I’m loving the new (to me anyway) iPhone photo app called Darkr for processing my B&W images lately. Styled after a traditional darkroom, it brings back all kinds of nostalgia from my early photo days.

As I hit the trail at Zion National Park last week to run the Zion Traverse, I had all the usual gear… water, shoes, sunscreen, extra socks, merino layer and something new: Electro-Bites Fuel100 pouches in place of gels.

These are awesome, to say the least. Combining potato starch, coconut oil and agave syrup in lightly flavored options like Cocoa, Vanilla, Vinegar, Apple Cinnamon and seasonal flavors, these 100-calorie energy snacks are bite sized and deliver quick energy for the run ahead. I used the Cocoa, Vanilla and unflavored our first day and found they dissolved easily in my mouth, all had a pleasing light flavor… not too overpowering. And the texture was fine as well… it gave my stomach something with slightly more substance to work on while I ran (which I prefer), plus it required less water to go down compared to a traditional gel. Bonus! With the sodium/magnesium/potassium balance, it practically replaces your hydration drink.

The Fuel100 sustained me every bit as much as a gel + snack combination, so you can really replace two things in your pack with each Fuel100 pouch. In addition, the price is on par with the typical gel scale… 6 pouches for around $14, definitely worth it!

I give it two thumbs up!

Disclaimer: I was provided a sample pack for review, and the opinions shared here are my own. I was not paid to write this review!




I am super excited to announce that I have been selected as a nuun ambassador for the 2017 season! nuun has been my go-to hydration solution since I started running a few years ago, and I’m honored to promote a product that has helped me through so many long runs. And I’m looking forward to trying out some of their new products! So stay tuned for updates throughout the year as I train for Yamacraw 50k and the 50-mile Zion Traverse in October plus a handful of local races! Let’s do this!

2017 Goals!


My goals for this year are:

  1. Fully recover from an IT Band tweak I had during my first marathon in November
  2. First 50k in April at Yamacraw
  3. Zion Traverse with my running group in October
  4. Continue a podcast with some friends covering the trail & ultra scene in the Southeast US (cleverly called the Southeastern Trail Runner Podcast) so we’ll keep building that. (see above) Cheers!

New Project!



In a break with my usual photo projects, I have embarked on a new direction with the Southeastern Trail Runner Podcast, where I co-host with 4 other trail runners in our group from Bowling Green. We are excited to get this out of our pub run talks and into production!

We currently have one show posted, another in the bag, and recording one this weekend, so stay tuned while we do our best to cover the trail and ultra running scene in the Southeastern US.

We can’t do this without you… please subscribe, comment and share the show with anyone (and everyone) that you know. And join us for a run!

Seeing the photos of the American Climber Science Program’s expedition this summer has really bummed me out. Reasons? 1. I’m not there. 2. The glaciers are gone. Not just a little bit, but completely and drastically different. So I grabbed pics from this year’s crew and compared them to my last trip in 2013. Let’s just say the comparison should speak for itself, especially Ranrapalca & Andevite. Peru is in a unique position with it’s region of the Andes… tropical glaciers are the canary in the mine, if you will, the first signal of a changing planet. I just hope the rest of the world recognized and addresses the issue before its too late.

It may not be shields up/red alert just yet, but it sure is on the horizon. And having been there personally, and seen a change from 2011 to 2013 first hand, the difference in 2016 is alarming.

toc ranrapalca maparaju bc cayesh glacier andevite




I’ve been quiet since last summer, but it’s because I’ve been busy! (Sorry)

Over the past few months I have completed my second half marathon, traveled to New Zealand and started training for my first full marathon coming up in November. My non-profit Bowling Green Riverfront Foundation is riding a huge wave of momentum and activity in regards to new recreation opportunities in BG. My youngest son graduated high school. And I’m taking on an Intro to Digital Photography class for the PJ Dept. at WKU. Whew! Oh, and I’m still taking pictures everyday for WKU, too. Do they sell extra hours at Walmart?

Anyway, I hope to share more in the coming weeks and get back in gear review rotation. And check out my new website design at clintonlewis.com! I’m loving it!

EDRT _Smokies-0831

I have to admit, I thought the wearable sleeping bag thing was ridiculous when they came on the market a year (or so) ago. It just looked hokey. Definitely not a “real” sleeping option. BUT, when I had the opportunity to try out a Selk’Bag Patagon for the #EpicDangerRoadTrip, I was intrigued enough to say yes.

On our first hike, up the first trail on the first day, Stuart and I got caught in a torrential downpour for three hours all the way to the Spence Field Shelter on the AT. Once we arrived and peeled off our soaked layers, being able to hop in the Selk’Bag and walk around the shelter and warm up immediately changed my tune. With Stu still shivering in the corner, I was wringing out the water from clothes and gear, drying off the stove for dinner and within five minutes I was warm. Done. Sold. I am not a nay-sayer anymore.

