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Climbing a Granite Big Wall, Discovering New Species for Science, and Starting a New Conservation Area. Aka, Going Camping.

October 24th, 2013

Tents_CIn seven days I will fly across the Atlantic, over the Sahara, toward Mozambique, and to the Lost Mountain. It has taken three years to get here—i.e. to be about to go there.

Right now I am supposed to tell you I am ready and that I know what I am doing. I’m neither.

Projects that matter take self-trickery to make happen. I never asked myself if it was really possible or a good idea to splice together climbing and science and conservation and Malawi and Mozambique and 14 individuals all trying to achieve a collective goal. I just set about doing it. Now it is happening. Which means now is when the panic of the reality sets in. Put another way, we’ve already climbed the high dive ladder, stood on the edge, and jumped off.  Now—when there is no way to go backwards—is therefore the first time when I am finally allowing myself to look at the giant body of water which I’m heading for at full speed. It’s just the way I like to do it.

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 9.59.44 AMI’ve spent the majority of my life in and out of major expeditions. I was that kid who had her dolls and stuffed animals organized for imaginary camp with peanut rations and toilet paper sleeping bags. It stands to reason that I am now the adult who has the following decisions to make:

  • What percentage of the poisonous snakes which we will be around have fangs that are over ½ an inch long and thus make a case for the thicker high-top leather hiking boots versus low-tops?
  • Will deet from 2004 still work, and work well enough against malaria-carrying mosquitos? Chance it or change it?
  • Will 33 porters be obscene or accurate? And what size T-shirts do these porters wear/should we bring for gifts?
  • Is EtOH alcohol available for our scientists’ specimen vials in Blantyre, Malawi, or should they tuck it in their luggage here in the U.S. and act none the wiser?
  • If the rainy season starts early will it make any difference if I bring one rain jacket or two?

My nine-year-old niece Miranda called me yesterday evening to talk about camping. She was just back from a family trip in Northern Minnesota

“How was it?” I asked her.

“Camping is cool,” she said. I laughed and agreed.

We talked about her favorite part (waterfalls) the scariest thing (the sound the rain made on the tent) and yuckiest thing (sleeping next to her brother). Once we covered the highlights I asked her if she would do it again. “Well, yeah” she said. I think she would have said “Duh, yeah” had her mother not been listening.

“You know, Miranda,” I said, “I sort of camp for a living.”

She giggled. Usually she tells me I am silly for pretty much everything I say. This time she said “You’re lucky, Auntie Majka.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 10.09.38 AMAfter Miranda and I hung up I went upstairs and looked at the pile of climbing gear with pieces for every possible situation known and unknown, stacks of maps and research and logistics papers, rain coats and rain pants, bug nets, gaiters, sat phones, energy bars and more. This is the highest high dive off of which I’ve ever jumped. But at a certain level, it’s also camping—something I have been doing my whole life. And if camping is cool to Miranda, it’s also cool to me. After all, the thing I’m also most worried about is too much rain on the outside of the tent.

By Majka Burhardt, Lost Mountain Project director and Osprey Athlete

#LostMountain begins October 27th; Follow along at thelostmountainfilm.com

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, causes, Conservation, Events, Osprey Athletes, travel , , , , , ,

Remember to Leave No Trace When Backpacking this Season!

June 29th, 2011

It’s summer and if you’re anything like us you’re probably itching to get out on the trail this weekend. With backpacking season in full swing, we thought it would be good to post a little refresher from the Leave No Trace Principles. Because it’s up to us to make sure our wilderness stays wild, healthy and fun!

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
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Learn more about Leave No Trace and the principles here. And remember, if you have an Osprey Pack, these principles are printed right inside your pack!


