Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reflections on SUL Backpacking

The most popular post on my blog right now is a SUL gear breakdown and trip report from about a year and a half ago.  For those of you that don't know (if you are reading this, you probably already know, but just in case), SUL is short for "Super Ultralight" backpacking, which is commonly defined in the backpacking community as having a base weight of gear under or around 5lbs/2.3kg.

My SUL gear has gone through a lot of changes since I went on that trip, and I have gone on many SUL trips since then and intend on going on more in the future--lots more, if I am lucky.  Thus, I wanted to reflect on these changes, plus just give attention to and ruminate on the subject in general--not to mention I started writing my master's thesis and obviously need a healthy bit of procrastination ;).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

First Trip of 2013

Finally, I set off on my first overnight trip of the year.  I really had cabin fever, as I had been so busy with school and family in December that it was a rare month that went by without any backpacking trips--not even any significant day hikes.  This is a big deal for me.

I hiked roughly 15km total doing a loop of a small trail not too far away from where I live.  As I am about to bunker down as dusk fades into night, tent all set up, about to get my sleeping mat and bag in place, I decide to call my wife to see how she and my kids are doing.  She says that our youngest is not doing well, and I hear him crying in the background.  He got the flu and I reluctantly left home that morning because he seemed to be dealing with it alright at the time, and my wife gave me her blessing to go.

Friday, January 11, 2013

My Cooking Systems: A Complete Breakdown

This is a subject that gets a lot of attention and debate among devoted backpackers and campers alike, and people that are new to or that don't know much about outdoor activities often ask me about how I prepare food or what my portable kitchen is like.  When friends and family, outdoorsy or not, enter my office in my home--which also serves as my gear storage room--the gear that they usually like to play around with are my cooking kits, which are always neatly arranged on a shelf surrounded by lots of little accessories.

So I figured I would do a complete breakdown of the three systems that I have for cooking to finally quell all the questions and requests for recommendations as far as this important and fun kit is concerned.  Before I get into all the little details and get very Gram Geeky, first I should explain why I have the three systems that I have, when do I take each one (if at all), and my preferences in general regarding a good backpacking/camping kitchen.

Monday, January 7, 2013

2013 Updates, Improvements, and Rambling

Happy New Year.

I have been very busy over the past few months and have not been able to get around to working on the many different posts that I have wanted to write.  Graduate school is challenging enough, but throw in raising a few very young children, the winter holiday season, and finding time for backpacking and the like (say nothing of writing about backpacking) can be quite tricky indeed.

Yet I finally got around to doing some much needed organizing and revamping of this blog, as you may have noticed.  In the future, and not sure yet in what order--it depends not just on time but also on what I am in the mood to write about--here is what I plan on focusing on: