Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Definitions: Coil Zipper

This is a device for accomplishing the most slick and slippery zippery.

If you've ever looked at a toothed zipper you can puzzle out roughly how it works. Maybe not exactly why, but how.

Coil zippers aren't like that. They are made with less toothiness, and work more magically, which might be one reason that they fail for no reason that any sane person can comprehend.

True, they tend to be more delicate, and are used on lightweight clothing more than heavy stuff like pack pockets or jeans flies, but some are more robust than that too.

Everything does wear out with use, coil zippers too, and in the case of a coil zipper, by the time the shiny newness is gone the zipper gets balky, snags, bunches, and eventually comes apart.

There must be a minuscule timer mechanism built in somewhere (it seems like it might work this way with all zippers) so that any catastrophe happens exactly when that zipper is needed most.

It's enough to make anyone, let alone a hiker, wind up into a coil and hiss for a while.

But that attracts snakes, so it's not a good idea either. Looks like you're screwed then.

Source: How to talk in the woods.

We few, we grumpy few, we rumply-hat geezers say to you Effort or Eff it. No sniveling.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Fresh, August 21

 Appalachian Trail Girl:  ZPacks Solo Down Sleeping Bag 10F Review.  Before ordering this bag, take sizing into account.  Read this...


 Pacific Crest Trailside Reader:  The Most Wow-Worthy Sections of the PCT in Washington.  Some of the most stunning mileage along the trail comes in the final 500 miles.  Read this...


 ECT Thru Hike:  The Spirit of a Thru Hike.  Unbranded is the story of four friends that ride wild horses from border to border in the US - from Mexico to Canada.  Read this...


 Bedrock & Paradox:  Managing condensation: a shelter case study.  Realistically, condensation is a far more frequent and pressing problem for most backpackers than wind resistance.  Read this...


 AT Thru-Hike:  AT Thru-Hike #65 - Bug Eyes.  It wears a mask to pretend to be something it's not. I guess we all do that from time to time.  Read this...


 Mildly Extreme:  The Tarcoola Track - An Experiment.  ...a gentle one kilometre wander along the Brisbane River...  Read this...


 Inherently Adventurous:  Dehydrating Fruits and Vegetables.  As you can see, it isn't hard. It just demands patience.  Read this...


 The Ultimate Hang:  Gear Best Inflatable Hammock Review.  It's a hammock in very loose terms, but as it is an elevated sleeping platform, I thought it would be fun to test it out.  Read this...


 Adventure Journal:  A Beginner's Guide to Reading the Stars.  When the sun goes down and the stars begin crystallizing out of the dark blue ether of dusk I get lost.  Read this...


 Sage Clegg:  Sometimes, Go Alone.  When were you last alone? Why does being alone conjure fear for most of us humans?  Read this...


 The NOLS Blog:  Bee Prepared: WFR Training Applied in Real Life.  Multiple stings...can be life-threatening.  Read this...


 Hiking for Her:  Finding Best Hiking Trails.  You need sources for easily finding great trails, right? Well, let's get started!  Read this...


 Hiking for Her:  Which Bear Canister Should You Use?.  In my opinion, it's the odors that should be defeated.  Read this...


 Hiking for Her:  Bear Spray: When And How To Use It.  The thrill of seeing these huge creatures is one that will stay with you for the rest of your life.  Read this...


 Summit Register:  The Wild and Remote Wind River Range.  Just getting to the trailhead required an hour and a half drive along a dirt road with only a smattering of houses.  Read this...


 The Ultralight Hiker:  A Broken Zipper Fixer!  What a brilliant idea.  Read this...


 Barefoot Jake:  (Review) Bedrock Cairn Sandals.  I predict the Cairn Sandals will be a top seller for Bedrock.  Read this...


 HikeLighter.Com:  Gossamer Gear, 'The One' (2016).  It is not very often that we get a new tent on the market that is worth talking about.  Read this...


 HikeLighter.Com:  Icebreaker Tech T Lite Short Sleeve Tee (1500+ Days).  This is a t-shirt that for over 4 years as been my primary next-to-skin layer, out on the trail, at home, and everywhere in between.  Read this...


 The Hiking Life:  Jim the Baptist.  'How much lighter you ask?' Probably 60%.  Read this...


 Sweeping the Garden:  Enemy of the Sun..  Basal Cell Carcinoma. Our surgery department will contact you to schedule treatment.  Read this...


 The Roaming Bobcat:  AT day 27. Please don’t step on the fish..  I read somewhere that 50% of sobos quit before the end of Maine. I am not surprised.  Read this...


 StatNews:  In the dark of night, a hunt for a deadly bug in the name of science.  The hunter sat in a folding chair encrusted with vulture droppings, waiting for his quarry.  Read this...


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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Definitions: Apex

(1) The place where the legs attach to the rest of your body so you can keep walking. The tip. The top. The tippy-top part.

The last chance for things that were meant to be together to share quality time.

Crotch.

Where the body forks. (As if you hadn't known since grade school.)

Occasional summer home of monkey nuts and crotch rot.

(2) The part of a turn where the turning happens. The sharpest part.

