RIP, Bob “The Tent Guy” Swanson


We had the pleasure of working with Bob Swanson here at Big Agnes for more than a decade. His business card included the title, ‘The Tent Guy’. And while that was fitting professionally, he meant so much more to us as a friend, role model, sage and pioneer of the outdoor industry. Sadly, Bob passed away recently after a short illness.

As a freelancer helping Big Agnes with product design, his role was never clearly defined, expectations were few and communication often infrequent. New drawings or samples would arrive sporadically at our offices, and some were spot on and ended up in production while others had us scratching our heads. Holed up in his cabin in Maine that he built with his partner Molly, he was encouraged to be our skunkworks and our freelance shelter dreamer.

Bob traveled extensively with our product development team on many trips to Asia and attended all of our sales meetings and major tradeshows. It was on these manufacturing trips in particular that Bob truly earned his keep. Mention a new door design, sleeping-bag baffle design or a way to design a seam, and he would often chime in with something along the lines of, “yeah, we tried that around 1982 but it never worked because of…” His gift was making these kinds of statements in a humble, matter-of-fact way that never made anyone feel inferior or embarrassed for not realizing an idea had already been tried. Full of humility and always gracious, Bob made everyone in a room feel welcome and respected. He was truly a gentleman.

Few in the outdoor industry today know of Bob Swanson or his contributions. He co-founded Sierra Designs, founded Walrus tents, then sold that to REI and followed it up by working for REI for several years before going out on his own. Big Agnes was fortunate enough to connect with him, and a long relationship was born. His passion for design centered on tents and tent architecture. He is widely recognized for ushering in the use of hubs into tent architecture and represented the cutting edge of shelter designers.

Bob was truly a man of the world. He had traveled extensively and was happy to share tales of adventures to exotic locations, but only when prompted. He never boasted of his experience or travels. Mention a motorcycle and he talked of the early days of motocross and riding in Baja with open-faced helmets, ‘back in the day’. Talk of sailing or boats led to sea kayak or canoe camping stories, or his time in the Navy aboard a mine sweeper, and then in mine-detection research. Talk of music around Bob and he would casually mention that he was there at Altamont Speedway when the Rolling Stones played, and the Hell’s Angels killed a man. He was there for the opening party at the North Face retail store in San Francisco when an upstart band called the Grateful Dead played the gig. Backpacking, cycle touring, trekking in the Himalaya and wine tasting trips took Bob to all corners of the globe.

Born of humble means in Philadelphia, Bob was one of the unique humans who carried no swagger, bore little attitude and made friends wherever he went. He showed up at tradeshows with his sleeping bag and pad and fully expected to sleep on a hotel floor. It was only when we learned that he was an octogenarian that we ‘forced’ him to sleep in hotel beds. We felt like we had disrespected an elder yet he still brought a bag to the next show ‘just in case’. On a staff backpacking trip in the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness several years back, Bob was the only one to heed the weather forecast and bring an umbrella. The rest of us suffered pelting rain in our ponchos. He knew his own pace at altitude and sauntered into camp much later than the young bucks, yet managed to outlast them all at the fire that night; passing the cheer and regaling all who could stay awake with tales of past adventures.

It was Bob’s infectious spirit, rosy-cheeked smile and genuine interest in all whom he met that we will most remember. His ability to find the party and be at the center of the action was never more evident than at a recent Outdoor Retailer tradeshow. On a snowy night in downtown Salt Lake City, several of us passed by the large front window of a local restaurant. Inside, talking and laughing at the center of a large group was Bob, and upon seeing us covered in snow with hoods up and hands deep in pockets, through the window he raised his glass to toast us. We commented about his stamina and energy and walked on in wonderment.

We are honored to have known and worked with Bob for so many years. The industry, our company and anyone who camps in tents today owes him doses of gratitude for his contributions. A humble legend to the end, Bob ‘deserves’ more recognition yet would likely not want it if he were still here. For those of us that worked closely with him here at Big Agnes, we have lost a true friend and we will miss him dearly. RIP Bob.

The Crew at Big Agnes



Skiing the Hardrock 100

The Hardrock 100 is renowned as one of the most challenging ultra-marathon races in the world. It has 33,992 feet of vertical climbing over 100 miles. It traverses a loop from Silverton, CO through Ouray and Telluride and across ridge lines and peaks amidst the rugged San Juan mountains. Now do it on skis. In the winter. In the cold. In the dark.


When Jason Schlarb first hit Rob (Marketing/Sponsorship) up about Skiing the Hardrock 100, he knew they needed to be in some warm jackets and tents. Enter Big Agnes’s Shovelhead jackets and Battle Mountain tents. We sat down with Schlarb – after the fact – to ask him some questions about defeating one of the toughest feats in Colorado.

