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Latest From Live To Explore

  • Try One of these great Campfire Recipes (SurvivalLife.com)

    Try One of these great Campfire Recipes (SurvivalLife.com)

    Next time you're around a campfire either during an adventure or at home, check out one (or several) of these great campfire recipes from SurvivalLife.com

    Read More
  • Insulated Tumbler Test | 2017

    Insulated Tumbler Test | 2017

    Insulated pints/tumblers are currently one of the top buys in the outdoor community, and for good reason. They usually come with a leak-resistant top so they’re great for on the go or around the campfire. Most versions are rated to hold the heat (or cold) for many, many, hours.

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  • Review: 1862 David Walley's Resort | Genoa, NV

    Review: 1862 David Walley's Resort | Genoa, NV

    Since purchasing a timeshare week at Grand Lodge on Peak 7 in Breckinridge, Colorado about 6 years ago, we’ve had the opportunity to visit quite a few other timeshare resorts around North America. Luckily, our Summer/Fall week at Breckenridge trades quite well, so we usually see some amazing places. During

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Latest Exploring Articles

2009 Patagonia R2 JacketAbout the Patagonia R2 Jacket

The Patagonia R2 is part of the line of regulator line of fleece jackets offered by Patagonia that provide varying levels of insulation and protection from the elements. The R2 is the ultra-compressible high-loft option designed to be worn under a shell. The R2 surprised me with a weight of just 13.625 oz (medium) and the ability to compress down to the size of a large grapefruit. The R2, however, is not your entry level fleece. At $175 the R2 can be a little pricey for someone looking for a fleece to just kick around town in. You can see our first impressions of the Patagonia R2 Jacket here.

Merrell Chameleon3 Stretch
About the Chameleon3 Stretch

The Chameleon3 Stretch shoes are lightweight mesh and nubuck leather, providing superior ventilation. The Vibram sole provides exceptional grip.

First impressions of the Merrell Chameleon3 Stretch

My love affair with the Merrell Chameleon Stretch began when I found a pair on sale at Nordstrom's Rack during a forced (read: girlfriend-motivated) shopping trip a couple of years ago. I haven't hiked or backpacked in another shoe since. At the end of last season I was strongly encouraged (again, read: girlfriend-motivated) to throw away my old pair. It was hard, as those shoes and I have seen numerous countries on several continents, a handful of national parks and countless miles, but admittedly, it was time. I just received my new Merrell Chameleon3 Stretch shoes and they are much as I remember them.  The fact that they are wearable right out of the box with no break-in required makes the Chameleon3 Stretch a blessing.  They fit snugly and the elastic tensioners eliminate the need for laces. Keep in mind the Merrell Chameleon3 Stretch shoes are not designed for backpacking with heavy loads over rough terrain. They are basically a scrambling shoe that can be used for backpacking only if you keep your pack weight down. A Gore-Tex version is made by Merrell, however they seemed to be out of stock everywhere I look when I was ready to order, so I settled for the non-Gore-Tex version and waterproofed them myself with Nikwax Nubuck and Suede Waterproofer.

Testing the Merrell Chameleon3 Stretch

We recently returned from Costa Rica where the Merrell Chameleon3 Stretch was put to the test as my shoe of choice (when I wasn't in flip-flops, of course). It endured zip-lining, hiking, canyoneering, and girlfriend-motivated (sensing a trend?) souvenir shopping.  It is also on my feet on my way to Colorado where it will serve as my approach shoe for two weeks of climbing in and around Colorado and Utah.

A newly found map of Colorado doubles the amount of known ghost towns. See more at The Adventure Life. http://www.theadventurelife.org/2010/04/rediscovered-century-old-map-more-than-doubles-colorados-ghost-towns/

We had originally hoped to do a boat trip through Palo Verde National Park, but the tour operator called in sick at the last minute and couldn't take us out. In all fairness we had tried to schedule the trip just the day prior, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. So we decided to do something we hadn't done the whole trip -- relax. The pools at Pacifico had remained unexplored for the duration of our trip, the piña coladas weren't going to drink themselves, so we were happy to oblige. It was nice not to have an itinerary and just relax and goof around. A nice dinner and drinks with Abby from http://www.thejungleprincess.com/ capped the day. Day 10 may be a bit of a misnomer as it was really just 12 hours spent on planes. We did barely make our connection in Houston due to delays clearing immigration and customs, but all's well that ends well. What now? Well first I have to get used to the cold and rain that we met on our return to New York (a far cry from the sun and heat of Costa Rica). But it's only for a couple days of as I'm headed to Colorado and Utah on Friday for a couple weeks of climbing,skiing, and whatever other trouble I can manage to find... Happy trails!

Our trip is drawing to a close. And, although we have accomplished most of what we were hoping to do and seen much of what we had hoped to see, we seem to be getting started later into the morning. So yesterday we decided to play things sort of close to our base camp in Playa del Coco. We set out heading southeast on the Pan American Highway (highway 1) toward the northeastern edge of the Parque Nacional Palo Verde. We decided to make a stop at the Rescue Shelter Las Pumas located 5km north of Cañas.  Unless you are hiking in some of the most remote protected areas of Costa Rica, you're unlikely to see any of the large cats native to this region. So, rescue shelters like this one offer pretty much your only opportunity to see jaguars, margays, ocelots, pumas, jaguarundis, and pumas as well as gray fox, lots of parrots, toucans, and a very playful river otter, and capuchin and spider monkeys. The shelter relies on entrance fees and donations to care for these rescued animals -- all the animals have a sad story and some bear physical scars of their past abuses. It is a last resort -- releasing these animals back into the wild is simply too dangerous for them.  It was a great experience to see these magnificent animals up close but also a sobering reminder of the cruelty imposed by some and the consequences of human sprawl. Afterward, we headed to a waterfall around 2km off the Pan American Highway 3km north of Bagaces known as Llanos de Cortés. The waterfall and surrounding gold-flecked sand beach is a well-known spot to Ticos, but off the beaten tourist path. The road to Llanos de Cortés is 1.3km of unimproved dirt road leading to a large parking lot that seemed pretty full. After paying $2 to the parking lot security guards, we hiked a short, steep path down to the waterfall where we enjoyed our picnic lunch and a refreshing swim in the pool under the falls. All told, there were probably around 150 people hanging out there, but it was a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon and easily 95% of the crowd was Tico. Everyone was friendly and clearly enjoying the swimming and diving. There were a couple of barbecues set up and a generally festive atmosphere.  A short path to the left of the falls led to the top of the falls where there were  only a few people.  Great for solitude and a wholly different perspective on the falls. In the late afternoon, we packed up and returned to Playa del Coco for dinner at a local seafood joint, Papagayo, and a relaxing evening on the lanai.

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