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 […]

Gear Review: Bic Flex Wand Lighter


Having a long-handled lighter can be quite handy for camping. Much easier than having to kneel down to get a fire going in a pit. Or for starting fires in wood stoves when cabin camping. Or starting up stoves. We were recently sent a Bic Flex Wand Lighter, which I gave a heavy abuse to […]

Gear Find: NYNE Mini Speaker


Fair warning: While not everyone enjoys the sounds of music in the wilds, sometimes it is a lot of fun. Just don’t annoy anyone else with Thrash Metal 5000 on 30 while hiking, OK? Well, if you must, at least have a wicked air guitar style….and hair to match. What is tiny and packs a […]

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: EZ Squeezees


EZ Squeezees? What might that be, I can be sure more than a few are thinking. Well, if you happen to have kids around the past few years, you have seen the boom in food packets. My two youngest have grown up with them, a near no-mess, on the go, convenient snacking or meal for […]