Charitable Pledge Program

As discussed in a previous post about How Mr. Rogers Got Me Through the Year of Covid, I have created a program to pledge 100% of my sales bonuses to charity. This has been a fantastic opportunity to work with new clients to improve our local and worldwide community through the monies generated by their new sales. Below is a quick recap of donations already completed while also showing how I plan to direct future donations.

Fly Fishing Setup on a Standup Paddleboard (SUP)

My first attempt at fly fishing from a standup paddleboard was essentially a mitigated disaster while trying to deal with wind, too much clutter on the boat deck, and fish that were easily spooked. I have since learned to actually catch fish from the inflatable SUP but recently spent a lot of effort trying to streamline everything to become more stealthy for sight fishing. I’m pretty happy with the results, which I have documented in this post.

How Mr. Rogers Got Me Through the Year of Covid

There are three things I’ll never forget about March 2020. One was my wife, a nurse, explaining to her medically ignorant husband about how a new type of coronavirus was about to change the world. Second, I recall sitting at a restaurant and telling our kids that it might be the last time we go anywhere in public for quite a while – a sort of beta to our upcoming year of social distancing. Lastly, I remember watching “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” a documentary about Mr. Rogers.

Why I Prefer the Big Agnes Copper Spur Over the Tiger Wall

Big Agnes Tiger Wall (left) vs Copper Spur (right)

As a former Steamboat Springs local, I’m a bit biased toward the hometown team of Big Agnes. Having already used their Fly Creek and Copper Spur tents, I was excited to try the blended design of the new Tiger Wall series. But after a couple of test runs, I decided to forego the weight savings and stick with the Copper Spur. Here are 9 reasons why…

Freeze-Dried Meals For People With Food Sensitivities and Allergies

I know firsthand how challenging it is to deal with food sensitivities and allergies, especially in the backcountry. So after researching what pre-packaged, freeze-dried meals were compatible with my various medical restrictions, I built a comprehensive chart for the more commonly sold meal packets. Each product listed indicates the presence of major food allergens, including dairy (D), egg (E), nuts (N), seafood/fish (F), soy (S), and wheat (W), while also showing the existence of high FODMAP ingredients or meat. Each product then links to the manufacturer’s website where the exact ingredients can and should be be verified.

How to Choose an RV: Weight Considerations

Can your truck, SUV, or other vehicle handle that towable RV you’re about to buy? The answer depends on how heavy the trailer is, how much of that weight is distributed to your tow vehicle’s hitch, how many passengers you plan to carry inside of the tow vehicle, and a few other items covered in this post about RV towing weights.

Kayaking & Camping On the Black Canyon Water Trail

My campsite along the Colorado River just south of Hoover Dam

The Black Canyon Water Trail is a 30-mile section of tailwater that extends out of Lake Mead from the Hoover Dam. This rugged and remote portion of the Colorado River offers clear water, sandy beaches, towering cliffs, colorful caves, and active hot springs, all in the middle of the Nevada and Arizona desert.

My Backpacking Gear

Backpacking the Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico

I started backpacking in high school with an external frame pack, a 4-pound sleeping bag thrown on top of a heavy foam pad, a tent that would drip condensation on my face nearly every night, and a wardrobe that oftentimes included a cotton shirt tucked into my denim jeans. The Eagle badge on my Boy Scout uniform is living proof that you don’t have to be perfectly equipped with the latest and most expensive ultralight gear in order to “be prepared” and enjoy your trip! But flash forward three decades and my aging body certainly appreciates the innovations that modern chemistry has done for my current backpacking gear.

What I Learned On My First Bikepacking Trip

Early spring bikepacking campsite in Arizona

I like biking, camping, and backpacking, so I was sure to enjoy bikepacking. But I didn’t really know much about it or have any specific gear when I decided to give things a try. And thus began a couple weeks of research, several UPS shipments of bags, and one beta test run close to the house before my 11-year old son and I set out with our Aussie on a 2-night bikepacking trip! Our motto was “no owies, no flatties, and no whammies!” That all held true, for the most part, and we had an awesome adventure that has already spurred a few more trips with even more scheduled for the future.

Family of Four Backpacking Through the Mt. Sneffels Wilderness

Lower Blue Lake with Dallas Peak in the background

My first multi-day backpacking trip was a 5-night excursion through the San Juan mountains of Colorado. The snow-capped fourteeners and lush river valleys were quite a sight for a 14-year-old from Kansas. Flash forward nearly three decades and I was now driving my wife and two children to that same mountain range for our first backpacking trip as a family. And despite a few hiccups, everyone ended up having a fantastic time.

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