C’mon Baby Light My Fire (or, How Do You Light Yours?)

Just to manage expectations – if you want detailed instructions on how to make and light a campfire mosey on over to YouTube – there are hundreds of videos that’ll give you ideas. Here I’m just going to chat about fire lighters, share some fire making tips, and mention the tools we use when car […]

More >

Gear Review: Leatherman Skeletool CX

My new everyday carry knife / multi tool. It weighs less than my Milwaukee Fastback or Swiss Navy knife. It has a carabiner and pocket clip – which was a must have for me. The tools include pliers, side cutters, screwdriver (Phillips and flat bits) and, of course, a bottle opener. The only tools I […]

More >

Gear Review: Cooking System: 2016 – To date

Photograph of a Trangia stove fitted into a lightweight aluminium pot stand

In 2016 we took a serious look at why we weren’t getting out backpacking as much as we’d like. Work was one of the major obstacles, but we also identified several gear issues that caused problems. One of those ‘pinch points’ was our cooking system. We wanted something lighter, smaller and simpler. I love both […]

More >

How did we get here, and where are we headed?

Back in 2010 our outdoor recreation goals very quickly evolved. Within three months of our first weekend camping trip we’d bought kayaks to get out on the lakes, and in less than six months we went from car camping to backpacking and hiking. From the start we had difficulty finding campgrounds and sites as they […]

More >

Trip Report: 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Backpacking

Photograph of the 2017 total solar eclipse seen through the trees of the Mark Twain National Forest near the Berryman / Ozark trail in MIssouri

We went eclipse backpacking on the Ozark Trail. The eclipse was more popular than I anticipated. My plan had been to wait until seven days before the event and pick a destination. I picked seven days because the weather forecast would be more reliable. Unfortunately, waiting that late meant that everything was already booked (and […]

More >

A short hike and some hammock gear testing

The weather this weekend has been wonderful (especially considering it is still February). However, we’ve not had a chance to get away backpacking as we had commitments in town on Saturday. Today we went on a short hike at Busiek, hiking a little over three miles with around 700ft of elevation climbed.  Remaining true to our recent experiences, […]

More >

Trip Report: Backpacking on the Hercules Glades Pees Hollow Trail

The next couple of months are going to be very busy for us, and opportunities for getting out hiking or backpacking will be limited. The prospect of a spell of warm Ozarks winter weather gave us a chance to squeeze in a midweek backpacking trip. We rearranged our work schedules and took off to Hercules […]

More >

Short Hike on the Yellow Trail at Busiek

The Yellow Trail at Busiek State Forest

We decided to fit in a quick hike at Busiek this weekend. We were originally planning on going backpacking at Hercules Glades, but life (this time in the form of pet-sitting for friends) threw a spanner into that plan. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to test some of the new backpacking gear we’ve bought, […]

More >

If wishes were ponies

I’d have a whole lot of pack horses by now. This time last year (2015) we thought we were getting back into our hiking / backpacking stride, and we lost it. After about three hikes we stopped. Lots of work came in and we both spent most of the year tied to our desks and […]

More >

Another Short Hike at Busiek

We’re still working on getting back in condition. Today, we wanted to increase the distance and elevation climbed while, not getting too wet and muddy, and not driving too far. We settled on hiking the complete Silver Trail at Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area.

More >

An Afternoon Hike at Compton Hollow Conservation Center

I have a confession. We stopped hiking in 2013, it wasn’t deliberate. First we missed our ‘annual’ Spring Break backpacking trip, then we both got tied up with work. I abandoned my semi-retired state, and getting out just faded away. No backpacking, almost no hiking, kayaking or fishing. It all stopped. We made an attempt […]

More >

Glade Top Trail – Mark Twain National Forest – Taney County & Ozark County Missouri

The Glade Top Trail is not a recognised hiking or backpacking route. It is a spectacular drive of over 23 miles on unpaved roads within 60 miles of Springfield and Branson. It’s especially worth visiting in the fall.

More >

Late Afternoon Paddle on the James River Above Lake Springfield

paddling on the James Rive in the late afternoon

I decided to ignore the temperatures in the high nineties and take the kayaks and our youngest daughter out for a short run on the James River. The plan was to put in at the Southwood Access point, go up river and drop back down-river and take-out at Lake Springfield.

More >