Endless Breeze 12 Volt Fan, by Fan-Tastic Vent

There are some things in life we just don’t give much thought to.

An example is electricity. Our society is powered by electricity. We don’t think about it; we expect it to be there when needed. But when there is a power outage people freak out. When there is a large power outage, such as the entire Los Angeles or New York City metropolitan areas then it is a disaster.

One thing I don’t give much attention to or think about is the Endless Breeze fan that resides in our camper. As a matter of fact, in the nearly 700 posts and pages I have published over the past 4 plus years I don’t think I have ever mentioned it.

Given that I bought it 14 years ago (way back in 2003), it is probably time to do a proper review.

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Long Term Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Mattress

Normally this isn’t the place to search for gear reviews. Reviews are infrequent and I don’t claim to be an expert. There are blogs that do several reviews each week and generate a lot of traffic, but as I stated in The Business of Backpacking, buyer beware.

The best and brutally honest reviews are done by Dave Chenault at Bedrock and Paradox, but he doesn’t have hundreds of reviews in his archives. Another blogger you can trust is Paul Magnanti. Paul doesn’t get into the deep details as does Dave, and Paul is more interested in just hiking a lot and using the gear he already has, which means he isn’t doing many gear reviews because his kit is well established and doesn’t need constant upgrading.

There are two reasons why I am reviewing the NeoAir; first is I have been using it for 7 years, which to me seems like a reasonable amount of time of use to be objective and accurate, and secondly, I think the NeoAir is a game changer. But with anything in life, it is best to start at the beginning…

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How to Attach an Air Pillow to a Backpacking Air Mattress

Five years ago, at the age of 60 something and admitting I was getting older, I started using an air mattress on almost all of my backpacking trips. Prior to this I usually used a simple foam pad. I had, over the years, tried a few thin air mattresses but they were too bulky and heavy and always got relegated to the car camping gear inventory. With a foam pad or these older air mattresses a pillow wasn’t necessary. Spare clothing always sufficed. But in 2010, I purchased a Therm-A-Rest NeoAir mattress, which is 2.5” thick when inflated. Being a side sleeper this mattress, unlike the thin mats of the past, required a pillow placed on top of the air mat. So I bought an inexpensive inflatable pillow. Keeping it on the mat during the night wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t irritating enough to investigate a solution, until this trip…

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