Our camping lists usually menCamping tenttion tents. We’ve used lean-tos, but usually we rely on a tent of some sort for shelter and privacy. The price of tents has drastically reduced in recent years. This may be due to stiff competition from foreign manufacturers, new fabrics and designs, or just over production.  Whatever the reason, I like the result. Again, as in previous posts, we’ll leave backpacking shelters to the specialized sites.  Remarkable claims are heard today of ultralight trail tents or under 5 pounds for a 2-person enclosure with rain fly.  The price changes don’t seem to have found this market yet.  These wonders of manufacturing and design can easily go over $300.

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Camp Cooking Gear – Pots, Pans, Silverware etc.

camp-cooking-fire-potAt some point, you’re going to want to cook, probably, when you’re camping. All our checklists show cooking gear as a take along item. It isn’t usually necessary to buy any camp cooking gear designed specially for camping, except backpacking. You probably already have everything you need at home.

Pots & Pans


A skillet is nice to have for the bacon. Well, eggs and burgers and maybe home fries, too. Steer clear of the light weight aluminum ones that are used as the lid to most camp cooking gear kits. They are great for boiling water but they are so thin that cooking without sticking is almost impossible. A nice heavy non-stick stainless or anodized aluminum skillet is a good item to carry.  A nice seasoned cast iron skillet works well, too. [Read more…]

BioLite Camp Stove – High & Low Tech


Biolite Campstove

The BioLite camp stove is a recent development in the technology department that sounds like it’s too good to be true. The BioLite camp stove is a high tech stove that burns wood with the aid of an internal fan, and produces enough electricity to run the fan and recharge your cell phone.  The part that’s too good?  It’s costly, and you have to burn something to get juice.  It probably weighs as much as most liquid fueled alternatives, when you include the weight of the fuel.  And you do need to continue to feed the burner to make the internal fan operate and the generator to work.  Still, nicely designed piece of gear.

Here’s some specs from their website:

Fast to boil: 4.5 minutes to boil 1 liter of water
Fire power output (peak): 3.4 kw (lo) 5.5 kw (hi)
USB power output: Max continuous: 2W @5V, Peak: 4W @5V
Compatible Devices: Most USB-chargeable devices including smartphones
Fuel: Burns sticks, pine cones, pellets and other biomass
Packed size: Height 8.25 inches, Width 5 inches
Weight: 2 lbs 1 oz / 935 grams
Pot weight limit: 8 lbs or 1 gallon of liquid
Materials: Stainless steel, aluminum, plastic



Segways Take to the Trails


There they go!

I’ll admit that I chuckled when I read a recent article on Newschief.com about how Segways are set to take to the trails. Nothing would be stranger to me than seeing a group on Segways coming around the bend out on a wilderness trail. I was surprised the first time we were passed by a group on mountain bikes, but Segways? Oh My! When I thought about it a little longer, why not. If it doesn’t tear up the trail it may just provide an outdoor experience that some people may not otherwise enjoy. If you’ve ever ridden a Segway though you would probably agree that these are not for all people on all terrains. I imagine grandfathers in Bermuda shorts and grandmothers in their “traveling” outfits moseying down a nice flat pathway. Rocky inclines, probably not. But you never know!