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Enter to Win a New MHM Flatiron 42 Backpack!

June 5th, 2015 By   
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Don’t be shy, this is your time to fly! Click above to enter!

ENTER TO WIN HERE!

The Mile High Mountaineering Flatiron 42 Backpack is designed for quick backpacking trips with a streamline, clean design that you’re going to love with comfort, adjustability, and lots of features.

This pack is proof that great things really do come in smaller packages.

A clean design and size work great for just about any activity but it’s perfect for quick backpacking trips.

The Flatiron 42 maintains all the right stuff to set itself above all other packs in this size range.

Shop MHM (Mile High Mountaineering) here.

TMS – MHM Flatiron 42 Giveaway – Rules and Regulations

– One entry per user. Must be 18 years or older. Winner pays shipping outside continental U.S.

– Giveaway period runs today through June 30, 2015. One random winner will be drawn on June 30 and contacted via email.

– User agrees to be added to Tahoe Mountain Sports newsletters.

– User has read and reviewed the Tahoe Mountain Sports Privacy Policy.

– No purchase is necessary.

– Any and all purchases from Tahoe Mountain Sports (or any of its respective channels) will not improve one’s chances of winning.

– Winner(s) of the will not hold Tahoe Mountain Sports responsible for any/all warranty issues that arise with the giveaway. Mile High Mountaineering (MHM) assumes all responsibility for any/all warranty issues with the products in the #TMS MHM Flatiron 42 Giveaway.

– Tahoe Mountain Sports shall be primary contest sponsor and is the principal place of business (11200 Donner Pass Rd. E5, Truckee, CA 96161).

– Tahoe Mountain Sports will contact the winner by email. Entrants must provide a valid email.

Mud Lake: The Journey Was Better than the Destination

June 25th, 2015 By   

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This post comes from Rachel McCullough, an avid hiker, mountain biker, rock climber, yogi, skier and photographer living in Truckee, CA. Follow @rachelmcphotos on Instagram for stunning images of beautiful Sierra scenery. When Rachel isn’t enjoying her free time in the outdoors, she’s teaching skiing at Northstar California or building and marketing websites for her clients at McCullough Web Services.

Who: Rachel and Garrett McCullough
What: Hiking
Where: Tahoe Rim Trail – Brockway to Mt. Rose segment
When: June 2015

Only I could think up a hike where the destination was a muddy lake that would require 23 miles of hiking. And only my husband, Garrett, would think this was a good enough idea to tag along cheerfully. 

So, it really had to be all about the journey; as is my goal of day hiking the entire Tahoe Rim Trail.

The Tahoe Rim Trail has presented a challenge to Garrett and me. Not because of the hiking itself, which seems to be the easy part, but in the logistics. Being a one car family, and the fact that no one has shown too much interest in 20-30 mile day hikes with us, shuttling is a bit difficult.

The Tahoe City to Brockway section took 4 modes of transportation to complete. We drove to Brockway, rode our bikes down to the bus stop in Kings Beach, took the bus to the trailhead in Tahoe City, walked the trail to the car, then drove back to pick up the bikes in Kings Beach! And while that seemed somewhat reasonable (except to anyone we explained this convoluted plan to, planning for the others hasn’t been as easy).

We completed the Brockway to Mt. Rose section a bit differently. Last year, we started at Mt. Rose, with our goal destination being Mud Lake, about halfway between the Brockway and Mt. Rose trailheads. We didn’t quite make it all the way, but we came close. So this particular weekend, we headed out from Brockway to tick off the remaining piece. That made our destination somewhere past Mud Lake.

So as my wise friend, Gretchen, pointed out when I hatched this plan of day-hiking from either trailhead to the middle – when we are done we’ll have hiked nearly the whole trail twice. So here’s to hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail twice, once in each direction!

Our adventure on the Brockway to Mt. Rose section began by loading up with 5 liters of water (each!) and setting out at the not-so-early hour of 8:30 from Brockway towards Martis Peak. Have I mentioned before we are not morning people?! Almost immediately, we were both drenched in sweat. Garrett asked me if the trail seemed harder than usual (we’d done the first part many times). Maybe it was all the water we were carrying to prevent getting overwhelmed by the heat.

