Author: Steven John

Camelbak Hawg 100 oz Hydration Pack

Camelbak Hawg 100 oz Hydration Pack

The Camelbak Hawg is the perfect hydration system for hiking or mountain biking enthusiasts. Don’t worry about lugging cumbersome water bottles along…simply strap this pack on your back and you will be good to go for hours! Features of the Camelbak Hawg 100 oz: holds up to […]

Garmin 60CSX Handheld GPS

Garmin 60CSX Handheld GPS

The Garmin 60CSX Handheld GPS is one of those must-have gadgets for any serious hiker! This highly sensitive GPS receiver will let you know your correct position even in low canyons and areas with a lot of tree coverage. This wonderful little navigational wonder will lead you to […]

5 Person Tent: North Face Dome Tent

5 Person Tent: North Face Dome Tent

The North Face Dome Tent is a great option for a 5 person tent.

A perfect tent for serious mountaineering and hiking, the North Face Dome 5 Tent can be called home away from home whether it’s used for one week or an entire camping season.

This particular tent design was recently completely updatedand now boasts a more stable and lighter architecture.

Here are some of the many great features of this North Face tent:

  • made of a sturdy 70-denier 210T nylon rip stop canopy fabric
  • the 210-denier nylon oxford fly fabric is coated with a 1,500-mm. polyurethane finish and is waterproof
  • floor fabric is made of waterproof and durable 210T nylon taffeta that is coated with a 10,000-mm. polyurethane finish for added endurance.
  • sleeps up to five adults
  • at the top of the tent you will find 9 DAC Featherlite™ NSL aluminum poles that are lightweight and sturdy – this aids in eliminating unnecessary poles and reducing the overall tent weightwithout sacrificing stability
  • This tent has a unique design in that it lifts during strong winds instead of the falling down and bending that can occur in some tents.  This due to a new structural design that includes what is called lift venting. North Face designers saw the need to work with the wind instead of allowing the tent to be knocked around like so many other tents can be.
  • consists of vents that are zippered with low/high options on the walls and external snow flaps at the base of the tent
  • includes hanger hooks for storing the canopy
  • includes the option to pitch the tent alone with fly through the removable internal hanging canopy
  • includes 3 double doors which are quite large
  • The Dome 5 has an integrated polyurethane view window that makes it possible to check on the temperature and weather outside without giving up any of the warmth inside the tent. This window has been cold tested to -60F .
  • The combination of clips and pole sleeves with a color-coded canopy attachment make up the fusion pitch design of this 5 person tent.
  • numerous guy-out points make it possible for the tent to withstand big blows
  • no-stretch Kevlar guylines with camming adjustments also make this tent ideal for pitching in open spaces
  • removable vestibule clips into place and easily and has the ability to be removed very quickly
  • there are several internal storage pockets along the tent walls that help you to stay organized within
  • tent includes a duffle-style sack for easy storage

Tent Specifications:

  • height: 67 inches
  • internal area: 83 square feet (7.8 square meters)
  • storage sack size: 30 x 15 inches (75 x 39 cm.)
  • tent weight: 31 lbs. 7 oz. (14.26 kg.)

Whether you are setting out on a serious hiking trip with your buddies or spending a vacation holiday camping with the family, the North Face Dome Tent is highly recommended for comfort and durability.

Backpacking Tent: Mountain Hardwear EV 2 Tent

Backpacking Tent: Mountain Hardwear EV 2 Tent

The Mountain Hardwear EV 2 Tent is the perfect 2 person backpacking tent for your next hiking trip! Ed Viesturs is America’s leading high altitude mountaineer and he gives this tent his approval for its specifications. The Mountain Hardwear EV 2 is a strong, light and compact tent that […]

Making a Camping Checklist

Making a Camping Checklist

Camping in the great outdoors can be an amazing experience. You can escape from your everyday life, get out of your house or apartment and leave behind your normal routine. Maybe you want to do a long backpacking trip deep into the wilderness, or maybe […]

North Face Catalyst 75 Hiking Backpack

North Face Catalyst 75 Hiking Backpack

The  is a great hiking backpack for your trekking adventures!

The North Face brand is great when it comes to hiking gear and this backpack is no exception in quality or durability.

