We really do think wool is a miracle fiber and not just because it prevents blisters. Wool has been used for centuries for all manner of things from absorbing noise in heavy machinery to breastplates for Roman legionnaires. But speaking of everyday life, we’ve found numerous ways to incorporate this renewable, all-natural fiber into your lifestyle.
- Wool bedding
Classic Wool Duvet from The Wool Room
No you won’t be itching all night, but you will have a completely hypoallergenic place to sleep. Not only is wool hypoallergenic, it’s also impervious to dust mites. As some of you may know, wool also helps regulate your body temperature, so if you're a hot sleeper, a wool pillow will keep your head cool! From wool duvets to pillows to mattresses, more and more wool bedding products are becoming available. Plus, wool is a natural fire retardant, so you don’t have to worry about added chemicals in your bed. Check out The Wool Room - a UK company that also ships to the US. We love their pillows!
- Active and casual apparel
We live, play, and even sleep in merino wool apparel. Merino wool is so high quality and delicate to the touch, you can wear it next to the skin itch-free. Not only does it wick the moisture away from the skin, it also helps with odor control. Humans have been wearing wool clothing for over 3,000 years, but this textile is still in-keeping with the times. With brands like Ibex providing everything from super-cute dresses to bomber activewear, there’s no reason to wear anything else!
- Natural mulch
When used around the trunk of trees or large plants, wool can be cool and porous for the roots while simultaneously preventing weeds.
- Home insulation
Don’t like chemicals? (Really, who does?) Wool can be used as home insulation as the natural crimping fibers traps air. According to Topsy Farms in Ontario, wool has been used for generations to insulate yurts in Western Canada.
Colorado Fall Colors, photo by Larry Gross
Slowly but surely, the aspens are beginning to turn gold in the Colorado high country. That means Fall is on the way. This is one of my favorite times of the year to get outside, not only because of the beautiful colors, but also because of that crisp element in the air. Fall hiking is dissimilar to summer in a variety of ways, which means you need to prepare for your adventure differently.
Find the best Fall Colors
Peak Fall Colors vary by region, so if you’re planning on traveling this season, check that you’re going at the right time. The Weather Channel has a helpful Fall Colors map to help you plan your season.
Wear orange & be aware of hunters
Fall isn’t just a great time of year for hikers, it’s also hunting season – beginning August 26 in Colorado. Wear bright colors like Hunter Orange and talk loudly so as not to be mistaken for a deer. You can also check-in with your public land office to see which trails are most popular with hunters and help define your route.
Check the weather and choose your route carefully
August 2016 in Chicago Basin near Durango, CO, photo by Margaret Hedderman
In the high country, it has been known to snow as early as August! When planning your Fall hiking adventure, be sure to check the forecast and be aware of what elevation you’ll be climbing to. Rain at 6,500 ft. can be snow at 13,000!
Carry layers for dramatic temperature changes
Fall Colors in Harriman State Park near New York City, photo by Larry Gross.
In addition to choosing your route based upon weather conditions, you’ll also want to carry extra layers. In the Fall, the temperature can drop quickly. Be sure to carry a good insulating layer as well as a rain jacket. And never forget your Ten Essentials!
Read full post →
Between dueling studies and common wisdom, the verdict is still out on whether or not runners should stretch after a workout to prevent injury. Several recent reports have shown that stretching has little to no effect on injury prevention, but doctors have yet to agree on those results. If you choose to err on the side of tradition, try out these 5 runners’ stretches after your next jog.
Upper Calf Stretch
Find an empty wall and standing in front of it, facing forward. Step your left back, about a foot, and keep it straight. Bend your right leg to gently stretch your left calf. Repeat on the other side.
Lower Calf Stretch
Take a step closer to the wall so that you’re standing parallel to it. Keeping your left foot flat on the ground, place your weight on your left leg, and bend it. This will stretch your lower calf muscles. Repeat on the right leg.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Step forward into a deep lunge, left foot forward. Drop your right knee to the ground and raise your right heel Keep your hips squared and torso upright to increase the stretch in your left hip flexor. Repeat on the opposite side.
Lying Quadriceps Stretch
Lie down on your stomach and stretch your arms out like Superman. Bend your left leg and reach behind you with your left arm to grab it. You can use a band to help you reach if necessary. Pull your left leg backward to stretch the quadriceps.
Lying Hamstring Stretch
Roll over onto your back and stretch your legs out. Raise your left leg, keeping it straight. If you can, grab your left calf with your hands and pull your leg forward. You can also use a band to help reach.
There are so many great non-fiction outdoor adventure books on the market right now, that it’s easy to forget about those “made up” stories as well! Clear your reading list (and your calendar) and add these new and classic novels to the queue.
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Everyone should read (and perhaps re-read!) this classic outdoor adventure by Jack London. It’s one of the greats. Set in Alaska during the Gold Rush, Call of the Wild is the story of a heroic dog named Buck who is stolen from his home and forced to become a sled dog in Alaska. Although there have been several film renditions of the story, nothing can improve upon London’s prose, based upon his real-life experiences in Alaska.
Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers’ latest novel takes us to the far reaches of the Alaskan wilderness. Josie and her children are on the run, in a rattling old RV, from foes real and imagined. What follows is a funny, often bizarre adventure that reflects on contemporary American life.
The Hunter by Julia Leigh
Exploring the Tasmanian wilderness as well as the wilderness of the mind, The Hunter is a dark journey into one man’s obsession. The Hunter arrives in Tasmania, under the employ of a mysterious Company, and is tasked to kill the last thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger). His mission takes him deep into the dark and dangerous wilderness in search of a supposedly extinct animal.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Forget Jack Sparrow for a moment and let’s talk about Long John Silver. R.L. Stevenson’s classic novel is the pinnacle of sea-faring adventures. It follows the young Jim Hawkens, a cabin boy on the Hispanola, who is pulled into a search for buried treasure. His adventure takes him onto the Spanish Main where he must contend with ruthless pirates that would give Barbossa a run for his money!