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Preparing Myself and My Kit for the Outdoors

 
pollinator
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I camp, hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors in several other ways. I’m going to start going to Shawnee State Forest* now that the weather is cooling off. I don’t mind the cold, but the heat is bad for me. I do most outdoors stuff from October to April. I chalk it up to my mostly Scandinavian ancestry.

* http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/Portals/forestry/PDFs/SF/shawnee_backpack.pdf

So anyways, I’m preparing myself for my outdoors season. I’m upgrading some of my kit so I can start day-tripping at that place I linked to. Then I’ll start going for over-nighters when I feel good about my stamina. I’m working on re-building my stamina, but that’s hard because I’m chronically ill. Some days like yesterday I feel great and get a lot of work done, and then there are days like today where I start off good and wind up in bed feeling like shit and writing a post on the outdoors. =_= But I see my doctor again in a few days and we are going to be working out my new meds so this will be less of an issue.

I have all the stuff for day tripping and regular camping already, but I have been slowly building up to have the equipment for a proper backpacking trip. My current sleep system is too bulky and also pretty uncomfortable for somebody my size (besides being a bit overweight, I’m also very tall and broad-shouldered). So I’m going to switch to hammock and tarp and sell my tent. No need to buy hammock top-quilts, we have cold weather sleeping bags and a sewing machine. But the under-quilt will probably be needed. We have a number of tarps (we do live on a farm).

My current camp stoves are not great. The little one takes esbit tablets, alcohol, and wood as fuels and folds up so I can fit it in my mess kit, but it lacks power and can be dangerous if you knock it over or bump into it. The big one has 2 burners and runs on white gas, but it has issues such as being heavy, bulky, and slow to start. I’m currently looking at a Sterno Butane single burner stove, which takes up about as much space as an MSR multi-fuel stove, but is much cheaper.

I’ve always had great sense of direction. But a map and a map-reading compass are certainly on my list before I start taking multi-day trips. I learned to use various compasses and maps in the Royal Rangers, a scouting organization. I had the orienteering badge. The Shawnee State Forest backpacking trails are spread across several USGS topography maps. I plan to fold them so that there are only the portions I need showing in the map case. I will also carry a map-pamphlet of the State Forest for quick reference.



I do need a med kit that is packable, and I found one from the REI co-op that fits my budget and covers everything from minor owies to “I think I dislocated my knee again”. Another thing to include is a travel-size daily pill organizer. With my chronic illness, I take 7 pills every night and 3 every morning. Ofc I need something to drink to take my pills, so… I have a canteen, but decided I’d rather contain my water in something that is more even in weight distro, so 2x 32oz nalgalene water bottles instead of 1x 64oz canteen. And I can put them on the chest straps of the pack.

Speaking of the pack… I’m looking at a German Army internal frame ruck pack. It’s in Flecktarn camo, but I would be making my modifications in blaze orange because I’m well aware of the fact that it is hunting season during my preferred time to be outside. I plan to add a couple of pouches for water bottles, my map and compass, and to make a sheath for my bushcraft knife that will attach to the waist strap of the pack. The sheath will be leather and have a pocket for the pocket bushman knife, a pocket for the whetstone, and a loop for a ferro rod. If you don’t know about the knife, Cold Steel makes it. I got mine years ago and have used it in the ocean, batonned a tree down with it, and it holds a nice edge.

Speaking of tools… I carry an axe when camping, and I could carry an axe with me backpacking, but a saw is lighter and easier to use. (I have used both extensively.) I plan to get a Silky Big Boy folding saw for backpacking. I am considering weight, but I’m thinking more like the Military than the average AT through-hiker. I want to get the most utility out of what I’m carrying, because at times you will need that utility. I won’t carry anything I don’t need, but conversely, I will also carry what I do need. If it is a bit heavier than the average ultralighter likes, I will just have to build bigger muscles. I can get by without an axe by batonning my knife. I have to carry a stove because building fires without a fire ring is illegal in Ohio state forests. But I can’t afford a Pocket Rocket or similar. So I’m left with the butane stove I mentioned before.

