Friday, December 23, 2011

The Perfect Gift

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me...the perfect gift...a pair of Zeal GPS ski goggles.  You may not have heard about these in the 14 months since they've come out, but these are one of the hottest gifts for the gear guy who needs his fix on the latest new technology.  Yes, we've been raving about them since we first laid our hands on a prototype nearly two years ago and you can go back in the blog to hear what we were saying a year ago.  But now they're even better.

New software on the Zeal Transcend SPX and SPPX ski goggles gives the user better functionality and for users with smaller faces, the Zeal Z3 solves the only complaint we ever heard about the Transcend: that it was too big.  There's not enough room here to get into all the technical features, but if you know a boy who likes his toys you won't go wrong here. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's not too late.

Christmas is just around the corner but with expedited shipping you can still get that last minute gift from in time. Call us at 855-244-GEAR and we'll let you know what it will cost to drop that perfect gift under your tree via overnight or two day shipping. For great gift ideas review the last eight days of blogs or check out some of the new winter arrivals on our home page.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ready for the Storm

Anyone involved in alpine pursuits needs to be prepared to weather a storm. A bivy offers just the sort of lightweight shelter that can make a trip a success and even save a life. With more and more people getting out into the backcountry we've seen more and more new bivys and tents catering to mountain adventurers. This year we've seen a lot of interest in two bivys in particular: the Integral Design Wedge Bivy and the RAB summit mountain bivy.
The Integral Designs Wedge Bivy is a radical low profile structure maximizing the benefits of high quality waterproof-breathable EVENT fabric. Designed for one--but roomy enough for two in an emergency--the Wedge Bivy offers bombproof shelter in a tiny package.

A little roomier, but just as bombproof is RAB's summit mountain bivy tent. The Summit Mountain bivy may be unique in that it has 2 sealed ‘donut link’ tie in points, located at top and side; perfect for climbers who need to stay clipped in to a harness overnight. You simply won't find a better single-walled alpine mountaineering set up.

Monday, December 19, 2011


It looks like old man winter is finally here. This may be just the excuse you need to get NEW Lowa Snow Boots. We've been carrying sheepskin boots from Koolaburra for years, but these are more fashion than function. With Lowa's winter boots you get great looks and performance.

Inset left is Lowa's Paganella boot. The Paganella is a women's snow boot that is super-warm, waterproof, slim-fitting, and stylish. What distinguishes these boots is the solid sole and traction giving tread.

Also new in the line this year is the Lowa Alagna, super toasty and waterproof. These high shaft snow boots utilize LOWA’s exclusive Monowrap® technology which wraps the foot in a lightweight, comfortable, and supportive frame.

Another good looking winter boot is the Lowa Lavaia GTX Hi Women's Snow Boot. Like its sisters the Lavaia offers the protection of a GoreTex lining and excellent traction on ice and snow. Get yours before the next big storm!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Get Down...Get Down.

On the floor baby. That's right. The holidays are a time to break out the sleeping pads and camping mattresses. With all the new comfy air mattresses out their I've found that I'm more comfortable on the floor than the spare beds at our extended families' homes.

When I'm traveling light I go with my Thermarest NeoAir (pictured above). Smaller than a Nalgene bottle and less than a pound you can take this with you anywhere. But frankly when space isn't an issue Nemo's Cosmo Air Pad with Pillowtop Sleep System just can't be beat. It's an horizontal air pad like the NeoAir, but with an inch of foam on top and a washable microfiber cover. You get the even get a built-it foot pump to make set-up a snap. While it costs as much as a cheap mattress, it's the perfect guest bed that is easy to store and is great for camping.

But if you're really looking for luxury--or trying to convince your spouse/partner that camping is not so bad--then a full size Kelty air mattress is the way to go. Other than having to get up and down on the ground, you really don't sacrifice much over a real bed. Now's the time to get yourself set-up for a good night sleep...on the floor.

Seven Degrees

It's only 7 degrees out on this 7th day of the Christmas blog and the ground here in Vermont is coated in a light layer of white fluffy stuff. Perfect weather to be thinking about winter gloves.

If you're like me you've accumulated quite a collection of gloves for different uses, think alpine ski gloves, backcountry ski gloves, etc. The only problem is that too often I went cheap and got what a paid for...gloves that made it through a season or two. I've laid out my assortment and have vowed to clean out and replace the junk with one (or two) pairs of high quality gloves that will last more than two years. So I'm excited we've gotten a big load of Outdoor Research gloves and mitts and Black Diamond gloves and mitts to choose from. Whether you're looking for a lightweight everyday winter glove, ski gloves, or expedition highcamp mitts, we can help you keep you're hands warm in gloves that will last!

Friday, December 16, 2011

New Goggles from Julbo

Now would be the time to order up some of the newest ski goggles for your upcoming ski vacation. For peak performance check out the Julbo Orbiter Goggles with Zebra Photochromic lenses. The Zebra® photochromic lens is an unsurpassed optics technology that changes the lenses from category 2 to 4 in less than 22 seconds. Light enough to see in night skiing conditions and excellent for flat-light conditions, these are the goggles that you will want to be wearing in all extreme conditions.

