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Outlander 20L/33LPackable Lightweight Daypack Review

Hiking Backpacks are an indispensable part of any hiking expedition that you undertake. These convenient backpacks allow you to neatly organize all your equipment and necessities into one little sack that you can easily carry on your back.

Now there are several types of hiking backpacks that serve different purposes. We have full sized expedition packs that are designed for treks or expeditions that last for multiple days. Then there are hiking daypacks that are much smaller and are made for smaller treks that last a day or less. This durable backpack by Outlander is a hiking daypack that is meant for short adventure trips.

So in case you’re planning a weekend trek through the serene woods or ahike across the rolling hills, you’re going to need a good quality hiking daypack. The Outlander 20L/33L Hiking Daypack is one of the best options for you to choose from as it offers great value for the money you invest. Packed with all sorts of convenient features and crafted from a strong high quality material, this backpack is sure to take care of all your storage needs.

Outlander is one of the leading manufacturers of travel accessories especially hiking gear. They have made a name for themselves in the field and hence is a brand that we can trust. This daypack by Outlander is a versatile, ultra-light and reliable backpack that comes at a throwaway price. It has a sleek and stylish look and is for all those minimalists who strive to keep things light and comfortable. This go-anywhere backpack is suitable for everyday use such as school, college and for short day-trips.

The Outlander 20/33L has been listed on several websites as the best travel daypack. It is extremely durable thanks to high quality rip and water resistant ripstop nylon fabric. Ripstop nylon has recently gained popularity due to its puncture resistance and waterproofing properties that make it highly suitable as a material for making hiking backpacks. This fabric provides immense strength and long lasting performance to these backpacks and they are sure to last you a very long time if taken well care of.

This backpack also features a durable 2-way abrasion resistant SBS metal zippers on both sides and across the backpack. These SBS zippers are corrosion resistant and do not rust easily even when subjected to wet environments. Moreover, this backpack has bar tacking at numerous stress points which help to even out the stress equally throughout the pack and increase it longevity.

The lightweight nature of the Outlander 20/33L backpack is another great feature that is especially preferred by lightweight backpackers. The 20L version weighs only 0.46 pounds while the 33L weighs only 0.5 pounds. Lightweight backpacks are great for day hikes as they allow you to store more stuff without having to worry about things getting too heavy. For us lightweight backpackers, every gram counts.

As far as the capacity of these packs are concerned, there are two options for you to pick. There is a 20L version which is more suitable for day to day activities and general short distance travel. It is great for school, college and for pretty much any regular outdoor activity that requires you to carry stuff around. The 33L version is better suited for hikes and small adventures because it allows you to store a significantly higher amount of items in your backpack. Both these versions have identical features and so the one you choose should depend on how much stuff you plan to carry around.

One of the best features of this Outlander backpack is the fold ability. You can easily fold this backpack into the zippered inner pockets then pack it into your suitcase and use it later as an additional storage. It will also help you avoid extra baggage charges at airports.

This backpack by Outlander scores a high when it comes to style. It features a classic shape and has multiple pockets for storage and organization. Apart from the roomy main compartment which you can use to store the bulkier items, there are two additional front zipper pockets and one internal zipper security pocket. The internal security pockets can be used to store valuables and other fragile stuff. It also has two side pockets for holding water bottles and even come with carabiner clips for you to attach things to the pack.

So if you are looking to buy a backpack for short distance hiking, this Outlander Lightweight backpack is definitely worth your consideration. It is ultra-light, ultra-durable and ultra-comfortable – pretty much everything you can expect out of a backpack. Moreover, Outlander provides lifetime warranty on this backpack which speaks volumes about the quality of the product. Overall, a great backpack for anyone who likes to keep things simple and light.

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Montem Diadema 18L Daypack Review

Hiking as an outdoor activity has gained immense popularity over the last decade. People all over the world are planning adventurous trips to far off places to experience the thrills of nature. If you are one of those people then you’ve come to the right place.

Hiking requires quite a lot of equipment that you must carry around to ensure your safety while you are on the trail. These include trekking poles, sleeping bags, tents and a ton of other tools and necessities that are required for your well-being. Carrying all of these around can be a huge hassle and ordinary backpacks are nowhere near enough to fit all of the stuff you’ll be needing during a trek.

This is where the need for a special hiking daypack such as the Montem Diadema 18L Daypack arises. Hiking daypacks are specially designed to pack in all necessary equipment into one and keep them in an organized manner. These hiking backpacks are also made of special materials that provide additional durability to make sure they survive the wild.

Montem is a well-known brand that has made a mark in the field of trekking gear over the past few years. It has established itself as a trusted manufacturer of hiking gear and they have lived up to people’s expectations consistently.

The Diadema 18L Daypack by Montem is yet another quality product by the company. If you’re new to the world of hiking and are looking for a compact and lightweight hiking backpack for short distance treks, then this is the perfect choice.

