Osprey brand team
For the past two years my wife and I have called Iowa City, Iowa our temporary home. We moved here for my wife to pursue
a pediatric residency. A priceless decision for a major career accomplishment. This two year commitment brought us to a place that I would have never imagined I would live. For a boy that grew up around rivers full of rapids and trout, mountains with ample single-track and long winter runs; Iowa was really the last place I would have visualized myself calling home. My knowledge of Iowa was little more than a bit of knowledge about that big cross state bike ride, RAGBRAI.
However, being in Iowa I have been pleasantly surprised to find one of the best technical single-track trail systems where no one would expect a strong mountain biking community. Iowa City is home to one of the better single-track systems in the midwest, the Sugar Bottom Trails. The two years spent here have treated me well with ample opportunities for some great single-track and providing a new drive in my MTB passion. Matter a fact Iowa City was ranked as one of the best towns in 2007 by Outdoor Magazine. Sugar Bottom Trails were a major contributor to that ranking.
Hey readers, here’s another reminder that our brand team is evolving and we need YOU in 2010! Head over to Backpacker.com and give us your story…you even have a chance to win an Osprey Exos 46 pack just for “playing.”
So what is the Osprey brand team…
If you’re one of our blog’s regular readers you’re probably familiar with our brand team project. Basically, it works like this: back in early February we recruited a group of athletes and adventurers to write about their experiences using Osprey packs. The contract is simple — be trustworthy, love our product, provide us with a consistent stream of new content documenting your journeys (with photos and videos wherever possible), and attend an outdoor event in your region as an “on-the-ground” rep for a day. It’s that easy. Our 2009 team has done a fantastic job so far and we would love to hear why you would make a great addition for 2010. So. Go. Now. Backpacker! We’ll be in touch soon!
I am laying here in a subzero cocoon deep in the Kootenay mountains, thinking and watching the snowflakes pile up outside. Along with a few other Nelson Search and Rescue members we embarked on a ski and survival weekend. Although we did not cover as much ground as we would have liked as a result of the heavy snow and lack of visibility, we managed to get some good turns in.
My Kode 38 stood by me strong and comfortable and allowed me thread the needle through some tight treed lines. People who recognize a well-designed pack ask me all the time about it and I always manage to show them some of the great fit and function features of the pack. The slender back panel sits close and comfortable allowing me a full range of motion in the arms for the more technical lines. Furthermore the closed cell foam material ensures that my back stays dry and snow free all day. Laying in a snow trench alone is a soul packed experience and allows one to really reflect on not only the days past events but larger puzzles of life. A strange dichotomy is taking place, on one hand I am in complete solitude and remoteness, on the contrary I have my i-pod touch with me that allows me not only to listen to some good tunes but also sit here and draft up a post from a less than traditional office!
This trip we walked a good distance into a river drainage and made a basecamp. From here we skied laps through the trees all afternoon. Happily I was able to strap my touring pack the Kode 38 onto my Argon 70 with the one of a kind compression system for the walk in. Both of the packs carry so well, that even though I was breaking trail through thigh deep snow they moved with my body and didn’t hinder my travel at all. Some of the other S&R team members had large amounts of snow build up on their packs as the fabric sucked it up like a sponge. The high tenacity nylon shed snow and kept my load light and gear dry all weekend long. With the light fading and snow coming down at more than 5cm. per hour we decided it was time to call it a day.
After a wonderful re-hydrated beef stroganoff dinner we enjoyed a bonfire and wound down our day with a few sips of heart warming single malt. As the coals faded and the fire dished deeper and deeper into the snowpack we called it a night! It is always a weird feeling climbing into a snow shelter at night, luckily inside my pack I had a sleep system fit for a king and managed to log 10.5 uninterrupted hours of great sleep. My snow trench kept me warm and luckily my arsenal of packs allowed me to seal myself in and doubled as a set of French doors. I was surprised to see myself snowed in as I awoke and learned one key lesson about snow shelters…DO NOT leave your boots outside the entrance!