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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.

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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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.

Montem Sneaky Snuggler Puffy Blanket Review

Looking for a new companion to keep you warm as the evening wears on and you’re curled up on the couch? Or maybe you’re sipping a coffee in the cool morning air on your porch. Either way, if you’re like me you probably enjoy your outdoor gear. So why not have a blanket that reminds you every day of those trail hikes from days gone by?

There are only a handful of outdoor-inspired blankets available right now. They’re great for those days around the house when you need some warmth but don’t necessarily want to crawl into a mummy bag on the couch. Among them, the Montem Sneaky Snuggler remains a top consideration.

So, how do you start to decide if the Montem Sneaky Snuggler is right for you? There’s a handful of considerations you need to make before you settle on a final choice. I’m going to help guide you through the decision so you can rest assured that the blank you choose is the one companion you can rely on!

What is the Montem Sneak Snuggler Blanket?

This outdoor-inspired blanket is aimed right at the heart of adventurers. While it only comes in one color, the blanket itself is a solid choice for staying warm on adventures. It’s closer to a duvet than a mummy bag but that’s alright. There’s no need for a mummy bag on the couch!

I personally really like the wave-like wood grain style sewn seams. Reminiscent of the Rumpl Puffy Blanket, these sewn seams are pleasing and make an awesome aesthetic addition to rustic areas.

Sneaky might be the perfect description for this blanket because the midnight blue of the fabric matches a dusky eve like a color picker. Just make sure that you scope out a place around the house for this comforter style blanket. It’s quite large and will likely stay in the house 95% of the time.

What the Montem Sneaky Snuggler is Not

Like other outdoor inspired blankets we’ve reviewed, it’s important to know where to draw the line. It can be easy to mistake these as competitors for mummy bags and backpacking quilts but they’re just not going to keep up.

While it’s a warm blanket made from outdoor fabrics and insulation, the Sneaky Snuggler is may be too heavy and large to make a viable hiking or backpacking companion for those that need to pack light.

Don’t get me wrong – it can be a perfect car camping or backyard snoozing companion. But for hikers and backpackers, it’s never going to be small enough or light enough to take on an overnight in the backcountry.

The synthetic insulation isn’t terrible in wet conditions. I can’t imagine why you’d get it wet, but if it happens there’s no problem with hanging it over a line and letting it dry. You won’t hurt the blanket one bit.

Montem Sneaky Snuggler Weight

Tipping the scales a bit over 2 pounds, this blanket is definitely not a feather. But seriously – who cares? Remember, it’s not even meant to be carried around regularly so there’s no need nitpicking over the weight of it.

Over 2 pounds isn’t bad for lugging around the house or tossing over your legs near the fire in the backyard. It’s probably best not to get caught up in the overall weight of this blanket.

One thing to note is that the additional weight, compared to other outdoor blankets, means more warmth. Most of the extra weight seems to come from loft insulation. This blanket is definitely thicker than others like the Kelty Bestie.

Montem Sneak Snuggler Insulation

Inside this Montem puffy blanket is a stuffing of 3D Hollow Fill insulation. This stuff is quite warm, but heavy compared to other materials. It’s often used in mummy bags and apparel for cold temperatures and it’s largely resistant to water.

Like most blankets, the sewn through stitching makes it less energy efficient. Hot air escapes through the sewn lines where insulation can’t keep the hot air trapped. This isn’t a big deal for an indoor blanket and using baffled seams would make the blanket more fragile and expensive anyway.

Montem Sneaky Snuggler Shell Material

On the outside of this blanket, you’ll find two layers of identical 20 denier ripstop nylon. 20D nylon is pretty thin, but it’s comparable to most outdoor puffy jackets.

 

If you own a puffy jacket you know they’re not invincible, but they won’t fall apart either. 20D ripstop is light enough to keep the blanket weight down but robust enough to last many, many years. However, you’ll need to be aware that pets and sharp objects can be an issue.

Dog and cat claws may easily snag, rip, or tear 20D nylon so don’t expect to let the doggo snuggle on your blanket without consequences.

Montem Sneaky Snuggler Size

This might be the single most important factor in the world of blankets for most of us. Having a huge, snuggly blanket is one of the most luxurious ways to enjoy an evening. But the second your blanket pulls up too high and your toes poke out into the cold, it’s enough to evoke rage in all but the most zen of us.

