Adventure Photography Toolkit - Our Tools for Taking Great Photos Outdoors

Adventure Photography Toolkit- Our Tools for Taking Great Photos Outdoors | We often get asked about what kind of photography and videography gear we use outside, so we wrote up a list of our favorite photography tools for getting the ultimate adventure shot. The list includes our recommendations for cameras, lenses, drones, accessories plus some quick and simple editing tips for outdoor photography.  |

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A Weekend in Death Valley - Visit The Racetrack, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, and Badwater Basin

A Weekend in Death Valley - Visit the Racetrack, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, and Badwater Basin | If you only have a weekend to explore and adventure outdoors in Death Valley National Park in California check out this ultimate weekend itinerary! Be sure to visit the desert sand dunes at sunset for a magical way to end your day! There are plenty of options for camping, RV, and lodging accomodations. I absolutely love Death Valley and I am positive you will too with this weekend guide!

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Traffic and Income Report – October & November 2017

Hey there. :)

I started this blog back in January of 2014, a year or so after moving to California from Texas. You can see my first post here (Hiking Mount Baldy, Jan 27,2014). I wanted a way to document all the cool places I was getting to see and the new things I was learning, and in a way, that hasn’t changed much. This year I made a conscious decision to breathe a little life back into the blog and am looking to find my voice because I’d really like to make something out of it. These reports will not only detail our financial and blog traffic story, but also what we are learning and how we are growing in our own voice and endeavors. We have this dream to be free of debt so that we can travel more freely and pursue more adventures. Like John Muir said, “ The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” Since we love the experiences being outside has afforded us, we see this as a long-term endeavor.

You might be wondering why I am starting a traffic and income report on my blog? Well, as Michael and I are learning the ropes of blogging and testing the waters to see if we would be able to make some money with this endeavor to help pay off our student loans, I thought it might be useful to you, the readers, to learn about this side of our adventures as we go along.

If this doesn’t interest you, no worries! Just skip it and we will be back to our outdoor shenanigans in no time.

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Part 2: 15 Climbing Holiday Gift Ideas

Now for part 2 of the 2 part series, Climbing Holiday Gift Guide!

Arguably people have an even harder time understanding what their climbing relatives or friends would want for Christmas, and that is understandable. I mean, explaining a cam or a crashpad to someone who doesn't climb can get confusing. 

So below is a follow up list to my last post but on my 15 favorite holiday gift ideas for climbers. The great thing about a lot of these items is that, no climber can ever have enough of some things (like chalk or hand cream for example). Now, most, but not all of these items I own personally, I threw a few "new-to-me" items on there because they are actually on my wish list too! 

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Part 1: 15 Hiking and Backpacking Holiday Gift Ideas

Hey there! This is part 1 of a 2 part series. In a couple of days I will also release 15 of my favorite Climbing Holiday Gift Ideas. Since we do a lot of both activities, I decided to split them up.

My family always tells me that I'm the hardest person to shop for because they don't know what someone who hikes or climbs would want for Christmas. I, on the other hand, think I'm the easiest person to shop for since you could get me a box a cliff bars or climbing chalk and I would be beyond happy. 

But for those of you who struggle with what to get your hiking friend or relative (or perhaps you are writing a list for yourself to send to relatives), below are a list of 15 of my favorite hiking and backpacking gift ideas. It doesn't have to be expensive to make us happy. Keep it simple. Less is more in my opinion. Unless its less of climbing or hiking... then more is more... but i digress.

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My 5 Favorite Winter Climbing Areas in California

Just as the summer months here in California (July-September) are a great time for alpine climbing and hiking in the Sierra Nevada, the winter months (November-February) are great for some desert rock climbing! It almost feels like my training for climbing cycles around these different seasons as well. When March starts rolling around I tend to be going on longer runs and hikes, getting ready for longer alpine days. Then in August, we all start training hard for bouldering, because the winter time is when the bouldering gets good! 

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Boozy Warm Winter Drinks to Make on Your Next Outdoor Adventure + A Giveaway!

Winter is finally here, and it's probably one of my favorite times of the year. Some of our favorite climbing areas are finally cool enough to climb at. Ski and mountaineering options open up. I can go running outside any time of the day without sweating a gallon of water out of my body. The weather is fantastic in California during this time of the year. PLUS we can make our favorite winter-time boozy drinks!

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Santa Clarita Half Day - Towsley Canyon Loop Trail 2 Ways (Hike or Mountain Bike)

As we begin to transition into the winter season here in California, I was searching my brain for good "between-season" weekend or day trips that we have gone on recently. Contrary to popular belief (at least with my family), I'm not always outside exploring. I wish I could be, but life is never perfect (big sigh, but what is perfect anyways?). The past month and a half I have been traveling every weekend, which just drains me since we have so many new projects going on + a full time job. On top of that, not all those traveling weekends were outdoors, and since I am really excited about "Bishop Climbing Season" (ha!) I have been spending quite a bit of time out there too, but I'm sure my readers can only handle so many "This is why Bishop California is Awesome" posts.. or maybe I'm wrong? I certainly know I could subscribe to a blog about Bishop Climbing! However, sometimes it's nice not to travel every weekend. For weekends like that, we tend to go on "day trips" which usually includes anything within a 1-2 hour driving range. 

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15 Miles White Mountain California 14er Day Hike

As summer alpine and hiking season comes to an end with the impending winter season, I wanted to post about one more California 14er that I had the pleasure of hiking and summiting this summer. This will bring my tally up to 4 total California 14ers off the bucket list. Only 11 more to go (ha!). It's one of my goals to climb them all one day...

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26 Miles Backpacking and Summiting Mount Langley - Cottonwood Lakes Trail

This actually isn't my first time attempting Mount Langley. I never wrote a post about my first attempt, but back in 2015 I decided to attempt Mount Langley as my first solo backpacking trip ever. I had been toying with the idea the whole year of 2015 and after a bit of research decided the Cottonwood Lakes trail to Mount Langley would be the perfect first solo backpacking trip. It had a defined trail. It was out and back trail (no shuttle required). The route seemed straight forward, had plenty of water, and as a bonus, the high point was the summit of Mount Langley. I wanted to go on a solo backpacking trip in order to prove something to myself. I wanted to know that I could use all these skills I had been learning from others and be completely dependent on myself in the backcountry.

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10 of My Favorite Bouldering Problems in Bishop, California for the V0-V3 Boulderer

It's Bishop Season! Or that's what every local boulderer in California will start saying around this time of the year. What's Bishop season you may ask? Why, it's the most wonderful time of the year! Bishop Season tis the season to be jolly. When Bishop Clause gives you gifts in the form of sent projects and perfect sending temperatures. Oh Come all ye, Bishop-ers. 

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38 Miles Backpacking Lyell Canyon in Tuolumne to Devil's Postpile in Mammoth Lakes California

It's funny when you plan out a backpacking trip, you search the internet for details to make an overall plan and trip itinerary. You get your daily mileage and ascent all scheduled out, and you start to think that only bad weather can throw a wrench in your plan.  However, over time, I've learned that I should always anticipate about +/- 5 extra miles to what I read online. That was definitely the case with this trail from Lyell Canyon to Devil's Postpile. All my research (reading online trip reports) led me to believe this trail would be about 31 miles and only 4,100 feet of total gain, and so that seemed like an easy 10 miles per day trip. We were slightly surprised when we found that the trail was actually about 38 miles and 5,000' of gain, and had to make up some extra miles in day 2 and day 3. It still was an excellent trip, and very doable in 3 days. 

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Virgin Gorda Bouldering - British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda is located in the British Virgin Islands, and it happens to be home to hundreds of beautiful granite boulders. The quality of climbing is fantastic, and the location is unreal. If you're looking to combing a climbing trip into a relaxing beach vacation, this is the best of both worlds.

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Mount Shasta - Avalanche Gulch Route

I have this goal, to climb all 15 of the California peaks over 14,000'. They're called "the 14'ers". I haven't really set a timeline for my goal, because I figure I'll be living in California for a while, but I got to thinking at the beginning of this year how I've almost been living here 5 years already and have only climbed 1 of the California 14'ers. I've climbed some 14'ers in Colorado, Washington and Utah, but only 1 in California. So I've planned out to accomplish few of them this year to get the ball rolling again. Mount Shasta was the 1st on the agenda this year.

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The Hidden Gem of South Africa- The Rocklands

When I told people I was going to South Africa, many people asked me about which cities (Johannesburg/Cape Town) we would be going to, and if we had plans to go do a safari. All valid questions, and although I did have hopes to see Cape Town and possibly go on a safari, the objective for this vacation was to get a taste of world class Bouldering.

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Bastards Ridge - San Gabriel Mountains

My friend, Ashima, and I decided in 2017 we would try to hike at least one peak together a month this year (starting in February). I am going a little out of order here because we did a peak in February, but this blog post is about our recent hike in the San Gabriel Mountains on a route called Bastards Ridge. It's been snowing like crazy everywhere in California, so we've generally been avoiding the Sierras. This has left us mostly with lower elevation peaks near the coast.

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Put In the Time and Keep Showing Up

Growing up I always hated running. I loved soccer, but preferred defense. I loved basketball but hated the sprinting drills. I loved gym class but hated the 1 mile run. I still have this vivid memory of middle school gym class where we had just completed the 1 mile run, and I finished with a 7 min 30 seconds time, but apparently the last time we did the run in gym class I had run 7 mins and 27 seconds. My gym coach told me I needed to re-run the mile so that I could get my "PR", personal record. I told him I didn't want to, but he insisted. 

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New Zealand's North Island in 12 Days

We had a blast in New Zealand, and to my surprise, it was a super easy place to travel around in. We booked our trip for the end of November, hoping for good weather and less crowds, as December in New Zealand gets twice as expensive and is much more crowded. I think we picked an amazing time to see the North Island. There were hardly any tourists and the weather, except for a couple of rainy days, was perfection. Our van was fairly inexpensive compared to December prices and we didn't have to book much of anything in advance because there was plenty of space available for activities in November.

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