Backpacking Wallet – you’re kidding right?

Tonight I was reading a couple blogs via Bloglovin, and I see this raffle for an Ultralight Cuben Fiber Hiker’s Wallet. What the Hell? So I check it out. Holds 6 credit cards, 2 hidden compartments, and a billfold compartment. Oh, and it costs $35. Of course someone will get a free one in the raffle. Not me, it’s silly. It does weigh only 22 grams.

When I am backpacking I bring my Driver’s license, one credit card, my California Fire Permit, and some cash. I put it into a little sack that weighs 3 grams. I like it because it has a little draw string to keep the contents secure.


Edit: After I posted this, it dawned on my that I had read a similar post somewhere and the author uses a Ziplock bag, which is just about free. There is only one person with this kind of common sense – pmags. So a quick search found this post last year extolling the Ziplock walletA Ziplock bag this size weigh around 6 grams. Elegant solution.

Trail Designs Fissure Ti-Tri Stove System & Other Stove Thoughts

After 5 years, I am changing my Go To stove system. For the past five years, my primary stove system has been a Caldera Keg GVP Stove system. The total weight of the stove, pot, lid, and wind screen weighs 87 grams (3 ounces).

cone comparison

Caldera Cone GVP next to a 12 ounce Pepsi can. This has the Esbit Graham Cracker set-up with a total weight of 3.08 ounces for stove, ground sheet, cone, lid, and Cuben Fiber stuff sack.


I have owned many backpacking stoves in my life – around a dozen or so. This sounds like a lot, but you have to take into consideration that this covers a 45 year span. I still have all of these stoves, except two I gave away. Three of the stoves require obsolete gas canisters, so I can no longer buy fuel for them.

I recently acquired a Trail Designs Fissure Stove System, which will become my primary stove system. You may be surprised with what will become my second choice.

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Backpacking 500 Miles in the Mojave Desert (epilogue)

In November and December of 2000 I backpacked from my house in Palm Springs to Lake Mead and back.

Part 8 can be viewed here.

Mojave 500 mile map

It took over a year to document this trip in 8 parts, something I could have done in one afternoon sitting in front of a computer. It wasn’t an epic trip, but for me it was an adventure. It wasn’t presented as a trail journal or daily diary, and it isn’t full of insights or as a “how to” guide. There are no gear or equipment information. Just short daily summaries of a month in the Mojave. It is mostly for my kids. They probably don’t remember that I took this trip and I may not have even mentioned it to them. But what I will share later will jog their memory. As I normally operate, I didn’t bring a cell phone with me. In 2000 cell phone coverage was just about nil in most of the places I walked. Today, fortunately, there still is no cell reception in Joshua Tree National Park or the Mojave Preserve – this is a good thing. But in 2000 phone booths were common and I did make a couple calls to my kids when resupplying in cities. So, are there any learnings, conclusions, or insights to be gained from all of this?

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Weather Got You Down?

This weekend after a nice hike in 70 degree weather, I came home and turned on the TV to watch the news. Much of the Northeast was digging out of a blizzard, northern California and the Pacific Northwest was dealing with rain and flooding, and other parts of the country were also suffering from crappy weather.

If you live in one of these places and the weather negatively impacted you or you are just feeling down because of weather crapola, here is a small antidote.

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You Can Get An Ultralight Backpacking Kit At REI!

Over the years I have noticed a growing elitism in the online backpacking community in regards to Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI). These self-appointed experts disdain, poo-poo, and generally criticize REI for all kinds of faults, ethics, and lost purity. Many say the only things at REI of value are gas canisters for stoves, and only when they are on sale. They shout out that REI is only for the poor load carrying burdens of beast – the “traditional” backpacker.

They are wrong.

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What We Can Learn From Our Children

The Digital Life

Still feeling under the weather with this flu bug or whatever it is. Finally have a new roof on the house as of yesterday, so that worry is behind us. It has been cold and windy outside, so I have put most of my “man around the house” projects on hold for a while. This has provided some time for thinking, resting, and even catching up on some blog posts I’ve been kicking around for a while. The down time got me to thinking about my cost saving & budgeting crusade and some help I got from an unexpected source.

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