My 3 year relationship with the Luci Inflatable Solar Light

I first met Luci in 2016 on a climbing trip to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas. My friends from RoKC climbing gym and I had spent the day climbing and were settling into camp and preparing dinner.  As the sun went down, one of the guys grabbed a flat disk that he blew into to inflate and then hit a button that lit it up. This completely solar-powered lantern produced enough light to illuminate our picnic table as well any battery-powered lantern I’d seen. 

Luci Orginal

After that, I had to get one for myself. I went to REI and bought the Luci Original. When deflated, the Luci light is only 4 inches square and 1 inch thick and easy to pack. When fully charged with sunlight, it provides up to 24 hours of light–plenty of light for any time I go camping. And since it’s water and dust proof, it’s been an essential item that I always take camping with me from Red River Gorge and Yosemite National Park to Moab. 

It has several light settings, so you can choose how bright, from 15 to 75 lumens. My favorite way to use the Luci Original is to turn it into a nice table light by setting it on a roll of paper towels. (wish I had a picture of this on my last camping trip but I was packing light)

Luci outdoor 2.0 inside a tent
Outdoor 2.0 inside my tent

Luci Outdoor 2.0

Last year, I purchased the Luci Outdoor 2.0, which has an adjustable base strap that works great for attaching to the inside ceiling of my tent to provide a great angle for lighting up my tent. The strap also makes it incredibly easy to place it wherever I need light, such as a hammock, rope, or clothes line. 

It also lasts longer than the Luci Original, giving 50 hours of light on a single charge and is brighter, with its highest setting providing 150 lumens.

I still utilize the Luci Original and typically charge both of them together on the dash of my jeep while out hiking or climbing to have it ready for sundown.

Luci base light and Luci outdoor 2.0
Base light (left) and the outdoor 2.0 (right)

Luci Base Light

Luci recently sent me with a new Luci Base Light to review. It’s the perfect addition to my Luci family. The new model is its brightest light, but also has an added cell phone charging feature. It’s heavier and slightly larger, but allows me to always have a charged cell battery, even in the woods. 

I found that it does require good sunlight, so on a cloudy day it didn’t provide enough power to my cell phone to fully charge it.  

Luci base light and Luci outdoor 2.0
Base light (left) and the Outdoor 2.0 (right)

The new Luci Base Light also features a much brighter light. When compared to the previous models, it disperses 300 lumens of light, twice as much as the Luci Outdoor 2.0, but it’s not blinding, but rather a soft glow. And like the Luci Outdoor 2.0, it also provides up to 50 hours of light on a single charge.

The Luci Base Light makes camping with multiple people easier for seeing at night since it can light up a much larger space. It also has an adjustable strap so I can hang it from my tent ceiling when I want a ton of light.

Luci Base Light on full power inside a tent
Base Light on full power inside my tent

It is perfect for car trips to campgrounds or short hikes in to Camp. 

I personally still love the 2.0 for how light it is, and it works perfect for me as a single camper. If you are going on a long hike and don’t care about being attached to your phone, I recommend the Outdoor 2.0. If you want to be always connected and have a short hike and don’t care about the weight, or have a larger group, the Base Light is your best option. Overall, MPowerd is a great brand, and I look forward to meeting their next Luci generation.

Please note that Mpowered is an affiliate to Huck Adventures, and at no additional cost to you, Huck earns a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the links above. We appreciate your support!

Skiing in Switzerland close to Interlaken

On the train from Interlaken, to Grindelwald, Switzerland to ski the Swiss Alps.

As I spent the past four months traveling around Europe, I have developed a profound interest in exploring the world Untraveled, the most memorable travel experience being skiing in Switzerland close to Interlaken. Living in Spain and spending my weekends in surrounding countries, my appreciation for the outdoors has expanded immensely.

The beginning of our journey

It was our third weekend trip in Europe, and everything had gone pretty smoothly up until this point. We flew into Zurich, Switzerland from Barcelona, Spain, arriving at around 11:30 pm on January 31, 2019. This being one of our first trips, inevitably left us missing our connecting train from Zurich to Interlaken. This forced us to get a hotel at the Zurich Marriott Hotel for the night. Our original intentions were to catch a train once we landed, but our lack of knowledge regarding how to speak the German/French language left us stumped trying to purchase the tickets at the self-checkout.