The Diadema 18L Daypack is made of 100% ripstop nylon which is one of the best suited materials for hiking backpacks. As the name suggests “ripstop” nylon can take a beating and still not tear. It is a puncture resistant material that is extremely durable and long lasting. If these backpacks are properly maintained, they will last you a lifetime. A high quality durable material is something that should be must for any outdoor daypack because ordinary materials are quite fragile and are sure to tear. Additionally, ripstop nylon also has waterproofing properties that make it highly suitable for outdoor activities.

Moving on to the weight of this daypack by Montem, it’s fair to say that this backpack is one of the lightest in the market. Weighing at only 4oz, you will be able to take this to every adventure, journey or even use it for general everyday travel. Personally, the weight of the backpack does not matter much to me since I do not carry around too much equipment for short day hikes. But if you’re going to need a lot of equipment then you should definitely look for a lightweight backpack.

This backpack by Montem is an 18L daypack which is enough space for you to store everything that you can possibly need on a short day trip. Remember, this backpack is not meant for long distance treks that take more than a day. The 18L volume of this backpack will let you store all your basic gear and other stuff such as rain jackets, first aid kits, headlamp, camera, food and water etc. You can even use this for your daily travels as they aren’t too bulky and can store a lot of stuff.

The Diadema 18L daypack features an internal hydration sleeve which is a must for summer hikes and warm climates. You can use any 1.5L – 3L hydration pack with this backpack. The hydration sleeve more than makes up for the absence of an external water bottle hostler.

As far as the durability of the Montem Diadema 18L daypack is concerned, it is one of the sturdiest backpacks that you will find in the market at this price range. I’ve tested the Diadema 18L out on a few camping trips where it has been subjected to some pretty rough conditions and it came out without a scratch. But having said that, it is quite hard to ascertain the durability of any backpack during short term use.

The only foolproof way of knowing how sturdy a backpack is, is to use it for years and years until It eventually breaks down. However, it is assured that the ripstop nylon used to make this backpack will ensure it lasts for a long time.

Overall, this hiking daypack by Montem is one of the most value for money backpacks available out in the market. This is especially great if you’re looking to use this on short camping or hiking treks. The lightweight combined with lots space and durability is great for day-to-day outdoor use.

The price of the Diadema 18L is quite modest as compared to backpacks by other brands that have similar specifications. So if you’re looking to buy yourself a quality hiking daypack, you should definitely consider this one.

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Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Daypack Review

Hiking is one of those outdoor activities that require you to carry around quite a lot of equipment and other kinds of necessities that you may require during your treks. These include food supplies, water, first aid kits, tents, trekking poles and other such stuff. A regular backpack is never enough to hold all the stuff that you need during treks and hence the need for hiking backpacks arise.

Hiking backpacks are designed keeping in mind the requirements of hikers. They are specially designed to withstand the forces of nature and have several compartments that are extremely convenient during treks.

Venture Pal is a fairly new entrant to the world of hiking gear and is steadily making its way up with its wide range of high quality trekking equipment. Venture Pal was established in 2015 and has since came out with promising products that have become well known for their durability and top notch performance.

This Lightweight Packable and Durable hiking backpack by Venture Pal is yet another exceptional product by the company. This backpack is especially great if you’re on a budget and are looking to get yourself a quality hiking daypack that has a lot of space.

This foldable hiking daypack by Venture Pal has a very stylish look and is also great for day-to-day travel as well as for outdoor treks. This backpack is the perfect companion for you irrespective of whether you’re a professional hiker or a casual player in the world of hiking.

The Venture Pal Daypack is a true space saver as it can easily be folded into its own pocket for storage. This will not only save a lot of space but also ensure you do not have to pay extra baggage fees. The backpack folds into the zipped inner pockets and can be packed down to roughly the size of a small handbag. You can later unfold the pockets and turn it into a fully functional backpack once again in a matter of seconds. The dimensions of the folded backpack is only 9 x 8.5 x 2.2 inches while the unfolded backpack is 20 x 13 x 7.5 inches.

This backpack by Venture Pal scores highly when it comes to durability. Made of high quality tear and water resistant material, this backpack provides additional strength and long lasting performance. The special material used to manufacture this backpack is extremely durable and lightweight at the same time.  The double layered bottom piece provides an additional boost of strength to this backpack and makes is easier to carry additional load while on your journeys. This backpack also features heavy duty SBS two way metal zippers on both the sides making in convenient for operation on whichever side you prefer. There are bar tacks at some of the major stress points across the backpack that further enhance the longevity of the product.

This backpack also performs brilliantly when it comes to comfort. The breathable mesh shoulder straps have ample sponge padding that helps to relieve stress from your shoulders. Good padding is always required for hiking backpacks as they go a long way in reducing the chances of shoulder injury while on the trail. The length of the shoulder strap of this backpack is also adjustable. The Venture Pal backpack also has a chest strap with a whistle buckle that helps you lock the backpack securely in place.

