2016 Recap: Favorite Gear, Blog Stats, Favorite Trips, Blah, Blah, Blah

Well, it’s that time of the year again when many backpacking bloggers create a list of their favorite new gear from the prior year. How on earth (or why) can these folks have a slew of new backpacking gear year after year? Methinks they are focused on gear, not getting out often and walking. But I digress…

Then some of these bloggers publish web stats for their blog during the prior year. Really? How boring.

A few backpacking bloggers may only post some of their favorite pictures taken during the prior year or do a simple recap of some trip reports – I like what some of the “few” do. The rest, meh.

What is interesting is that campers and full time RVers who blog generally don’t do this. They simply keep writing about their adventures.

My backpacking gear hasn’t changed much in the past 4 or 5 years, so nothing to write about here. Same goes for our camping gear. Somewhere on this website are lists of the gear and equipment we use. You should be able to easily find those if you are interested.

Given this pessimistic outlook on gear, there is one piece of equipment that has been critical for every single backpacking or camping trip I have done since 2003.

Continue reading 2016 Recap: Favorite Gear, Blog Stats, Favorite Trips, Blah, Blah, Blah

When Camping Isn’t Camping

One good thing about camping is that each camper gets to define what camping is, because there is no commonly accepted definition. Backpacking is different. Most people will agree, to some extent, what backpacking is. Not so with camping.

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View from our Christmas campsite

This Christmas vacation, as we have done every year since 2002, we hitched up our camper and left home. It was a new destination for us and 800 miles one-way from home. Our campground was nestled among the costal Redwoods a few miles north of the itty bitty seaside city of Trinidad, CA.

But it really wasn’t a camping trip; we would be visiting my daughter and her family.

We just happened to be staying in a campground, in our camper, in a forest.

Or were we camping?

Continue reading When Camping Isn’t Camping

It’s Probably A Bad Day When Your RV Slide-Out Breaks

Milan Maiden Voage

After a 250 mile drive to our campsite in Nevada to enjoy a week-plus Thanksgiving vacation and escape the Black Friday insanity, we unhitched the camper and began our quick set-up routine. As I was outside beginning to lower the stabilizers, I heard some funny noises as Joyce was extending our powered slide-out dining room.

Entering the trailer, I saw that one side of the room was partially extended and the other was still in the closed position – the slide out room was cocked and wedged against the frame. Oh, oh. Smartly, Joyce had stopped trying to open the slide. I pushed the button to retract the slide so I could investigate the problem and unfortunately, as I discovered, the drive chain on the working side created extra slack and wrapped itself backwards creating extra force and breaking one of the cables. As Trump would say, a Disaster!

Our slide-out was one of those things you just don’t think about until it breaks. So I thought I would share some thoughts on what I should have done (e.g., learn how it works mechanically and inspect/maintain it) and what pre-emptive steps I could have done.

Continue reading It’s Probably A Bad Day When Your RV Slide-Out Breaks

Update on Off-Trail Hiking in Anza Borrego State Park

Back in June I wrote a post, Please Help Save Off-Trail Hiking in Anza Borrego.

In October I posted an update, “We the People…” made a difference at Anza Borregowhere I stated,

The State indicated that the management of Anza Borrego State Park will continue to administer the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Cultural Preserve Management Plan of 2012, which is a huge victory.

The biggest challenge for “We the People” is the State is not transparent and it is often difficult to find out about the stuff they pull such as the proposed ban of off-trail hiking in Anza Borrego.

I am always dubious of statements made by politicians and government hacks, and have been looking for news to confirm my last post. What these politicians and hacks say they will do often does not happen. Today I received good news via an email from the California Department of Parks and Recreation:

Continue reading Update on Off-Trail Hiking in Anza Borrego State Park