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Glamping Hub

in Community/Promotional by
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By: Jessica Armstrong

Glamping Hub

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Saying hello to winter and goodbye to summer, is not so hard when campers and travelers can still take advantage of the amazing areas to explore in the PNW. In an area with such a close access to nature and adventure, there is no better time than the present to begin planning this holiday season’s once-in-a-lifetime getaway with family and friends!

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So why not finally try glamping? Trade in your store-bought tent for a luxury tree house, or your small metal campfire for stone-built fireplace. By visiting Glamping Hub, a unique portal full of hand-picked glamping destinations around the world, roughin’ it just got a whole lot more glamorous. Make life easier and avoid searching through endless websites to find the perfect accommodation, when Glamping Hub allows travelers to easily browse through a variety of collections featuring Washington’s most one-of-a-kind glamping retreats. Treehouses, safari tents, cabins, yurts, Airstreams, and more, there is an accommodation to fit one’s every desire for the perfect glamping outdoor experience throughout the PNW.

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Glampers now also have the option to browse through a variety of stunning pet-friendly accommodations on their new portal, Glamping with Pets. Being able to enjoy a closeness to nature with a four-legged friend, whilst benefiting from the five-star amenities, ordinarily found at any high-end resort, makes for a trip of a lifetime.

 

It’s never too late to start making your holiday wish list, and after browsing through the collections of Washington and PNW getaways, glampers are sure going to wish that the gift of glamping makes their Christmas list.

The Pacific Northwest Trail – The Last Wild National Trail

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Pacific Northwest Trail
The 1,200 mile Pacific Northwest Trail is one of National Geographic’s top 100 hikes offering dramatic views, breathtaking climbs, fierce wildlife, and complete solitude. Photo Source: pinterest.com

All of us have grown up hearing the stories of the historic Appalachian Trail, and the movie Wild made the Pacific Crest Trail saturated with section and through hikers.  So BUSHMAN EXPEDITION OUTFITTERS wanted to know where an adventurous trekker goes to find truly untamed wilderness, we found our answer skirting the northwest border of the United States and Canada.  Lace up your hiking boots, crab your backpack and bear spray, the 1,200 mile Pacific Northwest Trail from Glacier National Park to the Washington Coast maybe the last wild national trail.

In 2015 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the formation of an advisory panel that will recommend the final corridor of the trail.  According to the Pacific Northwest Trail Association, the rugged trail is not for the beginning hiker.  The route will take adventurers over the Rocky Mountains, Selkirk Mountains, Pasayten Wilderness, North Cascade Mountains, and the Olympic Mountains to Washington’s Wilderness Coast. The trail crosses three National Parks and seven National Forests and thousands of feet of elevation gain and loss.  Currently there are several gaps in the trail that require hikers to find their own path through some difficult terrain.

Pacific Northwest Trail
Nights can get chilly at the high altitudes and on the breezy Pacific beaches of the Pacific Northwest Trail. Try the BUSHMAN Melford men’s full-zip-up sweatshirt with hood to keep the chill away. This sweatshirt also keeps you looking good when you drop into the trail towns for that microbrew and burger you have been dreaming about for 100 miles.

The nonstop hike from Montana to the Pacific Ocean begins near the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park and travels west through Montana, Idaho, and Washington before reaching the Pacific Ocean near Cape Alava on the coast of Washington State.  The trail has been rated as one of National Geographic’s top 100 hikes.  Currently only a few dozen intrepid hikers a year attempt the entire length, so you are guaranteed privacy and bragging rights on this truly wild trail.

Pacific Norhtwest Trail
After hiking all day on the hot trail, change into the BUSHMAN Teron Shorts when you get to camp or that beautiful alpine lake that is begging you for a swim. The lightweight 100% cotton shorts will feel great and the many pockets help you organize all your trail items.

While the Pacific Northwest Trail can be a physical challenge, it runs close to many scenic mountain towns making resupply and a good meal closer than on some other trails.  The Pacific Northwest Trail Association offers a detailed Re-Supply List – Towns and Resources map at their website.

