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I found this table to be a big asset in my camp kitchen, a handy, positionable work station for prepping and serving meals. It was also very handy as a mini deck on my sea kayak, providing a convenient platform for laying out fishing rigging gear.

The GSI Micro Table features shock cords and folding legs for a steady surface for cooking at a campfire or handy work platform on the deck of kayak. It also provides a low-level table for inside your tent as well. 

DETAILS: Constructed of flame and heat resistant anodized aluminum and designed to hold 20 lb. The table unfolds and locks forming a 15.5” x 11.25” platform. The unit weighs under 2 pounds and collapses down to 15.5” x 2.375 x 3.25” )GSI Micro Table



Versatile cap secures contents while offering both drink spout and wide-mouth access.

 I filled it with boiling water, put it outside at -3F; after three hours it was still hot enough to blister the roof of my mouth. That’s heat retention at its best!  

Glacier Stainless Microlite 500 Vacuum Bottle by GSI Outdoors – DETAILS:  Vacuum-insulated bottle provides 8 hrs. heat and 16 hrs. cold retention; 1/3rd lighter than traditional designs; Weight- 7.9 oz.; thin, 2mm walls; 18/8 stainless steel, Push-button, flip top cap locks closed for transport-locks open for easy drinking.GSI Microlite 500



Yet another great, reliable product from GSI Outdoors  is their 100% BPA-free, and recyclable poly-propylene plastic water bottle that doesn’t retain odors or tastes. The Dukjug Water Bottle holds 32-fluid ounces of liquid while offering a few special and very useful features: it has a recessed section of the cylinder that allows the user to wrap a few feet of duct tape around the bottle for handy emergency use…and doubles as a bit of protection to bare fingers in cold weather. A firm grip and additional insulation is also provided by a movable silicone mesh collar grip around the bottle, too.

A cam-designed lid provides easy leverage for the cap, even when wearing gloves, and the flexible straw that folds away under the cap makes sipping easy, too. Dukjug Water Bottle



Another great thermal bottle that keeps liquids hot for a very long time! The strainer cap insert holds back ice, tea leaves and such when drinking or pour.  The narrow spout coupled with the wide-mouth opening makes it an all purpose beverage/food vessel.

DETAILS:  45 oz/ 1.3 liter -TriMax® stainless steel, triple insulation technology, vacuum insulate; tested to keep liquids cold 36 hours/hot up to 8 hours; dual use leak proof top wide opening/easy filling and small opening/easy drinking; interchangeable tops available; 18/8 premium stainless steel; no BPA, no phthalates, no liners; dual use top – interchangeable with flip spout lid; sturdy carrying strap; never sweats; recyclable.EcoVessel thermal bottle


Tastes like actual milk, especially if mixed up the night before – or allowed to ‘mellow’ for a few hours before drinking.

This is the BEST POWERED MILK EVER!  In all my years of backcountry camping, it has been a cold glass of milk that I’ve craved throughout the adventure – and a nearly insurmountable challenge to find a palatable sip of moo juice in powder form.

Well, I’m here to proclaim, Marron Food’sLow Fat Milkman” with the kiss of cream.” is everything all other dry milk products aren’t and more! The secret is the cream added back into the dry formula – creating a much tastier milk.

DETAILS: Milkman® contains 5 percent milk fat before adding water, which reduces it to 1/2 percent milk fat once mixed. 3.44-ounce packets of mix are proportioned to be mixed with one quart of water; then served chilled for best taste. Low Fat “Milk Man”





I have one snugged under the bungees on my kayak deck. I also have one tucked in the visor of my car (to recharge, just place it solar cell side up on the dash). It’s an incredibly versatile outdoor light source.

The MPOWERD LUCI LANTERN is basically a blow-up, sun-powered, waterproof utility light that can be used by a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts – anywhere a soft and reliable light may come in handy. It’s a quick charge and can be stowed with the solar panels exposed for constant re-powering throughout your trek. Even when compressed it can be attached to your kayak deck and used as a running light. It’s a bright, diffused glow that provides ample light around camp or in your tent.

gear-luci-light-2DETAILS: Weight: 4 ounces; diameter: 5”; standing fully inflated at 4.5” tall; Ten LED
lights = 65 lumens of light covering a ten 
square foot area. Solar panels- 8 hours at full  charge; up to 12 on the lowest (bright) setting. ON/OFF button is bull’s eyed in center of the solar panel side (opposite the inflation nozzle side). Completely waterproof (and it floats); it can be stowed on the deck of a kayak solar panel side up thereby keeping it charged and serving as a deck running light when turned on.MPOWERD Luci Lantern


Magnetic base, waterproof, and it floats – perfect for maritime use.

I’m a firm believer in multi-purpose gear. These “roadside” LED flasher/flares also function well in the marine environment (Think safety lights on your watercraft!).

