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Jimmy Elam

Jimmy Elam

Gearhead

Salt Lake City, UT

Jimmy Elam's Passions

Climbing
Hiking & Camping
Fly Fishing
Running

Jimmy Elam's Bio

Reach me directly with any gear questions.
Jelam@backcountry.com

I love every activity there is to do outside and spend the majority of my time on endless trails to run and backpack. I also enjoy hiking miles into the wilderness searching for hidden lakes to fly fish.

I've lived in Mammoth Lakes CA, where I trained for marathons and worked as a wilderness backpacking guide. I recently finished guiding the whole John Muir Trail, taking ten people from around the world on a 21 day high alpine adventure. I've also lived in Bend Oregon working for a wilderness therapy program. I'm currently in the amazing Salt Lake City training for Ultra Marathons and climbing as much as possible.

Follow me on Instragram! - jimmyelam

Jimmy Elam

Jimmy Elamwrote a review of on July 31, 2017

Ascending the Slabs
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large

Email me directly with all your Arc'teryx questions - <b>jelam@backcountry.com</b>

Fit - The Norvan VT are perfect if you need a technical trail runner that borders an approach shoe. The traction on all terrain is fantastic (really, better than any trail runner I've used before). That being said, I would stick to 1-3hrs moving time in them. For longer runs I would want something lighter.

Comfort - They have a great balance of softness, flex and stability, to take on the steepest and roughest terrain. The lacing is unique in that you can "lock-down" the laces before you begin steep descents. It really helps prevent any movement and gives you that extra sense of security for bombing downhill. Use the Norvan when you're in the mountains, not around your city park.

Sizing - I would go down 1/2 size from your street shoe. I went my normal size and find myself kicking rocks more often on my runs and wanting a bit more "snugness" on the fit.

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Jimmy Elam

Jimmy Elamwrote a review of on June 27, 2017

Training pack for Western States 100
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Email me for all your running pack questions - jelam@backcountry.com

After a 100+ miles of use, this pack has proven to be a very nice, light-weight running pack suitable for racing or other runs where minimal gear is needed. If you’re debating between two sizes, I would recommend sizing up (I am 6’ 165 and went with the Large). The bottle design is great, and makes drinking on the go much easier than the traditional chest-mounted bottle systems, and even when running hard, bottle-bounce is relatively minimal. The pockets on the shoulders and on the front make stashing food/electrolytes very easy, although the pockets on the shoulders don’t work well for a phone, which they appear to have been designed for. There is also a nice rear pocket along the bottom that makes stashing small items, such as gloves, without removing the pack easy. The downsides: The elastic straps that secure the bottle hoses are showing signs of wear, and the bottles seem to be of inferior quality compared to other hydrapak manufactured bottles (they still work, but the caps don’t fit as well).

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Jimmy Elam

Jimmy Elamwrote a review of on June 27, 2017

5 5

Email me with all your Garmin GPS questions - jelam@backcountry.com

This review is from my trail running partner here in Utah -

After a couple weeks of fairly heavy use (mostly trail running and day to day), I have mostly good things to say about this watch. I stepped up from the Fenix 2 to the 5, and the improvements are huge, particularly in the user interface. The UI, both on the watch and through the Garmin Connect app, makes the different data screens and settings easy to customize. Distance and elevation tracking also seems to be very accurate. Although I didn’t get it for its activity tracking features (pedometer, flights climbed, sleep analysis, etc…), it provides some fairly interesting data. So far, my longest run with it has been 4 hours, but based on this I fully expect it to last 24 hours in GPS mode, as advertised (the HRM will probably need to be turned off for this). My only complaint is with the wrist-based HRM. Although it seems to be accurate most of the time, it has been extremely off on a few occasions.

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Jimmy Elam

Jimmy Elamwrote a review of on May 24, 2017

2 5

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

Email me directly for all your Hoka or running shoe questions - Jelam@backcountry.com

I've been through an insane amount of running shoes, and these aren't nearly my favorite. I had high hopes with this lower profile Hoka, thinking it would be a comfy road shoe for my quicker paced runs. It's light and fast I give it that, but geez the Tracer are not comfortable to wear at all. After my first few runs I was already disappointed but really wanted to give them a shot, so I put about 60 miles in them. Even after my 9-10th run the cushioning didn't soften up at all. They are also too narrow, even for my narrow foot structure.

With that being said, these could still be a shoe for you. If you want a light, flexible, hard cushioned shoe.

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Jimmy Elam

Jimmy Elamwrote a review of on May 3, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 130 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

Email me with all your Patagonia running gear questions - jelam@backcountry.com

I've been sick of the huge void between emergency shells that get me soaked after 30 minutes of precipitation and fully loaded 3-layer jackets that can't pump out heat fast enough I end up soaked from the inside and might as well be wearing an emergency shell.