On the first day, half of the people we met up with intended to go skydiving, while the other half had planned to go paragliding. These types of extreme sports are activities that are typically done here, due to the breathtaking views that the country has to offer. Due to the weather, midst-of-winter, both excursions were cancelled for safety reasons and pushed to a further date.

After day 1

Spending our night hanging out at a local hostel, we were able to retrieve second opinions regarding skiing in Switzerland close to Interlaken. We received nothing but good connotations regarding how unreal the experience was. This made us think how mindless of us it would be, for us to pass up the opportunity. Initially, we had planned on paragliding the second day, but ended up reversing our decision. We ended up contacting the paragliding company last minute, to switch out reservation to Sunday so we could shred Saturday.

The first few runs

Growing up in Colorado, skiing on the weekends was something that I had grown up doing. Prior to this experience, I was convinced I had seen it all. I was beyond wrong. A mixture between the mountains, fog and powder was like nothing I had ever seen nor experienced before. The mountains made Colorados look like hills, and all I could think about was how lucky I was to be there.

On the very first run at Jungfrau Ski Resort, I lost the two people I was with, taking the trail all the way to the other side of the mountain. I am convinced the sole reason behind this was due how distracting the views were. It felt as though I was looking at a green screen and that it almost did not seem real. It was soon recognizable, that I was on the completely opposite side of the mountain, but ensured the friend I was with that I would find my way back to meet up with her. At this point my phone was on 18%, but remained calm, as there could not possibly be a better place to traverse. All that mattered at the time was fresh powder, good music and the world at large.

The last few runs

Eventually, I made my way back to the people in my party, but we soon after found ourselves separated again. This time I was with two others, but had gotten separated from the remaining six. Naturally, we found ourselves at the wrong side of the mountain. This raised concern considering we were already cutting it close to the departure time.

Distracted by what this world has to offer, we found ourselves resting by a creek. We were able to drink the freshest water I firmly believe I will ever have the opportunity to taste. Using Chris’ flask, we passed around the numbing liquid, in disbelief at the chilling temperature and refreshing savor. This, all organic, was the best water I have yet to taste. Distracted by mother nature, we eventually made the executive decision that it was time to make our way back to where our train was departing from, to avoid spending another night in the wrong city.

We skied as fast as we could across the mountain in attempt to make it to the last lift that could transport us to where we were supposed to be. Fortunately, we were able to navigate back just in time, with the common event of me taking a hard fall. All-embracing, I wouldn’t have preferred this day to go any other way. A day spent in the Swiss Alps, is a day that can not go wrong. What a life it is, experiencing this world one day at a time.

Gear Review: Lems Women’s Trailhead Shoe

Note: Lems is redesigning the Women’s Trailhead, and the new version will be released soon. You can get the version reviewed in this blog post on clearance now at lems.com.

Lems Women's Trailhead

My family and I recently loaded up our camper van and headed to Mesa Verde National Park and Chaco Culture National Historical Park for some hiking and history and to Santa Fe for some urban exploring.

It seemed like the perfect opportunity to test out the Lems Women’s Trailhead shoes that they had sent me to review. I wore them during the whole adventure, which included hiking on trails, sidewalks, and even a little bit of snow.

In the end, these shoes have earned their place as my go-to as a road trip and trail-to-town shoe. I do want to note that they feel narrower than some of the “wide toe box” trail runners on the market today (such as Altra Lone Peak or La Sportiva Wildcat). If you are a Lems fan, you’ll find this shoe is narrower than their other lines. The shoes also have their limitations, which I’ll touch on in just a bit.

Putting them to the Test

I did a lot of walking on our trip in many different settings. We hiked at a decent pace through the lower great houses of Chaco Canyon and on a five-mile Pueblo Alto trail. We also slowly meandered through all of the art galleries in Santa Fe.