Wagan Tech’s Flashing Roadside Emergency Disk (FRED) is shatterproof, extremely bright, remains cool to the touch. FRED uses bright LED bulbs that have a life span of over 50,000 hours and are resistant to shock and are extremely bright. The base has a strong magnetic backing and a flush fitting hook.The ease to display/attach lights handy light for watercraft.

Its polycarbonate case is surrounded by a Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) wrap making the FRED Light shatterproof, with a non-slip grip:

–  15 LEDs (12 Red, 3 White);

     –  9 Flash modes;
     –  3 white LED worklight;
     –  Full 360 degree visibility (can be seen up to  a mile radius);
     –  Dust and waterproof;
     –  It floats. FRED Lights


Keep a compact, folded umbrella just inside the door of your tent for quick use on those rainy night forays to heed Mother Nature’s call.

A smart, resourceful camper would never be without an umbrella – so many situations where you want/need to block the wind or ran while camping. Here are a few examples where you can put an umbrella to use around camp:

  • Answering Mother Nature’s call, in the rain – it’s nice to have that little domed canopy over your head while you squat on one of those exposed and unsheltered primitive campsite pit toilet thrones;
  • Providing a small zone of dryness while you’re bent over trying to get a fire going in the rain;
  • Creating a wind-break for your camp stove;
  • Add-on canopy attached to your pack or walking stick;
  • Camera/tripod ‘roof’ to protect/shade your camera gear;
  • and, of course, umbrellas aren’t just for wet weather – it’s a good shade provider, too!

I’ve usually just thrown in a huge, full size “golf” umbrella when I go camping. But they are cumbersome, and while they provide a broad circle of coverage, they can be quite heavy and they typically don’t break down into a smaller package.

That’s where a backpacker/camp umbrella comes in handy. Smaller in size and capable of collapsing down via folding canopies and telescoping handles, they function well and they will fit in a jacket or backpack pocket!

GEAR-UMBRELLA1Two practical examples of a good camp umbrella are SeaToSummit’s Siliconized Nylon Trekking Umbrella  (covered in super lightweight waterproof 30D Siliconized Cordura®. Measuring  38” in diameter, weighs only 8.5 ounces and its sturdy frameworks collapses down to 9.5”) and the Travelling Light umbrella (about 30” in diameter and weighs a mere 5.3 ounces).  Stowed in a glove box, duffle pocket or even a tackle box, these small umbrellas could make a rainy camping experience much more bearable. Sea-To-Summit Umbrellas




Throughout the years I’ve tasted dozens of dehydrated backpacker foods – pouch cuisine at it’s….mediocre. You can only try so many tomatoey/pasta this and that sameness for so long. It got to be where I’d rate samples more on how hot they got rather than the packaged taste each offered in its own way.

Then I sampled Heather’s Choice!  What a strange taste…I think it’s call FLAVOR! And adequately heated flavor at that. While many of the bases are rice and other grains, the flavor combinations are really blossom on your tongue and pleasantly fill your belly with calories, flavor and satisfaction. I can’t describe it all any better that what’s on their website…

Heather’s Choice offers nutritious, lightweight, dehydrated food. All meals and snacks are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and made with delicious, whole foods ingredients.

Made in Alaska, Heather’s Choice backpacking meals and snacks are field tested among some of the toughest conditions nature has to offer. Each recipe was handcrafted by the founder, a certified nutritionist, with the goal of providing the most nutritious backcountry meals without compromising quality or flavor.

High calorie backcountry meals and snacks (each pack contains one full serving) are dehydrated backpacking foods containing no artificial flavors, MSG, fillers, or preservatives; made with all real ingredients. Heather’s Choice backcountry meals and snacks provide an allergen-safe backpacking food option for individuals with a variety of dietary restrictions.

Breakfasts: Blueberry Cinnamon, Apple Pie Spiced, Banana Nutmeg, and Cherry Cocoa Nib; Packaroon snack flavors include: Orange Vanilla, Blueberry Almond, Black Espresso, and Mint Chocolate; dinner options include: Dark Chocolate Chili, Smoked Sockeye Salmon Chowder, Chicken Molé with Rice, and African Peanut Stew. Heather’s Choice



Adventurer’s Guide to Making Critical Decisions

…is a definitive book on what goes into making good decisions, particularly those that affect your outdoor adventure. Written by well-known and respected kayak instructor and lecturer, Wayne Hordowich,  Practicing Good Judgment should be in everyone’s outdoor adventure library.  Here’s an overview as presented on the back cover of this new book:


It seemed like a good idea at the time” is one of my favorite sayings because I have used it more than I would like to admit. Said in another way, “Good judgement is learned through experience – and experience is gained from bad judgment.”  You can re-invent the wheel or choose to learn some lessons from others who have made good and bad choices. Practicing good judgment is a skill that can be developed if you have the right tools.


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