If you can’t tell, I hate small blankets. Thankfully this one is plenty big!

At 6.6 feet long by 4.5 feet wide there is plenty of room even for most of us who are taller. There might be enough room for you and a sweetie, but it won’t be much. You’ll have to snuggle close, but most of us won’t complain about an excuse to snuggle.

Conclusion

When you start comparing the Montem Sneaky Snuggler with other outdoor blankets, it’s become a solid winner. Because of its generous size and thick insulation, it makes a competitive choice among blankets.

As long as you like the color of the Sneaky Snuggler the rest of the features fall in line easily. With generous insulation and lightweight shell materials, it feels like a mummy bag. I love the waves of wood grain inspired sewing that makes the blanket bring a rustic feel to any room. Grab yourself one and you’ll have enough room for yourself or a partner.

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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.

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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The Best Hiking Trails in North America

Instead of scheduling yet another beach exploration, kindly heed your adventurous side. Why? North America’s jagged cliffs, volcanoes, and snow-capped peaks are busy chanting your name, and there is no better time than now to put on your boots and hit the trails. So below is a list of North America’s best hiking places. Have a look.



1. Yosemite

One of the California's most amazing landscapes that are natural is Yosemite National Park. This unique place features close to 1,200 square miles of sheer awe including, daunting cliffs, towering waterfalls, and samples of very strange rock designs in the United States. Here is where you’ll get fascinating landmarks such as the Half Dome and El Captain, together with excellent trails of hiking as you explore the natural monuments. It is welcoming and friendly, even for the hikers who are inexperienced. Keep in mind that it has more than 750miles of trails, and can take ages to cover, so you should ask the park ranger, which trail is recommended for you at your time of visit. When at the valley, camp yourself out of the traffic, and immerse yourself in the outdoors. On a side note, you should definitely consider bringing a sturdy set of trekking poles for the rough terrain. 

The best time to visit this place is between March and May, when the spring is in complete bloom, a time when the melted snow improves the waterfalls. At this time, you are also likely to escape the rush of families that during the summer. If you don’t mind chilly temperatures like I do, visit between December and March, when the park is nearly empty. 

Yosemite, USA

Yosemite, USA


2. The Grand Canyon

Why go to Grand Canyon? Well, a hiking visit to the Grand Canyon is probably one that you will never forget about in your lifetime. Measuring approximately 278 miles in length, close to 19 miles in width and a mile deep, this extraordinary place in Arizona is fascinating. It is very popular for hiking and sightseeing. Precisely for hardcore hiking, you’ll have to head towards the North Rim.

Probably the best time to visit the Grand Canyon are between March through May, September through November, when the daytime temperatures are slightly cooling, so the crowds tend to reduce.

Grand Canyon, AZ

Grand Canyon, AZ

3. Banff

If you are wishing to have an experience of its kind like that of skiing a Swiss village, it is your turn to visit Banff. It is strategically located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, near the Southeastern border of The National Park of Banff. I prefer this place for its ability to offer a broad range of adventures opportunities, including skiing down Mount Norquay, hiking the magical free-standing pillars of limestone known as the Hoodoos, scrambling up the face of the Stoney Squaw Mountain and much more. It’s huge fan!

On the best time of visitation, it is important to note that temperatures in this place do fluctuate dramatically throughout the year. However for hikers like me, the winter period offers the most convenient moments. For safety purposes, plan to have sunglasses, sunscreen and maybe a hat to protect you from the UV exposure, if you happen to visit in the summer. The sun at this altitude is immense.

Lake Moraine, Banff

Lake Moraine, Banff


4. Hawaii

In Hawaii, the big island offers almost everything. Oahu mostly attracts the outdoor adventures, as in our case hiking. Geographically unique, this place naturally boasts of everything, from snow-covered peaks to black-sand beaches, from steamy rainforests to hardened lava deserts and also the active Kilauea volcano which spits fire.The Akaka Falls State Park offers the best hiking scene in the area. The hiking trails that are found in this place hold sights that no other Hawaiian can brag of. Plus the colors of the beaches makes it more complex. Needless to say, an excellent hammock is a must. There's nothing better than taking a few seconds to set up your hammock, rest, and enjoy the beautiful views Hawaii has to offer. 

