Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Timeout for Kayaking

Hope everyone (both of you who read this) had a great Christmas. I know that I'm excited to try out my dehydrator, and am planning on making my own meals for the trail this Summer. Since I'm enjoying my holiday break, I thought that I would also take a break from the hiking/backpacking topic, and share this amazing video I came across a few weeks ago.

It's amazing what kayakers are able to do. Jumping off a waterfall is suicidal enough, but with a little boat attached to your waist is beyond me. I mean what happens when they hit the water? If I were to just jump in, I would hit the water and sink several feet before swimming back to the top, but if I had a kayak attached to me than it seems like I would hit the water with an abrupt stop (something similar to what happens with this guy when he hits a rock). Apparently this guy is one of a kind - as you will see for yourself.

Found on

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Skiing Utah's Desert Spines

I love Utah. There may be the nay-sayers who have noting but negative things to say about this state, and while it may have it's imperfections, I love it nonetheless.

I came across this video and felt that it caught what Utah is all about, beautiful red rock desert scenery, yet amazing powder known throughout the world. Hope you enjoy. There isn't much to say, other than to encourage you to watch it, so I'll let you get to it...

Brought to you by The Adventure Blog

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The History of Eddie Bauer

I'll be honest, I have loved Eddie Bauer's products for several years, but there is this prideful part of me that doesn't want to wear any "outdoors" brand that also sells bedding and home furnishings, or any worthless crap that has very little to do with the outdoors. They have great winter wear, but seem to care more about selling anything that will make them money instead of sticking to their grassroots. The North Face seems to also be doing a similar thing as they are willing to sell to any sports shop out there - but this is for a separate posting.

I came across this video and was surprised to learn that Eddie Bauer, the man, was the one to invent the quilted down jacket:

Hard to believe? Yeah, I thought so too. I did some research to find out how Mr. Bauer (not THAT Bauer) could have started an outdoors store in 1920 located downtown Seattle (of course...), only to become the company we now have that no longer specializes in anything. Along the way, I read about Eddie Bauer supplying more than 50,000 B-9 Flight Parkas for airmen in the U.S. Air Force during WWII, and over 100,000 sleeping bags to the Armed Services.

Come to find out, Eddie developed hypothermia during a fishing trip in the dead of winter. As heavy wool was the only insulation from the elements at the time, Eddie made a quilted down jacket and in 1940 his patent for THE FIRST quilted jacket was approved. Here is the original patent drawing:

By the time I learned about the quilted jacket, and how Eddie was hired by the military to manufacture jackets and sleeping bags for the servicemen, I began to care less and less about the company we know today, but still wanted to know what happened. Turns out, Eddie and his hunting buddy/business partner sold the company to General Mills (?????), who eventually sold it to Spiegel (hence the "fashionable" mens and women's clothing we now have), and then went bankrupt - turning over ownership one more time. I guess that most companies change over 90 years, but it makes me wonder what the Eddie Bauer company would look like if they were to go back to their roots, and also makes me wonder if this is even possible.

In case you were wondering WHO could EVER want to take Eddie Bauer serious when it comes to mountaineering and outdoors adventures, it may interest you to know that the first American to successfully summit Mt. Everest was wearing Eddie Bauer outerwear. If you are interested in looking at the other notable achievements made by mountaineers while wearing Eddie Bauer clothing, you can check out First Ascent Expeditions on the Eddie Bauer website. 

In all fairness, it must be mentioned that Eddie Bauer has recently made a push to the public, showing that the company still means business when it comes to hardcore outdoors adventures. First Ascent is Eddie Bauer's line of clothing dedicated to the serious outdoorsman who is about a lot more than lounging around a ski lodge, and sipping a hot beverage while laying on a lush sheepskin. Here is what the company has to say about this line of clothing:

First Ascent is a line of world-class expedition gear created by Eddie Bauer with some of the best mountain guides in the world. Simple. Functional. Light. Durable. Everything you need. Nothing you don't.™

The bottom line: I'll continue to stop by Eddie Bauer while my wife visits her stores at the mall, but just the thought of going to an outdoors store in a mall feels like an oxymoron. Their First Ascent line does interest me, and buying a quilted-down jacket made by the first company to come up with the idea does sound kind of appealing. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Welcoming in the Winter Months

I came across this amazing photo on the Yosemite Blog, and just had to share it. I have seen many impressive pictures (not to mention the double rainbows) from Yosemite, but this photo just proves how vast and amazing this national park truly is.

First Winter Snow in Cooks Meadow - by Robin Black
I love the change of seasons. There is something majestic about watching the blossoms bloom and fall, then watching the trees become full of life only to morph into amazing tints of red and orange, and then to finally fall along with the snow. Although winter is kind of a dormant-death for several months, pictures like the one above help me appreciate the change of perspective. Although I am no longer able to hike the same trails as I did a few months ago, it gives me an opportunity to start snowshoeing (hopefully this season finally), and to take on different activities that the other seasons don't offer.

The same day I came across this photo on Google Reader, I saw this one and had to post it as well:

Found this amazing picture taken of the Montana Prarie for the National Geographic Photography contest. While I'm making a habit of posting pictures, I might as well include this one as well that I saw on Backcountry's website:

Surfing Orca:)