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Author Archives: olinselot

  • Headlamps and Flashlights Comparison

    Posted on September 14, 2013 by olinselot

    Cougar Surprise

    Don't be left in the dark and lost on the trail. Understanding the difference between quality headlamps and flashlights can make a dramatic difference in your outdoor experience. Whether you are hiking down the trail, or simply family camping, having the right light source should improve your experience. When you hear a twig snap in the darkness the wrong flashlight can turn a fun trip into a scene from a horror movie. It's time to learn about lumen and lighting!

    Lumen ComparisonFirst we need to clearly define the terminology. When you read about candle strength (candelas), lumen, and lux they are different characteristics than you may have assumed. Most people talk about Lumen as if it is an all encompassing word to describe how "bright" the light is. The amount of Lumen is in fact the strength of the radius of light emitted. Think about the size of the circle of light emitted at its brightest point and how bright that circle is. That is the Lumen strength. The Candelas refers to the power of the light. In fact, one standard household candle is approximately 1 candelas. The Lux is a term used to represent the amount of actual light emitted. Lux is measurements of luminous flux spread over a given area. If you spread light out too much it becomes more dim. So, if you want to light up a trail ahead of you like noon day you'll want higher Lumen, Lux, and Candelas. If you are hanging around a campsite you might want lower Lumen and a moderate amount of Lux and Candelas.

    One thing that you never want is a weak light that sucks the life out of your batteries. An energy draining flashlight will cause you to either carry more weight in batteries or end up left in the dark. Some of the most efficient and cost effective lights are LED headlamps & flashlights. The difference between standard incandescent lights and high lumen LED lights is night and day. The amount of vivid clarity is undeniable as well. A standard incandescent or fluorescent bulb will often cast a yellow light, which isn't ideal for photography or color clarity. LED lights cast a clear white light that keeps your natural vision and color spectrum in tact.

    Black Diamond 150 VizzOne of the greatest benefits of an adjustable lumen LED light is how much weight and bulk is reduced. Since LED lights consume far less energy compared to incandescent bulbs - they can be much more compact and lighter to carry. Headlamps, such as the Black Diamond 150 Lumen Vizz LED, weigh less than 4 ounces. The multiple modes of the Vizz Headlamp allow for flexibility based upon conditions for optimal spot light style visibility or soft close range field of view. It also offers two Red LED lights to allow visibility without ruining your natural night vision. Using 3 AAA batteries (alkaline, lithium, rechargeable NiCad or NiMH batteries) you can adjust your lighting for up to 110 hours of hands free use.

    Princeton Tech 100If you prefer the functional mobility of a handheld flashlight then avoid the bulk and batteries. Instead choose something like the Princeton Tech 100 Lumen AMP. Functioning off a single Maxbright LED it can last for 150 hours of burn time. Operating with 4 AA alkaline batteries you can use the AMP 4.0 for a wide variety of purposes. The sleek design has a looped handle for easy attachment to carabineers or rope. As far as handheld flashlights go this is a prime option. It provides a comfortable grip that fits easily in the palm of your hand. The AMP 4.0 is popular among family campers who need a handheld flashlight they can count on.


    This post was posted in Uncategorized

  • Base Layer Clothing & Thermal Underwear

    Posted on September 7, 2013 by olinselot

    Merino Wool Sheep
    There are over 2 billion sheep in the world and if they know one thing its how to stay warm! Wool thermal underwear dates back over 7,000 throughout history as one of the best ways to stay warm and dry. It is a popular choice over synthetic products because of its natural comfort and renewable nature. As soon as mankind had the ability to herd sheep they began to sheer the wool and utilize its amazing abilities.

    John L SullivanOut of all the figures in history who wore long underwear, perhaps no one did so as impressively as John L. Sullivan. In fact, it's quite possible that Sullivan's iconic presence in the boxing ring in the late 1800's is where the name "Long Johns" originated. Sullivan sported a dashing mustache and his trademark long underwear into the boxing ring for an impressive 38 wins out of 42 matches (32 by way of knockout!).

    Pioneer Base LayerDuring the pioneer days of the wild west, the concept of base layer clothing was a normal part of life. They didn't live in climate controlled, insulated homes and push button temperature regulated vehicles. The pioneers lived, worked, traveled and survived with the weather posing a constant threat. They did what worked best. They protected themselves with thermal underwear beneath their rugged hand made clothing.

