This weekend from college… an REI expenditure!

I kept this weekend low-key, as I was trying to kick the cold that I caught earlier in the week. I did however, manage to complete some crucial things. No, I didn’t do laundry. No, I didn’t send out those post cards I wrote two weeks ago. I made a trip to REI.

Whenever I walk into REI I am hit with so many feelings. Its a combination of comfort, excitement, and overstimulation, with the underlaying feeling of dissapointment that I can’t really afford anything around me. This is pretty much true for any outdoor store, but REI seems to do this the most.

So I don’t know if it was out of boredom or self pity because I had been sick all week, but I decided to splurge on this particular REI visit.

Mammut Brecon II High GTX Women’s Boots

The biggest and most exciting purchase was a new pair of hiking boots. I tried on 7 different pairs which lead me to the winner: Mammut Brecon II GTX boots.

When evaluating the boots I thought about blisters first and foremost. I actually got a little anxious thinking about the blisters from earlier this year (from which I now have scars.) All I can hope is that these boots lead me on many adventures in the future.



“Let’s Get Lost” United By Blue tank


After finding my boots I proceeded to walk around the store for nearly an hour soaking it all in. I rarely buy clothing with words on it, except when those words are perfect. I just couldn’t pass up this 100% cotton tank.



Eldrid Cosmic Lady Chalk Bag

Eldrid Cosmic Lady Chalk Bag


Lastly I bought a chalk bag and chalk sock. I figured it’s about time I make the purchase… especially because I just joined the newly renovated climbing gym in the rec center. I better get climbing!


What’s in the bag(s): How to pack GEAR for a year of (cold) adventures

As you might know, it is common for travel bloggers to post about what they bring on their trips. This edition of “What’s in the bag?” actually covers more than one bag. I only wish I was badass enough to go on a year-long trip with one singular bag. Don’t worry, I will not go through every single item of gear packed away. Let’s be real, no one has time for that.

Disclaimer: I am in no way advising you what to pack and what not to pack for this type of trip. This is an experiment by a very unexperienced winter-climate traveler. Come mid-winter there will be another post detailing everything I was wrong about bringing/ not bringing.

What’s more logical than to start with the bags themselves?

My backpack: REI Women’s Crestrail 65

Although I have yet to take this pack out on the trail it proved to be my top choice after trying on many different packs. I am not crazy about the color, but hey, it could be worse.


My ski bag: Athalon 180cm Single Padded Ski Bag

It took me a while to realize “single” meant one pair of skis. I just couldn’t figure out why someone would need a bag for one singular ski…


Smaller Backpack: Ortovox Thunder 35+ Climbing Backpack

With the lovely red, white, and blue I’m showing both USA and Norway pride. Two birds with one stone.


Daypack/ normal backpack: DaKine Heli Pro Snowsport 18L Backpack

It’s safe to say I am set on bags. Three backpacks might seem excessive but bags are definitely my weakness. This fashionable little pack has ski and ice pick carrying capabilities. Oh and a very handy fleece-lined goggle pocket. How cool is that?


Along with the various bags, my upcoming year requires other gear that can become very pricey. After hours of sale shopping and deal finding I have checked most things off my list. By primarily using Sierra Trading Post and Backcountry I managed to purchase most of my gear at an appealing 70% off. Not to mention, Backcountry has free two day shipping and a lifetime-unconditional return policy!

My Skis: Women’s Rossignol S3

I know nothing about skis, but my Norwegian cousin suggested these for the type of alpine touring skiing we will be doing.


Ski Bindings: Dynafit TLT Vertical FT Binding

Who knew a piece of (small) equipment could be so expensive? Even at 40% off these bindings set me back the most. I am hoping they will make me ski like a true Norwegian!


Ski boots: Dynafit TLT5 Mountain TF-X Alpine Touring Boot

A new ski purchase wouldn’t be complete without a pair of boots! Once again I know little when it comes to boots, but these came highly recommended.


Watch: Highgear Axis XT

My grandparents told me to pick out a watch for them to buy me as a graduation present. After a lot of time searching for the perfect watch I found this beauty from Highgear. It was important to me that it remained small while having key features such as a compass, altimeter, and barometer. My decision was validated when I read the article in Outside Magazine: The 4 Best Watches of 2013.


Sleeping Bag: Marmot Women’s Ouray

This sleeping bag sure does have it’s work cut out for itself. Let’s hope it will keep me toasty warm throughout the night while I sleep in an igloo or under the open night sky. At just over 3 pounds the Marmot Ouray will be light in my pack which was important for me as I shopped for gear. This bag is normally nearly $300 but I got it for a steal on clearance at REI. I have to say, I am quite the bargain shopper.


Alright, that is enough gear-talk for now. As time passes, and I actually get a change to use all of this crazy equipment, I will have a better understanding of whether this gear is worth the buy. Stay tuned for a “What’s in the bag(s): How to pack CLOTHES for a year of (cold) adventures” posting!