• New York

    Spring Hiking Gear Review @Smartwool @Sportiva

    It is that time of year again in NYC!  Yvonne, Selina Chan (visiting us Toronto), myself and two dogs Jacob and Tamu set out for Tuxedo Park to do a little hiking!  We try to get out of town and hike as much as possible even though renting a car and the whole rigamarole to get out of the city with dogs can be tiring, it is worth it once you get to the Great Outdoors!  Yvonne and I received some great new gear for the Spring from some amazing brands that I want to share with you.  Outdoor gear can be tough to purchase as it is never cheap and there are a lot of options.

    Below is a grid of some of the items we received.


    Tuxedo Park is a great day hike and something Jacob and Tamu always look forward to. They are able to be “dogs” and get off of the leash and out of the city.  From the moment they jump out of the car they are ready to go!



    Klean Kanteen is a brand that we love!  Their products are always minimal in design and can take a beating.  Also, something you might want to invest in while hiking around the US is Trimble Outdoors Maps.  They are maps that can be downloaded to your smartphone that highlight trails with category options for State, National Park or County throughout the US.  The coolest thing is you can download the map to your smartphone and only need the GPS function so if you do not have great service you can still use the map!  You can plan a trip on the map or print out your trip onto paper as well!


    We used our new Eddie Bauer backpacks to keep our essentials in while hiking.  This is my second Eddie Bauer hiking pack of this size and I love it!  There are a few pockets inside and net pockets to keep your water in.  On a side note these smaller hiking packs make great gym bags!  They are just big enough to fit shoes and your workout gear in. They fit in any gym locker and force you to not pack too much.


    Smartwool is a brand that creates high performance merino wool products for all types of outdoor activities year round.  All of the items are made of merino wool which makes them Breathable and stink free.  The great thing about items such as their socks and tops is when it is cool they keep you warm and when it is hot the sweat is wicked away.  This allows their products to work for your activities year round and allow you to be prepared for any situation that you can run into.  Earlier on the hike it was breezy and I was still warm and when the sun came out near the end of the hike I was cool as it wicked my sweat away very quickly, it definitely works!  The shirt I wore was a base layer, however I wore it as my only layer.

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    La Sportiva is based out of Italy and create top notch hiking gear.  The majority of their products are handmade and posses superior materials.  The shoes that Yvonne and I wore are from their Bushido line, made for trail running.  We didn’t necessarily run the trails, however the shoes were super comfortable on a leisure hike and great for warm weather.  I was blown away at the way they handled the trail.  There are guards to protect your toes on sharp rocks etc.  They have a speed lace system to quickly tighten or loosen your shoes for any adjustments during your hike or take your shoe off quickly to remove a pebble etc.  The material allowed my foot to breathe very well, it was noticeable which was surprising.  In addition, the sole has special rubber for gripping to rock that really worked!  I felt comfortable and confident in them during the entire hike.

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    Hiking is always a good time, looking forward to the next city escape!

    Thanks for joining us Selina, she is an amazing photographer and has more pictures of our hike at www.50mmphotography.ca

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  • New York

    Sneak Peek at Technical Apparel Company @torenapparel

    Hey adventurous readers!  A cool item for hiking and all your outdoorsy dreams….Check out this new technical apparel company called Toren.  Move over Patagonia, The North Face and Arc’teryx, and make room for TorenToren, a new fashionable brand of stylish, affordable and accessible technical apparel for men and women is planning its debut in the Spring of 2014! The brand was created to provide a high quality, reasonably priced alternative for consumers with an active outdoor lifestyle.  Notably, Toren is employing the unique approach of soliciting consumer input on product design and features via its blog, social media channels and website, www.toren.is.

    Recently, the brand received their second prototype back from the factory with exciting results to share!  Proto 2 is made with the exact three-layer waterproof rip-stop fabric we developed with Toray, and despite the minor alterations to be made, the Fundamental Shell is going to hit just the right balance between lightweight but still durable. This prototype was made in a vibrant orange, and it looks great with the contrasting black trim. Toren is also excited to let you in on one of the details we had been keeping up our sleeve – the Fundamental Shell will feature a clear polyurethane inner chest pocket, which allows you to use your smartphone through the pocket!  Not only is this a super awesome way to access your phone, but this innovation will go a long way in protecting your phone from getting wet or damaged in nasty weather conditions.


    Toren will be introducing a number of new pieces in Fall 2014, including at least one insulated jacket, with the new synthetic and down insulations from Toray. For the first insulated piece, it is made of synthetic insulation, which performs under all conditions, unlike down, which loses its heating capabilities when wet. In addition to an insulated jacket, Fall 2014 will bring the debut of Toren’s mid-weight pullovers, perfect for layering. Toray is creating new knit fabrics which feature four way stretch for comfort and durability – the perfect combo!

     check out –> toren.is

  • My Dog Jacob

    Hiking with Your Pup

    There are a few things I am getting really excited for this summer and one of them is hiking with Jacob!  Jacob loves going on walks in the city and to parks but when we are hiking all his senses come alive and he is truly ANIMAL!

    A few things I got to prepare me for the summer hiking season…

    1: Doggy Backpack

    2: Hiking Guide Book 

    3. Quaker 90 Calorie Granola Bars!

    The Trail Hound’s Handbook reinvents the hiking guidebook as a pet-focused, outdoor activity guide for kids and their families. With a lighthearted voice and a slew of fun facts, the format provides immediate pay-off to the curious hiking novice and dog-loving kid, as well as valuable, common sense skills to support a lifetime of outdoor adventure. Have you ever used a trekking pole on your hikes?

    Ellen Eastwood has a lifetime of dog loving under her belt. She believes most of her self-confidence as a teenager was gained on the trail and from her loving family dog. It’s no surprise then, that Ellen was led to create The Trail Hound’s Handbook. Having earned a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ellen has more than 15 years of advertising and newsletter copywriting and design experience. Years in the classroom with preschool and school-age children, and her current position as mother of four (two children, two dogs) further prepared her for writing this book.

    Ellen and her pack currently reside in Westlake Village, California, surrounded by the rugged Santa Monica Mountains. When she’s not outside with her dogs, Ellen is volunteering at her kids’ schools, working on her new website, KidsHikeDogsHike.com, or playing basketball in a local women’s league.

    The Trail Hound’s Handbook

    Your Family Guide to Hiking with Dogs

    By Ellen Eastwood