The Patagon model is billed as the most technical offering of the Selk’Bag line. The temp rating is around 40-degrees, so it’s a three-season system. Added bonus: it’s synthetic fill which is fantastic for allergy sufferers like me. The bag offers plenty of vent zips: one on each thigh and a two-way zipper on the chest (which also folds completely out, above) for sufficient control. On the functional side, the feet have reinforced soles for walking around camp and hand slots for freeing your fingers. If it’s wet, the feet zip completely off so you can wear boots or shoes.

But the true beauty of the system is not being confined to a bag to sleep. I was able to roll around, cross my legs and sleep on my side with no issue, no tangling or getting twisted in the bag. It was great.

Being a new technology and synthetic does have a couple of minor downsides. It’s not as light or packable as a standard bag: compressed it’s 15×10-inches and weighs in at 4.3-pounds (size L). But I truly think the mobility and functionality of the system more than compensates for the added weight and bulk. It was a lifesaver for me.

The Patagon retails for about $200 and can be purchased online via Selk’Bag or other retailers like REI.

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Full Disclosure: I was provided the Selk’Bag system through Verde Communications for testing purposes. I was not compensated in any other form, and my opinions/thoughts/praise are all my own.


Myself & Stu waiting out the rain in the back of my Rogue, downloading photos & video.

The past few months I have been posting gear reviews and snippets of stories about a rather epic road trip with my good friend Stuart Peck over the summer. Now I can share the whole story!

We pitched a story idea to a great regional magazine about the most dangerous hikes in the lower Appalachians and set off for a week to walk a handful of them. What ensued was over 3000 images taken, 900 miles driven, 40 miles hiked and everything we owned getting soaking wet. We took to the Great Smoky Mountains NP first for the Eagle Creek Trail in one of the most remote sections of the park. The trail follows the backside of Bote Mountain and has no less than 15 creek crossings! But the fun really started on the hike up to our shelter on the AT when we had to slog uphill for 3 miles in a pounding thunderstorm. There’s no motivation quite like lightning and thunder directly overhead to get you moving. And to top it off, I grabbed the wrong jacket. Water “resistant” does nothing when you get over 2 inches in a few hours. Note to self… always bring the OR Maximus Jacket. Always.

Our next objective was Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina. At 6684-feet, it’s the highest point east of the Mississippi River, and a great hike. But the real challenge was north a few hours drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Linville Gorge. This designated wilderness area has tons of trails, they are just not marked or maintained. We chose the Rock Jock Trail for it’s relative difficulty and short length. Well, it was a lot more than that. On the map, it claims the trail is 2.8 miles. Only there has been a wildfire in the last few years, the trail had changed and we had an older map. So 2.8-miles turned into 6-miles. Six hard-fought miles. And we got lost on a few offshoot trails. And then it rained… why did we do this again?!?!

We ended our trip at an out-of-the-way creek in western Virginia at a feature called Devil’s Bathtub that I found on the roadtrippers.com website. Not exactly dangerous, but it was stunningly beautiful, and well worth the effort to find it.

As things go in the editorial world, our story of epic danger and struggle was repackaged as a “Difficult Fall Foliage” article, so the real guts of the story were cut, along with my photos (taken during the summer). Oh well… here is what really happened!

Vapur Element Bottle & Microfilter

Vapur Element Bottle & Microfilter

Today’s review is easy: this filter & bottle combination rocks.

Let me explain. Vapur nailed it with the Element Bottle and Microfilter combination. Forget other water filtration systems that have hoses, pumps or more than two components. This is one of the easiest and most foolproof systems I have used.

Starting with the Element bottle, I was impressed right off the bat. The soft plastic bottle is super light at 1.2oz. And being soft, it is a cinch to store when empty… just remove the filter, wrap it up and secure it with the pour top and carabiner. It practically (and sometimes literally) disappears in my pack. The Element comes in .7 and 1-liter sizes and is a steal for $14. The only downside I could find during my #EpicDangerRoadTrip testing and hiking adventure was that filling the bottle is much easier with a source of running water. Waterfalls and moving creeks worked best. With the soft sides and 1.5″ opening, it just could not fill from a flatwater source without a lot of help.

Moving on to the Microfilter, Vapur made the filtration end of hydration incredibly easy. Simply insert the filter in any one of the Element bottles full of untreated water and squeeze. No, seriously, that’s it. The hollow-fiber tube construction uses no chemicals, weighs 1.5oz. and filters out all the nasty bugs (specifically 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (such as Salmonella, Cholera and E. coli) and 99.9% of protozoa (including Cryptosporidium and Giardia)) that can ruin any outdoor adventure. Each filter has a lifespan of hundreds of liters, so you’ll be set for long time. On our hiking road trip in June, Stuart and I were making our way up Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina and stopped at one of the creeks a couple of miles from the summit. Another group was there filtering with a hose & pump system. By the time they had their unraveled and started filling their Nalgene, I had already run two liters through the Vapur filter and filled the Element bottle with another liter to save and filter for dinner. Total time was less than five minutes. The Microfilter retails for $34, and is worth it’s scant weight in gold.

This bottle and filter combination will be in my pack for every adventure.

Full Disclosure: I was provided the Vapur system through Verde Communications for testing purposes. I was not compensated in any other form, and my opinions/thoughts/praise are all my own.