So I've been passively looking for a 3-person tent recently since my boy started to build muscle mass with all those ice axe pull ups he and I do every day. We're tough like that. Almost grabbed the Sierra Designs Hyperlight on Steep and Cheap this week, but bailed out in the last minute after reading a review on Trailspace that said it didn't really fit 3 people. Backpacker's Gear Guide recommends a few different ones including:
Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3 ($349;3 lbs, 15 oz)
Black Diamond Skylight ($430; 4 lbs, 1 oz.)
MSR Mutha Hubba 3 (Best Buy, $380; 6 lbs. 12 oz.)
Sierra Designs Baku 3 ($359; 4 lbs. 11 oz.)
Sierra Designs Sirius 3 ($160; 4 lbs. 11 oz.)
Traptent Rainshadow ($265; 2 lbs 10 oz.)
The North Face Spectrum 33 ($289; 4 lbs. 5 oz)
Why all the lines? Why on earth am I going to pay over $200 for a 3-person tent? I already own two tents, a 2-person 3 season and a 2-person 4 season. I might as well skip the 3 and go straight to the
We're just saying. Screw the freeze dried taste like crap alpine high stuff, head for the ethnic section of your grocer for some Indian on your next backcountry trip. If you can handle the spice, there is nothing better than a Tasty Bite for a tasty, clean-up free dinner. Heat the package in hot water, pour some couscous (some entrees come with rice) into the water after 5 minutes, cut open the package, pour and serve over fresh, steaming couscous. Ready in 6 min start to finish. Bring some naan to clean out anything that's left in the bowl. It's Madras in the mountains. Delhi in the desert. Bombay in the boondocks. These little ethnic masterpieces have been feeding the GetOutdoors adventurers and their memsahibs for years. Best of all, you don't have to listen to your whiny veggie friends complain about dripping melting pork fat into their basmati anymore. They're all veggie. Available in a melange of tastes and flavors including Punjab Eggplant, Spinach Dal & Basmati Rice, Sprouts Curry & Basmati Rice, Agra Peas & Greens, Beans Masala & Basmati Rice, Bengal Lentils. GoBlog top choices are (hit refresh to cycle through):
Note to self:Must replace my 6 year-old copy of California Camping book as some minor details seem to be out of date. Case in point, after driving 1.5 hours up Route. 1 with the 2.5 year old (aka The Boy) and the Polish summer Intern (aka The Intern) in the back of the '91 Sub (aka The Wreck, but thank you god for letting me get to 192,275 miles), we rolled into Tomales State Park ready for a camping adventure. That's adventure with a capital A. It was going to be a real guy’s adventure and my team was psyched. All eyes were on me as I walked confidently up to the ranger at the park entrance.
“Hi Mr. State Park Ranger, which way to the walk-in sites?” “Walk-in sites? Son, we ain’t had those walk-in site for 5 years.” “Oh. Five years you say? That would be about right [despondent look down to feet. quick look back to the team. flash the thumbs up sign. team leaders must never show fear, worry, or any other signs that things are going wrong. freaks the team out]. No wonder I didn’t find anything on the internet.” “You ain’t the sharpest tack in the bunch ard your?" “No sir.” “But wait, what about ____ in Pt. Reyes Seashore Mr. State Park Ranger” “Son, I ain’t no NPS Ranger, butchoo know those sites are only for paddling in." "But isn't there a trail in for hikers?" "Yup, but ain't no overnight parking" "But aren't you allowed to hike in to meet kayakers?" "Yup. Butcho got to shuttle your car out. You meeting someone there [eyebrow arches up]?" "Possibly. If I was, how often you think they check the parking lot?" "Couldn't say. Those National Park Rangers is a bunch of lazy bastards if you assme" "Right. Ok. Well thank you sir." "You take care now. Don't get yerself into any trouble [wink. tip 'o the ranger hat]."
Now don't get me wrong. I'm didn't start out to Dean Potter the weekend,
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Americans are less interested in spending time in natural surroundings like national parks because they are spending more time watching television, playing video games and surfing the Internet, according to a study released on Tuesday.
The study, for The Nature Conservancy, found per-capita visits to national parks have been declining for years.
National park visitation data starting in 1930 peaked in 1987 at 1.2 visits per person per year. But by 2003 it had declined by about 25 percent to 0.9 visits per person per year, said Oliver Pergams, an ecologist at the University of Illinois who analyzed the data for the study.
Not surprising. The networks are coming out with some compelling content and cable? Forget about it. Sad, really it is. We have a generation that knows more about outdoors from Lost than actually visiting a park. A generation that thinks that Led Zeppelin sampled P. Diddy on Kashmir. I mean the virtual tour is one thing, but to truly smell the car exhaust in Yosemite Valley is another. Sad, take that fat kid of yours out to the nearest NP right now, forget about the cost of gas, the vomiting in the car, the turds in a bag, do something with your child that he/she will remember for the rest of his/her life. And for f**k's sake, leave the portable genny and tv at home. Fock.
