As a new resident of Colorado, there’s a lot I have yet to experiment with in regards to exploring the great outdoors. Greg and I are both very interested in pursuing many of the different adventures that so many people around here are passionate about. I am not a winter sports girl (I’ve taken one skiing lesson in my life- in Maryland- and was not a fan) but I would like to start to change that this year. I recently purchased some snow shoes and have promised Greg (and other friends) that I would take ski lessons this year. Greg is a very skilled snowboarder and skier and while I would never even attempt to go along on his adventures, I’d at least like to gain more of an appreciation for the sport.
We never really got around to doing any camping this year and I don’t really have much desire to take a stab at winter camping any time soon. Since the camping season is pretty much over, much of the equipment is on clearance at various outdoor retailers. We recently purchased a tent from Sierra Trading Post and look forward to being able to use it next spring. There’s still a lot of camping equipment that we don’t have and until last night I was pretty much clueless about what exactly we need!
While browsing in REI the other day I noticed a sign:
As you know, I am a huge fan of The Amazing Race! I noticed Phil Koeghan’s handsome mug right away and then read up on the details of the event when I got home. Denver REI was Phil’s final stop on the Gear & Go Tour, hosted by Backpacker magazine. Backpacker ambassadors would give a presentation on essential camping and hiking gear and then turn it over to Phil, who would talk about No Opportunity Wasted.
Backpacker Ambassadors Patrice and Justin La Vigne gave a fantastic presentation regarding gear for camping and hiking. They’re a married couple who hiked the entire Appalachian Trail a few years ago- wow!! Patrice and Justin shared information about everything you need to be set up in the great outdoors- from sleeping systems to footwear to stove systems!
I actually took a photo of every single slide that they presented because I knew there was no way that I would remember everything. They were streaming the video live online last night and luckily it’s still available! Rather than show you a million slides, feel free to watch the video here to see the presentation.
Phil came out next and I’ll admit- I got a little giddy. He spoke about the N.O.W. initiative and products for a bit and then turned it over to the audience for questions. The idea behind No Opportunity Wasted is basically to seize the day- take advantage of this one life that you have to live.
Not surprisingly, the majority of people in attendance wanted to know all about the behind-the-scenes action on The Amazing Race. Phil was happy to answer any and all questions- even mine about if he thought it would be a good idea to go on the show with your spouse (his answer was no). One of my favorite moments of this part of the night was when a member of the audience asked Phil who was favorite contestant was on any of the seasons. When I turned around to see who was asking I got a huge smile on my face- it was Abba from last season’s show!
Abba and his partner James (aka “Team Long Hair Don’t Care”) were my favorites last season!! He actually lives in Golden – which isn’t too far from me! Now I’m going to stalk him. Just kidding…
My favorite thing that Phil said the entire night was this: “One person’s Mt. Everest might be someone else’s hill in the backyard.” He was speaking about diversity in the contestants and how they choose individuals for the show that are all different. It’s not nearly as fun watching someone who’s perfect at everything go through the race- having some struggles and obstacles makes it a lot more enjoyable and interesting!
Despite what Phil said… I think Greg and I should definitely still try out for the show.
Do you go camping? What are some of your favorite essentials?