Nepal Earthquake Relief Efforts—How You Can Help

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In the wake of last Saturday’s devastating 7.8 earthquake in Nepal, hundreds of organizations have mobilized to aid with relief efforts, including several in the outdoor world. Sherpa Adventure Gear started a fund called Help Sherpas Help Nepal and 100% of the money raised will go directly to relief efforts through Sherpa Adventure Gear’s existing network in villages (the company underwrites the education of Sherpa children through its charitable Paldorje Education Fund). Salewa and the Oberlap group have put together an initial kit of 20 tents, over 100 sleeping bags, and more than 100 sleeping mats that a Salewa employee will be delivering to contacts in Kathmandu. And Keen has partnered with Mercy Corps to match up to $10,000 in contributions through it’s donation page.

Wondering how else you can help? InterAction.org offers a list of various organizations, their specific work, and ways to donate. Consider, too, finding a local group near you collecting gear donations—sleeping bags and tents, primarily—to be delivered directly to Nepal. And we compiled this early list the day after the quake. NPR also offers a general list of reminders to keep in mind when choosing organizations to support.

Uphill Designs Pioneers Bamboo Trekking Poles

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StartupHook has the scoop on a team of Seattle-based entrepreneurs who have developed a process for manufacturing trekking poles out of bamboo that are “stronger than aluminum and as light as carbon fibre.” Their company, Uphill Designs, will begin selling their trekking poles this spring. Both fixed-length and collapsible models will be available, for $99 and $149, respectively.

Cork used in the handles is sourced from recycled champagne corks, and in a nod to the company’s inspiration—co-founder Dan Sedlacek’s 2013 Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike—they plan to donate a percentage of their revenue to the Pacific Crest Trail Association.

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Couple Dives Into Hemp Gear Startup

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In other gear-startup news this week, Business Den published a profile this week on husband-and-wife duo Kyle and Kim Vine’s plans to launch a hemp-based bouldering crash-pad company called Kush Climbing. The idea was born on a climbing road trip in California, with their business plans sketched out on the back of a climber’s guide to Joshua Tree National Park.

The innovation behind designing their pads with hemp and interchangeable top panels reduces the need for replacement of an entire pad if the top canvas wears out prematurely.

So far, the Vines have manufactured all their mats by hand with the help of a friend and her industrial sewing equipment. The mats will retail on their website for $300 apiece beginning in May—after which they plan to do a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to continue building their company.

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The Best GoPro Mounts and Accessories for Surfers

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SurferToday.com has an impressively extensive roundup of handy, surfer-friendly GoPro accessories. They range from anti-fog inserts for your camera lens to a wrist mount to a “floaty backdoor” that, in the words of the article, “works like an insurance policy” by attaching to the housing backdoor to keep your GoPro afloat in water.

“Waterproof surf cameras are invading the line-ups,” proclaims SurferToday, “because we want to capture our greatest surfing moments for prosperity, but also because vanity is a healthy part of surfing.”

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More Portable Crash Pads for Bouldering

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One final bit of entrepreneurial news this week—and this one also from the climbing community. University of Wyoming student Tabitha Briscoe just won a $30,000 entrepreneurship competition to help her get her company, Cruxx Climbing, off the ground.

Briscoe is working to develop a more easily portable crash pad for bouldering. The idea was inspired by an Instagram photo of Briscoe’s friend lying in the dirt, having been “turtled”—lying on her back, unable to get up due to the weight of the crash pad she was carrying on her back en route to a bouldering session.

“Crash pads are one of the key pieces of equipment needed while bouldering,” says Briscoe. “They shouldn’t be so huge and inconvenient.”

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