asha stoddard

asha stoddard

Nor Cal girl!

asha stoddard's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Running
Snowshoeing
Climbing

asha stoddard's Bio

Born in the foothills, I now live in Davis but flee to the mountains every chance I get. I am a firefighter and outdoor enthusiast.

I am an avid snowboarder, back country hiker, volleyball player and rock climber. I also enjoy snow shoeing, canyoning, mountaineering, trail running, racing triathlons, white water rafting and traveling all over the world.

I am just getting into ocean kayaking and have tried ice climbing...cant wait to do more of it!

asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on October 10, 2011

runs small, but works great
4 5

I ordered this on the larger side and was glad I did because it runs small. I am 5'8 and 150 lbs and ordered the large (still had to stretch the neck gasket over a pot overnight to stretch it out) I use mine (paired with a mary jane wet suit) for canyoneering and cold-day white water rafting and it works great to keep me warm without overheating. It is fairly new, but so far has held up great.

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on September 6, 2011

5 5

I started with a pair of 5.10s, and I think I over estimated the potential stretch because they hurt my feet to the point of taking them off every time I was not climbing...So I upgraded and purchased the Miura and couldn't be happier. They are an aggressive yet really comfortable shoe. I wear a size ten shoe and bought a 42.5.

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on September 6, 2011

5 5

Patagonia in general has a pretty steep price tag, but if you spend wisely it is well worth it. I bought this shirt a couple years ago and have gotten even more use than expected out of it. Being super light weight and odor resistant make it a great shirt for long backcountry hiking trips. I have also warn it on cool morning jogs and to race in. Amazingly I manage to stay warm while hiking/running, yet never over heat even when the morning chill burns off.

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on December 5, 2009

4 5

I started riding twelve years ago with flows, so maybe I was just trained from the start to love them. I have heard that you either love them or hate them, and I am a lover. I ventured out a few years back and tried the K2 Cinch hybrid binding (which worked well enough but was a monster as far as weight)and then bought the Burton Cartel. Now I am happily back with flows. I still ride my cartels when I am doing long backcountry or heli runs but when it comes to on-and-off short lift-runs, nothing beats the Flows. They are light weight, I can blow by the boarders who have to sit down don/doff their binding, and now that they are fully adjustable on the slope, they are more responsive too.

I give them four stars and nit five because I do feel they have regressed in recent years in quality. The old school bindings felt a lot more sturdy and well built. Now that they have so many moving parts they are a bit confusing to adjust and feel a little less rough and tumble. Still I have had no problems functionally and they are my top choice for resort riding.

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on May 10, 2009

2 5

I bought 2 pairs of the Zoes and while I love the way they look, the silver decorative piece on the side arms keep popping off...which shouldt happen with hundred dollar glasses! I have sent them in and Spy has been very good about fixing or fully replacing them, but it takes time to get them back (so have a backup pair of shades)and then it just happens again, so it was not just one poorly made pair, but a problem with the design.

they are also one of the heavier pair of sun glasses I own.

While I do recommend Spy for their excellent product backing, I dont recommend this particular style.

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on May 8, 2009

5 5

This is the best tasting backcountry dish I have had to date! A surpirsing delight the first time I had it on the trail...have it planned for every third meal on my next trip. I am bringing a few extra dehydrated veggies to add in this time.

So good I even carry one in my strike team bag for campaign fires so I dont get stuck eating MREs

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on May 8, 2009

3 5

I brought this shower on my 17 day hike, but only used it once and thus wont be bringing it on this year's extended hike, I will keep for extended car camping trips where there are no shower facilities.

If you dont want to take a freezing snow-melt shower, it heats up in the sun (being black and all), but it takes all day in direct sunlight so you have to take a day of rest from hiking if you want to warm it up while in the backcountry.

By enabling you to scoop up water and shower away from streams and lakes, it is good for keeping soaps and shower runoff away, thus leaving no trace.

It is made well, both strong and durable, and is easy to use (just open the top an let the river water flow in). The shower turn on and off easy enough and it hold enough water to last for a decent length shower.

in the end it was just not worth the weight or the effort to use while in the backcountry

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on May 8, 2009

4 5

It is light weight, has a long lasting battery light and works well through wet rainy conditions. It is relatively inexpensive and thus a good deal for the price.
I have not experienced any flickering problems even after a good 30 nights of use on the same battery.
The LED lights take some getting used to, as they don't create shadows like traditional lights so it feels like they are less bright when walking.