Now that I'm done venting, It's a relief to say that Patagonia has helped fill that dark void of high performing active rain layers with the Storm Racer.

I first used the Storm Racer during a 20+mi run in the southern Utah desert, temps ranging from 45-55deg with intermittent precipitation.

My initial feelings about the Storm Racer are that it seriously pumps out heat. It actually helped regulate my body temp better than my similarly weighted emergency shell. The fit has a slim/athletic cut which suits most runners and mtn bikers really well.

In all, the Storm Racer is a simple and streamlined top, perfect for those who are into the self-propelled pursuits during times where everyone else is hunkered inside, away from the storm.

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Jimmy Elam

Jimmy Elamposted an image about on April 14, 2017

Update!!! Canyon action in the King MT!

Exploring Buckskin Gulch in the southern Utah desert with my King MT. The canyon presented everything from thick mud, numerous rock crossings, knee deep pools, and the King held their own nicely. The upper dries extremely fast and the foot lock strap really locked my foot in place for the technical sections of the route. I'm also loving how grippy the Vibram outsole is. It feels much better than the Lone Peak I've used in the past. My friend (who wasn't wearing the King) was slipping around everywhere while I was sure-footed through the entire canyon.

Hit me up with Altra questions - jelam@backcountry.com

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Jimmy Elam

Jimmy Elamwrote a review of on April 10, 2017

Jammin work emails wearing the Fjord LW
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 130 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

Email me directly with all your Patagonia flannel questions - jelam@backcountry.com

If you're a fan of the OG Fjord, you won't be disappointed with the Fjord Lightweight. Winter transitioning to spring is when I find myself wearing this flannel on the daily. It's soft, comfortable, cut well with a relaxed fit, and one of my favorite tops for spring and fall days. Only gripe is I feel the sleeves are a tad long. Though, I roll them up once and don't have an issue.

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Jimmy Elam

Jimmy Elamwrote a review of on April 10, 2017

Crushing Desert Canyons in the Run Truck
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Email me directly with all your Outdoor Research questions - jelam@backcountry.com

OR nailed it with the Run Trucker. I've been using their regular trucker hats (non-mesh back) for a few years now and have been waiting for a hat like this to come out! The fit is spot on, with a very soft liner against your forehead. My favorite feature of the hat is the mesh back which dries extremely quick. This hat is built for those who are into the aerobic activities like hiking, biking and running.

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Jimmy Elam

Jimmy Elamwrote a review of on April 2, 2017

Rainy Zion in the Helium II
4 5

Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 130 lbs

Email me with all your Outdoor Research questions - jelam@backcountry.com

The Helium is the type of jacket you'll want to add to your quiver of gear for times when you have no idea what the weather will throw at you. I busted out the Helium while I was exploring Zion when the rain hit and it was perfect for an emergency layer. I wouldn't use it for extended storms (get a 3-layer GTX for that) but the Helium kept me dry for 2-3hrs easy. The Helium is also light enough to be a layer that you never take out of your adventure pack. Even with no rain on the forecast, I've been happy to bring the Helium along as a wind layer, keeping me warm on high altitude peaks.

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Jimmy Elam

Jimmy Elamwrote a review of on April 2, 2017

Picked up my third pair
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 130 lbs
Size Purchased: small

These are solid running shorts for warmer summer days. For longer runs in the heat I prefer no liner in my shorts, for obvious reasons. The Nine Trails unlined are nearly a perfect short for me. The only reason I didn't give them 5 stars is because of the two side pockets. I feel Patagonia missed something, making them so small you can barely put your hand inside. At this point there really should be no side pockets at all. Still though, it's not a deal breaker and there's a good reason I now own three pair of them. I do love the back zip pocket though! It's ideal for my car key, credit card, or snack for the longer runs.

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Jimmy Elam

Jimmy Elamwrote a review of on March 31, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 130 lbs
Size Purchased: small

Email me for all your Gore questions - jelam@backcountry.com

This is hands down the best active rain layer ever made, and I've used a TON of different shells on the trail. I got this jacket primarily for trail/ultra runs. I pump out heat and run on the warm side, so needed a jacket that sheds the heat while still keeping me dry from the elements. I took the Gore One out for a 10 miler in temps around low 40's and it performed wonderfully.

My favorite things about the Gore One - Stupid light, I believe it's the lightest and most breathable fully waterproof goretex available. It's so quiet! Unlike many other rain jackets I've used which make that crinkle sound, this thing is silent but deadly. Another favorite feature is the hood. It doesn't have a drawstring but as long as you are wearing a hat it wraps around your head perfectly.

What would I improve? I would have an integrated stuff sack on the chest. I don't know why this doesn't already exist.

I know this thing is on the pricey side for a minimal shell, but it's worth every penny for function.

I'll post up another update once I put a few hundred miles in this bad boy.

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