Looking for some out of the ordinary performance ski goggles? Look to Julbo's Glenak Goggles with Camel Lens for pro performance with an attitude. If nothing else follow the link to watch two of the world's best ripping it up!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Five Gold Rings

Crescent Moon's Gold Series Snowshoes would have had top billing on this 5th of the last 12 Shipping Days before XMAS. However there are six Gold models and not five, so something told me I should focus on the literal "gold ring" concept instead of the "gold" medal you might win wearing a pair of Gold 12 Running Snowshoes.

Momentum Watch Company's Alter Ego watch really offers a more interesting "gold ring" connection. The Alter Ego watch offers a new take on the trendy circular watch face style. Momentum figured out a way to create an interchangeable top ring/bezel that securely locks in place but is simple to change out. Available in 8 bright metallic eye popping colors, the Alter Ego's top rings might just be "gold" for that special someone you're still shopping for.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Give a Jetboil Gear Upgrade!

Still looking for the perfect gift for your favorite gear guy? One of the great new gear improvements of the year was the Jetboil Sol premium cooking system. OK. Maybe there could have been a better tag line. Cold weather cooker, super fast pack stove, or ultralight canister stove would at least have given more insight into what the Sol is all about. But however you describe it, the Jetboil Sol is convenient, clean, compact, and cold compatible.

For as little at 8.5 oz--in a package a little bigger than a 20 oz. Nalgene bottle--you get a neat self contained stove that fits easily into any hiking backpack or daypack. And instead of suffering with temperamental performance as temps go down, you can have a stove that performs consistently down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The Jetboil Sol is available in a Titanium and Aluminum version (10.5 oz). And of course all Jetboil Stoves come in tidy little packages directed at different user needs.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Touchscreen Compatible Gloves?!?

Whaaaht? You heard right...although maybe you've already seen the reviews...or seen them hit store shelves this winter.

For the Second Day of Christmas, CC Outdoor Store suggests to you...

Outdoor Research Touchscreen Compatible SENSOR Gloves.

No more need to use your runny nose to navigate your touchscreen. READ MORE about OR's Sensor Gloves...even watch a video!

You can get Men's or Women's Sensor Gloves in time for the holidays...but our supplies are limited.

Give the Gift of Warmth

Give a Big Agnes Sleeping Bag to your loved one(s). High quality down, lightweight fabrics, innovative sleep system = GREAT REVIEWS.

On this THIRD DAY OF THE REMAINING 12 SHIPPING DAYS 'TIL XMAS we suggest you check out the last THREE DAYS of our BIG AGNES SALE.

Big Agnes' King Solomon two-person sleeping bag was one of last year's top gifts given by customers. High grade 600 fill down keeps you warm down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. A synthetic version of this double-wide bag called the Cabin Creek sleeping bag is also available.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The 12 Days of Christmas

On the First day of Christmas, CC Outdoor Store sent to me..


That's right there are only 12 more days you could possibly order from us to get your presents before Christmas. To make things easier we're offering FREE Standard shipping this week so you'll have plenty of time to receive your order before the holidays. On this first of 12 days we're offering something you won't want to be paying Express shipping rates on...Snowshoes.

To make your winter wonderful, we've put Crescent Moon Snowshoes and Redfeather Snowshoes on sale for the next five days. Plenty of time for us to get them for your snow filled holiday vacation...or to be ready to enjoy the next storm. Both companies make their snowshoes here in the US so you can expect great quality and great service; something we no longer expect from iconic snowshoe brands that have outsourced to cheaper unskilled Asian labor. We know and love snowshoes here, so don't hesitate to call our customer service number for expert advice from Vermont!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bright Lights in Waterbury

Saturday December 3rd promises lots of excitement here in's the Second Anniversary of moving to Waterbury and it's the second year of Waterbury's River of Light Parade. We've got some great holiday discounts in place and will raffle off some great prizes including a new Nemo Astro Air Sleeping Pad and a Deuter Backpack.

Visit the store on Saturday (in the Twin Silos @ 438 US RT 2)from 10am-5pm to see our new retail outlet and find some bargains then head down to Rusty Parker Park to watch the parade @ 5pm. The parade will start at the Vermont State Office Complex then proceed down main street (which will be closed off) before turning on to Stowe Street and looping back to the Green Mountain Coffee Visitor Center.

For the holidays we'll be open seven days a week from 9-5:30pm EST and late on Thursday's until 8 pm and on Sundays from 12-4pm

Monday, November 14, 2011

Are you ready for some snowshoes?

We are! With a recent storm dumping a foot of snow on Western Mass. and Southern Vermont who's not thinking about winter? We sold our first MSR snowshoes of the season 9 days ago and we're not looking back. We think this is going to be a big winter.... Suffice it to say that MSR snowshoes go on sale on Wed. November 16th through Dec. 7th for the only time this season. This year MSR requires all its retailers to only offer discount prices at the beginning of the season, so this is the only time this year you'll find bargains on great snowshoes like the Lightning Ascent. Buy yourself an early Xmas gift!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Local News goes National

CC Outdoor Store got it's first known mention in USA Today this Monday...OK the story had nothing to do with the store or even outdoor gear. And the mention is buried deep in the article; but the article was the feature of Section B: MONEY.

