15 April 2014
For over 110 years, Deuter has been making quality packs and equipment. From their start providing the Bavarian Royal Mail with post sacks and bags, to their 2014 line of packs for every occasion, Deuter has been a leading name in packs and adventure equipment for over a century. This summer Granite Chief is proud to be offering some of Deuter’s finest packs for your adventures around Tahoe and beyond.
When I set out on a backpacking adventure, or simply a day hike around Tahoe, I like a pack that can provide comfort, functionality, and durability all in one. Deuter hits this on the mark, from their Aircontact system that keeps your back dry and sweat free, to their Ripstop Nylon that is guaranteed to last for years to come, Deuter makes some superior packs.
Backpack technology has come a long way since the old frame packs of days past. No one likes a sweaty back when hiking, and that’s where the Deuter Aircontact System steps in. On the bigger packs, such as the ACT 65+10, the contact system consists of breathable padding made of hollow foam chambers, placing the bulk of the pack away from the back and providing maximum airflow. The contoured shoulder straps provide maximum comfort with 3D air mesh lining, making heavy packs easy.
On those shorter day hikes, comfort is a must, and Deuter’s Advanced Aircomfort System provides a comfortable hike from start to finish. With a spring steel frame and a mesh back, the Aircomfort System provides supreme ventilation and a happy hiker.
The AC series packs are the perfect packs for day hikes around the Tahoe basin, with four packs to choose from ranging from 18 litre to 28 litre, these packs are light and provide supreme functionality.
For those longer treks this summer the ACT Lite 60+10 SL and 65+10 packs are perfect for multi-day backpacking trips. Weighing just over three and a half pounds, these packs are sleek, lightweight, and the perfect backpacking packs for trekking through the Sierras, or exploring the Lost Coast.
Deuter’s Futura 30SL and 32 are women’s specific rucksacks perfect for lengthy day hikes or multi-day excursions. The Futura packs are super lightweight and feature a 3-way air circulation to keep ya cool on those long hikes in the California sun.
With over a century of experience in building superior packs and adventure equipment, Deuter is a leading name in the adventure sports industry. Whether you’re looking for the perfect pack for a short day hike around Tahoe, or a durable lightweight backpacking pack to explore the Sierra’s, Deuter has you covered.
15 April 2014
Many think that Slacklining is a modern day version of tightrope walking and in many ways that’s an accurate assumption. If that is so the tightrope has come a long way from a thin rope or wire stretched tightly between two end points. Today’s slackline, as the name implies, has less tension giving the line more flex. The flex adds more bounce and enables the athlete, (often called slackers), to perform some daring and unbelievable tricks and jumps.
The origin of slacklining came about by when a couple of young rock climbers attending college in Olympia, Washington found it great fun to walk the lengths of heavy chains that were strung between metal posts around campus and the Olympia area. The idea of stringing 1 inch webbing between trees and benches struck the two as a better surface than the twisted links of steel chains. Once the young men started using the webbing their sideshow antics went from simply walking to bouncing, juggling, clubbing, (toss wooden pins between individuals on the same slackline), and further developing a wide array of crowd pleasing tricks.
The new sport of slacklining spread like wildfire through the climbing community. It was a way to pass the time around basecamp and hone in balancing skills. Today slacklining has diverged to a variety of styles .
Tricklining . low to the ground, running, jumps, one leg balancing, knee drops, bouncing
Waterlining . used over a pool or body of water to practice new tricks
Highlining . at high elevation above ground or water, with or without protection leashes
Tunelining . slacking with playing musical instruments
Slackline Yoga . stretching, balance, meditation
Freestyle . aka rodeo slacklining, typically using very slack lines that swing and can be a few feet and up to 30 feet off the ground.
The sport of Slacklining has evolved to World Championship competition and World Record status. Records include the longest slackline, longest free solo highline, and the highest slackline.
Slacklining is fun, improves balance and coordination and does a number on your core mid section. It’s something the whole family can do, well maybe not your great grandmother. But give it a shot at backyard parties and when out on a group campout and it certainly doesn’t have to be done in a more than a few inches above the ground. If you’re a daredevil type kick it up a couple of notches. Next time you head over to The Lake think about stringing a slackline, believe me you’ll have fun, probably get wet and get a workout just make sure you string it high enough so not to decapitate boaters.
Granite Chief carries two models of Gibbon slacklines.
The Jib Line x13 . Trampoline style webbing is thin and dynamic maximizing power for tricks and is the official WSFED approved slackline for world wide competition. $89.99
Classic line x13 . slackline-specific webbing great for walking and beginning trick slacking $69.99
I grabbed a pair of La Sportiva’s Thunder III GTX hiking boots and headed down the eastside where the last of the spring snow makes hiking the Sierra wet and burdensome. How did the boots perform, pretty darn well. My feet were dry thanks to the Gore-Tex Comfort Lining. When I found myself post holing all the way down to loose and uneven rock I definitely noticed the solid ankle support, a real confidence boost when you’re out there and more than a few slippery miles from the car.
The ankle support is a combination of a solid lacing system and the boot’s upper cuff but what really adds stability is the molded rubber heel stabilizer. It’s not just a gimmick; because of an old ski injury to my ankle I am especially cognizant of slippery unstable terrain. Which is why I grabbed this boot in the first place, and happy to report the Thunder III lives up to the manufacturer’s talking points.
After climbing up to the glaciated tarns under the towering east fact of Matterhorn Peak we headed back down, hitting the road to the Chalk Bluff area just north of Bishop. A completely different landscape and quite a few degrees warmer, maybe I should say hotter. Normally I would select a different style boot for this environment but space was tight with only room for two pairs of shoes, and the other was a well worn pair of flip-flops. I don’t know about you but when I think Gore-Tex in a hiking boot I think warm and by midday my feet were warm but not hot, the Gore Comfort Lining proved not only to keep my feet from shriveling up in the wet spring snow but the reported breathability kept them from sweating and overheating in the heat of the high desert red rock.
The volcanic rock ringing the plateau of Chalk Bluff is in some places grippy and in other polished and somewhat slippery. The Thunder III’s Vibram River sole performed well on both surface types. But the thing I was most impressed with was the Impact Brake System. Second to the claims made about the Gore-Tex Comfort Lining I was a tad skeptical about La Sportiva’s “Brake System”.
The Impact Brake System is a proprietary technology. The lugs of the soles are oriented in opposing directions, now that sounds like a standstill to me, but no I actually found the hiking boot outsole doing just as La Sportiva claims…well almost. I not only felt the braking power when treading down the steep angled polished side of the rock but I also felt like the impact was lessensed when rock hopping the massive boulder field. Can I say that the braking power was increased by 20% and the impact forces decreased by 20%? No not really, but then my calculator and computerized sensory system didn’t make the trip.
All in all I like this hiking boot, I actually like it a lot. And if I didn’t own a mountain shop I would run out and buy a pair, but I do own a mountain shop so I think I’ll just keep the ones I took off the shelf, out of my paycheck of course.
Thunder III GTX available for Men and Women
12 April 2014
Trying to decide between a sit on top and sit inside kayak? This video by Emotion Kayaks can help you decide.
Award winning Emotions Kayaks are our best selling Kayaks. It’s time to get out on the lake!