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Life in the Round: Building a Yurt in Montana

December 1st, 2014

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. Follow their adventures at Two Sticks and A Board and to learn more about Sean’s work educating kids about diabetes and winter sports, visit the Riding On Insulin website.

We had never built anything, let alone a home. But today, I’m proud to say that my husband and I live in an off-the-grid yurt, that we built with our bare hands.

The first part of our story begins in 2012. Sean and I had just begun our journey as Greasecar owners with our 1977 Dodge Travel Queen motorhome that we purchased from our co-owners, Russ and Brittany. We’d gotten a taste of living simply on our drive to Alaska and back (Read more of that here). Not only did we utilize a waste product (waste veggie oil) for our motorhome’s fuel and a natural product (Goal Zero solar power) for our electricity, but we learned a lot about using less. Living in small places, making do with what you have, and using the earth in ways it was intended to be used. (Editor’s Note: I wouldn’t recommend driving to Alaska with 4 people and a dog to figure these things out.)

The second phase of our yurt journey was a trip to Central Asia in December of that year. We visited a small, mountainous country called Kyrgyzstan near the birthplace of yurts (Mongolia) where being a yurt-craftsman is a highly respected, lucrative trade. Families depend on the sale of these structures to support themselves. A yurt — simply defined — is a round structure traditionally used by nomadic tribes in Central Asia. ShelterDesigns.net defines it a bit further: “A yurt consists of a round wall and a roof system that is free standing using a tension ring at the wall and a compression ring where the roof rafters tie together.” Some would call it a glorified tent:

While in Kyrgyzstan, Sean and I fell in love with the symmetry and balance we found in traditional yurts. As opposed to the jagged, 90-degree angles of a traditional house, we felt more at ease in these structures where energy can travel with easy throughout the space. Keep in mind, these photos are of very traditional yurts — not quite the same structure we’re putting on our land (we’ll get to that in a minute). For now, I love this photo of Sean — it captures true happiness:

If this family could sell three yurts a year (which they do — sometimes more), they will have enough income to not only survive, but fare extremely well in comparison to families of other trades in the village.

 

Flash forward to Whitefish, spring 2014: Sean had gone back and forth to determine what sort of “tiny structure” we were going to build on our land — tiny house, yurts, fire towers, tee-pees, etc. After months of research, he landed back on a yurt, officially. As if the universe had been waiting for us to decide, Sean came across a pre-assembled yurt for sale on YurtForum.com 20 minutes from our home manufactured by Montana’s Shelter Designs. A Montana-made yurt available LOCALLY… and technically, we would be buying second-hand. It was perfect.

Here is the yurt before we disassembled it in Kalispell, Montana:

Here is a photo of the yurt, reassembled on our property in Whitefish, Montana:

Some hard facts: Our yurt is roughly 700 square feet of living space, plus a loft (300 additional square feet). It’s 1 bedroom (plus sleeping space in the loft) and 1 bathroom, fully wired and plumbed, although we opt for solar power, a composting toilet, and rainwater collection. We have come so far, and yet have so far to go! Stay tuned for more posts from yurt life!

To see photo and read stories of the whole process, from disassembly to building a deck to building the yurt itself and more, click here. You can also follow our travels on Instagram: Mollie @TwoSticksAndABoard and Sean @SeanBusby

adventure, Osprey Adventure Envoys, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mountainfilm in Telluride: #mfilm14 Primer

May 23rd, 2014

Mountainfilm in Telluride | Mountainfilm Logo | mfilm14 | Osprey Packs

photo: Gus Gusciora

photo: Gus Gusciora

 

Osprey Packs is a proud sponsor of Mountainfilm in Telluride — we’re honored to have supported this incredible event for 10 years!

Started in 1979, Mountainfilm in Telluride is one of America’s longest-running film festivals. Through the years, in and out of trends and fads, the Mountainfilm in Telluride Festival has always been best described by one unchanging word: inspiring. Far more than any other adjective, that’s how festival audiences describe their experience.

Mountainfilm is dedicated to educating, inspiring and motivating audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving, adventures worth pursuing and conversations worth sustaining.

Festival Schedule 2014

Osprey Happenings at Mountainfilm

  • This year at Mountainfilm you can purchase a Mountainfilm/Osprey Pack on sale at the Mountainfilm store, proceeds benefit Mountainfilm.
  • Enter to an Osprey Packs Beta Port and a pair of ZEAL Optics glasses from Telluride Ski Resort, one of is the most beautiful resorts in the world, offering spectacular skiing & snowboarding, golf, lodging & year-round vacation packages. Simply tag your favorite Instagram photos from Mountainfilm with #mfilm14 and @tellurideski to enter!
The Official Festival Primer from Mountainfilm

Whether you’re new to Mountainfilm in Telluride this year or a veteran with decades of festival stories, listen up. The following tips and new additions might just make the difference between a good weekend and the best weekend…ever.

Read more…

Advocacy, contest, Events, film festivals, Non-profits, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lost in Peru

May 30th, 2013

Many of us spend most of our days cooped up in a building, attending to our duties and responsibilities as working adults. So it’s important — if not imperative — to get away, whether in true physical form or from time to time, by way of a great video that shows off someone else’s adventure (and inspires our own).

Today, take a trip to Peru and let yourself get lost.

