Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Backpacking Water Purification System: Tips for Choosing a Backpacking Water Purifier

Having a backpacking water purification system is important for any backpacking trip of length. It is much more sensible to use a backpacking water purifier, because you will be able to purify water as needed. You will only have to filter enough to last you until you get to the next water stop. In order to select a water purification system, you must know a few key things in order to select the one that is right for you.

When selecting a backpacking water purifier, there are two types of filters that you will need to choose from.

  • A pump filter-This type of backpacking water purification system will allow you to get water instantly and fill many containers.
  • A gravity filter-You don't have to do as much work as a pump filter, but it takes longer to get water.
Now, that we have looked at two types of backpacking water purifier systems, I would like to take a closer look at the mechanics of each.

  • Filter type-You will want to choose between a ceramic or paper filter. Paper will filter faster, thus giving you water in less time. A ceramic filter is going to be more durable and last longer since you can clean it after use. It's really a matter of personal choice. Both types of backpacking water purifier are going to last as long as you keep the filter clean.
  • How many people are going with you? This will be an important question to ask yourself when choosing a backpacking water purification system.  The more people you are going to have, the more likely you will need a bigger backpacking water purifier. They pump water faster and are more durable.
  • Maintenance is another issue. Do you want a filter that you can maintain while on the trail should something break? If so, these do tend to be heavier than ones you can't maintain.

Gravity Filters
  • When selecting a backpacking water purification system, there are two types of gravity filters to consider, ones that hang, and one that joins directly to the water source. By using hanging filters, you will be able to filter large amounts of water at a time. A gravity filter that joins directly to the source would be one that you would use a hose to drink from.
  •  You will need to decided what type of bags you will need. Smaller bags are ideal for one person, since they are lighter to carry. Of course, for larger groups you will want to use larger bags so you don't have to filter as often.
  • Another type of gravity system you might consider is a gravity fed water bottle. Each person would carry their own bottle and the backpacking water purifier is built in.
Choosing a chemical treatment is another thing you must do when deciding on your backpacking water purification system. Iodine and chlorine are the best options. However, they leave a bad taste in the water. Once option is to flavor the water with a flavored drink mix to mask the taste.

These are just a few things you must take into consideration when thinking about backpacking water purification. By following the tips above, you will be able to select the proper backpacking water purifier.

Backpacking Water Purification-Backpacking Water Purifier

Click the Link Above For Backpacking Water Purification & Backpacking Water Purifier Products and Reviews 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Backpacking Advice: BackpackingTent Reviews and Features

Today I wanted to give some backpacking advice on features that you need to look for in a tent as well as a few backpacking tent reviews.

After selecting the style of tent that you are going to need it is a good idea to look at the features of the tent.  Many of these features can help you to have a better backpacking experience. Others are options that you don't necessarily have to have, but may find you want them.  It's a personal choice.  In just a minute, we will get into tent features, but first let's look at our first review:

Backpacking Tent Reviews:  #1  Coleman Hooligan 2 Backpacking Tent

"I just got back from Great Smoky Mt. National Park and my brother and I used this tent for 4 days of backpacking. It turned into 4 days of rainforest like climate and this tent didnt leak a drop. There were some substantial downpours at night that had me nervous about the money I had saved on buying this tent. The tent held up great. Just like any tent that I own it was sealed prior to the trip. Just like it was mentioned in other reviews you should prob. invest in better stakes as the tent is not freestanding so good stakes matter. The ones that come with it are the cheap metal kind that come with most small tents. I do have to admit that weight was a little much for backpacking but for two people you cant expect much more."

The next bit of backpacking advice I would like to share with you is on the waterproof features.  As you can tell from the review above, the tent did not leak a drop.  You will want to consider a tent with a tub floor attached to the tent.  In this way, the seams do not lay on the ground.  You can also look for tents with sealed seams.  In many tents, the seams are sewed but there are tiny needle marks that will let in moisture.  If the seams are sealed, then no water will be able to get in.  Before I get to the next bit of backpacking advice, let's look at another tent review. 

