Saturday, March 17, 2012

Gear Crush: First Ascent’s BC MicroTherm…

Photo: Hiking with kids

The Internet is replete with tips for parents who want to maintain an outdoor lifestyle with their little ones. And there’s good reason, too. It’s one thing to be told your life will change irreversibly once you have a kid; it’s another thing to perch your kid precariously on a rock at 10,000 feet to change his diapers as wind gusts threaten to blow doo-doo right into your face. So here are 10 more tips to enjoying the outdoors with a tot in tow.
Oh adventurer, be not tempted this winter by the thought of lounging languidly on your La-Z -Boy in front of the hearth with a warm mug of liquid in your paws! Instead, strap on your skis and skins the head outside to shred the nar nar. Besides what we’ve already told you to stash in yoursummer and fall daypack, senior NOLS field instructor Lindsay Yost urges you to take these few extra items to beat the winter chill.

Fall means school, changing leaves, football, holidays, pumpkins, and—for those of us in the Rockies—enjoying that last bit of mosquito-free balminess before winter descends.
Fall is also unpredictable. Even a planned day hike to Popo Agie Falls, not far from our office in Lander, Wyoming, can turn into a chilly, rain-sodden slog if you aren’t prepared. So besides what you normally carry in your daypack (which I blogged about a couple of months ago here), below are some additional items to stash in your fall pack.
Photo: Surfer in West Australia's The Right 
For our Extreme Photo of the Week, photographer Ray Collins was awarded the 2012 Nikon Surf Photo of the Year award for his image of Australian surfer Mark Mathews riding the wave known as “The Right” in West Australia. The award recognizes the “best of the best” in the Australian surf photography industry.“This day was strange,” recalls Collins. “It was very late season for Australia and the swell was a touch off angle.” Collins had traveled with surfers Mathews and Ryan Hipwood. “There were some extremely tense moments. Ryan was held under the water for 40 seconds,” says Collins. Hipwood surfaced and recovered.The swell was estimated at 15 to 20 feet. After capturing this photo, Collins immediately showed Mathews the frame. “I knew it was a special image right away,” says Collins. After seeing the image of himself riding into the close-out wave, Mathews exclaimed: “That doesn’t even look real—it looks like  
It seems like down jackets have been around about as long as geese. But in fact, the first commerical down jackets were made by Eddie Bauer back in 1936. By 1963, the company was keeping mountaineers such as Jim Whittaker and his expedition team warm as they made the first American ascent on Everest.
Roll 50 years a head and down jackets are better than ever. Case in point, the First Ascent BC MicroTherm sold out in three weeks this year. The jacket takes the joy of an 800-fill, cozy-but-not-hot down shirt and adds a waterproof breathable two-layer softshell. It's super light (just one pound), but very warm, even in Himalaya and Antarctic conditions. “A lightweight, high-performance piece that keeps me warm and dry on cold, windy and wet days. You don’t generally want to be out in those conditions, but sometimes the mountains have other ideas. This jacket was made for those days,” says mountain guide Melissa Arnot. For those of us who conquer our own mountains a little closer to home, it's one jacket that goes everywhere. And its slim fit is figure flattering without limiting mobility

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