Dolly Sods Map
Monday, April 4, 2011, 03:48 AM - Adventures
Looks like another trip to the Dolly Sods is taking shape.
Here, a map to guide you on your way.

Hike Variables:
-6+ Hikers - various skill levels
-3 nights
-Last camp night should have a quick exit

Choose your path wisely.

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Beer for Backpacking
Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 08:08 PM - Products/Tips
Good beer actually comes in cans! No really it does. Gone are the days of only getting horrible beer in cans - Coors, Miller I'm looking at you. Living in Philadelphia I'm lucky enough to be in a city that is now considered one of the beer capitals of the world so finding a new, interesting and great beer is not a problem and finding something good in a can is just as easy.

What isn't easy is bringing beer with you on a camping trip. Bottles are just not an option and unless you like watered down crap then you didn't have many options. Now you do. My friends and I consider ourselves craft beer enthusiasts I guess and always send around suggestions of what we have had. Over the last few years a few have been canned options. Slyfox, Butternut and Oskar Blues are three brewery that make some really great canned beers in a few varieties. Now you can easily pack in and pack out some beer on your next trip.

Backpacker Magazine recently did a review on a few canned beers you should all try out. I know I will! Thanks backpacker!

Beer has been available in a can since the 1930s, and just about everyone and their grandpa has drank something along the lines of PBR or Milwaukee’s Best in a can at some point. Over time everything evolves, and luckily, canned beer included! At the moment there are almost 80 craft breweries with at least one beer being produced in a can, a number that is set to reach 100 by 2011. Many of these breweries are very small and don’t distribute beyond their neighborhood, so to speak, so if you don’t see your favorite brew from back home listed here (like Upslope Brewing and Half Acre Beer Company), its not because we don’t love it too, but searched for canned craft beers available to a minimum of three states.

Avery Brewing Joe’s American Pilsner
Appealing nose of floral hops and grass with a refreshing balance of German hops and bready malt, just a touch of bitterness. A great session beer. 4.7%ABV; 12fl. oz.;
Avery Brewing

Buckbean Brewing Black Noddy
Sweet, malty nose, on this traditional Schwarzbier. 3 different types of roasted malt give the Noddy a dark, rich color, and a nice depth on the palate. Relatively light body is sweet with a subtle balance of earthiness from the grains. 5.2%ABV; 16fl. oz.;
Buck Bean Beer

New Belgium Brewing Sunshine Wheat
Lemon zest and coriander on the nose followed by a palate initiated by lemon zest and orange peel, with cloves and coriander to follow. Light bodied and easy drinking. 4.8%ABV; 12fl. oz.;
New Belgian

Stevens Point Pale Ale
Aromas of citrus and a light maltiness lead into a slight nutty malt flavor with hints of citrus and hops. Nice crisp hop finish. 5.4%ABV; 12fl. oz.;
Point Beer

Sly Fox Dunkel Lager
A very light nose in general, just a hint of sweet maltiness and floral hops. Pours a rich copper color, malty and sweet up front, mild hops at the crisp finish. Medium bodied. 5.3%ABV; 12fl. oz.; Sly Fox

Uncommon Brewers Siamese Twin Ale
An unfiltered and unpasteurized organic Belgian-style Double that incorporates a fun mix of spices. Citrus, coriander, and wheat grass on the nose. Medium body, floral up front followed by touch of coriander, sweet malt, and a mild bitterness (likely from the kaffir lime leaves its brewed with). You’d never guess its strength based on taste alone. 8.5%ABV; 16fl. oz.;
Uncommon Brewers

Oskar Blues Gubna Imperial IPA
The strongest of the canned beers we tested (10%ABV), the Gubna is in a class all its own. A nose of citrus and grassy hops, leads into a palate reflecting the same. Rich hop flavor and bitterness with a hint of malt; finish lingers leaving you yearning for more. 10%ABV; 12fl. oz.;
Oskar Blues

Oskar Blues Gordon Imperial Red
Gordon beat out 22 other craft canned beers to be our overall favorite. Intense floral hop nose is slightly deceiving, as the palate is not quite as hopped. Medium bodied and well balanced, hints of caramel, herbs, and yeast. An easy to drink red for hop lovers, especially considering strength (8.7%ABV). A great match for a meal made with Oskar Blues beer infused Gordon hot sauce. 8.7%ABV; 12fl. oz.;
Oskar Blues

Not hiking too far? Try an aluminum mini-keg of Winter White Wheat or Hopslam Double IPA by Bell’s Beer. The 5 liter mini-keg has a self contained tap, holds 14 beers, and weighs little more than a gallon of milk.
Bells Beer

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Great Camping Tips
Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 08:57 PM - Products/Tips
I found these tips over at Backpack Basecamp and found them to be so simple and useful that I felt like I needed to copy and paste them. Thanks Ed Jankins

1. Throw it out, you know that sleeping bag from 1983 that is still OK, and someone might be able to use, give it to Goodwill so someone can use it. Rule: if you haven’t used it in 5 years, guess what?

