Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Long Treks on Skate Decks Episode 11: Adult Decision

Welcome to Episode 11 of the Peru y Boliva long distance longboarding trip. Almost being seen by airport security, Adam, Paul, and Aaron decide to make the adult decision and not run across the Cusco International Airport. Getting out of Cusco proves to be hard and muddy but it is done and conquered. The crew pushes through strong headwinds and summits one of their highest passes of the trip 14,222 ft to be greeted by a alpaca convention at the top. The next day the team reaches the Alto Plano and is surrounded by beautiful rainstorms and rainbows.

(If you're looking for a cliffnotes version of the video, see below)
2:42 - road ends
3:00 - road ends, again
5:41 - gratuitous tent shot
7:42 - most amazing hat in the world?
10:57 - double rainbow


Thursday, December 23, 2010

From World Champion Freeskier to Farmer

NEMO ambassador Alison Gannett never stops. Whether she's rippin' it up on the slopes and teaching other women how to do the same or teaching members of Congress how to save money and energy while reducing the Nation's carbon footprint, Alison is always moving and learning. Recently, she left her home in Crested Butte to try her hand at farming in Paonia, CO. The Denver Post covered the story here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

2011 Sneak Peek: Isopod 300

We looked up the word behemoth and found a picture of Isopod 300 under the definition.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Working Hard

All business, right before NEMO's holiday party.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Inside Footage from KGB

The boys over at KGB continue to put out some quality footage from their upcoming movie, Wyoming Triumph, slated to be released Fall 2011. This segment is from the Big Horn Mountains that stretch from northern WY to southern MT. While not your typical ski destination, the Big Horns offer beautiful rock formations, deep canyons, wild horses, and yes, big horn sheep.

If you've ever wondered what goes in to shooting a ski flick, check out KGB's Sandbagged series on ESPN. It's a behind the scenes series showing the trials and tribulations of filming in the backcountry.

Santa delivered my Marker Baron's a little early, should be on the new set up by Christmas!


Monday, December 13, 2010

NEMO Makes its TV Debut

In another random twist of fate, NEMO will have a cameo appearance in the CBS drama NCIS tomorrow night. Titled 'False Witness', The NCIS team investigates the disappearance of a Navy petty officer who is the sole witness in an upcoming murder trial. Apparently, he's out doing a little camping and hunting.

You just never know where you're going to find a NEMO tent.


Friday, December 10, 2010

DIY Timelapse

NEMO ambassador Adam C. has put together an awesome little primer for folks that want to get into timelapse photography. Here's the cliffnotes version (full version here):

STEP 1: Buy an intervalometer off Amazon.com.
STEP 2: Take your intervalometer and have at it.
STEP 3: Find what you want to timelapse and have fun.
STEP 4: Math.
STEP 5: Create the Timelapse (this part is super easy).

As a sampler, he put together this video to give some ideas and show some of the cool things that you can shoot. My favorite parts are the airport night scenes around 1:30.


Moki, Coming to a Video Game Near You

It's funny sometimes, the random places you find a NEMO tent....

A friend found this while buying a Christmas gift for his nephew. I tried my hand at the game, but that darn dino is speedy.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Get Your Reality On

If you don't already have plans for April 2011, you might want to consider entering a team of 3 for the reality show Expedition Impossible.
In Expedition Impossible, teams of three will solve problems while racing across deserts, over mountains and through rivers. Each week a new stage of the expedition will be revealed. After ten stunning legs of competition, one team will cross the finish line first to claim victory.

Executive Producer Mark Burnett is the man behind Survivor, The Apprentice, and Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, if that is any indication of the quality of programming that is to come. Maybe we can expect to build a canoe out of PVC pipes, rubber bands, and toothpaste, take the said watercraft down class 5 glacier melt rapids, retrieve a cryptogram puzzle by diving underneath the water surface, anagram the solution which will lead the team to another location... sounds like just the event to enter a NEMO team.

To apply, email David Polanzak at dpo.casting(at)gmail.com. Your email must include the following:
• Name, age, location and contact info for all three (3) team members
• Recent photo of all 3 team members
• Level of individual and team's experience with competitions/races, etc.
• Brief description of why your team is great for this competition and why you will win
• Anything else that makes your team memorable and unique


Monday, December 6, 2010

Carter Route, Hallett Peak, Rocky Mountain NP, CO....At Least What's Left of It!

