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Archive for July, 2013

Outdoor Packing List: What To Bring For A Day At The Beach In Tahoe

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

This review comes from Meaghen Rafferty, an adventure junkie residing on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. Meaghen regularly contributes to the success of Tahoe Mountain Sports through many different avenues, and we thank her for being awesome.


Some not-so-uncommon sky painting from Kings Beach on Tahoe’s North Shore.

This week on my day off I went kayaking down the west shore of Lake Tahoe and brought with me some essential items for a short day trip. I carried it all in my Kavu Rope Bag and kept it safe in the kayak in an Outdoor Research dry bag. I packed it nice and light since we were only going out for a few hours and did not plan on eating lunch. Normally I would bring food with me because I love my munchies, but for the sake of a good pizza afterwards it was worth saving my appetite.

When we arrived at the beach it turned out to be a really windy day, so I was glad to have brought my Water Dome Hoody from The North Face. It protected me from the chill of the wind and kept me dry while we were paddling through choppy water. It’s also pretty handy when the weather cools in the evening because I usually like to hang around to watch the sunsets. And, of course, I brought some SPF 40 sun block and some SPF lip balm because the skin burns and the lips chap faster at an altitude of 6,224′.

tahoe beach packing listI knew we were paddling to a nearby beach to relax for a while before making the trip back, so I brought some items necessary for lounging, like my ultralight and compact ENO hammock and a blanket. I always like to have good reading material on-hand so I also brought a book and some polarized sunglasses to eliminate glare on the pages. I didn’t get much reading done, but a book is still a staple on my beach packing list. I always bring a water bottle to the beach, and this time I also brought my double-walled stainless steel Hydroflask filled with hot coffee since this was a morning trip. This idea worked out great since it was colder than I anticipated outside and the hot coffee kept me energized and toasty-warm.

I was responsible for providing the music for this day at the beach, so I brought my phone, wallet, and keys in my dry envelope from Outdoor Research. The Sensor Screen on the front of the envelope allows for me to use my phone’s touch-screen while it’s fully protected from water and sand, and the lightweight material of the envelope doesn’t hinder the sound coming from the speakers on my phone. Some additional items that I brought along were some aspirin and my cute purple Yurbuds headphones. I ended up not using either this particular day, but they are both good items to have on-hand and usually live in my backpack for many different activities.


A kayaker enjoys a quiet day on the lake.

Thankfully, my favorite outdoor gear store is only a stone’s throw from the lake in Kings Beach, California, so if I ever forget anything I know there’s a quick and convenient place to pick up last-minute items for a day at the beach. Be sure to stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports if you’re ever in the area! They’ve got you covered; from bikinis and board shorts to summer dresses and cute sun hats, plus chairs, towels, volleyballs, frisbees and other beach necessities. Have fun in the sun!


KAVU Sydney Satchel
KAVU Sydney Satchel
MSRP: $44.95


Montrail Trail Run Demo – Action Gear Testing With TMS

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Montrail Demo Run

Montrail Demo Run

Here’s the perfect opportunity to try out that new style of running shoe you’ve been curious about. We’re hosting a free event open to the public, and runners of all abilities are welcome. On Wednesday, August 7 at 5 p.m., come to Tahoe Mountain Sports in Kings Beach for our Montrail Trail Run Demo. We’ll have lots of great trail running shoes for you to check out, and Montrail will present us with a short clinic on proper techniques to keep in mind while you run. Then we’ll head out to jog the network of trails around our neighborhood which, if you haven’t yet explored, are well-maintained, diverse, beautiful and seemingly endless. Bonus: we’re going to raffle off a new pair of Montrail trail running shoes worth up to $110!

trail network kings beach

Just one gorgeous view from a trail behind Kings Beach.

