Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Canyon Pack V2 By Runout Customs

The redesigned Canyon Pack by Runout Customs called the V2 gets high marks in terms of comfort, function, and durability.

I have been using the V2 over the last month and a half while guiding primarily class C canyons in the eastern United States.  Below are my thoughts on the V2 pack after this month and a half of use.

Comfort:  This is the first thing that caught my attention when I put on the V2 pack for the first time.  It was incredibly comfortable to wear it did a great job of distributing the weight to my hips as oppose to my shoulders.  I believe this can be contributed to the quality of the hip belt and the urethane material that creates the packs structure. I found that it was not necessary to put a back panel into the sleeve but this option is available if you feel you need more ridgity in the pack.  My only complaint with comfort is I would like to see a little longer sternum strap on the pack, however the buckle whistle is a great feature on the sternum strap.

Function: How did the V2 function as a canyon pack.  I have used it primarily as a rope bag as well as hauling my clothing and harness to the canyon on the apporach.  I feel it is large enough to carry 300 ft of rope 9.2 diameter, a harness, helmet, and wetsuit.  At this point it will be reaching capacity.  The top loading design with wide entry is ideal for stuffing rope quickly after rappels and the small zippered pouch is great for putting food or other small things which need to be out of the way while using the pack as a rope bag.  I would have liked to see a few more grommets on the sides of the pack to assist in faster drainage but the packs bucket shape ensures that all the water does drain at an adequate rate.  Finally, I found that clipping the pack to one of the two haul loops on top of the pack and to your harness made for a smooth rope feed from the bag while rappelling.  While rapppelling with the bag clipped to me I found that it was best to wrap the waist belt around the back of the pack and clip it to ensure it stayed out of the way of your feet.

Durability:  Although I have only used my V2 for about a month and a half it has seen consistent use and shows no signs of wear. It seems that it has been put together well and is made of the highest quality material.  I can not yet comment how well it will hold up in slot canyons but  my experience with the V2 canyon pack in Class C canyons has been positive and the nicest feature is how quickly it dries.

I strongly recommend this pack to any canyoneer who wants a quick drying, top loading canyon pack . Especially if they would like the pack to serve a dual purpose as a rope bag as well.

This review was written by Pura Vida Adventures owner/ and head canyon guide Joe Moerschbaecher.

Pura Vida Adventures was the first company to run commercial canyoneering courses in the eastern US, in addition canyoneering courses and trips are run by Joe Moerschbaecher who is certified through the American Canyon Guide Assocition. Pura Vida Adventures is the oncly American Canyoneering Academy accredited guide service in the eastern US. www.pvadventures.com

To find out more about Runout Customs or the V2 Canyon Pack visit http://www.runoutcustoms.com/ .

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hunger Games Tour Options

Pura Vida Adventures is excited to be offering Hunger Games Tours this year due to the high demand and request from our past clients.
"The reason we are getting such a high demand for Hunger Games Tours is two fold explains," Joe Moerschbaecher, owner of Pura Vida Adventures. "We have been running similar tours to the Hunger Games Tours for over 6 years and our survival courses which have been very popular even before the Hunger Games existed are becoming more popular because fans are realizing many of the skills we teach in these courses are the same as those important for survival in the movie."
Pura Vida adventures has designed two seperate tours specifically for Hunger Games fans. The first visits the areas of Dupont State Forest where Hunger Games was filmed this tour will also provide you with details on what went on in the forest last summer when Hunger Games was being filmed.
The half day Dupont Hunger Games tour is $75 a person and lasts 3-4 hours
The full day Dupont Hunger Games tour is $100 a person and last 6 hours.
Pura Vida Adventures is also offering Hunger Games Survival Schools. ($150 a person 7-8 hours in length).

Learn from your experienced survival guide, Joe Moerschbaecher as he teaches you the survival skills necessary to survive the Hunger Games. This tour focuses primarily on the nonviolent survival skills including fire and shelter building, knot tying, snares, off trail travel, and navigation. After the skills are taught tributes will be paired in groups of two and practice the skills on their own and be evaluated for their power rankings in these survival areas.
Pura Vida Adventures approach is a sustainable one we will limit all tours and survival classes to 12 ppl in order to minimize our impact on the environment as well as provide ample attention to our tributes during survival skills classes and Dupont Hunger Games Tours. In addition tributes will be required to hike easy to moderate trails to access the areas where the Hunger Games were filmed and the best areas where survival skills can be taught.
Tours available any day of the week, reservations are strongly recommended call 772-579-0005 or email contact@pvadventures.com for more details or book a trip.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pura Vida Adventures to offer Hunger Games Tours in 2012

Last spring I was contacted by a movie location scout, they were referred to me because they were looking for an area to shoot a waterfall scene for an upcoming movie. I hesitantly provided them with some information and advice on area waterfalls that might suite their needs. They were curious if I would take them out to look at the various locations and I said sure and quoted them my daily guide rate.

I never heard back from this location scout. A little over a year later the Hunger Games filming is complete and the movie is set to premiere nation wide. I have been able to confirm based on the scene description provided to me by the location scout that the movie they were filming was the Hunger Games.

Funny enough last summer while doing my normal tours of Dupont State Forest, which I have done for the past 8 years, we ran across a massive camp of RV's tables, chairs, and cameras on numerous occassions. This was all part of the Hunger Games filming.

What is my point to this story? Well numerous companies are jumping on this Hunger Games bandwagon offering Hunger Games tours and trying to cash in on the locations where this blockbuster was filmed. The funny thing to me is I have been doing Hunger Games Tours since before Hunger Games the movie even existed. Walking and running around in the woods crawling under waterfalls and swimming in the pools below them is what we do. In the movie this is what the charcters will do as well.

