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    Duffle Days – Topo Designs

    He who would travel happily must travel light. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    Last summer, I charted a six-week trip to South Africa, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and one sizable obstacle in between: Mount Kilimanjaro. It was this last part of my peregrination that presented a unique challenge. How would I pack for -10°F to 90°F temps, including a sleeping bag and high-altitude essentials, and do it all without checking any luggage? Packing for Kili was proving to be more mountain than molehill. That is until Topo Designs overnighted a spacious American-made duffel and a set of instructions: “Don’t get eaten by lions.” I loaded up the clay-colored carry-all and promised to do my best with the advice.

    – Andrew Klein

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    The Winter Blues

    We’ve been traveling through Northern California, Nevada, and Oregon the past two weeks in search of fish on the fly and frozen landscapes. Through rain, sleet, and snow, we found a few azure gems.

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    Down Days Down South

    We’re stoked to share Miah Klein’s behind-the-scenes imagery and words from a Vissla excursion south of the border with Cam Richards, Noa Deane, and Julian Klincewicz.

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    The Perfect Travel Sandal

    We couldn’t think of better footwear to take on a six-week adventure through Africa than Bedrock Sandals. Super thin for tight packing, secure single strap, and an ultra-durable all-terrain footbed meant we could take them anywhere our journey took us. A few Maasai even asked us where they could get a pair (http://bedrocksandals.com/). Africa tested, Africa approved.

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    Africa, Part 4 of 4: Zanzibar

    How do you wrap days and days of dirt life? With sand life of course. Zanzibar, the colorful cousin of mainland Tanzania, is the spot to wind down from extended, sometimes arduous, travel. Except we didn’t exactly wind down – we found a daily dose of snorkeling, diving, kite boarding, and surfing an unknown reef break to be just the medicine to ease us out. 

    Karibu sana, Africa. We’ll be back.

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    Africa, Part 3 of 4: Serengeti, Tanzania

    Africa is a huge, complex continent that couldn’t possibly be drawn into a single conclusion. But if we were to make one recommendation for experiencing Africa’s fauna, it would undoubtedly include the Serengeti. If the wildlife density and broad vistas of savanna aren’t enough to have you booking your flights, consider this…you get to camp in the bush! Unlike other parks we visited, the Serengeti has designated campgrounds that eschew boundary fences and indemnity forms, allowing visitors the opportunity to be trampled or chewed by any number of animals. We had elephants mock charge us at a campfire, hyena calling outside the tent, and herds of zebra trimming the grass as we slept. It’s the sense of freedom and risk that makes for a real sense of safari – a harkening back to boot-strapped survival and exploration in the wilderness. 

    Over the course of five dusty days driving in open-air vehicles through the Serengeti, Ngorogoro Crater, and Lake Manyara, we were fortunate to have close encounters with nearly every species of animal living in these diverse environments, including lion, leopard, cheetah, and black rhino.

    We also spent a morning visiting a Maasai village to learn about the Clean Cookstove initiative. Household air pollution through traditional cooking is the fourth biggest health risk in the world. Fortunately, the Planeterra Foundation is training and equipping Maasai women with a clean-burning alternative. Visit planeterra.org to learn more.

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