We first asked Jason why he thought it hasn’t been done before: “Part of the reason the Hardrock 100 mile remained un-skied for so long is because gear just 5 to 10 years ago was so much heavier and far more limited in performance.  With 700 gram skis, 1.5lb boots, titanium bindings, light, durable and warm outerwear (Big Agnes Downtek™Jackets) along with camping equipment (BA Battle Mountain 3) that allows affordable, light and warm overnights, we are far better equipped to make an attempt on our 4 day ski traverse.”

BA (Big Agnes): So let’s start with Hardrock. Could you give some reflection on how it went? How you felt? Maybe little on your competition during the race and how many times have you done it.

JS (Jason Schlarb): “Hannibal from A-Team says it best, “I love it when a plan comes together”. My race at the Hardrock 100 was a long-planned-for and anticipated event.

I’m a professional mountain runner, but more specifically, my expertise lies in the very long distance, super steep ultra-marathons at high altitude. The Hardrock 100 mile is the race for me. For five years I tried unsuccessfully to win a spot in the low odds Hardrock lottery program, until this year.

I love the San Juan Mountains of Colorado so much, where the Hardrock 100 takes place, that my family and I moved there two years ago.

After gaining entry to Hardrock, my winter, spring and early summer was focused specifically on being as well prepared for this one race as possible.”


“Racing with me at Hardrock was the reigning champion and course record holder Killian Jornet from Andorra (country in Spain). Killian was last year’s National Geographic Explorer of the year. He has won the ski mountaineering world cup multiple times and is the undisputed best all around trail runner in the world. Period. Along with Killian I was racing the French phenom Xavier Thevenard, two time Ultra Tour du Mount Blanc (UTMB) 100 mile, which is the super bowl of 100 milers.

My preparation for the race was good. After a winter of training that included a 100k race in New Zealand, a four day 1st ever ski of the Hardrock 100 course, and a spring where I did a seven-day stage race in Morocco and a lot of mountain running, I was ready for some Hardrock action.

The race started fairly conservative with Killian, Xavier and I running together alone. Fifteen miles in, things started to heat up literally and physically, with record temps.  Somewhere around 30 miles in I let Killian and Xavier go. I was at a low point in the race, and my competition gapped me by over 10 minutes.  Around the halfway point I had mentally gotten over my 3rd place slip and was focused on running my own race.  Then I caught up to my competition. Xavier was really hurting and I passed him on the climb to 14,000 ft. Handies Peak. At the top of Handies I was with Killian.

I don’t like to run with my competition because it stresses me out.  Killian has also been known to slow down and run with others out of bordem, then drop them later in the race when the finish is close enough for a big burst. I was not at all interested in entertaining Killian.”


“After a few quiet miles we proceeded to push the pace… together. We also started to talk a bit. Only after the race when Killian told me and I put my memories of that long night together, did I fully believe that we were both going about as hard as we could. Tough to believe I can push this super hero icon of mountain endurance sport.
A very special bond was tempered over those long hard hours. By mile 91 and our last aid station Killian invited me to go ahead. I refused, offered the lead to him and he did the same.  The only appropriate and satisfying choice was to carry on as we had all night. Together we finished and ran 22:58, the second fastest time ever.”


 BA: Will you do it again?

JS: “Only the winners from the previous year of the Hardrock are spared the process of the lottery for entry. Of course I’m running Hardrock in 2017.”

BA: Since coming off the race what have you been up to?

JS: “After Hardrock I traveled, trained and raced in the Alps and Dolomites of Europe with my 5 year old son, to include a week long stage race in Iceland where my wife joined us and also ran the race. I’ll finish the year with a race in China this November and subsequent video project.”

BA: What do you have planned for 2017? Race? Goals? Adventures?

JS: “My crew Scott Simmons, Paul Hamilton, Noah Howell and I will do another ultra-distance ski project and film in March. Before that though, I have a stage race in Costa Rica called the “Coastal Challenge” in February. Hopefully I’ll race Transvulcania 50 mile in the Canary Islands in May, then Hardrock. Not sure what the second half of 2017 will hold quite yet though.”

Click on the movie image below to watch the movie. Or click here.



