All posts by ngatel

Set Up Your Compass Faster & More Accurately With A Map Protractor, Part 2

In this post we will learn how to determine our location on the map using any compass and a map protractor. But first let’s review Part 1, with a little different spin so the concepts will start to become clearer.

Part 1 discussed the many steps needed to read a bearing on a map using a typical baseplate compass. It also discussed how many fewer steps were needed to read a bearing using a map protractor. In both cases, we are adjusting our compass by compensating for variance between Grid North and Magnetic North on the compass. The only difference being that using a map protractor requires the user to truly understand how magnetic north relates to the map so the bearing can be adjusted using 3rd grade math.

In Part 1, we described how to take a bearing from a map using a map protractor and transferring it to a compass utilizing the

EAST IS LEAST, WEST IS BEST method.

Continue reading Set Up Your Compass Faster & More Accurately With A Map Protractor, Part 2

68˚ North — Peter Vacco

At the beginning of the month I wrote a post about being famous for being famous titled, How to Become (or not become) A Famous Backpacker. Some of it was driven by tongue-in-cheek satire on modern culture and some of it meant for contemplation. But the last part of the post was about a friend who is section hiking the Arctic Circle through Canada, and I kept his identity anonymous because he hadn’t given me permission to write about him. That part was about hiking for the experience, not adulation. It was also a bit of recognition for a friend.

That friend is Peter Vacco. Among most backpacker’s he is not known by many. Some backpackers may recognize his popular headsets, which he no longer manufacturers.

Here’s a story about his trip from a Canadian news outlet…

Continue reading 68˚ North — Peter Vacco

PopUpBackpacker’s Headlamp Buyer’s Guide

Here we go again…

A frequent question I see on the Internet is, “What headlamp should I buy for backpacking?”

And of course, as the modern technology obsessed society that we are, it turns into a debate with a focus on such things a lumens, regulated output, reverse polarity, etc., etc. etc.

jesus h. christ. Its just a frickin’ light.

How to boggle your mind

I did an Amazon search for “flashlight” and got 134,831 results. “Headlamp” yielded only 89,472 results. How can something so simple be so difficult?

So, I am going to simplify things for you. However, I have no credentials that would make me some sort of subject matter expert. I do hike and camp a lot using headlamps and flashlights.

So, caveat emptor.

Continue reading PopUpBackpacker’s Headlamp Buyer’s Guide

Read the Damn Instructions

 

Regular readers of this site know I often pontificate about reading manuals and instructions that come with consumer products. More importantly I often chastise people who don’t read said materials and have no sympathy for those who try to gain Darwin Award Nominations by not reading and following the instructions and required maintenance.  Perhaps it is a good thing when people try to remove themselves from the human gene pool by not bothering to read instructions.

When I retired the agreement was Joyce would continue to work since she is younger than me and I would complete the house remodel prior to her retirement. Another thing, which wasn’t an agreement, but something I volunteered to do — I would cook meals and do all the household chores. There was only one problem with this offer. I didn’t know how to cook.

Continue reading Read the Damn Instructions