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.
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…
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 at the time that this post was published, including dairy (D), egg (E), nuts (N), seafood/fish (F), soy (S), and wheat (W), while also indicating lower/medium/high levels of FODMAP ingredients and the existence of meat. Each product then links to the manufacturer’s website where the exact ingredients should be verified before ordering while also verifying the physical labels before consuming.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Help Portrait Prescott is a new local chapter of a national organization that offers to individuals and families who could not otherwise afford it a posed, professional portrait in a studio environment. Each individual is given an 8 x 10 framed portrait; families receive an 11 x 14 frame. All are given digital shots and coupons to make additional low-cost prints.
Scott Bideau, the organizer of Help Portrait Prescott, holds a portrait from a similar event a few years ago of a family who arranged for the portrait to send to their daughter serving in Iraq. The father in the photograph was a community leader who died two years later from lung issues he suffered after volunteering to assist his brother at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks. (Nanci Hutson/Courier)
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Help-Portrait, a global movement of photographers, hairstylists, and makeup artists using their time, tools, and expertise to give back to those in need. I was fortunate enough to get involved with this event in 2009, the first year that it expanded from the inaugural Nashville location to cities throughout the world. Since then, I have founded two local chapters and learned a lot about how to put on a successful Help-Portrait event. In this post, I’ve shared some of my experience from coordinating these events in the hopes of inspiring others to do the same.