Campfire Chronicles: A Backpacker’s Guide to Comfort

CampfireChronicles-LogocampingA Backpacker’s Guide to Comfort

By Nikki Flamio (Customer Service)

Every hiker or backpacker has a perception of comfort, need, and functionality that includes a very intimate list of gear which goes into their pack before they hit the trail. First on my list: my dogs, all three of them, no exception. For more realistic people these items range from the day hiker who brings the necessities, to the ‘Lovers of Comfort’ who bring everything but the kitchen sink – and even that sometimes. I’ve thought about this a lot and have classified items into four different groups. Each group collaborates with the next to reach the ultimate comfort in the backcountry:

  • Basic Survival – Essential items, and bare necessities, to sustain human life – food, shelter, and water (emergency/must-haves that day hikers usually carry).
  • Roughin’ It – Collaborative with Basic Survival — ideal items to maintain comfort and elevate spirits (the ever Boy Scout ‘prepared for anything,’ or the day-hike-turned-into-the-unintended overnight).
  • Lifestyle – This one is where most avid backpackers fall into – Includes the previous groups plus some luxuries that means you’re well adapted to this ‘lifestyle’ and you make it look good. (The weekend warrior: camping-gear box at the ready).
  • For the Lover of Comfort – The ‘glampers’ of the backpacking world. Their comfort level and willingness to carry the extras of creature comforts is unparalleled.

I consider myself one of the life-stylists: I carry what I like and take weight and comfort into serious consideration. Nothing extra is ever packed (unless I can fit in into the dog’s packs). Everything pictured on my table is in my pack for each and every trip I’ve been on (style of tent and amount of layers may vary with the season.GearThe Gear:

  • Two Dog Packs – I told you, first and foremost, no exception. The dog packs hold dog food, dehydrated meals, snacks, river shoes, and basically anything that can get when and if we hit rivers and streams.
  • First Aid – do NOT, I repeat, do NOT go into the wilderness without some sort of first aid. When you least expect it an injury or event can occur that can turn a simple hike into a devastating experience. The items in my kit include basic first-aid supplies: Band-Aids, gauze, shears, antibiotic ointment, Benadryl, Afterbite, aspirin, extra Ziploc bags, knife, matches, sunscreen, bug spray, and space blanket. Even on a day hike I carry my water purifier. Toilet paper—always. Just bring a few sheets. You’ll thank me later.
  • Rain jacket. This balances on the line from Basic Survival to Roughin’ It. Necessary to survive? No. I would bet that most hikers have one in their pack though. So it’s going into the Basic Survival category.
  • Layers – It is summer time, but let’s face it – in the mountains warmth at night is not guaranteed. I ALWAYS carry long johns, down jacket, extra socks, and a beanie of sorts.
  • Meal Time – Jet Boil – I prefer the MiniMo, I mean who doesn’t love a good simmer. Inevitable snacks include Wasabi Soy Sauce Almonds/pre-shelled pistachios, and an assortment of Honey Stinger Chews and snack bars.
  • Tent – I’ve chosen my Foidel Canyon due to its versatile nature. I’ve slept in this guy in the middle of summer and on a February winter campout. In summer I do tend to bring my Copper Spur UL 2 mtnGLO tent.
  • Bedtime heaven – Mystic UL 15 sleeping bag – weighs in at 2lbs 5oz, and rated down to 15 degrees is my go-to summer bag here in the Colorado mountains. My Q Core SLX sleeping pad is a dream to sleep on! Pillow – Sleeping Giant Pillow kit: This baby has an inflatable pillow with a memory foam insert for extra comfort. We’ll throw the head lamp in here as well.
  • The fun items – Fishing rod and flies, deck of cards, and camp shoes. This is why the Lifestyle campers are in this category. If you’re not concerned about weight then a book is another option. And, who likes staying in their boots all day? I sure don’t, so a good pair of camp shoes/slippers (I use these on my mountaineering treks) or river shoes do the trick.
  • For the Lovers of Comfort – The luxurious items that I refuse to carry, but envy those who do and will be sure to steal when they get up. Some of these items include but are certainly not limited to:
    • Camp Furniture – Camp Chairs (let it be the lightweight Helinox chair or a stadium) and camp table.
    • Whole vegetables (I’m talking potatoes, peppers, corn on the cob), the four quarts of chili with a five-quart pot, and REAL coffee—the kind you press.
    • Solar panels with charging stations.
    • Changes of clothes. Not just layers but actual outfit changes.
    • Door Mat for the tent entry. This one still boggles my mind.
    • Cots/hammocks/sleeping pad covers with memory foam.
    • Since my dogs are first and foremost we’ll add sleeping bag/bed. They like comfort, too!

Dogs 3

Whether you’re a Roughin’ It kind of person or the Lover of Comfort type that brings the 60lb. pack on a two-day trip, these items boil down to the ability to keep you going on your adventures. If you are one of the Lover’s of Comfort, there is no judgement here! I’m not ashamed to say that I am one of those friends.