Runners of all abilities are encouraged to join in the fun! The run will last approximately 45-60 minutes, and nobody will be pressured to move at an uncomfortable pace. Come out and meet other runners and local trail junkies!

montrail trail running shoes


About Montrail footwear:
Montrail understands and supports the modern runner. They use innovative designs in materials and craftsmanship to maximize efficiency and boost performance on roads and trails in over 30 countries worldwide. Montrail has sold their products in specialty outdoor sports stores since 1993, and Tahoe Mountain Sports is proud to have their latest models on our sales floor.


Click Here To View The Event On Facebook

Click Here To Join The Lake Tahoe Outdoor Adventure Group


ENO Hammocks: Sleeping In A Hammock Is Healthy, At Camp Or Home

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

When I tell people that sleeping in a hammock is actually healthier than sleeping on your back, and that they too can enjoy a deeper sleep in a hammock, most people blow me off. That’s alright; I’m not losing any sleep over it. But really, anyone looking to sleep better on camping and backpacking trips should continue reading. You’ll likely be surprised with what you learn. After all, there’s a reason so much of the South and Central American population has slept in hammocks for centuries, and it’s not just to escape the bugs on the ground.

Before I start listing off tips for sleeping more comfortably in hammocks, I realize I need to convince you why to consider hammocks in the first place. In a nut-shell, sleeping with your head elevated and body slightly upright promotes breathing and increases brain activity. But I’m not going to try to get technical or scientific with my reasoning. I would sound ridiculous and you wouldn’t believe me. Instead, here’s why the doctors say it’s healthier to sleep in a hammock ( in tahoe

Neuroscientists at the University of Geneva rigged up a bed so it would sway gently from side to side every four seconds, considerably slower than the pendulum on a cuckoo clock. “This rocking is very gentle, very smooth, oscillating every four seconds,” Sophie Schwartz, a professor of neurology who led the study, told Shots. “It’s not rocking like you would see some mothers rocking their babies, it’s more gentle.”

A dozen adult research subjects napped on the bed for 45 minutes while scalp electrodes recorded brain activity. During one nap the bed swayed; for another, it was stationary.

The scientists weren’t too surprised to find that people fell asleep faster when the bed rocked. But they were surprised at the big difference that rocking made in brain activity.

Rocking increased the length of N2 sleep, a form of non-REM sleep that takes up about half of a good night’s rest. It also increased slow oscillations and “sleep spindles.” Sleep spindles are brief bursts of brain activity, which look like sudden up-and-down scribbles on an electroencephalogram.

There you have it. Even the pros know sleeping in a hammock is healthier than sleeping flat. That doesn’t mean everybody will ‘perform’ the same in their sleep, but as I always say, “You never know ’til you go.” So try it out yourself. Hang a hammock in your room, backyard or a nearby park and climb in. Then nod off for awhile and see how you feel when you wake up.

backpacking hammockIf that sounds much easier than you’ve found in your own experience, maybe you need a few tips on how to comfortably sleep in a hammock. I remember my first few hammock experiences, and they were not pleasant. That’s because I was doing it all wrong. Then again, I never would have thought it was possible to lay in a hammock incorrectly.

Here are a few quick tips for sleeping in a hammock comfortably:

First things first, don’t get a hammock made of rope or other rough material that’s going to be distracting and painful to hang in. The best hammocks I can recommend would be from Eagles Nest Outfitters, and they’re made of a super-soft and comfortable nylon material that won’t leave ‘chain-link’ impressions all over your skin. They’re also really durable and stretch well without losing their integrity, and they dry out fast after being rained on.

Don’t pull your hammock too tight when you hang it. A common misconception is that the tighter your hammock is stretched, the flatter your sleeping position will be. This is incorrect. You’ll end up squished by the sidewalls and spend the night rolling around frustrated. You’ll also still be folded in half like a sandwich made with one slice of bread and way too many ingredients. Hang your hammock with a bit of slack – not too loose, but just loose enough so it has a little ‘give’. Besides, you don’t want to lay too flat. That defeats the entire theme of my argument that it’s healthier to sleep at a slight angle, with your head elevated.