The story on the Flood in Waterbury explains in more depth why our blog was inactive in September and most of October. Here's the link: Waterbury, Vt., residents try to recover from flood. When nearby towns within 15 miles of our store are included, over 420 households and businesses have filed FEMA claims for damage...close to a third of all Vermont's FEMA claims. Owner Reed McCracken's quote at the end of the article really does sum up our fall.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Time to Change Your Socks!

Darn Tough Wool Socks are in! Our winter supply has arrived so we're happy to help you replace your threadbare hiking socks with the only Merino wool sock with an unconditional lifetime guarantee. If you haven't tried wool socks yet you don't know what you're missing. And if you already discovered the Darn Tough experience, share it with friends and family this holiday season.

We've got many new styles and colors in stock, but you'll have to wait awhile until we can get them all programmed on the Darn Tough page of our website. But if you check in here, I'm sure I'll devote a whole post to Darn Tough's new seamless sock knitting technology when they're up on our site. The new seamless loom technology has completely revamped their ski sock line and is winning accolades from all corners.

If you happen to be in Vermont next weekend consider checking out the 32nd Annual Cabot Hosiery Mill Sock Sale. This is a great way to stock up on socks made with the same looms as Darn Tough (including some Darn Tough Styles & Sizes.) Cabot is Darn Tough's parent company and the sale is held at the mill in Northfield, Vermont.

Friday, November 4, 2011


We want to thank our local friends for helping get the word out about our new location at 438 US RT 2 in Waterbury, Vermont. The Green Mountain Club gave us a nice mention on the Green Mountain Club Facebook page. Vermont Sport Magazine got the news out on their blog. And the Waterbury Record picked up and added to our press release. Keep your eyes out for info on our Grand Opening Event on November 19th with a raffle and door prizes and lots of special pricing throughout the store!

We were also thrilled to see that our new neighbor The Old Stagecoach Inn Bed & Breakfast had added our store to their Local Attractions page. Getting everyone our new address is still going to be a big project.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Winter is Coming!

Old Man Winter stirred this past Sunday and we're getting ready for him. This winter added Bollé Goggles to our selection. We didn't just chose Bollé for their great reputation; we sought them out so we could boast one of the largest selections of photochromatic ski goggles. Photochromatic is the industry term to lenses that adjust to variable light conditions. On the shelf in our new store the Bollé goggles look great and get lots of attention with exciting styling and colors.

We'll also have a larger selection of ski backpacks this year. Just in our system today is the new Osprey Karve Ski backpack which comes in a 6 Liter, 11 Liter, and 16 Liter sizes. These packs come in three colors: Whiteout, Double Black, and Redline...sure to draw some attention on the slopes. Whether you're ski lift served terrain or out in the backcountry these packs are a must for hydration, snacks, and extra layers.

Friday, October 28, 2011

is up and running at its new location at 438 US Route 2 in Waterbury. Near Little River State Park, Vermont's Long Trail, and four of Vermont's Ski Resorts,’s new space offers more room for our retail outlet, customer service department and warehouse operations. Owner Maureen McCracken says “Now it’s much easier for customers to make a quick stop off I-89 to visit our store. You can even see the Twin Silos building from the highway.” opened on the Internet in 1999 operating from a small warehouse in Boulder, Colorado. After leaving EMS, two brothers—whose last name ended with “C”—saw the potential of the web to revolutionize outdoor gear shopping. The store was sold on Dec. 3, 2009 and relocated to Route 100 two miles north of the Green Mountain Club Visitor Center. offers name brand outdoor gear to consumers looking for products to enhance their enjoyment of the outdoors. This winter, the store features a large selection of American-made snowshoes, poles, backpacks, boots, luggage, winter hats, gloves, ski goggles, and Darn Tough socks. The store specializes in boots, backpacks, tents, and other gear for backpacking and mountaineering.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sale Days

Save big on great outdoor brands as we clean out for's big move. And now is the perfect time to treat yourself to a new pair of Zamberlan or Vasque hiking boots. Find sale prices and a new member discount to find yourself a great bargain on backpacking boots, trekking poles, sleeping bags, ultralight tents and even snowshoes! This promotion ends Saturday, October 15th so there's no time to delay...and once the stock is gone it's gone.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New luggage from Osprey!

While Osprey is best known for their backpacks, they also put out sturdy, dependable, and easy-to-use luggage. We've just added the new Osprey Vector 18 to our luggage lineup. Small enough to fit in most overhead bins--even on international airlines--the Vector 18 is perfect for a quick overnight or weekend trip. It comes equipped with a padded laptop sleeve and multiple slash pockets for organization. Extra large wheels and a rugged aluminum frame help this go where ever you need it to.

Want to maximize your overhead allotment? The Osprey Vector 22 is the perfect choice. A bigger version of the Vector 18, this lightweight carry-on truly raises the bar for what travelers will expect from their luggage.

Need a broader range of travel packs and luggage from other great outdoor brands? Refer to our full selection of bags.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Light & Motion SoLite 150 Delivers.

