Category Archives: Equipment and Gear

Hiking, Camping, Trekking and Backpacking Gear. Camping Equipment and Outdoor Clothes, GPS and electronics.

Wood Fuel Campstove Converts Heat to USB power!

The technology to use wood heat for power has been understood and utilized for decades. Finally an innovative company has harnessed this technology to create a campstove for backpackers and a larger size stove for home use (specially in third world countries) They call it BioLite. Biolite Photo Gallery

The BioLite CampStove was named a finalist in the 2012 Innovation By Design Awards. The awards honor the year’s most inspiring, ingenious and innovative design solutions. Fast Company editors and judges from across all spectrums of business and design selected 56 finalists from more than 1,700 entries submitted by over 1,000 different companies. Winners will be announced at a gala event in New York City on October 16, 2012.

So, the real news is…BioLite Giveaway – Enter Now!

September is National Preparedness Month and we’ve chosen some of our favorite items for a unique Preparedness Pack – a perfect addition to any emergency kit. Enter to win a Osprey Bag full of goods from Mophie, Alite, Life Factory, Goal Zero, and of course, BioLite.  3 lucky winners will be announced on October 11th.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Winter Camping Equipment List

Winter Camping Equpment List


  • snow boots plus a backup if needed
  • wool socks X 3
  • polypropyline socks X 2 or extra wool ones
  • long underwear (polyproopylene preferred)
  • fleece or wool pants (no blue jeans)
  • wind / water /snow proof pants
  • underwear as needed
  • light shirt
  • wool or fleece seqtshirt
  • toque (wool or fleece)
  • wool or fleece sweater
  • winter jacket
  • gaiters (recommended)
  • gloves or mitts 2 pair good quality


  • tent with fly (as a backup for the shelter you will build)
  • rope (something you can cut if needed) plus rope or string to be used with various items
  • shovel (aluminum is best)
  • cold rated sleeping bag
  • sleeping pad (a must)
  • liner for sleeping bag if not cold rated bag (fleece or wool blanket)
  • knife, fork and spoon
  • cooking utensils, stove and fuel
  • water
  • flashlight with good batteries
  • candles and lighter
  • bak

Related Blogs

What is the meaning to life? Let outdoor guru and innovator, Jeff Walker guide you…

I met Jeff on Twitter and was intrigued by his product that keeps your food stored safe from small animals when in the backcountry.  After speaking with him, I quickly learned that GrubPack is made for the outdoors by a real outdoorsman! His product is great and his stories and outdoor advice is even better. Enjoy your journey with Jeff Walker…

Q: How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?

A: I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s.  As kids we played outdoors, not by our choice, but by the choice of our parents.  At some point in life, I just started to prefer the freedom of the outdoors over the stale indoors.  That preference stands today.  We road our bikes, played ball, fished, swam, roamed the neighborhood, climbed trees, packed lunches and took hikes.  All of this was done with zero adult supervision and no organized teams or uniforms!  We walked out the door in the morning and were often missing until supper time.  Sadly, parents today might be arrested for such child neglect.

Q: What has been your favourite outdoor recreations area?

A: People not familiar with Iowa think we all run through endless flat corn fields chasing hogs while we wear our straw hats.  In reality this area is perhaps one of America’s best kept secrets.  In our immediate area we kayak, canoe and boat on the Mississippi River and hike in the hilly forests of the upper Mississippi River valley bluffs. It’s beautiful all year ’round, but especially stunning in the fall months.

On a larger geographic scale, I’ve never met a National Park I haven’t liked.  We have visited, hiked and backpacked most every big name park west of the Mississippi, and a few to the East.  I do enjoy the West very much, with a special attraction to the Southwest.  No place on planet Earth can equal the Grand Canyon.

Jeff Walker and his son Tim Walker Near the End of a Rim-to-Rim Grand Canyon Trek

Q: Please share an outdoor story related to one of the above areas.

A: Iowa is a state that feels the full force of all four seasons.  Boating and swimming the Mississippi offers relief from stuffy summer heat and humidity.  In the fall, hiking the river bluffs is a warm walk through endless brilliant colors.  In the dead of winter, when many may sit depressed indoors, we clear a spot of ice on the shallow river backwaters and enjoy playing hockey the way it’s meant to be played, under wide open skies!  When spring comes around, you smell the Earth again and it brings the promise of the beautiful wild flowers, freshly plowed fields, the sounds of lawn mowers and flocks of awakening mosquitoes.