This Venture Pal Backpack is extremely lightweight at only 0.7 Pounds thus making it ideal for long outdoor treks. The weight of you backpack becomes extremely crucial when you are packing in a ton of stuff. Bulky backpacks that are too heavy can be disastrous during long treks especially if they do not have sufficient padding.

You also have a lot of storage space in this backpack that is more than enough to store everything you could need on a trek. The total volume of this backpack is 35L which is significantly more than what you get in other backpacks in the same price range. It has one main zipped compartment which you can use to store a majority of your stud, especially the bulky ones.

There are also two additional front zipped pockets and two side pockets that you can use for storing the smaller stuff. The main compartment has two separators which will help you a lot to organize things further. The backpack also comes with two water bottle hostlers.

Reviews of this hiking daypack has been predominantly positive on Amazon with most customers praising the comfort and durability of the backpack. This backpack comes packed with tons of useful features at a very economical price. The company also offers lifetime warranty on this backpack which gives added value.

The Venture Pal Lightweight Daypack is highly recommended for all outdoor enthusiasts and is definitely one of our top picks when it comes to lightweight hiking daypacks.

Rumpl Puffy Down Blanket Review

Puffy blankets, like puffy sleeping bags and coats, have gained popularity in the limelight among outdoor enthusiasts. They’re lightweight, extremely warm, and the style is frankly quite “in” at the moment. In fact, I’ve even seen puffy hats and skirts making appearances on the ski slopes lately.

So, what is a puffy blanket? How do you know if it’s a good one or if it’s right for you? There are a lot of questions that need to be answered when we try to decide on a puffy blanket.

We’re going to take a deep look at the Rumpl Puffy Blanket. I’m hoping to expose the good, the bad, and the ugly. All of this in the hopes that you’ll come away being able to make a final decision about the Rumpl Puffy Blanket to either buy it or forget it!

What is the Rumpl Puffy Blanket

To figure this out, we first need to understand what “puffy” means in the outdoor world.

Puffy essentially means a lightweight garment made of two layers of polyester or nylon with down feathers or synthetic insulation in between. This is the preferred method of construction for most garments and sleeping bags plus, in this case, a cool outdoor inspired blanket!

This blanket is made to be lighter and more portable than your standard couch blanket. Really the “performance” gains are only ideal if you plan to travel around with your blanket. If you just want to keep it on the couch at home, it will functionally become a fashion accessory that resembles an outdoor jacket.

For those who travel to hostels, enjoy skiing trips in varied locations, or just need a portable warm blanket on hand there are some gains to be had here. Unlike your bulky, heavy couch quilt the Rumpl Puffy Blanket, like the Montem Sneaky Snuggler Blanket is light enough and can be packed small enough to travel with you.

What the Rumpl Puffy Blanket is Not

This Rumpl blanket is not meant to be a backpacking quilt. It’s not a replacement for your sleeping bag on a winter ski touring trip.

Because of the heavy, bulky weight, this blanket does not make a good choice for backpackers. The sewn-through construction of the blanket itself makes it extremely inefficient compared to high-end quilts for thermal retention.

That’s not to bash the Rumpl Puffy Blanket though. Just remember it’s exactly what the title says – a blanket.

If you were hoping this blanket could replace your sleeping bag, you may be disappointed in the 3+ pound weight of the Rumple Puffy Blanket or the nearly 2L packed size. However, you’ll be happy to know that most advanced backpacking quilts wight a fraction of this, have far superior warmth efficiency, and pack down much smaller.

Unfortunately, these advanced backpacking quilts can cost 3x as much or more (well over $300 in many cases). So in the same stroke – don’t buy a backpacking quilt as an at-home blanket because it’ll break the bank! If you want better value check out the Montem Sneaky Snuggler or Kelty Bestie.

Should I Buy the Rumpl Puffy Blanket?

If you really love the look and feel of your puffy Patagonia Nano Puff jackets (as an example) and you would love to nestle into a pile of fluffy, warm, outdoor fabric on your evening couch then this blanket is for you.

The one person model is over 3 pounds of ripstop nylon with 3D Hollow Fiber Synthetic Insulation inside. It does compress small enough to be more portable than most home blankets, but not so much as to compete with high-end quilts and sleeping bags.

I have to point out that the DWR treated ripstop nylon seems like an odd choice. I can’t for the life of me figure out what anyone would get this blanket into a situation where water spray would be an issue. Perhaps if you’re sleeping out under a tarp or awning in the backyard and happen to get caught in a rainstorm?

There is one major advantage that might not be the first to pop into your mind.

 

If you live in a house with a ton of pets, the ripstop nylon won’t get loaded with animal hair. Many traditional blankets become gross with fuzz and animal hair after a while but those things won’t collect on the slippery surface of a nylon blanket.

On the flip side of that coin, the 20 denier ripstop nylon is much too fragile to withstand dog and cat claws stepping on it. So if you like to snuggle with the pets, don’t be surprised if their nails rip the blanket.

