Potable Aqua PURE Water Purifier

IMG_9562One of the most important aspects to any backcountry adventure is the ability have clean drinking water. There are all sorts of solutions for to achieve this on the market —  from purifying devices to purifying tablets. Each has their own pros and cons. Getting clean drinking water in the backcountry just got much easier thanks to the all new PURE device from Potable Aqua. The PURE Electrolytic Water Purifier is the smallest purifying device on the market currently and it’s efficiency is pretty amazing. I have spent the last couple of months testing the device and have been downright impressed with the capability and pack-ability of this little workhorse.

Before we delve into a review of the PURE device it’s probably better to start with a basic explanation of how it works because it’s some pretty revolutionary technology.

The PURE device uses a brine (water + salt) solution to produce a powerful mixed oxidant disinfectant that purifies even the dirtiest of water. Now, I’m no scientist so I’m not going to go any deeper than that, but basically you mix a little table salt with a little water in the PURE device, then hit the button which uses some sort of witchcraft or dark magic to turn that salt water solution into the mixed oxidant solution which kills all those bad dudes living in your would-be drinking water. Then you add the solution into your water and wait 30 minutes/a few hours depending on how many ounces to gallons of water you are purifying.

IMG_9559What does all of this mean?

Well for me it means that I can carry a small device, smaller than a water purifier pump, that literally only needs table salt and a charged battery to work. Don’t let the “charged battery” part scare you. The PURE device has a built in solar panel to make sure you are always charged and ready to rock. Yeah, I said solar panel. I’m telling you, Potable Aqua wasn’t joking when they set out to make the best purification solution on the market. Not to mention there is absolutely no funky taste associated with the process. That’s right, no funky taste!

Let’s talk specs

The PURE device is pretty dang tiny, but how tiny? It weighs in at only 3.8oz and its dimensions are 1.2”x1.7”x3.7” – basically you won’t even notice it in your pack, and it will fit in the palm of your hand. Now I mentioned the need to charge this puppy, but just to ease your mind, you can treat 35 Liters of water on a single charge; that’s one big expedition, and the PURE device has a lifetime of 60,000 Liters.


The PURE water purifier from Potable Aqua is a real gem. It’s made my life easier as an outdoors loving guy, and I know this will make other’s live easier in various situations. The compact size, ease of use, lightweight and lifespan has set the bar high for water purifiers. Leave a comment below if you’ve had a change to try it out as well, and if you have any questions.





Growing Up Sucks

Disclaimer: this is a more personal post, less to do with the outdoors (my usual genre) and more to do with my personal life and aspirations. You have been warned so proceed with caution. Also, there aren’t any photos, I used all words this time around.

If you’re anything like me, you were likely told growing up that all you had to all  you have to do to succeed in life is go to college, then you’ll get a good job, a beautiful wife, a perfect little house with a white picket fence. Then you’ll have some darling kids, a dog of course, and eventually you’ll grow old working that same 9 to 5 and your life will be set. And while I wasn’t exactly told that growing up, the idea that education was synonymous with a comfortable adult life was more or less what I thought when I was younger and even through college.

Three years ago tomorrow I graduated from college which is likely why this topic is so much on my mind. You see, our parents, the baby-boomers, come from a different generation, a generation that if you got some education you likely got a good job and you stayed at the job for the rest of your career. You worked hard, no doubt, but there were jobs to be found.

I graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in psychology in 2012, a bad time to graduate with an even worse degree to graduate with. I loved my education, I lived in a world of theories, ideas, interesting research and knowledge housed in a beautiful and massive library. I wouldn’t trade my education for anything, except maybe a secure job market and economy, I kid. I remember my graduation day, I had worked hard, received good grades, worked in research labs, written hundreds of papers, and now had a piece of paper to show for it; a piece of paper that guaranteed  me a good job and a comfortable life. Man reality sucks when it hits you in the face.

I was lucky, I found work right away. I graduated on a Friday and started work the following Monday two states away. I am sure many that I graduated with were unsuccessful at finding work for months. I spend two years working as a Social Worker, I felt stuck and weighed down. My plan for grad school studying Psychology quickly lost it’s luster. I switched to Law School, applied got in, then realized the job prospects as a newly minted law grad were abysmal especially when the $200k of debt was heaped gravely atop the pile. Good thing too, I’m pretty sure I would’ve hated law.

