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How to Buy a Hiking Backpack

Published August 25, 2017 in Uncategorized - 0 Comments

Being lifelong travelers, we all love our lightweight, multipurpose gear that can withstand the rigors of the road. Gear should be dependable, multifunctional, durable and perform beyond expectations. Nothing could be truer when it comes to buying a good hiking backpack, especially considering it’s going to be your home away from home. Traveling, especially long-term, will literally test the limits of your bag and your body, and as such this decision should never be made impulsively. Buying your backpack should not be a rushed decision and factors like trip length, capacity, material, functionally and comfort should always be considered. When I first got serious about investing in a good pack, I was at REI for a good 3 hours -I think they started to suspect I was applying for a job.

If my three hours was any indication, buying a good backpack is not an easy task. With hundreds of backpack manufacturers and styles, it can understandably be overwhelming. Whatever you do, don’t go cheap. You’ll be doing yourself a disservice and end up buying a new one anyways. A good backpack is an investment. You needn’t spend $500 on a backpack, but be wary of cheap, no-frills, run of the mill $70 brands, as you’ll regret the design flaws and absence of extras. Spend a little more for a good backpack from a trusted brand, and it will be your companion for many trips to come. The Osprey pack I eventually settled on has traveled with me from the U.S to the Middle East for 10 awesome years and I know it has another good 10 years to go.

Travel Backpack or Hiking Backpack

Before you begin shopping for the right pack, it’s important to know the difference between travel backpacks and hiking backpacks. A travel backpack is a backpack-suitcase hybrid with a zippered side panel similar to a suitcase. Hiking backpacks are the more commonly seen cylindrical top loading packs with straps, clips and a top lid. Some people have an opinion that hiking backpacks are only suited for the backcountry and has no place for the backpacker, I disagree. What works for you ultimately comes down to personal preference and style of travel. Travel backpacks are great for easy, organized access to gear and transporting from hostel to hostel. They also function well for short walks or even as a daypack.

On the other hand, if you possibly have camping or long treks in your travel plans, you may want to consider a hiking backpack. Hiking backpacks are designed for comfort, proper weight distribution, and toughness. Unlike a travel backpack, hiking backpacks will have enhancements like full-sized hip belts, shoulder and back suspension systems along with plenty of load bearing straps to mitigate discomfort. Granted the top down packing isn’t as convenient to access your gear, but that’s part in parcel to proper weight distribution. A good compromise would be to get a hiking backpack with side load access.

I am generalizing a bit as they do have travel backpacks that are in the upper capacity range with more advanced suspension systems, but if you’re going to get a 70L travel backpack, you may as well go with a hiking backpack. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did for that unexpected 20 mile trek to the next town.

Personal Backpacking Style

Next, determine the style of travel you normally like to do. Unless you’re willing to buy a different backpack for each trip, figuring out your travel style will save you a lot of money in the long run and give you a piece of foundation gear that’s ready for any trip. For instance, if you generally go on week long trips you needn’t get a high capacity bag and could probably get away with a 35 liter to 50 liter (L) pack, whereas living long-term on the road may require 65L or greater.

Size is pretty subjective though and shouldn’t be the only determining factor. Some people are able to pack very bare bones, where others require a bit more. Consider these factors:

How long is your trip:

Depending on the length of your trip the capacity and overall weight of your pack will vary. Short trips require less capacity, and long trips typically require more. But be aware that the bigger the pack the heavier it will become. 50lbs may not seem a lot at first, but 2 months in and it will feel like a ton of bricks.

What Type of Activities will you do:

I personally feel that one bag can rule them all since I generally use my pack for everything. However, this may not be the case for everyone. Knowing what type of activity you’ll be doing will help you zero in on that perfect backpack. If you’re not planning on carrying it around much, consider a travel backpack or even a wheeled backpack, whereas if you foresee yourself doing long treks then a hiking backpack may be more suitable. I like to be prepared for any type of spontaneous activity, so I lean more towards hiking backpacks. Also, hiking backpacks are generally made a bit tougher, so keep in mind that the more challenging the activity, the greater the stress on the bag.

