Black Friday Sale

Yeah, yeah, The House is known for great deals, and for good reason.  We’re rolling out the savings now with our  Black Friday Sale where you SAVE UP TO 80% OFF!  Below are a few of our top favorite picks that won’t last long.  Make sure to select the link HERE for your chance to get the greatest gear discounts before Black Friday.  With over 55,000 items on sale, you’ll be able to find gifts for all of your loved ones and more than a few for yourself.  Take a look now, the gear won’t last long!

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Nixon Mod Watch | Purchase HERE

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Framed Impact BMX Bike | Purchase HERE

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Patagonia Go To Shirt | Purchase HERE

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The North Face Thermoball Pullover Jacket | Purchase HERE

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Oakley Lineminer Goggles | Purchase HERE

Longboarding: Tight Trucks vs Loose Trucks

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Nearly every longboarder will agree that overly tight trucks just aren’t a whole lot of fun. And worse, they can be down right dangerous. Longboarding is all about freedom on an oversized skateboard. Tight or winding turns through town and giant carves down a freshly paved country downhill are signature maneuvers on a longboard – all of which demand loose trucks.

Tight Trucks
Skateboards with tight trucks can tic tac their way through a turn. Due to their sheer size, longboards don’t tic tac quite as seamlessly. Leaning into a turn is the way to go. Tight trucks won’t allow for tight turns. Sliding is also immensely popular among expert long boarders (see video below). It’s just not possible to slide with tight trucks. So really, the main reason we don’t recommend tight trucks is that longboarding will actually become very frustrating as you attempt to turn your board!longboard

If your board feels squirrely, your first instinct might be to tighten the trucks. Get some harder bushings. Problem solved!

It’s rightfully believed that speed wobbles are caused by trucks that are too loose. Sure, it might be a small factor. Please, don’t tighten your trucks like crazy before bombing your first hill! If the trucks are too tight, you won’t be able to carve. You’ll end up leading a one man Chinese downhill. If you have the speed wobbles, don’t take it personally, but you need some more practice. Speed wobble is caused by improper balance on the board. Practice on some mellow slopes first with trucks as loose as you can tolerate.

Loose Trucks
Loose trucks are synonymous with longboarding. Don’t go too crazy, though. The trucks should be as loose as you feel comfortable when you’re first starting out. Be sure not to compress the bushings when adjusting your trucks. Once you’re comfortable with your board, loosen your trucks up a hair so that they feel slightly uncomfortable. Trust us – this will make you a better rider in the long run. For one, it will force you to master your balance. It will also allow you to make a quick turn in case of emergency (dog, car, hungover college student).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Et81jJk23M&w=720]

How to Adjust Bike Brakes

 

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While bicycle brakes offer excellent stopping power, there are a few reasons why the brakes might not be working properly. Over time the cables may stretch, the brake pads can wear out, a pad might drag on the rim or the brakes just might not be tight enough. Because your safety depends on optimum braking, check out these guidelines for common adjustments to ensure that you can slow down and stop efficiently.

Keep in mind these instructions are for conventional brakes, not disc brakes. Do not work on your brakes unless you’re confident in your ability to do the job. Lastly, be sure that the wheels are true and round (not damaged or wobbly).

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First, locate the barrel (see photo). It should have a graded edge for easy gripping eliminating the need for a tool. Turn the barrel counterclockwise by hand. Periodically, check the setting by squeezing the levers. When the brakes feel right, lock the barrel adjusters in position by turning the lock ring (the second knurled piece) clockwise until it’s tight against the lever.

This easy adjustment will make the brakes feel like new after you’ve logged several dozen miles and worn down the pads. It’s also great to tighten the barrels on the fly if the brakes feel weak mid ride. This can also happen when it’s muddy or wet. Once the brake pads are worn out, simply tightening the barrels won’t be enough. You’ll need to replace the pads. 

Center the Wheel

A misaligned wheel will cause the brake pad to rub against the wheel. It has to be near perfectly centered between the brake pads for the brakes to work properly. To correct this, loosen the brakes, center the wheel, then retighten. 