With all that said, I’m very excited to get out there and have a trip planned already. I’m going to be hiking there probably twice a week and working out at home until I build up enough stamina for a backpacking excursion. I do have more challenges than the average Joe because of my illness, but I do my best to overcome them.
 
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It takes a few trips to build one's particular kit. You will find you remove and add items as you create your perfect pack. My backpacking kit is different than my kit I carry when I go out on my dual sport motorcycle camping. Fall and spring camping can be challenging where I live because of snow. I personally am not a fan of hammocks and prefer tents, but many like them. You'll enjoy developing your perfect kit that fits your style.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Robert Ray wrote:It takes a few trips to build one's particular kit. You will find you remove and add items as you create your perfect pack. My backpacking kit is different than my kit I carry when I go out on my dual sport motorcycle camping. Fall and spring camping can be challenging where I live because of snow. I personally am not a fan of hammocks and prefer tents, but many like them. You'll enjoy developing your perfect kit that fits your style.



That's basically what I'm doing. I discovered by doing, that my current sleep system is not comfortable. I tried different pads, different sleeping bags, and I'm still not comfortable on the ground. That's why I'm trying Hammocks next. That way I don't discover a rock under my pad at 3 am. They're also more packable.

That's how I also arrived at my footwear: muck boots. I know that sounds crazy because they're heavy; but they're warm, waterproof around the bottom, and provide ankle support. Also, I wear them all the time so I'm used to the weight. They are also snake-resistant. I know some people go as far as to wear sandals, and I tried that on some hikes. Not for me.

I like the Fall and Spring for camping and hiking because it is cool out, there are less bugs, and snakes are less active. I also enjoy solitude and most hikers stick to summer.
 
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I do a lot of hiking this time of year myself. I typically start in December because hunting season is over, and I have the woods to myself again (except on Sundays, it is against the law to hunt or fish on Sundays in Maine giving a chance for non sportsman to enjoy the outdoors at least one day a week without worry of getting shot).

Like you Ryan, I have problems with stamina myself, but I like the cooler weather, not having to swat at bugs, and being able to see without leaves on the trees. It is interesting though. Last fall, on my first hike, I was so fatigued that I could not make it to the rock outcrop I wanted to go to, but instead ended up at one closer to the house. I was actually shocked because I found mineralization in that outcrop.

Like you, I have a good sense of direction, but keep a compass in my pack just in case. Unfortunately my pack is pretty weighted down. I am looking for mineralization, so it is pretty light going in, but coming out I am burdened with ore samples. I keep swearing to myself that I am going to buy a pack mule named "Pickaxe", but never have.
 
Travis Johnson
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We just got back from hiking as a family. We went to church, stopped and got picnic food, then went around the backside of the mountain by road. There we had a picnic, then hiked down the mountain to an outcrop of rock where from the top you could see our own house, about 2 miles away. It was only a mile hike, but with a wife, and four daughters aging 14-6, we have to modify the hiking.

This is a cool place as well. On March 21st of last year, I hiked here from the house by snowshoe, and found a palladium nugget (ultra rare) in the stream at the base of the cliff face. That was an unexpected find, only about 20 places in the world have palladium.

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Prospecting on Snowshoes
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:I do a lot of hiking this time of year myself. I typically start in December because hunting season is over, and I have the woods to myself again (except on Sundays, it is against the law to hunt or fish on Sundays in Maine giving a chance for non sportsman to enjoy the outdoors at least one day a week without worry of getting shot).

Like you Ryan, I have problems with stamina myself, but I like the cooler weather, not having to swat at bugs, and being able to see without leaves on the trees. It is interesting though. Last fall, on my first hike, I was so fatigued that I could not make it to the rock outcrop I wanted to go to, but instead ended up at one closer to the house. I was actually shocked because I found mineralization in that outcrop.

Like you, I have a good sense of direction, but keep a compass in my pack just in case. Unfortunately my pack is pretty weighted down. I am looking for mineralization, so it is pretty light going in, but coming out I am burdened with ore samples. I keep swearing to myself that I am going to buy a pack mule named "Pickaxe", but never have.



