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  • 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!

  • We're throwing an ABC Party- Anything But Coffee!

    Anything But Coffee

    Everyone’s heard of an ABC Party, right? Often times that “C” stands for something completely different, but this week we’re talking coffee-  Anything BUT Coffee! Sure we’ve already given you some great options when it comes to crafting that perfect cup of joe out on the trail and we’ve even touched on some crafty cocktails. Now place all of those delectable options aside because we’re showing you how to make anything but coffee using your favorite GSI Outdoors products.

     

    Early Riser Alternative- Tea

    Early riser? A hot cuppa is a great way to kick your morning off in good spirits. Tea has had a long standing history, first originating in provinces of China and eventually being shipped back to Europe as a commercial import by the Dutch, this was another one of those indulgences enjoyed by elite upperclass. Thank goodness those dog days are over! Tea is easily transported when you’re out on the trail and since tea tax was banished long ago it’s a pretty affordable option too.

     

    The GSI Outdoors H2JO! is perfect for brewing a delicious cup of tea. Simply screw the strainer into any standard water bottle, add a scoop of your favorite loose leaf tea and a little hot water then give it a few. You’ll have the perfect cuppa in no time flat. Or if you’re feeling a little old school you can always give the enamel tea kettle a spin, whatever you style may be we’ve got you covered.

    Green Enamelware Tea Kettle

    Cold Day Staple- Cocoa

    Ahh nothing warms the soul like a hot cup of cocoa! Often thought of as a drink for the younger crowds, hot cocoa or hot chocolate actually started out as a man’s drink, a warrior’s drink even. Originating in Mesoamerica, chocolate became a regular part of military rations for the Aztecs and assumed regular consumption for Myan’s and Olmec’s. Over the years we’ve see hot chocolate take on a softer role, a more indulgent role.

     

    So how can we take some of our favorite GSI Outdoors coffee and espresso makers and use them for something other than coffee? While our coffee boiler seems like it was only made for coffee, this classic enamelware coffee boiler is the perfect hot chocolate maker. Now we could keep things simple and tell you to pack your favorite instant cocoa mix, boil water and voila, or we can get real crafty and share an awesome “from scratch” cocoa recipe we found on the Food Network. Starting with the base you’ll need the below:

    • 3 cups of cold milk or water
    • ½ cup of confectioners sugar
    • ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa
    • ½ tsp. of cornstarch
    • ¼ tsp. of pure vanilla extract
    • Salt

    Whisk ingredients together in your enamelware coffee boiler over a medium heat source and get ready to indulge in greatness. Feel free to add in whatever else you’d like to mix things up. A shot of scotch will create a smoky flavor, while rum gives things more of a tropical feel. It’s totally up to you!

     

    Warm Evening Pick-Me-Up- Cider

    When the sun starts to settle into the night sky and you need to sub the caffeine for something a little more soothing, cider is here for you. With sweet, spice and everything nice, cider is another one of those long standing players in the history of warm beverages. Long ago, Europeans were fermenting apples for a “strong drink”, this was years before the Romans introduced organized cultivation. Popularity grew and today the name cider can refer to both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage.

    Hot spiced cider

    A homemade cider is truly something to savor, cook it ahead of time and reheat it in your classic enamelware coffee pot when you’re out at camp. Use your trusty Javamill to grind up fresh cinnamon for an extra kick! Seasonal berries are another great way to adjust the flavor of your cider and change things up from season to season. If you’re looking for something a little more… adult, bourbon is always a lovely compliment to cider. Or you can really go for it and make your very own hard cider, we found a pretty cool recipe here.

     

    There really is nothing like that warm cup of something to warm you up in the morning, power you through the afternoon or sooth you to sleep. What are some of your favorite coffee alternatives? Let us know in the comments below and as always, check back with GSI Outdoors for more outdoor adventure tips and tricks. See you out there!  

  • Happy Birthday Isle Royale National Park!

    Isle Royale National Park Birthday

    Isle Royale- it’s like something out of a movie, the isolated island rises out up out of Lake Superior. Its shores rocky and tree lined while the interior of the island is made up of dense forest and swamps, on this island animals rule the roost. Along with its many shipwrecks, waterways, hiking trails and unique wildlife visitors stay roughly 3-4 days to explore. There are no reserved camping spots, hikers never know where the day will end.

     

    It’s thought that the moose who occupy the island swam over in the early 1900’s while the wolves walked across the frozen lake between 1945 and 1950. Few mammals call this mysterious island home, there are roughly 20 species of mammals on the island today, it’s quite the difference considering more than 40 live on the surrounding mainland. With fewer visitors in a year than Yellowstone will see in one day, the park remains an untouched landscape, unaffected by the modern world. Truly a unique site to be seen and this year the national park will celebrate its 76th 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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