Outdoors

My Bag: Ham Radio Edition

Hurricane Sandy, the derecho and the upcoming winter season has had me thinking about what I carry on a daily basis. It also prompted me to consider what I might add to it to be better prepared.  In HAM lingo, we refer to this as our GO bag– the bag that serves in an emergency preparedness capacity. Here’s a look at my Go bag. The Bag Itself My bag is a Swiss Gear Cobalt laptop bag. In fact, this is the same one I use as my daily driver laptop bag; it is available from Amazon for around $60 bucks. I…


My Hurricane Sandy Survival Gear

I started this post prior to losing power Monday night. In the middle of writing it, the power went out … and it stayed out until late Thursday night. We had no heat or electric; because we are on a well and septic system, we had no water. We had no internet and no phones either, since I had insisted we get rid of our landline a few years ago (Oops!). We, however, were among the lucky ones. We had no property damage, and the two trees that came down fell as perfectly as if I had actually planned the…


Chaval Outdoor Introduces Response-XRT Tech-Based Luxury Ski Gloves

We have now had three sub-30F mornings in the last two weeks … so I am thinking about my cold weather gear for running. Also, next month my younger son starts his annual ski team weekend jaunts, so again I am thinking gear. I have found that through the years maintaining finger warmth has become increasingly critical to my overall sense of comfort. By the coldest days I am often double-gloving in order to keep warm. But that was before; I am now running FOUR TIMES the distance and staying out twice as long. So I anticipate this year being…


iBike POWERHOUSE Complete Cycling Fitness Plan

Through the years, I’ve reviewed several devices for iPhones and iPods that purport to be sturdy protective mounts for bicycle usage. Keeping in mind that there are inherent dangers in listening to music while you’re cycling, especially if you have to worry about dangling headphone wires, it’s important to make sure that safety is your first concern. The iBike POWERHOUSE ensures both the safety of your iPhone and your body with its well-designed mount for the 3 and 4 series iPhones. (No luck for you early iPhone 5 adopters yet.) Add in a software solution for exercise and cycling technique…


Magellan Kicks Off Hunting Season with New Products

One of my favorite times of the year officially started last weekend! The beginning of hunting season is always exciting and gives us outdoorsmen an excuse to spend too much time in nature. While the first weekend of bow hunting season was not fruitful for me due to the moon cycle, I did thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to spend some time out in the wild clearing my head and being one with nature. One thing that is important while hunting is safety and location. Not only do you need to find your way back to civilization, but you never want to lose…


The New Garmin ForeRunner 10 Prepares for the Wineglass Marathon!

I had posted about the Garmin ForeRunner 10 announcement previously, and we were expecting a review sample but had been notified that they were still waiting for stock before shipping. While acknowledging the message and thanking them for the update, I mentioned that it was too bad it wouldn’t arrive in time for the Wineglass Marathon I am running this weekend, but since I would be running a half-marathon in a month it was no big deal. Justin at Garmin got back to me quickly, saying that he would have one in my hands by Friday (yesterday) … just in time…


D-Star Breathes New Life into Amateur Radio

D-Star is the newest mode I have recently added to my Amateur Radio arsenal.  I bought an Icom ID-31A D-star, radio which I will be reviewing here soon, but I wanted to share a little about D-star and why it’s a cool mode before I did the review. The History of D-Star D-star is a mode that was created by the Japanese Amateur Radio League in 2001 after doing three years of research.  JARL designed it as an open standard so that manufacturers could build the radios.  Icom is the first company to make radios for D-star, however they aren’t…


Emergency Cell-Phone Lasts 10 Hours On A Single ‘AA’ Battery

Picture yourself stranded alone during a hurricane. The rain pelts the windows with oppressive vigor. A howling wind lifts lawn chairs off the patio. You reach into your pocket and grab your smart-phone. You’ve never been more desperate to check your twitter feed, but the battery’s already down to 5%. Four minutes later, that one tough level of Angry Birds: Space finally kills the phone. Out of nowhere, an enormous tree branch crashes through the living room window. You try to call for help, but you left your charger in the hotel room back in Atlanta. What’s the solution? XPAL…


Esoterism Presents the Moat-4 Aroused Comrade Urban Camo iPhone 4S Case

Most of our readers know I am an avid outdoorsman and hunter, but you all should also know I am a huge fan of our military. As a history teacher and patriot, anything that shows support for our troops is OK by me. I have many ex-students/athletes that have defended our nation bravely. One of my athletes gave the ultimate price, and my best friend took multiple rounds during the Battle of Fallujah and lived to tell about it. I also have a recent graduate who has become an Army Ranger. With all of that said, I naturally like all…



The Magic Bullet Against Showrooming Is in Running Shoes

Everyone in retail wants to bemoan “show rooming” or the tendency of shoppers to check products out in store, only to buy online. It’s a huge problem, and I am not the only person to point out that customer service can often make the difference between someone shopping in store versus hitting Amazon on their iPhone as they walk out the door. Runner’s World took a closer look at the statistics involved, and came up with some interesting conclusions. First, they looked at a survey that indicated the higher the discount online, the more likely shoppers were to not shop…


