President John F. Kennedy once said "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." Nathan Hunt and Danny Kennedy, wounded soldiers hiking the Appalachian Trail, have had many people and organizations step forward to help them. What is most inspiring his how many people they have uplifted and helped along the way as well. They aren't just hiking. They are hiking with gratitude.
In just one example, during a resupply stop in Maine, Danny was able to put his medical training to good use. He repaired the damaged toe of another hiker who was in need of help. In the following video you'll see how quick Nate and Danny are to thank and uplift everyone they meet along the way.
Although Nathan had to return home to recover from heat exposure, he is working hard to recover so he can join Danny or take on the trail in the future.
Words cannot describe the amount of determination and grit being shown by wounded soldier Danny Kennedy. Last week he lost his main hiking companion Nathan Hunt to critical heat stroke. Since then Danny has persevered against all odds.
During the course of this last week, Danny has reported back to us some incredible experiences. Keep in mind that Danny is doing all this with little use of his right arm and leg and internal permanent damage to his brain - injuries suffered after being ran over by a Hummer during a training exercise in the military.
For the last week there has been a constant downpour of rain on the Appalachian Trail where Danny is. Several sections of trail that would normally be easy were flooded with mud and water half way up to his knees. He soon came to a critical river crossing at the Pleasant River, but on this occasion it wasn't pleasant at all. Luckily another group of hikers came to the river and worked as a team to get across. After setting up a safety rope, the group set out across the river when suddenly the rope snapped! Several people fell into the water, but were quickly able to link arms with the others and form a human chain to complete the crossing.
Danny's life and health are dependent upon an electronic device that he recharges on a regular basis. His plan was to keep himself charged up using a portable solar device. With the constant rain and cloud cover he has not been able to do this and is in danger if he cannot find a way to recharge soon.
In an effort to streamline and expand our Outersports outdoor products lineup, we will soon be adding a variety of outdoor specific gear. Everything from water filtration systems, axes, knives, cook gear, survival equipment, hammocks, and more will be available to you in the near future. Hundreds of fantastic options for you to choose from are currently being inventoried and selected, but here are just a few highlights to wet your appetite.
The Hennessy Explorer Deluxe ADYM Hammock - At 9 feet long, the Explorer Deluxe A-sym was designed for anyone up to 7 feet tall. It includes tree hugger straps to prevent damage to tree bark, attached mosquito netting, detachable rain fly, support ropes and stuff sack. It weighs only 3 lbs and can hold up to 300 lbs. This deluxe hammock comes with the option of a bottom entry Velcro closure or a side entry zipper closure that can be accessed from inside or out. These Hennessy Deluxe Hammocks are a campers first choice in comfort and convenience in the outdoors.
SPOT Connect - No cell signal? No problem. Turn your smartphone into a satellite communicator with SPOT connect device. Simply pair your Smartphone with SPOT connect, and get connected to a global satellite network that lets you send messages and GPS coordinates from virtually anywhere on the planet. Update Twitter and Facebook. Send text message or a short email.
Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit - The Guide 10 is an ultra-lightweight USB solar charging system that fits in your pocket. Use as a single unit power pack to power your device or as a power source to recharge the batteries for use in AA or AAA battery power devices. With battery powered and mobile devices an essential part of your outdoor gear - you should absolutely have this solar charger in your pack as a regular part of your outdoor products.
The Pinnacle Dualist Cook Set - This portable cook set includes a 1.8 L pot, strainer lid, 2 mugs, 2 bowls, 2 sip-it tops, 2 telescoping spoon/forks, stove bag, and a stuff sack that doubles as a sink. All weighing in at only 20.7 ounces. It's the perfect solution to replace the heavy cluttering pots and pans you've been using all these years.
These outdoor products, along with hundreds of others, are just a few of the spectacular lineup that are coming soon to Outersports. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to stay informed as these new items are made available. In the meantime make sure to check out our current selection of high quality apparel and outdoor and athletic gear currently featured on the site.
The greatest golf shot of my life was when I was 17 years old. My drive off the tee landed on the right edge of the fairway on a par four and I was facing a tough second shot with trees and a back to front sloping green nestled between two sand traps. I pulled out my 9 iron and gave the ball plenty of loft to clear the trees only to quickly lose sight of it in a sky full of clouds. I must have walked around the green and scoured through the ivory colored sand for nearly fifteen minutes to no avail. As I unzipped my bag preparing to drop another ball on the edge of the rough I decided to take one last look behind the green. That’s when I saw it. My ball was resting in the cup. I threw both fists into the air in victory. My first eagle! I enjoyed a small sense of victory as I glanced around with nobody to share it with.