So when you look to take your Hunger Games Tour this spring or summer come with us we have been doing it longer than anyone else around and our knowledge of the area can be well attested to as those that produced the movie came to us for area advice.

Ask us about our Hunger Games Tours which range in price from $75-$150 a person.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2010 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Dual Suspension Bike for Sale

2010 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Dual Suspension Bike for Sale
For Sale $1400
Used bike well maintained Retail on the bicycle is $2400
Location: Brevard, NC
Components include
Fork Fox Float 32 RL
Rear shock Fox Specialized Triad
Brakes Avid Elixir RSL
SRAM X7 shifters
SRAM X9 rear derailleur
DT Swiss Rims
Email contact@pvadventures.com if interested

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Banff Mountain Film Festival Brevard: Pura Vida Adventures

Pura Vida Adventures is offering both climbing and canyoneering courses the weekend of the Brevard showing of the Banff Mountain Film Festival on March 17th and 18th. Experience Adventure with Pura Vida by day and watch the adventures of the fil festival by night. All courses are open enrollment and start at 8:30 am each day.

2 Day Rock Climbing Course, 3/17/12-3/18/12, Cost $275 a person

This course is designed to provide you with competence and confidence on ropes basic rock climbing skills. It covers all skills beginning climbers shoul learn including proper gear and how it should be rigged, belaying and rappelling techniques, knots, prussic knots, and climbing techniques.The second day goes into natural and artificial anchor building for top rope set up. This program also allows for a sufficient amount of climbing time to gain additional climbing experience.

American Canyoneering Academy
3 Day Technical Canyoneering Course 3/16/12-3/18/12 Cost $350 a person
This program includes proper rappelling technique, basic knots and their application for canyoneering, ascending techniques, basic haul systems, canyoneering movement and an adventure canyoneering trip. . In addition it includes an additional day of practicing canyoneering skills along cliffsides at a dry site.

American Canyoneering Academy 2 day Technical Canyoneering Course 3/17/12-3/18/12 Cost $275 a person
This program includes proper rappelling technique, basic knots and their application for canyoneering, ascending techniques, basic haul systems, canyoneering movement and an adventure canyoneering trip. Includes an Adventure Canyoneering Trip.
For more info or to register for any of these courses email contact@pvadventures.com or call 772-579-0005
Canyon Instructor, Joe Moerschbaecher is certified through the American Canyon Guide Assoc.
Pura Vida Adventures is accredited by the American Canyoneering Academy

Monday, February 6, 2012

Icycle Bike Race North Carolina: A North Carolina Winter Classic

I have heard about the Icycle Mountain Bike Race for years this year I finally had an opportunity to do the race and experience the party for myself. The Icycle is held at Fontana Village every winter it offers various races including beginner, sport, and expert divisions in both its cross country and down hill courses, and a single speed division in the cross country race. The icycle mountain bike race is even better known for the partying that is part of the race activities which continue into the late evening hours.

While the typical double done by most racers at this event is the cross country and downhill races I decided to do a double in the sport cross country and single speed cross country races.
This included a 11am start for the sport race which included 3 3 mile laps followed by a 45 minute break and then a 1pm start for the single speed race of the same length. Both races were a blast as I rode on a course which could best be described as oil slick like conditions caused by the rain from the last couple days.

At the start/ finish area there were plenty of people cheering and drinking as you came around during each laps. Horns were blown and shouts were heard from that area through out the entire day. After finishing my races I got a quick shower and a bite to eat and headed back down to enjoy the beer provided by French Broad Brewing and watch the downhill racers practice and prepare for the night time downhill race.

At the end of the down hill race awards were given out and the party continued late into the night. As I sat around talking to friends one buddy commented, "who cares if I am slow this is fun and having fun is what life is about." I thought that just about summed up the Icycle weekend. Thanks to Sycamore Cycles and French Broad Brewing for sponsoring the event and a special thanks to Sarah Watt for providing me with great support as I came through each lap of the two races.

Pura Vida Adventures offers guided mountain biking trips throughout the southeast as well as other mountain adventures throughout the US and world. To find out more about Pura Vida Adventures visit www.pvadventures.com .

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pisgah Mountain Biking: The secret is out.

Brevard mountain biking takes center stage in Bike Magazine's 2012 bike bible. Bike magazine travels to different destinations each year to test and review the year's new bikes. This past fall the bike magazine team came to Brevard, NC to test the crop of bikes coming in 2012 and check out the trails of Dupont and Pisgah.

The story of their experience in Brevard and review of bikes is now on newstands. What bike magazine talks about regarding the town of Brevard and the bike scene here has been known to those of us who live and vacation here for years. We know we have great trails, we know we have a great town, we know we have the best kept secret when it comes to our trails in Dupont and Pisgah.

The secret is now out. Everyone now knows that when it comes to mountain biking in the eastern US Brevard is the place to come. This point was made clearly in the Bike Magazine article by professional mountain biker Adam Craig who said "I'm going to say Pisgah is definitely one of the top three places in the universe that I've ever ridden-and maybe the very best one."

Once you have read the article and learn about the Pisgah Tavern at the Hub bicycle shop, and the local boy Wes Dickson and his team of mechanics and staff at Sycamore Cycles you will be ready to make plans to come here for your next biking vacation. You will be ready to ride the trails of Dupont which is our zoo for biking and survive the trails of Pisgah which is our mountain biking Serengeti.

Thanks Bike Magazine for visiting and welcome all those who now know America's best kept secret in mountain biking. When you come to visit do not forget about us at Pura Vida Adventures Brevard's only guided mountain biking service for the last 5 years. Sure you can find the trails on your own but you will maximize your experience if you hire one of our guides.