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The Science of Northern Utah's Outdoor Playground

Recently, while reorganizing my spare bedroom gear closet, I got to drinking thinking. Does mountain bike season ever officially end? When should I break out all of my ski stuff? What if I get all of my ski stuff out but then it turns out bike season isn’t actually over? That would be a mess. More specifically, what are the physiographic features of the Wasatch Mountains that make it so difficult to effectively organize and store my gear? Now, you might say, “It’s be...

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Photographing van life, part 3

If I had to choose only one activity we could go do while we were van-life-ing, it would be mountain biking. My wife, Tera, on the other hand, would without a doubt choose rock climbing. We both enjoy both methods of recreating, and we're making a conscious effort to balance time doing each activity. For this reason, we've been really looking forward to spending some time in British Colombia, and in particular Squamish, which is a Mecca for both biking and climbing. A few days bef...

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Photographing Van Life, part 2

We are closing in on two months on the road and Tera and I are finally starting to get the hang of van life. From finding our next camp spot to where to fill up on water, the things that stressed us out the most at the start are definitely starting to become a lot easier. Tera camp cooking by the van. Photo: Mike Schirf We started off July in Hood River, OR, definitely one of Tera and I's favorite stops so far. It has a bunch of great riding and just a nice friendly outdoor vibe....

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How to Stay Comfortably Cool While Hiking

1/5 Get out early The temperature is lower when the sun is lower in the sky. Photo: Ross Downard 2/5 Go for shady trails Staying out of the sun is key for staying cooler. Photo: Ross Downard 3/5 Go for high elevation trails The higher the altitude, the lower the air pressure, and therefore the cooler the temperature. Photo: Ross Downard 4/5 Stay hydrated Your body is better able to regulate its own temperature when it ha...

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Photographing Van Life

My wife Tera and I have been on the road, living in our Sprinter van with our two pups, Milly and Patsy, for about 3 weeks now. About a year ago we saved up and bought a 2016 Mercedes Sprinter van and started building it into a camper van. After months of hard work, a lot of learning, and an equal amount of frustration, we are finally on the road. Our plan is to spend a year traveling the western U.S., exploring and doing the things we love. Being a photographer and being able to live on ...

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Save Bonanza Flats

High in the mountains above Park City lies a beautiful and vast aspen grove. Aspens trees seem to stand together as individual trees, but in fact they are an interconnected system sharing a hidden network of roots underground. I have been fascinated by this special place and love to spend my days snowboarding and hiking in its midst.
What appear to be individual trees, are connected by their root system When I found out about professor of ecology, Suzanna Simard's, discovery o...

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When Iceland Beckons

One of the best parts of being the editor of jans.com is that I get to live vicariously through our Experts who, quite frankly, make my penchant for the written word seem downright boring. With the utmost humility, my fellow team members regale me with tales of their exploits such as shredding our Gold Level trails on their mountain bikes, or hanging by a thread (okay, a rope) off the side of a cliff while rock climbing. Mike Schirf just happens to do both of those things, in addition to ...

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Heating Up, Speeding Up - Summer Training for Endurance Athletes

Summer is upon us and the sun is climbing high in the sky every evening. So the question is, how is your summer training shaping up? Is it also heating up like the weather, or do you feel like the lazy days of spring are still lingering in your bones? There is no substitute for the commitment of long rides and runs, but you can up your speed by thoughtfully implementing speed and strength workouts as the dog days of summer unfold. Being in shape for endurance is a lifestyle. Priming your body...

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Jans Guided Hiking Trips

Because hiking is enjoyable, the Uintas are awesome, and the Experts at White Pine Touring (Jans guide service) have a great reputation, I knew, even before I went on a guided hiking trip to the Uinta mountains, that it would be delightful. Walking alongside a small river in the Uinta Mountains Why go hiking with a guide? In short, the reason to hike with a guide is that it takes a lot of pressure off, so that instead of worrying about the logistical details, you can just enjoy y...

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Jans Summer Events and More 2015

Mountain recreation is our thing - has been for the last 30 years. Whether we are fishing a blue ribbon trout stream, hiking in the remote wilderness of the Uinta mountains, or riding some of the 400 miles of IMBA Gold-rated single track in Park City, we love to be outside. That's why we plan a slew of free summer events for locals and visitors alike. We want you to get outside with us. Check out what we've got going on for summer 2015, and come enjoy some time in the mountains. ...