This did not seem like the way to start 23 miles. I think the problem was that it was actually warm out. Summer temps plus some morning humidity wasn’t something we’d gotten used to yet.

The lake came in and out of view on our right side for the first several miles, until it eventually opened up so that all you could see was blue. The blue of the sky, the blue of the lake; what a gorgeous color.

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One of our earlier views of Lake Tahoe. It just kept getting better.

The trail meandered and switchbacked through the forest, before eventually leading to more open and treeless terrain. We stopped for a break at the last bit of shade, not so much because we were tired, but more because we were scared of the sun-baked terrain in front of us! We might wilt! Luckily as we climbed higher, it cooled down and we got a nice afternoon breeze. Being at over 9,000 feet definitely helps.

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Someone needs to go back for this photo in a couple of weeks. The yellow flowers will be gorgeous!

We joked along the way about our goal of Mud Lake. We wondered if there was even going to be water. Garrett still hasn’t let me live it down that I built up our hike to Twin Lakes on the Mt. Rose to Spooner section, only to find no water upon reaching the first lake. He claimed I was leading him on again. I started to wonder myself since we had decided on the route late the previous night and hadn’t asked around.

We agreed this was the best section of the trail so far. Views like on the Flume Trail, but without the bikes or crowds.

On the way to Mud Lake, there were a couple of tempting diversions. One was a rock outcropping with an easy climb and a lake view. Garrett reminded me that all diversions should be done on the way back. That way you know if you have enough energy to make it to the end. And he’s right! It’s easy to be excited 7 or 8 miles in! We did end up stopping for the short rock climb, but held off on Rifle Peak to see how we felt on the way back.

Then, I spent the next few miles tripping over my own feet as I forgot about the trail and stared at the lake. The most gorgeous part of the hike definitely went by the quickest.

We finally reached Mud Lake, and while it wasn’t as disappointing as one might think, it might not be the destination most people have in mind after hiking 10+ miles. But it did have water and it wasn’t muddy at all! So, we grumbled a bit about carrying a total of 10 liters of water, but oh well.

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Mud Lake. It seemed clearer in person, I promise!

At this point, we figured we must be getting close to the spot we’d left off last time. So, we commenced what seemed like the longest part of the hike, which consisted of about a mile, with more uphill than perhaps we had envisioned. I say envisioned because the topo clearly showed the uphill, we just didn’t quite internalize what we saw.

We finally reached a familiar spot and were able to remember where we sat to rest and a trail that could be seen in the distance. Somehow we still questioned ourselves a bit. We couldn’t come all this way and miss a few hundred foot section in the middle! So went just a little bit further until we spotted Ginny Lake. Now we were sure. Ginny Lake is a muddy lake. Strange that the clearest lake in the area is named Mud Lake and the muddy lake is named Ginny Lake. I didn’t take long to ponder that because we started to head back and I had my sights set on Rifle Peak.

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Garrett and Ginny Lake (that small puddle in the background). This was our turnaround point.

Rifle Peak is not too far off the trail, but it’s a little steep! We found another hiker at the summit who snapped our photo. Confusion ensued when we told him where we came from and how we got there. And then counted out the miles for him!

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Rachel and Garrett on the summit of Rifle Peak.

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Rifle Peak summit with clouds building.

We only spent a couple of minutes at the summit, wondering if the building clouds would produce any rain. It wasn’t in the forecast, but they did seem to be staying east.

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Garrett descending from Rifle Peak, which is seen in the background.

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More descending from Rifle Peak. No complaints about this view. Except that it made me trip over anything in my path. Too distracting!

We took our longest break of the hike right before we lost our most expansive lake view. It was hard to motivate to leave that spot, but after 10 minutes, it was go time.

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Panoramic view of North Tahoe from the trail, with Garrett.

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There’s me. About to trip on something as I look at Lake Tahoe, I’m sure! Good thing for hiking poles!

