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Trail Days: Celebrating the People and Traditions of the Appalachian Trail

May 14th, 2015

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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

Osprey Packs has proudly attended AT Trail Days for more consecutive years (12 in total!) than any other Osprey-sponsored event. Mid-May is a gorgeous time of year on the Appalachian Trail and the city of Damascus, VA is full of some of our favorite people: thru-hikers! Thru-hikers typically hike a long-distance trail end-to-end (like the Appalachian Trail) and are a special group of outdoor enthusiasts whose commitment to backpacking parallels our own. Backpacking is an activity deeply ingrained in our company heritage — our founder and Head Designer Mike Pfotenhauer’s passion for backpacking was one of the reasons he founded Osprey Packs 41 years ago in 1974.

Thru-hikers continually inspire us with their commitment, tenacity and gumption, which is one of the reasons we support backpacking and community-oriented events like Trail Days and initiatives like the Thru-Hike Syndicate. We look forward to the opportunity to give back and support the hikers’ efforts by providing the them (and larger community of Damascus) with free gear repairs and much more during the fun Trail Days celebration May 15-17, 2015.


 

Trail Days gets better every year — here are just a few reasons you should stop by the Osprey booth:

“Long Start to the Journey” Premiere:

Join us for a documentary film premiere directed by Osprey Ambassador and filmmaker Chris Gallaway who documented his efforts to complete the AT Trail in “The Long Start to the Journey”

Date: Friday, May 15th, 2015

Time: 9:00 PM

Location: Rock School

The Long Start to the Journey – Trailer 1 from Horizonline Pictures on Vimeo.

Free onsite gear repairs: We’re offering gear repairs for all AT Thru-hikers at Osprey’s Tent City location for the duration of the event, Thursday through Saturday, 9AM-6PM. Come out and see the work of Master Repair Tech Jason “Jimi” Boblitt (he also shreds on Air Guitar!) and PackMaster Otis, who after years of practice has perfected his amazing “Kung-Fu” Pack repair techniques. Stop by, get your gear trail-ready and see the masters at work!

The Crew at Work

“Guess Your Own Pack Weight” Contest: How much do you think you’re luggin’ around in that pack of yours? Well, we can tell you! Guess within a pound of your pack weight and win some Osprey goodies! Giveaways happening Thursday through Friday – so bring by the pack!

Osprey’s “Repair Your Own Pack” Clinic:

NOTE: Limited Spots! The first 20 to sign up will receive free food, drinks, an Osprey Packs Repair Kit, Custom Osprey Pint Glass and custom Osprey hat – make sure you sign up!AG Fit Station_Final_resend

Date: Friday, May 16th, 2015

Time: 4:00 PM-5:00 PM

Location: Osprey Booth

Our Team will go over everything in our BC Repair kit along and how to use it while out on the trail:

  • Removing Buckles
  • Installing Quick Attached buckles
  • How to repair a tent pole with our tent pole section (something that McNett sells)
  • How to repair and stitch a hole in both mesh and fabric
  • We will go over the whip stitch
  • How to repair a zipper in the field
  • How to repair a zipper slider in the field
  • When to use duct tape (and when NOT to)

Our Anti-Gravity Fit Station: Revolutionary. Innovative. And maybe a little bit magic: our award-winning Anti-Gravity™ Suspension system provides seamless comfort that contours the body allowing a trail experience like no other.  Combined with custom capability and a full feature set, the Atmos AG™  sets a new standard in ventilated backpacking. Interested in what it feels like? Stop by our booth to try AG for yourself at our Anti-Gravity Fit Station.


For more information over Trail Days, check out their site and Facebook:

Schedule

Vendors and Exhibitors

Facebook


2015 Thru-Hike Syndicate

The 2015 Thru-Hike Syndicate is out on both the Appalachian & Pacific Crest Trails!

We’ve once again partnered with our friends at Vasque Footwear, Darn Tough Vermont Socks, NEMO Equipment, & LEKI to support a group of 20 incredible thru-hikers on the AT and PCT.

Follow the Thru-Hike Syndicate on Instagram for updates from the hikers along their journeys to complete two of North America’s most epic hikes.

 

Facts About The Appalachian Trail

Information via Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Support the AT Conservancy

The A.T. was completed in 1937 and is a unit of the National Park System. The A.T. is managed under a unique partnership between the public and private sectors that includes, among others, the National Park Service (NPS), the USDA Forest Service (USFS), an array of state agencies, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and 31 local Trail-maintaining clubs.

