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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing

Anywhere with mountains, but mostly the Wasatch!

Mike Cushing's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Paddling
Snowshoeing
Skiing
Climbing

Mike Cushing's Bio

Before I tell you about myself, we need to be friends. Everybody knows the best way to be friends is to follow that person. So click "Follow" so that we can be the type of friends that have inside jokes and embarrassing stories.

I've been with BC now for about 4 years, and it continues to be my dream job. I am fortunate enough to have access to world-class gear and I get to use it every day. Not trying to toot my own horn, but I know quite a bit about most of the products on our site (as well as products not on our site), but I definitely specialize in a few areas.

These areas include:
- Ice Climbing & Mountaineering
- Rock Climbing (bouldering, sport, trad, and big mountain)
- Skiing (alpine and AT)
- Backpacking and related equipment

Basically, if you're shaking on the side of a frozen waterfall or have a half-pad on a crimp, I can help you out. Even if you don't have a question and want to chat about cool places you've been, GIVE ME A CALL! If you have a question about something you don't think I can help with... Try me! If I can't I can at least get you to someone who really knows their stuff.

I'd love to be your own personal hookup in the outdoor industry. Give me a call anytime. My number is 1.800.409.4502 Ext. 4340 - Make sure to leave a voicemail if I don't answer (unfortunately I can't work 24/7).

Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on December 17, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This collar really can't be adjusted smaller. The buckle isn't large enough for the interior light to fit through, thus making adjustments tough. It's light and bright if you can get the sizing dialed in. Overall, the actual product is well made and definitely gets the job done. Good product!

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on December 17, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large

Been wearing these boots a lot lately and they keep getting better. I wish I'd known about these boots years ago, I've been missing out. The quality is apparent when looking at them and the fit is superb. These are boots that'll last for years and years. I'd recommend using Nikwas to treat the leather often. I typically wear a size 12.5-13.0 shoe and my foot was swimming in the 13. I then purchased the size 12 and it fits great. I would size down if you're in between sizes.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on December 17, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

These are wicked light, and very rigid. I bought these because Backcountry had them on sale and I needed a new pair of shoes. I was so impressed after using these that I am debating buying another pair. They are very light and super rigid which makes a noticeable difference when riding. They are definitely summer/spring/fall shoes, not winter. They are very breathable, which is good, but when riding on a frigid winter morning, your feet will freeze. I just bought some shoe covers, and voila, problem solved. You won't be disappointed with these.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on December 17, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Not much to say here that hasn't already been said. It's durable, long battery life, bright, great lighting modes, and has a nice reflector in case the main light isn't enough for you. My only gripe (if you can even call it that) is that the button to activate the light is a little small. I do a lot of winter riding and it takes an extra millisecond to turn it on with gloves. It's sad that that's the only thing I can think of to critique the light. For the price, you can't beat it. It's not the lightest, smallest light on the market, but for the price it can't be beat!

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on December 17, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've only used this a handful of times so far, but it's enough to form an initial impression of the light. I bought this because I'm new to road biking and didn't want to drop hundreds of dollars on a fancy headlight. I can't speak for the long-term durability, but it feels like it's going to last a long time. It's very bright, and had a few modes to choose from. I do a lot of winter riding, so I like the big button on the top, it works well with gloves on. The light pivots so you can adjust it left to right if you want, and has vents behind the bulb to dissipate heat. Overall, this is a great light at a great price.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on December 17, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I got this because I was sick of carrying a Costanza wallet. I can get 4 cards, 1 work badge, and a folded up fishing license in it without a problem. I love it because it's simple, unique, burly, and I think it looks cool. If you are like me and hate carrying around a massive wallet when you really only use a few cards, this is for you. And.... it's a kick ass price!

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on November 11, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you want a super durable light that's waterproof, versatile, and long lasting, this is your light! I have one I keep around the house, one in my car, and I have a PD35 mounted on a gun. They are very bright and have a heavy-duty feel to them. I guarantee you'll be happy with this flashlight. I prefer the LD22, but if you want a flashlight that's a little shorter and wider, then try the PD35.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on November 4, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought these as a lighter alternative for a distance run on the Uinta Highline Trail. My wife and I each used one initially, and we took turns using them while getting over each pass. For distance hikes/runs when you want to go as light as possible, these are the way to go. They compact down very small, and provide a lot of rigidity when extended. The grips are soft foam which helps with the moisture. They are fairly specific when it comes to length, so you can't buy one and let someone shorter use it (won't collapse down and stay together). Other than that, they are great. Personally, I'd probably use a heavier trekking pole if weight wasn't a huge factor.

