About

ABOUT VALHALLA OUTDOORS

Howdy from the end of the earth! The northwestern point anyway, as we are based on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains. The Valhallas are part of the Olympics, to the southeastern part, to be exact. If the South Fork Hoh trail continued up river, you would run into Valkyrie Creek. Standing guard, you will find Frigga, Baldur, and Woden Peaks. On the other side, is the Queets Basin, another beautiful and quiet part of the Olympics. I have yet to reach up and touch the Valhallas. It is a goal of mine to do so. And in the spirit of reaching for physical goals, and because I find the mythology fascinating, I admit, this is how the name came about.

I grew up here, in this shadow, spending days exploring and the summers living in whatever I could cobble together to pass muster as a shelter. I would move back in when the rains started getting bad, but that didn’t stop me from being out there. Believe me, growing up in the rainiest spot in the continental US, either you love it or hate it. I love it. The clouds, the gray, the sparkle of water when a brief moment of sunlight brushes past you. It is glorious!

To be able to spend as much time out here, in the beloved woods and hills, backpacking became my favorite pastime. I know I carried too much in the early days, but a young back and eagerness to see what was around the river bend, the next hilltop, the meadow “just over there” carried me on. I learned, as many do, to slowly pare my gear and to treat my body better. Eating more and eating better became a necessity and as I created a tasty revolving menu, I found I was focusing more on what was going on around me and less on the validity of creating airplane drops for hot pizza or woodland side espresso shops. Really. These are the things you think of out there when you are deprived.

Learning how to recreate a healthy outdoor diet that carried enough calories and tasted good enough to look forward to each day and was light enough to take several days worth was my goal. I don’t ever consider myself complete in this goal, but I have made considerable progress. I invite you to browse my pages, explore the recipes, enjoy my ramblings, and if you have time, stop by my web based store.

HOW THE COZY BUSINESS GOT STARTED…

Well, see, there was a woman who liked to eat real food and not starve on the trail. She also wanted to give her breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, and dinner a chance to rehydrate to the best of its capabilities. Her name is Sarah Kirkconnell and is a Washington State native, cookbook author, and blogger that spends a lot of time either in the woods or kitchen. She designed and sewed the cozy since the mid 2000’s and I took over sewing in 2012, when Sarah’s life went from full to bursting. Today, I officially am handling the cozy side of the business and plan on using it for the cornerstone for Valhalla Outdoors, my cottage industry gear and outdoors food store. Cozies continue to be sewn in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

Read Sarah’s Cozy Story.

WHAT IS A FBC COZY AND HOW DO I USE IT?

Cozies were designed to be used in conjunction with freezer bags. Simply put a quart freezer bag with your meal of choice inside the cozy. Add your water to the bag and stir well. Then seal the bag tightly and close the cozy. Lean the cozy so it is upright and let it sit to rehydrate. The cozy is ultra-light, packable, and crushable in your pack. They will deliver hot meals even in the coldest months.

The cozies work for quart and pint freezer bags as well as smaller commercial freeze dried meals such as PackitGourmet, Mountain House Pro-Paks and Mary Janes meals. These cozies hold quite a bit!

If your cozy is in need of cleaning, hand wash and air dry. Use an iron on low steam setting to remove wrinkles.

CAN’T I JUST USE MY HAT?

The disadvantage of using your hat as a cozy is:

1) You can’t wear it and use it as a cozy at the same time.

2) Food splatters and food smells. Do you really want to chance mice, or something larger, trying to nibble on your hat with your head in it?  I tend to cook away from my sleeping area for this reason and am careful not to wipe my hands on my clothes when preparing food. The likelihood of me using a piece of clothing as a freezer bag holder is nil.

3) Hats aren’t reflective, unless it’s like the tinfoil one your neighbor wears.  The reflective Mylar in the cozy is made to reflect heat or cool to best work with your food temperature.

WAIT! TELL ME MORE!

Constructed of washable and breathable fabric, it retains both heat and cold, depending on what you have in the cozy. The outer fabric is 100% cotton and the liner fabric is a Washington State, USA made poly/Mylar needle punched insulating fabric .

Cozies are 8″ wide and 8 1/2″ long. Weight is on average is 1.1 to 1.4 ounces, depending on outer fabrics weight/thickness. Dimensions and weight are approximate, as these are hand crafted items, sewn one at a time. When you buy a cozy, you are supporting a small, made in the USA, cottage industry business. So, thank you!

Creek Along the Elwha
Creek Along the Elwha

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