Mark & Janelle Smiley report on their latest adventure:

Adventure Climbing up Hallett Peak from Mark Smiley on Vimeo.

We had been climbing for five months straight. After reading countless route descriptions and trip reports for all these climbs we were kinda over it. People spraying about how scary the crux was, or how run-out the 5.7 section is, or the most popular one; how the guidebook was so wrong that the author must be an idiot or something!

On routes that intimidate me I do my homework by making laminated printouts of the description, taking more gear then they call for, and making sure it’s all ready to go the night before the climb. After climbing in Alaska and Canada, Hallett Peak is not intimidating. I don’t write this out of arrogance, but rather to justify our procrastination. The morning of the climb, while driving to Rocky Mountain NP from a friend's house in Ft Collins, I surfed through summitpost.com and mountainproject.com on my Smartphone, hastily looking for last minute route info. That is, until the nauseous feeling took over from looking at that stupid little screen while on a curvy road.

Arriving at the trailhead parking lot, we went to work. After doing this numerous times we had the dance down pat. Janelle preps food in the front of the van while I prep gear in the back. Then I take the mostly full packs to Janelle who then tops them off with the food and water. We button up the van, and are off.

I figured we would just take a standard adventure climbing* rack:

-BD cams

-#00-#3, double of #.4-#3

-light set of nuts (approx. 8)

-6 quickdraws

-7 runners w/a biner each

-3 lockers each

-ATC guide each

-one double length sling each

-one shared “cordellete”

-rescue gear (one prussik, one tibloc, small knife, bail biner)

-shoes, harness, helmet, chalk-bag

-5 pound SLR camera, extra card, charged battery

-Sterling 9.2 rope

-3 liters of water total

*adventure climbing: not knowing what you are getting yourself into due to poor preparation and planning. Hoping that you will have the minerals to pull it off.

We chatted with the rangers, glanced at the map at the trailhead (rounding out our route planning), and headed up the trail towards Bear Lake. The miles passed quickly with light packs and a relatively flat trail. Getting up to the base of the route, it was evident where the rock fall happened a few years ago. It wiped out the bottom two pitches of the climb, which severely downgrades the route's appeal. We roped up to the right (uphill) of the rock fall area. Looking up, there wasn’t a clear line or any visible initiators of previous climbers, at least not visible from the ground. To make matters worse, the clouds to the west were getting darker. Do we stay or do we go? “We have come this far, why not just finish it,” was my thought. Janelle was hesitant, but put me on belay anyway.

I tied in and “adventure climbed” (see above) up the first pitch. One hundred feet off the ground we felt the first drops of rain. Janelle wasn’t into it. Not wanting to be on an unestablished route (in the rain, on the cold shady side of a rock face) she suggested we come back another day.I yelled down, "maybe it'll just blow over." I hate bailing. I hate it more than being wet and cold. But reluctantly, grumpily, I made a quick anchor and rappelled to the ground.

Current Situational Equation: Janelle hates to epic + Mark hates bailing = Mark turns into a spoiled 2nd grader and puts on his grumpy pants and makes Janelle feel like a failure. I really wanted to get the route done that day. “Summit or plummet baby!”

Bailing turned out to be a good call because only an hour after we bailed the thunderstorm unleashed a cold blowing rain. It would have really sucked to be on the face at that time. My brother was getting married in Indiana and our flight left Denver the next day, so this climb would have to wait. "But what if even more of the route crumbles while we are gone?" I half-jokingly kidded Janelle. The wedding was a great rest from the mountains. Hanging out with friends and family and answering the much-asked question, “Why do you climb mountains anyway?” and “Your videos scare me, you be careful up there!”

One week later, with my brother on his honeymoon and a lot of concerned relatives telling me that we are in their prayers (for which we are thankful), we flew back to Colorado.

Things were going better during round two. We picked up where we left off. After traversing quite a bit to get back on the original route, it was smooth sailing from there. Aside from the fact that Janelle had picked up a yuk-bug in the Hoosier land making her nose a non-stop leaky faucet, and taking her normally superhuman strength down to a mere mortal level. So I was the “rope-gun” for the route (I led every pitch), which was fine as I truly enjoy guiding people up climbs.

