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How to Choose the Best Ultralight Backpacking Stove for You

The fresh air feels nice today. The birds sing with the anticipation sensation of the coming Spring. Life is good. You sit down on the log by your tent and fire up the stove. It is a good thing you brought the best one along with you or you would have sure been cooked. In this article, I help you learn How to Choose the Best Ultralight Backpacking Stove for You. It might seem daunting, but you should be able to choose the right one in no time flat.

Let’s get started.

What Kind of Backpacking Are You Doing?

There is a big difference between a three-day trip and a week-long excursion. You might be going with a lot of people or just by yourself. Each stove is meant for different conditions, circumstances, and numbers of people. Think of what you will encounter where you are going. Will it be chilly most of the time? Are you high up above the ground? How many people will you need to feed?

If you envision the scenery and the conditions beforehand, then you can make you decision much more easily. Not all backpacking stoves work the same. Some will work excellent in particular conditions, but completely bomb in others.

What are the most common type of conditions you will be heading into? That will be your most important consideration.

Important Factors to Consider Before Making Your Decision

If you are backpacking, there are going to be three important factors to consider. As you pick up a stove and judge it in your hands, you need to keep an eye out for these three factors.

Weight – Because Heavy Things Take a Toll on You.

When backpacking, weight is an essential consideration. Not all fuel weighs the same. Some fuels are heavier than others. If you are carrying a wood stove, then you can pick up all the fuel you need on the trail. If you are only backpacking for a few days or a couple of nights, weight does not matter as much, but it matters a lot more when you are backpacking for a week. Your fuel needs to last you a while in that instance.

Efficiency – You are Less Stressed When Your Stove Works.

If your stove uses less fuel to produce the same amount of heat in a shorter amount of time, then you save weight. You can carry less knowing your stove needs to operate on less fuel compared to a lower quality stove. This factor matters the most above. Everything else hinges on efficiency.

Functionality at High Elevation and Cold Temperatures.

If you are mountaineering, then you are going to need a different type of stove from someone backpacking through Yosemite. In the former case, you are high up above the ground and you need a stove that responds to the lower air pressure and lower oxygen levels. Some stoves can adjust better to those conditions than others can.

The Three Main Types

The three main types of backpacking stoves are canister stoves, liquid fuel stoves, and a broad category called alternatives. Each type performs better in particular conditions as opposed to another. The efficiency varies as a result.

Canister Stoves are the Most Common Type.

These types of stoves are easy to use and low maintenance. There are two types: integrated canister systems and remote canister systems.

What’s the Difference Between Integrated Canister Systems and Remote Canister Systems?

Integrated canister systems are designed to boil water fast. If you just want your food fast and now, then this is the way to go. It is a bit lighter than the remote canister system. Unfortunately, integrated canister systems do not offer much in the way of being a chef. You cannot do much except go full blast with an integrated canister system. These types of systems boil water best, making them fuel efficient.

Because of the separation between canister and flame in a remote canister system, you do pack on a few more ounces as opposed to the integrated system. The first image is a remote canister system and the second image is an integrated canister system.

Pros of Canister Systems

  • Best for lightweight backpacking and short trips.
  • They are quick to light.
  • If you are chef and like to cook, rest easy knowing the flame easily adjusts.
  • The canister self seals, preventing leakages.
  • Each canister comes with an in built pressure regulator for consistent heat output, perfect for cold weather and high elevation conditions.

Cons of Canister Systems

  • The arms aren’t long enough for big pots.
  • You do not know how much fuel you have left, so it is best to carry an extra canister. You can, though, ‘guesstimate’ the weight by hand weighing it.
  • Cold weather can depressurize canisters, causing a weak flame.
  • There is a higher cost of fuel as opposed to liquid fuel.
  • You have to properly dispose of empty canisters.
  • Do not work well in wind (not integrated canister systems though).

Liquid Fuel Stoves Work Best for Base Camp Cooking and Groups.

These all run on kinds of fuels. These kinds of stoves do take a bit of knowledge to operate since they are more complex than their canister counterparts. With these types of stoves, you need to do regular maintenance, cleaning the O rings, sorting out the tubes, and taking care of all the little parts.

To start your flame and get the fire going, you need to pump your fuel bottle. These stoves are also versatile. They can handle a wide array of conditions.

Pros of Liquid Fuel Stoves

  • The low profile offers greater stability on uneven ground.
  • You can tell how much fuel you have left by looking into the bottle.
  • You do not need to discard the canister after each use. It is reusable.
  • These perform best at high elevations and in cold temperatures.
  • They can use a wide array of fuels: white gas, diesel fuel, kerosene, and canister fuel

Cons of Liquid Fuel Stoves

  • You have to prime before each use.
  • Regular maintenance is mandatory.
  • Fuel spills are a thing (another reason not to cook in your tent).
  • They weigh more than canister stoves.
  • Multi fuel stoves can be pricey.
  • Non white gas fuels have impurities which can clog the tubes and equipment over time.

Alternative Stoves Do Not Work for Most, But Work Best for a Specific Type of Outdoor Adventurer.

There are two types you are bound to encounter: wood burning and alcohol burning. Because they burn different types of fuels, alternative stoves offer the lightest weight cook systems. For the vast majority of people, these types of stoves have more drawbacks than benefits. If you are the average backpacker, then I would skip these types of stoves and stick to canister and liquid fuel stoves.

Pros of Wood Burning Stoves

  • If you are a wilderness survivalist and know your way around nature, then you can be sure this will do a splendid job.
  • They are simple and lightweight.
  • Some models can generate electricity from the fuel burning.
  • Many include a grill.

Cons of Wood Burning Stoves

  • Rain makes finding dry fuel difficult.
  • During burn bans or high elevation conditions, you will be prohibited from using a wood burning stove.
  • They are gimmicky and hard to control.
  • Water takes a while to boil.

Pros of Alcohol Burning Stoves

  • Few parts means this is easy to maintain.
  • Denatured alcohol is wide spread and easy to find in the US.
  • The fuel burns silently.
  • They work best at boiling water.

Cons of Alcohol Burning Stoves

  • These have an easy susceptibility to wind, so a wind screen is a must.
  • Denatured alcohol is hard to find outside the states, so you cannot really use this.
  • It takes longer to boil fuel, cutting down on efficiency.
  • They take skill to operate.
  • They do not work well in large groups.
  • You will need to clean your pots more often.

My Top 5 Usage Tips for Any Stove

A stove is only as good as the use it goes through. If you abuse and misuse a stove, then you are bound to run into trouble. If you use it properly and take good care of it, then you are bound to have it last for years to come.

1. Do Not Cook Inside Enclosed Spaces.

The only time you should have smoke and fuel inside an enclosed space is if you’re smoking pot (but not too much, everything is bad in overindulgence :)). Otherwise, the gas fumes and fuels can get to you. It is fine and dandy to have a windscreen, but the gases need to escape or else you risk carbon monoxide poisoning. You also risk the danger of a fire.

2. Stoves Operate Best on Level Ground.

A stove is only as good as the ground it operates on. I know sometimes the conditions will prevent the most level ground possible like when it comes to mountaineering for example, but you can still find relatively stable ground even in those situations. Try your best. If you find level ground, you get more fuel efficiency.

3. Always Check the Fuel Lines and Connections Before Use.

You do not want your fuel canister or bottle to explode in your face. Take the bit of extra time, only a minute or so, to carefully examine your stove and its fuel source. It could save you a trip to the hospital. If you do encounter any problems, be sure to bring a multi tool to do in field repairs.

4. Protect the Flame from the Elements.

Wind happens. You are going to encounter it. There is no way around the wind. It hits you in the face like a typhoon. On that note, your tent does not count. You need something separate from your tent which can allow the fumes to escape and keep the flame going.

5. Save Fuel by Cooking with a Tight Fitting Lid.

With increased efficiency, you save weight and stress. A lid reduces cooking time and the amount of fuel you use by extension.

If You Enjoyed This Piece, Please Check Out Another

Well, you should now be all set to go. You know the factors you need to consider and the pros and cons of all the options you have available to you. No two stoves are the same, so be sure to choose wisely. If you enjoyed this article, then you are bound to like another article, The Best Backpacking Backpacks of 2019. (I do update these types of articles on a yearly basis, so do not fret if it’s 2025 and the ‘2019’ part doesn’t look correct here :)). Check it out and you will do a lot to support this site.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment below and please share the article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!

How to Hike with Kids, Toddlers, and Infants – Tips and Advice

If you are Mom or Dad to a handful of young ones, then you might just want to take them outside to burn all that extra energy out of them. They are sure to need it. Hiking is an excellent way to do so. You can walk through over hills and down valleys, admiring the scenery and teaching them about the plants you see. It is bound to help them develop a love of nature. First things first though, you need to learn how to hike with kids, toddlers and infants in this tips and advice guide.

It is not like any regular old hike. There are certain precautions you need to take to keep them safe and ensure a fun, memorable experience. A hike allows the opportunity to form a bond with nature. With some fresh air in their lungs, a child will be sure to be inspired, so let’s get started.

10 General Tips to Have a Good Time

1. If you feel they are not ready, do not go. You have to rely on your gut instinct for this one. A hike can be a lot for a young one. Play it safe and keep it a little beyond someone’s limits. You also do not want to go without them. Otherwise, they can feel left out. Find a trail that everyone can handle. There is bound to be one near you.

2. Scout out the trail beforehand. You want to familiarize yourself with the trail before setting out on the group hike. You can then know the twists and turns, where to take a break and where you should keep your child on a tight leash. Not all trails will be nice and flat. Be sure to consider trails with restroom breaks and rest stops.

