Tag Archives: quilt

Fill Power – What is it?

loftFollowing my recent post on 10 Ways to Keep Warm While Camping, a friend asked me about the best clothing to wear when it’s cold.  The answer to that question is technical, and you should see my article on Layering for more detailed information.  We ended up talking about down jackets.  I told her that the best down jackets are thick, have a hood, fall low on the hips, and have a high fill power.  But what is fill power?


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I Made My Own Backpacking Tarp, Part 4

The best part of sleeping under a tarp is the view when you wake up in the morning. In the first installment of this series, I discussed the events that led me to ditch my tent in favor of sleeping under a backpacking tarp.  In Part 2 I talked about buying that first tarp, what it was like to sleep under it, and some of the advantages it had over a tent.  In the most recent chapter, I explained my rationale for making my own tarp, and some of the considerations that went into its design.  Continue reading I Made My Own Backpacking Tarp, Part 4

Gossamer Gear Gorilla Ultralight Pack


Gossamer Gear Gorilla with hip belt, sit-light pad, and removable stay.
The Gossamer Gear Gorilla requires some assembly on arrival. The pack includes a sit-light pad and a removable stay. You must order a hip belt separately.

After a recent backpacking and camping adventure in the Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness Area of New York’s Adirondack Park, a friend of mine who had just been camping with us decided that he’d like to give backpacking a try.  He asked me for advice on what equipment he would need, and my first thoughts were, “well, you’re going to need a pack!”

Initially, I wasn’t sure what to suggest.  He didn’t have a super compressible down backpacking quilt, and his big dome tent wouldn’t fit in even the most gargantuan of expedition packs. The truth was, he had to start from scratch, and that was good news.  Starting from scratch meant avoiding most of the mistakes people make when they get into backpacking.  I made those mistakes, and they cost me a lot of money and a bit of discomfort on the trail.

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Adirondack Adventure 2014, Part 3: Planning for Backpacking

Planning for backpacking requires checking and rechecking the map until you are sure of every detail.
Checking out my map one last time before we begin.

This is Part 3 in a series on my recent adventure in the Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness.  In this section, I will discuss planning for the backpacking trip.

Planning for base camp is very easy compared to planning for backpacking.  When you are backpacking, you rely much more on your planning and your wits than you do on your gear. It is very important to have a route mapped out and to understand the terrain, climate, and local restrictions.  It is also very important to have a good understanding of the capabilities of your group, as I found out the hard way. Continue reading Adirondack Adventure 2014, Part 3: Planning for Backpacking