The SoLite 150 by Light & Motion is just what I needed now that the days are getting shorter. As much as I love my 75 lumen headlamp, I needed to find a light that could deliver more over a greater distance for my Wednesday night mountain bike rides in Vermont's Stowe Town loops. With easy-to-use helmet and handlebar attachment accessories The SoLite 150 puts 150 lumens of light on descents where you need to see out farther ahead. And with tiny yellow side lights the SoLite 150 even gives you decent peripheral vision. With a USB compatible rechargeable battery included you get a lighter package than you'd get with a heavy set of AA batteries...and you'll save money over the long run. While maximum output only lasts 3 hours, this is plenty for an early morning or end of day workout.

Suffice it to say I'm a fan of the SoLite 150. But if I didn't deliver enough specs for you about Light & Motion's SoLite headlamp / light system, you should read the review on The Adventure Blog. And if 150 lumens isn't enough for you and money's no object, check out Light & Motion's Sella 300.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Local Trail Days

With October upon us, now is the time to squeeze in some trail work before the weather turns on us. CRAG-VT is calling on volunteers to help with the trails at the Bolton Quarry (which incidently is only 5 miles down the road from the future location of our retail store). Tomorrow's event (Oct. 1) starts at 9am and runs until 4pm...rain or shine. Looks like there will be great food and raffle prizes for participants. We found out about this from the Petra Cliffs newsletter, check out their site for other great events coming up.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Help us Pack our Things!

That's right we need your help packing up our gear and Moving Up. We're moving up the road a few miles to a new retail location in Waterbury, Vermont. Our new location will be right off Exit 10 on the road to Little River State Park. We want you to help us carry some of our gear out of the old store. Each day for the next 15 days we'll be putting great gear on sale at incredibly low prices. Please don't spread the word as we don't want to get in trouble here. (These prices are so low we can not advertise them.)

So if you want the lowdown on low prices check out our Moving Up Sale where we'll be featuring popular name brand products at outrageous prices. Supplies are limited to stock on hand and prices may only be valid for a few hours. If there was a time for acting fast this is it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Trekking with Leki Poles

Leki Trekking Poles offer stability and security whether you're trekking the hills of the Scottish Highlands or tackling a mountain pass on the John Muir Trail. offers Leki Trekking Poles at a great price: 20% off through 9/28!

The Leki Corklite Aergon Speedlock Antishock pole is our most popular trekking pole this year. This mouthful of a pole from Leki's Corklite series offers all the features: a cool lightweight Aergon-design cork grip, easy to use speedlock adjustments, and shock absorption in a lightweight package.

Another great option for trekkers wanting a sturdier pole is the Leki Khumbu Speedlock Trekking Pole. Easy to use, the Khumbu Pole pole offers you function and strength without putting a big dent in your budget. And as with most Leki poles you can upgrade to a Khumbu with an antishock option. When choosing among different pole brands, it is worth noting that Leki Poles set the industry standard for strength through a unique process for manufacturing their aluminum shafts.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nemo Tents and Pads

While Nemo tents have gotten lots of great press in recent years, it is their backcountry pads that have stolen the attention of late. The new ultralight NEMO Zor self-inflating sleeping pad is finally available as is its more luxurious inflatable cousin the Nemo Astro Pad. Using innovative technologies Nemo has improved on the industry standards for comfort, weight,and cost.

The Nemo Astro Sleeping Pad attracted much of the attention this year...and we finally have a good amount of stock of options like the Astro Air Insulated Sleeping Pad and Pillowtop Combo that won Backpacker's Editor's Choice Award this past spring. With horizontal baffling and a removable 1 inch pillowtop foam you get an incredible amount of comfort for sleeping on the ground wherever you choose to lay out your pad. Best of all is the price. While it is not the lightest inflatable pad, for the price we think it offers the best all around value. Follow the links above for more details...and act now while these great pads are in stock and on sale.

September Promotions

Momentum Watches, Nemo Tents, Julbo Sunglasses and Leki Trekking Poles are featured promotions at in these final days of September. Look for sale prices at 20% savings on great Nemo Equipment and super strong Leki poles. Become a member of our loyalty program and get in line for some great clearance specials in the weeks to come.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Recovering from Irene

While outside of Waterbury village--was spared the ravages of Tropical Storm Irene, many of our friends, neighbors, and loyal customers were not. Our store staff responded immediately and have been volunteering every day since devastating flooding wrought havoc on our community. With the exception of the first day after the flood, we've managed a skeleton staff to keep our store going while we have rolled up our sleeves volunteering to help others.

The human and physical costs of this natural disaster remain to be tallied but for one snapshot of this event you can check out this story.

While work is ongoing trying to organize to rebuild the approximate 200 homes and businesses ruined by Irene, folks wanting to donate to provide funds directly to needy families can do so online thru the Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund. (The button is tricky to find, but is on the bottom of the page.)

Finally updating our blog three weeks after the Irene disaster is one of many steps we'll need to take as we try to return to some semblance of normalcy.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sale on Hiking and Backpacking Boots

With a little less than a week left on our Hiking and Backpacking Boot Sale it's time to get serious about replacing those old boots and taking care of your feet for a full season of fall hiking. We've deepened our discount on Lowa Boots to 20% and are expecting to lower our prices on our Vasque boot sale to match some outrageously low prices we've seen on competitors sites. Both sales run through August 24th so act now before time runs out.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Big Backpack Sale

Our Big Backpack Blowout Sale is now going strong. Take 20% off most of our large selection of Gregory Backpacks and Osprey Backpacks.

