7/12/19

Gear Review- Peregrine Radama Hub Review


I had a chance to take out the Peregrine Radama Hub 4-person tent last weekend and it was a pleasant surprise. It’s more on the heavy side for a tent, but it’s not designed to be the backpacking, lightweight variety. As primarily a car-camper, I need a tent that will last and standup to the more frequent abuse that comes with car camping. I was pleased to see that the poles on this are slightly thicker DAC poles. They were very easy to set up and incredibly sturdy once connected to the tent.
I’m no fabric expert, but I would guess the tub of the tent to be a 40 or 50D fabric. This is a rather durable thickness and middle-of-the-road industry wise, but I would still pair it with an optional footprint. The tub sides also come up a good 4 inches around the entire perimeter of the tent. Combined with the fly that extends past the top of the tub, and I wasn’t concerned at all about rain getting in. It rained both days I was out using it and the interior stayed perfectly dry. The tent fabric was much thinner and lighter, but I’m not concerned about its ability to last. My one concern would be the mesh sections, as it is with most tents. It was incredibly thin and light so you would want to keep any sharp objects like knives or tree branches far away if using without the fly. However, what I’m not concerned about is stepping on the tent door. Peregrine was genius here. Instead of the typical door that zips towards the floor, necessitating you to constantly step over or around the door to avoid damaging it, they designed the door to unzip towards the ceiling. They then integrated a pocket into the ceiling to stuff the door in. This is AMAZING! You can also unzip the entire door using one hand. Huge plus here.


The fly also has some very nice improvements to it. There are 2 ventilation areas at the top of the fly that allow all the moisture to escape while still covering the mesh ventilation at the top of the tent. No more waking up to condensation covering everything. Rain blowing sideways? Just close the ventilation openings with a Velcro clasp. The fly doors are also easy to manage with magnetic clasps where you roll the door back. Say goodbye to messing with those little toggles when setting up or when it starts to rain. Just give it a little tug and it pops off and is ready to be zip closed.


Let’s talk about the storage. This tent has tons! I counted 9 pockets including the door storage areas. There are 3 pockets that run the entire length of one side of the tent, 2 pockets in opposite corners, and 4 pockets on the ceiling. They have done away with the hanging gear loft and instead have built-in pockets. Like having a gear loft, you say? There are still 4 little loops that you can attach an optional gear loft to. There is also a hook right in the middle of the ceiling where you can hang a lantern, string lights, or finally put up that divider so your roommate doesn’t end up spooning you in the middle of the night. The fly also extends several feet past the door to give you (2) vestibules to put shoes, gear, or bags if you need a little extra floor space. They have also designed the walls of the tent together with the poles to give you more headspace. The walls are near vertical so no more dead space that is common with more angular tents.



I’ve been using a Marmot Limelight for years and the Radama Hub had all the same features plus more. When packed down, the 4p Radama was just barely bigger than my Limelight 3p. I will definitely be replacing the Marmot and using the Radama Hub as my primary car camping tent.



Review by: Steve Wise
Photos by: Adam Kittell

Check out the Peregrine Radama Hub on www.PeregineEquipment.com
Also available for retailers through Liberty Mountain.
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7/11/19

Red Castle Lake Trip Report

Fourth of July weekend (or in this case, the weekend immediately following the fourth since the holiday was on a Thursday this year) is often spent at a lake, barbecuing, drinking, and watching fireworks. Some people like to do things a bit differently though and backpack up to an alpine lake!


One of our employees, Jake Hirschi, and his son, Isaac decided the latter was more their style. They set out on a 24 mile overnight trip in search of big trout, and their timing could not have been better.


Red Castle Lake, in Utah's Uinta Mountains, is still 95% frozen. But the 5% that is open water is full of hungry monster trout. It is the deepest lake up there and doesn’t winter-kill. These fish have been under ice for 9 months!! If you get there first, prepare for the best fishing day of your life.


They brought along a Peregrine Kestrel UL to sleep in since they expected mosquitoes, but Jake says, "There were plenty on the hike in, covering everything if we stopped, but zero above 10,500 feet.


Isaac found a cached 4 man raft, paddles, 2 life jackets and an air pump under a cave at 11,300 feet. Unfortunately, the marmots had done their work turning someones treasure into trash. Being Boy Scouts, they decided to leave no trace and carried it all out. Over 30 lbs of trash between them no doubt made the return trip a bit more of a workout than planned.




