Outdoor adventure with flashlights

Outdoor adventure with flashlights

If you have ever been to the Pacific Northwest, then you know just how much beauty there is to see. Whether you are camping, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing and so much more, the Pacific Northwest is full of so much beauty and I am still fascinated by all the new things it has to offer. Next, I'll share some stories of my outdoor adventures with my family.


Yellowbottom


Camping 


Outdoor life, outdoor flashlight


Ever since I was a little kid, my family has always been an outdoor adventuring kind of family. We went camping multiple times throughout the year. One of the best places I remember going to the most is called Yellowbottom. Now, there is an actual recreation site you can pay to camp at, that has bathrooms and picnic tables, and a place for your tent. But one of the best things about the Yellowbottom area is that once you make it up the mountain past a certain point (17 Miles) you can camp anywhere alongside the road. In fact, they have fire rings set up in big turnouts and there are large areas that make really nice spots to set up camp. Once you go up about 30 miles, you come to some really nice more secluded campsites that are large enough and in the woods for multiple families to post up. Although we have stayed almost everywhere on that mountain, the large family site must be one of my favorite spots.


The road up the mountain follows the middle Santiam river, which is not only full of fish but is very clear and wonderful to swim in. Just down the road from the campsite is a trail off the road that leads to an incredible swimming hole. The beach area is perfectly set up for everyone to get some shade or sun. The water has this huge cliffside rock and a giant boulder sitting in the middle of the river that you can jump off into the water. It must be 40+ ft deep in some places and then gradually comes to about 3 ft or less in others, which is really nice for the kids. one of the challenges of getting down to the swimming hole is carrying all your stuff. It's not a very far walk but it's up a very steep incline and can be a challenge with lots of stuff.


I usually always have my Perun Mini headlamp on my when we go. It's super handy when it comes to having to hold all your stuff but still needs to see. The trail is through dense trees and shrubbery, so when it gets late or it's early in the morning, it can be dark on the trail. The Perun Mini is one of my all-time favorite lights for camping. Super compact and with the option of having it as an EDC flashlight just makes it super convenient.


Headlamp, EDC flashlight


looking for gold


Yellowbottom got its name from the gold you can find in the river. Although a lot of the old mines aren’t used as much today, there are still active claims up on the mountain. Zinc, Lead, Silver, and Gold, are all very common minerals that people would mine for. We love to take our sluice box and gold pans up and let the kids dig and pan for gold. It's incredible that you can find gold in still to this day. I can only imagine how much is just sitting underneath your feet.


Oregon


Rock Hounding


Rock Hounding, outdoor life


I try to take my family to new places as much as possible as we love to explore and find new adventures. We love rock hounding, especially in Oregon where there are so many places to find some awesome rocks. Last year I took my family to the Polka dot Agate mine in central Oregon. They have huge mines where you can go and dig up geodes and thunder eggs straight from the earth. It's an incredible experience and eastern Oregon has so much to offer when it comes to rock hounding. I love bringing my I5UV EOS small flashlight with us when we go, as any mineral that fluoresces under the UV light will glow bright and stand out. It really makes prospecting just that much more fun, especially for the kids.


You can never have too much light when rock hounding. Rocks can be all different shapes and sizes and being able to see them is especially important. My kids always wear their Perun Minis, but my wife and I usually boast the Warrior Mini 2. It is a little bigger. The Sheer brightness makes up for that though, it really lights up the ground and allows us to find some really awesome rocks.


Mushroom hunting


Mushroom hunting, outdoor life


More recently my family and I have been Mushroom hunting. It’s a really big deal in the Pacific Northwest, and it can be pretty competitive. But the best part about it is that it’s purely going up in the mountains and exploring. Just driving for hours on old logging roads and being up in the areas that no one really goes to. Being close to nature and harvesting food that is all-natural is just an amazing feeling. Like we always do though, we bring our Perun Mini. Headlamps are just a must when you need to use both hands. But when we are mushroom hunting, depending on the type, they can be extremely hard to see, especially when they are super small and blend in. We have recently been exploring the mountains around Detroit, OR. A couple of years ago it was hit by one of the worst wildfires in our history burning hundreds of thousands of acres of forests. It's one of the main reasons that the type of mushroom we hunt for grows in this area.


Freshly burnt forests are where Morel mushrooms love to thrive. But it also means they blend in and look exactly like the ground or their surroundings. Which is all the more important to bring good light. That’s why I love to bring the Marauder 2 powerful brightest flashlight with me. At 14000 lumens, you can’t miss anything in front of you. Great for keeping an eye on the kids as well as deterring any unforgiving wildlife that may be lurking and interested in what we are up to.


Beach


Outdoor life, beautiful beach


We live in the Willamette Valley, which is more on the west coast of Oregon. It’s really one of the best places to live as it's only an hour away from the mountain snow, going camping, or an hour away to the beach. Oregon has some of the most stunning beaches and some say that the Oregon Coast is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With 363 miles of coastline, there are endless opportunities to look for beautiful agates, catch crabs, watch for whales, or visit the sea lions. Putting your feet in the sand just makes you feel so refreshed. Our family loves going to the beach. We usually go get fresh fish and chips and go rockhound to find some incredible agates. This is also where I love bringing along my I5UV EOS, as there are not just rocks and agates that fluoresce, but wildlife as well. Starfish and crabs can light up in the dark and sometimes at night are the best time to find them.


With so many amazing things to do on the coast, it's hard just to pick a few. I’m always a little hesitant to bring my nice flashlights out onto the beach. We usually start a fire and sit out and roast marshmallows on the fire. Sand can get everywhere, no matter what you do, and I always worry it will ruin my lights. However, I haven’t found any of my lights with excess sand in them yet. The fact that they are IPX8 waterproof really makes it nice to just rinse them with the hose when I get home and cleans them right off.


The adventure continues


The Pacific Northwest has some of the most iconic and beautiful places to adventure and see. From the coastline to the mountains, or natural hot springs to the rivers. It seems as though you can get pretty much anything you want just in one area. My family and I love to explore and adventure and Oregon just has so much to offer.


I always keep my Olights on me or in my car no matter what the adventure is, and because there are so many to choose from. You never know when you're going to need light. The robust build quality and convenient wireless charging just make taking these lights anywhere really easy. I think about how far flashlights have come and how we used to use these old fluorescent bulbs, flashlights have just come so far that they make the everyday adventure just so much more enjoyable. The peace of mind my family has when we go out and adventure is why I love the outdoor life.

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William Bender

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Posted on: Jun 08, 2022, 09:45:26

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