    Base Layer Thermal UnderwearAthletes and outdoors men of today still look to the past for wisdom. They know that modern technology has developed the highest quality, finest, most efficient and comfortable wool fabric known to man. It's called Merino Wool. It has all the thermal insulating properties you expect from wool as well as moisture wicking, comfort, and style. Merino wool thermal underwear feels like cotton against your skin, doesn't smell, and looks fashionable to wear in almost any setting. Trust history. Trust the sheep! Settle for nothing less than premium 100% Merino Wool.

    This post was posted in Uncategorized

  • Stay Dry

    Posted on August 24, 2013 by olinselot

    Rain Hiking

    As much as you organize your gear, map your route, and know the terrain you can’t control the weather. It can be a challenge to stay dry. Even when it doesn’t rain you can still get soaked by the morning dew that has accumulated overnight. Hypothermia is the most predominant killer of hikers and campers each year. Hypothermia can set in within just minutes if you are even the slightest bit wet.

    Aside from soaking to the bone and freezing to death, problems with chafing, fungus, bacteria, and blisters can ruin a trip in a hurry. Top to bottom and inside and out you should have the gear to stay dry.

    Wax Coated HatYou don’t always need a poncho, cowboy hat, or umbrella to keep your head comfortable and dry. A simple wax treated or oil treated cap will get the job done. Port Authority has created a comfortable cotton cap that has a light wax coating to seal out the elements. They come in various colors and styles to suit your needs at a very affordable price. There’s no excuse for walking around with a water logged head. A simple wax treated hat is the solution.

    Merino WoolKeeping your body dry is all about proper layers. Without question the best option against your skin is pure Merino Wool thermal underwear. This wool fiber is so fine it literally feels like cotton against your skin. It has the best thermal insulating properties available and naturally wicks moisture away from your body. Merino wool is available in a variety of weights from light to expedition weight depending on what you need. It doesn’t itch. It doesn’t smell, it comes in various styles and a sleek black color so you won’t only feel good you’ll look good too.

    Ranger 3 in 1Inner layers are only as good as the outer layer. There are many merino wool jackets to match your thermal underwear and you may choose that as a great option. Since layering is the key to staying warm and dry I recommend and multipurpose combo jacket. A Ranger 3 in 1 jacket offers three great layers for just one great price. The outer shell is waterproof and seam sealed. If you get too warm you can shed the shell and wear the plush micro fleece jacket. If it’s warm and raining you can stow away the fleece and just wear the shell as a wind and rain break. The mix and match combinations make it a versatile and common sense choice for any outdoorsman.

    Merino Wool SocksYour feet are the workhorse that never seems to catch a break. Neglect your feet and you will pay the price. When it comes to keeping your feet dry and comfortable merino wool is once again the winning choice. Merino wool socks come in boot length, knee length, and a variety of styles for your needs. They offer premium comfort, thermal regulation, and moisture wicking. Treat your feet right with the noticeable comfort and quality of merino wool socks.

    Peregrine TentWhen you really need to get out of the rain you want a shelter that is not only waterproof, but quick and easy to set up. Nothing can be worse than seeking shelter in your tent only to find that it is leaking and dripping like a poorly made lean to. A Peregrine easy setup tent gets the job done. The double door system and entry covers make it simple and easy to get your gear out of the rain.

    This post was posted in Uncategorized

  • Proper Hydration

    Posted on August 15, 2013 by olinselot

    How Much Water

    Everyone knows that staying hydrated is important for personal health and safety. Whether you are playing sports, hiking, camping, hunting, or any physical activity – it is essential that you maintain proper hydration.

    But how much water are you supposed to drink? Well that depends on the amount of physical exercise, your environment, and specific health conditions. The Institute of Medicine has determined that the adequate intake for men is roughly 13 cups – and for women 9 cups – of fluid per day. You should always account for the type of activities you’ll be doing as well as variable such as temperature.

