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URG Outings2019-02-11T18:09:28-06:00

Gear Review: Szanto Icon Signature Series Watch

A lot of digital technologies are on the market these days - from personal assistants to keep track of your activity levels to navigation-enabled “wearables” featuring wrist-sized maps. But what happened to traditional timepieces that can stand the test of the elements? We’re talking about a watch that is abrasive resistant, waterproof, and solid; a take-anywhere-and-on-any-adventure piece with unbeatable functionality that will perform (without a plug-in charger). If you’re looking for a dependable timepiece that doesn’t need to be plugged in to give you the information you’re looking for, look no further. Here are 3 reasons the Szanto Icon Signature Series: Shane Dorian Watch by Time Concepts might just be for you. Cut & Dry: It’s Durable This tactical watch is made for the outdoors. It features a rubberized wristband (22mm Genuine NBR Rubber) and 42mm 316L Brushed Stainless Steel Case with IP Black Plating). In layman’s terms: this thing is tough. The rubber wristband proved adjustable and comfortable in any situation - hiking, firewood collection, biking and daily wear - and after weeks of daily wear and (admittedly) some abuse, it’s still looking sharp and the face is completely scratch-free. Timeless & Practical & Design This watch does what [...]

By |September 30th, 2019|Tags: , |Comments Off on Gear Review: Szanto Icon Signature Series Watch

5 Tips for Ultralight Hiking

Late summer is upon us, but hiking and backpacking season is still in full swing.  If you’re tired of carrying everything but the kitchen sink into the backcountry, here are 5 tips to help you move toward an ultralight kit. Pack dehydrated meals & snack bars to shed weight Freeze dried and dehydrated foods have come a long way thanks to companies like Wild Zora. Not only are they super tasty, but they are also great options for hikers with food allergies and intolerances, as well as speciality diets. Wild Zora has options that meet the needs of those looking for paleo-friendly, dairy/soy/nut-free and more, including dehydrated meals, meat and veggie bars, instant soups, and dried fruits. Thanks to their minimal packaging, hikers can bring along diverse food options with good calorie intake and minimal weight. Bring a water filter If the trail or area you’re hiking has reliable water sources, don’t carry multiple high-capacity bottles. Instead, bring along a water filter, like the MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter. This filter is designed to allow users to drink directly from water sources, filtering 1L in just 1 minute. If you’re basecamping, their Trail Base Water Filter Kit includes the TrailShot, [...]

By |August 26th, 2019|Tags: , , |Comments Off on 5 Tips for Ultralight Hiking

Festival Spotlight: Rhythms on the Rio

The San Luis Valley is keeping music alive thanks to the annual Rhythms on the Rio Music Festival - and this year, it’s bigger than ever! “Rhythms” will take place Friday, August 2 through Sunday, August 4, with a full 3-day line-up, weekend morning yoga, food, art and other vendors, kid’s activities and on-site camping. Nestled along the banks of the Rio Grande, the festival features genres ranging from bluegrass to funk, jazzy soul to blues, acoustic to salt-of-the-earth grit - that’s right, you can listen to a plethora of live music while dipping your toes in the mighty Grande! And while the bluegrass community lost one of their own this year with the untimely passing of Jeff Austin (Rhythms headliner, renowned mandolinist and Jeff Austin Band founder/frontman), this tight knit community perseveres. Jeff Austin Band members and others will join the Travel McCoury’s for the Grateful Ball - a collaborative set featuring music of the Grateful Dead. This annual music event was created as a platform to fund the South Fork Music Association’s (SFMA) Children’s Music Program and to provide a family-friendly festival experience for valley locals and visitors alike.  The weekend is packed with music and fun for [...]

By |August 1st, 2019|Tags: , |Comments Off on Festival Spotlight: Rhythms on the Rio

6 Must-Have Cozy Camping Accessories

Camping doesn't have to be uncomfortable. In fact, just because you choose to to sleep outside for a few nights doesn't mean you choose to throw cozy out the window. For us, camping is all about staying connected to the places we love. And, after spending many nights in tents, we've found some great gear to help make it a little more comfortable. Here are six must-have camping accessories to help make your time outside as cozy as possible. Helinox Lite Cot If you need a little more cozy in your camping sleep kit, the Helinox feather-lite Lite Cot might just do the trick. Pressure-fit legs create maximum weight savings without skimping on comfort so whether your base camping or backpacking, this 2lbs 13oz backcountry bed can come along for the adventure. The Cot sits 5” off the ground and, just like the Helinox chairs, is super easy to set up. Our favorite part: no lung-busting sleeping pad to blow up! helinox.com Therm-a-Rest Down Pillow  No matter the trail or camp site, this Down Pillow will quickly become your new best friend. While it is ultralight and packable, weighing in at 4oz, don’t let it’s small stature fool you - [...]

By |July 31st, 2019|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on 6 Must-Have Cozy Camping Accessories

Weekend Ready: Hot Springs Essentials

As you ready yourself for another gorgeous Colorado weekend, consider grabbing your bathing suit & dipping your toes in a few geothermal hot spring pools after a day of exploring the high country. Colorado is jam-packed with easy-to-access and hidden backcountry pools ready for anyone with a willingness to go! If that includes you, here are some of our go-to essentials to consider for your next hot springs hopping adventure! MANDA Organics Sun Cream & Sun Paste The Colorado sun is no joke. If you’re looking for a natural option for protecting your skin, MANDA has it. Their organic, food-grade cream and paste uses all-natural ingredients, including Thanaka, a bark-based paste with anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. mandanaturals.com Native Eyewear Four Corners How can you take in the view if the sun is in your eyes? While Native has several new styles, the Four Corners hits close to home (geographically) & fits great! The polarized lenses let you see clear to the bottom of any hot spring and their lifetime warranty is always a plus. nativeyewear.com Outdoor Research Funbrero Top it all off with OR’s beach vibe lid! If hats are your thing, the Funbrero is a must. Made with water-shedding [...]

By |July 18th, 2019|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Weekend Ready: Hot Springs Essentials

Gear Review: SPOT X

Are you thinking about making your way into the Colorado backcountry this season? Knowing where to go and bringing along the right gear are important to ensuring a successful trip. Maybe you plan to float the Rio Grande or explore the miles of smaller creeks in the southern San Juans and Sangre de Cristo mountains. If biking is more your speed, the single and double track across the San Luis Valley is some of the best in the state. Whatever your destination, one thing is certain: limited cell service.  Connectivity is important to many of us, so when we heard about the SPOT X 2-Way Satellite Messenger, we decided to give it a test run on several adventures this spring.  If you’re looking for a way to stay connected to family while out of cell phone reception, the SPOT X may be the answer. Here’s why: Staying connected is easy The SPOT X doesn’t rely on tradition cellular/radio towers. Using satellite communications, users can send messages from anywhere in the world. Users can either pre-load contacts and messages on the device or online via “My Account” on the SPOT website or input both directly into the device while in the [...]

By |June 27th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Gear Review: SPOT X