If I ever get a mule, I'm gonna name it 'Dammit'. I figure this will really streamline my conversations with it.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Ryan Hobbs wrote:My current camp stoves are not great. The little one takes esbit tablets, alcohol, and wood as fuels and folds up so I can fit it in my mess kit, but it lacks power and can be dangerous if you knock it over or bump into it. The big one has 2 burners and runs on white gas, but it has issues such as being heavy, bulky, and slow to start. I’m currently looking at a Sterno Butane single burner stove, which takes up about as much space as an MSR multi-fuel stove, but is much cheaper.

...

I have to carry a stove because building fires without a fire ring is illegal in Ohio state forests. But I can’t afford a Pocket Rocket or similar. So I’m left with the butane stove I mentioned before.



I know it's bad form to quote myself, but Grandma is Insisting on the MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe.



IDK, maybe we could afford it but It would have it's limit to buying needed gear. I might be able to justify it if I go on a multi-day trip. Gah!
 
Travis Johnson
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How much does the stove cost Ryan?

I will say, I am gun shy on calling it the "pocket rocket"! I do not think of a stove when I hear that name! (LOL)

I failed to mention this on the first few posts, but I know you have some health issues and it is really good to hear you are getting outside. It really did wonders for me last winter, and after awhile my stamina did better. At the end of it I went for a 5 mile hike, a really big accomplishment for me (it was bushwacking and no trails to hike on).

For what it is worth, I am really proud of you for getting outside for some hiking, fishing and hunting, and wish you lived closer, I would take you out with me on my prospecting trips.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Travis Johnson wrote:How much does the stove cost Ryan?

I will say, I am gun shy on calling it the "pocket rocket"! I do not think of a stove when I hear that name! (LOL)

I failed to mention this on the first few posts, but I know you have some health issues and it is really good to hear you are getting outside. It really did wonders for me last winter, and after awhile my stamina did better. At the end of it I went for a 5 mile hike, a really big accomplishment for me (it was bushwacking and no trails to hike on).

For what it is worth, I am really proud of you for getting outside for some hiking, fishing and hunting, and wish you lived closer, I would take you out with me on my prospecting trips.



The stove is $65 direct from the manufacturer. I could probably find it cheaper on Amazon or the REI Garage.

I have a dream on my bucket list to through-hike 3 large trails: The Buckeye Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and The Pacific Crest Trail. One of these days I will feel ready to do them. But I have to work up to it.
 
Travis Johnson
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That is a lofty goal.

I hope you get to do them.

My father in law has always wanted to do the AT, and has every book ever written on through-hiking it, but now that he is aged, cannot do it.

I would like to do the 100 Mile Wilderness (the last 100 miles of the AT), but I am not sure if I am up for that. I have been to the top of Mount Katadin, and it is very rugged country to say the least.

As for the stove, I hope you get to buy it.
 
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Ryan
 I know the initial cost is intimidating but for a very high quality backpacking stove I would recommend the  MSR Dragonfly.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=msr+dragonfly+stove&crid=1CD3PEG6VXIDB&sprefix=MSR+dragonfy%2Caps%2C199&ref=nb_sb_ss_sc_2_12


I know crazy expensive!!  I bought one about 20 years ago and it is still going strong. I would estimate that thing has cooked my meals for over  a year and a half in that time, some trips it was feeding as many as 6 people. I also use it in the back yard as a pot warmer for BB Q's.  You will need to spend another $20 or so on a fuel bottle. The biggest advantage to the Dragonfly  is its multi fuel capability's. White gas, diesel or unleaded gas.  The stove you mentioned  needs the specific disposable fuel can that costs $10 a pop. I am a cheep skate so the idea of throwing away a partial can of fuel because it may not have enough left for my next trip is out. Do I then have to carry 2 cans just in case?  With the Dragonfly I can only bring the fuel I know I will need rather than caring a full canister. Also in a cold and wet environment if things go wrong and you need a fire to survive its pretty hard to beat having some gas on hand to get an emergency fire going with wet wood.  Gas stations are everywhere not everyone Carry's the butane propane mix backpacking fuel.

