Category Archives: Outdoor Product Info

Travel Tips for this Summer

Traveling to a new destination can be scary sometimes.  You wonder how you will be able to get around the city, if you have to worry about your luggage or you wallet.  There are a few things that can put your mind at rest.

  1. Secure your luggage:  If you are rolling through the airport with a nice piece of luggage, you should know, that your luggage is only insured for what is inside of your luggage.  A way around this would be to put your luggage in a less expensive bag.  Try the Osprey Airporter LZ.  If you happen to be traveling abroad, and backpacking, you might want to lock up your goods.  Check out the PacSafe  to secure your pack and all the goodies inside.
  2. Keep You Money Hidden: In a strange city, you might feel a little uneasy about your wallet.  Eagle Creek makes a whole line of products design to hide your money and passport.  You can use the “Undercover Security Wallet” or the “Travel Neck Pouch”.  Let those pickpockets give it their best try.
  3. Fit it all in your bag:  Are you a chronic over-packer?  Try a pack-it cube from Eagle Creek, or one of their handy-dandy air compressor pack bags.  No need for one of those fancy air compressor machines to do your packing.

Traveling can be stressful, but it does not have to be.  What is your biggest pet peeve in travel?

Dress Right for the Liberty Bowl this Weekend

This weekend’s
forecast is a high of 69 with rain. How do you avoid missing
the Georgia versus UCF due to poor weather conditions? You dress
appropriately. Layering is the key in this type of
weather. There are many different combination you can go by,
but here are a couple of suggestions.

  1. First
    Layer: A silkweight base layer like Capilene 1 would be ideal to keep you
    warm enough and still wick any sweat that might accumulate during
    your cheering frenzies.
  2. Second Layer: A light
    fleece can be highly beneficial in a situation where it isn’t
    freezing cold, but you will be doing a lot of standing or
    sitting. It is good to have a jacket that will be well
    fitted, like the Patagonia R2 jacket for Men and
    Women. This jacket is lightweight and not bulky, but still
    offers up a good amount of warmth. Another option is the North Face Pumori jacket. It is
    a very basic, but warm fleece jacket with an excellent price point
  3. Third Layer: A lightweight rain
    shell and pants (your team’s colors preferably) is a must in stormy
    weather, where the temperature is around the 60’s. You won’t
    want something that will weigh you down, so a thin shell will
    protect you from the rain and not get in your way. Make sure
    the hood is adjustable, so you have your peripheral view. We
    have several different lightweight rain shells for this very
    purpose. Try the North Face Venture Jacket or the Mountain Hardwear Cohesion
    . You can also refer to our previous blog on
    rain shell options

necessities: – Socks: Standing
around doesn’t give your feet a good chance to warm up, especially
when it is raining. Whether you are going to wear a gore-tex
hiking boot or just rubber rain boots, you will need a nice, warm
sock nestled in your shoes. We suggest a Smartwool sock, medium cushion
hiking. This way your sock will dry quickly if you do get it
wet, but it will still retain its warming abilities.
– Hat: The wind can whip
around the Liberty Bowl pretty fiercely, so whether you are cold
natured or naturally warm, you will still need a hat that covers
your ears. You lose most of your body heat through the top of
your head. Keep it in with a wool or fleece hat.
– Have they created a special
umbrella for nachos yet? Have fun and Go your team name

Fall/Winter Trail Runner’s Gear Guide (Staff Picks)

You can throw on road running shoes, some long pants, and a wicking shirt to go running, sure.  That doesn’t necessarily make for a great experience though.  The clothes and gear you wear for trail running should change with the seasons.  Here are a couple of things we have in the stores to make your trail running times enjoyable.

