Showing posts with label luna sandals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label luna sandals. Show all posts

Announcement - Luna Leadville Trial

  Just seen some very exciting news on social media this morning.   Luna Sandals out of Seattle, Wa - just announced a new lacing option for my favorite minimal footwear tread pattern of all time.  Their Leadville model is made from quality Vibram soling material.  Whats so special about this pattern?  It grips anything like velcro.  I've personally walked on every surface possible in the Olympic Mountains in my multiple pairs with his same tread.  River fords, mud, snow, slush, coastal slim, rock, roots, trails, off trail and even southwest desert terrains.   I personally feel that every hiking footwear company should use this pattern; even for traditional boots and shoes.

  Luna is also offering their new trail ATS lacing option, with Tech Strap mod.  This is a win-win, if you have been thinking about getting yourself a pair of trail sandals or use as a secondary pair of footwear around camp on your next backpacking adventure.

luna sandals
Luna Sandals Leadville Trial w/ updated ATS laces & Tech Strap mod.  Click> Products> Leadville Trail.

Related:  Check out my review of the Luna Tech Strap.

You!  The Leadville has been on the market for some time and know that a lot of my readers own a pair.  What do think of them?  How have they worked out for you?  Post any questions in the comments below!

Luna Sandals Tech Strap Walking Review

  The team over at Luna Sandals have been doing a pretty good job at hyping up their newest modification to the ATS lacing system.   This added piece of webbing was promised to make the foot feel more secure during lateral movements and lessen the 'toe wedgie' feeling that sandals can give you.  This is especially important for someone that is descending a steep trail grade.  Overtime this may cause irritated at the end of a long day of backpacking.

  So does this extra modification to their ATS lacing system live up to all the hype?  Lets take a look!

Luna Sandals Mono w/ ATS laces & Tech Strap mod in the Olympic National Park. 

OR Show WM 2014 in the eyes of a Minimalist

This was my first visit to Salt Lake City and to Outdoor Retailer.  Given that I normally spend much of my time alone it was a bit overwhelming. Coming from Port Angeles it was a shock to go into the city and find people walking the street with brand new fresh out of the factory puffy jackets, jeans and dress shoes.  It was eye-opening to say the least.  After the full experience was over I came away realizing how important it is to me to support small, innovative and passionate businesses.  Don't go after a product just because you recognize the name. It seems to me that most of the larger companies have lost sight of what created the outdoor industry to begin with: the outdoors.  Let’s do our part to direct the market back to the outdoors-man, not just what looks good in our closet space.  I know that I can go to my local Goodwill and outfit someone completely for a long trek really inexpensively, and after all it is the GETTING OUT that counts.

 Here are a few items that caught my eye in the world of minimal footwear and photography.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2014
A calm morning at OR Show Winter Market, before the crowds arrive. 

Forgotten Trail of the Elwha Valley

  I have pondered a forgotten trail that the Olympic National Park has abandoned years ago.  Personally discovered through hiking forums, talking to various locals, hiker blog and old 1935 USGS map online.  The name of this forgotten route is; the Long Creek Trail.  (see disclaimer below)

  The incoming weather forecast looked very wet; with an incoming small cold front.  Wanting to see this 'trial' with my own eyes.  Decided to go ahead with the trip anyways.  I have a little saying, 'If you can backpack in an Olympic winter, the rest of the year will be a cake walk.'

  So I set off on another Olympic adventure, this time with a borrowed on/off road motorcycle.  This would be my form of 'cheating' to get to the trailhead.

Ultralight backpacking gear
Packing for the trip.  How organized? - shared on Facebook 

Toleak Point Backpacking Trip in Winter

  This last Autumn I received a Facebook Event invite to join a group outing on the South Olympic Coast.   I of course accepted; since the coast is my favorite winter place to hide out from modern life.

  The plan was to walk 6 miles south on the coast during low tide.  Set up a base camp and day hike out different directions for some old fashioned exploration.  In order to catch the tide; the rest of the group would have to leave their residence early as 2am.  Then meet me in Port Angeles at 5am in route to La Push, Wa.   In order to meet them;  I cycled 5 miles into town from the farm.  Nothing wakes you up; like just above freezing temps on a bike.

  A cold front was forecasted moving through the Olympic Peninsula.  This would be a perfect opportunity to test my new Locus Gear Khufu Sil in rain and wind conditions.

backpacking Olympic Coast
Group headed south on the Olympic Coast at first light.

Because Santa Screwed Up - Luna Sandals Giveaway.

Update:  Congrats to Sarah for winning the Sandals. 

  I know most people didn't really get what they wanted this holiday season.

Teaming up with Luna Sandals.  I am pleased to announce this little giveaway.

  So what can you win?

Sandle giveaway
1 pair Luna Sandals Leadville ATS w/ MGT upper (FREE- unisex and any of the sizes listed above).

Returning to the Bailey Range - 30+ Days in the ONP Section 5

Start at the beginning of story?

  Last year, while backpacking Solo Across the Olympic National Park a nice man picked me up hitchhiking.

  During the 4 hour car ride back to Port Angeles.  We exchanged hiking stories and email addresses.

  Through the year we exchanged several messages and started planning for a late summer adventure into the Bailey Range.

  He expressed that a trip with his wife through Montana and variable weather would leave the dates flexible.

  The last email exchanged a few days before we hit the trailhead expressed that I had just returned from this area on a Solo Trip.

  He was ready to go since the weather window looked really promising.

  I of course was all ready to go back.  This time on a mission to find Autumn color and shoot some video.  Not walking such long days would also allow me time to enjoy some beauty in the heart of the Olympics.

