Monthly Archives: September 2014

(non-backpacking) Backpacking Gear Review

  • Noah’s Tarp, by Kelty
  • Tyvek Groundsheet, by DuPont
  • Adjustable Tarp Poles, by Big Agnes
  • Mayfly Chair, by ALite


Yes, discussing backpacking gear is still boring.

Yes, this stuff is heavy.

Yes, I bought this stuff.

 No, I am not going to use it for backpacking.

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ProPride 4,000 Mile Update

We now have over 4,000 miles on the ProPride Trailer Hitch. Operation has been flawless, and with continuing practice I can hook-up, or disconnect in a matter of seconds. Considering that most of our camping trips are about 100 miles round trip, that is a lot of hitching and unhitching. The trick is to try and keep the tow vehicle lined up with the trailer, so the hitch isn’t at an angle when parking the camper.

4000 miles-1

About every 500 miles I lube the unit via the two grease fittings.

The modifications I had to make (documented in our 1,000 mile update) have worked well.

REI Novara Safari Touring Bike

You may ask, “What do bikes have to do with backpacking or camping?” Well, we often take our bikes when we go camping. I have a lot of experience touring and camping with a motorcycle, and a bike can be used for that too.

REI Pic 1
Picture from REI website

For our 12th wedding anniversary I bought Joyce a bicycle. I have to admit, it was a truly romantic gift, if I don’t say so myself.

At the time, I decided to buy one for me too. Women like that kind if stuff. You know, matching his and her stuff. So this is our first matching his and her purchase. But I have to make this public. I am drawing the line at bikes. There will not be any matching his and her clothes, or any other kind of matching stuff.

Aside from my wonderful attentiveness to Joyce’s wants and needs, and my propensity to pick out the best and most unique gifts for birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries – I thought I might share a little about my bike research, selection, and the purchase itself. We bought two REI brand Novara Safari bikes.

Continue reading REI Novara Safari Touring Bike

Packing Our Fears (and an apology)

florida clouds smaller

There is a term that I have heard other backpackers use which is, “Packing Our Fears.” I am not sure there is an exact definition to this statement. To me it infers that people have a fear of certain things in the wild because they don’t have good knowledge of what they fear. Perhaps it means we fear things that, in reality, have a very small chance of hurting us or even killing us. But the fear is there.

When people ask me about the dangers of sleeping in the desert, such as rattlesnakes or scorpions, I dismiss them as silly. Same goes for black bears or mountain lions. Today I realized that this is unfair and perhaps I am judgmental. The proper approach would to share as much knowledge about these things as I can and communicate why they should be of less concern. I should also reassure others that these fears are normal.

Today I decided not to take a trip because of a fear.

Continue reading Packing Our Fears (and an apology)

You can’t play every weekend

“You can’t play every weekend,” is something one would say to a child.

Children need to be assigned tasks, duties, and responsibilities. It is what parents should do – parent their children. Guide the children. The parents do this. The parents decide how children will allocate their time. Children can’t spend their entire childhood playing. Nor can children make the important decisions in their lives – they aren’t the parents.

If you have done a good job as a parent, your children will become self-sufficient and no longer need your help. They will leave home and not come back to live with you. This is the mark of good parenting – the children grow up, and leave the nest for good. Of course, a parent wants the children to come back to visit, but not come back to live.

My children are grown, self-sufficient and successful. I see no reason why I shouldn’t be allowed to play every weekend.

Continue reading You can’t play every weekend