We’re all aware that it’s been a cold and snowy November not only here in Colorado but all over the nation. A facemask has become a piece of gear that I always have in my bag or ski jacket pocket. It’s an essential piece of gear to cut the bite out of the brisk air.

Here are a few reasons why Phunkshun Wear facemasks have become our favorite facemask company:

  • The designs are unique and fun.
  • They are made in Colorado.
  • There are different warmth options to choose from.
  • The masks don’t get wet and freeze over.
  • Phunkshun Wear gives back to the ski and snowboard world.*

Tyson tried the Single Layer Trunk as he doesn’t seem to get as cold as I do when we ski. The beneficial feature of owning a single layer is that you can wear it on warm days to protect your face from the sun (UPF 50+). On cold days, the facemask keeps the sun, wind, and snow out keeping your face from freezing over. It is moisture wicking and anti-microbial so it won’t stink as bad as the rest of his gear. The Single Layer Trunk has a snowflake rating of 1.5 out of 5.

I tried the Double Layer Thermal because I have had trouble with facemasks in the past. The popular single layer facemask just has never worked out for me (keep in mind I’ve never tried a Phunkshun Single Layer Trunk). They usually end up making me colder because it gets drenched in saliva, never dries, and freezes over. Then not only do I have a cold face, I have a wet and cold layer on my neck. This facemask is lined with Polartec Fleece and has a 5 out of 5 snowflake rating.

I love the Phunkshun Double Layer Thermal because it doesn’t get soaking wet and is the perfect weight for staying warm. It’s important to know that it is inevitable to get snow or spit on the facemask and so when I did feel a little dampness, by the time I unloaded the lift, it was dry again. The Double Layer isn’t something I’d wear on warm days solely for sun protection but is a must have for cold, windy, or snowy days. The double layer is also moisture wicking and UPF 50+ but it is also water resistant!

phunksun cal

phunksun tyson

Phunkshun has so many options, between the design, warmth, and length so be sure to check out their website to find yourself the perfect facemask. Show some support for the companies that are made here in the USA!

*A portion of every mask sold is donated to the High Fives Foundation, a Tahoe-Based National 501.c.3 Non-Profit dedicated to raising money and awareness for athletes that suffer a life altering injury while pursuing their dream in the winter action sports community (www.phunkshunwear.com).


Single Layer Trunk

Double Layer Thermal

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I’ve been playing with some solar units and remote batteries from EnerPlex for a few months now and want to share a few tips and tricks.

One of the best tips I point out in the video is that you’ll usually want to charge your device from a solar unite by passing it through a battery. This prevents interrupting your charge and missing out on valuable charge time.

I’ve been impressed by all of these devices from EnerPlex. Fromm keeping you charged up in class to lightweight backcountry units, EnerPlex likely has a unit for any activity you can throw at it.


EnerPlex Kickr II

EnerPlex Kickr IV

Jumpr Slate 5k

Jumpr Max

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I’m always on the lookout for clothes that work in more than one situation so when Outdoor Research sent me the Growler Shirt, I was pretty excited.

First, I packed up and headed to Seoul, Korea. If you’ve never been to pretty much anywhere in Asia in the early summer, you need to know that it’s hot and humid. Oh, and it can also rain…and it did. I’m a light packer and this shirt does it all. I don’t think OR calls it wrinkle free (that’s for business clothes) but it’s that and more.

The Growler Shirt got stuffed in the bottom of a bag and five minutes after putting it on, it looked brand new.

This has been my spring, summer, and fall before work climbing and bouldering shirt. After scraping the rock and falling in the dirt, a quick brush off makes it look brand new again.


Outdoor Research Growler Shirt

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Every so often a product comes along that’s timeless in looks and functionality. In the case of Tom Bihn’s Guide’s Pack, they’ve brought that timelessness back and it’s just as useful as it’s always been.

At 31 liters the Guide’s Pack is the perfect size for just about every adventure and walking into town for afternoon ice cream with kids is just the beginning. Artists will love optional pockets that help organize any tool you can think of. Tom Bihn did a great job keeping the interior free of complication and the back panel support is perfect when you’re tossing in a bunch of water bottles.


Tom Bihn Guide’s Pack

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Though it sounds (and feels) like a dream, this really happened. The good folks at Columbia Sportswear had a fun idea pop into their heads and somehow it still sounded like something they should actually do when it came out of their mouths.

My Omniten friends and I met up in Chicago a few months back for a quick reunion. We were all together just a few months prior, hanging out on dogsleds in a winter storm near Park City, UT for the Omnigames. If you’ve read that post consider yourself caught up.

A quick hop on Royal Jordanian Airlines landed us in Amman, the capital city of Jordan. What was I expecting? Nothing, honestly. Until a few weeks ago I didn’t even know where Jordan was. I mean, I’ve heard of it, but can you point to it on a map? Didn’t think so.

Columbia wanted to make a movie about real people (that’s me and my nine friends) hanging out and having fun in one of the coolest places in the world. The moment we stepped out of the airport and on to our bus, it began.

Jordan Bus Interview

The unique part of this trip is that none of us outside of the film crew and Columbia reps knew what was happening. By that, I mean for the next 10 days, up to 12 hours before going back to the US, we never found out in advance what was about to happen. At first this was a little scary, but I’ve come to enjoy putting my life in Columbia’s hands and going with the flow. They’re great hosts.