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Salomon S-Lab Sense 4 Ultra SG Review

Expert Review The Salomon S-Lab Sense 4 Ultra SG is a shoe that needs to be taken at face value. This is not a Cinderella slipper where the string music rises up from the background as you slip it on for that cushy fit; this shoe is purposefully built for long-distance endurance trail running. It is not that this running shoe is uncomfortable, it is just minimalist and engineered towards performance. The fit is snug and secure due to the combination of the Endofit internal sleeve...

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Dryland Training

Even though it was a shorter winter in Park City than we all would have liked, those of us who are eternal optimists are convinced that it just means deeper snow for next winter. Regardless of what Mother Nature has in store, spring is the time to get in shape for next season. Not later this summer or sometime in October. Off-season training holds an enormous amount of sway over your winter performance level. Professional distance athletes will do 80-85% of their training at or below 80% ...

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How to Stay Sane During Mud Season

Mud season is a difficult time for both locals and visitors in a mountain town; it is neither here nor there in terms of skiing and biking. There is still snow on the peaks and upper-level trails, yet no lifts are turning and your feet are over ski boots. Maybe you could sneak in a few days of mountain biking, but most trails are still buried under snow. Or worse, they are snow-free and muddy, so that if you ride them you could mess up the trail with some serious ruts. How can you make the mo...

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Salomon Speedcross Product Review

Expert Review My first impression of the Salomon Speedcross Trail Running Shoe is that it is super cushy, and hugs your foot like a good friend. It feels very secure, especially the heel pocket, which gives you a lot of confidence that your foot is not going to be sliding around. RATING Technical Features Best uses based on drop, weight, tread pattern, and sole materials The Speedcross is not meant to be a lightweight running or a race shoe. You know it's...

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Jans Gives Back

For over 33 years Jans has been a part of the local Park City community. That's pretty refreshing in a day and age when big box stores seem to dominate the retail landscape. Walk into any of our locations and you'll not only be greeted with a smile but, if you visit often enough, our Experts will likely greet you by name. Being a local business is the foundation of what Jans is all about and that means giving back to the community where we live, work, and play. And so, while the h...

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Race Day Nutrition for Trail Runners

You have put in the hours of training, made sacrifices, motivated yourself at the end of long days, and now race day has finally arrived. There is nothing more frustrating than having your expectations for your next trail running race dashed by poor nutrition. Meticulously training your body is a tough enough process without having to work even harder by running on "bad fuel," or no fuel at all. The Basics of Race Day Nutrition I tend to use analogies when explaining basic p...

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Jans Named One of the Top 100 Retailers

For over 32 years Jans has prided itself on sharing expert knowledge with every customer who walks into our stores. The goal is to help people have a great experience outdoors – whether fly fishing, skiing, biking, climbing or hiking. And, perhaps most importantly, we strive to treat each customer as if they were guests in our home. High mountain stream near Park City, Utah--> According to Outdoor USA Magazine, we’ve accomplished that goal. The current issue recognizes ...

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Why Stretching is Important for Trail Running

I don't think that I have written a single blog entry, for either trail running or Nordic skiing, without mentioning stretching. It really is that important. Proper stretching is not what separates the pros from the amateurs. It's what separates the pain-free and limber from those who feel haggard at the end of a work day, before even getting out for a run. Stretching never hurts. By that I mean it's not a bad thing to be doing - before a workout, after a workout, as a workout, or...

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How To Recover After A Running Race

Race recovery starts well before the race itself. Tight muscles, dehydration, poor nutrition, or improper gear can all make for a tough day running on the trails. The best thing to do is establish a routine for both race day and everyday training. Then you need to put in the extra work to keep your body well–tuned for when the time comes to compete. I have mentioned this in a previous blog, but race day is not the time to experiment with new ideas. No new drink mixes, changes in diet, o...

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Park City Food Tours - A Culinary Layman's Review

My name is Nathaniel Baxter Tomlinson. I am a man of intellectual pursuits and refined taste. My passion for food is exceeded only by my culinary pre-eminence. Just last night I made a classic meal from my extensive repertoire. It is a simple dish in essence, yet powerfully complex on the palate: One 7.25 oz. serving of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner “The Cheesiest” and two Hillshire Farms Polska Smoked Sausage Links, blended together and seasoned to taste with half a bott...