One of the great things so many of us remember from our childhood are those colorful Lego Bricks. All kinds of sets with themes such as space, castles, city life, and so much more. With the Lego Movie coming out in theaters everywhere it reminds us that we need to slow down a little and play more. I still have thousands of Legos that get played with quite often. Might seem a little strange for adults to play with these toys but to those people I recommend you go buy a small set put it together. Then send me an email saying that it was not any fun. I have put together a short list of Adventure / Outdoor themed sets for all of us “Dirtbags” to enjoy.
Volkswagen T1 Camper Van
Learn more about this awesome VW Bus
Learn More about the Mountain Hut Set
Learn More about the Treehouse set.
Learn more about the Log Cabin set
Forest Police Station
Check out that awesome Lego Bear!
Every Camper Van needs a canoe right?
Do you have any favorite sets from your childhood?
If you have not heard of TheClymb.com by now you must be living under a rock. TheClymb.com is a gear clearance website in which they work with major retailers and manufacturers to bring awesome deals of up to 70% off retail prices to its members. In order to get the offers you have to sign up and it only takes a few minutes. Sure that all sounds rather sales pitchy and I apologize. I really like their service and have used it several times and will continue to do so. Part of why I really like TheClymb is their customer service.
I had ordered some hydration powder drinks by Skratch Labs to test out. They were rather cheap and had some good reviews. I bought several flavors and waited for the product to arrive. I received notification that they had shipped and to my surprise they arrived early. I opened the box and inspected the products inside. All of the bags of hydration mixes had been placed in zippered plastic bags and one of the hydration packets had busted open. I called customer service and right away I was talking to a person. No computer tasking to push a bunch of buttons to eventually get to a person 5 minutes later.
The person I spoke with was cheerful happy and very easy to talk to. I explained my situation and said that if they wanted me to I could send them a photo of the exploded bag. The customer service rep said that was not necessary and would have a replacement sent out right away. I also asked if I needed to send the product back for any loss prevention programs they might have. The customer service rep just
told me to toss it in the trash. I had honestly thought about just using it but I had no idea if it had been tampered with in any way.
Just like they promised a replacement showed at my door. I opened it up and this one had also exploded. I quickly picked up the phone and called the folks at TheClymb. Like before the customer service rep was super nice and helpful. After a bit of a discussion I ended up choosing to have a credit placed on my account. I had asked if they had heard of other customers having the same issues and they had not.
I highly recommend that you check out TheClymb. If you have what have purchased gear or other products from TheClymb what are your experiences?
There are a few products currently on the market that will clean your bottles and water bladders. Products like Clean Ethics’ Bottle Bright ($7.95 for 10 tablets) and CamelBak’s Cleaning Tablets ($12 for 8 tablets).
There is nothing wrong with these products at all. They work as advertised. However if you are looking for a way to save some money I have the perfect solution.
Head down to your local grocery or drug store and pick up a package of denture cleanser. You do not need to get anything fancy or expensive the cheapest house brand will work. You can find lots of different optins and many of them you can get for around $3.00 for 25+ tablets. The products all work the same and many of them contain the same or similar ingredients.
Washing out your bottles and bladders is extremely important especially for anyone that puts hydration mixes and other non water beverages in them. If you do not clean them out regularly bacteria will start to grow if not cleaned out fully. The bladders can be extremely tricky to wash out even when using the kits the companies make. Do not take bacteria growing lightly in your bottles and bladders. Having dirty bottles can take its tole especially during long adventures. Stomach, Intestinal, bladder, kidney, and liver issues can arise.
So all in all a small tablet some water and about 15 minutes can keep you from getting sick.
What method do you use to clean you products?
The Columbia Men’s Bugaboot boot was given to a few of the #omniten guys to test out during the #omnigames. I was one of the lucky guys who got a pair. A very comfortable medium weight super warm water proof boot.
We were told by Columbia that we would be given a pair of boots but I honestly had no idea which ones we would be getting. I had done some research before the #omnigames to see what was out there. I was honestly rather skeptical about a “lifestyle” company who also makes boots. I will say that I am very particular about boots mostly because I have found more that I do not like wearing than I do like to wear. I have owned several pair of Columbia shoes like the Conspiracy and the Master of Faster. Both of which are comfortable and fit great.
I wore the Bugaboots pretty much non stop through the entire #omnigames. During the two full days of events I never felt any discomfort, pain, or found blisters. I was a little worried about breaking in a new pair of boots while needing to wear them all the time. I had taken several pair of wool socks in various thicknesses and chose the lightest pair. I was afraid with the built in Omni-Heat my feet would overheat. My feet did not overheat and instead the boots kept my feet warm while venting when needed.
