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Archive for the Travel Category

Snow Peak x Nau: Q&A with Peter and Carma

Posted by Alison Wu | September 16th, 2014 | Filed under Design, Partnerships, Photography, Travel, Who We Are

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This week, designers Peter Kallen and Carma Ferrier reveal their favorite pieces from the recent Snow Peak x Nau fall collaboration and give us some insight into the inspiration behind the capsule collection. Check out the entire Snow Peak x Nau collection, here.

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How did the collaboration with Snow Peak come about? 

We had been following their brand and the product that they had been making over the years. We are big fans of the brand and its aesthetic, sensibility and attention to detail. We’ve always been attracted to the way they reference classic camping and outdoor gear, but done with better materials and with a more refined and minimized approach. When they opened their North American headquarters here in Portland, a conversation started, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to share design sensibilities from different platforms. It just seemed like a natural collaboration.

How did you approach the blending of both brands into the collection?

It was actually pretty seamless because of our aesthetics and how refined both of the brands are, so bringing them together was just natural. It felt really effortless. In the early conversations when we were sharing concepts, everyone was on the same page right from the beginning. We saw it as a new opportunity to explore this blurry genre of fewer things doing more – breaking down the barriers of what is expected around a campsite. Asking the question, “What are the essentials?”

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What other things inspired the collection? 

The sense of interaction with the garment is one of the biggest cues that informs new design for us. Fabrics, always. Cuts, old references to Japanese heritage, but making them modern and applicable to life today. Versatility, always having the right piece for layering. A reductionist, minimalist approach, so you end up with an item that is just perfect for what you need.

What are your favorite pieces in the collection?

Carma: The Felt Up Jacket. It’s like wearing an old leather jacket. It will shape to your body and your elbows. It’s the most high quality wool. You can have this piece for the rest of your life.

Peter: The Hokkaido Blazer. It is 3-layer technology done in a more familiar, blazer silhouette. It has waterproof zippers, access zip portals that get into inside pockets whether it be on the Checkmate Shirt or the Felt Over Sweater. I love how the pieces interact together.

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What are the most interesting design features?

We love how the pieces layer together, how the dimensions work with each other. The portal pockets on the men’s pieces. With the women’s pieces, there are some really cool forms, dimensions and scale that you can play around with. The hood on the Kimono Trench and the collar on the Butterfly Dress. The mix of fabrics, too. We love how everything can work in the outdoors as well as an urban setting.

Why did you choose the three hardgoods (spork, chopsticks and wine tumbler) to be the essentials?

These pieces really represent the mobile, minimalist approach to what you might have at a campsite, or if you go for a picnic at the bluffs. You could take them anywhere – surfing, hiking, friend’s house, your own backyard.

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If the collection had a motto, what would it be?

Less is more.

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Snow Peak x Nau – Fall ’14 Collaboration

Posted by Alison Wu | September 10th, 2014 | Filed under Design, Partnerships, Photography, Travel

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Introducing our exclusive fall collaboration with Snow Peak – Japanese maker of fine outdoor goods. This capsule collection blends the best of two distinct cultures – Japanese time-honored craftsmanship and American invocation. Together, we bring you a line of urban performance apparel and lifestyle essentials designed to travel with you. Modern, refined and focused on versatility. Shop the men’s collection, here, and the women’s collection, here.

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Adventure Awaits: 40 Feet Off the Ground

Posted by Alison Wu | July 31st, 2014 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, Photography, Travel
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Photo taken by Ethan Furniss.

Every summer we pack our down jackets, cameras and mountain bikes and head off to stay for a long weekend at one of the many historic fire lookouts available for rent all across the US. These restored lookouts, with their 360-degree views of the surrounding area, rustic amenities and rather secluded environments provide an intimate and awe-inspiring alternative to other sheltered camping. A weekend at a lookout is a few days in which to seek adventure, reflection and the rewarding satisfaction of time spent with nature. Want to try it out? Read along for some tips.

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Photo taken by Ethan Furniss.

