my hiking jacket – Columbia OutDry Ex Gold

I’ve was very happy overall with my OutDry layers purchased December 2017. But within a few months the decals on both jackets started flaking off.

After about 7 months the OutDry coating on the down jacket began peeling off.

Columbia was very responsive when I contacted them. They want me to send them the jacket at my expense … then they’ll assess whether it is normal wear-and-tear or whether it’s my fault. That’s too much time, cost and bother for me. Especially if they somehow determine this was my fault.

I’m not sure I want an unreliable replacement.

Instead I’ll warn you here about the OutDry on the down jacket. It’s too sticky, I feel. Don’t buy that product.

The OutDry rain shell I really like. And I’m still using it as my main waterproof layer.

Here’s their email response:

All of our Outerwear and Equipment products benefit from our “Limited Lifetime Warranty”. This covers any manufacturing defects in the material and workmanship but excludes normal wear and tear and does not cover products that have been misused, neglected and the natural breakdown of materials over time. Receipt of purchase may be required. This Limited Lifetime Warranty lasts for the expected lifetime of the product from date of purchase. Coverage ends if you sell or transfer the product.

Shipping Information. Customers are responsible for shipping items to Columbia Sportswear. We will cover the cost of return shipping. We recommend that you ship your product with a reputable carrier that can provide tracking information and proof of delivery, such as Purolator or Canada Post. Customers are responsible for their product until we sign for delivery. Columbia Sportswear cannot be held responsible for packages lost in transit

All warranty claims are subject to evaluation by our warranty department and if your product is deemed out of warranty, it will be returned to you as is. If your product is deemed defective but unrepairable within a reasonable amount of time you will receive a Virtual Merchandise Credit equivalent to the MSRP value. Depending on the season or product, it may take longer to repair certain items. We will discard your product if it is covered under our applicable warranty when we provide you with a Virtual Merchandise Credit. If you would like your original product returned to you, you will not receive a Virtual Merchandise Credit, please check the box on the printable warranty form.

First option when possible is to have it repaired locally and send us the receipt for reimbursement up to $35 plus taxes per repair. All receipts require stamp of retailer/business and a clear description of the product and the repair that was performed.

The second option would be for you to send your item to our warranty department. Please proceed to the brand specific website and follow warranty instructions as it pertains to your item to receive your claim #. Furthermore, we ask that our clients pay for the initial one-way cost of shipping and we will cover the return cost. If product is not repairable a Virtual Merchandise Credit will be emailed to you to shop online, as stated above.

All our inspections are taking approximately 4-6 weeks from the received date.
Please note: Your products must be cleaned prior to shipment according to its care instructions. Products received that are deemed insufficiently cleaned will be returned to the customer unprocessed.

 

____ Original post from May 2018:

GearJunkie posted a sponsored ad from Columbia. This is the opposite of transparency in advertising. I’m disappointed. ☹️

The article, at first glance, looks a legit review.

Here’s my legit review. Columbia paid me nothing.

Top layer is the new Columbia Men’s OutDry Ex Gold Interchange Jacket

It’s fairly heavy with the removable Omni-Heat Reflective inner layer. For most hikes, I’ll leave that liner at home carrying only the 2 layer shell.

I tested it in the rain while cycling. With seam tape it feels entirely waterproof. And it’s reasonably light.

It has no pit zips.  Breathability is not nearly as good as Columbia claims. In fact, I’d say breathability is LOUSY.

I paired it with the new Columbia OutDry EX Gold Down Hooded Jacket

For most hikes I will bring this along, replacing my usual down hooded parka.

The most compelling reason I decided to go this direction is the OutDry™ EX outer layer. It seems obvious to me that down jackets should be waterproof. The down is not hydrophobic, but doesn’t need to be as it won’t get wet.

I’m confident I’ll never be wet nor cold with this system. The hoods are excellent.

Some feel the fit is boxy. I’d agree. But I like the extra room for more layers underneath.

For warm hikes I also picked up the Frogg Toggs Men’s Ultra Lite Rain Jacket as an alternative.

This is what the cool thru-hikers wear. It’s not breathable at all. But at US $14.22 you can’t lose.

All in all I’m very happy with my new OutDry system. It has got some bad reviews, however.

