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Climbing Mt Rainier

Mt. Rainier

A few months back, I picked up a copy of “Life on the Edge” by Jim Whittaker.

Mt. Rainier is a centerpiece of the first few chapters, which got me curious about the mountain itself. After doing a bit of research, I concluded that it could be a good challenge at this point in my uphill habits.

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Rainy Lake Slabs

Rainy Lake Slabs

There is one thing that I enjoy every spring and that is a trip up to Rainy Lake in Northern Minnesota. This lake hides some of the biggest crappies in the state of Minnesota and every year it doesn’t disappoint. With the weather being unpredictable you must be prepared to have the right clothing at a minute. Minus33 shines and makes every trip fun and long-lasting.

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Steitzhof Merinos

Living With Merinos

Behind the Scenes of the Steitzhof Merinos

John, one of our Merinoholics team members, takes us behind the scenes of his sheep farm in Montana. Note: The Steitzhof Merinos are bred specifically for hand spinning and are not used for the production of Minus33 garments. However, John takes us behind the scenes of what the sheep-raising process is like on a smaller scale. You can learn more about the Steitzhof Merinos here.

The Flock

I am a Merinoholic x2. Not only do I wear Merino wool, we raise Merino sheep. We live merino. After 30 years away from raising sheep, I came back with my first choice breed: Merino. I wanted the top of the wool market and I wanted to be different by raising colored ones. Carol, my wife, has quickly learned to be a great partner in this joint project. When I raised sheep back in the early 1980’s there were no black sheep. I think my mom kind of considered me one. Today, we raise only colored (brown, gray, black) purebred merinos with the finest wool traits we can find. Some are even spotted. Our Merinos have a strong proportion of AU and NZ genetics for improved traits. We are doing this in project mode, capping our flock at the 25 best. They compete for those spots. We are very honored to say our flock recently won the prestigious Black Sheep Cup this July at Black Sheep Gathering in Albany, OR for the 5 Best Handspinning Fleeces. We also had Grand Champion for the 2nd year in a row and Reserve Champion Colored Fleece.

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Good morning mr. walleye

REVIEW: Good Socks are a MUST!

For a long time, Minus33 has been my go-to for all types of clothing. From shirts to undergarments I have it all. But to me, the most important Minus33 garments are the socks. Socks have helped me combat some of the toughest weather conditions out there, from sub -40 windchills, to blistering 100-degree days, they do it all and I’m going to tell you why they are a must on your next outdoor adventure.

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Minus33 Merinoholics Brand Ambassadors

Merinoholics: Conversations with Minus33’s Brand Ambassadors

Do you love spending time in the great outdoors—and being comfortable while you do it? It’s not a trick question; of course you do. If you prefer to be comfy, dry, and at an ideal temperature while you’re following your outdoor passion, you likely have some merino wool in your wardrobe. And you might just have the makings of a Merinoholic.

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Trevor Bockstahler Merinoholics Adventures Great Himalayan Trail High Route

Merino Wool Doesn’t Smell!

So there is plenty to be said about the benefits of merino wool!  We can talk about it’s ‘fabled warm when wet’ properties.  We can talk about the ultra soft, non-itchy texture.  Or how about it’s durability and breathability.  Even its moisture wicking and temperature regulating properties.  All of which have been well documented, tested, and talked about.  All of which has made merino wool the most versatile and sought after outdoors fabric… But what about the smell?

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Airport Survival Tactics

Airport Survival Tactics

I recently had the experience of an airplane mechanical malfunction that needed to be addressed before we could board our flight. One would hope that the reaction to such a thing would be good:

“Oh thank god, I’m glad we have the ability to foresee potential problems and address them to prevent catastrophes.”

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My First Aid Kit

My First Aid Kit

Disclaimer: Never administer care outside of your scope of practice when it comes to emergency first responding. Offer help where you can, phone 911, and seek leadership from those who have the experience and the certifications.

