The Season of Down

Posted @ Enlightened Equipment.

For the past 10 years I have used the same 30-degree mummy style sleeping bag and it has done well in all types of weather. This year, however, it was time for an upgrade. I started researching backpacking sleeping bags and stumbled upon the quilt style of bags. These intrigued me as they are lighter and take up less space, plus because of the fact that I do not sleep on my back and I never really use the head mummy portion of my sleeping bag – I decided to go with one of these quilts, made with down, from Enlightened Equipment.

I fell in love with Enlightened Equipment before I ever received my quilt from them. First because everything they create is handmade. And second because they are based out of Minnesota. (I have a soft spot for anything Minnesota since I go on a weeklong hiking and fishing trip there every two to three years.) After receiving the Enigma 20-degree, 750 duck down quilt from them, I now have a third reason to love this company.

The only downside to my new sleeping quilt is that I did not discover Enlightened Equipment sooner. I was able to use the Enigma for all my overnight trips this year, and as my friends can attest I cannot stop raving about this product. Maybe it is because I have never used a down bag previously so I was unaware of the comfort and warmth that is attributed to down. Or maybe it’s because of how small it packs down or because it weighs half of what my previous bag weighs. For whatever reason, I’ll be using this bag for years to come!

Colorado weather is always unpredictable, especially when camping in the Rocky Mountains. At any time of the year the temperature can drop below freezing and dump hail or snow for as little as 10 minutes, or as long as a day or two or more. Being well equipped for whatever weather may arise is key to having a successful and enjoyable trip and the 20-degree Enigma is the perfect bag for all of your three season camping.

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Photos: Last Hike of the Year for High-Country Cutthroats

Originally posted @ Orvis.

Here in Colorado, winter had already started to sprinkle our 14ers with snow in early September. Before the lakes started freezing over, I and fellow high-country addict Shawn Larson decided to hike one last time. With no trail, we hiked the six-mile round trip to a lake that sits at 12,000 feet above sea level. The most brutal part of the trip was a section that covered 1,300 vertical feet in just under a half a mile. But as is the case for all of the hiking I get to do, it’s always worth it in the end!

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Photos of the Day: Brennon’s Half Day on the Water

Originally posted @ Orvis.

My son, Brennon, had a half day of school last week, and when I asked him what he wanted to do for the second half of the day, he said he wanted to hang out at the creek. So we spent the afternoon messing around, trying not to get his cast—courtesy of a little fall off the monkey bars last month—wet. Even the little creek chub are a blast to catch!

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