WHAT’S IN YOUR PACK-SNOWBOARDING

I remember back when I used to go snowboarding, I don’t anymore, too many gapers on the mountain. I would get up at 4:30 a.m., turn on the T.V., pop in a snowboarding video to get stoked, and pack my pack. Since I don’t snowboard anymore, I had Michael, a U.S. Outdoor snowboarder, tell me what he puts in his pack.

The first thing you need is a pack. Michael rocks a Burton Day Hiker 28L. It has enough room to carry everything you need for a day on the mountain. One of the most important things that I always have on me is a beanie. Probably because I’m bald. There is nothing worse than cold raindrops on a bald head. Michael likes the Burton Waffle Beanie. Always carry an extra pair of socks. He likes the Burton Merino Phase Socks. Always go for the Merino wool. It just sounds cooler. When it comes to keeping your hands warm I would go for gloves. They give you the freedom to give certain gestures. No not that one, the hang loose sign brah. But Michael likes the Dakine Team Baron Mitt. Mitts just keep your hands warmer than gloves. Next for a good piece of layering clothing he wears the ThirtyTwo Rest Stop Polar Fleece. When he gets too warm he just takes it off and stashes it in his pack. One of the most essential pieces of equipment a snowboarder has are goggles. Michael likes the new Anon M2 Goggles. You can change your lenses quickly with the new magnetic lens interchangeability. You need a good tool if something goes wrong with your bindings on the mountain. Like when your beginner girlfriend decides she is actually goofy foot on the top of Palmer. A good one to use is the Dakine Stance Driver. Hydrate or die. You need liquids when you are riding. The Hydroflask water bottles are the best. They keep hot things hot and cold things cold. Trust me I have two. Now we come to one of the most important things to have in your pack; snacks. Michael alway carries Cliff Bars. Now personally I’m a Milky Way man. I can hear all you Snickers people out there, but I just don’t like nuts in my candy. It just seems weird to me. These are just a few suggestions for things you need in your pack for a day on the mountain. If you take issue with any of them, don’t tell me. Take it up with Michael. It’s his list.

WINTER IS COMING; AND WITH IT A GREAT EXCUSE TO BUY NEW OUTFITS

Winter is rapidly approaching. I can already feel that familiar nip in the air. Thoughts of snow falling and pumpkin spiced lattes. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had a pumpkin spiced latte. I’m more of a white mocha guy. As the season approaches and the mountain calls here are some new outfits you might want to check out. We’ve got new gear coming in daily.

Strafe is a new and exciting brand that we just started carrying. Daniel is wearing the Strafe Exhibition Jacket with the Strafe North Woods Bib. And to top it off he is sporting a Cole The Stanley Beanie.

And for you ladies, Kayla is decked out all in Volcom from top to bottom. A stylish Volcom Argentina Beanie for the noggin and to keep warm up on the mountain she’s wearing the Volcom Shadow Insulated Jacket. With an air of style and function the Volcom Species Stretch Pants fit great and give her the ease of movement to take deep turns in the powder. Looking good in the lodge, looking good on the hill.

This defiant outfit is totally Volcom. Daniel is sporting the Volcom L Gore-Tex Jacket coupled with the Volcom Roan Bib Overall. To keep his head, neck and face warm with a little incognito camo the Volcom Travelin Hood Thingy is just the ticket.

On the more demure side Kayla is wearing the warm and toasty The North Face Garner Triclimate Jacket with the The North Face Freedom Pant . To round it all out the The North Face Tech Glacier 1/4 Zip is a great moisture wicking baselayer.

Let’s not forget the crumb crunchers. We affectionately call our mannequin model little Jimmy Lipper. We didn’t have any 8 year old employees we could grab for the photo shoot. Nuts to those pesky child labor laws. To keep the cold at bay, but still looking cool little Jimmy is wearing an ensemble of The North Face and Orage. Gone are the days of layers upon layers of clothing to keep warm until you look like Randy, Ralphies little brother in The Christmas Story. I got a Red Rider B.B. Gun for Christmas when I was ten and never shot my eye out. I did shoot my friend D.J. in the head during the great B.B. gun war of 1992 when we were kids. But that’s another story. Back to Jimmy. He is wearing an Orage Kids Comox Jacket with the Orage Tarzo Pants. Underneath it all is the The North Face Glacier 1/4 Zip Fleece. And on top of his silver little melon is a The North Face Youth Bones Beanie. Winter is almost here. So come on down and do a little shopping. You won’t regret it.

