Tag Archives: military travel

Lightload Towels Review & A Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
I always keep small and handy towels and napkins with me while traveling. I was in search of some light and water absorbent towels for a long time and recently I came to know about Lightload Towels- the world’s only towels that are survival tools. Today I am going to discuss my experience with Lightload Towels.

Lightload-Towels

Lightload Towels Review & A Giveaway
Price: $6.25 Buy HERE

Lightload Towels says-
-The Only Towels That Are Survival Tools!
-Wickable Fabric so keeps you from freezing in Cold Activities!
-More Absorbent than Cotton and Microfiber!
-Waterproof Packaging so Always have a Clean Dry Cloth in the Outdoors!
-Ultralight-weight and superior for packing into small spaces!
 The world renowned Lightload Towels are the only towels that are survival tools. Use them as a towel, wash cloth fire starter, first aid supplement, diaper, insulator, static electricity insulator, mask and more. Each piece packs down to 1.5″ in diameter and 5.75″ in girth and .25″ in. width..They’re great for storing in tight spaces like suitcases and small pouches.
They weigh a mere .6oz so you’ll find them helpful where weight is a concern like in travel or backpacking.
Waterproof packaging covers each piece. Because of this  you’ll always have a clean dry cloth  for good hygiene, personal care and first aid.
The material is 100 percent viscose and made from cellulose(not oil, like microfiber) acts as a sponge and absorbs up to nine times it’s weight in water. They are also very energy efficient needing little energy to carry, wash and dispose of. Add water to the towel or start wiping water off of you to soften and open easier. They’re very comfortable against the skin and are also great for indoor gyms and spas. In caring for the Lightloads hand washing is best.You can reuse them. They last until they don’t.
This three pack is a great gift and is easily mailed. Colors of the towels are assorted.You golfers can freeze to make a cold towel.
MBT says-
Lightload Towels comes packed in clear plastic case with all the information written over the cardboard. These are available in three sizes– Beach towels 36×60 inch assorted colors three pack 12 x24 inch assorted colors two packs 12 x12 inch assorted colors. I chose three pack 12×24 inch packs. It consists of three towels packed in a plastic wrapper. It has waterproof packaging and is quite light. It can be easily carried around in a bag or pocket.
As soon as you unwrap the packaging, you will find a small disc shaped cloth which feels really hard and rough to the touch. You simply need to throw it in a bowl of water and it would open up revealing its full size. I used it as a washcloth to remove face mask or when I do the oil cleansing method. It feels soft and gentle on the skin and removes all oil and mask off the skin without leaving a residue behind. Few days back, I spilled hair oil all over my hands and legs and I simply soaked the towel in a bowl of warm water. I then used it to wipe off the oil and within a minute there was no oil on my skin. It absorbs water quickly and it is a great tool when you travel. I carry it with me everywhere and wipe off my face with it and all I get is fresh and clean skin.
The material of the towel is 100 percent viscose and made from cellulose (not oil, like microfiber) acts as a sponge and absorbs up to nine times its weight in water. They are also very energy efficient needing little energy to carry, wash and dispose of. Add water to the towel or start wiping water off of you to soften and open easier. They’re very comfortable against the skin and are also great for indoor gyms and spas. In caring for the Lightloads hand washing is best. Itdries up pretty quickly. It acts as a multipurpose tool and can be used as towel, washcloth, mask, fire starter for camping, scarf, first aid insulator etc.
Photos:
Lightload-Towels

Lightload Towels Review & A Giveaway
Lightload-Towels

Lightload Towels Review & A Giveaway
Lightload-Towels

Lightload Towels Review & A Giveaway
Lightload-Towels

Lightload Towels Review & A Giveaway
Lightload-Towels

Lightload Towels Review & A Giveaway
Lightload-Towels

Lightload Towels Review & A Giveaway
Lightload-Towels

It has not been soaked in water! It gets soft after soaking!
PROS:
• Super light.
• Travel friendly.
• Waterproof packaging.
• Water absorbent.
• Versatile.
• Lovely colors.
• Easy to wash.
• Feels soft and gentle on the skin.
• Reasonably priced.
• Worldwide shipping.
• A must have if you workout.
• Easy to carry.
• Reusable.
CONS:
• None!
Rating: 5/5
Giveaway
Yay now coming to the best part- a giveaway! Lightload Towels founder was generous enough to organize a giveaway for my readers. One of my lovely and lucky readers would be getting a pack of Lightload Towels. These are must haves if you travel a lot, do workouts or love doing oil cleansing treatment to your skin. It is open to everyone- yes it is OPEN WORLDWIDE.

Lightload Towels Review & A Giveaway
Now the rules:
• There are 4 mandatory entries and you need to complete them to be considered.
• There are many other optional entries to increase the chances of your winnings.
• The product shown in the picture is mine. The winner would get brand new product.
• Open internationally
• Must be 18 years or older to enter. If you are under 18 years of age, please get your parental permission as I will need your postal address if you are chosen as a winner.
• Enter the correct details in the raffle copter form below!
• I will not be held accountable if the items get lost or broken in the mail. The prize would be sent by the brand.
• Giveaway ends on 28th April 2014. A winner will be chosen randomly on 29th April and would be notified via email. The winner must reply back within 12 hours of winning or a new winner would be chosen.
• Enter only once via Rafflecopter. No cheating please.
Good Luck!
Stay Pretty!
Megha

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Lightload Towels Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I recently had the opportunity to review Lightload towels. 

I have a toddler, so my purse and her baby backpack is always full to capacity with “just in case” items.  It was very appealing to have something that could absorb toddler messes and not have to carry something heavy to make it happen.

