Sunday, May 28, 2017

Fresh, May 28

The Bushwalking Blog Bucket list: 5 of the best outdoor adventures in Iceland.  The land of fire and ice lives up to its name.  Visit site  ▷

The Telegraph Nasa revives 'weird life forms' trapped inside crystals for 60,000 years, raising hopes of finding alien organisms in space.  Penelope Boston and her team have spent years exploring Mexico's Naica Mine in Chihuahua which contains caves as large as cathedrals.  Visit site  ▷

Bear Conflict Solutions A lesson to remember: Why I now carry Bear Spray.  Fortunately, the grizzly bear didn't return but I had only two bear banger shots remaining and 15 days to go.  Visit site  ▷

Mimi Matthews Promiscuous Bathing at Margate: Victorian Outrage Over Indecency at the Public Beach.  Disregarding all those social observances which are usually called decency in men, and modesty in women.  Visit site  ▷

The Guardian 'My worst nightmares are coming true': last major primeval forest in Europe on 'brink of collapse'.  And if and when it happens, it's gone forever.  Visit site  ▷

Future Travel Travelling in the Trans-Siberian: From St. Petersburg to Beijing.  Russian is not the easiest language on earth to learn...Luckily, during the trip I found many kind people willing to help me.  Visit site  ▷

The Summit Register Hollow Fiber Membrane: Advantages in Backpacking Water Filters.  We'll take a look at why this light and effective water filtration technology delivers the performance backpackers seek.  Visit site  ▷

Mosaic This is what it's like to be struck by lightning.  The lasting effects of being exposed to hundreds of millions of volts.  Visit site  ▷

Outside Online Why Lake Superior Is the Country's Most Overlooked Playground.  "You can't get here unless the lake lets you," says Fletcher.  Visit site  ▷

The New York Times Mapping 50 Years of Melting Ice in Glacier National Park.  The park’s most visited glacier lost nearly half its footprint in 50 years.  Visit site  ▷

The Adirondack Almanack Do Mice Get Cavities? All About Mammal Teeth.  Our teeth are interesting. And so are the teeth of our wild neighbors.  Visit site  ▷

The Ultralight Hiker Hunting Thumbtack Reflectors.  A great way to mark any route you may need to travel after dark.  Visit site  ▷

PopUpBackpacker How to Maintain Your Backpacking Gear.  With a little time and care you can make your gear last a long time.  Visit site  ▷

Section Hikers Backpacking Blog The Logic of the Landscape: How to Become an Expert Navigator.  It takes a little mentoring to learn, and a little practice to become proficient, but once mastered, you can hike anywhere your feet can take you, on-trail and off. That's an amazing feeling.  Visit site  ▷

OutInUnder A Brief History of the Foundation of Sierra Designs.  I learned so many things during that period, and they serve me well to this day.  Visit site  ▷

Naples Daily News 1,100 miles: Discovering Florida's hidden trail.  She had just stared down a feral dog eating road kill. The sun set. She was exhausted. The dog looked rabid.  Visit site  ▷

— Links to external images are removed after one week. —

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Definitions: Wool

(1) Wool is animal hair made into fabric, and then worn by humans, who have no decent fur of their own, but who think being fuzzy every now and then is still a pretty nifty idea.

(2) Wool is also hair fibers, including those of the Cashmere or Angora goat, the specialty hair of the camel, alpaca, llama, vicuña, Patagonian hairy lizard-rat, sheep-dog, bushy squirrel, kinky-maned wart hog, or Shetland carrot (for vegans).

The process of converting wool (the fuzzy stuff) into wool (the same fuzzy stuff but with sleeves) is like this:

First it is removed, or liberated from the animal, preferably when said animal is preoccupied with something else like eating, watching TV, or playing checkers, and is thus less likely to bite.

This first-stage result is called fleece.

The next step is to remove foreign matter like dirt, bug parts, dead skin, feces, sweat residue, extraneous vegetable matter and such-like from the fleece through a process called scouring. (Sounds kinda painful though, don't it?)

So anyway, after that the fleece is washed, and the washwater is shunted over to the company cafeteria where they make a nutritious soup from it. (And cheap too. Nutritious and cheap, and sometimes a little stinky.)

