GO-ID Personal Identification Kit

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A while back, Brian sent me a neat little thingy called the GO-ID. ( The “ID” is for “identification”, not the ‘Id’, which is the part of your unconscious mind that relates to your basic needs and desires. Let’s clear that up now to avoid any potential confusion.) In a nutshell, the GO-ID is a […]

Bugle – iPhone App That Might Save Your Life

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Do you follow the golden rule of safety for outdoor adventure? Or are you now asking “What’s the ‘golden rule of safety’ for outdoor adventure?!” If the name Aron Ralston rings a bell, you might know where this is going. He’s the guy who had to cut his own arm off with a dull multi-tool/knife […]

SPOT II Satellite GPS Messenger Failed Check-ins

There were three reasons why I recently decided to start carrying a SPOT II Satellite GPS Messenger; to be able to check in remotely to let my family know that I am safe, to have a way to signal for help in the event of an emergency, and to track the progress of my hikes […]

Emergency Identification – Dog Tags

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that every soldier carries vital identification information around their neck in the form of a set of dog tags. Easily discoverable in an emergency, these typically contain information such as rank, serial number, SSN/blood, and religious preference. Well, in my opinion anyone that spends an extended amount of time in […]

Safety Whistles | Decibel Testing

A few months ago I wrote a mini review of the UST JetScream whistle which, if you recall, I was a little disappointed with. As part of that review, I performed a very unscientific comparison of the loudness of the JetScream to other whistles that I own. By unscientific I mean, just how it sounded […]

Terra Nova Laser 20L Backpack

The Terra Nova Laser 20L pack is a lightweight frame-less backpack designed with a “lightweight-but-full-of-features” approach for day use or overnight hiking trips. Specifications: Manufacturer: Terra Nova, UK Model: Laser 20L Backpack Weight: 11.6oz (328g) Measured Weight: 11.4oz (323g) Capacity: 20L The pack is designed with a single main compartment, accessed by a long, vertical […]

Gear reviews in progress

Here’s a sneak peak of some pieces of gear that I am in the process of reviewing.  From left to right: Terra Nova Laser 20L ultralight pack, Helle Harding hand-made bushcraft knife, and the Terra Nova Bothy 2 superlite emergency shelter. Laser 20L: One of the lightest fully featured packs of it’s size currently available. […]

Navigating Without a Compass – Part 1

Navigating Without a Compass - Part 1

This is the first post of a three-part series in which I want to share with you some easy ways to successfully (and accurately) navigate without the aid of a magnetic compass. There are many different and well proven methods of navigating without a compass, but I’m going to focus on the three techniques that […]

UST JetScream Whistle

I recently picked up a UST JetScream™ Whistle to see if all of the hype about how incredibly loud it is was actually true. I should note that I have some friends and fellow backpackers who scoff at me carrying a whistle with me when I hike and like to make lighthearted fun of it. […]

Xmas backpacking goodies

I thought I’d share with you all some of the very cool backpacking and hiking related gear goodies that I received this year as Christmas presents from my family. Most of these were on my list of ideas as very specific items, but a few were well considered surprises.  My family rocks! Black Diamond Orbit […]