Outdoor Adventure Blog

Canyoonering Zion, Part 2: Two Kinds of Safe

by Richard
02/05/2013 03:54:32 P.M.

Once we finally left the campsite, we made our way to the location just inside the Zion National Park boundary where we were to park our car – because we had to stash our car and the end of the hike and hitchhike to the trailhead. After waiting for just over an hour, in the middle of nowhere, for someone to give us a ride, we hopped into the back of a pickup truck of a kind local, excited to have the wind in our hair and the trail in our sights.

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Canyoonering Zion, Part 1: Two Kinds of Smart

by Richard
01/31/2013 03:48:04 P.M.

When we pulled into the campsite, the sun had already set – but it was our securities that were about to.

My trusty friend, Dave, and I were on the back-side of Zion National Park in the middle of the Utah wilderness. Three hours prior – we agreed to put our lives on the line by canyoneering through a backcountry slot canyon.

I did not tell my mother.

Aron Ralston had recently (2003) cut off his arm from being trapped under a boulder while canyoneering. The remembrance of that made it tough to sign the waiver – effectively turning my life over if something happens to me – but we each did so.

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Big Agnes Air Core Sleeping Pad

by Spencer
01/28/2013 03:09:10 P.M.

Let me start this off by saying that I am a long-term, diehard self-inflating Thermarest user. My parents bought me my first sleeping pad when I was 12, as I started to camp and backpack a lot more with the boy scouts. Driven purely by weight and ease of use, I have chosen to use my 3/4 length 1 inch thick pad for over 10 years. But now all of that has changed.

While preparing for my most recent trip, the topic of sleeping pads came up.

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When Backpacking, Leave Your Fragrances at Home

by Richard
01/25/2013 03:22:08 P.M.

Three days into the backcountry of Glacier National Park – a trip to celebrate our recent graduation from college – my four friends and I had our routine down pat: Joel, my Aussie friend, and I had just set up the tents (North Face Rock 22 and MSR Hubba Hubba, respectively). Chris and Zach, our Indiana born-and-raised compatriots, were hanging the bags on the designated “bear pole” in a tree – out of the way of the foraging animals. Kenan was about to go start cooking dinner, but wanted to come change his clothes first.

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Arc'teryx Clothing is Tops

by Richard
01/22/2013 11:30:36 A.M.

There's a lot of awesome brands to consider when looking for outdoor apparel. The North Face is the favorite of many. Patagonia is hip, and solid. Outdoor Research is little-known, but very nice. But, to date, I've never found a brand that I like as much as Arc'teryx.

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Orange Bowl Paddle Championship: Part 2

by Jessica
01/20/2013 06:32:37 P.M.

The Orange Bowl Paddle Championships on Sunday 1/13/13, powered by Jimmy Lewis, kicked off the new year with what proved to be a highly challenging course & a very well attended event, drawing international & local professional & competitive paddlers alike!  The event was held at Bayside Marketplace, bordering Hard Rock Café Miami in sunny downtown Miami, Florida.

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Orange Bowl Paddle Championship: Part 1

by Jason
01/19/2013 04:10:17 P.M.

The third annual Orange Bowl Paddle Championship race was held Sunday, Jan. 13 in Miami, Fla. With over 230 Racers who competed in Elite, Recreational and Sprint courses that started and finished inside the beautiful harbor. My first race of the season and hardly any training, or sleep from the night before. Dan Gavere and I drove down from Orlando and got there at 8:30am and the race was set to start at 9. Thanks to Dan and the 2 Starboard racers that came all the way from Germany to be in the competition!

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Thermarest Prolite Review

by Dirk
01/17/2013 02:22:11 P.M.

Three years ago I was making final preparations, having purchased gear for a 5,000-mile cycling trip that my friend and I were going to embark on. Among the items that I purchased was a Thermarest Prolite 1.5 inch thick sleeping pad. I chose this pad simply because of its weight to comfort/convenience ratio - while others might have suited fine this one fit the needs that I required and wanted.

First of all, I wanted a pad that was relatively light and that self inflated. Check. I figured if I was going to use this pad for almost 90 consecutive days I didn’t want to blow out my lungs after huffing it over 70 miles of mountain roads on a daily basis. I wanted something that was in or around the budget (as with most pads) under $100- check. And almost most of all I wanted something that was compact, something that I could store in my cycling panniers and not have it exposed to the elements- check. I could have gone with a lesser expensive pad (like the Thermarest Z-lite) which would not only have saved me about $60, time spent blowing up a mattress, and 2 additional ounces of weight (as compared to the standard 16oz Prolite) - it just had a little too much bulk for my taste.

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Atom LT Jacket Review

by Dirk
01/10/2013 02:14:54 P.M.

There’s no other way to say it, so I’ll just be quick with it…the Arc’teryx Atom LT Jacket is by far my favorite piece of outdoor clothing (of which I have quite a lot). Below are all my justifications of this bold claim.

First and foremost, I love exploring; I like to think of them as “personal first ascents”- I enjoy pushing myself into uncharted territory, doing things that I’ve always been a little afraid of doing. So with this mind set, there are very few exclusions to the types of activities that I enjoy (besides the idea of surfing with sharks) and with my slightly above average ambitions I demand very functional and versatile gear.

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MSR's Pocket Rocket Canister Stove

by Dirk
01/07/2013 03:52:46 P.M.

Shortly after the the beginning of time there was fire. It was a laborious process to obtain it, but in it was life. Those prehistoric cavemen may have been technologically advanced for their time, but they’ve got nothing on the modern day fire making devices.

The MSR Pocket Rocket is amongst the few such stoves that make quite the spectacle out of cooking.

The flame, when the fuel is fully open, resembles that of a jet fighter engine (hence the name). Although fire is, and will likely always be, impressive, often times hikers need the quickness and convenience of a stove. And for that, the Pocket Rocket will almost always be my preference. It is one of the lightest, most affordable, and simplest canister stoves that I’ve used.

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