It was about this point I think I realized that staying in one job for my whole working life would likely lead to an early death due to excessive stress resulting from boredom in the workplace. I think it was about this time I realized that what I thought I always wanted, that white picket fence, was not really what I wanted. Don’t get me wrong, I want a house more than anything right now, but the idea of staying put in the same house and job forever, no thanks.

If you’ve followed my blog at all you likely know what a struggle it was to get to my current position. I wanted to get out of the red tape of social services and into the outdoors, one of my greatest loves. Getting a job in the outdoor industry is easier said than done, however.   Without any direct outdoor industry experience those hiring don’t care what degree you have, or what mountains you’ve climbed or which ultras you’ve ran. So Kyra and I took a leap of faith and packed up our little family and moved back to Utah to go back to school and work towards and MBA with the hopes of finding some outdoor industry work experience along the way.

I was fortunate enough to get hired on with TETON Sports which has been a fantastic place to work. So fantastic that after a semester of school I really saw no point in continuing to shell out thousands of dollars (actually, it’s more like going into debt with student loans for thousands of dollars) to get some education to hopefully get me a job in the outdoor industry. I decided to drop out of school and work full time. The experience I felt I was gaining at work was so much more than what I felt I was getting sitting in a classroom listening to teachers lecture. Sure it had that same energy of excitement as when I had been working on my degree years earlier, but I guess I was no longer naive to the realities of the real world and the magic dust didn’t stick; I was done with formal education.

It’s been five months now since I dropped out of school. Since then Kyra and I had our second baby, a girl we named Hudson, I started working at TETON Sports full time, and all our student loan money has been completely spend on tuition, bills, groceries and gasoline.

If this post feels random and all over the place it’s likely because it is. These are my thoughts and in this case I’m not looking to sugarcoat or edit my words, I’m simply writing as the thoughts come, in a sort of therapeutic way.

You see, growing up sucks. It’s an interesting and humbling experience to look back at what you thought your life would be and realize that it is nothing like that. Some things are not as you imagined because of you own choices, like my desire to avoid a single career/job the rest of my working life, but others are a result of the environment in which I live. Finding a job isn’t easy. Supporting a family of four on a job you’re lucky enough to find is even harder. Forget about saving for a downpayment on a house altogether.

Now, three years after receiving that little piece of paper from the University of Utah that Kyra proudly displays for me on our Walmart bookcase, where am I? Well, I have a family I love, three amazing girls I wouldn’t trade the world for. I’ve got a job that I love and enjoy. I pay nearly $800 a month for a 70’s style apartment with commercial office carpeting (not the coziest setup). I live 10 minutes from amazing running trails in the Wasatch Mountains. We end up putting groceries on credit cards with the hope of paying them off soon, along with my student loans for the two semesters I was enrolled in classes. We share a single car, as 2012 Ford Fiesta with over 100,000 miles on it from lots of commuting. We have a dream of having a small modest house with some chickens, a little garden and maybe even a puppy. We have a dream of being out of debt with enough money to actually cover all expenses every month with a little extra to put away for a rainy day.

Three years after graduating college my ideals have changed, maybe as a result of my expectations becoming seemingly unreachable, or maybe, and what I believe to be true, my goals and desires changing. I no longer want a big house on a hill with new shiny gadgets and toys. I want a small house that feels like home. A house that is earthy and real, that is touchable and was built by hands now covered in wrinkles, a house where my hands can work and where I can make it ours. Growing up sucks, because now I know the reality that money is tight (I actually wish it was at the very least, tight haha) even with a degree and that life isn’t a white picket fence waiting nicely for you at the end of each day. Yeah, life is a lot of work, a lot of stress, a lot of late nights wondering how you’ll get by, but my gosh, I wouldn’t trade what really matters for some security.