Q: Some outdoor folks are very innovative. Please share your product story for the GrubPack.

A: It was built from necessity I guess.  Protecting backpacking food from wilderness animals is essential, but I can’t take credit for inventing the concept.  There was a well respected similar product available and I attempted to buy one for an upcoming Western backpacking trip.  After leaving unanswered phone messages and  emails with the company, I decided to do some checking around.  At the time, no one else was making a light-weight stainless steel mesh food bag to protect against small rodents, animals and birds.  I visited several on-line hiking and backpacking forums and found others were having problems placing and receiving orders too.

I’ve been self-employed for over 30 years, so I decided to start investigating what it would take to make and distribute such a product.  After much research into various materials and sewing procedures the GrubPack was born.  We added some very innovative improvements and options and started selling on-line. We’ve have since decided to keep our sales on-line only to avoid retail mark-ups.  This keeps the price of our quality GrubPack low.  I invite your readers to visit:

Q: Have you ever experienced a wilderness medical emergency or been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.

A: No medical emergencies, but I spend as much time lost as possible.  Being lost and getting yourself un-lost is a great confidence builder.  Being lost makes you feel so stupid.  Getting yourself back in one piece makes you feels like Isaac Newton.

Q: Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?

A: I have a year-old yellow lab named Rabies.  (He’s the official mascot of  He hikes with me daily… or I guess I actually hike with him.  A few weeks ago I noticed him acting strange… jumping around in circles, moving in and out and yelping a weird tune I hadn’t heard before.  I made my way to him only to find he had his nose directly in the face of a coiled rattlesnake.  I’ve met up with rattlesnakes in various parts of the West and Midwest before, but never with a dog.  Staying behind him, I grabbed his collar and pulled him through thorns and thickets to make a wide detour around his new little friend.  I later learned that veterinarians charge upwards of $1500 for rattlesnake treatment.  That’s enough money for a very nice trip to the Grand Canyon!

RABIES Official Mascot of GrubPack

RABIES Official Mascot of GrubPack

Q: If not previously mentioned, have you ever completed a thru-hike or multi-day backpacking trip and what nuggets of wisdom did you glean from it?

A: I’ve done numerous multi-day trips… Zion, Glacier Park, Grand Canyon, the Ozark Trail, Yosemite and others.  When you are clomping through a multi-day trek you sometimes wonder why the hell you’re doing it, but those thoughts vanish when you reach the end and immediately start planning the next trip in your head.  Many life lessons are learned on seemingly meaningless trails.  I feel sorry for people who just don’t get it.

Ryan and Tim Walker on Zion West Rim

Ryan and Tim Walker on Zion West Rim

Q: What is your favourite outdoor website?

A: I visit many hiking sites, forums and on-line gear stores.  I can’t say I have a single favorite, but I most enjoy the ones that focus on backpacking in the lightest manner possible.  It’s amazing how much “essential” stuff can be left at home.

Q: What is your favourite outdoor hiking gear store?

A: or course! (:    Actually,  I do enjoy walking through any retail outdoor gear store, but almost always buy on-line.  I have visited dozens and dozens of on-line stores and have bought from way too many of them.

Q: Any future journeys planned?

A: You bet.  I have plans for a 4-5 day backpack along the Tonto Trail (Grand Canyon) in 2010.  I’ll be the old guy hawking GrubPacks in the 110 degree heat.  I’d also like to get to the Colorado Rockies for a few days of wilderness gold panning next year.

Q: What is the meaning of life?

A: Life is short.  Every single day is a gift. Your family is your past, present and future.  Spend as much time with them as possible.  The great outdoors is the perfect place to share frivolous fun as well as your deepest thoughts.  You can find many answers to real-life problems in the time you spend exploring and enjoying quiet places together.  Oh, and if you’re searching for God… He’s out there searching for you too.

A few links worth posting: and

Watamu Beach Mombasa

Mombasa is a city in the Coast province in Kenya 500km from Nairobi .It is world-famous for having beaches along the Indian Ocean coast and lovely weather not to mention numerous beach resorts and marine sanctuaries.

