Saturday, June 02, 2012
Looking for a Tent?

Looking for a tent? Let us offer you some helpful hint to make your shopping experience easier. After all you want to stay dry and keep those pesky bugs out as much as possible. Hopefully after reading through this information you will be able to make a better decision on what you need.

First you want to choose the tent that suits your style. It is important to determine what your needs are. Ask yourself some simple questions. Are you going to be using this tent for backpacking or family camping? How many people would you like to sleep in it? What is the climate and conditions in your area? For a backpacking tent you want to minimize weight as much as possible without sacrificing safety or comfort. In dry conditions a tent with mesh for it to breath can be a great choice as they are light and do not take up much space on your pack. In wet and colder conditions a tent with less mesh is more suitable. If you are not concerned with weight you will find numerous tents that are very good for family camping that are more spacious.

There are many types of tents that you can choose from. There are shelters and bivy sacks that are designed for the minimalist. These are great for someone who camps solo and is looking for the lightest weight possible. 3-season tents are by far the most popular tents you will find on the market. 3-season tents are great in mild conditions and give great ventilation as well as keep the rain off when set up with the rain fly. For harsher conditions the 4-season tent is the best choice. 4-season tents are designed to withstand high winds and snowy conditions.

Depending on your needs you can look for some features in tents that will make your experience a better one. Some of these features include, vestibules for extra space to keep your gear dry outside the tent, dual doors to make things easier getting in and out for two people, and gear nets and pockets that can hold things that you may need to easily access during the night. It is also recommended to get a footprint for your tent. Many manufacturers custom make these specifically to fit a style of tent. Footprints will protect against wear and tear on your tent. Make sure that if you decide to get a footprint that you get the proper one for your tent. While generic ground cloths will work to protect against debris a specific one will protect against catching water that can seep under your tent and can work its way through even the tiniest seam or hole.

Once you have selected a tent it is important to set up the tent properly. It is recommended to set up your new tent at home in your yard before taking it out. This will help you get accustomed to setting it up faster should you be out and have to set up quickly if it is raining and make it easier should you have to set up in the dark. A few things when setting up your tent you should make sure you do. Make sure that the tent is completely staked out on as flat and debris free area as you can find. When putting on the rain fly you will need to make sure that all the guy lines are secured and staked out. Sometimes if necessary you can tie the guy lines off to a tree or rock. It is important the the tent is taunt. This will ensure proper ventilation and help prevent condensation build up inside the tent.

It is important to care for your tent properly. After you return from you adventure you will want to take the tent an fly out of the storage back and hang them up to dry them out. This will help prevent mildew. While you are drying it out it is also important to clean out any dirt and debris that may have made its way inside of the tent. This will protect the fabric from wear and tear.

Hopefully this will help you when considering a new tent. The most important thing you can do is optimize for fun and not have to worry about the gear.

If you would like to ask any additional questions about an existing tent that you have or one that you are considering you can leave a comment below.

-Travis (Montana Camper)


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Categories: Gear Report


Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Packin' it in!

                                                                                                                                                                   

If your need for adventure takes you out into the wilderness for only hours or for days a good backpack is something that is essential.  Making sure that you have enough room in the pack for all the gear that you intend on taking with you is also important.  Backpacks come in variety of sizes.  They range from your everyday day-pack to a very sturdy heavy-duty multi-day pack.  Finding the correct size for your body can be very confusing when looking for the correct pack for you.  Here is a detailed way to find the exact sizing that you will need for a comfortable fit:
 
With the right fit, you and your pack can become the best of buddies on short or long hauls. Here is how pack-fitting experts make sure you get into the right pack.

1. Measure Your Torso Length. This is key: Your torso length, not your height, determines your pack size. Here's how to measure it:

    * With the help of a friend, locate the bony bump at the base of your neck. This is where the slope of your shoulder meets your neck, also known as the seventh vertebra. Tilt your head forward to locate it more easily.
    * Using a flexible tape measure, have your friend start measuring at that spot down your spine, following the curves of your back.
    * Place your hands on your hips to feel your iliac crest, the twin pointy protrusions on the front of your hips. Position your hands so your thumbs are reaching behind you.
    * Finish measuring at the point where the tape crosses an imaginary line between your thumbs. This distance is your torso length.

