For those who hike with man's best friend whether on a day hike, multi-day or long trail you know the trials and tribulations of carrying lots of supplies including food your pup. Dog food is not the lightest nor the most condensed item to pack or carry no matter the the length of your trek. We all have to eat, especially on a hike! My dog Boston is new to the outdoor world and is just getting the knack of carrying his pack and own water. Recently, the good people at TurboPup offered up some samples of their products for Boston to try.
This past weekend Boston tried the first of two of the samples that TurboPup sent us. Below are the video's that Boston and I took.
TurboPup is an all natural meal replacement option for you best bud. The dense packets come in a variety of flavors and are easily measured on the back of each packet so you can determine how may per day your dog needs per their weight. No measuring, just easy peasy!
TurboPup is also a veteran and female owned small company and is the official dog food for the National Association of Search and Rescue Dogs. Bottom line if you have dogs and frequent the outdoors with them this is a product you have to try! Boston, is not picky by any means, however when he gets a treat his usually quite content with just the treat. Once he had the TurboPup and was done with it he kinda did look at me like "Dad, you got another one?".
I hope you and your best pal enjoy these meals and enjoy not carry a ton of food for them on your next trek.
Keep Hiking Forward!
I was fortunate to be provided a pair of Rocky S2V Resection Athletic Tail Shoes prior to my recent trip to the Shawnee National Forest this past weekend. I will admit as with any pair of new outdoor shoes or boots I did wear them and do my best to break them in. Instantly I realized these shoes were like a pair of sneakers and required minimum wear prior to getting out on trail.
The shoe is the most innovative shoe I have ever tried. To the naked eye it resembles a hightop boot but in fact once you pull back the outer gaiter it reveals the shoe that actually resembles a lightweight low hiker. The zip up gaiter feature ensures your laces will never come untied, get tangled or caught up in brush and whats best will keep your feet dry when traversing through creeks or wet ground.
The Vibram soles are cut to provide significant stability when day hiking or climbing over rocky terrain. I used the shoes this past weekend around camp during a moderately cold four day trip and my feet were always sufficiently warm. The zip up feature truly serves as another layer to protect not only from the wet conditions but also cold temperatures. Not sure if Rocky's intended for this during the design, but anything that keep my feet warm is a welcomed innovation in my book.
I had the pleasure of not only hiking in the shoes over the course of the weekend, but also bushwhacking between trails up and over rock formations in the Shawnee National Forest and exploring the Garden of the Gods Recreational Area. All of these areas required stability, an anti-slip sole, comfort and flexibility and these shoes answered the mail and delivered high performance on and off the trail. Typically after wearing a singular boot all day, upon returning to camp at the end of the day I am craving my soft comfortable sponge camp shoes. My camp shoes never came out of my pack last weekend. One of my camping mates referred to the shoes as "Jordans". I did feel like I could play some basketball in these shoes , and that was after a full day of hiking and rock formation exploration.
I will admit I am used to a full boot and or a full mid-cross trainer when hiking. This is neither. That is a not a good or a bad thing. This shoe is truly an athletic shoe that provides immense features for the outdoor terrain. Grip, anti-microbial protection and a outer gaiter for protection from the elements sets this shoe apart from other athletic outdoor shoes in the same price range.
The fact that this is a shoe versus a full boot can minimize it's uses for some but after an extended weekend I see no reason why day hiking, camping and extended backpacking would be limiting to this product.
Rocky S2V makes other footwear and outdoor apparel and are located in Nelsonville, Ohio.
The good people at Rocky S2V have provided me a code for any product on their website. Enter to win the chance to get any of Rocky S2V's products below.
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Another amazing weekend with my fellow Corn Desert Hikers is in the books. As mentioned last week, we traveled to the Shawnee National Forest and camped at Pounds Hollow Recreational Area. The weather was fantastic, the food amazing and the company, always exceptional!
Thursday, we arrived to Pounds Hollow Recreational Area to set up camp just before dark and started our fire and quickly began cooking dinner and catching up. On Friday more and more members of our group arrived throughout the day and began setting up. A few of us decided to take a short hike to the north around Pounds Lake to check out some of the smaller rock formations and the low lands around the lake.
As the afternoon continued and more of our cohorts arrived we transitioned our gear and prepped for our visit to the Garden of the Gods. We were blessed with amazing weather and a beautiful sunset at GOTG. A spectacular sight and vista as you can see from the pictures below. I am so happy to have finally gotten to see this location and check it off my list.
As is with any Corn Desert adventure, food takes priority and I was happy to share a culinary experience from Hell Hike and Raft with my mates. As mentioned in last weeks post "Mmmmmm Hell Hike and Raft Pork Loin", I prepared and marinated a rather larger pork loin for my friends for this trip using Hotlime and following the same recipe as used during HHAR. The meat marinated for over two full days and was cooked in foil then charred over the open flames. I heated the remaining marinade over the fire and used it as a dipping sauce prior to serving these delicious hunks of meat around the campfire.
