#RUGGEDYARNS CONTEST WINNERS

April 19, 2022 25 min read

#RUGGEDYARNS CONTEST WINNERS


▼ READ ELSA'S FULL STORY - CLICK HERE ▼

In April of 2020, shortly after the world had shut down and I lost my job training reindeer and guiding educational tours in Fairbanks, Alaska, a good friend of mine and I went caribou hunting for ten days in the Arctic, north of the Brooks Range. We took fourteen sled dogs and spent our days hunting caribou, playing with dogs, spotting wolves and enjoying some of the most beautiful and transcendent scenery I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing in my lifetime thus far.

The story in particular I’d like to share is one of the only “Type 2” days we had.

We were incredibly lucky to have had clear weather and comfortable temperatures during most of our Arctic stay. But, one day out looking for caribou we had taken the dog teams about ten or so miles from camp and spotted a herd about 500 yards from our sleds. It was a warm day, about 20 degrees or so; and when I went off on foot after the caribou, I had to traverse a wide angle around them to try to push them towards my friend. Camouflage isn’t easy on the snow-covered tundra, and we wore white wind suits that weren’t the most breathable material. Underneath my wind suit, I wore my Duckworth Comet Tunnel Hood, Powder High Neck sweater, and WoolCloud Full Zip Jacket.

It didn’t take long before the caribou spotted me and began their charge away from us and the sleds. I began sweating profusely, but it was early in the day and I didn't think much of it since the weather was so pleasant and I’d have time to dry off when I was back at the sled. I proceeded to follow the caribou for “a while.” I can’t be sure how long or far I hiked after them, because it is awfully easy to lose awareness of time and distance in the monochrome landscape of the tundra. I had lost sight of the sleds and even the caribou at this point and began to head back.

I was slightly disgruntled because I had yet to get a shot on caribou in the seven days we had been there so far, and I could feel the air beginning to chill and become damp. Finally to my relief, I reached the sleds, though not before I had noticed the clever herd of caribou right behind me, but not in a good position to try for a shot. I swear I could hear them laughing at me.

Full of sweat, thirst, hunger and good spirits I arrived at the sleds and we headed back for camp. I had removed my wind suit and had on my sweaty Duckworth layers . I took off my Comet Tunnel Hood to give my skin some extra breathing room while the dogs took us the ten miles back to camp.

The “Type 2” really began here, when it started to rain. Here I was, cooling off, wearing sweaty clothes, standing stationary on a dog sled, in the rain and dropping temperature. I was becoming hypothermic. I proceeded to do squats, calf raises, abdominal flexing, hand shaking and drank lots of water, but we still weren’t anywhere near camp. Once we arrived at camp I could hardly feel my hands or feet, was groggy, shaking and my speech was slurred. After unhooking the dogs and getting them settled, I went into our tent and stripped. We got a fire going and I laid under blankets and sleeping bags with my dog Skunk to help warm me up. Maybe not the next best choice, but I took a nap.

All was and is well. It wasn’t a restful nap, but I woke up warm and could stretch and feel all of my sore, tired muscles. The first piece of clothing I put on was my Duckworth Vapor Tunnel Hood. I wanted something that was warm, light and breathable as I was definitely spending the rest of the night in the tent staying as dry as I could in a tent we’d spent the last 7 days in with our damp, stinky gear.

My friend managed to bring two caribou home during our time in the Arctic. It was the most incredible experience of my life and I cannot express how humbled I was during my time there. Not only by my experience walking right into hypothermia, but the vast, unforgiving, yet inviting nature of the tundra. I saw the most colorful choreography of the Northern Lights I’ve ever seen; I literally reached my hand out to touch them as they danced around us and our camp. I stood about 400 yards from an arctic wolf on my cross country skis one morning glassing for caribou. The wolf and I stood watching one another for a few minutes, then both turned our attention to the caribou herd nearby and I hope the wolves ate well that day. My dog Skunk and I got to bond more deeply in our relationship spending ten days in the wild and he and I will always appreciate that time spent together.

Being in the Arctic with sled dogs filled me with such peace and comfort; honoring the relationship of working dogs and humans is something I deeply cherish. It was also my farewell to Alaska trip, as I had decided to return home to Montana, and Alaska couldn’t have said goodbye in a more poetic and magical way. I hope to return for another trip someday, but none will ever be quite like my first Arctic hunting experience.