Reaching the top of the route allowed us to get the full view of the pervasive forest fire smoke we had been smelling, and even tasting, since returning to Colorado. It was eerie knowing that through all the smoke people were losing everything they own to the wild fires. “70 homes burnt!” the headlines read. Although I was thrilled to have another route under our belt, it was sobering to think about the people that had lost all their material possessions. It made me think about just how insignificant climbing really is….

…but it is still so freakin’ fun, I can’t wait to get my hands on rock again!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

For Your Eyes Only

We have loyal readers and fans (yes, you know who you are), and don't get enough chances to thank them for their support. As a small token of our appreciation, use NWH_10 as a 40% off code at checkout for Espri, Losi, and Losi Storm series tents and accessories until December 24th. This isn't posted anywhere on our website, so keep it on the downlow lest all the stock runs out.

P.S. Also, our annual Garage Sale starts tomorrow morning (go to the website homepage tomorrow). First come, first served.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Long Treks on Skate Decks Episode 10: Abancay to Cusco

Welcome to Episode 10 of the Peru y Boliva long distance longboarding trip. After a night-long torrential downpour our fair friends wake up to a 15km ascent into Abancay. 3 mountain passes are conquered before Cuzco and some terribly dangerous downhills. Cuzco is a major landmark city in the journey, and in triumph they throw water balloons at anything that moves. Enjoy!

After our big climb the downhill part was awesome but pavement soon turned bad. It was pitch black we needed to set up camp so we talked to some farmers and they put us right in the mud. This is the morning of us packing up.

Still Climbing, 4th pass 13,120 ft. Now that is a pretty hairpin turn and guess what, we are not skating down it but up it.

I really like this picture. The emotion on Pauls face is of determination and exhaustion. Skating until dark, we made it to the top and did a gnarly downhill run in low light conditions.

Our 5th climb 12,105 ft. As you can see the climbs are not straight up the mountains--very windy and unpredictable you never know what is around the bend.


Monday, November 29, 2010

New Englanders - TGR's Deeper at Boston Aquarium Tuesday

Tomorrow night, the NEMO crew is heading down to Boston for the early showing of TGR's Deeper. As you may have gathered from past posts here, we supported the second year of Jeremy Jones' project with some of our mountaineering tents. We're psyched to see one of our snowboarding heroes on and off screen - it's rumored that Jones will be at the show. And, of course, we're hoping that the NEMO tents make the cut.

Here's some footage that didn't make it into the film, but some worthy Utah backcountry terrain all the same.

Hope to see you at the show.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Interview With The Dusty Camel

NEMO friend Ian from The Dusty Camel was recently interviewed on CampingGearTV. While we love their choice for interview location (they're sitting inside a Moki), the segment offers a glimpse into their first long distance hike, the AT, what it was like being new to the trail and lessons learned.

Ian first introduced himself to us while preparing for that journey. He kept in touch throughout his time on the trail and his final summit photo from Mount Katahdin is actually included in the Photo Gallery of our 2010 Catalog. After completing the AT, naturally, he set his sights on another long-distance classic - the Pacific Crest Trail. Along with friend and partner Andy, the two created The Dusty Camel to mesh their love of the outdoors with their passion for protecting our environment. Partnering with Freedom to Roam, along with support from some of their favorite outdoor companies, they will be attacking the PCT next year in hopes of raising money and awareness for land conservation.


Jpeg Goes to NEMO

We have a visitor in the office today. Meet Jpeg.

No there is not a missing image in the previous sentence, her name is actually Jpeg which seems extremely appropriate when you realize both of her (human) parents are professional photographers.

We'll give her the abbreviated profile since she's only here for the day:

Favorite Snack: Marrow stuffed bones
Pet Peeves: Balls getting stuck under couches
Favorite part of being at NEMO: The mountain bike trails right outside
First thing people notice: She is a licker
Wishes NEMO would make: Doggy doors in their tents
Aspirations: To catch a Frisbee in mid-air like Charlotte


Friday, November 19, 2010

Death Race Redux

We first profiled the Death Race back in February, but this month's issue of Outside Magazine does a much better job describing the hellish tasks imposed on the folks who entered the race.

The next task is to run—with textbook, posthole digger, onions, knife, remaining pennies, and six heavy chunks of firewood—up and over another mountain to someplace called the Onion House. By this point it's almost 4 P.M. on Saturday, and the few of us still going have been at it for 19 hours.

I can no longer run. No act of willpower could put the pain in my knees out of my mind. I hike as fast as I can, following fluttering bits of pink survey tape straight up a trailless mountain thick with poison ivy.