Center the Brake

If both wheels are centered and the brake still drags, the brake may have gotten bumped and knocked out of position. Double-check that the wheel is centered in the frame because you don’t want to ruin the brake adjustment if it’s actually set correctly.

To center side pull brakes (road bikes), loosen the attaching bolt behind the fork crown or brake bridge until the brake is loose. (It should move sideways when you push it). Now, squeeze the lever to hold the brake pads against the rim while you tighten the brake bolt on the back of the frame. If the brake still needs minor fine-tuning, look for a small screw on top of the brake. Turn it clockwise turns to move the brake shoe on the side of the screw away from the rim and vice versa.

To center linear-pull brakes (off-road and hybrid bikes), look for a small screw in the side of the brake arm. Clockwise turns of this screw will move the pad in the arm with the screw away from the rim and vice versa.

Brake Binding

Brakes should operate smoothly and easily. The brake pads should pull away from the rims as the levers are released. If this is not the case, the brake pivots or cables might be dry, causing binding. Free the pivots by lightly lubricate the brakes where the arms pivot and squeeze the levers repeatedly to work the lube into the brakes. Do not get any lube on the brake pads or rims. Wipe clean with rubbing alcohol if this happens.

If the problem continues, the chain might need some lube. Usually, this is only required on rear cables with split housing. Look closely at where the housing sections enter the stops on the frame. If the stops are split, you’ll be able to remove the housing and lubricate most of the cable. If the housing stops aren’t split, raise the bike so that gravity will draw the lube into the housing section. Apply a few drops of lube on the cable and squeeze the rear brake lever to draw the lube into the housing. Repeat for the front section of housing.

Is it time for new brakes? Shop The House.

 

Tips for First Time Fat Bike Riders

Fat biking has evolved to become one of the fastest-growing trends in cycling. With tires as wide as 4.7 inches (nearly double the width of mountain bike tires), fat bikes allow riders to not only tackle snowy singletrack, extending the cycling season into winter, but also float over fair-weather terrain that would otherwise be impassable (like deep sand or mud). Fat bikes are the ultimate vehicle for riding year-round. Keep in mind that fat biking is a different feel and ride that mountain or road biking. Beginners, check out those tips before you hit the trail on your new fat bike…618_348_the-fatbiking-revolution

  1. Select the Right Trails – What skiers consider substandard conditions, fat-bikers call ideal – day-old hardpack. Many resorts maintain off-mountain Nordic, snowmobile, and singletrack trails that are perfect for fat biking. The morning or evening are best for fat biking. Cooler temperatures create firmer snow. The sun can bake the snow into slush in the mid day hours. Adjust your technique to the immediate conditions—shift your weight forward in crusty snow and back when it’s soft or wet.
  2. Dress for Warmer Temperatures – You read that correctly. Wear clothing appropriate for temperatures 10° to 15°F warmer than the average temperature that day. Fat biking is a workout and it’s not difficult to stay warm. Plan to burn up to 1,500 calories per hour! It sounds crazy, but you overheating is quite possible on a fat bike – even in the dead of winter. Sweaty clothing can also set the stage for hypothermia. Dress in layers that you can peel off as you warm up, and avoid cotton (which retains moisture) in favor of merino wool or synthetic fleece (which wicks it away).
  3. Use Flat Pedals – If you’re new to snow biking, you’re going to be putting your foot down- a lot. Even if you’re a seasoned cyclist, start fat biking with platform pedals and regular winter boots to keep headaches and cold feet to a minimum. You can upgrade to cycling boots and clipless pedals later. It’s less common to flip over the handlebar in fat biking, but tires sliding out is more of an occurrence. When that happens, simply use your foot as a kickstand.
  4. Reduce Your Pressure – Mountain bike tires typically require inflation of 20 pounds per square inch (psi) or higher to prevent flats. Fat bikes, on the other hand, can go as low as 2.5 psi. The sweet spot is between 4 and 5 psi. It’s the perfect mix of traction and flotation for most snow conditions. Finding it can mean the difference between riding and walking. After the snow melts, increase the pressure in your tires to 8 to 10 psi to maximize control on harder, dirt ground.fat-bike-day-colorado-springs-1518
  5. Stay In Your Seat – Although tempting, avoid the temptation to stand up while pedaling uphill. Popping up transfers weight off the back wheel, which can cause loss of rear-wheel traction. The tire will just spin and momentum will be lost. Instead, stay seated on the saddle to keep weight in the rear wheel. As the hill gets steeper, shift into progressively lower gears. Although speed will be sacrificed, peddling at a lower gear gives leverage and traction necessary to climb the hill. Keep practicing this technique until it becomes second nature!