Backpacking Tent Reviews:  #2  Eureka Pinnacle Pass 2A Performance 7-Foot by 5-Foot Two-Person Backpacking Tent

"I laugh when I see people say "There are lighter tents out there, but for more money". Oh really? name one.... That is 59 inches by 89 inches and weighs less than 5 lbs. Hmmm, Big Agnes Seedhouse 2? Nope they are 84" x 52" x 42", not even rectangular, only 6-8 oz lighter (I bought titanium stakes, which I use between different tents, the Pinnacle is 4 lbs 12 oz in the bags with light stakes) $70 more expensive ($120 since the pinnacle can be found for $99) with 9 less square feet and no real vestibule(s).

The Pinnacle Pass 2 A
1. Weighs 4 lbs 14 oz with all the bags, mine is 4lbs 12 oz with lighter stakes
2. 36.5 square feet, its 89" x 59". When I car camp I put a Coleman Queen size air mattress in it and it fits perfectly (A solo air bed tent that is super comfy for one or two) can't do that with ANY other "2 Man" backpacking tent!
3. Has two LARGE gear vestibules.

Hmm what else, REI half dome? Nope 5 lbs 8 oz, $150, only 31.8 Sqft

new REI quarter dome T2? Nope 4oz lighter, but 6.7 less sqft and $269

bigger REI Quarter Dome T2 Plus, almost, same exact weight, but still .84 sqft less room and $300!

Lets go extreme, the MSR Carbon Reflex 2 at $500, weighs 24 oz less, BUT is not free standing and has only 29.2 sqft, 7 1/4 less.
or maybe a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2? (much better than the Carbon reflex) It is 2 lbs 2oz lighter, but again 5.5 sqft less area and $350.

How about "The fly doesn't cover the whole tent" Uh, Hello... McFly, it's a backpacking tent, they are trying to cut down the weight. The fly covers ever place that has noseeum mesh, and not the other water-proof areas, plus it creates two good sized vestibules for gear. Backpackers don't normally store their gear in the tent with them like car campers.

Speaking of water-proof, ALL tents should be seam sealed by the buyer, yes, even that $500 MSR Carbon Reflex 2, read the manual.

I own a lot of tents (even more sleeping bags). Are there lighter 2 man FREE STANDING tents out there, Not really. Most of you seem to think these "2 man" tents are too small, including this one. Is a Queen sized bed too small for two people in your world? because my Queen size air mattress fits in this tent.

I have a tent with 5.5 sqft MORE room than this tent that only weighs 2 1/2 lbs, BUT it is not free standing AND costs $265 (not bad really, a Tarptent Rainshadow 2). So it is $165 more and is a single wall tent so you have to watch out for condensation.

At $99-170 for 36.5 sqft tent that weighs less than 5 lbs with the stakes, guy lines, poles, fly and bags. This is hard to beat."

Great backpacking advice and comments in that one I would say.  By the way, what color is your tent?  Remember, that for summer months you will want to have a lighter colored tent to reflect the heat, and in the winter you will want to use a darker color tent to absorb heat.  I will get back to the backpacking advice in just a second, but for now let's look at the final review.

Backpacking Tent Reviews:  #3  Eureka Tetragon 8 Adventure 8-Foot by 7-Foot Four-Person Tent

"I bought this tent to use during motorcycle touring. The packed size is a little long to allow it to be placed in the trunk of my 86 Goldwing but we take a trailer anyway. It is a good size for two large men with air mattresses and we have had three inside. It sets up easily but I found it necessary to upgrade on the tent stakes. The door is a simple zipper system that hasn't missed a beat, as long as you grab the zipper pull correctly, it easily navigates past the storm flap for the zipper across the bottom of the door. The pockets inside are adjustable to several locations and are very handy to keep track of items while you sleep. All of the mesh that is covered up by the rain fly is great for ventilation but doesn't retain much heat on cold nights. This is not a big deal as long as you plan accordingly with an appropriate sleeping bag. The extension over the door and window are a nice touch and I have observed no sign of the pole ripping through the pocket and I have used this tent for three years. My friend has a much larger tent, but we take this one because it is just that easy to set up, tear down and pack away. There are many models within the Tetragon series of Eureka tents, just select the size you need."

