Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Portable Palace: The Nemo Hexalite 6

There are very few things I would rather do than hang out with close friends in a beautiful spot. But when those beautiful spots are rather remote, the requirement of protection from the elements is inevitable. Tarps can fail, but check this out- the Nemo Hexalite 6.
A perfect group shelter, the Nemo Hexalite 6 sleeps 6-10 people comfortably. This prime shelter from rain, sun or snow has an optional footprint and pawprint if ground protection is also necessary. A camp kitchen, poker hall, or ghost story chalet are just a few possible uses for the extremely versatile Hexalite 6. Poles, stakes, and an impeccably designed waterproof seam-taped outer layer provide instant protection for you and yours. MSRP $449.95. Available in our Waterbury store off Route 2 at the twin silos, or 24/7 from    

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Petzl Nao and Core: Smart Headlamps

Fernand Petzl, a Frenchman born in 1912, was into hanging out in dark places, more specifically- caves. A true explorer, many large caves in France were opened and deemed safe solely because Petzl explored them beforehand. Petzl was an outstanding craftsman. He constructed all of his exploration equipment himself, and with it he became a world record holder in depth-expedition, having traveled to 985 meters (3232 feet) deep. Along with his son Paul, Petzl created his first caving products mostly for use by his friends and he. But it was Paul who turned the company into the world's leading provider in vertical sports (mountaineering, climbing, caving), vertical occupation and rescue, and specialized headlamps.

Two astonishing advancements Petzl have unveiled this year are the Core rechargeable and programmable battery pack, and the Nao reactive and customizable headlamp.

With an equivalent lifetime of 900 triple a batteries, the Core battery is featured in the Petzl Tikka and Petzl Zipka headlamp models. The Core recharges with any USB plugin (you can charge your headlamp anywhere you can charge your cell phone). It will start saving you money after four battery lives and the lack of batteries that you'll need reduces waste! But that's not all (in a Billy Mays voice). The Core, when plugged into a computer, opens the Petzl OS- a programming software that actually allows you to control the output of lumens by your Petzl headlamp. Select either their economic or maximum output mode and actively control the headlamp's function.

And secondly, the highly anticipated release of the Petzl Nao. The first of its kind, the Nao incorporates "intelligence" to illumination. Equipped with an on-board sensor, the Nao reacts to its environment and  changes between wide and focused light, and can actually dull or brighten its lamp- correlating to your areas available light. And this things got range! The sensor influences the headlamp to shine light fluctuating between 7 and 355 lumens! And I've seen this thing in action; in just a moment's time the Nao goes from a brilliant light shining dozens of meters ahead to only bright enough to read the map in your hand. The Nao comes with a USB rechargeable battery (but can also run off triple-a's if necessary), and is programmable (by connecting it to a computer) to shine at whatever lumens you desire- anywhere between 7 and 355.

Come check these out in our store in Waterbury, Vt, or order anytime online from Shed some light on the subject with a Petzl Headlamp Petzl Nao

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Julbo's Amazing Photochromic Lenses

For over 120 years, the French optical experts at Julbo have continuously developed innovations in sunglass technology. Julbo finds its roots in the Jura Mountains in France and has a renowned heritage of creating the most protective performance eyewear for high-altitude and glacial exploration. Julbo is still the king of mountain eyewear, but has also emerged as a well-regarded action, mountain and water sports sunglass company. And when it comes to Julbo photochromic lenses, they’re a cut above the rest.

Simply meaning that the lenses change and react to different intensities of light, Julbo’s four photochromic lenses are the Camel, Zebra, Falcon and Octopus.

The Octopus is Julbo’s sovereign lens for aquatic activities. Polarized and coated with a water-repellent membrane, some Julbo frames that host the Octopus lens even have foam pads for floatation. 


The Zebra and Camel are two high definition lenses that evolve to UV light intensity. The Zebra, an amber hue, is non polarized -- perfect for when you need to see the glare of ice, or slick spots on the road. The Camel, a silver hue, is polarized- eliminating all visible glare. Both the Camel and Zebra reach darkness protection index levels 2-4, perfect for any mountain or desert, and are both all-terrain lenses with an anti-fog coating for action sports.

The fourth photochromic lens, the Falcon, is the most suited for travel and “behind the windshield” use. Sensitive to visible light, this lens evolves to any light source, including light bulbs. They are also featured on more urban styled frames. 

If you find yourself squinting, start sprinting to and get some Julbo tinting.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Big Agnes: Would You Like a Bag?

In life we have choices; summit or vista, lead or follow, wake up or stay in toasty sleeping bag? Another choice to make, related to toasty sleeping bags, is whether to get a down sleeping bag or synthetic sleeping bag. For years down was the go-to, 'cuz hey- feathers keep birds warm. But research and development have led to advancements in the quality of synthetic sleeping bags. There are a few trade-offs but in my book synthetics are the way to go.

Down's one major upside is less weight, but there is a vital drawback. Not to be a 'downer' but wet feathers don't keep you warm, only dry ones.