1. Plan ahead. There are a plethora of fire lookouts to choose from all over the US and Canada (some in Australia too!). Not all are available for overnight stay, and ones that are fill up quickly! Make your summer or fall reservations early, and keep in mind that the rental window depends on the location of each lookout. Learn more about rentals in the US, here. Information on visiting international lookouts can be be found, here.

2. Pack a puffy. Although summer days up in a sunny fire lookout can get pretty hot, the nights can get wonderfully chilly. You may decide to take a night hike or ride, watch for shooting stars or take some long exposure shots of the night sky, so remember to pack appropriately. You will be happy to have your Nau M2 Beanie and Down Stole or Sweater when the temperature drops.

3. Remember water. Most fire lookouts are rustic to say the least. Accommodations can include electricity, beds/cots, wood burning stoves or ovens, but amenities depend on each lookout. Most do not have water nearby, so remember to pack as much water as you will need for the entire trip, including drinking water for people and dogs, as well as water for doing dishes and bathing.

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Photo taken by Epiphany Couch.

4. Read up on fire lookout history. Most lookouts come with rich histories of their time as proud symbols of forest conservation. Spend some time looking at the log books, maps and reading materials in the lookout. Many lookouts still have Osborne Fire Finders that were used to estimate the location of a fire seen in the distance. Additionally, the Forest Fire Lookout Association has compiled a wonderful collection of books on the topic. 5. Enjoy! Fire lookouts are a unique way to enjoy the outdoors. The panoramic views from a lookout can be truly breathtaking. Depending on where you decide to visit, activities can include hiking, biking, berry picking, birding, star gazing and swimming. A visit to a lookout is unlike any other camping experience – unique in the fact that high above the ground, swaying ever so slightly, one can find a quiet solitude that is often missing in our daily lives.

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Photo taken by Ethan Furniss.

Words by Epiphany Couch.

Work Hard, Play Hard: Desert Quest

Posted by Bryanna | July 29th, 2014 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, Personal Reflection, Photography, Travel, Who We Are

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Early this July, we had planned meetings with a few of our vendors in Park City. I joked with friends that I would go on a southern Utah vision quest before heading into a few days of line showings. The plan got put in place: three days, two nights and see where I end up. I’d have to say, it wasn’t a drug induced spiritual revolution, but it sure was an awesome three days in the sun.

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I made my way south to Torrey, Utah just outside of Capitol Reef National. I’d been through here on a past road trip and knew that I had to stop at Cafe Diablo, a local restaurant with stiff margaritas and a menu that changes nightly. I found a nice campground across the highway and rented a little cabin for the night, splurged on dinner and watched the super moon rise.

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I awoke the next morning and planned to get myself to Bryce Canyon, not without a few roadblocks along the way.

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The colors in southern Utah are what strike me the most. Often times I felt like I was driving through a distant planet, and the sight of water was incredible in such a stark, dry landscape. I threw on my suit and hiked up to this small waterfall for a dip. I watched an afternoon thunderstorm roll in and as the time between the flash of light and sound of thunder diminished, I decided I should make my way down the trail and back to the safety of the car.

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I reached Bryce Canyon National Park and found a tipi to rent for the night. The town of Bryce Canyon is interesting. I learned that one family owns all of the lodging and most of the restaurants at the entrance to the park. It felt more like the wild west theme of an amusement park than being in a national park. All the hotels had been fabricated to look like an old saloon or a barn; however, none of it could have been more than 20 years old.  I decided to leave my stuff and drive down all the roads that looked like they led to nowhere. I came out here to escape, not be hocked geodes from a man dressed like a gold miner.

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The next morning I had about a 6-hour drive back to Salt Lake. I wandered through the outskirts of Bryce Canyon, through all the farming communities and finally back on to I-15 – set towards civilization. With the dust of red rock covering both me and the car, I knew that the next two days of work would be just fine.

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Summer in the Utah Desert

Posted by Bryanna | June 24th, 2014 | Filed under Nau Events, Outdoor Sport, Personal Reflection, Photography, Travel, Who We Are

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The trials of working in any sales-based industry are the annual tradeshows. The largest trade show in the outdoor industry, Outdoor Retailer, happens twice a year nestled between the Wasatch front and the great Salt Lake. After a week under fluorescent lights of the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, we often need a few days of desert sun, spiritual searching, and a bit of team bonding.