Lems Women's Trailhead

In my opinion, this shoe handled the slick, sand-covered sandstone in the narrow slot canyons as well as any of my other trail runners and hiking shoes. The toe box of the Lems Women’s Trailhead felt a bit narrow and took a little getting used to. But, I found myself enjoying the shoe more and more with each passing day. I’m not sure if it stretched to accommodate my foot, or if I had just been in wide trail runners for so long that I was originally unused to being hugged by a more form-fitting shoe. Whatever the case, I was comfortable after walking all day on a variety of surfaces. I found that the shoe easily accommodated my orthotics if I chose to insert them (having Morton’s Neuroma is a drag).

Great for on the Town

One major benefit of the Women’s Trailhead is I didn’t need a set of “nicer” shoes for exploring Santa Fe. On previous trips, I’d bring my trail runners and another set of shoes that are more appropriate for city use (and city outfits) so that my Boulder-ness wasn’t TOO glaringly apparent. These Lems were cute enough to pair with nicer jeans and tops, and looked good walking through the galleries. The best part? My feet were so much happier after a day of art perusal in Lems than in my other city shoes! We hit Santa Fe at the end of our week of exploring, and the shoes still looked great. I wiped the trail dust off, and they were good as new.

We ended up doing a random side hike to Jemez Falls. The road was closed to vehicles due to snow, so we hiked in from the highway. It was another great opportunity to test out these shoes. This time, we took them on snow and cross country on our “short cut.” I am pleased to report that my feet stayed dry, and I didn’t slip too much on the snow. Climbing down some boulders to the waterfall was all in a day’s work for these versatile shoes.

Lems Women's Trailhead


The biggest limitation was that were a little narrow for longer backpacking trips where my feet tend to swell. This would be a problem for me on any trip where I am backpacking over 10 miles per day for multiple days in a row. I need more room in the toe box for that sort of use. Also, they don’t really work with a cocktail dress. I may still need to pack an extra set of shoes for that if I ever have a more fancy occasion. For everything in between, I have my Lems Women’s Trailhead.

GoPro Mountain Games IFSC 2019 Bouldering World Cup Winners.

GoPro Mountain Games for the 2019 Bouldering World Cup

This past weekend, Huck Adventures was in Vail, Colo. for the GoPro Mountain Games for the 2019 Bouldering World Cup put on by the International Federation of Sport Climbing.

The main event was at Vail’s Mountain Plaza where a 30-foot bouldering wall was constructed, challenging climbers to defy the laws of gravity as they reached, stretched, and leapt towards their next target.

Janja Garngret flashing the final boulder problem winning the World Cup
Janja Garngret flashing the final boulder problem winning the World Cup

Slovenia’s Janja Garngret was the standout in the women’s competition, winning her sixth straight World Cup and setting a new circuit record. Each series of climbs had escalating challenges that caused other climbers to fall, including the final stage: a 45-degree plane that inverted climbers over the stage before reaching the final crest. 

It’s worth noting that the only American to place in the top 10 of the women’s competition was Natalie Grossman from Boulder, Colo. Keep an eye out for our upcoming interview with her.

Going into the men’s competition, Adam Ondra (CZE) and Tomoa Narasaki (JPN) were neck-in-neck in the rankings. During his attempt of the technical slab climb, Ondra’s ranking slipped to fifth place. Narasaki continued to lead with another climber from Japan, Yoshiyuki Ogata, quickly closing rank. 

Yoshiyuki Ogata climbing the finishing route | Photo by Nic Daughtry
Yoshiyuki Ogata climbing the finishing route | Photo by Nic Daughtry
Yoshiyuki Ogata climbing the finishing route | Photo by Nic Daughtry
Yoshiyuki Ogata climbing the finishing route | Photo by Nic Daughtry

The first four climbers to secure the zone on the final wall were stopped by the next hold. Ogata was able to overcome the obstacle, earning his first IFSC World Cup gold medal. Narasaki fell four times trying to transition from the 45-degree inverted angle to the final panel. Narasaki finished second, clinching the season World Cup title.

