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5 Tips to Rack Smarter This Winter

Our customer service team knows racks. We asked them to share their knowledge. Here are five smart tips to keep your Yakima snowsports mount working right all winter long… 1. LOCK AFTER YOU LOAD Every time you put your skis or boards back into the rack, make sure you secure it with the SKS lock. It’s a good habit, and helps deters thieves when you have to leave your gear unattended during pit stops. 2. APRES TRAVEL Road salt, grit and water are hard on equipment, so it’s always good to rinse and dry your mount after a long trip in bad conditions. And pop it off if you’re not using it for a while. It means less exposure to

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Unracked: Fly Fishing the Pacific Northwest

Matt Swainbank: Events and Training Manager / Fly Fisherman Winter steelhead, summer trout – Matt is an avid fly fisherman. And – let’s get this out of the way right now – he is not going to share his super-secret spot. But he will share what he does at Yakima. “My role varies quite a bit. I run point and handle logistics for all of our major national trade shows, plus organize all of our retail training and consumer events. There’s a lot of awesome. A fun aspect is my role is always changing. Spring is about training. I spend a lot of time traveling – I was a Yakima Road Warrior for two years, so I know the fun

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Unracked: 5 Tips for a Successful Mountain Biking Trip

Raul Bonifacio : Customer Service Lead Raul Bonifacio lives to bomb around on his bikes – both Mountain and Cyclocross – but also loves to unrack by quietly hanging out in nature with his wife, Jennifer, and sometimes… a couple of owls. His day job is helping people out. “I work as a customer service lead, helping consumers and my team with fitting racks on cars, teaching them how our products work, and how the products will make their lives easier. Turning people onto the product is really fun.” And sometimes service means stepping up big. “I call this story ‘Ship happens.’  I recently got a call from a customer, ‘Hey man, I’m a ski instructor and believe in karma.

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Unracked: SkyRise Tent Tips & Tricks

Ian Betteridge : Product Integrity Lead No one has spent more time with our SkyRise rooftop tent than Ian. Ironing out bugs and refining new products – it’s a reality of a business, and Ian is the guy to do it. “I’m basically a problem solver, he says. Adding, with a laugh, “I am The Wolf. Like Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction – ‘It takes thirty minutes to get there in traffic? I’ll be there in ten.’ When we are met with challenges from dealers or consumers, they come to me as the first attempt to find a solution.” He cites the SkyRise as an example. ““We take feedback from the market – if there’s a way we need to

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Unracked: Kayaking with Tex Alexander

Tex Alexander – Fit and Technical Training Lead Tex makes sure your rack is gonna fit. “My job is to go out to auto dealers, or customers who are willing to let us use their brand new cars, and assess the auto/rack interface. We have a network of car dealers in Portland, so we have access to new vehicles once they come to the market. We look them over, take measurements, check structural integrity, gather all the data. Say a new Ford Fusion comes out, we’ll go out and test it in the field, relate that to our internal testing, measure everything, then post the info up for consumers.” Tex loves racks. But his true love is paddling. He’s so

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Unracked: Family Vacation Essentials

Garrett Barnum – CATEGORY DIRECTOR Garrett Barnum and his wife love to pile their five kids into the Suburban and head out to set their base camp – wherever that might be.  They’d love to do that all the time, but a guy also has to earn a living. Garrett is our Category Director for Top of Car and – of course – Camping. “I am responsible for what lives and dies in our product line, and I help to look forward and decide what we should develop next,” he explains. “I gather information from a lot of different sources – consumers, retailers, our customer service – and I get ideas from random inventors and people that think they’re inventors

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Unracked: Paddleboarding with Jenna Fallon

