Outdoor Adventure Blog

Osprey Exos 58 Backpack Review

by Jesse Males
05/23/2016 03:25:15 P.M.

Over the past year, I have had the pleasure of doing a number of different trips using Osprey's Exos 58 backpack. My longest trip was a 120-mile loop in the Wind River Range of the amazing state of Wyoming. The pack held up great and is extremely comfortable for long days on the trail.

See a detailed video review here: Osprey Exos 58 backpack review.

The Airspeed suspension provided the perfect amount of tension while allowing free-flowing air to cool and dry off my back as I perspired. Our most demanding trek during this trip was a 17-mile section of hard-hitting trail. The trek included summiting two peaks and mistaking an elk path for the main trail…this led to a few miles of unbelievably nasty terrain and about a half-mile of wandering around looking for the trail after our trusted elk path dissipated into some dangerous rock formations. Needless to say, we learned our lesson!

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Taking Your Sheets with You

by Richard
05/17/2016 06:10:32 P.M.

One of my favorite off-radar purchases of the last few years is a sleeping bag liner from Sea to Summit. I had no idea how critical it would be to my trip as I traveled around the U.S. There were a few particulars that made the liner so critical.

Pack Size
Sleeping bag liners pack so incredibly small that they make it wonderful to travel with. I used mine as I traveled on MegaBus to Atlanta, Dayton, Detroit, and San Francisco; on the plane from Chicago to Minneapolis to Seattle; and it was always there if I wanted to take a nap in the car that I took to Eugene, Coeur d’Alene, and Portland. That extra warmth can be critical to the comfortability that allows me to fall asleep with ease. 

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Cheeky Ranger

by Richard
05/08/2016 05:15:30 P.M.

Most of my experience with park rangers is related to their extreme level of helpfulness. They’ve excitedly aided me and different groups of friends as we decided how to weave through the peaks and valleys of various national parks and forests. I’ve even found them on the trail ready with smiles and tips about coming adventure.

That’s why I was particularly surprised when I called a North Cascades National Park ranger to have him help me plan a trip and he, sounding irritated, asked me to do more research and call him back. I was irritated and a little offended. 

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Blocking the Nasty RFID

by Richard
03/27/2016 05:29:22 P.M.

I’m not a doom-and-gloom type of person, but I like to be prepared. I’m not afraid to land at an airport in a developing country that some say may be unsafe, by myself, with a single bag, and spill out onto the city without too many fears that I’ll be troubled.

I generally know that I can take care of myself, fly under the radar, and not have much worth taking, but one thing people can take is technical information from my credit cards. That’s why the one safety travel equipment that I carry is RFID blocking accessories.

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Lost in Kuala Lumpur

by Richard
02/21/2016 07:07:42 P.M.

A night of travel and precious few hours of sleep had me worn out by the time I spilled off the train into downtown Kuala Lumpur. I followed directions from a couple Malaysian men toward my destination—a condo I’d have the good fortune of staying at the next few days with a friend. All I had to do was get there without passing out.

I pulled my pack closer to my back as the unfriendly heat bore down on me and I summoned my last 10 minutes of energy. As I arrived and passed the guard, I could feel how close I was to that rest. 

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Hanging Out in Bali

by Richard
02/02/2016 05:42:01 P.M.

With the wind in my face and a full meal in my stomach, I sped around the northeastern side of Bali on my $1.50-a-day scooter, looking to experience the unique Balinese cultural in new ways. A wave of desire swept over me, and I knew it would be like discovering a pot at the end of the rainbow if I could find some palm trees on the shore to set up my hammock for an afternoon nap. 

Little did I know how right I was.

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My Top 10 Massive U.S. City Parks: Part 2

by Richard
01/17/2016 05:50:21 P.M.

Here are the second 5 of my top 10 massive U.S. city parks. 

Criteria reminder: 
–I have to have personally spent time in the park.
–It has to be larger than 100 acres.
–It cannot be a national park or monument. 

Balboa Park (San Diego, California)
One of the oldest city parks in America has just about anything you’d want in your local park—fields, trails, restaurants, a zoo, theatres, museums, beautiful Spanish architecture, even a hospital close by if you get injured. Sitting in this park at dusk, I could have closed and opened my eyes to find myself in a modern Mediterranean paradise, such is the feel of this park. Oh, and it’s a whopping 1,200 acres.

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Blackberry Breakfast

by Richard
12/12/2015 10:42:55 P.M.

I recently hiked six miles into a valley of Olympic National Park, straight into a temperate rain forest. I’d never experienced one before and it was certainly something to behold—a forest of trees so big and so old, packed with every other type of greenery in between, that I couldn’t help but wonder exactly what the U.S. was like when those trees were saplings.

My campsite was seclusion. I, in a ENO hammock, by my lonesome in the dry part of a creek-bed next to a running river.

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My Top 10 Massive U.S. City Parks: Part 1

by Richard
11/09/2015 02:17:29 P.M.

I’ve long desired a big expanse of space, snuggled with numerous copses of trees and calm lakes, in the heart of Orlando. But while we don’t have that massive, thousand-acre park in The City Beautiful, I’ve had to settle for visiting other parks recently. It’s been a bit of a binge, really. So, judge away if you need to.

The criteria is as follows:

–I have to have personally spent time in the park.
–It has to be larger than 100 acres.
–It has to have green space as well as trees and/or lakes.

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My Top 7 Healthy Airport Traveling Tips

by Richard
10/21/2015 02:12:47 P.M.

If you’ve ever traveled via plane you know how difficult (or fun!) it can be. In truth, I really like the act of traveling, to a degree—and not because it gets me to purchase things, though that's sometimes necessary. Here are 7 things I do regularly when traveling that help me keep my head in the game:

Exercise

This is the option if you don’t care what people think about you or if you know you need to learn that lesson. Throw some pushups, a headstand, or copious amounts of squatting. This greatly increases blood flow, which is a needed precursor to sitting in chairs for hours on end—even if you get up and walk around or do exercises in your seat.

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