Wednesday, November 10, 2021

A Gift Guide For Outdoorsy People

Here's a gift guide for outdoorsy people. I've picked up each of these items over the past year and they all have been a great addition to my outdoor lifestyle. Some of the items are practical for every day use. Others add ease or comfort. Still others are just plain fun. After over a year of testing and use, I feel comfortable recommending each of these products based on my personal experience.


Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent about $9 If you spend time outdoors and want to keep the creepy crawlies away, you might consider using this picaridin insect repellent instead of your typicall deet product. This lotion is applied similar to other lotion insect repellent and is effective. The main difference is that this insect repellent is less toxic and will not deteriorate plastic, nylon or other materials like deet has the tendency to do. So keep the bugs away, but keep yourself and your gear in good shape. 


Olight i5R EOS EDC Flashlight about $36 This flashlight is well built, rechargeable, powerful and just the right size to carry in your hand or slip into a pocket. The clip allows the user to clip it to a pocket or to a baseball cap for use as a headlamp. Everyone needs a quality flashlight that they can rely on.

Nitecore NU25 headlamp about $37 If you need a flashlight and free use of your hands, then the Nitecore NU25 is the solution. It is bright, rechargeable, has multicolored lights and is very lightweight. It is practical for camping as well as tasks around the home.

Spyderco Dragonfly H1 about $75 This littlle knife is small in size, but huge in terms of utility. I bought this knife to use while fishing, but it has become my go to knife for every day carry. It can slide into your pocket or clip onto your pants. The knife is completely rust proof against fresh or salt water. The blade is very slicey and the curviture of the handle will fit your hand's natural grip. 

Altra Lone Peak Trail Runners about $130 These trail runners are great for trail runs, street runs, hiking, backpacking and I even play ultimate frisbee in mine. They have a zero drop stack height and wide fore foot build which allows your foot to flex and move in a natural motion. They are cool in warm weather and dry out quickly in wet weather. They may not be as durable as some proper hiking shoes, but the technical abilities of these shoes meet all my needs.

Big Berkie Water Purifier about $332 This strange looking stainless steel tube purifies any water into some of the cleanest and best tasting water you'll ever drink. There are no moving parts and no electiricty needed for it to operate. Just fill the purifier with water and let gravity pull the water from the top container to the bottom container. Then from the tap, you will draw ultra pure water. Whenever I venture outdoors I am very conscientious about my hydration. Having great tasting water from the start ensures that I'll keep up with my hydration.

iRocker All Around SUP about $650 This Stand Up Paddleboard might make your canoe or kayak obsolete. Order it online and it is delivered to your door within a few days. The SUP comes with all of the accessories needed for you to get on the water once you open the box. You can stand up and paddle or sit down and paddle. It is easy to transport inside a vehicle or on one's back because it comes with a backpack style storage and carrying case. I've even used this SUP for fishing. It's just plain fun.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Hiking The Granger Lake Loop

My friends Maya, Elizabeth and I did a thing.

We completed what we believe was the first circumnavigation hike of Granger Lake. There was no established trail around this lake, so we mapped one out and hiked it.

We followed established trails where they existed, traversed service roads or animal trails at times, and bushwhacked when needed.

There were a number of deep water crossings which required that we swim ourselves and float our packs to cross.

From the maps you can see the route that we mapped versus the route that we hiked. The divergence was often due to navigating through forests, bushwhacking through sumpweed fields, avoiding ravines and swimming across rivers and creeks. Our original route was estimated to be about 24 miles. Our final route was tracked to be about 29 miles. It was a gritty hike.

We enjoyed a few moments of bliss traversing fields of flowers and took time to appreciate all the little things.

Research the regulations, plan thoroughly, take safety precautions, tread lightly, leave no trace and enjoy it if you attempt this route. It’s no walk in the park, but should be a good adventure.

For more info about Granger Lake and the park facilities: For a route map and GPX files:

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Up & Down - Central Asia Adventure


Up & Down - Central Asia Adventure

This is perhaps one of the best adventure motorcycle travel films that I've seen. This film perfectly captures the scenic wide expanses, intimate personal connections, and the highs and lows of traveling by motorcycle. The journey takes viewers through Russia, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Monday, May 17, 2021

The Backcountry Discovery Route

If you follow this blog because you were following my trip from Texas to Tierra del Fuego by motorcycle, you likely have noticed that I've not posted much motorcycle content of late. 

To be very honest, I haven't ridden my Suzuki DR650 in years. I still have it, but strange as it may sound, I haven't felt like riding it. I still enjoy following news and stories from the motorcycle community. And I still think about taking another epic motorcycle trip. We'll see if that materializes.

For a few years, I've known about these motorcycle routes in the Western United States called the Backcountry Discovery Routes. I believe that the first route was created in Oregon, then Washington and now there are 11 routes in the United States. 

The organization that creates and promotes the routes is called BDR (Backcountry Discovery Routes). Their website provides GPS coordinates for the routes, news and other resources. They recently released a film about the origins and current status of the BDRs. I thought some of you might be interested to learn about these incredible adventure motorcycle routes. Maybe someday I'll ride one of these BDRs. Maybe I'll see you on the trail. Here's the film, enjoy.

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Gift Guide for Outdoor People

Here's my gift guide for outdoor people. I've used and tested all of these products while hiking, camping, backpacking, fishing or ...