The final miles somehow melted away. Good conversation definitely helps. We hit the road at about 5:45pm, ready for some dinner. Our evening plans entailed walking two miles to happy hour at a friends’, putting us at 25 miles for the day. We joked we should make a lap around the neighborhood and make it a full marathon. Oh well, another time!

Tahoe Mountain Sports Gear We Used:

 

Brooks PureGrit 3 Trail Running Shoes Review

June 22nd, 2015 By   

TMS Ambassador Mike Tebbutt is an avid adventure runner and member of the Donner Party Mountain Runners. Follow Mike on Instagram at @irontebby. Mike really puts his gear to the test with his outdoor exploits and the following is a great, inside look at the Brooks PureGrit 3 Trail Running Shoes…

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Trail Running Shoes Reviewed: Brooks PureGrit 3 
Color: Electric Blue / Greenery / Junebug
Size Reviewed: Men’s Size 10.5

Since this is the first version of this shoe that I have run in, I did a little research on it, to find out that the PureGrit 3 is the result of a major redesign of the PureGrit 2. The changes include a much more aggressive outsole that handles the gnarliest terrain you can find, an added rock plate and toe guard, and they changed the tongue from being semi-gusseted tongue to un-gusseted. They have a 4mm drop and weigh in at 9.9oz.

Outsole
The hexagonal shaped lugs that blanket the sole provide superior traction in all conditions and really excel in the technical and steep terrain. The lugs are also impressively durable; as you can see I have still have plenty of tread left on them after about 310 miles on them. I have worn them for up to a 15 hour day of of steep and technical running and off-trail navigating that would have left other shoes falling off my feet and the PureGrit 3s came back only slightly worse for the wear. The rock plate and toe guard are great additions that provide extra protection.

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Over 300 Miles and Still Plenty of Tread (Ph: Mike Tebbutt)

The Upper
There is a slightly off-centered lace pattern that distributes the pressure comfortably over the top of the foot. The un-gusseted tongue stay in place well, is comfortable and does not pinch at all. The Nav Band is a strap that wraps around the entire upper and provides a snug fit throughout the midfoot and gives the shoe a very responsive and fast feel.

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The PureGrit 3 Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking! (Ph: Mike Tebbutt)

The Midsole
Brooks beefed up the cushioning a little bit with their eco-friendly BioMoGo midsole that helps soften the ride while still allowing you that comfort of being able to feel the trail beneath your feet. BioMoGo is made from a material that will apparently bio-degrade in just 20 years as opposed to the 1000 plus years it takes for many plastic based midsoles.

 

Overall Impressions
While I am fortunate to have a foot that fits most shoes well and enjoy many different brands and models, I especially like the Brooks PureGrit 3 and plan to stockpile a few pairs as I have heard the new model will again have several major changes. They provide adequate cushioning while still allowing you to feel the trail, great traction with enough rubber on the lugs to last longer than most shoes and great overall comfort and performance. Something that I didn’t notice at first, yet certainly appreciate now, is the lack of rocks and debris that make it into the shoe. And very surprisingly, as they have been through some extremely rocky and scrappy terrain, the uppers on my shoes have only a couple small tears that do not go through to the inside of the shoe. I expect to get 200 more miles out of this shoe before I retire them.

As much as I like this shoe, I ran into to a friend at a race the other day who could not stop singing praises for them and plans to stock up on some extra pairs also before they become unavailable. I suggest you give this shoe a try and do the same!

Simplify Your Sleep System – Interactive Presentation

June 19th, 2015 By   

SIMPLIFY YOUR SLEEP SYSTEM!

Join representatives from the top camping and backpacking brands to learn about the best new equipment and techniques to make sleeping in the outdoors more pleasant and enjoyable.

Series and event sponsor Cascade Designs will be highlighting the Therm-A-Rest (whose goal is to provide you with the finest solutions to outdoor comfort) will accompany other leading brands to showcase the best in sleep system solutions to help you save weight, sleep great and make the most of every trip. To illustrate this, 4-5 sample “campsites” will be displayed in-store in which YOU can climb into a fully set up tent and “take a nap” on the best gear available.