Lightweight or the kitchen sink:

Although I mentioned earlier that size is not the main determining factor, it’s still important to consider capacity based on what you plan to bring. If ultra light is your goal, avoid high capacity backpacks as you’ll invariably bring too much or if you do manage to pack light your backpack won’t distribute the weight properly. Conversely, if your backpack is too small, you won’t be able to fit everything in. Have an idea of the gear you’re bringing and pick the capacity of your bag accordingly. Don’t hesitate to bring your items to the store to see how it fits in the packs. A reputable retailer, like REI, won’t have a problem with this.

What To Look For In A Hiking Backpack

Backpacks vary in functionality as much as they do in appearance, with the more expensive models having the most bells and whistles. As with everything, your decision here is closely related to what type of traveling you like to do.

Water Resistant

Your pack is probably not going to be completely waterproof. Meaning, if submerged, or in a torrential downpour your clothing and equipment will still get wet. Although most backpacks now come with a rain cover, you still want it to be made of a tough, rip proof, and lightweight silicone coated nylon or Cordura type material that allows rain or water to bead off and not soak through.

Detachable Daypack

this option is really a personal preference, and not really a deal breaker, as many travelers bring an additional pack for day trips. But for those focused on traveling light, carrying two bags can be cumbersome. I personally like the option of a detachable daypack as I have it only when I need it. On my Osprey, the top lid doubles as a daypack. Not as comfortable as a dedicated daypack, but it serves its purpose.

Heavy-duty Lockable Zippers

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. No matter how good the material of the backpack, if the attachment points, like zippers, are weak the whole bag is worthless. Make sure the zippers are tough and lockable where applicable.

Pockets and Compartments

The more compartments the better. Good backpacks usually have a number of compartments to help store and separate your gear so you won’t have to sift through layers of clothes just to find your chapstick. For instance, maps can go in the top flap, while your flip-flops are stored conveniently in the side pocket. However you decide to pack, separate pockets allow easy and quick access to your gear. Most backpacks will also have strategically placed pockets, like on the hipbelt, so you can get to your gear without having to drop your pack.

Lightweight Internal Frame

Backpacks generally come with an internal frame, external frame, or no frame at all. I strongly recommend a lightweight internal frame made from strong carbon fiber rods. This provides more load support and just looks better. External frames are bulky, conspicuous, and use dated technology and frameless backpacks have awful load support at higher weights. Trust me, without proper weight distribution, you’re shoulders are going to feel every single one of those pounds.

Side Load Access

I’m seeing less and less of this function on the newer backpacks, but if you do happen to find one with side access you’re golden. You’ll be able to access items from the main compartment of the bag without digging in from the top. You’re life will just be that much simpler.

Suspension System with Padded Shoulders and Load Bearing Straps

Don’t even consider buying a backpack unless it has either an adjustable or fixed suspension system, along with a bunch of load bearing straps. The suspension system is the part that usually rests against your back and where the padded shoulders connect. Fixed system means that it fits to one torso size, whereas the adjustable system can be calibrated. The whole system is meant to help stabilize load and transfer weight to your hips. The load bearing straps, like the sternum strap, will also help move the weight around minimizing pain and discomfort.

Ventilation

To minimize the discomfort from an annoying sweaty back, get a backpack with ventilation. Most internal-frame packs will have some sort of ventilation system or design feature that promotes airflow, creating a permanent breathable layer between yourself and the backpack. Although not essential for load support, it certainly increases your comfort level.

Padded Full-size Hip belt

This is probably the most important feature of any backpack since your hips will be carrying 80% of your backpacks weight. The padding in the belt will help you avoid fatigue, discomfort, and of course load distribution. Make sure you get one that’s full-size, where the padding comes around your hip bone to the front, and isn’t just a thin strap with a clip.

Multiple Straps and Tool Attachment Points

This feature is a personal preference and doesn’t really impact comfort and load distribution but I do feel it’s just as important. I like the idea of having excess straps, clips and tool attachment points. You’re able to perform on-the-fly spot fixes for a variety of unexpected circumstances, making your backpack function more than just as a bag. You’re able to tie, hook, and rig a whole mess of things while on the road without having to carry additional gear. Some backpacks have begun to include “daisy chains” (typically found on climbing packs) which is a series of tool attachment loops.

