Ibex Ambassadors, OSOM present: Search for the Perfect Day

In 2013, our team of three kayakers, including Chris Bensch, Shay Bickley, and Jason Self, (better known as Team OSOM – Out of Sight, Out of Mind), took our mission to raise awareness of the problem of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and rivers across the US in search of the root cause of the problem with the hopes of identifying a solution. Our journey to seek out others who inspire with their words and actions, and our search for the elusive “Perfect Day”; a day we can paddle without finding a single piece of plastic or litter in the water, lead to new
discoveries and surprisingly simple strategies that have the potential to turn the tide against the onslaught of plastic flooding oceans, rivers, and beaches, which have the potential to disrupt the food web and all life on this planet.  

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(Left to right: Jason, Shay, Chris. Photo: Fredrik Marmsater)

Beginning with our 100 mile Portland to Ocean Trashpedition in 2012, through 2013’s Search for the Perfect Day and beyond, our understanding of the problem and how to resolve it has evolved significantly. This film chronicles that journey. We wanted to produce a film with a positive approach to an often times depressing situation. As our understanding grew over the years, we began to see that the problem of litter is not actually litter it’s self, but rather a disconnect between our understanding & actions and their impact on the natural world.  We made this film with the sole purpose of sharing what we’ve learned with as many people as possible. We hope to inspire people to unplug and get outside, and introduce someone new to the outdoors so that an inevitable understanding of the intrinsic value of nature can be realized, and advocacy for stewardship and conservation continue to grow.

With spring time nearly here, it’s the perfect time for introducing someone new to the outdoors. If you happen to find litter while you’re out there, #JustPickItUp, and go out of your way to refuse single use plastics, and support companies who are working hard to reduce their impact on the environment like Ibex. We as “consumers” have the power to decide what’s produced, and ultimately what’s wasted. #VoteWithYourDollars

Annie Tedesco is Stranded in the Irish Backcountry

The premise: “Stranded in the Backcountry” is Ibex’s mash up of the New York Times’ “Three Days In…” series, NPR’s Desert Island Discs, and our own bias for skipping out on society every now and again. Whether it’s a stroke a good luck or your worst, extroverted nightmare is up to you.

Who: Anne Tedesco is a professional jewelry designer, avid collector, sponsored climber, aspiring world traveler, and amateur entomologist. She might crush a double-digit climb then spend the rest of the day nose-in-the-dirt playing with bugs and searching for the bright, shiny things that inspire her jewelry. Annie recently moved from Boulder, Colo., to the Big Apple. So perhaps the dream of three solo days in the wilderness is more timely than ever? Then again, maybe she’ll be solving some indoor bouldering problems in the heart of New York City. We asked her to join our crew of Ibex influencers, and despite the million things she has on her plate, she graciously obliged.

Check out Annie’s jewelry at Wild Lupin Design. Give her a shout via Instagram, or follow Wild Lupin on Tumblr and Facebook.

Ibex Question (IQ): Of all the real or metaphorical desert islands in the world, where would you choose to be stranded? 

Annie Tedesco (AT): I would choose to be in Ireland!! I’ve wanted to go there for as long as I remember!

IQ: How do you feel about three days alone?

AT: I love being alone, but I believe three days is my max.

IQ: You get to pack one piece of outdoor gear. What do you bring?

AT: Definitely my green Ibex Indie Hera Hoody and woolies pants, along with other fuzzy, warm things! Plus, I’d want to bring my Evolv Shaman LV climbing shoes (just in case there is dry rock somewhere), a beeswax candle, a raincoat, and my camera.

IQ: What luxury item do you pack?

AT: Licorice tea and my cashmere bathrobe. [Editor’s note: In fairness, please smuggle the licorice tea in the pocket of the cashmere bathrobe. No one needs to be the wiser that you’ve snuck in two luxury items.]

IQ: How do you spend your days in solitude?

AT:  I would be venturing around, exploring the bluffs and hills, and feeling the ocean mist hit my skin. Mostly, I would be searching to find the farm where my great grandma grew up. And I would have to try and find myself some authentic Irish cream liqueur as well.

IQ: What book do you hope is on the bookcase?

AT: Any murder mystery will do.

IQ: There’s no Internet, but there is a working CD player. Which album (or three) do you hope is on the shelf?

AT: I’m not a huge music person. I mostly listen to pop music on the radio.

