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Daily Dirt

OR Chronicles: I met Tom Cruise's Stunt Double

5.10 climber talks about the world's stickiest rubber and going Hollywood with "TC".

First off, it took me a full 32 hours to make the trip from Boulder, CO to Winter OR in Salt Lake City. This included passing a half dozen accidents on my three+ hour journey to the airport, a missed flight, fruitless attempts at flying standby, an equally long drive back home, some whisky drinking, office work (wistfully staring west out of my window), and a surprise call from a travel agent offering a 2nd chance (free!) at making the trade show. 
Read Full Story...
Saturday, January 22, 2011 in:
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OR: Cool New Gear--Smith Helmet and Goggles Integration Kit

Smith has figured out the perfect way to get those goggles on your kids--and keep them there.

Every once in a while, you see something at Outdoor Retailer that so intuitively brilliant in the back of your head, you can't believe someone didn't already invent it. With Smith's new kids Integration Kit, ironically, both are true. The Integration kit throws together a Cosmos helmet and Galaxy goggle with the goggle attached directly to the helmet via a magnetic quickstep system Smith is calling a Tractor Beam.. Read Full Story...
Friday, January 21, 2011 in: Outdoor Retailer, Daily News
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OR Gear Trends: Pack Designs

In this report from OR Daily, we learn how distinct trends lead season's pack designs

1. Clean Designs

Comfortable and clean. Those two words sum up backcountry ski packs being introduced this winter. You’ll not only see high-tech suspensions that carry lots of weight comfortably and protect a person in a crash, but also very clean packs free of extraneous straps and pockets. Mountain Hardwear (#26011) beefed up the suspension on its new Wayback 30 ski pack (MSRP $120) to ease the burden of large loads. “It incorporates technology that we have developed over the last few seasons, most notably our Hardwave Framesheet,” said Paige Boucher, public relations director for Mountain Hardwear. “It’s super light and has a rigid horizontal support, so the pack won’t bow out with a big load.”

Read Full Story...
Friday, January 21, 2011 in: Outdoor Retailer, Gear, OR
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New To OR: Hillsound Equipment and Rock On Apparel

OR daily sits down with two exciting new gear companies: Hillsound Equipment and Rock On Apparel.

Field testing the Hillsound trail crampon.

Kris Choi, sales manager, Hillsound Equipment

Describe your company’s product in 10 words or less.
➜ Superb traction on ice and snow. Easy. Functional. Flexible. Packable. Who is your target customer? ➜ The Hillsound Trail crampon is intended for the average hiker. It’s not too heavy or technical, just well-built, simple and well-priced for everyone. We are constantly innovating with feedback and suggestions from customers and creating new designs to better suit every need.

If you only had 1 minute with a retail customer, what is the one thing you would tell them about yourself and your company?
➜ We felt there was a need for versatile traction, something more stable than the spring coil design and less aggressive than a technical crampon. A device that will service the local mountains in North America and across the world.
Read Full Story...
Friday, January 21, 2011 in: Outdoor Retailer, Gear, OR
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OR: Remote Controlled Boot Liners; "True Seamless" Sock Tehcnology

Keep your tootsies warm and blister free with these two updates to everday gear.

Remote Controlled ThermoSoles Boot Liners
You all know the feeling. You've just stepped out the door on a winter morning, for a hike or a snowshoe, and your toes are freezing! The thought of tromping through the forest evokes fears of frostbite. Enter the Remote Controlled ThermoSoles Boot Liners.

"True Seamless" Socks from Darn Tough
If the thought of "seamless socks" has you scratching your head, check out this video from the people at sock maker Darn Tough.
Read Full Story...
Friday, January 21, 2011 in: Outdoor Retailer
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OR Gear Trends: Goggles, Glasses Get High-tech Upgrades

Straight from OR daily: The scoop on the latest winter-equipped glasses and goggles!