Gortex` wets out. Starts to fail after a few years. It’s the fabric of deceit. I’ve never trusted it.

Here’s how Outdry is supposed to work. Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

 

Sacred Valley hike: Maras, Moray, Ollantaytambo, Pisac

The sacred valley is a lush agricultural region about 15 km north of Cusco (Peru) which extends all the way to Machu Picchu. …

This 2-day itinerary will take you from Cusco to the ruins of Ollantaytambo, the Salineras de Maras, the village of Maras, the Moray Terraces and the town and ruins of Pisac. …

The route is in fact almost unknown to most tourists. …

Tales from the Lens

Sacred Valley, a self-guided hiking tour of Maras, Moray, Ollantaytambo and Pisac

 

This looks perfect to me. I’ve added it to our list of best hikes in South America.

new app – Trekking in Nepal

If interested download both the app and checkout the web page:

HoneyguideApps.com

The app offers offline support for both guided and independent trekkers.


Guest post by Ashish Shrestha:

Phuraphuti Sherpa runs the homely Namaste Lodge at Monjo, one of the many small villages that trekkers pass through on their way to Everest Base Camp.

The number of trekkers is close to fifty thousand per year, but only a handful know the fact that Phuraputi also runs a small kitchen garden and serves organic vegetables to her guests.

As she says, “I run a small lodge but I make sure every trekkers leave happily when they go. I even grow my own vegetables and serve organic food. I hope that now even small lodges like mine get equal opportunity to be noticed!

In traditional dress for the photo.

She is one of the 80 lodges in the Everest Region that has signed up for HoneyGuide, an online community that connects mountain lovers with people who depend on the mountains for their livelihood.

The inspiration behind HoneyGuide is to:

  1. Make sure that porters, guides, and lodges get paid equitably and get business transparently.
  2. Make sure that trekkers get enough options and information to run a trek the way they see fit: from going independent without any bookings to a fully guided trek.

To these ends, HoneyGuide is:

  1. A Trek Planning Tool with:
    1. Comprehensive and Up to date information on Everest Base Camp Trek
    2. Complete Checklist for planning a trek in Nepal
    3. Health and Safety Advice for Trekking in Nepal
  2. A Trek Booking Tool with:
    1. Transparent Trek Booking starting with minimum services and options to add on extra services. See Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek.
    2. Capacity to Book Flights, Lodges, and Guides separately. Email addresses and Phone Numbers are also available to aid communication.
    3. Reviews and Ratings to ensure that lodges, and guides get business not based on kickbacks, but hard work and good service.
  3. A Trek Companion that:
    1. Introduces you to the Attractions, Mountains, Birds, Flowers, and Cultural Sightings of the villages you will pass through. See Namche for example.
    2. Breakdown of what you can expect on each Day of your trek. For example see Day 8 of the Everest Base Camp Trek.
    3. Provides all of the above in an offline Mobile App “Trekking in Nepal”. Here are the download links for Android and iOS devices.

(The iOS app is not free right now. Contact Dakshina with the Referral Code BestHike, and we will send you a promo code for iOS devices.)

Everest View from Kala Pathar. PC: Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon.

Author Information.

Ashish Shrestha from Kathmandu grew up surrounded by lofty peaks and early developed a love for mountains. He’s a co-founder of the project 

The HoneyGuide Team.

 

best way to hike Lofoten Islands, Norway

Lofoten is without question one of the best hiking destinations in the world.

Bunes Beach hike

But it’s remote.

Also, Norway is very expensive.

The gateway for most people is the town of Bodø, the end of the train line north. It’s often cheaper and easier to fly as the train is a 17 hour overnight journey.

From Bodø you have options. If you don’t have your own transportation easiest is to make a loop by ferry and bus.

Take the fast passenger ferry Bodø to Svolvær. About 4 hours.

Your first hike should be Fløya & Devil’s Gate. The trailhead is about a half hour walk from the ferry landing.

From Svolvær you would take buses or hitchhike the only highway west through islands A to V to F to M. 

M Moskenes (Moskenesøya) has the best hiking. Save it for last.

Reine is the best base town for Moskenes. You can do 3-4 awesome hikes out of the same town.

From the village of Å (the last letter of the Norwegian alphabet) you can catch the slow ferry back to Bodø. About 4 hours.

By far the best hiking guidebook is Hiking the LOFOTEN ISLANDS by Kristin Folsland Olsen. Published 2017 in English, it will help you decide which hikes to do. Most are day hikes and many are scrambles. No need to order it online. It’s widely available on the islands.

The weather is dreadful. For any 7 day period during the hiking season you may have several days of serious wind and rain. These should be rest days if you have time.

If you have your own vehicle — or decide to rent a car — you can go when and where you want. That’s ideal.

related – travel 2 walk – trip report: Norway – Bødo & Lofoten Islands, August 2017

 

hiking the Troll Tongue, Norway

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles. 

  • 23-27km return
  • 10-12 hours

Trolltunga (Troll Tongue) is a rock formation situated about 1,100 metres above sea level …

The special cliff is jutting horizontally out from the mountain, into free air about 700 metres (2,300 ft) above the north side of lake Ringedalsvatnet. …

Here’s the Instagram moment people expect.

Here’s the line-up ☹️ when I arrived on one of the best days of the year.

Before 2010 fewer than 800 people hiked to Trolltunga each year. In 2016 more than 80,000 people made the adventure!

It’s packed. 

I certainly didn’t wait.

Instead I walked on to try to find the little Pulpit which is about 2km further past the last emergency hut. It’s close to the best camping area.

Happily I had the small Pulpit to myself for about 25 minutes before anyone else showed up. A great lunch spot.

And I did get to dangle my feet over the edge.

Fact is it’s pretty easy to locate a private cliff edge in Norway. It has the second longest coastline in the world due to all those fjords. Go find your own.

Despite the mob scene at the Tongue I really enjoyed the hiking day. We lucked out and had great weather.

___

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Parking at the trailhead costs 500 NOK/day (approx. 62 USD or 52 EUR). And over 300 spots were full the morning I arrived. I had to park 6km lower on the mountain for 300 NOK/day … and take a golf cart up for 100 NOK. Yeesh!

Starting 2017 from the higher parking lot you can take a shuttle up an additional 4km for 100 NOK. Worried about finishing in daylight, I paid.

Just to get to the start of the hike cost me CAD $78.

Troll’s Tongue much longer but easier walking than the other two famous cliff edge hikes in Norway. Very enjoyable.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Safety is a big concern. September 2015 a 24-year-old Australian woman fell to her death, the first recorded fatality. There are about 40 rescues annually, most on the walk out due to fatigue or exposure. A few get lost.

An additional bonus is the crazy drive to get to the trailhead. I drove both up and down the entire mountain. It’s awesome.

Great Redwood Trail CA proposal

I’d fly to California to bike / hike this rails to trail.

It’s been proposed by California Sen. McGuire – SB 1029, The Great Redwood Trail Act.

details at GreatRedWoodtrail.org

related – The Great Redwood Trail would be great for North Coast

The new trail will bring economic benefits to the North Coast, where rural towns need such growth. Outdoor recreation already brings in more than $92 billion a year to California, nearly 700,000 jobs with more than $30 billion in wages and more $6 billion in local and state tax revenues.

U.S. National Parks: A Love Story

I’ve long ago given up on Trump’s Swamp dweller Ryan Zinke, secretary of the Department of Interior.

In the comments True Brigand links to the many scummy things he’s done.

But he’s making the right noises here. Perhaps he’s learned something on the job.

The Restore Our Parks Act has a good chance to pass. Trump will sign it. I’ll take that as a win … if it happens.

Ryan Zinke:

Last year, our parks had 330 million visitors, with more visitors expected this year.

Unfortunately, our park system has been neglected and is in need of rebuilding. We are loving our parks to death. The backlog of critical maintenance and repairs in the National Park Service stands at $11.6 billion and until recently, addressing the backlog seemed to be out of our reach. …

A bipartisan bill that is now before the Senate would achieve this worthy goal. Thanks to the efforts of leaders like Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), and many others, the bill has momentum as others join to show their commitment to our public lands. I commend every senator involved in this effort for recognizing that preserving our parks is not a Republican or Democrat issue – it is an American issue. …

Bipartisan bill would bring needed funds to deteriorating National Park Service infrastructure

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.