Internal Hydration Reservoir

An internal compartment that holds your favorite hydration bladder (i.e. Camelpak, Platypus) so you have hands free access to H2O. Openings on the backpack will allow you access to the sip tube making it a very practical feature during your long treks. You won’t have to dig into your pack or stop your momentum looking for your water bottle.

What size backpack do I need

There’s no definitive rule for this question, as it completely depends on your own travel style, trip duration and weather. Generally, the colder the weather the greater the capacity needed; the greater the capacity the greater the overall weight. I try to pack light and bring only what fits in the backpack. So the best advice is to find a bag capacity you’re comfortable with, and pack in only what you absolutely need and what fits. I’ve provided a very broad guideline below:

Trip Length /Capacity in Liters (L)

Day Hikes 25-35L

1-3 Nights 35-50L

3-5 nights 50 to 75L

5+ nights 65+L

How to find the right fit

For the best comfort and proper load distribution you need to make sure your backpack fits correctly. Ideally, you should try it before you buy it, but that’s not always an option. To find the correct fit you’ll need to find your torso length, not your height, which is the distance, in inches, between your 7th cervical vertebra, and your iliac crest. In other words, from the base of the neck to the top of your hip bones. Once you have this measurement, use this guide:

Backpack Size /Torso Size in Inches

Extra small 15 ½

Small 16 to 17 ½

Medium/Regular 18 to 19 ½”

Large/Tall 20 +

As for your waist size, most backpacks have adjustable hip belts so finding your precise hip size is not as important as determining your torso length. Just make sure the belt sits on top of your hips, with about an inch above and below the belly button.

How much should I spend on a Hiking backpack

You’ll find backpacks ranging from under $100 to as high as $600. Unless you have an unlimited budget and want the latest model just because, it isn’t necessary to spend more than $300. With that being said, I would also stay away from anything under $150 as they will be lacking on essential features like a suspension system or a padded hip belt. Buying a backpack is an investment, and the last thing you want is for the seams to rip or a shoulder strap to tear off when you need it most. Just make sure your backpack has, at a minimum, the above features and fits comfortably.

The Best Backpack Brands

There are hundreds of great brands out there with an equally daunting number of styles and models. I’m not really the authority on which brand is better than the next. I can only tell you the brands I prefer and those whose quality I have confidence in. I’ve been using the same Osprey backpack since 2004, and my wife has been using a Gregory for nearly as long. I can honestly say, that after relentless airline abuse, backcountry trips, and overseas adventures, not a single strap, zipper or clip has ever needed replacement. Worth mentioning as well, Osprey and Gregory offer lifetime warranties on all their bags. You’ll probably never need it, but it’s great to know that the company stands behind their products.

Osprey

With 40 years experience manufacturing backpacks, and a lifetime warranty, Osprey exudes quality. They have one of the largest selections of styles and sizes for all sorts of adventuring, and their packs sport the latest backpacking technology. Osprey is my personal favorite and go to brand of choice; you really can’t go wrong with these guys.

Gregory

Like Osprey, these guys specialize in backpacks. My wife will attest to their quality and comfort. She has used her backpack for close to 10 years without a need to ever repair or replace. Gregory also stands behind their products with a lifetime warranty.

The North Face

Originating in San Francisco, The North Face has been developing adventure gear for over 40 years. I’ve never had the pleasure of using their backpacks, but with their pedigree and lifetime warranty, I would feel confidant carrying their packs any day of the week.

Arc’teryx

Along with having a really cool name, Arc’teryx pumps out some pretty awesome products. They are one of the more expensive brands out there, but if you’re willing to pay the price, you’ll most certainly get the quality

Deuter

A low to mid range brand, Deuter is a solid choice if you want function for a reasonable price. They’ve been in the backpacking game since 1968 and are very popular amongst Europeans.

Backpack Accessories

Rain Cover (separate or built in)

Most backpacks are water resistant but not waterproof, making them susceptible to persistent rain exposure. It’s a worthwhile addition if your backpack doesn’t already come with a built in rain cover. You needn’t get a fancy one or spend a lot of money, just make sure it fits your pack size. I use REI’s Ducks Back Rain Cover, and it works perfectly fine.

