Thursday, December 6, 2012

PEAK® Portable Power System 450 Plus - Gear Review

Have you ever come off the trail after a long day hike or even a few days in the woods, only to find the battery in your car is dead, or worse one of your tires have gone flat? How about camping at a site that has no hookups and you don't have an extension cord or a power inverter in the car to power that air pump for the air mattress? While these haven't necessarily happened to us, but so long as we keep the PEAK® Portable Power System 450 Plus in the vehicle, we shouldn't ever have to worry about any of these problems except maybe the flat tire issue but only if the tire has been puncture in some fashion and you don't have a plug kit.

Not long ago, we were contacted by PEAK® Performance, the people who make and sell antifreeze. They wanted to know if we would like to have one of these power systems for review. Of course seeing what it was, we jumped on the opportunity. This thing is a beast, and I love using it so far. Of course, for some of it's uses I'd rather not have to use it because that means I have a flat tire and/or possibly a dead battery.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Gear Giveaway - Rokit Fuel Oatmeal

Just yesterday we reviewed Rokit Fuel Oatmeal. Now that we have your taste buds all fired up and ready to go, here's your chance to try these awesome all natural oatmeals for yourself. One lucky reader of Appalachia & Beyond will receive a four pack of single serve Rokit Fuel Oatmeal. This four pack contains one of each flavor we reviewed: Cherry Almond, Stud Muffin, Pumpkin Chocolate, and Chocolate Dream.

How do you get in on this action? Simple, just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. It is mandatory to leave a comment in order to enter and unlock all the other extra entry options. If your on a smart phone and don't see the comment form, the it would appear that our Disqus comment platform isn't working on your phone's browser. If this is the case be sure to get to a computer and get entered. Also if you are one of those who can't leave a comment on our Disqus comment platform, let us know so we can research what's going on with that.

So here's the other info: The contest will run from 12:01am EST Tuesday, December 4, 2012 and will close at 11:59pm EST Saturday, December 8, 2012. We will pick a winner soon after the giveaway closes and will announce the winner on our Facebook page as well as on the Rafflecopter widget. So without further ado...good luck to you all.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 3, 2012

Rokit Fuel Oatmeal - Gear Review

There's nothing like a good hot bowl of oatmeal in the morning when you're out camping especially on a chilly morning and you're warming your bones by the fire with a nice hot cup of coffee. It fills your belly and warms your soul. Most days it's usually just a packet of instant oatmeal, unless you're a culinary wizard with a dehydrator and have bagged your own recipe. Of course if you want something other than plain old instant oatmeal packets you can always try out Rokit Fuel oatmeal.

Rokit fuel oatmeal is an all natural alternative to regular instant oatmeal. Rokit Fuel Oatmeals are made with anywhere from 7 to 15 whole foods.  There are no soy, dairy or other isolate products and are all natural and fit for a vegan.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kupilka Cup - Gear Review and Giveaway

Some time ago, we were sent a Kupilka Cup by Sport Hansa to review on our blog. This is a sweet little cup. It actually reminds me of one of those ladles you see in in movies scenes that take place in a Russian Gulag. Perfect for dipping into gruel or in our case stew. You could actually put stew into this cup or my personal favorite, coffee.

The Kupilka Cup is made of a thermoplastic natural fiber composite biomaterial consisting of 50% pine wood fibers and 50% plastic materials. This makes for a durable and engraveable cup that doesn't absorb smells and is insensitive to humidity. Additionally, it has a higher heat endurance which I find quite useful as I can hold the cup in my palms after it's been filled with pipping hot coffee or warm soup without it burning my hands.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gear Giveaway - Space Bag® Dual-Use Bags

Remember the little P.S. at the end of yesterday's post (The Space Bag® Dual-Use Bags review)? Well here it is, in the...hrm, I don't suppose it would be appropriate to say "in the flesh" considering this is just a blog post. So here it is, the giveaway, as promised. One lucky winner will receive 1 large and 1 medium Space Bag® Dual-Use Bag. Here are the details.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Space Bag® Dual-Use Bags - Gear Review

Have you ever heard of or even owned a set of Space Bag®? You know the "As Seen On TV" space saving bags that you load up with your clothes, zip close, hook up your vacuum cleaner and suck the air out of them? Yeah, we had a set of those for quite some time. They came in handy too. Every time the weather changed from cold to hot and vice-versa, we'd swap out our wardrobes. We'd place the clothes we weren't going to wear in the Space Bag®s, suck the air out to compress them as small as possible, and store them in what is now Dinah's closet. This practice occurred for around 3 years before the bags either ended up with holes (thanks to our cats) or the zipper (much like a Zip Lock bag zipper) failed.

