Take More Friends. Bring Back More Stories.

Yakima stories

Explore our travel tips, helpful product reviews and everyday adventure stories from folks like you.

search stories

Meet Robin Van Gyn

From snowboarding to surfing, four-season athlete Robin Van Gyn has been exploring her native British Columbia since age 16. Whether chasing storms, riding peaks, or commanding waves, Robin constantly seeks new and sustainable ways to connect with nature.

Read More »

AT THE FOOT OF MIGHTY MOUNT HOOD

Historic Timberline Lodge sits at the base of one of Oregon’s most popular recreation areas, majestic Mount Hood. Built during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Lodge is a legendary Works Progress Administration (WPA) effort. It’s a charming example of what can be achieved when the government partners with artists, craftspeople, and workers to create and build public projects—namely a distinctive piece of Pacific Northwest Americana. President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially dedicated Timberline in 1937. This magnificent ski area is the only one in North America to offer year-round skiing and snowboarding. Conveniently located just 60 miles from Portland, Timberline is drawing record numbers of skiers and snowboarders. John Burton, Timberline’s Director of Marketing and PR, shares some ways

Read More »

Van Life: Dirty, Smelly, and Perfect

Brianna Madia takes over our instagram Hitch a ride with Brianna and her family as they make their way to visit us here in Portland, OR. Hitch a Ride Instagram takeover Brianna Madia spends her time roaming the desert in a van named Bertha. She loves the warmth and solitude, and the environment’s scrappy toughness. “There’s something really intentional about the desert that just sort of clicked with me,” says Brianna. “There’s nothing easy about living in a place where daytime temps are triple digits and water is scarce. I remember being absolutely fascinated by all the woody little desert shrubs, all the cacti – for them to survive and thrive in a place like that takes such grit and

Read More »

Jordan Lee: Gone Fishing

Jordan Lee has competed in four Bassmaster Classics. He won two of them. “Winning the Classic twice has been special. The stars have really aligned for me and things fell into place,” says Jordan. But the reality is more than stars aligning – Jordan works hard, travels a ton, and has to pour a lot of concentration into what he does. So, when he gets some free time, how does he like to spend it? He goes fun-fishing. “Pretty much the difference is I pick up a buddy and go out and just fish. I can bring a friend or my fiancé. Also, I can bring my dog, Sage. She likes fishing too. I just like fishing with people and

Read More »

Roaming with Loki the Wolfdog

Loki the Wolfdog, Bailey the dog dog, and Kelly and Ally, are a pack of road roamers and snack enthusiasts. There’s a lot of love in this group so it’s no surprise that they have gained a giant following on social media.  Loki’s anchored Kelly, inspired him, and brings a level of companionship only a dog can bring. “Having that consistency of a faithful friend is irreplaceable. I brought Loki home as a pup, and just made it a point to never leave him behind. I had dogs throughout my life, but bringing home a low content wolfdog, I took it more seriously. Over time my life changed to look a lot different. My priorities changed,” says Kelly. ““I just

Read More »
Wild River Life

Wild River Life – Roaming Free to Celebrate Our Rivers

The Wild & Scenic River Act is having its 50th anniversary, so Susan and Adam Elliot loaded up their ’91 Coachman RV and set out to paddle, float, and experience 50 of these pristine rivers. After two years and 19 states, they ticked off 47. Now they are off the road full-time, but still roaming to tick off those final three – and they won’t stop there. “Oh, we’re eager to paddle more and more Wild and Scenic all over the country,” says Susan. “We have yet to visit the Northeast, the Delaware, Westfield, Mississiquoi, and Allagash Rivers, for example. Or Alaska. Those are both high on the list for us.”  Two years on the road roaming from river to river

Read More »

Home on Wheels – Tips for Van Life

Jace, Giddi, little Juniper, and Lotus the Dog live in a van – and it’s a nice one. After selling their first van in March of 2016, they purchased another and did a complete new build. They put a ton of work into it, but its floors and cabinets don’t define their Home on Wheels. “For us, its not what you put inside, or how you decorate,” says Jace. “Sure, these things help create a more ‘at home’ feel as you travel around, but what really makes it a home is the experiences you have in it.” Ready for the van life? Read below and snag some tips from these seasoned pros. Pack smart Space is tight, so Giddi and

