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!

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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

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WOOLRICH x West America – Part XI

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.

 

“The boarder crossing into Guatemala is a hectic crossing. Far from what we are accustomed to. After ducking under a gate we found ourselves in the slow motion process of importing the bikes.  Stamps, photocopies and a wait in a never ending line to pay for the temporary permits.  With about an hour and a half of daylight left we were on our way into the deep canyons leading into Guatemala. The scale was massive, shear cliffs reaching into the clouds and dropping down into the swollen rivers bellow.  

We had our sights set on reaching the fresh water pools of Semuch Champey. The route climbed through rugged river valleys and fertile fields filled with crops of various fruits and veggies. The land was very lush and alive. The next morning we jumped in the back of a 4×4 for a bumpy ride into the hills. Its easy to forget how beat the roads are here when you have a dirt bike with a foot of travel soaking everything up. We decided to jump in with a group on a cave tour so we could explore the various water caves that filled the hillside. Guided by candle light we hiked and swam deep into the mountain side.

A short walk from the caves lies the pools of Semuc Champey. A lava flow filled a section of the valley causing a handful of streams to flow into a series of pools rather than the raging river flowing beneath them.  It was insane watching the whole valley’s drainage disappear underground only to reappear at the other end of the lava flow. Being the wet season meant the river was running full bore.  In the clear pools above the river we found wonderfully warm water. Swimming back home means jumping in and out as quick as possible, it was a nice change.  The afternoon was spent soaking in the various pools and jumping off cliffs. Our time in Guatemala was awesome and we both wished it could have been longer. Since we left Oregon later than planned we had to move south pretty quick to reach Patagonia for the end of there summer.”

 

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

 

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Tips From Black Owl Outdoors – Winter Fire Starter

Fire making is an essential skill. During the winter months, natural fire starting materials can be scarce. But if you know where to look, the forest will provide. The bark from the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) is present year around in the eastern United States and north into Canada.
In this video, Krik of Black Owl Outdoors shows how to find and use this fire starting resource.  Watch the video here!

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WOOLRICH x WestAmerica – Part X

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.

 

Our first rest from the road came in Zipolite. Its a nice little spot on the coast that is know for its nude beach and tranquil vibe. We checked into a sweet hostel built into the cliffs overlooking the ocean for a couple days of sun. Ever since we left the cold NW Jordan has been fighting his beard, at this point it was full of road grime and sadly time to go. Over the coarse of an hour the poor electric shaver bogged through the mess and Jordan came out the other side stoked and ready to hit the beach.

We flailed in the water like seals and bodysurfed the waves. Neither of us have much experience in the ocean so when a big set came in we got checked pretty hard and learned what an undertow was the hard way. The town was super mellow and it was nice to be off the bikes. After a full day in the sun we both went from being two pasty gringos to fully lobstered. Time to cover up and get back on the road.  Zipolite was about as far south as we where going before heading east into the mountains and the state of Chiapas. Once again the scenery changed drastically. We went from 90 degrees on the coast to shivering our asses off as we climbed up to over 6000 feet and into the town of San Cristibol de las Casas. We avoided the toll road and found an amazing secondary road that took us through tiny towns of indigenous people living very simple lives. The sunset was insane and we were loving the cool dry air. The night was spent exploring the amazing architecture of the city and roaming the streets for cheep food and pastries. This would be our last stop in Mexico before heading into Guatemala. After our fiasco in Baja we where sure to be more prepared for the crossing ahead. Morning brought rain and it was hard to motivate the body to get on the bikes in the cold after so much sun and nice weather. Luckily, just out of town the road drops its elevation and we where sweating in the sun as we rode towards the border.

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

 

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