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Archive for June, 2014

Campsite CookOff Pinterest Contest – Share Your Camping Recipes!

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

We’re looking for creative ideas for camping recipes and Pinterest is the place to share them! That’s why we’re hosting the TMS Campsite Cookoff and asking for your help. Share your favorite camping recipes, or new ideas you’d love to try during your next outdoor adventure, and we’ll reward you for your efforts.

How will you be rewarded, you ask? Tahoe Mountain Sports will give three participants a Camp Cook’s Combo, including a Stainless Steel Pint Glass from Klean Kanteen, a Titanium Spork from Snow Peak, Electrolyte Capsules from GU Energy, and Pomegranate Organic Energy Chews from Honey Stinger!

What are you waiting for? Head over to our Campsite Cookoff Pinterest board and start pinning now!


Pinterest Camping Recipes Contest

Click this image to be directed to the TMS Campsite Cookoff Pinterest board.


TMS Ambassador Mike Tebbut Is Ready To Race Western States 100

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

This weekend, TMS Ambassador Mike Tebbutt will compete in the Western States 100. With over 18,000 feet of vertical climbing and 23,000 feet of descent, the 100-mile race from Squaw Valley to Auburn, CA, is one of the top endurance tests worldwide. We wish Mike the utmost power, grace and perseverance this weekend. We’ll be rooting for ya, bud!


Mike enjoys some time on the summit of Mt. Tallac, Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Mountain Sports was fortunate enough to tie Mike down for a moment during his little downtime preceding this weekend. Literally. With his shoelaces, nonetheless. Mike, you’re really going to have to strengthen up more by Saturday!

Alright, Mr. Tebbutt, we’re really excited to have you on as a TMS Ambassador and representing TMS at the Western States 100. We have some questions regarding how you’ve prepared and your expectations for this weekend’s gnarly endurance race.

TMS: Have you run the WS100 in years past? How many times?

Mike: I have not run Western States, but in 2008 I ran the Bear 100 in Utah that travels across the Wasatch Mountains from Logan, Utah and ends in the Bear Mountains at Bear Lake, Idaho. western-states-100-catering-thank-you-cardInteresting side note: I was introduced to the WS folks in 2008 when the race was cancelled due to fires. My catering company, Twin Peaks Catering, received a phone call to cater a cancellation BBQ for them. We ended up serving 375 people with only about 24 hours to prepare for it. They were very gracious and gave me a WS Mountain Hardwear jacket and coffee mug and told me that I would make a good 100-mile runner. I had always known about the WS and wondered if I could actually run that distance myself. When they handed me those gifts of appreciation, I knew right then and there that I would one day run the race. I have since sold the the catering business and I feel that chapter of my life is coming around full circle, finally being able to run this race after three years of entering my name in the lottery and six years of building my running endurance.

TMS: What are your expectations of the course this year? Of yourself this Saturday?

Mike: It is going to be tough, and hot, though not nearly as hot as last year. There is also a lot more exposure due to a large section of the Canyons (hardest part of the course during the hottest part of the day) that burned in the American Fire last summer. We do, however, get an extra river crossing to cool us down this year since the historic Swinging Bridge burned down. I expect to run a smart and steady race, focusing on not running too hard during the first 62 miles so I can save my legs for some good running miles once I pick up my pacer, Frank Aldana, in Foresthill. My “A” goal is to finish in around 20 hours and if I don’t make this, I hope to at least finish in under 24 hours. The bottom line is that I plan to go out and have a fun time soaking in this iconic race!

TMS: Briefly outline your training schedule.

Mike: Since my work and life schedule vary greatly, so does my training schedule. I mostly train by feel and enjoy lots of steep power hiking and off-trail exploration on my backyard trails here in Kings Beach, in addition to plenty of running miles. My weekly mileage tends to be between 50 and 75, which is much less than a lot of ultra runners, but this works well for me. I have done more formal training and speed workouts this year than all of my running years combined, as some friends and I started a running club this past winter called the Donner Party Mountain Runners. Our Thursday Morning Speed Sessions have definitely brought my fitness to a new level that I wished I had during my first 100-mile race. My final five weeks of training before I tapered was my strongest training block ever and started with the Meow Marathons on May 3. This was a 55-ish mile-race with about 17-18K feet of vertical gain and lots of off-trail navigation through an unmarked course.


We love this shot of Mike battling an uphill during the Me-Ow Marathon.

TMS: What have been your largest hurdles in preparing for the WS100?

