Whether you’re headed out on an overnight backpacking trip high up by an Alpine lake, or headed out on a multi-month excursion on the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, you’re probably not going to end up having a very good time if you find yourself hauling around an improperly fitting pack.

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Water purification systems can often be expensive, and hard to use. With so many working parts and filters that need to be replaced, they are quite often a pain. However, a new water purification system has been developed by Sawyer that changes all your previous notions of how filter systems work. The Sawyer MINI water filtration system is a lightweight and moderately priced alternative to all the pricy filters out there, and is quickly becoming the filter of choice for serious backpackers and thru-hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail.

The Sawyer MINI weighs in a just two ounces, extremely lightweight compared to other filters out there, and critical when weight is everything in the backpacking game. Along with its light weight, the MINI is also small, portable, and extremely versatile, with not a lot of moving parts that break so often. It can be used with the included collapsible drinking pouch, attached to a hydration pack hose, screwed to most standard soda bottles, and can even be used as a straw directly from the water source, versatile to the max.

Along with being extremely lightweight and versatile, the Sawyer MINI is very efficient and effective, rated to 0.1 Micron absolute. “The MINI removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli; removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium”(Sawyer.com) And the MINI can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water in its lifetime, that’s about a lifetime of use for the recreational hiker. And with no chemicals involved, your water tastes fresh and clean as ever.

Lightweight, versatile, and effective, the Sawyer MINI is the best choice for your water purification needs while out on your outdoor adventures. Low price and easy to use, the MINI has won the praise of everyone who has used it, and has become the purification system of choice for serious backpackers as well as the recreational hiker.

Purchase your Sawyer MINI HERE


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Before you head out on your next backpacking trip you want to make sure you have a properly fit pack. If you’re pack doesn’t fit properly, there’s a good chance you’ll experience back pain, shoulder pain, or hip pain, which can turn a potentially awesome adventure into a real pain in the neck.

In this video from Osprey Packs you’ll see what key measurements you need to correctly determine your correct pack size, as well as the adjustments that need to be made to achieve the proper fit.


In Tahoe during the 70’s, if you were a serious skier or mountain person you had a pair of Vuarnet Cat Eye Sunglasses. Vuarnet was the coolest skiing accessory around, ski bums would save up every dollar they had just so they could rock a pair of Vuarnet Cat Eye Sunglasses on the slopes of Squaw Valley. Vuarnet has come a long way since then, and after nearly twenty years, Vuarnet is coming back to the United States, and Granite Chief is proud to be one of the few retailers with these iconic sunglasses.

Vuarnet’s appeal began right here in Tahoe when Jean Vuarnet won the gold medal in Downhill at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley. Shortly after, Jean Vuarnet and optician Roger Pouilloux launched the iconic Vuarnet Sunglasses brand. Everyone in Tahoe went nuts for the sunglasses, and if you were anybody, you had a pair. “It’s going to be a Vuarnet Day” was the phrase coined by a local Tahoe radio station to describe a bluebird day for skiing. Vuarnet has a long and celebrated history with its roots deep in Tahoe, and this winter Granite Chief is proud to bring back Vuarnet Sunglasses for those Vuarnet days this season.

Besides being some of the coolest sunglasses on the mountain, Vuarnet sunglasses are constructed to the highest quality. One of only three manufactures in the world that make their trade mark mineral glass lenses, the clarity of the lenses is unparalleled. The mineral lens provides perfect optical quality with zero distortion and a high level of transparency. The lenses are also very resistant to scratches, along with strong shock resistant construction. With the highest quality lenses, the highest level construction, and a history deeply rooted right here in Tahoe, Vuarnet is sure to impress this season on the mountain.

Pick up some Vuarnet Sunglasses HERE