Ok, back to my last little bit of backpacking advice.  So, next let's talk about space.  How much space does the tent have?   Be sure you are going to have enough space and have room for all the people who will be staying in the tent.   Some tents come with a little entrance way, which is a good place for muddy boots and such. 

Lastly, consider how much the tent is going to weigh when you are carrying it.  It should be lightweight, but still be able to withstand the elements. 

Thank you for stopping by and checking out this backpacking advice and backpacking tent reviews!  Have a good trip! 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Proper Backpack Fit: Useful Tips for Choosing and Fitting a Backpack

Having proper backpack fit is something that you must consider when selecting a backpack and is an important topic in beginner backpacking.  When fitting a backpack, you have to remember that your backpack is the most important tool you can carry with you on your trip and if you don't have proper backpack fit, then you might not have such a good time.  A good fitting backpack will help to set the mood for your entire backpacking trip.

Certain things, which you may think are important, such as pockets and storage, is actually a minor detail compared to proper backpack fit.  If the backpack does not fit well you will not want to use it, even if it has all of the features you want.  You will have wasted money; another reason why fitting a backpack is so important.  

Here is a list of backpacking tips and tricks to consider when choosing a backpack:

  • You will want to think about the weight that you will typically be carrying.  The heavier the load you carry, the lighter the actual backpack weight should be. 
  • Take measurements of your torso.  Take a measurement from the top of your back to your lower back.  Torso size is used for sizing of backpacks. Knowing your torso size will ensure you will get a proper backpack fit.  If you find that you are a 1/2 size, you will want to go with the next larger size.
  • When you try on the backpack, the hip belt should be right at your hips and the lumbar pad should rest on your lower back region.  Following these two suggestions can mean a better fitting backpack. 
  • When fitting a backpack, make sure that you have a good range of motion with your arms, and that your shoulder harness does not get in the way.  
  • Place items in the backpack in order to get an idea of how much weight will be comfortable with the pack, and how many items are going to fit.
  • Once you have added some weight, you will want to make sure that all the straps are fastened and in correct position.  After you have secured the straps, make sure that you have a proper backpack fit, and that you feel comfortable.  At this point, you will want to walk around, do some squatting.  Use areas such as stairs when doing this.
  • Make sure that you are able to take the pack off easily, and then get it back on.
  • You will want to be able to adjust weight as needed. 
After you have went through the above steps, you can be assured that you are more than likely going to have a good fitting backpack when you get out on the trail.  You will be able to use it with comfort and ease.  When you have done the above tips and tricks to get proper backpack fit, you will not only be comfortable, but you will be able to have a good trip!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Continued Backpacking Training: Packing Ideas for Your Bag

Continuing on with backpacking training subjects, next we will move on to packing your backpack.  Packing a backpack correctly will allow you to be more coordinated and bring sufficient things. It is significant that you fit everything you have to have into your backpack, since you do not want to leave items you might need down the road. Having the appropriate backpacking training will allow you to organize your bag effectively and learn all the key aspects of how to go backpacking.

Really, there are a number of ways that you can pack your bag. A lot of people use a variety of techniques for coordination and getting the most in the pack, while trying to lessen the overall weight. I have put together a few tips that I think are the most significant in backpacking training. The decision is yours on which ideas you may use. However, by implementing these backpacking training tips, you will find that packing your bag will be a lot easier task.

Using color coded bags is a terrific method of coordination. Several backpackers use an internal frame pack because it is less difficult to deal with. But, these kinds of packs usually just have one big storage area, rather than many compartments. Because of this, it is much less difficult to "lose" something in your pack and get unorganized. The method around this is by color coding your bags. If you group objects that should be together and put them in a specific colored bag, you will know the color you are looking for when you look inside your pack.

