Throwaway Backpacking Gear? Photon Micro-Light II

How to Replace Photon Micro-Light II Batteries

Back in June I presented my Headlamp Buyer’s Guide.  One of the lights I have been using for ten years is the Photon Micro-Light II and in the guide I recommended not trying to replace the batteries in the field.

These little lights retail for around $12 and are sturdy. They last a long time, only weigh ¼ ounce (7 grams) and are a favorite of many hikers. Most people I know who like these lights just throw them away when the batteries are dead and buy a new once. Some don’t even know the battery can be replaced.

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Buy Your 2nd Camper the 1st Time: What to Look For

What the title of this post means is to figure out what you want and need in a camper before you purchase your first one, because most people find out that after they purchase that first camper, it doesn’t do what they want it to do. At this point, seeing the deficiencies of that first camper, they buy a second camper that better fits their style of camping.

So I thought I’d share my experiences over the years with 4 different campers, what I now look for in a camper, and how my needs changed over time. Now, I’m not presenting my thoughts as some sort of a subject matter expert. My thoughts are based on semi-quasi science, that can be summed up in this statement, that I read somewhere years ago.

If you learn from your mistakes I must be a genius.

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New & Improved Backpacking Gear!

What’s Up With That?

It’s that time of year. Back in June the big European Outdoor Gear Retailer Show was held. At the end of July the big US show was in progress in Utah. I’ve never been to one of these events, but I’ve been to trade shows in other industries, which usually are not open to the public. So I have a very good and probably accurate perception about what goes on at the outdoor gear shows.

So what are these show? Manufacturers show off their “New” and often “Improved” gear in hopes retailers will place orders.

Out in the world of consumers, backpackers are waiting impatiently for newest and greatest offerings. On Internet forums the gear faithful are posting, “Anyone hear what is new at the show?” Folks with press credentials roam the floors of the shows taking pictures, grabbing brochures, and talking to sales reps, so they can run home and share all this wonderful information on their blogs for the panting public to lap up.

What’s not to be excited about? And of course everyone can’t wait until these products are released, usually in the fall or next spring, so their favorite blog or magazine can review all the new and improved stuff, and of course tell us what is best, what we must have, and where to buy it. It’s AWESOME!

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Mt. San Jacinto Cheat Sheet

View of Mt. San Jacinto from our house

Confession Time

I’ve been cheating. Actually I’ve been cheating for a long time. You see, for decades I’ve been taking the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway up to the mountains; mostly in the summer and winter. I do it so often; I have an annual pass, which currently costs $160 per year.

San Jacinto Mountains

This mountain range is about 30 miles long and is in close proximity to the San Bernardino Mountains and Santa Rosa Mountains (a.k.a. you can walk to either range from the San Jacinto’s). Much of the area is designated State and Federal Wilderness Areas.

Mt. San Jacinto escarpment

The crown jewel of this range is Mt. San Jacinto, which rises more than 10,000 feet from the desert floor making it one of (if not the most) steepest escarpments in the continental United States.

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