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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 […]
If you own a plastic kayak and you want to start adding fittings and making modifications, there’s no getting away from it, at some point you are going to have to start making holes in your boat’s hull. Let’s see how to do it.
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 […]
We’ve owned our Coleman Exponent multifuel stove since 2010, and it’s our go-to stove for car camping. 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.
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 […]