    Nathan Vapor Shot

    Staying safely hydrated is more than simply drinking enough water. Make sure to supplement your water with electrolytes if it is especially hot or your activities are strenuous. Also, if you are in the outdoors, it is important to properly filter and sometimes boil any water from natural streams or rivers. This prevents parasites and illness that can lead to serious health complications and even death.

    Many athletes and outdoors enthusiasts choose not to carry water with them because the bottles are not ergonomic, or they don’t fit well inside or on their pack. This is unwise. There are multiple hydration options that have been specifically designed for athletes and outdoorsmen. At you can find many options for both water filtration and functional hydration bottles and packs to fit your specific needs.

    This post was posted in Hiking, Mountain Climbing, Outdoor Gear and was tagged with bottles, hydration, packs, proper hydration, water bottles, water filters, water filtration

  • Optimus - Cooking Since 1899

    Posted on August 10, 2013 by olinselot

    Optimus Since 1899
    In a market where products and fads seem to come and go with each season, Optimus cooking and camp stoves have endured for over a century. Created in Stockholm, Sweden in 1899, Optimus has been refining upon its tried and true designs. It has was a favorite at the turn of the century and still persists as a clear choice among outdoor adventurers today.

    Optimus CookingIt is not always convenient to gather up wood and kindling in your surroundings. Bad weather, strong winds, cold and rain can easily disrupt your plans. The Optimus cooking system makes butane canister cooking simple. The oversize burner heads will consistently and evenly distribute heat. Optimus stoves are capable of folding down into a compact and portable size. Serrated pot holders keep your cookware firmly in place to reduce tips and spills.
    Optimus UltralightCruxTerra Solo

    Optimus has developed a variety of pots, pans, cups and kettles made from ultralight anodized aluminum. These sleek cooking sets easily fit together making it easy and versatile to pack and carry. Most cups and pots can be used for a variety of cooking needs for even the worst environments.

    This post was posted in Cooking and Fire, Hiking, Outdoor Gear and was tagged with bowls, camping, cook set, cooking, cookware, fire, fire starting, Optimus, pans, pots

  • Wildcat Mountain

    Posted on August 5, 2013 by olinselot

    Danny RestingThe White Mountains are widely recognized as the most challenging part of the Appalachian Trail. In the heart of the range stands Wildcat Mountain. Wildcat Mountain is one of the most well known ski resorts in New England. Its summit reaches 4,305 feet with sides consisting of ragged boulders and advanced terrain. Wounded soldier Danny Kennedy recently stood at the base of this mountain with a difficult decision to make. Should he risk severe injury by attempting to climb the mountain with only one good arm or do what most do and ride to the top on the provided gondola?

    GondolaMost thru hikers opt out of the physical challenge and choose instead to ride one of the resorts gondolas to the top. They see the climb ahead and fear either injury or possible death from a slip or fall. Danny Kennedy is not your average hiker! Danny was given the choice to ride the gondola or to attempt the harrowing climb on his own. Without hesitation Danny chose to climb the mountain in spite of his debilitating injuries as a wounded veteran. We are thrilled that he not only made it to the top but that he made it look so easy.
    Wildcat Climb
    During a critical section of the climb Danny turned on a GoPro camera. The following video gives you a first person perspective of what this experience was like for him. Hand over hand, boulder over boulder, he climbs to one of the most scenic views we've seen along the Appalachian Trail so far.

    This post was posted in Hiking, Mountain Climbing, Outdoor Gear, Uncategorized, Wounded Soldiers and was tagged with appalachian trail, Backpacking, Danny Kennedy, hiking, thru hiking, Wildcat, Wildcat Mountain, wounded soldier

  • Wounded Soldier - Reaching the Summit of Mt. Washington

    Posted on July 29, 2013 by olinselot

    Mt Washington Summit
    Danny Kennedy has been crossing over mountain ranges, surviving flooded trails, and persisting when others thought he would fail. He has made it out of the state of Maine and into New Hampshire. What is really remarkable is his determination to actually complete the trail the way the path was designed. While others go around the Mahoosuc Notch - Danny goes directly through it.