This is a pretty cool diagram to help you hang your hammock, but don’t go by this exactly. It’s more of a guide. For exact calculations, visit the website. You can even download the Hammock Hang Calculator app for your smartphone so you have it in the field!

how to hang a hammock

Image from


Side-sleepers rejoice! This probably comes as a surprise, but you can actually sleep quite comfortably on your side in an ENO hammock, just as you would your own bed at home. (more…)

High Altitude Disc Golf in Tahoe: Tips & Tricks to Playing at Elevation

Friday, July 19th, 2013

 These tips and tricks come from Justin Weilacher, a friend of TMS and avid disc golfer (PDGA #41309) residing in Sacramento, CA. With extensive knowledge of the game from years of experience playing in a variety of environments and weather conditions, Justin is a great resource for all sorts of disc golf advice. Read more from Justin at his blog,

Bijou Disc Golf Course

Bijou Disc Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe

One of the coolest things about disc golf is how the flight characteristics of your discs change as the elevation changes. This facet of disc golf adds an element of challenge to the game that few other sports have. There are many tricks that can help you adapt to this change in flight patterns that you might find useful during your next trip to the Tahoe disc golf courses.


Driving from the tee and the fairway will be where you can sense the most dramatic difference in flight characteristics. At the Tahoe courses, you will quickly see that your driver discs are far more stable than when you are at your home course closer to sea level. There are a couple ways to combat this shift in stability on your drives.

First, you can ‘disc down’ to a less stable disc. If you frequently throw a Destroyer (-1,3) at sea level you might decide to throw a Tern (-2,2) instead. The lower turn will keep your disc straighter and the lower fade will keep the disc dropping to the ground more like you are accustomed. Second, you can throw the same disc but reduce the weight of the disc. The lower weight will allow you to spin the disc faster which will keep the disc closer to its fade and turn numbers.

The third option is the one I prefer; I don’t switch out a lot of discs in my bag. I will replace a Firebird with a FL – Firebird long. Other than that, I keep with the same disc types but pull my beat discs out of storage to replace my existing discs. This accomplishes most of what disc-ing down accomplishes because the beat-up discs are already floppier than their newer counter-parts. It also lowers the weight slightly as they have lost a few grams due to wear. Finally, disc-ing down preserves my current disc’s flight characteristics. I throw almost exclusively Innova Star plastic because I like the way the discs wear out. This allows me to carry discs at multiple states of wear which fills niches in my driving strategy. If you throw some of the softer plastics like I do, your current bag selection will not throw the same after a long weekend of serious Tahoe disc golf. So pull out some of your old plastic or pick up a couple more under-stable options at Tahoe Mountain Sports.

Hole 13 Bijou Disc Golf

Hole 13 and wildflowers at Bijou Disc Golf Course


Changes in your short game are the trickier adjustments to make. It’s easy to see the way your disc flies differently over 300+ feet. (more…)

Teva Knee-Deep Water Race During Music on the Beach, July 26

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

If you have yet to attend free Music on the Beach, you’ve been missing out on lots of fun for the whole family. Each year on Friday evenings during July and August the North Tahoe Business Association (NTBA) hosts a free concert right on the sand in Kings Beach. This concert series provides a great way to kick off a weekend in Tahoe, soaking up the beauty from the lake’s shoreline and dancing to live music until the sun sets.

On Friday, July 26, during the intermission of Mojo Green’s jamming funk music, we’re putting on a race. And not just any race; it’s a foot race through water. Whoever can run the fastest in knee-deep water wins the Teva sandals of their choice from Tahoe Mountain Sports. Seem too cool to be true? Well, the first annual Teva Knee-Deep Water Race is no fictitious event.

knee deep water raceParticipants will line up side-by-side in the water and race from Point A to Point B, all the while keeping at least their knees submerged in the water. A pair of Teva sandals of choice will be awarded to the male and female winners in the following divisions: 13 and Under, 14-45 and 46 and Over. But not only the winners get a prize…most participants will receive cool gifts from TMS and Teva!

