#omnigames update

Another email was sent out from Columbia with as much information needed to keep us in suspense. We know we are having shuttles take us to Park City from Salt Lake. We also know we will be staying at the Hyatt Escala Lodge.


Hyatt Escala Lodge

We have been told that we are being completely outfitted with winter gear, but we also need to bring whatever else we already have.  The excitement is growing as the countdown to the 8th draws near.  We all know that the folks at Columbia will put on a heck of a good time, but I think for many of us the most exciting part of this crazy adventure is meeting all the folks from the other #omniten seasons. I believe that this will be my last #omni update until Dave of WildernessDave.com, Heidi of  bananabuzzbomb.com , and myself take off from Phoenix.

I will try to post as many updates and photos as possible. Keep an eye on all of my social channels. Also Make sure to keep your attention on the hash tags #omniten and #omnigames.  (both on Twitter and Facebook.)

More from Park City Utah.

Hiking The Trail’s Top 25 Posts from 2013

Here is a look back at the 25 most popular posts of 2013.

1. 35 Reasons to Hike The Appalachian Trail

2. 2014 Backpacker Gift Guide – Hydration

3. Whats inside my emergency Kit

4. Asolo FSN 85 Boot Review

5. Armchair adventures 50 great documentaries 1 – 10

6. Gear Review – Hi-Tec Sierra Trek WP Boots

7. Adventures in Dehydrating – ground beef

8. Gear Review: RIBZ Front Pack

9. Timberland Radler Camp Shoe Review

10. 5 Reasons Why Hiking is Better Than Going to the Gym

11. 7 Types of Campers [InfoGraphic]

12. Backpack has been chosen: ULA Catalyst

13. Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Videos

14. A Guide To Cold Weather Winter Camping

15. Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2 First Look

16. 10 things I learned about and from the Appalachian Trail

17. Gear Review: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2

18. Gear Review – Columbia Conspiracy™ OutDry Shoe

19. Gear Review: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1

20. 2014 Backpacker Gift Guide – Gadgets

21. On The AT Day 3

22. Trail Ready Fancy Raman – Recipe

23. My Tent and Sleeping Kit

24. On The AT Days 8 and 9

25. On the AT Days 24 – 25 – Headed Home


Failure is simply just a change in plans.

I was having a hard time coming up with something to blog about today. I was reflecting on all of the crazy that was  my year. I had thought that I could write  a summary of my entire year.  I began to think of everything that happened and the largest lesson I learned this year. I thought about that lesson for awhile and decided to write about that. I learned that one does not fail. Instead you just end up with a change of plans.

While on my train ride back from California I was reading the book No Opportunity Wasted by Phil Keoghan. I came across this quote “If you set out on a particular journey and get diverted onto another path because of unforeseen circumstances, that’s not a failure-it’s simply a different experience (and maybe a better one).”

It sunk in particularly hard because i was headed home from the second “failure” of the year.  I had spent the better part of that day and the day before feeling bad about how I had “failed”.  Looking back on those trips now. I learned a lot of things not only about myself but also about society as a whole.  People will celebrate you when you accomplish something huge but they also celebrate you for “failing”. They do this because you went out there and you tried.  Too many people fail before they ever get started because they never start.

So the next time you start a project, trip, or adventure and it does not work out the way you thought it should. Just take a step back and look at the entire situation. Look at what you learned from the adventure. Look at what happened and how it was different than the outcome you had hoped for.  There is always something to take away from everything and there is always a good reason why things happened the way they did even if you have no idea why at that exact moment. In time the whole picture will be presented to you. It is up to you to allow yourself to see these moments.

A beginners guide to base layers.

As the name implies a base layer is the inner most layering of the layering  system that helps regulate your core temperature in both warm and cold conditions. A base layer helps regulate your core by pulling or wicking the moisture away from your body. It is worn so that the layer is touching your skin and is typically tight or form fitting. Base layers can be used in both cold and warm conditions.  One thing to note is that each persons tolerance to the elements is different so this post will provide some simple general information. Depending on your level of activity as well as your tolerance to the elements will determine how many and what types of layers you might need.

Base Layer Materials


  •  CoolMax® or Polartec Power Dry®.
  • Breathable and moisture wicking.


