Our Gear

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 >

Hiking and Backpacking Emergency Kit

Photograph of the contents of a hiking emergency kit

The trails of the Ozarks are very rugged, fairly remote and access for any rescue party will be difficult. Our worst case scenario is that one of us will suffer a fall and become incapacitated.

If the worst happens we assume that there will be no cell phone service, and that any rescue attempt will likely take a day or more. So even on a short day hike our emergency kit is designed to enable us to survive overnight in the wilderness.

More >

Selecting a sleeping bag (and what else will I need?)

The scenery from our Mutha Hubba tent by Loch Bad a'Ghaill, Scotland

We began car camping with cheap Walmart sleeping bags. When we started backpacking we needed lighter more compressible sleeping bags. Our first choice of bag was a failure, three years later, we have two sleeping bags each for year round camping and backpacking. Here are our tips on buying a sleeping bag, and what else you’ll need to get for a comfortable nights sleep in the wild.

More >

Our Gear: MSR Dromedary and MSR Sweetwater

I am a microbiologist by training and therefore have a healthy respect for getting horrendously sick from the water. We hike in the Ozarks and that means pretty much everywhere you go there are houses on septic tanks upstream from where you are. We have livestock that drink from streams. As we do not live […]

More >

Backpacking Trial Run – Weekend Camping at Berry Bend

This weekend we tried out our backpacking gear. Friday evening we took several kids to Kansas City for a church event. We needed to be on hand to collect them again Sunday afternoon, so we left Lanie in the capable hands of Ginger’s cousin, put Getzger in charge at home and once we’d dropped the […]

More >

Gear Review: Coleman Exponent Multi Fuel Stove

Picture of bacon sizzling on top of a Coleman Exponent stove

We’ve owned our Coleman Exponent Multi Fuel Stove since 2010, and it’s our go-to stove for car camping and backpacking. In this review we explain why we purchased it – not all the reasons were logical, how it’s worked out for us, and we give some hints for using it while camping and backpacking.

More >

Gear Review: Coleman Sunlight Ridge tent

Photograph of a Coleman Sunlight Ridge Tent

We enjoyed our Memorial weekend camping so much, we decided to get set up properly for camping. As two of the kids are willing to give camping a try, that left us with an accommodation problem. So we bought another tent. We picked the Coleman Sunlight Ridge tent, based on price and size. It’s big […]

More >