It’s no secret that the west coast has some of the best ski­ing and surf­ing in the Unit­ed States. Year round you can find snow high up in the glaciat­ed peaks of the Cas­cades and Sierra’s, along with waves break­ing from North­ern Wash­ing­ton to South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. I have been ski­ing since the age of 3 and start­ed surf­ing about 9 months ago after mov­ing to Port­land, Ore­gon. Life used to be sim­ple when all I had to think about was chas­ing win­ter storms, but now when the snow and swell hit at the same time it leaves me with a tough deci­sion: head east to the moun­tains, or west to the coast. With the first win­ter storms already bring­ing heavy snow and pow­er­ful swell into the Pacif­ic North­west, I decid­ed to for­go the all or noth­ing approach. Instead, I’ve been doing my best to pack in both ski­ing and surf­ing adven­tures every week­end. Head­ing direct­ly from the coast to Cas­cades and vice-ver­sa. Here are a few of my tips on catch­ing waves and snow in the same day.

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The Go-Bag

When a storm is hit­ting and you are try­ing to squeeze in two out­door activ­i­ties on the same day, you don’t have time to wor­ry about mak­ing sure you packed all of the right gear. Have a bag ready with all of your camp­ing essen­tials, a bag with your ski gear, and a bag with your surf gear. This way whether you’re dip­ping out of work ear­ly on a Fri­day or play­ing hooky dur­ing the week, you’ll be ready to quick­ly hop in your car and hit the road. Try to keep it min­i­mal with camp­ing gear. You don’t want to wor­ry about unpack­ing and repack­ing unnec­es­sary items. A sleep­ing bag, sleep­ing pad, camp pil­low, down jack­et, head­lamp, spork, small stove, jug of water, and a few dehy­drat­ed meals is real­ly all you need to make it through the night and morning.

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Mois­ture Management

Coastal and high-ele­va­tion weath­er can be very tem­pera­men­tal. It’s often a fine line between snow and rain. Dress in tech­ni­cal lay­ers for the moun­tain and bring along your neo­prene booties and gloves to go with your wet­suit. At some point you are going to have a damp wet­suit along with sweaty out­er­wear and base­lay­ers. My rec­om­men­da­tion is to bring a large wet/dry bag or a cheap plas­tic bin with you on all of your trips. After you are done surf­ing or ski­ing toss your dirty, wet, and stinky items into your bag/bin so they don’t drip in your car or all over your dry gear. Rinse, wash, and dry your gear right when you get home to pre­serve its lifes­pan and so it’s ready for your next trip.

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Tech­nol­o­gy Is Your Friend

At some point you need to make the deci­sion whether to head to the coast or moun­tain first. Yes, fore­casts can be a flop and weath­er can unex­pect­ed­ly change, but there are a lot of weath­er apps and web­sites ded­i­cat­ed to surfers and skiers. I use OpenSnow.com and PowderChasers.com for snow fore­casts. I use SurfLine.com and MagicSeaweed.com for surf­ing. Tides, snow lev­els, road con­di­tions, swell direc­tion, and winds are just some of the impor­tant fac­tors when decid­ing where to head first. It does­n’t hurt to edu­cate your­self on some mete­o­rol­o­gy terms either.

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Choos­ing Where To Camp

If you’re any­thing like me you get your fix of city life dur­ing the week. Get out of the city for a few nights and sleep at either the moun­tain or coast the night before you plan to ski or surf. There is noth­ing worse than being stuck in traf­fic on a pow­der day, and in my opin­ion noth­ing beats wak­ing up, hav­ing a quick cup of cof­fee, and being the first one into the water or on the moun­tain. There is no point in pay­ing for a camp­site (if they are even open), espe­cial­ly when you don’t plan on hang­ing around in the morn­ing. If you are car camp­ing at the coast your best bet is to come in late and leave ear­ly. Whether you choose to park on an old log­ging road, in an aban­doned park­ing lot, or chance it in a state park park­ing lot is up to you. At the moun­tain you have few­er options. Your best bet is prob­a­bly to sleep in your car, and sur­pris­ing­ly there are a grow­ing num­ber of ski areas that allow overnight park­ing. That being said, one of the best sun­ris­es of my life was the morn­ing after sleep­ing halfway up Mount Hood. I’ve also slept in a jan­i­tors clos­et and a cafe­te­ria at var­i­ous ski areas. Be cre­ative and remem­ber, igno­rance is bliss.