Airporter Bag

The last thing you want is to have your backpack damaged before you even start your trip. With all the straps, exposed shoulder, and hipbelt, it’s easy for something to get caught and tear right off. An Airporter bag will cover your entire backpack (think bag within a bag) and protect it during transport. As well, you can put a lock on the lockable zippers as an extra layer of theft deterrence. I have the Osprey Airporter LZ. I wish it was lighter (weighs about 1lb) but I suppose it’s worth it for the extra peace of mind.

Well, there you have it, my “how to buy an awesome hiking backpack” guide.

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Prevent Colds During the Winter, Use North Face Jackets

Published August 25, 2017 in Uncategorized - 0 Comments

The winter season is here once again, and it is not called the “cold” season for nothing. Extremes in temperatures during this period ensure us that another bout of the flu is coming. While colds will not kill you, your immune system can certainly be damaged during this time, thus giving opportunistic microbes the chance to wreak havoc on your body.

As people do very well say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, and this also goes with colds. And even if you do get your flu shots on time, there are still those instances when you just can’t help but sniffle. It is now recommended that an annual flu vaccination be done since new strains of cold viruses are being discovered on an almost daily basis. This is especially important for people who are most at risk of getting severe complications from getting the flu, such as health care workers, persons with diabetes and chronic kidney diseases, and also cardiac disease patients.

Hand washing is of utmost importance in the prevention of colds. Flu viruses can survive in moist, warm places and is easily passed on from person to person through hand to hand contact, or even in accidentally touching a surface with a flu virus. Effective hand washing should be utilized in order to prevent the spread of these germs. It is currently advocated to wash both hands thoroughly more than five times a day, or as frequently as needed, for five minutes or more. A special trick used on children to help them remember how long they should wash is to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

Sneeze or cough into a tissue or into the crook of your arm, not on your hands. If you are already harboring the virus, you can help prevent its spread by blowing into a sanitary tissue. Sneezing into your hands would increase the chance of transferring it to another person during a handshake.

During the cold season, you should often wash or change the hand towels in your bathrooms or sinks, as often as every three or four days. This would prevent germs from harboring into them, thus inhibiting the flu cycle. Make sure that you use hot water and an antibacterial detergent in order to eradicate the germs.

Take a walk, do aerobics, ride a bicycle, anything to keep you moving. It has been proven in many studies that exercise can boost the immune system, thus preventing cold viruses from taking hold in your body. Do not let the winter season deter you from going outdoors. Don your winter apparel and go ahead with your fitness routine in the open air. The North Face jackets are especially designed to give you comfort and style during this season. Aside from keeping you warm and cozy, their jackets and accessories are lightweight, so you do not have to run around with weighty clothing. The North Face jackets are constructed with water- and wind-resistant materials so you can still enjoy your exercise at any time of the year.

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The North Face Jackets – Style for Women and Kids

Published August 25, 2017 in Uncategorized - 0 Comments

As early as childhood, people have been taught to care for the environment. Girls and boys usually play in the parks and it is there where they learn to respect the natural world, to take care of Mother Nature.

So who says North face jackets are just for men? The North Face is a company that specializes in outdoor clothing and gear. It is a company which recognizes that the love for the outdoors start from the young and that is why they have created a line that is especially for kids. And since many a women have become more actively participating in outdoor activities, The company has also included a woman’s line for the stylishly discerning sportswoman.

Just as it is important to keep our bodies warm during the cold months, it is more so for those little people who have less thermo regulating capacity in their bodies. Little children, especially infants, do not have the ability to control their body temperatures effectively, thus it is important that appropriate clothing and gear be used on them so as to prevent mishaps. This is particularly true during the cold winter months when temperatures can go down to extremes. Not to worry because there are a lot of garment pieces from The brand line to choose from for infants, and there are also items which are specific for girls and boys. At the top of the list are The North Face Infant’s Denali Jacket and The North Face Infant’s Reversible Perrito Jacket, which come in a variety of colors and ideal for keeping those tots warm and cozy. And since the jackets are lightweight and waterproof, they provide freedom of movement so that these tiny bundles would not be deterred from frolicking in the snow, building the perfect snowman, or having fun in the rain. Of course, it is also essential that suitable accessories be used, such as proper footwear, gloves or mittens, so that the cold season would be enjoyable for the kids.

