Cowboy Camping as defined by Urban Dictionary as “Sleeping outside in the backcountry without an overhead shelter (such as a tent or tarp), usually done in the context of backpacking.“
As hikers and backpackers we have experienced merino wool in many types of clothing especially our socks. The most common is Merino is wicking, quick drying, and antimicrobial. There is a new sock contender in the market. The entire line of socks are made from Alpaca yarn. Cleverly named Alpacor® the Ausangate sock company is adding new fibers to the sock industry.
The obvious would be that the yarn comes from an Alpaca and not a sheep. They both grow fibers that can be farmed to create many different types of products. Just like merino wool they are antimicrobial natural fibers that comes from a renewable resource.
Alpacor® Yarn was created by using a unique patented process for the yarn itself and the yarn manufacturing process. This process blends the unique alpaca fiber with other natural and synthetic fibers.
Many of you have figured out by now that I am a big fan of socks and sock technology. This may seem weird to you but keeping your feet dry comfortable and comfy is extremely important when in the outdoors. Especially if you are on longer adventures. When Testing socks I have several factors that I examine to determine if I will wear the socks again and if I will like them or not.
After wearing the socks during the Hell Hike and Raft adventure as well as a few times since then as every day socks I am comfortable providing a truthful review on these socks. They are very comfortable with the right amount of stretch but also allowing for a snug fit. They are not the fastest drying socks on the market but they also do not claim to be. While wearing them in both hiking boots and trail runners I found that they allowed my feet to breathe and did not leave my feet and socks soaking wet post hike. They did not leave any unwanted blisters or hotspots after wearing them. Overall they are a great quality sock and I am excited to see how Ausangate continues to refine and grow their current sock lines.
To learn more about Alpaca yarn and Ausangate socks please visit the Ausangate website.
Full Disclosure: The Ausangate Socks used in this review was provided to me by Ausangate as part of the Hell Hike and Raft product sponsorship and was provided at not cost to me. 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.
I woke to a very cold morning. It was extremely hard to get out of my very warm anti-hypothermia cocoon of a sleeping bag. Condensation was covering the inside of the tent. I had been woken up by a sound that can only be described as a Harrier jet landing in the camp. This sound only meant one thing. Coffee was being made. I reluctantly but carefully put on my warm layers and clothes for the day. I began to pack up the gear inside of my tent. Once I had everything ready it was time to unzip the outer most vestibule door. I cringed as I pushed the door aside and the warm air was instantly gone and a surge of fresh and clean morning mountain air. I grab a few things and head down to an already growing campfire.
Fresh made to order omelets were on the menu for breakfast plus left over cobbler. When I mean fresh I mean not dehydrated in any way eggs, sausage, and chopped veggies all laid out for us to add to our eggs. The best part about making them is that we put the eggs and other chosen ingredients into a ziploc bag. After the ingredients were mixed thoroughly we simply dropped our “bag o omelet” into a large pot of boiling water.
Like any good story we can not skip the first chapter to get to adventure. If you would like to read a summery you can find that here. Before I get to the daily write ups I wanted to go back to the beginning and share the story of how this project got started and how we ended up with 12 adventures geared up with awesome gear backpacking and white water rafting in stunning Idaho. WARNING LONG READ!
Everything started with an email from Parker at Americas Rafting Company. He needed help promoting this idea of a mixed backpacking and white water adventure. I scheduled a phone meeting with Parker shortly after receiving the email. On the call he explained what he was looking to do and wanted help with ideas on how to make this whole adventure possible. I told him that I would think on it and get back with him. Parker has an incredible love and passion for the Idaho wilderness and the rivers. His passion is simply contagious. When I hung up the phone I told my self that I had to help with this project. His passion pushed me to want to go to Idaho that very day. It was that passion that we would come to find out on night before we hit the river was that this was ARC’s first time doing the backpacking portion of the trip. The guides and Parker had all grew up or packed in that area and knew it very well. It was their first foray into leading a group of any size into the Devil’s shadow. (more…)
Story Submitted by Hank Vlietstra
On one of my bigger backcountry backpacking trips in the Canadian Rockies, I was in the midst of 3 glorious days above treeline near Cataract Pass at the boundary of Jasper National Park. While descending towards Nigel Pass late one September afternoon, a large herd of bighorn sheep was going up the valley, right towards me. They let me walk down the trail right into their midst. It was pure magic – unforgettable. They crossed the river right in front of me, and the little ones were playfully head-butting each other right nearby. Wildlife encounters in the backcountry are always some of the most memorable parts!!
Do you have an fun, silly, crazy, or awesome adventure story you would like to share? We would love to share it! Submit your story today!