We decided to open this one on a day when we were stuck in a waiting room. I needed a diversion and fast. The toddler was successfully diverted.
She enjoyed opening the package and kept exclaiming it was a puck until I got it unwrapped, and she saw it became a towel. I am afraid of what she might do the next time she gets a hold of a hockey puck.
Here is the towel in stages of unfolding.
As you can see, it has a logo printed on it, and it really was crammed into that little piece of plastic.
The company sent me the following info:
“World renowned Lightload Towels are the only beach towels that fit in your pocket. All our towels are survival tools. Use them for so much including a firestarter, face mask, insulation,diaper and more. The towels are soft against the skin and washable. Great for packing in small places and excellent for shedding weight.”
True to advertising, it was absorbent. Had the toddler made some mess, I would have been able to clean it up with this and be pretty content. I don’t know that I would use it on her skin. It is very scratchy, and I am certain she would be angry with me. It does soften up with water added, but it has to touch you for that to happen right?
For adults though, I think it could be very useful as a sports towel or for hunting or other active sports. I did not wash it in the washing machine, but it did hand wash fine. It is no longer puck shaped though, so the toddler is not as interested in it.. 😉
My new use for it will be in my hockey bag. It is imperative to dry your skates after each use, and this towel is going to be fantastic for that purpose. It takes up no space in my bag.
The others that I received will go back in the toddler bag for wet emergencies!
Thanks so much to Lightload for letting me test these out! Now here is your chance!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Product Review: Lightload Towels

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

World Renowned Lightload Towels are the only beach towels that fit in your pocket! All our towels are survival tools. Use them for so much including a firestarter, face mas, insulation, diaper and more. The towels are soft against the skin and washable. Great for packing in small places and excellent for shedding weight.

While these towels have all sorts of fun uses, I opted to go for the boring one – using it for a towel when I got out of the shower. (In my defense, my next vacation where I would have loved to pack it isn’t until mid-May and I wanted to be able to offer a giveaway which has to be done before the end of April!)  While the instructions do say that getting the towel a little bit wet would help in puling it apart, I opted to not use any water as I didn’t want a wet towel when I got out of the water. Seemed counter productive to be using something wet when I was trying to dry myself off!

The towel is super light weight which made me wonder if it would really work, but it does! I dried me off just as well, if not better, than other beach towels I usually use.  I wasn’t sure that it would survive the washer / dryer, but it did! It came out even more soft than it already was and wasn’t ripped at all which was what I was expecting because it is so light!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Lightload Towels Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Information about the Lightload Towels Company.
For years the founder George “Wideload” (trail moniker) Wheeler has been an avid long distance hiker.  In 1999 he completed the 2160-mile Appalachian Trail (A.T.).  The year after, he hiked the 540 miles of Virginia to West Virginia on the A.T all over again.  It was an incredible experience repeated. It was in on his ’99 Thru hike that he got the idea for Lightload Towels
Finally just this past year “Wideload”  hiked the 270-mile Long Trail in Vermont from the Canadian border to the Mass-Vermont border. It’s the oldest long distance hiking trail and was conceived on Stratton Mountain, Vermont the same place that the Appalachian Trail was given birth to some years later. This also was very magical and he hopes one day to redo the adventure.
He also spent about eight years living in Asia. There he had the opportunity to lead hikes in Taiwan and do hikes in Nepal, Pakistan and China. During this time he learned how to speak Chinese.
Another fondness he has is camping.  He has spent time in many of America’s national forests including the Ochoco (Oregon), Davy Crockett (Texas), San Francisco (New Mexico), Willamette (Oregon), Piedmont (Alabama), Desoto (Mississippi), Allegheny (Pennsylvania) Green Mountain (Vermont) and many others.
I had the chance to check out the Lightload Towel. I thought this is an interesting towel when it came in the mail. I had to open it to see what it was all about. Okay, so this towel can fit in your back pocket. You open the package and it is in a little round like hockey ball. I pull it open into a full-sized towel. Then I see you can use this towel for many purposes. If you are on a trip or camping, you can use it to wipe off sweat from your face or clean up a mess. You can use it in the garage to clean your hands or most anything. The towel is inexpensive and it is pretty tough. I started gardening and this towel would be great to put on the ground, so I keep my knees from getting bruised or cut on the ground. I am impressed by this towel. This is so compact,but you could use it for anything you need a towel for. I can even see myself using it to clean off my hands while fishing. This is a cool idea.I might even use it as a pillow on our long trip from Florida to the Kentucky Derby later this week.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

LightLoad Towels Are Perfect For Camping and Beach Time! Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

World renowned Lightload Towels are the only beach towels that fit in your pocket. All our towels are survival tools. Use them for so much including a firestarter, face mask, insulation,diaper and more. The towels are soft against the skin and washable. Great for packing in small places and excellent for shedding weight.

Keep one in your glove compartment, your camping gear, swimming gear, first aid kit etc… Never be left without one – they will come in so handy.

I wanted to review this compact beach towel for when we begin camping.  I haven’t expanded it yet but the size is about the size of a mint tin but thicker.  It is 4.5 ounces and when we are ready to use it – we will simply add water to expand it.  I will have a towel for emergency situations, a beach need, survival help and more.  I can’t tell you how many times we have been in situations where we have needed a towel, tablecloth, blanket or something and been without one.

The towel is 36 x 60 inches ($59.99 for a 12 pack) but they also have 12 x 12 inch towel packs ($25.99 for 50) and  12 x 24 towels ($49.95 for 50).

LightLoad Towel
Entries: 2076
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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

30 Hiking Trails Around the Globe

I don’t think that anyone doubts that those of us working at Ultra Lightload Towels are pretty enamored with hiking, so yet another blog post on amazing hiking trails won’t come as much of a surprise.

No matter if you’re a skilled backpacker or an average Joe who wants to really see what Mother Nature has to offer, there’s a gorgeous trail out there just waiting to offer you the experience of a lifetime. These 30 hiking trails are among the most beautiful in the world and certain to get your blood pumping!

