Category Archives: Camping & Outdoor

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Winter

I love winter!

It’s a statement that I proudly declare every year as it begins to get cold.

But I’ve been straight up lying to myself!

I don’t love the dark mornings and even darker nights. Or trying to muster up the mental strength to get out of my car or even walk the dog!

But I do love the things associated with this chilly season… hot chocolate, movie nights, cozy blankets, and of course winter fashion!

So let’s get right to it, how the pros stay warm during the winter months (and how you should too).

An effective layering system is the key to staying comfortable throughout these notoriously cold Wisconsin winters. Everyone feels the cold differently, for example, I’m a freeze baby and am cold even on 70 degree days but then I walk outside and see people in shorts when it’s a whopping 14 degrees outside! Luckily a basic layering system will work for everyone.

1) First things first.. a good base layer

A base layer is your first line of defense against the cold. Base layers are designed to regulate your body temperature and should be close fitting to trap a thin layer of warm air against your skin. A base layer will also ‘wick’ away perspiration from the skin to keep you dry. Why is being dry so important? Because dry = warm. When it comes to base layers, read the tags! You’re looking for something that says Merino wool or Polyester. STAY AWAY FROM COTTON! Cotton holds moisture, therefore, you’re cold and crabby. Merino wool is popular as it’s naturally warm and has antibacterial qualities. Goodbye B.O.! Despite what you may have thought of wool in the past, merino wool is not itchy! So don’t let that scare you away, you’ll stay warm, dry, and itch free. I promise! Merino is your answer if you’re a freeze baby like I am, going hunting, going to a Packer Game, or doing something where you’re not working up a sweat. Polyester isn’t the warmest base layer but it’s great if you’re planning on being more active because it adjusts to the wearer’s heat and humidity. Walking the dog? Cutting wood? Ice Skating? Throw on your polyester base layer.

2) Mid layers – aka my favorite layer!

Just because you want to stay warm, doesn’t mean you have to look sporty all the time. Dress your mid layer up or down as much as you want! An effective mid layer will provide great insulation by working hand in hand with your base layer to trap air between layers, resulting in enhanced warmth and comfort. Fleece is the ideal mid layer, as it is lightweight and highly breathable. Warmth without weight is important otherwise we feel super restricted and no one wants that. It’s all about comfort, right? You don’t have to go out and buy a special mid layer either. Do you have a wool sweater in your closet? Maybe a cute down vest? Just don’t put the cotton shirt underneath it!

3) Last but surely not least, the outer layer

The outer layer is just like the windows in your house. You may have the best heating system in the neighborhood but if you’re by a window you’ll still get that unwelcoming chill. So naturally, what do you do? Shut the window curtain, right? It’s that one extra layer that helps keep the cold outside, where it belongs! Just think of the curtains being like your jacket. You can have the best jacket and snow pant in the world but they won’t do anything if you aren’t properly layered underneath, just like closing the curtain won’t keep you warm if you don’t have the furnace on. The base and mid layers wick away moisture and trap body heat while the outer layer is your main defense against the brutal Wisconsin elements. This snowproof, waterproof, and windproof layer is a lifesaver during those below zero windchill days! If you’re a freeze baby like I am, look for an insulated jacket and snow pant. This gives you one more layer of extra warmth. If you’re more active or are that person that wears shorts all year round, think about getting a shell. They have a similar feel to a rain jacket so they don’t give you extra insulation but they do protect you from the outside elements.

4) Don’t forget to accessorize!

Listen to your mom! Cover your head, neck, and hands, it makes a world of a difference.

And there you have it, the 411 on how to survive the winter months that seem to last a lifetime in the midwest.

Click Here to shop some of our favorite layering pieces this season!

Jack Wolfskin is at Shepherd & Schaller

Meet the family: Jack Wolfskin

“We respect the diversity of nature and all living things. Our earth is simply the most beautiful place in the universe and we only have this one. We do everything we can to protect it and we want to experience it and share it with others.” -Jack Wolfskin

And that is exactly what they do!

The brand’s entire product collection is 75% PFC-free (PFCs are pollutants that do not break down when released into the environment) and it’s a percentage that is continuing to rise. With that being said, in January 2016, Jack Wolfskin was the first brand to win the ISPO Eco Achievement Award, a distinction that, until now, only specific products had been recognized for.  It was awarded because of Jack Wolfskin’s sustainability commitments, including exclusively using Organic Certified Cotton since 2013 and attaining the Fair Wear Foundation Award (labor conditions) multiple years in a row.

Outdoor enthusiasts around the world are recognizing this brand that started only in 1981, in a small German town. Jack Wolfskin is not only the largest outdoor brand in its home country, Germany, but also in Austria and Switzerland, and is in the top three brands in China.

But if this company is so renoun, why haven’t we heard about it in the United States?

Jack Wolfskin only brought this company to the states less than a year ago and it’s about to take off with outdoor chains itching to get their hands on it! As of now, there are only a handful of stores that carry this brand and Shepherd & Schaller in Wausau is one of the few! We are the only store in Wisconsin carrying the brand and we’re excited to share it with all of you!

Meet the Family: Grand Trunk Goods for the Road

Meet the family: Grand Trunk Goods for the Road
Shepherd & Schaller is Wausau’s outdoor experts and we respect quality and commitment.  So, for hammocks we choose Grand Trunk.
For every dollar you donate, Grand Trunk will match your donation on their site. After all, it takes two trees to hang a hammock, so Grand Trunk is committed to planting 5000 trees a year. They stand by ethical, fair-trade manufacturing which is good for their retailers, customers, partner and the world. They promote sustainable small business livelihood and enhance opportunity for economic progress. These are things we believe in too.
Grand Trunk “Goods for the Road” is not just hanging around.
Grab a single or double hammock, easy to use suspension straps, shelters and mosquito nets, travel pillows and get outside!

Mosquito covers make every outdoor setting comfortable

Meet the Family: Sherpa Adventure Clothing

Meet the family: Sherpa. A small brand can change the world.

Sherpa, by it’s own definition, is a modern brand with ancient wisdom. It weaves together the latest designs and technology with the rich heritage and time-honored beliefs of Nepal.  They focuse on providing economic and social stability to the people of Nepal through steady employment, quality working conditions and educational opportunities for future generations. As a Sherpa-founded company, the adventure clothing produced embraces technical materials and designs, passes grueling tests in the Himalayas, and weaves a rich heritage of humility into every garment.

“Our footprint may be small, but the Sherpa heart is big with belief that a modest brand can lift people up, train and educate the next generation, even help reverse the ravages of poor governance and a changing environment,” they say.

At Shep’s, we respect the values, wisdom and experience that Sherpa shares. They match our own.