If you’re called to the Arctic, I recommend heeding that call. I felt so at home there; in the raw, silent, stillness and magic of a white, wild, tundra and want to thank Duckworth for always being in my gear bag. Without Duckworth, I feel as though I wouldn’t have fared quite so well on this particular trip and I am grateful for their products and dedication to their craft and all aspects of it so we can explore with confidence and humility the places that call us home.

▼ READ ELSA'S FULL STORY - CLICK HERE ▼

In April of 2020, shortly after the world had shut down and I lost my job training reindeer and guiding educational tours in Fairbanks, Alaska, a good friend of mine and I went caribou hunting for ten days in the Arctic, north of the Brooks Range. We took fourteen sled dogs and spent our days hunting caribou, playing with dogs, spotting wolves and enjoying some of the most beautiful and transcendent scenery I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing in my lifetime thus far.

The story in particular I’d like to share is one of the only “Type 2” days we had.

We were incredibly lucky to have had clear weather and comfortable temperatures during most of our Arctic stay. But, one day out looking for caribou we had taken the dog teams about ten or so miles from camp and spotted a herd about 500 yards from our sleds. It was a warm day, about 20 degrees or so; and when I went off on foot after the caribou, I had to traverse a wide angle around them to try to push them towards my friend. Camouflage isn’t easy on the snow-covered tundra, and we wore white wind suits that weren’t the most breathable material. Underneath my wind suit, I wore my Duckworth Comet Tunnel Hood, Powder High Neck sweater, and WoolCloud Full Zip Jacket.

It didn’t take long before the caribou spotted me and began their charge away from us and the sleds. I began sweating profusely, but it was early in the day and I didn't think much of it since the weather was so pleasant and I’d have time to dry off when I was back at the sled. I proceeded to follow the caribou for “a while.” I can’t be sure how long or far I hiked after them, because it is awfully easy to lose awareness of time and distance in the monochrome landscape of the tundra. I had lost sight of the sleds and even the caribou at this point and began to head back.

I was slightly disgruntled because I had yet to get a shot on caribou in the seven days we had been there so far, and I could feel the air beginning to chill and become damp. Finally to my relief, I reached the sleds, though not before I had noticed the clever herd of caribou right behind me, but not in a good position to try for a shot. I swear I could hear them laughing at me.

Full of sweat, thirst, hunger and good spirits I arrived at the sleds and we headed back for camp. I had removed my wind suit and had on my sweaty Duckworth layers . I took off my Comet Tunnel Hood to give my skin some extra breathing room while the dogs took us the ten miles back to camp.

The “Type 2” really began here, when it started to rain. Here I was, cooling off, wearing sweaty clothes, standing stationary on a dog sled, in the rain and dropping temperature. I was becoming hypothermic. I proceeded to do squats, calf raises, abdominal flexing, hand shaking and drank lots of water, but we still weren’t anywhere near camp. Once we arrived at camp I could hardly feel my hands or feet, was groggy, shaking and my speech was slurred. After unhooking the dogs and getting them settled, I went into our tent and stripped. We got a fire going and I laid under blankets and sleeping bags with my dog Skunk to help warm me up. Maybe not the next best choice, but I took a nap.

All was and is well. It wasn’t a restful nap, but I woke up warm and could stretch and feel all of my sore, tired muscles. The first piece of clothing I put on was my Duckworth Vapor Tunnel Hood. I wanted something that was warm, light and breathable as I was definitely spending the rest of the night in the tent staying as dry as I could in a tent we’d spent the last 7 days in with our damp, stinky gear.

My friend managed to bring two caribou home during our time in the Arctic. It was the most incredible experience of my life and I cannot express how humbled I was during my time there. Not only by my experience walking right into hypothermia, but the vast, unforgiving, yet inviting nature of the tundra. I saw the most colorful choreography of the Northern Lights I’ve ever seen; I literally reached my hand out to touch them as they danced around us and our camp. I stood about 400 yards from an arctic wolf on my cross country skis one morning glassing for caribou. The wolf and I stood watching one another for a few minutes, then both turned our attention to the caribou herd nearby and I hope the wolves ate well that day. My dog Skunk and I got to bond more deeply in our relationship spending ten days in the wild and he and I will always appreciate that time spent together.

