Sunny days and late sunsets make for epic long runs. If your time outdoors has you ready to train for your next 5k or maybe bust into ultra territory, we’ve got the gear you need at frugal prices. Check out our top picks below, and stop by to shop our awesome selection of running shoes, hydration, and apparel.
Western North Carolina is renowned as a haven of outdoor beauty. Our night skies are no exception; Asheville’s relatively low level of light pollution and easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway make it an ideal spot for seeking fantastic views of the night sky.
If you’re looking to expand your outdoor hobbies, give stargazing a go. It’s a low-key way to enjoy our outdoor paradise, is equally fun solo or with a group, can be enjoyed regardless of your fitness level, and doesn’t require a large investment to try.
Get started frugally. You don’t have to shell out big bucks for a fancy telescope to enjoy stargazing. In fact, you can see objects up to 2.5 million lightyears away without any equipment at all. To get started with minimal investment, purchase a star chart (great options are available for under $20) and head to a dark spot on the Parkway (check out some of our fav spots below). You’ll be surprised at what you can see!
Get help from experts. Most amateur astronomers are enthusiastic about their passion and happy to help new comers. Join one of the group star gazes hosted by Astronomy Club of Asheville or one of the many public events hosted by UNCA at the Lookout Observatory. This can be a great way to learn more about what you’re observing and make connections.
Ready for a better view? You can purchase an excellent pair of binoculars for a much smaller investment than a mediocre telescope and their versatility and ease of operation make them ideal for beginners. Added bonus, they’re a breeze to throw in your pack for incredible views on a nighttime hike.
Great Places to Go:
Blue Ridge Star Park and Observatory– Spruce Pine, NC Recognized by the International Dark Sky Association as a dark-sky place.
Mt. Pisgah Trailhead (Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 407.6)
Stoney Bald Overlook (Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 402.6)
Tanbark Ridge Overlook (Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 376.7)
Craggy Dome Overlook (Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 364.1)
Last year, you helped us get over 400 coats to those in our community who need them most. This year, we’ve set a goal of 450 coats for Eblen Charities and you can score a discount for doing good.
November 19-December 24, you’ll receive 20% off an item for bringing in a gently used coat. (There’s a limit of one discount per person during the length of this promotion.) You can drop off a coat at either Diamond Brand location or Frugal Backpacker. You’ll only be able to use the discount on one item, but if you’d like to bring in multiple coats during the drive, that’s awesome! We’re also not allowed to discount certain items like YETI, GoPro, gift cards, and boats.
Eblen Charities is a non-profit organization whose outreach extends throughout the counties of Western North Carolina and through its numerous programs has helped thousands upon thousand of families each year with medical and emergency assistance through more than 70 programs yearly throughout the region.
Short Answer: Samples are current season items from top brands that we make available below MSRP.
But seriously, where do they come from? Producing high-quality clothing is an involved process. About a year before you see items hit stores, top brands have already designed their lines and received finished samples of the final line. They use these samples to show retail partners the new line and help them make purchasing decisions.
Why are they all one size? Typically, each brand rep will have a sample set that consists of one of each item, in a single size. Most brands produce their samples in a small or medium for women and a medium or large for men. However, sample sizing is not always precise. Occasionally you’ll find a small that fits more like an extra small or a medium that fits more like a large, so if you’re close to the marked size, try it on, you may be pleasantly surprised.
How do you get the prices so low? At the end of the showing season, brands sell their samples to us at a reduced cost and we pass the savings on to you. Often you’ll find current season items, that are just hitting other retailers, for 30-50% off MSRP.
How do I find out about new sample sets? Make sure you’re on our email list and like us on Facebook. We try to let our frugies know when we get sweet new products in, and sometimes offer exclusive deals.
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