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About Brian

On our way up the mountain

My love of the outdoors started at a very early age, almost as far back as I can remember. I was born in the south of England at a time when spending all day outdoors as a small kid was considered perfectly normal.  I was the youngest of four children and loved tagging along with my older brother on all his adventures in the woods that surrounded our house.

Brian - self portraitI loved climbing trees and was pretty good at it from a very early age. My brother and I had a favorite tree that we nicknamed the ‘Army Tree’ because we could see the local army field strip from it and watch planes taking off and landing.  Despite being good at climbing trees and having little fear of heights, I still managed to fall out of my fair share of them!

I can remember growing up watching a BBC TV show about outdoor survival by John “Lofty” Wiseman. I don’t know what the show was called but I remember being completely enthralled by the knowledge and skills that Lofty was demonstrating.  I can even remember putting together my own survival tin and carrying it around with me.

My dad gave me my first real knife when I was about six or seven years old. It was a small fixed-blade sheath knife with a three-inch blade and the classic bone and leather disc handle. I loved that knife and used it to death – I wish I still had it or at least I knew what happened to it.

Coco my trail partnerI’m fortunate that I grew up being shown how to do things like tie a sheepshank, a bowline, reef knot, or splice a loop into the end of a length of rope.  My dad has always been very good with his hands and had a lot of experience from his time in the merchant navy with all types of knots and rope skills. It used to fascinate me to watch him show us how to tie knots.

Now I spend as much time outdoors as my work schedule and family life will allow. I’m equally happy going on hardcore multi-night backpacking trips with my hiking buddy, Andy, as I am camping out in my backyard with my kids.  I’m always trying to improve my bushcraft skills and constantly learning better ways to do things.  My kids have inherited my love of and respect for the outdoors and they are slowly building up their knowledge and gear list.

I enjoy passing my knowledge on to my children and anyone else who is interested. One of the driving factors behind me creating this blog was to share my experiences with anyone else who found the articles useful or helpful.  I thank all of you who read my blog on a regular basis or subscribe to it and hope that in some small way it encourages you to get outside and try it for yourself. | @bfgreen

I encourage you to provide your feedback via the comments, or feel free to email me at any time if you have any questions. [blog -at-]

Ten Random Things About Me

  1. I used to have much more hair
  2. I gave up a weekend on Airforce One and at Camp David as part of Clinton’s Press Corp (when I worked for Reuters) to go mountain biking with my friends instead – yes, I regret it now
  3. I am the designer of the Ocean Diver line of Swiss Made dive watches
  4. I’m an American citizen now, but was born British
  5. I own more watches than I do dress shirts – which may or may not be normal?
  6. I qualified as a ‘Marksman’ just for fun and have a concealed carry permit
  7. I went to Art college to train to be a Technical Illustrator, began my career in journalism, worked for many years as US Government consultant in several locations that don’t formally even exist, eventually ended up in the technology consulting field and now doing infosec/encryption work for a large financial institution – life’s weird…
  8. I have a 9-inch scar around my upper left arm from a fight with a pane of glass – the glass won!
  9. I hate clutter and could live like a monk or in a cave quite happily – unfortunately my wife and two kids don’t seem to understand this side of me
  10. I think coming up with 25 random things is too much hard work :)

Disclaimer: My blog is supported by affiliate marketing. However, all product reviews and opinions expressed herein are based on my first hand experience, and unbiased by monetary compensation

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  • DD Longlegs

    Love your blog but I have a question/suggestion. Is there a way, when
    someone goes to one of your outside links, that it could open in a new window?
    (I have it on my website) If I follow one of your links and then go
    deep, I have to backtrack  a long way to get back to your site. If it was in a new
    window I could just close that window when I am done but still have your site

    • I’m sure that is a setting someplace. I’ll take a look and see what my options are. A quick way of doing that is to right-click and choose open in a new tab if you are using a relatively new browser. I appreciate the feedback and will check it out :-)

    • BTW – I don’t know if you noticed or not, but I did switch to having all links now open in a new browser window :)

  • Off The Deep End

    Love your blog! I just reposted the one about making single-use antibiotic packs onto my blog at and added you to my blog-roll. 

  • Hi Brian!  This is actually a geek question.  I was wondering how you created your FANTASTIC header photo with the links you could click on of your dog and gear.  I love it!

    P.S. Single-use antibiotic packs=Brilliant!

    • Jessica. at the risk of giving away my edge in the outdoor blogosphere when it comes to the dots on my photos – here’s the secret. Go to and sign up for a free account. They will give you a single line of javascript code that you have to add to the template of all your webpages that you want to use the dots on. Once you’ve added their code you’ll see dots and a set of menu items appear as an overlay on all of your photos.

      If you’re logged into ThingLink you’ll see a small pencil “edit” icon on top of your photos – click on that to add the rollover box on your photos and the comment or hyperlinks, save the changes to the photo and you’re all set. The amazing thing about this is that you are NOT editing the original photo or the photo at all, you’re just assigning some extra metadata to the photo as a web asset that ThingLink puts on top. Okay I’m a web geek and I admit it, but Hendrik Morkel was the first person to point this out, I was just the first person that I know of to add it to my banner!

      There, I’ll no longer be cool or have the edge over anyone else on the web. Hope you’re happy now! Just kidding, have fun with it there’s a lot of clever ways to use it.