Even though the planned hike was short, many packed full packs and then continued on to get some much needed training in for longer upcoming hikes, needless to say the group worked up a large appetite. With the group now at fifteen members we decided that two campfires are better then one. One for cooking and one for warmth. I began cooking brats for all and soon a symphony of mmmm's filled the early evening air as all enjoyed the evenings main course.
Also, while on this trip I took time use and test the following gear:
Resection Athletic Trail Shoes by Rocky®
Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800 4 Season Bag
d.light S300 Solar Lantern
Native Hardtop Sunglasses
Please stay tuned to Hiking Forward for upcoming reviews on these products and a giveaway.
The Shawnee National Forest is within a short ride from St. Louis, Memphis, Louisville and Indianapolis and offers a host of short and long trails as well as many fantastic sites to explore. The River to River Trail passes through Garden of the Gods and goes from the Mississippi River in the west to the Ohio River in the east. Two of my good friends and members of the Corn Desert Hikers Tom (Arbor) and Jana (Willow) just completed the hike this summer. They blogged about their R2R adventure and other experiences at www.tauspotting.com. Take a moment and check out their blog, they take great pictures of their adventures and write with a style that makes you feel like you are right there with them.
I hope you had just as much of a fantastic and adventurous weekend as I did. If you didn't, the good news is your only a few days away from creating a epic weekend.
Keep Hiking Forward!
There are a lot of things that I have brought back home from Hell Hike and Raft namely a strong bond with a host of new friends, amazing memories of tackling the amazing mountains and rapids, and the food! Mmmmm the food was unbelievable! I don't want to go too deep in this post about the amazing offerings we were provided by our new friends at Americas Rafting Company because I have a full post in mind soon.
Every meal was its own independent best it could be to us all and without a doubt the Pork Loin we were offered on the evening of our first day on the river answered the mail! The meal was a marriage of continued excellence in backcountry cooking by our guides Parker and Becky and a sponsored product provided by our team member Annie Yearout (aka outdoorsymama).
Annie provided the team and Parker and Becky with hot sauce. Yes, hot sauce. Not just any ole hot sauce but amazing lime hot sauce. Floyd and Fred's Hotlime, a family recipe turned business was used in a few of our meals while on trail and on the river. But none of meals brought the two flavors to life like the pork loin that was had while in camp at Sheep Creek Camp.
Always trying to recreate experiences, moments and flavors to bring about those similar moments and memories this week I will finally crack into my bottle of Hotlime and marinate a rather hefty porkloin to share with my local friends. Being of an Italian heritage, I was raised around food and the premise that food and memories work together. I hope to bring just a small percentage of joy to my fellow hikers as we were provided during this meal while paddling the mighty Snake River in Idaho.
Hotlime gave the porkloin a tangy, citrusy, yet almost intoxicating flavor that made you just want more of the porkloin. I think I had twelves pieces that evening in camp. It was simply amazing. I can't wait to make the marinade that is offered by Hotlime on their website for meat, pork or chicken. I have listed it below for convenience.
HotLime Marinade for Meat (Beef, Pork, & Lamb)
for 8 - 12 servings
For steaks, just brush the marinade on during the cooking process - whether grilling, broiling in the oven, or searing in a cast iron pan on the stovetop. For roasts or tri-tips or legs of lamb, a longer saturation in a bowl will have a greater effect. Cover the meat with the marinade and leave it out at room temperature for three hours or in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours. Turn the meat a few times during the marinating process. The longer the meat stays in the marinade the more the flavor will be affected.
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce (or Teriyaki sauce, which is a little sweeter)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon HotLime (use more or less to suit your taste)
1 tablespoon dijon style mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon of mixed dried herbs (include thyme, rosemary, marjoram, sage)
Salt and pepper to taste (the soy sauce, worcestershire sauce and HotLime all have salt in them already, so you may not need any extra)
Mix everything but the olive oil until thoroughly blended; then to get the oil to combine adequately, whisk the oil drop by drop until half is blended and add the remainder in a slow stream. Apply to meat. You can keep the remainder in a covered jar for future use for up to a week.
Stay tuned for a full review by me and my fellow local hikers on how well the Hotlime marinated pork loin is received. Personally, I can't wait to make the marinade and get this baby over an open fire.
For information about Hotlime go to www.hotlime.com.
Keep Hiking Forward!
This coming weekend, I get to return to the woods and mingle with the Gods in the Garden of the Gods in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. I have been waiting, rather impatiently for this trip to arrive. It's been way to long since I have been able to get out. My adventures lately have been filled with hoping from plane to plane or cab to hotel, living in the urban jungle adventuring from one city to another. Enough of that! It's time to get outdoors and enjoy time with my friends from my local hiking and adventure club.