Our End-of-Summer Backpack Sale features almostall backpack brands we carry; except for Deuter packs. This includes GoLite backpacks, Kelty backpacks, Millet backpacks, Mountainsmith backpacks and Sierra Designs backpacks. So whether you're looking for a hydration pack or an expedition bag we can help you gear up with the pack best suited to your needs. Most packs will be on sale through Monday August 22nd, some a bit longer. But don't wait, many of these backpacks are very low in stock.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Jetboil: No bigger than a wine bottle!

Despite often grueling weekend backpacking trips, my wife always insists on bringing along a bottle of wine. Our Jetboil Flash helps compensate for this extravagance. We've been knocking off too many small fuel canisters lately which are great because they pack inside the Jetboil companion cup that comes with the Flash stove. If we were in the market today for a new stove we'd go with the more compact Jetboil Sol which is 4.5 oz lighter (only 10.5 oz) and could go even lighter still (8.5 oz.) if you don't mind springing for the Sol Titanium! The Sol boils the 2 cups of water needed for a 2 person backpacking meal in a mere 2 minutes and 15 seconds and maintains consistent fuel pressure up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit so we could heat up dinner for the whole family in a manner of minutes even if we were winter camping!

If the winter thing is never going to happen and you can afford to wait an extra 15 seconds for your hot water, then a more cost effective option is the Jetboil Zip for $69.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Vasque Backpacking Boots

Call us old school but we believe kids and adults need solid footwear with good traction when on the trail. Hiking and backpacking boots like the Vasque Bitterroot or Vasque Sundowner are essential gear for anyone heading up into the mountains. Increasingly you'll see minimalist footwear out on the trails, but you're not going to have much fun hiking if your feet hurt or you sustain an injury from slipping or twisting an ankle or knee. We're guilty of the same flawed thinking that's prevalent on the trails today, "how can we justify spending that much money on a new pair of boots when I can still wear my old ones". But if you really think about it, paying $180 for one trip to the chiropractor or buying customized orthotics is far more expensive than if you take better care of your body before it's injured.

This logic is just as sound when we're talking about kids. Kid's muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments are still developing. Street footwear will not provide them with steady traction on the trail, and used hiking boots aren't much better. Your kids (or grand kids) deserve proper footwear for hiking. That's why we're proud dealers of (and users of) Vasque hiking shoes for kids. We also highly recommend Darn Tough hiking boot socks for kids. Enjoy your next hike more...take advantage of our SALE on Vasque hiking and backpacking boots now through 8/25/11!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Big Agnes 4 Person Backpacking Tents

Big Agnes family tents steal the show when it comes to 4 person lightweight backpacking tents. While I wish we'd opened up the wallet for this year's award-winning new Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4, we're camping in last year's new tent the Lynx Pass 4 person backpacking tent (pictured here). Basically the Lynx Pass and Copper Spur share the same large shape & size; the Lynx Pass adds an extra pole that buys you a tad more headroom--2 inches at center--and more all around. The big difference in these large lightweight backpacking tents is that the Copper Spur tents sport the lightest DAC aluminum poles and lightest nylons available shaving approximately two pounds off the weight of the Lynx Pass tent. This weight savings doesn't come cheap, the Copper Spur UL4 runs $279 more at retail.

If you want an even lighter abode for you family or friends, the Fly Creek UL4 is the way to go. At 4 lbs. 9 oz packed weight you won't find a lighter tent this size. Plus it's $100 cheaper than the Copper Spur UL4. But don't expect a roomy shelter. While four adults can comfortably sit around playing cards in the Copper Spur or Lynx Pass, the Fly Creek is a minimalist's shelter. While all three are free standing and have cool features like gear pockets in each corner and reflective guylines, the Fly Creek comes with only one D zip door and vestibule.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lowa Boots Rock

Yep. We're partial to Lowa Boots; and they're on SALE at up to 17% OFF now through 8/25/11.

Nothing beats the quality and craftmanship put out by this German bootmaker. Bootmaking is in the blood of Lowa's workers. Lowa boots are manufactured under strict EU environmental standards that put the rest of the world to shame. While comfortable old models like the Lady GTX's pictured above and the Banff Pro were among our all time favorite boots before being discontinued, we can't say enough positive things about Lowa's new leather lined boots: the Lowa Renegade LL and the Lowa Baltoro. Leather linings are so comfortable...they mold to your feet like a worn in glove. An old mountaineer once advised us that in 30 years, his well conditioned leather mountaineering boots had never let his feet get wet. "Better than plastic" he swore.

Buy high quality leather hiking boots, treat them properly and your feet will love you!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Osprey Aether 70: Load carrier extraordinaire.

