The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. The Trail goes through fourteen states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Trail’s northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine.
Known as the “A.T.,” it has been estimated that 2-3 million people visit the Trail every year and about 1,800–2,000 people attempt to “thru-hike” the Trail. People from across the globe are drawn to the A.T. for a variety of reasons: to reconnect with nature, to escape the stress of city life, to meet new people or deepen old friendships, or to experience a simpler life. Appalachian Trail Conservancy
“Public Lands: Valuable to Our Bottom Line and Way of Life,” written by Osprey Packs co-founder & co-owner Diane Wren, originally appeared in the Montrose Press.
Twenty five years ago, my husband Mike and I moved from the coastal redwoods of California to the edge of sandstone canyon country in the San Juan Mountains in the hopes of building a headquarters for our homegrown company – Osprey Packs – that would allow us to test our handmade gear in the most inspiring and rugged of places. After settling in Cortez, Osprey quickly became an international force in the outdoor industry, and we’ve been proud to grow our classic American dream in southwestern Colorado. We now employ over 80 people in Cortez and are still growing. Like many other international outdoor businesses across Colorado, we chose to build a business here because access to public lands makes this the perfect spot for our employees to settle down, for us to try out our next idea in the field, and because so many in our community share our love for getting outside and exploring our wild West.
The same incredible landscapes that drew us to Colorado, though, are now facing a serious threat. Out-of-state special interests like the American Lands Council are pushing legislators across the Rockies to try to seize our national public lands and transfer them into state control, which could bankrupt our states and lead to massive access closures. Colorado is lucky enough to have 24 million acres of federal public lands within our borders, but the state managing them would cost Coloradans over $300 million a year, and a single wildfire could add tens of millions of dollars to the bill. Our state is constitutionally bound to balance its budget – this additional financial burden would likely force the state to prioritize extractive uses or sell off our lands to the highest bidder for private development. Read more…
The weekend we raised our yurt this past summer was one of the most wild experiences of my life. Post-weekend, my knuckles were swollen, I would wake up nightly to unconsciously scratching of mosquito bites on my legs, and I had a handful of cuts and bruises that lasted a few weeks. But at the end of the day, we had a yurt!
The whole experience was, for the most part, smooth. It was challenging — yes. It was time consuming. But it was fun! And it was rad that we had friends come out and help with various parts of the raising. From hands-on help from the start, to homemade mojitos and jalapeño poppers mid-day, borrowed tools and a trailer, responses to frantic text messages… all the kindness from our support network here in Montana was slightly overwhelming.
For one, I learned that yurts are totally beginner friendly. With a little common sense and planning ahead, I really think anyone can do it. Our advantage came from first disassembling the yurt from the woman we purchased it from, and then building it back up again.
Initially, we called Hayes, the owner of Shelter Designs in Missoula, and asked him if we could hire him for the yurt raising, as the yurt we purchased was a Shelter Designs yurt. There are a lot of moving parts, and Hayes is a great crowd organizer… he knows what needs to get done. Obviously, he does this for a living. When Sean asked him, Hayes basically said (paraphrasing here), “I’m pretty busy this summer, but I think you guys can handle it. I’ll send you a DVD.”
I thought… A DVD. Really? What are we doing here, baking cookies or building a house?
But when we actually watched the DVD, we knew Hayes was right. It explained everything from start to finish, with super detailed instructions—exactly the things he would have been telling us had he been here. So we would do a few tasks on the yurt, and then watch some DVD on a laptop… go back to yurt stuff, have lunch, and watch a little more DVD. That got us through it. That DVD was the key to building our yurt.
Here are a few shots from the big day. Arranging the windows, doorways and lattice walls:
Our buddy Mikey, placing the tension cable through the tops of the lattice walls:
The cable is made to fit our 30-foot yurt EXACTLY. Thus, it takes a bit of time to wiggle it through the lattice walls perfectly enough for this hook to actually lock.
Brandon, Sean and Mikey, prepping to lift that ring (at their feet) above their heads and start placing the beams, which connect to the outer lattice walls. This is the most dangerous part of a yurt raising… those beams are heavy!
A nervous smile from me on the ground. My job was to run around the yurt like a crazy woman, handing the guys one end of a beam, and placing the other end of the beam on the cable in the precise spot. Luckily, we only had a few tense moments, one of which involved a beam nailing me in the arm. I had a massive bruise to show for that one.
Until the first five (maybe six) beams are up, it’s super tense because someone always has to be holding that ring up (which weighs a ton). It was a lot of arms-over-the-head action for those guys.
Once the beams are in, it’s fun to put on the white lining (1st layer) and the insulation (2nd layer). Although, we were pretty lucky the sun was behind a cloud during this part… that insulation is like one big sun screen!
Here was the HARDEST part of the day. Even harder than putting in the beams. That crescent roll up there is the outer canvas of the yurt and it weighs a million pounds. Maybe not a million, but it sure seemed like it. It took 4 of us to hoist it up to the scaffolding, and then a lot of grunting and groaning to get it out of the center ring and onto the roof. I won’t even go into the madness involved with trying to spread that thing out around the yurt. Again, if you’re building a NEW yurt, your canvas comes nice and folded — like, the size of a sleeping bag — and you roll it down easily over a designated opening. With ours? It was a bit of a jumble to get it looking good. It took us about three hours on just on this part.
And after getting the top on, we had to then put on the side insulation panels and the side canvas panels. They were heavy, but nowhere near as heavy as the top. This part was also difficult because our yurt is so high off the ground, and we had to use lean-to ladders (as opposed to the A-frame ladders) to get as high as the top. Eventually, we splurged and bought a 12-foot ladder — which is KEY for 30-foot yurt maintenance.
Then there was the dome, being pulled up the outside to the top:
And then, behold the yurt in all her glory after the final pieces of the structure were on! All in all, these steps took us 1.5 days to complete. Yes, it’s THAT easy!
Sean & Mollie Busby are Osprey Packs Ambassadors. Sean is a professional backcountry snowboarder. In 2004, while training for the 2010 Olympics, Sean endured a complicated diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Considering leaving snowboarding all together, Sean was inspired by reading stories of kids living with T1D that inspired him to keep living his dreams. He founded Riding On Insulin, a nonprofit, to honor all the kids who inspired him to keep living. In February 2014, Sean became the first person with T1D to backcountry snowboard all seven continents at the age of 29 in 2014. Mollie Busby graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Journalism and Retail. A series of life-changing events brought Mollie and Sean together in February 2010, and after five months, Mollie moved west. The pair was married in September, 2011 and now resides in a 30-foot yurt with their dogs, Daisy and Glacier, in Whitefish, Montana. For more, visit Two Sticks and a Board online, or follow Sean and Mollie on Instagram.
I love and I hate farming. It all started with a quest to grow and raise all our own food five years ago. I even remember the last month I needed to actually go to the grocery store – April 2010.
Certainly there are a few key exceptions – coffee for my hubby Jason, chocolate for me, spices that we can’t grow, and life-maintaining Real Salt from Utah – for ourselves and the animals.
But back to the love and hate thing – I adore having this connection to our land, this feeling that we are doing something immensely important, and this incredible sense of self-reliance. Everyday I learn something new that my grandmother must have done her whole life.
She never had to figure out make all this garden/orchard/pasture bounty to last for months – to render lard/tallow, make butter, dry herbs and veggies, can tomatoes, ferment peppers/cucumbers, cure squash/pumpkins/nuts/shallots/onions/animal forages (corn, sunflowers, barley, wheat)….the list is endless.
The days are long, tedious, exhausting – feed, water, harvest, cook, feed, water, irrigate, harvest again, dry, preserve, freeze, jar, vacuum seal. When tasked with putting up all our food for the long winter, quitting is not an option. Skipping out for a bike ride and leaving the tomatoes to freeze and burst or the walnuts to be stolen by the squirrels he “inbox” is never empty.
But in the end, with the root cellar and freezers full of our 10 months of hard labor, we are pleasantly content to enter the long winter. Now finishing our fifth year, it has gotten a bit easier as we have figured out our ancestor’s systems. And while I wish we could take irresponsible vacations together more often, the “prepper” in me feels ready just in case.
In reality, I will most likely just have the world record amount of our farm food in all of my Osprey Packs (Transporters, Ozones, Snowplay) as I travel to my many KEEN Rippin Chix Steep Skiing/Adventure/Powder Camps this winter – Silverton, Crystal, Whitewater, Red Mtn and to anywhere the snow is DUMPING! Join me?
It’s not often that we can collectively give back to the one thing in our lives that fuels our passion and provides us an escape from reality, Nature. Let’s face the facts, between all of our daily obligations and our personal pursuits, time is stretched thin and we’re just grateful for any spare moments we can spend making memories in the outdoors. As an individual, you can figure out small and unique ways to give your thanks to mother-nature for all that she has provided you, yet joined by hundreds to provide that same gratitude can be remarkable.
The Backyard Collective is an event, organized by The Conservation Alliance, at which those who have dedicated their lives to outdoor stewardship and those who love the outdoor pursuits can come together for the same reason. We at Osprey value this event because although we help others pursue outdoors by providing them highly innovative gear; this is our chance to return our appreciation to the outdoors for all that it has taught us and provided us.
Founded in 1989 by outdoor industry businesses including REI & Patagonia, The Conservation Alliance began with the mission to increase outdoor industry support for conservation efforts. In other words, the businesses making gear and apparel for use in the outdoors by outdoor enthusiasts committed to protecting the wild places enjoyed by their customers. The Conservation Alliance today is made up of 185 outdoor industry companies (Osprey Packs is a proud member!) that disburses its collective annual membership dues to grassroots environmental organizations, specifically community-based campaigns focused protecting on threatened wild habitat — preferably where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Since inception in 1989, Conservation Alliance funding has helped save more than 42 million acres of wildlands; protect 2,825 miles of rivers; stop or remove 26 dams; designate five marine reserves; and purchase nine climbing areas. In 2014 to-date, The Conservation Alliance has awarded a record $1.55 million in grants.
The Conservation Alliance’s Backyard Collective events further connect members of the alliance with the outdoors by bringing together member company employees and local grantees for a day of environmental action. via The Conservation Alliance:
These events allow us to get out of the office and get our hands dirty; doing good work to preserve and protect the open spaces in our own backyards…The BYC program brings together members of the Conservation Alliance community and illustrates firsthand the benefits of conservation efforts and the larger work of The Conservation Alliance.
The Conservation Alliance organized seven Backyard Collectives in 2014, bringing together over 1,000 member company employees, 39 member companies and 36 nonprofits, to accomplish an amazing amount of work including trail building and maintenance, tree planting, invasive species removal, habitat restoration, and flood debris removal. Each event included a volunteer fair, allowing volunteers to learn more about local nonprofit organizations and projects they can get involved with in their local community.
On September 19th, we were joined by almost 200 people at the 2014 Backyard Collective in Boulder to reconstruct trails in Golden Gate Canyon State Park that were drastically affected by the mud-slides of 2013. The year of 2013 was a rough one for the front-range of Colorado. Record-breaking mudslides and fires took their toll on our State and National parks, depositing debris in small streams and channels that have altered countless trails.
Our team of 7 volunteers drove a total of 16 hours from Southwest Colorado so that we could partake in this event. To hear about an environmental tragedy in the local news and to see the results of it are two entirely different experiences. To listen to the State Park Ranger explain the effects of what these mudslides did to the trails, such as diverging streams and bringing down trees, was a point in which I realized that we as a community, as a collective effort, were responsible for the reviving the trails and areas that we are so fortunate to enjoy.
That day, 175 volunteers showed up with the same idea and enthusiasm. The collective energy of these outdoor enthusiasts was contagious and inspiring. We all went to work, reviving 4-6 large areas of the State park. We worked side-by-side, complete strangers, yet all with the same commitment.
I am personally honored that my company and our employees, have always valued the outdoor experience above all. The Conservation Alliance provided a unique experience for both our 7 volunteers and the 164 others that joined us that day. Although our individual actions may have been small such as clearing steams and trail work, our collective effort will provide outdoor memories for those to come.
If you would like to be a part of collective effort to protect and conserve our outdoors, be sure to check out the campaigns and grassroots organizations funded by the Conservation Alliance or any of the other non-profit organizations that participated in the Boulder Backyard Collective, including:
The 8th annual Pacific Crest Trail Days takes place in Cascade Locks, Oregon, which is surrounded by the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and where the Pacific Crest Trail offers access to some of the most beautiful scenery in Pacific Northwest.
Osprey Packs will be returning to the annual PCT Days to celebrate one of our nations most prominent trails on the West-Coast! From September 5th through the 7th, people from all corners of the North West will come to visit with old and new friends, check out the latest outdoor products and gear, participate in classes and activities, listen to music & watch movies, and celebrate the past, present and future of the Pacific Crest Trail.
Event Website: http://oviewfinder.com/
Event FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pctdays
This weekend will include something for everyone such as the Gear Fair, Free Classes, Trail Work Parties, and a film/slideshow celebrating the PCT!
For a complete list of all PCT Days events please visit the website.
Don’t forget to drop by our Osprey booth as we will be offering some great freebies, pack repairs, solid high-fives, laughs and even a few of chances to win one of our packs!
