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Watch the Longest Recorded Swim Beneath Ice

For most, the idea of plunging into a frozen lake in the middle of a Finnish winter wearing nothing but swim trunks and goggles is the stuff of nightmares. To Wim Hof, “The Iceman,” it was just another challenge worth conquering in his ongoing quest to blow the minds of mere mortals. This fete earned him a spot in the Guinness World Records for the longest recorded swim beneath ice.

A calm breast stroke beneath inches of ice

Are you preparing to face frigid temperatures? Don’t forget your base layer!

How to Camp at a Fire Tower (Without the Fires)

This year’s fire season is still raging, giving many of us a renewed respect for the men and women who care for our beloved forests. Firefighters take the front lines, but there’s a lesser known position that’s still important in some places, too. Fire lookouts spend their summers in fire towers, sleeping above the trees and watching for smoke below.

Many fire towers are no longer in operation, as new technology has replaced people in many of these positions. But plenty of fire towers are still around — and some of them can be rented for camping!

A retired or off-season fire tower is a romantic and fun way to wake up in the woods. If you’re curious about the life of a fire tower lookout, or simply want to wake up in the sky, consider renting a fire tower the next time you go camping.

Here’s how…

1. Decide Where You Want to Go

A post shared by Josh Steele (@outofthewoods) on Sep 14, 2017 at 7:58am PDT

With so many options, this can be the most overwhelming step. Narrow it down by whether or not you want to hike in or drive and what time of year you’d like to go.

This post from The Dyrt spotlights the 5 Best West Coast Fire Towers, which might help you narrow down your options.

2. Search by State

Once you have an idea of where you want to go, check out Recreation.gov. In the search bar, type in Fire Lookout, and you’ll find an extensive list of lookouts available in different states. On a basic search you can easily find towers in South Dakota, California, and Idaho.

The Forest Fire Lookout Association also offers this handy page with towers organized by state, which can be a more convenient way to start looking.

3. Check for Availability

A post shared by Marc Wilk (@marc_wilk) on Aug 23, 2017 at 10:02am PDT

All fire tower rentals are handled through the Forest Service. You can head over to Recreation.gov and check availability of the tower you have in mind, or you can call toll-free 1 (877) 444-6777. You can also find fees related to each tower. Typically, the rental is $30-$75, with the most primitive being free in the winter.

4. Book the Tower

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Once you’ve figured out what is available, you can continue to book at Recreation.gov.

5. Pack Your Bags

Now that you’ve booked your fire tower, it’s time to pack up the car and hit the road! Don’t forget essentials like binoculars and a camera to capture those gorgeous views. If you’re venturing out in winter, bring survival essentials and your warmest layers.

 

There’s Still Time to Win Free Camping Gear from The Dyrt and Coldpruf

camping gear

Every month since May, we’ve teamed up with The Dyrt to offer great gear from ColdPruf as prizes for reviewing campsites in our region of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. It’s been an exciting summer, as we’ve given away base layers left and right to winners of each month’s contest, helping campers enjoy their outdoor adventures even more.

By reviewing your own camping experiences, you won’t only have a chance to win great prizes — you’ll also be helping campers like yourself. The more campers review campsites and upload pictures on The Dyrt, the more everyone will benefit from collective knowledge on the best places to pitch a tent this summer.

August’s contest is already underway and there are only two months left to go. Ready to jump in on the action? Head over to TheDyrt to submit your campground reviews. You score more points for including photos and videos, so bring your A-game for the best chance to score ColdPruf prizes, along with gear from other brands across the outdoor industry.

This 4th of July, We’re Celebrating National Parks

With anxiety peaking at record-high levels, it’s hard to deny the fact that we are living during turbulent times. And, though it may be tough to find something that we can all agree on these days, the one thing that still unites Americans is our incredible national park system.

To celebrate our independence, we want you to get out there and enjoy one of these national treasures. And, if you happen to be local to one of the three on our list, we think you should book a campground reservation and make a weekend of it– sleeping under the stars sure beats any requisite boozy backyard barbecue!

Arches National Park

Image from The Dyrt user Mariah B.