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Bring A Friend, Or Two

I do not rec­om­mend ven­tur­ing out on a sea to sum­mit adven­ture by your­self. Friends will make it a more mem­o­rable and safer expe­ri­ence. Long dri­ves by your­self can get lone­ly and dan­ger­ous when you are exhaust­ed after a long day of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty. Try to lim­it the group size to 3 or 4 so you can main­tain some lev­el of stealth when camp­ing and so you can fit into one car. Before extend­ing an invi­ta­tion to a friend, make sure they are ready and will­ing to take on the adven­ture. Inclement weath­er camp­ing, alpine starts, and cold water are not for every­one. Final­ly, make sure they have the right gear. You don’t want them to slow down the group or get injured. It’s an added bonus to take a friend with you that is a skilled photographer.

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In Sum­ma­ry

These are just a few things I have learned dur­ing my trips between the coast and moun­tains. Do your research on where you plan to stay and know the risks asso­ci­at­ed with ski­ing, surf­ing, and camp­ing in inclement weath­er and the back­coun­try. You don’t need to spend a lot of mon­ey to have an epic week­end of ski­ing and surf­ing, you just need ded­i­ca­tion and the abil­i­ty to go a few days with­out show­er­ing. If you haven’t already skied and surfed in the same day, I high­ly rec­om­mend it. Just remem­ber to have fun, the rest will work itself out.

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Writ­ten by Kyle Mag­gy     |     Film Pho­tog­ra­phy by Nate Duffy


 

Eating Well

Eating Well

We’ve all suf­fered through mediocre meals in the name of back­pack­ing. Here’s five ideas to help spice up your camp­site cook­ing routine. 

 


Rosemary1. Fresh­en up

Fresh herbs like basil, rose­mary, and pars­ley can last for days in your pack. Lay­er herbs between paper tow­els and store in an air­tight bag. Add to your meal or chew on a basil leaf for a refresh­ing taste.

 


 Cheese2. Get Cheesy

Stock up on high-qual­i­ty hard cheeses like parme­san or romano, which can go unre­frig­er­at­ed for extend­ed peri­ods of time. Eat with crack­ers or shred over oat­meal for a savory breakfast.

 


 Pasta Salad3. Trust the pros

If you don’t have the tools to dehy­drate your own meals, or don’t trust your cook­ing to keep you sat­is­fied, try jazz­ing up ready-made meals. Re-pack­age boxed pas­tas with addi­tion­al freeze-dried veg­gies and sala­mi for a reliable—and delicious—dinner.

 


 Egg Carrier4. So long pow­dered eggs

Organ­ic eggs from pas­tured chick­ens are safe at room tem­per­a­ture for a few days. Invest in a three-dol­lar egg car­ri­er and for­get about pow­dered egg omelets. Just make sure you trust the farm where the eggs are com­ing from, some organ­ic sources are still sus­cep­ti­ble to salmonella.

 


Candy Bar5. Indulge

Do you secret­ly love pack­aged moon pies and kit kats? Pack ‘em. You’ll be thank­ful for old favorites out on the trail. Just make sure to bal­ance treats with high-pro­tein, whole-grain meals to avoid burn­ing out.

Yosemite Nation­al Park is an out­doors lover’s par­adise. Best known for its mag­nif­i­cent water­falls, the park con­sists of over 1,200 square miles of untamed wilder­ness rife with giant sequoias, deep val­leys, soar­ing cliffs, and sprawl­ing meadows.