  • Dave

    I don’t reply/post on blogs often, but I have to commend you on yours. I’m not a backpacker, but I’d like to be. I’ve been a Scout leader for many years. I followed my boy all the way from Tiger Cub to Eagle Scout and now I’m still active as a Unit Commissioner. I’ll point out your blog to some Scouts that I think might get some good use out of the info here. Got here via a LifeHacker link to the single use ointment packets. That’s a great tip, especially for the Scouts.

  • Thanks for the heads up Nicole. I have several Instructables already posted on your site some of which were featured at one point or another. I’ll add this to Instructables too!

  • Birch

    Hi, I’ve been enjoying reading back into your blog, and I was wondering if you take your kids backpacking? We’re taking our girl (4) on her first packing overnight this spring.

    • Absolutely! I started with them very young, taking them for day hikes and short walks in the woods. From there the hikes got a little longer and I started letting them carry small amounts of their own gear.

      Over time we’ve progressed to multi-day hikes with cooking and overnights, they love it. I’m always careful to make the whole experience enjoyable for them, it’s not about me or what I want to do, I do plenty of other UL hiking and backpacking for that.

      Now ate ages 5 & 7 they know how to set up a tent, gather firewood (of all the necessary sizes), build a fire that will light, and do basic cutting and cooking chores. There’s nothing more fun than seeing them enjoying being outside and having a blast.

      The only advice I’d offer is to take it in small steps and always make it an enjoyable experience regardless of whether things go right or wrong! Have fun with it :)

  • Sunflower

    Got here via survivalblog. Like your ideas. Thanks.

    • Hi Sunflower! Glad you found your way here, hope you stick around and join in the comments. ^BG

  • rita

    Hi Brian,

    I’m a portuguese searching for backpakers opinions… I’m planning on creating an hostel. It’ll be in a small rural village, 70 km from Lisbon, near the sea. It’s not crowded with tourists but it’s place with some speacial things like the beaches, the museum… in particular the jurassic stuff (we are important for paleothologists). But if you search for Planalto das Cesaredas or Berlenga you tell me if you liked it. Besides that we have a brandy as good as Armagnac and Coganc, but it’s just not famous yet (there are 3 demarcated areas of brandy in Europe: Coganc, Armagnac and Aguardente da Lourinhã). The caves are not open to public… just under reservation. I can get that for you.But you are more sport fan… surf, snorkeling, biking, hiking, fishing, golf… you tell me!!What do you say? Not far we also have caves if you want to explore :)
    Hope to hear from you soon

    • Hi Rita, good luck with your hostel, it sounds like a perfect location for it. I’ve only ever been to Portugal one time, Lisbon as you would expect.

      However I have close ties to Portugal through the Prometheus Watch Company that produced the dive watch that I designed is Head Quartered there. Small world eh?

      I’m also a big fan of Portuguese Rose wine which we used to have every Sunday’s with our family roast when I was growing up in the UK. Funny how things are linked together.

      If you have any specific questions please let me know. I’d love to be able to help you in your endeavor!

  • Brian: What is the “brick packing” photo on Flickr all about? Is that testing the capacity and strength of the ruck?

    • Wait until Monday and you can read all about it. I recently completed a GORUCK Challenge in Charlotte and those pics are for a post about the gear I used. Patience Don! ^BG

  • Where is your home base?

    • L
      Have lived in co for 4 yrs now and completed 11 summits on 14 ers with my son. May be good candidates for your product.

      • I’m on the east coast, Charlotte North Carolina. If your interested in trying Altitude Adapt (it’s not my product) please leave a comment on that post so that I can track people who would like to try it. Have you had any AMS symptoms though? Doesn’t sound like you have any issues with altitude.

  • Phil

    I came across your blog while trying to figure out how to make a good beer can stove. I would love to try out one of your versions! If you are feeling generous let me know how I could get one. Thanks. BTW i’m close by in Boone, NC.

  • Hello, I also live in the Charlotte area. Where would you recommend to go for a starter backpacker to test out gear for a one or two night trip?
    Thanks, I really enjoy reading your blog. It came in handy for a trip to Peru last summer.

  • Brian, your homepage illustration looks eerily like a photo I have. The picture was in the back yard of my brother, Glen Van Peski’s home in Southern California. His son, Brian, (who I think sells PROBARS to retailers) was taking pictures of the trekking pole supported cover. And, his dog Buddy (since passed) is right there in the grass. When I first saw your illustration I thought it was an illustration of this photo. Your dog looks like Buddy! Crazy small world. I love your blog, by the way.

    • Thanks Brooke! I commissioned the illustration by the son of a friend and fellow blogger Damien Tougas based on my original banner photo of the same scene. His son, Laurent, did a fantastic job and it’s been my banner graphic for the better part of a year – I wrote a blog post about it here.

  • hotmamahikers

    You have a great blog here! I am really enjoying your humor and practial advice :)

  • Sylvie

    Your blog is wonderful, congratulations! Keep on going, Great Job!!! :)

  • Dawn Bustanoby

    HI! just discovered your blog and would love to follow it, but I follow everything with Flipboard, and I can’t get it to recognize your blog content. Suggestions?

  • Allen

    We’re a manufacturer, vendor of Metro Group.
    1) citronella mosquito repellent band
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    Please feel free to contact me if you have interest.