This past August we snagged some of our favorite Spring 2014 looks, piled in Mark’s Defender and headed out for gear testing in the Capitol Reef National Park. We spent three days exploring through slot canyons, hiking up desert ridges and sleeping under the stars. The landscape in southern Utah is quite shocking compared to the Oregon wilderness we call home. Often times we felt like we ended up on the surface of a whole different planet. From the reddish hues of dirt to the almost pure desolation of life, we found ourselves ohhing and aahing around every turn of the landscape. Enjoy these images from our journey.

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Start-Off-The-Summer-Right Playlist

Posted by Alison Wu | June 17th, 2014 | Filed under Music, Travel, Who We Are

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Summer is almost here. It’s so close that we can hardly stand it. This Saturday to be exact. With summer comes backyard BBQing, music festivals, bike rides to the farmer’s market, floating the river, cold beers and tacos, and everything we love about life. We put this playlist together to get the summer started off right – a compilation of everyone here at Nau’s favorite songs for summer.

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First Stop: The Columbia Gorge

Posted by Alison Wu | March 27th, 2014 | Filed under Photography, Travel, Uncategorized

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been following Travel Oregon‘s guest Instagrammers on their adventures through the 7 Wonders of Oregon. Follow along as we recount the highlights from their travels and offer up some of our advice on where to go and what to do.
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The 7 Wonders of Oregon

Posted by Alison Wu | March 10th, 2014 | Filed under Travel, Who We Are

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There is no denying our love for Oregon.  We agree with our friends over at Travel Oregon: whoever named the 7 Wonders of the World must not have stepped foot in our home state. From the top of Mt. Hood, along the Coast, down the Columbia River Gorge, through the Painted Hills, up Smith Rock, across the Wallowas and around Crater Lake, The 7 Wonders of Oregon capture the magnificent diversity of this state’s landscape.

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The Escape Collective: Exploring the Other Side of Ordinary

Posted by leighann | January 15th, 2014 | Filed under Art, Design, Travel

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Four friends. Four days. No limits. What would you create? That’s what a group of friends had in mind when they set out to build a Geodesic dome. Two months later, their passion-fueled venture landed them a coveted spot at Summit, a Davos-meets-Ted conference for young thought leaders. Self-named the Escape Collective, this fledging group of makers, creators and designers are our third portrait in the Uncommoners—our blog series dedicated to exploring the other side of ordinary.

But this isn’t a story about how to build a 30-foot, low-frequency geodesic dome or how to sew a massive waterproof cover composed of 256 panels of unused material from Nike golf bags (yes, that did happen). This isn’t even a story about the Escape Collective and the other 800-or-so entrepreneurs, artists and leaders they joined at Summit’s newly acquired Powder Mountain Resort last July. No. This is a story about freedom, creativity, and the ideas born out of unencumbered space and time. Because as Einstein once said, “Creativity is the residue of time wasted.” And in a world punctuated by deadlines and deliverables, no one embraces this lost maxim more than The Escape Collective.

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The Cultivators: Farming with a Social Purpose

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photo by Giles Clement

In our next installment of The Uncommoners: Exploring the Other Side of Ordinary, Lindsey heads to Long Beach, Washington to get her hands dirty and learn what it means to farm with a Social Purpose.

When I accepted an invitation from Starvation Alley Farms to join their cranberry harvest last month, I didn’t know what to expect. Perhaps, an idyllic Ocean Spray commercial or another episode of Dirty Jobs. (Yes. Mike Rowe visited a cranberry farm.). But what I found was hard work, laughter, great cocktails and a deep sense of community with people who were passionate about food, family and local farming.

After a few cranberry cocktails, I sat down with farmers, Jessika Tantisook and Jared Oakes, to learn how this small family-run experiment expanded into a corporation with a unique uncommon product and an even more uncommon purpose.

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