One ofUltra Lightload Towels employees favorites hiking trails here in the US is the Florida National Scenic Trail. However we did not include that one here as we have several blog post for that one. If you are interested about the Florida National Scenic Trail here is the link http://www.fs.usda.gov/fnst.

Colorado Trail – United States: Spanning 486 miles, the Colorado Trail runs from the mouth of Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver, to Durango, through historic mining towns and along ancient Indian trails. For the “short version,” stick to the most beautiful 68 miles between San Luis Pass and Molas Pass, and expect to see a lot of wildlife and plenty of gorgeous wildflowers.

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Photo Credit: Travel Spirit

Buckskin Gulch – United States: Prepare yourself for some absolutely incredible rock formations. The Bucksin Gulch is one of the most popular destinations for slot canyon hikers, clocking in at 13 miles. In some places — like the 2-foot-wide Wire Pass — you’ll need to remove your backpack just to squeeze through. Plan about three to four days for this one.

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Photo Credit: Jason J. Corneveaux, Wikipedia

Kungsleden – Sweden: Also known as “The King’s Trail,” this 275-mile trek will give you a tour of some of Sweden’s most beautiful landscapes, running through four national parks and a nature reserve. Unless you want to spend a month hiking, stick to the northernmost 65 miles.

Kungsleden_over_Teusajaure

Alexandre Buisse

The Snowman Trek – Bhutan: A challenging but rewarding high-altitude hike, the Snowman Trek passes beneath six mountains and crosses nine passes. Highlights include Buddhist monasteries, small villages like Laya, and unique wildlife like the Himalayan blue sheep.

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Photo Credit: Himalayan Expeditions

Mount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania: Reaching 19,340 feet into the sky, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak. Believe it or not, this trek is possible for even the most inexperienced of climbers and requires no special equipment, (which is one of the reasons why 35,000 people climb it every year). Backpacker magazine describes it as a “volcanic hulk [that’s] so massive that it supports five distinct eco-zones, from the banana trees growing at its base to the glaciers draping its upper slopes. … After 27 miles of climbing, you’ll watch Kili’s pyramidal shadow disappear as dawn spreads across an auburn sea of savanna that’s home to lions, elephants and more.”

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Photo Credit: Mount Kilimanjaro Porters

Paine Circuit Trek – Chile: If you want the view of a lifetime, look no further than Chile’s Torres del Paine Circuit. One of the most popular ways to experience Patagonia, the 75-mile hike offers surreal panoramas of icy lakes, blue glaciers, mountains and forests. Most people opt for the three or four day “W” route rather than the full five to eight day circuit.

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Photo Credit: Wanderlust

Roan Highlands – United States: Ranked No. 23 in National Geographic’s “50 Best American Adventures,” Roan Highlands consists of a 48-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail between the Nolichucky River and U.S. Highway 19E. This area is known for its breathtaking views and rhododendrons, and contains the largest expanse of “bales” (openings in the forest along ridges and mountaintops), in the Appalachian range.

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Photo Credi: Fine Art America

Superior Hiking Trail – United States: Named one of the five best hikes in America by Readers Digest in May 2005, the 275-mile Superior Hiking Trail overlooks Lake Superior and passes through forests of birch, aspen, pine, fir and cedar. Highlights include rushing waterfalls and a plethora of wildlife.

7-Lake Superior View

Photo Credit: Black Coffee at Sunrise

Everest Base Camp Trek – Nepal: Face the world’s highest mountain without actually climbing the whole thing. The Everest Base Camp Trek takes hikers to the easily reached high point of 18,513-foot Kala Pattar, through terraced villages, by rushing rivers, over suspension bridges and to the famous Khumba icefall.

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Santa Cruz Trek – Peru: The most popular hike in the White Mountains of Peru, the Santa Cruz Trek is a four day, 31-mile hike for people of all experience levels. Hot springs can be found near the start of the trek, and hikers can enjoy beautiful views of snow-capped peaks, meadows, turquoise lakes and red quenua trees.

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Photo Credit: Reyes Expeditions

Tongariro Northern Circuit – New Zealand: This round-trip hike encircles Mount Ngauruhoe, New Zealand’s most active volcano, with 61 eruptions since 1839. About 25 miles, the Northern Circuit takes approximately three to four days and is suitable for those without much experience. Between the lava flows, explosion pits, Emerald Lakes and glacial valleys, this circuit is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Photo Credit: Experienza.com

Yellowstone’s Wild Southwest – United States: The southwest corner of Yellowstone National Park offers a 27-mile trail through Bechler Meadows, picturesque mountains and lush forests. The trek is known for its big waterfalls and trailside hot springs, like the famous Mr. Bubbles, in which hikers can enjoy a good soak after a long walk. Another highlight: the Lone Star Geyser, which erupts every three hours.

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Photo Credit: Martin Blean

Gospel Hump Loop Trail – United States: This 68-mile trail is not for the inexperienced. The terrain is rugged, with steep ups and downs and few hikers. But those who take on the challenge will be rewarded with spectacular views as they hike through sandy beaches along the Salmon River and wildflower-covered meadows, pass by shimmering high-mountain lakes and camp out next to Salmon River tributaries. Wildlife are more common than people  on this trail, and is inhabited by black bears, elk, moose and bighorn sheep.

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Photo Credit: Wilderness.net

Inca Trail – Peru: The ultimate way to visit Machu Picchu, this 27-mile trek combines Andes Mountains scenery with the subtropical Amazon jungle, ending at the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. Only 200 trekkers are allowed on the trail each day in order to prevent erosion, so plan ahead and expect a four to five day journey through cloud forests, alpine tundra, settlements, tunnels and Incan ruins.

