Camping

Tents, sleeping bags, pads, backpacks, and cookware for camping — we review all the gear you need for the Great Outdoors.

Quechua 2-Second Tent

Last week I reviewed three high-end tents made for minimalist hikers who need to go fast and light through the wilds. This week's featured shelter, an 8-pound igloo of fabric called the Quechua 2-Second Tent, is a flip opposite design, both in form and function. Read More...

August 21, 2006

New knives! (Buck Sirus; Wenger Evolution S)

Indeed, Buck markets the Sirus ($93) and its other assisted-opening knives to campers, hunters and hikers, touting quick access to the blade as well as built-in safety measures to make sure it does not pop open unexpectedly. Read More...

July 17, 2006

Thule Load & Go gear organizers

Load & Go products range in price from $15 to $75 and break down into three categories. The Go Packs, which are the Load & Go items made for hardshell rooftop cargo carriers, are essentially large nylon duffle bags. They are boxy and big -- with 3,800 cubic inches of capacity -- but shaped to fit the curves inside cargo carriers from Thule (though they work in similar boxes from Yakima and other companies as well). Read More...

July 13, 2006

Minimalist tents — Nemo, Mandatory Gear, Big Sky Intl.

Newtonian physics and fussy things like the inherent mass of matter may one day stymie the progress of lightweight tent design. But until then, a handful of companies will pursue the Holy Grail of creating a shelter so feathery and ephemeral as to be perfectly unnoticeable in a backpack. Read More...

July 12, 2006

Mora knives

More than 100 years ago, in the rural Swedish village of Ostnor, just outside of the well-known town of Mora, a knifesmith named Erik Frost founded Frosts Knivfabrik. The Mora region was renowned for its high-quality blades, and Frost built his company on knife making principles and practices that had been handed down for many generations. Read More...

October 24, 2005

Jetboil Review – Personal Cooking System

The Jetboil Personal Cooking System (PCS) has been called a total rethink of the traditional camp stove. The all-in-one $80 product, which debuted two years ago to much fanfare in the outdoors press, integrates a small butane burner with a special heat-transfer ring and a 1-liter metal cup. The end result is a cooking system that is about twice as fuel efficient as competing stove models, according to the company's tests. Read More...

September 24, 2005
thumb compass

The Thumb Compass Review

The thumb compass is a funny little esoteric piece of gear that's slowly earned my respect over the past few months. I was first introduced to the concept by an orienteering acquaintance who could run through the woods like a deer, jumping logs, dodging branches, skirting swamps, all while reading a detailed map and taking quick glances at the small thumb-mounted dial. Read More...

September 23, 2005

Car Camping Tents (Kelty, Paha Que, Hilleberg)

A small tent really has no place at the common drive-up campsite. For car camping, you want a cavernous, feature-full, stand-up-and-stretch-out nylon lodge with pockets, vestibules and all the bells and whistles. Here's my quick review on three such outsized tent models... Read More...

August 3, 2005

Brunton GreenHeat flammable canisters

Brunton has taken the decades-old concept of canned heat and added a couple crucial modern twists. The company's new line of GreenHeat fuel canisters, which are being marketed to backpackers, climbers and anyone else who needs to pack as light as possible, are filled with a special concoction of gelled and highly-flammable vegetable oil. Read More...

February 6, 2005

Multi tool review – Buck, Leatherman, Victorinox

There are fabled stories and epic survival tales built completely on the transpiration of a multi-tool in a time of dire need. Whether it's the climber high on a mountain who repaired his stove just before freezing or skiers who needed to jigger a binding back to life 14 miles from the car, the multi-tool has saved a legion of outdoor athletes from great misery or much worse. Read More...

August 13, 2004

Princeton Tec Corona headlamp

Princeton Tec calls its new Corona the brightest and most efficient headlamp on the market. That's a claim so lofty that after reading it once I felt obligated to give the headlamp a full test. Read More...

June 15, 2004

Trail Blazer Camp Saws

The saw, made of anodized aluminum and stainless steel, has a 14-inch blade that is adjusted taut with the twist of a wing nut. When ready, the saw's design lets you lean down with one hand on the end and push and pull your way through solid pine or oak with little trouble. Read More...

May 15, 2004

Portable Camp Tables

In the wilderness, a simple thing like a table can be luxurious. Just having a sturdy, flat surface to cook, eat and play cards on truly makes a campsite feel complete. Read More...

March 17, 2004
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