Author Archives: Laurie Hess

FINAL UPDATE: KEYHOLE Hands-Free Carry System for Cameras and Binoculars by Backcountry Solutions.

KEYHOLE Hands-Free Carry System

I took the KEYHOLE Hands-Free Carry System for Cameras and Binoculars by Backcountry Solutions out in the field to try it out while looking for song birds. I was hoping to find some early migrants, but no luck. There were plenty of birds around, though. One of my favorite places to spot birds near my house is a poser line cut. There are several different types of habitat there. I saw woodpeckers drumming, bluebirds nesting, and hawks kiting above my head. I did not see yellow-rumped warblers, as I hoped, but juncos and white-throated sparrows were still plentiful. To read the full final update click here.

Update: The KEYHOLE Hands-Free Carry System for Cameras and Binoculars by Backcountry Solutions

The KEYHOLE Hands-Free Carry System for Cameras and Binoculars by Backcountry Solutions

Testing at the Wildlife Management Area

There is a wildlife management area located just north of where I live. Each year thousands of tundra swans, snow geese and other waterfowl gather on the man-made lake there to await the perfect time for their journey north. I just checked. 70,000 snow geese were counted today. (How do they make those counts?) More are expected tomorrow. They come every February, congregate on the lake and eat the leftover corn from surrounding fields. One day in late March, one of the geese sounds the call, and they are all gone. Woosh! Like that! Off to their breeding grounds in the tundra. I tested the KEYHOLE Hands-Free Carry System for Cameras and Binoculars by Backcountry Solutions to view the snow geese and ducks at the lake and surrounding ponds.

The The KEYHOLE Hands-Free Carry System for Cameras and Binoculars by Backcountry Solutions was tested by the reviewer while driving and hiking. It was found to be comfortable and allowed easy, quick access to the binoculars. To read the review, please go here.

The KEYHOLE Hands-Free Carry System for Cameras and Binoculars by Backcountry Solutions

The KEYHOLE Hands-Free Carry System for Cameras and Binoculars by Backcountry Solutions

I was not familiar with Backcountry products before reviewing the KEYHOLE Hands-Free Carry System for Cameras and Binoculars by Backcountry Solutions. When I first read about the hands-free system for carrying binoculars, my first thought was “Yes, please!” I am a hiker and a birder. When I walk through the woods, I usually carry field glasses with me. I hate the feeling of having a binocular strap handing around my neck. It feels like I am being pulled forward and down. In fact, I usually carry my binoculars with the strap slung over my shoulder. That is not a secure method of transport, I know. I was excited to give the The KEYHOLE Hands-Free Carry System for Cameras and Binoculars by Backcountry Solutions a try.

The KEYHOLE Hands-Free Carry System for Cameras and Binoculars by Backcountry Solutions is basically a harness you wear over your shoulders. The keyhole system is where the binoculars (or camera) are attached to the harness. A bracket screws onto your binoculars at the tripod mount. One end of the bracket slips through the keyhole to secure the binoculars. The harness has two buckles in the front, which is how you take the system off and put it on.

Read the initial review here.

2018 CJ’s Resolution Challenge Race Report

CJ's Resolution Challenge

One of my favorite races of the year CJ’s Resolution Challenge was held on January 6, 2018. CJ’s raises money for organizations promoting autism awareness, a cause near and dear to my heart. This race has a unique format. You select the type of race you want to do when you register. You can choose from RC Revolutions or Last Man Standing. Both races are run on the same 1.6 mile loop in R. B. Winter State Park outside of Mifflinburg, PA. If you choose RC Revolutions, you are trying to see how many loops you can finish in three hours. For Last Man Standing, you have 20 minutes to complete the first loop, 19 minutes to complete the second, 18 minutes to complete the third, until….well, the name of the race says it all. My husband and I went to packet pick up, which was in a relatively warm heated tent, got our bibs and hoodies, along with a doughnut and some hot coffee, and went back to the car to stay warm. At 9:00, we got some brief pre-race instructions and were off! The course is half trail and half gravel road. Both travel through the woods of the state park. The trail is not entirely flat, but there is not much elevation change. Same with the road. The trail was entirely snow covered. The road was about 2/3 snow covered. We finished loop 9 at 2:57. We could have done another loop, since according to the rules of the race, as long as you start your last loop before three hours, it counts, but we were both ready to be done. We collected our wooden medals then went back into the pavilion one last time for some more delicious soup, chips, whoopie pies, peanut butter cookies and hot chocolate. We did not stick around too long, because even with the fire and heaters, we got cold sitting after we finished running.  Click HERE to read my review.

2018 Phunt 25k Race Report

Phunt 25k Race Report

Photo by Mark DeNio

I ran the Phunt 25k (15.5 mile) trail race last weekend near Elkton, MD, one of my favorite races of the year. My husband and I look forward to running it every January. I like everything about it. I like the hilarious emails that I get from the race director before the race, the pre-race indoor bathrooms, the varied, rolling course, the aid stations stocked with typical (awesome) trail race fare, and the great after-party with thumping music, hot food and adult beverages. To read my full 2018 Phunt 25k race report, click here.