Never once did it ever occur to us to use these things for backpacking or camping. They came in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Of course you'd have the whole challenge of getting it compressed again once it was open. You know, there aren't any vacuum cleaners out in the woods, unless of course you've happened to bring one with you. HAHAHAHAHA.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dinah's First Camping Trip

For Labor Day weekend, Robin and I decided to escape and go camping. It was a last minute decision really, an impromptu trip so to speak. Friday was the last half work day that work was giving us (part of the new summer working hours they were trying out this year). We had discussed going camping earlier in the week but never really decided on anything for certain, but the idea was still buzzing in our heads.

When I got home from work, we discussed it further. Kiddo was going to a friend's house for the weekend  so we had to be around to take her over there after school (life of a teenager's parent = taxi driver). So we figured it wouldn't hurt to throw the tent and canopy in the back of the SUV, load Bug into her car seat, let our trusty side kick Clover hop in, and head out to Frozen Head State Park to see if we would even be lucky enough to secure a campsite. It was Labor Day weekend after all but with the remnants of Hurricane Issac threatening to drench the weekend here, we figured it was a toss up.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Blue Ridge Road Trip (Pt. 2)

It was our second full day on our Blue Ridge Parkway trip and we (rather I) woke early once again before the girls did. For some reason, this whole trip I was always the first one up. I guess knowing that I had Robin and Ashby to contend with for the bathroom, my subconscious decided it was best to be first before anyone else was up and avoid fights over the bathroom.

It wasn't long after I was done and ready, that Robin was up and at 'em. Not long after Ashby and Dinah were both up and going, we were packed up, loaded up, and ready to check out of the Hidden Valley Motel by 9am. Our first task was to sequester breakfast. It wasn't hard, as we had eyeballed a Cracker Barrel in the heart of Boone the day previous to this.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Blue Ridge Road Trip (Pt. 1)

The third weekend in July is always family reunion time on my mom's side of the family. Every third Sunday in July, the Patteson Clan gather for fun, food, and reminiscing at Glenwood Park in Princeton, WV. Seeing how Dinah was new to the family, and all my aunts absolutely love to see her we decided we would go to the reunion this year. As an added bonus, I thought it would be fun if on the way back home we spent a couple days driving down the Blue Ridge Parkway. The four of us (Tim, Robin, Ashby, and Dinah) as a family doing a mini version of the vacations Robin took as a kid with her family.

Once the reunion was over, or rather close to the time people were starting to leave, we loaded back up into our SUV and we were Blue Ridge bound. We had made arrangements to stay over night at the Allegheny Inn in Sparta, NC shortly after making it to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We got all checked in and hung out for a little bit before going out in search of food. The Allegheny Inn was a wonderful motel, located in the heart of the quaint downtown of Sparta, North Carolina and only 15 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, where we would begin our adventure on the next day. Unfortunately, our adventure wouldn't begin without some sort of hiccup.

Friday, July 27, 2012

SteriPEN and Outdoor Retailer

I know it's been a while since you last heard from us. We've been ultra busy the past couple of weeks, complete with a family reunion and a two day road trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway which included stops at Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain. There will be more about that in two separate posts in over the next few days. For now, we just wanted to let you know we are all well, trying to stay cool, and staying super busy with baby and all. Now to the heart of the matter.

As some of you know, especially those in the outdoor blogorealm, the Summer Outdoor Retailer (OR) show is coming up this week and there's a few of you that will be heading out to see what great "Newfangeled" (a termed used by Robin) technology will be released in the fall of this year as well as the Spring of 2013. You'll be among the first of the outdoor lovers to drool over these items in person. For us however, we will not be making it to OR. Maybe one day they will decided to have OR in places other than Utah (Tennessee would be great :D). Until then we have to sit back and wait for all our blogging pals to post their stories on the new gear and happenings from OR.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Duraflame® Campfire Roasting Logs™ Giveaway

We've been pretty busy the past couple of weeks. Add in the hot weather keeping us mostly indoors and that is why you haven't really heard much out of us. We just finished up with a yard sale this past weekend so unless you want a post about that (we put our old junk stuff in the yard and people bought our old junk stuff) or about our time out at our Aunt Patty's pool, then I guess a good giveaway will have to do. :P

