Way back when, I wrote about some kooky cats up in Seattle who make their own skis. Well, the do-it-yourself ethic always inspires me and now I have some more rad folks to get me psyched about garage-built outdoor gear.
Tom Yost's "Folding Kayak Builders' Manual" is a marvelous how-to guide. Also cool is that Yost has a spanish version of his site! Since my favorite sea kayaking adventure to date was along the Costa Brava in northern Spain and my favorite kayaking partners live in Barcelona and the Philippines, I'm sensing a connection between saltwater paddling and the Spanish Empire. After all, Spain did give the world Christopher Columbus and the armada.
Design Within Reach, the IKEA of upscale furniture design, has turned its attention to the outdoors, teaming with Airstream to create the ultimate in conspicuous outdoor consumption:
Design Within Reach, the furniture retailer, is collaborating with Airstream to develop a trailer for the mobile young modernist —“rock climbers, surfers, dot-com guys,” said Christopher Deam, the San Francisco architect in charge of the project, “who want to work anywhere with cellphones and wi-fi connections.” The trailer has kitchen cabinets lined with green plastic laminate, right, a Nelson Ball Clock and a dinette with cushions upholstered in striped fabric by Paul Smith, the fashion designer, which doubles as a bed (the table slides down to align with the seats and the cushions serve as a mattress). It also has a separate bedroom, a flat-screen TV, an antenna and phone jacks. “At some campgrounds, you can pull in and plug all that stuff in, and wire it like an extension of your house,” Mr. Deam said.
All this can be your for the low, low price of $49,066. Via NY Times.
That's right. I'm posting about Wal-Mart. What of it? We all know about all the bad things Wal-Mart does, but if there is any company that could single handedly reverse the decline in overnight stays in National Parks, it's Wal-Mart. If they put their mind to. Now, I'm not advocating they should. A quieter back & front country is a nice thing. But if they wanted to, they could easily focus their attention on backpacking, one of the outdoor activities that has seen the largest declines in participation, and provide people with the gear they need and at cheap price point. Why? Because they understand consumers. Case in point, this 12-piece family tent combo for $100. I've always been a big advocate of turnkey solutions so people don't have to waste their time making endless gear choices. It's not everything but it includes sleeping bags, a cooler, chairs, and a tent. Throw in a stove and cookware and you're good to go. Sort of. But you get my point. Starter-kits. Everything you need for a camping and backpacking trip. Remove the learning curve barrier to entry.
We were chatting with Rocky over at The Goat the other day about the new Mont Bell jacket he's been parading around in. Our conversation went a bit like this:
GoBlog: You know how we know you're a metrosexual? Rocky: WTF are you talking about? GoBlog: You macrame your own shorts. Rocky: In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women. GoBlog: And you have a bumper sticker on your car that says "Save The Whales" Rocky: All I have in this world is balls and my word and I don't break 'em for no one. You understand? GoBlog: And you like unicorns. Rocky: Fuck Gasper Gomez and fuck the fuckin' Diaz brothers, fuck them all! I'll bury those cock-a-roches!
Such a strange conversation. We think Rocky watches too much t.v. Anyway, we kind of scratch our heads with this sleeveless jacket from Mont-Bell. While we know it will be perfect for those construction workers that go shirtless except for an orange vest, we're wondering how this fits into the gear bag. If saving weight is that important, why not go w/ the vest? Is an extra six inches of insulation gonna make that much differenc? If you're a unicorn lover and own one, please let us know. Retails for $120 at Mont-Bell.
Where does Willie find this stuff? Guy is GoBlog material for sure. Anyway, for all you players out there, watch this video so you learn how to start a romantic fire after your day's conquest. If you're more of a eco-conscious player, maybe recycle your condom. Seriously, though, this video shows you how to start a campfire with a condom. As long as you have sun. You can probably kill a few ants as well.
