Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Backpack Review - Gama 8.0 Internal Frame Pack

So I finally decided to retire my 25 year old Army issue ALICE pack and get myself a new bag for 1-to-3 day hikes. I was skeptical about buying a budget-pack from Wal-Mart, but so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with its performance. The Outdoor Products Gama 8.0 Internal Frame Pack is designed to provide a great pack for hiking or shorter backpacking trips. It has all of the modern conveniences that a good pack should have. For anyone who wants to use this pack as a street bag, you may not be happy with it. It has an over-sized waist belt and comes in 2 ugly colors… olive green (shown) and orange. I chose the olive green because I’m not thrilled about standing out on the trail… however I do live in Texas and the orange one might be better for protecting me from drunk, gun-toting rednecks (That was a joke so lighten up people). I took this 39.1L pack for a 2-day tryout and I must say that it met the test. I've not tried it on a longer trip or in overly rugged terrain, but for a low-budget pack I still feel pretty good about it.

For my overall assessment of this pack, READ MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Mountain Biking Skills... Pt. 2 - Downhill Skills

Photo courtesy of
So you have yourself a decent bike, you've been out on the trail, and you've read our post on Mountain Biking Skills... Pt. 1.

You've been up late at night scouring Youtube for videos of the worlds best downhill riders, watching DVDs, and now you want to get ON it...

Slow down, Cowboy... if you've never blasted downhill at break-neck speeds over rough terrain before, you must realize that its not as easy as it looks. Downhill body position is extremely important to ensure balance, stability, and control of your bike as you test your mettle.

Zeptechniques Mountain Bike Camps has put together the perfect tutorial video for you. This video has very detailed explanations and a good rider to show you how it's done...

Watch the video below, learn your bike and your skill limitations, and then Get ON it!

Merry Christmas!

It has been an especially good holiday season for us here at Human Spirit of Adventure. We are very blessed to have our family, health, and sanity.

We are very happy to have been able to bring you our blog that started late this year and look forward to bringing you much more adventure oriented content in the years to come.

From all of our families to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

For daily pics and stuff from adventurers around the world, "Like" our Facebook page...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nutrition For Adventurers... Pt. 2 - Fruit for the Trail

Photo courtesy of
As we mentioned in the last article, Nutrition for Adventurers... Pt. 1, fruits and vegetables are a very important source of energy-giving carbohydrates that are much needed when on the trail. Problem is, fruits don't keep well in the heat, they take up space, they weigh a lot when in abundance, are messy, and attract ants, bugs, and even bears.
The best way to take fruits and some vegetables with you is to dehydrate them before you go. Dehydrating your fruits has many benefits when you get down to it. They weigh less and take up less space because they are no longer water-filled. They will keep longer for the same reasons. They retain their nutritional value. And finally, they will give you the much needed energy boost that you will need when the day gets long and you are tired. The only real drawback is that they no longer serve as a method of hydration.

So get yourself a dehydrator before your next adventure and get ON it... your body will thank you.

Next: Protein on the trail

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mountain Biking Skills... Pt. 1 - Basic Skills

Photo source:
For most of us, a bicycle was our first real mode of transportation.

We learned to ride as a child when our dads would push us off, running behind us to catch us if we fell. Later, when we were pre-teens, our mothers would clean our skinned knees and elbows.
As teenagers, we began to push our limits, ramping our bikes off of home-made ramps of cinder block and plywood... some of us eventually graduated on to half-pipes and grinding hand rails.

Eventually our bikes faded away as we learned to drive cars... after all, it's hard to take a date to the movies pumping them on the handlebars.

Now that we are older, grown adults with jobs, families, and responsibilities, it seems as if those biking days are gone forever... we remember them though as we push our sons across the lawn and run behind them.

For many, the thought of getting back on a mountain bike is exciting... blasting down a trail, dodging obstacles, and peering over sheer drops gives us an adrenaline rush at the pure thought of it. Slow down... trail riding isn't as easy as it looks... if it's been a while since you rode a bike, take the time to reacquaint yourself with the basics.

CycleActive has produced a mountain biking video that takes you through the basic mountain biking skills you will need to venture back into your childhood... This well thought out video familiarizes you with such skills as basic climbing, basic descending, drop offs, and much more.

Watch, enjoy, then Get ON It!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nutrition For Adventurers… Pt. 1 – Pre-Adventure Nutrition…

Copyright 2012 - Human Spirit of Adventure

Proper nutrition is essential for any adventurer. Spending hours, days, or even weeks on the trail can take a major toll on the body. Hiking, backpacking, skiing, climbing, and many other adventure sports require the body to spend its reserves to keep pushing through the tough times.

In this series, we will be discussing various ways to keep the body nourished both prior to your adventure and during.

Proper nutrition and body preparation starts at home long before your adventure begins. We all know that exercise and keeping the body conditioned is essential, but most of us lack on the proper diet. Eating right, if not your everyday thing, should become a priority during the months leading up to your adventure.

To gear your body, you should take in the proper amounts of protein, carbs, and fats… yes, fats. Fat is what you want your body to feed from when it goes into the reserves. If your fat content is too low, the body will begin to burn its lean muscle (after all, muscle is nutritious).

One area where people have a common failing is getting the proper amounts of fruits and vegetables in their diets. The old adage of “5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day” is no longer adequate says the medical guru’s. According to the CDC, Adults need anywhere from 7-13 cups of produce daily to get all the health benefits of fruits and vegetables -- including possible protection against obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

I know what you’re saying… “How am I going to fit 7 to 13 cups of fruit or vegetables into my diet?”

The best way that I have found to do this is to drink my fruits and eat my vegetables. That’s right… I eat my vegetables like cucumbers, squash, carrots, etc. as their regular chunky and crunchy selves, but I drink my fruits. No, I’m not talking about buying expensive fruit juices, loaded with extra sugars either… I make non-dairy smoothies.

Smoothies are an easy way to get the servings down because it is far easier to drink than to eat. Now I’m not talking about buying those wallet-draining, calorie-loaded, sugar-filled, smoothies from Whole Foods or somewhere like that. I make mine right at home using whole fruits bought from the local market, tossing them into the blender, adding a little water, and viola… a perfect non-dairy smoothie.

Copyright 2012 - Human Spirit of Adventure
Here is one of my favorite recipes:
½ cup of blueberries
½ cup of raspberries
½ cup of blackberries
1 cup of grapes
1 large banana
1 large orange
3 cups water

Blend or puree to desired consistency. Leave in the pulp for needed fiber

It's important to eat a rainbow of colored fruits and vegetables every day. The pigments act as antioxidants -- helping to rid your body of "free radicals," that can damage cells.

This blended smoothie yields about eight servings of fruit… if you drink half today, along with the hard veggies at your regular meals, then you have it made and didn’t have to overstuff your gut to do it.
So in your preparations for your next adventure, remember to eat right, get all of your fruits and veggies, and get strong. So go make yourself a smoothie and enjoy!

Next: Fruit on the trail