At the top of the 1,000-foot climb, there's no Onion House. Instead, the survey tape turns and drops straight back down. Going up was manageable for my knees, but going down is excruciating. I should've paced myself, recognizing that, since this is a long race, an extra half-hour walking the downhills wouldn't have made much difference... When I finally reach the Onion House, the assigned task is to wheelbarrow firewood back and forth for ten laps, then chop up nine pounds of onions and eat a pound. If you still have enough money, you can buy yourself out of this torture, but then you might not have enough to avoid whatever comes next.

And that's just half a page of a 7 page article. If you're thinking about skipping your workout today, there's no quicker way to feel like a wimp than reading this.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sneak Peek 2011: Obi Elite 1P

Attention people who are tired of carrying lots a weight up a mountain!

Spring 2011 brings the NEMO Obi Elite 1P and a lighter load. We designed every feature of this little one person tent with weight savings on the mind. With a lot of hard work, this tent is nearly the lightest on the market, but still packed full of features and comfort. It was our goal to create something light enough that you wouldn't think twice about bringing as an emergency shelter on day hikes, and still maintain the comfort to call it home on a 2,200 mile trekking journey.

I think highlights include the large side vestibule (far bigger than others in its class), Jake's Feet hardware, and volumizing vents that not only let the air flow through but pull out the sides of your tent drastically increasing your living room.

Cons and I took the 2 person version of this tent (yes, for those of you who aren't into solo hiking there will be a double wide version with two vestibules) on our recent trip around Mt. Rainier on the Wonderland Trail for some late season testing. We ended up carrying about twice as much food as we needed because the guilt of how light our packs felt.

Start thinking about all the extra snickers bars you can bring next spring...


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November Beach Cleanup / Logging Waves

We were all happy to see that this November's beach cleanup only yielded 3 bags of trash (60 pounds total) for our adopted section of Jenness Beach, down from the 150 pound pickups of earlier in the summer. Whether this means that there's less littering or more people are out picking up--either way, it's good news.

Nate and I got lucky in our post-beach cleanup session. We were two of 4 people in the water who got to indulge in some beautiful waist high logging waves. We were pysched to meet Johna K., who caught this pic of me on a little left that seemed to never end.

If any folks want to join us on our next cleanup in December, please give a holler. We are hoping to get our friends at Grain Surfboards out with us with their demo van...


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You're Going to See This All Over the Place

Edinburgh native Danny MacAskill , aka Danny MegaSkill, hooked up big with Red Bull for his reprise to last year's YouTube ubersensation April 2009.

Though last year's video can be referenced in ways like "The One That Used The Band of Horses Song" or "The Guy That Does the Backflip Off the Tree", this year's video is just as impressive -- not just for the sick moves, but the location, soundtrack, and film style.

(via Wend )

There's a whole bunch of accompanying videos to the main one on the Redbull site, so you can immerse yourself in trials riding fever.


First Ascents in the Miyar Nala

Long time NEMO ambassadors, Camilo Lopez and Anna Pfaff, have just returned from another successful trip to the Himalayas. Below is a brief trip report and video from their journey - what an amazing area!

"We just got back from our adventure in the Miyar Nala, Indian Himalaya and we couldn't wait to send out the news of our climbing. On the second of September we completed the First Ascent on the North Face direct of Dome Peak, 5700m on a very steep and technical face after a 19 hour round-trip push. Route: Lopez-Pfaff North Face Direct IV 5.9, 800m.

After enduring nine days of wind, rain and show, we finally got a break and climbed the First Ascent of the North Ridge of James Point, a 5200m rock pyramid. Route: Lopez-Pfaff North Ridge, IV, 5,10+, 600m."

Camilo & Anna

Monday, November 15, 2010

Doggie DNA

We're big dog fans here at the NEMO office -- that's no surprise. Check out this interesting segment Dogs Decoded that recently aired on PBS.

You'll have to battle through some of the leaps of logic that the show makes (can dogs really be the only animal to understand pointing, or have we just not done the research on cats, dolphins, octopi, horses?). But it is worth the 30 minutes or so to get to the second half of the show where they describe results of an ongoing 50+ year research experiment on fox domestication in Russia.

The total segment is about an hour long, so bookmark this for a time when you can sit down and digest it all.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Calendar Time - Come and Get it!

