Category Archives for "How To"

Lifestraw VS Sawyer: Which one is best for Survival?

Camping with no water is a complete disaster. However, I can’t bring as much water as I want to if I need to travel light. As a backpacker, I take advantage of what nature has to offer and survive. That is why it’s a relief to discover that portable water filters exist.

I have two brands strongly recommended by seasoned campers. It’s up to me which of them I will pick. Lifestraw VS Sawyer: Which one is best for survival? 

It did not take me long to decide. I learned a lot in the process too!

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How to Pack an External Frame Backpack in 4 Simple Steps

Not many people recognize the advantages of an external frame backpack. Its design is rooted in history and is now still being used by hikers and military alike. If you want more storage flexibility, the external frame backpack is the way to go.

Just like most hikers, I’ve been using an internal frame pack for my trips. A friend who went hiking with me recently used an external frame backpack. Seeing one in actual use, it got me curious, so I borrowed it for my next trip.

You must be thinking that a backpack is a backpack, but after trying it out, I can tell you that there are differences. One of the things I struggled with was keeping the bag’s weight well-distributed. A haphazardly packed bag will seriously throw off your balance, which is very dangerous when hiking. That’s why I’m sharing this step-by-step how to pack an external frame backpack guide.

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Appalachian Trail thru Hike Planning: You Need to Know What Matters

It’s been years since my first hike. From then on, I have met friends, tracked nearby trails and gained the skills and experience that any backpacker should have. Yet, my heart never stops longing for more. That’s when I joined my group for another epic adventure.

Are you ready to tread on the famous Appalachian Trail? The trip won’t be easy, but conquering it sure is worth every sweat and penny I’ve saved. If by any chance, you are planning to go, let me share with you some facts on Appalachian Trail thru-hike planning. 

I did it, I’ve been there!

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Hiking Half Dome Tips: Make it to the Top!

It has been years since this trip was on my bucket list. I cannot believe I just did it! I hiked the rough terrains of the Yosemite National Park and came out victorious. I am glad for the hiking Half Dome Tips that my backpacking mates gave to me. My outdoor experience just hit another high mark!

I never said it was easy. In fact, it was terrifying and exciting at the same time. When I was about to give up, the beauty of the waterfalls along the path gave me the strength to go on. Moreover, when I reached the top, the scenery was breathtaking.

On that very day, as a hiker, I made it to the top!

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How to Waterproof a Backpack for $2 or Less

When it comes to hiking, preparedness can make or break a trip. No matter how stable the weather or how familiar you are with the area, it’s always advisable to pack for the worst.

One thing that I’ve always contended with is unexpected moisture. Rain, fog, or mist could form suddenly. There’s also a chance of passing through a surprise water supply. You could also encounter puddles left by previous precipitation.

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Duck down VS Goose Down: Know What You Need to Pick

Before, I did not know about duck down or goose down. I wear my down jacket and appreciate its warmth. Yet, as I become so engrossed in hiking and camping, I became so particular about the quality of the clothes I wear.

As a backpacker, I am a bit obsessed with the comfort my jackets brings since I often camp in the wild and sleep outdoors. Eventually, I learned about the down clusters as insulation in my favorite winter jackets.  Now, on Duck down VS Goose Down, which one is better?

I tell you, it is best that you know what you need to pick.

The Difference between Duck down and Goose Down

Down traps the heat and flows warm air all over my body serving as a shield between the cold and me.  It matters a lot to me since it is the most comfortable, warm and light of all insulation I have tried.

  • Fill Power

Goose clusters are naturally bigger than the duck. The goose being literally larger than the duck may be the reason behind. Because of this, the goose fill power is famous for being more robust and long-lasting than those of the duck’s.

The age of the bird is also a factor to consider. The older the birds, the more fill power they can give. The longer the bird lives, the better developed the cluster becomes.

I can imagine manufacturers sorting out the different type of clusters to provide different range fill powers and content. When it comes to outdoor gear, average fill power starts at 500 while top-end gears are about 900.

Do you want to learn more about fill power? Here is a video explaining its details.

  • Odor

Goose only eats grass and other types of leaves. Ducks, on the other hand, almost eat anything. Because of this difference, goose tends to have less problem regarding odor compared to ducks.

Down are organic materials, and the presence of fat and oil is the reason it smells. No matter how clean the jackets will be, you cannot avoid sensing some slight scent.

  • Price

The price is actually dependent on the quality of the product. Because of the fill power and the odor issue, goose down is expensive than ducks. However, when by chance I get a high-quality duck down, it could be the other way around.

Besides, price tends to fluctuate because of the availability of the clusters. In seasons that that bird consumption is low, there is not enough supply so the price will naturally go up. As I realize, people eat ducks more that goose. Another reason why ducks are cheaper than a goose.

Of course, I must also consider price factors like budget and your specifications.

  • Durability and Insulation

Goose and duck down provide the same comfort when it comes to insulation. Literally, the feathers have an equal physical structure that is important for a useful insulator. If I take good care of my jackets, for sure, both type will last very long.

Nevertheless, do you know that the fat and oil content of the down affects its durability? There must be enough fat and oil to trap the heat and ensure warmth. Therefore, if it happens that the down is “over-washed” during production, it will drain the oil along with it. The result will be a brittle and dry output that is vulnerable to break down.

Besides the goose or duck down, you also need to consider a reliable brand to ensure durability.

The Truth Behind Down Jackets

I told you that I am hooked with down jackets. I got a collection of them. It is warm and light, perfect for a backpacker.  I often go to extremes while camping, so I need them.

However, the controversy behind live plucking to support the industry is too inhumane for me. I cannot take the cruelty the birds are suffering because of my down jackets. I guess this issue is still open until now and whatever the truth comes out, I still hope that it would be in favor of the birds.

Final Thoughts

Now that I have learned the facts behind when I think about Duck down VS Goose Down, I do not see a big difference in contrary to what I expected. I am most particular with the insulation and the price when it comes to decision making. As I have discovered that goose and down can be equal about their quality of insulation, it all goes down to price.

With the right manufacturer, I believe that duck down is practical to buy than the goose. With the same warmth, it can offer, I still pick the product that can fit into my budget. However, we have different priorities. My choice may contradict yours.

I am curious on how it goes with you. Can you post some comment and tell me what you think about duck down VS goose down?

Altra Superior vs. Lone Peak: A Battle of the Best Running Shoes

Whenever I go on a hiking trip, one of the most important things I make sure to have is comfortable footwear. In the early days, I just went with whatever sneaker I had on hand. The blisters were awful, I tell you. Not to mention the foot strain.

As you know, I hike to de-stress. But I recently came across trail running videos that got me interested. I’ve been thinking of trying out something new, so I started looking for the right shoes for this.

I’ve tried a brand called Altra before, and they carry trail running shoes for women. They’ve got an extensive collection, but I’ve narrowed it down to Altra Superior vs. Lone Peak. 

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Superfeet Green VS. Blue: Why You Need to Know the Difference

Whatever, there must be a reason behind the colors. Superfeet have established a color coding to help you find the right fit for you. Looking at the color chart, between Superfeet Green VS. Blue, which one is best for your shoe?

Knowing Superfeet, these insoles are manufactured with careful research to aid in supporting and stabilizing our feet in every step we make. Do you love hiking, but doesn’t seem to have the right hiking shoes? Because I am flatfooted, the use of Superfeet platforms is like giving my feet a treat. During my backpacking trips, it is a priority on my hiking checklist.

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