Brian's Backpacking Blog http://briangreen.net Twitter & Instagram: @bfgreen | use hashtag #bbpack Mon, 26 Oct 2015 23:13:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.11 Everest Movie Prize Pack Giveaway http://briangreen.net/2015/09/everest-movie-prize-pack-giveaway.html http://briangreen.net/2015/09/everest-movie-prize-pack-giveaway.html#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 22:20:15 +0000 http://briangreen.net/?p=2175 Everest is the ultimate bucket list destination for many of us. A dream that is out of reach for all but a few. The closest many of us will come to experiencing Everest will be through documentaries and photos. That’s why I am excited about the release of Everest, the new movie from Universal Pictures. […]

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Everest Movie Prize Pack Giveaway

Everest is the ultimate bucket list destination for many of us. A dream that is out of reach for all but a few. The closest many of us will come to experiencing Everest will be through documentaries and photos. That’s why I am excited about the release of Everest, the new movie from Universal Pictures. You can experience it in IMAX 3D starting September 18 and see it everywhere September 25. I can’t wait…

Everest Movie Prize Pack Giveaway

Inspired by the incredible events surrounding an attempt to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Everest documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind.  Their mettle tested by the harshest elements found on the planet, the climbers will face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival.  The epic adventure stars Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Official IMAX Trailer

If by some strange turn of events you’ve manage to miss all the hype about the new Everest movie, here is the official trailer (tip: watch it full screen with sound up!)



Win an Official Everest Movie Prize Pack

To make the release even more exciting, one of you has the chance to win a cool Everest movie prize pack courtesy of my good friends at Universal Pictures. The pack includes: A hydration backpack, t-shirt, carabiner with key ring, screen cleaner cloth, aluminum water bottle, and the official soundtrack.

Everest Movie Prize Pack

How to Enter

To enter this fun giveaway simply pick any or all of the entry options in the Rafflecopter widget below. I will pick a random on Wednesday Sept 30th. Good luck to all, and enjoy the movie!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: The author of Brian’s Backpacking Blog was provided with a complimentary Everest movie prize pack from Universal Pictures for the purpose of this reader giveaway.

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Hiking with Dogs: Food and Gear Packing List http://briangreen.net/2015/07/hiking-with-dogs-food-and-gear-packing-list.html http://briangreen.net/2015/07/hiking-with-dogs-food-and-gear-packing-list.html#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 23:19:46 +0000 http://briangreen.net/?p=2156 Last month I wrote about transitioning my chocolate lab, and hiking partner, Coco to the Merrick Backcountry raw infused dog food line. That spurred a flurry of emails and questions via social media asking about hiking gear and packing lists for dogs. I was making preparations to take Coco on a short hike right as I […]

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Hiking with Dogs: Food and Packing List

Last month I wrote about transitioning my chocolate lab, and hiking partner, Coco to the Merrick Backcountry raw infused dog food line. That spurred a flurry of emails and questions via social media asking about hiking gear and packing lists for dogs. I was making preparations to take Coco on a short hike right as I was publishing the last blog post, so I figured that I’d use that as an opportunity to pull together a list of what I usually take on a trip with her. To my surprise it was more than I realized.

Carry Weight Considerations for Dogs

Hiking with Dogs: Food and Packing List

As a general rule of thumb a dog can comfortably carry approximately 25% of their [ideal] body weight. Coco weighs 86lbs so that would mean that her overall skin out weight would be in the region of 21lbs and would include her backpack which weighs 1lb 12oz. This rule of thumb is based on a gradual ramp up of weight over several trips and also assumes that the weight is evenly distributed. Dogs love to have a sense of purpose and duty, so I try to let her carry as much of her own gear as she can.

Big Things First

I usually start my packing routing by looking at the largest, bulkiest, or heaviest components first. In Coco’s case, and I’m sure this will be true for most dogs, that’s going to mean her backpack and her food. Those are easily the two biggest weight considerations. Dog food is not only a heavy component of a doggie’s packing list, it can also be rather bulky one depending on the type of food they are used to and the duration of the trip. For the latter reason I like to limit the length of the trips I take her on to one or two days.

