I’m usually pretty easy on my equipment, but recently I’ve got careless and damaged three items of my backpacking gear. Today I removed my temporary duct tape fixes and applied permanent repairs to my underquilt protector and rain skirt. One-minute read, 6 pictures
Keeping clean while hiking or backpacking is an oxymoron in my book. Nature is all about dirt, and working up a sweat comes with the first steep hill you have to climb. The squeamish and easily frightened should probably stop reading at this point. Backpacking is perhaps not for you. Six-minute read
No, I’m not referring to COVID-19, though that has thrown a monkey wrench into my backpacking and hiking plans. I’m going to briefly talk about what I’ve been doing on the trails, plus some life and gear changes.
After many years of backpacking I’ve finally come up with a water filtering solution that I like. It’s only taken me eight years! We started off with the MRI Sweet Water. Oh how I hated pumping it. Then we had the Sawyer Mini, which was so frustratingly slow.
My GPS broke when I was backpacking recently, and then I had a disastrous trip where at one point I lamented not having a decent compass. It was time to engage in one of my favorite non-hiking pastimes. Research and shopping.
My cook pot, stove, and food (ready-made dehydrated meals) have been working well for both backpacking and camping. But the wind screen and pot stand are a little bulky and weighty – between a quarter and half a pound. So, in an idle moment, I thought I’d check and see what other options there might be. Read on to see what I found to replace them.
I spent a lot of hours researching hammocks before deciding on the Chameleon. I’m not going to say much about it until I’ve spent a few nights out on the trail, but my first inspection and impressions confirm what I’d read in the reviews, It’s very well made.
I do not like bear bags. Well, that’s not strictly true. I’ve nothing against the bags or having to hoist all the camp food and ‘smellies’ up into the trees … What I don’t like is hanging them, nor do I like stumbling around the forest in the dark looking for a ‘misplaced’ bag.
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 […]
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 miss […]
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 the cooking system we used when backpacking. We wanted something lighter, smaller and […]
When we stopped hiking / backpacking, we didn’t mean to. It started with a family wedding that coincided with our annual spring break trip, then work got busy, and all of a sudden years had passed. We tried to get out last year. We managed three short day hikes. In marketing you look to removing […]
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.
I bought my GoLite Ultralite 800 Fill 1+ season quilt in March 2011 for shoulder season and summer backpacking and camping. I’ve used it since then for backpacking, car camping, and various other odd nights out away from home.
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.
If one thing is likely to start a passionate gear discussion, it’s hiking and backpacking footwear. I’m in a minority on this subject and I know it. Why? If you look closely at any of our backpacking or hiking pictures, you’ll see I’m almost always apparently barefoot…
We bought this super little lantern for backpacking, car camping, kayak camping and home emergency lighting. I was skeptical of being able to fit it in my backpack – but it fits in an outside side pocket just fine, it is that small.
When we first started hiking the question soon arose, “Do we need hiking poles?” (also known as trekking poles). We thought that they were pretentious accessories only used by the sort of people who like to buy every latest gadget and bit of gear to look the part. I just could not see the need for them.