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Tips From Black Owl Outdoors – St. Anthony’s Wilderness

“While riding a bicycle, you’re able to explore large areas. In this video, Krik and Stony ride their mountain bikes around St. Anthony’s wilderness in Pennsylvania, stopping to explore cultural and natural features.”  Watch the video here!

 

You can find the entire library of videos and photography at BlackOwlOutdoors.com.  And check back here monthly as we will feature videos, photos and stories from the guys as they continue the outdoor adventure that is Black Owl Outdoors!

WOOLRICH x West America – Part XVIII

Woolrich, whose apparel has been worn by explorers and adventurers since 1830, has teamed up with Jordan Hufnagel and James Crowe of adventure outfitter West America on an epic motorcycle odyssey from Whistler, BC to Patagonia and back. The duo will be wearing Woolrich apparel while documenting their trip and have developed a capsule of apparel inspired by the journey. Below is the a new post in a series of report from the road.

“With blisters on our hands we left the farm for the lush mountain town of Minca Colombia, only a short drive away.   On our way towards Santa Marta we pulled over to fill up on cheap gas brought over from Venezuela, any time you are close to the boarder the streets are flooded with people selling fuel out of jugs.  Although the gas is cheap I can’t say that is was the best quality, the bikes burnt it but were lacking the punch on the hills.

Halfway to Minca Jordan raced up next to me to remind me that it was my birthday, I have never been a fan of birthdays but was stoked to be with my best bud headed into the mountains with no plan.  We reached the small tourist town before noon and found a nice hostel outside of the main drag, a beautiful place perched up in the jungle away from the crowds bellow. 

The plan was simple, unload the bikes, put on swim gear and head upriver to find a swimming hole.  The road above Minca turned into an unmaintained double track within 10 miles of leaving town, we quickly forgot about swimming and our minds shifted into finding the end of the road.

At each road split we just kept going up, as we climbed the climate evolved around us, from dense jungle to misty cloud forest filled with plants we had never seen.  We were now deep into the Parque National Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a reserve that shoots up of the Caribbean coast, between the mist we could still make out the town of Santa Marta way below. 

After riding over 25 miles into the unknown we came around a corner to find a military base perched up on the ridge line, we approached slowly before being asked what we were doing by a very confused looking guard.  Not much was said but we got the vibe that we should be heading back the way we came.

As we rode back towards Minca the air once again became hot and humid, before reaching town we took a small path off the main road towards the river.  We were rewarded with the perfect pools all to ourselves, washing the dust and sweet off from the ride in the warm fresh water. 

The day could not have been any better, we walked down to town and got some burgers to wrap it up before crashing out early, we had a massive ride ahead of us the next day.”

Get the gear the guys are testing!  Shop woolrich.com.

Tips From Black Owl Outdoors – PA Wilds…the Re-Edit!

One need not look far to find adventures. In this video, Krik and Stony share their trip as they explored their home state of Pennsylvania. They traveled to a region known as the Pennsylvania Wilds, which has more public land than Yellowstone National Park.

Click Here to watch the Video!

WOOLRICH x West America – Part XVII

Woolrich, whose apparel has been worn by explorers and adventurers since 1830, has teamed up with Jordan Hufnagel and James Crowe of adventure outfitter West America on an epic motorcycle odyssey from Whistler, BC to Patagonia and back. The duo will be wearing Woolrich apparel while documenting their trip and have developed a capsule of apparel inspired by the journey. Below is the a new post in a series of report from the road.

Leaving Cartagena was a bit hectic, the only map we had of Colombia was an illustrated atlas from 1980 we bought at a street market, if you plan on traveling in South America get maps ahead of time.  We finally shook the grip of the city riding a narrow strip of land running along the Caribbean; the road was packed with massive trucks and a fierce cross wind making for many exciting maneuvers.

After navigating Barranquilla, a major shipping port, things finally mellowed out and the truck traffic disappeared.   It was smooth sailing into Tayrona National Park which we would call home for the next couple days.   A week earlier we had made arrangements to spend some time on a friend of a friend’s farm.  We had a loose description of where it was and looked for the pink house after the waterfall on the left.  Luckily the pink house stood out and we turned down a small road leading to the farm, a beautiful lush setting in the narrow bit of land that separates the ocean from the dense mountains above.