I have to admit, the colors and aesthetic of outdoor gear hold a warm place in my heart. If you’re like me, this blanket appeals to you simply for that reason. All technicality aside, it’s an appealing home aesthetic to the outdoor enthusiast, there’s no doubt.

I can see this blanket making the perfect companion to wrap around your shoulders on a cool morning while you sit on the porch sipping a coffee and watching the sunrise. Or maybe you’re traveling to the family cabin for the weekend and sleeping on the couch – you can rely on the Rumpl Puffy Blanket.

Conclusion

This attractive and functional outdoor blanket holds a special appeal I think. While it may not be the technical performance king of all outdoor gear it is pretty cool.

Just remember the drawbacks of lightweight 20D nylon – it isn’t bombproof. Keep it away from the fireplace or animal claws.

Whether you want it for weekend car camping trips, visiting the family cottage, or lounging around at home I think it makes a cool blanket companion. Besides, just think of how cool you’ll look wrapped up in that nylon blanket on your next ski trip!

Before you commit to purchasing, make sure to be realistic with your expectations. It is a blanket, after all. This is not a high end piece of backpacking gear. But it makes an awesome addition to your collection if you love the look and feel of sleeping bags and backpacking quilts!

Kelty Bestie Blanket Review

There’s something alluring about the build, design, and style of outdoor gear. Companies like Kelty have been making solid outdoor gear for decades and we’ve all fallen in love with it. Trying to pick out the perfect blanket companion for those evenings around a fire or sharing a beer with friends isn’t always easy, though.

While the “outdoor blanket” space is by no means crowded, there are several choices available to enthusiasts. You’ll also have to decide where and how you want to use this blanket. In the end, it’s a warm wrap for you but it’s not an ultralight backpacking quilt.

Let’s find out exactly what the Kelty Bestie Blanket can do and where its limits are. We’re going to compare and contrast this blanket. By the end of this review, you’ll know exactly whether to buy it or leave it.

What is the Kelty Bestie Blanket?

It’s pretty simple – the Bestie blanket is an outdoor-inspired lounging blanket similar to the Montem Sneaky Snuggler Blanket. Kelty has rolled in tastes of outdoor gear with this blanket so it’s reminiscent of your outdoor jacket. In the end, however, the insulation and fabrics aren’t particularly advanced. It’s really just an embellished couch blanket.

Is it bad because of that? No, absolutely not. Think about all the blankets and bedsheets we all buy just because of how they look. Seriously, decorating the house with stuff that has an aesthetic you like is important.

That said, let’s talk about what the Kelty Bestie Blanket is not.

What the Kelty Bestie Blanket is Not

It’s tempting to see the Bestie blanket as a piece of outdoor gear. It looks like an outdoor gear and it’s sold by an outdoor maker. But it’s just not outdoor gear.

If you’re hoping to use this for a backpacking blanket it’s just not going to work for you. At a pound and a half with sewn through seams, the insulation to weight value is just terrible for trail use.

Now, if you plan to do some car camping this blanket can make a steadfast companion. It’s not a piece of technical gear, though. There’s no way it’s going to compete with a good backpacking quilt or mummy bag.

Kelty Bestie Weight

We’re not going to ding this blanket too much for the overall weight. It comes in at 1 pound 8 ounces with is exactly a pound and half.

There’s no warmth rating on the blanket because it’s not intended to keep you out overnight. It’s just a blanket. So we can’t really say whether it’s a good weight for its warmth. However, compared to advanced quilts and bags there’s no competition.

Because this blanket is most at home well, in the home, there’s no need to worry about or analyze the weight too much. After all, do you take a scale with you to weigh your next set of bed sheets? I don’t think so.

Kelty Bestie Insulation

Inside the Kelty Bestie is 9.5 ounces of Cloudloft insulation. This is a synthetic based insulation popular in many of Kelty’s gear pieces.

Of the total 24 ounces, 9.5 are taken up be insulation. The rest of the weight comes from the shell material and piping around the edges as well as stitching. That makes a total 40% of the blanket weight being insulation.

Kelty Bestie Shell Material

I honestly would have liked to see Kelty reduce the weight of the blanket shell using some thinner denier nylon or polyester. That saved weight could easily be translated into improved insulation which would make the blanket overall comfier.

As it is the shell material is relatively heavy which has its merits. Unlike lightweight materials, these heavier 75+ denier shells can stand up to more abuse. There’s a tradeoff in taking a heavier weight but since we won’t likely be carrying this blanket on our backs, the heavier material might honestly be a boon for most users.

 

On my review of the Rumpl Puffy Blanket, I docked that blanket for having such thin shell materials. These can be a bit fragile for daily use around the house. If you have cats or dogs, the heavier 75+ denier shells of the Kelty Bestie will stand up to abuse much better.

Kelty Bestie Blanket Size

Overall this blanket measures 6.25 feet long by 3.5 feet wide. For most that is just enough to cover comfortably. If you’re taller – around 6’ – then you may struggle to totally cover yourself with blanket goodness.

