Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gear Burger - Website Review

Thanks to Google Reader, I saw a review last week of Gear Burger given by The Adventure Blog. After checking it out for myself, I thought it was worth posting about in the blog.

Gear Burgar is an outdoors site of all sites - meaning they find out where all the deals/sales are going on, and list them all on their site. To put it simply enough, check out this website if you want to find the best deals on your outdoors gear and clothing without having to spend hours on the web. The website tracks down all the gear you would find at REI, but checks out all the other similar websites to find you the best deal out there. Here are all the sites they currently track: Outdoors (New),,,,,,,,,,,, Giantnerd, Half-Moon Outfitters,,, Marine Products,, Moosejaw, o2 Gear Shop,,,,, REI,,,,,, with more on the way!
I assumed that I would be able to click the link to Gear Burgar and immediately see what deals are currently out there, but it's not that simple, unfortunately. Apparently this website wants something from you before they are willing to give you the goods, so you have to open an account first. You only need to give your e-mail address before having access to the information you are looking for, and it's not a problem to change your settings if you don't want to get any unwanted e-mails.

When first logging on to the website, I was kind of confused. I couldn't figure out where to find the deals I was looking for, and it seemed that the only options I could find were dealing with my settings and preferences. Finally I saw in the left corner "Gear Bin" and voila. 

After checking out my "deals" I felt a little disappointed. I saw some great deals like 80% off some Nikwax Base Wash, but after clicking the link I saw that their "deal" was $5 for a 5 oz. bottle, not 80% off for their 33 oz. bottle - meaning they saw that the site was selling a bottle for $5, and assumed that it was for the 33 oz. bottle. NO savings for this one...

There were several other items that were sold-out or discontinued, and others that were just flat-out priced wrong on the Gear Burger website. I did see some clothes that were accurately priced, AND in stock however.

I would give this website two stars for having a great idea, but it appears that they are still working out the kinks and trying to make the website work properly. If they can get the system working like it should, than I have no doubt this company could become a best friend for a lover of the outdoors.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Outdoors Impaired...

As I said in Cranial Malfunction a few months ago, "we are no longer 'required' to work as we once were" while in the outdoors...
Once I can afford the monitoring fee and the actual beacon, I want to get a SPOT locator. They are small and lightweight, and as long as you have a clear view of the sky, your chances of survival when in a scary situation multiplies exponentially. It makes me wonder how local and state agencies are going to start regulating when they will, and won't, go out for a rescue. With stories like this one found in the New York Times something is going to need to change:

Last fall, two men with teenage sons pressed the help button on a device they were carrying as they hiked the challenging backcountry of Grand Canyon National Park. Search and rescue sent a helicopter, but the men declined to board, saying they had activated the device because they were short on water.
The group’s leader had hiked the Grand Canyon once before, but the other man had little backpacking experience. Rangers reported that the leader told them that without the device, “we would have never attempted this hike.”
The group activated the device again the next evening. Darkness prevented a park helicopter from flying in, but the Arizona Department of Public Safety sent in a helicopter whose crew could use night vision equipment.
The hikers were found and again refused rescue. They said they had been afraid of dehydration because the local water “tasted salty.” They were provided with water.
Helicopter trips into the park can cost as much as $3,400 an hour, said Maureen Oltrogge, a spokeswoman for Grand Canyon National Park.
So perhaps it is no surprise that when the hikers pressed the button again the following morning, park personnel gave them no choice but to return home. The leader was issued a citation for creating hazardous conditions in the parks.
Pretty sure I don't need to comment on how ridiculous these guys are. I will say it a million times probably - some people just don't belong in the outdoors...

(Article originally found at Trout Underground)

Click here to see an additional story just posted this morning on The Goat about K-Mart employees putting batteries in the SPOT locators, not assuming that store patrons would activate the beacons just to see how long it would take for a helicopter to arrive...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

All-In Trek: 12,500 miles within one year

I came across this story on The Adventure Blog, and had to share. Some stories are too impressive to pass up.

An outdoors fanatic, Samuel H. Gardner, plans on beginning his "All-In Trek" expedition on January 1st, 2011. He will be hiking the countries four longest trails within a year, and will start with The North Country trail in the dead of winter. He will only be the second to ever complete this trail during the winter months. Did I mention that he is in his mid-twenties??? This guy amazes me.

During his interview with he disclosed that he is planning on going through 22 pairs of shoes over the year he will be on the trail. So how many miles will he need to cover each day if he is going to meet his goal? He will need to average 34 miles a day which, those of you who hike know, is quite the feat. For food he will be mailing ahead boxes to drop-off points where he can re-stock his supply and will use whatever transportation he has access to in order to get from one trail to the next.
The first time I was able to really understand what is required of such intense thru-hikes was when I read "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson (which I just found out will soon become a movie produced by Robert Redford). It's hard enough for me to imagine the amount of preparation (both physical and mental) which goes into planning such a long trip, but I think the hardest part for my head to wrap around is how someone is able to take months, not weeks, off from work and family to achieve something as intense as one of these hikes. So how does someone like Samuel take a full year off from life to carry out his "All-In Trek?" I hope to one day hike the PCT, but can't see any way of doing this without either doing it between jobs or once I retire, but who wants to wait until they are out of their prime condition to do something like this?

To pay for his expedition, he will be relying on his sponsors who include the Ultralight Adventure Equipment company which is located in Logan, UT. If you want to contribute, or want to learn more about the All-In Trek than check out his website HERE. He will be updating his website along his journey.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Woman Puts Her Hand Down a Bears Throat!?!?

A Wisconsin woman hears a weird sound coming from her backyard, looks out the window, and sees a mama black bear obviously choking on something. The bear is close to passing out when the woman realizes that it must be her dogs bone that is lodged in the bears throat. Although the bear has one of her cubs close by, she is so close to passing out that she doesn't mind it when the woman reaches down the bears throat, grabs the bone, and pulls it out. Not really sure there is anything else I need to write about this one...

Here is the story, and HERE is where I found the story. Back to my weekly postings!