The North Face Women’s Denali Jacket has already been sold to more than a million satisfied customers worldwide thus making it the top seller for the women’s line. Its fleece lining makes it one of the most comfortable jackets ever made, so aside from providing warmth and protection from the elements, it also provides a relaxing feel. Luxurious in its material, it also comes in an assortment of colors, so it can easily suit any woman’s wardrobe. It also has parkas for women who prefer longer outfits. And since these jackets are made from recycled materials, taking care of the environment does not mean you cannot be stylish, and the modern woman can wear this feeling good about herself.

So when it comes to outdoor wear, not only can men choose from a wide array of clothing and apparel, but now women and kids alike can have their pick of stylish and functional outfits best suited for their needs.

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North Face Jackets – Environmental Wear

Published August 25, 2017 in Uncategorized - 0 Comments

The North Face is a company that specializes in outdoor apparel and equipments. They cater not only to the serious athletes and sports persons but also to those who either just wants to keep their bodies fit, or to those who want to experience the wilderness as weekend campers and simply enjoy the beautiful scenery of the land. What was then a mere retail store has now become an international brand, with branches in almost every continent, and trusted worldwide for innovation in their products, and providing quality clothing and accessories for the savvy outdoorsman or the health-conscious buff.

In these fast changing times, people have been more geared towards protecting the ecosystem. Global efforts have been made to ensure that waste is diminished. Aside from using biodegradable, eco-friendly resources and recycling of products, there is now the inclination towards the use of materials that can be utilized for multiple purposes. The North Face has also risen to this challenge by catering to the environmentally conscious consumer.

There is a new breed of North Face jackets that are perfect for any weather condition, be it snow, wind, rain, or the sweltering heat. The company’s use of technologically advanced synthetic materials assures the wearer that he is protected whatever climate he is in. These are perfect for keeping warm during the cold winter months, very practical to use during those windy autumn days, even suitable to wear throughout the rainy spring season, and for blocking out the sun during those scorching summer spells.

Aside from being practical for any type of weather, North Face jackets are also very lightweight and durable. This is ideal for layering with other types of clothing to provide extra protection to the wearer. A hoodie underneath is perfect for protection under the sun for jogging during early autumn. Since the jackets are lightweight, there is no additional load to lug around, thus giving you better mileage. The jackets are also “breathable” and quick drying, meaning they don’t trap sweat and moisture. Addition of thermal apparel underneath is also fitting if you plan to use the jacket during skiing holidays. Moreover, the durability of the jacket’s materials is also desirable for those who are living in places where snowstorms are frequent or in areas where winds can literally tear off your clothes. And since these jackets are waterproof, needless to say that it is a very useful article of clothing for the rainy months. Models with adjustable and detachable hoods are a must for those who prefer to be stylishly practical during monsoons.

For those who frequently travel and encounter different weather patterns during the year, it is essential to bring an all-purpose, all-weather jacket. Instead of buying a new one every time you move, why not bring just one. So whether you are skiing in the frozen Alps, walking through windy Chicago, riding a camel in the Sahara, or backpacking in the Cordilleras, a jacket from North Face is the best way to accentuate your wardrobe. Practical and stylish, elegant and durable, a multi-purpose jacket to suit your every need.

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Safety on the Slopes: How North Face Jackets Can Prevent Hypothermia

Published August 25, 2017 in Uncategorized - 0 Comments

You family and friends have already made plans for the trip since a few months back. Everyone is excited and already raring to go. You pack up your things, making sure nothing essential is being forgotten. Snowboard, already packed in the car; goggles, got them dangling right under my chin; mittens, check; ski pants, already warm and cozy in them; snow shoes, yup. Are you wondering what is missing in your wardrobe? A ski jacket, of course! It’s the most important piece of clothing you will ever need when you are in the slopes. Aside from keeping the elements outside, it will keep you warm and cozy inside.

