• Most Spectacular Cities to See in the Winter

    Most Spectacular Cities to See in the Winter

     

    Depending on where you live, winter can be a real downer when it comes to venturing into the great outdoors. However, there is a silver lining. It’s time to layer up, and get out! We’ve scoured the globe, searched near and far and we’ve come up with a pretty cool list of spectacular cities to see in the winter along with some descriptions of what each one has to offer. There’s more to the great outdoors than camping, during these bleak months.

     

    Park City, Utah

    Park City, not just for skiing and snowboarding. You read that right, there is far more to this city than meets the eye. 32 miles southeast of Salt Lake City you can find this picturesque town brimming with activity. How does zip lining over a snow covered canyon sound? Check out Canyons Ziptour for the ride of your life!

     

    Rather keep your feet on the ground? Check out the Olympic Park and become an olympian, test your skills with bobsledding, tubing and don’t forget about the adventure course. This is a great destination for the entire family, making it a spectacular sight to see in the winter.  

    Park City Olympic Park

    Whistler, British Columbia

    Not too far of a trek, but far enough to consider it a getaway. Whistler’s beautiful mountain resort is known for its ski and snowboarding community, but we’ve uncovered a few other activities that will take you off the slopes and into a whole new avenue of adventure.

     

    Take the day and explore the snow covered forest landscapes by way of dogsled, what a nostalgic way to discover your new surroundings. And while the dogs are fast, the snowmobiles are even faster! Whistler offers guided tours, but with dozens of tours to choose from, we’re sure you’ll find one that suits your trips needs. Since rock climbing is typically saved for snowless weather, ice climbing is stepping in as the winter alternative. Learn to scale ice walls with expert guides and become the coolest person you know, literally.      

    Whistler dog sledding

    Oslo, Norway

    Norway, the Scandinavian land of snow-covered mountains, glaciers, deep coastal fjords and who can forget the Vikings! Oslo, the country’s capital is absolutely beautiful and full of adventure.

     

    Nothing says good old-fashioned fun like a toboggan run! The city’s most popular toboggan run starts at Frognerseteren and ends at the Midtstuen metro station. Best part, besides the 2,000 meters worth of high-powered adrenalin bliss, the metro will pick you up and take you right back to the beginning! Looking to cover some major ground in the winter? Try a Fatbike and follow the mesmerizing Northern Lights! Apart from biking and tobogganing, there’s also great hiking, ice fishing and who can forget skiing.

    Norway

    Reykjavik, Iceland

    First off, let’s clear one thing up. Even though daylight is limited during this time of year and the country resides in close contact with the Arctic Circle it doesn’t get as cold as you may expect thanks to that Gulf Stream current. The snow, however, truly transforms this city into a winter wonderland.

     

    While there are the typical winter activities to partake in- skiing, snowshoeing and sledding there are also a handful of other gems that are outside the norm. Take for instance the Blue Lagoon, ever tried a hot spring? How about trying one in the dead of winter? The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa and one of the most visited spots in Iceland. The water appears to be a powder blue because of the minerals and algae and it always sitting at a comfortable temp year round.

    Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik, Iceland

    If you venture about an hour out of Reykjavik you can experience the Northern Lights in a way you’ve never experienced them before. Try out the Aurora Bubble and sleep out under the glowing lights. The sustainable accommodation offers comfort and warmth as you watch the lights dance all night.

     

    No matter where adventure takes you this winter, don’t be afraid to try out new things. Don’t opt for the traditional forms of winter activities, be daring! As always, check back with GSI Outdoors for more posts on outdoor adventure!

  • Happy Birthday Rocky Mountain National Park

    Happy Birthday Rocky Mountain National Park

    Happy Birthday Rocky Mountain!