  • Wicks moisture away from skin
  • A durable polyester-based fabric available in several weights


  • A polyester-based wicking fabric that is treated with chemicals to help spread out moisture to help it evaporate.


  • Natural fibers
  • Wicks moisture away from skin
  • Has a natural antimicrobial called lanolin which prevents stink.

Suggested synthetic base layers  



Suggested Merino base layers

Terramar Sports 


I have both Merino Wool and synthetic and will use them independently or together depending on the weather or activities I am doing. Which type and brand of base layers do you use and why?

A requested blog post about pickles

picklesI sent out a tweet “Working on blog post ideas. I am open to requests. What would you like to learn more about?  One of the requests was simply stated “Pickles”.  I understand that this post has nothing to do with hiking, but it never hurts to stray way from the trail.  This also gives me a chance to stretch my creative writing skills so please hang in there with me.


The Christmas Pickle!

The history is unknown and depending on who you ask the stories are quite different. Here are a few of the most common histories.

Story 1. Started in the 1800s by Woolsworth.

Some claim that it was started in the 1880s by the Woolsworth company. “In the 1880s Woolworth stores started selling glass ornaments imported from Germany and some were in the shape of various fruit and vegetables. It seems that pickles must have been among the selection!” (Source: http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/christmaspickle.shtml)

Story 2. The miracle pickle of the civil war.

Another variation is that it started in the south during the civil war. “Libby prison, had become so overcrowded that another one was opened in Georgia. It was called Andersonville.  Richmond began transfering her prisoners in July of 1864, among them a Union soldier by the name of John Lower. Not being in the greatest of health when he left here, he soon was near death in Georgia.  As he lay dying on the dirty ground of the prison encampment in Andersonville, he begged the guards for something to eat, even if it was just a pickle. A pickle was found for the dying man, and miracle of miracles, he was given the strength to live. After the war and his release, it became a tradition in the Lower home to hide a pickle in the Christmas tree. To John Lower, the pickle was worthy of being ‘miraculous’, because it saved his life.”
(Source: http://www.examiner.com/article/the-legend-of-the-christmas-pickle)

Story 3. It started in Germany.

Like many stories or traditions the history has become lost in translations and or left out of stories that are passed down through the generations. The most common story of the Pickle is that it started in Germany. No one really knows why or how. Also most Germans will say they have never heard of the tradition. (I have not asked any Germans but that is what the internet says ;-) )  (Source: https://www.google.com/#q=christmas+pickle)

Story 4. 2 Spanish boys traveling  home imprisoned in a pickle barrel.

“One story claims that the tradition of the Christmas pickle begins in the Middle Ages. According to this version of the Christmas pickle legend, two boys were traveling home for Christmas. When they stopped for the night at an inn, the innkeeper imprisoned them in a pickle barrel. That night, St. Nicholas also stopped at the inn, heard the boys, and freed them from the pickle barrel.”
(Source: http://voices.yahoo.com/the-mysterious-origins-christmas-pickle-an-708451.html)

I am sure there are several more stories running around about how this tradition started and I would love to hear your versions. The ones I found were simply the most commonly told around the Interwebs.  but what really is the tradition. There are several variances as to  what the tradition is but the most common is that after the Christmas tree is decorated and the kids go to bed an adult will place the last ornament on the tree. A blown glass pickle. The pickle will blend into the branches and needles making it hard to find. When the children rise the next morning the first one to find the pickle will be given an extra present and be blessed with a happy and healthy year. Other family traditions have family members hiding the pickle in the tree or house during a family gathering not necessarily  on Christmas. The participants hunt for the pickle and the one who finds it first wins a present. What are your family pickle traditions?

Fun Fact: The Christmas Pickle Capital of the World

Berrien Springs, Michigan is the self proclaimed  Christmas Pickle Capital of the World. This town celebrates with a Christmas Pickle Festival held in early December and a parade led by a Grand Dillmeister, who gives the visitors fresh pickles.The local residents who participate in and  promote this Christmas Pickle Festival claim the tradition originated when two Spanish boys traveling home from boarding school for the holidays were stuffed into a pickle barrel by a mean innkeeper and later freed when St. Nicholas took pity on them and tapped the barrel with his staff.

There you have it folks a creative pickle post the relates to the season. Join us next week for more random requests from the interwebs. This your host Adam signing off. Remember folks it’s all fun and games until someone smashes the pickle.