  1. A good watch with heart rate capabilities:  Did you know a watch could track your distance, heart rate, calories burned, speed and more?  Well, they can.  We have several different brands of Heart rate monitoring watches, but one that seems to be a stand out is the Suunto T4-D.  This watch can do it all.  For the specs of this watch you can go to their website.  If you have ever wondered mid-workout how hard your body is working, this is the watch for you.  The Suunto T4-D watch has a real-time Training Effect option where you can look at an accurate measure of your workout and adjust your pace as needed.  This can actually help you design a training regime to fit the results you seek.  Pretty cool, huh?
    Honorable Mention: Garmin Forerunner 301
  2. A good pair of tights:  We have an abundance of cool weather tights for running and cycling in our stores.  One stands out with a technology only scientists could invent.  The CW-X tights were developed with kinesiology, the study of human movement, in mind.  The scientists at Wacoal Human Science Research Center in Kyoto, Japan studied 35,000 people’s injuries that occurred from warm-up and cool-down periods of exercise.  The CW-X tights and shorts were created to mirror kineseo tape that you might see professional athletes sporting when they have injured muscles.  It offers support for your joints and muscles by creating an exoskeleton support system that improves bio-mechanics during motion.  If you are prone to running related injuries, these are the tights for you.
    Honorable Mention- Patagonia Cool Weather Tights
  3. A fine pair of stable shoes:  No, you cannot just use your road running shoes on the trails.  On a trail, your ankle is more susceptible to injury; therefore you need a shoe that performs differently.  Salomon makes a variety of great trail running shoes with extreme stability and comfort.  One stands out to our staff as a favorite: The SpeedCross 2.  It is an ultra-light, race-ready shoe with aggressive tread that works great year round.  One of the unique features of Salomon shoes is the uni-lacing system.  The laces are made of Kevlar (that’s right, just like bulletproof vests) and it is all one consecutive lace.  Because approximately 80% of people over-pronate when walking and running, this lacing system offers extra support on the inner section of your foot.  A lightweight, stable trail running shoe.  What more could you want?
    Honorable Mention- The North Face Ultra 104 (Gore-Tex Optional)
  4. A warm, lightweight jacket with wind protection:  When you are out in the elements running, the last thing you would want is a bulky fleece that lets wind pass right through.  Wind is a strong factor in how cold you get when out running.  What you really need is a thin, windproof jacket with a light lining.  The North Face Flight Apex Climate Jacket is the perfect combo.  This is a slim, windproof jacket that gives you all the wind protection you need and no extra bulk to get in your way.   When paired with the proper layering, this jacket is perfect for a cool day on the trails.
    Honorable Mention-Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover
  5. A water bottle that doesn’t get in the way:  For a long time, people were wearing Camelbacks on long trail runs.  There is nothing wrong with a Camelback, if you don’t mind the weight and warm material on your back.  Ultimate Direction offers a different way to carry your drink of choice.  The Fastdraw Xtreme fits perfectly in your hand and offers a zippered stash pocket for a key, money, or gel.  The only downside to this in opposition of a camelbak is that you cannot carry as much water with you.  The Fastdraw Xtreme is perfect for a short to medium distance run.
    Honorable Mention: Ultimate Direction Access Gel Waist Pack

Other Must Haves:
-Long sleeved wicking shirt
-Polarized Sunglasses
-A lightweight hat
-Energy gel or bars

Product pictured on Robin Kendall, Union Avenue Store Manager
Suunto T4-D
CW-X Stabilyx Tights
The North Face Impulse ¼ zip shirt
Patagonia R2 Vest
Oakley Endure
Water Bottle:
Ultimate Direction Fastdraw Xtreme
The North Face Vaporwick Endurance Cap
Black Jacket:
The North Face Flight Apex Climate Jacket
Blue Jacket:
The North Face Torpedo Jacket
Salomon Speedcross 2

Factors That Make or Break Your Backpacking Trip

Your backpacking experience is only as good as the gear you take. There are several precautions you can take to make sure your backpacking trip goes smoothly.

