Backcountry photography: Should you use iPhone or GoPro

Mathias Eichler for iMore

Just a couple of weeks ago Apple announced the results of their ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign. Only one of the pictures was taken in the backcountry. And no, I don’t consider the cute one taken in Yosemite Valley to be backcountry. I’m talking about the magical sunset picture by L. Adi Darmawan of Ulysses S. Grant Peak in Colorado’s San Juan National Forest.

The iPhone has a great camera by any measure, but how does it fair when taking out into the elements? Can it measure up to a device specifically made for this?

Apple iPhone and GoPro reviewed on

Apple Watch, meet backcountry hiking: How Apple’s smartwatch tracks long-distance exercise

Mathias Eichler for iMore

Around where I live, the Apple Watch is a hit. I’m often surprised at how many people I see wearing one as I visit clients, or while standing in line at the coffee shop. Smart notifications, custom complications, and fitness tracking have made the watch a compelling product for most everyday tasks, and as of Series 3, the product seems to have at last found its groove.

Suunto Spartan and Apple Watch 3 reviewed on

Seven Reasons Why you Should Buy an America the Beautiful Pass

While many are in a panic about the rate increases into America’s Public Lands, those of us in the know for visiting our federally operated public lands have a trick. Known as the America the Beautiful Pass, this $80 expense is one of the smartest purchase you can make. For the cost of a movie and popcorn for a family of four, you can have unlimited access to the very best outdoor destinations. With our further ado, we share seven reasons why you should purchase this pass ASAP.

Looks like the secret is out! Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons have seen a dramatic increase in the sale of the America the Beautiful passes. Pick up yours today before the Department of Interior decides to raise the price for these passes!

Tips for Hiking During Bad Weather Around Olympic National Park

Let’s be real for a minute.

The weather on the Olympic Peninsula can be downright nasty. It isn’t unusual or out of the ordinary to have a storm dump over an inch of rain a day. You can leave your house any month of the year and find yourself caught in a deluge of rain. Even on sunny days, some trails will leave you wading through mud, into deep puddles and over fallen old growth. Yet, there is nothing more true to the spirit of being a resident of the Pacific Northwest than heading out into the wilderness on a less than optimal weather day. 

Three Amazing Backpacks for Day Hikers

I love backpacks.
In fact, I love backpacks so much, I have an entire collection of them.
I have so many backpacks, I have backpacks where I put my other backpacks. It is ridiculous.

When I walk into REI or any of the other outdoor shops around the Seattle area, the first place I walk is to the backpack section, in hopes to find the pack of my dreams. When I dream, I dream of wandering backpack stores, trying them on in an endless attempt at perfect backpacking happiness. In real life, finding the perfect backpack is like finding your soulmate. You fit perfectly together, and even in the worst of storms, you are happy to be in their company. Wearing the right backpack make me happy, safe and quite confident. 

Supercharge your run with these helpful apps for the iPhone

The short:
My alarm wakes me up in the mornings. After pressing the snooze button way too many times, I check the weather using Dark Sky. Then, when I’m ready to leave the house, I select my favorite podcast in Overcast pop in my ear buds and press Record to record my run in Strava.

Mathias’ Favorite Things for Holidays 2016

REI will be closed Black Friday and The Outdoor Society will be joining thousands who will #OptOutside this coming weekend. The holidays are a great excuse to go hiking, but also are a time to start thinking of gifts for your family and friends. For those of us who love nature, there is no better gift to give  than one that encourages, and perhaps even challenges your loved ones to go outside and experience nature. Getting someone out in the great outdoors lets them experience new adventures all year long.

Because our goal is to get the entire nation out enjoying the wilderness, we have compiled our first gift guide for the season. The list includes some of my favorite things- Call it Mathias’ Favorite Things. Some of the gear I use, some I have tried and tested, while others are high on my list of I want to give for the new year. Everything listed below is sure to get every nature lover in your family excited. 

The new iPhone 6S out in the wild

This is the best camera I have ever owned!

Last weekend was the first time I picked up a new iPhone on launch day. I upgraded from my beloved and trusted iPhone 5. It had been a great tool for what I’m trying to accomplish in the outdoors, but it was getting a bit long in the tooth and it was time to upgrade.

Gear that brought me to Mt. Gladys and back in under 8 hours

Last weekend we hiked 25+ miles from Staircase in the Olympic National Park via Flapjack Lakes to Gladys Divide. From there we summited Mt. Gladys and went further. Traversed off trail, bushwhacking to Black and White Lakes and back to Staircase in under 8 hrs.

This is the gear that got me there and back.

Late Summer Gear List

The email hit my inbox, and I knew I’d be in trouble. REI announced their big Labor Day Sale starting today, August 28th and going through September 7th. To make matters worse, it’s my birthday weekend. Or it makes matters better… I can’t decide.