Being in the Arctic with sled dogs filled me with such peace and comfort; honoring the relationship of working dogs and humans is something I deeply cherish. It was also my farewell to Alaska trip, as I had decided to return home to Montana, and Alaska couldn’t have said goodbye in a more poetic and magical way. I hope to return for another trip someday, but none will ever be quite like my first Arctic hunting experience.

If you’re called to the Arctic, I recommend heeding that call. I felt so at home there; in the raw, silent, stillness and magic of a white, wild, tundra and want to thank Duckworth for always being in my gear bag. Without Duckworth, I feel as though I wouldn’t have fared quite so well on this particular trip and I am grateful for their products and dedication to their craft and all aspects of it so we can explore with confidence and humility the places that call us home.


▼ READ Brendan'S FULL STORY - CLICK HERE ▼

I spend a lot of time outdoors, filming videos for my @outsidebrendan adventure posts on TikTok and Instagram. A lot of people seem to enjoy them, since I have over 172,000 followers on TikTok and almost 23,000 on Instagram.

In order to get the perfect visuals, I am often outside all day long, and I need to stay warm. Winters can be brutal here in upstate New York, and I rely on Duckworth to keep me toasty so I can spend all day outside -- whether I'm hiking, skiing, skating, riding my bike on the ice or "ride sharing" with a kite surfing buddy!

I really like my Duckworth Comet Crew and Comet Leggings. It is incredible how well these base layers work. They wick away sweat beautifully, they are super soft against my skin and are never itchy. The technology behind them, with the Merino Wool outer layer and polyester inner layer, is truly brilliant.

One of my hobbies is making outdoor videos, which I post on Instagram and TikTok. This has been a really fun way to share my love of the outdoors with others, and I have made a lot of friends who have joined me on my outdoor adventures.

Recently, my friends and I set up a portable sauna on the ice. Right next to the sauna, also on the ice, we made a wood-fired oven, built with bricks and topped with a grill. We made grilled cheese sandwiches for everyone!

We have also gone ice sailing, kite skating and enjoyed those black ice days when you could skate for miles and miles. I recently started shooting with a drone, which has created some pretty dramatic footage. All while staying super warm thanks to Duckworth. I am off to Colorado and then to Antarctica on work trips in March, and will definitely bring my Duckworth along to keep me warm. I think my granddad would be happy to see that I love Duckworth as much as he did!

▼ READ Brendan'S FULL STORY - CLICK HERE ▼

I spend a lot of time outdoors, filming videos for my @outsidebrendan adventure posts on TikTok and Instagram. A lot of people seem to enjoy them, since I have over 172,000 followers on TikTok and almost 23,000 on Instagram.

In order to get the perfect visuals, I am often outside all day long, and I need to stay warm. Winters can be brutal here in upstate New York, and I rely on Duckworth to keep me toasty so I can spend all day outside -- whether I'm hiking, skiing, skating, riding my bike on the ice or "ride sharing" with a kite surfing buddy!

I really like my Duckworth Comet Crew and Comet Leggings. It is incredible how well these base layers work. They wick away sweat beautifully, they are super soft against my skin and are never itchy. The technology behind them, with the Merino Wool outer layer and polyester inner layer, is truly brilliant.

One of my hobbies is making outdoor videos, which I post on Instagram and TikTok. This has been a really fun way to share my love of the outdoors with others, and I have made a lot of friends who have joined me on my outdoor adventures.

Recently, my friends and I set up a portable sauna on the ice. Right next to the sauna, also on the ice, we made a wood-fired oven, built with bricks and topped with a grill. We made grilled cheese sandwiches for everyone!

We have also gone ice sailing, kite skating and enjoyed those black ice days when you could skate for miles and miles. I recently started shooting with a drone, which has created some pretty dramatic footage. All while staying super warm thanks to Duckworth. I am off to Colorado and then to Antarctica on work trips in March, and will definitely bring my Duckworth along to keep me warm. I think my granddad would be happy to see that I love Duckworth as much as he did!


▼ READ SARAH'S FULL STORY - CLICK HERE ▼

On Feb 1, 2021, I landed my dream job of working with conservation detection dogs in the field of wildlife conservation. I had always loved nature and the outdoors, physical activity (a devout trail runner) and science, but had up until that date made a living as a commercial pilot.

In this line of work I now venture into, high-drive and fetch-obsessed rescue dogs channel their relentless desire to play into working all day in various ecosystems searching for wildlife data (typically the scat of a species being researched). The dogs get their highly coveted reward, a game of fetch, when they find the data the team has been tasked with finding.

Surveys are conducted in all kinds of terrain, and during all seasons, so teams have to be in great shape and prepared for everything. By March 1, I realized that everything I thought I knew about field work, and field gear, was worth throwing right out the window. Real field work is relentless. It continues on no matter the weather, no matter how you are feeling that day, no matter what is going on in the world. Data relies on consistency. I quickly realized that my consistency relied on my ability to level the playing field.

The environment and the work in and of itself throws enough hardship into the ring when trying to collect cryptic wildlife data with high-drive detection dogs, I didn’t need my gear failing and making me uncomfortable to boot. But as a wildlife conservationist, I was torn about the ethical implications of utilizing what I knew to be one of the best materials for outdoor activity, wool. So I did my homework. I researched dozens of suppliers and brands that sold wool outdoor gear, until ultimately I discovered Duckworth. I was blown away when I learned about this historic family, their extremely uncomplicated supply chain, and their commitment to growing and sewing in the USA. Jackpot. Here was a solution to not only be able to conduct field work with gear that will hold up to the harsh conditions and performance needs, but also that will feel great and support an ethical and values-aligned purchase.

We have since been on this same wildlife study for 55 weeks straight. We have traversed over 2000 miles on foot and paw. Braved temps over 100F, lows in the 30’s, wind, sun, rain, day, and night. I can honestly say it’s my Vapor Tee, Vapor Racerback Tank, Powder High Neck and Lightweight Ski Socks that have made all this field work almost feel like a luxury!

▼ READ SARAH'S FULL STORY - CLICK HERE ▼

On Feb 1, 2021, I landed my dream job of working with conservation detection dogs in the field of wildlife conservation. I had always loved nature and the outdoors, physical activity (a devout trail runner) and science, but had up until that date made a living as a commercial pilot.

In this line of work I now venture into, high-drive and fetch-obsessed rescue dogs channel their relentless desire to play into working all day in various ecosystems searching for wildlife data (typically the scat of a species being researched). The dogs get their highly coveted reward, a game of fetch, when they find the data the team has been tasked with finding.

Surveys are conducted in all kinds of terrain, and during all seasons, so teams have to be in great shape and prepared for everything. By March 1, I realized that everything I thought I knew about field work, and field gear, was worth throwing right out the window. Real field work is relentless. It continues on no matter the weather, no matter how you are feeling that day, no matter what is going on in the world. Data relies on consistency. I quickly realized that my consistency relied on my ability to level the playing field.

The environment and the work in and of itself throws enough hardship into the ring when trying to collect cryptic wildlife data with high-drive detection dogs, I didn’t need my gear failing and making me uncomfortable to boot. But as a wildlife conservationist, I was torn about the ethical implications of utilizing what I knew to be one of the best materials for outdoor activity, wool. So I did my homework. I researched dozens of suppliers and brands that sold wool outdoor gear, until ultimately I discovered Duckworth. I was blown away when I learned about this historic family, their extremely uncomplicated supply chain, and their commitment to growing and sewing in the USA. Jackpot. Here was a solution to not only be able to conduct field work with gear that will hold up to the harsh conditions and performance needs, but also that will feel great and support an ethical and values-aligned purchase.

We have since been on this same wildlife study for 55 weeks straight. We have traversed over 2000 miles on foot and paw. Braved temps over 100F, lows in the 30’s, wind, sun, rain, day, and night. I can honestly say it’s my Vapor Tee, Vapor Racerback Tank, Powder High Neck and Lightweight Ski Socks that have made all this field work almost feel like a luxury!


▼ READ PHILLIP'S FULL STORY - CLICK HERE ▼

Pre-Covid, 2019 was a good year for me and my trusted Duckworth gear. I had lived with Duckworth on my body for almost that entire year and couldn’t be happier. The clothing brand is comfortable in the hardest of conditions, long timelines without washing and putting that gear through everything I could -- from extreme cold to the most humid heat.

I’ve always been an adventure junky, but retiring at 49, 11 years ago -- left me with lots of idle time that was not going to waste. I’ve traveled the world -- really. Hiking from the Himalayas through to the Chilean Andes, epic motorcycle trips, traversing from the Antarctic to the Amazon, to most of Asia, South America and beyond. But 2019 was a full slate that I won’t forget -- neither will my trusted gear, my Duckworth Merino Wool clothing.

