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Outdoor Gear

  • Keen - An innovative hybrid shoe

    Posted on June 21, 2006 by Justin

    In 2003, I attended the famous Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, Utah. There were so many different new products there, that by the time the show was over, I really couldn't remember all of the new products that I just browsed through. But one particular item caught my attention. A new line of hybrid shoes produced by the company Keen.

    keen shoe

    Martin Keen, the founder/designer of Keen Shoes has produced a new product that isn't just a shoe nor is it just a sandal. The Keen Newport is a hybrid, a mixture of shoe and sandal. The shoe has a closed toe and a shoelike sole, yet the rest of the upper is designed just like a sandal. I was so impressed with the new Keen shoe, that I wanted to buy a pair right there at the OR show. Unfortunately, for me, Keen Footwear had another show to attend and did not have enough to just sell them to anyone there at the show. But, with the success of this new design, it wasn't long before I found them in my local R.E.I. I bought a pair and I've found them to be a great all around shoe. I still wear them more than any other shoe that I own and I've had them over a year now. While the keen shoe will get you lots of attention becuase of its looks, you'll love them becaue of their versatility. For more information on the Keen shoe product lines, visit:

    This post was posted in Outdoor Gear

  • Goretex - Waterproof and Breathable

    Posted on June 20, 2006 by Justin

    When I was about 16 years old, my friends and I decided that we wanted to go on an over night backpacking trip in the Wasatch mountains of Utah. I was pretty new to the outdoors and I didn't have much of the gear that would be considered a necessity by many backpackers' standards. Our trip went pretty well, but it only took that one trip for me to realize that there had to be some better products and equipment than what I was using.

    Well, in 1994 the internet was not what it is today and so I couldn't just logon and start researching gear. Instead, I visited the local R.E.I to see what type of gear real outdoorsmen use. While I was browsing through all of the cool stuff that R.E.I. has, I noticed tag stitched or sew into different clothing items. "Gore-tex®". I didn't know what goretex was, but I knew that there had to be something to it because everything that had the goretex label was priced considerably higher than other similar products. Wanting to know more, I called one of the helpful R.E.I. staff over and asked them what it was. If you are asking that same question, let me help you out.

    goretex technology

    Goretex was developed by W.L. Gore & Associates. You will usually hear or see phrases like "Guaranteed to keep you dry®" associated with goretex. The makers of goretex claim that products utilizing this technology are both waterproof and breathable. So what is it? It is actually a thin membrane that product manufacturers usually laminate to the inside of a fabric, like nylon. Without getting too techi, the goretex membrane is a polymer (plastic) called ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethlene). Goretex has billions of these tiny polymer fibers overlapping each other. This micro-porous membrane, as it is called, has 9 billion pores per square inch. The pores are so small that liquid water cannot penetrate the membrane, but they are big enough that perspiration can escape.

    So there you go. Goretex is a pretty simple concept, but it has really revolutionized the outdoor industry as far as clothing and footwear comfort are concerned. Goretex is used in many other applications including tent fabric. So, the next time you see that goretex label on something, you'll know why it costs so much more.

    This post was posted in Clothing Layers, Outdoor Gear, Stay Dry

  • Oakley Goggles- Not just a style

    Posted on June 19, 2006 by Justin

    Oakley Goggles

    If you watched any of the last winter olympics you probably saw a few interviews with some of the top athletes from each winter event. What were most of the top snowboard and ski contenders wearing to protect their eyes? Most of them were sporting Oakley goggles of one style or another.

    Oakley has been making sport eyewear for 30 years. With all of the knowledge and experience they've gained from being in the business so long, they know how to make the right goggle for every sport. I found this video clip that Oakley provides on their website featuring some top freestyle snowboarders that you'll want to check out Click Here .

    Oakley sponsers many of the athletes that you see wearing Oakley goggles and eyewear. So you may be inclined to think that the athletes wear the Oakley brand just because they have to. Well, just the opposite is true. Oakley's founder Jim Jannard first entered the celebrity sponsor market soon after he was contacted by Tour de France Champion Greg Lemond, who wanted to know if Oakley's Eyeshades came in different colors.

