Useful nicknacks when winter camping

Esbit 1300-Degree Smokeless Solid Fuel Tablets

Useful when camping with the kids.  Lets them easily start a fire without frustration.


Indoor Extra Large Window/Patio Door Shrink Film Kit, 84-Inch x 120-Inch

Can be used as ground cover under tend or sleeping bag if not sleeping in a tent.  Very thin, very light, very cheap, doesn’t puncture.


Non-locking trailer hitches

Useful when going camping in the snow and it’s more useful to have a hitch on that you can use a tow strap on than a ball.  Very cheap, like $2.50


Mountain Hardwear StretchDown DS

My wife bought this insulation layer jacket to go along with the rain shell posted below.


  • Very stretchy
  • Active Fit. Trim, close to body fit
  • Hydrophobic 800-fill down
  • Weight: 14.8 oz / 420 g


So far she’s only worn it a few times.  I’ll return with an update.

Update: She wears it every day and so far so good.  Keeps her warm, not too delicate, perfect body-hugging fit.

Looking for rain jacket

My rain hike to test out my new pair of The North Face Ultra 110 GTX’s was a success for the shoes but an epic fail for my 10 year old Patagonia ski jacket.

Time to find a jacket that will

  • Keep me dry in the rain
  • Work well with some layers to keep me warm down to at most 20 degrees


Arc’teryx Beta AR looks to be the best if I can get it on sale.

In the market for off-road shoes

Looking for trail runners and hiking boots.  Should I get loggers or a lighter pair?

Trail Runners


Hiking Shoe

  • Salomon X Ultra 3
  • Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid
  • The North Face Ultra 110

Backpacking Boots

  • Salomon Quest 4D


  • White’s Boots
  • Chippewa
    • Baldor Black Logger 8
  • Carolina

Sites I’ve come across

I’ve tried on the Salomon X Ultra 3 and they were a bit narrow.

Starting Out

This is where I’ll be posting about traveling, camping, cheap equipment for the most fun, etc. I live just outside San Francisco, so most of what I do will be localized to this area and be optimized for mild, warm, arid climates and a cold ocean.