Archive for December, 2010

December 27th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

9,000 Facebook Likes Sweepstakes: Timmy ONeill rewards the next lucky fan!

ARVE Error: no id set

December 24th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Happy Holidays From Osprey Packs!

Get outside. Explore. From all of us at Osprey Packs, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season! And cheers to many more adventures in 2011!

December 23rd 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Community on Ice

Peter Doucette on Mummy IV, Photo By Majka Burhardt

In Conjunction with OutsideTV.com

Two weeks ago I was in Minneapolis—the city where I grew up—for a showing of Chris Alstrin’s and my movie Waypoint Namibia. Afterwards, a man from the audience asked me what I did in the winters when I was not in Africa. I told him I ice climbed. Midwest Mountaineering, the gear shop in Minneapolis, had partially sponsored the evening’s film. I figured I had a 50/50 chance this man would know what I was talking about.

“Ice?” he asked.

I shrugged. Minneapolis had just had a major snowstorm. I’d almost eaten it in the parking lot, several times. I tipped my head toward the doors. “Someone’s got to do something with all of that stuff,” I said.

We chatted for a while. I tried to convince him ice climbing was a good idea—fun even—and he told me he liked to scuba dive. I told him I was afraid of dark water. He said he was afraid of frozen water. We accepted each other’s differences right up until he asked me where I ice climbed.

“This year?” I said, “Bozeman, MT, Ouray, CO, Cody, WY, Munising, MI, North Conway, NH…” I rattled off my winter schedule. “I go for ice, and for the ice festivals,” I said.

He nodded and thought for a while, as if mentally mapping out the locations in his head. “Is that really necessary?” he asked.

Majka Burhardt on Curtains, Photo By Peter Doucette

Less than a week later I was in Hyalite Canyon, Montana. At the Bozeman Ice Festival. The day started with sixty women in a circle on a slicked over icy parking lot. We were all there for a women’s clinic day—six us as guides, several volunteers, and the rest climbers eager to learn. We lit off onto snow packed trails lacing together ice flows under steel skies. Sixty women swung and kicked and pulled and danced that day. It snowed on and off, the Montana wind swirled spindrift, and pretty much everyone was happy and game.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t normally go climbing with sixty people, let alone sixty strangers. Granted, I personally worked with fifteen over the course of the day. But I felt the mass. There are days you climb for yourself, and days when you climb for others, and still other days when you help other people climb for themselves. The Women’s Clinic at the Bozeman Ice Fest was the latter. The day wrapped up, demo ice tools, jackets, boots, crampons, gloves and more were returned, and that was that.

Except it wasn’t. A few hours later, the day’s climbers joined others (men, women, children, though sadly, no poodles) in the heart of Bozeman. I couldn’t walk more than five feet without seeing an old friend or a newly familiar face. This didn’t let up for three days. In the end, I still didn’t even get to say a proper hello to everyone I knew.

To the outside, assembling dozens of people to swing sharp things at a breakable surface is illogical. But on the inside, it makes more and more sense to me every year. If you know me, or you read what I write, you know I’ve been looking for home for the past three years. Last weekend, the ballroom of the Emerson Cultural Center became home. It’s the gift of this community. It’s the result of the work of those who create these gatherings. It might be temporary, but it’s the moment to mark in a winter of moving on a temporarily frozen surface. So this winter, I get to feel at home in a half dozen icy communities in the country. I’m lucky. But is it, as the man in Minnesota asked, necessary? Two weeks later I have an answer for him: It feeds the soul, powers the swing, and helps us all understand how those two things come together in ourselves.

Get Revved up for the Following Ice Festivals

January 6-9, 2011: Ouray Ice Festival, Ouray, CO (http://ourayicefestival.com/)

February 4-6, 2011: Michigan Ice Fest, Munising, MI (http://www.michiganicefest.com/)

February 4-6, 2011: Mt Washington Valley Ice Festival, North Conway, NH (http://www.ime-usa.com/imcs/ice_fest.html)

February 18-21, 2011: South Fork Ice Festival, Cody, Wyoming (http://www.southforkice.com/)

December, 2011 : The Bozeman Ice Festival starts it all off again. (http://www.montanaalpineguides.com/bozemanicefestival/index.html)

And there are more cropping up every day…

Read More from Majka at www.majkaburhardt.com

December 22nd 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Osprey Looking Good in Esquire

We’re pretty excited about being featured in the latest issue of Esquire. Did you even know that a backpack could look that good?

December 22nd 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Seoul Bike Design

Every Wednesday on Ditch Your Car we’ll be bringing you just another reason to spend more time on two wheels. Be it a photo, a statistic or an inspirational video, we want to keep reminding you about why riding is great!

When you put design savvy bike lovers to work, you get some good results. Designboom has a post outlining all of the winning entries to this year’s Seoul Cycle Design Competition.

What was the grand winning design? Bike 2.0: Next Generation Bicycle. From the designer:

Bike 2.0 the next generation bicycle, will give you more fun with energy boosts when you are cruising around. It makes you daily ride more comfortable with energy leveling and the stepless gearbox. You can even add the seat-tube battery and get there faster. Bike 2.0 has a generator and wires instead of a chain, so you will never get oily pants or fingers from the chain again. The two wireless control-units will control any aspect of your ride. You can easily control all this with the two wireless rings on the handlebar.


December 20th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

8,500 Likes: One Lucky Osprey Fan Gets a Visit From Timmy O’Neill

We’re working our way towards 10,000 fans by the end of 2011, and along the way our very own Timmy O’Neill is visiting some of our lucky fans.

Want the chance to win some free gear too? All you have to do is friend us on Facebook! Help us get to 10,000 fans by the end of the year by spreading the Osprey love and encouraging your friends to do the same. 

