Browsing Tag

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Tips From Black Owl Outdoors – Winter Fire Starter

TulipTree

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!

WOOLRICH x WestAmerica – Part X

Cbikes

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

 

Meet the guys behind BlackOwlOutdoors.com

BOB

“Two brothers bridging the gap between nature and the modern pursuit.” Black Owl Outdoors is comprised of two brothers from Pennsylvania who have an unrelenting passion for the outdoors. And part of that passion manifests in video form. Stony, the eldest of the two, is the one behind the camera (above at left); and the younger, Krik, is the one in front. Their videos range from plant identification, to bushcraft, to outdoor adventures, to outdoor equipment reviews. “One of our goals is to share the beauty of nature. We understand there are lots of folks who want to spend more time outdoors and are unable to do so. So, when you can’t get outside, we hope to provide a gateway,” says Krik. And by capturing that beauty, the brothers hope to bring awareness to natural resource protection and preservation. “There’s a value in nature that can’t be described or quantified. We want to do our part in preserving these wild places for generations to come.”

 

You can find their 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 – IX

FixBike

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 ferry ride to Mazatlan was a much needed rest. We both passed out pretty much the whole way and woke to an amazing sunrise as we got closer to the mainland. The bikes needed some love after 1500 miles of dusty desert roads so we found a hostel that would let us catch up on maintenance and work. Neither of us like being in cities much, but luckily the beach was just a minute away and we were able to get some swims in between wrenching on the bikes.

With fresh oil and tune ups we where ready to make some distance again. The mainland was a hole different world, wide roads, new cars and vegetation was a nice change. We worked our way down the coastal highway 200 spending our first night getting eaten alive by sand flies after our map showed a detour that dead ended at a dump on a lagoon. It was too late to backtrack so we just suffered through the night. We woke up bummed and had to ride an hour back to the main road. By the time we made it to Sayulita we where both ready to call it a day and found a nice camp spot up on the hill above town. After setting up camp we got our swim gear on and headed to the beach.  As luck would have it we ran into an old friend that we had no idea was living down south for the winter. She was stoked to show us around and took us out of town to an amazing deserted beach where we continued practicing our body surfing for the afternoon.

We had been warned about the two states bellow us, Michoacan and Guerrero. They were both described as lawless states and that we should avoid if possible. After a little discussion we decided to stay on the coast and hope for the best. Our experience was mixed but for the most part everything went smooth. We got off the main road by accident a couple times and where reminded very quickly that we shouldn’t be there. Just like anywhere in the states there are places you avoid. The roads where deserted and there were no police anywhere so we could ride however we wanted. We made good time, and made sure we got into decent towns to spend the night. We got lucky and found some nice small beach towns where we could set up our hammocks for cheep. We had made it through the no go zone and where stoked on the experience. Almost everyone we met put off a very warm and welcoming vibe, but you could tell there was a lot of tensions between the people and the military.”

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

WOOLRICH x West America – Part VIII

SunBoat

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.

 

“We pulled into La Paz after dark and all we could think about was finding some decent food after a week of rice and beans. We hit the main strip and found a good spot with internet so we could start planning our ferry ride to the mainland. Neither of us where ready for the bad news ahead. In our lack of planning we overlooked the fact that Mexico had changed its policy on where you could get your tourist permit that is needed to import the bikes into mainland Mexico.  We had planned on getting them in La Paz but things had changed and now we where over 1000 miles from the closest border that could issue us what we needed to get out of Baja. The joy of making it to La Paz was wiped away and now we were in a rental car doing a cannonball run to Tijuana for our permits. We left La Paz at 11pm, got to Tijuana at midnight the next day and found a way to sneak back into the Mexican immigrations from the exit side. Within 10 minutes we where pointed south and racing to get out of the mayhem of Tijuana on a Saturday night.  24 hours later we were back where we started with a smashed rental car bumper and an angry rental agent.  We both really wanted to get out of La Paz and decided to try to make the ferry for that day, otherwise it would be a two day wait. We pinned it to the ticket office, imported the bikes and got one of the last spots on the boat.  As we sat in the blazing sun waiting to be loaded we could finally rest our minds, and soon enough we would be passed out on deck for the 16 hour boat ride to Mazatlan. We got the green light to drive the bikes on board and strapped them to the railing. We opted for the cheap tickets which put us with all the truck drivers in a sweaty room playing Fast and Furious in Spanish. Jordan was stoked, I set up on deck and tried to forget about the last 48 hours. Lesson learned, a little research goes a long way.”

