Gear Review: Father Nature Outdoors Integrated Camping Blanket

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Some of the greatest innovations in outdoor gear, and in general, are born out of a marriage between necessity and creativity. Existing options don't meet all needs, or fall short in specific areas, and we can either choose to accept what's available, or create something new. The team behind Father Nature Outdoors chose the latter, and in 2011, the idea for the Integrated Camping Blanket was born.



Introducing the Trail Trading Post and a Special Coupon Code for Adventure-Inspired Readers

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Whether it's winter, spring, summer, or fall, for me, the process is the same. I pull season-specific gear, apparel and shoes out of my closet, take stock of what I have and the condition it's in, and figure out what I need for the trips and activities I'm planning. But it's no secret - outfitting ourselves with the stuff it takes to participate in activities like backpacking, hiking, biking, climbing, and more isn't cheap.

From shopping discount retailers to garage sales, outlets, and everything in between, it can be difficult to find exactly what we're looking for at reasonable prices. In an effort to make it easier to purchase some of the shoes, gear, and apparel you'll need for your next adventure, I'm partnering with Shoebuy.com to create a custom mix of products from some of my favorite brands.

Gear Review: Topo Athletic Women's Santé Functional Fitness Training Shoes

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A training shoe is a training shoe is a training shoe, right? Not necessarily. Sure, a shoe that fits
well is important, but depending on the activity, you might want a more specialized pair of kicks designed to help you move the way you need to move.

For CrossFit workouts, I've worn everything from minimalist flat soled shoes to beefy trail shoes, from traditional running shoes to shoes designed specifically for training, and everything in between. I've found that minimalist flat-soled kicks don't protect my feet enough when I'm doing things like box jumps or jumping rope. Beefy trail shoes are too heavy for me to be agile. Traditional running shoes with padding and an elevated heel make it hard to lift heavy weight. And the majority of the training-specific shoes I've tried just don't fit well. After receiving a pair of Topo Athletic Women's Santé shoes to try, it was immediately clear they were unlike any training shoe I'd tried. 

Interview: Coalition Snow Co-Founder and CEO Jen Gurecki on the Need for High Performance Women's Skis

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Sierra Sawyer skiing on the Abyss skis in
Crested Butte, CO. Photo by Mason Strehl.
"What I want people to know is that being pro-woman doesn’t mean that we’re anti-men. We are an inclusive company (and group of human beings) that welcome all people who are positive, supportive, and generally awesome in all things they do."

One of the reasons why I started Adventure-Inspired in the first place was to spread inspiration and excitement related to the outdoors. When it comes to inspiration and excitement, Coalition Snow Co-Founder and CEO Jen Gurecki has plenty to share.

Gender-specific gear can be a tricky topic, as can gender itself, but Jen and her team are tackling what they've identified as a serious gap in high-performance skis and snowboards for women. I got goosebumps reading Jen's answers to my interview questions; she's one of the most passionate people I've interacted with, and I'm so excited to share what she has to say about Coalition Snow and the quest to create the kind of skis women should have available to them.

Where did the idea for Coalition Snow originate?

Six Do's and Don'ts for Successful Spring Hiking

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It's the first day of spring! Though saying farewell to winter isn't among my favorite things to do, the turn of the season means it's time to focus on planning hiking and related adventures with the onset of warmer weather. Going for a hike sounds like a relatively simple adventure, but there are plenty of things to consider when you're choosing a destination, preparing your gear, and planning your route.