An additional concern for many individuals is where to pack what. When packing your items, you should put things you need to find quickly in the outer pockets or at the top of the backpack. You should also avoid objects in the back of the bag that will be towards your back. This will permit you more relieve when hiking  if there is no stuffing in that part of the pack. Finally, it is wise to make sure that your bag is properly weighted, so that a single side doesn't weigh more than the other.

For More Backpacking Training:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Backpacking Advice: DIY Backpacking Questions For Food Planning

Packing your food is quite important for DIY backpacking and is one of the many backpacking basics you will need to know for a great trip. It can be a challenge trying to get every little thing into your pack so that you have all the things you will have to have for the adventure, so I wanted to offer you a little backpacking advice. It is possible to pack to much, and this particularly true of sustenance. When DIY backpacking, you should be sure to have a system when it pertains to food so that you don't pack to much; or to little. If you carefully arrange your meals, you can take exactly what is needed. Making a system also guarantees your choices will be light, and work into your backpack with no trouble.

There are three general statements you should take into consideration when preparing meals for DIY backpacking:

1. How much room do you have and what will the weight of the food be?

2. Will the trip require you to have a lot of energy? (consider the landscapes you will be traveling)

3. How long are you going to be gone?

No matter which order you ponder this backpacking advice, if done effectively, you ought to be able to choose what food you need to bring with you.

Prior to considering these three important ideas for DIY backpacking, there are also some other backpacking basics you will need to consider:

1. You will need to plan snacks and three meals a day. One of these meals should be a hot meal. The rest should be quick to put together and not require much, if any, preparing. Do not miss meals when on the trail.

2. By eating the right way, you will be able to keep your energy up when DIY backpacking. Having suitable energy will help you be more attentive when on the trip, and will help you get more sleep at night. For especially lengthy or strenuous trips, you might consider using nutritional supplements.

3. When purchasing backpacking food, try to look for foods that can be prepared in the package. Single servings are great because you are only consuming what you will need. When buying food, easy and simple are the watchwords.

One of the most significant pre-trip actions for DIY backpacking is arranging food. It is essential that you have plenty to sustain you for the trip and you can carry it all. The foods you choose should be nutritious, so that you can maintain proper energy to have fun on the backpacking expedition.

Using backpacking advice concerning backpacking basics is one of the many ways that you can learn to be a good backpacker and have a good time on your trips.

Another great way is by investing in a good backpacking guide or book.  There are many types of these books to choose from.  For the one that I recommend most:

Until next time, be safe and have fun! 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Backpacking Basics-Food and Water Backpacking Basics

One of the first backpacking basics for beginner backpacking you should learn when planning for your trip has to do with food and water.  If you take a backpacking trip, you are going to have to eat.  It is important that you have proper energy to sustain you, and you must be able to plan your meals well to do this.  By learning a few backpacking basics, you will be able to easily pack and carry your food, and know how to prepare it.  Sometimes, deciding on what to take can be mind boggling, but with a few tips on food and water, you will be on your way to a more enjoyable backpacking trip.
Backpacking Basics:  Food
  • Food that is light in weight and easy to cook will work best.
  • Canned foods, such as tuna and chicken, work real well and are a good option.
  • Since bread is hard to carry, tortillas and crackers are a good option.  
  • Anything that is instant, such as potatoes or macaroni, are easy to fix and carry.
  • Beef jerky, or other types of dried meats
  • Use zip lock bags.  Instead of trying to pack items in original boxes, transfer them to bags.  It will make packing much easier.
  • Granola is a great source of energy.
  • You can also look into ready to eat backpacking meals.
Backpacking Basics:  Water
  • You should always ensure that water is safe if drinking from an unknown source.
  • Use cheese cloth or a bandanna as a makeshift filter.  
  • Water treatments are another alternative.
  • Iodine tablets are popular for water treatment.  Using them can leave a funny taste in the water.  Consider using a sugar free drink mix to cover the taste.  
If you properly plan and learn the necessary backpacking basics, you will have a great time backpacking.  With proper food and water planning, you will have the energy you need to make the most out of the trip and be on top of your game.