NEMO's graphic designer, Bill K, moonlights as an artist, photographer, and all around amazing person. He's not one to toot his own horn, but every year he puts out an amazing wildlife calendar which showcases the fruits of his labor of love. Each one of the photographs he's picked for the 2011 calendar has an amazing story behind how he got the shot.

One of my personal favorites is the cover photo of the fox. One Monday morning in late May of this year, Bill told me he got the shot.

My coworker John told me about a fox den behind his wife's office in York, ME. I had already planned to be in that area for the weekend so I asked John to draw me a rough map of where the den was located behind the building. So on Sunday when I was headed back from the shore I swung by to check it out. It was a hot day so I took refuge under the shade of an apple tree, set up my long lens and waited. I knew the kits had to be around, so stayed there for 2 hours trying not to move despite ants crawling all over me. After several attempts at making mouse squeaks with my lips I saw a flash of orange. Finally! The first kit popped out and played in the tall grass for about 20 minutes allowing me to capture several shots before diving back into the safety of the den.

Pick up your calendar here!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Skiing Everest - In Theaters Now

NEMO friends Mike and Steve Marolt have completed their latest movie, Skiing Everest, and are currently showing it in select cities around the US. Filmed over 10 years by the twins, Skiing Everest follows a group of close friends who grew up in Aspen skiing some of the surrounding 14,000-ft. peaks with their father, 1960 Olympic skier Max Marolt. They would go on to ski slopes in Alaska and the world’s highest volcanoes in South America before becoming the first Americans to ski above 8,000 meters (26,247 ft.), tackling the summit of Shishapangma in Tibet in 2000. This led them to Mt. Everest, skiing without supplemental oxygen, without employing Sherpas to carry their gear or hiring guides to help them up the peaks.

Skiing Everest follows the Marolts and their childhood friends, Jim Gile and Olympic cross-country skier John Calhoun as they climb and ski Everest under horrible weather conditions and thin air, dodging hidden crevasses and 10,000-ft. sheer faces that drop into Nepal and Tibet far below. And after all this, the snow doesn’t look any good.

“It is hard to do anything at such altitudes, where death lurks at every turn, let alone ski and survive to tell the tale,” wrote Forbes adventure columnist Jim Clash.

The film also touches on the history of high-altitude skiing, dating back to the 1930s, with interviews of Hans Kammerlander, the first to ski from the summit of Everest; Laura Bakos, the first woman to ski from the summit of an 8,000-meter peak, and Chris Davenport, the two-time world extreme skiing champion and avid ski mountaineer.

Check it out in a theater near you.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Utah Mountain Biking

I recently returned from a work/play trip in Utah. Besides enjoying the beauty of the West, the main goal of this trip was to test out and photograph a few 2011 NEMO tents in the Wasatch mountains located near Midway, Utah for use in catalogs. The two tents featured in this set of photos is the new Alti Storm and the single pole Pentalite. The weather changed from calm and warm to very windy and bitter cold during the shoot.

While out shooting I met up with a dear friend and world famous mountain bike guru Doug Dalton. We we able to enjoy some of the best mountain bike riding in my life on the Wasatch Crest Trail which runs along the ridge between Big Cottonwood Canyon and the Park City area, then descends towards the Salt Lake valley via Mill Creek Canyon. 

On a final note... having recently purchased a Canon 7D and wanting to take full advantage of its HD video capabilities, we created this short video on Double D's very own backyard pumptrack.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Long Treks on Skate Decks Episode 9: Pushing Downhill

Welcome to Episode 9 of the Peru y Boliva long distance longboarding trip from Adam, Paul, and Aaron, who have put in more combined longboarding miles than you have hairs on your head. After climbing to 14,104 ft they have a gnarly downhill with backpacks that drops them over 7,000 ft of elevation and put them into a gorgeous canyon cursed by a massive headwind. Warning: video contains cursing and should probably not be played at full volume at work (unless you work at somewhere like NEMO).

Fighting headwinds for 2 days while pushing downhill really defeats the point of riding downhill--yet, we do it smiling the best we can. Here, Paul busts out a tasty backside slide down the canyon.

