I like to think that I’m not very high-maintenance, at least when it comes to material things. My clothes don’t cost too much, it only takes a few minutes for me to get ready in the morning, and I can be pretty satisfied with a plain ol’ PB and J at any time of day.All of that changes at bedtime. A lot goes into crafting my perfect night’s sleep. No one wants to be around the grouch that I so easily become when my energy levels crash. My home set-up is ideal: big comfy bed, big comfy pillows, two big comfy blankets. Notice a pattern?Those conditions don’t really translate to my outdoors interests, though. Camping and backpacking are all about minimalism and simplicity, which is easy for me until the sun sets. But I’m discovering that a few key items can make my tent experience much more pleasant, both for me and for my trail companions. Piece number one? A quality sleeping pad.The Double Z inflatable pad by Big Agnes hits the spot for me. After too many long hours rolling around on thin foam or cheaper inflatables that only hold air until 2 a.m., this pad finally gets me excited to hit the hay. It’s got everything I need, during both the day and the night. In my pack, I want something light and compact. The Double Z in the smallest size, 20″ x 72″, weighs in at just 1 pound and rolls into a small 4.5″ x 8.5″ stuff sack. Blow it up to full size, and you’ve got 4 thick, luxurious inches of camping comfort to rest on.While this pad isn’t self-inflating, it does include a helpful two-piece air valve that makes it easy to blow up manually and swiftly deflate. The smaller piece allows for one-way inflation, so the pad will hold air as you blow it in without needing to cover the valve between breaths. The bigger valve then allows that air to make a quick exit for fast packing. The Double Z’s construction also assures that the air distributes evenly throughout the pad, no matter how you like to sleep. Side-sleepers like myself don’t have to worry about hip bruises or pressure points.One caveat to keep in mind for the Double Z, however, is that its high volume and low weight means sacrificing warmth. Big Agnes gives it an R-value of 1.5 on a scale from 1 to 9, so it’s only minimally insulated and won’t offer too much protection on chilly nights. This makes it perfect when temperatures are high enough to heat up the ground, or for car and cabin camping. In a pinch, sticking a blanket or towel under the pad should help, but cold-weather campers will likely prefer a more highly insulated option.All in all, the Double Z pad from Big Agnes is a great choice for campers simply looking for a little extra ease and comfort in warmer climates or months. The pad’s light weight, small packing size, double valve, thick padding, and even air distribution add up to create a worthy tool on the trail and in the tent throughout the spring and summer.MSRP $80 – $110, www.bigagnes.com
Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman has said multiple times that his goal in the ACC is to protect home court and take some games on the road. He said if that if he can do that, the Orange will be be a tournament team this season.And with Sunday’s 27-point win over Boston College, just three days after its program-record 17th-straight home win Thursday night against Pittsburgh, Hillsman is staying true to his word.No. 24 Syracuse (17-7, 8-3 Atlantic Coast) smashed Boston College (8-16, 1-10), 72-45, Sunday afternoon at the Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass. It was SU’s third-straight win, and ties the Orange with No. 15 Duke for second place in the ACC, behind No. 6 Florida State and No. 7 Notre Dame, which both sit at 9-1 in conference play.“Our kids played really hard today, we played with a lot of effort,” Hillsman said. “And that was the game for us, we had to come out here and play hard.”Senior guard Alexis Peterson led the Orange attack, notching 26 points for her record 44th-straight game with double-digit scoring. She also added eight rebounds, eight assists and six steals.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBrittney Sykes tallied 18 points alongside Peterson, becoming the fourth-leading scorer in program history with 1,673 career points.“We’re in good shape, we’ve got players scoring the basketball, playing down hill, playing in the paint playing at the rim,” Hillsman said. “And that’s a major key for us, to be in attack mode all the time.”Julia Chandler scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, a career-high in 3-point shots attempted for the sophomore.Chandler has struggled with scoring this season, averaging just 3.1 points per game. But her season-high 12 on Sunday matched her mark from Nov. 27 against DePaul, and added her to the list of four Orange players in double digits.“We ran some sets with her to get her the ball early, and she did a really good job of knocking down some shots,” Hillsman said of Chandler. “When she does that, she can help us, and I’m really happy for her that she shot the ball with confidence.”The Orange defense held the Eagles starters to just 22 points in Sunday’s contest, allowing less than 50 total points for the fourth time this season. The Eagles also totaled 16 turnovers, and were outrebounded by the Orange, 26 to 44.Georgia Pineau led the Eagles with 14 points off the bench, shooting 4-of-11 from the field and adding a perfect six-for-six free throw showing. No other BC player scored in double digits, and the Eagles’ offense shot a combined 3-for-12 from beyond the arc.“(Our goal) was to not give up open threes,” Hillsman said. “We sped the game up, and we were able to guard them. I thought that we just did a really good job of getting matched up early, and run the shot clock.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 5, 2017 at 5:25 pm Contact Matt: [email protected]
Black Stars Captain, Andre Dede Ayew , scored his sixteenth goal of the season to seal victory for his Swansea side at the Liberty stadium against Sheffield Wednesday.Ayew, who has been very impressive for the Welsh side, once again scored in a win that could prove decisive in the Swans’ race for the Championship playoffs.Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster put Swansea in front from close range in the 52nd minute, before Ayew doubled their lead with a penalty in the 66th minute, after Connor Roberts was wrestled to the ground by Adam Reach.Atdhe Nuhiu headed in an injury-time consolation goal for Sheffield Wednesday.Steve Cooper’s side are now eighth in the Championship and back within four points of the play-off places with five matches left this season.
This year’s Juneteenth celebration will run the gamut — from music, dancing and a bouncy house for children to serious conversation about ending systemic racism in our community and around the world.The annual event, sponsored by the NAACP Vancouver, is set for 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Foster and Hanna Hall at Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way in Vancouver.The YWCA Clark County will begin the day by honoring two Vancouver residents for leadership in working toward the elimination of racism and the promotion of peace and justice with its annual Val Joshua Racial Justice Award and Youth Social Justice Award. After that, a 2 p.m. WorkSource job fair will spotlight local, livable-wage jobs. The day winds up with a 4 p.m. panel discussion about ending and erasing systemic racism, entitled, “Where do we go from here?” and featuring community organizers and officials from Clark County, the city of Vancouver, Vancouver police and the Vancouver and Evergreen school districts.That’s all serious and important stuff, but plenty of fun is on the schedule, too: crafts and games for children including face painting and that bouncy house; free hot dogs and hamburgers for the first 75 kids; contests to choose the best NAACP T-shirt design and “Grandma’s Best Pie”; and music and dancing by Portland’s Groovin’ Highsteppers.Freedom DayWhat is “Juneteenth”? Also known as African American Freedom Day, it’s a mash-up of “June 19th,” the date in 1865 when the last slaves in America were freed. That was in Galveston, Texas, and two-and-a-half long years after President Abraham Lincoln signed his Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves throughout the Confederacy. It was also months after the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution banned slavery throughout the nation, and months after the Civil War officially ended.