The time to walk to Hawaii’s Huge island is perfect between September and November, simply because that is when room rates are reasonably affordable. However temperatures remain constant the whole year, but you want to avoid the priciest periods from December to March unless you like surfing.

Punalu'u Black Sands Beach, Hawaii

Punalu'u Black Sands Beach, Hawaii


5. Adirondacks

If you are a real fan of outdoor activities and values the atmosphere offered by beautiful scenery, the odds are that you’ll fall in love the Nothern New York’s Adirondacks. Located about 295 miles north of the City of New York, 255miles northwest of Boston, it offers a welcoming break from the region’s bustling metropolises. It's excellent for leisurely hiking as well. In winter, there are lots of outdoor activities that includes hiking, skiing, fishing, canoeing, trekking and biking. Depending on your pick, you’ll have a lot to explore. This mountainous region offers a lot of skiing adventures, and specifically on Whiteface Mountain, where skiing is more intense. 

With almost over 2000 miles of trails and 47 high peaks, hikers can experience a brand view each time.

As for the best periods of visitation, just avoid the peak season, mostly during the months of September and October, where you will battle against fewer crowds and also find friendly hotel rates.

Algonquin Wright Peaks, Adirondack, NY

Algonquin Wright Peaks, Adirondack, NY


6. Sedona

This place is ideal for you because hiking on it can be compared to trekking on planet Mars. The region has more than a hundred different trails, each creating its own unique experience. Notably, one of the most popular trails is the Cathedral Rock, which starts about four miles south of the Y intersection. Trekking it though not that easy, it does offer notable rock formations of Sedona.

For a natural view of the Cathedral Rock, you can try the Airport Mesa Loop, which is an easy path located near the Airport of Sedona. Other popular hiking trails include; the Boynton Canyon, Bell Rock Pathway, and the Palatki Ruins.

However, as a hiker, you should note that many of the favorite trails of Sedona always get crowded during the spring and fall. If you are searching for a more scheduled one, consider the trail that is reached through a highway.

The best time of visiting Sedona between March and May, when the temperatures are warmer, but not scorching, plus it is at this period that it blooms. Hikers love this period since the desert flowers add a sense of humor to the trails that are rusty. Between September to November is another ideal period, due to the mild weather.

Cathedral Rock Creek, Sedona, AZ

Cathedral Rock Creek, Sedona, AZ


7. Glacier National Park

Full of wildlife, the National Park of Glacier offers more than seven hundred miles of hiking trails in the North-western part of Montana. Eight trails of hiking lead from the Campground of Illecillewaet up to the valleys of Asulkan. The trails range from the one-kilometre Meeting of the Waters trail to the Knee-pounding grinds of more than one thousand meter elevation gain to the Alpine ridges. The collection of trails in this region surely makes a hiker’s stay in this place a dream vacation.

As for the best time of visit, I was there in mid-July in 2005 and had to hike through the snow in places. Personally, the hike to Grinnell Glacier was amazing since the snow was higher up.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park, Montana


8. Yellowstone

This fantastic site offers more than 1000miles of hiking trails across two-million acres of land. The most popular routes include those in the Norris and Canyon areas. Having dramatic pristine lakes and peaks, this is the place you need to be.

It is like paradise in Yellowstone, as pools that are multicolored swirl hot springs, while forests that are verdant weave past expansive meadows.

As you traverse the park’s three-thousand square miles of Canyons, Mountains, geysers and waterfalls, be assured to share the trails with natural residents in the name of buffaloes, the elk, and grizzlies.

As a safety precaution, Yellowstone is habited by lots of bears, and so to avoid an attack, make noise when hiking so as to prevent surprise encounters.

The best period of visiting Yellowstone is from April to May, or September to November. At this time, you’ll thrive in mild weather and lesser crowd.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming


9. Jackson Hole

The Grand Tetons serving as the backdrop, the hiking trails in this region are capable of impressing. Hiking in the Grand Tetons is memorable one, and I would strongly encourage you to give it a try. It has been ranked as the heart of the mountain country, comprising of highly rugged trails and miles of open space that are fascinating.