One such resort is Watamu.Watamu seats in a headland between Watamu Bay and Blue lagoon.

Watamu is famous for water sports like snorkeling, diving and jet skiis.

The name Watamu is a Swahili term for sweet, and this area was named sweet in reference to the friendly and polite Swahili people who inhabit this area.However other theories suggest that the Arabs used sweets to lure the local into capturing them as slaves.

Watamu was inhabited by Arab traders who conquered most of The Kenyan Coast in the early 18th Century.Shrines and Holy sites which are ruins now are popular attractions here.

African Safari Guide Direct Contact – ask all your African Safari and Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Questions.

Online camping equipment stores are available here:

Free Camping, Hiking, Outdoor Equipment, Clothing at Adventures Online Store

Camping Equipment Search USA stores

TracksAndTrailss $100 MEC contest winner announced.

Find the latest TracksAndTrails Free Draw Here

Congratulations to user Darkest1 or being selected as the winner of the $100 MEC Gift Certificate winner (of course I’ll give him a cash option). After trying to get all the entries in a hat, I gave up – too time conusuming in a busy schedule. So I used this random number picking service ( ) and keyed in a range of numbers to represent the 490 comments plus 3 entries for each article posted by several outdoorsmen and women, hit the “generate a number” button to have number 439 get picked which was a comment made by Darkest1 on this post:

Keep commenting, new contest on NOW!

It pays to comment on, Darkest1 had dozens of comments and of the 494 comments created, he had the best chance of winning. Next winner will be selected from comments made in August and the draw will be a $25 gift certificate from your favourite outdoor store (you can select it) or cash (via cheque or paypal). Free Draw - Draw date is August 31 at 5 PM

Enter to Win $25 now by commenting on any article on (see menu on the left) or the following:

Currently, based on the first two weeks of August, your chances are 1 in 20! Enter now, Enter often. Every comment could pay you $25!

Draw Date is August 31 2010 at 5PM. I will contact the winner by posting here as well as by email. If the winner has not responded by posting here within a few days or so, then we’ll pick a new winner!

Our last contest winner was Darkest1 – He won a $100 Cash or MEC Gift Certificate and selected the Outdoor Equipment Gift Certificate.

Contest Draw Past and Present  – see details here.

TracksAndTrails August Comment winner Draw is complete - keep commenting for the September Draw!

I used this random number picking service ( ) and keyed in a range of numbers to represent the 31 comments that were made and hit the “generate a number” button to have number 23 become the lucky winner. It was a comment made by Devi Baral on August 14 from Nepal.

All winners must be confirmed by email.

Keep commenting, new contest on NOW!

Tomahawk - the ultimate backpacking and fire making tool.

Tomahawk!  I was not considering a tomahawk as I went shopping for a light weight hatchet.  After talking to the helpful sales guy at House of Knives in Kelowna and holding the 24 ounce Fusion Tactical Tomahawk by SOG in my hand, I knew it was the perfect backpacking solution.

Tomahawk - Backpacking equipment

With a longer handle – 15.75″, side hammer, sharp excavation tool and nylon sheath, I will be looking forward to my next campout.

The Fastest and Easiest Tent Setup for Camping

The fastest and easiest tent setup that I have seen in awhile comes from an outdoor entrepreneur in Australia. Meet the Oztent! I met the creator of the Oztent via Twitter and he sent me this video that shows how fast his tent can be set up. With all of the extra add on’s for wind breaks ect it looks like a pretty darn good buy.

Not only is it fast but he has made it strong and waterproof.  When you purchase many new tents you have to use a sealer on the seams to ensure it will keep dry in the rain, not so with the Oztent. Check out the video to see what I mean.

Now if you want another option for a smaller size tent. Try the Speedy Tent!

And then I found another Oz tent – the Malamoo 3 second tent 3 man tent.

Survival Fire Lighting tips and... what is better - a saw or hatchet?

Thanks to Phil for excellent comments on my last fire lighting post.  The fire building tips are too good to leave in comments so I pasted them below.  Feel free to answer his question at the end of this post.

