Category Archives: Outdoors and Fitness

Knives: Be Prepared!

If you read “almost any” of the wilderness survival books, you’ll find that they tell you to carry a good fixed-blade knife. The experts recommend the fixed-blade design because they believe it offers a smaller chance of injury — it won’t clamp shut on your fingers. Personally, when I need to travel light on one-day long-distance endurance hikes, I carry a folding multi-tool knife (a Swiss Army knife), but when I’m camping or backpacking, I take along a lightweight fixed-blade tactical knife.

read more

Best Places to Comparison Shop for Outdoor Gear Online

I enjoy comparison shopping for adventure products, especially hiking gear. When I keep up with my comparison shopping routine, I know a good price when I see one. You really can save hundreds of dollars when you stay abreast of prices, because then you know a deal when it stares you in the eye. This year I found a brand-new $600 2010 North Face Free Thinker Gore-Tex Pro Shell Rain Jacket/Ski Jacket for $195.

Here are places I visit online for prices and deals on outdoor gear:

www.rei.com

www.rei.com/outlet

read more

Endurance Training & Long-distance Hikes: Tips & Tricks

The training and nutritive techniques are virtually identical — endurance athletes minimize weight, eat high-calorie, easily digestible carbohydrate gels and fluid proteins, hydrate often, and take electrolytes — but if you compare the numbers (if you can find the numbers), you’ll find that marathoners and long-distance runners outnumber endurance hikers. While an average marathoner might finish a 42.195 kilometer run in about 5 hours, an endurance hiker will often take 11 hours to complete the same distance on rough wilderness trails. Recent mothers, fathers, and young professionals often find that the travel times to worthwhile hiking trails (plus the hiking times) are prohibitive.

read more

Arizona Slideshow

Here is a slide show of some of the photos I took on hikes in Arizona during 2008 to 2010. If you hover your cursor over a photo, the navigation bar will pop up. If you then click on the square box located at the right-hand edge of the navigation bar, you will see slide show in full-screen mode.

Julbo Availability in Canada

I wish Julbo would somehow get its products reviewed in the Canadian media so that Julbo sunglasses would become readily available here in Canada. I live near Toronto, Ontario, but when I searched the Internet last year, I found only two places selling Julbo sunglasses in Canada, and both of them were in Montreal, Quebec.

Hikers recognize my Julbo Race sunglasses when I’m on the trails in Arizona, but here in Ontario, Canada, almost no one has heard of them.

Winter Hiking on the Bruce Trail South of Speyside, Ontario

Great Winter Softshell Pants for Hiking, Skiing, and Snowshoeing

The sun shines 288 days a year in Flagstaff, Arizona. I sweat on the trails, even while hiking out of the Grand Canyon through the snow on New Year’s Day. But when I’m kicking up powder, my pants get wet, and after dark my legs get cold.

My merino-wool socks and winter hiking boots are on standby near the backdoor. I keep a 19-ounce insulated jacket in my backpack. Now I’m hoping for a pair of REI Acme Pants for Christmas. The durable Schoeller® Dryskin fabric is warm, breathable and water and wind resistant, and the rip-and-stick tabs and ankle zippers keep the cuffs from sliding down over my heels.

read more