Watch this amaz­ing video that cap­tures the mag­ic of Yosemite and find out why she lures over 3.7 mil­lion peo­ple through her gates each sea­son. You’ll be blown away by the time-lapse footage fea­tured in this inspir­ing edit cap­tured by Shel­don Neill and Col­in Dele­han­ty as part of the duo’s long­stand­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive project, Project Yosemite.

We’re excit­ed about their upcom­ing film, Yosemite HD II

Noth­ing can sti­fle your adven­ture lifestyle like a lack of good sleep. And cof­fee can only take you so far. So do your­self a favor. Grab some of those all-too-valu­able Zs by fol­low­ing these six easy tips to get bet­ter sleep for big­ger adventures.

1. Get Some Exercise
This one seems obvi­ous, but it’s not only the 15-mile run up your local moun­tain or cen­tu­ry club ride that gets your body ready for bed. Even a thir­ty-minute walk through the park or a bike ride to the gro­cery store and back can get your mus­cles stretched and ready to rest. Take some time out of your busy day to move, to get out­side, and that lit­tle light-bulb above your head each night will have no prob­lem click­ing off.

If you’re already in the back­coun­try, chances are you’ve already ticked this one off the list. Not to wor­ry though, we’ve got some oth­er tips.

2. Eat Light
Well… at least eat light before bed. For sleep­ing and san­i­tary rea­sons, avoid eat­ing a full rack of ribs as you tuck your­self into the cov­ers. All the ener­gy pro­duced from the food you eat just before you try to fall asleep will thwart your attempts to doze off. Instead, try a light-snack with a glass of water.

3. Enjoy the Day
If you haven’t already done it, do some­thing that you’re proud of today. Read a new chap­ter, call to an old friend or out of touch fam­i­ly mem­ber, do any­thing to make progress that you can be proud of. Noth­ing brings sleep quick­er then if it’s well earned.

If you have trou­ble rec­og­niz­ing your every­day progress, brain­storm before you go to bed, make a list, or chal­lenge your part­ner to do the same and share accom­plish­ments before going to bed each night. This accom­plished feel­ing will help to set your mind at ease.

4. Go Sans Pajamas
While it isn’t always the case, sleep­ing with few lay­ers or some­times no lay­ers at all can real­ly make a dif­fer­ence. The best prac­tice prac­tice may be to wear base lay­ers in a sleep­ing bag, but just like every rule, there are exceptions.

If your long under­wear and socks are too form-fit­ting, you may be cut­ting off cir­cu­la­tion. Addi­tion­al­ly, if you become too warm and start to sweat, it’ll start to feel like your wear­ing wet clothes. This can sab­o­tage your sleep­ing bag’s insu­lat­ing efforts.

5. Pull the Plug
It’s hard not to imag­ine a time in our day when we are not attached to some form of tech­nol­o­gy. Phones, radios, iPads, smart­watch­es, GPS; the list goes on. There is a lot of stim­uli that can keep our minds occu­pied. Before you put on the PJs (or lack there­of), pull the plug. Do your­self a favor and for­get the clever tweets and click­able head­lines, just lay back, relax, and know the next day is on its way.

6. Don’t Worry
It may seem counter-intu­itive to the arti­cle itself, but one of the biggest things you can do for your best sleep is to try and not to think about it too much. Go to sleep when you’re tired and under­stand what you need to do to accom­plish that. For some it’s med­i­ta­tion, oth­ers invest in earplugs for back­ground noise, but the best thing you can do is lis­ten to your body and fol­low the signs. Chances are, good sleep will be easy to find.

What bet­ter way to expe­ri­ence and learn about the out­door adven­tures than from pro­fes­sion­al ath­letes? Marin Under­hill, Dylan Zellers, and Ryan Zellers got to do just that and reached some amaz­ing heights with their par­ents, who are pro­fes­sion­al ath­letes with The North Face. In this clip the kids talk about how their love for the moun­tains and the out­doors has impact­ed their lives.