Looking for fat bike gear? Check out our online shop.

 

Bike Safety Tips for Commuters

 

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Communities across the country are are thinking differently when it comes to the infrastructure of our roads. Towns and cities are making massive improvements to make our roads safe for bike commuters of all ages and abilities. Bike commuters can find bike lanes or shared bike lanes (where a car and a bike share the same lane). Cities like Minneapolis, Portland and New York are ahead of the game when it comes to the idea of being “bike friendly.” Still, even for seasoned commuters, it’s important to stay up to date with bike safety tips when riding to work, school or our out to dinner…

  • Avoid Riding on Sidewalks – A sidewalk is a horrible and unsafe place to ride a bike (unless you’re 5 and just learning how to ride a bike). Cars pulling out of driveways aren’t used to seeing fast cyclist cursing along the sidewalk and could  make for an easy collision. Furthermore, mixing pedestrians and cyclists is dangerous to both. It’s much safer to ride in the street, with traffic while following the rules of the road for drivers and vehicles.
  • Wheels Go With Traffic – Ride in the same direction as cars. Walkers move in the opposite direction of traffic. It is illegal in all 50 states to ride a bike on the wrong side of the road. Motorists look for traffic coming from the usual direction, not the wrong-way traffic.commuter-biking
  • Be Visible – Stick to bright clothes during the day and lights on your bike at night. It is estimated that thirty percent of cycling crashes occur at night, although only about four percent of cycling is done at night. Reflectors that come standard with bikes do very little. It’s imperative that you invest in a headlight and a tail light for your bike (sold together). Many states are beginning to ticket night cyclists without lights.
  • Follow the Rules of the Road – That’s ride. Bike like you’re a car. Stop at all stop signs. Wait until the light turns green to go. Don’t cut in front of cars. Use proper hand signals when turning.
  • Learn Proper Lane Position – Novice commuters typically “hug the curb.” This encourages cars to pass by too closely. Experienced cyclists let traffic pass when they can but they “use the full lane” when needed for safety.  If cars are passing you too close, move a bit left to show other drivers that they must use another lane.  This way you also reserve a “safety space” to the right.  But if you collect a string of cars behind you, try to find a safe way to let them pass.  It takes practice and confidence to learn to ride effectively in traffic.
  • Be Predictable – Ride in a straight line. Yes, even while going uphill! It’s a good signal to drivers that you’re confident and that you know what you’re doing.
  • Be Courteous – Don’t be a _____(fill in the blank). Share the road with other drivers and cyclists.  If others act rudely, stay cool and don’t descend to their level. Smiling and waving is always a nice gesture if an angry motorist gives you the evil eye! Bike commuting and sharing lanes with motorists is still catching on. Some motorists have not yet accepted that the lanes are to be shared where a bike lane is not available.landing_btwd_commute
  • Wear a Helmet! – Not wearing a helmet while commuting signals to a driver that you are careless and not following the rules. While a helmet will not prevent a bike crash, it’s minimal insurance that may allow you to walk away from an accident. Make sure your helmet fits and is adjusted properly.
  • Practice Bike Maintenance – Depending on how often you ride, take your bike to a shop for regular tune ups. Before hopping on, give the bike a quick run through –  make sure that wheels are tight and that tires are in good shape. Squeeze the brakes hard to see that they work and that cables are not about to snap.
  • Buddy Up –  If you’re new to commuting, find an experienced commuter who will show you the ropes and give you the confidence to do it on your own.

How to Fix a Flat Bike Tire

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While they can be frustrating, fixing a flat tire isn’t terribly difficult. When riding, be sure to have a patch kit and bicycle tire release lever. These simple instructions can get you back on your bike quickly.