(l-r): Julbo’s Orbiter, Smith Optics’ Chief, adidas Outdoor’s Terrex Pro

Gone are the days of simple, one-style-suits-all eyewear. At Winter Market, a host of new goggles and sunglasses with high-performance lenses and feature upgrades like photochromic shading and eco-friendly materials lead the charge.
Read Full Story...
Thursday, January 20, 2011 in: Outdoor Retailer, Gear, OR
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OR Gear Trends: Baselayers Get A Boost

New fabrics, technologies and wool lead the wintersports layering news at Outdoor Retailer's Winter Market show.

SmartWool's NTS Zip T

Although skis seem to have a dominant direction at Winter Market—rocker and width—that’s not the case with wintersports apparel. There, manufacturers are pursuing a range of improvements as varied as the colors on their racks. From new moisture management technology to style upgrades and varied fabrics, the only unifying theme here is that most of the attention is centered on products meant for aerobic activities, like running and Nordic skiing. Keep the user dry, warm and, of course, odor-free to keep them happy it seems.

Here are the key trends in this category: Read Full Story...
Thursday, January 20, 2011 in: Outdoor Retailer, Gear, OR
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OR: Light and Motion Industries and Adidas Outdoor

Just in time for the first day of Outdoor Retailer, OR Daily sits down with Daniel Emerson of Light and Motion Industries and Greg Thomsen of Adidas Outdoor.

Solite 150 headlamp

Daniel Emerson on Light and Motion: “Founded in 1989, Light and Motion is a company of outdoor enthusiasts who have been treading lightly for 20 years while designing and building state-of-the-art lighting solutions for divers, bikers and adventure racers in Monterey, Calif. Our pioneering business practices have been recognized with the 2008 California Small Business of the Year award, and as a fourtime winner of the W.R.A.P. award for waste reduction. We work hard to keep it local while making amazing lights. Our lights are known for being the brightest, lightest, most reliable in class."

If you only had 1 minute with a retail customer, what is the one thing you would tell them about yourself and your company that will explain how and why you started designing and manufacturing your product?
➜ As users we have believed in building a strong business anchored in our local community. Designing and building great lighting products locally is an exciting challenge, and we are here to prove that you can be competitive in the world economy designing and building products in California. Creating value is more than the price on the product, it is the ecosystem and values of the business and its supply chain. We are proud of our products and the way we make them.
Read Full Story...
Thursday, January 20, 2011 in: Outdoor Retailer, Gear
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BACKPACKER Goes to the 2011 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market

We're getting a sneak peak at all the new gear heading to the stores.

It wasn't pretty, but a handful of BACKPACKER staffers have arrived in Salt Lake City to tour the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market and get the scoop on all the gear that will be flooding stores over the next year.

A freak winter snowstorm in Boulder left us running for the last plane with seats for 24 hours. Sadly, senior editor Shannon Davis didn't make the mad dash and was forced to slog back to Boulder and finish out the week in the office. :(
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Thursday, January 20, 2011 in: Outdoor Retailer
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UPDATE: Gear Pro on Martha Stewart - VIDEO!

BACKPACKER's Kristin Hostetter appeared on The Martha Stewart Show on Mon. Dec. 20–and now we have the video clip to prove it.

UPDATE: Watch the video!

Gear Pro fans, prepare for televised summit for the ages: Set your DVRs, because BACKPACKER's own Kristin Hostetter will appear live on The Martha Stewart Show on Monday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. EST. What will she be discussing with the Doyenne of domestic? Let's hear it from Hostetter:

"Martha and I will be chatting about layering and I'll be showing her some clothes that will keep her warm in any weather. How psyched am I to hang with the domestic diva? Very!"

Check out this list of products they'll be discussing. PLUS, Isaac Mizrahi will be making peppermint cake. Check for local listings—and check back here for the recap.

—Ted Alvarez
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Monday, November 29, 2010 in: News and Events
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The Pulse

Heroic Headgear: Cold Weather Fashion for the Fearless

Winter's almost here. Time to get your cool on.

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but nights are getting chillier here in Torrey, Utah, and the aspen are beginning to turn gold. That means it's time to check your winter gear and fill in any gaps for the coming arctic months.