Pacific Northwest Trail
The Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail spans three National Parks, seven National Forests, and three mountain ranges on its way from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean. Photo Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Timberland Men’s 6 inch Premium Boot Review

in Gear by
timberland 6 inch premium brown green

I had the opportunity to try this boot out last weekend. At first, they were a bit stiff and bulky, but as I wore them I got used to them and in turn the boots became extremely comfortable.

timberland 6 inch premium brown green

I haven’t had an opportunity to wear Timberland boots since high school (over 20 yrs ago), so when I received thes pair I was a bit excited, after trying them out I was pleasantly surprised.

These boots are constructed with premium leather and are water resistant.  Which was great for tromping through the early winter slush and puddles.  The tread on these boots was a little slick for the first few hours of hiking.  Once I wore the “new” off of the tread they stuck to logs and rocks just like a tree frog.

Timberland Men’s 6 inch Premium Boot is a great choice for around town as well as muddy slushy fall hikes.

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I have been wearing this boot around town as well as out on the trail.  As with any good sturdy boot it has taken me quite a few miles to get these boots comfortable to walk in on pavement.  But well worth the effort.  I expect this will be my go-to boot for the remainder of the winter season only swapping out to specialty shoes for mountaineering, snowshoeing or skiing boots.

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#1 Pro: Laces up high and keeps snow out so you only need gators in the really deep stuff.

#1 Con: Like any quality leather boot it takes a while to break these in. (well worth the effort)

Yesler Technical Hoodie

in Gear by
Yesler Technical Hoodie 8

Yesler Technical Hoodie

Yesler Technical Hoodie Launches on Kickstarter – The Last Hoodie You’ll Ever Need

Yesler Technical Hoodie 1Yesler Technical Hoodie 2

 

 

 

 

 

Never choose between a puffy jacket and a cotton sweatshirt again – now you have one

hoodie made for for life in the city and adventures outdoors!  By utilizing technologically

advanced fabrics in a more sophisticated silhouette, the Technical Hoodie offers

sportswear for the outdoor enthusiast who wants function without sacrificing modern

design and aesthetics.  Yesler is reinventing this classic wardrobe staple by combining

real world versatility and clean design with technical materials. The result is a good

looking, hard working hoodie with a soft interior and a protective exterior.  Available via

Kickstarter for men and women, starting at $149.

Yesler Technical Hoodie 3Yesler Technical Hoodie 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You shouldn’t have to choose between baggy, everyday hoodies or oversized jackets

meant for sub-zero temperatures. When you step outside you should have one hoodie

that has a flattering fit, looks great no matter where the day takes you and isn’t afraid of

a bit of poor weather. And now, you can,” notes Vince Chu, Founder of Yesler.

The Technical Hoodie is a lightweight, highly weather-resistant performance hoodie

built with Polartec® Power Shield® Pro, a fabric that strikes the balance between

comfort and breathability with wind and water resistance.

Yesler Technical Hoodie 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Technical Hoodie features a soft, brushed tricot interior, delivering maximum

comfort, paired with a durable and water resistant exterior, perfect for when you get

caught in that unexpected drizzle.

Pair this with clean lines, American craftsmanship and its technical anatomy, and you’ve

got a hoodie that will seamlessly take you from your neighborhood café to your favorite

afternoon hike.

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Products made for the PNW – we’ll take it!

in Community/Gear by
mens-technical-hoodie 9

Products made for the PNW

Q&A with Yesler Founder Vince Chu

Yesler is a Seattle born, American-made brand that create exceptional performance apparel by combining innovative design, technical fabrics, and quality construction with American craftsmanship.  They are weeks away from the launch of their second flagship product, the ‘Technical Hoodie’, and we had the opportunity to sit down with Yesler’s founder, Vince Chu, to talk about the brand, product and what makes Yesler so great.mens-technical-hoodie 9

Questions:

1. Yesler is clearly a very Seattle name, what gives the brand & product so much Seattle heart?

    • We love Seattle and everything it represents – from the great outdoors of the PNW to it’s rebellious and grungy vibe.  Our mission has been to make the best performing athletic wear for the Pacific Northwest community.  Taking in all the elements of the city’s bustling metropolis and outdoor community, and creating products that can function no matter where the day takes you.  And with everything is hand cut and sewn right here in Seattle, the city’s heart beats throughout every stitch.  