Mike: My largest hurdle was dealing with some intestinal parasites towards the end of winter that crippled my energy and training for about a month. Fortunately, I have an amazing Chiropractor/healer, Dr. Nathan Cohen, that I have seen for two decades. As always, he got me through it and helped me on my way to being stronger than ever.


Travel Gear Guide: Tips for Adventurers Caught Playing Tourist

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

This review comes from Scott Johns, an adventure cinematographer, mountain biker and snowboarder living in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. When Scott’s not creating beautiful imagery for video, he’s out ripping singletrack or shredding big lines in his backyard that we call the Eastern Sierra Nevada.

Sunsets in foreign lands. Another reason to travel.

Sunsets in foreign lands. Another reason to travel.

Travel season is upon us and my gear has already seen an overnight kayaking trip down the Carson River plus a combined two weeks of car camping and mountain biking in the rainy Northwets–that’s not a typo, I’m just proposing a name change because the Northwest can be so soggy at times. Some of my gear has been ideal, like my Saxx underwear, and some of it, not so much. Here’s what I’ve learned so far, and summer hasn’t even technically begun:


The Value of a Hammockeagles-nest-camping-hammock

My first trip of the season, in a whitewater kayak, was something new to me. I was told I couldn’t bring a tent and was a bit apprehensive about that. Fortunately, Adam Broderick from Tahoe Mountain Sports had already written a great hammock info blog, specifically highlighting ENO hammocks.

With my mind a bit more at ease after reading, I sacked up, spent the cash (much cheaper than a tent, by the way), dropped it in a dry bag and stuffed it in the back of my kayak. Bottom line: hammocks are a huge weight and space saver. No tent, no pad, no problem. Just more room for beer, in my case, and easier traveling if you’re on foot. And I recommend going for the double hammock; the additional space is worth the extra $10.



Let Gravity do the Filteringplatypus-gravity-works-filter

Something I wished I had on that kayaking trip, but had no budget for at the time, was a pump-free water purifier. My MSR MiniWorks is compact and works great, but pumping water for four thirsty dudes cuts heavily into your relaxation time when you only have a few hours off the river each day.

The Platypus GravityWorks filtration system is ideal for group settings. Just fill it up and walk away; it’ll be ready when you finish your coffee. There’s also a four-liter version, which you can find among Tahoe Mountain Sports’ multitude of other water paraphernalia.




Gabe Lambert Black Rock

Gabe Lambert traveling through…a lot of air. Black Rock Mountain Bike Area. Falls City, Oregon


Better than Ricelifeproof-case-iphone-4s

It seems like after every time I go kayaking, somebody’s phone ends up in a bag of rice. This trip was no different. Dry boxes work great to protect your phone, until you pull it out to use it. And using rice to suck moisture out of it, after the fact, actually works quite well, too. But waterproofing–and shock, dirt and snow proofing–your selfie-box, with a Lifeproof case, is a more sustainable, long-term solution to keeping it dry. So, I’ve come up with a new, million-dollar marketing slogan for Lifeproof. Ready? Lifeproof: it works better than a bag of rice. *Please make that check payable directly to Scott Johns, thank you. To watch a short travel film shot on an iPhone by a TMS employee, both under and above water in Central America, click here: 2 Tickets to Roatan, Honduras


Taking a Backpacker’s Approach to Car Camping

best-solo-travel-stovesBecause riding a bicycle is my preferred adrenaline-inducing activity, I do a lot of car camping on my mini-vacations. The upside is that there’s more space for extra gear. The downside, I always bring way too much crap. The other two of my three trips proved this once again. So, I’m tempted to start taking a backpacker’s approach to car camping. (more…)

How To Stand Up Paddle Lake Tahoe: Best Places to Launch and Tour

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

This review comes from Scott Johns, an adventure cinematographer, mountain biker and snowboarder living in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. When Scott’s not creating beautiful imagery for video, he’s out ripping singletrack or shredding big lines in his backyard that we call the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Find more of Scott’s work at


With 72 miles of coastline, stand up paddleboarding on Lake Tahoe ought to be a straightforward endeavor of endless options, right? Well, half of that statement is true. The options are nearly endless. From scenic Emerald Bay to the elusive hot springs of the North Shore to the best beaches, on the East Shore, Tahoe has something for every paddler. But where to launch and how long it will take to reach your destination of choice can get a little messy.

Much of Tahoe’s coastline isn’t ultra accessible by land when you’re carrying a 10-foot-long, 30-pound paddleboard. Going with an inflatable SUP can help solve that problem, but some of it still isn’t accessible by land, regardless. Here’s a guide to the best launches and day trips, with an overnighter and a hike-in option for the more adventurous of our ranks.


