Pull out your maps, Outdoor Lovers, because it’s time to find that perfect Fall Camping Spot for your new Talus 2 Tent with his & her Banchee Packs from The North Face! All you really need to do is take a picture.

announcement began as a family endeavor out of the garage and grew into a local company tucked away in the quaint little mountain town of Buena Vista, Colorado. Still located in Buena Vista, the online retailer now runs out of a 21,000 sq ft warehouse where orders ship all over the US, but despite the continual growth, the company continues to serve its local roots.

RMT operates their business at over 8,000 ft. above sea level and is the only online outdoor retailer with 360 degree views of majestic mountains. It’s your base camp to the 14ers.

In collaboration with The North Face, is holding the “Show Us Your Outdoorsiness” giveaway. Throughout the month of September, you can enter to win by completing the following steps:

  1. Head to our Twitter or Instagram to follow @RockyMtnTrail (create an account if you have yet to do so).
  2. Post your favorite outdoorsy photo. Tag us in it (@RockyMtnTrail) and add one or both of the hashtags: #Outdoorsiness or #WakeUpOutside.
  3. Winner will be chosen based on the “Outdoorsiness” of their photo. We’re leaving it up to your imagination with what that might mean. We will announce the winner by the end of the day on September 30th, 2015. Good luck and remember to #NeverStopExploring!

How to Pick a Tent

How to Pick a Tent

Purchasing a tent is a big decision. This tent will become your home away from home. From backpacking the Appalachian Trail to conquering Mount Rainier or Everest this tent will see you through good and bad weather. I bet a lot of thought went into buying your first home and your tent deserves that same consideration. You’ll be surprised at how attached you can become to your tent.

1. The first thing you need to ask yourself is how many people will be sleeping in this tent? If the number is high do you need a tent with two doors and vestibules-for those of you who don’t know a vestibule provides extra space before the door where you can stash gear without worrying about it getting wet-instead of only one? In other words, how bad do you want to be elbowed or kneed when someone crawls over you to get outside? If you have a youngster or light sleeper in the family you may want a tent with jingle-free/noiseless zippers. It’s no fun when someone wakes up on the wrong side of the sleeping bag.

2. Now ask yourself what are you going to be using this tent for? Are you a weekend warrior going out for one night of camping? Are you a seasoned backpacker going out for a week or a month? Are you a car camper or hunter setting up a base camp? If you’re going backpacking and plan to camp in a new location every night you don’t want a heavy tent. You’re probably going to want an ultralight backpacking tent. If you’re only hiking in for a weekend you’ll be okay with a little heavier backpacking tent. If you plan to set up camp near your vehicle then get a big, luxurious tent. Who cares if it’s heavy? You don’t have to lug it even a mile into the backwoods. There are even tents out there with two rooms! A word of advice: if you’re backpacking and a lot of people are going to be sleeping in your tent don’t backpack a six-person tent into the woods. Break it down and have a couple of people hike three-person tents in. Unless you’re the hulk, and then I imagine you can handle a six-person tent.

3. And for the next question…When do you do most of your camping? Most tents are three-season. Will that work for you or do you need a tent that can withstand snow? If so, you need a four-season tent.

4. And finally, the question you’ve been agonizing over. What is your price range? This is the beauty of camping. Tents don’t have to be expensive. Becoming one with nature is relatively inexpensive. Tents are durable. They’re a good investment. When looking at a tent’s price look at the accessories included. For example, is the footprint included or sold separately? On average a footprint costs around fifty dollars. Keep in mind, with a tent you get what you pay for. What kind of poles does the tent come with? DAC poles are stronger and lighter than other aluminum poles. Do you expect high winds? Is this something you need? Do you want shorter, fourteen inch, poles so your tent packs into a cube instead of a cylindrical shape? Does the floor of the tent have a bathtub construction to better protect you from the rain? Do you expect to sleep through a torrential downpour? On that same line of questioning do you need a tent with an awning over the door so you don’t step out in the morning to a free shower when you zip the door closed behind you? (Because, after all, your tent is still not a barn.) Do you geek out over new technologies? Do you want a tent pre-equipped with lights or a tent with a center entertainment loft for your ipad? Is your dog more than just a pet? Is he/she family? Do you need a pawprint sheet to lay down inside the tent to better protect the floor? Are you new to camping? Do you need a tent with color coded clips so you know how to set up your tent?