2. So what exactly is a ‘Technical Hoodie’?

    • It’s form meets function. It’s the blend of real world versatility and technical materials.  It’s the one jacket that looks and feels good for hikes in the Cascades or just spelunking around Ballard.  By definition a hoodie is pretty much a go-to piece in a wardrobe so it has to look good and be comfortable, but we’re breathing new life into the piece: it’s being built with the best materials by the best craftsman.  By combining great fit with great fabric, we’re giving you something stylish that shields you from the elements while still being breathable for your active lifestyle.

3. So you say it’s versatile, what makes it so versatile and different than other brands that might claim the same thing?

    • Our Technical Hoodie is about creating a comfortable piece that actually performs well during activity, poor weather, or just everyday usage.  When you step outside we want you to have that one perfect hoodie that fits how you want, looks great and protects against poor weather.  You look at a lot of what popular brands are doing, and you still end up with a run-of-mill pieces that are just good enough for “to and from” but don’t perform, or something that’s still too close to a jacket that’s just not realistic for everyday wear:  Everything in the current market is either too causal or too high-tech to function in multiple settings.

4. Tell me why Polartec was your fabric of choice to make this product?

    • Having the right fabric partner is extremely important to us; we knew it was critical to find a collaborative partner that strives for similar goals. Polartec has always been doing tremendous stuff in the space (especially with Neoshell). We’re not the only ones who think that: all the top brands like Patagonia and Arc Teryx use Polartec materials. So when we told them what we were designing, they came back to us with Polartec Powershield Pro. Let me tell you: it’s simply amazing. It’s a lightweight, weather-resistant soft shell that provides breathability, stretch and comfort from the inside out. And the Technical Hoodie comes with a price point people can blink at, while many large brands using Polartec fabrics, they all come with a hefty price tag, and now you can get this high-performing jacket while keeping cash in your pockets.

5. Why manufacture Yesler in America?

    • This is a twofold answer.  One, making Yesler here in America (and specifically Seattle) has been our mission from the get-go, we love sports here but it’s unsettling to think that we hardly making much of our own gear anymore, less than 2% is American-made and we want to change that.  Two, it’s the way we can best assure quality.  We want to outfit you with the best and now we can promise we are doing just that.  

 

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Must See Outdoor Films for 2015

in Fireside by
The Revenant Seattle Backpackers Magazine

Must See Outdoor Films for 2015

A Walk in the Woods’ (2015): Robert Redford, Nick Nolte

Robert Redford teams up with Nick Nolte to conquer the Appalachian Trail. Also featuring Nick Offerman as your friendly neighborhood REI employee.

 

 

 

The Revenant | Official Teaser Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX

Leonardo DiCaprio has some big shoes to fill in this Jeremiah Johnson-esque role. Let’s hope it does not disappoint.

What I Learned Climbing the Volcan Acatenango

in Community/Trails by
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Piece by Nick Bramer— When he’s not stuck at his desk crunching numbers or analyzing data as a performance & insight manager, Nick has made it his mission to climb, hike or mountaineer his way around some of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges. Read more of his writing at the Merrell Pack.


 

Volcan Acatenango
Many years ago, when I was a volunteer trekking guide in Guatemala, I took on the Volcan Acatenango. It was an amazing adventure with a little bit of everything, but in many ways my friend Jeff and I were underprepared despite our previous hiking experience. There was a lot we learned while hiking Volcan Acatenango about taking on adventures off the beaten path, and I wanted to pass along this set of tips for anyone looking to go off and explore.

Setting the scene:

It was our second day of the trip— we had packed up camp and were about to head back down Acatenago. We estimated we had climbed a combined total of over 4921 feet that day and had been on the move for about 12 hours, all of this with only 1.5 liters of water each and a small amount of food. Needless to say, during the ensuing six hours on that forestry track (which would have been two if we hadn’t gotten lost), and in the days that followed, there was a lot of self-reflection by Jeff and I as to where it went wrong and what lessons we could take with us on our next epic trail. 

