Gear Review: BigShot Wide Mouth


I am admittedly a throwback to the past with certain gear. Example? I don’t like hydration bladders. Loooong ago, when they first came out, I jumped on it. And found I never did like it, no matter the brand. I found I like a bladder for in-camp use great, but not for drinking. I went […]

Gear Review: Deuter Backpacks For Kids


I’ve often mentioned my loyalty to Deuter – my daypack, backpacking pack and kid carrier packs are Deuter. My daypack (and sometimes an overnighter) has been with me for 5+ years now, without any issues. Compared to an REI daypack I bought at the same time, the Deuter still looks great – no fraying, no […]

In My Daypack This Year


I try to go through my daypack every spring and look at what is there. What needs to be replaced. Or tossed. Or added. It is a good habit, and then you don’t wish you had something later on! And I’ll be upfront about it this year: This year I have a much heavier haul […]

Gear Review: Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern


When I first started backpacking, back in the dark ages, there were not many choices for lights. You had heavy headlamps, that slid down into your glasses, lanterns that weighed a ton or flashlights that burned through batteries. I have felt for a long time that what really changed everything was LED bulbs finally being […]

Gear Review: Smartphone Backup Power


For me, technology has been something I have embraced, especially if it is easy to use and makes my life more enjoyable. When I think about hiking and backpacking even 10 years ago, what pops up in my mind is how many things I used to carry on trips, even when going light. Camera, GPS, […]

Choosing a 3-Season Sleeping Bag

A quality sleeping bag is everything. Trust me on that. I tried cheap. I tried 45 bags in 20 degree weather. I hated every night I slept out. I was always cold. Then one day I coughed up the $$ for my first down bag. It was heaven. It was worth the cost. Lesson? Don’t […]