Music on the Beach is a free 9-week concert series that runs every Friday from 6:00-8:30 p.m., from July 5 to August 30 at the Kings Beach State Recreation Area.

July 26’s Music on the Beach is sponsored by Tahoe Mountain Sports, Teva and the North Tahoe Business Association.

The North Tahoe Business Association responds to the necessary representation of the local business community and promotes the North Shore as a vibrant community.

Teva knows that we “play in the water, but we also need to be protected from it. [They] manage this delicate balance so [we] can go forth without reservation.”music on the beach concert series

According to Mojo Green, “We are a horn-driven Soul Funk explosion of dynamite vocals, infectious rhythms and smokin’ horns.”

Come on out for what is sure to be the best Music On The Beach concert of the entire season! The live music is free, food and beverages are available on-site, and the Teva Knee-Deep Water Race will provide fun entertainment for everyone.

**All participants must wear protection on their feet. Shoes, sandals or water shoes – doesn’t matter – feet just need to be covered. We’d hate for anyone to get hurt because they stepped on a sharp object underwater!

View the event page on the NTBA’s Facebook page:

Teva Eddy Flip Flop - Men's
Teva Eddy Flip Flop – Men’s
MSRP: $44.95


Sports & Lifestyle Sunglasses from Smith, Oakley, Switch and Sunskis

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

You’re probably already well aware that the best outdoor sports equipment, if not already in your gear shed, backpack or truck bed, can be found in a log cabin-style gear store on the northern edge of Lake Tahoe. But did you know about our impressive selection of the best sunglasses for sports and everyday use? Here’s the inside scoop on what’s hanging out behind the protective glass display cases at Tahoe Mountain Sports:

Switch Vision – Magnetic Interchangeable Lens System




switch sunglasses


Switch Vision created the world’s first eyewear with a Magnetic Interchangeble Lens system – for unparalleled convenience, speed and ease of use: an idea born of necessity. When you bring the magnetic lenses close to the sunglasses’ frame they literally jump into place. These sunglasses allow athletes to choose the perfect lens for any lighting condition to achieve the best vision. And yes, prescription lenses are available through custom order. You may think you’ve seen this magnetic system before… are you familiar with Anon ski and snowboard goggles? Switch wanted to focus all their energy on sunglasses, so instead of also creating goggles they sold their magnetic interchangeable lens design to Anon Optics.


Switch Axo with mirrored interchangeable lenses                  Switch Lynx with mirrored interchangeable lenses

switch axo

switch lynx












Check out this quick video demonstration of how fast and easy swapping your Switch magnetic lenses really is:



Sunski Sunglasses – Vintage Australian Polarized Shades

sunski sunglasses

Sunskis are vintage Australian sunglasses that were last made over 25 years ago. Now they’re back and better than ever in 2013! Vintage style meets cutting edge craftsmanship: the new Sunskis feature polarized lenses, hand polished frames, and custom packaging. The color schemes are sweet and simple, giving you for choices: Blue, Pink, Yellow and Purple Sunski sunglasses. At $47.95, you’re not going to find a polarized pair of awesome shades like these anywhere.


                                Sunski Blue                                                                                                Sunski Pink

sunski pink

sunski sunglasses blue













Adventurer Of The Week: Your Photo As Our Facebook Cover Image!

Friday, July 12th, 2013

facebook header campaign

Want your photo featured as our Facebook cover image? You could be the next TMS Adventurer Of The Week! If you’ve ever bought any outdoor gear from us, we’d love to see a picture of it in-action. We don’t care if it’s a backpacking tent, headlamp, skis, disc golf driver, hiking shoes or a swimsuit; if you got it here, shout it loud and proud! Every week we’ll choose one fan’s photo to host as our Facebook cover image, then reward that fan with a free gift.


Share a photo of gear you got at TMS on our Facebook wall and tag it @tahoemountainsports. Include the brand and model name, or at least briefly describe your piece(s) of gear, so we don’t have to play any guessing games.

