Category archives for Gear

No outdoor brand has been as progressive as Patagonia in its efforts to clean up and preserve the planet while owning up to the built-in hypocrisy that comes from selling stuff at the same time. On one hand, it wants you to buy its products, on the other it knows that consuming more doesn’t really…

Is this a new era in sleeping comfort? Big-wall climber Andy Kirkpatrick has been using a synthetically insulated blanket, not a sleeping bag, for some of his biggest assaults, including a seven-day winter climb of the Eiger. And now comes a new brand, Rumpl, that makes just that — synthetic blankets. Rumpls are, in a…

Starbucks Via might have revolutionized backcountry coffee consumption, but when it comes right down to it, it’s still…Starbucks. And it’s still coffee, not that rich, aromatic elixir of the gods known as espresso. But a new, ingenious little device coming out early next year could brighten those dark desperate hours when you’re craving something more…

You wouldn’t think that you could shake up the bike helmet market all that much, but Smith did it this spring with its amazing Forefront mountain biking helmet and now it’s looking to do the same thing in road cycling with the Overtake. Weighing a scant 250 grams, the Overtake is constructed of a polymer…

Brace yourself for a round of widespread fascination with all things hiking, especially thru-hiking, as Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild, comes to the big screen this fall, with Reese Witherspoon in the starring role. Danner has even created a special women’s boot, worn by Witherspoon in the movie — I only got a sneak peek and…

A few outdoor gear companies are rising to the challenge to make innovative products that offer global living solutions for more than just campers and hikers. At its heart, the outdoor gear industry is a world of solutions for survival. Their clientele are the lovers of the great outdoors—the backpacker hiking in the Alaskan Chugach…

For two months, I have traveled over 300 hours in the Colorado winter backcountry with one mission: to learn how we can all travel safer in avalanche territory. Statistically speaking, I should have already had some idea. Winter backcountry guides love to joke that women make smarter, less “ego-driven” decisions regarding avalanches and snow travel,…

Here’s one more run down on new gear previewed at Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City. This episode features footwear from Keen, Sperry Top Sider, Ecoths, Astral, Old Town, Propet, Muck Boots, and Timbuk2 with Cordura Fabric. What’s your favorite?

More gear! After exploring the floor, I attended a little party hosted by the Adventure Travel Trade Association and National Geographic and finished the evening at the Reel Rocks Film Tour. All amazing stuff. Gear in this video includes: Ticla Tents, Trimble Outdoors Smartphone Navigation App, Text Anywhere, LifeProof Phone Case, Mountain Hardwear, Eureka Tents,…

Spring 2014 gear is ready to check out at Outdoor Retailer with sweet products from Deuter, Big Agnes, Power Trekk, Evolv, Trango, Fits Socks, BOA Systems, Vasque, and Eagle Creek.

Summer Outdoor Retailer, the gear trade show in Salt Lake City, Utah, started with a hike with Andrew Skurka, who is designing a new line of hiking gear for Salomon, and interviewing folks at the lake about kayaks and stand up paddleboards.

In late July, writer-photographer-adventurer Cameron Lawson and a near stranger will use fat-tired bikes and packrafts to travel approximately 350 miles along Alaska’s Lost Coast. Getting from Yakutat to Juneau will take 14 to 17 days. The majority of this adventure is highly isolated and void of civilization and will entail lots of beach riding,…

See more of Jim Whittaker in this video and portrait gallery. Read more about the state of Mount Everest in the June issue of National Geographic. The first time I met 84-year-old Jim Whittaker, a giant both in height (6’5″) and spirit, he was literally throwing around the heavy (and sharp) ice ax he used…

Outdoor writer and photographer Cameron Martindell shares his final preview of upcoming gear launches for fall/winter 2013 seen at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the opening scene, Cameron mentions the creative films by climber/illustrator Jeremy Collins. We’ll have Collins’s latest film and an interview up tomorrow. Then watch for Black…

Outdoor writer and photographer Cameron Martindell shares another preview of upcoming gear launches for fall/winter 2013 seen at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s pretty hard not to get excited about these sweet down jackets, skis, ski boots, and more from Tilly’s, Outdoor Research, Scarpa (featuring top ski mountaineer Chris Davenport),…

There’s no doubt outdoor gear keeps getting better and better. Here writer and photographer Cameron Martindell shares a preview of some of the fall/winter 2013 gear shown at last week’s  Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City, Utah. This episode features mountaineering legend Jim Whittaker on the Eddie Bauer gear used on the first…

Outdoor adventure reporter Cameron Martindell gets the scoop on next season’s skis and snowboards right from the slopes at Utah’s Solitude Mountain Resort. This on-snow demo day is part of the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City.

There’s something to be said for the outdoor industry: We have a lot of heart. Generally speaking, people are in this business because they love the outdoors and are passionate about creating products to enhance their adventures. And in my experience, it seems passionate people are caring people. So when Hurricane Sandy delivered a powerful…

A lower section of the Grand Canyon, as seen from Cape Royal at the less-frequented but more-spectacular North Rim. Photograph by Alex Noriega, My Shot On September 23 at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, 75 endurance athletes representing 15 different countries will take off on a self-supported, seven day, six stages,160-mile, adventure called…

Four days, 360 miles, 51 riders, 20,000 feet of climbing, 15,000 calories burned per rider, ten flat tires, and a whole heck of a lot of fun. For some, it’s the biggest athletic accomplishment of their lives. For others, it’s time to step out of everyday life and reflect on why they chose to work…

You might think that the outdoor industry is a bunch of tree huggers, and to some extent that’s true. After all, we’re in this business because we love being outdoors, and protecting natural resources and quality places to play goes hand-in-hand with that. But what if I told you that this collective concern for the…

My first sleeping bag was liberated from my dad’s musty military kit. With incisor-sized zipper teeth and a jumar for a slider, the M-1949 was more of a feather bed than a mummy bag. Weighing in just under eight pounds, it had the deadweight of a futon mattress and siphoned moisture like ShamWow®. Fortunately I…

Last weekend I ran the Ricky Byrdsong Race Against Hate 10K in Evanston, Illinois. Byrdsong was the former beloved coach of the Northwestern Wildcats basketball team who was killed in a shooting spree hate crime in 1999. The race was created by his wife, Sherialyn, to promote love and tolerance in the community. There’s a…

I’m lazy. That is, I’d rather run 50k than ski it. The simplicity of lacing up and heading out has always been my bias. The rub? I like to play in my sandbox all year long. So I’ve got a small army of skis ranging from AT to Nordic to touring that help me cope…

I had the privilege of working on the edit staff of National Geographic Adventure magazine for eight years. They were eight wonderful years full of big ideas, incredible challenges, and daring explorers, writers, and photographers—and that was just inside the office. When the magazine folded in December 2009, our team dispersed to find new adventures. Mine…