All posts by ngatel

Mountain House Meals

I these in bulk and store them in plastic bins.

I like Mountain House freeze-dried meals. I bet there are few people who have eaten as many of them as me, since they have been one of my backpacking staples for over 40 years.

Many people tell me they are bad for a person’s health and these same people doubt they taste good. Of course, these are opinions and more than likely are not based on any personal research or knowledge. So what is the verdict?

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The Wine Connoisseur at the Campsite

If you stop by my campsite (or home), I will probably offer you a glass of wine; to be exact, a glass of Gallo Family Cabernet Sauvignon. In the campground we usually have a glass in the late afternoon when we take Corky for a walk, and then cook dinner. The best part about these wines is that they can be had for $4.99 – $5.99 when they are on sale in the 1.5 liter size bottle. But I don’t buy them because of the price. I enjoy them.

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How to Orient Your Map Quickly With a Compass

For most people, myself included, the primary function of a compass is a simple “field check,” which is orienting the map to North using your compass and then visually associating the terrain to the map. Basically you know where you are, but you need to check details for such things as deciding if is best to hike to the left of a large rock outcropping or right when you are off trail or the trail has become too faint to follow.

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Wi-Fi Is Coming To Your National Park!

Wi-Fi antenna at one of my recent NPS campground stays

What’s Up With That?

Back in October I saw that it had already happened at Lake Mead Recreational Area, one of the National Park Service (NPS) units. Instead of posting a rant about this technology on my return home, it seemed prudent to give it some thought and wrap my mind around a subject that twenty years ago I knew was probably going to happen. Sometimes it is best to let thoughts stew for a while in the brain, before dishing out opinions.

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Reader Question: Can I Charge My RV Battery With An Inverter Connected To The Battery?

Ah, perpetual energy without solar panels or a generator!

Readers of this website normally can’t contact me, because there isn’t a “Comments” function, nor is there an “Email” button. But hey, this is the Internet Age, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to contact me if one really wants to. Then of course, it is more than likely I will ignore you. However, in this case, I recently received an interesting inquiry worth discussing.

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I’ve Been On Holiday For Almost Two Months

If you read this blog with any frequency, you have noticed no activity here for several weeks. Nope, I haven’t been neglecting the blog; there have been more important things to attend to.

Towards the end of September, we returned home after a two-week camping trip in Sequoia National Forest. On my mind as we pulled up the house, with the camper attached to our SUV, was the fact the end of September means October is about to begin; and October is the  best month of the year to camp in the deserts we frequent.

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Camping in the Southern Sierra: What Day is It?

We just got back from a couple of weeks of camping in Sequoia National Forest. The trip was a transverse of summer and fall – that is the first official day of fall occurred in the middle of our trip. Mother Nature ignored the transverse timing. I ignored it too because time; minutes, hours, days, months and years are man-made tick marks. Since I retired these points in time are irrelevant. I get up with the sun and go to bed at night when I become sleepy. I sleep for as many hours as my body demands, which is now at least 8 hours and sometimes 10 hours. No need for alarm clocks or even a clock.

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Is The President of the United States The Moral Authority of America?

What’s Up With That?

I normally don’t write about politics here. However, this subject needs attention.

Charlottesville Violence

There has been much conversation about the violent protest last month, and criticism of President Trump for what he didn’t say, and then what he did say. The criticism keeps coming back to the point that many Americans and most of the media/press think the office of the president is the moral authority of our country.

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The Inconsistencies of USGS Topo Maps: WTF?

What’s Up With That?

Buyer Beware

This post isn’t a condemnation of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), but a caution that all USGS Topo maps aren’t created equal. In fact, I think the USGS is one of the very few worthwhile government services. So let’s take a look at some of the inconsistencies of these topo maps that might cause problems for those walking in wild areas.

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