Friday, July 6, 2012

Guest Gear Review For Brian's Backpacking Blog

We somehow managed to score another Guest Post on a very prominent outdoor blog. You guys know of Brian's Backpacking Blog right? We'll he asked if we'd like to do a guest gear review post for his blog and right away we said yes, cause that's what we outdoorsy folks do, we help each other out. Anyway, considering we've got back into the running scene, we've reviewed the Camelbak Marathoner's Vest for Brian and you can check it out on his blog: Brian's Backpacking Blog.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

Friday, June 22, 2012

Race Report - 2012 Cove Lake 5k

I'm patting myself on the back right now. You want to know why? Because I completed my first 5K! Yup. The "un-runner," the introvert, the non-competitor, the girl afraid of crowds, and (most recently) the injured ran her first race, The Cove Lake 5K, on June 16, 2012.

It was interesting to say the least. We began (like every race does) in a crowd of people. At the sound of the gun, we all started jogging at once. I felt like I needed to run ahead of everyone, like something was after us, like zombie apocalypse. After a few minutes though, the crowd thinned out with most everyone in front of me. Apparently, I'm slow. *giggle*

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Trail Report - Slave Falls/Needle Arch Revisited (A Father's Day Hike)

I really couldn't ask for a better family. Constantly and always on my mind, are the Great Outdoors. Having four walls around me on a daily basis is actually quite confining, suffocating, and if it weren't for the light switch, the fluorescents would be deadly. So when asked what I wanted to do for Father's Day, naturally I wanted to get in the woods for a hike with my girls, and that is exactly what we did.

I had two hikes in mind, one being at Frozen Head, the other in The Big South Fork. Considering that Robin and I had just run a 5k the day before and Robin's back has been and still is in a "shape," I figured hiking to the fire tower at Frozen Head wouldn't be such a good idea. So I opted for the Slave Falls Loop trail. Robin and I hiked to the falls and to Needle Arch last year while she was pregnant with Bug so I figured we could revisit them now that Bug is here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Duraflame® Roasting Logs™ Review

We were recently asked if we would like to try out Duraflame®'s new product, Campfire Roasting Logs. We do have a fire pit out back, and we spend a lot of summer and fall evenings out there relaxing after sunset. With Bug around though, we hadn't had very much "relaxing" time. This particular evening was no exception. Bug's bedtime had come and gone, she had fought sleep for two hours, and we had finally won the battle. After a long day and with two bored teenagers in the house, we decided it was time to kick them (and ourselves) outside for a little R&R by the fire. The girls decided they wanted S'mores, and it was then that we remembered we needed to do this review. Duraflame® had been kind enough to not only send us a Campfire Roasting Logs pack, but also a S'mores Kit to go with it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rhododendron Gardens in Full Bloom - Roan Mtn. State Park

Last weekend we took the time to ride up to the Rhododendron Gardens at the top of Roan Mountain outside of Elizabethton, TN. It's a pretty long haul for us and the weather was brutal, but with circumstances as they were we knew it was the only time we'd have to see the blooms this season and get Bug up there for her first visit. We also wanted to avoid the Rhododendron Festival which is being held this weekend - Sat. June 16 & Sun. 17, 2012 from 10am-5pm. I hear it's a wonderful event, but we wanted a little solitude on top of the mountain.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

O&W Bridge - A Hike on National Trails Day

We were recently blessed with the opportunity to do an actual hike (and by "actual" I mean something more than a half mile with a stroller) since Bug has been born. Since she's been doing so well in public, we decided it was time to carry her into the woods. We chose the O&W Bridge trail (4.6 miles) because of its ease and accessibility. A few weeks previous to this day, we'd tried to hike this trail and found that (1) it is not stroller friendly by any means and (2) thunderstorms looming + baby = bad idea. The trail, however, is virtually easy with small elevation gains and the occasional rocky runoff crossing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Back To Running (Barefoot?)