(Brand) New – Fjallraven at US Outdoor

Things are changing. The world is changing. A harsh, political landscape has been etched into our beautiful countryside and brought with it a thick smog that is all but impossible not to breathe in. Bi-polar politics rule the airwaves and I can no longer hear the birds chirp or the rain fall over the incessant chanting from the Thunderdome. Must. Get. Beyond. Thunderdome. AGGGHHHH! It’s as though all the beautiful things in the world have been swaddled in a dirty blanket and forced to take a stress nap. But wait, what’s this? A fox? An arctic fox? In Portland?

Keb Jacket Fjallraven Keb Jacket

Amidst the chaos, this wonderful woodland soul cuts through the smog like a hot knife through butter. A welcome addition to balance the polarization.

Fjall_CloseUP “Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes. Where did you come from?”

“Sweden.”

“Sweden?! Oh man, you’re not a socialist, are you?

“Not going there.”

“Good. You passed the test.”

“Hmmm. You’re a strange man.”

“And you’re a talking fox.”

Fjall_Hike“Good point.”

“Ok, Ok. So what’s your name?”

Fjallraven.

“Interesting.”

“It’s Swedish for “Arctic Fox.”

“Ahhh. I see. So what brings you out this way?”

“Buck, asked for my help. I’ll be setting up in your shop.”

“Buck? Buck the Buyer?”

“Verkligen.”

“…”

“That’s Swedish for, “indeed.”

“Got it. Starting to come together, Pepper.”

“It’s, Fjallraven.”

“Right. That’s a sweet jacket you have there. Is it waxed canvas?”

“Verkligen. Our company specializes in outdoor gear and waxed canvas is a cornerstone of our brand.”

“You’re going to enjoy, Portland.”

“It is quite the adventurists’ dream, isn’t it?”

“Verkligen.”

“You’re catching on.”

“Well, it was a pleasure meeting you, Fjallraven. This seems to be the start of a beautiful relationship.”

“Adjö.”

“Goodbye”

I thought about my run in with Fjallraven and thought I’d ask Buck a few questions to get a buyer’s perspective.

Buck Fjallraven Map

So, Buck, what made you seek out the Arctic Fox?

[Buck] At US Outdoor we seek out partnerships with companies that have similar goals and outlooks to our own. They care about their customers and products and they convey that through lasting quality and taking care of their customers. They are determined to innovate. Another big reason was listening to our customers. We have had a lot of people in the shop asking about waxed canvas, or any variety of non-laminated waterproofing. A number of customers want good looking technical outerwear and find Fjallraven to hold a simple balance of style and function. Like so many of the companies we carry, Fjallraven is a brand that has stood the tests of time, and their staple products have been unchanged for decades.

All of that makes a great deal of sense. What inspires you about Fjallraven?

[Buck] Fjallraven really holds their roots in the mountains. They focus on making things that are rugged, and leave the light-weight chase to the newbs. It’s an idea based more on spending extended time in the wild, apposed to racing back to reality.

About 7 years ago Fjallraven made the leap to the United States and based itself in NYC. Having not been there myself, Brooklyn is said to have a pretty similar vibe to Portland, which is where Fjallraven is really said to have taken off. Its leather accents, and adorable little fox logo, captured the eyes of the trendiest of markets, and for good reason; it really is attractive. But here at US Outdoor, our staff plans to put Fjallraven back in the mountains. We will educate customers on how to make their outerwear versatile 4-season clothing. For anyone utilizing the expansive natural world we appreciate what Fjallraven has to offer.

The fox is covering ground. What are some key features you’re stoked on?