Liberty Mountain Distributes the following gear used on their journey-

Peregrine:
Kestrel UL 2 Tent - 5 stars
Uinta Carbon Trekking Poles - 5 stars
Aerie UL Primaloft Sleeping Pad - 5 stars

Liberty Mountain does not distribute-

Trash:
Raft and accessories - 0 stars


Photos and writeup by Jake Hirschi.
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6/11/19

Black Forest Trail Trip Report


Our Liberty Mountain Sales Team that works out of Pennsylvania recently took a backpacking trip on the Black Forest Trail in Slate Run, PA. According to the trail guide, the BFT is not a novice trail: with demanding ascents and descents, challenging stream crossings, and rocky rough sections that will “test the quality of your hiking boots.” As a fairly new team, they felt this was a great opportunity to grow closer together over their mutual love for the outdoors, and to test out some new gear!



They headed out Friday afternoon, with three Gregory packs and a Vaude pack, ranging in weight from 20 to 39 pounds. The plan was to start out easy, hiking counter-clockwise on the trail before setting up camp. "We quickly came upon a deer. It didn’t take long for our Australian Shepherd to notice and try to take off after it. Now we know that the buckle on the new dog lead holds up to some serious force! We ended up adding a couple more miles when we faced a crowded campsite, and the next one being underwater. The section we hiked consisted of several steep ascents, but many of worthwhile vistas!"


Saturday got off to a slow start, but with some impending thunderstorms headed in they knew they needed to keep moving. The trail was pretty washed out, and at times you were just hopping from one side of the stream to the other in an attempt to keep your feet dry. With a storm on the way, the group decided to camp a bit closer than originally planned and reap the benefit of a less back-country campsite, in the form of a picnic table! They arrived to this new camp pretty early, which luckily gave them time to get all set up before the storm hit. There was some thunder and lightning, but mostly just lots of rain.



Sunday morning they got up and made coffee in preparation for the hike back out. A slow, morning sprinkle quickly turned into a downpour. Everyone rushed to pack up camp, chugged the coffee, and headed out!



Liberty Mountain distributes the following gear used on their journey-

Peregrine:


Olicamp:

Other:


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6/10/19

Employee Spotlight- Mike McCartan


I was born and raised in the flat lands of the mid-west but was fortunate enough to have an outdoor focused and active family that always placed me in beautiful forests and open water. It was in college at Iowa State University that I discovered the West while on a trip to Escalante, Utah. I was immediately amazed, humbled, and hooked. Outdoor Education has been a mainstay for the majority of my education and career. In High-school I taught a sailing summer camp for middle schoolers and in college I worked as a facilitator for the Outdoor Rec Program. After college my friends and I moved to Colorado to play music and climb granite while I also worked to get developmentally disabled individuals into the community; this was the biggest change in my life up to that date as my eyes were opened to Rocky Mountain National Park, The Poudre Canyon and all of the rock, snow and ice of Colorado. After a couple years cutting my teeth there, I took a job as a Wilderness Therapy Guide in Utah which only helped me get out and up more; 8 days on and 6 days off, year round, with lots of good people, let me access the desert and the mountains in an extended way that I had not be able to utilize before. After a couple years there, and a month long pack-rafting/alpine-climbing trip to the Northwest Territories in Canada, I decided to focus on technical rock and mountain guiding. I got a job as a guide in the Pacific Northwest, progressed in the AMGA track and had a great time exploring the granite towers, glaciers and immense relief of Washington, British Columbia and Alaska while living out of various vehicles to be as mobile as possible. A couple years later I realized it was not going to sustain me in the long run so I joined my girlfriend on a USFS Wildland Fire Hand Crew and had a blast cutting, digging, hauling and joking. Once I realized that I didn’t want to break my back for a living, I took a job with Liberty Mountain selling the gear that I have been using for the past decade. It’s a good fit and I am glad to be in this spot! More adventures to come.



Name: Mike McCartan
Time working for Liberty Mountain: Since October 2018
Job title: Industrial and Government Sales
Role in the company: I work with customers who represent a large amount of our country’s energy, construction, military, and government industries while also collaborating with our group sales team. 
What do you like most about your job? I enjoy the autonomy and problem solving to create growth.

