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 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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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on April 1, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The TLT Speed Radical is a great binding for backcountry skiers looking for something lightweight and great quality. I'm 6'4 and 210lbs, and these bindings work well for me. That being said, I've popped out a couple times when I shouldn't have. I love these because of their weight, but I'd go with something different if I wanted power. The leash takes a little getting used to if you're used to a brake, but I prefer them now. Bottom line, great binding for the majority of backcountry skiers.

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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
Fit: True to size

Firstly, Mountain Khakis makes great quality stuff. Everything they make exceeds my expectations and can take a beating. This wallet is no exception. Others have commented that it only holds 3 cards, which is true right out of the box. Don't over-stuff it from the start and let the leather break in. Gradually start putting in additional cards and you can get 4-5 in. The leather will stretch to accommodate more cards, but I think 4 is about the max you'll want to go (if you remove the money clip you can get an additional card in). Regardless, if you have a few cards, and some cash, this wallet will be your best friend.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on April 1, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Did you buy the BCA snowstudy kit? Are you looking for the next tool to include in your pack? This is it! It's cheap, and super functional. It folds down and is super compact, so it fits great in most pack pockets. Additionally, it maintains its shape when extended so that you can focus more on the measurement and less on the ruler.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on April 1, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Purchased this kit a few months ago and have been using it constantly. I was impressed with the overall quality of the tools. Everything contained in the kit is very durable and can stand up to a beating! The slope meter is nice to keep in a pocket so you can quickly measure a slope while touring - it's a great piece to bring even if you leave the rest of the kit at home. The crystal card included is very easy to read and provides great contrast. It is black, so make sure to keep it out of the sun and in a cold spot.

Overall, I'm very happy with this kit. It is a perfect size and fits nicely in your pack. I strongly suggest purchasing one and taking it out on a tour.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on April 1, 2014

3 5

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

I got this bag from Keen last year and have had plenty of time to use and abuse it. The actual utility of the bag is quite good, it provides numerous pockets and other cool features. After using it for about a month, the shoulder strap started to slip through the buckle with very little weight in the bag. It got to the point where it would all slip out regardless of where I set the buckle. It was extremely irritating so I cut through the strap with a knife and tied a knot to prevent it from sliding. Bottom line, the buckle on my bag was terribly. Hopefully they fixed the problem.

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on April 1, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've had several of these over the years, and recently purchased the Reverso 4 because I gave my old one away. I guess the new design is cool, but it really isn't much different from its predecessors. It does feel marginally lighter than the last version, but it doesn't make much of a difference to me.

Comparing the Reverso to the Guide seems to be the better distinction. I have, and still do, prefer the Reverso to the Guide. You couldn't go wrong going either way!

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on February 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

Read my review later, purchase this first so they don't sell out! If you want an incredible quality flannel shirt, this is it. I'm sick of all the cheap-ass flannel shirts out there that are terrible quality. This shirt is true to size in the sleeves, but seems to run a bit long in the torso length. Has great quality stitching and buttons. In addition to all that awesomeness, the material is thicker than most flannel shirts. This gives it a great feel and fit.

I am 6'4" and 210lbs - I got an XL

Overall I know you will be very happy with this shirt. If you have any specific questions about it please give me a call (chances are I will be wearing it anyway) . Call the main Backcountry line and my extension is 4340

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Mike Cushing

Mike Cushing wrote a review of on February 18, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had this for quite a while now and it's been holding up well. I still use it as my daily mug because of the large base. It makes it very convenient for my job. Let me break this review down to an easy format.

Strengths:
Leak-proof lid
Solid mug - heavy duty construction
Easy to drink from
Sturdy base so it won't tip over easily

Weaknesses:
Paint comes off easy
Handle seems to be loose. Hasn't broken, but it wiggles.
Doesn't fit into cup holder
Doesn't keep liquid hot for very long.

If the main purpose for getting a mug is keeping liquid hot for a long time, this isn't your guy (HydroFlask works great). Otherwise this is a good option.

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