The Osprey Aether 70 is one heavy duty load carrier. I got to demo one on last weekend's trip to Mt. Marcy in the Adirondacks thanks to our local Osprey backpack rep. With a weekend of food for the family stuffed into two bear canisters and an eight pound tent I shouldn't have been surprised that my pack weighed in at close to 60 lbs. But what really surprised me was how well the Aether handled the load. With all the padding on the back and waist belt I could barely feel the bear canister bulging in my pack. With lots of external straps I was able to attach lots of gear in different ways; and one day I even carried both bear canisters stacked on top of each other in the main compartment. If you're headed out on a big trip that needs a big'll be happy with an Osprey Aether 70. Available as the Osprey Ariel 65 for women and as the Aether 60 and Aether 85.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Big Agnes Summer Sale

Get 'em before its Gone! Summer is fading fast...but it's not too late to pick up a great deal on a Big Agnes Tent or Big Agnes Sleeping Bag. Featuring Big Agnes four person tents like the Fly Creek UL4, Copper Spur UL4, and the Flying Diamond 4 our sale can get you as much as 20% OFF. Find out for yourself why Big Agnes Tents have redefined the concept of lightweight backpacking tents in the last decade. (And won so many awards, including this year's Outside Gear of the Year.)

All summer Big Agnes sleeping bags are on sale at up to 20% off. So whether you're looking for a new down sleeping bag or a synthetic one you'll find some great options. And check out Big Agnes' new Cabin Creek 30 degree two person sleeping bag; you won't believe how lightweight and compact this double sleeping bag is. Look no further for the perfect wedding gift!

Get what you need today for your next backpacking trip or your family's final summer camping trip.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Amazing Jetboil Stoves

Over the last week, our Jetboil stoves proved themselves again. Everyone in our customer service department field tested Jetboil's Flash PCS while out backpacking. Here are some of the comments I overheard: "It really does boil water in just 2 minutes!"..."I like how much safer it is around my kids...there aren't spills or matches."..."It's amazing."

For those lightweight backpacking purists, the new Jetboil SoL has improved on the Flash PCS system by creating a smaller and lighter version that sets a new standard for cold weather performance. At 8.5 oz, the Titanium SoL ($149.95)--aka. the SoL Ti--weighs in at a mere 8.5 oz for the stove, .8L cooking cup, and tripod stabilizing base. The Aluminum SoL ($119.95)is only 2 oz. heavier at 10.5 oz. If you like winter camping, you'll be thrilled that this stove maintains consistent heat down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. And like the Flash PCS, you can still stow the stove and a 230 gram fuel canister in the cup. You'll hardly notice these in your pack!

For family campers and group leaders Jetboil also created the new 1.8L Sumo Companion cup which weighs 6.5 oz. and is big enough to stow a 230 or 450 gram fuel canister. Boil time is 4 minutes 5 seconds for a liter of water. Isn't it great having all these options?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Traveling with Trekking Poles

Today's trekking poles typically telescope in three sections which means you can break them down and travel with them in your suitcase. Whether you're headed somewhere off trail or on, Leki Poles have an option suited to your intended use and budget. Look for hiking poles with anti-shock features and comfortable grips that make them must have gear for many hikers.

The poles you find on the market in 2011 are lighter and stronger than ever before. New technologies have enabled stronger metal tubing for the poles and stronger locking mechanisms that are both easier and safer to use. If you're especially concerned about weight, poles made of carbon fiber are available as an ultralight option.
This year Black Diamond Poles has come out with an award winning superlight Z-pole design that is both lighter and easier to use. With a flexible, elasticized cord, you simply unfold the pole sections and it springs into position.

And let's not forget Komperdell hiking poles which offer affordability with many similar features and lot's of great styles to choose from.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Backpacking Boots Trade-in Time

So yesterday a member of the Stowe Mountain Rescue team came in to our store looking for a new pair of backpacking boots to replace his old ones. He is someone who puts in a lot of trail miles, often with heavy loads. He paid the highest tribute to the investment he made years ago in his high quality backpacking boots...he refuses to stop wearing them even though the sole has been falling off for almost two years!

Midsummer is often the time of year many people realize the same thing after a few trips on the's time to replace my old hiking boots. Reluctant to spend the money when one's old boots can still be put on, you may fit this category. Remember our customer...more money spent wisely now leads to years of comfortable performance. Cost tends to equal quality: better leather, more durable soles, bombproof hardware, etc. If you buy the right boots now, you won't be sorry in 5 years that you spent a few extra dollars today.

We're proud to carry three top-notch backpacking boot brands: Zamberlan, Lowa, and Vasque. And with our new member promotion there's no better time than the present to find the boots that are right for your feet. Take a look and we'll help you get fit in just the right boots and you'll save 20%.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

SAVE 20% with a Summer Member Discount!

If you're looking for Discount Big Agnes or a Nemo Tent discount to get a great tent for summer camping you've got until July 31st. is now offering FREE memberships that give you access to periodic member discounts throughout the year and special pricing on shipping. SIGN UP TODAY!

You can even use your discount on a new pair of the Editor's Choice winning TREKSTA EVOLUTION MID Hiking Shoe--pictured above--which is now in stock in all sizes! And we have the Treksta Evolution Running Shoe available too if you don't need the extra ankle support of the Mid.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Break for Backpacking Mt. Mansfield

The July 4th break is over but not before getting the family out on some backpacking on Mt. Mansfield. We broke in the kids' Deuter hiking backpacks this weekend with some low key, very scenic packing from Butler Lodge to Taft Lodge on the Long Trail. Friday's short buggy and humid hike was followed by a cool, windy and socked in summit and ridge hike along Mt. Mansfield. The sky opened into a glorious day for our decent after lunch. And we got to see the Stowe Balloon Festival from the deck of Taft Lodge after dinner. We also enjoyed meeting the Green Mountain Club's 2011 Mansfield caretakers. Of course we got to test more gear so we'll try to keep a live feed of product reviews and pictures over the next few days.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Darn Tough - Vermont - U.S.A.