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Photo Credit: Travel to Cusco

Tour du Mont Blanc – France, Italy and Switzerland: This three-country, 105-mile hike circles the 15,770-foot Mont Blanc Massif, the highest peak in Western Europe. One of the most popular long-distance walking trails, the Tour du Mont Blanc takes hikers through mountain passes, snowfields, lush forests, glacial valleys and secluded Alpine villages over a span of about 10 days.

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Photo Credit: Eurotrek

Presidential Traverse – United States: Only the most adventurous backpackers attempt the Presidential Traverse, an extremely difficult and sometimes dangerous climb through New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It’s so named for the summits of peaks named after U.S. presidents that must be crossed to complete the journey: Mount Madison, Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, Mount Monroe, Mount Eisenhower and Mount Pierce. About 23 miles long, most people need two to three days to climb the whole thing. The area is known for unpredictable rain, snow and whiteouts, and the winds exceed 100 miles per hour every four days in the winter.

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Photo Credit: Summit Post

Israel National Trail – Israel: One of National Geographic’s “20 Most Epic Trails,” the Israel National Trail crosses the entire country of Israel, clocking in at about 580 to 620 miles. Experienced backpackers generally spend about 45 to 60 days trekking from Israel’s northern border, through major cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well as the Israeli desert. Hikers will pass through mountains, valleys, forests, craters and orchards, varying from very easy to vary difficult, and crossing biblical sites and historic places like Nazareth, as well as archeological sites.

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Photo Credit: Israel Trail

Zion Narrows – United States: The Zion Narrows, part of Zion National Park, is a gorge carved out by the Virgin River, stretching 16 miles long, reaching about 2,000 feet deep and spanning only about 20 to 30 feet wide in some areas. Ranked No. 5 in National Geographic’s “America’s Best 100 Adventures,” the Zion Narrows is no easy feat. The river marks the route, so there really isn’t a maintained trail, and at least 60% of the hike involves wading, and sometimes swimming, in the river. Highlights include natural springs, hanging gardens and ponderosa pines.

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Photo Credit: World for Travel

Tiger Leaping Gorge – China: Legend has it that a South China tiger once leapt 25 meters across the Yangtze River to escape a hunter, giving this gorge its name. One of the deepest gorges in the world, it clocks in at about 9.3 miles long and 18,360 feet deep in between the snow-covered peaks of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the Haba Snow Mountain. Backpackers can spend anywhere from three days to a week trekking the narrow winding trails beneath waterfalls and through pine and bamboo forests, visiting quiet rural villages along the way.

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Pembrokeshire Coast Path – Wales: The National Trails website for England and Wales describes this breathtaking coastal trek well: “From St. Dogmaels in the north to Amroth in the south, the trail covers almost every kind of maritime landscape, from rugged cliff tops and sheltered coves to wide-open beaches and winding estuaries.” The 186-mile path is an estimated 35,000 feet of ascents and descents, but some 130 shorter, circular walks exist for the not-so-hardcore hikers. The Pembrokshire Coast Path passes through 58 beaches and 14 harbors, giving backpackers views of volcanic headlands, red sandstone coves, flooded glacial valleys, and a plethora of coastal flora and bird life along the way.

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Photo Credit: National Trail

Sentiero Azzurro – Italy: Pass through picturesque fishing villages, vineyards and terraced hills on this 7.5-mile path that follows the Italian Riviera coastline and connects five villages: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. Far from a challenging hike, the Sentiero Azzurro is almost completely flat and usually requires only about five hours, although you might want to allow for extra time to stop in each village and enjoy the local cuisine and wine.

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Photo Credit: Walks of Italy

Muliwai Trail – Hawaii: Named “Best Hike in Hawaii” by Backpacker magazine, the Muliwai Trail stretches 9 miles from the Waipio Valley to the Waimanu Valley, allowing hikers to explore old ruins, swimming holes and a black sand beaches on the way.

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Photo Credit: Hawaii Guide

Haute Route – France and Switzerland: The Haute Route, also known as the High Route or Mountaineers’ Route, can be traversed on foot or by ski touring. It begins at the foot of Mont Blanc in France’s Chamonix Valley and takes backpackers through the Swiss Alps to the foot of the Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland. Distant Journeys, a company offering guided hikes, best describes the incredible trek on its website: “Hike beneath imposing peaks and glaciers of the Swiss Alps, wander though alpine meadows and larch forests, cross high, barren passes and descend into lush green valleys. We’ll picnic beside cool mountain lakes, stay in remote mountain huts, visit bustling Swiss villages and relax in the tranquility of isolated old-world hamlets.” Expect at least 12 days if trekking on foot and at least seven days if skiing.

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Photo credit: Cosley & Houston Alpine Guides

Long Range Traverse – Canada: Located in Gros Morne National Park, the 23-mile Long Range Traverse takes experienced backpackers through the Long Range Mountains, offering spectacular views of glaciers, waterfalls, verdant meadows, granite cliffs and coastal landscapes. The rugged terrain makes this a difficult hike, and most backpackers need about four to five days to complete the trek.

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Photo credit: Corner Brook

Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex – United States: This wilderness preserve is home to 17,000 miles of trails, which are traversed by all sorts of adventurers, from day hikers and backpackers to horseback riders and cross-country skiers. The complex hike consists of three wilderness areas: the Great Bear, the Bob Marshall (so named for Robert “Bob” Marshall, the forester, conservationist, writer, wilderness activist and one of the founders of the Wilderness Society), and the Scapegoat. Explorers will find themselves surrounded by rugged peaks, alpine lakes, grassy meadows, lush forests and cascading waterfalls. One of the highlights of the area is the Chinese Wall, a 22-mile-long limestone escarpment that averages 1,000 feet and is part of the Great Divide. The preserve has the highest population density of grizzly bear in all of the United States outside of Alaska.

