March 5th, 2014
My father lives at the base of a mountain. This works perfectly for him because he loves to camp and hike. He also loves skiing. Just last weekend he decided that he would take a trip up to the pass to go skiing. He packed all of his gear in the back of his car and put on some chains to make it all the way to the top of the pass so that he could go skiing.
He also threw his Slumberjack Latitude 0 sleeping bag in his trunk just in case. It turned out that it was a very good thing that he did. When he tried to head back down the pass, he got part way down before they told him that it was now closed. This left him stranded on the side of the road. Luckily, he was able to stay warm in his sleeping bag.
March 5th, 2014
Mantle lanterns are still available, because… well, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because LEDs, although safer, are still considerably more expensive. Maybe campers just like the old-fashioned technology; after all, there’s something to be said for leaving the electronic world behind when you go camping.
Plus, let’s face it, a Coleman lantern is proven technology; it’s been around for at least a hundred years. Well, and apparently some people collect lanterns by Coleman the way others collect Matchbox cars or baseball cards. And it’s not like the LED lanterns aren’t available – they are – but sometimes people like to stick with old favorites.
February 21st, 2014
There are a bunch of different models of camp stoves from Optimus, but they all have a few things in common. They are all tiny, compact little things, intended for hiking, and saving as much pack space and weight as possible. If you want some extra oomph or cooking power, you just carry more fuel, though, because these little guys can do it all.
The Optimus camp stove is just low profile and high powered. My personal favorite of the Optimus stoves is the Eta Solo Stove. It comes with a little pot that’s .9 liters (about a quart) and the pot is both the container for the stove itself as well as a drinking cup or bowl for whatever you cooked in it. It even has a little insulating sleeve to keep it warm and serve as a pot holder.
February 17th, 2014
Primus. One. First. Prime. I think that’s the point here, that this little stove is Number One among its competition, first among many, all that sort of thing. Primus in Latin means (according to Google Translate) all those things, as well as other first-y kinds of words like chief, and foremost, and primary.
Anyway, I know that if I were hiking in and had space (or weight) restrictions, a Primus stove would be first on MY list. Well, at least one of their little single-burner guys; I would use the more standard two-burner camping stove from them for more drive-in camping situations.
February 4th, 2014
Yeah, yeah, Jellystone, I know. But I had to do it. I love that Browning names its sleeping bags after famous places to camp; I think that’s pretty cool. Or very warm, as the case may be. So the one named McKinley is good down to 0 Fahrenheit, the Klondike keeps the sleeper warm down to -30F, and so forth.
The Browning Yellowstone sleeping bag is a mummy bag that will keep you warm down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s also lightweight and compressible enough to carry in a backframe or even a large backpack, with room for other gear. The offset construction keeps drafts out, and the hood helps keep heat in.
January 27th, 2014
The short, squat shape with the funky legs makes it look like this device fits its name – as though it should be landing on the moon. It’s not quite Apollo Eleven but it has that same sort of feel to me. It’s a bit lightweight to do exploring on other planets though, and it has neither wheels nor scanners and cameras.
What the Primus Express Lander camp stove does have is a heat reflector, a nylon stuff sack, and a decent price. It also has a small enough size to haul along with you, even if you are all about going lightweight. And on top of everything else, it has a boil time of four and a half minutes; I think that’s faster than my kitchen stove!
January 16th, 2014
At the day camp that I used to work at, there was always an overnight stay on the last day of camp. This was a great way for a lot of the kids to experience their first night alone. It was good practice camping because we were just in a big field. Overnights were not free of the strange issues that always seem to plague camp experiences though.
One year, the field of cabin tents was surprised by some pop up sprinkler heads in the middle of the night. Leaders had to try to find the sprinkler heads and cover them with buckets, so that they wouldn’t get the tents wet. Another year, there was a freak thunderstorm and the whole camp ended up hanging out in the bathrooms for shelter.
January 10th, 2014
I enjoy hiking in the rain. I realize that may sound strange to some people, but it is true. I don’t like to hike when it is hot and sunny. It just makes me feel sweaty and gross. I much prefer hiking with the rain falling onto my face and soaking my hair. It’s like taking a natural shower, while you are still exercising.
The problem with hiking in the rain is that all of my stuff gets wet. Anything that I carry in my backpack is liable to end up soaked. This would be a problem, if I ever needed any of the emergency items that I carry in the bag. What I need is some sort of waterproof bag. This would keep of all my essential items dry while I hiked in the rain.
January 9th, 2014
We have a used car place up here in the wilds north of Seattle, which has a name unfortunate enough to have the initials KKK. I find this a little bit trying, as though the company hadn’t been able to think up a name without realizing the potential issues involved in a business with those initials.
For some reason, the Klean Kanteen water bottle does not have the same effect on as that little used car place with the three K’s in its name. Perhaps it’s that there are only two K’s until you add an adjective, or perhaps it’s that the product is one I like. After all, what’s not to like about a green canteen? Or kanteen.
January 7th, 2014
I remember hiking, back when I had energy and time (because now I’m overweight, a mother of three, a full-time employee and a full-time student). I enjoyed it at the time, and as soon as I have my Bachelor of Science in Communications (just a few more months!) I will be able to carve out some time. By then my youngest will be able to go on short little hikes with me, too.
And short little hikes they will have to be; I am really out of shape. At least at first, I’ll have to get a couple of hiking daypacks and fill them with water and trail mix and do the very short hikes, and maybe I can improve as I go along. I can slowly get myself back into some semblance of fitness.