As some of you might know, I'm somewhat of a wannabe runner. A couple of weeks ago, I finally got to get back to it a bit when Robin and I struck a deal, she got to go to a movie she was wanting to see while I stayed home with our Little Bug. In return, she let me go for a trail run. Let me tell you, it's been awhile and my legs felt it for sure. I haven't let that stop me as I've been running regularly for the past couple of weeks now and that's a first since Miss Dinah Marie came into our world a whopping 5 months ago. Where does the time go? This time around however, Robin has decided to join in the running with me and I couldn't be happier. Running alone gets lonely once you hit a certain point and you're slogging out mile after mile with only your thoughts to rattle your cage.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Coolest Camper Ever Contest Reminder

We've had a wonderful Blogiversary celebration over the last couple of weeks, complete with sweet giveaways and several winners of those packages. We will get those out in the next few days so be on the look out for your prizes. For our fans and readers who didn't win, we're sorry but thank you so much for your loyalty and for participating, if not for you guys we wouldn't have a reason to do this as much as we do and for that a big THANK YOU to you all. And since you all love a good giveaway, we would like to remind everyone of the current Coolest Camper Ever contest that is still open at Sylvan Sport.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Five Year Blogiversary Giveaway Day 5 (Miscellaneous)

Welcome to the final day of our 5 Year Blogiversary Celebration. Today is "Miscellaneous" day and we've got a great package for everyone out there. There's a few different items that can suit just about anyone. We want to thank today's sponsors, Bass Pro Shops and Cobrabraid for supplying the main prizes in today's giveaway. You never know there might be a couple other prizes to go along with it. So who's going to win this package?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Five Year Blogiversary Giveaway Day 4 (Runner)

Welcome to Day 4 of our 5 Year Blogiversary Celebration. Today is "Runner" day and we've got a great package for the runners out there. Whether it's out on the road or trail, or after the run, these items are sure to come in handy. We want to thank today's sponsors, Headsweats and Hyland's Homeopathy, for supplying the prizes in today's giveaway. So who's going to run away with this package?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Five Year Blogiversary Giveaway Day 3 (Survival)

Welcome to Day 3 of our 5 Year Blogiversary Celebration. Today is survival day and we've got a couple tools that will definitely come in handy when out in the backcountry, camping, or if you find your self in a sticky situation. We want to thank today's sponsors, Cobrabraid and COAST Products, for supplying the prizes in today's giveaway. Let's get to the package details shall we?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Five Year Blogiversary Giveaway Day 2 (Food)

Welcome everyone to Day 2 of our Blogiversary Giveaways. Today we are thinking about food and how good it is after a tough day hiking, backpacking, or even camping. We have a few great food items which are perfect for the pack or while camping. A special thanks goes out to Hungry Hikers and Vasque Footwear for sponsoring today's prizes. What's up for grabs you ask? Well let's get to it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Five Year Blogiversary Giveaway Day 1 (Hiker)

Appalachia & Beyond Blogiversary Giveaway Image
Happy 5 Year Blogiversary to Appalachia & Beyond. We hope everyone is just as excited about this as we are. We've been anxiously waiting for this day to get here. As you all know we have decided to have 5 full days of giveaways just to celebrate the occasion. Also, just to be clear, you have a full week to enter on each day's giveaway starting on the day of each giveaway (e.g. Monday's giveaway will stay open until Sunday, Tuesday's until Monday, etc.).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gear Review - Cobrabraid 550 Paracord Survival Bracelets

Just a couple of weeks ago we were contacted by Cobrabraid in hopes that we would like to review their 550 Paracord Survival Bracelets. Well knowing that rope is always handy in many a situation (e.g. string up an antenna, replacing a broken bootlace, etc.) we said we'd be more than happy to. Wouldn't you know it, in a few short days they sent us 2 large bracelets, 2 small bracelets, key chains to match, and a DIY kit.*We'll be giving away a bracelet and key chain on our Survival Day giveaway and the DIY kit on the Miscellaneous Day giveaway next week.*

Upon receiving them Robin and I both put our bracelets on. We noticed at first how stiff they were but after a few days of wearing they've loosened up a bit and we are now wearing them comfortable almost every where we go. Upon adorning our bracelets, the big kiddo, as if on cue, whined, "Where's mine?" Well how can you deny that type of plea from an almost 16yo who has a thing for bracelets. She is in love with hers by the way. We all have to take ours off however if we are holding the bug, as the velcro sometimes want's to catch her leg or the buckles tend to poke her in the legs.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

COAST's Rapid Response 3.00 Knife - Gear Review

When out in the wild day hiking, backpacking, or just camping, you never know when you're going to need a good blade. Knives come in handy in all sorts of situations. Whether you need to cut some rope to string up a tarp, sharpen sticks for whatever, or just whittle some wood, the needs are endless. Enter COAST's Rapid Response 3.00 knife.