It might be more accurate to call it my luckiest golf shot ever rather than my greatest shot, but for these professional golfers luck has little to do with it. I present to you some of the craziest golf shots in history.
The Skipper: During a practice round at the 2009 Masters Tournament at Augusta, Vijay Singh faces a 170 yard Par 3. After a couple of practice shots he decides to start skipping the ball across the water toward the green. He not only hits the green on each attempt, but on his third try actually nails a hole in one!
The Tree Wedge: In the final round of the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational, Sergio Garcia’s ball gets stuck up in a tree. Rather than take a drop and lose a stroke he instead decides to climb up into the tree. The resulting single handed backhand shot not only lands well on the green but far closer to the hole than anyone would have guessed.
The “Wait for it” Shot: After having a lack luster performance on the day, Fuzzy Zoeller seemingly defies the laws of physics with an incredibly lucky shot. After a 173 yard shot off the tee his ball gets stuck on the fringe where it sits for a long TEN SECONDS before magically deciding to roll onto the green and directly into the cup.
Trick Shot Compilation: Geoff Swain completes a series of challenging bounce shots, drop shots, chip-ins, left handed short club shots, back hands, tennis serves, ricochets, and others that you just have to see to believe. What’s almost as impressive is that professional golfer Ian Poulter tries many of them for the first time and has success himself!
The Clay Pigeon: In 2010 the European Tour decided to set up a promotional video for their upcoming tournament season. They invited several pro golfers to attempt a shot that would be seemingly impossible. After launching a clay pigeon out of a thrower, typically designed for shotgun skeet shooting, the golfers would attempt to hit the clay mid-air with a direct drive off the tee. After several close shaves from the other golfers, Simon Khan hits the pigeon dead center.
If these incredible golf shots have inspired you to dust off your clubs and enjoy the summer then take a few minutes to upgrade your golf apparel at our Outersports online store.
Trying to decide which type of thermal underwear is best often leads to thoughts about deep winter blizzards and hypothermia. Spring comes along and you stuff your base layers in the same storage bin as your heavy coat and snow gloves. When it comes to your spring and summer recreation, It's time to change your thinking about what thermal underwear is and when to use it.
Consider almost every other fuzzy animal that lives and dies based on its fur coat. When warm weather comes they don't shed every strand of hair and bask in the warm sun with no fur at all. Instead they shed their heavy winter coat and establish a lighter layer of fur to protect them from moisture, wind chill, and even the burning sun. So why do we humans suddenly ditch our common sense and put on a thin layer of non-insulating material as if that is the best option?
There are multiple lightweight or silk weight options that will expand your options beyond the cold temperatures of winter. The Duofold Varitherm Silk Weight thermal is an excellent example. It has a single layer, dri-release, poly/cotton blend that is designed to be worn during cool or warm weather. This makes it a realistic option 365 days per year. Silk weight thermals come in a variety of options including long sleeve, short sleeve, v-neck, tops and bottoms to suit your preference.
Many people want the insulating properties of thermal underwear without sacrificing the comfort they know and love from the feel of cotton. You don't have to shy away from cotton based thermal underwear under the assumption that it doesn't have the moisture wicking properties of wool. There are many cotton/polyester blends that will dry much faster than 100% cotton fabric. The cotton/poly blend also provides a wider variety of colors and styles including white, blue, black, red, camo patterns and more. Most of all you'll notice the considerable price difference in sizes for adults and even children. Many of the thermal underwear options on Outersports have been reduced in price due to the change in season. Don't miss out on a great opportunity to get the thermal base layers you need for any season or occasion.
Preparing for any outdoor excursion requires careful planning and equipment checks. For the average day hike it might be as simple as deciding which jacket to wear and how much water to take. But when you are prepping for the Appalachian Trail you are staring at 2,180 miles and terrain variables that would make your head spin. When you total up the elevation gains over that distance it is equal to climbing Mt. Everest 16 times! Now imagine taking on that challenge without any legs. For Nathan Hunt that is a reality!
Nathan lost both legs in 2008 when a roadside bomb tore through his vehicle during a route clearance mission. Like other honorable wounded soldiers before him, Army SGT Nathan Hunt has not let his disabilities interfere with his life. In just a few weeks Nathan and his good friend Danny Kennedy will set out to complete the entire Appalachian Trail. Nathan is taking on this challenge hand over fist in a very literal manner. He will cover each mile of difficult terrain using just his arms to propel himself.