We spent a few days touring the city and local ruins while taking pictures with the locals and adjusting to the middle eastern time difference.

tourist pictures

The 10 of us could only handle so much time in the city before getting the itch to travel to some place wild.


After a short bus ride past the Dead Sea our bus seemed to be too wide for the road. We hopped out, loaded our gear in the back of a few trucks then jumped in, destination still unknown to us.

Resort trucks

After watching the sunset while surrounded by gorgeous mountains we arrived at the Feynan Ecolodge, lit almost entirely by candlelight.

Feynan Ecolodge

I’ve never experienced an ecolodge before, and I hope this isn’t my last. The people were extremely friendly and while I’m at it I should say that about the entire country. I’ve never been to a country where people have gone so far out of their way to make me feel welcomed.

At breakfast we were told to dress for sun and water. Huh? From what we could see we weren’t even close to a body of water, but we dressed and headed out anyway.

Feynan walk

After a while we found a small stream, crossed it a number of times, and we were eventually swimming. Water never felt so refreshing.

rock jumping

We amused some of the locals with a bit of pass juggling, of course…

canyon juggling

…then learned how to make bread on a river rock.

river bread

All in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

canyon exit

What followed was a lot of fatigue and a cold ride in the back of what felt like a World War II era jeep convoy, but we woke up to this.


I honestly didn’t think I’d see so much green in Jordan. I mean, it’s the Middle East!

green Jordan

The last surprise of the day was a good one: turning the corner of a narrow canyon to see Petra’s treasury lit up by candlelight.

Petra at night

What was impressive at night was equally overwhelming during the day. More than one building, we were told Petra is about the size of Manhattan.

Petra from above

Buildings were everywhere and we explored anything we could reach.

Petra buildings

The next morning the bus dropped us off for another rendezvous with some trucks. As we watched the drivers letting air out of the tires we knew we were in for some adventure. This place was huge!

Wadi Rum

After lunch we found a bridge nearly 1,000′ off the ground. Scary and windy come to mind but you’ll have to watch the movie to see what really happened here.

Wadi Rum Bridge

We found a camp, only to be greeted with more Jordanian hospitality from the Bedouins. Bedouin tea is their speciality. At home brew tea with 1 part water and 40 parts sugar and you’ll come close to replicating it.

Bedouin tea

We ate goat that was cooked underground, walked in the completely silent desert with nothing but moonlight, slept by the fire, then awoke to camels on the horizon. Turns out they’d be our ride to breakfast.

Wadi Rum camels

The Kingdom of Jordan is land of polarizing opposites. Within an hour’s drive of this massive desert lies the tranquility of the Red Sea. We took full advantage of the yacht that showed up to rest, soak of the sun and water, eat fresh seafood, and do some good old fashioned relaxing.

Red Sea Fishing Yacht

Yes, even us hardcore outdoorsy-type people are capable of relaxing. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much time for that. After one night in an amazing hotel, we were off to an even more amazing hotel at the edge of the Dead Sea.

Dead Sea Floating

This is one of the few places where we stayed more than one night and boy was it amazing. The next day we found a canyon that was sure to provide even more fun. People like us tend to ignore signs.

Danger Sign

Did I mention we were making a movie this entire time? It’s true; check out the trailer.

I’m pleased to announce you’ll be able to watch the first public showing right along with me. I’ll be online watching, chatting and answering questions while the video is playing. Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 18 at 7pm ET. Show up, press play on this page and be sure to say hi. I’m looking forward to sharing this with you.

Special thanks to an amazing film crew along with guidance from director Pedro Peraza. Without them this movie would never have happened. These guys lugged backpacks much heavier than mine over more miles than my feet saw and spent less time in bed than I did, just so you could watch this film and I’d have memories for a lifetime.

Jordan film crew

The Tourism Board of Jordan is composed of an amazing group of people who went well out of their way to make sure our group had a good time. Jordan blew away my expectations and I can’t wait to go back and experience it again, next time with my wife and kids. If you’re thinking of a trip, get off the beaten path and devote some time to this country. You’ll be glad you did.

Without the photo skills of Columbia’s Mark Going, this blog post would have been very boring and I wouldn’t have had good Facebook profile pictures for the last 1.5 years.

And without Columbia Sportswear, none of this would have taken place. Columbia believes in fueling adventure and trying stuff. I’ve never been on a trip with them where ideas were shot down, no matter how stupid they were. Remember that hot tub in Oregon, Daniel, Crystal and Aleya? #tryingstuff

If you want your mind blown, give Columbia’s Bahama Vent PFG shoes a try. I’ve worn them in the Middle East and Korea as well as multiple water excursions in the Midwest and mountains of the United States.

My first choice in water shoes is no shoes at all. They get in the way, don’t drain, and give you horrible tan lines. Or so I thought.

Turns out none of this is true, with the exception of the bad tan lines. My first outing in the Bahama Vents turned into a 10 day romp in The Kingdom of Jordan. Columbia took me and nine friends and made a movie so look for that soon.

At home in the desert (they keep your feet cool), on the town, oh, and in a fishing boat, these shoes do it all. I put them through some more testing on another week fishing and living on a lake in Wisconsin. It’s so great, the fish jump right in.

Bahama Vent

The shoe is comfy and sturdy enough for me to wear everywhere, including many mile on foot in Seoul, Korea. It’s classy styling let’s me wear it to the office and not worry about changing to hit the trail or the water.


Columbia’s Bahama Vent PFG

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