Check out what we will have going on:
Fall 2014 Pack Display- We will be displaying our Backpack specific line so that you may see the fit and functional difference that sets Osprey apart from the rest! Stop by the booth to talk with one of our staff about which pack may be right for you. For our full product line visit our website.
The Osprey Packs Fit Gurus- Come experience the customized fit and functionality Osprey Packs is known for! Have questions or need to get sized for your next adventure- no problem! Swing by the booth as we will have our fit experts ready for any questions or suggestions you may have!
20% off with Next Adventure- If you have been thinking of getting an Osprey and had all your questions answered at our booth, the wait is over! Our retailer partner Next Adventure will be at the event, offering 20% off all Osprey product in celebration of PCT days! Osprey has strategically placed our tent across from Next Adventure so you can see the selection of Osprey packs they have at the event and make your purchase on the spot!
PCT Event Survey– Take our three-minute event survey and automatically be entered win a new Osprey pack — We will have daily winners throughout the PCT days!
Bola-Ball Fundraiser- We want to give back to the non-profit who is making this event possible, the Pacific Crest Trail Association! Stop by and try your luck at our Bola-Ball game in which you could win an Osprey hat, shirt, or even a pack! All proceeds benefit the trail and PCTA which makes it all possible!
Best Freebies this side of the Mississippi- This is no joke! Don’t forget to load up on Osprey Chapstick, Backcountry repair kits, stickers and coozies as we spread the #Ospreylove!
998 Exhibiting Brands. 21,814 Total Expo Attendance. 4 days of Outdoors Industry Good Times.
In addition to being the tradeshow “where the latest technical innovations of outdoor gear are found,” Outdoor Retailer could be described as one giant summer camp for any and all retailers, brands, nonprofits, athletes, activists and organizations related to the Outdoor Industry. For Outdoor Industry companies, this tradeshow allows us to come together twice a year (once in summer, once in winter) and connect — whether it’s putting a face to the the person we’ve been emailing for months or seeing our local retailer friends again. It’s a time when people from all over the world gather at the Salt Lake City Salt Palace, take a look at the innovative gear coming out next season and celebrate what brings us together: the outdoors! And while we always have a blast at OR, this summer’s show isn’t going to be just another tradeshow for us — we’re celebrating our 40th Anniversary with our industry friends, partners, retailers and fans alike!
Attending OR August 6-9? Be sure to visit the Osprey Booth (#5010) to see our Spring 2015 product line — we’ve got some exciting new packs and gear debuting at the show! Make sure you don’t miss a beat by checking out the Show Overview , Event Schedule, and Education Schedule.
And if you’re not able to attend (OR isn’t open to consumers, unlike the majority of the events we attend!) you can get a sneak peek of gear debuting at the show and follow the day-to-day news with outlets like the OR Show Dailies and The Gear Junkie (whose Summer OR gear preview features our Spring 2015 Atmos AG!) as well as following the #ORshow hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. We’ll be posting behind the scenes updates on the Osprey Packs Twitter and Instagram feeds — be sure to follow us for the latest!
If you’re heading to the show for your 1st, 2nd or 40th time, you probably know that there’s never a shortage of activities, parties, panels & events, but because this just so happens to be our 40th Anniversary summer show, we want to make sure you know about some special Osprey Packs events you won’t want to miss:
$40 Spring 2015 Escapist 25– All Proceeds Donated to the Conservation Alliance: We’re proud to be longtime supporters of the Conservation Alliance, an incredible nonprofit that for 25 years has been engaging Outdoor Industry businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. Osprey will be offering our Spring 2015 Escapist 25 (Retail $125) for $40. All proceeds from the sale of this pack (which won’t be available at retailers until Spring 2015!) will be donated to The Conservation Alliance.
Leave No Trace “Great Gear Giveaway”– Make sure you make your way to the Leave No Trace booth as they will be giving out one of the best prizes at OR! The Great Gear Giveaway happens on Wednesday 8/6, Thursday 8/7 and Friday 8/8 of the show and includes 6 boxes of gear filled with an assortment of gear from 20 Leave No Trace partners!
Osprey Packs 40th Anniversary Happy Hour– Free beer and amazing pints provided by Klean Kanteen? We could stop there, but that’s not all! Join us from 4:30-6:00 on Wed. 8/6 and we’ll also have fresh Osprey Packs swag and a very special musical appearance that will surely have you groovin’ during the Happiest of Hours! Come enjoy a beer in a commemorative 40th Anniversary pint, get your Wilderness Ranger Cookbook signed by USFS Ranger Ralph Swain and get in on great giveaways!