  • About 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year.
  • The A.T. has hundreds of access points and is within a few hours drive of millions of Americans, making it a popular destination for day-hikers
  • “Thru-hikers” walk the entire Trail in a continuous journey. “Section-hikers” piece the entire Trail together over years. “Flip-floppers” thru-hike the entire Trail in discontinuous sections to avoid crowds, extremes in weather, or start on easier terrain
  • 1 in 4 who attempt a thru-hike successfully completes the journe
  • Most thru-hikers walk north, starting in Georgia in spring and finishing in Maine in fall, taking an average of 6 months
  • Foods high in calories and low in water weight, such as Snickers bars and Ramen Noodles, are popular with backpackers, who can burn up to 6,000 calories a day
  • Hikers usually adopt “trail names” while hiking the Trail. They are often descriptive or humorous. Examples are “Eternal Optimist,” “Thunder Chicken,” and “Crumb-snatcher”.

Active Lifestyle, AT Trail, Backpacking, causes, Conservation, Events, Hiking, Non-profits, Osprey Adventure Envoys, Outdoor Activities, SouthEast, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Winter Stars: Astrophotography in New England

February 27th, 2015

 

Fritz_Bacon_Kode_32_Night_Sky_Osprey_Packs.jpgI’ve been shooting photos ever since I can remember, but after watching a video a few years ago where the Milky Way sprawled out above a mirror-like lake, I knew I had to try my hand at astrophotography.

It’s not everyday that you get to see the stars clearly when living in New England.  I learned this the hard way when I moved out East after living in Colorado for 15 years.  It was a whole new world, one that was rainy, cloudy and whose inhabitants were not nearly as friendly.  Luckily for me I chose to attend the University of Connecticut, which at certain times of the year has a decent enough view of stars for me to get the shots that I want.

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The past few months I have been venturing out into UConn’s woods armed with a 120-lumen flashlight, my Osprey Packs Kode 32 packed with all my camera gear and the ever-important thermal underwear.  I try to venture out each week when the conditions are ideal; I’m talking no clouds and little moonlight to get the clearest possible shot.  This winter has offered a good amount of chances to get out and shoot.  It is an amazing feeling to venture out in the dead of night to gaze up into the sky — especially when everything is silent, muffled by the recent snow. Read more…

Active Lifestyle, Guest post, Hiking, photos, Snowsports , , , , , , , , , ,

The Desert Dawg Trail

August 27th, 2014

Our friend Ace Kvale is one of the world’s top adventure photographers. For over 30 years his action photos, striking portraits and stunning landscapes have captured the essence of wild places and diverse cultures in the far corners of the globe. Recently, Ace has used photography as an opportunity to raise consciousness. Through his latest work with vanishing cultures and international philanthropic organizations, he’s discovered new inspiration and purpose by using his skills to help people at risk. He specializes in cultural, documentary, travel and outdoor adventure photography.

 

Desert Dawg 1 Osprey Packs

The Desert Dawg Trail

 

In the first place you can’t see anything from a car; you’ve got to get out of the goddamned contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail you’ll begin to see something, maybe. Probably not.

–Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

Desert Dawg 2 Osprey Packs

The first time I read those words I was living in a small cabin in the woods in the San Juan mountains of Colorado. I’ve never forgotten them. Ed Abbey left a huge impression on me. Since then I’ve been lucky to travel, ski, climb and photograph on six continents. From mountains in Tibet to rivers in Alaska I’ve been one lucky dude.

But the words of Ed Abbey have always held a grip on me. Hundreds of desert climbing trips have in no way extinguished my insatiable curiosity for the beauty of the canyon wilderness. That’s the thing right there. Wilderness. That’s the word. So simple.

Glamping. Wtf? Seriously? Yet it exists. The other day I saw a piece on the best iPhone apps for camping. No shit. But, to be totally honest I have an iPhone. I have the topo maps app with all the maps I need downloaded in it. I can press a few buttons and have my position pinpointed with incredible accuracy. It tells me right where I am on the map I’m holding in my sweaty hand. You are here. Awesome.

