Home Is Where the Heart Is: A Journey Out of the Last Wilderness

words and photos by Ann Olsson :: There’s something about packing your bags and leaving a place close to your heart, knowing you’ll never live there again. This is how I felt in May of 2016 when I made the journey out of the wilderness surrounding Fairbanks, Alaska and into the relatively big city of Madison, Wisconsin. At that time, my husband flew [...]

OWA Review: Outdoor Research Women’s Hemispheres Jacket

What: Outdoor Research Women’s Hemispheres Jacket Where to buy: backcountry.com, moosejaw.com, outdoorresearch.com, rei.com, amazon.com, amazon.co.uk Perfect for: outer shell for active pursuits (working your way up the skin track, snowy or windy winter hikes) *Note: I'm part of Outdoor Research’s #ORInsightLab, a team of testers who voluntarily share their findings after testing product. The #ORInsightLab testers are not asked to publish positive reviews, and no financial compensation [...]

OWA Reviews: Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal

What: Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal Where to buy: moosejaw.com, rei.com, amazon.com Perfect for: gentle kayaking with kids and dogs Tester: Elizabeth Harwood *Note: No financial compensation was received for this review. The tester was asked to record her findings, positive and negative, when testing the kayak. At OWA, the aim is to only publish reviews on gear that, after testing, is found to be beneficial [...]

It Never Fits: Clothing Reviews by “Hard-to-Fit” Outdoor Women

We teamed up with REI and outdoor women in our community for a special summer clothing review roundup. The aim? To find pieces to that work for the self-described "hard to fit" areas of outdoor women. Filter the finds using the categories in the review section below, then click on an image to dig into a deeper review. REI is even helping one [...]

OWA Review: Outdoor Research Women’s Stormbound Mitt

What: Outdoor Research Stormbound Mitt Where to buy: backcountry.com, outdoorresearch.com, amazon.ca, amazon.co.uk, amazon.com Perfect for: those sub-freezing ski and snowboarding situations when your gloves are wimping out but your over-the-cuff mittens look like overkill *Note: I am part of Outdoor Research’s #ORInsightLab, a team of testers who voluntarily share their findings after testing product. #ORInsightLab testers are not asked to publish positive reviews, and no [...]

OWA Review: 3 Women’s Winter Camping Sleeping Bags

Are you looking to venture into winter camping or step it up a notch? Need an update to your winter sleeping bag? After testing in the field, our Wasatch Front Grassroots Team Leader, Denver Bauter, and our Grassroots Program Manager, Rachael Denis, review these three bags for their varying degrees of winter worthiness. Read on: Big Agnes Ethel 0 Degree Women's Regular Sleeping Bag Reviewer: [...]

OWA Reviews: Teton Sports Mountain Ultra 1 + 2 Tents

words and photos: Annie van Hees What: Teton Sports Mountain Ultra 1 and 2 backpacking tents Where to buy: Mountain Ultra 1: amazon.ca (select 1-man from drop down), amazon.com Mountain Ultra 2: amazon.ca (select 2-man from drop down), amazon.com Perfect For: weekend trips and short backpacking adventures *Note: No financial compensation was received for this review. The tester was asked to record her findings, positive and negative, [...]

OWA Review: Outdoor Research Women’s Ascendant Hoody

What: Outdoor Research Women’s Ascendant Hoody Where to buy: backcountry.com, campsaver.com, ems.com, moosejaw.com, outdoorresearch.com, amazon.com Perfect for: climbing and active pursuits as an outer layer on cool to chilly days, even with humidity *Note: I am part of Outdoor Research’s #ORInsightLab, a team of testers who voluntarily share their findings after testing product. #ORInsightLab testers are not asked to publish positive reviews, and no financial compensation was [...]

10 Must Haves for Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

words and photos by Annie van Hees Our kitchen was enveloped in a cloud of turmeric and dried goods. Ziploc bags were lined up on the center island; freeze dried soups and spices were strewn amidst the bags delegated for dinners. In theory, preparing our own food for the biggest and longest backpacking trip any of us had taken was an exciting decision. [...]

Paddling French Guiana’s Ocean Waters by Pirogue

words by Donna Mulvenna; photos courtesy of Donna Mulvenna with photo credit listed in watermarks Growing up in Australia, I paddled a kayak along some of the world’s most spectacular waterways. However, it wasn’t until I joined the crew of a pirogue team in French Guiana that I felt truly alive. Originally, I travelled to the country to visit my boyfriend’s family. After [...]