Of course, since we're still in economic recession, you'll probably make do with your pre-existing shells, parkas and skis. But recession or not, fashion marches on, and one of the most potent statements one you can make is in the headwear department. Let's face it kiddies; wear the wrong chapeau, and you might as well have a giant L for loser branded on your forehead.

In days of yore, a basic knit cap or Peruvian flap hat earned you cred, but that was sooooo pre-Twitter 2008. Now you've got to get creative.  So, to keep you campers warm and up to date, here's a selection of distinctive cranial coverings. Warning! Fashion wimps  need not apply. Read Full Story...
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 in: Survival, Humor/funny
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Out of the Wild

An ode to the joys of sloth, and tonza photos too

Greetings earthlings. I have returned from Planet Alaska where I spent the last month bothering bears, chowing berries, hopping boulders and drowning alarm clocks. I am now dedicated to getting my business back in order, eating anything BUT noodles or energy bars, and clearing the backlog on my Tivo.

Ah contrast! The spice of life! There's nothing like a month of healthy living, fresh air, and killer scenery to make you appreciate the fleshy corruptions of civilization. The differences lend perspective and context to life. Everything becomes clearer. I now understand - truly understand - that nachos are the pinnacle of human achievement.
Read Full Story...
Friday, September 04, 2009 in: Survival, Humor
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Quickpost from Alaska

A peek behind the curtains at the glamorous life of an outdoor journalist

Greetings from the Sea Bean internet cafe in bustling downtown Seward! Sorry for the slow post. I actually spent most of my flight time up here composing a rather brilliant blog post, but had DNS server complications getting it out from Anchorage. Tragic, really. You'll never know what you missed.

Dang, I need a shower, and badly. Life's been a scramble since I first landed at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage. Grabbing a rental car, finding a throwdown campsite, trying to sort and ready all my camping and media gear amid torrential rain.

Really, what's wrong with the people up here!?! You can't find a decent overhanging roof anywhere in this state! Not even out in front of the Safeway grocery! Baseball dougout sheds at the local city park? All locked. What's a dirtbag journalist supposed to do? Spend money!?! Sorry, that's verboten by my publishing overlords. YOU try sorting a month of camping, photo and video gear inside of a rapidly steaming reantal car while it pours outside. Makes groping high school sex in the back of a VW bug seem straightforward.

After one night I was forced to capitulate and get a cheap motel room to organize. But in the Last Frontier (tm), where a Motel 6 can set you back $140, cheap motel rooms can be alarming places.
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Tuesday, August 04, 2009 in: Survival, Humorous/funny
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SPOT announces new improvements to their beacon

Smaller, lighter, more powerful, new functions, better attachments

I drove up to the Outdoor Retailer Show on Thursday, mostly to pick up just-sewn 2010 backpack models for upcoming Gear Guide testing. But while I was there I also got to briefly fondle a prototype of SPOT's new, improved beacon, which I'm pretty excited about.

Full diclosure here: SPOT is apparently sponsoring Backpacker's Get Out More road tour. I just discovered that when I went to their website, which shows how clueless us Field Editors are about advertising contracts and the oft-claimed but lamentably nonexistent tester payola.

That said, most readers here know I'm a fan of emergency beacons for serious backcountry use. SPOTS, PLBs, sat phones or cell phones - hey, whatever - they're all light years better than having nothing, which is what most hikers carry, and what puts the "search" in "search and rescue." I no longer go trail running, mountain biking or hiking without a beacon, and SPOTs are my personal choice due to their flexible communications and Google mapping capabilities.

But just like other beacon/phone styles, SPOTS do have their weaknesses, namely, poor tracking in deep timber, and emergency buttons that are easy to inadvertently trigger when you have the unit powered on in tracking mode. The new SPOT, shown above, seems to have addressed those concerns, in addition to adding more functions and reliability while 30% smaller and two ounces lighter than the current model.

Here's the list of improvements: Read Full Story...
Friday, July 24, 2009 in: Survival, Gear
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The Big Trip

Thoughts on adventure organization from the depths of packing hell

                Trekking the Bagley Icefield, Wrangell-St. Elias, AK

For a feral outdoor writer like myself, big wilderness assignments are the juice of the job, the what-gets-you-off part. Sure, it's rewarding seeing your words and photos in print, but nothing compares to a month in big, brawling wilderness. I bring this up because I'm frantically finishing up biz and packing to leave for a four-week recreational survey of Alaska.

