David Sproat presents everything you need to know about hiking Isle Royale in one week. Learn about the region, how to get there, and what to expect while traversing the Minong Trail.
Twice a year, once in February and once in August, Salt Lake City becomes the center of the outdoor retailing world. OR, as it has come to be known, is the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show where everybody who is anybody in the outdoor business meets to talk gear and adventure. Here are three great products, which represent the best in outdoor gear.
Teva Chair 5• This boot from Teva proves their R&D gurus are thinking outside of the winter boot box. Lightweight and waterproof this packable boot is still extremely warm. Lined with 250 grams of 3M Thinsulate the Chair 5 is going to be the pair to draw to when cold weather hits and the snow is getting deep. Available August 2012 • Estimated retail price to be announced.
Petzl NAO Headlamp • The light beam on the new NAO Headlamp is “intelligent,” meaning that it can sense what and where you are pointing it and adjust accordingly. If you are digging around in your canoe pack at 3:00 am the 355 lumen lamp will soften, save energy, and not give you a blast of light to your face. Likewise, point it at that far-off bear coming into your camp and Yogi will get the full treatment, lighting up like a Christmas tree. Available July 2012 • Estimated retail: $175.
SmartWool PhD SmartLoft Divide • Here is a jacket, which is stuffed with fluffed-up Merino wool just like the feathers in your goose down jackets. This new design by SmartWool is proclaimed to be just as warm as down, even if it gets wet. The line will debut in the fall of this year with the Merino insulation and a weather-resistant shell. Available Fall 2012 • Estimated retail: $200.
And that is just a sample of all the cool gear coming to market in the next few months. Keep checking back here, and I will let you know of the great gear finds perfect for your outdoor adventure.
Join Duluth News Tribune outdoors writer Sam Cook as he shares photos and stories from his travels on three “close to home” whitewater paddling destinations — the Bloodvein, Steel and White rivers of Ontario and Manitoba.
Sam has been covering hunting, fishing, camping and all things outdoors for 31 years. He has paddled twice to Hudson Bay as well as numerous other adventures on the whitewater of Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, and Alaska.
Sam has also traveled by dog team on Canada’s Great Slave Lake and Baffin Island.
He is the author of six books and has won numerous journalism awards.
You can follow him on Twitter at: samcookoutdoors.
7:00 PM • Tuesday, January 24th • FREE • Duluth Pack Store • 365 Canal Park Drive
Here is one of the great new products for your outdoor adventures in 2012. The Slat Grill designed by Chris Weyandt of St. Paul, MN and built in the USA is perfect for camping, hiking, or any other trek into the woods. This grill is simple to set up and use, extremely versatile in heat source and configuration. It is also extremely portable, packing down to just 18” by 5” by 2” in its handy, canvas carry case. When packed it will easily slide into the outer pockets on a #3 Cruiser or the Kitchen Pack.
The Slat Grill debuted at the Midwest Mountaineering Winter Expo in Minneapolis last month. That was the first chance I had to see it, and for me it was an instant hit. Chris had two different stoves going under the grill and was cooking up a storm. The Slat Grill will not only accommodate gas-fired stoves, but charcoal or a wonderful open campfire will serve as heat sources. The half moon cut outs allow for a remote fuel source such as the MSR WindPro and they also serve as vents to let fire breathe as needed.
Set up is amazingly easy and requires no tools. Assemble the expedition grade box, (measures 18″x12″x4″) lay in the slats, or skewers, and use the chains to move it into position over the fire. By configuring the nine slats in any way you like a variety of pots, pans, or griddles can sit on top. Made from hard-anodized, lightweight aluminum the grill will take on a nice patina over time, but it is corrosion resistant, and clean up is easy with a scrubbie and some Bar Keepers Friend. And best of all, it is guaranteed for life.
As you make your plan to head into the Quetico next summer, you must have the Slat Grill on your gear list. Remember there are no fire grates in the Quetico. And, just imagine after a long hard push across the Yum-Yum portage sitting back and watching steaks sizzle on the Slat Grill. Great meals make for great canoe trips.
Keep checking in with the blog during the next couple of weeks as I bring you more great outdoor adventure products for 2012.
Cheers and Happy New Year!
The end of 2011 draws closer and the popular thing to do is put out lists summarizing the year previous. Well, here I am sucked into the trend, hand-picking and choosing the stories that stick out in my mind as memorable ones. Please enjoy the first four of my eight biggest, outdoor adventure stories of 2011.
8. Surfing the World’s Tallest Wave • Rumor has it that Garrett McNamara has surfed a 90-foot wave off of Portugal during the ZON North Canyon show of 2011. Buddies surfing with him confirm they all rode waves in the 60+ range. Then McNamara got on a wave that was reported by his surfing partners as 30 feet larger. We will keep you updated as we confirm this amazing ride.
7. Minnesotan Attempts to Solo Climb Denali • In January of 2011 Lonnie Dupre, winner of the Rolex Award for Enterprise attempted a solo summit of Denali. Dupre, from Grand Marais, Minnesota was hoping to be the first to reach the top of Denali solo in January. He reached the height of 17,200 feet before being pinned down for six days by a storm bearing 100 mph winds. In addition to the storm an earthquake of 5.4 magnitude just 30 miles away. Rumor has it that he will try the solo summit again in the January of 2012.
6. 881-Pound Tuna Seized by Federal Authorities • While I realize a very similar story was reported in 2010, these giant fish stories fascinate me. Seems Carlos Rafael and his crew were fishing off Massachusetts and snagged the massive fish in their nets. Only problem is: tuna are only legally caught on rod and reel so the Feds took control of the giant Bluefin, and left Mr. Rafael high and dry.
5. Hudson Bay Bound • Two recent graduates of St. Olaf College are the first women to trace the 2250 mile route made famous by Eric Severeid in the book Canoeing with the Cree. Ann Raiho and Natalie Warren left Fort Snelling on June 2nd and arrived at York Factory on Hudson Bay 85 days later, one week ahead of schedule.
There you have it, part one of the biggest outdoor adventure stories of 2011. What have I missed? What was the biggest story of the year in your memory? Maybe your story will make part two of my list, or leave me a comment below and tell me what you think.
Midwest Mountaineering will be hosting their 53rd bi-annual Outdoor Adventure Expo this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 18th through the 20th . Come to the west bank and wander the giant expo tent. Here you will get the chance to meet and speak with more than 60 exhibitors, including two learned experts from Duluth Pack, all dedicated to helping create the next great outdoor adventure.
In an effort to help adventurers learn more about the opportunities this great big world has to offer, there will be presentations from experts throughout the weekend. Dozens of presentations are scheduled with subjects as close to home as Minnesota State Parks, and as far flung as the summit of Everest. Head on over to Hanson Hall on Sunday afternoon and listen to yours truly ramble on and on about adventure blogging.
The Banff Mountain Film Festival held in Alberta, Canada accepts over 300 outdoor adventure films from around the world. During the festival the top 50 were chosen and screened from October 29, to November 6th, 2011. The films range in theme and style and include climbing, skiing, kayaking, biking and more. When the festival is over they take it on the road to hold mini film festivals in North American cities. This year’s tour includes the Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Adventure Expo. Check out screenings on Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Or check out both nights because a different line up of films will be seen each night.
There’s a lot going on during the Outdoor Adventure Expo November 18th to the 20th. Exhibitors, presentations, a film festival, and special events are all worth a trip to the west bank. As always the admission is free. Oops, the film festival will be $15.00, but the entertainment value is worth twice that. And don’t forget to visit us in the Duluth Pack booth or take advantage of your chance to pepper me with questions and/or rotten tomatoes on Sunday afternoon in Hanson Hall.