Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ode to Oboz

If you think that hiking boot technology has plateaued over the years, you don't know Oboz. Owned by a former freelance shoe designer who has designed for the most popular names in footwear, John Connely, these shoes are astray from the norm. Oboz makes high tech boots and offers them at low prices. Instead of doing what most shoe companies do--try and produce the cheapest shoes for the most expensive price--they just care about offering the best shoes possible. That's what they're doing and people are starting to catch on.

Every spec of these shoes is designed with a purpose. All parts of the shoe work integrally, from the laces to the sole, forming an outstanding synergy. For instance, the shoe is grounded with an incredibly sticky rubber sole that features flexion points which correspond directly with the kinetics of your foot. And the stitching that holds the laces in place goes all the way down to those flexion points, which effectively wraps the shoe around your foot as you tighten the laces. They also are equipped with a 3-D molded heel counter which keeps your heel correctly aligned to the ergonomics of your feet. When I put them on I immediately noticed that my posture was exponentially improved because of the heel counter.

From Oboz' hiking boots to their backpacking boots, you'll find shoes that are high tech, low weight, and low priced. Stop by our Route 2 location at the twin silos in Waterbury and see for yourself what makes Oboz hiking boots different.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Seeing Things in a New Light

Alas, I have a review for you.

Since I punched out after writing my last blog entry, I've been seeing things in a new light-  a milder, mellower, more tolerable light. With the Native Frisco sunglasses there is no reason to squint or strain your face; as long as they're on it's pure visual comfort. That's why I'm convinced that these glasses could even reduce the chance of getting wrinkles.

And I realized this past Sunday that the polarization factor is stunning.

I was lounging Sunday, mid-morning, when I received an invitation to a riverside picnic. While my girlfriend was searching for sunscreen, I remembered to grab my Natives. She found her SPF and we were headed. I could not believe how the river appeared; I could see every bump and ripple, the true color of the water, and even the individual rocks on the riverbed! When I removed the Frisco's my eyes were viciously attacked by the harsh glare-monster. The difference was dazzling. When I showed my co-picnicers, they were equally impressed.

On Sunday afternoon I met up with two other friends to head down to Boston for a concert. Three hours on I-89,I-93, and I-95, joy. Sitting in the backseat, I removed the Friscos to show my friends and once again, WHAM! The glare monster strikes back! Every windshield in the vicinity of our vehicle shone a blistering flash of blinding light. I felt like one of those ants I used to fry with a magnifying glass in "Dylan the Menace" days.

A former "quality-sunglasses skeptic," I now consider myself an enlightened connoisseur. I am encouraged to acquire some crokies and buy a pair of Native Sunglasses. I love them and, whether you've been bothered by glare before or not, so will you!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Our Newest Brand: Native Sunglasses!

Wow, it's sunny out there!
Everyone in the shop is excited about the new shades we're offering- Native Sunglasses. The protection and clarity of their lens is complemented by their sleek design. With various lens options ranging from lighter to darker, you can get the sun shielding your eyes need. And if you're unsure what that is, Native's Transition lens can figure it out for you.

Or so I'm told. Reed, our managing partner, is trusting me to use these sunglasses for the weekend to experience their awesomeness, so I can write with a more familiar perspective.

But for now - here is a link- to check out the looks of the Natives for yourself!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Latest, Greatest Trekking Poles

Just like the saying "two heads are better than one," when it comes to trail travel, four points of contact with the ground create unparalleled stability compared to two. I'm talking of course about hiking with poles. Before I hiked the Long Trail I had never heard of anyone using more than just a walking stick; but after acquiring and getting used to poles, I felt disoriented without. I definitely owe my lack of injuries along the LT solely to my hiking poles.

Black Diamond's unyielding research and development team have once again outdone themselves with the birth of the Z-Pole. Inspired by avalanche probes, the goal of the Z-Pole was to have a pole lighter, stronger, and more compact than the norm. Success!  The new Z-Pole drew lots of attention when it came out a year ago and the Ultra Distance Z-Pole won the coveted Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award. 