The year started in March, 2019, for 6 weeks on a motorcycle ride with my BMW 1200 GS Adventure bike across America. Starting in South Florida, then up through the mid-west, southern states, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona to Las Vegas for a few days of r-and-r. Then, riding to Los Angeles to attend a famous Porsche community show, visit friends and then back to Las Vegas, Wyoming, Idaho and finally Montana for a Porsche Rally with a friend who flew in from Canada (along with one of my air-cooled Porsches which I had shipped from Florida).

We spent 5 days blowing through some epic Montana, Wyoming and Idaho backroads, enjoying the endless mountain and badlands scenery every step of the way in the 1970 Porsche 911S. At the end of the rally, I then rented a car, picked up my wife at the Bozeman airport, and we explored Yellowstone, the Tetons and Jackson Hole -- hiking every day together for a week.

I got back on my bike, my wife flew home -- I rode to Mount Rushmore, then journeyed back to South Florida. Every single day, I wore my Duckworth clothing; almost exclusively Maverick and Maverick Peak (tees, long sleeve, leggings), socks and a knit hat.

A couple weeks later, after I had settled home, my wife and I flew into Dubai, UAE as a stepping stone to start our Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. After a few fun days in Dubai, we flew to Kathmandu, Nepal, acclimatized there and a few days later were on a flight to Lukla, Nepal. It was late April, early May, and it was freezing cold. The actual trek to base camp lasted 10 days up to Everest through the incredibly scenic Himalayas. Those days were among the coldest nights I had ever encountered in my life because the tea houses along the route up to base camp that early in the season have no heat for accommodations on the mostly concrete floors, nor heated water to bathe or wash. Luckily, I had my Duckworth Maverick kit. Clearly the clothing went days without a wash since our carrying weight for personal gear was limited.

Finally the longest trip for the year was about to start. A few weeks after my return home from my Everest outing, in late June, I hopped on my new BMW F850GSA motorcycle at 5:00 am to begin my 25,000 mile and almost-6-month-adventure from South Florida all the way to Bangkok, Thailand -- the long way -- only crossing water at the Atlantic Ocean and traversing 19 countries. The experience took me from my home in Boca Raton to Toronto, Canada, where I put my motorcycle on a flight to London, England.

My wife met me in Toronto and we flew to London the same day my bike left. After a week in London, I was off again, through Belgium, Netherlands, a longer stint throughout Germany, Austria, Poland -- through all of the Baltic Countries, finally getting some time in Estonia where I met up with a small team of riders approved to ride alone in the next countries (which required special visas).

We rode 5,000 miles through on and off-road Russia (which was incredibly friendly, packed with awesome history and terrain), over to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and then another 6 weeks into very rural China. The roads were often rugged and proved challenging hard work with long days. Then, starting in Western China, Xinjiang Province, we rode across to Xi’an through difficult living and riding conditions. Down to South China, through Sichuan, and then we crossed into Laos. A week in Laos took me to Thailand. Washing my clothing often meant an old rusted sink or a bathtub, some hard soap and a hand washing and drying in a bathroom -- the Duckworth products were always up for the challenge and looked brand-new after each wash. After the ride ended, I got on a flight to Tokyo, Japan to meet my wife where we stayed 2 weeks -- then flew back home just before Christmas to meet my family again -- just as Covid was starting…

Note and last: I had always been an Icebreaker fanboy but after years of continuously buying or replacing products because after a small amount of use, almost 100% of the time, holes show up somewhere in the very thin Tee cloth. I then decided to look for an alternative and found Duckworth. I have a good amount of Duckworth gear that I use almost every day since on my ranch just outside of Austin, Texas -- it’s awesome. It definitely served me well in 2019.

▼ READ PHILLIP'S FULL STORY - CLICK HERE ▼

Pre-Covid, 2019 was a good year for me and my trusted Duckworth gear. I had lived with Duckworth on my body for almost that entire year and couldn’t be happier. The clothing brand is comfortable in the hardest of conditions, long timelines without washing and putting that gear through everything I could -- from extreme cold to the most humid heat.

I’ve always been an adventure junky, but retiring at 49, 11 years ago -- left me with lots of idle time that was not going to waste. I’ve traveled the world -- really. Hiking from the Himalayas through to the Chilean Andes, epic motorcycle trips, traversing from the Antarctic to the Amazon, to most of Asia, South America and beyond. But 2019 was a full slate that I won’t forget -- neither will my trusted gear, my Duckworth Merino Wool clothing.

