Category Archives: gear reviews and tips

hopefully, this will end up on the gear review pages

a little fun in the back yard

living at the base of one of the better mountain biking trail systems in the country definitely has it’s rewards. it doesn’t hurt that the same system connects to the rim trail which provides much more in the way fun in the sun. one day in july i took off from the house to go on a 15 minute ride to get the pups some exercise. i passed the river at powerline trail and decided to head up corral loop to hit the tabletop section. well things were going so well i headed higher to the top of corral. still feeling good i went up oneidas to the top of the armstrong connector. having recently been up to armstrong pass i knew there were two more clean water sources before star lake so what the heck. along the rim trail between armstrong pass and freel pass i came upon this gem, the buddha. it was then i hatched a plan.
rock on rim trail

over the next several weeks i rode up there several times. once stashing a 60m rope and some nuts, the next time a tent and pad, and once more with some larger cams. hutchski isn’t so much into epics but all that was needed was a little deceit. “it’s gonna be easy” i said, and she fell for it. fast forward to august 19 and we were on our way, leaving #vanlife behind for 35 pound packs.
bike camping Continue reading

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a few backcountry survival tips

after my recent adventure with a broken leg in the backcountry i’d like to share some tips on what to do in case of an emergency out there. i’m not an expert, and this isn’t all encompassing. just some more things to think about and maybe something to add to your pack. sure you can get a calstar membership in fact one in our group had only days before.
but what if there’s no cell phone service? in our case there was none, although oft times you can get kirkwood’s signal if you’re on the ridge above us, about 20 minutes away.
what if it’s storming and a helicopter rescue isn’t possible?
what if the injury occurred in terrain that precludes a rescue by helicopter?
the first things to consider is active self rescue. can you get out without seeking additional help? can you get help? it’s not uncommon to be hours from the nearest cell phone signal.
do you have the items required for self rescue considering the injury? below are some items that you may already have or can easily add to your pack that may help to move an injured person. in most cases they have other uses as well and will most likely end up fixing a broken binding. Continue reading

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kusala pow 186, from pmgear

[caption id="attachment_1239" align="alignright" width="300"]the kusala's stomp airs. seriouslythe kusala pow is a fat waisted stiff powder ski with subtle reverse camber and slight rocker the kusala’s stomp airs. seriously[/caption]
• Length: 186cm
• Dim: 133.2 / 124 / 129.4 mm
• Radius: approximately 30m
• Pintail profile: 0.4°
• Front rocker length: 460mm
• Front rocker height: 23.7mm (including the front reverse camber)
• Rear rocker length: 390mm
• Rear rocker height: 13.1mm (including the rear reverse camber)
• Front end height: 90mm
• Rear end height: 30mm

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learning the tools – aperture

the hardest thing to grasp for me as i move from a point and shoot in auto mode to a dslr in manual was the concept of aperture. i understand that aperture refers to the size of the hole that the light passes through, but that’s about it. i didn’t understand how i could use it to manipulate pictures. then i learned a bit about lenses, and how those with lower f-number had a bigger aperture and returned those artsy images with the shallow depth of field (dof). these are the images where the subject is focused with clarity and sharpness, but the background is blurred and fuzzy. the term is bokeh
here is an example of bokeh from camluvs7
dragonfly at 1/320, f/4.3, 32.6 mm, ISO 100

so there i was thinking aperture was kind of a one sided deal. you paid more and got faster lenses with wider apertures. the lower the better. right? one nice thing about the digital age is that messing up is nearly free, and takes up no time. it may take some of the edge and sense of urgency away from learning, but it also leads to happy accidents. here is one now. i was unfamiliar with the fact that the flash would reduce the shutter speed to a maximum of 1/200, and with a bright spring snowfield behind the girls, the background would be completely washed out, which is cool although not what i was looking for
skylyn and jasmyn at 1/200, f/5, 25 mm, ISO 100, compulsory flash Continue reading

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