The owner was not there but he had informed his farm hand Sidel that we would be coming, at this point in the trip our Spanish was very limited but we were able to get settled in just fine.  Sidel, like most Colombians that we met, was incredibly warm and friendly, making us feel right at home.  We set up the tents next to the chicken coup not thinking about what might happen later, around 1 in the morning the chickens decided it was time to party.  The tranquil setting turned into a full ragger and did not settle down until sunrise, Colombian roosters are on a different schedule apparently.

First thing in the morning Sidel was hard at work making new shelters for the cattle drinking stations, in our broken Spanish we informed him that we wanted to spend the day working with him, the language barrier made for a slow start but soon we were all busy cutting and banging nails.

It was a wonderful day,  traveling has made us miss our shop and being able to make something with our hands again was awesome, Sidels love for the farm and all its animals was great to see.  After a hard day in the sun he took us up to the water falls above the property, emerging from the dense jungle cascading into perfect deep pools perfect for soaking.

The best part of traveling is meeting the people that live on the land, to see how they spend there days and share experiences with them; it’s amazing how much can be communicated with very little language.  We went to bed very satisfied and ready to explore the mountains of northeast Colombia, from the farm we would be climbing up above the coast to the small town of Minca.

 

Get the gear the guys are testing!  Shop woolrich.com.

 

Woolrich and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Collaborate on Small-Batch Beer and Custom Made in USA Capsule Collection

Woolrich, Inc. and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery are excited to announce their first collaboration, featuring goods both wet and dry, The two brands, both dedicated to the true craftsmanship of their products, are collaborating on a limited batch of custom beer and a capsule collection of clothing.

“We’re so excited about working with a fellow northeast company dedicated to American-made craftsmanship,” says Josh Rich, Executive Vice President of Woolrich. “Dogfish Head and Woolrich share so many common values, so it’s been a wonderful experience collaborating with Sam and his team. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that they make fantastic beer…”

The custom small-batch Woolrich x Dogfish Head beer, dubbed Pennsylvania Tuxedo, was brewed with spruce tips from Woolrich, PA at the Dogfish Head Brew Pub in Rehoboth this past May. Named after the head-to-toe red and black wool outfits that woodsmen wear in New England, the 4.5 ABV Rye Pale Ale reflects the brewery’s signature “Off-Centered Ales for Off- Centered People.” Pennsylvania Tuxedo will debut as draft-only at Analog-A-Go-Go, Dogfish’s music and beer festival, June 13 & 14 in Delaware and will then be served at select events on the Eastern Seaboard.

Additionally, Woolrich and Dogfish have partnered to create a nautical-inspired capsule collection as part of the collaboration, which includes a classic chambray men’s button- down and a long women’s beach shirt, as well as a 100 percent soft wool throw blanket, beach hat and coozie, perfect for the city or the sand. A port and starboard theme will be featured throughout, with red and green anchor-stamped buttons, co- branded labels and a screen-printed Dogfish Head logo on pockets. The entire collaboration will be 100 percent made in the USA.

 

“Dogfish and Woolrich have very similar DNA’s,” says Dogfish Head president Sam Calagione. “We’re both family-owned, east coast companies committed to our communities, obsessed with celebrating nature and using the best natural ingredients we can get our hands on.”

Watch a video about the partnership here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftNk4VkxcC8&feature=youtu.be

 

WOOLRICH X WestAmerica-Part XVI

Woolrich, whose apparel has been worn by explorers and adventurers since 1830, has teamed up with Jordan Hufnagel and James Crowe of adventure outfitter West America on an epic motorcycle odyssey from Whistler, BC to Patagonia and back. The duo will be wearing Woolrich apparel while documenting their trip and have developed a capsule of apparel inspired by the journey. Below is the a new post in a series of report from the road.

 

After a wild ride on the open sea it felt Amazing to be on solid ground again, we both agreed that sailing was something we never had to do again.  Arriving in Cartagena you are instantly overwhelmed with the energy of the city, music and colors fill the air, on every corner something is going on.