Preparing equipment for the months long excursion has been no simple feat. Nathan has spent a lot of time adapting his gear to give him every advantage possible. He will have to protect his hands and arms just like another hiker would with their feet and ankles. Just to take care of his hands he uses knuckle reinforced combat gloves, neoprene wrist braces, and a set of hand sanding tools which will act like the rubber soles on a pair of boots.
But the innovation doesn't stop there. Using rope and a modified off road skate board Nate will help his hiking partner Danny literally pull a pack of gear across sections of the trail when possible. All of Nate's pants and thermals are modified to eliminate drag and to fit properly. None of these modifications slow down or inhibit his ability to cover ground and survive in the wild. Nate is capable of setting up and climbing into his hammock in less than two minutes!
With way points designated on average every five days, the two man team will cover between 40-60 miles between each resupply spot. Waiting for them at these way points will be food, batteries, water and other essentials to keep them going. Several sponsors have stepped forward to donate critical supplies. Outersports has contributed a solar charger, rope, carabiners, 2 body harnesses, clothing, Merino Wool thermal underwear as well as cameras and important camera equipment to record their journey.
Throughout their travels we hope to bring you regular updates regarding their progress as they set out on the Appalachian Trail. To show your support, Nate & Danny would like all contributions to benefit other wounded soldiers through Ride 2 Recovery.
Did you know that the original founder of Mother’s Day was actually arrested for disturbing the peace? She was! Anna Jarvis and her sister were so upset that the holiday had become more about printed greeting cards and thoughtless gifts that they were arrested while campaigning against it. She said, “A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother – and then eat most of it yourself. A petty sentiment.”
Mother’s day originated so that families would reunite after being divided during the Civil War. But since its establishment on May 9, 1905 I think most of us would agree with Anna. The mothers of the world deserve more than a generic card. Before we go any farther I should remind you . . .
Mother’s day is May 12
Let everyone else get their mother something from the gift card store. Getting something special for your mother or wife (from your kids of course) means you should find something she actually would enjoy. If yours is the outdoorsy type that likes to hike, camp, do gardening or anything else outside then we can help you with the following gift ideas.
The Port & Company Honeycomb Sling Pack – This is absolutely affordable at less than $6. This sling pack is cute and comfortable with a built in audio pocket and an exit port for headphones. It’s sling design gives it a more feminine appeal compared to a standard backpack, but if a different women’s pack sounds like a better fit there are plenty of options such as a Cinch Pack, Hydration Pack, or even an Xcape Computer Backpack for those who can’t part with technology in the wild. There is also a general rule of thumb that women love bags, purses, and anything that helps them stay organized and look good at the same time.
Sport Tek NRG Fitness Capri - Active women love workout capris but most men are too nervous to pick them out as a gift. So let me make it easy for you. She will love these workout capris! These capris have a waistband pocket to keep her locker key secure. They are made for comfort and freedom of movement so she will not only feel good but she will look good. Comfortable fitting workout capris are a hot item for women who want to stay fit and healthy. These Sport Tek NRG Fitness Capris are a great Mother's Day gift idea for those of you with mom's who like to be active.
Merino Wool Socks – In fact, anything made out of Merino Wool will quickly become one of her favorites. Women are often colder than men. Biologically speaking, women generally have more constricted blood vessels. This puts their blood flow closer to the surface of the skin making them feel colder. The body handles this by redirecting the warm blood flow to the vital organs, leaving their hands and feet freezing! Merino wool is the highest quality and thinnest fiber of wool available. It feels just like cotton against your skin but has all the moisture wicking, and thermal insulating properties you expect from wool. Every time she puts on her Merino Wool Socks or Thermals she will feel warm and toasty and think of you.
If you are a family camper or an outdoor survivalist in your approach to the outdoors there are certain universal recommendations that apply to both. Making sure that your supplies, gear, and clothing are versatile and efficient is always a good idea. This can create challenges when it comes to the unpredictability of weather and temperatures. Packing a wide variety of clothing can cause problems with weight and space. Packing too little clothing can compromise your ability to keep warm when the temperatures plummet unexpectedly.