2. Make up a box with all the essentials you need for a two or three day backpacking trip, nothing more. Tent, backpack, stove and fuel, cooking and eating gear, water purification, water bottles, head lamps, stuff sacks, sleeping pads, rain gear, everything except your sleeping bags and batteries.

3. Make up a box with all the stuff you use just for car camping but nothing else. Big two burner stove, wash basin, big lantern, ax, big tent.

4. Label the outside of you boxes and bins with an index card that has an accurate inventory if what is inside.

5. Separate your sleeping bags by season, keep the ones not in use hanging in the closet (not stuffed) or loosely folded into a plastic containers clearly labeled.

6. Organize what you put inside your storage containers, use a small cheep plastic tool box to keep all your small stuff in it, head lamps, extra batteries, flint/steel, matches, carabineers, tent spikes.

7. Keep a separate stocked supply of zip lock bags and food containers, don’t rely on your house hold supply.

8. Keep a separate container for specialty equipment like crampons, mosquito netting, water shoes, stuff you don’t need on each trip.

9. Keep your backpacking clothing separate from your day to day and don’t wear it for anything but your outdoor fun, you look silly in wool socks and boots at work anyway.

10. Keep a stocked supply of “personals” baby wipes (unscented), Purel, camp soap, matches, bug spray, all the exhaustible supplies.

11. Buy a good battery tester.

12. When you return from your trip, leave some time to recover but also time to clean and repack your gear so it is ready to go again.

13. Keep a pad and pen near your storage area and make a list of what you need to buy and notes of what didn’t work and what did on the last trip, like the food that was good (and not), like you might want to get like better tent spikes.

14. Always have extra camp fuel stocked away.

15. Don’t be afraid to use a few moth balls or big red cedar blocks in your containers that might be susceptible to rodents and bugs, the smell will go away.
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Symbiot Tumblr Blog
Friday, August 27, 2010, 03:32 PM - News
So I set up a little tubmlr blog for myself and Symbiot stuff. It's a great application that I can update using my phone and will have other stuff then just Symbiot news, gear and backpacking tips. Check it out if your bored.
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Urban Biking
Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 01:17 AM - Products/Tips
You might have noticed a lot of new bike lanes popping up in your metro area. If so there are probably lots of you who want to know about getting around your city safely. Some of you might have seen a while back Symbiot gave a guide to bike safety. As informative as that was I've decided to add a much needed amendment to give the many new urban bicyclist a heads up to what you really need to know and watch out for when riding.

First off the basics still apply.
-Wear A helmet
-Keep your bike in proper working order
-Don't do anything stupid

Second there are things you need to look out for when riding. Below is a list that applies to my experiences of riding in NYC. Some cities may order their dangers a little differently. For instance pedestrians in NYC are the worst but in Philadelphia cars are the worst.
-Car without Turn signals
-Attractive People, I know you're looking
-Truck/Car Mirrors
-Other Bikers

Third there is a wealth of information out there that will guide you around your metro area safely.
Below are a few links to some major metro areas to help you can get around, and of course you could always use google bike maps.
NYC Bike Map
City of Chicago Bike Map
Philadelphia Bike Map
LA Bike Map

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Navigate: Forests and Mountains
Monday, June 14, 2010, 06:45 PM
Skirting Obstacles

Whether in the Cascades or the Everglades, you typically can’t beeline toward your bearing; at some point, a blowdown, cliff band, pond, or some other barrier will block your path. To bypass it while still staying on course, do the following:

1. Turn 90 degrees right or left from your bearing. You don’t have to calculate a new bearing—just sight along the front or back edge of your compass’s baseplate, perpendicular to the direction-of-travel arrow.

2. Count paces until you're past the obstacle. A pace is a double-step—count every left or right footstep. (The original Roman “mile” was 1,000—or mille—double-steps.)

3. Turn and walk your original bearing until you've passed the obstacle. Now turn 90 degrees again—leftward if you turned right at the start and vice versa. Count the same number of paces; then resume your original course.

Pace counting is rarely effective beyond about 200 paces—roughly a quarter-mile. To improve accuracy, note the time you travel on the outward leg, and try to match both time and pace count on the return leg.

Got Height?
You can easily pinpoint your position along a trail, creek, or ridgeline using just an altimeter and map. First, check the altitude on your altimeter. Then find the contour line closest to your elevation, and note where it intersects the trail, stream, or ridge. That is where you are. This technique works best during a steady ascent or descent, since undulating trails or rolling terrain may cross a contour line multiple times.
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