Unlike the Rumpl Puffy Blanket or the Montem Sneaky Snuggler, the Kelty Bestie is only available in one size. If you need a larger blanket for yourself or a partner you may want to consider going with the Montem Sneaky Snuggler.

Honest, y I wish they would have made the blanket a bit bigger overall. The size is just shy of being easily able to wrap around yourself. For a couch throw, it’s not bad. But if you want to wrap it around your shoulders and legs while you sit on the porch and sit coffee, it might come up short on most people.

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, blankets like the Kelty Bestie Blanket will never replace advanced outdoor tech like quilts and bags. That’s okay though because they’re really not meant to take that place. These blankets are a perfect indoor aesthetic for the outdoor lover.

For occasional evening bonfire or reading a book on the porch, the Bestie Blanket makes a solid companion choice. There’s no need to worry about how lightweight it is, or if it packs down small enough. Just enjoy the look and feel of an outdoor-inspired blanket that evokes memories of hikes long ago.

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ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack Review

Short excursions and daytrips for hiking, school events, bicycling and all other outdoor activities are made more enjoyable with the use of a backpack. They allow you to carry around all the necessary equipment and other items in a very convenient and organized manner. Hiking Daypacks can be a life saver during treks through the wilderness as they allow you to keep your hands free and allow you to participate in other activities.

The ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack is an essential for storing, organizing and carrying all your belongings in a convenient way while looking fashionable at the same time. Packing in a ton of convenient features, this backpack by ZOMAKE is one of the best backpacks that you can find in the market. Coming at a price that seems too good to be true considering the features and superior quality it provides, this is a great choice to consider if you’re looking to buy a new backpack. Whether you wish to use it as a hiking daypack or for general everyday use, this backpack is sure to serve you however you want it to.

ZOMAKE is a brand that is not very new in the market for travel gear and accessories. They have made a mark in this field and continues to deliver high quality travel accessories, especially luggage carriers. People all over the world have bought products from this brand and their reviews have been almost entirely positive. ZOMAKE is a brand that you can place your trust on when it comes to travel and hiking gear.

The ZOMAKE Ultra-Light Backpack is your perfect companion for a Disney trip! This backpack has been specially designed for everyday use or for short travel adventures. This pack works well as a day-trip pack, a carry-on pack or as a small backpack for school, college and other everyday affairs. This go-anywhere backpack by ZOMAKE has a very stylish and sleek look which I personally think is very minimalistic but attractive, definitely one of the best looking backpacks I’ve seen.

The backpack boast of a wide range of convenient features that makes it suitable for hiking apart from the usual day to day use. It is made of high quality water repellent and tear resistant nylon which is the usual choice for manufacturing hiking backpacks. There is a waterproof coating around the backpack which means you to take this out on rainy days without having to worry about your belongings getting wet. While on the trail, you may face certain situations where you are bound to get wet and the last thing you’d want is for your sleeping bag or electronics getting drenched in water. This backpack will fix that problem thanks to the brilliant waterproofing.

The nylon used to make the backpack is also extremely durable thanks to its puncture resistant properties. The backpack also has SBS Zippers which are corrosion resistant. Bar tacks are also present at the major stress points which ensure the backpack does not wear out easily. The backpack also features durable 2-way abrasion resistant zippers.

The best thing about this backpack is the fact that it is a multi-purpose go-anywhere backpack that you can use for a wide variety of activities and events. It has a total capacity of 20L which is sufficient space for storing everyday items and even for short day trips. The main pocket is huge and lets you organize your things the way you want. It addition to the roomy main pocket, there is an extra front zipper pocket for storing smaller items. An internal zipped pocket inside the main compartment and two open mesh side pockets are also provided to allow quick access to cameras or maps whenever you need them.

There are breathable mesh shoulder straps and bottle holders on both the sides of this backpack. The shoulder straps are also adjustable as per your needs. This backpack by ZOMAKE is incredibly light as it weight just under 9oz. This ultra-light backpack adds no unnecessary weight to your load and is also foldable into the size of a sandwich. The backpack can be folded down and fit into an ultra-compact pouch for saving additional space. Pack thins into your suitcase and use it at your destination as an extra bag for the trip. You can also avoid extra baggage charges at the airport by folding it down.

Overall, this is a wonderful all-purpose backpack that anyone can use for their day-to-day or travel needs. Not only do these backpacks have incredible durability and functionality, they look very aesthetic as well. Cleaning the backpack is also very easy and hassle free and can be done with any normal detergent. So if you’re looking forward to getting yourself a new backpack, the ZOMAKE Ultra-Light Packable Backpack is definitely worth checking out.