Each week we will choose one photo to host as our “Adventurer of the Week”, which will live at the top of our Facebook page until the next ‘adventurer’ is chosen.

Be sure to have an image sized to fit inside Facebook header space. Dimensions should be 851 px x 315 px or larger.
Image size is very important. If your image is not sized properly we will be forced to choose another fan photo. If you need help, this site will re-size your image in a few simple steps:

You must have a valid email account. If chosen, you will be asked to email the image to us, along with shipping information so we can send out your free gift. The photo you originally share on our wall can be any size, but the one we host on our page needs to be 851 x 315 pixels.

This is not a contest – it is a giveaway. There is no set judging criteria. Each Adventurer Of The Week will be chosen based on our judges’ personal preference. Images must not contain nudity, violence or profanity. Gifts will be shipped for free within the continental United States.

Backpack Demo Hike With Tahoe Mountain Sports And Deuter

Monday, July 8th, 2013
 Are you in the market for a new backpack? Maybe you just want to feel the latest and greatest in backpack carrying technology or airflow and ventilation techniques. We’ve teamed up with Deuter and the Tahoe Rim Trail Association to host these two fun and FREE gear-testing treks both Saturday, July 20 at 10:00 a.m. and Wednesday, August 14 at 10:00 a.m.
Spaces are limited. Register for this free event here:

photo credit: Nick Lee

Starting at the Mt. Rose Trailhead, at the summit of Mt. Rose Hwy (S.R. 431), we’ll hike three miles to the wildflower framed Galena Falls. Along the way, hikers will take in incredible views of Lake Tahoe and meander through a beautiful pine forest. Once at the falls, enjoy a snack break, a pack fitting discussion and photo opportunities before heading back to the trailhead. Expert gear advice, packs and a free gift will be provided by Deuter and your favorite outdoor professionals, Tahoe Mountain Sports. Deuter will have packs of all shapes and sizes; from small, lightweight hydration and daypacks up to the largest load-haulers. Participants can test multiple packs throughout the hike!

deuter packs demo hike

Pack fitting discussion and snack break.




“We get tons of people asking which backpack is right for them and it has always been hard to answer that question,” said Jaime Souza (TRTA). “We think it’s a natural fit for us to work alongside Tahoe Mountain Sports and Deuter.”







deuter hiking packs tahoe

Galena Falls



Tahoe Mountain Sports owner Dave Polivy believes that “working with experts and putting packs through the paces on-trail is a great way to learn what kind of backpack works best for you.”


“Tahoe is a hub for backpacking,” explained Christian Mason of Deuter USA. “We’re always excited to get our packs out in the greatest wilderness areas, so we couldn’t be happier bringing them to hikers in Tahoe.”






Join the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Adventure Group:

deuter backpacks tahoe

Hikers pose during last summer’s hike for a photo opp with a Lake Tahoe backdrop.


Fastpacking: Packing Lighter, Moving Faster – Desolation Wilderness

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Want to see more wilderness in the same amount of time? Try lightening your load. The more experience under your belt, the more comfortable you become in the backcountry. The more comfortable you are, the less luxuries you require, thus enabling you to carry less weight and, in turn, cover more distance in less time. They call it “fastpacking”, and it offers grand reward for those willing to push a little harder.

lakes in desolation wilderness

I stopped jogging and stood here for a few minutes taking in the view.

Backpacking fast is really all it is. Carry a smaller backpack (30-40 liters), wear more agile boots or trail running shoes and cruise at a quicker pace. I prefer to run most flat sections and quickly hike the ups and downs. Remember, this is my personal opinion. I tend to get bored just ‘walking’ and find myself wanting more, so sometimes I throw in an aerobic workout. I probably move faster than most other ‘fastpackers’, but I’m usually solo (and a trail runner on the side).


waterfall desolation wilderness

Nice place for an afternoon coffee break.

