Monday, 29 August 2011

About Karsten Klawitter of Shorts and Gaiters

Karsten Klawitter on top of Gonzalez Hill at sunrise (photo by Jordan Oram)
Karsten Klawitter is the most actively outdoorsy fellow I know. I met him in 2008 shortly after he started working at the Valhalla Pure Outfitters (VPO) in downtown Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. As the VPO was somewhat on the route between my apartment and my school I'd often pop in to look at equipment and share tea and good cheer with the staff.

In the 3 years I've known him we've gone on many a photoadventure. We've done several long day trips to Botanical Beach (an annual trip in the fall when we find a newbie to introduce to the primeval foresty awesome)

Karsten and a sea lion (Photo by Jordan Oram)
 a few to Long Beach/Tofino

Karsten at Chesterman Beach, Vancouver Island

and even a long day trip to Carmanah Walbran Provincial park

Karsten in Carmanah

When I graduated from college in 2009 we celebrated by getting a gang together and spending many days out in the remote crazy wonder of Cape Scott at the north end of Vancouver Island.

He's the only person I know who will get up early to go paddle boarding before biking to work and then go out climbing after spending all day working in the store. Wait... I know a couple people who do similar. But he does things like that every day. Be it mountain biking, paddleboarding, photography, or his favourite, climbing, you may be starting to get a picture of the intrepid KK.

To this description we need to add in a healthy dollop of geeky fascination with weather and environmental sciences, a hankering for geology, and a slightly odd propensity for wiping out on flat normal terrain. It has been said (by me) that his blood offerings on level terrain serve him good stead with the alpine gods of the mountains. The sea gods also like to soak him from time to time since his Lumby-born mountain blood doesn't have the wave-honed experience of a coastal born. But he suffers it with a drenched dignity almost always.

He camps during the summer so he can use his rent money for ferry fare and go climb the Stawamus Chief in Squamish and send me celebratory texts from the top.

He explores waterfalls
Karsten at Englishman River Falls

He climbs most anything
Karsten at Piper's Lagoon, Nanaimo BC

and he's worked in an Outdoor Outfitting store for many years
Karsten at work

There you have it. A brief glimpse at my photoadventuring friend Karsten of Shorts & Gaiters. If you have any questions leave us a comment below and we'll do our best to answer it!

Get out that door and explore! Adventure beckons (and maybe you'll even run into us out there in our Shorts and Gaiters ;) )

Karsten walking up a forest path


(all photos above were taken by Jordan Oram)

Friday, 17 June 2011

Why Shorts and Gaiters?

Maplemusketeer at Botanical Beach, BC. Photo by Island Alpinist

Why Shorts and Gaiters?
A number of years ago whilst photoadventuring around the mountains and beaches of Vancouver Island we realized how much we loved the combo of shorts and gaiters for their practicality, function, and sweetness. You likely all know what shorts are but gaiters may have you scratching the collective noggin.

These are gaiters!

The Gaiter, not to be confused with the Gator, is the single most useful thing in the hiking universe aside from a towel. It keeps your feet dry and your boots safe. It prevents the unsightly ankle scathing often caused by the perils of the underbrush, all the while keeping your legs dry and breathing. They keep pebbles from your boots and increase one's mileage. A good gaiter can be like a good dog: (Wo)Man's best friend. Combined with shorts, our intrepid explorers are free to roam across the land in comfort! Free of the cumbersome confines of full length pants.

They're a fashion statement all of their own and we started a Shorts and Gaiters flickr group about it. The response was delightful. People around the world also rambled in shorts and gaiters! even wrote a great post about the group. Practical and fun, with an outdoorsman's thumbing of the nose to urban-chic fashion sensibilities, Shorts and Gaiters strikes a resonating chord with the whimsically practical outdoor adventurer.

What the heck is this blog about?
We love to explore and ramble, often in shorts and gaiters, while taking pictures. When searching for info on the internets about the various places we'd heard tell of we often found: only the BC Parks website, nothing, cluttered confusing reports, or our own photographs and writings!

So we started this blog to:
  • give a brief description of the parks and places we discover and tramp about
  • share sweet outdoors photos of mirth, hi-jinx, and wonder
  • share tips and gear suggestions
  • encourage you to get out there and discover the world right outside your door!
( That last point being the most important in our minds :) )

Who are we?
We've written each other's bios and you can find them by clicking on our names below
The other links go to our respective blogs and twitter accounts.

Taken by Dave Hallstead of DavidNathaniel Photography on top of Mt.Steele, BC

So thank you for stopping by! Now it's time to pull on our shorts, lace up our boots, and lash on our gaiters. Adventure beckons!

Karsten and Jordan
The Shorts and Gaiters guys