Darn Tough Socks of Vermont is another inspiring "Made in the U.S." story. We traveled to Northfield recently to pick up our summer order of Darn Tough Socks. We were eager to tour the mill and find out how Darn Tough can offer a Lifetime Warranty on their wool socks. If you've worn Darn Tough you know these socks don't go threadbare like others. What's the secret? In a nutshell, the density of the wool terry loops (1440 per sq. inch)is so tight that the loops don't move side to side and wear out. Pretty impressive. We think that the Darn Tough Merino Wool Boots socks are the perfect complement to our backpacking boots.

It helps that Darn Tough has an attention to quality that is rare in our modern world. Most Darn Tough employees have been with the company for 15 years or more, many over 30 years! During our tour, we saw owner Ric Cabot in three different corners of the factory looking at product, machinery, and working one-on-one with his workers. Impressive! We couldn't be happier for their recent successes.

If you'd like the background story...when other knitting mills were fleeing the Northeast in the 60s and 70s for states in the South, owner Mark Cabot bought some used sock weaving equipment and set up shop about 25 miles from where CCOutdoorStore now stands. When pressure from overseas manufacturing threatened their business and its 120 plus employees, the company "toughed" it out. Hence the burgeoning six-year old outdoor sock brand DARN TOUGH.

With new packaging, new styles, and 20 new looms on order we're very excited by all the exciting developments we heard about on our recent tour of the Darn Tough factory.

Thermarest & MSR: Proud American Brands

Thermarest mattresses, MSR stoves and almost all of MSR's production remains in the U.S. of A. as we were reminded in our product clinic on Wednesday. With July 4th fast approaching and patriotism in the air it makes sense to highlight and promote those companies who are working extra hard to keep jobs in their communities and maintain high standards of quality. Hats off to you! We also appreciate that American-made products are not impacted by the same backorders and long lead times that have become a bigger problem in our industry lately.

Thermarest and Mountain Safety Research are both owned by parent company Cascade Designs in Seattle, WA. Like, these are family-owned brands and operations--albeit ours is much smaller! Both Thermarest and MSR are on sale at 20% through Tuesday, June 28th. For those of you on the East Coast hurry in your orders and we should be able to rush you your order before the holiday. West Coasters must contact us directly to provide expedited shipping info.

Note: MSR tent poles are manufactured domestically, but MSR tents are sewn overseas like almost every other tent.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sleeping Pad Special

Thermarest Sleeping Pads were the order of the day. With one week left on our Thermarest Sale it was a propos that our customer service team got a thorough review of the Thermarest line from our local rep.

You already know we're big on the Thermarest NeoAir; but this was a chance to build our expertise on the full depth of our offerings. Of note today was the Thermarest Prolite Plus (pictured above). The Prolite Plus offers a tremendous weight-warmth-space ratio. Achieving an R-value of 3.8 through a die-cut closed cell foam this pad offers all-around value for mountaineers needing a warm barrier from snow. To achieve greater warmth for women's needs, the Thermarest Women's Pro Lite Plus increases warmth zones for women by modifying the density of the die cuts. Too much info?

Then suffice it to say that the NeoAir Trekker is a new addition to the 2011 line that offers superior comfort, stability, durability, and value. Maybe it's time you upgrade your old pad with the latest innovation....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL Tents ON SALE.

Here's your chance to become another proud owner of your own Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4 Tent. At 20% Off with free shipping, our Big Agnes Tent Sale can't be beat; but it's only good for one more week: until June 28th.

Winner of Outside Magazine's Gear of the Year 2011 and Backpacker's 2011 Editor's Choice Award, the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4 is the lightest 4 person tent around. Super strong and durable the Copper Spur is perfect for your family of four's summer getaway or for three guys sharing a tent on a longer through hike. With plenty of headroom and space for four to play cards, every backpacking group should have a tent like this for when the weather sours and you'd rather hang out with your friends than in your bivy.

Find other TENTS ON SALE now through June 28th. Note: The tent in the picture above is a Copper Spur UL3.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Backpacking Adventure Movies

While there are a good number of mountain climbing movies out there, you don't see many that celebrate the pure thrills of backpacking. You know sometimes you just want to get in the spirit of your next trip with a movie, but what's out there for backpackers. Plus if you've been following this blog, you're probably sick of hearing about and seeing snow.

Well this one didn't last in the theaters long, but it's got some amazingly beautiful scenery from Kauai's Napali Coast and terrific product placement for Deuter backpacks and MSR tents. So if its a backpacking movie you want to watch check out Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich in The Perfect Getaway. Don't get you're hopes up for a must see movie...but if you're up for an action/adventure backpacking thriller with some twists along the way here's a suggestion for your Netflix queue.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Whitney Trail Crest

OK. So it was two weeks ago already...but I'm still coming back down to Earth and there are so many great stories and photos to share from our JMT/Mt. Whitney field testing trip.