Maybe this belongs in the buy it for life thread?
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Travis Johnson wrote:That is a lofty goal.

I hope you get to do them.

My father in law has always wanted to do the AT, and has every book ever written on through-hiking it, but now that he is aged, cannot do it.

I would like to do the 100 Mile Wilderness (the last 100 miles of the AT), but I am not sure if I am up for that. I have been to the top of Mount Katadin, and it is very rugged country to say the least.

As for the stove, I hope you get to buy it.



I think I'll get it when I'm ready to do the BT as a way to mark when I'm ready. For now, the iffy stove will do. Esbit tablets stink (I think they are naphtha). But dead wood is everywhere. I boiled up a cup of tea on a previous outing using only a pinecone. I am planning to make a can stove and try that out. I have a ton of beer cans that I am saving up to start seeds in, so that should be a nice temporary fix if it works.

Edited to add this link:
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Marty Mac wrote:Ryan
 I know the initial cost is intimidating but for a very high quality backpacking stove I would recommend the  MSR Dragonfly.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=msr+dragonfly+stove&crid=1CD3PEG6VXIDB&sprefix=MSR+dragonfy%2Caps%2C199&ref=nb_sb_ss_sc_2_12


I know crazy expensive!!  I bought one about 20 years ago and it is still going strong. I would estimate that thing has cooked my meals for over  a year and a half in that time, some trips it was feeding as many as 6 people. I also use it in the back yard as a pot warmer for BBQ's.  You will need to spend another $20 or so on a fuel bottle. The biggest advantage to the Dragonfly  is its multi fuel capabilities. White gas, diesel or unleaded gas.  The stove you mentioned  needs the specific disposable fuel can that costs $10 a pop. I am a cheep skate so the idea of throwing away a partial can of fuel because it may not have enough left for my next trip is out. Do I then have to carry 2 cans just in case?  With the Dragonfly I can only bring the fuel I know I will need rather than caring a full canister. Also in a cold and wet environment if things go wrong and you need a fire to survive its pretty hard to beat having some gas on hand to get an emergency fire going with wet wood.  Gas stations are everywhere. Not everyone carries the butane propane mix backpacking fuel.

Maybe this belongs in the buy it for life thread?



It is pretty expensive. But you're right ofc.
 
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I fully agree with Ryan on the good shoes. Boots preferably. Flip flops & sandals have their place but not on the sort of hikes being discussed. Even a minor foot injury ten miles down a backwoods trail can be a serious problem. My first kit has repaired many more blown out tennis shoes than done anything medical related.

There are some excellent lightweight water filters available. I use https://sawyer.com/products/mini-filter/


Have used this mid priced little stove for years. Works perfect every time. Can make it last a week on one can of fuel. Five days is more realistic & comfortable. https://snowpeak.com/collections/stoves/products/gigapower-stove-2-0-manual


Didn't notice a waterproof poncho on the list. I consider that a must on most hikes.

As far as hammocks ... if there are trees I'm using a hammock tent. Used one for several years now. Wish I had one since first camping out as a kid. Good ones are not cheap but then neither are good backpacking tents. The hammock tent can be used as a stand alone tent but not vice versa.

This is my favorite time of year for hiking. Usually good weather, less bugs, less crowds, & amazing fall colors. Spring flowers are beautiful but it's hard to beat colorful trees for sheer scale. I live near the Appalachian Trail & the Cumberland Trail. Have hiked many miles on each. AT in several states. Will never through hike the AT but it would be an awesome experience. I will likely complete the CT in sections. Big chunks done already. Not out of the realm of reasonable possibilities to through hike that one. One of these days I'll probably do the AT  Katydyn section. Just because. Have a fairly long hike planned for later this week. Daughter & I are trying to spend another Thanksgiving weekend on the AT this year. I'm also working on hiking every trail in the Smoky Mountains park. Not an easy task (800+ miles in the mountains) but very enjoyable so far. A couple pics from this week's hike past a large triple waterfall & a nice view from the top.

