Canister Stoves vs. Liquid Fuel Backpacking Stoves – Which is Right for You?

The question of canister stoves vs. liquid fuel stoves, each with pros and cons, mostly comes down to the trips you’re planning and your personal preference. Canister stoves have significant advantages in some situations and newer, more efficient designs have made the performance differences less distinct than they once were. Liquid fuel stoves remain the leaders on long trips, winter conditions and travel where canisters might not be available. They are also an excellent choice for emergency preparedness kits thanks to their exceptional field maintainability, legendary durability and in some cases, multi-fuel compatibility. Let’s take a closer look at canister stoves vs. liquid fuel backpacking stoves to help you determine which is right for you. Canister Stoves vs. Liquid Fuel Backpacking Stoves—Specs to Consider Depending on what’s most important to…

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Unexpected Hero: My PocketRocket Stove in a Rescue

A few weeks ago, I went on an overnight backpacking trip to Sespe Wilderness in Los Padres National Forest. It was a trip that I had been planning for a while. My uncle was visiting from Taiwan to the US for the first time in his life, and I wanted to plan a memorable trip to the outdoors. Along with my roommate, the three of us had planned for this trip the last few months. As an avid backpacker, I had been on a few trips this year and decided to bring my MSR PocketRocket stove as I’ve always done. It’s so small, convenient, and packs a punch so I figured it would be an excellent addition to my kit. Since purchasing it in the winter last year, it’s the…

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The Ultimate Guide to MSR Cookware

It’s often said that the best gear in the world is gear you don’t notice. It’s the stuff that works so remarkably well, it’s unremarkable. It just does its thing, and you get to focus solely on the task at hand, whether that’s having a ball with friends or pushing for a summit. Camp cookware falls squarely into this category. It’s not the coolest gear you’ll ever acquire, but since it will play a key role in keeping you fueled up for your adventure, choosing the right cookware for each style of trip is essential to making the most of the experience. Some trips demand the lightest and most packable option to keep you moving, while on others, you might choose a bit more luxury for cooking like you’re at…

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How to Pack a Backpack

Correctly packing a backpacking pack is one of those skills you don’t know is a skill until you’re walking down the trail with something jamming painfully into the small of your pack. Then you need to treat some water and realize your filter is at the bottom of the bag. Suddenly it starts to rain and where did you put that dang pack cover? A little mindfulness when packing will go miles in keeping you happy and comfortable on the trail. Fortunately, once you have the info it’s easy to do. Read on to become a packing ninja. If you are just starting out with backpacking, you should also take some time to become familiar with Leave No Trace practices, like how to wash dishes in the backcountry and packing…

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How to Choose the Best Backpacking Tent

All your outdoor gear is important; that’s why honing a perfect kit tuned to your adventure style is what it’s all about. However, the value of a good backpacking tent can’t be overstated in the unpredictable—and sometimes unforgiving—backcountry. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your current backpacking tent or are picking out your first, choosing the best tent for your needs is a big decision. There are a lot of factors, features and technology that go into each tent, all with the intention and purpose to best suit a specific range of conditions. Below, we break down the critical aspects of backpacking shelters to help you make an informed decision. Step 1: Be Honest with Yourself The question of choosing the best backpacking tent means choosing the right tent–for YOU. Think…

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Gear Up for Adventure: A Beginner’s Guide To Bikepacking

Bike touring has been around as long as bikes have. Bikepacking, on the other hand, is relatively new—at least by definition. Discerning the difference between the two might seem a bit esoteric at first; they both share some fundamental similarities of taking your bike on multiday adventures, but backpacking is generally accepted to be the more adventurous, self-reliant type of fun, made possible by the latest, minimalist gear that can all be fit on just the bike itself, without racks or trailers. “Bikepacking consists essentially of riding considerable distances and crossing vast expanses of wilderness in full autonomy on gravel roads, dirt tracks, and trails with a strong emphasis on minimalism,” says Pierre Bouchard, who may well be one of the best authorities on the subject. Along with his partner…

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Cycling Around the World: Lessons from Living a Nomad Life

Oscar Wilde said, “If you want to be a grocer, or a general, or a politician, or a judge, you will invariably become it; that is your punishment.” Long before living a nomad life, I had wanted to be a software engineer. But when I became one, it felt like a punishment. It is not to say that a Ph.D. in computer science and a software development career in Germany were not dreams that came true. But those dreams were no longer mine. Now, I have no career, permanent address, fixed phone number, bank balance, spouse or kids. Everything I own fits inside my bicycle panniers. Every day is a new adventure. Despite all the uncertainties and difficulties I face on the road, I find a new home, a new…

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