People knock the idea, convinced I don’t soak up as much natural beauty along the way because I’m moving too fast. I disagree. I take in more scenery, and I choose which scenes to stop and enjoy and which to enjoy on-the-move. Not everyone would find this sufficient, but hey, I cover more than twice as much ground by ‘fastpacking’, and occasionally this can be very beneficial. This past weekend, for example, I had one day off of work and wanted to make the most of it. My backpack weighed 18 miles when I started, including 60 ounces of water and dog food. I covered 23 miles in 23 hours, including time spent sleeping, eating, swimming, enjoying afternoon coffee, and really not having a care in the world besides wondering how long it would take to hitchhike home in time for work on Monday. When I pack light I can do more in one day than most backpackers can in two, and being more agile and light on my feet I have access to things most people wouldn’t otherwise find. Like a waterfall on the far side of Lake ______ that requires a curious, wandering eye and a 40-minute boulder scramble to access. When was the last time you made coffee from a waterfall?



pct echo lake aloha

Lake Aloha, Echo Lake, Pacific Crest Trail

dog hitch hiking

Tired pup needs a ride home.













Here’s what I packed for this trip. 18-lbs included dog food and two liters of water.

This was an overnight run in mid-summer at 8,500 feet. High of 80, low of 50. The colder (and wetter) it gets, the heavier your bag gets.

Deuter SL Pack System: The Best Fit Of All Womens Hiking Backpacks

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Are you tired of searching for a hiking or backpacking pack that actually fits you? Most packs are designed for men’s bodies and women often have difficulty finding one that feels just right, but the importance of a perfect fit increases as trips lengthen and weight loads increase. No one should ever feel like they can’t find the right gear for their favorite adventures, so Deuter went the extra mile and made back systems specifically for the female figure. Now women, kids and smaller guys don’t have to work so hard to find the perfect pack for their figure.

deuter futura 34 sl

Deuter SL (Slim Line) backpacks in Tahoe.

What’s different about Deuter’s ‘Slim Line’ SL pack system?
Torso lengths are shorter (and ridiculously easy to adjust, as with most Deuter backpacks) and the SL hip belt is slightly more cone-shaped to accommodate a woman’s hips and a greater arch in the spine. The hip belt also has slits to make room for a woman’s sharper, more pointy hip bones. Shoulder straps are closer together, narrower and anchor to the pack a bit lower. This helps avoid underarm chafing and prevents uncomfortable pressure on the chest. Their S-shape keeps them in place them on your shoulders and a soft exterior lining makes them more comfortable on skin during big days on your feet. Since they’re so simple to adjust on-the-fly, anyone can find a Deuter pack that fits them well.

Not sure if your body fits a standard pack or SL pack? First, measure your torso length. Start at the C7 vertebrae – the bump on your spine at the back of your neck – and measure to your iliac crest (bump on your lower spine, between the top of your hips). SL packs are meant to fit torsos 13-to-20 inches long. If you measure greater than 20 inches, go with a standard back system. If your torso length qualifies you for SL packs but you’ve got more broad shoulders or a thicker build, you may still find more comfort in a standard Deuter system. The best suggestion I can make when fitting a pack is to come into Tahoe Mountain Sports, or your own local Deuter pack dealer, and try a few on for yourself. Add weight to the packs before you try them on and move around with them. See if they bug your underarms or if they ride too low on your waist. With so many styles and technologies in Deuter’s quiver, there’s no reason to blindly buy a backpack. If you can’t physically try your pack on before purchasing, be sure to take measurements and do sufficient research.

Here’s a good instructional video on how to fit your Deuter backpack:

**Deuter SL packs are not just for women. Slim guys and young men (smaller torsos/frames) also find their perfect fit with SL systems, just as some women might find a better fit in regular Deuter backpacks. *When trying on packs, be sure to fill them with at least 20-lbs of filler to help you better determine whether or not they’re right for you.

Here’s a rundown of some of the more popular Deuter hiking backpacks.


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