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Partnering with TheGearHouse and a sweet Klymit GIVEAWAY!

TheGearHouse is now an official sponsor of Simply Adventure!

It’s been in the works for months, and I am delighted to finally be able to announce:

TheGearHouse is an official sponsor
of the Simply Adventure trip!

Run by gear enthusiast Chris Pund, TheGearHouse.com is what I’d like to think of as the small-town version of Backcountry. His online retail shop helps adventurers outfit themselves with everything from camping cookware to quality climbing ropes – you get the same pristine gear, but with a community-minded attitude and a truly personal customer experience. Niko and I are stoked to have TheGearHouse onboard for our adventure.

To celebrate our new partnership, we’ve got two gear giveaways to get you stoked on new gear for new adventures in the new year. In addition, you can head over to TheGearHouse’s sale section to snag sweet deals on products like the Jet Boil cooking stove, an ultralight Big Agnes Fly Creek tent, Thermarest sleeping pads, and more.

The Klymit Cush Pillow and Seat is a sweet inflatable camping tool. The first giveaway will be running all week long on the blog, with your chance to win a sweet Klymit Cush Ultralight Pillow/Seat! This nifty cushion compresses to a pocket-sized ball, and easily blows up into a customizable seat and/or pillow.

How can you get your hands on this versatile camping product?

First, leave a comment below, telling us what adventure you are most looking forward to in 2013 – it can be anything from summiting Mount Whitney to camping out in your backyard.

To log your entries, head over to the Rafflecopter widget for six different ways to increase your chances of winning this Klymit gear giveaway. The contest ends on Monday, January 14th at midnight, and a winner will be chosen at random, then announced here on the blog!

Click here to enter to win the Kylmit Cush Pillow!

Good luck everyone, and be sure to keep an eye on The Morning Fresh Facebook page for an additional giveaway we’ll be posting on Thursday. Big thanks to TheGearHouse for supporting Simply Adventure through this wonderful sponsorship. 

UPDATE:

Folks, we have ourselves a winner! It was a pleasure to read about all of your wonderful adventures planned for 2013, but Rafflecopter could choose only one winner, and that winner is:

Nicole Dzuba!

Congrats on scoring a sweet new Klymit Cush, Nicole!
Send an e-mail to katieboue (at) gmail (dot) com to claim your winnings.

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Get Psyched for 2013: Limited Edition MAMMUT Calendar Giveaway!

I’ll be honest: after my not-so-rave review about Mammut’s Refine Skort for lady climbers was published on The Gearcaster, I figured my relationship with this premiere brand was surely demolished. I nervously sent them the link to my review, and much to my surprise, they actually thanked me for my honest feedback – and the skort has since been pulled from their product line due to a much stronger response to their Realization Shorts. That, right there, is what I love about the outdoor industry.  

The Déja Vu 2013 calendar cover from Mammut.

But Mammut‘s excellence doesn’t stop there. This week, they offered to give readers of The Morning Fresh a chance to win one of four copies of their limited edition 2013 Deja Vu calendar, featuring stunning photography by Stefan SchlumpfTwelve of their pro team climbers (like Sean McColl and Anna Stöhr) and mountaineers were posed in some truly creative abstract climbing scenes, including a bubble bath of chalk balls, a sultry spine lined with bolts, and a throne of ice axes.

For a look at the making of the calendar, give this sweet behind-the-scenes video a gander. Talk about a production – according to this article, the shoot required “500 cable binders, 160 ice picks, 400 chalk balls, 2,500 metres of rope, several cubic metres of wood and countless screws.Read More…

It’s a miracle: I no longer loathe metal water bottles – Eco Bottle Review and Giveaway!

Let me make one thing very clear before I begin this review:

I have always hated metal water bottles.

They taste like metal, smell like metal, feel like metal (does the feeling of metal ever make anyone else’s teeth cringe?). When I was first approached by Eco Bottle to sample one of their products, I was extremely skeptical – but they were so stoked about their BPA-free, dishwasher-safe bottle that I was convinced to give it a shot.

I stuck to my stubborn anti-metal convictions even as I opened up my Eco Bottle package, but was instantly softened when I unwrapped what remains as my favorite feature of this water bottle – a thick, bendy straw attachment. I love straws for their superior sip-ability, and adore this genius little bonus feature. Opening and closing water bottles is one of the reasons I’ve begun to lean towards hydration packs, so it’s refreshing to see a bottle brand looking to solve the issue of needing to grab-gulp-n-go while you’re out and about.

My emerald green bottle took its maiden voyage on a bike ride from my house to the Tallahassee Rock Gym on a mild evening. The body fit perfectly into my water bottle holder, and I was pleased that my water remained a pleasant temperature throughout the duration of my ride. My perception that metal water bottles are always an inferno was debunked. I’d chalk it up to the inner body coating, perhaps that aids in temperature regulation? I think the liner also attributes to the lack of a metallic taste in the bottle; I left my water sitting in the bottle for an entire week and it never tasted funky.

There was just one issue I ran into during my first adventure with the Eco Bottle – it’s not a no-brainer to open up. I naively filled it with water, screwed on the top, stuck on the mouthpiece attachment, and sped off on my road bike. Halfway through a monstrous hill, I paused to hastily gulp from my bottle – and was unable to suck out even a drop of water. Oops. 

I hadn’t properly opened the top piece, which was not something I was able to accomplish until after my parched ride. Once I realized the very easy screw motion necessary to open it up, the water was flowin’. So make sure you actually open your bottle before you head out! I also noticed a few little dents on the bottle’s body from my bike’s water bottle holder – but as an adventure gal, I like it when my gear bears the marks of being well loved.