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causes, Conservation, Osprey Culture , , , ,

Photo Gallery: Painting Patagonia Red With Photos

May 3rd, 2011

Joshua Johnson aka “Joshywashington” traveled through Argentina earlier this year. Joshua is a Seattle-based travel blogger always on the lookout for the next journey. He also heads up MatadorTV. Read more from Joshua on his blog

Photos have a way of bringing you back to a place… to an experience. When looking at my photos from a recent trip to Patagonia, these five bright, red images brought me right back to my journey. To me they tell a compelling story of my two weeks in Patagonia, one of earth’s most desolate, colorful and coveted travel destinations.

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travel , , , , , , ,

Bike Camper

April 13th, 2011

If you missed it, guest blogger Rick Olson gave us a great account of bike camping in Oregon last week over on our regular blog. It’s certainly a great way to explore, but if you’re hesitant on packing your life into your panniers, you could always go for the bike camper option

Ok, just kidding. It’s actually just a sculptural piece, but it made us laugh.

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!

Via: Swiss Miss

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Ditch Your Car , ,

Cycle Wild in Oregon: Better Camping By Bicycle

April 8th, 2011

Clouds on the horizon promise severe precipitation. I can’t imagine anyone will actually want to load up their bike and go camping this weekend, but my girlfriend, Staj, and I decide to go anyway. It’s been five months since we’ve lived on our bicycles, camping every night and thus monotony of sleeping in a comfortable bed protected from the elements has gotten to us.

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Bike, Osprey Adventure Envoys, Osprey Culture , , , ,

New Comers To The Snake River Camp and Outdoor Adventure

October 28th, 2010

Back in August we took my in-laws on a trip to Jackson, Wyoming — an adventure in the Tetons — a place that is near and dear to my heart, but a brand new experience for my in-laws. A great group of people with high spirits, and except for me and my wife, more experience relaxing on a beach then adventuring through the mountains and down rivers. This was definitely not a deterrent to get out and adventure, it was more of a drive to show them what outdoor adventure is all about. They were all strongly determined to have a great experience and explore my obsession for the Tetons.

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Continental Divide Trail Through The Weminuche Wilderness

September 2nd, 2010

I’m one of the newest additions to the Osprey team in Cortez, Colorado, and I absolutely love working here! I just returned from an 8-day backpacking trip, where I hiked 85 miles of the Continental Divide Trail with my friends, Jessie Davis and Melanie Gross.

We hiked from Stony Pass to Wolf Creek Pass through the Weminuche Wilderness. We all grew up in Durango, Colorado, so we found it particularly impressive and interesting to connect several remote, familiar places in a single trip. The views and scenery are stunning, and we had surprisingly fair weather and good timing most days…

Though one afternoon, after 14 miles of hiking, we were caught in a terrifying hail and lightning storm while coming down from a ridge. We had to run downhill and crouch under a beetle-killed tree for about an hour. When the lightning finally subsided, we dashed to pitch our tent in the rain on a sloping hillside. We settled down for the night, filled our cook pot with buggy water, and boiled it to make hot chocolate with dead bugs, all the while being soaking wet and freezing cold – we still enjoyed ourselves.

That afternoon we sarcastically proclaimed, “Backpacking sucks!” and listed all of the reasons that we could think of – laughing the whole time. Of course, backpacking consists of some hard work, which at times can challenge one’s positive attitude, yet the difficulty makes the trip feel that much more rewarding. We kept our cool and had a great, unforgettable trip!


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adventure, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities, Southwest Colorado , , , , , , ,

Leave No Trace

July 21st, 2010

Here at Osprey we spend a lot of time outside, and when we do, we make sure to live by the ethic: Leave No Trace. We’re so committed, we print the Leave No Trace Principles right in our packs…

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causes, Conservation, Osprey Culture , , , , , , ,

Take the Bigfoot Challenge: Leave No Trace

June 9th, 2010

Bigfoot

Does Bigfoot exist? And if he does exist, why do we never see signs of that big, hairy fella in the woods? Well, truth is: he’s a master at the Leave No Trace ethics.

So, when you’re out on the trail this summer, take a tip from Bigfoot…

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