No matter the kind of tent you’re looking for it’s out there. Just make sure to get the right size, weight, and seasonality in your price range equipped with all the accessories you need.

Starting a Campfire for the Amateur

Starting a Campfire for the Amateur

1.Build a ring of rocks to contain your fire.

2. Find some grass.

3. Find small sticks.

4. Find larger sticks and logs.

(Feels a little like Easter doesn’t it?)

5. Build a teepee with the small sticks.

6. Place the grass flat on the ground through the breaks in the teepee so it makes a carpet of sorts, but keep some grass for later.

7. Take the grass you set aside for later and light the end on fire.  Now light the grass under the teepee.  (Using the grass as a sort of longer match keeps you from burning yourself so easily.  Ladies, nail polish is flammable.)

8. Repeat step 7 as necessary, collecting more grass as needed until the small sticks catch fire.  (If the grass isn’t doing the trick try toilet paper.)

9. Once the small sticks are blazing throw on bigger sticks until you have a good campfire, and then add wood as long as needed so you stay warm during the night and in the morning.

Warning: You may smell like smoke at the end of your camping trip.

Cooking tip: Everything tastes better with a little ash.  Especially, marshmallows.

Marmot Lobo’s Pant

Marmot Lobo’s Pant

It’s hard to find a great pair of bottoms that fit right, don’t tear, dry quickly, and look good.  Normally, when hiking, I wear athletic shorts, but that’s not always ideal in the spring and fall, and even in the summer at 14,000 feet with the wind blowing it’s chilly.  When I do wear longer pants they’re usually capris and cotton.  Don’t judge me.  Shopping is not my thing.  But Marmot has a smaller, relevant clothing line.  They don’t try to fluff their line with unnecessary pieces that you don’t need.  Shopping for clothing that works across multiple activities is simple. The women’s Lobo’s pant has a boot cut design and when it gets hot in the afternoons they roll into capris with a button just below the knee so they don’t fall and you don’t have to constantly readjust them.  Trendy thread pop reveals itself along the seam when you roll them up to add a little bit of flavor.  With a zippered side pocket you can easily stash any valuables.  They’re so lightweight and comfortable you forget you’re wearing pants.  And they’re warm, too.  In the spring evenings my legs don’t get cold. Durability is a huge factor for me and these pants didn’t disappoint.  When my friend’s dog jumped up on me her paws didn’t snag my pants.  When I was sliding down rocks my pants didn’t tear.  And when I was maneuvering through shrubs and trees the thorns and branches didn’t rip my pants. I wore them for three days straight on my last backpacking trip, even sleeping in them and they didn’t wrinkle.  With their great stretch they move when I do.  Totally worth the $70!  And they dry quickly so when those afternoon showers come in or the dew from tree branches rubs off you’re set. Lobo’s is offered in three colors: desert khaki, dark steel, and cinder.  I personally went for the dark steel and love them.  At 5’7″ and 130lbs size 6 fits fantastically.  They weren’t too short, but they didn’t drag the ground either, and I didn’t need a belt.  From the trail to town you can totally dress these pants up.  They’re that diverse.  If you’re like me then shopping for hiking pants is a huge ordeal so skip the stress and order a pair of Lobo’s  You won’t regret it.  And no worries.  They’re super easy to wash and they don’t shrink during wash.  Wash in cold water using powdered detergent and no softener.  Technically you can tumble dry low, but I just air dry them.  They’re quick drying anyway so it doesn’t take long.

NEMO Equipment

NEMO Equipment

Mine.  Mine.  Mine.  No, not that Nemo.  NEMO Equipment.  It’s camping gear.  It doesn’t go in an aquarium.  Headquartered in New Hampshire the company started out with a focus on functional, lightweight tents and then went a step further by extending their focus to include  sleeping pads and eventually sleeping bags.  Their most recent achievement comes in the form of the Sonic down sleeping bag, which won 2015 Backpacker Editor’s Choice.

Let’s take a closer look at the selection we’ll be offering this spring.

