Great Climbs & Worthy Causes: Rock Climbing in Eastern Europe

Nina and Jeremy’s Big Idea Summer, 2020 Beranger, Savoie, France The choice of vehicle wasn’t simple. It had to be more than a camper van—reliable off-road and in remote parts of the world, and tough enough to transport a climbing wall (yes, you read that right), all of our rock-climbing gear, photography equipment, and oh yeah, also be a small apartment. Through a bit of luck, a lot of networking and some big decisions, on September 1st, 2020 our very own 1991 Unimog, which we immediately named Andrea, made it home to our village in France. For the last two years, my partner and I had not traveled abroad, for obvious reasons. As an outdoor photographer and a professional climber, Jeremy and I had shaped our lives around our travels…

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Snake Safety Tips for Hikers on the Trail

Avid hikers have to deal with a lot of dangerous situations, from bad weather to rough terrain. When most hikers picture a dangerous animal encounter, they may think about coming face to face with a bear, and while this is definitely a situation a hiker needs to be prepared for, you are much more likely to come across a snake while hiking. Snakes are extremely common across the entire globe, and there is no doubt you will encounter one while hiking at some point in your life. However, these encounters don’t necessarily have to be dangerous or scary. I have spent most of my life outdoors, and as a herpetologist, snake encounters are something I look forward to. While I may be part of the minority that actively seeks out…

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MSR Backcountry Café: French Press Coffee

A French press can produce rich, strong coffee that will supercharge your day in the backcountry.  Collapsible presses, available as accessories for our Windburner® and Reactor® stoves, allow you to use your cooking pot for a brewing vessel, saving weight and space in your pack. Best of all, French press coffee is simple and delicious: get the grind and water temperature correct and you’re likely to have a great cup (or three). The Coffee You’ll need about one ounce of coffee per finished cup. It should be coarse-ground and stored in an air-tight container. With French press coffee, an even grind is important—use a burr grinder rather than the blade type. Tip: Normal drip coffee will work if you can’t find the proper grind; MSR presses are designed to work…

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Eat More to Do More: Common Misconceptions in Climbing Nutrition

There is no way around it for climbers—training can only get you so far. The other half of the equation is climbing nutrition. Amity Warme is an accomplished big wall climber who holds a Master’s degree in sports nutrition and is on her way to becoming a registered dietitian. Warme is the fifth woman to free climb Yosemite’s famous El Capitan in a day, and her tick-list includes heavy-hitters like Golden Gate 5.13a, Freerider 5.13a, and The Dream Team 5.13a. During her most recent season in Yosemite, Warme and her partner Will Sharp sent El Corazon 5.13b in a monstrous, ground-up effort. We sat down with her to chat about a bigger and more intimidating topic than big walls: a climber’s diet. Warme describes herself as an “active and energetic”…

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Building Your Backcountry Kitchen, Part 2: The Essential Ingredients

I grew up in a family that embraced the convenience of freeze-dried meals and deviled ham when it came to camping trips. It wasn’t until a college spring break trip to Baja’s Bahia Concepción that I discovered it’s possible to actually, you know, cook while camping. We’d procured some scallops from the bay. My friend Caroline, an avid cook, sautéed them with garlic and chili flakes, adding a splash of her beer and a squeeze of lime to finish. I was gobsmacked—left to my own devices, I’d been subsisting on canned frijoles refritos and tortillas. That pivotal moment not only inspired me to go to culinary school, it redefined what I thought of as camping fare. Today, there are certain ingredients that are staples in my home and backcountry kitchen….

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The LowDown Remote Stove Adapter: Get More from Your Canister Stove

Let’s face it, as much as we love the simplicity and efficiency of our canister-mounted stoves and stove systems, if they have an Achilles’ heel, it’s stability­­—a function of their tall height and using a canister as their base. If you’re a frequent user, you’ve likely run into situations that had you gathering or excavating some rocks or bits of organic matter to even out the canister or simply wished you could just put that large pot of water on a lower, less-tippy stove while making coffee on a casual car camping weekend with family or friends. If any of that sounds familiar to you, the LowDown™ Remote Stove Adapter might just be the upgrade you’ve been looking for. What Is the LowDown Remote Stove Adapter? “The ‘remote stove adapter’…

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