Monthly Archives: November 2013

Black Friday? Go Camping or Backpacking Instead!

What’s Up With That?

I live in a small town and don’t have any personal experience with the Black Friday phenomenon. To be honest, I don’t know a lot about it.

Last year, one week before Thanksgiving, I was working in the Los Angeles area and went to Best Buy the Friday before Thanksgiving. There were several tents set up in front of the store and people were inside them. I thought it was some sort of store display, as most of the tents had music playing inside of them. When I entered the store, I asked one of the employees about the tents outside. He told me they were shoppers who were camped out waiting to be the first ones in the door next week, when the store would open early Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving. These people were going to live at Best Buy for a week just so they could buy stuff!! I don’t get it.

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The 4 (not 10) Essentials for Hiking and Backpacking

Where I live and hike, each year dozens of people are rescued because they lack the skills, experience, common sense, brains, or equipment to stay safe. And almost every year some die. And each year it gets worse, because people read about places to hike on the Internet or in trail guides and head out without the skills, experience or gear that could keep them alive.

Here I am hiking up the Desert Skyline Trail. Picture by Craig Wisner.
Here I am hiking up the Desert Skyline Trail.
Picture by Craig Wisner.

Gear and equipment is important, if you know why you need it, how to use it, and when certain items are necessary.

If you hike or backpack, then you probably have heard of the 10 Essentials that should be carried on every trip, even day hikes.

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Camp Chef Pro 60 Double Burner Stove

Cooking in a camper is different than when on an ultralight backpacking trip. UL backpackers usually try to pare down the weight of every item, so small stoves and instant foods are the typical fare, not to say the backpacker can’t get fancy and prepare some outstanding foods from scratch.

The LiteTrail Titanium Solid Fuel Cook System has a pot that can only hold ½ quart of water, but is perfect for the lightweight backpacker.
The LiteTrail Titanium Solid Fuel Cook System has a pot that can only hold ½ quart of water, but is perfect for the lightweight backpacker.

But camping lends itself to gourmet cooking.

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