I prefer the Petzl Tikkina over my Black Diamond because the lamp is permanently affixed to the elastic head strap, unlike the black diamond which clips on...several times they got separated in my pack or it popped off while trying to put the lamp on.

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on May 8, 2009

2 5

i bought this hat for backcountry hiking to keep the sun off of my fair cancer-prone skin...I returned it after the first trip! It heated up the head like all hats do during high sun and fter the first morning of storing it in my pack, the foam brim got creased and bent thus making it shade funny and flop over my eyes.
I opted for a different rout: a sun visor and bandanna...couldn't be happier, albeit goofy looking. I use the bandanna to keep the sun of my neck and ears and the visor keeps the sun off my face. I keep cool in the morning and evening when i ditch the bandanna to let my head breath.

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on May 8, 2009

4 5

I had a front zip pair of northface (which they dont seem to make any more so maybe that is a sign). I had a problem with my heel slipping in them when I went snow shoeing, thus I bought them in the lace up version...def an improvement. My heel no longer slips, they have good ankle support and are as warm and comfy and dry as my old pair, which i still keep for causal wear on snowy tahoe nights and after snowboarding.
To prevent ankle bite, I tie the lower portion tight and put in a half knot around the eyelet to secure the snugness and then keep the top ankle portion less tight.
I bought mine a size smaller than usual ad they fit great with a thin pair of socks (which is all that is needed because they are so warm.

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on May 8, 2009

5 5

I love these shoes, but i recommend trying them on. The first pair i bought ran a little small and took some time to break in before I stopped getting blisters. The next two pairs I bought (in the same size) fit just fine.

I got them for travel in Europe. While overseas I found myself feeling a bit like an unfashionable American walking around trendy Europe in my regular running shoes, thus the next time I went, I opted for the merrells, just as comfortable and practical, but just a little bit trendier, I fit right in be it on walking the streets, dining out or going out at night.
I have several pairs and now wear them all time for running errands and casual wear.
I still pledge my full devotion to my Asics when it comes to distance running though.

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on May 8, 2009

5 5

even before the upgrade, when it was just mesh, the tent was great!
I took it on several hikes ranging from 4 to 6 days up in Tahoe both solo and with my sister before taking it on a 17 day hike on the JMT.
The tent is roomy, well made and performed as expected keeping me warm and dry. It also held up to the craziest wind storm I have ever experienced where I thought for sure it would get ripped to shreds!
To cut down on trail weight while solo hiking, I ditched the tent portion and just hiked with the rain cover, poles and footprint and woke up warm and dry every morning.
Having two side doors and two vestibules are convenient or both access and storing gear when hiking with two people.
While on the JMT I joined up with a group of avid trail hikers who had all through hiked the PCT and everyone in the group had the MSR Hubba!

***update** after several years and many uses, the waterproofing on the rain fly began to deteriorate and became sticky. I went online and filled out a warenty sheet, sent it in and it was replaced within a couple weeks free of charge...no questions asked. Making this tent/company even better!!

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on May 8, 2009

1 5

I went on several three and four day hikes trying to break in these boots for my hike on the JMT. No matter what sock configuration I tried, and how many miles I racked up, these boot still gave me problems. By the end of each day I was fighting blisters and my feet ached.
When i finally embarked on the 17 day hike, I laced them up with reservation and by day three they were tied my pack like paper weights and I was hiking in my trail runners. I donated my vasques as soon as i could pawn them off to another hiker and had my mom send in some keens with my food resupply. couldn't have been happier, with no break in time my feet were warm dry and blister free!
these boots were not for me!

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on May 8, 2009

4 5

I used it for my hike on the JMT leaving out of Yosemite where the bears are infamous, as well as other parts of the PCT up in Tahoe. I woke up several morning with bear prints and other curious animal scat scattered around my bin, but my food was safe every time.
While it is heavy, especially for those ultra light hikers, it is not really any heavier than bins of comparable size (and actually packs a little more internal volume due to its shape). It can be tricky and frustrating to open at times, but ultimately is the quickest to get into (once you get the hang of it) because you don't have to scrounge around the bottom of your bag in search of something like a coin or tool to open it with, as with some bins.
The best feature is that it is see through so you can quickly and easily access the food you are looking for without pulling everything out of the bin every time!
I have the older model which only had one safety tab and the company replaced the lid with the newer double tab for free.
overall, bear bins suck to carry...thus this is the best of the worst.