Before the apex you are entering the turn and afterward you are exiting, whether you like it or not.

This is quite a bit like life which can also suddenly be over just when you feel you're finally getting the hang of it.

This sort of realization is especially disappointing when you discover that you are not only on the way out but also have a burning fungus problem in your apex.

Source: How to talk in the woods.

We few, we grumpy few, we rumply-hat geezers say to you Effort or Eff it. No sniveling.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Fresh, August 14

 The Gear Caster:  Hiking Between the Sun and the Moon.  Peru's Cordillera Blanca, the highest tropical mountain range in the world.  Read this...


 Tales of the Trails:  It's OK to Date a Girl Who Climbs Mountains.  We find ourselves caught in this weird conundrum where we are viewed as both too much and not enough.  Read this...


 Hiking in Finland:  Outdoor 2016 News - Stoves, Waterfilters & Accessories.  A new approach to OutDoor News posts this year, with a look at different categories instead of brands.  Read this...


 Hiking in Finland:  The Week in Review 243.  "Those who travel to mountain-tops are half in love with themselves, and half in love with oblivion." - Robert Macfarlane  Read this...


 Hiking in Finland:  The Week in Review 244.  I'm humbled to have made Place 1 of the Top 25 Awesome Outdoor Bloggers You Need To Follow Right Now List!  Read this...


 Wasatch Will:  Hiking Navajo Knobs.  Pectol's Pyramid gets its name from Ephraim Pectol, the great-great-grandfather of my wife, Jessica.  Read this...


 Hyperlite Mountain Gear:  Backpacking Ultralight: Stay Safe, Warm, Well-Fed & Happy.  It Doesn't Make You Less Safe, Colder, Wetter & Hungrier.  Read this...


 Rocky Mountain Journal:  Comet Falls.  It plunges 462 feet over the course of four drops, with the tallest drop being measured at 301 feet.  Read this...


 The Gear Caster:  Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock.  Ultralighters will be super keen on the Ultralight Hammock - the world's lightest hammock at 4.9 ounces.  Read this...


 Lite Packer:  Overnight Backpack at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.  I chose this location, this park because of the 30 square miles of sand dune wilderness I plan to get lost in today.  Read this...


 Bedrock & Paradox:  Concerning broification.  It is real because it is a problem, and it is a problem because people lie.  Read this...


 The Ultralight Hiker:  Inflatable Insulated Clothing.  You can make your own.  Read this...


 The Ultimate Hang:  Crosskix 2.0 Supreme Multi-sport Shoes Review.  As a water shoe and a light hiker, the Crosskix 2.0 are fantastic.  Read this...


 REI:  7 Easy Tent Repair Tips to Extend the Life of Your Shelter.  Here are some of the most commonly asked questions, along with our tips on how to make sure your tent will be ready for your next adventure.  Read this...


 Section Hiker:  Simple Portable Camping Shower Review.  If you're diligent, you can take a shower with a single bottle's worth of water.  Read this...


 The Big Trip:  Things turned out differently than expected....  'You have a dangerous infection in your body and they have to find the cause.'  Read this...


 Elina Travels:  Don't Rain on My Sad Little Parade.  I'm heartbroken because my favorite thing ever has been taken from me and I can't be where I feel I need to be.  Read this...


 Old School Outfitter:  Ask Me: How to Load a Bear Canister Into a Backpack.  The answer depends on the size and primarily on the shape and dimensions of your pack.  Read this...


 Adventure Journal:  12 Ways to Make Friends at a Campground.  2. If they don't want to talk about politics, try changing the subject to religion.  Read this...


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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Definitions: Condensation

Here's what the National Park Service thinks: "The condensation of water vapor into clouds and precipitation is a vital link in the water cycle."

Picture throngs of gorgeous buzzing neon rainbows at sunset while butterflies flutter by gently and birds sing their last glorious notes of the day in perfect harmony among amazing, delicately-leafed trees, and the skin of your weenie puffs out as it roasts over a crackling fire.

Meanwhile, next morning, in his tent on an actual trail, so far from civilization that he can't see a parking lot or even hear traffic anymore, in a place where animals snuffle and snort around without proper supervision and eat each other when they meet, Harold Hiker awakes from sleep.

Harold has been hiking in the rain that fell from the Park Service's condensation. Harold knows what condensation really means. Most of the rain that was aimed at him hit the ground and bounced, and then ran straight into Harold's boots, and then climbed up his legs and really got to work.

When Harold set up camp he did it with a great sigh of relief. At least, at last, he thought — at last he could stop walking and get some relief from the damn rain. For a few hours anyway he would be someplace dry where the rain wouldn't be jackhammering his head and slithering up his legs in pursuit of his underwear.

Harold wanted a night of rest. He got out of his wet clothes and right into his sleeping bag and gratefully fell asleep. When Harold woke the next morning he found that the entire inside of his tent was full of condensation.

Condensation above him, condensation below him, condensation on every side of him. His sleeping bag was soaked with it. And now it was closing in for the kill. Condensation has no conscience or sense of humor, you see. Condensation will not mellow out and just be your pal. Condensation is dedicated to doing you in.

