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  • Our 3 Best Ideas for Last Minute Memorial Day Plans

    Memorial Day

    Camping over Memorial Day weekend can be tricky not to mention crowded, that’s why we’ve got a couple of foolproof ideas that will make this weekend the best kick off to summer yet!

     

    Backyard to the Rescue

    Many campgrounds are booked out months in advance, this is only slightly problematic. If you’ve got kids, try pitching a tent in the backyard and camp at home. Not only does this save you money but you get the same experience without having to leave the comforts of your own home. No kids? No problem! Invite friends over for a backyard barbecue, invest in a fire pit and play all night long. Check out some of our camping cocktail recipes and really keep this party going. Not only does this post have a bunch of great recipes, but we’ve got a few of our favorite GSI Outdoor products listed too!

     

     

    Backyard camping

    Over the Border

    Sometimes the best thing you can do is cross over the border. Memorial Day is an American holiday, so if you find yourself residing next to an international border think about a quick getaway… providing you have a passport. You’re practically guaranteed less crowded campgrounds, beaches and picnic areas.  

     

    Take a Hike

    While the beaches and campgrounds will probably be overflowing with people, a good old fashioned hike should weed out the crowds. Check with your local park services to see what trails are just opening and/or closing before the summer months and get out there. If you’re looking for a few inspiring ideas for what hiking trails to explore take a page out of our book and check out the post we did on some of the most famous hiking trails in the U.S. you’re sure to find something that suits your expectations.

     

     

    Memorial Day hike


    Regardless of where you end up, take a moment to remember what we’re celebrating. We’d never be able to enjoy the natural splendor of this beautiful country without all of the men and women who served in our armed forces. We thank you for your service! GSI
    Outdoors wishes everyone a happy Memorial Day!

  • Hottest Campgrounds in the U.S. -- Literally!

    Hottest Campgrounds in the US

     

    Oh the desert, not exactly what a person would think of when they’re starting to plan a camping trip. But the desert can provide a really beautiful and barren look at nature. We’ve scoured the land, searched high and low and GSI Outdoors is bringing you the hottest campgrounds in the U.S. -- literally!

     

    Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

    This park is a hot one, reaching upwards of 107 degrees fahrenheit on average during the summer months, but can get as hot as 125 degrees! You may or may not want to save this one for the winter. Located about 100 miles northeast of San Diego, CA., Anza- Borrego is a huge desert park with many hiking trails and fields of wildflowers. Just be weary if you are going to attempt camping in the summer months- monsoon season is at its peak from July to September. However, if you are going to give this vast national park a look see this summer keep an eye out for roadrunners, golden eagles, kit foxes, mule deer and of course the bighorn sheep that the park is partially named for. With over 600,000 acres you’re sure to encounter some of the local critters in their natural habitat.  

    Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

    Black Rock Desert

    Once an ancient lake covered what is now a 400 square mile silt playa known as Black Rock Desert, these days it’s a perfect destination for primitive camping. The closest thing to civilization is Gerlach, a small town just south of the barren basin with the most basic of supplies. The playa reaches into the 100’s during the summer months, but don’t be fooled it is a desert which means that the temperatures in the evening plummet. Once a year 50,000 people flock to the barren land for the infamous Burning Man Festival, but apart from that you’ll find the area pretty deserted year round. Set up camp near one of the many hot springs in the area and take in the natural wonders of the Nevada scenery.

     

    Mesquite Springs, Death Valley National Park

    Open to the public year-round, the campground is pretty accommodating with water, toilets, a dumping station, tables and fire pits. It probably comes as no surprise that this place gets hot in the summer, with Death Valley famous for being one of the hottest places on the planet. Historically temperatures in the summer can reach up to 120 degrees fahrenheit. You’ll find Mesquite Springs to be an off the beaten path kind of campsite with less congestion than some of the other sites. You’re still close to a ranger station and a few of the popular landmarks- Ubehebe Crater and Scotty’s Castle to name a couple.

     

    Valley of Fire State Park

    This is one of the oldest state parks in Nevada, covering an area of roughly 42,000 acres the park was dedicated in 1935. Located in the Mojave Desert the park was named for the brilliant red sandstone formations, when the sun strikes them at just the right angle they appear to be on fire. Since temperatures can reach 120 degrees during the summer months many of the animals are nocturnal, however, it’s always a special treat to see a big horned sheep roaming in the middle of the day. The nights are a real spectacle, the large rock formations cut off all artificial light coming from neighboring Las Vegas and making stargazing an experience all its own.

    Valley of Fire State Park

    While desert camping in the summer isn’t always an ideal situation it can be a really beautiful one. Thankfully many of these places are open year round making winter camping an option if the gruelling heat isn’t your thing. As always stick with GSI Outdoors for all of your camping tips, tricks and outdoor cookware.

  • Celebrate Earth Day!

    Celebrate Earth Day

    Happy Earth Day! It’s time to venture out and get back to nature, explore your surroundings and become an active participant in preserving your environment. We feel many people don’t know the full story behind Earth Day, so without further ado…

     

    Founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator, Gaylord Nelson. He was inspired by the anti- Vietnam War “teach-ins” on college campuses and by the 1960’s the American people started to become aware of the effects of pollution. Strides would be taken in the direction of environmental sustainability in an industrial setting. The real kicker came in 1969, a fire on Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River shed light on the problem of chemical waste disposal.