[via: The North Face]

You may con­sid­er your­self a pret­ty good cook at home, but you have to resort to dif­fer­ent tac­tics when you’re camp­ing.  While it’s always easy to throw your food on a grate over a fire or use a roast­ing stick, there are some tricks you can keep in your back pock­et that are bound to make your friends go “oooooh”.

Here are six handy tips for cook­ing over a camp­fire that we’ve pulled out of the hat in the past, and they’re sure to impress your friends.

1. Wrap meat, cheese, or fresh­ly caught fish in wild leaves
This is a pret­ty nifty lit­tle thing that can impart a fresh fla­vor to your food, but that can also sub­tly impart a unique char­ac­ter­is­tic to your food.  I love cook­ing fresh-caught fish wrapped in ramps or wrapped like a spi­ral with long cat­tail leaves, which taste earthy and bright at the same time.  Trout in wal­nut leaves is espe­cial­ly good.  Sim­ply over­lap the leaves around the fish and tie some wet twine around the whole she­bang to hold it togeth­er (alter­na­tive­ly: if the leaves are long or big enough, sim­ply fold them under and place them fold­ed-side down) and put it right above the coals, or right next to the fire.  The leaves will help the meat steam, and pro­tect its skin from burning.

There are tons of edi­ble leaves you can use to wrap your food in.  Of course there are the peren­ni­al favorites like palm leaves, banana leaves, reed leaves, corn husks, and grape leaves but you can use the leaves from wild gar­lic, sor­rel, lin­den trees, hibis­cus, net­tle, lotus, com­mon mal­low, ramps, cat­tails, pota­to beans, Hoja San­tas, wal­nut trees, sycamore trees, chest­nut trees, oak trees, maple trees, cher­ry trees, and many more (any­one else just think of For­rest Gump?).

2. Boil water in a paper cup
Yep, I said it.  Here’s the thing about water–it’s a fan­tas­tic ther­mal con­duc­tor, and as long as it’s under nor­mal atmos­pher­ic pres­sure (15 psi or so), it will not get hot­ter than 212 degrees in its liq­uid form.  Since the paper does­n’t burn until 451 degrees, you can lit­er­al­ly take a cheap paper cup, fill it with water, and put it direct­ly on the coals of a fire. You may have to exper­i­ment with the right brand of cup, but basi­cal­ly, the water will pre­vent the paper from burn­ing. Next time you’re out camp­ing, whip out the old Dix­ie, fill it with water from the local stream, put it right on the coals, and when it’s done, CAREFULLY pick it up, throw in some hot cocoa, and look at your friends like, “Yeah, that’s right, I boil water in paper. Who wants to touch me?”  This tech­nique will work with oth­er mate­ri­als like plas­tic as well (Les Stroud boiled water in his Camel­bak!), but bear in mind any mate­r­i­al that is not direct­ly in con­tact with the water WILL burn, so watch out for extend­ed seams or irreg­u­lar surfaces.

3. Cook an egg in an orange peel
This process uses the same con­cept as the above tip, but uti­lizes it for a sweet break­fast idea. Grab that orange you brought with you, and cut it in half. Carve out the flesh from both sides, being care­ful not to cut through the skin. While you’re enjoy­ing your yum­my fruit, crack an egg or two into each of the two orange peel “cups”, and drop them into a bed of loose coals. When you see the albu­men (that’s fan­cy talk for the whites) set up, grab the cups out of the coal and have your­self a tasty treat. You can do this with whisked eggs, cheese, and veg­gies as well for a lit­tle omelet. Obvi­ous­ly, if you like the yolk hard, leave it in until you get to your desired lev­el of done­ness. It tastes pret­ty damn good, with a hint of smoke and cit­rus. Very cool.

 

5 Campfire Cooking Tips

4. Use a Fris­bee as a chop­ping board
Obvi­ous­ly, you’ll want to clean it when you’re done, but every­one in camp will think you’re clever as hell when you whip out the ‘bee and start cut­ting up wild veg­gies with your swiss army knife!  There’s not a lot of instruc­tion need­ed on this one, just, you know, do it.

5. Learn the art of the ven­er­a­ble hobo meal
Way back in the day you may have learned this tech­nique as a Scout, and may have heard this tech­nique referred to as a “hobo’s din­ner” or “tin-foil din­ner”, but I think the sheer per­for­mance and ver­sa­til­i­ty of this method of cook­ing deserves bet­ter nomen­cla­ture. If you were at home using a sim­i­lar tech­nique in your oven with parch­ment paper, snooty chefs would say you’re cook­ing “en papil­lote” because every­thing sounds bet­ter in French. (Seri­ous­ly, look up the French word for baby seals). I say if we’re gonna be snooty, let’s call this tech­nique “cuis­son dans une feuille d’é­tain” and start ele­vat­ing it to the lev­el it deserves. This is basi­cal­ly a wet-cook­ing method that mod­er­ates the heat of the coals, and all you need is to com­bine some aro­mat­ic veg­eta­bles (cel­ery, onions, gar­lic, mush­rooms, car­rots, leeks, cele­ri­ac, etc.) with your favorite starch (pota­toes, yams, turnips,), some oth­er yum­my veg­gies (brus­sel sprouts, green beans), a pro­tein of your choice, some herbs or spices, some fat or oil, and a small amount of cook­ing liq­uid or some­thing that will release liq­uid (water, broth, wine, fruits, cit­rus slices). Sim­ply fold it all up in a dou­ble-lay­er of alu­minum foil, roll the edges up tight so noth­ing can get out, and drop the whole thing on the coals. How long you leave it in depends on what you’re cooking–my trick is to cut up the pieces so that every­thing comes out at the same done­ness. Meat, for exam­ple, should stay in large pieces, where­as long-cook­ing items like pota­toes should be cut into small­er pieces or thin­ner slices.  This no-clean up method of cook­ing can pro­duce any­thing from steamed salmon with lemon, but­ter and dill, to a bouef bour­guignon, to a chick­en pot pie, or a Moroc­can lamb stew. It’s awesome!

6. Behold the almighty cast iron
Your one-stop shop to the ulti­mate camp­ing uten­sil. Cast iron pans are an amaz­ing and ver­sa­tile tool for camp­fire cook­ing. The best part? You can throw it right on the coals or just as eas­i­ly stack some wood to make a nook for your pan.

Mem­bers, click through below for exclu­sive sav­ings on today’s fea­tured brands:

SOREL: Fash­ion­ably bold, unapolo­get­i­cal­ly dar­ing, and beau­ti­ful­ly brave con­tem­po­rary footwear inspired by stun­ning frozen land­scapes, styled for city streets.

Sug­oi: Sug­oi designs gear that helps ded­i­cat­ed ath­letes push the bound­aries of per­son­al per­for­mance. This col­lec­tion includes cycling sin­glets, jack­ets, and more by the respect­ed brand.

Lucky Bums: With the com­fort­able depend­abil­i­ty of Lucky Bums out­door gear, kids can focus on the impor­tant things, like per­fect­ly roast­ing a marsh­mal­low. Fea­tur­ing sleep­ing bags, back­packs, snow gear, and more.

De Marchi: Found­ed in Italy in 1946, De Marchi is one of the old­est known design­ers of per­for­mance cycling appar­el. Dis­cov­er tech­ni­cal gear informed by a life­time of expe­ri­ence with these bibs and jerseys.

Immer­sion Research: When your heart drops into your stom­ach at the size of the approach­ing wave train, take com­fort know­ing that you’ll be nav­i­gat­ing that watery gaunt­let with pri­mo dry tops and insu­lat­ing layers.

Fire­side Footwear: After a full day bomb­ing pow­der, your quads quiv­er­ing, and your feet just begin­ning to thaw, is there any­thing bet­ter than kick­ing back next to the fire? Unwind with this col­lec­tion of slip­pers and socks.


Native: State-of-the-art tech­nol­o­gy in rugged, fash­ion-for­ward frames, Native polar­ized lens­es block 100% of UV rays and fea­ture exhaust vents that vir­tu­al­ly elim­i­nate creep from fog and condensation.

Win­ter Camp­ing: Expand your camp­ing sea­son to expe­ri­ence the cold nights beneath Ori­on with this col­lec­tion of warm down sleep­ing bags, tents, and more from top brands like Grand Trunk and Sier­ra Designs.

Men’s Win­ter Col­lec­tion: When the snow flies this win­ter, be the last man stand­ing with some help from this col­lec­tion of jack­ets, fleeces, vests, gloves, and more by top brands includ­ing Fjall­raven, C.A.M.P, and Columbia.

Wom­en’s Win­ter Col­lec­tion: Some gals see a storm and head inside; oth­ers see it and head out­doors. Har­ness the awe­some of inclement weath­er in bomber win­ter gear includ­ing down jack­ets, vests, gloves, and more by top brands.

 

 

Mem­bers, click through for insid­er pric­ing on dai­ly deals!

Fresh on the menu today:


Camp Com­forts: 
When your camp­ing plans range from build­ing a drift­wood shel­ter on a Pacif­ic North­west beach to cook­ing s’mores on a star-swept mesa in the South­west, you need a vari­ety of gear. This col­lec­tion will help you pre­pare to camp any­where your wan­der­lust draws you. Click through now for mem­ber-exclu­sive pric­ing on sleep­ing bags, tents, sleep­ing pads, and more.

 


Air­blaster: 
Snow­board­ing with your friends is a blast. Air­blaster aims to keep it that way. Found­ed in Port­land, Ore­gon, the inde­pen­dent­ly owned brand fea­tures tech­ni­cal, fun-cen­tric, for­ward-think­ing designs that pro­tect you from the ele­ments, so that your inner par­ty-ani­mal can shine. This col­lec­tion fea­tures jack­ets, hood­ies, sweaters, tees, and more at mem­ber-exclu­sive prices.

 


Snow­board Acces­sories: 
We know what you’re day­dream­ing about while loung­ing pool­side: pow­der fields and pil­low lines, the pic­ture-per­fect kick­er, and face-shots galore. Moth­er Nature will rage soon enough. Stock up on what you need for when she does now with acces­sories from POW, Coal, Neff, and more at mem­ber-exclu­sive pricing.

 


Tech­ni­cal Packs: Whether you’re a top loader or a side stuffer, an exter­nal frame fiend or a roll-top junkie, a liter lug­ger or a min­i­mal­ist, this col­lec­tion includes the pack for you. Fea­tur­ing tech­ni­cal day and mul­ti-day packs by Gre­go­ry, Vaude, High Sier­ra, and more. Click through now for mem­ber-exclu­sive pricing.

 

 

IN OTHER NEWS:

Lit­tle Sure Shot: Did you know? On August 13 (that’s today!), 1860, one of the great­est female sharp­shoot­ers in Amer­i­can his­to­ry was born. At eight years old, Oak­ley shot a squir­rel right between the eyes, tak­ing her first shot ever. It was­n’t luck, and as she con­tin­ued to hone her sharp­shoot­ing skills word of her leg­endary aim spread. Oak­ley was known for her female charm and fel­low sharp­shoot­er Frank But­ler became smit­ten and soon the two were mar­ried. The cou­ple began per­form­ing in Buf­fa­lo Bil­l’s Wild West show and soon became one of the most pop­u­lar acts of the time. One of Oak­ley’s trade­mark tricks was to shoot a cig­a­rette out of her hus­band’s mouth or a dime out of his fin­gers. Oak­ley would stay with the trav­el­ing show for more than 15 years, giv­ing per­for­mances around the world.

From back­yard cam­pouts when we were kids to week­ends spent rough­ing it under the stars as adults, camp­ing is one of those uni­ver­sal expe­ri­ences. Whether you camp out to dis­con­nect from the world or recon­nect with nature, every­one has a camp­ing sto­ry: the first time you slept under the stars, the scari­est camp­fire tale you ever heard, or the time you for­got that crit­i­cal gear that almost ruined the whole trip.

Hope­ful­ly, you’ll be com­plete­ly pre­pared for your next camp­ing adven­ture after shop­ping our new Camp Out event fea­tur­ing Slum­ber­jack, GoLite, Kel­ty, Sier­ra Designs, Cole­man Meals, Big Agnes, Alite, Alps Moun­tain, Esbit, ICON, and Nemo.

Blue­bird days are com­ing and we’ve got anoth­er bun­dle of brands in our Shines So Bright eye­wear event fea­tur­ing gog­gles and sun­glass­es from Kaenon, O’Neill, Uvex, VonZip­per and more of your favorites to keep your eyes pro­tect­ed on your next out­door adventure.

You’re more than wel­come to camp out on our Face­book page today and share your most mem­o­rable camp­ing expe­ri­ence, but there’s a small catch. Stop by for details.

You can shop both of these epic mul­ti-brand events with our lim­it­ed time $4.98 ship­ping; while adding a The Clymb tee to your order means the whole thing ships for free.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to our I Wish I Was There Action Pho­to win­ner, Jes­si­ca . This pho­to received the most votes and earned her $50 to The Clymb!

You can vote on your favorite land­scape pho­to begin­ning today on Face­book. Vot­ing ends Fri­day 2/10 at mid­night EST.

Also Fea­tured This Week:

 The Min­i­mal­ist Way With VIVOBAREFOOT Plus Coal and PROBAR

One of the best parts of my job is inter­act­ing with Clymb mem­bers on Face­book, Twit­ter and this blog. Often times our con­ver­sa­tions go beyond ques­tions about a recent order or what our next brand event will be. We talk about our love of the out­doors and where our adven­tures have tak­en us. We talk about how it affects our spir­it and health, what we’ve learned and why we keep going when oth­ers might not.

Maybe it’s my jour­nal­ism degree or maybe I’m just nosy — I sus­pect it’s both — but I love con­nect­ing with peo­ple in that way; dis­cov­er­ing their sto­ries. Because I believe every­body has one and they are all unique, and inter­est­ing, and beautiful.

We’d like to share some of these sto­ries with you in their own words. We encour­age you to con­nect with these mem­bers on Face­book, sub­scribe to their blogs, fol­low them on Twit­ter and sup­port each oth­ers’ endeav­ors. Get inspired. Ask ques­tions. Share sto­ries. Get tips. Give tips. Stay connected.

Today, David Sandel of DudesWith­T­ents shares the begin­nings of his love affair with the great outdoors.

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We all got start­ed some­how, that much is obvi­ous. If we hadn’t, we wouldn’t be on this mag­nif­i­cent site, now would we? I’m here to ques­tion the how, when, and why aspect.

The nat­ur­al beau­ty, the inher­ent dan­ger, the abil­i­ty to escape our 9–5, all of these things are what draw us to the out­doors. Have you ever ques­tioned why you start­ed or what the out­doors real­ly mean to you? At the most basic lev­el, we all have a psy­cho­log­i­cal asso­ci­a­tion with the out­doors that keeps us com­ing back time and time again. And for a lot of us, that asso­ci­a­tion can be traced back to one sin­gle event.