Condensation is the physical process that changes a gas to a liquid, and liquid is the stuff that makes you wet.

This is the mad dog of physics that was in the tent with Harold, and Harold had nowhere to go. Poor Harold. Some say that double-wall tents are a bad deal because they don't allow enough air circulation to prevent condensation. This may be true, but you haven't been to hell until you have spent the night closed up tight in a shiny-new single-wall tent.

Some say that tarps are better than either of the above because tarps allow more air circulation and thereby defeat condensation buildup.

This may be true, but you haven't been to hell until you have spent the night under (under is used loosely here) an open tarp, exposed to exactly every single puff of freezing, incessantly probing, rain-saturated air in the known and unknown universes.

In other words condensation is an immutable force of nature that will always be with us. Like every other form of liquid water and all known immutable forces of nature, condensation slithers and creeps around, over, into, and through everything, anything, and usually the place it wants to go most is the very last place you want ever to find it.

Nasty. It is nasty. That is the only way to say it.

The only sure way to avoid condensation is to stay home and watch TV with a big bowl of chips and a few beers handy, in front of a hot fire.

You can roast your weenie in comfort there. Dry, condensation-free roasting, in comfort, of your weenie.

And you can have pets there too. Which are also warm and dry and soft and fuzzy. Unless you are into lizards.



Source: How to talk in the woods.

As always, Effort or Eff it. No sniveling.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Fresh, August 7

 REI Co-op Journal:  8 Duct Tape Hacks for the Outdoors.  If you discover that you're missing a guyline, you can easily make your own.  Read this...


 Section Hiker:  How to Choose a Backpacking Stove and Pot.  ...some factors that you should weigh when selecting the components of your own stove system.  Read this...


 The Mountains Are Calling:  The Pacific Crest Trail, Castella to Ashland: Walking to Oregon.  This was not a good thing.  Read this...


 BuckTrack:  Mann Gulch, Gates of the Mountains.  'Where did you start, Beaver Creek?' 'St Louis.'  Read this...


 A Blog on the Landscape!  The Soldier mini water purifier.  First i checked the weight, 90 grams. Then the size, fits in a glasses case.  Read this...


 Adventure Alan:  Why You Won't Freeze or Starve Ultralight Backpacking.  It's a myth that ultralight backpacking makes you cold, wet and hungry.  Read this...


 Adventure Journal:  My Job: Trail Designer and Builder Hardy Avery.  Avery's work has evolved through a lifetime spent exploring the woods, meadows and mountains of Vermont.  Read this...


 Section Hiker:  How to Fit a Backpack.  The number #1 reason why backpacks don't fit is because people buy packs with the wrong torso size.  Read this...


 PopUpBackpacker:  The Retirement Time Bank.  What if you spent your recreation time the same way your grandmother saved money?  Read this...


 The Ultralight Hiker:  Rain Skirt.  Here's a useful Instructable on how to make your own.  Read this...


 Hiking For Her:  Best Long Hiking Trails: What Are You Looking For?.  Why not consider the best long hiking trails in the world!!  Read this...


 Hyperlite Mountain Gear:  Hike Your Own Hike.  Philip Werner never wanted to be a thru hiker.  Read this...


 HikeBikeTravel:  Discovering the Charms of the Czech Republic on Foot.  On this trip there will be the camaraderie of shared experiences with 11 others and two tour guides who speak both English and Czech.  Read this...


 The Hiking Life:  Minimizing Food and Water Weight.  It adds up very quickly.  Read this...


 The Gear Caster:  New Hammock and Ultralight Tents from NEMO.  While hammocks are awesome for sleeping, they aren't exactly sociable as you get sucked down into a little cocoon.  Read this...


 The Ultralight Hiker:  Porridge.  Is undoubtedly the most compact energy dense and sustaining breakfast to eat on the trail.  Read this...


 LightHeart Gear:  LightHeart Gear at The OutDoor Friedrichshafen Featured.  The show attracts more than 900 exhibitors and 20,000 visitors from over 40 countries!  Read this...


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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Definitions: Bog Log

A rustic, natural accessory to liven up the decor of each and every bog it blesses.

Organically grown, hand sawn, individually laid, the bog log is also a boon for hikers, shielding them from contact with the mucky wet evils they must travel over.

Q: Want color?

A: Have we got colors for you! (Sorry, only gray available at this time.)

Q: Need a special width to support those generous-sized feet of yours?

A: No problem! (Sorry, no choice of sizes available right now.)

Q: Want an extra long log to span that extra yucky pit?

A: You came to the right place! (Sorry, random lengths only today.)

Q: How about an extra stable log to keep you from flipping over and going down for the count head first into that unspeakable, yawning miasma?

A: Terrific! Glad you asked for it! (Sorry, our factory cannot currently process this type of request.)

Q: Have more questions?

A: Great! We're here to help you in any way we can! Just email us! (Sorry. System down for maintenance at this time. Expected back online by 6:00 p.m., August 27, 2033.)

Need even more info? Please re-read this post.



Source: How to talk in the woods.

As always, Effort or Eff it. No sniveling.