Our Everyday Adventures

We are not adventurers by choice but by fate – Van Gogh

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Last Minute Stocking Gift Ideas

Need some last minute gift ideas for your athlete friends and family?  Veronica and I have some great ideas for you.  Below, we’ve listed some of our favorite gear for biking, running, and races, all way less than $50!

Detours Bike Bags: Particularly the Goodie Bags.  Retails for $30, they are easy to find at your local bike shop.  Veronica and I LOVE these bags and use them constantly.  They sit on the top tube of your bike for quick easy access to snacks, energy bites, camera, ect…

 

Nite Ize Lights:  Nite Ize makes a pile of PERFECT stocking stuffers.  From the brand new Bug Lights at $12.99 to the tiny two pack of spoke lights at $6.99,  there’s definitely a few products everyone would love to find in their stocking.

Hestra Bike Gloves:  Hestra has been making gloves for decades but just started making bike gloves.  these gloves are perhaps the warmest, nicest winter cycling gloves I’ve ever owned.  Well worth the $30-$40 for a pair of cold weather cycling gloves.

Energy Bars and Drinks:  Always a great Idea for the stocking.  Our favorites are Nuun hydration tablets, Hammer (huckleberry flavored) energy gel, Gu products, Honey Stinger bars and chews, and Odwalla Bars.

Socks!  Athletes can never have enough nice socks. Some of our favorite run and bike socks are Teko, and Pearl Izumi

Hydroflask water bottles:  Veronica and I got to sample one of these a year ago and have loved them so much we just bought a pile to give away this winter to friends and family.  These are the Mercedes Benz of water bottles.  Not too heavy, they are insulated stainless steel (like a thermos, but WAY better) and they keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks REALLY HOT.  They are awesome, and are very worth the $20.

First Aid Kits:  be creative and put together some first aid products (band-aids, sharpee marker, gauze rolls, ect…) Fun, and easy to put together a nice kit for around $20-$30.  If they travel a lot – don’t forget the imodium.

Travel Guide Books:  If your friends/family are planning a big adventure, guide books are always a good idea.  It can never hurt to have two or three good guides for an area.

Headlamps:  Just like water bottles, tape measures, and socks, you can never have too many headlamps.  Headlamps are getting cheaper and cheaper too.  You should be able to find a good Black Diamond Headlamp for around $20.

 

 

 

 

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Colorado Elk Hunting Trip with Sitka OPTIFADE Gear

Post by:  Guest-John S.
12/3/11

About a month ago a friend of mine was passing through town on his way to an elk hunt in South Central Colorado.  I loaned him my Sitka OPTIFADE camo and asked him to take some photos and write up a guest post after the hunt.  Not only did he get some amazing photos, he managed to bag a nice Colorado bull elk while he was here.  Below is his review of the Sitka OPTIFADE gear.

>>Guest Post<<  This past October I had a chance to put a set of Sitka gear to the test on an 11 day Elk hunt out in Colorado.  I was planning on purchasing new camo, and was really interested in Sitka gear, for both the Gore OPTIFADE pattern and the high-performance aspect of their clothing.  I got in touch with Jake and it turned out that he had recently moved to Colorado and had a full set of Sitka gear in my size, and he offered to let me borrow it for the hunt.  Keep in mind that we’d never met in person, so the offer was pretty amazing.  I ended up driving through Leadville and picking up the gear on the promise of either bringing it back or mailing it after the hunt.

When I finally unpacked the bag, I was pretty excited with what I saw.  This is some serious clothing, high speed/low drag as I like to say.  So all in all I had the Jet Stream jacket with Gore WINDSTOPPER, the 90% pants, a Core Zip shirt, Traverse beanie, and Jet Stream gloves all in the Open Country camo pattern.  My first impression of the gear was as if Arc Teryx made hunting clothes.  Super good quality and construction, or so it looked.  I was pretty excited to get in the stuff and see how it worked.  For me, this is exactly the type of clothing I would idealize for backcountry hunting, very high performance.  It seemed to be designed as very rugged and very functional.  (Can you tell already that I loved the gear?)  This isn’t your typical hunting gear, at least as I think of it, it’s not bulky and cumbersome, it has a nice fit and is well suited to movement.

On this trip I spent 11 straight days in this clothing and saw pretty much every weather condition.  For starters, the camo pattern is great.  In my research of the Gore OPTIFADE pattern, I was really impressed.  I wanted Sitka gear solely based on that pattern, the science behind it, and all the impressive demos.  When I put it on for the first time, I stepped out of the tent, walked about 20 yards and sat down in front of a cluster of sage brush in plain sight of the tent.   My uncle came out looked in my direction and scanned back and forth four times before he saw me and started laughing.