    Oakley goggles are at the high end of the goggle and eyewear market. You can expect to pay much more for a pair of Oakleys goggles than for most any other brand. But the style is not all that there is to the eyewear. Try on a pair and you'll see why everyone is wearing them.

    This post was posted in Outdoor Gear, Skiing, Snowboarding

  • Fox River Socks - A Sock for Every Sport

    Posted on June 2, 2006 by Justin

    Fox River Socks

    For those of you who don't feel the need to invest in a nice quality pair of socks, you really don't know what you're missing. I used to be one of you. I always wore my cheap cotton tube socks for every outdoor sport I participated in from soccer and basketball to hiking and backpacking. I really never thought twice about it, but my feet were always hurting or sore afterwards. I thought that was just part of the sport.

    Well, one day I read about some new fabric technologies and about how a company named Fox River Socks used these new technologies to make dramatic improvements in the quality of sport socks. A few months later, I ran across a sale on some Fox River Socks at a department store. The article I had read came to mind and so I decided to pick up a couple pair. That was one of the better purchases I've made with regard to my collection of outdoor apparel. I tried them on when I got home and was already sold on them. They felt great and I could not wait to try them out on my next hike. The particular pair that I bought had some extra elastic in the arches of my feet that I really liked. I was invited to play basketball with some friends that same week and thought "What could it hurt." So I wore them to basketball. Although they were not exactly "in style" for playing b-ball, they really felt great. They kept my feet dry and I noticed a big difference in the way my feet felt after the game.

    Since then, I've never worn anything else. I got online and looked up Fox River Socks and found out that they make socks for pretty much every sport. I especially like their ski and snowboard socks. Fox River has added extra cushioning in all the right places. Fox River really knows sports and they know socks. Try a pair out. You won't regret it: Fox River Socks.

    This post was posted in Outdoor Gear, Socks

  • Repost of Favorite Articles

    Posted on May 29, 2006 by Justin

    Here are some of our reader's favorite articles:

    100% COTTON-COMFORT ENEMY #1 - How can such a soft, snuggly, comfortable fabric like cotton be so hated among veterans of the high activity sports world? In this post, we'll cover the basics of why cotton is a definite no-no when putting together your wardrobe for any outdoor or otherwise high intensity sports activity.

    Florida Residents Buying Thermal Underwear in the Spring! - It doesn't make sense to many people when I tell them that around 70% of our online sales for thermal underwear during the months of March thru June come from Florida and other southern states. So why would so many people from the warmest states want thermal underwear in the spring and summer?

    Layering for Cold Weather Activities - For many, when the trees shed their leaves, the grass stops growing, and winter sets in, the human hibernation begins. It’s time to crawl into a centrally heated cave, and wait out the cold winter months. After all, without a natural fur coat, humans were never meant to brave temperatures below 65 degrees right?

    Trekking Poles: How useful can they be? - If you've been on a hike recently, you probably noticed some of your fellow hikers trekking along with what looks like ski poles in their hands.

    This post was posted in 100% Cotton, Clothing Layers, Fabric Types, Outdoor Gear, Thermal Underwear

  • Scuba Diving - What Should I Wear?

    Posted on May 25, 2006 by Justin

    I'm slowly going down my list of outdoor activities and posting what to wear. Until I get to this one, feel free to add your own comment if you have an expertise in this area.

    This post was posted in Outdoor Gear

  • Kayaking - What Should I Wear?

    Posted on May 25, 2006 by Justin

    I recently came across a great kayaking blog, Paddle Tales that is frequently updated with new pictures and descriptions of some great places to kayak in the Florida area. Well, I asked the author of the blog, Peggy Sherman, if she wouldn't mind providing my readers with some advice on what to wear for the type of kayaking that she does. She was gracious enough to provide the following detailed advice and suggestions:

    "As a paddler in Florida, my experience and recommendations tend to reflect weather conditions ranging from very hot to mild, as well as flatwater kayaking rather than whitewater.