Read more…

Active Lifestyle, adventure, Guest post, Hiking, Outdoor Activities , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Trail Days 2014: Celebrate the Spirit of the Appalachian Trail in Damascus

May 15th, 2014

Trail Days 2014 | Osprey Packs

The year 1987 was the 50th anniversary of the Appalachian Trail, which passes right through Damascus. That year, members of the Town Council decided to celebrate the anniversary with an event for hikers. At that time, there was no town park in Damascus, so the small festival was held in the parking lot of the town hall and behind the bank. The festival was held again the following year, the year after that, and every year that’s followed, growing to the tens of thousands. In the early years of Trail Days, a street was sometimes roped off for a dance, but there were no vendors. There were only the hikers and the cyclists who followed, who inspired the town to rebuild its economy, which had been devastated by flooding and the loss of most of its industry. Read more…

AT Trail, Backpacking, Events, Hiking, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy Hiking! Nantahala Outdoor Center’s Founder’s Bridge Festival is 4/4 & 4/5

March 31st, 2014

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Each year, thousands of hikers make the 2,180 mile trek along the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain to Katahdin. Each of those hikers crosses the Nantahala River along the NOC Founder’s Bridge, in Bryson City, NC.  Most of these hikers cross on their way north in early April, just before beginning the difficult ascent into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Many more hikers enjoy the Appalachian Trail in segments, hiking one section at a time over the course of many years, or maybe just sticking to their favorite sections of trail. Read more…

Active Lifestyle, AT Trail, Events, Hiking, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

50 Shades of Osprey

March 2nd, 2014

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Osprey Athlete Payge McMahon is an adventure athlete, ‘rockin’ yogi’ and journalist who travels the world inspiring others to get outdoors, try new things and start checking off that bucket list.

In 2007, at the age of 33, my life changed forever. I bought my first Osprey Pack, an orange Stratos 24.  I loved it. It took me to places I never imagined. Read more…

Active Lifestyle, adventure, Backpacking, Bike, Hiking, Osprey Athletes, Outdoor Activities, Product, Snowsports, travel, Travel , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

40 Years of Memories: Kicking Off Round 3 of the #OspreyAt40 Photo Contest

February 14th, 2014

Osprey At 40 Winners

Round 3 of #OspreyAt40 starts tomorrow, February 15th!

Tomorrow morning we’re kicking off Round 3 of our 40th Anniversary Photo Contest: at 11:15 am MT all of the “votes” on every photo submission in the #OspreyAt40 contest will be reset to “0.” Resetting the votes at the beginning of each round means that everyone who has entered has another chance to automatically win a Transporter 40 if their #OspreyAt40 photo is one of the first 5 photos in this round to reach 40 votes on the contest page/gallery www.tinyurl.com/OspreyAt40.

Read more…

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40 Years of Adventure: #OspreyAt40 Photo Contest

February 7th, 2014

Long Start to the Journey: Help Osprey Ambassador Chris Gallaway share his Appalachian Trail story

January 24th, 2014
Chris Gallaway- before and after shots.

Chris Gallaway- Before the AT and after the AT.

 

Osprey Ambassador Chris Gallaway is seeking support through Kickstarter to make his a film, “The Long Start to the Journey” a reality. January 31st is the campaign deadline to support this compelling documentary about the Appalachian Trail and if the campaign does not meet its goal no funding will be collected and given to the movie.

In support of Chris’s Kickstarter campaign, we’re giving away an Exos 48 Superlight Backpack to the next donor to pledge $220. The Exos 48, our newest ultra-light technical backpack, is a masterful combination of ounce-shaving, durable materials and a feather-weight internal frame to keep you fast and comfortable on your next journey. Your pack will have a “The Long Start to the Journey” patch sewn on to commemorate your part in making this film possible. Note: We’ll need to get your unique sizing before fulfilling this reward and you must be a resident of the US to be eligible.

To support The Long Start to the Journey and learn more about the campaign, visit www.maketheATmovie.com.

To follow Chris’s journey on the trail last year, visit www.theATmovie.com.

 

Long Start To The Journey

 

A question I have often heard since completing my 7-month thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail is how the experience changed me. That’s a difficult one for me to answer, and it’s probably better addressed by people who know me well and have observed me from the outside. The images above were taken at the beginning and end of my hike (the third, cold morning in February on Blood Mountain Georgia and the last day in September as I walked down from Katahdin). While I know that these two self-portraits encompass a host of experiences and some of the most significant changes of my life, it’s difficult for me to articulate what’s different between them. Read more…

Active Lifestyle, adventure, AT Trail, causes, Conservation, Ditch Your Car, Guest post, Hiking, Non-profits, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, travel, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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