Review: Petzl Nao+ Headlamp

The Petzl Nao+ is my lighting tool of choice for any mountain missions that start or end in the dim hours of the day. With 750 lumens, it’s so bright that Petzl had to include a warning label not to shine it in someone’s eyes up close! Using Reactive Lighting or Constant Lighting the burn time will vary from 6.5hrs (at 750 lumens) all the … Continue reading Review: Petzl Nao+ Headlamp

Review: Mountain Hardwear Super/DS StretchDown

Is this the start of a new era? A question worth asking for a product that’s as innovative as Mountain Hardware’s new Super/DS StretchDown. Combining a softshell type stretchy fabric with down insulation is innovative and truly a game changer. With this jacket you get the warmth you need from the 800 loft down in the performance fit package you’d expect from a soft shell. Needless … Continue reading Review: Mountain Hardwear Super/DS StretchDown

Review: MSR Windburner Group Stove

With the introduction of the new Windburner Stove System (Duo & Group versions), MSR has taken the popular and efficient Windburner system and made it compatible for larger groups. Similar in design to the original Windburner Personal Stove the new Duo & Group system have one huge difference, the burner isn’t attached to the canister. It’s still a portable, lightweight, weather-proof, high efficiency canister stove … Continue reading Review: MSR Windburner Group Stove

MSR WindBurner Stove

Long-Term Review: MSR WindBurner Stove

Sure the new MSR WindBurner Stove is compact, efficient and fast but its performance in strong winds is what sets it apart.  In creating the WindBurner, MSR blended some of the best design features of the iconic Reactor and the Jetboil to create a versatile stove system that’s practically windproof. The perfect stove for an alpine mission or just brewing coffee in the parking lot. Features of the MSR … Continue reading Long-Term Review: MSR WindBurner Stove

Alpine Start Coffee

Review: Alpine Start Instant Coffee

Move over Starbucks, there’s a new kid on the block when it comes to instant coffee: Alpine Start.  Since the Starbucks Via came on the market it’s become a staple of fast-and-light adventures everywhere.  And like cigarettes in a jail house, these little packets of caffeine are the currency of the backcountry.  However, much of the popularity of the Via stemmed from the fact that … Continue reading Review: Alpine Start Instant Coffee

Camping Coffee Makers

Backcountry Coffee Brewer Face Off

Like much of life, a day of climbing is best kick started by a heavy dose of caffeine.  The performance and mood enhancing effects of caffeine greatly increase success rates by supplying the necessary motivation for the climber to get up and then, once imbibed, lubricate synapses whereby headaches are avoided and speech becomes possible.  After a few more cups, there is a buildup of … Continue reading Backcountry Coffee Brewer Face Off

GSI FairShare II

Review: GSI FairShare Mug II

The GSI Outdoors Fairshare Mug has been a staple of back-country enthusiasts for over a decade.  Basically a measuring cup with a screw on lid, it’s a favourite of alpinists, backpackers, climbers, skiers, etc. The reason: It works!  It’s the perfect size to dupe an unsuspecting cook into giving you an extra scoop of grub, it’s easy to clean and it’s very multi-functional working as … Continue reading Review: GSI FairShare Mug II

Exped SynMat Hyperlite

Exped Synmat Hyperlite Review

Exped is known for making some of the best sleeping mats available anywhere.  However, like many people I’ve only every tried their down fill mats, never a synthetic fill.  To find out how their synthetic mats perform we decided to test out the SynMat Hyperlite.  This tapered, 3-season mat is sold as the lightest mat for its warmth which I take to mean that it’s … Continue reading Exped Synmat Hyperlite Review

Helinox Chair One

Helinox Chair One

Like many back-country enthusiasts I do a lot of camping to facilitate my addictions to skiing, climbing and alpinism.  This can involve easy car camping where I drive right up to the camping spot (Indian Creek, Red Rocks, Yosemite, etc.) to locations where I take a helicopter or plane into a camping area (Tantalus, St. Elias, Ruth, etc.) to where I actually need to hump … Continue reading Helinox Chair One

GSI Outdoors Essential Spoon

Quick Look: GSI Outdoors Essential Spoon

While camping spoons may not be as sexy as new ice tools or cams it’s still nice to have a well thought out and functional food delivery apparatus when you’re in the backcountry!  So when I saw the new GSI Outdoors Essential Spoon (long version) at the Outdoor Retailer show last summer I was intrigued.  Needless to say, when it hit store shelves I grabbed one to … Continue reading Quick Look: GSI Outdoors Essential Spoon