I wouldn’t trade my 4am trail runs and coming home to a quiet house, my three beautiful girls sleeping peacefully. I wouldn’t trade the feeling of holding hands with a supportive and loving wife who is an amazing women and mother. I wouldn’t trade two sweet little spirits who I am privileged enough to call my daughters. So, growing up sucks, it sucks a lot, or maybe the reality of growing up sucks, but what growing up has also brought me is a richness in life I didn’t know I could have. It has allowed me to realize what really matters to me, not security or a little house (but dammit I do want those things), but my faith, my family, and my health to run a few more miles before sunrise.

Mt. Timp via Everest Ridge Route //

Mt. Timp via Everest Ridge Route

(Video at the bottom of this post)

All winter I have been dreaming about climbing Mt. Timp via Everest Ridge Route (as proof check out this post on 12/3/14 when I outlined my plan). Well, if you haven’t heard the west coast, including Utah, didn’t ever really have a winter. Sure we had some snow, but the West facing Everest Ridge Route never really shaped up. There was, for a short time (two weeks) adequate snow coverage, but other commitments kept me off the mountain and I assumed we would get more snow, but snow never came.

mt. timp via Everest ridge route

mt. timp via Everest ridge route

So as the snowless weeks passed I watched  the route turn from minimal snow coverage to no snow coverage. It was depressing watching winter melt before February even came, and the warmth of February felt more like spring sun of May.

Finally I decided I had had enough, I wanted to climb Mt. Timp via the Everest Ridge Route. A couple weeks ago I realized I would have President’s Day off from work so I figured it was as good a time as any. I called up my buddy Josh and asked if he wanted to join in, he of course said yes and also brought along his buddy, Charles. The plan was to shoot up and back as quickly as possible wearing mostly running attire  to pack light and make time on the scree.

We met at the parking lot at 5am, Monday morning ready to take on Mt. Timp via Everest Ridge Route. Charles was wearing shorts and Vibram Five Fingers, apparently Josh has simply said we would be running Timp and he dressed based on that information. Charles is a downright trouper and was ready to go nonetheless. So we departed and made good time up Dry Canyon.

mt. timp via Everest ridge route

mt. timp via Everest ridge route

Pretty soon we had reached the saddle between Big Baldy and the Everest Ridge of Timp. Here the climbing steepened drastically. Upwards we went through small patches of snow until the sun started lighting the sky with warm hues of red and orange. We were now about even with Big Baldy, around 8,000 ft leaving us another 3,000 vertical feet or so to the summit. The climbing was non-technical and easy despite the extreme steepness, scree and occasional snow fields. However, things changed once we hit “The Step.”

I had read about The Step, a rich band just below the summit ridge of class 4 scrambling. The rock is very very fragile and exposed. The original plan for our “winter” climb was to traverse the step. However, because we had decided on running shoes we had not brought along crampons and ice axes to make the traverse which was still covered in snow. This was the first mistake.

mt. timp via Everest ridge route landon faulkner

mt. timp via Everest ridge route

We had underestimated The Step entirely. It is not technical climbing, but it is definitely a class 4 scramble. Through in the crumbling rock and it gets a bit hairy. Here our ascent time was cut immensely. Progress nearly halted as we slowly picked our way up the rock band watching rocks knocked free roll down the steep snowy face to the right of the ridge unhindered for thousands of feet. This was the first part of the climb that felt intimidating and scary.

Just as we reached the top of the step we noticed some clouds beginning to come in, but they looked unthreatening. We continued the last hundred vertical feet or so to the summit ridge and began nonchalantly making our way across the summit ridge. The summit hut was in and out of sight between the gathering clouds, just about 100 vertical feet higher than our current position on the summit ridge. We were excited at the prospect of reaching the summit proper, but were already worried about the descent through The Step.

mt. timp via Everest ridge route

mt. timp via Everest ridge route

The goal was within reach, but the ridge turned super sketch as we proceeded across the knife edge summit ridge on snow and crumbling rock. By this time the snow and clouds had gathered and we could no longer see the summit proper. We stopped to talk it through. We could continue on into the unknown and try and make our way down the Aspen Grove trail and hitchhike down the canyon back home, or turn around and go back the way we came. We sat in the cold, wind and snow talking through the options. The snow was not helping and seeing any distance had become an issue, we had limited traction on the snowy and razor thin ridge in our running shoes, and Charles’ toes had long ago lost feeling; things we were all worried about. We said a quick prayer then decided to forgo the last slight climb to the summit proper.

mt. timp via Everest ridge route

mt. timp via Everest ridge route

I turned and headed down the way we came, slowly picking our way back down The Step. About an hour later we had made it down the step and exhaustion finally hit us. Our nerves from being on constant alert had finally calmed and we were left tired and somewhat loopy as we continued down the Everest Ridge towards our vehicles.