In this photo I'm pointing upwards at Trail Crest on Mt. Whitney at about 13,000 ft and six miles in the distance. You have to admit that the red Millet Expedition 65 Liter Backpack looks good. Did you see the study published that revealed that seeing the color RED increases the speed and strength of reactions? Maybe this explains why I felt surprisingly strong upon summiting Mt. Whitney.

Anyways the Millet pack lived up to all expectations, which were pretty high considering I tested six other packs before choosing it. Cinched down this 3 lb. 7 backpack also served well as my summit pack for carrying my ice axe, crampons and extra gear. (I opted not to strip off the lid--which could have shed further ozs--as it offers the only zippered pocket on the pack.) Read more about how I chose the features on this pack.

For contrast on a longer expedition with more gear a load carrying pack like the Deuter Aircontact 75+10 might have been preferable but I was able to keep my load to about 36 lbs. My runner up lightweight choice was the Deuter Act Lite 60 +10 backpack at 3 lbs. 14 oz, but it was going to be too hard and inconvenient taking off my MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes. More on how great the snowshoes worked later.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

More gear testing reviews

At 2.8 lbs and 2.3 pounds respectively, the Nemo Obi 1P Ultra lite Tent and the long Big Agnes Heart Mountain 30 degree Super Light Sleeping Bag were just what I'd hoped for on my JMT field test wishlist. I spent the first two nights of the trip in this set-up and was quite content in my neon green lair. You can get these for yourself on sale now as we've got NEMO on sale and Big Agnes on sale.

The Nemo Obi tents share smart design with many desirable features. Freestanding with Jake's feet, easy set-up with a single pole, and a large vestibule I had exactly what I thought I needed. However the one thing the Obi tents have in spades is ventilation, which turned out to be unneeded in high winds and low temperatures. I highly recommend the Obi for summer camping especially in warm climates, and especially for ultralight hikers who aren't willing to sacrifice every comfort to save those last few ounces.

The Big Agnes Heart Mountain 30 degree super light sleeping bag was unbelievably packable. Ultralight and ultra cozy, the Heart Mountain offered the generous width and girth that my 200 lb body needs. Frankly I just get too claustrophic in mummy bags. Unless you're willing to lie straight and still like a dead mummy all night I suggest you check out the varied shapes and sizes of Big Agnes Sleeping Bags. The Heart Mountain ultra light sleeping bag also perfectly fit my regular size Thermarest NeoAir sleeping pad. Snugly synching up with the down edges of the Big Agnes sleep system I was in down heaven. That is until temps dropped into the single much for saving a few ounces by going with a 30 degree bag in JUNE! Lesson learned: It's always safer to have more warmth than you think you'll need in the mountains. Another lesson learned: Neon colored tents can be life savers when you're seeking out shelter from a storm and can't find the trail back to camp.

Friday, June 17, 2011

2011 Field Test Results

Many of our favorite brands and products got put to the test in our Blog's first week long field test the first week of June. What was to have been a 50 mile section hike on the John Muir Trail in the Sierras turned into a week of mishaps that included hypothermia (and altitude sickness) on Kearsarge Pass, a whiteout on the summit of Mt. Whitney, a dead engine in the middle of Lake Meade, and the repossession of a car on the way to Zion National Park. Maybe this will turn into a movie...say like Hangover III. What was successful was learning the strengths and weaknesses of a good number of well known products. In a nutshell here's the report:

Julbo Explorer Glacier Glasses Spectron 4: Great eye protection for the intense sun and wind we encountered on Kearsarge Pass on the way into to the John Muir Trail. Because the spectron lens isn't polarized, it helped to see the composition of ice patches on the exposed traverse at the top. Better sunscreen/wind protection for the nose & lips is something this tester needs to work on next. The Explorers were a little toasty in the desert heat on the way up Angel's Landing in Zion.

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 tent: No complaints about the weight here! But a three person tent? No way. This was great for two people, it would have sucked squeezing 3 guys into this, especially because my two friends carried wide 25 inch NeoAir mattresses. Although given the cold weather, I might have been better off in this tent every night to share some body warmth and the benefit of a full fly that helps keep some warmth in. Staked out, the Copper Spur UL3 easily withstood a night of 25-45 mph winds at Trail Camp on Mt. Whitney; but good luck trying to find this orange/brown tent in this rock field in low light and moderate snow. It took us 20 minutes to find her on our way back from Whitney.... Nemo's neon green Losi Alti Storm 3P tent would have been a better tent for our Whitney summit trip.

Thermarest NeoAir Sleeping Pad: At 14 oz. and the size of a 1 L bottle this pad met my criteria for this trip. I was super comfortable each night. But I wasn't expecting windy nights that ranged from 6 degrees to 24 degrees in June! When temps were above 20 I was OK, but the NeoAir is not the right pad when temps drop into the teens and below. Go with a Thermarest Prolite or another pad with an R value higher than 2.5 when going out into frigid nights.

Yes, there was lots of other gear tested. But that's it for today's blog. Tune in for other test results.