Campfire Chronicles:
Quick Escape-
A Bikepack Blog

CampfireChronicles-LogoBig Agnes employees are always finding a quick escape into the backcountry. Here’s  BA staffer Pete and his recollection of a recent, much needed, bikepacking trip.

How was the weekend?  The weekend??…?…Hmmm, well… dang.., it was just right.  It even felt pretty long!  I think that’s because we busted out of work on Friday with the packs already loaded on the bike to hightail it to the Flat Tops and attack a bike traverse we’ve been eyeing on the map for a couple seasons. My only hope was that the snow was completely melted out to the top of the drainage so we could bike the entire way topping out at 11,000 ft.

Once we got there, we were psyched! The trail was bone dry, had that high country feel, and the occasional squeak of a pica. But then, the mosquitoes hit…HARD!  They hit like a freight train, steadily swarming around our heads and munching the backs of our elbows. It started to get pretty serious and we found ourselves hammering on the pedals, desperately climbing in an attempt to bust out above tree line for some wind and exposure to escape the little pests. The headwall was steep and rocky, so we hopped off the bikes running hike-a-bike style and finally topped out riding cross-country over terrain, which reminded us of “The Sound of Music”.  It was like we were cowboys riding horses bucking around front to back over the rough terrain, but really we just wanted to keep pedaling in granny gear so as not to get bucked off. Out in the distance we could see exactly where we wanted to camp, right at the edge of the cliff where the wind was strongest to kick out the mosquitoes.

Once we were standing at the edge of the cliff, we immediately dropped the bikes, pulled out our tents, bags, pads and down jackets from the bike bags, and scouted the best piece of ground to pitch our ultra-light Fly Creeks. A couple little nooks provided level ground with 360-degree views of the 12,000 ft. peak behind us with a hot pink sunset, to the cliff in front of us overlooking the vast green valley below.  Normally we’d be rolling home from a couple happy hour brews in town, but instead we drank in the high country views and fired up the stove, which sounded like a jet liner taking off to boil water for a dehydrated meal of beef stroganoff. Man it tasted good and we discussed how it felt like we were in Google earth or in a plane looking down at the clusters of lights representing small towns in the valley, but really in all actual reality, it was about 10pm, a coyote was going off in the distance and some stars began peering out behind the fast moving clouds.2016-07-15 20.45.10

After a long work week, it was time to let go, take a deep breath, relax, and fall asleep outside, on top of a mountain.

Campfire Chronicles: Becoming A Dirtbag

CampfireChronicles-LogoBA_6Becoming A Dirtbag

By Kole Krieger

Thru-hiker for Comfort Theory New Zealand

It may sound odd but in our trail community dried snot, mud, and grime are badges of honor. Scars, scabs, and injuries are boasted about around the campfire. A proud smile came across my face when someone first used the term dirtbag to describe me. It was a lifestyle that I adopted quickly. It felt natural. It made it easier to get on with my “busy” day of walking, climbing and snapping photos. The way I saw it was this, “Why clean up? I’m just gonna get dirty in 5 minutes anyway.” It’s been 5 months since I’ve used a stick of deodorant or shampooed my hair. I’ve worn two shirts this entire time except for the oversized Hawaiian shirt I donned for the canoe trip. I carried four pairs of socks, two pairs of shorts and one pair of leggings. The beauty of merino wool is that it doesn’t smell – if you don’t believe it then I’ll make you smell my gear – 5 months later and it doesn’t stink, unfortunately I sure do.BA_1I’ve walked over 3,000 km (1,800 miles) across this glorious country. This morning I began my slow journey home. I left my crew, my family of 5 months, in the darkness of the morning just two days after finishing the Te Araroa. I boarded a puddle jumper and not long after was cruising at 25,000 ft watching the sun crawl over the horizon. Clouds covered the land and sea but the Southern alps reached their heads out to grab at the first rays of the day. I watched as land passed below. Land that took me 161 days to walk, and now took less than 3 hours to cover. How many saddles and mountains did we climb? How many rivers did we ford? How many times did we get lost?! Too many… But maybe not enough.BA_5BA_2The only proof of my journey that remains is the stench emanating from my body, and the scars and scabs still not healed on my legs. My past endeavors that have lasted this long usually ended with the loss of a playoff game or an end-of-season awards ceremony. This time things were a bit different. We accomplished a great feat. We’ve done something not many others can say they have done or ever will do. The celebration was small and didn’t last as long as planned, but it was right. It was as if we all wanted to celebrate the end but didn’t want it to be over. To be honest, I wouldn’t finish any other way – surrounded by my trail mates at sunset, smoking a cigar I carried with me the entire time, and popping a fresh bottle of champagne. I know that this was best.BA_3I can’t help but think about what’s next, even though I’m battling the thought. I want to hold on to the memories of this trail just a bit longer. It seems that we as humans have always struggled in ending things. Even with huge celebrations or heart-warming farewells there’s rarely a way to fill the void of the journey. I sit here in the airport now realizing that I do in fact stink and that normal people smell really damn good! I feel bad for the people around me and kick myself for not taking a shower after finishing the walk. In all honesty though, I feel that if I take a shower then the trail is finally over. I’ve become unbelievably comfortable in my own skin. I’ve had no need to wash or scrape the mud from my legs until now. I’ve been free to blow my nose in my shirt or clean my fingers on my shorts. I’m not ready to trim my beard, cut my hair or do anything that might wash the trail off myself. I’m not ready to end the era of the dirt bag, not ready to head back into “real life.” But then I have to ask myself, “Was I ready for those 1,000 meter climbs when cold dew dripped from my tent? Was I ever ready to walk 3,000 kilometers?”