     

    The planet’s natural resources were not protected nor were they part of the national political agenda. Factories pumped chemicals into lakes, rivers and the air without any repercussions for their actions. Gas-guzzling cars and the smell of pollution was a sign of prosperity and the notion of recycling wasn’t even a thing yet. Nelson was dedicated to his cause, he had to convince the government that the earth was in serious trouble. So a date was chosen- April 22- because it was in between spring break and finals. Nelson thought this could maximise the number of participants and the first national teach-in on the environment was scheduled. He envisioned a large-scale, grassroots environmental demonstration and what he got was far more than he ever expected. 20 million demonstrators and thousands of local schools and local communities participated.

     

    Since 1970, Earth Day has grown tremendously, with more than 1 billion people involved with Earth Day activities. GSI Outdoors respects and appreciates everything this educational celebration stands for. Without it, we couldn’t get all of you out there. So opt outside this weekend, explore your surrounds and take a look at how you impact the environment.

  • Brunching- Not Just A City Affair

    Brunch Outside with GSI Outdoors

    Ahh brunch, an urban pastime of sleeping in yet still reaping the benefits of a good breakfast, typically chased with a glass or two of champagne. We’re here to tell you this delectable pastime was not just made for the cities. Join us as we share some creative brunch recipes and show you how brunch is not just a city affair!

    Eggs in purgatory

    It’s sure to be a dish that will warm you from the inside out. While we can’t be completely certain where this dish first originated, we do know that it is known in many cultures and by many names. Regardless, eggs in purgatory made it to the brunch list for its spicy tomato sauce and savory poached eggs, keep a few slices of crusty bread on the side for dipping and you’re set. Here’s what you’re going to need:

     

    Eggs in purgatory

     

    • Olive oil
    • Minced garlic
    • Red chili pepper flakes
    • 1 yellow onion
    • Red bell peppers
    • Zucchini
    • Can of diced tomatoes in their sauce (or a homemade version if you choose)
    • Broth of your choosing
    • Eggs

    Eggs in purgatory

    Heat your dutch oven over coals or your cooking fire. Add olive oil and saute garlic, then comes the bell pepper and onion, saute until translucent. Then add chili flakes, broth and tomatoes, allow to simmer, flavors will really start to come together. Crack eggs into spicy tomato broth and cover. Allow to cook, 5 minutes for runny yolks and up to 20 minutes for more firm yolks. Don’t forget that side of bacon, now eat up!  

     

    Finished eggs in purgatory

    Leggo my… waffle?

    There’s no way we’re having brunch without waffles, it’s just not right. Thankfully GSI Outdoors has the Bugaboo Waffle Iron. You can enjoy those fluffy squares with you wherever you go, who says you have to compromise on breakfast when you camp?  

     

    Now, we want to be honest with you, drinking and brunch tend to be done simultaneously so we felt savory beer raised waffles were very befitting, we’re borrowing the recipe from our friends over at Striped Spatula and it is oh so good!

     Bugaboo Waffle Iron

    Coffee Coffee Coffee

    The best part of waking up…. While you finish that little jingle we’ll get started on the coffee! We’ve already shared a pretty solid post on your morning cup of life here, where we gave a quick mention to the Percolator. This tried and true has been brewing our morning cup’o java for years, and you want to know a secret? It’s all in the grind! The key to good coffee starts with matching the grind to the brewing method. If you use a percolator with coffee that was ground for a drip machine, you’re going to end up with bitter coffee. The smaller grounds (more surface area) coupled with their continual contact with hot water results in over extraction.

    GSI Outdoors perkolator

    For the best results out of your percolator, grind the beans coarsely (like kosher salt) to start with. If your coffee is too weak - adjust to a slightly finer grind. Too strong or bitter? Grind even coarser.

    GSI Outdoors Javamill

    Cheers!

    We couldn’t give you a proper brunch menu without the champagne! This one is easy, grab a couple of our Champagne Flutes, pour yourself a bit of the bubbly, top her off with a splash of orange juice and enjoy.

     

    Brunching is not just a city affair, there’s no reason you can’t put out a delicious spread amongst the sunshine and tree lined skies.

  • Happy Birthday Arches National Park!

    Arches National Park Birthday

    Time has always been on Arches National Park’s side. 300 million years worth of time to be exact! The National Park Service calls Arches a red rock wonderland and we couldn’t agree more. This basin was eroded and worn away from inland seas millions of years ago, the rise and fall of the oceans left salt beds behind. Years later sand and boulders covered the beds, but because the salt layer is less dense, it rose up through the rock layer, forming domes and ridges. Most of the rock formations are made of soft red sandstone and when the groundwater started to dissolve the salt deposits, domes collapsed and weathered away leaving the picturesque rock sculptures we see today.

     

    Said to be the holy land for hikers, campers, bikers and climbers of the like, this place has become something of a pilgrimage for those who revel in the outdoor space. Arches is truly a national park unlike any other and this year Arches National Park celebrates their 87th birthday!

     

    As you’ve probably heard GSI Outdoors will commemorate the celebration all year long with awesome discounts and giveaways. As each park under the protection of the National Park Service celebrates their birthday, GSI Outdoors will offer discounts for products our website. Follow us on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and each day a park celebrates their birthday we will share a unique coupon code good for 20% off on the day of that park’s birthday.

     

    As a bonus- users who share a photo of themselves in a national park during the month of that park’s birthday on Instagram and hashtag it with BOTH #GSIoutdoors AND #NationalParkBDay will be entered to win a monthly giveaway!

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