Thanks to Join Ali Goulet, Chris Van Dine and Aaron Chase for making this film!

Active Lifestyle, adventure, Bikes Around the World, International, Osprey Life, Travel, video , , , , ,

Celebrating Community and MountainFilm’s 35th Anniversary

May 3rd, 2013

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.

adventure, Events, film festivals, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities, travel, video , , , , , , ,

Banana-Seat Inspired Bicycle Memories and Nostalgia

October 5th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, we posted a link to Schwinn’s remake of their classic Sting Ray banana seat bicycle. So many people commented on Facebook with memories of their first banana seat, that it got us thinking about all of our favorite memories on a bike… our first adrenaline rush after the training wheels came off, our first single track and the first time we made the decision to ditch our car and strike out on two wheels. It’s still those memories that bubble up while we’re riding to work or cruising down some trail — breathing the cold, crisp fall air and getting our feet and hearts pumping.

Read more…

Ditch Your Car, Osprey Life , ,

Friday Round-Up: 5 Point Film Festival Kicks Off + Fruita Fat Tire Festival

April 29th, 2011

© The Joy Trip Project

5 Point Film Festival kicked off last night here in Carbondale and it’s hard not to feel the buzz of inspiration, adventure and pure life. Maybe it’s because our own Timmy O’Neill led us in a chant of healing for our friend Bean Bowers who is battling cancer right now, a yell of love for a recovering Renan Ozturk or maybe it was the moment of joyous shouting to celebrate those we have lost and we, who are LIVING, but we’re more excited and honored than ever to be in such a powerful and inspiring community.

Read more…

Events, Friday Round-up, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture , , , , , ,

The Love Letter: An Interview With Becca Cahall

April 27th, 2011

For 10 years, a dream lingered, but the clutter of modern living pressed it into submission. Still clinging to the pull of wild places and adventure, Fitz and Becca Cahall revived their youthful vision of summits and faint trails by abandoning work and the city for the wilderness. The Love Letter follows a pair of climbers in search of new and classic routes along the difficult to reach stretches of the Sierra spine, focusing not just on the summits themselves, but the process of attaining them. In the clutter of the modern world, can wilderness still restore the human spirit? We would like to think so.

We caught up with Becca Cahall, of The Love Letter, and asked her some questions…

It sounds like The Love Letter was a dream in the making for a long time. What first sparked your inspiration for this project?

The inspiration for the trip and the movie came from Fitz. I loved the Sierra and wanted to see it in a different way, so I was along for the ride. Yet when we talked about doing it over the last few years, it always seemed so far away… a goal that wasn’t getting any closer. When we started talking about it early last year, it started to consume our thoughts — a culmination of longing and inspiration.

Read more…

Osprey Culture , , , ,

The Love Letter: An Interview With Fitz Cahall

April 21st, 2011
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For 10 years, a dream lingered, but the clutter of modern living pressed it into submission. Still clinging to the pull of wild places and adventure, Fitz and Becca Cahall revived their youthful vision of summits and faint trails by abandoning work and the city for the wilderness. The Love Letter follows a pair of climbers in search of new and classic routes along the difficult to reach stretches of the Sierra spine, focusing not just on the summits themselves, but the process of attaining them. In the clutter of the modern world, can wilderness still restore the human spirit? We would like to think so.

We caught up with Fitz Cahall, one of the masterminds behind The Love Letter, and asked him some questions…

It sounds like The Love Letter was a dream in the making for a long time. What first sparked your inspiration for this project?

I was 22 living in a van that I didn’t own in Yosemite. We were scrambling to find a camp spot and this woman came up and said she had room in her campsite for another car. She was a scientist doing a project in the national parks. She was pretty old — 32. So ancient, I know. Oddly during that time, I’d keep running into her in the Sierra at various parks and campgrounds. She told me about this three week climbing trip she and her husband had done in Sierra and I thought that’s pretty cool. I thought about that trip a bunch then, but I never had the focus required to do a trip like that. I told Becca about it a while back and it was just always something that stayed in the front of my thoughts.

Later I found that Muir had done a similar trip. David Brower, the father of modern conservation, did an 8-week continuous climbing trip in 1934 and followed a similar course. He ticked off 54 peaks in that time. These men began their careers as climbers and writers and evolved into powerful voices. It’s not to say that I think I’m John Muir or David Brower, but they are certainly heroes of mine, and if I can some do a fraction of what they did for the American West, I will be content.

Read more…

Osprey Culture , , , , , , , ,

Friday Round-Up: Love For The Wilderness + Inspiration in Images at 5Point + Mountainfilm

April 15th, 2011

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. This month we’re devoting it to all things spring: celebrating sunshine, getting out on late afternoon trail runs and reminding ourselves that summer is just around the corner. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!

In the clutter of the modern world, can wilderness still restore the human spirit? Our good friend Fitz Cahall sure thinks so. He and his wife, Becca, left behind their city life in Seattle for the wilderness… Weeks in the Sierras backpacking and climbing away the stresses and constant chatter of their daily grind. This film is less about the adventure and more about the path to finding that adventure and how that quenches the raw human need for wildness and wilderness. Watch and be inspired to get outside…

Read more…

adventure, Events, Osprey Culture, Southwest Colorado , , , , , ,

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