IQ: On the flip side, which song – if played on endless repeat – would make you run naked and screaming from the hut after three days?

AT: Almost every Drake song.

IQ: If you could have anyone in the world join you, who would it be?

AT: Dev, my boyfriend. Seriously, I want to take him everywhere with me.

IQ: What’s the first thing you do when you return to civilization?

AT: First a hot shower. Then I’d curl up in bed and watch a movie with some hot chocolate.

Ibex welcomes Annie Tedesco to the east coast.

When I first started imagining moving to New York City, I thought I was crazy. I’m a Colorado girl born and raised, always loving camping and rock climbing and just the smell of the outdoors. I’ve been in love with climbing for almost 10 years now and know I’ll never be able to live without it. I knew it was time for a change though, I wanted to see what the city could do for my jewelry business, along with the fact that my amazing boyfriend had been living here for over a year. So despite the craziness I felt, I picked a date for the BIG move. Now let me tell you, running a jewelry business along with wanting to make/create everything, being a thrift store treasure hunter, and athlete enthusiast; primarily a rock climber, means I had a ton of art and craft supplies, lots of clothing, and lots of gear. In the few months I had to prepare for city life I was a crazy mess trying to figure out what of my belongings were actually NEEDED and what I could live without. When going through my closet back in Colorado I had several requirements that all my clothing had to meet in order for me to bring them along; comfortable, warm (because I’m always freezing), flattering, and multi functional (not counting my dresses in that last one). As I examined every article I wasn’t surprised to see that every Ibex piece I own passed the test with flying colors! So I packed everything into the back of my Honda Element on February 4th and started driving! I am very excited to be here in the city now.

I’ve been in the city for two weeks now and I am so excited for this new environment, everyday is an adventure. I am looking forward to start working on my jewelry again, with a now much smaller wardrobe and only a few pairs of my favorite evolv climbing shoes. Now, while running around all bundled up in my woolies, this Colorado girl can now navigate the subways and streets…at least enough to get herself to the climbing gym and back home!  I’m so happy to have started my training again and can’t wait to see what the East Coast outdoor climbing areas are like!

Happy 2016 adventuring to everyone!

Annie

Mini Bio: Annie grew up in Colorado and always has loved the outdoors. In 2006 she really became interested in climbing and soon was fully obsessed. She did a little competing,but mostly fell in love with bouldering out in the mountains. In 2008 she moved up to Boulder to pursue her climbing, art and schooling. There were plenty of ups and downs and it wasn’t until 2014 that she was able to finally break through mental and physical barriers and was able to crush her goal of bouldering double digits! Along with climbing success, she started her own jewelry company; Wild Lupin Designs. Currently she is just settling into the city life in NYC and is excited to continue bouldering and working creatively on her art and jewelry.

Ski Mo, Randonée, Skinning…You Gotta Go Up to Get Down

24 Hours of Bolton

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Images provided by RJ Thompson

What could be more fun than a 12-hour sufferfest on skis? A 24-hour sufferfest on skis! If the suffering part leaves a little to be desired, invite your friends and make it a team sport. Or go it alone – at your own pace – without any thought to racing.

On March 19-20, 2016, Vermont’s own Bolton Valley is hosting the 24 Hours of Bolton, New England’s first 24-hour backcountry event. Those fond of sleeping can opt for the shortened, 12-hour version. We at Ibex LOVE these endurance-o-ramas. They’re challenging, but wicked fun, at least as defined by endorphin junkies. Plus, if Merino wool were to design its ultimate event, a massive endurance race with temperatures ping ponging all over the place would be it.

There’s no getting around the fact that a 12- or 24-hour endurance race is going to kick your butt. The drooling, lactic acid fueled, muscle burning, lung-wrenching element is an ode to what the human mind and body can endure. There’s a perverse poetry to the grit. Pure genius.

“The beauty of this race is that it’s the most challenging winter race in New England this year,” says RJ Thompson, the founder and event director. “It’s going to bring together hardcore athletes who are focused and dedicated to their sport, with folks who are simply trying to see what their body is capable of, and to have a blast and enjoy a community event.”

RJ is a longtime friend of Ibex. We humbly refer to him as an endurance god, which he didn’t know…until now. (Hi, RJ.) He’s also the man behind Native Endurance, his guiding and coaching company that is producing the race.

Here’s the lowdown of the event:

  • There is a daylight course and a nighttime course, because backcountry skiing in tree glades in the dark doesn’t constitute a wise decision. The 2-mile night loop is on the ski area at Bolton Valley.
  • The daylight course is a 3.5-mile backcountry loop through thick stands of trees and wide open, Green Mountain vistas.
  • You can go solo for 12 or 24 hours, or you can join your best buddy for a team of two, or three compadres for a team of four.
  • Your sweat can be put toward a good cause. Every registrant is automatically set up with an account, plus all the tools, to orchestrate a fundraising effort to benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. It’s not mandatory to participate in this, but why not shoot out a few emails to raise money for a good cause? One hundred percent of the monies raised through the fundraising effort go to Vermont Adaptive.

Right now, all of New England may be dreaming of snow to slide down, let alone skin up. Not to worry: the 24 Hours of Bolton has a contingency plan in place should the course lack snow or be deemed unsafe (presumably due to too much snow). Choose your team now or build a killer playlist for long, solo hours. We may as well take advantage of this mild training weather while we wait on the white stuff. Happy trails.

Come back to the Buzz soon for RJ’s Tips on Training for an Ultra-Endurance Event.

Here’s to the Women

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Ibex influencers (clockwise from top), Lori, Elise, Becca, and Tara.

Ladies, we don’t think you get enough credit for all that you do. Tuesday, March 8th was #InternationalWomensDay, let’s take a moment to pause and praise. We’re telling the world how great you are.

Women invented the first computer, proved plate tectonics, reimagined literature, and lead the charge for civil rights.

And women continue to break through glass ceilings and crush expectations left and right. For example: can you guess the oldest person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail? 74 year old Nan Reisinger with a little help from her friend and hiking partner, 67 year old Caroline Banjak.

We are constantly blown away and inspired by women in our own Ibex extended family. They are through-hikers meeting PTSD head on. They are business owners. They are artists. They are athletes going after their Olympic dreams. They are adventurers and makers, movers and shakers.

Here’s to the women who rock our world!

Together to the Tundra

TUNDRA = BUGS = CRAZY right?

There is a lot more to the tundra than bugs, but few visit this northern wilderness. In fact, the tundra is Canada’s least populated biome and largely unknown to those who live in the south. Could there be a better wilderness adventure destination?

During the summer of 2015, a multi-generational group braved the notorious bugs of the North on a thousand kilometre paddling circuit from Yellowknife, NWT. Their goal was to paddle to the tundra and back. The group included the Clark family (Ava Fei – age 6, Koby – age 8, Alice and Dan) and their friends Bruce Bembridge and Marilyn Toulouse. In eight weeks of self-propelled travel, they discovered an exotic realm more isolated, varied and memorable than previously imagined.

Bruce sums up the adventure, “This was the toughest and longest trip we have ever done. It still feels unbelievable, but we lived our dream and experienced so much nature and history as an extended family.”

Their adventures are highlighted in the April 2016 issue of Canadian Geographic and the recently released film, “Together to the Tundra.” The film juxtaposes tough wilderness travel with the innocence of children at play. The film also draws connections back to the 1907 tundra expedition by Canadian author and founder of the Boy Scouts, Ernest Thompson Seton.

Find out what attracts some to the North by watching this 21 minute film at: https://vimeo.com/155524938.

“I feel an incredible sense of accomplishment,” says Marilyn.

The Ibex Spring Collections Have Arrived

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“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” Mark Twain

It would take a heavy dose of cynicism to be immune to the charms of spring. Daylight hours hold court later into the evening and good-naturedly dupe us into feeling like we have more than 24 hours to enjoy each day. The plans that we hatched over the dark of winter are ready for launch.

Just yesterday, a group of friends sat in a fishing dory at sunset. They sat in wool sweaters, drinking beer, telling stories, laughing. The oddity was that it’s still too cold for a pleasure cruise and the rivers aren’t yet running high enough for a float.  The boat was on a trailer in a driveway, completely landlocked, yet the group went about their waterless adventure completely unfazed. They were high on the optimism for what’s to come: that happy ache when you’re about to realize your plans. That is spring.

Ibex Spring Collections are ready for the adventure and available now.

This season’s looks are fresh and versatile for both men and women, with a palette of sun-soaked pastels, rich jewel tones, and year-round neutrals. Check out the new additions to our women’s and men’s lines.

Happy spring.

Dawn Patrol: An Ice Climber’s Morning Commute

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Images by Keese Lane

I swing my ice axe and pull up. Careful technique sounding out the swings, and lifting myself foot by foot up the dark ice. My headlamp illuminates only as far as my reach, but it is all I need. White and gray surround my little light, and in those looming peripheral shadows I could be anywhere: Chamonix, the Alps, Alaska, or even the Karakoram. I keep climbing through the dark, just like the ice climbers I admire. Confident swings and secure steps bring me to the top. The rope comes off my back and I’m down, in the car, driving to work.

If you’re lucky, or work a seasonal job, you can take your bliss in deep doses. You can disappear to the wilderness for weeks on end. You can explore the world famous ranges and disappear on “expedition.”

But most of us can’t afford that. Our day jobs last all year long, in spite of the season.

We can’t take our recreation like gas station drip coffee; downing twenty-four ounces at a time. We have to savor it European fashion, in the condensed flavour of an espresso shot. A few hours stolen before the day begins, or snuck in after the sunset. Dawn and dusk gain a new meaning. They don’t represent beginnings and ends, but transformation points. Reminders that work or dinner are waiting, but there are still a few hours to be enjoyed behind the sun’s back.

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And with the sun gone, our imaginations fill the void created by our headlamps. With the parking lot out of sight, our tiny bit of wilderness expands to encompass the world. Within the pale glow of artificial light, Hidden Gully at Smuggler’s Notch becomes alpine granite. The shadows don’t hide our dreams, they hold them. And for a brief hour before or after work, those dreams exist just off to the side, adding a rich dark flavor to be savored for the rest of the day.

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Keese Lane is an Ibex Influencer. Originally from Vermont, he now lives, works, and dreams about climbing in Utah. You can find more of his writing and photography at Extrablue.org or by following the #LivingIbex and #WoolWorks hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. He loves his Ibex Work Gloves.

Anatomy of a Break Up: The Aftermath

Three years ago, Ibex followed the sad end of a relationship. This is the aftermath.

Hey Polypro,

So…it was…umm…weird to bump into you today. Great to see you, of course! I guess I just wasn’t prepared, you know? I was just running into Whole Foods to pick up injera ingredients for my Ethiopian-themed Valentine’s party, and…whoa! There you were.

I noticed you covered up the tattoo. That was probably a nice moment of healing for you. Who would have thought my name would flow so seamlessly into a portrait of Justin Bieber?

Anyway, I’m doing great! Merino wool and I are still going strong. I hope it’s not insensitive to tell you that. It’s just that I learned so much from the years you and I spent together, Polypro. All that time of feeling uncomfortable, clammy, cold: you and I were just never a good fit. I mean, let’s face it. We stunk…literally! Ha! But my point isn’t to dredge up old memories. My point is that now I embrace happiness!

At first I thought Merino was just going to be a winter fling – a few months of meaningless fun to get me over the hump of the breakup. A rebound, if you will. But winter turned to spring and spring turned to summer, and before I had a chance to say, “renewable, natural fabric,” we were a year-round couple. Merino and I have been steady for…oh my…has it seriously been three years? Time flies when you’re happy.

And I want you to be the first to know that Merino and I have taken our relationship to the next level. So, yes, I am taking Merino to the office! Can you believe it?!? He’s not just for camping and riding and working out and skiing anymore. He is the most versatile partner I’ve ever been with. And he cleans up quite nicely, if you know what I mean!

Oh…I’m blushing. Sorry, Polypro. It’s just impossible to hide my happiness.

But enough about me. How are you, wild man? I hope I can say this because we’re friends now, but you didn’t look so good. It was hard to miss the sweat stains under your arms that look like they may have taken up permanent residence. And your coloring: while those chemical dyes will never fade, they just didn’t feel on point.

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You mentioned that you’ve had a hard time meeting people and maintaining relationships. Could it be that you’ve invested too much in plasticizing yourself? The world moves fast, Polypro. People are desperate for authenticity. If I’m being honest, you have to face that fact that you’re truest self is…well…an oil slick. Time for a deep look in the mirror, my friend.

I also have to ask, buddy: Was that entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s for you? I saw you grab a spoon from the deli. A single spoon. We’ve all been there. I’m just sayin’ if you stretch out, unlike my Merino, there’s no going back.

Yikes! I’m getting too serious! If I’ve learned nothing else from Merino, I’ve learned to only layer on what is necessary. And my Merino is so darned efficient, that’s not much. Oh, old friend, they say comedy is nothing but tragedy plus time. If that’s the case, our coupledom is downright hilarious now! Am I right, Polypro? Are you cracking up as hard as I am?

So, yeah. Great to see you. I’m sure there’s someone out there for you. I don’t really know who that would be, but I wish you all the best. Text me next time you’re in town…or don’t…because I’ll probably be busy that day. Cheers!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Your Ex

What the What, El Niño?!?

Did winter storm Jonas seriously forget to come to Vermont?

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Is a little pow pow too much to ask? 

Winter storm Jonas, or as The Atlantic calls it – Snowzilla – ruled the roost over 1,000 miles of Eastern property this past weekend. The biggest viral video right now is of some dude snowboarding through Times Square. Residents of Queens are threatening to secede because they haven’t seen a single snowplow. D.C. residents are Nordic skiing in the streets. Think pieces on, “Should children be allowed to sled without parent supervision?” are popping up with passionate opinions on both sides. Baltimore received a record-breaking snowfall.

Record-breaking snowfall. Baltimore. Maryland.

Meanwhile, a few hundred miles to the north – where it is supposed to snow – we waited. And waited. And waited.

Snowzilla, my as….sumption is that somewhere a meteorologist just had their degree forcibly removed from their wall. Central Park, whose elevation peaks at 141.8 feet, has a base of 26 inches. Killington is reporting a 20-inch base at the summit. Elevation: 4,241 feet.

We can handle “off” years. Hey, it can’t be our year every year. But our southern neighbors don’t even want the snow. We’d like some. Pretty please. It’s sufficiently cold and most definitely winter wool weather. We’d just love to test our gear in precipitation of the dry, fluffy variety, too.

It’s looking good for New England to see some of the white stuff later this week. And lest we come across as petulant, may we ask a favor? A lot of people talk about manifestation and the universe. Is it too much to ask the universe to manifest a freaking snowstorm for Vermont? We promise we’ll repay you later this year with yummy craft beer, pure maple syrup, the finest in organic produce, and a fall color show to put others to shame.

Thank you in advance, universe and Mr. El Niño.

Love,
Ibex and pretty much all of Vermont

What Kind of a Fat Biker Are You?

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Dear guy riding a fat bike in full Lycra kit in the middle of summer,

Who are you? Props for riding your bike! Anyone who powers up two-wheels with their legs and lungs alone is cool in our book. But the 4-inch wide wheels, on dry pavement, in 55-degree temps, in full Lycra…? It’s a bit confusing.

In good news, your time has come. Winter, in all her snowy and muddy glory, is here and your fat bike can be finally connected with its destiny. So, Mr. and Ms. Fat Biker, who are you? What kind of a fat biker are you?

The early adopter who logs multi-day, multi-sport expedition rides from the extra wide panniers of your first edition fat bike

Before anyone else even dared to dream, you early adopters saw the wide load bicycles as the SUV of the two-wheeled world. They could get you anywhere – through mud, sand and snow – as long as anywhere was somewhere far away from people. We laughed at your Elmer Fudd-esque fashion in bikes, and now you laugh at all the taggers on. That is, unless, you see anyone else on the trail. Then you roll your eyes and power by with your legs of steel, lungs like pistons, and, let’s face it, slightly misanthropic nature.

The roadie who rides a fat bike to maintain optimum power output and mileage when there’s snow on the road

You never understood cyclocross. Carrying your bike on your shoulder is a real risk toward bulking up too much muscle in your upper body. Thank goodness for fat bikes. You can play it off as though you’re entering each and every fat bike race just for fun. Everyone will forget how you spend all summer with your head down into the wind – attacking on no-drop rides. You’ll put on a crazy outfit or a boa under the guise of riding for a good time, but you know the truth. A fat bike means never having to miss a day of training.

The gal or guy who does the snowy fat bike series just for beer

You like to ride. You bike commute and your fat bike is a stable alternative on slushy days. Your co-worker, who’s a competitive road rider, encouraged you to sign up for an event this weekend. S/he told you how fun and lighthearted these events are, but s/he keeps referring to it as a race, in between checking her/his VO2 levels. Sounds like fun. You have an awesome Kermit the Frog costume you can wear, or any one of eight other outfits from your costume chest. What? There’s beer, too? Sweet! That will be a perfect chaser to your flask of whiskey you keep hidden in Kermit’s satchel.

The collector

You have a road bike, a tri bike, a time trial bike, a cruiser, four mountain bikes (26’er, 27.5’er, 29’er, downhill), a BMX bike, a cyclocross bike, a single speed, a fixie, a classic townie, a commuter, and even an adult tricycle just for giggles and groceries. Now, you have a fat bike.

This may be you, poor, sweet, confused, full-Lycra’ed up rider of the fat bike on a summer’s day. You know what they say about too much of a good thing, right? There is no love more pure than your devotion to bikes. You can recite Breaking Away line by line. You volunteer for every cycling event, at which you select the properly toned cowbell from your collection. You’re on a first name basis with Phil, Paul and Bobke, though you’ve never met.

The guy/gal who scored a sweet deal

You stumbled on a fat bike listing on Craigslist, posted by a road rider who thought they’d train all winter but never ended up riding the damn thing. You bought it cheap. It’s a good time. You can ride it anywhere, all yearlong. It’s a killer commuting bike in the snow. You do winter races to stay fit and motivated, and you’re thinking about doing a multi-day desert trip in the spring. Fat biking is just another outlet for dual-wheeled fun; it’s not a spiritual experience. You would never, ever be caught in a matchy-matchy team kit on your fat bike, though you secretly wear a chamois under your cargo shorts.

Ibex How To: 9 Points for Surviving the Airport this Holiday

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Airline travel is an unavoidable reality of holiday life. For children, there’s something magical about pressing one’s face against the definitely-not-sanitary plane windows to watch takeoff, daydreaming of the pile of sugar that Grandma and Grandpa will let them eat while you’re not looking.

For adults, that magic is gone. All that remains is the dull, soul-sucking ache of delayed flights, overpriced snack boxes, and the comfort of knowing that you paid $20-$45 to check a bag that might not even make it to your final destination. Add packed flights and unpredictable weather and you have a recipe for unplanned layovers and fraying tempers. Your best hope for emerging from the airport with holiday spirit intact? Preparation.

• Smile. No one wants to be in an airport on peak travel days. A small act of airport kindness can get you further than frustrated complaining while making the day just a teensy bit more pleasant for everyone else.
• Pack a few travel-sized toiletries in your carry-on, regardless of whether or not you have a full kit in your checked baggage. Nothing beats a toothbrush and a face wash after a long flight or an airport terminal sleep over. (No brush? Nosh on an apple. It’s almost as good and a healthy snack.)
• Travel like a celebrity. No, we don’t mean by private jet. If you ever see paparazzi pics of actors and actresses when they’re at the airport, you’ll notice a big difference between them and the hoi polloi. They look really, really comfortable. And clothing comfort makes a big difference when you’re cramped in a middle seat. Choose an outfit with no-wrinkle, temperature regulating, BO-free Merino wool. (We suggest these Ibex items for men and women on the go.)
• Pack a scarf. This one piece of rectangular fabric does quadruple duty. One minute it’s a pillow, the next it’s a warming layer on the sky bridge, and the next it covers up the embarrassing stain from spilling your wine on your shirt. It’s even an ad-hoc slingshot if things get really rowdy.
• Avoid over-eating. Just because you can live on potato chips and Cinnabon doesn’t mean you should. Better yet, avoid that overpriced airport food altogether and bring your own snacks from home, especially if you have tight connections. Do you know what’s better than a soggy sandwich from the grab-and-go fridge? Literally anything.
• Avoid alcohol and caffeine (or not). Sure, it’s not a great idea to be sloppy… and caffeine is dehydrating… but nothing says vacation like a Bloody Mary before your 8am flight to your mother-in-law’s house!
• Resist the temptation to shop. Definitely indulge in free samples and play with every available gadget at the Sharper Image. Keep your credit cards in your pocket and save any Duty Free purchases for the return trip. Remember, you could be toting that stuff, along with your other carry-ons, for an untold number of future hours. Keep it light.
• Pack your gadgets (and power cords). You know what’s worse than a crying baby behind you on a direct flight from LAX to BOS? A crying baby behind you when your phone/tablet/laptop is dead and you left your headphones on the kitchen table.
• Our last piece of advice is perhaps the most important. Choose your airport friends wisely. You have NO idea how long you may be stuck with them.

It’s tough out there in the world of air travel. This holiday travel season, we hope all of your flights are on time departures and, if you are in the middle seat, that you get both arm rests. You deserve it.

With love and 30” of leg room,
Ibex