Hey, nice work if you can get it, but the logistics are daunting; stringing together multiple hikes, overnights and five-day trips in rapid-fire style. There's not much leeway for rain, bugs, unexpected swamps or 'gee this is bigger than I thought'. Right now it's less than a week till blast-off, but I've also got the Outdoor Retailer Show to drop by, two feature drafts to submit, and a lot of gear to sort and pack. Amid the chaos of finding my 'old reliable' stuff, reading maps, and prepping kits of various types, I've come up with some tips for fellow hike-a-holics who might be prepping for an annual summer expedition.

[] Keep a master calendar that includes the lead-up to your trip: You can print custom pdf calendars free off the internet. Pencil and count off days, write down airline times, allow for travel and shuttles, record important details like the time and place of a rendezvous, possible route delays, numbers of motels or outfitters.  The visual layout of a calendar helps you accurately budget days and avoid list-induced mistakes. Read Full Story...
Monday, July 20, 2009 in: Survival, Skills & tips
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Really Lost Hikers and Slow Evacuations

Striking case histories from Australia and the slopes of Mount Terror

          Ruined Castle Overlook, Blue Mountains, Australia

Well, the summer vacation season is well underway and my news feeds are bulging with mostly boring hiker-takes-off-with-zero-preparation-and-gets-lost–overnight stories. But a couple cases stand out.

Climber Spends Four Nights on
Mount Terror After Friend Rescued
July 1st, four climbers entered the remote, rugged Southern Picket Range in Washington state, set up a camp in Crescent Creek Basin, and spent two days climbing alpine routes on Inspiration, West McMillan Spire, Degenhardt and The Pyramid. On their fourth day  they began the North Ridge of Mount Terror (III-IV, 5.8) a long, committing alpine climb to the Southern Picket’s highest summit.

According to party member Steph Abegg’s first-hand trip report on, they were about a third of the way up the route, climbing as two rope teams of two each, when the lead climber, Steve Trent, pulled a huge block loose, took a 60-foot fall, and ended up with head injuries, a shattered heel, and a broken femur. Only the fact that they were climbing on twin 8mm ropes saved him, since one of the ropes was cut to the core by rockfall.

The remaining trio managed to get the unconscious Trent to a ledge, bandage his head and splint his leg. The injuries were far too serious for self-evacuation, so the group decided that one rope team should climb on to the false summit of Terror to get a cell signal, while the third, Jason Schilling, who had the most First Aid training, would remain on the face with Trent. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 in: Survival, Skills & tips
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Thor Crashes the Barbecue

Close encounters of the electrical kind highlight this Fourth of July - and lightning safety

                Photo: NOAA                  
Well, I sure got my fireworks show on the Fourth!. Little Torrey town had their classic morning parade, then I grabbed the iPod, hydration pack, a couple apples, and took off for a three-hour run atop Meeks Mesa, a high sandstone plateau northeast of town. Since it was Saturday morning, I didn't get moving very early, so it was nearly 4p.m. by the time I turned around to begin dropping off the mesa edge, jogging back toward home, shower and the annual mega-barbecue at Duane and Donna's.

As my northern wanderings went south, the scenery changed as well - from bright sun to really dark clouds pouring over Boulder Mountain. Angry lightning pulsed between cloud and cliff rims, lighting up the cumulonimbus like japanese lanterns.

Now frankly, lightning scares the crap out of me, thanks to past brushes. Thor, the hot-tempered Norse god of thunder, and I don't play well together. Perhaps it's because he's always throwing that Mjolnir hammer, the one 'that smashes.' As Longfellow wrote:

"Mine eyes are the lightning;
The wheels of my chariot
Roll in the thunder,
The blows of my hammer
Ring in the earthquake."