Hiking with Dogs: Food and Packing List

Coco’s Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused dog food is a dry kibble mix that weighs 6.5oz for two cups. She normally eats four cups a day (two in the morning and two in the evening) so that’s 13oz of food per day not accounting for any snacks. For a two-day trip I like to have enough food for two full days even though I know that part of the beginning and end of the trip will be driving to and from the hike – it’s easier for me to factor this way and typically results in a little left over. This is what two days of her dry kibble looks like – I bag it in serving sizes of two cups each and make sure it is all in water tight bags, dogs (especially labradors) LOVE water! In addition to carrying her own food I like to have her be responsible for a few of her other things such as: her tennis ball, furry toy, and her collapsable food bowl. Other than the collar that she wears, I carry pretty much everything else that she needs.

A Typical Dog Packing List

Hiking with Dogs: Food and Packing List

If you’re not sure what a packing list for a dog looks like here’s what I typically take with me for a trip with Coco. A few of these are optional or adjustable depending on weather, distance, and duration.

I also make sure that I am the one carrying her treats and I store them in an easy to reach location like my pants pocket or the hip pockets of my backpack. Positive real-time praise followed up by a treat makes for a loyal and well behaved pup! Always make sure that you have a toy for fun, like a tennis ball, and a comforter for sleeping at night.

Hiking with Dogs: Food and Packing List

What Does Your Doggie Packing List Look Like?

I’m always interested to hear feedback on how others do things. My doggie packing list for hikes has evolved over time based on the trips we’ve gone on, yours may be vastly different. If you have tips or tricks to share, leave a comment and/or photo below – I’d love to see. I have a couple of other posts planned related to hiking with dogs, if there is something in particular you’d like to know about be sure to mention that too.

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Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dog Food http://briangreen.net/2015/06/merrick-backcountry-dogfood-review.html http://briangreen.net/2015/06/merrick-backcountry-dogfood-review.html#respond Mon, 22 Jun 2015 00:34:59 +0000 http://briangreen.net/?p=2143 I’ve noticed that as my chocolate lab Coco has gotten older her eating habits have changed. We rescued Coco as a young dog approximately two years old so we never really had her as a puppy. When she was young she would devour any amount of food that we put out for her as soon […]

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Coco the Wonder Dog

I’ve noticed that as my chocolate lab Coco has gotten older her eating habits have changed. We rescued Coco as a young dog approximately two years old so we never really had her as a puppy. When she was young she would devour any amount of food that we put out for her as soon as the bowl hit the ground. That led to us splitting her food into two servings during the day so that she wouldn’t eat her entire quota of food in the morning and be hungry and begging for food the rest of the day.

Now, as an eight year old “senior” dog Coco has lower energy needs than those of a young pup. She tends to eat when she wants and only as much as she wants. Some days she’ll still eat all two cups of her kibble right away, other times she’ll snack when she feels like it, and sometimes she’ll look at it and look back at me as if to say “The exact same kibble again dad? Really?”, and proceed to wait me out to see if she gets offered something better – she usually wins :)

Recently she has slowed down eating her regular kibble and I felt it was time to make a change. I didn’t want to change just for the sake of it or just for a new variety or flavor, I felt it was time to change the quality of her food and toward something that would give a senior dog like her what she needs.

Merrick Backcountry ultimate ancestral canine diet

Merrick Backcountry Dog Food Review

Dogs crave a protein-rich diet the way nature intended. The Merrick Backcountry ultimate ancestral canine diet recipes provide this by combining two quality components. The first is a protein rich kibble that is made with deboned meat as the number one ingredient. It is grain free with no gluten ingredients. The second is freeze-dried real raw meat pieces in a pure state for easy digestion.

This combination is designed to provide dogs with the nutritional benefits of a raw diet they would have discovered in the wild, but in a convenient recipe that’s easy to serve at home or on the move. Furthermore it is made in the USA in Merrick’s own organically certified kitchens. Their foods do not contain any ingredients from China.