3. If your youngest can handle it, then it is a good trail for everyone. Your youngest is the one with the least stamina. Do not expect them to be able to handle 15 miles. If they are unhappy, then no one is happy. You want the trip to be memorable and fun.

4. Go early. I personally like to go on hikes in the morning on Saturdays because it is my day off and I have plenty of energy then. Usually, the first thing we do in the morning is what we have the most energy for. As I have learned, “seize the morning, seize your life.” In the morning, your children will have the most energy for the day. Life is a lot lest stressful when you get somewhere early.

5. Keep them warm, dry, hydrated, and fed. Hikes can drain the body. They take a lot of energy. Be sure to pack plenty of food and water for the day. Also, you do not want to get too wet, so be sure to bring a towel and wrap your kids up to keep them warm.

6. Keep an eye on the weather. Conditions can change in an instant, so you want to be sure to get out quickly if need be. For kids, sudden weather changes can really take a toll on them.

7. Include plenty of rest stops on your trip. When you give people the opportunity to rest, even for only a short while, it gives your kids the chance to catch their breath. After running through the woods and blazing a trail, you need to recooperate for the rest of the trail ahead. Everyone will be in a better mood for it.

8. Triple check the gear list. A hungry camper is not a happy camper, so be sure you have all the gear you need with you. This includes wide brim hats, bug spray, sunscreen, blanket, first aid kit, weather appropriate clothes, toddler/baby toys, food, water, and anything else you might need.

9. Make it fun for everyone. One of the goals is to develop a love and appreciation for nature. If your kids are tearing at each other and nagging at you to leave, then it is not a good time for anyone. When everyone has a memorable, enjoyable experience, then everyone will want to do it again in the future. In a previous article, I talked about camping games for children. If you need some ideas on how to have fun, the article will be sure to help.

10. Rediscover your inner child. You are exploring with them. This is an opportunity to foster deeper, more loving connections with your child. You can explore with them enjoys the different wonders you see along the way. Do not forget your parental responsibilities, but also live in the moment from time to time. You need to enjoy life too.

Infants (0-12 months) – Be Sure to Bring the Carrier

A newborn is very fragile, especially in that new month of life, so don’t let a newborn (less than 1 month) onto the trail. They are very susceptible to all that the world can throw at them. Play it safe and keep them at home until they are old enough to hit the trail with you.

For any baby between 1-6 months, you need a front carrier. These children are still getting used to the world, so they need all the support and love they can get. If they need help, a bottle, or a change, they will let you know in a heart beat. Between 6-12 months, a back carrier should be fine. They make the journey much easier.

“Rock a bye baby on the tree top. When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.” In short, hit the trail in tune with your infant’s sleep cycle. For infants in your carrier, the rocking motion will put them to sleep. They are going to crash like a sleepy camper. Be sure to keep the hike in line with your infant’s sleep cycle, so they won’t keep you up at night.

Toddlers (1-5 Years) – Be Ready to Carry and Chase

Unlike infants, toddlers can walk and run about so you have to be ready to not only carry, but also chase. Unlike grade schoolers, they are not quite old enough to walk all the time, but not so young that they need to always be in a carrier. In short, they are in between, so let’s get into it.

Be prepared to get dirty and wet. Toddlers have a lot more energy to run around. They will give chase after any dogs they see and careen into that puddle you told them to avoid. Be sure to bring a towel in case they fall in. It will make a world of difference. Your toddler will be a lot less soggy for it. An extra pair of clothes will help out a lot. But especially some fresh socks, a clean pair makes a world of a difference after trekking through a puddle.

Undoubtedly, your toddler will get tired at the end of it all. You may have to carry him or her back home. Fortunately, many carrying backpacks can take up to 60 lbs. If you have a carrier that large, then it will be sure to help you. Know how far you are from your trailhead. Because the farther you go from the trailhead, the longer you may have to carry your toddler back.

At this point in their lives, toddlers want to be like adults. Toddlers want to carry their own “gear” so give them something lightweight to carry like a small backpack and light jacket. It makes them feel like they are all grown up and part of the group. They become an explorer when they have their own gear, fostering their curiosity.

In wide open, flat, hazard free areas, let them run within eye shot. Toddlers have a lot of energy to burn. If you want them to have a memorable experience, then it will help to let them burn all that excess energy. Be sure to keep an eye on them though; it will keep them safe.

Grade-Schoolers (5-12 Years) – Time to Loosen the Leash

This is the time when you can loosen the leash a bit. Your kids are older now and need more independence. It is up to you how much free rein you want to give them.

At the first hike, the rule is to always stay within sight of Mom or Dad. If you do not see them, you cannot do much to help. After which, the rule can change to hike ahead a bit and then wait until Mom or Dad catch up. Also, make sure they do not hike past a trail sign or trail split. At those times, you can get separated from one another.

Make sure to give them a whistle. If lost, blow the whistle three times and stay in place. Many backpacks also have a whistle built into them. A whistle will do a lot to keep them safer. It acts as a homing beacon when you are not around. They need to be ready for the time when you are no longer there.

They are also getting to the age where they do not just want to hang out with only their siblings. Be sure to bring their friends along. It will help to energize them. When a kid has their friends around, they can have a lot more fun, developing their bonds along the way.

I do not know about you, but I like to plan things out. I feel like I am in control and setting my own destiny. For your kids, involve them in the planning process. They will learn how to think things through from beginning to end, packing food and thinking about time. It helps to prepare them for adulthood.

When I was a kid, I could not sit still. If I did not have my attention on something, I would become bored out of my mind. I always had to keep my attention on something. With kids, they will love it if they learn about the world around them. This means teaching them about the plants, geology, animals, and history they see. It will keep them curious.

Final Words

Hiking is an excellent bonding journey. You get to see the awe in your child’s face when they experience their first sounds and sights of nature. Their faces light up. The sounds surprise and astound them. A crossing fawn startles them. With the proper knowledge by their side, you are bound to have an excellent journey together.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment below and please do share this article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!

Why You Need to Unplug on Your Next Trip to the Outdoors

Before electronics took over the world, there weren’t any. So how did people live their lives? Moment by moment for the most part. Because electronics are so widespread, we miss out on real human connection, fleeting moments, and life’s little joys. Without further ado, I give you this piece, Why You Need to Unplug on Your Next Trip to the Outdoors.

Don’t get me wrong. Not all electronics are bad. I would never get rid of my GPS in the back country. There is a time and a place for a GPS. If you know where you are though, you probably don’t need it. I am primarily talking about phones, speakers, laptops, tablets, and anything else of the sort. Those are major brain drains, taking a damper on the joy of the outdoors and distracting you from what really matters. That will be the primary concern here.

Let’s get started.

Life Happens in Front of You

Did you see that? A beautiful bird just whizzed by you. It’s now in the tree singing on a branch and whistling a happy tune. You cannot find that moment captured on a phone. The cool breeze passes through you. The sun shines down on your cold skin and warms you up. An oak smell pervades your nose. A phone cannot capture all of that. A moment is there and then it’s gone, reminding you of life’s shortness and the fragility of our existence.

If you want to really take everything in, then you have to let the phone go. It takes away, rather than replenishes. Life’s best memories are recorded by your mind, not your camera.

You get a full experience when you disconnect.

FOMO isn’t Doing You Any Good

Have you ever heard of FOMO? Fear of missing out? It’s a real problem. Whenever I go on social media, I feel a lot of it. If I look at my friends on Facebook enjoying themselves at Burning Man, I feel left out. I wish I were there. If my friend Blake and his girlfriend are eating out at a delicious restaurant, I think I should too. I deserve it after all.

Social media captures you into a nonstop cycle of ‘keeping up with the Jones.’ It’s not good for you or you wallet. The mental toll is excruciating.

When you have your phone on you, you experience nonstop FOMO, preventing you from existing in the present.

When you have high levels of FOMO, you turn into a drug addict of sorts. It’s a strong addiction preventing you from living life on your own terms for your self.

On the other hand, when you choose to turn off your phone, the comparison game stops. It is now only you and nature. There is not a constant competition going on. You can breathe slowly and relax. The giant sequoia hugs you, forgives you, and appreciates you. It is alright.

When You Use Electronics, You Impose on Others

The other day I was hiking in Death Valley. It was a wild trip. I will get into it in another article. I definitely recommend you go there if you can. It makes you appreciate cold weather.

I was heading to Darwin Falls on a day hike. It was going to be incredible. Water in the desert I mean? Who has heard of that? It sounds bogus. I took a short break on the trail to replenish my fluids. Then I heard a whisper. What? No, it can’t be. The sound grew louder and louder. It was two guys playing rock ‘n roll. Sheesh! Pick a better genre. Am I right?

You get the point of this story. While they were enjoying rock tunes, they infringed on my outdoor adventure. It was a travesty! They chose the rambunctious sounds of Bon Jovi to the soothing siren’s call of the wild. Bleh!

They took me back home to my worries, my troubles. It was a let down to say the least. While there is no hard and fast rule on speakers in the outdoors, there is a social pressure to do otherwise and be respectful of other’s experience. And you should. You can go a few hours or even a few days without electronics.
It won’t kill you.

And have you heard of headphones?

You Need the Alone Time

Because of the high interconnectedness of our world, solitude and deep thought is scarce. Email constantly berates us. Unknown spam phone numbers call us. The city lights blind us. Car honks pierce ears. Family wants to know how you’re doing. Work acts a bit invasive. It’s overwhelming. There is little time for critical self reflection and deep thinking.

