Top

Archive | Backpacking

The Bear Vault BV500, which offers good volume for its weight at a reasonable price

Reader Q: Where should I put my bear canister or Ursack at night?

In a comment to my recent post about the ineffectiveness of bear bags and recommended alternatives, reader Jim N. asked, I received a similar question via email from David N., so a standalone post on the issue seems warranted. But to give a more comprehensive answer, I’ll broaden the question to: Official recommendations Let’s first look […]

Continue Reading
NOLS Cookery (National Outdoor Leadership School) (NOLS Library) Kindle Edition by Claudia Pearson (Author, Editor), Mike Clelland  (Illustrator), Stackpole Books; 5 Revised edition (January 1, 2004)

Ineffective & outdated: Six reasons to not hang a bear bag

Bear bags are a stubborn fixture of the backpacking world. Hanging is recommended, taught, and practiced by influential organizations and individuals even though it is less effective, less foolproof, less reliable, less efficient, and less safe than other food protection techniques, notably hard-sided canisters and (to a lesser degree) soft-sided bear-resistant food sacks. I have not […]

Continue Reading
The width of the 12" x 20" Opsak is about the same as most candy/energy bars and snack/sandwich bags.

Long-term review: LOKSAK OPSAK || Food storage enhancer

LOKSAK OPSAK bags are made of heavy-duty plastic and have a hermetic seal. When closed, the bag is airtight, waterproof, and odor-proof (the “OP” in OPSAK). On some trips, I use the 12″ x 20″ size ($6, 1.5 oz) as a lone food sack or as a liner inside a wildlife-resistant Ursack. I also like the 9″ […]

Continue Reading
A black bear in Bubbs Creek, Sequoia-Kings National Park

Tutorial || How to store & protect food from bears & mini-bears

You’ve set up camp for the night and cooked dinner. Now what should be done with the Snickers, salami, peanut noodle dinners, and the other calories that will sustain you for the remainder of your backpacking trip? Protect from what? Most backpackers seem to protect their food overnight because they’re worried about bears. In places […]

Continue Reading
The Suunto 9 Baro is accurate and fully featured, and has a long-lasting battery.

Long-term review: Suunto 9 Baro || Legit flagship watch, needs firmware fix

For five months I’ve been using the Suunto 9 Baro GPS Sport Watch on a near daily basis, mostly while trail and road running, and occasionally backpacking. With few exceptions, it has supplanted my trusted Suunto Ambit3 Peak (long-term review). It’s the nicest Suunto watch that I’ve used yet, but has one significant blemish that […]

Continue Reading
The author at the last trail junction before Milner Pass, the northern terminus of the Pfiffner Traverse, with trusted inReach Explorer+ at the ready.

Long-term review: Garmin inReach Explorer+ || Sat comm + GPS unit 2-in-1

For different trips, I often wear and carry different gear. But some items are so vital that they end up on every trip — and my Garmin inReach Explorer+ is one of them. Since its release in early-2017, I have used my inReach Explorer+ on many trips around the globe, including on the southern Appalachian Trail, […]

Continue Reading
The FluxRing is one of several features that help make Jetboils fast and efficient.

How to choose: Jetboil backpacking stoves || Zip v. Flash v. -Mo v. Joule

Yesterday I attended a Jetboil press event in Boulder. It was an opportunity to examine the product line and to speak with Jetboil reps in a less time-crunched setting than Outdoor Retailer. Stove system overview To simplify decision-making for its dealers and customers, Jetboil seems to have worked hard to keep its product line tight. It […]

Continue Reading
The Lyngen Down 850 Parka, with 850-fill down and 10d face fabric. It weighs 12 oz (M's Large) and retails for $419.

Brand intro: Norrøna || Premium & technical, ubiquitous in Norway

Outdoor Retailer is an opportunity to learn about brands I’ve never heard and brands about which I know little. So when I was invited into the Norrøna booth, I said yes. Norrøna is a 90 year-old Norwegian company that is still owned and managed by the original family. The intended application, materials and construction quality, and […]

Continue Reading