    If you live in a cold climate, or an area where the water temperature stays cold through much of spring, you will want to dress accordingly. The general rule to follow in those conditions is to dress for the water temperature, not the air, which could include a wetsuit in case of a capsize. Meanwhile, in warm-weather and -water climates, comfort is the way to go. From top to bottom: Consider a brimmed hat, rather than just a visor. Not only does this protect your scalp and ears from sunburn, but the full brim will keep the sun from coming into your eyes from the side if you are out as the sun is getting low in the sky to your right or left. Since you are going to be paddling, be certain that your shirt is loose enough to accommodate the paddling motion of your arms and shoulders. Columbia clothing company makes an excellent shirt with an SPF rating and a vented back panel. It's lightweight, short-sleeved, and extremely cool and comfortable (they also make a longsleeve version). T-shirts and tank tops also work. Don't forget to apply sunscreen with a high SPF to all exposed areas. You have lots of choices of pants styles. If the weather is cool enough to wear long pants, do not wear cotton sweatpants--in the event that you capsize, they will soak up water, which could hinder rescue, and they will basically never dry and you will be very (potentially dangerously) cold while they are wet. Consider layering with cold-weather Under Armour leggings or shirts under nylon-blend pants and shirts if it's nippy out. Shorts are cooler than long pants in hot weather but offer less sun protection. When you get dressed, remember that you will be sitting, so be certain that the waistband is loose enough for comfort in that position and not just while you are standing; elastic is best. If there is any chance you will be wanting to go for a dip in the water during a stop or after your paddle, you might want to consider shorts made of the new quick-dry materials that can be worn in the water and will dry rapidly when you get out. I do not recommend denim in any weather conditions. If you can find pants/shorts with a zippered cargo pocket, this can be a good place to carry your car key. If your key has an electronic chip in it, there is a small chance that it will not function if the key gets wet, so you might want to put it in a waterproof ziplock bag before putting it in your pocket, if you choose to carry it on your body rather than in a dry bag. One excellent choice of pants, particularly during the change of seasons from spring to summer or summer to fall, is "convertible" pants. These are long pants that have zippers that enable them to easily be converted from long pants to shorts and back to long pants again as the climate warms or cools. I have found it to be very easy to go from long pants to shorts without exiting the kayak--I've never tried to go the other way while on the water. Several clothing companies make these pants and they can be found at outfitters as well as online stores such as and Your choice of footwear is largely based on personal taste. I paddle barefoot but carry sandals with me during the summer. I wear waterproof socks with a liner sock under them during cooler weather. You may be paddling in an area where the shoreline consists of soft sand or mud. If this is the case and you are going to be getting out of the kayak along the shoreline, you will want to carry or wear footwear that will stay on your foot if you sink several inches into shoreline muck! I strongly advise against getting out of a kayak along any shoreline without having something protective on the bottom of your foot, whether it's a sandal sole or waterproof shoe. Even if it's hard sand, there may be sharp shell fragments just below the surface that could cut the bottom of your foot as you step out.

    In summary, dress for comfort in loose clothing while kayaking on a calm lake or river in warm weather. Alway apply sunscreen before you go out. Do not wear denim or sweatshirts or sweatpants. Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature, if the water temperature is in the hypothermia-causing range.

    This post was posted in Clothing Layers, Kayaking, Outdoor Gear

  • Hiking - What Should I Wear?

    Posted on May 25, 2006 by Justin

    Your hiking shoes or boots may have the greatest impact on you comfort level during a hike. If your boots hurt your feet the whole time, you're in for a long and painful experience. I found this article that explains all about how to select the right hiking shoe. The article was written by Tonia Moore with the Consumer Health Interactive. This article titled: How to Choose Hiking Shoes and Boots will walk you through some of the most basic scenarios for hiking and give you advice on selecting the right hiking boot for each scenario. Read it Here


    The next most important part of your hiking gear is the clothing you wear. Most avid hikers have developed their own clothing system for each type of hike they take. I found this article that explains in detail what I mean by a clothing system. Read it Here .

