Shit that works: Rab Pulse hoody

The newish variations of ~100 gram/meter poly baselayers might be my most loved innovation in gear out of the last five years.  As someone whose larger challenge with thermoregulation almost always has to do with managing sweat, and rather rarely with outright heat generation (or more exactly, lack of it), the way these thin fabrics…More

Shit that works: the Rocketbox

Our Yakima Rocketbox turns 20 this year.  Over that time, few other items have been as consistently useful when it comes to outdoor adventure. The US is set up for cars, with the overwhelming majority of prospective destinations not lending themselves to non-private motorized transportation.  If in places like Alaska the wilderness can make hard…More

Shit that works week: the return

The original series has remained amongst my most-read posts throughout the nearly five years since it was published.  This is because, in the end, backcountry gear is not as complicated as we are inclined to think, and because the online world (concerning outdoor adventure and generally) has become ever more fake. Let us discuss. The…More

Isle Royale debrief

To review; what I set out to do was this.  What I ended up doing was this. Camps were Birch Island, Island Mine, Malone Bay, and Daisy Farm. I knew going in that the original plan would be subject to potentially extensive change on the fly, due to how difficult the off-trail sections would end…More

Isle Royale fall planning

I’ve been wanting to do something like this for ages, and a weeks ago circumstances aligned such that I’d be close (if a 12 hour detour is close) to Isle Royale in late September, making the temptation unavoidable.  Therefore, next week I’ll have 3 whole days and 2 half days, the time between when the…More

Properly hiding ones paddle

A few days ago I read Dan’s account of a trip in the Caribou Mountains of BC.  Highly recommended, and guaranteed to fire the imagination.  What astonishes me is that both Dan and Will completed the trip, with hours of monstrous, worst-case bushwacking, with their paddles strapped to the outsides of their packs.  Dan lost…More

Seeing Rocks

Hunters are fond of saying that success correlates with time in the field, that it only takes one (more).  Numerically this is true, but not all hours afield count the same.  Animals use the landscape deliberately, and substituting brute math for knowledge uses cliche as fiction; that even given time and attention native logic is…More

My ultimate hunting pack

Last month a reader contacted me about a pack bag for a Seek Outside frame, mentioning these bags as inspiration.  Primary use for the pack would be elk hunting in the Olympics, with capacity and simplicity as main design priorities, along with side pockets which would hold a sizeable tripod and 80mm+ objective spotting scope. …More

The veneration of lameness

This spring I found myself delivering the quintessential adventure parent explanation, caveat, or excuse: that it is possible to have kids without becoming lame.  That I was at the time struggling to both carry a conversation and hike decently fast up a short hill would seem to suggest lameness, at least insofar as my parental…More

Introducing North Fork Packraft straps

The astute will have noticed months ago that I’m in the process of launching a pack company, North Fork.  I’m pleased to report that it is going very well indeed, in spite of no overt public evidence of progress.   Two years ago I sketched out a detailed idea of the two packs I wanted to…More