Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Danner SoBo Boots Reviewed!

If you are learning about hiking or have been hiking for 20 years, the one constant about this passion of ours is boots. Boots, running shoes, footwear, socks, sock liners, laces, etc. These are the most important things of your journey because these ARE the things that will get you to your journey.

For years I had been hiking in lightweight La Sportiva Thunder Mountain II boots (that's a mouthful) until I hiked them into the ground. Because I am a lazy, lazy man I hiked the last year in my winter boots from Asolo TPS 520s which are tanks and fully broken in but heavy as all get out (technical term) and actually pretty slippery on stream crossings.

I needed to get back into the lightweight realm but as you saw above, I was really lazy. Thankfully Sierra Trading Post and Danner jump started me out of my laziness by sending me a pair of their lightweight SoBo boots through a contest.

SoBo sounds for "South Bound" a way of describing someone's trek on one of the great US trails (Appalachian Trail or the PCT). So far these boots feel up to that challenge.

The break in time, completely negligible. These boots felt smooth the minute I put them on. The tongue is thickly padded which is great for me and didn't cause rubbing at all. They run a bit small so I sized a half size up and that worked out although there was a bit of slamming of the toe on the toe box which I think can easily be solved by lacing them well.

The soles are not Vibram (the gold standard in grip and durability for soles) and seem to be Danner's own sole but they held up surprisingly well. Descending 900 feet in a mile, the grip was there on sandy and rocky soil

I became aware of Danner years ago when they won awards for their Crater Rim boots (boots till this day that I still covet mightily). So far with these SoBo boots, I am a fan of the Danner product and will be counting my pennies for the Crater Rims. Until them, I am lightweight hiking with the best of em!

Check out the SoBo here at STP! http://www.sierratradingpost.com/s~danner-sobo/?perPage=96

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hiking to the Tree

The tree above has loomed large in my life over the last few years. It was the ninth hike that I took here in SoCal of so many years ago to Cahuenga Peak and I didn't event know HOW to pronounce Cahuenga, such a newbie I was.  It is also a tree that you can see from most freeways as you go around LA, look up and there it is on the solitary West shoulder of the ridge that leads to the Hollywood Sign.

Life has been getting in the way of me getting outdoors but with the schedule clear and the temps low for SoCal, I had no excuses other than my own apathy to get back on the trail.

Of course, looking at the vertical climb awaiting me to Cahuenga Peak, part of me wanted to turn back to the couch. Its 900+ feet over about a mile and half and while not terrible, it certainly is for someone like me whose hiking muscles have atrophied into a slightly thicker consistency than pudding.

On I trundled though gentle reader taking many a rest break on the rough and tumble trail.

Seriously though, I don't remember the trail being so worn down and steep from the last time I hiked this puppy. I think this is partly due to how popular the trail has become. I certainly saw a lot of hikers and dogs on the trail which can contribute to a trail's erosion.

As you hike higher up the trail, the beauty of LA surrounds you. The infamous Hollywoodland Dam:

LA in all of its smoggy goodness.

and the rest of the mountains that surround this town (its not just beaches and swimming pools), this hike gets you above it all in a hurry.

As the weather turns cooler, I am going to be turning up the heat on hitting the trails. I have a trip to Hawaii coming up that will great in checking out some trails on the other-other coast. I hiked almost 52 weeks during one year and was completely burned out. I haven't hiked in 2 months and felt lazy. I thinking about landing somewhere in the middle and cutting some dust!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

EWH Reviews- Revant Lenses

I have had my pair of Oakley sunglasses for awhile and have always dug them and have used them on my outdoor adventures. As much as I love the standard lenses that come with the shades, I have always wanted to try out new and different lenses for different situations. Or, as my grandpappy used to say, different strokes-lenses for different folks-frames.

Revant is a company that makes replacement lenses for Oakleys and other brands and I wanted to try out a pair and they were nice enough to send me their HC3 lenses. These lenses are designed to provide optimal polarization and clarity, all good things for people getting out and about in Southern California!

The HC3 is the premium lens Revant offers and after I spent 20 minutes searching through YouTube videos about how to replace my lenses, I finally mashed the lenses into their frame and gave them a whirl.

The best part? Revant makes these lenses for substantially cheaper than the replacement lenses you can buy from Oakley. So how did they do?

I took them out to my recent hike in Baldwin Hills and they performed great!

(look at that reflection!)

The optics were clear and there were no fogging issues (always a concern with hiking and sunglasses). The lenses were so sharp that you can take really cool pics with them!

(that is the sun in the clouds BTW)

Color me super impressed with these lenses! The fact that you can get lenses superior from the "off the shelf" offerings and at a better price, I think you should definitely check them out. I can't wait to see their other offerings!

If you want more info, check out the lenses here: http://www.revantoptics.com/elite-hc3

The Oakley shades were provided by Revant for review purposes. I get no benefit whether you buy Oakley products or shop at Revant, its life, make your own decisions. I try to review things as honestly as possible but it is the internet, take everything with a grain of salt, thanks.
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