This Month Win a Pair of Mauria Boots from LOWA

by Beth Whitman (September 2nd, 2014)

Mauria boots from LOWA

There are a lot of things I’m having to pay very close attention to as I prepare for the Snowman Trek later this month. Staying warm, hydrated, fueled with the proper food and foot comfort are all very high on the list. With us hiking anywhere from eight to 13 miles per day, making sure that my feet are going to be comfortable ranks high on the list.

When considering the type of hiking boot I wanted, ankle support and light weight were two things I felt would be most important. After all, I don’t want to have to trudge around in a heavy (albeit sturdy) leather boot.

Having tested out a number of other LOWA low-profile boots, I decided that these would be a good go-to company for something a bit more robust.

After talking with some representatives from LOWA, I decided on the Mauria GTX® Flex WS. Yes, I realize it’s their job to tell me how great their boots are but, really, these are great.

I’ve now taken these on numerous hikes in the Pacific Northwest and also to New Mexico and they’ve performed really well on all occasions.

Here are a couple of things that stand out for me:

  • Very lightweight – though these are a bit bulkier than my other lower-profile boots, I don’t feel like I’m having a difficult time lifting my feet up and over rocks and tree limbs.
  • GORETEX – though I haven’t had to wear these in the rain, I will in Bhutan, and I trust that they are going to keep my feet dry.

Another cool feature of LOWA boots is the Flex® lacing which allows the laces to easily pull through the ball bearing lace loops. In addition, the tongue stud/X-lacing feature helps reduce overall pressure on the feet, making for a comfy walk.

The Mauria GTX® Flex WS comes in two colors - Dark Blue/Burgundy (pictured above) or Brown/Olive (pictured below). It also offers a wide width style in the Dark Blue/Burgundy color.

About LOWA
Established in 1923 in Jetzendorf, Germany, LOWA is known for handcrafted, great-fitting boots. It uses only durable materials and adheres to the highest quality construction.

Wanna win your own?
Mauria boots from LOWA Brown Olive
During the month of September, you can enter to win your very own Mauria GTX® Flex WS Boots from LOWA. One winner will be chosen on October 1, 2014.


1) Sign up for the Wanderlust and Lipstick newsletter. This goes out just once a month and your information is never shared.

2) Sign up for the RSS email feed (see the “subscribe me” box in the upper right) to receive an email each time I post to this blog (usually no more than 3x per week).

Oh, and get some good karma by forwarding this to friends whom you think might like to enter to win a pair of Mauria GTX books from LOWA.

Value: $300

The Deets
This contest closes at 11:59 pm PST on September 30, 2014 and the lucky winner will be chosen on October 1, 2014. We can only ship to U.S. addresses (sorry!).

The winner will have three days to respond before another winner is chosen.

Travel Well,


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Countdown to the Snowman Trek

by Beth Whitman (August 31st, 2014)

Beth Whitman Mailbox PeakWe depart in 10 days for Bangkok and then onward to Bhutan for the Snowman Trek.

Since Jon and I are both going, the house is filled with piles of clothes, gear and food that, hopefully, will fit into four pieces of luggage between the two of us. (Yes, I’m breaking my carry-on bag-only rule for this trip.)

FedEx, UPS and Trac (Amazon) trucks are literally arriving a couple times a day as we place orders for last-minute items we keep realizing we need. And we’re making frequent pilgrimages to REI and other outdoor retailers items that might come in handy.

Many of the companies I’ve been working with over the years by providing reviews of their products have been coming to the rescue and also sending gear: Icebreaker for Merino wool base layers; Goal Zero for solar panels; and Eagle Creek for a water-resistant duffel bag and packing cubes. (Reviews are forthcoming.)Beth Whitman Granite Mountain

We’ve been out hiking some of the more difficult trails close to Seattle and today we’re off to Denver to hike a 14er (that’s hiking-speak for a mountain over 14,000 feet).

All in all, it’s trek-central around here and a lot of our energies are focused on this crazy 25-day trek. It’s exhilarating and a bit scary all at once. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Travel Well,


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Julbo Mountaineering Sunglasses ~ WanderGear Wednesday

by Beth Whitman (August 27th, 2014)

Julbo Explorer SunglassesEver notice that when something hits your radar, you start seeing it everywhere?

That’s what happened with my Julbo mountaineering sunglasses. As soon as I had my own pair to test out for the Snowman Trek, I noticed a lot (I mean, A LOT) of people I’ve been meeting on my hikes are also wearing Julbos.

Visit any outdoor store and you’ll likely find a wide range of Julbos. I’ve got the Explorer mountaineering sunglasses with Spectron 4.

These are specially made for high altitude, where eyes are particularly susceptible to damage by the sun and reflection.

The Explorers come in three different versions:Beth Whitman Julbo

  • Camel polarized (progresses from 3 to 4 reflection depending on the light)
  • Alt Arc 4 lens (highly resistant to scratches)
  • Spectron 4 (the most reflective lens that are also shock resistant)

The features that I appreciate most about the Specton 4 sunglasses include:

  • Wrap-around lenses – provide better protection than smaller glasses
  • Substantial weight – these are a bit heavier than any of my other sunglasses which makes me think they are going to last a lot longer than others
  • Front venting – this prevents fogging
  • Removable wings at the top and bottom of the lenses – I’ve been told by those who wear contacts that these help protect from dust and wind that could potentially bother their eyes

I’ve tried on probably a half dozen different mountaineering glasses and what I found was that these are generally not as dark as other sunglasses I own. I was told by a sales guy at REI that mountaineering glasses generally aren’t as dark because you want to be able to see more clearly while hiking or participating in snow activities. The lighter lens allows you to see more nuances in terrain. The same sales guy told me that just because the lenses aren’t as dark doesn’t mean they aren’t reflecting those bad rays.

If I had my druthers, the only thing I would change with the Explorers would to make them just a tad smaller. But, I’ve found that most mountaineering sunglasses are a just a bit large for my face. This is likely because they are providing maximum coverage, and that I totally get.

Available on Amazon for under $85.

Travel Well,


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