This trip will allow me three nights and four days to explore the Shawnee National Forest and Garden of the Gods. Even though it is the beginning of November the colors in Southern Illinois are supposed to be fantastic still. This is a trip I am really looking forward to for the purposes of seeing my good friends for the Corn Desert Hikers and relaxing by the fire, however their is work to be done.
I want to give you a sneak peek into some of the amazing gear that I will be bringing a long to put to the test and review for all of you. Stay tuned once I return for full reviews on the following products:
Resection Athletic Trail Shoes by Rocky® are men's extreme sport and trail shoes. It's about performance and comfort with a special, unexpected safety feature. These are shoes that will keep your feet dry on the trail while gripping the terrain; or they may help save your life.These trekkers have a VapourFlex® four-way stretch waterproof shroud. VapourFlex is a patented waterproof, breathable and elastic tech fabric designed for outdoor gear. Run or trek where you like, these are waterproof shoes. Forget zippers; these trail running shoes have waterproof self-locking asymmetrical zippers. Water isn't getting in!
You'll have sure footing on and off the trail with outsoles that feature a Vibram® compression molded trek rubber compound. This trekker has a proprietary wave underlay texture for element traction and shedding.
(product description from Rockys2v.com)
Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800 4 Season Bag
The most innovative sleeping bag I have ever encountered on the market. I am trilled and excited to give this bag a true test. Living in the north I plan on using this 4 season bag rather often throughout the upcoming winter. And if this winter was anything like last winter the 800 fill is going to pleasantly welcomed.
In addition to the 4 season capabilities of this bag it offers some interesting features:
Ultralight Jacket Hood With No Cords Or Toggles It moves with you, while fitting comfortably snug around your face like the hood on a jacket.
Zipperless Arm Ports Ready for instant use, our arm ports have no zippers, toggles or hook-and-loop closures to get in the way.
Garment-Style Shoulder Design When you’re upright in the bag, our tapered design rests on your shoulders—not your head.
Centrally Placed, Ventable Zipper The 58" zipper is easier and more natural to operate. Dual sliders can be zipped from the bottom for venting.
Draft-Prevention The draft collar, tube, and curtains keep warm in and cold out.
Stowable Footbox Foot box can be tucked up with toggles to prevent the bag from dragging when you walk around.
(product description from www.Sierradesigns.com)
d.light S300 Solar Lantern
The d.light S300 provides bright white light at a wide angle, enabling the illumination of an entire room. The S300 features 4 brightness settings, providing up to 16 hours of bright light (100 hours on the bed light setting). A USB port provides the ability to charge smart phones, and a battery indicator shows the charge level. Lightweight (350g), it comes with an ergonomically designed handle and top strap, which offers maximum flexibility for use in the home, workplace, or outdoor environments.
(product description from www.dlightdesign.com)
Pat's Backcountry Beverages
What do all crave after a long day of hiking? Or want to have by our side during an awesome campfire with friends? BEER! Well thanks to good people and Pat's Backcountry Beverages not only are they giving us the opportunity to have beer but also awesome soda flavors too in the backcountry. I am really looking forward to trying this product out. Not only for its convenience and flavor but to show it off to my friends from my hiking group. People have heard of the backcountry beer but seeing and tasting will be believing.
Introducing the most environmentally-responsible carbonated beverage system on earth! This awesome little addition to your gear list is engineered with an emphasis on rugged durability and first of it's kind functionality. In it's more docile state, it functions as your standard, everyday water bottle (yawn). However, when you decide to kick it into high gear and unleash the technology hiding under it's cap, you get a burst of refreshing carbonation to energize any beverage of your choice. So no matter how far your wanderlust leads you down the trail, you can still enjoy a crisp, carbonated beverage anywhere on the planet. Cheers!
(product description from www.patsbcb.com)
If your like me, you want your gear organized, easy to find and all in place. Well what we want and what we sometimes end up with are not the same. I try to keep things orderly and tidy because you never know when you might be able to get out for a little adventure. However we all know that life and the lack of time to keep things the way we want them does happen. I am sure that after a weekend trip or a longer adventure the last thing we all do is take the time to put everything away in its proper place the moment we get home. I am sad to say I have done that one too many times.
Okay so a little confession. I came home from Hell Hike and Raft and did just this. All my gear, tent, pack, boots, drybags... All of it just tossed on my gear bench in the garage. My work travel keep me moving for about four weeks consecutive after our Epic Social Adventure. And, yes even while on the road the thought of all my gear, some old, some newly purchased and some newly sponsored gear laying out unorganized weighed heavily on my mind.
