Gear you need to make your life easier

From Backpacking to Car Camping and day/winter hikes, everyone needs a stove

Hello adventure seekers! Substack now has a new feature where I can upload videos, so I am going to incorporate more videos into future posts. I love videos, because if you’re a visual person like me, sometimes it helps to SEE what I’m writing about as well as read about it.

With the weather warming up and summer rapidly approaching, I thought I’d highlight some of my favorite gear I take backpacking (or on day hikes and car camping) that make my life easier. I often feel overwhelmed when searching for gear on Amazon and in outdoor gear shops, so I thought it would help if I gave a review on one of my favorite products.

I love hot coffee in the morning while camping and my daughter loves to eat Ramen when hiking and camping. So a few years ago, I bought an MSR stove. These are fabulous for backpacking, hiking and camping, because they rapidly boil water, making it easy to brew coffee or make a backpackers meal. If you are hiking in the snow and become lost, you can also use this to boil snow so you have fresh water. You never want to eat snow, as not only are there small bacteria in the snow, but the coldness lowers your body temperature and can lead to death.

Now the downside to the MSR stove that I bought, is that you need to have a lighter. This presents a problem, obviously, because if you forget your lighter or run out of fuel, you won’t be able to light your heat source. You’ll also need a canister of propane specifically designed for camping stoves and its best to always bring extra, as it’s hard to tell when they are running on empty. The MSR stove retails for $169.95 and the pocket stove, which is great for backpacking, retails for $79.

Jet Boil makes a stove system that has an igniter button and has the rapid boil feature as well. It retails for about $114. This brand is fabulous and comes with all sorts of accessories as well. However, if you’re on a budget, the APG camping stove, is the best option without breaking the bank (I added the amazon affiliate link). I was sent one for free, but it retails about $57 on Amazon, which is quite a price difference. I have brought it camping multiple times and only had an issue once where it was windy and I had to use a lighter when I turned on the propane to get the stove going.

I always bring a lighter, just in case the igniter needs a little help since you just never know when your gear might fail!

The outdoors should be accessible for everyone, and you really don’t need fancy gear to get started. I bring a camping stove on hikes to make ramen or a backpacking meal for lunch, and it’s a lot better than having a cold sandwich. I even brought mine up Angel’s Landing in Zion for coffee since we started hiking at 6am and you should have seen the look on peoples faces as they watched us drinking instant Starbucks cappuccinos!

Memorial Day is also coming up and that is the time I have found the best sales on backpacks at REI. I have a Deuter, which I love because it’s very comfortable, but I’ve found picking a backpack is very personal. You really need to visit a store and try one on and be fitted for your height and hips in order for you to find comfort in you setup.

In my next newsletter I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite spots to camp and backpack in Colorado and Utah, so make sure you are subscribed in order to be “in-the-know!” I will also make a few more gear testing videos so you can know exactly what to bring to have the best experience!

I hope you found this gear test helpful and are looking forward to warm-weather adventures to come!

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