First off, the Dagger and Galaxi two person tents with two doors and two vestibules offers an easier entry and exit with an overhead light pocket that uses special fabrics to diffuse the light for an even glow throughout the entire tent.

The Bugout, a tarp shade with a drop down bug screen fits over a hammock.  It also works great to keep the insects away in the backyard when you want to have a family picnic or at festivals or wherever needed.  With two doors residents are able to move around freely without fearing they’ll let bugs in.

The Cosmo series is both insulated and not, depending on your sleeping pad needs and the temperatures you’ll be sleeping in.  With an integrated foot pump and pillow it has the simplest setup possible.  (And I’ll vouch for the Cosmo Insulated 20R.  Using the foot pump in a tent is a little difficult because I can’t stand in my tent so I practice CPR on my sleeping pad, but hey I’m not out of breath like some people who have to blow up their pads.  The pillow baffle isn’t enough to actually moonlight as a pillow.  I still have to fold a jacket under my head, but I don’t push my jacket off in the middle of the night.  The pad also works great for family functions when I sleep on the floor because all of the spare bedrooms are taken.  And in those cases I can use the foot pump!)  If you do prefer an air inflatable pad grab a member of the Astro series.  And if you’re a minimalist the Zor is NEMO’s lightest self-inflating foam pad.

And who could forget the sleeping bag?  The Nocturne sleeping bag won Backpacker Editor’s Choice in 2013 with its spoon shape design so side sleepers don’t get caught up like they would in a traditional mummy bag.  With DownTek (water repellent down) sleepers are better protected from the elements.  The synthetic spoon design, the Verve, also offers superb comfort with the comforter pullout at the neck for a more homey feel.  If the mummy style bag isn’t for you and the rectangular shape is, then you’re in luck!  The Mezzo Loft series was designed with you in mind.  And for those who wish to get super cozy the Mambo Duo is ultralight with the weight and pack size of a single sleeping bag.

So you have the tent, the sleeping pad, the sleeping bag and…what’s missing?  Oh yeah!  A pillow.  Not everyone enjoys using a jacket and some just don’t have a jacket to spare so Fillo to the rescue.  Fillo is a memory foam pillow with an integrated stuff sack.  Plus it comes in four different colors.  And the larger luxury pillow for the glamper comes in two different colors.

What more could you need?  A shower you say.  No problem!  The Helio pressure shower sets NEMO apart from other outdoor brands.  It doesn’t have to be hung and still provides about six minutes of steady pressure using a foot pump.  You can also accessorize your shower with a mat to keep floors and your feet clean.

And that is the grand tour.  You should try NEMO Equipment out for yourself:

“NEMO is founded on a commitment to adventure, to the fearless pursuit of uncharted paths…adventure gives us purpose and perspective.  It makes us humble and proud…meaningful adventures are possible for anyone, anywhere…if you bring the will, the imagination, and the right gear.”

Ring in the New…Spring? with Camping!

What better way to celebrate a new season of fresh beginnings, longer days, and sunshine than with a campfire, tent and some friends.  Yes, it’s that time of year again.  Camping season is upon us!  Enjoy it!  Put your favorite playlist in, hit the road, and find that perfect camp spot.  The temperatures are mild, and some of those reptiles and arachnids you don’t want to come across aren’t out yet.  So get out there and take advantage of all that spring has to offer.  There are plenty of places to camp that aren’t snowed in.  If you don’t believe me I have a picture to prove it.  🙂  Stop waiting!  Go find your adventure!

Yampa River
Yampa River

Women’s Day

From Sacagawea to Amelia Earhart we all have a hero to celebrate this International  Women’s Day, March eighth.  Nellie Bly made a trip around the world in seventy-two days.  Mildred (Babe) Didrikson, an Olympic athlete with talent as diverse as her personality, is most known for her track and field, golf, and basketball accomplishments.  Valentina Tereshkova, the first female to fly in space, worked hard to educate herself while simultaneously helping to support her family.  Junko Tabei, the first woman to summit Mount Everest, started climbing at the age of ten and went on to form a climbing club for women.  So women, go out there and do what you’ve always wanted to do.  The only person holding you back is you.