Best SUP Launches


East Shore Ease: Sand Harborsand-harbor-stand-up-paddle-tahoe

This Nevada State Park offers a short carry coupled with a quick paddle to get the goods. The rocky coves and soft sand of Tahoe’s east shore give it many of the best beaches around the lake. Sand Harbor is probably the best known of those and boy, is that water turquoise! An ever-popular snorkeling spot, Sand Harbor is also great on an S.U.P. Just look down.


South Shore Seclusion: Camp Richardson

Okay, Camp Rich isn’t exactly secluded, but the undeveloped coastline between there and Emerald Bay certainly is. So bite off as much of it as you can chew or go for the whole enchilada. Emerald Bay from Camp Rich is about a three to four hour paddle, round trip, depending on your skill level. Pack a lunch and some biodegradable sunscreen (to protect our precious lake!) and start early.



Inflatable SUP – lightweight, firm, stable, and won’t ding on rocks!

North Shore: Kings Beach State Park

Just across the street from Tahoe Mountain Sports, Kings Beach State Park presents a super-easy launch right next to the parking area. Swing by TMS before to rent a paddleboard (only $25 for 3-hours or $40 for a full day) or drop in afterward to let us know how it was! The Coon Street Boat Launch and nearby Speedboat Beach are also your best access points for the Tahoe hot springs wild goose chase. Good luck with that! Hint: It’s private.


West Shore Wonder: Meeks Bay

With a campground, marina and sandy beaches, Meeks Bay has everything you could ask for. Need I say more? Okay, the scenery doesn’t suck either. Oh, and do yourself a favor and stop by the Tahoma Market PDQ for a fantastic sandwich on your way over.

SUP Trip Ideas

sneaky-scott-johns-stand-up-paddle-lake-tahoeBest SUP Day Trip: Tahoe City to Sunnyside

I have a confession to make: I’m not that bright. The summer I moved from the South Shore to the North Shore, I took my girlfriend to Tahoe City to rent some kayaks for our first anniversary. We thought it would be no big deal to paddle from there to DL Bliss and back. We were wrong. That is not a day trip, unless you’re Superman. Sunnyside is a much more feasible destination, and what we ultimately opted for. Paddle over, take a break and grab some lunch, then paddle back. It’s a good time, and there are many a lakefront mansion to drool over. We even snuck onto someone’s property to snap this picture with their pet bear. That is not something I recommend doing. It’s kind of trespassing, you know?


Best Hike-In SUP Trip

By far, my favorite beach on Lake Tahoe is any one of the little coves surrounding Nevada State Parks’ Whale Beach, but it’s a journey. So, if you want to go paddle there, which you definitely should, you’re either gonna need an inflatable SUP or someone else’s arms. We’ve got you covered on the inflatables. They deflate and roll up to fit in the included backpack for easy transport, and Tahoe Mountain Sports has them for both rent and sale. Once you’re on the water, a SUP is the best way to explore every single one of these coves. Notice: Beware of naked people. They don’t bite or anything, they’re just naked. Some people think that’s gross, but they obviously don’t. Also, see if you can find the hidden strip of sand just big enough for two people. I might already be there, but bring some beer and we can probably work out a deal.


Best Overnight SUP Trip: Camp Richardson to D.L. Bliss

Let me tell you about a little gem called DL Bliss. This might be my favorite spot on the lake. Start at aforementioned Camp Rich, cruise through Emerald Bay on your way over and you’ve reached a whole new level of epic. If you don’t want to schlep all your gear, drop a car off there first and you’ll be living in luxury. That may not be the hardcore route, but it’s the best way to ensure a plentiful supply of your favorite beverages after a long paddle. This State Park also has some great hiking and cliff jumping, so spend some time here and please be careful. I’m not sure on total paddling time, because I’ve never actually done this, but I’m guessing it’s about the same as Camp Rich to Emerald Bay and back. However, I am the guy who thought Tahoe City to DL Bliss would only take a couple of hours. So, best of luck!


Now that you have the beta, it’s time to get out on the water!



After Dark in Colombia – Trail Running with Brody Leven

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

After being continually denied permission to ski in Colombia, Brody Leven decides to take some of the country’s most popular mountain bike trails by foot.

Brody is a professional skier, author and all-around badass residing in Salt Lake City. His work has been featured by Red Bull, Teton Gravity Research, Freeskier Magazine, Powder Magazine,…the list goes on. Do your best to keep up with him on Instagram and Twitter: @brodyleven


A beautiful Colombian countryside at dusk.