We’re constantly rushing from one thing to another we forget to smell the roses. The end is fast approaching before we know it. You need to slow down. You don’t have to stop the fast life completely. It is just important to remember to slow down from time to time. Life passes you by in the blink of an eye. We need to appreciate the journey we are on.

Turn Them Off and Give Them to a Responsible Person

There are a number of ways to get rid of your electronics. I recommend turning them off and leaving them at home. If not, that’s okay. You can do the same in the glove compartment of your car. You can also turn them off and give them to someone responsible, someone who won’t use electronics on the trip like I did on my recent backpacking trip to Death Valley. This is a safe bet.

When I go hiking alone for instance, I put my phone on airplane mode and deep into my backpack. I do like to use my GPS if it works from time to time. It’s okay to be imperfect.

More than likely, nine times out of ten, your boss will not have an important call or email for you that needs to be answered right this instance and not a moment later. You’re not the president of the United States. It can probably wait. The world will not end if you are unreachable for a few hours or a few days.

Make Sure You Have an Alternative in Place

It is one thing to take away the addiction. It’s another thing to fill the empty time. If you take an alcoholic for instance, they need something to take up their time from heavy drinking or else they renew their addiction with a vengeance. The free time eats away at them. The mind gnaws at them.

The same goes for your electronic habit.

Books, cards, board games, social interaction, contemplation, and the like all keep you busy. You don’t have to choose something complicated. You can go simple. Bring a journal along with you and write down your thoughts. The experience will be rejuvenating.

If you want to take pictures, then you can use an actual camera instead of your smart phone or a throwaway Kodak camera. You will have to actually take careful shots so you don’t waste the film.

‘Do You Want to Take a Hike Buddy?’

You should be all set to go. I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it. Now if you will excuse me, I need to go do some Tai Chi in the park :).

Before you go though, I definitely recommend you consider hiking. If you can walk, you can hike and you sure as heck will need some boots. That’s why my previous article, The Best Men’s Lightweight Waterproof Hiking Boots of 2019, is here to help (I update these types of articles annually and they come in comparable women’s pairs :)). Check it out. A solid boot will be sure to last for plenty of years of outdoor adventure to come.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment below and please share the article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!

10 Interesting US National Parks Facts

Ah, the fresh air feels nice today. It is wonderful to be outside and in the country. Nothing could make this day more perfect. It is quite marvelous. The trees’ little leaves flutter like monarchs’ wings in the wind. A bird grasps a branch above and sings a melody, a tune to the times. Life is a lot more enjoyable when you have 10 Interesting US National Parks Facts to keep you busy.

With these facts in hand, you are sure to impress your friends and swamp everyone else at trivia night at the bar. You will be walking away from the Jeopardy game like you just robbed the bank!

Let’s get started.

1. Yellowstone is the World’s Oldest National Park

Founded in 1872, Yellowstone was the first national park. It is quite old. The whole National Parks system started with President Theodore Roosevelt who created one of the best inspirations for conservation all around the world. You probably already knew that though. Don’t worry. This fact was just a warm up.

Now let’s get into the meat of this post.

2. California and Alaska Have the Most Parks

Each of these states have eight national parks. That’s quite a lot. It surely is wonderful to live in California. There is so much to explore and see. If you live here, you won’t be lacking in things to do. That’s for sure. You can always find something to explore.

The same goes with Alaska. It might be far and cold, but it is stunning and beautiful. You can see a lot of different things up north. The bears will keep you busy.

3. Mount Denali is the Highest Point in North America

Speaking of Alaska, at 20,302 feet, Denali stands like a giant above all the others in Denali National Park. No other mountain in North America is even close to it in height. If you are a mountaineer, then this is definitely a park you want to go see. Nothing beats finishing a rigorous hike on top of a mountain. The view will be incredible.

You will be busy for quite a while.

4. Fossil Hunters Should Come to Badlands

Located in South Dakota, Badlands National Park contains the world’s richest fossil records. If you are a paleontologist, then this is a must see. Not enough people travel to South Dakota. Home to the Great Plains and plenty of bison, South Dakota offers plenty for you to see and explore.

5. General Sherman is the Largest Living Thing

I’m not talking about General Sherman of the Civil War, but General Sherman of Sequoia National Park. This General Sherman stands 275 feet (84 m) tall and weighs 1,900 metric tons. That’s a lot of sequestered carbon! If you want to help fight against climate change, then plant a tree. It really does go a long way and General Sherman has been at it for hundreds of years.

6. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is Big

The park is 13.2 million acres, fitting nearly six ‘Yellowstones’ inside of it. You can spend a lifetime in this park and not see it all. The magnitude of this park is just massive. Needless to say, there is a lot to see. You can be sure you won’t see everything here in just one visit.

7. 286 of the 412 Parks Do Not Ever Charge Admission

That is right. You do not have to always go to the heavy hitters like Zion, Yellowstone, Yosemite, or Crater Lake. You do not even have to pay an entrance fee for the vast majority. There are 286 parks you can see without ever paying an entrance fee. The cheap vacation is a real thing. You can explore the world on a budget and see all the United States has to offer.

8. Kentucky Has the World’s Longest Cave System

Mammoth Cave National Park has 3,454 miles of mapped tubes and caverns for you to explore. And the more time the spelunkers spend down there, the longer the network gets! They keep on finding new parts to this cave. It just goes on and on and on. The network is quite extensive.

Because of the Karst geology, water has eroded limestone, dolomite, and gypsum to create the cave system you see today. When most people think of Karst landscapes, they think of the mountains of Zhangjiajie in Hunan Province. You don’t have to travel to China to see a Karst landscape. You can see America’s very own Karst in Kentucky! That’s all it takes.

9. Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt Have the Most

These two presidents have the most number of parks named after them, four each. The former is best remembered as the grand hero of the civil war, forging an unlikely cabinet to keep the country together. Teddy is best remembered as the founder of the National Parks system. All the trails you trek through and all the peaks you mountaineer were made possible, in large part, because of his actions.

It is no wonder so many parks are named after the two of them.

10. There are Over 18,000 Miles of Trails for You to Explore

You can spend a lifetime exploring them and not see them all. 18,000 miles (28,968 km) will keep you busy for quite a while. Be sure to stretch your legs and warm up because you have a long hike ahead of you. If you want to see even a fraction of them all, it starts with a single step. Get to it!

Are You Ready to Get Wet?

Wow! Those were some incredible facts. I do not know about you, but I am satisfied. It was a delight to take you on this wonderful journey. Be sure to check out a national park near you. There is probably one close by you do not even have to pay an entrance fee for.

If one thing is for certain, it is the rain. It happens. You do not have to be caught off guard though. When you have a proper jacket, then the water does not seem so bad after all. If you want a solid one, then you should check out my previous article, The Top 10 Best Men’s Backpacking Rain Jackets of 2019 (do not fret if it is 2099 and this article still reads 2019; I update the ‘best of’ articles on annual basis :)). If you want to stay dry and fine through the storm, then you are going to need a rain jacket. There is no way around it. Check out the article!

If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment below and please share the article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!

Mount Umunhum – a Must See in the Sierra Azul Open Space Reserve

This past weekend, on Saturday, September 8th, I summited Mount Umunhum (please don’t ask me to pronounce it), covering about 8 miles (12.8 km) in 3 hours. All along the journey to the top, you can find stunning views of the Bay Area, building to a fantastic climax of sights from Mount Diablo in the East to the Point Reyes National Seashore in the North. My short TLDR of it is that, if you live in the Bay Area, Mount Umunhum is a must see in the Sierra Open Space Reserve.

Before hiking this trail, I have a couple pieces of advice. If you plan to hike this trail, be sure to go on a clear day; your camera and eyes will pat you on the back for your prudence. Also, be sure to check out my article on hiking basics. No matter your experience level, it is always worthwhile to know the ins and outs of a safe, fun hike.

The Trail – Great for Intermediate Hikers

There are two ways to get to the top of Mount Umunhum, via the trail (shown in blue) or the road (seen in red) as shown on the map above. If you are able, choose the trail. It is a much more exhilarating experience. The trail is straight forward enough; it is a simple in and out trip. By far, the best place for parking is the Sierra Azul Open Space Reserve Mt Umunhum Rd Parking Lot (shown in the upper right-hand corner of the map). When you park there, you will be treated to stunning views all around you.

If you are not into hiking at all but still want the view, you can take the Mt Umunhum road all the way to the top. While I will frown about your choice, you will smile when you glimpse the San Franciscio Bay Area from the top of the mountain. If you follow the road (Mt Umunhum Rd) to the top, then you will reach the summit with plenty of parking to be found.

Overall, the trail is not too steep. There was rarely a moment when I was out of breath. With that said, this trail is good for intermediate hikers. If you are a beginner, then I would steer away from this trail. It does require some physical capability to get up the steep parts.

As you get closer to the top of the mountain, you can find numerous placards with helpful information on the history and wildlife of the area, making for a wonderful learning opportunity. You will be amazed at all the facts and knowledge you can share with your friends and family.

The History – Native Americans and the US Military

Before Mount Umunhum became what you see it as today, the mountain served as a sacred site for the Ohlone tribes. The present day Mutsun and Muwekma tribes still pay homage to the spirituality and ancient history of the mountain in regular ceremonies. For the people who return to the mountain, the word, Umunhum, means hummingbird in five ancient Native American languages. If you come to the mountain at particular days during the year, you can see local Native Americans performing ceremonies in a dance circle on the mountain plateau.