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

WOOLRICH x West America – PART VI

Sunset

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.

We woke up on the beach in Bay of LA, a small fishing town on the gulf, the town is a mix of fisherman and old snowbirds hiding from winter back home.  We were sad to say goodbye to our buddy Tim who had been an awesome companion and guide, he had a long drive home to make it in time for thanksgiving dinner back in San Jose.

After a bit of maintenance of Jordans bike to get the headlights working again we  were off to find the road leading out of town to San Fransquito.  It proved to be more difficult than we thought, every road led us to a dead end, at one point we where turning around in someones driveway while his massive pit bull was doing everything it could to get free.  With a giant jolt the rope holding it back snapped and Jordan was now face to face with the frothing dog.  Turns out the dog just wanted to get off the leash and once it was free it chilled out, definitely not what I expected to happen.

Eventually the road was found and proved to be well graded dirt, the pace was fast and we were making good time.  The road started to get bad quick and in the distance we could see a pile of tires spread out, before we could see that the road was washed out Jordan was launched twenty feet through the air landing crooked and plowing over a handful of cacti.  Somehow he kept the bike upright and we where both relieved to be in one piece, the speed was dropped and we both rode off humbled.  


The sun set behind the cacti and we found ourselves in the dark looking for the remote fishing camp of San Fransquito, since there is no power out this far we could not just look for lights in the distance.  After chasing several spur roads we finally recognized a small airstrip and located the owners of the tiny restaurant, we were the only gringos in town but they where happy to open up and make is the best fish tacos of the trip.

We set up camp on the beach and crashed out hard, morning brought more sun and a flat front tire, luckily it was easy to fix where we were and the air strip had a compressor that made things go quick.  It was Thanksgiving day and we where headed west to catch some pavement down to San Rosalia.

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

Woolrich – Committed to helping find ways to get youth OUTSIDE!

Jewell

Woolrich Inc., The Original Outdoor Clothing Company, is committed to finding ways to get today’s youth engaged in outdoor activities.  Recently Nick Brayton, Woolrich President, had the opportunity to sit down with Sally Jewell, US Secretary of Interior to discuss the secretary’s youth initiative, which is seeking help from the private sector as it aims to create 100,000 new jobs for young people and veterans on public land.

“Secretary Jewell and I are very aligned in our goal to find ways to get our youth engaged in the outdoors as a whole.  As a father of young children, I realize more everyday the need to get our children back outside and unplugged,” said Brayton. “We plan to spend more time with the Secretary’s office in the coming months to help drive this initiative home locally.”

“John Rich founded our family company 84 years ago because he understood the need to provide quality woolens to lumberman working outdoors.  Today we still build purposeful products to help people enjoy their time in the outdoors, regardless if it’s to work or for recreation.  We at Woolrich are passionate about outdoor recreation and want to encourage and educate younger generations to the opportunities our region has to offer, both for jobs and enjoyment.’” says Josh Rich, Woolrich Executive Vice President.

Over the next 12-18 months Woolrich will focus on seeking ways to get the next generation outside.  The first plan is to create a Family Fun 5k Walk/Run, which will start and end at the Woolrich Park, sometime in late summer.  Proceeds from this event will then be used to find more ways to get our youth engaged.  There is also a plan to create a calendar of events at the Woolrich Outlet focused on outdoor-oriented education.

“This year Clinton County celebrates it’s 175th anniversary,” Brayton continues, “and my involvement in that celebration has also reminded me about all that Central Pennsylvania has to offer; hiking and biking trails, beautiful water on which to fish or paddle, and some of the best hunting the state has to offer.  There have to be ways to get families outside together, Woolrich would like to set an example of how companies can get involved.”