    This post was posted in Clothing Layers, Hiking, Outdoor Gear, Thermal Underwear

  • Hunting - What Should I Wear?

    Posted on May 25, 2006 by Justin

    Where are you going to hunt, what type of hunting are you going to be doing and in what season will you be hunting? These are the questions that you'll want to answer before you get geared up for the hunt. Where you are going will determine the type of camouflage that you'll want to wear. An avid hunter will be prepared with many different types of camouflage to match any type of hunting environment. For the serious hunter, there is a camo pattern to match any type of terrain. You can look at some of the patterns here: Realtree Camo . Some of the standard camo patterns you will find in most hunting stores are Advantage timber or Woodland camouflage.

    After selecting the pattern that will best fit your hunting environment, you will next want to consider the type of hunting you will be doing. Most game hunting requires a great deal of walking or hiking and is therefore strenuous enough to cause you to sweat. Depending on the game that you are hunting, you will want to wear clothing designed to block your scent or one of the many spray on scent blockers. If you are just going to be riding your ATV to your deer stand or to sit behind your blind, you probably won't sweat as much, but it is still a good idea so invest in something to hide your scent. If you're hunting in hotter temps, you'll want to wear as little as possible while staying completely covered. There are many products out there now that are thin, lightweight, very breathable, and for the most part lock in your body's scent. They wick the sweat off of your body and dry quickly so that you don't stay wet with sweat. Traditional cotton products retain odor and sweat and are therefore not as effective.

    The weather and temperature that you will be hunting in will make your clothing choice a critical decision. I've had several friends who have had to call their hunt a bust because they half froze to death. Had they dressed appropriately, they could have stayed long enough to actually have a shot at something to bring home. If your sitting on a deer stand or behind a blind in cold temperatures most of the day or night, you need to use the layering system to help your body stay warm. If you haven't read my post on layering, you can read it here: Layering for Cold Weather Activities . You'll want to use the layering system on almost any winter hunt. This allows you to adjust your clothing to match your level of activity.

    These are pretty much general guidelines for hunting. I'll have plenty more posts here to discuss footwear, headwear, gloves etc. that will make your hunting experience more effective as well as comfortable. If you love to hunt, you shouldn't have to worry about the conditions that your hunting in. All it takes is knowing what to wear. Wearing the right hunting apparel will allow you to focus on what you are doing and why you are out there.

    This post was posted in Base Layer, Outdoor Gear, Thermal Underwear

  • Golfing - What Should I Wear?

    Posted on May 25, 2006 by Justin

    As a teen, I had a friend who lived right next to a golf coarse. In fact, you could walk through a thin buffer of trees and there you were on the fairway of the 4th hole.My friend had a set of clubs and several times we attempted to get in a few free games of golf. For some reason, we would get reported immediately and were quickly asked to leave the coarse. There were plenty of other teens that golfed there regularly. How did they know we were not paying members of the club? They knew by what we were wearing.

    Most country clubs and golf coarses have a standard dress policy that they require their members and members' guests to follow. The will usually provide some sort of card or brochure outlining their dress policy for using the golf coarse. These general rules for proper golf attire should help you to avoid any embarrassing situations.

    Men: Proper attire for men includes collared golf or polo style shirts, sweaters, jackets (including pullover golf jackets), slacks, and golf shorts. Most of the time you will see other golfers wearing a polo style golf shirt with slacks or golf shorts depending on the temperature. Do not wear blue jeans or any other color denim on the golf coarse unless you golf like my buddy Tiger Woods.

    Group of Men GolfingGuy golfing

    Older couple golfingCouple golfing

     Women: Proper attire for women is pretty much the same as for
    men with the exception of golf skirts. Most country clubs and golf coarses will
    also allow golf style tank tops, but tank tops are generally not acceptable at
    higher class clubs.
    Lady golfing Woman golfing

    Females golfing Couple golfing

    This post was posted in Clothing, Golf, Outdoor Gear, Polos

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