In order to learn backpacking basics, I suggest a good backpacking guide. 

Click the link above for a great introductory backpacking basics book.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Backpacking Training: First Aid Backpacking Training

One of the most important items of backpacking training is understanding first aid.  There are a few basics that every backpacker should know or backpacking how to as I refer to it.  Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, accidents will happen.  You should always remember that help may not always be available, so understanding these things in important, especially in case of a major accident.  I will also note that even a minor injury needs to be treated.  If you get this type of backpacking training and use this backpacking advice, you will be on your way to a safe trip.

A first aid kit is an essential tool for you to carry on your trip.  You should make sure that it is fully stocked and that you know how to use all of the contents, and know when to use them.  Here are some items you will find in a basic first aid kit:
  • Band aids
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Moleskin
  • Alcohol pads
  • Ace bandages
  • Sanitizer
  • Gauze
  • First aid tape
  • Cold pack
Preventing accidents is also important when it comes to first aid.  This is something you should understand how to do.  Proper backpacking training will ensure that you can work to prevent accidents. Here is some backpacking advice for prevention:
  • Equipment should always be in good working order and in decent shape.
  • You should always use protective gear.
  • Be sure to let someone have a plan of your trip, detailing what areas you will be traveling when, in case you become missing.
  • Be able to recognize types of poisonous plants and animals.  Having a basic nature guide can assist you with this.
Even with proper prevention, there may still be accidents.  This will be the point where knowing first aid could be life saving.  Check with your local fire station to see if they offer free classes in first aid. 

Additionally, a good backpacking book is going to provide you will detailed information about first aid.  These are just a few ways of getting the proper backpacking training for first aid.  It does not matter which way you do it, as long as you do it! 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Backpacking Essentials-Backpacking Essentials You Must Carry on Your Trip

Backpacking essentials are things that should be a part of every backpacker's pack. In addition to these items, you can get backpacking advice on backpacking basics by using a good backpacking book.  Even with newer devices, like GPS, it is still a wise idea to carry a map with you in case something goes wrong with the GPS.  In other words there are no substitutes for these items.  Let's take a looking at some of the most important backpacking essentials you should take with you. 
  1. Map-The map you choose should be suited for backpacking or hiking.  It needs to contain information that is specific to backpacking such as trails and areas.  This information is another form of backpacking essentials. 
  2. Compass-The compass is the right hand man of the map.  When you are out on the trail, things can begin to look the same, so it is important that you know which way you are going.  You should select a compass that will withstand weather and is durable. 
  3. Flashlight-You should always make sure that you have good lighting.  This will enable you to see what is up ahead.  This can also prevent injuries.
  4. Extra food and clothing-You should always take extra food and clothing, just in case an unexpected situation arises while you are out on the trail.  You should always prepare for the unexpected. It's better to be safe than sorry when packing your backpacking essentials.
  5. Knife-You will find that you will get a lot of use out of a knife.  A Swiss Army knife is ideal if you can afford it, since you can use it for many tasks.  Even if you don't get one, you will need a sharp knife that will cut fabric and cord.
  6. Matches-Water proof matches will work best.  As with everything else, matches are must have backpacking essentials. If you do not have access to waterproof matches, make sure you store them in a container which will keep out moisture.
  7. Water or water treatment-You must stay healthy and at your best while you are on the trail, and being hydrated is one of the best ways. If you are not going to carry water with you, then you should carry necessary items, such as iodine tablets, to treat the water.
  8. First Aid Kit-The First Aid Kit is one of the most important backpacking essentials. You never know what you may come up against while you are on your trip. It is important that the kit is well stocked with a variety of supplies and that you know how to use them properly.
These are the most important backpacking essentials that you should carry on the trip.  There are many other things you will have to take into account with backpacking.  With the proper knowledge that you can obtain from a backpacking book, you will be able to have a great trip from planning till you arrive back home.

Click the link above for a great introductory backpacking book fill with backpacking advice and backpacking basics.