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Gear

Stoked Roasters: Coffee in Park City

Photo by Samira Guirguis.

Few coffee shop owners can say they’ve run a marathon, let alone, been the first woman to finish the Four Deserts Grand Slam Plus. Yeah, you heard me. That’s the Atacama, Gobi, Sahara, and Arctic deserts as well as Sri Lanka all in one calendar year, and she was crowned its 2016 Female World Champion. Jax Mariash has faced the whirling sand and glaring sun, temperatures that leave limbs numb, and has stood in spectacular environments that capture the essence of nature in its unadulterated form. What really animates Jax, is not the fact that she can endure long distance running, but that she loves coffee. So when Jax announced she was opening a coffee Roasting facility and tasting room in Hoodriver, OR, and now a coffee shop in Park City, UT on Main Street, no one doubted that she’d pull it off.

STOKED ROASTERS coffee is all about inspiring people to get outside and get “stoked” on their adventures while bringing craft coffee to the outdoor industry. People might think that that these two ideas don’t mix, but most outdoorsy people are very health

Photo by Samira Guirguis.

conscious about what goes into their bodies and environments. Whether that might be trying to live a summer on a vegetable garden or trying to support brands that invest in protecting national monuments. It would only make sense that this niche of people would seek out a coffee that aims to do that as well.

“Roasting coffee is like wine, where various green beans from different origins all carry unique flavor notes to them depending on what beans you choose or how long they are roasted. You get different gradients of coffee flavors when you produce a light roast, medium roast, or a dark roast,” Jax said proudly. What makes STOKED ROASTERS stand out from other coffee shops is that they don’t cut out the extra steps when roasting and watching every batch by the minute. STOKED ROASTERS has a variety of blends all named after different outdoor adventures such as Bluebird, Double Overhead, First Tracks, Soul Session, Dawn Patrol, and White Out. Furthermore, STOKED ROASTERS is the only coffee company to support a fleet of sponsored athletes.

Photo by Samira Guirguis.

Another signature that is making Jax’s coffee stand out in the outdoor community are her STOKED STIX instant coffee. Stoked will be wherever you might be, whether that is camping with your kids in the Wasatch or on a plane dreaming of heli-skiing. You will always have premium coffee with you in two roasts: medium roast and a dark roast. “Anything that is beyond the required is a luxury in the outdoors because you’re adding weight to your pack, but [coffee] was something I couldn’t do without,” laughs Jax. Every morning during the Grand Slam Plus she would have dehydrated muscle milk, oatmeal, and a STOKED STIX as her breakfast. STOKED STIX are good whether you are in isolated wildernesses or tramping through the urban jungle. This coffee shop is worth a try and it will give you the fuel to kick start your next adventure.

s.guirguis@wasatchmag.com

This article has been updated to reflect more accurate information.

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Bike Riders Selection Know-How for Utah

Contributor article by Sally Writes. Photo by Flo Karr on Unsplash. 

Pinkbike’s 2016 literature survey indicated that 75% of bike trail users are predominantly male, with Utah’s Moab trails attracting younger travelers between the aged 19-29. This is a significant switch from 2014, where the age group ranged between  25-45. There is no doubt the bi-pedaling mechanism is extremely versatile in its usage for both adventure seekers and economic commuters alike. This is especially true if you are planning to explore the many versatile bike trails within the State of Utah.

Get the ride

When it comes to knowing how to choose a good bike, the thought of freedom becomes stifling. Knowing your bikes and how they perform in various terrains, especially in Utah’s sand dunes or mountain trails, is more than about trial and error. You need to go in fully armed to make the best use of your consumer right to buy.

Options are the riders choice

Not all bikes are designed the same as is reflected by the brands and models available on the market.  That said, you want to know the easiest equation for making your selection.

The predominant types of bikes are hybrid, road (sometimes known as touring bikes), mountain and city/commuter. Each one is designed with a specific usage in mind because topography, like people, varies. With Utah spanning over three significant physiological provinces, getting behind the right sets of riding bars makes all the difference.

Paved Bike Trail for Test Drives

You can opt to go for a bike ‘test drive’ in one of your chosen terrains or in the Basin Recreational. Park City’s Basin Recreational is considered a family-friendly bike path which boasts views from the surrounding landscape. The path’s quaint appeal is mainly its ‘shoe tree’ which has been around since the 70’s and is historically known for showcasing shoes and the mural painted underpasses.  There are several ways through which the park can be accessed such through The Field House, Deer Valley and Willow Creek Park.