The things I keep in my first aid kit are incredibly common and can make the difference when an emergency occurs in the day to day. I recently took a Wilderness First Responder course up in the Sierra Nevada wilderness and want to share some of the information I learned with you. The W.F.R. (pronounced “woofer”) offers an in depth look of emergency situations that can arise in the wild and what to do when they occur. While some things can only be done by certified responders: (performing CPR, clearings the spine, administering epinephrine, applying tourniquets, replacing dislocations) there are some things that can fall within everyone’s ability and can be useful just about anywhere in the world, especially on the trails where medical care can be farther away.

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Minus 33 Merino wool clothing, the power of spring

Spring Walleyes 101

I have a lot of people ask me why I love to be on the water, why do I invest so much time in something that you can buy from a restaurant. I can never give a solid answer other than it is something of an obsession. I am obsessed with every aspect of fishing. From techniques to trophies, it’s the single most relaxing and distracting thing I do. I do work in an office setting so my time outside during the day is very limited. So, it makes my passion and desires to get outside that much greater.

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10 Reasons Adventures are Better with a Dog

10 Reasons Adventures are Better with a Dog

  1. They encourage you to get out and be active

One of the most important things when owning a dog, especially a large breed, is finding the time to exercise them in your busy life. Having a yard is great, but if your dog is anything like mine, she needs true adventure to fulfill that call of the wild. Weekly hikes and walks in the woods are a must for Kya and that time outdoors does wonders for my own health and stress levels as well! There’s many times when Kya being rambunctious inspired a hike that made myday better.

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Why I Made the Switch to Merino Wool Minus33 Merinoholics

Why I Made the Switch to Merino Wool

Up until the beginning of 2018, my gear bag consisted of clothing and base layers made from mostly cotton or synthetic materials.  I had a good friend I began hiking with in late 2017 that swore by wool socks. Even in the summer! I, at the time, associated wool with hot and uncomfortable, but he swore that they were the move! After a little research I began to realize that Merino Wool was quickly becoming the new “it” fabric in the outdoor clothing world.

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Layers For Biking

Wool Layers for Biking

It’s all about the layers. Even more so in the rainy, Pacific Northwest winter. Cold is one thing, but when you add rain into the mix things can get tricky. With the perfect system of Minus33 wool attire I can stay comfortable on the trails and ride my bike all season long!

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When Is It Too Late To Be Active?

When is it too Late to be Active?

At a young age, I wasn’t really into sports.

In fact, I couldn’t do much physical activity because of asthma and other health issues. Any moderate exercise would have me gasp for air, like a heavy smoker. Gym class was always challenging for me to the point where I ended up avoiding it entirely in high school. I came to the logical conclusion that sports were just not for me and focused on other hobbies instead.

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Minus33 on Mosquito Lagoon

Minus33 on Mosquito Lagoon

Fishing takes many different forms. I am an avid fisherman in the Midwest and love to chase the fish native to most of the upper Midwest and Canada. However, when I travel, I always try to get on the water and try my hand at other species.

This time, we headed down to Florida in search of Redfish (or Red Drum), native to much of the Gulf of Mexico and the southeastern coast. They are hard fighting fish that produce some beautiful coloration. In this instance I was fortunate enough to get on Mosquito Lagoon, known for its monster Redfish and awesome scenery.

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Layering for a Green Christmas

Layering for a Green Christmas on the Slopes

Because I grew up in the snow belt of upstate NY, there’s something weird about not having a white Christmas. There’s something even more weird about riding up a chairlift, snowboard strapped on, with grass, dirt, and rocks beneath. With such a warm winter, any opportunity to ride on some freshly groomed snow is a good one.

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3 Must-Do Hikes in the Smokies

3 Must-Do Hikes in the Smokies

With over 850 miles of trails and unpaved roads, including 70 on the Appalachian Trail, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great place to put your hiking boots on and explore!

Here are 3 must-do hikes to check out if you ever make it down! With all three you will experience breathtaking views, gushing waterfalls, loads of wildlife, and some serious elevation gain to get your daily cardio in!