- Waterproof oil full grain leather shell
- Waterproof waxed canvas
- Omni-Heat thermal reflective liner and 100 grams insulation
- Top hook metal hardware
- Omni-Grip high traction rubber
- Full length Techlite midsole for comfort and cushioning
- Waterproof bootie construction
- Weight: size 9, ½ pair = 23.2 oz/657.71g
- UPPER – Waterproof oil full grain leather mixed with waterproof waxed canvas
- LINING – Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective
- INSULATION -100 grams Omni-Heat technology
- MIDSOLE – Techlite
- OMNI-GRIP OUTSOLE – High traction rubber
Cost: $75 – $150
To Learn more about the Bugaboot and other boots by Columbia check out their website.
I am very pleased with these boots and I am excited to spend more time in them in the coming winter adventures.
Full Disclosure: Columbia Men’s Bugaboot used in this review was provided to me by Columbia Sportswear as part of the #omniten #omnigames at no charge. This did not influence my review in any way. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own and were not guided in any manor.
Here is a list of 8 books that I have read in the past few months that will tug at your inner adventurer and wanderlust.
1. The New American Road Trip Mix tape. by Brendan Leonard
Following in Kerouac and Steinbeck’s tire tracks, a 32-year-old, post-breakup Brendan Leonard hits the road in search of healing and a new, post-economic-downturn American Dream. Sleeping in the back of a beat-up station wagon, he seeks answers—and hopefully, the occasional shower—in the postcard-worthy places of the American West. Learn More.
2. The Last Englishman by Keith Foskett
It’s a lesson Keith Foskett soon learns the hard way, having to deal with blisters and other physical ailments, as well as his inherent phobia of snakes, spiders, bears, getting dirty and camping in the woods after dark.
With the harsh winter looming, he enters into a desperate race against time, facing a dangerous, physical and very real threat to become the last Englishman to complete the greatest long distance walking trail on Earth. Learn More!
3. Life on Fire by Kim Dinan
Life On Fire will teach you what to expect as you begin to walk the path to your dreams. From helping you to connect with the voice of your soul, to overcoming fear and obstacles, dealing with naysayers, and handling the inevitable realities of sacrifice and failure, Life On Fire will give you the tools you need to prepare for your life’s most important journey. Learn More!
4. One Tough Mother by Gert Boyle.
When a heart attack claimed Gert Boyle’s husband in 1970, the forty-six-year-old housewife and mother of three found herself at the helm of Columbia Sportswear, a small outerwear manufacturer in Portland, Oregon, that was struggling financially. Learn More!
5. No Opportunity Wasted by Phil Keoghan
In dramatic narrative form, Keoghan transports the reader from Yucatan Jungle to the African Congo, from the depths of an underwater cave to the top of an erupting volcano. But this is no armchair traveler book. It is an urgent call to action, inspiring and enabling people to overcome fear and seek out memorable experiences of their own. With his fresh and compelling N.O.W. philosophy, this is a book that will help us all dream more freely and live more fully. Learn More!
6. I Travel Light The man who walked out of the world. A Greenman
The answer is ‘less stress, more time’. To have this he must do without many of the things that cost him so much money, work less and provide for his own basic human needs, self-sufficiently. (This book is not BASED on a true story, it IS a true story, experienced by the author and written in the style of a novel, generating the central character, ‘Adam’, the ‘A’ of pseudonym ‘A. Greenman’.) Learn More!
7. Four Boots One Journey by Jeff Alt.
A Hike for Mike.Jeff Alt takes you along on an entertaining adventure on the John Muir Trail with his new wife, Beth. With dust still on his boots from his 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail journey, Jeff convinces Beth, a woman who prefers hotels, hot showers and warm beds, to chuck her domesticated ways and walk the entire John Muir Trail (JMT). The JMT is over 218-miles of rugged remote mountain terrain, traversing three national parks, including the summit of Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States. Learn More!
8. 46 Days Keeping up with Jennifer Pharr Davis on the Appalachian Trail by Brew Davis and Jennifer Pharr Davis
46 Days chronicles the trials, successes, joys, and frustrations of Jennifer Pharr Davis’s record-winning Appalachian Trail thru-hike through the eyes of her husband, Brew Davis. Brew lead her pit crew, the group of generous, loving hikers who supported Jen along the way, providing company along the epic trail and as much food as Jen could stomach. Learn More!
On the first day of the #OmniGames in January Columbia unveiled a brand new type of insulation and products that use that insulation. The new insulation is called TurboDown. A mixture of Columbia’s Omni-Heat Thermal insulation and premium down. If that was not enough they then added their Omni-Heat thermal reflective system. Below you can see how the products are layered and a short explanation of of the technology behind it all.
There will be three collections of the TurboDown outerwear. The Gold, Platinum and Diamond Collections for both men and women.
The Gold will feature 550 Down Fill + 100g Omni-Heat Thermal Insulation = 650 TurboDown.
The Platinum will feature 800 Down Fill + 60g Omni-Heat Thermal Insulation = 860 TurboDown.