  1. Release the Brake – Before fixing the flat, you’ll need release the brake so that the wheel can be removed. The brake mechanism is right above the wheel. There are various types of brakes. If it has a know at the end of the pull-cable that catches on a notch in the caliper arm, squeeze the brake arms together to release the cable. For a quick-release lever (similar to an axle), open and release the brakes. Most mountain bikes have disc brakes and it’s important to be careful not to touch the rotor when opening the quick-release mechanism. It can extremely hot.fix-flat-tire
  2. Release the Wheel – After the break has been released, the wheel needs to be removed from the axle. To remove a front wheel, simply open the quick-release lever and unscrew the securing nut slightly on the opposite side as needed to release the tension that holds the wheel in place. Rear wheels are removed the same way, but the chain makes it a bit more complicated. Shift the gear in the smaller gear cog by adjust the shifter up then raising the bike. Then, spin its wheels until the gear-shift is complete. Pull back on the rear derailleur to give it some slack, then lift out the wheel with the other hand. The wheel should pop free! If you can’t find a quick release leaver, then the wheel is bolted on. Simply unscrew the bolts with a wrench and release the wheel.
  3. Check for Damage – Carefully inspect both the tire and the tube for the cause of the flat by running a cloth inside the tire. Any sharp objects will snag the fabric. Remove the debris. Visually check the tire tread for other culprits or large cuts. Be sure that no spokes or rough edges are rubbing along the inside of the metal rim.
  4. Identify the Cause of the Flat – First, check for obvious punctures or blowouts in the tube. Try inflating the tube so you can check for escaping air. Then, check the valve. If the valve stem or base is cut, cracked or severely worn, it may be leaking. If that’s the case, replace the entire tube. If the valve looks good, check the thin strip along the inside of your rim. Look for protruding spoke ends or areas where the strip may have come free and pinched the tube against the rim surface. Last, look for any embedded objects in the outside tread of the tire. Turn the tire inside out and do a full visual inspection of the inner surface, making your way slowly around the tire. Use a tweezer to remove any foreign debris.
  5. Repair or Replace the Tube – If the tire has sustained little or no permanent damage, as is often the case, your decision will be whether to repair or replace the tube. While repairing a damaged tube is cost effective, it should really just be used in an emergency situation. Replace the tube as soon as possible for maximum reliability. Patch kits come with step by step instructions.flat_repair_bnr_6_08_vs2_p
  6. Put the Tube Back On – Pump a few pumps of air into the tube before inserting it back into the tire. Then, install the valve in the valve opening and work the rest of the tube into the tire all the way around. Pull the rubber bead of the tire back toward the metal rim. The tire bead should drop down into the metal rim. The bead will become trickier toward the end. You can push the bead with your thumbs to make it fit.
  7. Reinstall the Wheel – Simply reverse the procedure you used to remove it. Reattach the wheel to your frame dropouts, holding the derailleur out of the way if you’re reinstalling the rear wheel. Once the tire is attached to the wheel, it’s ready to be completely inflated. Look at the sidewall to find the recommended pressure. When inflating, make sure the tire is even and has no bulges or low spots.
  8. Reattach the Brakes!! – Don’t ever forget this step.

Be prepared for flats. Shop The House for patch and repair kits, tubes, tires, and pumps.

How to Slide on a Longboard

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The first slide to master is the 180 Coleman slide. From there, you can add your own style and tweak it to make it your own. Before attempting slides, get comfortable carving on hills with some decent speed. You’ll need enough speed to get the board around 180 degrees. Check out all the tools you’ll need to get sliding…

What You Will need for Longboard Slides

How to Longboard Slide

  1. Get some speed by pushing 6-8 times with one foot.  It’s scary at first, but enough speed is necessary to slide a full 180 degrees. Place your pedaling foot back on the board and bend your knees. Your feet should be wider than your shoulders. Prepare to slide. 
  2. Initiate a toe side carve. Bend your knees at the point where you’re crouching on the board. Place one hand on the side of the board positioned between the legs. Another option is to reach one hand up toward the sky to maintain balance. Place the other hand on the ground, reaching backward, opposite to the way in which your toes are pointed. 
  3. To get the slide going, carve heel-side. This is the most difficult part of the slide, but practice it and soon it should come naturally. There are many ways to perform the actual 180, but the simplest way is to look backward and turn shoulders and hips to 180 degrees. Put most of your weight on the front foot, about 60%. Use your back foot to force the back of the board outward with the shoulders. It might take several tries of only making it 90 degrees, but commit to 180 degrees and you’ll get it before too long.