Active in the following sports/activities/hobbies: Climbing, skiing, running, reading, writing. 
Favorite activity: Climbing
Favorite outdoor areas: Indian Creek, UT
Piece of outdoor gear you most wish you had: Wish I hadn’t sold my pack-raft
Most interesting place ever lived: Utah
Top-five favorite movies: Ferris Buhler, Blues Brothers, Life Aquatic, Every Mel-Brooks, Every Tarantino 
Top-five favorite books: East of Eden, Still Life with Woodpecker, Vineland, Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Legends of the Fall. 
First memory spending time Outdoors: Forest walk with my Grandpa
Inspirational Hero: Jim Harrison
Dream vacation: Patagonia in general, then to Spain, France and Morocco. Duh. 
Favorite food to eat outside: Bacon
Cake or pie: Pie
Dogs or Cats: Dogs. I don’t get the point of cats. 


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5/10/19

Gear Review: Peregrine Kestrel UL 2

Recently I had the pleasure of going on a backpacking trip in New Zealand. The past few years whenever I’ve backpacked it has been in Utah so I haven’t bothered bringing a tent and opted instead to just pack a tarp for building a shelter with if needed. This trip was with my wife though and she had never been backpacking before (also I knew there would be lots of sandflies) so I figured I should get a lightweight, 2 person backpacking tent for the excursion. I decided to try the Kestrel UL 2 tent by Peregrine since the weight, size, and price seemed right. This tent is just over 3 lbs, which is comparable to the award winning Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2. It packs down just a tad smaller than its Big Agnes rival as well. The price tag on the Peregrine saves $80, so I figured I would give the underdog a shot.

As soon as you get your hands on the tent in its storage sack there’s no doubt that this thing is made for ultralight backpacking. I had to open it up and make sure everything was in there since it felt like that couldn’t possibly be the full packed weight, but it was all there! The materials it is constructed with are noticeably thinner than the other tents I've owned but they felt premium and purposeful. I didn’t have time to test it out closer to home before my trip, or even look at how to set it up, and instead just threw it in my bag and caught a flight across the world.


Headed into Artur's Pass with the crew. Photo by Adam Kittell

The first few nights of our trip we backpacked through an area that had “huts” for crashing in. Apparently they use the term hut pretty loose in New Zealand, because these things were basically cabins that slept tons of people in bunks. Some even had large rooms for cooking and hanging out in. It wasn’t until night four that we actually had to bust out the Kestrel. Since I’m a man, I didn’t bother to read the instructions for how the tent sets up and just dove right into it with the help of my wife; that way I could blame her if it didn’t go well (it's a joke). The process was very intuitive and the setup took only a few minutes. The single-pole design eliminates the common tent issue of figuring out how multiple poles go together. Due to the asymmetric shape of the whole tent, it was obvious which ends of the poles went with which end of the tent but there was color coding to the pole tips as well. Everything snapped into place and attached to form a well-structured tent that felt sturdy. With the rainfly on and the guylines pulled tight it looked like the tent would hold up well in rain. This speculation was confirmed since it poured all night yet no water got into the tent. It also didn’t budge at all during the howling winds while we weren’t in the tent weighing it down. I can see how there could be some concern that the tent wouldn’t fair well in a storm since it is so lightweight, but the materials seem to have been very purposefully chosen and it passed the weather tests.


With the rain fly on we experienced full protection from the elements. Photo by Adam Kittell

The first thing my friends all commented on about the tent was how nice it looked. The colors really pop and the small Peregrine logo on the side of the rainfly is subtle yet classy. They didn’t feel the need to advertise the brand in gigantic letters across the whole tent like some manufacturers do. The fly and bottom of the tent are ripstop nylon, which means that if you do happen to puncture the tent the hole will not spread outside of the affected area and you can just throw a patch over it. The walls of the tent itself are fully mesh so that if the night looks like there won’t be rain you can ditch the fly and have great views of the stars and excellent ventilation, while still being protected from bugs. If privacy is a concern you would definitely want to use the fly though since without it you and your tent mate, if you have one, would be quite visible to other campers close by. The Kestrel UL 2 also has a Fast Flight option which allows you to ditch the body of the tent altogether and use just the rainfly, pole, and footprint for an even lighter option, if that’s your thing.


Enjoying 360 degrees of viewing without the rain fly on. Photo by Adam Kittell

The interior of the tent has six pockets which I found to be quite nice for getting items out of the way yet still kept close at hand. The roof of the tent is divided up into four rather large pockets and there are two additional pockets in the lower corners (one on either side of the door) so that each occupant has a place by their head for the essentials. The center ceiling hook was nice for hanging a headlamp for some light before bed. Four additional ceiling loops expanded the options for hanging items overhead. The interior is 86 inches long and 37 inches wide at the head, with the width tapering down to 35 inches at the feet. This was plenty big for my wife and I since we are average height, but I certainly wouldn’t try to cram our big dog in there with us or suggest that two NFL players share the tent. The vestibule allowed us to keep our shoes and wet rain gear outside of the tent without them getting further soaked during the night. These features were all built into the tent instead of being cost-increasing additions like many other tents brands that sell you a separate vestibule or gear loft in addition.