Real life won’t be so bad… You can never wash the dirtbag off this soul.BA_4Comfort Theory‘s New Zealand project will culminate in a web series on For more info on the premier head over to or follow @thecomforttheory

Your Very Own Chef in the Backcountry

CameraWe snagged professional Chef Rob Citto to share some of his tastiest car-camping recipes. With years of experience behind his apron, we knew he had some great flavors up his sleeve. With deep roots in the Guest Ranch industry (in Big Agnes territory), Rob knows how to get five star fancy, and backcountry creative.  With all the creature comforts of Big Agnes gear, Chef Rob shares some tricks. Gourmet isn’t impossible in the great outdoors.good

My uncle Bob told me once that camping to him was sleeping on the floor of a hotel room.  Still makes me laugh when I think about that I don’t share the same thoughts but I do agree that when it comes to car/Rv camping or backcountry camping it doesn’t have to feel like roughing it when it comes to the food aspect of camping.  Having the right tent, camp seat and “gadgets” can make camping fun no matter how far or close you are to civilization.  Weight is an issue when camping in the back country but I always pack heavy the for the first night of camping because I know it will be the best meal of the trip after that I try to go as light as I can but without sacrificing the food. I can only eat so many freeze dried meals.  Car/Rv camping you don’t need to go light you can pack your whole kitchen in the back of your truck if you wanted. Fill an ice chest with days of food and eat like a Kings and Queens, even the wine can be pared with your meal but I will save that for another blog.  When planning a trip I always get a list together to make sure I bring the right equipment and get the food I need. Once on the trail that’s it!

  I used to camp with fellow chefs and we always tried to outdo each other.  I know once I made Beer can chicken and kept glazing it with the beer I was drinking. I guess it’s a “thing” now but back in 1996 we thought we have created something new.  Another time I made a tandoori oven to prove a point to a fellow camping buddy of mine and after digging a hole and lining it with river rocks getting the coals just right I got to eat my chicken….a long time after everyone else but it worked and the chicken was delicious.  What I’m saying is a little creativity can be fun and go a long way, also camping technology has come so far and gotten so much lighter if you plan it properly you can eat amazing meals in the middle of nowhere and feel like packing in the grocery store on your back.I’ve been spending the past month in Texas and had Texas BBQ on the mind so I came up with these two recipes. Please feel free to give me feedback or if you want me to try something out I will try it. Next week I am planning a back country trip and will try a new recipe, River Rock Blistered Flatbread pizza. Enjoy!

-Chef Rob

IMG_0866 (1)Car Camping Cast Iron Skillet Ribeye

1 Each 10 ounce Ribeye

Kosher Salt and Pepper

1 Cup Bean Sprouts

1 Cup Cremini mushrooms sliced

1 ½ Tablespoons of Soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon chopped ginger

1/8 teaspoon chopped garlic

¼ cup Scallions sliced thin


  1. Season the ribeye with salt and pepper (be careful soy adds sodium so go light and add more if needed.
  2. Bring cast iron up to temperature add oil when it smokes add ribeye
  3. Depending on how you like it will depend on how long on each side. 4 mins on each side will bring you to medium rare.
  4. Once meat is cooked set aside to rest drain off excess grease
  5. Then add mushrooms, sprouts to cast iron pan that meat was cooked in and stir for about 2 minutes, Add ginger, garlic, scallion’s and cook for another 20 seconds add soy sauce and take off the heat. Pour over the top of steak and serve.


