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Fall Hikes in Flagstaff - Abineau Trail / Bear Jaw Trail

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Five years ago I was reluctantly celebrating my 30th birthday.  As with most birthdays, I kind of didn't want much attention...actually, even more so since it was going to be a milestone birthday.  To avoid attention I cashed in a groupon for a flea motel in Flagstaff, stopped at Chileen's on 17 for a chicken fried steak, then went by Babbit's to buy a birthday hammock ad hike recommendation.  I wanted something solitary, beautiful, and relaxing.  They came up with the Abineau Trail / Bear Jaw Trail loop on the north side of the San Francisco Peaks.  I've been back many times since and haven't stopped being impressed.


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Under Armour Ridge Reaper Review: 1800 Backpack

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A couple years ago I picked up the Ridge Reaper 1800 Backpack to use on my whitetail hunts.  I needed something with decent capacity that wasn't split between multiple pockets to carry my insulated and outer layers on the walk to my deer stand, and being 6'5" that takes a decent sized backpack.  Unfortunately, Under Armour doesn't appear to make this pack anymore...so why am I talking about it?  Because it's a great pack that you should pick up if you find one used--and because recent marketing material has shown this pack--or one similar--in the Ridge Reaper Forest pattern, which didn't exist on the market, at least, when UA stopped making this pack which makes me believe that it could make a reappearance on store shelves.

If you want to see this backpack come back as badly as I do, consider contacting Under Armour--they're @underarmour and @UAhunt on Twitter and Instagram.

7E Chronicles Special - Early Review of Ridge Reaper Infil Ops Gore-Tex boots

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The 7E Chronicles, sponsored by Gaia GPS (sign up here with a discount).  Some camo gear provided by Under Armour Ridge Reaper (shop here on Amazon).

This weekend I finally had the opportunity to get back up to the Kachina Peaks Wilderness sub-unit of 7E after months of closure due to drought and fire risk.  It was great to get back up in the woods, even greater because I was wearing my new Under Armour Ridge Reaper Infil Ops boots.  This review is based mostly on just one day in the field, so there's more to experience; but based on how well they worked without being broken in they're going to be great.

In Recovery? It May Be Time for a Getaway

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Getting out and having fun is good for everyone, but can be especially helpful for those in recovery from addiction. This post is from guest author,Michelle Peterson, who wishes to eliminate the stigma surrounding people who struggle with addiction. Her mission is aligned with that of RecoveryPride, which is to celebrate sobriety and those who achieve it.

In Recovery? It May Be Time for a Getaway

After a stretch of living sober, you’ve earned the right to treat yourself, and the best way to do that is with a vacation. A little bit of sunshine and fresh air will help you shake off some stress while enjoying the good things in life, but there’s just one little problem: temptation. Resorts are typically filled with people who came to party, hitting the beach with beers in hand and dancing all night at the local club. Don’t despair, though. There are ways of planning your getaway so that you stay clean while having more fun than the users and abusers.

7E Chronicles Extra: New Ridge Reaper Gear!!

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The 7E Chronicles, sponsored by Gaia GPS (sign up here with a discount).  Camo gear provided by Under Armour Ridge Reaper (shop here on Amazon).

I went to the Sportsman's Warehouse customer loyalty sale last night intending to just grab a few things for sighting and cleaning my new rifle and on the way back to the shooting section I walked right past the camo and saw that they have all sorts of new UA Ridge Reaper gear, so I got stuck there for about 45 minutes marveling over the new items and trying things on.  Let me tell you, it takes dedication to try on a down coat layered under a Gore-Tex coat when it's still over 100 outside and you've spent the day moving furniture.  The pictures aren't great since I just took some quick shots as I tried to wrap up my shopping, but they still give a good sense of what's new!

The UA website has several new items in the Ridge Reaper Barren line--the most exciting on their site are the Raider pants (pictured right) and jacket

The 7E Chronicles: Gearing up for the hunt - arms and optics

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The 7E Chronicles, sponsored by Gaia GPS (sign up here with a discount).  Some camo gear provided by Under Armour Ridge Reaper (shop here on Amazon).

Part 2 of a 3 part subseries of the 7E Chronicles dealing with the gear I'll be using this October during my bull elk hunt.  This edition will focus on my firearm and optics. Last time I wrote about the basic necessities I'll carry, and the final part will discuss my camo clothing.

The 7E Chronicles: Gearing up for the hunt. - the things I'll carry

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The 7E Chronicles, sponsored by Gaia GPS (sign up here with a discount).  Camo gear provided by Under Armour Ridge Reaper (shop here on Amazon).

Unfortunately, due to the drought my hunt unit is still closed off from access, but that's not keeping me from planning and strategizing my gear (clothing will be a later post).  For most of my life, the gear choices have been pretty easy--whatever cool stuff I can fit into the backpack I carry on the half-mile hike from cabin to deer stand.  But this time it'll be a backpacking hunt at 9,000' and higher, several miles from my car and a half-hour drive from town, so I'm going to have to be more diligent and discerning with what I carry. 

This is the first of a three-part subseries of the 7E Chronicles dealing with the gear I'll be taking for my hunt.  This will deal with the basic necessities, the next will review firearm and optics, the final will feature the camo clothing I'll wear.

The 7E Chronicles: Scouting the Elk Hunt

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The 7E Chronicles, sponsored by Gaia GPS (sign up here with a discount).  Camo gear provided by Under Armour Ridge Reaper (shop here on Amazon).

I chose the Kachina Peaks Wilderness Hunt Area because it is somewhere that I have hiked and camped many times over my years in Arizona...I felt comfortable that I am familiar enough with the area that should I beat the odds and get pulled, I could at least hunt for the entire time without getting lost and dying in the wilderness.  But hiking Bear Jaw Trail and the Inner Basin Trail and exploring up a small cinder cone don't give me the area knowledge of the entire San Francisco Peaks to pull off an elk hunt without leaving the trails behind.  Scouting for a elk hunt takes dedication and effort.

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