Merrick Backcountry Dog Food Review

Transitioning between dog foods

According to our veterinarian it’s never good to transition from one type of dog food to another too quickly. Doing so can result in upset stomachs and unwanted accidents, it’s also just rough on your best four-legged friend. The correct way to transition between dog foods is to slowly mix the new food into your dog’s current food over the course of 5-7 days. You should continuously increase the amount of the new food each day while decreasing the amount of their current food – always maintaining the correct total amount (E.g. 2 cups) that your dog needs to be fed. For example:

  • Day 1-2: 25% new / 75% previous
  • Day 3-4: 50% new / 50% previous
  • Day 5-6: 75% new / 25% previous
  • Day 7: 100% new

How much should you feed your dog?

Based on the recommendation of Coco’s veterinarian I have been feeding her four cups of dry food a day. I break that into two meals, breakfast and dinner each consisting of two cups. That has been working well for several years, but it is always a good idea to know how that was arrived at. If you don’t know how to calculate how much to feed your dog here is an example that shows the math.

Coco currently weighs 88lbs and that is just about right at her ideal weight. Her level of activity is pretty much normal – she is relaxed most of the week with regular walks and the usual ball throwing, then longer hikes and games on weekends. , and the number of calories per cup for her new Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Pacific Catch recipe is 362 kcal. Using an online dog food calculator and entering in her numbers (88 lbs / normal activity level / 362 kcal per cup of food) the estimated amount of food Coco needs each day in order to maintain her weight is 1,750 kcal per day or 4.8 cups of dog food.

Merrick Backcountry Dog Food Review

On the side of the Merrick Backcountry dog food bag there is also a basic feeding guide table. It lists the amount of calories and cups of food your dog needs per day based on the ideal body weight. Using the same numbers (Coco’s weight is 88 lbs) the recommended serving size for Coco based on the Merrick guide is 1,778 kcal per day or five cups. The Merrick Backcountry guide is based on goal weights in ten-pound increments so I used the 90 lb option as it was the closest to 88lbs. So Coco would be slightly under those amounts which means that both the online dog food calculator and the Merrick Backcountry feeding guide provided very similar results.

Note: Online calculators are intended for educational purposes and should not be used as a substitute for the expert advice from your veterinarian. Every dog is unique, breeds, age, size, level of activity.

Results so far

I’ve already noticed that Coco seems to be enjoying her food much more again. If it were just because of the change in taste from her old food I’d expect to see her eagerness wain after a week or two, but she seems genuinely ready for her food each morning and evening – and she’s back to finishing what’s in her bowl. Even if she were still snacking, and I expect that time will come as it starts getting hotter during the day, I’m excited about the quality of the ingredients in the Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused line of dog foods. Coco’s coat has an increased shine to it from the omega fatty acid rich formula and her breath (and gas) doesn’t smell as bad as it used to – sorry, but you notice these things when you have a dog sleeping next to you all day in a small home office.

Merrick Backcountry Dog Food Review

We’re also taking Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused kibble with us on hikes so that she can continue to eat the food she is used to over the course of the hike rather than have a sudden change while outside, which can lead to stomach issues. The small size of the kibble definitely makes packing her food in her own backpack much easier.

Disclosure: The author of Brian’s Backpacking Blog was provided with complimentary samples of this product by Merrick Pet Foods for the purpose of evaluation, testing, and review. His thoughts are his own.

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The ‘BGET’ Esbit Tray Stove is Now in Production http://briangreen.net/2015/05/bget-stove-in-production.html http://briangreen.net/2015/05/bget-stove-in-production.html#respond Wed, 27 May 2015 19:24:31 +0000 http://briangreen.net/?p=2125 Ever since I first posted about my frustration with Esbit fuel tablets (more than four years ago now) and my eventual solution of developing a more efficient Esbit tray stove, I have received a steady stream of emails from readers asking if I could make them a stove and sell it to them. Despite giving […]

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BGET Stove Production Version

Ever since I first posted about my frustration with Esbit fuel tablets (more than four years ago now) and my eventual solution of developing a more efficient Esbit tray stove, I have received a steady stream of emails from readers asking if I could make them a stove and sell it to them.

