Recent Posts

Ancient Lakes Backpack

Looking northwest into the Columbia River Gorge from the top of the wall

Ancient Lakes is a popular east-side backpacking destination in Washington State, especially early in the season when the Cascades and Olympics are snowed under. The area consists of two 1.5-mile-long coulees (box canyons formed by eroding basalt) separated by a 300-foot-tall “rib” or wall. The western ends of the coulees …

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Ray-Way Tarp Kit Review

Ray-way Tarp Kit Review

The Ray-Way Tarp Kit is an excellent introduction to MYOG (make-your-own-gear) and for a reasonable price, makes a lightweight and highly-packable shelter which is flexible for many situations. I have used a Ray-Way Tarp as my primary solo and 2-person shelter since 2011. Specs at a Glance Type: DIY kit …

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Big Sky Tube Steak Tent Stakes Review

Big Sky Tube Steak Tent Stakes Review

Big Sky International’s Tube Steak Tent Stakes have the most unfortunate product name imaginable. You have to wonder if it’s deliberate or not. Regardless, they’re great tent stakes for pounding into hard ground or compacted soil with excellent holding power. I use them with shelters that require a lot of …

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Outdoor Research Apollo Rain Jacket Review

Outdoor Research Apollo Jacket Review

The Outdoor Research Apollo Jacket is an inexpensive but fully featured waterproof/breathable rain jacket that can be used year-round for hiking and backpacking. Priced at $99 dollars, but often available for less, it compares favorably with other value-priced rain jackets like the Marmot Precip and Patagonia Torrentshell Jackets. The Apollo …

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