43 Mile Victory, 50 Mile Failure – The Wapack and Back Trail Race

Back in December of 2017 I decided to sign up for my first Ultra Marathon after only previously ever running a local 5K as an “organized race”. This was the TARC (www.trailanimals.com) Winter Ultra at the Middlesex Fells Reservation in Massachusetts. This race was 32 miles of rugged, knee crunching terrain and 6000-ish feet of elevation gain. I felt strong at this race and I finished with a time I was proud of. After this I was hooked and I knew I’d be doing more. It was a lot of fun with a healthy dose of suffering too! After that…

The “Dad Bod” Battle – 9 Tips for Fit Outdoorsy Parents

Lets face it, dedicating time to your own health, passion, and well being can be difficult when you have a family to take care of. I’m a 34 year dad to three beautiful young boys. A 2 month old, a 1 year old, and a 5 year old. All three of them have different needs, schedules, and capabilities. I’m also married to an amazing woman and own a house in the suburbs.  Cute dog, big family, white fence… the American dream is real! I love all of them with every fiber of my being. I also work a 9-5 desk…

Field Tested: Optimus Crux Lite Solo Cook System

Awe Yeah! Optimus has sent us some goodies to test, play with, and review! The Optimus Crux Lite Solo Cook System entered the market in 2012 as an Ultralight Camping Cook System that wouldn’t break the bank. This is a flooded market with brands like MSR, and Jetboil taking their share there’s a lot to choose from! Over the past 7 years the Optimus Crux Lite Solo Camp Cook System has stood the test of time while Optimus has made some refinements to their already robust design its vision remained the same. Optimus is marketing this system to solo backpackers,…

Field Tested: Outdoor Research Bolin Jacket

I admit that I have a problem with jackets. Particularly hard shell waterproof jackets.  I have too many! I only wear these jackets in the winter months for hiking and ice climbing, for protection from wind and moisture. I want something waterproof, durable, and VERY breathable. This is a hard combination to get right. Shell jackets always seem to be “too waterproof” and feel like you’re sweating and wearing a trash bag or they’re simply not waterproof enough… a soft shell that wets out. This is where the new Outdoor Research Bolin jacket comes in. New for the 2017-2018 season,…

Field Tested: Outdoor Research Stormtracker Heated Gloves

Electric gloves?! That’s got to be a gimmick right? Well… maybe not! I personally struggle with the unfortunate “cold hands” gene during long pitches ice climbing and when standing still too long on a winter hike. I’ve also experienced the dreaded “screaming barfies” far too many times while climbing (google it)! Wearing big bulky gloves isn’t an option when you’re on the lead and require dexterity to tie knots, place screws, and delicate tool placements. I’ve been on an endless search for the “perfect glove” which as led me to Outdoor Research’s  Stormtracker glove with “Alti-Heat Technology“. The Stormtrackers have…