Despite giving away the instructions, a step-by-step guide, and a template, some people simply didn’t want to fiddle with making the stove themselves. That’s fine, I totally get it. For a while I tried making my Esbit tray stoves for those that asked and sold them for a few bucks just to cover shipping, but I didn’t have enough materials or the time to do it on a frequent or scalable basis.

Successful DIY Builds

Others have been making my stoves themselves and sharing their results via the Backpacking Light forums. John Abela of HikeLighter.com posted a wonderful, detailed review and analysis of my Esbit tray stove via his blog. John was the one who first coined the term “BGET” or Brian Green Esbit Tray stove. The name has stuck ever since.

BGET Stove Goes Into Production

BGET Stove Production Version

I was recently contacted by Dan Yeruski of Zelph Stoves to ask if he could make and sell my BGET stove under license on his site. I worked with Dan to provide some additional instructions and feedback on what the stove package should contain.

BGET Stove Production Version

One change that was made was to switch from the titanium foil that I had originally used and instead to use 309 stainless steel foil. I had discovered myself that that thin titanium foil can easily work harden and snap during the folds that were needed to make the stove. I had many unsuccessful attempts early on. Switching to stainless steel avoided this problem without impacting the weight or efficiency of the stove. The 309 stainless steel Dan has chosen can withstand temperatures up to 2,100 degrees and an Esbit fuel tablet only produces 1,400 degrees.

BGET Stove Production Version

Where to Purchase BGET Stove

The production version of the BGET stove is now available for purchase exclusively via Zelph Stoves. The production version includes a ready-made 309 stainless steel BGET stove and comes bundled with a radiant heat reflector, three sealed Esbit fuel tablets, and an ultralight stove storage container to protect the stove when being transported – all for $9.95.

BGET Stove Production Version

Specifications

  • BGET Stove – 309 Stainless Steel – 1.0 grams
  • Heat reflector for maximum burn efficiency – 0.5 grams
  • Ultralight storage container – 2.9 grams

BGET Stove Template Still Available

Everyone is still more than welcome to download the PDF template and instructions to make the BGET stove for themselves, but for those of you that can’t or don’t want to make one there is now an easy and affordable option.

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Compass Caddy Review http://briangreen.net/2015/05/compass-caddy-review.html http://briangreen.net/2015/05/compass-caddy-review.html#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 19:37:14 +0000 http://briangreen.net/?p=2119 Here’s a clever little Kickstarter project called the Compass Caddy. It let’s you carry your baseplate compass right on your trekking pole so that it’s easily accessible and ready for navigation while you’re hiking. The Compass Caddy is the brain child of Peter Knight an avid backpacker and hiker from Hadleigh, England. Fits all sizes Peter […]

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Compass Caddy Review

Here’s a clever little Kickstarter project called the Compass Caddy. It let’s you carry your baseplate compass right on your trekking pole so that it’s easily accessible and ready for navigation while you’re hiking. The Compass Caddy is the brain child of Peter Knight an avid backpacker and hiker from Hadleigh, England.

Fits all sizes

Compass Caddy Review

Peter designed the Compass Caddy to accommodate different makes and models of baseplate compasses that have varying widths as well as attaching to different diameter trekking poles. This means that you can get the perfect fit for your particular compass and trekking pole combination. The image above shows a dummy compass being used in the same Compass Caddy that my Silva Polaris fits into.

Peter very kindly made a 3D printed version of the Compass Caddy to work with my Gossamer Gear LT4 trekking poles. Despite my Silva Polaris compass not being the perfect width for this prototype it still holds very securely in place and the attachment to my pole is solid with no movement.

The Compass Caddy in use

Compass Caddy Review

Having your compass handy at all times is the obvious advantage that this clever device provides. An unexpected advantage for me was the benefit of my trekking pole in aiding navigation. Once I have a bearing set on my compass I would usually sight a point off in the distance (snap a line) and hike toward it. Doing this with my compass attached to my trekking pole is like having a sniper scope for compass navigation.