Read More »
Henry and Baloo Yakima RackPack

Meet Henry & Baloo

An unlikely pair that can adventure anywhere Furry Adventure Henry is a dog. Baloo is a cat. Cynthia Bennett is a human. All of them love to pile into their 2007 Toyota 4Runner, hit the road, and adventure outdoors. Cynthia loves to be out in nature – hiking, camping, backpacking – and she loves her fur babies. Only natural they should all travel together. But how does she pull it off so everyone is safe and happy? “Traveling with Henry and Baloo is like traveling with kids,” she says. “There is a lot to pack and think about before hitting the road!” Cynthia, Andre, Henry, and Baloo! Part of the Yakima RackPack TRAVEL COMFY. TRAVEL SAFE. Having the right gear

Read More »

Never Leave the Dogs Behind

Never leave the dogs behind Tips for Traveling with Your Beloved Best Friends For the last two years, I have lived in an old van with my husband and our two dogs. From 31-inch snowstorms and 116-degree Moab desert days, to 17-hour drives across international borders and nights attempting sleep in crowded parking lots…my dogs have seen it all when it comes to life on the road. Traveling with dogs is not unlike traveling with small children…it’s a little exhausting, a lot rewarding, and you might end up with poop in your car. Here are a few of my top tips for traveling and adventuring with your furry friends. Start Slow. The first time you went for a run, was

Read More »

Meet Outdoor Afro

Getting people Outdoors with Outdoor AFRO Yakima is a proud supporter and friend of Outdoor Afro, and we’re handing this one over to Yanira Castro, their Communications Director and a regional leader. She’s going to tell us who Outdoor Afro is, and how the organization inspired her – and others – to experience nature with a new perspective. Plus, she’ll give us a look at some big-time climbing and camping action. WE CONNECT THOUSANDS Outdoor Afro is built on a focused mission – to create and inspire Black connection and leadership in nature. We are the nation’s leading, cutting-edge network celebrating and inspiring African American connections and leadership in nature. We help people take better care of themselves, our communities,

Read More »

Hit the Road with WildRoots

SHARING THE ROAD Nate and Candice are the adult portion of WildRoots, an outdoor-loving, Utah-based family with jobs, school, and four boys – Zev who just turned 10, seven year old Kai, five year old Liam, and Shem. He’s three. Before Candice and Nate got married, the outdoors was a big part of their lives. Now it’s part of the kids’ lives, too.  “It’s pretty natural to enjoy sharing things you love with the people you care about,” says Nate. “I find on the rare occasions when I go out on a solo fly fishing trip, I end up seeing rad stuff that I can’t wait to get back and tell my family about. We get pumped about the same types of

Read More »

Brianna’s Road Trip Tips

Brianna’s Road Tips for Road Trips Getting there is half the journey. That’s what they say, right? But, if you end up laid out on the side of the freeway with smoke pouring from the hood of your car, getting there can end up being the whole journey. Take it from me, a woman who should have earned a college degree in laying on the hot pavement beneath a 28-year-old vehicle playing, “what’s that burning smell?” Now you might be thinking, “Brianna, I don’t drive a vehicle that’s been around for both Bush presidencies, so I’ll be fine.” Maybe so! But a well-maintained vehicle is a happy vehicle, no matter the age. Here’s some quick and easy tips for making

Read More »

Life in the SkyRise

FEELS LIKE HOME Randy Propster, Backpacker Magazine’s Get Out More Guru, practically lives in our SkyRise rooftop tent. In just about a year, he’s logged over 150 nights in his SkyRise. That’s more than anyone we know of. “It feels like home,” says Randy. “It better. I’m on the road for over 32 straight weeks right now. This year I have my SkyRise on top of my Turtleback Trailer and I’m pulling the whole kit around with a Ford Transit Connect van. I have a home everywhere I go.”   The van his living room and garage (“I travel with 1000 pounds of ultralight backpacking gear”), the Turtleback his kitchen, and the SkyRise is the bedroom. “I climb that ladder,

Read More »

Quick Tips

Quick Tips to Protect your rack Check your rack on a regular basis for a safe and smooth ride. See below for quick tips based on our different product categories ROOF RACK SYSTEMS Ensure hardware is torqued correctly, and system is firmly in place (push/pull/up/down test). Gear Mounts Clean off any road debris and lube any exposed threads with a light lubricant. Hitch Racks Check to see that your hitch bolt or SpeedKnob is nice and tight to the receiver. Look for any wear in surfaces that contact your bicycle. Trailer Check electrical connections, use dielectric grease to maintain healthy conductivity and prevent corrosion. BaseCamp Check mount hardware for proper torque. Open up the tent periodically to ensure it is

Read More »