From 1957 to 1980, the outlook served as a watch post for the US military during the cold war. At the top, you can find a large, gray, rectangular building (pictured to the right) pushing itself above the mountain. It housed one of the largest radar towers the world had ever seen, keeping watching over 250 miles off the coast for incoming nuclear missiles. As time passed on though, it slowly became antiquated until its closure in 1980. All throughout California, there were similar facilities able to alert the US military of nuclear strike.

Wildlife – Keep Your Eyes Open for the Golden Eagle

While I did not spot too much wildlife along the trail to Mount Umunhum, I saw a Golden Eagle returning to its nest in the air above the summit. Some animals you may see include the Purple Martin, California Brown Tarantula, hummingbirds of a variety of species, California Tiger Whiptail, lizards, ants, grasshoppers, and butterflies. It makes for a great experience for the avid zoologist.

In addition to all the animals you may see, plants abound throughout the Santa Cruz mountains. You can see coyote mint, deer weed, june grass, showy rabbitbrush, leather oak, rock buckwheat, bushy spikemoss, scarlet beardtongue, canyon liveforever, venus thistle, and much, much more. For any herbalist, this hike is sure to be a good one.

On Top of the Mountain – a Sight to Behold

When atop the mountain, your eyes cannot help but sparkle. The whole Bay Area extends before you like a rich, colorful canvas. It is like Google Maps, but in real life. You can point out Bay Area landmarks and spot famous points, making for a rich, informative experience. The Bay Area comes to life, giving you an idea of what Silicon Valley looks like from above. The rich history John Steinbeck describes springs forth from the pages, illustrating the land and illuminating the beauty he saw.

On a clear, cloudless sky, the view is, in a word, incredible. You will enjoy every minute you are on top of the mountain. The outlook where you will be bound to take pictures provides a 360° of the scenery. From the top of Mount Umunhum, you can see the four major peaks of the Bay Area, Mount Diablo in East Bay, Mount Tamalpais in North Bay, and Mount Hamilton in South Bay.

Final Thoughts

Taking it all in, the Mount Umunhum trail was short and sweet. For an afternoon of fun outdoor adventure, it was splendid. All along the trail, there were regular spots to absorb spectacular scenery; it made me think, “did I really just see that? Wow!” You will be taken aback.

If you are looking for a fun Saturday outing, then Mount Umunhum is the place for you. The hike boasts of colorful vegetation, mesmerizing the eyes and rainbowing the hills in color. Keep a close watch in the skies above; you may spot an eagle scanning the ground for its prey. So what do you say? Are you going to mountaineer Mount Umunhum or go on a hike near you? Grab your gear and hit the trail. You don’t know what lies just outside your door.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment below and please share this article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!

What isWhat isHikingand Trail Etiquette? The Right Way to Be Polite

When on the trail, travelers need to be polite to one another and follow the rules of the road. You are sharing with them and need to be courteous. But how exactly do you do that? One person tells you one thing and another tells you something else. You will find this article, What is Hiking and Trail Etiquette? The Right Way to Be Polite, to be of help.

With everything I discuss here, be aware most everything is up for debate and situation. A lot of these rules are agreed upon and common consensus exists. These are guidelines, not hard, rigid rules.

Let’s get started.

The Most Common Situation – Downhill Meeting Uphill

You are going to run into this situation a lot. Any hiking trail worth its money will have uphill and downhill sections to keep you entertained and busy. Variety is the spice of life.

In short, downhill yields to uphill. Because the latter is burning more calories, the former stays put to let them pass. Downhill hikers also have a wider field of vision, so they can anticipate what is coming more readily than their uphill co-parts.

Gravity and eyesight also intermingle with each other. A person crashes their 9-11 Porsche into the only tree in the middle of the desert because their vision was transfixed by the tree. The driver would have been fine if they had looked at something else, but people often don’t. Where your vision goes, your body follows.

Downhill hikers are looking downhill, so they will fall and roll into uphill hikers if they misstep and crash into other hikers. Unless the slope is particularly tricky and slippery, the worst an uphill hiker can do is fall on the ground.

You need to be careful on the slopes.

Bikers are Speed Demons Tearing Up the Slopes

If on the trail with mountain bikers nine times out of ten, my experience has been hiking as you would expect me to and then a biker speeding past me, whether oncoming or behind. You will encounter this quite often. They are on a mission. More often than not. Most hikers stop to let the mountain bikers pass. Common sense tells most people to get out of the way of fast moving objects or else you run the risk of getting run over.

However, the most common situation I described is not how the rules are set up. If you are a mountain biker, you yield to everyone because it is easier for a mountain biker to move out of the way. Bikes have more maneuverability and speed, so they have the burden of responsibility.

As a hiker, you need to take in your surroundings, so you do not risk a high speed accident on the trail.
If both are paying attention, then you can take care of each other.

Horses Spook Easily and Heavy Things Hurt

Everyone, this includes bikers and hikers, yields to horseback riders. To be frank, you cannot predict or communicate with a horse as much as you can with a human. Horses also lose their footing much more easily than a person on loose terrain like gravel or sand. They are also quite heavy and dangerous if spooked, so they injure the rider or others.

Horses are the least maneuverable mode of travel on the trail, so give them a wide berth if there is space available on the trail. If you meet a horse on a slope, you need to stop and let them pass. They have priority over you.

Pet Lovers Unite! Keep an Eye on Them

Stick to the dog friendly trails. If your dog is explicitly not allowed on a particular trail as evident by signs and the like, do not bring them. You would be breaking the rules.

If another hiker approaches, keep them on a leash and on the trail. If you meet other people and they want to pet your dog, tell the person whether your pooch is people-friendly or not. I was bitten by a dog when I was young and it was not a pleasant experience to say the least. An off trail dog can disrupt flora and fauna, wreaking havoc on local species trying to recover. Just because you understand leave no trace principles doesn’t mean your dog does. They need to follow them too. Clean up poops and do not discard the baggie.

40 Adult Paces or 200 Feet (61 m) Equals a Fine Bathroom

According to Leave No Trace, you want to go 200 feet (61 m) off the trail and the same distance from a water source. Use your common sense and go where others won’t see you. It’s awkward for both the pooper and discoverer to encounter each other. If 40 paces away means going over a cliff, don’t do it.

Follow proper outdoor guidelines on trail pooping.

Group Hikers Need to Understand Their Size

Groups should not take up more than half the trail to allow oncoming traffic and people behind you to pass. More often than not, the trail will get narrow. Your group needs to then go single file. It might be enjoyable to move like a bulldozer on the trail gobbling up all the space and chatting with your friends, but you inhibit your fellow trail travelers.

If you are a solo hiker or in a small group and you encounter a larger group of hikers, then you yield to them. It is easier for the smaller number to stop than it is for the larger group.

According to the Boy Scouts, “we hike as fast as the slowest man.” In other words, the slowest hiker leads a group. The point is to keep the group together. Some group dynamics may differ. Other groups might say, “we hike as fast as our egos allow us and leave the slowpokes behind.” Take a quick read of the approaching group and formulate a polite, appropriate response.

My Top 5 Tips to Be Polite on the Trail

1. Do Not Toss Anything.

Pack in what you pack out. This goes for biodegradable foods like apples and oranges for example. Because those plants are often not native to the area you are hiking in, they can disrupt the food supply of native species.

2. Hike Quietly and Enjoy the Sounds of Nature.

Silence your cell phones. I put mine on airplane mode and minimize usage. This means getting out of the way and whipping it out only if I want to take a picture. It’s unpleasant for a stressed 9-5 employee to try to get away from work only to then encounter a large group of hikers talking and blabbing on their cell phones. You go on a nature hike to escape technology.

3. Walk Through a Puddle, Not Around It.

I made this mistake the other day at Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz. I will admit I got lazy. When you make an error like this one, you widen the trail. Anytime you take a detour off the trail, you widen it. For national and state parks and anytime you go through nature, you, well, want as much nature as possible, not a zigzag and dizzying array of detours that distract from the scenery.

Unless circumstances say otherwise (like a forest fire for example), stay on the trail.

4. Leave What You Find.

On a minimal environmental impact hiking trip, you leave only footprints and take home only pictures and happy memories. It might be nice to take the solid walking stick you found with you home, but it is meant to decompose in the woods and stay put.

5. Smile (You’re Beautiful! :)) and Say Hello to Other Hikers.

You are sharing a trail with others. Friendliness goes a long way in developing a relationship. It is also about safety. If you chat with someone, they can be the one to let rescuers know your last location in an emergency situation. They will also tell you about conditions ahead. Most nature hikers feel happier after being on the trail for a while, so they should more than readily respond well to you.

Of course if someone makes you feel unsafe, do not talk to them. Keep moving, pull out your cell phone, or pretend like you are waiting for the rest of the group. These situations are quite rare though.

Friendliness smooths over any error you make, so be kind to your fellow hiker. People will overlook problems and issues of another for a while because they like them. Also, be aware that what I list here are, for the most part, not hard and fast rules. Sometimes larger groups yield to smaller groups. Politeness smooths over a lot of mistakes.

Are You Looking for a Backpack?

You should now be all set to go and now know what to do on the trail to be excellent to each other. I do have a ‘call to action’ to ask of you before you go though.

If you are using a backpack on your hike, then you should check out a previous article, The Best Backpacking Backpacks of 2019 (do not fret if it is 2076 and this article still reads 2019; I update these types of articles on an annual basis :)). Many of the backpacking backpacks listed there also work as day packs. They’re just a little bigger. If you get a backpacking backpack, then you are bound to become an expert outdoor adventurer.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment and please share this article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!