    Rocky Mountain National Park is turning 101 today! What a feat, what an age. As a part of the National Park Service Centennial, GSI Outdoors is celebrating all of the national parks birthday’s, starting with this one. Rocky Mountain is located in the north-central region of Colorado, in what’s considered the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. With 415 miles of vast wilderness, you can do pretty much anything, from camping to horseback riding, fishing to wildlife watching, checking out the cool visitors center and even enjoying a picnic. This park is full of outdoor adventure, just waiting to be had.

     

    Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place for solo backpackers and family camping trips alike. We recently stumbled across an awesome story of father and son and the lessons we can still learn from our kids. Long story short, a father lets his 10-year-old son run point on their upcoming camping trip up to Bowen Lake. The camp crew includes a few of his 5th-grade buddies and the boys brother. Check it out here.

     

    Rocky Mountain National Park

    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!

  • The National Park Service Celebrates 100 Years

    The National Park Service Celebrates its Centnnial

    This year the National Park Service will celebrate its centennial, since 1916 the American people have placed their trust into the hands of the National Park Service for the preservation and protection of the country's most beautiful parks. This is a responsibility they have taken very seriously and with the aid of volunteers and park partners they’ve been able to protect and preserve more than 400 locations. Year after year they welcome visitors in with open arms, eager to share the remarkable stories of how these natural beauties came to be.

     

    GSI Outdoors wants to commemorate the celebration of their natural and cultural conservation efforts by giving gifts throughout the year to all customers. As each park under the protection of the National Park Service celebrates their birthday GSI Outdoors will offer discounts on 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!

     

    Get ready the first parks birthday is tomorrow- Rocky Mountain National Park is turning 101!

  • How to Cook Like a Caveman

    How To Cook Like a Caveman

    For the most rugged of campers out there, we’re taking it all the way back to our roots. When the outdoors was home, food was a sought after not handed over and survival was for the fittest. That’s right, we’re learning how to cook like a caveman! Follow GSI Outdoors as we explore this caveman-esque way of life.

     

    A Brief History

    Today they call it being paleo, but what was it really like to live that rugged life? Up until agriculture was developed the human race relied on fishing, hunting and gathering as a means of getting their food. Your diet was based on where in the world you lived and what was readily available, meaning there was more than one “caveman diet”. If we’re going to get really technical, then we may as well address the fact that cavemen survived mostly on plants. Yes, that’s right. Plants. Meat wasn’t and still isn’t easy to come by. One large takeaway from this sort of lifestyle is seasonality, the foods you eat will change from season to season based on availability and your body’s needs.

     

    Now that the history lesson is over, let’s get cooking!

     

    The Hunt

    Back in our ancestors time they’d probably come up with some very creative ways of cooking their kill, all of which probably revolved around a very open flame. Since that’s probably not the safest idea these days we recommend using the proper equipment, like one of our campfire grills.  Take note- there is a method to cooking by campfire. First, you’ll want to have an oval shaped fire pit that you’ll divide into three sections, the furthest will be for the actual fire. Second, a space to move hot embers or coals topped by half of the grill and third a cooler section for the other half of the grill for slower cooking. Cook your steak per the usual and enjoy! Quick tip, once your steak has reached desired doneness, let it rest for 10 minutes then throw it back on the grill for a quick second to heat back up and get after it!

    Grilling steak over a campfire

    Catch of the Day

    Celebrating a great day at sea? Perfect! We’ve got some great tricks up our sleeves for you, we’re only adding a few modern touches but it’s sure to impress. Using your stock pot, place your fillets in the bottom of the pot, season with salt and pepper then cover with a can of stewed tomatoes, sprinkle fennel seeds over the top and cover with a lid. Let that puppy simmer, the tomato juices will heat and cook the fish. You’re finished product-- a warm, flavorful one pot meal.   