Kid Climbers put Scarpa Piki Shoes to the Test

As a new father a few years ago, I knew I wanted to get my kids involved in all of the outdoor adventuring that my wife and I enjoyed, but struggled to find gear that was suitable to their tiny little frames. It seemed that outdoor companies were more focused on the 12-year-old age range and older, but didn’t make much for the 2-10 year-old range. It was a struggle.

Fast forward six years and the selection of gear has grown significantly. To the point where my two daughters have now been through three sets of climbing shoes each. With the 2019 climbing season upon us in Utah, Scarpa sent my girls the newly-launched Scarpa Piki Climbing Shoe for our review, and they are LOVING them!

Scarpa Piki Shoes

We’ve now climbed with their new Scarpa climbing shoes both indoors and outdoors, and the feedback the girls are giving me is excellent. A few of the features that set the Scarpa Piki climbing shoes apart above the rest from my perspective are:

  • They’re super easy to take on and off. For me, trying to manage the ropes, setup, getting access to an appropriate route, etc., takes plenty of energy. So, having a shoe that the girls can take on and off without my help is great.
  • The grip and toe point of the sole is awesome. My youngest daughter was climbing with another brand prior to these and had trouble getting her toe to stick to smaller platforms. After her first pitch with the Scarpa Piki’s, she yelled down to me that she felt like she couldn’t fall!
  • No Midsole Construction. When I first read this, I wondered if the shoe would be too flexible. But after using the shoes for weeks, it’s actually a huge benefit. Having the extra flexibility with a slightly asymmetrical curve has made the shoe very comfortable for them, but it still has plenty of grip for them to climb difficult routes.
  • Lastly, but in the eyes of my girls, not the least, they love the colors and the way they look. I know from a functional standpoint, this doesn’t matter at all. But, the excitement on the girls’ faces when they opened the Scarpa box and saw the yellow and blue was enough for me to realize that the appearance mattered.
Scarpa Piki Shoes

Overall, I’ve been super impressed with the Scarpa Piki climbing shoes and would recommend them for kids in the age range of two to eight years old without hesitation. After about eight years old, I personally think finding a shoe with a slightly more aggressive sole suits the older and more agile kids better.  

Please note that Scarpa is an affiliate to Huck Adventures, and at no additional cost to you, Huck earns a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the links above. We appreciate your support!

15 Father’s Day Gifts for the Adventurous Dad

Finding Father’s Day gifts for the most deserving father can be difficult. We get it. So, we’ve put together an extensive gift guide with 15 adventure-inspired products in hopes of making the search for Father’s Day gifts much easier.

Whether your dad’s passion is hiking, biking, or any type of adventure, we’ve got the perfect gift idea for you organized below by price point. Browse useful multi-tools, trendy outdoor gear, and everything in between for Father’s Day gifts your dad is sure to love!

Keep it casual, dad knows how much you love him (below $50)

  • Hydroflask: From ice cold water to hot coffee, Hydroflask’s high-performance, insulated cup will keep your dad happy and refreshed. Perfect for baseball games, out on a hike, or for when he’s simply on the go.
  • SAXX Underwear: Why buy your dad another tie when you can get him something he’s sure to use everyday? Check out SAXX Underwear.
  • XPOT: Are you sick of dad’s only dinner option being hot dogs on your weekend getaways? Expand his cooking horizons with these collapsible pots for easy and efficient backcountry cooking.
  • FLOW 35L Dry Backpack: Whether it’s water sports, bike commutes, hiking, or anything outdoors, this water-and-snow-resistant backpack makes wet adventures doable.

The thoughtful-yet-affordable Father’s Day Gifts (Under $100)

  • Skullcandy: Dad doesn’t understand why your headphones are always in? Show him what he’s missing out on. Portable headphones perfect for running, skiing, or biking.
  • Shower’s Pass: Hauling a cycling backpack around can be a hassle, and it is especially rough on the old man’s back. Give dad a break, and help him pack light with Shower’s Pass RainSlinger Waterproof Hip Pack. With wet-weather protection and reflective LED trim, he’ll be wearing it on every bike ride.
  • Shower’s Pass: Cold weather can be hard on the hands. Whether it’s fishing, or biking or running in the rain, Crosspoints Waterproof Knit Gloves will provide your father with outstanding dexterity and waterproof protection that will keep his hands warm and dry.