Home to over 2,000 sandstone arches, Utah’s Arches National Park is a must for any adventurers seeking some quality time in a colorful desert terrain. For direct access to some of the park’s most popular biking and hiking trails, including Broken Arch, be sure to check out Devil’s Garden Campground.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Image from The Dyrt user Cierra A.

Spanning Tennessee and North Carolina’s highest peaks, Great Smoky Mountain National Park is undoubtedly the best place to experience the Appalachians. With rich wildlife, including black bears, 50 native fish species, and the North American flying squirrel, this park is not only home to some of the country’s best views, but also animals you are unlikely to see anywhere else. If you are looking to stay out of the backcountry, Cades Campground is our pick for a quiet, rustic camping experience.

Denali National Park and Preserve

Image from The Dyrt user Alison G.

Famous for housing the highest peak in the all of the United States, Denali National Park is, without a doubt, the most wild option that our parks system has to offer. If you don’t have the three weeks or the lung capacity to scale the mountain itself, opt to stay at Wonder Lake where you can wake up to stunning views of both Denali and the Alaskan Mountain Range.

Making Camping Even Better for Decades to Come

We LOVE the outdoors, but if you’ve ever tried to find camping information then you know it’s a pain. That’s why we’re partnering with The Dyrt to give away ColdPruf to campers all summer long.

The Dyrt is the fastest-growing camping app. They’re the go-to site for finding a great campsite near home or for your next trip. Think of it as Yelp but for camping.

Our camping contests cover Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. If you review a campsite on The Dyrt in these states, you’re automatically entered to win ColdPruf gear.

Get out there and camp often because the more campsites you review in those states, the better chance you have of winning ColdPruf.

Together we’re making camping even better for decades to come!

A Virtual Tour of Our American Treasure: Yellowstone National Park

Known well for Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park is also the world’s first National Park. But that’s not all that makes Yellowstone so special and unique. In fact, when you look across all the states that it touches (Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming), you’ll find that Yellowstone truly is a national treasure.

On the subject of geysers, Old Faithful is not the only geyser that the park has to offer. In fact, Yellowstone is home to about 500 geysers that are as equally, if not more, impressive than Old Faithful.

In addition to the geysers, the park has about 10,000 thermal features, including hot springs. But these aren’t your typical hot springs because you won’t want to take a soak in any of these. The water that percolates up from the caldera beneath the ground is so hot it’ll burn you in an instant. But these thermal features are incredible to see with your own eyes, some even show off different colors of water at the surface like Grand Prismatic Spring.

Geysers, thermal features, and other geological formations are only the beginning of Yellowstone National Park. The park itself also has a plethora of lakes to enjoy. The primary one being Yellowstone Lake. Here visitors can enjoy the lake by boat, go fishing, have a picnic along its shoreline, go for a hike on one of the trails that runs by the lake, and even camp along the lake’s shore. Sitting towards the center of the park, 22 miles north of the south entrance, the lake is easily accessible and is a must visit for anyone that’s never been there.

The Grand Canyon is one of those incredible landscapes that’s worth a visit, but it’s in Arizona. If a trip that far south is out of the question, Yellowstone has its own Grand Canyon that’s almost equally impressive as the actual Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is an impressive canyon that’s cut by the Yellowstone River. The entire Yellowstone River plunges 308 feet from Lower Falls shortly after cascading 109 feet at Upper Falls. The impressive waterfalls and colorful canyons make this one of the most photogenic areas in the park.

Yellowstone is one of the best places in the country to see a variety of wildlife. Yellowstone is an area where bears, bison, rabbits, and all sorts of animals can roam free amongst a well preserved and protected natural environment.

From geysers to lakes and thermal features to the wildlife, Yellowstone is a multifaceted national treasure that’s worth a visit many times over.

The best free ski movie on youtube

At ColdPruf, we own cold. We also love it. It’s a lot easier to love when you’re comfortable.

One of our favorite things about winter: snow sports, and skiing in particular. Skiing embodies how we feel about cold: taking something that could be a negative, and making it incredibly fun.

And if you can’t be skiing right now, the next best thing is a skiing film — and especially a free ski film. Here’s the best free ski movie we’ve found, “CLAIM,” from the all-star crew at Matchstick Productions.

Click below to view. Enjoy!

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5 National Parks You Should Visit This Fall

There are 58 national parks in the U.S., sprawling from the banks of Alaska to the Florida Keys. These protected places give Americans and visitors a place to play, explore, learn, and grow.

There’s a lot of ground to cover when it comes to national parks, and we think fall is the perfect time to check a few off your list. Now that the summer vacation crowds are thinning, pick a park you’ve never been to, or dive deeper into one close to home. Here are our five favorite national parks, just in time for fall road-trips.

Yosemite National Park

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Known for Half Dome, El Capitan, and the daring climbers that scale their faces, Yosemite is a great choice for hiking, backpacking, and awe-inducing rock formations. American climbing history began in this valley, at Camp 4 nearly 50 years ago, beginning what many call the “golden age of climbing.” But you don’t have to be a daredevil rock climber to enjoy the sweeping views of this great valley of granite. There are 1,200 square miles of giant saquioas, waterfalls, hiking paths, and plenty of intimate corners of wilderness for you to enjoy.

Acadia National Park

Along Maine’s shoreline is a densely forested island park. With opportunities for fishing, hiking, sailing, and so much more, Acadia is high on our list for favorite fall destinations. When the leaves begin to change this park is pure magic. We recommend staying at Blackwoods Campground for its incredible views.

Big Bend National Park

Traveling to the south means not quite as many changing leaves, but fall is still the perfect time to visit the national parks in the southern part of the country. These parks, which see upwards of 100-degree temps in the summer, begin their cool down in September and October, resulting in perfect weather for hiking, camping, and sitting around the campfire.

Big Bend is vast and isolated — a mountain range in west Texas, completely surrounded by desert. The limestone peaks and valleys create stunning southwestern scenery and dark starry nights. This shot was taken at Pine Canyon Campground.

Shenandoah National Park

Covered in fall colors, Shenandoah National Park is the place to be in the coming months. The Skyline drive, weaving through the Shenandoah valley, is excellent for capturing the beauty of the season. We recommend staying at Lewis Mountain campground, located inside the park.

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve

A post shared by Burak Akil (@burakakil) on Sep 13, 2017 at 12:07pm PDT

You may have never heard of this incredible park with the most legendary name. Gates of the Arctic is located in the rugged and raw state of Alaska. The fall colors are stunning, but the season here is short as winter looms and the sun sets earlier and earlier. Stay at Marion Creek Campground, just a short drive out of the park.

These parks are calling your name this fall. Make a reservation at one, or take a long road-trip and visit all five. Don’t forget to pack your layers as the nights get cooler.

 

4 of The Best Campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park offers nearly 3,500 square miles of wilderness excitement, from canyons and forests to bears and wolves. The park is a camper’s playground, but with so much space and so many campgrounds, choosing where to stay can be a challenge.

Thanks to The Dyrt, we have access to reviews and photos of campgrounds across the country, including those in Yellowstone National Park. We’ve selected a few of the top-rated campgrounds, according to real-life reports from campers like you. If you’re heading to Yellowstone National Park, check out these campgrounds.

1. Canyon Campground

Image from The Dyrt user James D.

Campers rave about the showers at Canyon; it’s a great place to spend the night on your way back to civilization after backpacking in the park’s deep recesses. There are 250 sites available, and the scenic views are rated as highly as the showers.

2. Tower Fall 

Image from The Dyrt user Kari T.

Tower Fall is a small campground that does not take reservations, so get there early. Your efforts will be rewarded; Tower is remote and very close to Tower Falls, a series of beautiful waterfalls where you’ll likely spot wildlife, including bison, elk, and bear. Bring your camera and use the bear box for your food.

3. Grant Village

Image from The Dyrt user Andrew S.

Grant Village is a big campground with lots of amenities. It’s not remote, but it is close to some beautiful sites, such as geysers and other geothermal areas. Hiking trails lead off from the campground, which stay relatively quiet as most people stay within the campground for the closer attractions.

4. Mammoth Hot Springs 

Image from The Dyrt user Kari T.

Mammoth Hot Springs is one of the only campgrounds in Yellowstone that is open year-round. Besides the wildlife and outdoor adventure experiences, the main attraction is the Boiling River, which contains natural hot pools that are suitable for both warm and cold weather soaking.

If you head to any campgrounds around Yellowstone National Park, review them on TheDyrt, and you’ll be entered to win gear from ColdPruf and other outdoor brands in our camping contests.

This Summer Your Base Layer Becomes Your New Best Friend

Does this scene look familiar? You’ve snagged a beautiful camp site with ambitions of stargazing and early morning coffee by a smoldering campfire. But now you’re huddled in your tent as the clouds roll in and the chilly wind blows. Whether you’re spending time on the ocean or high in the mountains, your base layers can be your best friend when the warm summer sun disappears.

Here are three reasons to always carry your base layer, even in the summer months.

Layer For Unpredictable Weather

Image from Christy C.

No matter the time of year, smart packing and dressing should always involve layers. The weather can change quickly out there, and it’s important for the layer that touches your skin to stay warm and dry.

ColdPruf has you covered for any temperature paired with any level of activity, whether you’re going for a chilly morning stroll on the beach or a multi-day backpacking trip in high alpine regions. Our ThermaChoice System Key makes it easy to choose which of our base layers is right for your chosen adventure.

Protect Your Skin From Sun

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Sun is another factor to consider in your summer outdoor pursuits. Even the best sunscreen can eventually fail with high alpine rays or reflections from water or snow. And suffering the pain of a sunburn is no way to spend your days outside.  A light base layer like the Honeycomb can be a great shield from UV glare. You’ll stay protected and cool, and ready to keep going through the long, sunny days.

Cover Up Indoors

The cool blast of an air-conditioner can feel great after you’ve been sweating outside. But if you’re spending much time indoors, those air-conditioners will leave you chilly, which can be particularly uncomfortable if your clothes are damp from sweating.

Keep a light base layer on you, for unexpected indoor time, or for full days in the office. Layers will keep you warm, and give you the option to easily strip down to warm-day gear, once you’re ready to get back out there.

No matter the adventure or forecast, you’ll find be relieved to have packed a base layer, all year round.

Nippy Nights of the North: Camping in the Idaho Panhandle

Planning a trip to Coeur d’Alene? As it turns out, that gorgeous forest can get rather chilly, sometimes dipping down into the 30s at night even into the summer months. So, to ensure that you have the safest, warmest, and most comfortable experience sleeping under the stars in Idaho’s Panhandle, get to know these rules first…

Base layers aren’t one-size-fits-all

And, we’re not just talking about how a pair of long johns look on you in the mirror; “fit” for base layers is about activity level, weather, and durability. Refer to our helpful Thermachoice System here to help determine which base layers will keep you warmest for the activities you have planned for your trip.

Correct sleeping bag

Still using that beat up sleeping bag from your Boy Scout or Girl Scout days? If so, it ain’t gonna cut it in the frosty temps of the Panhandle. Upgrade to one that is made for your body type and is rated for zero or sub-zero temps. During particularly chilly spells, add an insulated liner to your bag, or stuff dry clothes inside to stop cool air from getting in. For an extra kick of heat, cuddle up to a warm water bottle.

Prevent condensation

Staying dry is key to maintaining a healthy body temperature. And, though you may have the desire to stay super toasty in that tent, know that holing yourself up with no ventilation can create chilly condensation. Keep vents open and, if you are expecting stormy conditions, consider bringing along a chargeable mini dehumidifier.

Keep your head warm

Mom was right: covering your head goes a long way to keeping your core temperature up. Pop a synthetic cap or headband on before you zip up for the night.

Stay nourished

As always, it’s imperative that you are getting enough calories both on and off the trail. Fill up the night before you set off, and be sure to eat three balanced meals while on your trip. Focus on high-protein, high-fat options. And, no, living off of energy bars and trail mix doesn’t count!