The pole adds an additional level of precision to compass sighting that helps me more quickly acquire my next navigation way point. It’s so simple I wish I had thought of it!

Compass retention

Compass Caddy Review

I consider my compass to be an extremely important piece of gear, as such I usually have a length of cord attached to it so that I can’t accidentally lose it. I was initially concerned that I might lose my compass off of my trekking pole if the Compass Caddy was not a snug fit. I tend to be heavy with my trekking poles and thought the continual impacts might dislodge my compass from the caddy – amazingly that never happened. As an added precaution I used my existing lanyard to attach it to my trekking pole.

Kickstarter campaign

I wish Peter every success with his Kickstarter campaign and hope that some of you help him fund his project. I’ve had several conversations with Peter and exchanged ideas and suggestions for future enhancements. This is just phase one of the Compass Caddy and I am confident that it will continue to get better with each iteration. There’s a bright future for this clever little device and I think users will love it once they use it.

What are you thoughts on the Compass Caddy? What would you change or do differently?

Disclosure: The author of Brian’s Backpacking Blog was provided with complimentary samples of this product for the purpose of evaluation, testing, and feedback. He was under no obligation to publish a review. His thoughts are his own.

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Win a rugged WeBBem Watch of your choice http://briangreen.net/2015/04/webbem-watch-giveaway.html http://briangreen.net/2015/04/webbem-watch-giveaway.html#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 20:13:11 +0000 http://briangreen.net/?p=2102 I recently reviewed the weBBem Watch Traveler and found it to be perfect for outdoor activities and extremely affordable for the features it provides. Now I am giving you the chance to win one of two styles of weBBem watches for yourself. Choose your model I have a weBBem watch Traveler model (black PVD case) and Overlander […]

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weBBem Watch Giveaway

I recently reviewed the weBBem Watch Traveler and found it to be perfect for outdoor activities and extremely affordable for the features it provides. Now I am giving you the chance to win one of two styles of weBBem watches for yourself.

Choose your model

weBBem Watch Giveaway

I have a weBBem watch Traveler model (black PVD case) and Overlander model (white dial) to give away thanks to the generosity of my friends at weBBem. Both watches come in a rugged waterproof pelican-style container and the option of a NATO style strap or paracord bracelet. They are both powered by Japanese Miyota quartz movements (as developed and used by Citizen watches), made from 316L marine-grade stainless steel, and have genuine sapphire crystal glass.

weBBem Watch Giveaway

How to enter

To enter this giveaway simple pick any or all of the entry options in the Rafflecopter widget below. You must also leave a comment indicating which model of weBBem watch you would like to receive if you are selected as a winner. I will pick two random winners on Monday May 4th. One from those that would like the Traveler model and one from those that would like the Overlander model. Good luck to all, these are great watches!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The author of Brian’s Backpacking Blog was provided with complimentary samples for the purpose of evaluation, testing, and a reader giveaway. He was under no obligation to publish a review. His thoughts are his own.

Winners announced

Thank you to everyone that entered the weBBem watch giveaway. Unfortunately there can only be two lucky winners. The winners are:

  • Overlander – Jordan Hipple
  • Traveler – Rob Henderson

Congratulations! Please contact me via email so that I can get your watches shipped off to you both.

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My Favorite Hiking Apparel http://briangreen.net/2015/03/favorite-hiking-apparel.html http://briangreen.net/2015/03/favorite-hiking-apparel.html#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2015 01:30:56 +0000 http://briangreen.net/?p=2065 I never imagined so many of you would be interested in my backpacking clothing choices. You asked, I listened. I’ve received lots of questions lately about apparel selection and articles of clothing that you’ve seen me wearing in photos throughout my blog. It’s great to hear you’re digging around through my older articles. So for those of you that […]

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I never imagined so many of you would be interested in my backpacking clothing choices. You asked, I listened. I’ve received lots of questions lately about apparel selection and articles of clothing that you’ve seen me wearing in photos throughout my blog. It’s great to hear you’re digging around through my older articles. So for those of you that asked, below is a collection of the items that I most commonly wear. These are my “go-to” pieces.