5 Health Benefits of Camping: Escape the Rat Race

If you are looking for another reason to get outside and into nature, then this article has got you covered. You need this break. Whatever is ailing you, school, work, family, friends, anxiety, or depression, you can find reprieve for yourself in the great outdoors. Without further ado, I give you 5 Health Benefits of Camping: Escape the Rat Race. You deserve it.

Let’s get started.

1. Unplug and Take a Break from Technology

We spend way too much time each day on social media, laptops, phones, and cars. It drains you of your energy.

If you look into the details of this site, you will not see any Google Adsense. I just have static ads on the sidebar. Why? Because there are too many distractions out on the internet today. People are constantly barraged by ads designed for them from their Google, Amazon, or Facebook searches. It is creepy. You shouldn’t have to deal with that. It also makes it more difficult to read the content here to the fullest.

All the different ways you can be connected are exhausting. A camping trip provides a rest from all of that. You need the break to reset your spirit. In nature, you will be thrown into a low stimuli environment. Not surprisingly enough, your body adapts. You calm down. Your heart rate falls. Anxiety dissipates.

Camping makes you feel better about yourself.

2. Fresh Air Fills Your Lungs

According to the EPA, indoor air quality is 2 – 5 times worse than outdoor air. Bleh! Stagnant air is not good for anyone.

Every day I go to UC Santa Cruz, I am grateful because I walk through the redwoods each time I go from class to class. It is refreshing. I feel better and primed for what my next professor is going to say. If I just got out of a stressful lecture, the redwoods hug me.

The outdoors have higher levels of oxygen, helping your brain to produce extra serotonin and cascading over all other parts of your body’s health. When you have plenty of oxygen, everything else in your body flows. It is easier to breathe. The red blood cells carry the oxygen to all the parts of your body, helping everything from your toes to the top of your head feel better. You get plenty of oxygen on a camping trip.

3. You Need Some Stress Relief

The endless scroll is not helping you. The YouTube rabbit hole is not good for you. When your time is constantly consumed by work, school, and the daily grind, you are living to work, not working to live. A re-balance is needed. You will be proud of yourself in your 80s if you take the time to get away from your problems for a moment.

Camping transports you away from the daily grind. Notifications don’t hammer at you. You can live in the moment and breathe a genuine sigh of relief. The next few hours look good. Life doesn’t have to be so bad. Nature gives you a hug and says, “there, there, everything is going to be alright.”

When you are in a green space like a national or state park, studies suggest the scenery can reduce anxiety and depression by up to 71%. Can we take a break for a moment and appreciate the magnitude of that? 71% is a big number. Camping strips modern life away of all its extra features to what you really need to focus on, life. You can breathe a satisfying sigh of relief without any repercussions.

4. Natural Light is Good for Your Body

When my Dad worked at National Semiconductor for fifteen years, he took vitamin D pills on a regular basis. He spent most of his days in an office cubicle with little natural light. He made really good money, but I do not think I could do the same as him. If he spent even one day a week hiking the mountains surrounding the Bay Area, then I am sure he would not have needed to take those pills.

On a camping trip, you create more Vitamin D, an essential vitamin for a healthy body. You need it to process phosphorous and calcium, essential ingredients for important bodily functions. If you want strong bones, then vitamin D from sunshine will get you there.

When you have more sunlight in your life, your body produces more serotonin. This neural chemical affects your mood, memory, digestion, and much, much more. It is no wonder outdoor time has been associated with reduced anxiety and depression.

5. You Will Sleep Better at Night

Because you are in natural light, you sleep better. If your sleep cycle is in tune with the sun, then you are calmer and more relaxed. This is clear. Because of the blue light from technology, smart phones, laptops, and television all too often keep us awake at night, ruining our sleep. On a camping trip however, there is a noticeable absence of these technologies. Your body falls in line again with our natural way of being.

On a camping trip, you also often exercise more. The sunshine motivates you to do more active things. You want to hike, kayak, mountaineer, mountain bike, wrestle, play with friends, and do all manners of activities. You work the muscles in your body, helping to relax you and slowing you down when it comes time for bedtime.

Are You Looking for Some Boots?

Congratulations! You just finished the article. If you want to experience the full benefits of camping, then you are going to need to actually go out and do it. Take five to ten minutes to think about where you want to go and what you will need to bring.

Undoubtedly if there is one thing you need to bring, it is going to be boots. If you want to scale the hill in front of you, then you are going to need a proper pair to protect your feet. Fortunately for you though, you have a previous article to read, The Best Men’s Lightweight Waterproof Hiking Boots of 2019 (do not fret if it is 2045 and this article still reads 2019; I update these types of articles on an annual basis :)). Check it out! You are sure to find the boots that work just for you.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment below and please share the article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!

Canoe Camping Tips – Making Your Trip a Great One

So you are thinking about going camping in a canoe? Well, you have picked an excellent way to experience nature. By embarking on this journey, you are choosing to embrace the joy of freedom and the next bend in the river. Read on and find out everything you need to know.

Canoe Camping Checklist – Everything You Will Need

To make your journey a successful one, you need certain gear. This list is divided between essentials and optional items. When it comes to camping, you want the maximum amount of utility from the minimum amount of items.


  • Canoe, this item is waterway specific. Each canoe varies with environment type. Some are meant to withstand the waves of a raging river while others are meant for a gentle lake. On top of that, you are going to have to consider the weight and size of it. How long are you are going? What is a canoe I could carry by myself if I am portaging? These questions and more should guide you when deciding on the canoe that works best for you are. Additionally, you need to be aware of the different hull shapes. They come in arched, flat, modified V, and round. Each will work better in different water ways.
  • Paddles, these vary in size and circumference. Some will be better in lakes, others in rivers. It is situational.
  • Sleeping Bag, you are going to want a sleeping bag that fits with the weather. If it is cold, you are going to need to stay warm. If it is warmer out, a lighter sleeping bag will more than fit your needs.
  • Pillow, you can bring an inflatable one or make something out of your extra clothing.
  • Tarp or Rain Fly, when camping, you want to be on the safe side when it comes to the weather. A tarp or rain fly can help protect you and your gear from the down pour.
  • Tent, this is an absolute must for a successful camping trip. It shields you are from rain and the elements. Most include tie downs and a rain fly. Your tent needs to be waterproof.
  • Dry Bags, as the name implies, this item stores your items without fear of them getting wet.
  • Flashlight, when you are camping, you are need to have a light for you are to see at night.
  • Batteries, if your flashlight runs out juice, you will appreciate having a spare pair of batteries around.
  • Rope, with this, you are can tie your canoe to a dock or tree while in the water or make another use of it.
  • Food, depending on the length of your trip, you will need a specific amount of food. When you are canoeing for any length of time, you are sure to build up an appetite. Bring at least an extra day’s worth. Whatever you normally eat, double it as you will be working hard.
  • Compass & Maps, these will direct you if you get lost in nature. I recommend that you acquaint yourself with the techniques of using both.
  • Clothing, you want to stay away from cotton. Stick with either wool or nylon; these materials dry quick compared to cotton. You want at least two pairs of clothing in case one pair becomes unusable. Anything more will slow you are down.
    • Waterproof, because you are going to be on the water, you want your clothing to stay dry.
    • Footwear, sandals and hiking boots are enough to take care of you on your journey.
    • Rain Gear, rain can strike at any time. You want to be able to be dry despite the wet weather. A poncho will do the trick.
  • Water Purification, water can be purified in a number of ways. Iodine tablets, boiling, and distillation will all do the job. If anything, you want to have too much water for your journey.
  • Cooking utensils, for any meal, silverware, cups, pots, and reusable napkins will all work to make your meal turn out well.
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD), when you are out on the water, it is better to be conservative for your safety.
  • Toilet Paper and Shovel, does a bear s*** in the woods? You bet it does and so will you too. Firstly, you will need biodegradable toilet paper. This will make sure that, after taking care of business, you take care of mother nature. Secondly, you will need shovel or rock. This will be used to dig your hole. Go at least 25 feet away from any water source, so your doodie does not wash way and become a floating log. Remember to cover up after you are done.

Optional Items:

  • GPS, this item is great if you are going deep into the wilderness. While more on the expensive side, a GPS can mark important points and help you are if you are lost.
  • Emergency radio, this will help you in case you get lost in the wilderness. This will help you stay in contact with the outside world.
  • Satellite phone, while they are a bit expensive, they serve as last resort option.

When it comes to packing you must remember your own physical limitations. Ask yourself, can I reasonably carry all of this gear? Your first trip probably will not be a perfect one, so just take note of your mistakes and then correct them for next time.

Rivers, Lakes, and Coasts – Common Bodies of Water

There are three primary water ways when canoeing, either on a river, lake, or a coast.
More than likely you will be either on a river or a lake, so I will refrain from discussing coast canoeing. Lakes and rivers present their own set of challenges. On top of that, each one is more different from the last, so you will going to have to understand the particular nuances of each body of water.

  1. Rivers, all bodies of water move, but rivers especially do. Depending on the speed of the river, you will always be moving.
  2. Lakes, these are more gentle. All lakes, though, are not connected, so you going to have to be prepared to portage. It simply means to pick up all your things and go to another body of water.

Sometimes lakes and rivers run into each other. You need to have the knowledge and foresight of how to manage both of these bodies of water.

Plan Your Trip Carefully – It Goes a Long Way

Before you embark on your journey, you will want a clear path of the route that you are plan to take. Take the time to jot it down on a map; it will save you are energy from the lack of frustration down the road, giving you the energy to focus on the joy of canoeing.