I'm gonna throw this one out there to all the old timers that remember the t.v. show Fame. Oh and The Paper Chase. Lets have a moment, shall we? One, two, three:
Fame! I'm gonna live forever I'm gonna learn how to fly--high!
I feel it comin' together People will see me and cry. Fame! I'm gonna make it to heaven Light up the sky like a flame. Fame!
I know the two Toms were humming away like women to those lyrics. It's ok to have a vulnerable moment every once in a while. Now that we're all verklempt, let me get the post back on tangent. As near as I can tell, the S-Labs Exo are basically leg warmers with the addition of compression to keep your muscles tight and reduce fatigue. Or so they claim. You remember how high Irene Cara used to jump with just a pair of old wool leg warmers? Probably pick them up for $5 at a thrift store. I'm just saying. Fame! And for those of you waiting for The Paper chase reference, here you go, "You come in here with a skull full of mush and you leave thinking like a lawyer." Except in the case of reading the GoBlog, it's the inverse.
The final climb if you're hiking to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park entails a long climb up the steep granite on the backside of Half Dome. Perhaps a Class 2 climb. During the peak tourist months there are cables which in the off-season are taken down. You can still climb when the cables are down but it's much more dangerous, especially if it's wet. Before this year, the last fatality while the cables were down was in the 70s. In the last 6 months two people have died, the most recent a 43 year old Oakland woman over the weekend. Via Sierra Star.
My first reaction when I read this was, Norway has hills? I know they're the center of Death Metal, but hills? Huh? Why did I always think it was flat as a pancake and about the size of Maine or an equivalent throw away state? Boy do I feel dumb. Proven wrong, yet again. Not only is it bigger than Maine (35,000 sq. miles versus 125,000 sq. mile), but it evidently has hills. Or at least one. It's so unusual in fact, that the our Scandinavian friends decided to put up an escalator type apparatus so people have a way to get up it on their bikes, or strollers, or scooters or even by foot. It's brilliant I say. Looking at the pics, you see it's less of an escalator and more a moving foot rest. Brilliant. Via Gizmodo.
Say that really fast a couple of times. You know, sometimes I like to dress up in a pirate outfit and walk around the house with my cutlAss, flames dripping from my goatee, yelling things like "Arrgghh" and "Shiver Me Timbers." It's a bit of a curse for me to have been born in perhaps the most boring 40 years in world history. A pirates life for me folks. We pillage, we plunder, we rifle and loot. We extort, we pilfer, we filch and sack. We kindle and char, inflame and ignite. Yes, a pirate's life for me. This post isn't really about pirates per se, but it is about sea faring. Cpt. John's Historic Trail is the latest water trail to open, and for you Patrick O'Brien types, you might want to follow the 150 gateway sites and over 1500 miles of water trails to commemorate the man that settled Jamestown and more importantly, banged Pocahontas. So they say. He looks more like a bear daddy to me. Anyway, read more about the John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail as this year marks the 400 year anniversary. Oh and for you one or two literate types out there, the new fiction novel Jamestown has quite the buzz around it.
First, this whole thing sounds like an April Fools joke or a PR stunt, but I'll blog it anyway since Climbing reported on it and they're never wrong. The gist of it is climber Kris Hampton made a rap called Not All Roses mocking Potter for his Arches climb, publicized it on a few of the major climbing forums, and promptly received a cease and desist (allegedly) from Potter's lawyer. If it's true, you just have to sit back and either be a) amused or b) disgusted or c) a combination of both. In yet another sign of the hollywoodization of climbing you have a ridiculous Paris Hilton type drama. Hard to believe Potter sent a C&D, but if he did com'on Potter, lighten up. You'd think that being 50,000 Patagonia ambassador sponsorship dollars poorer would get you to be a bit more thrifty, not waste money on lawyers. You think Landis went after the guy who made a rap about him? Hell no. Guy's busy figuring out better ways to dope. Take it as a compliment and move on Dean old boy. Read more about the Paris HiltonDean Potter drama on Climbing.