Jenna Fallon – Digital Director Jenna loves to stand-up paddle. “Every moment in the sunshine makes me do a happy dance.” And she makes it a point – even living in the rainy Pacific Northwest – to do her SUP and sun inspired happy dancing as often as possible.   But she does have a day job. Jenna is our Digital Director. “I manage the yakima.com user experience. My job is to help consumers find what they need on our website to create their first-ever roof rack system by setting up the online process that helps you figure out how to find the right one for your car as simply and easily as possible.” But when she gets the time, she loads up her husband, their kids

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Unracked: Road Biking with Kenny Graham

Kenny Graham – Product Integrity Specialist “I ride as much as I can,” says Kenny.  “I ride to work  – an hour and a half commute – then I’ll commute home, and after work I try and ride for a couple more hours if I can. Plus long weekend rides.” What about lunch? “Sometimes. But lunchtime rides are over too quick.” Kenny is a Product Integrity Specialist, but that’s just a title. “I like to share the Yakima culture – I consider myself to be a brand ambassador. I want to make sure the cycling community knows what Yakima is about, what our presence is in the cycling world – and in the outdoor community, too – so I work hard to insert our involvement so people

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The Gambler 500

Born from a dream. A dream of giving forgotten, tossed aside and abandoned autos new life. A chance to become legendary. How do they become legendary?  By completing a 500 mile off-road journey through the beautiful wilderness of Oregon.  Imagine a train of beaters, gimmick rides (think sketchy ambulance), and woefully “off-road unready” vehicles charging through the dirt roads that surround Mt Hood and other parts of the scenic Oregon landscape.  It makes for quite a show. It all began in 2014, when co-founder Tate Morgan said to his friend “It would be cool to get a bunch of guys together, go out and buy $500 cars and see how far we can go.”  That simple statement started with 14 vehicles, and three years later the

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Outdoor Afro: Rediscovering the Inner Nature Swagger

Outdoor Afro helps to reconnect people with their “inner nature swagger.” We’re psyched to partner with them, and recently joined them on a trip to Olympic National Park to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Buffalo Soldiers. Started as a blog by Rue Mapp in 2009, Outdoor Afro leverages social media and technology to create an adaptive, responsive network of networks that gets African Americans involved with nature. It may start with going on a hike. It may simply be looking at pictures from someone else’s hike on Instagram or Facebook. How you initially connect doesn’t matter, what does matter is shifting the visual representation of who gets outdoors. You can get involved as deeply as you want, any way

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Yakima X Deathgrip

Brendan Fairclough is one of the world’s best mountain bike riders. Clay Porter is one of the world’s best mountain bike filmmakers. They’ve been good friends for a decade. You know they had to do a film together. For the last two years, Porter and Fairclough have been shooting and editing Deathgrip. Fairclough—joined by a squad of some of this generation’s most influential riders—and Porter traveled the world to push mountain biking’s envelope and bring it to the people. Says Porter, “Deathgrip is essentially a byproduct of our 10-year long professional relationship with the sport of gravity mountain biking. We are using our collective experience working with each other to give our audience a futuristic vision into the sport and

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5 Incredible National Parks for Cycling

From the seat of a bike, exploring America’s national parks takes on a different view. As you pedal slowly through these protected lands, awareness of nature becomes strong, filling your nose with the smells of wilderness, while you feel the wind on your face. From cycling on the rim of a volcano and biking next to herds of bison to pedaling through the deserts of Utah and everything in between, these parks give cyclists of all levels amazing experiences in nature. It is a great way to bond with your family, your friends, or as a couple in the majesty of the great outdoors. The views, trails, and roads are awesome, but what lingers are not the miles you put

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Our Home on Wheels

Hey there! We are Our Home On Wheels, also known as Jace, Giddi, and baby Juniper. We are a full-time traveling family living in a 2005 self-converted Sprinter van with our pup, Lotus. We often get asked why we decided to sell everything and move into such a small space. To put it simply, this is what we needed. Flashback two years ago and Jace and I were working the typical 9-5 schedule and feeling as if our dreams were slipping away from us. There’s nothing abnormal about working 5 days a week. Millions of people do it — even many van dwellers continue to happily work a day job. For us though, this wasn’t working. We felt something was