2. Measure Your Hips

While less critical than torso length, this is helpful if you're considering a pack that offers multiple sizes or interchangeable hipbelts. To measure, take your tape measure and wrap it around the tops of your hips. This is the "latitude line" where you can feel your iliac crest, the two pointy bones on the front of your hips. A properly positioned hipbelt will straddle your iliac crest at this line.

3. Find the Pack's Measurements

When shopping for a pack on Bobwards.com you can find the torso length and hip measurement info as part of each product's description. To compare multiple packs at once, type "packs" into the search box and then check the compare box on as many models as you are interested in. Click on the compare button to create your own comparison chart. Note: If a pack comes in multiple sizes, you'll need to go to that pack's page to get the specifics on each size.

Once you have decided on a pack the next important step is to make sure that it is loaded properly. The way that you load a pack can greatly influence the fit and comfort of the pack. When you load your pack just keep these simple rules in mind:

1. Stow light weight object at the bottom. Sleeping bag is the most common item.

2. Stow heavy objects in the middle of the pack

3. Lightest objects should be on the outside

4. Medium to heavy objects against the back.

Here is a graphic from our friends at The North Face that helps illustrate proper loading of your pack:

                                                

We recommend that you take some time to practice loading your pack at home and walking around with it before you venture out. Doing this will help ensure that you are getting the most out of your pack and not fussing with it on the trail.

Take the time, do your research, and find the pack that works best for what you need.

-Jessica (Bob Ward's Pack Expert)


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Categories: Gear Report


Friday, September 16, 2011
Hawk makes rare appearance at Metcalf refuge

- By Perry Backus of the Ravalli Republic

STEVENSVILLE - Birdwatcher extraordinaire Wayne Tree came to the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday bearing exciting news.

Atop a power pole just south of refuge headquarters, he had spotted a young ferruginous hawk.

"They are just not something that you expect to see here," said Bob Danley, the refuge's outdoor recreation planner.

As far as Danley can tell, there has never been a documented sighting of a ferruginous hawk at the refuge...

FULL STORY
Categories: Articles


Thursday, August 11, 2011
Waterton’s Crypt Lake hike, a test of nerves

- By Pierre LaBossiere of the Missoulian

WATERTON LAKES - A boat, a cliff, a ladder, a tunnel, a cable, snow and finally, an icy lake.

The Crypt Lake hike is one of the most unique backcountry experiences you'll ever have, and it lies just across the Canadian border in Waterton Lakes National Park. It climbs about 2,200 feet up a canyon in only 5 miles and ends at a spectacular cirque at 6,400 feet. There's one way and one way only to get to the trailhead - by boat. (Unless you really want to walk about 25 miles from the Chief Mountain Parkway.)

You take a little passenger boat across Waterton Lake to get to the Crypt Lake dock. You can either take boats at 9 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. and can come back at either 4 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. Those are your only choices. It guarantees that there will never be a lot of people on the trail...

FULL STORY


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Categories: Articles


Friday, May 27, 2011
Western Montana Fishing Tips


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Categories: Video Blog


Thursday, May 26, 2011
Family and Car Camping

Bob Ward & Sons - Camping Tips from Hookem Productions on Vimeo.

Justin, your Camping Expert at Bob Wards explains how to pick the perfect tent, what sleeping bag to look for, and we also take a look at reserving Montana camping spots online.


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Categories: Video Blog


Monday, April 18, 2011
Flathead hatchery aims to revive westslope cutthroat trout

- By Tristan Scott of the Missoulian

KALISPELL - Montana's state fish is getting new digs that could help preserve the future of the dwindling species.

Wild populations of westslope cutthroat trout have been devastated by decades of habitat loss and more than a century of interbreeding with non-native species. The native trout now occupy just 9 percent of their historic range and have lost much of their genetic diversity.

But researchers are hopeful that the renovation of an experimental conservation hatchery in the Flathead River basin will aid in the recovery of the species by allowing them to introduce wild populations of genetically pure cutthroat into the drainage...

FULL STORY
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Columbia Omni-Heat

Omni-Heat® is the ultimate body heat management system for the outdoors. From technical base layer garments to advanced electronics, Omni-Heat® ensures you stay warm and comfortable in cold conditions. Omni-Heat® products help you counter the cold anywhere and everywhere.