Bet that title got you clicking through your RSS reader didn't it? Listen, we're as sick and tired of boring tent designs as the next guy/gal. So bored in fact, that when we saw these tents, we were awestruck. Mesmerized. Cows tents? Are you kidding us? We love this tent. It receives the first ever GetOutdoros Gear Award. Why we've never seen one of these at Outdoor Retailer, we don't know. But they are works of art, not to mention the fact they are perfect for hiding out in farmer Bob's fields and doing a little guerilla camping. Designed by Herve Matejewski, these tents will make you the envy of the Prada Gucci wearing outdoor crowed. That is, eBomb and his ilk. Enjoy.
The article below on Sarek got me thinking while I was riding into work today dodging delivery trucks, police cars, and other urban obstacles. What would it be like if the U.S. had a similar law to "Every Man's Right" found in the Scandinavian countries? Truthfully, I've never had a chance to test the law, but I've heard enough about it that I don't think it's an urban myth. It basically says that you have a right to pitch a tent anywhere there is no cultivated land for a night or two. It seems the laws differs by country, but that's the gist:
In these countries, you have the right to walk across uncultivated lands. That means you can walk if there aren't any farmlands or you're not crossing people's gardens. If there are fences, you should look for gates and follow paths, also if there is no apparent farmland (there might be animals, such as sheep or cattle in the area, so close any gates you open). Also, if there are newly planted trees in an area, you can't walk through.
As for camping, you can stay for up to two nights (Sweden: one night, otherwise ask for permission by land owner) in one spot, as long as you are far away from any houses and farmlands. 'Far away' usually means 150 meters. However, it also means out of the way, that is, you're not inconveniencing anyone and particularly not those in the nearest house. These regulations obviously don't go for those areas especially designated for camping, but those are usually paid campsites. If 'out of the way' sounds harsh, it really isn't. There is a lot of free space in Norway, Sweden and Finland... In really remote areas, the two-day rule doesn't even apply, and why should it, nobody will notice you're there anyway.
I can tell you in the U.S. a socialist type idea like this would be crushed under the foot of private property advocates before it ever saw the light of day. But one can dream. Actually, out in the West I think we're pretty lucky to have access to huge swaths of National Forest since they have a form of "Every Man's Right" called "Dispersed Camping", which allows you to pitch a tent almost anywhere in a National Forest unless otherwise posted (e.g. wilderness ares):
Pick your own spot, dispersed area camping, is an option available throughout most of the Forest. You may camp outside of developed campgrounds in most parts of the Forest, at no cost. Potable water, toilets, and other amenities are not generally available. If you choose to camp outside developed areas, be sure to bring adequate water or be prepared to purify spring water before drinking.
The first week of June is always marked by the frantic rush to to
buy, dry, and pack four months worth of produce and canned foods for
the summer season in the backcountry. Well, my first week of June is
always marked this way, at least. The thought of living at 10,500 feet
for the next four months is thrilling. The thought of eating gorp and
instant rice for the next four months is frightening. And yet, with no
resupply all summer long, what is a backcountry ranger to do?
Fortunately, I recently came across a clever cookbook called, The Leave No Crumbs Camping Cookbook: 150 Delightful, Delicious, and Darn-Near Foolproof Recipes from Two Top Wilderness Chef by Rick Greenspan & Hal Kahn. See what I mean about "down-homey"?
Camping cuisine does not need to begin and end with s’mores! With three
decades of camp-cooking experience between them, Greenspan and Kahn
enliven trailside meals with recipes for stews, pasta, pancakes, even
soufflés. With a little before-trip planning and preparing, gourmet
meals enjoyed by the campfire are within every hiker’s reach.
does "Picadillo Cubano" (Cuban-style ground beef with sofrito, green
olives, and raisins) sound? Or maybe "Pasta with Roasted Eggplant and
Almond Sauce"? "Campsite Cake with Pineapple Glaze"? "Rick's
Fire-in-the-Belly Automotive-Body-Shop Chutney"? The authors are a bit
corny and probably caused their editors no end of rolled eyes, but do a
great job of setting you up for success with "at home" and "at camp"
instructions. The dishes are tasty and relatively simple. However, be
ready to put in some pre-trip time in your front-country kitchen
getting to know your deyhdrator.
Take advantage of Scandinavia's long summer days and liberal camping rules and head over to Sweden to commune with nature, eat some herring, drink vodka, and scamper around in one of the country's most beautiful national parks, Sarek NP. If you believe the hype on the website, it's remote and wild:
The park contains over 200 mountains over 1,800 metres. Six of Sweden's 13 highest mountains are found here, as are about 100 glaciers. Rapadalen valley is the artery of Sarek. The Rapaätno river has an enormous flow and carries green glacial water from about thirty glaciers. Rapadalen contains dense thickets of mountain birch, osier and herbaceous plants.The flora is rather poor in most of the park, but the animal life in the great valleys is rich. If you are lucky you can see bear, wolverine, lynx or one of the unusually large elks. Sarek is not recommended for beginners. Those wishing to visit the park must have considerable alpine experience and the correct equipment and should be used to spending time outdoors. Sarek is an extremely inaccessible wilderness with no facilities whatsoever for tourists. Here, you are on your own. The foremost sights of Sarek are the alpine landscape with its sharp peaks, glaciers and narrow valleys, the animal life and the delta areas in Rapaselet and Rapadeltat.
If you don't believe the hype, then head over to your local IKEA on a Sunday. That's taking your life in your own hands.