Find what works for you

The clothes that I wear are probably outdated compared to many of today’s more technical fabrics, but each and every item was selected through personal trial and error over the years and I’ve grown to trust them. Each piece has served me well through all manner of situations and weather conditions. I’m confident that any one of the items below will serve you well too, but I encourage you to follow your own path, test different types of apparel under varying conditions until you find what works for you. Don’t just take my word for it. Your mileage may vary as they say.

My basic clothing system

This is my starting point. I would only loosely call it a layering system. It’s really just a collection that I love and feel comfortable in. I can add or subtract from this configuration depending on the needs of my trip or weather. I can swap out my down jacket for my soft shell, or take both. I can add gloves, rain protection, or anything else – but I always start with these trusted favorites.

My Favorite Hiking Apparel - Backpacking Layering System

Items shown above

  1. North Face knitted beanie – I’ve worn this incredibly soft, fleece lined beanie for years. If I ever lose it I’d buy the same one again.
  2. Montbell ultralight down jacket – Ultralight 8oz down jacket. Packs smaller than a 32oz bottle, blocks a fair amount of wind, and is relatively water-repellant.
  3. GoLite Dakota wind shirt – This incredibly lightweight () shirt/smock
  4. EMS techwick 1/4 zip base layer – Midweight base layer with amazing sweat wicking ability to keep you dry and warm. The stretch spandex greatly enhances mobility.
  5. 5.11 Tactical Burner polarized sunglasses – I’m on my third pair of these sun glasses. I lost a pair, crushed a pair (ran over them with my car) and just bought another pair. Best sunglasses I’ve ever had for fit and function.
  6. Suunto Vector – Rugged, reliable, feature rich, and trail tested. More watch than you probably ever need. I wear one constantly. It could only be improved if it were solar powered like G-Shocks.
  7. EMS wool boxer briefs – Whether you hike, run, ruck, or climb — these boxers wick moisture to keep you dry and comfortable on the move.
  8. 5.11 Tactical TDU belt – Belts may not be sexy, but this one does what it needs to do with ease and reliability.
  9. Mountain Khakis Granite Creek convertible pants – Quick-dry, UV 50+ lightweight convertible pants. Perfect for PCT to AT or any hike. Relaxed fit and extremely comfortable.
  10. Salomon Speedcross 3 GTX trail running shoe – Everyone’s wearing them because they rock! Comfortable, high quality, reliable footwear ready for just about anything.
  11. EMS merino wool hiking socks – Happy feet = happy hiking. Get yourself some Merino hiking socks. Warmth, cushioning comfort, and moisture-wicking.

Items not shown

  • Montane Minimus Rain Jacket – Love this jacket. Packs extremely small which means I can always have it with me in my pack.
  • Mechanix Wear Fast-Fit gloves – Lightweight gloves for trail work. May not keep your hands warm in winter, but will protect them during camp tasks.
  • Fitbit Flex activity tracker – I’ve been tracking my daily activity for two years now with my Fitbit Flex. Waterproof when all others aren’t.

Shelter and Sleep System

I’ve had a lot of inquiries about the components of my sleep system and shelter configuration so I’ll start work on pulling that together soon.

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Good To-Go Food Sample Pack Giveaway http://briangreen.net/2015/03/good-to-go-food-giveaway.html http://briangreen.net/2015/03/good-to-go-food-giveaway.html#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 20:47:52 +0000 http://briangreen.net/?p=2054 The start of the year, for me and many others, consists of lots of food testing. I have some old faithful recipes and meals to fall back on, but I enjoy the process of trying new recipes, packaged meals, and just generally tinkering with food before the hiking year gets crazy. Better to test early and find […]

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Good To-Go Foods Sample Pack Giveaway

The start of the year, for me and many others, consists of lots of food testing. I have some old faithful recipes and meals to fall back on, but I enjoy the process of trying new recipes, packaged meals, and just generally tinkering with food before the hiking year gets crazy. Better to test early and find out what my likes and dislikes are rather than discover on the trail that my food options for the next several days suck.