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The Best No-Cook Meals For Your Next Hiking Trip

Whether it’s a one night camping trip or a week-long backpacking adventure chances are high you won’t want to spend your time cooking. Sure, maybe a quick campfire stew or a melty smore is on your “agenda” but who wants to spend their time in the glorious outdoors trying to remember the “how tos” and “how longs” of cooking? Take the complexity out of camping meals by taking the heat out of these delicious meals:

Breakfast Ideas:

1. Take a sweet granola (purchased or made) and combine it with almonds, shredded coconut and your choice of yogurt. It’s almost like a breakfast dessert but more healthy!

(Tools needed: A cooler and Tupperware containers or ziploc bags for your pre-measured ingredients.)

2. Peanut butter and jelly (or honey) sandwiches. Always a classic, a peanut butter sandwich of any kind provides protein, carbohydrates and the “staying power” that a good breakfast should provide. Also, as a side note, feel free to add sliced bananas to the sandwich once you are at the camping site but remember to use bananas on the first day of your camping trip as they are likely to spoil quickly.

(Tools needed: A cooler and Tupperware containers or ziploc bags.)

3. Hard boiled eggs with sweet rolls and nuts. This food combination is a bit of a “cheat” since hard boiled eggs do require cooking but the great thing about hard boiled eggs is that they can be cooked before you head on your camping trip and kept in the cooler until the first or second day of your trip. Also, eggs always go well with savory salsas and spices but they also pair well with sweet food items such as honeys and syrups. So why not combine eggs with sweet rolls and nuts?

(Tools needed: A cooler and Tupperware containers or ziploc bags.)

4. Fresh Fruit (or Dried) and Nuts
Speaking of nuts, these energy-packed “food pods” can be combined with many additional snacks and pair especially well with fruit (both fresh and dried). Enjoy fresh fruit mixed with a variety of nuts toward the beginning of your camping trip and the dried nuts later on in the week. Since the brain craves healthy sugars and fats, fruit and nuts will always be a winning mental and physical combination!

(Tools needed: A cooler and Tupperware containers or ziploc bags.)

5. Rich Pumpkin Breads
Purchase or make pumpkin breads with whole pumpkin seeds added to the loaf and you’ll see what a hearty meal pumpkins can provide! Cover the pumpkin bread with almond butter or another “bread spread” that you find yummy and delicious. This is one breakfast you won’t forget any time soon!

(Tools needed: A cooler and Tupperware containers or ziploc bags.)

Lunch Ideas:

1. Mobile Tacos. Open a single-sized serving of Fritos, Doritos or your preferred corn chips, eat a few, and then start throwing taco toppings right in the bag! All of the toppings from tomatoes, to cheese, and from lettuce to ketchup can be pre-sliced, pre-grated, pre-bagged and stored in a cooler until the time is right! And again, it’s a bit of a cheat because of the ground beef but remember to pre-cook the beef and then simply store it in the cooler until it’s time to eat. (Note: Mobile tacos can be eaten with a fork, a spork or your bare hands if you’re feeling adventurous!

(Tools needed: A cooler and Tupperware containers or ziploc bags.)

2. Tuna Salad. Tuna salads are easy to make and pair well with bread and crackers. They provide a high level of protein and are just the ticket for a great camping meal.

(Tools needed: A cooler and Tupperware containers or ziploc bags.)

3. Sandwiches. Need we say more? There are a huge variety of sandwiches beckoning and calling for you to make them for your next camping trip. Choose one or two sandwiches that really get your taste buds excited and prep the food items before leaving. You’ll be glad that you did!

(Tools needed: A cooler and Tupperware containers or ziploc bags.)

4. A pre-made cheese and cracker tray. You can find these grown-up versions of “Lunchables” at Whole Foods or other “specialty food” stores. These little trays can be nice camping meals and great lunches as they can be eaten on the go or at your leisure. The cheeses provide rich flavors and the crackers provide that textural crunch we all crave.

(Tools needed: A cooler and Tupperware containers or ziploc bags.)

Dinner Ideas:

1. Wraps and Burritos. There are myriad ways you can create a wrap or a burrito. Simply choose the fillings that “float your culinary boat” and make sure you prepare the items before leaving on your camping trip. Wraps and burritos always make for “easy eating” as they don’t require utensils!

(Tools needed: A cooler and Tupperware containers or ziploc bags.)

2. Tuna-Salad Pasta. If you still have a craving for tuna even after your tuna salad during lunch then take some pre-made pasta and mix it with tuna, pickles, and your favorite mayonnaise or salad dressing. Enjoy!

(Tools needed: A cooler and Tupperware containers or ziploc bags.)

3. The Turkey Tango. You will be dancing the tango after you sink your teeth (literally) into a cold roasted turkey sandwich or pita. Cold cuts are generally well flavored meats and can be very satisfying and you won’t be disappointed in roasted turkey cuts. Add any toppings you prefer as well. Pickles, tomatoes, Dijon mustards, etc. All great choices!

(Tools needed: A cooler and Tupperware containers or ziploc bags.)

How Long Does it Take to Hike Camelback Mountain?

Camelback Mountain is a mountain located in the city of Arizona, Phoenix in the United States of America. The name of the mountain is derived from the shape which actually resembles the hump and the head of a kneeling camel. This mountain is popular among locals and tourist for hiking as well as rock climbing and it usually takes around 1.5 to 3 hours to get on top of this mountain. In the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, the Camelback Mountain is a very popular landmark. This mountain lies in the Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreational Area which is situated between a neighborhood named Arcadia in Phoenix and the town of Paradise Valley.

History of the Camelback Mountain

The discovery of a cave on the northern side of the Camelback Mountain suggests that this cave could have been used as sacred place by the pre historic Hohokam tribe, before abandoning the place back in 14th Century.

The President of the United States back in the year 1879, Rutherford B. Hayes, included this mountain as a part of a reservation for the tribes Salt River Pima and Maricopa Indian American tribes. This was a part of a total of one million acre of reservation.

To protect Camelback Mountain as a natural preserve efforts began all the way back in 1910s but by the year 1960s, most of the mountain was sold to private firms. Efforts were made by federal and state authorities to stop development activities above the one thousand and six hundred feet level. Sadly, their efforts failed but finally in the year 1965, efforts by Senator Barry Goldwater finally managed to stop development activities on the higher elevations of the mountain. The area came under the Phoenix city park in the year 1968. A major east-West Street in the city of Phoenix, Camelback Road, is named after this peak. This peak has also been designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride.

Climbing the Camelback Mountain

There are 3 climbing trails to climb this mountain. Two hiking trails ascend to the peak of the Camelback Mountain at elevation of 1280 feet. There is a red sandstone rock formation named Praying Monk and is used for rock climbing. This formation is located towards the northern slope of the mountain. It resembles the shadow of a man kneeling down to pray. It is approximately a hundred feet tall and the eastern front has several anchor bolts for the purpose of attaching a belay rope.

Echo Canyon Bobbie’s Rock Trail

The trail leading to Bobbie’s rock begins at exactly the same location where the summit trail begins and is accessible from the Echo Canyon Recreational Area. When at the bottom of the steps, right after the drinking water fountain, you need to take a right and follow the other granite rock steps which are at the base of the large rock outcropping. This trail ends at Bobbie’s Rock which is a very popular rock climbing area. Bobbie’s Rock is visible from the parking lot directly towards the south and a bit to the west. The parking for this trail is however very limited and there can be long delays. Dogs are also prohibited on all of the Echo Canyon Area Trails except for the Cholla Trail.

Echo Canyon Summit Trail

The Echo Canyon Summit Trail begins adjacent to the restroom near the Recreational Area. In order to eliminate dangerously eroded areas, the lower section of this trail towards the first saddle was repaired and also rerouted. The new route does not use artificial steps which can lead to erosion. After crossing the first saddle, there are a pair of handrails which is to be used while getting up some of the rock sections. The remaining trail has mostly boulder filled, steep portions and a few sign posts guides the way towards the summit of the Camelback Mountain.

Parking for this Trail can sometimes be very hard to find despite an expansion some time back. This is especially true during the seasons and peak times. This route has a rapid ascent in a fairly short distance. Carrying water bottles is advised along with sun protection gear as the sun can sometimes be very harsh and heat related ailments are quite common. There are also few other minor threats along the way, but nothing extreme that can put your health in jeopardy.

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How to Pack a Backpack for Hiking

When you are planning to go for a hiking trip, throwing all your gear and clothing into a backpack and heading out into the wilderness is not exactly the best idea. Regardless of how many items you fit inside of your rucksack, the way you arrange them inside will make a huge difference on how it feels while carrying. Now, seasoned hikers and backpackers know most of the tricks of the trade but what about you? If this is the first time you're leaving the civilized world with a thirst for adventure, following some guidelines would greatly help you to have a comfortable and memorable experience.

Basics first!

Before you get started, lay down all your gear on the floor and organize them into piles according to their category. For example, toiletries, cookware, first aid kit, sleeping gear, clothing, dry food, and anything else that you want to take along. Use of a zip lock bags are highly recommended as they help in saving space and guard your items against the effects of moisture. The bonus is of course, a neat and well organized backpack.

The pockets should be utilized to store items that you would be needing quick access to while hiking. This would ensure that you can reach the items easily without having to reach inside of the bag.

What should be the ideal backpack size?

As a general rule of thumb, you can determine what size of backpack you need based on the duration of your trip and your weight carrying capacity. Some adjustments can be made to these two considerations based on common sense and experience. If we were to assume that you'll be going on hiking for at least two days, then look for a bag that is at least 24-48 inch capacity. If you are going on a trip for more than five days, look for a larger bag that can store all your essentials without making you feel too heavy.

Whether we like to admit it or not, gender also plays a role in one's capacity in carrying heavy weights. It's not like women can carry less than men because there are plenty of women who are equally capable of getting equal weight as men, but they are seasoned veterans and not someone who is going to the first hiking trip. So, keep this in mind before you begin stuffing items in your bag.

How to organize the items?

Maximum weight: The general rule of thumb states that the maximum weight of your backpack should not exceed 25 to 30% of your body weight. So, a person weighing 150 lbs should not be carrying anything above 45 lbs. The 200 lbs should be okay as long as they're carrying up to 60 lbs.

Weight distribution: Always stuff your gear divided in three layers. The bottom layer for lighter items that you will really need access to in the trip, such as sleeping bag, clothing items, etc. The middle layer should be reserved for heavier items such as cooking stoves, dry food, and fuel. And of course, the top of the backpack should be available for lighter items that you can easily reach while travelling. Be sure to distribute the weight evenly, and also leave some room for occasional adjustments.

What to do with the additional gear?

If your bag is already full, do not worry because there is still some space left over outside to carry the leftover gear. It is important that you remember to put away sharp items like knives, forks, etc. inside of the backpack. Also, do not attach too many items outside of the bag or it may create stability issues. Soft items, however, like sleeping pads can be attached outside with no problem at all.

Get set and ready to go!

In the final step, when you have the backpack on your back, make sure to tighten it around the shoulder, hip, and sternum by adjusting the strap accordingly. A bag that has been packed well should transfer the optimum weight of the gear to your hip and keep the weight on your shoulders at a minimum level. If you have a well maintained and suitably packed rucksack, your trip will go smooth and you'll feel much better while travelling in the long run as weight won't be putting you down.

Mountaintop [2-Pack] 3-Section Retractable Lightweight Trekking Poles Review

EDITORS COMMENT:

Retractable lightweight trekking poles by Mountaintop are perfect companion for outdoor activities as they are sturdy and durable due to their aluminum composition. They are perfect for activities like hiking, trekking, climbing, mountaineering, and backpacking.

I recently took these Mountaintop Trekking Poles on a trip to Seattle. Over the course of 3 weeks I used the poles totaling roughly 80 hours of active hiking. One thing that immediately stood out to me was the grip. Unfortunately, the padding was a bit thin. It did cause a bit of discomfort, but nothing dramatically bad. I also had to be careful where I placed the pole. On flat terrain, it held up fine, but when traversing rocky paths I could feel the pole losing it's stability/wobbling a bit. 

Unfortunately, the grips don't extend down the shaft either. This was noticeable when I went uphill/downhill, as I couldn't adjust my hand placement. This did cause noticeable wrist pain, which is a decent cause for concern. 

DESIGN:

These lightweight trekking poles can be retracted to 3 sections ranging from 24 inches to 53 inches to make its packing easier. These poles of 24 inch or 62 cm length can be adjusted very easily due to their light weight of 9.5 oz or 0.59 pounds and their lever lock system.

FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS:

  • The durable strap of Mountaintop [2-Pack] 3-Section Retractable Lightweight Trekking Poles helps in transferring some of your force from your hand to wrist by supporting your wrist.
  • The users can grip these poles with lesser force than others
  • The lever locks system of these poles makes it easy to extend the poles up to 53 inches with the help of its quick-lock adjustment. The bolts on their levers allow you to adjust its angle easily.
  • These trekking poles are available in various colors including Black, Golden, Maroon, Silvery and Sky Blue from which you can choose as per your liking and suitability.
  • Theses extendable trekking poles can be extended from 24 inches to 53 inches just by loosening their lock mechanism and adjusting their shaft down or up to increase or decrease their length as per your requirement.
  • Mountaintop ensures the quality of these trekking poles by offering 90 days limited period warranty on them.

CUSTOMER REVIEWS AND SCORES:

Mountaintop [2-Pack] 3-Section Retractable Lightweight Trekking Poles are really versatile trekking sticks as they can be used for hiking, trekking, climbing, backpacking and mountaineering with equal ease and comfort due to their retractable, safe and sturdy structure.

The reviews of more than 45 customers of Mountaintop Retractable Lightweight Trekking Poles have rated them averagely for 4.6 stars out of 5 whereas 78% of them have rated them for 5 out of 5 stars on the basis of their durable and comfortable use.

Though overall reviews of the customers on Amazon were positive but one of them does not find them suitable for heavy duty use as they collapsed when he put more load on them. Moreover he has to struggle a lot to adjust them as per his requirement.

CONCLUSION:

But such complaint was not registered by the other users of these trekking sticks. It proves that it is not a prevalent difficulty and may not occur if used carefully. Most of the other users have reviewed it as very comfortable and convenient trekking equipment at various types of trekking and hiking terrains. Most of them have recommended these sticks for all kinds of outdoor activities during mountaineering and trekking expeditions due to their sturdy and durable built and comfortable adjustment and handling features. “I liked them not only for their nice grips and for adjustments as I am short....” “These are the best for hiking on all types of terrains” and “It is really light but becomes really solid when stretched to use as a trekking pole” are the reviews of some of the users who were satisfied with the working of these trekking sticks.