Monthly Archives: September 2010
Davek Traveler Umbrella
$79, 13 oz.
When the skies opened up at Mt. Rainier National Park and we faced two hours of slogging through steady rain before reaching our next campsite, I was very glad to have Davek’s Traveler umbrella—not for me, actually, but for my nine-year-old son. It made a big difference in his outlook toward hiking in the cool rain. Continue reading →
Aquapac waterproof SLR case no. 455
$130, 9.5 oz.
The dilemma: I was going sea kayaking for five days in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and needed a way to shoot with my digital SLR without subjecting it to constant sea spray and the risk of an accidental dunking. If I had to constantly pull it out of a dry bag (or two) or a watertight hard case to shoot, I’d inevitably miss many shots. The solution: this flexible SLR case from Aquapac. Several hundred photos later, I’m convinced that—from a photographer’s perspective—my trip would not have been the same without it. Continue reading →
$59, 13 oz. (medium)
XS-XL (fit boots from youth size 1 to men’s 16, or insulated boots up to men’s 13.5)
Conditions on the Grand Canyon’s Grandview Trail were—as a ranger warned us when we picked up our permit—“treacherous” for our late-March backpacking trip. Hard ice and frozen snow covered the trail’s uppermost couple of miles, where you frequently traverse sloping ledges a foot or two wide, with huge drop-offs. “Microspikes are mandatory,” the ranger told us, and he was right. Without them, we’d have risked becoming tomorrow’s news—or, more likely, have aborted our four-day trip. Continue reading →
The trail tilts abruptly to a much steeper angle ahead of me. This is the uphill stretch that always whips the snot out of me. For several minutes that pass like epochs, I take a painful waltz with my anaerobic threshold, willing myself to keep running—even slowly—when my body just wants to stop, walk, and breathe without the sensation of flames in my lungs. Continue reading →
I shine my headlamp on my watch as we start up the Daniel Webster Trail: 3:35 a.m. My head has that squeezed, hungover feeling from not enough sleep; the four hours we grabbed on the floor of Mark’s van after driving up here last night fell a few hours shy of rejuvenating. But we don’t have the luxury of a later start. We have a bus to catch this afternoon. And nine mountains stand between us and the bus stop.
My friend Mark Fenton and I are attempting what is arguably the archetypal huge dayhike, the “Death March” of New Hampshire’s Presidential Range. Continue reading →