Backpacker Magazine had named this pack Editor’s Choice in 2005 for many of the backpack’s outstanding features which includes its unique Pivotal Suspension™ system that follows the natural movement of your body.

North Face Catalyst 75

The hiking backpack’s unique design will automatically shift the weight within so that it is not bearing down on your body uncomfortably.  This also comes into play when you are going up and down steep hills and need to be mindful of the weight you are carrying on your back and how it is distributed so that you will not hurt yourself.

Here are some features of the Catalyst 75 hiking backpack:

  • has the Pivotal Suspension™ system as discussed above
  • has a back panel that molds to your back and includes special E-VAP™ technology that helps to allow the air to circulate better, so that you don’t get that sweaty damp feeling where your back meets your pack
  • has an adjustable torso length with a hip belt
  • zipper access to the sleeping bag and main compartment
  • internal mesh zip pocket and a lid that can be removed
  • cranial cavity that is contoured
  • hydration sleeve with shoulder straps that is removable
  • side access panel has mesh organizer pockets on its inside
  • has trampoline sleeping bag divider
  • has adjustable compression unit with molded rails that can also function as daisy chains
  • can hold bulky and bigger items in an expandable side pocket
  • includes x-bungee
  • includes pickpocket
  • includes water-bottle pockets at sides of pack
  • has loops for your trekking-poles
  • uses bottom compression system
  • has E-VAP™ shoulder harness
  • contoured hip belt with E-VAP™ and air mesh
  • no-slip lumbar pad to help adjust to your body shape
  • hip-belt fit zone with cant adjustment
  • zip-access full-front pocket that is pleated
  • suspension locked to straps on hip-belt
  • sternum strap with Safe-T whistle
  • includes easy-grip zipper pulls for easy access at any time

Backpack specifications:

  • Size:  Medium or  Large
  • Fabric:    210D Cordura® nylon, 420HT nylon, 840D Jr Ballistics
  • Weight:  Medium – 6 lbs, 6oz (2890 g),  Large – 6 lbs, 10 oz (3060 g)
  • Fit Range:  Medium – 16″-19″ (41cm-48cm),  Large –  18″-21″ (46cm-53cm)
  • Dimensions:  Medium –  28″ x 19″ x 9″; Large –  29″ x 19″ x 10″
  • Capacity:  Medium – 4600 cu in,  Large –  4900 cu in
  • Access:  top, side and sleeping bag

The North Face Catalyst 75 backpack is perfect for the adventurous backpacker and hiker that needs a comfortable way to carry all of your gear.

Find the hiking backpack that is perfect for you!

Food for Backpackers

Food for Backpackers

Are considering going on a backpacking trip? You are going to have to carry everything with you on your back or in your pockets when you go into the wilderness. While this idea doesn’t appeal to everybody, some people consider this the ultimate get away. […]

Things to Consider when Buying a Hiking Backpack

Things to Consider when Buying a Hiking Backpack

Hiking backpacks for your Adventurous side. Comfortable, durable hiking backpacks that will bare with you through Mother Nature’s worst. Take these backpacks on a nice day hike or use them to their potential on a full week mountainous retreat. All of our hiking backpacks are […]

How To Pick The Right Camping Equipment For Your Hiking Trails

How To Pick The Right Camping Equipment For Your Hiking Trails

Having the right Camping Equipment can make hiking in the wilderness, paddling down a lazy river or spending time in the back yard fun and enjoyable for everyone. Camping Equipment should be selected, prepared and ready to go when planning an outing for any group or family function. It would be difficult to cook for a family of four or for a group outing with a single burner stove. Sleeping in a minus forty degree sleeping bag in New Mexico in the summer months would not be a wise choice either. Camping Equipment geared toward addressing specific needs like the climate can make a world of difference and may contribute to the success or failure of and outing.

Camping Equipment

The right type of Camping Equipment can complement any excursion. Make sure to choose the brand and quality that best suits your needs. When venturing in the park, a hiking shoe would probably suffice, but mountain trails will require a much sturdier boot and possibly a trekking pole. Water is a staple on any outing whether it is in a warm or cold climate.

Camel packs, nalgene bottles or canteens fulfill the basic needs for hydration. Camping Equipment can be as simple as a compass for short excursions or as sophisticated as GPS navigation systems to help lead the way on long journeys.