  So off we set with a few days worth of food on our backs.  He being a traditional backpacker with a big load and heavy boots.  Me with a recently field stripped pack which put me at an 8 lbs base weight and minimal Sandals.  My VFF's were also worn for the sections of rock scrambling.

  Together, with one goal: to arrive into the Bailey Range, explore Ferry Basin and go look for Olympic Elk in Cream Basin.

Dodger Point
Last Sunset for the summer of 2012.  The next morning an Autumn frost fell like clockwork.  Views of Stephen Peak, Ruth Peak, Mt. Carrie and the Northern Bailey Range

Solo Bailey Range Traverse - 30+ Days in the ONP Section 4

Start at the beginning of story?

  The Bailey Range Traverse has been on my bucket list for a few years now. In fact, all my trail training for the last 8 months was inspired by it and I used glimpses of it's peaks for motivation while in various locations of the park earlier in the year.

  The goal for this section of the route was to enjoy it's beauty, but to do it in a timely fashion. Secondly, to do it as minimally as possible without compromising my personal safety.

  The only footwear that I wore were my Luna Sandals for most of this route and Vibram Five Finger Seeya which I used for a good section of snow traverse.

  My gear consisted of Gossamer Gear Backpack and Shelter, Sawyer Squeeze Filter screwed onto bottled water container and other small items. The pack came in just over 9 lbs baseweight, by adding ice ax and bear can it was over 12 lbs.

  This traverse crescents around Mt. Olympus and can also be seen all the way across the horizon from the visitor center at Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park.

  After leaving the Sol Duc area, the trail turns into a traverse until after you drop down the Elwha Snow Finger. This body of snow is also where the Elwha River starts.


mount olympus
Mt. Olympus from the Catwalk

Balancing Olympic Passes - 30+ Days in the ONP Section 3

Start at the beginning of story?

  This spring while we were doing parts of the planning together.  Nivaun asked if I would like to join his friends and wife on a leg of their journey.

  Being up for the challenge for some additional miles to the original route set back last October.  I had already been to some of the place in the route the year before; however this would be a chance to do some side trips.

   Last time through the area my backpack started at 70 lbs.  No way in heck I wanted to go scramble a few peaks after going over the Mountain Passes; when it took everything in the gas tank just to get up the thing.

  This year was a different story with my backpack base weight just under 10 lbs.  I had plenty of energy and by the time the group was ready to pitch camp.  Had plenty of energy extra to burn; at times even grew restless.

Olympic National Park
Peak #2 of the day - Looking over to '1,000 Acre Meadows',  Mt. Anderson, Sentinel Peak (later that day) and behind the Pack lies the Bailey Range.  Product testing my Luna Sandals Leadville Pacer on new MGT foodbed w/ updated ATS Laces - Sawyer Squeeze Filter w/ Aquafina bottle - DIY Tyvek Rain Jacket

Backpack the South Olympic Coast

  Looking at the Forecast for the weekend.  I had one mission in mind.  To get as much Sun as  possible and to do as little as possible.  I managed to accomplish all of these things with a few extra little memories.  That is the best thing about Outdoor Adventures.  They are never the same twice.

coastal trash
Chief Buudda Budda helps keep away the Raccoon's 

Luna Sandals ATS Lacing Review

Disclaimer:  I am not a gear reviewer. My review will be based on a Backpacking and Trail Running point of view only. I do have a lot of people asking me about various models of Minimalist Footwear for Backpacking. So I thought I would put in my two cents.

  I planned on doing a review of the Luna ATS Sandals to use during Backpacking Trips.  Shortly after receiving my Pair in the Mail to my dismay.  I was informed via Facebook and Newsletter that they were no longer offering the ATS Sole package as the Leadville.  They would however still be offering the ATS Lacing System, so not all was lost.  So in this review I will be primarily focusing on the ATS Lacing, Leadville Sole Pattern and not the Foot-Bed.

8" of Fresh Snow

  What I was looking for as a User:

  • Breathable option to VFF
  • Protection vs Skin to Ground Bare
  • Camp Footwear
  • Post Trail Footwear
  • Everyday in Urban Environment

  Above is my expectations of a piece of Footwear I was looking to add to my Hiking Arsenal.

Wandering South of La Push

  I had some free time to get Outdoors.  I will be doing a large section of the Olympic National Park Coast next month for my Birthday (read more below).  So I wanted to get a few little trips to condition my feet for Coastal Traveling, since its not my specialty.  There is a lot to deal with and isn't a 'Vacation' like every city human thinks.  There are a lot of variable, especially in the Winter.  You must deal with Tides, Rain Storms, Winds, High Surf Advisories, Coastal Flooding, More Mud and Higher River Fords.  All the while trying to plan a Route in all of that is kind of an extra life's pleasure.  The benefit is low Backpacker numbers and Bugs.  Which to me adds to more of a Primitive Wilderness Feel.

Strawberry Bay
Looking across to Scott's Bluff

  My adventure would lead me to Buspack, Buspack again, Backpack, Road Hike, Tribal Shuttle and Buspack.  Total travel expense $5.

Lake Ozette Trail Backpacking - Olympic

  I was born to be Outside.  So when a friend wanted to plan an Adventure to the Coast and looked at the Weather Forecast.  I got really excited and day dreamed for days about a much needed relaxing time on the Beach.  I will admit I don't much like the Coast in the Summer for the high numbers of Backpackers.  I also have never stayed 2 nights in one Camp since the 90's.  The chance to play in a Photographers Playground I for sure couldn't pass up the chance.  Seems like every square inch there is some form of Life happening.