One day at a time. One step at a time. Leave no trace.
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When asking about hiking gear, you’ll get as many opinions as there are varieties of gear – it comes down to budget, experience, and personal preferences.

I was a Club member for about 30 years, so did a lot of back-country hiking (bushwalking), caving, mountaineering, etc. So, it was all about weight/distance efficiency = enjoyment. Over the years as gear technology evolved and my needs reduced, the gear taken on trips also reduced – this meant I could replace the weight with better food choices.

Tent/Hammock: Much prefer a tent over a hammock simply because they don’t rely on trees, and are proven in all conditions I needed them to remain upright – from desert to snow, heavy wind/rain/snow.

Knife/Axe/Saw: The need for a huge knife and axe is also questionable – we NEVER cut wood, just dragged a log into a fire and burnt sections at a time. A good quality small knife will do everything needed, unless you have some particular activity that requires Rambo-sized ones e.g. specific bush crafting past-time.

Stove: I agree with Marty, the MSR WhisperLite or Dragonfly are very good stoves. A Methylated Spirits (Denatured Alcohol) burner is also okay, but doesn’t burn as hot and they tend to be ineffective in wind if not shielded – the Trangia Cooking System is a very good option. I’d reconsider the canister type stoves – too much waste and more expensive in the long run.

Footwear: whatever is light and comfortable. I used everything, from okay quality joggers to leather boots. Dunlop Volleys, a type of sandshoe with herringbone pattern soles, are unsurpassed when negotiating slimy rocks, etc; but their flimsy nature may not appeal to some people – they feel like moccasins. Either way, I would wear whatever suits, but carry a light pair of sandshoes just to have dry feet around camp. Also, recommend gaiters to keep twigs/stones/snow out of footwear and protect legs from scratches, etc.

Rucksack: look for a good quality waist and shoulder harness system, and tough cloth material. Our bush has a shitload of snags and thorns, so all those extraneous straps and hoops manufactures like putting on the outside of rucksacks were quickly removed to avoid snagging – the rule of thumb: if it can’t fit inside the pack (or pockets), then it doesn’t get carried. (We could always tell if a newbie was walking in front of us - they'd leave a Hansel & Gretel line of blue 'breadcrumbs' as their foam mat slowly got torn apart from being tied outside.)

It’s The Little Things: weight is the killer of enjoyment and travel distance – it can also really mess up one’s body. For example, one litre of water weighs about one kilogram, so it adds up fast. We’d carry a litre water bottle that was easily accessible, but carry extra water in disused wine bladders (those silver foil bags with a spout) – once empty, the bag weighs almost nothing and can be scrunched down to fit anywhere. They are great if camping away from a watercourse because they typically hold four or so litres. We never carried a fork, just a spoon and knife, and our torch was equally small – one or two AAA battery type, no need for a lamp that lights up an acre and uses mass D cell batteries.

Navigation: yep, I’m a map & compass person – electronic stuff can fail too easily. Once you get to know the intricacies of map reading and the ‘lay of the land’, it all becomes second nature.

First Aid: a good remote are kit that includes a small mirror and whistle, anti-shit/vomit tablets, paracetamol, back-up fire lighting tools, small sewing kit, etc is a basic necessity. Most of the stuff can be purchased from a supermarket these days anyway.

Notification: since you’re travelling along, highly recommend leaving your whereabouts – expected return day/time and map details with TWO responsible people. Most Emergency Services allow about 24-36 hours for a return before mounting a S & R - a LOT of nasty stuff can happen to a sick/injured person in that time.

 
Travis Johnson
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I live out of my Muck Boots as well, and thus hike in them as well. I do like them, but I have found the back of the heel wears the inside of the boot out a bit. This ultimately will give me a blister if I do not wear two pairs of socks while wearing them. Every pair I have every worn has done this. But as I said, I live out of them, so that means logging, farming, and hiking.

Does anyone else have this problem?
 
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When I was young I did lots of DoE expeditions and similar here in the UK. My kit was phenomenally heavy. Over the years I simplified, streamlined and reduced my kit. My solo overnight gear bag now typically weighs about 10kg, where it used to weigh around 16kg or more. That difference is huge for your enjoyment of the trip.