 

We had a couple days to burn since we arrived on the weekend and still had to import the bikes before unloading them from the boat, we wondered the streets of old town taking in all the beautiful architecture.  On Monday morning we met up with our captain at the port to unload the bikes, for some reason the bikes cannot be unloaded ashore and have to be transferred to a launch before heading to land.  I had been having nightmares about dropping my bike into the ocean since we boarded the sailboat, the unloading process went smooth but we were both sweating pretty hard.

 

With the bikes safely ashore we headed for Aduana to import the motorcycles, the first thing we noticed in Columbia was how helpful and kind everyone was, and the whole process went smooth and easy.  After importing the bikes we headed out to the car wash to rinse off all the salt that was eating away at all it could.

 

Cartagena was a blast and we probably could have spent a fair bit more time exploring the city, our plan was to head east to Tyronas national park and spend a couple days on a friend’s farm.  After a hot afternoon getting out of the city we found ourselves riding through the cool air of the northern Andes, lush green forest rising from the ocean out of sight into the clouds above.”

Get the gear the guys are testing!  Shop woolrich.com.

WOOLRICH x West America XV

Woolrich, whose apparel has been worn by explorers and adventurers since 1830, has teamed up with Jordan Hufnagel and James Crowe of adventure outfitter West America on an epic motorcycle odyssey from Whistler, BC to Patagonia and back. The duo will be wearing Woolrich apparel while documenting their trip and have developed a capsule of apparel inspired by the journey. Below is the a new post in a series of report from the road.

 

“When we are on the bikes we crave being off the bikes but once we get a bit of time off the bikes we realize that we crave movement.  A week and a half in the small town of Peurto Lindo allowed us to work on the bikes and catch up on some planning for Columbia but we were dying to move on.

Friday rolled around and we packed up the bikes, the ride to the port was through lush valleys and beautiful farmland.  If our time in the small port town taught us anything it was that our captain was not thought too highly of, we were expecting some headaches, and after waiting for over an hour for her to show up they started.  Instead of leaving that evening we spent the next three days driving back and forth to Colon trying to export our bikes from Panama, each country that we enter requires us to temporally import then export the bikes.

 

At 11pm on Monday night we finally pulled anchor and headed for the San Blas Islands, the first leg of the trip was rougher than we expected but we held it together.  It was both our first time sailing and its safe to say we underestimated our weakness on the water, we now feared the two day open water crossing more then ever.

 

We woke up anchored in the beautiful San Blas Islands, a paradise of white sand and crystal clear warm water, after a quick bite everyone jumped overboard.  The water would be home for the next two days, snorkelling and exploring the uninhabited islands with our new friends.  Our captain had one saving grace, she was an amazing cook, every night she would make a feast of fresh seafood bought from the locals.  Our time on the islands was something we will never forget.

 

After dinner on the third day the fun was over, we pulled out of the protected bay into open sea.  January is considered one of the roughest times to make the crossing, it wasn’t long before the 50 foot sailboat was getting tossed like a toy in the swell.  We were only permitted above deck during daylight so when the sun set it was time to wedge ourselves in the tiny cabins, as we raced to our beds I made sure to grab a handful of puke bags.

 

The next two days were rough on us, I immediately puked all over myself in bed, Jordan did a little better but suffered equally.  Neither of us ate or drank for two days in fear of having to go to the bathroom.  After over thirty hours at open sea we awoke to a boat that was perfectly still, the sense of relief was incredible, we were now anchored in the Port of Cartagena Colombia.    

 

We were now officially in South America, a day we had both been dreaming about for years, we got off the boat as quick as possible to explore the lively city we were now in.”

 

Get the gear the guys are testing!  Shop woolrich.com

WOOLRICH X West America XIIII

Woolrich, whose apparel has been worn by explorers and adventurers since 1830, has teamed up with Jordan Hufnagel and James Crowe of adventure outfitter West America on an epic motorcycle odyssey from Whistler, BC to Patagonia and back.  The duo will be wearing Woolrich apparel while documenting their trip and have developed a capsule of apparel inspired by the journey.  Below is the a new post in a series of  report from the road.

After our friends and family left Panama, James and I still had a week and a half to look around before jumping on a sail boat to Colombia. We thought we’d get some bike maintenance done and see the southern Panamanian sights. After searching Panama City for some parts for a day we quickly realized that madness of that place was not for us. We decided to take off for the Caribbean coast stopping to check out the locks of the Panama Canal on the way. 

