Category Archives: Fashion

Bring on the Heat!

It’s November in Wisconsin, and everyone is on edge anticipating the coming winter. I love the moderate temps of fall and spring, but the cold is starting to creep up. Great.

The fabulous folks at Columbia asked me to participate in their Omni-Heat Field Test program. Omni-Heat is Columbia’s new thermal technology, and I have it in their Heat Elite Jacket. As one of those people who is always cold and as a Wisconsinite, I hole-heartedly accepted!

The Heat Elite incorporates both the thermal reflective and thermal insulation technology. A few facts about both:

  • Omni-Heat Thermal Insulation: Helps maintain warmth, prevent heat loss with the highest heat retention per gram in the industry. (It’s also eco-friendly)
  • Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective: Keeps you 20% warmer by reflecting back the heat your body generates, yet helps regulate body temperature by allowing excess heat and moisture to escape.

I’ve been wearing the jacket for a little over a week, and it definitely keeps me warmer than other fleece jackets that I have. Actually, it has been keeping me warmer than my nice wool coat from LL Bean.

Temps haven’t gotten so cold outside as to really put the Omni-Heat to the test, but I can say that the jacket heats up really fast when I’m wearing it inside. Today, I had it on in a cold rain, and it kept me very comfortable. Once it is cold enough to need gloves and a scarf, I’m guessing that this jacket will keep me nice and toasty. And for someone who’s always cold, that’s a welcome thought ūüôā .

Oh, I almost forgot to mention my very favorite part of the jacket: Monkey Thumbs!

I am currently obsessed with monkey thumbs!

Once we hit some hardcore cold, I’ll be sure to write an update on how the jacket performs.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Last week was a stormy one in Wisconsin. Due to the rain throughout the week AND a heavy thunderstorm rolling through Sunday morning, our regular Sunday hike was a no-go.

Ever since our Adventure Hike up the Mist Trail at Yosemite, I’ve been thinking more about rain gear. Frankly, the windbreaker¬†that I took on vacation couldn’t handle the drenching of the Mist Trail.

Jason and I have also faced rain – albeit it mostly light – on a couple of our camping trips. I now realize that I need to be better prepared for rainy weather, especially if I’m going to take on backpacking.

Of course, my rain gear has to be stylish. No ponchos here!

I saw this rain jacket at one of the shops in Yosemite, but I knew at that point that I had no more room in my luggage to get it home with me. However, I have now found it online!

I never really thought about rain pants, but they make a lot of sense. I particularly like these full-zip pants. If I’m thinking ahead to backpacking, the full-zip makes it super convenient to take the pants off and put them back on without having to remove my boots. Kinda cool.

Speaking of boots, I do own these boots. I saw them a couple of years ago, fell in love with them, bought them (knowing how wet our backyard can get with a regularly flooding creek)…and have yet to wear them. Ooops! Now, I’m pretty pumped that I have them – I’ll transition them to my camping wardrobe!

While I love¬†my cute military-style cap, I found it didn’t handle wet very well. A sporty, moisture-shedding¬†cap like this one would be a good addition.

What rain gear am I missing? What wet weather essentials do you pack for your outdoor adventures?

Outdoors Wardrobe Essentials: T-Shirts

No matter what kind of outdoors activities you engage in, t-shirts are a must. Now, it’s easy to go with the overly worn college and/or workout t-shirts – I kn0w that’s what I did for my first few camping trips. But if I’m doing the outdoors first class style, this just isn’t going to cut it.

As someone who loves shopping in general, I am a big fan of Lucky magazine. And by following them on Twitter, I discovered their “how-to” series of web videos. Thanks to that, I tried one of their tips and learned a very valuable lesson: stores like H&M are THE¬†place to buy t-shirts.

Outdoors Wardrobe: T-Shirts

Depending on the climate, you may wish to buy a mix of long and short-sleeve shirts. In Wisconsin, even in the warmest part of the summer, it can get chilly at night. I opt to do a 50/50 mix Рif I buy a black short-sleeve shirt, I also buy a black long-sleeve shirt.

I also suggest a mix of neutral colors – black, gray, brown – with “fun” colors. Just because I’m¬†camping or hiking doesn’t mean I have to look bland.¬†I’m also a fan of t-shirts that fall a little lower on the hip. The last¬†thing I want to worry about on the trail is my shirt riding up.

I recently bought several t-shirts from H&M for my camping and outdoors trips. After wearing a couple of them, I LOVE them! Great t-shirts¬†can be hard to¬†find – I believe that I’ve¬†hit the jackpot!

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