Sunday, June 24, 2018

How I Pitch Tarp Shelters

A few weeks ago I watched a great how-to video on pitching a tarp by Joe Brewer that inspired me to finally get around to making my own take on this type of video, which we'll get to soon.  But first some context can be helpful.  I mean, if there's already one good video on this subject, why bother making another one?  Well, there are all sorts of different versions of this video on Youtube, because if you ask 10 different outdoor enthusiasts how they pitch a tarp, you'll likely get 10 different answers.  

There are a lot of details and nuances that go into setting up this kind of shelter.  For example, there are all sorts of different kinds of tarps, from a wide variety of fabric, to what size they are, and then down to nitty-gritty details like number of tie out points, flat or cat-cut, weight, etc.  Adding location and application to the mix, and one can see just how complicated this can be, especially for someone who is inexperienced with the outdoors.  


Sunday, May 27, 2018

My 2018 Updated Clothing Worn and Packed for Summer


Several months ago I posted a big breakdown of my updated winter, spring, and fall outfits for wilderness backpacking.  Well it's also been a while since I posted about my summer outfits, and I recently came back from a great section hike where I was really happy with how my clothing performed, so let's do this.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Cesar's Guide to Pilgrimsleden Värmland, part 1




Introduction

Pilgrimsleden Värmland is a trail that runs from the border of Västra Götaland in the south, goes across Värmland, and ends at the Norwegian border in the north.  This trail is also part of my alternative E1 trail system, The Troll Trail.  This guide covers the section from the Edsleskog Loop to the southern end of the Glaskogens nature reserve, hiking northbound.  This section is about 50km long--from the first trail shelter to the last one of this trip--but can vary depending on how you hike it.  There are areas that are not marked or poorly marked, and much of the trail markers are very old and rundown.  In general this is a trail less taken, and this can offer certain benefits, but the trail itself at times is in dire need of trail maintenance.  But overall it was quite a nice hike.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

My 2018 Winter and Spring Complete Clothing Breakdown

Introduction

So I finally have a few section hikes coming up!  I will most likely do a gear list breakdown for my spring base pack weight (BPW), but I don't think I will have the time to do one for my winter kit for the trip coming up soon.  However, it has been a while since I've gone over my clothing combos for all the different seasons I encounter (my older one you can check out here, also includes BPW), so figured I should at least update my current clothing choices.  Not to mention that I still get plenty of questions from friends, family, and sometimes online about what my clothing choices are for hiking.  Later on in the year I'll do another breakdown like this for my two summer outfits (one for the mountains, one for the woods), so stay tuned for that.

Two years ago I showed off my winter gear list in a video, and not too much has changed since then as far as gear goes.  But there have been some significant changes to my clothing, in spite of still using some garments for about half a decade or so.  Some of the more hardcore UL backpackers may cringe and/or scoff at some of the relatively heavy choices of clothing I have.  But everyone has their limits, and when it comes to clothing worn I am more likely to shrug and say "good enough" with slightly heavier choices.  

I think because I obsess so much over my BPW down to every little detail, I just don't have the energy to really dial in my clothing combos to be lighter and (this is key) just as warm.  I'm also just not into clothing in general, as say a fashion or social statement, so it's hard for me to get excited about buying say, a pair of pants or a shirt.  But I've spent plenty of time drooling over packs, shelters, quilts, and other BPW gear, and have literally had my pulse rise after getting a package slip in my mailbox for new gear.  Not to say that clothing is any less important for backpacking, it should almost go without saying!  And also note that quite a lot of this gear gets used in my day-to-day life to work and on day hikes, so it's not just collecting dust in the closet when I'm not on section hikes.

So let's get down to the breakdown of my full winter and spring outfits.  First up is some context:

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Response to 20 Viewers' Backpacking Tips

A month ago I announced a give-away contest on my Youtube channel, the winner getting their choice of either a tarp or a bug bivy from Borah Gear.  Thanks again to Borah Gear who were nice enough to put up the prize for this contest!  They make great gear and have a well-earned good reputation in the online UL community, for instance on Reddit's UL forum.

So the contest was pretty straight forward: to enter just leave a comment with a favorite backpacking tip on my 1000 subscriber video special, and I would take 20 of them and pick one at random.  I also wanted to share all 20 of these tips here on my blog and also give some feedback on each tip, so here we go!  I will make a short video picking the winner at random shortly after publishing this post.  

Thanks to all my readers, Youtube subscribers, and special thanks to everyone that left a tip and entered the contest.  These are good tips, and I've been looking forward to responding to them as they collected over the past month.