Backpacking (10) Gear (10) Camping (8) How to (2) Locations (2) Clothing (1) Food (1)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mountain House Chicken Teriyaki with Rice


Mountain House makes the best freeze-dried, just-add-water backpacker food I've consumed to date but the Chicken Teriyaki with Rice fails. Here's why:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

VCP John Muir Trail


Looking for some local trails to break in your boots or test your gear before you hit the back country? Stuck in the city? Tired of fighting through the throngs of tourists in Central Park? 

I recently hiked the John Muir Trail. I'm not referring to THE John Muir Trail of Ansel Adams and Yosemite fame. I'm talking about the just slightly less well know, infinitely more convenient and marginally less dangerous John Muir Trail in Van Cortlandt Park located in the Bronx in NYC.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Nikwax Hard-shell Outerwear Care Kit

Winner! (so far)

Product description: Maximize the performance of waterproof; breathable outerwear and skiwear with this Nikwax care kit. Tech Wash cleans and revitalizes breathability and water repellency. TX.Direct wash-in waterproofing restores the water-repellent finish Extends life and enhances performance of Gore-Tex®, eVent® fabric, REI Elements® and other waterproof, breathable coatings and laminates.
During a back packing trip through the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite the sky cut loose on us after about 4 miles in. We all threw on the rain gear, backpack condoms, etc. Ben and I both had similar high-end breathable outer shells. (Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket). Ben and I found, as the week went on, our shells leaked across the backside because of our packs rubbing. By the end of the adventure my shell needed a tune up.

Monday, June 20, 2011

How To - Size a backpack

How To: Size a backpack.
As you can imagine getting the right equipment for your body type is key and the backpack is no exception. I’m the guy that’s always trying to save money on my gear. One obvious way is to do as much shopping on the World Wide Web (lolz) as possible. Here is a good video on how to size a person for a backpack. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


How To: Get to and from Yosemite.

The best pit stop between SFO and Yosemite is the town of Manteca! A bangin' beast of a breakfast, a burrito compiled with love and a Bass Pro Shop all less than 100 miles from Yosemite.  This is a backpackers dream town!

If you fly into SFO from very far away you'll probably want to stay in a hotel the first night before heading into Yosemite. This will provide an opportunity to sort your gear, perform last minute prep work, buy propane, fishing licenses, groceries and other supplies accidentally left behind and eat a serious power-dinner and super-breakfast. We've found no better place to do this than Manteca, CA. Here's why:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

EMS Techwick Endurance Crew


I've been really impressed with the "high performance" materials available today. Many of these keep you warm when you're cold, keep you cool when you're hot, keep you dry when you're sweat, repel insects, wash easily, dry in minutes, keep you smelling fresh and looking good at the same time. This tee shirt does almost all of these and still manages to fail! Here's why:

Monday, June 13, 2011

SteriPEN Adventurer


Wow! The SteriPEN was just impressive. I have known about the technology for a while but have been leery about depending my life on it until this last trip. Bottom line? GET ONE!
This mini light saber is a backpackers dream. It purifies everything but doesn't remove contaminants. For heavy metals or chemicals one would need a filter. As far as sediment in the water we simply ran the water through a bandana and it was fine. The pen was also easy to use; I would even say it is foolproof. We got about 50 Nalgene bottles of good water from a new set of batteries. When the batteries get low the pen handle flashes red.

Sea to Summit Alpha Set


I'm pretty far from the weight-weenie, gram-counting, ultra-light camp. I like comfort and capabilities. Why sacrifice a real spoon and fork for a couple of grams? I want something metal and solid. What better than high tech, anodized aluminum utensils to make my super-hiker friends writhe with envy? I was wrong. Here's why: 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sea to Summit Reactor Extreme Thermolite Liner


Occasionally I find a product that makes me ask "Why doesn't everyone use this?" This sleeping bag liner by Sea to Summit is one of those products. 

I was seriously worried when I heard the weather forecast for our Yosemite Adventure state "Low of 20 degrees in the valley" because my 30 degree MontBell would, at best, leave me shivering and could be downright dangerous at higher altitudes or if the weather turned out worse than planned! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sea to Summit Folding Bucket


Let's change it up a bit and report on something a bit less conventional - the folding bucket.

Really? You're going to go from reporting on something as universal as the backpack to something as ambiguous as a bucket? 
Exactly! Laugh if you will. So did my significantly more experienced backpacking buddies, Andy and Ben, when we began our Yosemite Adventure. 

Weighing in at less than 3oz and taking up almost no pack space the Sea to Summit Folding Bucket proved indispensable when the nearest source of fresh water was several hundred meters and over 100 feet of elevation away. Need to refill 3 Nalgene bottles, 3 Camelbak bladders, cook breakfast, clean up afterwards and break camp in a hurry? The folding bucket will make this job easy.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gregory Baltoro 75


Let's kick this off with a report on the most basic piece of backpacking gear - the backpack.

For my first non-military backpacking trip, our Yosemite Adventure, I needed a backpack. Maybe it's the anal-organized-military-man in me but I wanted something with lots of pockets, compartments and access points so I could easily find any piece of gear I was looking for. I also wanted a support system that would carry large loads comfortably for a long distance and, given the cost of this essential bit of kit, I wanted something fairly rugged. I was willing to pay a bit of weight penalty to obtain these features.

Intro to Adventure Reports

Welcome! Adventure Reports is a blog about the people, places, activities and gear we've encountered in adventure travel.

But I don't want to read your entire blog just to find some ambiguous summation how the product/place/activity may or may not be right for one or more people depending on the phase of the moon and alignment of chakras.
All Adventure Reports will lead with one of the following ratings:
How To:

So your reports are biased?
Yes! All Adventure Reports are highly biased, subjective and based solely on the personal experience of the bloggers.

You've been to these places, used this gear and experienced these adventures?
Yes! Everything in Adventure Reports is based on the real-life experience and personal use of the bloggers.

So who are you?
Adventure Reports are written by Billy, Ben and Andy. Each has a unique perspective on what works and what doesn't.