Car Camping Texas BBQ Spring Roll

1 pound shredded BBQ Pork Butt

1 T Vegetable oil

8-10Ounce Package rice vermicelli noodles (cooked to package instructions)

1 small head of cut into strips

1 Medium Cucumber cut into small stripes

1 Tablespoon of Basil chopped fine

12 (8-inch) rice paper wrappers (Dipped in Hot water for a few seconds to soften the paper)


  1. Cook vermicelli and reserve.
  2. For the BBQ pork Take the pork butt and shred with a knife and sauté in a cast iron skillet or whatever regular sauté pan you have handy. Add the BBQ of your choice or use BBq recipe below and cook until tender about 15-20 minutes, make sure that it is not too soupy when building the rolls as to not over power the subtle flavors.
  3. To make the rice paper. Heat up a pot of water and dip the paper in that water for 3 seconds and flip for another 3 seconds. Set aside on a plate or cutting board.
  4. Gather all your ingredients on a plate: Noodles, pork, lettuce, basil and cooked rice paper
  5. Lay your lettuce on the first spring roll wrapper then add herbs, cucumber, noodle then the pork. Start Fold then tuck in the left and right side, continue to roll until the roll is formed. (Be careful to roll too tight because it could rip or tare.
  6. Serve with Dipping sauce.


Campfire Chronicles: Time is a friend and foe

CampfireChronicles-LogoClarkFam7.5.16.4The Clark Family is at it again. Join our Ambassador Family as they hike the Continental Divide of the Canadian Rockies. Dan explains just what it’s going to take to lead his family on another epic adventure.

Time is a friend and foe. 

 We wait through the long dark nights of winter dreaming of the days of summer – a blissful time filled with infinite opportunities. Now that the summer is here, we have to figure out what to do with all of the potential (and quickly before the sun starts to slip away). 

 Similarly, as a parent entrenched in diapers and strollers, it is hard to imagine the distant horizon when our babies will strike off wobbly and independent. But the time comes soon enough and we have to figure out what to do with all of the youthful energy. Beyond putting things out of reach on the counters, our family solution has been to set out on adventures every summer. It is a wonderful puzzle figuring out how to cram in maximum outdoor hours before our hibernating tendencies kick in. Northern paddling adventures have been our go-to staple because we can easily pack the family and lots of goodies into a canoe and disappear for an entire summer. Unfortunately, we discovered a problem last summer. That wobbly independence caught up to us and the kids couldn’t cram their legs in with all the food. We needed a new type of adventure to fit the kids.

 This summer we will be setting out on a different kind of wilderness trip, a hike on the Continental Divide of the Canadian Rockies. The kids will be walking every step of the way, not relaxing in the canoe eating snacks as they are accustomed. This could be the hardest trip we have ever tried.ClarkFam7.5.16.2

 Over the years we have learned a few things to make a trip with our kids fun and engaging:

    • Give yourself lots of time: We are taking five weeks to hike a scant 120 miles (although the route includes 45,000 ft of elevation gain). The extra time will allow us short days on the trail and the option to rest and explore near camp when the weather doesn’t cooperate. 
    • Light packs for kids: Koby (9) and Ava Fei (7) will only be carrying water, snacks, a rain jacket, and a few Shopkins. 
    • Good gear makes for a great trip: We outfit the kids in good gear much like mom and dad – they are excited to have their own hydration pack, umbrella, and walking pole.
    • Treats for all: We splurge a bit on food when we are on trips. Dried mango, beef jerky, or special candies are not on the menu at home, but they generate a lot of excitement on the trail when the going gets tough.  
    • Pick an interesting route: We are heading above tree line where there is lots to see. This makes the walking far more interesting and varied, which is important for kids who may lose interest when it gets monotonous.

 Personally, I am hoping that time is more friend than foe as we return to the trails I spent hundreds of days guiding in my 20s. It has been a few years since I’ve shouldered a huge pack and I’m sure the climbs haven’t gotten easier…

 Stay tuned for updates along the way through the summer!

The Clark Family is also up for an award through Canoe & Kayak Magazine. Please vote before July 20th for our favorite adventure family! VOTE HEREClarkFam7.5.16


Big Agnes & High Fives Foundation Making Waves

highfiveWe are a proud sponsor of the High Fives Foundation, they recently sent this video as a thank you.  We love what they do, here’s what they had to say:

“The High Fives Foundation would like to say THANK YOU to Big Agnes for supporting High Five the Wave 6!

The High Fives Foundation returned to the warm waters of Maui of the Hawaiian Islands for High Five The Wave 6, this time bringing thirteen athletes, all living their lives after spinal cord injuries. This was the sixth surf camp for #HighFivesAthletes since the very first one in 2010. This would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. Thank You!”

To learn more about the High Fives Foundation and all the good they do, please follow the link here.

Insulated Air Core Ultra-
fromThe Outdoor Gear Review

The Outdoor Gear Review (T.O.G.R) gave Our Insulated Air Core Ultra a thorough review. We’re super pleased to announce he liked it just as much as we do. Watch the video above for the nitty gritty on our new pads.Reiter



Take Your Dog to Work Day-
Everyday with Big Agnes

We’re pretty lucky here at Big Agnes, along with our sister companies- Honey Stinger, and BAP!, we get to take our dogs to the office with us.

In honor of Take Your Dog to Work Day, we decided to ask our canine companions a little bit about themselves. They’re all normally pretty shy, so we were lucky they squeezed us in for a little interview. With a little help from their owners, these pups gave us some pretty great bios.

Special Unit Name: Honey Jacks Rodent Tactics Squadron. Brigadier General: Frodo Baggins, 12 years service time, Trained in the Shire Middle Earth under command of Gandalf the Grey, Fellowship of the Ring. 

Rear Admiral: Luna Lovegood, 5 years service time, Trained at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Dumbledore’s Army. Job Descriptions: Special Operations Command, Rodent Warfare, Snack Acquisition Force, Perimeter Patrol, Excavation Detail, Human Relations Specialists. Qualifications & Awards: Big Dog Compact Version, High Loyalty Decorations, Extreme Lick Awards, Low Waste Management Certified, Rodent Marksmanship Decorated.Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Grommet – Age 5, Catahoula/Pointer (maybe), rescue.  Hobbies: Tireless fetch, mountain bike ninja – especially with his night lights on, and being happy just being a Steamboat dog Position at Honey Stinger – lying next to dad’s desk

Dave (David when he’s serious or in trouble) – Age 9, Red Heeler/German Shepherd, rescue Hobbies, Tireless fetch, Indy car racing, managing his vast portfolio (he secretly has opposable thumbs), barking at ghosts/non-existent things walking by, being aloof Position at Honey Stinger – CDO (Chief Dog Officer), K9 PatriarchIMG_1153

Name: Tucker. AKA: Black dog, Prince Tuckington, Colonel McTuck. Breed: Black Dog. Age: 8ish. Hobbies: swimming, skiing, whitewater rafting, rolling in snow, grass, or sand,  porch sitting,  sniffing the breeze and looking majestic. Job title: product development dog, Tucker really likes to personally inspect each product as it comes into the office and gets set up or tested out. All tents get sniff tested, and there is always the test to see how easy it is to get in and out of the vestibule without using the zipper.  All sleeping bags are tested for adequate snuggle factor.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Fiver. The name comes from a novel- it’s literary. I’m a six year old Welsh Corgi. I have many hobbies including; napping at work, sleeping bag softness checking, referee to  all fun-having, fetch, fluffy butt swimming, hammock swinging, beer tasting, and chicken protecting. I consider all of the previously mentioned to be very serious business, however, it isn’t enough in this world to just be cute. My official job at Big Agnes is to be their celebrity, model, and actress. You may recognize me from such films as: Big Agnes Q-Core SLX, Yellow Jacket 4 mtnGLO, Wyoming Trail, and the ever popular Helinox Swivel Chair (just to name a few). While I haven’t received my Oscar quite yet, I do feel it’s an honor just to be nominated. 12548839_10156653446805112_3869076809921859516_n

Oak (aka Trees). One eyed lab mutt mix. Official Honey Stinger Product Tester. Loves eating bumble bees (no joke), swimming, camping and rolling in the dirt.  #dirtbagOak

 “Charlie a.k.a. Buck Chuck” Job: Cardboard Quality Control / Junior Gear Tester. Breed: Mostly Labrador, but a little Shih Tzu and Papillon too. Age: 1 ½ years old. When Charlie isn’t chewing up cardboard at the Warehouse, he spends his free time hiking, swimming, and catching frisbees. Charlie is currently in a complicated relationship with a Brown Trout.Charlie

Introducing Dude …  my buddy, my pal and my friend.  When at work. Greg’s 3 ½ year old golden doodle enjoys sleeping on his back with his paws up in the air and watching Gamber’s dog Lola steal his food.   Dude’s hobbies also include playing with other dogs, eating snow in the winter, grass in the summer and not retrieving tennis balls thrown by Greg.  Job title is (Greg’s) Mental Health Care Provider. Dude_and_Greg

Luxman- goes by Lux. Meaning: Loyal & Sincere in Hindi. Breed: Black & Tan Coonhound. Age: 6 mo. Hobbies: Singing, running, playing with friends, napping, sunbathing, exploring, & light housework (mostly dishes & sweeping). Description: Smart, loyal, very headstrong and likes to have his own way.  If Lux has something to say, he has no problem speaking up and letting you know what he wants.  He does not like being told what to do, especially if he doesn’t know you; he prefers to be asked nicely.  Lux also has a great sense of humor and can be gentle, playful and laid back.LUx

So my name is Rocko, I’m a Mountain Cur and I’m almost 4 years old, my main job is basically to be my best friend/humans (Spencer’s) wingman. He uses my assistance all the time for hiking, snowboarding, backpacking, climbing and my favorite, mountain biking. I found him in dire need for a best friend when I was just 6 weeks old. As far as fun goes, I love to join him at the Big Agnes warehouse every day to protect all of the employees and product from anyone or thing who might pose a threat. One picture doesn’t do me justice so I put a couple of me after a hard early morning job hiking to the top of the Gonde before Warehouse duty.  Thanks for the job!Rocko

Peanut (Aka Petunia). Age: 5. Breed: Goldendoodle. Hobbies: Tennis balls, playing in the water, window hunting, and pretending to be a guard dog. Job: Office Clepto (if you’re missing your bone, it’s probably near my bed.Peanut

Although I started my career at Honey Stinger at just a young pup, I’ve fueled up on all the Organic Stinger Waffles I can find to grow into a great officemate for my person, Jenn. My job is to ensure her conference calls do not run long. I’m not sure what she’d do without me reminding her to get away from the desk and play outside! She just talks, talks talks if I don’t interrupt her! I’m already 10 months and now that the snow is melting, I get to help Jenn gain commuter points when we run to work together. I wish she was better at keeping up with me. Keep away would be so much more fun. I haven’t been promoted to big pup yet to go on company camp outs but I hope to race Griffin to the top of Mt Agnes someday.Scout Snow

Tupelo- Age: 8. Breed: Golden Retriever. Job title: Biscuit Enthusiast/Nap Connoisseur. Hobbies: Snow, Skinning the Mountain, Biscuits, Food, Napping, Treats, Squeaky things, Shedding.Tupelo Snow BEST

Luci-Fur Grasser (commonly known as Luci) Chocolate lab and collie mix. Hobbies: Fetching, fetching and more fetching. Age: 6 years old. Job title: Fetching Coordinator and Treat Analysist.Luci

Jameson Jake Jennings. 10 Years Old. Labrador PitBull mix. Job: Cardboard killer is my job title but my real profession is tree removal. I love to fish, hike, chase my ball, cliff jump, and swimming of course.1061

Magnus: Breed: Newfoundland. Age: 9. Hobbies: Drinking water, swimming, pulling carts, keeping a watchful eye on humans in the water, loving, cuddling, hangin’ with puppies. Job title: VP of Tails and Barketing. Low down: Magnus is a Steamboat native and a very social guy! Born in Old Town, he moved to Washington State to pursue a life of adventure on the water almost a decade ago. He spent his summers living in a Big Agnes ;-) tent and rafting on the rivers throughout Washington. In the winter, he’d spend his time hiking in the Chuckanut Mountains near Bellingham Bay, hunkered down practicing safe napping, or occasionally enjoy a righteous college party. While he loved his time in Washington, he has constantly felt the gravitational pull of the Yampa Valley Curse. He’s moved around quite a bit, but always returned to Steamboat in between his adventures. After a recent stint living in California, he’s returned to Steamboat to retire–and plans to stay for good this time! He’ll spend the rest of his days enjoying the adoration of his many fans, both locals and tourists alike (he is featured in many family vacation photos!), strolling along the Butcherknife Creek Trail, watching carefully over his new baby sister, and saying “Yo!” (read: barking) at the neighborhood dogs as they stroll past his yard.IMG_1289

Taj has been an office dog as long as we’ve known him, which has been the last six of his 13 years.  He never barked but could rattle the office with his snores.  Taj has worked his way up in the company with the positions of Door Stop, Snack Coordinator, Napping Executive, and Crotch Sniffing Department Lead.  Having had a long, brilliant career of making everyone around him feel loved and special, Papa Taj recently retired and spends his days in his shady backyard with the neighbor cat, Bear, watching the grass grow and the birds fly overhead waiting for his beloved little sister Ivy to come home from preschool. 38922_1457545952667_1973606_n

Name:  Bo

Age in Human Years, Breed: 7, Labrador Shepherd Mix
Hobbies: Adjusting to my new home and new humans, as I was recently adopted.  There are so many new smells and things to get used to.  I’m already loving Steamboat – hiking and running around and playing with all my new friends!
Job Description/Title: Master Napper, Belly Scratch Patrol – you will not pass through the office without giving me a rub!bo

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