Good To-Go Foods Sample Pack Giveaway

Amazing Thai Curry

One of the new hiking meals that I tried recently was by Good To-Go Food, thankfully there is absolutely nothing sucky about their meals. In fact, (spoiler alert) they’re amazing – ‘gourmet’ as they like to say. And I have to say that for once I completely agree. The Thai Curry meal is better than versions I’ve had at restaurants – it really was that good. Don’t just take my word for it, try all of them for yourself.

Win a Good To-Go Food sample pack

Good To-Go Foods Sample Pack Giveaway

The kind folks at Good To-Go Food have given me a complete sample pack to give away to one lucky reader of Brian’s Backpacking Blog. All you have to do is enter the giveaway widget below. That’s the easiest way I know to score some amazing meals for your next trip – you lucky devils!

How to enter

To enter simply select any of the options in the Rafflecopter widget below. To gain additional entries you can submit multiple options – it’s that easy. The giveaway will end on Sunday March 22nd and a winner will be selected at random. Good luck to everyone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review of Paleo Meals To Go http://briangreen.net/2015/02/review-paleo-meals-go.html http://briangreen.net/2015/02/review-paleo-meals-go.html#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 01:33:17 +0000 http://briangreen.net/?p=2041 At last, quality ingredients and freeze dried convenience combine to create delicious, healthy, and paleo-friendly backpacking meals. For quite some time now I’ve wondered how long it would be before paleo diet eating options would hit the outdoor industry. Well now they’re here and thanks to Paleo Meals To Go I couldn’t be happier. Eating […]

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Paleo Meals To Go Review

At last, quality ingredients and freeze dried convenience combine to create delicious, healthy, and paleo-friendly backpacking meals. For quite some time now I’ve wondered how long it would be before paleo diet eating options would hit the outdoor industry. Well now they’re here and thanks to Paleo Meals To Go I couldn’t be happier.

Eating Paleo for three years and counting

I’ve been eating a paleo diet (and doing Crossfit) for close to three years now and it works for me. If you don’t know what the paleo diet is all about and the benefits it provides I’m not about to explain it here. In a nutshell the paleo diet is “a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food.” Check out Robb Wolf’s site if you want to read more about the paleo diet.

Paleo Meals To Go Review

The key thing to understand here is that it’s clean eating. Real food, real ingredients, and as unprocessed as possible. Like I said, it works for me and I’m happy with it – YMMV as they say.

Paleo on the trail

Eating clean (paleo diet) on the trail has always been a bit of a challenge though. I wouldn’t consider any of the off-the-shelf freeze dried packaged foods options to be clean eating, at least not until very recently. Heck some of them list ingredients I can barely pronounce or they have insanely high amounts of sodium. So why put that junk in my body when I’m hiking if I wouldn’t eat that at home? Oh and don’t tell me it’s okay because it’s all about calories. I’m not eating handfuls of Fritos just because they’re calorically high for their weight.

Paleo Meals To Go

To address the lack of clean eating options I’ve taken to dehydrating all my own ingredients and packaging my own meals, I know that’s nothing new to many of you. The real challenge has been finding recipe ideas that dehydrate well and rehydrate in a reasonable time and still taste good. Common meal fillers like pasta and rice aren’t an option when you’re eating paleo. For the most part I’ve been pretty successful with chicken and vegetables, but I’ve resorted to a non-cook diet for many trips just so that I didn’t have to deal with this.

Developed by a Crossfit athlete

A relatively new company based out of Denver, Colorado called Paleo Meals to Go has launched a line of dehydrated dinners, lunches, and breakfast options that are completely paleo. They were developed by a Crossfit athlete that struggled with clean eating when outdoors and so decided to create their own. Gott love that.

The prices may seem a little high to some of you, $13 a packet, but you get what you pay for when it comes to food. Pay now or pay the doctor later as they say. Or just skip a Starbucks coffee one day a week.

