Monthly Archives: November 2010

Gear Review: REI Tarn 18 Kids Daypack

November 15, 2010  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

REI Tarn 18

Kids Daypack
REI Tarn 18
$40, 1 lb. 3 oz. (one size fits kids age 8 to 12)
18L/1,100 c.i.

Your kid needs a hydration-compatible daypack that’s functional and comfortable, and the Tarn 18 rings all the bells at a good price. It logged numerous days with my family this summer, from the Columbia Gorge to the Tetons, because it fits both my son (recently turned 11) and daughter (age 8). They both loved its look and functionality of a real pack. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Exped SynMat UL 7 Air Mattress

November 15, 2010  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Exped SynMat UL 7

Air Mattress
Exped SynMat UL 7
$155, 1 lb. (medium), plus 2-oz. mini pump (both weights exclude stuff sacks)
Sizes: S 64x20x2.8 inches, M 20x72x2.8 inches

Campsites on hard-packed dirt and stones in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains felt like a feather bed with this inflatable mattress, which has nearly three inches (seven centimeters) of cushion, but still weighs less than many competitors and packs down to the size of a liter bottle. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Five Ten Hueco Rock Climbing Shoes

November 15, 2010  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Five Ten Hueco

Rock-climbing Shoes
Five Ten Hueco
$140, 1 lb. 2 oz. (men’s 10)
Sizes: unisex 6-13

Count me as one of those climbers who was heartsick when Five Ten stopped making the Hueco some years back. And apparently, we were a pretty big club, because the Hueco was an awfully popular shoe in the 1990s. Now it’s back and improved, and after test-driving a pair on moderate routes at Idaho’s Castle Rocks State Park, I’m a kid in love again. Continue reading →

November 11, 2010

In the Land of Dr. Seuss: Exploring Joshua Tree

In Family Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

I feel the familiar nervous excitement just walking up to the base of the sun-warmed granite cliff, climbing gear jangling on my harness, rope over my shoulder. For various reasons, I haven’t gotten on rock in months. But as soon as I start moving upward and stick the first cam into a crack, I realize how much I’ve missed this intensity of focus, this sensation that there’s nothing else in the world except what I’m experiencing right here and now.

There aren’t many things in life that replicate the feeling of an eighth-grade date. For me, rock climbing still does it, after all these years. Continue reading →

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