Tips for a 180 Coleman Slide

  • Loosen trucks – Looser trucks will allow you to carve into your slide.
  • Go Faster! – A little more speed gives you the necessary momentum to complete a 180 degree slide.
  • Find the Right Spot – Look for smooth, clean pavement free of cracks and gravel. A good, steep hill will help you gain speed. Most importantly, secure a spot with very little traffic!
  • Properly distribute weight – There should be more weight on the front foot (about 60%), while the back foot is used to force the back of the board outward.
  • Check your wheels – Small, round-lipped wheels make it easy to break traction and start sliding. Also, keep in mind that wheels will slide more easily after they’re broken in than when they’re brand new.slide
  • Keep Center of Gravity Low – Bending your knees will make it easier to push out into a slide. Should you bail, the distance between your body and the pavement will be smaller!
  • Tag along with the good guys – Find some mates who are more skilled than you at sliding. They can give you tips and help you progress.
  • Wear Safety Gear – A helmet and longboard slide gloves are a must. Knee and elbow pads are highly recommend for all skill levels. You’ll be more comfortable pushing yourself if you feel more comfortable falling.

How to Pick a Bike Helmet

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A bike helmet should be a no brainer. Once you get used to wearing one, it almost feels weird if you don’t wear one! While all helmets will protect your head, some are designed with aerodynamics in mind, some are exceptionally lightweight and others provide maximum ventilation at high speeds. As price increases, helmets are typically lighter in weight and have more vents.

Biking Helmet Types

  • Sport helmets: Perfect for multi-use recreation, sport helmets are an economical choice for cruising the bike path, commuting, casual road and mountain biking.
  • Road bike helmets: With low weight, generous ventilation and aerodynamic design, road bike helmets are preferred by serious road bike enthusiasts.
  • Mountain bike helmets: Mountain bike helmets are designed to ventilate well at low speeds and are often distinguished by small visor. They have enhanced rear-head coverage and a firm and a secure fit for tackling rough terrain. Mountain bike helmets are often used by cyclocross riders, too.

Bike Helmet Sizing 1367443191518

It’s crucial to select a helmet that fits comfortably and securely. A properly fitted helmet will move the eyebrows when tilted forward and backward. If there’s a gap, it’s too big.

Grab a tailor’s tape measure. You know, the floppy ones used for sewing (not the one from your tool box). Measure the largest portion of your head, about 1 inch above the eyebrows. Use the general sizing parameters below to find your helmet size. Most helmets can be micro adjusted to account for various shaped heads, so once you receive your helmet, you can dial in a perfect fit.

  • Small: 20″-21.75″ (51cm-55cm)
  • Medium: 21.75″-23.25″ (55cm-59cm)
  • Large: 23.25″-24.75″ (59cm-63cm)
  • Extra-small, extra-large: Below 20″ (51cm), above 24.75 (63cm)
  • One size fits all (men): 21.25″-24″ (54cm-61cm)
  • One size fits all (women): 19.75″-22.5″ (50cm-57cm)

Bike Helmet SpecsMountain bike sul Lago di Garda(1)

Compare the specs of various helmets using the guide below. Determine which attributes are most important or most relevant to your style of riding.

  • Weight: Weight is almost always listed in grams (28.34g = 1 oz.). Racers and frequent cyclist will appreciate the weight savings of a lighter helmet. For occasional cyclist, weight is not a big concern. The lighter the helmet, the more expensive.
  • Vents: Vents are designed to create airflow around and over your head and will cool the head. The more vents, the pricier the helmet.
  • Visor: Some riders prefer having a sun-shielding visor attached to their helmet. On the flip side, it adds a fractional ounce of weight and slight wind resistance.
  • Fit system: Manufacturers create a variety of names (e.g., Roc Loc, GPS, Acu-Dial) to represent their approach to a helmet’s sizing wheel (typically a dial). Be sure to visit the manufacturer’s website for a detailed explanation.

