April 15th, 2014
Miss Eleven is as you may know a Scout. Next month we plan the yearly ceremony, with badge awards and things like that, although as fifth-graders going into sixth they are not crossing into the next group. The will still be Junior Girl Scouts (wearing green) for another school year before they become Cadettes.
But I am very tired of struggling up from wet grass at these ceremonies, and although I am losing weight, it’s a slow enough process that it’s still a struggle to get up off the ground. Especially when the grass is wet and slippery. So I bought an Alps Mountaineering camp chair for the next one.
April 3rd, 2014
When my friends went on a multiple day hiking trip through the forest close to our hometown, they wanted to try to pack as light as possible for the trip. Naturally, they really didn’t want to have to carry a heavy bag for the miles that they were going to have to hike every day. This meant that they bought light sleeping bags to take on the trip.
Since they still wanted to be able to sleep comfortably, even while carrying lighter packs, they decided to splurge a little bit and bring their Alps Mountaineering pads with them on the trip. This ended up being a good idea because even with light packs, their backs were aching by the end of each day. It was nice to lie on a soft pad after a day of hiking.
April 1st, 2014
Have you ever been camping and you ran out of propane or whatever fuel you used for your lantern and your camp stove or whatever? Or you had to choose between the camp stove and the lantern because you didn’t have enough fuel for both? I have, and it’s a pain in the neck, because it always happens either in the dead of night or when it’s pouring rain.
So I got a Coleman dual fuel lantern, and now I just bring a three-gallon can of unleaded gasoline when I go camping. See, the Coleman dual fuel will work with Coleman fuel or unleaded gas, and all it needs is a couple of pints – so a quart – in order to burn for something like fourteen hours when it’s set on low, or half that on high.
March 19th, 2014
We have a cute little Eureka Spitfire two-person tent, and it wasn’t all that easy to find here locally (although they are apparently all over the Internet. But we needed a small tent, and we had read very favorable reviews of the Eureka brand. The fact that it came in blue was just a bonus as far as my kids were concerned.
Of course, in looking for Eureka tents, when we finally found the one we wanted, someone shouted Eureka! And then there was much to-do as they argued over who had seen it first and who owed whom a soda for the simultaneous shout. But now they’re both happy and this weekend they’re snuggling down in the Eureka tent on our covered porch.
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!