    Coming soon is more images and footage of these incredible accomplishments of Danny doing things that others try to go around. Until then, check out this awesome time lapse footage of Bill and Danny scouting out the summit of Mt. Washington:

    This post was posted in Hiking, Mountain Climbing, Outdoor Gear, Uncategorized, Wounded Soldiers and was tagged with appalachian trail, camp gear, Danny Kennedy, hiking, Mahoosuc Notch, Mt. Washington, wounded soldier

  • Crossing the Bemis Range - Appalachian Trail

    Posted on July 19, 2013 by olinselot

    They told me I'd never walk again
    Danny Kennedy has been keeping up an impressively fast pace as he works his way down the Appalachian Trail. Danny passed through Andover, Maine where he hiked for ten miles. Danny is still in great spirits as he has now passed over Moody Mountain, Sawyer Notch, and Wyman Mountain.

    hiking awayDanny has continued another 20 miles down the trail. Facing him next is the most difficult, but reportedly most fun, part of the hike known as the Mahoosuc Notch. After he completes this rugged portion of the trail Bill will hook up with him again in Gorham, NH during a resupply stop.


    This post was posted in Hiking, Mountain Climbing, Outdoor Gear, Uncategorized, Wounded Soldiers and was tagged with appalachian trail, camping, Danny Kennedy, hike, hiking, thru hiking, wounded soldier

  • Primus Power Cooking

    Posted on July 15, 2013 by olinselot

    Original PrimusIt was a time for change. 1892 marked the first year in America when Ellis Island would actually begin to accommodate immigrants to the United States. The first rules of a new game called basketball would be published by James Naismith. A new company was formed called General Electric. Thomas Edison would patent the first two-way telegraph device. In a Stockholm, Sweden a factory worker named Frans Wilhelm Lindqvist would create a device that would reach across the globe to make countless lives better. He developed the first soot free stove called the Primus.

    Original Primus DesignVery few products associated with hiking and camping have stood the test of time like the Primus Stove System. When looking at a modern EtaSolo or Omni-Fuel stove you'd think they came from another planet with their advanced design and ruggedly refined features. But the Primus Power Cooking system gets its roots from an era when products were built to last. The original Primus Stove was made of brass, was fueled by kerosene, and used an innovative pressure system to create a clean burning flame. Before its creation you relied upon a standard oil and wick lamp which was inefficient and left black soot on the walls and ceiling wherever it was left.

    Omni Fuel SystemToday Primus is not only still in operation, but has created a stove that can take almost any type of fuel making the Omni Fuel the perfect stove whether you need it for hiking the Appalachian Trail, winter hiking or just for emergency preparedness. To make it even better, Omni-Fuel has a very exact flame control as well as jet nipples to make it easy to simmer, boil, or whatever you need. With the fuel source being external to the burner you have greater flexibility in packing and storage as well as making it simple to replace and keep cooking even when in use. You can fill the bottle with gasoline, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, LP Gas or any other combustible fuel source that fits your needs.

    Eta Solo Primus has also developed a cook system that streamlines the fuel, flame, and cooking cup/pot into a lightweight user friendly system. The EtaSolo by Primus is a compact and lightweight pot and stove that runs on ISO/Butane and can be used for boiling water, cooking your dehydrated or freeze dried meals to cooking the fish or small game you catch on the trail. Boiling water is fast and easy with the Quick-Click locking system and the Piezo ignition, just one click starts your stove, and the water will be ready in just a couple of minutes. You don’t need to worry about the system tipping over even in windy conditions this system is stable and the wrap around heat resistant cover allows you to comfortably grab onto the pot while cooking.

    There are a variety of other fantastic Primus product now available in our new hiking and camping section of our Outersports online store. You can't always trust the weather to keep your trail side wood dry and accessible. It is always a good plan to take a reliable Primus system into the outdoors.

    This post was posted in Cooking and Fire, Hiking, Mountain Climbing, Outdoor Gear and was tagged with camp gear, camping, camping gear, cooking, EtaSolo, fire, fire starting, hiking, hiking gear, Omni-Fuel, primus, primus stove

  • Darwin's Rules for the Outdoors

    Posted on July 8, 2013 by olinselot

    Mother Nature can be brutal, but somehow throughout thousands of years we homo-sapiens have endured. Through the process of natural selection the strongest have survived while the weakest perish under the burden of their own flaws. Survival of the fittest!