The year started in March, 2019, for 6 weeks on a motorcycle ride with my BMW 1200 GS Adventure bike across America. Starting in South Florida, then up through the mid-west, southern states, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona to Las Vegas for a few days of r-and-r. Then, riding to Los Angeles to attend a famous Porsche community show, visit friends and then back to Las Vegas, Wyoming, Idaho and finally Montana for a Porsche Rally with a friend who flew in from Canada (along with one of my air-cooled Porsches which I had shipped from Florida).

We spent 5 days blowing through some epic Montana, Wyoming and Idaho backroads, enjoying the endless mountain and badlands scenery every step of the way in the 1970 Porsche 911S. At the end of the rally, I then rented a car, picked up my wife at the Bozeman airport, and we explored Yellowstone, the Tetons and Jackson Hole -- hiking every day together for a week.

I got back on my bike, my wife flew home -- I rode to Mount Rushmore, then journeyed back to South Florida. Every single day, I wore my Duckworth clothing; almost exclusively Maverick and Maverick Peak (tees, long sleeve, leggings), socks and a knit hat.

A couple weeks later, after I had settled home, my wife and I flew into Dubai, UAE as a stepping stone to start our Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. After a few fun days in Dubai, we flew to Kathmandu, Nepal, acclimatized there and a few days later were on a flight to Lukla, Nepal. It was late April, early May, and it was freezing cold. The actual trek to base camp lasted 10 days up to Everest through the incredibly scenic Himalayas. Those days were among the coldest nights I had ever encountered in my life because the tea houses along the route up to base camp that early in the season have no heat for accommodations on the mostly concrete floors, nor heated water to bathe or wash. Luckily, I had my Duckworth Maverick kit. Clearly the clothing went days without a wash since our carrying weight for personal gear was limited.

Finally the longest trip for the year was about to start. A few weeks after my return home from my Everest outing, in late June, I hopped on my new BMW F850GSA motorcycle at 5:00 am to begin my 25,000 mile and almost-6-month-adventure from South Florida all the way to Bangkok, Thailand -- the long way -- only crossing water at the Atlantic Ocean and traversing 19 countries. The experience took me from my home in Boca Raton to Toronto, Canada, where I put my motorcycle on a flight to London, England.

My wife met me in Toronto and we flew to London the same day my bike left. After a week in London, I was off again, through Belgium, Netherlands, a longer stint throughout Germany, Austria, Poland -- through all of the Baltic Countries, finally getting some time in Estonia where I met up with a small team of riders approved to ride alone in the next countries (which required special visas).

We rode 5,000 miles through on and off-road Russia (which was incredibly friendly, packed with awesome history and terrain), over to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and then another 6 weeks into very rural China. The roads were often rugged and proved challenging hard work with long days. Then, starting in Western China, Xinjiang Province, we rode across to Xi’an through difficult living and riding conditions. Down to South China, through Sichuan, and then we crossed into Laos. A week in Laos took me to Thailand. Washing my clothing often meant an old rusted sink or a bathtub, some hard soap and a hand washing and drying in a bathroom -- the Duckworth products were always up for the challenge and looked brand-new after each wash. After the ride ended, I got on a flight to Tokyo, Japan to meet my wife where we stayed 2 weeks -- then flew back home just before Christmas to meet my family again -- just as Covid was starting…

Note and last: I had always been an Icebreaker fanboy but after years of continuously buying or replacing products because after a small amount of use, almost 100% of the time, holes show up somewhere in the very thin Tee cloth. I then decided to look for an alternative and found Duckworth. I have a good amount of Duckworth gear that I use almost every day since on my ranch just outside of Austin, Texas -- it’s awesome. It definitely served me well in 2019.


▼ READ JOHN'S FULL STORY - CLICK HERE ▼

My most memorable and cherished adventure in the backcountry was a summer I spent in Alaska, where I had the opportunity to take a small, 4-seater plane to be dropped off in the middle of Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve for a 10-day hike through the most remote and untouched wilderness in the United States.

The park is exceptionally unique in that there are no roads and no trails to assist with hiking. Equipped with a compass and topographic map, we navigated the terrain during those ten days through great changes in elevation, glacial river crossings and phenomenal scenery.