The best times to visit Jackson Hole are the months of May, September and maybe October.Though the weather during this period can be unpredictable, you surely expect to find prices at their lowest and a place free of many tourists.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming


The Bottom Line

Truly there are numerous places in North America and ideal for outdoor activities that surely nobody would want to miss experiencing their beauty. But for lovers of hiking, the above-mentioned areas are extremely extraordinary and capable of giving you a pleasure of its kind.


Montem Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles Review

EDITOR'S COMMENT:

Montem Outdoor Gear is a company that has over the years proved itself to be a trustworthy and a quality maker of hiking and outdoor gear. This company has some of the best hiking equipment available in the market, especially trekking poles. The Ultrallight Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are yet another addition to its arsenal of top notch hiking equipment. These poles by Montem are perfect for hiking, trekking, walking, mountaineering, snowshoeing and a wide variety of other outdoor adventure travel.

Trekking poles are one of the most important and an indispensable piece of equipment that you should not miss out while packing your bags for the next hiking/outdoor trip. These poles have come as a life saver to many as they reduce fatigue by a very significant amount and also help you balance yourself while on the dangerous and uneven hiking trails. So if you have not bought yourself one of these, then it is high time you consider buying a pair if you’re planning a hiking trip anytime soon.

DESIGN:

The Montem Ultralight Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are very durable and are sure to last for a long time. These poles feature tungsten tips, 100% carbon fiber and handles made of EVA Foam which is much stronger and more comfortable than cork (in our opinion). This efficient combination of features makes these poles support you optimally. Unlike most other trekking poles, these are not a mixture of carbon fiber and aluminum but are actually 100% carbon fiber throughout the shaft. That is a very rare feature and not something you find in every trekking pole manufacturer. The great thing about carbon fiber is that it is a natural and efficient anti-shock material.

As far as the size is concerned, these poles are quite compact and are thus very easy to pack into your backpack. Cumbersome and bulky equipment are highly undesirable while out on a journey and thus these poles have been designed to be ultra light. These poles can be closed down to a size of only 24 inches which will enable you to easily fit it into any backpack easily.

These poles also weigh only 7.6 ounces per pole and are one of the lightest carbon fiber trekking poles available in the market. These are a great pair since they do not compromise on the strength and sturdiness of the poles while still being compact and ultra light.

As far as the adjustability is concerned, these trekking poles by Montem are absolutely brilliant. They are very versatile and can be efficiently used according to the needs and requirements of the user. Adjustable bolts allow you to adjust the size of the poles from anything between 24 inches to 53 inches depending on the height so that your body can be in perfect form. This goes a long way in reducing the pressure applied on various parts of the body while hiking. There is a rubber cover on the metal tips of each of the poles and you will also have access to a bunch of various accessories that are uncommon with other brands of trekking poles.

Mud baskets are provided with these poles which are greatly helpful while trekking through muddy or snowy conditions. Overall, all the features of the poles are pretty reliable and neat and you will have pretty much everything that you could expect from a trekking pole. 

FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS: 

  • Adjustable bolts allow you to adjust the height of the poles from 24 inches to 53 inches in order to achieve the perfect lenght depending on your height.
  • Nylon straps ensure that the poles never slip out of your hands thus ensuring you a safe journey. At last, the worries of dropping your trekking poles have been eliminated.
  • Ultra-light trekking poles having a total of 7.6ounces per pole. Since you already have enough to carry on your back, a trekking pole that is too heavy becomes burdensome rather than to help you climb that steep.
  • Crafted out of 100% carbon fiber, which is a natural anti-shock material. These poles are not a mixture between aluminum and carbon fiber.
  • A one year limited warranty is very generous for a trekking pole.

CUSTOMER REVIEWS AND SCORES:

Rare will you get a product that rates 5-star out of 5 a few weeks after launch. This is a 100% approval rate. At the time of writing this review, all the customers to have reviewed the product gave it a five star rating.

The aesthetic appearance of the poles together with the generous one-year warranty is the most attractive features to most customers. Other reasons that attracted customers and made them to love it include the fact that the product has been built using great quality carbon fiber thus not only making it durable but very lightweight.

The construction is excellent, design is of high quality and ergonomics have been factored in thus offering the customers not only a smooth handle but also perfect grips.

Montem Outdoor Gear has always impressed its customers with its fine quality products that perform just as they are advertised. These poles are no different. Although, these poles are designed to withstand moderate trekking in light-moderately challenging conditions, there have been many reviews where they have performed equally well in tough conditions. These poles have one of the highest weight thresholds and are a quite versatile pair of poles that can perform well in a variety of conditions and trails.

