February 23rd, 2022 Edition

Scout Weekly

Now that the Olympics are over, we’re counting down the days to spring! Although we’ve seen spring-like temps for weeks here in Bend, we’re ready to finally pitch our tents and enjoy everything the season offers. If your gear closet is in need of a spring tune-up, check out our Quarterly Obsidian Collection.

Our team is thrilled about this season’s kit and we can’t wait for it to land on your doorstep. Sign up for our quarterly collection today and receive a free Cotopaxi Bonus Box with your purchase.

This week:

  • Identifying animal tracks in the snow
  • Outside Essentials: Stephanie Howe’s favorite gear + Rumpl Puffy Blanket
  • Black-Owned Cycling Apparel Brands
  • BIPOC visibility in outdoor spaces
  • The Best Hot Spring Hikes In The U.S

The Commerce Crew

Animal Tracks in Snow

Animal Tracks in the Snow

Winter is the best time to learn about the critters that live on our hiking trails. If you ever wondered whose footprints you’re looking at, this easy guide will get you started on the right foot.

Stephanie Howe

Ultrarunner Stephanie Howe's Must-Have Gear

We like to ask world class athletes, adventurers, and gear experts (i.e., our co-workers and friends) for recommendations on the products they love. Professional ultrarunner Stephanie Howe is always on the go: When she’s not winning races like the Western States 100 or using her experience and nutrition and exercise PhD to help train others, she’s out chasing her dog Søren into the mountains around Bend, Ore., with her son Julien in tow. Here’s how she stays fueled for adventure.

Tony's Chocolonely Tony's Chocolonely. Chocolate makes everything better (duh), but it's even better when it's made with good intentions. Tony's commitment to high standards goes beyond their own products: While they source their own cocoa from 100%-slave-labor-free suppliers, they’re also trying to topple the structures that support slave labor in the worldwide chocolate industry. I love taking ‘fika’ most days—the Swedish tradition of taking a pause in your day and sharing coffee and a little treat. One of my favorites is a really good bar of chocolate paired with coffee. To me, a day isn't complete without some sort of chocolate in it.

Backporch Coffee Backporch Coffee. Nothing before coffee! But it has to be good coffee. My favorite coffee for life is Backporch, a local Bend, OR roaster and franchise. They make the best light-to-medium roasts that pair wonderfully with chocolate (see above) or are delicious on their own. I can't fathom starting the day without an amazing cup of Backporch coffee.

Revelshine Wine Revelshine Wine. Made with the earth in mind, this bottle is easy to carry into the backcountry. My favorite way to enjoy it is over a sunset in the mountains with a red wine to match. Wine is a great accompaniment to an already enjoyable experience—whether that’s an amazing meal, a special occasion, or that beautiful sunset in the mountains. Even a little goes a long way!

Big Spoon Roasters Big Spoon Roasters. Have you ever eaten nut butter straight out of the jar? Yeah? Then you need to try Big Spoon Roasters: They make delicious nut butter creations full of taste-bud-popping flavors. More importantly, this small-batch nut butter company is super selective about its ingredients, and really prioritizes ethical and environmental practices from sourcing ingredients to worker welfare. My favorite flavor is the Espresso Almond Butter, but really, you can't go wrong with any of their jars. Bonus: They make Wag Butter for your four-legged companions!

The North Face Thermoball Slippers TNF Thermoball Slippers. Cold feet? Not anymore. I've lived in my slippers this past year. After a year of uncertainty and constantly adapting, sometimes we just need a hug, and there's like a warm hug for your footsies. It's like wrapping up in a warm, cozy down jacket. The little things make a difference, and these slippers have some traction so you can wear them outside.

Black-Owned Cycling Apparel Brands

Black-Owned Cycling Apparel Brands

With spring around the corner, it’s time to prepare for cycling season! As you tune-up your bike and map your routes, make sure to check out these brands for the latest in functional and fashionable apparel.

Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket

Outside Essentials: Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket

If you think today’s high-tech sleeping bags and pads make the humble blanket superfluous, you haven’t tried the Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket. This throw is made from the same high-quality synthetic down fill and water-resistant material as premium puffy jackets, and it’s equally at home in the backcountry, inside a cabin, or on a lakeside deck chair. Bomber odor and stain resistance makes it perfect to drape over the pooch on chilly tent nights (if you can bear to part with it yourself). And at just 2.1 pounds, it stuffs into an included stuff sack that fits any pack. You won’t leave home without it—if you can bear to get out from under it.

We're Here. You Just Don't See Us.

We're Here. You Just Don't See Us

There’s a common misconception that black people don’t love wild places. Latria Graham, a southerner with deep connections to farms, rivers, and forests, says the problem isn’t desire but access—and a long history of laws and customs that have whitewashed our finest public lands. In this piece, Graham explores why these misconceptions still exist and how we can change them.

The 25 Best Hot Springs Hikes In The U.S.

The 25 Best Hot Spring Hikes In The U.S.

Nothing beats soaking in a hot, steamy mineral pool after a day on the trail. Looking for a new adventure? Check out this list of the best hot spring hikes in the U.S.

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