Camping in Montana, Idaho, or Wyoming? Review your experience on The Dyrt to automatically be added to our summer camping contests! Read more here

Best Father’s Day Gift: Base Layers

Finding a Father’s Day gift for your active dad should be pretty easy. But in reality, it can be a tall order. You need to get him something that he’ll wear often, will last, and is comfortable. That’s why base layers make the best Father’s Day gift.

Any time the winds turns cold, he can reach for his new base layers. They are there for any activity, from hiking to skiing to walking to biking. In one gift, you’re giving him warmth AND comfort.

Base layers come in different styles and colors, which means it’s easy to find an awesome pair for him to wear — a pair that matches his own personal style.

The best thing about base layers as a Father’s Day gift? They’ll keep him warm around the house as well. Whether there’s a cold snap or he’s just feeling chilly, your gift will be there. He’ll be able to put on the base layers to keep him warm while he’s packing for his next adventure.

For any active dad in your life, base layers make a great Father’s Day gift.

One Great Gift Your Active Mom Will Love

Searching for a great Mother’s Day gift for your active mom can prove to be difficult.

She likely has all the gear she needs and if she doesn’t, she probably wants to be the one to pick it out. A gift card would make sense, but that’s not personal at all. And the idea of jewelry can be difficult for anyone active because it can so easily get in the way

The solution? Base Layers. Here’s why

Base layers are a great gift for your active mom for a couple of reasons:

Comfortable for Training Sessions

An active mom doesn’t let the cold weather stop her.

In fact, the thought of not training in the cold doesn’t even cross her mind.

Base layers will keep your mom going in the cold; and staying nice and toasty.

Perfect Multi-Activity Piece of Gear

Being active usually means you don’t just have one activity; you have several.

Having clothes and base layers that can be used for every activity is always helpful.

Base layers can be used all across the board: running, cycling, mountain biking, climbing, working out, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, etc.

You name it, if there’s any chance of a chill on the air, base layers are always a go-to item.

Great as Loungewear

The house can even get a little chilly at times and it’s a good thing that base layers are so warm.

They’re great to wear around the house if your active mom doesn’t want to kick on the heater right away.

It’s almost like she’s wearing a cozy blanket around the house, but is still able to organize her gear closet and route-plan for her next adventure.

The Spring Guide to Getting Outside Early in the Year

As spring comes and the temperature begins to rise, we all get that sudden urge to get out and explore again. There are few things more trapping than being cooped up inside all winter.

But by nature, spring is a time of in-betweens. It is not yet warm, but it’s also not the frozen stillness that’s kept you bundled up all winter. Whether it’s an early morning sunrise hike, an alpine start on the slopes one last time, or a run through the forest, you want to be feeling comfortable no matter what the conditions are.

Here are a few ideas to help you keep comfortable and get outside early in the year:

1. Bring Layers

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Getting out at any time of day, but especially in the morning, the cold of winter is still very much in the air. It’s always the coldest in the morning when you’re waking up. Not to mention the morning is a time of waking-up: your blood is moving slowly and you’ll want those extra layers to keep cozy as you get moving and start to warm up. Plus, layers will be your best friend when an unexpected cold wind comes in.

2. Eat a Good Meal Before Heading Out

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Extra calories will keep you moving and your energy up. The more calories you can burn the more energy you’ll have to keep you going.

3. Bring a Bag

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Your bag is an essential part of the layering process. As the sun begins to rise and you continue to move,you’re going to start getting warm. Very warm. At some point you’ll even begin to sweat. Shuck some layers and stash them in your bag. When you take a break or reach your destination you can always put those layers back on to keep warm while not moving. Stash extra snacks and water in your bag to munch on while you’re out there.

4. Drink Water

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Coffee is a great way to jumpstart your day, but drinking water is key to staying comfortable and moving. When it’s cold you may not feel like you’re thirsty, but that doesn’t mean you’re not at risk of dehydration. Keep a water bottle or a bladder of water in your bag and take a few sips every 15 minutes. That’ll help you stay hydrated without giving too much thought to water.