Category: Issue 109

Gear We Love: Issue 109

Goodies for your active lifestyle

Bontrager Blaze WaveCel MTB Helmet

Earlier this year — and to much acclaim — Bontrager unveiled groundbreaking helmet technology called WaveCel. This revolutionary material is proven to be up to 48 times more effective than standard EPS foam at preventing concussions from common cycling accidents.

Standard foam helmets are designed to protect against direct impacts. But most cycling accidents actually result in angled impacts. WaveCel takes this important distinction into account. Its collapsible cellular material absorbs energy in multiple ways and then disperses it in a remarkably effective way resulting in much safer cycling protection. Is it comfortable? Indeed it is. And with several colors and styles to choose from, you’ll look smart no matter what type of cycling you do.

MSRP: $299 • bontrager.com

Nemo DragonflyTM 2P Ultralight Backpacking Tent

Nemo recently released the Dragonfly™, a freestanding ultralight backpacking tent boasting plenty of …

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Outdoor Afro

Expanding access to adventure

By Leonie Sherman

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery, escaped to Philadelphia, and then promptly turned around to rescue her family. She made 13 missions that delivered 70 enslaved people to freedom, traveling by night and using a network of houses known as the Underground Railroad. At Combahee Ferry she became the first woman to lead an armed raid in the Civil War and helped liberate more than 700 enslaved people. She’s remembered as an icon of courage and freedom, but rarely as a wilderness leader. The Oakland-based organization Outdoor Afro aims to fix that by changing the way we view black history and inspiring a new generation of black outdoor leaders.

Ten years ago, Outdoor Afro founder and CEO Rue Mapp noticed there weren’t a lot of people in the outdoors who looked like her. To find out if others shared her passion and …

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Stand Up or Sit Down

A Paddler’s Guide to California Classics

By Roger Schumann

Whether you prefer to paddle securely seated in a kayak or favor the enhanced view and balance challenges while standing tall atop an SUP, or both, California offers an outstanding variety of world-class waterways to explore. 

From renowned seashores to picturesque Sierra lakes, many of the state’s classic paddling destinations conveniently have rental and tour operations nearby. They are suitable for giving first timers and dabblers a nice taste of the wild and scenic nature that makes each unique. More experienced paddlers with their own boards or boats—along with the skills, gear, and savvy to do so safely, can venture further afield to experience the full flavor of the watery best. 

Assessing Skill Levels

Like whitewater rafting, skiing or rock climbing, paddling has its own rating systems, such as the five-level system used by the American Canoe Association, the nation’s largest …

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Gigi McBee

Crusading for whitewater safety

By Deanna Kerr • Photos by Jason Bates

Based in Lotus near the American River, kayak and swift water rescue instructor Gigi McBee has been on a campaign to keep herself and other paddlers safe on the river for over 20 years. Through commitment and hard work she has become a role model and an inspiration, making many in the kayak community safer in whitewater.  

McBee has been passionate about rivers for as long as she can remember, but her fascination with whitewater kayaking began when she was 13 years old.  She was living in Santiago, Chile with her ex-patriate family when she noticed a group of campers learning to roll in the Maipo River. She knew at once it was a sport she had to do. Kayaking would become the way she would always stay connected to the magic of rivers.  

McBee spent the …

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Bikepacking Catalina

How to escape to SoCal’s tropical island

Words and photos by Parker Amstutz

It’s hard for some to believe that Los Angeles has a tropical escape rivaling that of France’s Côte d’Azur. Sailboats nestled in private coves of deep blue water, subsurface terrariums teeming with marine life. A quaint island town with both luxurious seaside resorts and comfy bed and breakfasts, it’s no wonder that Catalina has long been a favored getaway for the rich and famous (not to mention it’s less than 30 miles off the coast of LA). Known to adventurers
as a dream destination for the outdoor community, Catalina is poised to be the home of your next great escape. With coastal campgrounds, panoramic views, and several places to refuel your body with a bison burger (more on that later), there’s no reason not to love this land of opportunity. Though the 38.5 mile Trans-Catalina Trail is …

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