  1. Proper Pack Fit: Your back is aching, your head is throbbing, your neck is about to fall off. You should have gotten your pack properly fitted. If you ordered your pack online, chances are, you have not had it fitted to your torso. It doesn’t go by shirt size. “I wear a medium shirt, so I must require a medium pack frame.” Wrong. Having an ill fitting pack could mean extreme discomfort for you. If you have an old pack and feel it is time to check and see if it really does fit you, we suggest bringing it in to your local outdoors store to get an assessment.
  2. Proper Boot Fit: Just like a pack fit, a pair of improperly fitted boots can cause you great anguish and hinder your backpacking experience. In order to prevent a poor boot fit, bring in the socks you plan to wear with your boots and get your foot measured with a Brannock device. Boot fitting is an art and there are many different aspects to the perfect fit. For more information visit Great Outdoors boot fitting guide. Once you have purchased your boots, it is good to try them on in the evening after your feet have swollen during the day. Also, we suggest purchasing your boots several months in advance of your trip so that you will have ample time to break them in. It is never a good idea to wear brand new boots on a backpacking trip.
  3. Loading Your Backpack Correctly: Making sure you fit everything into your pack is one thing, but distributing the weight correctly is certainly another. Most of the weight of your pack should reside on your hips, not your shoulders and back. To make this work, you need to position the heaviest items closest to your back in the middle of your pack between your shoulder blades. If you are going off-trail, it should be up a little higher in the pack, still positioned up against your back. The farther away your weight is from your back, the more your straps will pull on your shoulders and lower back.
  4. A Good Mattress Pad: After a long day on the trail, all you are going to want is a good night’s sleep. A comfortable and compact-able mattress is key in this equation. With outdoor gear technology getting better every year, it is not too hard to find a small, but effective blow up mattress for your backpacking trip. If you are extra concerned about space, you can invest in a ¾ mattress that leaves you feet hanging off. Really, how much padding do your feet need when you are asleep? Not much. Save space and be comfortable, too.
  5. Know the Weather You’re Approaching: When you are planning your trip, make sure you scope out the weather before hand. You will need this information to plan what gear and clothes to pack.  If the weather is somewhat unpredictable where you are headed (for example Mount Washington, New Hampshire), look into previous years during that same time. It is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared in these situations.

It’s pouring, do you know where your rain jacket is?

We are experiencing our first serious rain in months, which might send you to your closet looking for your rain jacket.  Chances are, you can’t find it or you need a new one.  We have worked up a guide to walk you through some of our featured rain jackets and their price points.

1.  The North Face Venture Jacket:  ($99) Simplistic in nature, the Venture jacket is easily compressible for travel, but can withstand a severe rainstorm.  It has a fully adjustable, attached hood with visor, pit-zips, and a hem cinch cord to fit any frame.  This jacket is waist length.
The North Face Venture Jacket

2.  Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket: ($119) This is Patagonia’s answer for a lightweight, breathable, and packable rain shell.  The Torrenshell jacket is a little more fitted than the Venture jacket and cut a little longer in the back.  It has a stow-away hood and pit zips for ventilation.  It consists of 2.5-layer nylon ripstop shell with a waterproof/breathable H2No® barrier and Deluge® DWR (durable water repellent) finish for wet weather protection.Patagonia Torrentshell

3. Mountain Hardwear Cohesion Jacket: ($165)  This is Mountain Harwear’s super-light, full featured backcountry shell with Conduit™ DT for superior dry touch next-to-skin comfort. It has stretch panels on the arms and back for a more active fit that does not hinder your movement.  This jacket is easily packable and includes a roll away hood for convenience.Mountain Hardwear Cohesion Jacket

4.  Arc’teryx Beta SL: ($250) This is a wonderful Arc’teryx jacket for those of you who love Gore-tex, but require a light weight and minimalistic design.  It is perfect for the pack weight conscious hiker or as an everyday rain shell to throw in your bag on the way to work.  The trim fit hood allows for excellent side visibility, and it is also helmet compatible. This is a waist length jacket to accommodate backpack hip belt.
Arc'teryx Beta SL

5.  Arc’teryx Theta SL:  ($350)  The Theta SL shares similarities with the Beta SL, in that it is lightweight, waterproof (Gore-Tex), and breathable.  However, this Arc’teryx shell is cut below the hips and has a zip away hood.  The Theta SL also has reinforcements on the shoulders and arms for protection in more extreme conditions.

Arc'teryx Theta SL

If you have more questions about these jackets and others we have in the stores, feel free to swing by and ask our knowledgeable staff.  We want to find the perfect rain shell for you.

Welcome to the Outdoors Inc Experience

The Outdoors Inc Experience is paddling. It’s cycling.  It’s climbing.  It’s backpacking and hiking.  We have been outfitting human-powered recreation since 1974.  We want to be your resource for gear knowledge, travel tips and tricks, and community recreation ideas.  Hopefully, this blog will give you some insight on what to buy, how to travel, where to go (in and out of town), and what we are doing as a company and as individuals.  We want to hear for you, too.  Let us know your experiences in and out of our stores.  Ask us questions.  That’s what we are here for.