Viewing entries tagged
Camping

How To Find Water

IMG_3130.JPG

I was piddling around with some Go Pro footage from a past trip and decided put together this quirky How To Video. Enjoy!

#hammocklife

There is something about a hammock that conjures up the image of complete relaxation, But taking one along on a multiple night stay in the backcountry can present its own challenges. With our recent nights strung between two trees I must say they were quite restful but the conditions we faced played the biggest roll in that comfort. Hot steamy nights under the canopy is where these began their evolution. Humid night, low wind, and high temps allow the hammock shine where most tents, bivys, and some tarps setups fail. First off, hammocks need sturdy trees or post to secure the setup, which begins limiting places for their use (Though with proper gear and training they can be secured to cliff faces, boulders and by other means.) Second, a full set up for all weather conditions (tarp, bug net, insulation) can become just as heavy and volume consuming as a tent. This, along with being wrapped up like a caterpillar waiting for it's wings in stormy conditions can make for lonely hours or days when weathering out a storm. Gear storage becomes another issue, the rain flys/tarp are typically designed for maintaining dryness in the hammock, not so much under it; so storing gear to keep it out of the elements just isn't going to happen. Lastly, when the mercury falls added insulation will be mandatory or specialty bags and quilts will be useful to maintain warmth throughout the night. Though these are things to be noted when planning to use a hammock as a primary shelter. They do have many benefits that can outweigh some of there drawbacks: Quick and Easy setup, changing configuration quickly when conditions do change, and they can be one of the most comfortable shelters you have that accounts for restful nights which lead to feeling refreshed in the morning. So if your choosing a hammock for the first time start with looking at the major brands like eagles nest outfitters (ENO) look at their specs on material, weight, and accessories and use them as a base line to pick the price point that works for you. There are great hammocks out there for budget minded folks all the way to set ups that will run you a couple hundred dollars. One is not necessarily better than the next but they all have there draw backs so do some research or shoot us a message and we will be happy to help!

Backcountry food the ever evolving question.

Most of us have lost the art and knowledge of foraging for seeds, fruit and roots in the places we explore. We become reliant on ready made meals to fuel our excursions that usually end up wrecking havoc on our bodies. Over the years I have utilized many different food products, brands, and whole foods. Some have been great and others not so much, with a bit of ingenuity, research, and preparation food can be just as much part of the experience as is the journey itself.  Whole fresh food is not totally out of the equation if you know how to prep and handle the food. On our most recent trip we brought steaks on a multi night trip in 100 degree weather. To do so we planned in advance, vacuum sealed, wrapped in paper towel, and foil and packed against our water bladders (we froze our water bladders too). This allowed for a slow and delayed thaw while being slightly refrigerated. Result,  fresh ribeye after a hard training hike on the trail. When your trip doesn't allow this method due to the length of stay outdoors or having to keep a minimalistic pack. Finding companies like Heathers Choice or dehydrating your home cooked favorites allow for comforting, great tasting, healthy foods not loaded with preservatives and high doses of sodium that can truly make an already uncomfortable situation worse. (Hint, stomach issues)

Daniel Underbrink

Luke Kulbeth on our WAT training hike

Luke Kulbeth on our WAT training hike

An Ode to the River

An Ode to the River

An Ode To The River

by Daniel Underbrink

Backpacking gear, a few cameras, some freeze dried food, a river, and a destination; it was all we needed to attempt our impossible.

Four days gave us plenty of time to cover a hundred Texas miles. Add a slow, winding river, a prevailing headwind, a ten-mile open water crossing and conquer it all on a paddleboard—now you have an adventure.

I wanted to test myself, push my limits, and set a standard for paddling in Texas. I wanted something new. Something that allowed me to become part of the river; I wanted the feeling of an expedition and the possibilities of an adventure.

A paddleboard and the Guadalupe River did just that. When asked about the trip, I normally tell of the crazy storms that hit us on the first two days. I tell of the rain that caused the river to spill its banks and rise more than 15 feet in a few short hours. I tell of the logjams that broke our soul after hours of hard paddling. I tell of the bugs that sucked the life out of us. I tell of the winds that beat us down.

But my mind remembers it differently. It remembers the glide of the paddleboard on the brown Texas floodwater. It remembers the sound of the water, the grip on the paddle, the crackle of the campfire, the voices of friends. I remember the river.

Rivers draw me to their banks, their landscapes, their solitude, their uniqueness; but my method of travel allows me to understand it all. I bought a paddleboard, we planned a trip, and we completed a hundred-mile paddle. It was a test of endurance. It was a test of spirit. It was epic in its own right. It was everything I imagined and more. Yet, it leaves me yearning for more. I want the feeling of the river beneath my feet. I want to go further and further. —Daniel Underbrink

 See the full article published in SUP The Mag