COAST sent me one for review purposes and I've been carrying it around in my pocket like any other East Tennessean does. Compared to my other "Crocodile Dundee" knife (aptly named by Robin) it is much lighter (3.7oz - 1oz. less than the "Croc") and doesn't take up as much space in my pocket.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

5 Year Blogiversary Giveaway Teaser

With our blogiversary coming up next week, we thought we'd get everyone excited with us and let you know what would be given away on what days. So without further ado...

Monday = "Hiker" giveaway package. (Please note you don't necessarily have to be a hiker to enter.)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sports Science Smarter Tees - Gear Review

A while back, we were contacted by the clothing company Sport Science. They wanted to know if we would like to review their Smarter T-shirts. Of course we said yes! We received the shirts maybe a week or two after Dinah was born so we really hadn't had time to wear them and test them out. Well this past weekend was a different story. We were able to get out on two different trails this weekend and in so doing, I wore my Men's Smarter Short Sleeve Tee.

I have to admit I'm in love with this tee. It's light, airy, comfortable, and quick drying. On our hike up to Laurel Falls, I had a pack on. By the time we got to the falls my back was pretty wet with sweat. After sitting up top and enjoying the waterfall and hiking back down, I had forgot that my back was wet at all. Talk about quick dry time. I like that a lot.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Getting Ready For A Celebration

In less than two weeks time we will have our 5 year blogiversary. Of course it didn't start out as Appalachia & Beyond, it started out at Robin & Tim's Outdoor Adventures, or something like that. It was back in 2010 that we changed it to Appalachia & Beyond and gave it all a nice make over, but I digress...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dinah's First Official Hikes

We've been jonesin' to get out on the trail for a while now. We hadn't been on any hikes since September of last year. Well I take that back, Robin did let me out on the Hiker Release Program back in November. Granted we've been on the Songbird Trail at Norris Dam State Park a couple of times and up to the Pinnacle Overlook at Cumberland Gap NHP after our little Bug was born but those were more just strolls along the path and not what we consider "real hikes". This all changed last weekend when we decided we were going to get out on the trail even if it killed us.

We had originally planned on just doing one hike this weekend. However, we had a small dilemma. Dinah is at the discovery age (4 months old) and she's not keen on being in her car-seat stroller. So we had to find a stroller that would allow her to sit up and see the world as it came at her. We found a good stroller and decided that instead of hiking on Saturday, we would just go to a park and walk around to test out the stroller and see how "Bug" did.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Featured Destinations Archive (Amis Mill Eatery - Rogersville,TN )

This was our other "Featured Destination" and is now here on the main blog page for archival purposes. If you find yourself galavanting around Rogersville, TN, make sure to stop in at Amis Mill Eatery for a bite to eat. They always have some great specials. After today, the "Featured Destinations" page will no longer exist.
Amis Mill Eatery - Rogersville, TN

What is it about food that brings us all together, lightens the heart, and fills the soul as it fills our bellies? Can you imagine for a moment an aroma that tantalizes the tongue and makes your mouth water? Is food more special - more fulfilling - when found off the beaten path, when you're treated like family, when you can enjoy it on a a heated porch in the dead of winter? We think so. It wasn't long ago that we happened upon such a place, and now we'd like to share our feet-space under the table with you.

Amis Mill Eatery is our featured destination, is located in Rogersville, TN, and offers one of the friendliest meals we've ever sat down to. The food was scrumptious, the service was unsurpassed, and the atmosphere was coveted by all at our table.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Featured Destinations Archive (LeConte Lodge)

Since we haven't featured any new destinations in some time, we figured it was time to decommission the "Featured Destinations" page and instead archive the two destinations here in separate blog posts. Going forward, if we do have a "Featured Destination" to write about, it will be a regular blog post and we will have it tagged with "Featured Destination" along with any other relevant tags. So for the first archived "Featured Destination" We present to you LeConte Lodge.

(Originally Posted on the now absent "Featured Destinations" page in Spring 2011)

Last year around this time, Robin and I took an overnight trip to the top of Mount LeConte for our anniversary. For years we've always rented a cabin for a weekend to celebrate what we coined our "anni-moon". You see, we were married on top of a mountain in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and for our honeymoon we stayed in a cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. So every year since we have celebrated our anniversary in much the same way. Always a cabin, and always in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's Been 10 Wonderful Years

How many of you have the fortune of having a trailmate/hiking partner who also happens to be your best friend, your life long companion, and the love of your life? I happen to be one of those people and consider myself the luckiest of souls to have such a person.