Black Diamond Z-Poles come in three models: the aluminum Distance,  the carbon Ultra-Distance, and the Distance FL or flick-lock, also made of aluminum.  The Distance and Ultra Distance are fixed length poles while the Distance FL poles have a quick-release lever that allows a 20mm adjustment range. Their trail weight is impressive at under 1 lb/pr, and what's equally as impressive is how tiny they pack down.  BD's Z-Poles are comprised of three sections held together by a Kevlar cable that, when the handle is pulled, are guided by a silicone coating and snap into place. They come with interchangeable "climbing shoe rubber" and carbide tips, and even come their own stuff sack. The Distance weighs in at a petite 350g and the Ultra-Distance a trifling 275g.

Stop by our Waterbury retail store at the twin silos on Route 2 and check out the Z-Poles. I guarantee you've never seen anything like them!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Upcoming Sale! Get on a Thermarest!

Aside from your boots and your brain, one of the most important components to an enjoyable overnight adventure is your sleeping pad. I remember Christmas of 2004 when Santa gave my sister a Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad to use while she was in the African bush. She returned from Ghana in Spring of 2006, went to Bennington College that Fall, and finders keepers (cardinal law of siblings), her Therm-a-Rest became mine. I love it, continue to use it, and hope that she never reads this.

My 2004 pad is good, but Therm-a-Rest has developed their technology significantly since then. Their pads now have insulating capabilities to keep you warm, weigh less, and have shrunk from about 'foam roller' size to Nalgene. If you're pad is outdated or unsatisfactory, you're in luck; we're putting these bad boys on sale.

Two popular ThermArest models are the Prolite and the NeoAir Trekker. 

1. The ProLite collection is the lightest, warmest, and most comfortable traditional flat sleeping pad in production. Its die-cut foam and tapered shape provide coziness with limited bulk. At an even pound, the ProLite is Therm-a-Rest's lightest self-inflating sleeping pad. The ProLite is a must have for any high-mileage, high-speed excursion.
2. The NeoAir Trekker will redefine the way you think about sleeping pads. At 2.5 inches thick, the NeoAir Trekker weighs in at only 20oz. Instead of your typical flat sleeping pad, this one features horizontal baffles that create stability and support. It comes equip with an inner reflective layer that recycles your body heat rather than stealing it from you.  The NeoAir Trekker also comes with a repair kit.

Therm-a-Rest has built an illustrious reputation for allowing backpackers and adventurers to rest assured, so get them while the getting's good at  This year a stuff sack is included with these sleeping pads to preserve their lives.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Outside" Magazine's Top Gear of 2012 is Inside

For those of you who don't know, Outside Magazine has been the leading active-lifestyle and adventure-travel publication since its inception into the literary world in 1978. Their mission is simple: to offer a wealth of information pertaining to all things outside for its readers to apply to their lives. Be it a trail review, or an inspirational account of an accomplished adventurer, they aim to educate and motivate.

Every year, between Spring and Summer (a.k.a. now), Outside Magazine releases their highly anticipated "Gear of the Year." And what's that old saying? The one about how a bunch of the gear they picked as the best, is the same that we offer here at I think it's something about great minds...
 Anyways, it's all about the new Gregory Savant 58. At a very reasonable price of $199 (ours is on sale @ $159.18 until 5/17/12!!!!!!!), this ultra-organized backpacking backpack will alleviate the utter clutter chaos one encounters when living out of their backpack. Featuring a front panel that unzips and opens like a suitcase, the Savant 58 eliminates having to dig deep for those elusive items buried in the belly. Also, the array of five accessory packets, the optional top access, and the externally accessible hydration sleeve, make you feel twice as systematic as you do with the pack you're using now. Not to mention the suspension system that takes the weight off you shoulders and directs it to your hip bones (which don't fatigue like those wimpy trapezius'). And because it's roomy enough to fit a flat-laying dress shirt, it doubles as a travel pack. The convenience and versatility of the Savant 58 separates this backpack from the rest. And be assured, the brand Gregory is the Ben & Jerry's of backpacks.

The Pleasure's All Mine

Well thank you for the warm welcome and opportunity, Reed! If only I had known that was in my hometown in the preparatory weeks before my adventures, I could have directed my money towards this great Vermont local business.Growing up in this awesomely small town, most people tend to be omniscient of the environment, but believe this: is Waterbury's best kept secret! 

The latest technological advancements in safety and comfort relevant to all things outdoors can be found within the walls at the twin silos. And the warm, friendly natured staff has made my assimilation rather enjoyable. I'm actually looking forward to coming to work! Partly because I'm helping out people like myself- outdoor adventure enthusiasts, but also because of the positive environments, to shop and to work, that the new owners of have created. And to you readers, I welcome feedback! Happy Summer, happy trails, and let's keep in touch! :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Exciting News is expanding. With that in mind, we're excited to welcome the newest addition to our team: Dylan Peterson.