Shop for bike helmets at The-House.

Easy Longboard Tricks

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You’re feeling pretty comfortable on the board. Cruising around, turning, gaining speed and making sharper turns are like second nature. It’s time for some basic longboard tricks to keep the progression going. Check out our top 5 favorite easy longboard tricks…

  1. Cross-Stepping – A iconic trick in longboarding (as in surfing), mastering cross-stepping will lock in your confidence and finesse on your board. Start on the grass. Stand with both feet on the back of the board. For regular riders, cross your right foot over the left, then sweep your left foot around again. As you become more balanced, try cross stepping all the way to the nose of the board and then back again.longboard-hammond-piper-40-free-style
  2. Ghostride Heelflip – First, get on your board and start to push (slowly!). Then, bring your left foot off and bring it near the board (toe side), as close as you can. Then, lift your right foot from the board, bringing it toe side and quickly flip the board behind you until it flips over. After this, jump up with both of your feet and jump onto the board to the other side of you. Practice doing this to get it right, it may take you a little while. When done, you can start to learn different variations on the board and ride like a pro!
  3. Shuvit – Perform a shuvit by jumping into the air without spinning, and spinning, and your skateboard spins beneath you. Put your front foot in the middle of the board and back foot on the tail. Bend your legs, then move the board 90 degrees. Let go with front foot, then hop it back on completing 180 degrees.
  4. No Comply 180 – Put your front foot in the middle of the board and back foot on the tail. With some speedheadline (one push or so), step your front foot off the board (heelside) and allow the back foot to pop the board up. With the back foot on the tail, scoop the board around 180 degrees. Right before the board touches the ground, put front back on the board and ride away switch.
  5. Fakie Frontside Pivot – Put front foot on the nose of the board and back foot in the middle of the board. Press nose down on the board and swing the tail of the board around 180 degrees.

Shop The-House selection of Longboards.

Men’s Hiking Style Guide

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Function and fashion are important.  When exploring the world function is the most important.  If someone says that fashion doesn’t matter, it can be assumed they probably wears crocs to weddings and have no real say on the topic.  Get outside and look good exploring this beautiful world of ours.

3 - Down Jacket v2Arc’teryx Cerium SL Jacket

Perfect for layering on those blustery days, the Arc’teryx Cerium SL Jacket for men is the piece your wardrobe has been missing. Outstanding in its warmth to weight ratio, this cozy jacket will keep you going through plummeting temperatures and blustery conditions.  [PURCHASE]

 

3 - Rain Jacket v2Helly Hansen Loke Jacket

The Helly Hansen Loke Jacket is an essential light weight shell. Practical for a variety of weather conditions with full water and windproof yet breathable construction. With front storm flap to keep out wind and rain, and with vents to prevent overheating.  [PURCHASE]

 

3 - Hat v2Columbia Trail Dryer Cap

The Trail Dryer Cap has a sweat-activated, super cooling headband, offers UPF 50 protection from the sun and has a hook-and-loop back adjustment. Sometime the future is so bright you ahve to block it out with a brim.  [PURCHASE]

 

3 - Shoes v2Adidas Terrex Fast X GTX Hiking Shoes

For lightweight performance on and off the trail, lace up the Adidas Terrex Fast X GTX Hiking Shoes for men and get outside this season! Designed to be as comfortable as they are effective in wet and slippery conditions, the Terrex Fast X hiking shoes are made with a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex liner to keep your feet dry and happy no matter where the trail takes you.  [PURCHASE]

 

1 - WatchFreestyle Navigator 2.0 Watch

The Freestyle Navigator 2.0 Watch has a built in digital compass with 1° of resolution and declination adjustment to help make navigating a breeze. The Navigator 2.0 also features three alarms, a calendar, and a timer useful for many outdoor activities including hiking and running.  [PURCHASE]

 

1 - pantsMountain Hardwear Warlow Hybrid Pants

The perfect alpine spring climbing pant designed in collaboration with Mountain Hardwear’s athletes. Minimal design with maximum stretch and superior fit make the Mountain Hardwear Warlow Hybrid Pants the most versatile and well rounded outdoor pants know to man.  [PURCHASE]