We made it back safe and sound and happy to be at the trailhead once again. This was a climb none of us were eager to repeat anytime soon.

In the coming days it was very apparent Charles had developed frostbite on his toes and feet. He went to the doctor and was treated for his frozen toes, but he assures me that there shouldn’t be any permanent damage, outside of numbness for a number of months to years. That kid is a trooper!

Dabbling in Photography

Dabbling in Photography

Kyra and I recently purchased our first DSLR camera, a Cannon SL1. We had been talking about getting a camera for a number of months and we were stoked to finally have taken the plunge into photography life outside of our iPhones. I have had a blast working to learn a bit about the art of photography and am excited to continue learning and improving.

As I continue to try and improve my skills I’ll be sharing photos from time to time here on my blog. These are more or less a random assortment of my favorites over the last couple of months, mostly portraits. Hope you enjoy.

dabbling in photography paityndabbling in photography fairbanks alaksa paityndabbling in photography kyra faulknerdabbling in photography utah paityndabbling in photography paityn timpanogos

dabbling in photography kyra faulkner and paityn Provo

dabbling in photography kyra faulkner utah

dabbling in photography provo utah kyra faulknerThanks for checking out my new side-hobby. I am excited to continue my dabbling in photography.


Kahtoola 25k Snowshoe Race

Kahtoola 25k Snowshoe Race

Last saturday I “ran” my first race of the year, a 25k snowshoe race, the Kathoola Bigfoot Snowshoe Festival 25k snowshoe race. I had originally planned on running the 50k, but in the end my laziness during the winter got the best of me and a shorter distance sounded like a better fit. The Kahtoola Bigfoot Snowshoe Festival actually offered a number of different distances; 50k, marathon, 25k, 10k, and 5k. The 50k and marathon started at 8am and the rest of us short distance runners started at 9am in Midway, Utah. Haven’t heard of Midway? Don’t worry I hadn’t either, but it turns out its a small town northwest of Heber City.

kahtoola 25k snowshoe race

At about 8:30am I joined all of the other runners in the Visitor’s Center of the Wasatch Mountains State Park in Midway. It’s an inviting little visitor’s center which greeted the runners with a burning fire in the fireplace and a number of taxidermy animals and other information. I checked in and got my race number, stretched out a bit, used the restroom and relaxed waiting for the race to begin. A few minutes before 9am I strapped on my snowshoes and headed outside with the rest of the runners toeing the starting line marked by a small Bigfoot statue.

kahtoola bigfoot snowshoe festival

“Ready. Set. Go!” Shouted John, the kind yet rugged race director whose mustache hangs down well below his jaw. I started out slow and comfortable but still found myself in the top 10 after the first 5 miles. The 25k course follows 3 loops, a loop through the golf course next to the visitor’s center, then a mountain loop on single track, then another loop around the golf course.

The snow was thin and soft and the first loop was a bit more tiring than I had planned for, but I was feeling good and trying to take it easy. I was doing a great job sticking to my refueling schedule and taking in calories and water (plus some RedBull at the aid-stations). Despite my sensibilities my minimal experience snowshoe running became apparent. As I began the mountain loop the difference between a 25k on trail vs a 25k on snowshoes was becoming painfully obvious. Much of the climb during the mountain loop I spent hiking rather than actually running. While running in snowshoes is very similar to running without snowshoes there are some distance differences. Mainly the soft snow makes each stride unsteady and difficult.

kahtoola 25k snowshoe race

kahtoola 25k snowshoe race

By the time I reached the top of the mountain loop climb my muscles were feeling some exhaustion as a result. I was excited to begin the descent and planned on making up some time, but just about 100 years into my descent my left calf cramped. The pain shot up and down my leg and I collapsed into the small oak trees along the single track. In my race focused mind for a split second I didn’t realize what had happened and thought my life was coming to an end. I tried my hardest to stretch my calf while wearing snowshoes, a task that is harder than it seems. After about a minute my muscles began to relax and I cautiously continued my descent.

Without any further incident I made it back down the mountain and began my final 5 mile loop of the golf course. By this time, however, the snow was very soft in the midday sun. I reached the last climb that turns back and forth up the golf course and began to hike where I had  run earlier that same day. Once again  I got to the top of the climb and was excited to begin my final descent of the golf course loop and last 2 miles of the course. I began down and almost like clockwork I cramped badly, except this time it was my right calf.

This go-around wasn’t quite as painful, but it did result in me watching two other runners trot past me. I had no idea of which distance they were running and if they were my actual competition, but I was bummed nonetheless.

kahtoola 25k snowshoe race landon faulkner

I hobbled through the last couple of miles and into the homestretch through puddles of melted snow. I crossed the line at 3:52:08 in 4th place out of 15 runners in the 25k distance. I was excited to chow down on a some homemade soup in the lodge and watch some other runners finish before heading home to celebrate Paityn’s 2nd birthday.

However, despite my “top 5” finish (out of 15 people, not too exceptional) I was a bit bummed. The Kahtoola 25k snowshoe race was a big wakeup call for me. My training had suffered during the colder winter months, something I had vowed not to let happen. I knew that I was not competing or running on a level where I wanted to be. If I wad I would likely have won the race. All in all it was a great race and is a great way to shake of the dust of December and get back to serious training for that actual race season.

Freestyle International World Cup

Earlier this month I had the opportunity of attending the Freestyle International World Cup at Deer Valley, Utah for the Aerials, Moguls and Dual Moguls. I got the invite from Columbia Sportswear as part of their #OmniTen, and was stoked to go.

I was able to take along a plus one, who of course was Kyra, for the trip. Since Deer Valley is only about an hour drive from where we live we drove up Thursday morning to meet the rest of the crew, Tori (from Columbia) and Rebecca (another #OmniTen member) and her husband David. We checked into our room at The Lodges at Deer Valley and settled in for a bit before heading over to the USSA Center of Excellence, a state of art training facility for all the athletes on the US Ski Team. The place was amazing and it was incredible to hear about all the science behind the training that goes on to prepare athletes for competition, and most notably, the olympics. The Center of Excellence is a total breeding ground of amazing athletes and it was incredible to take a walk through.

center of excellence

After the tour we headed to dinner before heading up the Deer Valley Resort slopes to watch the first night of competition; the Aerials. I’ve watched ski competitions like the Aerials and Moguls on the television during the olympics, but this was the first time I’ve ever had the opportunity of being up close and in person. We packed in with hundreds of other people to watch the best in the world compete, including many olympic medalists. The winner of the Aerials event was, Anton Kushnir, who also won the Olympic Gold Medal in 2014. He pulled out the same trick in Deer Valley that won him Gold just a few months previous, a triple backflip with a double twist.

FIS world cup deer valley

The next night featured Moguls and the final night of competition included Dual Moguls. I was most impressed with the insanity and skill of the mogul skiers. They flew down the moguls course, what would likely be be considered a black diamond or double black diamond rated slope, with skis in perfect alignment, knees pumping up at down like expensive shock absorbers, and crazy aerials off the jumps, just to round things off. My favorite was the Dual Moguls. The competition of going head to head with another skier pushed the contenders down the mountainside in an ever increasing pace. It was incredible to watch.

Kyra Faulkner and Landon Faulkner

Deer Valley Utah

The rest of the trip included spending some time in Park City wandering the downtown shops and of course skiing. After strapping my skis on and skiing my first run of the trip I did some math in my head and realized that I hand’t skied in over 10 years. I had grown up skiing, but switched to snowboarding in my late teens. By my early 20’s I had dropped skiing and snowboarding altogether simply because the cost.

After a few runs I felt pretty comfortable cruising down the mountain once again and I hit a few double blue runs. It felt great to be skiing again and although I felt comfortable on my skis I realized that my form and technique were definitely not where they were when I left off a decade earlier. It took some work to keep my skis tight and parallel, but by the end of the week I was skiing with more poise and technical confidence.



All of the skiing really pushed in my mind an already growing desire to get an alpine touring set up. The combination of a quick approach on skins, then crampons, mixed with the thrill of an awesome descent sound more and more enticing. Time to break out the piggy bank to start saving my pennies.

The whole trip was a busy one and went by way to quickly. It was an amazing time and I was sad to see it come to a close and to say goodbye to new friends. It’s hard to beat a beautiful weekend in an amazing place filled with awesome friends, great skiing and VIP tickets to the FIS World Cup with Columbia.

BOB Revolution Flex Stroller Review

Common Landon, a stroller review? You’re kidding right? Well, no I’m not kidding. As you know I love running and am constantly working to better my running fitness. As you likely also know I have a two year old with another one on the way. So finding the right stroller that allows me to run and train while still spending some time with Paityn is important. Luckily for me, and for Paityn, I recently had the privilege of working with BOB Gear strollers to test and review the BOB Revolution Flex.

The BOB Revolution Flex is classified as an off-road/on-road fitness stroller. It’s a lightweight but durable stroller with some awesome features aimed at getting every level of runner out on the trail.

landon faulkner bob stroller

Favorite Features:

The BOB Revolution Flex has a number of great features, but lets start out with just a look at a few of my favorite features.

– Swivel/Locking front wheel. This allows for super maneuverability or more stability when locked on rough terrain.

– Adjustable Suspension System. This provides exceptional comfort not only for Paitynm but also for my hands as I’m pushing.

– Polymer Composite Wheels. These puppies are tough and lightweight.

– Foldable and Packable. The BOB Revolution Flex folds in half which makes for easy storage, especially in a small apartment.

bob's revolutions flex stroller

bob's revolutions flex stroller

Overall Performance:

BOB Gear prides itself as being an industry leader and after using the Revolution Flex for a few months on varying terrains it’s easy to see why. From my first run with the BOB Revolution Flex to my most recent run I have been very impressed. The stroller floats easily down pavement and even rolls easily along moderate trails. The suspension helps ease the bumps of more rigorous trail, but I generally steered clear of the more difficult terrain. The BOB Revolution Flex weighs in at 26.2 pounds which coupled with Paityn’s weight of nearly 30 pounds it’s a bit difficult to push on a more rough trail with more elevation gain.

While the BOB Revolution Flex may not be your fix for trail running with a little one, it is perfect for moderate trails with minimal elevation gain and on the road of course. Given how much easier to push the stroller on the road even with the oversized tires I have logged most my miles with the stroller on the road.

It’s important that I note Paityn’s take on the stroller as well. Her favorite feature is the canopy that regardless of time of day or weather she prefers to be pulled down all the way. She enjoys the peak through window that allows her to look up and my sweaty face as we run along together, both enjoying the outdoors. Paityn’s overall take, however, is extremely positive. I cannot tell you how many times she has stood by the stroller pointing and begging “up, up, up!” There’s no doubt, even in her early speech what she means and how she like the BOB Revolution Flex.

bob's revolutions flex stroller


bob's revolutions flex stroller

Preferred Changes:

While I love the BOB Revolution Flex my only preferred change would really mean a whole new stroller that would require some significant changes; I’d prefer a super lightweight stroller that would be more suitable for hills. Although I realize that this presents a huge issue for developers who are seeking to maintain my aforementioned favorite features., not to mention Paityn wouldn’t be too stoked on a suspension-less and bumpy ride.

So take my “preferred change” with a grain of salt. The weight of this stroller is relatively low given all of the tradeoffs with necessary and important features.

bob's revolutions flex stroller

bob's revolutions flex stroller

Bottom Line:

My bottom line on the BOB Revolution Flex is that this stroller is awesome. Kyra and I generally just keep the stroller folded up in the back of our Ford Fiesta as we prefer to be on the go and it makes things easy to keep Paityn happy in so doing, did I mention she loves the stroller? So if you are in the market for a stroller to fit your family and running lifestyle I strongly recommend checking out the BOB Revolution Flex and the BOB Gear line in it’s entirety.

bob's revolutions flex stroller