Category Archives: Opinion

Camping vs Backpacking

Several large tents set up in Base Camp in the Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness
Basecamp in the Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness

Ahead of my upcoming “Intro to Backpacking” event, Nancy asks about Camping vs Backpacking:

Question about backpack: what’s different from camping ? Sorry, I have no knowledges about camping and backpacking. Just started hiking .  But I am interested to learn everything you want to show me. Thanks.

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Backpacking Buy-In

My post yesterday was in response to a question about the cost of “gearing up” and who my favorite retailers were.  I was unsatisfied with my answer to the first part of the question and wanted to provide a more scientific analysis of market options.  What follows is a result of my combined obsession with both backpacking gear and probability. This should give you a fair estimate for the cost of backpacking buy-in. Continue reading Backpacking Buy-In

Gearing Up

Campmor is a great retailer with an expert staff. They have been operating a paper catalog for as long as I remember and they have one retail store in Paramus, NJ.
A happy camper with a bag full of goodies from Campmor.

Holly asks, “What’s a realistic cost of “gearing up” and who are your favorite retailers?”

Holly will be participating in my upcoming “Intro to Backpacking” seminar at Harriman State Park. I’m Hosting the event with Hudson Valley Hikers.  If you’re interested in the event, please leave a comment below. Continue reading Gearing Up

Crossfit is for Hikers


When I started hiking, I was bad at it. I was horribly overweight and my muscles were terribly conditioned.  My feet always hurt and I was always huffing and puffing. I didn’t hike often enough to get in shape, so I tried going to a gym. It didn’t help: I didn’t know what I was doing.

Almost two years ago (5 now), a friend at work found a Groupon for Crossfit Ignite, a new gym just across the street from my home.  I hadn’t heard much about Crossfit, but I new it was pretty intense. On a whim, I decided to sign up and give it a try. My life will never be the same. Continue reading Crossfit is for Hikers

My name is CampingJay, and I’m a gear junkie

gear nut
Bedroom of a gear nut.  This is a shot from a few years ago shows just a small sample of the gear I have collected.

My name is CampingJay, and I have a bit of a problem.  I go to Campmor just to look around.  I check for updates on gear manufacturer’s websites, even when I don’t need anything new.  Outdoor Gear Lab is my top visited website.  When coming upon a campsite, there is rarely a tent I don’t recognize.  I often find myself watching someone at the airport thinking, “Geesh, that’s a nice backpack!”  You could accuse me of going on a spur-of-the-moment overnight just to try out a new stove, and you’d be right. I am a gear junkie.

Continue reading My name is CampingJay, and I’m a gear junkie

2015 New Years Resolutions for CampingJay

2015 New Years Resolutions:

1) Blog at least once each week
2) Learn to hike barefoot
3) Night-hike more often
4) Go backpacking for a weekend with no food
5) Finish hiking the NY section of the AT
6) Start hiking the PA section
7) Get certified in Wilderness First Aid
8) Go camping in Maine
9) Introduce more people to the outdoors
10) Spend a weekend canoe camping


Nature is too…

Nature is too natural for most people.
A spider web on a rainy day.

A few months ago it was too cold to go outdoors. It seemed like hardly a week went by before it was too hot. I’ve heard every reason under the sun why people can’t do things outside. It is too hot. It is too buggy. It is too rainy. It is too humid. Its too dark out. There are too many bears. The sun is too bright. The trail is too steep. The ground is too hard. The water is too deep. The brush is too thick. The thorns are too sharp. The truth is, for most people, nature is too wild. Continue reading Nature is too…