also helps eliminate fatigue, promote blood circulation, and loosen muscles and joints. We've searched high and low for the 13 best hot springs near ski towns. Find them all here. By Molly Baker.