Just to add to the SAR experience, is that this fire lighting exercise was done at night in the dark using our headlamps. Useful good burning wood is somewhat a challenge to find at night if you are not sure what to look for, you can be fooled and when that wood goes onto the fire it quickly starts to have a hard time staying lit and then you scramble to find more.

Another tip is to collect more wood than you think you will need then triple that, being careful not to damage the environment. I collected my wood and kindling in a large plastic bag so keeping it together was easier to pack around while gathering and if it starts to rain it stays dry. Nothing more depressing is gathering good dry wood then having it rained on. I started my fire with one match and a cotton ball soaked in wax, they are water proof, lite weight and once lit they a very hard to put out in case the wind comes up.

At the end of the day you really have to get outside and practice in the elements to get a real sense of it. Many people can get a fire going but having it stay lit , cooking and boiling water on it for an extended period of time is not as easy as it sounds. Try going out and doing that after it has rained for 2 days or longer or in the snow.

The last tip I have is what tools seem to work best, well this may start a debate but that’s healthy.  I have saws, knives, axe, hatchet.  For me, since I have to be willing to pack my supplies on my back for extended periods of time my choice was a lite weight hatchet and my sturdy knife. I packed my saw for a whole year and it did not even come out to use so out it goes. I was able to build shelter, fire and everything I required with just the 2, even though I had more.

Thats my 2 bits worth

Squishy Bowls at Outdoor Adventure Gear and Travel Outfitters

They’re cute, tough and practical. This space-saving silicone bowl and cup set will squish down into the tiniest space for backpacking and travelling.  And, it will pop right back into shape.

Use it for dinner, a quick snack  or for a quick drink of water when travelling.  It works well for hot and cold foods on-the-go.  It is made of flexible food grade silicone and is temperature resistant to 400 F.  Easy clean-up, just hand wash using soap and water.  Available in several colours.  Bowl capacity is 16oz/500ml, weighs 3.3oz/93g.  The cup capacity is 6oz/200ml, weighs 1.7oz/48g.   But it is not designed to use over flame or direct heat.

In Kelowna purchase the Squshy Bowl at Outdoor Adventure Gear and Travel Outfitters

Squishy Bowl set - great for camping, hiking and travel

Smores (S'mores) Camping Recipe for Fun Camping Memories!

Marshmallows have been an all time favorite camping food for as long as anyone reading this post can remember!  And this tasty dessert has not only been for our camping delight but it actually can be traced back to ancient Egypt! Wow! Feel free to read more on that in Google. Now for Smore fun!

S’mores or Smores make great camping desserts.

So here is the S’mores recipe.

  • Prepare a Graham Cracker with chocolate.  Usually with two squares of Hershey’s Chocoalte bar.

    Graham Cracker and Chocolate Smore Recipe

  • Place a marshallow on a marshmallow stick and roast to your liking.  Toasted or Charcoaled. The minimum requirement here is that the marshmallow will be hot enough to melt the chocolate.

Smores recipes require a marshmallow hot enough to melt the chocolate!

  • Remove the roasted marshmallow from the fire.  If it is flaming, do not shake the stick as the marshmallow may fly off the stick and land in your eye.  Just blow the flames out.

Leave the marshmallow on the stick and lay it carefully on the chocolate that is on the Graham cracker.

Lightly Roasted Marshmallow for a Smore's Recipe

  • Place the second Graham Cracker on top, Squeeze and ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Squeeze two Graham Crackers together to finish the Smore.

Squeeze two Graham Crackers together to finish the Smore.

Enjoy the the best camping dessert - S'mores

Smores make Happy Campers!

Smore Happy Campers!!!!!!

Smore happy campers.

Smores make very happy campers!

Smore very very happy campers!

S'more campers ready for bed

Price Compare tool for Outdoor Equipment and Gear

Price Compare Outdoor Equipment and Clothing with our tool on the right side bar. Scroll down and enter the Outdoor gear item in the box. It is located to the right, you may need to scroll down. Compare prices for any outdoor item or clothing article in dozens of outdoor stores. This tool will search over 100 000 Outdoor Equipment items. Clothing, Footwear,tents, backpacks, knives, hatchets, food, and much more! Just type in a general term or exact product name to search and start saving now!