It’s the middle of the night and I’m trail running in the Colombian countryside. A local guy is hot on my heels. He has brought me here, though I have absolutely no idea where I am. It’s pouring rain, we’ve crossed multiple rivers, the trail is consistently ankle-deep mud, and I haven’t been able to lose him. He’s fast. My headlamp’s batteries are almost dead, so I’ve turned it off. I’m using the light of his trailing headlamp without his consent. We sneak through Colombian farms called fincas and the barn dogs bark as we try to silently open the barbed-wire gates. They are unleashed, uncollared, presumably unvaccinated, and loudly scamper alongside our bare ankles. He recommends crossing some fincas instead of others; he knows which dogs are meanest.


Interesting finds in the foliage, for sure!

Alfonso isn’t a random Colombian, but a friend I met at a climbing gym that he runs in Manizales. He’s gracious to take me on one of his favorite runs, and I’ve brought him a specific pair of Salomon running shoes that he was unable to find in Colombia, but dearly wanted. Another puddle stretches the width of the trail, and his right foot lands directly in the middle of it with a splash deeper than I expected. It’s his first run in a pair of shoes that mean so much to him, but in Spanish he simply says, “That’s what they’re for.” He’s training for a prestigious 100-kilometer race in his home country.

I’m actually using new shoes, too: the new Salomon S-Lab XT 6. I only travel with one pair of running shoes, so when I decided to bring them, I questioned if their intense sole pattern would be overkill for whatever I’d be running in Colombia. As I nearly come to a halt in sticky mud on a section of jungle-entombed singletrack, I know that I’ve made the right decision. At no point do the lugs pack with mud, even given the variable trail surfaces, tacky and soft. I wish they also warded off whatever creatures lay beneath the thick blanket of jungle.

I am a staunch skeptic of waterproof clothing—such as the super light rain shell that I’m wearing—because I seem to be cursed. Nothing ever keeps me dry consistently. But this is doing just that. Ever the disbeliever, I decide it’s largely due to the comfortable temperature: I’m able to keep my Salomon Minim jacket on, fully zipped, with the hood (and its genius, inventive, elastic headband) up, and not overheat. But we stop to discuss route options for the first time after 5.1 miles and I notice that my torso is dry. My back isn’t sweating in the rain jacket, per my norm, and my arms aren’t soaked, also per my norm. This is most notable around the wrists, where I always get wet. Whenever I use a rain jacket, I think I’m not doing it right. I feel like there is a secret that I don’t know, because they never work for me. But this one is working. And I can’t believe I’m running this comfortably. We decide to head right, up a steep hill, to the highest point on the ridgeline. As our rest trot turns once again into a jog, he asks how far we’ve gone, as his watch has already died. “Ahh, Suunto,” Alfonso says with a thick Colombian accent. “Muy bueno.” I try to convert it to kilometers. Nine?


You see so much more traveling by foot. Just imagine the possibilities out there.

I don’t look at my Suunto Ambit 2 again until we’re nearly done with the loop. The temperatures are ideal, Alfonso’s headlamp is bright, and he clearly knows where we are going. I don’t need to know my pace or elapsed time because, although this is a regular run for him, it’s as good as an adventure run for me. I’m running in the middle of the night in Colombia, so who cares? I have eight ounces of water in a Salomon Soft Flask in one hand. With as much motivation as it took to put my running clothes on after eating a delicious dinner of greasy Colombian food, and the additional motivation needed to get out of the car after it had started pouring cold rain on the way to the trailhead, I couldn’t be happier I mustered it.


No pics came of our dark and rainy run…instead, here’s a random shot from horseback on a rest day.

Only two miles before we end, I pull out the energy chews that I brought because I knew they’d be a treat for him. The main energy food that athletes use on the trails in Colombia is an assortment of gels. And if Alfonso is anything like me, he can barely stomach those things. He, too, enjoys the candy-like chews as we run side-by-side. After showing me a trail that I never would have found on my own, it’s quite literally the least I can do to show my appreciation.

We approach his car, parked under a streetlight in Lucitania. My Suunto reads over 12 miles, and I’m pleasantly surprised. For the last 10 miles, I’ve been asking him what we’re going to do—we are so dirty, and his car is so clean.  A mile ago, on the final dirt road, we crossed a creek that washed our shoes really well. Now he pulls out seat protectors designed for dogs, and it’s suddenly as if we hadn’t just run through a muddy jungle for two hours. After immersing ourselves entirely in the rainforest, its thorns and leaves and puddles and bugs becoming part of our being, it’s the clean upholstery and vacuumed floor mats from which we choose to buffer ourselves. I think Alfonso and I have a lot in common.


