Blog Posts

  • National Parks Week and FREE entrance weekend!

    April 18th kicks off the "National Parks Week" which will feature a FREE admission weekend on April 18th and 19th. The parks week is put on in partnership with the National Parks Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks.
  • Muir Woods National Monument

      On a recent visit to California I made a quick run to (John) Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley. What should have been about a 2 hour drive quickly turned into a 3 hour + crawl in stand still traffic, but the delay was worth it. The drive down the California 1 and Panoramic Hwy into the grove of giant redwoods making the Muir Woods National Monument was absolutely gorgeous and it only got better. The crowd at the entrance and opening area of the park were a bit overwhelming, but quickly and easily evaded.
  • Bridging the Outdoor Generation Gap in Parks

    The past year, the National Parks Service hit an all-time attendance record with 292.8 million visitors which jumped by 19 million visitors from 2013! This topped the previous record of 287.2 million visits set in 1987.
  • Stranded on K2. 27,000ft, two guys, and one rope.

    K2 is the second largest mountain in the world. It's also starred in it's own movie, and play.  Maybe you've heard of, or even seen the movie "K2: The Ultimate High", but did you know that the 90's movie is based on a play? K2 by Patrick Meyers, which first debuted on Broadway in 1983,  is loosely based on Jim Wickwire and Louis Reichardt respectively, the first two Americans to summit K2 in 1978.
  • Camera Carry Tips

      Logging long trails and carrying camera gear is not always the easiest of tasks. I'm not sure if there is really a right way to do this or not? Everyone seems to have their own way of doing so and it's just a matter of preference to what suits your needs with the trip at hand. I was recently asked by a friend what I use to carry my DSLRs into the backcountry and what I take with me. I have to admit I found my answer a little long and comical. To follow is my response with some pics from the trips of all sorts. 
  • New Website Coming Soon!

    A huge part of UpaDowna (hell, it was our roots!) came from educating folks about the outdoors online. We started out our life as strictly a gear review and outdoor article website. This is still a big part of who we are and now, more than ever, we need to make sure YOU get the info you need! That's why we're partnering with CoPilot Creative to design a new website that will be more user friendly, interactive, helpful and informative.
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  • DIY Bike Wheel Christmas Wreath

    We're decorating the UpaDowna office the only way we know how...with bikes and outdoor gear! Here are the steps you need to make a DIY bike wheel Christmas wreath! 1) Find an unused bike wheel, or get one donated by your local fave bike shop. Clean it up a little, or don't, either way looks good! 2) Pick up the decorating items you need either from the outdoors or a store. Basic items needed are:
  • Tips For a Winter Incline Hike

    Flashback to 2004. I had met this crazy outdoorsy guy (soon to be my husband of 10 years!) and he thought it would be exciting for us to have a "first date" on the Incline. I highly opposed this idea, but as we drove closer and closer to the "slice in the mountain" (or how a non-incliner would describe it...) I realized that I had no choice.
  • Winter Camping- Sportsmobile Style

    This past weekend, we were invited to stay at a friend's cabin which is in the footprint of Humboldt Peak. We accepted the invite, but refused to stay in the cabin. That's right, we camped in the Sportsmobile, our first winter slumber in it. I know this is nowhere near tent camping in winter, and WAY off from sleeping in a snow cave. However, as a family, this was a new adventure and I'm excited for things to come now that we've accomplished this! Here are some things I learned from two nights of winter camping- sportsmobile style.