Join the knowledgeable staff at TMS for this free event which is open to the public and includes an interactive demonstration with outdoor equipment representatives leading an informative session. This is a rare opportunity to make the most of your camping and backpacking adventures. Tahoe Mountain Sports will offer special deals on products in the store!

JOIN THE EVENT ON FACEBOOK!

Date: Wednesday, July 15th

Time: Doors – 5:00pm | Presentation & Demo – 6:00-7:30pm

Location: Tahoe Mountain Sports (11200 Donner Pass Rd. – Safeway Center)

Cost: FREE ~ All Ages

Coral Loves the Merrell Capra Sport Hiking Shoes!

June 18th, 2015 By   

This post comes from TMS Ambassador – Coral Taylor, an avid mountain biker, yogi, snowboarder and outdoor enthusiast living in Truckee, CA. Follow @c_ros on Instagram for rad photos of her adventures around Lake Tahoe and beyond. In addition to getting after it on the snow, Coral is also a Team LUNAChix Tahoe Mountain Bike Team Ambassador!

Hiking Shoes Reviewed: Merrell Capra Sport Hiking Shoes – Women’s
Color: Royal Lilac/Adventurine
Size Reviewed: Women’s Size 7

First thing out of the box, I noticed the awesome color of these shoes. I know, I know – don’t judge a book by its cover and all that; however, I can’t help it. I want my gear to have function AND form. Form – check.

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(Photo: Coral Taylor)

Onto assessing function. I like my hiking and running shoes to typically be a little larger than my normal shoe size, to account for swollen feet on the trail and thicker socks, but the Capra runs true to size and my standard size 7 works for the size 7 in these shoes. It seems like Merrell knows what they are doing and made accommodations accordingly.

The light weight of these shoes was noticeable as soon as I put them on. They are heavier than my trail runners, but MUCH lighter than any hiking shoe or boot I have ever worn. Walking with these shoes around the house to get a feel for their lacing and to start breaking them in, the stiff sole was noticeable, although there is a point mid-sole where the shoe gets more flexible.

I decided to take these hot new kicks for a trial hike/run after work one day. I hiked up the lovely Donner Canyon, which is mostly fire road, with some rocks, loose gravel and dirt, and a little mud in the lower sections. These shoes performed well and maintained traction even in a few parts where the trail was eroded with spring runoff from the recent rains.

I detoured off the trail, onto one of the granite boulders offering a stunning view of Donner Lake, and the Capras continued their grippy action, allowing me to walk up the side of the boulders as easily as if I were walking on the street.

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(Photo: Coral Taylor)

I enjoyed the view then took a short, much needed meditation break, with the sound of the forest and the scent of the pines. Afterwards, a quick glance at my phone revealed that dinner would be ready in a few minutes, so it was go time – trail run back to the car! The Capras were heavier and bulkier than my trail running shoes (naturally), and I stumbled a few times, as I was adjusting to the larger shape of my foot in these shoes. However, compared to my few pathetic attempts at jogging in any other hiking boots, the Capras far out-performed them in their flexibility, lightness, and nimbleness. Towards the end of the trail, my clumsiness subsided as my proprioception increased, and the Capras felt more comfortable.

For my second, longer hike in the Capras, I went to the Redwood Forest of Mendocino. The Capras were comfortable on steep uphill and downhill sections, and were excellent at avoiding banana slugs and poison oak (yikes!). They maintained traction in the loose loam of the upper trail area, as well as the sandy beach and slippery log that I had to precariously balance on in order to cross the flowing Russian Gulch Creek. The second time wearing these shoes made a big difference – they already seemed more broken in and fit my feet better.

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Watch out for Banana Slugs! (Photo: Coral Taylor)

I wore them again the following day for an outrigger canoe paddling trip up Big River, where they performed well by keeping my feet dry and warm (much needed due to my sloppy paddling skills) and they gave me ample traction on the sandy beach to get a good running start for the rope swing over the river.

All in all, I think these are an excellent all-around hiking shoe! I look forward to wearing the Capras on longer hikes this summer and on a few backpacking trips, including meeting up with my youngest sister who is currently somewhere on the PCT.

