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The Small Sounds of Climbing

The following post is a Campfire: a short story of 110 words or less and one photo. Want to take on the challenge? Submit your Camfire here.

Campfire: The Small Sounds of Climbing

The snap of the gate after you clip,

The clink of your ATC as you take in slack,

Your partner’s focused, pre-crux breaths,

The swish of the rope gliding through your gloved hand and the soft scrape when it snags slightly whilst sliding over the schist,

the synthetic snap of helmet buckles,

the jingle of knocking nuts,

the clank of colliding cams,

the conversational crickets hiding in the pine needles, the cheeping finch perched overhead, and the chattering chipmunk scampering through last autumn’s maple leaves:

These are the small sounds of climbing.

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This is a guest post from Dirtbag Darling contributor Rhea Cortado. Read more about her here.

Tanning is a tourist thing. From living in California to being an expat in the tropics, freckles and tan lines inevitably surface from just existing in the sun’s warmth day after day. Employing an array of sunscreens to slow down bronzing is just part of a coastal dweller’s daily beauty routine.

There is a the water-resistant pasty mud mask for surfing at noon; the medium-weight, sweat-proof lotion for a hot bike ride or hike; and the light, invisible moisturizer sunscreen for those unavoidable rays. Think of it like a surfboard quiver, different boards for different waves.

The former sun blockers are sticky slipper lotions that I always want to scrub off as soon as I can reach a shower and some shade. But I didn’t feel that way about Ursa Major’s Force Field Daily Defense Lotion.


It smells more like a pleasant lotion versus a typical drugstore sunscreen. The creamy and thick consistency rubs in clear, but felt substantial enough to be protective. It’s free of anything on my beauty blacklist (nanoparticles, petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances), so it didn’t cause breakouts or any irritation after wearing and reapplying for several hours, for days in a row.

It’s a perfect fit for the lightweight, everyday sunscreen category, but I haven’t test it all day in purse, harsh, direct sunlight. If that were on the agenda, I’d bump up to the heavier stuff. And keep in mind that most sunblocks—even the SPF 50+ water-resistant zinc war paint—can only hold on for a maximum of two hours, and less if you’re sweating or in the water.

But for most days, add this onto the end of your cleansing, toning, and moisturizing routine and you’ll forget that this invisible sun shield is on—until you realize that you aren’t turning red.

The post Dopp Kit: Ursa Major Force Field Daily Defense Lotion appeared first on Dirtbag Darling.

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