Volcan Acatenango
Tips for treks off the beaten path:

1. Go with a Guide: Spectacular surroundings and amazing experiences have a habit of distracting you from issues of security and safety. Enjoy your time in the mountains, but always keep in your consciousness the seriousness of your situation. In the case of our hiking trip in Guatemala, the rural highlands have a history of robberies and assaults, so we hired local guide Don Martin to lead us to the Volcan Acatenango. Always check with the local tourism office for information on guides or consider joining a larger group for added safety.

2. Memorize the Paths You Take: As you’re hiking, make a conscious effort to memorize the paths that you take, looking back when possible, taking in landmarks, tying fabric to branches at tricky trail junctions and taking notes if need be. You should always travel with a map and compass or GPS, but if you don’t have either of these, memorizing your location is even more important. We added an unnecessary four hours to our trek by attempting a shortcut that turned out to be anything but.

3. Keep Calm and Pause Before You Carry On: Our desperation to get back down off the mountain as quickly as possible, combined with our tired and dehydrated state, meant that our judgment had become clouded. Don’t let laziness get in the way of taking the safe bet in a dangerous mountain environment. Stop and take stock of your surroundings every so often, check your map and consult with other hikers in your group. 

4. Prepare for all eventualities: Always take more than enough food and water— and be prepared for ‘getting lost.’ It’s likely that if we had more water we would never have attempted the ‘short cut’ in the first place. Always carry a water purification system with you on your hikes, whether it be a water filter, iodine tablets or another filtration device, so that you can refill your reservoir on trail if need be. Make sure you have the proper outdoor clothing for any weather and hiking boots that will help you trek various terrains.

Despite all this, we had an incredible time hiking in Guatemala, and risks are part of any adventure. That being said, better preparation can lead to a better— if less memorable— climb, and I have always kept this in mind on the many adventures that have followed.

Note: Content provided by the Merrell Pack

Favorite Outdoor Smartphone Apps

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Forrester research recently released  results of a study that showed  17% of US adults used smart phones in 2010 and numbers expected to increase by double digits in the coming years.  IPhone and Android, the most popular devices each have hundreds of apps that can be useful to those venturing outdoors, especially hikers and backpackers.   A good outdoor app allows you to save on weight and combine functions in a multi use tool.  Having said that technology does have limitations (battery life, reception, malfunction, etc…) and you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket.  Here are some of our favorites outdoor App picks:

1.       Flashlight- Both the I phone and Android have multiple flashlight Apps available.  The droid we used came preinstalled with one.  This app which is just a white screen, but puts out a good amount of light.  The iPhone flashlight even has an LED version with strobe and SOS functions.   The flashlight on the android uses the camera flash.  Outdoors you wouldn’t use the flashlight over your headlamp for most uses but it does come in handy trying to find your headlamp in a dark tent, to quickly spot and read things, or for a backup light.

2.       GPS- There’s a dozen fairly decent GPS apps for the Iphone, Android, and Blackberry.  One of my favorites for the Iphone is the MotionX GPS.

MotionX-GPS shows your position and track at all times on street maps, topo/terrain maps, satellite/hybrid maps, or marine charts.  MotionX provides a total of nine map types including Google and Bing satellite and Hybrid maps and allows you to store over 300 waypoints and 0ver 100 saved tracks.  The other cool feature I liked is the ability to easily share and post tracks and waypoints to Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail using Google Maps.  It includes a stopwatch and supports:

·         Compass for orientation in True or Magnetic bearings.
·         Visualize your progress and ETA while navigating.
·         View your SOG, VMG, distance to waypoint, and bearing to waypoint.
·         iPhone magnetic compass integration.
·         View coordinates in Lat/Lon, UTM, or MGRS coordinates.

Testing on an Ipad against the Garmin GPS it was accurate to 40 feet in most cases, more than enough to justify the price at $2.99 .