Pros:
– Lightweight
– Supportive, but flexible
– High traction sole

Cons:
– Lack of ankle support
– Need to be broken in (like any other hiking boot)
– Spend time wearing the shoe to get to know its width

Brand Highlight: Ultimate Direction – FREE Demos!

June 17th, 2015 By   

Water is the essential element for peak training, racing and performance. At Ultimate Direction, their employees and sponsored athletes know this first hand. That’s why they craft the best hydration products to keep you on the move. Keep on moving!

Try-before-you-buy for FREE with a demo of the new Scott Jurek Ultra Vest 2.0 or the Women’s Ultra Vesta and see what everyone’s talking about first hand! Available for a limited time (while supplies last).

Click HERE to see our full line-up of Ultimate Direction products!

The SJ Ultra Vest is the result of collaboration with Scott Jurek, the world’s most dominant ultra runner. Weighing in at 11 ounces (16.5 with bottles) and offering 7.0 L of storage space, the SJ has the best weight-to-capacity ratio of any hydration pack on the market.

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Designed by the Women’s Collective, the Ultra Vesta is ergonomically shaped to fit perfectly and perform flawlessly. Front-facing bottle optional pockets offer quick, immediate access to hydration and lower large-volume pockets keep your phone, camera, salt tablets or gels within reach. Bounce-free and moisture-wicking Air Mesh provides support and is soft to the touch for all day comfort.

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Tahoe Trail Running At Its Finest: a Local Loop

June 9th, 2015 By   

This post comes from Chris Cloyd, a TMS Ambassador and lover of endurance sports. When Chris isn’t training for his next big run in the mountains or out exploring the Eastern Sierra on bike, he’s managing the Performance Training Center by Julia Mancuso. Watch for more race reports, gear reviews and fun reading from Chris and other Ambassadors of Tahoe Mountain Sports.

Who: Chris Cloyd
What: Trail Running / Scrambling
Where: Truckee, CA – Castle Peak
When: June 8, 2015

June 8 Run

TMS Ambassador – Chris Cloyd’s Route (June 8, 2015)

The morning of June 8, 2015 set up perfectly, with calm skies, warm temps, and a block of about three free hours on my schedule. Not one to ever turn down an outdoor opportunity, I grabbed my Salomon S-Lab Running Vest and Salomon Trail Running Shoes and ran out the door just shy of 8:30 AM.

My adventure run this particular morning was to start from the Castle Pass Trail Head, across from Boreal Mountain Resort on the I-80 summit. I ran up the Castle Pass fire road to the Donner Lake Rim Trail, then turned off on the DRT for a short section before hitting the Pacific Crest Trail (never skip a chance to run America’s most famous trail). I ran the PCT up to Castle Pass, then took the trail up the shoulder to Castle Peak before gaining the summit of Castle Peak’s 3rd tower (the easternmost tower is the true summit, home of the survey marker and register).

The summit of Castle Peak  was reached in 41:38 from leaving my car – by far my best time up to the peak. I saved some energy going up, for sure, and I look forward to going back this summer to try and best the 40 minute mark. The summit block is a spicy bit of Class 3 Climbing, so keep your wits about you and watch your footing if you go! I continued from there along the ridge trail (as good as it gets) to Basin Peak, and topped out there as well. It’s an easy summit, about five feet off of the ridge trail. Make sure you sign the register there as well!

I then crashed down to the Devil’s Oven-PCT trail, swung left down toward Castle Valley and the PCT. It’s only a short bit of running on the PCT before the Sand Ridge Trail to Hole In The Ground, and I took a right there and descended to the HITG Trail intersection. Taking a left and running HITG en route to Andesite Ridge, I enjoyed really the only shaded section of trail on today’s run. HITG snakes its way down from Andesite Ridge and links back to the Castle Pass fire road, which I took back to my car.

At 12 miles, this is one of the best “short” loops on offer in the Truckee/Tahoe area, and one of my personal favorites. Get out there and try it the next chance you get!