Trying to check out the locks from a free, non tourist corralled area proved fruitless. There are security guards all over the place and we finally conceded to patron the lookout tower with the rest of the tourist herd. Such an amazing site, and well worth it. 

 

Jumping back on the bikes, it took no time at all to get from the pacific to the Caribbean shore line. As we cruised the coastal road we found some incredible landscapes and laid back towns. They were a welcome change from the chaos of Panama City. 

We met a women that let us set up camp at her place for $4 a night called that home base for the rest of our time. It was awesome to get to take so much time in an area and check it all out. We consumed our days with dirt roads, beaches, bakeries, bike maintenance and playing with all the kids who were on summer break. 

While it was nice to get to relax a bit, James and I were growing incredibly anxious to get on that boat and start moving again!”

Get the gear the guys are testing!  Shop woolrich.com 

Tips From Black Owl Outdoors – How to Hang a Bear Bag PCT Style

Krik of Black Owl Outdoors discusses a way to safely hang a food bag while camping in bear country.

When spending the night in the forest, it’s important to keep your food safe and secure. If you don’t have a bear canister (the most secure way to store food), hanging your food is the next best option. It is essential  to store all food and scented items away from your sleeping area. You don’t need unwanted guests visiting your tent in the night. In this video, Krik of Black Owl Outdoors demonstrates and explains one method of hanging a food bag.

Watch the video here!

WOOLRICH x West America XII

Woolrich, whose apparel has been worn by explorers and adventurers since 1830, has teamed up with Jordan Hufnagel and James Crowe of adventure outfitter West America on an epic motorcycle odyssey from Whistler, BC to Patagonia and back.  The duo will be wearing Woolrich apparel while documenting their trip and have developed a capsule of apparel inspired by the journey.  Below is the a new post in a series of  report from the road.

“When looking at Central America there are two traditional routes, either you stay on the coast going through El Salvador or take the longer high route through Honduras.  Since boarder crossings take several hours of paperwork for the motorcycles, we opted for the high road avoiding El Salvador.  Honduras has a bad reputation for its instability and it’s capital Tegucigalpa has one of the highest murder rates in the world.  Our experience through most of the country was great. The areas we rode through did not have any tourism which was refreshing, and the landscape was very reminiscent of the pine forest of the high cascades in Oregon.  We wanted to avoid Tegucigalpa, but there was no good route around it. About 30 miles out of the city we could see the dark skies of a massive storm brewing, and before getting engulfed by it we pulled over to suit up.  Sure enough the skies unleashed a down pour as we pushed on trying to get in and out of the city before dark.  As we descended into the chaos bellow we noticed a bypass around the city, what looked like a freeway turned into a traffic jam with flipped and burning cars filling the road side. People would just stare at us wondering what two tourists were doing in the slums of the most dangerous city in Central America. The whole experience was a blur and we were relieved to make it out the other side.  We settled for a shady motel off the highway and made it to the Nicaragua border by the morning, it turned out to be a quick and painless crossing. The volcanoes that filled the distant landscape made my thoughts fade away and the miles melted in turn. Good pavement and some nice dirt sections had us at the notorious Costa Rica boarder.  Costa Rica shares only one boarder crossing with Nicaragua and its always packed. Five hours later we where finally back on the road, well kind of, two flat tires insured progress was slow. 

We rode through the night trying to avoid Costa Rica’s horrible police and strict traffic laws, making it 30 miles from the Panama boarder by midnight. We crashed in hammocks for a quick nap before crossing into Panama in the morning. The sleepy boarder crossing on the Caribbean proved to be painless and Jordan played with the local kids while I submitted bike papers. The people of Panama were very warm and welcoming, personally escorting us in the right direction after a wrong turn put us in the middle of a banana plantation. It was Christmas eve and Jordan and I split ways for a week, I headed to Bocas Del Toro to visit friends from home while Jordan raced to Panama city to be with his fiancee for the holidays. A bit of time off the bikes sounded great after jamming through Central America.”

Get the gear the guys are testing!  Shop woolrich.com