Reducing weight can be taken to extremes, but once you have experienced a trip with super-light gear you will be chasing that reduced weight. And you'll be far less likely to throw in a "just in case" item.

Clothing for me is Paramo waterproofs - they are amazingly soft, so can be worn for comfortable nightwear was well as for outer layers. They are a bit heavier than thinshell gortex types, but I can do away with other items of clothing. Sleeping mats are a must - you lose more heat to the ground than the air, and a sleeping bag without a mat squashes flat. I also have a super light and thin, gortex bivvy bag. I put my sleeping bag and mat inside the bivvy bag, inside my tent. It stops the normal sleeping bag condensation problems completely, which is good for comfort but near essential for multiday trips in wet weather.  If you stick you clothes inside the bivvy bag then come morning any damp will have evaporated off.

Food - I bought, many years ago, a cheap kitchen counter food dehydrator. If I know I have a multiday trip coming up then I make my own meals up in advance. I get to control ingredients and portion sizes - great as I have food intolerances. I have an insulated mug to eat from. Add the dry meal to the mug, pour on boiling water, seal it up and wait ten minutes. Then you have a perfect home cooked meal. A bit of experimentation is needed to get recipes and portions right, but it is cheap and easy.

These days my family know that I like camping and hiking and buy me gadgets. These annoy me. They are usually heavier than I would want to take, have some kind of gimick (windup head torch anyone? I get 100 hours from a pair of AA rechargables and don't have to stop my cooking to wind up the batteries), and break.
 
Robert Ray
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The soda can alcohol stove is surprisingly effective. My daughter who is an ultralight nut introduced me to them. The Trangia alcohol stove has been around forever. Quiet and fuel available everywhere. Though any alcohol works potable alcohol has a dual purpose.
Cold weather and altitude can be problematic with butane. The containers are heavy and expensive. They make fittings to recharge disposable cylinders if one has a mind to.
I have a Svea 123 that I bought from REI when their catalog was still newsprint. A comforting hiss that relaxes me in the evening after a trek or wakes me in the morning as the water boils for tea.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Alright, I'm gonna try to answer everybody, but quoting would eat up too much space. So... Here goes.


Mike, I love the pictures. And yes, the boots are so I don't injure myself. Last thing I need is to slip and dislocate my ankle. If I slip in muck boots it's no big, but it's also unlikely because of the deep treads. Thanks for the links, I followed them and found some good stuff to add. I do have a poncho that fits over my self and a pack. It is light but bulky.

F Agricola, I do have a tent, but I also have no issue with finding trees. The areas I'm going to be in for the year are all heavy forest. As for the tools, I'm not planning to bring an axe, it is just too heavy. But I will be bringing a knife along because of it being so useful. Not a big knife mind you, a folding knife. It is 5.75 inches long. I do believe I need a saw. If I were to get lost, i might need it for making a decent fire or shelter. Keep in mind, I do winter camping and hiking. It's not needed for summer. As for stoves, I have an ultralight stove that suits my immediate needs, but before I start through-hiking, I'd like to get something a bit less dangerous. It is a collapsable multi-fuel stove that fits inside my mess kit. My mess kit is a pot and cup with folding handles and being anodized aluminum, is very light. Even with the stove inside, I can fit small bottles of salt and pepper, packets of tea, and it is the size of a large sierra cup. I have a pair of running shoes that are super light but having no ankle support, I don't use them for hiking. I tried it, got injured, and gave it up. I'm a boots guy all the way. I carry a pair of steel chopsticks. They are easy to keep clean, easy to eat just about anything with, and their weight is less than a fork, knife, or spoon. Yeah, I'm a map guy, I HATE GPS. As for notification, I have my housemate and my Stepdad. If I leave it to my mom, she would call for S&R after a day.

Travis, I have not had that problem with Muck Boots, but I find that wearing good socks with them keeps the chafing from happening. I recommend Darn Tough's Paul Bunyan socks. They are light, cushion-y, and last forever. They also come up above the muck boots edge a bit, so no rubbing there either.