TMS Owner Dave Polivy Honored in 40 Under Awards

June 5th, 2015 By   

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Congratulations to Tahoe Mountain Sports Owner Dave Polivy on being included in a list of honorees for the eighth annual SGB 40 Under 40 Awards, which recognizes leaders and standout individuals across the sporting goods industry! The 40 recipients were chosen from a list of 400 nominees and selected by a panel of industry experts.

View the 2015 40 Under 40 list HERE

“These awards are a way to recognize the great work done by younger leaders in our industry,” said James Hartford, president and CEO of The SportsOneSource Group, which publishes the SGB trade publication. “The extraordinary and diverse talent nominated again this year made it difficult to narrow the list to just 40 people. We drew very strong support from past honorees and other industry leaders to select a prestigious group of individuals and it is our pleasure to honor this next generation of leaders.”

SGB: WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Dave Polivy: “Take chances in order to make mistakes and celebrate successes. Learn from both and don’t make those mistakes again. If you say you are going to do something, make sure you do it. Do what you love because you only live once.”

DP

 

Adventure Trail Tips Slideshow at TMS (June 3rd, 2015)

May 29th, 2015 By   

Looking to set out on an adventure on the Tahoe Rim Trail or Pacific Crest TrailPRIVATE PROPERTY copy

Learn all about these incredible trail systems that are right in our Tahoe backyard at the Adventure Trail Tips Slideshow event (Presented by Cascade Designs).

Local experts Shannon Skarritt (Director of Membership & Outreach – TRTA) and Diego Panasiti (PCT through-hiker) will lead in-depth slide-show discussions on how to prepare, the essentials to pack and what to expect when hiking the TRT or PCT. Whether you’re through-hiking or just out for a day trip, this FREE, all-ages event is a can’t-miss opportunity to discover the magnificence of these great hikes!

Join the event on Facebook!

This rare opportunity will help you make the most of your camping and backpacking adventures on the Tahoe Rim Trail or Pacific Crest Trail systems. Tahoe Mountain Sports will offer special deals on products in the store – stock up on maps, guidebooks and let us equip you with the best hiking shoes, backpacks and more! Additionally, raffle tickets for great prizing will be for sale (in support of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association).

The Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail are invaluable resources right here in the North Lake Tahoe-Truckee region. Chock full of wonderful flora and fauna, these beautiful trail systems are a gem in the midst of the majestic Sierra Nevada. The Pacific Crest Trail Association is singularly focused on preserving, protecting and promoting the (PCT) which stretches from Mexico to Canada. The Tahoe Rim Trail Association’s mission is to maintain and enhance the 165-mile long (TRT) trail system that stretches around the entirety of Lake Tahoe. Both organizations promote stewardship, conservation and offer a multitude of resources about using and preserving the trails.

PCT through-hiker, Diego Panasiti has an awesome website worth checking out…diegopanasiti.com.

See you

Tahoe Trail Bars Make for a Great Hiking Meal!

May 26th, 2015 By   

This post comes from Guest Blogger Michelle Shea. Michelle lives in Lake Tahoe and is the host/creator of the outdoor series Adventure Dining Guide. She created Adventure Dining Guide because “food is the unrecognized hero of our journeys, and its about time backcountry meals get the recognition they deserve”. Learn more at www.adventurediningguide.com

Who: Cameramen Skyler Mullings & Michelle Shea
What: Featuring Tahoe Trail Bar as the main ingredient and new ways to enjoy trail bars
Where: Tahoe Rim Trail
When: April 2015

I love trail bars! They’re a staple food in my outdoor adventures because they’re tasty, convenient, and filled with trail necessary nutrients. However, sometimes I crave variety…so I invented three ways to transform a trail bar into more than just a quick snack. I used ingredients that are pack friendly and will help elevate a trail bar into a hearty meal. ADG

This is the Adventure Dining Guide episode featuring Tahoe Trail Bar:

Here is a link to the recipe:
www.adventurediningguide.com/3-trail-bar-recipes

Get Your Adventure Meal Ingredients at TMS:

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