The first few days of the trip were warm, so I layered in both the jacket and shirt.  This was warm enough for the cold mornings and by mid afternoon I was in the shirt, zipper open and sleeves up.  What impressed me was that I stayed pretty comfortable with the big temperature swing.  I never got too cold or too warm.  Only when it got up around 60 and we were climbing did I feel the need to shed the jacket.  Of course once I did I found it was warmer than I expected as I wasn’t that hot in the jacket but plenty comfortable without it.  The next few days it got colder and snowed.  I sat at the base of a tree one morning in a snow storm and stayed comfortable.  There was definitely some wet-out going on, and that made things cooler, but it wasn’t a showstopper.  The next couple of days in the snow were just fine, and then it got muddy.  Most days were windy, and up high atop mountains it was even windier, which never posed a problem.  The clothing was definitely super breathable, but kept the unwanted wind out also.

I did end up getting an elk, which was awesome.  What goes with dealing with an elk is a lot of blood during gutting.  I did my best to keep the clothing clean, after all it was a loaner set, but getting bloody is inevitable.  I was a bit concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get all that blood off, so I figured I’d deal with it later and hope for the best.  I literally lived in these clothes, up in the back country, dusty, dirty, muddy, and just loved it.  The clothes were bloodied up on Thursday, and on Sunday I took a handful of snow and started scrubbing on a bloody spot.  To my amazement, it was actually coming pretty clean with just snow.  There was hope!

So to summarize some of the highlights of this stuff here are some brief points:

  • Very rugged and abrasion resistant.  Dragging on rocks, busting through timber, sliding around, never seemed to phase the softshell material
  • Extremely wide comfort range.  Looking at it, you’d think it wouldn’t’ keep you that warm.  I couldn’t believe that I stayed warm when it was cold out and cool when it was warm.  Very impressed by that.
  • Designed to move.  Never felt restricted, not baggy either.
  • Very quiet material.  This is pretty key for still hunting and stalking anything.  We snuck up on a group of 4 elk, so I know it works.
  • Looks awesome.
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Very breathable, but also very wind resistant
  • Cleans up easy
  • Doesn’t take on smell.  I wore this for 11 days straight amongst blood, sweat, and dirt, but it really never got to smelling bad.  Even after I had showered up back in civilization, when I threw the clothes in the wash they didn’t even really smell.
  • They don’t pick up burrs.

Possible improvements:

  • More water resistance.  Yes I know it’s a softshell, but I would love it to be drier.
  • Suspenders were slightly annoying.  As the day went on they would get loose.  Required too much attention to keep them where I wanted.
  • Snaps at bottom of pant leg were nearly impossible to open.  Could be a good thing if that’s what you want, but I thought they were going to rip out of the fabric.  I even bent the flange on the male side of the snap trying to undo them.

All in all I was really impressed.  I’d love to have a set of Sitka gear and honestly after spending that much time in it, I’d be ok with buying it at full price.  What’s nice for me is that this is gear that doesn’t have to be hunting specific, meaning I could take it out mountaineering, climbing, hiking, or whatever.  It’s that kind of clothing, only it would come with a killer camouflage pattern.

I’d give this a solid 5 out of 5 stars.  The only bias I have in this is that I tried it and loved it.  Thanks to my new friend Jake for turning me on to some great product!

 

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Gear Review: Bolle’ Sunglasses

Post by:  Jake
11/6/11

A couple months ago we were approached by a representative from Bolle’ sunglasses.  He asked us if we wanted to test out a couple pairs of their new shades.  Although, I’ve worked at sporting goods stores off and on for years, I’ve never had the opportunity to try out a pair of Bolle’ sunglasses.  Having taken them on countless bike rides and backpacking trips this summer, Veronica and I have both been blown away at how well they’ve performed.  The fit is incredible, and the clarity is outstanding.  I chose the Dash sunglasses and Veronica went with the Aero model.  Although the Aero glasses are meant to fit a smaller face/head, either pair seems to fit my medium face/head or Veronica’s smaller face/head very well.  I’ve found no issues with the glasses fitting awkwardly under my bike helmet as with several other glasses I’ve owned.  Veronica occasionally has issues with her eye lashes brushing up against the inside of the lenses, but she’s found that’s been a common issue with all glasses she’s owned.  The dramatic “high-def” like clarity over the super wide field of vision was probably the biggest feature both Veronica and I appreciated.  That featured, combined with the light weight feel, make you forget your even wearing these sunglasses.  If you’re in the market for a high end, high performance pair of sunglasses certainly take a close look at the Bolle’ shades; you won’t be disappointed.  Just make sure you spend a couple extra bucks on a pair of Chums eyeglass retainers to protect your investment.

 

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Update and Nuun notice

Well Veronica and I are just about ready to make the move to Colorado.  All the boxes are just about packed, the moving truck is reserved, and the going away party is scheduled.  We even have an accepted offer on our house after 1.5 days on the market!  As soon as we get settled in down in Leadville the content on the blog will pick up again, and believe me, there’s been A LOT going on to write about.

In the mean time, I wanted to give everyone a heads up about a sweet deal that just got posted on The Clymb.  The deal is for $10 off the multi pack of Nuun hydration tablets.  Veronica and I have been using these all year, for running races, training, hikes, bike rides, adventure races, triathlons, ect…    What is Nuun?  ”Active Hydration”  It’s a tablet that you drop into a bottle of water and it dissolves quickly like an Airborn tablet or AlkaSeltzer. It’s got ZERO sugar as opposed to most sports drinks, and they taste great.  They’ve got a fairly mild taste, which is real nice when your working out.   Nuun is packed with electrolytes and potassium so it helps avoid cramping.  It’s also got some key ingredients that help your body absorb the water quicker, very cool when your racing and need to quickly replace your water loss.   Check out their nutrition claims here.  We’ve been using it all year and we love it.  It flat out works exactly like they claim it to.   I’ve never seen this stuff go on sale, so I thought it was important enough to share with everyone that it’s actually on a pretty good sale at The Clymb.  Get some,  You’ll LOVE IT!!!

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Summer 2011 Outdoor Retailer Show

Post by:  Jake
8/9/11

Well Veronica and I are back from a great week down in Salt Lake City where we attended the Summer Outdoor Retailer sporting goods show.  It’s a bi-annual event that brings over 1,300 exhibitors and tens of thousands of attendees.  Product designers, retail store buyers (everyone from the giants like REI to your local specialty shop), and working media all converge at Utah’s biggest indoor venue, the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City.  Exhibitors of all sizes are excited to showcase their next year’s products in prototype form, and dozens of brand new companies are hoping to catch the eye of a prospective client.  The venue is massive; however this year’s show was still too large for just the convention center.  Outdoor pavilions were setup this year which allowed a couple hundred additional exhibitors.  The event kicks off with an Outdoor Demo day where attendees can experience firsthand all the latest and greatest land and water toys.  As always, the stand up paddle boards were a huge hit!

Our heads are still spinning with all the gear talk that took place over the past few days, but in the coming weeks we’ll work on editing the videos we took and will be posting those as they are ready.  Check out our experience at last winter’s Outdoor Retailer show here.

Some of the highlights of this summer’s show were running into the Mayor of Salt Lake City as I locked up my bike one morning.  I rode to the show and searched and searched for a bike rack, seeing another attendee locking up his bike I asked if there were any racks around or if we were allowed to just lock up our bikes anywhere we pleased?  He stated he was the mayor and said it was unacceptable to not have bike racks down there and that he’d look into it soon.  That just goes to show you, it’s a small world and you may never know the power your comments might have.  Another highlight was running into legendary climber Chris Sharma (he’s got his own Wikipedia page!).  Very cool guy and looked just like he does in all the movies. go figure?  Oh yeah,  and all the new products were pretty cool too!  We’ll get into those later.  For now,  enjoy the quick video I put together as a brief walkthrough of what the Outdoor Retailer show is like in a nutshell… Lots of people, massive amounts of gear, and oh yeah, happy hour starts at 3:30 sharp every day.

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Gore-Tex Active Shell

Post by:  Jake
8/9/11

Here’s the first of the video interviews from the Summer Outdoor Retailer show.  I apologize for the lousy audio.  I was filming with a GoPro, in tests the audio turned out fine, but there’s a bit more noise at the OR show.  I added some comments to help explain the key features Andre is talking about.  Basically, the new Gore-Tex Active Shell is SUPER light and SUPER breathable and is made for high energy single day pursuits.  Enjoy, and let me know if you’ve got any questions.

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Lonely Planet Books on Sale

Just a heads up:  Lonely Planet books are on sale for the next 7 days on PlanetGear.com.  You’re probably familiar with Lonely Planet guide books as they make some of the best international guide books available; however they’ve got a huge collection of other travel books as well.  Check out the sale, I’m sure you’ll find something to enhance your next trip.

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August Contest to Win a Patagonia GORE-TEX® Piolet Jacket

After 10 long years, Patagonia is once again partnering up with GORE-TEX® to create the finest outerwear products available.  This fall, Patagonia will debut it’s new lineup of 16 new GORE-TEX® products and we were able to score one of the new $299 Piolet jackets early to give away to one lucky person!  To be entered into the random drawing (the fairest way we know of to give stuff away) you’ll need to complete 2 tasks.