Off Road, in sand and rock

Alternatively, you can explore some of the more natural, yet ruggedly appealing offerings; namely the desert trail, sand dunes and slick rock in Moab. Some people like to explore Bureau of Land Management open area formerly known as the Little Sahara. As the name suggests, it’s sand mountains of nearly 700 feet. The bike trails network is provided by Cherry Creek, Black Mountain and Jericho. So, if your adrenaline requires fueling you won’t find a better challenge. Be warned, it is a ‘dirt bike’ trail.

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The Stuff People Say

Outdoor Adventures at the University of Utah is the largest collegiate rental shop in the nation, according to its website. With all that gear, and all those students wanting to try it out, you are guaranteed a crazy story or two.

“By the way … there’s a book.”

I had gone into Outdoor Adventures expecting to interview the employees about gear rental options, but that one sentence caught my ear. I was hooked; like a dog sensing food nearby, I couldn’t resist the temptation.

Matt Klassen, one of the attendant employees, explained he usually begins gear rental interactions by asking students what they want to use the requested gear for. Time after time that simple answer has prompted responses that have left employees’ jaws hanging.

These stories began spreading through employee gossip. The usual, “Hey, you won’t believe what I heard the other day.” It wasn’t long before the collection of stories to tell grew big enough to warrant a little more attention. No one could point to who came up with the idea of making a book, but it caught on, and soon one page turned into a second page turned into a book.

Matt handed me the 11 by 4.5-inch book with the enjoyable title, “The Sh** People Say.” He laughed nervously as he did so, saying, “Here are some of the wild stories your fellow classmates have legitimately told us.”

 

1. A student asks to rent a wetsuit, saying, “I’m going pumpkin rowing” as part of the annual Daybreak Pumpkin Regatta. For the Regatta, she explains, people grow huge pumpkins, hollow them out, sit inside them, and paddle in the lake. She backs her story up with a photo of herself last year in a large pumpkin wearing a hippie costume.

 

2. A student selects a duckie for rental and says, “I need to save my duck. She’s stranded in the middle of a pond, but she’s playing with other ducks. My drunk friend released her the other night.”

 

3. After being directed to a tent rental, a student remarks, “I’m worried about setting up this four-person tent. It’s going to be really difficult.” The OA employee asks, “Are you going to have another person with you?” to which the student responds, “Well, yeah. Three other people. It would be really weird if I rented a four-person tent for myself.”

4. A student walks into Outdoor Adventures. Their first question is, “Can we rent a raft to slide down a mountain?” (OA regretfully did not rent out a raft for this activity.)

 

5. A student rents out a piece of equipment and before leaving, asks, “Can I UPS my rental back to your dropbox?” Apparently, the only problem here was the fact that, as the OA employee responded, OA “[does not] have a drop box.”

s.guirguis@wasatchmag.com

 

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Packing Your Camera for Adventure

You may be wondering how adventure photographers get such epic photographs. The easy-yet-complicated answer is: They take their cameras with them everywhere. Whether an adventure is high in the mountains, deep in a cave, or under the interstellar sky with the Milky Way Galaxy above, these adventure photographers have their cameras with them at all times.

This answer for getting great photographs is easy, yet complicated because adventuring with a camera is more difficult than you might think. You need to plan your gear for your adventure, as well as the camera equipment you’ll want to take, without breaking your back, or risking the safety of too much equipment. There’s a lot to take.

For instance, when you want to photograph skiing, you first have to plan out what essentials you will need to keep yourself warm. These may include glove liners, pocket warmers, extra sunglasses, and an additional layer under your coat for when you are standing still observing skiers. Next, you will need to grab some snacks and water so you do not go hungry on the slopes. Lastly, you need to bring your camera. Oh wait, what about lenses? Let’s throw some additional lenses into the mix. Don’t forget a spare battery. Since you will be in the snow for a few hours, you will also want some sort of microfiber towel to dry off the lenses to prevent water damage.

Finally, you’re packed. Now another problem appears: How do you carry your gear?

The only solution is a backpack you can rely on, at a weight you can manage, that will carry all of your gear safely. This requires significant planning ahead of time, and probably quite a bit of money.

There are many assorted styles of backpacks that photographers use, from roller bags to backpacking backpacks. The single most limiting factor preventing any adventure photographer from taking all the equipment they want is weight. You must carry the gear back and forth, and modern-day camera equipment gets heavy fast, not to mention challenging to organize.

