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Daypack
Deuter Speed Lite 24

$115, 24L/1,465 c.i., 1 lb. 11 oz.

One size

backcountry.com

With the Speed Lite 24, Deuter set out to make a pack that does it all. Weighing well under two pounds—low for a pack with this much capacity—it’s marketed as an ultralight, all-around daypack for long trail days, technical rock climbing, and even snow climbing. I wanted to see if such a light pack could fill all those roles, so I tested it extensively, including a 4500-foot, eight-mile hike up Ferguson Canyon and a 3,000-foot scramble up the South Ridge of Mount Superior in Utah’s Wasatch Range.

The Speed Lite 24 immediately impressed me with its comfort carrying weight on strenuous hikes. Despite its low weight, it features a padded hipbelt, flexible U-shaped Delrin frame, and adjustable load-lifter straps. This combo gives the pack an outsize carrying capacity—I had no issue carrying 15-20 pounds while soloing fourth- and easy fifth-class rock, as the harness controlled the weight well and prevented the pack from moving around on my torso. I’ve also carried up to 25 pounds comfortably in it while hiking, and yet the frame is still flexible enough to bend in half, making it very packable. 

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Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

DSL 2 scaled

The pack also features zippered mesh hipbelt pockets, each large enough to hold a couple bars. Deuter uses a novel system to angle the hipbelt buckles slightly upwards, which made the buckles easier to clip and helped prevent my shirt getting caught in them. Finally, I found that the mesh and perforated-foam back panel does a pretty good job of wicking sweat and allowing airflow, similar to other packs with those
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Review: Mountain Hardwear Kor Airshell Hoody

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Ultralight Wind Shell
Mountain Hardwear Kor Airshell Hoody

$150, 5.1 oz./145g (men’s medium)

Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL

backcountry.com

After sweating hard on a sunny and humid June morning hiking up the headwall of Huntington Ravine—the steepest and hardest trail on Mount Washington—we hit the cool wind blowing across the mountain’s alpine terrain. I pulled on my Kor Airshell Hoody and it tamed that wind while breathing so well that the wet sun shirt against my skin dried out quickly. And that pattern of sweating and hitting wind kept repeating itself on that two-day, 21-mile hut trek in New Hampshire’s Presidential Range, providing plenty of opportunities for the Kor to show off its strengths.

This jacket also displayed excellent breathability when I wore it running hilly trails from the Boise Foothills to central Massachusetts, on spring days of cool wind and temps in the 50s and low 60s Fahrenheit—with me sweating hard on each occasion, but the jacket only getting slightly damp inside and drying in minutes when my exertion level dropped going downhill. I also tested this hoody mountain biking in breezy, partly sunny, 50-degree conditions; and during cool, windy periods while backpacking in the first week of April on a section of the Arizona Trail along the Gila River and in Arizona’s Aravaipa Canyon.

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Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

The Mountain Hardwear Kor Airshell Hoody.
” data-image-caption=”Testing the Mountain Hardwear Kor Airshell Hoody in New Hampshire’s Presidential Range.
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Mountain-Hardwear-Kor-Airshell-Hoody-with-hood-down-scaled.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Mountain-Hardwear-Kor-Airshell-Hoody-with-hood-down-scaled.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1″ decoding=”async” width=”900″ height=”600″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Mountain-Hardwear-Kor-Airshell-Hoody-with-hood-down.jpg?resize=900%2C600&ssl=1″ alt=”The Mountain Hardwear Kor Airshell Hoody.” class=”wp-image-58993″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Mountain-Hardwear-Kor-Airshell-Hoody-with-hood-down-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Mountain-Hardwear-Kor-Airshell-Hoody-with-hood-down-scaled.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Mountain-Hardwear-Kor-Airshell-Hoody-with-hood-down-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Mountain-Hardwear-Kor-Airshell-Hoody-with-hood-down-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Mountain-Hardwear-Kor-Airshell-Hoody-with-hood-down-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Mountain-Hardwear-Kor-Airshell-Hoody-with-hood-down-scaled.jpg?resize=150%2C100&ssl=1 150w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Mountain-Hardwear-Kor-Airshell-Hoody-with-hood-down-scaled.jpg?w=1800&ssl=1 1800w” sizes=”(max-width: 900px)
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Phew, California’s Largest Reservoir is Nearly Full

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California residents will be glad to know their reservoirs are nearly full again after years of drought. New satellite photos show the levels of Shasta Lake, California’s largest reservoir, going from 31% capacity last November to nearly 100% in May 2023. The reservoir was filled with heavy rains and a significant mountain snowpack that melted into the nearby rivers.

This is the highest levels this lake has seen in over four years, following years of persistent and extreme drought in the US southwest. Scientists are working on ways to recharge ground reservoirs with any excess water, to minimize the effect of the next inevitable drought.

Shasta Lake is the eighth largest human-made reservoir in the United States. It has 587 km (365 miles) of mostly mountainous shoreline, with a maximum depth of 157 meters (517 feet.) Lake Mead in Nevada is the largest reservoir in the US.