All the downhill pushing led Aaron and Paul try some local moonshine and get magical powers. This is Paul's face after he is hit hard with moonshine.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Double Dippin in the Winds

Mark and Janelle are back home after completing Phase One (27 routes) in their quest to complete the Fifty Classic Climbs. Their last routes we both in the Wind River Range of Wyoming - Wolf's Head and Pingora. Check out their video, I was definitely biting my nails as they soloed the ridge of Wolf's Head.

Double Dippin In the Winds from Mark Smiley on Vimeo.

The Smiley's are busy getting ready for their winter guiding season and are penciling out 2011's schedule for completing Phase Two, which includes some serious alpine routes like the Cassin Ridge on Denali, Mt Waddington, and the West Ridge of Hunter.

Connie and I were talking about the Smiley's this morning and agreed, they just seem like people you want to be friends with. True to their last name, they're always smiling and having a good time being outdoors. And that's what it's all about.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Next Stop: Wonderland

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies when you’re out hiking. Last time Suzanne and I went out for a long backcountry hike (JMT in September 2008), we had 18 days of glorious weather and sunshine. Our latest gear testing trip on the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier National Park brought 5 consecutive days of rain – some drizzle, mostly endless downpours—followed by 3 days of brilliant weather which made our memories of soggy shoes, soaked gloves, and hypothermic temperatures evaporate just as quickly as our clothes drying in the sun. Great weather for gear testing (we brought a new ultralight tent Obi 2P and a new sleeping pad for 2011 called Zor), but not so great for basking in the glory of one of the most scenic trails in the U.S.

The Wonderland Trail is one of those trails that seems to be mentioned in every issue of Backpacker Magazine. It’s all true—you get more bang for your buck than almost any other trail with lush Pac-NW rainforests, alpine meadows, glacier snowfields, raging rivers, frolicking wildlife, all within arm’s reach of The Mountain.

Amidst with so much rain and fog, we actually never saw Rainier for the first 5 days, even though we were within mere miles of the summit. In a way, it made us appreciate the small things that were right in front of us.

The moss on the trees reminded us of billy goats and old men.

The columnar andesite near South Puyallup was awe-inspiring... perhaps climbable when dry??

We were quick learners of indigenous berries.
Salmonberries: look good, taste bad
Huckleberries: look good, taste good
Thimbleberries: look bad, taste good

In a 10 minute pause from the rain, we stopped to pick huckleberries and found these guys doing the same.

When the sun came out on Day 6, it was spectacular.

And when you're sitting pretty, eating snacks with views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, the Cascades, and the Tatoosh range, life is pretty good.

Back home, we reconvened to talk about our gear decisions and the trip. A couple lessons were reinforced:
  1.  Packcovers are worth every penny you pay and every ounce you carry (thank you Barry from S2S for getting those over to us). 
  2.  Resist wearing your down jacket underneath your raincoat no matter how cold you are.
  3.  Yes, you can still get trench foot. And I’m pretty sure we had it. 
  4.  Weather is always a crapshoot. Sure, we were hit with 5 days of rain, but it could have easily been 8 or 10 days. Or it could have been 8 days of sun. 
  5.  Having gear you can depend on can make or break a trip. The first morning we woke up to our entire campsite being under 4 inches of water and our shoes floating away. Tapping on the floor, I could see the concentric rings of water underneath the floor radiating from under my finger. Not good, but could be much worse if you didn’t have a tent you could depend on.


Friday, October 22, 2010

The Future of Bike Helmet Design?

I am blown away by the Hövding bike helmet (via Core 77). Specifically, I'm enjoying watching all the different crash scenarios in the video below.


Flying with Fillo: a Physics Lesson

Traveling with the Fillo pillow on an airplane, I've noticed something interesting. I'll often fall asleep with it before the flight takes off, and when I wake up (in the air, at altitude), the pillow will be super pressurized and rock hard.

I usually let out a bit of air, and all is well and squishy again. But what is going on here? How pressurized is this pillow getting while I'm flying? This all sounds like a homework problem for a physics class that I once fell asleep in.

It turns out that airplane cabins are pressurized when the plane is flying above 3000 m (9800 ft). Since air is thinner at these high altitudes, planes pump in compressed air to maintain a pressurized environment as close to sea level as possible (As a side note, the reason that they don't maintain exact sea level pressure while flying is that the fuselage is not designed to handle that pressure differential). So for example, at 39,000 ft, the cabin will be pressurized to 6,900 ft (thanks Wikipedia!), which is equivalent to a ambient pressure of 10.9 psi instead of the sea level pressure of 14.7 psi.