The Conservation Alliance 25th Anniversary Party– We’re not the only ones with a milestone anniversary to celebrate at this OR! The Conservation Alliance turns 25 this year, and we are celebrating their tireless dedication to uniting our industry and protecting the wild places we love! The Conservation Alliance is throwing a party to celebrate with their friends & supporters, featuring music from Osprey favorite The Infamous Stringdusters, on Thursday August 7, from 6-10 p.m. at The Lot (115 S. West Temple), directly across the street from the main entrance to the Salt Palace.
Ragnar and OIWC Relay Challenge Presented by Outdoor Retailer — This Friday, August 8, 6am-10am at The Pavilions, relay teams of three will pound the pavement on this 3-mile, out and back course. Come out to cheer on Osprey’s teams – or even better sign up and help us build another team!! Support the work of the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) who provide advocacy, education and resources for women in the Outdoor, Bike, and Snow Industries.
Check out this ZigZagging interview from last OR show with Osprey Founder, Mike Pfotenhauer! Here’s to a great show!
Crystal Henson is our #WhatsInYourFestyPack winner who will receive two GA tickets to this year’s Electric Forest as well as two customized Ospreys to carry her Festy Pack Essentials! Here are a few words of wisdom from Crystal, for those of you attending Electric Forest or any Festival for that matter.
My festy pack embraces the sustainability practices encouraged by Electrology, and three years of first-hand experience at Electric Forest. My festy pack is an Osprey Sirrus 24 and contains around 83 items.
Active Lifestyle, adventure, Backpacking, Conservation, contest, Events, Health, Music Festivals, Osprey Adventure Envoys, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, photos, Product, Travel, Uncategorized, What's in Your Pack?
Fracking Colorado? “Dear Governor Hickenlooper” Premieres at Mountainfilm: Watch a Screening Near You!
Osprey Athlete Alison Gannett is a World Champion Big Mountain FreeSkier, founder both The Save Our Snow Foundation and KEEN Rippin Chix Steep Skiing Camps and Rippin Chix Mountain Bike Camps. As an accomplished ski mountaineer and Environmental Scientist, she utilizes her first descents and ski expeditions worldwide — India, Pakistan, Bolivia, Argentina, Bhutan, South Africa, Europe and North America — to document glacial recession. Alison has dedicated her life to making the world a better place, and has spent over half her life working on solutions to climate change.
Osprey makes me proud, and I’m honored to be an official ambassador. Recently they helped sponsor a new documentary film, Dear Governor Hickenlooper, which premiered at the renowned Mountainfilm in Telluride film festival. Dear Governor Hickenlooper is a collection of documentary films directed by a variety of Colorado filmmakers and provides a new perspectives on fracking and clean energy through the eyes of scientists, entrepreneurs, artists and families. Not only was I lucky enough to attend the film’s premiere, but I am also honored to be in the film. Fracking has been proposed in the 30,000 acres surrounding my Holy Terror Farm, and 200,000 acres of my water shed have already been leased for drilling.
As an author, professional climber, filmmaker, and entrepreneur, Osprey Athlete Majka Burhardt has spent two decades exploring the globe—usually by hand and foot—and her stories of challenge, humanity, and the fine line between extreme and acceptable risk continue to inspire audiences around the world.
The Lost Mountain is a project about discovery, adventure, and ultimately survival in one of the world’s least-explored and most-threatened habitats. Mt. Namuli, a 7,936-foot granite monolith, is the largest of a group of isolated peaks that tower over the ancient valleys of northern Mozambique. Here, plants and animals have evolved as if on dispersed oceanic islands, so that individual mountains have become refuge to their own unique species of life, many of which have yet to be discovered or described by science. Yet despite these distinctions, it is Mt. Namuli’s linkages to the surrounding landscape and its position along a corridor of mountains stretching from South Africa to the Arabian Peninsula that has gripped the attention of the world. The Lost Mountain is about working locally to create locally-generated change and possibility. It is also about sharing that story with the world.
Majka shared this update from May 1, 2014:
Four days from today, I meet my international team of scientists, conservation workers, climbers, filmmakers, students, and volunteers at the airport in Blantyre, Malawi. We’re heading to Mozambique; we’re heading to the Lost Mountain. All totaled, 19 people varying in age from 19 to 55, from Brazilians to South Africans, Americans to Mozambicans, with backgrounds ranging from snakes to photography, forestry to rock climbing, will be working together for one month in the African bush. We have big goals. It started small. It’s mostly my fault—and I’m the one who’s in charge. Read more…