So I ran hard, knowing it was a race to reach my truck before I ended up re-enacting Tom Cruise's run from the alien death-rays in Spielberg's War of the Worlds.  I've been there before. No thanks.

By the time I dove into the 'Yota, drops were splattering off the hardpan and bolts were already slamming into the flats a mile off. I arrived home in a hurricane deluge of rain and blowing leaves, just in time to turn off all the computers and cower in the living room until the gunshot cracking finally died.  An hour later all was clear and it was time for barbecue.

I wasn't alone in having a dramatic, electrical Fourth. That same day...
Read Full Story...
Monday, July 06, 2009 in: Survival, Skills & Tips
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Capitol Reef Trip Report

See Honey, we were all hiking

Whoa! Busy here! I'm falling behind. Suddenly I received assignments writing about photography, and administering tests for next year's Gear Guide. The Outdoor Retailer Trade Show is rearing its ugly head, and now I'm suddenly assembling the logistics for a big, bad assignment in howling northern wilderness.

At the end of this month I disappear until September. Schweet! It's Jeremiah Johnson time! Now I just need to finish two months' work in three weeks. A month ago I was calculating how long until I went bankrupt; Now I'm hanging on like a gripped climber. Welcome to subsistence journalism.

Speaking of which, it's high time I got  these photos up from my recent Capitol Reef trip with friends Pete and Mike Rives, who recently got spanked out of Wyoming's Wind Rivers by sleet, rain and knee-deep snow. So they called from Pinedale, drove nine hours south, and we punched it into the Waterpocket Fold. This fallback plan worked admirably.

Normally I'd leave it at that, but in this post-Sanford era it's best to keep up on your trip reports, at least if you're a married guy. More images and 411 after the jump.
Read Full Story...
Thursday, July 02, 2009 in: Survival
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The Frying Game

This is your brain. This is your brain on heat stroke. Any questions?

          Cholla cactus in 107F, Mojave desert south of Yuma, Arizona. Infrared slide.

After a long winter or a wet spring, it can be hard to remember how to manage the first summer days of excessive heat. But you can welcome to the dog days of summer, the annual hot, dry, stagnant weather period that, for most of North America, falls between early July and late September. It's a committing season. In winter, you can layer on the down and Gore-Tex, but in summer, you can only strip so naked, and survival becomes more about smarts than gear.

If you're going to be outside exercising, and especially backpacking and camping where you're out 24/7, you need to understand what heat does to your body, and how to control its effect.

Exercise increases your metabolic rate, which increases you body temperature - especially when combined with hot air temperatures and solar heating. The human body does not like running too hot, above say 102 degrees Fahrenheit, because proteins start changing--along with cellular reactions and brain synapses. In order to prevent organ damage from high body temperatures, your brain triggers arteries and veins to expand, shunting blood flow to the skin like a car's radiator. This puts less blood, and considerably more stress, through your heart and lungs.

To adapt, the body increases its sweat rate, becoming more efficient at cooling. On a cellular level, your body also develops 'heat shock proteins' which allow cellular functions to continue at somewhat higher temperatures. Adaptation speed and total heat adaptation are limited, even with training. You can only push so hard in hot weather.

In healthy situations, your blood vessel expansion and evaporative cooling from perspiration can adjust to the heat. But if you push too hard, or too long, or it's just too damn hot (as in air temperatures above 100 degrees F), the body's cooling mechanisms get overwhelmed, leading to hyperthermia - meaning dangerously high body core temperatures.
Read Full Story...
Sunday, June 28, 2009 in: Survival, Skills & Tips
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Sigh. The "iTent," it had to happen sometime

Ponderings on concept gadgetry and deeply conflicted gear lust

Tell me if this sounds familiar: Sometimes I'm a neo-Luddite who hates high tech gear, and sometimes I'm a total sucker for it. Sometimes I just want to live in a teepee, and sometimes I'd slay to live in Bill Gates' uber-tech 40,000-square-foot totally wired house - assuming I didn't have to pay the utility bills or suffer the karmic consequences of such a huge environmental footprint.

Well, this Solar Concept Tent from UK telecom company Orange might be the solution, minus about 39,950 square feet, anyway. They developed the concept for England's Glastonbury Festival (think Burning Man-cum-Woodstock with a serious Druid jones). It's a honed-up version of their previous Text Me Home Dome.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009 in: Survival, Wierd/Funny
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Green Scene

Gear Spotlight: Spenco Earthbound Insoles

Spenco's first try at green is supportive and 55% recycled/renewable

Designed for hiking, walking, running and other sports where shock absorption and arch and heel support are key, Spenco's Earthbound delivers. They're supportive, and my fee felt better at the end of a long day than in the insoles that came with my boots. I've worn the Spencos for about a month mostly hiking and walking, and I forget they're there--a good thing in an insole. That's because my feet don't hurt, and my bad ankle is less wobbly--the insoles are doing their job.

The Earthbound's stability cradle is 100% recycled nylon with excellent arch support for a low to medium arch, and heel cup that's deep enough to be stable without putting your heel too high or too low. A layer of 65% recycled EVA foam is blended with 35% natural cork for extra cushioning from toe to heel. And a forefoot crash pad adds shock absorption under the ball of foot to help beat soreness from foot strike and push off. The top of the insole is cloth, made with 40 percent recycled polyester fabric; it's not too slipper--not too sticky. Read Full Story...
Friday, October 30, 2009 in: News and Events, Environment and Green Living
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The Cash-Free Economist

How one man, schooled in economics, lives off the grid and without opening his wallet.

In the history of the outdoors there is a litany of individuals who have survived on their surroundings–be it by choice or by circumstance. There are those who shun civilization and head off to the woods; there are those who get lost and find themselves scrounging for food and shelter; and there are those who seek to limit their carbon footprint to the minimum.

And then there's Mark Boyle. Read Full Story...
Thursday, October 29, 2009 in:
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Adirondack Voters Asked to Approve Illegal Power Line

It's already built in Forever Wild Land, but is a potentially life-saving power line worth the cost of cutting through pristine wilderness?

On Tuesday, residents of New York's Adirondacks will be asked to vote "yea" on the construction of a power line. The reality: It's needed--Tupper Lake has had recent power outages for more than 24 hours, which could endanger lives in winter. The catch: It's already been built, right through the middle of the hallowed and forever-wild Forest Preserve.

According to Adirondack Explorer, if the proposal is approved, New York will trade National Grid a six-acre, two-mile strip along Route 56 where the line was built last year for a forty-three-acre parcel along the South Branch of the Grass River.

It's the lesser of two evils. In the trade, the power line goes through land that was supposed to be forever wild, but in exchange the state gets a larger parcel of land in ancient boreal forest with endangered spruce grouse habitat. The line, had it gone through the boreal forest, would have crossed ninety-five streams and wetlands, according to the Adirondack Council.

Read Full Story...
Thursday, October 29, 2009 in: News and Events, Environment and Green Living
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Don't Toss Your Tubes

Turn your retired bike tubes into usable straps.

Sometimes simple ideas are the best, and IT Clips has a good one. Millions of bicycle inner tubes end up in the landfill each year. In an effort to give them a second life, the company was born. IT Clips are plastic threadable locking buckles designed to accommodate a retired road or mountain bike inner tube. The buckles clip together so you can use the tube as an adjustable loop, and they come with hooks that thread around the clips turning the whole thing into a true bungie/tie down. So far they seem strong: i used mine to strap down as much lumber as would fit on the roof of my Subaru, and hung bikes with them from the rafters in my garage for storage. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 in: News and Events, Environment and Green Living
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Bioneers 2009: Earth Is Alive!

Bioneers speakers share plans to keep it that way

Dateline: Monday afternoon, Planet Earth
Climate change deniers might be an endangered species: At Bioneers, the big buzz was that most of humanity recognizes that we've created a really, really big mess on the planet. Annie Leonard, a Bioneers plenary speaker and creator of The Story of Stuff, cites the fact that 70 percent of the American population sympathizes with climate change.  That's far more than supported popular social causes of the past like the Civil Rights movement, women’s suffrage, or abolishing slavery.   But Leonard stressed that we cannot wait for 100 percent of the population to get it. The time to act is now, and she stresses that we have the numbers to invoke change. The big question posed by Leonard is “are we going to change by design or default?” 

