Hammock Underquilt Showdown;

Hammock camping is no longer reserved for just warm weather.

The Paddle Junkie's - Base Layer Buyer's Guide

Prepare for the cold! We run down our picks for the best base layers around.

Pentax K30 Rugged DSLR

The world's first DSLR that can take all Mother Nature has to offer

Shell Jacket Showdown

We test the most bomber shells on the market, here are our picks...

Gear of the Year 2012

Our picks for the best gear of last year.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Effigy Mounds National Monument

This past weekend we travelled to southern Wisconsin to visit the folks. We decided to have a little fun and diverted our attention to Effigy Mounds National Monument. Nestled in the bluffs on the Iowa side of the river, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see the timeless tradition of Indian burial. It was a four mile hike up to the top and back. We packed in a couple shells, brought along our trusty camera and had one hell of an adventure. A snapshot of a few of our favorite pictures from that morning....

Monday, May 9, 2016

Willow River State Park - Saturday Adventure

Living in the Midwest has many perks, one of which is the ease of access to amazing state parks. Willow River located in Hudson, WI is one of those places. We spent the afternoon walking around, taking pictures and basking in that beautiful sunshine. We packed in a couple of our favorite shells, put on our best hiking shoes and hit the trails. What follows is a collection of a few of our favorite shots.

Dried lake bed

Fjall Raven ( say cheese)

The falls at last!


Keen's baby

Bergans Of Norway to the rescue

Helly Odin Minimalist Jacket

Had to bring the trusty Nalgene

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Walls Workwear - Gear Review

Since 1938 Walls has been making quality gear ranging from hunting gear to high end work wear. Walls had quality set up at OR in Salt Lake City when we were out there in January and we couldn't wait to get our hands on some of their stuff. It was hard to decide what I wanted with such an expansive catalog. I went with a tried and true heavy winter jacket infused with Kevlar and a lighter soft shell, only because we had snow up until a couple weeks ago. Keep in mind that cold weather will be upon us before we can fully appreciate the summer that seems to disappear before our very eyes.

Walls Workwear Muscle Back Jacket with Kevlar-

The walls package showed up on one of those days where it was almost to warm to wear a heavy jacket but I knew this was the right choice. Within a matter of days it was time to wear the winter coat once again. Infuse with Walls Dry IQ water proof finish this coat is designed to keep you warm and dry throughout your entire work day. This is Minnesota, one minute the sun is out and your debating on shedding layers, the next minute it's a full blown snow storm. You don't want to be stuck outside without protection. Infused with 5% Kevlar this jacket can put up with any punishment you can throw at it. Infused with enough pockets to hold on your belongings and still have room for some snacks. The Velcro strip on the cuffs allow for the proper adjustment to keep the cold out from in between your gloves and the jacket itself. Lined with a signature RealTree AP pattern you can bring out your inter hunter at work. With a sleek design this is a jacket not just for work, it doubled as a jacket for a night on the town multiple times.

MSRP: $131.99

Wall Storm Protector Sherpa Lined Jacket-
This is the perfect jacket for those chilly spring mornings or cool summer nights. The perfect mix between the hard and soft shell, built to protect you from the wind and the water. With fleece lined front pockets a zippered chest pocket and just a hint of reflective accents gives this coat just enough to set it apart from the rest. I find myself pulling this out of the closet on a regular basis, 50 degree mornings require a little more then just a t-shirt and this is the perfect fit. Rather large cuffs and waist band keep out the cold as well as keep you comfy. Out of the two jackets we tested this one will find itself on my shoulders a lot more then the other. This is probably due to the fact that nice weather has once again graced it's presence upon this fine land.

MSRP: $91.99

Walls has been making quality obtainable gear for well over a century. With jackets, pants and shirts for almost any outdoor activity this a brand to get your hands on. I have definitely became a fan over the last few months being able to throw these jackets on, on a regular occasion. With prices ranging from $90 to $150 this is a brand that wont break the bank.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Platypus - Meta Bottle Preview

For over 2 decades Platypus has pushed the boundaries on personal water transportation. Slated for release in early May, the Platypus Meta bottle is your access to safe drinking water wherever your path takes you. Multiple sizes and colors allow for the perfect match when it comes to looking good. The Meta bottle incorporates a ground breaking 2-part design, a hard upper half combined with a stand alone soft bottom.
Courtesy of Verizon Photography
The 1L personal water filtration system allows for an easy "scoop and squeeze" delivery system. Simply separate the two halves, fill the soft bottom with dirty water, place the cap back on with the self contained water filter and gulp away. The fast acting filter cleans 99.999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa. Nothing like getting sick after you get home from drinking tainted water. Filtering up to 2L per minute you can't ingest the water fast enough. BPA, BPS and phthalate free, this is a great bottle for the leave no trace lifestyle every camper should employ.

Courtesy of Verizon Photography
First impressions were good when we got our hands on these in early January. A stand alone bottle that collapses to half the original size is awesome. The 1L size is perfect for a day trip and being able to filter water on the spot will save time and keep you hydrated on the go. From personal experience, being dehydrated in the wild is an awful adventure.

Continue to look for these when they become available in the upcoming months. Having access to clean drinking water is vital to enjoying the great outdoors. Drink up and have a good time.

MSRP: $49.95 - 1L w/filter

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Fjallraven - Kanken Laptop Backpack - Gear Review

With Summer fast approaching and school on the brink of summer break, the last thing on people's minds right now are backpacks. But I have found the game changer for all genders and ages for carrying your essentials, the Fjallraven K√•nken. 
In 1978, Fjallraven created this pack for Swedish school children to help prevent back issues. This grew from a child's pack to a widely functional pack for adults as well. The array of color options allow anyone to use this for their everyday needs. With two large side pockets, accessible storage is not an issue, The water resistant vinylon fabric allows this pack to be used year round. It's the perfect pack for class, work, then out to your favorite outdoor location. 

I used this pack for an overnight trip and was able to pack all the overnight essentials with ease, perfect for a 24 hour adventure. Not bulky and in the way like most packs. This is the perfect transitional pack for the office worker by day, outdoor enthusiast by night.