The four built-in overhead pockets make for great storage/organization options. Photo by Adam Kittell

After having used this tent for a week in a variety of conditions including bugs, rain, humidity, cold, and wind I feel confident in putting my stamp of approval on it. I will definitely be using it again for many more trips now that my wife has decided that backpacking isn’t so bad after all. Considering I will likely continue carrying the majority of our weight on these trips, I am pleased with how light it is. It’s certainly not as light as just carrying a tarp and some paracord, but the comfort and peace of mind that it brings are worth the 3 extra pounds.

Photo by Adam Kittell
For more info about the Kestrel UL 2 and to check out the other Peregrine products CLICK HERE.


About the Reviewer- Adam has worked in the outdoor industry for a few years now, but prior to that he was a guide for multiple wilderness therapy companies. He has spent weeks at a time living out of a backpack, starting at a young age, and has guided extended trips backpacking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and canyoneering all over the United States. Some say he has an obsession with gear, and he does not disagree with them.
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10/4/18

Employee Spotlight - Eric Ward


I grew up in Indiana and as a kid, I spent as much time outside as possible. I grew up driving all over the U.S. chasing epic experiences to further my climbing, snowboarding, and rafting addictions. There are now less than 10 U.S. states I have not visited. I was lucky enough to take three 12 day backpacking trips to Philmont, and then I worked there in 2007 teaching rock climbing. I kept finding myself working retail with the occasional custom cabinet shop tossed in. I was working as an assistant store manager at Gander Mountain until they went bankrupt. I had always tossed the idea of moving to the mountains and I was in a position to seize that opportunity after a brief visit to Utah. I moved to Utah in search of better powder and higher climbs than Indiana could provide. I soon found my place at Liberty Mountain, and now I spend my days talking about gear and keeping a list of adventures for my time off.  



NameEric Ward
Time working for Liberty Mountain: One year
Job title: South East Sales Rep
Short description of what you do at Liberty Mountain: I maintain and provide services for the south east region. AR, TN, LA, MS, AL, GA, NC, SC, and FL.
What do you like most about your job? Learning and talking about gear
Active in the following sports/activities/hobbies: rock climbing, snowboarding, backpacking, and paddling. The rest of my free time is generally spent wrenching on, breaking, or camping in my 4RUNNER.  

Favorite outdoor areas: all of the above
Piece of outdoor gear you most wish you had: a trad rack
Most interesting place ever lived: I have only lived in Indiana and Utah and so far Utah is definitely the most interesting.
Top-five favorite movies: Office Space, Out Cold, The Fast and Furious (all of them), Boondock Saints, and ?
Top-five favorite books: I hate reading books sadly
Dream vacation: I want to do a tour of Europe that includes, Germany, Spain, Venice, Greece, and Rome.
Cake or pie: Pie
Dogs or Cats: Dog

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9/6/18

Cable Canyon Trip Report



Liberty Mountain Customer Service manager Paul Larkin took a trip through Cable Canyon in the San Rafael Swell of South Eastern Utah. He made the trip with former Liberty Mountain employee Christian Weaver and Paula Weaver. Here are a few of his photos, some helpful stats for anyone interested in attempting the canyon, and a list of the gear that was needed to make it through.



  • The weather was a pleasant high of 85 degrees
  • The trip took 9 hours car-to-car. We started at 7am, dropped into the canyon at 10am, and were back to the cars around 4pm
  • There was a bit of non-technical scrambling on the way into the canyon


  • The canyon required 10 or so rappels, with the longest being about 70 feet
  • There was also quite a bit of down climbing, some stemming and a whole lot of fun
  • At one point we saw a ringtail fox carcass in one of the potholes
  • There was almost no water in the canyon. Often you don't know what water levels will be like going into remote canyons like these, so it's best to be prepared for everything.


  • The only water hole we couldn’t avoid was the first pothole, but the water was only up to our waists
  • We used a variety of canyoneering techniques to make it through including a human ladder using our knees, hands and shoulders to get out of potholes
  • Possibly the best technique of the day was my beached whale anchor over a hump, allowing me to pull up Christian

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