• Hacking The Bugaboo Waffle Maker

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    Waffles.

    gsi-campingThey've long been the centerpiece of urban brunches and fall cyclocross races (well maybe they share the attention with Belgian beers in that instance). When we designed the Bugaboo Waffle Iron (http://www.gsioutdoors.com/bugaboo-waffle-iron.html), our camping companions rejoiced and our favorite breakfast treats started showing up in campsites. Waffles are delicious whether they’re covered in maple syrup, piled high with fresh fruit, or topped with your favorite nut butter. Waffles fresh off the camp stove under nothing but an early morning mountain sky become the backbones of a memory.

     

    Recently, during a staff meeting, we started discussing the Bugaboo Waffle Iron. We’ve all used it to make waffles, but we wondered “What Else…”. What could our creative bunch come up with? Ideas that were thrown around included Panini sandwiches, Deconstructed S’mores Waffles, Chocolate Turtle Cake, Cinnamon Rolls, and “Omelettes”.

     

    0718-007We've played around a little…and have had some big successes and fantastic failures. We’re going to dedicate this week to the Bugaboo Waffle Iron. Many of our staff are going to be “Hacking the Bugaboo Waffle Iron” to see what we can dream up and make in it. We’ll post our findings (good or bad) on social media using #gsiwafflehack on Instagram and Twitter so you can follow along. We encourage you to participate. See what you can come up with, take a photo, and tag it with #gsiwafflehack. We can’t wait to see!

     

    Now, stand back. I’m gonna try something new.

  • Hiking Through Ireland: Best Backpacking Hot Spots

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    America is blessed with some amazing walking trails but, if you’re planning a trip overseas this summer, Ireland is the perfect holiday destination. From soaring mountain ranges to its elusive valleys, there’s miles of Irish land just waiting to be explored.

    Today, the outdoor adventure experts from Wilderness Ireland are giving you everything you’ll need to know about Ireland’s stunning scenery - as well as arming you with tips for finding the best backpacking hotspots.

     

    Republic or Northern?

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    If you’re crossing seas in your quest for a truly memorable summer holiday, the first thing you’ll need to decide is if you want to visit the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. Both parts of Ireland have plenty to offer.

     

    Republic:

    If you’re heading to the Republic of Ireland, you’ll want to add a trip to Dublin to your itinerary. This exciting city is the epitome of Irish charm - with bars and live music aplenty. If you want to breathe in the Irish air, Phoenix Park has almost 2,000 acres of land waiting to be explored. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including the majestic Fallow Deer, as well as the restored Ashtown Castle.

    Northern: 

    At the heart of Northern Ireland lies Belfast. With its very own castle hosting open air music events, there’s plenty of entertainment on offer. For animal lovers, a visit to Belfast Zoo is a must. It’s home to more than 1,000 animals and there’s plenty for the whole family to learn during your trip. If you’re hoping for a more relaxed holiday, Glenariff Forest Park in County Antrim is the perfect place - with serene views and a breathtaking waterfall.

     

    Backpacking: campsites and beaches

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    If you’re travelling around Ireland on foot, the real challenge will be deciding where to begin your adventure. If you’re a lover of the great outdoors, camping out under the stars is highly recommended - although beware of the weather, as it can change without warning!

      • Cape Clear Island

        lies southwest of County Cork. With stunning views and an array of weird and wonderful wildlife, this is the perfect place to pitch up

    • Lough Ramor

      is one of Ireland’s most picturesque spots. If you’re a fan of fishing, this lake offers an ideal setting for kicking back and casting your net

      • Limavady

        is a market town tucked away in County Londonderry. With Benone Beach a stone’s throw away, it’s a great spot for romantic breaks and family holidays alike

    • Jordanstown 

      is located in County Antrim - just 10 minutes from Belfast. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city living, grab your tent and kitchenware and head for the great outdoors

    Wherever you pitch up in Ireland, you’re guaranteed to wake up to a beautiful view of this amazing part of the world.

     

     

    Author bio: This post was written by Wilderness Ireland - specialists in adventure holidays throughout rural Ireland.

  • WEEKEND FORECAST: CAMPING WITH A CHANCE OF DRINKING

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    The weather's getting warmer here it's time to get outside and celebrate with friends. We have fun and easy cocktails for the campground or any outdoor adventure - grab the ingredients, join some friends, spend some time outside this weekend and raise a glass!

     

    THE SPICY MEZCALITA

    Mezcal is tequila's smoky cousin. Combined with the jalapeno's spice, this drink is refreshing and unexpected.

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    THE INGREDIENTS (enough for two drinks)

    • 2oz Tequila
    • 1oz Mezcal
    • 1.5 oz Cointreau
    • 1.5 oz Fresh squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
    • 2 slices fresh jalapeno (plus 2 slices for garnish)
    • 2 slices of lime to garnish

    Combine the tequila, mezcal, Cointreau, lime juice & 2 slices of jalapeno into a shaker or we used the DukJug and it works great! Add ice to above the level of the liquid - shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain drink in the Infinity Backpacker Mug or glasses with ice. Add the lime slices and jalapeno for garnish. Share and celebrate!

     

    BERRY-BASIL COCKTAIL

    INGREDIENTS

     

    • 3 blackberries or raspberries
    • 3 large basil leaves, torn
    • 1 oz of honey syrup (50% honey / 50% water - heated until combined then cooled)
    • 1 oz fresh lemon juice (approximately one large lemon)
    • 2 oz sparkling water
    • 2 oz light rum

    Muddle berries, basil leaves and honey syrup in the bottom of one Pint Glass. Add lemon juice and rum and shake with ice for 15 seconds. Strain into a glass over fresh ice; top with sparkling water and stir.

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    HEMINGWAY DAIQUIRI 

    INGREDIENTS

    • Ice
    • 2 oz white rum
    • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
    • 1/2 oz maraschino liqueur (we used Luxardo)
    • 1 lime wheel, for garnish

    For shaken: add all of the ingredients except the lime wheel into your glass and shake well or stir. Garnish with the lime wheel.

    For blended version and lots of fun: throw the whole thing in your Vortex Blender - give it a whirl and watch as your camp companions stare slack-jawed at your creation.

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    MOSCOW MULE

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1-1-2 oz vodka
    • ½ oz lime juice
    • Ginger Beer- Cock'n Bull or Gosling's

    Add vodka and lime juice to a chilled Stainless Pint Glass filled with crushed ice—the colder the mug, the better. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wheel and mint. Tip: Keep your vodka and ginger beer sufficiently chilled before making this classic drink.

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    Cheers!

  • 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.

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