The Diamond will feature 850 Down Fill + 40g Omni-Heat Thermal Insulation = 890 TurboDown.
So how does this new insulation stack up to the other products on the market?
So what does all this tech talk mean? Well its means that these jackets and other outerwear are super warm. Not to mention they are super light weight. We were all blown away by the concept of the new technology and super excited to try it when they came out later this year. In a way that only fate can bring during presentation of the TurboDown technology. All four seasons of #OmniTen were were gathered around a TV screen in a hotel suite in Park City Utah as the wind howled and snow was falling heavily. Little did we know Columbia had more in store for us. As the presentation concluded and a demo product had been passed around our attention was gathered on some of the staffers bringing in cardboard boxes. Inside those boxes were Diamond 890 TurboDown jackets for each of us. The entire group of adults turned into young children as if Santa Clause himself was delivering amazing Christmas presents.
For the next two days we all would be found wearing the jackets at every opportunity we could. Everything from Scaling ropes courses to VIP Events.
Look at all that TurboDown
The jackets are as advertised super warm and light weight. If you are looking to upgrade to a new puffy I would highly recommend looking at the new TurboDown line when it hits the market later this year. They will range in cost from $130 up to $325. With the cost of down ever growing and a continual drive for emerging technologies is needed Columbia has done a fantastic job of merging form function and design.
Reports of #omniten members using it on cool breezy nights in Arizona as well as the sub zero temps in the east coast. Do not just take it from me here are some comments from the other #omnicrew
The #OmniGames: On Preparing for the Unknown, Columbia Sportswear Turbodown Reveal, and the Start of the Games
The Big Reveal: The #OmniGames…and TurboDown!
#Omniten: Not Just About Gear. It’s About….
#TryingStuff at the #OmniGames, Part One: A Week in Two Days
Full Disclosure: The Diamond 890 TurboDown used in this review was provided to me by Columbia Sportswear as part of the #omniten #omnigames at no charge. This did not influence my review in any way. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own and were not guided in any manor.
Right outside Florence Arizona sits Poston Butte. Florence is roughly an hour north of Tucson and an hour south of Phoenix .
History – This hill is noted for having the pyramidal tomb of Charles Debrille Poston at its summit. Poston lobbied President Lincoln and Congress to create the Territory of Arizona. and was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs because of his familiarity with the Native populations of the area. (Source Wikipedia)
The Trail - A simple 0.6 mile trail with low grade with a 300 foot elevation change. I would consider this trail to be low to moderate in terms of experience and activity level. The trail is wide but rocky and uneven. The trail appears to have been a small road at one time based upon its width however it is unknown why there would be a road to the top. At the top is there is a tomb of Charles Poston and an unknown cinder block building. Great views of the surrounding area and of Florence.
The first time that I hiked this trail I was with a friend and her three year old son. We stopped at the top and had some lunch and took in the views. At the pace of a three year old we managed to get to the top in around 45 minutes. Overall it was a great little hike with some fantastic views. A nice place to watch sunrise and sunset.
Happy Trails. Adam
One of the perks of being an #omniten member is the gear. In Columbia Style we were loaded up with all kinds of fantastic gear. We were greeted by a big Columbia duffel bag and shown to our amazing rooms. After the shock of the rooms wore off my room in true backpacker fashion became nothing more than a pack explosion. A familiar term by backpackers and adventurers alike. For those of you not familiar with the term it is where a hiker literally takes everything out of the pack or bag and its strewn around the bed. I try to keep mine as organized as possible not to loose anything.
Here is a list of all of the gear that we received from Columbia. Over the next few months I will be reviewing all of the products that we were given.
Lode Hauler™ 100 – Duffel Bag
Treadlite™ 22 – Daypack
Men’s Wildcard™ III Jacket - waterproof stretch ski jacket
Columbia Heat™ Beanie
Men’s Midweight Tight – Pants
Men’s Heavyweight Tight – Pants
Men’s Heavyweight Long Sleeve Top
Men’s Baselayer Midweight Long Sleeve Top
Men’s Baselayer Midweight Long Sleeve 1/2 Zip – Shirt
Men’s Heavyweight 1/2 Zip – Shirt
Men’s Crosslight™ 1/2 Zip – Stretch Fleece Jacket
Men’s Fast Trek™ II Pant
Men’s Double Crown™ Long Sleeve Shirt
Men’s Powerfly™ Down Jacket
Men’s Millennium Blur Pant
Men’s Bugaboo™ Interchange Glove
Men’s Bugaboot™ Original Omni-Heat® – Boots
Men’s TurboDown™ Jacket – Not Available until winter 2014
This does not include the #omniten box that was sent months prior that included the Men’s Cawston Crest™ Down Jacket and the Men’s Millennium Blur Pant.
The gear provided was a true snow sports clothing kit. Light weight breathable and warm. All of which had Omni-Heat Reflective Galore.