Denali Gear Check: SPOT X

In case you missed it, Justin mentioned in his last post that he is planning to climb Denali (again) in May 2019!!!! Inevitably, there will be lots of details regarding that prep—especially gear—over the next several months. This past weekend, in fact, he spent time out in Rocky Mountain National Park clearing the cobwebs by…

Gear Testing 101

Justin & I wear many different hats, and one large one is Gear Testers for Backpacker Magazine (and a prototype tester for a few brands).   We get a lot of questions surrounding this. How did you become gear testers? What the heck does that mean? Is that really a job? Do you get paid? I…

Currently: October

Currently living/working in: We finished teaching the kids at Fenton Ranch Oct. 12, so from now through March, we wear the main hat of property caretakers. This entails greeting weekend guests (faculty/staff of the school who can reserve the main house as a benefit), doing maintenance projects and general upkeep, along with a few bigger projects.…

Fall in New Mexico

We finished another environmental education session at Fenton Ranch Oct. 12 and now our main job is to watch the property for the school. Fall is a perfect time to complete outdoor projects around the 5 acres of land and prep for the winter. As our wood-burning stove beckons to be stoked every morning already,…

Denali Gear List

Fellow gear junkies, get excited. This post is all about gear!!! But first, a few other details.  Justin and Bobby (Bolt) flew to Alaska today for the long-awaited attempt to climb Denali.  The boys are climbing with RMI Expeditions. This is the same guiding service we used to climb Rainier and that Justin used to climb Shuksan. There are…

Midpoint Gear Review

We had hoped to get this up in Wellington as we finished the North Island, but better late than never! As we said in previous posts, we consider ourselves lucky when it comes to gear. We’ve met a lot of hikers on the TA who are unhappy with their gear (mostly because they want to…