[Buck] Self induced waterproofing. I was stoked when I got my Keb Jacket. I went to go to Goodwill and got myself an iron to start mapping out my wax pattern. (US Outdoor is getting set-up with its own Waxing Station for visual demonstration). Cotton/Polyester canvas is almost a perfect mix functionality wise. Cotton is breathable, durable, and sustainable (most of Fjall’s is organic certified), whereas polyester helps to tighten the weave which effects durability, UV protection, wind protection and increases moisture management. The strength of the fabric is also a huge plus for anyone using crampons and ice-axes or hiking off trail to hidden waterholes and hunting sites, or just standing around a evening fire. All of that and it looks good! That is a huge plus.

Buck Fjallraven Backpack and Shirt Fjallraven Ovik Button Down Shirt / Fjallraven Rucksack No. 21 Large

Feeling pretty good about this Arctic Fox. Let’s find him a friend. If you could set Fjall on a blind-brand-date; which brand would you choose?

[Buck] Lets paint a serious picture here: Fjall has just recently gotten himself out of a relationship where he was tied down by a beautiful Swede. Not that it was a bad relationship, in fact they still talk, but now that he is traveling the world his eyes are open wide, cleverly searching and always living. He dates periodically, between baggin’ himself some peaks. Coming down from Mt. Adams he runs into some Poler, gives her a wink and moves on. He’s city bound and knows when he gets back into Portland he has a nice, sensitive, but intelligent Brixon honey out on Vendetta’s patio. She is always sitting under the same tree, reading Ben Marcus, sipping on some Bullet Rye.

Ashley Fjallraven closeup

“Damn, Buck, I’m going to call you Chuck Woolery from now on.”

[Buck] “Who is that?”

“I hate you.”

Thursday Threads

Our winter has been lackluster to say the least, and as much as it pains us to see Mt. Hood still reporting low snow conditions you cannot help but anticipate cherry blossoms and roses taking over our city. Our Spring shipments are beginning to arrive, and they have us buzzing for long-term warmer weather on the horizon. It may be a classic Pacific Northwest, “February Fake-out” but we decided in the spirit of sunshine we would offer a sneak peak of some of our Spring collection for this week’s Thursday Threads.

Let’s just take a moment to cherish the Birkenstock God’s. They are durable, ergonomically suited for your foot, and making a wild comeback in the fashion world. I’ve always stayed loyal to my Birks and I’m glad to see them making an appearance in high fashion left and right over the past few years. New to USO this season, we are thrilled to be teaming up with Birkenstock. Portland seems to be pretty stoked about our new sandal line as well with how quickly they are flying off the shelves.

ThursdayThread_Lisa

Stark white is kind of a big deal for 2015. That’s why we are thrilled that several pairs of Birks in white have just arrived to compliment some of their ever-classic neutral colorways. Remember that sultry black-and-white still of a young Kate Moss wearing white Arizona Birkenstocks? She looked so effortlessly on-point and I have a suspicion it had something to do with her incredibly comfortable kicks. Inspired by Miss Moss we decided to start with the Birkenstock Florida Sandals in pearly white.

Since we steered away from classic neutral leathers Birkenstock tends to feature we decided to bring a pop of neutral rust with the athleisure design offered with the Roxy Miss a Beat Pants. They are comfy and classy paired with the stark white Fight or Flight Tank by RVCA. We love the endless versatility offered with this business meets casual top. Dress the Fight or Flight up for a night on the town or down with denim shorts in the summer.

ThursdayThread_Lisa Portrait

You can’t wear Birkenstocks without something flowy it’s almost a rule, at least in my book. The Billabong So Long Honey Cardigan was our perfect flowing candidate. We liked the idea of adding some jewel tones to the mix, and the cardigan had a few rusty stripes to tie the pants in. The overall silhouette is uncomplicated, comfortable and enticing, the makeup of every great ensemble.

As much as we are still hell bent on getting some decent days on the mountain this Spring, these sporadically warm and dry Portland days have us dreaming of bikinis and beachside brews. Stay tuned for our Spring Lookbook we are planning an Oregon Coast excursion to showcase our favorite looks in the coming weeks.

