The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Oct 2010

The Perfect All-Around Women's Travel Outfit

As an active gal who prefers standing to sitting, running to walking, I dread packing for a trip. By the time I've taken into account the varying weather of my destination(s); the comfort factor when traveling long hours; the hiking and running and the occasional dressed up night out on the town; I have a mountain of gear next to a suddenly puny-looking suitcase. And with those Draconian extra baggage fees on most airlines, an extra bag isn't an option.

So last month, I decided to put an end to this "suitcase problem" by seeking the perfect all-around travel outfit. You know, that holy grail that every traveler dreams about-- an outfit to be worn anywhere, to anything. I traveled through four different countries with varied climates, countless airports and a scattering of train stations, bringing with me a ton of the latest travel apparel on the market. The bad news is  I had to find a way to fit it all in my suitcase. The good news?  A few clear winners emerged. Check out my top picks below.

Nau Bi-Carious Shirt, $85  Bicariousshirt The designers at Nau nail it with this ultra-breathable lightweight button up. Don't let the seemingly delicate jersey cotton Bi-Carious fool you. Despite it's tailored side panels, and feminine cuffed sleeves, I found it was built to be treated rough and tumble. Best of all, the breathability and V-neck collar made me feel just as at home in a swank cafe as on the summit of Corno Grande.

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Altitude Sickness Prevalent Among Kilimanjaro Climbers

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

Nearly half of all climbers attempting to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in 2010 had altitude sickness, a study from Edinburgh University shows.

The university's scientists camped out at 15,500 feet and tested 200 climbers on their bids for the summit, BBC News reports. Of those climbers, 47% showed symptoms of altitude sickness, including: nausea, headaches, trouble sleeping, and loss of coordination.

"We found that many climbers knew little or nothing about altitude sickness and did not have previous experience of being at high altitude," Stewart Jackson, who conducted the study, told the BBC. "Undertaking an acclimatization trek before attempting to summit Mount Kilimanjaro offers climbers the best chance of a safe, successful summit."

Those climbers who do not take the time to acclimatize and ascend too quickly, even with the use anti-altitude sickness drugs, risk serious injury or death, according to the report.

Check out the study here.

--Will Taylor

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Adventure Prints in Just One Click

Introducing the Adventure Journal. Steve Casimiro has renamed The Adventure Life and added the ability for readers to buy prints from noted photographers like Jimmy Chin, Chris Burkard, and others in just a couple clicks. We love checking out his adventure news of the weird, gear reviews, and insightful blogs—but why has a former print guy who's charging full steam ahead online resorted to selling something as old school as a photograph? He's got a few good reasons.

Where did the idea for a print store come from?
Well, it’s been in the back of my mind for a couple of years, but the more I thought about it, the more I saw reasons to do it. One of the biggest is that the faster the world moves toward digital entertainment, education, and communication, the more we will cherish things we can hold, see, or touch. Beautiful prints are tangible, a physical representation of the environment and sports that stoke us and can continue to stoke us when we turn the iPad off. A high-quality magazine or photo book is to be savored, and art quality prints even more so. Their richness, form, and shape can sustain and comfort long after batteries go dead.

Another reason is that to my eye, there has been no single place where you could find contemporary, creative, or artful adventure photography. Yes, you can find gorgeous hyper-saturated landscapes or an eagle soaring through the sky, but those photos are old school—they’re fine, but they don’t represent the dynamic, authentic adventure photography that’s being produced the photographers I most admire and respect. The web provides the ability to bring those photographers together and find an audience or customers with far less effort than it took even five years ago.

I’ve also been motivated by the success of my friends, Will Pennartz with his Surf Gallery and Clark Little with his surf images. Although Will recently shuttered the gallery to do something different, for 10 years it was one of just two or three entities in the States to nurture and support surf-related artists full time. Adventure Journal’s print store focuses on photos, of course, but his model impressed me that something might be done for the broader outdoor creative community. And as for Clark, he shoots mind-blowing photos of the Waimea shorebreak and has put most of his efforts on building a business around prints; he’s proven that you can make a living creating contemporary outdoor art with a camera and selling directly to consumers, something most shooters don’t do.

See, most outdoor photographers make their living through editorial and commercial assignments and also by licensing images through stock photo agencies. But prints are to the photo business what intervals are to fitness training: certainly beneficial, but a pain to do. Unless you have good representation, you probably can’t generate the traffic or interest to sell many. My aim is to connect the passionate outdoor folks who read Adventure Journal with this collection of fantastically talented photographers — readers will be able to own images they couldn’t before, the photographers can keep doing what they do, and the process is frictionless for both.

How did you choose the photographers?

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The Top 10 Things to Do in Tofino

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

At the end of the Trans Canada Highway, surrounded on three sides by water, lies Tofino, a town of 1,500 people. It's a beautiful place—old-growth cedar, migrating whales, a rich native history—packed full of adventure options. I hit up the town for the O'Neill Coldwater Classic Canada surf contest, and came back with a list of the best things to do.

Best Surf Shop
Storm: A salt-encrusted little surf shop with lots of Canadian character. The shop is surfer owned and operated, making for good local advice and knowledge. They're friendly too, which can be something of a rarity in a localized surf world. They also offer some of the better rental deals in town. (Boards; $20 a day, Wetsuit; $20 a day)

Best Surf School
Pacific Surf School: You'd be surprised at how many surf schools can be in such a small town. Pacific offers the most comprehensive programs. They cover everything from beginner surf etiquette to progressive surf technique. To go along with the variety, the BCASI-certified teachers are attentive to students' needs and offer multi-day lessons. (Three hours; $75)

Best Places to Stay
Whaler's on the Point Guesthouse: If you're searching for a budget hub for your Tofino adventures look no further than this hostel, located just off the center of town. Barbeque on the patio, play a game of pool, or hang out in the sauna after a long day of surfing. Be sure to make a reservation—this is a popular spot with many a wandering traveler. (4-6 person share; $32/night)

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Sari Anderson Dominates 24 Hours of Moab

Hands up, or better yet sling a diaper and raise a glass (of milk) to Colorado resident Sari Anderson. This HoneyStinger/Trek rider recently raced the 24 hrs of Moab National Championship with Max Taam. The pair bagged the win for co-ed duo; my partner Mario Correa and I took second. I spoke with the mom of  6-month old Axel and 3-year old Juniper about family, racing and what it's like to be a nursing athlete. 

What is the single most challenging thing about juggling motherhood, training and racing?
Making sure everyone gets ‘their time’. It is very important for me to spend as much time as possible with my husband and children but it is also very important for my sanity for me to have ‘me’ time and get out to train and race. Sometimes it is a difficult decision to decide which should come first but each situation/ race must be looked at closely to make the best decision for everyone.

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