So picture this: I'm sitting at the front desk of our retail store in Waterbury and in walks this young gentlemen, about 21 years old, with an odd smile on his face. He tells me he grew up in Waterbury Center, graduated from Harwood Union High School in 2009 and needs a job. "Well," I say "Do you have any experience in retail?" He assures me that for the last few months he's been working over at Infinite Sports in Waitsfield. I ponder his qualifications, "That's a good start." But as it turns out, he actually has a lot more experience with the gear in our store.

Seven days after his high school graduation, he and a few friends traveled down to Williamstown, Ma and headed north on the Long Trail. In one of the rainiest July's of Vermont's history, Dylan and his crew made it 272 miles to Canada in 19 days. Following that summer, he enrolled at Springfield College in Springfield, Ma, to study Journalism. He made it through two years of schooling there before he felt adventure call again.
On September 7th, Dylan and a friend embarked on a journey of a different kind. A 3,600 mile route across the United States on bicycle. After 75 days, 13 states, and countless tubes and patches the young men arrived at their destination safe and sound. 10 hours by car to Salt Lake City for Thanksgiving week, and a 72 hour train ride later, they were back in the Green Mountain State.
The ride was done for charity as well, raising money and awareness for depression research, through the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. With a Sierra Designs 2 person tent, a 2-cup Jetboil Stove, Vaude saddlebags, paper road maps, and a Camelbak each, their goal was realized.
He had some excellent gear to help him out through all of that, but I figured this kid must have a decent head on his shoulders, so I hired him. He's going to be working here for the summer and will be a regular blog contributor, so enjoy!

And the next time you need anything for the great outdoors, swing by our store in the Twin Silos on Route 2 in Waterbury and come meet Dylan.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vermont's own "footpath through the wilderness," the Long Trail, has gained notoriety on the east coast the past few years, due to the success of the delicious Long Trail Ale. But to most Vermonters and knowledgeable hikers and backpackers, the Long Trail is an acclaimed scenic highway that spans the entire length of the state. The 270+ mile trail takes you up, down and around the most prominent mountains in Vermont. 's warehouse happens to be located only eight miles from the trail. The number of individuals who can say they've completed the Long Trail's entirety is trumped by the number of day-hikers and weekenders who frequent the byway.

Two of Gregory's new models for 2012, the Fury and Freia, are for those nature enthusiasts who take their trips a day or two at a time. Also perfect for adventure racers or even minimalist thru-hikers, these fully featured packs range from 14L-40L. The breathable, mesh-channeled harness and hip belt, in addition to the anatomically designed back panels, create a suspension system that offers comfort and stability. Gregory backpacks will remain on sale at 20% off until 5/17/12, so get this great backpack at a great price while you still can! Locally on Route 2 in Waterbury or shop online! Gregory's got your back.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Salute to Summer Backpack Sale

Well folks, at this point Spring is well-sprung and Summer is right around the corner. In salute to the upcoming adventure seasons, your friends at are offering 20% off all of our Gregory backpacks and Osprey backpacks to kick things off! In this transitional period as the sticks of winter fill in with the infamous plumage of the Green Mountains, minds and bodies tend to wander to the woods. We offer only the most reliable items to make your time out there safe and comfortable, so you can focus on what's most important to you. All Osprey backpacks will remain on sale until 5/10/12 and Gregory's until 5/17/12. Stop by our retail store on Route 2 in Waterbury or visit our website,  Stay spontaneous!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gregory's Backpacking Backpack

The Baltoro 75, Gregory’s reigning top seller, is simply a pack you can depend on. This backpacking backpack features maximum load transmission, ergonomically designed to allow your muscles to chill. The Baltoro 75’s 3D Foam harness and waistband eliminates hotspots and auto-cants to mold to the unique slope of your hips and shoulders. You’ll never believe that 50 pounds in a backpacking backpack can feel this comfortable. A 75 liter capacity with nooks and crannies galore, there’s room for everything. Performance tested, with an assured perfection fit, wherever you need to go the Baltoro 75 will be right behind you. With over thirty reputable years in the business, it’s needless to say: Gregory’s got your back.