Today marks our 10 year wedding anniversary. 10 years ago today, we tied the knot in a simple ceremony on top of a small mountain in Gatlinburg among our immediate family and in the presence of God in his wonderful creation. 10 years ago we pledge to each other our lives together and while like most we've hit a bump or two along the way, it has nonetheless been an amazing ride and I look forward to the new adventures that lay waiting for us.

To my wife, my best friend, my trailmate, and love of my life, thank you for being all that you are to me and our family. Thank you for being my forever trailmate and companion. You mean the world to me and always will. I Love You Now, Always, and Forever. May the long trail of life always keep us together on the path.

Happy Trails My Love.
Love Always,
Your Timmy

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sylvan Sport Contest Announcement

Image Courtesy:
The very kind folks at SylvanSport (makers of the SylvanSport Go) asked us if we would help spread the word about their big contest this year. Of course how could we turn that down. The SylvanSport Go is a pretty sweet looking trailer/camper combo, and to beat all, SylvanSport is a great outdoor company located just a hop, skip, and a jump across the Blue Ridge from us in Brevard, NC.

If you remember they had the "Find The Go" contest last year and the year previous. Every few days they'd release a new set of coordinates to narrow down to the area the Go was located, along with a clue. At the end of 8 sets of clues they finally had one last set of coordinates and the clue, the first person to find it, won it. Last year it was somewhere in San Francisco. Unfortunately for us, there was no way to get out that far. This year though, the contest is different and is pretty much up for grabs for anyone. So here are all they details they asked us to share.

Monday, April 2, 2012

We Have a Winner (5.11 Tactical ATAC A2 Flashlight)

Happy April everyone. We know that y'all have been waiting with nervous anticipation to find out who gets to add the spiffy ATAC A2 flashlight from 5.11 Tactical to their packs. Well ladies and gentlemen, wait no longer. We do have a winner and to beat it all Dinah helped me pick the winner when we logged into the Random Number Generator and input the numbers for the entries.

So without further ado, the lucky winner of the ATAC A2 flashlight from 5.11 Tactical is none other than Jeff of the blog AppalachianHikerHQ. Jeff, when you see this send us an email at appalachiaandbeyond (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address and we will send it along so 5.11 can get you your new flashlight. Let us know how it does out on the trail.

Okay everyone, that's about all the time we have for this evening. It's time to go wolf down supper before the Bug wakes up from her nap. Stay tuned as we have a pretty cool contest announcement post for tomorrow from a company located here in the Southern Appalachians and we are happy to help spread the word.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Early Celebration Giveaway(5.11 Tactical Flashlight)

Wow it's already spring and well it's one of our favorite times of year to be out on the trail and/or camping. We've been at this blogging business for a while now and well this year is a bit different. You know this May we will be celebrating five years of blogging, trail reports and destination guides here at Appalachia & Beyond. And while you can expect some cool things to celebrate the occasion, we thought with it being spring and a great time to get out on the trail or in the campgrounds, why not start celebrating a little early.

Photo Courtesy of:
5.11 Tactical
We are lucky enough to begin the celebrations for the upcoming anniversary by teaming up with 511Tactical  to give away a prize to one of our readers - and it could be you! The prize is an ATAC A2 Flashlight from 511's range of flashlights.

The ATAC A2 is simply designed to be strong, light and bright - the 2AA batteries supply 162 lumens, or just 15 lumens on 'ultra low power' mode.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bug's Big Adventure Weekend

So last weekend was pretty busy for us. Big sis had her first track meet of the season, and so it would also be a big test for "Bug" (one of the few nicknames for Dinah). The meet was a jamboree so nothing official. I have to say that I am very proud of my "Big Bug". She threw the discus for the first time for a whopping 43'9". She also did the long jump and the 800m run, she did those events last year as well.

As for Bug well, she didn't take to well to the meet business. Actually, she didn't take to well to being out and about much at all. It was still a bit cool and there was a pretty good breeze blowing and Bug doesn't much care for big breezes. So Robin and Bug ended up spending much of the time stuck in the car where Bug was more apt to be pleasant. At one point she had finally taken up the whole back seat, forcing Robin to sit up front in the drivers seat completely bored out of her mind while little bit napped the day away.