Get Out More Tour

IT’S TIME TO GET OUT MORE WITH YAKIMA and BACKPACKER MAGAZINE It’s summer – time to get and explore and find new adventures, right? But before you head out, shake off winter’s rust at the Backpacker Get Out More Tour when it swings by a retailer near you. Led by Backpacker Magazine pro, Randy Propster, Get Out More crosses the country delivering tips and tricks, wisdom and inspiration, and an opportunity to get hands-on with – and even win – some sweet gear. THIS TOUR’S FOR YOU Randy tours because he loves to share his passion. “If you are an active or aspiring outdoor enthusiast and you’re looking for ways to enhance your experience on your next hiking, camping or backpacking

Read More »

Meet Diego Huerta

Diego Huerta: Photographing the World, Living the Stories Diego Huerta writes stories with a camera. “To tell a story you have to live the story,” explains Diego. “You have to be in front of it, able to feel it, smell it. You have to find that universal language that does not need the word, that just by seeing the image the person understands what you were seeing and feeling at that precise moment. There are stories that are in front of you, but there are others where you have to travel long roads, cross rivers and mountains to reach them, and discover new stories along the way.” To Be A Nomad Finding stories has inspired Diego’s wanderlust. Early in his

Read More »

Future Wild & Scenic Rivers

Future Wild & Scenic Rivers By Susan Elliott, Wild River Life Sure, there are over 200 rivers across the country that our nation has decided to protect as Wild and Scenic. Rivers like the Middle Fork Salmon, one of the most popular multi-day rafting trips in the world, or the Appalachian classic Chattooga River, featured in the movie Deliverance and one of the longest free-flowing rivers in the Southeast. Yet, Wild and Scenic Rivers make up less than 1% of our waterways, even after 50 years since the signing of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968. Our representatives signed the Act into law to create a balance between development and conservation. As we look back for this year’s

Read More »

How To choose your bike rack

Choosing the right bike rack can be a little daunting…but we’re here to help! On The Back Or Up On Top: There are a few ways to carry bikes on your vehicle Each has its own benefits. One of the biggest factors to consider is how you like to load and unload your bikes. Hitch Easy to install and remove Minimal bike-lifting required Room up top for other gear Convenient access to trunk Trunk Easy to install and remove Room up top for other gear No need for a hitch or roof rack Must install/remove for each use Spare Tire Easy to install and remove Utilizes spare tire bolts Low profile when not in use Only available in 2 bike

Read More »

Rachel Strait – Riding Fast & Taking Names

Growing up in a cycling family meant Rachel Strait was born to ride. Biking was consistently Rachel’s childhood family activity because her father, Jeff, was racing motocross growing up. “He really wanted his children to be outdoors rather than indoors glued to the TV,” says Rachel. “I began riding cross-country when I was nine years old and entered my first competition at age ten.” She won and has been taking names ever since. A few years later, in 2006, she was titled the Junior Expert National XC Champion, landing her a spot representing the USA in the World Championships in Rotorua, NZ.  She was 16 years old. She placed 14th, and she’s had a bunch of impressive competitive achievements over

Read More »

YogaSlackers and the PeaceLoveCar: Riding Tiny, Living Big

A 1988 Ford Festiva is a small car. Super small. At 28 square feet, it’s efficient and easy to park, but not much of a living space. But the YogaSlackers made it a mini mobile home – and office, and gear hauler, and spreader of good vibes. For ten years, Sam Salwei – one of the original YogaSlackers – has made it his adventure mobile. For the last five of the years, he’s shared the 28 square feet with fellow YogaSlacker, Raquel Hernández-Cruz. YogaSlackers is a group of folks – almost 150 of them – all over the world who teach yoga, slacklining, acro-yoga, conditioning, and various combos of all of it. It started with Sam Salwei and Jason Magness,

Read More »

Brianna Madia – Home For the Holidays

Here at Yakima, a lot of us are traveling “home” for the holidays. To some that means a ten minute drive, or a plane ride to Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, or Indiana. For one of our favorite van lifers, Brianna Madia, “Home for the holidays” means snuggling down with her husband and two pups in their home, Bertha. I press my nose to the frozen glass of the passenger window. The humming of our van’s engine slows as we meander aimlessly through dark suburban streets. We peer in through passing windows just beyond porches and lawns lit up with lights and inflatable Santas and white wire reindeer to see families gathered around tables and fires roaring up chimneys…children in matching pajamas

Read More »

NICA – I wish I had this in high school

NICA, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association, provides systems, procedures, leadership and services to help form regional leagues that put on competitive – and not so competitive – middle and high school mountain biking events and programs. They get students on bikes, so we are excited to support them by helping get the riders – and their rides – to the races and events. Their programs get students who both already love to ride and those that are new to cycling, an opportunity to be involved with an interscholastic team sport, and it offers students who are curious about mountain biking an avenue to get rolling.  Plus, it brings a team ethic – and the camaraderie that comes with that –

Read More »

STAY IN THE LOOP