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Photo credit: Eliott Reed

Bibbulmun Track – Australia: Though there are plenty of smaller hikes, the full, long-distance Bibbulmun Track spans 620 miles of Western Australia, from Kalamunda in the Perth Hills to the historic town of Albany on the south coast. Attempting the full trek takes approximately 60 days and leads backpackers through forests, tranquil farmland, vineyards, waterfalls, wild beaches and granite boulders. Named after the Bibbulmun Nyoongar (an aboriginal group that traveled long distances on foot for ceremonies), “the Bibb” passes through 22 national parks and other reserves, offering glimpses of beautiful coast scenery, wildflower displays and wildlife, such as emus, kangaroos, seals, dolphins and whales.

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Photo Credit: Conde’ Nast Traveler

North Drakensberg Traverse – South Africa: Aaren Adventures best describes this strenuous five to six day trek through South Africa’s highest mountain range: “A trek across this epic landscape begins by ascending chain ladders to reach the top of this barrier and the plateau of Mount-aux-Sources, where the Tugela River plunges 3,110 feet off the top in a series of five cascades that make for the second highest waterfall in the world. From here, the trek crosses the high plateau, broken by rock formations, views out across the cliffs, and the huts of Sotho herdsman, before it works its way down past more waterfalls and river crossings before meeting up with the welcome civilization of the Cathedral Peak Hotel.”

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Photo Shoot: Super Traverse

Sierra High Route – United States: A true wilderness-lover’s adventure, the 195-mile Sierra High Route runs north to south through the Sierra Nevada, crossing 33 passes without any clearly marked trails. Most backpackers choose to tackle one of its five segments, though Backpacker magazine editor Steve Howe hiked the entire thing in one month in 2006. Also known as the “Roper Route,” this hike is “the brainchild of mountaineer Steve Roper, who sought an alternative to the heavily pounded John Muir Trail,” says National Geographic. It passes through Kings Canyon National Park, the Inyo National Forest and Yosemite National Park and involves a good deal of boulder hopping and long stretches of peaceful solitude.

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Photo Credit: Traildino.com

Half Dome – United States: The ultimate way to experience Yosemite National Park, the 14- to 16-mile round-trip hike up the Half Dome (Yosemite’s famous granite dome), can be accomplished by even the average, in-shape person with some preparation. Most hikers need about 10 to 14 hours to get to the top and back, and the trek offers some incredible views of Vernal and Nevada Falls, Yosemite Valley, the Half Dome, Liberty Cap and the High Sierra. Perhaps the most popular part of the hike is the last 400 feet to the summit, where two metal cables allow hikers to climb without rock-climbing equipment.

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Photo credit: Backpacker

Haiku Stairs – Hawaii: What began as a wooden ladder installed on a cliff for workers stringing antenna cables, evolved into an incredible, and challenging, trail consisting of approximately 3,922 steps. Unfortunately, the Haiku Stairs were closed to the public in 1987, but there’s still a way to legally access them , but it’s not for the amateur hiker. Expert hikers can climb to the top of the stairs from the other side of the island and take the trail down.

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Photo credit: Amusing Planet

Staying Warm In Winter: Tips For Winter Backpacking/Hiking and Camping

Stick to the 3-layer rule.  When it comes to dressing for the cold, it’s important to stay both warm and dry. The best way to do this is to wear 3 layers of clothing – a base layer, a middle layer and an outer layer. Your base layer is the layer closest to your skin. Choose a fabric like synthetic and merino wool (NOT cotton! – Cotton takes a long time to dry and loses its insulating qualities as it gets wet) that dries quickly and wicks moisture up to the outer layers where it is evaporated, keeping you nice and dry. When you’re camping in the snow, it’s best to have 2 base layers – a lightweight one and a midweight one. Next is your middle layer, which serves as insulation to retain body heat. Down or fleece works best for this layer (again, stay away from cotton). Finally, your outer layer should be waterproof, windproof and well ventilated. Laminates, such as Gore-Tex and eVent, are prime for warmth and breathability, as they are designed to allow sweat to escape as moisture vapor instead of trapping it underneath the fabric. Polyurethane-coated fabrics are less-expensive alternatives to laminates and are equally as waterproof, though they are a bit less breathable.

winter camping featured

Maintain good circulation. When you have poor blood flow to certain parts of your body, you will have a very difficult time getting warm. Make sure that you don’t wear too many pairs of socks, as each extra one will fit tight on your foot. If the circulation in your feet becomes constricted, your feet will be cold no matter how many pairs you have on. It’s best to wear a thin, breathable pair of socks under a pair of thick, cushiony socks. Make sure that you boot laces are not tied too tight – this could constrict blood circulation as well. Also, wear gloves and liners that are not too tight, as they can prevent your hands from warming up. A good tip for helping your hands and feet stay toasty, especially in the morning, is to sleep with your gloves, liners, socks and boot insoles in your sleeping bag.

Drink lots and lots of water. Dry winter air dehydrates you faster than warmer air for various reasons. Mainly, you just don’t tend to get thirsty when you’re cold. And when you don’t feel thirsty, you don’t drink water and can dehydrate very quickly. It’s vitally important to drink tons of water in cold temperatures because water allows your body to generate heat, your body is working harder under the weight of all your extra clothing, and your sweat is evaporating much more rapidly in cold, dry air. Checking your urine periodically to see how clear it is a good way to make sure that you are properly hydrated. And to keep your water from freezing, put your water bottle in a wool sock, insulated bottle sleeve or a DIY cell foam sleeve. Mixing the water with something like lemonade or Gatorade will also cause it to freeze at a lower temperature than plain water.