Quick preparation times

Paleo Meals To Go

I recently took a packet of the Paleo Meals to Go Savory Chicken & Vegetables with me on a routine practice hike with my kids. Side note: they don’t eat paleo despite my attempts to encourage them to do so. The Savory Chicken is categorized as a “lunch” meal and that’s exactly what we used it for.

I fired up my Jetboil Sol Ti stove and brought 2 cups of water to rolling boil. The packet only requires 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups of water to be rehydrated, but I always make a little extra just in case I need it. Better to have some. I opened the packet, removed the small oxygen absorber pack and followed the directions.

One of the benefits of not having any pasta or rice as part of the meal is that the rehydration time is significantly faster. The Savory Chicken only requires 4-6 minutes to be ready. Got to love that. As it turned out I must not have been very accurate when I poured the boiling water into the pouch because I had quite a lot of water left after the time was up. Not a problem, I just partly closed the ziploc style top and used it to drain out the unwanted liquid. My dog loved that!

The taste test

Paleo Meals To Go

Once the ingredients were rehydrated and ready to eat I looked inside to see chunks of chicken and vegetables, all easily recognizable. The directions suggest that your stir thoroughly (again) and then eat, which I did. However I noticed that the end result was a little less presentable than before I stirred it. Much of the chicken had broken up (think of canned tuna) and mixed into the vegetables.

Paleo Meals To Go Review

That didn’t stop it from tasting delicious though. My kids both tried some of the Savory Chicken & Vegetables and gave it a thumbs up. That’s pretty amazing for many reasons and I attribute it to the smell and look of the food. Nom nom nom…

Conclusion

Despite the extra cost I’m excited to have some quality, clean eating options for my hiking trips. I love making my own, but these taste far superior to anything I’ve made yet and are super convenient. I’m going to snap up a bunch of these for my Crossfit hiking buddies and see what they think. Do you eat a paleo diet or have you tried it?

Disclosure: The author of Brian’s Backpacking Blog was provided with complimentary samples of this product for the purpose of evaluation, testing, and feedback. He was under no obligation to publish a review. His thoughts are his own.

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CertHero – An Easier Outdoor Certification Search http://briangreen.net/2014/12/certhero-outdoor-certification-search.html http://briangreen.net/2014/12/certhero-outdoor-certification-search.html#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 02:26:33 +0000 http://briangreen.net/?p=1994 Meet Logan Randolph – professional mountaineering guide, ski patroller and outdoor certification guru. The last part may seem a little out of place. After years of working outdoors, Logan (and his partner Sam Aarons) founded CertHero.org the first centralized site for finding outdoor courses and certifications. It’s pretty awesome. Find the Perfect Course for You […]

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logan_denali

Meet Logan Randolph – professional mountaineering guide, ski patroller and outdoor certification guru. The last part may seem a little out of place. After years of working outdoors, Logan (and his partner Sam Aarons) founded CertHero.org the first centralized site for finding outdoor courses and certifications. It’s pretty awesome.

Find the Perfect Course for You

CertHero solves a problem that I’ve faced and many of you probably have as well – signing up for wilderness first aid and other outdoor certifications can be frustrating and unnecessarily complicated. First of all, whether you are a serious or purely recreational outdoorsmen I recommend looking into getting certified and taking courses. Courses in wilderness medicine are a great way to meet new people and prepare yourself for unexpected emergencies. They’re also a lot of fun – most involve outdoor disaster scenarios complete with fake injuries and fake blood and bones.

CertHero

Signing up for classes can often entail searching dozens of separate websites trying to find the appropriate dates, locations and certifications. CertHero aggregates courses from NOLS, SOLO, Wild Med, and most other outdoor educators. You can easily browse courses (from all providers) in one place. You can even sort by location or type of certification and book the course right from the CertHero website. Beyond that, CertHero offers detailed information on these courses.

We’re All Better Off

“Tons of people are interested in outdoor medicine,” Logan told me, “but they’re not sure how to get started. Our goal is to provide information on courses and make scheduling easier. Hopefully more people will get certified.” Logan also added “The more outdoor people have certifications, the better off we all are. In the front country and the wilderness.”

Check out the website CertHero.org and Logan’s latest blog post on course selection.

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