Alex Z., his wife and Dizzy moved to Portland two years ago from Chicago. He came to Oregon for the love of the outdoors. As a young man Alex became an Eagle Scout. This is where his passion for hiking, camping, and rafting began. One of his other passions is art. He has a B.F.A in glassblowing and sculpture. He has spent eleven years blowing glass all over the U.S. What he likes most about glassblowing is that it’s a strenuous activity with all the heat and weight of the glass. Alex believes that stress brings out the best in people. He originally came out here to blow glass, but his priorities shifted and the US Outdoor Store became a better fit. It gives him the flexibility to pursue his Masters in Education. Plus, at the US Outdoor Store we can bring our dogs to work. How could Alex and Dizzy resist.

Dizzy is a nine year old Australian Kelpie. Alex raised him from a pup. This breed is highly intelligent and has the need for lots of exercise. A perfect fit for Alex and his love for all things outdoors. Dizzy is his constant companion for hiking, camping, biking, even snowshoeing. Dizzy likes to barrel through the snow like a little torpedo with legs. He is in his element. One of Alex’s favorite memories was when Dizzy was still a pup and saw snow for the first time. He got so excited and started jumping in the air to catch the snowflakes. They spent hours on a trampoline they had in the yard bouncing and catching the snow.

Alex and Dizzy have criss crossed the country several times. Like Mad Max and his dog driving and having adventures throughout the countryside. Only without freaks in leather outfits trying to kill them. They have visited the Appalachian Mountains, the Smoky Mountains, Rocky Mountains, and the Cascades Mountain ranges. One of Dizzy’s favorite things is water. Going through Colorado one day they stopped for a hike. Dizzy was having a great time splashing and swimming in some streams. Then he decided to jump in the Colorado River proper. It was a scary moment for Alex. But Dizzy, a professional, pulled it off.

Dizzy at the shop

As summer turns to fall; Alex and Dizzy’s favorite time of year, because winter is coming. You should come down to the shop and check out all our shop dogs, but make sure you go down to camping so you can meet Dizz the Fearless. Stay gold Dizzy.

Sunday School – Dick Proenneke: Alone In The Wilderness (Part 1)

Ok class, listen up! Dick Proenneke was a beast of a man! In this timeless documentary: Alone In The Wilderness, he took us on a journey beyond the civilized limits and out into a world where life was/is exactly what you make of it. Where food and shelter are job 1 and everything else is stripped of its meaning. Where status symbols and stock portfolios carry no merit. Where the aches and pains of hard work are real and pristine landscapes and the sound of nature are your reward!

Now, I remember watching this film on OPB as a young kid growing up in the suburbs and thinking that Dick Proenneke was nuts. As far as I was concerned, the baseball diamond was the only wilderness I cared to explore. But as you grow older and the responsibilities of life creep in, you begin to realize the benefits of the great outdoors and the health and wellness it offers. A necessary balance so-to-speak that keeps our everyday lives from imploding. With that said, there are still people out there that will never see Dick Proenneke as anything more than a kook in the woods; so be it. But for those of you who are looking for a little inspiration for your next adventure look no further than: Alone In The Wilderness. Odds are you have seen it before, nevertheless, it’ll give you a good shove out the door. Enjoy!

Sunday School: How to Make Cowboy Coffee in the Backcountry

Listen up folks! As explained in this Sunday School’s video, knowing how to make ‘Cowboy Coffee’ in the back country might save a few of you from those nasty headaches caused from caffeine withdrawals. In fact, this video might inspire some of you to adopt this dusty trail technique and leave your french press on the kitchen counter. Brought to you by Matt Heid; author and caffeine junkie at Appalachian Mountain Club.

What’s New: Sea To Summit Travel Liners

Sea-To-Summit Whats New

Lately something has been “bugging” me; with so many stories, studies, allegations and investigations about the infestation of bed bugs within even the well established hotels, I can not help but feel concerned for the health and wellbeing of our travel happy customers. After all, isn’t a hotel supposed to be comfortable, relaxing and safe? The answer is yes; though all hotels advertise how great they are, only some of them hold true to their word.

That being said, Sea To Summit and their Travel Liners are ever more important, seeing as bed bugs can travel directly on the body as well as in your luggage, clothes etc. Though it is not certain that the liners will prevent bed bugs all together, these Sea To Summit Travel Liners are a great start. When coupled with precautionary measures such as luggage liners and researching hotel reviews, they can help bring peace of mind to the unsettling situation. Let’s face it, leaving it to chance is about as smart as free diving in a school of Jellyfish; sure you might emerge unscathed, but if you don’t… well, you know, just saying “bed bugs” is enough to make your skin crawl (pun intended). With a plethora of designs that utilize 100% Premium Cotton, Silk and Thermolite, these liners can act as another line of defense against bugs while traveling. Rest well my friends.


Sea To Summit Travel Liners

Check out Sea To Summit travel liners at For more Travel Liners, click here.

Sunday School: Backpack Fitting with NOLS

With weather on the mend, it is time to get out and fitted with the right gear for summer.  So take a gander at this NOLS video on pack fitting. Pay attention and take notes! It is extremely important that you outfit yourself with a backpack that is comfortable and that fits your needs as an explorer. Getting fitted for the right backpack can save you from unnecessary fatigue, muscle aches and pains.


Saturday School: NOLS Expedition Training

Sometimes the biggest hurdle in an endeavor is knowing where to begin. If you haven’t heard of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), you’ve got a huge cache of untapped knowledge to explore. Their organization teaches those who wish to pursue outdoor life to the fullest the skills necessary to not only survive but to enjoy and lead others through the expansive wilderness.

There is no need to take notes, for this short film is geared toward inspiring you to lead the future expeditions of the world.