Thursday Threads: Easy Like Sunday Morning

We are all about bottomless mimosas paired with an overpriced first meal on Sunday. Brunch is two feasts in one so it’s totally cool to drop twenty-five bucks, right? Inspired by the ease of Sunday mornings we’ve created a brunch-worthy look that has plenty of wiggle room for the after-pooch effect from inhaling biscuits and gravy. We love the idea of an easy-to-wear ensemble that feels like PJ’s without hungover regret of running into an ex in your Sunday cozies.

We are obsessing over pairing equal parts tomboy to femme for a look that’s effortlessly chic while still maintaining practicality and comfort. A great outfit starts at the ground and works its way up. With that philosophy in mind, we had to begin with a new shoe line teaming up with USO, Minnetonka Moccasins. I know, right? We are stoked too! The Minnetonka Calf Hi 3 Layer Fringe Boots were the perfect combination of radical meets girly to start this ‘fit. Let’s not forget the added perk that they feel like slippers which is ideal for getting your brunch on. Working our way up, we selected distressed skinnies by way of the Volcom Super Stoned Skinny Jeans which also seemed appropriate for a mellow end to the week.

ThursdayThreads_Ellery2

For the top half, and a touch of tomboy we selected a classic white muscle tee. Bonus perks if you pair this boy’s club borrowed look with a sexy bandeau like the RVCA Jangling Bralette. For our other part femme, and in the spirit of pajama-like clothing, we couldn’t help but select the ultra-soft and exceptionally Sunday-worthy Volcom Breeze Sweater.

ThursdayThreads_ElleryCombo

You definitely slept in, and you’re way too hungry to shower let alone wash your hair so it looks like it’s a headband day! We love the braided, bohemian vibe offered in the Krotchet Kids Alice Headband it plays nicely with the Minnetonkas without being too hippie dippy. Indigo was our go-to color for accessorizing with the headband and tote as it provided ideal contrast against the rusty-gold tones featured in this look.

We know that getting outside can be half the struggle on Sunday morning but Belgian waffles and bacon are awaiting. Pull yourself together, grab your biggest shades to hide last night’s eyeliner and get some sustenance girlfriend because those Bloody Marys won’t drink themselves.

ToteVolcom Thrifty Fun Tote

Classic white Muscle TeeVolcom Cowl Me Tank

Biggest ShadesDa Blanc Minor Panic leopard torte rose lens

Thursday Threads: Flower Power With A Dash Of Mustard

Nothing beats an ensemble that’s two parts cozy and one part sexy. Looking babadelic while at the same time feeling like you’re at home in your pjs is always a win. That’s what we love about the Element Overedge Maxi Dress it’s versatile, fashion savvy and oh-so comfortable. A tie-dye dress typically tends to have a summer vibe; the good-witch meets monochromatic dye job on this maxi isn’t overly summery, making it a perfect layering candidate. An all-season, flowing dress should be a part of every woman’s arsenal coming from the humble opinion of Stevie Nicks fashion admirer. I’m obviously doing a future post featuring some Stevie inspired looks, let’s be real. Moving forward, you can wear this maxi with thick long underwear in the winter while still having a great-looking, bulk-free body, yay!

Thursday Thread Ashley

In the summer months it has a sexy open back with lacey details, double yay! We’ve paired the bohemian Overedge with the Billabong Shadow Viewz Jacket, a military inspired look for an unexpected play on flower power. We’ve added a dash of mustard with the Brixton Grace Scarf: Part II of our cozy. In case you haven’t noticed, yellow is big for 2015, and before you hate on it just know that a pop of dijon looks good on almost every skin tone. When in doubt, add the colors you’re uncertain about via accessories.

Thursday Threads Ashley 2

When in serious color doubt, make your manfriend wear it so you can live vicariously through his complexion. We are dying to buy the Airblaster Outlast Tech Flannel in grizzly mustard for our current or future lumbarsexuals. Until next time!

Thursday Threads Jaffe