On top of that, you are need to be aware of areas that you are can go to and places you are not allowed to be. Rivers and lakes are not just free for anyone to use. There are specific rules to follow for each and every place you travel to.

Leave No Trace Principles – Everyone Likes a Clean Campground

Whenever you are camping, there are a certain set of general guidelines to follow. This is no different even when it comes to canoe camping. Follow these ethics to make sure our natural environment remains pristine for generations to come.

    1. Plan Ahead and Prepare, what environment are you going into? What do weather forecasters say for the area? Do I have what I need? Questions such as these and more will prepare you for your journey.
    2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, when you plant your tent, do not put at the bottom of a gully or river bed. If it rains while you are there and you have put your tent on a dip in the ground, then you will get soaked. Aim to put your tent on a small hill to keep dry
    3. Dispose of Waste Properly, Anything you leave behind will be consumed by animals. Be sure that you leave everything as if you were never there.
    4. Leave What You Find, branches, leaves, and rocks all need to be left behind. You are simply a respectful visitor.
    5. Minimize Campfire Impacts, if you make a fire for cooking or warmth, keep it contained. There are enough forest fires every year and it is important that they have as little reverberation throughout the ecosystem as possible.
    6. Respect Wildlife, when you enter into the wilderness, “you’re not in Kansas anymore.” You must understand that you are entering the world of bears, birds, coyotes, squirrels, and deer. As such, be sure to keep an odorless camp, smell will attract them. When you are make your campsite, you are will want it to be as odorless as possible. This prevents animals from being attracted from your camp.
    7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors, usually, there will be more than just you travelling to the outdoors. You are sharing the space with others. Be respectful and communicative to have a good experience.

Important Skills – You Will Need Them to Survive

To make it out in the wilderness, you are need a variety of skills to make your trip turn out well. These skills will make your trip a great one.

  1. Paddling, when you are out on the water, you want to be familiar how to get around. You can learn how to do basic strokes through videos on YouTube. Here is an excellent one to give you an understanding of the techniques.
  2. Map and Compass, you need to be able to locate yourself on a map and direct yourself to where you need to go. It is as straightforward as that. REI offers in person training and there is also online video training.
  3. Situational Awareness, one of the biggest differences you will immediately notice between city living and the outdoors is the silence. It thunders in your ear drums (not really though). You going to have to use senses you would otherwise not ordinarily use. When you walk, you going to have to imagine where you are going to be in the next few steps.

If you master these skills (and any that are not mentioned), it will go a long way in making your experience an enjoyable and memorable one. Remember, skills equal success.

Final Thoughts and Words

Awesome! You have read the whole article and now you are ready to embark on a canoeing adventure of a lifetime. Just remember, if anything goes wrong, take it lightly and remember that you can always correct it for future trips.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, please comment below and remember to share the article. Thank you for reading and I hope you make it a great day! If you are interested, please check out my product review on the MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 Inflatable Solar Lantern.  For those dark and cold nights, it helps to have a friend to shine the light.

10 Ways to Be More Eco and Environmentally Friendly

If you want to save the environment, then we all need to do our part. Surprisingly enough, if you follow a handful of these suggestions, then you will save money. Nothing motivates people like money. People really perk up when they see the dollar signs. Everyone likes to have more money in their bank account. That is what you will find about many of these suggestions. They will save you money.

Let’s get started.

1. Plant Trees to Sequester a Lot of Carbon

Over the course of its lifetime, a tree sequesters tons of carbon. They really pack a punch. They add to the diversity of life in and around your home. They add innumerable health benefits to your life. They, for example, quite literally help you breathe better. Everyone thinks clearer when they have fresh oxygen.

2. Change Your Investing Habits

Where you hold your money is where you hold your values. Search for environmentally friendly index stocks. These are some I found: the S&P 500 Environmental and Socially Responsible Index, SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index, iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF, iShares MSCI USA ESG Select ETF (SUSA), iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF, SPDR S&P 500 Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF (SPYX), and Portfolio 21 Global Equity Fund Class R (PORTX).

I also found a handy article on some ‘green’ stocks to consider. If you are a lazy investor, then the article will be sure to help you out. I definitely recommend you consider it.

With all of these stocks, you need to do your own research. Come to your own conclusions. As a general rule of thumb of investing, if you don’t understand it, then don’t invest in it.

Keep this in mind though, you can make money off of climate change solutions.

3. Cut Down on Energy at Home.

As I write this, I have the lights turned off and the window blinds up. I am reducing the amount of light I use while getting some healty, natural light. More importantly, do not forget to turn off appliances when you leave on vacation, travel, or head off to work for the day. It will reduce your electrical bill quite a bit.

Insulation reduces heat escape. Unplug appliances when they are not in use. Lower your thermostat in the Winter. Use cold water instead of hot for your laundry. These are all excellent options which work wonders.

Bring some more greenery into your life with houseplants. Not only are plants sure to clean up the air you breathe, but they will also reduce the ‘urban heat island effect.’ If you have potted perennial plants around your home, they are more resilient than their annual counterparts and reduce the heat your home experiences. They also make everything look much nicer.

You also might want to consider changing your light bulbs. LEDs are simply better bulbs than incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs. They last longer and emit less heat and give off more light.

If you get some, you will not have to change the light bulbs again in your lifetime. If you are on the older side of life, then you know it can be a pain to grab a ladder, replace the bulbs, and risk injury because your balance isn’t the best. With LEDs, you set them and forget about them.

Get energy efficient appliances. Look for the ‘green star energy’ logo. That is a safe bet.

If you want, you can also go solar. Before solar you were an energy consumer, but now you are an energy producer. Solar is the future.

4. Change Your Travel Habits

Instead of flying to a far away place for a vacation, consider exploring your own country. In the US for instance, you can find plenty of national parks to explore. Travel does not necessarily mean air travel.

Drive and fly less. You can bike and walk instead. Because of the physical fitness benefits of biking and walking, you then live on your own terms. When you are healthy, you can continue on your way without all the negative things life throws at you. It also reduces the carbon you emit into the atmosphere.

Air travel is currently responsible for 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s quite a lot. When you cut out air travel, you leave a huge impact.

5. Have a Smaller Family

Kids, particularly in the West, are expensive. Over the course of a lifetime, a human uses about 60 tons of carbon per year. That adds up.

I understand, also, this is controversial. Some people want to have a lot of children. No one is forcing you to have a specific amount of children. I just want you to keep this in mind. If you want to have a big family, go on right ahead and do so. It is fine. If you want a smaller family or no children at all, that is also fine.

Just be sure to limit your carbon emissions in your family.

6. Use Less Water in Some Surprising Ways

There are a number of ways to save water and money.

When you go to the restroom and only pee, you don’t need to flush the toilet. Pee is only pee flavored water after all. When you was your hands, first soap up, turn the faucet on to get only a little water, then turn the faucet off, massage the soap over your hands, then turn the faucet back on to rinse off, and finally dry your hands. Just like turning the faucet off when brushing your teeth, you need to do the same for your hands.

Of course, you might already know this, but shorter showers save a substantial amount of water. You actually do not need to shower every day. Use deodorant in your armpits, make your hair look nice, and no one will be able to tell the difference. As long as you don’t smell or look obscene, people won’t notice.

7. Find Places Where You Can Volunteer

There are multiple days throughout the year when you can volunteer at a national park, help with the maintenance often by planting trees, and then you receive a free park pass.

Also, be aware we can only fully address climate change with political action. There is only so much you can do as an individual. This means, for you, attending climate change rallies, calling your state and federal representatives, and volunteering at cleanups near you.

Corporations and governments constitute the largest emitters of greenhouse gases warming the planet. As a member of this world, you need to do your part to hold them accountable.

8. Before Each Purchase Ask Yourself, ‘Do I Really Need This?’

Consumerism is killing the planet. Any product you hold in your hand uses a lot of carbon. The vast majority of the world is unable to pay for things you and I take for granted like laptops and smart phones. They are just too expensive. You can more than likely get by without anyone of those items.

You need to become a conscientious consumer. You can be happy without all these things. Often times, the amount of happiness you have is inversely proportional to the amount of stuff you have. If you stop buying things, you can invest in the world you want as I mentioned in point 2.

More often than not, you can borrow instead of buying, saving you a lot of headache. Don’t be afraid to call up your friends or parents asking for things to borrow. It’s not difficult, only the first step is.

9. Become Vegetarian or Eat Less Meat

I am a vegetarian. It saves me quite the chunk of change. You don’t have to become one yourself though. It is not for everyone. I get that. There are a handful of ‘main’ meats people eat: fish, chicken, beef, and pork. Beef and pork constitute the greatest source of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. If you can cut that out and go on the ‘Mediterranean’ diet, then you will help a lot.

If you can make the extra plunge, then vegetarianism or veganism is the way to go. Surprisingly enough but it makes sense in retrospect, you do not need to get all of your protein from animals. Where do you think mountain gorillas, cows, and elephants get their protein from? They all get it from plants.

You just need to find the plant you enjoy eating.

10. Buy Local Food

The further food has to travel, the more carbon it emits. Farmer’s markets are an excellent way to find inexpensive food.

You can also do this by planting your own food. Gardens are an excellent way to do so. They do not have to be big. Even if you have a potted plant in your room, that is a start to something bigger. A garden also makes life more enjoyable. You should consider getting one.

Are You Looking for an Ice Cooler that Lasts a Lifetime?

You should be all set to go. You now have the knowledge in your hands to live a more environmentally friendly life. We all need to do our part to make this world better. Each is responsible for all.