For a little extra love on Dad’s special day (Between $100-$300)

  • Rocky Mountain Underground: The new Corepack 15 backpack is designed for trail sports. It not only holds a water pack, but comes with a built-in-beer holder so he can celebrate after a long trek.
  • Otterbox: Help dad enjoy staying happy and hydrated on weekend outings with Otterbox Coolers.
  • Vivobarefoot: Give the gift of healthy feet and introduce him to minimalist shoes with these recycled, lightweight shoes used for hiking, running, and everyday wear.
  • BioLite: Your dad will want to bring this portable smokeless fire pit on every camping trip. The BioLite FirePit burns both firewood and charcoal depending on your dads needs. It also has a blue-tooth controlled fan that allows you to control the flames. Get the cover to charge the battery with solar power.

Borrow Dad’s credit card and give him something nice ($300+)

  • Kokopelli Packrafts: Inflatable, packable, and easy to use, your dad won’t be able to wait to take this one out. Great for whitewater rafting, paddling, and of course, pack rafting. Made with cutting edge materials, your dad can enjoy weekend getaways in this trusted, lightweight, high performance packraft..  
  • Giant Bicycles: Get your old man out of the house and into the mountains with the Giant Talon 29 3 (2019). This classic hardtail bike is made for singletrack riders aspiring for outdoor adventure.
  • Scarpa: Scarpa’s Ribelle Tech OD is the perfect mountaineering boot to allow dad to run, climb, and stay dry on his next mountain climb.
  • Sea to Summit: For ultra-light backpacking, Sea to Summit’s Specialist Shelters are one- or two-person tents that can be pitched quickly for dad’s next trek.

Please note that this article contains some affiliate links to our brand partners. At no additional cost to you, Huck earns a commission if you decide to make a purchase by using the links above. We appreciate your support!

Buying a Mountain Bike? Check out these Instagram Favorites

Since the arrival of social media, we’re met with constant gear eye candy. We use platforms like Instagram and Facebook as an extension of our lives and by default, as an alternative online shopping tool. We follow influencers and athletes that we admire and scope out their newest swag and latest equipment, deciding what to buy based on their review.

If you’ve found yourself asking, “Do I need that?” when it comes to a new mountain bike, we’ve done the recon for you. Spoiler: Yes, you need it.

Here are the 5 best mountain bikes as reviewed by our favorite ‘grammers.

The SB 100 by Yeti Cycles, used by mountain biker, Joey Schusler, is anything but a traditional 100mm bike. This X-Country stunner, according to Bicycling Magazine, “descends like a downhill rig or trail bike and climbs like a hardtail.” Fast, sharp-handling, and extremely capable, this precision riding bike is one you’ll want to ride consistently. From $3,400.

Juliana Joplin,.

The Juliana Joplin, used by downhiller Katie Holden, has 29-inch wheels that are proven to roll quicker than smaller sizes. It combines the speed of an endurance racer with the distance of a trail bike, allowing the rider to go a little faster and a little further than ever before. A quick acceleration and nimble feel make this light, punchy climber a go-to for your next cross country adventure. From $2,599.

YT Capra 29

,The Capra 29, a potent enduro bike used by freeride MTB Hall of Famer, Brett Tippie, is ideal for racking up miles on the trail or chasing down seconds in a race. With the right balance of trail bike agility and downhill bike stability, this bike’s ingenious symmetry allows riders to tackle steep and rocky descents or flowy jump trails. If you’re looking for a dreamy combination of aggressiveness, speed, agility and handling, look no further than the Capra 29. From $2,599.

Marin’s Mountain Vision Pro

The Mountain Vision Pro, used by mountain biker, Mark Matthews, makes climbs and descends look effortless, with 150mm of travel front and rear that balances suspension and playfulness perfectly. This bike is suitable for any mountain and trail and laughs in the face of steep faces and trail brutality. Choose this lively mountain bike for its beauty and its grace. From $8,899.99.