The excitement of just how wondrous the place was made it difficult to sleep in my tent at night. Although, this was during the summer in North-Central Alaska, so the sun was up almost the entire night, which certainly didn’t help.

A few of my favorite memories of the trip included picking wild blueberries throughout the trip any time I needed a quick snack, spotting grizzly bears in the distance, finding horns and antlers left behind by majestic animals like moose, dall sheep and elk, and realizing just how remote the location was when we noticed how aircraft do not even fly overhead - the place was pure, remote wilderness on a level I had never experienced before.

The right gear in the backcountry is essential and a few of my favorite items include:

Every day was a new experience and a new adventure as we woke up, checked in with the ranger station via satellite phone, and planned our route for the day on the way to our extraction point. The trip will probably always remain the best adventure of my life, but I will certainly try to return there one day and experience that level of remote wilderness again. There is nothing like it.

▼ READ JOHN'S FULL STORY - CLICK HERE ▼

My most memorable and cherished adventure in the backcountry was a summer I spent in Alaska, where I had the opportunity to take a small, 4-seater plane to be dropped off in the middle of Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve for a 10-day hike through the most remote and untouched wilderness in the United States.

The park is exceptionally unique in that there are no roads and no trails to assist with hiking. Equipped with a compass and topographic map, we navigated the terrain during those ten days through great changes in elevation, glacial river crossings and phenomenal scenery.

The excitement of just how wondrous the place was made it difficult to sleep in my tent at night. Although, this was during the summer in North-Central Alaska, so the sun was up almost the entire night, which certainly didn’t help.

A few of my favorite memories of the trip included picking wild blueberries throughout the trip any time I needed a quick snack, spotting grizzly bears in the distance, finding horns and antlers left behind by majestic animals like moose, dall sheep and elk, and realizing just how remote the location was when we noticed how aircraft do not even fly overhead - the place was pure, remote wilderness on a level I had never experienced before.

The right gear in the backcountry is essential and a few of my favorite items include:

  • The Gregory Denali 75 backpack - lightweight and versatile.
  • My Lowa Renegade GTX boots - my go-to favorites handled the terrain and river crossings brilliantly
  • My Duckworth Maverick Long Sleeve Crew & Midweight Hiking Crew Socks - I love Merino base layers in the outdoors. The breathability and comfort is perfect.

Every day was a new experience and a new adventure as we woke up, checked in with the ranger station via satellite phone, and planned our route for the day on the way to our extraction point. The trip will probably always remain the best adventure of my life, but I will certainly try to return there one day and experience that level of remote wilderness again. There is nothing like it.


▼ READ GEORGE'S FULL STORY - CLICK HERE ▼

Dear Wife:  
 
The travel was long, the dogs were famished, the trail difficult. Travel by foot is never as romantic as is shown. Provisioned only with your gift of pickled squirrel knuckles, we arrived at the HooDoo Brewing way station to re-supply and seek cheer and comfort. Long was our journey from the Marriot Fairbanks Hotel, fraught with peril. The snow was blinding, thick and fast. However, the burger and 32 oz of adult beverage later, we had to depart again, a perilous 2.5 mile journey by foot, dodging the denizens of the fair city of Fairbanks in their motor vehicles. We arrived, safe in the hotel to repair our spirits for another adventure.  
 
I remain,
Swaddled in the finest wool,
Your dear devoted husband.  
 
PS. Send more squirrel knuckles.  
 
PPS. Barbecue flavor.  
 
Mr. Fischer's Wardrobe provided by Duckworth:

▼ READ GEORGE'S FULL STORY - CLICK HERE ▼

Dear Wife:  
 
The travel was long, the dogs were famished, the trail difficult. Travel by foot is never as romantic as is shown. Provisioned only with your gift of pickled squirrel knuckles, we arrived at the HooDoo Brewing way station to re-supply and seek cheer and comfort. Long was our journey from the Marriot Fairbanks Hotel, fraught with peril. The snow was blinding, thick and fast. However, the burger and 32 oz of adult beverage later, we had to depart again, a perilous 2.5 mile journey by foot, dodging the denizens of the fair city of Fairbanks in their motor vehicles. We arrived, safe in the hotel to repair our spirits for another adventure.  
 
I remain,
Swaddled in the finest wool,
Your dear devoted husband.  
 
PS. Send more squirrel knuckles.  
 
PPS. Barbecue flavor.  
 
Mr. Fischer's Wardrobe provided by Duckworth: