March 11th 2015 - Written by: Kelsy

A Busby Yurt Raising


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.

June 19th 2013 - Written by: Kelsy

Solid Sound Music & Arts Fest Lights Up Western Massachusetts

Music, art, comedy and community are the elements that combine to make Solid Sound, a three-day festival celebrated at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in the small town of North Adams in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. As proud sponsors of the event, we’re excited for this year’s festivities, set to kick off in just a couple of days!

Solid Sound was envisioned by musical geniuses Wilco, though the Fest features many other artists, including those listed in this year’s lineup. Other activities include exhibits at Mass MoCa, an offsite hike led by Patagonia and yours truly on Saturday, a scavenger hunt and bike raffle, art contest, outdoor installations, yoga and more. Check the Activities portion of the Solid Sound website to learn more about some of the other activities you won’t want to miss. For Osprey-specific events, keep reading.

Together with Osprey Athlete Timmy O’Neill (who’ll be at the Osprey booth all weekend signing free posters), we’ll be holding a Primary Expression Art Contest at the Osprey booth on the following days:

  • Friday, June 21st from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 22nd from 3-5 p.m
  • Sunday, June 23, 2 pm – 4 p.m.

The contest will allow participants to choose their form of expression (they’ll choose between drawing, writing or composing) and will have a time limit within which to create their masterpiece. We’ll post images of your painting or prose on Instagram and video on Facebook. Expressions with the most Likes each day will win an Osprey Festival Survival Pack!

Be sure to stop by the Hunter Theatre on Friday at 4:30 p.m. or Sunday at 3 p.m. to watch Osprey Athlete Alison Gannett‘s MoveShake Story, which will cover her personal story as the woman behind three non-profits who also runs a 75-acre farm in Colorado.

Whatever you do, be sure to enjoy as much of Solid Sound’s activities as possible — and to head over to the Osprey booth at any time! Purchase tickets here. We’ll see you there.

May 3rd 2013 - Written by: Kelsy

Celebrating Community and MountainFilm’s 35th Anniversary


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: We first met Allie Bombach when she came to intern with Osprey several years ago and we’ve watched her explode into one hell of a filmmaker. It’s only fitting then that we share Allie’s words on what will be the 35th Anniversary of the incredible Mountainfilm Festival, coming up this Memorial Day Weekend (May 24-27, 2013). Here’s what Allie, rockstar filmmaker of Red Reel and the MoveShake series has to say about her time at MountainFilm past and how it’s inspired her to become who she is today.

I went to my first Mountainfilm in 2009. It was during a time where I was uncertain where to go with filmmaking. I had just sold most of my belongings and I was preparing to set out on the road to film my first documentary – 23 feet. It was at a time where I was overwhelmed and discouraged if I could even make a film. I needed support, a community, and MountainFilm gave me that and so much more.
I hitched a ride from Santa Fe, slept on a friend’s floor in town, and out of sheer luck of being in the right place at the right time I was given a pass by a kind Mountainfilm staff member. I was elated, and I spent the entire festival not missing a beat. I listened and absorbed every moment that I could.
I was so inspired by the films I saw and even more so by the discussions afterwards. Being able to meet the filmmakers that still are my mentors today was a life changing experience. They helped me believe in myself and encouraged me to push forward with filmmaking.
After that festival, I knew exactly where I wanted to be every Memorial Day weekend to come. I made it my goal to one day have a film in the festival. I thought maybe ten years down the line I could be a part of it, I had no idea it would be the next year.
The week I spend in Telluride for Mountainfilm is the wind in my sails for the rest of the year. Living on the road, I am constantly moving and trying to keep connected to a borderless community through the virtual world of social media. But, nothing compares to being face-to-face with the community that inspires me to live this life. The conversations had at Mountainfilm inspire new projects, create wonderful collaborations, and fuel the drive that it takes to make these films a reality. It’s such a gift, one I look forward to every spring and I’m so thankful for it.
Looking back, I think who I am and what I am striving to create would be entirely different if I hadn’t gone to Mountainfilm. That sounds cheesy – but, it’s the truth.
Happy 35th Mountainfilm! Thank you so much for the inspiration and community you bring into my life.

May 25th 2012 - Written by: Kelsy

Friday Round Up: Mountainfilm Festival Kicks Off in Telluride, Colorado

Mountainfilm Festival kicked off last night in Telluride, Colorado. Maybe it’s because of the incredible films, or the inspiring people we meet or the strong community we get wrapped up in every year at Mountainfilm Festival, but from the first moment we set foot in Telluride, we find ourselves buzzing from inspiration and looking forward to sharing our stories.

Whether you’re at Mountainfilm or revving up for a weekend at home with friends, cheers to sharing stories and inspiration today and every day.

Happy Friday!

We see a lot of great photos and videos throughout the week. So, we thought it was high time we started rounding up some of our faves each week and highlighting one on Friday to inspire weekend adventures. We call it the Osprey Round Up.

April 25th 2012 - Written by: Kelsy

Ditch Your Car: Enjoy CicLAvia


A good time-lapse video may be just what you need to get over the mid-week hump. Or maybe it’s the collective 12,000 images of people riding their bikes compressed into just 1 minute and 50 seconds that will get your blood pumping. To us, this video is worth watching for the simple fact that it represents one simple act: people joyously cycling on a warm, beautiful day.

For a little more background on why we see people riding through the seemingly car-less streets of L.A. in this video, here’s the scoop. The above images were taken during a CicLAvia day on April 15th, 2012. CicLAvia is a temporary closure of streets in L.A. to cars, during which pedestrians and cyclists alike can take to the streets of their own accord. Inspired by a weekly street closure event that began in Botoga, Colombia (ciclovía), CicLAvia prides itself on being able to do the following (via the CicLAvia site):

Connecting communities and giving people a break from the stress of car traffic. The health benefits are immense. Ciclovías bring families outside of their homes to enjoy the streets, our largest public space. In Los Angeles we need CicLAvia more than ever. Our streets are congested with traffic, our air is polluted with toxic fumes, our children suffer from obesity and other health conditions caused by the scarcity of public space and safe, healthy transportation options. CicLAvia creates a temporary park for free, simply by removing cars from city streets. It creates a network of connections between our neighborhoods and businesses and parks with corridors filled with fun. We can’t wait to see you at CicLAvia!

What’s more, we hope to see more CicLAvia-like events pop up in more cities across the U.S. The more we encourage communities to leave their cars parked and hop on their bikes, the better.

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!

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


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