Michael, The gear fever is real. It is esp real for people who don't do outdoors stuff. A couple of years ago my brother and sister both asked me for a survival kit they could keep in their cars. I don't know what they were expecting, but they each got an altoids tin containing: a flint and steel, 2 birthday candles (for use as fire starters), a small fishing kit, a snare, and a very tiny multitool I got at a gas station in WV. I showed them how to use it and repacked it and that was that. They probably don't even know where those kits are. I had to order those fire steels from Germany, least they could do is know where they're at. I will take your weight concerns into account though. You are right that most camping gadgets are extraneous.

Robert, I'm in the middle of making an alcohol stove. I think it will probably do the job. Speaking of tea, I'm a coffee nut. When they draw my blood for labs they find that it is 90% coffee. jk But I have tried instant coffee packets and found them lacking. I am considering just bringing a bag of grounds and making coffee in my mess kit. You can always drop the coffee to get the grounds to the bottom of the cup. No need for a filter at all.

Coffee drop:
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:I live out of my Muck Boots as well, and thus hike in them as well. I do like them, but I have found the back of the heel wears the inside of the boot out a bit. This ultimately will give me a blister if I do not wear two pairs of socks while wearing them. Every pair I have every worn has done this. But as I said, I live out of them, so that means logging, farming, and hiking.

Does anyone else have this problem?



I don't use mucks, but have had several otherwise well fitted boots that blister at the heel after enough hours even when worn in, but I use tensor(athletic) tape on my heels rather than 2 pairs of socks. It's nice stuff to have on hand for other medical/repair uses too.
 
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I have never had good luck getting good tasting coffee over a camp fire. I am not sure if it is the smoke that gets in it that ruins the flavor, but it just tastes horrible (at least to me). I am not sure if an alcohol stove would help with that or not, but it would be worth a try.

I do like hiking in my muck boot though, only because I can get into some pretty deep mud with them, and in the winter, snowshoe without having to fuss with gaters on. I am fortunate that there are no snakes to worry about here, about the only thing Maine has going for it...no poisonous snakes, the only state in the nation that can lay claim to that. I think some of the problem is that I just wear my muck boots wayyyyyyyyyyy too much. When I ay I live in them, it is true. I have (2) pair of shoes...a pair of sneakers, and my muck boots. I did see a nice pair of Carolina Hiking boots that looked nice though. I might even be able to go logging in them. Logging is pretty hard on my Muck Boots because of the brush on that foam rubber.
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:I have never had good luck getting good tasting coffee over a camp fire. I am not sure if it is the smoke that gets in it that ruins the flavor, but it just tastes horrible (at least to me). I am not sure if an alcohol stove would help with that or not, but it would be worth a try.

I do like hiking in my muck boot though, only because I can get into some pretty deep mud with them, and in the winter, snowshoe without having to fuss with gaters on. I am fortunate that there are no snakes to worry about here, about the only thing Maine has going for it...no poisonous snakes, the only state in the nation that can lay claim to that. I think some of the problem is that I just wear my muck boots wayyyyyyyyyyy too much. When I ay I live in them, it is true. I have (2) pair of shoes...a pair of sneakers, and my muck boots. I did see a nice pair of Carolina Hiking boots that looked nice though. I might even be able to go logging in them. Logging is pretty hard on my Muck Boots because of the brush on that foam rubber.



Get you some veg tanned leather and stitch it to the foam part with waxed linen. The leather will protect you from thorns. If you use a relatively thin pliable split leather, it should be pretty flexible. Just be sure the smooth side is outward to turn thorns.
 
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Just for the record you are killing me Ryan! (LOL)

I am tied up right now in another matter and have to cut wood, but I would really like to get out and do some prospecting. I never considered stopping and making coffee along the way, but that would be enjoyable I think. I tend to just go on day hikes, and not camping unless I am with he wife and kids. But an afternoon coffee break sounds nice.

But beyond having to be in the woods logging (not too bad of a punishment by its own right), it is hunting season so I cannot get out hiking until December.
 
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