Exploring the Wilderness Areas of Scotland

When considering the wild areas of the UK, my mind quickly pans straight to Scotland which houses some of the remotest places in the country, vast planes of uninhabited wilderness and towering mountains. Each region of Scotland has its own unique feel, from the valleys of Glencoe and the planes of Glen Shiel to the wild sandstone landscapes of Torridon. Traveling through these areas gives a sense of a very different Scotland depending on the area that you are in. This summer, I decided to head out for a week to get a couple of routes ticked off and to spend some time in the outdoors, a welcome break from the 9-5 office job. The plan was to visit some old favourites and a couple of new spots along the…

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Real Food for Mountaineering

When I began my journey of exploring the wilderness, initially I didn’t put much emphasis on meal prep, primarily focusing on the physical activity.  During one college summer, I was working as a volunteer for the National Forest Service and my meals consisted mostly of Top Ramen® and Mountain House®. I had a personal stove, which I only used to boil water, and a variety box of Clif Bars® to fill in the gaps. I’m certainly not the first to survive on such a diet, but over the years I have learned to value quality nutrition and I now enjoy real cooking as part of my outdoor experience. These days, I train quite frequently for skiing, climbing, etc., and my body craves more legitimate nutrients. I am also a creature…

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The Carretera Austral by Bicycle: A Wild Ride through Chilean Patagonia

In Chile, they have a saying: Only those who hurry through Patagonia waste time. For any enthusiast of the great outdoors, it is one of the world’s truly great wildernesses—and somewhere to explore at a slow pace. The very word “Patagonia” stirs up images of grand mountains, thick forests, shimmering lakes and icy glaciers interspersed with a sparse population and lonely roads. The Carretera Austral is the iconic road running through Chilean Patagonia and has earned something of a lofty reputation for road-trippers of all means of transport. National Geographic Traveller dubbed it “the perfect road trip” with similar praise coming from Conde Nest Traveller. In the two-volume account of his around-the-world cycle, British adventurer Alistair Humphreys dubbed the Carretera Austral as “the most beautiful road I have cycled”. There’s…

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YouTube Tips: MSR Stove Pump Maintenance

If you have a liquid fuel stove like the MSR DragonFly, it is important to do annual pump maintenance. This video describes the techniques, tools, and knowledge used to make sure your pump is working safely and efficiently. Learn how to fix cracks, leaks, corrosion, loose seals and low pressure at home, and enjoy your hassle-free cooking in camp. All MSR liquid fuel stoves use a pump to pressurize their fuel. It is important to annually maintain your MSR stove and pump to ensure safe and efficient performance. The maintenance described in the video above is for servicing the pump on any MSR liquid fuel stove, including previous generations of the pump. New generation pumps work with old generation stoves. If the plastic body of your pump has become cracked,…

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The Importance of Inclusivity in the Outdoors

I grew up sharing a deep connection with nature. I fell in love with the boundless beauty and felt its powerful spiritual and emotional healing benefits. As a black, queer human, I also observed a lack of diversity in many of these spaces that I treasured, which led to feelings of otherness and even moments when I had concern for my personal safety. These feelings inspired me to further explore the reasons why there is a lack of inclusivity in outdoor spaces, lands and activities that are a part of everyone’s culture and a right for all people. Growing up, I fell in love with chasing fireflies, riding my bike, climbing trees and creating artwork inspired by nature. This love expanded to coastal adventures, camping, canoeing and hiking in the…

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The MSR Stove Maintenance Guide

Have you ever been on a multi-day backcountry trip and dealt with a sputtering, inconsistent flame from your camp stove? Or maybe your stove stopped working altogether and you didn’t read up on how to make the normally easy fix required? These sorts of troubles can be no small emergency on a multiday trip, especially if a large chunk of your calories need cooking or you’re melting snow for water. That’s why stove maintenance—particularly with liquid fuel stoves—is so critical. In fact, every MSR stove has been intentionally designed to be easily user-maintainable for a long, reliable life. Our Annual and Expedition Stove Maintenance Kits, along with intuitive, field-maintainable designs when possible keep this essential task easy to do, ensuring you never get stuck without the fire you need when…

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