Synthetic sleeping bags do have the insulating properties to still capture and contain heat when wet. You will also save money when you buy a synthetic sleeping bag, and the weight issue has improved substantially.

Two Big Agnes summer sleeping bags, the Gun Creek (30 degrees) and Cross Mountain (45 degrees) bags, use A-Shingo construction to save weight and keep you warmer. Envision how shingles on a roof are aligned. All of the space between each 'shingle' creates more trapped air, which maximizes heat containment by eliminate gapping. And the "Integrity" insulation within the bags comes from 97% recycled materials. It is by far the lightest and warmest synthetic insulation that Big Agnes offers.

Both the Gun Creek and the Cross Mountain have pad sleeves which fit a 20" wide sleeping pad, eliminating the risk of a roll off. They're also both constructed with breathable nylon and finished with a stain and water resistant coating. The warmer of the two, the Big Agnes Gunn Creek has a no-draft collar to prevent air from sneaking in near your head, a no-draft zipper tube and a no-draft wedge between the bag and pad sleeve. The Big Agnes Cross Mountain, for down to 45 degrees, has a pillow pocket for a fleece or a Big Agnes pillow. The Gunn Creek at 2 pounds 13 oz, and the Cross Mountain at 1 pound 11 oz, are both cozy, dream inducive and capable to keep you warm if even if the bag becomes wet- a potentially life-saving parameter. Mountain Gunn Creek

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Big Agnes Wyoming, Award-Winning Multi-Functional Tent

Big Agnes has done it again! Another Outside Magazine Buyer's Guide featuring another Big Agnes Tent.  The Big Agnes Wyoming Trail 2 Camp Tent was chosen as one of the "Seven Best Tents of Summer 2012".

Enter, the Big Agnes Wyoming Trail SL2 and Wyoming Trail 2 Camp tent with vestibule!  When living in a tent, each item that you have with you has a purpose and an importance- nothing extraneous.  However, there are plenty of things that do not need to be inside your tent as you rest and rehabilitate, but shouldn't be out in the open either. I'm thinking camp chairs, coolers, bicycles, boots, surfboards, wet clothes, wet dogs, anything that doesn't make you want to doze.

Pictured above is the Wyoming Trail 2 Camp. Notice the vestibule area perfect for storage or just chilling. This tent is even considered rad enough by the folks at Outside Magazine to merit a write up in this month's onlinedition. The exact type of tent ideal for a music festival, as you see in the floor plan below- plenty of space for sleeping bags and pillows, but also an outdoor living room!

Available in a nine-pound camping edition for $350 and a seven-pound SL (super light) edition for $499 this tent is a bit cumbersome for backing, but absolutely spectacular for everything else!  Check 'em out on our Big Agnes Tent site

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nemo Helio: For When it's Time to Clean Up Your Act

There are times, for some- more than others, when we are less than clean. Most of us, once we reach that stage, jump in the shower for a little "scrub a dub dub." But when you're a few weeks into the Long Trail, stuck in a car on a multiple-day road trip, at a remote work site or are anywhere that is not proximal to your washroom- there's a new method from Nemo Equipment: the Helio Pressure Shower.

When packed, it's about the size of a birthday cake and weighs 25 oz, but has the capacity of 11L (2.9 gallons) of purifying sanctified aqua. And unlike other portable shower systems that rely on gravity, the Nemo Helio Pressure Shower has a pressure pedal to regulate your stream. Good for about five to seven minutes of steady stream, the Helio Shower is perfect for rinsing off a muddy dog, or even dirty dishes! A spray nozzle, like that one on your sink, at the end of a seven foot hose will bring your from grungy to lovely - no matter where you are.

After you're finished cleansing yourself of crud, a ventilated carry case and Eco-polyurethane coated polyester protect the Helio Shower from growing any type of nasty mold (either). At $99.95, the Nemo Helio Pressure Shower will make people less apt to turn around and run from your unpleasant aroma : )

Vasque Revises a Classic

Vasque's #1 selling crossover shoe is, without surprise, the Vasque Mantra. It's been that way for the past few years, but Vasque isn't the type of company to settle. They've opted to make their best- better, by introducing the new Mantra 2.0.

Check out the original Mantra

The updated version- Mantra 2.0- features a more supportive, polyurethane mid-sole, versus the EVA molded sole of the original. The difference being, EVA offers a more out-of-the-box comfort, whereas PU takes time to break in and doesn't pack out quite like EVA. A revised tread pattern on the Mantra 2.0 has a comparable aggressive layout, but is designed more for long distance hiking. The 2.0 still has Airmesh, a Goretex option and a Vibram sole, but has more Nubuck on the shoe's upper- increasing durability and support.