It is well known that hypothermia can wreak havoc in one’s bodily functions. Full body immersion in cold water for thirty minutes has been known to cause the death of a person due to sudden cardiac arrest or fibrillation, unless external heat is rapidly applied and life support is initiated immediately. This is due to the loss of the brain’s ability to effectively regulate body temperature. Brain function also become depressed, which may then cause sleepiness and clouding of judgment, and later in extreme cases can cause coma. When surface areas of the body become frozen due to extremely low temperatures, frostbite can ensue. This typically involves the earlobes and digits of the hands and feet, in places where blood vessels are small, and warm blood flow is minimal. Areas damaged by frostbite usually require surgical removal to inhibit complications of gangrene.

To prevent accidents from happening on your ski trip, it is important that proper equipment and accessories are being used. The sun’s reflection off the snow may cause nasty burns even at lower temperatures. Generously apply sun block with a high sun protection factor or SPF to avoid getting this. You may also apply a lip moisturizer frequently since cold temperatures can cause chafing of the lips. Use protective apparel. The North Face has a variety of outdoor paraphernalia which can make your trip not only a memorable one, but also a safe one. North Face jackets have special insulating capacities which make them ideal to use not only during ski trips but also throughout the cold season. North Face jackets have special linings which conserve body heat by reflecting the heat produced by the body back to it. They also have layers which absorb sweat and moisture away from the body, thus keeping the wearer warm and dry. Their jackets are also waterproof, so you stay protected from the elements even when making your perfect snowman, creating snow angels, or simply rolling on the snow. Keep in mind that layering your clothing is also important in keeping you warm during this cold season. Turtle neck sweaters are a must for Accessorize your wardrobe by putting on colorful hand mittens and ear muffs, giving you additional protection from the cold. Even if you are a professional skier already, it is just as important that proper ski goggles are used. Quality ski goggles do not fog up easily compared with cheap but useless ones. Lastly, the greatest accessory you can have is a friend or a family member. It is best to ski with someone whom you can trust.

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North Face: Its Origin and Rise of Popularity

Published August 24, 2017 in Uncategorized - 0 Comments

If you need an article, academic essay, homework assignment, professional pr release written about the North Face Brand, please visit our website.

North Face started as a simple equipment retail store in San Francisco, California in 1966 by owners Douglas Tompkins and Kenneth Klopp. It was said that the company’s name was derived on the northern part of the mountain in the northern hemisphere which is generally the most difficult part to climb. The brands logo consists of a slightly skewed quarter-circle with two lines running within it. The image of the logo then is interpreted from the half dome which happens to be a massive granite monolith in Yosemite National Park and was viewed from the west with the sheer north or northwest face of half dome to the left.

In the year 1980s that skiwear such as jackets, foot wears, and pants as well as camping equipments like sleeping bags and tents were added to the line of the company products. And the company is now then solely owned subsidiary of the VF Corporation.

During late 1990s and early 2000s with the rise of wilderness chic, the company became a well-known brand with its popularity became known among the youth and college students. Their backpacks then became one of the most in demand products in the markets because of its huge selection of uses from fashion, collection down to its main purposes providing a hassle free situation for students who needs to bring a lot of books in going to school.

As of today North Face is presently based in San Leandro, California near its corporate sibling the JanSports Company who was now recognize as the worlds largest backpack maker that supplies small backpack in many of their retailer stores in most of the places in the united states together with their sister company which is the north face. And as years pass by the company is not just known with their backpacks but they are also known for its other outdoor product such as outer wears, fleece, footwear and equipments such as backpacks, sleeping bags, and tents. Their clothing line includes jackets, jogging pants and shoes and equipment apparels like the backpacks cater all type of outdoor sports from mountain climbing where they offer high quality foot wears, gears and apparels for negotiating treacherous terrain and endurance athletes as in the case of people who loves to run wherein they offer them an apparel that would help them go stronger and test their strengths beyond their limits down to skiing and snowboarding where they provide a type of board that would ensure the safety of the snowboarders.

At present the company already has more than 43 retail stores in different areas of the United States as of November 2010 and other retail locations that can be found to the different parts of the world. Other than that the company now also provides online services for those customers who are too far from their retail stores in this ways they provide their customers convenience and time saving. Until now the company maintains its strong associations with the outdoor community through its sponsored athlete program.

Make your sporting activity safe and secure.

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