Summer Adventures: Epic Landscapes, Top-of-the-Line Gear
Summer–say it together now. Those two syllables work like magic in the mind, conjuring visions of adventure. And, if you’re like us, very specific ideas about gearing up, kitting out and preparing for the glory around the next bend. We put our heads together with our friends at Filson, the iconic Seattle-based maker of outdoor apparel and gear, to plan trips to four iconic American landscapes, and get ready to go.
With peaks nearing 8,000 feet, the Chisos Mountains form the skyline of Big Bend National Park–the only mountain range totally contained within any national park’s boundaries. The range shelters unique habitats known to biologists as “sky islands,” temperate piñon forests at higher elevations that serve as a rest stop for migrating birds and insects road-tripping between the Rocky Mountains and northern Mexico.
At 7,832 feet, Emory Peak is the pinnacle of the Chisos, the highest point in the national park. A detour from trails to the South Rim and its Chihuahuan Desert vistas, Emery offers panorama well worth the climb, with sublime views south into Mexico and north to the far reaches of the Chihuahuan Desert.
Wildsam’s Field Guide to Big Bend.
This rugged backpack holds supplies and water needed for high-desert treks. The padded back panel and contoured shoulder straps carry the weight in comfort.
A durable bag made from 1000-denier Cordura® for daily use and wild escapes. Keeps your notebooks, maps, and laptop organized and protected.
High, icy mountaintops and long winters feed near-countless cold, clean rivers and streams carving through Western Montana’s mountain ranges, meadows and river bottoms. Rich valleys provide prime habitat for insects and a thriving ecosystem for trout, arguably unmatched in the Lower 48.
More than 40 miles of unpaved driving trace one of Western Montana’s greatest fisheries. Rock Creek, just outside Missoula, boasts five species of trout: rainbow, brown, cutthroat, brook, as well as the endangered bull trout. Pack a lunch and bring plenty of water, and fish all day. After the evening caddis hatch, veer to Rock Creek Road and hop onto Highway 348, twisting through rolling prairie and watching the sky turn that same warm color while the sun dips behind the Pintler mountain range.
Wildsam’s Field Guide to Western Montana.
Made with the waxed cotton used by foresters in western Montana and the Pacific Northwest, this backpack is the natural solution for carrying streamside essentials.
48 Hour Duffle Bag
This trustworthy bag is ideal for an overnight jaunt upstream or a two-day trek exploring the glaciers up north. Classic waxed-cotton construction. 34-liter capacity.
In Maine, the “coast” is no well-defined rim of sand and shoreland but rather a maze of waterways, peninsulas, coves and islands, with broad tidal rivers cutting deep into the map and bringing seafaring spirit far “inland.” This geography makes coastal Maine a land of boatbuilders, from the birchbark canoes of the Wabanaki to traditional lobster boats to high-tech yachts and sailboats.
Launch a kayak out of Castine to explore Penobscot Bay or, if you set out as the the sun fades, the light show created by Castine Harbor’s bioluminescent organisms. Short jaunts on stunning roads—Highway 175 will stay with you–lead to the boatbuilding capital of Brooklin and Stonington, the heart of Maine lobstering culture.
Wildsam’s Field Guide to the Maine Coast.
24 Hour Briefcase
The Maine coast is rugged and pocketed, just like the Filson 24-Hour Briefcase. Classic waxed-canvas construction defies sea spray and crashing waves.
48 Hour Duffle Bag
North Atlantic weather can require rain gear and sweaters or flip-flops and shorts. This duffle handles it all, with exterior pockets for quick-access essentials.
THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA
This wedge of land is the Northwest of the Northwest, almost an island in its own right, with ocean on one side and Puget Sound’s welter of islands on the other. In the peninsula’s rainforests, huge airborne tides of rain and mist create an astonishingly lush canopy of giant trees, luxuriant moss, dense ferns and wild rivers, their waters often the milky green-blue of glacial run-off.
The drive up to the Queets Rainforest takes you off Olympic National Park’s beaten paths into a rugged world of dirt roads and birdsong. From a historic ranger station, follow Sam’s Loop Trail into a fantastical forest, tree limbs twisting in their neon-green moss jackets. Join up with the Queets River Trail for a longer expedition to reach Pelton Creek, site of a rustic hut that is one of the park’s most remote human structures.
Wildsam’s Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest.
Waxed Rugged Twill Rucksack
Heavily waxed to keep gear dry, this classic is built for exploring the mysteries of a rainforest. Made with industrial-strength fabric and saddle-grade leather.
Waxed Rugged Twill Travel Kit
Keep your grooming gear and personal essentials secure and organized in this heavy-duty dopp kit. Fully lined with coated nylon for additional protection.