The fleece or wool (as we should now call it) is then carded (combed), spun (twisted), and ends up as yarn. (Which is another story in itself, with its own thread, which could be why they call it yarn. Maybe!)

After all that they put the yarn into two equal piles, and bring in a dog to bark at one pile (which becomes the woof), and the other half is slammed in a door to make it slightly bent. (This is the warp, eh?)

Following this step the woof and warp are combined by a complicated, clickety-clackety, dangerous looking device called a loom to make fabric (finally), which is where cloth comes from. (No, the stork did not bring it. Grow up once.)

(3) Wool is a fuzzy fabric, much favored by hikers, that when you put it on makes you feel like a normal animal again, with a pelt and all. Unless you are wearing the vegan version, in which case you feel more like a Scottish carrot salad. (And are advised to avoid areas known to be rabbit-infested.)

How it's done: Pringle of Scotland Animation by David Shrigley.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fresh, May 21

PetaPixel Breathtaking Timelapse of the Grand Canyon Captures Full Cloud Inversion.  Shot as part of the SKYGLOW Project in collaboration with the International Dark-Sky Association.  Visit site  ▷

The Adirondack Almanack Porcupines And Their Need For Salt.  Wooden axe handles and canoe paddles that have been left lying on the ground are both known targets of this rodent.  Visit site  ▷

The Trek Porcupines, Cookies, and Other Unexpected Adventures.  The mountains — and more unexpected adventures — await, I'm sure of that.  Visit site  ▷

40 years of walking The Bivy Condensation Conundrum.  The worst offenders are the polyurethane membrane/WPB materials that are only vapor permeable.  Visit site  ▷

The Adirondack Almanack Don't Go Out Without A Net: It's Black-fly Season in the Adirondacks.  From Mother's Day to Father's Day. That's when the mosquitoes take over, then the deerflies and the no-see-ums.  Visit site  ▷

The GearCaster Bots Are Stealing Your Campsites And Permits.  The folks at KQED uncovered the prevalent use of bots to book campsites throughout California's park system.  Visit site  ▷

The Atlantic A Creationist Sues the Grand Canyon for Religious Discrimination.  Creationists have a bit of an obsession with the Grand Canyon.  Visit site  ▷

Adventure Journal When a River Trip Ends in Tragedy.  Here we were, trapped in a canyon, and yet also caught between some of the West's other competing activities, things like farming and irrigation.  Visit site  ▷

Martha's Vineyard Times Visiting physician sheds new light on Lyme disease.  Sudden-onset dementia should really be a red flag for Lyme disease.  Visit site  ▷

Atlas Obscura Ol Doinyo Lengai — Arusha, Tanzania.  This rare volcano spews the strangest and coolest lava in the world.  Visit site  ▷

The Trek Unstoppable.  I tried to give up 4 times today but that voice is getting quieter. 110 down and only 2540 miles to go.  Visit site  ▷

Adventure Journal The Guy Who Captures Seemingly Impossible Photos.  A lot of times it is just about being at the right location at the right time.  Visit site  ▷

The Summit Register Water Treatment 101: Viruses.  Even as a traveler in the backcountry you must be observant of your surroundings.  Visit site  ▷

Lotsafreshair How to make a Buff from an old t-shirt.  Are you ready to get your crafty side on?  Visit site  ▷

Mile Hike Guys How to sew a DIY Backpack part 3.  Patterns and sewing.  Visit site  ▷

Men's Journal The 25 Best Adventure Photos of the Past 25 Years.  Nailing the shot might not be the same as reaching the summit, but these photos prove it's a feat worthy of its own accolades.  Visit site  ▷

Outside Online The 40-Year-Old Scientist Who Dropped Everything to Hike the Appalachian Trail.  Who she'll be when she finishes, she isn't sure.  Visit site  ▷

Outside Online Meet the Octogenarian Who's Going to Break the Appalachian Trail Age Record.  He knows that a routine fall that wouldn't be an issue for another hiker might end his record attempt.  Visit site  ▷

BBC How army rations helped change food.  When soldiers go into the field, they carry with them tiny miracles of engineering military meals.  Visit site  ▷

The Ultralight Hiker Ultralight Ultra-Sharp Knives.  3 Grams.  Visit site  ▷

Expert Vagabond Packing & Planning For The Arctic Circle Trail.  Here are some useful tips based on my Greenland adventure in August 2015.  Visit site  ▷ Hiking the Arctic Circle Trail.  Explore and connect with nature on this 160 km backcountry trail between Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut.  Visit site  ▷

— Links to external images are removed after one week. —

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Definitions: Post Exercise Chill

(1) Death. The state of being dead. Deadness. Deathablement. Extended deathiness closely following any exercise, like breathing, for example, or just getting out of bed. (It happens.) Death can be brought on by many causes but the most common is dying.