When packing for an expedition, you should also always consider your ability to access your camera equipment. You never know when something extraordinary — like a wolf howling at a blue moon or an eagle catching a fish over a lake — is going to be in front of you. You never want to go home from an adventure saying, “I wish I had taken a photo of that.” Having an organized pack where you can easily access your camera equipment will solve this problem. The pack should also protect your gear so the falls and bumps you encounter won’t severely damage them. Camera specific bags have padding to divide lenses into compartments and they are useful for organization, too. When you don’t have padding, use your clothing. Hats, sweaters, and gloves are excellent clothing items that double as soft pads. Last but not least, make sure nothing inside your pack moves around or can fall out of a loose zipper. Dropping a lens and hearing it crack is one of the worst things a photographer can experience since those can easily cost thousands of dollars to replace.

For quick access to cameras, I like to have a CamelBak worn on my chest that houses the camera and lens. At times it does appear awkward when hiking around, but after the trip is said and done, I am very appreciative that I carry the extra pack. It also has the added benefit of letting you keep snacks and water close at hand during any outing.

As you begin packing your gear for that adventure, do some research to determine what gear to leave behind. There are various websites, like Flickr and 500PX, where you can search and take note of what lenses, ISO, focal length, and aperture other photographers used to create their stunning photos. This is a fantastic way to eliminate camera gear you can do without. Plus, when you are on your adventure, you will have a nice starting place to initialize your camera settings, from which you can make minor adjustments for the specific conditions you are in.

During your photography adventure, document what camera gear you end up using and what you do not, for both yourself and other photographers. You will also be able to write down a few essential camera settings you can use next time.

Remember, there are always going to be exceptions, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you feel an urge to bring a lens or filter, do so. You are the artist behind the camera; only keep in mind with extra gear comes extra weight.

k.creveling@wasatchmag.com 

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Bomber and Company: More Flashy than Functional

I stray far from the frivolous. Every item I purchase, or think about purchasing, is weighed against the possible experiences I could have for the same cost. Spending $50 to replace the rain jacket I lost last October? No thanks. I’d rather swing by Walmart and grab a dollar poncho before heading up into the Uintas for an overnight backpacking trip.

Needless to say, when Bomber and Company’s package showed up in the mail for us to review here at Wasatch Magazine, I was skeptical. At first glance, these seemed frivolous. I was, we’ll say, half wrong.

In the neatly packed box were five items: the Bomber Barrel (duffel bag), the Mini Bomber Travel Kit (amenities bag), the B-2 Nano Blade (truly tiny pocket knife), Bomber Carabiner Paracord Keychain (exactly what it says), and the Bomber Firestarter Paracord Bracelet (bracelet of woven paracord with firestarter flint). At first sight, all these products absolutely nailed one main factor: design. Everything was sleek, black, and modern, from the cleanly woven paracord zipper pulls on the duffel to the tactical shape of the “world’s smallest pocket knife.” The whole lot was a solid mix of tactical survival with modern, everyday city life. Anyone carrying these items would certainly give off the outdoorsy, bad-to-the-bone, Bear Grylls-esque, “I survived behind enemy lines for three days eating only cactus,” impression.

However, from a first impression, I suspected this is where the products would end. The actual utility of these items seemed like an afterthought. That didn’t sit well with me, so I decided to use these pieces of trendy gear like they were advertised. I ended up with mixed results.

The duffel is easy to rate. It paired with the travel kit to make for a very useful bit of luggage. I toted it along on a weekend backpacking trip to Zion National Park’s Kolob Canyon and found that it served perfectly as my “doesn’t belong in the backpack” bag. That is, the bag with all my snacks, books, chargers, etc., that would not be accompanying me on the trail. I found the bag to be a good, medium size with a simple number of pockets, just enough to hold all your small bits without acting like a puzzle when you have to get something out.

The two paracord items, the bracelet and keychain, also proved at least functional. They clearly were still created for form over function, though, they did still function. The firestarters on both worked (after scraping off the black coating). I found that by wrapping the keychain around your knuckle and using the separate circular striker, you can throw decent sparks off the flint and steel. Of course, if your fire-making skills aren’t already pretty solid, it won’t be of much use.

The B-2 Nano Blade, on the other hand, I found frivolous. I saw no use the tiny pocket knife could provide that a much cheaper Swiss Army knife couldn’t. At least you get a toothpick with the Swiss Army. It only seems useful if you want to feel like a marine while opening your envelopes.

The major downside of all these products ties into their biggest positive. They are all far too expensive. The duffel catches a cool $200, while the paracord products each hit the $23 mark. The hopelessly small pocketknife asks a steep $35. To me, this only reinforces that these products were made for looks, not necessarily use. They aren’t bad, but paying that much for an extraneous piece of gear isn’t something I’m chomping at the bit for. These are targeted towards consumers who are trying to put on a facade and don’t mind paying a little bit more for it. For that market, they’re doing great.

n.halberg@wasatchmag.com

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Is GoPro’s Value Justified? (The answer may surprise you)

Contributor submission from Tom Gerber. 

Action cameras don’t come more intelligent than GoPros. And with this technology comes a hefty price tag. GoPro’s CEO Nick Woodman once remarked that “GoPro is not just a camera company anymore.” Following this statement, not too long ago GoPro joined the drone space by unveiling a drone of their own named the Karma drone.

The drone hasn’t had a smooth sail, prompting a recall, though hope is not lost as it’s set for a relaunch later this year.

Promising Start

Three years ago, GoPro was the darling IPO (Initial Public Offering, or the first time a company puts it stock on the market) launching with an initial offering price of $24. At the time, the company was valued at $5.3 billion. This is not a meek valuation by any standards, even though the numbers said otherwise (a look at the 1st quarter of 2013 vis-à-vis 2014’s showed a fall in revenue by $20 million from $255 to $235 million).

The company explained the difference by saying that the delayed unveiling of its Hero3 camera in late 2012 translated to its sales being experienced more in early 2013, hence the larger figures in the first quarter of 2013.

Diminishing Valuation

Four years down the line, what does the valuation look like for GoPro? Well, it looks bleaker and the numbers speak volumes. 2016 was the year that saw the company cut down jobs and any ambitious endeavors in order to save its flagging sales.

But even after that, their forecast for the first quarter of 2017 is disappointing with the company announcing that it would generate at least $60 million less than analysts projected they would generate. Industry analysts projected $270 million in revenue as opposed to the figure of $210 million that the company now says is the expected revenue.

With such a rough start to the year, are there results to justify the valuation of GoPro?

The company already announced record quarterly revenue for the APAC and EMEA region and also experienced a 30% increase in installs of the Quik Mobile App in 4Q16. In addition, the Hero5 black was the best selling digital imaging device locally in the US and in the EMEA market as well.

However, apart from the Karma drone that is to be launched later this year after being recalled due to a problem with losing power mid-flight—according to Ben Popper from The Verge the problem with Karma was “a mechanical issue related to securing the drone’s battery”—the company is still struggling to get back on its feet and solve this issue.

Bleak Prospects in 2017

Photo credit to Tom Gerber.

Shares have been down and the company cannot meet the forecasted revenue for the first quarter of 2017. Rising up from the ashes of such losses proves difficult year after year. The company was relying on the re-entry of the Karma drone and the new Hero5 camera to boost sales and enable it to meet it projected revenue. However, unforeseen delays undermined their efforts and this was not to be.

In truth, after having its shares peak at $93.85 in 2014, GoPro is now at an all-time low. In fact, since 2015 the company’s shares have not been able to get over the $24 threshold. While this is not good for GoPro, it gives their competition cause for a good night sleep.

Companies like Sony, Gamin and Olympus have plugged the gap left by less demand for GoPro products with a vengeance. They are weighing in with low-budget alternatives that are similarly tech advanced but that cost less. These companies have borrowed heavily from the top features on GoPro products and attached a bargain friendly price tag.

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Guide to Salt Lake Paddleboarding

When most people hear the term “outdoor water recreation,” they automatically picture intense white water rafting or some other adrenaline pumping form of water sport. That’s only a portion of what the phrase entails.

If you’re looking for a casual, relaxing day at the lake, for example, you can find it through paddleboarding. Paddleboards are a great way to enjoy Utah’s beautiful lakes and reservoirs, and also allow you to incorporate other sports and hobbies. They work for rough water, too. There are two types of paddleboards: the SUP — or stand up paddleboard — and the traditional “prone,” or kneeling board.

While the prone paddleboards are mainly used for choppy, rough water, they are also perfect for the rapids of Utah’s rivers. Note: for first timers, I highly suggest signing up with a river guide before embarking on such a journey.

For those (like me) who just want to enjoy a day on the lake, a standard SUP is perfect. You can find plenty of rental shops that allow you to rent paddleboards, though it may cost you a little more than a college student can afford. This is where Outdoor Adventures, located at the University of Utah’s Student Life Center, can come in handy. Don’t forget your UCard for that student discount — with it, a SUP is only $25 a day. Since most rental shops charge $15-20 an hour by comparison, this is a significant money saver. Take advantage of what your tuition pays for.

 

When it comes to the actual process of renting from OA, it’s as easy as walking in and asking to rent anything they have to offer. Be aware though, SUPs are one of their most popular items, meaning that you should call ahead to reserve your board as early as 1-2 weeks before you want to use them.

OA carries two different SUPs: rigid and inflatable. I recommend the inflatable ones are because they come all nicely rolled up in a backpack that is fully equipped with an oar and pump for easy transportation. The rigid SUPs are 12-14 feet long, and they can be a little tricky to transport. The benefit to the rigid boards is that you don’t need to make reservations for them, and the OA staff are more than willing to help figure out a safe and easy way to tie it to your car.

Want to paddleboard but don’t know where to go? Utah has plenty of places to paddle around without a care in the world. While most lakes allow boats (and are designated motorized), there are some places that are specifically restricted for non-motorized water recreation. Below is a list of lakes and reservoirs that are easily accessible from Salt Lake County:

  • Causey Reservoir (Non-motorized)
  • Deer Creek (Motorized)
  • East Canyon (Motorized)
  • Pineview Reservoir (Motorized)
  • Jordanelle Reservoir (Motorized)
  • Willard Bay (Motorized)

a.duong@wasatchmag.com

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BikingFeatureGearHow to

Learning Proper Bicycle Maintenance

Maintaining a bike is similar to the practice of warming your body up for a big race with a proper cool down afterwards, or preparing for an important exam by regularly studying; and it all comes down to proper, regular inspection.

A bike gets a quick checkup. Photo by Peter Creveling.

There are four things to check before every ride you make, regardless of if you are a frequent visitor to your bike seat or someone who just decided to brush off the cobwebs of your grandparent’s Schwinn.

First: Check the air in your tires. Make sure the tire pressure is optimal as suggested by the manufacturer, and be sure to check that all release levers, tire caps, or thru axles are properly tightened. Be sure nothing is loose before you start to ride.

Second: Inspect your brakes. Squeeze both the front and rear brakes to ensure the pads engage your rims properly and evenly. Good breaks are essential, they can make the difference between having the ride of your life — and the last ride of your life.

Third: Clean your drivetrain. This is essentially the transmission of your bike, so a clean and well lubricated drivetrain will make your ride easier and extend the life of your bike. Take a dry, or damp, rag and run along the chain to clean up any dirt accumulated between the linkages. For very dirty chains, I highly recommend using a chain cleaner that allows for a deep clean between the linkages. These are very easy to use devices that latch onto the chain and are simple enough to use by holding the device in place while you peddle.

A bike gets a quick checkup. Photo by Peter Creveling.

Fourth: Keep all of the parts well lubricated. A well lubricated bike is the equivalent to doing a warm-up lap around the track and stretching before you run the 100 meter dash. Running cold turkey is asking for something to be torn, and the same thing goes for any bicycle! But remember, too much lubrication can lead to a decrease in bike performance, and even damages. This is because lubrication can attract abrasive material that can get in-between parts and decrease their integrity. Give lubrication ample time to soak in, and simply wipe away any excess, before going on that bike ride. Key areas to focus on for lubrication include: breaks, derailleurs, cassettes, chain rings and, of course, the chain. For the breaks and derailleurs, this includes any levers, cables, and their entire assembly.

These are only the basics towards bike maintenance. Supplies you will need include: clean rags, brushes, soap, water, lubricant, degreaser, and a bike stand.

The most important element is to take your time; don’t rush your way through this process. Take care of your bike and it will take care of you. Also, don’t underestimate the advantage of taking your bike into the shop. These tips will help you keep your bike on the road or on the trail more often, but it’s important to get your bike a full checkup every once in a while in addition to these regular efforts.

p.creveling@wasatchmag.com

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Benefits of a Flowfold Trailmate Dog leash

Are you a canine owner?  Are you also an outdoor enthusiast?  If you answered yes to those two questions, then this dog leash is perfect for you.  It is called the flowfold Trailmate Dog leash.  Here are a few things that make it great:

Usability

I’ve had the opportunity to use the leash for the past couple of weeks on dogs of various sizes, ranging from 15 pounds to 55 pounds. The dog leash has consistently performed well on each. For true testing, I have also had various-sized dog walkers test out the leash to see how it holds.  From small kids to full grown adults, this dog leash has proven to work well across the board.