On a side note, these aren't as strong as heavy options. I made the mistake of using these (instead of my old trekking poles) while hiking the 16-mile Zion Narrows. At one point I slipped and fell into the river snapping my trekking pole in half. Not saying this wouldn't have happened with my other poles, but it would have been a cheaper mistake. If you're planning on doing the Narrows, rent the wooden poles.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on November 4, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Great for travel, not ideal for backpacking. Don't get me wrong, it still gets the job done. If you want something that's both lighter, much smaller, and more efficient, go with the Adventurer instead. I originally purchased this for backpacking, used it for a season, and decided to upgrade. This does a great job at sterilizing water, which is why I still gave this five stars. If you don't mind the size and weight, then this is a great option and will do just fine. Keep in mind that they recommend using lithium AA batteries instead of Alkaline because lithium will last longer. Although it's cheaper initially, you'll be spending more on batteries (another reason to upgrade). Lithium batteries aren't cheap, and you go through Alkaline batteries really fast. Overall it's a great unit that I'm sure you'll be happy with.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on November 4, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've used SteriPENs for a long time, but recently upgraded to this model. Simply put, I recommend going with this model over the cheaper alternatives for several reasons: size, battery life, battery type, and weight. It's smaller than many models, which makes a big difference when packing for a trip. I keep mine in a shoulder pocket on my pack so that I can easily use it without unpacking my bag. Next is battery life and type. It's more efficient than cheaper models and you don't have to use clunky AA batteries. This takes two small CR123 batteries, which are both lighter, and seem to last longer. I previously had the SteriPEN Photon Traveler and it requires 4 AA batteries -- it's heavy as hell! Bottom line, if you want a SteriPEN that's small, durable, and efficient, choose the Adventurer. Also, it works well with hydration bladders and water bottles. I've noticed it's a little awkward using this in a bladder because the light becomes hard to see (so you don't know if it's on or not). It's easy to find out, but it's still a little awkward.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on November 4, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These are the first headphones I've purchased that are Bluetooth, and I won't go back. I've used these for a couple months now and they keep getting better and better. They are comfortable, have a long battery life, and the mic is good quality. They can take a beating without breaking, which is also a huge plus. The only thing I'm not too crazy about is the sound quality. It's good, but not great by any stretch of the word. I still give these five stars because you're still getting a great headphone for a good price. If you're looking for incredible sound quality, you might want to try something different.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on September 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Okay, so let me set the scene. Wife and I running/walking the 90 mile Uinta Highline Trail and trying to complete it in less than 2 days. We are tired, sweaty, cold, hurting, and emotionally exhausted. We had an ultralight tent, a single sleeping bag, food, basic survival supplies, and two OSPREY REV PACKS (an 18 and a 12 liter). These packs are made for this! They aren't the lightest packs on the market, but make up for that with convenient features that make life easy when you are f**king tired and don't want to mess with trying to make your pack work.

It has several pockets that are hidden and don't affect performance. Great for keeping things handy, so you don't have to keep unloading your pack. I was able to have a separate pocket for the GPS, the Spot GPS, the headlamp/poncho, snacks, ipod, camera, and Steripen. It sounds like it would be a mess, but it was remarkably well designed so your running wasn't impeded. Even for long ultralight hikes, or day hikes, it's still a very nice pack. It's a pain to have to unload a pack because your headlamp is on the bottom. Or unload it every time you fill the bladder. This pack eliminates it all!

Also, this is speaking to the bladder more than the pack, but they are great together. The bladder is rigid so it slides in very easy, and you don't have to take the hose out every time. Additionally, it clips magnetically to the sternum strap which is just plain bad-ass! You won't regret buying this pack.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on September 26, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Bought these for canyoneering as well as fly fishing. Hiked the full length Zion Narrows with them and they were worth every penny. They keep your feet from freezing and also protect them from rocks and various other annoying objects. They are also great for winter fly fishing when the water is very cold and you want another layer, or when you fishing in warmer weather and don't want to wear waders, but still want to wear boots. I wear a size 12.5 shoe and purchased the XL. I probably should have gone with the large instead for a snug fit.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on September 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These are great to have for a variety of situations. I keep them in my car during the winter in case I get stuck, they are wonderful to use for winter hiking, and they're useful when you're doing easy mountaineering routes that don't require steel crampons. I also don't see how anyone can break these things - they are BURLY! I think anyone can get good use out of these. I highly recommend.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on April 1, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a great kit for anyone. The beacon is incredibly simple and intuitive. A child could pull the tab and find another beacon! The harness that comes with the Tracker 2 is perfect and very easy to customize. I can't think of anything negative about the beacon.

The shovel is great, but at times I wish it was slightly larger. The shaft doesn't extend, and the blade has a fairly small surface area. It's very light and compact! Having used other shovels, I still prefer this one because it's wicked burly, lightweight, and fits great in my pack. If you love digging holes, you might want to consider a blade that displaces more snow.

The probe is perhaps my favorite part about this kit. It is unbelievably lightweight and deploys easy. Other probes have a cord you have to clip into a notch at the end, which takes a little longer and feels less secure. This carbon probe clicks into place and you don't get the feeling it's going to break. It has a coated steel cable running through it so it'll last for years! Take my word for it, if you try this probe I guarantee you'll keep it.

Great kit for the beginner and the pro.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on April 1, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Great cord - super durable and gets the job done. I gave mine to a friend and resumed using 4 mm cord with small knots in it. I like cord because it compacts down small and doesn't wreck my carbon probe. Don't get me wrong, this item is great, it's just not necessary for me.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on April 1, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Beacon, shovel, and probe are the essential tools, but this is also a MUST for me. Fact is, BSP will help in your recovery, but you don't have anything to help you in the moment. If you're lucky enough to keep the mouthpiece in, this is a great tool to help increase your chances of survival. If you have the money, I would still recommend going with an airbag. Airbags are a proven technology with a lot of data to back it up. Avalungs are great, but the chances of you keeping the mouthpiece in is small relative to the probability of the bag deploying .

This is a very cheap piece of equipment that everyone should have. It weighs practically nothing, and is comfortable to wear all day long.

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