The North Face

Thank You Veterans.

What better way to celebrate Veterans Day than heading into the wilderness for a hike with friends and Betty the TurboPUP

Driving up a very dreary and moody Hwy 2, we cleared the cloud cover at around 6000' to a perfect Fall day in the Angeles National Forest. With cool temps, blue skies and not another person in site we headed out on the Mt Waterman trail. Over the next 8.5 miles there was lots of friendly conversation, but also quiet as we soaked in the beauty around us. I enjoyed the time to reflect and started thinking about it being Veterans Day.

Almost exactly a month ago on October 10, 2014 this area became part of the new San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. We are lucky to live in country where preserving and protecting wilderness areas like these is a priority.  Lucky to live in a country not in war, where we can wake up and feel safe to go about our daily lives. We have this this security due to the men and women who serve in the armed forces risking their lives to afford us this luxury.

In honor of Veterans Day I would like to give a special thank you to 3 special veterans. 

The first is Stacy Bare. I have never met someone more committed to getting people outdoors. As Director of Sierra Club Outdoors this is his job, but he goes above and beyond inspiring others and taking a first-hand role in making sure that fellow veterans are getting to experience the magic of the country they fought to protect. As a 2014 National Geographic Adventurer, The North Face Ambassador and a regular blogger on the Huffington Post he tirelessly works to share with others the importance of getting outdoors. I am honored to call him a friend and mentor. Here is his story.


Next up... Kristina Guerrero, Founder and CEO of TurboPUP. Aside from having an infectious smile, great laugh, and an obvious passion for our 4-legged friends, Kristina is a decorated US Air Force Veteran. She currently is the mastermind behind Betty's favorite trail snack and backpacking food, the TurboPUP bar! These bars are a complete meal replacement bar for dogs using premium, human-grade ingredients in a convenient waterproof package perfect for hitting the trail. Leave the kibble at home and bring TurboPUP bars. We are thrilled to be a part of the TurboPUP Team supporting this Veteran Owned Business! 

The final thank you goes to my brother-in-law Lt Commander James Tilden who is spending his Veterans Day serving his country overseas. We are so proud of him and lucky to have him in our lives. A special shout out to his wife, Nicole, and the families of all who serve and have served.




Happy Veterans Day to all of our servicemen and servicewomen... thank you.

Hurry! Only a Few Weeks Left for the Chance to WIN While Supporting an Awesome Cause.

What You Should Do! Donate $100 to Big City Mountaineers (BCM) through our Summit For Someone climb with Backpacker Magazine before January 31st and automatically be entered to win great prizes! Click here to donate,

How it Works.

For every $100 you donate to our climb you will name will be thrown in the hat to win some awesome prizes! Already made a donation and didn’t realize that $100 could enter you to get cool prizes? No problem! Donate the additional amount to get to $100 and it will still count. Want to increase you chances to win? Donate $200, $300, or a billion dollars…. totally up to you.

Why Support BCM?

Your donation makes it possible for urban youth to get outdoors and experience the wonder, beauty and challenges of nature. Can you imagine never having seen stars? Some of these kids literally have never experienced nature. Your donation will ensure that someone gets to have this kind of once in a lifetime experience.

What Can You Win?

Companies such as The North Face, The Coleman Company, Diet For Health and others have generously donated great prizes!!! We are super thankful to them all. Here are some of the amazing things you can win!

  • olloclip, the complete lens solution for your iPhone 4 or 5. Fisheye, wide angle and macro all in one lens.
  • Local Los Angeles designer Teresa Rae is donating some of her amazing BOERA jewelry.
  • Diet For Health is offering a 6-week weight loss program valued at over $500! (LA area only)
  • Pet Sitting (LA area only)
  • Haircut with Maureen Blache at Loraine’s Color Bar in Santa Monica (LA area only)
  • One of a kind ceramic art piece by artist Pam Kisor[gallery ids="163,166,165,162,169,167,168,164,160"]

3 Reasons to Help Us Support a Great Cause!

We are excited to officially announce that we have been selected by Backpacker Magazine to join one of their teams climbing Mt Whitney this April via the Mountaineers Route. For more details about this adventure and to keep up with our journey getting there, please visit and follow our blog, This adventure is also a fundraiser for Big City Mountaineers (BCM), a non-profit dedicated to getting under-served urban youth outdoors and into the mountains for life changing experiences. We are super excited to have the opportunity to combine our love of the outdoors with our desire to support such a great organization. BCM is really changing the lives of these kids by offering them an opportunity learn about the outdoors and gain valuable life skills as a result. Paul and I are asking you to help support BCM and make a difference in a young persons life. As if this wasn't a good enough reason, we have 3 more GREAT reasons for you to donate.

1. By making a donation by DECEMBER 31 you can receive great discounts on gear from great companies such as Kelty, Sierra Designs, adidas Outdoors and Osprey. And these discounts are good for all of 2013! Here are the discounts based on your donation amount:

Basecamp > $50 = 40% discount on Kelty products in 2013 Approach > $100 = 40% discount on Sierra Designs products in 2013 Ascent > $250 = 40% discount on Kelty and Sierra Designs products in 2013 Summit > $500 = 40% discount on Kelty, Sierra Designs and adidas Outdoor products in 2013 Summit + > $750 = 40% discount on Kelty, Sierra Designs, adidas Outdoor and two Osprey products in 2013.

2. In addition to the discounts above. For every $100 you donate by January 31st you will be entered to win one of many cool prizes. Our friends at The North Face have already donated a sleeping bag and daypack to be given away, another artist friend has donated one of her ceramic pieces, we have some free pet sitting to give-away (LA area only on this one) and this is just the start. So donate $100 get your name in once... donate $200 get your name in twice... and so on and so on and so on. Who are we to limit the number of times your name gets put in. :)

3. Worried about your taxes? Here is one more thing you can write off! Your donation will allow BCM to continue to provide programs that have a proven track record of improving integrity, self-esteem, decision-making abilities, and communication skills that keep kids healthy, active, in school, and motivated to strive for success. Go to to make a donation.

Thank you for supporting such an awesome cause.


Review: Don't Leave Home Without the Verto!

"Don't leave home without the Verto!" has become a joke in our house as it seems everytime we don't bring our Verto Jacket (made by The North Face) we wish we had. It is an ultralight, ultra-compressible shell that just gives you that little extra protection from the elements to get you through the day. And based on it's size, it packs down to a little bigger than a CLIF bar, it is pretty silly that we wouldn't always bring it. I am not sure if they are still making this jacket as it is not on their website, but you can still find it online at sites such as

We also love the Verto26 pack which doubles as a sleeping bag stuff sack and summit pack, working double duty to save weight.