3.    The new Mammut Packing List  iPhone app allows you to compile packing lists, share it with your friends and then start packing. The team works together to gather all the necessary equipment, making sure that nothing is forgotten. Once you’ve ticked off all the items on the list, the tour can begin!

Here’s some highlights:
·         Basic packing lists checked by Mammut Pro Team athletes and the Mammut Alpine School, with the option of selecting the tour type and duration.
·         Any missing items can be added to a list with just a few taps of your finger.
·         Items that have already been packed are ticked off.
·         Distinction made between private, general and team items.
·         Responsibility for team items assigned to a specific individual.
·         Comments function available for each item for important preparatory communications between team members.
·         The Mammut Packing List is optimized for iPhone iOS 4

4.    Avalanche Safety App by FitClimb for Android- For active outdoor enthusiasts, who want to be empowered and better control their risk, provides a tool to better educate users and help  predict avalanches in the field.  The Avalanche safety evaluator features a Clinometer  (slope meter) for accurate slope angle combined with a series of questions to determine risk level and comes with helpful tips to avoid and survive an avalanche.  Here’s some highlights:

·         Avalanche Evaluator – series of questions based on statistical avalanche research  used to determine risk level.
·         Build-in Clinometer measures slope angle – useful for determining snow slope stability.
·         Informative video, text, and images on how to avoid and survive avalanches.
·         Quick links to country and regional avalanche safety bulletin information for 18 most avalanche prone countries.
·         Windows and Iphone versions coming soon.
·         No reception needed for the risk evaluator and slope meter functions.

Good app developers optimize for battery life and in the outdoors consider lighting conditions like night time and bright areas.  We’d like to see more outdoor apps that take into consideration the users environment and how they would interact.  Like ski and trail apps that you can navigate without taking off your gloves.  Rather than recommending a spare battery I suggest carrying a solar charger that you can clip onto your backpack as you hike and use on multi day trips to charge all your electronics.

New sleeping bag rating system EN 13537

in Gear by

Originally developed and then implemented in Europe on January 1, 2005 US manufacturers and Retailers have only recently started migrating to the new standard.

The new standard is based on a realistic standardized testing method using heated lifelike mannequins to determine the actual comfortable temperature that can be maintained in a particular sleeping bag.   The rating is then presented to the consumer as an average number for men and a second separate average comfort level for women. The testing mannequin is dressed in a single layer of long underwear and a hat then placed in the bag on top of a sleeping pad.

While this number is an average and will not be exactly applicable to all consumers it does accomplish one great thing.  Now that retailers appear to be demanding more accurate ratings in the form of the EN 13537 rating.  It will allow consumers to at least determine their own personal baseline for the rating system and make more educated and accurate decisions when purchasing sleeping bags.

 

In the past, individual sleeping bag manufacturers did their own testing and rating.  This standard rating system appears as though it might be a remedy for the over zealous manufacturer.  This rating system may not be perfect but is a giant step in the right direction for a standard method of categorizing sleeping bags.

We asked  Jim Giblin  ASTM F08.22 Chair (OIA Working Group Lead) Softgoods Design Lead at  Cascade Designs Inc. what he thought of the new standard.  Here is what he said:

“EN 13537 has done great things for the industry in regards to providing research data and helping the customer, both in providing accuracy of temperature ratings and making a purchasing decision. But as it stands now we feel it is not good enough. The rework happening with EN 13537 should help, but if they don’t reduce the overly complex nature or the lack of testing parameters the industry will step up and refine the standard.”

 

Editorial:

“Here at Sierra Designs we’re all for the EN 13537 testing standard,” said Becky Larsen, product manager for Sierra Designs sleeping bags.  “The EN test ratings allow us to get a better feel for how a certain bag will perform in a variety of conditions, as well as how we can best customize our men’s versus women’s bags to keep each user group more comfortable.  Ultimately, these measurements assist us in designing bags that meet the high performance standards customers expect from Sierra Designs.  And as it becomes the standard by which all bags are rated, EN testing will also benefit shoppers by providing a more exact rating system that can be compared across brands.”

 

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