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Categories: Columbia Technologies


Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Columbia Blood and Guts

Omni-Shield delivers protection from the outdoors where you least expect it but need it most. This coated fabric resists all liquids below 170º F from absorbing into the yarns and staining the garment (without any effect on the feel of the material). The fabric itself will also dry 3-5 times faster than untreated fabric, without holding moisture like a conventional fabric, meaning it stays lighter even when its wet.


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Categories: Columbia Technologies


Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Columbia Omni-Tech

Columbia Sportswear's Omni-Tech® products provide premium waterproof and breathable protection by keeping outside elements from getting in, while still allowing moisture vapors to move away from the skin. Microporous membranes keep water from penetrating the fabric yet allow perspiration to escape, so you stay dry.


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Categories: Columbia Technologies


Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Columbia Omni-Wick

This thermal transfer technology disperses body heat, keeping you significantly cooler in hot weather. Omni-Freeze® keeps you cool so you can stay out longer. Specially shaped fibers facilitate the escape of body heat during warm weather or active outdoor adventures.


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Categories: Columbia Technologies


Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Columbia Omni-Grip

Omni-Grip® provides the right grip for every environment. We designed advanced traction solutions for the trail, hiking, winter, and water in order to ensure outdoor stability, no matter where your adventures take you. Multidirectional digging zones in our trail footwear promote scrambling and acceleration. A dual-zone winter tread pattern ensures solid footing on packed snow or ice and soft, slushy snow or powder.


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Categories: Columbia Technologies


Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Columbia Omni-Shield

Omni-Shield delivers protection from the outdoors where you least expect it but need it most. This coated fabric resists all liquids below 170º F from absorbing into the yarns and staining the garment (without any effect on the feel of the material). The fabric itself will also dry 3-5 times faster than untreated fabric, without holding moisture like a conventional fabric, meaning it stays lighter even when its wet.


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Categories: Columbia Technologies


Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Columbia Omni-Shade

Columbia Sportswear's Omni-Shade® clothing protects you from damaging UV radiation by blocking the majority of the sun's harmful rays, so you can stay out longer. Omni-Shade blocks Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays (UVA and UVB), helping to prevent sun burn and long-term skin damage through tight weave construction, UV reflectors, and UV absorbing technology.


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Categories: Columbia Technologies


Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Columbia Omni-Freeze

Omni-Freeze® consists of specially shaped flat yarns that facilitate the release of heat, and feel cooler to the touch, during warm weather and active outdoor adventures. The specifically shaped yarns, when woven or knit together, create Omni-Freeze, which transfers heat from a surface at a faster rate than traditional fabric. The Omni-Freeze flat yarns increase the surface area of the fabric that contacts your bare skin, which transmits heat faster and feels cooler to the touch.


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Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Columbia Omni-Dry

Designed to keep you dry during highly physical activity, whatever the weather. This extremely air permeable waterproof fabric transfers the moisture vapors you generate out of the garment at an extremely high rate for a waterproof fabric, while still retaining its wind blocking properties and shedding the elements in the worst of conditions. Omni-Dry is the ultimate in waterproof technology for the outdoors.


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Thursday, March 10, 2011
25 things we love about spring skiing

- By the Missoulian

Raise your mittens if you love sunshine! Peeling off a few of those wintertime layers? Good deals? A warm breeze? Going downhill fast?

We knew it! You love spring skiing. And so do we.

This past week, we put our collective ski caps together and conjured up all that we love about spring skiing. It was so much fun, we're going to make it an annual event. Kind of like couch races on the last day of ski season - without the crashes!

And so we present 25 things we love about spring skiing.

1. Ski in the morning, golf in the afternoon!

2. Ski in the morning, fish in the afternoon!

3. Goggle tans... FULL STORY


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Categories: ARTICLES


Friday, March 04, 2011
Lookout Pass receives most snow on planet

- By Chelsi Moy of the Missoulian

Sure, Lookout Pass received the most snow on the planet last week. But was it the most in the universe? That's what one person on Facebook wanted to know.

"Yeah, we'll go with that," said Bill Dire Jr., Lookout's marketing director.