Choose your campsite wisely. Pick a site with a lot of trees that is as sheltered from the wind as possible. If your only option is an exposed campsite on snow, dig a 1-2′ deep hole in which to put your tent, which will reduce the amount of wind that blows against your tent. Dig a pit at the entrance of the same depth to make getting in and out of the tent easier. Make sure to pack down the snow before you set your tent up – otherwise, your body will melt a deformation in the powder, which will refreeze and be very uncomfortable to sleep on. Also, avoid three-season tents, as they may be too ventilated and not sturdy enough to handle blustery winter winds and snow buildup. If you know what’s right and decide to hammock camp, find a spot with as many trees as possible, because hanging your tarp among trees will help block the wind. A tarp like the HouseFly, which has silicone impregnated nylon sides, overlapping doors and the most coverage of all ENO’s tarps, is great for keeping out any winter storm that may come your way. And don’t forget your sleeping pad, underquilt and topquilt! With all the right components, you’ll be swinging away in toasty bliss.

housefly

Be smart with your food. When you winter camp, your body will need as much as twice the calories it usually needs. Choose foods that will provide your body with energy. Proteins like jerky (try Threshold Provisions‘ salmon jerky – an awesome source of amino acids and omega-3′s) and dehydrated eggs are great for bringing along on trips. Nuts containing fats, and carbohydrates like breads, oatmeal, dried fruits and candy will also boost your energy. If you’re backpacking, snack on your food throughout the day, taking short breaks or munching as you go instead of taking long lunch breaks. This will keep you from cooling down too much and then needing to adjust and put on more layers. Carry a small insulated thermos of hot cider, chocolate or soup on your pack hip belt so that you can take a sip here and there to warm up. Also, having a late-night snack before you go to bed will give your body enough fuel to generate heat during the cold night.

thresholdprovisions.com

And last but not least be sure to pack a winterized first aid kit.

 

This checklist is by no means comprehensive, but a basic overnight first aid kit should include the following items:

  • Bandages: Assorted sizes for small cuts, blisters, etc.
  • 4-inch closure strips or butterfly closures: For closing large wounds. 4-inch strips are more effective than butterfly.
  • 4 inch by 4 inch sterile dressing pads (5 to 10): To apply pressure to a wound and stop bleeding
  • Non-adherent sterile dressing (2 inch by 2 inch): Use these or Second Skin to cover blisters, burns or lacerations.
  • Gauze roll: Holds dressing in place.
  • Small roll of 1-inch adhesive tape: Holds dressings in place.
  • Multi-use tool or knife: Should include knife, scissors. A scalpel and blade are also useful for first aid.
  • Forceps or tweezers: For removing splinters, ticks, and removing debris from wounds.
  • Scissors: Trauma scissors, which have a blunt end to protect the patient, can be used for cutting away clothing from injury, cutting medical tape, etc.
  • Thermometer: Digital is generally more accurate, but batteries do wear out.
  • Malleable splint: Lightweight foam-covered aluminum, such as a SAM splint.
  • Irrigation syringe (35 cc): Used to flush and clean wounds.
  • Suction syringe (65 cc): Used to clear mouth of fluids when giving CPR.
  • Safety pins: Can help remove splinters, fasten arm sling, or make a whole in a plastic bag for improvised wound irrigation.
  • Cotton-tip swabs: For removing  foreign objects from eye, or applying antibiotic ointment.
  • Resealable plastic bags: Many uses, including icing a swollen joint or creating wound irrigation device.
  • ACE, Coban, or other rubberized bandage: Can be used as outer wrap on splints, wound dressings or support for joint injuries. Be careful not to wrap too tightly.
  • Antiseptic towlettes: For cleaning small wounds.
  • Cleansing pads with lidocaine: For cleaning. Includes a topical anesthetic for abrasions, stings, etc.
  • Topical antibiotic ointment: For application to wounds. Simple Vaseline can also be used in dressing a wound.
  • Moleskin: Prevents blisters. Cut and apply a section to your foot as soon as you discover a “hot spot.” Duct tape also works for this purpose.
  • Povidone Iodine USP 10 percent, 1 oz.: For preventing infection. Bottled PVD iodine 10 percent solution should be diluted to a ratio of 1 percent or less for flushing wounds.
  • Aloe vera gel: Found in packets or small bottles for relief of minor burns.
  • Pain relievers, including aspirin and Ibuprofen: Provides relief for minor aches and pains, reduces fever, helps reduce inflammation of sprains and other injuries.
  • Antihistamines: For relief of pollen allergies, or to reduce reaction to bites and stings.
  • Immodium 2 mg capsules or tablets: For relief of diarrhea from intestinal infections.
  • Pepto Bismol or antiacid tablets: For relief from general diarrhea, abdominal upset.
  • After Bite or hydrocortisone cream USP 1 percent: Relieves skin irritation from bites, poison oak, stings, or allergic reactions.
  • Latex or nitrile gloves: Protects against blood-borne diseases and infection.
  • CPR microshield mask: A compact flexible barrier with a one-way valve for rescue breathing, which protects user from blood, vomit or saliva.
  • Oral rehydration salts: Packet of electrolyte salts and glucose for treatment of dehydration, heat exhaustion, or loss of fluids from vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Space bag/blanket: Lightweight emergency shelter. For treating hypothermia victims. Lightweight camp towel and large towel. I don’t normally recommend specific products but in this case the Lightload Camp Towel and Travel Towels are worth their LACK of weight!
  • Paper and pencil: For recording medical data such as body temperature, pulse, time and date of symptoms, injuries, medicines administered, etc. Most repackaged kits include accident report forms.
  • Wilderness First Aid booklet: Many prepackaged first aid kits contain one. An excellent pocket guide is the Wilderness Medical Handbook by Paul Nicolazzo, available for $20 from Wilderness Medical Training Center,www.wildmedcenter.com or (509) 996-2502.first aid small

Some of the items above not commonly found in standard first aid kits (including forceps, CPR masks, trauma scissors,and suction syringes) can be purchased online fromWilderness Medicine Training Center.

What to wear for fall hiking a check list

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The following is a clothing checklist for fall hiking. It applies both to children and adults. Once people are experienced with what their bodies require in various weather conditions, we allow individuals to tweak it according to their needs. This list also assumes that you will be spending the entire day outside without the luxury of easily being able to go indoors to warm up. If you are only going out for a couple of hours, you can adjust as necessary.