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BenOnAdventures Reviews Minus33 Ridge Cuff Wool Beanie

Ridge Cuff Beanie Review

With both the winter and New Year here, there are several pieces of clothing you will want in your arsenal. One of the most important? A hat!

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Good gear can save your ass Merinoholics Adventures Will Carter Imp Campsite Backpacking Trip

Good Gear Can Save Your A**

Check, re-check, then check it again. That’s how I plan and pack. Whether it’s for travel or hiking. I try to go as lite as I can but carry what is necessary.

This trip was no different. I was antsy and excited. I had another knee surgery two months prior and this was to be my first hike. As John Muir put it – the mountains are calling, and I must go. Cabin fever had more than set in, and it was the summer.READ MORE

Peakbagging Martin Merinoholics Adventures Hiking Backpacking Mountaineering

Peakbagging in Alaska

Peakbagging – “An activity in which hikers, climbers and mountaineers attempt to reach a collection of summits, published in the form of a list.”

I got into peakbagging almost 3 years ago. At first I would just hike up mountains to enjoy the views. I would only stay on trails and after a while, my trips became fairly limited. That is when I decided to literally go off the beaten paths in search of new adventures.READ MORE

September on the Rocks Kyle Merinoholics Adventures Northern Minnesota Fishing

September On the Rocks

If you have ever traveled to Minnesota you get to see some diverse country, from Oak Ridges to farm country we truthfully have it all. Often, however, the far North part of Minnesota gets overlooked. Creating magnificent beauty that many people feel you can only see in Canada. The far North of Minnesota is home to many wonderful fisheries. They host a bounty of fish every year. From my home town of Grand Rapids, MN it’s a short 2-hour drive to the rainy Kabetogama Lake. It’s truthfully one of my favorite lakes to fish regardless of the time of year, producing very dark Walleyes and Crappies year-round.READ MORE

Cody Merinoholics Bio Hiking Van Life

The Worst Best Night in Olympic National Park

With 20 miles of coastline hiking ahead of us, we set out around 8 am.  It was day two of our hike and it was about an hour later than we had planned on leaving.  We had a fire this morning and we got caught up enjoying sunrise on the beach for the first time!  This was rare considering the amount of rain Washington can get in mid-September.  Shi Shi Beach was just as beautiful as I imagined it to be! Both carrying 40+ pounds, my girlfriend Brooklynn and I set out on a 3-night backcountry trip along the most Northwest coastline of the United States. Our plan was to head south from Shi Shi to North Ozette Beach by night 2, set up camp, and hike back out. I was given a tide chart and a bear canister at the ranger station when we picked up our backcountry permits. These both would come in super clutch, even though I was learning to read a tide chart on the fly.READ MORE

Knee Injury Merinoholics Adventures

An Unexpected Injury

It was a Friday afternoon in May and I was sitting down trying to plan out an overnight hiking trip to knock off a few more of my remaining twelve of the New Hampshire 48 four thousand footers. With expectations of finishing the NH48 before the next winter season started, I was getting very excited for finishing this mission out. The plan was a traverse going north to south of Mt. Moriah and the Carters. A traverse that I’ve been purposely holding off on for an overnight, even though I believe that I could do it in a day.

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Hiking Shenandoah National Park A Weekend Guide

Hiking Shenandoah National Park: A Weekend Guide

I’m going to start off with a little honesty: Shenandoah National Park really hasn’t ever been on my radar. I want to visit all of the National Parks one day, yes, but I always imagined Shenandoah National Park being packed full of people and really close to a road (Skyline Drive). And it kind of is.

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Gotta Get Up to Get Down Mountain Bike Ride Oregon Merinoholics

Gotta Get Up To Get Down: 30 Mile Ride

Made the trip south from Washington to Oregon late this spring to ride some mountain bikes in Oakridge. This tiny town is slowly but surely becoming a destination on the map. Old school singletrack coupled with Cascade alpine makes for some truly amazing riding. A lot of people like to get shuttled to the top for the descent, but sometimes you gotta get up to get down. In this case we chose Moon Point… total ride: 30 miles & 5,500 vertical feet.READ MORE

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