    The catch of the day kids fishing

    Rooting Around

    We all know how s’mores are made, but what if we switched out the ingredients for something a little more savory? We’re talking roasted veggies! Take care not to get too close to the flame, but since you’re probably a s’more making pro, I’m sure you’ve got nothing to worry about. Now if you really want to be authentic you can ash roast fruit and vegetables. Once the fire has reduced itself to embers try stashing some fruit (apples, pears, peaches) or sweet vegetables (sweet potatoes or squash) beneath the ashes. Our friends at Epicurious do this without anything covering the fruit or veggies, but if you’re not a fan of smoke and ash we recommend wrapping everything in foil. When dinner is over dessert will be ready, cut into them and throw a roasted marshmallow on top, yum!

    Roasting fruit over a fire

    Cooking like a caveman is no easy feat, but if you just remember to hunt, fish and gather you’ll be on the right track. Stick with GSI Outdoors for more creative ways to get out and about this year.

  • The Best Hiking Apps 2016

    Best Hiking Apps of 2016

    New year, new adventures, and new ways to experience them!

     

    Here at GSI, we’re always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy our favorite outdoor activities and in today’s day and age, what better way to do it than with your smartphone. Make 2016 the year you get in touch with your inner hiker while taking advantage of a bunch of new apps on the market, designed specifically for experiencing the great outdoors.

    We did some physical research, narrowed down our favorites, and created a list of apps you need to download before hitting the trail.

    AllTrails

    AllTrails is one of the best apps out there for connecting with new trails and with other hikers.  With over 50,000 trails, you can search based on location for trails nearby, and other users can leave photos of obstacles, scenic views, and even tips on the trail.  With this app, you’ll be able to assess how much energy you’ll exert or how many pairs of socks you’ll need to pack.  The app also allows you to view topographic maps and save trails off-line, so you can take them out on the trail with you.

    Available on iOS and Android for free!

    All Trails hiking app Image via www.alltrails.com

    MapMyHike GPS Hiking

    Sure, hiking is great exercise, but have you ever thought about incorporating an extra fitness factor, like a personal trainer? Now you have the ability to take your personal trainer everywhere you go with MapMyHike. MapMyHike is a supercharged fitness tracking app that enables you to use the built-in GPS on your device to track different maps and trails. The app also records workout details, such as duration, speed, pace, calories burned and route traveled, using your phone’s sensors, all on an interactive map.

    Available on iOS, Android, and Blackberry for free.

    Map My Hike Hiking App Image via www.itunes.apple.com

    My Tracks

    What’s the first company that comes to mind when thinking about innovation? Yep, Google, but where do they fit in an outdoorsy blog post, you ask? My Tracks is Google’s GPS recording app that monitors basic hiking statistics and allows you to edit, store and share KML (Keyhole Markup Language) data through Google Maps and Drive.  It allows you to view GPS tracks, waypoints, and multimedia on Google Earth.  Talk about integration!  The only downside- no offline map storage.

    Available on iOS and Android for free!

    My Tracks Hiking App Image via www.itunes.apple.com

    Trail Tracker

    Do you ever bushwhack your way through the woods just to have stumbled upon a great hike, and then forget how to get there again?  Try Trail Tracker.  It enables you to create multiple overlapping hikes without confusion.  It’s major advantage compared to other GPS apps is that you can color code your trails.  It also tracks longitude, latitude, and average hike speed.  Once you have bushwhacked your way to a new trail, share it with your friends!     

    Available on iOS for $1.99 via in-app purchase

    Trail Tracker Hiking App Image via www.itunes.apple.com

    SAS Survival Guide

    If you plan to spend a lot of time out in the wilderness, we highly suggest purchasing the SAS Survival Guide.  This app contains the best-selling book by John “Lofty” Wiseman, which covers a host of basic and advanced survival topics.  Our favorite feature of the app is that it contains extensive first-aid information and galleries of edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants.  

    Available on iOS and Android for $5.99

    SAS Survival Guide Hiking Image via www.itunes.apple.com

     

    With these apps, you’ll get to enhance your outdoor experience like never before.  Stay up to date on the latest hiking apps as well as anything outdoorsy with GSI Outdoors.

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