Camping GEAR

Flashlights, swimsuits, backpacks and tents are types of Camping Equipment that are essential for tackling the great outdoors. Don’t forget that fishing pole and tackle box. One never knows when an opportunity to land that lunker will occur again. Other Camping Equipment such as folding chairs and cots are convenient for relaxation while gazing at the stars on a clear night in Maine. If the evening gets a little chilly, pull out the fleece jacket and sit by the fire with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa.

With the proper Camping Equipment, pampering yourself and enjoying the benefits of the outside can be quite rewarding.
There are miles and miles of trails, and thousands of acres of land to explore in the United States and Canada. Take advantage of the resources they have to offer; teach a child to enjoy nature and how to preserve it for many generations to come. Camping Equipment can make a difference in your experience, as you enjoy the beauty that our country has to offer.

Hiking Backpacks

Hiking Backpacks

Used to carry everything you need for hiking and camping, a Backpack from is one of the most used pieces of outdoor gear.  There are models for ultra light to weekend Backpacks.  Choosing the right one will make the difference in your outings.

Choose from the following Backpacks:

  • internal frames
  • external frames
  • fanny bags
  • duffel bag
  • hydration bags

Internal frame Backpacks work well for the active hiker, allowing you be more mobile, to move faster with more stability with the Backpack.  This style fits against your back to help keep it under control.  Plenty of pockets for water bottles and loop holders for trekking poles are just some of the features.  They come in several sizes, allowing you to customize your outing, taking along just what is needed to keep you fleet of foot.

External frame Backpacks are generally larger and great for shorter hikes, as they weigh a little more.  These have lots of pockets and compartments for gear, and loop straps to easily attach a sleeping bag or tent to it for convenience on the trail.  Padded shoulder straps are adjustable to different torso lengths for the perfect fit.  This type keeps the Backpack away from your body, to let air move through and keep you cooler.

Hydration type Backpacks are great for the extreme hiker or bicyclist that wants to keep moving to cover the most ground.  Some models not only hold your drinking water, but can also house clothing and gear for an outing.  This allows you to keep your hands free to hold handlebars, paddles or trekking poles.  One of the most versatile packs, its a must for the active outdoorsman.

Duffel types are dual purpose Backpacks, as they have handles to carry at your side or a strap to throw over your shoulder.  Some even have wheels on them to lighten up the load when traveling.  These are great for car camping, as you really don’t have to carry them far.

No matter what your outdoors activity level is, there is a Backpack to suit your needs.  Serious hikers have more than one Backpack for the different types of conditions they will be venturing into.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking Shoes

There are several styles of Hiking Boots to choose from.  Before purchasing a pair, you should decide what type of activities will be performed.  Long distance multi-day trail trips will require a different type of footwear than an afternoon walk in the park.  Just as being around water could affect the Vasque Hiking Boots you need.

When adventuring into nature there is one thing that is more important than anything else to ensure a successful event, Outdoor Footwear.  There are different types of Outdoor Footwear for all of your needs.  You wouldn’t want to wear hiking boot in a kayak or water shoes in the mountains.

Hiking boots

Hiking boots come in many different styles and materials.  Some are made of firm leather with heavy-duty lug soles for stability and durability on rugged trails.  Maybe the type of Outdoor Footwear you need is of a softer, breathable material that is lighter in weight, for a less strenuous hike in the park.  Not all fit the same, so make sure you select the Outdoor Footwear that best fits you and the terrain you will be covering.

Trail running shoes are great for the jogger/hiker.  Outdoor Footwear for this person combines lightweight breathable materials with a firm but flexible sole, which allow the foot to be supported but not too much to form blisters.  These are more supportive and durable than a regular athletic shoe.

Water shoes are perfect Outdoor Footwear for all types of aquatic activity.  When kayaking, canoeing tubing or just taking a walk on the beach, protect your feet with warmth and support.  No one wants to get out of a kayak on an island and scrap their feet on the rocks or logs.  Water type Outdoor Footwear comes as sandals, flip-flops, or soft mesh material, thin soled shoes.  Choose the ones that best fit your application and give you’re feet a break.