If you're a numbers person, follow this line of reasoning. Before the plane takes off, you inflate your pillow to about 1.5 psi. Note that this means your inflated pillow is at 1.5 psi greater than the atmospheric pressure (which most of the time is 14.7 psi, sea level pressure, unless you're flying out of Denver or SLC). As the plane is flying, say at 39,000 ft, the pressure inside the cabin drops to 10.9 psi. This makes the air inside your pillow push out on the fabric walls even harder, since there is less air inside the cabin to push back. So when you're flying, the air in your pillow feels like it is at 5.3 psi instead of the 1.5 psi that you started at, due to the relative pressure difference. When your plane lands, the pressure should go back down to what it originally was.

A free NEMO sticker pack to the first person who can tell me what pressure the pillow is at once the plane is at 39,000 ft when you take off from the Denver airport!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Run Across NH This Weekend

What better way to enjoy the end of the fall foliage here in NH then by running across the state! NEMO ambassador 'Sherpa' John LaCroix will be running his annual Run Across NH this weekend.

There are opportunities to crew (help out at the aid stations) and run/hike along with John. You can run anywhere from 2.2 miles to the entire 128.8 if you're feeling so inspired. The mission of the run is "to provide inspiration and encouragement for the general public to engage in the outdoor arena." Now that's something we can get behind! So, if you find yourself looking for a new challenge and want to meet some new like-minded folks and see the beautiful remains of NH's foliage this weekend, get on up here!

For more information, contact Sherpa John's crew.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The One Gear Closet to Rule Them All

NEMO Customer James O. owns a Moki tent, and sent in this picture of his gear closet to our customer service to illustrate what good care he takes of his tent.

Seriously? I'm feeling instant pangs of guilt just thinking about the 5 sleeping bags crammed in the bottom of my closet. Everyone in the office was instantly jealous of his stash (and organization). If you think you have this beat, send in a pic to journey (at) nemoequipment.com, and we'll send you a cool Ditto Luggage Tag if deemed worthy.


Rippin Chix Mtn Bike Camp with Alison Gannett

We just finished another successful Rippin Chix Mountain Bike Camp, this time at our new sustainable farm in Paonia, Colorado. The farm is my latest attempt to take "walking the talk" to a whole new level, which has added a significant, but rewarding load to my already full plate! The weekend’s events benefited Save Our Snow, Save Our Singletrack and the local farmers’ cooperative online grocery, Local Farms First.

The first day of the camp was held in our 1880’s cherry orchard where the gals learned to maneuver over roots, rocks bridges, and through switchbacks along with bunny hopping. Janae Prichett, of Colorado Backcountry teamed up with me to teach this camp and Women’s Adventure Magazine joined us.

That evening, professional chef’s Dana Zobs and Stacee Vanaernem cooked an exquisite five-course feast for 55 folks, all harvested by yours truly out of our garden and orchard. Dinner was served on white linens set up in the orchard beneath the fruit trees and surrounded by gardens and running water. I even made special treats like homemade mozzarella, sun-dried raisins and Concord grape and Bartlett pear juice that supplemented the gourmet feast created by Dana and Stacee! My favorites were the Aranchini - a ball made of rice, bacon, mozzarella which is then quickly fried tempura-style. I also loved the spicy bean fries - purple pole and haricot vert green beans rolled in chilies and bread crumbs and served like french fries. Dana and Stacee also made the most wonderful winter squash mashers.

After a night of camping and tent demos from NEMO in the orchard, a well rested crew set out for more adventure. We headed across the street from the farm to the BLM trails on Jumbo Mountain, a well-hidden gem that reminds me of riding in Fruita. Those of you who ride there know and love the spiny desert ridges, so add some gnarly 1,200 year-old Juniper forests with much more mountainous climbing, and voila, you have Paonia's Jumbo trails. We put our new cherry orchard skills to the test in the whoop-de-doo’s, rocks and roots on the many trails.

Thanks to all my green sponsors, including NEMO, for making this fundraiser happen. We look forward to this being the first of many new Rippin Chix Camps and events here on the farm, both for skiing and biking, as well as sustainability classes on how to reduce your carbon footprint. The Rippin Chix Silverton Steep Skiing Camp is already sold out, but I have just added a Rippin Chix Steep Skiing camp at the infamous Aspen Highlands. Visit my website for more information!