Sunday, October 17, 2010


Lifetime warranties on outdoor gear are few and far between. Most supplies subjected to hard weather conditions and wilderness elevations damage quickly, unless they are designed to withstand these kinda harsh conditions.

A new, non name brand, dirt cheap tent can last a year or two. There are plenty of used tents and gear on Coleman tents usually last an average of 10 years, depending on the user frequency. Total Escape's DanaMite camps out about 20 times per year, so a more durable tent was needed. Wind-proofing is non-existant, but weather proofing and bubble designs make tents more wind resistant. Eureka tents can hold up to some mighty crazy wind gusts and many campers swear by this brand alone.

Over a decade ago, a small gear company named Paha Que asked us to review a small tent of theirs. This is the 10-year-after-the-fact write-up on that product.

Awesome vestibule (extra large rain fly) that allows extra space for cooking or storage

Black Mountain Tent

  • tent fabric is excellent
  • awesome flexible poles
  • straps and eye lits still very strong
  • screen is in great shape
  • zippers needed repairing, twice
  • water-resistant rainfly/ vestibule are huge (big enough to cook out on the front porch, during a storm, if needbe)

Yep, the zippers are always the first to fail... within the first 5 years, but the manufacturer stood behind the lifetime warranty 100%. They repaired or replaced the zippers and everyone was indeed a happy camper.

Unfortunately Paha Que doesn't make the Black Mountain tent anymore, but you can still find this brand on Amazon with links below.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

North Lake Fall Colors

North Lake Fall Colors
Originally uploaded by Jeff Sullivan
Time is of the essence, RIGHT NOW. Autumn colors with aspen trees started changing around September  - and this fall coloring will last until the first deep freeze or snow fall, usually October.

June Lake, Mammoth, Rock Creek & Twin Lakes are all awesome spots. Green Creek, Upper Summer Meadows, Virginia Lakes and Convict Lake are also worth checking out. The entire Eastern Sierra from Bishop to Tahoe is California's best for fall colors, fishing and sightseeing.

OCTOBER is Autumn: take a drive on Highway 395

Monday, October 4, 2010

Kern Graffiti

Kern Graffiti
Originally uploaded by danamight
River trash runs rampant in the Kern River Valley. Party animal campers leave their marks well into the next generation for this canyon. Kern is the closest BIG RIVER to SoCal - so the neglect and abuse are starting to really make a big impression. This popular recreation spot is often a rafters first time exploring the sport, a mountain bike haven, a backpacker or fishermen's paradise - but sadly, Kern Canyon needs help.

California Wilderness boundaries are becoming less and less pristine.


1. having its original purity; uncorrupted or unsullied.
2. of or pertaining to the earliest period or state; primitive.

1525–35; L pristinus & early; akin to primus 

1. undefiled, unpolluted, untouched

Imagine a weekend at the river in late summer. No crowds, cuz the kids are back in school. Free camping all over the place. Hot sunny days, thunderstorms, mountain bike trails and mountain breezes. Big fish in the river! Sadly - your vision of beauty becomes soiled as a balled up baby diaper goes floating by. Microtrash beaches consist of deep, soft sand full of cigarette butts and bottle caps, rivers polluted with beer cans and broken glass - and graffiti on numerous rocks.

Yep, this is your big wilderness play ground for the Southern Sierras. What are we gonna do about it?

2010 KERN wildfire scorches most recent @ RiverKern & Lower Kern River, W of Remington Hot Springs.