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Brianna Madia

I think a lot of folks hear that we live in our van and assume we’re on some sort of trip. But there is no Point B to our Point A. While we do live “on the road” by technicality, we very much call Utah home. We came here from the East Coast nearly 5 years ago, drawn in by the lure of the mountains and the freedom of the American West…but it was the deserts that kept us here.  We felt an indescribable pull to that undeveloped wilderness. And while Utah has an abundance of National and State parks, we much prefer the complete solitude of the rugged BLM lands of the desert backcountry. We learned early on in

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Carabiner Coffee

Oh hey there! This is Erik from @carabinercoffee. Our story is what you get when you take one dirtbag climber, one hefty dose of wanderlust, one 71 VW bus named Ol Blue plus one great cup of coffee and mix them all together. Over the past  3 years we have been traveling to some of the most beautiful places in the country making coffee for anyone who happens to be around. Our Yakima Skybox loaded down with everything we could possible need to live simply and adventure often. Photo: Daniel Noll This story all started on an especially cold day in the middle of a cross country solo bike tour. Pedaling down the Oregon coast and in need of something

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The Bus and Us

We are @TheBusAndUs, which consists of Dillon, Tessa and our 1975 Volkswagen Bus, Rita. It was 2014, while we were two young working professionals making a life for ourselves in Alaska when the travel bug burrowed deep into us. Tessa was happily in a special education teaching career in Anchorage, spending her free time camping, skiing, fishing and exploring the large state she calls home. Dillon was working in supply chain management and with what little time off he had he could be found weekend warrior-ing to the max, trying to snowboard, surf, and camp as far from town as possible. It was then that we realized that we would rather be road tripping, camping, and adventuring full time rather

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Skiing and Snowboarding Near Boulder

Boulder isn’t technically a ski town, but with eight world-class ski resorts within two hours, it’s a suitable launching point for getting out and ripping lift-accessed turns. Eldora is a short drive away and holds a special place in Boulderites’ hearts as the local ski hill. Farther afield, world-class resorts line the I-70 corridor and are within reach for a day trip—just beware of traffic and try to avoid peak travel times. Better yet, make a weekend of it so you can relax into the mountain lifestyle—including drinking in the après scene. Inspired to hit the slopes? Here’s all you need to know about skiing and snowboarding near Boulder. Eldora Mountain Resort Robert Tadlock A quick 40-minute drive up Boulder Canyon

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5 Amazing National Parks for Camping

Nothing is as memorable as camping in the breathtaking wilderness of America’s national parks, where lifelong memories of sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows, and gazing at the gazillion stars above are forged. The memories are so strong, in fact, that even just the smell of burning wood will transport you back to the campsite where you last spent the night. Whether you are in a tent, a hammock, or sleeping out in the wilderness, camping in the national parks helps reconnect you with a way of life mostly forgotten in the daily hustle and bustle. There are 59 national parks for you to find that one-of-a-kind bedroom under the stars. Here are the five best for incredible camping. Many

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Dead Reckoning – A Summer of Getting Lost

“…pack your stuff late, get up early, and hit the road” We jumped on board to help Yonder Journal, a team of cultural anthropologists and sportsmen, on their latest big project – Dead Reckoning. They loaded up their bikes and did some over-mountain exploration using ancient and modern trade routes. Then they wrote about what happened. Take a look. “Over the past two years Yonder Journal has investigated, documented, and published the possibilities of Over-Mountain exploration. We call this project Dead Reckoning. We applied the technologies and methodologies of adventure-cycling, bike-packing, and ultra-lightweight-touring to multi-day-style expeditions with a focus on crossing mountains using a variety of both ancient and modern trade routes. We choose a bike because they cover ground

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Kayak Bassin’