If your group or organization is involved with youth in the outdoors or outdoor education and you would like to join Woolrich in raising awareness please send an email with ideas to ldole@woolrich.com.

 

WOOLRICH x West America – PART V – Crossing into Mexico

baja

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 San Diego early in the morning and riding for the boarder was a mixed bag of feelings. So many unknowns lie ahead and every scenario runs through your head, good and bad.  We rolled over the boarder without stopping, no passport check, no inspections, nothing. We weaved our way through the boarder town craziness and took a small two lane road into the country.  The first military check came up in the horizon and my mind races. All you hear about are negative things, crooked cops and 16 year old military personal with AKs asking for bribes. The officials could not have been nicer. They all seam to want to talk about the bikes and where you are going and coming from.


An hour down the road we got to our first dirt section that would take us to San Felipe. A month before we got to Baja they received heavy rains that did a lot of damage to the roads, the riding was fast and loose, out of nowhere sections of road where washed out. No markers to tell you anything, nothing could be assumed.  The reality of the terrain sunk in fast and a couple high speed slams into ditches had us humbled and dropping the speed. The feeling of being fully responsible for your decisions and not expecting any warnings was invigorating.  

We got to San Felipe in the dark and spent the first night on a platform above the beach overlooking the gulf. Morning greeted us with sunshine and a beautiful sunrise. We had a 100 miles of pavement to ride before reaching dirt again. Todays ride was going to take us to Cocos corner, then meet up with part of the Baja 1000 course.


Cocos corner is a famous location in a remote section of Baja that I have wanted to visit ever since watching early racing footage from the 1000. His property is full of racing history from the last several decades, and Coco is a character full of charm. It was an honor to met him in person.

From Cocos we raced off into the hills. The Baja 1000 was only a couple weeks prior, so the course was as beat as it gets. Huge whoops, mud holes and endless sand filled the rest of the day. The learning curve in the sand was steep and plenty of wipe outs had us drenched in sweet trying to kick over flooded bikes.  By the end of the day we where beat but stoked to have seen such a beautiful section of Baja. Jordan’s headlights had failed so we had to take a shortcut into bay of LA to beat the darkness.

Another perfect night on the beach sleeping under the stars. It feels like there are twice the amount of stars that I’m used to in Baja’s night sky.”

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

 

WOOLRICH x West America – Part IV

working

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 second in a series of  report from the road.

“Our time in LA was a mix of visiting friends and prepping the bikes for Baja. The ride down from Portland was a good test and gave us some time to figure out what little changes needed to happen. Days where spent gathering parts and planning routes through Mexico.

Tim Martin was a huge help. He gave us free reign to his underground parking to blow the bikes apart to swap springs, adjust valves and change tires.  Tim used to race Baja in buggies and trucks so he was a wealth of knowledge for the road ahead. The night before we were planning on leaving he decided to join us for northern Baja. The next afternoon we met up and blasted down the freeway to San Diego to stay at his parents place before crossing into Mexico in the morning.”

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

WOOLRICH x West America – PART III

SMcoast

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 second in a series of  report from the road.

Jordan and I met up in Santa Cruz after spending a couple days in San Francisco and San Jose catching up with friends, the first chore of the day was to change the oil in the bikes before heading south, a quick oil swap in the Autozone parking lot and we were off.

Big Sur south of Monteray always amazes me, the lack of development and rolling hills mixed with hanging cliffs take you back in time.  The weather was a mixed bag of clear sky and patches of clouds that would ingulf you, we had our eyes peeled for a road shooting up into the hills that we had been told to check out, sure enough just as it was getting dark we came across the dirt we had hoped to find.   Chasing the sun up into the hills above Big Sur for 5 miles put us at a majestic view point overlooking the pacific, perfect warm winds and plenty of room to set up camp.  Matt Bauer who had spent the day surfing on the coast had already set up camp and was happy to have company, we shared road stories and took in the surroundings.

We got up at 6 am to catch the sunrise through the clouds and descended the hill back down to the 1 for a chili morning in the coastal fog, by the end of the day we where splitting lanes through LA traffic to set up camp at  our good friend Josh Porter’s place.

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