Recently, when I finally had enough and had enough time, I took control of the situation. I also have a trip coming up the second weekend of November and needed to get things in order or would never be able to pack effectively. I have always had a gear bench and hooks for my packs, hammock accessories, hiking poles and the underneath of the bench stored all my tents and packs. This system worked well. When I used it mind you. But something that was becoming a larger issues was the "smalls" (Frank Fritz - American Pickers term). Something that can't but put on a hook, that needs its own pace and is easy to loose without its predetermined space. Smalls are also usually expensive and items of great importance. Everything from your titanium spork, to your GPS or favorite multitool. All moderately expensive and necessary for each trip. But oh so easy to misplace when your gear area isn't organized.
Just as I was about to undertake organizing and cleaning up my gear bench a neighbor was having a yard sale and asked if I was interested in a tool storage system. I stood there in disbelief! Why hadn't I thought of this before? The Craftsman tool chest was the perfect solution to my gear smalls! Sliding drawers of various depths to accommodate all sorts of smalls. This would definitely I would never ask my self "where the hell did I put my spork?" ever again! YAHOO!
I brought back the tool chest back to my garage and got to work. Old gear, new gear, sponsored gear from Hell Hike and Raft all quickly found its place into the drawers by category. Wow! I didn't realize I had so many pocket knifes. As I mentioned, this was a spur of the moment gear organization epiphany. I wish I could take total credit for the ingenious idea.
I can tell since I done this, and needed things they are always organized and where they are supposed to be. Its amazing how much nicer it is to not have to muddle through a pile of gear to just find a head lamp. Obviously, not everyone has a Craftsman tool chest to organize their gear or a sizeable area in their garage to store all of it. I will offer that keeping your gear in the same place is a must. Having too many small locations is just a quick and easy way to drive yourself mad when need a specific piece of gear. A multi-draw Rubbermaid container may offer the same type of solution for you and at a fraction of the cost of a tool organizer.
If you don't have a garage or don't have the free space in the garage then maybe a dedicated closet is the way to go with shelves or hooks to stow our packs and tents while utilizing an organizational mechanism for your smalls. Organizing your gear ensures you know where every thing is and enables you to pack efficiently and effectively for every adventure. This also dramatically lessens the risk of forgetting to pack something critical for your trip.
Keep Hiking Forward
Join the me and the rest of the Teton Sports Mountain Adventurers in Giving back to the outdoor community. By using the code ScottGauvin when you purchase anything at Teton Sports you'll get a 5 percent discount off your order and a portion of your purchase will go to fund Boys & Girls Clubs of America and help give boys and girl a safe place to learn and grow. Click here to see my Mountain Adventurer Profile page.
Each of the Mountain Adventurers were asked to select a outdoor themed charity or one that impacted a considerable amount of people directly. I thought long and hard about this and initially came up with some great and worthy causes that protect animals, conserve our natural resources and serve as stewards of our natural places. This decision quite frankly seemed to quick and not well thought out on my part. As someone who Hikes Forward, and promotes the ideal of always looking down the path of the trail and your trail of life, I took pause. Where did I come from? Who helped me to get to where I am and who I have become today especially with my love for the outdoor experience? And secondly, who really needed the money from this effort?
A good sleep solves it all. I awake and had made up my mind, The long list of other very worthy and honorable causes that I already personally contribute to was pushed away. I made up my mind that I would support the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. A huge organization that helps kids from all works of life and backgrounds by providing a safe experience both at their clubs and outdoors. I am a product of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and I am proud of it. As a youngster I had the privilege to attend both a summer day camp (Camp Ramsbottom) and also be a member of local Boys & Girls Club in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
While the Boys & Girls Clubs of America is not saving forests, the polar bear or building parks, they are saving our youth. As a product of the Boys & Girls Club I have fond memories of swimming, archery, canoeing, rope courses and my favorite at the time rocketry. Without this outlet and available resource, honestly I am unsure what me and my friends would have done during those summers. Because of this camp and overall experience I spent more time outside versus inside. Spent more time honing my outdoor skills and exercising.
When summer was done, the club offered a refuge after school to play basketball, pool or to swim. A safe place for kids to group up is needed in every city in the United States. A regular occurrence in my city of Springfield, Illinois and in places just like it around the country are articles asking for significant donates being needed to keep clubs like the one I attended open. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America fit the Giveback Endeavor program to a tee. Not only do I want to giveback for all the Boys & Girls Club gave me, they surely need the donations and they proudly serve over 25,000 youngsters yearly. I am proud to have the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as my chosen charity for this initiative.
To assist me in helping the Boys & Girls Clubs of America simply:
Go to tetonsports.com
During Checkout use the code: ScottGauvin
You will get 5% off your purchase! These funds will go to help the Boys & Girls Clubs of America continue to help America's youth.
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