So far, there is nothing negative that has been said by any of the customers who have bought these trekking poles thus making it very easy to recommend the product.

CONCLUSION:

​If you’re on a fixed budget, these should be your best choice. I cannot fault the magnificent design of these trekking poles. The cork handles and carbon fiber make them compete with the $100+ trekking poles and the twist locks are very strong.

If a top end trekking pole that comes with all sorts of features but at a modest price is what you are looking for, then this is the pole you should get. Montem Ultralight Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles match the performance of poles that are priced at double the price. They provide one of the best value for money deals that you can get. Regardless of whether you are a professional outdoor enthusiast or just a casual traveler, these trekking poles by Montem will serve your needs perfectly. It is next to impossible to find a better deal at this price and is thus highly recommended. Go ahead and try it out; you won't be disappointed.

1

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.)

Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles Review

EDITORS COMMENT:

Before diving into the specs and further details, I would have to say I had many gripes with this pole. I would venture to say a lot of the reviews on Amazon have been faked. I was not too pleased with the grip, nor was I all that enthralled with the way the poles wobbled on the terrain. Granted, wobbling can happen, but no matter what the placement, the poles seemed to shift and slide a bit. This wasn't pleasant in the least, and could actually be quite dangerous. 

FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Lightweight carbon fiber construction - under 1lb for a pair.
  • Quick lock snaps which make height adjustment easy and reliable.
  • Cork handles, which will shape to your hand(to provide some editor's insight, I've found I prefer EVA foam because cork tends to crack and tear faster).
  • Wrist strap.
  • Includes snow discs and mud baskets, as well as a carbide tip and rubber cap.

CUSTOMER REVIEWS AND SCORES:

The CMT poles are very versatile trekking poles. It can provide sufficient balance, prevent blisters, lightweight or do any of the several things a good trekking pole is capable of. 

Currently, CMT poles have found 301 customer reviews, and they have been awarded 4.5 stars out of a possible 5 on average. This is an incredible rating! The customer reviews on Amazon are positive generally, but there were a number of negative sentiments.

Nonetheless, many hikers or backpackers who have used these poles seem to have experienced comfort. Other clients said, “Got my pair and they’re stronger than any pole at typical outdoor retailers and way less expensive. You can feel the comfort isn't quite as noticeable, but they get the job done."

CONCLUSION:

Whether your new to trekking, or you're a seasoned veteran, I wouldn't put these poles at the top of my list. They're great for strolls at a moderate pace, but anything heavier or more taxing would be a bit dangerous as they have an issue with sliding and wobbling. 

Generally, the Quick Lock Carbon Fiber Cork Grip Trekking Poles were very comfortable for the first couple of uses, but over time I noticed the handle did lose its comfort and cushion. Having the foam grips and the cork handles assisted in the several different situations.

I was very happy with their remarkable performance on the basic trail (once again, flat surface and sturdy flooring - once exposed to a rougher trail, these poles lost their magic touch). The retail price of $49.99 makes them very affordable too.

DESIGN:

Though lever locks of the CMT are less refined than FlickLock of the Montem Trekking Poles or even those on Carbon Power Lock Poles, they work. Honestly, the shaft never slided; they never required occasional readjustment; and after nearly 2 hard weeks of use, they still work as well as when they’re new.

On top of the Quick Lock Poles, CMT provides a Twist Lock version. I would avoid these: the design is essentially less reliable, and the CMT poles I acquired in 2012 have proven to be similar.

The CMT pole grips are essentially made of high-density foam cork that’s far superior to rubber and plastic but not as necessary as (much more costly) 100% cork. But, to note, it is cork at the end of the day will degrade faster than EVA foam which we consider superior. 

Moreover, I’m happy that the CMT poles boast foam extension grips that I frequently use when side-hilling or when hiking steeply uphill. If poles don’t have this feature, it is a deal-breaker for me.

Note that on the website of CMT, the Quick Lock poles are also available with the cork grips, for the similar price. But be careful — assuming it is the same cork like on my CMT twist poles from 2012, it doesn’t feel or appear like real cork, and at least a single backpacker had a negative experience with them.