The Lunchroom: An Interview with Drew Keegan, Division Director, Fire

 By Ryan Hayter The Lunch Room (TLR): You have fire in your title. What exactly is your role? DK: I’m responsible for overseeing strategy, product development, marketing and sales for stoves, cookware and fuel. I get to use my knowledge of combustion and stoves, and tap into my engineering background on a regular basis. TLR: How long have you been doing this? DK: I joined the company 14 years ago as a manufacturing engineer with the goal of moving into R&D. I came in with an engineering background, and a passion for climbing and mountaineering. It’s hard to find engineering jobs in the industry because once you’re in nobody leaves them. The manufacturing opportunity opened the door for me to eventually move into product development and management roles in filters,…

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MSR Backcountry Cafe: Steeped Coffee

Steeped coffee tastes great and is easy to make in the backcountry. The equipment is among the lightest and most compact available, and the finished brew is a step above any of the instant coffees. In fact, many coffee aficionados believe this method produces one of the richest cups you can make. The key to success is choosing a good coffee and following the steps carefully. The Coffee: You’ll need about one ounce of coffee per finished cup. It should be ground at a coarse to medium setting and stored in an air-tight container. Look for a coffee from Kenya, Guatemala or El Salvador. Any coffee will make a decent cup, but these tend to be the best. The Water: Use clear, filtered water from a stream or lake. The…

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Video Tips: Using Your MSR Liquid Fuel Stove

We have covered how to choose the right fuel for your liquid fuel stove and the differences between canister stoves and liquid fuel stoves, but here we bring it back to the basics. If you are the recent owner of a MSR liquid Fuel Stove, looking into getting one, or just need a quick refresher, this is a great video to show you the basics of using your liquid fuel stove. This video teaches you how to fill your fuel bottle, what to fill it with, how to set up your stove, pump your fuel, ignite the stove safely, and optimize your stove for simmering with just a few quick tips. MSR liquid fuel stoves convert a liquid fuel into a gas for fast, efficient, and clean cooking. Important Safety Tips:…

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Paring it Down to the Essentials: A Guide’s Gear for a Three-Day Mountaineering Trip

Story and photos by Shelby Carpenter As a guide with the American Alpine Institute on Mt. Baker, I often end up working with clients who try to bring all the appropriate gear but end up bringing just a tad more than necessary. In this post, I will talk about the gear I bring with me on a 3-Day Baker Skills and Climb trip and how I pared it down to its current amount. I hope this will help you on your fast-and-light adventures! 

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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 time on the trail.

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Finding Your Own Adventure: How to Research and Plan a Climbing Expedition

Story and Photos by Graham Zimmerman Climbing Research As climbers, we each have a personal grail; our favorite and most motivating reason to get out to the hills and crags to try hard. The lack of a rule book in climbing allows us to define this as we please, which is certainly a wonderful element of what we do. Whether we’re into bouldering, sport climbing, walling or alpinism, if we like to climb in established areas or explore well-known classic terrain, or if we like to push ourselves to redline as much as possible, or just get out and have a good ole time grabbing jugs and making hand jams, it is all up to us. We can choose as we please. Personally, I love exploring new alpine zones for…

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Photo Essay: Bailey Range Traverse

Story and photos by Aili Farquhar Mike Natucci and guide Aili Farquhar headed out on the sunny morning of July 20th to traverse the Bailey Range, a remote interior sub-range of the Olympic Mountains. The Baileys are known for intricate glaciated terrain, rotten rock, and abundant vegetation, all of which the team encountered during their nine-day crossing of the range. When Mike and Aili arrived at the High Divide at 5,000 feet elevation they were pleasantly surprised.  The five feet of snow the ranger had warned them about had melted out and left in its wake waving fields of white glacier lilies with bright yellow centers. In the cool of the morning the team climbed over the shoulder of Stephen Peak onto the rocky ridge above Cream Lake Basin. The…

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MSR Backcountry Cafe: Quinoa Magic

Story and photos by Ben Kunz High in the Andean regions of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru grows an amazing plant known as quinoa. And what better time to eat quinoa than 2013, the “International Year of Quinoa” as declared by the United Nations! Quinoa contains all the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs and thus is one of the rare plant-based foods that is a complete protein. It’s a great choice for vegetarians and vegans, not to mention that it’s gluten-free! Quinoa can be found in most conventional supermarkets (often in the health or organic section) and in natural food stores. A cost-savings tip: buying quinoa in bulk often leads to significant savings on this wonder food. For a reasonably sized backcountry meal for two: Add one cup…

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On A Recce: Exploring New Terrain in the Waddington Range

Story and Photos By Ben Kunz rec·ce: (noun) a slang word for reconnaissance, reconnoitre Climbing the McNerthney Pillar was the primary objective for our trip to the Waddington Range, but when we returned down the Bravo Glacier route to Sunny Knob, the ensuing days continued to bring excellent weather. During our one and only rest day, we took turns man-handling the guidebook and staring at the walls, piecing together known climbs and potentially unclimbed crack systems on the incredible west faces of the spires of the Stilletto Group. We didn’t settle on any particular formation or climb, we just knew we were psyched to get up there and explore, and if the stars aligned, go for a first ascent. And what better way to seize the opportunity than to head out…

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