If you enjoy camping as much as I do, then you are sure to bring an ice cooler along with you. Bacon doesn’t do too well outside of a refrigerator, so you should check out one of my previous articles, The Best Ice Coolers for Camping in 2019 (I update these types of pieces on an annual basis :)). If you want to stop going through coolers like someone who cannot decide between chocolate or vanilla, then you are sure to find lifetime warranty coolers.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment below and please share the article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!

The Best Backpacking Backpacks of 2019

If you are going to enjoy the outdoors, whether it be camping, hiking, or backpacking, you need a backpack. There is no question about it. A good one is necessary to hold your lunch, sleeping bag, tent, and bug spray. It is an essential. That is why I compiled a list of The Best Backpacking Backpacks of 2019 for you to enjoy at your reading pleasure. It will serve you well to take the extra time to do your research.

Let’s get started.

TETON SPORTS Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

Specs at a Glance

Capacity: 55 Liters
Dimensions: 30″ x 17″ x 12″ (76.2 x 43 x 30.5 cm)
Torso length adjustment: 15″ – 19.5″ (38 – 49.5 cm)
Pack weight: 4.5 lbs (2 kg)
Colors: mecca orange, hunter green, tan

Why Should You Consider this Backpack?

If you are on a budget as a university student like me, then this is the backpack for you. This backpack is not only inexpensive, but also splendid for holding all of your gear. If you are planning a relaxing three-day weekend to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, this backpack has got you covered by making it perfect for those two to four day trips.

The padded back panel and shoulder straps are designed for comfort, keeping everything in place so you can backpack hard and make sure your back lasts well into your 80s. The backpack contains multiple compartments for each of your items: a sleeping bag compartment, bungee storage, and integrated rain fly.

On Amazon, it averages 4.5 stars out of over 1,800 reviews, continuing to dominate the highest ratings for backpacks on Amazon. The best part about this backpack is, hands down, its price. You save a lot of money and can now go backpacking on the weekends. If you are a beginner and do not know what you are doing, then this backpack is the way to go. You don’t spend too much money and the backpack is user-friendly.

Teton believes in this backpack so much they include a lifetime warranty. If anything happens to it, Teton has got your back. That only adds to the substantial value you get with this pack. It will be sure to serve you well in the years to come, from the Sierras to the Colorado desert. This backpack has longevity.

Osprey Atmos 65 AG Backpack

Specs at a Glance

Capacity: 65 Liters
Dimensions: 34 x 15 x 16 inches (86.4 x 38.1 x 40.6 cm)
Torso length adjustment: 18 – 21 inches (45.7 – 53.3 cm)
Waist width adjustment: 27 – 48 inches (68.6 -121.9 cm)
Pack weight: 4.6 lbs (2.1 kg)
Colors: abyss grey, rigby red, unity blue

Why Should You Consider this Backpack?

With its anti-gravity technology, the Osprey Atmos backpack delivers on comfort. Because of its unique design, the backpack evenly distributes weight throughout the entirety of the product, enabling you to feel like you are carrying nothing at all. You feel like you are carrying less than you actually are. As a consequence, you go beyond what you normally would. If I had more money, I would go with this backpack. The price is a drawback, but you get an incredible bang for your buck.

On this backpack, you can find a trekking pole holster. If the trail has slowed down and rigor has decreased, then you can free up your hands to make the journey easier. Where the backpack touches your back, you can find a continuous mesh support system you won’t find in other backpacks. This part is designed for comfort, conforming to your back for maximum comfort.

Don’t take my word for it. Trust the customers who have bought this backpack. On Amazon, this backpack averages 4.9 stars out of over 40 reviews. Woah! 4.9 stars is incredible. You will not find other backpacks where the customers are raving about this sleek backpack. It just is not there.

Through rigorous testing and endless scrutiny, Mike Pfotenhauer, the owner and founder of Osprey, demanded excellence of this backpack’s designers. It has paid off. From the smallest thread to the tiniest zipper, you get a high quality backpack and can sleep easier at night under the stars. This backpack will bring you joy for years to come.

The North Face Terra 65

Specs at a Glance

Capacity: 65 Liters
Dimensions: S/M 26.4” x 12.4” x 12.2” (67.1 x 31.5 x 31 cm) & L/XL 28.3” x 12.4 x 12.2” (71.9 x 31.5 x 31 cm)
Torso length adjustment: 15″ – 22″ (38.1 – 55.9 cm)
Waist width adjustment: 28″ – 42″ (71.1 – 106.7 cm)
Pack weight: S/M: 4.4 lbs (2 kg), L/XL: 4.6 lbs (2.1 kg)
Sizes: small, medium, large, extra large
Colors: tnf black/asphalt grey

Why Should You Consider this Backpack?

This pack delivers a sleek, simple design to its customers, providing them with plenty of comfort and keeping air flow intact. This backpack will be able to carry up to 40 lbs no sweat and handle those four day backpacking trips without a hitch. You can pack everything you need right on into this pack. The North Face believes in this backpack so much they offer a lifetime guarantee. You know you can trust this backpack when a company puts their reputation on the line for a product.

The key to the design of this backpack is the OPTIFIT™ suspension system. It operates as a way to ensure your comfort. The pack contains numerous zippers on the sides and front for you to access your gear with ease without taking off your backpack. Just grab a friend and they will do it for you.

Compared to most backpacks on the market, this one offers a fair price for what it delivers. You get a reasonable bang for your buck without damaging your wallet.

The back padding presses against your back, but leaves room for ventilation. In other words, the sweat won’t completely stick to your back. If you sweat a lot on the trail (like me!), then this is a must have. You do not want to be too sticky by the end of the day. You get comfort and not too much sweat.

On Amazon, this backpack averages 4.3 stars out of only 12 customer reviews. On the company’s site (thenorthface.com) though, the backpack averages 4.5 stars out of over 40 reviews. As time goes on, you can expect more and more people to give this backpack higher ratings on Amazon.

High Sierra Appalachian 75 Backpacking Pack

Specs at a Glance

Capacity: 75 L
Dimensions: 34 x 14.3 x 10.3 inches (86.4 x 36.2 x 26 cm)
Torso length adjustment: 15 to 20 inches (38.1 to 50.8 cm)
Waist width adjustment: 30 inches+ (76.2 cm+)
Pack weight: 5.8 lbs (2.6 kg)
Colors: brick/crimson red, black/silver, mercury/ash/yellow, true navy/royal

Why Should You Consider this Backpack?

Made from a mini diamond rip stop and ballistic nylon fabric combination, the High Sierra Appalachian 75 provides a durable backpack to its users. If you are on a budget and planning a backpacking trip for a week, then this backpack is the way to go. One of the coolest things about this backpack is its ease of organization. Many backpacks are just a big pouch with a few side pockets, but this backpack goes deeper. There are clear cut walls and compartments for you to store the most common items. When you gear is organized, the trip is a lot less stressful.

The pack comes with a single contoured aluminum frame bar, so you can set the backpack to shape to your back. In other words, there will be little to no back pain as a consequence. Even though the pack does not look that big, it deceives you, holding more than you would expect because of its many compartments.

On Amazon, it has no reviews yet, so it is concerning. You should not let that stop you though. On the company’s website (highsierra.com), the backpack averages 4.5 stars out of 21 reviews. More importantly though, 100% of respondents said they would recommend the pack to a friend. Woah! That is reassuring.

The most appealing aspect of this backpack is the price. At under $200, you get 75 L of backpack in return. That is an incredible deal compared to comparable backpacks. You get a solid backpack for a fair price that will last you for years to come.

TETON SPORTS Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack

Specs at a Glance

Capacity: 65 L
Dimensions: 32″ x 18″ x 12″ (81.3 x 45.7 x 30.5 cm)
Torso length adjustment: 19″ – 23″ (48 – 58.4 cm)
Waist width adjustment: 28″ – 70″ (71 – 177.8 cm)
Pack weight: 5 lbs (2.3 kg)
Colors: hunter green, metallic silver, navy blue

Why Should You Consider this Backpack?

If you are planning a two to five day backpacking trip, then this backpack has got you covered. The bigger brother to the Teton 3400, the Teton 4000 offers what the smaller version has and more. At a reasonable price, you get an excellent product. If you are a beginner, new to backpacking, or want to step up your game with a longer trip, then this backpack is the way to go.

The pack has features you would expect only on higher end backpacks. The pack includes features like pass through side pockets for storing tent poles, sleeping bag compartment, multi-directional compression straps, and a hydration pocket bladder.

If you are worried about sizing for your height, do not fret. The pack covers people who range in height from 5 ft 1 in to 6 ft 4 in (1.5 – 1.9 m). Teton covers the vast majority of heights. If you are looking for a bag with a bit more room than the Teton 3400, then this is the way to go. You can use this pack on a seven-day trip, but it definitely would be a stretch to say the least.

The back padding is designed for comfort, holding up to even the toughest of backs. On Amazon, it averages 4.3 stars out of over 1,500 reviews! You will not find any other backpacks on Amazon that are that well reviewed. If there is a unique experience you are looking for, someone has probably gone through it with this backpack. With that many customer experiences and reviews, your wallet can rest easy.

Osprey Volt 60 Backpack

Specs at a Glance

Capacity: 60 L
Dimensions: 13 x 14 x 33 inches (33 x 35.6 x 83.8 cm)
Torso length adjustment: 17 – 22 inches (43.2 – 55.9 cm)
Waist width adjustment: 28 – 44 inches (71.1 – 111.8)
Pack weight: 3.6 lbs (1.6 kg)
Colors: carmine red, conifer green, portada blue, tar black

Why Should You Consider this Backpack?