The only thing Chad Hoover enjoys more than catching big fish is exploring and finding fish where powerboats can’t reach. Chad is host of Kayak Bassin’ on World Fishing Network and Knot Right Kayak Fishing on NBC Sports—two television series’ that follow Chad on entertaining backwoods adventures, while offering anglers valuable fishing tips and tricks.       As a full-time angler and fishing personality, Chad puts approximately 57,000 mi. each year with his kayak laden Yakima RACKandROLL trailer in tow: That’s 57,000 mi. strictly dedicated to the hunt for the biggest bass he can find and land from the seat of his kayak! He is currently tracking to hit 250-300 days of fishing this year. From his home in

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TEAM RALLY RAV4 – GOING PLACES

Rally racing is a team sport. Christina Fate and Ryan Millen are Team Rally RAV4. They steer their two-wheel drive 2016 Toyota RAV4 SE – with no mechanical modifications – to podiums at rally events across the country. This weekend they head into the championships at Lake Superior Pro Rally in Michigan with 4 Wins and 3 Runner Up finishes total so far this year. They are currently tied for 1st place in the 2WD class and currently sitting in 4th place OVERALL. We caught up with them in Oregon this summer for a day of mountain biking, race prep and checking out our favorite places to eat in Portland. Like Yakima, they’re about going places, “It’s a fit,” says Christina.

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Mountain State Overland – Season 3

  Mountain State Overland (MSO) is a YouTube series dedicated to documenting adventure travel and telling stories that promote responsible lifestyles along the oldest mountain range east of the Mississippi; the Appalachian Mountains. Since its inception in the “Mountain State” (West Virginia) during the Fall of 2013, this team of explorers have captured motion and still images that recount their nearly 10,000 miles of vehicle-based adventures. Team MSO’s adventures in 2016 will be centered around exploring the unique landscapes, terrain, rivers and cultures that make up the United State’s northeastern most region of the Appalachian Mountains. Follow the adventure image by image at #1MILE1TREE and learn more about their contributions toward Trees for the Future throughout Season 3.    

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Pack Like a Pro – Our Vie Weighs In

This spring we partnered with Our Vie, a couple consisting of Cees and Madison accompanied by Vladimir Kitten, to help them achieve a lofty yet amazing goal.  They approached us with a project that we couldn’t help but to get behind: visit every National Park on the Centennial Anniversary of the National Park Service.  With their idea turned into a plan and support online, they hit the road in their 1989 Toyota motorhome, aptly named Vie, and put the plan into action. This week we check in to see how they are using Yakima Products to cover all of those miles with so much gear: Here at OurVie.com we love to do anything outdoors.  If there is any activity that gets us outside of the

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A Mountain Biker’s Guide to Leaving No Trace

Originally written for RootsRated Mountain Biking provides an amazing mix of outdoor adventure. On a bike, you can pedal at a pace that promotes intimacy and interaction with the environment, or you can swoop along a rippin’ singletrack while testing your skills on a steep descent. MTB is one of the most popular forms of outdoor recreation and now, more than ever, responsible riding is essential to helping ensure long-term health of the sport. For mountain biking to continue being a viable outdoor recreation endeavor on public lands, doing so respectfully and with the resource in mind, is vital. These are just a few simple considerations to keep in mind on your next mountain biking adventure and will help ensure

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21 Awesome Places to See in Colorado

Everyone and their mother knows that Colorado is a place of unending beauty and incredible geographic diversity. From the infinite plains in the East, to the craggy spine of the Continental Divide in the center of the state, to the arid desert landscapes in the West, it’s almost unfair how much outdoor goodness exists in Colorado. Editorially speaking, you could spend a lifetime creating lists and stories of things to do and places to see in the state. So why add to the content clutter? Well, because maybe, just maybe, we’ll mention a spot where you haven’t been or that you haven’t heard of, which you can add to your CO bucket list and hopefully experience one day. In this slightly differentiated list,

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