If you're a walker or a hiker who is thinking about some new shoes, check out the Vasque Mantra 2.0.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MSR Stoves Save your Back, Brain and Belly

Just like with your automobile, the undeniable truth is that our bodies need fuel to operate. And when we're giving our muscles all they can handle for days on end, the more fuel the better! If your adventure involves backpacking, cycling, kayaking, running, etc., it can be difficult to maintain the balance of caloric intake and calories burned. The importance of simplicity and functionality in a cooking system is imperative and, of course, it should weigh as little as possible.
Mountain Safety Research, or MSR, has been offering innovations in outdoor gear since the early 1970's, and their backpacking stoves of today are nothing short of amazing. The exiguous weight of MSR's ultralight stoves will save your back during the day, and the intuitively designed operating systems will save your brain and belly at dinner time.

Among their top sellers, the MSR Pocket Rocket caters wonderfully to the needs of an ultralight backpacker. At a measly three ounces, the PocketRocket simply screws on top of a fuel canister and has the capability to boil a liter of water in less than four minutes time. In its case, the PocketRocket's packed size is even smaller than a sunglasses case. ($39.95)

 If you're cooking for more than one or, like me, have an appetite that cannot be satisfied by a conventionally sized meal, MSR offers to you the Reactor Stove. This is a heavy duty system with a 1.7L capacity that has unmatched wind protection and flame-to-pot efficiency. Perfect for all backcountry conditions, and with a boil time of one liter in three minutes, the MSR Reactor stove is the quintessential cooking system for groups or larger meals. ($159.95)
It's hard for me to believe that we'll ever cease to require food, and I know that we, and many people like us, will never stop adventuring. With that in mind, we might as well have the best of both worlds by upgrading to an MSR stove. Available for purchase at our Rte. 2 location in Waterbury or from our website anytime-

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Trails, Rocks, Grass? No Task for Vasque

Vasque, an American boot company based in Red Wing, Minnesota, has proudly represented the United States throughout its illustrious heritage, since the 1970's. Vasque offers a wide variety of shoes and boots for a multitude of uses and niches. If you're trail running, walking, hiking, backpacking, or simply looking for a shoe that is built to last, as well as support and protect your feet- Vasque will not let you down.

For those of you who like to load up a backpack and walk miles and miles by way of trail, up and down mountains, on rocks, through mud puddles, and want shoes that can keep up- the Vasque Bitterroot GTX if for you. Vasque understands that our feet are designed and work perfectly for walking around supporting our body weight, but need reinforcements once we're wearing packs with an upwards of 20% of our body weight in them. A GORE-TEX waterproof membrane and Vibram sole with aggressive tread, compliment the Bitterroot's full-grain leather upper. Its dual-density polyurethane mid-sole offers maximum support and the EVA heel cup adds comfort. As your feet break into the footbed and mold to Bitterroot's leather upper, a enduring bond is formed between you and your boots; and that's a team Mother Nature has no interest messing with.

Comparable to the Vasque Taku, these heavy duty Vasque boots, with a little bit of love (such as treatment to the leather), will last hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles. And at $200, the Vasque Bitterroot GTX is one of the best values in the backpacking boot realm.

So if you're in need of an American-made boot that will handle its own, stop by the twin silos off Route 2 in Waterbury or check out and delight yourself with the Vasque Bitterroot GTX. Your entire body will thank you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Upcoming Sales: Gregory & Leki

Brief history lesson:

Almost 40 years ago Maureen and Reed, the benevolent owners of this fine business, were born. They graduated from Brown University about 22 years after that, and now they have two bright spirited young children in elementary school. They operate this family owned Vermont local business because it is relevant to their lives (they're outdoorsy to say the least).

Far from a corporation, is here in place to service a community- those whom appreciate the value and encompassing presence of our beauteous natural world.

With that being said we would like to announce that we will, yet again, be offering savings to our customers. Starting TODAY  thru 6/28/2012 all of our Gregory Packs and Leki Poles will be on sale at 20% off!!!!!

So please enjoy our discounts while you can and remember, if you need outdoor gear- we'll see you at CC.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bacteria Beware "All Clear" is Here

There are barely any sensations that feel quite as satisfying as purified ice cold water hitting a parched throat, especially when you've been exercising. But when we're doing the things we do, whether hiking, backpacking, climbing, or traveling wherever we have a questionable water source, nobody wants to take a chance. Wouldn't it be great if there was a magic bottle that could purify water without any pumping or long waiting periods necessary? Abra Kadabra, behold, the CamelBak All Clear purifying bottle.

CamelBak's 24 ounce (.75L) All Clear bottle will take any foreign water and use UV light purification to kill 99.99% of potentially harmful protozoa and other microbiological entities. Simply fill the All Clear up, click the one, and only, button and moderately "agitate" the water inside as the 60 second ticker counts down. After just one minute, you've got yourself pure, pristine drinking water. It's simple, intuitive and covered by the "Got your Bak" CamelBak lifetime guarantee.

The Camelbak All Clear is tested and engineered to withstand the roughest of conditions- freezers, mountaintops, deserts, scalding hot cars, etc. It also features re-chargeable on-board batteries, which can be charged from a computer, car, outlet or anywhere you'd charge your cell phone. At $99 this bottle will save you space, time, and worries.

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