The Stuff Sack: News from the wilds of the Internet

Coast Guard surfer rescue
Surfing Alaska’s Kodiak Islands has its risks, and cold water isn’t really their most dangerous. In the case of Eagle River resident Scott Jones, it was Old Man Wind and his pesky sidekick, Riptide. Jones was surfing with some buddies (a pretty select group when you consider the winter conditions of their home break), when a rip, described as a “raging river,” pulled him from the lineup, around a point and deposited him on a rocky shore hemmed in by the full-moon fueled high tide. He found himself some shelter in a seawall cave and waited for the orange & white calvary, which was alerted to his frothy predicament by his friends.
Shout out to

Climbers for a cause
Two rock climbers from Michigan are raising money for research into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder through their website, Their first effort under the mission is Mexico’s Time Wave Zero, a 23-pitch sport route in the Sierra Madre.
via WZZN 13

Forbes does … gear reviews?
Look, I suppose it’s cool that outdoor gear has made it to the pages of Forbes and their New York City rooftop campout to test a lot of the promo gear they received is pretty innovative, but I couldn’t help but chuckle at what author Jon Burner considers “essential gear.” He does know his audience, however, given what he chose to review at length: GPS devices and solar smartphone chargers.
Have a read.

Imus Geographics: superior map makers.

Detailed portion of Imus Geographics Sierre Nevada map

This image alone will keep you around a while.

The Sierra Nevada range is a vast, glacier-carved Shangri-La of outdoor recreation. Choosing a single place to visit amongst all that wilderness isn’t easy, especially when assigned to plan a weekend road trip from Las Vegas.

I like to think it is for trips exactly like this that Imus Geographics created its Sierra Nevada map. However, its pine needle precision and exceptionally coherent illustration suggest that these maps are probably best for framing. If John Muir needed a map, he would use this one.

Imus Geographics is a small, Eugene, OR-based company that makes maps. And man, do they make maps. The detail, quality and illustrated nuances of their work open up an area like no Rand McNally can. There is care in every topo line. For anyone who questions why I don’t carry a GPS (or even own one) I can confidently point to the work of Dave Imus, an artist/cartographer whose effort could never be replicated on a 3.5” screen.

The only drawback is that so much time and information goes in to creating an Imus map that he only has a few currently available. That doesn’t really matter, because by the time you’ve exhausted one, a new one will be ready.

I almost feel guilty allowing this thing to get a bit torn and flattened from use. Yet, the potential adventures it holds between its creases are just too great to leave compressed on a shelf. Since I bought it a few weeks ago, I have used it like many would a novel. I open it on a table and finger my way across one fantastic destination after the next, routing future weekends through the granite and Sequoia. I estimate distances and trace trails. “That’s where my tent should be. This road could get me there … ”

Maps just leave so much more open to the imagination than a satellite guided device packed with a timed, measured agenda. And what kind of adventure can you have without imagination?