This is my story…

I grew up in 2 very small towns in north cen­tral Wis­con­sin. In both loca­tions, the num­ber of bars out­num­bered the num­ber of gro­cery stores and church­es (com­bined). The near­est movie the­ater was 30 min. away. There was lit­er­al­ly noth­ing to do that didn’t involve the out­doors in some way, whether that was build­ing a fort in the woods, bik­ing or ATV’ing through some trails, help­ing my dad cut fire­wood for the win­ter, or lat­er on in life, drink­ing in the mid­dle of the woods as an under aged teenag­er. While drink­ing around a gigan­tic fire is fun, mak­ing fire­wood and win­ter camp­ing as a child is my strongest asso­ci­a­tion with lov­ing the out­doors. In fact, my now 89-year-old grand­moth­er still likes to remind me that I tried to get her to sleep out in the tent with us one night.

Every win­ter we would tromp through the snow and cut fire­wood for the fol­low­ing year. First you fell the tree, then you trim it, cut it, split it, and stack it. Final­ly, you let it dry through the fol­low­ing sum­mer in the hot sun. But hon­est­ly, who cares about cut­ting wood?

We would not only “make” fire­wood, but we would also win­ter camp. In fact, I remem­ber win­ter camp­ing before ever sum­mer camp­ing, even if that is not fac­tu­al­ly cor­rect. We would spend the day cut­ting wood, burn­ing brush, and cook­ing over the fire. It was nor­mal­ly in my dad’s old alu­minum camp cook kit from the 1970’s or ‘80’s over the camp­fire. The meal was usu­al­ly sim­mered round steak in cream of mush­room soup with car­rots and pota­toes. Our tent was an old, green wall tent that didn’t even have a rain fly. Since we were so close to the house, we could afford to bring 2 sleep­ing bags a piece, a com­forter, and the fam­i­ly dog for extra warmth. Jake loved it!

 

Pho­to cour­tesy of DudesWithTents.com

I obvi­ous­ly didn’t real­ize how spe­cial those mem­o­ries would be to me lat­er in life, but I can look back and say, with­out a doubt, that is the rea­son I love the out­doors. From that point for­ward, I joined the cub scouts and grad­u­at­ed to boy scouts.

Since that time, my love of the out­doors has encom­passed almost every­thing imag­in­able: hunt­ing, fish­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, snow­shoe­ing, cross coun­try ski­ing, canoe­ing, hik­ing, and rock climb­ing. I even dab­ble in water sports. Yet some­how, I’ve nev­er been down­hill ski­ing or snow­board­ing. Odd, isn’t it?

So that’s what keeps me com­ing back. The mem­o­ries of a youth gone by, and the thrill of push­ing my com­fort lev­el in the out­doors. So, how did you get start­ed? What keeps you com­ing back?

 

Pho­to cour­tesy of DudesWithTents.com

David Sandel is the not-so-inge­nious brains behind DudesWithTents.com, a per­son­al blog fol­low­ing him­self and his friends in their out­door excur­sions. He is also a full-time elec­tri­cal engi­neer, part-time per­son­al train­er, and 100% day­dream­ing pro­cras­ti­na­tor from Min­neapo­lis, MN. It is his dream to one day make a liv­ing by writ­ing about the out­doors. For more infor­ma­tion about David, vis­it DavidSandel.com

If you have a sto­ry or some out­door tips you’d like to share, please con­tact me at Nina@TheClymb.com. If you need a mem­ber­ship to The Clymb, please stop by Twit­ter or Face­book.

 

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And we’re not stop­ping there. We have KELTY tents, packs, sleep­ing bags and oth­er acces­sories for up to 50% off. KELTY encour­ages you to “Go Any­where” with their reli­able and afford­able out­door gear for the expe­ri­enced camper to the novice moun­taineer. With KELTY gear you can embrace the expe­ri­ence with confidence.

Remem­ber, if you need a free mem­ber­ship, we’ll be hap­py to send you one. Just vis­it us on Twit­ter or Face­book and let us know.