Building Your Backcountry Kitchen, Part 1: Storing, Stashing & Stocking

Even if you’re content to subsist primarily on reconstituted meals in the backcountry, there’s always room for improvement (it’s amazing what a dash of soy sauce or a dollop of peanut butter can do, for example). If you genuinely enjoy the challenge of creating healthy, delicious fare while out in the back of beyond, having a well-stocked portable kitchen will serve you well. The following are tips on storing, stashing, and stocking your backcountry kitchen. I’m not going to address cookware here, as what you carry depends upon the type of trip, destination, and your personal preference/weight-bearing capabilities. (See Part 3: Cookware and Stove Pairings.) One of the main considerations is keeping your kitchen kit lightweight and compact. If you’re going to be on the river or in a clime…

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The Ultimate Guide to MSR Fuel

You’re psyched. You just bought an MSR® camp stove—the undisputed gold standard for everything from expeditions and extended road trips to casual backpacks and a weekend of family camping. In that process, you likely considered what type of fuel you wanted your new stove to use: liquid fuel or canister fuel. Now that you’ve made that primary choice, you may find yourself wondering a host of questions, from finding compatible fuel away from home to basic use tips to make the most of your stove or stove system. So, here’s a soup-to-nuts compendium of the most common questions we receive about MSR fuel to keep you going no matter where you want to be. What is MSR IsoPro™ Fuel? MSR IsoPro fuel is the magic sauce inside our fuel canisters….

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Why Rest Days Matter

The ache in my toes was subtle at first. I came off of a multi-pitch climb in California, unlaced my shoes and noticed a new tenderness in my joints. But I was rock climbing. Didn’t something always hurt while I was rock climbing? Cramming my feet into narrow blocks of rubber was just part of the process. Over the following weeks, I alternated between taking rest days and partaking in light activity to give my feet the chance to recover from their ailment. But it wasn’t long before I was back on the wall, exploring the limits of my body. Early on in my life, I learned that if you just put your head down and move forward through the pain, things usually get better. In my experience, doctor’s visits…

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Gear Archives: Trusted Source—The Evolution of the MiniWorks EX Microfilter

In 1991, MSR took the plunge into water products to answer the needs of backcountry travelers asking for more user-friendly and trustworthy solutions to gathering safe drinking water. One of these initial offerings was the MSR Dromedary™ Beverage Bag, a rugged, collapsible bag to tote your water as you roamed. The other was the now-legendary WaterWorks Total Filtration System—a highly engineered pump filter that was more effective than other filters of the day and so easy to use it changed how people filtered water. The MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter is its evolutionary descendent and remains the world’s favorite backcountry filter for its plain and simple workhorse reliability. Four Filters Are Better The WaterWorks filtration system was built with four progressively finer filters that delivered pharmaceutically sterile water, without chemicals. The…

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What Hikers Should Know About Toxic Algae Blooms

You may or may not have heard of toxic algae blooms. If you have, it may have been something related to local beaches, including warnings not to swim or harvest any shellfish. But these potentially deadly occurrences affect inland fresh water as well, including sources used by hikers for drinking. In 2022, Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers may have been sickened by toxic cyanobacterial blooms. So how can you tell if a water source has been rendered dangerous by algae? And if it has, what, if anything, can you do about it? What are Toxic Algae Blooms? Also called blue-green algae, cyanobacteria are found in salt, fresh and brackish water. These simple, plantlike organisms aren’t always toxic, but under certain conditions, including abnormally warm weather or pollution, they can grow out…

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