Thermarest Prolite Reviewby 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.
Atom LT Jacket Reviewby 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.
MSR's Pocket Rocket Canister Stoveby 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.
Petzl E+LITE for More Than Just Emergenciesby Dirk
01/03/2013 03:04:37 P.M.
Most people sleep when its dark, and thrive when it’s light - it seems as if that’s just a part of human nature. For those who dare venture into the wilderness in a more vulnerable state, with stars above their head and trails dressed in silver, they may do so by utilizing modern day high-powered headlamps.
I recently discovered the joy of hiking in the night. Until recently, I had reserved this exclusively for emergency situations or highly ambitious mileage goals gone wrong. On my last trip to the AT, a couple co-workers and I punched out some big mile days, which necessitated that we almost certainly were going to spend time walking through the dark.
Thule Protects Your Laptopsby Richard
12/31/2012 12:59:52 P.M.
I don't deify technology. But when I buy something electronic (which is rare), particularly if it's expensive, I don't want it to break. So, when I recently purchased an 11" Macbook Air, I concordantly bought the Thule Gauntlet 11" Macbook Air Sleeve.
What a great decision.
Crown 60 Achievementby Dirk
12/27/2012 12:04:50 P.M.
It was no later than 4pm and I was cruising through my first ever 20 mile day (and continuing), my highest mileage before that had been just short of 13 and I was epically wasted by the end of that day. I felt as I was moving fluidly, up a thousand foot incline without needing to stop, and recovering much quicker regardless of our lack of sleep on the five hundred mile drive up from Orlando. As I continued to revel in my newly discovered super powers, I reflected on how exactly I achieved such stardom on the trail.
Merrell's Tough Gloveby Richard
12/14/2012 01:23:48 P.M.
When I ordered the Merrell Tough Glove a year - or two - ago, I thought that they'd be a footnote (pun intended, thank you) to my footwear collection. Even though I'm a bit of a minimalist, by lifestyle, I thought that I'd more frequently don my Vibram Fivefingers or a pair of my huaraches.
I was wrong.
Though I still believe that less-is-more with shoe soles, I've ended up wearing the Tough Glove far more than my Vibram Fivefingers in recent months. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a major advocate of the Fivefingers - I just didn't realize how commonplace and beneficial the Tough Glove would be/have been.
The Best Sleeping Bags Money Can Buyby Dirk
12/10/2012 01:39:16 P.M.
Picture yourself in North Carolina, you’re at 5,200 ft, and it’s so cold that your water bottle is frozen. You neglected to bring a 4-season sleeping pad because on this trip you were going to go “ultra light.” In fact you barely even consider to highly modified, half cut Z-lite, much to write home about-but still, you feel as though you’re wrapped in a fluffy cloud of warmth. Everyone who isn’t you is either cold or complaining - maybe your choice in bringing along your Western Mountaineering Alpinlite 20 bag wasn’t such a bad idea. As you sit in revel in your pre dawn victory - you reflect on the past 3 days on the Appalachian Trail, your last minute purchase of your new sleeping bag, and whether or not it was worth it.
Sprint, KSO: The Two Best Fivefinger Modelsby Richard
11/16/2012 10:48:57 A.M.
One of my first orders of business when I started working at Travel Country was purchasing a pair of Vibram Fivefinger Sprints. It was just over three years ago, and I was being enculcated with knowledge on store products from the likes of Brian, Chris, Wayne, Ryan, and others - extremely experienced outdoorsmen. But the Fivefingers, those were new. Those were the things that people didn't really have a phenomenal amount of knowledge on. In fact, often times people would come into the store and ask many questions - one of them was invariably "What are the long-term effects of wearing these shoes?" The answer, quite simply, was "We're not sure yet." We were going to have to figure out together.
Pacifico Paddle Challengeby Jason
11/13/2012 10:31:26 A.M.
It was an awesome time this weekend at the 2nd annual Pacifico Paddle Challenge in St. Pete, FL. We were so stoked to race at the last stop of the SUP Splash series. It’s probably one of the biggest SUP race series in the U.S. and I believe it’s just going to keep getting bigger - with 130 racers total (participating in the short/long/kids/relay courses) and a great location on the beach in front of the beautiful Postcard Inn. Grace Marcel, Shane Waterboy Webb and all the wonderful volunteers did a fantastic job putting this epic event together, with partial proceeds benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.