Return Of The Dana!

In the mid-90', Dana Design was the backpack for thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail.  I liked mine so much that I bought a second one two years after my thru-hike despite the steep price of $400+And Dana Gleason, founder of his namesake Dana Designs, has returned to the market!  After selling his company and watching a series of outdoor companies fumble with a once dominant brand - Dana is back (and so is the Terraplane).The U.S. Military and U.S. Forest Service "hot shot" fire-fighting crews have been the beneficiary of Dana's skills over the last few years - but the packs are once again available to the public.  There is a great article about this at GearJunkie.com, and hopefully I can land a … [Read more...]

Preparing for your next hike? Don’t forget these apps!

Hiking is a great physical and leisure activity that can be enjoyed by people of varying fitness levels. Statista documented there is currently 34.38 million active hikers in the U.S. alone, demonstrating the popularity of this outdoor activity as a pastime. But whether you are an experienced hiker that has an impeccable sense of direction and dependable instincts, there are still several mobile apps that you should consider downloading before your next adventure. Smartphones are the compasses of the 21st century. Owners and operators of mobile casino brand PocketFruity revealed that there were one billion smartphone users by the end of 2012, a number that’s said to surpass the two billion mark in 2016. The explosion in smartphone … [Read more...]

REI Alpharetta – Over 800 people waiting in line at 10am

REI opened their 5th store in the Atlanta metro area today in Alpharetta, GA and clearly their marketing folks have figured it out.  There were over 800 people waiting in line at 10am when the doors opened.  Yeah .... people love free stuff, and REI delivered.  The first 200 in the door received a water bottle with a $25-100 gift card inside.   I opted to head back to work rather than line up as shopper #804.  How in the world did so many people get off work mid-morning on a Friday anyway?      … [Read more...]

The Movie Wild And Reece Witherspoon’s Early 90’s Backpacking Look

The filming of the movie Wild has begun, and both Cheryl Strayed and Reese Witherspoon are tweeting photos from the set.  As you recall, the movie is based on Stayed's best selling book which chronicles her adventures (or mis-adventures) on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995.  The wardrobe team got this one right, because they have Witherspoon decked out in a vintage external frame backpack and old school leather hiking boots (complete with colored laces). The movie is set to release in 2014 and you can see more photos here.  Is she hiking with a dog in this movie? … [Read more...]

Salomon Footwear: The Brand for all Occasions

Salomon Footwear: The Brand for all Occasions Salomon is a UK based footwear brand that has operated for years, building a strong and loyal consumer base in the process. Renowned for producing a mass range of products to suit every outdoor need, it is also a trailblazing brand that has stood at the forefront of market innovation and technological advancement. Salomon shoes are extremely popular within the consumer market, with the brands choice in hiking, running and trekking footwear particularly well received.  Available at FitnessFootwear So what is it that distinguishes Salomon branded footwear from other products on the market? Consider the following: -   1. Advanced Design and Manufacturing Principles: In terms of … [Read more...]

GPS units v’s Smartphone apps

I have used both stand-alone GPS units and Smartphone apps on the trail and have yet to resolve which is better.  For short day hikes - the Smartphone apps win hands down for convenience and their instant access to trail databases from companies like the North Face.  But in the backcountry?  I tend to agree with this assessment by Backpacker Magazine gear editor, Kristin Hostetter: In a nutshell, here are the pros of using a smartphone with a navigation app: great for local hikes, daily activity mapping like runs and bike rides, perfect for snapping and georeferencing photos on the go. Maps are seamless and less expensive that what you will pay for expensive map packages from the standalone GPS dealers.   And here are … [Read more...]

Backpacking Sleeping Pillows w/ Glenn (aka The Helmet)

In this video, Glenn (aka The Helmet) shows us two camping pillows that are compact, lightweight, and suitable for the backcountry. You can follow this link for more information on backpacking sleeping pillows, or click here for more information on this hike along the Benton MacKaye Trail near the Toccoa River. … [Read more...]

Some Advantages of Lightweight Backpacks

As a backpacker, you can travel further and faster by packing lighter with lightweight backpacks. Many who have jumped on the lightweight bandwagon find they can wear light running shoes when carrying a 15 to 30 pound backpack instead of the heavy-duty hiking boots they must wear when carrying the 45 pound plus heavy-duty pack. This means that the backpacker can travel more miles in a shorter period of time and may even equate to a higher safety level. The comfort level is often greater because less weight means you will be less sore at the end of the day. Traditional backpacking has a few disadvantages that are overcome by using lightweight backpacks. First, when you backpack with heavy equipment, there is less freedom of movement. You … [Read more...]

How to Find Inexpensive Hiking Gear

I love hiking, I love hiking gear and I start getting pretty excited when spring is only a short while away and we can get into our hiking mode with more gusto. Admittedly I am not a lover of winter hiking for more than a day hike so I really look forward to the warmer weather, especially since we live along the Pacific Westcoast. I don't love hanging out in malls or shopping endlessly for clothes but put me in a camping, hiking and outdoor store and I feel right at home and my adrenaline starts rushing at the sights of new gear and gadgets. The smell of the latest and greatest, what new pot set has MSR got this year? What are the new features on the Osprey backpacks that mine doesn't have? Maybe we need more titanium kitchenware? But … [Read more...]

Video: How To Stay Warm in a Sleeping Bag

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