1.)  Subscribe (and confirm your address) to our blog by entering your e-mail address in the green box at the top left corner of the page.  You’ll be sent a confirmation e-mail from “Feedburner” with a link to confirm your address.  If you’re already a subscriber, great you’re already 1/2 way there!

2.) Send us an e-mail here with a photo from your favorite adventure!  Throughout the month we’ll drop the photos in a slide show at the bottom of this post.

And Here’s the fine print…  A winner will be chosen using Random.org as soon as we can after the contest deadline of 11:59 p.m. mountain time on August 31st.  The Winner will get to chose either a brand new men’s or women’s Patagonia Piolet Jacket.  We’ll put you in touch with Patagonia to pick out size and color, and they’ll send you the jacket!  If you have any questions or are having troubles either subscribing or sending a photo, let us know here at: OurEverydayAdventures@gmail.com

 

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Car Camping In Style

Post by:  Jake
7/27/11

Who doesn’t love the luxury of base camping, car camping, family camping, whatever you want to call it?  Lounging around the beach on an anti-gravity lawn chair, enjoying fresh brewed drip coffee in the morning, and sleeping in a cabin sized tent on a super thick air mattresses.  These creature comforts might sound a bit foreign if you haven’t experienced some of the latest innovations in car camping gear.  Drip coffee percolators safely fired by propane, recliners that are more comfortable than your lay-z-boy, and kitchen sinks complete with running water are just a few of the new products available to enhance your camping experience.  The following list is a collage of gear that would make even the most fussy family members enjoy the great outdoors.

The Kitchen – Because the key to happy campers is through their stomach.

Kelty Basecamp Kitchen: The focal point of any modern home is the kitchen.  This setup from Kelty replaces your home kitchen in style.  At a mere 17.75lbs. there’s enough shelves, hooks, counter space, and dodads to hold just about anything you could think of.  At $159.95 the organization and ease of use this setup provides is invaluable.

Coleman Pack-Away Outdoor Picnic Set:  Never worry about camping somewhere that doesn’t have a picnic table again.  The Coleman Pack-Away set is burly enough to seat a family of 4, yet packs away to the size of a large briefcase.  $103.99

Coleman All-in-One Portable Sink: This kit comes with 3 wash tubs and a rechargeable battery powered water reservoir.  That’s right, “powered”.  The reservoir dispenses water with the push of a button making washing your hands or washing dishes a breeze.  $46.99 includes the rechargeable battery.

 Coffee

Coleman 10-Cup Portable Propane Coffeemaker:  Fired by propane, this coffee pot delivers a full pot in 18 minutes.  Works just like your coffee maker at home, only without electricity.  $89.99 and so easy you’ll never go back to campfire cowboy coffee again.

Primus  Brewfire:  Similar to the Coleman propane fired drip coffee maker, at $210 the Brewfire is a bit spendy but it is approved for indoor and outdoor use so it’s perfect for use in your camper, cabin, or on your boat! 

Accessories

Light My Fire Grandpa’s Fork:  A simple, yet cleaver design.  This fork easily attaches to the end of a stick to hold your marshmallows, hot dogs, or anything else you’d like to roast over the open fire.  At $5 this cleaver product is a no-brainer to enhance your campfire food.

Coleman Quad Lantern: Welcome to the new generation in lanterns.  This thing is awesome and is guaranteed to accompany you on all your car camping trips.  4 detachable light pods clip into a central charging unit to make a somewhat normal lantern.  While the pods are connected they are charging their own internal batteries.  Disconnected, they each become an individual lantern.  At $79.99 it’s a bit spendy, but very cool and very handy.

The Tent

Coleman Insta Tents: If setting up a tent in the dark isn’t your strong suite, this is the tent for you.  The Insta Tents are a no-brainer and setup is simple and can easily be done in under 1-minute.  That’s right, under a minute!  The tent is fully taped and seam sealed so a separate fly isn’t necessary.  At $136.99 the 4-person model fits a queen air mattress!

Kelty Sleep Eazy Air Mattress:  Although not the MOST luxurious air bed I’ve ever slept on, this mattress is super easy to inflate with the included rechargeable air pump.  It’s PVC free and relatively light weight and compact when deflated.  At $119, one of the best features is that it’s super easy to get it back into its storage bag when not in use.

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TrailsEdge.com

Need some new gear, but can’t bring yourself to pay full retail?  Well, if you can wait the couple days it takes for shipping, here’s a 10% off code for use at TrailsEdge.com (good on orders over $50)  Free shipping if your order is over $100.

Use this link here:  or type in this code at checkout: 48Q6-ZOYB-PIQT

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