Specialized’s Epic Expert EVO

As epic as its namesake suggests, the Epic Expert EVO is an ideal choice to level up your bike game. Used by British racing cyclist, Hannah Barnes, this stunner has three modes, Open, Medium, and Firm, allowing you to ride seamlessly through every kind of terrain. Built for speed and long rides, this bike can tackle steep descents and climbs with certainty. From $5,850.

Have you seen a bike on social media that you want some feedback on, or do you have a recommendation of your own? Hit us up in the comments below.

Huck Podcast, Ep. 4: Steven Sashen of Xero Shoes

Showers Pass Lightweight Waterproof Crosspoint Classic Socks

On today’s episode we’re joined by the CEO of Xero Shoes, Steven Sashen. We discuss the evolution of modern shoes, barefoot running, minimalist shoes.

Steven has been leading the Movement Movement for a number of years. His foray in minimalist footwear was with his company, Invisible Shoes, where he sold do-it-yourself sandal kits. That original design is still part of Xero Shoes, but they’ve expanded their lineup to include several different kinds of shoes and sandals.

Don’t forget to follow Huck Adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Visit our website, huckadventures.com, for updates on our app launch.

Use the links below to visit our affiliate partners. For every purchase you make, a percentage goes to Huck Adventures at no additional cost to you.

Visit PeakRefuel.com and enter the code HUCK at checkout and you’ll save 15% on your order.

SeatoSummit.com. A portion of your purchase will go to Huck Adventures to help us produce more episodes.

15 Hiking Quotes for National Trails Day

It’s June 1. Happy National Trails Day!

National Trails Day was designed to encourage muscle-powered trail activities and to connect more people to the trails. It’s the only national event, coordinated by the American Hiking Society and the trails community, that invites Americans of all ages and abilities to find their own adventure. With thousands of events hosted throughout the country, it’s never been easier for new trail users and existing trail enthusiasts to find ways to unite, whether it’s by joining a local club or organization or meeting a buddy and creating your own experience. Find an event across more than 200,000 miles of trails here.

We’d like to think that we all hike for the same reasons — to connect with Mother Nature, each other, and ourselves. While hiking is a terrific workout that often leads you through stunning scenery and vast landscapes, it’s not without its trials and tribulations.

Sometimes there’s a path that leads to nowhere, resulting in some spontaneous rock climbing to keep you on track, or maybe you run into a creature that you’re not so fond of…who definitely feels the same about you. Regardless, we usually power through and have a laugh afterwards.

To pay tribute to our efforts, here are 15 comical hiking quotes that accurately capture what life is like as a hiker. May they inspire your next adventure…and photo caption.

Hiking quote: There is no WiFi in the forest but you'll make a better connection
Photo credit @Luke_photograph

Hiking Quotes

  • “There is no wifi in the forest, but you will find a better connection.” – Unknown
  • “Bring a compass. It’s awkward when you have to eat your friends.” – Unknown
  • “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • “It feels good to be lost in the right direction.” – Unknown
  • “Never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost, and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that.” – Ellen Degeneres
  • “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”  – Ed Viesturs
  • “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” – John Muir
Hiking quote: Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence
Photo credit Stephan Seeber
  • “Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence.” – Hermann Buhl
  • “Anywhere is ‘within walking distance’.” – Unknown
  • “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” – Frank A. Clark
  • “If the winter is too cold and the summer is too hot, you are not a hiker.” – Unknown
  • “We live in a fast-paced society. Walking slows us down.” – Robert Sweetgall
Hiking quote: Think outside. no box required.
Photo credit @blue_ox_studio
  • “Think outside. No box required.” – Unknown
    “Sticking to the backcountry rivers, because they’re less mainstream.” – Unknown
    “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” – Rachel Wolchin

Make sure you get out on the trails today in tribute, and tag us at @huckadventures or #huckoutside so we can see some of your favorites. If you have any doubts about taking that cheesy sunrise photo, remember…do it for the ‘gram. You won’t regret it.