Top

Archive | Small Essentials

Eventually I settled on the Canon G9X II. I could justify its price, and it had all the features that I know I need, with some opportunities to grow.

Backpacking camera shopping: Two helpful questions

In my buyers guide for backpacking cameras, I identified the pros and cons of various options and discussed the optimal user profile for each. The guide is designed to help you settle on a specific form factor: smartphone, point-and-shoot, enthusiast compact, or interchangeable lens. Camera shopping does not necessarily get any easier from there, however. Within each category, […]

Continue Reading
Old and new: my heavily used Canon S100, right; and its replacement, the Canon G9X II. Size and weight are similar, but the image quality on the G9X is several levels better.

Buyers Guide || Cameras for backpacking: Phones, point-and-shoots, compacts & interchangeable-lens

Last week I spent many more hours researching and deliberating about the purchase of a new camera than any non-obsessive person ever would. While they’re still fresh and relevant, I’ll share some backpacking-specific buying and product insights that I wish I had found elsewhere. Personal context I primarily use my camera for backpacking, followed by […]

Continue Reading
At the lip of Knapsack Col in the Wind River Range, the south side of which holds a lot of snow. Personal comfort on snow is a big factor in the value-added of crampons and an axe. I was fine without them, but I know that others have struggled here.

Early-season backpacking || Merits of skis, snowshoes, crampons & axes

The early-season is a messy inbetween — it’s no longer winter, but not yet summer, either. Snowpack and cornices still linger in the higher elevations and on shady and leeward aspects, while snow-free trails are found lower down and on sun-blasted slopes higher up. This inconsistency presents backcountry travelers with a dilemma: What will be […]

Continue Reading
The Black Diamond Spot is a solid all-around headlamp. It's bright, lightweight, versatile, and reasonably priced.

Review: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp || Bright, lightweight, reasonably priced

While in the headlamp aisle at the local REI last summer, I wondered if other customers felt fortunate for the recent advances in LED technology. The three models I was deliberating between were all less expensive, lighter weight, longer lasting, and brighter (by several factors) than the lights I had used for my thru-hikes in the 2000’s and […]

Continue Reading
gear-list-featured-image

Backpacking Gear Lists || First Aid, Foot Care & Repair Kits (Downloadable)

If I were to drop my first aid, foot care, and field repair kits directly into my master backpacking gear list, I would fear clogging it up. Already, the master list can be intimidating, and these kits contain dozens of items on their own. Moreover, their exact contents depend greatly on whether I am traveling solo or with a […]

Continue Reading
Rain pants torn by brush. Quick fix with tape. Long-term repair with needle, thread, and Aquaseal.

Gear list || Backpacking Field Repair Kit for broken, lost & worn out gear

Due to extended use, hard use, and sometimes human error, backpacking clothing and equipment will break, tear, and wear out. Personally, in the field I’ve experienced: Torn trekking pants, rain gear, puffy jackets, sleeping bags, and backpacks; Leaking seams on shelters; Bent, splintered, and fractured trekking pole shafts; Cracked sunglasses; Punctured and cracked water bottles; Dead headlamp batteries; Slow leaks in air sleeping […]

Continue Reading
My group foot care kit for hiking and backpacking. For solo trips, I carry fewer items and less of each item.

Gear List || Backpacking Foot Care Kit for blisters & maceration

How many hiking and backpacking trips have been set back, or even ruined, by blisters, maceration, and other podiatric problems? Quite a few — including some of mine, unfortunately. To minimize these issues, I carry a dedicated foot care kit. I consider it a separate entity than my backpacking first aid kit. It contains several […]

Continue Reading