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on May 8, 2009

5 5

After a multitude of training hikes i set out on the JMT last Sept in some Vasques...after day three they were tied to my pack like paper weights and I was hiking in my trail runners/camp sneakers. I tossed the Vasques the first opportunity I had and got my mom to send in a pair of Keens with my food resupply (with a bad ankle, trail runners were not a long term option).
Without breaking them in at all, the Keens were comfortable, dry and blister free from the first step to the last some 150 miles later! I was more than impressed with the boots performance and comfort and will be sporting them on all my future hikes to come.
I had my mom (with the same size feet) try them on with normal sock and then buy a half of a size up to accommodate foot swelling and it worked out just right. For normal wear i would say they fit true to size.

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on May 8, 2009

5 5

After 9 years of riding my once top of the line Morrow Lithium, I started the long and painful search for a replacement, 3 years and 3 boards later I finally found it with the 2008, Burton Supmod X 156.

I am a 5'8" medium build girl, and am an aggressive rider who likes to dabble all over the mountain, but my favorite runs by far are double blacks through the trees in deep powder! Thus this board is perfect, it handles the whole mountain well, but loves deep powder as much as I do. It is also well suited for the grooms and handles cold hard pack well with minimum chatter even at super high speeds. I don't go big in the park, thus the board handles just fine for what little i do do. I got in 28 days this year, mainly in the sierras with a few trips to colorado and northern idaho...never went anywhere without this board!

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on May 8, 2009

4 5

After much research, reading up and soliciting of passer-by's opinions, followed by an in-store weighted pack test while browsing, I settled on the Arc'teryx Bora 80 for my long distance hiking needs.

While a bit overkill for shorter 4-5 day trips, I found the Bora 80's large volume convenient for quick and easy trail packing while on extended hauls. The Bora 80 comes with a few standards such as detachable top pouch which converts into a fanny pack for day hikes, separate bottom compartment for stuffing a sleeping bag and multiple straps for cinching down to stabilize the load.

Major Pros: first, thick padding and a suspension system which makes it the Cadillac of extended hike backpacks, while this does add to the burdensome near 7 lbs of weight which many complain about, it is weight I am willing to carry if it means comfort during my long days on the trial, and comfort is one thing this pack provides. Second: an easy-access large front pocket, which I found convenient to store all my clothes for the trip. Could also be used to store the days food and needed easy access supplies. Lastly the pack boasts a large internal space with minimal frame intrusion for easy packing, which also made it easy to load the cumbersome bear bin.

Sadly there are a few Cons: The first being the two side pockets which are shallow, making it easy for things to fallout unbenounced to the hiker, and poorly designed and thus difficult for mid-stride access to the gear that hasn't yet fallen out. The newer model has addressed this issue, but I am not sure how effectively. There is also no water reservoir to store a camel back, thus one must be rigged McGuiver style. The pack is rather pricey in comparison to other packs in its class, but Arc'teryx makes their gear by hand and stands behind their product, so you are getting a quality made pack for your money. It is one of the heaviest packs on the market, and while they put the wt to good use, 7 lbs is still a lot of weight no matter how you pad it. If you are looking to cut down ounces at every corner, I would pass on this pack. Being a solo hiker on many of my hikes, I am fairly devout to cutting back on weight myself, but a comfortable pack is one area I am willing to splurge.

As far as fit goes, I am a 5'8, fairly broad shouldered medium build girl, thus I had no problem fitting nicely into the men's pack, for more petite females there is a female version. The pack carries its load well and disperses the weight to the hips nicely.

I would and have recommend this pack to friends who don't mind a little extra wt for the comfort, After some 300 plus miles of 1 tp 3 week long hikes on the trail last year, I am still happy with my purchase and am packing it up again for another 300 miles.

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asha stoddard

asha stoddard wrote a review of on February 27, 2009

4 5

I have had atlas snow shoes for a couple years and just read the poor reviews...It is true that snow is kicked up, but I found it to be only a minor issue. I dress appropriately for winter conditions in snow clothes and have never had a problem with being wet or cold at the end of my hikes.
The shoe is lightweight, easy to get on and off, holds your foot in well, and is great at keeping you atop the snow. They perform well on both up and down slopes.
I am happy with my shoes and bought them for my sister, her husband and my dad this past christmas.

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