Roads Rivers and Trails

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Monthly Archives: April 2013


Fall Campout Festival

Fall Campout Festival
Mischievous Adventures at Lake Loramie State Park
Written by: Robby Hansen

Whether you’re at the foot of a mountain, your favorite trailhead, or in your backyard. Camping is camping, and any chance to lay under the stars, unplugged from the world, sounds good to me!

The best thing about camping is that anyone can do it. I’m reminded of this idea every year when I make my journey up to Lake Loramie State Park in Minster Ohio. Lake Loramie is absolutely beautiful! From hiking to camping, and canoeing to fishing, this park has it all. On one side of the lake there are campgrounds that you will find occupied year round, and on the other side you’ll find beautiful woods accompanied with hiking trails. The campgrounds are easily accessible, and you’ll find many RV’s accompanied with boats and kayaks. I’ve visited many campgrounds, and I have to admit that Lake Loramie beats out the rest.

Loramie-1

Every fall they have a Fall Campout Festival, and I cannot image a better way to enjoy the great outdoors with family, friends, and a bunch of crazy country folk. With traditional festival foods, tractor pulls, and chainsaw art, the festival is guaranteed to entertain. Sure, you will find that most people are RV camping that weekend, but if you’re daring enough like me then a tent is all you need! The fall festival is what tops off this hidden treasure each year.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the mountains and I love the wilderness. But, taking the effort out of (What some people describe as “real”) camping, and waking up to bacon and eggs over the fire is my idea of a great weekend. Not to mention the craft show on Saturday and Sunday, where you will find some of the coolest trinkets and treasures around! If you have the chance to camp with some family and friends in September, remember Lake Loramie. The deep fried oreos combined with hiking trails will not disappoint.

Climb On!!

Climb On!!
Climbing in the Tri-State
Written by: James Mobley

My wife will tell you that I’m obsessed with climbing.  I say I’m passionate about climbing.  Either way it is a key part of my life!  I’ve been climbing for over 13 years and continue to get more involved in the climbing community.  It challenges me to grow my mind, body, and spirit every time I climb, all year long.  I fail more times than I succeed but when I do achieve a particular goal it is very gratifying and I grow as a person.  I enjoy going to climbing areas and meeting new people in the climbing community.  I meet people from all over the world and we all have a common bond, our passion for climbing.Amarillo Sunset 5.11b

Bouldering At Springfield OhioSo where do I go to fulfill my passion to climb?  I moved to Cincinnati mainly to be closer to The Red River Gorge in Slade Kentucky.  The Red is a worldwide destination for climbers.  Gritty sandstone, pocketed lines, and steep roof routes make it the mecca of Midwest climbing.  Climbing guides for the Red River Gorge are available at Roads Rivers and Trails, located in downtown Milford.  The guide will give you ideas for climbing, camping, and restaurants.  My favorite place to find all three is Miguel’s PizzaMiguel’s Pizza is an icon around the world for supporting the climbing community.  Their dedication to climbers is evident through their business; gear shop, food, climber camping, and their ongoing support in all the yearly climbing events that take place in the area.  On top of all of that, they make the best pizza on the planet, no joke!

But wait, there’s more!  Living in Cincinnati gives me access to a number of other great climbing destinations.  You can urban climb right in Cincinnati, at Eden Park.  The New River Gorge in West Virginia offers features, such as, splinter cracks, ledges, horizontal cracks, and clean lines.  On a hot summer day the New also offers great places to jump into the water to cool off after a day of climbing!  All this is available within a short drive. Just north of Cincinnati, in Springfield Park, you can boulder limestone rock.  Just west of Cincinnati, in Muscatatuck, Indiana, you can boulder along a creek bed.   A southeast day trip offers bouldering in Athens, Ohio. In summary, amazing climbing surrounds the Cincinnati area.

Funkadelic 5.10bIf you’re looking for a new way to get fit and meet great people I encourage you to try climbing; be it in one of the local gyms or one of these outside locations! I feel lucky to live in a place with so many great options!

Gear Review: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2

Best Tent on the Market
Gear Review: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2
Written by: Robby Hansen

Gearing up for an outdoor adventure is often harder than what most people think. With the expansive amount of gear at our finger tips and the always evolving technology trends, finding the right piece of gear is challenging. I’m here to tell you that RRT has your tent covered. The Copper Spur UL2 from Big Agnes is the best 3 season tent I have used, and my favorite piece of gear in my tool shed. From climbing 14ers in Colorado to lazy nights in Damascus, Virginia at the annual Appalachian Trail Days Festival, this tent has been everywhere with me. Its favorite location by far is down at the crags in Red River Gorge.

The Copper Spur UL2 was redesigned in 2012 by Big Agnes, making it even lighter on the trail at only 3 lbs. and 1 oz. Some of my favorite features about the tent include:

• The tent is free standing and ultra-light.
• The DAC Featherlite NSL pole system with press fit connectors and lightweight hubs results in easy set-up and take down. (You can set up this tent blindfolded!!)
• The mesh upper body of the tent provides amazing ventilation as well as opening up your view to those starry nights.
• The double rainbow door system with two vestibules makes it really easy to get in and out of, while providing a great amount of comfort for two people.

The greatest thing about this tent is its versatility, and durability. Last summer I ended up on a month long road trip out west, and many nights were spent in the Copper Spur. The tent comes with 8 superlight aluminum stakes (eco-friendly), which worked great during 60 mph winds in Wyoming. Both the floor and fly of the tent are silicone treated nylon rip-stop with a 1,200mm waterproof polyurethane coating. This was perfect when camping at 11,000 feet at the base of Grays and Torreys Peak with a couple inches of snow on the ground.

The durability of this tent is unquestionable, but I would still advise using a footprint whenever you can. I find that using a footprint gives you just enough protection to help your tent life last substantially longer. The footprint weighs a mere 5 oz. and easily stuffs into the tent sac which is only 6” by 18” big. Don’t be fooled by the extremely lightweight and compact features of the Copper Spur. The tent still offers 29sq feet of floor area and 9sq feet of vestibule area. It also has a 42” head height and tapers down to a 22” foot height.

Some important tent tips to help make your adventure as comfortable as possible are to limit the amount of moisture you bring into the tent and maximize the air flow. Big Agnes makes this easy by including guy lines on the Copper Spur to increase body and fly separation. They have also included one or more pop-up vents on the rainfly to help with air flow. The vestibule zips from top or bottom and can roll back and toggle open if needed. If you unzip the top zip of the vestibule a few inches, you can then use your tent splint to hold it open as an additional vent. I also try to bring a separate stuff sack just in case we have a rainy night, and I need to separate the tent body from the fly.

Even though I find myself spending most nights alone in the Copper Spur, it still offers plenty of room for 2 people. For the solo camper, this tent has enough room to bring all of your gear in with you and then some. I found it very comfortable during rainy days, when I was stuck reading books and playing cards. The interior mesh pockets were extremely useful on those days when trying to organize my gear in the tent. If you have any questions or are interested in checking out the Copper Spur for yourself, make sure to stop by Roads Rivers and Trails in Milford, OH. The best way to learn about gear is to set it up and test it yourself, and that experience can only be found at the best local outfitter in Cincinnati.

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