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You are currently browsing the Icebreaker blog archives for October, 2011.

Gear to Grow – Calling all Poles!

Gear to Grow is a great organisation in the US that supports getting people involved in outdoor recreation – exactly what we love here at Icebreaker, which is why we support them with product donations.

They are currently “Calling All Poles” – a campaign aimed to collect gently used or surplus tent poles from retailers, manufacturers, and the general public. The campaign seeks to outfit more than 70 of Gear to Grow’s beneficiary groups across the country with full tent sets.

After recently receiving a generous donation of tents that did not include poles, Gear to Grow have reached out to retailers across the US to serve as official collection sites for the “Calling All Poles” tent pole drive. Those interested in donating may drop off poles at participating retail locations, ship poles directly to the Gear to Grow warehouse, or provide a monetary donation of $10 securely through Gear to Grow’s web site that will be used to purchase new pole sets.

“With this generous donation comes a great opportunity for our program and our beneficiary groups,” said JT VonLunen, co-founder of Gear to Grow. “Through this campaign, not only will we be recycling and reusing tent poles, we’ll help give people the resources to get outdoors.”

The “Calling All Poles” campaign will be open for 60 days from 3 October. Gear to Grow requests pole sets that are either 13′ 6’’ long or between 11.5 and 12 feet. For more information on participating retail locations, please visit or find Gear to Grow on Facebook at To ship directly to Gear to Grow, please send shipping inquiries to

So anyone in the US, who can help – go, hunt out those poles!


Woolly Kiwi Skateboarder in the Record Books

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People told me it would be near impossible to travel by skateboard, carrying all my travel gear in my backpack. 1.5 years and 12,159km later, I had not only proved them wrong, I was also a Guinness World Record holder; for the longest journey by skateboard (as seen in the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records).

The journey started in 2006; to cycle 12,000km from Japan to England was the plan. Somewhere in the depths of Central Asia, however, I got the idea stuck in my head that travelling by skateboard would be not only more unique, but also potentially more convenient; my daily budget was around $5 a day, and wild camping with a bike was a hassle at times.

I made it to Switzerland on my bike, and there I switched to the longboard and never looked back. The remaining 1,500km from Switzerland to England was awesome; smooth separated cycleways along the scenic Rhine river. Keen for more adventure, I headed to the US (crossing the Atlantic as crew on a sailboat) to skate across that continent.

I broke the Guinness World Record half-way across the US, but still hungered for more. No one had ever skateboarded across China, so that, along with the knowledge that it was home to plenty of fresh new tarmac, made it the obvious choice. China did not disappoint; 5,000km of the most buttery, divine pavement on earth, wild deserts, high passes, and diversity of culture made it the highlight of the trip.

All up, I travelled a shade over 25,000km over 2.5 years before arriving back home in New Zealand. I bought my first set of Icebreaker garments for the original bike trip (GT320 zip top, 280 weight midlayer, and a few sets of 200 and 150 weight base layers), and they managed to last me those 2.5 years of abuse and sweat and heat and frigid cold. 21 days without washing was my record for anti-hygiene, and the Icebreaker merino-wool goodness lived up to the hype. Thanks Icebreaker for your commitment to great design and functionality.

- Rob Thomson (, Guinness World Record Holder and Icebreaker fan.

100 miles at 10,000 feet high – what a journey!

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“Everywhere there is an adventure athlete waiting to challenge the elements and push their body and their equipment to the extreme”.

Olympic mountain bike champion Bart Brentjens  stated after this years Leadville 100 mountain bike race, “This is the hardest one-day race that I have ever ridden in my whole career.”

At  6:30 am August  13th 2011, 1900 people crowded the main street of Leadville, Colorado, which at 3,100 metres is the highest incorporated city in North America, for the infamous Leadville 100 race. This race has pushed Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong to the limit and led ordinary people into realms of physical discovery they had never dreamed of, this is truly one epic bike race.

Two of the biggest factors for finishing this race is 1st, your fitness level, and 2nd your equipment and nutrition. I can’t thank Icebreaker enough. With a time of 11 hours and 4 min, I sat in the Icebreaker bib shorts for a very long time! The temperature ranged from 1 degree celsius to 30 degree celsius in that time and without proper shorts it can be a very unpleasent experience and really get in the way of your mental focus.

The Icebreaker bib shorts kept me warm when they needed to, and they breathed for me when I was at the 80 km mark at 3780 metres high with the sun pouring down on me as I climbed a mountain. I won’t ride without them.

- Blake Wood, Icebreaker Ambassador