Taking portraits of family at Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Bountiful, UT on Saturday, July 22, 2017
(Photo by Kiffer Creveling)

Fabric

The flowfold Trailmate dog leash is made from rock climbing rope, which means the leash is extremely sturdy and durable.  Another added benefit familiar to all rock climbers is that rock climbing rope stretches.  That means that when a load is applied dynamically–like in the case of a fall– to a climbing rope, there is no sudden jerk but instead a prolonged stretch takes place, to allow energy to spread down the rope before reaching the climber.  This same concept applies to the dog leash.  When you quickly need to restrain your dog from an approaching runner or child, you can pull back abruptly without injuring your dog’s neck with a sudden jerk as the rope slightly stretches to accommodate that new force.

Another added benefit of having a dog leash made from rock climbing rope is that when the rope gets dirty from taking your dog on adventures like desert hiking, cross country skiing, or coastal beaches, cleaning the leash is simple.  After mixing mild soap and water and applying a scrub brush, any residue embedded in the rope will quickly fall off.  After it dries off, the rope will be as good as new.

Style

I’ve seen the other canines around recently, and I’ve paid attention to them.  Their leashes are for the most part boring, simple, and plain.  Sure, they get the job done, but not in style.  When you have this leash on your wrist you feel as if you are wearing a fashion accessory that not only complements your own style but your dog’s too.

Others will ask you where you got your rope and what the diameter is!  At least that is what fellow climbers say when you bring a new rope to the crag.

k.creveling@wasatchmag.com

 

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Gear to Get You Started

Breaking into a new sport can be intimidating and expensive. As any outdoor lover is painfully aware, your gear will burn a hole in your pocket faster than wildfire. Buying into a new activity can put you back a fair bit, especially if you decide you don’t like the sport as much as you first thought. You can start off by renting the essentials, but soon this becomes more costly than just owning the gear yourself. Eventually, you reach a point where an investment is necessary. Here are a few pieces of gear that will maximize what you’re able to do while minimizing the amount of money you need to put in to get started.

Backpack (60 L)

This is the single most important piece of gear any so-called outdoor lover should own. Being able to pack yourself into remote locations and camp is a skill applicable to just about every outdoor sport. Attach your tent — or hammock — and bag peaks in the summer, strap your skis on in the winter and boot pack a chute, carry your rope and climbing shoes with you in the fall and ascend that new route, and/or snuggle your fly rod on in the spring to land that big Brown. Getting a pack 60 liters or larger will allow you ample room to cram in your essentials and get started on some easier overnight trips. Best of all, backpacks can be found at almost every used gear sale. It shouldn’t be too difficult to snag a deal on one.

Climbing Shoes

It seems there are two pseudo-requirements to live and recreate in the Salt Lake area: know how to ski and know how to climb. Both can get pricey fast, but climbing has the cheapest buy in. All you really need is a pair of shoes (and some chalk if you really want to be bougie). From there you can boulder, indoors or out, and see if constantly cramming your fingers in small cracks and holds suits your fancy. If you boulder outdoors be sure to either rent a crash pad ($6 a day from Outdoor Adventures) or pick boulders with soft landings, free of rocks. Like backpacks, climbing shoes are fine to buy used. Just be sure to check the condition of the sole, particularly on the edges, because it tends to get worn away the quickest.

Fly Rod

The Cottonwoods are not just the home of great climbs and powdery runs, but streams and lakes too. Meandering their way through all these are trout: rainbows, brooks, lakes, and browns. You will need a fishing license as well as a rod, but you’ll be able to keep up to four fish a day (unless specific area regulations permit otherwise). For most spots in the Cottonwoods a small, dark fly will work well. Even if you do more fishing than catching, a day spent next to pristine alpine streams and lakes is a day well spent.

Headlamp

Aside from being an extreme luxury/ borderline necessity, a headlamp is vital for caving. All over Utah lie underground tunnels and caverns waiting to be spelunked. While many caves require technical skills and are very easy to get lost in, there are some that are shallow and give just a taste of the bigger systems, like the Snow Canyon Lava Tubes. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting absolutely filthy and leave your claustrophobia at the entrance.

n.halberg@wasatchmag.com

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