Slacklining Courtesy of Volvo and Adrenaline

Volvo cars may be known for being “boxy but good”, but I think their trucks need a better slogan…”boxy but stable enough to slackline across”? It’s a mouthful. Amazing, right? There is balance, grace, athleticism and courage, and then there is the mondo serving of all of the above that you need to walk a rope between two speeding trucks. That are about to go through two tunnels. And that will turn you into roadkill if you aren’t all the way across. Crazy! Via The Clymb


The Magnificent Grand Canyon

When you drive through the pine forests leading up to the Grand Canyon’s rim, no one would fault you for thinking that what you are about to see couldn’t possibly live up to the hype. But when you get to the rim, when you have your first chance to look over and out … the view is simply mind-boggling. How big is the Grand Canyon? The park covers 1,218,375.54 acres, which is about 1,904 square miles. If you measure it in river miles, following the course of the Colorado River at the canyon’s bottom, you’d call it 277 miles long. The…


Marvelous Mesa Verde!

Imagine for a moment that you are a cowhand, and that you have been riding in the desert heat for some time in search of missing cattle. Across from the Mesa you are riding upon, you happen to look at the wall of the cliffs below the mesa opposite you. Your mind drifts for a moment, and you find yourself studying the composition of the opposite mesa’s cliffs; you find yourself paying attention to the layers of clay, limestone, sandstone, shale, and other geologic materials that make up of all the cliff-patterns and colors that you are used to seeing…


Kitty Cam? More Like KILL Cam!

Do you have a cat? We have two – an outdoor cat we’ve had since he was a few weeks old (and is now 12) and one indoor cat we inherited from my sister-in-law when they moved halfway across the country two years ago (supposedly a two-week babysitting … but I digress). Is your cat a hunter? Ours is – he regularly brings home mice and moles and rabbits and chipmunks and squirrels and birds and … you get the picture. To date, our biggest concern has been that he delivers these as presents to our dogs (12-pound Norfolk Terriers)…


Exploring the Captivating Carlsbad Caverns

Have you ever been to Carlsbad Caverns? If not, and assuming you like exploring, then you owe it to yourself to go. Nestled in the Guadalupe mountains about 150 miles North East of El Paso, Carlsbad Caverns is worth the drive from just about anywhere. So how were they discovered? The story goes that in 1898, a 16-year-old cowhand named Jim White [most likely] entered the caverns for the first time. Who knows exactly who was the first to find the cave entrance, but by the time he died in 1946, Jim was known unofficially as “Mr. Carlsbad Caverns” for his “exploration,…


Fun Facts About the Olympic Marathons in History

It is track and field time at the Olympics, and that means it’s time for the men’s and women’s marathons! All of the running events are fun to watch if you are a runner, but the Olympic marathon is special. Since the women’s marathon is Sunday, Runners World has an awesome list of nine big moments in Olympic history. All of these will come in handy at your next quiz night, but my personal favorite is the story of Emil Zatopek: As the 1952 helsinki olympics drew to a close, Czech-oslovakia’s Emil Zatopek, 29, had already won the 5000 meters…


Rule 40, #NoBlackout, and Why Olympic Sponsorship is Broken

(the major Olympic sponsors, courtesy Puttles.com) If you follow any track and field athletes on social media, you may have noticed them tweeting with hash tags like #noblackout. Or maybe you saw a flurry of activity a few weeks ago where they frantically sent “one last thanks” to various sponsors. The International Olympic Committee has a blackout on athletes promoting sponsors during the Olympics, which isn’t unreasonable. However, if your sponsor is Nike or Adidas, there is no blackout. In other words, athletes not sponsored by one of these two companies cannot thank the businesses that supported them and brought…


Amazingly, 6% of Drivers Would Swerve to Kill an Animal

Imagine that you are driving down the road and see a turtle on the shoulder … what do you do? Well, if you are Blake Shelton or one of his small-minded ilk, you swerve to crush him (or not as he later denied it), then tweet about it and get abusive to anyone who questions you. Actually, for most people you would either continue driving or perhaps stop to help the animal get to the side of the road in safety. But for some … it is the opportunity to leave the road to show how superior they are by…


Stuffa Jacket Holds ALL Your Stuff

 (image courtesy Stuffa) The folks at Gizmodo have stumbled upon a fascinating new clothing line, called the “Stuffa” jacket. It’s a jacket with pockets designed to hold several day’s worth of clothing. What an original concept. I wonder where they got the idea from… Actually, all sarcasm aside, the creator says he had the idea while watching people get creamed by baggage fees: I flew home late April with the remaining staff. It was at Geneva airport that the fun of checking in started and the idea for Stuffa first came to me. Everyone was having to pay the excess…


News Roundup on the Cusp of the Olympics!

Less than 24 hours until the start of the Summer Olympics! Hopefully, you aren’t too burned out on Olympics stories so far, there’s a long month of feel-good tales and endless shots of crowds ahead of you. Meanwhile, we have a quick roundup of apps and news to carry you through to the Opening Ceremonies! First, NBC has two apps to help you stick with the Olympics on the go. One is an aggregation of news and prepackaged articles and photos, and the other is for live coverage during the games themselves. So far, my personal experience has been a…