Outdoor Adventure Blog

Get a (Stronger) Grip

by Richard
12/17/2014 11:02:36 P.M.

If you're like me, you go to the rock gym because climbing is fun and a good workout. But if you're also like me, it takes you 20-30 minutes to get to said gym and that means your attendance is sometimes sporadic in the midst of your otherwise busy schedule.

That, among other reasons, is why I bought a Metolius Grip Saver Plus

Aside from getting injured, nothing is more frustrating than getting to the gym after a layoff and realizing that your strength is poor. For me, this mostly consists of hand strength, because other workout regimens I take part in work various other muscle groups. But it's difficult to keep hand strength up. That's where the Grip Saver comes in.

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The Only Soap

by Richard
11/07/2014 11:06:07 P.M.

On a hot summer day, when you and some of your closest buddies are running to the nearest lake to cool off, you don’t ask questions. You just jump in. Similarly, when one of those buddies tosses you a bottle of soap because you are a dirty mess (hypothetically, of course), you accept it willingly. 

It was in such a situation, over 9 years ago, that I met Dr. Bronner’s soap.

This may sound a bit melodramatic, but permit me to explain.

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Climbing Chatty

by Richard
10/20/2014 09:49:38 P.M.

My friend Thomas was about to have his golden birthday. For the lay person, that means he was about to turn the age of the date of his birthday. For him, that meant he was turning 30 on the 30th of the month. For that, he knew he had to do something special. And what he chose certainly qualified for that.

Three of us drove up through Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee in the hopes of finding some good climbing. We'd learned our lesson from before (see: Decide Before You Climb) and had a number of locations scouted out, along with a book that deeply described (with pictures) the walls and their routes. Ultimately, we chose to climb at Foster Falls.

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Decide Before You Climb

by Richard
09/18/2014 09:52:38 P.M.

I was recently invited to what's called a "baby moon" trip with my buddy. His wife was due to give birth to their daughter a few months from then and she wanted him to have one last good hurrah in the wilderness before the child came (Update: the child arrived...and is beautiful). 

So, five of us packed our bags and headed for Asheville, North Carolina, for a weekend at a lakehouse: climbing, swimming, grilling out, and relaxing. 

We decided to not particularly have any plans so that we could all take one collective breath from our normal schedule. This was a massively good decision...except for one logistic. Our climbing trip.

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Finding the Heart of Paris

by Richard
08/10/2014 06:22:30 P.M.

When looking for green in Paris, there are many places to go, but only one that will change your life—one way or another. And that place is Bois de Boulogne

Established by Louis Napolean over 150 years ago, this park (which is over 2,000 acres) literally carries within it the unexpected. There you can find a hippodrome, two man-made lakes, a massive forest, the famed Roland Garros tennis facility, and much much more. 

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Searching for Green in London

by Richard
07/12/2014 05:36:14 P.M.

When I landed in London, I hoped that the largest swatch of land I was going to see would be bigger than the football pitch at White Hart Lane, but I had no need to worry. These four stunners, in particular, welcomed me to this 2,000-year-old city with open arms:

Greenwich Park—Home of the Prime Meridian and large patches of rolling green hills, interspersed with forests. I couldn't help but feel like Greenwich was older and more historied than many places I went in London. This was verified when I stumbled upon the marked ruins of a Roman Era structure. Go here if you like science, history, and beautiful scenery. (Bonus: you can tour a 150-year-old English clipper called the "Cutty Sark," though you have to pay to get in.)

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Bray of Sunshine

by Richard
06/17/2014 07:09:41 P.M.

When I stepped off the train in the Irish coastal town of Bray, I had no idea what to expect. My heart was longing for the outdoors so much that I only knew I was going to someplace that others said was beautiful. 

As I wound through the alleys and broad roads to get to the beach, the tranquility of the town wrapped me in its arms. As I stepped on the stone beach and looked out as far as the overcast sky would let me, I pretended I could see Wales and that I'd just sailed in on a wooden cargo ship. Slowly, my mind—which had been so busy and full in the previous months—began to empty. I by-passed the walkway full of others seeking respite in the beauty of nature and trudged along the beach until I came to the trail. Bray to Greystones

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My Hiking Survival Kit

by Dirk
05/20/2014 10:16:33 P.M.

I've been planning a series of solo hiking adventures by myself. I know that I'm breaking the golden rule of never hiking alone, but sue me—vacation allowances with friends don't always overlap and plans sometimes don't pan out. That's just life. With that in mind, I made myself a survival kit—an essential packet of goodies meant to aid me in the unlikely event of a dangerous situation while I'm all by my lonesome.

These are the items I personally deem as important, after much research, personal experience, and the recommendations of others:

1. Navigation tools. I carry a small compass (which works best when you have a map or already know which direction you are and need to travel).

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Exploring the Great (Lakes) State

by Richard
04/13/2014 10:40:01 P.M.

The massive lakes surrounding the state of Michigan are not the only things great about the fabulous state to the north.

Here are three of the reasons I love it so, and why you should probably consider visiting:

The Outdoors

The place is a veritable playground of wonderfulness.

Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline of any political subdivision in the world, is the largest state—in terms of area—east of the Mississippi River, and has over 10,000 lakes (you're never more than 6 miles from an inland lake at anytime).

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My Five-Year Vibram Anniversary

by Richard
04/03/2014 10:12:04 P.M.

The five-year anniversary of having my feet in Vibram Fivefingers is right around the corner and I'm ready to celebrate. Those things have been with me for countless adventures. Running, hiking, tubing, gardening, travel, I could go on.

But to me, aside from all the reasons I enjoy the shoes, the thing that stands out the most about them to me now is that they've lasted as long as they have. It's pretty ridiculous, actually.

I don't wear them every day, but most of them I wear weekly. And all of them I've had more than 3 or 4 years.

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