Lookout Pass received more snow in one week than most people are tall: 6.5 feet. And most of that fell between Sunday and Tuesday, with Monday recording 27 inches of snow in 24 hours.

"Some areas will get 4 to 5 feet of snow overnight," Dire said. "For us, this is pretty unusual for this short of a time period."

On Tuesday morning... FULL STORY


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Monday, February 28, 2011
All Tied Up!

So I was sitting here looking at the snow outside and thinking to myself, " I am so missing the river right now, when is this weather going to stop!" Fortunately for me there is plenty to do before the weather breaks. Given some of my adventures on the river last year I have plenty of flies to replace.

 

During the dark cold nights of winter I have been feverishly tying bugs to be stocked up and ready for the spring and summer. The plan is to have enough that I can spend my free time this fishing season on the river rather than sitting home tying flies. Of course if I run out I can take the lazy way out and just buy some new ones. Over the last few weeks I have been stocking up on my nymphs, as they tend to be the best choice at the beginning of the season. I have been tying san juans, rubber legs, prince nymphs, and hairs ear nymphs. Can never have enough of the good old tried and true standbys. I am learning a few new patterns to add to my arsenal. Just went down to the shop and picked up some more materials to tie some more exotic flies. I think I better get myself a good desk to tie on rather than the kitchen table. Storage is quickly becoming a concern. Later this week I will start to work on the dry flies.

 

It has been a while since I have tied my own flies so I have enlisted the help of an old friend to guide me through some techniques that I either forgot or did not pay close enough attention when I was learning to tie. He has been an invaluable resource for me. It also makes him happy that I wont be hassling him for flies and then losing his on the river. You know that saying, "It's like riding a bike." Well that has definitely not been the case for me. It has taken a while for me to get the whip finish mastered again. Hope my flies don’t unravel when they hit the water, if so my buddy always has flies!

 

Travis (Montana Native)


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Categories: Fish On!


Thursday, February 24, 2011
Good Ol' Days!

One of my true passions in life is fly-fishing. Growing up in Montana, it kind of goes with the territory.

 

I grew up in Southwestern Montana where during the summer my family would head down to the Big Hole River to camp and fish. Each weekend my little brother and I would jump into the back of the truck bed camper. We used to ride on the bed above the cab of the truck. My brother and I would play games and watch for wildlife as my parents were driving down the road. Probably not the safest way to travel but it made for some good memories. It is about 40 miles from my hometown to the Big Hole River.

 

While at the Big Hole there was plenty to do. My brother and I would go with my Mom and catch snakes and frogs while my dad was out fishing. We were too little at the time and did not have enough of an attention span to fish the larger waters of the river. During the day when the fishing was slow we would hop in the truck and go to a near by field to get some gopher hunting in. We had lever, single pump action BB guns, a lot like the Red Rider in the movie “A Christmas Story.” Unfortunately we never did any good. Dad always did well though. It was not until later on in years that we discovered that the BBs were just bouncing off the gophers. That’s when we told our father that we needed a little more fire power. Our favorite thing to do though was go fishing with dad. We grew up in the 70’s so there was not much in the way of fly fishing rods for kids. My dad made us rods using nothing more than a wood dowel and a piece of fly line. Now for some reason my brother and I did not catch many fish. Really though we did not care as long as we were out with dad. Little did we know that those jerry-rigged rods would polish our technique till we were big enough to handle the real thing.

 

Older now my brother and I have moved out of the nest on our own. He lives in Northeast Montana and I found my way to Missoula Montana. We like to think we are wiser now and have honed our skills as fisherman. Unfortunately every day on the river presents a new challenge. I have been living in Missoula for quite some time now and have grown to love the local rivers around the area.

 

The local rivers here are teaming with a multitude of different species fish to catch. Plenty of Rainbow, Brown, Cutthroat, and more! We also have those pesky White fish. Not the best to eat but they sure are fun to catch. Did I mention how ugly they are? Locally we have some great rivers to fish. There is the Bitterroot River, which is a local favorite for fisherman. It stretches south of Missoula. There are plenty of good stretches to wade fish, but if you want to see the true beauty of the river you definitely need to float it. The Bitterroot flows into the Clark Fork River. The Clark Fork is an outstanding river to fish at certain times of the year. In the spring it can get very high due to run-off. Another river that flows into the Clark Fork is the Blackfoot River. The Blackfoot River is an outstanding river. Made famous by Norman Maclean’s “ A River Runs Through it.” It is a little farther drive to get to the good water of the Blackfoot but definitely worth the travel.

 

Today I seek new adventures on the river and will be sharing them with you through this blog. There’s nothing like a good fish story. Dad gave me the fundamentals to find my passion and to this day we still make a trip to the Big Hole where it all began. Thanks Dad!

 

Travis (Montana Native)

 


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Categories: Fish On!


Friday, February 18, 2011
West Central Montana Avalanche Center expects moderate danger for weekend

- By Rob Chaney of the Missoulian

The recent warm weather wasn't that bad. The snowfall was actually good. It's the wind that has western Montana avalanche watchers worried.

"It's kind of a tricky snowpack right now," said Steve Karkanen of the West Central Montana Avalanche Center. "There've been a lot of wind slabs that developed in last few days. They can be very strong, but once you reach that point where they fail, they fail catastrophically. They're difficult to get out of and kind of large."

Snowbowl's Point Six wind meter measured top speeds of 70 mph Wednesday as a storm scoured the area's north and west slopes, depositing much of the new snow on the eastern and southeastern aspects. In the Rattlesnake Wilderness where Karkanen was testing snow pits Thursday, the fresh powder was knee-deep.

Ski resorts around Missoula were reporting new snow, including 8 inches... FULL STORY


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Thursday, February 17, 2011
Welcome to Bob Ward's Blog!

Often it’s not until we step outside that our senses begin to wake up, and if we sit outside long enough, the world begins to come to life. Backpacking through wilderness where it seems only the animals have been. Climbing a rock wall carved out from streams and glaciers. Fishing a lake or stream at that magic hour and finding that moment of calm. Skiing down a slope with the grace and speed of  a red tailed hawk frees us to become peaceful and recharged with a vigor that elates the soul.

 

Our motto at BobWards.com is Everything Outdoors, Montana Style. All of us here are passionate about the outdoors. Our knowledgeable staff not only works hard but they also play hard. From Hunting to Fishing, Skiing to Snowboarding, Camping to Golf.... we gear up and then we get out.

 

This blog is dedicated to the passion that we all have for the outdoors. Here you will find stories and images of the great outdoors as experienced by our team. Articles that we find interesting and want to share with you, our customer. Results from our own personal product testing and ideas for you that will help make your next outdoor experience a better one.

 

We are happy to call Montana our home. Whether we are out hiking in Glacier National Park, exploring Yellowstone Park, or just outside of our local hometown, nature is calling out to us to come and enjoy the mountains, lakes, streams, and rivers.

 

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart. – Helen Keller

 


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Categories: Welcome


Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Mount Jumbo elk herd nearly doubles thanks to conservation efforts

- By Rob Chaney of the Missoulian

The elk aren't just showing up more often around the summit of Mount Jumbo lately - there are more of them.

A good snow year has made Missoula's resident elk herd much easier to spot this winter. And recent surveys confirm the herd has nearly doubled from just a few years ago. While about 50 elk once used Mount Jumbo as winter range, biologists now count more than 90 animals.

"People have been really excited to see the elk this year," said Morgan Valliant, the city's conservation lands manager. "That wouldn't be possible without the closure."

Mount Jumbo's popular hiking trails are closed to the public from Dec. 1 until March 15 for the main mountain, with a longer closure until May 1 for the northern saddle. That gives the elk privacy to graze on the open grasslands along the mountaintop. They've been taking regular advantage of the opportunity, coming out of the trees around sunrise for morning feeding and often again in late afternoon.

In addition to lowering stress on pregnant cows...FULL STORY


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Columbia Insect Blocker

Insect Blocker is a revolutionary new defense in the battle against bugs. Using a synthetic version of a natural repellent found in certain types of flowers, it offers safe, odorless protection that is integrated directly into clothing. It’s so tightly bonded to fabric fibers that it retains its effectiveness for up to 70 washings and six months of constant exposure to sun and rain. Insect Blocker is built to keep mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting insects at bay, letting you enjoy the Greater Outdoors in peace.


Categories: Columbia Technologies