Read Full Story...
Monday, October 19, 2009 in: News and Events, Environment and Green Living
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Dam Down

The Rogue River flows again

On Friday, crews removed a temporary dam on the Rogue River east of Grants Pass. It had been holding the river back while the 88-year old Savage Rapids Dam was removed so that the Rogue could flow freely again. For 88 years the dam was used to divert water for irrigation. That part wasn't a problem. What was: it also blocked the river for recreation. And it blocked more than 58,000 salmon and steelhead from reaching their spawning grounds each year--many dying instead, in some cases from raised water temperatures in tributaries with reduced flow and resulting higher water temps.

The take down was celebrated on Saturday by a 80 drift boaters, rafters and kayakers who floated through the site of the old dam celebrating NGO WaterWatch's persistence. WaterWatch began the battle to take the dam down in 1988. According to the Associated Press (AP), it wasn't until 2001, when the Grants Pass Irrigation District had lost every lawsuit and spent more than $1 million on legal fees, that it agreed to remove the dam. The irrigation solution: pumps will redirect water as needed. Read Full Story...
Monday, October 12, 2009 in: News and Events, Environment and Green Living
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Get Your Hands Dirty for a Cause

volunteer time is like gold when it comes to conservation

On Saturday, I co-hosted a trail day with Climbing Resource Advocacy Group Vermont (Crag-VT), a non-profit that recently got money from Conservation Alliance, Access Fund and others to permanently conserve a popular climbing cliff in Vermont and to protect recreation rights on that land.

Saturday, fifty six volunteers, some climbers, some who had never climbed, some volunteers from other non-profits, carried pick axes, rock bars, shovels, work gloves, food and water into the property, set up a basecamp and got to work. According to Travis Peckham, CRAG-VT's president, "It was CRAG-VT’s largest and most successful trail event to date and the amount of work that was accomplished was astounding! The trail repairs and improvements made were long overdue and the new 300-foot stone staircase up the scree field to the center of the cliff is a work of art that would have inspired the Inca!" Read Full Story...
Monday, September 28, 2009 in: News and Events, Environment and Green Living
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Thinking Outside the Box

Columbia lets you follow your shipping box as it's reused.

Add another tick to the transparency chart. Columbia is now letting its website shoppers opt to receive their shipment in a recycled box. In August, Columbia launched e-commerce and began offering online customers the option to ship their orders in a used box. Since the launch, more than 60% of customers have chosen this option at checkout. At the same Columbia created a community site called A Box Life where shoppers can register their used box, track its journey and share box stories.
Read Full Story...
Thursday, September 24, 2009 in: News and Events, Environment and Green Living
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Really? You Can Recycle that?

Some items you may have thought trash-bound are actually recyclable--and we're not talking just yogurt containers

It's Friday afternoon, and time for a lighthearted post of recycling. Recently the Daily Green posted a piece on recycling oddities. While the links for recycling bikes and running shoes may not be new news to Backpacker readers, links to where you can recycle dentures, prosthetics, hair clippings, diapers and sex toys may be. So look busy so you don't get the wrath of your boss, and check out their site for a quick slide show that's sure to kill the last few minutes of your workweek.

Have a great weekend!!!

-Berne Broudy Read Full Story...
Friday, September 18, 2009 in: News and Events, Environment and Green Living
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New Standards for Cars and Trucks?

EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration team up on a plan to up mpg (miles per gallon) and drop ghg (greenhouse gases)

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed the first national program to improve vehicle fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gases. The proposal would provide coordinated national vehicle fuel efficiency and emissions standards, conserve billions of barrels of oil, save consumers money at the pump, increase fuel economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by millions of tons.

Passenger cars and light-trucks emit nearly 20% of America's greenhouse gases in the form of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons. In April, EPA provisionally found that these four contaminants and two other greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare. 

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009 in: News and Events, Environment and Green Living
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