Head

  • Winter hat – a light fleece beanie works great
  • Balaclava or Buff (optional) – not required if you are bringing a hoodie (see below). We have found Buffs to be highly versatile pieces of clothing and highly recommend them.

Torso

  • Wool/synthetic undershirt – For more info on what we like to use, read our article onunderpants.
  • Wool/synthetic t-shirt
  • Wool/synthetic long-sleeve undershirt
  • Light-weight fleece hoodie (preferred) or fleece sweater
  • Windbreaker – the lighter weight, the better
  • Rain jacket (optional) – whether or not you need this will depend on the forecast. For fall we prefer to bring something waterproof, breathable, and durable. I.e. I wouldn’t recommend a rain poncho.
  • Insulated jacket (optional) – Something light-weight and windproof and preferably with a hood. This jacket is meant to be worn at rest stops. If you have to wear this to stay warm when hiking then you aren’t bringing enough other layers. In early fall or late spring when the temperatures are mild we don’t bother with this. In colder weather this becomes essential.

Hands

  • Wool/Synthetic light-weight gloves or glove liners
  • Mitts (optional) – in early fall or late spring when the temperatures are mild we don’t bother with these.
  • Light weight hand towel for accidents and wipe downs.

Legs

  • Wool/synthetic underwear – as with the undershirts, for more info on what we like to use read our article on underpants.
  • Wool/synthetic long underwear
  • Fleece pants (optional) – some people get cold more easily than others and long underwear isn’t enough.
  • Synthetic hiking pants – make sure they are highly wind resistant and durable.
  • Rain pants (optional) – whether or not you need this will depend on the forecast. As with the jacket, we prefer to bring something waterproof, breathable, and durable.

Feet

  • Wool/synthetic liner socks (optional) – in colder weather, these can add a little extra warmth
  • Wool socks – the warmer the better
  • Waterproof socks (optional) – in cold/wet conditions these are VERY helpful
  • Hiking shoes – we like to wear light-weight trail runners
  • Gaiters (optional) – we will bring these when we think there might be snow and/or ice
  • Crampons (optional) – we will bring these when we think there might be snow and/or ice

If you are going to be hiking in the fall during hunting season, make sure that one of your clothing items is blaze orange. You should also always bring along at least a basic first aid kit.

 First-Aid Checklist

Be prepared! Outdoor enthusiasts should always carry either a prepackaged first-aid kit or a DIY kit created using our comprehensive list as a guide.

Basic Care: Prepackaged first-aid kits available at REI typically contain many of the following items:

Fall Bike Tours Michigan

Michigan is on the chilly side much of the year, so cycling tour groups pack in a multitude of trips during summer and early fall. Outings range from two-day lakeside rides for families to longer trips that include hilly challenges in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Organized tours offer guides who ride with you, support vehicles or both — and they also make arrangements for your meals, camping or other lodging.

League of Michigan Bicyclistssafe_image

The League of Michigan Bicyclists offers a variety of cycling tours during the summer. A two-day trip, Pedal and Paddle, is appropriate for families; you cycle on the Hart-Montague Trail and around lakes and get the chance to paddle a kayak or canoe on the White River. A three-day outing features rides along Lake Huron in the northeast part of the state. Two seven-day tours include Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with a ferry ride to Mackinac (Mackinaw) Island, and a trip along Lake Michigan’s vast shoreline—it includes swimming, playing in sand dunes and going through a tunnel of trees.

League of Michigan Bicyclists
416 S. Cedar St. Suite A
Lansing, MI 48912
888-642-4537
lmb.org

Tri-County Bicycle AssociationNWT_400x200

The Tri-County Bicycle Association (TCBA) offers tours for various ability levels. The Summer Tour features short riding days in eastern Michigan, with stops at parks and swimming areas. The NorthWest Tour is a more challenging ride through the landscape in the northwest part of the state. TCBA’s best-known tour is the DALMAC (Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw), which includes a variety of routes. In the early 1970s, former State Representative Dick Allen created this ride to promote cycling in Michigan, and it has been going strong since then. Most TCBA tours are five days long.

Tri-County Bicycle Asso.
5825 Oak Knoll Dr.
Lansing, MI 48911
517-882-3700
biketcba.org

Timberline AdventuresdaveforwebSmall

Timberline Adventures, a Colorado-based company, offers a seven-day tour that begins in the Leelanau Peninsula with a ride among the cherry trees on country roads. The trip continues along the shore of Lake Michigan to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and visits the Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Leelanau State Park. Other spots include Torch Lake and the route from Harbor Springs to Cross Village, which has the nickname of “Michigan’s most scenic road.” The days can be challenging on this tour, so cyclists stay each night at comfortable inns and lodges.

Timberline Adventures
7975 E. Harvard
Denver, CO 80231
800-417-2453
timbertours.com

Thanks to Lightload towels

Aspen Road and Mountain Bike Tours

Aspen and the surrounding area provide spectacular and sometimes quite challenging terrain for mountain and road bikers. You will want to keep in mind, a good part of Aspen is comprised of wilderness area – The list below will provide you with information for available rides. You can also call the local Forest Service office at 970-925-3445 or visit the National Forest website. Keep in mind: Mechanized vehicles are not allowed within the Wilderness boundaries and this includes Mountain Bikes –

Recommended Mountain Bike Rides

Smuggler Mountain Road – Follow Neal Street to King Street to Park Street to smugglersSmuggler Mountain Road where the trip begins.  At the fork in the road (approximately 1 ½ miles), take a left.  This road travels uphill for one and a half miles to the Smuggler Observation Deck. Going left will connect you with an entire network of trails:  Smuggler Mountain Road to Hunter Creek Trail andSmuggler Mountain Road to Lenado Trail.