December 17th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Friday Round-Up: Bikes Are Changing the World

Photo courtesy 88Bikes

Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. Since we’re smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season, we figured there was no better them than giving. So all month we’ll be tipping you off to cool organizations, initiatives and campaigns that could use some of your holiday dollars. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!


88Bikes was our Pedaling Change profile last month over on the bike blog, and for good reason. The organization provides bikes to young people in developing countries around the world. As founder Dan Austin says, “Bike are that magical vessel of freedom and fun, equally useful and enjoyable. I think folks are finally starting to realize that happiness must be addressed in addition to sustenance, and that bikes offer assistance with both!”

They just launched a new website and are working on plenty of cool projects that need your support. Learn how you can help by clicking here.

Bikes to Rwanda

Another awesome cause that we profiled on our Bike Blog, Bikes to Rwanda combines two of our favorite things: coffee and cycles. Read our interview with Executive Director Brian Gilmore to learn more about how the organization is empowering coffee workers in Rwanda and helping to rebuild a country that was less than a decade ago ravaged by genocide.

Adventure Cycling Association

Inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle? That’s something we can get behind. That’s exactly the mission of the Adventure Cycling Association, an organization that’s been working to get people out on bikes since 1973. They’re currently working on an ambitious project to establish a U.S. Bike Route System. Learn more and support the cause here.

December 16th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Pedaling Change: Bikes to Rwanda

Photo courtesy of Bikes to Rwanda

Welcome to Pedaling Change! There’s a lot of good work being done in the world of bikes, to alternative transportation advocacy to international development. To highlight some of the great action that’s going on out there, once a month we’ll be profiling a non-profit in the bike world to look at just how they’re working to make positive change.

When it comes to development, sometimes simple solutions have the greatest impact. That’s how Bikes to Rwanda (BTR) started, by asking one question and realizing that meaningful change could come from providing people with some of the simplest transportation on earth: a bicycle.

In its fourth year, the organization provides cargo bicycles to coffee co-operative farmers in Rwanda. By implementing a bike workshop and maintenance program, BTR provides transportation resources for basic needs and enhances production of quality coffee.

In the early 1990s Rwanda exported about 45,000 tons of coffee per year, a significant yield for a landlocked country. Then came the civil conflict between the Hutus and Tutsis, resulting in the massacre and deaths of close to one million people. Since that time, Rwanda has been in the throes of rebuilding, both a country and a culture. The coffee industry was hit hard as well, with much of the land destroyed and farmers killed. So in 2001, a program was put in place to help farmers recover their coffee industry, increase the efficiency of production, and highlight some of the finest coffee in the world.

This program, called Partnership for Enhancing Agriculture in Rwanda through Linkages, has helped approximately 15,000 Rwandan coffee farmers organize 11 different cooperatives. BTR is now working to support those cooperatives. All with bicycles.

BTR Executive Director Brian Gilmore offered to answer some question to give us a little more insight into the organization and its work.

Give us a little background: what was the impetus for founding Bikes to Rwanda?

The impetus for the founding of BTR came from the community of coffee growers in Rwanda that Stumptown Coffee Roasters works with and that BTR now serves. Stumptown’s CEO and Green Coffee Buyer were visiting cooperatives and after witnessing how physically demanding a farmer’s daily routine was, they couldn’t help but wonder if there was something they could do to improve the farmers’ daily routines.  They put the question, “what could make your work easier?” to the farmers and the farmers volunteered that bicycles could really improve the efficiency of  their work.

Upon returning to Portland the guys from Stumptown rallied the coffee and bike communities and BTR was born.


December 15th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Bike City: Where Cars Aren’t Allowed

Every Wednesday on Ditch Your Car we’ll be bringing you just another reason to spend more time on two wheels. Be it a photo, a statistic or an inspirational video, we want to keep reminding you about why riding is great!

We all know the pains of riding in urban areas; always keeping a lookout for cars, making sure you’re visible to drivers, convincing the four wheeled vehicles that you do in fact have a right to be on the road too. Let’s be honest: biking in the midst of traffic is hectic, chaotic and not all that much fun. Welcome Bicycle City, “a planned car-free communities project with a mission to create great sustainable places where people can live, work and visit.”

The 160-acre community being built outside of Columbia, South Carolina will be a prototype for car-free communities, celebrating walking and wheels. Seriously, take a look at their website and it feels almost utopian.

The goal is not to forbid residents from owning cars entirely, but instead promote a vibrant center that thrives off of a car-free climate. How does that work? Community residents will be able to park their cars at the edge of the village and use public carts or bike trailers to bring home any groceries, furniture, etc. purchased outside of town.

Imagine: a whole village where you’re certain to never run into a car and pedal away to your heart’s delight. Yes, please!

Via: Outside Blog

December 15th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

The Ongoing Debate: Is Fracking Safe?

If you’ve been paying attention to the news at all lately, you’ve probably heard a fair bit about fracking. So what the frack is fracking? Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.

The ongoing debate over hydraulic fracturing for natural gas boils down to: energy companies want to drill, while people concerned about drinking water supplies and the effects of drilling chemicals on human health do not.

Yesterday, New York Gov. David Paterson signed an executive order to halt the controversial natural gas drilling process until July 1, 2011. But it’s only sort of good news. While a moratorium is better than nothing at all, it’s certainly no guarantee of a well-protected environment.

ARVE Error: no id set

And it’s not just New York that has to worry about it. Fracking is happening right here in our own backyard. The potential drilling threatens the entire region and many others across the country, as exposed by the documentary Gasland…

Watch the trailer:

ARVE Error: no id set

“The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a “Saudia Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us. But is fracking safe? What do you think?


Whether your pack was purchased in 1974 or yesterday, Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge.