Posts

What You Need to Know About August’s Total Solar Eclipse

Are you ready for the Great American Total Solar Eclipse? It’s rapidly approaching, hitting us full force this coming August 21. Millions of people will be traveling to see the moon cover the sun and all the crazy extras that go along with the phenomenon. The last total solar eclipse crossed the mainland states in 1979, so make sure you get out to see this one, because the next one won’t happen until 2024. Here’s our unofficial guide to everything you need to know.

The Solar Science

The paths of 21st Century North American eclipses.  Michael Zeiler, www.GreatAmericanEclipse.com

It sounds like sci-fi, right? “OK guys, one day in the future, the moon is going to completely blot out the sun. Day will turn into night! Stars will shine brighter than the sun! It’s going to be epic!”

So, sci-fi guy is right, but there’s some real science behind the eclipse. This is the time, celestially, when the Earth, moon, and sun are all in line together. The moon will rotate on its path around Earth and pass directly through the middle of our visual path to the sun. In this short period of time, the moon will completely cover the sun—at which point you will look up to see quite the spectacle. Day will have turned into twilight and the sun’s wispy atmosphere will extend around the moon. You’ll see stars in the daytime and colors streaking across the sky. That’s at full coverage. At partial coverage, the sky won’t darken much—but you will be able to get a clearer view of Venus.

Geometry plays an important role in this solar eclipse, too. The moon is about 239 thousand miles away from us here on Earth—which is oddly exactly the right distance to make it look the same size as the (much bigger and much farther away) sun, allowing it to completely cover the light during the eclipse.

Where to Catch a Glimpse

Gearing up to a seriously special celestial event—a time, when the Earth, moon, and sun are all in line together.  Thomas Lok

If you’re in the US, you’re lucky—you’ll be able to see anywhere from a total eclipse to 48 percent coverage. The path of totality (where you can see the sun completely covered by the moon) is a much smaller range, though. It goes through only 12 states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. And the totality viewing in those states is limited to very specific 70-mile-wide sections.

NASA has put together a selection of interactive maps allowing you to zoom in on the exact spot you should head to if you want to see the whole shebang. Totality only lasts 2 minutes and 40 seconds at the max with this eclipse, and it’s predicted to be a massive traffic day full of people trying to get to that center line. So go early.

This chart, compiled by Space.com and NASA, outlines totality times in the best cities to see the eclipse, all in local time:

Totality times for each state in the best cities to see the eclipse. Data from NASA

Where to watch in North Carolina

Asheville’s got plenty of viewing parties planned for spots like Pack Square Park and UNC Asheville, but you’ll only get to see the path of totality if you head further west. Tickets for viewing at Clingmans Dome have already sold out and certain areas of Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be closed on August 21. However, if you can turn the once-in-a-lifetime viewing into a weekend, some campsites and hotel rooms may still be available near Sylva, Brevard, Cherokee, or Murphy. Romantic Asheville has rounded up a comprehensive list of spots to watch the eclipse in the mountains.

2017 solar eclipse racing over Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Michael Zeiler on Vimeo.

Tips to See the Best Show

August 21, 2017 is predicted to be one of the most highly-trafficked days ever, as millions of people will be traveling to the path of totality.  NASA HQ PHOTO

Two words: eye protection. This is the most important tip we can give you for viewing the eclipse. Don’t go thinking you’re going to look straight at the sun—even if it’s partially obscured by the moon—and come away unscathed. You could burn your retinas to tiny eyeball-shaped ash piles. You could go partially blind. In short: you’ll damage the heck out of your peepers.

The sad reality is that the majority of the country will be out of the narrow path of totality the eclipse takes. It’s only 70 miles wide stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. The only people who can look at the full eclipse unencumbered by equipment are those in the path of totality. Most of us won’t see the sun completely covered by the moon, so we’ll definitely need eye protection of some sort. According to NASA, that means “special-purpose solar filters” like eclipse glasses. Sunglasses or homemade filters won’t work. Apparently only four companies make the glasses to international standards: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.

Another option? Pinhole projectors. But you won’t be able to look directly at the sun—it’s an indirect method of viewing. Sky and Telescope suggests this process: “Poke a small hole in an index card with a pencil point, face it toward the Sun, and hold a second card three or four feet behind it in its shadow. The hole will project a small image of the Sun’s disk onto the lower card. This image will go through all the phases of the eclipse, just as the real Sun does.”

Of course, if you’re super fancy you can just use a properly filtered telescope.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Originally written by RootsRated.

4 Tips for Fishing in the Dark

Summer’s arrived in western North Carolina and a very wet spring means mountain rivers and streams are higher and faster than they were last year. While that’s a welcome change, the longer days and higher temperatures of July and August bring challenges for anglers.

Warmer water and bright sunshine drive fish into deeper cover, making for a longer and hotter day on the water. That’s what makes this a great time to explore evening-into-the night fishing! A kayak is the perfect vessel for taking advantage of this opportunity as it’s more mobile than standing on the shore and bounces off rocks much better than a fiberglass hull. You’ll also find just about as many fish biting as an early morning outing.

Night fishing isn’t for everyone and introduces new elements of risk such as loss of visual cues and predators that like to hunt in the darkness. It can be a welcome change for those with busy schedules and allows a fresh perspective on trips you may have taken dozens of time under the sun. Before you head into the night, take these tips into consideration.

Plan Ahead

When picking your night spots, stick to familiar areas. Any body of water will look brand new at night, even if you’ve paddled it many times before. Make note of landmarks and bring a buddy, if possible. Two anglers can cover more water and watch out for each other.

Grab the Right Gear

You’ll need a few basic tools, most of which you already have. Essentials include a PFD, a GPS to steer clear of rocks and pinpoint fishy water, a radio to communicate with fishing partners in case you get separated, highly reflective flag, and a good light. Light will keep you visible to other anglers, recreational paddlers, and boaters. A 360-degree light elevated from the deck of your kayak, headlamp, and floating flashlight are all good recommendations. A hand-crank flashlight or lantern isn’t a bad idea, either. You should always wear a PFD when you’re on the water, but going without isn’t even an option for night excursions. Even if you don’t plan to be out after sunset, prepare for it.

Turn on Your Lights Before It Gets Dark

Always check your gear before getting on the water to make sure it’s charged. Turning on your lights early means less scrambling as the sun goes down and less chance of finding yourself night swimming instead of night paddling!

Have Fun!

The best fishing usually occurs at least an hour after the sun goes down, so don’t get discouraged if you find it dying down. The fish will be biting again soon! Of course, this advice can only go so far. You’ve got to get on the water and try yourself.

Be sure to check local regulations about operating watercraft between dusk and dawn as they vary across the region. If you want to give several models of fishing kayaks a test drive (during the day), join Diamond Brand Outdoors on Lake Julian on July 16 and July 30 for free demo days from 10am-2pm.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Soar Above the Green River Gorge

We hear people like free stuff so we’re giving away more of it this year! Make sure you’re signed up for our super duper fly emails to make sure you don’t miss any contests. This month, we’ve got an awesome package from two western North Carolina Originals: The Gorge and WNCW.

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED

Touted as “America’s steepest, fastest” zipline canopy tour, The Gorge offers 11 lines spanning over one mile that descend 1,100 vertical feet for a wild ride. It’s a great view of North Carolina’s Green River Gorge, high above the treetops. Like Diamond Brand Outdoors, The Gorge was voted Best of the Blue Ridge by readers of Blue Ridge Outdoors.

You’ll also receive of a pair of WNCW Gear Packages: an insulated string bag, handmade mug, and earbuds!

On Oct. 13, 1989, radio station WNCW, whose call letters stand for Western North Carolina Window, first signed on the air as a a public radio station “for everyone.” Since that time, the station has become synonymous with the region it covers, programming a variety of music — folk, blues, jazz, reggae, Celtic, world, rock, bluegrass, indie — and local and National Public Radio affiliated news. It provides distinctive programming that transcends cultural, educational, or socioeconomic differences.

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED

 

 

Workshops, Hikes, + Demos Announced for Campapalooza

Campapalooza returns to our flagship store on March 18 from 10:00-4:00, offering the opportunity to explore the latest trends in camping, upgrade your personal camping collection, and learn from outdoor experts. It’s a way for us to celebrate our history as the region’s first outdoor store and thank you for being great friends and neighbors for 53 years.

This year, we’ve assembled an amazing schedule of free outdoor education. Drop in for as many classes as you like. Get hands on with our top picks for camping in 2017 between sessions and enter raffles for prizes from Osprey, Marmot, ENO, Chaco, Hydro Flask, and more.

Outdoor Education
Learning about the outdoors is fun — and rewarding! Join these experts for a short presentation and you’ll be entered to win some serious prizes. There will also be plenty of time for Q&A.

  • 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., Test Drive Salewa Footwear 
    Salewa is a family owned mountain brand that has been in business for over 80 years. Focusing on high quality, durable technical footwear perfect for a trip up Mt. Mitchell or kicking it around Asheville, this is the perfect chance to test drive a pair of trail shoes or hiking boots. Kurt Smith will use his knowledge to select a pair that’s right for you. Take them for a run or a walk on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail anytime throughout Campapalooza.
  • 10:30 a.m., Hike the Mountains-to-Sea Trail
    Join Marmot‘s Stephanie Whitaker for a 30-minute morning hike along the portion of the MST that runs alongside our store and the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s a great chance to identify native flora and fauna while sticking close to all the Campapalooza fun.
    Giveaway: Stanley Steel Growler Pack
  • 11:30 a.m., Choosing the Right Hiking Shoe
    Oboz Footwear Expert Alex Cavner travels the southeast with one goal: matchmaking hikers with the perfect fit. Though there seems to be a dizzying array of choices, his process can easily drill down to correct type and fit, leaving you free to worry about style and color.
    Giveaways: Oboz shirts, hats, and samples
  • Noon, Presentation of Grants to Local Organizations
    We’re local and we like to support local groups connecting youth to the outdoors. Call it civic pride or mountain spirit, but we think it’s the right thing to do. We’re presenting $12,000 in awards to Asheville GreenWorks, Conservation Trust for North Carolina, River Link, and The North Carolina Arboretum.
  • 12:30 p.m., Meet Shelly the Eastern Box Turtle + Friends
    Did you know the Eastern box turtle is our state reptile? Did you know that these turtles can live to be 100 years old? Jonathan Marchal will introduce Shelly, The North Carolina Arboretum’s “celebriturtle” and learn about how you can help she and other turtles that call Western North Carolina home.
    Giveaways: KEEN Arroyo II keychains for everyone
  • 12:30 p.m., Bamboo You: New Trends in Clothing
    Free Fly spent over two years developing their unique bamboo fabric blends to create apparel made from an ultra-soft performance fabric that is breathable, provides UV protection, wicks moisture, and is naturally odor resistant. Jeff Weathersbee will run through the effort to make durable clothing from one of nature’s most sustainable resources.
    Giveaway: Free Fly clothing
  • 1:30 p.m., Solar Power Your Adventure
    Goal Zero‘s line of portable solar products allows you to charge almost anything while exploring the outdoors: phones, laptops, lights, refrigerators, and more. Ultra lightweight and portable, Crandall Caughman will run through the technology that powers the weather-resistant solar panels of the next generation of outdoor products.
    Giveaway: Goal Zero charger
  • 2:00 p.m., Picking the Right Pack
    Osprey backpacking expert Will Pfister knows a poor fitting pack can be the difference between a great time and a terrible time outdoors. He believes in making the right relationship between pack and its wearer. He’ll run through the basics of picking the correct pack for any adventure.
    Giveaway: Osprey
  • 2:30 p.m., Hiking on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail
    Sponsored by Outdoor Research, one of our expert team members will lead a 30 minute hike on section of the MST different from the morning hike. Different times of the day bring out different vantage points so you may want to do both!
    Giveaway: $150 Outdoor Research gift card

Let us know you’re coming to Campapalooza with an RSVP on Facebook.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Ways to Explore the Outdoors in Asheville in March

March equinox brings spring to the mountains on March 20. The month is named for Mars, the Roman god of war who was also regarded as a guardian of agriculture. His month Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare, and the festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by others in October, when the season for these came to a close. As winter comes to an end, March is seen by many as a month to celebrate rebirth, rejuvenations, and regrowth.

Here are some picks for getting outside during the first month of springtime. Visit the experts at Diamond Brand Outdoors to make sure you’ve got all the right gear and outdoor clothing before heading out!

Kolo Bike Park
Opens for the season on March 4, Prices vary
Part of the Adventure Center of Asheville, this experience includes miles of purpose-built mountain bike trails and features — including wooden and dirt jumps, 180 degree wood berm, and wooden bridges — in a wooded, rolling terrain. It’s adult and kid’s pump track make it a sort of mountain bike sampler pack. There are multiple ways to ride Kolo’s trails depending on your skill level whether you’re just learning, taking it easy, or looking to push your edge a bit. Bring your own bike or rent one on site.
1 Resort Drive in Asheville

Spring Hiking 101
6pm-7pm on March 9, Free
With the arrival of spring, the ground thaws, flowers begin to blossom, and nature is jumps back to life. With trails that weave through multiple waterfalls, provide ample bird-watching opportunities, and lead to epic vistas, there’s no better time to explore WNC’s terrain than the temperate days of spring. Frugal Backpacker‘s experts will review essential items you should take with you while hiking in the Asheville area and share their favorite spring hikes.
52 Westgate Parkway in Asheville

Campapalooza
10am-4pm on March 18, Free
Spring camping season gets an early start with a preview of 2017’s best reviewed gear from international innovators like Kelty, Marmot, and Oboz, as well as locally based makers like ENO, Astral, and LiquidLogic. Free hourly workshops on topics from festival camping to choosing the right backpack for a thru hike to getting started to hiking are joined by giveaways and the presentation of grants to local environmental nonprofits. It’s our way of celebrating Diamond Brand Outdoors’ history as WNC’s first and oldest outdoor store — and thanking our customers for their support!
1378 Hendersonville Road in Asheville

Get in Gear Fest
Noon-5pm on March 18, Free
26 WNC Gear Builders will be demoing their newest equipment on the banks of the French Broad River at Salvage Station. From a slingshot shooting range and 1:1 guided outdoor experiences to unique events to test outdoor skills and outdoor gear collaboration beers and ciders, it’s no joke that this festival is called Get in Gear. Diamond Brand Outdoors’ paddle experts will be hosting paddlesports demos on the river at 1:00, 2:15, and 3:30 in the afternoon.
468 Riverside Drive in Asheville

Mountains-to-Sea Trail Bird Walk
8am-10am on March 25, Free
Have you ever wanted to get to know the birds that you see and hear around you? Join international birdwatching guide Kevin Burke for an moderate hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. You’ll look for typical winter species, such as Carolina Chickadee, Hermit Thrush, Golden, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, as well as early spring migrants like Northern Parula, Blue-headed Vireo, Hooded Warbler, Black-and-White Warbler, and Wood Thrush.
1378 Hendersonville Road in Asheville

Asheville Orchid Festival
9am-5pm on March 25 & 26
$5 per person, Free ages 12 and under (standard parking fees apply)
The Western North Carolina Orchid Society hosts its 19th annual ode to the excitement and joy of cultivating orchids inside The North Carolina Arboretum’s Education Center. World-class orchid growers and breeders, along with regional orchid societies, will exhibit hundreds of orchids presented in carefully crafted displays. Orchids will be for sale by vendors from Taiwan, Ecuador, and across the United States.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Ways to Explore the Outdoors in Asheville November 14-20

Choose and Cut Your Own Christmas Tree near Asheville
Pick the perfect Christmas tree for you home and have a great holiday outing at one of the “choose and cut” Christmas Tree Farms near Asheville. You select the tree…they cut it, bale it and tie it on your vehicle or you can use their bowsaws and cut it yourself! Check out the great list of local tree farms provided by RomanticAsheville!

Step Out + Shop for Diana Wortham Theatre at Diamond Brand Outdoors
November 17 at 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. on 1378 Hendersonville Road
In its sixth year, Step Out & Shop is a way to support Asheville’s finest theatre in a very easy way. Get started on your holiday shopping (or grab some things for yourself) with a storewide 20% discount! At the end of the night, we’ll donate 10% of all store sales to the Diana Wortham Theatre to support live performances of music, theatre, and dance throughout the year. There will also be lots of fun giveaways and prizes, as well as live music and light bites.
Fee: Free

Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum
November 18 – January 1, Nightly at 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. on 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way
The North Carolina Arboretum’s elaborate Winter Lights show returns, transforming the gardens into a nighttime wonderland with 500,000 lights! Stroll through spectacular lighted displays and see the gardens in a completely new way. Designed with an artistic aesthetic, The Winter Lights show enhances the natural beauty of the gardens as you celebrate the holidays.
Fee: Prices Vary

Asheville Holiday Parade
November 19 at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm in Downtown Asheville
This year’s theme is Light Up the Holidays: Celebrating 70 Years. The parade features nearly 100 entries including marching bands, dance and cheer squads, nonprofits and businesses. Parade entries include a little something for everyone with decorated floats, adoptable pets from area rescue organizations, the Honored Veterans float, live music, performances, and Santa Claus.
Fee: Free

Native Watercraft + Liquidlogic Factory Warehouse Sale at Diamond Brand (Part of Big Super Saturday)
November 19 at 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on 1378 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville
Locally made, international boat companies, Native and Liquid Logic are also hosting their first ever factory warehouse sale that day at Diamond Brand Outdoors. Current and previous season boats are going to be priced below wholesale including some models which have never been available in our area. DBO’s also offering special packages and discounts on boating accessories for the day to make sure you’re ready to hit the water. Now is the time to get the deal of a lifetime on a kayak made right here in your backyard!

Birds of Prey Demonstration at Dimond Brand Outdoors (Part of Big Super Saturday)
November 19 at 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. on 1378 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville
Steve Longenecker of Falconers of Falling Creek Camp will host his popular Birds of Prey presentation with live raptors including a Peregrine, male and female American Kestrel, Red-Tailed Haw, Great-Horned Owl, and an Eastern Screech Owl. This is always a popular event so plan to arrive early for the best seats.
Fee: Free

Birds of Prey Asheville Raptor Presentation

Marmot + RootsRated Fall in Love with the Outside Road Tour at Diamond Brand Outdoors (Part of Big Super Saturday)
November 19 at Diamond Brand Outdoors on 1378 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville
Marmot and RootsRated have traveled to 30 different cities around the country on their tour, but together with Diamond Brand Outdoors, are planning something very special for Asheville. Diamond Brand Outdoors is teaming up with these popular brands to celebrate everything great about the outdoors with a day of live music, tent pitching contests, Marmot gear raffles, s’mores, apple cider, outdoor trivia, a photo booth, and good ole’ conversations about where to go outdoors, with 100% of donations benefiting the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. 
Fee: A suggested $5 donation will get you hot cider, a Ball® mason jar, and entry into the awesome raffles

 

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Big Super Saturday Brings Big Names Together for a Good Cause

Join us for Big Super Saturday, a full day celebrating the simple things we can do with family and friends to enjoy the outdoors. The free event features live music, giveaways, apple cider, outdoor treats, contests, and more. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, local nonprofits Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Eblen Charities, and Diana Wortham Theatre benefit from events during the week. Big Super Saturday takes place on November 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., at our flagship store in the Parkway Center on 1378 Hendersonville Road in South Asheville.

The day kicks off at 10:00 a.m. with Native Watercraft and Liquidlogic’s Factory Warehouse Sale. Current and previous season boats will be on-site and priced below wholesale, including models that have never been available in Western North Carolina region. Native Watercraft and Liquidlogic are international companies headquartered in the area with their factory located in Fletcher, North Carolina. Thule specialists will be on hand to answer questions, talk about products that best fit your needs, and show off some of the coolest accessories for 2017.

The fun continues and takes a turn to the kid-friendly side at 3:00 p.m. Steve Longenecker of Falconers of Falling Creek Camp will host his popular Birds of Prey presentation with live raptors including a Peregrine, male and female American Kestrel, Red-Tailed Haw, Great-Horned Owl, and an Eastern Screech Owl.

At 4:30 p.m., the Fall In Love With The Outside Road Tour touches down in North Carolina. Marmot and RootsRated have traveled to 30 different cities around the country, but Diamond Brand Outdoors has something special in mind for its Asheville stop. The family-friendly (and dog-friendly) event celebrates with live music, tent pitching contests, Marmot gear raffles, s’mores, apple cider, outdoor trivia, a photo booth, and good ole’ conversations about where to go outdoors. A suggested $5 donation includes hot cider, a Ball® mason jar pint glass, and entry into Marmot’s awesome raffles. 100% of donations benefit Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy

November 19 is also the kickoff for Diamond Brand Outdoors’ annual coat drive for Eblen Charities. Anyone who brings a gently used coat will receive 20% off one item from Diamond Brand Outdoors (with some limited exclusions). This continues through December 24.

Earlier in the week, Diamond Brand Outdoors hosts the sixth annual Step Out & Shop, a benefit for Diana Wortham Theatre on Thursday, November 17 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The free event offers a 20% storewide discount to shoppers and 10% of the sales benefit the programs of the downtown performing arts venue.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Ways to Explore the Outdoors in Asheville November 7-13

What does ‘Adventure is Local’ mean? It means we live in an awesome place where the next chance to explore is just around the corner, on a still-unexplored trail, or out with friends at a concert. Here are our top picks for getting outside this week.

One of the Last Weeks for Leaf Viewing Around WNC
The beautiful fall colors around us are fading fast; this may be the last good week to get out and enjoy all the colors! Now’s the perfect time to go on a drive through along the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy one of the many hikes along the way. I would highly recommend checking out Fryingpan Tower for an amazing 360 degree view. The panoramic views from the top of the tower include a close-up view of majestic Cold Mountain (peak is just five miles away). Mt. Pisgah is just 2.5 miles north. Looking south is Looking Glass Rock. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is visible northwest and Shining Rock Wilderness area to the southwest.
It gets cold at the top of the tower so be sure to bundle up!

The Holidays Have Begun at Biltmore
Christmas at Biltmore celebrates beloved traditions with unsurpassed style as one of the Southeast’s most storied holiday destinations. Inspired by a century of festivities, America’s largest home is adorned with more than 70 intricately decorated trees and thousands of lights. This year’s theme of “Hearth and Home”—drawn from stories of Vanderbilt family hospitality—emphasizes Biltmore House’s many fireplaces accented with extravagant decorations.
Fee: Prices Vary

Fall Festivities at Hickory Nut Gap Farm
Daily from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm on 57 Sugar Hollow Road in Fairview
Families can come out to the farm and enjoy apples, tunnel slides, the corn maze, a mini hay maze for toddlers, the trike track, and more.
Fee: Admission is $6 Tuesday-Friday and $7 Saturdays-Sundays. The best deal is Monday, when you can get in for just $3. On Saturdays and Sundays, they offer hay rides and kiddie cart rides for $3 from 11-4, and horse rides for $7.

Catch One Leg Up at the Salvage Station
November 8 at 8 p.m. on 468 Riverside Dr in Asheville
Based in Asheville, North Carolina, One Leg Up performs a vibrant mixture of upbeat Gypsy Jazz, Latin, Swing and original jazz compositions and is a favorite of club, concert, and festival stages throughout the southeastern United States.

Put Nights at Salvage Station (WNCDGA Putt Night)
November 10 from 4:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. on 468 Riverside Dr in Asheville
Every Thursday, the Salvage Station hosts a weekly disc golf putting competition.

Frugal Backpacker Hiking Club: Advanced Map + Compass at Linville Gorge
November 12 9:00 a.m.3:00 p.m. at 52 Westgate Parkway Asheville
Learn to take bearings and read the trail with a map and compass while hiking one of the most fascinating outdoor spaces in the region. Recognizable peaks and landmarks will be used for location via triangulation. It’s roughly a three mile round-trip with a few hundred feet of elevation gain along the trail. While the bearing of the trail stays relatively Northbound, a large number of recognizable peaks surrounding the trail will allow for easier location. This is a free class, but RSVP is required.
Fee: FREE

The Orange Peel Presents: Mavis Staples in benefit of the French Broad River
November 13 Doors at 7 p.m. on 101 Biltmore Ave in Asheville
Mavis Staples is living, breathing history.  She is an alchemist of American music, having continuously crossed genre lines like no musician since Ray Charles. Weaving herself into the very fabric of gospel, soul, folk, pop, R&B, blues, rock, and hip hop over the last 60 years, this iconic singer has seen and sung through so many changes, always rising up to meet every road.
All proceeds from the show will go to MountainTrue’s work to protect the French Broad River.
Fee: $35 or $55 VIP (without seats)

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Our New Book Club Focuses on the Outdoors

We’re excited to announce the Diamond Brand Outdoors Book Club. Hosted by Brittany States, we will meet the first weekend of each month to discuss the previous month’s book, answer questions, and talk about our next book. Come to connect with adventure seekers and book lovers alike in this unique new experience! 

Our first book will be Where’s the Next Shelter? by Asheville’s own Gary Sizer and it can be purchased at any Diamond Brand Outdoors location for 20% off it’s cover price. (That’s $11.19 if you don’t want to do the math.)

Diamond Brand Outdoors Book Club will take place at our Parkway Center location on 1378 Hendersonville Road in Asheville. Our first meet-up will be Sunday, November 6th at 6:30 p.m.

This Month’s Book

Where’s the Next Shelter? is the true story of three travelers on the Appalachian Trail, a two thousand mile hike that stretches from Georgia to Maine, told from the perspective of Gary Sizer, a seasoned backpacker and former Marine who quickly finds himself humbled by the endeavor. He teams up with Megan, a sassy college grad whose indomitable spirit eclipses her lack of experience, and Lemmy, a cartoonist from overseas whose off-kilter commentary on the wonders and frustrations of the trail keeps everyone laughing.

Sprawling through the woods and towns of the Appalachian mountains, the trail carries the trio through real and fanciful ups and downs ranging from hilarious to perilous. Much more than an orderly account of mountain tops and meals, it is an adventure about friends figuring things out as they go. It’s about screw-ups and solutions, awe and inspiration.

If you long for the horizon, or to sleep under the stars, then come along for the hike of a lifetime. All you have to do is take the first step.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

October is Fall Hiking Month

Clear skies, crisp air, and vibrant colors of red, orange, and purple mean fall is here in the mountains. We’re welcoming it all month with free hikes and clinics; daily arrivals of the latest apparel, shoes, and boots; and the satisfaction of watching nature smile before it goes into hibernation.

READ: FALL FOOTWEAR CHECKLIST | READ: FALL KAYAK FISHING BASICS

Please join us at one of these free events!

October 2 at 3:00 pm, Outdoor U: Winter Backpacking at Diamond Brand Outdoors in Parkway Center
Join AT thru hiker Jack Schroeder, a winter backpacking instructor of 5 years and veteran of cold weather backpacking, including a six month thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, winter expedition in New Zealand, and a month long winter decent of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

October 7 at 8:00 am, Lake Julian Bird Walk (meets at Diamond Brand Outdoors in Parkway Center)
Have you ever wanted to get to know the birds that you see and hear around you? Join international birdwatching guide Kevin Burke for an easy stroll around Lake Julian Park. We will spend a couple leisurely hours looking for as many birds as we can find. There will be plenty of time for questions and ID study of all the birds that we see.

October 12 at 6:00 pm, Women’s Gear Up for the Outdoors at Frugal Backpacker
Join us for this informative clinic and prepare yourself to get outside! Learn how to correctly fit a backpack, how to pack it, and proper footwear fitting. Hike in comfort and style.

October 15 at 9:00 am, Dog Friendly Hike at Haw Creek (meets at Diamond Brand Outdoors in Parkway Center)
Fall hiking with your pet in our WNC mountains has many enjoyable aspects: fall foliage, cooler temperatures, and lower insect activity all lead to a better hiking experience. A stocked hiking kit should include water (and a dish) for you and your dog, as well as snacks and basic first aid supplies.

October 15 at 9:00 am, Women’s Hike to Laurel River Trail (meets at Frugal Backpacker)
This is a moderate four mile hike with plenty of chances to enjoy the fall colors. We will be back to the store around 2:00.

October 22 at 3:00pm, Outdoor U: Women’s Fall Backpacking + Camping at Diamond Brand Outdoors in Parkway Center
Brittany States will share stories, advice, and necessities for backpacking and camping in the fall and winter. The fun and engaging talk will cover women’s specific packs, footwear, and apparel so you can enjoy spectacular scenery that comes with the change in seasons.

October 26 at 6:00 pm, Leave No Trace in the Outdoors at Frugal Backpacker
Learn how you can hike and camp in our great outdoors with minimal impact on the environment. Be a responsible hiker and help protect our beautiful mountains.

Thanks to Asheville Trails for the photo. Check out their 10 Favorite Trails for Autumn Color!

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Events

Sherpa Night: Celebrate Nepal

Sherpa Adventure Gear weaves together the latest designs and technology with the rich heritage and time-honored beliefs of Nepal. The company was founded by Tashi Sherpa as a living memorial to the unsung heroes of Mt. Everest. For decades, climbers have always been grateful for having a Sherpa companion on the treacherous slopes of the Himalayas. It is the Sherpa who makes the route, carries the load, and sets the ropes to the top and back.

Join us to experience Nepalese culture through sight and taste. We’ll show a short documentary focusing on Nepalese culture and enjoy authentic food samples and traditional tea. Mark Johnson of Hobnail Trekking Company will present information about expeditions from the USA to Nepal. You might be inspired to experience it firsthand!

We’ll have some giveaways for all and a special gift with any Sherpa Adventure Gear purchase that evening. For every piece of Sherpa Adventure Gear’s purchased, a donation is made to provide scholarships to children who grow up in remote Himalayan villages, bringing the spirit of the Sherpa full circle.

RSVP on Facebook

This free event is open to the public. Kids and well-behaved pets with owner on leash are welcome.

Asheville Outdoor Show 2017

The Asheville Outdoor Show brings the finest outdoor brands and latest trends in recreation directly to our friends and neighbors who live in the outdoor playground of the mountains of North Carolina. We’ll showcase innovators known for quality, variety, and uniqueness. Enjoy music and outdoor games throughout the day — and pick up lots of discounts from your favorite brands for your outdoor lifestyle. (Check out the list here.)

This kick-ass event is free, family-friendly, and open to the public!

RSVP on Facebook

 

Traveling Light

Whether you travel to broaden your horizons, seek out new adventures, or just relax, packing light can help you shed weight — both physically and mentally — to make the most out of your journey. Join travel expert and adventure lover Hannah Myers for a free clinic exploring gear, apparel, and strategies for bringing less and experiencing more.

RSVP on Facebook

Well-behaved pets and kids are welcome at this free event.