rio Grande trail

Rio Grande Trail – This trail begins behind the Post Office on Puppy Smith Street. The first two miles are paved.  The trail then crosses Cemetery Lane becoming a dirt trail at that point.  The trail proceeds northwest to Woody Creek. For more information on this trail and a map please visit Lay Some Tread. (EASY) We recommend biking to Woody Creek Tavern for lunch in our Day to Defy Ordinary Itinerary.

sunnysideSunnyside Trail – The trail begins on Cemetery Lane.  Follow Cemetery Lane from Hwy 82 where the road crosses the Roaring Fork River.  Approximately ¼ mile beyond this point, you will see the trail beginning on the right.

brush creek trail

 

Brush Creek Trail – The trail begins behind the tennis courts on Maroon Creek Road.  It crosses Buttermilk Mountain and finishes in Snowmass.  As this trail crosses private property, it is VERY important that bikers stay on the trail only.  Failure to do so could jeopardize future use of this trail.

The town of Snowmass has a variety of mountain bike trails to offer, some of our favorites include the Rim Trail, Tom Blake Trail, and the Government Trail. Click here for a link to their trail map.

Mountain Biking Essentials list

Spare Tubes or a Patch Kit
Even if you’ve gone tubeless, I usually have at least one tube and patch kit in my pack on a long ride. It’s a little quicker and easier to replace a tube than patching a tube on the trail. If the popped tube is worth salvaging, I’ll patch it up later when I get home from the ride.

Bike Pump
You can’t fix a flat tire without a pump. I use the Blackburn Airstik 2 Stage Pump because it’s very small and lightweight, but still powerful enough that it won’t tire you out just pumping up your tube. Or for an even more minimalist and time-saving option, a CO2 inflator is worth checking out. I’d recommend keeping a couple of full cartridges on hand if you’re going this route.

Tool Kit
You can assemble your own, or pick up a pre-assembled kit. At minimum, it should include the following:

First Aid Kit
You’ll probably need it when you don’t have it. Keeping a bike-specific first aid kit stowed away in your pack enables you to be at least somewhat prepared for the unexpected. One item that has come in handy time and time again is a towel. I like to throw a couple Lightload Towel pucks into my pack. They are as the name implies light 0.01 lbs, they take up almost no space and are surprisingly durable. Check them out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB-iPiqGQ0c

Light
On a long ride, one setback can leave you racing to beat sundown. A headlamp or handlebar light is good to throw in the pack. If I know I’ll be cutting it close, I’ll bring my NiteRider Pro 1200 along for the ride.

CLOTHING

As many of us know from staring at forecasts all winter long, the weather won’t always turn out how you expect.  When heading out on that all day ride, there are a few things I always try to carry with me.

Extra Layer or Jacket
A long sleeve jersey or a light cycling jacket with a bit of weather defense is a good choice. Depending on where you ride you may opt for more or less wind or water protection. For my longer rides I like to pack my Norrona Fjora Aero 100 Jacket because it is lightweight, packable, and breathable, yet still provides enough protection for the random storm.

Extra Socks
Are you expecting a little mud or water on your ride? Socks are easy to throw in the pack and would be nice to change into on your lunch break or when things dry out.

Gloves
It seems like every time I forget my gloves, I crash and cut up my hands.  Keep them in your pack so you don’t make the mistake I’ve made too many times!

Sunglasses
Even if it’s not a sunny day, glasses with clear or light-colored lenses are essential protection, coming in handy when you roll through a cloud of gnats or are banging through an overgrown trail. No-slip nosepads and grippy temples on sunglasses are kind of a must so they’re not slipping or bouncing around on your face. Interchangeable or, better still, photochromic  lenses are ideal for changing light conditions over the course of a long ride.

FUEL

Water
Hydration packs are the best option for these long rides. But if you already have a regular pack and aren’t looking to get a new one, you can do what I did and just purchase a hydration bladder separately.  For long rides, you’re probably going to want a three-liter one.

Drink Mixes
To go all day, it’s good to have more than just water.  An extra water bottle with a Skratch Labs mix will keep you replenished and less fatigued so you don’t get sloppy at the end of the trail.

Food
Aside from packing a sandwich for lunch, energy bars are good to throw in the pack. I usually bring a couple Clif Bars with me, but protein bars and energy gels will also keep you pedaling.

GEAR HACKS

Your pack is stocked and ready to go, but there’s always that off chance you’ll need to get creative to in order to make it down the trail. Zip ties are at the top of the list when it comes to bike gear hacks—they’re small, lightweight, and can be used to fix all kinds of things—like busted derailleur hangers, flapping fenders, and broken shoelaces—well enough to get you down from the mountain.

Be sure to bring along the other gear hack hall of famer, duct tape. If a zip tie can’t fix it, duct tape probably can, from sticking things onto your bike to bracing or splinting injured body parts like wrists or ankles. There’s no need to weigh down your pack with a huge 60-yard roll; bring along one of these emergency-sized rolls or wind 4-5 feet around a golf pencil or small stick and throw it in with the rest of your gear.

My own personal don’t-leave-home-without-it item is my wallet. And not only for the obvious access to emergency funds; a business card tucked into my wallet once came in handy on a ride on the Wasatch Crest Trail. After a second flat on the same tire, I discovered a small slash in the sidewall (the replacement tube blew out because of that hole).  It was a long way back in either direction, so we needed a quick fix.  I took the card out of my wallet (which I just happened to have with me), folded it up, and placed it on the inside of the tire against the slashed sidewall.  I aired up the second tube inside of that, and it held for the remainder of the ride. Since then, I’ve always made it a point to bring my wallet along instead of leaving it in the car, because it just might save the day.

– See more at: http://www.backcountry.com/explore/whats-in-the-pack-mountain-bike-essentials#sthash.Hn56Onn4.dpuf

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