If you are into winter activities, Outdoor Footwear may be snowshoes.  There are several types to choose from and all are weight rated.  Make sure to read all restrictions when making your selection of Outdoor Footwear like this.  Maybe you are just looking for a cold weather-hiking boot.  There is a very important difference in these.  Wintertime Outdoor Footwear needs to have insulation to protect your feet from the cold.  Most have removable liners.  This allows you to dry them out for the next days hike.  Some people use them as slippers in their sleeping bags so they are warm in the morning.

Vasque Hiking Boots

Vasque Hiking Boots come in heavy leather or mesh fabric.  The stiff leather ones are much sturdier and will protect your ankles when on rough trails.  A deep lug design helps keep traction on dirt, gravel and even wet paths.  All Vasque Hiking Boots need to be broke in before using on long journeys.  This one in particular you should wear on short one to two hour treks at a time until you are satisfied with they’re fit and feel.

On a ten-day trip in New Mexico at the Philmont Scout Ranch, three of us used this style of Vasque Hiking Boots.  All were different height and weight, but found them to be comfortable and held up to the trip very well.  This was seven years ago, and I still have mine.  They fit even better now that they have been worn for a longer amount of time.

The soft mesh type Vasque Hiking Boots do not require as much break in time.  You still want to wear a wicking sock, but will breath more easily with your feet.  This natural air source helps keep the temperature and moisture down.  Vasque Hiking Boots like these are great for flatter trails with fewer obstacles.  You could even jog in these after proper break in.  They are also lighter in weight, which could allow you to cover more ground with out your legs and feet growing weary.

When wearing Vasque Hiking Boots, or any footwear like it, make sure to protect your feet from hot spots that cause blisters.  You want to keep your feet as dry as possible.  When the skin gets soft it bruises easily which causes blisters.  It is best to wear two pairs of socks, a liner and a heavier wool sock for cushion.  The liner wicks moisture away from the skin.  Let the movement  between the two socks and not your feet and the footwear.  If taken care of, Vasque Hiking Boots could last you many years.

Whatever your activity is, there is Outdoor Footwear to match.  Take the time to pick out the right ones for your activity.  Proper Outdoor Footwear will make your outing a large success, and make you hungry for more time with nature.

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping Bags have outer shells that are usually made of a nylon or polyester that keep the moister out, and dry faster if they get wet.  Some of the higher temperature rated Sleeping Bags have cotton outer linings, which are not weather friendly and take up a lot of space to carry.  The inside lining varies from wool to cotton and nylon.  Sometimes combinations of materials are used for maximum comfort and warmth.  The most common type of the Sleeping Bags styles are mummies.  Some models have built in pockets for glasses or wallets, pillows and hoods, with drawn strings to keep you cozy.

  • If you are backpacking in the summertime you will want Sleeping Bags that have a higher degree rating and are lightweight.  less insulation in them, thus lightens your load, and will take up less space in your pack.
  •  If you are just weekend camping, middle of the road thirty to fifty degree Sleeping Bags provide a haven of rest on a chilly night.  Room is usually not an issue for family camping and they will serve the purpose just fine.

There is a large selection of Best Sleeping Bags of this kind for any weather conditions and climates.

best sleeping bags

In most cases, depending on the location, fifteen to thirty-two degree rated Sleeping Bags are the most common  Outdoor Gear for the three-season camper.  It is best to have Sleeping Bags in more than one type or style if venturing out on a winter trip.  For example, a minus forty sleeping bag is needed when hiking the mountains during the winter season.  In this case there is no room for error for having the correct Sleeping Bag.

Sleeping bags provide a comfortable bed away from home. There are many types of Sleeping Bags to choose from.  You will need to decide when and where you plan on using them.  They are rated for warmth by degrees with the lower the number being warmest.  Sleeping Bags can be used in temperature ranging from about minus forty to plus forty degrees.  They are most efficient when you find the appropriate one to fit your body size.  If you purchase one that is too large, you won’t be able to stay as warm you would expect because of the extra air space between the bag and the body.  If it is too small, you probably will hang out of it and your upper body might get chilly.  Sleeping Bags can be found in ladies, men’s and children’s sizes.

Good Family Tents are the keys to a successful vacation

Good Family Tents are the keys to a successful vacation

Good Family Tents are the keys to a successful vacation or a failed weekend trip.  Having the right one for the type of camping you are going to do is the first thing you should think about before purchasing one.  Will you be camping in the woods […]