(2) A side-effect of cotton clothing. You know how it is when you're huffing along and sweating all over, and basically generating clouds of steam because you're so stoked? And then you stop, and in a few minutes, because your clothes really are all wet, and you aren't generating those 1800 kilowatts of energy any more, you get cold, and then you almost croak from hypothermia? Well, that's post exercise chill. Either that or you really are dead, and that wasn't exercise you were doing, just some residual twitching. That happens too. Remain alert for the telltale signs.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Fresh, May 14

APOD: 2017 May 9 Big Dipper Above and Below Chilean Volcanoes.  Do you see it?  Visit site  ▷

Trail Recipes Launching New Online Backpacking Meal Planner.  We launched a new online tool that will help you create backpacking menu in just a few clicks.  Visit site  ▷

Section Hikers Backpacking Blog Top 20 Backpacker Recommended Backpacking Stoves 2017.  What are the most popular backpacking stoves that backpackers really use? What backpacking stove fuel types are most common? How many stoves do backpackers typically own?  Visit site  ▷

Cool Tools Kuda Outdoors Self Inflating Travel Pillow; When I woke up the in the middle of the night, I thought I had lost it. But there it was, on the bed, holding my head at just the right height.  Visit site  ▷

ScienceAlert North Dakota has experienced more than 700 oil spills in the past year alone.  If you averaged out all the oil spills in the state, you'd have one every 11 hours and 45 minutes. And the Dakota Access Pipeline opens this week.  Visit site  ▷

Sprinkles Hikes Black Toenails - A Rite of Passage... or is it?!  Borderline horrifying.  Visit site  ▷

Stick's Blog First Look at My 2017 Zpacks Arc Haul Gridstop Backpack.  The sad thing is, it will be several months before I get to take it out on its first real around Thanksgiving time!  Visit site  ▷

Michael Snyder Breaking In Your ULA Backpack.  How to properly break in your backpack.  Visit site  ▷

Behance West I.  Cody Cobb.  Visit site  ▷

Public Delivery The border wall as you've never seen (and heard) it.  Photographer Richard Misrach and sculptor Guillermo Galindo, a joined forces to come up with Border Cantos, an art project accompanied by its own special sound and music.  Visit site  ▷

Faith Is Torment Papercut Art of Endangered Animals by Patrick Cabral.  The works are being auctioned off through Acts of Kindness of which 50% of the proceeds will go towards the World Wide Fund in the Philippines.  Visit site  ▷

PetaPixel Helmet Cam Captures Crazy Footage of Bear Chasing Mountain Bikers.  It's been a rough week for people on bikes.  Visit site  ▷

The Unconventionalist How to Succeed as an Adventure Storyteller.  Don't count on motivation, count on discipline.  Visit site  ▷

The Atlantic Scenes From Xinjiang.  Sharing a border with Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, and Tajikistan.  Visit site  ▷

The GearCaster Design Your Own Trail Running Shoes With Salomon.  [They] require just 30 mechanical and manual operations to build, compared to 180 using normal production methods.   Visit site  ▷

The Trek 24 Insane Thru-Hike Transformation Photos.  You're going to undergo some sort of physical transformation.  Visit site  ▷

The Ultralight Hiker Dude I want that.  If you have become jaded by the offerings of your local outdoors store, check out some of these products.  Visit site  ▷

Deuter Blog USA Packing A Backpack.  Leave the superfluous at home!  Visit site  ▷

The Great Plains Trail About the Great Plains Trail.  The trail will allow for hiking, horseback riding, and in most areas, mountain biking.  Visit site  ▷

— Links to external images are removed after one week. —