Here’s a comparison image of Shasta Lake from just a few months ago, November 18, 2022. The tan “bathtub ring” around the perimeter of the lake shows where water had been in previous years.

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A much smaller Shasta Lake, as seen on as seen on November 18, 2022 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite. Credit: US Geological Survey/NASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Dauphin.

By May 29, it was 98% full, according to California Department of Water Resources (DWR), and the brown ring had disappeared.

Shasta Lake was created in 1948 by the Shasta Dam. Planning for the dam started in 1919 and it was built in the years between 1935 to 1945. Its main purpose is for flood control, water storage for agricultural operations, and hydroelectric generation.

Lake Oroville, the state’s second-largest reservoir, was also near capacity on May 29, at 97% full.

NASA cautions that full reservoirs do not ensure plentiful water for years into the future. Additionally, the increased water levels currently seen in the reservoirs does not necessarily equate to replenished groundwater stores, which is of great concern to the state of California.

“The past four years are a testament to how drastically reservoirs can change over the course of one or two years,” said NASA Earth Observatory’s Lindsey Doermann. “In addition to the many demands for water, lake levels need to be drawn down to create capacity for flood control in wetter seasons. The California DWR is collaborating with other agencies to incorporate better forecasting and observation technologies in order to optimize water releases.”

California enacted a law about 10 years ago to try to protect groundwater reserves from overpumping for agricultural needs. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act requires local groundwater agencies to halt long-term depletion and achieve sustainability, according to an article on Cal Matters, a state news website. But the deadlines are almost 20 years away, and basins are still being stressed. Groundwater may account for two-thirds of agricultural water use during drought years.

“Just one wet year is nowhere near large enough to refill the amount of groundwater storage that we’ve lost, say, over the last 10 years or more,” said Jeanine Jones, a drought manager with the California DWR, in the Cal Matters article.

A recent study using data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and GRACE Follow-On satellite missions found that groundwater depletion in the Central Valley has been accelerating since 2003.

NASA said that officials in California are working to leverage the recent influx of water. While some groundwater recharge happens naturally, resource managers can employ other strategies to send water underground, such as diverting it into canals or ponds and injecting it into the subsurface.

The post Phew, California’s Largest Reservoir is Nearly Full appeared first on Universe Today.

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NASA’s Europa Clipper Taking “Message in a Bottle” to Jupiter

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NASA believes in getting the public excited about space, and they’re carrying on this tradition by recently announcing that space fans from around the world can travel to Jupiter with the Europa Clipper mission. Though, not literally, but by adding their names to a microchip for the “Message in a Bottle” campaign that will also contain “In Praise of Mystery: A Poem for Europa”, which is an original poem by U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón.

Participants are encouraged to visit the Europa Clipper “Message in a Bottle” website, where they’re invited to listen to an audio reading of the poem narrated by Limón, and by clicking her name at the bottom of the poem they can watch an animated video of the narrated reading.

Upon submitting their name and email address, the participant will receive an image of their name on a piece of string-tied, rolled paper in a corked glass bottle with Europa’s icy surface in the foreground and the massive Jupiter with a glistening Europa Clipper spacecraft in the background. Participants can then download the image for free directly or via the email they receive and share with their family and friends!

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Example of a participant’s name being sent to Europa with NASA’s “Message in a Bottle” campaign. (Credit: NASA)

“‘Message in a Bottle’ is the perfect convergence of science, art, and technology, and we are excited to share with the world the opportunity to be a part of Europa Clipper’s journey,” Dr. Nicola Fox, who is the associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington DC, said in the announcement. “I just love the thought that our names will be traveling across our solar system aboard the radiation-tolerant spacecraft that seeks to unlock the secrets of Jupiter’s frozen moon.”

Born in Sonoma, California, Ada Limón is an award-winning author of Mexican descent, with her most notable works being “The Carrying”, which was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award, and “The Hurting Kind”, which was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize. In 2022, Limón was designated 24th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, making her the first Latina to be named a U.S. Poet Laureate, and subsequently reappointed to an additional two-year term in 2023. Limón had the privilege of visiting JPL in January 2023 to both see the Europa Clipper spacecraft up-close and learn more about its amazing mission to the icy world.

The Europa Clipper “Message in a Bottle” campaign builds off past NASA campaigns that involve sending names or other tokens of Earth on deep space missions. The most notable campaign is the Golden Record of the Voyager missions that was an elaborate effort encompassing a plethora of individuals, disciplines, and institutions.

In the end, two records were made with each containing 115 images, plus music, sounds, and greetings in several current and ancient languages of Earth with each record sitting on the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft in hopes of an extraterrestrial civilization finding them one day. In preparation for the records being found, the scientists include a cartridge and stylus and instructions on how the records could be played.

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The Voyager Golden Record. (Credit: NASA)

Most recently, the NASA Artemis I mission allowed participants to add their names to a flash drive that traveled with the mission around the Moon and back, and NASA’s Perseverance rover mission allowed participants to send their name on a microchip placed on the rover.

The overarching goal of all these campaigns, from the Golden Record to Europa
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