I have mixed emotions when it comes to buying new boots. On the one hand, I love new gear. On the other, I never know how they’ll do on the trail. A pair of good, well fit boots are quickly forgotten on the trail, but no other piece of gear has the ability to absolutely ruin a trip and make life miserable like the wrong pair of boots.
Here’s a new addition to the gear stable and one I have high hopes for, the ultralight daypack offered by Sea to Summit. I like to make side trips when I’m hiking and don’t always want to lug my whole pack with me. At 2.25 oz, I figured I’d give this pack a try.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Rincon’s lately wandering around the foothills and valleys of the Rincon Mountain Wilderness. The Wilderness surrounds Sahuaro on three sides. The terrain ranges from rolling scrub desert to shear walled riparian canyons, and despite its proximity to Tucson access to much of the Wilderness is limited. If you don’t want to compete with the crowds on Mount Lemmon, the Ricons are a great alternative.
I love maps. In a distinctly fanatical way. Always have, always will. I love road maps, trail maps, new maps, and old maps. Antique hand drawn maps make me feel all warm and fuzzy. It started when I was a kid and the Air Force only reinforced my obsession by making me a helicopter pilot. […]
Occasionally, I find a piece of gear that perfectly matches my requirements, such as Six Moon Designs’ Gatewood Cape. Lightweight and well made, the Gatewood was designed to function equally well as either a poncho or a shelter. It’s not often that a single gear item can do two jobs well, but the Gatewood is […]
The only thing better than getting new gear is putting it to the test. One bit of gear that I always appreciate is quality clothing and with the proliferation of performance fabrics the outdoor lifestyle is so much more comfortable.
Do you carry a pocket survival kit when you are in the field? You probably should. It’s all too easy to get lost, hurt, or separated from your gear, and to find yourself in a no kidding survival situation. It happens all the time and a simple pocket kit can make the difference between life […]
I’m one of those guys that is always tweaking his gear. One of the items that caught my eye was the Vargo Triad Titanium Alcohol Stove. My homemade Super Cat has replaced my MSR gas stoves on my solo hikes, and I’ve been wanting to check out some of the manufactured stoves to see if they are better than my DIY project.
Here is a quick rundown of gear to consider if you take your dog hiking.
I haven’t talked about food for a while so I thought I’d review a couple of meals from my latest hike. Last summer I went on a drying and baking binge and I’ve had an assortment of foods hanging around in the freezer that hadn’t been sampled for quite a while. As I was packing […]
With our base camp established somewhere over 8,000′ and a well earned night’s sleep behind us, it was time to get down to the business of training. The next several days were spent on alpine travel and rescue, avalanche awareness, climbing, and some good old winter hiking.
In May 2007, my squadron sent a team to Montana for cold weather and high altitude training in preparation for an Afghanistan deployment. This was truly one of the highlights of my Air Force career.
For those of you interested in history, Tomahawk has an interesting post on his site concerning homemade stoves. You can check it out by CLICKING HERE. The rest of his site is pretty good too.
Here is a quick comparison of my backpacking stoves. Super Cat, Svea Optimus, MSR Dragonfly, and MSR XGK.
Here is a link to the story of Ross Mason, a hiker that got “lost” in the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico earlier this month. Ross was a little unprepared for the trip, had a little bad luck, and took one wrong turn on the trail. Like most hikers unfamiliar with the desert, he underestimated […]
One of the great things about Tucson is that there are some fantastic places to walk. During the summer, the washes (dried stream beds for those of you from wet places) are pretty unbearable but now that the weather has cooled they are a great place to put in some miles. They are easy walks […]
Fire making is an essential survival and backcountry skill, and like any skill, you need some basic knowledge and lots of practice! Here is video and a few tips to help you get that campfire going.
We’ve had a couple of good, strong rains over the past week in northeast Tucson and I’ve seen an increase in search hits for water levels in Reddington, so I thought I’d give a quick update on conditions in the Tanque Verde valley.
My recent day hike into Redfield Canyon Wilderness highlighted that not all day hikes are created equal and safety considerations dictate that the prudent hiker will pack accordingly. A couple of months ago I posted Packing for a Desert Day Hike. The article outlines the gear I carry for a typical out and back hike, […]
What a wonderful soreness a strenuous hike brings! I love it but have a sneaking suspicion that Saja doesn’t share my feeling! She’s exhausted after our weekend romp and slept most of the day today. I can’t blame her. Climbing out of the canyon was the toughest mile I’ve hiked in a long time. But […]