If you are looking for an adjustable and durable backpack, then this is one you want to consider. It conforms to the shape and sizing of your body. At the same time, this pack is quite comfortable, the most important factor when backpacking for days on end. You want a backpack that carries all your gear and ensures you won’t be crying at night from back pain. This pack delivers on both fronts. With this pack in hand, you can take on two to five day backpacking trips without any problems.

On the backpack, you can find an external hydration sleeve, making it easy for you to refill your hydration bladder as needed for those long, hot days. The backpack also comes in at a fair price. When you are using this backpack all those years later, then you have saved quite a bit of money. If you are a college student like me, then money is an important consideration.

On Amazon, this backpack averages 4.2 stars out of over 45 reviews, making this backpack quite well-received. When that many people have looked and given their two cents on backpack, you can think with ease to make the right decision. Many customers believe it offers the right compromise between minimal weight, carrying comfort, and features. If you are a lightweight backpacker, then this pack is the way to go.

With this backpack in hand, you will be sure to be comfortable on the trail. You can sleep well at night knowing you made the right decision.

Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 Backpack

Specs at a Glance

Capacity: 63 L, 64 L
Dimensions: 30 x 24 x 13 inches (76.2 x 61 x 33 cm)
Sizes: regular, tall
Torso length adjustment: regular: 46.5 – 51.5 cm (18.3 – 20.3 inches) men, 42.5 – 47.5 cm (16.8 – 18.8 inches) women; tall: 50.5 – 55.5 cm (19.8 – 21.8 inches) men, 46.5 – 52.5 cm (18.3 – 20.3 inches) women
Waist width adjustment: regular: 82 – 97 cm (32.5 – 38.3 inches) men, 80 – 92 cm (31.5 – 36.3 inches) women; tall: 94 – 107 cm (37 – 42 inches) men, 90 – 102 cm (35.5 – 40.3 inches) women
Pack weight: 5 lbs (2.27 kg), 5.2 lbs (2.34 kg)
Colors: titanium

Why Should You Consider this Backpack?

If you are willing to drop a good chunk of change on a backpack built to last and to your body, then this is the way to go. You will not find a better backpack. The biggest downside is its price. This backpack is expensive. Compared to most other backpacks listed here, you will really feel it in your wallet, ouch. If you are a university student like me or just on a budget, then this backpack is not an option. It is too expensive.

At the same time though, this backpack is excellent. You will not find a better product to carry all your gear. If money is not an issue, then you want to put this backpack on your priority list. The RotoGlide™ hip belt rotates and forms to your hips, gliding to each of your movements. Lock down the GridLock™ shoulder straps to your shoulders dimensions for a specific fit just for you. If you are planning a multi day backpacking trip, you will not have any problem with pack slung on your back.

If you need to drink water while backpacking, do not worry. This pack comes with a compartment meant just for a bladder, so you can drink while on the trail.

It does not have any reviews on Amazon. Do not let that dissuade you though. The pack has won two key awards, the Backpacker Magazine Editor’s Choice Award (2017) and Outdoor Gear Lab Editor’s Choice Award. In the outdoor products world, those are both big deals. If you win those awards as a backpacking brand for your pack, then you have delivered an excellent product.

Osprey Packs Exos 58 Backpack

Specs at a Glance

Capacity: 55 L, 58 L, 61 L
Dimensions: 26 x 17 x 5 inches (66 x 43.2 x 12.7 cm), 23.6 x 7.9 x 3.9 inches (59.9 x 20.1 x 9.9 cm), 29 x 17 x 6 inches (73.7 x 43.2 x 15.2 cm)
Sizes: small, medium, large
Torso length adjustment: 16 – 19 inches (40.5 – 48 cm), 18 – 21 inches (46 – 53 cm), 20 – 23 inches (51 – 58.5 cm)
Waist width adjustment: 24 – 45″ (60 – 114 cm), 27 – 48″ (69 – 121 cm), 29 – 55″ (72-140 cm)
Pack weight: 2.3 lbs (1.1 kg)
Colors: blaze black, pacific blue, tunnel green

Why Should You Consider this Backpack?

One of the best appeals about this backpack is that it is ultra lightweight. Weighing in at 2.3 lbs, the backpack weighs little. You will not even notice it if you walk around with an empty backpack slung on your back. It is a little pricey, but Osprey more than matches the cost increase with fantastic quality. The shoulder straps are made from a mesh foam. In other words, the sweat does not get to you as much as in other brands.

Osprey believes in their backpacks so much they offer the “All Mighty Guarantee.” Whether your pack was purchased in 1974 or just yesterday, Osprey will repair any defect or damage free of charge. (The guarantee does differ around the globe though.) It only adds to the value of this backpack.

Some features include the stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment, removable floating lid, ice axe attachment, sternum strap with integrated safety whistle, and much, much more. You get everything you want in a lightweight backpacking backpack with the Osprey Exos 58.

Out of over 140 reviews on Amazon, this backpack averages 4.8 stars. Compared to most other backpacks on the market, not many others come close. It is a rare feat for a backpack to have such a high rating with so many reviews. If you have any doubts about the quality from Osprey, just read from their satisfied customers. You can rest easy with this pack slung on your backside. It is a magnificent backpack.

Gregory Baltoro 65 Liter Backpack

Specs at a Glance

Capacity: 65 L
Sizes: small, medium, large
Dimensions: 25.2 x 16.9 x 9.1 inches (64 x 42.9 x 23.1 cm)
Torso length adjustment: 16 – 18 inches (41 – 46 cm), 18 – 20 inches (46 – 51 cm), 20 – 22 inches (51 – 56 cm)
Waist width adjustment: 27 – 45 inches (68.6 – 114.3 cm), 28 – 48 inches (71.1 – 121.9 cm), 30 – 53 inches (76.2 – 134.6 cm)
Pack weight: 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg)
Colors: dusk blue, ferrous orange, navy blue, onyx black, shadow black, spark red

Why Should You Consider this Backpack?

If you are looking for supreme comfort and peak performance, then you can find it in this backpack. On the back panel, you can find LifeSpan foam & silicone lumbar grip zone, a technology designed just for your back. Instead of feeling back pain at the end of the day, you will go right on to bed in your sleeping bag like a champ, resting like a baby. The high strength aluminum frame ensures you will have plenty of back support even if the load is quite heavy.

One of the appealing parts about this backpack is the number of color choices. Compared to the other ones listed here, this one offers a lot of options. It may not seem like a lot, but it is a nice touch. Gregory shows it cares about you. Whether you are hiking for just a few hours or backpacking through the Appalachians, this pack has got you covered. It offers versatility no matter the challenge.

The pack contains features like ice axe loops, trekking pole attachment, removable rain cover stowes, security pocket, and SideKick ultra-light, removable day pack. One of the few cons about this pack is its price. If money is not an issue for you, you should not have to worry. You get an excellent backpack for a fair price.

On Amazon, this pack averages 4.7 stars out of over 50 reviews. It is not the most on this list of products, but it is quite close to the top in ratings. You get an excellent pack for a reasonable price.

Osprey Xenith 105

Specs at a Glance

Capacity: 105 L, 109 L, 113 L
Dimensions: 34.7 x 16.1 x 18.1 inches (88.1 x 40.9 x 46 cm), 36.6 x 16.1 x 18.1 inches (93 x 40.9 x 46 cm), 38.6 x 16.1 x 18.1 inches (98 x 40.9 x 46 cm)
Sizes: medium, large, extra large
Torso length adjustment: 18 – 21 inches (46 – 53 cm), 20 – 23 inches (51 – 58.5 cm), 22 – 25 inches (56 – 63.5 cm)
Waist width adjustment: 30 – 34 inches (76 – 86 cm), 33 – 37 inches (84 – 94 cm), >36 inches (>91 cm)
Pack weight: 5.7 lbs (2.6 kg), 5.8 lbs (2.6 kg), 5.9 lbs (2.7 kg)
Colors: tektite grey

Why Should You Consider this Backpack?

This backpack is big, very big. If you are planning to backpack for much longer than a week, then this pack is the way to go. If you are mountaineering Mount Everest or a smaller mountain, then you want to seriously consider this pack to carry all of your gear. It can handle a lot of weight.

You will find the hip belt to be interchangeable. If it does not fit you, you can be sure to find one that will fit your hips just right. Of all the packs offered by Osprey, this one is the most padded. And for good reason too. You are going to be loading up this backpack with a lot of heavy gear, so you need to carry it all without your back giving way. A downside of this backpack is its price, but that is what you get when you go big. Prices get big. It balances out with the size though. The backpack offers a lot of space.

If you need to drink water while backpacking, do not fret. This backpack comes with an exterior storage compartment where you can access and replace your hydration bladder as needed. Osprey takes all of your needs into account with this backpack.

It does not have any reviews on Amazon, but I found some on REI. This pack averages 5 stars on REI’s website, but only out of 4 reviews. It is not many. As time goes on though and the longer this article stays up though, you can expect more and more people to review this backpack.

Final Thoughts to Send You on Your Way

Well, you should now be all set to go. You have an idea of the best backpacks available to you for your adventure. I do have a request of you before you go though. If you end up liking one of the backpacks and enjoyed this article, then clicking on one of the links and then buying the backpack goes a long way in supporting the site. It would mean a lot to me. If you like the content you see here and want to see more of it, then you would help to keep this site up and running. It would mean the world for you to do something as kind as that.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment below and please share the article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!