When selecting the right clothing for the outdoors the same rule of versatility applies. Temperatures can shift dramatically based on your elevation and the composition of the earth beneath you. Those temperatures fluctuate according to air pressure, wind, and moisture. Temperatures will rise when there is more air pressure and go down when there is less. At lower altitudes the air molecules are packed closer together and are warmed up by the radiant heat from the earth. At higher altitudes the air is much thinner so the heat dissipates more rapidly. In either situation the wind and humidity can change unexpectedly. You may hike up a trail in nice warm weather and wake up the next morning with snow on the ground.
Rather than pack your gear according to just the weather report – we also recommend that you plan on unpredictable change. The best way to do this is by selecting the most versatile clothing possible. Without a doubt, Medium weight 100% pure Merino Wool is the best base layer option available. The military has trusted the insulating, water wicking, versatility of wool for decades. Merino Wool is the highest grade and quality of wool clothing available today. Medium weight Merino Wool will keep you comfortable and breathable in hot weather as well as warm and dry should the temperature drop unexpectedly. It’s available as long underwear, jackets, socks, and even hats.
When selecting a jacket or other outerwear you should be specific with the type of location you are going to. There are versatile options such as an All Weather Soft Shell Jacket. If you know that it may get a lot colder your best option may be a layered coat such as a Ranger 3-in-1. The Port Authority Ranger can be worn simply as a micro fleece jacket or combined with seam-sealed waterproof outer shell when facing moisture and colder temperatures. The outer shell can also be worn by itself to provide protection from moisture as well as keeping you cool. You want to stay warm, but not get too warm so you start to sweat.
If you are unsure what weather and temperatures you might be facing – we recommend you visit the National Weather Service and take advantage of their Climate Prediction Center. There you can look up the total precipitation, average temperatures, maximum temperatures, wind chill and much more.
The Appalachian Trail spans over 2,200 miles from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia. Out of the dozens of people who attempt to hike it in just one season – only 15% ever make it. Tell that to Nathan Hunt and Danny Kennedy and they’ll just smile. Challenges like this are nothing compared to what they've already been through, and they hope it will inspire thousands of fellow veterans to overcome obstacles associated with their injury and pain.
In 2008, Army SGT Nathan Hunt was escorting a convoy searching for roadside bombs during a Route Clearance Mission when an explosion erupted beneath his vehicle. The bomb hurled him across the vehicle in a flash of light. Nathan remained conscious throughout his evacuation as he was transferred to the nearest aid station and then finally, by helicopter, to a nearby hospital. Nathan lost both his legs above the knees in the explosion. Moving from one hospital to the next he spent a year and a half rehabilitating. Nathan started hand cycling just four months after his injuries and has since become a national spokesman for Ride 2 Recovery and is an inspiration to everyone he meets, but especially to veterans whose lives have been dramatically changed by battlefield injuries.
Nathan Hunt and Danny Kennedy have developed a close bond in the recent years. Danny suffered tremendous injuries during a training accident in January 2008. Danny was assisting a man going into cardiac arrest, by rendering first aid, when an armored Humvee weighing over 5,000 pounds accidentally ran over him. Danny’s spinal cord was severely damaged resulting in partial paralysis on the right side of his body. His injuries also damaged the frontal lobe of his brain resulting in blindness in one eye, impairment of his five senses, and major hearing loss. Danny had to learn to walk, talk and live again. He struggled through a period of homelessness, addiction, and thoughts of suicide. Danny overcame these difficulties and has since rehabilitated to the point of longer needing a wheelchair. Not long after he started rock climbing, bike racing with Ride 2 Recovery, and even triathlons.
Danny and Nathan have recently announced that they will be the first ever wounded soldier team to complete the Appalachian Trail in just one season. In March of this year, together they will attempt to cover ten miles per day through rocks, mountain ranges, and eight river crossings. Nathan will be completing the journey using only his hands and arms to propel him across the vast distance. Danny will take on the trek being partially paralyzed, while carrying both he and Nate's gear on his back.
The staff at Outersports.com has been so inspired by Nathan and Danny that we're sponsoring the duo with thermal underwear, clothing, specialized harnesses, rope, and other equipment to aid in their journey. They will also be provided with waterproof cameras. Outersports will be tracking their entire hike and updating regularly in the form of blogs, maps, pictures, and even exclusive video content. You will be able to follow their experience as they set out to complete every stage of the Appalachian Trail.
Danny discusses the Appalachian Trail:
If you would like to support Nathan and Danny, and other wounded soldiers, you can do so through donations to Ride 2 Recovery.