    Darwin and SpencerCharles Darwin typically gets credited with that phrase, "Survival of the Fittest", but it was actually Herbert Spencer who coined it in 1864. What might be more surprising is that our modern concept of the "fittest" is far from it's original meaning. Darwin and Spencer both used the term to indicate a species ability to reproduce effectively and it had very little to do with a species being bigger, faster, or stronger than another. So, now you know why the human population continues to grow and spread in spite of many of us not necessarily being bigger, faster, or stronger than the last generation. Any species that is efficient at reproduction in its adapted environment is thereby "Fit" enough to survive. What does this mean? It means you and I are not necessarily physically superior to anything else on the planet and therefore have no special get out of danger free card.

    Every year and every season thousands of people wander into the wilderness under the delusion that they are bigger, faster, smarter and stronger than all other species around them. They try to pet the buffalo, ride the bear, eat the red berries, and drink from the "fresh" spring creek. They serve as shining examples to the rest of us as they fly, crawl, drift and drag through mother nature.

    For those brave individuals I present Darwin's Rules for the Outdoors:

    Safety Tip #1 - Never Pick Up Hitch Hiking Bears. In other words don't take animals home with you. Transporting wild animals is not only illegal it's highly dangerous. As much as you love that little baby fox that looks helpless on the side of the road you should never try to pick it up and take it home.
    Don't Take Animals Home







    Safety Tip #2 - Warnings Aren't Optional. Take for example this pleasant looking quarry lake near Harpur Hill in Buxton. Despite the highly visible warning signs posted everywhere swimmers, including children, were continually swimming in the lake. The toxic acid levels in the water were so dangerous that it was literally safer to swim in a lake of pure liquid bleach than what they were dunking into. The poisonous waters were a deadly combination of chemicals and rubbish that deceived many swimmers because of the beautiful aqua blue color of the water. Local authorities have since dyed the water black to discourage swimming. The moral of the story is that just because it looks safe you should ALWAYS obey the warning signs.
    Obey the Warning Signs







    Safety Tip #3 - Veggies Aren't Always Good For You. Every year hikers and campers put themselves in danger by touching, eating, climbing, and interacting with vegetation they aren't familiar with. Take the time to study the local plant life before making a salad or using it to clean up after a bathroom break. Most of what you have in your cupboards has been highly adapted for human consumption. Nature isn't that convenient. If you aren't trained in the vegetation and its uses then it's probably best to leave it alone.
    Veggies aren't always Good







    Safety Tip #4 - Don't Pet Cute and Fuzzies. When people go into the outdoors they often think that wild animals are harmless so long as they aren't carnivores. They see the furry buffalo and think it's docile like a cow. Well, just talk to a local cattle rancher and they'll tell you how safe even a domesticated cow can be. Aside from the cute and fuzzy animals you may encounter there are the small and nasty variety that should be considered. Mosquitoes alone are responsible for almost 3 million deaths in the world every year. In the United States over 50 people per year die from bee and wasp stings. At least 31 people per year, on average, are killed by their household dog! So, be smart and don't pet the wild ones!
    Don't Pet Wild Animals







    Safety Tip #5 - Mushrooms Aren't Safe. Especially Flaming Gasoline Mushrooms. Thanks to Smokey the Bear, most people are aware of the dangers of forest fires. What goes more unnoticed are the countless amount of preventable injuries and deaths that occur when people don't respect small fires. Tossing foreign objects into campfires is a recipe for disaster. You may not be the type to toss a jug of gasoline into the flames, but a mere unopened can of soup can become a flaming grenade of red hot shrapnel waiting to explode. Don't play with fire, but also don't underestimate it.
    Don't Play with FIre










    Safety Tip #6 - You Aren't a Ninja. Falling deaths and injuries are one of the most common accidents in the outdoors. A simple hop from on boulder to another can lead to a serious mechanical injury. Spraining a toe from a seemingly easy jump across a creek could leave you stranded overnight without proper gear. Be honest with yourself and know your physical limitations. Take a moment to find a safe way across or down.
    You Aren't a Ninja

    This post was posted in Hiking, Mountain Climbing, Outdoor Gear, Uncategorized and was tagged with climbing, darwin, darwin awards, darwin's rules for the outdoors, emergency, hiking, safety, swimming, tips

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