Overall, I am a woman converted. I really love this metal bottle.

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Update on my Triple Crown climbing training (and failures) – and a GIVEAWAY!

Exactly 13 days ago, I began my four-week training effort to prepare me for the Triple Crown Bouldering Series competition at Hound Ears in North Carolina on October 6th. My original inspiration came from the “Fit for Fall in 4 Weeks” training program published on DPMclimbing.com

But it didn’t work so well.

Yes, that’s right, I failed at adhering to the program’s daily regimen. I began the first few days doing exactly what the training schedule called for, which totally whooped my rear end, but quickly realized that this cookie-cutter plan wasn’t going to work for my personal goals. There is one glaring reason why I have decided to make some changes to my 30-day training program:

The schedule didn’t include daily climbing.

In fact, the ONE day at the end of the four weeks that called for a real climbing day insisted that I not “go all out” on any projects. Uh, that’s just not going to happen. There were three ‘light’ climbing days spread out over the last two weeks, but let’s get real – I need to climb, every day.

While I definitely think that the Fit for Fall in 4 Weeks program is a great training method, it’s simply not the one for me at this point in time. It would be an ideal thing to do if I was feeling a bit burnt out on climbing and wanted to switch up my fitness, but right now, I’m psyched on climbing, and can’t bear to pull myself away from my projects.

So I’m changing things up a bit.

I really liked a lot of aspects of the original plan, and I’m going to stick with the factors that worked for me, like drinking a gallon of water every day, cutting out junk/processed foods, incorporating frequent aerobic exercising into my week, and balancing those lighter aerobic days with intense workout days. But, my friends, there will be climbing.

 Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • Morning hangboard sessions: I am fortunate enough to live with a group of dirtbag climber boys, so I have a little woodie climbing wall and hangboard set up on the front porch. Each morning, I begin my day with a series of hangs, and a little circuit of lock-offs and movements on the wall. With stretching before and after, of course. I’ll be doing this at least four days a week.
  • Aerobic exercise: To round out all the workouts and climbing days, I really enjoy the aerobics encouraged by the Fit for Fall in 4 Weeks program. Niko and I have started riding our bikes to the gym on Mondays for climbing club meetings, and we’re going to dabble in our first trail running experience this week.
  • Indo-boarding: If you have an indo-board, I would highly suggest integrating it into your training. My housemates watch TV every evening, and I discovered that an hour spent on the indoboard instead of the couch is a great way to sneak a little exercise into my nights. It’s great for practicing balance, and I really like doing squats on it. There’s a whole series of indo board exercises you can try.
  • Core workouts: Aside from finger and shoulder strength, one of the things I really wanted to focus my training on is improving my core. Two of my lady climber friends turned me onto the P90x Ab Ripper workout, and I absolutely LOVE it. I’ve been doing this 3 times per week, and plan to up that to 4 days/week. Between eating right and the ab workouts, I’ve already gotten a 4-pack back.
  • Climbing: One of my buddies once said, “The best way to train for climbing, is to climb.” – And I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been incorporating a mix of lighter climbing days when I’ve done a big workout with harder climbing days where I project routes. Mixing rope climbing with my bouldering is another area where I’ve seen myself getting stronger.
  • Rest Days: Folks, no matter how strong you are, what kind of training you’re doing, or how long you’ve been at it – you need to take rest days. I’ve taken two thus far, one of which I spent walking a few miles at a greenway for three hours. Listen to your body, always.

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Revolutionizing the hydration pack with GeigerRig – and your chance to win one! [CLOSED]

I wasn’t always an outdoorsy adventurer; and when I first began spending large amounts of time outdoors, I wasn’t very well prepared. Case in point: the backpacks I used to carry around. Gear junkies, shield your eyes – the image you’re about to see isn’t very pretty, nor is it a proud moment for me.

The couple is pretty cute, if I do say so myself, but take note of the pathetic sack slung around my back. It sticks out like a sore thumb against an otherwise fairly rugged scene. It shamefully, and I hang my head in despair at the mere thought of admitting to rockin’ this ‘gear’ while out on the trail.

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And the winner of the climbing swag giveaway is…

After nearly 200 entries, dozens of comments, and a few weak attempts at bribery, The Morning Fresh’s first ever giveaway has officially ended – and the winners have been selected by Rafflecopter. So who won the climbing swag giveaway? The winners are:

Bob Rosenbaum and Kam Altar!

Bob’s grand prize winnings come with a funny little story. Mr. Rosenbaum is a regular climber at Tallahassee Rock Gym, and has a bit of a playful rivalry going with his two buddies, Dakota and Charlie. Determined not to let Bob win, Dakota put a lot of effort into tweeting, ‘liking’, and commenting – but he forgot to enter himself in the official Rafflecopter entry form! I knew he would be enraged if Bob won, so when “Bob C. Rosenbaum” popped up as the first winner for the giveaway – I nearly died laughing. Congrats, Bob! 

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It’s climb time! – Enter to win climbing swag and a $25 rock gym gift certificate

Climbing is far more than just a sweaty, chalky, finger-shredding sport – it’s a lifestyle. And anyone who loves climbing can attest that this sweltering segment of summertime isn’t exactly the prime season for dedicating yourself to the sport. Crags are rampant with biting insects and melt-your-face-off heat, rock gyms become ghost towns as folks flee towards air conditioned pursuits, and all to often, climbers give-up on their training efforts in favor of lazy afternoons spent curled up on the couch with the latest videos from DeadPoint Mag.

So let’s get the climbing hype happenin’ during this scorching month of July
with The Morning Fresh’s first giveaway!

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