Brody’s Colombia night running gear list:



Soaking wet and surely stoked.


Salomon Agile Belt
Salomon Agile Belt
MSRP: $64.95

Father’s Day Gift Guide – Good Sons & Daughters Get Him Outside!

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

This review comes from Scott Johns, an adventure cinematographer, mountain biker and snowboarder living in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. When Scott’s not creating beautiful imagery for video, he’s out ripping singletrack or shredding big lines in his backyard that we call the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Find more of Scott’s work at

You’ve heard it before. On Father’s Day, what dads really want is to be left alone. Men are biologically wired to hunt and gather, to be outside, getting weird in the woods. Want to truly stoke out the father in your life this year? Start the day with a big, black cup of coffee and one of these gifts, then send him on his way. He’ll come back with a smile, feeling refreshed.


Manhood starts with a Leatherman

Leatherman Fathers Day Gift



Seriously, no man feels complete without one of these puppies, but choosing which one to get him can get complicated. Let’s start with what’s most important. Obviously, all a man really needs is a corkscrew to open his lady a nice bottle of wine at the end of this most epic Father’s Day. The pliers, knives, screwdrivers, etc. he’ll need for who-knows-what are just a bonus on the Juice CS4. But he’ll be grateful just the same.







“Man’s best friend” is actually his belt



Now that he has a Leatherman, he’ll need a proper place to put it. That’s on his belt. We grow as attached to our belts as we do our dogs, and still, a good belt might outlive a good K-9. Arcade Belts has changed the game, too. Put one on and there’s no going back. Arcade has a belt for everyone; dressy belts that are still great outdoors and all-elastic belts that are great for everything, everyday. Tahoe Mountain Sports’ Director of Online Marketing, Adam Broderick, even wore his black Midnighter to a recent wedding when he forgot his dress belt. Nobody knew the difference.





Real men wear real slippers



None of that K-Mart nonsense for us. The Sanuk Pick Pocket Slip On Shoes are life-changers. These textured hemp slip-ons sport a custom print, soft canvas lining, high rebound Instaplay footbeds, Happy U Rubber outsoles and a large stash pocket for emergency taco money, or whatever. Sandals are great, but their uses are limited. These are so much more versatile and, as those of us privy to the cool evenings of Tahoe know, wear well far beyond dusk, when sandals can quickly become a bit of a bummer.






A better bag for geeking out




You know that thing he fixed last week? The one he kind of made better, but kind of made worse at the same time? Yeah, that. Chances are he figured out how to botch that repair job by using a tool almost as important as his Leatherman: his laptop. Help him keep it safe and carry this evening’s picnic supplies, too, with the Deuter Giga Pro Daypack. It has all the features he needs, perfectly organized and protected, with an extra-padded, removable laptop compartment.







Style him out a bit, too




Now that we’ve covered all the super-masculine necessities, let’s get that guy looking a little snazzier. The Life is Good Grateful Dad Tee says it all and the Mountain Hardwear men’s DryTraveler Polo does it all. The latter will have him looking good and feeling comfortable at the office, on the disc golf course or at a casual lakeside dinner. Its poly/spandex blend offers the feel he gets from cotton but dries quickly and will stretch with him comfortably, while the antimicrobial finish helps eliminate odor and the UPF 25 protects him from the sun. Finally, no man’s wardrobe is complete without a plaid button down. The Marmot Newport Short Sleeve Shirt will keep him looking charming through sun-drenched days in seaside cities and mountain towns alike.





It might be best to end this post with a little disclaimer: I’m not a father, but I am a man, sort of. I’m a full-grown, thirty-year-old man-boy. The boy part is the key here. Kids or not, we men all need to feel like boys from time to time. Fact: the responsibilities of parenthood leave most men experiencing that feeling less often. Presents are a good way to bring it back, but being outside is better. So, this Father’s Day, if you really want to do the right thing, just make sure he gets to be outside, experiencing a new place, a new activity or an old favorite that he doesn’t have as much time for these days. And if anybody wants to get me an honorary Father’s Day gift, I’d like the Sanuks please.

P.S. I love you dad, thanks for everything.



Some more good Fathers Day presents, just for good measure:

Outdoor Research Helios Sun Hat
Outdoor Research Helios Sun Hat
MSRP: $35.95
Tahoe Mountain Sports Gift Cards Fast, easy, and one size fits all. Buy Now! Follow us: