Best long underwear – Hot Chillys

Get ready for the ski season with a pair of Hot Chillys!

These are the most comfortable and effective long underwear I have tried. Their four-way stretch won’t hinder your mobility, they are as toasty as the name suggests, and have proven to be very breatheable as well as durable.

One might hesitate when looking at the pricetag, and believe me I have test driven plenty of cheaper pairs and alternatives, however none has proven as effective as my chillys. Dana swears she has had one of her pairs for 7 seasons and often wears them as leggings for apres ski outfits, when they are that functional and last that long they are an awesome value!

Hot Chillys
Hot Chillys

Key Features:

 

  • Material: Polyester; Bio-Silver antimicrobial yarns to help control odor
  • Elastic closure
  • Fabric is lightly sanded on the inside for added softness, comfort and warmth
  • UPF rating of 30+, Warmth Factor = 8
  • Anatomical body fit design for freedom of movement and added support to help reduce fatigue
  • Flat seam construction for seam strength and to eliminate abrasion

Highlights:

  • Our Rating:
  • Super elastic, warm and comfortable
  • Price range: $39.99 – 69.95

Where to buy?

Best trail running shoes – Salomon XT Wings 2 GTX

Salomon Men's XT Wings 2 GTX Trail Running Shoe
Salomon Men’s XT Wings 2 GTX Trail Running Shoe

Are you looking for trail running shoes? I bought a pair of Salomon trail running shoes earlier this year and I think they are great for hiking and trail running.

Even though they are super lightweight, I have never gotten wet feet in them yet and I have been using them in snow-covered terrain on a multiple day backpacking hike. They offer fantastic traction in muddy and snow covered terrain.

The quick-lace system is very convenient and provides a snug fit. The shoe feels comfortable and I have never gotten blisters in them yet.

I found another very detailed review of the Salomon XT Wings 2 on Ransacker.co.uk.

Key Features:

  • Waterproof
  • Material: [Upper] mesh, textile, rubber; [Membrane] Gore-Tex XCR
  • Sole: [Footbed] Ortholite, molded EVA heel; [Midsole] triple-density EVA w/ Pronation Control; [Outsole] Contagrip
  • Arch Support: High
  • Lacing: Quicklace
  • Weight: [Pair, size 9] 1lb 11.2oz (774g)
  • 1 Year Manufacturer Warranty

Highlights:

  • Our Rating:
  • Lightweight and waterproof
  • Price range: $127.99 – $160

Where to buy?

The Ultimate Outdoor Vehicle

Last week, I bought a 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon Weekender Edition for our endless outdoor adventures to come. She seems to be in mechanically sound condition, but needs some good interior and exterior scrubbing before we take her on our first trip. We named the young lady “Tootsie Roll”.

The Volkswagen Vanagon is the ultimate outdoor vehicle, because it does not cost much to pick one up, that means you have more money to actually go places, and it has enough room to comfortably sleep in plus it stores all your outdoor adventure gear. It also is not very difficult to repair it yourself. There are multiple websites that list all kinds of tutorials on how to repair almost everything on that vehicle.

And a Vanagon just looks awesome!

Hiking Mount Agung in Bali

In September 2010, Dana and I traveled to Bali and hiked the highest mountain on the island, Mount Agung (10,308 feet).

In order to see the sunrise on the peak of the mountain, we started our hike at 2am in the morning. We stayed in a Hotel near the base of the mountain. The Hotel was the only one in the town and it was absolutely awful. I recommend sleeping in your “nice” Hotel room the night prior, wake up 1-3 hours earlier (depending on where you stay on the island) and start the hike, rather than staying in a crappy Hotel room near the base of the mountain. You will get a much better good-night-sleep.

We started our hike near Agung’s temple, which is located near the base of the mountain. Agung is a very holy mountain to the locals and it is recommended not to hike it without a local guide in order to fully “respect” the mountain. Our guide picked us up at 2am and drove us to the base. It was nice having a guide, as the trail can be rather primitive at times and we had many questions about the mountain and the island. The guide also supplies you with additional gear such as head lamps, rain coats, etc.

Read a great guide about Mount Agung.

Best Outdoor Camera – Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2

I recently bought the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2. I have tested the camera now on multiple hikes, scuba diving in Bali and snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain. And so far I am very satisfied with my purchase.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 is shock proof, water proof, dust proof and freeze proof. On my trip to Bali, I took a bunch of pictures under water and the camera truly was water proof and fully functional after being under water for a long time.

The size of the camera is also great. It is just slightly larger than other non-rugged digital cameras currently on the market. I really enjoy the multiple modes one can select. From a fully automatic mode, to film grain to completely manual.

Key Features:

  • LEICA DC 28mm Wide-angle Lens
  • 4.6x Optical Zoom / 6x Intelligent Zoom / 9.8x Extra Optical Zoom
  • Shockproof, Waterproof, Freezeproof and Dustproof Protections
  • 14.1-megapixel High-resolution CCD
  • Beach and Surf Mode / Snow Mode / Sports Mode
  • Sonic Speed AF
  • Intelligent Resolution Technology
  • High Image Quality in High-sensitivity Shooting
  • Extended Battery Life – Approx. 360 Shots on a Single Battery Charge
  • MEGA Burst Consecutive Shooting in Full Resolution
  • HD Movie in AVCHD Lite
  • LED Light
  • High Quality Sound
  • Wind Cut
  • Zoom in Motion Picture
  • iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode for Movie
  • VIERA Link / HDMI Compatibility
  • POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) – Shake Detection
  • Face Detection AF/AE with Face Recognition
  • Digital Red-eye Correction (Red-eye Removal)
  • AF Tracking – Subject Detection
  • Intelligent ISO Control – Motion Detection
  • Intelligent Exposure – Light Detection
  • Auto Backlight Compensation
  • Large, 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot High-resolution LCD
  • Wide-viewing Angle / Intelligent LCD
  • High Dynamic Mode / High-speed Burst Mode (Still Images) / Panorama Assist
  • Mode (Still Images)
  • Macro Zoom
  • PictBridge Compatible – Direct Print Function

Highlights:

  • Our Rating:
  • Shockproof, Waterproof, Freezeproof and Dustproof Protections and yet a small and elegant design
  • Price range: $260.95 – $500.00

Where to buy?

 

San Gorgonio Hike Review

On August 1, 2010 Dana and I hiked San Gorgonio Mountain in the San Gorgonio Wilderness. San Gorgonio Mountain is the highest peak in Southern California at 11,503 feet (3,506 m) and it is located in the San Bernardino National Forest. This is a great 17 mile day hike. Due to the 5,500 feet elevation gain, it is a rather strenuous hike.

We drove down to the San Bernardino National Forest from Santa Barbara the day before we started the hike and camped about 30 minutes away from the trail head.